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The Evaluation Society$
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Peter Dahler-Larsen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780804776929

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804776929.001.0001

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The Evaluation Wave: From Mystery to Analysis

(p.1) Introduction
The Evaluation Society
Stanford University Press

This chapter takes a look at the spread and influence of evaluation in today's world, where it is becoming an administrative practice in many kinds of organizations and at most levels. It discusses the evaluation wave, an experiment that can help people understand the phenomenon called evaluation. It then goes on to list the different possible definitions of evaluation, including the purpose and methods-focused definition of evaluation. The next section describes evaluation as assisted and liminal sense making. Evaluation is assisted sense making, because it serves as a consciously created device used to create meaning, and evaluation is also liminal sense making, because it not only becomes a part of a normal routine, but also creates space for different and new interpretations. The latter half of the chapter is devoted to studying the evaluation wave in detail and enumerating the theoretical basis of the study on evaluation.

Keywords:   evaluation, evaluation wave, assisted sense making, liminal sense making

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