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Evidence-based management increases accountability

As a manager and professional, decision-making is your daily business. Making the right or wrong decision has an immediate impact on organizational performance. It is your responsibility to make sure your decision-making process adheres to the highest quality standards available. This is not just important for you as an individual, but for the organization, department, project, or team you are responsible for. It is the quality of your decision-making process that impacts their future.

Taking an evidence-based management approach makes sure you consider the best available evidence when taking decisions. More specifically, it points towards the following four sources of evidence:

  1. Organizational data

  2. Professional expertize

  3. Stakeholder values and concerns

  4. Insights from scientific research

Common mistakes when taking an evidence-based management approach

Many managers are aware that scientific research on management and organizational behavior exists. However, since relatively few managers have academic or scientific training, few feel empowered to access, search, and make productive use of that research. If a manager does choose to venture into the published literature, they may find that peer-reviewed journal articles are written in a jargon-filled, dry manner that is difficult or intimidating to read (de Bruin & Bostrom, 2013)

One of the first steps to becoming an evidence-based manager is to get over the “intimidation factor”, when it comes to searching and consuming published science. Scientific research is intended to serve the public interest, and is frequently made available to individuals outside of academia. Published, high-quality research can be found in databases such as JSTOR and PsychInfo, and via academic search engines like Google Scholar. Journals devoted to organizational research, such as SAGE’s Journal of Management, can also be searched for empirical work relevant to a manager’s needs and interests.

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