The Potential of Working Hypotheses for Deductive Exploratory Research




Casula, Mattia
Rangarajan, Nandhini
Shields, Patricia M.

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While hypotheses frame explanatory studies and provide guidance for measurement and statistical tests, deductive, exploratory research does not have a framing device like the hypothesis. To this purpose, this article examines the landscape of deductive, exploratory research and offers the working hypothesis as a flexible, useful framework that can guide and bring coherence across the steps in the research process. The working hypothesis conceptual framework is introduced, placed in a philosophical context, defined, and applied to public administration and comparative public policy. Doing so, this article explains: the philosophical underpinning of exploratory, deductive research; how the working hypothesis informs the methodologies and evidence collection of deductive, explorative research; the nature of micro-conceptual frameworks for deductive exploratory research; and, how the working hypothesis informs data analysis when exploratory research is deductive.



exploratory research, working hypothesis, deductive qualitative research, pragmatism, Political Science


Casula, M., Rangarajan, N., & Shields, P. M. (2020). The potential of working hypotheses for deductive exploratory research. Quality and Quantity.


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