Generating Competitive Intelligence in Organizations

Posted: 2 Jul 2015

See all articles by Deborah J. MacInnis

Deborah J. MacInnis

University of Southern California - Marketing Department

Ajay Kohli

Emory University

Date Written: 2002


Marketing strategy begins with customer and competitive intelligence. However, in sharp contrast to customer intelligence, there is little research on how competitive intelligence (CI) is actually generated within an organization. The absence of this knowledge makes it difficult to identify ways to improve the CI generation process. Drawing on both depth interviews with full-time personnel who conduct competitive intelligence and academic literature in related fields, the authors derive a novel conceptual framework that describes three interdependent phases of the competitive intelligence generation process: (1) organizing for competitive intelligence, (2) searching for information, and (3) sense-making. Dimensions of efficacy at each phase are also identified, and they are posited to be influenced by factors pertaining to: (1) the intelligence network, (2) the business environment,(3) the information environment, and (4) analyst characteristics. This framework departs from the existing literature by identifying core components of the competitive intelligence generation process, highlighting its iterative nature, and identifying variables germane to its success. The emergent framework's implications for managing the competitive intelligence generation process are discussed and future research directions are suggested.

Keywords: competitive intelligence, competition

Suggested Citation

MacInnis, Deborah J. and Kohli, Ajay, Generating Competitive Intelligence in Organizations (2002). Journal of Market-Focused Management, 5, 279- 307, 2002. Available at SSRN:

Deborah J. MacInnis (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Marketing Department ( email )

Hoffman Hall 701
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1427
United States

Ajay Kohli

Emory University ( email )

201 Dowman Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics

Under construction: SSRN citations will be offline until July when we will launch a brand new and improved citations service, check here for more details.

For more information