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Theories occupy different positions in the scientific circle of enquiry as they vary in scope, abstraction, and complexity. Mid-range theories play a crucial bridging role between raw empirical observations and all-encompassing grand-theoretical schemes. A shift of perspective from 'theories' as products to 'theorising' as a process can enable empirical researchers to capitalise on the two-way relationships between empirical data and different levels of theory and contribute to the advancement of knowledge. This can be facilitated by embracing theoretically informative (in addition to merely theoretically informed) research, developing mechanism-based explanations, and broadening the repertoire of grand-theoretical orientations.
Kislov, R., Pope, C., Martin, G. P., & Wilson, P. M. (2019, December 11). Harnessing the power of theorising in implementation science. Implementation Science. BioMed Central Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13012-019-0957-4