Benefits of Focus Group Research Essay

Benefits of Focus Group Research Essay

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Benefits of Focus Group Research
Introduction:

Focus group research offers the unique opportunity for researchers to
perceive an individual, and their opinions, not only in an exclusive
situation, but also as part of a group. Within a group there is a
wealth of tacit and experiential knowledge from the outset as in the
course of most people's lives they will have interacted with other
people in group situations. Bryman (2001) refers to the focused
interview as the precept for focus group research,

'The original idea for the focus group- the focused interview- was
that people who were known to have a certain experience could be
interviewed in a relatively unstructured way about the
experience.'(p.336-7)

Bryman (2001) notes that the main aims and merits of focus group
research include the discovery of how people have constructed their
knowledge, why they think what they do;

Issues that concern the participants are bought to the fore as the
moderator relinquishes power. Throughout the course of the group
participants are challenged and may change or revise their views. The
researcher may also use the concepts of group dynamics to study the
ways in which individuals make sense of a phenomenon. Focus group
research differs from a group interview, as the motivation is not to
save time on individual interviews, but to study group dynamics and
get extra information from this. Arguments and 'sensitive moments'
within the group may give rise to the tacit knowledge about why
participants hold certain views.

My aim is to demonstrate firstly, the different definitions and
schools of thought on what actually co...


... middle of paper ...


...(1998), The handbook for Focus Group Research (London,
Sage)

P. Hellgren (1998), 'Theoretical and Experiential Knowledge in Teacher
Education,' European Journal of Teacher Education Vol. 11 No.s 2-3

A. Johnson (1996), 'It's good to talk' The Sociological Review vol.44

R.A. Krueger (1994), Focus Groups 2nd Edition. A Practical Guide for
Applied Research (London, Sage)

S. Pearce (1995), 'Needs assessment: constructing tacit knowledge from
practice,' International Journal of Lifelong Education Vol. 14 no. 5

D. Stewart and P. Shandasani (1990), Focus Groups. Theory and Practice
(London, Sage)

J. Ursin (2000), 'Group Synamics in the Production of New Knowledge- a
Theoretical Framework' from
www.leeds.ac.uk/educol/documents/00001609.htm

J.P. Wilson (1999), Human Resource Development (London, Kogan Page)

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