The Delphi Technique for Futures Research


This chapter represents the second of the three chapters on theoretical foundation within this thesis. It concerns the Delphi technique, one of the most prominent tools of futures research. The intention behind is to build the fundament for later Delphi research in the scope of scenario development. The chapter therefore has a strong focus on methodological aspects of Delphi.


Delphi Method Delphi Study Delphi Process Rand Corporation Delphi Technique 
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  1. 1.
    A “self-fulfilling prophecy” concerns a forecast that directly or indirectly causes itself to become true (Gecas, 1990, p. 180; Spangenberg & Greenwald, 1999, p. 61). The term has been coined by 20th-century sociologist Robert K. Merton, who defined a self-fulfilling prophecy as “a false definition of the situation evoking a new behaviour which makes the originally false conception come true” (Merton, 1948, p. 195). Scenarios are said to have great power to induce self-fulfilling prophecies. A “self-defeating prophecy” is the complementary opposite of a self-fulfilling prophecy and thus refers to forecasts that prove to be false because of actions resulting from the forecast (Armstrong, 2001, p. 810).Google Scholar

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© Betriebswirtschaftlicher Verlag Dr. Th. Gabler | GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden 2008

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