Creative Focus Group as an Instrument to Evaluate Work Related Stress

  • Silvia GilottaEmail author
  • Francesco Deiana
  • Cristina Mosso
  • Mariangela Ditaranto
  • Massimo Guzzo
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 819)


From the literature and the outlines guides, it is possible to find different methodologies to collect data from the practice of occupational stress evaluation. Among these, it emerges the Focus Group that Zammuner [24] describes as a “method of qualitative data collection, based on a group talk from which emerge data that the researcher is interested on deeply investigating it”. There are several variants of the methodology, that can be used depending on the research purposes. In the case history presented here, there is the need to deal in depth with the aspects concerning the organizational climate and culture. To highlight all the contents, facilitate the sharing of the different points of view, and to ensure the involvement of all participants, it has been chosen a creative alternative inspired by Greenbaum’s “expressive drawing” [11]: it is a “projective technique that can be very helpful in eliciting information that might otherwise not be generated in traditional focus group discussions, and that can also energize the group when it’s necessary”. In practice, it envisages the realization of an artistic artifact in which the workers represent their own perspective, emotional opinion and emotional reaction on topics in question. Compared to a normal “focus group”, this variant allows further structuring of the discussion, encouraging participation and comparisons, facilitating the creation of common meanings. Specifically, the operational layout applied is the following: first of all it has been set a short tutorial session related to the constructs of organizational climate and culture; then, it started a warm up phase followed by a creative moment in which the workers have produced some artifacts through which they have described their perception of organizational climate and culture; finally, it has been set a debate in plenary where the participants have talked about their job and its meaning, with the support of a moderator. The data has been collected as notes and processed according to the following categories, obtained from the literature on the organizational climate and culture (James and Jones 1974–1979; Rousseau 1990; Schein [20]): identity-values-ideologies, communication, leadership, rules and incentive, responsibility and freedom, individualism and sense of team, criteria of success. The results obtained have shown that the focus group, in the proposed variant, represents a valid instrument for this activity: the use of the artistic artifact as a way of transmission and sharing the meaning allows a rich and articulated data collection, ensuring a broad and deep vision of organizational reality.


Work-related stress Focus group Expressive drawing 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Silvia Gilotta
    • 1
    Email author
  • Francesco Deiana
    • 2
  • Cristina Mosso
    • 2
  • Mariangela Ditaranto
    • 3
  • Massimo Guzzo
    • 3
  1. 1.SGS Silvia Gilotta StudioTurinItaly
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TurinTurinItaly
  3. 3.Azimut Benetti GroupAviglianaItaly

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