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Research Problem Definition Assistant Professor Dr. Chanin Yoopetch.

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Presentation on theme: "Research Problem Definition Assistant Professor Dr. Chanin Yoopetch."— Presentation transcript:

1 Research Problem Definition Assistant Professor Dr. Chanin Yoopetch

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 ExperimentSurvey Observation Secondary Data Study LaboratoryFieldInterviewQuestionnaire Selection of exploratory research technique Sampling ProbabilityNonprobability 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 COMPLETELY CERTAIN ABSOLUTE AMBIGUITY CAUSAL OR DESCRIPTIVE EXPLORATORY Uncertainty Influences the Type of Research

4 Problem Discovery and Definition First step Problem, opportunity, or monitor operations Discovery before definition Problem means management problem

5 “The formulation of the problem is often more essential than its solution.” Albert Einstein

6 Problem Definition The indication of a specific business decision area that will be clarified by answering some research questions.

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 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 Ascertain the Decision Maker’s Objectives Decision makers’ objectives Managerial goals expressed in measurable terms.

10 The Iceberg Principle The principle indicating that the dangerous part of many business problems is neither visible to nor understood by managers.

11 11 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.

12 12 Isolate and Identify the Problems, Not the Symptoms Symptoms can be confusing

13 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

14 Problem Definition OrganizationSymptoms 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 Determine the Unit of Analysis Individuals, households, organizations, etc. In many studies, the family rather than the individual is the appropriate unit of analysis.

16 16 Determine the Relevant Variable Anything that may assume different numerical values

17 Types of Variables Categorical Continuous Dependent Independent

18 Hypothesis An unproven proposition A possible solution to a problem Guess

19 19 State the research questions and research objectives

20 If you do not know where you are going, any road will take you there.

21 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

22 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

23 Theory Building and Observation Methods

24 Theories Theories are nets cast to catch what we call “the world”: to rationalize, to explain, and to master it. We endeavor to make the mesh ever finer and finer. Karl R. Popper

25 Two Purposes Of Theory Prediction Understanding

26 Theory A coherent set of general propositions used as principles of explanation of the apparent relationships of certain observed phenomena.

27 Concept (or Construct) A generalized idea about a class of objects, attributes, occurrences, or processes that has been given a name Building blocks that abstract reality “leadership,” “productivity,” and “morale” “gross national product,” “asset,” and “inflation”

28 Vegetation Vegetation Fruit Fruit Banana Banana Reality Reality Increasingly more abstract A Ladder Of Abstraction For Concepts

29 Scientific Business Researchers Operate at Two Levels Abstract level –concepts –propositions Empirical level –variables –hypotheses

30 Definitions Abstract level -In theory development, the level of knowledge expressing a concept that exists only as an idea or a quality apart from an object. Empirical level -Level of knowledge reflecting that which is verifiable by experience or observation.

31 Theory Building A Process Of Increasing Abstraction Theories Propositions Propositions Concepts Concepts Observation of objects Observation of objects and events (reality ) Increasingly more abstract

32 CONCEPTS OBSERVATION OF OBJECTS AND EVENTS (REALITY) Empirical Level Abstract Level Concepts are Abstractions of Reality

33 Scientific Method The use of a set of prescribed procedures for establishing and connecting theoretical statements about events and for predicting events yet unknown.

34 Abstract Level Concepts abstract reality. Propositions are statements concerned with the relationships among concepts.

35 Always makes four sales calls a day Dollar bonus for sales volume over quota Concept B (Habits) Hypothesis at Empirical Level Concept A (Reinforcement) Proposition at Abstract Level

36 A hypothesis is a proposition that is empirically testable. It is an empirical statement concerned with the relationship among variables. A variable is anything that may assume different numerical values.

37 Deductive Reasoning The logical process of deriving a conclusion from a known premise or something known to be true. –We know that all managers are human beings. –If we also know that John Smith is a manager, –then we can deduce that John Smith is a human being.

38 Inductive Reasoning The logical process of establishing a general proposition on the basis of observation of particular facts. – All managers that have ever been seen are human beings; – therefore all managers are human beings.

39 Falsificationist You cannot prove the theory that it is correct, but you can disprove it.

40 AssessrelevantexistingknowledgeFormulate concepts & Propositions StatementofHypotheses Designresearch Acquireempiricaldata Analyze & evaluatedataProvideexplanation- state new problem The Scientific Method: An Overview

41 “YOU SEE, BUT YOU DO NOT OBSERVE.” Sherlock Holmes Scientific Observation Is Systematic

42 What Can Be Observed? Physical actions Verbal behavior Expressive behavior Spatial relations and locations Temporal patterns Verbal and pictorial records

43 Phenomena Example Human behavior or physical Shoppers movement actionpattern in a store Verbal behaviorStatements made by airline travelers who wait in line Expressive behaviorFacial expressions, tone of voice, and other form of body language What Can Be Observed

44 PhenomenaExample Spatial relationsHow close visitors at an and locationsart museum stand to paintings Temporal patternsHow long fast-food customers wait for their order to be served Physical objectsWhat brand name items are stored in consumers’ pantries Verbal and Pictorial Bar codes on product packages Records What Can Be Observed

45 Categories of Observation Human versus mechanical Visible versus hidden Direct Contrived (artificial environment)

46 Observation of Human Behavior Benefits Communication with respondent is not necessary Data without distortions due to self-report (e.g.: without social desirability) Bias No need to rely on respondents memory Nonverbal behavior data may be obtained

47 Observation of Human Behavior Benefits Certain data may be obtained more quickly Environmental conditions may be recorded May be combined with survey to provide supplemental evidence

48 Observation of Human Behavior Limitations Cognitive phenomena cannot be observed Interpretation of data may be a problem Not all activity can be recorded Only short periods can be observed Observer bias possible Possible invasion of privacy

49 Observation of Physical Objects Physical-trace evidence Wear and tear of a book indicates how often it has been read

50 Scientifically Contrived Observation The creation of an artificial environment to test a hypothesis

51 Content Analysis Obtains data by observing and analyzing the content of advertisements, letters, articles, etc. Deals with the study of the message itself Measures the extent of emphasis or omission


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