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On‐line focus groups: conceptual issues and a research tool

Mitzi M. Montoya‐Weiss (College of Management, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA)
Anne P. Massey (Department of Accounting and Information Systems, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA and)
Danial L. Clapper (Accounting and IS Department, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina, USA)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 1 August 1998



Explores the potential effects of computer technology on the traditional structure and functioning of focus groups. On‐line focus groups are purported to be cost‐effective, enable the inclusion of dispersed participants, and result in broad and honest responses on the part of participants as a result of system anonymity. However, many of these claims have not been carefully examined. It is essential that the unique qualities of on‐line environments form the theoretical grounding for on‐line research efforts. Drawing on insights from research in the computer‐mediated communication field, we propose some conditions in which on‐line focus groups may broaden current applications and provide a useful complement to traditional face‐to‐face approaches. Considering these insights, we developed an Internet tool, called Internet Focus Group or IntFG ‐ to enable future empirical exploration of on‐line focus groups. The main motivation for the development of the IntFG tool is that it is a necessary element of a systematic research program in this area.



Montoya‐Weiss, M.M., Massey, A.P. and Clapper, D.L. (1998), "On‐line focus groups: conceptual issues and a research tool", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 32 No. 7/8, pp. 713-723.




Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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