Intuitive wayfinding as an approach to research design

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The purpose of this phenomenological inquiry was to understand the way analytical thinkers use intuition and wayfinding under the conditions of uncertainty. The plan was to explore this phenomenon through interviewing software engineers and financial analysts. The methodological approach seemed straightforward: look to established design and methods for a qualitative phenomenological inquiry, and make use of the Handbook of Research Methods on Intuition (Sinclair, 2014). However, in the process of research indirection (Dörfler et al., 2018), and due to the global pandemic, things took a different turn. This paper describes the emergence of intuitive wayfinding (Bas and Sinclair, 2018) as a distinct research design resulting from the journey of research indirection. Intuitive wayfinding as a research design is rooted in researcher's own intuition (Dörfler and Eden, 2014), and incorporates intuition-based inquiry (Akinci and Sadler-Smith, 2020). This research design allows for the inquiry to continue morphing throughout the research process, with the right research questions surfacing only when the answers to them are almost attained. In our case, a model for the phenomena of intuiting arose during literature review; COVID-19 pandemic presented an opportunity for a short-term longitudinal study by exploring accounts of medics resorting to wayfinding.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Apr 2021
Event81st Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management - Online
Duration: 29 Jul 20214 Aug 2021


Conference81st Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
Abbreviated titleAoM 2021
Internet address


  • wayfinding
  • intuition
  • research methods

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