environmental management (Gokhale, 2001), medicine (Efstathiou et al., 2008; Keeney et al., 2001) and strategic management (Loo, 2002), while it is applied to select performance indicators in several fields (Ma et al., 2011). Typically, Delphi methodology involves expert panel, repeated rounds, opportunity for respondents to reconsider their responses and finally, anonymity of the expert panel. 3.1.1 Expert panel Delphi technique incorporates an iterative survey of experts (Huge et al., 2010). There is no agreement on what an expert is, as different definitions are proposed (Keeney et al., 2001; Baker et al., 2006) and whatever definition is given seems arbitrary (Goodman, 1987). Many authors propose an appropriate size of expert panel varying from a few to a few hundred experts (Cavalli-Sforza and Ortolano, 1984; Wild and Torgersen, 2000; Skulmoski et al. 2007). However, there is no standard number of experts (Williams and Webb, 1994) as it depends on the nature of the problem (Powell, 2003). In the case of this study, the companies’ executives from the CSR departments or Communication departments, when CSR department does not exist, are selected for two main reasons. On the one hand, CSR is a concept arisen by companies, CSR executives can perceive the needs of stakeholders better than other types of experts and the personal experience of companies’ executives could be considered as an important criterion for their selection (Loo, 2002). On the other hand, in Greece the concept of
Journal of Sustainable Development Vol. 4, No. 2; April 2011 ISSN 1913-9063 E-ISSN 1913-9071 20CSR is not well developed, the experts for CSR are limited and their judgment would not be reliable because the telecommunication sector is distinguished for its unique CSR characteristics. Additionally, the CSR experts outside the company have higher expectations standards than other stakeholders or experts (Dawkins, 2004). 3.1.2 Repeated Rounds Another characteristic of the method is the sequential rounds of questionnaires. The majority of studies include open-ended questions formulating the initial questionnaire in the first round, which is the base for the second round, and ask the expert panel to comment on the issues (Thangaretinam and Redman, 2005;Chu and Hwang, 2008). However, Hsu and Sandford (2007) support that the first round can be based on extensive literature review. In the second round and the subsequent ones, specific items are ranked or assessed by criteria of significance. In this study, three rounds of Delphi survey are conducted (Green et al., 1990; Turoff, 1970; Thangaretinam and Redman, 2005; Delbecg et al., 1975; Linstone and Turoff, 1975; Bowles, 1999) and each round is based on the results of the previous ones (Sumsion, 1998). Round 1: The first round is based on literature review, thus, four sources are indentified in order to distinguish the most import stakeholders: telecommunication companies, methodologies by SRI indexes, authors and international organizations As regards the first source which is the base for the stakeholders’ categorization, the annual CSR reports of Greek and European foreign telecommunication companies are taken into account. The authors attempt to suggest a limited number of indicators covering the most important aspects of CSR for reasons of simplicity.