5 Most Important Components of Research Problem as discussed by R. L. Ackoff
All are affected by the decision on the part of the research consumer.
(2) Research-Consumer’s Objective:
There must be some objectives to be attained as the research consumer must have something he wants to get it. It one wants nothing, one cannot have a problem.
(3) Alternative Means to Meet the Objective:
There must be alternative means or the courses of action for attaining an objective one wishes to obtain. Means are courses of action. A course of action may involve the use of objects. Objects are the instruments. This means that there must be at least two means available to a researcher or if he has no choice or means, he cannot have a problem.
(4) Doubt in Regard to Selection of Alternatives:
The existence of alternative courses of action is not enough. To experience a problem the researcher must have some doubt as to which alternative to select. Without such a doubt there can be no problem. This means that research must answer the question concerning the relative efficiency of the possible alternative.
(5) There must be one or More Environments:
There must be some environments to which the difficulty or problem pertains. A change in the environment may produce or remove a problem. A researcher may have doubts as to which will be the most efficient means in one environment but may entertain no such doubt in another. Some problems are quite general.
Thus, a research problem is one which requires a researcher to find out the best solution for the given problem so that the objective can be attained optimally in the context of a given environment.