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participants” (p. 345). Ghoshal (2005) believes that best evidence for
managers can be found in research that seeks positive outcomes. While
CBM does not attempt to provide theory, it is a roadmap for managers
to use best evidence of work-related practices known for their excelle-
nce and high ethical standards. The goal of CBM is to improve the qual-
ity and quantity of management practices by providing proven research
Management has often believed that unsystematic observations from
one's management experience provide legitimate ways of building and
maintaining an acceptable knowledge base, and that common sense and
practice wisdom are valid ways to approach management. Rather than
searching for best evidence, many managers who don't use a competency-
based approach value traditional sources of authority, standard approaches
to management that may not work, and direct contact with local experts
thought to possess management-related wisdom, who often don't.
Gambrill (1999) believes that, all too often, managers rely on the “opi-
nions of others, pronouncements of authorities, unchecked intuition,
anecdotal experience, and popularity or the authority of the crowd”
(p. 343) and she notes that while intuition is a “vital source of guesses
about what may be true, it cannot tell us what in fact is the case regarding
the accuracy of assessment measures or the effectiveness of service meth-
ods” (p. 343). She also points out that “consensus, popularity, or anecdotal
experience [often fail to] provide sound criteria regarding questions of
effectiveness or validity of assessment measures. Experience does not nec-
essarily result in improved performance. In fact, it may have the opposite
effect” (p. 344).
In furthering the case for knowledge-guided practice, Gambrill (1999,
p. 344) argues that managers too often seek knowledge and guidance
from what she refers to as pseudoscience, or the tendency to seek sources
that make science-like claims when none really exist. She describes pseu-
doscience as having the following characteristics: (1) Pseudoscience dis-
courages objective examinations of the claims it makes. (2) It uses
scientific language without the substance. (3) It relies on anecdotal
experiences. (4) It isn't skeptical. (5) It doesn't try to disprove itself. (6) It
uses language that is unclear. (7) It appeals to faith. (8) Its beliefs are
not testable.
On the other hand, competency-based management places a much
lower value on authority and the use of poorly done research or pseudo-
science, believing that managers
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