NCB Workshop on Environment Scanning

Weaving a Web of Intelligence

March 23, 1998

Scope and Outline

The workshop presents an overview of environment scanning as a strategic organizational activity. It identifies basic design principles that have helped to ensure the effectiveness of organizational scanning. Environment scanning is not a homogenous activity, but is composed of four complementary modes of viewing and searching. The workshop discusses each mode of scanning, and presents an overall framework for managing and leveraging information resources on the Web and in online databases.


Dr Choo Chun Wei is a professor at the Faculty of Information Studies in the University of Toronto. He is the author of three recent books on information and knowledge management: Information Management for the Intelligent Organisation: The Art of Scanning the Environment (Information Today Inc, 1995, 2nd edition 1998), Managing Information for the Competitive Edge (Neal-Schuman 1997), and The Knowing Organisation (Oxford University Press 1998). He is presently working on Knowledge Management on the World Wide Web: Augmenting Organisational Intelligence through Intranets, which will be published by Kluwer. At the University of Toronto, Dr Choo conducts courses in information management, intranet design, online information retrieval and organisational decision making. He also teaches knowledge management at the University of Amsterdam and environment scanning at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil. He has also been invited to speak on environment scanning at the University of Helsinki (Finland) and INETI (Portugal).


Environment Scanning: 4 Design Principles

Modes of Environment Scanning

Weaving a Web of Online Intelligence

Case Studies and Discussion


Web-based Resources


  • George Day, Paul Shoemaker. 2006. Peripheral Vision. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

  • Haridimos Tsoukas and Jill Shepherd. 2004. Managing the Future. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.

  • A collection of reports from the Institute of the Future is at the IFTF Library.

  • France Bouthillier and Kathleen Shearer. 2003. Assessing Competitive Intelligence Software. Medford, NJ: Information Today Inc.

  • Friedman, G., Friedman, M., Chapman, C., and Baker, J. 1997. The Intelligence Edge. New York: Crown.

  • Fuld, L. M. 1995. The New Competitor Intelligence: The Complete Resource for Finding, Analyzing, and Using Information About Your Competitors. John Wiley & Sons: New York.

  • Gilad, B.; Herring, J. P., eds. 1996. The Art and Science of Business Intelligence Analysis: Intelligence Analysis and Its Applications. J.A.I. Press.

  • Kahaner, L. 1996. Competitive Intelligence: From Black Ops to Boardrooms - How Businesses Gather, Analyze, and Use Information to Succeed in the Global Marketplace; Simon & Schuster: New York, NY.

  • John Stoffels. 1994. Strategic Issues Management: A Comprehensive Guide to Environmental Scanning. Oxford, UK: Pergamon Press.