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Evaluation Research and Institutional Pressures: Challenges in Public-Nonprofit Contracting

38 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2004  

Peter Frumkin

University of Texas at Austin - Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs

David A. Reingold

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA)

Date Written: March 2004

Abstract

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.

Keywords: public and non-profit management, program evaluation

Suggested Citation

Frumkin, Peter and Reingold, David A., Evaluation Research and Institutional Pressures: Challenges in Public-Nonprofit Contracting (March 2004). Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations Working Paper No. 23. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=521362 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.521362

Peter Frumkin (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin - Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs ( email )

2300 Red River St., Stop E2700
PO Box Y
Austin, TX 78713
United States

David A. Reingold

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA) ( email )

1315 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States
812-855-0635 (Phone)

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