Protecting Your Company Against Competitive Intelligence

by John J. McGonagle and Caryolyn M. Vella


A comprehensive guide to the strategies and tactics organizations can and must use to defend themselves, legally and ethically, against the legal and ethical efforts made by others to gain information on their business plans and activities.

Print Flyer
Cover image for Protecting Your Company Against Competitive Intelligence

January 1998


Pages 176
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Business/Management

As businesses learn more about competitive intelligence (CI) and how to use it, the ferocity of competition rises to a new level. Naturally, people will seek ways to protect themselves and their organizations against CI, but how? McGonagle and Vella, specialists in CI and what can be called CI countermeasures, have studied the problem from its beginning, and now offer corporate executives and executives in public and nonprofit organizations a portfolio of strategies and tactics. Each one is designed to meet two mutually important criteria: self-protection against the competitive intelligence activities of others, but also the freedom and mobility needed to maneuver in the marketplace. The result, a so-called cloaking program, allows an organization to become significantly less visible to its competitors, and can therefore compete more effectively against them. Including full details on the new Economic Espionage Act of 1996, this book is an extremely useful resource for executives throughout the public and private sectors.

McGonagle and Vella maintain that there is nothing illegal about protecting an organization against competition. They argue that businesses can and should restrict the information available to others—available legally and ethically from newspapers, for example, or from an organization's annual reports. The authors' aim is for organizations to respond to CI's advances by making it more difficult for competitors to learn about them. They begin by explaining how CI data collection works and the analytical tools that are most effective and commonly used. They then develop the basic precepts for establishing and managing a cloaking program, that is, a way for a business to protect key pieces of competitively sensitive information by the same legal and ethical means others are using to discover it. Well written and easily accessed, Protecting Your Company Against Competitive Intelligence is important information not only for experienced CI professionals and those who aspire to such positions, but also for executives with general management responsibilities.

Table of Contents

PrefaceThe Big PictureCloaking and Competitive IntelligenceIntroduction to Cloaking: A Case StudyCloakingWhat do Others Know about You and Where Did They Find It?How do They Figure Out What We Are Doing?Creating a Cloaking ProgramWhat Should You Protect and How Should You Protect It?Cloaking Precepts: What to Do?Cloaking Precepts: How to ProceedCloaking Precepts: Where to ActYour Cloaking Program: Organizational IssuesNow Use Your New Low Visibility!Appendix A: DisinformationAppendix B: Critical LegislationGlossaryBibliographyIndex



This book couldn't be timelier. As McGonagle and Vella point out, the growth of the CI profession over the past decade means that every company must be on guard....All told, McGonagle and Vella have produced a fine resource for anyone interested in keeping rivals from obtaining the competitive advantage that systematic competitive intelligence can produce.—Competitive Intelligence Review

...this is an interesting, informative book which is well worth reading...—Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing

Other Titles of Interest

Long-Term Leasing -- Accounting, Evaluation, Consequences cover imageThe Customer Loyalty Pyramid cover imageStrategic Management in a Hostile Environment cover image
Managing the Aftermath of Radical Corporate Change cover imageOrganizational Troubleshooting cover imageDemography for Business Decision Making cover image

Product Search

Product Search

Publication Year



Need Help? Try our Search Tips