The Practitioner Scholar

Doctor of Management Blog

Evidence-Based Management and the Weatherhead Doctorate in Management

April 2, 2010 ·

Evidence-Based Management is a movement initiated by several past presidents of a leading academic professional association, the Academy of Management.  It seeks to improve managerial practice by encouraging organizational leaders to use evidence from rigorous scholarly research as a guide in their decision-making.   However, at a time when leaders are seeking new ideas to respond to complex challenges in many fields of management, scholarly knowledge has found little application.  Lack of use is partially due to managerial ignorance of such knowledge and reliance on less rigorously-produced knowledge, and partially to the irrelevance of much scholarly knowledge to managers' practical problems.

A premise of research in the DM and PhD in Management Programs is that the gap between scholarly knowledge and managerial practice can be closed through the proper definition of research studies, definition that produces knowledge that is both rigorous and relevant.  Program members pursue research that 1) is framed in terms of problems experienced by managers, 2) synthesizes theories and prior empirical studies that provide insight into these problems, and 3) uses rigorous methods to produce evidence that has practical value.  Program members engage in field-based studies of this type from the program's first session, providing them with immediate and continuing experience in practical research not provided in traditional PhD programs. Through their own research experiences, members learn both the value and limitations of research-based knowledge and Evidence-Based Management. With other program members and graduates, they form a community of practitioner-scholars that shares knowledge and produces evidence to guide managers' practical decisions.  At the same time, they learn to apply rigorously-produced knowledge to problems and opportunities in their own managerial endeavors.

Paul Salipante is Professor of Marketing and Policy Studies at the Weatherhead School of Management, and has been a faculty member with the DM program since its inception.

Articles on evidence-based management suggested by Prof. Salipante:

Aram, J.D., & Salipante, P. (2003).  Managers as knowledge generators:  The nature of practitioner-scholar research in the nonprofit sector.  Nonprofit Management & Leadership, 14(2), 129-150.

Rousseau, D.M., & McCarthy, S. (2007). Evidence-based management:  Educating managers from an evidence-based perspective.  Academy of Management Learning and Education, 6, 94-101.

Rousseau, D.M, Manning, J., & Denyer D. (2008). Evidence in management and organizational science:  Assembling the field's full weight of scientific knowledge through syntheses.  In A Brief & J. Walsh (Eds.), Annals of the Academy of Management,  Vol. 2.

Briner, R.B., Denyer, D., & Rousseau, D.M. (2009).  Evidence-based management:  Concept cleanup time?  Academy of Management Perspectives, 23(4), 19-32.

Reay, T., Berta, W., & Kohn, M.K. (2009).  What's the evidence of evidence-based management? Academy of Management Perspectives, 23(4), 5-18.

Tags: Faculty Perspectives

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