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.

Introduction

Introduction

Focus groups can be defined as ‘group discussions organised to explore a specific set of issues’ with ‘the explicit use of the group interaction as research data’ (Kitzinger, 1994: 103). Put more simply, they are sites of ‘collective conversations’ (Liamputtong, 2011). The focus group is a much-used technique in business and management research as it has the potential to produce rich, in-depth insights into a phenomenon and has a degree of flexibility in how it is structured for different research purposes. The focus group is more than a group interview (a term with which it is often used interchangeably; see below) and different to the notion of an individual interview, although there are some similarities. Focus groups can stand alone in a research ...

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