Strategic HR and Leadership

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Higher Colleges of Technology


Common Course Outline


Strategic HR and Leadership (MBA 6303)


Class Assignment Week 1: SWOT Analysis




SWOT analysis is an analytical method, which is used to identify and categorize significant internal factors (i.e. strengths and weaknesses) and external factors (i.e. opportunities and threats) an organization faces. It is a useful  technique for understanding your organizations’ Strengths and Weaknesses, and for identifying both the Opportunities open to you and the Threats you face.


It provides information that is helpful in matching the firms’ resources and capabilities to the competitive environment in which it operates and is therefore an important contribution to the strategic planning process. It should not be viewed as a static method with emphasis solely on its output,  but  should  be  used  as  a  dynamic  part  of  the  management  and  business  development process.


SWOT analysis involves the collection and portrayal of information about internal and external factors  that  have,  or  may  have,  an  impact on  the  evolution  of  an  organization  or  business.  It generally provides a list of an organization’s Strengths and Weaknesses as indicated by an analysis of its resources and capabilities, plus a list of the Threats and Opportunities identified by an analysis of its environment. Strategic logic requires that the future pattern of actions to be taken should match strengths with opportunities ward off threats and seek to overcome weaknesses.


SWOT analysis is not necessarily a Foresight approach but can be a good starting point for the discussions in Foresight. Another possibility is matching your own strengths and weaknesses against different Foresight results. The different viewpoints can be a starting point for a discussion of the

real threats and opportunities



Used in a business context, a SWOT Analysis helps you carve a sustainable niche in your market. Used in a personal context, it helps you develop your career in a way that takes best advantage of your talents, abilities and opportunities


The most common drawbacks of SWOT analysis are:


  1. 1. The length of the lists of factors that have to be taken into account in the analysis;
  2. 2. Lack of prioritization of factors, there being no requirement for their classification and evaluation;
  3. No suggestions for solving disagreements;
  4. 4. No obligation to verify statements or aspects based on the data or the analysis;
  5. 5. Analysis only at a single level (not multi-level analysis);
  6. 6. No rational correlation with the implementation phases of the exercise.


One has to be aware that this method is very commonly used by consulting firms and that for this reason some people in the public/quasi-public sector have an aversion to it.



In this assignment you are asked to perform a SWOT analysis of your company’s/ units position

towards external changes in the business landscape. Address the key questions as described in the

SWOT framework below related to the position of your firm towards the internal and external environment and anticipated changes.


Also consider what kind of changes should be implemented from the human resources point of view

(people, organization, systems, culture) to mitigate the risks and capitalize on the opportunities.


Please submit the SWOT  table and the  analysis (2-5 pages) before  the next  class by  email.



Helpful                                                   Harmful