Using Intuition in Fuzzy Front-End Decision-Making: A Conceptual Framework



The goal of decision-making during the execution of the fuzzy front end (FFE) is to develop a creative new product concept. Although intuitive decision-making has been found to increase new product creativity, the theoretical knowledge base as to why and under which conditions intuition use during the process of generating a creative outcome is beneficial, is rather limited. Therefore, this study develops a conceptual framework theorizing why and under which conditions using intuition in FFE execution decision-making may or may not be (as) beneficial for new product concept creativity. To develop this framework, the authors combine a creativity perspective of the FFE and a dual-processing perspective of intuition. Interviews with eight FFE practitioners are used to support and illustrate the framework development. The theorizing leads the authors to postulate that intuition use may be beneficial to making generation and evaluation decisions during FFE execution because of the capabilities of the unconscious mind from which intuition results. However, the framework acknowledges that, due to the shortcomings of the unconscious mind, intuition may not be as beneficial to FFE decision-making in some situations. The authors believe that this framework offers researchers a fertile area for further research and practitioners better insight into when intuition might be effective in FFE execution decision-making.