Competitive Intelligence

Tactical, Operational & Strategic Analysis of Markets, Competitors & Industries

At the beginning of this year, Rob Duncan has started the valuable discussion "Duplicity" starring Julia Roberts & Clive Owens: is it a CI movie? ( ). With the help of the third episode of the third season of that great TV series ( ), I try to obtain something even more concrete, namely to motivate ( ) Security and Safety Engineering ( ) students to make the best use of the blended course Organization and functioning of security and safety systems ( ). Which movies do you recommend to CI students in order to motivate them to undertake the similar action?

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Hi Tadeusz,

I think an interesting spin to put in front of students would be to show them unethical methods of gathering information, and challenge them to come up with legal and ethical alternatives.

For example, if you showed "Wall Street" with its use of insider & stolen information, and then challenged the students for other ways they could have arrived at the same conclusions, using signals and signposts, speculation, modern tools (Twitter etc.) I think that would be useful. As an exercise, you could put them into teams, have them do a presentation to a fictional Gordon Gekko (the Dean?). Most ingenious and effective presentation wins...

PS. I really think most unethical CI is a form of mental laziness and lack of imagination, and the sooner we expose students to the ethical and ingenious alternatives the better!

Cheers.. Rob
I'd like to thank you, Rob, for your contribution to this discussion. The question of ethics in Competitive Intelligence is really crucial. Your remark about "Wall Street" has incited me to begin by reminding JENNY ANDERSON's words from her article Wall Street Winners Get Billion-Dollar Paydays quoted by me over a year ago in the discussion about academic values {"There is nothing wrong with it - it's not illegal, [...] But it's ugly." ( )}. Students who last semester enrolled themselves in the blended course Information security ( ) were encouraged by me to learn also legal and ethical similarities and dissimilarities between Competitive Intelligence (as a matter of fact--market research) and industrial espionage ( ). They don't speak with one voice. It's worth mentioning the comment of Piotr Ziółkowski: "Research means information gathering, whereas spying means information stealing" ( ) supported by Ewa Rytwińska ( ). However, Joanna Kaczmarek ( ) and Marzena Dobysz ( ) are ready to justify some espionage activities (Are they influenced by the charm of Nathan Hale?). Iwona Łukaszewicz ( ), Anna Tuszyńska ( ) and Paweł Kalemba ( ) emphasize that today's competition in business is so fierce that it justifies unethical practices of Competitive Intelligence and blurs the line between Competitive Intelligence and industrial espionage: hence Weronika Owczarek calls Competitive Intelligence "the kid-glove industrial espionage" ( ).
As regards to Industrial Espionage - We are all aware of the consequence of our actions.

Beyond the Cell Membrane is the Information which on crossing the cell membrane in the cytoplasm becomes INTELLIGENCE.

This is Information Harvesting in the Cytoplasm and Early Warning is the Nucleus of the Cell, which is generated once the harvested information passes through the nuclear membrane.


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