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Focus Groups, Challenges, Quality Guidelines, Research Suppliers, Research Users
The general misuse of the focus group method may have quality implications for decision-making processes of organisations across the industry spectrum and for further research. To assist in addressing the problem, this study sought to uncover the challenges that impede the quality of the focus group research process and develop a set of management guidelines for redress by stakeholder organisations. The population of interest for the study consisted of all South African organisations that supply or use marketing research information generated through the use of focus groups. The empirical part of the research study comprised of both a qualitative and a quantitative phase. A CATI approach was used for data collection and the research method employed for the study was a questionnaire survey. An ordinal, 5-point Likert scale was used to measure the responses in the study. The Pearson chi-square test was also employed to compare the research quality perceptions of research suppliers and users within the focus group process. The findings revealed numerous instances of similarities between research suppliers and users regarding their views on focus group research and the quality challenges thereof. Following the research findings, a number of management guidelines were developed that research practitioners could employ to improve the standard of focus group research in South Africa.