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Ppt. developing a conceptual framework

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Page 1: Ppt.  developing a conceptual framework


Page 2: Ppt.  developing a conceptual framework

The structure of the


What is conceptual frame work?

What are the purposes of conceptual

framework ?

What are ingredients of a conceptual



Page 3: Ppt.  developing a conceptual framework

The structure of the


What are the steps in Developing a conceptual


How will you present a conceptual framework?

What are the pros and cons of conceptual



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• Conceptual framework represent ways of

thinking about a problem.

• It deals with abstractions ( concepts) that

are assembled by virtue of relevance to a

common theme.

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• CF is an explanation of how a researchersees the different concepts and outcomesof study and its relations with each other.

• It can be developed from the researcher'spersonal experience, previous studies, orfrom more than one theory or models

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A written or visual presentation that:

“explains either graphically, or by narration,

the main things to be studied – the key

factors, concepts or variables - and the

presumed relationship among them”.

(Miles and Huberman, 1994, P18)

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• A CF provides a coherent, unified and orderlyway of seeing related events or processesrelevant to a study/ research and less formal thantheories.

• It can be :

• Rudimentary or elaborate,

• Theory driven or commonsensical ,

• Descriptive or casual (Miles, and Huberman cited

Veal p.54)

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• It broadly presents understanding of thephenomenon of interest and reflects theassumptions and philosophic view of thedesigner

• It is researcher‟s own position on theproblem- the way the researcher shapes ittogether.

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What it does?

• Conceptual frameworks serve as the springboard for theory development

• CF shows the relationship of the stated

hypotheses with central factors or key


• Part of CF offers a synopsis of the study's

main points.

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What it does??

• Each framework highlights or emphasizesdifferent aspects of a problem or researchquestion.

• Any one conceptual framework presentsonly a partial view of reality.

• Focuses attention on and amplify certainelements of a problem like a magnifyingglass

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• Conceptual Framework

• Keeps research on track

• Provides clear links from the literature to theresearch goals and questions

• Helps the researcher to see clearly the variablesof the study

• Clarifies concepts and propose relationshipsamong concepts

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• Provides an organizing structure for theresearch design and methods.

• Useful to prepare research proposal usingexperimental or descriptive methods

• Guides the development and testing of interventions and hypotheses

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• Provides general framework for dataanalysis

• The interpretation of findings flows fromthe conceptualization represented by theframework

• Makes research findings meaningful andgeneralizable

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• Provides reference points for discussion of the methodology and analysis of the data.

• Explains observations

• Contributes to the trustworthiness of the study.

• Encourages theory development that is useful to practice

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• A conceptual framework is composed of concepts and

the relational linkages between them ( called

propositional statements)

• Concepts abstractly describes and names an object or

phenomenon, thus providing it with separate identity or


• It is actually the intellectual representation of some

aspect of reality, derived from observations made from


• Example: Anxiety, stress or pain

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Basic elements

Relational statement

as propositions.

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Concept synthesis

Conceptual definition Concept derivation

Concept analysis

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Concept synthesis

• Process of describing and naming a previouslyunrecognized concept

Eg:- Selye performed concept synthesis toidentify and define the concept stress.

Concept derivation

• Meanings are derived from other disciplinesmay be modified and carefully evaluated to fitin the nursing knowledge

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Conceptual analysis

• A strategy through a set of characteristicsessential to the connotative meaning of aconcept is identified.

• A strategy that involves examining theattributes \ characteristics of a concept.

(Walker & Avant 1983)

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A philosophical inquiry –

Researcher explores various ways the term is used and try to identify set of characteristics that can be used to describe the concept.


By × search of literature

× personal experience

and thought Walker & Avant

× Reasoning 1985.

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Types of concepts

• Three types of concepts

According to level of abstraction:

1. Abstract concepts or theoretical concepts

2. Empirical or descriptive concepts

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According to level of categorization:

1. Global or domain concepts

2. Middle range concepts

3. Empirical concepts

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• According to levels of measurements

• 1. Nominal

• 2. Ordinal

• 3. Interval

• 4. Ratio

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• Concepts are important because they

provide a road map

• Give the big picture ideas (the concepts)

up front, and then fit in the smaller facts

and details

• Provide the context for the researcher

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Next steps is to state Relations with concepts.

? Relational statement- declares that arelationship of some kind exists betweentwo or more concepts. (Walker & Avant1980)

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Importance of relational

statements/ propositions

• Core of frame work

• Relational statement are tested through research.

• Relational statements determines the

- Objectives

- Research questions and hypothesis

- Research design

- Statistical analysis

- Type of findings expected.

N.B: For critiquing a study too the link between the hypothesis, design and frame work are examined.

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Special features

It describes

* Direction * Sequencing

* Shape * Probability of occurrence

* Strength * Necessity

* Symmetry * Sufficiency

Depicted with diagrams or by literary means.

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What inputs go into

developing a conceptual


• Experiential knowledge of researcher and supervisor

– Literature review

– Technical knowledge.

– Research background.

– Personal experience.

– Data (particularly for qualitative).

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How might a conceptual

framework be developed?

1. Explore/ explain

relationship between concepts

2. Identify the concept

3. Define concepts

4. Operationalise concepts

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Identify concepts

• Identify the concept and categorize them

• It can be abstract or concrete.

• For an abstract concept it is broad and may not be

readily observable and the meaning of which are

more far from time, space and referent group and is

not easily measurable

• Specific or concrete concepts are amenable to


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Define concepts

• This is the main function of a conceptual

framework in descriptive study/ research

• Example

• Quality of life

• Accessibility of care

• Regular users

• Visitor demand

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Operationalise concepts

• In other words, how can abstractintangible concepts be made tangible

• How can concepts like

• Regeneration

• Community

• Deprivation

• Local etc be recognized , assessed,measured or counted

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• Empirical referents or indicators must be find

• out to depict the existence of concepts afteroperationalising the concept.

• Example

• Numerical pain scale to measure the painintensity

• Depression scale to measure depression etc

• Empirical referents is a means ofmeasurement of concepts

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Develop relational

statements/ propositions

• State the relation between concepts

• This provides idea for testing and

hypothesis development

• Hypothesis are developed from these

propositional statements of a conceptual


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In nut shell

Develop the structure by:

• Identifying the key words used in the subject area of the study.

• Draw out the key things within something that have already written

about the subject area – literature review.

• Take one key concept, idea or term at a time and brainstorm all the

other things that might be related and then go back and select those that

seem most relevant.

• It will take time and a number of iterations and the focus should be

both on the content and the inter-relationships.

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General forms of CF

• Process frameworks– Set out the stages through which an action moves from initiation to

conclusion. These relate to the ‘how?’ question.

• Content frameworks

• Set out the variables, and possibly the relationship (with relative strengths) between them, that together answer the ‘why?’ question.

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What specific forms might a conceptual framework take?

• The possibilities include:

– Flow charts.

– Tree diagrams.

– Shape based diagrams – triangles, concentric circles,

overlapping circles.

– Mind maps.

– Soft systems.

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The pros and cons of conceptual


• Why are conceptual frameworks useful?• Conceptual frameworks provide researchers with:

– The ability to move beyond descriptions of „what‟ to explanations of „why‟ and „how‟.

– A means of setting out an explanation set that might be used to define and make sense of the data that flow from the research question.

– A filtering tool for selecting appropriate research questions and related data collection methods.

– A reference point/structure for the discussion of the literature, methodology and results.

– The boundaries of the work.

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The pros and cons of conceptual


• Allow researchers to build upon oneanother‟s work; thereby building a bodyof knowledge

• Programmatic, conceptually basedresearch that accumulate deeperunderstanding over time and this moves adiscipline (such as nursing) forward.

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What are the cons/ limitations

• Conceptual framework:

– Is influenced by the experience and knowledge of the individual – initial bias.

– Once developed will influence the researcher‟s thinking and may result in some things being given prominence and others being ignored – ongoing bias.

• The solution is to revisit the conceptual framework, particularly at the end when evaluating your work.

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Criteria to evaluate conceptual


• Comprehensiveness of content

• logical congruence

• conceptual clarity

• level of abstraction

• clinical utility (Fawcett's (1995))

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Infant and child





















CF for infant/child pain parent coping

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• The conceptual framework encapsulates the research as it:

– Sets out the focus and content.

– Acts as the link between the literature, the methodology and the results

• Thus it can be/will be the focus/starting point of the evaluation of originality of a research to find

– Whether what has been focussed on entirely new?

– Is the way the subject been investigated different to the „normal‟


– Has new light been shed on previously explored issues?

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• Hart C. (1998): Doing a Literature Review.” London, Sage.

• Jennings G. (2001): Tourism Research. Australia, John Wiley and Sons.

• Maslow A (1954): “Motivation and Personality.” New York: Harper.

• Miles, M. B., & Huberman, M. A. (1994): “Qualitative Data Analysis: An Expanded Sourcebook” (2nd edition). Beverley Hills, Sage.

• Rogers, E.M. (2003): “Diffusion of Innovations.” 5th Edition. London, Simon and Schuster.

• Smyth R. (2004): “Exploring the Usefulness of a Conceptual Framework as a Research Tool: A Researcher's Reflections.” Issues In Educational Research, Volume 14.

• Yin R. K. (1994): “Case Study Research: Design and Methods.” (2nd

edition) California, Sage.

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