Conceptual framework is a set of interrelated concepts, explicit or implicit, underlying a particular study. Conceptual framework forms the essence of the study. In drawing up your conceptual framework, you must have internalized, and conceptualized your study; you must have dug deep into literature. The principal concepts (dependent and independent) variables guiding your study must be interrelated. Note that the concepts in the framework must be organized in a manner that makes them easy to communicate to others (readers).
Conceptual framework forms the heart of the study; it is the foundation of the very objectives (research questions) of the study; It dictates the direction of literature review, forms the basis of analysis, conclusions and recommendations.
Conceptual framework is normally summarized in a schematic diagram; it basically shows the relationship between independent and dependent variables.
Figure 1: Factors influencing the growth of stock market
Conceptual framework should not be left hanging, it should be explained. The relationship between the dependent and various independent variables must clearly be explained. Intervening variables (attributes or properties of independent variables) should also be pointed out.