Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the Nankai University's online course, Research Methods in Tourism Studies. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 25 seconds We have learned types of research topics and research questions. Next let’s move on to the part 4,

Skip to 0 minutes and 32 seconds problem conversion: how to turn general problems into the research topics.

Skip to 0 minutes and 42 seconds In this session we will mainly cover four aspects: statement of research questions; making a question specific and small; turning questions into research variables and assumptions; turning problems into research designs. Let’s start with statement of the research questions. In order to make a good statement of research question, four aspects should be paid attention in the explanation of the research questions. Firstly, the presentation of the problem should be clear and complete. Second, carefully consider the feasibility of solving the problems contained in the project. Accurately express your own opinion. Lastly, carefully revise research questions and the manuscripts. The second aspect of problem conversion is to make the problem specific and small.

Skip to 1 minute and 46 seconds Decompose and disaggregate the target problems until the concepts involved in the problem can be accurately defined, manipulated, measured, and the relationship between the different concepts can be verified by actual data. For example, if you are interested in the big question of what factors can affect the performance of the company. Indeed, many factors can actually influence the final performance. You can start from various fields, such as finance, accounting, market strategy, enterprise products, and corporate strategy.

Skip to 2 minutes and 32 seconds Turning problems into research variables and assumptions. An important step in turning a general problem into a research question is to identify the variables involved in the problem, and the possible relationships among different variables. For instance, some of you may want to know whether there’s a relationship between the leadership behavior and corporate innovation behavior. According to the literature and theories, the behavior of leaders supporting innovation will affect the innovation behavior of employees and then the innovation ability of enterprises.

Skip to 3 minutes and 16 seconds And then the innovation behavior of the employees will affect the innovative ability of the enterprises. But if we break down such relationship into a research process,

Skip to 3 minutes and 31 seconds indeed, this is a research process of how to break down the aforementioned statements into the research questions.

Skip to 3 minutes and 40 seconds Firstly, the research question is: will the behavior of enterprise leaders affect their innovative behavior?

Skip to 3 minutes and 48 seconds Then we can see three variables: supporting from the leader, employees innovative behavior and innovation ability of the enterprise.

Skip to 4 minutes and 3 seconds This is a process, and such process can be transformed into your research questions.

Skip to 4 minutes and 13 seconds For these three variables, there may be three hypotheses between them. Assumption 1 can be employee’s innovative behavior will directly affect the enterprise innovation ability. For the hypothesis 2, the support of leaders will directly affect employee’s innovative behavior. And the hypothesis 3, employee’s innovative behavior is the mediator between the leadership support and innovation ability of the enterprise. By these three hypotheses, you can see how we link the relationship of different variables.

Skip to 4 minutes and 58 seconds The last one about problem conversion is to turn questions into research designs. In the previous presentation, we have raise questions and assumptions. When we have questions and hypotheses, what we need to do is to conduct and design research to verify the hypotheses and answer the questions. We need to use qualitative methods to study the new topics. We can use experiments to test causality and use questionnaires or other methods to test hypotheses.

Problem conversion

In this video, you will learn how to transform general problems into research topics, research variables and hypotheses, and engage them into your whole research design.

While watching the video, you can take some notes about something you find interesting and share with us.

Can you put forward a question that you are interested in, and then follow the four steps Dr. Liu shared in the video to transform the question into a research topic?

Please feel free to leave a comment in the discussion area.

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Research Methods in Tourism Studies

Nankai University