Journal of the Knowledge Economy

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 734–755 | Cite as

Entrepreneurial Competitive Intelligence Between Uppsala Model and Born Global Theories in the Case of North African SMEs

  • Bel Hadj TarekEmail author
  • Mighri Zouhayer
  • Ghodbane Adel


This paper aims to analyze the effects of entrepreneurial competitive intelligence on the process of internationalization of 300 North African small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). For this purpose, we used the most appropriate parametric and non-parametric tests and we focused on the intensity of exports as an indicator of the internationalization process. Our contribution lies in enriching the Uppsala model regarding the relationship between the decision process related to entrepreneurial competitive intelligence and internationalization. Therefore, the originality of this paper lies in the attempt to better understand theoretically and empirically the specificities of the concept related to entrepreneurial competitive intelligence, and its effects on the process of internationalization based on export intensity. Our results show that the international competitiveness of North African SMEs is strongly dependent on the entrepreneurial competitive intelligence approach because it includes essential additional actions which refer not only to a defensive attitude but also and potentially to entrepreneurial orientation. We consider that the results of this paper are very interesting in particular with the integration of entrepreneurial competitive intelligence as an additional factor that affects the internationalization process alongside the classical factors advocated by born global theory and network theory.


Business intelligence Entrepreneurial competitive intelligence Internal audit of entrepreneurial competitive intelligence Internationalization 

JEL Classification

L15 L53 M21 



We thank the reviewers of this journal for their contribution to the completion of this paper both on theoretical and empirical side. Their assistance was with high added value in order to meet the general theme of the journal, the development of the treated problems, and the refinement of the results made. I express my sincere thanks to the Editor for his valuable advice and patience for many times.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bel Hadj Tarek
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mighri Zouhayer
    • 2
  • Ghodbane Adel
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Economics and Management of SousseUniversity of SousseSousseTunisia
  2. 2.Faculty of Economics and Management of SfaxUniversity of SfaxSfaxTunisia

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