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An archaeological critique of 'evidence-based management' : one digression after another.

Morrell, K. and Learmonth, M. and Heracleous, L. (2015) 'An archaeological critique of 'evidence-based management' : one digression after another.', British journal of management., 26 (3). pp. 529-543.


Fundamental problems remain with evidence-based management. We argue that, rather than being addressed, these problems are treated as digressions. One explanation for this is an ongoing incoherence: the evidence-based approach relegates narrative to a ghetto category of knowledge, but it is itself a narrative. Moreover, while this narrative is becoming more polished through repetition and selective assimilation of critique, it is also becoming simplified and less interesting. A Foucauldian, archaeological analysis accounts for this development by locating evidence-based management in a broader historical context. This analysis shows how the roots of incoherence can be informed by older exchanges between evidence and narrative.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:This is the accepted version of the following article: Morrell, K., Learmonth, M. and Heracleous, L. (2015), An Archaeological Critique of ‘Evidence-based Management’: One Digression After Another. British Journal of Management, 26(3): 529-543, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:09 February 2015
Date of first online publication:19 March 2015
Date first made open access:19 March 2017

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