Strategic Intelligence: A Semantic Leadership Perspective: History
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This paper explores the notion of strategic intelligence, namely with respect to leadership and business-oriented areas. Strategic intelligence is a researched concept that primarily concerns the collection and analysis of intelligence for policy and military planning, mainly at national and international levels, whereas this study of management and organizational decision-making application is an extension of that. This article’s subject is the necessity for strategic intelligence, a crucial competence for leaders, managers, and companies striving to remain competitive, to be utilized and best leveraged in today’s volatile and dynamic business contexts. This study follows a research design that includes a thorough literature review and bibliometric research, executed via VoSViewer, illustrating the concept of strategic intelligence from a leadership point of view as a driver of competitive advantage, enhanced by knowledge dynamics. Furthermore, this article points out that the limitations are acknowledged because the literature on the matter is limited, as strategic intelligence is relatively new to the business sector; moreover, more research is required to fully understand and use the potential of strategic intelligence in business growth. Overcoming these limitations and continuing to study the strategic intelligence concept could, on the one hand, use multiple platforms, such as scholarly articles or encyclopedias, and, on the other hand, support businesses in gaining a competitive edge and making informed decisions that can fuel their success in an ever-evolving market.

  • strategic intelligence
  • leadership
  • neuroleadership
  • global management
  • cultural intelligence
  • knowledge dynamics
According to Sherman Kent, Yale University history professor and pioneer of strategic intelligence (abbreviated SQ in line with its predecessors IQ—intelligence quotient; CQ—cultural intelligence; EQ—emotional intelligence), intelligence work is an endeavour to acquire the knowledge upon which a successful course of action can be rested [1]. On the other hand, strategic intelligence is perceived as knowledge upon which a nation’s foreign relations must rest in war or peace [2]. In this framed context, strategic intelligence is regarded as vital to a nation’s survival. Building on this, and according to LaPaglia, who focused on the cultural roots of strategic intelligence [3], SQ enables the possibilities of gaining and keeping strategic values [4] and advantages, goal-reaching, and potential realization in challenging, adverse, or different environments. Furthermore, LaPaglia emphasizes that SQ not only enables the acquisition and maintenance of strategic values and advantages but also facilitates goal achievement in various complex settings.
Strategic intelligence usually assists high-level decision-makers, such as senior government leaders, in understanding the geopolitical factors shaping the world around them. Such intelligence can help leaders and major stakeholders anticipate future events, avoid strategic surprises, and make informed decisions [5]. Not all intelligence is predictive in nature, but forecasts are a vital aspect of SQ, as they reduce uncertainty about future events for decision-makers. Collecting raw data about a particular country’s diplomatic, economic, and military capacity falls under the initial set scope of strategic intelligence. However, that data must be analyzed and combined with other forms of intelligence, such as emotional intelligence (EQ) and cultural intelligence (CQ) [6], to produce credible forecasts [7][8].
Nowadays, strategic intelligence is more important than ever [9]. The bipolarity of the Cold War and its new recent waves have been replaced by the uncertainty of an emerging multipolar system [10]. Nonetheless, strategic intelligence is meaningless if decision-makers refuse to act on it. A nation’s need for intelligence resources is dependent on the view of the world held by its leaders. Relations between intelligence producers and consumers are vital for a nation’s security. Here lies the great paradox of strategic intelligence: billions of dollars are spent annually worldwide to acquire and interpret information on world events, only to have it dismissed out-of-hand by policy officials for reasons having little or nothing to do with the quality of the intelligence reporting [11]. Strategic intelligence competes for decision-makers’ attention against other elements that create strategic information, knowledge, and insights [12], as a considerable number of leaders’ decisions today are still based on opinions, beliefs, and their derivatives rather than on SQ. These challenges originate from shrinking trust in state institutions and the decline in the status of truth [13], all in an era under pressure from fake news and artificial intelligence (AI)-generated information [14].
In management fields, strategic intelligence deployment allows leaders to see the whole picture of the direct and indirect competition landscape, sense threats and vulnerabilities at the earliest possible stage for proactive risk management, utilize early changes in the external environment, enhance knowledge dynamics [15], make real-time decisions based on the latest data in order to stay alert and agile and not drown in unpredictable evolutions, and finally achieve sustainable growth and success [16], which is essential in the current complex and dynamic business environment [17]. This strategic foresight empowers leaders and managers to foresee proactive, informed measures and judgments that set their organizations right for sustainable long-term success and resilience in an ever-changing global and multicultural context [16].
Our bibliometric and semantic research about the connections of SQ with leadership can be enhanced by engaging with the business community, think tank hubs, strategists, and academic platforms, such as encyclopedias, which can popularize faster and increase the credibility of the strategic intelligence knowledge base.
From the above-mentioned perspective, our research questions are:
  • RQ1: Is there a positive relationship between SQ and leadership?
  • RQ2: Is knowledge dynamics a main driver of SQ that facilitates decision-making?
  • RQ3: Is technology a driver of SQ?

This entry is adapted from the peer-reviewed paper 10.3390/encyclopedia4020050


  1. Kent, S. Strategic Intelligence for American World Policy; Princeton University Press: Princeton, NJ, USA, 1949.
  2. Olcott, A. Revisiting The Legacy: Sherman Kent, Willmoore Kendall, and George Pettee—Strategic Intelligence in the Digital Age. Stud. Intell. 2009, 53, 21–32. Available online: (accessed on 25 March 2024).
  3. LaPaglia, G. The Cultural Roots of Strategic Intelligence; Lexington Books: London, UK, 2019.
  4. Paiuc, D. Cultural Intelligence as a Main Competency for Multinational Leadership and Global Management. In Proceedings of the Strategica—International Academic Conference/Knowledge Economy Section, Bucharest, Romania, 21–22 October 2021; Bratianu, C., Zbuchea, A., Anghel, F., Hrib, B., Eds.; Tritonic Publishing House: Bucharest, Romania, 2021; pp. 1080–1089. Available online: (accessed on 25 March 2024).
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  10. Ntumba, M.; Bosch, M.; Consoni, A.; Plaatjie, L. Global Security Policy for Geopolitical Risks Mitigation; Tod’Aérs Global Network : New York, NY, USA, 2022; pp. 1–35. Available online: (accessed on 25 March 2024).
  11. Shapira, I. The Main Challenges Facing Strategic Intelligence. Strateg. Assess. 2020, 23, 1–19. Available online: (accessed on 25 March 2024).
  12. Shapira, I. Strategic Intelligence as an Art and a Science: Creating and Using Conceptual Frameworks. Intell. Natl. Secur. 2019, 35, 283–299.
  13. Horsthemke, K. Educational Research, Culturally Distinctive Epistemologies and the Decline of Truth. Eur. Educ. Res. J. 2019, 18, 513–526.
  14. Hyun, K.; Seo, M.; Lee, G. Politicization of Fake News Debates and Citizen Attitudes towards Fake News and Its Regulation. Journalism 2024.
  15. Bratianu, C.; Paiuc, D. A Bibliometric Analysis of Knowledge Dynamics in Managerial Decision Making. Knowledge 2022, 2, 702–718.
  16. Mehta, D.; Mehta, A. Strategic Intelligence and Business Performance: A Study of Indian Pharmaceutical Industries. Eur. Chem. Bull. 2023, 12, 5287–5295.
  17. Fuld, L.M. The Competitor Intelligence Process. Compet. Intell. Rev. 1996, 7, 4–10.
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