ERIC Number: ED438297
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999-Nov-5
You Got a Problem with That? Exploring Evaluators' Disagreements about Ethics.
Morris, Michael; Jacobs, Lynette
Research has suggested that evaluators vary in the extent to which they interpret the challenges they face in ethical terms. The question of what accounts for these differences was explored through a survey completed by 391 individuals listed in the database of the American Evaluation Association. The first section of the questionnaire presented scenarios of evaluators in situations with potential ethical issues and asked respondents to rate the evaluator's actions. The second section asked respondents to rate the usefulness of four role-oriented labels--consultant, scientist, reporter, and facilitator--for describing the work that evaluators do. The third section asked for demographic data about the respondents. The most striking finding related to the scenarios was the lack of consensus that characterized respondents' judgments of whether each hypothetical evaluator had behaved ethically. It was possible to identify subgroups of responses, and it was apparent that respondents in private business and consulting were most likely to criticize the evaluator's behavior on ethical grounds. Respondents' judgments about ethics were related only to their view of the consultant role; the more useful that role was perceived to be, the less likely the respondent was to view the evaluator's actions as ethically problematic. Although there was little agreement in respondents' views, the more information the respondents had, the more likely they were to agree on what the evaluator was ethically obliged to do. An appendix describes the scenarios. (Contains 10 tables and 17 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Evaluation Association (Orlando, FL, November 2-6, 1999).