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The Nominal Group Technique

The Nominal Group Technique

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The Nominal Group Technique

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  1. The Nominal Group Technique Chapter 42 Research Methodologies

  2. Nominal Group Technique • The NGT procedure is normally implemented in six stages: • Participants are first presented by the session moderator in which an initial statement of the topic area to be discussed • They are then directed to reflect individually on the topic • The group moderator asks a participant to state one of the responses he or she has arrived at • The next stage involves consolidation and review of the ideas • They are then requested to establish the relative importance that should be accorded to each of the response ideas • The final stage is the compilation of the results

  3. Analysis of NGT Data • The analysis of NGT data involves both qualitative and quantitative procedures requiring four basic steps: • Categorization of initial problem statements into problem themes • Regrouping of problem themes within conceptual model to form major problem dimensions • Calculation of a score or index reflecting the importance of each problem theme • Ranking of problem themes according to their importance index

  4. Other Planning Situations • Organizational goal setting: • The process serves first as a means of eliciting a set of statements defining the mission and objectives of the organization • In both the private and public sectors, once the organizational goals have been defined, the NGT process provides a mechanism for determining the relative priority the top management wishes to accord to the various goals statements that have been proposed

  5. Other Planning Situations cont… • Identification and evaluation of alternative courses of action: • In this situation, NGT can first be used to generate a range of problem or opportunity facing a management team and then can be subsequently employed to rate the perceived effectiveness of the options generated

  6. Research Applications of NGT • NGT can be adapted for use in the study of most research questions in which individuals are required to generate ideas and to provide some rating of the ideas’ desirability • A second research application is of NGT is an alternative to the Delphi Technique when attempting to obtain expert consensus on a given research topic

  7. Strengths of NGT • NGT provides structured output that can be analyzed at an individual level • The NGT process results in high respondent involvement and commitment • The process of identifying and scoring problem themes makes it possible to study both intra- and inter-group differences

  8. Weaknesses of NGT • The major disadvantage of NGT relates to sampling. Because participants have to agree to come to a central meeting location, attempts at probability sampling are met by a serious level of non-response

  9. Comparison with Focus Group Interviews • Focus group interviews: • The output of the session is relatively unstructured • A small subset of the participants may be outspoken and dominate the rest of the group • A highly trained session leader is required • The necessity to bring participants to a meeting room virtually precludes the use of probability sampling procedures

  10. Comparison with Focus Group cont… • Nominal Group Technique: • Shares with focus group the facility for identifying issues relevant to the target consumers • Enables the researcher to identify priorities for each participant • The structuring and establishing of priorities makes it possible to analyze similarities and differences across multiple NGT sessions • All participants have an equal voice in the session • The added structure of NGT sessions simplifies the process of training session leaders

  11. Comparison with Structured Survey Methods • Structured Survey Method • Ability to cover a large number and range of items • Use of probability sampling • Structured output that facilitates analysis • NGT • The advantage of probability sampling is not available • The range of topics that can be covered is reduced • The problem of establishing items that are relevant to the intended respondents is enhanced • The control of the interview setting is simplified

  12. Comparison with the Delphi Method • NGT: • The need to physically assemble participants • Delphi Method • It allows for more information to be provided to respondents and more time to consider an reflect upon that information prior to making judgments • Both: • They lend themselves to phased research and planning programs in which data are gathered sequentially

  13. Conclusion • To summarize, the NGT process is a systematic approach designed to provide two specific types of output: • It provides a list of ideas relevant to the topic question • It provides quantified individual and aggregate measures of the relative desirability of the ideas raised in the session