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Step 1: Considering exporting

You are here:Step 1: Considering exporting >The various environments you will encounter abroad >The sociocultural environment > Social organisation



Social organisation


Social organisation refers to the ways in which people relate to one another, form groups and organise their activities, teach acceptable behaviour and govern themselves. It thus comprises the social, educational and political systems of a society.

The exporter's ability to communicate depends to some extent, on the educational level of the foreign market. If the consumers are largely illiterate, advertising materials or package labels may have to be adapted to the needs of the market. In this regard, however, a company marketing baby food in a certain African country put the picture of a smiling child on the outside of the jar. The local resident assuming there were preserved babies inside, avoided the product! In addition, there are unspoken signals which identify cultural differences, from certain taboos to less obvious practices like the time taken to answer a letter. In some societies, for instance, an important issue is dealt with immediately; in others, promptness is taken as a sign that the matter is regarded as unimportant, the time taken corresponding with the gravity of the issue.

In a culture where great importance is attached to the family unit, promotional efforts should be directed at the family rather than the individual. The size of the family unit differs from one culture to another. It can range from the nuclear family, i.e. mother, father, and children, to the extended family which includes many relatives and whose role is to provide protection, support and economic security to its members. In the extended family, characteristic of developing countries, consumption decision-making takes place in a larger unit and purchasing power patterns may be different from those evident in western cultures.

In any society, certain occupations carry more prestige, social status and monetary reward than others. In India, for example, there is a strong reluctance amongst people with university education to perform 'menial' tasks using their hands, even answering the telephone. In many countries, including France, Italy and Singapore, financial independence is considered essential for occupation-related prestige. In Japan, however, the majority of university-educated professionals tend to prefer working for large multinational firms than for themselves.

Social organisation is also evidenced in the operation of the class system, e.g. the Hindu caste system and the grouping of society members according to age, sex, political orientation, etc.

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Step 1: more information

Step 1: Considering exporting
      The various benefits of exporting
      The various drawbacks to exporting
      The difference between domestic and export marketing
      The various environments you may encounter
            The sociocultural environment
                  Material culture
                  arrowSocial organisation
                  Religious beliefs, attitudes, values, space and time
            The legal environment
            The economic environment
            The political environment
            The technological environment
            The physical environment
      The various barriers you may face

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More information on Step 1
Learning to export...
The export process in 21 easy steps
Step 1: Considering exporting
Step 2:Current business viability
Step 3:Export readiness
Step 4:Broad mission statement and initial budget
Step 5:Confirming management's commitment to exports
Step 6: Undertaking an initial SWOT analysis of the firm
Step 7:Selecting and researching potential countries abroad
Step 8: Preparing and implementing your export plan
Step 9: Obtaining financing for your exports
Step 10: Managing your export risk
Step 11: Promoting the firm and its products abroad
Step 12: Negotiating and quoting in exports
Step 13: Revising your export costings and price
Step 14: Obtaining the export order
Step 15: Producing the goods
Step 16: Handling the export logistics
Step 17: Export documentation
Step 18: Providing follow-up support
Step 19: Getting paid
Step 20: Reviewing and improving the export process
Step 21: Export Management
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