Crisis decision-making: the overlap between intuitive and analytical strategies

Justin Okoli, John Watt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)
354 Downloads (Pure)


he paper draws on the naturalistic decision making (NDM) and cognitive science literature to examine how experienced crisis managers utilize the intuitive and analytical strategies when managing complex incidents. A cognitive model that describes the interplay between strategies is presented and discussed, and the specific role that intuition plays in analytical decision making is addressed.
Designed as a conceptual paper, the extant literature is reviewed to advance discussions on the theme of intuitive and analytical decision making in the naturalistic environment. A new model of expert intuition ── the information filtering and intuitive decision model ── is presented and evaluated against existing cognitive models from the wider literature.
The paper suggests that experts’ ability to make intuitive decisions is strongly hinged on their information processing skills that allow irrelevant cues to be sifted out while the relevant cues are retained. The paper further revealed that experts generally employ the intuitive mode as their default strategy, drawing on the analytical mode only as conditions warrant.
Prior research has shown that experts often make important task decisions using intuitive or analytical strategies or by combining both, but the sequence these should typically follow is still unresolved. Findings from our intuition model reveal that although intuition often precedes analytical thinking in almost all cases, both strategies exist to offer significant values to decision makers if the basis of their application is well understood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(in press)
JournalManagement Decision
Volume(in press)
Early online date13 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Decision making
  • Information processing
  • Intuition
  • Crisis management
  • Experts
  • Intuitive judgement


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