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The Theory-Setting-Testable Hypothesis Modei

The major paper covers the theory-setting-test model, the morphology of a research article and realism. The objective of the paper is for the student both to develop and demon- strate skills in the integration of theory, setting, and hypoth- esis by reviewing about six articles on his or her topic. The paper can be organized around a theoretical statement pro- posed by the student or theoretical statement(s) found in the literature (see Appendix E).

The final topic covered is qualitative research, which is beyond the scope of our theory-setting-test model and this article, so it will be only briefly mentioned here. Qualitative research is initiated with readings from Kuhn (1970) and one empirical article to convey the concept of a research paradigm (see Appendix F). Next, the qualitative interpre- tive research paradigm is contrasted with the realism

ment and specification of concepts are propositions. Completing the third step of the model, hypotheses are cre- ated by the development and/or selection of operational def- initions, measurements, and statistical tools within the domain of the theoretical statement. We have successfully used the theory-setting-test model in a philosophy of science seminar.

The theory-setting-test model describes the process of moving from conceptual statements to hypotheses. As such, it can be helpful for doctoral students in evaluating the work of others as well as assisting them in developing their own research ideas. We hope that our presentation of the theory- setting-test model will stimulate marketing educators' pre- sentations of their approaches to integrating theory and hypotheses in doctoral education.

paradigm using Hudson and Ozanne (1988). The Hudson and Ozanne contrast of interpretative research to realism is easier to grasp because the class has previously covered realism in Hunt (1991). Finally, readings in qualitative the- ory and method (Lofland and Lofland 1984; Schwartz and Jacobs 1979; Turner 1986) and marketing sources on meth- ods (Swan 1985) and substantive works (Prus 1991; Sherry 1990) are used to convey to the class current qualitative and inductive (Bitner, Booms, and Tetreault 1990) research in marketing (see Appendix F).

Positioning This Seminar in the Doctoral Program

Sequencing this seminar in the doctoral program is another concern. A new class of students starts the doctoral program in the fall quarter, and we offer this seminar in the next quar- ter. The major advantage of this is that it provides a founda- tion for substantive seminars, methods courses, service as a graduate research assistant, and work toward a dissertation topic. Feedback on the seminar that we have received from students indicates that it is important in helping prepare stu- dents to read and understand articles assigned in substantive seminars and it shows students how important research methods courses are to the conduct of inquiry. Graduate assistants are often assigned the task of helping to assemble the scholarly literature on a topic and that task can be con- fusing if one does not have a working knowledge of theory. Finally, many students have entered the seminar with an interest in a substantive topic, but lacked the skills necessary to transform their topic into a dissertation proposal. The the- ory-setting-test model has helped our students achieve that goal.

Summary and Conclusions

The theory-setting-test model is important to doctoral stu- dents because it helps them to bridge gaps between theory, a substantive topic, and empirical research. It is especially useful to a doctoral student who has not been exposed to a special course module on the integration of the philosophy of science, statistical methods, and a substantive area. The model emphasizes the process of developing a set of inter- related theoretical statements that are used to make predic- tions relating independent and dependent variables. The pro- cess continues with the specification of concepts that are logically tied to the theoretical statement within a particular setting. The verbal linkages between the theoretical state-

Appendix A: Seminar Coverage of the Morphology of a Research Article: Realism as a Philosophy of Science: Topics, Readings, Assignments

1. Introduction: Research Article Morphology—Readings: The TST Essay (C)i; Hansen and Robinson (1980) (I).2 Assignment: Identify in Hansen and Robinson Contribution, Theoretical Statement, Linkages—theoretical and opera- tional. Definitions—theoretical and operational. Proposition,

Hypothesis, Results. 2. Concepts: Theoretical

and Operational


Readings: The TST Essay (C), Zaltman, Pinson, and Angelmar (1973), Ch. 2 "...Concepts" (C); Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry (1988) (I). Assignment: For the theoret- ical definition of service quality, identify extension, domain or connotation, distinction, role in science; Identify and eval- uate the operational definition of service quality.

3. Concepts:


of Operational


Readings: Churchill (1979) (C); Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry (1988) (I). Compare the steps in the development of concept measures recommended by Churchill (1979) to the steps taken by Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry.

4. Concepts: Development and Change Within a Research Tradition—Readings: The TST Essay (C); Osigweh (1989)

(C); Parasuraman,


and Berry



Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry (1988) (I); Cronin and Taylor (1992) (I). Assignment: What continuities and changes can you find in service quality in 1985, 1988 and 1992? To what extent has the Parasuraman, Zeithaml, and Berry (1988) concept of service quality satisfied Osigweh's goals of (1) wide extension and (2) precise connotation? and his procedures for concept formation of (1) limited domain,

  • (2)

    many attributes included in the operational definition, and

  • (3)

    delimit the concept?

5. Linkages Between Concepts: Theoretical and OperationalReadings: The TST Essay (C); Hage (1972), Ch. 4 "...Linkages" (C); Oliver (1980) (I). Assignment: Identify the theoretical and operational linkages involving disconfirma- tion, satisfaction, and intentions in Oliver (1980).

Appendix B: Paper One Assignment on the Morphology of Research Articles

Select two empirical research articles on a topic of your choice. In your articles, (1) identify the components listed

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