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smu mba assignments answers for MB0053 Q1. “Environment scanning is an important part of international business.” Explain your views on this statement and discuss what factors need to be scanned.

Answer:  Environmental scanning focuses on the identification of emerging issues, situations, and potential pitfalls that may affect an organization's future. The information gathered, including the events, trends, and relationships that are external to an organization, is provided to key managers within the organization and is used to guide management in future plans. It is also used to evaluate an organization's strengths and weaknesses in response to external threats and opportunities. In essence, environmental scanning is a method for identifying,
collecting, and translating information about external influences into useful plans and decisions.

Why Environmental Scanning?
 There are many important reasons to do environmental scanning. Because of rapid changes in today's marketplace and new and emerging business practices, it is easy for an organization to fall behind by not keeping up in areas such as technology, regulations, and various rising trends. Environmental scanning reduces the chance of being blindsided and results in greater anticipatory management.

The focus of environmental scanning is on strategic thinking and planning. Its value comes from the identification and understanding of complex issues facing the organization. Environmental scanning helps an organization form a strategic position from which it can address external forces over which it has little, if any, control. Through consistent monitoring of external influences, organizations can shape their own internal processes to reflect necessary and effective responses. The process of understanding the match between external influences and internal responses assists in adjusting organizational structure and strategic plans that are designed to be more effective and flexible to changing market forces. Thus, the successful organization is focused on learning as well as on flexibility and responsiveness.

Environmental scanning is not a stagnant process. It should be constant and ongoing in order to maintain a preparative stance as environmental influences arise. This organizational learning process is a key component to organizational success. Through constant monitoring of the environment, management has the ability to make necessary adjustments in the organization's response that can mean the difference between success and failure.

Uses:

Industry/Market: Because the industry/market environment generally seems to be the most significant, it is useful to examine the structure of the industry and identify the key competition in the industry.

Technology: The emergence of new technologies can impact organizations' overall business and production processes. It is useful, therefore, to monitor changes in technologies.

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