Objective setting in Research
Objective is the vital element in the research because without the objective there is no research. The research begins with the problem and objectives. The objective in research is define as aim or destinations where researcher want to reach by conducting the research activities. The objective is set according to the research question or the purpose of the research. In research at first the general objective is set which is broad in nature in a sense it cover all the area of research title and to achieve main objectives and operation of research activities specific objectives are set which is narrow in nature because one specific objective only cover some area of general objectives. All the specific objectives collectively cover the area of general or main objectives.
While setting the objectives in the research SMART criteria must be fulfil. Therefore, both general and specific objectives must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant or realistic and time bound. The description of SMART objective are explain below:
If the objective of research misses any element of SMART criteria the research seems to be worthless because every element in SMART are connected and link with each other. For example, if the objective of research is not specific then the objective may be measurable or realistic but cannot be achieve while conducting research and cannot be complete in time. Likewise, if the objectives are not measurable the it is not achievable, not finished in time and not relevant for researcher.
Process of Objecting setting
The process of objective setting begins with the process of problem formulation. The researcher at first realize the problem then determine the propose of conducting research problem. After the problem is realize research may determine the research question the set the objectives or at first set the objectives then define the research question. Both process is right because it is the case of convenience of the researcher. There is no universal role the research problem is define first before setting the objectives but we pefer to set research question first before setting the objectives of the research. We suggest the following stage to set the objectives for the research:
- Selection of area of interest and Dividing Area into sub area:
At first the area of interest is selected then it must be divide it into sub-area. (for detail see process of problem formulation)
- Selecting the Sub area of Interest and research title
After identifying the possible sub-area, the researcher selects the sub area of interest and with the help of it the research title must be selected. (for detail see process of problem formulation)
- Develop Research Questions
After selecting the research title researcher must break the title into specific objective in order to develop research question.
- Setting General Objective
After the research questions are develop the researcher must set the general or main objective of the research. The general objective reflects the title of the research which cover entire area title cover. If we see example given in stage four of process of problem formulation the research title is “status of women suffers from Domestic violence”. Then main or general objective of the research is to examine the socio-economic status of women who are suffer from domestic violence.
- Setting Specific Objective
In this stage general objective is break down into different specific objectives. If we see example given in stage five of process of problem formulation the research questions are What are the economic status of women who are suffer from domestic violence? What are the socio-cultural status of women and what are the quality of women? The specific objectives of the research are to examine the economic status of women who are suffer from domestic violence, to find out socio-cultural status of women, to identify the quality of women.