English

This case study suggests that organizational constraints on the introduction of program evaluation often have more to do with problems of organizational learning than with the "political" problems dealt with by Wildavsky (1979) and other students of the evaluation/organization interface. Faced with expanding needs and declining resources, the Montreal Jewish Family Services Social Service Centre attempted to introduce program evaluation as a tool for ensuring more efficient resource allocation. Instead of reflecting the needs of resource allocation, however, the evaluation framework the agency developed was based on compliance-oriented concepts of quality assurance. As was discovered during the first attempt to apply the model, the framework had to be substantially modified in order to serve as a useful tool of program evaluation. The case study thus suggests that the introduction of program evaluation is analogous to the introduction of other kinds of technological change: such changes must be carefully tailored to the needs and constraints of the organizational settings where they are being introduced.

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Pages
149-166
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