problem statement worksheet


Problem Statement



Problem Statement Guidelines:

To ensure that the problem statement is well grounded, answer:

·        Who? (Organization name?)

·        Where? (Where is the organization for the study?)

·        When? (When did the problem start and how long has the problem existed? Use data; be exact.)

·        How? (How do you know that this is a problem? How can you measure or quantify this problem?)

·        Why? (Why is this a problem? Why should we care? Why is this relevant and worthy of study?)

·        What? (What is the real world problem to be addressed? What is the management question? What is the research question?)

·        For whom? (For whom is this a problem? Identify the stakeholder groups on whom it has an impact.)


Example: There is an employee morale issue within the [Who] ACME Corporation [Where] located in the Southwestern states of NV and NM of the United States. [When] From October 2008 to March 2009, the voluntary employee turnover rate increased from 10% to 35% (citation). This is problem [Why] because the cost of turnover within the light manufacturing industry is $100, 000.00 per employee (citation).


At this point, stop to: reflect, analyze, critique.

Is the real problem simply the turnover rate or the impact that the cost of turnover may have on ACME?

How do you know this is a problem? [Anchor statistic]

Once you are confident that you have identified the problem and not a symptom of the problem, proceed to complete the problem statement by addressing the purpose or intent of the practical research study.


According to 2008 Acme Survey, the cost of turnover to the ACME Company is $250,000.00 per year, an amount that is no longer sustainable to the company. As a result, the purpose of this business research will be to study the impacts that the cost of turnover may have on the ACME company, as this will impact the year-end profit and loss reports. Further, this business research study will present options to resolve employee turnover and costs associated with recommended options.



Complete the Problem Statement Worksheet by following these steps:

·        Use the Wallace Group problem facts that you identified above to anchor your problem.

·        Explore professional journals and select current research articles published within the last five (5) years that are relevant to your management dilemma.   The research articles need not be specifically about the Wallace Group, but are relevant to the topical problem at Wallace

·        Use credible sources to support the information in the business problem statement that you develop.

Next, determine whether your problem statement would require either a qualitative or quantitative research approach to investigate the problem.  Refer back to the lecture, if needed, for clarification on the two approaches.  Provide two credible sources that substantiate your research approach decision. 
Finally, develop a paper synthesizing the information for the reader. Include the following:

1.      An introductory paragraph that describes what the reader will find in the paper

2.      The problem statement with substantiated citations (the manager’s dilemma)

3.      The research approach decision and why that research approach is appropriate based on the problem statement

4.      A summary paragraph highlighting the major points of the paper; no new ideas or concepts should be introduced in the summary

Your paper should meet the following requirements:

·        350-500 words  in length

·        Clear, concise academic writing style, written in third person



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