Competitive Intelligence

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

This discussion will focus on issues in CI facing academics. I'll get the ball rolling by suggesting some questions we are facing that may be of interest to the larger group. Please feel free to chime in.
1. How can we get CI courses or subjects into more degree programs?
2. Are the relative lack of CI courses due more to a lack of supply (instructors) or demand (students)?
3. How can post-secondary CI educators help practitioners the most?
4. What are the best ways for teaching CI courses to undergraduates, MBAs, executive students?
5. What are the best articles you have read about teaching that informs how you go about instructing CI?
6. Which case studies work well in your CI teaching? What makes them so well and how do they support your learning objectives?
7. What readings do you like to assign to your students in your CI courses?
8. What assignments, both individual and group, have worked successfully for you in your CI courses?
9. Can an individual actually earn tenure or promoted at their institutions by relying upon their research outputs in the CI area?
10. What journals are more amenable to CI-related subject matter?
11. Which conferences are good for academics who have CI-related subject interests?
12. What web-sites are of high value to professional CI educators? Do we need new ones? Better ones?
13. What other professional groups, in addition to SCIP, are ready hosts for presenting your CI research?
14. What networks are helpful in promoting the interests of CI academics?
15. Are there granting agencies or particular foundations that you target with CI-related applications? Which ones and why?
16. What institutions would you refer a prospective doctoral student to who wants to do their degree focusing on CI?
17. What role should CI academics be playing with respect to delivering CI courses outside of our post-secondary institutions?
18. What CI courses do you instruct? Are there others you would like to instruct but aren't sure how to go about it?
19. How and what ways are best for integrating IT into your CI instruction?
20. What book publishers may be interested in publishing CI-related efforts?

I hope that will get you started. Anyone should feel free to pick up and get the ball rolling with one or more of these.

Best wishes, Craig

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Welcome aboard, Michael. Good luck with your course!
Hi M-L-M: My colleague Sheila Wright at Leicester Business School is presenting a paper on this at the upcoming ATELIS European conference on business intelligence this week in Lisbon, Portugal. There are some excellent research papers being presented. The link for the meeting is:

European Competitive Intelligence Symposium - 2nd edition

ATELIS in partnership with CEGE-ISEG (Lisbon) is organising on the 27th and 28th March 2008 at ISEG - Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestão, Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Lisbon - Portugal, a European Business Intelligence Symposium " Comparative Practices Approach (Trends and Evolution)"

Competitive Intelligence is becoming part of the manager’s day-to-day vocabulary. After raising the question (during the 1st symposium ATELIS in 2005) about the overall perception (mode/fashion effect or new methodological approach in the development of companies and countries) it is important to study the emerging topics related to Competitive Intelligence practices, such as competence evolution, ethics or territorial development further, at a European level.
Hi Craig,

I do agree with Daphne. I would have been better to limit the questions, because they are many and all of them worth answering. I will try to focus on two related questions. How can we get CI into more programs and if demand or supply is the issue.

My point of view is one of an emerging country (Argentina) and is of course biased towards our own reality.

To give you some background:

I am giving the one and only CI postgraduate course in Argentina, just for the second year in row. I also managed to convince the dean to get a short CI elective lecture in the MBA program. This is not much, but the market is still not developed and it is a lonely effort. I must say, this is the most I could achieve so far and I am happy with that.

In our case, the problem is of demand and if demand picks up significantly in a very short time, it will be of supply and most importantly about the quality of supply because people teaching CI without having any clue will mushroom if there is a market for CI. There is a demand problem because simply CI is too new to the country (there are almost no books published in Spanish and the quality of them is not good neither) and business men simply have not learnt about it. We managed to get an article on CI published in a major newspaper last month and we almost partied all night over. We organized 18 events so far in just 2 and half years. In spite of that, I must say, most business men do not know what we are talking about.

How do we plan to solve part of this demand issue and help to get this into mainstream so it can get into more programs?

The idea we had and it will be supported by the university I work with is that we get some journalists into the CI course we give for free (we plan to get just one per course). They will pay nothing and get a postgraduate degree, which can enhance their career prospects. There will be no obligations on their side, but as we are going to offer this to journalists writing on management issues and as they have to produce articles on a regular basis and as we will be discussing real life cases, such as the recent entrance of competitors in a market and what response strategies they must have, etc. We believe that we can get some publicity for CI and also make known the differences between CI and espionage at the same time. Honestly, this is something really freshly baked. I just managed to convince the university on this last week and we will be trying to get one journalist per course in a sort of long term plan for raising awareness on CI. Time will say if this is a good idea or not. But I think it is worth trying.

Maybe some of you can find this useful to make CI more popular in your countries.

Best regards,

Hi Adrian,
Nice to meet you online. Please tell us which university you teach in and send us a link. I'm on the faculty of:
My personal homepage is at:
Good luck with your plans.
Hi Daphne,

I am at Universidad de Belgrano:

A short description (in English) of the course there can be found at:

I have a blog on CI issues, but it is written in Spanish. As I want to have a broad audience throughout the region, with 124 subscribers + 600 visitors per month. Therefore, not bad, although still a long way to go. The address of the blog is:

I will take a look at your webpages!

Best regards and thanks for your good wishes!


I would like to raise the issue of SCIP's JCIM journal, which according to the SCIP newsletter, released a couple of days ago, is in for some 'restructuring' - whatever that may mean.

The SCIP announcement was the following:

Friday, April 11, 2008 VOLUME 1 ISSUE 133

Journal of Competitive Intelligence and Management to restructure

Alexandria, Va., April 7, 2008 – Competitive Intelligence Foundation (CIF) announced today that the Journal of Competitive Intelligence and Management (JCIM) would undergo a restructuring.

“We have been extremely pleased with the direction of JCIM and have decided to set some new criteria and processes in order for the Journal to reach its full potential,” said Martha Gleason, CIF Chair. “The CIF wants to thank our editors and respected volunteers for their hard work and contributions in bringing JCIM to this point, and we look forward to being able to launch the Journal in its new structure shortly.”

The Journal of Competitive Intelligence and Management is a scholarly journal that publishes original, high-quality material covering all aspects of the field of Competitive Intelligence, with an eye towards practical application. The primary audience continues to encompass academics, CI practitioners, private and public sector managers who use CI in their decision-making, vendors, and government organizations.

“The CIF wholeheartedly supports the role and importance of the academic community in the education and research of intelligence. The changes made to JCIM will support this role and better emphasize the importance of our academic colleagues and their offerings to the CI community through JCIM,” Gleason said.

Although couched in positive terms, I confess that this sounded somewhat ominous when I read it, and so I wrote to Martha Gleason to try and ascertain what was intended by this announcement, which I confess, left me bemused and concerned. After all, if SCIP wishes to strengthen the academic position of CI, which is something, many of us, believe to be necessary, then ceasing the work of the journal in order to then decide how to continue, might not be the best way to go about this.

SCIP has had experience of the demise of one journal, its Competitive Intelligence Review, and should be well aware of how hard and long a struggle it was before the JCIM was launched - some two years went by, if memory serves me correctly.

Potential writers will surely look elsewhere in the meantime, if they cannot be assured of at least the likelihood of continuity of operations of the journal. Academic publishing cycles take some considerable time, and if one commits or attempts to publish in a certain journal then this normally rules out concurrent submission to other journals.

I wrote to Ms Gleason with some of these concerns, after receiving the following answer from her, which I am afraid did not put my mind at rest.

Dear Michael

Thank you for reaching out with your concerns. First, let me say that the announcement was meant to be positive and not cryptic as CIF's Board of Trustees strongly believes that we need an academic journal to advance the profession. That being said, we made a strategic decision to take a short time out and develop a plan for taking JCIM to the next level includes strong support for the "Academic leg" we see it as one of keys for both the Profession as it not only helps advance a CI professional's development, but also creates and advances the credibility with the business community.

After the SCIP conference in San Diego, I will be forming a JCIM Restructuring Committee structured as follows:

Chairperson - Academic with Journal experience

Committee members:

- One (1) member from the Research committee

- One (1) member for the BOK committee

- One (1) academic who does not currently serve on either the SCIP or CIF Board

- One (1) additional member not sitting on either Board

- One (1) member representing the International constituency

The committee will be tasked with bringing back to the CIF Board of Trustees a recommendation by the first week in September on how JCIM will be restructured and launched. The restructuring recommendation will include, but not be limited to:

1) Journal oversight

2) Frequency of publication and form of publication

3) Funding requirements

4) Staff support requirements

5) Academic community outreach plan

6)Journal communication plan to reach Academia, Professionals, and the business community.

The timing of all of this was coincidental the BoT had been discussing this for the last year and it was something that was overdue.

I'm not sure if this helps, but this is being done to ensure to improve both SCIP and the Profession by giving the academic component the attention and support it needs from both SCIP and CIF.

Given your outreach and your experience, I would greatly appreciate your ideas for taking JCIM to the next level.

... Martha Gleason


I am concerned that we will see the demise of the journal before we see something to take its place, and, as in the past, be left for quite some considerable time, with no platform for serious CI work to be published.

Even if the proposed moves are the right thing to do, their timing seems a little strange, to say the least, and with recommendations due by September, this promises a hiatus in the journal's operations of well over 6 months.

I would like to suggest that those members of SCIP who are troubled by this latest and somewhat sudden move, make their concerns known through the SCIP website ( -> About SCIP -> Member Service charter -> Help -> post a comment, or directly to the members of SCIP's CI Foundation.

with best regards

dr.oec. Michael Neugarten
Hi Michael: Yes. The best thing that anyone concerned about this issue can do is to share their views about it with the members of the CIF Board of Trustees (currently chaired by Martha Gleason), the SCIP Board of Directors (chaired by Joe Goldberg), or through the member service charter as you have detailed in your note. If enough people express concern, it could potentially cause the decision to be re-considered. I would certainly encourage anyone with an interest in this decision to send a note, whether you are a SCIP member or not since it potentially impacts the larger field of CI which this CI Ning group is all about. Silence from individuals about this matter will be "heard" by the aforementioned parties loud and clear as evidence that people either a) don't care or b) accept this decision for what it is.

For those individuals unfamiliar with the JCIM, I have attached the most recent copy of the journal (which had been made available to the public for download at SCIP's web-site within the last few months) to this note so that you can see it for yourself. The JCIM is the successor academic journal to the Competitive Intelligence Review (CIR), which was discontinued about 7 years ago by then owner John Wiley. JCIM was late in its 4th volume as of the end of 2007 and was already accepting submissions for volume 5 as of the present time. JCIM is the only refereed academic journal which is devoted primarily to research and scholarship in competitive intelligence.
Let me begin with a reply to this discussion thread. Within six weeks, I'll start my blended learning course Information security ( ) for students who wish to obtain their BSc degrees in Security and Safety Engineering. For some months, I've prepared the concentration Technology for Information Protection for students who in February 2011 will begin to study in order to obtain their MSc degrees in Security and Safety Engineering ( ). During those preparations, I've been considering the course Competitive Counter-Intelligence. In order to settle whether Competitive Intelligence is really so "aggressive" that it requires "an effective security program" ( ), I've decided to join your social network. At first glance, Roman V. Romachev, Ellen Naylor, and August Jackson ( ) have already convinced me that counterintelligence occupies a considerable part in your interests. Maybe we could cooperate to build such concentration, including the few CI courses which can be studied in English at a distance by students all over the world. :-)

Best wishes,

I welcome your initiative which will, I hope, stimulate some sensible responses. I would like to take this opportunity to contribute my twopenn'orth.

I am as eager as anyone to establish CI as a recognised profession. And, in my view, a profession needs to have certain things in place, such as: a professional association (which we have), a means to recognise qualifications in its field (which we don't have), a language or jargon (to which end my glossary was produced), a code of ethics (which we have), a professionally refereed journal (which is currently in some doubt, I believe), and a database of members (which we have).

But, in order to take our proper place in the world, we need recognition by the people who matter - those who make decisions based on our efforts and expertise. And that, I feel, is where we have failed. IT and marketing people have succeeded in that respect, and we need to emulate them. By that I mean that we need publicity and promotion where it counts. My own attempts at this have been variable; I have managed to have articles accepted by The Australian, Business Review Weekly, several other management magazines, amany lesser publications. My most successful efforts, however, have been in relating to people who are already committed - that is, SCIP and FreePint (in this context, my article 'DIY Detection: CI for SMEs' [available through FreePint] was highly successful and well regarded). And I believe the reason for that is because it offered readers a means to get involved in CI easily and cheaply.

But I am convinced that SCIP can do a great deal more. For instance, we might identify those people who are better qualified than I am to use every means available (the most appropriate media, a more subtle approach, etc) to relate to the decision makers of this world. They are the people who will provide the support we need for any academic efforts we might wish to pursue.


Vernon Prior
Hi Vernon:

It is always good to hear from you. We share these views, and your summary of CI as an established profession mirrors my own. I have long suggested that CI practitioners have not passed the so-called "public interest" value test - the one that suggests that any profession must generate results (or net benefits) that are easily recognized and valued by others. The question we would ask here is how society is better off for the provision of effective CI work. If it is better off, and people can quickly recognize how it is better, than CI will move a long way toward establishing itself as a profession. If people (clients, decision makers, customers, and other stakeholders, etc.) can or do NOT see the net benefits, then we will still have a long ways to go.

I am frequently taken aback by the lack of (public or business executive) recognition of CI. We still have not done a good job at one of those critical strategy questions -- establishing the scope of the field's activities. Many CI practitioners cannot adequately explain to others outside the field where CI work begins and ends, what it should and should not accomplish, what is and is not CI, and/or when we should and should not be doing it. Scope, along with goal setting and competitive posture, and past actions/decisions are critical elements of any strategy. A field that intends to or needs to professionalize must gain consensus on these items. This is a role that SCIP, as the most obvious "voice" of the global CI community, has mainly struggled with through its nearly three decades of existence.

We need people like you who have pushed some of those boundaries. Your developments in the area of the glossary/language of CI were a masterpiece (one I still appreciate and use to the present), and one of those critical elements of "scope" that we need to continue to build upon. The CI Foundation's efforts, along with some of the members of this CI Ning community including myself to help develop an agreed upon and effective body of knowledge, curriculum, training modules, and certification standards, also go a long way to resolving the scope question; nevertheless, we have not yet arrived at the desired "station," and there is still much work to be done.

I hope that leaders like yourself will keep trying to get the message out - particularly in demonstrating and extolling the benefits that effective CI activity can bring to organizations, their decision makers, and to society more broadly. The more people are aware of it, and recognize that CI is an integral part of generating those benefits, the faster we can accelerate this field's movement toward becoming a legit profession.


Thank you for your very kind remarks. It seems we are in total agreement. I will certainly continue to play my part. Let's just hope that SCIP is able to recruit more talented communicators who are able to exploit the mass media to maximum effect (as well as more focused, business-related media) in order to convince our primary audience of the nature and benefits of CI.

Let me contribute to this discussion for the second time. A few days ago, Steve Eskov has interested me in University of the People ( ). They offer now 2 basic courses: A bachelor degree in Business Administration and A bachelor degree in Computer Science ( ). It's obvious that both courses include subjects about information gathering and information security. I'm really interested in contributing to any study programs including these subjects. And you, are you looking forward to it too ( )?


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