Maketing Essay

8564 Words Sep 15th, 2013 35 Pages
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The TOWS Matrix --A Tool for Situational Analysis
Heinz Weihrich*, Professor of Management, University of San Francisco
This article has two main purposes One is to review general considerations in strategic planning and the second to introduce the TOWS Matrix for matching the environmental threats and opportunities with the company's weaknesses and especially its strengths. These factors per se are not new; what is new is systematically identifying relationships between these factors and basing strategies on them. There is little doubt that strategic planning will gain greater prominence in the future. Any organization—whether military, product oriented, service-oriented or even governmental—to remain effective, must use a rational
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Although the sets of variables in the matrix are not new, matching them in a systematic fashion is. Many writers on strategic planning suggest that a firm uses its strengths to take advantage of opportunities, but they ignore other important relationships, such as the challenge of overcoming weaknesses in the enterprise to exploit opportunities. After all, a weakness is the absence of strength and corporate development to overcome an existing weakness may become a distinct strategy for the company. Although efforts are now being made to gain greater insights into the way corporate strengths and weaknesses are defined, much remains to be done.1 The TOWS matrix, discussed later in detail, also serves as a conceptual framework for future research about the combination of external factors and those internal to the enterprise, and the strategies based on these variables.
The author is Professor of Management, School of Business and Management, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94117, U.S.A. He has had many years of business and consulting experience in the United States and Europe, working with such companies as Volkswagen, Hughes Aircraft Company, etc.
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Long Range Planning © Heinz Weihrich

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Equally important, the matrix 'forces' practicing managers to analyze the situation of their company and to develop strategies, tactics, and actions for the effective and efficient attainment of its organizational objectives and its

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