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PlexusCall:Evaluation, Organizational Development and Narrative: A Complex Trio
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When: Friday, November 21, 2014
1-2pm ET

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Friday, November 21, 2014

1-2 PM Eastern Time

Evaluation, Organizational Development and Narrative: A Complex Trio

Guests: Michael Quinn-Patton and Alan Barstow


MP3 File


In initiatives designed for social change, the right kind of evaluation can help reach the goal. People using developmental evaluation integrate creativity and critical thinking as they discover what works and what doesn’t. The process requires knowledge of contextual history, identity, relationships and values, and narrative that clarifies the meaning of experiences and outcomes. The 4th edition of Michael Quinn Patton’s Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods comes out on the day of this call. Read Michael's blog Better Evaluation. And join the conversation!


Michael Quinn Patton is an independent organizational development and program evaluation consultant. He is former President of the American Evaluation Association. His new edition of the Qualitative Research book features systems thinking and complexity theory as frameworks for qualitative inquiry. He is also author of Developmental Evaluation: Applying Complexity Concepts to Enhance Innovation and Use, a Plexus book club selection. He has received the Myrdal Award for Outstanding Contributions to Useful and Practical Evaluation Practice from the Evaluation Research Society and the Lazarsfeld Award for Lifelong Contributions to Evaluation Theory from the American Evaluation Association. He is co-author of Getting to Maybe: How the World Is Changed with Frances Westley and Brenda Zimmerman, a book that applies complexity theory and systems thinking to social innovation and developmental evaluation. Michael is skilled at telling the stories that reflect complexity in action and, as one book reviewer put it, illuminating the relationship between individuals and what Shakespeare calls "the tide in the affairs of men.”



Alan M. Barstow is an author, consultant and educator specializing in organizational design, and the process of change. Dr. Barstow is the Director of Academics and Collaboration and a faculty member of the Organizational Dynamics Program at the University of Pennsylvania. He co-founded INTERACT: The Institute for Interactive Management in 1986 and served on its board of directors. He was previouslyFaculty Research Associate at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Barstow engages executives and professionals in rethinking strategic goals and action, and in learning effective ways to produce change. Dr. Barstow is a Fulbright Scholar and received his PhD in anthropology from Columbia University. His dissertation, "The Politics of Employee Participation," was based on action research conducted at Volvo Corporation in Sweden in 1982-83. A skilled complexity facilitator and scholar, Alan observes, "If, in this world it is necessary to specialize, then, in the words of Jose Ortega y Gasset, I wish to "specialize in the construction of the whole." He is a Plexus Institute science advisor.

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