(Solved Homework): Course: Research methodologies-Public Administration Discuss the importance of theory in quantitative research. By comparison

Course: Research methodologies-Public Administration

Discuss the importance of theory in quantitative research. By comparison, how differenct is the use of theory in qualitative research? APA citation

Expert Answer

 A theory is a model or framework that explains the interrelationship or structures between various participating variables in order to define and explain the dependent and the independent variables that are participating in a phenomenon.

In the case of quantitative research, the theory is central to the research being conducted. The approach followed is a deductive one, where the researchers are involved in verifying or testing a theory[1]. The researcher is primarily concerned with measuring variables which are derived from the theory and scoring them. Thus it is basically an empirical validation of the theory.

In the case of a qualitative research, the approach is that of an inductive one or a bottoms up process is followed. The primary motive of qualitative approach is theory generation and the challenge is to ensure the transition from singular statements based on observations to more generalized statements that can be modeled into theory[2]


1. Hughes, C. (2006). Qualitative and quantitative approaches to social research. Coventry: Department of Sociology, Warwick University.[Accessed 29 October 2013].

2. Bendassolli, P. F. (2013, January). Theory building in qualitative research: Reconsidering the problem of induction. In Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung/Forum: Qualitative Social Research (Vol. 14, No. 1).

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