The aim of this assignment is to make use of online information to assess the external macro-environment of a company. This is known as a PEST Analysis
Consider a well known company such as Canadian Pacific, Dell or Sears. Each employs thousands of individuals. Each would contract with hundreds if not thousands of suppliers. Each would have numerous direct competitors. For Dell and Sears, their direct customers would number in millions. Indirectly, Canadian Pacific would also have millions of customers if one considers the end uses of the materials that it transports. Each of these companies would also be visible in hundreds of communities and their business operations would be subject to the rules and regulations of at least dozens of jurisdictions and multiple levels of government. Each would also be entwined in thousands if not millions of contractual relationships of various forms. It would be an oversimplification to suggest that these businesses are complex in their operations.
With these points in mind, how might an analyst working for a competitor, supplier, or customer organization really understand the business environment of one of these companies? How would an investment analyst working in London or New York make sense of the challenges and opportunities faced by these large entities? Or, how would an analyst working with Industry Canada explain one of these companies to policy makers in Ottawa? More than one good response can be offered for each of these queries. However, a common response is to suggest that a PEST analysis
framework would be helpful. It would enable our analyst, to portray the complexity of the operating environments of these corporations in an organized and fairly straight forward manner. A PEST analysis
is a tool that enables managers to think about the key features of the external macro environment facing their company by focusing on the politics, economics, social issues and the state of technology of their surroundings. It is a management tool that is used extensively in practice and is a staple of Business School instruction around the world.
This assignment seeks to help you understand the answer to a broader concern and that is, “How might managers undertake a PEST
assessment for their company?”
In order to do so, please identify a country that it operates in or that is of interest to you. You should base your responses to the following questions on your analysis
of the company that you have chosen for this course along with a specific country of your choosing.
Please answer the following questions:
Identify five political factors (as well as the online sources of information ) facing the company.
Identify five economic factors (as well as the online sources of information) facing the company.
Identify five social factors (as well as the online sources of information ) facing the company.
Identify five technology factors (as well as the online sources of information) facing the company.
In your opinion which four of these factors are most pertinent to the company and why?
Hint: Online information sources that you might consider using are those that address country specific socio-cultural, health oriented, technological, economic, environmental, or political legal issues. The table below specifies some useful examples and for each online source offers a profile and factor or issue that addresses for each country. Some examples of online sources of information include Earth Trends (http://earthtrends.wri.org/), the Population Reference Bureau (www.prb.org), the Economist Country Profiles (http://www.economist.com/countries/), and the U.S. State Department Country Back Ground Notes (http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/).
National Country Profiles
Center for Intercultural Learning - DFAIT
Doing Business - World Trade Organization
World Health Organization
Economist Country Profiles
Politics and Economics
U.S. Energy Information Administration
Population Reference Bureau
Global Property Guide
Please ensure that the online source of each factor is identified. Limit your response to this assignment to three and one half single spaced, typed pages. Cite your sources in the text and please reference them at the end of your assignment. End your write??"up with one paragraph that summarizes what you think is the importance of this assignment.
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