Benefits and costs of evaluation - an essay

F.L. Leeuw*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The paper summarizes several benefits of evaluations, such as increased accountability and transparency, organizational learning, experimentation, dissent and democratization. It also points at diverse costs of evaluations, such as financial costs, error costs, costs resulting from performance paradoxes, routinization and loss of,critical power'. It is argued that although benefits of evaluations often are stressed, it is wise to also address the topic of the costs of evaluation. It may be a cognitive bias that costs are underryted while benefits are overrated. The paper finally discusses why it is important to address this issue.(2)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-229
JournalZeitschrift für Evaluation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


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