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HOD Resources on Companies, Industries, and Organizations: Environmental Scanning & External Environments

Environmental Scanning

Environmental scanning is internal communication of external information of issues that may influence an organization's decision making. This type of scanning focuses on the identification of emerging issues and pitfalls that may affect an organization. The overall goal of an environmental scan is strategic thinking and planning for an organization's success.

A viable environmental scan will concentrate on the follow areas, and please note the key factors of each area.       

  • Industry/Market: Who are the competitors in the market and their relationship?
  • Technology: Have new technologies emerged? They can impact an organization's productivity and business dealings. 
  • Regulatory: Have there been changes in laws or regulatory guidelines? They can have a significant impact on an organization's day to day function.
  • Economic:  Local, regional, national and international economies can have a direct influence on an organization. Any new developments?
  • Social: Demographic shifts due to societal changes can have a profound effect on an organization. Have any of the following variables encountered drastic changes- population size, age, education, and income.
  • Political: Organizations must have a clear understanding the political climate so being attuned to the local, national, and international political scene is a necessity.