Business Intelligence as a Source of Competitive Advantage in SMEs: A Systematic Review

Vincent English, Markus Hoffmann


Competitive advantage is the ‘Holy Grail’ in strategic management theory. What makes a company more successful than its rivals has dominated scholarship in this area for more than 20 years. There have been two main theories proposed to attempt to identify the important resources and capabilities that configure to build competitive advantage; the Resource-based View and Dynamic Capability View. There is a growing literature stream in the area of Business Intelligence (BI) and Big Data Analytics with regard to both the computer technology and business management constructs. However, the literature is silent of the affordances of BI for Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and so a significant gap in the literature remains. This discussion aims to signal the need to fill that gap and to build awareness of BI as a potentially significant contributor to sustained competitive advantage in SMEs underpinned by the iniquitousness of cloud applications previously the domain of Multinational Corporations.


Business Intelligence; Competitive Advantage; SME; Capabilities; Key Performance

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