Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats (SWOT)- Advantages and Limitations

  • SWOT is essentially only an analytical framework of the internal and external audit.
  • SWOT serves to structure basic information on projects, organisations and institutions.
  • SWOT facilitates a common understanding of the “reality” among different working areas within one organisation or between organisations and their clients, suppliers, peer groups, shareholders or superiors.
  • SWOT helps to delineate strategic options.
  • SWOT Analysis is a most effective and an objective way to determine how capable a company/organisation is, when it comes to surviving ‘threats’ and capitalising on ‘opportunities’.
  • SWOT can be used in a conference where the participants come from different locations and organizations.
  • SWOT can be used in a community or community based organization where the participants are unpaid and whose membership is based on residence.
  • SWOT can be used in an organization, such as an NGO, governmental department, or private firm, where the participants are paid staff.
  • SWOT often only amounts to nothing more than a poorly structured, very general, hastily conducted exercise that produces unverified, vague and inconsistent inventories of factors regarded by the proposing individuals as most important components of their organization’s strategic situation.
  • The way SWOT analysis is often conducted does not allow a proper communication, discussion, and verification of all external and internal factors proposed by all involved.
  • On such occasions, SWOT results prove a less reliable input to the strategy generation process than they are capable of being.
  • Sometimes the results of SWOT analysis are going to be used as an input to the strategy generation process. If that is known, or anticipated, by those involved in SWOT analysis, the quality of their inputs will most likely suffer and be lower than otherwise possible, and desirable.
  • SWOT can be a cause of what is considered an excessive formalization of the strategy making process.
  • Simple frameworks such as SWOT cannot, of themselves, ensure the necessary rigour of strategic analysis.
  • SWOT inventories are rarely modified for alternative strategy options.