Theory Building and Paradigms: A Primer on the Nuances of Theory Construction
Bruce Gay,  Sue Weaver

Abstract
This study examines the definitions of theory and the implications axiomatic presuppositions have on theory-building research. Theory-building is important because it provides a framework for analysis, facilitates the efficient development of the field, and is needed for the applicability to practical real-world problems. To be good theory, a theory must follow the virtues (criteria) for ‘good’ theory, including uniqueness, parsimony, conservation, generalizability, fecundity, internal consistency, empirical riskiness, and abstraction, which apply to all research methods. This article also focuses on the dynamic relationship that exists between the hypothetico-deduction model (alternately referred to by theorists as nomothetic, positivism, postpositivism, empirical-analytical, or hierarchialism) and the inductive-synthesis model (alternately referred to as idiographic, grounded theory, constructivism, or interpretive theory). Finally, this study argues for the inclusion of both theory-building models in a mixed methods research framework.

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