Strategies for Linking Theoretical Framework and Research Types

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Strategies for Linking Theoretical Framework and Research Types

By | Jan. 2011
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Introduction
Almost all research studies in social and behavioral sciences regardless of disciplines/programs require a rationale or base for conducting research. This rationale/base is often called theoretical framework. A host of researchers have provided varying definitions of theoretical framework (Sekaran, 2000; Camp, 2001; Elliott; 2005, Tuckman, 1999). A theoretical framework is a conceptual model of how one theorizes or makes logical sense of the relationships among several factors that have been identified as important to the problem (Sekaran, 2000). In essence, it attempts to integrate key pieces of information especially variables in a logical manner, and thereby conceptualizes a problem that can be tested. Theoretical framework visually tells the big picture (research) of the study, identifies literature review categories and directs research objectives. A typical theoretical framework provides a schematic description of relationships between and among independent, dependent, moderator, control, and extraneous variables so that a reader can easily comprehend the theorized relationships (Figure 1). Independent

Variables
Moderator
Variables
Intervening
Variables
Dependent
Variables
Control
Variables
Figure 1: Relationships Between Variables
Cause Effect
Although theoretical framework helps build a base for the study, very few studies have discussed linkages between theoretical framework and research types. The focus of this poster presentation is to describe the connection between theoretical framework and research types. Radhakrishna, Leite, and Baggett (2003) presented a typology for research designs used in agricultural education. Using the quantitative research paradigm, they classified research designs into three categories: descriptive, descriptive-correlational, and experimental. The decision to select a research design depends on the goals of one’s research study. It also depends on the review of literature which provides a solid...
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