What is needed for Evidence-based management to be a relevant business concept. I believe it will move in that direction when managers can clearly understand the incentives for using it, when they easily understand how to translate and integrate it into their current responsibilities, and when they understand how to change the relevant behaviors. This issuer can be seen as a marketing problem and, as said by Nancy R. Lee (2009), “words alone don’t often change behaviors. We need products, and incentives, and convenient distribution channels as well”. (Nancy’s topic is social marketing to alleviate poverty and associated problems, but the principles can equally apply to a poverty of business acumen, a topic that should include EBMgnt). Lee’s recommended approach in this podcast is a standard market approach broken down into a 10 step plan:
A Ten step Marketing Plan
- Provide a clear rationale and statement of purpose
- Conduct a situational analysis with organizational strengths and weaknesses and environmental opportunities and threats
- Segment the heterogeneous market; then choose, prioritize and strategize for the needs of specific target audiences.
- Identify the behavior(s) to be changed, emphasizing simple and doable tasks.
- Listen to the voice of the customer for perceived barriers and reasons why they do not perform the behavior now.
- Form a positioning statement describing how you wish the audience to view the behavior and its benefits.
- Develop a strategic mix of marketing tools that include the right: product, price/ incentive, placing and promotion
- Develop a plan to evaluate outcomes.
- Budget for implementation
- Plan how the campaign will role out.
This approach wold most likely fall under consultative model of business services. Besides marketing to specific segments of the management services market, it would also require the development of quality products that can support the needed behaviors and understandings. These products are likely to be mostly educational and conceptual in nature and would include concepts to help scaffold needed changes to behaviors and business processes. Also need would be additional appropriate distribution channels to build on the recognition and pre-knowledge of concepts. These could be business schools or professional organizations and publications.
I find this approach interesting because:
- It acknowledges the difficulty in changing behavior and understandings,
- It acknowledges that the goals of managers and researchers are different and
- It acknowledges that academic and scientific research would benefit from a well-formed translation strategy.
It would be nice to know if anyone can see any problems with an approach such as this, or would know of any other similar approaches.
Nancy R. Lee on How Social Networking Can Create Change for the Poor, podcast accessible on itunes or at http://www.whartonsp.com/podcasts/episode.aspx?e=04d8fe16-c7e4-45be-a441-7d33a83384e8