Thursday, November 16, 2017


Summary and Critique by Michael Pouch

This study explores intuition and how it is defined through a development of models and propositions that incorporate the role of domain knowledge, implicit and explicit learning, and task characteristics on intuition effectiveness. In addition, the author suggests how intuition can be applied to future research and managerial decision making.

The authors suggest that there are two major barriers to a productive discourse on the topic of intuition within the management literature. The first concerns the considerable confusion surrounding what intuition is and the second is the failure to distinguish between when intuitions are used and when they are used effectively, as shown in Figure 1. These barriers come to fulfillment due to the various perspectives used to understand intuition and the failure to recognize when it is effectively used in existing work, including when intuition is simply most likely to be used.

Figure 1: Multiple Definitions of Intuition 

The authors then construct a definition that is built upon the bridge work in psychology, philosophy, and management. They found that four characteristics help make up the core of the construct of their definition of intuition, which is a non-conscious process, involving holistic associations, that are produced rapidly, which result in effectively charged judgments. The author’s objectives within this context were to help clarify which types of decision-making processes are intuitive and which are not.

From there the authors looked into the conditions that influence the effectiveness of intuitive decision making. While exploring the conditions that influence whether intuition is effective as a decision-making approach, the authors suggest that two broad sets of factors influence intuition effectiveness, domain knowledge factors, and task characteristics. Domain knowledge factors consist of schemas (Heuristic and Expert) and Learning (Explicit and Implicit). While task characteristic factors consist of Intellective versus judgmental tasks and Environmental uncertainty. In the end, the authors are trying to delineate what intuition is and when people are likely to use it well.

Figure: 2 Factors that Influence Intuitive Decision Making

Lastly, the authors explain the managerial implications for the use of intuition. One example they mention is that managers should be mindful of their environments in order to facilitate implicit learning. In addition to this comment, the author continues by saying that being alert and viewing problems from multiple perspectives, “mindful” managers may form new cognitive categories and distinctions.

Overall, the authors try to explain how and why speed serves as one characteristic of intuition and identified factors that make intuitive judgments effective in decision making.

I feel the authors have set up a great framework for explaining, defining, and applications of intuition approach.  The authors essentially laid out that intuition is a key role for decision-making in rapidly changing environments. Ironically, the fact is that for some decisions data alone isn’t enough. In addition, intuitive decision making is far more than using common sense because it involves additional sensors to perceive and get aware of the information from outside, as the authors explained the conditions within intuitive decision making.



  1. Has an experiment been designed to test this framework?

    1. Yeah the author used this design to help them conceptualize and measure other works of theirs.

  2. I agree with the fact that there is more to intuition than just "common sense". I think the article does a good job identifying various definitions and conceptions of intuition and what it entails.

  3. I enjoyed the definition of the various types of intuition as they lend to further the understanding of what intuition is. The definitions lend to the understanding of what happens when we use our intuition and it is not a random happening of ideas.

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