5CO02: provide an evaluation of the concept of evidence-based practice and how evidence-based approaches can be used to support sound decision-making: evidence based practice Assignment, BU, UK

University Brown University (BU)
Subject 5co02: evidence based practice

TASK 1 – Briefing paper

A.C 1.1 provides an evaluation of the concept of evidence-based practice and how evidence-based approaches can be used to support sound decision-making and judgments for people practitioners.

The concept of evidence-based practice is to provide the best possible outcome. This involves a combination of analyzing the data of evidence and critical thinking skills. Evidence-based decisions will result in a better outcome for organizations. Using an evidence-based approach will result in an unbiased outcome, which is better than using managerial personal opinions, or assumptions, instead of the evidence that is factual and unbiased, which can then result in bad decision making. In an article published at the Center for Evidence-Based Management (CEBM), all individuals at all employment levels need to use the best available evidence when making decisions. Using evidence-based decisions is considered to be morally right (Rousseau et al., 2004). Evidence-based practice uses a variety of models for the decision-making process, such as the rational model. The rational model is the baseline against which other models are compared (Lahti, 1996). The model follows a scientific, methodical, and rational approach to decision-making.

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There are 3 levels of decision-making that need to take place in an organization for it to operate at its full potential.

  • Strategic decisions deal with the big picture of the organization. The focus of strategic decisions is typically external to the organization and usually future-oriented. Strategic decision-making creates the forward thrust in the organization.
  • Tactical decisions involve the establishment of key initiatives to achieve the overall strategy. For example, if you have decided to be the Number 1 provider in your market (a strategic decision) then you will develop tactics (e.g. implement a marketing system, increase the number of trainers) to achieve that outcome. Again, this layer of decision-making can sometimes be overlooked yet it is the glue that creates a strong connection between your long-term vision and your day-to-day activities. Tactical decision-making is the domain of mission statements.
  • Operational decisions determine how activities actually get done. They are the decisions about who is going to do what and when. If you are making decisions involving processes and procedures, they are usually operational decisions. Operational decisions are often made in real-time and are the result of needing to make quick adjustments or changes to achieve the desired outcome.

1.2 Evaluate micro and macro analysis tools or methods that can be used in people practice, to explore an organisation’s micro and macro environment, and how those identified might be applied to diagnose future issues, challenges and opportunities. 

The environment of an organization could possibly be described as general or specific. The general or macro-environment consists of cultural, economic, legal-political, and societal conditions within the areas where the business functions. The specific or micro-environment comprises its owners, company’s market, industry standards, competition, suppliers, distributors and government agencies with which an organisation will have to interact to grow and survive

1.3 Explain the principles of critical thinking and give examples of how you apply these yourself when relating to your own and others’ ideas to assist objective and rational debate.

Critical thinking is a key skill for HR and all people professionals – it’s the ability to think well and to reflect objectively on the ideas, opinions and arguments of others It can help us solve complex problems and make better decisions, bringing clarity to confusion and increasing our potential to succeed when others look to us and our teams for answers that work (CIPD). Critical thinking involves the ability to analyse facts, data or test information and understand what it means and communicate by sharing your findings with others, this may be other colleagues or in a group, the facts from your analysis fact results.

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