Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Evidence-Based Management : Robert I. Sutton : A Lesson also for the "Soft Sciences" - the Humanities?

We have been preaching "best evidence" to the soft sciences for 30 years but they are still not listening. Perhaps Robert I. Sutton at Stanford would have more success than we do if he applied to mainstream academia in the humanities what he teaches at the Department of Management Science and Engineering and at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.

Professor Sutton offers managers a course in Organizational Behavior: An Evidence-Based Approach which he describes as follows:

"This course tackles fundamental organizational behavior issues (e.g. employee selection, rewards, teamwork, culture, innovation) from an evidence-based perspective. Evidence-based management is a simple idea. It just means finding the best evidence that you can, facing those facts, and acting on those facts - rather than doing what everyone else does, what you have always done, or what you thought was true. It isn't an excuse for inaction. Leaders of organizations must have the courage to act on the best facts they have right now, and the humility to change what they do as better information is found. The course includes active discussion, industry guests, and case studies."

Professor Sutton, how about if you offered that same course in principle to the archaeologists, Egyptologists, Near East scholars, Biblical scholars, and historians of astronomy on this planet, who generally "do what everyone else does", who persist on "doing what they have always done" and "who do what they think is true" rather than acting on the best evidence available, which often contradicts what they think.

In any case, we are on your side.

Society needs a more solid evidence-based approach in many fields of human endeavor, rather than the witchdoctor-like tea-leaf reading which prevails in many of the soft sciences today. Apparently, the same problem prevails in management as well.

Evidence-Based Management : Robert I. Sutton : A Lesson also for the "Soft Sciences" - the Humanities?

We have been preaching "best evidence" to the soft sciences for 30 years but they are still not listening. Perhaps Robert I. Sutton at Stanford would have more success than we do if he applied to mainstream academia in the humanities what he teaches at the Department of Management Science and Engineering and at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.

Professor Sutton offers managers a course in Organizational Behavior: An Evidence-Based Approach which he describes as follows:

"This course tackles fundamental organizational behavior issues (e.g. employee selection, rewards, teamwork, culture, innovation) from an evidence-based perspective. Evidence-based management is a simple idea. It just means finding the best evidence that you can, facing those facts, and acting on those facts - rather than doing what everyone else does, what you have always done, or what you thought was true. It isn't an excuse for inaction. Leaders of organizations must have the courage to act on the best facts they have right now, and the humility to change what they do as better information is found. The course includes active discussion, industry guests, and case studies."

Professor Sutton, how about if you offered that same course in principle to the archaeologists, Egyptologists, Near East scholars, Biblical scholars, and historians of astronomy on this planet, who generally "do what everyone else does", who persist on "doing what they have always done" and "who do what they think is true" rather than acting on the best evidence available, which often contradicts what they think.

In any case, we are on your side.

Society needs a more solid evidence-based approach in many fields of human endeavor, rather than the witchdoctor-like tea-leaf reading which prevails in many of the soft sciences today. Apparently, the same problem prevails in management as well.

War of the Worlds in EU Copyright Law

Helena Spongenberg in her 29.11.2006 article

MEPs push for new copyright law in digital era

quotes Pia Raug, spokeswoman collective rights management lobby CISAC, who says about the current situation of copyright law in the European Union, that:

"It's a war of the worlds"

on issues such as digital rights management (DRM), collective rights management, and private copy levies.

Spongenberg writes:

"Interest in copyright reform is being sparked by explosive growth in the digital music market which is set to become a €3.9 billion a year industry in the EU by 2011, but which is throwing up new challenges both for independent artists trying to exploit the new medium and the companies trying to make money from downloading songs. "

How right she is. We ourselves have uploaded our musical compositions and performances to Kaulinsium at MySpace in order to participate in this new 21st century "gold rush". Happy listening.

War of the Worlds in EU Copyright Law

Helena Spongenberg in her 29.11.2006 article

MEPs push for new copyright law in digital era

quotes Pia Raug, spokeswoman collective rights management lobby CISAC, who says about the current situation of copyright law in the European Union, that:

"It's a war of the worlds"

on issues such as digital rights management (DRM), collective rights management, and private copy levies.

Spongenberg writes:

"Interest in copyright reform is being sparked by explosive growth in the digital music market which is set to become a €3.9 billion a year industry in the EU by 2011, but which is throwing up new challenges both for independent artists trying to exploit the new medium and the companies trying to make money from downloading songs. "

How right she is. We ourselves have uploaded our musical compositions and performances to Kaulinsium at MySpace in order to participate in this new 21st century "gold rush". Happy listening.

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