Strategic decision-making in the upstream oil and gas industry : exploring intuition, analysis and their interaction
This thesis explores in detail intuition or the often neglected, non-analytical aspects of the strategic decision-making process. In doing so, it makes a significant contribution to the existing body of knowledge on strategic decision-making. In order to fully explore the strategic decision-making process, analysis (analytical aspects) and the interaction of both intuition and analysis are also considered. Companies involved in the present study are classified according to three types based on the results: Analytical, Intuitive and See-Saw. This forms a useful means of comparison between companies. A model is developed drawn from the empirical analysis, which highlights that there are various aspects within the organisational and industry environment, including analysis and intuition, which influence inter-organisational variation in strategic decision-making. Variation in the strategic decision-making process is important to consider because it may be a source of competitive advantage for individual companies. The applied implications of the model are also discussed. The upstream oil and gas industry, a dynamic environment characterised by uncertainty, provided the setting for the current study. Data was collected in both Australia and the U.K. Fifty face-to-face interviews were conducted within eleven operators and one serve company. This information was also supplemented with documentary material. Grounded theory (Glaser and Strauss, 1967) provided the research strategy. It is intended the empirical results will increase the clarity and understanding of the strategic decision-making process, ultimately leading to better and more informed decisions being made.