Assessing the Impact of Competitive Intelligence on Competitive Effectiveness in the Zimbabwean Pharmaceutical Retail Sector

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Competition is more of a war of survival than an ad-hoc business challenge [Smith, 1954]. Competitive effectiveness is important for every commercial rm, as it capacitates the rm to survive even under competitive pressure, sustain shareholder value, and the ability to guarantee a healthy return on investment. Threatened by a series of poor business results is BR Pharmacy, a small entity eking out a determined resolve to stay aoat in the highly competitive Zimbabwean pharmaceutical retail sector (PRS). Tail-spinning sales volumes, subdued prots, and an ever-shrinking market share all account for an adverse business outlook for BR Pharmacy and other small retailers in the sector. The emergence of strong competitors on the scene has seen questions being raised on how best to overcome the prevailing competitive challenges. Does the challenge posed by new corporate-funded players add to the marketing challenges alluded to? Seemingly, before the research inquiry, available intelligence was inconclusive. In a bid to unearth possible remedial actions against these competitive threats, and possibly reassert the rms’ competitive effectiveness the researcher suggested and conducted a study to consider the impact of competitive intelligence on business competitive effectiveness. The study sought to determine the effect of competitive intelligence (competitive information-gathering and utilisation) practices on competitive effectiveness of rms participating in the highly competitive Zimbabwean PRS. The range of specific objectives included the need to: assess the impact of competitive intelligence on competitive effectiveness; determine the level of CI awareness in the PRS; assess the level of awareness of CI in the PRS; explore perceived benefits of applying CI practices in the sector; evaluate the significance of potential CI factors in promoting competitive effectiveness; establish the extent to which marketing decisions are affected by the application of CI practices in the sector, and determine the challenges faced by players in the sector in implementing CI systems in their organizations. Assimilating a blend of the positivism and phenomenology paradigms, a mixed research method was adopted to allow the researcher to capture in-depth open-ended, and close-ended responses engaging a sample of 75 participants from a target population of 92 PRS potential individual participants. Primary data was collected from individual subjects using a structured questionnaire. Quantitative data was analyzed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. In applying descriptive statistics, data was summarized using frequencies and percentages, while inferential analysis utilized multiple regression and correlation analysis. The findings indicated that CI has a statistically significant impact on competitive effectiveness of the PRS rms. The key dimensions of CI (including business opportunities, threats, risks, vulnerabilities, and core assumptions) were found to constitute an explanatory causative variable in the association between CI and competitive effectiveness of rms in the PRS in Zimbabwe. Management of PRS rms should emphasize on the application and utilization of CI practices in order to stay informed ahead of competition, track competitors’ activities and improve the competitive effectiveness of their rms by anticipating threats and opportunities in advance, to make accurate market predictions on potential changes on the marketplace against competition, enhance operational efficiency, and to increase sales levels, profitability and market share through the employment of informed strategic marketing decisions. The researcher suggests that additional empirical enquiry be made to identify additional variables that may have an impact on competitive effectiveness given that there are indications from this current study that about 55% of the variations in competitive effectiveness can possibly be attributed to other unknown variables. These need to be explored and assessed to balance the set of causative factors in this context

Table of Contents

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Problem in Context

1.3 Problem Review

1.3.4 Sales Decline

1.3.5 Market Share

1.4.1 The Tows Model

1.5 Problem Statement

1.6 Research Questions

Secondary Research Questions

1.7 Research Objectives

1.8 Importance of Study

1.9 Assumptions

1.10 Limitations

1.11 Delimitations

1.12 Organisation of the Study

1.13 Chapter Summary


Literature Review

2.1 Introduction

2.2 Sales Level

2.3 Implications of Sales Decline

2.4 Determinants of Sales Decline

2.5 Market Share

2.6 Implications of Share Market Growth

2.7 Profitability

2.8 The Tows Model

2.9 Competitive Intelligence

2.10 The Importance of Competitive Intelligence 

The Key Inputs

The Key Outputs


Research Methodology and Design

3.0 Chapter Introduction

3.1 Research Paradigm

3.2 Research Design

3.3 Data Gathering Tools and Sources

3.3 Population, Sampling Approach and Sample

3.8 Validity

3.9 Data Reliability

3.10 Ethical Considerations 

3.11 Pilot Study

3.12 Data Analysis

3.13 Chapter Summary


Data Collection and Analysis

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Response Rate

4.3 Analysis Packages

4.4 Demographic Data

(a) Age

(b) Gender

(d) Respondents’ Specialisations

(e) Employment duration

4.5 Results of the Scale Reliability of Competitive Intelligence Dimensions 

4.6 Results of the Scale Reliability of Competitiveness Dimensions 

4.7 Results of Competitive Intelligence Scale Statistics

4.8 Results of Component Analysis of Competitive Effectiveness

4.9 Computed Multiple Regression Values

4.8 Results and Discussions

4.8.1 Primary Objective: To Measure the Impact of Competitive Intelligence on Competitive Effectiveness 

4.8.2 Secondary Objective 1: To Determine the Level of Awareness of CI in the PRS 

4.8.3 Secondary Objective 4: To Explore the Perceived Benefits of Applying CI in the PRS63

4.8.4 Objective 2: To Evaluate the Significance of PotentialCI Factors in Promoting Competitiveness

4.8.5 Objective 5: To Establish the Extent to Which Marketing Decisions are Affected by the Application of CI 

4.8.6 Objective 3: To Determine the Challenges Faced by PRS Players in Implementing CI Systems Within Their Businesses 

4.9 Chapter Summary


5.1 Introduction

5.2 Research Conclusions and Implications

5.4 Suggestions for Further Research


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Mhaka, M. (2023). Assessing the Impact of Competitive Intelligence on Competitive Effectiveness in the Zimbabwean Pharmaceutical Retail Sector. Afribary. Retrieved from

MLA 8th

Mhaka, Munyaradzi "Assessing the Impact of Competitive Intelligence on Competitive Effectiveness in the Zimbabwean Pharmaceutical Retail Sector" Afribary. Afribary, 25 Jan. 2023, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.


Mhaka, Munyaradzi . "Assessing the Impact of Competitive Intelligence on Competitive Effectiveness in the Zimbabwean Pharmaceutical Retail Sector". Afribary, Afribary, 25 Jan. 2023. Web. 24 Feb. 2024. < >.


Mhaka, Munyaradzi . "Assessing the Impact of Competitive Intelligence on Competitive Effectiveness in the Zimbabwean Pharmaceutical Retail Sector" Afribary (2023). Accessed February 24, 2024.