Provide a framework for problem statement in the organization's research: an AHP, ISM, and MICMAC approach

Ehsan Farzin Abdehgah, Sayedeh Babooneh Rastgooyan, Cristi Spulbar, Ramona Birau


The aim is to provide a framework for statement organizational research problems. State the problem is the most important reason for the researcher to choose the subject. Although research has been done on the characteristics of expression of research problems, but in organizational research, no framework for expressing the problem has been provided. The method used in this research is grounded theory followed by the ISM-MICMAC approach for modelling. The findings of this study identify the components of problem statement in organizational research and modelling them. Due to the large number of indicators, first nine indicators of higher importance were identified, which had much more weight than other indicators. These indicators were then compared and prioritized again by other experts. Based on the level of importance of these indicators, a model is presented and it is determined what position each of these indicators is in terms of Degree of dependence and Influence rate. The researcher can easily use this information to provide an acceptable problem statement and the editors will have a good assessment tool.

Full Text:



A. Ali and S. Pandya, A four stage framework for the development of a research problem statement in doctoral dissertations, International Journal of Doctoral Studies 16 (2021), 469-485. DOI: 10.28945/4839

A. Ali, F. Kohun, and Y. Levy, Dealing with Social Isolation to Minimize Doctoral Attrition-A Four Stage Framework, International Journal of Doctoral Studies 2 (2007), no. 1, 33-49.

K.G. Aravossis, V.C. Kapsalis, G.L. Kyriakopoulos, and T.G. Xouleis, Development of a holistic assessment framework for industrial organizations, Sustainability 11 (2019), no. 14, 3946.

V. Bamber, C.J. Choudhary, J. Hislop, and J. Lane, Postgraduate taught students and preparedness for Master's level study: Polishing the facets of the Master's diamond, Journal of further and Higher Education 43 (2019), no. 2, 236-250.

K.D. Beeler, Graduate student adjustment to academic life: A four-stage frame-work, NASPA Journal 28 (1991), no. 2, 163-171. DOI: 10.1080/00220973.1991.11072201

K.D. Blum and A.E. Preiss, Strategies to win: Six-steps for creating problem statements in doctoral research, Journal of College Teaching & Learning (TLC) 2 (2005), no. 11. DOI: 10.19030/tlc.v2i11.1883

J.M. Case and G. Light, Emerging research methodologies in engineering education research, Journal of Engineering Education, Wiley Online Library (2011).

K.G. Moons, J.A. de Groot, W. Bouwmeester, et al., Critical appraisal and data extraction for systematic reviews of prediction modelling studies: the CHARMS checklist, PLoS Med 11 2014, no. 10, e1001744.

N.L. Columbaro, E-Mentoring possibilities for online doctoral students: A literature review, Adult Learning 20 (2009), no. 3-4, 9-15. DOI: 10.1177/104515950902000305

J.W. Creswell, Educational Research: Planning, Conducting, and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research (2nd edition), 2005.

E.M. Ellis, The impact of race and gender on graduate school socialization, satisfaction with doctoral study, and commitment to degree completion, Western Journal of Black Studies 25 (2001), no. 1, 30.

T.J. Ellis and Y. Levy, Towards a guide for novice researchers on research methodology: Review and proposed methods, Issues in Informing Science and Information Technology 6 (2009), 323-337. DOI: 10.28945/1062

Q. Faryadi, PhD thesis writing process: A systematic approach-How to write your introduction, Online Submission 9 (2018), 2534-2545. DOI: 10.4236/ce.2018.915192

M.D. Gall, W.R. Borg, and J.P. Gall, Educational research: An introduction (6th ed.), White Plains, NY: Longman, 1996.

R. Gawlik, Preliminary criteria reduction for the application of Analytic Hierarchy Process method, 2008.

R.E. Gildersleeve, N.N. Croom, and P.L. Vasquez, “Am I going crazy?!": A critical race analysis of doctoral education, Equity & Excellence in Education 44 (2011), no. 1, 93-114.

B. Glaser, Emergence v Forcing Basics of Grounded Theory Analysis, Sociology Press, Mill Valley, CA., 1992.

K.D. Goepel, Implementing the Analytic Hierarchy Process as a Standard Method for Multi-Criteria Decision Making In Corporate Enterprises - A New AHP Excel Template with Multiple Inputs, Proceedings of the Int. Symposium on the Analytic Hierarchy Process (2013), 1-10.

P. Hernon and C. Schwartz, What is a problem statement?, Library and Information Science Research 29 (2007), no. 3, 307-309. DOI: 10.1016/j.lisr.2007.06.001

R.L. Jacobs, Developing a dissertation research problem: A guide for doctoral students in human re-source development and adult education, New Horizons in Adult Education and Human Resource Development 25 (2013), no. 3, 103-117. DOI: 10.1002/nha3.20034

F.N. Kerlinger and H.B. Lee, Foundations of behavioral research (4th ed.), Harcourt College Publishers, 2000.

J. Lee, A grounded theory: Integration and internalization in ERP adoption and use [Unpublished PhD Thesis], Lincoln: University of Nebraska, (2001).

S. Leisterer, F. Lautenbach, N. Walter, L. Kronenberg, and A.M. Elbe, Develop-ment of a Salutogenesis Workshop for SPPs to Help Them, Their Athletes, and the Ath-lete's Entourage Better Cope With Uncertainty During the COVID-19 Pandemic, Frontiers in psychology 12 (2021), 1574.

T.C. Liang and S.H. Peng, Using Analytic Hierarchy Process to examine the success factors of autonomous landscape development in rural communities, Sustainability 9 (2017), no. 5, 729.

W.C. McGaghie, G. Bordage, and J.A. Shea, Problem statement, conceptual framework, and research question, Academic medicine 76 (2001), no. 9, 923-924.

C. Metoyer-Duran and P. Hernon, Problem Statements in Research Proposals And Published Research: A Case Study of Researchers' Viewpoints, Library & Information Science Research 16 (1994), no. 2, 105-118. DOI: 10.1016/0740-8188(94)90003-5

M.K. Nasution and I. Aulia, Design of the research problem statement, In Journal of Physics: Conference Series 1235 (2019), no. 1, 012115.

H.J. Nenty, Writing a quantitative research thesis, International Journal of Educational Sciences 1 (2009), no. 1, 19-32.

V. Nimehchisalem, Z. Tarvirdizadeh, and S. SayedPaidary, Rhetorical Moves in Problem Statement Section of Iranian EFL Postgraduate Students' Theses, Advances in Language and Literary Studies 7 (2016), no. 4, 173-180.

R.W. Saaty, The analytic hierarchy process-what it is and how it is used, Mathematical modelling 9 (1987), no. 3-5, 161-176.

T.L. Saaty, The analytic process: planning, priority setting, resources allocation, McGraw, New York, 1980.

T.L. Saaty, Rank, Normalization and Idealization in the Analytic Hierarchy Process, ISAHP, Bali, 2003.

H. Sharma, N. Sohani, and A. Yadav, Structural modeling of lean supply chain enablers: a hybrid AHP and ISM-MICMAC based approach, J. of Engineering, Design and Technology (2021).

L.M. Stadtlander, A. Sickel, and D. Salter, Online doctoral student research and writing self-efficacy in a publishing internship, Higher Learning Research Communications 10 (2020), no. 1, 4. DOI: 10.18870/hlrc.v10i1.1170

M.C. Stansbury, Problem statements in seven LIS journals: An application of the Hernon/Metoyer-Duran attributes, Library and Information Science Research 24 (2002), no. 2, 157-168. DOI: 10.1016/S0740-8188(02)00110-X

A. Strauss and J. Corbin, Basics of qualitative research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques, Sage publications, 1990.

Y. Williams, Cause and effect relationship: Definition & examples, 2020.