Theses defended

Avaliação nas Organizações do Terceiro Setor: Contextos, Discursos e Práticas

Mónica Lopes

Public Defence date
January 25, 2018
Doctoral Programme
Cities and Urban Cultures
Virgínia Ferreira
Recent changes both within third sector organizations (TSO) and in the relationship between TSO and the State and other funding bodies have increased the importance of evaluation practices. Making use of different theoretical and analytical perspectives, this research aims to study the motivations, the practices and the uses of evaluation by Portuguese OTS. This is intended to expose the logics and different rationalities associated with the evaluation practices adopted and to disclose its implications upon the identity of the TSOs. The research strategy has been based on secondary data analysis, 45 semi-structured interviews with different agents of the evaluation and the third sector fields, and an on-line questionnaire to 575 OTS representatives. The analysis of collected data revealed that the actual evaluation culture is still very fragile in the studied organizations. Despite the effusive discourses towards the adoption of an evaluation culture within TSO, there isn't a consistent adoption of evaluation practices or the development of infrastructures to support them, which would allow organizational learning and mission achievement. The study has shown the influence of a diversity of internal and external factors upon the reported evaluation practices, as well as upon the definition of evaluation typologies and organization's profiles. The analysis has highlighted the significance of institutional pressures in the configuration of both evaluation practices and the ways they are envisaged, especially those associated with funding. However, this study has also underscored the relevance of internal contingency factors and TSO organizational culture in mediating the effects of the external environment towards on the internalization of evaluation.

Keywords: third sector; evaluation; measurement; performance; impact; accountability; organizational learning