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Information Gathering Methods and the Competition

I need help evaluating each of the following approaches that a business firm could use to gather information about competition. For each approach, I need to mark a feeling about its appropriateness using the following scale:

1. 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:

_____ Careful study of trade journals

_____ Wiretapping the telephones of competitors

_____ Posing as a potential customer to competitors

_____ Getting loyal customers to put out a phone "request for proposal" soliciting competitors' bids

_____ Buying competitors' products and taking them apart

_____ Hiring management consultants who have worked for competitors

_____ Rewarding competitors' employees for useful "tips"

_____ Questioning competitors' customers and/or suppliers

_____ Buying and analyzing competitors' garbage

_____ Advertising and interviewing for nonexistent jobs

_____ Taking public tours of competitors' facilities

_____ Releasing false information about the company in order to confuse competitors.

_____ Questioning competitors' technical people at trade shows and conferences

_____ Hiring key people away from competitors

_____ Analyzing competitors' labor union contracts

_____ Having employees date persons who work for competitors

_____ Studying aerial photographs of competitors' facilities

After marking each of the preceding approaches, indicate for any 5, 4, 2, or 1, why you thought these acts were either appropriate or inappropriate.

Solution Preview

Please refer to response attached, which is also presented below. I hope this helps and take care.

RESPONSE:

I need help evaluating each of the following approaches that a business firm could use to gather information about competition. For each approach, I need to mark a feeling about its appropriateness using the following scale: 1. 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 (i.e., learn as much as possible about the competition)
__1__ Wiretapping the telephones of competitors (i.e., illegal in most states and invasion of privacy is unethical and definitely not best business practice)
__4__ Posing as a potential customer to competitors (i.e., gathering information from the competition ...

Solution Summary

This solution evaluates 17 information-gathering methods using a 5-point Likert-type scale in terms of the appropriateness e.g. right or wrong ethically. Specifically, it evaluates methods used by business firms to collect information about the competitors and also explains why each method is evaluated as it is.

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