Economic, Social, Political and Cultural Environment - Understanding Business Environments (700N1)

15 credits, Level 7 (Masters)

Autumn teaching

Understanding external business environments is a fundamental first step in identifying opportunities for businesses. This involves: identifying external factors shaping organisations' abilities to offer products or services and capture value from these; broad scanning of contexts for relevant and reliable information on those different factors; careful analysis of that information to derive useful knowledge of environments, and the implications this raises for the design of the business models organisations intend to implement.

In the context of a world where many organisations are increasingly looking internationally or even globally for their suppliers, collaborators, and customers the influences at regional, national and international levels become increasingly important to identify. The module will explore how economic, social, political, and cultural environments shape the external environment for organisations whether they are developing/supplying products or services, locally or internationally.

Topics include: frameworks for mapping the external environment (such as LoNGPEST, and the National Systems of Innovation framework); different sources of information useful for the analysis of the external environment (spanning academic, commercial and policy domains); and theory and tools for analysing information on the external environment (including ways of understanding markets, risks, regulations, and competition).

Teaching and assessment

We’re currently reviewing teaching and assessment of our modules in light of the COVID-19 situation. We’ll publish the latest information as soon as possible.

This module is running in the academic year 2020/21. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: