The Use of Theories in Competitive Intelligence: a Systematic Literature Review


  • Tumelo Maungwa
  • Paul Laughton



competitive intelligence, competitive intelligence cycle, theories


The field of competitive intelligence is growing as organisations are looking to increase their competitive advantage in a global society. As this field grows, so does the research and academic literature on this practice. While theory that specifically focuses on competitive intelligence may be limited, theories from other popular and related fields such as management and psychology have been used to explain or guide some the popular competitive intelligence processes with the competitive intelligence cycle. This paper attempts to lay a foundation of relevant theory from previously published literature on competitive intelligence by mapping these theories against the six identified competitive intelligences processes. The qualitative approach used to achieve this was a literature analysis, involving thematic analysis through a process of coding. The resulting consolidation and processing of these theories led to the development of a useful framework from which other current and future theories can be added, paving the way for further theory development in the field of competitive intelligence.


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