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Research Problem Definition

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Presentation on theme: "Research Problem Definition"— Presentation transcript:

1 Research Problem Definition
Assistant Professor Dr. Chanin Yoopetch

2 Problem discovery Selection of exploratory research technique
and Definition Sampling Selection of exploratory research technique Probability Nonprobability Secondary (historical) data Experience survey Pilot study Case study Collection of data (fieldwork) Data Gathering Data Processing and Analysis Editing and coding data Problem definition (statement of research objectives) Data processing Selection of basic research method Research Design Conclusions and Report Interpretation of findings Experiment Survey Observation Secondary Data Study Report Laboratory Field Interview Questionnaire

3 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 Defining Problem Results in Clear Cut Research Objectives
Symptom Detection Analysis of the Situation Exploratory Research (Optional) Problem Definition Statement of Research Objectives

8 The Process of Problem Definition
Ascertain the decision maker’s objectives Determine unit of analysis Understand background of the problem Determine relevant variables Isolate/identify the problem, not the symptoms State research questions and objectives

9 Ascertain the Decision Maker’s 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 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 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 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 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 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

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 Broad research objectives Statement of business problem
Exploratory research (optional) Specific Objective 1 Specific Objective 2 Specific Objective 3 Research Design Results

22 The Process of Problem Definition
Ascertain the decision maker’s objectives Determine unit of analysis Understand background of the problem Determine relevant variables Isolate/identify the problem, not the symptoms 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 A Ladder Of Abstraction For Concepts
Vegetation Fruit Increasingly more abstract Banana Reality

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 Increasingly more abstract Concepts Observation of objects and events (reality )

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

36 A hypothesis is a proposition that is empirically testable
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 The Scientific Method: An Overview
Assess relevant existing knowledge Formulate concepts & Propositions Statement of Hypotheses Design research Acquire empirical data Analyze & evaluate data Provide explanation- state new problem

41 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 What Can Be Observed Phenomena Example
Human behavior or physical Shoppers movement action pattern in a store Verbal behavior Statements made by airline travelers who wait in line Expressive behavior Facial expressions, tone of voice, and other form of body language

44 What Can Be Observed Phenomena Example
Spatial relations How close visitors at an and locations art museum stand to paintings Temporal patterns How long fast-food customers wait for their order to be served Physical objects What brand name items are stored in consumers’ pantries Verbal and Pictorial Bar codes on product packages Records

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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