The practice and appreciation of Competitive Intelligence (CI) among corporations in Zambia
Chisunka –Mwila, Precious
Mwalimu, Edward C.
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This paper sought to assess the extent to which Competitive Intelligence (CI) was being practiced and appreciated among corporations operating in Zambia. The survey research method was used. 50 corporations in this case were purposively selected and a questionnaire administered to them. 60% (30) corporations successfully answered the questionnaire. The research findings reveal that 73.3% of the corporations in Zambia know about CI. Most of the corporations define CI as the process of gathering information on competitor’s activities. Other firms associate the term CI with market research. They define CI as market research. It has been also discovered 73% of corporations interviewed know the importance of CI in their operations. They contended that CI helps them in highlighting the opportunities, and threats; helps in making sound business decisions and strategy formulation thus, helping in gaining competitive advantage over competitors. It was further discovered that despite majority of the firms acknowledging having designated units or departments to gather CI, the research shows that no corporation in Zambia has a standalone CI unit/department responsible for gathering CI. The gathering of CI is done by departments such as marketing, research/planning and business development. The absence departments/units solely responsible cast serious doubt on the corporations’ appreciation and practicing of CI in the operations. This implies that CI in Zambia is not widely appreciated and practiced as it relegated to other departments such as marketing and planning.