Competitive Intelligence Science: Unified View, Modular Definition, Instruments, and Mindset

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


This research focuses on Competitive Intelligence (CI) as a precursor of sound decisions that improve and sustain the performance of organisations in an exponentially changing world. The absence of an empirically validated scientific definition is a foundational gap that hinders its art, practice and science. So far, the lack of conceptual consensus and delimitation of the body of knowledge inhibited the establishment of a profession, education, and the advancement of the discipline. Thus, the aim of this study is to lay down the foundations of CI science and the developments of its praxis. A mixed-methods approach was used to derive a scientific definition and provide an empirical validation grounded in the expertise of top subject matter experts. A meta-analysis supported the development of a unified, integrative, thorough maturity model and a set of instruments to guide its implementation and development. Furthermore, the design thinking mindset was identified as appropriate in support of its practice. Overall, the empirically validated scientific definition, the maturity model, the implementation frameworks, and the design thinking mindset are expected to put the CI virtuous cycle in motion catapulting its praxis into a new era. More importantly, they should contribute to improving the performance of professionals, organisations, industries and countries, differentiating CI versus related disciplines, promoting admittance in academe, and mobilising all stakeholders towards developing its practice, education, and theoretical advancement.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
  • Castelli, Mauro, Supervisor
  • Popovic, Ales, Supervisor
Award date7 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2023


  • Competitive intelligence science (CIS)
  • Unified View
  • Modular definition
  • Body of knowledge (BoK)
  • Maturity model
  • Design thinking mindset


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