Intelligence is not a new concept and dates back to over 5 000 years. The concept of
competitive intelligence is however still an evolving field and its modern-day business
interpretation has been changed and refined. The essence however stays the same and lies in
the ethical gathering and interpretation of information to drive innovation and inform strategic
decision-making. If successful, this assists companies, including engineering companies,
with gaining a competitive advantage. A culture of competitive intelligence is thus necessary.
The consulting engineering industry is experiencing major challenges and even disruptions.
To combat this, and gain competitive advantage and growth, competitive intelligence must
be embedded in company culture to inform innovation and strategic business decisions.
The aim of this study was to investigate competitive intelligence in a multinational consulting
engineering company with offices across Africa, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and New
Zealand by means of a case study and data collection. Firstly, the nature of competitive
intelligence and the need for establishing a successful competitive intelligence culture were
investigated. Following this, the challenges with implementing competitive intelligence across
borders were examined and the relationship between competitive intelligence, innovation and
business strategy studied. Lastly, the types of information gathered, stored and distributed
within the company as part of competitive intelligence activities were investigated as part of
the empirical study.