Problem Formulation

1911 words, 8 pages

Intro Sample...

Problem Formulation
MGMT 8101, Theory Building & Research Design
Notes by Prof. Andy Van de Ven
Plan for Class
• Questions & ideas about problem formulation – chapter 3
• Moves in formulating a problem
• Student examples of research problems (as time permits)
© Andrew H. Van de Ven, Carlson School, U. of Minnesota, MGMT8101 Theory Building & Research Design PhD Seminar, Spring 2007
Questions & Ideas about Problem Formulation
• Problem formulation is the anchor of a research
– It applies to either problem-driven & theory-driven
• Discuss key questions or problems you have about
problem formulation from the readings.
What is a Research Problem?
• Problems vary in clarity:
– A gap between expectations and... View More »

Body Sample...

Selecting the Research Question
• What part of the problem diagnosis merits research attention?
– Good questions pose dilemmas, subvert obvious “truths,” and force
incongruities upon our attention (Bruner)
• Moves in formulating research questions:
– State question analytically by relating/comparing concepts.
– Relate the question to your problem description.
– A research question ends in a question mark, not a period.
– A question should entertain several plausible answers.
• Bring question full circle by considering its consequences:
– Will answer solve a key part of the problem from user’s perspective?
– Will answer substantively improve the situation?
– Will it advance knowledge beyond the status quo answer?
A Theory is an Answer to Research Question
• An explanation of an expected relationship between two or
more concepts within a set of boundary conditions.
• The explanation includes an argument.
Boundary Conditions (Assumptions)
Abstraction Level
Assignment for Next Week
• Yin, "Case Study Research", Sage, 1989.
• Supplemetary readings:
1. Dougherty, "Grounded theory building,” in Baum, 2001
2. Eisenhardt, "Building theory from Case Study Research," AMR, 1989
3. Tsoukas, "The validity of Idiographic Research Explanation," AMR, 1989
4. Barley, "Images of Imaging: Notes on doing longitudinal field work," OS,
Research Problem Statement
• Submit problem formulation statement with evaluation cover sheet.
Mgmt ...

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