Focus group: cost-effective and methodologically sound ways to get practitioners involved in your empirical RE research

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    Abstract

    Focus groups are a qualitative research method helping researchers collect and analyze information from practitioners in industry, in order to better understand how a Requirements Engineering (RE) phenomenon happens from the perspective of those working in the field. It is useful in both exploratory and confirmatory studies. While focus groups have been popular in studies of other disciplines where a researcher investigates ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘how’ aspects of a phenomenon of interest in practical context, the potential of this research method is under-exploited in RE. One reason could be that computer science, software engineering and Information Systems (IS) programs in most universities do relatively little to prepare their master students and PhD researchers on the use of this research method. As a result, the method is partly understood and is sub-optimally or incorrectly applied, or avoided altogether. This may translate in a missed opportunity for RE researchers to engage with practitioners in industry-elevant research that could be both done in costeffective and pragmatic way. This mini-tutorial provides some practical suggestions on how to evaluate the fitness of focus group research techniques to a research context, how to design a good enough focus-group-research process, how to counter validity threats and how to report and publish the results.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationREFSQ-JP 2015
    Subtitle of host publicationREFSQ Workshops, Research Method Track, and Poster Track
    PublisherCEUR
    Pages211-216
    Number of pages5
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2015
    Event21st International Working Conference on Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality 2015 - ATLANTIC Congress Hotel, Essen, Germany
    Duration: 23 Mar 201526 Mar 2015
    Conference number: 21
    https://refsq.org/2015/

    Publication series

    NameCEUR Workshop Proceedings
    PublisherCEUR
    Volume1342
    ISSN (Print)1613-0073

    Conference

    Conference21st International Working Conference on Requirements Engineering: Foundation for Software Quality 2015
    Abbreviated titleREFSQ 2015
    CountryGermany
    CityEssen
    Period23/03/1526/03/15
    Internet address

    Keywords

    • EWI-26929
    • confirmatory case study
    • threats to validity
    • practitioners’ perceptions
    • Qualitative Research Methods
    • generalizability
    • METIS-316881
    • Focus Groups
    • Industry-relevant research
    • Empirical Software Engineering
    • Empirical Evaluation
    • IR-100178
    • Exploratory case study

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  • Cite this

    Daneva, M. (2015). Focus group: cost-effective and methodologically sound ways to get practitioners involved in your empirical RE research. In REFSQ-JP 2015: REFSQ Workshops, Research Method Track, and Poster Track (pp. 211-216). (CEUR Workshop Proceedings; Vol. 1342). CEUR.