Original Research

Competitive intelligence in emerging economies: A comparative study between Brazil and South Africa

N Sewdass, Adeline Dutoit
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 11, No 1 | a35 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v11i1.35 | © 2015 N Sewdass, Adeline Dutoit | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 February 2016 | Published: 30 July 2015

About the author(s)

N Sewdass, Department of Business Management, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
Adeline Dutoit, Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria

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Competitive intelligence (CI) has long been recognised as a strategic management tool that could enhance competitiveness. CI is expected to play an essential developmental role in emerging economies. The need to enhance companies’ competitiveness has grown rapidly. CI is essential, and will increasingly be a challenge in the years to come, especially for emerging economies. This article will compare CI activities in South Africa with CI activities in Brazil. Companies in these two countries have faced increased environmental uncertainty and increasingly there is a need to compete. A questionnaire survey methodology was used where questionnaires were administered to CI experts in organisations in South Africa and Brazil. The findings of the study revealed that only a limited number of organisations in Brazil and South Africa recognise the importance of a CI unit. It was also interesting to note that the CI function is more mature in South Africa than in Brazil. As Brazil and South Africa become more integrated into the global economy, it stands to reason that the global economy will have more of an impact on the countries’ economies. To this end it has become more crucial to monitor global events and trends and it is very important for both countries to develop a CI culture.


competitive intelligence; competitiveness; emerging economies; global economy; competitors; knowledge economy


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