The Role of Intuition and Deliberation for Exploration and Exploitation Success

Kurt Matzler, Boris Uzelac, Florian Bauer

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Advances in social and cognitive psychology and related fields have drawn attention to the role of intuition in organizational decision making. In this study we link intuitive and deliberate decision-making styles to the success of exploration and exploitation activities, which are understood as two qualitatively opposing strategies that organizations can adopt. We provide empirical evidence that the two opposing strategies are linked to two opposing styles of decision making – intuitive and deliberate. In doing so, we draw on data which we received from 140 entrepreneurs and managing partners of Austrian companies and show that exploration is strongly related to intuitive decision making whereas exploitation draws on both intuitive and deliberate decision making. Based on our findings, we stress the complementarity of the two decision-making styles, and point out that particularly in the light of the fast-changing premises in which organizations have to manoeuvre today, decision makers are well advised to use both decision-making styles to their best benefit.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCreativity and Innovation Management
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)252-263
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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