Week 2 Discussion- Cynthia Edwards


Respond to Cyathia as if you’re having a conversation with her. Respond to Cynthia by further supporting her response or respectfully offering a differing perspective. A few sentences and a question!

Role of Theory in Research

Theory is important in research because it provides a basis for observing phenomena. It helps the researcher to identify the relationship between an observation or experience (through empirical data) and their initial thoughts before they begun the research process. Also, theory may be used to predict and explain the relationship between variables while at the same time guiding and organizing the ideas in the research (Babbie, 2017). Essentially, theory points out the areas in which the researcher could find meaningful relationships among the variables.

The classical scientific management theory, for example, may be sued to focus on three key issues in public personnel management. These three issues are work done, optimizing the way work is done and making the employees agree with your style of optimizing the work.

This theory is based on the assumption that making people work as hard as they can is not as helpful as optimizing the way they do the work (Thompson, 2017). The proponent of the theory, Frederick Taylor, then came up with the principles of scientific management which included workers and their seniors cooperating with each other, and fair remuneration. Another principle was that the managers needed to monitor employee performance and select employees to do the jobs they were skilled for to improve efficiency hence productivity.

What I have to believe about the world and about human beings in order to use this theory is that this is the right way to improve efficiency in the public sector. It is important to note that there are other approaches that may be sued to achieve organizational efficiency such as Continuous Improvement and Management by Objectives (MBO).

Secondly, I have to agree with the fact that the autonomy of the employee will be reduced because Taylor encourages the manager to keep monitoring the performance of the employee. Lastly, I have to accept that the world is made up of people who are willing to agree with this kind of management. However, the truth is that cultures where people value their freedom and autonomy may not perform well with this theory.

This theory aligns with constructivism since the experiences of managers and their employees in the public sector may be sued to document some truths about efficiency as long as they are well-researched. For instance, if a researcher finds out how proper remuneration improves productivity by looking at such factors as job satisfaction and morale, they may conclude that remuneration promotes or does not promote productivity. Most of the issues in the theory are qualitative and therefore they align with constructivism.


Babbie, E. (2017). Basics of social research (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning

Thompson, J. D. (2017). Organizations in action: Social science bases of administrative theory. Routledge.

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