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Macro environment is the network of systems composed of culture, political and economic forces, technology, skill mixes, and consumer groups; a source of opportunities and constraints for the organization. Once the organization has built its product or defined its service, it must distribute it to consumer client groups who have wants and needs that they attempt to satisfy through the consumption of such products and services.
Every organization exists within an extensive and complex environmental network. Organizational environment refers to all groups, norms, and conditions with which an organization must deal. It includes such things as the political, cultural, economic, religious, educational, and like systems that affect an organization and which in turn affected by it. Table 1 provides a summary of environmental subcomponents.
Culture, composed of values, norms, artifacts, and accepted behavior patterns, affects the way the organization is formed and how it operates once in existence. Indeed, one must recognize that all of the decisions made in an organization are culture bound; i.e., they are a reflection of all these components of culture. Societal norms are those standards that mold behavior, attitudes, and values of those members who constitute a society. They come from laws, customs, religious teachings, and common practice. They are standards because members take them into account in their decisions and behavior. Dress, speech, what is considered to be in good taste, and the general understanding of what is right and wrong are all affected by societal norms. At the same time, almost every institution in a society is capable of transfusing some of its values, norms, and behavior patterns into its environment. Organizations can hardly afford to ignore such a vital ingredient in its macro environment.
Political forces are classified as the form and role of government in a society. The source of law and other regulations that restrict or at least affect the organization, the political system also is the source of a rich variety of services for the organization. These services range from fire and police protection to the provision of recreational areas. When one thinks of the governmental sector, one might be likely to think of its negative connotation and red tape. Although there is an element of restriction originating from the political sector, it is by no means dominant. Even though the presence of the political system has served to complicate management’s job, it has also made it easier at the same time. By knowing that all similar organizations must observe the same rules and regulations, managers can experience an element of certainty in their activity. They know that they have a source of protection and redress when violations do occur.
The political system is coupled with the economic system. The type of economy a society has can range from private enterprise to planned economy. Whatever its form, the economic system is concerned with the allocation of scarce resources and the provision of some form of distribution. It is, in practice, quite difficult to separate the political and economic systems from each other.
The macro environment is also the source of technology—the machines, techniques, and methods required for production and distribution. To be able to compete successfully, organizations must have access to modern technology. It is simply not feasible for an organization to compete unless an adequate level of technology is available to it. It can be safely stated that organization success is measured by the ability of the organization to adjust to and to employ technological innovations. Among their responsibilities, managers today must count the obligation to maintain a spirit of creativity and ingenuity among members so that continued progress on the technological front can be made. The ever-growing shortages of resources of all types are but one indication of the seriousness of this obligation.
Skill mix in the labor force is likewise an important facet of an organization’s macro environment. All organizations depend to some extent on a supply of labor that possesses the skill and ability to perform the work necessary to attain objectives. Consequently, labor market conditions and skill mixes are crucial to success.
The consumers are the ultimate arbiters of the organization’s success, for it is they who make the critical choices to consume or not to consume an organization’s output. Without the income (in whatever form) that results from this consumption, the organization is doomed to a relatively short life. This means that managers must be more aware of and sensitive to the total environmental complex of their organization in order to develop and implement plans for successfully coping with it. Otherwise, there is little chance for success, for по longer willyesterday’s methods based on a placid environment serve in today’s turbulent outside world.
1.What is macro environment?
2.Why is macro environment a source of constraints and opportunities for an organization?
3.What is «the most influential element» of the environment?
4.What element can people influence?
T E X T 6
Read the following text. Define its main topic. Divide the text into logical parts. Give the title to the text and to each part. Explain the meanings of the words and phrases which have been highlighted.
The study of economics would be incomplete without an understanding of the nation’s role in the world economy. The study of the world economy is known as “international economics”. International economics embraces two broad areas of interest: international trade and international finance. World trade has been gaining increasing significance among nations. Why do nations trade? The answer is that nations have different quantities and qualities of economic resources and different ways of combining them. As a result, each country can produce certain goods more efficiently, or at relatively lower costs, than others. This idea can be stated somewhat differently. Imagine a world consisting of only two countries, each producing the same goods. Under such circumstances, the alternative or opportunity costto each country of producing more of one good is the amount of the second good that must be sacrificed. In view of this, which of the two goods should the countries produce? The answer is that each should specialize.When two parties engage, the sacrifice that each makes to obtain something from the other is called the “terms of trade”. For example, in order to buy a book, you might have had to give up five visits to the movies. Your terms of trade, therefore, are 5 movies = 1 book. The terms of tradefor a given transaction equal the number of units of goods that must be given up for one unit of goods received by each party to the transaction. Or in other words, terms of trade are defined as the ratio of the prices of its export commodity to the price of its import commodity. Despite the fact that trade is of great importance for each nation, all countries impose restrictions of one form or another to protect some of their domestic industries. The restrictions may be of several types: tariffs, import quotas, nontariff barriers. Tariffs are customs duties or taxes imposed by a government on the importation of a good. Tariffs may be (1) specific, in the form of a tax per unit of the commodity, or (2) ad valorem, based on the value of the commodity. Import quotas are laws that limit the number of units of a commodity that may be imported during a specified period. Nontariff barriers are any laws or regulations, other than tariffs, that nations impose in order to restrict imports. For instance, to “protect the health and safety” of their citizens, many countries establish higher standards of quality for various kinds of imported goods than for similar goods produced domestically.
Ex.13. Insert the missing words given below.