The Importance of Studying Accounting Theory

In: Business and Management

Submitted By rumbie
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Conceptual Framework
Most research reports cast the problem statement within the context of a conceptual or theoretical framework.4 A description of this framework contributes to a research report in at least two ways because it (1) identifies research variables, and (2) clarifies relationships among the variables. Linked to the problem statement, the conceptual framework “sets the stage” for presentation of the specific research question that drives the investigation being reported. For example, the conceptual framework and research question would be different for a formative evaluation study than for a summative study, even though their variables might be similar.
Scholars argue that a conceptual or theoretical framework always underlies a research study, even if the framework is not articulated.5 This may seem incongruous, because many research problems originate from practical educational or clinical activities. Questions often arise such as “I wonder why such an event did not [or did] happen?” For example, why didn't the residents' test-interpretation skills improve after they were given feedback? There are also occasions when a study is undertaken simply to report or describe an event, e.g., pass rates for women versus men on high-stakes examinations such as the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step 1. Nevertheless, it is usually possible to construct at least a brief theoretical rationale for the study. The rationale in the USMLE example may be, for instance, about gender equity and bias and why these are important issues. Frameworks are usually more elaborate and detailed when the topics that are being studied have long scholarly histories (e.g., cognition, psychometrics) where active researchers traditionally embed their empirical work in well-established theories. Issues In Educational Research, Vol 14, 2004
[ Contents Vol 14 ] […...

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