Research- Ch 4 (From topic to Research question (OBJ 2: THE RESEARCH…
Research- Ch 4
From topic to Research question
OBJ 1: IDENTIFYING A RESEARCH TOPIC
Personal involvement from direct experience and observation to more distant & global areas of concern.
Different sources of research topic:
Direct experience & observation
If you experience or observe relationship problems you may be inquisitive about how your inner self-talk influences your confidence and success in life.
You may observe that some people seem to have more self-discipline than others.
The way you look at things-
your mode of observation- may determine whether you consider an issue as a potential topic to research.
Society is constituted by social systems created through communication or interaction within which we could source research topics.
Tradition and culture
We rarely question our beliefs. We assume that certain things are true/false based on what we were taught.
Task: Explore and even rediscover both the scope and depth of our knowledge gained through tradition and custom.
Researchers have to
learn to practice open-minded thinking so that they can explore new and interesting thoughts and ideas.
Theories and previous research
Section where the researcher makes suggestions for further research
The different forms of media have a powerful influence on our knowledge base
Increasing difficulty of determining the credibility or sources on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.
Issues such as citizen journalism
Images of women and men in advertising are digitally enhanced.
OBJ 2: THE RESEARCH PROBLEM AS THE GOLDEN THREAD
Research problem- Heart of the research process - since main aim is to find a solution to a problem.
~ We need to tease the problem apart in order to unearth and describe the various layers of researchable aspects of a phenomenon.
~ It becomes the proverbial golden thread that
should flow right through our research proposal and report.
Evident that the same phenomenon may be addressed from different viewpoints.
The research tradition that researchers follow determines what research topics they consider worth studying.
Similarly, the research problems are influenced by the research tradition they follow.
OBJ 5: Identifying problems in the Positivist tradition
DEPENDENT & INDEPENDENT
variables form the basis of research problems & questions.
Identifying problems in the Interpretivist tradition
want to gain an in-depth understanding of a phenomenon and how people make sense of and give meaning to their daily experiences.
Understand why children are drawn to programmes on TV that involve crime or violent behaviour.
Research problem could be: There is a lack of understanding of why children are fascinated by crime and violence on TV.
Identifying problems in the critical realist tradition
scrutinizing the status quo - people may be empowered to think differently about their world.
Feminist research serves as an example of how a research problem can be formulated in the critical tradition.
A typical research problem:
-Mothers with small children are perceived as ineffective employees and are, as a result, not promoted to executive positions in orgs.
OBJ 3: Criteria for formulating a research problem
: Must be researchable and answerable.
: Manageable in terms of time, sample size, methodology and cost.
: The scope and focus of study should not be too broad or narrow.
: Should be of theoretical importance and should contribute to the advancement of knowledge.
: the study should be relevant and should aim to explore, explain or question certain phenomena. Not be trivial or insignificant.
OBJ 7: From research problems to research questions
Research questions are means by which we
narrow down a broad topic to a focussed area that a study could address.
should not imply a desired outcome or assume that a condition /situation exists before the research study has been conducted.
e.g: corporations in SA discriminate against obese employees. Research question is = Why do more people not care about the discrimination against obese employees in corporations.
Typical research questions asked: Mothers with small children example. Research questions:
How are mothers with small children perceived as employees in orgs?
How are mothers perceived in executive positions in orgs?
OBJ 8: Distinguish between and provide examples of empirical and non-empirical research questions
Research questions could indicate what data needs to be collected and how the data could be interpreted. 2 broad categories of research questions.
Refers to what
can be observed and measured.
Interpretive, often involving
aspects and processes that cannot be observed directly.
EMPIRICAL RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- attempt to answer the question: WHAT? (what are the key factors of an effective communicator.)
- Answer the question: HOW MANY (or to determine whether a relationship exists between variables)
- Outcome or success of an endeavour. (Has the use of facebook improved the effectiveness of crisis comm)
- Address the effect of one aspect of a situation on another aspect. (What effect do strikes have on investor confidence.)
- How the history of a situation influenced the current situation. (What caused the pre-eminence of male dominance in dating behaviour?)
NON-EMPIRICAL RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. Meta-analytical questions
Determine the current state of or debates regarding a topic e.g: How is consciousness viewed in research on the system perspective?
2. Conceptual questions
Determine the meaning of constructs: what is metro-sexuality?
3. Theoretical questions
Identify appropriate theories, models, frameworks and explanations. What is the predominant theoretical standpoint regarding reputation management & stakeholder theory?
4. Philosophical / normative questions
Ideal state of being: what would be an ideal relationship?
OBJ 6: The problem statement
Describe it in clear & understandable language .Represent the single goal of the total research effort.
The portrayal of the female body in women's magazines is idealised, unrealistic and unhealthy. Many young women cannot live up to this ideal. This failure may lead to mental and physical health problems, inc bulimia, anorexia nervosa as well as depression and low self-esteem.
Qualitative study could be= To gain an in-depth understanding of the reasons why teenage girls who consume fashion magazines are likely to develop a poor body image.
Comprehensive researchable units that add to the main problem- can be linked to the interpretation of data and are small in number which enhances the understanding of the significance and relevance of the study