Part of SAGE’s Mastering Business Research Methods, conceived and edited by Bill Lee, Mark N. K. Saunders and Vadake K. Narayanan and designed to support researchers by providing in-depth and practical guidance on using a chosen method of data collection or analysis. In Conducting Focus Groups, Caroline J. Oates and Panayiota J. Alevizou explain what is involved in conducting focus groups, outlining their main features, use in research, their design and the kind of rich, qualitative data they facilitate. A step-by-step guides using practical examples show how you can successfully use focus groups to address your own research question. Ideal for Business and Management students reading for a Master’s degree, each book in the series may also serve as reference books for doctoral students and faculty members interested in the method. Watch the editors introduce the Mastering Business Research Methods series and tell you more about the first three books.

Understanding Focus Groups

Introduction

The aim of this chapter is to introduce the reader to the different types of focus groups that can be used in business and management research and to provide an overview of the purpose that such focus groups can address. In this chapter, we document the extent to which focus groups are compatible with different epistemological and ontological traditions so that you can assess whether the philosophical standpoint adopted and the arguments to be developed are consistent with the types of data to be used. First, we discuss how considerations of philosophical approach will influence the researcher’s choice of focus group. We present the different structures of focus groups with examples from student projects. We then consider what criteria should be ...

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