Developing work and services in public sector organizations through evaluation

Katri Vataja


The article sheds light on developing work and services in public sector organizations through evaluation use. As evaluation has become enrooted in public sector organizations as a means for renewal, there is a need for empirical knowledge of how evaluative activities lead to learning and development. This study focuses especially on the use of internal self-evaluation in the bottom-up development of work and services. The study uses a multiple case study design to look at eight separate work communities in social care organizations. The use of evaluation is explored from two perspectives. First, the article focuses on the use of evaluation results; it identifies critical components for producing development goals on the basis of evaluation results and for implementing development activities. The trialogic view of learning helps to conceptualize a mediating role for different artifacts in the process of developmental evaluation. Second, the article explores process use as well as the outcomes of developmental evaluation. The case studies suggest that the process of developmental evaluation can generate cognitive, behavioral, attitudinal and affectional effects in the work communities.

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Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration

School of Public Administration, Box 712 - SE-405 30 Göteborg

ISSN: 2001-7405, E-ISSN: 2001-7413