PhD Dissertation Chapter 1

The Fundamental Components

Chapter One, one of any research thesis or dissertation, should lay down the basis and the objectives any researcher would want to achieve in such undertaking.

This chapter consists of the background and Theoretical Framework of the Study, Statement of the Problem and the Hypotheses, Significance of the Study, the Definition of Terms and Delimitation. The statements made in these subsections should be clearly stated. In the first subsection, the background will formally introduce the topic and discuss the rationale of choosing the problem as well as its theoretical framework. Another one is that the Statement of the Problem and the Hypotheses should be couched in clear and measurable terms. This part describes the purposes why the researcher is conducting the study and enumerates the hypotheses to be tested.

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The Analysis

The subject of the present analysis is the Chapter of a Dissertation Proposal.

The Background of the Study

As stated previously in the explanation of the Background of the Study, the Chapter 1 of the present research lacks a Research Title to serve as a basis of the Chapter 1 component of the dissertation. Having no title, the researcher or the reader of the present work will have a hard time guessing what the Chapter was all about. Thus, he will only have to guess the appropriate title of this research which is missing. The research describes the different “excellent models” used by other developed countries. Since this is the case, these models to my mind bear no relevance to what the research is all about neither to be used as a link to the research title.

Though I must admit that the researcher stated his intention or reason for conducting these research “is to provide theoretical background to the ‘claim’ that the TPEM is strongly based on management theory” this thus not negate the fact that in using to explain his intention through “TQM and performance-based models, Resource-based View (RBV) and the stakeholder theory (ST)” he employed a research paradigm which was not properly explained either in in-text or via graphical representation. How can the researchers establish a prior relationship “between enablers and performance indicators is important before testing their causal linkages?” It should be properly explained.

The Problem Statement and Research Objectives

The Statement of the Problem section provides a description of the purpose of the study and enumerates the Hypotheses to be tested. The researcher in this part stated the the enabler consist of leadership, organizational culture and values, strategies and objectives, best practices, innovation, and change management; and the results set comprises of productivity, employee satisfaction, customer relationship and stakeholder focus and the performance results. To my mind these are the variables that will be used to attain the researcher’s desired end.

The Statement of the Problem here is couched in general terms which is very difficult to determine what statistical tool to be used or is it measurable using statistics. To wit: [h]ow similar is TPEM to other previous performance models such as MBNQA, EQA and Kanji’s. What similarities or differences that co-exist between TQM based models such as MBNQA, EQA or Kanji’s and other performance-based models such as Competitive fitness model, Blue-chip characteristics, and World class manufacturing model; {s]ince TPEM is claimed to be beyond quality management perspectives, does the model have strong foundation in management theories.  What theories could explain its performance factors or enablers and what are the theoretical roots of model’s performance factors; and [d]o the dimensions identified as enablers (called capabilities, and stakeholder focus in this thesis) affect company performance.

This statement should be reduced into simple terms that could be measured, even in practical terms, by a given statistical tools; otherwise, it will be very hard to come up with a concrete answer for these statements.  In like manner, some of the objectives or the specific questions that need to be answered are couched in general terms or even misplaced, to wit:  “[t]theoretically clarify the TPEM within management theories; to clarify each enablers (organizational capability and stakeholder focus) as determined by TQM and other related performance-based models; to clarify the company performance dimension of the result portion of total performance model; to establish a suitable measurement items for each dimension of capability, stakeholder focus and company performance; to validate the dimensions of the model; to test the relationship between each dimension of the capability, stakeholder focus against company performance; to test the structural linkage between organizational capability, stakeholder focus, and company performance with the stakeholder focus as a mediating variable; and to test the goodness of fit of the model.”

How can we measure through clarification the company performance dimension of the result portion of total performance model? How can we establish in a statistical terms a suitable measurement items for each dimension of capability, stakeholder focus and company performance? How can we validate the model’s dimension? How can we measure the structural linkage between organizational capability, stakeholder focus, and company performance with the stakeholder focus as a mediating variable? To me this is quite broad and diffused.

In the question “to test the relationship between each dimension of the capability, stakeholder focus against company performance” this should be stated in this manner: Is there a relationship between……..stakeholders focus and company performance? Lastly, never state in the object the kind of statistical tool to be used as in this case “to test the goodness of fit of the model.” Use the word “association or relationship” in forming the specific objectives. In general, the objective part needs to be re-written in order to respond to the Problem Statement. Otherwise, the aims of the research will not be attained.

Significance of the Study

In this section, the researcher should focus on the study’s significance to its purported end user. Never explain literature or describe the models. Stay on the unique significance of the present study to the community or organization where the researcher belongs.

Definition of Terms

The definition of term lacks the conceptual and operational definition of terms of selected words unique to the study. The researcher only includes a purported definition without even citing the correct reference of each term of words. Also, the researcher failed to include the operational definition of this words as used in the thesis or dissertation.

Reference

Shearer, C (1994). Practical Continuous Improvement for Professional Services, ASQC

         Quality Press, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, p. 163-165.

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