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Scanning the business external environment for information: evidence from Greece

Author(s): L. Kourteli

Journal: Information Research: an international electronic journal
ISSN 1368-1613

Volume: 11;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 242;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Keywords: Environmental scanning

Introduction. This paper examines the business external environment scanning theory for information in the context of Greece. Method. A questionnaire was developed to explore the relationships between general and task business environment, perceived uncertainty, scanning strategy, and sources of information with respect to type of environment, size and industry.The research was based on a sample of 144 private organizations operating in North Greece. Analysis. Data collected were analysed using SPSS. The statistical procedures of chi-squared homogeneity test, ANOVA, Duncan's test of homogeneity of means, and related samples t-test were followed for testing the hypotheses developed. Results. The results show that perceived uncertainty of the general and task business external environment factors depend on the type of the environment, size of organization, and industry where the organizations operate; organizations adapt their scanning strategy to the complexity of the environment; personal sources of information seem to be more important than impersonal sources; external sources of information are equally important with internal sources; and higher levels of environmental uncertainty are associated with higher levels of scanning the various sources. Conclusion. Business external environment scanning of information is influenced by the characteristics of the organizations themselves and by the characteristics of the external environment within which the organizations operate. The study contributes to both environmental scanning theory and has important messages for practitioners.
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