How to Evaluate Focus Groups as a Method

Focus groups have faced extensive criticism and have been seen to have widespread usage in different areas of business research. It has been found to have such extensive usage, that this technique has been called synonymous to qualitative research.  This technique has a lot of benefits. Some significant ones are:

  • Idea Generation: This technique primarily aids in Idea Generation. When collective minds work towards churning out newer ideas, they come out to be more holistic and significant than those that would be generated by an individual effort.
  • Group Dynamics: After the moderator has done his task of initiating the debate and members have started to express their view point. It brings in more energy into the discussion and it becomes more charged up. Member become more participative and more and more actions and counter actions are presented. It ideally happens that the energy becomes contagious and it brings out the best in each participant. A better expression of thought brings in more clarity and openness and newer ideas.
  • Advantage in the process: The discussion situation offers a lot of flexibility in bringing out the relevant information. It specially aids in doing two tasks simultaneously. The conduction of the discussion and the collection of information from multiple respondents can be done at the same time,
  • Reliability and Validity: Before the implementation of the focus group method, the objectives of the study are laid down and the responsibilities and structure of the moderator is clearly defined. This helps in ensuring that the reliability of the obtained information is high. Another factor that further adds to the reliability of the data and removes the element of bias is the mechanical recording of the information. Whatever little scope of bias and prejudice is there on human grounds is removed with this technique of recording.
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