Conceptual framework

What is a conceptual framework?

The conceptual framework or theoretical framework is called the compilation, systematization and presentation of the fundamental concepts for the development of an investigation, whether in the scientific area or in the humanistic area. It is thus understood that the conceptual framework is a part of the research work or thesis.

The conceptual framework allows, on the one hand, to guide the researcher's searches and identify the necessary methodology. On the other hand, it allows establishing a minimum consensus between the researcher and the reader regarding the language and the concepts handled.

As a general rule, the conceptual or theoretical framework appears discriminated in the research works as a chapter or section, and constitutes the starting point for the work. However, in some methodologies, the conceptual framework is not identified or discriminated, but is presented as part of the introduction.

Functions of the conceptual framework

  • Guide the investigation.
  • Justify and justify the questions that are formulated regarding the object of study.
  • Build criteria for the interpretation and understanding of the problem.
  • Identify gaps and / or errors in previous theories to prevent or resolve them.

Characteristics of a conceptual or theoretical framework

  • It must be delimited according to the object of investigation.
  • Part of the knowledge about the state of the art or state of the art, that is, the handling of the pertinent antecedents.
  • It exposes in a related way the antecedents and the theories selected for their interpretation.
  • Has an analytical perspective.
  • It develops from the general to the particular.

Elements of a conceptual framework

The structure of a conceptual or theoretical framework may vary depending on the nature of the research and the methodology. In general terms, some elements stand out. Let's see.

  • Background of the subject to be discussed;
  • Theoretical bases of departure for the approach of the subject;
  • Legal bases (if applicable);
  • Historical framework (if applicable)
  • Research variables.
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