Social-Cultural Context Concept
Social-Cultural Context designates a group of contextual variables with influence in the performance and in the activity and reflects society’s values, customs and traditions and influences the exchanges and the work systems.
Are examples of Social-Cultural Context variables the following:
- Lifestyle: The populations’ lifestyle has a great influence in the kind of goods and services purchased, purchase frequency, among others. For example, since mid 70’s, have attended a growing inclusion of women in the wok market, with important reflexes in their consumption patterns – stand out the marked growth of the frozen food search, alcoholic beverages or tobacco, among others. Another tendency that has been standing out is the significant increase of worries with health and physical appearance contributing to the arising of dietetic products, fitness equipments, among others.
- Social values: Like in the case of lifestyle, the changes in social values also reflect in consumption patterns changes. The increasing worry with the environment protection, for example, has been well taken advantage of by some companies through the production of goods tolerated by the environment like is the case of the reusable packages. Another example are the populations bigger worries with social and cultural matters which has lead some companies to involve in activities like the support of social causes or the sponsorship of cultural events,
- Demographic Factors: (birth rate, age structure,…). The evolution of these kinds of factors has an increased relevance for the organizations that develop goods or services destined to certain age structures (being, that make market segmentation using demographic variables). For example, the joint effect of the birth rate reduction and the increase of the Portuguese’s life expectation is having a double impact in the higher education institutions: on one side, there are less youngsters to enter universities but, on the other side, it’s verified an increasing number of adults who seek post-graduation courses with the aim of updating their knowledge. As answer, many universities are launching with success training programs for executives.
Social-Cultural context still includes factors such as illiteracy rate, population geographic distribution, educational level and the populations’ ethnic composition. All of these factors can influence the organization’s performance, affecting its productivity level and product’s quality patterns.