Separating Data from Intuition:
Bringing Evidence into the Management Classroom
RUNNING HEAD: Teaching Evidence-Based Management
Amir Erez and Adam M. Grant
For helpful feedback, we thank Jean Bartunek, Ken Brown, and three anonymous reviewers. We are also grateful to Ute Hülsheger for sharing the article on findings from medicine.
Teaching Evidence-Based Management
Separating Data from Intuition: Bringing Evidence into the Management Classroom ABSTRACT
Evidence based management promises to improve managerial decision making and organizational outcomes. However, the principles cannot take root unless educators focus their attention on teaching evidence-based management in the classroom. To stimulate reflection and dialogue about effective practices, we describe our approaches to incorporating research findings into the classroom. We also share insights from ten scholars who teach from an evidence-based perspective. We conclude by discussing lessons that we have learned from our own students about how to successfully teach evidence based management.
Teaching Evidence-Based Management
When managers make decisions, they often rely heavily on personal experiences and popular practices (Abrahamson, 1996).While these types of experiences feel closer to real knowledge than data presented in journals, they are also open to many biases, fleeting fads, dogmas, and false beliefs (Pfeffer & Sutton, 2006). In her presidential address to the Academy of Management in 2005, Denise Rousseau called for improving organizational practices through Evidence Based Management (EBM). EBM involves harnessing systematic research and translating it into organizational practices (Rouseau, 2006). The aim is for practitioners to develop expertise and decision making styles that are based on the available scientific evidence (e.g., Barlow, 2004; DeAngelis, 2005; Lemieux- Charles & Champagne, 2004; Rousseau, 2006; Walshe & Rundall, 2001).
In the same address, however, Rousseau also communicated her great disappointment: “that research findings don’t appear to have transferred well to the workplace. Instead of a scientific understanding of human behavior and organizations, managers, including those with MBAs, continue to rely largely on personal experience, to the exclusion of more systematic knowledge. Alternatively, managers follow bad advice from business books or consultants based on weak evidence” (2006, p. 257). In the last decade, organizational scholars have undertaken significant efforts to understand why research findings are not transferred to the workplace (see Burke & Rau, 2010; Goodman & O’Brien, 2012; Latham, 2007; Latham & Stuart, 2007; Rousseau & McCarthy, 2007; Rynes Giluk, & Brown, 2007; Rynes, Colbert, & Brown, 2002; Trank & Rynes, 2003). One theme that emerges from these studies is that EBM is not a central focus of many management education programs (Trank & Rynes, 2003). The lack of EBM education can be partially attributed to the fact that many management educators are not trained as researchers and, as such, are not prepared to effectively deliver
Teaching Evidence-Based Management
evidence based management practices (e.g., Clinebell & Clinebell, 2008). However, even researchers often do not use the full extent of their scientific knowledge in the classroom. While we cannot speak with confidence to the many possible reasons, we suspect that there are at least three major reasons for this state of affairs. First, researchers may simply not know how to transfer research findings into the classroom. Second, researchers may believe that evidencebased research is too complex and difficult to explain to those who are not trained in research. Third, researchers may believe that research findings are too removed from practical experience and that as a result students may respond negatively to this type of teaching. Despite these challenges, we believe that evidence based knowledge can be...
References: Andre, R., & Frost, P. J. 1997. Researchers hooked on teaching: Noted scholars discuss the
synergies of teaching and research
Aronson, E. 1999. The power of self-persuasion. American Psychologist, 54: 875-884.
Ashcraft, M. H., & Radvansky, G. A. 2010. Cognition. New York: Prentice Hall.
Brittain, J. W., & Sitkin, S. 1986. Carter racing. Dispute Resolution Research Center:
Barlow, D. H. 2004. Psychological treatments. American Psychologist, 59: 869–878.
Burke, L. A., & Rau, B. 2010. The research-teaching gap in management. Academy of
Management Learning and Education, 9: 132-143.
Charlier, S. D., Brown, K. G., & Rynes, S. L. 2011. Teaching evidence-based management in
MBA programs: What evidence is there? Academy of Management Learning &
Chatterjee, A., & Hambrick, D. C. 2007. It’s all about me: Narcissistic chief executive officers
and their effects on company strategy and performance
Cialdini, R. B. 2001. Influence: Science and practice (4th ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Clinebell, S. K., & Clinebell, J. M. 2008. The tension in business education between academic
rigor and real-world relevance: The role of executive professors
Cortina, J. M., Goldstein, N. B., Payne, S. C., Davison, H. K., & Gilliland, S. W. 2000. The
incremental validity of interview scores over and above cognitive ability and
Dane, E., Rockmann, K. W., & Pratt, M. G. 2012. When should I trust my gut? Linking domain
expertise to intuitive decision-making effectiveness
Davis, M. S. 1971. That 's interesting!: Toward a phenomenology of sociology and a sociology of
DeAngelis, T. 2005. Shaping evidence-based practice. APA Monitor, 35(3): 26–31.
Dokko, G., Wilk, S. L., & Rothbard, N. P. 2009. Unpacking prior experience: How career history
affects job performance
Fried, Y., & Ferris, G. R. 1987. The validity of the job characteristics model: A review and metaanalysis. Personnel Psychology, 40: 287- 320.
Goodman, J. S. & O’Brien, J. 2012. Teaching and learning using evidence-based principels. In
Grant, A. M. 2011. How customers can rally your troops: End users can energize your workforce
far better than your managers can
Grant, A. M. 2012. Leading with meaning: Beneficiary contact, prosocial impact, and the
performance effects of transformational leadership
Grant, A. M. 2013. Give and take: A revolutionary approach to success. New York: Viking
Grant, A. M., Campbell, E. M., Chen, G., Cottone, K., Lapedis, D., & Lee, K. 2007. Impact and
the art of motivation maintenance: The effects of contact with beneficiaries on
Hackman, J. R., & Oldham, G. R. 1980. Work redesign. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Hambrick, D. C., & Cannella, A. A. Jr. 2004. CEOs who have COOs: Contingency analysis of
an unexplored structural form
Heath, D., & Heath, C. 2007. Made to stick: Why some ideas survive and others die. New York:
Heath, C., Larrick, R. P., & Klayman, J. 1998. Cognitive repairs: How organizations compensate
for the shortcoming of individual learners
Heslin, P. A., Latham, G. P., & VandeWalle, D. 2005. The effect of implicit person theory on
Humphrey, S. E., Nahrgang, J. D., & Morgeson, F. P. 2007. Integrating motivational, social, and
contextual work design features: A meta-analytic summary and theoretical extension of
Jenkins, D. G., Jr., Mitra, A., Gupta, N., & Shaw, J. D. 1998. Are financial incentives related to
performance? A meta-analytic review of empirical research
Jiang, B., & Murphy, P. J. 2007. Do business school professors make good executive managers?
Academy of Management Perspectives, August: 29-50.
Kahneman, D. 2011. Thinking fast and slow. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.
Kahneman, D., & Klein, G. 2009. Conditions for intuitive expertise: A failure to disagree.
Kandel, E. R., Schwartz, J. H., & Jessell, T. M. 2000. Principles of neural science. New York:
Khurana, R., & Nohria, N. 2008. It’s time to make management a true profession. Harvard
Business Review, 86: 70-77.
Kotter, J. P. (2012). Leading Change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Langer, E. J., Blank, A., & Chanowitz, B. 1978. The mindlessness of ostensibly thoughtful
action: The role of “placebic” information in interpersonal interaction
Latham, G. P. 2007. A speculative perspective on the transfer of behavioral science findings to
the workplace: “The times they are a-changin.” Academy of Management Journal, 50:
Latham, G. P., Erez, M., & Locke, E. A. 1988. Resolving scientific disputes by the joint design
of crucial experiments by the antagonists: Application to the Erez-Latham dispute
Latham, G. P., & Stuart, H. C. 2007. Practicing what we preach: The practical significance of
theories underlying HRM introversions for a MBA school
Lemieux-Charles, L., & Champagne, F. 2004. Using knowledge and evidence in healthcare:
Lilienfeld, S. O., Lynn, S. J., Ruscio, J., & Beyerstein, B. 2009. 50 great myths of popular
psychology: Shattering widespread myths about human behavior
Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. 2002. Building a practically useful theory of goal setting and task
Please join StudyMode to read the full document