Evaluation utilization research—Developing a theory and putting it to use
This article presents the findings of a two-stage study that had two key objectives: to develop a theory about evaluation utilization in an educational organization and to apply this theory to promote evaluation utilization within the organization. The first stage involved a theoretical conceptualization using a participatory method of concept mapping. This process identified the modes of evaluation utilization within the organization, produced a representation of the relationship between them and led to a theory. The second stage examined the practical implications of this conceptualization in terms of how different stakeholders in the organization perceive the actual and preferable state of evaluation utilization within the organization (i.e. to what extent is evaluation utilized and to what extent should it be utilized). The participatory process of the study promoted the evaluation utilization by involving stakeholders, thus giving them a sense of ownership and improving communication between the evaluation unit and the stakeholders. In addition, understanding the evaluation needs of the stakeholders in the organization helped generate relevant and realizable evaluation processes. On a practical level, the results are currently shaping the evaluation plan and the place of evaluations within the organization.
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- Greene, Jennifer C., 1988. "Communication of results and utilization in participatory program evaluation," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 341-351, January.
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