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Title: Evidence based management in a law firm : the example of creating a new practice area : an action research inquiry
Author: Helbing, Steffen
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 5938
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2017
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This dissertation presents an insider action research (AR) project in a mid-sized German law firm. The research created positive organizational change in the firm by (i) producing an explicit generic decision-making strategy applicable to the local context based on evidence based management (EBM), and (ii) the implementation of a new practice area, 'business restructuring services', through the application of this generic strategy. The research contributes to the existing literature on EBM, the concept of 'causal models', providing a link between academic knowledge described by generalized causal models and local, context-dependent interventions based on a localized causal model. The study seeks to make explicit how the concept of EBM can be applied in a real-world context and how its limitations, namely in dealing with resource constraints, conflicting stakeholder positions and ethical constraints, can be approached. It provides an example of how an explicit design methodology rooted in a localized causal model was used to create the new practice area based on the analysis of evidence from academic knowledge and the local context. Additionally, the dissertation shows how finding on different levels of analysis, such as academic knowledge, local context and organizational consensus may be integrated and presented. The research argues for the treatment of the literature as an important but unprivileged type of evidence used in the creation of causal models. The research contributes to the AR literature by outlining the challenges to a participatory approach in the cultural context of a business law firm and delineating a model for creating change in this environment.
Supervisor: Ellwood, P. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral