SWOT Analysis

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Internal Strengths And Weaknesses In SWOT Analysis

SWOT is a structured planning tool that can be used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses,Opportunities, and Threats involved in running a business venture. Using a SWOT analysis can help a business determine the advantages or disadvantages of changes they want to make based on internal and external factors. A SWOT analysis can be broken down into two distinct parts: the strengths and weaknesses, based on internal environmental factors, and the opportunities and threats, based on external environmental factors. For the purposes of this lesson, we are going to focus on the internal environmental factors: the strengths and the weaknesses.

SWOT analysis aims to identify the key internal and external factors seen as important to achieving an objective. SWOT analysis groups key pieces of information into two main categories:

  1. internal factors – thestrengths and weaknesses internal to the organization
  2. external factors – theopportunities and threats presented by the environment external to the organization

Analysis may view the internal factors as strengths or as weaknesses depending upon their effect on the organization’s objectives. What may represent strengths with respect to one objective may be weaknesses (distractions, competition) for another objective. The factors may include all of the 4Ps; as well as personnelfinancemanufacturing capabilities, and so on.

The external factors may include macroeconomic matters, technological changelegislation, and sociocultural changes, as well as changes in the marketplace or in competitive position. The results are often presented in the form of a matrix.

SWOT analysis is just one method of categorization and has its own weaknesses. For example, it may tend to persuade its users to compile lists rather than to think about actual important factors in achieving objectives. It also presents the resulting lists uncritically and without clear prioritization so that, for example, weak opportunities may appear to balance strong threats.

It is prudent not to eliminate any candidate SWOT entry too quickly. The importance of individual SWOTs will be revealed by the value of the strategies they generate. A SWOT item that produces valuable strategies is important. A SWOT item that generates no strategies is not important.

Use of SWOT Analysis

The usefulness of SWOT analysis is not limited to profit-seeking organizations. SWOT analysis may be used in any decision-making situation when a desired end-state (objective) is defined. Examples include: non-profit organizations, governmental units, and individuals. SWOT analysis may also be used in pre-crisis planning and preventive crisis management. SWOT analysis may also be used in creating a recommendation during a viability study/survey.

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