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Strategies for Is Evaluation Six Generic Types

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Strategies for Information Systems Evaluation- Six Generic Types
Stefan Cronholm and Göran Goldkuhl Linköping University, Sweden scr@ida.liu.se ggo@ida.liu.se
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to contribute to the decision of how to perform evaluation depending on the evaluation context. Three general strategies of how to perform evaluation are identified: Goal-free evaluation, goal-based and criteria-based evaluation. Two general strategies of what to evaluate are identified: IT-system as such and IT-system in use. From the three “how-strategies” and the two “what-strategies” we derive a matrix consisting of six generic types of evaluation. Each one of the six types are categorised on a ideal typical level. For each type there is suggested evaluation process model. Keywords: IS Evaluation, IS Assessment, Information Systems, Goal-based evaluation, Goal-free evaluation, Criteria-based evaluation

1. Introduction
All over the world there is a huge amount of money spent on IT (e.g. Seddon, 2001). It is therefore important to evaluate the outcome. Evaluation is never an easy task and consequently there are a lot of suggestions for how to evaluate IT-system. Much of the literature on evaluation takes a formal-rational view and sees evaluation as a largely quantitative process of calculating the likely cost/benefit on the basis of defined criteria (Walsham, 1993). There are also interpretative approaches (e.g. Remenyi, 1999; Walsham, 1993). The interpretative perspective views ITsystems often as social systems that have information technology embedded into it (Goldkuhl & Lyytinen, 1982). There are formative and summative approaches containing different measures or criteria. Some approaches are focusing on harder economical criteria and others are focusing on softer user-oriented criteria. According to Walsham (1993) and Scriven (1967) formative evaluation aims to…...

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