Use of exploratory factor analysis in maritime research
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the approaches that are undertaken while applying exploratory factor analysis (EFA) in maritime journals to attain a factor solution that fulfils the criteria of EFA, achieves the research objectives and makes interpretation easy. To achieve the aim of this paper, published articles across maritime journals will be examined to discuss the use of EFA. This will be followed by an example of EFA using an empirical data set to emphasise the approaches that can be undertaken to make appropriate decisions as to whether to retain or drop an item from the analysis to attain an interpretable factor solution.
The results of this study demonstrate that majority of maritime studies employing EFA retain a factor solution based on the researchers’ subjective judgement. However, the researchers do not provide sufficient information to allow readers to evaluate the analysis. The majority of the reviewed papers failed to provide important information related to EFA explaining how the final factor structure has been acquired. Furthermore, some papers have failed to justify their decisions, for example, for deleting an item or retaining factors with single measured variable.
The first contribution of this study is the analysis of how studies carried out in the maritime sector have been applying EFA in their studies. The second contribution of this study is to provide future researchers aiming to use EFA in their studies for the first time an example of a complete EFA process, explaining different steps that can be undertaken while carrying out EFA.
Publication titleThe Asian Journal of Shipping and Logistics
Department/SchoolAustralian Maritime College
PublisherKorean Association of Shipping and Logistics
Place of publicationRepublic of Korea
Rights statement© 2018 The Korean Association of Shipping and Logistics, Inc. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/