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Title: Intuition in decision making and learning : individual and organisational perspectives
Author: Akinci, Cinla
ISNI:       0000 0004 2708 1592
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2011
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Although much has been written about the role of rational/analytical ways of knowing in decision making and problem solving in management, comparatively little is known about the way intuitive cognition manifests itself in organisations in general and in relation to organisational learning in particular. Several conceptualisations have been offered in respect to the ways in which managers perceive, make sense and act in the social settings of business organisations. Intuition and organisational learning came together explicitly in the foundational 41 framework, which presents a theoretical account of how intuitions are articulated and transcend from enterprising individuals to become institutionalised into the wider organisational system. This thesis contributes to the theoretical development of the subject of intuition in management by integrating three streams of research - intuition, collective decision making, and organisational learning - which have not been well-connected previously. By adopting a dual-process perspective, this research is focused on the role of intuitive judgement in collective decision making and organisational learning. It does so by exploring the 'intuitive hits' and 'intuitive misses' in the decision making of the senior management teams at three police organisations in the UK. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the role of intuitive judgement in managerial decision making, a pilot study and two main studies were carried out. In Study 1, the Rational Experiential Inventory, a self-report inventory for measuring rational and experiential thinking styles, has been employed with the aim to explore individual differences in the use of intuitive and analytical cognitions in police work, using a sample of police staff and police officers. In Study 2, a multi-case study approach was adopted. The 41 organisational learning framework was combined with the method of Critical Incident Technique to gather retrospective accounts from senior police officers of instances where intuitive judgement led to both effective and ineffective organisational outcomes. Data was collected based on in-depth semi-structured focus group interviews with senior police management teams. The research results are significant in that they provide new understandings and insights with a particular emphasis on the ways in which the tacit knowledge that forms the basis for intuitions may be institutionalised within organisations, ultimately leading to organisational learning. The findings reveal that intuition acts as a catalyst for the organisational learning process: it affects both individual and collective actions; it therefore has the potential to influence and inform not only individual learning but also collective interpretation and the development of shared meaning and sense-making within an organisation. To conclude, it is acknowledged that the generalisation of findings is context-specific to the police authority, and therefore it may be restricted in its application to other domains. The implications of the findings for managers in general are discussed in detail, and a number of areas for fixture research are identified to extend the boundaries of our understanding of the role of intuition in individual and collective cognitions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available