The purpose of this paper is to understand factors that may stimulate or inhibit communication practitioners when it comes to measurement and evaluation (M&E) of communication initiatives at the outcome level (i.e. impact on stakeholder’s attitudes and behavior or business results).
Based on Ajzen’s (1985) theory of planned behavior (TPB), the authors develop and test a new model to analyze antecedents to M&E behavior (attitude, perceived norms, and behavioral control) and assess how they impact practitioners’ intentions to perform outcome M&E. The model is tested in a standardized online survey (n=371).
Findings show that the TPB model explains a large amount of the variance in practitioners’ intentions to engage in M&E at the outcome level. The model demonstrates that attitude toward outcome M&E and perceived behavioral control, particularly lack of skills, are the two strongest drivers influencing practitioners’ intentions to measure and evaluate outcomes of their communication initiatives. Perceived norms to perform outcome M&E has only a very weak effect on intentions.
The findings highlight the potential of education when it comes to developing M&E capabilities in the practice. They also suggest that the role of normative pressure to perform outcome M&E needs to be better understood in terms of the dynamics of standardization specifically regarding design, implementation, and monitoring of M&E standards.
The study is the first to go beyond the common descriptive focus in studying M&E practices and is the first application of the TPB to understand the factors that drive communication practitioners’ intentions to perform M&E.
Buhmann, A. and Brønn, P. (2018), "Applying Ajzen’s theory of planned behavior to predict practitioners’ intentions to measure and evaluate communication outcomes", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 377-391. https://doi.org/10.1108/CCIJ-11-2017-0107Download as .RIS
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