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Discussion Board Thread 1

Re: Environmental Scanning


Definition:
Operations Management talks about Environmental scanning as the monitoring of events
and trends that present either threats or opportunities for the organization. Generally these
include competitors activities; changing consumer needs; legal, economic, political, and
environmental issues; the potential for new markets; and the like. (Stevenson, 2015, p.48).
Stevenson, W. J. (2015). Operations Management. (12th ed.). New York, NY: McGraww-Hill
Education.

Summary:
The Encyclopedia of Management provides a full definition and description of
environmental scanning, referring to it as the microenvironment to the organization
(Environmental Scanning, 2012). First, the Encyclopedia details the sociocultural factors of
environmental scanning. Sociocultural factors of environmental scanning include population
changes, education, norms, and values. Next, the Encyclopedia details the technological factors
of environmental scanning. Technological factors include product/service demand, production,
and evolving technology. Next, the Encyclopedia covers the economic factors of environmental
scanning. Economic factors include the business cycle, income distribution, transfer payments,
and monetary/fiscal policies. Finally, the Encyclopedia briefly concludes with cultural and
political/legal factors within environmental scanning.
Discussion:
For an organization to survive in todays global market requires constant environmental
scanning. The current most noticeably changing elements of today include evolving technology,
monetary/fiscal policies, and culture. First, failure to maintain scanning of technology, depending
on the market, can lead to major losses. Blockbuster, for example, failed to scan their
environment in the way that Redbox and Netflix did. Both Redbox and Netflix invented more
simple and convenient ways to rent movies and games, while Blockbuster most likely thought
their brand loyalty made them immune to adjusting to such changes. Monetary and fiscal policies
are noticeably an issue because of the unstable global economy. The current largest economy,
China, is suffering major stock market crashes. Other smaller and less developed nations are
tumbling as well. Many fear another 2008 global financial crash is in the future. If such an event
occurs, organizations must be prepared for what that could mean in terms of policy changes
among other things. Finally, culture is rapidly changing. Many nations are revolting their
governments while many governments are growing more powerful. Issues that were once a
distant thought are now highly sensitive in the eyes of consumers. Failure for an organization to

keep up with such changes could result in bad publicity, legal battles, and profit loss. An example
of the changing culture is the recently passed marriage equality ruling by the Supreme Court.
Currently, for example, Chick-fil-A receives much negative publicity for their personal faith over
the Biblical definition of marriage.

References:
Castiglione, J. (2008). Environmental scanning: an essential tool for twentyfirst century
librarianship. Library Review, 57(7). pp.528 536. Retrieved from
http://www.emeraldinsight.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/doi/full/10.1108/002425308108
94040
Castigliones article discusses why environmental scanning is important for libraries to
provide the best service and maintain a competitive advantage. Castiglione covers
competitors, technology, intelligence, and demographics within environmental scanning
of libraries. Castiglione also suggests implementing an environmental scanning program
for all libraries to use.

Environmental Scanning. (2012). In S. D. Hill (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Management (7th ed., pp.
340-345). Detroit: Gale. Retrieved from
http://go.galegroup.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/ps/i.do?
p=GVRL&u=vic_liberty&id=GALE|
CX4016600107&v=2.1&it=r&sid=summon&userGroup=vic_liberty&authCount=1#
The Encyclopedia of Management provides a full definition and description of
environmental scanning. The Encyclopedia details the sociocultural factors of
environmental scanning such as population changes, education, norms, and values. The
Encyclopedia also details the technological factors of environmental scanning such as
demand, production, and changes. Next, Economic factors such as the business cycle,
income distribution, transfer payments, and monetary/fiscal policies. Finally, they cover
cultural and political/legal factors within environmental scanning.

McEwen, T. (2008). Environmental scanning and organizational learning in entrepreneurial


ventures. Entrepreneurial Executive, 13, 1+. Retrieved from
http://go.galegroup.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/ps/i.do?
p=ITOF&u=vic_liberty&id=GALE|
A202701442&v=2.1&it=r&sid=summon&userGroup=vic_liberty#

McEwens publication covers a summary of environmental scanning and the different


models used to scan the environment. McEwen also talks about the importance of
organizational learning that requires successful environmental scanning. The author
concludes on the importance of strategic planning to gain entrepreneurial success from
environmental scanning.