Competitive Intelligence

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

Businss lessons from The Office: Season 5 Episode 12

Ron Desi, a professor at the University of Baltimore Towson, just posted an interesting analysis of "The Office" episode where: "Dunder Mifflin corporate asked Michael to gather some information on a competitor in a potential new market. Michael and Dwight decide to go “undercover” and obtain competitive intelligence. Michael pretended to be a potential client while Dwight pretended to be an interested potential employee." "I’ll be asking my MGMT 600 class to deal with this ethical dilemma and I’m sure some will fall on the side of Michael and other will say that everything he did was wrong. What would you do given the same situation?"

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Hello, Bonnie, don't ask me where I've watched Prince Family Paper. It hasn't taken place at recommended by Ron Desi because there I've got no more than the message "We're sorry, currently our video library can only be streamed within the United States". Never mind.

Well, whom do you regard the most culpable person in the episode Prince Family Paper? Your answer is "Dwight Schrute", I'm afraid. In my humble opinion the owner of that family business is the most culpable person. However, is he rally "a sucker"? I don't think so. He simply tries to do what the competitive nature of private industry tells him to do. According to him, the client list will help Michael to become the next top client of his ["You call any of them I trust you'll hear some good things" (12:17-12:21)]. Also his wife seems to be an eager (business) beaver when she lets Michael to shoot herself against a background of that map (10:28-10:49), which doesn't include classified information, I hope. ;-) Just Dwight at the beginning of the episode (00:04-01:24) proves himself what means to be alert to today's Competitive Intelligence. :-)

By the way, does Dwight watching that family business through his binoculars (04:28-04:59) remind you of another case of unprofessional behavior ["Racketeer Harney gives Derry (Kiley) a contract to hit Breech (Long), whose wife Connie (Francis) is a paraplegic. Derry meets Connie, helping her to play a bar jukebox. Sympathizing with Connie, Derry decides, for a price, to fake Breech's death by buying a mortuary corpse and staging an automobile smash-up. Derry expects Breech and Connie to abscond to Mexico City" ( )]? My wife and I enjoyed Hitchcock's Blood Bargain at . Incidentally, who of us isn't charmed by that melody ( ) played during Blood Bargain not only with the help of that bar jukebox?

Preparing myself to today's lecture ( ) which I'll give to my Poznan University of Technology students ( ) in a lecture hall situated there ( ), I cannot resist the temptation to use for educational purposes also my activity in CI ( ), i.e. also my reply to Bonnie Hohhof, and add to that first discussion thread ( ) the file ( ) which appeared at YouTube several days later. Will it be another stimulus to reflection on "robust and ethical intelligence practices" ( )? I hope so.
We discuss there ( ) so much about using IT tools in active learning instructional strategies that I cannot resist the temptation to add also here the video Client Lists ( ) used today in one of the discussions at .
Bonnie - the link you posted no longer exists.

You can find Ron Desi's blog at

There are also several places you can watch the episode (although probably the best - - is unfortunately not available outside the US)


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