Competitive Intelligence

Tactical, Operational & Strategic Analysis of Markets, Competitors & Industries

How many CI Bodies of Knowldge do exist?

Introduction and Background:
Recently, the Society of Competitive Intelligence and Dr. John Prescott from the University of Pittsburgh have developed a project called "Competitive Intelligence Body of Knowledge". The BOK in CI is a Competency Framework based on seven domains developed for the CI practitioners ( )

Since 2003, however John Prescott was involved in another study in which I was leading. We call it "World-class CI Function". ( This project could be defined as the body of Knowledge for the Firm (see attached presentation). The model is based on 9 dimension and 49 aspects.

Discussion Purpose:
The purpose for this discussion is looking to other types of body of knowledge (CI BOK) applicable for CI. For instance, do you think that there is a need for a specific CI BOK for decision makers? Is so, which are the key components?

Alessandro Comai

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Hi Alessandro:

There are many, including some good ones like the examples you've already shared, although none of them have achieved the status of the accepted ontology for the domain of competitive intelligence. It was one of the reasons I developed the CI Foundation back in 2004 so that we could achieve this elusive goal. Although i am generally an optimist, and despite our sizable investments of financial, human and intellectual resources toward this objective, we will not likely be able to achieve this anytime soon, either.

First of all, we need to have a professional association (e.g., SCIP) with the credibility to authorize it. Second, we need agreement on the definition of the field's boundaries. These pages at NING provide many of the ongoing debates about our inability to even agree on what the term or field of "competitive intelligence" is (or should be). Third, BOKs are living -- they are constantly refreshed, challenged through ongoing research and debate, published, used in establishing educational certification programs, etc.

I'm afraid that the empirical evidence at present would lead to the conclusion that we (CI scholars, researchers, practitioners, educators, association governance, etc.) lack most of the essential elements to have a legitimate BOK in CI.

Having said that, we need more people like yourself to keep the development efforts moving forward.

Regards, Craig
Hello Craig,

I agree with the fact that CI practitioners do not agree in the definition of CI (scope). Perhaps the reason behind this is that there are numerous disciplines involved in CI and therefore each one will have their own perspective.

If we look at CI for an enterprise (under the Industrial/organizational economics lens) I think the BOK wants to identify an overall framework which includes the most important or demanded competencies and capabilities in CI. This can be at practitioner or firm level

My experience in World-Class CI Function™ model is that is not so difficult to get an agreement. The model is still in development but after having more than 300 companies using and applying the model do not seems to be so far.



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