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Delphi method: analysis of rounds, stakeholder and statistical indicators

Jhon Wilder Zartha Sossa (Antioquia, Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Medellín, Colombia)
William Halal (School of Business, ISTM Dept, George Washington University, Washington, District of Columbia, USA)
Raul Hernandez Zarta (Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Medellín, Colombia)


ISSN: 1463-6689

Article publication date: 5 September 2019

Issue publication date: 5 September 2019




The purpose of this study is to review the literature on the Delphi method, its characteristics and current applications through an analysis of recent most-cited scientific papers, with an emphasis on three axes, namely, the number of rounds used, stakeholder participation relevance or only academic experts’ participation and the possibility of using indicators or techniques different from those related to descriptive statistics.


In total, 57 papers were initially reviewed, 10 of them with a high citation rate. Then, an analysis was made of papers in Scopus for the period 2015-2018 published in the Technological Forecasting and Social Change Journal and in the Futures and Foresight Journal, which had the characteristic of displaying quartile Q1 or Q2 in Scimago in addition to being in Scopus.


Among the main results, the authors observe the tendency to use fewer rounds, a higher prevalence of stakeholder participation and not only academic experts but also the use of new types of modified Delphi such as real-time spatial Delphi, Delphi group, market Delphi, real-world Delphi and policy Delphi.


Among the conclusions, the possibility of using other indicators or complementary techniques to the descriptive statistics is highlighted such as number of justifications or comments between rounds, coefficients to quantify the competence or degree of expertise of the participants, measures of the perception of the expert on the usefulness of the presented feedback, graphs of the number of arguments according to the number of questions, the Wilcoxon Ranked Pairs Test, the k means, Kolmogorov–Simonov test and the Mann–Whitney U-test.



Zartha Sossa, J.W., Halal, W. and Hernandez Zarta, R. (2019), "Delphi method: analysis of rounds, stakeholder and statistical indicators", Foresight, Vol. 21 No. 5, pp. 525-544.



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