Competitive intelligence and absorptive capacity for enhancing innovation performance of SMEs

Abdeslam Hassani, Elaine Mosconi


In dynamic and complex environments, it can be difficult for small and mediumsized
enterprises (SMEs) to achieve business performance, innovate and survive, even though
these actions are crucial for economic growth and competitiveness. Competitive intelligence (CI)
appears as a strategic practice to help them. Although there are many theoretical studies that
propose the relationship between CI and innovation, few studies have conducted empirical
studies in the context of SMEs. The objective of this paper is to investigate how competitive
intelligence enhances innovation performance in the context of a SME. Based on a literature
review and empirical data from several interviews with managers of one SME, our findings
allowed us to propose a framework showing the contribution of CI to innovation performance
relying on absorptive capacity. Our findings also highlight that a prospector owner-manager
can improve the results of CI in the SME and contribute to better innovation performance.


Absorptive capacity, competitive intelligence, innovation performance, prospector owner-manager, SME

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