SWOT Analysis, is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses,
Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project or in a business venture. It involves
specifying the objective of the business venture or project and identifying the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieving that objective. The
technique is credited to Albert Humphrey, who led a research project at Stanford
University in the 1960s and 1970s using data from Fortune 500 companies.
MY TOPIC: FORD MOTOR COMPANY
Strategic and Creative Use of S.W.O.T Analysis
Strategic Use: Orienting SWOTs to An Objective
If SWOT analysis does not start with defining a desired end state or objective, it runs the
risk of being useless. A SWOT analysis may be incorporated into the strategic planning
model. An example of a strategic planning technique that incorporates an objectivedriven SWOT analysis is SCAN analysis. Strategic Planning, including SWOT and
SCAN analysis, has been the subject of much research.
If a clear objective has been identified, SWOT analysis can be used to help in the pursuit
of that objective. In this case, SWOTs are:
Strengths: attributes of the organization that are helpful to achieving the
Weaknesses: attributes of the organization that are harmful to achieving
Opportunities: external conditions that are helpful to achieving the
Threats: external conditions that are harmful to achieving the objective.
Identification of SWOTs is essential because subsequent steps in the process of planning
for achievement of the selected objective are to be derived from the SWOTs.
First, the decision makers have to determine whether the objective is attainable, given the
SWOTs. If the objective is NOT attainable a different objective must be selected and the
Creative Use of SWOTs: Generating Strategies
If, on the other hand, the objective seems attainable, the SWOTs are used as inputs to the
creative generation of possible strategies, by asking and answering each of the following
four questions, many times:
1. How can we Use each Strength?
2. How can we Stop each Weakness?
3. How can we Exploit each Opportunity?
4. How can we Defend against each Threat?
Internal and external factors
The aim of any SWOT analysis is to identify the key internal and external factors that are
important to achieving the objective. SWOT analysis groups key pieces of information
into two main categories:
Internal factors The strengths and weaknesses internal to the
External factors The opportunities and threats presented by the external
The internal factors may be viewed as strengths or weaknesses depending upon their
impact on the organization’s objectives. What may represent strengths with respect to one objective may be weaknesses for another objective. The factors may include all of the
4P’s; as well as personnel, finance, manufacturing capabilities, and so on. The external
factors may include macroeconomic matters, technological change, legislation, and sociocultural changes, as well as changes in the marketplace or 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 companies to compile lists rather than think about what is actually important 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 too quickly any candidate SWOT entry. The importance of
individual SWOTs will be revealed by the value of the strategies it generates. A SWOT
item that produces valuable strategies is important. A SWOT item that generates no
strategies is not important.
For this project, please complete the following requirements:
A Research Paper (APA Format) that is 5 to 8 pages long (single spaced, 12pts,
Times New Roman), which contains the following sections:
o Company Introduction
o Main Competitive/Absolute Advantage
o Description of 1 Technology System
o Value Chain Analysis
o 4 parts of SWOT Analysis Model
At least 1 item in each SWOT Category
o 1 TOWS Analysis Strategy