Eric Barends

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Service

Eric Barends

Eric Barends is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Service at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and the Managing Director of the Center for Evidence-Based Management.

Barends has twenty years of management experience, fifteen years at the senior management level, including five years as an executive. He advises and coaches managers, senior leaders, and executive boards of large and medium sized companies and non-profit organizations on evidence-based decision-making. Barends frequently runs training courses on this topic and serves as a visiting lecturer at several universities and business schools such as Carnegie Mellon University, Bath University School of Management and the VU University Amsterdam.

Eric received his B.A. in Management from the University of Applied Sciences Leiden, M.A. in Change Management and Ph.D. from VU University of Amsterdam.

Over the past decade the responsibilities of MPA graduates have changed significantly: now they are often invited to take a seat at the executive table and participate in solving complex organizational problems. At the same time, most traditional models and new ‘cutting edge’ solutions, such as Lean, Agile, Talent Management, and Diversity Management often fail to deliver on what they promise. This leaves future management professionals with a profound challenge: how can we stay away from fads and quick fixes and instead use reliable evidence to support decision-making?

In response to this problem the idea of evidence-based management has evolved, with the goal of improving the quality of decision making by using critically evaluated evidence from multiple sources, such as organizational data, professional judgment, and the scientific research literature. While this sounds sensible and straightforward, gathering, understanding and using evidence is challenging in many ways and requires a set of specific skills. While there are many courses aimed at developing such skills in medicine and related fields, there are relatively few aimed at students or practitioners in schools of public policy and administration.

This course will develop your evidence-based skills and enhance your understanding of how an evidence-based approach can be used to support organizational decision-making and management practice. The course uses a blended learning approach that integrates traditional classroom sessions that can be attended in person and e-learning modules that can be completed online. In addition, this course takes a problem-based approach: starting point are the practical issues (problems/opportunities) typically encountered by practitioners rather than the body of knowledge produced by academics.

Download Syllabus

Over the past decade the responsibilities of MPA graduates have changed significantly: now they are often invited to take a seat at the executive table and participate in solving complex organizational problems. At the same time, most traditional models and new ‘cutting edge’ solutions, such as Lean, Agile, Talent Management, and Diversity Management often fail to deliver on what they promise. This leaves future management professionals with a profound challenge: how can we stay away from fads and quick fixes and instead use reliable evidence to support decision-making?

In response to this problem the idea of evidence-based management has evolved, with the goal of improving the quality of decision making by using critically evaluated evidence from multiple sources, such as organizational data, professional judgment, and the scientific research literature. While this sounds sensible and straightforward, gathering, understanding and using evidence is challenging in many ways and requires a set of specific skills. While there are many courses aimed at developing such skills in medicine and related fields, there are relatively few aimed at students or practitioners in schools of public policy and administration.

This course will develop your evidence-based skills and enhance your understanding of how an evidence-based approach can be used to support organizational decision-making and management practice. The course uses a blended learning approach that integrates traditional classroom sessions that can be attended in person and e-learning modules that can be completed online. In addition, this course takes a problem-based approach: starting point are the practical issues (problems/opportunities) typically encountered by practitioners rather than the body of knowledge produced by academics.

Download Syllabus