Saturday, October 8, 2011

Contemporary Business and Its Environment

Posted by Benjamin Atuma at 7:36 AM
To fully appreciate contemporary or modern business and its environment, it is germane to conceive the enterprise as a subsystem operating in a macrosystem or suprasystem.  Contemporary business and its environment describes the concept of a system.  It examines the business enterprise as an adaptive and open system within a suprasystem.  Further, it highlights the three basic components of all organisational systems.  Contemporary business and its environment also considers the micro and macro environment of a business.  The actors, forces, players or events inherent in these two classifications are discussed, among others. 

Business does not operate in a vacuum.  It has roots in a larger society or environment.  The business enterprise interacts with the environment through the input and output interfaces – the enterprise accepts (from the environment) resource inputs such as men, materials, machinery, money, and even information, among others, and transforms (processes) them into desired outputs (to the society).  For example, the managers of a rubber manufacturing concern, through the useful and effective combination of the disorganised resources of men, materials, money, machinery, minutes and methods, as well as information, produce desired goods such as tyres, rain boots, tubes, and others.  Similarly, a University accepts new entrants, as inputs and transform them into educated individuals.

The nature of this interaction between the business organisation and its environment presents the managers with opportunities and threats.  It has the potentials of success and failure.  Consequently, when we talk of contemporary business and its environment, we are concerned about the complex set of interacting forces in the environment (within and outside of the enterprise) that sustain this mutual relationship or interdependence, in terms of the business survival, prosperity and growth.  This way, a meaningful inquiry into the environment in which business operates is crucial.

Here are some tips to help you understand what a system is?

What is a System?
The system concept is an interesting and insightful one.  It has been conceptualized in varied ways by many writers, scholars, and even managers.  While some viewed a system as “an orderly arrangement according to some common principles or rules,” others defined it as “a plan or method of doing something.”  The term system is also conceived as a group of interacting and interdependent components working towards the attainment of a common goal.  This means that each component or part has a unique role or function towards the realization of the common goal or aim, and without this common goal, there is no interaction and interdependence.  Hence, no goal; no system.  To understand a system requires synthesis – “an aggregate understanding of the whole, that is, the concept of seeing both the woods, and the trees or big picture.”

Accordingly, we find examples of a system in the business enterprise, in the biological and physical sciences, among others.  In the physical science, we have the solar system – the sun and its planets.  In the same vein, in the biological science, we find the circulatory, digestive, central nervous, and respiratory systems.  The respiratory system, for example, comprises the nostrils, the pharynx, the larynx, the trachea, the left and right bronchi and the lungs.  All these interdependent parts form a unified whole (subsystem) within the human body (a larger system or macrosystem).  These unique parts collectively bring about respiration (a common goal).  Without respiration, there is no respiratory system.

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Benjamin Atuma
I am a writer, teacher, web consultant, and an entrepreneur.  Enjoy blogging, business networking, traveling, and preaching the Gospel of Jesus.

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