Strategic analysis, which incorporates evaluating a company's internal potential and assessing its external environment, is one of the more significant links in the process of working out strategic decisions. This is related to the conventional belief that management becomes strategic only when the external environment is not sufficiently determinate, is changeable (dynamic) and is hard to predict, with the company forced to organize its course of behaviour taking account of the changing environment. A tool employed to track all possible changes from without and assess the company's potential internal reactions to these changes is strategic analysis.
The relevance of the problem under consideration is proved by the fact that the research into the issues of strategic human resources management is currently carried out in many countries of the world (Fumasoli, 2014). Many of the works are devoted to studying the experience of strategic personnel management in Chinese corporations (Zhu & Su, 2014; Zhu & Xia, 2015; Sun, 2012; Zhang et al., 2009). Still, the authors justify the need for strategic analysis and personnel management differently: starting with the need to build competitive strategies (Zhang et al., 2009) and ending with the importance of preventing corruption (Soehari & Budiningsih, 2017). Some scholars consider common practices, their evolution and perspectives (Siddique, 2004) individual studies highlight the philosophical component of the strategy (Gao, 2011). Many studies are devoted to the consideration of individual instruments of strategic personnel management (Hollenbeck & Jamieson, 2015; Seidel, 2011). There are a large number of applied researches, the authors of which are making attempts to adapt the general theoretical and methodological tools to the conditions of functioning of various branch subjects (Jain, 2005; Hitka et al., 2017).
When it comes to implementing strategic analysis in oil-and-gas companies, it is worth noting the high degree of its complexity, which is due to the following:
The complexity of companies' internal structure (there being multiple levels and multiple rearrangements-links in the technological chain), the scale of their activity (these are large businesses and joint-stock companies, most of which are public), the wide geographic dispersion of the business's strategic units and its business zones and business units, the technological complexity of most production processes and the latter's considerable capital intensity.
The great number of external (micro-and macro-level) factors which need to be taken into account in putting together a strategy: natural/climatic, geographic, communications, environmental, economic, political, technological, organizational/managerial, etc.
Further, the complexity of conducting strategic analysis is undoubted, regardless of what type or level of strategizing one is talking about. That is, it is as much hard work to analyse the environment in developing one's HR strategy as it is to put together one's overall corporate strategy, as all the above-mentioned circumstances, which determine the complexity of analytical procedures, apply to the HR sphere as well.
The current spectrum of tools for strategic analysis is quite sizable and can be structured around key stages in the strategic decision-making process (Deberdieva & Lenkova, 2011). Further, the findings from a detailed study and systematization of key existing approaches to the conduct of strategic analysis suggest that virtually all commonly known methodological techniques employed in putting together organizational strategies are applicable in the HR sphere as well. In some cases, one may need to adjust and adapt the tools to the special nature of the functional area in question, but, for the most part, these adjustments are quite plain and self-explanatory.
When it comes to the stage of analysis and determination of the company's mission and HR objectives, techniques and methods for establishing personnel's role and place in the mission, as well as for formulating the objectives in the HR sphere, are similar to general theoretical ones employed in classic strategic management (Lenkova, 2013). Among the more popular methods employed at this stage of the strategizing process are analysis of the company's goal-setting methodology, its system of objectives and the strategy it is currently pursuing, its model of the production/administrative system, its "objectives tree" and potential scenarios for its development; analysis of time series and...