What Is The Difference Between The Literature And The Conceptual Framework?
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What Is The Difference Between The Literature And The Conceptual Framework?

If the conceptual framework embodies the specific direction by which the research will have to be undertaken, isn't it similar to the methodology where I explain the steps of the research? So the literature review is the theoretical frame coverin past studies of the topic area, what is the conceptual framework and the methodology?

Asked on Jan 12, 2011Improve / edit this question

6 Answers

sasha dolores   L3: Expert   2 answers   +2 votes
This answer has +1 votes  by

The conceptual framework is very similar to methodology and literature, but each has its specific purpose. Consider the conceptual framework a half-way point between the literature and methodology. It is one step in the process of creating a methodology.

Before you have a conceptualization, you will need the literature review. The literature review compares prior research relevant to your topic, but does not discuss your own research study. From the literature, you will find key concepts that you should use for your study. The concepts you use, however may be slightly different from those found in the literature. The conceptual framework should redefine the concepts relevent to your study, so that researchers who read your study understand the terms you are using. There may be times when your concepts are the same as those used prior research. In this case, it is still necessary to define it for the reader, using the information you found in the literature. The conceptual framework is often included in the theoretical framework, which also describes any hypotheses or theories.

The methodology describes how you are going to conduct research and analyze results. Will you have a qualitative or quantitative study, or both? Will you conduct interviews, surveys, observations, or experiments? Will your research participants be recruited by availability, snowball sampling, probability sampling, etc.? If you are conducting surveys, what kinds of scales will you use? What kinds of measurements - ordinal, ratio, nominal? These are all questions to be answered in the methodology.


Posted on Jan 12, 2011
Barbara Sonja Biller   L3: Expert   529 answers   +436 votes
This answer has +2 votes  by

The difference is in the interpretation.  

Posted on Jan 12, 2011
Sandy Shannon   L3: Expert   420 answers   +312 votes
This answer has +3 votes  by

Saesha is right on target. The literature review is the broadest of the three components. It gives a background of the research done in your field pertaining or related to your specific topic to show why your research is needed and where it will fit within the existing literature. Because it is so broad, the literature represented in this part of a dissertation may encompass several different conceptual frameworks. 

The conceptual framework then is specific to your proposed research. You identify which framework is most appropriate to your purpose in conducting the research and explain/define the concepts to be used or referenced within your research. Your conceptual framework may be one already represented in the literature or it may be a combination that is needed to accomplish the purposes of your research. As Saesha stated, it is halfway between the theoretical of the lit review and the specific process of the methodology.

The methodology then is the narrowest of the three components. It starts broadly in the identification of the type of research to be done 9quantitative, qualitative, or mixed), which is based on the topic, purpose, and conceptual framework. It then contains the specifics of your research study: design, location of study, population and sample, materials and instrumentation, data collection and analysis procedures, ethical assurances, assumptions, and limitations and delimitations of the study. Depending on the type of research being conducted, other items may be included and are usually identified in the dissertation handbooks provided to doctoral students by their universities. However, included in the methodology is the step-by-step procedures the research followed in conducting the research. This is done to ensure replicability of the research, which is a factor in reliability.

Posted on Jan 12, 2011
Andrew wang   L1: Member   8 answers   +2 votes
This answer has +1 votes  by

I think I have also got the answer I want. Thank you for your question!

Posted on Jan 13, 2011
Patrick Regoniel   L5: Authority   95 answers   +53 votes
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Sandy and Saesha have excellent answers. The literature review helps you come up with your own original research because the review allows you to find answers to your problem statement. You avoid "reinventing the wheel", that is, you are not duplicating others' research. The review helps you identify what are the gaps in the previous studies made along your research interest. The conceptual framework is your own outline of what you intend to do gleaned from the review of relevant literature. The methodology provides details on how you will conduct your study.

Posted on Jan 28, 2011
parkcity independent   L1: Member   10 answers   +1 votes
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I think you are thinking the right concepts but need to do more careful thinking about research methodology

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Posted on Feb 4, 2011

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