Geographic & Physical Environment

 Fixing a Bad Marriage

In this section of the course we will discuss how the “geography” of the planet has a big big effect on international business.

The geographical environment also includes topographical challenges and advantages.

Challenges apply when the land is very steep, which limits the available acreage of arable land so you cannot grow enough crops (like n the sides of steep hills or old volcanoes as in the case of Japan). Advantages take place when the land is flat, and the soil is rich in nutrients, like in our prairie provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. This land Canada has in the middle of our country gives us an incredible advantage in terms of being able to grow our own food. Countries who have geographic environmental limitations have to import massive quantities of food which is expensive and, to some extent, effects the national sovereignty.


The Physical / Geographic environment includes:

  • weather and the effect on agriculture, travel, building design
  • distance, distance to travel, time zones o topography - mountains, flat land and the effect on transportation systems
  • latitude, is it tropical or arctic, number of days and hours of sunshineIn some courses we refer to only 5 of the environments; leaving out geography, because most people think the Web transcends geography. In reality, it is not so simple.Geography has a big place in e-commerce, especially when you think about the influences of distance to ship products sold online, and when you think about how geography influences the social-cultural environment (language, customs, etc.)

Geography also effects weather and weather has an effect on the internet from a technological point of view. Weather situations can cause disruption of communication lines which means the “web is down” in parts of the world effected by a crisis. In some places effected by an earthquake, or tsunami, it can takes days or weeks for telecommunication services to be restored and in that time period web based services cannot be accessed in the effected region.