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Evidence-Based Decision Making: EBDM

This guide is intended to provide background, information, and resources on the process and framework of Evidence-Based Decision Making (EBDM)

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What is Evidence-Based Decision Making?




Evidence-Based Decision Making (EBDM) is the idea that good quality decisions require both critical thinking and the use of best available evidence. When evidence is not used the result is decisions that rely on unfounded beliefs, fads and fashions, and the unsupported though popular ideas of people in the field. (Barends & Rousseau, 2018).

The starting point for EBDM is  that decisions need to be based on a combination of critical thinking and the best available evidence.  (Barends & Rousseau, 2018). Evidence can include information, facts/data, assumptions, hypothesis, organizational data, policies, etc. Often in business decisions are made on so-called "best practices" and the success stories of famous CEOs - EBDM looks to address this by helping decision makers critically evaluate the validity, generalizability and applicability of the evidence in hand and how to find the "best available" evidence. (Barends & Rousseau, 2018).


Evidence-Based Decision Making Process



6 Steps of the Evidence-Based Decision Making Model





Evidence Based Process


Evidence-Based Decision Making


When examining evidence using the EBDM framework there are 4 main areas to check out:

  1. Practitioners - the professional experience and judgment of practitioners in the field
  2. The research literature - findings from research studies published in academic journals
  3. The organization - data, facts and figures gathered from the organization (i.e., incoming student survey)
  4. Stakeholders - the values and concerns of people who may be affected by the decision (i.e., NS Apprenticeship, students, etc.)  (Barends & Rousseau, 2018, p.6)

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