Center for Organization, Leadership, and Management Research

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A Framework for Management Research: A Paradigm Shift for Managers and Researchers

There are strong arguments for the practice of evidenced-based management. But, currently, most managers do not consistently make decisions on the basis of formal evidence, and, even when they seek it, the availability of systematic evidence is sparse. To remedy this situation - to move toward acceptance and widespread practice of evidenced-based management on a par with evidence-based clinical practice - there must be a paradigm shift in attitude and actions of both managers and researchers.

Managers will need to focus more on using empirical evidence to make decisions rather than relying solely on consultants and management gurus without determining if their solutions have been successful in the past. Reviewing empirically based research can provide a reference for what has already been shown to be successful or not. While most healthcare managers do not have a background in research methodology, they need to be more accepting and willing to learn from empirical research.

Researchers need to better focus research questions on the real and immediate needs of organizations. To achieve this goal they must put more effort into establishing closer relationships with management. Researchers' objectives should be to explain and predict the consequences of managerial actions instead of just trying to understand the life of the organization.