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Intuition may be beneficial in certain scenarios, and at times may be the primary decision approach available.In your view, can intuition really be a legitimate basis for decision-making? Why or why not?

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Intuitive Decision Making

Intuitive Decision Making

Intuition has been one of the decision making tools that provides a reliable alternative to other options such as fact gathering as well as analysis. Intuitive judgment are shared with most managers of different organizations for they rely on it to alleviate their managerial decision making and thus utilize it to produce information faster, economically and also effectively (Sinclair and Ashkanasy, 2005). Intuition is highly dissimilar to rational decision making systems which signifies the foundation of both management education as well as its practices (Davis and Davis, 2003). Organizational managers often tend to utilize intuition when making decisions although managerial problems have been observed to increase over the years because of the rise in complexity of markets, increase in internationalization of competitions and heterogeneousness of the behaviour of the consumers. While managers commonly use systematic thinking to make decisions, intuition is more beneficial in certain situations and may be a legitimate basis for decision-making. This essay will outline the various decision conditions in which intuitive decision making may be more legitimate than rational decision making.

Decision making is considered an integral aspect of modern management. Fundamentally, rational decision making is regarded as the primary function of management since every organizational manager makes numerous decisions either subconsciously or even consciously thus making it a chief element in the function of a manager (Butler, 2002). Decision making plays a very significant role since they influence both managerial as well as organizational activities. Therefore, decision making is a process that is continuous and indispensable element of any organizational management and is made so as to sustain every business activities and functioning of an organization (Butler, 2002). In addition, decision making comes hand in hand with various conditions of risk and uncertainty which frame most of the decisions rendered by a management.

These conditions of uncertainty and risk are dissimilar in that uncertainty entails probable results which are unknown whereas risk involves the actual possibility of loss and therefore can be more systematically accounted for as opposed to uncertainty (Courtney, 2001). When making decisions based on uncertainty, there is a state of limited knowledge of future outcomes therefore, it is considered a chief aspect of risk that that entails likelihood as well as a scale of negative consequences. Every organizational manager, most at times, face uncertainty in their day-to-day operations therefore, for them to reduce the risks caused by their decisions, they develop skills as well as judgment that is essential in minimizing this uncertainty (Courtney, 2001). They do this by mitigating or even eradicating matters that suppress effective decision-making.

Managers depend on processes such as identifying, quantifying and analyzing of the aspects that are likely to impact any outcomes of decision-making (Courtney, 2001). These process allows managers to identify and probability of a risk as well as their effects. First, managers identify the risks that are possible to arise from their decision-making. For instance, managers are faced with strategic risks which come from investments that an organizational conducts in order to achieve both their mission and their objectives (Butler, 2002). Also, risks such as operational, legal and financial risks are identified by the management so as to reduce any form of unknown or unaccounted effects they may cause to an organization due to the management’s decision-making.

Moreover, when making decisions, the management ought to quantify the possible risks. They do this by absorbing, transferring and managing risks in order to determine whether the impacts of the risks can be endured (Sinclair and Ashkanasy, 2005). For instance, numerous financial risks can be effectively absorbed or transferred by using a hedge which is a contract or an agreement which minimizes one’s exposure to risks. Furthermore, legal risks can be extenuated via a unique contract language. Therefore, organizational managers ought to revisit such uncertainties as well as risks that may bring about potential losses in the occurrence of a negative outcome before making a firm decision.

Rational decision making involves a multistep process that can be involved in making logical decisions between various alternatives. This type of decision making entails making favours logic, objectivity as well as analysis over subjectivity and insight (Courtney, 2001). Rational decision making makes assumptions that organizational managers will selections that increases the benefits and at the same time reduces the costs. For example, numerous individuals always wish to obtain the most useful products for the least cost possible. As a result of this, they will tend to tend to judge the gains of a certain object – how useful or how attractive it is – with comparison to a similar object. In general, managers will often choose an alternative that offers them maximum gains at the lowest cost possible (Davis and Davis, 2003). Rational decision making assumes that managers have comprehensive information on the on which to base an alternative. Furthermore, it also assumes that a manager has the mental capability, time as well as resources to assess each alternative versus another.

Additionally, rational decision making doesn’t consider components which can’t be quantified for example, personal feelings, sense of obligation, ethical concerns as well as loyalties (Courtney, 2001). Its objectivity produces a bias towards the inclination for facts, data as well as analysis over intuition. On the other hand, rational decision making is beneficial for it addresses complex decisions by breaking them down. For rational decision making to be successful, cognitive abilities of the person making the decision has to be available (Courtney, 2001). For example, for an organizational manager, aspects such as how good is their memory? Or how good is their imagination? has to play a part in ensuring a rational decision making process. Therefore, the criteria themselves, naturally, will be immanent and thus hard to liken (Courtney, 2001). In addition, conditions such as a great deal of time as well as a great deal of information if fundamental for a rational decision making procedure to take place effectively.

Moreover, rational decision making does not take into consideration the aspect of emotions in it decision making process. An effective rational decision making procedure negates any form of emotions connected to it. This is primarily because it highly depends on a focused logical decisions (Butler, 2002). Additionally, rational decision making can function in scenarios where fewer alternatives are considered than are actually available or in scenarios where an alternative is chosen that is not the overall best although it is amongst the current circumstances. This is known as bounded. For example, if an individual spills tea on a shirt in a café thereafter, rushes to a nearby shop and purchases a poorly fitting shirt as a replacement. It would be best to purchase a properly fitting shirt although if he is in a hurry, it would be appropriate to purchase the poorly fitting shirt. This is known as satisficing (Butler, 2002). This indicates how individuals make decisions by not considering all possibility available in the expense of another for instance, time. We only choose the most useful.

Intuition in management literature refers to the “non-conscious”, all-inclusive working mode where judgment are conducted without any form of awareness of the principle of knowledge used for hindrance as well as which has the right feeling in spite of an individual’s inability to articulate the reason. Davis and Davis (2003) describes intuition as an intellectual conclusion founded upon a prior experience as well as the emotional input of a decision maker. Furthermore, Plessner, Betsch and Betsch (2008) describes intuition as a “non-sequential” informatics manner which consists of both cognitive and affective constituents and thus leads in direct knowing minus any usage of mindful reasoning. In all the above definitions, intuition differentiates from rational decision making which makes up the basis of management education as well as management practices. Furthermore, intuitive operations are often very fast and also requires both time and effort as compared to rational decision making (Plessner, Betsch and Betsch, 2008).

Intuitive decision making is characterized with the following features; non-conscious, quick, holistic, affective and emotional (Sinclair and Ashkanasy, 2005). Intuitive decision making is non-conscious. If organizational managers are self-assured of the quality of decisions they accomplish via the process of intuition, they most at times have difficulty showing why they made the decision. This is attributed to feeling that the decision made is the right one though it is hard to logically justify it. In addition, intuitive decision making is quick in comparison to rational decision making because it demands time as well as effort to permit for collection of data, structuring as well as analysis (Sinclair and Ashkanasy, 2005). Thirdly, intuitive decision making is holistic since it offers a way to connect disparate information components that doesn’t fall into vivid patterns. Lastly, intuitive decision making is considered affective and emotional because it is linked with instinctive gut feeling which means that it plays a considerable role in the process of decision making (Butler, 2002). Moreover, since it is not rational, intuitive judgment requires to be affective.

Therefore, intuitive decision making can be a legitimate basis for decision making because it is quick as compared to other forms of decision making procedures. For instance, small business owners most at times require to adjust faster to their environment as well as an international holistic reasoning mode other than an analytical one and seem motivated by its effects (Sinclair and Ashkanasy, 2005). In addition, intuitive reasoning can also be a legitimate basis for decision making because expert managers are fast to recognize familiar circumstances or even couple a circumstance to a familiar approach via their automatic, non-conscious admission to outlines stored in their memories. Therefore, this enables them to derive meaning, recognize right decisions and sometimes demonstrate wide creativity (Davis and Davis, 2003). For example, the great Gary Kasparov, a chess master, utilized intuitive decision making as a strategy which helped him devise creative, winning attacks over dozens of his opponents concurrently.

Moreover, numerous top executives and managers acknowledged for their sharp business instincts could not articulate exactly how they regularly made significant decisions that challenged every logical analysis (Plessner, Betsch and Betsch, 2008). They were able to achieve great success by using intuitive decision making procedures. For example, Bob Lutz, CEO of Exide Technologies, used his intuitive decision making power to uplift Dodge Viper to becoming a smashing success despite being criticized to invest in paying down the debt of the company and also refurbishing the plants (Butler, 2002).

To sum up, while managers commonly use systematic thinking to make decisions, intuition is more beneficial in certain situations and may be a legitimate basis for decision-making. This is primarily because of the nature of intuition which is its quick response, non-conscious, holistic, affective and emotional. In addition, intuitive decision making is beneficial when compared to other types of decision making processes especially when dealing with non-standard situations or even in expedient decision making. Therefore, it is recommended that intuitive decision making be used when rapid response is required, during a fast paced change and when a problem is poorly structured, when dealing with conflicting, ambiguous and incomplete information and when there is no precedent to name a few.


Butler, R. (2002). Decision making. In A. Sorge (Ed.), Organization (pp. 224–251). London, UK: Thomson Learning.

Courtney, J. (2001). Decision making and knowledge management in inquiring organizations: toward a new decision-making paradigm for DSS. Decision Support Systems, 31(1), pp.17-38.

Davis, S. and Davis, P. (2003). The intuitive dimensions of administrative decision making. Lanham, Md.: Scarecrow Press.

Plessner, H., Betsch, C. and Betsch, T. (2008). Intuition in judgment and decision making. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Sinclair, M., & Ashkanasy, N. M. (2005). Intuition: Myth or a decision-making tool? Management Learning, 36, 353– 370.