Theories Of Evaluation

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Evaluation as a scientific activity was highly criticized for its invalidity and subjectivity and delayed in progress for almost a century, due to these prejudices (Scriven, 1998). Scriven (1998) contradicts to these critics by stating that there is no value-free doctrine, and the process of evaluation is omnipresent in the research practice in the form of selective literature review, reasoning for choosing a particular research method, etc. Thus, there is no reason to deny scientific value of the evaluation. There are different evaluation theories. The reason is that evaluation theories include variety of methods of scientific inquiry, process and consequences of evaluation. Moreover the methods of evaluation are more frequently discussed…show more content…
These conditions depend on the institutional factors and the type of utilization of evaluations. The firstly condition is instrumental utilization – “the implementation of the recommendations of evaluations” (Balthasar, 2009, p. 248). The hypothesis is that the greater financial involvement in the evaluation, the greater chances of following recommendations made in the end of evaluation. The second adequate condition is conceptual utilization – shift in the administrator’s ideas or attitudes towards an aspect of the evaluated program. The assumption here is that the high quality of evaluation ensures conceptual utilization. A high quality research is frequently associated with research conducted by external stakeholders to the organization that is evaluated. The explanation is not in independence of the evaluator though. If the evaluation is performed by someone external to the organization or project, it usually means that this person has enough expertise in the field of evaluation and thus, the evaluation is of higher quality (Balthasar, 2009). The third condition is process-related utilization. As the results of the Balthasar’s analysis show, that when the evaluation is conducted by the employees of the organization, creating close connection between the evaluators and the…show more content…
From the Balthasar’s (2009) discussion of the influence of institutional factors on the utilization of evaluation, it seem that there cases the utilization of evaluation is more likely when it is performed by the evaluator from the organizations, while in other cases by external evaluator, who is not engaged in the organizational activities. For example, instrumental and process-related utilization have greater possibility of implementation, when it is carried out by an organization, in close contact between the evaluator and the evaluees. On the other hand, conceptual and symbolic utilization of evaluation is used when an external evaluator performs it. This reasoning represents two different approaches in evaluation theory to understanding quality of the evaluation. For instance, Patton (1997) argues that a high quality evaluation can be achieved when there is a close interaction between the evaluator and the evaluees. While Campbell (1969) claims that in a successful evaluation, this interaction is minimal. These is an ongoing discussion, and there is no clear answer of which approach contributes to a high quality of evaluation. It rather depend on the type of utilization of the evaluation
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