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ERIC Number: EJ1007331
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Mar
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 9
ISSN: ISSN-1098-2140
You Want Me to Do What? Evaluators and the Pressure to Misrepresent Findings
Morris, Michael; Clark, Brittany
American Journal of Evaluation, v34 n1 p57-70 Mar 2013
Evaluators' experiences with being pressured by a key stakeholder to misrepresent findings were investigated in an anonymous survey of a random sample of over 2500 American Evaluation Association members; a response rate of 37% was obtained. Overall, 42% of the respondents had encountered misrepresentation pressure, with 70% of this subgroup having faced it on more than one occasion. Misrepresentation pressure usually focused on making evaluation results look more positive or less negative than the evaluator thought was warranted. In nearly 40% of all pressuring episodes, respondents believed that the stakeholder in question knew that he/she was requesting misrepresentation. Respondents' ethical satisfaction with how pressuring episodes were resolved varied widely, with satisfaction lowest when changes were made to a report without the respondent's consent. In the opinion of respondents, stakeholder pressure led to actual misrepresentation in 16% of all episodes, a finding that, in conjunction with the study's other results, suggests that most pressuring incidents are handled in a fashion that produces reasonably satisfactory, if not ideal, outcomes when viewed from the perspective of professional ethics. Just under one-third of all pressured respondents believed that something could have been done to prevent the influence attempt they encountered, and offered a variety of suggestions for preventive action. Viewed as a whole, these recommendations provide the foundation for a comprehensive approach to preventing and responding to misrepresentation pressure and related ethical challenges in evaluation. (Contains 11 tables and 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A