Establishing a baseline as the first step to evaluating impact

FILDES, Keith E. (2014). Establishing a baseline as the first step to evaluating impact. In: BROMLEY, Tony, (ed.) The impact of researcher development. Vitae Occasional Papers (1). Careers Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC) Limited, 3-8.

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Purpose - The paper aims to demonstrate the value of establishing a baseline at the beginning of a major development initiative, to help with diagnosis and then demonstrate how subsequent interventions are evidence-based. By undertaking a detailed assessment pre-operation, a framework is then also established against which future outcomes and impact can be measured. This paper intends to share good practice in establishing a baseline, by reporting and reflecting on a case study.

Design/methodology/approach - The paper predominantly presents analysis of primary data. This includes c.40 in-depth interviews, the results of a survey completed by 60 respondents, and commentary on the results of three other previously-conducted surveys. Reference has been made to the relevant literature that frames this work, although no detailed discussion of it has been attempted.

Findings - The paper presents the challenges and opportunities relating to the 'people' element of the research environment of the case study institution. It also makes recommendations on interventions and suggests the measures that will be used to evaluate the impact of them.

Practical implications - This paper intends to showcase the use of an organisational development approach (data collection, diagnosis, action planning, intervention and evaluation) in a researcher development context, which may inform the practices of others.

Originality/value - Although many institutions will utilise an organisational development approach to researcher development, the author is not aware of many cases where the initial stages have been recorded and presented as an academic article. The contribution of teaching-led institutions to the researcher development discourse has been slightly marginal, so coming from this perspective also adds to its originality.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Institute of Education
Depositing User: Keith Fildes
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2014 09:46
Last Modified: 24 Aug 2015 08:47

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