1st Edition

Competitive Intelligence
Gathering, Analysing and Putting it to Work

ISBN 9780566085376
Published September 28, 2005 by Routledge
304 Pages

USD $160.00

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Book Description

Every business manager needs intelligence to find suppliers, mobilize capital, win customers and fend off rivals. Obtaining this is often an unplanned, instinctive process. The manager who has a conscious, systematic approach to acquiring intelligence will be better placed to recognize and seize opportunities whilst safeguarding the organization against the competitive risks that endanger its prosperity - and sometimes even its survival. Christopher Murphy's Competitive Intelligence explains: ¢ the theory of business competition ¢ how companies try to get ahead of their rivals ¢ methods of research and sources of information that generate the raw material for creating intelligence ¢ analytical techniques which transform the mass of facts and opinions thus retrieved into a platform of sound, useable knowledge to support informed business decision making. The text includes plenty of examples and experiences from the author's own consulting experience. He draws on a wide variety of disciplines, including literary criticism (or how to read between the lines of company reports, announcements and media stories) and anthropology (understanding corporate culture), as well as the more obvious ones such as financial analysis, management theory and business forecasting techniques. This fusion of insights from many fields of expertise provides a very readable, practical and imaginative framework for anyone seeking to gather and make effective use of market and company data. While focused on the British business environment, the lessons drawn are of universal application, and examples are taken from across the globe. In addition a chapter is devoted to researching industries and companies in other countries. Although primarily concerned with commercial enterprises, many of the principles and techniques will also be of considerable practical relevance to managers in the public sector or not-for-profit organizations. Competitive Intelligence also provides a legal



Christopher Murphy is a director of business consultancy Ravensbourne Research Limited and been engaged in competitive intelligence assignments ranging across the whole span of the discipline for the past 15 years. Clients he has worked with encompass many public sector and not-for-profit organizations as well as businesses of every size from start-ups through to multinational giants. His sectoral experience is correspondingly diverse, embracing professional services, financial institutions, manufacturing, retailing, consumer goods, together with national and local governmental bodies and charities. He is a member of the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals, the Society of Business Economists and the World Futures Society and is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society.


'He warns against complacency, even going to the same place to do drugs tests if you are a pharmaceutical firm; a rival, especially one not fussy about how they get their CI, could uncover your secrets. To his credit, Murphy does not shy away from the seamier side of CI'. In a chapter titled 'For goodness' sake! legal and ethical aspects of CI' he admits the illicit ways of gathering intelligence, and the often sleazy, 'corporate spy' reputation of CI.' Professional Security Magazine 'The book is particularly strong in its discussion of financial analysis of company accounts - giving a comprehensive coverage of UK legal forms, company filings and how the same can be interpreted. I know of no other competitive intelligence book that is as thorough in this area, making Murphy's book a unique reference to a topic that will not be covered in US competitive intelligence books and, hitherto, could only be learnt through financial and accounting texts....I have worked in competitive intelligence for many years and have a good understanding of its theory and practice, to the extent that often when I read a book on CI, I groan as I've seen it all before. With Murphy's book, I did not need to groan. I learnt things I'd forgotten and a few things I don't think I ever knew. If UK competitive intelligence is your bag, then this book should be in it!' Arthur Weiss, Free Pint 'The strength of this work is Murphy's clear explanations of how to use financial statements.' Business Information Alert '...a must for the business information researcher, a nice to have for the busy manager and a topical and well-produced book for professional and academic business collections...' Stuart Hannabuss, Aberdeen Business School, Library Review '...here is the reviewer's highest praise for Murphy's book, which is that it must be one of the most well-rounded texts on CI presented in a pleasing style which is relevant for both the expert practitioner and beginner in CI alike...this is an ex