This paper shows how the Delphi technique was used to conceptualize and operationalize local planning agency power. In the first of two Delphi studies, twelve scholars suggested four dimensions of agency power: legal authority, degree of control, relative autonomy, and capacity. In the second Delphi study, sixteen professional planners operationalized power dimensions proposed by the first Delphi study. The dimensions were operationalized in the context of Florida’s planning system. The proposed measures were tested empirically by reviewing Florida statutes, surveying municipal planning agencies, and conducting statistical analysis. This research presents important lessons learned for researchers interested in Delphi studies and proposes valid empirical measures of local planning agency power.


Delphi Technique, Power, and Local Planning Agencies


I would like to thank professor Richard RuBino, Florida State University, for his great help and technical advice that enabled me to conduct and complete this research project successfully. I also thank professor Petra Doan, Florida State University, for her contribution to this study. Moreover, I appreciate the constructive comments I received from the editors/reviewers of The Qualitative Report.

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