This paper presents three studies investigating discrepancies in published American research on participation and its outcomes. The first study, a longitudinal meta-analysis of participation-outcome research published between 1950 and 1985, revealed apparent realtionships bewteen societal issues in the U.S. and the questions asked by American researchers, the methods used to performa research, and the magnitudes of reported effects. The second and third studies provided corollary evidence clarifying these findings, showing the absence of general method trends throughout the organizational sciences but suggestingthe existence of a relationship between researchers' social attitudes and the conduct of participation-outcome research. Besides explaining inconsistencies among published findings, these results suggest that societal trends have affected the conduct of participation research.
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