Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2011, Hull, UK, Proceedings of the 55th Annual Meeting of the ISSS

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The Causal SWOT Analysis Using Systems Thinking As A Tool for Situational Analysis Workshop

Koichi Takahashi, Takashi Maeno


SWOT analysis is a tool for current situational analysis on organizational activities. It was developed as a framework to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of internal environment as well as opportunities and threats of external environment. Each quadrant in the framework explains its corresponding factors. On the other hand, the TOWS Matrix is developed as a tool for developing alternative strategies based on current situational analysis. The characteristic of the TOWS matrix is developing strategies that matches external environment according to the cross-tabulation table called Interaction matrix. Previous studies on both tools show that they have something in common, that is, with regards to the subject, they sort out factors in its corresponding quadrant and spot the problem present with the permutation analysis method. Also, with the TOWS matrix, alternative strategies are developed based on current situational analysis. The Causal SWOT analysis is a workshop technique that aims to share the perception about the present state and makes use of the concept of Causal loop and Leverage Point in Systems Thinking. In The Causal SWOT analysis, internal variables related to subject and cause-and-effect-relationship of external variables is tied together with an arrow. The arrows showing the cause-and-effect relationship between variables are saved for the decision making process. While viewing the causal relation chart that has many arrows, participants discover independent variable that has multiple dependent variables. According to the leverage point specified, verification is done with regards to holding the workshop a few times so as to convince participants.

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