CEBMa Newsletter May 2015

Dear reader

Welcome to our Spring 2015 newsletter! This issue includes further details about our upcoming events in London and Vancouver, and we have a column by Jef Pfeffer and Rob Briner.

There's also news about our online courses and the CAT app!

Happy reading!

 Eric Barends, Managing Director

Denise Rousseau, Chair, Academic Board

 Taster Event (June 16, London):

Improving decision-making through evidence-based practice

In our last newsletter we announced that Bath University’s School of Management offers the executive open program “Improving decision-making through evidence-based management”. This three day course is led by Rob Briner, CEBMa's Vice-Chair and Professor of Organizational Psychology at Bath’s School of Management, and Eric Barends, CEBMa’s Managing Director. 

To find out what this course is about you are warmly invited to join us for a free taster session on

• 16th June 2015 , from 16:00 - 17:30 (followed by a drinks reception)

• Ernst & Young Office1 More London Place, London 

This is a free event, but places are limited, so book here now >> 


Not able to join the event? Read more about the open course in this interview with Rob Briner


Rob, it's a short course – just a couple of days. How much can someone really expect to learn in that time?

EBP is a form of critical thinking, and we believe that even in a short time we can help people understand its main principles, based upon how relevant evidence can be collected from various sources and then evaluated for its trustworthiness. 

Management can sometimes seem quite dominated by fads and fashions, and we often find that people very quickly develop a healthy skepticism when we ask difficult questions about some popular management practices and examine the evidence that supports them. So we hope they take the questioning attitude and approach, apply it in their work and continue to learn about EBP.

Can you say a little about the format of the course? 

We will start with providing some background about EBP and why it can help any practitioner or professional make better-informed decisions. We then spend some time explaining in detail what EBP is and what it is not. We will be using practical examples right from the start, because EBP is, after all, about practice. 

We will then move on quickly to looking at the questions and problems the delegates bring from their own work context and then explore how an evidence-based approach can be taken both to identify or diagnose these problems and to consider possible solutions.

Throughout, evidence from four different sources is considered, with academic evidence being just one source. We will ask delegates to act as critical friends by asking each other challenging questions about the strength of the evidence for the identified problems, and potential solutions. 

At the end of the course, every delegate should also have some sort of action plan to help them further improve their evidence-based practice. 

You can read the whole interview here >>


CEBMa's First Online Course Module Now Freely Availabe!


In our last newsletter we announced that we had completed our first online course module. This first module is a general introduction to EBP and covers its basic principles and common misconceptions.

The module is now available through Carnegie Mellon's Open Learning Initiative website >>

Use Our Courses In The Classroom!

If you would like to use our course modules with your class, sign up for an instructor account. You will have access to tools that allow you to see where your students are doing well and where they are struggling.

If you want to know more about using our online modules in class, please contact us >>

Jeff's column: Is your employer killing you?

Jeffrey Pfeffer, member of CEBMa's academic board, explored the effects of management practices that affect access to health care and induce or reduce stress on health and health care costs. This column in Fortune summarizes the results. Bottom line: In the U.S. 120,000 excess deaths per year and about $200 billion in extra costs can be attributed to the workplace.

McDonald’s recent decision to raise the pay for workers at company-owned restaurants to an average of $9.90 an hour and provide employees, once they have worked a year, some paid time off made news for what that action says about the tightening labor market and the campaign to get low-paid people a living wage.

But pay levels and other working conditions such as vacation and paid sick days affect more than just standards of living. People spend a lot of their time at work and, unsurprisingly, what happens in the workplace profoundly influences people’s mental and physical health. So if you think your job may be killing you, recent research suggests you just might be right.

 Continue reading Jeff's column here >> 

David Sackett, The Father of Evidence-Based Medicine, Has Died.

David Sackett, MD, widely knowns as the father of evidence-based medicine, died Wednesday, May 13, at age 80.

In 1992, David Sackett and his colleagues published the seminal article “Evidence-Based Medicine: A New Approach to Teaching the Practice of Medicine”. The article argued that physicians of the future needed to be educated differently. Instead of being knowledge- and teacher-based, their education needed to be problem- and evidence-based and teach the skills required to make independent judgments about the reliability of evidence. And thus, evidence-based medicine was born.

The New York Times mentions his great sense of humor. It recalls that while he was testifying in a case as an expert witness, a lawyer handed him a research paper supposedly proving the safety of a drug that was in dispute. He read the paper and concluded that it was flawed.

“Well, I could take several more days and show you dozens more papers on this topic, but the jury would probably want to lynch me,” the lawyer insisted.

“I would welcome that,” Sackett said.

“Well, we could meet after the trial and go over these papers together,” the lawyer suggested.

To which Sackett replied, “No, I meant that I would welcome the lynching.” 

Read David Sackett's obituary in the BMJ >>

Change The World:

Teach Evidence-Based Management!


Join Our Workshop for Teachers in Vancouver


At the annual meeting of the Academy of Management in Vancouver, CEBMa will hold its very own Evidence-Based Management worksop for teachers. This workshop follows up the AMLE Special Issue on teaching evidence-based management (Sept 2014). 

This workshop addresses several aspects of teaching evidence-based management. The first is helping students to find and critically appraise evidence themselves. The second is the implications of introducing EBMgt into a business or management school’s curriculum, its spillover effects on other courses and impact on others. Third, it addresses the specific concerns that audience members have with regard to their own EBMgt teaching.


The event is scheduled for

Saturday, Aug 8 2015 10:45AM - 1:15PM 

at the Vancouver Convention Centre (Room 001)


Speakers are: Sara Rynes, Denise Rousseau, Eric Barends, Rob Briner, Xander Lub, Neil Walshe, Tina Saksida, Rowena Kerkhove, Barbara Janssen and Dan Dominguez.

EHMA Annual Conference 2015


"Evidence-Based Management: better decision, better healthcare"

 This year the EHMA Annual Conference will take place from Monday 15 June to Wednesday 17 June, Breda, the Netherlands. 

The Annual Conference of the European Health Management Association is an international knowledge sharing event. This year's theme is "Evidence-Based Management: better decision, better healthcare", so of course CEBMa will be present. 

During the lunch session on Wednesday June 17th 12:30 to 14:30 Eric Barends and Rob Briner will discuss several ways in which health care managers and executives can perhaps become more evidence-based, and a practical example of how health care organizations can use Rapid Evidence Assessments to improve managerial decision-making will be presented.

Read more about this session on the EHMA website >>


Rob's column: What's the Evidence For... Talent Management?

In his second column in HR Magazine, Rob Briner, CEBMa's Vice-Chair, puts talent management under the microscope. 

Talent management’ is just one of many super-slippery HR buzzwords that have wormed their way into our collective consciousness.

Back in 1997 the book The War for Talent burst onto the scene and traditional practices like workforce planning, recruitment, and retention strategies started to sound somewhat old-hat. Almost overnight it seemed that everything HR was doing was re-badged as ‘talent management’, including job titles. Goodbye HR director – hello head of talent.

Precisely because talent management is used to describe many different practices it is difficult to know what kind of evidence will help us understand whether it works. One way of approaching this is to think specifically about the evidence for what is (or is supposed to be) new or different about talent management. Its main distinguishing feature is an emphasis on the skills and abilities of a minority of individuals – or so-called ‘talented people’ – in determining organisational success.

As an aside, I’m quite uncomfortable with the whole ‘war for talent’ thing. Not because I believe everyone is equally ‘talented’ (whatever that means). Rather it’s because it feels elitist and divisive – separating out the supposedly super-smart wheat from the useless chaff, creating a sort of talent apartheid. 

Continue reading Rob's column here >>

   New Publication

Evidence-Based Practice:

The Psychology of EBP Implementation 

by Denise M. Rousseau and Brian C. Gunia

Prepared for Annual Review of Psychology (2015)

  Download the paper here

CAT Manager App available for Iphone!

In our last newsletter announced that CEBMa has developed an app that helps management practitioners to critically evaluate the trustworthiness of scientific studies. This app will be available in the Iphone App Store from June 1st (search for CAT and evidence)

A version for Android will follow soon!

Missed a past newsletter? Find it here >>

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