Global Corporate Intelligence: Opportunities, Technologies, and Threats in the 1990s

By George S. Roukis; Hugh Conway et al. | Go to book overview

8
The Structure of the Corporate Intelligence System

Mamdouh Farid

Intelligence denotes knowledge and the process involved in the search and the reach for knowledge. Corporate intelligence or knowledge results from a process that usually includes the collection, analysis, interpretation, processing, and dissemination of information. 1 For a business firm, it is the ability to scan and interpret the external environment, monitor itself, and communicate effectively with its diverse functional parts. 2

There are many developments that increase the importance of corporate intelligence. For example, there is broad agreement that the organizational environment is becoming increasingly more complex and uncertain regarding the future course of events. 3 With increases in environmental uncertainty, the establishment of a corporate intelligence system becomes vital. Sources of uncertainty that are subject to intelligence activities include globalization, technology, product substitutes, shifts in customer demographics, value changes, political stability, and shifts in public policy. While many of these sources of uncertainty are not novel, their pace of change and intensity are greater than ever. 4 These qualitative characteristics make prediction of the environment and its impact upon the future of the organization a difficult task. In an unpredictable environment, and this is the norm for many firms, an organization may abandon its standard operating policies and scan the environment for causes and solutions. 5

In addition, corporate intelligence takes on a greater significance in response to the contemporary knowledge explosion. This refers to the exponential increase in data collection and technologies dealing with information and communication. 6

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