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LexisNexis Business Solutions
Competitive intelligence can be extremely valuable for informing strategic business decisions about your products, messaging, business expansions, customers and more. But when does competitive research slip into the more morally ambiguous areas of corporate espionage?
Corporate espionage isn’t new. From dumpster diving to hiring investigators to pose as journalists or volunteers, corporate espionage has been practiced for many years. More recently, electronic espionage including hacking and electronic surveillance have been added to the toolbox of the corporate spy.
How far would you go to gain valuable intelligence about your competitors? While most of us would likely draw the line at digging through competitors’ trash bins, there can be gray areas that require a careful study of corporate codes of conduct and weighing those codes against whether certain activities violate your company’s, and your own, ethics and integrity.
So what is ethical competitive intelligence? Let’s define by talking about what it’s not: