Information Management for the Intelligent Organization

The Art of Scanning the Environment

A book by Chun Wei Choo in the ASIS Monograph Series, published by Information Today/Learned Information (Medford, New Jersey) for the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

First published in 1995, a second edition appeared in 1998, and a third in 2002. eBook edition released in 2012.

Visit the book's page at: Information Today Inc; the ASIS&T online bookstore; US, Canada.

A Portuguese language edition is published by Editorial Caminho in 2003.

"The third edition of any publication indicates its success and correspondence with users' needs. This is undeniably the case of the Chun Wei Choo's book on information management and environmental scanning. Environmental scanning is widely known as a part of business and management discourse. However, Choo added a vital aspect and discussed it in the context of information activity, namely consciously conducted information management, of organisations. Therefore, the publication serves a double function:

  • as a complementary text for managers on environmental scanning and business intelligence, and
  • as a comprehensive account of general information management issues."

Macevičiūtė, E. 2003. Book review in Information Research, 8(4), available at:

"This book offers so much substantial information and support for environmental scanning that it certainly requires more than one thorough reading to pick up on all the finer detail. Apart from promoting environmental scanning in the learning or intelligent organization it can also present the creative reader with ideas for research on information seeking behavior, intranet design, current awareness services (one component of environmental scanning), and I believe, even the training of Library and Information Science (LIS) students—to name but a few.
As with his other publications, Choo’s style of writing is very accessible: clear, to the point, and according to a logical structure. It is clear how different sections are linked, and how each chapter contributes to the holistic picture of environmental scanning. The exceptional clarity with which this book is presented is one of the reasons why I would recommend the book for under-graduate as well as post-graduate courses."

Ina Fourie. 2003. Book review in Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 54 (2), p. 184-185.

"One of the more interesting aspects of Information Management for the Intelligent Organization is that it revitalizes the overworked concept of 'information management' by placing it in the context of organizational development. In this context, organizations are open systems that exist in and interact with the environment. Intelligent organizations are distinguished by the ability to read the environment and to adapt accordingly. Intelligent organizations are learning organizations, and are proficient at creating, acquiring, organizing, and using knowledge to develop desirable behaviors, improve competitive position, or achieve objectives. Organizational learning is perceived to be a cycle of activities rather than a single event, and it includes sensing the environment, perceiving change, interpreting the significance of the change, and developing appropriate organizational strategies and responses. Beginning with the above premise - that intelligent organizations are those in tune with the environment and capable of learning and adapting to environmental conditions - Choo offers a framework for information management that incorporates strategies for systematic environmental scanning and for systematic knowledge creation, management, and use. His objective is to encourage organizations to understand and manage processes more effectively and to increase their capacity to learn, to adapt, and to thrive."

Deborah Barreau. 2002. Book review in Library and Information Science Research, 22 (3), p. 343-345.

"This book explores how organizations learn and manage data from the highest levels of information theory. In this 3rd edition, Professor Choo explores how CI fits into his vision of organizational learning. His focus is on what he labels as environmental scanning. For those of us in CI, it is a challenging study of the ways and the whys of how businesses find and use, as well as ignore, misuse or miss, vast amounts of raw data about their competitive and business environments. ... For those CI professionals who want to understand where CI can fit into the overall information processes of well-managed enterprises and how CI can be made more effective, it is a valuable resource."

John McGonagle. 2003. Book review in Competitive Intelligence Magazine, November/December 2003 issue.

Search WorldCat for Chun Wei's books

The monograph has been substantially expanded for the third edition (Fall 2002):

  • Chapter 1 "The Intelligent Organization" contains a new section on Organizational Unlearning.

  • Chapter 2 "A Process Model of Information Management" contains two new sections on Information Ecology and Information Culture.

  • Chapter 3 "Managers as Information Users" contains a new section on Information Overload.

  • Chapter 4 "Environmental Scanning as Strategic Organizational Learning" is updated with several studies that appeared since the last edition.

  • Chapter 5 "Environmental Scanning in Action" includes extended new case studies, and a new section on environmental scanning in Canada.

  • Chapter 7 "Weaving a Web of Online Intelligence" has been extensively revised to reflect new developments in the Internet and online information industries.

  • Chapter 9 "Information Management, Knowledge Management, and the Information Professional" is new to this edition.

Information Management for the Intelligent Organization
Third Edition

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. The Intelligent Organization

Organizations and Environments

Organizational Information Processing

The Intelligent Organization

Intelligence Through Organizational Learning

Organizational Unlearning

Building the Intelligent Learning Organization

Chapter 2. A Process Model of Information Management

Information Needs

Information Acquisition

Information Organization and Storage

Information Products and Services

Information Distribution

Information Use

Information Ecology

Information Culture


Chapter 3. Managers As Information Users

Management as Conversations

Managers as Information Users

Implications for Information Management

Research on Managers as Information Users

The Politics of Information Sharing

Information Overload

Managerial Information Processing and Organizational Learning

Chapter 4. Environmental Scanning as Strategic Organizational Learning

From Competitor Intelligence to Social Intelligence

Competitive Intelligence

Business Intelligence

Social Intelligence

Environmental Scanning and Organizational Learning

Research on Environmental Scanning

Situational Dimensions: Perceived Environmental Uncertainty

Organizational Strategies

Managerial Traits

Information Needs: Focus of Environmental Scanning

Information Seeking (1): Source Use and Preferences

Information Seeking (2): Scanning Methods

Information Use


Chapter 5. Environmental Scanning in Action

Perspectives from Neurobiology

Environmental Scanning in Action in US Corporations

Environmental Scanning in UK Corporations

Environmental Scanning in Swedish Corporations

Environmental Scanning in Japanese Corporations

Environmental Scanning in Canada

Close-up View of Five Canadian CEOs

Designing an Environmental Scanning System

Chapter 6. Managing Information Sources

Managing an Information Ecology for Scanning the Environment

Selection and Use of Information Sources

Perceived Source Characteristics

Information traits

Information Richness

Human Sources

Textual Sources

Chapter 7. Weaving A Web of Online Intelligence

Modes of Environmental Scanning

The Internet: A Social Information Space

The Web as Organizational Information Infrastructure

Embarrassment of Riches: Resources on the Web

Companies Using the Internet for Environmental Scanning

The Value of Online Databases

Embarrassment of Riches: Online Databases

Companies Using Online Databases for Environmental Scanning

Chapter 8. Learning to be Intelligent

The Intelligent Organization

Information Management

Understanding Environmental Scanning

Designing an Effective Scanning System

Looking Ahead

Information Partnerships for the Intelligent Organization

New Ways of Organizational Learning and Understanding the Future

The New Dynamics of Competition

Chapter 9. Information Management, Knowledge Management, and the Information Professional

Data, Information, Knowledge, Action

Do We Know What We Know?

The Nature of Knowledge in Organizations

Information Professionals and Tacit Knowledge

Information Professionals and Explicit Knowledge

Information Professionals and Cultural Knowledge

Use of Intranets in Corporate Libraries