Friday, February 10, 2017

Research Problems and Questions

Nak tulis cadangan penyelidikan bukan boleh main-main. Nak cari permasalahan kajian (research problem) pun mungkin ambil masa beberapa semester (ni kisah sebelum GOT menjadi trend). Bukan senang nak cari masalah.
Kadang-kadang masalah tu ada dalam kepala, tapi punyalah payah nak ditulis. Beza antara permasalahan kajian dan soalan kajian (research questions) pun boleh memeningkan. Itulah antara cabaran kesarjanaan.
Cuba lihat contoh di bawah ni. Jelas atau tidak permasalahannya?
Problem: While several management practices have been cited as important components of safety programs, it is not known how much each of the practices lowers injury rates.
Question: how much does each management practices incrementally contribute to injury reduction?
Problem: With limited resources to help reduce occupational injuries, companies struggle with how to best focus these resources to achieve the greatest reduction in injuries for the optimal cost. Safety culture has been identified as a critical factor that sets the tone for importance of safety within an organization.
Question: Which dimensions of safety culture are strongly related to reduction in occupational injuries.

What would be the background issues for those problems? They could be:
1) high injury rates in construction industry
2) high financial cost associated with occupational injuries
3) new legislation regarding occupational injuries
4) spiraling cost of insurance claims and compensation
5) influx of foreign labour into the job market doing 3D jobs
I hope you can see how these issues covers practical, economical, legal, and even political perspectives. This is quite common if you're addressing a real-world problem. Chapter one of the thesis should consider these broad issues. Why is it important? (1) because the issues can help to contextualise the research problems. in other words, you can establish the significance of your research. i.e bukanlah nak buat research yg bersifat syok sendiri; research yang dok sangkut kat menara gading tanpa berpijak ke bumi. (2) In fact, these real world problems can then be translated into your research questions. Or, it can be used to refine a research problem that you've already identify. If you start the proposal with the RP, the background issues can help you to convince yourself that your RP is important. 

Problems and Questions adapted from:
O'Toole, M. (2002). The relationship between employees' perceptions of safety and organizational culture. Journal of Safety Research, 33(2), 231-243.
Vredenburgh, A. G. (2002). Organizational safety: which management practices are most effective in reducing employee injury rates?. Journal of Safety Research, 33(2), 259-276.

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