Strengthening the validity and reliability of the focus group as a method in tax research

Publisher:
Atax, UNSW
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
eJournal of Tax Research, 2013, Dec 2010, 11 (2), pp. 176 - 190
Issue Date:
2013-01
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Contemporary tax research appears to be becoming increasingly multi-disciplinary and using mixed methodologies as researchers seek deeper understandings and thereby more critically 'real' solutions to research problems. This article provides a detailed discussion and demonstration of how analytical tools more commonly associated with quantitative research can be successfully applied to qualitative data (collected by either quantitative or qualitative methods). The demonstration herein is based on data collected by two focus groups conducted as part of a broader study into determining the value of land for the purposes of taxation. It is argued that the techniques used herein, including data coding focused not only on themes, but on points of agreement and disagreement, and considered weighting of data can allow qualitative researchers to strengthen the (construct and internal) validity and reliability of their findings without compromising the richness of the understandings gained.
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