Evidence-Based Management: One Small Step for You, One Giant Leap for the Profession

Topic: Strategic HR
Publication: Academy of Management Journal
Article: A Sticky, Leveraging, and Scalable Strategy for High-quality Connections between Organizational Practice and Science
Author: D. M. Rousseau
Reviewed By: Sarah Teague

Have you ever participated in an EBM Collaboration? I’ll give you a hint… you’re participating right now! The term Evidence-Based Management (EBM) Collaboration refers to an effort to better inform practice with empirical findings and also to make stronger connections within our field; essentially bridging the gap between science and practice. A call from Rousseau (2007) lays out a framework for the potential tasks associated with such an effort and proposes specific benefits that our field might reap.

Suggested EBM Tasks:

1.    Review current research and present plain-language summaries in an easily  accessible online format.

2.    Analyze reviews within a given topic area to provide insight on practical inquiries (e.g., “What are the effects of bonus pay? Leadership training? Mergers? Downsizing?”).

3.    Include case studies about practitioner’s struggles/success in implementing the scientific findings to aid others experiencing resistance.

4.    Provide interactive features to foster procedural knowledge (knowledge of how to do something) (e.g., describing conditions under which findings might/might not be apply to a given situation).

Proposed Outcomes:
The author proposed that this type of collaboration will result in an impartial “seal of approval” for current research findings, bolstered by professional partnerships with organizations such as SIOP or AOM. Subsequently, this will render solid research findings and implications more relevant and accessible to practitioners, potentially inhibiting the buying and selling of unsubstantiated claims and speculative interventions.

On a side note, The IOATWORK website is a response to the repeated calls for a stronger alliance between scientists and practitioners. By reading this review, you have taken a small (but SUBSTANTIAL) step towards making our field more integrative and functional. So thank you and tell all your friends!

Rousseau, D. M. (2007). A sticky, leveraging, and scalable strategy for high-quality
connections between organizational practice and science. Academy of Management
Journal, 50(5), 1037-1042.