Gadamerian Philosophical Hermeneutics – a useful methodological framework for the Delphi Technique
This poster illustrates a methodological framework proposed in response to a key finding of a scoping review that sought to identify the underpinning methodology of studies that utilize the Delphi technique. Delphi is commonly used in social sciences and health-related research when there is limited objective data available or incomplete knowledge about a problem or phenomenon. The Delphi technique uses a reflexive and iterative survey process to engage participants, selected because of their knowledge and experience, in a structured anonymous conversation. The process facilitates the pooling of expert knowledge to develop a collective opinion on a specific topic. Methodology provides the framework supporting the principles of the research process that maintain its integrity, and its absence may result in poor research practice and less convincing results. From a scoping review, only nine articles were identified, from 390articles in scholarly journals published between 2009 and 2013, which acknowledged some form of methodological framework associated with the Delphi technique. Several philosophical standpoints, which were not elaborated on in great detail, were proposed in the review articles. To promote consistency and integrity in Delphi research, and in the absence of a universally recognised methodology associated with the Delphi technique, we propose that the philosophical hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer are consistent with the aim of Delphi technique, and provide rationales for essential components of the research process.