Competitive intelligence in a multinational consulting engineering company: A case study

Yolandi Prinsloo
2017 Mousaion  
Intelligence is not a new concept and dates back to over 5000 years of Chinese history. The concept of competitive intelligence is, however, still an evolving field and consists of three main streams, i.e. military intelligence, national security and political science and business intelligence. The modern-day business interpretation of competitive intelligence has been changed and refined by various researchers, but the essence of these interpretations is the same and lies in the ethical
more » ... ng and interpretation of information to drive innovation and inform strategic decision-making. If successful, this assists companies in gaining a competitive advantage. The consulting engineering industry is experiencing major disruptions, such as rapid advancement in technology, the global economic downturn and changes in the traditional business arena. To combat these disruptions and gain long-lasting competitive advantage and growth, competitive intelligence must not only be embedded in the culture of a company, but also form the cornerstone of innovation and inform strategic business decisions. The aim of this study was to determine how competitive intelligence is implemented in an anonymous multinational consulting engineering company. To establish this aim, the nature of competitive intelligence was firstly investigated by defining the competitive intelligence process, identifying the influencers and attributes of useful information, studying the need for and challenges of competitive intelligence implementation and exploring some of the competitive intelligence tools/techniques. Secondly, the need for establishing a competitive intelligence culture was examined by explaining the concept of corporate culture and exploring the ways to foster a competitive intelligence culture and community. The challenges relating to the implementation of competitive intelligence across borders were also examined. Thirdly, the relationship between competitive intelligence and innovation and competitive intelligence and business strategy were studied. Lastly, the types of information gathered, stored and distributed within the company as part of competitive intelligence activities and its importance to employees were investigated. The research method of the study was a survey, the results of which were combined in 11 conclusive findings: • The existing information function of the company is not used as part of competitive intelligence activities • The business strategy is client-centric and the company views information on clients as most important • The company relies heavily on people as sources of information x
doi:10.25159/0027-2639/2162 fatcat:nmogfuq2aje7pm73s4xumpaocy