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Theoretical

Framework

Research basis
Theoretical Framework
 What is the central concept(s) integral to
the study? (look within and outside LIS)
 Connecting the study to theory: basic
research
Good Theory
 Advances knowledge in a discipline,
guides, research, enlightens the discipline,
helps the discipline mature and gain
validation
 Enables us to rise above the seemingly
random confusion of everyday life to see
patterns and to understand principles on
which to base purposeful, productive
action
 Provides an important context
Theory vs. Practice
 We cannot do without theory. It will always
defeat practice in the end for a quite
simple reason. Practice is static. It does
well what it knows. It has, however, no
principle for dealing with what it doesn’t
know … Practice is not well adapted for
rapid adjustments to a changing
environment. Theory is light footed, it can
adapt itself to changed circumstances,
think out fresh
 Out fresh combinations and possibilities,
peer into the future. Theory provides a
clear framework, administrative practice
reduces to a series of meaningless acts,
without purpose of direction.
 Source: Charles H. Granger, Harvard Business Review 42 (May-June
1964), p. 64.
Theory
 Provides patterns for the interpretation of
data
 Links one study to another
 Supplies frameworks within which
concepts and variables acquire special
significance
 Allows us to interpret the larger meaning
of our findings for ourselves and others
 Source: The elements of social scientific thinking, p. 40
Examples
 Information needs  Expectations
 information-seeking  service quality
behavior  Satisfaction
 Effectiveness
 Teams/small groups

 Success Value
 Reference Transactions See Measuring your
 Standards library’s value, Donald
 RUSA, IL, Accreditation S. Elliott et al (ALA,
2007)
Theoretical Framework
 Dalbello, M. (2009). Cultural dimensions of digital library
development: Part II the cultural innovations of five
European national libraries. Library Quarterly, 79(1).

 Culture = National Culture + Organizational


Culture + Professional Culture + Heterogeneous
Tool Kit Culture
Logical Structure

Who, what, when, where,


how…
Logical Structure
 Explicitly addresses all the possible
variables within a study
 Identifies all of the important components
 Is a menu of choices--no decisions are
represented
 The decisions = objectives
Logical Structure (Components)
 Addresses the questions of
 What (problem statement)
 Who
 Where
 When
 How (methods)
Logical Structure
 Not always directly addressed within the
published study, but must be addressed
by the research during the planning
stages.
 Often possible to represent the logical
structure through a diagram or model
What
 Identifies the problem under study
 May help to brainstorm for contributing factors,
causes and effects
 May have to operationalize terms= i.e. success,
efficiency, effectiveness, etc.
 Some methods:
 Flow Chart
 Five Why’s
 Fishbone Diagram
Fishbone Diagram
Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa

Materials People
Policies

Problem
Statement

Process Technology
Who
 The group under study
 Identifies the population
 Identifies the sample within the population
 May have to justify choices
When
 The time frame of the study
 Data collection
 Literature review
 Correcting for lapses

 Sets deadlines
 Creates context
Where
 Identify the environment
 Sets parameters
How
 Methodologies
 How will data be collected
 What is appropriate?
User/Use Study
 Use
 Students
 Simmons College
 When
 How
Use/Nonuse Study

Where: one to many places


How

When: 1-many times

Library
Use NonUse Students

Add Variables
E-book Use

Where
When
How

User (Search) Behavior Undergraduates

variables
variables
Objectives

Indicate what was selected


from the “menu” or logical
structure
Components of Objectives
 To ____verb  Object
 Basic: to conceptualize
 Applied: to test
 Action: to describe
Objectives
 To “describe”  To “relate:” “compare”
or “contrast” (relating
applies to basic,
identify
define
applied, and action
distinguish research)
determine
Depict
etc.
Objectives
 To identify the attributes (requirements, responsibilities,
qualifications, and salaries/benefits) of music librarians
 To determine the extent to which their responsibilities
relate solely to music librarianship
 To compare the attributes listed most frequently in job
advertisements with those attributes leading to the actual
hiring of individual
 To compare the list of attributes identified in job
advertisements by: geographical area, highest degree
offered by the institution, institutional control (private vs.
public)
Evaluation Questions
 How much?  How well?
 How many?  How valuable?
 How economical?  How reliable?
 How prompt?  How courteous?
 How satisfied?
 How accurate?
---------------------------
 How responsive?  Accountability and
Effectiveness = How
well?
Collections/
services
Community
served: customers
Facilities

Technology and its


use
Collections/ services
Community served:
customers

Facilities

Technology and its use

Examples: How much? How many? How well?


How satisfied?