Original Research

The practice turn within strategy: Competitive intelligence as integrating practice

Rachel Maritz, Adeline du Toit
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 21, No 1 | a2059 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v21i1.2059 | © 2018 Rachel Maritz, Adeline Du Toit | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 August 2017 | Published: 25 April 2018

About the author(s)

Rachel Maritz, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Adeline du Toit, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Background and aim: This article investigated the positioning of competitive intelligence within the field of strategy.

 

Methods: Publications on strategy and competitive intelligence were reviewed through thematic content analysis based on an extended literature review to determine their respective contents and how strategy as practice related to the crystallised competitive intelligence themes.

 

Results: The research demonstrated that strategy and competitive intelligence are inextricably interwoven. Competitive intelligence was shown to be not merely an activity or sequence of activities within the broader strategic management process, but a significant strategic practice.

 

Conclusion: We argued, based on a comprehensive literature review, that competitive intelligence is an integral practice within strategy that should be explored further for its contribution to emergent and deliberate strategies and the linkage between intra-organisational and extra-organisational activities. We proposed a framework to position competitive intelligence within strategy as practice and in relation to the process view of strategy. The conceptualised framework contributes to the corpus of strategy research as it formalised competitive intelligence as a critical part in the thinking about and the practice of strategy. It moved competitive intelligence from a position on the periphery of strategic management literature, where it was regarded as a mere activity, to an integral practice of strategy to be recognised by strategy scholars and worthy of further research.


Keywords

strategy as practice; competitive intelligence; framework; strategic management; strategizing

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