Designing a Conceptual Model of Research Problem Finding Using Meta-Synthesis Method

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Faculty of Management and Economics, University of Tarbiat Modares, Tehran, Iran


The purpose of this paper was to foster a better understanding of research problem finding by integrating the qualitative and quantitative findings of prior research under a conceptual model. It reviews key findings, themes and ideas from selected published academic papers on research problem finding, with a specific focus on what factors affecting problem finding.
This article has conducted a meta-synthesis approach by adopting “Sandelowski and Barroso's” seven-step method to investigate what the features of research problem finding are, through interpretation of previous documents. The author conducted a literature review of all documents available in online databases that contained the word “problem finding” in either the title, abstract and/or keywords and with a discussion of problem finding in the main text.
In total, 38 scientific documents were analyzed in order to create a meta-synthesis of the primary findings. This process revealed 138 codes, 24 themes and 4 categories that outline issues related to the research problem finding. Personality feature; psychological feature; thinking feature (creative thinking and critical thinking); and educational feature were the components of the conceptual model.
Based on available data, this study is the first of its kind that has identified the features of research problem finding in four aspects. In addition, the number of factors identified in this study is greater and more comprehensive than that of any previous research. This study has also proposed a conceptual model and utilized a meta-synthesis approach that has never been conducted to date in the field of problem finding.


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