Below a list of some of the main key terms you will find in this chapter.  Keep in mind that getting familiar with these may help you in the rest of the class.


  • Chapter 2: The External Environment: Opportunities, Threats, Industry Competition, and Competitor Analysis

o    Explain the importance of analyzing and understanding the firm’s external environment.

o    Define and describe the general environment and the industry environment.

o    Discuss the four parts of the external environmental analysis process.

o    Name and describe the general environment’s seven segments.

o    Identify the five competitive forces and explain how they determine an industry’s profitability potential.

o    Define strategic groups and describe their influence on firms.

o    Describe what firms need to know about their competitors and different methods (including ethical standards) used to collect intelligence about them.


  • Chapter Concepts:

o    The external environment

o    External environmental analysis

o    Five forces of competition

o    Strategic groups

o    Competitor analysis

o    Strategic leaders


Class, Exercise 2 talks about what the future looks like:  Read it and then answer the following question.

Which of the seven dimensions of the general environment will this affect (may be more than one)?

  • Describe the effect.
  • List some business opportunities that will come from this.
  • Identify some existing organizations that stand to benefit.
  • What, if any, are the ethical implications?



Geographic Distribution

posted by Andrew


The geographic distribution is an interesting component of the general environment to discuss. Geographic distribution in the past, was a much bigger aspect than I believe it is today. Geographic distribution still matters, but the ability to move, especially within the United States, has never been greater. More people that not that I meet in Colorado, especially in my age group, are not from here. 50 years ago, you simply would not see this kind of shift in geographic distribution. Most people just lived their lives wherever they were born and grew up. Now, people can move to where the jobs are and where the economy is better. This is a trend that I think will continue with the advancing of technology.



Discuss the four parts of the external environmental analysis process

posted by Andrew


To take my last post about the external environment a step further, it is important to also discuss the four parts of the external environment. The four are scanning, monitoring, forecasting, and assessing. Scanning entails “identifying early signals of environmental changes and trends” (Hitt, Ireland, Hoskisson, 2015, p. 11). This is important to prevent companies from falling behind. Monitoring involves “detecting meaning through ongoing observations of environmental changes and trends” (Hitt et al., 2015, p. 11). Monitoring is essentially like scanning, but more of following over time instead of observing early on. Forecasting involves “developing projections of anticipated outcomes based on monitored changes and trends” (Hitt et al., 2015, p. 11). The final part, assessing, is the last piece of the puzzle. Assessing includes “determining the timing and importance of environmental changes and trends for firms’ strategies and their management” (Hitt et al., 2015, p. 11). Assessing is important because it is the only way to continue to improve in the future. If you

scan, monitor, and forecast, but do not assess, the previous steps were basically meaningless.




The Environmental Scan

posted by Alex


Hello Class,


After reading the Week2 Electronic Reserve Readings called “Environmental scan: influence on strategic direction”, answer the following question.


Class, Describe what is the Environmental Scan.

What is the approach and methodology used in the reading to examine the value and overall approach in using the environmental scan?

Last, what are some of the limitations that may affect the research?


Remember that the answers to discussion questions must be at least 200-300 words.  Feel free to use references that are outside the electronic reading to support your answers.



The Good Leader and Industry Environment Analysis

posted by Alex


Hello Class,


I wanted to bring a different information source to add to this discussion.  The perspective of the article below is more on the “Good Leader” and how they are supposed to use the Industry Environment Analysis.


Take a look at this link,, and read the page that talks about what every strategic manager should know.   The reading provides a list of items that we can be doing to maintain our knowledge of the industry environment.  Take a look at the list and answer the following question:

Which item/s in the list are you current doing to maintain your industry environment knowledge?  Which item/s do you feel you need to start doing?  What other item/s that are not in the list do you currently do to keep up with the changes in you industry environment?


Make sure that your answer to this question must be between 100 – 300 words.  Feel free to use references that are outside the electronic reading, or the link above to support your answers.

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