Rodger’s Process of Concept Development

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  1. Using Rodger’s evolutionary method for concept analysis, analyze Robson and Troutman-Jordan’s (2014) concept analysis on cognitive reframing .

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1. Rodger’s Process of Concept Development

Beth Rodgers first published her evolutionary method for concept analysis in 1989. According to Rodgers, concept analysis is necessary because concepts are dynamic, “fuzzy”, and context dependent, and possess some pragmatic utility purpose. Because phenomena, needs, and goals change, concepts must be continually refined and variations introduced to achieve a clearer and more useful meaning.

Rodgers examined two viewpoints or schools of thought regarding concept development, and showed that the methods of each differ significantly. Rodgers termed these methods “essentialism” and “evolutionary” viewpoints. In her work, she contrasted the essentialist method of concept development as exemplified by Wilson and Walker and Avant with concept development using the evolutionary method.

The evolutionary method of concept development is a concurrent task approach. In it, the tasks may be occurring simultaneously, rather than a sequence of specific steps that are completed before going to the next step. There are several activities involved in the evolutionary method of concept development.

Primary Activities in Rodger’s Process of Concept Analysis:

  1. Identify the concept and associated terms.
  2. Select an appropriate realm (a setting or a sample) for data collection.
  3. Collect data to identify the attributes of the concept and the contextual basis of the concept (i.e. interdisciplinary, sociocultural, and temporal variations).
  4. Analyze the data regarding the characteristics of the concept.
  5. Identify the exemplar of the concept, if appropriate.
  6. Identify hypotheses and implications for further development.

Rodgers defined many terms and explained the process of concept analysis using the evolutionary view. The goal of the concept analysis, to an extent, is to determine how the researcher identifies the concept of interest, terms, and expressions selected.

The goal of the analysis also influences selection of the setting and sample for data collection. For instance, the setting may be a library and the sample might be literature. The sampling might be time-oriented, such as literature from the previous five years. Whatever the case may be, the researcher’s goal is to develop a rigorous design consistent with the purpose of the analysis. The selection of literature from related disciplines may include those that typically use the concept. An exhaustive review includes all the indexed literature using the concept, and may be limited by a time frame, such as several years.

collecting and managing data

A sample across each discipline over time is obtained by employing a randomized process. In collecting and managing data, a discovery approach is preferred. The focus of the data analysis is on identifying the attributes, antecedents, and consequences and related concepts or surrogate terms. The attributes located by this means constitute a “real definition as opposed to a nominal or dictionary definition” (Rogers, 2006, p. 92).

Rodgers defines surrogate terms as ways of expressing the concept other than by the term of interest. She distinguishes between surrogate terms and related concepts by illustrating the surrogate terms are different words that express the concept, whereas “related concepts are part of a network that provide a background” and “lend significance to the concept of interest” (Rodgers, 2006, p. 92).

Identifying an exemplar from the literature, field observation, or interview provides a clear example of the concept. Examples of real cases are preferred over constructed cases. The goal is to illustrate the characteristics of the concept in relevant contexts. To enhance the clarity and effective application of the concept.