When Paradigms Meet: Interacting Perspectives on Evaluation in the Nonprofit Sector

Financial Accountability & Management (Forthcoming)

Posted: 25 Aug 2015 Last revised: 8 Sep 2015

See all articles by Cristina Neesham

Cristina Neesham

Newcastle University Business School

Leanne McCormick

Monash University

Michelle Greenwood

Monash University - Department of Management

Date Written: June 9, 2015

Abstract

This study examines a public debate in Australia, arising from a national government report, around how social contribution in the nonprofit sector should be assessed. Guided by several meta-perspectives on evaluation, we identify connections between foundational assumptions and normative positions on evaluation espoused by non-profit organizations (NPOs), and examine the ways in which the inter-paradigmatic context of the non-profit sector contributes to the emergence of NPOs’ different normative positions on evaluation. We conclude that particular paradigmatic orientations of NPOs (positivism, interpretivism, constructivism) lead to particular perspectives on how NPOs should engage with alternative paradigms (monism, impartial pluralism, radical pluralism).

Keywords: evaluation theory, evaluation paradigm, nonprofit sector, NPO assessment, inter-paradigmatic context

JEL Classification: M4

Suggested Citation

Neesham, Cristina and McCormick, Leanne and Greenwood, Michelle, When Paradigms Meet: Interacting Perspectives on Evaluation in the Nonprofit Sector (June 9, 2015). Financial Accountability & Management (Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2620936

Cristina Neesham (Contact Author)

Newcastle University Business School ( email )

5 Barrack Road
Devonshire Building
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, NE1 7RU
United Kingdom

Leanne McCormick

Monash University ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton
Melbourne, Victoria 3166
Australia

Michelle Greenwood

Monash University - Department of Management ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3168
Australia
+61 3 990 52362 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.monash.edu/research/people/profiles/profile.html?sid=1082&pid=2871

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