This paper will explore the notion of theory and why it is important in research and how it is used from the perspective of three different scholarly articles regarding institutional theory, economic theory and dual market theory. Also, this paper will describe the theories utilized in each specific article; the manner in which the author applied the theory in their research and whether I believe the theory was applied well within each article. "A theory is nothing more than a concept, idea, or set of ideas that is intended to explain facts, situations or events." (Merriam-Webster, 2015). There are multiple definitions to explain exactly what a theory is. "A theory presents a systematic way of understanding events, behaviors, and or situations. Another example of theory would be a set of interrelated concepts, definitions, and propositions that explains or predicts events or situations by specifying relations among variables. Theories vary in the extent to which they have been conceptually developed and empirically tested; however, testability is an important feature of a theory."(Glanz, n.d.). Theories and models help explain behavior, as well as suggest how to develop more effective ways to influence and change behavior. (Glanz, n.d.). Here are three reasons why utilizing theory in research is important: .
(1) Theory provides concepts to name what people observe and to explain relationships between concepts. Theory allows people to explain what they see and to figure out how to bring about change. Theory is a tool that enables people to identify a problem and to plan a means for altering the situation. (2) Theory is used to justify reimbursement to get funding and support-and it has to explain what is being done and demonstrate that it works via theory and research. (3) Theory can enhance the growth of the professional area to identify a body of knowledge with theories from both within and without the area of distance learning.