Focus Group Data Gathering: Practical Applications of the Total Quality Framework Approach (303657)*Margaret R. Roller, Roller Marketing Research
The focus group discussion is a popular and useful method to framing broader research objectives and exploring the contextual nuances of the relevant issues. Survey researchers often conduct focus groups prior to designing a quantitative study in order to examine the appropriate scope---depth and breadth---of the issues, as well as terminology, among the target population. Focus group discussions are also conducted at the completion of survey research to gain a rich, “behind the numbers” understanding of the survey outcomes. For these reasons, survey researchers rely on the focus group method to bring depth and clarity to their quantitative designs.
Up until recently, there has been little to guide researchers in their attempt to develop quality focus group research that incorporates sound research principles and maximizes its ultimate usefulness. There is, however, a new approach that brings greater rigor to the focus group method. This approach---the Total Quality Framework (TQF)---is an efficient yet highly flexible way to give attention to reliability and validity issues in focus group research design, while examining sources of bias and ways to mitigate these effects.
This workshop will focus on the practical applications of the TQF related to two critical aspects of focus group data gathering, i.e., the moderator’s guide and moderating. By way of real-world examples and interactive discussions, participants will learn how to incorporate TQF principles in guide development---e.g., how to order and design questions to weaken potential bias while enriching learning in subsequent phases---and the moderation of groups---e.g., how to minimize moderator and participant effects that potentially jeopardize the usefulness of the outcomes. Workshop participants are encouraged to bring examples of their focus group studies---past, current, future … or on their wish list!