The Construction of Economic Intelligence as an Academic Discipline: A Theoretical Perspective

The Construction of Economic Intelligence as an Academic Discipline: A Theoretical Perspective

Florian Fougy (The Angers Economics and Management Research Group, University of Angers, Angers, France)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/ijbir.2014040101
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Abstract

Whereas “intelligence économique” was unknown in France up until the 1990s, it is now the subject of many scientific publications and professional courses. This article addresses the institutionalization of economic intelligence and its construction as a field of study over the last twenty years. It maintains that economic intelligence constitutes a discipline and that there is no geographical diffusion of economic intelligence but national emergences. This work interests in its appearance in France since the 1990s through the dual process of standardization of economic intelligence practices and the establishment of a scientific community characterized, as explained by Jovanovic (2008), by the creation of researchers groups, a common training and the affirmation of a specific method.
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1. What Is Economic Intelligence?

Economic intelligence relies on different definitions and a multitude of practices. Often incorporated within the framework of several disciplines, such as economics, management and communication,1 economic intelligence is sometimes considered as a “way of thinking and acting” (Levet, 2001, our translation) or sometimes as a tool for the management of strategic information (Giulia & Singh, 2011). Thus we wonder if economic intelligence is a discipline given its specific place in the literature. Firstly we will show how economic intelligence constitutes an academic discipline. Secondly we will see that the boundaries of the field are fuzzy.

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