Why care about competitive intelligence and market intelligence? The case of Ericsson and the Swedish Cellulose Company


  • Klaus Solberg Søilen




Competitive intelligence, defensive position of top manager in distress theory, high salary theory argument of top managers, market intelligence, organizational theory


This article tries to show the importance of the competitive intelligence (CI) andmarket intelligence (MI) function by describing developments in two quite different Swedishmultinational companies. We see how top management can become the problem when thecompany is struggling to compete and how this affects the intelligence function. In the analysiswe compare the intelligence function in private companies with those of state and militaryorganizations and draw historical parallels. Moreover, the cases show what an important rolecompetitive and market intelligence continue to play in the age of information, especially duringthe past decade.


Alden, B. H. (1959). Competitive Intelligence. CI


Alvesson, M. (2012). Understanding

organizational culture. Sage.

Alvesson, M., & Sveningsson, S. (2015). Changing

organizational culture: Cultural change work

in progress. Routledge.

Agrell, Wilhelm (1998). Kosten att gissa rätt.

Studentlitteratur, Lund

Crane, A. (2005). In the company of spies: When

competitive intelligence gathering becomes

industrial espionage. Business

Horizons, 48(3), 233-240.

Doz, Y., Santos, J., & Williamson, P. (2001). From

global to metanational. Ubiquity, 2(40), 2.

Dedijer, S. (1975). Social intelligence: a

comparative social sciences approach to an

emerging social problem. Darmouth, New-


Gilad, B. (2011). Strategy without intelligence,

intelligence without strategy. Business

Strategy Series, 12(1), 4-11.

Herring, J. P. (1992). Business intelligence in

Japan and Sweden: Lessons for the

US. Journal of Business strategy, 13(2), 44-49.

Porter, M. (1980). Corporate strategy. New York.

New York, NY.

Keegan, W. J. (1974). Multinational scanning: A

study of the information sources utilized by

headquarters executives in multinational

companies. Administrative Science Quarterly,


Rouach, D., & Santi, P. (2001). Competitive

Intelligence Adds Value:: Five Intelligence

Attitudes. European management

journal, 19(5), 552-559.

Sonnecken, E. H. (1960). Competitive

intelligence. Journal of Marketing (pre-

, 24(1), 129c.

Søilen, K. S. (2010). Management

Implementation of Business Intelligence

Systems/Gestion de la implementacion de

sistemas de intelligencia de

negocios. Inteligencia y seguridad, (9), 46-67.

Søilen, K. S., Kovacevic, M. A., & Jallouli, R.

(2012). Key success factors for Ericsson mobile

platforms using the value grid model. Journal

of Business Research, 65(9), 1335-1345.

Søilen, K., & Tontini, G. (2013). Knowledge

management systems and human resource

management policies for innovation

benchmarking: a study of ST

Ericsson. International Journal of Innovation

Science, 5(3), 159-172.

Søilen, K. S. (2015). A place for intelligence

studies as a scientific discipline. Journal of

Intelligence Studies in Business, 5(3), 35-46.

Søilen, K. S. (2017). Why the social sciences

should be based in evolutionary theory: the

example of geoeconomics and intelligence

studies. Journal of Intelligence Studies in

Business, 7(1).