Original Research

Competitive intelligence and strategy implementation: Critical examination of present literature review

Mpho L. Maluleka, Bibi Z. Chummun
South African Journal of Information Management | Vol 25, No 1 | a1610 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v25i1.1610 | © 2023 Mpho L. Maluleka, Bibi Z. Chummun | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 September 2022 | Published: 07 September 2023

About the author(s)

Mpho L. Maluleka, Graduate School of Business and Leadership, College of Law and Management Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Bibi Z. Chummun, Graduate School of Business and Leadership, College of Law and Management Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


Background: Competitive intelligence (CI) involves recognising that intelligence is the basis of firms engaging in strategic activities in a competitive marketplace. Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of CI in strategic planning processes, but the impact of CI on strategy execution has received less academic attention.

Objectives: This study aims to critically examine the current state of the CI and the strategy implementation literature. It also identifies gaps and limitations in the existing literature.

Method: This study employed systematic literature with the selection criterion to identify 33 publications published between 2008 and 2022. Thematic content analysis provided a range of analytic options. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost, and Google Scholar databases were used to locate peer-reviewed journal articles. The publications were grouped by journal names, year of publication, and article count.

Results: The study found that CI played a vital role in developing company strategies and practices. Our study also showed that a plethora of peer-reviewed academic articles on CI were published in developed countries such as North America and Europe. Only a few CI-related studies have been published in developing countries.

Conclusion: Most authors have not examined how CI leads to strategy implementation, even though CI research has gained traction internationally over the years. Competitive intelligence was not found to have a relationship with implementing, evaluating, and monitoring strategies pointing out gaps in the literature and suggesting future research.

Contribution: This study examines the current state of the literature on CI and strategy implementation, and identifies gaps in the existing literature. Furthermore, the study contributes to academic knowledge by emphasising the significance of a well-defined and structured CI process in achieving strategy implementation outcomes.


competition; competitive intelligence; CI; information; strategy; SI.

JEL Codes

I23: Higher Education • Research Institutions; O31: Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals


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