“We lack CI programs in business school settings, both in the US and internationally and I think that’s a deficiency for the profession,” says Dr. Tom Qingjiu Tao, the Assistant Professor of Strategy at the University of Delaware. Throughout his career in education, Dr. Tom has noticed that most Competitive Intelligence professionals are forced to learn more on the job because their education is limited. Finding this to be a disservice to students, Dr. Tom explains why real-world relevance is needed in the classroom to prepare recruits for the CI profession. 

Dr. Tom recognizes that the CI academic track is a work in progress. With few programs out there and vital classes reduced to electives, students are graduating college unprepared for their future careers. Although Dr. Tom advocates for curriculum change, he understands that CI theory is still in development and that everyone has to start somewhere.

Tune into this week’s episode of Running Into the Fog for a fascinating conversation on the Competitive Intelligence education track. Learn more about Dr. Tom’s career in academia, why CI educators should cater their coursework to CI job listings, and the obstacle of CEOs making poor decisions.


• “We lack CI courses or CI programs in business school settings, both in the US and internationally. I think that’s a deficiency for the profession. We need to get to business school, and we need to build up the programs.” (3:17 – 3:38)

• “It is critically important that we research and teach the theory part. But we also need to bring real-world relevance to the classroom.” (5:00 – 5:13)

• “It comes down to accountability, not for CI professionals, but for decision-makers and the CEOs. We don’t have clear transparency of their decision-making process and we don’t hold them accountable for all their decisions.” (29:31 – 29:55)

• “20 years ago, many would say that CI is a covert operation that you do under the table. But you can tell in the last 10 years, that it has really become part of the mainstream vocabulary. People are recognizing that this is a legitimate business practice.” (35:58 – 36:32)




LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/qingjiutao/



Arik JohnsonLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/arikjohnson/ 

Derek JohnsonLinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/derek-johnson-cfa-190893/