IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Understanding the “what should be condition” in needs assessment data

Listed author(s):
  • White, Jeffry L.
  • Altschuld, James W.
Registered author(s):

    In needs assessment (N/A), the calculation of discrepancies is based on the assumption the “what should be” condition is a reasonable representation of respondent perceptions. That assumption may be erroneous and requires a closer inspection. This paper examines the use of importance scores in NA and some of the problems that can arise when they are used as a proxy to measure the “what should be” condition. A review of the literature and ways of dealing with importance scores are presented, followed by a discussion of the problems and issues that can arise. Some solution strategies are offered along with recommendations for practice and research. The paper provides guidance for others interested in improving needs assessment procedures.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Evaluation and Program Planning.

    Volume (Year): 35 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 124-132

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:epplan:v:35:y:2012:i:1:p:124-132
    DOI: 10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2011.09.001
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Lee, Yi-Fang & Altschuld, James W. & White, Jeffry L., 2007. "Effects of multiple stakeholders in identifying and interpreting perceived needs," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 1-9, February.
    2. Lee, Yi-Fang & Altschuld, James W. & White, Jeffry L., 2007. "Problems in needs assessment data: Discrepancy analysis," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 258-266, August.
    3. Fisher, Robert J, 1993. " Social Desirability Bias and the Validity of Indirect Questioning," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 303-315, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:epplan:v:35:y:2012:i:1:p:124-132. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.