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A STUDY ON THE STRATEGIES FOR MANAGING ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS IN BUSINESS ORGANISAITONS IN NIGERIA (A STUDY OF SOME SELECTED MANUFACTURING FIRMS IN ENUGU STATE)
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The environment is a major source of uncertainly to a business manager, and as such both influences the design of any organisation and the configuration of organizational structure.
Therefore, without a thorough analysis of the environment, a manager finds it almost impossible to make important operational decisions in his organization, which are vital in the attainment of various business objectives.
Hence no business organization can operate successfully in isolation, it has to exist and operate within an environment where there is complex interplay between human resources, material resources and other system. This creates the opportunities, threats and problems for the management.
Imaga (1996:40) said, we ought to realize that an organisation is an integral part of it environment and that they are mutually interdependent where the environment plays the role of providing the resources and opportunities to organisation for its existence, and the organisation in turn, offers its goods and services to the people living in its environment.
Fayol (1949:43) said that of all the basic functions of management such as planning, organizing, commanding, co-ordinating and controlling, planning is the most important and yet the most difficult responsibilities of management. This is because when goals and objectives have been determined, the next step is to choose the methods, approaches and or strategies of attaining them. All when and how this is to be done is for the planner.
However, plans alone cannot ensure success of an organization; this is because organization operates in has a big or vital role to play in the success of the organization.
Stanner (1998:207) observed that the most important sole influence on organizational policy and strategy is the environment, both within and outside the organisation. The more complex, turbulent and dynamic an environment becomes, the greater the impact on human altitudes, organizational structure and process, therefore since the environment is very complex, all organizations should direct its attention to their environment when formulating their strategic management policies, to facilitate their survival.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
There is a vital need to map out a strategy, which will enable a business organization to operate successfully in its ever-changing environment. The environment, which business organizations operate in, is highly complex, turbulence, dynamic, therefore all organization, large or small for survival, should pay more attention to their environment more than ever before when formulating and implementing organizational policies and strategies.
Chairman, “John Holt” in the year 2000 Annual Report said “the Nigerian economic environment during this year witnessed unsatisfactory growth rate high rate of unemployment, low industrial output, coupled with poor demand. Energy crisis continued an unabated supply of petroleum product was epileptic; serious bottlenecks were thus created in the production processes culminating in increased operating cost. Electricity supply from NEPA was too disruptive; our operating units were forced to reply heavily on power generating facilities at exorbitant cost of diesel.
Kazmu (1992:05) over the relationship between industry and government stated that the industry after blames the government for exercising excessive control through plethora of rules and regulations. Consequently, how to pinpoint the right strategies at the right time, constitutes a problem to various organizations. This research will therefore investigate the following;
- The impact of business environment if not properly managed.
- The process of formulating of policies and strategies for proper management of the environment.
- The right strategies and the appropriate time to apply them.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
This study will focus on the strategies adapted by manufacturing organizations in Enugu state in managing environmental factors. The aims are as follows:-
- To identify major environmental factors that creates opportunities and threats for the manufacturing organizations.
- To determine who and which department is responsible for strategies planning.
- To examine strategies adopted in relation to the environmental factors.
- To examine the processes of strategic planning used and its relationship with environmental information in organizations.
- To determine the impact of business environment in organizational attainment of objectives.
- Proffer solutions as to some other possible ways, which these organization can adopt in changing business environmental factors.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTION
1. Is there major environmental factors that create opportunities and threats for the manufacturing organizations?
2. What departments in organization are responsible for strategic planning?
3. What strategies can be adopted in solving the problems of environmental factors uncertainly?
4. Which processes of strategic planning can be used to respond to the environmental information in an organisaiton.
5. Does the business environmental factor uncertainty affect or influence the attainment of organizational objectives?
6. Are there any other solution or ways, which the problem of environmental factor on business can be tackled?
H0: Organizational productivity and performance is not dependent on environmental factors.
H1: Organizational productivity and performance is dependent on environmental factors.
H0: There is no significant association between strategic planning and environmental factors.
H1: There is a significant association between strategic planning and environmental factors.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study will provide an insight into the problems of environmental factors uncertainty on manufacturing firms, and strategies with which to manage the problem. The following benefits will be derived from the study:-
- Thorough understanding of the environmental factors in which policies are made.
- Knowledge of varieties of strategies and when to apply them in policy formation and implementation.
- Insight into the problems, threats, opportunities, weaknesses and strength in competitive business environment.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The use of manufacturing firms limits the application of the findings that emerged from the research work to other manufacturing organization, since the findings can be generalized due to the fact that every organization has its own unique environment.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
STRATEGY: This is a proposed action or sequence of action intended to enhance the attainment of a company’s objectives.
STRATEGIC: This is a pre-determined actions leading to attainment of set objectives in relation to the external environment.
ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE: This refers to fixed relationships, roles and tests to be performed in achieving organizational objectives.
ORGANISAITONAL ENVIRONMENT: This is the aggregate of the social cultural, economic systems and physical conditions influence organizations.
ENVIRONMETAL SCANNING: This is the monitoring of current events in the business environment and the forecasting of future.
- Stonner G. (1998): Strategic Planning New York Random House
- Fayol H. (1949): Principles and Function of Management. Random
Book Makers U.S.A.
- Imagaf (1996): The Context of Management, Speech Presentation
Environmental Conflict Journal Vol. 55 N0. 4.
- Hussey D.E (1985): Introducing Corporate Planning London,
Oxford Perganon Press.
- James D. (1989): “Organizational Goal and Environment. Harvard
- John P.K. (1999): Choosing Strategies and Business Policies. New
York Random House Publishers.