The Politics of Evidence-Based Decision Making

Gerard P. Hodgkinson

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

The Politics of Evidence-Based Decision Making


This chapter argues that evidence-based management is an inherently political project that risks creating an illusion of rationality, a multilayered façade masking underlying fundamental differences of interpretation, purpose, and power among the various stakeholders situated on both sides of the academic-practitioner/policy divide. To avoid this unfortunate scenario, it needs to accommodate on a more systematic basis the important influence of power and politics in organizational life, rather than downplaying them as it currently does, treating political problems as a minor by-product of an otherwise radical improvement to organizational decision processes. Only then will its advancement accelerate the development of work organizations that are more humane and more productive, to the benefit of all stakeholders of the modern enterprise.

Keywords: politics; power; political use of evidence; stakeholders; competition for resources

Article.  11438 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Organizational Psychology

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