Emerging Theme

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The meso environment is the setting between the macro and micro opportunities. It shapes the framework of a business or organisation and can be considered as its infrastructure: policies, standard operating procedures, rules and guidelines.

The meso concept is a difficult one to understand, there is very little research relating to the idea, although I can recommend: Micro-Meso-Macro by: Dopfer, Kurt; Foster, John; Potts, Jason. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 2004, Vol. 14 Issue 3, p263-279, 17p. From a practitioner’s point of view, it is fair to say that the meso environment is rarely considered. In reality however, most companies are actually using it.  Quality systems or staff hand-books  are good examples of the meso. The big question is, “how many companies have considered the impact to the strategic processes when writing these documents”?  A good example of where most businesses fail is with their IT policies. Technology has changed so much, yet most corporate organisations have failed to capitalise on the opportunities: social networking can bring a new perspective to the marketing plan but the team is unable to exploit it because of IT restrictions! So the next time you sit down to write a policy, just think what strategic impact it will have.

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The Macro (Large) Environment – such as the economy, demographics, technology. 

The Meso (Middle) Environment – such as competitor activity or market activity. 

The Macro (Small) Environment – such as internal structures, staff development. -------------------------------------------------

Principles of the MESO analysis
A. Collect relevant data
To better study environmental aspects of the production process, it is necessary to understand the relations between economy and environment (doc 1 – PDF, French). The most pertinent aspects of this relation are highlighted. In MESO analyses, the industrial sector or urban community studied is seen as a ‘living body’, that is to say, through its activities, it ingests, transforms resources, produces goods, and generates discharges, thus putting pressure on ecosystems (industrial metabolism). This prospect sets the limits of the system studied. The data collection takes place at the entry of the production process (input) and at its exit (output). The data are then analysed in detail listing precisely all materials entering the process (water, limestone, sand, energy, emternalities, etc.) and exiting the process (finished product, water, CO2, SO2, waste, etc.) as well as general economic and demographic data (turnover, annual production, added value, number of employees, etc.). Along with national economic records, the economic calculation of the environmental degradation of the sector is therefore possible. The results are then allocated to the seven environmental domains (water, air, noise, soil and landscape, wastes, energy/materials, global environment) and the three main economic categories (health/quality of life, natural capital, inefficiencies in the use of resources). More information is available here (doc. 2 – PDF, French). B. Appraise damages, inefficiencies and remediations quantitatively
The MESO methodology lies on the monetary evaluation of costs of environmental damages and inefficiencies. Also, costs of remediation are assessed. The cost of environmental damages is a loss of well-being or economic value due to environmental degradation undergone by the society. It could be a loss of well-being due to the rise in respiratory diseases because of air pollution. This same pollution could generate damages with different values according to the characteristics of the population concerned and local conditions. Thus, if the circle of victims grows, the damages rise too. The cost of inefficiencies is the economic consequences of mismanaged use of natural or energy resources within an industrial or urban metabolism. Inefficiencies express that a better...
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