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.

Conducting Focus Groups


In the previous chapter we focused on the components related to focus group design. In this chapter we consider the conduct of the focus group itself. Thus, we discuss key issues linked to the focus group process, such as the important role of the moderator and the level of moderator involvement in the discussions; ethical procedures and considerations; the various focus group strategies and dynamics; practicalities during and after the focus groups such as transcription and translation; and challenging moments when things just go wrong!

The Focus Group Moderator

Focus group experts agree that the role of the moderator is not predictable nor fixed (Greenbaum, 2000), as his or her tasks are not standardised but vary depending on factors such as the moderator’s ...

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