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Industrial espionage in the DDR

Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:39 pm UTC
by Zamfir
Not news, but interesting article. Economists made an analysis of the impact of industrial espionage on productivity in the former DDR. Their dataset is perhaps unique for such a topic: literally all the stolen information across 2 decades.

[...]
HBR: How did you measure the success of corporate espionage?

East Germany’s state-led spying venture placed thousands of informants around West Germany and helped them pro​gress in their careers at Siemens, AEG/Telefunken, IBM, and other companies. We measured the flow of information from industrial espionage activities in West Germany and in other European countries to the Stasi, East Germany’s main intelligence agency. We ended up with a lot of metadata from informants’ reports that turned out to be extremely useful. Our paper’s empirical foundation is the fact that we could link informants’ key words to specific industrial sectors.

HBR: Are you recommending that companies invest more in spying than in R&D?

No, no. I have to be very careful. I don’t recommend it, given what happened later in East Germany. Though it had the strongest economy in the Communist bloc, companies there had a hard time competing after German reunification.

HBR: Did its success at spying contribute to that?

One result was quite important: Industrial espionage, perhaps because it was so successful, crowded out standard forms of R&D. All these industries there relinquished so much R&D capacity. Had the Cold War continued, it would have been very difficult for East Germany to become a leader of any kind of sector, precisely because it was so focused on industrial espionage
[...]


Interview with one author:
https://hbr.org/2016/11/industrial-espionage-is-more-effective-than-rd
Article itself:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxGIkxI0T-q7WUVaa0lFNk96Zms/edit

Re: Industrial espionage in the DDR

Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:08 pm UTC
by Chen
Whats a DDR?

Re: Industrial espionage in the DDR

Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:15 pm UTC
by Liri
Chen wrote:Whats a DDR?

Dance Dance Revolution

Re: Industrial espionage in the DDR

Posted: Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:42 pm UTC
by Zamfir
Chen wrote:Whats a DDR?

The Deutsche Democratische Republik, East-Germany

Re: Industrial espionage in the DDR

Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:09 am UTC
by Mambrino
One those confusing names. As a kid I was a history geek, so of course I did know everything about DDR a.k.a. East Germany. One day I was very confused for a brief moment, when suddenly all the other kids in the class knew everything about DDR too ... and were "it's so awesome!" Awesome? Is? (this was 00's / 10's) ... and then it turned out they were speaking about a music / dance video game...