Before any actual research begins, researchers must prepare a research problem statement. What is a research problem statement, what is its purpose, including the relevance does it bring to executing the research plan? The article below contains different sections containing information about a research problem statement. The paragraphs discuss the definition, composition, and construction of research problem statements. It also answers frequently asked questions regarding the document for more relevant information. Continue reading through the article to know more about research problem statements.

What Is a Research Problem Statement?

A research problem statement is a concise description of a given problem, along with the issues that the study aims to answer. It seeks to identify the current state of a subject and its future condition, including the gaps between the timeframe. The research problem statement is a significant communication plan that guarantees the research participants working on the case study It is the right track to identifying the subject and addressing its importance. Different businesses and organizations benefit from writing research problem statements because it is a crucial step to fulfilling improvement projects. A precise and well-understood issue is significant to discovering and executing effective resolutions. Most research problem statements in the business setting are stand-alone documents that require submission to management or departments for approval.

According to an article from the Harvard Business Review magazine published in September 2012 entitled ‘Are You Solving The Right Problem?’, an agency that helps over a hundred corporations with the help of over 250,000 problem solvers managers over more than 2,000 problems in the past ten years with incredible results. Success rates of accomplishing various industry problems continue to increase from 34% during 2006 to 57% in 2011. Many businesses rely on comprehensive research problem statements to have an understanding of the issue to provide effective solutions.

Types of Research Problems

When writing research problems, it is critical to pinpoint the issue that an organization wants to address. There are many ways to address a research subject or idea according to the composition of the problem statement. Different types of research problems seek to answer various questions about a topic. The section below mentions the conceptualization of a research problem in the area of social sciences.

Casuistic research problem: It is also known as the casuist research problem. This type of research problem aims to determine between right and wrong questions relating to specific conduct and conscience. The casuistic research problem seeks to analyze moral predicaments by applying general rules to situations and a meticulous distinction between unique cases of a given topic.Difference research problem: Sometimes referred to as differential research problem. This type of research problem allows the researcher to distinguish differences by comparing and contrasting one phenomenon from another. Researchers use differential research problems when handling studies about behavioral sciences and clinical social sciences. An example of a differential research problem asks the difference between two or more groups of medication.Descriptive research problem: Descriptive research problems answer ‘what is…’ questions to describe and explain a particular situation, state, or presence of events. It wants to classify the existence of that specific phenomenon within populations. When aiming for descriptive research problems, utilize field surveys report, individual survey questionnaires, or opinion polls to gather data because it represents systematic observations of social issues. This type of research utilizes two different data collection processes: cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. The data available for cross-sectional studies involve information from a certain point in time. On the other hand, longitudinal studies focus on a similar sample group for repeated periods through a continual and repetitive timeline.Relational research problem: A relational research problem seek to identify a particular relationship between two or more variable through investigation report. The purpose of using relational research problems is to investigate distinct qualities, properties, or characteristics possessing possible connections. Data collection methods include focus groups, individual surveys, or case studies.

Components of a Research Problem Statement

After figuring out the type of research problem to use, you must know the essential elements that make your statement relevant to perform a study. It is critical for a research problem statement to contain these elements as it makes the research problem identifiable and relatable to audiences. Below are the essential components that researchers must include in their research problem statements.

Research consumer: Research consumers refer to a group or various groups of individuals that are having difficulty with facing a particular problem. The current researchers conducting the study can be part of the research consumers. All other individuals or groups facing similar situations that are not part of the researcher group are under research consumers. Objective of research-consumer: Before conducting any sort of research study, a research consumer must face a problem or face an issue that requires a valid answer. If there is no problem or subject for research investigation report, there is no justifiable need to conduct a research study.Alternative means of investigation: When conducting research studies, it is advisable to have an alternative plan when managing the market research problem. Researchers must equip themselves with two or more action plans to satisfy the research objective. Guarantee that all necessary equipment or objects are available for completing the research problem. If there are no other means of addressing the purpose, there is no research problem.Doubts in selecting possible alternatives: Having alternative plans is just one of many factors to achieve the research problem. Choosing one means over another wherein the researcher has trouble choosing corresponds to which action plan is better. The selection process means that the research becomes more reliable.Multiple environments for research: A research problem must prevail in more than one location. Significant shifts in specific circumstances can lead to the production or reduction of the problem. Researchers can be doubtful about bringing a plan of action into one environment but firm in getting significant results from another.

How To Formulate a Research Problem Statement

Creating a research problem statement for a study allows the researchers to develop a clear purpose for the investigation, supporting the objective of the research consumer. The focus of the research is to supply reliable and accurate information to address the problem. A research problem statement enables researchers to have an effective tool to always remain on track with achieving a plausible solution and evaluation. This section of the article provides you with five steps that will help you formulate a research problem statement with ease.

  • Step 1: Specify the Research Objectives

    Having a clear statement of the objectives with corresponding definitions helps to execute and develop effective, factual, and significant research. Researchers must follow a SMART Goal-Setting process to achieve success when developing research objectives. Setting up several goals gives the right amount of leverage to keep the study relevant over time. Writing the research objectives also enable professors or advisers in evaluating the research questions in need of solutions, including the possible methods that the researchers utilize to achieve them.

  • Step 2: Review the Context of the Research Problem

    Researchers need to conduct practical experiments that involve all environmental variables to ensure that the marketing project plan becomes a success. Reviewing the context of the research problem is essential because it helps the researchers to define the crucial findings of the study with accompanying information of its validity for consideration. The researchers must determine the environmental conditions that influence the research and formulate effective and necessary processes that manage and control them.

  • Step 3: Explore the Nature of the Research Problem

    Research problems vary from simple to complex, depending on the available variables and their relationship with one another. Some component proves relevant to answer specific Research Questions, while others remain irrelevant throughout the timeline of the research study. It is critical to understand the nature of the research problem as it enables the researchers to formulate effective and justifiable solutions. A researcher must consider forming focus groups and other means of data collection and Data Analysis to collect meaningful and factual information to a research question.

  • Step 4: Determine the Variable Relationships

    When it comes to conducting research studies about behavioral, scientific, and social sciences, including other relevant studies centers on developing repetitive and Consecutive Behaviors over time. To determine the project or research validity, a researcher must identify the necessary variables that bring probable solutions to the problem, decide on the extent of control measures for the study, determine functional connections between current variables, and select the most viable variable to produce a valuable solution to the research problem. Consider generating as many potential actions and relationships as possible.

  • Step 5: Consequences of alternative approaches

    Having various approaches means that there are different outcomes. For each course of action a researcher takes, they must anticipate the consequences that follow. The primary goal of the research process is to communicate all the necessary findings to the readers, including the possible effects or developments of experiments, whether they be positive or negative.


What are the three parts of a problem statement?

Problem statements essentially contain three elements. The first element is the problem itself, with accompanying contextual information that establishes its importance. The second element is the research method. The research method aims to present a possible solution to the problem through a statement claim or an ongoing research study plan. The last element of a problem statement contains the purpose of the study, a statement of objectives, and the scope of the study that the researcher is preparing.

What is the importance of a problem statement?

Problem statements are crucial in the decision-making process when developing improvement projects for businesses and organizations. Problem statements also identify the problem and provide rational explanations in a sample brief yet detailed manner that gives audiences comprehensive information. It also clarifies the possible outcomes of solving these problems.

What makes a good problem statement?

An effective problem statement must state an undesirable gap between present and future states relating to the level of performance. The problem statement must indicate absolute and relative measures to solve the problem and quantify the gap analysis. On the other hand, the problem statement must not include any possible causes or solutions and must distinguish the time and place when the problem arises and the trend it follows.

Businesses take the time to expand their knowledge about various subjects and topics to help grow their respective organizations. However, there are also instances that industries conduct large-scale research studies to target problems that arise. As such, industry researchers and experts formulate a research problem statement that provides a concise yet detailed description of the problem. Research problem statements must indicate solutions to address the problem by formulating different methods to reach a viable solution. Download your research problem statement samples in PDF format by browsing through the available files in the article. Start your journey to solve current problems for your business today!