Role of Theory in Research – Discussion


Theory refers to a framework or model for understanding and observation that molds both what we see and our way of seeing it. Theory permits the researcher to make connections between the concrete and the abstract, the empirical and the theoretical, as well as observational and thought statements. Theories are created to understand, predict, and explain phenomena and in most cases to extend and challenge existing knowledge in the critical bounding limits assumptions (Babbie, 2017). This paper evaluates the relation between theory and research citing at a particular theory in management.

Role of Theory in Research

Theories refer to principles and speculations that can be employed to predict or explain phenomena. A theory can be employed to create hypothesis which can be evaluated by a research. The outcome of such a research might offer evidence, which supports the theory that eventually strengthens this theory. Research on the other hand might produce results which make a theory to be rejected or reviewed. Therefore, there is a strong association between research and theory which can occur from any direction; a research can result to definition of a theory, and a theory can result to the development of a research (Burkholder et al., 2016).

Theory in My Discipline and its Basic Tent

I am currently pursuing a course in organization leadership and management. One of the main discipline theories in this field is behavioral theory. This theory is founded on the principle that success of a leader is basically founded on how a leader behaves. It only centers on observable behavior of a leader. According to the theory behavior of a leader is the best interpreter of individual leadership influences and consequently, it is the most probable determinant of her or his leadership success.

Answer to Dr. Burkholder’s Question

People behave differently based on different factors which include their beliefs, the way they were brought up, environment, or even based on personality traits. In this regard it is okay to believe that the world is different based on the people one is interacting or dealing with and thus, different people have different experiences in life based on how they handle different situations in life. This highly determines where an individual or a group of individuals will be successful or not. It also determines the appearance of the world at that particular place, since the world appearance will be highly impacted by individuals’ behaviors. For instance a certain part of the world may appear peaceful if people living in the region are peaceful and well behaved. On the contrary, the world may appear violent if people living in the area are violent, do not respect each other, or contain bad behaviors; they are abusive, thieves, and cruel among others.

Theory Alignment with Epistemological and Ontological Assumptions

In this case the world is related with people’s behaviors. The reality is the world is different can be described differently based on what is happening in each part of the world. The world is better where people have employed extra effort to make it better and worse in regions where nothing is being done to better the situation (Gialdino, 2009).


Theory is used to explain or predict phenomena. It can be used in a research to test a hypothesis or it can be used to define a research. In this regard, there is a duo relation between theory and research. A theory can be used to explain different happenings of the world and thus, they can also be used to define or identify solutions to different happenings in the world.

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