Recently evaluation theorists such as Henry & Mark (1998; 2000) have suggested that evaluators need to move beyond evaluation utilization theory to embrace a more comprehensive theory of influence. One of their noted deficiencies in evaluation utilization theory is that it lacks attention to underlying change mechanisms. Taking their critique as a focus of my investigation, this paper explores the extent to which evaluation utilization theory might benefit from an integration of principles of change theories including the concept of resistance to change. I also touched upon the potential obstacles or sources of resistance I foresee in successfully implementing the proposed integration. More specifically, I will explore how might evaluation utilization theory benefit from an integration of principles of change theory including resistance to change. Change theory is defined as a systematic study of the links between activities, outcomes and contexts of the initiatives (Connell & Kubisch, 1998). Utilization-focused evaluation “begins with the premise that evaluations should be judged by their utility and actual use; therefore, evaluators should facilitate the evaluation process and design any evaluation with careful consideration of how everything that is done, from beginning to end, will effect use” (Patton, 2002b, p. 1).
|Keywords:||Research, Evaluation Utilization Theory, Change Theories, Resistance to Change|
Contract Professor/Doctoral Candidate, Telfer School of Management, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
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