Delphi method is an unsung qualitative research technique used for investigating complex issues. It was the subject of one of The Media School’s Prof Tom Watson’s teaching actions during his Erasmus visit to Leipzig University in Germany last week.
He was hosted by Prof Gunter Bentele and Prof Ansgar Zerfass of the university’s Communication Management Research Institute (Instituts KMW), who are also co-researchers with him.
“Delphi method has been little used in PR and Communication Management research. So this was an opportunity to present it to a group of Early Career Researchers and PhD students,” said Prof Watson who used it for an international study of PR research priorities in 2007/08.
He is hopeful that Delphi method, which draws its name from the oracle of Delphi as it is used for forecasting and policy creation, will be more widely used at both universities. “It gets very rich results amongst practitioners and from international experts.”
Other actions during Prof Watson’s Erasmus visit, supported by the British Council and a FIF SMN selection, were two seminars to Masters students on PR history and PR measurement as well as mentoring meetings with PhD students.
Leipzig University has been an Erasmus partner of BU for the past four years. It has one of Europe’s leading communication management and PR research teams, with an international reputation. Professors Bentele and Zerfass have both visited BU under the Erasmus banner. Students have also come from Leipzig to BU for six months’ study on the MA Public Relations.
“As well as being where J.S. Bach composed his music in the Thomaskirche (St Thomas’s Church) in the 18th century, the venue of the annual World Goth Festival and a charming city centre , Leipzig is a top university which started in 1409”, said Prof Watson. “There is great potential to further develop our relationship with it and its very welcoming staff.”