In Module 3, you will focus on the main section Theories, Models, and Conceptual Framework. The first task is to review the Theories and Models you have chosen to use and also review your Research Questions as well as the overall Research Problem. Revise these elements of this main section as necessary. Make sure that your theories and models are a good fit to for finding answers to your research questions. Also consider the business knowledge domain in which the research problem is situated. Does the problem pertain to marketing, operations, logistics, IT, HR, management, leadership, decision making, or other domain of knowledge? Do your theories and models relate to this domain? Will the theories and models provide a basis for developing your research instruments (questionnaires, interviews, etc.) to collect data that will provide answers to the research questions with good analysis?
Review and update your conceptual framework, which is an expansion of the concepts that follow from the theories and models, the research problem, and the research questions. What do we mean by conceptual framework, and more importantly, what do we mean by “concept”? Generally, the term concept refers to an idea about a specific thing which can be either concrete (tangible) or intangible. This thing has a definition which provides the characteristics that make it the thing. Ball is a tangible concept. Balls exist physically. And we can define what a ball is, that is, a (usually) spherical object used for play and in sports and in some industrial applications. Note there are many kinds of balls and each of these kinds has a more specific definition, such as baseball, football, tennis ball, ball bearings, etc. Leadership is an intangible concept. It is not a thing that can be held or touched. We can observe behavior of people and conclude that the behavior demonstrates leadership or not. Note there are different kinds of leadership (e.g., transformative, translational, military, permissive, etc.).
In the context of DSP research, how are concepts determined and how are they used to create a conceptual framework? The concepts for the DSP, which are identified in Chapter 1, are expanded in Chapter 2. These concepts are connected to the theories and models, and the research questions. What are the ideas (concepts) that are relevant to the research problem and questions and the theories? One way is to start with the theories and determine the key or major ideas, concepts, variables, and terms that are part of the theory or model. Look at the research questions and consider some possible answers. Of course, you will find the actual answers from the data you collect and analyze. But by projecting some possible answers you can find additional concepts or ideas that are relevant to the research. There are several ways to create the framework, but the simplest and most practical is a list or taxonomy of the concepts. These concepts can become a section or sub-section headings in Chapter 2.
Once you have identified some key concepts, you can use these as search terms to find literature—that is, research papers, articles, websites, books, etc.—that provide discussion of previous research, findings, key results, definitions, and other information. As you review these works of literature, look for additional concepts that are related. Add these additional concepts to your taxonomy and continue to search.
Searching for literature can be a tedious process. With the availability of most of the literature via electronic means (using the internet) and most materials available for downloading, you will find a large number of possible items, and many of them may not be useful. You can narrow down the search by using more specific search terms. And you can scan the results by reviewing the abstract. When you find an article in the library, it is possible to flag that item to save it. And when you are done with a session, you can have those flagged items sent to you in an email with the reference information included.
However, you should take some time to review those items in more detail to determine if they are relevant and note how they are relevant to your own research. If the literature item is a research paper, note the kind of research, and what the hypotheses or research questions were. How was the data collected and analyzed and what were the key findings? Also, what were recommendations for future research and was there anything that was missing or incomplete?
When you find literature that is relevant and pertains to one of the concepts in the outline, add it to the Lit Review Annotated Outline using APA format along with a notation about how each item is relevant to your review.
In the Progress Report section of the Lit Review Outline under SLP 3 – Theories, Models, and Conceptual Framework, write a paragraph that discusses your search efforts, problems, and successes, and indicate what you think you still need to do for this section. Include a paragraph that provides an introductory review of one of the literature items from this main section.
SLP 3 – Theories, Models, and Conceptual Framework progress
[paragraph discussing progress]
[introduction paragraph of one article]
When you have found a sufficient amount of literature and updated the Lit Review Outline document including the Progress section, upload it to the SLP3 Dropbox.
SLP Assignment Expectations
Length: The length is not important to this assignment. The quality of the references and the notations as well as the quality of the included paragraphs are the relevant factors.
Organization: Subheadings should be used to organize your paper according to the outline and the assignment.
Grammar and Spelling: While no points are deducted for minor errors, assignments are expected to adhere to standard guidelines of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sentence syntax. Points may be deducted if grammar and spelling impact clarity. We encourage you to use tools such as grammarly.com and proofread your paper before submission.
As you complete your assignment, make sure you do the following:
- Search diligently for appropriate literature items and take notes on these.
- Use the outline you completed for SLP 2 and add to it. Add subheadings as necessary for organization.
- List literature references using APA 7 format. Include notes for each reference. This section should have at least four references that provide information about the Target Organization and the Industry.
- Stay focused on the precise assignment questions.
Your assignment will be graded using the following criteria:
- Assignment-Driven Criteria: Student demonstrates mastery covering all key elements of the assignment.
- Critical Thinking/Application to Professional Practice: Student demonstrates mastery conceptualizing the problem, and analyzing information. Conclusions are logically presented and applied to professional practice in an exceptional manner.
- Business Writing and Quality of References: Student demonstrates mastery and proficiency in written communication and use of appropriate and relevant literature at the doctoral level.
- Citing Sources: Student demonstrates mastery applying APA formatting standards to both in-text citations and the reference list.
- Professionalism and Timeliness: Assignments are submitted on time.
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