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By: Dr. Lakshman Mahadevan (Faculty of Rajagiri Center for Business Studies)
Where is my Problem (research)?
Often, as researchers, we are faced with the problem, what can be my research problem?! What is the next thing out there that can be looked at? At times, there is a sense of gloom and doom? Seems like all ideas are taken and nothing much for us to add. So how do we solve this problem?
Well, there are some conventional/well known techniques that can hel us think about finding problems.
Future research sections of most journal articles give an idea of next ste s for research in that area.
Journals invite a ers in articular domains and sometimes they might match your research interest. So do Governmental agencies and there is good money involved. Don't miss out on that!
Major henomena around us can take a toll and actually trigger us to think about a roblem.
Water cooler/tea time discussions could lead to a roblem needing solutions. Try some inter-de artmental roblem solving.
Talk to senior rofessors about some nebulous roblems. Some of them are masters in creating a mountain of a mole hill roblem you have! Word of advice, don.t go to the senior rofessor asking for a roblem to solve! Please sketch the boundary walls. What do you think, they run problem banks.
Some exotic locations for finding roblems to study
Sometimes, literature shows conflicting results about variable relationships in different context. Well, time is rise to add our context to the cauldron! No study can stand by itself, must be replicated for confidence in the results
Some roblems could be malleable to a lications of different methodologies than what is suggested by the original article.
Attend industry interactions. The honchos could reveal their issues that could be a study roblem for you. After all, research should back u industry. At a recent conference, one com any owner o enly asked the question,How to take my com any from 50 million to 200 million in the next 5 years. Did you give your visiting card to the owner during snack time?
Summary is that as a researcher, there is a roblem around you waiting for you to find it. There are problems everywhere!
In my first year at PhD, the seminar required us to publish a conference at the end of the course. It took me 4 tries to my advisor's office to convince him about my study problem. The first time, he found a problem with the title!, next visit, he saw no roblem. The third visit, same response.. Well, by the 4th trip, I couldn't make the trip to his office since the alternator in my car had given u . I called him u from the mechanic's office, with many apologies on not being able to meet him face to face. There was a long silence, and finally he was reading my abstract, he gave me the green signal! I learned something about creating/finding a roblem by these 4 visits!
I think researchers are the only folks who are searching for a problem! We need to get a life, seriously!