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So your goal for this course is to find a good research idea. How do you find it?Brainstorm among yourselves – is there anything from work, personal experience, or the news that seem odd, don’t make sense, or is simply taken for granted without good reason?Readings – anything from what you have read for work, for courses in this program, or in the news that you want to confirm or challenge with scientific methods?Anomalies – Look for anomalies, contradictions, or inconsistencies. For example, [to be completed]Imagination or creativity – Facebook and other social media is hot. Is it possible to use these tools creatively for fraud detection?Thought experiments – Try to debunk a common belief. People assume that only poor people commit fraud. Really? Based on what evidence? Could we show that rich people steal more than poor people do? How? Also, your textbook may tell you that the Sarbanes-Oxley act reduces fraud rate. Really? Any evidence? We often assume that successful people are more likely than less successful people to make optimal decisions. Really? Do we know that for sure? How?Ideas from other disciplines – Harvard Business Review sometimes reads like a parenting magazine, because turned out that managing is not that different from parenting, and the two disciplines share a lot of common theories. When you read about economics, politics, psychology, or other disciplines, are there ideas that you can apply to fraud and forensics?
This slide gives you more examples of the 4 types of studiesYour group should formulate one report/descriptive question, and one explanatory/predictive question. Make sure that everyone is on the same page in terms of what these questions are.
We need to consider the reason for each type of question. For example, in these examples we want to find out specific (even quantifiable) information, that is, the specific value of a variable ( the variables in these examples are: average-body-repair-price, % of tax-fraud-taxpayers, % of accurate-eyewitnesses)
The variables involved in these examples are: auto-repair-estimate and insurance-coverage. Notice that the first variable is a continuous variable (it can take any $ value beginning in 0) while the second variable is a categorical one ( the car will fall into the category of “Yes” or “No” with respect to insurance coverage) Nationality and Tax-Fraud-Committing. Both variables are categorical ones. The first (nationality) has the two possible values “American” or “European” while the second variable (tax-fraud-committing) will have two possible variables ‘Yes” or “No” [ also, notice that an argument could be made that nationality is not the proper name for our variable because it typically refers to country of citizenship. You may think of a better name for this variable in the example] % of accurate eyewitnesses, and the second variable is how police lineup is conducted (simultaneously or sequentially – Note that this second variable is a categorical variable)
In the first example, there may be multiple factors that explain different levels of repair estimatesFor example, sympathy for people without insurance, low levels of perceived risks of being caught overcharging insurance companies, etcEach of the potential factors is a variable. The level of repair estimate is also a variable. Whether the person has insurance or not (Yes vs. No) is another variable. In addressing question one, we’re trying to establish causal links between the potential factors (they are called “Independent Variables”) and repair estimates (called “Dependent Variable”)Can you identify the Independent and Dependent Variables in the second and third examples?
In the next set of slides, we will demonstrate how research ideas can be developed into research questions and objectives. Ultimately, these research ideas should address specific managerial questions
Here are some examples of how you can go from a broad research idea and create a specific research questionSee if you can come up with some research questions about fraud and forensic ideas
Here we have phrased the research questions as research objectives. The reason is that organizations are not interested in research questions for the sake of answering questions but they prefer to have clear objectives in mind. Being able to phrase the research questions as research objectives allows not only to be more specific but also to understand what will be obtained (and not obtained) from the research project (this is also helpful for potential corporate funding).
Ultimately, our research questions should address specific questions that managers have. If you are given a managerial question, how do you convert it into a researchable question?Some major distinctions:Management questions tend to be broadResearch questions are better when they focus on specific variablesResearch questions should be researchable – when you see the research question, you should have some general idea of how to answer it empirically (by collecting data, interviewing people, etc)Can you come up with research questions that address management questions about fraud and forensics? You will do so for the course project.
Mff715 w1 2_generating_researchideas_fall11
Week 1: Generating research ideas<br />MFF 715: Forensic Research & Analysis<br />1<br />
Learning Objectives<br />Understand ways to generate research topics<br />Distinguish different types of scientific research questions<br />2<br />
Formulating your research topic<br />Brainstorming research ideas<br />Readings<br />Anomalies<br />Imagination and Creativity<br />Thought experiments<br />Ideas from other disciplines<br />Defining the research question<br />It must generate new insights<br />Relevant<br />Feasible – The instructor will ensure proper scope<br />Writing the research objectives<br />Note – Due to the nature of this course, all topics you propose must be Fraud and Forensic related<br />3<br />
3<br />Types of Studies<br />Reporting<br />Descriptive<br />Explanatory<br />Predictive<br />
Your research questions <br />Report/Descriptive<br />“what”: e.g., what percentage of our customers shop on our website?<br />Group differences: e.g., are male or female workers more committed to our company?<br />Trend: e.g., does our stock price increase over time?<br />Correlation: e.g., when our sales volume goes up, does the stock price go up too?<br />Explanatory/Predictive<br />“why”: e.g., what factors explain why some projects are more successful than others?<br />Conditional: e.g., why does the collaborative leadership style work only some of the times?<br />“Will”: e.g., Will changing retail prices affect our market share?<br />5<br />
Reporting QuestionsSingle-Variable Questions<br />What are the average auto body repair estimates?<br />What percentage of taxpayers commit tax fraud?<br />What percentage of people can provide accurate eyewitness reports?<br /> Can you identify the variable in the question?<br />6<br />
Descriptive QuestionsMulti-Variable Questions<br />Are auto repair estimates higher with insurance coverage than without?<br />What are the two variables involved?<br />Do Americans commit more tax fraud than Europeans?<br />What are the two variables involved?<br />Are people accurate in recognizing a suspect when police lineup is presented one at a time or all at once?<br />What are the two variables involved?<br />7<br />
Explanatory QuestionsMulti-Variable with Causal Relationships<br />Why are auto body repair estimates higher with insurance than without?<br />Why do people commit tax fraud?<br />Why are eyewitnesses are accurate when the police lineup is presented serially rather than simultaneously?<br />8<br />
Predictive QuestionsMulti-Variable Based on Explanatory Findings<br />If the insurance procedure is changed so the body repair shop is unaware if the car is insured or not the average body repair estimate will be the same for both insured and uninsured cars?<br />Do older people are more likely to commit tax fraud?<br />Changing the police lineup process so it is serial rather than simultaneous will lead to a better recognition rate ?<br />9<br />
Turning Research Ideas into Research Questions<br />10<br />
Relating Research Questions to Research Objectives<br />11<br />
Translating Management Questions into Researchable Questions<br />5-12<br />