Date of Award

2005

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Loretta B. Johns

Second Advisor

Shirley A. Freed

Third Advisor

Hinsdale Bernard

Abstract

The purpose of this two-phased, sequential, exploratory, mixed-methods study was to survey a sample of Fellows in the American College of Healthcare Executives in the United States and then interview selected individuals who scored in the highly intuitive category on the intuition survey to explore how they made intuitive decisions. In the first phase, quantitative research questions addressed the relationship between leadership style and the potential to make intuitive decisions, as well as the relationship and interaction between the potential to make intuitive decisions and age, gender, and size of company. In the second phase, qualitative interviews were used to explore how highly intuitive executives used intuition to make their decisions.

The Leadership Style Survey and Agor’s Intuitive Measurement Survey (AIM) were mailed to 498 Fellows in the American College of Healthcare Executives. The 113 valid surveys were analyzed using chi-square and ANOVA to evaluate the relationships noted above. Of the completed valid surveys, 8 of the 13 participants scored in the highly intuitive category on the AIM Survey with scores between 10 and 12 and were interviewed to further probe how they made intuitive decisions.

The results of this research study showed that there was no relationship between leadership style and the potential to make intuitive decisions, between intuitive decision making and age, intuitive decision making and gender, or intuitive decision making and size of company the executive worked in. In addition there was no interaction found between intuitive decision making and age, gender, or size of company.

The 8 interviews about how these highly intuitive executives make their intuitive decisions resulted in five emerging themes: (a) There is a sensing of one’s intuition, (b) Intuition comes from life experiences and knowledge, (c) The tensions of logic, intuition, and making the right decision usually exist, (d) Intuitive decision-making processes are often present, and (e) Mentoring and teaching intuition have an important role. From these interviews it was noted that the credibility intuitive decision making lacked in the past appears to be changing, and there is a need to encourage and mentor intuition in new managers and executives.

Subject Area

Health services administrators--United States, Health services administration--Decision making, Leadership.

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