The things managers believe: How evidence-based are managers really?

Research Briefing

Keywords: Management, managers, human resource management, evidence-based practice, beliefs, decision-making, research

It is largely assumed that good managers use a judicious mix of experience, understanding of the context, learnt knowledge from research, training etc and policy. The question is whether this is true? To what extent do managers actually use good evidence-based practice and learnt knowledge, as opposed to relying on experience and belief?

Whilst the both the theory of good management decision-making and commonsense promotes the use of a blend of:

  1. practitioner experience and expertise
  2. contextual factors, like the situation, organisational / cultural / stakeholder
  3. research-based evidence and knowledge

is this actually what happens in reality?

A large number of survey-based research studies show that managers themselves firmly believe that their decision-making is based on and informed by all three elements, rather than guess-work and familiarity (experience).

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