The purpose of this paper is to address the research-practice gap in management and advocate the need for an independent organization, called the evidence-based management (EBMgt) collaboration to facilitate generation and dissemination of knowledge that is rigorous, relevant, and actionable.
The authors use a theory-building approach to collaboration. They identify existing challenges in the research-practice gap literature and argue that EBMgt offers the most viable alternative to narrow this gap. They offer a theory of collaboration with supporting propositions that engages the generators, disseminators, and users of management knowledge in an ongoing sustainable collaboration toward EBMgt.
The authors envision evidence at the center of the EBMgt collaboration. They offer a process model of EBMgt incorporating a collaboration that ensures the fusion of rigor, relevance, and actionability of management knowledge toward the production of strong evidence that is of value to a decision maker. They suggest that the collaboration generate evidence in the form of a systematic review (SR) using a standard template and make it available online to management decision makers around the world in real time. They outline the parameters of the SR and offer details on the design of the Template.
The theory of collaboration brings together various competing ideas and recommendations made over the past few decades to close the research-practice gap in management. The theory can be used as a guideline to establish and maintain the operation of an EBMgt collaboration.
The authors offer details on the format and content of a standardized SR along with a template to execute it. They believe it would appeal to a practicing manager to know the state-of-the-art knowledge that applies to a decision that he or she is about to make in real time.
The work provides a theoretical platform for the idea of EBMgt collaboration that was not available before. The authors add value to the research-practice gap literature by addressing critical concerns including the identification of relevant research questions, evaluating and grading evidence, fostering communication between researchers and practitioners, and translating research to practicing managers. The integration of research and organizational knowledge in the form of an SR that provides decision support to a practicing manager is of significant value to the profession. The conceptualization of the collaboration, not as a research method but as a separate social system that links key management knowledge stakeholders together adds originality to collaboration research.