Life is not always black and white. Business is exactly the same. It’s not black and white or a, what you see is what you get, type of adventure. It is complicated. It is hard to navigate as a business leader but necessary.
An organization’s environment includes factors that it can readily affect as well as factors that are beyond its control. The latter part of these factors are what are referred to as the general environment of a business. This environment includes the technological, economic, political and legal, and sociocultural dimensions of business. All come with their own unique, complicated issues that managers and leaders must stay in tune with because it will affect the level of success of a business. (Edwards, 2014; Gulati et al., 2017)
There are steps that managers can take to influence each one of the general environment forces. Technological forces are forces that affect the operations of a company through technological developments and new innovations in the industry. Managers can influence this force by developing research and development teams that will help to find the best way to leverage the technological developments and stay in the competitive game of business. They can also task a team with finding ways to innovate and update the products that they currently offer. Economic forces are forces that can impact the change in demand for the company’s product. Managers can work on influencing these forces by expanding in emerging markets and developing economies as they are more welcoming to businesses from outside investments. Political and legal forces impact the organization by the different regulations, rules, and policies that are put in place to regulate the operations of businesses. Managers can influence these forces by joining trade associations that will help them have an influence in government to business-friendly policies and help curb the regulations that are unfair to businesses. Sociocultural forces are forces that affect the products being offered by an organization because of changing social trends. A manager can influence these factors by being up to date with the current trends of the cultures and societies where they perform their business and modify their product line as well as change their marketing communications so that they align with the current trends. (Gulati et al., 2017)
In the world of business, the factors that affect societal preferences and values and behaviors are referred to as the sociocultural environment. This can be a rather difficult environment to navigate. To meet the demands of the consumer it is essential that your organization readily adapts to forces such as social values, traditions, beliefs, attitudes and demographics. This gets even more complicated on a global front because of the different values, beliefs, culture, etc., of different nations around the world. An organization’s advertising and marketing must be in touch with sociocultural changes and keep track of the pulse of societies you engage in business, in particular, their morals and values. This is what makes this part of the general environment so difficult. It is ever-changing and if businesses do not stay up to date on what is happening in the culture of where their businesses take place, they will fall behind of their competitors. (Gordon, 2017)
The general environment forces can significantly impact the way a company runs their business and managers are tasked with being aware of the changes that are happening in the world outside of them and influence the forces to reap the benefits for the organization. (Gulati et al., 2017)
Edwards, J. (2014, September 12). Evaluating the General Environment – Mastering Strategic Management – 1st Canadian Edition. Pressbooks. https://opentextbc.ca/strategicmanagement/chapter/evaluating-the-general-environment/
Gordon, J. (2017, November 21). Problems With Sociocultural Forces in Businesses. Small Business – Chron.Com. https://smallbusiness.chron.com/problems-sociocultural-forces-businesses-78141.html
Gulati, R., Mayo, A., & Nohria, N. (2017). MindTap – Cengage Learning. Cengage.Com. https://ng.cengage.com/static/nb/ui/evo/index.html?deploymentId=557615113112872025758405199&eISBN=9781305643673&nbId=2485825&snapshotId=2485825&dockAppUid=16&