Assessing the application of focus groups as a method for collecting data in logistics

Vasco Sanchez Rodrigues, Maja Piecyk, Andrew Potter, Alan McKinnon, Mohamed Naim, Julia Edwards

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    20 Citations (Scopus)


    Relatively little attention has been given to methodological issues in the logistics literature. In logistics, 'we need to take more account of the views of practitioners in the field by supporting quantitative data with qualitative data' [New, S J. and Payne, P. (1995). Research frameworks in logistics: three models, seven dinners and a survey. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 25(10), 60-77]. The aim of this paper is to provide a guide on how to deploy focus groups as a supportive method to achieve industrial relevance without compromising the academic rigour of logistics research. We develop a framework that highlights the factors influencing focus groups' effectiveness in the logistics discipline. Our analysis is based on previous focus groups research applied in logistics and on focus group cases discussed in the paper. We conclude that the focus group method for data collection can be used as a supporting method in logistics research, enabling methodological triangulation that improves the credibility of research results. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)75-94
    Number of pages20
    JournalInternational Journal of Logistics Research and Applications
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


    • Methodological triangulation
    • Qualitative research
    • Research strategy
    • Supply chain


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