Background: A conceptual model implicitly or explicitly guides research. Some researchers identify the conceptual model prior to conducting their studies. Other researchers may eventually come upon a conceptual model that provides a context for the research already completed and direction for future studies.
Aim: The purpose of this article is to explain how one researcher, working with a theoretician, found a conceptual model that has provided a frame of reference for her past, present, and future studies and has allowed her to view her heretofore somewhat disparate studies as a more coherent programme of research.
Conclusion: Finding an explicit conceptual model provided a meaningful frame of reference for interpreting previous research. Finding an explicit model also had the benefit of uncovering of new possibilities for research. In particular, as the findings from previous research were brought together within the context of the conceptual model, unanticipated areas of future study were identified.