Evidence-Based Management

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Description of Evidence-Based Management. Explanation.

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Definition Evidence-Based Management. Description.


Evidence-Based Management is a philosophy towards managing organizations that emphasizes the importance of the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of current best evidence in decision-making.


The term was coined by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton in an HBR article of Jan 2006.

The authors rightly warn for 6 bad practices in decision-making:

  1. Using obsolete knowledge (relying on previous experience).

  2. Capitalizing on the decision-makers own strengths.

  3. Hype and Marketing.

  4. Dogma and Belief.

  5. Ideology.

  6. Uncritical emulation and casual benchmarking.

Instead of the above, Pfeffer and Sutton recommend to:

  1. Demand evidence. Make sure specific quantitative information is available and used.

  2. Examine logic. Ask for backup research and pay attention to gaps in exposition, logic and inference.

  3. Treat the organization as an unfinished prototype. Run trial programs, pilot studies, small experiments.

  4. Embrace the attitude of wisdom. Have a healthy respect for what is not known and can't be known.


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Compare with: Business Intelligence  |  Benchmarking  |  Performance Management  |  Value Based Management  |  Activity Based Costing

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