Steven V. Cates, DBA SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Kaplan University Professor, School of Business and IT
In our first discussion, we looked at the value of doing research and presenting our findings at a conference. We also began to think about how to get started. Now we are going to look at how we go about picking a topic to concentrate on.
First of all, always pick a topic you really have a lot of passion about. Otherwise, you will not have the drive and focus to commit to doing the work necessary to complete this research project. Conducting a research project takes time, energy, and effort. There are no shortcuts to completing good sound research projects. So, you must commit yourself to practicing sound time management and spending time daily in working on your research.
So, what are the “hot topics” in your field of specialization right now? Where do you find these “hot topics”? You can start with the journals, trade publications, magazines, webinars, seminars, blogs, and any other forms of forums and media in your field. What are authors saying are the “cutting edge” issues that are being discussed and problems surrounding these topics? This is a great place to pick a “hot button” that has not been researched extensively. This will allow you to do research and then provide solutions to those problems and issues, which is your starting point.
You also might want to join and attend associations that represent your field of study. Some meetings and conferences are held locally, regionally, nationally or globally. At each of these you will hear presentations made on the “hot button” topics, as most presentations will be on issues that are current and presently being discussed in your field.
Another great way to get your research started is by networking with your academic and professional contacts. You may find that you have similar interests with a colleague on a given research subject. This could lead to a collaboration on a great research project.
Next month, in Part Three of this series, we will begin to construct a research paper and look at the specific parts of that paper.