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Research questions and research objectives

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Research questions are the starting point in any good research . They provide the road map to proceed and identify and focus on the research gaps . The research objectives are actions intended to answer the research questions .

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Research questions and research objectives

  1. 1. 08/02/2015 Prof.A.H.Sequeira 1 Research Questions and Research Objectives By Dr.Aloysius H. Sequeira, Professor, National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Surathkal. email : aloysiushs@gmail.com
  2. 2. Why do research? Main purpose of doing research : 1. To Fill knowledge gaps -Academic research 2. For Problem solving 08/02/2015 Prof.A.H.Sequeira 2
  3. 3. What is Preplanned Research  Step1 : Usually begin with a topic/problem (sources : personal experiences, state of knowledge in the field , solving problem , curiosity based on something in the media , personal values, social premiums and everyday life).  Step2 :Topic is narrowed down into focused Research Question/s. 08/02/2015 Prof.A.H.Sequeira 3
  4. 4. Formulating Research Questions  Research answers questions - but what kinds of questions - and where do the questions come from?  Understanding the reality – How is world is -what is happening –Positive questions?  Understanding how you want world to look like – Normative questions?  Research is well suited for answering positive questions .  Research does not help much in answering normative questions 08/02/2015 Prof.A.H.Sequeira 4
  5. 5. Research Questions  The research question defines the “area of interest” but it is not a declarative statement like a hypothesis  Research question :main broad questions - general focus  Research question may be complemented by a few Investigative Questions :secondary/sub questions-specific -to narrow the focus- important for data measurement 08/02/2015 Prof.A.H.Sequeira 5
  6. 6. Research Questions  A clear research statement or problem must translate into a research question.  Research question to be fact-oriented, information –gathering question.  Research question must be capable of being confirmed or refuted. 08/02/2015 Prof.A.H.Sequeira 6
  7. 7. Research Questions – Qualitative study  Both qualitative and quantitative studies suit for some topics.  Some topics are well suited for qualitative study – topics loosely defined- research question become clear only during the research process.  Data is used to narrow the focus in qualitative study- literature review helps. 08/02/2015 Prof.A.H.Sequeira 7
  8. 8. Research Questions – Quantitative study  Topic is narrowed into a focused Research question.  Focusing the question helps in developing a testable hypothesis in quantitative study.  Research questions refer to relationship among a small number of variables.  Listing the variables is needed to focus the topic on research questions . 08/02/2015 Prof.A.H.Sequeira 8
  9. 9. Research Question -Example  Single question Which methods and tools should be developed to make current manufacturing control / supervision systems reusable and swiftly modifiable? 08/02/2015 Prof.A.H.Sequeira 9
  10. 10. Research question - Example Multiple questions  “Q1:What are the main components of logistics costs that determine the logistics and transport network design?  Q2:To what extent are the existing network design and evaluation models sufficient and how can collaboration be incorporated in the network design methodology?  Q3: How can economies of scale and scope, present in the network, be taken into account in the network design?  Q4: Is it possible to set boundaries to the development path of the network, and search for a feasible path instead of searching solely for a feasible solution? “ 08/02/2015 Prof.A.H.Sequeira 10
  11. 11. Research Questions –Example  Research Topic : An International comparison ofTechnology AdoptionTesting the UTAUT Model  RQ1 How does acceptance of a technology vary across cultures?  RQ2 What factors in the UTAUT model most significantly differ across cultures and what are the implications of these differences? 08/02/2015 Prof.A.H.Sequeira 11
  12. 12. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES • Research objectives are the specific actions/ activities to answer the research questions . • Objectives indicate what we are trying to get from the study or the expected results / outcome of the study.
  13. 13. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES • Research objectives should be clear , achievable and verifiable - as they directly assist in answering the research questions / problem . • Objectives may be specified in the form of actions (verbs) to answer the posed questions- generally objectives begin with to : discover …, determine …, establish …access……, identify……, compare …., analyze , evaluate….., …etc.
  14. 14. Example I: How Research Questions (RQs) and Research Objectives(ROs) can be developed for a Research topic  Research Topic : An Exploratory study on Ethnic population and product choices with reference to Indian settlers in Africa. 08/02/2015 Prof.A.H.Sequeira 14
  15. 15. Example :Research Topic – Exploratory study on Ethnic population and product choices with reference to Indian settlers in Africa. Research Questions (RQ) & Objectives(RO) RQ1.How far do settlers stick to their culture and values which is then reflected on consumption? RO1. To measure the percentage of the Indian settlers in select African countries who still follow the culture and customs of their Country Of Origin. 08/02/2015 Prof.A.H.Sequeira 15
  16. 16. Example :Research Topic – Exploratory study on Ethnic population and product choices with reference to Indian settlers in Africa. RQ 2.To what extent is the assimilation of cultures taking place which will have a bearing on consumption. RO2.To determine the extent the Indian settlers have a tendency to assimilate with the host country. 08/02/2015 Prof.A.H.Sequeira 16
  17. 17. Example :Research Topic – An Exploratory study on Ethnic population and product choices with reference to Indian settlers in Africa. RQ 3.Whether subsequent generations of settlers exhibit the same characteristics of the first generation settlers? RO 3.To determine the extent of acculturation that had taken place of these Indian settlers in the host country and the importance the Indian settlers place on ethnic values. 08/02/2015 Prof.A.H.Sequeira 17
  18. 18. Example :Research Topic – Exploratory study on Ethnic population and product choices with reference to Indian settlers in Africa. RQ 4.To what extent host culture is showing changes in adopting immigrant’s culture and values. RO 4 To find out whether the second and subsequent generation of Indian settlers exhibit similar behavior of the first generation of Indian settlers. 08/02/2015 Prof.A.H.Sequeira 18
  19. 19. Example :Research Topic – Exploratory study on Ethnic population and product choices with reference to Indian settlers in Africa. RO 5.To develop a model which can be applied by the exporters to use the ethnic advantage in their Product design. (This objective specifically is focused on Researcher’s contribution to the body of knowledge – in a major project or thesis) 08/02/2015 Prof.A.H.Sequeira 19
  20. 20. Example II - Framing Research questions for a problem 08/02/2015 Prof.A.H.Sequeira 20 Research Problem :  MCP is oldest of 3 banks in Mangalore.  It is also the largest of 3 cooperative banks in town.  It is observed that profits are declining for last 5 years. Find an appropriate solution to the given problem through research ?
  21. 21. Step 1 : First stage of research Process 08/02/2015 Prof.A.H.Sequeira 21 Identify and formulate the following: a) What research approach to adopt? b) Frame the research questions c) Frame the investigative questions? d) Write the research objectives?
  22. 22. Step 2 : Framing research questions 08/02/2015 Prof.A.H.Sequeira 22  What research approach to adopt? Research Approach- exploratory Frame the research question?  Research Question 1: ( main RQ- Focus is to find out lack of deposit growth ) What is the public position regarding financial services of the bank?
  23. 23. Step 3 : Framing the investigative questions 08/02/2015 Prof.A.H.Sequeira 23 Frame the investigative questions? Investigative questions 1: what specific financial services are used? Investigative questions 2: how attractive are the various schemes Investigative questions 3:What bank specific and environmental factors influence a person use specific service?
  24. 24. Step 4 : Framing research objectives 08/02/2015 Prof.A.H.Sequeira 24  Write the research objectives?  RO 1 :To study the public position of the bank regarding financial services and use?  RO2 :To determine the banks competitive position in the region?  RO3 :To suggest ways and means to improve the performance of the bank?  RO4 :To develop a strategy to maintain and enhance the image of the bank in the region ?
  25. 25. Summary-Research Questions 08/02/2015 Prof.A.H.Sequeira 25  Research questions ( broad/ general )  Investigative questions (specific/sub question/ operationalization of variables )  Research objectives ( statement of intention/actions intended )

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