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SWOT analysis (or SWOT matrix) is a strategic planning and strategic management technique used to help a person or organization identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats related to business competition or project planning. It is sometimes called situational assessment or situational analysis. Additional acronyms using the same components include TOWS and WOTS-UP.
This technique is designed for use in the preliminary stages of decision-making processes and can be used as a tool for evaluation of the strategic position of organizations of many kinds (for-profit enterprises, local and national governments, NGOs, etc.). It is intended to identify the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieving the objectives of the venture or project. Users of a SWOT analysis often ask and answer questions to generate meaningful information for each category to make the tool useful and identify their competitive advantage. SWOT has been described as a tried-and-true tool of strategic analysis, but has also been criticized for its limitations, and alternatives have been developed.
The name is an acronym for the four components the technique examines:
- Strengths: characteristics of the business or project that give it an advantage over others
- Weaknesses: characteristics that place the business or project at a disadvantage relative to others
- Opportunities: elements in the environment that the business or project could exploit to its advantage
- Threats: elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the business or project
Internal and external factors
Strengths and weaknesses are usually considered internal, while opportunities and threats are usually considered external. The degree to which the internal strengths of the firm matches with the external opportunities is expressed by the concept of strategic fit.
Internal factors are viewed as strengths or weaknesses depending upon their effect on the organization's objectives. What may represent strengths with respect to one objective may be weaknesses (distractions, competition) for another objective. The factors may include personnel, finance, manufacturing capabilities, and all of the marketing mix's 4Ps.
SWOT analysis has been used at different levels of analysis in many arenas, not just in profit-seeking organizations. Examples include non-profit organizations, governmental units, and individuals. SWOT analysis may also be used in pre-crisis planning and preventive crisis management. SWOT analysis may also be used in creating a recommendation during a viability study/survey.
SWOT analysis can be used to build organizational or personal strategy. Steps necessary to execute strategy-oriented analysis involve identification of internal and external factors (often using the popular 2 × 2 matrix), selection and evaluation of the most important factors, and identification of relations existing between internal and external features.
For instance, strong relations between strengths and opportunities can suggest good conditions in the company and allow using an aggressive strategy. On the other hand, strong interactions between weaknesses and threats could be analyzed as a potential warning and advice for using a defensive strategy.
One form of TOWS matrix combines each of the four components with another to examine four distinct strategies:
- WT strategy (mini–mini): Faced with external threats and internal weaknesses, how to minimize both weaknesses and threats?
- WO strategy (mini–maxi): Faced with external opportunities and internal weaknesses, how to minimize weaknesses and maximize opportunities?
- ST strategy (maxi–mini): Faced with internal strengths and external threats, how to maximize strengths and minimize threats?
- SO strategy (maxi–maxi): Faced with external opportunities and internal strengths, how to maximize both opportunities and strengths?
Matching and converting
One way of using SWOT is matching and converting. Matching is used to find competitive advantage by matching the strengths to opportunities. Another tactic is to convert weaknesses or threats into strengths or opportunities. An example of a conversion strategy is to find new markets. If the threats or weaknesses cannot be converted, a company should try to minimize or avoid them.
As part of the development of strategies and plans to enable an organization to achieve its objectives, that organization will use a systematic/rigorous process known as corporate planning. SWOT alongside PEST/PESTLE can be used as a basis for the analysis of internal and environmental factors.
Corporate planning includes steps such as:
- Setting objectives—defining what the organization is going to do
- Environmental scanning
- Internal appraisals of the organization—an assessment of the present situation as well as a portfolio of products/services and an analysis of the product/service lifecycle
- Analysis of existing strategies—this should determine relevance from the results of an internal/external appraisal, and may include gap analysis of environmental factors
- Defining strategic issues—key factors in the development of a corporate plan that the organization must address
- Developing new/revised strategies—revised analysis of strategic issues may mean the objectives need to change
- Establishing critical success factors—the achievement of objectives and strategy implementation
- Preparation of operational, resource, and projects plans for strategy implementation
- Monitoring all results—mapping against plans, taking corrective action, which may mean amending objectives/strategies
In competitor analysis, marketers build detailed profiles of each competitor in the market, focusing especially on their relative competitive strengths and weaknesses using SWOT analysis. Marketing managers will examine each competitor's cost structure, sources of profits, resources and competencies, competitive positioning and product differentiation, degree of vertical integration, historical responses to industry developments, and other factors.
Marketing management often finds it necessary to invest in research to collect the data required to perform accurate marketing analysis. Accordingly, management often conducts market research (alternately marketing research) to obtain this information. Marketers employ a variety of techniques to conduct market research, but some of the more common include:
- Qualitative marketing research such as focus groups
- Quantitative marketing research such as statistical surveys
- Experimental techniques such as test markets
- Observational techniques such as ethnographic (on-site) observation
Marketing managers may also design and oversee various environmental scanning and competitive intelligence processes to help identify trends and inform the company's marketing analysis.
Below is an example SWOT analysis of a market position of a small management consultancy with a specialism in human resource management (HRM).
|Reputation in marketplace||Shortage of consultants at operating level rather than partner level||Well established position with a well-defined market niche||Large consultancies operating at a minor level|
|Expertise at partner level in HRM consultancy||Unable to deal with multidisciplinary assignments because of size or lack of ability||Identified market for consultancy in areas other than HRM||Other small consultancies looking to invade the marketplace|
In community organizations
The SWOT analysis has been used in community work as a tool to identify positive and negative factors within organizations, communities, and the broader society that promote or inhibit successful implementation of social services and social change efforts. It is used as a preliminary resource, assessing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in a community served by a nonprofit or community organization.
Strengths and weaknesses (internal factors within an organization):
- Human resources—staff, volunteers, board members, target population
- Physical resources—the organization's location, building, equipment
- Financial—grants, funding agencies, other sources of income
- Activities and processes—programs delivered, systems employed
- Past experiences—building blocks for learning and success, the organization's reputation in the community
Opportunities and threats (external factors stemming from community or societal forces):
- Future trends in the organization's field or the society
- The economy—local, national, or international
- Funding sources—foundations, donors, legislatures
- Demographics—changes in the age, race, gender, culture of those in the organization's service area
- Physical environment—Is the building in a growing part of town? Is the bus company cutting routes?
- Legislation—Do new government requirements make the work harder or easier?
- Local, national, or international events
Although the SWOT analysis was originally designed as an organizational method for business and industries, it has been replicated in community work as a tool for identifying external and internal support to combat the internal and external opposition. Understanding the particular community can be helped via public forums, listening campaigns, and informational interviews and other data collection. The SWOT analysis provides direction to the next stages of the change process. It has been used by community organizers and community members to further social justice in the context of social work practice.
Limitations and alternatives
SWOT analysis is intended as a starting point for discussion and cannot, in itself, show managers how to achieve a competitive advantage, particularly in a rapidly changing environment.
In a highly cited 1997 critique, "SWOT Analysis: It's Time for a Product Recall", Terry Hill and Roy Westbrook observed that one among many problems of SWOT analysis as it is often practiced is that "no-one subsequently used the outputs [of SWOT analysis] within the later stages of the strategy". Hill and Westbrook, among others, also criticized hastily designed SWOT lists. Other examples of potential pitfalls in practice are: preoccupation with a single strength, such as cost control, leading to a neglect of weaknesses, such as product quality; and domination by one or two team members doing the SWOT analysis and devaluing possibly important contributions of other team members. Many other limitations have been identified.
Business professors have suggested various ways to remedy the common problems and limitations of SWOT analysis while retaining the SWOT framework.
SOAR (strengths, opportunities, aspirations, and results) is an alternative technique inspired by appreciative inquiry. SOAR has been criticized as having similar limitations as SWOT, such as "the inability to identify the necessary data".
In project management, the alternative to SWOT known by the acronym SVOR (Strengths, Vulnerabilities, Opportunities, and Risks) compares the project elements along two axes: internal and external, and positive and negative. It takes into account the mathematical link that exists between these various elements, considering also the role of infrastructures. The SVOR table provides an intricate understanding of the elements hypothesized to be at play in a given project:: 9
|Positive||Total Forces||Total Forces given constraints = Infrastructures / Opportunities||Opportunities|
|Mathematical link||Vulnerabilities given constraints = 1 / Total Forces||constant k||Opportunities given constraints = 1 / Risks|
|Negative||Vulnerabilities||Risks given constraints = k / Vulnerabilities||Risks|
Constraints consist of: calendar of tasks and activities, costs, and norms of quality. The "k" constant varies with each project (for example, it may be valued at 1.3).: 9
In 1965, three colleagues at the Long Range Planning Service of Stanford Research Institute—Robert F. Stewart, Otis J. Benepe, and Arnold Mitchell—wrote a technical report titled Formal Planning: The Staff Planner's Role at Start-Up. The report described how a person in the role of a company's staff planner would gather information from managers assessing operational issues grouped into four components represented by the acronym SOFT: the "satisfactory" in present operations, "opportunities" in future operations, "faults" in present operations, and "threats" to future operations. Stewart et al. focused on internal operational assessment and divided the four components into present (satisfactory and fault) and future (opportunity and threat), and not, as would later become common in SWOT analysis, into internal (strengths and weaknesses) and external (opportunities and threats).
Also in 1965, four colleagues at the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration—Edmund P. Learned, C. Roland Christensen, Kenneth R. Andrews, and William D. Guth—published the first of many editions of the textbook Business Policy: Text and Cases. (Business policy was a term then current for what has come to be called strategic management.) The first chapter of the textbook stated, without using the acronym, the four components of SWOT and their division into internal and external appraisal:
Deciding what strategy should be is, at least ideally, a rational undertaking. Its principal subactivities include identifying opportunities and threats in the company's environment and attaching some estimate of risk to the discernible alternatives. Before a choice can be made, the company's strengths and weaknesses must be appraised.
Looking back from three decades later, in the book Strategy Safari (1998), management scholar Henry Mintzberg and colleagues said that Business Policy: Text and Cases "quickly became the most popular classroom book in the field", widely diffusing its authors' ideas, which Mintzberg et al. called the "design school" model (in contrast to nine other schools that they identified) of strategic management, "with its famous notion of SWOT" emphasizing assessment of a company's internal and external situations. However, the textbook contains neither a 2 × 2 SWOT matrix nor any detailed procedure for doing a SWOT assessment. Strategy Safari and other books identified Kenneth R. Andrews as the co-author of Business Policy: Text and Cases who was responsible for writing the theoretical part of the book containing the SWOT components. More generally, Mintzberg et al. attributed some conceptual influences on what they called the "design school" (of which they were strongly critical) to earlier books by Philip Selznick (Leadership in Administration, 1957) and Alfred D. Chandler Jr. (Strategy and Structure, 1962), with other possible influences going back to the McKinsey consulting firm in the 1930s.
By the end of the 1960s, the four components of SWOT (without using the acronym) had appeared in other publications on strategic planning by various authors, and by 1972 the acronym had appeared in the title of a journal article by Norman Stait, a management consultant at the British firm Urwick, Orr and Partners. By 1973, the acronym was well-known enough that accountant William W. Fea, in a published lecture, mentioned "the mnemonic, familiar to students, of S.W.O.T., namely strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats". An early example of a 2 × 2 SWOT matrix is found in a 1980 article by management professor Igor Ansoff (but Ansoff used the acronym T/O/S/W instead of SWOT).
In popular culture
- Television: In the 2015 Silicon Valley episode "Homicide" (Season 2, Episode 6), Jared Dunn (Zach Woods) introduces the Pied Piper team to SWOT analysis. Later in that episode Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani) and Gilfoyle (Martin Starr) employ the method when deciding whether or not to inform a stunt driver that the calculations for his upcoming jump were performed incorrectly.
- Enterprise planning systems
- Porter's four corners model
- Problem structuring methods
- Program evaluation and review technique (PERT)
- Semiotic square (Greimas square)
- Situation analysis
- Six forces model
- VRIO (Value, Rarity, Imitability, Organization)
- For example: Weihrich 1982, p. 54: "For convenience, the matrix that will be introduced is called TOWS, or situational analysis"; Sevier 2001, p. 46
- Weihrich, Heinz (April 1982). "The TOWS matrix—a tool for situational analysis". Long Range Planning. 15 (2): 54–66. doi:10.1016/0024-6301(82)90120-0. S2CID 154914972.
- Nutt, Paul C.; Backoff, Robert W. (Summer 1993). "Transforming public organizations with strategic management and strategic leadership". Journal of Management. 19 (2): 299–347 (316). doi:10.1016/0149-2063(93)90056-S.
The SWOTs perspective is often used to pose questions for strategic management (e.g., Ansoff, 1980). Steiner's (1979) 'WOTS' approach, Rowe, Mason and Dickel's (1982) WOTS-UP, and Delbecq's (1989) 'TOWS' framework identify three of many derivations.
- Silva, Carlos Nunes (2005). "SWOT analysis". In Caves, Roger W. (ed.). Encyclopedia of the city. Abingdon; New York: Routledge. pp. 444–445. doi:10.4324/9780203484234. ISBN 978-0415862875. OCLC 55948158.
- Examples of the "tried-and-true" trope:
- Sevier, Robert A. (2001). "Not SWOT, but OTSW". Thinking outside the box: some (fairly) radical thoughts on how colleges and universities should think, act, and communicate in a very busy marketplace. Hiawatha, Iowa: Strategy Pub. p. 46. ISBN 0971059705. OCLC 48165005.
Few people realize that there is an inherent danger in conducting a situational analysis using the old tried and true SWOT. The danger is this: When you look inside the organization first, you create a set of glasses through which you will look at the world. In doing so, you are highly likely to overlook significant opportunities and threats.See also Minsky & Aron 2021.
- Staples, Lee (2004). Roots to power: a manual for grassroots organizing (2nd ed.). Westport, Conn.: Praeger Publishing. p. 136. ISBN 0275969975. OCLC 56085984.
The tried and true SWOT Assessment examines positive and negative factors as does a Force Field Analysis, but a SWOT has a particular focus on the upsides and downsides for the action group itself.
- Lambert, Ron; Parker, Tom (2006). Is that your hand in my pocket?: the sales professional's guide to negotiating. Nashville: Nelson Business. p. 132. ISBN 0785218777. OCLC 63125604.
Before you as a salesperson can develop a strategy, you have to assess the situation. We recommend the tried-and-true SWOT analysis. You start by taking a look at your Strengths and Weaknesses, your Opportunities and any Threats. Then you do exactly the same thing from the perspective of each of your competitors.
- Sevier, Robert A. (2001). "Not SWOT, but OTSW". Thinking outside the box: some (fairly) radical thoughts on how colleges and universities should think, act, and communicate in a very busy marketplace. Hiawatha, Iowa: Strategy Pub. p. 46. ISBN 0971059705. OCLC 48165005.
- Ansoff, H. Igor (April 1980). "Strategic issue management". Strategic Management Journal. 1 (2): 131–148. doi:10.1002/smj.4250010204. JSTOR 2486096. S2CID 167511003.
- Minsky, Laurence; Aron, David (23 February 2021). "Are you doing the SWOT analysis backwards?". Harvard Business Review. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
The results of a SWOT analysis can be (and almost always are) presented simply as a 2 × 2 grid, with one dimension representing the internal versus external factors, and the other depicting positive versus negative valence. ... To improve the inventory collection, you should start with the external factors, then turn your attention to the firm's internal ones.See also Sevier 2001.
- Learned, Edmund Philip; Christensen, C. Roland; Andrews, Kenneth R.; Guth, William D. (1965). Business policy: text and cases (1st ed.). Homewood, Illinois: Richard D. Irwin, Inc. p. 20. OCLC 680327. (See also Andrews 1971, p. 37.) Many publications cite this textbook as an early statement of the ideas behind SWOT, although it contains neither a 2 × 2 matrix nor any detailed procedure for doing a SWOT assessment; for example, Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton called this textbook "one of the early SWOT references", in: Kaplan, Robert S.; Norton, David P. (2008). The execution premium: linking strategy to operations for competitive advantage. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press. p. 67. ISBN 9781422121160. OCLC 227277585.
- Andrews, Kenneth R. (1971). The concept of corporate strategy. Homewood, Ill.: Dow Jones–Irwin. p. 37. ISBN 0870940120. OCLC 151781.
- Mintzberg, Henry; Ahlstrand, Bruce W.; Lampel, Joseph (1998). "The design school: strategy formation as a process of conception". Strategy safari: a guided tour through the wilds of strategic management. New York: Free Press. pp. 24–25. ISBN 0684847434. OCLC 38354698.
- Watkins, Michael D. (27 March 2007). "From SWOT to TOWS: answering a reader's strategy question". Harvard Business Review. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
- Some examples of publications that suggest remedies for common problems and limitations of SWOT analysis:
- Valentin, Erhard K. (April 2001). "SWOT analysis from a resource-based view". Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice. 9 (2): 54–69. doi:10.1080/10696679.2001.11501891. JSTOR 40470032. S2CID 167660094.
- Coman, Alex; Ronen, Boaz (October 2009). "Focused SWOT: diagnosing critical strengths and weaknesses". International Journal of Production Research. 47 (20): 5677–5689. doi:10.1080/00207540802146130. S2CID 109603771.
- Helms, Marilyn M.; Nixon, Judy (August 2010). "Exploring SWOT analysis—where are we now? A review of academic research from the last decade". Journal of Strategy and Management. 3 (3): 215–251. doi:10.1108/17554251011064837.
- Agarwal, Ravi; Grassl, Wolfgang; Pahl, Joy (January 2012). "Meta‐SWOT: introducing a new strategic planning tool". Journal of Business Strategy. 33 (2): 12–21. doi:10.1108/02756661211206708.
- Bell, Geoffrey G.; Rochford, Linda (November 2016). "Rediscovering SWOT's integrative nature: a new understanding of an old framework". The International Journal of Management Education. 14 (3): 310–326. doi:10.1016/j.ijme.2016.06.003.
- Lohrke, Franz T.; Mazzei, Matthew J.; Frownfelter-Lohrke, Cynthia (June 2021). "Should it stay or should it go? Developing an enhanced SWOT framework for teaching strategy formulation". Journal of Management Education. 46 (2): 345–382. doi:10.1177/10525629211021143. S2CID 236311321.
- "Conducting a SWOT analysis – Research Tutorials – Research Guides at Fairfield University – DiMenna Nyselius Library". librarybestbets.fairfield.edu. DiMenna–Nyselius Library. Retrieved 7 November 2021.
- Pickton, David W.; Wright, Sheila (March 1998). "What's swot in strategic analysis?". Strategic Change. 7 (2): 101–109. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1099-1697(199803/04)7:2<101::AID-JSC332>3.0.CO;2-6.
- Osita, Christian; Onyebuchi, Idoko; Justina, Nzekwe (31 January 2014). "Organization's stability and productivity: the role of SWOT analysis" (PDF). International Journal of Innovative and Applied Research. 2 (9): 23–32. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- Piercy, Nigel; Giles, William (May 1989). "Making SWOT analysis work". Marketing Intelligence & Planning. 7 (5/6): 5–7. doi:10.1108/EUM0000000001042.
- Armstrong, Michael (2001). A handbook of human resource management practice (8th ed.). London: Kogan Page. p. 51. ISBN 9780749433932. OCLC 59549399.
- Armstrong, Michael (1990). Management processes and functions. Management studies series. London: Institute of Personnel Management. ISBN 0-85292-438-0. OCLC 21301791.
- "Community Toolbox: Section 14. SWOT analysis". Community Tool Box. Center for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas. Retrieved 2014-02-22.
- Birkenmaier, Julie; Berg-Weger, Marla (2017). "Organizational engagement, assessment, and planning". The practice of generalist social work (4th ed.). New York: Routledge. pp. 552–577. ISBN 9781138057852. OCLC 971892636.
- Dess, Gregory G.; Lumpkin, G. Thomas; Eisner, Alan B.; McNamara, Gerry (2012). "The limitations of SWOT analysis". Strategic management: text and cases (6th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin. pp. 82. ISBN 9780078029318. OCLC 740281685.
- Hill, Terry; Westbrook, Roy (February 1997). "SWOT analysis: it's time for a product recall". Long Range Planning. 30 (1): 46–52. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.469.2246. doi:10.1016/S0024-6301(96)00095-7.
- Koch, Adam (2000). "SWOT does not need to be recalled: It needs to be enhanced". B>Quest. Richards College of Business, State University of West Georgia. ISSN 1084-3981.
- Chermack, Thomas J.; Kasshanna, Bernadette K. (December 2007). "The use of and misuse of SWOT analysis and implications for HRD professionals". Human Resource Development International. 10 (4): 383–399. doi:10.1080/13678860701718760. S2CID 145098663.
- Porter, Michael; Argyres, Nicholas; McGahan, Anita M. (2002). "An interview with Michael Porter". The Academy of Management Executive (1993–2005). 16 (2): 43–52. JSTOR 4165839.
- Stavros, Jacqueline M.; Cooperrider, David; Kelley, D. Lynn (2007). "SOAR: a new approach to strategic planning". In Holman, Peggy; Devane, Tom; Cady, Steven (eds.). The change handbook: the definitive resource on today's best methods for engaging whole systems (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler. pp. 375–380. ISBN 9781576753798. OCLC 66527256.
- Stavros, Jacqueline M.; Hinrichs, Gina (2009). The thin book of SOAR: building strengths-based strategy. Bend, OR: Thin Book Pub. Co. ISBN 9780982206805. OCLC 662578328.
- McLean, Gary N. (Winter 2017). "Will SOAR really help organization development soar?: an invited reaction to Zarestky and Cole, 2017". New Horizons in Adult Education and Human Resource Development. 29 (1): 25–28. doi:10.1002/nha3.20168.
- Mesly, Olivier (2017). Project feasibility: tools for uncovering points of vulnerability. Industrial innovation series. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press. doi:10.1201/9781315295251. ISBN 9781498757911. OCLC 953982371.
- Puyt, Richard W.; Lie, Finn Birger; De Graaf, Frank Jan; Wilderom, Celeste P. M. (July 2020). "Origins of SWOT analysis". Academy of Management Proceedings. 2020 (1): 17416. doi:10.5465/AMBPP.2020.132. S2CID 225400774.
- Browne, Michael; Banerjee, Bobby; Fulop, Liz; Linstead, Stephen (1999). "Managing strategically". In Fulop, Liz; Linstead, Stephen (eds.). Management: a critical text. South Yarra, Vic.: Macmillan Education. pp. 364–413 (373–379). doi:10.1007/978-1-349-15064-9_11. ISBN 0732937191. OCLC 39837267.
- An analysis of the "design school" model was also in Mintzberg's earlier publications such as: Mintzberg, Henry (March 1990). "The design school: reconsidering the basic premises of strategic management". Strategic Management Journal. 11 (3): 171–195. doi:10.1002/smj.4250110302. JSTOR 2486485.
- Kiechel, Walter (2010). The lords of strategy: the secret intellectual history of the new corporate world. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press. p. 121. ISBN 9781591397823. OCLC 259247279.
What Andrews and his colleagues in the Business Policy course resolutely refused to do—and the main reason his ideas largely disappear from the subsequent history of strategy—was to agree that there were standard frameworks or constructs that could be applied to analyzing a business and its competitive situation. Oh, they might allow one, perhaps because they had helped develop it: so-called SWOT analysis, which called for looking at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats besetting an enterprise.
- Hill & Westbrook 1997, p. 47: "The work of Kenneth Andrews has been especially influential in popularizing the idea that good strategy means ensuring a fit between the external situation a firm faces (threats and opportunities) and its own internal qualities or characteristics (strengths and weaknesses)."
- McKinsey, James Oscar (1932). Adjusting policies to meet changing conditions. General management series. Vol. G.M. 116. New York: American Management Association. OCLC 10865820. Presented at the AMA General Management Conference held in New York, May 3, 1932.
- Examples of publications in the late 1960s that mention the four components of SWOT without using the acronym include:
- Quinn, James Brian (Autumn 1968). "Technological strategies for industrial companies". Management Decision. 2 (3): 182–188. doi:10.1108/eb000858.
- Hargreaves, D. (March 1969). "Corporate planning: a chairman's guide". Long Range Planning. 1 (3): 28–37. doi:10.1016/0024-6301(69)90069-7.
- Humble, John W. (June 1969). "Corporate planning and management by objectives". Long Range Planning. 1 (4): 36–43. doi:10.1016/0024-6301(69)90044-2.
- Ringbakk, Kjell-Arne (December 1969). "Organised planning in major U.S. companies". Long Range Planning. 2 (2): 46–57. doi:10.1016/0024-6301(69)90009-0.
- Steiner, George A. (1969). Top management planning. Studies of the modern corporation. New York: Macmillan. OCLC 220043.
- Stait, Norman H. (July 1972). "Management training and the smaller company: SWOT analysis". Industrial and Commercial Training. 4 (7): 325–330. doi:10.1108/eb003232.
- Fea, William W. (1973). "The sixtieth Thomas Hawksley lecture: The accountant—overhead burden or service?". Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. 187 (1): 687–697 (689). doi:10.1243/PIME_PROC_1973_187_155_02.
- "Synopsis: Silicon Valley – 'Homicide'". HBO.
- Bensoussan, Babette E.; Fleisher, Craig S. (2008). "SWOT analysis". Analysis without paralysis: 10 tools to make better strategic decisions. Upper Saddle River, NJ: FT Press. pp. 183–197. ISBN 978-0132361804. OCLC 199464839.
- Coulter, Mary K. (2008). "Assessing opportunities and threats: doing an external analysis; Assessing strengths and weaknesses: doing an internal analysis". Strategic management in action (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall. pp. 67–138. ISBN 9780132277471. OCLC 147987777.
- Friend, Graham; Zehle, Stefan (2009). "SWOT analysis". Guide to business planning. The Economist books (2nd ed.). New York: Bloomberg Press. pp. 85–88. ISBN 9781576603284. OCLC 263978200.
- Gilad, Benjamin (2004). "The curse of the SWOT". Early warning: using competitive intelligence to anticipate market shifts, control risk, and create powerful strategies. New York: AMACOM. pp. 95–97. ISBN 0814407862. OCLC 51898746.
- Higgins, James M. (1983). "Internal and environmental information: SWOT; Appendix 1: The situation audit—a SWOT approach". Organizational policy and strategic management: text and cases. Dryden Press series in management (2nd ed.). Chicago: Dryden Press. pp. 31–37, 789–796. ISBN 0030619610. OCLC 9372705.
- Hunger, J. David; Wheelen, Thomas L. (2011). "Situational (SWOT) analysis". Essentials of strategic management (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. pp. 72–78. ISBN 9780136006695. OCLC 544474608.
- Hussey, David E. (1998). "The corporate appraisal—assessing strengths and weaknesses; Analysing the industry and competitors". Strategic management: from theory to implementation (4th ed.). Oxford; Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann. pp. 163–236. ISBN 0750638494. OCLC 39923184.
- Jenster, Per V.; Hussey, David E. (2001). "The purposes and nature of the appraisal". Company analysis: determining strategic capability. Chichester, UK; New York: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 11–30. ISBN 0471494542. OCLC 46601364.
- Kaplan, Robert S.; Norton, David P. (2008). "Identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT)". The execution premium: linking strategy to operations for competitive advantage. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press. p. 49–53. ISBN 9781422121160. OCLC 227277585.
- Steiner, George A. (1979). "The WOTS UP analysis". Strategic planning: what every manager must know. New York: Free Press. pp. 142–148. ISBN 0029311101. OCLC 4830139.
- Steiss, Alan Walter (2003). "Strategic planning: SWOT analysis, strategies, policies, and implementation". Strategic management for public and nonprofit organizations. Public administration and public policy. Vol. 102. New York: Marcel Dekker. pp. 73–97. ISBN 0824708741. OCLC 51981511.
- "SWOT analysis I: looking outside for opportunities and threats; SWOT analysis II: looking inside for strengths and weaknesses". The essentials of strategy. Harvard business literacy for HR professionals. Boston, MA; Alexandria, VA: Harvard Business School Press and the Society for Human Resource Management. 2006. pp. 21–64. ISBN 1591398223. OCLC 76260664.
- Thompson, Arthur A.; Peteraf, Margaret A.; Gamble, John E.; Strickland III, A. J. (2016). "What are the company's strengths and weaknesses in relation to the market opportunities and external threats?". Crafting and executing strategy: the quest for competitive advantage: concepts and cases (20th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Education. pp. 89–94. ISBN 9780077720599. OCLC 890011455.
- Media related to SWOT analysis at Wikimedia Commons