On the relationship between competitive intelligence and innovation

Jonathan Calof, Nisha Sewdass


Innovation research suggests customer, competitor and market knowledge are
important requirements for innovation. Researchers in competitive intelligence (CI) have
proposed that there should be a relationship between CI and innovation. Yet despite both fields
recognising the need for CI and related areas for innovation in their theories, there have not
been many empirical studies that look at CI and innovation and those few studies that do exist
have limited focus and have only looked at a small subset of CI variables (for example collection
sources). The aim of this study is to examine if there is a relationship between CI and
innovation. This was done by surveying Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professional
(SCIP) members and those attending SCIP events, and asking them about their intelligence
practices and how innovative their company was. Ninety-five questions were asked about CI
structure and organization, intelligence focus, information sources used, analytical techniques
used, communication methods, and the management of the intelligence efforts. Of the 95
competitive intelligence measures used in this study, 56 (59%) were significantly correlated with
the study’s measure of innovation. The measures within the CI organizational elements and CI
management categories had the highest percentage of measures significantly correlated with
innovation (90% and 89%). Four of the CI measures had statistically significant correlations
above .300. These included the extent to which business decisions in the organization were
better facilitated/supported as a result of intelligence efforts (.355), the number of performance
measures used in assessing CI’s performance (.322) and decision depth (.313), which is a
measure of the number of decisions that utilized CI. As a study of this nature measuring the
relationship between CI and innovation has not been conducted previously, the findings can bebeneficial to organisations using innovation to succeed in the competitive environment.


Market Market Intelligence, Business Intelligence, Competitive Intelligence, Information Systems, Geo-Economics

Full Text:



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DOI: https://doi.org/10.37380/jisib.v10i2.583


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