theoretical framework

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Framework and the Language of Research Lucell Larawan

Formulation of research framework : 

Formulation of research framework A problem exists because of certain reasons. Most often a researcher tests a theory/ies to explain the existence of a problem. The framework offers the rationale and fundamental basis of the entire research. It presents the interrelationships of theories, principles, and beliefs that are essential to the investigation of the present problem.

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Theory—a set of interrelated constructs (concepts), definitions, and propositions that presents a systematic view of phenomena by specifying relations among variables, with the purpose of explaining and predicting the phenomena. Since one can never be sure whether a given theory provides the best explanation for a set of observations, it is possible to use two or more competing theories and test which theory best explains the problem.

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A theoretical framework presents a theory that explains why a problem under study exists (Mercado, 1994) and explains the connection between certain factors and the problem. Conceptual framework—is an elaboration of the theoretical framework in concrete terms. Based on the theory used, the predicted association between variables is explained. Arguments on how and why a factor can possibly influence another are presented. Related studies may be used to support the argument.

Functions of a theoretical framework : 

Functions of a theoretical framework It provides the general framework which can guide data analysis. It identifies the variables to be measured. It explains why one variable can possibly affect another or why the independent variable can possibly influence the dependent variable. It limits the scope of data relevant to the framework by focusing on specific variables. It stipulates the frame of mind that the researcher will take in analyzing the data.

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Example of study: “Employee Innovativeness and Achievement Motivation: a Public and a Private Organization’s Experience” PROBLEM STATEMENT AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK This study sought to determine the public (College of Arts and Sciences, West Visayas State University) and private (College of Arts and Sciences, Central Philippine University) college teachers’ level of innovativeness and achievement motivation, as influenced by their organisational orientation, type of institution, age and sex. ‘Depreciation model’ and the ‘deficit model’, suggest that older employees are less innovative than younger employees. The ‘depreciation model’ views older workers as increasingly less valuable and even dispensable (see Yeatts, Folts & Knapp, 1999; Hedge, Borman & Lammlein, 2006). The ‘deficit model’ explains the process of ageing from a gerontology perspective. This latter model assumes that older people are more likely than younger people to lose important abilities and reveal defects and deficits that hamper their innovativeness (Cohen, 2001; Meyer, 2007)

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According to the expectancy-value theory of Atkinson, a behaviour depends on how an individual values a particular outcome and their expectation of attaining that outcome as a result of performing that behaviour. People judge the likelihood of attaining various outcomes. They are not motivated to attempt the impossible, so they do not pursue outcomes that are perceived as unattainable. Even a positive outcome expectation does not produce action if outcome is not valued. Consciously or unconsciously, behaviour is influenced by one’s personal characteristics and the environment.

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In this study, “behaviour” is described as the innovativeness and achievement motivation of the teachers from the two colleges. The level of innovativeness and achievement motivation can be based on how a person values self and organisational fulfilment, which are expected outcomes. But these dependent variables (innovativeness and achievement motivation) are not always self-initiated. These can be inhibited or encouraged by the organisational environment wherein the orientation of the organisation and type of institution are among the factors. Besides the environment, a person’s sex and age may also influence these variables.The following illustrates the research paradigm:

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Paradigm of the Study Organizational orientation Type of institution Age Sex Innovativeness Achievement motivation

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Concept—a generally accepted collection of meanings or characteristics associated with certain events, objects, conditions, situations, and behaviors. The success of research hinges on: 1) how clearly we conceptualize, and 2) how well others understand the concepts we use. Construct—an image or abstract idea specifically invented for a given research and/or theory-building purpose. Ex: For “presentation quality” construct, concepts used to measure it are manuscript errors, keyboarding speed, and format accuracy.

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Operational definition—is a definition stated in terms of specific criteria for testing or measurement. These terms must refer to empirical standards (i.e., we must be able to count, measure, or in some other way gather the information through our senses). Ex: in a military project, “dud shell” was operationally defined as “a shell that, once fired from a cannon, could not be made to explode by any amount of manipulation, human or mechanical.” Variable—is used as a synonym for construct, or the property being studied; in this context, a symbol of an event, characteristic, trait, or attribute that can be measured and to which we assign categorical variables.

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Moderating variable (or interaction variable)—a second independent variable that is included because it is believed to have a significant contributory or contingent effect on the original IV-DV relationship. Extraneous variables—might conceivably affect a given relationship

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Hypothesis—a supposition of an occurrence of an event that can be tested; educated guess which can be proven empirically Types: 1) Descriptive format—a declarative proposition that predicts the existence, size, form, and distribution of variables. Ex: Ha: The true value of the product’s market acceptability is greater than 91.23%. 2) Explanatory/causal format—an “if-then” proposition. Ex: Ha: The changes made in the sales commission given to the salesforce has a significant effect on the total monthly unit sales

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3) Relational format—a statement of conjecture expressing directional or non-directional relationships, such as existence of difference or correlations (or that the variables occur together in some specified manner without an implication that one causes the other). Ex: Ha: The organizational culture of the companies in the customs brokerage industry has a significant correlation with employee behavior with respect to: a) job satisfaction c) organizational commitment b) Job performance

Research and the scientific method : 

Research and the scientific method Good business research is based on sound reasoning. Competent researchers and astute managers alike practice thinking habits that reflect sound reasoning—finding correct premises, testing the connections between their facts and assumptions, making claims based on adequate evidence.

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The tenets of the scientific method are: Direct observation of phenomena. Clearly defined variables, methods, and procedures. Empirically testable hypotheses. The ability to rule out rival hypotheses. Statistical rather than linguistic justification of conclusions. The self-correcting process.

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The following represent one approach to assessing the validity of conclusions about observable events: 1) Encounters a curiosity, doubt, barrier , suspicion or obstacle. 2) Struggles to state the problem—asks questions, contemplates existing knowledge, gathers facts, and moves from an emotional to an intellectual confrontation with the problem. 3) Proposes a hypothesis, a plausible explanation, to explain the facts that are believed to be logically related to the problem.

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4) Deduces outcomes or consequences of the hypothesis—attempts to discover what happens if the results are in the opposite direction of that predicted. 5) Formulates several rival hypotheses. 6) Devices and conducts a crucial empirical test with various possible outcomes, each of which selectively excludes one or more hypotheses. 7) Draws a conclusion based on acceptance or rejection of the hypotheses. 8) Feeds information back into the original problem, modifying it according to the strength of the evidence.