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solved assignments of mb0050 Q1. How is a research problem formulated?

Answer: Formulating the Problem
The selection of one appropriate researchable problem out of the identified problems requires evaluation of those alternatives against certain criteria, which may be grouped into:

Internal Criteria
Internal Criteria consists of:
1) Researcher’s interest: The problem should interest the researcher and be a challenge to him. Without interest and curiosity, he may not develop sustained perseverance. Even a small difficulty may become an excuse for discontinuing the study. Interest in a problem depends upon the researcher’s educational background, experience, outlook and sensitivity.

2) Researcher’s competence: A mere interest in a problem will not do. The researcher must be competent to plan and carry out a study of the problem. He must have the ability to grasp and deal with int. he must possess adequate knowledge of the subject-matter, relevant methodology and statistical procedures.

3) Researcher’s own resource: In the case of a research to be done by a researcher on his won, consideration of his own financial resource is pertinent. If it is beyond his means, he will not be able to complete the work, unless he gets some external financial support. Time resource is more important than finance. Research is a time-consuming process; hence it should be properly utilized.

External Criteria
1) Research-ability of the problem: The problem should be researchable, i.e., amendable for finding answers to the questions involved in it through scientific method. To be researchable a question must be one for which observation or other data collection in the real world can provide the answer.

2) Importance and urgency: Problems requiring investigation are unlimited, but available research efforts are very much limited. Therefore, in selecting problems for research, their relative importance and significance should be considered. An important and urgent problem should be given priority over an unimportant one.

3) Novelty of the problem: The problem must have novelty. There is no use of wasting one’s time and energy on a problem already studied thoroughly by others. This does not mean that replication is always needless. In social sciences in some cases, it is appropriate to replicate (repeat) a study in order to verify the validity of its findings to a different situation.

4) Feasibility: A problem may be a new one and also important, but if research on it is not feasible, it cannot be selected. Hence feasibility is a very important consideration.

5) Facilities: Research requires certain facilities such as well-equipped library facility, suitable and competent guidance, data analysis facility, etc. Hence the availability of the facilities relevant to the problem must be considered.

6) Usefulness and social relevance: Above all, the study of the problem should make significant contribution to the concerned body of knowledge or to the solution of some significant practical problem. It should be socially relevant. This consideration is particularly important in the case of higher level academic research and sponsored research.

7) Research personnel: Research undertaken by professors and by research organizations require the services of investigators and research officers. But in India and other developing countries, research has not yet become a prospective profession. Hence talent persons are not attracted to research projects.

Each identified problem must be evaluated in terms of the above internal and external criteria and the most appropriate one may be selected by a research scholar.


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