International Business Management


As globalization becomes part of worldwide business operations, many companies have come up with different strategies to achieve success. One of these strategies is to create a system that manages operations efficiently. However, globalization has also resulted in an increase in competition among companies from different countries. In this view, some companies that were known as world brands are no longer as popular as they used to be. Competitive intelligence has always been a strategy used by operations’ managers to counter competition domestically. However, in the wake of globalization, there is need to come up with a strategy that will help companies achieve competitive intelligence in the world of international operations management.


Competitive business intelligence is defined as the process of gathering information about competitors and analyzing it in such a way that it can be helpful to the company’s operations (Waltz, 2003). In a domestic kind of setting, gaining competitive intelligence is easy as the company uses a lesser amount of resources. However, when conducting business internationally, an organization must come up with a strategy that is unique as opposed to other companies in the same area of production. The first step in this process is to form a competitive intelligence unit whose sole responsibility is to collect and analyze information effectively (Xu, 2007). Such a unit requires the support of the management in order to succeed. Additionally, it must have the required resources in order to acquire information effectively. This includes access to information through the internet and other sources of information. This unit is then divided into different teams with each having a specific task or specific competitors to gather information on. It is important to have specified tasks for each person in the unit since it is easy to lose track of information in this process. In this view, the formation of a competitive intelligence unit is an important step in achieving competitive business intelligence in the international market.

The second step is the actual collection of data from different sources. This is a very important step as it can either mislead or guide an organization’s decisions. In the modern world, the internet is viewed as a key source of information. With the advent of faster and cheaper internet services, people can now access information at faster rates than in the traditional setting. However, as much as it is possible to get correct information on the internet, it is also possible to get misleading information. Therefore, competitive intelligence units must use other means of getting information to make it more credible. Primary research is considered as the best source of information for competitive intelligence (Blenkhorn & Fleisher, 2005).

A competitive intelligence team can interview consumers on their response to different goods in the market and get to understand their needs in a better way. Moreover, the competitive intelligence team can get information from market analysts who are known to be experts in certain areas. It is also important for a company to look at what consumers say about different products on social networking sites and discussion boards. A company can be able to know whether competitor’s goods are well received or not. This will help them know what moves the market and in what ways. In international operations management, an organization must network with local experts in order to have a clear view of what the market looks like. Additionally, the operations of each company differ and understanding a competitors way of doing things will help in knowing what best fits a particular market (Xu, 2007). Additionally, in collecting information, a company must understand which competitors are more likely to have an impact on the market and which are not. This helps them to focus on certain competitors and thus cutting the cost of conducting a competitive intelligence.

The next important step in the formulation and implementation of effective competitive intelligence systems is the analysis of the data gathered (Waltz, 2003). As noted above, a company must collect information that can be used in making decisions that help a company to achieve a competitive edge. Subsequently, after the company has acquired this data, there must be an analysis that is aimed at making the data useful for the company. The analysis process involves looking for untapped business opportunities that could be used to the advantage of the organization. Through this analysis, an organization is able to forecast a competitor’s actions therefore achieving a competitive edge over its rivals (Blenkhorn & Fleisher, 2005). Additionally, competitive business intelligence helps a company to understand the consumer needs and therefore enhance its operations to fit what the consumers want. The benefits of effective competitive intelligence are immeasurable especially for a company venturing into an international market for the first time.

In making an effective consumer intelligence accrual system, a company must be willing to come up with the right competitive intelligence unit that will focus on gathering and analyzing accurate information and hence guiding the company into achieving a competitive edge. This also involves reengineering the organization’s in-house leadership processes for intelligence gathering and utilization (Xu, 2007). The operations management team as one of the areas most impacted by competitive intelligence must be ready to offer the required resources to the assigned team. In the international market, all the departments in the company must work together in order to achieve efficiency. When the data collected has been analyzed, changes must be effected immediately if the information is to be of help to the company. In this view, an organization’s leadership team must be in line with the goals of the organization. Additionally, their decision-making abilities must be excellent, as changes require quick decisions to be made.

In conclusion, international operations management requires every company to come up with a strategy to acquire competitive intelligence. The collection and analysis of information on competitors is beneficial in helping a company acquire and maintain a competitive edge. In this view, all companies willing to conduct international business must use competitive intelligence as a competitive strategy.



Blenkhorn, D. L., & Fleisher, C. S. (2005). Competitive intelligence and global business. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.

Waltz, E. (2003). Knowledge management in the intelligence enterprise. Boston, MA: Artech House.

Xu, M. (2007). Managing strategic intelligence: Techniques and technologies. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.




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