My name is Jeff Sheldon and I am a doctoral student at the School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences at Claremont Graduate University concentrating in evaluation and applied research methods. A challenge I’ve encountered in my own practice is organizations that simply aren’t ready to be engaged in the evaluation process.
Rad Resource: Readiness for Organizational Learning and Evaluation (ROLE). The ROLE (Preskill & Torres, 2000) was designed to help us determine the level of readiness for implementing organizational learning, evaluation practices, and supporting processes. I’ve implemented the ROLE with schools and other types organizations, using the results to: 1) identify the existence of learning organization characteristics; 2) diagnose interest in conducting evaluation that facilitates organizational learning; 3) identify areas of strength to leverage evaluative inquiry processes; and 4) identify areas in need of organizational change and development. ROLE items reflects the research on organizational learning, evaluative inquiry processes, and evaluation practices, and suggest that an organization must have certain internal elements in place if it is to support and encourage organizational learning. Evaluation research indicates an organization’s culture and context influence the extent to which evaluative inquiry occurs in support of learning and decision making. The ROLE consists of 78 items grouped into six major constructs: 1) Culture, 2) Leadership, 3) Systems and Structures, 4) Communication, 5) Teams, and 6) Evaluation. Four of these – Culture, Leadership, Systems and Structures, and Communication – are further divided into subconstructs. Individual responses to ROLE items created a composite perspective of the internal context of an organization that determines the extent to which organizational learning, evaluation practices, and systems are present.
The ROLE instrument is available as an appendix in Russ-Eft, D. & Preskill, H. (2001) Evaluation in organizations: A systematic approach to enhancing learning, performance, and change. New York, NY: Basic Books.