Stakeholder conflict: A case study

T. A. Abma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Evaluation studies may take many forms and have many different functions, but commonly assume consensus on evaluation criteria. Reasoning from a theory of value pluralism, it is more likely that stakeholders will have different, and sometimes conflicting, views on an evaluated program. In order to acknowledge this plurality, Guba and Lincoln (1989) proposed taking different stakeholder constructions as a departure point for a negotiation process towards consensus or a heightened personal and mutual understanding. Impasses and conflicts are, however, considered to be an inevitable part of social relationships. This article suggests that an evaluator can create or restore the social negotiation process through the introduction of 'other point multiplicity'. The features, (dis)advantages and required conditions for this evaluation and method of conflict management are illustrated by a case study which deals with an evaluation of a vocational rehabilitation project for psychiatric patients. During this project a conflict developed between management and the therapists who were involved in the evaluated program.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-210
Number of pages12
JournalEvaluation and Program planning
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2000

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