CBSE Class 12 Business Studies Business Environment Notes Set A

CBSE Class XII Business Studies - Business Environment Notes. Learning the important concepts is very important for every student to get better marks in examinations. The concepts should be clear which will help in faster learning. The attached concepts made as per NCERT and CBSE pattern will help the student to understand the chapter and score better marks in the examinations.




Meaning : The totality of all individuals, institutions and other forces that are outside a business enterprise but that may affect its functioning and performance.

Nature : 

(a) totality of external forces (b) specific and general forces

(c) Inter‐relatedness (d) dynamic (e) uncertainty (f) complexity
(g) Relativity

Importance : (a) first mover advantage (b) early warning signal (c) tapping useful resources (d) coping with rapid change (e) planning and policy formulation (f) improving performance

Dimensions : (a) economic (b) social (c) technological (d) political (e) legal

Liberalisation : Liberating industry from licensing and other regulations.

Privatisation : transferring ownership and management of public enterprises to private sector

Globalisation : integrating different economies into a world economy by removing barriers to free flow of goods, services, capital, labour, etc. from one country to another.

Impact of Policy Changes: (a) increasing competition (b) more demanding customers (c) rapidly changing technology (d) necessity for change (e) need to develop human resources (f) market orientation (g) loss of budgetary support to public sector.



It is the sum total of all individuals or institutions comprising of consumers, competitors, suppliers government, courts, media and also the forces like economic, social, political, legal and technological that are outside the ambit and control of business enterprise but that which can affect its performance.


i. Constitutes totally of external forces ­ it comprises of the sum total of all forces that are external to the business firm which it must deal with.

ii. Specific and general forces ­ the forces present outside can be divided

into two parts Specific‐ these forces affect the firms of an industry separately
e.g. Customers, suppliers, competitive firms etc. General ‐ these forces affect all the firms of an industry equally e.g. Social, political.
iii. Inter­ related ­ the different factors are co‐related
e.g. Change in the import‐ export policy is a political change that gives rise to economic change as well

iv. Uncertainty ­ business environment are susceptible to rapid changes, no one can predict with certainty the changes in the factors. e.g. change in technology and fashion.

v. Dynamic ­ business environment keeps on changing.

vi. Complex ­ it is difficult to know the extent of impact of the changes that the factors can bring in.

vii. Relative ­ business environment is a relative concept as it differs from country to country, region to region.


i. Identify the opportunities and getting the first mover advantage ­ by being aware of the changes in business environment, enterprises can identify opportunity and strategize ways to capitalise on them.

ii. Identify threats and early warning signals ­ environment scanning helps in detecting possible threats in future.

iii. Basis for planning and policy for formulation ­ identification of threats and opportunity serves as basis for deciding the future course of action.

iv. Tapping useful resources ­ the resources are required to carry on a successful business enterprise. These have to be procured from the business environment.

v. Helps in coping with rapid changes ­ turbulent markets, less brand loyalty, divisions and sub‐divisions (fragmentation) of markets, more demanding customers, rapid changes in technology and intense global competition combined with complex business environment calls for a flexible planning to cope with the changes.

vi. Improvement in organisation performance ­ continuous and constant monitoring and adapting suitable business practices result in improved business performance.


The various dimensions of business environment in terms of general environment are:

Economic Environment :

Refers to all those forces that have economic impact on the business activity
Components of economic environment are GDP, Inflation rate, Interest rate, Rupee value, Stock exchange index, Tax rate

Political Environment: includes political conditions such as political leadership, political stability, practices of the ruling party and the nature of the government in power and their level of interference

Components of political environment are Constitution of the country, Political ideology of the ruling party, nature and extent of government interference, international relations.

Legal Environment: refers to the framework of laws and various legislations within which the business activities take place

Components of Legal Environment are Government legislations, court judgements, Decisions of various commissions.

Social Environment: represents the customs and traditions, values, culture, social trends, beliefs, norms and ethics of a society in which business enterprises operate.

Components of Social Environment are customs traditions, social expectations, lifestyles, values, literacy level

Technological Environment: refers to the influence of the changes in the technology on the business environment.

Components of Technological Environment: new methods and techniques of business operations, Scientific improvements and innovations,

As a part of economic reforms the Government of India announced New Industrial
Policy in July 1991 which emphasised on three major elements which were:

• Liberalisation ­ from the clutches of licensing policy. Therefore, removal of entry and growth restrictions on the private sector enterprises.

• Globalisation ­ encouragement of foreign private participation in industrial development. This step mainly intended at integrating the national economy with the world economy through the removal of barriers on international trade and capital movements.

• Privatisation ­ drastic reduction in the role of public sector. Further it aimed at transfer of ownership ,management and control of the public sector enterprise to the private sector.

The new industrial policy aimed at creating a more competent environment in the economy so as to strengthen the process of industrialisation. Its features are as
• Delicensing of all projects except six industries
• Decreased role of public sector to merely 4 industries
• Disinvestment: selling of a part or whole of the shares of the public sector undertaking
• Liberalisation of Foreign capital
• Setting up of Foreign Investment board (FIPB)
• Liberal policy for technical collaborations


• Increase in competition
• Demanding customers
• Technical change and increased investment in R and D
• Necessity of change
• Development of human resource
• Market orientation
• Loss of budgetary support to the public sector.


1. What is Business Environment?

Ans. Forces affecting the performance of an organisation but outside its control are called as Business Environment.

2. How have customers benefited by increased competition after liberalisation and globalisation?

Ans. While purchasing they get a better quality and wider choice of goods and services.

3. How can the firms cope up with changing technological environment?

Ans. They have to develop new ways.

4. What do you mean by Globalisation?

Ans. When the various economies of the world integrate, it is known as

5. Which policy of Indian Government has moved India towards globalisation?

Ans. The Industrial Policy of 1991.

6. What do you mean by disinvestment?

Ans. When the private sector takes over public sector, it is called disinvestment.

7. Give one measure taken by Indian Government to introduce liberalisation.

Ans. Abolishing licensing requirements.

8. What do you mean by first mover advantage?

Ans. Early identification of opportunities.

9. What are Values?

Ans. Concepts held by a society in high esteem are values.

10. Which of the sector was given importance after independence?

Ans. Public sector.

11. What was the responsibility given to private sector after independence?

Ans. Developing consumer goods industry was the responsibility gives to private sector.

12. What do you mean by Liberalisation?

Ans. It means reduction in government controls and restrictions

13. Which two factors are included in Technological Environment?

Ans. Scientific Improvement and Innovations.

14. What is meant by opportunities?

Ans. It refers to the positive external trends that help an enterprise to improve its performance.

15. What do you mean by Innovation?

Ans. Producing goods and services by new methods is called as Innovation.

16. Name the economic reforms introduced to free Indian business from unnecessary controls and restrictions.

Ans. Liberalisation.


1. Define Business Environment. State two important concerns of business environment.

Ans. The sum total of all external factors which are outside the control of business enterprises is termed as Business Environment. Factors may be social, political, economic etc.

2. Explain the specific and general forces of business environment ?

Ans. Business environment comprises of both specific and general forces. Specific forces refer to those forces that are having direct effect on the day to day working of the business viz. customers, competitors, investors etc. General forces refer to social, political, legal and other forces which are having an indirect effect on the operations of a business.

3. Enumerate the benefits of understanding business environment.

The benefits of understanding business environment are:
(i) Enabling the identification of opportunities and getting the first mover advantage.

(ii) Helping in the identification of threats and early

(iii) Tapping useful resources.

(iv) Coping with the rapid changes. (v) Assisting in planning and policy. (vi) Improvement in performance.

4. What are the main dimensions of business environment ? What does environment consist of?

Ans. The main dimensions of business environment are
(i) Economic, (ii) Social, (iii) Technological, (iv) Political, (v) Legal Economic environment consists of the factors having economic dimensions such as fiscal policy, monetary policy, industrial policy etc.

5. Explain the role of political environment in shaping the business.?

Ans. Business functions within the framework of political environment. Generally, government's policies change with the change of guard in power. Business is required to understand and follow such changes and also respect the orders that judiciary gives from time to time.
For example, after globalization, Government of India allowed many companies to enter the Indian market for giving boost to the different industries like food processing industry etc. That paved the way for entry of multinationals in India on a large scale.

6. Explain the concept of technological environment.

Ans. It includes new approaches, new procedures, and new equipments to transform inputs into outputs. It facilitates an organization's efficiency and effectiveness so that it can try to remain at par with the best in the world. Technological changes provide opportunities for some enterprises and become threats for some others.
For example, digital watches killed the business prospects of traditional watches; TV has adversely affected radio & cinema industry; mobile phones have taken over the market from landline phones.

7. What do you understand by legal environment? Give two examples which protect consumers' interests.

Ans. Legal environment consists of rules and regulations, framed by the Parliament, under which business must operate. To exist and grow, business is required to follow all the rules and regulations that constitute this environment.

Two examples protecting consumers' interests:

(i) Advertisement of alcoholic beverages is prohibited.
(ii) Packets of cigarettes should mention the statutory warning 'Cigarette
smoking is Injurious to health'.

8. List the various changes initiated by the Government of India since 1991.

Various changes initiated by the Government of India since 1991 are as follows:
(i) New industrial policy
(ii) New trade policy
(iii) Fiscal reforms

(iv) Monetary policy

(v) Capital market reforms

9. List some important factors that influence the working of a business enterprises?

Ans. Following are the important factors that influence the working of a business enterprise:‐ (i) Changes in economic policies. (ii) Political uncertainty in the country. (iii) Increase in the rate of competition. (iv) Changes in fashion.


1. What do you mean by business environment? Explain the key components of business environment.

Ans. Business environment is the sum total of all external factors that influence the functioning of a business enterprise.
The components of general environment are:

(i) Economic environment:

Economic environment consists of factors having economic dimensions such as fiscal policy, monetary policy, industrial policy etc.

Impact: Banking sector reforms have led to attractive deposit avenues and easier credit policy. Likewise reforms in leasing & financial institutions are also catalyzing company's economic growth.

(ii) Social environment: It discriminates characteristics of the society in which an enterprise exists. It consists of literary rates, educational levels, customs and demographic distribution etc.

Impact : Equal pay for equal work for both male and female workers, reservation of jobs for minorities etc.

(iii) Political environment

It consists of the political forces responsible for the management of public affairs
and their influence on business.

Impact : Government allowed Pepsi to enter Indian market again for giving boost to the food processing industry.

(iv) Technological environment

It comprises of the various processes, techniques, approaches etc. by which an organization transforms inputs into output.

Impact : Digital watches have pushed out traditional watches.

(v) Legal Environment : It characterises various governmental rules, regulations and legislations etc. that all members of business community must follow.

Impact : Removal of control on foreign exchange and liberalization of foreign direct investments.

2. What do you understand by economic environment? List the main aspects of economic environment.

Ans. Economic environment consists of factors likes inflation rates, interest rates, consumer’s incomes, economic policies, market conditions etc. which affect the performance of a business firm.
Following are the main aspects of economic environment:
(i) The role of public and private sector in the existing structure of the economy.

(ii) The rate of increase in GNP and per capita income both at current and constant prices.

(iii) Quantum of exports and imports of different products.

(iv) Increase in transportation and communication facilities.

(v) Trends in agricultural and industrial productions.
(vi) Amount of savings and investments.

3. Social environment of business is important for a business enterprise". Explain ?

Ans. A business is a part of the society in which it operates. The buying and consumption habits of the people, their languages, customs, preferences, tastes etc. are the factors that influence the business. Businessmen should be alert enough to visualize the factors that directly or indirectly affect their organization. Cooperation between business and society will see business boom and will help growth of professional managers. The failure of any business organization in adapting to changes in the social environment will lead to dissatisfaction amongst its customers and rejection of its products. This shift of demand can even endanger the very survival of a business.
For example, equal pay for male and female workers, demand for reservation in jobs for minorities and women etc.

4. Enumerate negative impacts of liberalization and globalisation.

The negative impacts of liberalization and globalization are as follows; (i) Threats from Multinational Companies (MNCs).
(ii) Corporate vulnerability. (iii) Increased competition. (iv) Fast changing technology.
(vi) High obsolescence of material resources.

(vii) High labour turnover.

(vii) Threat to indigenous culture and values.

5. Enumerate any ten Positive impacts of liberalization and globalization.

The positive impacts of liberalization and globalization are as follow: (i) Opportunities for new entrepreneurs.
(ii) Latest technology becoming available. (iii) Opening up of foreign markets.
(iv) Easy imports of capital goods.
(v) Direct investment by Indian companies abroad.
(vi) Changed attitude of labor unions,

(viii) Easy inflow of foreign capital.

(ix) Freedom to expand and diversify. (x) Restructuring of industries.

(x) Widening of product choices for consumers.

6. Explain any five negative impacts of liberalization and globalization.

Ans. Following are the negative effects of liberalization and globalization.

(i) Threats from multinational companies (MNCs)

With the arrival of multinationals it is becoming difficult for small and medium business units to even survive. The massive entry and consolidation to multinationals in the Indian markets is a challenge that has already forced some business enterprises to take the exit route.

(ii) Destabilization of protected environment

With easier entry of multi‐national companies, Indian business environment is fast losing its protective shield. The new entrepreneurial freedom is creating problems for the existing players. Even manufacturers of
Maruti car could not retain their market share and had to remodel their products and announce heavily price reductions from time to time.

(iii) Decline in public sector

Public sector is losing markets and their capacity utilization has declined, hampering thereby pace of country's technological and economic growth.

(iv) Sellers' market turned into buyers' market

With the entry of foreign goods .and services, shortage of goods, which is boon for the sellers, has now turned into surplus. Resultantly, sales/margin to many sellers have come down substantially. Buyers are now free to buy any product of their choice at a price they can afford.

(v) Fall in the value of rupee

Indian rupee has been devaluing against DOLLAR, EURO and many other foreign currencies. This phenomenon has forced even some established exporters to encash their stake partly/fully.


1. Why is business environment uncertain?

Ans. Future happenings are very difficult to predict.

2. What is meant by Market Orientation?

Ans. The firms produce goods after analysing the market needs.

3. How can environment awareness help managers?

Ans. Various threats are identified in time.

4. How can political stability be beneficial to the economy? ­ 1 Mark

Ans. Confidence among the business people is built up to invest and take up new ventures.

5. What was the immediate cause of economic reforms in 1991? ­ 1 Mark

Ans: High Government deficit.

6. What is meant by threats?­ 1 Mark

Ans. It refers to those environmental trends which hinder the performance of an enterprise

7. Give one of the most important objectives of Indian development programmes at the time of independence. ­ 1 Mark

Ans. Rapid Economic Growth

8. 'Environment provides both constraints and opportunities." Comment.

Ans. Business environment provides both constraints and opportunities. Some of the constraints are economic conditions, customs, government regulations, availability of natural resources etc. Inspite of many initiatives, FDI is not picking up in India due to political and bureaucratic hurdles.
On the other hand, environment also offers various opportunities which include changing needs of customers, technological advances etc. For example, the growing demand for A.C. has attracted many new players, domestic (Godrej, Kirloskar) as well as multinationals (LG Electronics) to this industry. 3 or 4 Marks

9. Business environment or Environmental Scanning helps in the identification of threats and early warning signals." Explain?­3or4 Marks

Ans. Environmental scanning helps an enterprise to recognize qualitative information in advance, which can be used to prepare it for facing likely challenges. For example, if any new multinational company is entering the Indian market, the manager of an Indian firm dealing with same product, as that of the multinational company, should take it as a warning signal. He should take measures like improving the quality of his product, heavy advertisement etc. to face the challenge.

10. What is meant by liberalization? List the impact of changes in government policy On business and industry. 3 or 4 Marks

Ans. Indian economy has gradually become more liberal and global since
1991. Liberalization refers to the removal of various outdated rules, regulations etc. and providing more helpful norms for the business to grow, particularly in the fields of exports and imports.
Some of the impacts of changes in government policy on business and industry are as under:
(i) Increasing competition.
(ii) More demanding Customers
(iii) Rapidly changing technological environment
(iv) Necessity for change.
(v) Need for developing human resource.
(vi) Market orientation.
(vii) Loss of budgetary support to the public sector.

11. Explain the meaning of the term Privatisation? List any two reforms made under Privatisation. ­ 3 or 4 Marks

Ans. Privatisation refers to reducing the role of public sector and increasing the role of private sector for rapid development of the nation.

Two reforms made under Privatisation:

(i) Loss making or sick public sector enterprises were either closed or handed over to Board of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction.
(ii) Disinvestment of public sector enterprises.

12. Enumerate the various ways in which managers respond to changes in business environment. ­ 3 or 4 Marks

Ans. Following are the ways in which managers respond to changes in business
(i) Strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions of businesses.
(ii) Diversification.
(iii) Collaboration with multinationals.
(iv) Brand building.
(v) Restructuring of business activities.
(vi) Capital restructures.
(vii) Customer focus.

(viii) Latest technology.

(ix) Compensation levels and incentive schemes.

13. Mention four examples of acquisitions and mergers.­ 3 or 4 Marks

Four examples of mergers and acquisitions are:
(i) SRF buy Ceat's Rayon Tyre Cord.
(ii) Parle's take‐over by Coke.
(iii) Godrej has bought over Goodnight.
(iv) Hutch by Vodafone.

14. Explain the changes initiated by the Government of India since 1991.

5 or 6 Marks

Ans. Following changes have been observed since 1991:

(i) New Industrial Policy:

• Government has begun disinvesting in public sector undertakings.
• There are new schemes to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
• There is prompt clearance of foreign investment proposals.
• Tax concessions are given to units in Special Economic Zones (SEZs).
• There is broadband facility in telecom sector.
• Abolition of industrial registration schemes.

(ii) New Trade Policy:

• There is liberalization of import policy.
• Deemed exporters are entitled to special import licenses.
• There are greater concessions to Export Oriented Units (EOU) and units in
Export Promotion Zones (EPZ).
• Credit is now less expensive and many imports are duty free.
• Simplification of procedures related to export promotion.
• Removal of export quotas & reduction in import duties.

(iii) Fiscal Reforms

• Measures have been taken to bring down fiscal deficit.
• Tax reforms have been initiated to increase revenue and tax compliance.
• Reduction in direct and indirect taxes.
• Decrease in subsidies.

(iv) Monetary Reforms

• Phased reduction of statutory liquidity ratio (SLR).
• Private sector banks allowed to set up new branches.
• Banks have now been allowed to access capital market for raising capital.
• Permission for disinvestment (up to 49% of total equity).

(v) Capital Market Reforms

• Ceiling on rate of interest on debentures and bonds abolished. FIIs can access capital markets.
• Private sector can set up mutual funds.
• Bonus issues have been made more liberal.
• Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has been made a statutory body

15. 'Explain 'fiscal reforms' and 'monetary reforms' as per economic change initiated by Government of India since 1991. ­ 5 or 6 Marks


 (i) Fiscal Reforms

• Measures have been taken to bring down fiscal deficit.
• Tax reforms have been initiated to increase revenue and tax compliance
• Reduction in direct and indirect taxes.
• Decrease in subsidies.

(ii) Monetary Reforms

• Phased reduction of statutory liquidity ratio (SLR).
• Private sector banks allowed to set up new branches.
• Banks have now been allowed to access capital market for raising capital.
• Permission for disinvestment (up to 49% of total equity).

16. Explain any five ways in which managers have responded to changes in business environment. ­ 5 or 6 Marks

Ans. Following are the ways in which managers have responded to changes in businessmen environment:

i) Strategic alliance, mergers and consolidation of businesses

To achieve the objectives of market dominance, market entry, product ranges etc., the Indian business enterprises are also indulging in mergers, acquisitions, amalgamations and takeovers. Initiative for same has naturally
come from managers of such enterprises.

ii) Diversification spree: Managers are leading diversification of their companies into various fields.

For example, Reliance is now also in the business of communications, retail chains etc. Likewise, they are bold enough to diversify into other nations too if need be.

iii) Consolidation of multinationals: Many multinational companies have entered India through new joint ventures. For example, General Motors' entry through a joint venture with Hindustan Motors.

iv) Brand Building: Companies are becoming more aggressive towards brand building. Their managers are spending huge amounts on same. Focus is on securing prime positions for their brands, through creative media‐mix, in the minds of consumers.

v) Labour : Managers are changing their behaviour towards labour. Labour is also benefitted through higher wages and other facilities like training to upgrade their skills and job enrichment.

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