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Elements of Research

Theoretical Framework
A theoretical framework is a collection of interrelated concepts, like a theory but not necessarily
so well worked-out. A theoretical framework guides your research, determining what things you
will measure, and what statistical relationships you will look for.
Theoretical frameworks are obviously critical in deductive, theory-testing sorts of studies (see
Kinds of Research for more information). In those kinds of studies, the theoretical framework
must be very specific and well-thought out.
Surprisingly, theoretical frameworks are also important in exploratory studies, where you really
don't know much about what is going on, and are trying to learn more. There are two reasons
why theoretical frameworks are important here. First, no matter how little you think you know
about a topic, and how unbiased you think you are, it is impossible for a human being not to have
preconceived notions, even if they are of a very general nature. For example, some people
fundamentally believe that people are basically lazy and untrustworthy, and you have keep your
wits about you to avoid being conned. These fundamental beliefs about human nature affect how
you look things when doing personnel research. In this sense, you are always being guided by a
theoretical framework, but you don't know it. Not knowing what your real framework is can be a
problem. The framework tends to guide what you notice in an organization, and what you don't
notice. In other words, you don't even notice things that don't fit your framework! We can never
completely get around this problem, but we can reduce the problem considerably by simply
making our implicit framework explicit. Once it is explicit, we can deliberately consider other
frameworks, and try to see the organizational situation through different lenses.

Cases and Variables
Cases are objects whose behavior or characteristics we study. Usually, the cases are persons. But
they can also be groups, departments, organizations, etc. They can also be more esoteric things
like events (e.g., meetings), utterances, pairs of people, etc.
Variables are characteristics of cases. They are attributes. Qualities of the cases that we measure
or record. For example, if the cases are persons, the variables could be sex, age, height, weight,
feeling of empowerment, math ability, etc. Variables are called what they are because it is
assumed that the cases will vary in their scores on these attributes. For example, if the variable is
age, we obviously recognize that people can be different ages. Of course, sometimes, for a given
sample of people, there might not be any variation on some attribute. For example, the variable

It looks like the Enterprise) There are actually two other kinds of variables. For example. but that this varies by the number of women already in the department the person applied to. you may think that people are more satisfied with their jobs if they are given a lot of freedom to do what they want. Usually there is only one dependent variable. while departments with few women will favor male applicants. these are the causes. departments that already have a lot of women will favor female applicants. I know. women applicants are more likely to get the job than men applicants. This is diagrammed as follows: (yes. and you believe that diversity in the organization can help make them more profitable (because diversity leads to fresh outlooks on old problems). Here. For example. In other words. Specifically. the one you are trying to predict. also known as the predictor or explanatory variables. In any particular study. So 'job freedom' and 'salary' are the independent variables.'number of children' might be zero for all members of this class. Two key roles are independent variables and dependent variables. though. These are moderator and intervening variables. which are basically independent variables. variables can play different roles. You believe that in overall. and profitability is clearly a dependent variable. and it is the outcome variable. job satisfaction is the dependent variable. A moderator variable is one that modifies the relationship between two other variables. and if they are well-paid. The independent variables. suppose you are studying job applications to various departments within a large organization. if we do a study to determine why some people are more satisfied in their jobs than others. Variation in the dependent variable is what you are trying to explain. but only if managers are specially trained in diversity management (otherwise all that diversity causes conflicts and miscommunication). are the factors that you think explain variation in the dependent variable. but work a little differently. For example. and 'job satisfaction' is the dependent variable. But what is diversity training? Its main function seems to be adjust the strength of relation between diversity and profitability For example. diversity is clearly an independent variable. It's still a variable. We can diagram this as follows: . because in principle it could have variation. suppose that the cases are whole organizations.

innovation is an intervening variable. we said that diversity is good for profitability because diversity leads to innovation (fresh looks) which in turn leads to profitability. is not something we can ever decide. For example. or the other around. then this one is as well. Interacting variables affect the dependent variable only when both are acting in concert. though it's harder to think about: Whether sex of applicant is the independent and % women in dept is the moderator. Here. We could diagram that this way: An intervening or intermediary variable is one that is affected by the independent variable and in turn affects the dependent variable. if that model is true. Another way to talk about moderating and independent variables is in terms of interaction. We diagram it this way: .Actually.

On hot days. They are also more likely to go to the beach. There is a strong correlation: the more you sell. Here is an example. Do diplomas have magic powers? Do the cells in educated people's bodies know how to fight cancer? I doubt it. the more a educated a person is. Look at the relationship between the amount of ice cream sold on a given day. we again look at the relationship between diversity and profitability. however. within just the innovative group. we only consider days that are cold. even if you are not educated. We might find that there is no relationship. on average. or days that are warm). In general. we might find that the more diverse companies have.. Copyright ©1996-8 Stephen P. since ice cream sales do not cause drownings. That's because the only reason diversity affects profitability is because diversity tends to affect a company's innovativeness. For example. What's going on? Are people forgetting the 'no swimming within an hour of eating' rule? Ice cream screws up your coordination? No. If we look at the relationship between diversity and profitability. That would support the idea that nutrition is an intervening variable. and the relationship between two variables disappears. higher profitability than the less diverse companies. If we control for temperature (i. To control for a variable means to hold its values constant. and that in turn affects profitability. we might find no relationship. It might be because educated people are more likely to eat nutritionally sensible food and this in turn contributes to their health. we might find no relationship between diversity and profitability there either. Here's another example. the more people drown. Similarly. There is a third variable that is causing both ice cream sales and drownings. if we just look at the non-innovative group. Consider the relationship between education and health. there is no arrow from diversity directly to profitability. It should be noted. people are more likely to buy ice cream. if you control for a variable. This is not hypothetical: this is real.Note that in the diagram. we find that there is no relationship between ice cream sales and drownings. But of course.e. innovativeness and profitability of a several thousand companies. there are many reasons why you might eat nutritionally sensible food. where a certain proportion will drown. that doesn't necessarily mean that the variable you controlled for was an intervening variable. since it ice cream sales do not cause temperature changes. So if we were to look at the relationship between education and health among only people who eat nutritionally sensible food. suppose we measure the diversity. Borgatti Revised: Home Page . the healthier they are. But suppose we divide the sample into two groups: innovative companies and non-innovative. and the number of drownings on those days. Now. diversity is unrelated to profitability. This means that if we control for innovativeness. Nor is ice cream sales an intervening variable. But temperature is not an intervening variable. The variable is temperature.

2010 · 2 Comments . About  Thesis/research coach  Ask Devcompage  Readings  Links and resources  Slides Search Some more communication thesis topics How to measure reliability of an attitude scale Sample theoretical framework in communication research By monina escalada On January 11.

P. P. Escalada . As extrinsic . imitation.Chicago Navy Pier. and modelling to explain media effects on human behaviour. 1977) stresses the importance of observational learning. Awareness and expectations of future reinforcements or punishments can have a major effect on an individual’s behaviour. nitrogen fertilizer application and insecticide application rates.H. Du. M.V. Motivating rice farmers in the Mekong Delta to modify pest management and related practices through mass media Huan. Quynh.S Tan. Here’s a sample theoretical framework I wrote for a paper published in the International Journal of Pest Management. an individual can adapt critical aspects of the behaviour they wish to Heong Theoretical Framework Theory of Social Learning The project applied social learning theory in developing interventions to motivate farmers to reduce seed sowing.L. the most popular post and queries in Devcompage has been “Writing the theoretical framework”. and K. Through social modelling.V.Chien. H.M. Social learning theory (Bandura. P. Photo credit: http://www. For many months.

Theory of Planned Behaviour In developing the campaign approach and media materials. Studies of behavioural intentions suggest that the likelihood of intended audiences’ adopting a desired behaviour can be predicted. 2001). an extension of the Theory of Reasoned Action. The Theory of Reasoned Action asserts that intention to perform certain behaviour is determined by the individual’s attitude toward the performing the behaviour and by the subjective norm held by the individual. 1988) and the Theory of Reasoned Action (Ajzen and Fishbein. can help to explain why some media campaigns have limited success. AIDS. safety belt usage. please consider sharing it! .factors are important in behaviour change. and anti-drugs to determine which factors influence individuals to act in certain ways and to identify better ways of effectively communicating the message. The theory has been applied to many health and campaigns relating to breastfeeding. We can subsequently monitor these attitudinal changes. Increasing knowledge alone does not help to change behaviour but campaigns aimed at attitudes and perceived norms in making adoption decisions produced better results. an important step toward influencing behaviour is an assessment of intended audience attitudes. anti-smoking. Tagged with: sample communication research theoretical framework • sample theoretical framework in communication research If you enjoyed this article. the project drew largely upon the strategic communication campaign framework (Adhikarya. By assessing and understanding the factors we can develop messages to influence their attitudes and perceptions of benefits of the behaviour and how their peers will view their behaviour. 1994) and adapted the Theory of Planned Behaviour (Ajzen. Research by Fishbein and Ajzen (1975) supports the idea that individuals’ and society’s (perceived) attitudes are important determinants of action. Therefore. new behaviour is often learned through observing how others conduct themselves (Severin and Tankard. The Theory of Planned Behaviour. 1980) to understand and promote individual behaviour change.

Kay-Ann Nield M. 2011 at 10:14 pm I hope reading your sample cud help me please my prof.2 Responses to Sample theoretical framework in communication research 1. Urgh! Leave a Reply Your email address will not be published. 2010 at 2:13 pm this site is good 2. and reach her standards. “I did my best but I guess my best wasn’t good enough”. jen says: January 24. Rocha says: May 18. Required fields are marked * Name * Email * Website Comment . Doing my thesis with her as a Prof is like.

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." — devcompage Devcompage Pages  About  Thesis/research coach  Ask Devcompage  Readings  Links and resources  Slides The Latest  Communication and adoption of National Abaca Research Center’s umbak handicraft making This article is based on the author’s BS Development Communication thesis. and stay updated by subscribing to the RSS feed. Suggested […] More Thanks for dropping by! Feel free to join the discussion by leaving comments. © 2010 Devcompage . I am attending a workshop on ecological engineering for sustainable management in rice landscapes in Banaue."This week. Ifugao province.