Within the changing society businesses suffer with the competition coming all different directions. Trying to keep up with us others to ensure your particular products sell before the others. Before social media and internet, everyone was on the same playing field with broadcast media (radio and television). With the upgraded media tools that reach globally, the playing field changed. Keeping up with the fast pace of the competitive environment can become a challenge. Nevertheless, the competition has the ability to be regulated with competitive intelligence.
What is competitive intelligence?
“Management scholar Karl Albrecht suggests scanning to acquire environmental intelligence should be done by one of eight strategic radar screens (Lawrence &Weber 2017, p. 28). Lawrence &Weber, (2017 defines one of the strategic radar screens; competitive intelligence as a systematic and continuous process and gathering, analyzing, and managing external information about the organization’s competitors that can affect the organization’s plan, decision, and operation (Lawrence &Weber 2017, p. 29). The competitive intelligence focuses on “developing business strategies of competitive businesses for ideas to compete with customers and production processes” (Bagnoli & Watts, 2015, p. 709). Failure to utilize competitive intelligence has the potential to risk operating in reactive mode.
A public affairs function often acts as the corporate voice to advocate on behalf of business interests (Moss, McGrath, Tonge, & Harris, 2012, p. 47). Public affairs generally are the least likely to be found as an individual function in small or medium businesses. However, most likely can be found in larger national, international and global operating companies (Moss, McGrath, Tonge, & Harris, 2012, p. 48). Competitive intelligence is important to public affairs function because it allows managers in companies to make informed decisions on short and long-term strategies. Since public affairs deal with stakeholders, local, federal agencies, and the public competitive intelligence become the essential personnel. With the opportunity for issues arising from the process of gathering, analyzing, and managing external info about the organizations. Maintaining a competitive edge within an illegal and unethical market, the public finds it hard to trust of public affairs with matters.
Competitive intelligence helps to keep the good honest competition and the bad competitors on alert. Whenever a question or concern arises, it’s at the discretion of public affairs to evaluate polices and strategies to ensure reports and tactics are in the order and not foul play is involved.
The competitive intelligence keeps the public affairs function all in working order. With new ways to compete globally, the market is wide open to get gain exposure. Faster is no always better. Mistakes can be made and corners tend to be cut. Whereas, a slower pace will allow mistakes to be seen before things get too far.
Bagnoli, M., ; Watts, S. G. (2015). Competitive intelligence and disclosure. The RAND Journal of Economics, 46(4), 709-729. doi:10.1111/1756-2171.12103
Lawrence, A. T., ; Weber, J. (2017). Business and society: Stakeholders, ethics, public policy (15th ed.). NY.
Moss, D., McGrath, C., Tonge, J., ; Harris, P. (2012). Exploring the management of the corporate public affairs function in a dynamic global environment. Journal of Public Affairs, 12(1), 47-60. doi:10.1002/pa.1406