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Chapter 5

The Research Process - Theoretical Framework

& Hypothesis Development

© 2009 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 1
Theoretical Framework

 A theoretical framework represents your beliefs on how

certain phenomena (or variables or concepts) are
related to each other (a model) and an explanation on
why you believe that these variables are associated to
each other (a theory).
 Conceptual framework helps us to test certain
relationships in order to improve our understanding of
the situation.

© 2009 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 2
Theoretical Framework
 Basic steps:
– Identify and label the variables correctly
– State the relationships among the variables: formulate
– Explain how or why you expect these relationships

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 Any concept or construct that varies or changes in

 Main types of variables:

– Dependent variable
– Independent variable
– Moderating variable
– Mediating variable

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(In)dependent Variables

 Dependent variable (DV)

– Is of primary interest to the researcher. The goal of the research
project is to understand, predict or explain the variability/change
of this variable. Through the analysis of DV, it is possible to find
answers or solution to the problem
 Independent variable (IV)
– Influences the DV in either positive or negative way. The IV helps
to explain the variance/change in the DV.

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New product Stock market

success price

 Moderating variable
Moderator includes gender,
race, class, level of reward
Workforce Org
variables that affects the diversity Effectiveness

direction and/or strengthen

the relation in between
independent and dependent Managerial

variable. expertise

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Mediating Variable
 Mediating variable
– surfaces between the time the independent variables start
operating to influence the dependent variable and the time their
impact is felt on it.

Workforce Creative Organizational

diversity synergy effectiveness

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 A logical relationship between two or more variables
expressed in the form of testable statement. It is an
empirical statement concerned with the relationship
among variables.
 Good hypotheses:
– Must be adequate for its purpose
– Must be testable
– Must be better than its rivals
 Can be:
– Directional
– Non-directional

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Directional hypotheses
 The direction (positive or negative) of the relationship
between the variables is specified. The terms that can
be used are positive, negative, more than, less than and
the like words.
Example: the greater the stress on the job the lower the
job satisfaction of employees will be.
Non directional
 Non directional hypotheses does propose the
relationship or difference in between IV and DV but offer
no indication of the direction of that relationship or
 Example: there is relationship between gender and
purchase intensions of video games
 There is relationship between gender and job
 There is a difference between facebook usage in
American and Pakistani students
Null and alternate hypotheses
 Null hypotheses: expressed that there is no significant
relationship in between two variables or difference
between two groups.
 Alternate hypothesis: opposite to null hypotheses. It is a
statement expressing a relationship between two
variables or difference between groups.
 Sample (target respondents, name of company, size of
your respondents)
 Measures and instruments (means to collect data e.g.
through questionnaire, interviews etc)
 Procedures (what software you will apply for analyzing
the data. In case of interview you will manually write the
similar responses of the respondents and write the
reasons which have been highlighted by the
 References (complete reference of the material which
you have quoted in literature review)