Diagram of hypothesis formulation has three major interconnected parts, first is the extreme left three vertical boxes which lead to the second part with three horizontal boxes at the middle with interconnecting four boxes and the third part is two boxes at extreme right. These parts are labeled as,
1. Stimulation – towards research.
2. Systemization – from research issues to hypothesis.
3. Sustenance – research protocol.
Curiosity and anxiety to address social issues or management problems in pursuit of getting solutions or model building is the basic purpose of research. Getting a research degree or publication and the like is not the basic purpose behind research but these are the bi-products. Model building helps resolving current problems faced by industry or society at large. Any tested model as an outcome of research has its limits of operation, since they are proposed in defined social or industrial environment.
Two generous sources of social issues are one theory and second is observation. Theory arouses questions into the mind of researcher which leads to putting forth hypothesis to test termed as deductive source of hypothesis. Readings from existing literature, unproved theories reported in literature, a hypothetical theoretical construct, words of wisdom of stalwarts, theoretical construct out of spatial visualization by scholar’s leads to set hypothesis. Hypothesis is tested on the data collected from population.
Hypothesis formulation on the basis of observation is termed as an inductive approach to formulate hypothesis. Observation over a period of time into any social or managerial issues recognizes a pattern of problems. These repetitions into patterns lead to formulating a hypothesis and facilitating variables to test the hypothesis. The results of hypothesis testing contribute to existed theory.
Genuine researcheris one who noticessocial or managerial problems into theory or through observationin the field and hunts for its causes probing in depth applying the research science. The people who give up such issues by merely overlooking them or answering questions just to get rid of are not researchers.
The second part of diagram is labeled as systemization. Four steps in the body influenced by three actions help channelize the curiosity and anxiety of researcher towards a definite end i.e. formulation of hypothesis. Research issue is a detailed description of a social or managerial problem which one has read or observed in the field. The issue is multidimensional and involves many dimensions simultaneously hence, become complex and cannot be taken for research as it is. A research issue raises varied questions into the mind of researcher. Literature review helps downsize the number of questions for which the answers are already reported by researchers. This process facilitates closing gaps in the research i.e. what has been done and what is yet to be done. The array of questions are then categorized on the basis of similarities and arranged according to the priority to address. The basis of categorization or similarities could be functional areas of management or nature of problems and the like. The top priority set of research questions are selected for the study out of which a tentative title is proposed. The statement of research problem details the exact problem under study. Research problem is derived from research issues. Hypotheses are the answers to the questions considered in statement of research problem. A general question is oftenasked is how many hypotheses one should have for a research, a simple answer to it is, number of hypotheses depends on the number of questions to answer. To term an answer to a research question as an hypothesis it must satisfy all theoretical characteristics of hypothesis. Objectives are derived from hypothesis. In a few cases where formulating hypothesis is difficult especially in the case of exploratory research design, objectives are set on the basis of research issues and statement of research problem and research protocol is designed to attain objectives.
The third part of diagram is sustenance, a plan to carry on research in scientific manner. Research protocol is a plan or a blue print to conduct research. At the end of research protocol a tentative title for research takes final shape.