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Capability Challenges in the Human Domain for Intelligence Analysis: Report on Community-Wide Discussions with Canadian Intelligence Professionals

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Building on an earlier small-sample interview study Derbentseva, McLellan, Mandel, 2011, this report describes the findings of a focus group study with members of the Canadian intelligence community. The present study had both a larger and more diverse sample of intelligence practitioners than the earlier study. Four focus group discussions were conducted to explore human capability challenges within the broader Canadian community. The study also explored how behavioral science research might help the intelligence community deal with the identified challenges. A wide range of issues and challenges were identified by participants, including coordination and information sharing within the community, professionalization, the need for better career paths, improving recruitment practices, educating consumers about the intelligence process and products, clarifying the relationship between consumers and producers of analytic products and research, promoting collegial collaboration through informal networking, and understanding the role of mentoring and its impact on intelligence personnel. Overall, the study documents an expanded set of issues and challenges facing intelligence personnel, strong evidence of the potential contribution that future research can make toward alleviating current challenges within the intelligence community, and a detailed list of potential research opportunities for behavioral science researchers who wish to support intelligence capability.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Intelligence

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