Strategic Management > PEST Analysis

PEST Analysis

A PEST analysis is an analysis of the external macro-environment that affects all firms. P.E.S.T. is an acronym for the Political, Economic, Social, and Technological factors of the external macro-environment. Such external factors usually are beyond the firm's control and sometimes present themselves as threats. For this reason, some say that "pest" is an appropriate term for these factors. However, changes in the external environment also create new opportunities and the letters sometimes are rearranged to construct the more optimistic term of STEP analysis.

Many macro-environmental factors are country-specific and a PEST analysis will need to be performed for all countries of interest. The following are examples of some of the factors that might be considered in a PEST analysis.

Political Analysis

Economic Analysis

Social Analysis

Technological Analysis

The number of macro-environmental factors is virtually unlimited. In practice, the firm must prioritize and monitor those factors that influence its industry. Even so, it may be difficult to forecast future trends with an acceptable level of accuracy. In this regard, the firm may turn to scenario planning techniques to deal with high levels of uncertainty in important macro-environmental variables.

Strategic Management > PEST Analysis

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