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SWOT Analysis: Define SWOT

Researching & analyzing a company's internal & external environment.

Define SWOT

SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It is a tool used to strategically analyze a company and the environment in which it operates.

Information in a SWOT analysis is organized into internal and external factors.

An examination of strengths & weaknesses of a company is a internal look at current company operations. It is used to identify what the company does well and where it need to improve.

An examination of the external environment in which a company operates involves identifying industry trends & outside forces that pose future threats or opportunities for the company.

Questions to ask include:

  • What are the internal strengths & weaknesses of a company?
  • What are the external opportunities & threats in the industry and its environment?
  • Is there any weakness that could be converted to a strength?
  • Is there any threat that can be turned into an opportunity?
  • How can a company capitalize on strengths & opportunities?
  • What strategic changes can be identified & implemented as a result of the SWOT analysis?

Tools for SWOT Analysis

Strategic Management Tools and Businessballs offer guidance for many strategy tools, including SWOT analysis, by offering definitions, summaries and step-by-step guides.

Using Published SWOT Analysis

While the following databases offer published SWOT analysis for public companies, as with any information resources, evaluate all sources. Analysis may reflect the bias of the researcher and be outdated, incomplete or factually wrong.

If a published SWOT analysis is used in the preparation of a report or presentation, DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Be sure to CITE ALL SOURCES. For citation assistance see the "CITE IT!" tab above.

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Created by Associate Professor Elizabeth Mezick.