Establishing a framework for assessing organisational effectiveness in Western Australian local government : A Delphi experiment
Edith Cowan University
Place of Publication
Mount Lawley, Western Australia
Department of Recreation Studies
The Delphi method was used to identify likely criteria for assessing effectiveness in local government recreation services. An overview of the Delphi technique is provided, including a summary of historical and current literature evaluating the technique.
Recreation professionals were involved in determining appropriate effectiveness indicators, which was more useful than establishing a set of criteria which may reflect the unarticulated values of the researcher. The organisational literature recognises that organisational effectiveness is an evaluative construct defined by the needs and preferences of relevant participants, while leisure researchers acknowledge an absence of evaluative studies of leisure services. This study addressed these two issues.
A panel of recreation "experts" was asked to define effectiveness and explore differences in the perceptions of organisational effectiveness or ineffectiveness in recreation services. A total of twenty-five items, selected from the effectiveness criteria identified were to form the framework for a more extensive study of organisational effectiveness in Western Australian local government recreation services.
The Delphi experiment was suitable for this study, but it w_as not without limitations, for example, selection and retention of panel members and the potential for ambiguity of questions and responses due to complexity of the tasks. However, the format of a Delphi does allow for clarification and correction by panel members, to reduce these effects during the iterative processes.
This technique has been shown to have potential for wide application in recreation research, for example, in identifying trends or gathering historical data on previously undocumented leisure and recreation services or programmes. The Delphi has particular advantages for research of an exploratory nature, as in this present study.