Chapter 7Chapter 7
Exploratory Research andExploratory Research and
Qualitative AnalysisQualitative Analysis
Exploratory Research: What It Is
and What It Is Not?
• Exploratory Research is initial research conducted to
clarify and define the nature of a problem.
• Much, but certainly not all, exploratory research
provides qualitative data.
• Alternatively, the purpose of quantitative research is
to determine the quantity or extent of some
phenomenon in the form of numbers.
• Exploratory research may be a single research
investigation or a series of informal studies to
provide background information.
• Does not provide conclusive evidence
• Subsequent research expected
What is Exploratory
– Exploratory versus descriptive and conclusive
• Small versus large samples
• Broad range of questioning versus structured
• Subjective interpretation versus statistical
Why Conduct Exploratory
• Diagnose a situation (Situation Analysis)
• Screening of alternatives
– Concept Testing is a form of research that tests
some sort of stimulus as a proxy for a new or
revised program, product, or service.
• Discover new ideas
• Exploratory research procedure that tests some
sort of stimulus as a proxy for an idea about a
new, revised, or repositioned product, service, or
• How is the positioning? How do they see it? Will
people buy it?
• DNI- Find out what customers want/need. What
do they want in a product?
Categories of Exploratory
• Experience surveys
• Secondary data analysis
• Case studies
• Pilot studies
• An exploratory research technique in
which individuals who are
knowledgeable about a particular
research problems are surveyed.
“If you wish to know the road up the
mountain, you must ask the man who
goes back and forth on it.”
Secondary Data Analysis
• Preliminary review of data collected for
another purpose to clarify issues in the
early stages of a research effort.
• Quick source for background
Case Study Method
• An exploratory research technique that
intensively investigates one or a few
situations similar to the researcher’s
• Investigate in depth
• Careful study
• May require cooperation
• A collective term used to:
– describe any small scale exploratory study
– uses sampling but does not apply rigorous
• Types of pilot study include:
– Focus Group Interviews
– Projective Techniques
– In-Depth Interviews
“A man is least himself when he talks
in his own person; when given a mask
he will tell the truth.”
Focus Group Interviews
• An unstructured,
interview with a
small group of
• Group interview
• Start with broad
topic and focus in on
Advantages of Focus Group
Interview (10 S’s)
• Synergy ….. 2 are better than 1 and 3 are better than 2
• Serendipity …. Luck , coincidence
• Snowballing …. Using each others ideas to move on and refine
• Stimulation …. Encouragement and motivation
• Security …. Members feel support of each other and no fear
• Spontaneity …. Impulsiveness, naturalness
• Specialization …. Experts, field, specialty, interest
• Scrutiny ….. Inspection, analysis, inquiry
• Structure …. Arrangement, formation, composition
• Speed …. Pace, momentum, tempo, swiftness
• 6 to 10 people
• Similar lifestyles and
• A coffee klatch or bull session
atmosphere be established to ensure
that the mood of the sessions will be as
relaxed and natural as possible.
• Easy and conducive for discussion
• Must match participants members status
Outline for a Focus Group
• Establish a rapport
• Begin with broad topic
• Focus in on specific topic
• Generate discussion and interaction
• The moderator’s written prefatory
remarks and outline of topics/questions
that will be addressed.
• Develops rapport - helps people relax
• Listens to what people have to say
• Everyone gets a chance to speak
• Maintains loose control and
• Stimulates spontaneous responses
Advantages of Online
• Bring together many participants from
wide-spread geographical areas
• Respondent anonymity
• Transcript automatically recorded
Disadvantages of Online Focus Groups
• Less group interaction
• Absence of tactile stimulation
• Absence of facial expression and body
• Moderator’s job is different
SM- Multimedia content that can be
accesses on the internet without being
Online focus group- People interact via
chat rooms. Harder to snowball their
comments and lose some interaction.
Good: Can be more people, can no
Bad: Only people with internet access
can be a part of it, no body language or
facial expressions, No taste or touch can
• An indirect means of questioning that enables a
respondent to project beliefs and feelings onto a
third party, , onto an inanimate object, or into a
– Word Association test is the exploratory research technique
in which the subject is presented with a list of words, one at a
time, and asked to respond with the first word that comes to
– Sentence Completion Method is the projective technique in
which respondents are required to complete a number of
partial sentences with the first word or phrase that comes to
People who drink beer are ______________________
A man who drinks light beer is ___________________
Imported beer is most liked by ___________________
A woman will drink beer when____________________
Thematic Apperception Test is a test consisting of a
series of pictures shown to research subjects who are then
asked to provide a description of the pictures. The
researcher analyzes the content of these descriptions in
an effort to clarify a research problem.
– Third-person Technique is the exploratory research
technique in which the respondent is asked why a third
person does what he/she does or what he/she thinks about
an object, event, person, or activity. The respondent is
expected to transfer his/her attitudes to the third person.
– Role Playing is an exploratory research technique that
requires the subject to act out someone else’s behavior in a
– Picture Frustration is a version of T.A.T. that uses cartoon
drawing in which the respondent suggests dialogue that the
cartoon characters might make.
• A relative unstructured, extensive
interview used in the primary stages of
the research process.
• The techniques may produce some interesting and
occasionally bizarre, hypotheses about what was
inside a person’s mind.
– A woman is very serious when she bakes a cake
because unconsciously she is going through the
symbolic act of giving birth.
– A many buys convertible as a substitute
– Men who wear suspenders are reacting to an
unresolved castration complex.
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.