Text Classification for Organizational Researchers: A Tutorial

Vladimer Kobayashi, Stefan Mol, H.A. Berkers, Gábor Kismihók, Deanne Den Hartog

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Organizations are increasingly interested in classifying texts or parts thereof into categories, as this enables more effective use of their information. Manual procedures for text classification work well for up to a few hundred documents. However, when the number of documents is larger, manual procedures become laborious, time-consuming, and potentially unreliable. Techniques from text mining facilitate the automatic assignment of text strings to categories, making classification expedient, fast, and reliable, which creates potential for its application in organizational research. The purpose of this article is to familiarize organizational researchers with text mining techniques from machine learning and statistics. We describe the text classification process in several roughly sequential steps, namely training data preparation, preprocessing, transformation, application of classification techniques, and validation, and provide concrete recommendations at each step. To help researchers develop their own text classifiers, the R code associated with each step is presented in a tutorial. The tutorial draws from our own work on job vacancy mining. We end the article by discussing how researchers can validate a text classification model and the associated output.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)766
Number of pages799
JournalOrganizational Research Methods
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


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