Exemplary Leaders and Intuition in Decision Making

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TITLE: Exemplary Leaders and Intuition in Decision Making
RESEARCHER: Suzanne Coll
School of Business and Management
Pepperdine University
Unpublished Master’s Thesis: December 2007

The purpose of this research project was to determine the extent to which exemplary leaders use intuition in decision making.

The Leadership Practices Inventory and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) were provided to 16 managers from different companies and businesses, from which nine completed both instruments, and each provided at least one LPI-Observer (N=15). The managers with the four highest LPI scores were selected for telephone interviews about how they went about making decisions (neither they nor the author knew a priori what their “intuition” – Sensing-Intuitive score on the MBTI – scores were).

“The MBTI data of these exemplary leaders correlated to the interview information. Many of the managers stated they rely on data and facts rather than intuition, which was consistent with their derived preference for Sensing and for the logical and reasonable decision-making approach” (p. 38), which was not what the author anticipated. However, she goes on to say that “in speaking with the managers, three out of the four manages agreed that they use intuition when it comes to people and human resources issues” (p. 39).