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Discussion Paper Strategic Management Opinion - Essay Example

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Study of trade journals is definitely appropriate because it can be a tool for an organization to be always updated in the current trade practices. As a business organization, information is power and trade journals publish valuable information for its readers…
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Discussion Paper Strategic Management Opinion
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Strategic Management Opinion For each approach, mark your feeling about its appropriateness using the following scale definitely not appropriate, 2. probably not appropriate, 3. undecided, 4. probably appropriate, and 5. definitely appropriate.
The business firm should try to get useful information about competitors by:
__5___ Careful study of trade journals
Study of trade journals is definitely appropriate because it can be a tool for an organization to be always updated in the current trade practices. As a business organization, information is power and trade journals publish valuable information for its readers. Unlike most of the other news media which businesses might monitor, trade journals are a concentrated and obvious source of information on developments in a particular industry. Since a single weekly or monthly title may for many managers be the main means of scanning the external environment, it is fortunate that many publications also trawl more diverse sources for material relevant to readers. The Grocer and Construction News are typical and comparatively large circulation weeklies, which the trade uses both to assess itself and to inform itself of environmental changes it may need to act upon (Lowe, 1999, p. 232).
__1___ Wiretapping the telephones of competitors
Wiretapping is definitely not appropriate because this is unethical. Wiretapping competitors is one type of economic espionage. This is the "clandestine collection of trade secrets or proprietary information about a company's competitors. This practice is illegal and unethical and carries serious criminal penalties for the offending individual or business" (Kerin, 2003).
__2__ Posing as a potential customer to competitors
Posing as potential customers is probably not appropriate because this is one type of deception. Morally, it is wrong to deceive competitors just to obtain information. Ultimately, ethical choices are based on the personal moral philosophy of the decision maker. If your employees know you have practiced this, they might get the wrong impression and they might follow suit and deceive your own organization.
__2___ Getting loyal customers to put out a phone "request for proposal" soliciting competitors' bids.
This practice is probably not appropriate because your loyal customers will get a bad impression of the unethical practices in your company. You might lose them in the process.
__4___ Buying competitors' products and taking them apart
As emphasized above, information is power. This might be appropriate if the aim is to know what are the advantages and disadvantages of your competitors' products. This practice will be beneficial because you will know on what to improve with regards to make your products at par with the competitors'.
__4___ Hiring management consultants who have worked for competitors
There is nothing wrong with hiring management consultants that have worked for competitors if it is done in good faith. Although you must be careful of any existing working contracts that these consultants have with their previous employers, there seems to be no known hitches when you decide to hire them.
__5___ Rewarding competitors' employees for useful "tips"
This is another form of unethical business practice more commonly known as bribery. Bribery promotes a negative image against your company. In fact, bribery on a worldwide scale is monitored by Transparency International.
__4___ Questioning competitors' customers and/or suppliers
This could be a safe way to obtain useful information about your competitors. As long as it was done without coercion or threats, it is the prerogative of the customers and the suppliers to provide you the answers to your questions about your competitors.
__1__ Buying and analyzing competitors' garbage
This is another type of economic espionage. If you do this without their permission, you might get a lawsuit for this.
__1___ Advertising and interviewing for nonexistent jobs
This is another type of deception and this unethical practice might reflect back on your subordinates, as they might do the same to you.
__4 __ Taking public tours of competitors' facilities
Since it is a public tour, it can be a safe way to obtain the knowledge about the manufacturing and other trade practices of the competitors.
__2__ Releasing false information about the company in order to confuse competitors.
This is inappropriate because it is another form of deception. If your competitors will know you are doing this, media organizations might criticize you and it will taint the reputation of your company.
__4___ Questioning competitors' technical people at trade shows and conferences
These are open forums and everyone should be given an opportunity to be informed at trade shows and conferences. It is just up to their people if they choose to answer your questions or not.
__1__ Hiring key people away from competitors
If these key people are currently employed, you will definitely be involved in the lawsuit that can be filed by the previous employers. When you lure them away with a larger salary, this can be bribery. Both ways it is an unethical business practice
__4___ Analyzing competitors' labor union contracts
If done in good faith and with appropriate permissions, there is nothing wrong with studying these contracts.
__3___ Having employees date persons who work for competitors
If done without coercion, it is the employees' prerogative of who they want to date with. Your employees might not be pleased if you meddle with their social lives outside work.
__4___ Studying aerial photographs of competitors' facilities
When done with permission, this practice might be appropriate. Also, if the aerial photographs are publicly available, there is definitely nothing unethical about this practice.
Works Cited
Kerin, Roger A. Chapter 4: Ethics and Social Responsibility in Marketing, Marketing, 7th ed. NY: The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2003.
Lowe, Michael. Business Information at Work. London: Aslib/IMI, 1999. Read More
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