Beyond consensus: An alternative use of Delphi enquiry in hospitality research

A. Paraskevas, M.N.K. Saunders

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    30 Citations (Scopus)


    – This paper's aim is to critically review the use of Delphi techniques in qualitative research for utilising “expert” opinions and to explore through a detailed example how Policy Delphi can be used by hospitality researchers as an alternative to the more widely used Normative Delphi.

    – The paper reflects on the research methodology of a project that explored organisational crisis signals detection using Policy Delphi with a criterion sample comprising 16 senior hotel executives involved in crisis management.

    – The main methodological concerns regarding Delphi are the definition of consensus, the expertise of the panel, its lack of scientific rigour, and – due to its lack of uniformity – reliability and validity of findings. Policy Delphi by default addresses the first since it does not seek consensus and can, through its design and execution, address the remaining concerns.

    Research limitations/implications
    – Carefully designed Policy Delphi can offer a powerful research tool for exploratory research in hospitality, particularly for development of policies and strategies within an organisation. Unlike Normative Delphi, it is not intended as a decision making tool, but rather as a tool to generate options and suggest alternative courses of action for consideration.

    – The paper presents a valuable research tool that has evaded the attention of many hospitality researchers offering an illustrative example of its use in exploratory research to deliver credible, transferable and confirmable findings.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)907-924
    Number of pages18
    JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

    Bibliographical note

    cited By 8


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