Understanding entrepreneurial decision-making by objectivizing subtle cues

Sharda S. Nandram*, Gaëtan Mourmont, Eva Norlyk Smith, Dennis P. Heaton, Puneet K. Bindlish

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We propose a theory for entrepreneurial decision-making based on classic grounded theory covering data of a total of 42 entrepreneurs. Objectivizing subtle cues, refers to “the process of discovering, following and making use of internal and external subtle cues (conscious emotions, thoughts, perceptions and information).” This paper presents a redefinition, re-contextualization and reconceptualization of entrepreneurial decision-making, intuition, and intuiting processes. It also examines subtle cues as expressions of the inner-world dimension of spirituality. It encompasses both rational and intuitive processes. By developing the concept of objectivizing subtle cues, we show that (expert) intuition is not the only type of intuition that entrepreneurs use, that cues can be triggered internally as well as externally, and that this type of intuition can be used even if the environment is unstable. Furthermore, objectivization of subtle cues is not necessarily part of quick decision-making, and entrepreneurs can be nonconscious and conscious about these cues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-423
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Management, Spirituality and Religion
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Intuition
  • entrepreneurial decision-making
  • intuiting
  • subtle cue
  • entrepreneur
  • inner-life


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