What is the main difference between research frameworks, research theories, research paradigms and research methodologies? By Name: Course Name and Number: Instructor: Institution Date: What is the main difference between research frameworks, research theories, research paradigms and research methodologies? For a research to be comprehensive, the researcher needs to have an understanding of the various components of research. It needs to follow a clear guideline in order for the objectives to be achieved.
A complete research should identify various applicable frameworks while the data type and research objectives will determine the kind of methodology to be employed affecting the research paradigms employed. Theories will be set based on the findings from the data analysis carried out using the paradigms employed. Therefore, frameworks, theories, paradigms and methodologies are all important components of research work; however, each component is different in its own way.
Research frameworks refer to the possible approaches to a problem or the available courses of action that a researcher can employ in a research to achieve his objectives (Deshpande & Webster 1989). Therefore, frameworks offer a means to create a connection between all the aspects of the phenomenon under study hence offering an approach that covers all areas making it accurate and specific. Frameworks vary depending on the study subject or the research problem.
A research methodology may be descriptive, correlation or explanatory methodology. Descriptive methodology is used where little is known about the subject under study while correlation methodology is used where the aspects of a phenomenon are compared against each other. An explanatory methodology seeks to identify how the various aspects of the phenomenon and their interrelation results into a certain occurrence (Clarke 2005). A research paradigm is a widely accepted assumption on how a research should be conducted. A paradigm therefore identifies the order that the research should follow in data collection, data analysis and theory creation. Research paradigms are different based on the type of research methodology and they are qualitative and quantitative. Positivism is specific to quantitative research seeking to explain a truth that can be measured which gives a projection of a future occurrence.
Interpretivism is specific to qualitative research and gives an individualized view based on a person’s understanding. A research’s main purpose may be either to test a theory or generate one making theories to be directly related to research. One theory is the descriptive theory that is used in research cases where there is little knowledge on the subject or phenomenon under research (Wacker 1998). Descriptive theories may either only name the observable characteristics or they may classify the phenomenon based on their interrelation. The other type of theories is relational theories that are developed in correlation research and are used to describe the interrelation between characteristics or factors of a phenomenon (Wacker 1998). The third theory type is the explanatory theory that explains how the interrelation between factors of a phenomenon results in a certain occurrence.
Research frameworks, theories, paradigms and methodologies are different in that frameworks offer a guideline to be followed in conducting the research as they provide alternative solutions enabling the researcher to choose the correct research method and type to achieve his goal in conducting the research. Research methodologies on the other hand, enable the process of data collection and analysis in order to create, agree with or disagree with a theory regarding a phenomenon (Clarke 2005). Theories unlike the previous two enable the data collected to be categorized to come up with an explanation that is understandable by the common mass. They outline a phenomenon in simple terms explaining why an occurrence takes place.
Research paradigms are intertwined with methodologies as they are responsible for the manner in which the methodology will be conducted. This is because they determine the process to be followed in data collection, analysis and conclusion leading to the creation of a theory. Reference Deshpande, R & Webster, F E 1989, Organizational Culture and Marketing: Defining the Research Agenda: Journal of Marketing, Vol. 53, No. 1. Retrieved from: www.jstor.
org/discover/10.2307/1251521?uid=3738336&uid=2&uid=4&sid=21102010420213 Wacker, J G 1998, A definition of theory: research guidelines for different theory-building research methods in operations management. Journal of Operations Management 16. Retrieved from: www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CD4QFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.
46471029,d.ZGU Clarke, R J 2005, Research Models and Methodologies. HDR Seminar Series, Faculty of Commerce.
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