Socio-cultural aspects of environment

The social aspect focuses on variables within the society.

Within the PEST model the ‘Social’ aspects can have a significant effect of the ability of a business to succeed in any chosen environment. Failure to understand how important these factors are can lead to poor performance. Read the report of EuroDisneys’s early challenges (Newell 2013) with French business culture.

Social trends, fashion and culture are all examples of what we would call ‘social factors’. These factors affect our attitudes, opinions, perception, cognition and interests, and can impact how we regard a product or service. This, in turn, can influence a business’s sales and strategy.

Social factors include:

  • Population size and rate of growth
  • Age distribution
  • Wealth and income disparities
  • Social mobility
  • Job market mobility and attitude to work
  • Health and education levels

Cultural factors include:

  • Language
  • Religion
  • Values and attitudes

A business should make efforts to track social changes and align their products and services with customers’ changing preferences. Not responding to social changes in the society can be fatal. The failure of Blackberry illustrates this point. Led by Apple and Android devices, smartphone users became more and more comfortable with touchscreen devices. BlackBerry failed to adapt to these changes and stuck with the idea of a physical keyboard on their devices.

Your task

Read the following article from the online Bloomberg Opinion news article titled: ‘China’s Aging Problem Is a Serious Threat to Growth’ (Orszag 2018).

Answer the following questions: Why and how would the ageing problem be a serious threat and affect China’s economic growth?

  • How will this influence multinational firms on whether they should invest in this market?

Share your comments in the discussion area.


References

Orszag. P (2018) ‘China’s Aging Problem Is a Serious Threat to Growth’. Bloomberg Opinion [online]. available from https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-11-28/chinese-u-s-growth-will-suffer-as-aging-shrinks-workforce [2 April 2019]

Newell, L.. (2013) ‘Mickey Goes to France: A Case Study of the Euro Disneyland Negotiations’. Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution [online] Vol. 15, 2013. available from https://cardozojcr.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Newell.pdf [2 May 2019]

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This article is from the free online course:

Macro Environmental Analysis and Business Strategy: An Introduction

Coventry University