Tactical, Operational & Strategic Analysis of Markets, Competitors & Industries
Thank you very much Arthur for bringing this issue to the table.
You are not alone! That is for sure. That is a fact. I have used and keep using the same P&G case with my students, over 500 by now, as an example on how STUPID these activities are, and of course how unethical, and in some regions/countries illegal as well.
I would really like to read/'listen' what kind of explanation SCIP might have to consider worthwhile 'linking' such 'article'.
My first impression would be to say that one of two things may have happen:
1) SCIP did not properly review the content of the article – arguable given the short summary it states associated with the ‘link’
2) SCIP is, to say the least, ‘confused’ on what articles should promote
In any case, as I view it, the damage is done.
Let us wait to see if there is any comment from SCIP.
Bonnie - thanks for this.
The first sentence of the INC article states:
" It's a dirty business, but searching a rival's trash is generally legal—as long as it does not involve trespassing on private property or taking the bags before they hit the curb, according to Richard Horowitz, a lawyer who works with Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals, an industry group."
If Horowitz is not a member of SCIP and does not represent SCIP then he is seriously misrepresenting his role and behaving highly unethically to claim that he speaks for SCIP. This brings SCIP into disrepute - and CI practitioners have worked long and hard to emphasise that CI is not the same as espionage and that it is ethical. It's possible that he was misquoted. However he's been in the business for long enough to know to ask for a pre-publication view on what was going to be written. I'm not sure what the US laws are for claiming to act for an organisation when you have no connection but I'm sure that some form of libel judgement could be sought.
I hope that SCIP will be contacting Inc to stress the official position (I'm assuming that this hasn't changed and that dumpster diving is still viewed as ethically suspect). Also to highlight that Richard Horowitz is not a member or a spokesperson and ask for this to be added to the article online and corrected in the next print edition.
Also, I'm assuming that the link from the SCIP newsroom page was added as an automated feed. Maybe you should try to check such feeds before they get publicised - as this makes it look as though SCIP approves of the article.
Hi fellow CI NING members,
This is just absolutely and utterly, appalling. So, yes one has to wonder what Horowitz's real affiliation with SCIP happens to be. I hear Bonnie stipulating in no uncertain terms that he is neither a member nor a representative of SCIP, but a bigger question remains- Does he actively provide legal counsel say on an outsourcing basis to SCIP which is what most people would take away from his usage of the active tense ? If so, I would think SCIP might want to seriously consider seeking different counsel that can look at this issue from a broader and considerably more enlightened, perspective than strict technical legality. While this behavior may not breach various laws, for heaven's sake it isnt necessary if a firm employs a systematic approach to CI over time rather than a short term emphasis, drag and drop approach- which is what SCIP should be educating folks about- (ie how CI should really be practised) which would then relegate the usage of this tactic to the dustbin where it belongs as a worst in class practice. (Pun intended)
Perhaps this is just what we get given SCIP is now under the domain of a MR firm (MR and CI being very different animals with differing skill sets and deliverables that work in different ways and answer different questions), and the new heads of SCIP don't get it, and SCIP wonders why so many long term, savvy and successful CI practioners cancelled their memberships? I frankly want no affilaiton with SCIP and this just solidifies my position on the matter further.
I mean really, this is posted on the SCIP website, begging the further question of HOW did it get there? I would think SCIP would want this off their site immediately. Suffice it to say, what an embarrassment for them.
I agree with you here. Unfortunately I think that what is causing the major problem is that state INT people take with them their state INT ethics and try to apply it in business, where it is quickly deemed too agressive.
It raises the question, what value do state INT people bring with them? I do not think it is analysis. In Sweden state INT come to us in the Social Sciences to learn analysis. It is not the technology either. Most of that is developed by privat firms, on our campuses etc. I think it is more a training in seperating nice to know from need to know and of treating information gathering from an all-source perspective. I also think it at least used to be a training in HUMINT that our market research people did not have and a training in speculatitive thinking and what-if scenarios. What do you think?