Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 161–168 | Cite as

Focus group research dynamics and reporting: An examination of research objectives and moderator influences

  • William J. McDonald
Research Notes


While focus groups enjoy wide popularity in marketing practice, the methodological complexities of this form of qualitative research are largely ignored. One such issue concerns how different moderators interact with alternative approaches to focus group research to affect group processes and reporting. This study applies a philosophy of science perspective to understanding the theoretical and practical importance of interactions between moderator research philosophies and qualitative information-gathering objectives. The findings from an analysis of 66 moderators show that the conceptual framework used here describes important aspects of focus group work. However, they also show that the distinctions in the framework are not being practiced by marketing researchers.


Focus Group Group Session Moderator Type Group Approach Scientific Moderator 
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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • William J. McDonald
    • 1
  1. 1.Hofstra UniversityUSA

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