The Evidence-Based Management Collaborative

A Project Sponsored by

Academy of Management
Tepper School of Business
Heinz School of Public Policy and Management

Huy Le
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
University of Central Florida

Huy Le is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at University of Central Florida. His research interests include personnel selection, cross-cultural issues, psychometrics, and quantitative research methods (meta-analysis, Monte-Carlo simulation). He has published in journals such as Psychological Bulletin, Psychological Methods, Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Educational and Psychological Measurement, Organizational Research Methods, Journal of Educational Psychology, International Journal of Selection and Assessment . Huy Le received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at Vietnam National University, Vietnam. He has worked for an international trading company for eight years before going back to graduate school. Huy Le received his Ph.D. degree in Human Resource Management at the University of Iowa in 2003. He has recently elected to be a member of the Society for Research Synthesis Methodology. This is an organization that is limited to 65 elected members and is intended to both recognize the accomplishments of productive scholars and provide a forum for exchanges that will advance research synthesis methodology.

Huy responds:

Two Biggest Challenges We Have to Overcome

  1. Outcomes of managerial practices are generally difficult to quantify, not imminent (it takes a long time to see the effects), and perceived as not relevant to organizational bottom-lines (e.g., the improvement of employees' job satisfaction are not seen as directly causing improvement in productivity). In other words, the links between managerial practices and outcomes that are important to organizations are difficult to see. Thus, to overcome such difficulty, I think we need to provide organizations with the types of evidences as in Huselid (1995; The impact of human resource management practices on turnover, productivity, and corporate financial performance. Academy of Management Journal , 38, 635-672 ), or the estimation of economic implications of the utility of personnel section practices (Schmidt, Hunter, & Outerbridbge, 1986, The economic impact of job selection methods on size, productivity, and payroll costs of the federal work force: An empirically based demonstration. Personnel Psychology, 39, 1-29).
  2. Organizational politics, priorities, pressures from stakeholders, social and political climates: All these factors may influence the types of practices organizations are likely to adopt, notwithstanding all the relevant evidences we can provide. Schmidt (2006, The orphan area for meta-analysis: Personnel selection. The Industrial and Organizational Psychologist, 44 , 25-28) has bemoaned the continuing rejection of one of the most robust evidences we have had in years of research in industrial psychology: use of general mental ability test in personnel selection.

Factors in Favor of Our Making Evidence-based Management a Reality

I see many advantages, including the formation of this EBM collaborative, which, as far as I know, is the first systematic endeavor to deal with the problem. However, in order to avoid further echoing others have to say, I'm mentioning just one advantage which is relevant to the areas of my expertise: The developments and continuously refinement of meta-analysis methods. These methodological advancements have contributed to improvement in the accuracy and applications of meta-analysis methods, thereby enabling the increasing acceptance of meta-analytic findings. I think one reason which accounts for the reluctance that organizations have in adopting academic research findings is that research results are often inconsistent, thereby confusing to practitioners and researchers alike. Meta-analyses obviously help address the inconsistencies. Findings from meta-analyses allow researchers to provide “general rules” that are “user-friendly” and therefore easily accepted by organizations. Meta-analysis, being one of the tenets of EBM, has potential in eventually bridging the research-practice gaps.