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A research agenda for intelligence studies in business

A research agenda for intelligence studies in business Journal of Intelligence Studies in Business Journal of Intelligence Studies in Business Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information: https://ojs.hh.se/index.php/JISIB/index A research agenda for intelligence studies in business Klaus Solberg Søilen Department of Engineering, Natural Sciences and Economics, Faculty of Marketing, Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden; [email protected] To cite this article: Søilen, K.S. (2016) A research agenda for intelligence studies in business. Journal of Intelligence Studies in Business. Vol 6, No 1. Pages 21-36. Article URL: https://ojs.hh.se/index.php/JISIB/article/view/140 PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE This article is Open Access, in compliance with Strategy 2 of the 2002 Budapest Open Access Initiative, which states: Scholars need the means to launch a new generation of journals committed to open access, and to help existing journals that elect to make the transition to open access. Because journal articles should be disseminated as widely as possible, these new journals will no longer invoke copyright to restrict access to and use of the material they publish. Instead they will use copyright and other tools to ensure permanent open access to all the articles they publish. Because price is a barrier to access, these new journals will not charge subscription or access fees, and will turn to other methods for covering their expenses. 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Journal of Intelligence Studies in Business Vol. 6, No. 1 (2016) pp. 21-36 Open Access: Freely available at: https://ojs.hh.se/ Klaus Solberg Søilen Department of Engineering, Natural Sciences and Economics, Faculty of Marketing, Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden; [email protected] Received 5 January 2016; accepted 19 March 2016 ABSTRACT This research paper defines the scope for a research agenda for competitive intelligence (CI), market intelligence (MI) and more generally for intelligence studies in business. Respondents in the survey defined the scope to include analysis, traditional phenomena or problems, new phenomena, trans- or cross disciplinary studies, methodological issue and industry specific studies. Respondents were also asked to come up with terms for a good definition of the study. We found that existing definitions of CI in use are overlapping with definitions of other more established fields of study, like decision sciences and marketing intelligence. Respondents agreed that it’s practical to define the study in terms of understanding the external environment. In the discussion a parallel is made to the notion of surrounding world analysis and Stevan Dedijer’s ideas about social intelligence. A broad discussion leads to a renewed interest for disciplines studied by the humanities as we show what has been lost in the development of the social sciences. Implications are shown and future studies suggested. KEYWORDS business intelligence, competitive intelligence, intelligence studies, market intelligence, research agenda 1. INTRODUCTION phenomenon from any perspective but their own. We have created a scientific landscape of 1.1 A brief historical perspective compartmentalization and overlaps which has Deshpande and Webster (1989, p.1) remind us now mainly become a disadvantage to further understanding. Instead of tackling the that “when Drucker (1954) first articulated the marketing concept, he noted that methodical challenge, focusing on the notion of marketing was not really a separate understanding as opposed to the promise of theory we instead end up feverishly hunting management function but rather the whole business as seen from the customer's point of for the next management buzzword which only confirms the symptoms. view.” In much the same way today the It wasn’t always that way. The competitive disciplines studying information and intelligence have chosen a particular point of advantage issue is an age old perspective going back in Europe to the foundations of the view of a particular department (marketing), of a particular technology or service (big data, first city states (Venetia, Firenze) and before that in Asia to the foundations of nation states business intelligence and data-as-a-Service, or and empires (the Mauryan Empire, the state DaaS) or from the question of competitive advantage (intelligence studies (IS), whether of Wu, the state of Qin), with contributions from men like Marco Polo, Machiavelli, it’s state or business) or strategy, which could Kautilya, Sun Zi and Han Fei Zi. The same be called the outside view. The problem is that there are many views or perspectives studying question is asked again during the industrial revolution by Adam Smith and in modern the same phenomenon, and to a large extent times by Michael Porter (Solberg Søilen, 2012, their respective adherents or researchers do not read each other’s work or refuse to see the p. 17). As a discipline intelligence studies starts as state intelligence with men like R.V. glow continues long after they have been Jones in Britain in 1939 and Sherman Kent in surpassed (for example, England in the 19th the USA, and as a function relevant for century and the US in the 20th), an business with Stevan Dedijer in Sweden in the observation which itself fits into an early 1970s (Solberg Søilen, 2012, p. 19). evolutionary approach. On the macro level the discipline may be At the end, what decides the value of these said to have a twin sister in the study of different perspectives is to what extent they geopolitics where we look at the correlation can show to be of relevance to practitioners. between history, geography and the notion of Academics must from time to time ask power, which survives after the Second World practitioners to what extent their work is War and pops up in the social sciences with being used and has positive effects for the Frankfurter School, as critical theory. As companies and for society at large. Drucker applied to the world of international business hardly wrote any articles for scientific we often talk of geoeconomics: both are journals, but he was always a favorite among theoretically anchored in evolutionary theory, practitioners, simply because his books were not as neoclassical economics in the study of relevant. Thus it is real relevance that social physics. The discipline coined geopolitik was science disciplines should strive for, not developed by the Swedish political scientist “academic impact,” or the amount of articles or Rudolf Kjellén (1864–1922), who was to what extent they are being cited by influenced by the German political geographer colleagues. The idea that basic research (as Friedrich Ratzel (1844–1904) who again was opposed to applied) is of great value in the influenced by scholars like the Prussian social sciences is still to be proven even though geographer Carl Ritter (1779–1859), it is true that the same method continues to do Alexander von Humboldt (the founder of wonders for the natural sciences. modern geography) and the German historian To know what to study researchers need to Leopold von Ranke (1795–1886) (Solberg agree on what problems are of importance. Søilen, 2012, p. 21). The natural way to do this is to ask Fast forwarding to today, the difference practitioners and academics alike what areas between information science in business, or problems they think deserves more business- and market research and attention based on unresolved problems they intelligence studies is mainly one of observe and are confronted with. perspective, scope and dates and less about Solberg Søilen (2014) did a survey of what content and scientific method. Intelligence content readers of the Journal of Intelligence studies in business sees the organization Studies in Business (JISIB) wanted to see. It much like an intelligence organization, an said that readers are looking for more case offspring of the study of state and military study material. The survey also found that intelligence, searching for significant pieces of there is an even balance between those who information that affect the business as a think there is too much and too little technical whole, not searching to see how selected content in the existing literature. Some experiences fit into oversimplified theoretical readers also want articles in languages other models. When Adam Smith wrote his famous than English. However, can these findings be book in 1776, this compartmentalization did used to draw general conclusion for the whole not matter as political sciences then was an field of intelligence studies in business? We integrated part of economics and business think not. Thus another more ambitious studies in what is called political economy. survey was planned to define a research Long before that, with Plato and Aristotle, it agenda for the discipline as such, and thus was all studied as philosophy, as opposed to identify the research gap. the natural sciences. The 1.2 An introduction to current compartmentalization of knowledge in the literature social sciences has since become an advancement to the body of knowledge about Wright and Calof (2006) study current CI man as well as a hindrance as the method and practices among different cultures. The same logic continues to dominate at our authors did an evaluation of the study of the universities, despite excellent scholarship in CI field two years later (Calof and Wright, the 1970s and 1980s that shows that this is an 2008). Solberg Søilen (2013) presented an intellectual impasse (see e.g. Hodgson, 1988). overview of articles on competitive It’s with theory as with great empires: their intelligence in JCIM and CIR, two earlier CI 23 journals. Teo and King (1996) did an examining communication of uncertainty assessment of the integration of business using verbal and numerical probabilities. planning with information systems, and Teo Andrew (1997) wants to see greater and Choo (2001) did an assessment of using intelligence sharing with foreign agencies, the internet for CI. None of these articles which was also what happened later. A similar tackled the question of defining a research development is occurring with DaaS today for agenda. private organizations where organizations are In more established business fields that starting to rent information instead of buying also attract more research, similar projects to it. evaluate the field and lay out research We do not have to agree with all agendas are more frequent. For example, suggestions presented in these research Deshpande and Webster (1989) defined a agendas as much will depend on the industry research agenda for organizational culture we are in and on when the suggestions were and marketing. Guest (1997) did the same for made (many are quickly outdated). To be human resource management (HRM). Closer representative, surveys on research agendas to our own field, Varun Grover (2001) defined try to gather data from a broad group of users a research agenda for knowledge management and researchers. Others base their (KM), Rumelt and Teece (1994) did the same assessment on what has been done previously for business strategy, Gibson et al. (2004) did in scientific journals, thus what seems to be this for business intelligence (BI) and Al- missing, or what authors themselves say are Mashari (2002) defined an agenda for missing. We shall attempt to do both here in enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. this paper. Intelligence studies can be divided into a 1.3 Research on intelligence courses private and a public side, or one related to offered business and the other to the affairs of the state. Research agendas in military and state There is a positive correlation between the intelligence have a longer history and have number of researchers in an area, the number come further as a discipline. Landon-Murray of courses and the amount of research (2013) presents a literature inventory and produced, even though the causal relationship research agenda for intelligence studies. is less evident. Marrin (2005) argue, much like Calof and Again we will have to refer to research done Wright (2008), that in CI intelligence should for intelligence studies. According to Campbell continue to be done within the parameters of (2011): other disciplines. Landon-Murray (2013) argues that “Previously, students likely to “Between 1985 and 1999, the number of pursue careers in the intelligence field non-government higher education courses completed liberal arts degrees—commonly on intelligence increased from 54 to political science and history at the between 200 and 300” (p. 308), undergraduate level and international relations at the graduate level” (p. 745) and “By 2005 the number of unclassified that this corresponds to demand by courses offered within the military practitioners: “Intelligence organizations like intelligence community had grown to 1 417, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) do not with National Security Agency (NSA) want graduates who have been educated to be courses making up 46 percent of this ‘intelligence specialists’” (p. 748). Dorondo number” (p. 309) and (1960) argues that intelligence courses should teach broad concepts from a variety of “The number of non-government courses in academic disciplines (like economics, political intelligence has now grown to over 840, science and sociology) and issues, with less with more than 100 civilian institutions focus on intelligence specializations. Meredith providing some form of intelligence et al. (2012) argue for greater engagement education” (p. 309). between academia, BI vendors and BI customers, with an outline of a research There are no PhD programs in intelligence agenda. Dhami et al. (2015) present a list of studies, except for at the American Military problems that deserve more attention. On the University, but it is possible to defend a thesis top they place methods for assessing and in intelligence related topics both within improving forecasting accuracy and business studies and computer sciences in 24 many countries. See for example Solberg Søilen (2004). Based on these questions three research In comparison, courses in CI and questions were put in the survey: intelligence studies in business are probably far fewer even though no similar survey has 1. In what areas would you like to see been published. An unpublished survey from more research done within 2004 in Sweden shows that there were 23 competitive intelligence and courses in omvärldsanalys (which translates intelligence studies? to “surrounding world analysis”) at Swedish 2. What definition of competitive universities and colleges. However, most intelligence and/or intelligence courses today are offered by business studies do you prefer? (How do you consultants, like the Strategic and define it?) Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) 3. What do you think about this and the Institute for Competitive Intelligence definition: (ICI). “Intelligence studies deals with all the 1.4 Research questions things which should be known in advance This article is a continuation of the article “A of initiating a course of action.” place for intelligence studies as a scientific discipline” (Solberg Søilen, 2015), where focus The definition was chosen to extract more is on what the journal’s readers want to see information from respondents. The definition articles about. The article also shows what from the Clark Task Force of the Hoover many CI practitioners think makes CI unique. Commission was chosen as it is well The examples show that the content they list established, is wider than CI and is the result is not exclusive to CI. However, the article also of a cooperative academic effort. Most other suggests that there are problem areas within definitions of CI presented are suggested by intelligence studies in business that are not individual academics or professionals. covered by other studies and suggest that 2. METHOD these be further investigated to build a research agenda for intelligence studies in Data was gathered over LinkedIn and the business. The article suggests that the lack of JISIB mailing list. On LinkedIn we posted the scientific development in the field is related to how we chose to define it. survey (surveymonkey.com) at the SCIP members group with a population of ca. 22 000 A working hypothesis is that CI is defined differently by different practitioners and that registered users. The journal JISIB has ca. 800 registered users. The time period allowed this is a part reason for the confusion. Thus in for responses was three weeks. In total, 270 the survey we asked people to define CI and/or intelligence studies and react to an complete responses were gathered. Out of these respondents five deep interviews of 30 established definition. In the analysis a number of dimensions are identified in the minutes each were carried out using Skype. These respondents were chosen randomly form of working hypotheses where CI may be from different industries to avoid industry- said to bridge a gap in relation to other fields of study related to method, perspective, specific interests. The following industries were represented: software, aeronautics, technology, function and actor. management consulting, pharmaceuticals and In this article we investigate the working hypotheses and identify a specific research academia. agenda by way of a survey. Two research questions were formulated: 3. DATA To include data of all responses directly in this 1. What research do practitioners paper was not possible due to limited space. think CI/IS should focus on? (In Instead we publish every 10th answer, shown what areas would you like to see in Table 1. The analysis and statistics are more research?) done for the whole set. Some shortening of the 2. What definition of CI/IS do text as well as language and grammar editing practitioners think is better and has been done for the original answers. why? (respondents get to react to an established definition) 25 Table 1 A sample of data gathered from the survey. R indicates the response number, made up of every tenth answer from the survey. Q1 asks: In what areas would you like to see more research done within competitive intelligence and intelligence studies? Q2 asks: What definition of competitive intelligence and/or intelligence studies do you prefer? (How do you define it?) and Q3 asks: What do you think about this definition: “Intelligence studies deals with all the things which should be known in advance of initiating a course of action.” R Q1 Q2 Q3 Motivations of employees None Sometimes we do not take actions, it is more to do with decisions 20 Foresight The gathering, analysis and spread of It is about more than what is information and knowledge created to known, it is about understanding support decisions and anticipation and anticipation Risk management All activities undertaken to secure and All things cannot be known. There maintain responsiveness to client needs are many variables, unseen and unforeseen and observation biases that come into play. Internet of things None None Strategic conversation (cf. Kees Actionable knowledge I miss the bit that you have to act van der Heijden) all the time (where inaction is a type of action) Cases with Quintuple Helix ∗ Competitive intelligence must interact I don’t agree with this definition with three essential elements: (1) The competitive environment that issues weak signals, (2) The mass of information (big data) that includes weak signals and noise, 3) The decision maker that processes and translates the information Veracity of sources ◊ The study of decision-making based on an Too broad understanding of the external competitive environment Competitive intelligence CI is the process of monitoring the It is a general definition competitive environment Intelligence analysis toolsets used Insights for strategic and tactical decision- The definition broadly covers the in military / government making meaning Industry strategy, energy and Competitive intelligence concepts for Could cover the concepts earth resources strategy Science of education The power of creating an opportunity Agree Decision making process and Decision support tool Too broad and diverse cognitive bias International research, in The SCIP definition works No, the decision may be to take no "developing" markets. The action. That is a decision - not a application of marketing analysis course of action. techniques Consumer products, case studies, None Overly wordy stories about success and failure What is the value added of CI assembles several practices, theories, The definition is related to Early intelligence in business or models, techniques etc. Maybe an analogy Warning. I think this may a economics? can be in the wine sector, when talking distinction from others disciplines. about "assemblage" "Anticipation" is a key aspect and it needs to be taken into account Broader, more external perspective CI is knowledge and foreknowledge about This definition is similar to mine the entire business environment that results in a decision/action In the game area Intelligence studies deals with all signals The definition is good, but about things which should be known in restrictive advance before the organization initiates a course of action, which should alert the organization about an environmental change with a potential impact Network/Platform strategy, The creation of decision advantage I don't think the definition is applications of activity-based through external observation and sense- appropriate anymore. It is the intelligence and other making product of a legacy of "discovery/data intelligence" organizational structures, and methods in CI organizational intelligence targets & design/agility and CI. CI methodologies – which have shown approaches for Treverton's to be ill-suited for 21st century "mysteries" ∞ rather than existing problems. Furthermore, the approaches based on "puzzles" definition presupposes the intel complexity and CI/strategy. More customer has the situational like Dr Rahul Basole is doing with awareness and understanding to know when, if, and where they need computational enterprise analyticsχ to make decisions – they frequently don't. 26 Influence and soft power To act as a catalyst to concentrate all the It seems to be speaking of the same national and regional industries, point I made. universities and institutions to promote the development and defend the global interest of the nation and region Measuring the value of CI, actual SCIP definition is fine. Intelligence to Not good enough. Focus on impact of CI as part of the decision enhance business decision-making and understanding the external making process organizational performance to create a environment as a factor in the competitive advantage. decision making process. Information access and reuse of Intelligence assessment Sounds good data. Knowledge about your customers, competitors, etc. CI in the relationship with CI helps the managers to understand the It is too general organizational ambidexterity complexity of the competitive environment to make the right decisions. Applying data science to CI is an ethical and legal way of gathering It is right competitive intelligence actionable information Data-driven competitive I see CI as an information management Too broad intelligence discipline focused on supporting managerial decisions based on data about the market and the competitors. Intelligence studies is about how to design these information management processes. More industry specific A tool that helps the anticipation of Yes, this is a good definition actions to mitigate failures & crises Health and security A process of research, development and Yes I do agree innovation for better intelligence DaaS A broad definition is better Agree ∗ The Triple Helix innovation model focuses on university-industry-government relations. The Quadruple Helix embeds the Triple Helix by adding the ‘media-based and culture-based public’ and ‘civil society’ as a fourth helix. ◊ Veracity is an open source distributed version control system primarily written by SourceGear LLC which integrates not only the artifacts placed under version control in the repository, but also associated data for features such as the integrated bug tracking system and agile “build management” tool. ∞ Gregory F Treveton is the author of Intelligence for an Age of Terror (2009). In the book Treveton explains: “In contrast to puzzles, no evidence can definitely solve mysteries because, typically, they are about people, not things” (p. 18). He suggests that we can normally “know” something based on recent history and perhaps some theory, which factors are important to monitor. This could be applicable, for example, in the case of Russia’s inflation rate or whether Israel might strike Iran. For mysteries the product is the best forecast. Treveton also writes about a change from “need to know” to “need to share”. χ Rahul Basole is an Associate Professor and Director at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research fuses system science and visualization to study technology strategy, innovation management, and transformation of complex enterprise systems. 4. ANALYSIS seem to have a poor understanding of what a definition is – and what is required of a The following can be said from the 270 definition - answering instead with what they responses and the five deep interviews: see CI as being, how they work with CI or how answers vary significantly. Respondents may they would like it to be. However, some careful have misunderstood the questions, maybe due conclusions can be made for each question. to reading and answering too fast, which may 4.1 Q1: In what areas would you like to be a problem with e-surveys and emails in see more research done within general today. For example, respondents competitive intelligence and sometimes did not write definitions where this intelligence studies? is asked for and are more interested in promoting their own ideas about CI in general. Data about what IS researchers should focus This information tells us instead how on can be divided into the following groups: respondents think about CI, which can be useful, but is less useful for answering the 1. analyses, such as foresight, Cases with specific research questions. It may also be that Quintuple Helix, Treverton's respondents think very differently about what "mysteries," CI is. 2. 2. traditional phenomena or problems, There was no difference in regards to these like HRM, risk management, soft issues between those who answered on power, measuring the value of CI, LinkedIn and those who answered by return information access, email. The discrepancy was just as large 3. new phenomena, such as the internet between the two sources. A large part of of things, aaS solutions, respondents who give definition suggestions 27 4. trans- or cross-disciplinary studies, computer science, 1505 in psychology, 1477 in such as intelligence analysis toolsets health professions, 1476 in nursing, 945 in used in military / government, business, 931 in dentistry, 852 in economics industry strategy, energy and earth and 797 in mathematics. resources (geoeconomics) and Applying The decision-making sciences have their Data Science to Competitive own journals like the journal Decision Sciences Intelligence, and societies like the Decision Sciences 5. methodological issues such as Institute. Not only practitioners but even most identifying and avoiding cognitive bias academics pay little attention to these or publishing more cases, overlaps. Thus SCIP focuses on decision- 6. industry specifics or focusing more on making in their definitions and material, like certain industries, such as consumer when the organization says it “focuses on products, and health and security. decision-making, to create competitive advantage”. CI defined on Wikipedia also In summary, the most requested areas emphasizes decision-making. requested are: analyses, traditional The second most popular answer, that the phenomena or problems and trans- or cross- study is about the understanding of the disciplinary studies. external environment, is a unique definition as that notion is not covered by other 4.2 Q2: What definition of competitive established scientific disciplines as far as I intelligence and/or intelligence studies have been able to see. No other established do you prefer? (How do you define it?) research communities are looking at this phenomenon today it seems. What elements are emphasized in the The third most popular answer, that it’s definition of CI and IS? The most recurring about actionable knowledge/information, elements are about the individual steps in the talks about an end product, or the end result intelligence cycle, responsiveness to client of the intelligence process. As such, it is needs, actionable knowledge, signals from the considered too narrow to build the basis for a competitive environment, relationships to big scientific study. As a curiosity, only a few of data, decision makers, strategy, seeing the 270 respondents use the term preferred by opportunities (“blue oceans”), knowledge and Google in their new BI service, “actionable decision making with the entire business insights.” environment in mind. The most recurring element in the answers 4.3 Q3: What do you think about this is that it’s about supporting managerial definition: decision and decision-making. This occurs in 33% of the answers. The second most “Intelligence studies deals with all the important element is that it’s based on an things which should be known in understanding of the external environment advance of initiating a course of present in 15% of answers. Third is that it’s action.” about actionable knowledge/information was included in 11% of answers. Other answers For the third question we wanted to extract suggest that it’s about following the CI cycle, information from respondents by asking them following customer needs, working in a to respond to an established definition. In questions and answer format, a combination of total, 46% of respondents thought the detecting weak signals, applying big data and definition by the Hoover commission can be translating it to decision makers, that it’s used for intelligence studies and CI. A further linked to strategy or that it’s about putting it 17% of respondents have objections toward the all together or acting as a catalyst. notion of “should be known” in the definition, The problem with the answers from the as they argue that CI is largely about what first question is that it’s an area already you cannot know in advance. Another 17% covered by other established fields of study. think that the definition is too broad and There are several journals on decision- 12.5% of respondents have objections to the making, most of which are related to medicine use of the term ‘action,’ which they see as and health. In SCOPUS there are 4291 significantly different from the term ‘decision,’ articles, books and papers about decision- which they prefer. making in medicine and several journals on the topic, 2183 in decision sciences, 1897 in 28 required for forming policy and 5. DISCUSSION military plans at the national and international level and to qualities 5.1 The problem of overlapping that equip leaders to be effective definitions strategists.” The definitions of CI, marketing intelligence and market intelligence are too close and Strategic intelligence follows the elements of overlapping to be separate disciplines. A the intelligence cycle and is directed towards comparison of definitions on Wikipedia strategy. In the definition from Wikipedia it is illustrates this (italics added by author): used for state and military intelligence. However, the term is frequently used in A. “Competitive intelligence is the action business contexts, as a quick search in any of of defining, gathering, analyzing, and the scientific databases will show. distributing intelligence about 5.2 The relationship between fields of products, customers, competitors, and study and scientific journals any aspect of the environment needed to support executives and managers Any scientific field of study must be related to making strategic decisions for an one or more scientific journals. If we start from organization.” the top, or from a broad perspective, all B. “Marketing intelligence (MI) is the journal names with the term ‘intelligence’ in everyday information relevant to a the most prestigious scientific database, Web company’s markets, gathered and of Science, are related to the study of analyzed specifically for the purpose of psychology. In the database Scopus there are accurate and confident decision- others. When we go down to the level of making in determining market articles 73,381 in Scopus are on ‘intelligence.’ opportunity, market penetration Of these, 66,448 are in computer science and strategy, and market development 38,597 are in mathematics. Further down the metrics. Marketing intelligence is list comes business with 1450 articles and necessary when entering a foreign there are 470 in decision sciences alone. Of market.” these, most articles are published in C. “Market intelligence is the information Marketing Intelligence and Planning relevant to a company’s markets, (Emerald) (756), International Journal of gathered and analyzed specifically for Technology Intelligence and Planning the purpose of accurate and (Inderscience) (224), International Journal of confident decision-making in Business Intelligence and Data Mining determining strategy in areas such (Inderscience) (200) and the Journal of as market opportunity, market Intelligence Studies in Business (Halmstad University) (46). penetration strategy, and market Past and present journals that are outside development.” of the two major databases or non peer- Despite this, CI and marketing intelligence reviewed include the journal Business have developed into two separate professional Intelligence (from 07/01/2003, 6 months), and academic communities with their own Competitive Intelligence Review (From 1998 groups of scholars, journal and conferences. to 2001 in Wiley-Blackwell Journals, Frontfile Marketing intelligence has developed within Content), International Journal of Intelligence the study of marketing, CI largely on the and Counterintelligence, and GfK Marketing outside. Market intelligence has developed as Intelligence Review. The Journal of a hybrid and a parallel to CI within Competitive Intelligence and Management marketing. For comparison we could also add (JCIM) cannot be accessed through university strategic intelligence: databases at present (property of SCIP). The number of specific articles published D. “Strategic intelligence (STRATINT) about CI, marketing intelligence, market pertains both to the collection, processing, analysis, and intelligence and strategic intelligence in each dissemination of intelligence that is of these journals are listed in Table 2. 29 Table 2 Studies and corresponding scientific journals. The keywords list the fields of study by relevant terms. The first column lists first names of journals in the fields. The figures represent number of articles. At the end there is a summary of articles in each field and a division of classification it is listed as a paper in business, decision science or social sciences. Rank indicates the summation of articles. Key words Journal Name Competitive Market Marketing Strategic Sum Rank Intelligence Intelligence intelligence intelligence Decision Support 50 37 16 21 124 1 Systems Journal of 46 8 6 19 79 3 Intelligence Studies in Business International 39 13 3 18 73 4 Journal of Technology Management Information and 23 4 7 16 50 6 Management Strategic 22 4 5 13 44 8 Management Journal Long Range 20 10 5 25 60 5 Planning Marketing 10 34 42 12 98 2 Intelligence and Planning Management 14 14 9 12 49 7 Science Industrial 8 13 13 6 40 9 Marketing Management Journal of 3 10 7 4 24 10 Business Research Eureopan 0 6 12 0 18 12 Journal of Marketing Journal of 0 0 0 21 21 11 Strategic Studies SCOPUS (total 9185 7473 2890 5633 results) Business 1676 1507 776 1025 Decision Sciences 876 517 213 507 Social Sciences 711 592 206 808 Decision Support Systems has the most Decision Support Systems. Long Range articles published in CI, but then it has been Planning has the most articles in strategic listed in Web of Science since 1991. JISIB is intelligence (business context) and has been number two, but published its first issue in listed in WoS since 1986. Considering that 2011. Marketing Intelligence and Planning is JISIB, with only four years of publications, is not listed in WoS, but has been in Scopus since already the third most published journal in 1983. Thus based on the age and name of the these fields we can conclude that the other journal it is no surprise that it is leading in journals, with far more issues and articles per articles on marketing intelligence and is year, publish a modest number of articles on number two in market intelligence, after the subjects of CI, market intelligence, 30 marketing intelligence and strategic F. “Intelligence deals with all the things intelligence. which should be known in advance of Intelligence studies in business cannot initiating a course of action.” define itself as yet another version of the same, but must be defined as different from In summary, definition E seems to be the best other disciplines. In the survey we saw that option when compared to the data gathered in respondents favored a focus on the external the survey and from the deep interviews. environment in the definition and that this 5.3 Setting a research agenda: the term is not occupied by other studies or broader perspective scientific journals. This is also the understanding of a much cited article by Chen The suggestions by the respondents in the et al. (2002): “Competitive Intelligence (CI) survey and the deep interviews gave us a list aims to monitor a firm's external environment for a research agenda. In this paper, however, for information relevant to its decision- there must also be room for a broader making process” p. 1. A suggestion based on discussion where less frequent answers are the data collected in our survey could be that: discussed. The question of a research agenda is E. Intelligence studies in business is ultimately the question of how and where we about how companies study their as employees in companies may learn about external environment and how that the surrounding world that is relevant for the contributes to their competitive competitive advantage of the organization. advantage. Gilad (1989) suggests that the irrelevance of much environmental scanning can be solved In an earlier article Gbosbal and Kim (1986) by looking beyond obvious sources (“be speak about “environmental intelligence” in entrepreneurial”), by harvesting the power of the same way. Gilad (1989) makes the same the entire company (“be economic”) and by distinction between CI, as scanning focusing on what specific users say they need competitors and markets as opposed to (“be essential”) (Idem). environmental scanning, which is much Setting a research agenda is also a question broader, but also where it is more difficult to of who can do the job. Does it have to be CI add value. experts? Are we looking at some sort of super When we compare the literature, librarian for the web 2.0 age? CI has for a long marketing intelligence is more about the time been of interest to the library sciences, micro perspective, what is going on in the even though librarians have their own company and the market. Only to a lesser journals and professional societies. Can’t we degree does it study the macro factors that give the whole job to a computer geek? After influence that market (macro-economic, all business intelligence, big data and the political, judicial, environmental, scientific, internet of things are mainly studied by technological, social, infrastructural factors). engineering types. Or, to take a diagonally Intelligence studies, on the other hand, is just opposite view, maybe the whole thing can be as much about the macro perspective, the given to a good social science researcher or a factors that the company cannot influence but wise man (as in the humanities). After all, for have a decisive effect on its operations. Simply each question we ask about the world there is put, it’s about what goes on in the world and a set of answers and the scientific methods are how that affects the company’s competitive the same, shared by all of the social sciences advantage. and some of the humanities. The ways we It is also about the company perspective, answer these questions gives birth not only to not about the perspective of the state, which different research agendas but also decides again separates it from [state or military] the scientific home of the study. intelligence studies. For now, let’s simply acknowledge that Respondents found the definition of The there will be different approaches and that Clark Task Force of the Hoover Commission some academic groups like BI are more from 1953-55 to be good, but too broad. For the successful scientifically than others. That is sake of order it’s reaped here: largely the result of being more relevant. As for the question of how and where we may learn the most about keeping an organization competitive, there are numerous 31 possible answers, of which many have been when he visited the US to learn about mass suggested in terms of the topics in this survey. production at the Ford factory and when If we look to existing theory, much of the Robert Bosch went to work with Thomas literature focus on different flows of Edison in New York. In Germany it was and information into organizations, starting with to some extent still is the tradition that young the article by Gbosbal and Kim (1986) focusing apprentices organized in student unions on trade publications, suppliers, bankers, (Burschenschaft) traveled (Wanderjahre) for consultants and customers. Another approach some years before they set up their own shop, that continues to attract little or no attention much like in Goethe’s novel “Wilhelm in the scientific literature is travelling and Meisters Wanderjahre” (See also Steer, reading, maybe in part because they are 2008). In much the same way, state though to belong to the humanities, the study intelligence organizations have thousands of of history, geography and literature. people stationed in other countries and other departments, such as the foreign department, 5.3.1 Travelling as a way to learn and make sure their employees travel the about the external environment world on a regular basis if for nothing else A good intelligence worker or analyst is a than to keep up with current affairs. If this is person who has travelled and seen a lot, is a relevant direction in reality then it should be well-read and is part of an influential network so in theory too. Still there is little research in of people, according to the formula: reading, this direction. watching and listening. We must read broadly The problem is to a large extent that the and in order to watch and listen we need to neoclassical paradigm, which still dominates travel. To identify the macro factors in the studies in business and economics, despite the larger, international environment, we need to fact that its usefulness has been refuted know what is going on in the world because decades ago (see, for example, Hodgson, 1988). things in the world affect us. This is the Neoclassic scholars consistently avoid topics perspective of intelligence as surrounding covered by the humanities, which they see as world analysis, as defined by Stevan Dedijer, less scientific just because they are less rigid but also suggested by respondents in the simply because they belong to another domain survey. As such, it is very different from what of knowledge about human life. students learn at university in the social In other words, the problem is to a large sciences. extent the way we define what is scientific for The intelligence expert should be able to the study of man. Many will argue that solve the following problem given by a decision intelligence as “wandering around the world” maker: “I need to make this decision, now tell is more fitted as a study for the humanities. In me what I need to know to do it correctly.” comparison, Asian societies have been more How do we study and train employees for this inclined to see competitive questions from a task? There are basically two questions; what broader and more practical perspective (Japan is it that I need to know and how do I become in 1960s and 1970s, China today) while good at it? The point made here is that the Western societies, since the 1970s, have come answer to these questions should also decide to see travelling primarily as entertainment the research direction of the discipline. It is and personal enrichment (an end in itself). suggested here that we become good at CI also My students have hardly heard about the by travelling and seeing the world. Or, twin cities of Chongqing and Chengdu as one recalling the story of Drucker in the of the great industrial hearts of the world, and introduction, we are often better off reading they are ignorant about Wenzhou, where books, instead of reading scientific articles, around 90% of global eyewear is made, which tend to give a fragmented and overly Guangzhou, where around 70% of bags and theoretical (dogmatic) view on reality. suitcases for European and US mass markets The notion of “learning by travelling” has are made, or any of the other 50 or so Chinese been a method followed ever since Marco Polo niche cities. Instead they know (much like went on his big journey and wrote a book consumers) about the brands themselves – not about it, and Peter the Great went to the how they are made, or where or who the Netherlands to learn how to build ships. It was owners are. The business schools where they the tradition of the English aristocracy with go continue to spread a curriculum void of the “Grand Tour” and it has been the method historical parallels, detached from geography, of big industrialists, like Ferdinand Porsche with no real interest in questions of 32 ownership, but filled with oversimplified data that they can always find something that business models, common sense truisms and looks suspicious but isn’t. Amazon.com has gossip about fast fortunes made (success plenty of data about what I read but cannot stories). tell me what book I want to read next. The development of the social sciences after Our open office landscapes and working WWII lead to an extreme form of environments are not made for reading. When compartmentalization (specialization not we come home we have other (family) being the major problem), of which obligations. Trying to catch up with the world intelligence studies has also been a victim to for 5-15 minutes before falling asleep by the point that it almost annihilated itself as a stacking books on the bedside table is not a study with CI. This can also be explained by solution. The best opportunity many of us the study’s false perception of itself, as the have for reading is to do this while travelling: topic was driven forward by practitioners, on planes, in cars (audio), in airports and on more as a consultancy fashion and a fad then trains. Others try to catch up during summer a scientific study. From a consultancy vacation, but it is mostly a romantic image. perspective one might say there is nothing Disruptions are also the nature of vacations. wrong with this. As one term gets used up Thus instead of reading we have skimming. (does not sell) another is introduced, much like Instead of knowing we have know-about. when CI consultants exchanged CI with Instead of building our own opinion we follow market intelligence and today market those of others who somehow seem to us to intelligence with foresight, much without know more. We follow management fads like thinking about the difference in meanings. “blue oceans,” co-creation, innovation or CSR, From a science perspective, however, this is simply because it seems a good idea at the troublesome. time and critical thinking somehow takes too long. Of course, most people are too busy being 5.3.2 Reading as a way to learn about entertained to read anything at all. All of this the external environment is no critical of any individual or mankind, simply a reminder of our cognitive limits. Maybe reading is just another way of travelling. Anyway, surfing the internet is not There are basically two ways to learn, through our own personal experience and the same thing. It’s an illusion to think that we have become smarter because of the those of others. What we read, watch or listen increased amount of data available on the to depends on what we want to know, for example what industry we are studying, but internet. Most new data added each day are YouTube videos (all those funny cats and we can still say something in general about types of sources, their relevance to the dogs), our comments on Facebook and Twitter, information which is not even accurate or questions we face and the degree of trust we interesting, but appeals to our narcissistic and can place in their answers. Table 3 summarizes these sources of information and voyeuristic nature. I will keep this discussion for an upcoming article, dealing with DaaS how we interpret them. The problem with types of sources is often and other aaS. a tradeoff between trust and relevance. It’s Reading is mostly a missed opportunity. Much valuable information and knowledge is easy and quick to see what is relevant, but it takes time to write it and to make it only available in books (including e-books) but trustworthy. By the time the product (book) is the knowledge they contain demands time for reading and reflection. We also need to read ready many will have forgotten and moved on to the next big thing. Instead we need to learn continuously because we forget continuously. Intelligence work is just as much about to wait for the book. Popular sources know what we want to know but cannot deliver the finding time to become knowledgeable. answers. Their headlines become unfulfilled Instead our days are filled with disruptions and multitasking, which basically means promises. Scientific sources are often too narrow to be relevant, focusing on some doing many things poorly. Surfing and sifting narrow correlation. through information and knowing where it is is not the same as knowing, much less Still, we can give some general advice for reading to break with some of our worst remembering. For example the NSA knows it has data about future crimes and terrorist biases: try to read in different languages (to get different perspectives), rotate your attacks, but it cannot extract it, so it does not sources, for example every year (for example, matter. On the other hand, they have so much 33 Table 3 Media sources and trust. Source type Example Type Trust Relevance Scientific books Springer-Verlag Reading Very high Medium Popular books Bantam publishers Reading High High Scientific articles Journal of Marketing Reading Very high Medium Popular articles (including The Economist Reading High Medium newspapers articles) Reports, white papers EIU: country reports Reading High High Social media messages Twitter Reading/watching Low Low Video and TV programs YouTube or CNN Watching Low Low Radio programs BBC World News Listening Medium Medium Podcasts Local radio stations Listening Low Low exchange the Economist with der Spiegel). banking, beauty and cosmetics, biotechnology, Break your own search patterns, letting chemical , communications, computer, chance chose for you. For example buy books construction, consulting, consumer products, at bookshops where you are more likely to find education, electronics, employment, energy, books you did not know of before. entertainment and recreation, fashion, Moreover, good intelligence is about the financial services, food and beverage, health, network of people you have access to. Informed information, information technology, and resourceful people tend to find each other insurance, journalism and news, legal at the best at places like the World Economic services, manufacturing, media and Forum. LinkedIn is a pseudo version of a good broadcasting, medical devices and supplies, network, more suited for marketing purposes. motion pictures and video, music, Being informed is a question of who we chose pharmaceutical, public administration, public to listen to, but also who we have access to. relations, publishing, real estate, retail, Besides books, the most important source for service, sports, technology, intelligence in business is industry reports telecommunications, tourism and and country reports, more so than even transportation. scientific articles. Out of fifty-two industries, twenty-four can be classified as production (46%). They 5.3.3 Industry and country reports as represent 41.8% of the papers available on the a way to learn about the external HBS site. This is of importance for the environment competitive advantage of nations, which builds largely on our ability to export, a lesson The longer we have been in a business, the often forgotten (Solberg Søilen, 2012b). more we know about it (even though there is Some industries are underrepresented in always a risk that we become blind to the number of studies: these include the solutions because we get stuck in habits). insurance industry, travel, accommodation Industry experts frequently claim they require (hotels), tourism and medical devices. Some no help from CI experts as they do not know divisions are also misleading, like the the business. This is a dilemma; the CI expert separation between IT (1) and technology comes with a toolbox but frequently doesn’t (126). The aerospace industry has few studies, know the material he is set to work with. It’s but it’s also an industry with few actors. Some impossible to be an expert on all industries, areas may be said to be overrepresented in simply because there are so many and they are terms of the number of reports or information so different. At the same time, their numbers available about them: these include are finite and there is some consensus about publishing (48), health (106) and financial their classification. services (180). The amount of papers says The Harvard Business School (HBS) site nothing about the quality of information. lists around 50 different industries on its For the “subjects” listed by EIU, I have website, the Economist Intelligence Unit divided them into industries, analyses, studies (EIU) site lists about 100 “subjects” (Table 4). and topics in Table 4. The reason for this mix Together they give us an idea about the scope of categories by EIU has to do with the kind of of what we need to know for the competitive knowledge customers ask for and the advantage of companies. The HBS list consists specialties of EIU employees. of: accommodation, accounting, advertising, Topics are open to larger changes over time, aerospace, agriculture and agribusiness, air industries less so. As indicated by respondents transportation, apparel and accessories, auto, 34 Table 4 EIU subjects. No. Industry Analysis Discipline/Study Topic 1 Automotive Benchmarking Economics Business environment 2 Banking Company analysis Innovation Capital flows 3 Education Competitiveness International Productivity relations Sovereign credit/risk 4 Energy Corporate strategy SMEs and Cities entrepreneurship 5 Financial services Country data Geopolitics Mercosur 6 Food security Country risk Econometrics Commercial research and advisory 7 Healthcare Credit risk Labour Consumer goods 8 Investment Demographics Macroeconomics Cost of living 9 Islamic finance Risk Monetary policy Livability 10 Cross border finance Forecasting and Migration Currency and investment policy analysis 11 Debt markets Predictive modelling China Data services Regulatory impact 12 Oil Global trends Climate change Infrastructure 13 Retail Indices Democracy Global economy 14 Market entry Emerging markets Development 15 Operational risk EU integration Gender 16 Foreign direct Economy investment Politics 17 Public policy Foreign policy 18 Research Employment Environment 19 Scenario analysis Evidence-based solutions 20 Security in this survey there is a demand for research earth resources (geoeconomics), applying data papers in specific industries. Our lists show science to competitive intelligence, the scope for such studies. We could also have methodological issues such as identifying and listed country reports, which besides industry avoiding cognitive bias or publishing more reports are the major focus of EIU, but these cases and industry specifics, or focusing more are obvious for everyone with an elementary on certain industries, like consumer products, course on geography. and health and security. Respondents think that CI should be defined around supporting managerial 6. CONCLUSIONS AND decisions and decision-making but in this IMPLICATIONS article we show that this is associated with certain methodological problems, as the area In this paper we identify a research agenda for identified is already covered by other scientific CI and intelligence studies in business. groups and journals. The result is a According to respondents, practitioners and considerable overlap. Respondents’ second academics should focus on analyses, such as suggestion is that the definition should be foresight, cases with Quintuple Helix, around the understanding of the external Treverton's "mysteries", traditional environment. This is a better definition from phenomena or problems, such as HRM, risk the point of view of defining a unique research management, soft power, measuring the value agenda. It also corresponds with the of CI, information access, new phenomena, like understanding of intelligence as surrounding the internet of things, aaS solutions, trans- or world analysis and the broader definition of cross-disciplinary studies, such as intelligence social intelligence as defined by Stevan analysis toolsets used in military or Dedijer. government, industry strategy, energy and 35 In the discussion we try to show how the ecosystem. Journal of Information development towards compartmentalization Technology, 24(2): 144-159. in the social sciences has been to a Brynjolfsson, E. (2002). Understanding the disadvantage to the development of CI and digital economy: data, tools, and research. intelligence studies in business as disciplines. MIT press. We show how notions like reading and Calof, J. L., & Wright, S. (2008). Competitive travelling have always been the way intelligence: A practitioner, academic and companies have learned about the inter-disciplinary perspective. European surrounding world and suggest reasons for Journal of marketing,42(7/8): 717-730. why this lesson has been forgotten. Campbell, Stephen H. (2011). A Survey of the The implication of this research helps to U.S. Market for Intelligence Education. form some consensus around what kind of International journal of intelligence and problems are interesting for researchers to counterintelligence, 24(2): 307-337. take on for intelligence studies in business. Chen, H, Chau, M., Zeng, D. (2002). CI spider: There are suggestions in the discussion of this a tool for competitive intelligence on the paper that indicate that it would be of interest web. Decision Support Systems, 34(1): 1-17. to see a compilation of courses offered in CI Dhami, M. K., Mandel, D. R., Mellers, B. A., & and its equivalents around the world. It would Tetlock, P. E. (2015). Improving also be interesting to see how the tradition of intelligence analysis with decision traveling-as-learning continues in companies science. Perspectives on Psychological today. Furthermore, it is of interest to better Science: A Journal of the Association for understand how companies succeed with Psychological Science, 10(6): 753-757. intelligence within specific industries or Deshpande, R., & Webster Jr, F. E. (1989). subject areas. Organizational culture and marketing: The future of intelligence studies in defining the research agenda. The Journal business continues to lie primarily with its of Marketing, 3-15. symbiosis with new technology. A generation Dorondo, Peter J. (1960). For College Courses ago it was the development of software, in Intelligence. Studies in Intelligence, 4(3): business intelligence, but it is now with Cloud 15–19. solutions, DaaS and other members of the aaS Gibson, M., Arnott, D., Jagielska, I., & family. Managerial aspects cannot be Melbourne, A. (2004). Evaluating the developed independently. Zhiqiang et al. intangible benefits of business intelligence: (2012) show how CI can be integrated in BI, Review & research agenda. In Proceedings but more and broader research in this of the 2004 IFIP International Conference direction is required. on Decision Support Systems (DSS2004): BI may represent tremendous business Decision Support in an Uncertain and opportunities in dollar terms, but these Complex World (295-305). Prato, Italy. systems and software are by themselves Gilad, Benjamin (1989). The role of organized nothing but empty shells. They do not become competitive intelligence in corporate valuable before we fill them with good strategy. Columbia Journal of World intelligence. Intelligence systems are Business, 24(4): 29-35 primarily about content, not technology. Gbosbal, S., & Kim, S. K. (1986). Building Intelligence studies in business are about how effective intelligence systems for we build that content for the surrounding competitive advantage. Sloan Management world of any private organization. Review (1986-1998), 28(1): 49. 7. REFERENCES Guest, D. E. (1997). Human resource management and performance: a review Al-Mashari, M. (2002). Enterprise resource and research agenda. International journal planning (ERP) systems: a research of human resource management, 8(3): 263- agenda. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 102(3), 165-170. Hodgson, G. M. (1988). Economics and Andrew, C. (1997). Conclusion: An agenda for institutions. Polity Press, Cambridge, UK future research. Intelligence and National Landon-Murray, M. (2013). Moving U.S. Security, 12(1), 224-233. Academic Intelligence Education Forward: Basole, R. C. (2009). Visualization of interfirm A Literature Inventory and Agenda . relations in a converging mobile 36 International Journal of Intelligence and Solberg Søilen, Klaus (2012). Geoeconomics. Counter Intelligence, 26(4): 744-776. Ventus Publishing ApS/Bookboon, London Lutz, R. R. (1971). The German Revolutionary Solberg Søilen, K. (2012b). The Fallacy of the Student Movement, 1819-1833.Central Service Economy. 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Journal of perspectives and preferences as to the management information systems, 18(1): 5- value of JISIB – A spot-check. Journal of Intelligence Studies in Business, 4(2): 61-65 Wright, S., & Calof, J. L. (2006). The quest for Solberg Søilen, Klaus (2015). A place for competitive, business and marketing intelligence studies as a scientific intelligence: A country comparison of discipline. Journal of Intelligence Studies current practices. European Journal of in Business, 5(3): 34-46. Marketing, 40(5/6): 453-465. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Intelligence Studies in Business Unpaywall

A research agenda for intelligence studies in business

Journal of Intelligence Studies in BusinessMay 31, 2016

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Journal of Intelligence Studies in Business Journal of Intelligence Studies in Business Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information: https://ojs.hh.se/index.php/JISIB/index A research agenda for intelligence studies in business Klaus Solberg Søilen Department of Engineering, Natural Sciences and Economics, Faculty of Marketing, Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden; [email protected] To cite this article: Søilen, K.S. (2016) A research agenda for intelligence studies in business. Journal of Intelligence Studies in Business. Vol 6, No 1. Pages 21-36. Article URL: https://ojs.hh.se/index.php/JISIB/article/view/140 PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE This article is Open Access, in compliance with Strategy 2 of the 2002 Budapest Open Access Initiative, which states: Scholars need the means to launch a new generation of journals committed to open access, and to help existing journals that elect to make the transition to open access. Because journal articles should be disseminated as widely as possible, these new journals will no longer invoke copyright to restrict access to and use of the material they publish. Instead they will use copyright and other tools to ensure permanent open access to all the articles they publish. Because price is a barrier to access, these new journals will not charge subscription or access fees, and will turn to other methods for covering their expenses. There are many alternative sources of funds for this purpose, including the foundations and governments that fund research, the universities and laboratories that employ researchers, endowments set up by discipline or institution, friends of the cause of open access, profits from the sale of add-ons to the basic texts, funds freed up by the demise or cancellation of journals charging traditional subscription or access fees, or even contributions from the researchers themselves. There is no need to favor one of these solutions over the others for all disciplines or nations, and no need to stop looking for other, creative alternatives. Journal of Intelligence Studies in Business Vol. 6, No. 1 (2016) pp. 21-36 Open Access: Freely available at: https://ojs.hh.se/ Klaus Solberg Søilen Department of Engineering, Natural Sciences and Economics, Faculty of Marketing, Halmstad University, Halmstad, Sweden; [email protected] Received 5 January 2016; accepted 19 March 2016 ABSTRACT This research paper defines the scope for a research agenda for competitive intelligence (CI), market intelligence (MI) and more generally for intelligence studies in business. Respondents in the survey defined the scope to include analysis, traditional phenomena or problems, new phenomena, trans- or cross disciplinary studies, methodological issue and industry specific studies. Respondents were also asked to come up with terms for a good definition of the study. We found that existing definitions of CI in use are overlapping with definitions of other more established fields of study, like decision sciences and marketing intelligence. Respondents agreed that it’s practical to define the study in terms of understanding the external environment. In the discussion a parallel is made to the notion of surrounding world analysis and Stevan Dedijer’s ideas about social intelligence. A broad discussion leads to a renewed interest for disciplines studied by the humanities as we show what has been lost in the development of the social sciences. Implications are shown and future studies suggested. KEYWORDS business intelligence, competitive intelligence, intelligence studies, market intelligence, research agenda 1. INTRODUCTION phenomenon from any perspective but their own. We have created a scientific landscape of 1.1 A brief historical perspective compartmentalization and overlaps which has Deshpande and Webster (1989, p.1) remind us now mainly become a disadvantage to further understanding. Instead of tackling the that “when Drucker (1954) first articulated the marketing concept, he noted that methodical challenge, focusing on the notion of marketing was not really a separate understanding as opposed to the promise of theory we instead end up feverishly hunting management function but rather the whole business as seen from the customer's point of for the next management buzzword which only confirms the symptoms. view.” In much the same way today the It wasn’t always that way. The competitive disciplines studying information and intelligence have chosen a particular point of advantage issue is an age old perspective going back in Europe to the foundations of the view of a particular department (marketing), of a particular technology or service (big data, first city states (Venetia, Firenze) and before that in Asia to the foundations of nation states business intelligence and data-as-a-Service, or and empires (the Mauryan Empire, the state DaaS) or from the question of competitive advantage (intelligence studies (IS), whether of Wu, the state of Qin), with contributions from men like Marco Polo, Machiavelli, it’s state or business) or strategy, which could Kautilya, Sun Zi and Han Fei Zi. The same be called the outside view. The problem is that there are many views or perspectives studying question is asked again during the industrial revolution by Adam Smith and in modern the same phenomenon, and to a large extent times by Michael Porter (Solberg Søilen, 2012, their respective adherents or researchers do not read each other’s work or refuse to see the p. 17). As a discipline intelligence studies starts as state intelligence with men like R.V. glow continues long after they have been Jones in Britain in 1939 and Sherman Kent in surpassed (for example, England in the 19th the USA, and as a function relevant for century and the US in the 20th), an business with Stevan Dedijer in Sweden in the observation which itself fits into an early 1970s (Solberg Søilen, 2012, p. 19). evolutionary approach. On the macro level the discipline may be At the end, what decides the value of these said to have a twin sister in the study of different perspectives is to what extent they geopolitics where we look at the correlation can show to be of relevance to practitioners. between history, geography and the notion of Academics must from time to time ask power, which survives after the Second World practitioners to what extent their work is War and pops up in the social sciences with being used and has positive effects for the Frankfurter School, as critical theory. As companies and for society at large. Drucker applied to the world of international business hardly wrote any articles for scientific we often talk of geoeconomics: both are journals, but he was always a favorite among theoretically anchored in evolutionary theory, practitioners, simply because his books were not as neoclassical economics in the study of relevant. Thus it is real relevance that social physics. The discipline coined geopolitik was science disciplines should strive for, not developed by the Swedish political scientist “academic impact,” or the amount of articles or Rudolf Kjellén (1864–1922), who was to what extent they are being cited by influenced by the German political geographer colleagues. The idea that basic research (as Friedrich Ratzel (1844–1904) who again was opposed to applied) is of great value in the influenced by scholars like the Prussian social sciences is still to be proven even though geographer Carl Ritter (1779–1859), it is true that the same method continues to do Alexander von Humboldt (the founder of wonders for the natural sciences. modern geography) and the German historian To know what to study researchers need to Leopold von Ranke (1795–1886) (Solberg agree on what problems are of importance. Søilen, 2012, p. 21). The natural way to do this is to ask Fast forwarding to today, the difference practitioners and academics alike what areas between information science in business, or problems they think deserves more business- and market research and attention based on unresolved problems they intelligence studies is mainly one of observe and are confronted with. perspective, scope and dates and less about Solberg Søilen (2014) did a survey of what content and scientific method. Intelligence content readers of the Journal of Intelligence studies in business sees the organization Studies in Business (JISIB) wanted to see. It much like an intelligence organization, an said that readers are looking for more case offspring of the study of state and military study material. The survey also found that intelligence, searching for significant pieces of there is an even balance between those who information that affect the business as a think there is too much and too little technical whole, not searching to see how selected content in the existing literature. Some experiences fit into oversimplified theoretical readers also want articles in languages other models. When Adam Smith wrote his famous than English. However, can these findings be book in 1776, this compartmentalization did used to draw general conclusion for the whole not matter as political sciences then was an field of intelligence studies in business? We integrated part of economics and business think not. Thus another more ambitious studies in what is called political economy. survey was planned to define a research Long before that, with Plato and Aristotle, it agenda for the discipline as such, and thus was all studied as philosophy, as opposed to identify the research gap. the natural sciences. The 1.2 An introduction to current compartmentalization of knowledge in the literature social sciences has since become an advancement to the body of knowledge about Wright and Calof (2006) study current CI man as well as a hindrance as the method and practices among different cultures. The same logic continues to dominate at our authors did an evaluation of the study of the universities, despite excellent scholarship in CI field two years later (Calof and Wright, the 1970s and 1980s that shows that this is an 2008). Solberg Søilen (2013) presented an intellectual impasse (see e.g. Hodgson, 1988). overview of articles on competitive It’s with theory as with great empires: their intelligence in JCIM and CIR, two earlier CI 23 journals. Teo and King (1996) did an examining communication of uncertainty assessment of the integration of business using verbal and numerical probabilities. planning with information systems, and Teo Andrew (1997) wants to see greater and Choo (2001) did an assessment of using intelligence sharing with foreign agencies, the internet for CI. None of these articles which was also what happened later. A similar tackled the question of defining a research development is occurring with DaaS today for agenda. private organizations where organizations are In more established business fields that starting to rent information instead of buying also attract more research, similar projects to it. evaluate the field and lay out research We do not have to agree with all agendas are more frequent. For example, suggestions presented in these research Deshpande and Webster (1989) defined a agendas as much will depend on the industry research agenda for organizational culture we are in and on when the suggestions were and marketing. Guest (1997) did the same for made (many are quickly outdated). To be human resource management (HRM). Closer representative, surveys on research agendas to our own field, Varun Grover (2001) defined try to gather data from a broad group of users a research agenda for knowledge management and researchers. Others base their (KM), Rumelt and Teece (1994) did the same assessment on what has been done previously for business strategy, Gibson et al. (2004) did in scientific journals, thus what seems to be this for business intelligence (BI) and Al- missing, or what authors themselves say are Mashari (2002) defined an agenda for missing. We shall attempt to do both here in enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. this paper. Intelligence studies can be divided into a 1.3 Research on intelligence courses private and a public side, or one related to offered business and the other to the affairs of the state. Research agendas in military and state There is a positive correlation between the intelligence have a longer history and have number of researchers in an area, the number come further as a discipline. Landon-Murray of courses and the amount of research (2013) presents a literature inventory and produced, even though the causal relationship research agenda for intelligence studies. is less evident. Marrin (2005) argue, much like Calof and Again we will have to refer to research done Wright (2008), that in CI intelligence should for intelligence studies. According to Campbell continue to be done within the parameters of (2011): other disciplines. Landon-Murray (2013) argues that “Previously, students likely to “Between 1985 and 1999, the number of pursue careers in the intelligence field non-government higher education courses completed liberal arts degrees—commonly on intelligence increased from 54 to political science and history at the between 200 and 300” (p. 308), undergraduate level and international relations at the graduate level” (p. 745) and “By 2005 the number of unclassified that this corresponds to demand by courses offered within the military practitioners: “Intelligence organizations like intelligence community had grown to 1 417, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) do not with National Security Agency (NSA) want graduates who have been educated to be courses making up 46 percent of this ‘intelligence specialists’” (p. 748). Dorondo number” (p. 309) and (1960) argues that intelligence courses should teach broad concepts from a variety of “The number of non-government courses in academic disciplines (like economics, political intelligence has now grown to over 840, science and sociology) and issues, with less with more than 100 civilian institutions focus on intelligence specializations. Meredith providing some form of intelligence et al. (2012) argue for greater engagement education” (p. 309). between academia, BI vendors and BI customers, with an outline of a research There are no PhD programs in intelligence agenda. Dhami et al. (2015) present a list of studies, except for at the American Military problems that deserve more attention. On the University, but it is possible to defend a thesis top they place methods for assessing and in intelligence related topics both within improving forecasting accuracy and business studies and computer sciences in 24 many countries. See for example Solberg Søilen (2004). Based on these questions three research In comparison, courses in CI and questions were put in the survey: intelligence studies in business are probably far fewer even though no similar survey has 1. In what areas would you like to see been published. An unpublished survey from more research done within 2004 in Sweden shows that there were 23 competitive intelligence and courses in omvärldsanalys (which translates intelligence studies? to “surrounding world analysis”) at Swedish 2. What definition of competitive universities and colleges. However, most intelligence and/or intelligence courses today are offered by business studies do you prefer? (How do you consultants, like the Strategic and define it?) Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) 3. What do you think about this and the Institute for Competitive Intelligence definition: (ICI). “Intelligence studies deals with all the 1.4 Research questions things which should be known in advance This article is a continuation of the article “A of initiating a course of action.” place for intelligence studies as a scientific discipline” (Solberg Søilen, 2015), where focus The definition was chosen to extract more is on what the journal’s readers want to see information from respondents. The definition articles about. The article also shows what from the Clark Task Force of the Hoover many CI practitioners think makes CI unique. Commission was chosen as it is well The examples show that the content they list established, is wider than CI and is the result is not exclusive to CI. However, the article also of a cooperative academic effort. Most other suggests that there are problem areas within definitions of CI presented are suggested by intelligence studies in business that are not individual academics or professionals. covered by other studies and suggest that 2. METHOD these be further investigated to build a research agenda for intelligence studies in Data was gathered over LinkedIn and the business. The article suggests that the lack of JISIB mailing list. On LinkedIn we posted the scientific development in the field is related to how we chose to define it. survey (surveymonkey.com) at the SCIP members group with a population of ca. 22 000 A working hypothesis is that CI is defined differently by different practitioners and that registered users. The journal JISIB has ca. 800 registered users. The time period allowed this is a part reason for the confusion. Thus in for responses was three weeks. In total, 270 the survey we asked people to define CI and/or intelligence studies and react to an complete responses were gathered. Out of these respondents five deep interviews of 30 established definition. In the analysis a number of dimensions are identified in the minutes each were carried out using Skype. These respondents were chosen randomly form of working hypotheses where CI may be from different industries to avoid industry- said to bridge a gap in relation to other fields of study related to method, perspective, specific interests. The following industries were represented: software, aeronautics, technology, function and actor. management consulting, pharmaceuticals and In this article we investigate the working hypotheses and identify a specific research academia. agenda by way of a survey. Two research questions were formulated: 3. DATA To include data of all responses directly in this 1. What research do practitioners paper was not possible due to limited space. think CI/IS should focus on? (In Instead we publish every 10th answer, shown what areas would you like to see in Table 1. The analysis and statistics are more research?) done for the whole set. Some shortening of the 2. What definition of CI/IS do text as well as language and grammar editing practitioners think is better and has been done for the original answers. why? (respondents get to react to an established definition) 25 Table 1 A sample of data gathered from the survey. R indicates the response number, made up of every tenth answer from the survey. Q1 asks: In what areas would you like to see more research done within competitive intelligence and intelligence studies? Q2 asks: What definition of competitive intelligence and/or intelligence studies do you prefer? (How do you define it?) and Q3 asks: What do you think about this definition: “Intelligence studies deals with all the things which should be known in advance of initiating a course of action.” R Q1 Q2 Q3 Motivations of employees None Sometimes we do not take actions, it is more to do with decisions 20 Foresight The gathering, analysis and spread of It is about more than what is information and knowledge created to known, it is about understanding support decisions and anticipation and anticipation Risk management All activities undertaken to secure and All things cannot be known. There maintain responsiveness to client needs are many variables, unseen and unforeseen and observation biases that come into play. Internet of things None None Strategic conversation (cf. Kees Actionable knowledge I miss the bit that you have to act van der Heijden) all the time (where inaction is a type of action) Cases with Quintuple Helix ∗ Competitive intelligence must interact I don’t agree with this definition with three essential elements: (1) The competitive environment that issues weak signals, (2) The mass of information (big data) that includes weak signals and noise, 3) The decision maker that processes and translates the information Veracity of sources ◊ The study of decision-making based on an Too broad understanding of the external competitive environment Competitive intelligence CI is the process of monitoring the It is a general definition competitive environment Intelligence analysis toolsets used Insights for strategic and tactical decision- The definition broadly covers the in military / government making meaning Industry strategy, energy and Competitive intelligence concepts for Could cover the concepts earth resources strategy Science of education The power of creating an opportunity Agree Decision making process and Decision support tool Too broad and diverse cognitive bias International research, in The SCIP definition works No, the decision may be to take no "developing" markets. The action. That is a decision - not a application of marketing analysis course of action. techniques Consumer products, case studies, None Overly wordy stories about success and failure What is the value added of CI assembles several practices, theories, The definition is related to Early intelligence in business or models, techniques etc. Maybe an analogy Warning. I think this may a economics? can be in the wine sector, when talking distinction from others disciplines. about "assemblage" "Anticipation" is a key aspect and it needs to be taken into account Broader, more external perspective CI is knowledge and foreknowledge about This definition is similar to mine the entire business environment that results in a decision/action In the game area Intelligence studies deals with all signals The definition is good, but about things which should be known in restrictive advance before the organization initiates a course of action, which should alert the organization about an environmental change with a potential impact Network/Platform strategy, The creation of decision advantage I don't think the definition is applications of activity-based through external observation and sense- appropriate anymore. It is the intelligence and other making product of a legacy of "discovery/data intelligence" organizational structures, and methods in CI organizational intelligence targets & design/agility and CI. CI methodologies – which have shown approaches for Treverton's to be ill-suited for 21st century "mysteries" ∞ rather than existing problems. Furthermore, the approaches based on "puzzles" definition presupposes the intel complexity and CI/strategy. More customer has the situational like Dr Rahul Basole is doing with awareness and understanding to know when, if, and where they need computational enterprise analyticsχ to make decisions – they frequently don't. 26 Influence and soft power To act as a catalyst to concentrate all the It seems to be speaking of the same national and regional industries, point I made. universities and institutions to promote the development and defend the global interest of the nation and region Measuring the value of CI, actual SCIP definition is fine. Intelligence to Not good enough. Focus on impact of CI as part of the decision enhance business decision-making and understanding the external making process organizational performance to create a environment as a factor in the competitive advantage. decision making process. Information access and reuse of Intelligence assessment Sounds good data. Knowledge about your customers, competitors, etc. CI in the relationship with CI helps the managers to understand the It is too general organizational ambidexterity complexity of the competitive environment to make the right decisions. Applying data science to CI is an ethical and legal way of gathering It is right competitive intelligence actionable information Data-driven competitive I see CI as an information management Too broad intelligence discipline focused on supporting managerial decisions based on data about the market and the competitors. Intelligence studies is about how to design these information management processes. More industry specific A tool that helps the anticipation of Yes, this is a good definition actions to mitigate failures & crises Health and security A process of research, development and Yes I do agree innovation for better intelligence DaaS A broad definition is better Agree ∗ The Triple Helix innovation model focuses on university-industry-government relations. The Quadruple Helix embeds the Triple Helix by adding the ‘media-based and culture-based public’ and ‘civil society’ as a fourth helix. ◊ Veracity is an open source distributed version control system primarily written by SourceGear LLC which integrates not only the artifacts placed under version control in the repository, but also associated data for features such as the integrated bug tracking system and agile “build management” tool. ∞ Gregory F Treveton is the author of Intelligence for an Age of Terror (2009). In the book Treveton explains: “In contrast to puzzles, no evidence can definitely solve mysteries because, typically, they are about people, not things” (p. 18). He suggests that we can normally “know” something based on recent history and perhaps some theory, which factors are important to monitor. This could be applicable, for example, in the case of Russia’s inflation rate or whether Israel might strike Iran. For mysteries the product is the best forecast. Treveton also writes about a change from “need to know” to “need to share”. χ Rahul Basole is an Associate Professor and Director at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research fuses system science and visualization to study technology strategy, innovation management, and transformation of complex enterprise systems. 4. ANALYSIS seem to have a poor understanding of what a definition is – and what is required of a The following can be said from the 270 definition - answering instead with what they responses and the five deep interviews: see CI as being, how they work with CI or how answers vary significantly. Respondents may they would like it to be. However, some careful have misunderstood the questions, maybe due conclusions can be made for each question. to reading and answering too fast, which may 4.1 Q1: In what areas would you like to be a problem with e-surveys and emails in see more research done within general today. For example, respondents competitive intelligence and sometimes did not write definitions where this intelligence studies? is asked for and are more interested in promoting their own ideas about CI in general. Data about what IS researchers should focus This information tells us instead how on can be divided into the following groups: respondents think about CI, which can be useful, but is less useful for answering the 1. analyses, such as foresight, Cases with specific research questions. It may also be that Quintuple Helix, Treverton's respondents think very differently about what "mysteries," CI is. 2. 2. traditional phenomena or problems, There was no difference in regards to these like HRM, risk management, soft issues between those who answered on power, measuring the value of CI, LinkedIn and those who answered by return information access, email. The discrepancy was just as large 3. new phenomena, such as the internet between the two sources. A large part of of things, aaS solutions, respondents who give definition suggestions 27 4. trans- or cross-disciplinary studies, computer science, 1505 in psychology, 1477 in such as intelligence analysis toolsets health professions, 1476 in nursing, 945 in used in military / government, business, 931 in dentistry, 852 in economics industry strategy, energy and earth and 797 in mathematics. resources (geoeconomics) and Applying The decision-making sciences have their Data Science to Competitive own journals like the journal Decision Sciences Intelligence, and societies like the Decision Sciences 5. methodological issues such as Institute. Not only practitioners but even most identifying and avoiding cognitive bias academics pay little attention to these or publishing more cases, overlaps. Thus SCIP focuses on decision- 6. industry specifics or focusing more on making in their definitions and material, like certain industries, such as consumer when the organization says it “focuses on products, and health and security. decision-making, to create competitive advantage”. CI defined on Wikipedia also In summary, the most requested areas emphasizes decision-making. requested are: analyses, traditional The second most popular answer, that the phenomena or problems and trans- or cross- study is about the understanding of the disciplinary studies. external environment, is a unique definition as that notion is not covered by other 4.2 Q2: What definition of competitive established scientific disciplines as far as I intelligence and/or intelligence studies have been able to see. No other established do you prefer? (How do you define it?) research communities are looking at this phenomenon today it seems. What elements are emphasized in the The third most popular answer, that it’s definition of CI and IS? The most recurring about actionable knowledge/information, elements are about the individual steps in the talks about an end product, or the end result intelligence cycle, responsiveness to client of the intelligence process. As such, it is needs, actionable knowledge, signals from the considered too narrow to build the basis for a competitive environment, relationships to big scientific study. As a curiosity, only a few of data, decision makers, strategy, seeing the 270 respondents use the term preferred by opportunities (“blue oceans”), knowledge and Google in their new BI service, “actionable decision making with the entire business insights.” environment in mind. The most recurring element in the answers 4.3 Q3: What do you think about this is that it’s about supporting managerial definition: decision and decision-making. This occurs in 33% of the answers. The second most “Intelligence studies deals with all the important element is that it’s based on an things which should be known in understanding of the external environment advance of initiating a course of present in 15% of answers. Third is that it’s action.” about actionable knowledge/information was included in 11% of answers. Other answers For the third question we wanted to extract suggest that it’s about following the CI cycle, information from respondents by asking them following customer needs, working in a to respond to an established definition. In questions and answer format, a combination of total, 46% of respondents thought the detecting weak signals, applying big data and definition by the Hoover commission can be translating it to decision makers, that it’s used for intelligence studies and CI. A further linked to strategy or that it’s about putting it 17% of respondents have objections toward the all together or acting as a catalyst. notion of “should be known” in the definition, The problem with the answers from the as they argue that CI is largely about what first question is that it’s an area already you cannot know in advance. Another 17% covered by other established fields of study. think that the definition is too broad and There are several journals on decision- 12.5% of respondents have objections to the making, most of which are related to medicine use of the term ‘action,’ which they see as and health. In SCOPUS there are 4291 significantly different from the term ‘decision,’ articles, books and papers about decision- which they prefer. making in medicine and several journals on the topic, 2183 in decision sciences, 1897 in 28 required for forming policy and 5. DISCUSSION military plans at the national and international level and to qualities 5.1 The problem of overlapping that equip leaders to be effective definitions strategists.” The definitions of CI, marketing intelligence and market intelligence are too close and Strategic intelligence follows the elements of overlapping to be separate disciplines. A the intelligence cycle and is directed towards comparison of definitions on Wikipedia strategy. In the definition from Wikipedia it is illustrates this (italics added by author): used for state and military intelligence. However, the term is frequently used in A. “Competitive intelligence is the action business contexts, as a quick search in any of of defining, gathering, analyzing, and the scientific databases will show. distributing intelligence about 5.2 The relationship between fields of products, customers, competitors, and study and scientific journals any aspect of the environment needed to support executives and managers Any scientific field of study must be related to making strategic decisions for an one or more scientific journals. If we start from organization.” the top, or from a broad perspective, all B. “Marketing intelligence (MI) is the journal names with the term ‘intelligence’ in everyday information relevant to a the most prestigious scientific database, Web company’s markets, gathered and of Science, are related to the study of analyzed specifically for the purpose of psychology. In the database Scopus there are accurate and confident decision- others. When we go down to the level of making in determining market articles 73,381 in Scopus are on ‘intelligence.’ opportunity, market penetration Of these, 66,448 are in computer science and strategy, and market development 38,597 are in mathematics. Further down the metrics. Marketing intelligence is list comes business with 1450 articles and necessary when entering a foreign there are 470 in decision sciences alone. Of market.” these, most articles are published in C. “Market intelligence is the information Marketing Intelligence and Planning relevant to a company’s markets, (Emerald) (756), International Journal of gathered and analyzed specifically for Technology Intelligence and Planning the purpose of accurate and (Inderscience) (224), International Journal of confident decision-making in Business Intelligence and Data Mining determining strategy in areas such (Inderscience) (200) and the Journal of as market opportunity, market Intelligence Studies in Business (Halmstad University) (46). penetration strategy, and market Past and present journals that are outside development.” of the two major databases or non peer- Despite this, CI and marketing intelligence reviewed include the journal Business have developed into two separate professional Intelligence (from 07/01/2003, 6 months), and academic communities with their own Competitive Intelligence Review (From 1998 groups of scholars, journal and conferences. to 2001 in Wiley-Blackwell Journals, Frontfile Marketing intelligence has developed within Content), International Journal of Intelligence the study of marketing, CI largely on the and Counterintelligence, and GfK Marketing outside. Market intelligence has developed as Intelligence Review. The Journal of a hybrid and a parallel to CI within Competitive Intelligence and Management marketing. For comparison we could also add (JCIM) cannot be accessed through university strategic intelligence: databases at present (property of SCIP). The number of specific articles published D. “Strategic intelligence (STRATINT) about CI, marketing intelligence, market pertains both to the collection, processing, analysis, and intelligence and strategic intelligence in each dissemination of intelligence that is of these journals are listed in Table 2. 29 Table 2 Studies and corresponding scientific journals. The keywords list the fields of study by relevant terms. The first column lists first names of journals in the fields. The figures represent number of articles. At the end there is a summary of articles in each field and a division of classification it is listed as a paper in business, decision science or social sciences. Rank indicates the summation of articles. Key words Journal Name Competitive Market Marketing Strategic Sum Rank Intelligence Intelligence intelligence intelligence Decision Support 50 37 16 21 124 1 Systems Journal of 46 8 6 19 79 3 Intelligence Studies in Business International 39 13 3 18 73 4 Journal of Technology Management Information and 23 4 7 16 50 6 Management Strategic 22 4 5 13 44 8 Management Journal Long Range 20 10 5 25 60 5 Planning Marketing 10 34 42 12 98 2 Intelligence and Planning Management 14 14 9 12 49 7 Science Industrial 8 13 13 6 40 9 Marketing Management Journal of 3 10 7 4 24 10 Business Research Eureopan 0 6 12 0 18 12 Journal of Marketing Journal of 0 0 0 21 21 11 Strategic Studies SCOPUS (total 9185 7473 2890 5633 results) Business 1676 1507 776 1025 Decision Sciences 876 517 213 507 Social Sciences 711 592 206 808 Decision Support Systems has the most Decision Support Systems. Long Range articles published in CI, but then it has been Planning has the most articles in strategic listed in Web of Science since 1991. JISIB is intelligence (business context) and has been number two, but published its first issue in listed in WoS since 1986. Considering that 2011. Marketing Intelligence and Planning is JISIB, with only four years of publications, is not listed in WoS, but has been in Scopus since already the third most published journal in 1983. Thus based on the age and name of the these fields we can conclude that the other journal it is no surprise that it is leading in journals, with far more issues and articles per articles on marketing intelligence and is year, publish a modest number of articles on number two in market intelligence, after the subjects of CI, market intelligence, 30 marketing intelligence and strategic F. “Intelligence deals with all the things intelligence. which should be known in advance of Intelligence studies in business cannot initiating a course of action.” define itself as yet another version of the same, but must be defined as different from In summary, definition E seems to be the best other disciplines. In the survey we saw that option when compared to the data gathered in respondents favored a focus on the external the survey and from the deep interviews. environment in the definition and that this 5.3 Setting a research agenda: the term is not occupied by other studies or broader perspective scientific journals. This is also the understanding of a much cited article by Chen The suggestions by the respondents in the et al. (2002): “Competitive Intelligence (CI) survey and the deep interviews gave us a list aims to monitor a firm's external environment for a research agenda. In this paper, however, for information relevant to its decision- there must also be room for a broader making process” p. 1. A suggestion based on discussion where less frequent answers are the data collected in our survey could be that: discussed. The question of a research agenda is E. Intelligence studies in business is ultimately the question of how and where we about how companies study their as employees in companies may learn about external environment and how that the surrounding world that is relevant for the contributes to their competitive competitive advantage of the organization. advantage. Gilad (1989) suggests that the irrelevance of much environmental scanning can be solved In an earlier article Gbosbal and Kim (1986) by looking beyond obvious sources (“be speak about “environmental intelligence” in entrepreneurial”), by harvesting the power of the same way. Gilad (1989) makes the same the entire company (“be economic”) and by distinction between CI, as scanning focusing on what specific users say they need competitors and markets as opposed to (“be essential”) (Idem). environmental scanning, which is much Setting a research agenda is also a question broader, but also where it is more difficult to of who can do the job. Does it have to be CI add value. experts? Are we looking at some sort of super When we compare the literature, librarian for the web 2.0 age? CI has for a long marketing intelligence is more about the time been of interest to the library sciences, micro perspective, what is going on in the even though librarians have their own company and the market. Only to a lesser journals and professional societies. Can’t we degree does it study the macro factors that give the whole job to a computer geek? After influence that market (macro-economic, all business intelligence, big data and the political, judicial, environmental, scientific, internet of things are mainly studied by technological, social, infrastructural factors). engineering types. Or, to take a diagonally Intelligence studies, on the other hand, is just opposite view, maybe the whole thing can be as much about the macro perspective, the given to a good social science researcher or a factors that the company cannot influence but wise man (as in the humanities). After all, for have a decisive effect on its operations. Simply each question we ask about the world there is put, it’s about what goes on in the world and a set of answers and the scientific methods are how that affects the company’s competitive the same, shared by all of the social sciences advantage. and some of the humanities. The ways we It is also about the company perspective, answer these questions gives birth not only to not about the perspective of the state, which different research agendas but also decides again separates it from [state or military] the scientific home of the study. intelligence studies. For now, let’s simply acknowledge that Respondents found the definition of The there will be different approaches and that Clark Task Force of the Hoover Commission some academic groups like BI are more from 1953-55 to be good, but too broad. For the successful scientifically than others. That is sake of order it’s reaped here: largely the result of being more relevant. As for the question of how and where we may learn the most about keeping an organization competitive, there are numerous 31 possible answers, of which many have been when he visited the US to learn about mass suggested in terms of the topics in this survey. production at the Ford factory and when If we look to existing theory, much of the Robert Bosch went to work with Thomas literature focus on different flows of Edison in New York. In Germany it was and information into organizations, starting with to some extent still is the tradition that young the article by Gbosbal and Kim (1986) focusing apprentices organized in student unions on trade publications, suppliers, bankers, (Burschenschaft) traveled (Wanderjahre) for consultants and customers. Another approach some years before they set up their own shop, that continues to attract little or no attention much like in Goethe’s novel “Wilhelm in the scientific literature is travelling and Meisters Wanderjahre” (See also Steer, reading, maybe in part because they are 2008). In much the same way, state though to belong to the humanities, the study intelligence organizations have thousands of of history, geography and literature. people stationed in other countries and other departments, such as the foreign department, 5.3.1 Travelling as a way to learn and make sure their employees travel the about the external environment world on a regular basis if for nothing else A good intelligence worker or analyst is a than to keep up with current affairs. If this is person who has travelled and seen a lot, is a relevant direction in reality then it should be well-read and is part of an influential network so in theory too. Still there is little research in of people, according to the formula: reading, this direction. watching and listening. We must read broadly The problem is to a large extent that the and in order to watch and listen we need to neoclassical paradigm, which still dominates travel. To identify the macro factors in the studies in business and economics, despite the larger, international environment, we need to fact that its usefulness has been refuted know what is going on in the world because decades ago (see, for example, Hodgson, 1988). things in the world affect us. This is the Neoclassic scholars consistently avoid topics perspective of intelligence as surrounding covered by the humanities, which they see as world analysis, as defined by Stevan Dedijer, less scientific just because they are less rigid but also suggested by respondents in the simply because they belong to another domain survey. As such, it is very different from what of knowledge about human life. students learn at university in the social In other words, the problem is to a large sciences. extent the way we define what is scientific for The intelligence expert should be able to the study of man. Many will argue that solve the following problem given by a decision intelligence as “wandering around the world” maker: “I need to make this decision, now tell is more fitted as a study for the humanities. In me what I need to know to do it correctly.” comparison, Asian societies have been more How do we study and train employees for this inclined to see competitive questions from a task? There are basically two questions; what broader and more practical perspective (Japan is it that I need to know and how do I become in 1960s and 1970s, China today) while good at it? The point made here is that the Western societies, since the 1970s, have come answer to these questions should also decide to see travelling primarily as entertainment the research direction of the discipline. It is and personal enrichment (an end in itself). suggested here that we become good at CI also My students have hardly heard about the by travelling and seeing the world. Or, twin cities of Chongqing and Chengdu as one recalling the story of Drucker in the of the great industrial hearts of the world, and introduction, we are often better off reading they are ignorant about Wenzhou, where books, instead of reading scientific articles, around 90% of global eyewear is made, which tend to give a fragmented and overly Guangzhou, where around 70% of bags and theoretical (dogmatic) view on reality. suitcases for European and US mass markets The notion of “learning by travelling” has are made, or any of the other 50 or so Chinese been a method followed ever since Marco Polo niche cities. Instead they know (much like went on his big journey and wrote a book consumers) about the brands themselves – not about it, and Peter the Great went to the how they are made, or where or who the Netherlands to learn how to build ships. It was owners are. The business schools where they the tradition of the English aristocracy with go continue to spread a curriculum void of the “Grand Tour” and it has been the method historical parallels, detached from geography, of big industrialists, like Ferdinand Porsche with no real interest in questions of 32 ownership, but filled with oversimplified data that they can always find something that business models, common sense truisms and looks suspicious but isn’t. Amazon.com has gossip about fast fortunes made (success plenty of data about what I read but cannot stories). tell me what book I want to read next. The development of the social sciences after Our open office landscapes and working WWII lead to an extreme form of environments are not made for reading. When compartmentalization (specialization not we come home we have other (family) being the major problem), of which obligations. Trying to catch up with the world intelligence studies has also been a victim to for 5-15 minutes before falling asleep by the point that it almost annihilated itself as a stacking books on the bedside table is not a study with CI. This can also be explained by solution. The best opportunity many of us the study’s false perception of itself, as the have for reading is to do this while travelling: topic was driven forward by practitioners, on planes, in cars (audio), in airports and on more as a consultancy fashion and a fad then trains. Others try to catch up during summer a scientific study. From a consultancy vacation, but it is mostly a romantic image. perspective one might say there is nothing Disruptions are also the nature of vacations. wrong with this. As one term gets used up Thus instead of reading we have skimming. (does not sell) another is introduced, much like Instead of knowing we have know-about. when CI consultants exchanged CI with Instead of building our own opinion we follow market intelligence and today market those of others who somehow seem to us to intelligence with foresight, much without know more. We follow management fads like thinking about the difference in meanings. “blue oceans,” co-creation, innovation or CSR, From a science perspective, however, this is simply because it seems a good idea at the troublesome. time and critical thinking somehow takes too long. Of course, most people are too busy being 5.3.2 Reading as a way to learn about entertained to read anything at all. All of this the external environment is no critical of any individual or mankind, simply a reminder of our cognitive limits. Maybe reading is just another way of travelling. Anyway, surfing the internet is not There are basically two ways to learn, through our own personal experience and the same thing. It’s an illusion to think that we have become smarter because of the those of others. What we read, watch or listen increased amount of data available on the to depends on what we want to know, for example what industry we are studying, but internet. Most new data added each day are YouTube videos (all those funny cats and we can still say something in general about types of sources, their relevance to the dogs), our comments on Facebook and Twitter, information which is not even accurate or questions we face and the degree of trust we interesting, but appeals to our narcissistic and can place in their answers. Table 3 summarizes these sources of information and voyeuristic nature. I will keep this discussion for an upcoming article, dealing with DaaS how we interpret them. The problem with types of sources is often and other aaS. a tradeoff between trust and relevance. It’s Reading is mostly a missed opportunity. Much valuable information and knowledge is easy and quick to see what is relevant, but it takes time to write it and to make it only available in books (including e-books) but trustworthy. By the time the product (book) is the knowledge they contain demands time for reading and reflection. We also need to read ready many will have forgotten and moved on to the next big thing. Instead we need to learn continuously because we forget continuously. Intelligence work is just as much about to wait for the book. Popular sources know what we want to know but cannot deliver the finding time to become knowledgeable. answers. Their headlines become unfulfilled Instead our days are filled with disruptions and multitasking, which basically means promises. Scientific sources are often too narrow to be relevant, focusing on some doing many things poorly. Surfing and sifting narrow correlation. through information and knowing where it is is not the same as knowing, much less Still, we can give some general advice for reading to break with some of our worst remembering. For example the NSA knows it has data about future crimes and terrorist biases: try to read in different languages (to get different perspectives), rotate your attacks, but it cannot extract it, so it does not sources, for example every year (for example, matter. On the other hand, they have so much 33 Table 3 Media sources and trust. Source type Example Type Trust Relevance Scientific books Springer-Verlag Reading Very high Medium Popular books Bantam publishers Reading High High Scientific articles Journal of Marketing Reading Very high Medium Popular articles (including The Economist Reading High Medium newspapers articles) Reports, white papers EIU: country reports Reading High High Social media messages Twitter Reading/watching Low Low Video and TV programs YouTube or CNN Watching Low Low Radio programs BBC World News Listening Medium Medium Podcasts Local radio stations Listening Low Low exchange the Economist with der Spiegel). banking, beauty and cosmetics, biotechnology, Break your own search patterns, letting chemical , communications, computer, chance chose for you. For example buy books construction, consulting, consumer products, at bookshops where you are more likely to find education, electronics, employment, energy, books you did not know of before. entertainment and recreation, fashion, Moreover, good intelligence is about the financial services, food and beverage, health, network of people you have access to. Informed information, information technology, and resourceful people tend to find each other insurance, journalism and news, legal at the best at places like the World Economic services, manufacturing, media and Forum. LinkedIn is a pseudo version of a good broadcasting, medical devices and supplies, network, more suited for marketing purposes. motion pictures and video, music, Being informed is a question of who we chose pharmaceutical, public administration, public to listen to, but also who we have access to. relations, publishing, real estate, retail, Besides books, the most important source for service, sports, technology, intelligence in business is industry reports telecommunications, tourism and and country reports, more so than even transportation. scientific articles. Out of fifty-two industries, twenty-four can be classified as production (46%). They 5.3.3 Industry and country reports as represent 41.8% of the papers available on the a way to learn about the external HBS site. This is of importance for the environment competitive advantage of nations, which builds largely on our ability to export, a lesson The longer we have been in a business, the often forgotten (Solberg Søilen, 2012b). more we know about it (even though there is Some industries are underrepresented in always a risk that we become blind to the number of studies: these include the solutions because we get stuck in habits). insurance industry, travel, accommodation Industry experts frequently claim they require (hotels), tourism and medical devices. Some no help from CI experts as they do not know divisions are also misleading, like the the business. This is a dilemma; the CI expert separation between IT (1) and technology comes with a toolbox but frequently doesn’t (126). The aerospace industry has few studies, know the material he is set to work with. It’s but it’s also an industry with few actors. Some impossible to be an expert on all industries, areas may be said to be overrepresented in simply because there are so many and they are terms of the number of reports or information so different. At the same time, their numbers available about them: these include are finite and there is some consensus about publishing (48), health (106) and financial their classification. services (180). The amount of papers says The Harvard Business School (HBS) site nothing about the quality of information. lists around 50 different industries on its For the “subjects” listed by EIU, I have website, the Economist Intelligence Unit divided them into industries, analyses, studies (EIU) site lists about 100 “subjects” (Table 4). and topics in Table 4. The reason for this mix Together they give us an idea about the scope of categories by EIU has to do with the kind of of what we need to know for the competitive knowledge customers ask for and the advantage of companies. The HBS list consists specialties of EIU employees. of: accommodation, accounting, advertising, Topics are open to larger changes over time, aerospace, agriculture and agribusiness, air industries less so. As indicated by respondents transportation, apparel and accessories, auto, 34 Table 4 EIU subjects. No. Industry Analysis Discipline/Study Topic 1 Automotive Benchmarking Economics Business environment 2 Banking Company analysis Innovation Capital flows 3 Education Competitiveness International Productivity relations Sovereign credit/risk 4 Energy Corporate strategy SMEs and Cities entrepreneurship 5 Financial services Country data Geopolitics Mercosur 6 Food security Country risk Econometrics Commercial research and advisory 7 Healthcare Credit risk Labour Consumer goods 8 Investment Demographics Macroeconomics Cost of living 9 Islamic finance Risk Monetary policy Livability 10 Cross border finance Forecasting and Migration Currency and investment policy analysis 11 Debt markets Predictive modelling China Data services Regulatory impact 12 Oil Global trends Climate change Infrastructure 13 Retail Indices Democracy Global economy 14 Market entry Emerging markets Development 15 Operational risk EU integration Gender 16 Foreign direct Economy investment Politics 17 Public policy Foreign policy 18 Research Employment Environment 19 Scenario analysis Evidence-based solutions 20 Security in this survey there is a demand for research earth resources (geoeconomics), applying data papers in specific industries. Our lists show science to competitive intelligence, the scope for such studies. We could also have methodological issues such as identifying and listed country reports, which besides industry avoiding cognitive bias or publishing more reports are the major focus of EIU, but these cases and industry specifics, or focusing more are obvious for everyone with an elementary on certain industries, like consumer products, course on geography. and health and security. Respondents think that CI should be defined around supporting managerial 6. CONCLUSIONS AND decisions and decision-making but in this IMPLICATIONS article we show that this is associated with certain methodological problems, as the area In this paper we identify a research agenda for identified is already covered by other scientific CI and intelligence studies in business. groups and journals. The result is a According to respondents, practitioners and considerable overlap. Respondents’ second academics should focus on analyses, such as suggestion is that the definition should be foresight, cases with Quintuple Helix, around the understanding of the external Treverton's "mysteries", traditional environment. This is a better definition from phenomena or problems, such as HRM, risk the point of view of defining a unique research management, soft power, measuring the value agenda. It also corresponds with the of CI, information access, new phenomena, like understanding of intelligence as surrounding the internet of things, aaS solutions, trans- or world analysis and the broader definition of cross-disciplinary studies, such as intelligence social intelligence as defined by Stevan analysis toolsets used in military or Dedijer. government, industry strategy, energy and 35 In the discussion we try to show how the ecosystem. Journal of Information development towards compartmentalization Technology, 24(2): 144-159. in the social sciences has been to a Brynjolfsson, E. (2002). Understanding the disadvantage to the development of CI and digital economy: data, tools, and research. intelligence studies in business as disciplines. MIT press. We show how notions like reading and Calof, J. L., & Wright, S. (2008). Competitive travelling have always been the way intelligence: A practitioner, academic and companies have learned about the inter-disciplinary perspective. European surrounding world and suggest reasons for Journal of marketing,42(7/8): 717-730. why this lesson has been forgotten. Campbell, Stephen H. (2011). 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Published: May 31, 2016

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