The relationship between organizational culture and competitive intelligence performance in the context of Eritrean trade and manufacturing industries

Kbrom, Berhane Abraham (2004-12)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2004.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In our contemporary globalized world, Eritrean enterprises are challenged with high competition from within and from foreign counterparts. Consequently, only those companies that predict the future and take proactive decisions can win the game. However, none of these organizations have applied formal competitive intelligence practice in a proactive, disciplined, and systematic fashion to defend against threats as well as to exploit opportunities, though informally they do engage in the practice. Some of these informal competitive intelligence practicing companies are relatively 'good performers' and others are 'poor performers'. The level of this competitive intelligence performance is believed to be influenced by organizational culture. This implies that employees who are encouraged and trained to have shared values, beliefs, norms and practices are in a better position to share information and interact with each other with open minds. Here, the free flow of information is the basic ingredient that helps to produce effective competitive intelligence. In an attempt to explore if a statistically significant relationship exists between organizational culture and competitive intelligence performance, a literature study was first carried out to learn from other scholars' work. The literature review was then followed by an empirical study. This empirical part of the study attempted to investigate if Eritrean manufacturers and traders perform informal competitive intelligence practice as well as if there is a positive relationship between the independent and dependent variables. Data was collected through a questionnaire from top level managers. Of the 39 questionnaires distributed, 23 organizations properly completed the questionnaire. Statistical analysis was then computed using the SPSS package to determine the correlations. The relationship between organizational culture and competitive intelligence was determined in two ways: first, it was correlated in terms of the six selected organizational culture dimensions (employee involvement, human resources, organizational focus, communication flow, reward, and trust) and competitive intelligence; and second, in terms of scores of each firm's organizational culture and competitive intelligence. Moreover, the level of the score determined whether these companies performed well or not. In both cases a positive relationship was found between organizational culture and competitive intelligence performance. These results supported the hypothesis that organizational culture does contribute to improved competitive intelligence practice. Furthermore, the finding suggests that Eritrean firms are doing moderately good in their informal competitive intelligence.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: In ons huidige globaliseerde wêreld kry Eritrea se ondernemings te doen met sterk kompetisie van binne en van buite die land. Dus floreer net daardie ondermemings wat die toekoms kan voorspel en pro-aktiewe besluite kan neem. Dit is egter waar dat nie een van hierdie organisasies formele, kompeterende intelligensiepraktyke op 'n pro-aktiewe, gedisiplineerde en sistematiese wyse toegepas het om hulself teen dreigemente te beskerm en om geleenthede uit te buit nie; informeel het hulle wel. Sommige van hierdie maatskappye wat informeel kompeterende intelligensie toepas, is betreklike 'goeie presteerders' en ander is 'swak presteerders'. Daar word geglo dat die prestasievlak van hierdie kompeterende intelligensie beïnvloed word deur organisatoriese kultuur. Die implikasie is dat werknemers wat aangemoedig en opgelei is om aan dieselfde dinge te glo en wat dieselfde waardes, norme en praktyke deel, in 'n beter posisie is om inligting te deel en met 'n ope gemoed met mekaar om te gaan. Die vrye vloei van inligting is die basiese bestanddeel wat help om doeltreffende kompeterende intelligensie te produseer. Met die doel om na te vors of daar 'n statisties sinvolle verhouding bestaan tussen organisatoriese kultuur en kompeterende intelligensie, is daar eers 'n literatuurstudie gedoen om uit ander se werk te leer. Na die literatuuroorsig is daar 'n empiriese studie gedoen. Die empiriese deel van die studie poog om na te vors of die vervaardigers en handelaars informele kompeterende intelligensie toepas en ook of daar 'n positiewe verhouding bestaan tussen die onafhanklike en afhanklike veranderlikes. Data is versamel deur middel van 'n vraelys aan hoëvlak bestuurders. Nege-en-dertig vraelyste is uitgestuur waarvan 23 volledig deur die organisasies ingevul is. Statistiese ontleding is toe gedoen om deur middel van die statistiese pakket SPSS die korrelasies te bepaal. Die verhouding tussen organisatoriese kultuur en kompeterende intelligensie is op twee maniere bepaal: dit is eers gekorreleer in terme van die ses geselekteerde organisatoriese kultuurdimensies (werknemer betrokkenheid, menslike hulpbronne, organisatoriese fokus, kommunikasievloei., beloning en vertroue) en kompeterende intelligensie; en tweedens in terme van tellings van elke maatskappy se organisatoriese kultuur en kompeterende intelligensie. Die vlak van die telling het bepaal of die maatskappy goed presteer het of nie. In albei gevalle is daar gevind dat daar 'n positiewe verhouding bestaan tussen organisatoriese kultuur en prestasie in kompeterende intelligensie. Hierdie bevindinge ondersteun die hipotese dat organisatoriese kultuur wel bydra tot verbeterde intelligensiepraktyke. Verder bewys dit dat ondernemings in Eritrea redelik goed vaar in informele kompeterende intelligensie.

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