This exciting new textbook is built on the belief that strategic management principles are more straightforward than they seem. Unlike other textbooks, it does not overcomplicate the discussion with enigmatic layers of theory or irrelevant perspectives from other disciplines. Instead you will find focused, clearly articulated coverage of the key topics of strategic management, encouraging critical reflection and deeper exploration on your own terms. Fully developed to cover the essentials of any strategic management course, this textbook not only creates understanding of the principles of strategy, but shows you how to apply them constructively in the face of real-world practicalities. Throughout the text, these principles are put into context with illustrations and examples drawn from all over the world and from all kinds of organization – from Shell, Airbus and Tesco to small and non-profit enterprises. With an emphasis on topical, distinctive and engaging features, this text offers: • Over 120 short, topical case studies drawn from every type of organization across more than 20 countries, written especially for this book and supplemented with questions and tasks • Worksheets for strategy analysis that can be used to tackle real-world situations • Learning outcomes, key points and summaries to focus your reading on what matters • Chapter-by-chapter exercises for further study and discussion • Suggestions for further reading to deepen your understanding of the theories underpinning the chapters In addition, tutors will benefit from a fully developed companion website offering lecture slides, teaching notes for case studies and assignments, module plans and links to further cases.

Understanding the External Environment

Understanding the external environment

Learning Outcomes

This chapter is designed to enable you to:

  • ① Understand the strategic significance of an enterprise's external operating environment.
  • ② Describe and explain characteristics of business environments.
  • ③ Use the ScanStep© framework to analyse business environments.
  • ④ Look critically for strategic threats and opportunities.

Case Study: Lowe & Shawyer Ltd1

In 1864 aged 21, Joseph Lowe set up a horticultural nursery at Uxbridge, West London, UK to sell flowering plants such as geraniums and roses to local people. For 33 years this small enterprise expanded progressively. In 1897 Lowe took on a younger partner, George Shawyer. They formed a private limited company in 1906, at which point they employed 100 staff working on 10 hectares of land. When the 1914–18 war started, ...

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