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Problem definition and research proposal(brm)

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  • 1. Research Problem Definition & Research Proposal William G. Zikmund Chapter 6
  • 2. Problem discovery Problem definition (statement of research objectives) Secondary (historical) data Experience survey Pilot study Case study Selection of exploratory research technique Selection of basic research method Experiment Survey Observation Secondary Data StudyLaboratory Field Interview Questionnaire Selection of exploratory research technique Sampling Probability Nonprobability Collection of data (fieldwork) Editing and coding data Data processing Interpretation of findings Report Data Gathering Data Processing and Analysis Conclusions and Report Research Design Problem Discovery and Definition
  • 3. Why define the Research Problem? • Defining your destination before beginning a journey. • It determines, – what you will do, – will it withstand scientific scrutiny, – how you will do it, and – what you may achieve!
  • 4. How is a research problem selected? • Researchers interest in a topic • National or agency priorities • Urgency of an issue • Availability of research funds • Availability of supervision
  • 5. COMPLETELY CERTAIN ABSOLUTE AMBIGUITY CAUSAL OR DESCRIPTIVE EXPLORATORY Uncertainty Influences the Type of Research
  • 6. The Nature of Business Problem • Remember than managers may be completely certain about situations they face. • At the other extreme, a manager or researcher may describe a decision-making situation as absolute ambiguity. • Most decision-making situations fall somewhere between these two extremes.
  • 7. Problem Discovery and Definition • First step • Problem, opportunity, or monitor operations • Discovery before definition • Problem means management problem
  • 8. “The formulation of the problem is often more essential than its solution.” Albert Einstein
  • 9. Importance of Proper Problem Definition • The right answer to the wrong question may be absolutely worthless. • Problem definition is the indication of a specific business decision area that will be clarified by answering some research questions.
  • 10. Problem Definition • The indication of a specific business decision area that will be clarified by answering some research questions.
  • 11. Statement of Research Objectives Problem Definition Defining Problem Results in Clear Cut Research Objectives Exploratory Research (Optional) Analysis of the Situation Symptom Detection
  • 12. The Process of Problem Definition Ascertain the decision maker’s objectives Understand background of the problem Isolate/identify the problem, not the symptoms Determine unit of analysis Determine relevant variables State research questions and objectives
  • 13. 13 Ascertain the Decision Maker’s Objectives • Decision makers’ objectives • Managerial goals expressed in measurable terms. The 1st Process of Problem Definition
  • 14. The Iceberg Principle • The principle indicating that the dangerous part of many business problems is neither visible to nor understood by managers. The 1st Process of Problem Definition
  • 15. 15 Understand the Background of the Problem • Exercising judgment • Situation analysis - The informal gathering of background information to familiarize researchers or managers with the decision area. The 2nd Process of Problem Definition
  • 16. 16 Isolate and Identify the Problems, Not the Symptoms • Symptoms can be confusing The 3rd Process of Problem Definition
  • 17. Symptoms Can Be Confusing Twenty-year-old neighborhood swimming association: • Membership has been declining for years. • New water park -residents prefer the expensive water park???? • Demographic changes: Children have grown up The 3rd Process of Problem Definition
  • 18. Problem Definition Organization Symptoms Based on Symptom True Problem Twenty-year-old neighborhood swimming association in a major city. Membership has been declining for years. New water park with wave pool and water slides moved into town a few years ago. Neighborhood residents prefer the expensive water park and have negative image of swimming pool. Demographic changes: Children in this 20- year-old neighborhood have grown up. Older residents no longer swim anywhere. Example The 3rd Process of Problem Definition
  • 19. TOTI EMUL ESTO What Language Is Written on This Stone Found by Archaeologists? The 3rd Process of Problem Definition
  • 20. TOTI EMUL ESTO The Language Is English: To Tie Mules To The 3rd Process of Problem Definition
  • 21. 21 Determine the Unit of Analysis • Individuals, households, organizations, etc. • In many studies, the family rather than the individual is the appropriate unit of analysis. The 4th Process of Problem Definition
  • 22. 22 Determine the Relevant Variable –Anything that may assume different numerical values • Types of variables can be: – Categorical variable is any variable that has a limited number of distinct values. – Continuous variable is any variable that has an infinite number of values. – Dependent variable is a criterion or a variable that is to be predicted or explained. – Independent variable is a variable that is expected to influence the dependent variable. Its value may be changed or altered independently of any other variable. The 5th Process of Problem Definition
  • 23. 23 State the research questions and research objectives The 6th Process of Problem Definition
  • 24. If you do not know where you are going, any road will take you there. The 6th Process of Problem Definition
  • 25. • Hypothesis – An unproven proposition or supposition that tentatively explains certain facts or phenomena – a proposition that is empirically testable – A possible solution to a problem – Guess – A research objective is the purpose of the research in measurable terms; the definition of what the research should accomplish. It should be decision-oriented. The 6th Process of Problem Definition
  • 26. • Objective – A research objective is the purpose of the research in measurable terms; the definition of what the research should accomplish. It should be decision-oriented. The 6th Process of Problem Definition
  • 27. Statement of business problem Specific Objective 1 Specific Objective 2 Results Specific Objective 3 Exploratory research (optional) Broad research objectives Research Design
  • 28. How Much Time Should be Spent Defining the Problem? • Budget constraints • Complexity of business situations • Importance of the problems
  • 29. Business Problem Translated into Research Objectives Problem/Questio ns Research Questions Research Objectives Should the organization offer outplacement? Are managers aware of outplacement services? How concerned are managers about outplacement services? To determine managers’ awareness using aided recall To measure managers’ satisfaction with existing personnel policies Which of the services should be offered? How do managers evaluate the need for severance pay? To obtain ratings and ranking of the various outplacement services Severance pay? New employment assistance? Personal counseling? Job contracts? New-employment assistance? Personal counseling? Job contracts? What are the benefits of each outplacement service? To identify perceived benefits and perceived disadvantages of each outplacement service To measure managers’ perceived benefits and disadvantages of in- house versus outside consultants Should the services be provided by in-house personnel or outside consultants? Would managers prefer in-house personnel or outside consultants? How much would each alternative cost? To measure managers’ preference of alternative if discharge occurred To identify costs associated with each alternative Do employees with ten or more years of service have different awareness levels, etc. than employees with less than ten years of service? Do the answers to the above questions differ by employee’s years of service? To compare, using cross- tabulations, levels of awareness, evaluations, etc., managers with ten or more years of service with managers with less than ten years of service.
  • 30. Research Proposal
  • 31. What is a research proposal? • Various terminologies are used to mean a research proposal depending on why the research is carried out?  Research outline  Synopsis of research  Plan of research  Research/project proposal  Thesis plan  Etc  .. ..a blue print of future activities of a research project  …..some sort of preconceived framework for starting the activities  …..deals with ideas of researcher about what research he/she wants to do, what objectives and methodology he/she has set, how much time and resources are required to complete it, how the research finding are to be reported, and so on.
  • 32. What is a research proposal? • …..deals with ideas of researcher about  what research he/she wants to do  what objectives and methodology he/she has set  how much time and resources are required to complete it  how the research finding are to be reported  and so on.  ..is an individual’s or a research institute's formal offer to produce a product or render service to a client in response to a request from the client  ….a work plan, prospectus, outline, and statement of intent ahead.  In short, he/she is proposing a work frame for completing the research
  • 33. Research Proposal • It is a written statement of the research design that includes a statement explaining – the purpose of the study and – a detailed, systematic outline of a particular research methodology.
  • 34. Research Proposal • Components of research proposal: – Purpose of the Research – Research Design – Sample Design – Data Gathering – Data Processing and Analysis – Report Preparation – Budget and Time Schedule
  • 35. Anticipating Outcomes • Dummy tables are representations of actual tables that will be in the findings section of the final report; used to gain a better understanding of what the actual outcome of the research will be. • Representations of the actual tables that will be in the findings section of the final report; used to gain a better understanding of what the actual outcomes of the research will be.
  • 36. 06/27/13 Research Proposal Development 36 Sections • Title • Introduction – additional sub sections if necessary • Objectives • Materials & Methods – additional sub sections if necessary • A tentative time table • A budget .
  • 37. Basic Questions - Problem Definition • What is the purpose of the study? • How much is already known? • Is additional background information necessary? • What is to be measured? How? • Can the data be made available? • Should research be conducted? • Can a hypothesis be formulated? Copyright © 2000 Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 38. Basic Questions - Basic Research Design • What types of questions need to be answered? • Are descriptive or causal findings required? • What is the source of the data? Copyright © 2000 Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 39. Basic Questions - Basic Research Design • Can objective answers be obtained by asking people? • How quickly is the information needed? • How should survey questions be worded? • How should experimental manipulations be made? Copyright © 2000 Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 40. Basic Questions - Selection of Sample • Who or what is the source of the data? • Can the target population be identified? • Is a sample necessary? • How accurate must the sample be? • Is a probability sample necessary? • Is a national sample necessary? • How large a sample is necessary? • How will the sample be selected? Copyright © 2000 Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 41. Basic Questions - Data Gathering • Who will gather the data? • How long will data gathering take? • How much supervision is needed? • What operational procedures need to be followed? Copyright © 2000 Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 42. Basic Questions - Data Analysis • Will standardized editing and coding procedures be used? • How will the data be categorized? • What statistical software will be used? • What is the nature of the data? • What questions need to be answered? • How many variables are to be investigated simultaneously? • Performance criteria for evaluation?Copyright © 2000 Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 43. Basic Questions - Type of Report • Who will read the report? • Are managerial recommendations requested? • How many presentations are required? • What will be the format of the written report? Copyright © 2000 Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 44. Basic Questions - Overall Evaluation • How much will the study cost? • Is the time frame acceptable? • Is outside help needed? • Will this research design attain the stated research objectives? • When should the research be scheduled to begin? Copyright © 2000 Harcourt, Inc. All rights reserved.
  • 45. Steps in identifying research problems 1. Identify a broad topic 2. Identify a narrow topic within the broad topic 3. Raise questions 4. Formulate objectives • Use action-oriented words - To demonstrate; To evaluate; To measure…
  • 46. Identifying Broad Topics • Think of the BIG PICTURE – What is the problem you are trying to solve? – Think of something you like to learn more about – Consult text books, journal or your supervisor • Pick one based on: – Interest and relevance – Magnitude of work involved – Level of expertise • yours and your advisors
  • 47. Examples of Broad Topics – Optimizing productivity of land and water resources – Ensuring Food Safety & Security – Sustaining Agricultural & Marine Environments
  • 48. From Broad Topic to Narrow Topic • Examples of a narrow topic: – Liver disease in Goat – Greenhouse Agriculture – Milk Quality – Greywater reuse potential in Oman • When selecting a narrow topic think how it can contribute towards solving the BIG PROBLEM!
  • 49. Problem Tree – Keep asking Why? Food Insecurity Low Labor Productivity Low Land Productivity Unskilled Labor Water Scarcity Unsuitable Crops Poor Soil Inefficient Irrigation Lack of crop varieties adapted to climate Inefficient Water harvestingUnsuitable Climate Farming Patterns do not Return nutrients Farmers can’t afford fertilizers Farmers unaware of best practices