Applying the Repertory Grid Method for Technology Forecasting: Civil Unmanned Aviation Systems for Germany

Open access


Multistage expert surveys like the Delphi method are proven concepts for technology forecasting that enable the prediction of content-related and temporal development in fields of innovation (e.g., [1, 2]). Advantages of these qualitative multistage methods are a simple and easy to understand concept while still delivering valid results [3]. Nevertheless, the literature also points out certain disadvantages especially in large-scale technology forecasts in particularly abstract fields of innovation [4]. The proposed approach highlights the usefulness of the repertory grid method as an alternative for technology forecasting and as a first step for preference measurement. The basic approach from Baier and Kohler [5] is modified in-so-far that an online survey reduces the cognitive burden for the experts and simplifies the data collection process. Advantages over alternative approaches through its simple structure and through combining qualitative and quantitative methods are shown and an adaption on an actual field of innovation – civil drones in Germany – is done. The measurement of a common terminology for all experts minimizes misunderstandings during the interview and the achievement of an inter-individual comparable level of abstraction is forced by the laddering technique [6] during the interview.

[1] Cuhls K., Grupp H., Blind K. [Eds.], Delphi ’98 – New Chances by Strategic Foresight [in Germany: Delphi ‘98 – Neue Chancen durch strategische Vorausschau], Karlsruhe: Fraunhofer-Institut für Systemtechnik und Innovationsforschung, 1998.

[2] Green K.C., Armstrong J.S., Graefe A., Methods to elicit forecasts from groups: Delphi and prediction markets compared, Foresight: The International Journal of Applied Forecasting, no. 8, 17–20, 2007.

[3] Armstrong J.S., Green K.C., Green H., Green C., Select a Forecasting Method (Selection Tree), Retrieved from, 2015.

[4] ISI, Delphi ’98 Survey: Study of Global Development of Science and Technology [in Grmany: Delphi ’98 Umfrage – Studie zur globalen Entwick-lung von Wissenschaft und Technik], Karlsruhe: Fraunhofer-Institut für Systemtechnik und Innovationsforschung, 1998.

[5] Baier D., Kohler T., Technology Foresight by Repertory Grid Method: Methodology and Practical Example [in Germany: Technikvorausschau mittels Repertory-Grid-Verfahren: Methodik und Praxisbeispiel], [in:] Möhrle M.G., Isenmann R. [Eds.], Technologie-Roadmapping: Zukunftsstrategien für Technologieunternehmen, pp. 177–192, Heidelberg: Springer, 2002.

[6] Reynolds T.J., Gutman J. Laddering: Extending the Repertory Grid Methodology to Construct Attribute-Consequence-Value Hierarchies, [in:] Pitts R.E. [Ed.], Personal Values and Consumer Psychology, pp. 155–167, A.G. Woodside. Lexington: D.C. Heath and Company, 1984.

[7] Sattler H., Methods for Measuring of Preferences of Innovations [in Germany: Methoden zur Messung von Präferenzen für Innovationen], Zeitschrift für betriebswirtschaftliche Forschung, 54, 6, 154–176, 2006.

[8] Eckert J., Schaaf R., Methods for Preference Measurement – An Overview and Evaluation of existing and possible new Self-Explicated-Methods [in Germany: Verfahren zur Präferenzmessung – Eine Übersicht und Beurteilung existierender und möglicher neuer Self-Explicated-Verfahren], Journal für Betriebswirtschaft, 59, 1, 31–56, 2009.

[9] Baumert K., Baier D., Brusch M., Identifying and Evaluating Characteristics that are Difficult to Quantify Using the Repertory Grid Technique, Proceedings of the 14th QMOD Conference on Quality and Service Sciences, pp. 225–231, San Sebastian, Spain, 2011.

[10] Armstrong J.S., The Seer-Sucker Theory: The Value of Experts in Forecasting, Technology Review, 83, June/July, 18–24, 1980.

[11] Häder M., Häder S., Recent Developments at Delphi-Method – Literature Review II [in Germany: Neuere Entwicklungen bei der Delphi-Methode – Literaturbericht II], Arbeitsbericht 98/05, Mannheim: ZUMA, 1998.

[12] Cuhls K., Technology Foresight in Japan: A Review of 30 Years Delphi Surveys [in Germany: Technikvorausschau in Japan: Ein Rückblick auf 30 Jahre Delphi-Befragungen], Heidelberg: Physica, 1998.

[13] Kelly G.A., The Psychology of Personal Constructs, New York: Norton, 1955.

[14] Catina A., Schmitt G.M., The Theory of Personal Constructs [in Germany: Die Theorie der Persönlichen Konstrukte], [in:] Scheer J.W., Catina A. [Eds.], Einführung in die Repertory Grid-Technik. Bd. 1: Grundlagen und Methoden, pp. 11–23, Bern: Hans Huber, 1993.

[15] Scheer J.W., Catina A., Psychology of Personal Constructs and Repertory Grid Technique [in Germany: Psychologie der Persönlichen Konstrukte und Repertory Grid-Technik], [in:] Scheer J.W., Catina A. [Eds.], Einführung in die Repertory Grid-Technik. Bd. 1: Grundlagen und Methoden, pp. 8–10, Bern: Hans Huber, 1993.

[16] Stewart V., Stewart A., Business Applications of Repertory Grid, London: McGraw-Hill, 1997.

[17] Scheer J.W., Planning and Implementing of Repertory Grid-Surveys [in Germany: Planung und Durchführung von Repertory Grid-Untersuchungen], [in:] Scheer J.W., Catina A. [Eds.], Einführung in die Repertory Grid-Technik. Bd. 1: Grundlagen und Methoden, pp. 24–40, Bern: Hans Huber, 1993.

[18] Tan F.B., Hunter M.G., The repertory grid technique: a method for the study of cognition in Information Systems, MIS Quartely, 26, 1, 39–57, 2002.

[19] Curtis A.M., Wells T.M., Higbee T., Lowry P.B., An Overview and Tutorial of the Repertory Grid Technique, Information Systems Research, Communications of the Association for Information Systems (CAIS), 23, 3, 37–62, 2008.

[20] Fransella F., Bell R.C., Bannister D., A Manual for Repertory Grid Technique, 2nd ed, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons, 2004.

[21] Marsden D., Littler D., Repertory Grid Technique: An Interpretive Research Framework, European Journal of Marketing, 34, 7, 816–834, 2000.

[22] Green K.C., Armstrong J.S., Simple versus complex forecasting: the evidence, Journal of Business Research, 68, 8, 16783–1685, August 2015.

[23] Inea Consulting Ltd., World Commercial and Civil UAV Market Report 2015–2025. Retrieved from, 2015.

[24] Reiners W., Multiattributive Preferencemodelling through Conjoint Analysis: Discussion of Processing Possibilities and Optimization of Pairwise Comparison Tasks at the Adaptive Conjoint Analysis [in Germany: Multiattributive Präferenzstrukturmodellierung durch die Conjoint Analyse: Diskussion der Verfahrensmöglichkeiten und Optimierung von Paarvergleichsaufgaben bei der adaptiven Conjoint Analyse], Münster: Lit Verlag, 1996.

Management and Production Engineering Review

The Journal of Production Engineering Committee of Polish Academy of Sciences and Polish Association for Production Management

Journal Information

CiteScore 2016: 0.48

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.126
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.551


All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 337 241 20
PDF Downloads 196 177 13