According to Stonehouse and al (2004: 142) the macro environment is the part of the environment over which the business can rarely exert any direct influence but to which it must respond'. The essential framework to critically analyzed Unilever's external business environment is the PESTEL one; it is concerned with changes and trends in political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal factors. The two main relevant factors to analyze correctly the macro-environment of Unilever are the economic and the social ones.
In terms of the economy, the emerging market/economies are growing so rapidly, for example the Indian market represents $300b a year. According to the Economist in 2007, the world is experiencing one of the biggest revolutions in history, as economic power shifts from the developed world to China and other emerging giants. Thanks to market reforms, emerging economies are growing much faster than developed ones. There is a widening gap between their growth rate and that of the sluggish developed world.' By being a part of these particular markets, a political aspect is also involved, above all by contributing to the GDP and in the employment rate (e.g.: South Africa); negotiation or special treatment with the government can be an advantage.
[...] However, according to Doctoroff (2005: 75) changes occur in these markets, women even men take care of their ‘look'; premium products as antidandruff shampoos represented a huge opportunity. Besides, all across the globe people are taken more attention to their food; they want healthy, organic products without salt or saturated fat. To resolve this issue, technological factors are important because of the need of processes to reduce fat or salt; or also more from a legal aspect: processes need to be found by companies and governments to limit counterfeit. [...]
[...] Hofstede, G. (1984) Culture's consequences: international differences in work-related values. London: Sage. Johnson, G. (2008) Exploring corporate strategy. 8th edn. Harlow : Financial Times Prentice Hall. L. Tung. R. (2001) Learning from world class companies. London: Thomson Reader, W. J. (1980) Fifty years of Unilever, 1930-1980. London: Heinemann. Stonehouse, G et al. (2004) Global and transnational business : strategy and management. 2nd edn. Chichester : Wiley Wilson, C. (1970) The history of Unilever: a study in economic growth and social change. [...]
[...] International structure and culture of Unilver The strength of Unilever is to have ‘strong roots in local markets': the company had International Divisional Structures, according to Stonehouse et al (2004) that means, responsibility for all foreign operations transferred to a separate international division based at the corporate centre. Bartlett and Ghoshal in 1995 expressed the transnational model of Unilever ‘They adopted a differentiated organization of tasks. In Europe, activities were closely integrated (recognizing the similarities between national markets), while in Latin America there was greater local autonomy to cater for greater market diversity. [...]
[...] (1986) ‘Organizational Culture: Can It Be a Source of Sustained Competitive Advantage?', The Academy of Management Review, pp. 656- 665 Academy of Management. [Online]. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/pss/258317 (Accessed: 20 May 2008). Murfy, C. (2005) Unilever create a masterpiece?' Strategic decisions pp. 11-14, Emerald. Lloyd, B (1996) outlook for globalization' Leadership & Organization Development Journal pp 18–23 Emerald. [Online]. Available at: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/Insight/viewPDF.jsp?Filename=html/Output/Publi shed/EmeraldFullTextArticle/Pdf/0220170503.pdf (Accessed: 20 May 2008). Rahman, Z. (2003) ‘First mover advantages in emerging economies: a discussion'. Management decision (41)2 pp 141-147. Emerald. [Online]. Available at: http://www.emeraldinsight.com\0025-1747.htm International Herald Tribune (2005) Unilever streamlines structure's website. Available at: [...]
[...] Question BCG and Ansoff's analyses In order to evaluate the logic of Unilever's strategic development, a BCG and the Ansoff matrices can be used when linked with the acquisitions or divestments of the company. According to Johnson and Scholes in 2006, ‘strategic development is different if a business is seeking rapid growth by acquisition or development of new products compared with if it is seeking to consolidate its past performance'. The logic can be explained as well: To increase its market share and response to the demand, a ‘build share' strategy is launched that means the food business unit (Question mark) is turning into a star by developing new healthy products. [...]
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