Muhammad F Balouch
Id # 617531
University of Bridgeport
...4 History of Focus Group
.5 Rational and Uses of Focus Group
5 Conducting a Focus Group Study
..7 Running a Focus Group
..8 Analysis and Writing Up
8 Technique in Focus Group Research
..9 Presentation of the Evaluation
This paper discusses focus group methodology, gives advice on group composition, running the groups, and analyzing the results. Focus groups have advantages for researchers in every field Also I tried to examine the value of focus groups as a tool for marketing researchers and consider their potential and their limitations.
Focus groups are fundamentally a way of listening to people and learning from them. Focus groups create lines of communication. This is most obvious within the group itself, where there is a continual communication between the moderator and the participants, as well as among the participants themselves. Just as important, however, is a larger process of communication that connects the worlds of the research team and the participants." A small group selected from a wider population and sampled, as by open discussion, for its members' opinions about or emotional response to a particular subject or area, used especially in market research or political analysis. 1 Focus groups are an open-ended, qualitative method, and are used in many arenas. Typical focus groups will have from 8 to 10 participants seated together with a moderator. Most of the time the focus group moderator is a professional, independent researcher hired by the organization sponsoring the research to conduct focus group sessions and provide an objective, unbiased analysis of the results. Everything people say during the focus group is kept confidential. The key to planning in focus groups is to think through the whole project. All research projects using focus groups consist of four basic steps that include Planning, Recruiting, Moderating, Analyzing and Reporting. The small group dynamics in focus group lead people to be more open in their responses. However, the danger of small discussion is one or two participants may dominate the interview and influence overall opinion of the members. Focus group yield qualitative feedback. Its key benefit lies in the ability to identify areas or product attributes that should be probe further through quantitative research11.
History of Focus Group:
The history of Focus Group goes back to early forties, in the Office of Radio research at Columbia University. A group of Audio members were asked to give a positive or negative response to the show by adding a colored button. Robert Merton who is considered father of Focus Group asked the audience why they responded positively or negatively at particular moments in the show. In this context, the first focus group was conducted. 12
Rationale and uses of focus groups:
Focus groups are a form of group interview that capitalizes on communication between research participants in order to generate data. Although group interviews are often used simply as a quick and convenient way to collect data from several people simultaneously, focus groups explicitly use group interaction as part of the method. This means that instead of the researcher asking each person to respond to a question in turn, people are encouraged to talk to one another: asking questions, exchanging views and commenting on each others' experiences and points of view2. The method is particularly useful for exploring people's knowledge and experiences and can be used to examine...
Bibliography: 8. O 'Brien K. Improving survey questionnaires through focus groups. In Morgan D, ed. Successful focus groups: advancing the state of the art. London: Sage, 1993:105-18.
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