The Legal Environment Introduction - Business Environment

It is almost universally accepted that for a society to exist and function in an ordered way a set of rules is required to regulate human behaviour. Irrespective of whether these rules are laid down in custom or practice or in statute, they constitute a means of regulating and controlling the activities of individuals and groups, and of enforcing minimum standards of conduct even though they may be ignored or flouted on occasions. This framework of rules and the institutions through which they are formulated and enforced represent what is normally understood as the ‘law’, which invariably evolves over time in response to changing social, economic and political circumstances (e.g. the influence of pressure groups). As one of the constraining (and enabling) influences on business organisations, this legal environment is an important area of study for students of business, hence the tendency for courses in business-related subjects to have specialist modules or units on different aspects of business law (e.g. contract, agency, property and so on).The aim of this section is not to examine business law in detail or to provide a definitive insight into particular areas of the law as it relates to business organisations. Rather it is to raise the reader’s awareness of the legal context within which businesses function and to comment briefly on those aspects of law which regularly impinge on a firm’s operations. Students wishing to examine business law in more detail should consult the many specialist texts which have been written in this field, some of which are listed at the end of this section.

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