This article investigates the extent of environmental scanning activities at South
African enterprises. The literature review discusses environmental scanning
variables and steps in the environmental scanning process. In the empirical survey a
questionnaire was e-mailed to the CEOs of 1000 South African enterprises, on 20
March 2015 asking them to return the questionnaire before 30 April and a response
rate of 32.5% was achieved. Ninety five per cent of the respondents indicated that
they regarded the competitive situation in South Africa as intense or very intense and
most respondents were convinced that they coped above average with changes in
the business environment. Only 30% of respondents had a separate environmental
scanning department and only 27% had a formal environmental scanning system.
Annual reports, market research reports, newspapers and trade journals were the
most important secondary information sources, while customers, sales staff and
suppliers were the most important primary information sources. All entities
responding used competitor analysis, industry macro-environmental analysis and
SWOT analysis to analyse environmental information.