A conceptual framework provides a map of the world a researcher intends to study. It captures what researchers see and how they make sense of what they are exploring. Concept means ideas, perceived facts, beliefs, mental pictures, perceptions, and theories. Framework indicates basic structure or underlying organizational elements. Drawing on these definitions, a conceptual framework is an organizing structure or scaffold that integrates related ideas, mental images, other research, and theories to provide focus and direction to the inquiry. It defines the “what”—the substantive focus—of the study and thus serves to guide and direct the on-going decision making required in any research endeavor. Ultimately, the conceptual framework puts forward an argument and establishes the significance of the study. After reviewing the elements that make up ...
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