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No EBM in the MBA

A new study from the University of Iowa's Tippie College of Business in Iowa City shows that MBA programs rarely incorporate evidence-based management (EBM), which teaches students to use studies, data analysis, and other forms of scientific method to derive their conclusions. The objective of EBM is to produce managers who make decisions based on social science and organizational research, rather than on less reliable factors such as intuition or conventional wisdom.

Ken Brown and Sara Rynes, professors of management and organizations, and doctoral candidate Steven Charlier studied the syllabi of more than 800 management courses in 333 U.S.-based MBA programs. They found that only 26 percent used the language of EBM. Only two actually used the term "evidence-based management." The researchers also found that schools with highly ranked programs were more likely to incorporate EBM.

The goal of this study is to encourage more schools to incorporate EBM into their curricula, says Brown, so that their graduates will be more likely to apply research to their practice of management.

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