Theoretical Frameworks and how I see them

The subject of Theoretical Frameworks has befuddled me for the entire last week. Having read multiple definitions and ideas and had a plethora of discussions with faculty and my classmates, I have come to the conclusion that, like theories, these frameworks are dependent upon the research question and who’s asking it.  It is the lens in which the researcher views the information they collect. It determines how the data is interpreted and what conclusions are then reached.

I struggled so hard trying to find a ‘list’ of frameworks to go by so I could pick the one that applied.  What I discovered is that there really isn’t a ‘list’ and that researchers may create a new framework based on their ideas and projects. I understand that there are some that are more known or common, such as behavioral, feminist, or gender frameworks but many are related strictly to the project. In my search however, I did find a few articles helpful, one of which was by Cynthia Grant and Azadeh Osanloo (2014). They took this process and likened it to creating a blueprint for a house. The framework is the underpinning, the base of which your research (house) is built. If the framework is wrong, the entire project can be in jeopardy. The article provides a list of commonly used frameworks but more importantly, provides sections on selecting and integrating your framework.

As I move into future courses with an eye on my final research project, understanding the concept of a theoretical framework is very important. Identifying where I am coming from and what I believe will inform all that I research and how I view the information coming my way.

I am beginning to understand….


Grant, C., & Osanloo, A. (2014). Understanding, selecting, and integrating a theoretical framework in dissertation research: Creating the blueprint for your “house.” Administrative Issues Journal, 4(2), 12–26. Retrieved from


3 thoughts on “Theoretical Frameworks and how I see them

  1. Patricia, This blog is wonderful. I love the article you provided the link to. When I think about the theoretical framework as the blue print then I wonder how could I have struggled with something so simple. What a lovely way to make a plan for any paper. I have one in the works that is going to require substantial changes and it might be easier thanks to this. Now I’m looking forward to that part with this bit of backup. Thank you.


  2. I too struggled with Theoretical Frameworks (TF’s). I really wanted that list and I must admit, I spent considerable time looking for it. It wasn’t until our last day of residency that I finally began to feel more at ease with the concept. I spent the entire circulation time in the group discussing TF’s and was able to start thinking about them in terms I was more accustomed to. The discussion, drawings and real examples really helped me to place TF’s in their role in research. I suppose that is a great example of my social constructivist approach. And it all starts to come together!


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