Innovation and competitiveness in South Africa: the case for competitive intelligence as an instrument to make better use of information

  • Van Brakel P
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Abstract

A strong case can be made for competitive intelligence (CI) as a tool to enhance the competitiveness and, by extension, the innovation capability of South African companies, organizations and institutions, and South Africa as a whole. CI is a business discipline that is used by companies and countries alike as a means to improve competitiveness by making better use of information (managing and applying information to create actionable knowledge). It could form an integral part of efforts to enhance the competitive behaviour of South African companies and society as a whole. In terms of competitiveness, South Africa does not seem to be able to improve on its global competitiveness rankings. In the latest Global Competitiveness Report 2004–2005, released by the World Economic Forum, South Africa was placed 41 st out of 102 economies on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) developed by Jeffrey Sachs of Colombia University and John Mc Arthur of The Earth Institute. The GCI measures a country's national competitiveness in terms of macroeconomic environment, the equality of public institution, that is institutional capacity and technological progress. Finland was first, for the second consecutive year, and the US in second position, followed by Sweden, Taiwan, Denmark and Norway, consecutively. In the African rankings of the WEF, South Africa was third after Botswana and Tunisia respectively.

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Van Brakel, P. (2005). Innovation and competitiveness in South Africa: the case for competitive intelligence as an instrument to make better use of information. SA Journal of Information Management, 7(1). https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v7i1.245

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