These two weeks, I have finished reading the book called Focus Groups-A Practical Guide. This book has given us some good ideas about the usage of the focus group in the company or an organization.
The writer of the book is Richard A. Krueger. Richard A. Krueger was trained as a quantitative researcher, specializing in survey research. His interest in qualitative research began well after graduate school, when he ran into trouble with a survey. He conducted focus groups with farmers in town halls, church basements, and in the back rooms of restaurants. He learned that the results of the needs assessment were accurate—but just because they needed those things didn’t mean they would go to classes.
There are 14 chapters in this book. Chapter 1 is aimed to set the stage for focus group research. It helps us understand the history development of focus groups and those essential elements that are needed to for a focus group. A focus group is a special type of group in terms of purpose, size, composition, and procedures. It works when participants feel comfortable, respected, and free to give their opinions without being judged. The intent of the focus group is to promote self-disclosure among participants. The group must be small enough for everyone to have opportunity to share insights and yet large enough to provide diversity of perceptions.
Chapter 2 talks that the focus group demand effective planning. Successful planning requires that we write our thoughts to paper and ask others’ feedback. Planning helps the researchers, the team, and the sponsor of the study. The process may begin by identifying the purpose of the study. Then, researchers decide whether focus group interviewing is the right method for the study. If it is, they need identify the participants and the number of groups to be conducted. As for feedback, it can from colleagues, researchers, clients, and your target audience also can help you identify problems before they occur.
Chapter 3 is talking about questions. In this chapter it highlighted the good routes to make high qualities good questions. These questions are conversational, clear, and short. Not all questions are similar. There are five types of questions were discussed in the chapter: opening, introductory, transition, key, and ending questions. This has shared some questions that ask participants to go beyond the sit-and-talk response. It also talks a useful process for developing questions.
Chapter 4 talks about participates. In this chapter, Homogeneity is the guiding principle for focus groups, and the researcher must determine the nature of that homogeneity based on the purpose of the study. Potential participants can be located in a variety of ways. Use a combination of incentives to get people to say yes to the invitation and to get them out of their recliners and to the focus group. Incentives can vary and need not be limited to money, although cash does work well. If you don’t have cash, be creative. including lists or directories, through cooperating organizations or individuals, or on location at an event or activity.
In Chapter 5, it talks about the preparation to moderate a focus group interview. The best thing for beginning moderators is to over prepare several days before the group discussion and this may help the organizer feel relax before the discussion. Flexibility is essential to a great discussion. During the discussion, the moderator need allow the discussion to flow, and topics and the result may be in a different way from what was excepted. Moderators should allow some mistake or with some fierce debate exist. Moderators also need to consider the various strategies for bringing closure to the discussion.
Chapter 6 talks about focus group analysis. It is a purposeful process. It has four distinct and critical qualities. It can be based on complete transcripts, abridged transcripts, notes, or memory. The classic analysis strategy helps make analysis doable, bite-sized, and concrete. When people have mastered the classic approach, they may want to move on to computer-based analysis.
Chapter 7 talks about the judgement. Many researchers judge the quality of a focus group study by the report. It is very useful to take some time and effort to produce a top-quality report. The chapter offers five principles of reporting that have been used as a valuable checklist during the reporting phase of the study. The focus group researchers will need to decide about which types of reporting to use.
Chapter 8 describes different styles of focus group research. It has described four different styles of focus group research. The market research approach is the most popular and widely recognized. It is a well-established, extensive industry with professional moderators, special focus group facilities, and services to assist in recruitment, screening, recording, transcribing, and analyzing results. The public–nonprofit approach borrows elements from the academic research tradition in terms of careful analysis and openness but then seeks to be more decision oriented as opposed to developing theory. The participatory approach invites non-researchers to be part of the research. The academic research approach incorporates openness, and peer review.
Chapter 9 is talking youth. Youth is very important in the organization. Focus groups are the same. Using young people are an effective way of obtaining insights. However, the researcher must have the right moderator, questions, the proper procedures, and an environment that promotes conversation.
Chapter 10 talks about culture. When focus group produce meaningful information?it needs to show respect for traditions and uses language differences and culture. The researcher must approach each audience with respect. The researcher must be sensitive to establishing an environment where these individuals feel comfortable in talking.
Chapter 11 focuses on Telephone and Internet focus groups. Telephone and Internet focus groups offer advantages including lower coast and ability for participants to involved across distance that make them attractive to researchers. But it cannot let people lose the opportunity to have face- to face communication. It might be the only viable choices, and when it is used carefully, it can offer considerable potential. Technology will continue to evolve and influence the human being’s work in the future.
Chapter 12 is talking organizations. Focus groups within organizations may have exceedingly valuable, but they must be done carefully. It is particularly concerned about how employees are placed in focus groups, and avoid power differentials. It is a core principle of focus groups is to have a homogeneous group in a permissive and nonthreatening environment. Make special efforts to make sure participants know who asks for the study, why they asked for it, how they plan to use the results, and who has access to the tapes and notes.
Chapter 13 talks about interviews. Researchers have modified focus group interviews in a variety of ways. The purpose of the interview is not to teach, but to obtain information in a systematic and verifiable manner. With that purpose, researchers can discover how hardy focus group interviews really are. Media may need to use to exam what they have called focus groups and either change the name or make modifications to ensure that the media environment does not influence comments. For now, these media-based “focus groups” are best classified as entertainment.
Chapter 14 pays attention on different questions. It resolves different kind of questions including size, research procedures, logic and so on. It is a conclusion off the whole book which help readers to understand some specific details and or solve some problems about focus groups.
In conclusion, the whole book focuses on the focuses group from different perspective. This can help us understand more about the focuses group. Hope everyone who read it will gain more information about the focuses group discussion and put the discussion into our work place.