Harris, Kevin, Chad Oatley, Steven Mumford, Phung K. Pham, & Heather Nunns (2021, July). Introducing Q methodology to program evaluators. American Journal of Evaluation. (ePub in advance of print) (doi: 10.1177/1098214020932227) (Link: https://doi.org/10.1177/1098214020932227)

Abstract: This method note presents Q methodology as a useful tool for evaluators to add to their practice toolbox. Q methodology, which involves both quantitative and qualitative techniques, can help researchers and evaluators systematically understand subjectivity and the communicability of opinions and perspectives. We first provide an overview of Q methodology, followed by a brief summary of how evaluators are using Q, and an explanation of the steps for implementing Q methodology. Either by itself or with other methods, the potential uses of Q methodology in evaluation are diverse. For practical demonstration, we describe how Q methodology was used in a recent evaluation in the UK to understand stakeholder subjectivity within the program. We then reflect upon the pros and cons of using Q in program evaluation, concluding that it constitutes a worthwhile tool for evaluating complex programs.

Kevin Harris <kevin.harris@solent.ac.uk> is in the School of Sport Health and Social Sciences, Solent University, Southampton, England.

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