FACTORS OF ENVIRONMENTAL
VICTOR A. ASTILLO
There is no other way whereby the
administrator could escape from the
influences of the external environmental
forces of his organization, except for his
organization to control it.
The organization’s external factors can be
classified as follows:
1) Educational Constraint
2) Legal-Political Constraint
3) Socio-Cultural Constraint
4) Economic Constraint
5) Religious Constraint
Advanced society is not exempt from the
educational constraint of environment. As seen
by Harold Koontz and Cyril O’Donnell, there is always
the phenomenon of a shortage of educational brain
power. They claim that the characteristics of a society,
the presence of literacy level, the availability of
specialized vocational training, higher education, and
management development program could lessen its
For this, the development of certain level
of education in the country, particularly those
pertaining to the development of management
skills, has an important impact on the pace of
economic progress the organization is capable
of undertaking. In fact, this problem is not only
limited to the intervention of organization’s
external forces, but also on the country’s total
national socio-economic development
Elaborating on this, Arsenio P. Talingdan
says that technical skill implies an
understanding of and proficiency in a specific
kind of activity, particularly those involving
methods, approaches, processes or techniques
in dealing with education as an external
constraint. He suggests also that the
conceptual skill of an administrator should be
developed. It involves the ability to recognize
and integrate the interrelationships of any
various factors in the organization.
In other words, an administrator must
perceive the significant elements in any
management situation. He should, by then, be
capable to act in any given way to advance the
organization toward attaining its goals. To do
that, he must possess the ability to perceive
any changes that will happen within the
environment of his organization. Only in this
manner can he be capable of gearing the
activities of his organization along such
Most organizations, if not all, are governed by
laws that are extremely complicated. These laws
usually apply to personnel administration.
While these laws were designed to guide the
administrator in the management of the
organization, in some instances, they hamper the
attainment of its administrative efficiency.
In other words, the administrator cannot apply
these laws to many of his administrative problems.
Administration is not only based on laws but also on
LEGAL - POLITICAL CONSTRAINT
As Albert K. Wickesberg says:
...the task and duties required of the firm
if it is to survive and remain successful are
continually in flux in response to the changing
needs and of the external environment, the
interest and personalities within the firm, and
the goals as these are formulated and
reformulated for the firm. The result is an ever-
changing, continually adjusting set of personal
Thus, Wickesberg concludes:
External as well as internal environmental
factors thus play a role in determining the nature,
extent, and effectiveness of the individual’s
Needless to say, politics and administration are
inseparable. Very few administrators understand,
however, as a Filipino author views it, that “politics is
government itself.” Thus, decision-making in the
government is shaped by them.
Politics should never be a problem to a
knowledgeable administrator. Indeed, politics would
be an asset in public administration, if he knows how
to handle this properly. If not, it will, of course, hamper
the effectiveness of his administration.
Richard A. Johnson, Fremont E. Kast and James E.
Rosenzweig point out that “organization can be thought of
as a subsystem of the broader sociocultural environment in
which it operates.”
Accordingly, Benita Yap states that social processes
are interactive. In this way, the administrator, interacting
with the other members of his social system, is capable of
modifying the behavior of his group. Likewise, the members
of the group can modify his behavior. The extent to which
such interaction is reciprocal depends, of course, upon the
dominating character possessed by each person, as well as
on the rigidity of the patterns of the group behavior.
SOCIO – CULTURAL CONSTRAINT
In this regard, Talingdan observes that the
Filipino people is a conglomeration of different
customs, idiosyncrasies and habits. By this, it is shown
that the social relationships of the Filipinos are quite
complicated. The administrator must fully consider
these characteristics of his people in planning, as well
as in implementing, his programs.
Organization has its own culture. This culture
must be fully known and understood by the
administrator. R.N. Farmer and B.M. Richman identify a
large number of factors that pronounced the behavior,
as well as the tie of relationship between the
administrator and subordinates.
These factors are as follows:
1. The general attitude of the society towards
2. The dominant views of authority and
3. The extent to which cooperation between
various group is a way of life;
4. The view of achievement;
5. The extent of inflexible class structure and
individual class structure and individual mobility;
6. The view of scientific method;
7. The view of risk; and
8. The view of change.
Moreover, due to varying beliefs,
values or cultures of the people, these
factors, many social scientists claim,
could either contribute to the building of
the constructive atmosphere or to the
failure of administration.
Also, Yap had observed that culture
affects the individual in the traditions he
has learned, shared and valued.
Economic stability is a significant economic
variable. It is accepted by many that money is the
lifeblood of any organization. By that alone, it is clear
that it is an important economic environmental factor.
In preparing the development plans of the
organization, the administrator is required to commit,
by necessity, not only the financial resources of the
organization but also its other resources. Here, he is
forced to be guided only by the limited data on the
economic conditions of his environment.
Utilization of production factors, as Koontz and
O’Donnell point out, is also an economic
environmental matter of great significance. He should,
therefore, consider production factors, such as factor
endowment, the extent of which a country has
available natural resources, adequate and useful labor,
capital which can be employed for efficient
production, or the extent to which social overhead
capital is available. That is, the supply and quality of
public utility-type services.
In this way, production factors refer to the host
of services necessary to support the production,
distribution and consumption of certain products.
Religion can be considered as one of the
constraints or outside forces that creates a
problem to the effectiveness of public
Certainly, there are differences among
the various religious denominations existing in
the country today. Members of these religious
organizations are ,sometimes, fanatical in their
adherence to their faiths and beliefs.
Of this, Yap has found out that some of the
roots of personnel administration are embedded in
religion and ethics. She explained that the attitudes
and outlook of people are bound to be influenced by
their religious perception of what is right and wrong.
Their relations with others are influenced by what may
be considered the correct conduct to follow.
One of the inalienable rights of every Filipino is
the freedom to exercise one’s religious belief. This
right is mandated, sanctioned and protected by the
Constitution of the Philippines.
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