Methods of Environmental Scanning
The following are the common methods of environmental scanning:
- Extrapolation method- Under this method the future situation is estimated on the basis of past records and information. Trend analysis, regression analysis and forecasting techniques can be applied to accumulate information.
- Historical analogy- This method of environmental scanning is based on partial, similar or parallel conditions somewhere in the past. Basically, this method is applied in estimating qualitative changes like social norms, the attitude of workers, living standard etc.
- Cross impact matrix- Under this method, two conflicting trends are studied to find out their impact on each other.
- Morphological analysis- This method is applied to forecast technological changes and their impact on business. Here, all possible alternatives to achieve organizational goals are studied and evaluated.
- Delphi technique- The opinions of various experts are secretly collected to forecast future. The experts having different opinions and with a majority are requested to give reasons for their distinct opinions. The process will continue until and unless the common opinion emerge.
- Intuitive reasoning- The managers estimate the future on the basis of logic and ideas without considering past events. It is intellectual guesswork.
- Scenario building- This method is used to show the cause and effect relationship among a series of events. Under this method, different probable events are estimated and their outcomes are assumed.
- Survey method- A field survey is conducted to gather information for environmental forecasting. The opinions of customers, experts, suppliers, leaders, competitors etc are collected and analyzed on the basis of which the future is forecast.
- Brainstorming- This is the process of gathering new ideas through group discussion. Groups are formed to resolve new problems in future. All the members share their ideas and come into conclusion through mutual consent.
Therefore the methods of environmental scanning are explained above.
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