Stakeholder Involvement in Evaluation: Does it Affect Observers’ Perceptions of an Evaluation? And Which Stakeholder Group(s) Do People Think Should Participate?
Background: Stakeholders are often involved in evaluation, such as in the selection of specific research questions and the interpretation of results. Except for the topic of whether stakeholder involvement increases use, a paucity of research exists to guide practice regarding stakeholders.
Objectives: We address two questions: (1) If a third-party observer knows stakeholders were involved in an evaluation, does that affect the perceived credibility, fairness, and relevance of the evaluation? (2) Among individuals with a possible stake in an evaluation, which stakeholder group(s) do they want to see participate; in particular, do they prefer that multiple stakeholder groups, rather than a single group, participate?
Research Design: Six studies are reported. All studies address the former question, while Studies 3 to 5 also focus on the latter question. To study effects of stakeholder involvement on third-party views, participants read summaries of ostensible evaluations, with stakeholder involvement noted or not. To examine a priori preferences among potential stakeholders, participants completed a survey about alternative stakeholder group involvement in an evaluation in which they would likely have an interest.
Results and Conclusions: Across studies, effects of reported stakeholder participation on third-parties’ views were not robust; however, small effects on perceived fairness sometimes, but not always, occurred after stakeholder involvement and its rationales had been made salient. All surveys showed a large preference for the involvement of multiple, rather than single stakeholder groups. We discuss implications for research and practice regarding stakeholder involvement, and for research on evaluation more generally.
|Stakeholder Involvement in Evaluation: Does it Affect Observers’ Perceptions of an Evaluation? And Which Stakeholder Group(s) Do People Think Should Participate?
|In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
|October 24, 2021
|Publisher Identifier (DOI)
|July 19, 2022
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