MGMT 614 - Growth Strategies for Entrepreneurial Ventures

Analysis of a High-Growth Organization

Course Text

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What is a SWOT?

A SWOT is a common analysis tool used to show a company's competitive position within it's industry. It identifies what makes the company a unique competitor, what it's problems are, possible growth opportunities, and legal, political, and environmental threats to that growth. An analysis is a snapshot in time, so it needs to be updated as conditions change.

S=Strengths
W=Weaknesses
O=Opportunities
T=Threats

Research Advice

To analyze your company, you will research both the company and the external environment. You may also want to see if you can find a published SWOT to "jumpstart" your research.

To look for a SWOT, follow the directions in "Some published SWOT analyses" below.

To research companies & the external environment, use resources in the guides listed under boxes 2. & 3.
Note: Each of these links takes you to a separate research guide.

The green links to the left offer ways to find info on how to cite your sources or on how to get help from a librarian. This research isn't always easy, so advice from a librarian could come in handy!

SWOT Template and Explanation

2. Company Research

Use resources in the Research Guides below to learn more about your company.

Essential Sources:
Annual Report to Shareholders (usually in investor section of company web site)
Recent 10-K filing (via EDGAR)
Articles on company in ABI/INFORM database.

3. Analyze the External Environment

Use resources from the guides below to analyse the external environment.

Especially recommended:
S&P Industry Surveys
Market research reports in Mintel
Articles in ABI/INFORM

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