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Chapter 3: Theory: What it is and its Role in Research
Chapter 1 provided a brief description of what a theory is and of the broader aspects such as reality, knowledge, science, and research. Chapter 2 described a theory in relation to reality, knowledge, science, and research. Now this chapter provides a more detailed discussion of what a theory is and outlines its various specific roles or functions in the knowledge-generation process that constitutes research.
Theory constitutes a representation of the reality. Theory is a simplified representation of a limited part of the reality. This is consistent with Dubin's (1976) view that a theory is a researcher's attempt to model some part of a ...