A research agenda for intelligence studies in business

Klaus Solberg Søilen


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.


business intelligence, competitive intelligence, intelligence studies, market intelligence, research agenda

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