Internal Environmental Scan

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Internal Environmental Scan

Internal Environmental Scan

Environmental scanning is a method of gathering information from the external environment for use in issues management and the strategic decisionmaking process. It's an early warning system for changes outside the organization—a type of radar to pick up the new or unexpected in order to help top management plan for the organization's future. In addition to detecting emerging issues, the strategic intelligence provided by environmental scanning can also help quantify existing problems (Bateman, Thomas & Zeithaml, 1990).

Although environmental scanning or monitoring appears to have originated in the business management arena, David M. Dozier referred to it in the context of public relations as “the gathering of information about publics, about reactions of publics toward the organization, and about public opinion toward issues important to the organization” (1986, p. 1).

In addition to detecting threats and opportunities for the organization, environmental scanning also encourages future-oriented thinking in the dominant coalition (Bateman & Snell, 2002).

The external analysis, also known as an environmental scan, helps provide the appropriate context for the internal analysis. This analysis often includes an examination of the economic conditions of the country or region of the business, a labor market analysis, and a consideration of any new governmental regulations that may have implications for the business. Moreover, the external scan is particularly useful to better understand the labor market status, such as the unemployment rate and the changing demographics of the workforce (Morrison, 1992). This analysis should aid the organization in anticipating whether or not the employees needed for the future success of the organization can be recruited to the organization or if they will need to be developed within the organization. Lastly, the environmental scan should pay special attention to any social trends that may have implications for business goals or personnel availability (Hill, Charles & Jones, 1998).

The analysis of the current state and resources consists of conducting an internal and external environmental scan to assess the organization's goals, resources, and competitors. Many organizations conduct what is known as a SWOT analysis during this phase. A SWOT analysis is a form of competitor analysis that is characterized by an in-depth look at the organization's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for the purpose of understanding how it fares against competitors in a particular industry, market space, or even market segment (Dozier, 1986).

According to Michael Porter, a renowned strategist and Harvard professor, a sophisticated competitor analysis ...
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