Ethical Considerations in Evaluation

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Subject: LCSH

Ethics, Educational evaluation




In this chapter the focus is on the distinctive implications for evaluation as a profession of empirical research and commentary relevant to the normative structure of the field. Within this context, five key areas are addressed, followed by recommendations for the future:

How pervasive are ethical challenges in evaluation?

What is the nature of the ethical problems that evaluators encounter most frequently?

What ethical dilemmas are presented by different levels and types of stakeholder involvement in evaluation?

What ethical challenges are presented by evaluator involvement in utilization of findings?

What can evaluators do to prevent and respond to ethical problems?

The answers to these questions are not always as straightforward as one might wish. As we shall see, however, the lack of a definitive answer can be instructive in its own right, helping us to identify issues that evaluation must address if it is to mature as a profession. Such a "lesson" is clearly evident when the question of pervasiveness is considered.


Kluwer International Handbooks of Education, Vol. 9. UNH readers may access the chapter here:

Publisher Citation

Morris, M. (2003). Ethical considerations in evaluation. In T. Kellaghan, D. Stufflebeam & L. Wingate (Eds.), Springer International Handbooks of education: International Handbook of educational evaluation. Vol. 1, pp. 303-327. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer Science+Business Media.