Competitive Intelligence

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

Integration on two levels in Intelligence Studies: Where do we go?

During the past few years we have seen a strong development of BI, or software for use in private intelligence. Today this has become an area of study for software engineers. On the management side the problem has been studied as part of decision support systems. There has also been much research trying to combine the software side with the management practice side of intelligence, or competitive intelligence. (The distinction of these different academic communities is illustrated in the journals, by decision support systems, journal of global information management, business intelligence journal, journal of knowledge management, expert systems, information resource management journal, information and management, interfaces, cir, decision sciences, information quality management). An important question for us at Blekinge Institute of Technology is exactly this integration. In a larger sense there is also the question about the integration of state/public and private intelligence. How do we set the limits? What works? What does not work? E.g. it is very difficult to get someone with a management or economics degree to make real contributions in software development. And it is difficult to get state and military organizations to open up and see the benefits of private intelligence. At the same time it seems clear that these two levels of integration are often called for.

To recapitulate I see two forms of integrations: 1. between Bi and CI, 2. between Private and Public/State intelligence.

I welcome your ideas on this topic.

The attachment is an example of a course developed between software engineers, management academics and a lawyer for the Swedish Police Academy (state intelligence).

Views: 77


Replies to This Discussion

Hello, Klaus, I'd like to thank you for your mention of integration between Private and Public/State intelligence. Especially in times of "impoverish your neighbor policy" such kind of integration seems to be obvious. However, it isn't easy to study because it is naturally hidden with embarrassment by all participants. Nearly a month ago during the blended course Information security ( ), I've told my Polish students about that integration quoting Frederick Hitz's lecture Why Spy? Espionage in an Era of Uncertainty ( ).

Best wishes,
Tad ( )
Hello Klaus,
In the MBA program where I teach CI we have decided to combine the CI studies with BI program as we think that the interelations are important. We are now in the process of building such a program which we hope to open in the coming academic year of 2009/10 (Oct. 2009). At this stage, I can not tell you yet the shape of this program but in a month we hope to formulate it.
I have been teaching Competitive Intelligence (CI) as part of the MBA and EMBA programmes at leading business schools in Europe and South Africa (where I now live) for over 10 years. My courses are based mainly on the theory and practice of intelligence in the national security domain. In my view, the only rea differences between government and private sector operations occur in the collection phase of the ‘Intelligence Cycle’. Even here, however, there seems to be insufficient discussion about the unique value of reliable human source intelligence (HUMINT) and how, using elicitation techniques for example, it can be ethically collected and integrated into the CI 'mix'

In short, CI owes much more to the history, intellectual underpinnings, experience, and ultimate purpose of government intelligence than it does to market research, library science, or any of the other more traditional business disciplines. To illustrate, the first case my students are required to consider is one published by the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, Credible Warnings or False Alarms?: What the US Knew on September 10, 2001. The case deals with issues ranging from the problem of cognitive biases, to organization silos, to the ‘disconnect’ between intelligence producers and consumers, to the lack of HUMINT prior to 9/11, and much more.

If those who teach CI want to truly differentiate their subject from market research, and demonstrate its invaluable role in the strategy process of the firm, I suggest that one looks to government for intelligence models and lessons, both existing and evolving. I would also urge anyone teaching CI who is not already a member of IAFIE to join immediately. I have not found any other organization in our field that offers greater value to those who teach the subject.

I would be happy to discuss any aspect of my CI teaching with other lecturers who are a members of this forum.

Best regards
"I have not found any other organization in our field that offers greater value to those who teach the subject."--it would be really hard not to concur with you, Douglas. Nonetheless, it's a pity that Dr. William Sondervan and Dr. Barry Zulauf aren't also members of our social network and I cannot ask them about the details of their Teaching Intelligence Online ( ).

I hope the Internet is an educational medium treated preferentially also by Dr. William Sondervan and Dr. Barry Zulauf. Will therefore they or any other participant in that conference [for example, Suki Fuller ( )] comment on that message of mine ( )?
Hey Douglas,

Do you not think that it may be seen as a problem for many potential members of a IAFIE that it is so dominated by Anglo Saxon and in particular US members and board members?
How do you think the IAFIE would react to cooperating with other international organizations, like ATELIS, or SIIE, to make it more international?
To my knowledge IAFIE is not connected to any scientific journal, do you know where most of its academic members publish?

As to teaching intelligence as a mix of private and public practices this has also been our preferred way. To me there are no problems teaching intelligence as open sources in both spheres. The methods are much of the same and there is nothing secret about any of them. only the examples, the applications can be secret. The way we solve this is to keep the auditorium closed during student presentations at the end of the course. In our programs the students do not learn about the examples, only about the method. Thus we guarantee our philosophy of Open Source as a part of the university tradition. As a primer we use the book

You've written "To my knowledge IAFIE is not connected to any scientific journal" but I think International Association for Intelligence Education is connected chiefly to International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence. They mention it at and two members of IAFIE Board of Directors 2009-2011 ( ), namely Dr. Stephen Marrin and Dr. Mark Lowenthal, are members of IJIC Editorial Board ( ).
Hello Douglas,
can you send me your email? mine is
I would welcome any reports or updates anyone is willing to post from your Stockholm conference next week - I'm heartbroken I can't make the trip myself as I'd seriously considered it, since I understand you're on track to have one of the best conferences in CI (period, not just "academic" conferences) so I'm eager to hear any highlights.

Is anyone tweeting it? If so, is there a hashtag for it - I'm thinking of setting up an integrated feed for #sla2009 so could throw them together on the main homepage here if anyone was willing?

Safe travels all,

- Arik
Although it seems that national intelligence and all aspects of business intelligence (CI, BI,MI) are close, I'm not sure it is so in practice. And practice makes many differences. As having long experience in both- I can see that many times you need a different set of mind, and unfortunately I see those who retire from national intelligence cannot make the switch in their mindset to the business world and actually find themselves in an environment that needs difference capabilities. To my view, it is a major issue that has to be looked in very seriously.
As far as I know, IAFIE is looking forward to expand to Europe and to other parts of the world. They understand the need to be global.


Free Intel Collab Webinars

You might be interested in the next few IntelCollab webinars:

RECONVERGE Network Calendar of Events

© 2023   Created by Arik Johnson.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service