The problem the heart of the research process
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The Problem: The Heart of the Research Process. Week 2 Lecture 2. Agenda. General research process Finding research projects Dividing the research problem into sub-problems Further delineation of problem. Refresh your mind.

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Agenda l.jpg
Agenda

  • General research process

  • Finding research projects

  • Dividing the research problem into sub-problems

  • Further delineation of problem

ISYS3015 Analytical Methods for IS Professionals

School of IT, The University of Sydney


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Refresh your mind

  • What is the scale of measurement that is most appropriate for each of the following variables?

    • Highest degree obtained (bachelor, master, doctorate)

    • Annual income (in dollars per year)

    • Average score in class test

    • Political philosophy

ISYS3015 Analytical Methods for IS Professionals

School of IT, The University of Sydney


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Refresh your mind (cont)

  • What makes scientific approach different from common sense approach?

ISYS3015 Analytical Methods for IS Professionals

School of IT, The University of Sydney


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The Stages of Research

  • Seven stages of research

    • Choice of research topic

    • Defining research problem

    • Research design

    • Sampling

    • Data collection

    • Data Analysis

    • Writing the report

ISYS3015 Analytical Methods for IS Professionals

School of IT, The University of Sydney


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Research topic and problem

  • Research topic

    • A general area of study or issue

  • Research problem

    • The more specific question

      The formulation of a problem is often more essential than its solution which maybe merely a matter of skills

      – Albert Einstein

  • Important questions about research problem

    • Does it really interest me?

    • Can it be answered with scientific inquiry?

    • Do I have the resources?

    • Are there irresolvable ethical problems?

    • Is it theoretically or practically important?

ISYS3015 Analytical Methods for IS Professionals

School of IT, The University of Sydney


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Research Design

  • The overall plan for conducting the research

    • What kind of design is appropriate for the problem which is being researched?

    • What variables are to be measured

    • What hypotheses are to be tested

  • Types of research design

    • Experimental

    • Quasi-experimental

    • Non-experimental

ISYS3015 Analytical Methods for IS Professionals

School of IT, The University of Sydney


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Sampling

  • What’s sampling?

    • the process of selecting units from a population of interest so that by studying the sample we may fairly generalize our results back to the population from which they were chosen.

  • Why take samples?

    • Saving time and money

  • Sampling procedures:

    • Probability and nonprobability

ISYS3015 Analytical Methods for IS Professionals

School of IT, The University of Sydney


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Data Collection and Analyses

  • Data collection

    • Gathering data by the procedures developed in design and sampling phase

  • Data Analyses

    • Data preparation:

      • Cleaning and organizing the data for analysis

    • Descriptive statistics

      • describe the basic features of the data

    • inferential statistics

      • Testing Hypotheses and Models

ISYS3015 Analytical Methods for IS Professionals

School of IT, The University of Sydney


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Writing the report

  • General orientation

    • Audience

    • Style and tone

    • Avoiding plagiarism

  • Organization

    • Introduction, literature review, hypotheses, research design, data collection procedures, findings, discussion, conclusion

ISYS3015 Analytical Methods for IS Professionals

School of IT, The University of Sydney


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Mini workshop

  • Identify the true research problem(s) among the following problems?

    • The problem of this research is to learn more about the web services.

    • This research project will compare the increase in the number of Internet host running Linux over the last 3 years with the number of Internet host running Windows.

    • This research project will investigate if IQs of parents are closely related with IQs of their children.

    • The problem we try to answer in this study is whether or not companies are ready for mobile commerce?

    • This research project will try to identify the key factors affecting the adoption of mobile devices.

ISYS3015 Analytical Methods for IS Professionals

School of IT, The University of Sydney


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Finding research projects

  • What are not suitable projects?

    • Research projects should not be a ruse for achieving self-enlightenment

    • A problem whose sole purpose is to compare two sets of data is not a suitable research problem

    • Calculating a coefficient of correlation between two sets of data to show a relationship between them is not acceptable as a problem for research

    • Problems that result in a yes or no answer are not suitable problems for research.

ISYS3015 Analytical Methods for IS Professionals

School of IT, The University of Sydney


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Finding research projects

  • How do I find a research problem

    • Experience

    • Theory

    • Attend professional conferences

    • Seek the advice of experts

    • Review of the literature

      • Possible source

        • CACM (Communications of the ACM), Computer (IEEE)

        • Latest IT news: www.idg.net

        • The science and/or technology sections in major newspapers (www.nytimes.com)

ISYS3015 Analytical Methods for IS Professionals

School of IT, The University of Sydney


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Finding research projects

  • Review of the literature

    • Your research project might

      • Address the suggestions for future research that another researcher has offered

      • Replicate a research project in a different setting or with a different population

      • Apply an existing perspective or explanation to a new situation

      • Explore unexpected or contradictory findings in previous studies

      • Challenge research findings that fly in the face of what you know or believe to be true.

ISYS3015 Analytical Methods for IS Professionals

School of IT, The University of Sydney


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Stating the problem

  • Guidelines

    • State the problem clearly and completely.

      • A bad problem statement: Adoption of handheld devices

      • A revised one: What are the key factors that will affect the individuals use and adopt handheld mobile devices.

    • Think through the feasibility of the project that the problem implies.

      • This research propose to study the IT executives on their perceptions and plans for wireless in the Australia enterprise.

    • Say precisely what you mean

    • Edit your work

ISYS3015 Analytical Methods for IS Professionals

School of IT, The University of Sydney


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Dividing the problem into subproblems

  • Subproblems vs. pseudo-subproblems

    • Pseudo-subproblems

      • What’s the best way to choose a sample.

      • What statistical procedures should be used to analyze the data

  • Characteristics of subproblems

    • Each subproblem should be a completely researchable unit

    • Each subproblem must be clearly tied to the interpretation of the data

    • The subproblems must add up to the totality of the problem

    • Subproblem should be small in number

ISYS3015 Analytical Methods for IS Professionals

School of IT, The University of Sydney


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Sample problem statement

The main goal of this research is to expand our understanding of how hypertext links may influence the trust transfer process in three ways.

First, we question whether trust transfer is a one-way process….

Second, we examine the Importance of link direction, assessing links both form a trusted to an unknown organization.

Third, we investigate two different kinds of links that are commonly used on the web, advertising links and links to partner organizations.

-- Katherine J. Stewart and YaliZhang, “Effects of Hypertext links on trust transfer”, ICEC 2003, PIttsBurgh, PA

ISYS3015 Analytical Methods for IS Professionals

School of IT, The University of Sydney


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Further Delineation of problem

  • Stating the hypotheses and/or research questions

    • One-to-one correspondence between the subproblems and their corresponding hypotheses or questions

  • Delimiting the research

    • Know precisely what we are not going to do

  • Defining the terms

    • Provide operational definition for important terms

  • Stating the assumptions

    • What you take for granted

ISYS3015 Analytical Methods for IS Professionals

School of IT, The University of Sydney


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Summary

  • 7 key steps of research process

  • What is and is not a suitable research problem

  • Where to find research problems

  • How to state the problem clearly

  • It is a generally experience to divide a main problem into several subproblems

  • Problems need further delineation

ISYS3015 Analytical Methods for IS Professionals

School of IT, The University of Sydney


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