The evaluation of new theories and pedagogical approaches to business ethics is an essential task for ethicists. This is true not only for empirical and applied evaluation but also for metatheoreticalevaluation. However, while there is increasing interest in the practical utility and empirical testing of ethical theories, there has been little systematic evaluation of how new theories relate to existing ones or what novel conceptual characteristics they might contribute. This paper aims to address this (...) lack by discussing the role of metatheorising in assessing new approaches to ethics. The approach is illustrated through evaluating a new pedagogy and curriculum for ethics education called Giving Voice to Values (GVV). Our method involves identifying a number of metatheoretical lenses from existing reviews of ethical theories and applying these to examine GVV’s conceptual elements. Although GVV has been explicitly presented as a pedagogy and teaching curriculum, we argue that it has the potential to contribute significantly to the development of ethical theory. We discuss the general implications of this metatheoretical method of evaluation for new approaches to business ethics and for GVV and its future development. (shrink)
One of the central concepts in Charles Taylor’s philosophy is that of strong evaluation. What is strong evaluation? The crucial idea is that human relations to the world, to self and to others are value-laden. In the first subsection the central features of the concept of strong evaluation are discussed, namely qualitative distinctions concerning worth and the role of strong evaluation for identity. The nature of strong evaluations both as background understandings and explicit judgements is clarified. (...) It is also claimed that strong evaluation is not precisely a matter of second-order desires, but of evaluative beliefs. In subsection 1.2, some additional and less central characterizations are scrutinized: contingent conflicts, articulacy, discriminacy, reflectivity, depth. The claim is that most of these are not criterial for the distinction between strong and weak evaluations. In the third subsection various criticisms are taken up (from Ernst Tugendhat, Jurgen Habermas, Owen Flanagan, Joel Anderson), which are relevant for defining strong evaluations and assessing the role strong evaluation has in ethics. The terminological solutions are here connected to substantive issues in moral theory. I will defend Taylor against three aspects of a Kantian critique that the notion of strong evaluation is too broad, and overlooks crucial distinctions. Should one distinguish between moral and other values more clearly? Should one distinguish between categorical and optional goods more sharply? Should one distinguish between the whole “moral map” and one’s own orientation more clearly? I think these are indeed essential questions, but they are to be answered within the realm of qualitative distinctions concerning worth. The Kantian attempts to segregate one type of issue as involving strong evaluation and another type of issue as not involving it are misguided. In the fourth subsection I put forward three critical claims in an attempt to show that the notion of strong evaluation as Taylor defines it is too narrow (or at least ambivalent about how narrow it is). These critiques are inspired by more comprehensives approaches to ethics (e. g. by Joseph Raz or Paul Ricoeur). First, is strong evaluation restricted strictly to second-order self-evaluation (as some formulations by Taylor seem to suggest), or does it cover value-judgement in general (as some other formulations by Taylor seem to suggest)? In the broad sense, strong evaluations also include first-order judgements made in various different situations, and background commitments to goods. I suggest that the broad sense be adopted. Second, how does the distinction between strong and weak evaluations relate to “small” values? Third, can self-evaluation succeed without the deontic layer of reasons and norms and if not, does the concept of strong evaluation cover that as well? I defend a different line from Taylor on the issues of small values and the deontic realm. This will lead to a suggestion of “strong evaluation in an extended sense”. (shrink)
This paper discusses a series of important methodological issues in developing targeted health-related quality of life measures in studies of the effects of medical interventions. Such measures cannot be developed unless the evaluator understands the life domains that medical interventions affect. Qualitative discovery methods are needed to obtain this understanding. Once domains are targeted for measurement, careful and systematic laboratory pilot work should be used to select initial scale items. Psychometric evaluation of response patterns in subsequent field tests is (...) needed to assess the measures. Less concern should be directed to internal consistency reliability of scales in the psychometric evaluation and more to the ability of short scales to reproduce total scale variance and to provide precise measurement within the range of the outcome where effects are expected. The paper closes with a discussion of modern methods of item response scaling that can be used to address these issues. (shrink)
This is the introductory chapter to a book. This study has two parts. The first part concerns some central concepts in philosophical anthropology and the second part some of the central questions in ethics. One of today’s leading philosophers, Charles Taylor (b. 1931), suggests with his notion of “strong evaluation” that these two areas should be studied in tandem: the self and the good are interrelated, and the nature of persons is intertwined with the nature of values.1 Strong evaluations, (...) i. e. value-judgements and convictions, or “evaluations based on qualitative distinctions concerning worth”, are in Taylor’s view internally related to identity and human agency. The questions I ask in this study are, first, what exactly is strong evaluation and what is its role in relation to human agency, personhood, identity, selfhood and subjectivity? Secondly, can a moral theory be developed, which is realist concerning strong evaluations and yet rejects Taylor’s idea of constitutive “sources” of morality? The goal is first of all to defend the general relevance of strong evaluation in philosophical anthropology and to make contributions to more specific ongoing debates (concerning personhood and identity). Secondly, the goal is to argue that a realist moral theory need not rely on anything that Taylor calls moral sources or constitutive goods, and to outline such a “source-less” theory (which I call “engaged value realism”) and in so doing to contribute to various specific questions of practical philosophy (for example concerning cultural diversity, universality and validity; subject-dependence, subject-independence and reality of values; the nature of individual orientations, commitments and general goods). (shrink)
This paper explores an approach to the implementation and evaluation of integrated health service delivery. It identifies the key issues involved in integration evaluation, provides a framework for assessment and identifies areas for the development of new tools and measures. A proactive role for evaluators in responding to health service reform is advocated.
Recently, moral deliberation within care institutions is gaining more attention in medical ethics. Ongoing dialogues about ethical issues are considered as a vehicle for quality improvement of health care practices. The rise of ethical conversation methods can be understood against the broader development within medical ethics in which interaction and dialogue are seen as alternatives for both theoretical or individual reflection on ethical questions. In other disciplines, intersubjectivity is also seen as a way to handle practical problems, and methodologies have (...) emerged to deal with dynamic processes of practice improvement. An example is responsive evaluation. In this article we investigate the relationship between moral deliberation and responsive evaluation, describe their common basis in dialogical ethics and pragmatic hermeneutics, and explore the relevance of both for improving the quality of care. The synergy between the approaches is illustrated by a case example in which both play a distinct and complementary role. It concerns the implementation of quality criteria for coercion in Dutch psychiatry. (shrink)
Clinical ethics support, in particular Moral Case Deliberation, aims to support health care providers to manage ethically difficult situations. However, there is a lack of evaluation instruments regarding outcomes of clinical ethics support in general and regarding Moral Case Deliberation (MCD) in particular. There also is a lack of clarity and consensuses regarding which MCD outcomes are beneficial. In addition, MCD outcomes might be context-sensitive. Against this background, there is a need for a standardised but flexible outcome evaluation (...) instrument. The aim of this study was to develop a multi-contextual evaluation instrument measuring health care providers’ experiences and perceived importance of outcomes of Moral Case Deliberation. (shrink)
Systematic ethics support in community health services in Norway is in the initial phase. There are few evaluation studies about the significance of ethics reflection on care. The aim of this study was to evaluate systematic ethics reflection in groups in community health , - from the perspectives of employees participating in the groups, the group facilitators and the service managers. The reflection groups were implemented as part of a research and development project.
Clinical ethics committees have existed in Norway since 1996. By now all hospital trusts have one. An evaluation of these committees’ work was started in 2004. This paper presents results from an interview study of eight clinicians who evaluated six committees’ deliberations on 10 clinical cases. The study indicates that the clinicians found the clinical ethics consultations useful and worth while doing. However, a systematic approach to case consultations is vital. Procedures and mandate of the committees should be known (...) to clinicians in advance to ensure that they know what to expect. Equally important is bringing all relevant facts, medical as well as psychosocial, into the discussion. A written report from the deliberation is also important for the committees to be taken seriously by the clinicians. This study indicates that the clinicians want to be included in the deliberation, and not only in the preparation or follow-up. Obstacles for referring a case to the committee are the medical culture’s conflict aversion and its anxiety of being judged by outsiders. The committees were described as a court by some of the clinicians. This is a challenge for the committees in their attempt to balance support and critique in their consultation services. (shrink)
Political theorists sometimes defend the value of idealistic normative theories by arguing that they help specify principles for evaluating feasible solutions to political problems. This defense is ambiguous between three interpretations, two of which I show to be nonstarters. The third interpretation says (roughly) that a description of a normatively ideal society can provide useful information about the evaluative criteria that we should use when comparing social possibilities. I show why this claim, even if true, rings hollow as a defense (...) of idealistic normative theories. Put roughly, because ideal theories bracket the causes and consequences of many real-world social problems, they have little to say about the criteria that are most helpful for evaluating solutions to these problems. One upshot is that, if specifying principles of comparative evaluation is a principal task of political theory, then we need nonideal theory as much as -- if not more than -- ideal theory. (shrink)
In spite of the wide variety of approaches to ethics training it is still debatable which approach has the highest potential to enhance professionals’ integrity. The current effort assesses a novel curriculum that focuses on metacognitive reasoning strategies researchers use when making sense of day-to-day professional practices that have ethical implications. The evaluated trainings effectiveness was assessed by examining five key sensemaking processes, such as framing, emotion regulation, forecasting, self-reflection, and information integration that experts and novices apply in ethical decision-making. (...) Mental models of trained and untrained graduate students, as well as faculty, working in the field of physical sciences were compared using a think-aloud protocol 6 months following the ethics training. Evaluation and comparison of the mental models of participants provided further validation evidence for sensemaking training. Specifically, it was found that trained students applied metacognitive reasoning strategies learned during training in their ethical decision-making that resulted in complex mental models focused on the objective assessment of the situation. Mental models of faculty and untrained students were externally-driven with a heavy focus on autobiographical processes. The study shows that sensemaking training has a potential to induce shifts in researchers’ mental models by making them more cognitively complex via the use of metacognitive reasoning strategies. Furthermore, field experts may benefit from sensemaking training to improve their ethical decision-making framework in highly complex, novel, and ambiguous situations. (shrink)
Criteria for the evaluation of most scholars’ work have recently received wider attention due to high-profile cases of scientific misconduct which are perceived to be linked to these criteria. However, in the competition for career advancement and funding opportunities almost all scholars are subjected to the same criteria. Therefore these evaluation criteria act as ‘switchmen’, determining the tracks along which scholarly work is pushed by the dynamic interplay of interests of both scholars and their institutions. Currently one of (...) the most important criteria is the impact of publications. In this research, the extent to which publish or perish, a long standing evaluation criterion, led to scientific misconduct is examined briefly. After this the strive for high impact publications will be examined, firstly by identifying the period in which this became an important evaluation criterion, secondly by looking at variables contributing to the impact of scholarly papers by means of a non-structured literature study, and lastly by combining these data into a quantitative analysis. (shrink)
Here we present the framework of a new approach to assessing the capacity of research programs to achieve social goals. Research evaluation has made great strides in addressing questions of scientific and economic impacts. It has largely avoided, however, a more important challenge: assessing (prospectively or retrospectively) the impacts of a given research endeavor on the non-scientific, non-economic goals—what we here term public values —that often are the core public rationale for the endeavor. Research programs are typically justified in (...) terms of their capacity to achieve public values, and that articulation of public values is pervasive in science policy-making. We outline the elements of a case-based approach to public value mapping of science policy, with a particular focus on developing useful criteria and methods for assessing public value failure, with an intent to provide an alternative to market failure thinking that has been so powerful in science policy-making. So long as research evaluation avoids the problem of public values, science policy decision makers will have little help from social science in making choices among competing paths to desired social outcomes. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to propose foundations for a formal model of representation and numerical evaluation of a possibly broad class of arguments, including those that occur in natural discourse. Since one of the most characteristic features of everyday argumentation is the occurrence of convergent reasoning, special attention should be paid to the operation ⊕, which allows us to calculate the logical force of convergent arguments with an accuracy not offered by other approaches.
Recent years have seen rapid progress in the development of ontologies as semantic models intended to capture and represent aspects of the real world. There is, however, great variation in the quality of ontologies. If ontologies are to become progressively better in the future, more rigorously developed, and more appropriately compared, then a systematic discipline of ontology evaluation must be created to ensure quality of content and methodology. Systematic methods for ontology evaluation will take into account representation of (...) individual ontologies, performance (in terms of accuracy, domain coverage and the efficiency and quality of automated reasoning using the ontologies) on tasks for which the ontology is designed and used, degree of alignment with other ontologies and their compatibility with automated reasoning. A sound and systematic approach to ontology evaluation is required to transform ontology engineering into a true scientific and engineering discipline. This chapter discusses issues and problems in ontology evaluation, describes some current strategies, and suggests some approaches that might be useful in the future. (shrink)
This article describes a process of developing, implementing and evaluating a clinical ethics support service intervention with the goal of building up a context-sensitive structure of minimal clinical-ethics in an oncology department without prior clinical ethics structure. Scholars from different disciplines have called for an improvement in the evaluation of clinical ethics support services for different reasons over several decades. However, while a lot has been said about the concepts and methodological challenges of evaluating CESS up to the present (...) time, relatively few empirical studies have been carried out. The aim of this article is twofold. On the one hand, it describes a process of development, modifying and evaluating a CESS intervention as part of the ETHICO research project, using the approach of qualitative-formative evaluation. On the other hand, it provides a methodological analysis which specifies the contribution of qualitative empirical methods to the evaluation of CESS. We conclude with a consideration of the strengths and limitations of qualitative evaluation research with regards to the evaluation and development of context sensitive CESS. We further discuss our own approach in contrast to rather traditional consult or committee models. (shrink)
In this paper I will defend the controversial thesis that all argumentation in natural language can be reconstructed, for the purposes of assessment, as a deductively valid argument. Evaluation of the argumentation amounts to evaluation of the logical coherence of the premises. I will be taking the pragma-linguistic theory of Bermejo-Luque as an initial starting point.
This paper answers the question how pragmatic argumentation which occurs in a legal context, can be analyzed and evaluated adequately. First, the author surveys various ideas taken from argumentation theory and legal theory on the analysis and evaluation of pragmatic argumentation. Then, on the basis of these ideas, she develops a pragma-dialectical instrument for analyzing and evaluating pragmatic argumentation in a legal context. Finally she demonstrates how this instrument can be used by giving an exemplary analysis and evaluation (...) of pragmatic argumentation in a decision of the Dutch Supreme Court. (shrink)
Case-based instruction has been regarded by many as a viable alternative to traditional lecture-based education and training. However, little is known about how case-based training techniques impact training effectiveness. This study examined the effects of two such techniques: (a) presentation of alternative outcome scenarios to a case, and (b) conducting a structured outcome evaluation. Consistent with the hypotheses, results indicate that presentation of alternative outcome scenarios reduced knowledge acquisition, reduced sensemaking and ethical decision-making strategy use, and reduced decision ethicality. (...) Conducting a structured outcome evaluation had no impact on these outcomes. Results indicate that those who use case-based instruction should take care to use clear, less complex cases with only a singular outcome if they are seeking these types of outcomes. (shrink)
Corporate social performance (CSP) has become a widely applied concept, discussed in most large firms’ corporate reports and the academic literature alike. Unfortunately, CSP has largely been employed as a way of demonstrating corporate social responsibility (CSR) in practice, or to justify the business case for CSR in academia by relating some measure of CSP to some measure of financial performance. In this article, we discuss multiple shortcomings to these approaches. We argue that (1) CSR activities need to be managed (...) and measured as projects and aggregated to the business or corporate level using a project portfolio; (2) appropriate measures need to be identified that move away from reporting the firm’s activities toward quantifying actual social outcomes achieved; and (3) given the types of projects prevalent in CSR, statistical evaluation methods common in other fields (ideally, pre-test post-test control group designs, such as used in medicine or propensity score matching for ongoing or past projects) should be employed to properly measure outcomes. We make a first, albeit imperfect, attempt at using such an approach with data collected on behalf of the Patrimonio Hoy project, a well-publicized CSR initiative carried out by Cemex in Mexico. We show that the results from this data reinforce concerns voiced earlier in this article. (shrink)
The effectiveness of information retrieval technology in electronic discovery (E-discovery) has become the subject of judicial rulings and practitioner controversy. The scale and nature of E-discovery tasks, however, has pushed traditional information retrieval evaluation approaches to their limits. This paper reviews the legal and operational context of E-discovery and the approaches to evaluating search technology that have evolved in the research community. It then describes a multi-year effort carried out as part of the Text Retrieval Conference to develop (...) class='Hi'>evaluation methods for responsive review tasks in E-discovery. This work has led to new approaches to measuring effectiveness in both batch and interactive frameworks, large data sets, and some surprising results for the recall and precision of Boolean and statistical information retrieval methods. The paper concludes by offering some thoughts about future research in both the legal and technical communities toward the goal of reliable, effective use of information retrieval in E-discovery. (shrink)
This paper explores the issue of epistemic injustice in research evaluation. Through an analysis of the disciplinary cultures of physics and humanities, we attempt to identify some aims and values specific to the disciplinary areas. We suggest that credibility is at stake when the cultural values and goals of a discipline contradict those presupposed by official evaluation standards. Disciplines that are better aligned with the epistemic assumptions of evaluation standards appear to produce more "scientific" findings. To restore (...) epistemic justice in research evaluation, we argue that the specificity of a discipline's epistemic aims, values, and cultural identities must be taken into account. (shrink)
Research agendas and academic evaluation are inevitably linked. By means of economic incentives, promotion, research funding, and reputation academic evaluation is a powerful influence on the production of knowledge; moreover, it is often conceived as a universal instrument without consideration of the context in which it is applied. Evaluation systems are social constructions in dispute, being the current focus of international debates regarding criteria, indicators, and their associated methods. A universalist type of productivity indicators is gaining centrality (...) in academic evaluation with profound effects on the content of research that is conducted everywhere. Specifically, evaluation systems based on this type of indicators are sending negative signals to scientists willing to conduct research on contextualized agendas, particularly those negotiated with non scientists. On the basis of theoretical and empirical studies documented on the specialized literature and extensive personal engagement with university research policy in Uruguay, we argue that the consolidation of evaluation practices of alleged universal validity deteriorates and discourages a type of research which is undeniably important in developing contexts. (shrink)
In this article the author develops a framework for a pragma-dialectical reconstruction of teleological argumentation in a legal context. Ideas taken from legal theory are integrated in a pragma-dialectical model for analyzing and evaluating argumentation, thus providing a more systematic and elaborate framework for assessing the quality of teleological arguments in a legal context. Teleological argumentation in a legal context is approached as a specific form of pragmatic argumentation. The legal criteria that are relevant for the evaluation of teleological (...) argumentation are discussed and translated in terms of critical questions that are relevant for the evaluation of the various forms of teleological argumentation. (shrink)
This paper provides a philosophical analysis of some of the things faculty do to maximize their Student Evaluation of Teachers scores. It examines 28 practices that are claimed to be unethical methods for maximizing SET scores. The paper offers an argument concerning the morality of each behavior and concludes that 13 of the 28 practices suggest unethical behavior. The remaining 15 behaviors are morally permissible.
The problem of historiographical evaluation is simply this: By what evaluative criteria might we say that certain works of historiography are better than others? One recently proposed solution to this problem comes by way of Kuukkanen’s postnarrativist philosophy of historiography. Kuukkanen argues that because many historiographically interesting statements lack truth-values, we cannot evaluate historiographical claims on a truth-functional basis. In the place of truth, Kuukkanen suggests that we evaluate historiographical claims in terms of justification. The problem with this proposal, (...) as I will argue here, is that it isn’t at all clear what it means for a neither-true-nor-false claim to be justified. Moreover, this proposal also runs into trouble with the factivity of knowledge. The solution I propose here might be called “two-valued” postnarrativism, which retains Kuukkanen’s framework, except with a stricter ontology devoid of neither-true-nor-false historiographical statements. (shrink)
The executive board of the Academy for Ethics in Medicine and two AEM working groups formulated standards and recommendations for clinical ethics consultation in 2010, 2011, and 2013. These guidelines comply with the international standards like those set by the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities. There is no empirical data available yet that could indicate whether these standards and recommendations have been implemented in German hospitals. This desideratum is addressed in the present study. We contacted 1.858 German hospitals between (...) September 2013 and January 2014. A follow-up survey was conducted between October 2014 and January 2015. The data of the initial survey and the follow-up survey were merged and evaluated. The statements of the participants were compared with the standards and recommendations. The standards of the AEM concerning the tasks of clinical ethics consultation are employed by a majority of participants of the study. Almost all of these participants document their consultation activities by means of protocols or entries in the patient file. There are deviations from the recommendations of the AEM working groups regarding the drafting of statutes, activity reports, and financial support. The activities of clinical ethics consultation predominantly comply with the standards of the AEM and recommendations for the documentation. The recommendations for evaluation should be improved in practice. This applies particularly for activity reports in order to evaluate the activities. Internal evaluation could take place accordingly. (shrink)
What does evaluation mean? This article examines the evaluative process as a practical judgment that links a situation to a set of values in order to decide upon a course of action. It starts by discussing A. Sen’s “relational” and “comparative” account of evaluation, built in critical dialogue with J. Rawls’ deductive theory. Comparison, incompleteness, reality, and deliberation are the key principles of Sen’s approach, which, in some respects, echoes that of J. Dewey. The second part shows the (...) relevance of completing Sen’s approach with Dewey’s pragmatism, since Dewey’s emphasis on practical judgment is a useful counterbalance to Sen’s focus on evaluation as a cognitive process. Dewey introduces a shift from values to valuation and draws a distinction between prizing and appraising, which makes the logic of inquiry and the search for consistency between means and ends in a given situation the fulcrum of evaluation. The third part of this paper addresses the relationship between values and norms in evaluative processes. Neither Sen nor Dewey deals with this question in a systematic way, although norms, which are both similar and different from values, contribute to frame evaluations in different ways: as horizons, resources, or constrains. Bringing norms into the picture means completing the pragmatist account with an institutionalist perspective, as we suggest through the example of the evaluation of work. (shrink)
Born in the 17th century, journal peer review is an extremely diverse technology, constantly torn between two often incompatible goals: the validation of manuscripts conceived as a collective industrial-like reproducible process performed to assert scientific statements, and the dissemination of articles considered as a means to spur scientific discussion, raising controversies, and civically challenging a state of knowledge. Such a situation is particularly conducive to clarifying the processes of valuation and evaluation in journal peer review. In this article, such (...) processes are considered as specific tests in order to emphasize the uncertain properties of pre-tests manuscripts. On the one hand, evaluation tests are examined at the core of the validation of manuscripts, such as defining the coordination of judging instances or controlling the modalities of inter-knowledge between reviewers and authors. They are also studied regarding the dissemination of articles, notably through the contemporary conception of a continuing evaluation test termed “post publication peer review”. On the other hand, valuation tests are both part of the validation of manuscripts, such as the weighting of different judgments of the same manuscript and the tensions that these hierarchies cause, and of the dissemination of articles, such as attention metrics recording the uses of articles. The conclusion sketches out how the articulation of these different tests has recently empowered readers as a new key judging instance for dissemination and for validation, potentially transforming the definition of peers, and thus the whole process of journal peer review. (shrink)
The centrality of argumentation in the judicial process is an age-old acquisition of research on legal discourse. Notwithstanding the deep insights provided by legal theoretical and philosophical works, only recently has judicial argumentation been tackled in its linguistic dimension. This paper aims to contribute to the development of linguistic studies of judicial argumentation, by shedding light on evaluation as a prominent aspect in the construction of the judge’s argumentative position. Evaluation as a deep structure of judicial argumentation is (...) studied from a discursive point of view entailing the analysis of a sample of authentic judicial language. Evaluative lexis is investigated within a single genre of judicial discourse, i.e. judgments, instantiated by a corpus of US Supreme Court judgments. Findings show that judges use diversified strategies to take stance as they organise their argumentative discourse: from easily recognisable verbal and adjectival tools to more finely-grained discourse elements such as the encapsulating pattern ‘this/these/that/those + labelling noun’. (shrink)
In the debates on the roles of cultures in the ethics of human rights, one of them concerns Confucianism and Ubuntu, two prominent cultures in East Asia and Southern Africa, respectively. Some scholars assert that both cultures have values that are sharply different from the West, and conclude that the West should learn from these cultures. The aim of this paper is to philosophically investigate the roles of cultures in the ethics of human rights. I first introduce the works of (...) Bell, Metz and others on community values such as relationships and harmony in Confucianism and Ubuntu. I then argue that even if their interpretations were correct, their works still would not justify the conclusion they want. I show that it is better to use consequential evaluation rather than cultural evaluation to justify human rights. An example of human rights to health and privacy is discussed. This paper thus offers some preliminary but important philosophical investigations and addresses practical issues of consequential evaluation related to human rights. Keywords : Confucianism, Ubuntu, Cultural Evaluation, Consequential Evaluation, Human Rights, Health, Privacy. (shrink)
Grand challenges stress the importance of multi-disciplinary research, a multi-actor approach in examining the current state of affairs and exploring possible solutions, multi-level governance and policy coordination across geographical boundaries and policy areas, and a policy environment for enabling change both in science and technology and in society. The special nature of grand challenges poses certain needs in evaluation practice: the need for learning at the operational, policy and, especially, system level; and the importance of a wider set of (...) impacts and behavioural change. The examination of the usefulness of evaluations as learning tools thus becomes relevant as does the way current evaluation practices address broader impacts and issues such as behavioural additionality. The suitability of existing evaluation contexts in meeting the specific issues posed by the ‘grand challenges’ orientation is also worth examining. The paper argues that learning at the policy and system levels is largely unaddressed while concepts such as behavioural additionality are still underexploited. (shrink)
Team science models are frequently promoted as the best way to study complex societal and environmental problems. Despite increasing popularity, there is relatively little research on the processes and mechanisms that facilitate the emergence of integration of interdisciplinary teams. This article evaluates a suite of recent team-building and grant-writing activities designed to address water management in the Western U.S. We use qualitative methods to document the emergence of integrative capacity at the individual, group, and institutional levels, with particular attention to (...) the role of graduate students and non-academic practitioners in a team science planning project. Our findings highlight the importance of social integration as a basis for conceptual integration and an ability to relate these concepts to real-world problems. The findings also demonstrate the value of qualitative evaluation measures of team readiness, capacity, and intellectual outputs to complement conventional evaluation indicators that rely on quantitative scientific outputs, particularly for team science projects still in the planning stages. (shrink)
This chapter argues that as the online informational landscape continues to expand, shortcuts to source credibility evaluation, in particular the revered checklist approach, falls short of its intended goal, and this method cannot replace the acquisition of a more formally acquired and comprehensive information literacy skill set. By examining the current standard of checklist criteria, the authors identify problems with this approach. Such shortcuts are not necessarily effective for online source credibility assessment, and the authors contend that in cases (...) of high-stakes informational needs, they cannot adequately replace the expertise of information professionals, nor displace the need for proper and continuous information literacy education. (shrink)
The purpose of the present paper is: (1) to outline a conceptual framework useful for the analysis of ethical issues raised by goal-directed activities, (2) to apply this framework to nanoscale research, (3) identify some of the main challenges in the evaluation of such research, and (4) exemplify what is needed for a positive answer to the question “How can nanoscale research improve the quality of life?” A basic idea of the paper is that nanoscale research can improve the (...) conditions and quality of life of large groups in society, provided that: (a) this research is directed at certain generally accepted goals, (b) at least some of the opportunities are exploited for the good of mankind, (c) the key obstacles on the road are eliminated, reduced or circumvented, and (d) this is done in ethically acceptable ways. (shrink)
In this paper, the author describes a dialogical approach tolegal argumentation from the perspective of argumentationtheory. In a pragma-dialectical approach of legalargumentation, the argumentation is considered to be part of acritical discussion aimed at the rational resolution of thedispute. The author describes how a pragma-dialecticalanalysis and evaluation of legal argumentation can be carriedout.
This study aims to propose a framework considering both economic issues and environmental effects in technology evaluation in order to provide firms' decision makers a useful reference in adopting technologies that will enable them to fulfill corporate social responsibilities and get competitive advantages at the same time. Recently, the demands for technology evaluation have increased with the flourishing development of technology licensing, technology transaction or joint venture on the one hand and with the pressing needs of environmental protection (...) for human beings' sustainable development on the other hand. Under such conditions, it thus goes without saying that firms' decision makers are propelled to take into account both economic benefits and environmental effects in evaluating technologies by choosing low or nonpolluting technologies for manufacturing products. Although technology evaluation is not a new and emerging subject currently besetting scholars in the field of management, previous research on this topic has unwittingly left behind the pressing issue of environmental effects. Based on this observation, this study purports to develop a new framework for technology evaluation by taking both economic benefits and environmental perspectives into consideration. In it, we seek to demonstrate that our proposed framework will not only be a workable model but also can serve as a useful point of reference for technology appraisers and firms' decision makers. (shrink)
Several different evaluation issuesare perceived as important by people involved withinnovative projects intended to improve local food andnutrition systems; particularly the establishment oflocal food policy coalitions. Several such coalitionshave been formed in North America, Europe, andAustralia with the goal of improving community foodsecurity and promoting sustainable local food systems.Pioneer coalitions have served as models, yet therehas been little systematic evaluation of thesemodels. A qualitative study was conducted to identifyfactors that may hinder evaluation efforts. In grouptelephone interviews, we (...) sought the views ofacademics, project organizers, and funders, a total of24 key informants. Pressures to evaluate were assessed differently bythe three groups of key informants. Academics felt thefocus of evaluation should be on the effectiveness ofthe process used to discuss issues and formulatepolicies and plans. Project organizers and fundersperceived a need to assess project impact andoutcomes. A lack of suitable evaluation models andmethods was viewed as a formidable barrier. The use ofinappropriate methods and premature impact evaluationwere noted as potential threats to projectsustainability. External constraints and resourcelimitations were also said to inhibit evaluationefforts. It appears that several other factors may also beimpeding progress in conducting more (and more useful)evaluations including: (1) the apparent negativeconnotation of evaluation and the limited benefitsexpected from evaluation by stakeholders, (2) a lackof consensus about important evaluation questions,(3) insufficient evaluation expertise among projectorganizers, and (4) inadequate appreciation ofincreasing accountability pressures. (shrink)