Notes on Christopher Sarlo's Undertstanding Canadian Business

Notes on Christopher Sarlo's Undertstanding Canadian Business

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Notes on Sept. 13 th Reading – Understanding Canadian Business - No two organizations, institutions, or businesses are identical (all are unique in the way they make decisions). - Some of these influences are external to the firm, such as the cost of borrowing money, the state of the economy, the relevant government regulations, the level and intensity of competition, the changing pattern of consumer demand, social values, international considerations, and even the weather. These and other similar factors are part of the external business environment. - The quality of the firm's decisions will, in large part, depend on its knowledge of the environment in which it functions. - However, the environment is constantly changing. Especially today when we are living in a dynamic world that is in a constant state of change. This has made decision making more difficult, but it is also an exciting challenge. External influences on business firms can be grouped into six major categories: 1. economic; 2. political; 3. social; 4. technological; 5. geophysical; and 6. international. - Canada has a mixed economic system. This means that while many commodities are produced privately and for profit, a significant number of goods and services (such as health care, education, police protection, national defence, the justice system, the welfare system, and a variety of pensions) are produced by some level of government where profits are not the motivating force. - In addition, the free market or free enterprise system is constrained to some extent by government policies and regulations. - Early governments realized that Canada had access to vast numbers of natural resources but had few people to take advantage of them. They offered good deals to outsiders of the country and there was a huge immigration towards Canada. Between 1900-1930 Canada’s population double to 10 million people. However, there was the Great Depression in the 1930s which included record business bankruptcies, high unemployment (20% higher than usual), and a general sense of pessimism. At the time there were no government social programs to assist people; thus they relied on each other. - Environmentalism has become solidly ingrained as a societal ethic; business firms cannot ignore it even if they want to. Enterprises that knowingly damage the environment (and our health with it) are now regarded as social pariahs. Being "green" is good for business.
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- By the mid-1990s, in Ontario alone, waste reduction, pollution abatement, and recycling was a $3 billion industry and was expected to continue to grow rapidly. Add to that such activities as reforestation, chemical-free food production, the creation of more biodegradable products, and research on new, nonpolluting processes. This apparent change in values is helped immeasurably by the demographics. Baby boomers were vitally interested in health and safety. - Air and water pollution do not respect political boundaries. The loss of large forests in
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Notes on Christopher Sarlo's Undertstanding Canadian Business

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