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Introductory Information Literacy Module for Hospitality Leadership: Leadership

The Process of EBL

 For Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM),  Strauss* suggests the following steps:

1)  Convert the need for information into an answerable questions

2)  Track down the best evidence with which to answer the question

3)  Critically appraise the information for its validity and applicability

4)   Integrate the critical appraisal with our clinical expertise, and our patients' values and circumstances

In For Evidence-Based Management (EBMgt)   Marr**, suggests a similar process:

As a leader, which of these formats would be most helpful to you?   Can you suggest one that would be more applicable?

* Strauss, S. Y., & Glasziou, P. Evidence-based medicine: How to practice and teach EBM Edinburgh ; Elsevier/Churchill Livingstone, 2005.  Page 3. Available at Laupus Library.

** Marr, B. (2010). The intelligent company: Five steps to success with evidence-based management . Chichester, West Sussex, U.K.: John Wiley & Sons.   Page 22.  Available at Joyner Library.

Important Links

For a list of articles from the Center for Evidence Based Management, please click here:

Since Evidence Based Leadership is so new, please consider reading more about Evidence Based Medicine on this LibGuide page from Laupus Library.

What is Evidence-Based Leadership (EBL)?

In 1992 a group led by Gordon Gyatt* began to talk about Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM).    EBM is a method of combining patient values and concerns, clinical experience, and research (evidence) to determine the best method of treatment.

 Since then, other disciplines have seen the value of this organized approach to decision making and have adapted it to their use, such as the development of Evidence-Based Leadership.

Straus, S. E. (2011). Evidence-based medicine: How to practice and teach it. Edinburgh: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.   Page 1.   Available at Laupus.

Finding the Evidence

Go back to your questions.   Think about what kind of information/evidence you need to answer your question.   Do you need statistics, surveys, case studies?


-The Hospitality list on the Articles tab is a great place to start, however you might find great information in other places. 

-Are you dealing with a human resources question?   Check the Psychology literature – you may find helpful information there as well. 

-What about other Business databases? Sociology databases? Statistical databases

-Sometimes a search aggregator (search engine that looks at more than one database) such as One Search can suggest places to start.


-Organizations: see Career Page of this research guide



-Try “Evidence-Based” with or without quotations marks, with and without the hyphen.

-Try variations on “leadership”, such as leader, leading …

Questions for Consideration

Suppose you are trying to find out about the performance of hotels, what kind of information would you need and what questions would you ask? Once you obtain the information that you need, what can that information tell you? For example, you might find Smith Travel Research (STR) data on occupancy and rate useful, but what can that data really tell you?

Alternatively, perhaps you are interested in tourism in a city or region and what can these STR data tell you about its financial health and performance?

If you are asking questions about the performance of restaurants, you might find data from the National Restaurant Association (NRA), but what can that information tell you?

If you are asking questions about the performance of restaurants, you might find data from Meeting Professionals International (MPI) , but what can that information tell you?

Asking an "Answerable" Question

In order to know what information you need, it often helps to use something like the PICO format to help structure your question.  

In EBM, the PICO format looks like this.  

An example might be - We've always used Drug A to treat a Disease,   Drug B can be used also.   Which one is better for relieving pain?

In the EBM PICO format, our question might be - In patients with this Disease, is Drug B as effective or more effective than Drug A in relieving pain?

Center for Evidence Based Management

On their website, the Center for Evidence Based Management adapts the PICO format for management questions.

Population = Who or What?

Intervention = How?

Comparison = Compared to what / what is the alternative?

Outcome = What are you trying to accomplish, improve, effect?

Context = Under what circumstances?


Would either of these formats work for Leadership questions?   If not, how might you adapt the format


To learn more about these concepts, please consult these tutorials from the Center for Evidence Based Management: