Culture and Evidence-Based Management

Georges A. Potworowski and Lee A. Green

in The Oxford Handbook of Evidence-Based Management

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199763986
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Culture and Evidence-Based Management


This chapter explicates the role that organizational culture plays in the ways that evidence is used to inform management practice. Both culture and the process of making management practice evidence-based are multifaceted. Drawing on various literatures, we offer a cultural framework to help one assess how and why evidence-based management (EBMgt) is or is not used in a particular organization. We characterize culture as a complex, but only partly coherent, set of patterns shared by a group, where a pattern consists of mutually supporting beliefs, values, and practices. Patterns vary in what they are about, how broad, connected, and coherent they are, as well as how important they are to a given culture. Each of these factors affects how easy it is to change a pattern and change culture. We frame EBMgt as a pattern, outline its core beliefs, values, and practices, and then explain which cultural patterns are necessary in an organization if the EBMgt pattern is to take root. We go on to identify eight ways in which culture and EBMgt affect each other, and conclude by suggesting steps to implement EBMgt in organizations, research programs, and classrooms.

Keywords: culture; evidence-based practice; belief justification; mental models; evidence-based organizations

Article.  16227 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology

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