Competitive Intelligence and Absorptive Capacity Necessary for Japanese Companies' Competitiveness: Interview research on competitive intelligence

Author Name TSUCHIMOTO Ichiro (Consulting Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. August 2018 18-P-015
Research Project Empirical Analysis of Innovation Ecosystems in Advancement of the Internet of Things (IoT)
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This paper, using interview research on nine Japanese and foreign firms, analyzes the current situation and future direction of competitive intelligence in Japanese companies. The major results of this study are as follows. First, competitive intelligence is not popular in Japanese companies, especially in comparison with those in the United States, Europe, and China. Second, excellent Japanese companies conduct research and analysis activities that are similar to competitive intelligence, however they do not recognize this as competitive intelligence. Third, such companies are rare, and many Japanese companies, which lack competitive intelligence activities, are inferior to foreign companies in conducting competitive intelligence and in their capability to forecast the business environment. Fourth, it is significant and meaningful for Japanese companies' competitiveness to introduce competitive intelligence in a way that suits their corporate culture and characteristics. This paper also discusses the causes for Japanese companies' avoidance of competitive intelligence, and the conditions and methodologies to overcome these causes. It is essential to proliferate competitive intelligence among Japanese companies, thus the Japanese government is highly expected to play an important role in facilitating this.