Chapter 1 serves to introduce the problem and the purpose of the study. It acquaints the reader with the problem. The following areas of discussion are frequently included as subsections in the introduction chapter.
- Background of the problem
- Statement of the problem
- Purpose of the study or general objective
- Research questions or specific objectives or hypotheses
- Importance or justification or rationale of the study
- Scope and limitations of the study
- Definition of terms
- Chapter summary
Background of the Problem: In this section, the researcher defines the context of the study by providing a brief discussion of key theoretical approaches and findings reported in earlier related studies. Trends related to the problem, unresolved issues and social concerns are discussed. Authoritative sources or citations should be provided in the section.
Statement of the Problem: The problem statement describes the need for the research project in terms of the knowledge gap to be filled. The researcher should present a clear and precise statement that indicates the gap that previous research studies have not addressed. Authoritative sources or citations should be used to support the problem statement.
Purpose of the Study or General Objective: In this section the major research objective is addressed. The purpose statement should emphasize practical outcomes or products of the study. For example, “The purpose of this study was to determine (measure, examine, or evaluate) factor that influence entrepreneurial behavior in family businesses”.
Research Questions or Specific Objectives or Hypotheses: Specific research questions to be answered or specific objectives to be investigated should be stated. Either the research questions
or specific objectives may be stated. However, most often research questions are preferred. The research questions need to be broad enough to allow further breakdown into questionnaire or interview guide items for the data collection. On the average 3-5 research questions are sufficient. The hypothesis should be stated if the study involves experimental designs or statistical tests.
Importance or Justification or Rationale of the Study: In this section the researcher describes the values or the benefits that will accrue from doing the study. The significance of the study is concerned with the relevance of the problem both to the practice and theory. That is, does the study explore an important question, meet a recognized need or make a useful contribution to practice and theory. Much value is placed on doing research, which has primary value for the solution of practical oriented business problems.
Chapter Summary: A synopsis of the major contents of chapter one including the purpose, justification, and scope should be presented. A brief description of the remaining chapters of the project should also be provided at this stage.
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