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Spying or Surviving?: Do companies on the Shanghai market use Competitive Intelligence today in order to stay competitive?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Business.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Business.
2005 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Since 1979 China has gone through a powerful reform which has turned it from being a poor and underdeveloped country to becoming a relatively modern economy. Chinese companies, which are known for copying and producing have, because of this development become more interested in producing their own products, from first thought to final product. Shanghai, the most developed industrial city in China with an economical growth that has reached two number digits twelve years in a row, has been a big part of the development. This development in Shanghai has led to an increasing interest for the Shanghai market among both Chinese and international companies. With increased competition a company needs something extra to survive and to stay strong in relation to the competitors. However, since many organisations are state-owned they automatically get protected against competition. One result of this is that there is a total lack of Competitive Intelligence in the organisations on the Shanghai market except for library and translation services, which only represent a small part of the tools available. The fact that it is hard to get hold of reliable information and also that gathering information sometimes is seen as spying in China makes it even harder to stay updated for a company. We have with a hermeneutical view interpreted theories about Competitive Intelligence and used an empirical study that is based on 10 interviews with companies represented on the Shanghai market in order to answer our research question; Do companies on the Shanghai market, use Competitive Intelligence today in order to stay competitive? It turns out that the companies’ CI processes are randomly completed. CI is not used, among companies on the Shanghai market, in a structured way. There is no doubt that a company today needs a great Guanxi, personal network, or otherwise it would be difficult for it to stay in business. This fact makes it difficult for CI to grow in a healthy way. Since the businesspeople in Shanghai know the importance of Guanxi they choose not to gather information in other ways and continue to rely on their contacts. This only provides them with a limited amount of information that isn’t questioned as much as necessary. As long as the Guanxi remains as important as it is today and the government still has the power to regulate many of the industries, the proper CI-work will probably be absent.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-5942OAI: diva2:195850
Available from: 2007-01-05 Created: 2007-01-05Bibliographically approved

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