when do managers decide based on evidence?
In my workplace flexibility course, we had an interesting discussion of Bob Sutton and Jeff Pfeffer's Harvard Business Review article on evidence-based management a few weeks back.
More recently, I stumbled across the blog for the Evidence-Based Management book, and was intrigued by this entry on Lovaglia's law. Professor Lovaglia, a sociologist, asserts that people are least likely to make decisions based on evidence when it seems most crucial -- when the outcome of the decision seems most important.
With my students, I discussed when managers make use of the evidence about the benefits of flexible work practices, and when they ignore the evidence (and suffer the consequences in terms of lower morale and productivity, higher turnover and worker stress and burnout).
We also talked about the kinds of evidence available to managers, and the possibility of gathering evidence as organizational changes are implemented that would allow managers to assess wither the interventions are having the desired effects.
I'd be curious to hear from managers about how and when they use evidence in their decision-making, and from others about how they see businesses making decisions. What kind of evidence counts for you? What kinds of evidence get ignored?