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FOCUS GROUP: A PRACTICAL APPLICATION IN CLASSROOM

O. Martins1, A. Coelho2, J. Costa3, T. Felgueira4, A. Braga4

1Polytechnic Institute of Tomar, CIAEGT-IPT & Polytechnic Institute of Guarda (PORTUGAL)
2Aveiro Institute of Accounting and Administration, University of Aveiro (ISCA-UA) and GOVCOPP Research Unit on Governance, Competitiveness and Public (PORTUGAL)
3Higher Institute of Fafe & Polytechnic Institute of Guarda (PORTUGAL)
4Polytechnic Institute of Guarda UDI-IPG (PORTUGAL)
The consumer behaviour is a complex field of investigation and an expensive type of research that requires a relative investment of resources and time. Besides, the consumer is increasingly informed and demanding. Changing of the market can influence the consumer behaviour, and vice-versa. So, the integrative process of training and forming people to study the human behaviour is a very complicated process. Teaching the theory is a relatively easy task but it is not enough. Students are able to understand the concept and the theory, and of course, to develop a unique reflection, but they have difficulty to apply the same content to a practical situation on the real context. To respond to this problem, the following general objective was defined: to apply the focus group’s technique with marketing master students.

The principal objective was divided into two parts:
i) the application of the focus group interview itself; and
ii) the qualitative analysis of the data. A content analysis was the technique chosen to data analysis.

Whereas the individual results are hard to measure, but it is not impossible to do, the main results are:
i) the collaborative teamwork;
ii) the practice of the methodology through a practical application of the technique, and
iii) a few skills were developed, which it needed to be developed to create a collaborative teamwork, and the student's motivations, able to participate in the discussion, were the most important results of the activity. The learning itself can be considered as an asset.