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Evaluation and negotiated order : developing the application of complexity theory.

Callaghan, G. (2008) 'Evaluation and negotiated order : developing the application of complexity theory.', Evaluation., 14 (4). pp. 393-405.


This article argues that complexity theory has the potential to bring important insights in reframing of the role and practice of evaluation but that the utility of complexity theory needs to be developed to support its application in evaluation research.This article focuses on the implications of a reformed relationship between theory and the empirical setting for what we can learn in evaluating policy. It suggests that while complexity theory provides a new way of looking at causal relationships and how we should approach them, we need to develop complexity-consistent approaches to understanding the interplay of agency and structure at the local level, the level at which explanation is deemed possible in complexity theory. It is proposed that the theory of negotiated order offers a basis to fill that gap in evaluation practice and to provide promise for theory-informed policy.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Complexity, Evaluation, Negotiated order, Policy, Structure and agency.
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Publisher statement:The final definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal Evaluation 14/4 2008 © SAGE Publications at the Evaluation page on SAGE Journals Online:
Record Created:25 Jan 2010 14:35
Last Modified:09 Dec 2011 09:13

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