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Management

Ethics Education and Theoretical Research Involving College Students

Introduction

College students should learn that theory is a basic fundamental element of research. The definition of the term theory and what it constitutes is debated by the world’s researchers (Gelso, 2006; Harlow, 2009; Henderikus, 2007).Most researchers and theorists use typologies and classifications systems in describing the types of theories, in the context of purpose, boundaries, functions, and goals (Gay & Weaver, 2011).  Gelso (2006) defined a theory using eight constructs.  These included: Descriptive ability, heuristic value, explanatory power, integration, clarity, testability, parsimony, comprehensiveness, and delimitation.  These eight constructs are based on the fact that theory produces research and research generates and refines theory (Gelso, 2006).  Harlow (2009) suggested that theory lacks a fixed and universal meaning although considering the competing research paradigms, theory might mean a determining law, or a system of laws according to the natural sciences.  He also argued that theory can mean a construct or set of constructs for ordering and enhancing the understanding of phenomena. Therefore, this section will focus on how students can utilize research and theory and how they are related.  First, students should be aware of the following reasons that show the importance of theory in research; these will provide the baseline for this study;