Evidence-Based Practice In Management And Consulting [Enter Course]


This course will introduce you to the basic concepts and skills of evidence-based practice. The course is directly relevant to (future) managers, leaders, consultants and policy makers who desire to improve the quality and outcome of their decision-making.

Managers and consultants are required to take action based on their decisions, and such decisions may have profound impacts on employees, customers and clients, the organization, and society more widely. But how good are such decisions? How can we ensure that managers and consultants get hold of, accurately interpret, and make use of the best available evidence in their decision-making?

This course will help you develop the practical skills managers and consultants need to bring evidence-based approaches to their organization. In the process of developing these skills you will also find out a lot about management research.

Additional Course Details

Module 1: Using This Course

Strategies for learning. Developing skills for independent learning.


Module 2: The Basic Principles 

What is evidence-based practice? What counts as evidence? Why do we need evidence-based practice? What sources of evidence should be considered? Why do we have to critically appraise evidence? Why focus on the ‘best available’ evidence? Common misconceptions of evidence-based practice. What is the evidence for evidence-based practice?


Module 3: Professional Expertise and Judgment

What is professional expertise? System 1 and System 2 Thinking. Cognitive biases. Patternicity and the illusion of causality. Confirmation Bias. Group Conformity. Other Common Cognitive Biases. Overcoming Cognitive Biases. Avoiding or Reducing Bias. Acquiring Evidence from Practitioners. Developing Survey Questions. Developing your capacity to ask questions.


Module 4: Acquiring Scientific Evidence

Peer reviewed journals. Research databases. PICOC. Determining your search terms. Finding alternative and related terms. Identifying corresponding academic terms. Pre-testing your search terms. Boolean operators, truncation, and title/abstract search. Using methodological search filters. Searching for meta-analyses. Searching for controlled and/or longitudinal studies. Searching for low-quality studies. Screening the articles found for relevance.


Module 5: Critically Appraising Scientific Evidence

How to read a research article? How to determine the research design? How to determine a study’s methodological quality? How to determine if scientific evidence is trustworthy?


Module 6: Acquiring and Appraising Organizational Evidence (coming soon)

What is organizational evidence? Types of organizational data. Where to find organizational evidence. From data to information. Logical models, irrelevant data, inaccurate data, organizational context, measurement errors, the small number problem, percentages and averages, misleading graphs, correlation and regression, confidence intervals, big data.


This course is developed in collaboration with NYU Wagner and The Center for Evidence Based Management (CEBMa). If you are a teacher/lecturer and would like to use some of these modules in your class, please get in touch with CEBMa: www.cebma.org/contact/