"Paton has a distinguished career as an evaluation researcher and his experience in applying the tools of qualitative research to address the questions and concerns of those in the world of practice come through clearly… a gem of a discussion of sampling strategies in qualitative research that is useful not only to prospective researchers but also to more seasoned ones. It is the most complete and carefully reasoned consideration of sampling in qualitative research that I have encountered"
(Organizational Research Methods)
About the Author
Michael Quinn Patton is an independent consultant with more than 40 years’ experience conducting applied research and program evaluations. He lives in Minnesota, where, according to the state’s poet laureate, Garrison Keillor, “all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average.” It was this interesting lack of statistical variation in Minnesota that led him to qualitative inquiry despite the strong quantitative orientation of his doctoral studies in sociology at the University of Wisconsin. He was on the faculty of the University of Minnesota for 18 years, including 5 years as director of the Minnesota Center for Social Research, where he was awarded the Morse-Amoco Award for innovative teaching. Readers of this book will not be surprised to learn that he has also won the University of Minnesota storytelling competition.
He has authored six other SAGE books: Utilization-Focused Evaluation, Creative Evaluation, Practical Evaluation, How to Use Qualitative Methods for Evaluation, Essentials of Utilization-Focused Evaluation, and Family Sexual Abuse: Frontline Research and Evaluation. He has edited or contributed articles to numerous books and journals, including several volumes of New Directions in Program Evaluation, on subjects as diverse as culture and evaluation, how and why language matters, HIV/AIDS research and evaluation systems, extension methods, feminist evaluation, teaching using the case method, evaluating strategy, utilization of evaluation, and valuing. He is the author of Developmental Evaluation: Applying Complexity Concepts to Enhance Innovation and Use and coauthor of Getting to Maybe: How the World Is Changed, a book that applies complexity science to social innovation. His creative nonfiction book, Grand Canyon Celebration: A Father–Son Journey of Discovery, was a finalist for Minnesota Book of the Year.
He is a former president of the American Evaluation Association and recipient of both the Alva and Gunnar Myrdal Award for Outstanding Contributions to Useful and Practical Evaluation and the Paul F. Lazarsfeld Award for Lifelong Contributions to Evaluation Theory from the American Evaluation Association. The Society for Applied Sociology presented him the Lester F. Ward Award for Outstanding Contributions to Applied Sociology.
He is on the faculty of The Evaluators’ Institute and teaches workshops for the American Evaluation Association’s professional development courses and Claremont University’s Summer Institute. He is a founding trainer for the International Program for Development Evaluation Training, sponsored by The World Bank and other international development agencies each summer in Ottawa, Ontario.
He has conducted applied research and evaluation on a broad range of issues, including antipoverty initiatives, leadership development, education at all levels, human services, the environment, public health, medical education, employment training, agricultural extension, arts, criminal justice, mental health, transportation, diversity initiatives, international development, community development, systems change, policy effectiveness, managing for results, performance indicators, and effective governance. He has worked with organizations and programs at the international, national, state, provincial, and local levels and with philanthropic, not-for-profit, private sector, international agency, and government programs. He has worked with people from many different cultures and perspectives.
He has three children―a musician, an engineer, and a nonprofit organization development and evaluation specialist―and one granddaughter. When not evaluating, he enjoys exploring the woods and rivers of Minnesota with his partner, Jean―kayaking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing―and occasionally hiking in the Grand Canyon. He enjoys watching the seasons change from his office overlooking the Mississippi River in Saint