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This is a brief research proposal designed to test a discipline-specific theory of your choice using measures with established validity evidence.

This is a brief research proposal designed to test a discipline-specific theory of your choice using measures with established validity evidence. The project will be completed in three assignments.

Project 2, Part 1 focuses on the background and introduction of your proposal. Select a discipline-specific theory from the list found in the Resources for this assignment, defend your choice with reference to one other competing alternative theory, and briefly summarize the current literature on the theory. Following the critical analysis, you will develop a research question, identify the constructs and variables, and develop a causal diagram of the theory as it pertains to your proposed application.

REQUIREMENTS: This assignment consists of the following deliverables:

* Identify and describe two theories within the same theoretical group.
* Select one theory between the two and develop an argument for why it best explains the problem under your investigation; briefly summarize the current literature of the theory.
* Develop a problem statement.
* Develop a relationship diagram of the theory.
* The maximum length for this assignment is 3 pages in APA format.

You will submit a single document, organized by deliverables 1 through 4, responding to each of the following:

(a) Working from the list of theories in the Resource section of this assignment, select two theories within the same theoretical group. Briefly discuss what each theory claims to explain or predict.

Deliverable 1: Discuss the constructs that make up each theory.

(b) Select one theory from the above and develop an argument for why your theory of choice best explains the problem under your investigation. Briefly summarize the current literature of the theory.

Deliverable 2: Write a critical analysis of the structure of one of the two theories you selected above, decomposing the theory into its component parts; focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the theory in terms of its promise to explain leadership effectiveness.

(c) Develop a problem statement. Give consideration to the following criteria:

Problem statements:

1. are right-sized—they are neither too broad or too narrow in scope.
2. consist of identifiable words and sentences—the reader knows without difficulty which words begin and end a problem statement.
3. consist entirely of words about discovery and no words about justification.
4. are narrower than most social problems.
5. are statements about relations among variables.
6. contain elements of its own solution.
7. have more to do with what is known than what is unknown.
8. have a single focus.

Von Wangenen (1991) provides an excellent template for crafting a problem statement:

“(a) In this study I intend to find evidence that … (b) This will be an investigation of the [such and such] effect observed by [so and so]. In those observations s/he found [a certain phenomenon] that has not yet been explained. The problem in this study is to show that the [phenomenon] can be explained by a relationship between variables [A and Y].”

You may ask, “Where would I find the observation Van Wangenen refers to in his template?” Such observations are typically found in the discussion section of an empirical study couched in a phrase about future research.

Deliverable 3: Write the problem statement according to Von Wagenen’s template.

(d) Develop a relationship diagram of the theory. Refer to the transitional topic on causal versus relationship models and note the criteria for establishing cause and effect. The causal and relationship diagram are visually the same, but the promise of a causal relationship is best accounted for by the method (for example, experimental). An example of relationship diagram (AKA path diagram) is found here: http://www.utexas.edu/research/pair/formulat.htm.

Deliverable 4: Develop a visual representation of the relationships among constructs that come together in a meaningful way to form the theory.

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