Managerial intuition: A conceptual and operational framework

Stewart Shapiro, Mark T. Spence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

120 Citations (Scopus)


[Extract} Problems lie on a continuum of structuredness.
At one end are well-structured problems,
to which established decision rules
can be applied to yield an acceptable solution. At
the other end of the continuum are ill-structured
problems, for which no widely accepted decision
rules exist. Well-structured problems lend themselves
to automation. as evidenced by the explosive
growth of management information systems.
Ill-structured problems, being inherently fuzzier,
are not-at least in their entirety-conducive to
automation. As such. they are the types of problems
that gravitate toward senior management,
where expert judgment can be brought to bear
on the problem.
In addressing decision makers who are faced
with ill-structured problems-the kind on which
expertise has been shown to have beneficial
effects-we define a latent construct, intuition.
that managers bring to problem solving that can
enhance decision achievement. We offer more
than an unsupported, homiletic, prescriptive
framework. By drawing upon research by experimental
psychologists. Eve explain what intuition
is, how it is learned. and when to harness the
benefits of intuitive judgment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-68
Number of pages6
JournalBusiness Horizons
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1997
Externally publishedYes


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