Competitive Intelligence as a Sustainable Long Term Competitive Advantage: Managerial and Legal Assessment of Competitive Intelligence

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GRIN Verlag, Jan 3, 2011 - Business & Economics - 78 pages
Diploma Thesis from the year 2010 in the subject Business economics - General, grade: 1,7, Leipzig Graduate School of Management, language: English, abstract: “Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.” Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784) Nowadays knowledge is the economic basis of each company. One needs to know the product, the technology behind it, but also the customer, the competitor and other circumstances that influence the business . The scientific term for the necessity of information gathering and its transformation into applicable knowledge is Competitive Intelligence (CI). This thesis focuses on three questions regarding CI which are linked in a model. Firstly it gives an overview about the most important types of CI. Based on three types, namely Market Intelligence, Competitor Intelligence and Internal Intelligence, it raises the question if there are industry-specific requirements and general key aspects of the activity. The focus group consists of 15 multinational companies from 6 different industries which were analysed with respect to information gathering and types of CI activities. Secondly the thesis considers legal aspects. It asks how effective international treaties and European laws are in terms of criminal prosecution of unfair competition and protection of intellectual property rights. The considerations are limited to those facts that might be taken into account for CI actions. In addition it analyzes if the results from the first part of the thesis are legally allowed or if some activities are legally questionable. Thirdly it looks at the strategic relevance of the legally gathered information. Therefore it assesses the opportunities of CI activities for strategic implementation based on the existing strategic tool “Scenario Planning” and proves that the fit of CI and Scenario Planning has potential to create a sustainable Competitive Advantage (CA).

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