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Competitive Intelligence Through UK Eyes


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Competitive Intelligence in the United Kingdom is steadily growing, yet the extent to which the country’s practitioners either understand or appreciate the full extent to which CI can improve their strategic decision making and business performance is debatable. By the uninitiated, CI in the UK is, at best, mistaken for market research, and at worst, referred to as spying. In this article, the authors present the UK situation, which has been determined through empirical research with practitioners, industry specialists, and consultants. Training course attendance alone confirms that there are at least 16,500 interested managers in the country. A conservative estimate based on the notion that each manager who has received formal training in CI, has told at least one other member in their workplace would double that figure to 33,000. The overwhelming conclusion is that CI is not only present in the UK but it is a vibrant, creative, exciting, and growing community.
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Competitive Intelligence
Through UK Eyes
Competitive Intelligence in the United Kingdom is
steadily growing, yet the extent to which the country’s
practitioners either understand or appreciate the full
extent to which CI can improve their strategic decision
making and business performance is debatable. By
the uninitiated, CI in the UK is, at best, mistaken for
market research, and at worst, referred to as spying.
In this article, the authors present the UK situation,
which has been determined through empirical research
with practitioners, industry specialists, and consultants.
Training course attendance alone confirms that there
are at least 16,500 interested managers in the country.
A conservative estimate based on the notion that each
manager who has received formal training in CI, has
told at least one other member in their workplace
would double that figure to 33,000. The overwhelming
conclusion is that CI is not only present in the UK but it is
a vibrant, creative, exciting, and growing community.
competitive intelligence, competitive analysis,
competition, competitive strategy, business strategy,
United Kingdom, Society of Competitive Intelligence
Sheila Wright is a Principal Lecturer at Leicester
Business School, De Montfort University where she
leads the CI and Marketing Strategy (CIMS) teaching and
research team. She holds an MBA from the University of
Warwick, the Professional Diploma in Management from
the Open University and was one of the first Chartered
Institute of Marketing (CIM) members to be awarded
Chartered Marketer status. She is an Editorial Board
member and Regional Editor (Europe) for the Journal
of Competitive Intelligence & Management.
Sheila has spoken at two SCIP European Conferences
and has co-authored articles published in Marketing
Intelligence & Planning, European Journal of Marketing, R
& D Management, Journal of Marketing and Comportamento
Organizacional e Gestao. She is also author of the Financial
Times Marketing Casebook, first edition, published by
Pitman. In 2003, she was invited by the Sunday Times
to speak on ‘Competitive Intelligence for Business
Development’ for their Enterprise Network Conference
Series which attracted 400 delegates.
Numerous research projects have been undertaken
under her supervision, the most significant being Ahmad
Badr’s PhD thesis, the first successful Doctoral study in
the UK concerning CI.
Sheila has been responsible for the setting up and
development of CI units and is fully aware of the
practical problems facing managers wishing to capitalize
on CI. She has worked on many international projects
in Turkey, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, France, South Africa,
and the USA. Email:
Ahmad Badr is a Lecturer and Researcher in CI &
Marketing Strategy at Leicester Business School, De
Montfort University and is also a member of the CIMS
team. He holds a BSc from Beirut Arab University,
Lebanon, and an MSc Strategic Marketing from Leicester
Business School. Ahmad was awarded a Doctor of
Philosophy degree by the University for his thesis
on “The Role of CI in the Formulation of Marketing
Strategy”, the first successful Doctoral study in the UK
to focus on CI.
He is the initiator of several research projects and is on
the supervisory team of additional Doctoral studies. He
is also the author of a comparative study of CI practice
between US and UK firms. More recently, Ahmad was
successful in the highly competitive Chartered Institute
of Marketing Research Award Scheme, which secured
funding for the CIMS team to carry out further studies
into various aspects of CI, principally implementation
and management.
With Sheila Wright and David Pickton, Ahmad is
now developing his ideas, paradigms, and strategic
frameworks which will assist managers wishing to
incorporate CI into their strategic planning process.
Drawing on his industrial experience as a marketing
manager for several international companies, Ahmad is
able to illustrate the practicalities of implementing CI
and Marketing Strategy plans.
Arthur Weiss is a Competitive Intelligence Consultant
and Managing Partner of the UK based CI consultancy,
AWARE. He has lectured globally and published
numerous articles on competitive intelligence and
related topics in various publications and writes a regular
column for the Society of Competitive Intelligence
Professionals’ Competitive Intelligence magazine.
He wrote the marketing planning and competitive
intelligence chapters and was General Editor for Croner’s
Marketing - A Practical Management Guide, published in
1996 by Croner Publications, London. He also teaches a
course on Market Research and Information at Thames
Valley University, holds an MBA (Distinction) from the
University of Westminster, and is a Chartered Marketer
with the UK Chartered Institute of Marketing. Email:
David Pickton is Head of the Department of Marketing
at Leicester Business School, De Montfort University. He
is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a
Fellow of the Royal Society in Arts, and a member of
the Academy of Marketing.
David has lecturing, consultancy and management
experience in all areas of the marketing discipline. Recent
publications have been in the areas of integrated marketing
communications, strategic analysis, and competitive
intelligence appearing in journals such as the International
Journal of Advertising, Strategic Change, Long Range
Planning, Journal of Marketing Communications, Marketing
Intelligence and Planning, and Croner’s E-Commerce
Briefing. He has contributed to a number of academic
texts and is co-author of a successful text on Integrated
Marketing Communications published by Financial
Times Prentice-Hall. He has acted as an ESRC research
bid reviewer and is a member of the editorial board for
the Journal of Marketing Communications. He has written
articles on competitive intelligence with Sheila Wright
and has supervised PhD research in a variety of aspects
of marketing. He has co-edited two special issues of
Marketing Intelligence & Planning and has recently been
appointed Assistant Editor to the Journal.
Prior to entering an academic career, David worked for
an international advertising agency and has many years
of industrial and management experience covering both
the public and private sector. He has been a Registered
Marketing Consultant under the Department of Trade &
Industry Marketing Enterprise Scheme.
The United Kingdom (UK) has been aware of, and
actively involved in, the competitive intelligence (CI)
profession since 1985. Four articles were published
during 1984 in the UK journal, Long Range Planning,
which drew attention to the phraseology: Farmer (1984),
Jain (1984), McNamee (1984) & Reinhardt (1984). Until
then, although work of a CI nature was being undertaken,
it was not recognized as CI, was inaccurately labeled
as market research and, for the most part was housed
within the marketing department of a firm.
This paper reviews the situation since then until 2003,
and presents a multi-faceted view of current practices.
Empirical research provides the foundation for much of
the findings although, by necessity, some of the opinions
and views have been obtained by the authors from their
network of professional colleagues. Wherever possible,
these have been substantiated and investigated but it is
inevitable that there may be omissions.
The authors also acknowledge the assistance of
Andrew Pollard of EMP Intelligence Service in the
preparation of this article, not only for helping us to get
our facts straight, but particularly for his contribution
to Section 1.3.
Competitive intelligence as a distinct discipline in
the UK is growing fast. Practitioners are hungry for
knowledge, instruction, and guidance. They largely
reject the importation of US focused gurus, consultants
and academics who seem to have little understanding
or empathy with the UK business environment and
its laws. In short - fancy models and diagrams don’t
impress any more.
The Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals
(SCIP) based in Washington, USA, has hosted 18 Annual
Conferences in the United States, and 8 in various
European cities, only 2 of those being in London, 2000
and 2003. This is probably understandable, given that
SCIP member numbers do not compare with the US,
either within Europe generally, or the UK in particular
(SCIP Membership Directory, 2003).
As such, there are a number of relevant providers of CI
instruction, workshops and information with SCIP being
just one part of the network. This does tend to cause
existing and potential members to question the value
of a not-insubstantial membership fee when almost all
of the benefits are US centered. Whilst the number of
alternatives to SCIP in the UK is increasing for the keen
activists (see Section 2), SCIP still represents a conduit
to international colleagues.
UK literature on competitive intelligence is limited
with only 3 texts having been written by UK authors.
Two of these, Pollard (1999) and Hussey & Jenster
(1999) are titled Competitor rather than Competitive
Intelligence and both are now over 4 years old. The third,
West (2001) is titled Competitive Intelligence. Drawing
attention to the age of all these texts should not be
interpreted as a criticism of content. These works are still
very relevant, but it does demonstrate the infrequency
with which CI texts are written by UK authors. A fourth
text was planned for 2001 by Gordon-Till. With a title of
Competitive Intelligence for UK Businesses, it was eagerly
awaited, but was cancelled and never published.
The lack of a UK perspective in book format required
the examination of other sources. In 1988 a search of
electronic and paper based journal archives revealed 489
relevant articles. By relevant, we mean those containing
the key words “competitor intelligence” or “competitive
intelligence”, and appearing as scholarly articles in
refereed journals. This was done to eliminate some of the
more general articles on business, market intelligence,
and strategy as well as those which were simply selling
or reviewing software products. By concentrating on
refereed journals, it was deemed that a commonality
of standard and a degree of authority would pertain
to those articles.
Wright & Pickton (1998a) first presented a chronological
breakdown illustrating the increasing incidence of CI
permeating managerial thinking in the UK since 1984.
Four years later, this analysis was revisited (Wright,
Pickton & Callow, 2002).
For the purposes of this review, the statistics have again
been updated and the results are shown in Table 1.
There is no rational explanation as to why 1989 was
apparently out of line with the previous 5 years, or why
1990 fell back again to just 7 articles. However, from
1991 onwards, CI has appeared on an increasing basis,
year on year, in the academic and scholarly literature.
The comprehensive bibliography produced by Dishman,
Fleisher & Knip (2003) was also used to corroborate past
analysis and verify the data.
To this must be added the contents of Competitive
Intelligence Review (CIR), at the time, the only CI
dedicated journal in the English speaking world. CIR,
which ceased publication in 2002, had a major US bias.
This is not by way of complaint, as the editorial team at
CIR would, surely, have been only too pleased to publish
more non-US based articles, if only non-US writers had
submitted material. A total of 432 articles from CIR were
reviewed. It was discovered that none of the relevant
CIR articles concerned UK firms, and the concentration
was heavily of American or Canadian origin.
Indeed there is little evidence in the literature to
show that UK companies have acknowledged the very
existence of competitive intelligence or have developed
competitive intelligence units within their organizational
structure, yet the UK membership of SCIP would suggest
otherwise (see Section 2.1). It was found that a total of
38 articles had appeared in UK journals since 1989 and
these are itemized in Table 2.
The sporadic nature of such appearances is notable
with only Marketing Intelligence & Planning and Long
Range Planning covering the topic with any frequency.
Both R&D Management and European Journal of Marketing
Year Number of Articles
2003 6 (first quarter)
2002 43 articles
2001 38 articles
2000 40 articles
1999 61 articles
1998 56 articles
1997 51 articles
1996 28 articles
1995 20 articles
1994 41 articles
1993 26 articles
1992 27 articles
1991 22 articles
1990 7 articles
1989 15 articles
1988 1 article
1987 1 article
1986 1 article
1985 1 article
1984 4 articles
Number (Year) Publication Title
3 (2002)
Marketing Intelligence & Planning
1 (2001)
1 (2000)
1 (1999)
1 (1998)
1 (1997)
1 (1996)
1 (1995)
2 (1994)
1 (1989)
1 (2001) Long Range Planning
1 (2000)
2 (1998)
7 (1997)
1 (1994)
2 (1993)
1 (1991)
1 (1989)
1 (1998) Strategic Change
1 (2002) R & D Management
2 (2001)
1 (1998)
1 (2002) European Journal of Marketing
2 (2001)
1 (1998)
have declared a relatively recent interest in CI, but
nevertheless, have included 4 pieces each since 1998. This
in itself is not significant, but as a percentage of the overall
situation, these two newcomers to CI, represent 16% of the
entire UK publication output in nearly 15 years.
The only sensible conclusion which can be drawn from
the scholarly literature is that UK companies either do not
wish to share their CI experiences or that they don’t have
anything to share. Alternatively, it could also confirm
what we know through our professional colleagues and
contemporaries, that CI is carried out under another
name or that the term “competitive intelligence” does
not mean much to UK firms.
It could be argued though that the very nature of CI
encourages firms not to report on their activities and this
is a view which the authors would support. Therefore,
maybe UK firms are just as active, but are more guarded
in letting their competitors know about it. This is in
contrast to the conclusions of a unique study (Wright,
Pickton & Callow, 2002) which developed a typology
of CI in UK firms. The findings revealed that UK firms
operated at many different levels with regard to the four
strands of study: Attitude, Gathering, Use, and Location.
The results for each of the strands are shown in Tables
3, 4, 5 and 6 in turn.
While appreciating that not all firms can immediately
go from a cold start to the ideal situation (nor would
it make sense to recommend this as universally ideal),
the authors did, nevertheless, conclude with a structure
for a utopian CI situation:
If the results of this survey are extrapolated, then it
could be assumed that while UK companies are aware of
the necessity of CI activities, they do not fully implement
this into their organizational structure.
The first doctoral study ever to be undertaken in the
UK on CI, was carried out by Badr (2003), using the
Wright, Pickton & Callow (2002) study as a foundation.
Badr concentrated on “The Role of CI in Formulating
Marketing Strategy”.
The chasm between UK government and business is
Immune Attitude
Too busy thinking about today to worry about
Think that the firm is either so small, so big, or so
special that it enjoys immunity from competitors
and thus CI is a waste of time
Minimal or no support from either top manage-
ment or other departments.
Task Driven Attitude
Finding answers to specific questions and extend-
ing what the firm knows about its competitors,
usually on an ad-hoc basis
Departments more excited about CI than top man-
agement which does not realize the benefits.
Operational Attitude
A process, revolving around the company as its
centre, trying to understand, analyze, and inter-
pret markets.
Top management usually trying to develop a
positive attitude towards CI because they can see
it might increase profit, and therefore personal
Unwilling or unable to think about the application
of CI for the long term.
Strategic Attitude
An integrated procedure, in which competitors
are determined as those who are satisfying our
customer’s needs, current and/or future
Monitoring competitors’ moves, anticipating
what competitors will do next and working out
response strategies
CI receives top management support, co-operation
from other departments and is recognized by all
as essential for future success
legally requested, detailed company information. This
does, however, make the task of seeking company
information somewhat easier than elsewhere where
such requirements do not exist.
A notable exception is the support given to exporters
and small businesses. The UK government actively
encourages export activity via a series of booklets
outlining information sources on target countries and
provides country specialists to help exporters (HM
Government, Department of Trade & Industry, 2003).
Support is also given to small and entrepreneurial
businesses via The British Chambers of Commerce
organization (2003) and the Business Link (2003)
Competitive intelligence in the UK is not new, as
evidenced by Nathan Rothschild’s timely intelligence to
make a fortune on the London Stock Exchange following
the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Among Rothschild’s
intelligence network was an agent who watched
Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo, subsequently sent carrier
pigeons to Rothschild, who the following morning sold
large volumes of shares. Observers wrongly concluded
that the French had won the battle, and shares slumped.
Rothschild then bought back and awaited the news,
which arrived conventionally that Wellington had won.
The market correction helped Rothschild to his fortune
(Ferguson, 1998)
This is but one of many anecdotal stories, largely
unsubstantiated. Nevertheless, competitive intelligence
as an identifiable business discipline within the UK
is much more recent, although it is difficult to give a
precise year. Table 7 sets out the significant dates.
The Open University (OU), commissioned the
development of a module entitled P679: Managing
in the Competitive Environment for its Diploma in
Management in 1987. (Open University, 1987). The
author of this module was Andrew Pollard, at the time
a Lecturer with the OU. His innovative approach to
education and teaching produced a module which was
not only refreshing in its attitude, but also in terms of
timeliness of content.
This module was the world’s first program of CI
instruction to be offered at post-graduate, management
Easy Gathering
Firms which use general publications and/or
specific industry periodicals and think these
constitute exhaustive information
Unlikely to commit resources to obtain informa-
tion which may be difficult or costly to obtain
Always looking for an immediate return on
Hunter Gathering
Firms knowing that Easy Gathering information
is available to all who care to look
Realize that if CI is to have a strategic impact
then additional, sustained effort is required
Resources are available which allow researchers
to access sources within reasonable cost param-
eters, back their instinct, follow apparently irrel-
evant leads, spend time talking, brainstorming,
and thinking about CI problems without always
being pressured for “the answer”
Firms which appreciate and support intellectual
wide. The involvement of government in UK CI is thus
minimal. At a meeting with the Department of Trade
& Industry on gathering information for competitive
purposes, and with the aim of applying for grant
funding, the opening quote from the state representative
was “you do realize that it is my job to prevent you
from getting any money don’t you?”. Needless to say,
the project was not pursued.
Firms which operate in relatively controlled sectors
such as water supply, electricity, telecommunications,
gas, and other utilities, have to suffer regulators which
make rules about mergers, acquisition, pricing, service
provision, territory, and the like. Firms in these industries
also have to respond, within fairly strict time lines, to
“Keeping up with the Joneses” User
Firms trying to obtain answers to disparate ques-
tions with no organizational learning taking
Has commissioned a CI report from a consultant
because that is what everybody else has done
“Knee Jerk” User
Firms which obtain some CI data, fail to assess its
quality or impact, yet act immediately
Can often lead to wasted and inappropriate effort,
sometimes with damaging results
Such firms are most vulnerable to planted misinfor-
mation by competitors who are more CI aware
Tactical User
Firms which use CI mostly to inform tactical mea-
sures such as price changes, promotional effort
Some firms can successfully argue that CI loses its
impact and timeliness if it gets stuck at the strate-
gic level but are, nevertheless, acutely aware of its
potential value to the business
Strategic User
CI is used to identify opportunities/threats in the
industry and to aid effective strategic decision
All levels of staff, both management and opera-
tional, are aware of critical success factors (CSFs)
and their attendant CI requirements
Continuous, legal measurers are used to track
competitors, simulate their strengths and weak-
nesses, build scenarios, and plan effective counter
Decision makers are involved in a high number
of “what-if?” discussions to which CI data is ap-
Contingency planning and counterintelligence is
a part of normal strategic thinking
Action plans are implemented and mistakes are
seized upon as learning rather than firing oppor-
Open and facilitative management culture which
displays trust and encourages involvement
level (EMP, 2003) and as such was eventually studied by
over 10,000 managers enrolled on the Open University’s
post-graduate programs (Pollard, 2003).
On leaving academia in 1988, Andrew Pollard
founded the first dedicated CI consultancy in the UK
(EMP, 2003). EMP Intelligence Service was a pioneer
in the development of CI in the UK from the late 80’s
onwards and its staff continues to develop new ideas.
EMP concentrates on how CI can improve business
performance rather than a simple re-working of old
ideas and runs regular workshops which have a highly
practical orientation. The EMP brand is well known
in both the UK and Europe with its courses having
been attended by over 6,500 practicing managers. Its
inaugural workshop, “Know Your Competitors”, has been
running for 15 years.
Prior to the formation of EMP, competitive intelligence
would have fallen under the category of marketing
research or business information research, as evidenced
by colleagues practicing during that time.
In 1989, a second organization of relevance to UK
CI professionals was founded - the City Information
Group (CiG) based in London. Although CiG was
not aimed specifically at CI, its membership consisted
of information specialists, researchers and analysts,
many of who would embrace CI in their activity. City
Information Group (2003) is closely linked to other
information industry groups in the UK including those
serving the business library and online information
communities. Although CiG has hosted events relevant
to CI, it has not sought an association with SCIP or the
CI community as such.
The information industry, in general, and CI, in
particular, has remained linked. Subsequently, the
London Business School (1990), through its Information
Service, organized a seminar entitled Competitive
Intelligence: Europe, focusing on obtaining and using
competitive information.
Probably the key feature of organized competitive
intelligence within the UK was the founding of the UK
Chapter of SCIP Europe in 1992. SCIP Europe started two
years earlier, in 1990, as a sister society to SCIP in the
USA but was steadfastly called the Society of Competitor,
not Competitive Intelligence Professionals. This was not
a semantic issue, as in the views of UK and European
practitioners, Competitor Intelligence better described
the work they were undertaking.
In 1992, a third organization of relevance was born,
The Association for Global Strategic Information
(AGSI), founded by Harry Collier of Infonortics. Its
membership included Michael Belkine, Israel and from
the US, Ruth Stanat and Ben Gilad, all of whom are now
leading figures within SCIP. AGSI found membership
recruitment difficult and ceased to operate after a valiant
effort - which had included several conferences, and a
well respected, high quality journal.
The On-Line Information Conference and Exhibition
held annually in London, often includes speakers on CI
issues (On-Line Exhibition, 2003). The 1997 conference
included a full day workshop entitled “Using the Internet
as a Source for Competitive Intelligence”. Led by Arthur
Weiss of AWARE (2003) and attended by 100 delegates,
it is believed to be the first in-depth seminar covering
the nascent use of the Internet for CI in Europe. Similar
workshops covering both competitive and market
intelligence were led by Amelia Kasse from the US, and
took place during 1999 and 2001.
In 1996 SCIP Europe became a legal affiliate of SCIP
and the two memberships combined. Since then, SCIP
in the UK has essentially been an outpost of SCIP in the
Ad-Hoc Location
No dedicated CI unit within the organizational
Intelligence activities, where undertaken, are done
on an ad-hoc basis
CI activity is subsumed into the marketing or
sales department, with intermittent or non-existent
sharing policies
Known Location
Firms supporting a specific CI Unit, with staff
working full-time on monitoring competitors
and the competitive environment at the SBU or
corporate level.
Also involved in addressing particular issues
specified by the Strategy Unit.
Staff have easy access to decision makers and sta-
tus is not a barrier to effective communication.
Year Event
1987 Open University: Managing in the Competitive
1988 EMP Intelligence Services formed
1989 City Information Group established
1990 London Business School Seminar: Competitive
Intelligence: Europe
1990 Formation of SCIP Europe
1992 UK Chapter of SCIP Europe established
1992 The Association for Global Strategic Informa-
tion (AGSI) founded
1996 SCIP Europe membership transferred to SCIP
1997 Online Conference Workshop: Using the In-
ternet as a Source for CI
2000 SCIP Europe Conference, London
2003 SCIP Europe Conference, London
2003 Sunday Times Enterprise Network: CI for
Business Development
2004 Vision in Business: Business Intelligence
US, apart from a short-lived period at the turn of the
century, when SCIP opened up an office in London to
promote and serve European membership.
Currently SCIP activity within the UK focuses on
London, with the Thames Valley Chapter of SCIP which
holds events every few months. The Northern Chapter
which started a few years ago, now appears moribund,
and is reported to have folded. The fifth (SCIP, 2000) and
eighth (SCIP, 2003) Annual SCIP in Europe Conference
took place in London and it is probably these types
of event which will provide a vehicle for increased CI
acceptance and membership within the UK.
Outside SCIP, the City Information Group continues
to flourish with increased activity and interest while the
Association of Independent Information Professionals
(2003) expands its UK membership and is supporting
CI through its highly regarded network of experts.
Various conference presentations have been made by
the Competitive Intelligence and Marketing Strategy
team at Leicester Business School, in an effort to promote
the cause of, and report on, CI in the UK (Wright,
McNidder & Pickton, 1997; Wright & Pickton, 1998b;
Wright, 2001).
More recently, Sheila Wright of Leicester Business
School was invited by the Sunday Times, a national
newspaper, to be a guest speaker at their Business
Development Conference series (Sunday Times Enterprise
Network, 2003). Alongside senior representatives from
Cisco Systems, BDO Stoy Hayward, and American
Express, over 400 delegates were introduced to the
concept of CI, business continuity, strategic alliances,
and preparing a team for growth (Wright, 2003). This
generated significant interest and 47 firms made further
contact. To date, this has resulted in presentations to
senior managers and board members of two large and
four medium sized firms, marketing consultancy with
a start-up technology business, business development
consultancy for the trading arm of a major UK charity, joint
projects with one of the country’s leading management
consultancy firms, an acquisition and CI consultancy
study for a major international firm and job opportunities
placed before students who had studied CI at Leicester
Business School.
Although not entirely a CI Conference, the Online
Information Conference and Exhibition (2003) again
featured CI related topics with a “competitive
intelligence” trail highlighting exhibitors of relevance
to CI professionals. Over 250 firms committed to the
event, which attracts an international audience in excess
of 11,000 visitors.
Similarly, a major Conference is being organized
by Vision in Business (2004) in London. This is not
necessarily advertised as a CI Conference but all of the
17 scheduled sessions are either titled as relating to CI,
or contain a CI component.
To complete the circle, it is interesting to note that
Sheila Wright was one of the first managers to benefit
from Andrew Pollard’s teaching on the P679 module
when she was studying for the Open University’s
Diploma in Management.
Liam Fahey is perhaps the only internationally
regarded name in the CI community who originates from
the British Isles. Fahey & Randall (1998) encouraged the
community to consider how to learn from the future,
and this was followed by ‘Competitors’ a year later
(Fahey, 1999).
There are a number of other practitioners who are
widely known as CI experts. These include Andrew
Pollard of EMP, Arthur Weiss of AWARE, and Chris West
of Competitive Intelligence Services (CIS). Ann-Marie
Lang, currently at Reuters, was made a fellow of SCIP
at the 2003 annual conference and is highly regarded
among her peers.
Other UK authors of repute have also written on
areas of relevance to CI professionals. These include
Brown & McDonald (1994), who focused on the types
of strategy available to companies and used several UK
case studies as illustrations.
In the corporate strategy arena, Gary Hamel is a pre-
eminent UK based author. His highly regarded text
(Hamel & Prahalad, 1994) became an international best-
seller. At the time of publication, Hamel held the position
of Professor of Strategic and International Management
at London Business School. Other corporate strategists
writing on competitive strategy include Hooley,
Saunders & Piercy, (1998) on competitive positioning.
In terms of quantity and quality of empirical research
into CI in the UK, one would look to the Competitive
Intelligence & Marketing Strategy team (CIMS, 2003) at
Chauffeur, Handyman, Coroner’s Office, Salesman,
Gardener, Loss Adjuster, Private Detective, Drugs
Victim Support, Golf Caddie, Barman, Police
Trainer, Insurance Claims Investigator, Magistrates
Gaming Board Inspector, Legal Services, Accident
Investigator, Benefits Investigator, Driving Examiner
Chief Inspectors
Safety Officer, Part Time Solicitor’s Clerk, Catering,
Taxi Driver, VSO, Victim Support, First Aid
Marketing Consultant, Risk/Crisis Management
Advisor, Strategy/Management Consultant,
Security Consultant
Leicester Business School (see Section 2.4). In all other
respects, there have been few new entrants of note in
recent years.
There are currently only a few dedicated CI
consultancies operating within the UK. These include
EMP Intelligence Service founded in 1988, AWARE
founded in 1995 and Fuld & Co. established in the UK
in 2000. Alongside these organizations are: CIS and
EMEA Consulting. The European Management Group
offers CI as part of its portfolio of services.
Other organizations and companies based in the
UK which support CI are: Derwent, now part of the
Thomson organization, selling patent information, and
Factiva, offering news information. Factiva is a joint-
venture with Reuters in London and Dow-Jones in
the US and is an essential service for secondary news
In some countries, CI practitioners hail from the
uniformed services. This is not the case in the UK. The
authors know of almost nobody in the UK CI community
who has come out of the military or law-enforcement
areas. That is not to say that they do not exist, it is just
that they are not advertising their previous experience.
The one known exception is Richard Withers, the
Managing Director of the Fuld & Co. UK subsidiary.
The tendency is for CI to grow from within marketing
or information science departments. In the more covert
areas, military and ex-police officers may be employed,
but that is not a significantly visible activity. Unlike the
US, past military service is not especially regarded as
either desirable or valuable in the UK.
An examination of destination records at Leicester
Business School (2003) revealed that of the 232 relevant
Masters degree students graduating in the last 10 years,
who had been taught CI on their Program, only 4 had
entered military service and they were all reluctant
recruits to the Greek or Turkish Armies to satisfy
National Service requirements. None had any desire
whatsoever to enter military service. It can therefore
safely be assumed that the military is not an attractive
career option for business graduates.
The number of military strategists or intelligence
officers in the UK is few. The Defence Intelligence Staff is
the main provider of strategic decision intelligence to the
UK with a staff of 4,500 both military and civilian. (HM
Government, Ministry of Defence, 2003). On leaving
the service, those who are attracted to the business and
CI community, would be considered quite exceptional
and would most likely be found at the Chief Executive
Officer/Managing Director level.
Retired Police Officers have several options on
retirement from the service (Off-Duty 2003), but the
areas likely to be of most interest are private detective
or driving instructor (Off-Duty 2003a).
Research carried out by the Home Office’s Police
Research Group revealed that of 100 officers approaching
retirement, over 75% wanted to continue working, but
only 4% had actually found work at the time the survey
Location Member Member Numbers and Names
Numbers 1998 Retained into 2003
Aberdeen 1 0
Aberystwyth 1 0
Bedfordshire 1 0
Berkshire 7 0
Bristol 1 0
Buckinghamshire 3 0
Cambridgeshire 2 0
Dorset 1 0
Cheshire 14 John Harkin 1
Cleveland 1 0
Derbyshire 2 Jane Wisher 1
Edinburgh 4 0
Essex 4 0
Farnborough 1 0
Fyfe 1 0
Glasgow 1 0
Gloucestershire 3 0
Hampshire 3 David Brunnen 1
Hertfordshire 8 3
Constanza Galindo, Anne-Marie Lang, Rosie Litchfield
Humberside 2 0
Kent 2 0
Leicestershire 4 Sheila Wright 1
London 60 8
Roger Dawson, Olivia Freeman, Anita Goodzeit,
Norman Jones, Robin Kirkby, Anthony Lynch
John Pearson, Owen Wilson
Merseyside 1 0
Middlesex 8 2
Jonathan Gordon-Till, Arthur Weiss
Norfolk 1 0
Northamptonshire 3 2
Andrew Pollard, Nigel Whitmore
Oxfordshire 4 0
Surrey 11 Charles Stancomb 1
Sussex 3 Mark Hamson 1
Tayside 1 0
Warwickshire 1 Michael Young 1
Wiltshire 4 Dai Jones 1
Total 164 23
was conducted (Off-Duty, 2003b). The results are shown
in Table 8.
It can be seen from Table 8 that the only grade likely
to consider a post-service career in business would be
from the Superintendent grade. Such individuals are
not, to the best of our knowledge, active in the UK CI
community. If they are then they are not openly talking
of their law enforcement experience.
Organizations which employ retired police officers
in the UK can be found in the insurance, retail, legal
services, security, forensic science, debt management,
recruitment, and education sectors. Some also work for
the Ministry of Defence, local councils and organizations
such as the Gaming Board for Great Britain (Off-Duty,
Recruiters of CI practitioners in the UK normally
expect a suitable candidate to hold a Bachelor’s degree in
business or a related academic subject. A Masters degree
is increasingly a requirement, as is an industry based
qualification or membership of a Chartered Institute
(Pode, 2003). This also works against the recruitment of
ex-uniformed service personnel, who have followed an
entirely different career and educational pattern.
The SCIP Membership directory is perhaps not the
perfect basis upon which to conclude the level of
interest in CI in the UK, but it is a good start. Apart from
anecdotal or informal knowledge of others involved
in CI, the SCIP directory is probably the only official
version of CI representation in the UK.
Since 1998, UK membership of SCIP has dropped from
164 to 130, representing a significant revenue shortfall
(SCIP Membership Directory, 1998; 2003). While the
UK is but a small section of SCIP’s revenue stream,
this situation represents a rather distressing customer
retention rate of just over 14% and if that figure does not
at least set off alarm bells in any business then it certainly
ought to be an area for concern. The fall in membership
also coincided with a 100% price increase for no apparent
benefit to UK members (see Section 4.1).
A comparative analysis is shown in Table 9. Having
been compiled in the US, locations have been taken
from where the address line fell. For example, Parkstone
Poole is shown separately, as a location when in fact it
is a town in Dorset. A number of such inaccuracies have
been adjusted and data amalgamated into recognizable
English counties, and regions of Scotland and Wales.
Table 10 illustrates the areas in which UK SCIP
members are working.
From dealings with colleagues, discussions with peers
and conversations with CI providers, the authors are
aware that not all CI activists in the UK are members of
SCIP. Membership of similar organizations, subscriptions
to CI focused newsletters, attendance at Conferences,
Industry Sector Number of
SCIP Members 2003
Aerospace 2
Banking 2
Bio-sciences 3
Cars/Automotive Products 4
Chemicals 2
Computing 5
Education 5
Electronics 4
Healthcare 4
Heavy Engineering 3
Industrial Products 2
Information Services/BI/CI 26
Law/Government 3
Light Engineering 1
Management Consulting 21
Oil/Gas/Energy 8
Pharmaceuticals 10
Publishing 2
Telecommunications 8
Tobacco 2
Unknown 5
Total 130
Even using the 80/20 rule, if a professional support
organization offered real benefits to UK practitioners,
then 20% of those 33,000 people who have either learned
about CI, or are interested in CI for improved business
performance, would join - an instant membership list
of 6,600 with the potential for it to grow with very little
effort. However, such an organization would have to
have professional standing (see Section 4.2).
A number of recent developments suggest that the CI
consultancy market is expanding, although there are
no firm figures available to confirm this. Apart from
Fuld’s move into the UK in 2000 (described above),
other notable new entrants include EMEA Consulting
and FreshMinds.
EMEA Consulting (2003) is linked with the launch of
Critical Eye. Although Critical Eye appears independent
of EMEA Consulting and takes articles from authors
working in other consultancies, the managing director
of EMEA Consulting is also the editor of Critical Eye.
FreshMinds, takes a different and novel approach.
Founded in 2000, the company has grown to over $2m
annual revenues, employing 18 people (FreshMinds,
2003). Winners of a ‘Growing Business, Small Business’
competition, the firm outsources most research to a team
of top graduates, MBAs and PhDs.
Other consultancies also appear to have grown.
Competitive Intelligence Services (CIS) is believed to
have taken on a number of staff, and whereas a few
years ago, only the founder, Chris West, would attend
conferences, now other CIS staff are seen. CIS has also
expanded outside the UK and established a US office
(CIS, 2003).
The only university undertaking empirical research
of academic standard is the CIMS team at Leicester
Business School. It was under the auspice of Sheila
Wright and David Pickton that Ahmad Badr successfully
completed the first and only Doctoral study in CI in the
UK (Badr 2003). Dr Badr has now joined the CIMS team
and with Pickton and Wright is developing the subject
at post-graduate level.
Two further full-time MPhil/PhD students are now
enrolled with the team, carrying out research into
and the buoyancy of training courses and workshops
suggested a re-assessment was required. Consequently
an estimate of at least 60 times the numbers represented
by the SCIP membership list is considered to be a more
realistic estimate of CI practitioner numbers in the UK.
As shown in Section 1.3, EMP Intelligence Service alone,
has welcomed over 6,500 managers to its workshops (50
times SCIP UK member numbers), and EMP’s figures
are rising annually (EMP, 2003).
As stated above, CI in the UK is visible both through
SCIP and the information industry organizations. The
former is probably less active than the latter, where CI
is not a priority, but just part of the overall activity.
A recent addition to UK activity has been the launch
of a new CI magazine focusing on competitive and
strategic intelligence within Europe. Critical Eye is a
subscription-based magazine and website but it also
offers networking benefits alongside subscriptions,
and the publication organizes a number of breakfast
meetings a year.
Overall, CI membership in the UK appears to reflect
SCIP membership globally, having fallen by a third over
the last few years. The danger is that any continued
contraction could risk the viability of regular networking
activity within the UK, further reducing the benefits of
membership. This already appears to have happened
with the Northern Chapter of SCIP in the UK being
reported to have folded.
As mentioned in Section 1.3 above, this is not in line
with reality. Over the past 18 years, Andrew Pollard has
been responsible for training 16,500 managers in the
skills of CI alone. This is an outstanding achievement
for one person and is thus a reliable market size statistic
for 2003. The market is still growing at a pace and has
far greater potential than most external commentators
acknowledge. It can also be fairly safely assumed that
each one of those managers has shared their experience
with at least one other in their firm, so instantly, the
potential market doubles to 33,000 either practicing
managers, or interested parties. This excludes the
activities of all other CI specialist consultancies in the
UK, firms offering training programs, management
consultancies passing work out to market researchers
or students studying CI at university.
the “Implementation of CI into the Organizational
Structure” and the “Effect of CI on UK Banking
Strategy”. Another student is in the application stage
for part-time doctoral study into the “Potential for CI
in Marketing Communication”. To this must be added
an industry-funded study into “The Case for CI in
Non-Profit Organizations”, and several MSc dissertation
topics still under consideration.
In 2003, the CIMS team was awarded a research
grant by the UK Chartered Institute of Marketing. The
awarding panel used a triple blind refereeing process
and concluded that just three of the potential six awards
should be made. The results of the study, entitled, The
Role of CI in Implementing Marketing Strategy, will be
presented to the 2004 Academy of Marketing Conference.
The other two awards were for general marketing
studies and went to the University of Glamorgan and
the British Broadcasting Corporation
Aside from this, the authors are aware of a PhD
study being undertaken on Business Intelligence at the
University of Loughborough although that is not yet
complete. It will be submitted under the auspices of
the Department of Information Science, not Business
or Management.
The UK SCIP membership records identified members
at the Universities of Strathclyde, Loughborough,
Lancaster, Cranfield, and Henley Management College,
as well as Leicester Business School. Otherwise, no
central database exists to track such PhD theses other
than through the information provided by individual
universities on their own websites. On that basis we
are as confident as we can be that Dr Badr’s thesis was
indeed the first in the UK on CI.
Leicester Business School is also the only UK University
to offer competitive intelligence as a dedicated module
at any level which is taught, uniquely, by lecturers with
practical experience. It is a core subject on the MSc
Strategic Marketing degree and is a popular program
of study.
The authors are aware that CI is included elsewhere
by UK universities, but only at an elementary level, as
a one or two week topic within a corporate strategy
module. A module on competitor intelligence is taught
at Loughborough University but as this appears within
a library sciences program, its direction is more toward
data sourcing than strategic analysis.
The lack of practical experience also hinders the
development of CI within UK universities. It is not a
subject that can be completely theorized, nor can it be
taught from a book.
CI regularly appears in the business and trade press
in one form or another but not necessarily with CI in
the headline. When CI is reported in the trade press, the
tone is generally positive. In contrast though, mention
in the quality national press still tends to dwell on the
espionage connotations associated with CI (Tillier, 1995;
Faligot, 1996; Times, 1999). Infrequent articles have
appeared in the Financial Times newspaper but genuine
CI is rarely reported in the quality press.
Within SCIP there are two UK chapters. The London/
Thames Valley Chapter holds a number of meetings
annually, attracting between 20 and 40 attendees. The
Northern chapter is smaller, and is reported to have
closed down due to lack of interest. Competia has a
London Circle, but this appears to have only ever held
one meeting.
Apart from SCIP and Competia there are a number of
organizations that include CI as part of their activities.
Mostly these are commercial conference and training
firms such as Vision in Business (2004). Such conferences
are aimed at a wider geographic audience, although
they are frequently held in London.
Another example would be the inclusion of a free
session on competitive intelligence at the 2003 Online
Information Exhibition and Conference. There are also
several commercial training firms which offer CI but few
of these trainers are active in, or members of, SCIP.
There are a number of individuals who are prominent
within the CI community. However, in most cases, these
individuals have not yet succeeded in expanding CI to
new areas. Several UK authors have written relevant
articles in the CI and trade press. It is difficult to single
out any particular individual as having actively moved
CI forward except within the narrow confines of the
CI community. In this regard, consultants are excluded
from consideration due to their vested interest in selling
services, but they have been given prominence elsewhere
in this report.
The following people have made an above average
contribution to CI within the UK: Anne-Marie Lang
(SCIP Fellow); Robin Kirkby, London SCIP Chapter
co-coordinator, Sheila Wright and the CIMS team at
Leicester Business School, Jonathan Gordon-Till who
links CI with the information communities, and Ian
Turner of Henley Management College. Other names
of note include Jane Attwood of BAE Systems who is
listed as the Chapter coordinator for the London circle
of Competia and Matthew Blagg and colleagues for their
launch of the Critical Eye magazine.
Within the consultancy community both Arthur Weiss
of AWARE and Andrew Pollard of EMP Intelligence
Service spread CI through training. EMP offers
regular publicly available workshops, and is the only
organization in the UK which provides computer-
based workshops for intelligence production. AWARE’s
training courses are predominantly in-house. Apart from
these two, Chris West is also highly visible and links CI
with the market research community. Gordon Donkin
of the European Management Group has helped spread
CI through his software services companies. Both West
and Pollard have also helped spread CI through their
books on the subject.
However, most CI is not carried out by CI consultants;
it is carried out in businesses - good, bad or indifferent.
Large consulting firms are often engaged and they sub-
contract to market research firms. They lack the strategic
ability to integrate or use their findings so the whole
process becomes one of data collection and reportage
rather than a value-added activity, as described by
Wright & Pickton (1998a).
Nevertheless, there are a handful of CI consultancies
which show leadership. In alphabetical order they are:
AWARE whose managing partner, Arthur Weiss,
writes frequent articles in both the CI and non-CI
press on CI related topics
EMP through their training courses, articles and
book on competitor intelligence written by EMP’s
director Andrew Pollard
EMEA Consulting through their publication of
Critical Eye
CIS owing to the reputation and expertise of its
founder Chris West
Fuld & Co., as the UK subsidiary of the market
leading CI firm based in the United States
CI is typically located in the marketing department of
a firm and thus is carried out by staff as an additional
activity to another named job role (Badr 1998; Badr,
2003). This supports the previous comments regarding
the employment of ex-uniformed services staff in the
UK. It would be highly unusual to find an ex-military
or ex-police officer which could satisfy the educational
or business experience requirements to work in a
commercially orientated CI role.
Work done by Mackenzie, Wright, Baron and Ball
(2002) revealed the information sources of 47 practicing
managers. The sample was revisited for the purposes
of this review. In order to include those journals which
were now identified as carrying CI relevant articles in
the UK, (see Table 2), follow-up questions were asked
to ascertain whether they had heard of, or seen a copy
of, R & D Management, Strategic Change or Long Range
Planning. The opportunity was also taken to include two
SCIP publications: Competitive Intelligence Review (CIR),
now ceased, and the Journal of Competitive Intelligence &
Management (JCIM).
The updated results shown in Table 11, were entirely
in line with the previous study. The one manager who
responded in the affirmative, was the same respondent
who had responded affirmatively in the original analysis.
This individual is clearly one of very few managers who
takes updating and information gathering seriously.
Interestingly though, he had been a member of SCIP,
which does explain why he was familiar with the
publications, but he had in recent years not renewed
his membership.
It could be argued that the wrong people were being
asked this question with regard to CIR and JCIM, but
experience and knowledge of the sector suggests that
it is in the marketing discipline where CI activity, if
it is undertaken at all, is located in the UK. Despite
being a sample of modest size, it was considered
sufficiently diverse to give a meaningful assessment of
how managers gain information on developments and
current issues in their profession.
A somewhat unconventional approach to analysis was
advocated by Wright & Pickton (1995) in their paper
entitled What Marketers Can Learn from Photography.
Not to be confused with satellite imagery or photo
interpretation, they suggested the employment of visual
arts graduates with the expectation that they might be
able to look more creatively at situations and think in a
less formulaic or structured manner. In this respect, the
UK is probably more willing to look at alternative ways
of reaching a solution to a situation and is less likely to
continually rely on management theories.
A survey of 178 UK organizations reported in Wright
Pickton & Callow (2002), examined the ways in which
CI active firms structure their efforts. These findings
were further corroborated by Badr (2003), with the
resultant findings.
Most respondents with a dedicated CI unit believed
it was essential to have one. Reasons included the need
to have a centre of expertise to which information can
be channeled, and the need for an unbiased, specialist
skill set devoted to company-wide CI. However, 30%
of those with CI units indicated that their company’s
performance had not really improved.
All respondents who were not part of a dedicated
CI unit, indicated that their colleagues were aware of
CI and that they showed an active interest and offered
help if asked. For both the services and manufacturing
sectors, the targeted CI practitioners were mainly
based in marketing related departments and this had
a major impact on the educational background of UK
practitioners as previously discussed.
Analysis revealed that those firms with a dedicated
CI unit could be found in firms with a turnover in
excess of £10 million. 48% of the units had only one or
two members and lack of resources represented only
Journal Title Number of respondents who had either
never heard of, or had heard of but not
seen a copy (sample size = 47)
Competitive Intelligence Review and/or
Journal of Competitive Intelligence & Management 46
European Journal of Marketing 38
International Journal of Advertising 46
International Journal of Bank Marketing 45
International Journal of Retail Distribution and Management 46
International Marketing Review 46
Journal of Database Marketing 46
Journal of Marketing Management 43
Journal of Marketing Practice 43
Journal of the Market Research Society 40
Long Range Planning 43
Marketing Intelligence & Planning 45
R & D Management 47
Service Industries Journal 46
Strategic Change 46
12% of all major hurdles in establishing the unit. The
other major hurdles highlighted constantly recurring
themes such as the need for evidence of the benefits of
CI (44%), problems of integration and acceptance by
other departments/managers (41%) and location and
responsibility issues (44%). Also, the lack of experience
in CI and scarcity of UK models of CI in action caused
44% of respondents to have a problem of knowing what
was expected from the unit.
Perhaps the single biggest barrier to CI being seen as a
legitimate, recognized, and distinct profession within the
UK is a misunderstanding, by those uneducated in the
subject, of how CI can improve business performance.
Although SCIP plays its part, the organization has not
capitalized on UK interest and this is currently being
satisfied by other organizations. Thus, CI is seen as a
legitimate and important practice for businesses, but
as part of a marketing or informational function rather
than as a separate discipline in its own right. This is
because most CI activists have grown into CI from the
marketing and/or information science communities.
Hence, CI professionals in the UK will describe
themselves as business information professionals, or
marketing intelligence professionals in preference to CI
professionals, even if that is what they do.
If SCIP hopes to grow its membership in all Europe
locations, then the US bias has to be diluted. A strategy,
which recognizes differing countries, cultures, and
practices, is required, but written and implemented
by local experts, certainly not US academics or ex-MI5
An active program linking the information, knowledge
management, and marketing communities is required.
Essentially, if CI is to become a recognized profession
within the UK, then its practitioners need to recognize
themselves. It would also be beneficial to the growth
of CI in the UK if SCIP were able to publish a plan of
support outside the US. To date, the traffic is definitely
one way. SCIP USA takes European membership fees,
but gives little in return. It is very difficult to persuade
CI practitioners to belong to SCIP when the organization
is so US-centric, dominated by consultants, and tangible
benefits are minimal.
The activity in the UK which takes place under the
SCIP banner is already open to non-members which
further begs the question ‘why should I pay?’ For
an intelligence-based professional body, SCIP seems
remarkably inept at recognizing the problem.
Notwithstanding the number of businesses in Europe,
the population, and the GDP, the UK, in particular,
and Europe, in general, have buoyant economies (HM
Government, Department of Trade & Industry, 2003). It
is an area ripe for increased CI recognition.
The fact that SCIP is generally unknown in Europe is
not a sign that CI does not take place, but that SCIP and
the US approach is not acceptable. In this context, the
merger and subsequent disappearance of SCIP Europe
can be seen as a huge mistake. Europeans positively
reject being treated simply as a revenue stream, nor do
they appreciate being part of any organization where
activities, prices, benefits, and policies are entirely US
For CI to become recognized, it needs to follow the
routes taken by other professional organizations. This
includes greater emphasis within management and
business education, especially within business schools.
Ideally, there should be a career path and recognition
for membership such as permitting the use of MSCIP
(Member of the Society of Competitive Intelligence
Professionals), but only if that status is earned. Without
such a shift in attitude, SCIP will be seen as irrelevant
and having little reputation as a professional body.
Organizations in the UK, which allow the use of letters
after the name when the holder has simply paid a
members fee, are ridiculed.
The profession needs to look at equivalents, and
equivalent member benefits, from the various UK
competing professional bodies such as the Chartered
Institute of Marketing, the Chartered Management
Institute, the Chartered Institute of Management
Accountants, and many more. Without exception,
these organizations have grades for different levels
of experience and their own Certificate, Advanced
Certificate, and Diploma style of qualification programs
for membership. Chartered organizations also hold the
Royal Warrant.
All similarly recognized professional bodies operate
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programs
which are necessary in order to retain ‘Chartered’ status.
Thus, the letters used after the name, actually mean
something and have status.
As a starting point, SCIP should work alongside
these organizations to encourage affiliate membership
- perhaps offering discounts for joint membership,
and initiating interest groups within the professional
Competitive intelligence is essential for individual
business survival, and UK businesses recognize this
reality. However, whether the CI profession is seen as a
separate profession is more doubtful. Unless SCIP acts to
raise the profile, the role will be seen as fairly low-level
with the real power being in the hands of marketing
intelligence professionals who would naturally affiliate
with the Chartered Institute of Marketing or the Strategic
Planning Society. In this context, it is important to
separate people calling themselves CI professionals from
the CI activity - the two are not synonymous.
The role and acceptance of CI could probably be
improved if the activity widened and received greater
recognition. It is, after all, an incredibly attractive area
to work in. Those graduates who have benefited from CI
education in the UK have found employment in the field
and are having a wonderful time. (Leicester Business
School Destination Records, 2003)
If recognition is not forthcoming, then, at best, the CI
community will stagnate and, at worst, it will fold. A
vibrancy is needed to re-start organized activity. SCIP
has not helped in this respect. As the only dedicated
CI support organization in the world, it has failed
spectacularly to recognize the needs, or the thirst for CI in
the UK. New organizations are offering exciting rewards
in terms of conferences, networks, information exchange,
and discounted subscriptions to key publications and/or
information sources.
The 2003 SCIP Conference in London was hailed as a
great success, reporting attendance at 160 delegates from
across Europe, but this figure represents less than 2% of
what we know to be practicing CI managers in the UK
alone, not including Europe. It is impossible to analyze
the attendance at this event because the delegate list,
and proceedings have still to be published.
Key individuals are speaking on CI at many different
occasions, attracting audiences of up to 400 in the UK
alone, and thousands through workshop attendance.
The time is ripe for a surge of support activities and
recognition of CI as a key element for improved business
performance. Empirical research has proven that a
thirst for CI exists. Informal discussions with peers
and colleagues active in CI, along with enthusiastic
workshop attendance also underscore this promising
reality. It is an explosion waiting to happen, if only
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... There have been individual European country. For example, the Journal of Competitive Intelligence in Management had a special issue devoted to country-specific intelligence in 2004 which included Wright, Badr, and Weiss (2004) writing about CI in the United Kingdom, as well as articles looking at CI in Finland and in Israel. Competitive Intelligence Review had articles about competitive intelligence in France in the1990's. ...
... Frequently mentioned were both a CI unit and a business/customer insight unit. Wright and Calof (2006) and Wright, Badr, and Weiss (2004) reported that the most frequently mentioned department responsible for CI was marketing. This again provides evidence that since 2006 there has been an increase in the development of CI in Europe as a separate function. ...
... There have been individual European country. For example, the Journal of Competitive Intelligence in Management had a special issue devoted to country-specific intelligence in 2004 which included Wright, Badr, and Weiss (2004) writing about CI in the United Kingdom, as well as articles looking at CI in Finland and in Israel. Competitive Intelligence Review had articles about competitive intelligence in France in the1990's. ...
... Frequently mentioned were both a CI unit and a business/customer insight unit. Wright and Calof (2006) and Wright, Badr, and Weiss (2004) reported that the most frequently mentioned department responsible for CI was marketing. This again provides evidence that since 2006 there has been an increase in the development of CI in Europe as a separate function. ...
... Similarly, Wright, Badr, Weiss, and Pickton (2004) and Calof and Wright (2008) state that competitive intelligence is not a novel concept as it has appeared in various literatures since 1960s. Since then, the term competitive intelligence was suggested by many writers under various labels and is often used interchangeably which include competitive information, business intelligence, corporate intelligence and market intelligence (Calof & Wright, 2008;Maltz & Kohli, 1996;McGonagle & Vella, 2002;Rouach & Santi, 2001;Wright et al., 2004). ...
... Similarly, Wright, Badr, Weiss, and Pickton (2004) and Calof and Wright (2008) state that competitive intelligence is not a novel concept as it has appeared in various literatures since 1960s. Since then, the term competitive intelligence was suggested by many writers under various labels and is often used interchangeably which include competitive information, business intelligence, corporate intelligence and market intelligence (Calof & Wright, 2008;Maltz & Kohli, 1996;McGonagle & Vella, 2002;Rouach & Santi, 2001;Wright et al., 2004). However, the intelligence can be further divided into specificity of the subject such as strategic intelligence (Aaker, 1983;Montgomery & Weinberg, 1979), competitor analysis/intelligence (Deschamps & Nayak, 1995;Ghoshal & Westney, 1991;Wright, Pickton, & Callow, 2002), competitive technical intelligence (Albagli, Dawson, & Hasnain, 1996;Brockhoff, 1991), technological intelligence (April & Bessa, 2006;Deschamps & Nayak, 1995) and customer intelligence (Calof & Wright, 2008). ...
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Due to the increase in global economic competition, organisations are becoming more susceptible to dwindling budgets and are realizing the need to invest in or divest capabilities to meet marketplace demand. Most of the organisations are also confronted with an intensifying competitive environment where sustained competitive advantage is becoming more and more difficult to sustain. All companies usually exhibit various methods of collecting information on their competitors and the external business environment in order to find new markets and increase revenue. One of the methods that are worth examining is the competitive intelligence (CI). Many organisations are investigating their own CI services to guide their decision makers. However, there is an absence of a proper procedure to transfer this useful information into knowledge and intelligence that can be valuable to formulate competitive strategies, thus, increase performance. Most companies still do not establish a formal department of CI even though it is apparent that CI is becoming increasingly vital to a company's survival in today's dynamic economies. Thus, this study was conducted to explore the concept of competitive intelligence and Small Medium Enterprise (SME) performance in Malaysia.
... It is well established within management practice and among relevant scholarly communities, that competitive intelligence is a skill set crucial to the success of organizations and individuals [Wright et al., 2004; Global Intelligence Alliance, 2007a; Michaeli, & Simon, 2008]. Approaches, which have analyzed competitive intelligence, differ and were conditioned by geographical prejudice. ...
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Competitive intelligence is a crucial skill increasingly required of entrepreneurs across firms, since guidance to enterprises on this crucial skill has proven to be problematic over the years, owing primarily to a lack of unified understanding of its meaning as well as the erroneous use of the term interchangeably with other close but dissimilar concepts. This paper aims to Issue 3/2021 210 establish a protocol for a scoping review of relevant literature, to map, compare and synthesize the disparate conceptualizations available and relative theoretic-cal underpinnings, in a bid to systematically derive a more robust and comprehensive definition and terminology that accurately captures all facets of the competitive intelligence concept. This scoping review will follow the methodological recommendations first developed by Arksey and O'Malley, and subsequently refined by Levac and colleagues. A management practitioner as well as a local librarian will be involved in the development of the search strategy, and the search will be conducted in electronic databases (Web of Science, SCOPUS and EBSCO Business Complete). This scoping review will aid the design of upcoming studies on competitive intelligence using accurate, comprehensive and scientifically conceptualized and operationalized terminology.
... CI is not a new concept (Wright, Badr, Weiss, & Pickton, 2004). CI has a rich and valuable heritage (Juhari & Stephens, 2006) and has attracted the attention in the last years (Bouthillier & Jin, 2005). ...
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Performing a strong intelligence grants an organization a guarantee of long-term success. This paper investigates the enhancing effect of organizational learning capabilities on competitive intelligence at the commercial banks in Jordan. A sample within top and middle managements was used. Measurement instrument validity and model fit were assessed before testing hypotheses. This study emphasizes the role learning capability plays in enhancing intelligence. Key findings support importance of organizational context of learning facilitators within Jordanian banks and recommend banks to practice learning capabilities in order to introduce themselves as intelligent organizations.
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Este artículo tiene como objetivo presentar un estado de la cuestión del principal corpus teórico de la inteligencia competitiva (IC). La literatura actual está compuesta por trabajos realizados por profesionales y por académicos. Este hecho y su origen multidisciplinar están originando cierta dispersión de temas vinculados a los procesos de IC y a su organización, que requieren de cierta unificación. Se exponen las temá-ticas detectadas: terminología, organización de la función, descripción de los procesos, evaluación, modelos existentes, y factores facilitadores e inhibidores de las prácticas de IC. Por último, se señala la necesidad de seguir con trabajos empíricos que validen el constructo existente, y de profundizar en dos líneas de investigación: la integración de los marcos teóricos existentes y la identificación de los factores facilitadores e inhibidores de las prácticas.
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سعى هذه البحث إلى تحديد أثر التعلم التنظيمي في تحقيق قدرات الاستخبارات التنافسية بالتطبيق في منظماتنا العراقية ومن أجل تحقيق ذلك تم اعتماد أبعاد متغير التعلم التنظيمي (البعد الاستراتيجي, البعد التنظيمي, البعد الثقافي) استناداً إلى(أيوب,2004: 73) وتم اعتماد عمليات الذكاء التنافسي (التخطيط, التجميع ,التحليل, النشر, العملية والهيكل, الثقافةوالوعي التنظيمي)استناداً إلى ((Dishman&Calof,2008:768-770 واختبرت هذه الدراسة في قطاع التعليم العالي باختيارعينة من كليات جامعة كربلاء ميداناَ للبحث ، وطبقت الدراسة على عينة من الهيئة التدريسية التي تشغل مناصب عليا في الكلية (عمداء , معاونين , رؤساء أقسام ) والمكونة من (40) تدريسي موزعين حسب الكليات والأقسام العلمية المختلفة ، واستخدمت الدراسة الاستبيان كأداة رئيسية لجمع المعلومات المطلوبة فضلا عن المقابلات الشخصية ، ولغرض تحقيق هدف الدراسة تم اعتماد الفرضيات الرئيسية والفرعية التي تعكس العلاقة بين التعلم التنظيمي والاستخبارات التنافسية وتم اختبار الفرضيات بين المتغيرات باستخدام معامل الارتباط (Spearman), واختبار (t) لمعرفة معنوية العلاقة بين المتغيرات ،واختبار(F) لتحديد معنوية معادلة الانحدار، كما تم استخدام (R2) لتفسير مقدار تأثير المتغير المستقل في المتغير التابع .ومن أهم الاستنتاجات التي تم التوصل إليها هو إن للتعلم التنظيمي دوراً فاعلاً في تنمية قدرات الاستخبارات التنافسية وقد اختتم البحث بعدد من التوصيات منها :- • التركيز على ممارسة عمليات الاستخبارات التنافسية في الكليات عينة البحث بشكل أكثر فاعلية . • تعزيز ثقافة ووعي الكليات عينة البحث على كافة المستويات بشكل يجد فيه المنافسون صعوبة في تجاوزها. • المحافظة على مستوى عال من المهارات والمعرفة وزيادة الخبرات لدى كوادر الكليات عينة البحث بشكل يعطيها ميزة تنافسية.
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This study aims at determining the influence of environmental scanning and competitive intelligence on the core competences of Iraqi Organizations . For this purpose the researcher has depended on the processes of environmental scanning ( scanning ,monitoring , forecasting , and evaluation ) according to ( Hitt et al , 2007 : 37)(Witcher & Chau , 2010 :90-91) (Dess et al ,2007 :43 ) . The processes of competitive intelligence (Planning , gathering , analyzing and dissemination) that have been relied on represent the information related to the competitive environment of the organization according to a number of specialized writers like ( Santos & Correia , 2010:2)( Dishman & Calof ,2008:768 - 770)(Calof ,2008:39 - 42)( Stratuss & Du Toit , 2010:306). The dimensions of core competences ( resources , capabilities , human capital ) that have been used are according to ( Jelassi and Enders , 2008 : 79 ) for the resources and capabilities , as for the human capital it has been relied on the views of a number of writers like (Bani – Hani and Al- Hawary , 2009 :98 ) and (Vincent and Focht , 2009 : 166 ). The Karbala Company for Manufacturing Cement has been chosen to verify this study via a questionnaire used as a basic tool in collecting the databases related to the field work of the study , ( 75) individuals of the managers of the company , its departments and unites in addition to personal interviews the researcher made to explain the items of the questionnaire have been relied on . The Spearman connection factor has been used to measure the relation between the variables, and the multiple regression analysis, and the ( t ) test to recognize the identity of this relation, and the ( f ) test to determine the identity of the regression equation , also the ( R2 ) has been used to explain the degree of the influence of the independent variables in the dependent variable . Some of the most important conclusions the study arrived at are that environmental scanning and competitive intelligence have a significant impact in the growth and competition of organizations through building core competences of the company that help in sustainable its competitive and superiority on its competitors as a result of the strong influence significant on the independent variables(environmental scanning and competitive intelligence ) in the core competences of the company . The study has been concluded with a number of recommendations ,some of which are :  Focusing on the practice of the process of environmental scanning in the company in a wider scope in the light of Iraqi environment which is characterized by environmental uncertainty .  Focusing on the practice of the processes of competitive intelligence in the company more efficiently in the light of opening on the external environment .  Consolidating the company's resources and capabilities on all levels in a way that competitors find difficult to surpass.  Keeping a high level of skills and knowledge , and increasing the staff's expertise in a way that gives the company a competitive advantage .
Conference Paper
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This Research aimed at determining the influence of Organizational Learning on competitive intelligence of Iraqi Organizations . For this purpose depended on the dimensions of Organizational Learning ( strategically ,Organizational , cultural) that have been used are according to ( أيوب , 2004 : 73 ). The processes of competitive intelligence (Planning , gathering , analyzing , dissemination, process and structure , organizational awareness and culture) according to ( Santos &Correia , 2010:2) ( Dishman&Calof ,2008:768 - 770) ( Stratuss& Du Toit , 2010:306).College of Karbala university has been chosen to verify this Research via a questionnaire ( 40) individuals of the dean , Chief of Departments of the Colleges, its departments and unites in addition to personal interviews the researcher made to explain the items of the questionnaire have been relied on. The Spearman connection factor has been used, and the ( t ) test to recognize the identity of this relation, and the ( F ) test to determine the identity of the regression equation , also the ( R2 ) has been used to explain the degree of the influence of the independent variables in the dependent variable .Some of the most important conclusions the study arrived at are that Organizational Learning have a significant impact in the growth competitive intelligence ability. The study has been concluded with a number of recommendations ,some of which are :  Focusing on the practice of the processes of competitive intelligence in the Colleges more efficiently.  Consolidating the Colleges awareness and culture resources on all levels in a way that competitors find difficult to surpass.  Keeping a high level of skills and knowledge , and increasing the staff's expertise in a way that gives the Colleges a competitive advantage .
Los desafíos tecnológicos, económicos y sociales en que viven actualmente las organizaciones han puesto de manifiesto que, para ser competitivas, deben pasar de una posición reactiva a una posición proactiva, con capacidad para innovar y adaptarse ágilmente a las singularidades que puedan suscitarse, haciendo uso inteligente de los datos, información y conocimientos en todas sus áreas. Para dar respuesta a estos desafíos, las organizaciones buscan desarrollar e implementar Modelos de Inteligencia que recopilen, analicen, interpreten y diseminen datos e información de alto valor añadido para su uso en la definición y ejecución de su estrategia, así como en los procesos de toma de decisiones. En este sentido, el concepto de Inteligencia, originalmente ligado a los ámbitos militar, seguridad, político, económico y comercial, y entendido como la capacidad para aprovechar los recursos internos y externos para la definición de estrategias ha pasado al ámbito organizacional, con el fin último de dotar a todos los agentes de una serie de capacidades que de otra forma no sería posible. Sin embargo, en ese proceso de migración, la Inteligencia ha ido evolucionando, especializándose y encasillándose, de tal forma que ha dado lugar a distintos enfoques, que en esencia comparten objetivos pero que en aplicación se han ido solapando. Atendiendo a esta situación, esta investigación guarda dentro sus objetivos establecer las bases para la definición de los principales enfoques de Inteligencia relacionados con las organizaciones, a través del análisis de sus estructuras intelectuales, evolución, principales líneas de investigación y desarrollo (temas), autores, publicaciones y organizaciones relevantes, entre otros aspectos. Para ello, se ha recurrido a la utilización de técnicas y herramientas bibliométricas, que han permitido evaluar y analizar las publicaciones relacionadas con esta disciplina, así como medir su impacto y calidad en el desarrollo de esta. Además, para dotar de una visión de contraste, se ha seleccionado el sector de automoción, como caso de uso, atendiendo a su efecto tractor y relevancia en el desarrollo económico y social, a través de la realización de entrevistas y encuestas en las que se evalúa el uso de la Inteligencia en toda la cadena de valor. Por último, tomando en cuenta las estructuras intelectuales, se propone el Modelo de Inteligencia STRIM (Strategic Intelligence Model), que hace de marco para la integración de los enfoques de Inteligencia Competitiva, Inteligencia Tecnológica, Inteligencia de Mercado, Inteligencia Organizacional, Inteligencia de Negocio e Inteligencia Estratégica, de manera sencilla y práctica, pensando en las necesidades de las organizaciones y su interés por explotar al máximo los beneficios que tienen los datos, la información y los conocimientos. Palabras clave: Inteligencia Estratégica, Inteligencia de Negocio, Inteligencia Competitiva, Inteligencia Tecnológica, Inteligencia de Mercado, Inteligencia Organizacional, Big Data, Innovación, Competitividad, SciMAT.
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Academic literature on Competitive Intelligence is limited. Numerous books have been written, but by just a few authors, all of them Americans. Two hundred and eighty two articles on the topic of Competitor(ive) Intelligence were studied. Of these, 85% were of American origin, whilst the rest were primarily the work of Ian Gordon, a Canadian. Of the British periodicals only Long Range Planning published articles on the subject, and then only 5. Of these, 194 were oriented toward the 'circulation' of information within 'the organisation' and focused on the use of Information Technology as an analytical tool of Competitor(ive) Intelligence. The remaining 88 articles concentrated on Competitive Intelligence theory and/or case studies. None of these case studies concerned UK companies. It seems that UK companies either do not want to make any comments about their experience in Competitive Intelligence or simply had no experience at all. Indeed there is little evidence to show that UK companies have acknowledged the importance of Competitive Intelligence or have developed Competitive Intelligence Units within their organisational structure. The primary objective of this research was to obtain a qualitative picture of Competitive Intelligence in the UK. The findings suggest key issues related to CI attitudes, gathering processes, use and location type.
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There is a danger of allowing competitive analysis to receive less than adequate attention in the marketing-planning process as it is subordinated to a customer-driven focus. Clearly important though customers are, they should not dominate marketing strategy and planning to the exclusion of other influential groups, one of these being competitors. With this in mind, a pilot research project was undertaken to gain a better understanding of how UK companies conduct competitive intelligence. From this pilot, a tentative typology of companies was developed to reflect four attributes of competitive intelligence activity: attitude, gathering, use, and location. Further research was subsequently undertaken to corroborate the findings of the pilot study, test the appropriateness of the typology and further develop the classification definitions. The research has resulted in a typology that illustrates a continuum of behaviour on the four strands of investigation. From this, an understanding of CI best practice can be deduced.
This book analyses the development of Collective Intelligence by a better knowledge of the diversity of the temperaments and behavioural and relational processes. The purpose is to help the reader become a better Collective Intelligence Leader, who will be able to capitalize on the specificities and the differences of the individuals present in its collective, and transform these differences into complementarities, which are a source of wealth.
The objective of this paper is to explore how selected matrix displays can aid strategic management. Three types of matrix— the Directional Policy, the Hofer and the Patel and Younger— are considered and the particular contribution that each can make is examined. Each type makes a particular contribution and which type, or types, should be used by strategic planners should be a function of the objectives of the exercise and the data available.
In all cases a company's perception of its strengths/ weaknesses reflects that of its view of its relative power position vis-à-vis the other parties in the system. Tecognition of power/weakness can be a stimulant to redressing the balance in the company's favour. This paper seeks to emphasize the potential for such action in supply markets, for supply markets are sources of considerable potential worthy of careful attention from corporate strategists. The paper illustrates in outline one approach to competitive analysis in supply markets. The approach is not intended to have universal application. However, it should suggest a framework which can be tailored to most situations where input costs are a significant element in output revenue.
Considers the development of competitive intelligence as a formal discipline, noting that the use of competitive intelligence in Europe has been stimulated by developments in the USA. Notes that the pressure on companies to move from being competitor aware to being competitor intelligent is driven by the need to have a competitive strategy, the ability to use the intelligence once it is gathered to contribute to the bottom line, the ability to study competitors. In most European countries the developments which have resulted in a major intensification of competition between companies include: privatization; deregulation; liberalization; global marketing; periods of economic recession and reduced product and service differentiation. Consultancies providing competitive intelligence consist of competitive intelligence specialists, corporate investigators, secondary data feeders, benchmarking companies and market research organizations. Factors inhibiting the growth of competitive intelligence in Europe include data protection legislation, fear that competitive intelligence is unethical, counter intelligence, failure of competitive strategies to yield the expected gains. Concludes by discussing the role of the information manager in competitive intelligence gathering.