“As a beginning researcher I had struggled to find an appropriate theory to ground my dissertation research, and I faced a second struggle as I began my first major research project as a new assistant professor. Eventually I selected Mazzoni’s arena model of policy innovation, a theory derived from the political science literature. By using it, I learned how a good theory helps a researcher focus a study plan, data collection, and develop an approach to data analysis. Since Mazzoni’s theory did not fully explain the phenomenon I was studying, I was also able to suggest some ways in which it needed to be revised.”
This chapter is taken from Theoretical Frameworks in Qualitative Research, by Vincent A. Anfara, Jr. and Norma T. Mertz, which brings together some of today’s leading qualitative researchers to discuss the frameworks behind their published qualitative studies.