Taking the mystery out of intuitive decision making


Taking the mystery out of intuitive decision making

Academy al Management Executive. 1999. Vol. 13, No.

Taking the mystery out of

intuitive decision making

Lisa A Burke and Monica K. Miller

Executive Overview

Making decisions by intuition is increasingly viewed as a viable approach in today's

business environment. Intuition may be beneficial in certain scenarios, and at times may

be the primary decision approach available. To investigate the use of intuition in

decision making, we interviewed 60 experienced professionals holding significant

positions in major organizations across various industries in the U.S. The executives

provided rich descriptive insights about intuitive decision making. They discussed the

nature of intuition and how it is developed, how often they use intuition and how they

are prompted to do so, and the types of workplace situations in which intuition is used.

The interviews were used to develop a descriptive profile of those using intuition in the

workplace and to document the perceived quality and benefits of intuitive decisions.

Intuition is not some mystical or magical

thing. It is taking advantage of the way our

brains are designed to be able to think about

things subconsciously and to bring those

things to the forefront when needed. A smart

organization will recognize employees who

have this skill.

—Manager, technical services

At a time of rapid and unprecedented change in

the business environment, intuition plays an increasingly

significant role in contemporary decision

strategies. Executives who understand how to

balance their use of intuition and analytic thinking

may be better prepared to lead in this environment.

Much of the research on intuitive decision

making is conceptual, and little quantitative or

qualitative research has been done in field settings

to support generalizations.' This qualitative

study of professionals who have faced a

variety of decision scenarios investigates a skill

that has been portrayed as everything from a

magical sixth sense to an innate personality trait

to an accumulation of experience.^- By clarifying

what intuition is, how it's used, and whether it

can be trusted, we may help other professionals

make effective decisions.


Experience of Professionals

We conducted in-depth, semi-structured telephone

interviews with 60 professionals across various industries

and geographic locations in the United

States. {See Appendix A.) These individuals were

responsible for significant project or program development,

management, or implementation in

medium-to-large organizational settings, and each

had at least 10 years of total work experience. Among

those interviewed were a director of executive development,

a manager of technical services, a staff engineer,

a director of internal auditing, a nurse, a vice

president of marketing and advertising, a police

records supervisor, and a human resource administrator.

Practitioner Descriptions

Our first question dealt with defining intuition,

which researchers have defined in different ways

and used interchangeably with other constructs.

(See Appendix B.) Table 1 summarizes the frequency

of the responses to this question and provides

sample comments from participants.

• Experienced-based decisions. Fifty-six percent

of the interviewees said intuitive decisions were

based on experience. Accumulated successes

and failures, in work and in personal life, formed

a set of experiences on which they drew in par-

92 Academy of Management Executive November

Table 1

"What does it mean to make decisions using your intuition?'

Response Themes and Examples of Participants' Comments Percent oi Participants

ExpeTience-based decisions: 56

Experience-based intuitive decision making is like a central processing unit. Individuals look

through these experiences in their central processing unit and make decisions based on their

past experiences.—Manager, mass support customer service, communication

Af/ecf-in ifiafed decisions based on feelings and emotions: 40

Sometimes I've had a strange feeling that something about the claim isn't quite right and

then I dig for more information and lind that the facts weren't absolutely accurate as reported

to me.—Manager, worker compensation and risk management, public administration

Cognitive-based decisions applying skills, knowledge, and training: 23

The sum total of the experiences that you have had in life plus business school.—^Manager,

flight test support, spaceflight/aerospace

Subconscious mental processing: 11

My subconscious mind has data that can lead the conscious mind in certain directions. It

helps lead me to Ihe path to make decisions when I don't have iniormation right at my

fingertips.—Technical rate advisor, space flight/aerospace

Decisions based on personal or company values or ethics: 10

Everything seems to center around an ethical sense or moral obligation to the business or

customer. There's no book or manual to tell you how to do this. It comes from within.—Design

support analyst, transportation

Note: Percentages total more than 100 as some participants stated multiple facets of intuition.

ticular situations. This concept of intuition upholds

some concepts recently put forth in the

academic literature, and suggests that intuition

resembles a mental map or schema generated

from years of practice.^

Affect-initiated decisions. Forty percent of the

subjects said intuition is based on a person's

feelings or emotions when presented with information

in a decision-making scenario. This

characterization is consistent with the lay interpretation

of intuition as a gut feeling, and has

been supported by research that suggests emotion

is a central element in decision making.''

Cognitive-based decisions. Some participants

also characterized intuition as based on knowledge

and skills learned through training seminars

and textbooks. The methods for strengthening

intuitive skills that were mentioned,

including workshops, courses, and books, have

been noted in the decision-making literature.^

Subconscious mental processing. Others described

intuitive decisions as a subconscious

mental processing that automatically happens

in the background. Because this view of intuition

is reported in research,^ we asked participants

to rate the difficulty of our questions on a scale

of 1 to 5 (1 being extremely easy, 5 being extremely

difficult). Since the average ranking was

2.5, it appeared that the topic of intuition was not

as enigmatic as previously portrayed, even

though understanding the process of using intuition

may well be.

• Value-based decisions. A few participants suggested

that intuition involves some element of

personal introspection by decision makers to

generate a decision that is compatible either

with their own moral codes or with their companies'

cultures. Prior empirical work supports a

relationship between intuition and a concern

with human values.'' For example, in our study, a

few respondents referred to their intuitive decision

making as attempts to make a correct, acceptable,

or ethical decision.

No one in our group of professionals viewed intuition

as a paranormal power or a personality trait,

which may help us to understand at least what intuition

is not. Nevertheless, more than half represented

intuition as distilled experience and an affective response.

Thus, intuition may be thought of as a cognitive

conclusion based on a decision maker's previous

experiences and emotional inputs.

How Intuitive Decision Making Skills are


Forty-two percent of the managers interviewed

said they learned or developed their intuitive skills

1999 BurJre and Miller 93

Table 2

Samples of Participants' Comments

Deveioping intuitive decision making skills:

I was put in a situation and didn't have enough time to collect all the data I needed. I had no choice but to go ahead and make

a decision. That has been repeated so many times as a manager that I have learned to trust my instincts because I have seen.

time after time, that I can make a decision with limited data and still be able to say that it was a good decision.—Manager,

technical services, space flight/aerospace

Prompting intuition:

Eye contact and body language play a good part in that the volume of the voice of a particular person and how they came

about talking to you are important.—Manager, area engineering and facilities, space flight/aerospace

Most of the time I'm driving, walking the dog, or taking a shower, not concentrating on the task. My mind is in neutral. My

intuition ends up being a catalyst to go look for data.—Director, executive development, manufacturing

Situations calling for intuition:

A lot of decisions are made based on what the patient looks like. We may not know exactly what is going on, but you know

inside that something is the matter and act upon that. That kind of knowledge, that something is going to happen, occurs

frequently.—Clinical Coordinator, intensive care, services

Sometimes things don't feel right. People ask questions or they bring a procedure to look at and something really doesn't leel

right. It's a learned ability to sense that something is wrong.—Assessor, public administration

In uncertain situations where the answer is not clear or the problem is not well-defined, I try to draw on past experience in how

I dealt with things before—does it stink or does it feel right?—Director, internal auditing, services

Who's using intuition at work?

There are a lot of good old boy systems in this environment, and so women seem to be more factual in their

decisions.—Computer staff software engineer, space ilight/aerospace

I think women are more detail-oriented and data-driven in business, although more emotional outside of business.—Director,

internal auditing, services

Practical implications:

Every decision is a combination of deduction and intuition. I believe that intuition isn't particularly useful all by itself. I

suppose you could run into managers who believe intuition means pulling an answer out of the air and having that answer

work, but I don't believe that is possible. I don't think intuition can operate unless there is data available to you that you can

process and combine with past experience and also with some data-driven analysis. Training and experience are the fuel, and

then intuition and deduction are the engine. You put those two together and you end up being able to move forward.—Manager,

technical services, space flight/aerospace

through experience. (See Table 2.) These participants

said they developed an experiential database

that fed their intuition. Others said they developed

their intuitive skills by repeatedly using

them, or that education and training helped them

to learn and develop intuition.

Some interviewees observed mentors, role models,

and supervisors and worked with diverse

groups of people to learn about their decision making

styles. In fact, researchers have suggested that

intuition can be cultivated by close affiliation with

a role model who demonstrates intuitive qualities.^

Employing Intuition in the Workplace

Frequency of use

Asked whether they always, often, sometimes, seldom,

or rarely used intuition in the workplace, 47

percent of our sample answered often, 30 percent

sometimes, 12 percent always, seven percent seldom,

and three percent rarely. Intuition plays a

fairly significant role in these decision makers'

daily work life, and the overwhelming majority of

participants use intuition to some degree in making

workplace decisions.

Prompting infuifion

Asked whether any specific physical or emotional

signals prompt individuals to employ their intuition,

the vast majority of respondents answered

no. However, about 28 percent of the sample engaged

their intuition based on receiving some type

of physical nonverbal signal, including eye con-

Thus, intuition may be thought of as a

cognitive conclusion based on a decision

maker's previous experiences and

emotional inputs.

tact and such facial expressions as smiles, frowns,

a raised eyebrow, or a raised voice. A few suggested

that intuition automatically kicked in while

their conscious thought processes were disengaged.

94 Academy of Management Executive November

The majority of the professionals talked about

invoking intuition in response to situations rather

than to internal factors. For example, if a situation

had no predetermined guidelines or rules to follow

or if the objective data did not seem correct, participants

said they would look to their intuition for

guidance. However, some participants professed

knowing, feeling, believing, or recollecting something

that prompted their intuition. For example,

some said personal value systems signaled something

was wrong or was headed in the wrong direction.

Situations caiJing for infuifion

Forty percent of the professionals used intuition

to make personnel, or people-related, decisions.

Such decisions included interviewing, hiring,

training, scheduling, performance appraisal, harassment

complaints, patient care, and safety

issues. Participants also reported employing intuition

when decisions needed to be made

quickly or unexpectedly because potential costs

were associated with delays. Other participants

responded that they used intuition when uncertainty

pervaded such novel situations as a firsttime

restructuring or reorganization and in some

financial issues, such as formulating budgets,

estimating prices, and selecting investments.

Furthermore, situations lacking explicit cues

were identified as appropriate for intuitive

skills, such as when policies needed to be interpreted,

requirements were absent, or data were


Almost all respondents (91.5 percent) said that

they had combined intuition with data analysis in

their history of workplace decision making, employing

intuition in concert with deductive processes.

Research supports this notion of combining

intuition with intellectual and cognitive skills^ and

suggests that the problems faced will likely determine

the mix of skills to be applied.'° For example,

intuition might be used to fill in the blanks when

quantitative data are lacking in strategic business

decisions, such as new product planning, or in

cases of extreme information overload." Given the

explosion of information confronting decision makers,

intuitive decision making may become, paradoxically,

even more pertinent.

Who's using intuition at work?

Asked about the types of people they had witnessed

using intuition at work and what, if anything,

they had in common, the majority of respondents

agreed on a few common traits based on

their observation of specific decision processes,

explanations they had received from decision

makers, or the nature of the decisions. The variables

reported included years of experience, level

in the organization, and age. Employees who have

more experience, who are older, or who hold managerial

positions tend to use their intuition more.

Indeed, researchers claim that upper-level executives

need to apply intuition more than others because

of their need to see the bigger picture, to

address conceptual rather than technical matters,

and to deal with long-term rather than short-term

time horizons.'2 Our subjects said managers who

effectively employ intuition in the workplace are

confident and comfortable, open-minded and flexible,

experienced, willing to take risks, fair and

unbiased, reflective and insightful, knowledgeable,

and creative. Although many writers have

reported women to be more intuitive,'^ nearly 80

percent of our interviewees did not cite gender

when listing people they had witnessed using intuition.

Women in male-dominated workplaces

may wish to appear analytical rather than emotional

in their decision making, or they may tend to

employ their intuition less at work than in nonprofessional

situations. Nevertheless, our findings

may call into question traditional gender-based

assumptions about decision-making styles in the


Quality and Other Benefits of Intuitive Decisions

Little research has been done on the ultimate

quality of intuitively-driven decisions. We asked

practitioners to rate the quality of the intuitive

decisions they had made and then categorized

their open-ended responses.

Two-thirds of the respondents felt that intuition

led to better decisions. However, 12 percent reported

no effect on their decision quality either

way, nine percent said it depended on the situation,

while five percent felt it had a mixed positive

and negative impact. Finally, two individuals said

intuition had reduced the quality of their decisions.

While most participants regarded the effect

of intuition on decision making favorably, our findings

do not suggest that they were intensely confident

in their intuitions, as has been found in

some research.'^ Some interviewees noted, for example,

that mixed effects can result from situational

variables, or that memory can distort decisions.

As one interviewee stated: "If your

recollection and experiences are wrong, then intuition

is bad."

But because many interviewees suggested that

intuition had led them to make better decisions.

1999 Burke and Millei 95

we explored the specific benefits they associated

with intuitive decisions. As detailed in Table 3,

our sample of professionals outlined various

benefits that can be clustered into four broader


• Expedites decisions. Many participants felt a direct

benefit of intuition is that it speeds the decision-making

process. Put simply, by reducing

the amount of data required, they experienced a

faster decision process, as measured by time.

• Improves ultimate decision. Some participants

reported benefits associated with intuition as a

result of improved decision-making outcomes.

Examples included a fairer outcome, a higher

quality product, and enhanced customer satisfaction.

• Facilitates personal development. A few respondents

saw intuition as having certain personal

benefits—a skill which helped them develop a

full set of professional skills or provided them

with a certain element of power.

• Promotes decisions compatible with company

culture. Other study participants claimed intuition

helped them make decisions that were consistent

with their company's culture and values.

Finally, one participant declared that there were no

benefits to using intuition in the workplace. This

quality control manager suggested that intuition can

"get you into trouble" when lacking the necessary

data to measure accuracy. For this individual, objective

data were demanded by management to back

up his decisions. This response points to the limitations

of making intuitively-based decisions in the

wrong situations or at the expense of data collection

and analysis.

Overcoming a Bad Reputation

Intuitive decision making has had a bad reputation,

the result of a prevailing lack of understanding,

unfounded generalizations, and varying

interpretations presented in the research

literature. Future research should identify the

specific situations in which intuition works best.

Particular attention should be paid to decision

type, the demographics of a firm's workforce and

management team, the decision maker's profession

or industry, and the nature of the corporate

culture. As additional information is gathered

regarding the role of such contingency factors,

executives will be in a better position to understand,

support, and reinforce the selective and

appropriate use of intuitive decision making in

their organizations.

Table 3

Benefits of Intuition in Workplace Decision


Benefits of Intuition

Expedites decision mating.-

-leads to quicker decisions

-enables decisions without all the data

-eventually leads to financial cost savings

-gets the job done

-makes it easier to reach goals

-helps to avoid analysis paralysis

-starts process of decision making

-helps adapt to flexible, changing


Improves the decision in some way:

-provides a check and balance

-allows fairness in dealing with people

-leads to a higher quality product

-avoids baving to rework the decision

-helps to focus on area needing attention

-improves customer satisfaction

-prevents negative outcomes

-causes one to pay more attention

Facilitates personal development:

-develops iull tool set

-gives one more power

-provides opportunity to grow

-improves one's instincts

-helps to apply one's experiences

-allows recognition for positive risk taking

Promotes decisions compatible with culture:

Number of


34 (57%)









18 m%)



a 2













Note: Percentages total more than 100 percent as some participants

stated multiple benefits.

Making Use of Intuition

U.S. companies reportedly use good decision

skills about 12 percent of the time."* Prior research

suggests that many adults have not developed

their intuition to any significant extent and that

managers are often trained to disregard and mistrust

their judgment.''' Increased organizational

and employee awareness of and practice with integrating

intuitive skills into decision making are


Our practitioners offered several suggestions for

helping managers hone their intuitive skills, advancing

the idea that intuitive skills are not the

rarefied talent of a privileged few. Given that intuitive

decision-making skills may be dormant in

some employees,'^ such practical methods may

prove beneficial, and should be explored.

Managers should:

• be more attentive to the overall decision process;

• challenge decisions when they feel or sense the

need to do so;

96 Academy of Management Executive November

• reflect on past decisions and the role that intuition

played and attempt to learn from any mistakes;

• practice applying intuition in work situations or

with hypothetical scenarios, cases, or exercises;

• watch and observe when and how others employ

their intuition;

• become educated about intuitive decision making

by reading books and articles, and attending


• learn to take risks when making decisions without

being afraid of the consequences;

• practice making decisions without all the data


Meditation, journal writing, and mind

may also be useful in becoming more knowledgeable

about intuition.

Managers should be increasingly concerned

with developing their employees by using jobbased

experiential learning strategies. For example,

job rotation, or lateral career moves, exposes

employees to numerous decision-making scenarios

and decision-making styles from which they

can learn vicariously.^o Job rotations also help

managers quickly collect data about the organization's

business and work practices. Training and

development programs feed managers' intuitive

skills by giving them experience in solving business


To develop employees' intuitive potential, top

executives should pay close attention to how the

corporate culture may be explicitly or implicitly

discouraging the use of intuition. Indeed, research

suggests that intuition flourishes only if it is valued

in an organization.22 If an organization's work

environment, leadership, political climate, and socialization

processes do not support the use of intuition,

then many employees will rely solely on objective

methods and discount lessons learned from

To develop employees' intuitive

potential top executives should pay

close attention to how the corporate

culture may be explicitly or implicitly

discouraging the use 0/ intuition.

their personal database of experience. Therefore,

organizations should facilitate and selectively encourage

employees who incorporate their intuitive

skills in the appropriate decision scenarios.

Specifically, upper-level managers should reinforce

employees' use of intuition in situations that

are more likely to benefit from intuitive skills. Incorporating

intuition into decision making appears

relevant and applicable in the following scenarios:

• when decisions need to be consistent with the

organization's culture and values;

• when time is of the essence;

• when explicit cues are lacking because policies,

rules, guidelines, or expert guidance are absent;

• when uncertainty prevails because of new product

planning or strategy formulation;

• when quantitative analyses require a check and


Because such scenarios have become increasingly

common in today's workplace, the ability to effectively

engage one's intuition is becoming more

important. A vice president of human resources in

a small firm stated: "Often I have found myself in

situations without access to specialists or consultants

and I needed to be willing to use my intuition

and just go for it."^^

Organizational mindsets must be modified to

help eliminate the myths about intuition so that it

can be used effectively in the workplace. Top managers

need to transcend traditional linear decision

making by exploring and appropriately integrating

nonlinear approaches when addressing complex

business decisions.^^ The benefits of doing so

may represent a viable source of competitive advantage

in the 21st century.

Appendix A: Sample and Study Methodology

Study participants were selected from membership

of the National Management Association

(NMA) and from author contacts. Potential participants

were sent an introductory letter describing

the nature of the study and including the interview

questions. Thirty-nine percent of the individuals

contacted volunteered to participate, and complete

data were obtained from 74 percent. Although participants

were not randomly chosen, none self-selected

into the study, thus limiting the biases of


The group included 60 professionals employed

in various industry segments. The 39 men and 21

women worked in an array of medium to large

organizations, in both the public and private sectors,

and were from across the United States. The

average total years of work experience was 27.5

(SD = 9.7), the mean organizational tenure was 15.9

years {SD = 9.6} and the average job tenure was 6.4

years (SD = 6.5 years). The vast majority of partic-

1999 Buike and Miller 97

ipants had master's, bachelor's, or associate's degrees,

or multiple degrees.

Industry segments included 14 respondents in

space flight operations and aerospace engineering,

12 in public administration, 12 in manufacturing,

11 in communication/transportation/utilities,

and 11 in services.^^

A pilot study with seven business professionals

was conducted prior to the main study to determine

the validity of the content and the appropriateness of

the interview protocol. We used results of the pilot

study to clarify question wording and to arrange

questions into logical groupings. The pilot study results

also pointed to the importance of providing the

interview questions ahead of the scheduled interview

to enhance participant reflection.

In the main study, the second author conducted

and taped semi-structured phone interviews to obtain

rich description. The potential for biased responses

was minimized by asking participants

only the questions in the interview protocol, by

following up only with questions that helped respondents

clarify or elaborate upon their answers,

and by cross-checking interviewer notes with

taped conversations.

The results are based on an analysis of the interview

responses using thematic analysis and a

constant comparative method.^^ We constantly

compared interviewee responses, with the goal of

organizing the data into systematic categories of

analysis by seeking recurring themes. To enhance

the trustworthiness of our interpretations,^^ we

also employed multiple sources of data. The second

author created a journal as an additional data

source to identify recurring themes. The first author

provided a reliability check by listening to

several of the telephone interviews, taking notes,

and then comparing the two sets of notes. We

found a 96-percent rate of agreement in these sets

of notes. In addition, the first author reviewed a

randomly selected subset of the second author's

journal to independently validate the identified

themes. This confirmed the generation of similar


Finally, to enhance the credibility of the data, we

conducted member checks to confirm the viability

of our interpretations.28 A summary of the findings

was presented to a subset (seven percent) of our

sample, based on our interpretation of the data.

Each individual reported that the findings appeared

to have significant face validity.

Appendix B: The Nature of Intuition

Researchers have conceptualized intuition as

a sixth sense, a paranormal power, a gut instinct.

an evaluative affect, an innate personality trait,

and an accumulation of experience.^^ One of our

objectives was to determine how closely the definitions

of the professionals we surveyed paralleled

those in the literature. The results are highlighted

in Table 1.

Several constructs—creativity, tacit knowledge,

judgment—have been used interchangeably

with intuition. Intuition and creativity share

common properties, and it has been suggested

that intuition is a first and necessary stage of

creativity,^'^ that some sort of preconscious activity

guides an individual to novel ideas.^' Individuals

may therefore be able to enhance creativity

by recreating environments in which they have

experienced intuition.

Intuition has also been differentiated from tacit

knowledge and implicit learning. Knowledge management

focuses on leveraging the know-how and

experience about customers, products, and processes

within a firm.2^- Intuition is sometimes

viewed as an end product of tacit knowledge,^^

which is embodied in cognitive processes and implicitly

learned through experience. Tacit knowledge

is uniquely personal and complex.3" For example,

skilled craftsmen develop a wealth of

readily-available expertise, with basic building

blocks that are etched and entrenched in their

minds and do not require conscious thought to


Our present study also suggests that judgment is

not regarded in the literature as encompassing an

emotional element, but an affective component is

often attached to the intuition construct. (See Table


The authors gratefully acknowledge the support

of the National Management Association (NMA), its

president, Stephen K. Bailey, along with Karen Tobias

and all of the NMA staff members. We also

thank the University of Dayton for funding the

project, as well as Lisa Cheraskin, Gordon Dehler,

and William Lewis for providing feedback on earlier

versions of our manuscript.


' For a review, see Agor, W. H. 1989, Intuition in organizations:

Leading and managing productively. Newbury Park:

Sage. For a discussion of how intuition has been measured

using the MBTI, see Zemke, R. 1992. Second thoughts about the

MBTl. Training. 29:43-47; Schweiger, D. M. 1985. Measuring

managerial cognitive styles: On the logical validity of the

98 Academy of Management Executive November

Myers-Briggs type indicator. Journal of Business Research. 13:


^Behling, O., & Eckel, N. L. 1991. Making sense out oi intuition.

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^See Huff, A. 1990. Mapping strategic thought. In A. Huff

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1979. Information processing models of cognition. Annual

Review of Psychology. 30:363-398; Wally, S., & Baum, J. R. 1994.

Personal and structural determinants of the pace of strategic

decision making. Academy of Management Journal, 37:932-


^ Time. 1995. Glimpses of the mind. July 17:44.

^Harper, S. C. 1988. Intuition: What separates executives

from managers. Business Horizons, 31:13-19.

^ See Vaughan, F. E. 1979. Awakening intuition. Garden City,

CA: Anchor Press; Goldberg, P. 1989. The intuitive experience. In

Agor, op. cit. Simon, H. A. 1987. Making management decisions:

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' Westcott, M. R., & Ranzoni, J. H. 1963. Correlates of intuitive

thinking. PsychoiogicaJ fleporfs, 12:595-613.

^ Davidhizar, R. 1991. Intuition and the nurse manager. The

Health Care Supervisor. 10:13-19.

^ See Parikh, J., Neubauer, F., & Lank, A. G. 1994. Intuition: The

new frontier of management. Santa Cruz: Blackwell Business;

Harung, H. S. 1993. More effective decisions through synergy ot

objective and subjective approaches. Management Decision,

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'" Simon, op. cit.

"See Hitt, M. A., Keats, B. W., 8f DeMarie, S. M. 1998. Navigating

in the competitive landscape: Building strategic flexibility

and competitive advantage in the 21^' century. The Academy

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'^ See Agor, W. H. 1983. Tomorrow's intuitive leaders. Futurist,

17:49-53; Harper, op. cit.

'^See Sharma, S. 1990. Psychology of women in management:

A distinct feminine leadership. Equal Opportunities

International. 9:13-18; Rubinstein, G. 1986. Women on the way

up. Association Management, 38:26-30; Lamkin, M. D.

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use their intuition to make important decisions. Business

Horizons, 29:49-53.

'* For further discussion and research of gender and intuition

see Ekman, P. 1992. An argument for basic emotions. Cognition

and Emofion, 6:169-200.

'^ Bastick, T. L982. Intuition: How we think and act. New York;


'^ This finding, generated by a Princeton-based firm that has

administered basic decision training to over two million managers,

was cited in Newsweek. 1987. The wisdom of Solomon.

August 17:62.

"See Newsweek, ibid.; Harung, op. cit.

'^Davidhizar, op. cit.

'^ Agor. op. cit.

^° For a discussion of job rotation strategies see Noe, R. &

Ford, J. K. 1992. Emerging issues and new directions for training

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^' Gumpert, J. 1994. GE's work-out: Creating leaders in a

boundaryiess organization. Paper presented at the 1994 Academy

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^^ Vaughan, op. cit.

^^ Goldstein, Ken. Fall, 1998. From bureaucrat to entrepreneur.

Management Education and Development Division Newsletter

(Academy of Management), p. 8.

^^See Hitt, op. cit.; Clarity, T. 1990. Face it! Intuition is a

necessary part of the marketing process. Marketing News, 24:8.

^^ Standard Industrial Classification Manual. 1987. Springheld,

VA: U.S. Bureau of the Budget, Office of Statistical Standards.

^^ Patton, M. Q. 1990. Qualitative evaluation and research

methods, 2'"' ed. Newbury Park: Sage.

"Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. 198S. Naturalistic inquiry.

Newbury Park: Sage.

^^Bell, R. W., Sherry, Jr.. J. F., & Wallendorf, M. 1988. A naturalistic

inquiry into buyer and seller behavior at a swap meet.

Journal of Consumer Research, 14:449-470.

^^ Shirley, D. A., & Langan-Fox, J. 1996. Intuition: A review oi

the literature. Psychological Reports. 79:563-584.

^° Bastick, op. cit.

3' Finke, R. A., Ward, T. B., & Smith, S. M. 1992. Creative

cognition; Theory, research, and applications. Boston, MA: Massachusetts

Institute of Technology.

^^ Ruggles, R. 1998. The state ol the notion: Knowledge management

in practice. California Management Review. 40:80-91.

^^ Shirley, D. A., & Langan-Fox, J. 1996. Intuition: A review oi

the literature. PsychoiogicaJ Reports, 79:563-584.

^* See Leonard, D., & Sensiper, S. 1998. The role oi tacit knowledge

in group innovation. California Management Review. 40:112-

130; Cole, R. E. 1998. Introduction to special issue on knowledge

and the firm. California Management Review, 40:15-21.

^^ See McClean, B. C. W. 1995. Intuition in modem command

philosophy. Military Review. 75:98-99; Nonaka, I. 1991. The

knowledge-creating company. Harvard Business Beview. 69:36-


^^ Time. op. cit.

1999 Burie and MiiJer 99

Lisa A. Burke is a visiting assistant

professor at Louisiana

State University in Shreveport.

Her research interests focus on

management training, development,

and education. Her research

has been published in

Human Resource Management,

Human Resource Development

Quarterly, and Human

Resource Management Review.

Contact: lburke@pilot.


Monica K. Miller is a work

group coach at Kraft Foods.

When this study was conducted,

she was a student at

the University of Dayton.

where she received the Theta

Phi Alpha National Senior

Service Award. She was also

awarded membership in

Who's Who Among Students In

American Universities & Colleges

and the Golden Key National

Honor Society. Contact:


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