From Strategic Management: From Theory to Implementation, Fourth Edition


The assessment of strengths and weaknesses is an early stage in strategic thinking, and one where it is very easy to end up with meaningless lists of so-called strengths and weaknesses. The chapter will explore five ways of looking at strengths and weaknesses: assessment by managers, often resulting in what many books call SWOT analysis; equilibrium analysis, which is one way of forcing managers to make a more careful consideration of strengths and weaknesses; a process to 'audit' the facts, drawing conclusions from a detailed analysis of the organisation; the critical success factor approach; and the core competency approach. For each method, the chapter deals both with the concept and ways of operationalising it in a real situation.

So far this book has examined the broader aspects of strategic management and has looked at the process of planning in relation to a changing environment. It is now time to concentrate on a very specific step in the process the assessment of corporate strengths and weaknesses. Planning literature refers to this important stage under various headings: the corporate appraisal, the position audit, and assessing the present position [1], [2]. The particular terminology used is not important: the action itself is vital.

The corporate appraisal should be one of the first steps in the process of preparing strategic plans, and should provide both the platform from which the corporate objectives are established and the baseline of the strategic plan. Attempting to plan without carrying out this fundamental step is...

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Topics of Interest

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