South African Journal of Information Management
The purpose of the South African Journal of Information Management (SAJIM) is to publish high quality, peer reviewed articles four times a year in numbered issues. The fact that the journal is published only in electronic format makes the full use of hypertext and hypermedia applications possible.
Disciplines included are, inter alia, Knowledge management, Record management, Strategic management, Information economy, Records management, Information systems management, Data mining, Data warehousing, Relevant applications of information technology.
|Coverage||Vol 1 Issue 1 Jun 1999 - current|
Competitive intelligence (CI) professionals are at a crossroads. Data and analytic tools have made it easier to parse through increasing volumes of data to provide timely, value-added analysis and insights; yet somehow these advanced tools have not resulted in greater traction with a key customer - the executive. This article addresses practical steps that the CI professionals can take to increase their visibility and effectiveness when working with senior executives.
Empowering insight : the role of collaboration in the evolution of intelligence practice : original research
Background: Though subtle through the years, there has been a perceptible shift in competitive and market intelligence (CMI) practice from that of relying more heavily on sole operators to ones relying on collaboration. It happens within the nature of work performed inside intelligence functions, the larger organisation, and between organisations (i.e., intra-organisational). In this paper, the authors describe the change, develop a three-layered taxonomy for documenting it, and provide examples of how it impacts intelligence practice both now and possibly in the future.
Objective: To describe the increasingly evident role of collaboration and collaborative behaviour within insight producing functions in commercial, market-facing organisations. Identify evidence of collaborative intelligence practices in use across a range of different companies, industries, and geographies.
Method: The authors used a participant observation approach to developing this research. Thediscussion and frameworks in this study are based upon the authors' current roles, experiences and observations in leading a CMI group for a successful provincially based yet globally focused research and technology organisation, and having led interactive workshops and courses for over 100 organisations and approximately 1800 CMI analysts in over a dozen countries.
Results: The authors identified an impressive array of collaborative practices for each of the three layers of organisational environments studied. These included ones in (1) intra-process (aka, intelligence cycle) collaboration, (2) intra-organisational collaboration (i.e. within the intelligence and broader organisation) and (3) inter-organisational collaboration (i.e. between discrete organisations). These are illustrated from actual, observed, and ongoing CMI practices and are shared as examples reinforcing our view of the movement away from independent practices and approaches toward purposeful, socialised ones.
Conclusion: The evidence we have amassed provides substantial evidence of a notable and beneficial shift from doing intelligence work independently, frequently within silos, towards doing it collaboratively and across multiple types of boundaries. Intelligence practitioners are growing in their capabilities by taking advantage of emerging technologies, adapting practices imported from adjacent fields and benefitting from academic and/or scholarly research that helps push ahead the working boundaries of the field and allows it to make progress. In ourview, CMI practice has recently entered a third era of evolution, one in which collaboration will continue to feature prominently, if not centrally.
Antecedents of citizenship behaviour in online customer communities : an empirical investigation : original research
Background: Use of online communities for knowledge generation has become a common phenomenon. In order for online communities to serve as affective spaces for knowledge generation and exchange, members need to behave in ways that are in line with good citizenship. However, because of the limited research, not much is known about citizenship behaviour in such communities and the factors that foster such conduct.
Objectives: This article aims to examine the performance of citizenship behaviours by members of online customer communities, and the factors that influence this.
Methodology: Data were collected from 303 contributing members of online customer communities using a structured questionnaire. Structural equation modelling was used to analyse the data collected.
Results: The findings show moderate levels of engagement in citizenship behaviours among the respondents. Engagement in citizenship behaviours was in general found to be influenced more by the level of affective commitment towards the community than by the perceived levels of social support. Both affective commitment and perceived social support were found to have less influence on compliant citizenship behaviour when compared with altruism and personal initiative. Affective commitment was found to influence personal initiative most strongly, while social support had its strongest influence on altruism.
Conclusion: The results provide insights for managers of online customer communities into factors to which they should give attention in order to enhance the performance of citizenship behaviours.
Background: The South African property sector contributes highly to creating jobs, skills development, poverty reduction and economic growth. Although South Africa dropped in the global competitiveness ranking, the property sector of South Africa remains very competitive. To survive in a competitive sector, firms around the world practice competitive intelligence (CI). Although the use of CI has been examined in other sectors in South Africa, no study on CI practice has been conducted in the property sector.
Objectives: The objective of this research was to establish the extent to which the property sector of South Africa practices CI.
Method: This research was quantitative in nature and a web-based questionnaire was used to collect data from estate agencies in the South African property sector.
Results: The results indicate that the South African property sector is very competitive and estate agencies practice CI to gain competitive advantage and make quality decisions. Moreover, the results reveal that the property sector practice CI legally and ethically. The results indicate that the majority of estate agencies are very small employing at most five employees and make at most 5 million Rands annual turnover.
Conclusion: The South African property sector ethically and legally practices CI to gain competitive advantage and to aid in making quality decisions.
Middle manager role and contribution towards the competitive intelligence process : a case of Irish subsidiaries : original research
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.
Developing a competitive intelligence strategy framework supporting the competitive intelligence needs of a financial institution's decision makers : original research
Background: For competitive intelligence (CI) to have the greatest contribution to strategic management, CI professionals require an in-depth understanding of the CI needs of decision makers. CI professionals have to carefully plan how to best inform corporate decision-making. A strategy framework is a planning tool which can be used to explore ways to enhance an organisation's strategic planning capabilities.
Objective: To investigate the CI needs of a financial institution's decision makers in order to develop a CI strategy framework. To present the strategy framework as a planning tool to CI professionals in the financial services industry as well as mapping the process of developing a planning tool, thereby enabling a financial institution's CI capability to better meet the CI needs of decision makers.
Method: The guiding paradigm of interpretivist research directed the research design of a single qualitative case study, using an inductive approach. Qualitative data analysis techniques were used, which included the use of numerical data, to develop a planning tool for CI professionals based on a thorough understanding of the CI needs of decision makers.
Results: Decision makers place considerable value on CI in terms of its contribution to strategy development, decision-making, gaining advantage over competitors and enhancing the financial performance of the organisation. Relationships between concepts and patterns or trends that were identified and utilised to establish themes in the data resulted in a 12-point strategy framework.
Conclusion: A financial institution's CI capability can be enhanced to better meet the CI needs of the organisation's decision makers when CI professionals carefully plan their approach of informing corporate decision-making. This paper presents a 12-point CI strategy framework as a planning tool for CI professionals.