Theoretical Frameworks in Research Design

Theoretical Frameworks in Research Design Order Instructions: Theory can offer many things to the researcher. It can be used to explain phenomena, generate hypotheses and suggest additional directions for research.

Theoretical Frameworks in Research Design
Theoretical Frameworks in Research Design

In turn, the results from research can be used to refine existing theory.

A clear theoretical framework arising from the literature, such as management theory, leadership theory or change theory, can be used to guide your research, including your choice of research design and methodology.

In an 1100 word response, post your answers to the following questions:

•Describe at least two theoretical frameworks you might choose for your research problem and why.

•How will your choice(s) of theoretical frameworks affect the manner in which you conduct your research?

Theoretical Frameworks in Research Design Sample Answer


Theoretical frameworks play an important role when it comes to providing guidance to not only a research study but also collecting views from a particular population. If the research problem is employee motivation, reviewing useful literature is important to understand the standpoint and how to support it. There are various theoretical frameworks for investigating employee motivation. While some concentrate on internal needs that if fulfilled increase motivation, others concentrate on objectives, demonstrating that setting objectives enhances motivation as well as efficiency. Furthermore, reviewing such theories is crucial in terms of expanding knowledge on motivation as well as identifying areas with which the research will concentrate on. This discussion describes theoretical frameworks for my research problem. In addition, the discussion presents the way in which the choice of theoretical frameworks affects a research study.

Theoretical Frameworks

Management theory

The management theory by Max Weber encompasses the use of a structure based on standardized processes with a clear chain of command. In addition, this theory emphasizes on the importance of efficiency while warning against the risks of technology.  Weber concentrated on dividing firms into hierarchies, and established a strong chain of command. He said that firms develop through standardized practices for routine  roles (Bloom, Sadum & Van2012).T his theory is suitable for my research problem, which is employee motivation by clearly defining roles; detailed record keeping; hiring workers if they meet the requirements of the job; and establishing a command of authority. When it comes to hiring workers that meet the requirements of the job, nepotism can contribute to hiring persons that are not qualified; hence, this may hamper efficiency across the organization. For this t reason, management theory helps to accurately assess the ability of the candidates. Therefore, this ensures that the organization hires people that are qualified to perform certain roles. Moreover, management theory will work well for the research problem at hand because it provides room for evaluation to help in the identification of strengths and weaknesses (Kapsali 2011).

Leadership theory; trait approach

The trait approach focuses on characters of an effective leader. The fundamental principle behind this theory is that an effective leader is born rather than made. A number of leadership studies based on trait theoretical framework were performed in the 1930s to 1950s. The framework evaluates not only the physical features, but also psychological and social features of individuals. Generally, such studies examined the strong correlation between personal traits and methods of leadership efficiency.  Nonetheless, physical characteristics such as height; psychological features such as intelligence; and social features such as personality aspects were based on empirical evidence (Redekop 2014).                                                                                               This trait approach framework is suitable for my research problem since any person in leadership must understand strategies for motivating workers in order to ensure that they perform their roles. Furthermore, it is not surprising that workers enjoy positive workplaces. Leaders who embrace this model are fair and bold while adhering to stipulated polices; hence, making a huge difference at the workplace. Besides, the trait approach framework helps leaders to talk to workers on things they value, which presents important insights of motivating them. It also helps to understand workers’ feelings as this helps the leader to know what they desire (Driver 2013).T his theory presents constructive details regarding leadership.  Such information can be used individuals at all units of the company. For instance, managers can use details from the trait approach to assess their position as far as employee motivation is concerned, and how to reinforce their positions in the long run. This framework also provides a detailed understanding of managers’ identity and the manner in which they can influence other workers across the company.

The effect of theoretical frameworks on research

While carrying out the research study, the research team should be keen because the wrong choice of the theoretical framework can greatly impact the research. For this reason, , the research team should set out by evaluating previous studies that may present not just useful theories, but also analytical models necessary to the problem being investigated. In addition, the choice of theoretical frameworks must rely on its suitability as well as explanatory ability. Since theoretical frameworks strengthen a given research, the research team should ensure the existence of a clear statement of theoretical assumption which allows readers to critically evaluate the study. The description of variables in accordance to the literature review enables readers to comprehend the theorized associations. Therefore, a researcher should embark on the research process by providing a description of what is known about the variables, their connections, and what can be added. These factors can affect the choice of theory. As a result, the researcher must demonstrate to the readers how the variables are associated to each other, and the inclusion of past studies and theories that support the researcher’s beliefs (Ritchie et al.  2013).

It is worth noting that theoretical frameworks link researchers to current knowledge relevant to the problem being investigated. Therefore, with appropriate theories, researchers are provided with a platform to develop the hypotheses and research techniques. Another important factor that can affect the way of conducting a research is the articulation of assumptions. For this reason, the researcher should articulate theoretical assumptions by ensuring that queries of why and how are addressed in the research study. By doing this, it enables the researcher to logically move from a description of observed occurrence to compiling generalized elements with regards to such occurrences. Reducing generalization is another element that influences the selection of a theoretical framework. Because theoretical frameworks stipulate essential variables that affect phenomenon while emphasizing the significance of assessing the condition under which they may change, it can considerably affect the way of conducting a research study. There is also a strong correlation between theoretical frameworks and how a research study is carried out.

The selection of a research design relies on the objectives of the research and a detailed review of previous research studies useful to the problem being explored. For instance, in quantitative research, deductive research philosophy is embraced since it starts with the identification of theoretical frameworks that act as the basis for structuring and guiding the study (Argote and Miron-Spektor 2011). By and large, theoretical frameworks will help the researcher to select the appropriate research design since they have the ability of directing the preferred research methods. As a result, the selected research methods must present a conclusion that is compatible with the theory.

In conclusion, this discussion has demonstrated that management theory and trait leadership approach will be appropriate for my research problem. Management theory will be appropriate in defining employee roles and hiring skilled people. On the other hand, a trait leadership approach is preferred for my research problem because it presents important data that can be used by managers to understand ways of motivating workers while strengthening their position. With respect to the choice of theoretical frameworks on research, it is clear that poor selection of theory can affect the study. Furthermore, it enables the researcher to provide a clear statement of theoretical assumption in order to help readers to critic them. The theoretical framework is also imperative in minimizing generalization.

Theoretical Frameworks in Research Design Bibliography

Argote, L. and Miron-Spektor, E., 2011. Organizational learning: From experience to        knowledge. Journal of Organizational Science, 22(5), pp.1123-1137.

Bloom, N., Sadun, R. & Van Reenen, J., 2012. Does management really work?. Harvard business review, 90(11), pp.76-82.

Driver, M., 2013. The lack of power or the power of lack in leadership as a discursively                  constructed identity. Organization Studies, 34(3), pp.407-422.

Kapsali, M., 2011. Systems thinking in innovation project management: A match that works.                    International Journal of Project Management, 29(4), pp.396-407.

Redekop, B.W., 2014. Embodying the story: Theodore Roosevelt’s conservation leadership.         Leadership, p.1742715014546875.

Ritchie, J. et al., 2013. Qualitative research practice: A guide for social science students and researchers. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

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