The quest for intelligence in SME´s: acting on external information by development of internal practices

Björn Cronquist

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

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    Abstract

    Organizational Intelligence (OI) focuses particularly on the systematic processing of information from external sources in order to enhance the ability to foresee the future and to adapt to changes in the environment. Traditionally this pursuit of intelligence has been regarded as a central organizational function focusing on information retrieval and information provision. OI has also been regarded as an issue mainly reserved for the larger companies. In pace with the development of global markets even for small and medium sized enterprises (SME), the urge for Organizational Intelligence (OI) in these companies is increasing. This paper presents a model for describing how intelligence is obtained in successful SME´s. The model is evaluated and tested through case based reasoning towards a framework for describing OI in SME´s.

    This research explores OI from a different perspective in promoting a more action-directed approach investigating how organizational intelligence is expressed in organizational processes and routines. The core contribution from the work presented is that OI in SME´s is effectively explained by the contribution from motivated knowledge workers commitment to organizational intelligence activities as expressed in knowledge management practices. This statement is supported by an empirical investigation which is built on a case study of a successful company, Bend&Weld Ltd, showing rapid, sustainable and profitable growth. The case of Bend&Weld address the main question; How can the pursuit of Organizational Intelligence in successful small and medium sized enterprises be explained and described? , supported by the sub questions; How can individual knowledge workers spontaneous environmental scanning support Organizational Intelligence? , and, What role can routines and procedures play in the pursuit of Organizational Intelligence? The findings demonstrate that organizational intelligence is not limited to an information processing function but rather should be viewed as an outcome of planned knowledge management practices constituting core organizational business processes. SME´s recognize the need to be attentive to their environments but are not aware nor can describe in what way they are pursuing intelligence. The result of a five year research project presents a model to describe and understand the pursuit of intelligence in SME´s.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages129-136
    Number of pages7
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    Event5th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning -
    Duration: 1980-Jan-01 → …

    Conference

    Conference5th International Conference on Intellectual Capital, Knowledge Management and Organisational Learning
    Period80-01-01 → …

    Swedish Standard Keywords

    • Business Administration (50202)

    Keywords

    • knowledge management practices
    • organizational intelligence
    • sme

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