Potential use of Delphi to conduct mixed-methods research: A study of a research project on leadership.

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
2018, (Adam Zammitt), pp. ? - ? (14)
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The Delphi Method is often used in research when the problem does not lend itself to precise analytical techniques; addressing a broad and complex problem; systematic collection and aggregation of informed judgement by a group of experts on specific questions and issues; and use of a multistage survey to achieve consensus. (Keeney et al. 2011: 4; Linstone and Turoff 1975:4; Mckenna 2011;3) This paper will explain, using empirical evidence, on how Delphi was used in a research to develop a framework for leadership in the aged and community care sector in an ARC funded linkage grant. (XXXX). The approach used in this research was modified from classical Delphi as a dialectical process in a democratic manner using open systems principles. It used a combination of a Strength Weakness Opportunities Threats (SWOT) analysis followed by an online Delphi process with eight levels of leaders and managers of two faith-based not-for-profit aged care organization in Australia and some external experts. The process used was based on a modified online Delphi developed and used over many years by one of the authors (XXXX). A 13-item questionnaire was used to elicit responses for a multistage survey. SPSS was used to analyze the responses and fed back to the participants. Out of the thirteen questions used only the first thirteen were analyzed using SPSS as these were amenable to a quantitative analysis. Questions 11 to 13 were more open-ended questions. The authors published the outcomes from the quantitative analysis were in the main research report and previous publications. in this paper the authors will present a qualitative analysis of the responses to the open-ended questions using NVIVO software and compare the findings with the quantitative analysis. The paper will discuss the differences. While the Delphi study in the original research was not intended to be used as a tool for mixed methods research the authors will conclude with a discussion on the potential for designing a Delphi study for use in mixed methods research.
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