Research Aim, Research Objective, Research Question and Investigative Question
In this article I’ll briefly explain the difference between research aim, research objective, research question and investigative questions.
Generally speaking in the context of a business study or a social scientific study, the aim of the study sometimes referred to as the purpose of the study is to contribute to a certain real world issue or to solve a real world problem.
The Objective of the Study is to figure something out through research. So, to understand something, to identify something, to measure something, or to reveal or explain some kind of correlation or causal relationship, so on so forth.
The Objective of the Study is often transformed into, or is represented by a central research question, sometimes also called a central research problem. This research question or research problem is essentially the central question that a study is going to research about.
Often a number of sub questions are logically derived from the central research question. And these sub questions are generally referred to as Investigative Questions.
Let’s take a look at a simple example.
say in my daily work, I have discovered a problem that I think is worthy of research. I’ve noticed that many employees in my company act grumpy and seem really dissatisfied. Yes, I know this is a cliché example. But let’s just go with it. Suppose I want to research about this.
So I designed a study that’s put into very simple terms;
The aim or the purpose,The objective,The research question andThe investigative questions.
So, the aim of the study or the purpose of this study is to facilitate higher employee satisfaction amongst staff in this company. To achieve this aim, the objective of the study is to identify main factors currently dissatisfying employees in this company.
The research question, therefore, is what are the main factors perceived by employees to be the most dissatisfying and some sample investigative questions may be;
How satisfied are employees in this company with workload?How do employees perceive promotion and growth opportunities in this firm?How do employees think about their coworkers?How satisfied are employees with management? so on and so forth.
As you can see, the practical issue that was observed in the company, the aim of the study, the research objective, the research question, and the investigative questions are all logically related, but they serve different purposes.
And finally, let me note that there can be some differences in the terminologies used which represent these different constructs.
I’ve noticed that some students may be a little bit confused about this. For example, in some faculty, they use different terms instead of research question, they say problem statement, which is a little bit confusing, because they do ask their students to formulate a question as their problem statement to represent the central question for investigation.
Furthermore, instead of investigative questions, we say research questions to reflect the sub questions which are logically derived from the central question. So I just wanted to mention this for those of you who might be a little bit uncertain about the differences in the terminologies used in research textbooks, and in practice by different colleges and universities. Alright, hope this is useful, and thanks for reading.
- 1.Your Full name
- 2. Your Active Email Address
- 3. Your Phone Number
- 4. Amount Paid
- 5. Project Topic
- 6. Location you made payment from