Sleuths In Suits: Spies Like Us

Creating a competitive-intelligence shop is easier than you might think

Should your firm start a competitive-intelligence department? A 1995 study by professors at the University of North Texas found that companies that place a high emphasis on CI earn an average of $1.24 a share annually, while their competitors that do not stress CI lose 7[cents] a share. There may be a chicken-and-egg dynamic at work: successful firms have a lot more cash to invest in CI. But it seems clear that watching your competitors closely can help boost your bottom line. Cliff Kalb, senior director of strategic business analysis at MERCK, says his division recently helped the pharmaceutical giant outmaneuver...

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