An Intelligence-Based View of Firm Performance: Profiting from Artificial Intelligence

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Ulrich Lichtenthaler


Many firms from diverse sectors increasingly use artificial intelligence (AI) to strengthen their efficiency by replacing human work. However, many of these advanced automation procedures will become standard tools in the future, and their relatively isolated application will not enable companies to gain a competitive advantage. Drawing on the distinction of data, information, knowledge and intelligence or wisdom, this paper suggests an intelligence-based view of firm performance as an extension of the knowledge-based view and the resource-based view. An intelligence-based perspective underscores the need to integrate AI applications with specific human expertise to complicate imitation by competitors. To sustain a competitive advantage over time, companies further need to develop a meta-intelligence to dynamically renew and recombine their intelligence architecture with multiple types of human and artificial intelligence. An intelligence-based view provides a systematic framework for assessing a firm’s possibilities to profit from AI by generating growth and innovation beyond optimization and efficiency.

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