Social and cultural factors affecting business

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Social and cultural factors affecting business
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Social and cultural factors affecting business include belief systems and practices, customs, traditions and behaviours of all people in given country, fashion trends and market activities influencing actions and decisions. Socio-cultural perspective is one of the most important factor influencing decision of marketing managers and strategic goals of companies entering new foreign markets. It should be noted that legal factors affecting business is also considered as one of the major socio-cultural factors that can influence companies. Proper identification of this factor during strategic analysis (PEST analysis, STEEP analysis, SWOT analysis, TOWS analysis) could lead to better strategic alignment of company to society (during international development).

Social factors affecting business

  • social classes and their influence on the society,
  • average disposable income level,
  • wealth of people,
  • economic inequalities,
  • level of education,
  • access to education (free, paid),
  • level and access to health-care,
  • health consciousness in society (smoking, drinking, drug use, safe driving, etc.),
  • buying habits and consumer preferences,
  • average retirement age (for men and women),
  • personality of average consumer,
  • reputation of company in society,
  • conflicts within society,
  • susceptibility to influence,
  • social organization (communities, social groups, gangs, ad-hoc gatherings, etc.),
  • uncertainty avoidance dominating in society (or other G. Hofstede socio-cultural factors),

Cultural factors affecting business

  • fashion trends,
  • lifestyle,
  • social media influence (blogging, etc) vs traditional media (press, tv, radio),
  • dominant communication technology in social groups,
  • participation in cultural events,
  • willingness to pay for tickets,
  • popular actors, music styles, design forms, etc.
  • creativity of people,
  • relative population of local (folk) artists vs. global imported culture,

Socio-cultural factors and demography

  • population growth rate,
  • birth control regulations and incentives,
  • age distribution (ageing of societies can change demand),
  • life expectancy rate,
  • sex distribution (differences between number of men and women in society),
  • average family size and family structure,
  • relative influence of minorities in society,
  • immigration rate,
  • emigration rate,
  • social diversity (of income, education, race, gender, etc.),

Beliefs and value systems within society

  • majority and minority religions,
  • influence of religious leaders on social behaviours,
  • role of religion as a binding/dividing factor in society,
  • dominant beliefs in society,
  • eating habits connected with religion,
  • belief in superstitions (Friday 13th, 13th floor in buildings, etc.) and myths,
  • role of science in relation to religion,
  • customs, traditions during holidays (worship days),

Common attitudes in society

  • attitudes toward banking, saving money and investing,
  • attitudes toward ecological products, recycling, global warming, etc.,
  • attitudes toward renewable energy sources, green products,
  • attitudes toward imported products and services, foreign investments, etc.
  • attitudes toward work and career, possibility of development,
  • attitudes toward leisure and retirement,
  • attitudes toward learning and self development,
  • attitudes toward others (diverse people, counties, companies, etc.),
  • attitudes toward safety (police, military, etc.) and privacy,
  • attitudes toward ethical/unethical behaviours and Corporate Social Responsibility,
  • attitudes toward management practices (negotiation, business activities, etc.),

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Author: Krzysztof Wozniak