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Discuss short and long term environmental factors that are likely to affect organizations and what strategies organizations can adopt to combat their impact

Latest posts by Prudence K. Magezi(see all)

    Organizations do not operate in a vacuum, they operate in an environment that directly influences how they operate and achieve their goals. Business operations are greatly shaped by changes in the economy, laws, government changes, technology innovations, changing demographics as well as consumer habits. Irrespective of their size, every company is today operating in a difficult environment because of high competition, changing demographics, and a volatile economy. Over the last decade, a number of companies have collapsed while others have sold shares to avoid eventual loss. It has become essential for organizations to constantly scan their environment in order to keep up with the ever-changing environment and also forecast future changes which are likely to impact performance and dictate the survival or collapse of a company. This report will discuss environmental factors that are likely to affect business operations in the short and long term. The report investigated the impact of short and long-term environmental factors on an organization. The report also discussed strategies that organizations can implement to combat the impact of environmental factors. 

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    Environmental factors that are likely to affect organizations and what strategies organizations can adopt to combat their impact   Case Study


    Key Learning Outcomes

    By the end of the case, students should be able to:

    • Discuss environmental factors, what they are, how they affect businesses, and how organizations can combat their impact 
    • Understand the different factors in the internal and external business environment that are likely to affect an organization's performance
    • Understand how to use environmental factors to forecast future performance and how an organization can formulate strategies based on these factors

    1.0 INTRODUCTION


    Organizations face a number of issues in form of internal and external environmental factors.  The internal environment of a business consists of factors, conditions, and forces within the Business organization that affect its performance. The internal environment defines the scope of a business organization which entails the strengths and weaknesses of the organization (Demirbag, 2006). An organization can leverage its strengths to gain a competitive advantage over competitors. On the other hand, weaknesses create strategic disadvantages for an organization and can affect its overall profitability. According to Mukherjee (2015), other internal factors that have an important bearing on an organization’s performance include an organization’s structure, the value system, technology capabilities, corporate culture, functioning of top management, physical resources, company mission and goals, and human resource quality. 
    External factors that are likely to impact an organization’s performance include political, economic which are macroeconomic and microeconomic in nature, social and technological. Today, issues related to environmental change are evoking an image of concern, creating opportunities for companies to be ahead of the competition. According to Wright (2002), political, technological, economic, social, and political changes also have dire economic effects on the general population with the turbulent business setting in which they have to operate as well. The author further stipulates that if an organization ignores changes in the environment, it can eventually compromise its financial profitability, and long-standing feasibility. The success of the company is thus dependent on its capability to manage these factors through the examination of environmental factors as well as the formation and implementation of business strategies based on them. 
    Although both internal and external factors are important, some strategists claim that external factors matter the most for a company’s success because strategy development is primarily dependent on seeking out attractive opportunities in the marketplace. However, those that claim the internal approach to be most important argue that an organization’s strategic capabilities should drive its strategy because it is on internal factors that unique and superior performance can be built (Johnson et al 2017). As the pace of global competition and technological change escalate and the economy becomes more volatile, companies that fail to respond to the changing environment will have fewer survival changes in the long run. 
    When analyzing environmental factors affecting businesses, it is essential for managers to identify key drivers for change in an industry or sector as this helps them to focus on the most important factors which must be addressed most urgently. Without a clear understanding of these factors, managers will not be able to take the strategic decisions that allow for effective responses. When responding strategically to the environment, the goal of managers should be to reduce identified threats and take advantage of the best opportunities. 

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