BUSI4900 Walden University Week 2 Value Chain and Environment Analysis

BUSI4900 Walden University Week 2 Value Chain and Environment Analysis

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BUSI4900 Walden University Week 2 Value Chain and Environment Analysis

Week 2: Environment Analysis, SWOT Analysis, and the Value Chain

This week, you will engage in environmental scanning; explore the use of the value chain in strategic planning; and create a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis, which will assist you in choosing the correct strategies in Week 3.

Before moving forward, it is necessary to understand what awaits you “out there” (in the potential marketplace). This is accomplished in several steps, starting with environmental scanning. So what is this practice, and how is it accomplished?

Imagine yourself as a commander of a powerful modern submarine. Your vision is to have a world at peace. Your mission calls for you to sink all the enemy ships you can find, while keeping your submarine and its crew safe so everyone returns to home safely. The mission calls for you to remain submerged underwater for the duration of the voyage, yet still find enemy ships to sink and keep from being sunk while in the process.

To make sure you can accomplish your mission, you must use the periscope to see what is out there. That is called environmental scanning. The problem with a periscope is that it has only a limited 90-degree field of view. That means you have to continuously keep turning the periscope in a circular motion to see each quadrant of the environment around you. This is referred to as “external” or “macro” environmental scanning. The goal is to find ships to sink (opportunities) and keep from being seen by enemy warships trying to sink your submarine (threats). You quickly see enemy ships on the horizon and head toward them.

Next, you must look inside. This is “internal” or “micro” environmental scanning. Your strengths are the newness of the submarine, its weapons, and technology. Your primary weakness is that your crew is young and inexperienced.

Looking at the situation holistically (also called SWOT analysis), you decide to carefully proceed and attack the enemy ships one at a time. This is the beginning of a value chain analysis. In creating the greatest value to the battle, you appoint seasoned petty officers as managers over the young sailors, and carefully place most of your focus on the systems and technology you have to achieve your mission. As the enemy ships sink one by one, you achieve success. Your SWOT analysis has succeeded.

Important Planning Note

Much of the work for this course takes place in the Business Strategy Game (BSG) Simulation. Within this online program, time will be automatically calculated for the location of each student (e.g., Pacific Standard Time in California or Eastern Standard Time in New Jersey). However, all work that takes place in Blackboard (e.g., Discussions) is calculated in Mountain Time. Please make note of due dates and times for all assignments to be sure you stay on track.

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Analyze the use of analytical tools to help companies create a competitive market position
  • Contrast the differences between SWOT analyses and SWOTT analyses
  • Analyze the impact of competitive industry conditions on strategy development
  • Analyze concepts related to strategic planning and management implementation
  • Apply concepts related to strategic business management

Photo Credit: [Yagi Studio]/[DigitalVision]/Getty Images

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.


Thompson, A. A. (2014–2015). Strategy: Core concepts and analytical approaches (3rd ed.) [BSG electronic edition]. Burr Ridge, IL: McGraw-Hill Education.

  • Chapter 3, “Evaluating a Company’s External Environment” (pp. 32–62)
  • Chapter 4, “Evaluating a Company’s Resources and Ability to Compete Successfully” (pp. 64–88)

Borton, J. (n.d.). E-presentations [PowerPoint presentation]. Minneapolis, MN: Walden University College of Management and Technology.

Document: Week 2 Discussion 1 Template (Word document)

Document: Week 2 Discussion 2 Template (Word document)

Business Strategy Game (BSG) Simulation website:

Thompson, A. A., Jr., Reidenback, M. A., Stappenbeck, G. J., Harms, C. C., & Thrasher, I. F. (2014). The Business Strategy Game: Competing in a global marketplace. Retrieved from https://www.bsg-online.com/
Visit this website to read Chapters 1 and 2 of the course e-book course and to begin the Business Strategy Game (BSG) SIM. This simulation provides opportunities for you to make some of the difficult decisions often encountered by managers as they seek to execute the strategy that has been established by senior executives who are responsible to the shareholders.

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