External environmental scanning for an organization is the process of examining the external environment to determine trends and projections of factors that will affect the organization. It is closely related to the strategic planning process and serves as the basis for the forecast on which the plan is built. Assumptions about the future are derived from the plan.
The scan focuses primarily on the organization’s enacted environment. The task environment is scanned most elements outside the task environment are not ignored, but they receive less attention. Scanning is done to prevent information overload for decision-makers. Scanning should focus on providing relevant information for planning and decision-making.
The primary environmental areas that should be scanned for human resource management planning and decision-making are the labor market, legal environment, and technological environment. This does not mean that other elements, such as the international environment should be ignored.
It does mean that the three sectors identified tend to have a major impact on human resource decisions. Of course, if a firm has overseas operations, these three environmental sectors in other countries of operation need to be examined. Notice that the enactment and scanning process result in a narrowing or focusing on the external environment.
Role of strategic human resource management in the environmental scanning
Human resources are in the best position of any unit in the organization to scan the environment for human resource and labor market issues. Human resources makers. In fact, human resources may play a major role in making the decision.
Human resources also have the responsibility of obtaining internal organizational information for consideration by strategic decision-makers. Notice that the human resource unit plays a boundary-spanning role in that, it helps link the organization to its environment through scanning the environment.
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