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As mentioned in the course schedule, your major assignment this semester is preparation of a formal research proposal. The assignment is completed in three parts – a problem statement, a literature review,

As mentioned in the course schedule, your major assignment this semester is preparation of a formal research proposal. The assignment is completed in three parts – a problem statement, a literature review, and then a complete research proposal that encompasses the first two assignments with a description of your proposed research methods and a conclusion. The first part – your problem statement – is due this week. Recall from the course schedule that the goal of this assignment is to define a health care administrative / management problem / clinical issue for which you are going to develop a research proposal. You are not doing a research paper as you have in other classes! This is essentially the same as you writing the first part of a research article like you have read so far. Eventually, components of this assignment will be integrated into your completed research proposal. You will build on this initial assignment over the semester. While the problem statement definition is just one part of a research proposal, it provides structure, helps illustrate the problem being studied, and explains the context of the research scope. Your problem statement must include: Purpose of the study – State the general purpose of the study. For example, you may state: “The purpose of this research is to investigate critical success factors among succession plans with Chief Executive Officers.” You can narrow down the scope of your problem by specifying which organization / industry you are going to study, i.e., “… in rural hospitals.” Your initial problem statement may be imperfect, but you will have a chance to refine it later. Importance of the study – As you are defining your research topic, you will need to explain why it is an important issue that requires further research. Providing an outline and explanation of the dilemma, problem, and opportunity can do this. The definitions for each include: – Problem: A source of distress that is likely to bring about negative organizational outcomes. – Dilemma: Two or more equal alternatives with their own unique pros and cons; a problem involving a difficult choice. – Opportunity: A likely chance for advancement or progress. You will need to indicate the presence of the problem, dilemma, and opportunity by providing examples, i.e., “On average, only 28% of rural hospitals have a CEO succession plan.” Do not use these headings as a “fill in the blank” where you list the heading and then write a sentence to respond to the heading. Write in a professional fashion where thoughts are fully developed and flow from one idea to another. Research Question – Choose one question that you can answer in the project. An example of such a question could be, “Are rural hospitals at a disadvantage when it comes to CEO succession planning?” Hypothesis – What observation would you expect to see from your research? For example you might say, “It is expected that rural hospitals with higher profitability as measured by operating margin, have more sophisticated, long-term succession planning programs.” You may change this hypothesis as you develop your research further in the literature review. These last two items may change as your work evolves. That is normal. At least give it a try at forming what you expect your research to look like here. It will get refined in later parts. This assignment is to be written in a professional format with minimal (if any) use of bullet points. Grammar, sentence structure, and ability to following instructions will be incorporated into your grade for this assignment. Your paper should be at least three double-spaced pages in length (excluding title and references). References must be in APA format. One other essential element of this assignment is the way that you begin this document. Do not start your paper with a statement like “The purpose of this research is . . .” Instead, begin your paper with a short paragraph that gets your readers attention and entices them to read more about the problem you are researching. Make this first part of your research proposal look like the research articles you have examined so far – with an attention-getting introduction that gets your reader interested in your work. The following is an example of a research problem definition, please review:

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