One of the major trends in today’s businesses is big data (BD). While research on various aspects of BD is flourishing, little is empirically known about its impact on firms’ strategies. Furthermore, research on the use of BD and its effects in international firms is in its embryonic stage. The purpose of this paper is to explore the BD and international intelligence use relatedness and examine the impact of BD usage on firms’ strategic orientations en route its implications on business performance.
The study proposes BD usage as a key driver of strategic orientations and accounts for a mediated relationship of BD usage with international performance through orientations. Based on data from international firms, a conceptual framework is tested using regressions, path analyses, and additional robustness checks.
BD appears as having a decidedly strategic focus, and its usage enhances international performance through strategic orientations. The influence of BD is stronger than the influence of any subset of studied orientations. Notably, this influence is strongest when the orientations are treated individually.
This study furthers contemporary understanding of the international intelligence use system. Notably, it challenges traditional management perceptions that suggest a chosen strategy determines the selection of data, and instead provides evidence that modern firms have altered this approach by embracing opportunities for new strategic value creation presented by BD. Managers should emphasize BD usage throughout strategic orientations.
The study is the first to provide theoretical and practical reflections on the use of BD in firms’ strategies. Its contributions face up established literature of the causal direction of strategy choices and data applicability in international settings.
The authors would like to thank Professor John W. Cadogan, Editor-in-Chief, for his constructive comments in advancing the manuscript.
Emerald Publishing Limited
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