The Business Anticipatory Ecosystem outside the “First World”: Competitive Intelligence in South Africa

IBIS™ is proud to announce that this article has been published in FORESIGHT AND STI GOVERNANCE Vol. 14 No 3 2020


Marie-Luce Kühn: Extra-ordinary research scientist, North-West University, and owner IBIS™, South Africa,
Wilma Viviers: Research Professor and WTO Chair, North-West University, South Africa, Jonathan Calof: Professor, Telfer School of Business; Extra-ordinary Professor; Leading Research Fellow,
Nisha Sewdass: Professor, University of South Africa, South Africa,


The purpose of this article is to extend the Competitive Intelligence (CI) business ecosystem concept and measurements, as developed by our previous work, to South Africa. The article is based on a pioneer study on the CI business ecosystem conducted outside North America and demonstrates how the concept and measurements are applicable in other countries. The business ecosystem view considers the state of CI both in terms of intelligence practice (by firms) and the support system that enables firm practice. For this study, measures from past studies and additional revised measures were used to examine firms’ CI practice as well as CI supporting systems within government, academia, and professional associations. Through multiple lines of research, the study noted that CI remains a practiced discipline in South Africa with evidence of the field having evolved within the country. While CI practices have grown in terms of some elements (for example, academic contribution), activities in other aspects of the ecosystem have declined such as association involvement, conferences, workshops, and training. Future research should be conducted to better understand the changes in these elements and their impact upon CI practice.

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