The DELPHI Method (Part 1)
My Ph.D. research examining status and influence progresses well, thanks to the continued support of and contributions from the always-amazing people of SCN. Over the past month, I have been fortunate to work with a very select group of SCN experts, using a procedure called “The DELPHI Method”. This process is a hybrid of survey methodology and focus groups, which attempts to identify consensus on a topic while avoiding traditional biases or power struggles. The DELPHI experts addressed challenges such as distinguishing between status and expertise, and defining the tasks and resources involved in good SCN practice.
Our primary task was to produce a ranking of status characteristics in the SCN, ordered descending from “most relevant” to “least relevant”. (A status characteristic is “any recognized social distinction that has attached to it widely shared beliefs about at least two categories, or states, of the distinction,” (Bianchi et al., 2011, p. 1); in other words, status characteristics are those features whose possession confers advantages and whose lack confers disadvantages or punishments.)
Before I reveal the results of The DELPHI Method (in a future blog!), I would like to invite you to help answer this question via a one-question survey:
This question – “Which is a more relevant indicator of status in the SCN?” – is the same posed to the DELPHI experts, except that instead of a multi-characteristic list, it employs the pairwise comparison tool of AllOurIdeas.org (a collaboration between Princeton University and Google). There are more than 250 possible pairs, and you may vote as many times as you like (even one vote is helpful!).
I will compare the results from the AllOurIdeas project with those reached by the DELPHI group; thusly testing the new method generally will contribute to social science research, and specifically will help me to understand how the different types of status operate in the SCN.
As always, I am grateful to the SCN Collaboration Team (among others) at SAP for their interest in and support of my research, and to the many members of SCN who make it possible. I love receiving your insightful responses equally to your more contentious contributions (!), and your small messages of encouragement and enthusiasm are huge to me! I look forward to sharing some results – and then learning your feedback! – soon.