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Focus Groups

Focus Groups
Theory and Practice

Third Edition

March 2014 | 224 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
The fully updated Third Edition of Focus Groups: Theory and Practice offers a unique blend of focus group theory and practice in a single, easy-to-read source. It provides systematic treatment to the design, conduct, and interpretation of focus group data within the context of social science research and theory. Known for accessibility and step-by-step guidance, comprehensive treatment, and historical perspective, the book examines every facet of focus group research, from the selection and recruitment of group participants, to the selection of a moderator and conducting of interviews, to the analysis of focus group data. The Third Edition reflects the growing use of focus group research to address an increasingly broad array of issues that have a global span, and also provides more guidance on conducting virtual focus groups.
1. Introduction: Focus Group History, Theory, and Practice
2. Group Dynamics and Focus Group Research
3. Focus Groups and the Research Toolbox
4. Recruiting Focus Group Participants and Designing the Interview Guide
5. The Focus Group Moderator
6. Conducting the Focus Group
7. Analyzing Focus Group Data
8. Focus Groups in Practice
9. Virtual Focus Groups and Other Group Methods
10. Conclusion

This was useful for own doctoral support and helped support dissertation students

Miss Diana Parton
Department of Primary Education, Bedfordshire University
June 19, 2015

This is a very good resource for postgraduate students and researchers considering the use of Focus Groups.

Dr Margaret Smith
School of Health Sciences, Queen Margaret Univ College, Edinburgh
April 28, 2015

A practical guide that we cannot miss

Professor Luis Andrade
Gestão, Universidade Europeia
March 11, 2015

The focus on globalized, cross-cultural influences was particularly useful.

Ms Alison Devine
Clinical Education, Edge Hill University
February 26, 2015


Dr Peter Gossman
CELT, Manchester Metropolitan University
January 18, 2015

an excellent text for anyone engaged in research by this method. a through introduction and helpful guide to the processes involved.

Ms Karen Hillison
Department of Social Work, Hull University
December 16, 2014

well-written book, and fully justifies the theme. could also address other group dynamics.

Professor Antonio Abrantes
Departamento Sociologia, Universidade Algarve
December 10, 2014

Not sufficient practical focus for our students

Mr Paul Kiff
Graduate School, University of East London
December 10, 2014

Excelent book. The actions sugested are strongly supported and give students the essential guidelines to design and implement focus groups sessions

Mr Joaquim M. Silva
Marketing , University of Minho
November 5, 2014

A nice text for postgraduate students delving into qualitative research using focus groups. Provides guidelines on international use of focus groups and was great to see virtual groups included.

Mrs Pragashnie Naidoo
Occupational Therapy (Westville campus), University of Kwazulu-Natal
October 5, 2014
Key features


  • Thoroughly updated content reflecting the growing maturity of focus group research and new domains of research and methodology within an international context
  • Highlights and offers insight into the increasing use of focus group research to address an ever-broadening array of global populations, such as rural farmers on the Indian subcontinent, gang members in south Los Angeles, and parents who homeschool their children
  • An examination of virtual focus groups, and the unique advantages and challenges that arise in recruitment and interviewing
  • Expanded information on the role of Institutional Review Board approval, the identification of research sites, the recruiting of participants, and the development of the interview guide
  • Increased coverage of the role of the moderator and the conduct of focus groups
  • Updated discussion on the use of software tools in focus groups
  • Accessible tone gives readers confidence in using focus groups as a source of data collection
  • Step-by-step guidance provides a “how to” manual for students
  • A historical overview of the use of focus groups promotes appreciation for the important role focus group inquiry plays in research endeavors

    The third edition retains a strong focus on the historical and disciplinary foundations of focus group research while providing new and updated content that reflects the evolving use of focus groups.  The new edition demonstrates the growing maturity of focus group research and the new domains of research questions and methodology it addresses. The current edition focuses on two of these new domains. The first is the growing use of focus group research to address an increasingly broad array of issues that have a  global span. Focus group research is now used with rural farmers on the Indian subcontinent, gang members in south central Los Angeles, parents who home school their children, and individuals suffering from various physical ailments, to name but a few. Focus group research has certainly extended its reach beyond marketing research applications focused on relatively affluent consumers. This edition of the book greatly expands the treatment of the use of focus groups in an international context and with special populations, such as children and individuals with special needs.

    The second major change in focus group research is the growing use of virtual groups. The internet has brought with it a rich array of tools and technologies for conducting focus groups with participating individuals who are separated considerably by time and space. First used as necessary, if inferior, substitutes for physical groups, virtual focus groups are now proving to have very unique advantages of their own.  The new edition discusses different types of virtual groups and the issues that arise in recruiting and conducting such groups.

    The third edition also includes new and updated source materials and provides new information about procedural details, such as the role of Institutional Review Board approval, the identification of research sites, the recruiting of participants, and the development of the interview guide. The treatment of the role of the moderator and the conduct of focus groups has also been expanded. The chapter on analysis of focus group data now includes an updated and enhanced discussion of software tools.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 7

David W. Stewart

David W. Stewart, Ph.D. is President’s Professor of Marketing and Law at Loyola Marymount University and the current editor of the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing Dr. Stewart has previously served as a member of the faculty of the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University, the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California, and the University of California, Riverside. In addition to his responsibilities as a faculty member Dr. Stewart has served in a number administrative roles in higher education. He is a past editor of both the Journal of Marketing and the Journal of the Academy of Marketing... More About Author

Prem N. Shamdasani

Prem Shamdasani, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Marketing; Associate Dean, Executive Education; Academic Director, Asia-Pacific Executive (APEX) MBA Program; Co-Director, Stanford-NUS Executive Program in International Management Program and Director, Advanced Management Program at the NUS Business School, National University of Singapore.   He holds a BBA degree with first class honors from the National University of Singapore, and received his PhD in Marketing from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. His research and teaching interests include Brand Management, New Product Marketing, Retail Strategy, Relationship... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781452270982