Competitive Intelligence Case Studies

Check this post Competitive Intelligence Case Studies from Strategically Thinking:


We have several recurring issues in the competitive intelligence community.

One common problem is that it is difficult to discuss factual competitive intelligence projects due to the reluctance of companies to share detailed information. Of course, CI projects often represent sensitive work that reflects a company’s priorities and/or concerns. There are good (legal and ethical) reasons not to share many kinds of information.

However, as a result, the competitive intelligence community has a paucity of rich, relevant stories that stimulate effective problem-solving discussions. Furthermore, side-by-side comparisons of problem solving approaches are often missing in competitive intelligence community discussion. Without those comparisons, the typical solution discussion reflects one approach from one person.

We can do better.

Why not have a place where practitioners can share realistic (but not confidential) competitive intelligence cases? Starting from those richly detailed cases, we could have experts address the issues of the case and suggest problem-solving approaches. The broader community could also respond to both the case study and the experts’ comments.

That is why the Competitive Intelligence Case Studies website was created.

The Model

The Harvard Business Review has a long tradition of case study discussion. Each issue contains a strategy case study and responses from invited experts. Unsurprisingly, the commentators often differ in their interpretations of the case study facts and arrive at different solutions. The great value to readers comes from seeing the different solutions and exposing the thought processes of each expert.

The Idea

The Competitive Intelligence Case Studies website will host a regular forum for posing and addressing competitive intelligence case studies. Competitive intelligence practitioners and academics can contribute their thoughts, opinions and advice with respect to the problems described or implicit in the case study. The case studies may focus on analytical issues, people issues, trends or some other aspect of the competitive environment. Many cases will involve multiple problem dimensions and non-obvious solutions. After all, isn’t that typical in real life situations?

The Mechanics

Here is how the Competitive Intelligence Case Study effort will work.

  1. Each case study would be approximately 2000-3000 words. I will write some of them. Others may contribute as well as described here.
  2. For each case study, experts will be formally invited to respond. Each will receive the case study and have 15-30 days to return a response to me. A response would be <500 words (this might vary for specific case studies). Guidelines are located here.
  3. I would be responsible for editing the responses and posting them (plus the case study) on the website ( Each responder would have their picture and links to their business/school site “attached” to their response. See an example here.
  4. Readers could also contribute comments once the case study was posted. A dedicated blog ( exists for this purpose.
  5. Each case study would be published in a PDF file that could be used for marketing purposes. The file would contain the original study, the invited commentators’ responses and selected comments from others.

Here are the opportunities for you.

Would you be interested in contributing? There are three ways.

  1. Read and respond to the case studies and commentaries that are posted.
  2. Volunteer to write a case study. (If you need help, I will be glad to assist.)
  3. Volunteer to be an expert commentator and share your problem-solving ideas.

Let me know what you think.




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