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The Components of SWOT Analysis Technique and Its Application to Different Business Situations - Essay Example

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This paper "The Components of SWOT Analysis Technique and Its Application to Different Business Situations" evaluates the SWOT analysis as a strategic planning tool. The first part of this essay will provide the relationship of the SWOT analysis to strategic management. …
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The Components of SWOT Analysis Technique and Its Application to Different Business Situations
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Download file to see previous pages According to Henry 2008, p.6, business organizations face “a constantly changing external environment and need to ensure that their own internal resources and capabilities are more than sufficient to meet the needs of the external environment”. Mere survival is not the objective of a business organization. Growth and prosperity are the essential ingredients of any successful business organization and the focus of the strategic management activity in a business organization. For successful strategic planning strategic information is essential. This information pertains to an understanding of the current situation to ensure the desired future. Such strategic information is arrived at through business organizations undertaking an analysis of the external environment in which they conduct their business operations and the internal environment of the business organization itself (Henry, 2008). Two key components in strategic management involve analysis of the operating external environment of the business organization and the analysis of the internal environment of the business environment. The external environment analysis consists of analysing the three interconnected external environment factors of the industry, the national, and the socioeconomic environment. Analysis of the internal environment is focused on an assessment of the resources, capabilities, and competencies of the organization. Frameworks for such analysis have been developed and the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis is one such framework (Hill & Jones, 2008).
The main objective in a SWOT analysis “is to identify the strategies to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, build on and protect the company and eradicate weaknesses” (Hill & Jones, 2008, p.19). Leigh 2010, p.115, defines the SWOT analysis “as a process by which a group of stakeholders (a) identify internal and external inhibitors and enhancers of performance, (b) analyse those factors based on estimates of their contributions to net value and approximations of their controllability, and (c) decide what future action to take with regard to those factors.” For a SWOT analysis to be meaningful all three parts of the analysis have to be undertaken (Leigh, 2010). The SWOT analysis is a necessary analysis for business organizations to face competition, through identifying and exploiting opportunities in the business environment based on its internal strengths, eliminate internal weaknesses that restrain it and ward of threats, so as to sustain its business activities and grow and prosper (Groucutt, 2005). The SWOT analysis is a simple yet efficient strategic planning tool that enables identifying of environmental opportunities for exploitation, employing the organizational strengths that have been identified, with the objective of securing future gains. The SWOT analysis tool thus enables an organization to efficiently leverage itself to face and overcome expected competition in its business activities in an ever-changing environment (Schermerhorn, 2011). The SWOT Analysis Since its emergence as a strategic planning tool, the SWOT analysis has been a popular technique used by organizations to gain an understanding of its strategic situation.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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