Business Intelligence Enabling Competitiveness: A Multi-Theoretical Analysis of South African Metals Manufacturers


  • Herman Smit North-West University
  • Merwe Oberholzer North-West University
  • Pieter Buys North-West University



business intelligence, knowledge-based view, metals manufacturers, resource-based view, sustainable development, theory of constraints


The competitiveness of the South African metals manufacturers is under the spotlight, since new investments in the metals and engineering industry in South Africa have been poor, and growth in the Chinese trade has had a negative competitive effect on domestic metals manufacturing output and employment. The purpose of the study was to determine how supportive the business intelligence process is in enabling successful competitiveness in practice. A theoretical model was designed and empirically tested by metals manufacturers, where four theories were selected to act as mediators between the business intelligence process and successful competitiveness. This study tested four hypotheses by applying Spearman's rank-order correlations and a structural equation model. A total of 63 responses were received and analysed. The study found that the building blocks of the business intelligence process combined in a single factor do not directly lead to successful competitiveness, but only when all the theories' principles, combined into a single factor, act as mediators.