Chapter 6:
Problem Definition and the
Research Proposal
Problem
discovery
Problem definition
(statement of
research objectives)
Secondary
(historical)
data
Experience
survey
Pilo...
COMPLETELY
CERTAIN
ABSOLUTE
AMBIGUITY
CAUSAL OR
DESCRIPTIVE
EXPLORATORY
 First step
 Problem, opportunity, or monitor operations
 Discovery before definition
 Problem means management problem
Albert Einstein
 The indication of a specific business decision area
that will be clarified by answering some research
questions.
Statement of
Research Objectives
Problem Definition
Defining Problem Results in
Clear Cut Research Objectives
Exploratory
...
The Process of
Problem Definition
Ascertain the
decision maker’s
objectives
Understand
background of
the problem
Isolate/i...
 Decision makers’ objectives
 Managerial goals expressed in measurable terms.
10
 The principle indicating that the dangerous part
of many business problems is neither visible to
nor understood by manag...
 Exercising judgment
 Situation analysis - The informal gathering of
background information to familiarize researchers
o...
 Symptoms can be confusing
13
Twenty-year-old neighborhood swimming
association:
 Membership has been declining for years.
 New water park -residents ...
Problem Definition
Organization Symptoms Based on Symptom True Problem
Twenty-year-old
neighborhood
swimming
association i...
TOTI
EMUL
ESTO
TOTI
EMUL
ESTO
 Individuals, households, organizations, etc.
 In many studies, the family rather than the
individual is the appropriate...
 Anything that may assume different numerical
values
19
 Categorical
 Continuous
 Dependent
 Independent
 An unproven proposition
 A possible solution to a problem
 Guess
22
Statement of
business
problem
Exploratory
research
(optional)
Statement of
business
problem
Broad
research
objectives
Spec...
The Process of
Problem Definition
Ascertain the
decision maker’s
objectives
Understand
background of
the problem
Isolate/i...
 A written statement of the research design that
includes a statement explaining the purpose of the
study
 Detailed outl...
 What is the purpose of the study?
 How much is already known?
 Is additional background information
necessary?
 What ...
 What types of questions need to be answered?
 Are descriptive or causal findings required?
 What is the source of the ...
 Can objective answers be obtained by asking
people?
 How quickly is the information needed?
 How should survey questio...
 Who or what is the source of the data?
 Can the target population be identified?
 Is a sample necessary?
 How accurat...
 Who will gather the data?
 How long will data gathering take?
 How much supervision is needed?
 What operational proc...
 Will standardized editing and coding
procedures be used?
 How will the data be categorized?
 What statistical software...
 Who will read the report?
 Are managerial recommendations requested?
 How many presentations are required?
 What will...
 How much will the study cost?
 Is the time frame acceptable?
 Is outside help needed?
 Will this research design atta...
 Dummy tables
 Representations of the actual tables that will be in
the findings section of the final report; used to ga...
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Ch06

  1. 1. Chapter 6: Problem Definition and the Research Proposal
  2. 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. 3. COMPLETELY CERTAIN ABSOLUTE AMBIGUITY CAUSAL OR DESCRIPTIVE EXPLORATORY
  4. 4.  First step  Problem, opportunity, or monitor operations  Discovery before definition  Problem means management problem
  5. 5. Albert Einstein
  6. 6.  The indication of a specific business decision area that will be clarified by answering some research questions.
  7. 7. Statement of Research Objectives Problem Definition Defining Problem Results in Clear Cut Research Objectives Exploratory Research (Optional) Analysis of the Situation Symptom Detection
  8. 8. 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
  9. 9.  Decision makers’ objectives  Managerial goals expressed in measurable terms. 10
  10. 10.  The principle indicating that the dangerous part of many business problems is neither visible to nor understood by managers.
  11. 11.  Exercising judgment  Situation analysis - The informal gathering of background information to familiarize researchers or managers with the decision area. 12
  12. 12.  Symptoms can be confusing 13
  13. 13. 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
  14. 14. 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.
  15. 15. TOTI EMUL ESTO
  16. 16. TOTI EMUL ESTO
  17. 17.  Individuals, households, organizations, etc.  In many studies, the family rather than the individual is the appropriate unit of analysis. 18
  18. 18.  Anything that may assume different numerical values 19
  19. 19.  Categorical  Continuous  Dependent  Independent
  20. 20.  An unproven proposition  A possible solution to a problem  Guess
  21. 21. 22
  22. 22. Statement of business problem Exploratory research (optional) Statement of business problem Broad research objectives Specific Objective 1 Specific Objective 2 Specific Objective 3 Research Design Results
  23. 23. 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
  24. 24.  A written statement of the research design that includes a statement explaining the purpose of the study  Detailed outline of procedures associated with a particular methodology
  25. 25.  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?
  26. 26.  What types of questions need to be answered?  Are descriptive or causal findings required?  What is the source of the data?
  27. 27.  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?
  28. 28.  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?
  29. 29.  Who will gather the data?  How long will data gathering take?  How much supervision is needed?  What operational procedures need to be followed?
  30. 30.  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?
  31. 31.  Who will read the report?  Are managerial recommendations requested?  How many presentations are required?  What will be the format of the written report?
  32. 32.  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?
  33. 33.  Dummy tables  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.
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