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Competitive Intelligence For Dummies by Jim Underwood

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Chapter 4

Addressing Legal and Ethical Issues

In This Chapter

arrow Addressing common CI-related legal issues

arrow Gauging your organization’s emphasis on ethics

arrow Establishing unwavering ethical guidelines

arrow Putting ethics into practice

arrow Avoiding familiar temptations and pitfalls

Can competitive intelligence be conducted legally and ethically? The short answer is yes. In fact, if what an organization is doing is illegal or unethical, it’s not CI. It’s something else, such as spying, stealing, or conducting industrial espionage. That’s not what CI is all about. CI doesn’t involve lying, trespassing, dumpster diving, hacking into networks, or bribing your competitors’ employees.

Quality CI starts with information that’s already “out there” — information that’s publicly accessible (open source) and shared freely. CI isn’t so much about finding out what a competitor is doing or how they’re doing it. It’s more about finding out what you and your competitors aren’t doing and should be doing to meet the ...

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