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Toward a theory of evidence based decision making

Toward a theory of evidence based decision making Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to integrate existing body of knowledge on evidence‐based management, develop a theory of evidence, and propose a model of evidence‐based decision making. Design/methodology/approach – Following a literature review, the paper takes a conceptual approach toward developing a theory of evidence and a process model of decision making. Formal research propositions amplify both theory and model. Findings – The paper suggests that decision making is at the heart of management practice. It underscores the importance of both research and experiential evidence for making professionally sound managerial decisions. It argues that the strength of evidence is a function of its rigor and relevance manifested by methodological fit, relevance to the context, transparency of its findings, replicability of the evidence, and the degree of consensus within the decision community. A multi‐stage mixed level model of evidence‐based decision making is proposed with suggestions for future research. Practical implications – An explicit, formal, and systematic collaboration at the global level among the producers of evidence and its users akin to the Cochrane Collaboration will ensure sound evidence, contribute to decision quality, and enable professionalization of management practice. Originality/value – The unique value contribution of this paper comes from a critical review of the evidence‐based management literature, the articulation of a formal theory of evidence, and the development of a model for decision making driven by the theory of evidence. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Management Decision Emerald Publishing

Toward a theory of evidence based decision making

Management Decision , Volume 50 (5): 36 – May 25, 2012

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References (235)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0025-1747
DOI
10.1108/00251741211227546
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to integrate existing body of knowledge on evidence‐based management, develop a theory of evidence, and propose a model of evidence‐based decision making. Design/methodology/approach – Following a literature review, the paper takes a conceptual approach toward developing a theory of evidence and a process model of decision making. Formal research propositions amplify both theory and model. Findings – The paper suggests that decision making is at the heart of management practice. It underscores the importance of both research and experiential evidence for making professionally sound managerial decisions. It argues that the strength of evidence is a function of its rigor and relevance manifested by methodological fit, relevance to the context, transparency of its findings, replicability of the evidence, and the degree of consensus within the decision community. A multi‐stage mixed level model of evidence‐based decision making is proposed with suggestions for future research. Practical implications – An explicit, formal, and systematic collaboration at the global level among the producers of evidence and its users akin to the Cochrane Collaboration will ensure sound evidence, contribute to decision quality, and enable professionalization of management practice. Originality/value – The unique value contribution of this paper comes from a critical review of the evidence‐based management literature, the articulation of a formal theory of evidence, and the development of a model for decision making driven by the theory of evidence.

Journal

Management DecisionEmerald Publishing

Published: May 25, 2012

Keywords: Evidence based management; Theory of evidence; Mixed level model of decision making; Global collaboration; Management strategy; Management theory

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