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Textron’s Strategic Analysis Report

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Essay title: Textron’s Strategic Analysis Report

Textron’s Strategic Analysis Report

Economic Forces

Inflation and Interest Rates. Through the last several quarters the Federal Reserve and its former Chairman Alan Greenspan have made measured and consistent increases in the Fed Funds Rate. This is the rate at which banks borrow from each other on terms as short as overnight; it also serves as a basis for every other interest rate in the economy. As the economy has been heating up recovering from recession the Fed has been forced to continue to increase the Fed Funds Rate to keep inflation in check. Rising interest rates trying to hold back inflation has caused the cost of money in the U.S. economy to increase. The only incentive for the companies to borrow money to develop new technology is if they have some guarantee from the government to buy it when it is completed, but if the government keeps up its spending habit inflation will only get worse which simply compounds the problem of rising investment costs.

Private Sector. If we look to the private sector to see the effects of the economy of the last few years we’ll find that Boeing and Airbus, the only two major producers of commercial aircraft, both saw orders decline by 45% and 28% in 2001 as well as falling deliveries of 28% and 7% respectively (Yahoo! Finance). A few years later as the economy began to pick up, so did order for both companies. Airbus and Boeing for the last several years have had secret projects to develop the next plane of the future and both companies are just on the cusp of entering their creations into service Airbus’ A380 is due in 2007 and Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner is due in 2008. With traveler confidence on the rise there is no reason these companies as well as all the corporate jet manufacturers to have any losses. The economy is rising, more people are traveling, this will lead to businesses and consumers requiring, and paying for, more travel (Choe 2006). The airline industry is only a small example of the flexibility of our economy and its rising strength, evidenced by steady increases in GDP (Johnston & Williamson, 2006).

Sociocultural Forces

The influences from society and culture have a strong affect on how people behave. Our vastly changing society has caused many Americans to have a change in attitude and lifestyle. For a closer look at some of the more recent changes brought on by sociocultural forces, we examine several major issues: consumer confidence and terrorism and security.

Consumer confidence. Catastrophic events such as the hurricanes in the Southeast have had a major impact on consumer confidence (Cooper, 2006). Primarily, higher fuel prices have led to weaker demand in the automobile industry (Sprinzen & Schulz, 2005). Despite the major events in that have been influencing the economy, the New Year seems to bring hope for consumers. The consumer confidence index rose to 128.4 from 120.7 and “showed that more consumers in January than in December believed that jobs are available” (D’Innocenzio, 2006, p.1).

Terrorism and security. The United States Government continues to closely monitor the national threat level to prevent terrorist attacks and protect our homeland, but study from Columbia University reveals that “49% [of Americans’] reported being more concerned about personal and family safety with respect to possible terrorism” (The Marist Institute for Public Opinion, 2003, p.7). The study also exposes that “nationally, 41% lack confidence that the government is providing adequate airport security” (p.8).

Demographics

Women. There is an ever-increasing presence of women in the workforce. (The Importance of Sex, 2006) Women are stepping out in the working world to become one of the major parts of this diverse occupational society. Women are being placed in higher positions among their male counterparts, but are not presently holding as many top positions at corporate levels. The women are also no longer lagging behind in their education and career aspirations. Women are seeking to become degree holding citizens, as well as, holding upper management positions throughout firms and business enterprises.

Minorities. In such states as California, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Texas minorities are now the majority of the citizens residing in various major areas. (Moss, 2005) The minority population continues to increase as more and more immigrants continue to enter the borders of the United States. With this increase in immigration and simply the overall increase of the minority population with in the country, the workforce will eventually follow suit in the shift to a major minority increase.

The Older Crowd. The workforce is growing older as the baby boomers are reaching closer and closer to the retirement

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