Applying Theoretical Framework A distinguished theoretical from conceptual frameworks, and both types of frameworks from models. Also, you have learned the value and importance of identifying a relevant theoretical framework for your proposed research. In other readings this week, you read about a number of theoretical frameworks that are pertinent in public policy and administration. In this Discussion, you will identify two theoretical frameworks you might use in your research, at least one of which will become a section in your Prospectus.



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In the Ph.D. program in Walden University’s School of Public Policy and Administration, dissertation
research is to be based on a “theoretical”—rather than a “conceptual”—framework. Similarly, a
“model” does not substitute for a theoretical framework.
A model describes a specific, narrow scope of a given phenomenon. A theory, on the other hand,
describes the relevance and values of, and relationships among, variables and concepts. Its purpose
is to identify what will be studied, as well as to explain something, predict possible outcomes, or
extend knowledge (Desjardins, 2010; Ostrom, 2007; Sabatier &, Weible, 2014; Shafritz, Ott, & Jang,
2016; USC Libraries, n.d.). The document Theoretical Frameworks in SPPA, in this week’s Learning
Resources, explains the distinction between theoretical and conceptual frameworks
It is important to be able to apply several theoretical frameworks, rather than just one. There are three
reasons for this:
1. The researcher is less likely to believe any given theory is the authoritative one.
2. Various theories may have value in different situations.
Knowing other theories helps to understand values inherent in a preferred theory.
This week you will study theoretical frameworks that are relevant for public policy and administration
research, and select one or more theories to serve as the framework for your proposed research. This
will become a section in your Prospectus.
Desjardins, F. J. (2010, July 19). Theoretical framework [Video file]. Retrieved from
Ostrom, E. (2007). Institutional rational choice: An assessment of the institutional analysis and
development framework. In P. A. Sabatier (Ed.), Theories of the policy process (2nd ed., pp. 25–26).
Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Shafritz, J. M., Ott, J. S., & Jang, Y. S. (Eds.). (2016). Classics of organization theory. (8th ed).
Belmont, CA: Wadworth, Cengage Learning. ISBN: 978-1-285-87027-4
USC Libraries. (n.d.). Organizing your social sciences research paper: Theoretical framework.
Retrieved from
Students will:
Analyze the use of theoretical frameworks in public policy and
Applying Theoretical Frameworks
You have distinguished theoretical from conceptual frameworks, and both types of frameworks from
models. Also, you have learned the value and importance of identifying a relevant theoretical
framework for your proposed research. In other readings this week, you read about a number of
theoretical frameworks that are pertinent in public policy and administration. In this Discussion, you will
identify two theoretical frameworks you might use in your research, at least one of which will become a
section in your Prospectus.
By Day 3, post a brief description of your Dissertation topic and problem statement. Select one
theoretical framework either the Shafritz and Weible & Sabatier texts; write 2–3 paragraphs on your
selected theory and be sure to:

Describe the framework and the relevance of that theory to your dissertation topic and problem

Why did you select the theory as being most appropriate for framing your proposed research?
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.
Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.
Respond by Day 6 to at least of at least two of your colleagues who have not yet had a reply, in any of
the following ways:

Support or challenge your colleagues’ reasoning for their selection of theoretical frameworks. How
appropriate are they for both their Dissertation topic and problem statement, and for the field of
public policy and administration?

If possible, offer another theoretical framework that might be equally or more suitable in public
policy and administration.
Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you
have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.

administration research

Evaluate theoretical frameworks of proposed research
Study 1 JGT
Dissertation Topic and Problem Statement
My dissertation topic involves an evaluation of Georgia’s new hands-free law
prohibiting touching mobile devices while operating a motor vehicle on the roadways to
determine whether it reduced the number of motor vehicle accidents and fatalities in the
first year of enforcement as compared to the per capita number of accidents and
fatalities in the previous five years. Georgia implemented the update to an old law in
response to a horrific accident claiming the lives of five nursing students on Interstate
16 (Stevens, 2016); increased numbers of accidents even in light of augmented
enforcement efforts further prompted the law change (GOHS, 2017). Georgia
conducted a large advertisement campaign prior to the law change might also influence
potential accident reductions, so comparing possible accident reductions against other
states with similar laws can enhance correlation understanding.
The proliferation of mobile device usage among drivers and its impact on the increasing
number of motor vehicle accidents and subsequent deaths elevates the need to identify
and mitigate the causations of individuals continuing to utilize mobile devices while
operating motor vehicles on the roadways. The increased number of drivers of the road
demands greater understanding of what can help reduce the dangers of driving. A
literary review by Lipovac, Deric, Tesic, Andric, and Maric (2017) included 60 articles all
demonstrating a direct correlation between distracted driving caused by mobile device
use and reduced driving performance. Research indicated a 10% reduction in driver
fatalities in states with mobile device use prohibitions (UHB) for all drivers versus only a
3% reduction in the presence of a universal texting ban (UTB) (Rudisill, Chu, & Zhu,
2018). Research exists to suggest no statistically significant relationship between
legislation and reduction of distracted driving (Quisenberry, 2015). The inclusion of the
advertisement campaign prior to the law implementation could positively affect
commensuration with the legislation as an additional measure to ensure compliance, a
factor noted in Rupp, Gentzler, and Smither’s (2016) article. The coupling of initiatives
could elucidate greater realization of distracted driving reduction and lower numbers of
motor vehicle accidents and fatalities in Georgia.
The value of the study relates directly to its significance. Since Georgia moved
from a universal texting ban (UTB) to a universal handheld ban (UHB), the ability to
definitively compare the number of accidents before the UHB against postimplementation accident numbers while controlling for ancillary characteristics such as
road and weather conditions, urbanicity, and additional contributing factors gives a
clearer picture of the efficacy of UHB legislation against UTB laws. Should the study
demonstrate a direct correlation between the education initiatives preceding the law
activation and driver compliance with the law, it could indicate necessary replication for
other states with similar laws or considering this legislation. Also, if Georgia’s legislation
shows significant reduction in motor vehicle accidents and fatalities through diminished
distracted driving occurrence, the resultant fiduciary benefit for drivers from lowered
insurance rates provides assistance for Georgia drivers. The emotional stabilization for
drivers traveling the roads with less worry and the lives saved cannot be
underestimated either, another significant benefit of this study. All told, the study can
designate the importance of Georgia’s legislation and approach to advance these
initiatives across the United States and globally. Currently, no literature exists to
determine the efficacy of UHB legislation replacing UTB laws in the initial year of
implementation, nor does any research include UHB efficacy including
urbanicity. Lastly, there is no literature related to enforcement of UHB and its impact on
distracted driving.
Theoretical Framework
The implementation of new legislation to curtail behaviors of the populace
grounded in driver responsibility to one another with the citation of the deaths of college
students caused by distracted driving demands a theoretical framework to contextualize
the legislative change and perceived impact on driver behavior. Research requires
framework as the foundational theories to explicate behaviors (Shafritz, Ott, & Jang,
2016). The proposed research suggests two distinct theories for consideration: 1)
corporate social responsibility (CSR); and, 2) narrative policy framework (NPF). CSR
frameworks originate from the field of economics to define and the impact of a business’
actions on society (Shafritz et al., 2016). NPF relies heavily on the narrative behind
legislation for traction and acceptance (Shanahan, Jones, McBeth, & Radaelli,
2018). Both frameworks hold merit for inclusion in the study, as one addresses how
individuals (as part of the corporate community) inject themselves into society for
recognition of responsible behaviors while the other speaks to the amenability of the
legislation based on the methodology of presentment.
The first framework for discussion is CSR. Four specific components exist to
measure CSR (economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic) in a business (Shafritz et al.,
2016); carrying these concepts to the research creates the idea that society members
bear a corporate responsibility to one another to preserve community member’s
economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic interests. Individual submission to Georgia’s
UHB meets the economic expectation in lowered insurance costs and reduced fiscal
burden of property/person injury or loss. The legal aspect of complicity speaks for itself,
as individuals expect one another to conform to legislative mandates. Ethical measures
work in conjunction to the legal aspect, as each driver trusts the others on the roadway
to operate their vehicle in a safe and legal manner, avoiding questionable actions like
texting and driving. Lastly, the philanthropic element of CSR in this case might include
volunteering to participate in a pledge drive as a promise to adhere to the new UHB law,
or help those injured from accidents caused by UHB violations. Though unorthodox, the
application of CSR could elucidate driver behaviors toward reduced motor vehicle
accidents, injuries, and fatalities.
The unconventional nature of CSR could explain community response to
legislation, but NPF might provide the reasoning for the acceptability of the
legislation. NPF purports four basic elements of a successful policy narrative: 1)
setting, or the situation of the policy need; 2) characters, or the various individuals
inspiring the policy adjustment; 3) plot, or the spatial relationship of the characters
including the beginning, conflict, and ending; and, 4) moral of the story, or why the
policy would solve the problem based on the story provided (Shanahan et al.,
2018). Greater personalization and relatability of the story help expand internalization,
making the legislation more agreeable, while the causal elements (the proposed
prohibition) expand it even more (Shanahan et al., 2018). Lastly, the “devil-angel shift”
demonizes motives versus the angel of problem solution “de-emphasizes villains”, both
of which provide clear and vivid imagery for the populace to commensurate with
(Shanahan et al., 2018, p. 178). The application of NPF to the topic permits the
explication of the ease of application of the legislation. The narrative used involved the
death of five nursing students on interstate caused by a distracted tractor trailer
driver. The students became the relatable victims – they could be anyone’s sisters,
mothers, daughters, aunts, best friends – for the public, while the tractor trailer driver
emerged as villain. The setting involved all Georgia roads, and the plot included
the tragic and preventable deaths of the young college students. The moral of the story
involved the implementation of a UHB to prohibit individuals from touching their devices
during motor vehicle operation in order to save countless lives. The narrative behind
Georgia’s UHB aligns with NPF quite fluidly.
The application of both or either theoretical framework helps encourage
understanding of the mechanisms of the legislation, its impact on Georgia drivers, and
the potential results of the research. CSR works to define how and why the public might
comply with the law (to be seen as responsible citizens), while NPF furthers this
understanding by describing the narrative function of the legislation. The compilation of
these frameworks should provide excellent insight into the data retrieved.
Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS). (2017). Georgia Governor’s
Office of Highway Safety 2017 Annual Report. Retrieved
Lipovac, K., Deric, M., Tesic, M., Andric, Z., & Maric, B. (2017). Mobile phone use while
driving-literary review. Transportation Research Part F, 47(2017), 132-142.
Quisenberry, P.N. (2015). Texting and driving: Can it be explained by the General
Theory of Crime? American Journal of Criminal Justice, 40(2), 303-316. doi:
Rudisill, T. M., Chu, H., & Zhu, M. (2018). Cell phone use while driving laws and motor
vehicle driver fatalities: Differences in population subgroups and
location. Annals of Epidemiology, 28(2018), 730735. doi:
Rupp, M. A., Gentzler, M. D., Smither, J. A. (2016). Driving under the influence of
distraction: Examining dissociations between risk perception and engagement in
distracted driving. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 97(2016), 220230. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2016.09.003
Shafritz, J. M., Ott, J. S., & Jang, Y. S. (Eds.). (2016). Classics of organization theory.
(8th ed). Belmont, CA: Wadworth, Cengage Learning. ISBN: 978-1-285-870274.
Shanahan, E. A., Jones, M. D., McBeth, M. K., & Radaelli, C. M. (2018). The Narrative
Policy Framework. In Weible, C. M., Sabatier, P. A. (Eds.), Theories of the policy
process (4th ed.) (pp. 173-214). Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Stevens, A. (2016, July 14). Truck driver to serve 5 years for crash that killed nursing
students. Retrieved on December 1, 2018
Study 2 JD
Dissertation Topic
What is the relationship between the federal employee unions and emergency
management networks in the federal healthcare facilities?
Problem Statement
Emergency management has typically been the responsibility of first
responders such as police, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS). The
Homeland Security Presidential Directive – 5 (HSPD-5) was signed by President
George W. Bush in 2003. The objective of HSPD-5 is to ensure that all levels of
government across the Nation can work efficiently and effectively together during
times of domestic incidents (Department of Homeland Security, 2003). HSPD-5 and
the National Incident Management System (NIMS) encourage the private sector and
mandate the federal government to unify under the Incident Command System (ICS)
to prepare, respond to, and recover from all-hazard emergencies. First responders,
emergency managers, healthcare workers, public affairs, logistics, agency executives,
and engineers all need to be a part of the incident command structure in healthcare
There are five unions in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), one being the
American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE). AFGE VA Council #53 has
36 full-time paid employees who represent the various Veterans Integrated Service
Networks (VISNs) and VA Medical Centers where VA employees work (AFGE,
2018). Many jobs in the VA, such as emergency management or jobs above a certain
pay grade, are considered non-union. The AFGE represents over 226,000 employees
across the VA, which is approximately 84% of all employees belonging to a union,
and approximately 72% of all employees in the VA. Federal unions represent
employees in the workplace bargaining their pay, benefits, work hours, and the scope
of their roles and responsibilities. Federal unions and emergency management have
traditionally been parallel entities expecting different roles and responsibilities of
healthcare workers during the day to day operations and emergent incidents.
It is not known if the federal unions, which serve the federal health care workforce,
and the emergency management networks have a mutually respectful relationship
within the federal government healthcare facilities. Studies have identified the
importance of emergency management relationships within healthcare settings of the
private sector (Alves, Cagliuso, and Dunne, 2015). The articles summarized in this
paper identify the emergency management partners in healthcare and the gaps in those
collaborative relationships.
“Modern” Structural Organization Theory
I chose Modern Organizational Theory because of the basic assumptions of the
structural perspective (Shafritz, 2016, p169):
1. Organizations are rational institutions whose primary purpose is to
accomplish established objectives; rational organizational behavior is achieved
best through systems of defined rules and formal authority. Organizational
control and coordination are key for maintaining organizational rationality,
2. There is a “best” structure for any organization, or at least a most appropriate
structure in light of its given objectives, the environmental conditions
surrounding it (for example, its markets, the competition, and the extent of
government regulation), the nature of its products and/or services (the “best”
structure for a management consulting firm probably differs substantially from
that for a certified public accounting firm), and the technology of the
production processes (a coal mining company has a different “best structure”
than the high-tech manufacturer of computer microcomponents),
3. Specialization and the division of labor increase the quality and quantity of
production, particularly in highly skilled operations and professions, and
4. Most problems in an organization result from structural flaws and can be
solved by changing the structure.
I chose this theory because the current organizational structure of the VA Medical
Centers has the emergency management employees parallel to the union but not
working concurrently. The AFE represents the VA employees in their day-to-day
duties during normal operations. However, there is no stipulation of a relaxation of
union rules during emergency incidents when employees might be asked to respond
and work beyond the scope of their duties during normal operations. This clash leaves
emergency management personnel trying to work around the union rules instead of
managing the incident at hand.
I believe if the union and emergency management worked together before incidents in
their planning and preparing, then response and recovery operations would become
more efficient.
AFGE. (2018). About US. Retrieved from American Federation of Government
Alves, L. C. (2015, August 25). Building the bridge between healthcare emergency
management and daily operations. Journal of Business Continuity &
Emergency Planning, 9(2), pp. 137-148.
Department of Homeland Security. (2003). Homeland Security Presidential
Directive-5. Washington D.C.: Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved
from …
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