Not Industrial Espionage
Bill Hoffman on “competitive intelligence”:
Businesses today are developing their own systems of tradecraft for some of the same reasons we did in the CIA: They want to gain a competitive advantage through a better understanding of the competition and the environment in which they operate. In the business world, tradecraft is called "competitive intelligence" (CI), and it is not industrial espionage; illegal or unethical actions have serious repercussions. CI is a structured, judicious method of informing business strategy. More importantly, it's an innovation engine that drives better business outcomes.