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AEM 1200/2200: Introduction to Business Management: Section 4. Four Environments

Components of the Four Environments Section

   The four environments section contains the following:

  1. Social environment;
  2. Political, legal and regulatory environment;
  3. Global presence and issues;
  4. Sustainability and triple bottom line issues, such as physical environment, contribution to economic development, etc.

      Where do I look?

These resources are good for all of the environments

In addition to looking in above resources, browse the list of Business and Management databases from Cornell University Libraries to see if others might have additional information.


Section A. Social Environment - Additional Resources

Information on the social environment can be found in any of a number of places.  Try the databases above, but also look at company profiles in some of these databases:


Section B: Political, Legal and Regulatory Environment - Additional Resources

These sources are particularly good for the Legal environment:


Tips for Four Environments section

   How do I...

...locate information for this section?

  • Locating information for this section may be familiar to you. It is similar to locating journal articles for a research paper. There are a VARIETY of databases that you can use, and different groups may find different databases to be best for each question in this section.  Be persistant!  Try several resources, and use different keywords until you find articles that you like!

...use the keywords you suggest below?

  • The keywords will help you find information about the four environments. There are many, many more keywords that you should try! Try searching and locating information for each environment separately -- while keeping in mind that you might find an article that could work for more than one section.

...get help with this section?

  • Students have reported difficulty understanding the topics in this section. Try discussing the sections with your teammates and brainstorming about possible keywords that could represent each section.
  • Another strategy is to start with the most straightforward of the sections, such as looking for information on the company's web site for diversity statements and hiring policies, and work your way into the broader topics. Chances are that once you see what's out there, and begin writing some of the sections, the broader topics will begin to make sense.
  • If you're still having difficulties with this section, talk to your TA.

Subject keywords

  Other FAQs

  • What does External / Internal references mean?

    This refers to whether the impacts are inside the company or outside of the company. By extension, it usually indicates where the sources will be found.  Internal sources will be about the company and will usually come from the company.  External resources will be about how the company impacts others, and sources will usually come from outside the company.

  • What do "Unique" references refer to?

    This simply means that the resource should not be cited elsewhere in your final paper.
  • What is the Social Environment?

    This may be the broadest question in the assignment.  What does your company do?  Where and how do they operate?  How is the company perceived by the public?  How does your company contribute to the culture of a given area?  What are some major current trends of the company, and how are those trends impacted by (and impacting) their consumers? It is entirely possible that this section will have some overlap with other sections, such as the Triple Bottom Line, Target Market and 4 Ps.  

Getting help with the assignment

  Getting Help

  1. First and foremost, please watch the videos available in this guide. They will show you how to use the resources, and therefore find the information you need.
  2. If you need clarifications on the assignment, such as ratios or what each section means, please ask your TAs
  3. For questions about resources and research, Please visit the NEED HELP? page on this guide.