The meso environment is the setting between the macro and micro opportunities. It shapes the framework of a business or organisation and can be considered as its infrastructure: policies, standard operating procedures, rules and guidelines.
The meso concept is a difficult one to understand, there is very little research relating to the idea, although I can recommend: Micro-Meso-Macro by: Dopfer, Kurt; Foster, John; Potts, Jason. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 2004, Vol. 14 Issue 3, p263-279, 17p.
From a practitioner’s point of view, it is fair to say that the meso environment is rarely considered. In reality however, most companies are actually using it. Quality systems or staff hand-books are good examples of the meso. The big question is, “how many companies have considered the impact to the strategic processes when writing these documents”? A good example of where most businesses fail is with their IT policies. Technology has changed so much, yet most corporate organisations have failed to capitalise on the opportunities: social networking can bring a new perspective to the marketing plan but the team is unable to exploit it because of IT restrictions!
So the next time you sit down to write a policy, just think what strategic impact it will have.
Related research: Social media and the pharmaceutical industry.