Ch apter F ive

Exploratory Research Design: Qualitative Research

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Ch apter O utl ine
1) 2) 3) 4) Overview Primary Data: Qualitative Versus Quantitative Research Rationale for Using Qualitative Research Procedures A Classification of Qualitative Research Procedures

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Ch apter O utl ine
1) Focus Group (FG) Interviews i. Characteristics ii. Planning and Conducting Focus Groups iii. Telesessions and Other Variations iv. Advantages and Disadvantages of Focus Groups v. Applications of Focus Groups vi. Online Focus Group Interviews vii. Advantages and Disadvantages of Online FGs 2) Depth Interviews i. Characteristics ii. Techniques iii. Advantages and Disadvantages of Depth Interviews iv. © 2007 Prentice Hall Applications of Depth Interviews

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Ch apter O utl ine
7) Projective Techniques i. Association Techniques ii. Completion Techniques a. Sentence Completion b. Story Completion iii. Construction Techniques a. Picture Response b. Cartoon Tests iv. Expressive Techniques a. Role Playing b. Third-Person Technique v. Advantages and Disadvantages of Projective Techniques vi. Applications of Projective Techniques
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Ch apter O utl ine
1) 2) 3) 4) Analysis of Qualitative Data International Marketing Research Ethics in Marketing Research Summary

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A Cl as sif ic ati on of Ma rketi ng Res ear ch Da ta
Fig. 5.1

Marketing Research Data

Secondary Data

Primary Data

Qualitative Data Descriptive Survey Data
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Quantitative Data Causal Experimental Data
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Observational and Other Data

Qua lita ti ve Vs. Q ua nti tative Rese ar ch
Table 5.1 Qu ali ta tiv e Res ea rch Objective To gain a qualitative understanding of the underlying reasons and motivations Small number of nonrepresentative cases Unstructured Non-statistical Develop an initial understanding Quanti tativ e Re search To quantify the data and generalize the results from the sample to the population of interest Large number of representative cases Structured Statistical Recommend a final course of action
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Sample Data Collection Data Analysis Outcome
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A Class ifi ca ti on of Qu al itative Res ea rch Pr oce dur es
Fig. 5.2 Qualitative Research Procedures

Direct (Nondisguised)

Indirect (Disguised) Projective Techniques

Focus Groups

Depth Interviews

Association Techniques
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Completion Techniques

Construction Techniques

Expressive Techniques
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Ch ar ac teristi cs o f F ocus Groups
Table 5.2

Group Size Group Composition Physical Setting Time Duration Recording videotapes Moderator

8-12 Homogeneous, respondents, prescreened Relaxed, informal atmosphere 1-3 hours Use of audiocassettes and Observational, interpersonal, and communication skills of the moderator
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Key Qu ali fi ca ti ons of F ocu s Group Mod era to rs
1. Kin dn ess wi th firmn ess : The moderator must combine a disciplined detachment with understanding empathy so as to generate the necessary interaction. 2. Per mi ssi ve ne ss : The moderator must be permissive yet alert to signs that the group’s cordiality or purpose is disintegrating. 3. Invo lve men t: The moderator must encourage and stimulate intense personal involvement. 4. Incompl et e u nder st an din g: The moderator must encourage respondents to be more specific about generalized comments by exhibiting incomplete understanding.
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Key Qu ali fi ca ti ons of F ocu s Grou p Mod era to rs, cont.
5. Enco urag emen t: The moderator must encourage unresponsive members to participate. 6. Fle xi bi li ty: The moderator must be able to improvise and alter the planned outline amid the distractions of the group process. 7. Sen sit ivi ty : The moderator must be sensitive enough to guide the group discussion at an intellectual as well as emotional level.
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Proce dure for P lannin g a nd Co nd uc ting Foc us G roups
Fig. 5.3 Determine the Objectives and Define the Problem Specify the Objectives of Qualitative Research State the Objectives/Questions to be Answered by Focus Groups Write a Screening Questionnaire Develop a Moderator’s Outline Conduct the Focus Group Interviews Review Tapes and Analyze the Data Summarize the Findings and Plan Follow-Up Research or Action
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Va riati ons i n Focu s Gr oups

Tw o-way focu s gr oup. This allows one target group to listen to and learn from a related group. For example, a focus group of physicians viewed a focus group of arthritis patients discussing the treatment they desired. Du al -mo der at or group. A focus group conducted by two moderators: One moderator is responsible for the smooth flow of the session, and the other ensures that specific issues are discussed. Du el ing- mo der ato r group. There are two moderators, but they deliberately take opposite positions on the issues to be discussed.
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Va ri ati ons i n Focu s Gr oups

Res po nden t-mo der at or gro up . The moderator asks selected participants to play the role of moderator temporarily to improve group dynamics. Cl ie nt-par ticipan t gr oups. Client personnel are identified and made part of the discussion group. Mi ni gro up s. These groups consist of a moderator and only 4 or 5 respondents. Tele -se ssi on g roups . Focus group sessions by phone using the conference call technique. Onl ine Fo cu s gro ups. Focus groups conducted online over the Internet.
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Adva nta ges of F ocu s Gr oups
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
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Synergism Snowballing Stimulation Security Spontaneity Serendipity Specialization Scientific scrutiny Structure Speed
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Disadva ntages o f Focus Groups
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Misuse Misjudge Moderation Messy Misrepresentation

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Online Vers us Tr adi ti ona l Foc us Groups
Table 5.3
Char ac te ris tic Group size Group composition Time duration Physical setting Respondent identity Respondent attentiveness Online Fo cus Gr ou ps 4-6 Anywhere in the world 1-1.5 hours Researcher has little control Difficult to verify Trad itio nal Fo cus Gro up s 8-12 Drawn from the local area 1-3 hours Under the control of the researcher Can be easily verified

Respondents can engage in other tasks Attentiveness can be monitored
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Online Vers us Tra dit iona l Foc us Gro ups
Table 5.3, cont.
Respondent recruiting Easier. Can be recruited online, e-mail, panel, or by traditional means Limited Recruited by traditional means (telephone, mail, mail panel) Synergistic, snowballing (bandwagon) effect Respondents are candid, except for sensitive topics Body language and emotions observed A variety of stimuli (products, advertising demonstrations, etc.) can be used

Group dynamics

Openness of respondents

Respondents are more candid due to lack of face-to-face contact Body language cannot be observed Emotions expressed by using symbols Limited to those that can be displayed on the Internet

Nonverbal communication

Use of physical stimuli

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Online Vers us Tr adi ti ona l Foc us Groups
Table 5.3, cont.
Transcripts Available immediately Time consuming and expensive to obtain Observers can manually send notes to the focus group room Observational

Observers’ communication with moderator Unique moderator skills

Observers can communicate with the the moderator on a split-screen Typing, computer usage, familiarity with chat room slang Can be set up and completed completion None Much less expensive

Turnaround time in a few days Client travel costs Basic focus group costs

Takes many days for setup and

Can be expensive More expensive: facility rental, food, taping, transcript preparation
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Adva nta ges of On line Focu s Groups

Geographical constraints are removed and time constraints are lessened. Unique opportunity to re-contact group participants at a later date. Can recruit people not interested in traditional focus groups: doctors, lawyers, etc. Moderators can carry on side conversations with individual respondents. There is no travel, videotaping, or facilities to arrange so the cost is much lower.
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Di sa dv anta ges of Onl ine F ocus Grou ps

Only people that have access to the Internet can participate. Verifying that a respondent is a member of a target group is difficult. There is lack of general control over the respondent's environment. Only audio and visual stimuli can be tested. Products can not be touched (e.g., clothing) or smelled (e.g., perfumes).
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Dept h Int ervie w Technique s:

Laddering

In lad dering , the line of questioning proceeds from product characteristics to user characteristics. This technique allows the researcher to tap into the consumer's network of meanings. Wide body aircrafts I can get more work done I accomplish more I feel good about myself (user characteristic) (product characteristic)

Advertising theme: You will feel good about yourself when flying our airline. “You're The Boss.”
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Depth Interv iew Tec hn iqu es: Hidden Issue Questioning
In hid den iss ue qu est io ning, the focus is not on socially shared values but rather on personal “sore spots;” not on general lifestyles but on deeply felt personal concerns. fantasies, work lives, and social lives historic, elite, “masculine-camaraderie,” competitive activities Advertising theme: communicate aggressiveness, high status, and competitive heritage of the airline.
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De pth In terv iew Tec hn ique s: Symbolic Analysis
Symb oli c an al ys is attempts to analyze the symbolic meaning of objects by comparing them with their opposites. The logical opposites of a product that are investigated are: non-usage of the product, attributes of an imaginary “nonproduct,” and opposite types of products. “What would it be like if you could no longer use airplanes?” “Without planes, I would have to rely on letters and longdistance calls.” Airlines sell to the managers face-to-face communication. Advertising theme: The airline will do the same thing for a manager as Federal Express does for a package.
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Focus G ro ups Ve rsu s D epth Inter vi ews
Table 5.4

Cha ract er ist ic Group synergy and dynamics Peer pressure/group influence Client involvement Generation of innovative ideas In-depth probing of individuals Uncovering hidden motives Discussion of sensitive topics
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Fo cus Groups + + + -

Dep th Inte rv ie ws + + + +
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Focus Groups V ersu s D epth Inte rview s
Table 5.4, cont.

Cha ract er ist ic Interviewing competitors Interviewing professional respondents Scheduling of respondents Amount of information Bias in moderation and interpretation Cost per respondent

Fo cus Groups + + +

Dep th Inte rv ie ws + + + -

Note: A + indicates a relative advantage over the other procedure, a - indicates a relative disadvantage.
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Defi niti on of Projecti ve Te ch ni qu es

An unstructured, indirect form of questioning that encourages respondents to project their underlying motivations, beliefs, attitudes or feelings regarding the issues of concern. In projective techniques, respondents are asked to interpret the behavior of others. In interpreting the behavior of others, respondents indirectly project their own motivations, beliefs, attitudes, or feelings into the situation.

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Wo rd Associ ati on
In wo rd a sso ciat ion, respondents are presented with a list of words, one at a time, and asked to respond to each with the first word that comes to mind. The words of interest, called test words, are interspersed throughout the list which also contains some neutral, or filler words to disguise the purpose of the study. Responses are analyzed by calculating: (1) the frequency with which any word is given as a response; (2) the amount of time that elapses before a response is given; and (3) the number of respondents who do not respond at all to a test word within a reasonable period of time.
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Wo rd Associ ati on
EXAMPLE STIMUL US washday fresh pure scrub filth bubbles family towels MRS. M everyday and sweet air don't; husband does this neighborhood bath squabbles dirty MRS. C ironing clean soiled clean dirt soap and water children wash
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Co mpl etio n Tec hn iqu es
In senten ce comp let ion , respondents are given incomplete sentences and asked to complete them. Generally, they are asked to use the first word or phrase that comes to mind. A person who shops at Sears is ______________________ A person who receives a gift certificate good for Sak's Fifth Avenue would be __________________________________ J. C. Penney is most liked by _________________________ When I think of shopping in a department store, I ________ A variation of sentence completion is paragraph completion, in which the respondent completes a paragraph beginning with the stimulus phrase.
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Co mpl etio n Tec hn iqu es
In sto ry co mp let io n, respondents are given part of a story – enough to direct attention to a particular topic but not to hint at the ending. They are required to give the conclusion in their own words.

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Co nstr uc ti on Tec hni qu es
With a pict ure respo ns e, the respondents are asked to describe a series of pictures of ordinary as well as unusual events. The respondent's interpretation of the pictures gives indications of that individual's personality. In car toon tests , cartoon characters are shown in a specific situation related to the problem. The respondents are asked to indicate what one cartoon character might say in response to the comments of another character. Cartoon tests are simpler to administer and analyze than picture response techniques.
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A Ca rtoo n Test
Figure 5.4

Sea rs

Let’s see if we can pick up some house wares at Sears.

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Exp ress ive Tech nique s
In exp ressi ve tech ni que s, respondents are presented with a verbal or visual situation and asked to relate the feelings and attitudes of other people to the situation. Ro le playi ng Respondents are asked to play the role or assume the behavior of someone else. Thi rd-pe rs on te chn ique The respondent is presented with a verbal or visual situation and the respondent is asked to relate the beliefs and attitudes of a third person rather than directly expressing personal beliefs and attitudes. This third person may be a friend, neighbor, colleague, or a “typical” person.
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Adva nta ges of Proj ective Te ch ni qu es

They may elicit responses that subjects would be unwilling or unable to give if they knew the purpose of the study. Helpful when the issues to be addressed are personal, sensitive, or subject to strong social norms. Helpful when underlying motivations, beliefs, and attitudes are operating at a subconscious level.
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Dis adva nta ges of Pro jec ti ve Tec hnique s

 

  

Suffer from many of the disadvantages of unstructured direct techniques, but to a greater extent. Require highly-trained interviewers. Skilled interpreters are also required to analyze the responses. There is a serious risk of interpretation bias. They tend to be expensive. May require respondents to engage in unusual behavior.
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Gui del ine s fo r U si ng Pro jec tive Tec hni que s

Projective techniques should be used because the required information cannot be accurately obtained by direct methods. Projective techniques should be used for exploratory research to gain initial insights and understanding. Given their complexity, projective techniques should not be used naively.
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Co mpariso n of Fo cus G ro ups , D ept h Int er views , a nd P ro ject ive Te chni que s
Table 5.5 Cri te ria
1. Deg ree of St ru ct ure 2. Prob ing of ind ividua l resp ond ent s 3. Mod erat or bias 4. Int erp ret at ion bias 5. Unco veri ng sub co nsci ous in format io n 6. Disc ov ering i nnov ative in format io n 7. Ob tai ni ng sensi tive in format io n 8. Involv e unusual
behav io r or quest io ni ng

Focu s Grou ps
Rel at iv el y hig h Lo w

Depth Inte rvi ews

Projectiv e Te ch ni ques

Rel at iv el y m ed ium Rel at iv el y lo w Hi gh Med ium

Rel at iv el y m ed ium Rel at iv el y hig h Low to hi gh Rel at iv el y lo w Rel at iv el y hig h Lo w Rel at iv el y Hi gh med ium Med ium t o hi gh Hi gh Low Lo w No Hi ghl y usef ul Med ium Med ium To a limited ex tent Usef ul Hi gh Yes Some wha t useful
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9. Ov eral l useful ness
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An alysi s of Qu alita ti ve Da ta
1)

Data reduction – Select which aspects of the data are to be emphasized, minimized, or set aside for the project at hand. Data display – Develop a visual interpretation of the data with the use of such tools as a diagram, chart, or matrix. The display helps to illuminate patterns and interrelationships in the data. Conclusion drawing and verification – Considers the meaning of analyzed data and assess its implications for the research question at hand.
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2)

3)

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Inte rn atio na l Ma rke ti ng Res ea rch
 

Qualitative research is crucial The moderator should be familiar with the language, culture, and patterns of social interaction Nonverbal cues (voice intonations, inflections, gestures) are important The size of the focus group could vary across cultures Focus Groups may not be appropriate in some cultures
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 

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Inte rn ati ona l MR, con t.

Equivalence of meaning of stimuli across cultures should be established. Line drawings subject to fewer problems of interpretation than photographs.

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Eth ical Iss ues

Ethical issues related to the respondents and the general public are of primary concern. Disguise can violate the respondents' right to know and result in psychological harm. In debriefing sessions, respondents should be informed about the true purpose and given opportunities to ask questions. The use of qualitative research results for questionable purposes raises ethical concerns

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Et hi cal I ssue s, cont.

Deceptive procedures that violate respondents’ right to privacy and informed consent should be avoided Video- or audio-taping the respondents without their prior knowledge or consent raises ethical concerns. The comfort level of the respondents should be addressed.

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