Variables, Hypothesis and Hypothesis Formulation


Hypothesis Development

Once it has been decided that a research be conducted to solve the problem, the researcher would develop a plan or a theoretical framework. Theoretical framework help identify the factors that are important to the study and aik in development of the hypothesis.

A hypothesis can be defined as a logically conjectured (Formation/Expression of Opinion) between two or more variables exposed in the form of a testable statement. The Statement is a proposition and either is proved significant or is insignificant/Not Proven. Before explaining Hypothesis let us put some light on Variable and their types.


A variable is anything that can take varied values, for example age is a variable and can take age of different employees, Gender is a variable and can either be male or female, Designation is another variable in more abstract form Motivation is another variable, as motivation in people can range from very low to very high.

Types of Variables

Although there are 4 types of variables, but at present moment out interest is on the Dependent and Independent variables.

1. The Dependent Variable

Dependent Variable is the variable of primary interest, the ultimate aim is explain the variation of the dependent variable, or predict it. It is a variable whose values vary and are dependent on other factors. For Instance A President of an Organisation is concerned with the lack of loyalty of the staff, here the dependent variable is loyalty. Or another example could be that A Manager is concerned with the turnover rate among his employees, here the turnover rate is the dependent variable.

2. The Independent Variable

The Independent Variable is on that influences the Dependent variable and brings changes in its values, Variation of the dependent variable is influenced by the Independent Variable, a change in Independent variable changes that state/value of the dependent variable. Variable that influences the dependent variable and brings a positive or negative change in its values is independent variable.

For Instance

Example 1: Employee Salaries and Turnover Rate

Here the Turnover Rate would be the dependent variable, as Organizations where Salaries are higher the turnover rate would be lower, and vice versa. The bringing a positive change in employee Salaries could significantly reduce employee turnover, making Salaries an Independent Variable whereas Turnover rate a dependent variable. 

Example 2: Training and Performance

In Example 2, Employee Training is termed as Independent variable and Performance is Dependent variable, because it can be hypothesized that the better the training provided the improved performance could be expected from the employee, thus Employee Performance is dependent on the effectiveness of training.

Hypothesis Formulation

The expression of opinion/conjectured relationship between variables is formulated in the form of a statement that is then tested to see the significance of relationship. For instance the hypothesis for Example 1 could be formulated as

If the salaries of the employees are increased it will lower the turnover rate.

For example 2 the hypothesis that can be formulated is

A Successful training program improves the performance of the employees