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a. ① The first step is called scanning. Through environmental scanning, every segment is analyzed to find trend indicators. Thus, after having examined the segment, indicators for its development are defined. Scanning is also used to detect weak signals in the environment, before these have conflated into a recognizable pattern, which might affect the organization’s competitive environment.
② Environmental scanning is only one component of global environmental analysis. After having identified critical trends and potential events they have to be monitored. The next step in global environmental analysis is called environmental monitoring. It can be defined as 'the process of repetitive observing for defined purposes, of one or more elements or indicators of the environment according to pre-arranged schedules in space and time, and using comparable methodologies for environmental sensing and data collection'.[13] Through environmental monitoring, data about environmental developments are recorded, followed and interpreted. Out of this, historical development changes that are important for the company can be recognized and evaluated. Additionally, the relevance and the reliability of the data sources are tested. Furthermore it is checked, where prognoses are required.
③The direction, intensity and speed of environmental trends are explored through environmental forecasting. Especially the search for possible threats is of importance. A prognosis of trends is necessary to get a picture of the future. This is done by adequate methods, like strategic foresight or scenario analysis. Several other methods of forecasting are the following: guessing, rule of thumb, expert judgement, extrapolation, leading indicators, surveys, time-series models and econometric systems.
④ In the last step of the global environmental analysis, the results of the previous three steps (Scanning, Monitoring, Forecasting) are assessed. The discovered environmental trends are reviewed to estimate the probability of their occurrence. Furthermore, they need to be analyzed to evaluate whether they represent a chance or a risk for the company. The dimension of the chances or risks is also of importance. Moreover, a reaction strategy to the occurring risks or chances needs to be defined. According to their classification, they demonstrate a high, medium or low priority for the company. The factors with a high occurrence probability and a high, significant impact on the company have the highest priority. The higher the priority, the faster need to be reacted to avoid risks and to benefit from chances. The environmental assessment represents the last step of the global environmental analysis.…...

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