Professionalization, Ethics, and Fidelity to an Evaluation Ethos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Current discussion of the professionalization of the practice of evaluation is focused on matters of competencies and credentialing and largely overlooks several significant issues. These include conflating professionalizing the practice with promoting the value of evaluation as a social good, assuming there is widespread agreement on what the terms profession and professional mean, and not considering how processes of professionalization are affected by the incorporation of evaluative activities in systems of managerial control. Most glaring is the absence of vigorous discussion of what professionalism means in evaluation and what the profession itself aims to add to society, or the social good it seeks to serve. In a word, there is little discussion of the professional ethos of evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)546-553
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Evaluation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • ethics
  • professionalism
  • professionalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Strategy and Management

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