Organizations are not isolated of what happens in the environment outside them, they face uncertainty in dealing with events in the external environment and they have to adapt to new changes regarding customers, government, economic conditions and technology.
It is very important for organizations in Colombia to become aware of their environment because assessing it could make them more competitive and allow them to adapt and survive in the market, but the uncertainty Colombia in terms of globalization, technology, knowledge, demand, etc. is making organization to rethink about strategies and new ways to do business and to address all of the factor in the external environment.
The factors causing organization complexity in Colombia are addressed by Daft, they are both internal and external: industry, human resources, raw material, markets, international, government, sociocultural, economic and technological factors.
For example, in Camacol (Cámara Colombiana de Construcción) the lack of legal stability threats development opportunities in large cities and scares away national and international investors. It makes necessary that the rules established for projects are maintained and are not changing every day, that’s why head directors in Camacol proposed to the government new ways to manage the permissions and monitor the decisions taken by majors in areas adjacent to Bogotá. (País, 2014). This is important for the construction sector because its development brings with it the increase of an important set of activities in industries and related services, contributing in this way to increase employment and to the satisfaction of an important set of needs of the population, in this case, the access to housing services.
Nowadays we can not talk about uncertainty avoidance or external environment without talking about globalization, reducing borders and forcing businesses to prepare increasingly for indulging in different markets, ensuring its validity in the market. To achieve this, it is necessary for organizations to adopt new strategies of growth, market penetration, creation of own responsibilities, coordination and adaptation of the products to various markets according to their needs.
Many organizations that have been integrated into international markets have found the need to modify their products or strategies to meet the needs of its customers, because the factors that determine the environment change. For example Juan Valdez, have found the need to deal with government regulations in different countries, and lately with the entrance of a new competitor in Colombia, also they had to change its technology processes to transform coffee to sell it in every store and to make it more efficient and effective, reducing costs; this kind of changes not only help businesses in Colombia but in all countries the organization is in.
Also there are International Organizations in Colombia that have adapted their processes to Colombia’s complex environment and have succeeded CEMEX is the tangible proof that the competitiveness in a globalized world is the result of a set of factors, a clear direction, state-of-the-art technology, human capital, good financial management, investments in infrastructure, etc. , and, between them, the actions taken in the aspects of Corporate Social Responsibility have given the company a significant competitive advantage.
A really important factor for any organization is the human resource and sociocultural. In Colombia the labor movement that happened in 2013 and remained in 2014 called “Paro agrario” not only affected the government laws and relationships but also affected organizations that use raw materials produced in the rural sector. This represented a huge challenge for business managers, because of the workers demands. Not addressing this kind of problems with contingency plans would have caused major loss of profit, suppliers and market. The human resource sector is one of the most important factors in the external environment because it concerns employees, suppliers, customers, and mostly any kind of relationship made by the organization.
On the other hand the sociocultural sector demands organizations to be more greener and environment-friendly that’s why supermarkets such as Éxito, Jumbo, Carrulla and Olímpica offer recyclable plastic bags, because they know those bags are used by customers as garbage disposals that later on go to sanitary landfills. Also, Coca Cola in Colombia and Postobón have develop new bottles and recyclable packaging that use less plastic and take up less space in the trash, they have also launched campaigns to recycle these containers giving benefits to consumers, with picking machines or donations to NGOs.
Main telecommunications operators such as Tigo, Movistar, Claro, Une and ETB have been influenced in a big way by the environmental complexity because they are not only influenced by new demands of customers, they are also influenced and have to be prepared for the unpredicted changes such as: new regulations about communications, contracts and share; competition in services, offers, products; the way business are made with international and national companies in order to have competitive advantages, also by advertising its products nationally; offering new technological services and products in competitive prices. This organizations face tremendous complexity in Colombia, that’s why they keep studying the environment they are in and offering customers new products every time, meaning that in order to them to stay in the market they need to pay more attention to the external environment to run processes internally, this is a good example of a dependence on high uncertainty-complex environment.
Studying external environment is as important as the internal environment because one can change the other, also because there is where the needs are, where the consumers are and what they want to pay to meet their needs. Also in the environment are the obstacles to the company, such as the products of competitors, and the actions to have market share. Also the requirements and restrictions that the company must meet, all of that can influence the processes a company has, because a company is nothing without the interaction with the outside environment, and now is more important to be aware of that thanks to the globalization.
País. (25 de 08 de 2014). “Esa incertidumbre no aguanta”: Camacol. Recuperado el 09 de 2014, de Revista Dinero: http://www.dinero.com/pais/articulo/proyecciones-para-sector-construccion-colombiana-2014/200196
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