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Intuition: the missing ingredient for good managerial decision-making

Kurt Matzler (Department of Strategic Management, Marketing and Tourism, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria)
Borislav Uzelac (Department of Strategic Management, Marketing and Tourism, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria)
Florian Bauer (Director, SMA Research Lab & Senior Lecturer, Department Management & Law, MCI Management Center Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria)

Journal of Business Strategy

ISSN: 0275-6668

Article publication date: 17 November 2014




This paper aims to clarify the role of intuition in managerial decision making by identifying when intuitive decision making is typically applied, of what value it is for organizations and what inhibits its application.


The authors combine insights from cognitive and social psychology with empirical evidence from a survey study with Austrian organizations.


In conjunction with deliberation, intuitive decision making contributes positively to organizational performance. Its application is moderated by a person’s hierarchical position, organization size as well as the subject at hand.

Research limitations/implications

While literature suggests to rely on self-reports to measure success, this approach can also be perceived as a limitation of this paper. Although insiders are most knowledgeable about their organizations, their information might lack objectivity. It is therefore important that future research applies more objective success measures.

Practical implications

This research stresses the merits and dangers of intuitive decision making and advises managers how to become “good” intuitive decision makers.

Social implications

Understanding the hallmarks of intuitive decision making, as well as the factors that moderate it, alters the understanding of our actions and therefore has implications for all human interactions.


This paper adds to existing literature on intuition in management research by providing empirical data regarding the value of intuition and factors that inhibit its application in organizational contexts.



Matzler, K., Uzelac, B. and Bauer, F. (2014), "Intuition: the missing ingredient for good managerial decision-making", Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 35 No. 6, pp. 31-40.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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