Ethics in economic intelligence is the set of norms and values applied by professionals who are dedicated to carrying out economic intelligence actions.
In other words, it can be said that a set of ethical standards are put into practice in economic intelligence. Thus, ethics is a set of principles and practices that guide and grant legitimacy to economic intelligence activities.
Undoubtedly, when economic intelligence is carried out, a set of methods, techniques and practices must be used that must be governed by ethical regulations. Currently, most information is available to everyone and is used to form possible scenarios and projections. For that reason, the people who handle and use this information must possess humane and ethical qualities.
Indeed, in this economic intelligence differs from espionage. Economic intelligence only allows access to information under legal and permitted methods. Economic intelligence is carried out by government agencies and by private companies.
Naturally, government agencies or private companies when doing business intelligence first get to the information they need. Next, they organize it and finally analyze it to make the most appropriate decisions for them. The formulation of ethical principles is essential to guarantee intellectual property rights and to ensure the future of economic intelligence.
What is economic intelligence used for?
Of course, the Government and companies use economic intelligence to defend their business or country interests. Economic intelligence allows protecting the information that adds value and serves as a tool to increase the level of competitiveness and survival of the company. Basically, information becomes knowledge and knowledge becomes intelligence.
Indeed, economic intelligence is a resource that is becoming mandatory for companies to obtain a plus. This becomes decisive in its process of global competitiveness, given that
it allows them to operate with less geopolitical or commercial risk.
How useful is ethics in economic intelligence?
Above all, ethics in economic intelligence helps the process to be carried out efficiently and effectively. What ethics seeks is that the entire process is carried out correctly and that it is not only carried out profitably. In other words, the end is for the process to be profitable and the means is for the process to be done correctly.
Certainly, the achievement of results is of equal importance to the principles behind these results. The organization must be successful, but success must be achieved by applying ethical values. Therefore, the success of the company is related to integrity and how it behaves to achieve that success.
Above all, the success of a company that reaches an adequate level of profitability is related to the image and social recognition it projects. A company earns the trust of its customers not only for its technical capabilities, but also for the application of correct ethical principles.
Additionally, ethics helps to generate upright and responsible companies. Ethics gives credibility to the economic intelligence actions applied by the company. Ethics reflects the values of honesty, truthfulness and loyalty that the company manages, becoming one of the most valuable intangible assets that an organization possesses and can be an element that confers a differentiation advantage.
What aspects should be taken care of in the ethics of economic intelligence?
The most important aspects that must be taken care of in the ethics of economic intelligence are:
- Use a rigorous method: When economic intelligence is used, a work method that is rigorous and safe must be applied. This will allow company information to be handled in a secure manner.
- Have a legitimate purpose: When using economic intelligence, there must be a legitimate purpose that justifies the use of the entire process and the handling of tools.
- It must be balanced: The use of tools and techniques must be balanced with the goal to be achieved.
- Handle information with discretion: Discretion is a fundamental value in the management of information in organizations. In order not to jeopardize the operation, survival and success of the company.
- Apply ethical principles: The application of ethical principles is essential to generate trust and credibility to the company. In addition, it helps to avoid legal risks for incurring illegal actions.
What practices are unethical?
Among some of the practices that are not ethical within economic intelligence we can mention:
- Misrepresenting identity or intent to collect information: This could be the case, for example, of a person posing as a student to obtain information.
- Resort to bribery: When illegal payments are made to obtain the information. This payment could be offered to an employee of a competitor or a government agency.
- Industrial espionage: It is any type of practice that is used to illegally access information from competitors.
- Information theft: Obtain information illegally. This is considered one of the worst practices, because even legally it is a crime.
In conclusion, it can be said that ethics is necessary to rule and regulate all the activities of the economic intelligence process. Of course, economic intelligence is a very useful tool for the success of any organization, especially when you want to enter new markets or to make strategic alliances. Therefore, the search and analysis of information is essential. But, this process must be governed by ethical principles for it to be a legitimate process.