Evaluation Use in the Organizational Context: Changing Focus to Improve Theory

Steven Højlund

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    This article is about evaluation use. It focuses on the well-known paradox that evaluation is undertaken to improve policy, but in fact rarely does so. Additionally, the article also finds that justificatory uses of evaluation do not fit with evaluation’s objective of policy improvement and social betterment. The article explains why the paradox exists and suggests applying organizational institutional theory to explain evaluation use. The key argument is that in order to explain all types of evaluation uses, including non-use and justificatory uses, the focus needs to be on the evaluating organization and its conditioning factors, rather than the evaluation itself.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEvaluation: The International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)26-43
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

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