Applicability of Focus Groups in a Design Science Project

Publication, 2014


P. Brandtner, M. Helfert, A. Auinger, K. Gaubinger - Applicability of Focus Groups in a Design Science Project - Electronic proceedings ADWI - 2014, Friedrichshafen, Germany, 2014, pp. 12


Focus groups are a popular qualitative research method often applied to different areas of such as in medical research. The aim of this research paper is to analyse the applicability of focus groups - conducted in compliance with an adopted focus group framework based on Tremblay et al. - in a design science project. Based on classic focus group literature and on the particularities of a design science context, the existing framework by Tremblay et al was adapted and a step-by-step procedure was developed. It includes the most important steps and activities one has to take into consideration when planning, conducting and analysing a focus group study in a design science project. To analyse the applicability of this procedure, it is applied to a current design science based research project. The main findings of this paper confirm that focus groups, conducted in compliance with the adapted framework, can be of great use in design science projects to create, improve and evaluate artifacts and the results gained in such way can provide essential contributions to the knowledge base. The proposed procedure facilitates planning, conducting and result analysis. In addition it can serve as a reference framework in other design science based projects where the application of focus groups is planned.