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Importance of Theory in Research


A theory consists of rational and often generalized principles that explain a phenomenon from a specific perspective. The generalized concepts help a researcher to work from a specific point when investigating the proposed research problem. Therefore, theory forms a concrete basis on which to probe the tenets and the plausible explanations that may help a researcher gain a better understanding of the research problem.

In quantitative research, the study problem often has an array of explanations that a researcher may take interest in and study. However, an investigation needs to specify its point of view and work on the most plausible explanation to either confirm, disconfirm, or extend the results of the study (“Doctor of Business Administration,” 2019). Theory helps to shape the arguments made by the research and provide the direction an author takes when investigating a problem. Theory is also useful when explaining the outcome of research, since it becomes the point of reference for the study. It validates the results, since it either confirms the proposition of the study or provides a dissenting view that calls for further research.

In investigating the research question, Is there a statistically significant difference in the average annual income between men and women in the US?, gender theory is a pertinent point of view to understand institutionalized heterosexuality (Ingraham, 1994). The theory will provide a credible framework when conducting the research and a point of reference in interpreting the results. It will guide in relating the variables to create meaningful constructs of the study, which will be instrumental in rejecting or accepting the hypotheses.

In overall, a theory forms a concrete basis for a research problem. Further, it gives a better understanding of the content studied in the research. For instance, the gender theory will create a reasonable basis for my research into the differences perceived in remuneration of workers in the United States.

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Ingraham, C. (1994). The heterosexual imaginary: Feminist sociology and theories of gender. Sociological Theory, 12(2), 203-219. doi:10.2307/201865.
Doctor of Business Administration: Doctoral study rubric and research handbook. (2019). Retrieved from https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/doctoralcapstoneresources/dba.

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