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Abstract

The “intelligent puzzle” is that managers, according to a recent survey, assess their competitiveness as above average relative to the market, but acknowledge that they lack the CI capability to really compete effectively relative to their needs. In a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive world, they persist with relatively unsophisticated approaches to CI, especially when all levels of management recognize that their CI needs outstrip their CI capability. Most managers think they are doing CI when they listen to rumors, read a few newspapers, talk to their sales staff, and carry out some market research. In a way this is CI, but it is not very good CI, and it is not appropriate to a fast changing, complex, global world. The flood of information created by the Web-based economy means that it is clearly impossible for managers (especially senior and middle managers) to do their own CI effectively; the amount of information is just too great for managers to be able to rely on the use of unsystematic, unsophisticated techniques and sources. If CI processes are really to be effective, then managers need to be able to make better use of a wide range of sources and techniques, and that requires a more systematic approach to the delegation of responsibility for collecting information, storing it in ways that can be accessed, analyzing it, and communicating it to the right people. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.