Theory Development

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Assignment: Step 3—Theory Development

Another aspect of theory development is working out the relationship of variables to the goals. You can use your understanding of cause and effect for this task. Working backwards from the goal variable, determine how the other variables relate to the goal either directly or indirectly.

To prepare:

  • Review Chapter 7 and Appendix D of your course text, focusing on theory search and development and cause and effect.
  • Review the Discussion from last week, where you began your theory search.
  • Using Section 7.2 in your course text as a guide, think about what variables affect the outcome of the issue or situation you have been studying since the Week 4 Discussion.

Complete your Assignment in a table:

  • Identify the variables and their relationships that would affect the outcome of your issue or situation.
  • The table should include the variable and which other variables it affects.


Dickey, J. W., Birdsall, I. A., Larkin, G. R., & Kwang, K. S. (2015). Supernumerary intelligence: A new approach to analytics for management. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Press.

  • Chapter 7, “Step 3. Theory Development” (pp. 95–108)
  • Appendix D, “Checklist for Cause and Effect Considerations” (pp. 329–345)

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