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A small but vocal band of popular writers argues that executives should rely more on intuition and less on the systematic analysis long considered to be good management practice. Making sense out of this recommendation is hampered by the fact that those who write about intuitive management decision making conceptualize intuition in at least six separate ways: as a paranormal power or sixth sense; as a personality trait; as an unconscious process; as a set of actions; as distilled experience; and as a residual category. The differences among these conceptualizations are not trivial. Each one carries special implications for the men and women who ultimately must, analytically or intuitively, make the decisions that guide firms. Specifically, they lead to different conclusions about recruiting and developing intuitive executives and the usefulness of intuition as a managerial tool.
The Executive © 1991 Academy of Management