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QXGX6103 Research Methods and Data Analysis for Social Scientists

Summary on Theoretical Framework Other than research topic, research problem, research hypothesis, There are many definitions on theoretical framework that can be found in the books, articles and other secondary sources. Sekaran and Bougie (2010: 69) report theoretical framework can assist the researchers to develop research hypotheses. Another expert, Marican (2005: 50) decides the theoretical framework is developed based on the theory explanations which already exist. Furthermore, Noor (2010: 218) points out that it is often summarized as flow chart diagram, which shows relationship between theories. Another study by Khan (2011) referred theoretical framework as a construction that can maintain the research works theory. Though there are many definitions for theoretical framework but the important thing about this element is to conduct researchers in the research study, determining what is measurable, and to identify the statistical relationship that exist as reported by Borgatti (1999). There are three basic steps before creating theoretical framework; the first one is to identify and label the variables correctly either it is dependent or independent. The second step is to state relationships that exist among variables and formulate hypotheses. The following step is researchers must explain how or why the relationships exist. Whenever we talk about theoretical framework, we also need to differentiate it from the conceptual framework. Findings by Regoniel (2010) defines conceptual framework as the research paradigm whereby it represents the specific direction of the research study. Four independent variables have been identified; the most common variables which frequently being used are independent variable and dependent variable. Other names for dependent variables (DV) are outcome variables, criterion variables, and another one will be the results variable. This variable is the primary interest for the researcher. The examples are job performance, production level, etc. Independent variables (IV) also called as treatment variables and the predictor variables. Simplest example for this variable is financial stress. DV depends on IV, thats the rule! So, remember that IV always influences DV and as the result, DV will be affected either in

QXGX6103 Research Methods and Data Analysis for Social Scientists

positive or negative way. For example; the higher level of financial stress that someone facing, the lower productivity level will be. Another two variables that rarely used are the mediating variables and moderating variables. Moderating variables can modify the original relationship that already exists. Gender is the best example for mediating variable whereby level of financial stress that someone facing is different from men and women. Mediating variables can be defined as the intervening variables and one of the examples is self esteem of an individual. To make it clear, the diagram below can help you to understand well.

Mediating Variable: Self Esteem Independent Variable: Financial stress

Dependent Variable: Production level

Moderating Variable: Gender

QXGX6103 Research Methods and Data Analysis for Social Scientists

References Borgatti, S. P. (1999). Theoretical Framework. Retrieved September 17, 2011, from http://www.analytictech.com/mb313/elements.html Khan. R. E. (2011). Developing the theoretical and conceptual framework. [Power Point Slides]. Retrieved September 14, 2011, from http://journclasses.pbworks.com/f/theoretical+framework.ppt Marican, S. (2005). Kaedah Penyelidikan Sains Sosial, Petaling Jaya: Prentice Hall. Noor, N. M. (2010). Writing Research and Thesis Proposals: Guideline and Examples, Klang: University Publication Centre. Salkind, N. J. (2006). Exploring Research, 6th Edition, New Jersey: Pearson International Edition. Sekaran, U and Bougie, R (2010). Research Methods for Business: A Skill Building Approach, 5th Edition, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons Ltd. University of Wisconsin-Madison (1999). Mediator versus Moderator variables. Retrieved September 15, 2011, from http://psych.wisc.edu/henriques/mediator.html Regoniel, P. (2010). What is the Difference Between the Theoretical and the Conceptual Framework? Retrieved September, 17, 2011 from http://factoidz.com/what-is-thedifference-between-the-theoretical-framework-and-the-conceptual-framework/