Competitive Intelligence Essay

854 Words4 Pages
Ethics in the Competitive Intelligence Industry
Competitive Intelligence (CI) can be defined as coordinated research of an organization’s competition within a specific industry. CI assesses those who compete for market share and attempts to guess the actions of competitors before those actions are introduced in the marketplace. The vision of Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals (SCIP) is, “Better decisions through competitive intelligence” (Vision & Mission, n.d. para. 1). SCIP’s mission, in part is to, “be the global organization of choice for professionals engaged in competitive intelligence and related disciplines” (Vision & Mission, n.d. para. 2).
Competitive intelligence, as provided by companies like SCIP,
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Hastings ignored the warning, believing that chief executives should generally discount what their friends say” (para. 2). Apparently in this case, Mr. Hastings’ friend was a good gauge of the typical consumer who liked his Netflix service the way it was originally set up. If Mr. Hastings had hired a company such as SCIP to gauge how such a reaction would impact the industry as a whole, he probably would have made a different decision that would not have resulted in a 30% drop in the company’s stock. In fact, he may have been informed that a move by a similar company would drive a large portion of its customers to Netflix, but because he didn’t do his homework properly, Netflix became the loser.
Competitive intelligence analysis is a subjective business. Companies that are in the CI business must compile their data and corresponding recommendations in an ethical manner because the CI business can be competitive too. If CI companies were to act in an unethical manner, they would clearly be driven out of the marketplace by companies acting honestly. Additionally, CI companies should be compelled to act ethically as the companies they research could be forced into bankruptcy or subject to criminal discipline if CI research were misconstrued to show their subjects in a false, negative light. I believe SCIP runs an ethical business as evidenced by its code of ethics. Two of its goals are, “To continually strive to increase the recognition
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