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.