The Electronic Journal of Information Systems Evaluation provides critical perspectives on topics relevant to Information Systems Evaluation, with an emphasis on the organisational and management implications
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Journal Article

Interpretative IS Evaluation: Results and Uses  pp97-108

Jenny Lagsten, Göran Goldkuhl

© Jun 2008 Volume 11 Issue 2, Editor: Dan Remenyi, pp51 - 108

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One major reason for doing evaluations of information systems is to take actions based on the results of the evaluation. In order to make better use of interpretive evaluation processes in practice we need to understand what kinds of results such evaluations produce and the way that the results are used to be transformed into change and betterment in the organisation. We have developed, applied and studied a methodology in support for doing interpretive evaluation. In the paper we report the case of a performed action research study that has comprised an IS evaluation. Through this action research we have transformed the theoretical principles of the interpretive approach into a useful evaluation methodology in practice. The main emphasis in this study is on the results and the uses of the evaluation process. We make a brief theoretical overview of interpretive principles for IS evaluation and of the research on evaluation use, from the field of evaluation theory, and represent a framework for analysing influences from evaluation efforts. We use this framework to analyse and identify the results and uses of the performed evaluation in order to shed light on what kinds of results that interpretive evaluation may offer. We experienced the influence framework useful for locating and understanding the variety of results from interpretive evaluation processes. We conclude with a model depicting results and uses from interpretive IS evaluation processes. The main point we elaborate on in this paper is how evaluations influence the actions taken in the organisation in order to establish betterment. How people in the organisation use evaluation in order to establish betterment and change. Further we bounce back the insights on evaluation results and uses into the discussion on how to design interpretive evaluation processes and how to design evaluation methodology in support for those processes.


Keywords: IS evaluation, evaluation process, evaluation results, evaluation use, interpretative evaluation methodology


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Journal Issue

Volume 12 Issue 1, ECIME 2008 / Jan 2009  pp1‑118

Editor: Dan Remenyi

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Keywords: benefits realisation, clinical trials, data integrity, decision making, e-government, ERP, evaluation process, evaluation results, evaluation use, government policy, ICT adoption, information and communications technology (ICT), inter-municipal cooperation, interpretative evaluation methodology, IS evaluation, IS failures, KPI, local government, NHS, organisational and personal trust, organisational goals, outsourcing, principal agent theory, public value, skills, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), software development


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