The concept of competitiveness has attracted abundant attentions of both scholars and governments during the past decade. The World Economic Forum (WEF) has published the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) in order to measure national competitiveness and the GCI is based on 12 pillars. The main purpose of the present study is to investigate the cause–effect relationships between the pillars. Therefore, a hybrid method (CCA-DEMATEL) is used to delve into the internal dimensions of GCI. This hybrid method provides a strong support for DEMATEL technique. In this regard, first, the cause and effect relations between global competitiveness pillars are investigated by CCA. As the next step, the output of CCA is used as DEMATEL’s input; in this way, the most important pillars identified with regard to measures taken by global competitiveness pillars are determined in order of priority. The amount of effect each pillar has on another is calculated. Based on our findings, “Institutions” and “Goods market efficiency” seem to have relatively bigger effects when compared to the other pillars of GCI. On the other hand, “business sophistication”, “Innovation”, “Higher education and training (HET)” and “Technological readiness” appear to be affected more than the other pillars.