Dissertation Research Topic and the NCU Dissertation Writing Process

Dissertation Research Topic and the NCU Dissertation Writing Process

  • Describeyour potential topic area in detail and yourthoughts on possible problems. Describe challenges you may encounter, how you will make a contribution to a practical problem and to theory, and include how you intend to research it
  1. Description of Potential Topic Area in Detail

The study aims to investigate the subject of gender and coaching in sports. Specifically, it seeks to find answers to the question of whether women should be assigned coaching roles in male teams. The population of interest will be women coaches in male teams, team owners, male coaches, and male athletes (under female stewardship)within the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conferenceregion. According to LaVoi(2016) the representation of women in coaching roles, especially among male teams is low.This is despite gender equity and equality being achieved in other professionalfields, as well as abetter performance by female coaches. Walker & Bopp(2011) andReade, Rodger, & Norman(2009) corroborate this finding stating that there is an underrepresentation of women in coaching and leadership roles in many sporting organizations. The authors further state that this is despite exemplary performance being recorded by female-headed/coached teams. Further,LaVoi(2016), states that over the past 40 years, the number of women coaching male teams has remained static at 2-3 percent, while men occupy 97-98 percent of coaching positions in men’s sports and over 50 percent of the head coach position in women’s sports. The evidentincongruity in the number of female-headed male teamsrelative to the number of male-headed male teams informs the need for the study. The study, therefore, seeks to answer questions such as: What Is The Attitude Of Male Teams Toward and Preferences for Female Coaches?; What Factors Influence/Explain the Lack of a Female Coach-Male Athlete Relationship Demographic Characteristic in Sports?; What Benefits/Advantages Do Cross-Gendered Female Coach-Male Teams Derive from such a Coaching Relationship?; What are the Challenges and Barriers that Arise When Female Coaches are Appointedto Head Male Teams?; and Do Male Teams have a Preference for Male or Female Head Coaches?.

  1. Howthe Study Will Make a Contribution to a Practical Problem and to Theory

The issue of gender and sports is a critical and sensitive issue in the field of sports management. Very few male teams are headed by females. This is despite a wide pool of qualified female coaches who can assume these roles and the relatively better performance of female coaches in various sports. Thus, the relatively low representation of women coaches in male teams despite their better performance record and better qualification is a problem. Establishing the cause of this relativedisparity will assist in formulating policies or putting in place measures that will result in more women being given coaching roles in male teams. Additionally, fromthe review of theliterature, it is evident that the study will fill a research gap and contribute to theliterature. A majority of empirical studies on the topic of gender and sports have focused on investigating same-sex dyads in which the team and coach are males or of the same gender, or mixed-gender dyads wherein the sports team is female while the coach is male. None of the empirical studies have investigated or explained why there are very few female-headed male teams, even in the face of better performance by female-headed coaches or the achieved equity and equality in other fields of profession. Therefore, the study will fill this gap and add to the literature.

  • How Research will be conducted

To conduct research on the study topic, the researcher will identify and articulate the problem it seeks to address, the knowledge gap it seeks to fill, the purpose of the research, as well as, the research questions. These elements will be aligned such that they inform each other. The research questions will be alignedwith the problem statement and purpose statement, and research gaps thatwere identified in the literature. This will allow for the problem statement to come out more clearly as guided by the Dissertation Field Guide (Heitner & Sherman, 2014). The researcher will do a comprehensive critical review of the literature, classifying empirical studies based on the methodology employed, the findings of the studies, or by the geographic regions where the studies were conducted.Thereafter the study will employ the most appropriate research methodology identified from the literature review and modify it in a way that it will most effectively assist in answering the research questions.

  1. Challenges and Problems likely to be Encountered

The problem and challenges that are likely to be encountered during the carrying out of the research study is with regards to the methodology. This isespecially with regards to the data collection instruments and data analysis methods. The study seeks to employ qualitative research methods to answer its research questions and meet the study’s objectives. The chosen data collection method of tape recorded interviews is likely to be objected by some participants as it may remove aspects of anonymity, an element that is key when conducting research on issues that are viewed as sensitive.However, this is a challenge that can be addressed by using another more appropriate instrument, which will be agreed on upon consultation with the instructor.Another section that is likely to present a challenge is the problem statement. Whereas the researcher has already identified and conceived the research problem based on a research gap, it will prove challenging to put it on paper and express it in a manner that the problem can easily be understood by a third partyin one paragraph as advised by Heitner & Sherman (2014).

  • Outline The Northcentral Dissertation Process Illustrating That You Understand It

The dissertation writing process as outlined by NorthcentralUniversity Graduate School is an invaluable tool for any graduate student who seeks to undertake his doctoral degree. It is an invaluable tool that transforms an otherwise dreaded process into a welcome experience for students. It guides students through the entire dissertation writing process, from topic selection to the completion of the dissertation. The NCUDissertation process clarifies the misconceptions associated with the dissertation process and in the process makes a student look forward to writing one’s dissertation. It makes the student view the dissertation writing journey, not as a difficult journey full of challenges and difficulties, but rather as an enjoyable experience where a student adds new knowledge to the academic world and helps in solving a problem. The dissertation process also helps a student in the selection of a dissertation topic, guiding the student to choose a topic that is interesting and feasible, as well as worthy of research.

The NCU Graduate Schoolpresents a guideline on the dissertation writing process including developing of the problem statement and purpose statement, identifying research questions, conducting a literature review, and the chapter on research methods. The problem statement forms one of the key elements of a successful dissertation. It identifies the problem to be addressed and demonstrates the need for, and theimportance of the study. Therefore, it is very critical that a study clearly and succinctlyarticulates the problem statement. The other element of a dissertation proposal is the purpose statement which describes how meeting the research objectives will address the identified problem in the problem statement. That is, it describes how the research study will address the problem. The third elements of a dissertation proposal are the study’s research questions which are an expression of the study’s purpose statement. Answering the research questions will meet the study’s purpose and assist in addressing the identified problem. The problem statement, the purpose statement, and the research questions should be aligned such that they reflect common constructs and variables. On the other hand, the constructs should also align with the study’s methodology.The literature review section presents a summary and critical review of all related literature correlated with the dissertation study topic. It involves an orderly, cohesive and well-sequenced analysis that links the study’s problem to other relatedscholarly works. The last section in the dissertation proposal is the research methods section which presents the research methods and procedures that will be employed in a study, as well as their suitability. It also presents the research design, the population of study, research instruments, data analysis as well as the rationale for choosing these approaches.

  • Identify Areas In The Northcentral Dissertation Process You Want To Better Understand And Ask Your Instructor Questions About Them

Having gone through the dissertation process, the process seems straightforward and simple. This is especially so as a result of the simple and understandable language used in the document that made the process easy to understand. However, it might become challenging when the actual dissertation writing beginssince, during that time, the researcher will be in a position to identify weak areas that will need the guidance of the instructor.  One of the areas that the researcher may require additional guidance is on writing the problem statement. According to the Dissertation Process by the NCU Graduate School as well as The Dissertation Field Guide by Heitner & Sherman(2014), a problem statement is supposed to be concise and succinct, if possible just a paragraph. In my view, I think it would be difficult to present a problem, evidence a gap, and show theimportance of the study in one short paragraph. Thus,I will need guidance on how to meet these guidelines when drafting the problem statement.

  • Address Why You Believe Your Topic Is “Feasible, Interesting, Worthy, And Relevant;”

The research topic on is interesting because it is in a field that I have aprofound interest in, and its findings will impact on the broader society, especially the field of sports management. It is also interesting because it will fill a gap in the literature, forming a rich source of empirical literature to scholars in the field, as well as inform policy decisions in the sports management field. The research topic is also feasible. This is because it is being conducted in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference region. This is a geographical areathat the researcher is well acquainted with and has easy access to. Therefore, the researcher has easy access to the population of interest, and elements of costs will not be a challenge.Also, the choice of data collection instruments allows for thecollection of data within a short time, further lowering any costs associated with the study as well as the time needed to collect the relevant data.

The study is also relevant and worthy. This is because it addresses an issue that is of importance to many stakeholders in the sports management field. It also has never been researched before, and therefore, is contributing to new knowledge, and filling a gap in the literature.



Comeaux, E. (2015). Introduction to Intercollegiate Athletics. Baltimore, Maryland: John Hopkins University Press.

Heitner, K. L., & Sherman, K. C. (2014). Dissertation Field Guide. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.

LaVoi, N. M. (2016). Women in Sports Coaching. New York, NY: Routledge.

Reade, I., Rodger, W., & Norman, L. (2009). The Under-Representation of Women in Coaching: A Comparison of Male and Female Canadian Coaches at Low and High Levels of Coaching.International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 4(4), 505-520.

Walker, N. A., & Bopp, T. (2011). The Underrepresentation of Women in the Male-Dominated Sports Workplace: Perspectives of Female Coaches. Journal of Workplace Rights, 15(1), 47-64.


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