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Writing the Purpose Statement
The purpose statement
is derived from the problem statement.
The purpose statement details the reason why the study is being conducted.
Condense the purpose statement to
one or two declarative sentences. These become the guideline for your
entire study. Purpose statements can be supplemented with additional information
for clarification, but a single, succinct sentence that captures the essence
of the study should identify the (a) research method, (b) dependent and
(c) independent variables, (d) the audience to which the problem is significant,
and (e) the setting.
PROBLEM STATEMENT: A lack of motivation among medical personnel contributes to negative productivity and lack of efficiency (Finzel, 2004). Poor or inappropriate leadership may result in (a) inferior quality of patient care, (b) a decrease in employee motivation, (c) a decrease in collaboration between managers and employees, and (d) an increase in employee turnover rates (Lephoko, Bezuidenhout, & Roos, 2006).
PURPOSE STATEMENT: The purpose of the proposed quantitative quasiexperimental study is to determine if a change in leadership style from transactional leadership to transformational leadership over 3 months will (a) improve intrisic motivation and (b) increase productivity.
PROBLEM STATEMENT: Information technology projects fail at a higher rate than projects in other industries (Standish Group, 2007). The high rate of failed or incomplete information technology projects negatively impacts organizational performance, costing organizations more than $55 billion in losses (Kappelman et al., 2006; Standish Group, 2007; Stanleigh, 2006).
PURPOSE STATEMENT: The purpose of the proposed exploratory quantitative correlational study is to determine what factors are most influential in determining project success or failure.
|Identifying and Measuring Key Variables - Example 1||
In order to ensure your purpose is achievable, you must ensure that you have a way to accurately measure every variable in your purpose statement.
For purpose statement 1,
|Identifying and Measuring Key Variables - Example 2||
For purpose statement 2,
There are several possible approaches to this study.
|Make sure the Answer is NOT ALREADY KNOWN||
It is not uncommon for a dissertation chair to read the introduction to the study that states, "Researchers have found significant relationships between [variable X, Y, and Z] and variable A."
Then the the purpose statement is written, "The purpose of the proposed study is determine if there is are significant relationships between variables X, Y, Z and variable A."
Because you have already stated that you know the answer, this study would not contribute to knowledge in this area, so there is no need for this study!
|Include key elements in the purpose statement||
|Say it in plain English||Don't write your purpose
statement with language that only a Ph.D. can understand.
Write it so a high school student can understand it.
|Understand the impact of the solution||How will the results of your study solve the problem or improve circumstances for members of the population? Are the results meaningful? If the results of the study will not provide information that will enable leaders to change the impact of the problem, then there is no point to the study. Although you will address this later (when discussing the significance of the study), you must understand it now, otherwise, you'll be spinning your wheels.|
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by Diane M. Dusick, Ph.D.
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