Original Research

Competitive intelligence practices: A South African study

W. Viviers, A. Saayman, M. L. Muller, J. Calof
South African Journal of Business Management | Vol 33, No 3 | a703 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajbm.v33i3.703 | © 2018 W. Viviers, A. Saayman, M. L. Muller, J. Calof | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 12 October 2018 | Published: 30 September 2002

About the author(s)

W. Viviers, School of Economics, Risk Management and International Trade, Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education, South Africa
A. Saayman, School of Economics, Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education, South Africa
M. L. Muller, IBIS, South Africa
J. Calof, School of Management, University of Ottawa, Canada

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Abstract

Competitive Intelligence (CI) as a business discipline and as a business practice is still in its infancy in South Africa. Only a few higher education courses in CI exist in South Africa and only a few studies on CI practices in South African firms have been done. The question that arises is: What is the level of development and deployment of CI in South Africa? From this study it is clear that most of the responding firms believe that CI can be used to create a competitive advantage and that CI is a legitimate and necessary activity for increasing their firms’ intelligence. It is, however, also clear that South African firms are not well equipped yet to conduct good intelligence practices, especially in the areas of process and structure, analysis and awareness. Recommendations are made in order to increase the firms’ CI awareness in order to improve South African firms’ competitiveness.

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1. Competitive intelligence and firm competitiveness: an overview
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