Entrepreneurs without money (XVII). El Salvador possible entrepreneurship journey with China. Societal Context Analysis.
Good afternoon to all! Today we will continue sharing the basic questions we must ask when doing a Societal Context Analysis, which is one of the components of the Entrepreneurial Contextual Framework. We started some days ago an Entrepreneurial Contextual Analysis about the possible Salvadoran entrepreneurship journey with China. El Salvador broke a diplomatic relationship with Taiwan some days ago, and the current government is initiating the journey to look for Chinese commercial cooperation for El Salvador. As far as we know from public media sources, a Salvadoran Government mission will visit China next week, in order to start exploring the situation.
Let´s start. Where we are? For the sake of providing you a holistic framework of the Entrepreneurship Contextual Analysis, we are addressing each of the main contexts below:
- Temporal Context – √ done.
- Industry Context – √ done.
- Technology Context – √ done.
- Social Context- √ today.
- Institutional Policy Context
- Organizational Context
- Geographic Context
- Spatial Context
- Cultural Context
- Political Context
- Environmental Context
- Ethical Context
- Financial Context
Today is the turn of the Social Context. Given its extensiveness, we will leave the Institutional Policy Context for a next publication:
The social environment, social context, sociocultural context or milieu refers to the immediate physical and social setting in which people live or in which something happens or develops. It includes the culture that the individual was educated and the people and institutions with whom the individual interact. Through social context, individuals adopt behaviors and norms that help others in their social circles. Social context is considered a building block of a moral society, and it is closely related to altruism and morality.
In El Salvador, there has been relatively limited research on the interactions of our social groups or individuals when we interact with other foreign Asian societies in our territory. There are several social context studies of Salvadorans living in the USA, and the impact of the remittances in our social development. But with Asian societies, that is new stuff. Our country at its different levels has established patterns of social interaction with other household members and/or non-household members (i.e., inter-individual interactions) in the society. Each Salvadoran social group has a social setting, a group of norms, behaviors, customs, and traditions. For example, there are social interactions when we travel or transport ourselves. El Salvador does not have a modern train or metro or tram system in the country, and our interaction with others when transporting ourselves from home-work-home is a massive mess. High levels of traffic and many accidents happen daily, and our society members live a stressful interaction with others every single day when it comes to transportation from home-work-home (regardless the type of transportation: public buses or cars).
Social interactions are beyond the household members (immediate family). These interactions expand to non-household members (inter-individual interactions) in the daily activities or patterns of the individuals. These activities are: traveling, working, studying, eating, doing leisure activities, exercising-sports, protecting and fixing our health (visiting hospitals-health centers), buying, living at home (practicing good hygiene daily, doing house chores, cooking, decluttering, taking care of children, sleeping, reading, watching TV), etc. Our society may or may not facilitate our social interactions through all the different activities we do.
Entrepreneurs may or may not be encouraged by the social context in which they live. Each entrepreneur is influenced dramatically by a social context or networks between their families, other entrepreneurs, trading partners, financiers, social acquaintances, clients, suppliers, and incumbent firms. The entrepreneurship ecosystem influences the nature of the entrepreneurship journey.
Let´s pass these social concepts to the case of El Salvador and China. The questions arising in a social context analysis are of different categories. I can´t explain them all. And also, do remember we are doing this societal context breakdown from the point of view of a corporate strategist. The main premise here is: the society is the central actor in the strategy-making process. Whatever we plan to do (either a project, a new business, or finding a country ally) has to respond to the needs and wants of the society. A corporate strategist main role is simply to read the society needs and wants and ensure proper satisfaction of those needs and wants.
The main question to ask is: Does China future economic cooperation with El Salvador satisfy the main needs and wants of our society? Remember China has its own agenda. And El Salvador indeed must have one, and we have 2.7 million Salvadorans living in the USA. “The Trump administration plans to strip some 200,000 Salvadorans in the US of temporary protected status is likely to be a blow to the economies of both El Salvador and the US. El Salvador will struggle to absorb thousands of returnees, who may displace current jobholders there and in turn cause more migration to the US”.
What could be the most feasible social context scenario for El Salvador in relation to China? What could change in El Salvador if we establish economic ties with China? Up to what point? As an entrepreneur country, what could be of benefit social impact or social harm to Salvadoran Society in the short, medium and long-term?
In addition, other dimensions of the social context must be addressed:
- Stability: Will China investments in El Salvador provide mechanisms for a more stable society or a dynamic ruptured society? What changes will happen and will be caused unexpectedly with potential Chinese investments? Will these changes affect the Salvadoran local social patterns? Would we wish that? Or not?
- Complexity: Would El Salvador become more socially complex with potential China´s economic projects? Will we become more sophisticated in knowledge, education, quality of life, work standards, level of ethics?
- Market integration: The markets of El Salvador industries range from integrated to diversified. What will be the China impact in our market diversity?
- Hostility: Hostility is influenced by competition. With the installment of Chinese projects or investments, what would be the impact on our society: A more hostile social interaction or a munificent open-handed one.
Social Networks can provide financial capital, information, potential employees, or access to clients, but also the emotional understanding, encouragement, and support that family, work relationships and friends are able to offer. This itself depends on societal values regarding entrepreneurship, thereby emphasizing links between social and societal contexts. What will be the impact of Chinese investing in El Salvador, in the main society Salvadoran actors: institutional public entities, professors, researchers, other entrepreneurs, bankers, customers or existing suppliers?
Which country will need to adapt more? How will China economic investments in El Salvador impact our social activities in our country? Will it ensure entrepreneurial innovation in our society? Will China economic support help us to educate ourselves and learn in order to discover and create new beautiful businesses? Will the Salvadoran Society enrich its culture and values with China participation? Will we become better off or worse with China Cooperation in terms of social interactions? Will China offer job opportunities to fill the lack of local jobs, offering temporary job positions for Salvadorans, which later on won´t be renewed? Will China offer projects with well-paid jobs, or will they offer our same unfair minimum salary wages? Will China investments cooperation raise the Salvadoran prime quality of life society standards?
What will be the interactions and exchanges between all our society actors or stakeholders and the Chinese stakeholders to create new knowledge-education or value-added standards to our society in the long term? Will China investments in El Salvador create the wrong long-term social consequences it has caused in Africa, Djibouti, Sri-Lanka, Pakistan, etc?
What type of social interaction does El Salvador wish with the Chinese here? Or maybe in China? What will be the impact of Chinese Cooperation in our norms, behaviors, customs, and traditions? What type of traditions and customs do we wish to keep no matter what? What will be the impact of China on our standards of altruism and morality? What will be the impact of China standards in our Social Christianity Interactions (Catholic or Protestant)? There are so many more questions we have to address in the social context analysis. And this is just the beginning…
To be continued… Thank you!
Disclaimer: All the presentation slides shown on this blog are prepared by Eleonora Escalante MBA-MEng. Nevertheless, all the pictures or videos shown on this blog are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.
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