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
Figure 1: Relationships Between Variables
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...
References: Camp, W. G. (2001). Formulating and evaluating theoretical frameworks for career and technical
education research. J. of Vocational Education Research, 26, (1), 1-17.
Elliott, J. (2005, May). Conceptual/operational frameworks. Workshop presented at the Association
of International Agricultural and Extension Education conference, San Antonio, TX.
Radhakrishna, R.B., Leite, F.C., & Baggett, C.D. (2003). An analysis of research designs used in
agricultural and extension education. Proceedings of the 30th National Agricultural
Education Research Conference, 528-541.
Sekaran, U. (2000). Research methods for business. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Tuckman, B. (1999). Conducting educational research (5th ed.). Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace
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