Managing the dynamics of e-commerce -The importance of competitive intelligence
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AbstractIn the form of a multiple case study with one main case study on Volvo CE, this thesis evaluates the importance of using competitive intelligence for the development of an e-strategy. The thesis was written after a benchmark on the e-commerce activities of the competitors within the construction equipment industry had been conducted at Volvo CE. The subject of the thesis and the collected empirical data was thus somewhat separated from this experience. Still, the research is partly built on the experience as participant observer from the conducted benchmark Volvo CE, but also from interviews at other companies. Today, it is clear that the use of competitive intelligence has grown in importance as corporate activity. Furthermore, companies are increasingly facing an environment characterised by speed of development and uncertainty. Our research confirmed that these two factors are crucial factors to regard in an e-strategy but also that they are even more present in the development of an e-strategy in comparison with other strategy development. Despite that, we can still conclude that the theories for developing strategies are still valid and that an e-strategy hence requires a form of planning based on a vision, mission, crafted strategies, evaluations and improvements. We have concluded that competitive intelligence has a major importance in bringing the possibility of managing speed of development and uncertainty. If competitive intelligence is continuously gained, within as well as outside the industry it brings security to the e-strategy development through a clearer picture about reality and it may also lead to seeing trends, which increases the possibility of reacting quickly to changes and not being surprised.