Evidence-Based Management and the Future of Management Scholarship

20 Pages Posted: 2 Jul 2009

See all articles by Michael Barzelay

Michael Barzelay

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Management

Fred Thompson

Willamette University - Atkinson Graduate School of Management

Date Written: June 30, 2009

Abstract

The research-practice gap has emerged as an acute problem in management scholars' internal professional debates. Evidence-based management (EBM) has been proposed as a remedy, and it is gaining adherents. This article offers a critical examination of the EBM proposal and its justification. The proposal is found to be poorly conceived and justified. Therefore, search for a different response to the same concerns are in order. The direction of search is to understand how existing scholarly practices offer advice to actors in managerial roles. While advice-giving scholarly practices are diverse and disconnected, a commonality is that they define design issues and offer value- and knowledge-based argumentation schemes for resolving them. An alternative to EBM can be envisioned: to strengthen the management field's network of design-oriented approaches to advice-giving. By employing the unorthodox style of a dialogue, this article shows how common ground about EBM and its alternatives can be established among management scholars who identify with conflicting intellectual traditions.

Suggested Citation

Barzelay, Michael and Thompson, Fred, Evidence-Based Management and the Future of Management Scholarship (June 30, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1428172 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1428172

Michael Barzelay

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Management ( email )

United Kingdom

Fred Thompson (Contact Author)

Willamette University - Atkinson Graduate School of Management ( email )

900 State Street
Salem, OR 97301
United States
503-370-6228 (Phone)
503-370-3011 (Fax)

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