Login | Register

The Delphi method as a research tool: an example, design considerations and applications


The Delphi method as a research tool: an example, design considerations and applications

Okoli, Chitu and Pawlowski, Suzanne D. (2004) The Delphi method as a research tool: an example, design considerations and applications. Information & Management, 42 (1). pp. 15-29. ISSN 03787206

[thumbnail of Post-print: final draft post-refereeing]
Text (Post-print: final draft post-refereeing) (application/pdf)
OkoliPawlowski2004DelphiPostprint.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Spectrum Terms of Access.

Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.im.2003.11.002


The Delphi method has proven a popular tool in information systems research for identifying and prioritizing issues for managerial decision-making. However, many past studies have not adopted a systematic approach to conduct a Delphi study. This article provides rigorous guidelines for the process of selecting appropriate experts for the study and gives detailed principles for making design choices during the process that ensure a valid study. A detailed example of a study to identify key factors affecting the diffusion of e-commerce in Sub-Saharan Africa illustrates the design choices that may be involved. We conclude with suggestions for theoretical applications.

Divisions:Concordia University > John Molson School of Business > Decision Sciences and Management Information Systems
Item Type:Article
Authors:Okoli, Chitu and Pawlowski, Suzanne D.
Journal or Publication:Information & Management
Date:December 2004
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):10.1016/j.im.2003.11.002
Keywords:Delphi method; Group decision making; Research design; Strategic planning; Electronic commerce
ID Code:976864
Deposited On:12 Feb 2013 14:41
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:43


[1] R.H. Ament, Comparison of Delphi forecasting studies in 1964 and 1969, Futures March, 1970, p. 43.
[2] D. Bacon, B. Fitzgerald, A systemic framework for the field of information systems, Database for Advances in Information Systems 32 (2), 2001, pp. 46-67.
[3] N.H. Barry, Nonparametric statistics, http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/B/Nancy.H.Barry-1/nonpar.html, 2002.
[4] J.C. Brancheau, B.D. Janz, J.C. Wetherbe, Key issues in information systems management: 1994-95 SIM Delphi results, MIS Quarterly 20 (2), 1996, pp. 225-242.
[5] J.C. Brancheau, J.C. Wetherbe, Key issues in information systems management, MIS Quarterly 11 (1), 1987, pp. 23-45.
[6] C.G. Cegielski, A Model of the Factors that Affect the Integration of Emerging Information Technology Into Corporate Strategy, unpublished Doctoral Dissertation, University of Mississippi, 2001.
[7] M.R. Czinkota, I.A. Ronkainen, International business and trade in the next decade: Report from a Delphi study, Journal of International Business Studies 28 (4), 1997, pp. 827-844.
[8] N. Dalkey, O. Helmer, An experimental application of the Delphi method to the use of experts, Management Science 9 (3), 1963, pp. 458-467.
[9] A.L. Delbecq, A.H. Van de Ven, D.H. Gustafson, Group techniques for program planning: A guide to nominal group and Delphi processes, Scott, Foresman and Company, Glenview, Illinois, 1975.
[10] N. Denzin, Y. Lincoln, Entering the field of qualitative research, in: N. Denzin, Y. Lincoln (Eds.), The Landscape of Qualitative Research, SAGE, Thousand Oaks, California, 1998, pp. 1-34.
[11] D.A. Dillman, Mail and Internet surveys: The Tailored Design Method, John Wiley & Sons, New York, 2000.
[12] A. Dutta, The physical infrastructure for electronic commerce in developing nations: Historical trends and the impact of privatization, International Journal of Electronic Commerce 2 (1), 1997, pp. 61-83.
[13] S. Hayne, C. Pollard, A comparative analysis of critical issues facing Canadian information systems personnel: A national and global perspective, Information & Management 38 (2), 2000, pp. 73-86.
[14] P. Holsapple, K. Joshi, Knowledge manipulation activities: Results of a Delphi study, Information & Management 39 (6), 2002, pp. 477-490.
[15] J.E. Kendall, K.E. Kendall, S. Smithson, I.O. Angell, SEER: A divergent methodology applied to forecasting the future roles of the systems analyst, Human Systems Management 11 (3), 1992, pp. 123-135.
[16] V. Lai, W. Chung, Managing international data communications, Information & Management 45 (3), 2002, pp. 89-93.
[17] H.A. Linstone, M. Turoff, The Delphi Method: Techniques and Applications, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, London, 1975.
[18] V.W.A. Mbarika, Africa's Least Developed Countries' Teledensity Problems and Strategies, ME & AGWECAMS Publishers, Yaoundé, Cameroon, 2001.
[19] V.W.A. Mbarika, T.A. Byrd, P. McMullen, P. Musa, Teledensity growth constraints and strategies for Africa's LDCs: "Viagra" prescriptions or sustainable development strategy?, Journal of Global Information Technology Management 5 (1), 2002, p. 25-42.
[20] V.W.A. Mbarika, T.A. Byrd, J. Raymond, Growth of teledensity in least developed countries: Need for a mitigated euphoria, Journal of Global Information Management 10 (2), 2002, pp. 14-27.
[21] R. Montealegre, Implications of electronic commerce for managers in less-developed countries, Information Technology for Development 7 (3), 1996, pp. 145-152.
[22] R. Montealegre, Managing information technology in modernizing "against the odds": Lessons from an organization in a less-developed country, Information & Management 34, 1998, pp. 103-116.
[23] R. Montealegre, Four visions of e-commerce in Latin America in the year 2010, Thunderbird International Business Review 43 (6), 2001, pp. 717-735.
[24] P. Mulligan, Specification of a capability-based IT classification framework, Information & Management 39 (8), 2002, pp. 647-658.
[25] S. Nambisan, R. Agarwal, M. Tanniru, Organizational mechanisms for enhancing user innovation in information technology, MIS Quarterly 23 (3), 1999, pp. 365-395.
[26] V.K. Narayanan, L. Fahey, The micro-politics of strategy formulation, Academy of Management Review 7, 1982, pp. 25-34.
[27] M. Odedra, M. Lawrie, M. Bennet, S.E. Goodman, Sub-Saharan Africa: A technological desert, Communications of the ACM 36 (2), 1993, pp. 25-29.
[28] R. Ono, D.J. Wedemeyer, Assessing the validity of the Delphi technique, Futures 26, 1994, pp. 289-305.
[29] S.J. Paliwoda, Predicting the future using Delphi, Management Decision 21 (1), 1983, pp. 31-38.
[30] B. Petrazzini, M. Kibati, The Internet in developing countries, Communications of the ACM 42 (6), 1999, pp. 31-36.
[31] J. Pfeffer, Managing with Power: Politics and Influence in Organizations, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, 1992.
[32] J. Rohrbaugh, Improving the quality of group judgments: Social judgment analysis and the Delphi technique, Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 24, 1979, pp. 73-92.
[33] G. Rowe, G. Wright, F. Bolger, Delphi: A re-evaluation of research and theory, Technological Forecasting and Social Change 39, 1991, pp. 235-251.
[34] R.C. Schmidt, Managing Delphi surveys using nonparametric statistical techniques, Decision Sciences 28 (3), 1997, pp. 763-774.
[35] R.C. Schmidt, K. Lyytinen, M. Keil, P. Cule, Identifying software project risks: An international Delphi study, Journal of Management Information Systems 17 (4), 2001, pp. 5-36.
[36] S. Siegel, N.J. Castellan, Jr., Nonparametric Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences, McGraw Hill, New York, 1988.
[37] B. Travica, Diffusion of electronic commerce in developing countries: The case of Costa Rica, Journal of Global Information Technology Management 5 (1), 2002, pp. 4-24.
[38] UNECA, The process of developing national information and communications infrastructure (NICI) in Africa, http://www.uneca.org/adf99/nici.htm, 1999.
[39] D. Viehland, J. Hughes, The future of the wireless application protocol, Proceedings of the Eighth Americas Conference on Information Systems, Dallas, 2002, pp. 1883-1891.
[40] K. Weick, Organizational redesign as improvisation, in G. Huber, W. Glick, eds., Organizational Change and Redesign: Ideas and Insights for Improving Performance, Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 1993, pp. 346-379.
[41] P. Wolcott, L. Press, W. McHenry, S.E. Goodman, W. Foster, A framework for assessing the global diffusion of the Internet, Journal of the Association for Information Systems 2 (6), 2001.
All items in Spectrum are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved. The use of items is governed by Spectrum's terms of access.

Repository Staff Only: item control page

Downloads per month over past year

Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
- Research related to the current document (at the CORE website)
Back to top Back to top