Concept mapping example - science capability

A brief example of concept mapping from the Victorian Department of Primary Industries.

The department was endeavouring to develop indicators of science capability that went beyond the qualifications of staff and the facilities they had.

  • A preliminary literature review had found that science capability was made up of: A quantity component – e.g. qualifications of staff, facilities
  • A quality component – was the science ‘quality science’
  • A management component
  • An ability to foresee and innovate
  • Production of science results that were utilised

In order to develop these concepts it was decided to ask two groups ( a. the external investors and stakeholders, and 2. the departmental scientists) what they considered science capability to be.

Evaluators note: The identification of this diversity of values lead to senior management to debate the merit and worth with proceeding with a formal performance indicator approach in favour of a combination indicator and descriptive evaluation. Without concept mapping an inappropriate indicator may have been selected.


Victorian Department of Primary Industries