A Process View of SWOT Analysis

Kuang-cheng Wang


The aim of this paper is to enrich the SWOT analysis by utilizing the five change stages of process development: birth, growth, harvesting, storage, and transformation. Each quadrant of the matrix of the SWOT model could be represented by one stage and the phases between stages correspond to transformation. The five-change processes originate from phases of the seasonal life cycle based on the Chinese Ying-yang and five elements theory. This study tries to establish a plausible bridge between Western two-dimensioned quadruple categories (2 x 2 frameworks) and Chinese five elements. In addition, integrating the concept of business life cycle with the SWOT analysis provides the policy maker with a dynamic approach to effective strategies. Finally, the managerial implications of each stage are discussed from the perspective of Chinese five elements.


SWOT analysis; five elements theory; Chinese systems thinking; business policy; management

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