Competitive Intelligence Practices in The Emerging Market of India: An Exploratory Survey
Adidam, Phani Tej, Shukla, Paurav and Banerjee, Madhumita (2008) Competitive Intelligence Practices in The Emerging Market of India: An Exploratory Survey In: Strategic Management Society (Special Conference): Emerging India - Strategic Innovation in a Flat World, 12-14 Dec 2008, Hyderabad, India. (Unpublished)
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Competitive Intelligence (CI) is a continuously evolving process by which businesses assess the behavior and capabilities of their current and potential competitors to assist in maintaining and developing their competitive advantage. It involves discovering, analyzing and using intelligence from publicly available, non-proprietary information sources and converting it into knowledge on a continuing basis (Blenkhorn and Fleisher, 2005). This, in turn, assists companies in their strategic planning activities (Prescott, 1989). Furthermore, as intelligence is developed in a systematic and formal basis, it allows top managers to make better informed decisions regarding future events (Gilad, 2003). The primary objective of CI programs for organizations is to maintain a general understanding of their industry and competitors (Prescott and Smith, 1989). However, in the past decade several CI practitioners have also focused on identifying areas in which their competitors are vulnerable, and have assessed the impact of their own firm’s actions on their competitors (Pepper, 1999; Behnke and Slayton, 1998). More recently, CI practitioners have attempted to identify potential moves of competitors that might endanger their firm’s position in the market (Fuld, 2006). Given the importance of CI in strategic planning activities, noteworthy research has been conducted on the CI practices in various emerging markets such as China (Bao, Tao, and Dai, 1998; Tao and Prescott, 2000), Russia (Flint 2002), Middle East (Feiler 1999), Latin America (Price 2000), and South Africa (Muller 1999; De Pelsmacker et al. 2005). However, to the best of our knowledge, research on CI practices in India is singularly lacking. Therefore, this paper explores the current state of CI practices in the emerging market of India. As India continues to play a major role in the global economy (Johnson and Tellis, 2008; Sheth 2008), in terms of both inward and outward internationalization (Contractor, Kumar and Kundu, 2007), much remains unknown as to how this market will evolve in future (Ablett et al. 2007). In such an uncertain scenario, CI becomes a critical strategic planning and competitive advantage tool. Therefore, it is imperative that we understand how Indian firms are practicing CI, as this can assist local and foreign firms compete against each other in the Indian as well as international markets.
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