Conducting Online Focus Groups - Practical Advice for Information Systems Researchers

Laura Schulze, Manuel Trenz, Zhao Cai, Chee Wee Tan

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Video-based online focus groups (OFGs) present an emerging opportunity for Information Systems (IS) researchers to circumvent spatial and temporal constraints in collecting rich data. They enable researchers to overcome interpersonal and operational challenges arising from face-to-face (F2F) focus groups (FGs) by allowing participants, who are located anywhere in the world, to share their personal experiences from behind their screens. However, the realization of the full potential of OFGs for IS research is currently hampered by challenges and uncertainty over best practices when conducting such FGs. Consequently, we offer a detailed account of our own experiences with seven OFGs in the context of digital platforms. In supplementing our own experiences with those of others reported in extant literature on (online) FGs in and beyond the IS discipline, we (a) arrive at hurdles inherent to the OFG method, (b) derive lessons learned from our own experience with OFGs, and (c) prescribe actionable advice to researchers who are interested in conducting OFGs in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-599
Number of pages44
JournalCommunications of the Association for Information Systems
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Online Focus Group
  • Qualitative Research
  • Research Method
  • Videoconference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems


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