The goal of the present article is to explore a major change in the quality management of a distinct category of services, respectively the qualitative research. The essence of the change consists in the creation of an international standard aiming to increase the quality and professionalism of the market, opinion and social research, also including the qualitative research. The approach is entirely focused on the services provided by companies specialized in this field to all the organizations that are interested in getting a better understanding of the market environment and of the marketing processes. The article suggests a structured overview of the main standardization efforts in the market research field and benchmarks the use of the qualitative research in Romania, to other new EU member states and to the world practice. At the same time, it underlines the quality challenges raised by the qualitative research and identifies the specific guidelines for the quality management in the case of qualitative research services provided by specialized companies. The provisions of the standard ISO 20252:2006 relative to the qualitative research are presented. The continuous and professional implementation of the standard provisions will support the efforts of both suppliers and customers to obtain the highest value from qualitative market research services.
quality management qualitative research focus groups in-depth interviews