Solved by verified expert:Review the resources in the course and online about the challenges, advantages, and disadvantages of using focus groups as part your research methods. Consider if, for your topic, whether a focus group would be a good choice for data collection.For this Discussion, you will explore the differences between individual interviewing and focus groups.To prepare for this Discussion:Review the Learning Resources related to coding, data analysis, and focus groups.Review the focus group media program found in the Learning Resources and consider how you might use a focus group in collecting data for the topic of your research.By Day 3Post your explanation of:The difference between collecting data using individual interviews and a focus group (e.g., intent, selecting participants, conducting the interview or focus group)Given the topic you are currently using for your research, would you consider using a focus group for your study? Why or why not? The purpose of this research is to investigate and identify how gender impacts leadership and decision-making especially in political and organizational arenas. The discussion also aims at understanding how women exercise their rule over circumstances and make appropriate decisions to pursue promotion The inquiry further examines the experiences women undergo while performing complex and managerial duties.Be sure to support your main post and response post with reference to the week’s Learning Resources and other scholarly evidence in APA style.
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Special Issue: Reflections & Updates on a Top-20-in-20 Article
Reflection/Commentary on a Past Article:
“A Qualitative Framework for Collecting
and Analyzing Data in Focus Group
International Journal of Qualitative Methods
Volume 17: 1–3
ª The Author(s) 2018
Article reuse guidelines:
Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie1,2
In 2009, my coauthors, Wendy B. Dickinson, Nancy L. Leech,
and Annmarie G. Zoran (to whom I will be grateful always),
and I authored an article entitled, A Qualitative Framework for
Collecting and Analyzing Data in Focus Group Research,
which was published in the prestigious journal, International
Journal of Qualitative Methods (IJQM; Onwuegbuzie, Dickinson, Leech, & Zoran, 2009). In this article, as our title suggests, we provided a new qualitative framework for collecting
and analyzing focus group data. Our framework had three
major components. First, we identified the types of data that
can be collected during the conduct of focus groups. Second,
we outlined qualitative data analysis approaches that are appropriate for analyzing these focus group data. Third, we introduced a focus group analysis approach that we labeled as a
micro-interlocutor analysis. In a nutshell, micro-interlocutor
analysis represents the collection, analysis, and interpretation
of focus group participant-based data such as which participant
responds to each question, how many participants respond to
each question, the order in which each participant responds,
who responds first to each question, response characteristics,
and, most importantly, the nonverbal communication used by
each participant. We contended that our framework represents
a more rigorous analysis in focus group research than previous
analysis approaches because it “goes far beyond analyzing only
the verbal communication of focus group participants”
(Onwuegbuzie et al., 2009, p. 1).
Our IJQM article fitted well with my career path and
impacted my work because at the time, I had changed from
being predominantly an instructor of statistics courses and
quantitative-dominant research methodology courses at the
University of South Carolina (1988–1994, as a graduate [i.e.,
master’s and doctoral] student and postdoctoral student), University of Central Arkansas (1994–1997; as an assistant professor), Valdosta State University (1997–2001; as an assistant
professor), and Howard University (2001–2003; as an
associate professor)—to being predominantly an instructor of
qualitative research and mixed methods research (with the
occasional course in multivariate statistics)—at the University
of South Florida (2003–2007; as an associate professor and
professor) and Sam Houston State University (2007–present;
as a professor). And as an instructor of qualitative research, I
focused not only on the conceptualization and planning of
qualitative research studies but also on the implementation
of qualitative research studies. It was during that period that
Nancy L. Leech (University of Colorado, Denver), with whom
I had begun coauthoring works in 2003 (only a few months
after she had earned her doctorate degree after meeting her at
random at the 2002 American Educational Research Association conference), and who also was teaching qualitative
research courses, and I decided to collaborate in designing our
respective qualitative research courses. As part of our codesign, we identified four major sources of qualitative data: talk,
documents, observation, and visual/spatial (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2008). At the same time, we identified and described 18
qualitative data analysis approaches (Leech & Onwuegbuzie,
2008; see also Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2007) that could be
used to analyze data that represent one or more of these four
sources of data. And as Nancy and I increasingly immersed
ourselves in the area of qualitative data analysis approaches,
we came to the realization that “there is very little specific
information regarding how to analyze focus group data . . . or
Department of Educational Leadership, Sam Houston State University,
Huntsville, TX, USA
University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie, Department of Educational Leadership, Box 2119,
Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX 77341, USA.
Creative Commons Non Commercial CC BY-NC: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License
(http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission
provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
International Journal of Qualitative Methods
what types of analyses would be helpful with focus group data”
(Onwuegbuzie et al., 2009, p. 3), which is consistent with the
conclusion of Wilkinson (2004), a few years earlier, that “there
is relatively little in the focus group literature on how to analyze the resulting data” (p. 182). Therefore, we set out to codesign a framework for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting
data in focus group research, which led us to coauthor our
IJQM article. We added Wendy B. Dickinson because of her
expertise in quantitative data analysis, her status as an instructor of courses in geometry and visual mathematics (statistics
and graphical display), her serving at that time as Contributing
Editor for Anthropology News, her serving as a member of the
American Anthropology Association (Society for Visual
Anthropology) and Southern Graphics Council and Florida
Printmakers, and her being a practicing studio artist producing
both two- and three-dimensional works. Further, we added
Annmarie G. Zoran who was a former doctoral student of mine
and on whose doctoral committee I had served while being
employed by the University of South Florida because of both
her interest in focus group research and her use of multiple
focus groups in her dissertation (consistent with my philosophy
and passion of collaborating with present and past doctoral
The micro-interlocutor analysis that we introduced in our
IJQM article motivated me and another doctoral student, Magdalena Denham, to focus more on the topic of nonverbal communication. And before long, we authored an article that we
were fortunate to have published in IJQM (Denham &
Onwuegbuzie, 2013a). Around the same time, we were invited
to deliver a microkeynote address at the International Institute
for Qualitative Methodology’s (IIQM’s) 2013 Advances in
Qualitative Methods (AQM) conference in Edmonton,
Alberta, Canada (Denham & Onwuegbuzie, 2013b). Also, with
two additional doctoral students, we had the pleasure of conducting a workshop on focus group research at IIQM’s 13th
Annual Thinking Qualitatively Workshop Series (McAlisterShields, Dickerson, Denham, & Onwuegbuzie, 2013), which
took place immediately before the AQM conference at the
While striving to advance the field of qualitative methods, I
also attempted to contribute to the field of mixed methods. To
this end, our IJQM article led Nancy and I to the realization that
our micro-interlocutor analysis represented the analysis not
only of qualitative data (e.g., verbal data) but also of quantitative data, such as the following:
descriptive analyses (e.g., consensus counts), univariate analyses
(e.g., independent samples t test comparing number of words spoken by male and female focus group members), multivariate analyses (e.g., conducting a discriminant analysis to determine which
demographic factors predict consensus vs. dissenters across
numerous focus groups), analysis of group membership (e.g., using
correspondence analysis to analyze relationships between the
emergent themes and the focus groups participants within one
focus group or across multiple focus groups; Onwuegbuzie &
Hitchcock, 2015, p. 288)
This led us to the conclusion that micro-interlocutor analysis
transformed the analysis of focus group data from a qualitative
analysis to a mixed methods analysis. In turn, this conclusion
led us to develop a mixed methods research framework for
collecting, analyzing, and interpreting focus group data
(Onwuegbuzie, Dickinson, Leech, & Zoran, 2010). And this
mixed methods-based reframing of focus group research
inspired other articles in the area of focus group research. For
example, I coauthored an article in which we developed a
framework, wherein the focus group research participants serve
as participant-researchers and manage the focus group research
study themselves—collecting, analyzing, and interpreting their
own focus group data (Onwuegbuzie & Frels, 2015). Most
notably, our IJQM article has led to the coauthoring of a SAGE
textbook on focus group research with three of my former
doctoral students at Sam Houston State University (Onwuegbuzie, McAllister-Shields, Dickerson, & Denham, in press).
And with approximately 700 citations to date and the distinction of being the 12th most-cited IJQM article at the time of
writing, it appears that our IJQM article has impacted both the
field of qualitative research and mixed methods research.
I have been pleasantly surprised how popular our IJQM
article has been. Indeed, not only has this article been well
cited, as mentioned earlier, but, over the years, I have received
numerous requests for permission to reproduce the two figures
and one table in this article. However, the biggest surprise that I
received regarding this article was a request to translate this
article to Spanish, which I gave after securing permission from
the editor of IJQM (Onwuegbuzie, Leech, Dickinson, & Zoran,
2011). And this Spanish version already has been cited in more
than 50 works.
One big change that has occurred since our IJQM article has
been the significant increase of books in the area of focus group
research. A quick perusal led me to identify at least 20 books
related to focus group research in the past 9 years. However, the
vast majority of these book authors frame focus group research
as exclusively or predominantly a qualitative research process.
Thus, I hope that our book (i.e., Onwuegbuzie et al., in press)
will begin to fill the void. Only time will tell. However, in the
meantime, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bailey
Sousa, Director, IIQM, and Linda Liebenberg, Editor-in-Chief,
IJQM, for inviting me to be a part of the IJQM Special Issue
featuring updates on what are deemed to be the top 20 IJQM
articles over the past 20 years, in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of IIQM. It has been a pleasant experiencing “travelling
down memory lane.” Happy focus grouping!
Declaration of Conflicting Interests
The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to
the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
Denham, M. A., & Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2013a). Beyond words: Using
nonverbal communication data in research to enhance thick
description and interpretation. International Journal of Qualitative
Methods, 12, 670–696. doi:10.1177/160940691301200137
Denham, M. A., & Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2013b, June). The use of nonverbal communication data in qualitative research: Prevalence and
characteristics. Microkeynote address presented at the Advances in
Qualitative Methods conference, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Leech, N. L., & Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2007). An array of qualitative
data analysis tools: A call for qualitative data analysis triangulation. School Psychology Quarterly, 22, 557–584. doi:10.1037/
Leech, N. L., & Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2008). Qualitative data analysis:
A compendium of techniques and a framework for selection for
school psychology research and beyond. School Psychology Quarterly, 23, 587–604. doi:10.1037/1045-38126.96.36.1997
McAlister-Shields, L., Dickerson, S. H., Denham, M. A., & Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2013, June). An introduction to focus groups. Workshop conducted at the meeting of the 13th Annual Thinking
Qualitatively Workshop Series, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Onwuegbuzie, A. J., Dickinson, W. B., Leech, N. L., & Zoran, A. G.
(2009). Toward more rigor in focus group research: A new framework for collecting and analyzing focus group data. International
Journal of Qualitative Methods, 8, 1–21. doi:10.1177/
Onwuegbuzie, A. J., Dickinson, W. B., Leech, N. L., & Zoran, A. G.
(2010). Toward more rigor in focus group research in stress and
coping and beyond: A new mixed research framework for collecting and analyzing focus group data. In G. S. Gates, W. H. Gmelch,
& M. Wolverton (Series Eds.) & K. M. T. Collins, A. J. Onwuegbuzie, & Q. G. Jiao (Vol. Eds.), Toward a broader understanding
of stress and coping: Mixed methods approaches (pp. 243–285).
The Research on Stress and Coping in Education Series (Vol. 5).
Charlotte, NC: Information Age.
Onwuegbuzie, A. J., & Frels, R. K. (2015). A framework for conducting critical dialectical pluralist focus group discussions using
mixed research techniques. Journal of Educational Issues, 1,
159–177. doi:10.5296/jei.v1i2.8662. Retrieved from http://www.
Onwuegbuzie, A. J., & Hitchcock, J. H. (2015). Advanced mixed
analysis approaches. In S. N. Hesse-Biber & R. B. Johnson (Eds.),
Oxford handbook of multiple and mixed methods research (pp.
275–295). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Onwuegbuzie, A. J., Leech, N. L., Dickinson, W. B., & Zoran, A. G.
(2011). Un marco cualitativo para la recolección y análisis de datos
en la investigación basada en grupos focales [Toward more rigor in
focus group research: A new framework for collecting and analyzing focus group data]. Paradigmas, 3, 127–157.
Onwuegbuzie, A. J., McAllister-Shields, L., Dickerson, S., & Denham,
M. A. (in press). Focus group research: Using a comprehensive
mixed methods research approach. London, England: Sage.
Wilkinson, S. (2004). Focus group research. In D. Silverman (Ed.),
Qualitative research: Theory, method, and practice (pp. 177–199).
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
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