Theory Development


Discussion: Step 3—Theory Development

The next stage of theory development consists of mapping out the relations between variables. You have already considered relationships like cause and effect, but now you add further relationships like timing. The model map also helps to visualize the relations that you already laid out in your table last week.

To prepare:

  • Review Chapters 8 and 9 of your course text regarding theory search and development.
  • Review the Discussion from Week 5, where you began your theory search.
  • Consider how you would create a basic model (similar to Figure 2.3 of your course text on p. 30) that captures one type of link between the theory and the issue involving public policy and administration that you have been examining since Week 4.

With these thoughts in mind:

By Day 3

Post a short PowerPoint presentation (2–3 slides) that captures in a diagram the basic model you created, showing one type of connection for the issue you selected.

Assignment: Step 3—Theory Development

Explaining your model to a colleague helps you think more clearly about your theory and find possible gaps or errors. Theory development, like most other aspects of organizational decision making, is a team effort.

To prepare:

  • Review Chapters 8 and 9 of your course text, focusing on theory development.
  • Review the Discussion and Assignment from Week 6.
  • Think about the model you developed and your colleagues’ responses in this week’s Discussion.

In 2 pages:

  • Explain the model you developed. Be sure to explain the variables and their relationships.
  • Identify where you have incorporated, or decided not to incorporate, your colleague’s suggestions in your model.
  • Justify your reasoning.

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