An experimental modification of the nominal group technique

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The Nominal Group Technique (NGT) is a group decision making process which was developed to minimize the process losses of the traditional, interacting method. While proven to be superior to the widely-used interacting method by earlier research studies, NGT does not appear in the school administration literature as a useful technique for participatory problem solving. Because the original NGT can take one or more hours to complete, the assumption was tested that NGT could be made more useful to school administrators if it were modified for use into two brief sessions on successive days. This study modifies the NGT process by dividing the phases of the process into brief, two day sessions.

The NGT problem question was a problem identification task of identifying major teacher stressors in an elementary school setting. This study is a post-test only, control group design involving 36 elementary school teachers. Dependent measures were (1) the perceived satisfaction of participants with the processes and outcomes, and (2) the similarity of responses generated by NGT and modified NGT (MNGT) groups. Similarity of response data were analyzed using a chi-square test, and satisfaction data were analyzed by applying at-test.

Conclusions of this study were that NGT and MNGT yield similar results with regard to participant satisfaction and similarity of responses. As a result of this study, school administrators have access to a reliable process for obtaining in-put from the total faculty within the contractual school day.