The two segments of the organization's environment are general and specific. Using an...


The two segments of the organization's environment are general and specific. Using an organization for which you are familiar, identify the factors that operate in each. Why is it important to understand an organization's environment?

Organizational Environment:

Understanding the meaning of an organizational environment can range from a simple (i.e., the basic operations that enable the completion of work) to the complex (i.e., the dynamics of people, process, tools, and culture that influence an operating model and the act of work). The common denominator between the simple and complex meanings recognizes that a presence exists that enables boundaries to that contain and control the act of work while mediating the internal and external influences that govern an organization's ability to execute operations and achieve goals and objectives successfully. This presence represents the organizational environment.

Answer and Explanation:

The general environment and specific environment represent two key components or influences found in an organization.

The general environment represents the external factors and conditions that will warrant consideration when planning and executing the act of work. The factors and conditions include consideration of economic, legal, political, and social circumstances that extend beyond the individual organization and influence all companies and industries.

For example, an educational organization producing standardized tests will consider the economic state when determining whether to expand services globally, ensure privacy when collecting personally identifiable information, engage lobbyists in promoting the values of standardized testing as political climates change, and seek to provide fair and equitable testing programs for all potential test-takers. The general environment factors extend beyond the direct practices that enable the completion of organizational objectives and are often described as the organization's specific environment.

The specific environment describes the situations that apply directly to an organization's ability to achieve objectives and goals. In other words, the specific environment represents the unique internal operations that are influenced by employees, processes, tools, and possibly even organizational culture. The specific factors suggest the need for an adaptable operating environment and one that adjusts to the internal influences that enable the act of work to occur in an organization successfully.

For example, the delivery of a new testing program at an educational company will need leaders to consider the bandwidth of subject matter experts and other staff resources and the alignment of operations to the servicing needs of the new program. The leaders also need to consider the availability of existing systems or need to create new tools and infrastructure, as well as develop an understanding of how the new program fits with the mindset and culture of the organization when considering this pursuing this objective.

Understanding the organizational environment is an important step in recognizing and responding to the general and specific forces when seeking new products and services, or simply seeking innovation. Ignoring the general and specific forces will create a silo-oriented mindset that fails to recognize the potential influences of the often-non-controllable external forces and the realistic internal factors that influence how work is currently executed within an organizational environment. Organizations that understand the general and specific factors will incorporate this knowledge into strategy and planning to ensure a higher likelihood of success operating outcomes and objectives.

Learn more about this topic:

What is an Organizational Environment? - Definition & Theory


Chapter 23 / Lesson 26

An organizational environment involves forces, both internal and external, that affect the operations of the organization. Learn the definition of internal and external business environments, and explore the use of a SWOT analysis to assess an organization's environment.

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