Challenging the Concept of SWOT Analysis in Management


SWOT analysis is a managerial strategy that has been used to enhancemanagement of institutions. Agarwal, et al. (2012) gives an analysisof SWOT analysis and how people have disputed the use of these as amanagerial tool. According to Agarwal, et al. (2012) SWOT has comeunder a lot of criticism on theoretical grounds. The methodology usedin SWOT analysis does not rank highly. While many think that SWOT ishighly used evidence shows that many managers do not use it. Agarwal,et al. (2012) argues that despite the idea that it is a famousapproach to management it is rarely used. After realizing that SWOTis not used, the paper seeks to develop a new model of SWOT that isto support decision making. Though the new model still depends onjudgment, it does not require the categorization of factors either asa weakness or strength. It also discourages the unsystematicgeneration of factors used in strategy formulation.

Inthis section, the author lays the foundation for the development of atheoretical rationale for META SWOT. He argues that approaches tostrategic management should be classified into outside in and insideout models. Such approach depends on the resources and thecapabilities of an organization. Agarwal, et al. (2012) challengesthe idea of internal factors having to adapt to the externalenvironments. It is not necessary for the strategic planning to takea particular environment and develop strategies to capture theopportunities in that environment. Rather opportunities should becreated from within and challenge the external forces. This is theapproach that dismisses the concept of SWOT. SWOT only seek to matchthe current strengths and weakness with the current opportunities andthreat instead of developing new opportunities. Such approachesworked some years ago but do not work in the current society.

The main idea that these section brings out is the change of approachfrom SWOT analysis to META-SWOT. While the concept might have workedin the previous years, it has been overshadowed by time.


Thedispute and criticism on SWOT analysis is on the theoretical approachit uses. The theoretical approach used in this analysis does notreflect the real challenges in the work place. As well themethodologies do not rank highly and that is the reason why manymanagers do not use it (Agarwal, et al. 2012).

A new approach called META-SWOT is more appropriate. This approachrequires the use of judgment, but this judgment does not base on thecategorization of factors either as a weakness of strengths. Thisapproach is more adapted to the work place than the SWOT analysis.The approach is depended on the resources and the capabilities of theorganization to tap into the market.

The paper proposes the use of the inside out and the outside inapproach to strategic management. The approach is depended on theneeds, the capabilities and the resources of the organization andthus works better.


Agarwal,R., Grassl, W., &amp Pahl, J. (2012). Meta-SWOT: Introducing a newstrategic planning tool. Journal of Business Strategy, 33(2),12-21.