Original Research

Middle manager role and contribution towards the competitive intelligence process: A case of Irish subsidiaries

Willie Chinyamurindi
SA Journal of Information Management | Vol 18, No 2 | a727 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v18i2.727 | © 2016 Willie Chinyamurindi | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 December 2015 | Published: 27 July 2016

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Willie Chinyamurindi, Department of Business Management, University of Fort Hare, South Africa

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Background: Calls have been made especially during a period of global competition and economic austerity for research that focuses on how competitive intelligence (CI) is actually generated within organisations.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to understand the views and experiences of middle managers with regard to their role and contribution towards the CI process within Irish subsidiaries of the Multinational Corporation (MNC).

Method: The study adopts a qualitative approach using the semi-structured interview technique to generate narratives and themes around how CI is generated using a sample of 15 middle managers drawn from five participating Irish subsidiaries.

Results: Based on the analysis of the narratives of the middle managers, three main themes emerged as findings. Firstly, the process of gathering CI was facilitated by the reliance on internal and external tools. Secondly, information gathered from the use of such tools was then communicated by middle managers to top managers to inform the making of strategic decisions. Thus, (and thirdly), middle managers were found to occupy an important role not only through the execution of their management duties but by extending this influence towards the generation of information deemed to affect the competitive position of not just the subsidiary but also the parent company.

Conclusion: The study concludes by focusing on the implications and recommendations based on the three themes drawn from the empirical data.


Competitive intelligence; Middle managers; Subsidiaries; Competitive advantage; Narratives


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