What is meant by research problem? And what are the characteristics of a goodresearch problem?
Research really begins when the researcher experiences some difficulty, i.e., a problemdemanding a solution within the subject-are of his discipline. This general area of interest,however, defines only the range of subject-matter within which the researcher would see and pose a specific problem for research. Personal values play an important role in the selection of a topic for research. Social conditions do often shape the preference of investigators in asubtle and imperceptible way.The formulation of the topic into a research problem is, really speaking the first step in ascientific enquiry. A problem in simple words is some difficulty experienced by theresearcher in a theoretical or practical situation. Solving this difficulty is the task of research.R.L. Ackoffs analysis affords considerable guidance in identifying problem for research. Hevisualizes five components of a problem.1.
Research-consumer: There must be an individual or a group which experiences somedifficulty.2.
Research-consumer¶s Objectives: The research-consumer must have available,alternative means for achieving the objectives he desires.3.
Alternative Means to Meet the Objectives: The research-consumer must haveavailable, alternative means for achieving the objectives he desires.4.
Doubt in Regard to Selection of Alternatives: The existence of alternative courses of action in not enough; in order to experience a problem, the research consumer musthave some doubt as to which alternative to select.5.
There must be One or More Environments to which the Difficulty or ProblemPertains: A change in environment may produce or remove a problem. A research-consumer may have doubts as to which will be the most efficient means in oneenvironment but would have no such doubt in another.Horton and Hunt have given following characteristics of scientific research:1.
That is factual observations which other observers can see andcheck.2.
That is describing what really exists. It means truth or correctness of astatement or describing things exactly as they are and avoiding jumping tounwarranted conclusions either by exaggeration or fantasizing.3.
That is making it as exact as necessary, or giving exact number or measurement. This avoids colourful literature and vague meanings.4.
That is attempting to find all the relevant data, or collecting data in asystematic and organized way so that the conclusions drawn are reliable. Data basedon casual recollections are generally incomplete and give unreliable judgments andconclusions.