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Evidence-Based Management

Evidence-Based Management

Evidence-based management is a practice of management and decision-making based on critical thinking and reliable evidence.

If you have made a decision based on so-called “best practices” and if you haven’t questioned the culture, myths, and ideologies that contributed to those practices—your decision-making framework is fundamentally flawed.


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How to Use Evidence-Based Management

How to Use Evidence-Based Management

Six steps you can follow to increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome from your decisions:

  1. Asking: Translating a practical issue or problem into an answerable question
  2. Acquiring: Systematically searching for and retrieving the evidence 
  3. Appraising: Critically judging the trustworthiness and relevance of the evidence
  4. Aggregating: Weighing and pulling together the evidence 
  5. Applying: Incorporating the evidence into the decision-making process 
  6. Assessing: Evaluating the outcome of the decision.


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Sources of Evidence for Leaders

  • Scientific literature. Knowledge from scientific evidence is more accurate than the opinions of experts or their best practices. 
  • Internal data. Professional judgments based on hard data are far more accurate than judgments based on individual experience. 
  • Professional expertise. The professional experience of many people results in more accurate decisions than the personal experience of one or two individuals.
  • Stakeholders’ values and concerns. Consulting the people affected by our decisions can be done with focus groups, internal surveys, or enterprise discussion management tools.


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Tools to Enable Evidence-Based Management

  • Subscriptions to academic journals. JSTOR, Directory of Open Access Journals, and ScienceDirect are just a few to consider.
  • Business intelligence tools. Leveraging your organization’s business analyst or data science team is a good way to ensure the data sets you’re using to make accurate decisions. 
  • Membership to industry associations: they give you access to perspectives outside of your experience.
  • Enterprise discussion management: they are critical in helping us connect our workforce and gauge stakeholders’ values and concerns about a specific topic. 


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