Introducing Q Methodology to Program Evaluators

Kev Harris, Chad Oatley, Steven Mumford, Phung K. Pham, Heather Nunns

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    This method note presents Q methodology as a useful tool for evaluators to add to their practice toolbox. Q methodology, which involves both quantitative and qualitative techniques, can help researchers and evaluators systematically understand subjectivity and the communicability of opinions and perspectives. We first provide an overview of Q methodology, followed by a brief summary of how evaluators are using Q, and an explanation of the steps for implementing Q methodology. Either by itself or with other methods, the potential uses of Q methodology in evaluation are diverse. For practical demonstration, we describe how Q methodology was used in a recent evaluation in the UK to understand stakeholder subjectivity within the program. We then reflect upon the pros and cons of using Q in program evaluation, concluding that it constitutes a worthwhile tool for evaluating complex programs.
    Keywords: Q methodology, methods, quantitative, qualitative, subjectivity
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)439-453
    Number of pages15
    JournalAmerican Journal of Evaluation
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2021


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