environmental scan

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Environmental scanning is a key activity that begins a company's strategy planning process. The scanning must include both external forces like economic, technological, political-legal, and sociocultural as well as internal competencies such as value, rareness, imitability, and organization in order to be effective (Wheelen & Hunger, 2010). This thorough analysis will provide a foundation for a company to build their plan upon. Environmental scanning provides a company their strengths to build upon, their weaknesses to mitigate, their opportunities to seize, and their threats to be careful of. Large companies like Microsoft and Amazon are still operating and successful today because they take the time and resources to conduct frequent environmental scans to keep their strategic plans relevant to the ever evolving competitive market.
Internal and External Environments
Environmental scanning shows that Microsoft Corporation would have typical internal environments such employee turnover and retention, employee morale, and standard financial planning. Specific to Microsoft would be hiring and retaining employees that will help keep Microsoft at the cutting edge of technology. Bill Gates' (2014) vision statement states “Our vision is to create innovative technology that is accessible to everyone and that adapts to each person's needs. Accessible technology eliminates barriers for people with disabilities and it enables individuals to take full advantage of their capabilities.” This statement has a significant impact on internal environments and strategic planning.
External Environments for Microsoft Corporation include technology advancement within the industry, competition such as Apple and Google, and in recent years the government and anti-trust lawsuits. Microsoft has invested and pursued a significant amount of vertical growth and has been criticized for creating a monopoly as well. Internal environments for Amazon are similar to those of Microsoft.

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