1. PRESENTED BY:
MARTIN OTUNDO RICHARD
PhD( project management student)–JKUAT
–MOMBASA CAMPUS, KENYA -2015
2. Session objectives
By the end of the session the learner should be
Explain the concept of theoretical framework
Develop a theoretical framework in research
Describe the significance of a theoretical
framework in research.
Describe a conceptual framework
Distinguish between a theoretical framework and
a conceptual framework.
State the features of a conceptual framework.
3. A theoretical framework is a summary of the
researcher’s theory regarding a particular
problem that is developed through a review of
previously tested knowledge of variables
involved. It identifies a plan for investigation and
interpretation of the findings.
It relates to philosophical basis on which the
research takes place and form the link between
the theoretical aspects and practical components
of the investigation undertaken. Therefore it’’ has
implications for every decision made in the
What is a theoretical framework?
5. What is a theoretical framework?
Theoretical framework can be considered as a
conceptual model that establishes a sense of
structure that guides the research process. It
includes the variables a researcher intends to
measure and relationships he/she seeks to
understand. Essentially, this is where a
researcher develops a “theory” and build his/her
case for investigating that theory.
The theoretical framework is the researcher’s
presentation of a theory that explains a particular
problem and it is not based on his/her suspicions
6. Theoretical framework in a research report
Theoretical framework is presented in the early
section of a dissertation mainly in chapter two of
the report and provides the rationale for
conducting your research to investigate a
particular research problem.
It involves a well-supported rationale and is
organized in a manner that helps the reader
understand and asses the perspective of the
7. When developing a theoretical framework:
The researcher start by describing what
is known about the variables involved,
what is known about their relationship,
and what can be explained thus far.
One need to to investigate other
researchers’ theories behind these
relationships and identify a theory (or a
combination of theories) that explain
his/her major research problem.
8. When developing a theoretical framework:
The researcher need to consider
alternative theories that might challenge
One also considers the limitations
associated with his/her theory and quite
possibly that problem could be better
understood by other theoretical
9. Significance of a theoretical framework
It helps the researcher to consider other possible
frameworks and to reduce biases that may sway
the researcher’s interpretation.
It clarifies researcher’s implicit theory in a manner
that is more clearly defined.
10. Significance of a theoretical framework
It demonstrates that the relationships proposed
by the researcher are not based on his/her
personal instincts or guesses, but rather formed
from facts obtained from authors of previous
The theoretical framework allows a researcher to
present the research problem in light of summary
of the literature.
11. Significance of a theoretical
It shows the reader why the researcher thinks
that the variables involved are related and the
inclusion of previous research and theories that
support researcher’s belief are essential to
defending the rationale.
It determines how the researcher perceives,
make sense of, and interpret his/her data.
Explanation of theoretical framework helps the
reader understand the researchers' perspective
13. What is a conceptual framework?
Mugenda and Mugenda (2003), define a
conceptual framework as a hypothesized model
identifying the concepts under study and their
relationships. It provides an outline of the
preferred approach in the research and also
outlines the relationships and the desired effects,
forming independent and dependent variables
It also a schematic representation showing the
relationship between different types of variables
involved in the study such as relationship
between independent variables and the
dependent variable. (Tidwell,2012)
14. What is a conceptual framework?
It’s the researcher’s own position on the problem
and gives direction to the study.
Consists of concepts that are placed within a
logical and sequential design. It represents less
formal structure and used for studies in which
existing theory is incapable or insufficient. Its
based on specific concepts and propositions,
derived from empirical observation and intuition.
15. What is a conceptual framework?
Miles and Huberman (1994) in Corry and Stella
(2012)defined a conceptual framework as a visual
or written product, one that “explains, either
graphically or in narrative form, the main things to
be studied—the key factors, concepts, or
variables—and the presumed relationships
among them” (p. 18).1
Conceptual framework is a network, or “a plane,”
of interlinked concepts that together provide a
comprehensive understanding of a phenomenon
16. Features of conceptual
The main features of conceptual frameworks are as
1. A conceptual framework is not merely a
collection of concepts but, rather, a construct in
which each concept plays an integral role.
According to Miles and Huberman (1994), a
conceptual framework “lays out the key factors,
constructs, or variables, and presumes
relationships among them” (p. 440). To
discourage loose usage of the term conceptual
framework, I propose basing conceptual
frameworks not on variable or factors but on
concepts alone. When variables or factors are
17. Features of conceptual
2. A conceptual framework provides not a
causal/analytical setting but, rather, an
interpretative approach to social reality.
3. Rather than offering a theoretical explanation,
as do quantitative models, conceptual
frameworks provide understanding.
4. A conceptual framework provides not
knowledge of “hard facts” but, rather, “soft
interpretation of intentions” (Levering, 2002, p.
18. Features of conceptual
5. Conceptual frameworks are indeterminist in
nature and therefore do not enable us to predict
an outcome. Levering (2002) has suggested that
“the idea that human behavior can be explained
and predicted is roughly based on the concept of
external factors being caught in an accidental
cohesion, and the idea that human actions can be
understood, but not predicted, is based on the
concept of freedom” (p. 38).
6. Conceptual frameworks can be developed and
constructed through a process of qualitative
Mugenda, O.M. & Mugenda, A.G. (2003).
Research methods: Quantitative and qualitative
approaches.2nd. Rev. ed. Nairobi: Act press.
Jabareen,Y(2009).International journal of
qualitative methods,Technion—Israel Institute of
Technology Technion City, Haifa, Israel.
Tidwell, w (2012) writing a conceptual framework,
Ashford university, ITT technical institute,
Accessed on 29th July 2015
Corry, M, and Stella,J.,(2012)Developing a
framework for research in online K-12 distance
education." Quarterly Review of Distance
Education 13.3 (2012): 133+. Academic OneFile.
Web. 29 July 2015.