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The Problem Statement Alignment 02042015

By mrsitt29907 Mar 18, 2015 1527 Words
The Problem Statement
Aligning the Problem, Purpose,
Research Question(s), Hypotheses,
Population, and Methodology
Dr. Gene Fusch

Problem Statement
• The Problem Statement needs to be succinctly
written with a maximum of 150 words and has 4elements:
Hook (with
citation
from the
literature *)

Anchor
(with
citation
from the
literature *)

General
business
problem

Specific
business
problem to
be studied
2

All Four Components of the Problem
Statement Must Flow and Align
 Hook (with citation from the literature)
WOW!
 Anchor (with citation from the
literature)
 General business problem
 Specific business problem to be
studied
3

The Focus – The Specific Business Problem
Tell the reader that
this is the specific
business problem

Identify what the
leader has limited
supply of or is
lacking

The specific
business problem is
that some
department store
managers lack
strategies to
motivate their sales
associates

Identify that the
leader has limited
supply of or is
lacking

Add the condition
some before the
leader or often
after the leader

Identify the
specific business
leader

4

Conceptualizing the Big Picture
 Avoid writing in silos
 Ensure alignment
– Specific Business Problem
– Research Question
– Purpose Statement (first sentence)
• Note: The purpose of every study is to answer the
research question

5

Alignment
 Make certain that your problem
statement (specific business
problem), purpose statement,
and research question align
 To enhance the alignment put
the specific business problem,
research question, and first
sentence of the purpose
statement together on a blank
document to ensure that you are
using the same words
6

Research Question Alignment (Qual. 1)
 The specific business problem is that some department
store managers (or often in place of some) lack
strategies to motivate their sales associates
 Research Question: What
strategies do department store
managers lack to motivate their
sales associates?
 Research Question: What
strategies do department store
managers use to motivate their
sales associates?
Using a positive statement (glass half full) may help
gain access to participants
7

Aligning the Purpose Statement to the Problem
Statement and Research Question (Qual. 1)
Specific
Business
Problem

• The specific business problem is that some
department store managers lack strategies to
motivate their sales associates

Research
Question

• What strategies do department store managers
use to motivate their sales associates?

Purpose
(first sentence)

• The purpose of this (method design) study will be
to explore the strategies that department store
managers use to motivate their sales associates.

8

Research Question Alignment (Qual. 2)
 The specific business problem is that some
manufacturing frontline supervisors (or often in place of
some) lack conflict resolution skills.
 Research Question: What
conflict resolution skills do
manufacturing frontline
supervisors lack?
 Research Question: What
conflict resolution skills do
manufacturing frontline
supervisors use?
Using a positive statement (glass half full) may help
gain access to participants
9

Aligning the Purpose Statement to the Problem
Statement and Research Question (Qual. 2)
Specific
Business
Problem

• The specific business problem is that
manufacturing frontline supervisors often lack
conflict resolution skills.

Research
Question

• What conflict resolution skills do manufacturing
frontline supervisors use?

Purpose
(first sentence)

• The purpose of this qualitative multi-case study
will be to explore the conflict resolution skills that
manufacturing frontline supervisors use.

10

Qualitative Problem Statement Example (3)
Hook: Small businesses fail at high rates (peer reviewed
citation)
Anchor: Sixty percent (find current percentage statistic) of small business owners fail to succeed in business beyond 5years (SBA, 2014) General business problem: The general business problem is
that people embark on small business initiatives without
adequate preparation
Specific business problem: The specific business problem is
that small retail business owners often lack the skills to
succeed in business beyond 5 years

11

Alignment for a Qualitative Study
Specific Business Problem
 The specific business problem is that small retail
business owners often lack the skills to succeed in
business beyond 5 years.
Research Question
 What skills do small retail business owners use to
succeed in business beyond 5 years?
Purpose Statement (first sentence)
 The purpose of this qualitative explorative case study
is to determine what skills small retail business
owners use to succeed in business beyond 5 years.
12

Alignment for a Quantitative Study
Specific Business Problem
 The specific business problem is that some construction
managers have limited information about the relationship
between motivation, employee satisfaction, and workplace
performance.
Research Question
 What information do construction managers need about the relationship between motivation, employee satisfaction, and
workplace performance?
Purpose Statement (first sentence)
 The purpose of this quantitative correlational study is to examine the information that construction managers need
about the relationship between motivation, employee
satisfaction, and workplace performance.
13

?

Research Questions for a Quantitative Study
Research Question
 What information do construction managers need about the relationship between motivation, employee satisfaction, and
workplace performance?
Research Sub-Questions
RQ-1 What is the relationship between motivation and
employee satisfaction?
RQ-2 What is the relationship between motivation and
workplace performance?
RQ-3 What is the relationship between employee satisfaction
and workplace performance?
14

Hypotheses
 For each research sub-question there needs to
be a hypotheses set that matches (almost a
repeat of the question in a statement form)
 Note: qualitative studies do not have
hypotheses
 RQ1 aligns with H1ₒ & H1ₐ
 RQ2 aligns with H2ₒ & H2ₐ
 RQ3 aligns with H3ₒ & H3ₐ
15

Aligning Research Questions to Hypotheses
Research Sub-Questions
RQ-1 What is the relationship
between motivation and
employee satisfaction?

Hypotheses

RQ-2 What is the relationship
between motivation and
workplace performance?

H2ₒ There is no relationship between motivation and
workplace performance.

RQ-3 What is the relationship
between employee
satisfaction and workplace
performance?

H3ₒ There is no relationship between employee
satisfaction and workplace performance.

H1ₒ There is no relationship between motivation and
employee satisfaction.
H1ₐ There is a relationship between motivation and
employee satisfaction.

H2ₐ There is a relationship between motivation and
workplace performance.

H3ₐ There is a relationship between employee
satisfaction and workplace performance.

16

Although the Research Sub-Questions & Hypotheses Align,
they are in different sections in the DBA Template
Research Sub-Questions
RQ-1 What is the relationship between motivation and employee satisfaction? RQ-2 What is the relationship between motivation and workplace performance? RQ-3 What is the relationship between employee satisfaction and workplace performance?

Hypotheses
H1ₒ There is no relationship between motivation and employee satisfaction. H1ₐ There is a relationship between motivation and employee satisfaction. H2ₒ There is no relationship between motivation and workplace performance. H2ₐ There is a relationship between motivation and workplace performance. H3ₒ There is no relationship between employee satisfaction and workplace performance.

H3ₐ There is a relationship between employee satisfaction and workplace performance.
17

Aligning the Population to the Research Question
Research Question
What strategies do department store managers
use to motivate their sales associates?

Population

What conflict resolution skills do manufacturing
frontline supervisors use?

Manufacturing frontline supervisors that
have conflict resolution skills

Department store managers that have
strategies to motivate their sales
associates

What skills do small retail business owners use to Small retail business owners that have succeeded in business beyond five years
succeed in business beyond 5 years?
• Construction managers that have
What information do construction managers
employee motivation techniques
need about the relationship between motivation,
• Employees to measure satisfaction
employee satisfaction, and workplace
from management motivation
performance?
Performance reports


18

Qualitative Alignment Between the Research
Question and Interview Questions
• Make certain that the interview questions align with the research question
• Make certain that the interview questions align with the correct population (the business leader)
• Make certain that the interview questions address an applied DBA business problem and not a theoretical PhD business
problem.

19

Writing Qualitative Interview Questions
Research Question: What strategies do department store
managers use to motivate their sales associates?
• Applied DBA Questions
 What strategies have you used to motivate your sales associates?  What method did you find worked best to motivate your sales associates?
 How did your sales associates respond to your different motivation techniques?

• Speculative/theoretical PhD Questions
 What strategies should managers use to motivate sales associates?  What method do you think will work best to motivate sales associates?  What can other department store managers use to motivate sales associates?

20

Qualitative Alignment Between the Research
Question and Conceptual Framework
Make certain that the theory aligns with the research question • Finding a theory for the conceptual framework:
– Critically read peer reviewed studies related to your topic and identify the theories that the sources found aligned with their studies. – Critically read the seminal work on the theories that you found in peer reviewed studies related to your topic.

• Related studies may be about the concept and not the specific industry. • For example, if one is studying how the family owned wrecking yard leaders succession plan, one could look at studies on leadership training and development in other types of organizations.

– Select the theory or conceptual model that best aligns with the research question.

21

Selecting the Research Method & Design
Determine the most effective method and design to answer the research question and collect the data from the population
 Method
 The research question determines the research methodology.  For a research question that needs exploration, description, or understanding use a qualitative methodology.
 For a research question that needs an experiment, cause and effect, or correlation between variables use a quantitative methodology.

 Design

22

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