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Swot Analysis

3615 words - 14 pages

SWOT ANALYSIS: USED OR ABUSED? Key Words Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threats, Strategic Analysis, Strategy, Dell, GE, TI Abstract This paper attempts to discuss the theoretical SWOT analysis including its functions and purposes. Moreover, the study try to find out the advantages and disadvantages of the SWOT analysis by taking past studies and actual examples in the real business world, then evaluates and examines the practicability of the SWOT analysis Introduction The SWOT analysis has been developed since 1960s and been commonly used in business for strategic analysis. However, with the commercial environment being changing dramatically, the practicability of the SWOT analysis has been a controversial issue in both academic and business areas. Therefore, this paper is going to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the SWOT analysis and aims to examine its practicability.What is SWOT analysis? As William R. Osgood had defined that SWOT analysis is the process of carefully inspecting the business and its environment through the various dimensions of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.¡§It is a way to analyse a company¡¦s or a department¡¦s position in the market in relation to its competitors¡¨ (Stacy Collett, 1999) Strengths are skills and resources that the firm has more abundantly than other firms. They can be classified according to their value to the business and firm¡¦s ability to exploit. On the contrary, weaknesses represent a lack of important skills or competencies relative to the presence of those resources in competing firms. They should be classified according to their risk to the business and firm¡¦s ability to address.Opportunities are outside conditions or circumstances that the company could turn to its advantage, and could include a specialty niche skill or technology that suddenly realizes a growth in broad market interest. Opportunities can be classified according to their success probability and their attractiveness. Threats are current or future conditions in the outside environment that may harm the company, and might include population shifts, changes in purchasing preferences, new technologies, changes in governmental or environmental regulations, or an increase in competition. Threats should be classified according to their probability of occurrence and seriousness.SWOT analysis concept Source: Paul Elkin, Mastering Business Planning and Strategy, p.14 The ultimate objectives of the SWOT analysis, then, are to identify the overall strategy and the CSFs of the firm and to begin to develop a consensus among executives and managers regarding them.In devising a SWOT analysis, there are several factors that will enhance the quality of the material: ¡´ Keep it brief ¡V pages of analysis are usually not required.¡´ Relate strengths and weakness, where possible, to critical success...

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