The Meso Environment – A Definition.

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.

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Dr Alan Shaw is a Senior Lecturer and Marketing consultant focusing on a range of sectors. His main interests are in strategy development, social marketing, digital marketing, advertising, consumer behaviour and marketing application.

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