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Environmental Scanning as a Method

MASTER DEGREE PROGRAMME
Product Design and Technical Communication

Environmental Scanning as a Method
SUBMITTED AS A PROJECT REPORT

to obtain the academic degree of
Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSc)
by
Miguel E. Noriega
Nursultan Belkhojayev
2016-02-21

Priv. – Doz. Dr. Karl Heinz Leitner

Environmental Scanning as a Method

CONTENTS
1

2

3

4

Introduction...........................................................................................3
1.1

Question.....................................................................................................3

1.2

Problem statement......................................................................................3

1.3

Overview and structure..............................................................................3

Literature review...................................................................................5
2.1

Description of envioronmental scanning...................................................5

2.1.1

Types of environment.................................................................................5

2.1.2

Factors and approaches..............................................................................6

2.2

Methods & techniques...............................................................................7

2.2.1

Introduction................................................................................................7

2.2.2

Quick Environmental Scanning Technique (QUEST).............................10

2.2.2.1

Advantages and disadvantages.................................................................12

2.2.3

Trend Extrapolation.................................................................................12

2.2.3.1

Advantages and disadvantages ................................................................14

2.2.4

Text mining..............................................................................................14

2.2.4.1

Tools for Text mining analysis.................................................................16

2.2.4.2

Advantages and disadvantages.................................................................17

2.2.5

Bibliometric.............................................................................................18

2.2.5.1

Advantages and disadvantages.................................................................18

2.2.6

Patent analysis (patent bibliometrics)......................................................18

PRACTICAL APPLICATION/ EXCERCISES...............................20
3.1

Definition and scope of the case..............................................................20

3.2

Assumptions.............................................................................................20

3.3

Results......................................................................................................20

SUMMARY.........................................................................................21
4.1

Synthesis of theory and practice..............................................................21

4.2

Main findings...........................................................................................21

4.3

Implications for theory and practice........................................................21

4.4

Further Studies.........................................................................................21
1

............Environmental Scanning as a Method 5 Bibliography.............................................................22 2 ................

After that. According to (Slaughter. Following. Different organizations admit the importance of Environmental scanning for different purposes. 1.? 1. 2002) It is also important to mention that the improvement is not dependent on type of organization applying the Environmental Scanning . improvement of quality of investment decisions and many others. researches provide evidences that the use of Environmental scanning improves organizational performance. Environmental Scanning thus is used to reduce future uncertainty or develop responsive strategies. it will analyze different tools used that are considered most relevant for the SME´s.Environmental Scanning as a Method 1 INTRODUCTION This paper discusses different instruments used by organizations to set their environmental scanning.2 PROBLEM STATEMENT The big question that the researchers are trying to solve here is what can a Small or medium enterprise that does not posses the advantage of having enough cash for investment in R&D do to realize environmental scanning? 1. the paper will present the methodology and empirical research made 3 .1 QUESTION What tools or methods of environmental scanning have the highest Benefit/Cost ratio for SME´s. Environmental Scanning is often defined as an area which unites the future foresights with the strategy of the organization. (Choo. 1999) Environmental Scanning helps to figure out the most valuable “signals out from the environment of the organization.both companies and public sector organization see it as an effective instrument to drive their strategy planning. including export of the goods.3 OVERVIEW AND STRUCTURE The structure presented will first analyze environmental scanning as a while concept. Overall. provided that the criteria are established and people are trained to identify those signals.

Environmental Scanning as a Method for answering the question. Lastly. 4 . the researchers will present the findings and recommendations as well as further studies for answering the question.

It usually is complex and consists of many factors influencing each other. Human Resources quality and skills also influence the Internal Environment. So.1. Understanding the core business. Other important internal factor is R&D and Technological Capabilities. The degree of Board of Directors professionalism and its structure as well as the rest structures have a great important influence on overall Internal Environment.1 2. also known as task environment or operating environment. marketing 5 . which are categorized according to the degree of type of influence on performance of the organization.Environmental Scanning as a Method 2 LITERATURE REVIEW 2. External Environment is another major of signals for the Environmental Scanning. To sum up: all the factors above have a direct influence on the quantity and quality of Signals that organization is able to get internally. Another important internal factor to be considered is Mission and objectives of the organization. its business policies and processes as well as corporate culture. philosophy and policies influences the results of internal environment a lot. its priorities and direction of development. factors directly influencing the performance are part of its so called “micro-environment”. Those are usually: suppliers. Management structure and organizational structure are internal factors to provide some important clues. It usually also consists of several factors.1 DESCRIPTION OF ENVIORONMENTAL SCANNING TYPES OF ENVIRONMENT Environmental scanning assumes scanning of both External and Internal signals and their further transformation into valuable basis of strategy. One of the most important factors is Value System of the company. Internal signals are results of what internal environment provides to scanners. Value system has influence on the mission of the organization. Their level of commitment is crucial in providing the Signals to be analyzed further.

Often also called as “active approach” (Maheran. 2009) this approach this mostly implied by the organizations that are allocating substantial resources into research and focus on testing and/or manipulating the environment.1. socio-cultural environment and demographic situation. government. both internal & external of 6 . influencing all groups of microenvironment of the organization and covers wide range of forces: economic situation and policy in the country. According to Kubr there are three main approaches to scanning including: systematic. Another important group is “macro-environment”. (Kazmi. and international environment. It consists of forces. Technological environment is another vital parameter of External environment of organization.. competitors. It does not directly influence the performance of the organization but might have important influence. ad-hoc and processed form. 2005) Systematic approach assumes that information related to customers or changes in regulations as well as other factors from the external environment mentioned in Chapters Internal Environment and External Environment should collected continuously to monitor changes. customers. that can further become trends or Mega-Trends. When combined together “macro” parameters are also called “mega” environment of organization. Thus current strategy can be assessed as well as new projects might be started.2 FACTORS AND APPROACHES There are different factors and approaches toward realization of Environment Scanning. also known as “societal environment”. Ad-hoc approach assumes that special surveys and studies are conducted to solve specific tasks.Environmental Scanning as a Method intermediaries. et al. This group has considerable impact on long-term performance of the company and obviously can be a source of signals for the organizations. All of them can be important source of Signals. 2. Processed form approach assumes that organization making the Environmental scanning gets information that is available from secondary sources.

factors and approaches of environmental scanning. 1989). According to Kubr the factors to be considered in the Environmental scanning are events. 2005). With this knowledge the seminal paper will later examine how to decide which method to use in which circumstance. Issues are current reactions of environments as a form of response to events and trends. The approaches further. The author classifies events as important events influencing particular segments. This section will also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each method and technique. (Morrison. Expectations are expectations of interested groups. while systematic regular approach is an extreme instrument to predict the earliest changes in the environment and develop strategy while being extremely quick at realizing the potential of the change. issues and expectations. This approach is also often called “passive” and is used by organizations that tend to interpret the environment rather than form it. trends are general tendencies or “courses of actions along which the events take place (Kazmi. Further. combining several types of instruments when necessary. The informal could represent reactive approach to the changing environment.2. can be ranged from informal ways including informal assessment to highly systematic regular formal researches. Factors.Environmental Scanning as a Method the organization in processed form. Many organizations choose the corresponding type of instrument depending on the type of uncertainty. et al. 7 . In this section the discussion will be center in different methods and techniques that have been developed over time. 2..2 2. trends. Is important to understand that this techniques and methods do not have as a goal to predict the future but merely forecast the probabilities of plausible futures.1 METHODS & TECHNIQUES INTRODUCTION In the previous sections this paper provided with different definitions. Finally.

U. needs. 1967) explains the terms and why they should be an integration for both of the: “Exploratory technological forecasting starts from today's assured basis of knowledge and is oriented towards the future. 1996) Erich Jantsch. missions..U. etc. ultimately. and works backward to the present . The full potential of technological forecasting is realized only where exploratory and normative components are joined in an iterative or." In this paper is important to understand the distinction between both. (Burgelman. A clear diagram of the differences of both can be found in the Online foresight guide of the Joint Research Centre of the European Union. (Jantsch. Despite both techniques want to achieve the same. (Joint Reserach Centre of the E...Environmental Scanning as a Method Mainly there are two ways of classifying forecasting: exploratory and normative. et al.. desires. while normative technological forecasting first assesses future goals. Exploratory technique Source: (Joint Reserach Centre of the E. the way they achieve this is different. in a feedback cycle. in his book of technological forecasting.) 8 .) Figure 1.

As Morrison and Mecca (1989) stated: “Exploratory forecast defines our expectation. In the case of the normative techniques the researchers define one desired future and elaborate events that are necessary for that future to happen. Normative technique Source: (Joint Reserach Centre of the E. do they have face validity? − Plausibility: To what extent are the results consistent with what the organization knows about the world and how it may work in the future? − Policy relevance: If the forecasts are plausible. practical and clear? − Intrinsic credibility: Do the results "make sense".) The arrows in Figure 1 can help the reader to understand how the explorative techniques is based on present trends and trying to observe how these can evolve in different possible futures. (Burgelman. Once develop this the techniques tend to analyze the probabilities of this events to really happen.U. not our preference. if required.Environmental Scanning as a Method Figure 2. hence the probability of the desire future to happen. currently. hence the arrow pointing to different alternatives.” While Figure 2 show arrows going backwards. 1984) (the following summarized list was extracted from (Hyde. for exploring policy options than other sources currently available? − Technical quality: Was the process employed in producing the forecasts technically sound?” 9 . to what extent will they affect the achievement of the organization’s mission? − Urgency: To what extent do the forecasts indicate the time that must be spent on initiating action. 1996) Lastly Boucher (1984) also proposed certain criteria’s to judge forecasts (Boucher. and implement the necessary changes? − Comparative advantage: To what extent do the forecasts provide an improved basis. et al.. 2000) : − “Clarity: Are the objects of the forecast and the forecast itself intelligible.

et al. These are: (i) preparation. Now that the reader understands that there are two mainly different ways of foresighting: exploratory and normative. examine. 2. 10 . but that's far from the truth. The technique assumes that managers of a corporation has a develop a view of the external environment. the paper will present an assortment of different methods and techniques for environmental scanning. 2001). The QUEST technique consists of 4 phases. It is easier to think that one method will deliver a better forecast than other.2 QUICK ENVIRONMENTAL SCANNING TECHNIQUE (QUEST) In 1982. In the paper it is explained how top executives have a major problem in managing change and complexity. This permits managers to decisions were to add more resources for further analysis.Environmental Scanning as a Method This questions should be made to each forecast resulting from any of the following techniques to be presented.2. This will filter the “good” forecast from the “bad” forecast (Boucher. et al.. (Boucher. (ii) divergent planning session (iii) scenario development. It describes how future research came to solve this particular problem but brought within high costs and long times of research. Each manager may have a different view of his environment. 1981).. Nanus developed the approach called QUEST. QUEST is a future research process that permits managers to understand quickly where are the high priority issues that need more attention. The technique also helps managers to add. As basis practitioners should remember this questions and use them to reject any forecasts that are not able to answer them properly regarding of the method employed. (iv) strategic options identification. Burt Nanus develop the Quick environmental scanning technique (Nanus. Is because of these reasons that Prof. and how to asses if a forecast is “good” or “bad”. but with the procedures proposed in QUEST the managers can share their views and develop a common understanding of what issues may have the biggest impact in the corporation. Prof. test and use these different views for strategic purposes. 1989).

a off-premises site is recommended. 1981) “intelligence file”. the team for the Divergent planning session is selected: usually consisting of top management or executives. purposes 11 . et al. This data is summarized in two sections of the report.. Also. a selection of a distraction-free site for the 2 phase.Environmental Scanning as a Method Figure 3. 2001) In the preparation phase. all the participants usually had already read the notebook or how Bindell called it (1981) (Binedell. is the 1-day retreat. By that day. scenario development. First the mission. (Gordon. its KPIs and what critical trends and events that can affect the future of the firm exist. is based upon the data gathered at the previous phase. QUEST process Soruce: (Nanus. Lastly. This retreat follows a structured series of discussions about definition of the business. divergent planning session. The third phase. a notebook containing the major environmental trends and events which are pertinent to the company is developed. 1994) The second phase.

1995). 12 . 2001) 2.Environmental Scanning as a Method and objectives of the institution. In this meeting also strengths and weakness of the firm are discussed and feasible strategic options to deal with the evolving external environments. (Nanus. they must fit this data in past known trends. ( (Weingand. The last phase. The forecasters will need to collect data over time. Lastly the strategic options are ranked and teams are formed to further develop the high priority strategies. et al. Most of the economy forecasts are based on this assumption. 2013)). Second a set of possible scenarios for the major issues that can impact the existence of the firm. In other words. so then they can extrapolate what is going to happen in the future.2. Strategic options identification. the assumption that the past includes all the information needed to predict the future. This data may be in form of variables or attributes. consist in holding a half-day strategy meeting to discuss the report develop in the third phase and decide what critical decisions should be made base on it.. This method takes as a major assumption that the future will be a projection of time series data of old time-series data.1 2. Once collected. (Cho.3 ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES TREND EXTRAPOLATION This is one of the most popular and simple method in exploratory forecasting.2.2.

in this case how the data will develop. There are three types of curve-fitting equations for trend extrapolation: linear. the polynomial equation is only used when the trend cannot be fitted in a linear or exponential equation.Environmental Scanning as a Method This process of fitting data in an already existing curve is crucial for the success of the trend extrapolation. While in the first to curves they are chosen because they mostly fit. This curves are based on the rate of how the future will develop. exponential and polynomial techniques. 13 .

(Cho. This is used mostly as a starting point of the discussion and support for later develop their own innovations.. 1993) Because this upper limit defines the composition of the graphic it is important to have previous Figure 5. As any of the fitting curves explain above. The only difference with the other curves expose here is that the hype cycle is not only an extrapolation of data but includes also a qualitative analysis from a panel of experts. the S-curve explains how a technology will develop over time employing historical data. et al. The main assumption in this curve is that the upper limit of the curve is known and represent the maximum growth a technology can bring. This is a curve made by Gartner research and advisory company. 2013) (Weingand. 2013). Another example of this curves can be Gartner hype cycle. As noted by (Rohrbeck. 14 . (Martino.Environmental Scanning as a Method One generally used technique in practical applications is the S-curve or growth curve. Gartner Hype cycle experience with similar technologies to be able to forecast this limit more accurately (Cho. et al.. 1995). 2014) this hype cycle is used by some firms mostly as a framework where the panel of experts of the firm discuss certain trends that are showed in the cycle.

Tokenization is about removing blank spaces and commas.” In the handbook differentiate with data mining due that this assumes that data is already structured. (b) stop word removal (c) stemming (d) Domain Analysis. ‘of’. full text documents or websites files between others. Normally companies stored their data in a structured way in the database. etc. 2013) The pre processing is divided into 4 steps: (a) tokenization.. also known as n-dimensional features. (ii) text transformation.3.2. The main idea of the first phase is to represent the textual data from a set of documents in a word-document matrix. sentences and paragraphs. To understand this better the reader have to be aware of three main different forms of storing data: (i) structure. (iv) text mining methods and (v) Interpretation/evaluation. (iii) feature selection. ‘is’.2.4 ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES TEXT MINING The text mining handbook by (Feldman.. Lastly stemming is the process of identifying the root of the words. The last two steps mentioned are also known as (ii) Morphological and Lexical 15 .Environmental Scanning as a Method 2. (Sumathy.1 2. As well as splitting the document into basic building blocks: words. text mining seeks to extract useful information from data sources through the identification and exploration of interesting patterns. 2013) The process of text mining can be described in three phases: (i) text preprocessing. (Rivera. While in the side of text mining the initial phase is responsible for transforming unstructured data into a structure format to be able to be study further. 2007) defined text mining as: “as a knowledge-intensive process in which a user interacts with a document collection over time by using a suite of analysis tools. While examples of semi structured or unstructured are e-mails. et al. et al. (ii) semi structured and (iii) unstructured.. Stop word removal involves removing XML tags as well as stop words such as ‘a’. et al. The rows of the matrix represent the documents and the columns represent all words in the document. In a manner analogous to data mining.

that is why the word features is equal to the number of different words in all of the documents. With this structure data the computer can start the fourth phase: text mining methods. In the paper of (Khadjeh.. 16 . The main disadvantage with this method is that the order and co-occurrence of words are completely ignored. where the main idea is to combine all the data collected from previous processes and create frames that describe relationships between entities. This phase is all about pattern identification and analysis of trends. information. One of them and the most used is the Bag-of-words model. The methods that can be applied here are clustering. classification. In the figure () it is possible to see the complete process of text mining. In addition. uses all words in a document for the analysis. Lastly it is the job of the researchers to analyze the results and understand how relevant this information is for the company. This model. et al.Environmental Scanning as a Method analysis and (iii) Syntactic Analysis (Feldman. et al. (Feldman. The third phase: feature selection or variable selection. prepared/ compressed and intermediate representation this paper has name them as feature selection. The last step of text preprocessing is domain analysis. et al. 2007).. 2014) it is presented that most of the studies chosen the bag-of-words as a methodology for text transformation. In this phase is needed to select and remove certain features. What the algorithm considered relevant should be selected and what is redundant should be removed.. In the figure processed document collection is the same as text transformation. 2007). between others. With the three steps before the unstructured data become a structure data. retrieval. The second phase: text transformation can be done from different methods.

et al. 2008) research of tools for text mining. 17 .Environmental Scanning as a Method 2.1 TOOLS FOR TEXT MINING ANALYSIS This subsection is based on (Yang..4.2.

RefViz™..Environmental Scanning as a Method There are many tools for text mining and what tool to use depends on the kind of data the researcher is going to input. Thomson Data Analyzer.. OmniViz and TEMIS. ClearForest. What could not be found by the authors of this paper is the quantity of small and medium enterprises using one of these tools. 2004) only 18 . Goldfire Innovator™ . the following tools are capable of handling it. While group 2 is more oriented to text mining (analyzing already structured data). source: (Yang. Lastly if the data the researcher poses is patent-focused or partially structured data the subsequent tools can be considered: Aureka®. Inxight®. If what you are handling is already structured text the next tools are able to analyze this data: Quosa™. If the input data is unstructured text. et al. 2008) The groups presented above can also be understood in a way that Group 1 is mostly what a text mining does (structuring and analyzing unstructured data). M-Cam Doors™ . Wisdomain or PatAnalyst. STN® AnaVist™. According to (Izquierdo. VantagePoint. And group 3 can handle some unstructured data but not all types of it. et al.

2. etc.2. Thereafter there has been a huge use of patent data to understand the processes of invention and innovation.. The method helps to explore. (Cho.4. et al.2. et al. 2013) 2. (v) analyze the database and (vi) analyze the database. year of publication) (iii) Search all scientific and technical publications for relevant articles (iv) load relevant data (article title.6 PATENT ANALYSIS (PATENT BIBLIOMETRICS) The first attempt to analyze patents with statistics was realized by Applebaum in 1920. abstract.5 BIBLIOMETRIC Bibliometrics or how was known before the 70’s statistical bibliography.5. is defined as the measurement of texts and information.2.2.). and research in literature) (Cho.. 2013) 2. Another benefit of this technology is that it can serve for identification of the most recent technology trends and discover hidden pattern with the necessary tags (authors. like group 1 while the SMEs do not have enough knowledge of this tools or possibilities to afford them.1 ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES One advantage of the bibliometrics is that it can help to measure the innovation management activity.. 2009). (Cho. The reasons are that R&D activity tends to generate reports and scientific papers that can be highly cited being an indicator of a scientific develop that is significantly important for literature. et al. Also other researches have used data on citations 19 . et al. et al. organize and analyze large amounts of historical data helping researchers to identify “hidden patterns” that may help the enterprise in the strategic decisions (Daim.2 ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES REal aplications of Text mining: … (oin my reference) 2. country. references given... author names. affiliations. 2013). 2013).Environmental Scanning as a Method the big industrial groups have considered or are using Text mining tools. (Cho. The basic process of bibliometrics is (i) define the technology area (ii) establish the problem domain (year.

). dominance. creator of three different analysis tools for technology forecasting defined “the battelle´s process of patent trend analysis.. (Karvonen.. date. patent categorization scheme. et al. citation data.Environmental Scanning as a Method made and received by patents to try to determine the process of technological accumulation. patent office classification. 2011) Battelle. due that this is a structured data like (type. patent analysis can provide a benchmark with competitors to analyze the performance of the innovation and R&D areas. (i) Define study objective. (vii) Interpret analysis results (innovation activity. 2003). (ii) Establish the problem domain (research framework. industries and firms. (v) Load patent data into software. (Saji. (Cho. et al. author. abstract review. portfolio analysis. In general. As well it is possible to analyze the performance of product development areas and technology development. full text review). (vi) Produce computer output.). about the importance of particular inventions and about the extent of knowledge sharing between regions. (iii) (iv) Obtain relevant patents (keyword. company characteristics. etc. between others). etc. 20 . 2013) This analysis can be made with bibliometrics or data mining.

3 RESULTS 21 .1 DEFINITION AND SCOPE OF THE CASE 3.Environmental Scanning as a Method 3 PRACTICAL APPLICATION/ EXCERCISES 3.2 ASSUMPTIONS 3.

3 IMPLICATIONS FOR THEORY AND PRACTICE 4.4 FURTHER STUDIES 22 .Environmental Scanning as a Method 4 SUMMARY 4.2 MAIN FINDINGS 4.1 SYNTHESIS OF THEORY AND PRACTICE 4.

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