Comparing U. S. and Japanese Companies on Competitive Intelligence, IS Support and Business Change
Tor Guimaraes (Tennessee Technological University, USA), Osamu Sato (Tokyo Keizai University, Japan) and Hideaki Kitanaka (Takushoku University, Japan)
Copyright: © 2002
The increase in business competitiveness forces companies to adopt new technologies to redesign business processes, improve products, and support organizational changes necessary for better performance. The literature on Competitive Intelligence (CI) touts its importance in providing corporate strategic vision to improve company competitiveness and success. To implement their strategic vision companies have to implement changes to their business processes, products, and/or to the organization itself. The voluminous body of literature on the management of change, including sub-areas such as Business Process Reengineering (BPR), Total Quality Management (TQM), and product improvement, implicitly or explicitly propose that company strategic intelligence is a pre-requisite for change, and that effective Information Systems (IS) support is a critical requirement for implementing change. There is some empirical evidence supporting these two hypotheses based on U.S. business organizations and there is little reason to believe that the relationships do not hold for Japanese companies. Whether or not U.S. and Japanese organizations are different in any way along these important variables is an interesting question. A field test of how effectively U.S. and Japanese business organizations are identifying strategic problems and opportunities, how effectively they implement business changes, and use IS technology to do so, was undertaken to empirically explore any differences. Despite the relatively small sample size, the results corroborate the importance of competitive intelligence and IS support for effectively implementing business change in U.S. and Japanese companies. The findings indicate, on the average, American companies are more effective in providing IS support for business change and Japanese companies are more effective in CI activities.