External Environment of Firm

Research the external environment(s) of your firm.  Start with the firm’s primary industry NAICS.  Usually an established firm earns revenues in multiple industries (diversification), with the largest revenues in its “primary” NAICS.

Look for reputable sources of information on the size, growth, markets, competitors and share, and industry forecasts. Most industries are global in nature. Trade associations are often an excellent source of industry information.

Industry reports are available from sources like Dun and Bradstreet, Standard & Poor, Hoovers, McKinsey & Co, and others.  McKinsey & Co has free registration with access to a wealth of research information.  Albertsons Library on the Boise State University campus has Hoover’s industry information, as does many public libraries.

Contacting your selected organization to obtain needed information is highly recommended for these assignments. Try emailing or calling and interviewing individuals from the company for better information results. Analyze the external environment of the firm for opportunities, threats, and Key Results Areas (KRAs).

KRAs are the capabilities that are necessary (but not sufficient) for success in the industry, the things that every competitor is striving toward and should be applicable to all firms (i.e., do not frame them for your selected organization as this is an EXTERNAL analysis).

In the analysis include the general environment trends shaping the global industry structure and markets.  Differences between secondary industries (NAICS) of the firm and the primary industry should be analyzed and noted, in lieu of separate industry reports for each industry.

Use the analytic frameworks from the readings – Porter’s 5+ forces, general environment (also called STEEP or PESTEL analysis) – and from other coursework. Again this is an external analysis and should be framed in such a way that it does not only apply to your selected organization.

Don’t worry there will be plenty of work directly researching and applying to this company. Report your findings in written report submission.  The report will be professionally written, in 3rd person voice (avoid “I think…”), with headings and subheadings, and cited references.

There are many ways to structure the reporting of information and analysis.  The following is the recommended structure: The External EnvironmentIndustry & CompetitionPESTELPorter’s 5 forcesKRAsO&T (a holistic analysis using all other information provided by the other analyses)

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