Szendrey, Jaszmina (2011) Expert-Group: A New Research Method, YoungOR 17: Biennial Conference of the Operational Research Society, 5–7 April 2011, Nottingham, United Kingdom
This paper is focused on developing a new methodological approach for a research in strategic decision support, including both theoretical and practical considerations. I am interested in rich and complex qualitative data provided by experts participating in the decision making process. This implies the use of qualitative research methods. In order to overcome some of the weaknesses typically associated with qualitative approaches, such as the high demands in terms of the time and resources that are involved in the data generation and analysis as well as the ambiguity of the interpretation and analysis of this data, I am using a knowledge-based expert system to generate and process qualitative data. As the available research methods and tools did not satisfy the requirements of my research, I developed a new research method, that I call the ‘Expert-Group’. After learning how to use the software, I interviewed the facilitators and observed them at work. Then I designed a unique multiple-case study research process incorporating the newly developed Expert-Group research method and implemented it in four case companies. The main advantage of the Expert-Group research method is that it enables a more systematic approach to qualitative research without compromising the data.