Cultural Changes as Business Threats

Valid until 31 January 2015 (unless noted)
Cultural changes may not only mean as business opportunities. They might also perceived as threats for business. What kind of perceptions that people have here depends on many factors, such as their cultural background, their personalities, their economic situations, etc. Cultural changes may be perceived as business threat. Changes in values and world-view usually lead to changes in preferences about material things, about a particular life-style and changes in behavior. All of these changes will bring different pattern of economic behavior, different patterns of spending the money. These will become threats to some business enterprises.

Take for instance changes in preferences about food. Food serves in human life not only to satisfy hunger but it is also something symbolic. What kind of food, where it is sold, who sells it, its price, etc. are all elements that define symbolically the "status" of certain food int the food classification system of a particular society. The introduction of new varieties of food may make some people change their food preference. They may prefer the new foods because they look more modern, they meet the criteria of health food, may also be cleaner, although not cheaper than their traditional foods. For some business enterprises that produce the traditional foods, the introduction of the new foods would mean a threat, for their customers then prefer the new foods rather than the traditional ones.

Another example is changes in the meanings of batik cloth. In the old days the precious batik cloth are the ones processed traditionally, which people called "batik tulis". But, as batik became increasingly popular and was used much for formal dress, as well as for causal shirts, shorts, bed cover, etc, the demand for batik increased. This shows that the "meanings" of batik changed. It is no longer a particular type of Javanese cloth, it is now Indonesian cloth. There is no more exclusive batik pattern like in the old days, and many new kinds of batik pattern appeared.

In order to meet the increasing demand for batik, another method of batik making should be adopted. Some batik producers then used cap (printer) to make batik. In this way batik can be produced in mass within relatively short time, much shorter than the time to produce the classic batik (batik tulis). Many old batik producers could not complete with producers of the new batik, who mostly had bigger capital, could produce more batik within short time and lower cost. This case shows how changes in meanings had become a business threat for a certain business enterprise. Those who could not overcome the threat had to close their business.


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