Conference Report: The Hunt for the Nibelungen Treasure. BVM Conference: "Qualitative Market Research—State of the Art and Prospects"


  • Thomas Kühn



qualitative market research, qualitative methodology, theory-practice-exchange, consultancy, marketing


On March 9th, 2005, a conference entitled "Qualitative Market Research—State of the Art and Prospects" was held in Frankfurt/M., organized by the Association of German Social and Market Researchers (BVM e.V.). Because of the great interest generated by the conference it was repeated on April 20th, 2005. The aim of the conference was to bring together market research professionals from the supply and demand sector to discuss the state of the art of qualitative market research in Germany. Within this report the main topics and discussions from the conference will be summarized and evaluated in relation to their meaning for qualitative market research in Germany. The presentations revealed that qualitative market research in Germany is a diverse enterprise. The conference was an important step to optimize transparency and knowledge-management within qualitative market research. First, the variety of the presented approaches was helpful: After an introduction on essential features of qualitative research that laid a theoretical foundation and a point of reference for the following discussion, qualitative market research was presented in five talks from psychodynamic, cognitive, ethnological and systemic perspectives. Second, the final clients’ forum provided the opportunity for intensive and fruitful discussions between market researchers from business organizations and institutes. In practice, the meaning of qualitative methods within the market research process differs broadly between organizations. It became clear that market researchers frequently combine qualitative and quantitative approaches, but that there is still the need to discuss how this integration of methods can be realized systematically and in the best way. Additionally, it was suggested that further discussion is needed on the importance of qualitative research by itself, e.g. in its meaning for predictions and consultancy needs. Summarizing, the conference illustrated that qualitative market research in Germany is in a phase of dynamic development. Still, there is much unexplored potential for market research in general as well for cooperation with academic-social qualitative researchers. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs050356


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Author Biography

Thomas Kühn

Thomas KÜHN, Jahrgang 1971, Dr. phil., Dipl.-Psych., arbeitete zunächst von 1997-2001 als wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter im Sonderforschungsbereich 186 "Statuspassagen und Risikolagen im Lebensverlauf" an der Universität Bremen. Von 2001 bis 2003 war er bei TNS Emnid im Bereich der qualitativen Markt- und Meinungsforschung beschäftigt und übernahm Tätigkeiten als Projekt- und stellvertretender Abteilungsleiter. Seit Oktober 2003 leitet er als Feodor-Lynen-Stipendiat der Alexander-von-Humboldt-Stiftung in Zusammenarbeit mit einer brasilianischen Universität (UENF) ein sozialwissenschaftliches Forschungsprojekt in Rio de Janeiro. Arbeitsschwerpunkte: Qualitative Markt- und Sozialforschung, Biografie- und Lebenslaufforschung, Familien- und Berufsforschung, soziale Ungleichheitsforschung.



How to Cite

Kühn, T. (2005). Conference Report: The Hunt for the Nibelungen Treasure. BVM Conference: "Qualitative Market Research—State of the Art and Prospects". Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 6(3).