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Social forces affect all industries in different ways. The consumer has values they wish to uphold while buying products from businesses. (Parnell, 2014 p. 67) referred to this stating that, societal values refer to concepts and beliefs that members of a society tend to hold in high esteem. For example, climate change is an issue that has a social force on both sides of the aisle, and this is affecting the automobile and manufacturing industries tremendously. Through Legislation and societal value, pressure has been applied for immediate changes in emissions released through the manufacturing process as well as the automobile itself. With pressure on the corporations competing in the industry to make rapid changes to the way their products are produced, many businesses struggle to keep up and receive heavy fines as well as a decline in sales. Regarding high-tech industries, social treads are just as prevalent. Online security issues have always been a major threat to the tech industry and consumers are worried. (Durbin, 2022 para. 3) said this regarding cybersecurity, the frequency and intensity of cyberattacks are rising in part because the interconnectivity of systems introduces new loopholes and vulnerabilities. These threats scare consumers, and they want to see change. The European Union is taking this threat very seriously, coining itself as the global leader on the issue, they recently passed the General Data Protection Regulation (Hendrickson & Galston, 2022). This law sets new requirements on tech companies regarding obtaining user consent to process data, mandates data portability, and requires companies to notify their users of data breaches (Hendrickson & Galston, 2022). Heavy fines will be tagged to any corporation in the industry that does not comply with these new laws. Even with threats like these out there, consumers love the ease tech companies have added to their lives. Social trends that present opportunities for the industry are abundant. Tech companies have a huge opportunity regarding social change. The platform presented to these tech giants is on a scale unseen before. IBM references this on its site stating, charities, nonprofits, and non-governmental organizations often do not have the right technology to reach the corporate donors who are willing to help (Blockchain for good, n.d.). Tech bringing these entities together with potential donors his huge for the charities needing assistance. I believe the tech companies that invest in social change will see the reverberations in their profits.
Parnell, J. A. (2014). Strategic management: Theory and practice (4th ed.). SAGE
Hendrickson, C., & Galston, W. A. (2022). Big tech threats: Making sense of the backlash against online platforms. Brookings.
Big tech threats: Making sense of the backlash against online platforms
Durbin, S. (2022). Council post: Four major cyber risks in an era of Tech dominance. Forbes.
Blockchain for good. (n.d.) in IBM https://www.ibm.com/topics/blockchain-for-good
Of the macroenvironment forces, social forces involve societal values, trends, traditions, and core values (Parnell). Social trends change all the time for many industries, but especially when it comes to technological advancements within high-tech industries. According to the Workforce Information Council, “the high-tech sector can be defined as industries having have concentrations of workers in STEM (Science, Technology Engineering, and Mathematics) occupations” (Wolfe & Terrell, 2016). To determine both opportunities and threats, management must look at many things such as quality, value, price, their target market, buyer’s behavioral changes, and cultural differences and how all will affect their products and services.
One example in the high-tech sector is International Business Machines (IBM). This American, multinational technology and consulting corporation is known for inventing ATM machines and the hard drive as well as its hardware, software, and consulting services (Hughes). One of IBM’s opportunities is from their partnership programs. We learned from the text that a partnership is “A contractual relationship with an enterprise outside of the organization” (Parnell, 2014, p. 99). Having strategic partnerships can help provide a competitive advantage by enhancing portfolio offerings. Some of IBM’s strategic partnerships include Adobe, Apple, and Samsung (International business machines corporation marketline company profile). Another opportunity is the launch of new products. Technology changes so much, which in return can change what consumer values as well. This is where IBM excels. Their culture is innovation and research. This enables them to deliver advanced technology solutions to consumers regularly (Hughes). Hughes goes on to detail that while their products, specifically their cloud computing products, are often imitated by competitors, they have a wide international client base, which gives them extensive potential in different regions (IBMs competitors analysis).
IBM’s faces threats from competitors, such as Google and Amazon, who both focus on lower cost alternatives to their customers. When the market is trending up, consumers usually value quality over price. However, when the market is down, such as the economy we are facing right now, the buying patterns of consumers change resulting in price winning out over quality. Another threat IBM faces is currency fluctuations. Since they operate in multiple counties, their financial performance can be greatly affected by fluctuations in local currencies against the U.S. dollar (Hughes). As with any industry, weak macroeconomic conditions can pose a threat to any business. Management must access all forces by staying on top of challenges presented by all of these conditions and understanding that they all work together to determine their overall financial success.
Hughes J. (n.d.). IBM competitors analysis : How do they stand out? Business Chronicler.
International business machines corporation marketline company profile. (2022, July 7). MarketLine.
Parnell, J. A. (2014). Strategic management: Theory and practice (4th ed.). SAGE.
Wolf, M. & Terrell, D. (2016, May). The high-tech industry, what is it and why it matters to our economic future. Beyond the Numbers: Employment and Unemployment, vol. 5, no. 8 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
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