Methodological redirections for an evolutionary approach of the external business environment

Charis Vlados, Dimos Chatzinikolaou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The usual strategic analysis perceives the external business environment fragmentarily and without a coherent and unifying way. The three levels that a typical analysis of the external business environment involves are a) the macroenvironment and PEST analysis, b) mesoenvironment and “Porter’s diamond”, and c) industrial environment and “Porter’s five forces”. Contrary to the fragmentary analysis of the three levels, this article aims to counter-propose a restructured method of a unified and evolutionary analysis of the external business environment. After presenting the usual analytical handling of the external business environment in the three levels, we suggest that these are rather co-evolving than separate and autonomous spheres of analysis. Therefore, after introducing some elements of the evolutionary socioeconomic theory, we propose a systemic web that perceives the external environment of the socioeconomic organisations in dynamically unified and evolutionary terms. The systemic web conceptualises the approach of the external socioeconomic environment as an open and interactive system comprising three co-evolving spheres in the context of global dynamics: the institutional character of each spatially structured socioeconomic formation; the firm’s functions within the system; and the public-state intervention that contributes to the establishment and reproduction of the system. This conceptual redirection of the methodology of the external business environment can be useful for building an integrated strategic analysis that studies all “micro-meso-macro” components of the entire socioeconomic system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-46
JournalJournal of Management and Sustainability
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • external business environment
  • evolutionary approach
  • strategic analysis
  • micro-meso-macro analysis
  • business environment systemic web


Dive into the research topics of 'Methodological redirections for an evolutionary approach of the external business environment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this