Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Changing Environment of business

Today, the business environments have changed from the way it was years ago. The trends of globalization, diversity, networking, changing technology has strengthened the business activities and led the world into what is known as global village. Unlike earlier, the businesses today are more diversified with difference product lines and services. The products now can be marketed in not just a local market, but all over the world. The employers are more responsive, friendly and provide the employees, the freedom to work
independently. More importance is being given to the internal communication, ie between
the employer and employees, among employees, etc.
Attitude towards American business

Businesses in United States had positive as well as negative images. Hazardous working conditions in for steelworkers and railroad builders and the exploitation of young women and children working in factories in the 1860s drove negative perceptions of American companies. Successful businessmen like the Carnegies, Mellons, and Rockefellers were seen as “robber barons”. In the 1920s a rising stock market increased the gap between the rich and the middle-class which created unstable economic conditions. The Great Depression resulted from the stock market burst in 1929 negatively affected businesses and individuals alike. Starting with World War II, American companies could recover in the time of 1940s-1960s, known as the “golden age”. However, even recovering from the Great Depression and driving economic wealth in the United States, American companies suffered from fading confidence from the American population. The Vietnam War, the oil embargo, and Watergate reduced the confidence of the American people in businesses and institutions like the U.S. congress or the Supreme Court. Although the 1980s and 1990s represented the absolute economic boom in the 20th century, this perception of American businesses did not improve much. Several company scandals (Enron, Woldcom, Adelphia) and the burst of the “ bubble” in the 2000s did not help to improve the public negative perception of big businesses in the United States.

The Global Village

The changing technology and the trend of globalization have strengthened the communication channels all over the world. It has disintegrated the national borders for the corporate world to open up and led to the interdependence of the businesses around the globe. This has resulted in liberalization of trade and finance, disintegrating national borders and especially the creation of multinational corporations thThe relocation of work to cheaper countries and the exploitation and (sometimes) inhuman working conditions in low cost production countries has created a hostile attitude towards large global corporations. Technology which also helped globalization to develop now plays a big role in making information about negative conduct of global companies public. This resulted in the “Anti-Globalization” movement which extends beyond traditional union bodies to include young and old consumers, concerned parents and vocal student activists. Therefore, the businesses today should be prepared to handle the international media spotlight but also proacively use today's media environment to compromise their corporate reputation.
How to compete in a Changing Enviroment

Companies have to constantly deal with a changing environment in terms of changing attitudes of people towards their way of doing business. Corporations like Gillette, Nike and McDonald’s have experienced the challenges of increasing customer awareness for social responsibility. The next section provides steps to deal with it.

1. Recognizing the changing environment
2. Adapt to the Environment without compromizing principles
3. Not assuming that the problems will disappear magically
4. Keeping the corporate communication connected to strategy.


The fast pace of the changing technology was identified by Google which helped it to develop constantly and to become the number one search engine in the world.

Personal experience

There have been times when it was difficult for me to find or shop for articles. Now, it is very easy to find, compare and purchase goods and services over internet. This was when, for the first time, i noticed the changing environment of business. Another example from my personal experience is the use of Tally and other accounting softwares for the purpose of recording the accounts and transactions systematically.
Earlier, people used to record manually with journals and ledger books and now, it is very easy and effective to use these softwares.

Corporate communication-4th edition, Paul A Argenti

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