Investigating the role of contextual factors in effectively executing communication evaluation and measurement: A scoping review

Stefania Romenti, Grazia Murtarelli, Angelo Miglietta, Anne Gregory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Evaluation and measurement (E&M) remains a critical and debated topic among communication scholars and practice. Substantial research and professional efforts have been devoted to discussing what should be measured and which methods should be applied. Most of the E&M models seem to carry a positivist imprint. But, in real-life, organizations could not have clear aims, enough resources, or adequate informative systems to support E&M. Moreover, several contextual factors could affect the implementation of E&M management processes. The communication literature rarely highlights these factors. To fulfill this gap, the purpose of this paper is to theorize the contextual factors relevant to the management of the evaluation process. Design/methodology/approach: A scoping literature review was carried out exploring the role of contextual factors and impact of contextual factors on E&M management processes. More specifically, the review examines the contribution provided by program evaluation and performance measurement (PM) fields of research. Findings: The paper provides a scoping review of program evaluation and PM approaches. Additionally, it explains how both streams of thought argued the importance of contextual factors, such as organizational, relational, cultural and communicative factors, for the success of any evaluation processes. The study underlined that the main evaluation models used in the field of communication have overlooked these studies and put on evidence the role of contextual factors in effectively executing communication E&M. Originality/value: The paper enriches the dominant rationale concerning the E&M management processes by incorporating literature on: program evaluation; and PM. The analysis could provide useful insights also from a professional perspective, by helping practitioners for a contextual assessment of strategic communication programs and activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-245
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Communication Management
Issue number3
Early online date3 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2019


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