Technological and Socio cultural dimension
The dimension of the general environment that includes scientific and technological advancements in the industry and society at large.
The technological dimension included scientific and technological advancements in a specific industry as well as in society at large. In recent years, this dimension has created massive change for organizations in all industries. Twenty years ago, many organizations didn’t even use desktop computers. Today, computer networks, Internet access, video conferencing capabilities, cell phones, PDAs, fax machines and laptops are practically taken for granted as the minimum tools for doing business. Technological advancements that make the Internet accessible to nearly everyone have changed the nature of competition and of organization’s relationships to customers. Many companies are adopting sophisticated e-business methods that use private networks or the Internet to handle practically all their operations. Communications and computing devices are getting smaller more powerful, and more affordable. One estimate is that 70 percent of the adult US population owned a mobile phone in late 2003,and the use of advanced features such as photo messaging is growing.
Other technological advances will also affect organizations and managers. The decoding of the human genome could lead to revolutionary medical advances. Cloning technology and stem cell research are raising both scientific and ethical concerns. High tech companies embedded with sensors that enable them to think for themselves are being used to earthquake proof bridges and highways as well as build better airplanes and railcars. Advances in nanotechnology which refers to seeing and manipulating matter at the level of molecules and atoms, will enable scientists to create amazing new materials – electronic, structural biological and medicinal. Examples, already in use include smart gels that mold to human needs on cue, self repairing optical coatings and cleaners that repair a surface at the molecular level while cleaning it.
Socio cultural dimensions:
The dimensions of the general environment representing the demographic characteristics, norms, customs, and values of the population within which the organization operates.
The socio culture dimensions of the general environment represents the demographic characteristics as well as the norms, customs and values of the general population. Important socio cultural characteristics are geographical distribution and population density, age and education levels. Today’s demographic profiles are the foundation of tomorrow’s workforce and consumer. Forecasters see increased globalization of both consumer markets and the labor supply with increasing diversity both within organizations and consumer markets. Consider the following key demographic trends in the United States:
1) The United States is experiencing the largest influx of immigrants in more than a century . By 2050, non-Hispanic whites will make up only about half the population down from 74 percent in 1995 and 69 percent in 2004. Hispanics are expected to make up about quarter of the US population.
2) The huge post World War II baby boom generation is aging and losing its interest in high cost goods. Meanwhile their sons and daughters sometimes called Generation Y rival the baby boomers in size and will soon rival them in buying power.
3) The fastest growing type of living arrangement is a single father household which rose to 62 percent in 10 years even though two parents and single mother households are still much more numerous.
4) In an unprecedented demographic shift, married couple households have slipped from 80 per cent in the 1950s to just over 50 percent in 2003. Couples with kids total just 25 per cent with the number projected to drop to 20 per cent by 2010. By that year, it is expected that 30 percent of homes will be inhabited by someone who lives alone.
The socio cultural dimension also includes societal norms and values. As this book is being written, the low carb craze has replaced the low fat concerns of pervious years. From pre-teens to grand parents people are piling on the bacon and eggs, pork chops and cheese sticks and avoiding carbohydrates like the plague. A market research firm in Chicago estimated that more than 10 million people are following a low carb regimen. The trend got hot fast, and some analysts predict it will cool just as quickly but restaurants are altering their menus and supermarket are devoting shelf space to a growing array of low carb products. Even the Girl Scouts are affected. In the 2004 Girl Scout cookie season, sales were down an average of 10 per cent nationwide.