Effects Of Socio Culture And Technology on Business
One aspect of the business environment that most people do not take into serious consideration is the effect our socio cultural environment as well as the technological advances has on us and our business venture.
You will agree with me that a society without a culture is as good as a society without an identity, especially in this part of the world. In all our business plan and feasibility study, there is this factor of business location that we always stress on, apart from being close to the market, close to the raw material etc.
The conflict of culture also comes to play. In some part of Nigeria, you may not be able to successfully own or run a beer parlour due to the culture of these areas, much so in the case of technological advancement, new ways of doing things are being invented.
Socio relations and values of societies differ from one another. So does believe systems, norms and values. Therefore, the socio-cultural issues offer differing dimensions as entrepreneur move from one environment to another. However, the socio-culture elements o the external environment include class structure and mobility, definition of social roles, nature of the social organization, development of social institutions, lifestyle change, attitudes to work and leisure, consumerism; levels of education and other demographic characteristics of the society in which the organization exists.
Cultural issues of importance embedded in the socio culture environment include ideologies, value and norms of the society. It also envelops views on authority relationships, leadership patterns, interpersonal relationships and rationalism. The socio-cultural elements gives focus and meaning to the type of products or services to be offered, quality and quantity of such products and services, channels of advertisement and distribution to be adopted.
The price structure is also defined by the socio cultural elements. These elements as well determine the calibre, characteristics and availability of manpower in a society. This suggests why it is possible to have a particular quality and type of manpower in a particular society. In line with this view has been observed that it is imperative, for instance, in Nigeria, to obtain a description of the foundational structure of the national world of Nigeria workers which necessarily requires an examination of their traditional material cultures both home and in the traditional workplace.
Their natural belief system which is structured by myth, legends and influence of gods and ancestral spirits, their culture value and norms, thought system and total world view. This is because the social being of the Nigerian is an absolute reflection of the interrelationship between all these foundational structures, which ultimately culminates in this level of social consciousness. Entrepreneurs ought to understand the material cultures prevalent in the society in which their organisations operate.
More especially, if they must properly identify opportunities and threats that could be orchestrated by socio cultural elements. For example, till in the near future, the issue of consumerism has not been as a socio-culture threat as is applicable in the western world because of low general literacy level of the population as well as the degree of sophistication and specialization in the educational system. Consumerism is a reaction to unethical and unfair practices in the marketplace.
It is a reaction to scandals, quackery, poorly constructed and hazardous products, false and inadequate labeling of products, misleading advertisements and over priced goods and services. Consumerism emphasizes the need for business organisations to have a sense of responsibility and to respect consumer’s interest and public opinion.
The Nigerian government through National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) has fervently tried to protect consumer’s interest despite the lackadaisical attitudes of consumers to consumerism. Presently, It seems that consumers are hoodwinked and out priced especially in the communication industry, before long organisations will learn to be sensitive to the feelings of consumers in order to accomplish set objectives.
Entrepreneurs must have knowledge of the socio-cultural variables and their directions in the environments in which they operate in order to effectively satisfy demand.
In any society or industry, the level of technology plays a significant role in determining what products and services will be produced, what equipment will be used and how various operations will be managed.
Perhaps that is why technology has remained the most pervasive element among all others. Technological developments are not only the fastest unfolding but the most far-reaching in extending or contrasting opportunity for an established organisation. Technology is the method of doing things; it is the complex of techniques through which an organisation accomplishes its goals and objectives.
Technology has two major components which are equipments and knowledge processed by the employers and employees within the organisation. Technology includes inventions, techniques and the vast store of organised knowledge about everything in human environmental and organisational sustainability. In organisational perspective, technology influences the method of doing things, how goods are designed, produced and distributed as well as how services are rendered.
Technology has impact on new products, new machines, new tools, new materials and new services. As a result, it has been observed that every new technology reduces the value of the one it has replaced or preceded it. For instance, the use of computers has reduced the value of type writing machines, colored television has reduced the value of black and white television.
The forgoing analysis portends that any organisation that fails to keep abreast of the technological developments in its industry is bound to reduce its market share drastically. Entrepreneurs are in constant analysis of the present and future technological trends in their industry and how to avail themselves of it.