عوامل تجزیه و تحلیل SWOT مورد استفاده در شرکت های نرم افزاری خرد، کوچک تا متوسط و بزرگ :: یک مطالعه اتریشی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|948||2002||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||6240 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : European Management Journal, Volume 20, Issue 5, October 2002, Pages 562–573
Many companies are conducting a SWOT analysis as part of the strategic planning process to identify the organisations’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats before proceeding to the formulation of a corporate strategy. This paper reports on the results of an empirical survey and seeks to identify differences in SWOT analysis factors between micro, small-to-medium and large software enterprises. A questionnaire was used to interview a random sample of key executives in 174 Austrian software enterprises. The important role of micro and small-to-medium software enterprises is outlined in an overview of the Austrian computer software industry. The empirical results show, that in general, almost every identified discriminating endogenous success factor is viewed more negatively by managers of micro-enterprises compared to larger firms. In return, managers of Austria’s large software enterprises perceive major barriers to companies growth in the business environment. Due to the highly globalised nature of the software industry, the findings are also applicable for other countries in the European Union.
The economic and industry analysis literature is characterised by an emphasis on a new knowledge-intensive era of economic activity (OECD, 1996, OECD, 1999, Marceau et al., 1997 and Sicklen et al., 1998). Knowledge is the ‘driver of productivity and economic growth’ and ‘there is a new focus on the role of information, technology and learning in economic performance’ (OECD, 1996). The software industry, which will be investigated in this article, is a knowledge industry. Its major product is knowledge itself and its major output is research which translates into new products and services. The growing economic activity in knowledge- and technology-intensive sectors is already translating into rapidly expanding output and employment growth. Information and communication technology intensity (ICT expenditures/GDP) is rising in OECD countries and reached almost 7 per cent on average in 1997. The software market has shown rapid growth and together with services dominates the IT market with a share of around 55 per cent of the total (OECD, 2000a). The software industry growth market has created many opportunities for software companies. But globalisation, the acceleration of technological change and innovation have also created threats. To survive in this new environment, many firms have had to become more responsive to change. One reason for the success of smaller businesses is their ability to adapt rapidly to new circumstances (Vickery, 1999), which is the foundation of continued competitiveness in the dynamic environment of IT companies. A key characteristic of the IT industry in general is its fast clockspeed, fast innovation and short life cycles (Fine, 1998, Mendelson and Pillai, 1998 and Mendelson and Pillai, 1999). Scholars in economic sciences have focused on the role of SMEs in economic development, especially on the contribution of SMEs to total innovation output (Acs and Audretsch, 1991, Acs and Audretsch, 1988, Foster, 1986, Keeble, 1996, Isaksen and Smith, 1997, Pavitt et al., 1987, Sandven. 1996 and Scherer, 1984). In OECD countries over 95 per cent of enterprises are SMEs. They account for 60–70 per cent of jobs in most countries. In the European Union, SMEs provide employment relating to two-thirds of all EU jobs. In Japan, 78 per cent of jobs are provided by such firms. Common to all countries is the vital role in job creation played by SMEs (OECD, 2000b). The increasing importance of SMEs in economic growth, job creation, regional and local development is also recognised by government committees (Bologna Charter, 2000). The software industry has received surprisingly little attention, given the size of the industry, its rapid growth and apparent importance. The aim of this article is firstly to give an overview of the Austrian software industry with a special view to the role of different sized software enterprises. Secondly, to investigate differences in SWOT analysis factors; respective strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats between three different types of enterprises: Micro (ME), small-to-medium (SME) and large organisations (LE). Due to the highly globalised nature of the software industry the findings can also be very informative for other countries in the European Union.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
7.1. Micro Enterprises The internal capability to internationalise improves, not surprisingly, with the size of the organisation and constitutes the most differentiating endogenous factor concerning the size of the company. Also the perceived opportunities of potential exogenous growth drivers regarding market size/expansion increased with the size of the organisation, i.e. for MEs the external factors ‘EU domestic market’, the ‘break-up of the former eastern bloc’ and the ‘EU east expansion’ have a low effect on business success. These deficiencies of smaller organisations (together with other subjects related to at a later point) also show up in a framework proposed by (Marceau et al., 1997) consisting of a set of ‘complementary assets’, which need to be considered for small and very small organisations to comply with their special threats. Marceau’s framework implies that marketing and distribution skills and mechanisms for products are usually weaknesses in smaller organisations, which especially applies to Austrian software MEs. The financial resources are regarded as a major weakness for MEs. The internal ability to attract capital, especially venture capital, decreases with the size of the organisation. This proposition is further strengthened by the multivariate statistical analysis applied, which showed that the factor ‘equity capital situation’ (together with ‘internationalisation’) differs most between company sizes. Small organisations usually do not have the opportunity to use sophisticated types of finance techniques because they either don’t have access to the required expertise or because the type of enterprise prevents or exacerbates ways to provide capital such as the acquisition of and participation in companies by venture capitalists. Also the inability to spread risk over a portfolio of projects can represent large financial risks. In Marceau’s framework this potential weakness is referred to as ‘access to adequate finance’ (Marceau et al., 1997). In general, almost every identified discriminating endogenous success factor is viewed more negatively compared to SMEs and LEs. Only the price levels are judged as constituting a relative strength. While SMEs have the highest price levels, these are lowest in MEs. Maybe to compensate for trust handicaps compared with larger organisations. Small software companies often have problems signalling the future capability to maintain and service the supplied product. 7.2. Small-to-Medium Enterprises An area related to knowledge resources cannot be found in Marceau’s framework. Intellectual capital whether in R&D, technological innovation, managerial and worker training, work-place organisation or market knowledge is crucial for business success in knowledge intense industries (Vickery, 1999) such as the software sector. The empirical findings showed differences in knowledge-related areas: Both endogenous factors ‘employee qualification’ and ‘knowledge embedded in company’ were rated differently by managers between company sizes. In general, the situation is regarded as positive, but in comparison with MEs and LEs, SMEs seem to have an advantage regarding knowledge resources in the Austrian software industry. The EU domestic market is viewed as a major opportunity by managers of Austria’s SMEs and was also identified as a factor contributing significantly to discriminating between company sizes. 7.3. Large Enterprises In general, and in contrast to the situation in MEs, managers of LEs view many discriminating endogenous success factors as relative strengths compared to SMEs and MEs. The most pronounced strengths are the financial resources, internationalisation capabities and the business process quality, which all improve with the size of the organisation. But on the other hand the business environment is perceived as containing major barriers to a company’s growth in LEs. Problems in the area of labour legislation tend to be more pronounced for larger software enterprises in Austria. This was also identified in 1991 by a similar study also conducted by our research department (Janko and Stöger, 1992). Austria’s LEs experience a more intense rivalry compared to smaller organisations. The reason might be that LEs are more exposed to global competition than smaller players in niche markets. Also the maturity level of e-business applications in Austria is criticised more strongly by LEs. Demand for IT skills clearly outmatches the existing supply of IT professionals in Austria (Janko et al., 2000) as well as in other major software markets (EITO, 2000). The skill shortage strongly affects the growth of the Austrian software market and tends to be more pronounced in LEs. The demand for IT skills in Austria depends on the skill level provided. The majority of the missing IT professionals should be highly skilled (68 per cent). Only 22 per cent are expected to be medium skilled IT workers and 10 per cent low skilled IT specialists (Janko et al., 2000). An explanation for the skew distribution can be deduced from the main characteristic of knowledge intense industries. Their major product is knowledge and knowledge resources are primarily embedded in employees. The key factor to business success is therefore a highly skilled and motivated workforce. 7.4. Summary After a theoretical introduction and an overview of the software industry with an emphasis on the different role of micro, small-to-medium and large software enterprises, a company-related view of factors contributing to success or failure of Austrian software enterprises was given, again with the aim of illustrating dissimilarities between different sized companies. The findings were classified from an endogenous viewpoint, showing the strengths and weaknesses and an exogenous viewpoint, illustrating opportunities and strengths. All analysed factors need to be considered by managers in a SWOT analysis as part of the strategic planning process before proceeding to the formulation of a corporate strategy. Due to the highly globalised nature of the software industry the findings provided can also be applied to other countries in the European Union. Other areas being investigated at our research department comprise problems which micro and small-to-medium software enterprises face in terms of investing in innovation and the area of inter-company collaboration and joint ventures. Current forms of inter-firm co-operation, factors affecting the extent of co-operation and the impact on business success will be examined to counterpart the consensus building on the importance of collaboration between firms, particularly SMEs. A further related direction for empirical studies are business process characteristics of micro and small-to-medium enterprises contributing to higher performance suitable for benchmarking software companies. These results could then be combined to form a coherent framework for the special attributes and needs of micro, small-to-medium and large-sized software organisations in assisting professional managers, especially from young firms entering the market, to develop a successful corporate strategy to survive in the dynamic European business environment.