Top 3 Tips for managing with evidence

June 6, 2016 | Hamilton
Contributed by Vishwanath V. Baba, Professor, Human Resources and Management

DeGroote’s Vishwanath V. Baba is a Professor, Human Resources and Management and former Dean of the DeGroote School of Business. He is currently serving as Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences (CJAS). Below, he shares his Top 3 Tips for managing with evidence: 

1) Evidence-based management makes management decisions robust and defensible

Evidence-based management helps knowledge management and encourages the formation of a learning organization. Evidence is collected, curated and made available to every decision maker in the organization through knowledge management structures and processes. It becomes a culture by which an organization pursues its business. Every time a decision is made, the evidence supporting the decision is made explicit and the managerial judgment surrounding the decision becomes defensible based on the evidence. It makes management practice better informed and professionally competent. It also entrenches values of rationality, transparency, and professionalism in the organization.

2) Evidence-based management links the producers and users of management knowledge in such a way as to strengthen the profession

The success of evidence-based management depends upon the degree to which management research and management practice inform each other. This calls for an ongoing collaboration between business schools and the profession so that knowledge that is pertinent to the practice of management is generated through rigorous research, and then curated and communicated to a practicing manager in a timely fashion in a user-friendly integrative format. This is what evidence-based medicine has accomplished: ensuring the best medical evidence available to a medical professional anywhere in the world, online and in real time.

3) Combining big data analytics with evidence-based management leads to a competitive advantage

The strength of evidence that we use to make decisions depends upon the relevance of that information to the context of our decision, the rigorousness of the research that supports the information that we want to use in our decision, and finally the ease of implementation – its actionability. Big data analytics is capable of hoovering a vast volume of data that surround the phenomenon of interest and display patterns of influence. Evidence-based management training helps us to deploy the big data evidence to differentiate products, curtail costs, target innovation, promote growth and form strategic alliances. In other words, it helps us to leverage big data evidence to manage for competitive advantage.

vishwanath baba1Vishwanath V. Baba specializes in stress management, development management, management skill development and management training in the developing world. He has been a consultant to the Canadian International Development Agency, International Development Research Centre, and Swedish International Development Agency, to mention a few. His research interests cover management theory, evidence-based management, work attitudes, employee well being, stress, depression, burnout, absenteeism, and turnover.

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