Carine Research

Stay ahead of the pack: Specialists from small firms work with restricted resources

Aug. 10th | Posted by 0 comments

Freepint, (2006) Issue No. 211, 10 August 2006

I have spent my career in large organisations, undertaking research for specialists. Being well informed is vital for specialists, and I have played a key role in that. However, specialists from small organisations are just as adept at keeping themselves up to date through their tightly focused research skills.

Using an approach that Mary Ellen Bates describes as an informational interview, I recently spoke to specialists from four small organisations in Australia to find out how they obtain the information they need for their business. The specialists worked at a recruiting firm, a conference production group, a business think tank and as an international business consultant. Their expertise covered management, strategy, business innovation, knowledge management, information management, training and recruitment.

My expectation was that the specialists would be frustrated by their research results and overwhelmed by the range of source material available. Instead, I found that the specialists were sophisticated researchers and very adept at primary and secondary research.

It seems that it’s the character of the specialist, more than the size of the organisation that supports them, that determines research ability. The specialists I spoke to were curious, tenacious and had a knack for getting people to talk to them about their field of interest. These are also the common traits that Doug House and Anne Henrich identify in good competitive intelligence researchers.

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