Evaluation Research and Institutional Pressures: Challenges in Public-Nonprofit Contracting
University of Texas at Austin - Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs
David A. Reingold
Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA)
Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations Working Paper No. 23
This article examines the connection between program evaluation research and decision-making by public managers. Drawing on neo-institutional theory, a framework is presented for diagnosing the pressures and conditions that lead alternatively toward or away the rational use of evaluation research. Three cases of public-nonprofit contracting for the delivery of major programs are presented to clarify the way coercive, mimetic, and normative pressures interfere with a sound connection being made between research and implementation. The article concludes by considering how public managers can respond to the isomorphic pressures in their environment that make it hard to act on data relating to program performance.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 38
Keywords: public and non-profit management, program evaluation
Date posted: March 24, 2004
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