Original Research

Competitive intelligence: An instrument to enhance South Africa’s competitiveness

Wilma Viviers, M Muller, A du Toit
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 8, No 2 | a1232 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v8i2.1232 | © 2014 Wilma Viviers, M Muller, A du Toit | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 September 2014 | Published: 20 October 2014

About the author(s)

Wilma Viviers,
M Muller, IBIS Business and Information Services
A du Toit, University of Johannesburg

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The case for Competitive Intelligence (CI) as an instrument that can enhance the competitiveness of South African companies and South Africa as a country is strong. Various global competitive rankings measurements have indicated over a number of years the areas in which competitiveness is lacking. Moreover, these rankings have indicated that South Africa has failed to improve its position year on year. The fact that the world is becoming increasingly competitive for South African entities is undisputed. Coupled with a fluctuating exchange rate and the country’s geographical proximity, this poses unique challenges facing South African managers who have to deal with various regulations and legislative matters. In order to create and sustain an effective knowledge economy and to enhance global competitiveness, South Africa however has to put appropriate strategies/measures in place to stimulate, encourage and grow knowledge practices. Competitive Intelligence (CI) as a means of making more sense of the competitive business environment and to identify opportunities and risks in time to act upon can be effectively used as a means to enhance competitiveness. Valuable lessons from successful CI practices in the business sector and government can be learnt from elsewhere in the world. CI should be investigated and adapted for South Africa’s business environment. It is therefore the aim of this article to first attempt to describe the role of CI in enhancing competitiveness, specifically in South Africa and secondly, to stimulate thought on how to secure momentum in enhancing CI as an academic field by developing relevant CI courses as well as demonstrating the value of CI to companies in South Africa through research and collaboration between academics and the private and public sectors. 


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