Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Environmental scanning activities of private firms : the case of Saudi Arabia
Author: Alshagawi, Mohammed N.
Awarding Body: University of St Andrews
Current Institution: University of St Andrews
Date of Award: 2004
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Environmental scanning is an essential activity for organisation's success undertaken by top executives to allow them to be effective in steering the organisation within a changing environment. Organisations exist in an increasingly turbulent world. Organisations which want to succeed in the ever-changing business environment need to adopt suitable management tools that can identify emerging issues that may have the capacity to impact on their business. Environmental scanning is such a technique, often used within a suite of tools as part of a strategic planning process; it can be an important source of information for firms which operate in rapidly changing environments. The aim of this study is to investigate environmental scanning activities in the Saudi private sector. In recent years, changes in the domestic and global environment have created very different economic challenges. A number of factors have promoted these changes; political uncertainty, economic decline, youth explosion, the rapid increase in unemployment among Saudi youth and Islamic extremism highlight some of the challenges that the country now faces which ultimately might impact on Saudi business. Most of the previous research on environmental scanning has been carried out in a Western context, and no empirical research exists on the scanning activities of Arab executives in general and Saudis in particular. This research aimed to address this gap in the literature by investigating environmental scanning activities in Saudi private firms. In particular the study looks at (1) executives' perception of their business environment: (2) the frequency of, and level of interest in, executives' scanning: (3) the information sources used to investigate what is happening in the business environment: (4) the decisions which dependent on scanning activities: (5) the methods used by Saudi firms to scan their environment. The research adopted a triangulation methodology using both a mail survey questionnaire and personal interview. A total of 500 surveys were sent to executives of the Saudi top 500 firms; 162 were returned. However, only 150 usable questionnaires were included for data analysis. The study revealed that Saudi executives in general believe that their businesses operate in a highly turbulent environment where competition, economic and legal factors are perceived as the most strategically uncertain. Surprisingly, political factors produced a low level of perceived strategic uncertainty. The study pointed out that the executives in this sample tend to scan for a large number of issues in their environment. In particular, they conduct the greatest amount of scanning in the competition, economic and legal areas. In addition, the study indicated that the executives in the sample increase scanning frequency in response to increased perception of environmental uncertainty in the macro-environment more than in the micro-environment. The findings from this study also show that personal sources are used more frequently than impersonal sources in scanning by executives in this study. Among the five most used sources for scanning, four are personal sources (customers: subordinate managers: subordinate staff: business/ professional associates).
Supervisor: McKiernan, Peter Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD30.213A6 ; Information resources management--Saudi Arabia ; Strategic planning--Saudi Arabia ; Business enterprises--Saudi Arabia