The Department of Public Administration and Health Services Management (PAHSM) of the University of Ghana Business School hosted Dr. Victor Yaw Atiase in a guest lecture on Zoom on Wednesday, 18th November 2021. He spoke on the topic “Linkage between Research Problem, Questions, and Literature Review”. Dr. Victor Y. Atiase is a Senior Lecturer at the Leicester Castle Business School, De Montfort University, United Kingdom.
In his introductory speech, Dr. Atiase acknowledged Professor Kwame Ameyaw Domfeh, and added that Prof Domfeh has an impact on the way he currently looks at things. He congratulated the PhD students and acknowledged the other academics who were present.
His presentation covered areas spanning the definition of a research problem, purpose of a problem statement, characteristics of a research problem, and formulation of a research problem. He then elaborated on the linkage between research problems, questions, objectives, and hypotheses. He also tackled the definition of literature review, the importance of literature review, where literature reviews can be found in a PhD thesis, how to undertake a good literature review, common problems with literature review, what makes a literature review critical, developing and refining your literature review, and how literature review is an on-going process.
He emphasised that the linkage between one’s research problem and literature review is that the research problem expresses the literature review. He added that there should be a single story or focus in a PhD work. This is because there is no way one PhD thesis can solve all problems a country is facing.
Dr. Atiase mentioned that people often complain about PhD being tough. However, it’s something that needs to be enjoyed. He advised the PhD students to always take research topics that they are interested in. He added that they should not fear writing. “Start writing no matter what,” he remarked. He further quoted Octavia Butler on writing: “You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it. That’s why I say one of the most valuable traits is persistence”.
According to Dr. Atiase, the examiner is the most important reader of a PhD thesis, so when writing, you need to have your examiner in mind. He also made the students aware of the fact that perfecting a literature review ends on the day the thesis is submitted. Therefore, he urged them to review their works occasionally. He also advised the students to look at what has already been done because they are not the first people to write PhDs.
He thanked the participants for their time, and the organisers for giving him the opportunity. The lecture ended with a Question-and-Answer session, which was moderated by Professor Kwame Ameyaw Domfeh.
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