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Evaluation in management by objectives: a critical analysis of Sweden’s national environmental quality objectives system
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER). (UCER)
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER). (UCER)
2016 (English)In: Evaluation, ISSN 1356-3890, E-ISSN 1461-7153, Vol. 22, no 2, 190-208 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article investigates what can be achieved by one particular management by objectives system – i.e. the Swedish National Environmental Quality Objectives system and its evaluation function. A critical programme theory analysis is first developed to reconstruct the programme theory of the National Environmental Quality Objectives system. Next, the robustness of the programme theory is analysed in terms of internal consistency, theoretical support and empirical support. The results indicate that, while some assumptions underlying the National Environmental Quality Objectives system are valid, the National Environmental Quality Objectives’ programme theory has low validity in several respects. The evaluative knowledge the system produces is only partly relevant to or useable by local actors and industry. While the state of the environment is observed and measured in the monitoring and evaluation reports, the direct effects of environmental policy and work are not evaluated, which is a main weakness of the National Environmental Quality Objectives system. It is unlikely that the current evaluation function can effectively support achievement of the National Environmental Quality Objectives environmental objectives. The article suggests that evaluations in support of network governance are more likely to support National Environmental Quality Objectives achievement and sustainable development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 22, no 2, 190-208 p.
Keyword [en]
evaluation function, management by objectives, National Environmental Quality Objectives system, program theory analysis, the validity of the National Environmental Quality Objectives
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Sociology; statskunskap
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-119543DOI: 10.1177/1356389016638751ISI: 000374584600005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-119543DiVA: diva2:922366
Available from: 2016-04-22 Created: 2016-04-22 Last updated: 2016-06-17Bibliographically approved

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Larsson, MagnusHanberger, Anders
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Department of SociologyUmeå Centre for Evaluation Research (UCER)
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