Conceptual Framework vs theoretical framework Conceptual framework After formulating the theoretical framework, the researcher has to develop the conceptual framework of the study. A concept is an image or symbolic representation of an abstract idea. Chinn and Kramer (1999) define a concept as a “complex mental formulation of experience”.
While the theoretical framework is the theory on which the study is based, the conceptual framework is the operationalization of the theory. Conceptual framework is the researcher’s own position on the problem and gives direction to the study. It may be an adaptation of a model used in a previous study, with modifications to suit the inquiry. Aside from showing the direction of the study, through the conceptual framework, the researcher can be able to show the relationships of the different constructs that he wants to investigate.
1. The conceptual framework is the schematic diagram which shows the variables included in the study.
2. Arrows or line should be properly placed and connected between boxes to show the relationship between the independent and dependent variables.
3. All the independent and dependent variables should be clearly discussed and explained how these would influence the results of the study.
Theoretical Framework The theoretical framework of the study is a structure that can hold or support a theory of a research work. It presents the theory which explains why the problem under study exists. Thus, the theoretical framework is but a theory that serves as a basis for conducting research.
1. The theoretical framework consists of theories, principles, generalizations and research findings which are closely related to the present study under investigation. It is in this framework where the present research problem understudy evolved.
2. Authors of these theories and principles should be cited. As much as possible research findings and theories should be correct.
Formulating the Theoretical Framework Purpose: 1. It helps the researcher see clearly the variables of the study;
2. It can provide him with a general framework for data analysis;
3. It is essential in preparing a research proposal using descriptive and experimental methods.
Based on the foregoing example, how should the theoretical framework formulated?
1. Specifies the theory used as basis for the study
2. Mentions the proponents of the theory
3. Cites the main points emphasized in the theory
4. supports his exposition of the theory by ideas from other experts;
5. Illustrates his theoretical framework by means of a diagram; and,
6. Reiterates his theoretical proposition in the study.