What is the difference between model, theory, framework, and philosophy? How are they related? (Discriminate between the concepts.)
R/ A framework is a “broad overview, outline, or skeleton of interlinked items which supports a particular approach to a specific objective, and serves as a guide that can be modified as required by adding or deleting items (Business Dictionary, 2017). This is the most basic version of the concept or idea. A framework can lead to a model, which leads to a theory. The best way to explain the differences and similarities between a model and a theory is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory. A model is a “graphical, mathematical (symbolic), physical, or verbal representation or simplified version of a concept, phenomenon, relationship, structure, system, or an aspect of the real world” (Business Dictionary, 2017). In Maslow’s Theory, the model is the colorful pyramid that we all remember seeing in our first text book in nursing school; it is a simple, and easy to remember, version of Maslow’s theory. However, the theory is the full explanation and clarification of those simplified ideas on the pyramid. In Maslow’s full theory, each level of the pyramid is detailed and explained to further the learner’s understanding of his ideas. Therefore framework, model, and theory have a relationship to each other.
Philosophies and theories are similar, in that they are both guides; and they are different in that they guide differently. A philosophy is “careful thought about the fundamental nature of the world, the grounds for human knowledge, and the evaluation of human conduct (The Philosophy Pages)” (Mastin, 2008). The best example to explain these differences is nursing theory and nursing philosophy. Nursing theory is based upon assumptions regarding nursing care and practice, that are then researched, and then put into practice for a large group, such as a hospital system or nursing university. Whereas, nursing philosophy guides the personal practice of each individual nurse separately.