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The Nominal Group Technique: an aid to Brainstorming ideas in research

Clive Boddy (Business School, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Article publication date: 13 January 2012




The purpose of this paper is to present and discuss a technique called the Nominal Group Technique (NGT) for possible use in the types of market research or management research where it is desirable to generate as many ideas as possible.


The benefits of the NGT were researched in a literature review. After this, qualitative research among research practitioners who have used the technique in Australia was conducted. One focus group of five researchers and three in‐depth interviews were conducted. Some of these responses are presented verbatim, in this paper, to order to illustrate the positive evaluations of the technique by researchers.


The research practitioners in this research were generally very positive about the NGT as a technique for idea generation. The conclusion from the research reported on in this paper is that the use of techniques such as Brainstorming, and the NGT have very beneficial roles to play in management and market research.

Practical implications

Brainstorming techniques and the NGT are discussed as fruitful methods for use in market research. The productive role of silence in idea generation research is also commented on.


Results from the literature review and the original research were compared, and were found to have a high level of congruence. This has implications for research practitioners because while many researchers are aware of Brainstorming techniques, fewer are aware of the potential of the NGT in market research.



Boddy, C. (2012), "The Nominal Group Technique: an aid to Brainstorming ideas in research", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 6-18.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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