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Does Every PhD Research Require a Conceptual Framework?

Does Every PhD Research Require a Conceptual Framework?

A majority of reports indicates that over 89% of research candidates find it difficult to decide if their research requires a conceptual framework or not.

Are you fighting the same battle?
If yes, then this article will surely help you out!

The conceptual framework is an essential ingredient for your research. It provides a glance on researcher’s synthesis of literature on how to explain a phenomenon.

The requirement of a ‘Conceptual Framework’ depends on the type of research. But before explaining which research requires a conceptual framework, let me first tell you what purpose a conceptual framework fulfils:

  1. It generates proper links from the literature to the questions and research goals.
  2. It serves as a medium to keep research on track.
  3. It provides a clear insight on the variable of a study.
  4. It explains the concepts and proposes the relationships among the concepts.
  5. It provides an organized structure for the research design and methods.
  6. It guides the development & testing.
  7. It represents the relationship of the developed hypothesis with central factors or key concepts.

Now, moving towards the purpose of this article, let’s see, which research requires a conceptual frame:

A conceptual framework is understood as an explanation of how a research candidate sees the different concepts and outcome of the study and its relation with each other. It can be an adoption used in a previous study with modification to suit the inquiry.


A research can be categorised into two types mentioned below:

  • Exploratory Research: It is also known as formative research, its objective is to gather preliminary information that will help define problems and suggest hypothesis. It is conducted for a problem that has not been clearly defined. Exploratory research helps determine the research design, methods of data collection and conceptual framework.
  • Explanatory / Casual Research: Casual research is quantitative in nature. It is pre-planned and structured in design that’s why it is also known as conclusive research. It is different from exploratory research in terms of explaining cause and effect relationship between variables. Explanatory research shows the cause and effect relationship in terms of experiments and doesn’t require a conceptual framework.

There are two research methods for exploring the cause and effect relationship between variables:

  1. Experimentation
  2. Simulation

What if your research requires a conceptual framework?

Well, don’t worry; we have got your back.

But, what all do we require for developing a conceptual framework?

Below are the ingredients required for developing a conceptual framework:

  1. Literature Review
  2. Knowledge of specific research domain
  3. Research Background
  4. Personal Experience
  5. Data

We understand that the conceptual framework is a prominent document for your research. Let’s discuss how to develop a conceptual framework.

Developing a Conceptual Framework:


  • Identify Concepts:

Identify concepts from the literature review and provide a categorization among them. The concepts can be categorised as abstract or concrete.

An abstract concept is broad and may not be readily observable while the concrete or specific concepts are amenable to measurement.’

  • Define Variable:

Defining variable is the main function of a conceptual framework in a descriptive research. A variable is something that changes. The change in variable depends upon the various factors; some of the variables are like constant only (name of someone) while other change frequently (Value of Stock Exchange)

  • Operationalize Variables:

The operationalization of variables involves strictly defining variables into measurable elements. It defines fuzzy concept and allows them for empirical and quantitative measurement. To improve the robustness of research design and to increase the quality of the result, operationalization of variables sets down the exact definition of each variable.

  • Develop Propositions:

Develop the relational statement or propositions among the concepts. This helps in providing an idea for hypothesis development and testing.

  • Explore the relationship between variables:

Exploring the relationship among variable is an important part of developing a conceptual framework. Some research abstracts contain the variable of research and thus may serve the purpose.

Even though conceptual framework is the heart of a research, not every research requires a conceptual framework.

Do you require assistance in developing a conceptual framework? Then drop a mail at!

Writing a HYPOTHESIS of the Research

Writing a HYPOTHESIS of the Research

Being a PhD thesis writer, creating a hypothesis for your research study could be a bit tricky part. The hypothesis of the research can also be considered as a statement of predicting the results of the study.

Thus, when you frame a hypothesis always bear in mind that the statement should be

  • Objective
  • Testable
  • Linked with the variables of the study

Here, you should also remember that when you frame a hypothesis there are two statements which are framed simultaneously, in terms of Null hypothesis (symbolized as H0) and Alternate hypothesis (symbolized as H1).

In general terms, the Null hypothesis is a statement which is supposed to be ACCEPTED by the researcher and which is deemed to be the cause of the research. Whereas, the alternate hypothesis is the antithesis of the Null hypothesis (i.e. supposed to be REJECTED)!

For an instance, your study focuses on the subject of employee retention in an organization. In this study you are focusing on various factors which are responsible for retaining the employees in an organization. Thus, when you try to frame the hypothesis statement, you need to concretely define the variables of the study first.

By variables we mean that the variables have various categories such as: dependent variables; independent variables and control variables. The independent variable is the one which influences the dependent variable. The control variables are the ones which determine the conditions in which the dependent and independent variables interact with each other.

Continuing with the example mentioned above, here the independent variables would be the factors which influence the employee retention. Let’s say in your study, you chose these variables as:

  • Source of recruitment
  • Skills and job profile match and
  • Experience of the employee

Note of caution: Now understand that the variable Source of recruitment is also broadly defined. There could be numerous ways of recruiting the employee. Hence, you need to focus on this part as well because the influence of each source of recruitment in retention of employee may vary.

Sources of recruitment could be

  • campus placement;
  • online job portal;
  • recruitment agencies, and
  • advertisement in newspapers


Figure: Framework of Variables of the Research

Note of caution: Categorisi ng the broad variables into specific variables is crucial as the impact of distinct sources of recruitment could vary on the employee retention. If these sources would not be categorized then the research seems generalized and would loose on providing specific insights to the academicians and industry people.

After identifying and categorising the variables you can easily define the hypothesis statement which can be tested as well. The hypothesis statement would follow as:

Ha0: Sources of recruitment impact the retention of employee in an organisation

Ha1: Sources of recruitment does not impact the retention of employee in an organisation

The sub-hypothesis of the main hypothesis are:

Hb0: Employees chosen through campus placement tend to stay for long duration in an organisation

Hb1: Employees chosen through campus placement do not stay for long durations in an organisation

Hc0: Employees chosen through online portals tend to stay for long duration in an organisation

Hc1: Employees chosen through online portals do not stay for long duration in an organisation

Similarly you can frame the hypothesis for the other two variables in the similar manner…

Framing a hypothesis for your dissertation would become a cakewalk if you would follow these steps. Just like the other chapters and sections of your dissertation, the hypothesis statement acts as pillars for drawing conclusion.

Note of caution: If you would make incorrect assumptions (i.e. the predicting statement) then the aims, objectives and all your efforts being invested would go in vain.

Follow these steps to form an appropriate hypothesis for your dear dissertation.

Emerging Research Areas in Energy Economics

Emerging Research Areas in Energy Economics

Emerging Research Areas in Energy EconomicsIf the areas in the domain of applied economics are being looked at, then it can be experienced that out of all the areas, energy economics is the area, which is the most coveted of them all, owing to its multidisciplinary nature. The importance of this area lies in its scope, as this area focuses on the aspects of economic growth and development, linked with the problems regarding natural resources and energy pricing. Given its multidisciplinary nature and mounting amount of importance in the word of business and society, several research areas are emerging out of this particular domain of applied economics.

Within the scope of energy economics, there are several research areas, which are gradually turning out to be popular and significant among the researchers across the world. You can also take help of scholarly writers to choose a good topic to begin your research study. Some of those areas are as per the following:

  • Rebound analysis: With the growth in industrialization across nations, demand of energy is on the rise, and due to several factors, usage of energy is not able to attain its optimum level. The association between expected usage of energy and the actual usage of energy is being tested by researchers by means of rebound analysis. This area is gradually turning out to be popular since last two to three years.
  • Efficiency analysis: Apart from the rebound analysis, efficiency analysis of energy generated from various sources are carried out based on several parameters, like energy price, energy demand, energy supply, number of transmission channels etc.
  • Environmental analysis: During the course of energy generation and consumption, several types of fossil fuels are used, and as a consequence of that, several kinds of environmental degradations, in terms of air, water, soil pollution etc. take place. Analysis of environmental impacts of the energy generation and consumption processes is gradually gaining importance among researchers.

For more information about the emerging and popular research areas in energy economics, kindly browse through the pages of

Design of Research Questions

Design of Research Questions

Devoid of coming up with concrete research question(s), any research based study can never be started. Based on observational phenomenology, a broad research objective is formed, and then through epistemology and construct building, the research objective is boiled down to concrete research question(s). Unless those research questions are not specific and measurable, the research work can never be effective in all aspects. Specificity of the research question is required in order to keep the study focused. There are several organizations, which assist researchers in designing research questions for their studies. For more information about designing research questions, kindly go through the pages of

The right reasons for getting a doctorate

The right reasons for getting a doctorate

Doing a PhD is hard work. It is not easy spending hours and hours thinking about a single topic. It is not easy devoting days, months and even years to the study of a subject and trying to find answers to difficult questions. It is often not financially rewarding. It can also be a lonely job. The researcher might find himself studying when others his age are out there in the world earning money. It is not easy to withstand the temptations of partying and having a good time that is invariably a part of social life in a college and spend all that time trying to comprehend the intricacies of big data. There are many students who are not able to withstand the rigours of doing a doctorate and often quit in the middle. Only the single minded and the strong willed are able to see the job through and get to a stage where they can proudly call themselves a doctor. That is why before enrolling in such a course, it is essential that the student look inward and examine the reasons why he wants to be a doctor of philosophy. It is only these reasons that would subsequently seem him through the hard days of completing a PhD.

There are many students who enrol in such courses under the misconception that if they were to get a PhD they would be able to earn fame and fortune. There are others who enrol in these programs under pressure from family and society. Then there are others who think that the only natural thing to do after a Masters is a PhD. All these students are heading down the wrong path. If they were to enrol for these reasons, the chances of them failing are a lot higher than the chances of them succeeding.

One of the best and purest reasons for doing a PhD is for the intense love of a subject. There are students who love a subject so much that they want to examine every aspect of it. Their quest for knowledge is what drives them to put in all the hard work for collecting large volumes of data and then analysing it. If students are intensely passionate about a particular topic or have a deep desire to make a difference to society then they should ideally try their hand at writing a dissertation and becoming a doctor of philosophy.