The linkage between competitive intelligence and competitive advantage in emerging market business: A case in the commercial vehicle industry

Stefan Zwerenz


To achieve competitive advantage (CA) in emerging markets (EM) firms are
suggested to increase market orientation, using competitive intelligence (CI) as a source to
increase firm performance. However, in-depth linkage between CA and CI, as well as its
awareness/culture and process/structure constructs, has been researched and understood only
in a limited way in general and for EM business in particular. This paper gives in-depth
clarification of six research questions relating to the connection between CI, its constructs and
CA for EM business as well as how CI as a product/process could be adapted for a larger impact
on CA. It reports on a qualitative, document and interview data based in-depth single case study
at a CI department of a European Union (EU) commercial vehicle manufacturer engaging in
EM business. It finds that overall the linkage of CI for CA was traceable and transparent to
users/generators of CI in the specific case with ambiguously perceived limitations, and
influenced by seven identified factors. Seven out of eight pre-identified CI constructs were
promoted but also heterogeneously understood as contributing to CA, with no other relevant
constructs identifiable. Adaptions for more impact on CA were recommended for CI as a product
in a limited sense, and as a process with eight potential levers more comprehensively. These
results help businesses to improve CI, its constructs, its products and process for a better
linkage to CA and firm performance.


Competitive advantage, competitive intelligence, firm performance

Full Text:



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