SWOT refers to the method of analyzing internal strengths as well as the weaknesses of a business organisation along with studying the impact of external threats and opportunities for that business. According to the views of Alaaraj and Hassan (2014) conducting a SWOT analysis for the Company is a mind-numbing and mental exercise. It is a simple and short method which helps in reflecting the strength and weak areas of business along with the determination of favourable opportunities or unfavourable threats which might negatively influence the business organization's success or growth. On the contrary, TOWS is an acronym for all the four elements including strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Also, it is said to be the extended version of SWOT analysis. In the views of Kowalik and Klimecka-Tatar (2017) the external factors of a Company are being examined by TOWS and then these factors are compared to the internal factors of the business i.e. strengths and weaknesses. The TOWS analysis also forms as the basis of developing TOWS strategies in order to form the actionable tasks in the effective and efficient manner. SWOT only helps the business to identify internal and factors for the business, on the other hand, TOWS also enable the Company to frame appropriate strategies based on four-main categories such as strengths-opportunities, weaknesses-opportunities, strengths-threats and weaknesses-threats. The SWOT analysis has been revolutionized with the changing time and has taken up the new form of TOWS analysis (Alaaraj and Hassan, 2014). This revolution reflects that SWOT analysis does not fit to the 21st economy because most of the businesses now adopt TOWS instead of SWOT for the purpose of not only determining the internal and external factors of the business but also significant strategies in accordance to those determined factors. Further, Brooks et al. (2014) claimed that SWOT analysis is proved to be more critical for small-scale businesses because it does not provide much support to them against the large corporations businesses.
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The unique concepts of dynamic capabilities are different as compared to those of ordinary capabilities because dynamic capabilities are based on the skills and knowledge of executives or business employees rather than depending on the organizational routine. In accordance to the views of Schriber and Löwstedt (2020) dynamic capabilities are strategic in nature and are distinct from ordinary capabilities. By layering the dynamic capabilities, the greater level of competitive advantage can be maintained and extended by the business firms at the top of ordinary capabilities. When on one hand, the ordinary capabilities enable the business employees to perform efficiently, on the other hand, dynamic capabilities, after getting combined with good strategies, enable the entire business to position itself for not only making the right and innovative products but also targeting the right people(Alves, et al., 2017). This contrast helps the companies to attain the consumer needs and grab both the technological as well as the competitive opportunities for their better future. In addition to this, it has also been viewed by Laaksonen and Peltoniemi (2018) that ordinary capabilities reflect the importance of routines which is undisputed and through dynamic capabilities; both the routine and non-routine actions help the management employees to ensure rich and broad area of research to the business.
VUCA refers to an acronym which includes the elements of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity which are the contemporary concepts or the standard combination of qualities to be taken or considered together for managing some difficult situations. The first contemporary concept or dynamic capability of volatility refers to the speed of change within the specific business industry or market. The concept is closely associated with the rapid fluctuations in demand in short-term. It has been said by Ningthoujam (2019) that the more volatile the World would be, the faster things would change. While framing up the SWOT analysis, the business organizations are allowed to determine all the threats and opportunities while examining the external business market. The factors of threats and opportunities can help the businesses to know about those rapid changes in the market so that they can be able to adapt those changes and can become volatile. Hence, it can be said that SWOT analysis is capable of making the business volatile by providing them with the information regarding its external environment.
The second concept is uncertainty which is that extent up to which the business can predict their future. Alasingachar (2019) believed that this capability is highly associated with the inability of people to proper understand about the situations which are going on. Therefore, uncertainty is an objective characteristic of the business environment. When the business environment is strongly uncertain, they do not allow businesses to ensure any kind of predictions. Therefore, it is said that the more uncertain the World would be, the more it would be difficult to predict. While analyzing this capability in the context of SWOT analysis, it has been observed that though various businesses can identify potential threats outside their business by using SWOT analysis but in the case when the environment would be strongly uncertain, then those threats may also not work for the business until and unless the effective strategies are not being framed or developed (Alasingachar, 2019). Therefore, it would not be effective to say that SWOT analysis can get fit into this capability. The true and strong uncertain environment would require the formulation of suitable strategies for making future predictions and managing current threats which is only possible through TOWS matrix.
Complexity is the third dynamic capability which needs more concentration because the World is getting complex with each increasing day and there are number of complex factors which needs to be considered along with knowing about their impacts and relationships they withhold with other business factors. According to the perspectives of Sinha and Sinha (2020) one may struggle a lot with complex issues while conducting SWOT analysis because understanding the complexities requires the business researchers to ensure in-depth research before leading to any process of decision-making and this kind of the in-depth research is not supported by the SWOT analysis. Therefore, again, the SWOT analysis also does not get fit into this dynamic capability (Koryak, et al., 2015). The deep research which is required by the capability of complexity can only be provided by the TOWS matrix as it links both the internal and external factors of business along with ensuring the effective management between both the factors (Sinha and Sinha, 2020). The greater interconnection between multiple factors makes the business environment more complex and in the case of high complexity, it may become impossible for the businesses to even analyze the environmental factors by completely depending upon the SWOT analysis.
The last capability or the contemporary concept is ambiguity which reflects the lack of clarity about interpreting something. It has been researched by Moore (2014) that SWOT analysis does not reflect complete or detailed information about any particular external business factor which might result into greater contradictions and may seem to be inaccurate to draw clear and significant conclusions. Due to these reasons, the SWOT analysis might not get fit to this capability as it does not possess that capability of detailed interpretation or analysis of the factors. In contrast to this, TOWS matrix can enable the businesses to understand each and every point of all the four factors in a detailed andeffective manner and also determine about the suitable strategies through which those complexities or issues may get resolved and the factors can be managed properly (Schoemaker, et al., 2018). It has been claimed by Cabantous and Sergi (2018) that getting this complete clear in today's economy is very rare and the increasing competition level among modern organisations has made this concept more challenging. Therefore, the businesses can also not completely depends on SWOT analysis for managing complexities as implementing decisions based on the concise points may not result into transparent and clear results.
After analyzing all the above dynamic capabilities or the contemporary concepts, it has been concluded that SWOT analysis can only be able to get fit in the first concept of volatility and in remaining all the other capabilities the businesses will require to apply the framework of TOWS in order to reach up the competitive level of current economy. The 21st century requires the businesses to use the extended version of SWOT analysis i.e. TOWS matrix which enables them to critically assess, compare and decide upon suitable strategies for the business. Further, it has been ensured byLurati and Zamparini (2018) that TOWS matrix supports the generation of amazing innovative ideas through the development of fruitful marketing strategies and ensuring greater protection to the business against unfavourable threats and weaknesses.
A peripheral vision of the business looks like an inspiring desire or dream which focuses on the needs and requirements of key stakeholders, reflects the ambition of business and also describe the ideal results which are want to get achieved by the businesses. This vision may get influenced or changed in accordance to the disruptive business models which are used or adopted by various companies for grabbing the opportunities and eliminating threats in the 21st century. One of the disruptive business models is a pyramid model which refers to a typical model of sales which can be quickly developed and managed in an easy form (Xu and Dobson, 2019). This model enables the businesses to keep high margins of profitability. The businesses might not conduct the SWOT analysis while implementing this pyramid model because they will be required to frame favourable business strategies to attain high margins of profit after analyzing and critically evaluating multiple threats and opportunities and working on the basis of their internal strengths and weaknesses. Though, they can determine the factors through SWOT analysis but cannot attain the vision without implementing the suitable strategies (Xu and Dobson, 2019).
Apart from having a peripheral vision, most of the businesses in the 21st century economy desire to have the infinite or digital mindset rather than finite mindset. Being working in a highly competitive and uncertain business environment, it is essential for the businesses to get ready for facing the changes and also transforming them within their businesses through reliable predictions, greater planning and greater controls. But these are not being liked by the finite minded players and hence they lack the significant growth in the competitive business environment (Day and Schoemaker, 2016). A successful businessman of 21st century should be digital and infinite minded person who should be capable of using new technologies and must be capable of understanding the changing trends or patterns of technology. This digital mindset has also transformed the version of SWOT analysis which is TOWS analysis. In 21st century, the use of TOWS matrix can help various businesses to determine the strategies to adopt and work according to new technological trends in accordance to the strengths and opportunities of and for the business.
Blue ocean strategy indicates that particular market or a product where there is no or low competition is found. This strategy is adopted when the businessman look for that industry or market where only few business firms operate or exist and where no pressure of pricing is found. This strategy can be implemented across wide varieties of sectors or industries (Agnihotri, 2016). The motive of implementing this strategy is to capture new demand in the market and make irrelevant competition by introducing the new and superior features within a particular product or a service. With the help of this strategy, huge profits can be earned by the businesses. The intense and growing competition in 21st century from the past few years has given rise to this blue ocean strategy. Bourletidis (2014) claimed that the creation, development and implementation of blue ocean strategy, TOWS analysis will work as a better and effective approach as compared to the SWOT analysis as a lot of inputs can be determined in the form of strategies on the basis of which the strategy can be created and enhanced. Also, with the help of TOWS matrix, the blue ocean strategy can get strategically aligned with all the other organizational strategies such as product strategy, financial strategy, sales strategy, marketing strategy, human resource strategy and production strategy based on the determined strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities.
The use of SWOT analysis has also been reduced in the new economy due to the dynamic capabilities of leadership including the arguably strategic thinking, decentralized approach of decision-making and innovative as well as the creative management. These capabilities require the businesses to set up the desired as well as the unique set of strategies along with identifying both the internal and external factors for the trends and then responding to those factors by using the leadership capabilities. In addition to this, it has been reported by Vlados (2019) that it has become very necessary for the businesses to combine the internal strengths and weaknesses of the business with the external threats and opportunities and then frame up the strategies accordingly depending upon the situations which is possible through the use of TOWS analysis as compared to that of the SWOT analysis. In the new economy, businesses are required to develop and enhance strategic choices of the business opportunities they have in the market and lead towards the sustainable growth, especially for the small-scale businesses (Salar and Salar, 2014). All these elements makes the business successful and they can lead with the help of using TOWS matrix or another analyses such as porter's five forces analysis and other competitive analysis. SWOT may not help the business the businesses in grabbing the right opportunities and enhancing sustainable growth or development but can only enable them to identify internal or external factors (Day and Schoemaker, 2016).
From the above analysis, it can be concluded that SWOT analysis is only a particular stage of the process of business planning and as the number of complexities in various businesses have been increased in the new economy, therefore, most of the businesses have now started using the disruptive business models as well as the TOWS matrix. The SWOT analysis may not allow the businesses to carry in-depth research on the basis of which reliable decisions can be implemented. Further, it has been examined that SWOT analysis only involve the understanding of those issues which are related to the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, but the new economy requires the businesses to address various uncertainties. Therefore, the SWOT analysis does not fit to the new economy because it does not prioritise complex issues, does not generate and execute new and innovative ideas, does not provide alternative solutions to the business problems and does not possess the ability to produce relevant information and may result into non-useful information.
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