Handbooks of Research Methods in Management series
Edited by Marta Sinclair
Not much room was left for intuition in the dominant paradigm for organizational behavior in Max Weber’s famous ‘iron cage’, the metaphor for the pursuit of isomorphic rationality and goal-oriented teleology in our understanding of organizations (Baehr, 2001; DiMaggio & Powell, 1983). Rather than exploring the processes for evoking intuition, researchers have predominantly been concerned with bounded rationality as the characteristic of strategic decision making (e.g., Simon, 1972). However, unease and criticism with the legacy of management theory and practice is mounting (e.g., Ghoshal, 2005; Ghoshal & Moran, 1996; Hamel & Breen, 2007; Suddaby et al., 2011; Walsh et al., 2006). An increasingly uncertain global business environment coupled with high-paced change call for the mastery of strategic intuition. Such a context leaves little room for detailed analyses and careful comparisons of alternatives, where thoroughness rather than timely insight rules. Furthermore, there may not be much empirical knowledge on which to base decisions if the environment presents the decision maker with a flow of previously unencountered and unusually risky situations (March et al., 1991). Intuition would then seem a natural accompaniment to organizational behaviour, and its evocation a key organizational capability. We would, therefore, occasionally need to escape Weber’s iron cage of rational and isomorphic decision making and rely on insights and understandings of a more intuitive, and personally appealing, kind. Consequently, the notion and study of intuition is gaining increasing emphasis (Dane & Pratt, 2007; Isaack, 1978; Simon, 1987; Sinclair, 2011).
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