By Ian Worthington, Chris Britton

By way of encouraging scholars to discover the demanding situations and possibilities managers face within the enterprise atmosphere, this article will supply scholars with a high-quality origin from which to construct upon their enterprise wisdom.

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This environment comprises a wide range of influences – economic, demographic, social, political, legal, technological, etc. – which affect business activity in a variety of ways and which can impinge not only on the transformation process itself, but also on the process of resource acquisition and on the creation and consumption of output. 2. 2 The firm in its environment Environmental influences Political, social, legal cultural, technological, etc. 3 Two levels of environment ‘General’ or ‘contextual’ environment Economic Political Legal Social, etc.

Understanding the many factors affecting both individual and market demand, and the ways in which firms organise themselves to satisfy that demand is a vital component of a business environment that is increasingly market led. Competitors Competition – both direct and indirect – is an important part of the context in which many firms operate and is a factor equally applicable to the input as well as the output side of business. g. see Chapter 14), is significant at the macro as well as the micro level and its influence can be seen in the changing structures of many advanced industrial economies (Chapter 10).

Such a situation occurred on Tuesday 11 September 2001 when terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the US Department of Defense rapidly sent shock waves through the global economic system, engulfing a wide range of firms and industries in all countries. The most immediate and obvious manifestation of the crisis was seen in the airline industry where the major airline operators suddenly found people unwilling to fly, thereby significantly exacerbating the problems already being experienced as a result of increased competition and recession in some of their markets.

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