The Delphi technique in forecasting

A 42-year bibliographic analysis (1975–2017)

Document identifier:
Access full text here:10.1016/j.techfore.2019.119773
Keyword: Social Sciences, Economics and Business, Business Administration, Samhällsvetenskap, Ekonomi och näringsliv, Företagsekonomi, Delphi, Bibliographic analysis, Visual analytics, Trend analysis, Industrial Marketing, Industriell marknadsföring
Publication year: 2020
Relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG 11 Sustainable cities and communitiesSDG 4 Quality educationSDG 16 Peace, justice and strong institutions
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Since the infancy of the Delphi Technique for collecting and aggregating expert insight, this methodological tool has been discussed, adapted and applied in over 2,600 published scholarly papers to date. This paper mines the major citation indexing services to analyze five dimensions of these data: primary contribution (methodological or applied), field and subfield, length (in pages), year, and journal/conference. Interpreted visual analytics of these five dimensions (both individually and in combination) provide researchers, practitioners and editors with clear insights about whether the Delphi technique is still as prominently used, discussed, and written about in the academic literature as it was twenty years ago and the related trends that might inform predictions of its future use. Among these insights, a simple time series of frequencies of Delphi publications by year immediately shows that academic acceptance of Delphi as a research tool is not only well established, but it has been growing in popularity and range of research domains for two decades predicting unprecedented levels of use in the years to come.


Andrew Flostrand

Luleå tekniska universitet; Industriell Ekonomi
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Leyland Pitt

Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., Canada
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Shannon Bridson

Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., Canada
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