Something more...

The cultural specifics (D4) have mostly been subject to areas of investigation quite astray from the core business disciplines. The world may be called global but it remains strikingly local when we go to nuances. The differences in attitudes of the societies around the globe are culturally and historically conditioned and they do exist and persist. And strongly impact the way of doing business.

The second determinant - the mindset of individual stakeholders (D2) - is vastly and abundantly studied in strict isolation from the other three. But business does function to serve people and is done by people. It is impossible to understand buying behaviours without in-depth knowledge of human behaviour, as well as properly manage teams without understanding how people act in teams or individually. Diversity results in raised expectations but also tiredeness. How to satisfy, charm and control remain key business questions.

The structure and consistency of business models (D1) is dissected in many strategy and even technical courses in the best universities woldwide. This can be a detailed and meaty subject as it encompasses many formal sides of business interaction. Marketing examines the nature of the product or service delivered, the delivery channels and the expectations of both the deliverer and the client. Finance measures all those processes, informs the outside world about the measurements in a uniform way and uses data collected from the outside and inside to improve the process inside. The big flaw of these approaches is their tendency to keep remote from the other business determinants. Key functions in business have acted by tradition in a segregated way which the holistic nature of omnipresent information no longer tolerates. The real useful "action" nowadays requires a multi-disciplinary and multi-faceted sensitivity.

D3 is the dimension representing the tax and legal framework of the countries where a business operates. It is extremely self-explanatory, can be more or less controversial and can change more or less dynamically. This is an area of extreme detail: an attempt to define without ambiguity all socio-economic rules by which businesses should abide. Knowledge and awareness of norms is highly needed because they may serve as practical guidelines. Rules draw lines, and the multiple crossing lines shape polygons for businesses to position themselves. Rules restrict but also delineate. And of course remain useless without the real flesh and purpose of the business idea.

D3 and D4 set the external parameters of every business activity. They are a given, the circumstances which need to be factored into account. Geographical borders may act as delimiters but similarities should be taken with caution.

On the other hand, D1 and D2 set the internal parameters. Yet the rationale of the business and the people inside and around it make a not so obvious blend if pulled out of the pond.