The term theory has been used in many different contexts, but its most common meaning is that of an explanation of observed regularities. For example, why do more TB sufferers come from the working class compared to the upper middle class, or why is the job classification based on technology? However, such theories tend not to be the subject of study within social theory, which usually focuses on theories with a higher level of abstraction. What we know here is a distinction between theory which is often called middle range theory and also grand theory, which operates at a more general and abstract level.
In this article, we will discuss more about the grand theory and how to determine the grand theory in a scientific work or thesis.
The definition of grand theory itself is usually used as a means to find the main theoretical foundation that is used as a basis for determining the concept of the research carried out. Grand theory, middle theory, and also applied theory are a single entity that is used as the basis for the preparation of scientific papers by experts. Examples of grand theory as well as middle theory in thesis or research proposal can be seen in the second chapter regarding the theoretical basis.
The theoretical basis is the part that discusses the research that has been done, the creation of a variable and also the framework and understanding of each variable used. How to find a grand theory in research should be done after preparing the hypothesis. Determining the thesis title will have an impact on the research object used, including the search for primary variables and also secondary variables during the testing process using the SPSS application.
Definition of Grand Theory
Grand theory is a theory that explains the whole of social life, history, or human experience. Where this grand theory is abstract because it is composed of the main concepts used to understand the social world. The term grand theory was first coined by a social scientist named Charles Wright Mills in 1959. Grand theory emphasizes the concept of balance, systems, decision-making, and also forms of communication as a basic tool for studying international relations.
So, in simple terms this grand theory is a main theory that is used to explain a phenomenon as a whole. This theory is abstract and far from operational. Therefore, a middle range theory is still needed so that it is more real and can be used to build a model.
What is Grand Theory in Research?
The grand theory in research is the main concept used by researchers to allocate information about the hypotheses they use. The purpose of this grand theory is to support research that is based on research gap results and also a certain scientific framework. What is grand theory, middle theory, and also applied theory can be applied in the fields of education, law, economics, and nursing. Research gap is a collection of previous research results compiled by researchers to determine the title of the research proposal and also the thesis written.
Grand theory is used as the basis of the hypothesis used. The hypothesis is a temporary estimate of the dependent variable and also the independent variable. The scientific framework of thinking is the positive and negative relationships regarding the dependent variable that are used to create independent variables in research.
Questions and Features of the Grand Theory
Questions regarding the grand theory of qualitative and quantitative research must be made to ensure that the research is in line with previous information. The foundation of this theory contains research gaps, formulation of hypotheses as well as scientific frameworks and operational definitions of certain variables.
The characteristics of grand theory, middle theory, and also applied theory are related to information in the preparation of scientific papers. The main theory or grand theory is a concept that links the social world in society with events according to the plot recorded in the researchers’ writings. Questions and also the characteristics of the grand theory must be based on the results of previous research. The purpose of the theoretical basis is to present theoretical problem information in relation to previous research that has been carried out based on certain knowledge.
How to Determine the Grand Theory in Thesis and Research Proposals
How to determine the grand theory in the thesis as well as research proposals can be found through the theoretical basis material. The purpose of this theoretical basis is to improve the quality of research results because researchers have received support from previous results with the same object. How to find this grand theory can be based on research journals and research methodology books that are delivered to students.
The definition of grand theory according to experts is a main concept that connects written works with the social world in society to explain the relationship. How to compile grand theory, middle theory, and also applied theory based on certain information obtained by researchers. The process of assessing research problems must be based on a theory that is appropriate to the variables in order to obtain research results that are in line with testing certain hypotheses.
What is Middle Range Theory?
Middle range theory is a theory that is used to connect the gap between the limited hypotheses of empiricism studies and abstract grand theories. Some say that this middle range theory is a theory that we cannot yet believe in the truth, but it is needed for the development of the existing hypotheses in the research until a systematic effort is needed to develop a combined theory that will explain all similar research.
This theory is used as the development of a hypothesis that must be tested, not as a research regulatory tool. Generally will produce a research model. This middle range theory is agreed upon as a field that is relatively broader than a phenomenon, but does not discuss the whole phenomenon, and pays great attention to discipline in building it.
Use of Grand Theory and Middle Range Theory
These grand theories offer some indications to researchers as to how they can guide or influence the gathering of empirical evidence. So if someone wants to test a theory or to draw conclusions that can be tested the level of abstractness tends to be greater. Researchers will find it difficult to make clear connections between theory and the real world.
There must be a paradox here. Even very abstract notions such as Parsons’ notions of pattern variables and functional conditions must have a relationship with external reality. Where the idea might have resulted from Parsons’ reading of his research or thoughts about that reality or the writings of others before. However, the abstract level of the theory is so large that it is difficult for them to be used in research.
For research purposes, this grand theory is used in a limited way in social research. Vice versa, this middle range theory is more reliable in seeing a phenomenon. Generally, it is not the grand theories that guide social research, but rather the middle range theories that are more likely to be the focus of empirical inquiry. However, that does not mean that grand theory is not important or not needed. Middle range theory is unlike grand theories, which operate in a limited domain.
The theory differs slightly in the range of applications. Where the middle range theory is between the grand theory and also empirical findings. The theory represents an attempt to understand and also explain empirical aspects that are limited and impossible to explain by a grand theory. Even the distinction between grand theory and middle range theory does not completely clarify the problem of the deceptively simple question of what is a theory? This is because the term theory is often used in a somewhat broader way than the existing background literature in the field of social research.
Social scientists are sometimes prone to being somewhat dismissive of research that has no clear link between grand theory and middle range theory. This kind of research is often considered as active empiricism. It would be very difficult to say that it was inaccurate, to label as naïve empiricism, many studies in which the publication strategy as theory was used simply because the authors had not been preoccupied with theory.
Such research is directed and conditioned by research questions that arise from an analysis of the literature. Data collection as well as subsequent analysis will be directed to explain or find solutions to research problems or problems that have been identified at the outset. Literature acts as a proxy for theory. In many cases, theory is latent or implicit in the literature.
Indeed, research that appears to have the characteristics of a fact-finding exercise should not be prematurely dismissed as naïve empiricism. McKeganey and Barnard’s (1996) research on prostitutes and their clients is an example. Even if one takes away the fear of HIV infection, the research too can be construed as naïve empiricism and perhaps of a rather prurient kind. However, this would be a rigorous assessment and may also be inaccurate.
However, asking this question may invite consideration of other questions. For example, regarding the extent to which research is related to theory, what is the role of the theory? Until recently, there were many who spoke as if theory was something that guided and influenced the collection and analysis of data. In other words, the research was conducted to answer the search points raised by theoretical considerations.
However, an alternative position is to view theory as something that happens after the collection and also analysis of some or all of the data related to a project. We begin by looking at the significance of the second fact or in considering the relationship between theory and research. Are we referring to inductive or deductive theory?