AN ASSESSMENT OF BUSSINESS ENVIRONMENT AND ITS IMPACT ON ORGANIZATIONAL GROWTH
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The present day business environment is marked by different dynamic features such as global competition, information technology, quality service revolution and corporate social responsibility which are compelling managers to rethink and reshape their approach to their various operation responsibilities. Due to this paradigm shift, new firms are emerging that are more responsive to both their internal and external environments (Luthans, 2005). The internal factors exist within the operational base of an organization and directly affect the different aspect of business. These internal factors include firms Mission, resistance to change, poor quality staff, lapses in internal control, bad resource/financial management, operational weaknesses, high staff turnover and over-leveraging while the external factors include government regulation, economic recession, political turmoil, low cost competitors, changes in customer behavior, environmental/ health issues, technological changes, natural disasters, change in input supply, changes in macro-economic variables and terrorist attacks. Hence, it is important for a business to keep a pace with the various changes in the environment in order to survive in the long run.
Basically a business environment should help to even bring a business up to survival at least to a great extent. Business environments have the potential to either help a business grow or declines. This is so because sometimes the policies and forces by these environmental factors at different points can be of benefit to helping the business grow and at sometimes they may hit a business hard and make them fall out of operations. Basically it could be a government policy, or interest rate on capital or the nature of competition in the market or the level of technological sophistication compared to that which the company operates on.
The Nigerian business environment is such that has peculiar difference from conventional business environments. Generally the Nigerian business environment is a kind that should have a different study to it. This is so because the environment has potentials to either support the growth of business or not.
According to Adebayo et al. (2005) business environment can be broadly categorized into internal and external environment with the former comprising variables or factors within the control and manipulation of the firm to attain set objective while the latter encompasses factors that are outside the control and manipulation of the firm. Hence, firm must develop a plan that will help it to cope with the various environmental forces (Oluremi and Gbenga, 2011). Similarly, the nature of business environment are said to be classified as dynamic, stable and unstable which often help a firm in the selection of appropriate strategies (Ibidun and Ogundele, 2013). Adeoye (2012) opined that in order for business to cope with the dynamic and rapidly changing business environment, there is a need to develop and implement appropriate strategies that would safeguard their operations and yield the desired results. Similarly, Ogundele (2005) added that a firm perception of the nature of the business environment is a function of its size and industry. Business survival is the ability of a firm to continuously be in operation despite various challenges i.e. the managerial process of directing the affairs of a firm regularly on a going concern basis and meets the needs of all stakeholders (Akindele et al., 2012). Dun and Bradstreet (2009) viewed business failures as a situation where a business go into bankruptcy or cease operations which results in losses and failure to meet its various financial commitment to creditors. In order to survive, firms always keep a close tab on the various activities that determine their continuity. Adeoye (2012) submitted that the present form of complexities facing firms include leadership styles, changes, uncertainty, conflict, culture, technology, structure, competitive market, profitability and workplace motivation. Hence, firms must develop a strategically plan and tactical procedure that is appropriate and adaptive to the present business environment that will aid its optimum resources utilization and attainment of set goals.
Burns (2001) opined that small scale business cannot be characterized as only scaled down versions of large firms since they show a number of fundamental differences which can be explained through absence of economies of scale and scope which amongst others is also caused by less provision of factors of production. Thus, Ciano (2011) opined that there are four determining factors in any transformation initiative for any business entity. This includes duration of time between reviews of milestones; the project team’s performance integrity which is the ability to complete the initiative on time that depends on members’ skills and traits relative to the project’s requirements; the commitment to change of the top management and employees affected by the change display and the effort over and above the usual work that the change initiative demands of employees. Alexander (2000) observed that the dynamic and rapidly changing business environment in which most businesses operate has made business environment to have significant impact on organizational survival and performance. This implies that the external environment is complex and constantly changing and its significant characteristic is competition. The recognition of the presence of an intense competition often compel the need to seek more information about customers for the purpose of evaluation and to use such information to their advantage thus enabling competition to drive business organizations to look for their customers in order to understand better ways to meet their needs, wants, and thereby enhances organizational performance (Azhar, 2008).
Relevance between theory and practice that occurs has prompted experts and researchers to indent research related to general business management and strategic management in particular. A number of researchers have proposed various models of strategic management. Strategic management model proposed by Wright, Kroll and Parnell (1996) contains five basic framework, namely: (1) opportunities and external threats that include macro environment and industry; (2) The internal environment that includes the company's resources, the organization's mission and goals; (3) Formula strategies include koporasi level, business unit level and functional level; (4) Implementation of the strategy which includes organizational structure, leadership, authority, and organizational culture; and (5) that includes the strategic control process and performance. Fundamental understanding into key points in this model is the formulation of a strategy that is divided into phases of corporate, business unit and functional levels. Furthermore, Wheelen and Hunger (2010) outlines the strategy formulation directly in the elaboration of a more operational level, namely the mission, goals, strategies, and policies. As for the implementation of the strategy outlined in the degree program, budget, and procedures. In a pragmatic model of the strategic management of Wheelen and Hunger looks easier to understand and easier to implement, although from the aspect of leadership, structure, and culture look less highlighted in the model they put forward.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The economic situation in Nigeria at some point has been hinted to be unfavorable for business activities. This could be true to some extent but the fact is that the present economic status of the country has some hope for the conduct of business. Even though the importations of some capital goods are left in the hands of particular individuals, it still has a fair day on the common business man. Some economic factors affecting the Nigerian business environment include economic growth, interest rates, exchange rates and the inflation rate. These factors have major impacts on how businesses operate and make decisions. For example, interest rates affect a firm's cost of capital and therefore the extent to which a business grows and expands. Exchange rates affect the costs of exporting goods and the supply and price of imported goods in an economy. Economic policies also go a long way to affect the conduct of activities in the Nigerian business environment. Sometimes the policy on tax or trade can affect the conduct of business. For example Aliko Dangote is the only person in charge of the importation of some goods in Nigeria. This affects other business men and makes the Nigerian business environment less conducive for business persons.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objective of this study is to assess the impact of business environment on organizational growth, specifically the study intends to:
i. To determine the extent at which environment factor affect Nigeria business.
ii. To evaluate business environment in order to ascertain the type of environment suitable for growth and development.
iii. To add to existing knowledge in various categories of business sectors.
iv. To explore ways in which effective performance can be ascertained v. To examine the environment and business relationship.
1.4 Research questions
How does an economic problem affect the business environment?
How does the improvement on technological level affect development in business environment?
How does ethnical behaviour affect the performance of employee or an organization in the environment?
To what extent will political instability affect business environment?
1.5 Research Hypothesis
Ho: Business environment has no significant impact on organizational growth.
Hi: Business environment has significant impact on organizational growth.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this study and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their research work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other study.
1.7 Scope of the Study
This study is on an assessment of business environment and its impact on organizational growth.
1.8 Limitations of the study
The demanding schedule of respondents at work made it very difficult getting the respondents to participate in the survey. As a result, retrieving copies of questionnaire in timely fashion was very challenging. Also, the researcher is a student and therefore has limited time as well as resources in covering extensive literature available in conducting this research. Information provided by the researcher may not hold true for all businesses or organizations but is restricted to the selected organization used as a study in this research especially in the locality where this study is being conducted. Finally, the researcher is restricted only to the evidence provided by the participants in the research and therefore cannot determine the reliability and accuracy of the information provided.
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
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