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Achieving consensus devoid of complicity: adopting the Delphi technique

Edoghogho Ogbeifun (Postgraduate School of Engineering Management, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Charles Mbohwa (Department of Quality and Operations Management, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Jan-Harm C. Pretorius (Postgraduate School of Engineering Management, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa)

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 10 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

There are latent fears that in a Delphi exercise, the opinions of participants might be impaired due to the proximity of other participants. However, the thoughtful selection of participants and effective communication during the process can guarantee the independence of the participants’ opinions. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The single site case study method was adopted and the participants for the Delphi exercise were chosen from the strategic and tactical levels of leadership. The professional, positional experience and responsibilities of the participants guaranteed the quality of their opinions.

Findings

Although some of the facilities management participants are from the same division, the data collected demonstrate the opinions of independent minds, thus guaranteeing that consensus was achieved without complicity.

Originality/value

The research shows that it is possible to achieve consensus of opinion in a Delphi exercise without complicity, even when the participants know each other. This can be achieved through the painstaking selection of appropriate participants, the skills of the research coordinator and transparent communication between the rounds and in the final report.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to the University of Johannesburg that supported this research through the postgraduate funding for research and innovations, administered in the form of the “supervisors” lead bursary.

Citation

Ogbeifun, E., Mbohwa, C. and Pretorius, J.-H.C. (2017), "Achieving consensus devoid of complicity: adopting the Delphi technique", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 66 No. 6, pp. 766-779. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPPM-08-2015-0112

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited