Developmental impact evaluation for facilitating learning in innovation networks

Eveliina Saari, Katri Kallio

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)


    Innovations and new project ideas often emerge in networks of researchers, users of research, and societal actors. This article analyzes and discusses how research scientists learn to conduct research that has an impact on their clients, scientific community, and society. We describe a new developmental impact evaluation method based on the theory of expansive learning. The pilot process was conducted for bioenergy researchers at MTT Agrifood Research Finland. Developmental impact evaluation offers networks a process for evaluating completed projects, learning from them, and constructing a new research concept via pilot projects. The method opens up the concept of ‘research impact’ as a qualitative learning challenge, rather than an accountable target to be judged. It may be adopted as a continuous way of managing and renewing cross-disciplinary research programs, research groups, or networks.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)227-245
    Number of pages9
    JournalAmerican Journal of Evaluation
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • developmental evaluation
    • impact
    • organizational learning
    • innovation
    • network


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