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by firstname.lastname@example.org (Muhammad Khaleel) @ Research Topics
Sat Nov 19 11:40:00 PST 2011
Saudi Arabia is the biggest country in the Arabian Peninsula comprising eighty percent of the geographic area. Bodies of water bound the country on the east and west and by neighboring countries to the north and south. Since the discovery of oil in the early 1930s, propelling the country as one of the significant suppliers of oil in the international market, the development of ports in the country’s waterfronts were instrumental in the trade of oil. The establishment of ports made it possible for Saudi Arabia to build industries required in trading oil particularly the shipping industry.
Since Saudi Arabia is the leading exporter of petroleum products, it played a significant role in establishing the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). As of 2003, Saudi Arabia reported control of twenty-four percent of the known world petroleum reserves or 260.1 billion barrels and its oil export capacity increases with the discovery of new oil fields. Petroleum industry accounts for around seventy-five percent of aggregate revenue, forty percent of gross domestic product and ninety percent of earnings derived from exports. The importance of the petroleum industry to Saudi Arabia necessitated the development of fully functional and efficient ports. At present, Saudi Arabia has established eight ports to cater to its massive trading activities.
Saudi Arabia became a member of the World Trade Organization in December 2005. Preparatory to free trade, the country commenced the privatization of different industries in the late 1990s including its ports. Although ownership of ports still remain with the government, the private sector is given investment options in different areas to upgrade port facilities and services to compete with other ports in the region and comply with international standards. In 1997, the Ports Authority offered the ports, six commercial and two industrial ports, to the private sector through public bidding and prior to its membership in the WTO all ports were already operated and managed by the private sector.
Competitiveness of Saudi’s ports in the world market requires compliance with international standards. Standards are provided by the agreements or contracts that the ports have entered into through membership in the United Nations, World Trade Organization, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other regional economic cooperation and the laws, regulations and port control or security procedures applicable in the international, regional and domestic sphere. These legal factors influence the economic performance of the different ports in Saudi Arabia.
The paper will discuss the different international and national laws as well as the different port control regulations applicable to Saudi’s ports and determine the manner and extent that the various laws and regulations influence the economic performance of the different ports.
Background of the Study
It is recognized that law plays a significant role in the economic performance of states. This is because the legal environment constitutes a factor that affects the operations of businesses. Several approaches measure the extent and quality of influence that laws have on economic development. One approach is to consider laws based on the books. This means that the key indicators of a law are determined and the presence of these indicators are observed in a given economy. The presence or absence of any or some of these indicators then explains the influence that the law has on economic performance. This also requires looking into the purpose of laws and determining whether the purpose has been fulfilled by the presence or absence of the legal elements in the economy. In relation to port control, the elements and purpose of provisions of admiralty or maritime that relate to port operations are determined. After which an assessment will be made on the existence of these elements in the port industry in Saudi Arabia. Issues surrounding the implementation of the law are also considered. The impact of the legal provisions on the economic performance of the ports is determined by the manner that these laws support economic development in the port industry.
Another approach is to consider the extent that laws are effectively enforced. This is because the presence of laws does not necessarily translate to law enforcement. This is done by obtaining data measuring the effectiveness of the rule of law and the judiciary, the presence or absence of corruption, low levels of contract repudiation, and efficiency of government expropriation. In relation to port operations, applying this approach involves the consideration of the manner that key players in effectively implementing laws perform their functions so that the objectives of the law in supporting port operations are obtained. Information on the different measures of effectiveness should be obtained in order to assess the effect that these factors have on the economic performance of ports. In the case of corruption, the presence of a high level of corruption hampers the effective implementation of laws providing barriers to the achievement of economic development in the ports.
The study on the relationship of legality and economic development, used legality variables, which are rule of law, effectiveness of judiciary, non-existence of corruption, low risk of contract negation and low risk in state expropriation as measures of legality. The study also considered fluctuations in the gross national product in measuring the influence of legality variables on economic development in forty-nine states. The study showed that there is a strong association between legality and economic development. A linear regression coefficient showed that for every one percent increase in legality, there is a corresponding four and three quarters increase in gross national product. In substance, this means that in a state where the rule of law applies, there is an independent judicial system, there is no corruption, the government complies with binding agreements and utilizes revenue decisively; there is likely to be a higher GNP growth compared to other states.
The relationship between the implementation of laws and economic performance is cyclical. On one hand, a strong association between law and economic performance implies that wealthy states have the resources to afford better legal institutions. On the other hand, efficient legal institutions are prerequisites to long-term economic development. In actual economic conditions, economic resources and legal institutions are co-determinants and both elements should be present for law to influence economic performance.
In the course of history, law has always served to protect and regulate economic activities in consideration of private and public interests. Industrialization was spurred by the development of law and law enforcements mechanisms that protects private business endeavors. This is because law and legal mechanisms provided a secure atmosphere conducive to the growth and expansion of businesses. Law and legal institutions are keys to sustained economic growth. The relationship implies that a state should allot resources to the development of laws and legal institutions in order to support economic activities. The development of laws and legal institutions imply recognition and compliance of international law.
Port operations and port related business ventures such as shipping involves complex activities on an international scale, which means that there is a need for laws that protects and regulated the various legal relations between the parties. Port operations involves the engagement in a plethora of contracts between the shipper and the shipping company, the loading and unloading of cargo with port services, the storage of goods in the port facilities, the insurance for the cargo being transported and other related contracts. As ports are flooded with the continuous entry and exit of goods as well as people from different states, there is an increasing demand to provide international standards for the safety and security of ports. The rationale for international standards is that deficiencies in port operations affect the business of a state’s trading partners. Unsafe ports discourage other states to trade with a country because of a high risk of loosing its cargo.
International law is a body of laws applicable and binding upon all states. International law “is a normative system”. It provides a system of performing conduct regarded as obligatory by the each member of the group and non-compliance involves a certain degree of punishment. Normative systems provide a mechanism for groups to realize order to achieve common good. International law is an “operational system for securing values that we all desire—security, freedom, the provision of sufficient material goods”. In the case of port operations, international law is the mechanism for meeting the common goals of states in relation to trade.
International law covering ports include shipping laws and laws of the sea and the conventions on port operations enforced by the United Nations, International Maritime Organization, World Trade Organization and other international bodies. Domestic law also governs port operations of a state. The aspects to be considered in studying the influence of domestic law on the economic performance of ports include domestic maritime laws, the existence of law enforcement institutions and the regulatory bodies.
Statement of the Problem
In order to determine the effect of laws, regulations and security procedures on economic development of Saudi’s ports, the researcher should gather data guided through the following questions:
1. How did the port operations in Saudi Arabia develop?
2. What are the characteristics of the present operations of Saudi ports?
3. What is the competitive position of Saudi Arabia’s ports in international trade?
4. What international laws affect port operations in Saudi Arabia?
5. What international bodies implement these international laws?
6. What international agreements or conventions entered into by the government of Saudi Arabia are relevant to its ports?
7. What bilateral and multilateral agreements have Saudi Arabia entered into that affects its ports?
8. What domestic laws affect Saudi’s ports?
9. What port state control regulations are in place in Saudi Arabia?
10. What is the purpose of recognizing these international laws?
11. What objectives are met by entering into conventions, multilateral and bilateral agreements?
12. What is the rationale for the port state control system in place?
13. What mechanisms are present to ensure the enforcement of these laws?
14. What are Saudi Arabia’s short and long-term economic goals for its ports?
15. Does the enforcement of international and domestic laws and regulations coincide with the economic goals of Saudi Arabia for its ports?
16. What are the different areas of port operations covered by law?
17. What issues or problems occur in the implementation of law on the different areas of port operations?
18. What are the conclusions and recommendations that can be derived from the experience of Saudi Arabia?
Objectives of the Study
The general objective of the study is to determine the influence that law has on the economic performance of ports in Saudi Arabia. Specific objectives include the determination of the international and domestic laws and regulations affecting the economic performance of the ports, the determination of legal variables used to measure the influence of laws on economic performance of ports, and the determination of the economic measures to show the extent of influence that the legal variables have on the economic measures.
Significance of the Study
The study is beneficial to the improvement of the port operations of Saudi Arabia because it provides an assessment of the role of law in the achievement of the economic goals of the state for its ports. The conclusions will show the nature and extent of influence that the different laws have on the economic performance of the ports and the recommendations provide suggestions on how Saudi Arabia can utilize the protection and regulation of different laws to optimize the realization of its economic goals in its ports.
The study will gather data through primary and secondary sources. Gathering primary data involves interviews of people with expertise, such as officials of the Saudi Port Authority, experts on the domestic and international laws governing port operation. The interview will be semi-structured to allow the researcher to obtain explanations or elaborations of answers to the interview questions to gain sufficient data on the different problem areas.
Collecting secondary data involves the research of books, journals, commentaries, papers and other studies on the performance of Saudi Arabian ports, international and domestic laws governing port operations and the influence of these laws on the economic performance of ports. Secondary data include raw data and published summaries, as well as both quantitative and qualitative data. Secondary data fall into three main subgroups, which are documentary data, interview-based data, and those compiled from different sources. Documentary secondary data refer to studies that use primary data collection methods with the information used on their own or combined with other secondary data. Interview-based secondary data are those data collected by questionnaires that have already been analyzed. Such data are available as compiled data tables or as a computer-readable matrix of raw data.
Data gathered will be presented through sub-topics to facilitate the organized flow of information. Data will be analyzed through a comparative law study method by comparing the similarities and differences in influence of the relevant laws, regulations, and security procedures affecting the economic performance of Saudi’s ports.
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by email@example.com (Muhammad Khaleel) @ Research Topics
Sat Nov 19 11:22:00 PST 2011
Decision making process is considered as the essential tool for keeping business organizations in its proper pacing in maintaining market success and increase in growth and stability as business managers must decide on better decision for the good of the company and that as a manager he need to use a set of framework in realizing his decisions and not to follow his gut feeling in times of critical situations that needs collaborative consideration from the management team and that he then needs to justify his interest in managerial decision making and focused on its distinct models and framework as it is the integral part of every business. Managers need to decide according to standards and principles being followed by the management and to respect its organization governance in which gut feeling approach is of no use because when managers make their decisions they should not be subjective in ways but objective and should adhere to the positive manner of the constructive approach of realizing the details of making decisions work effectively.
The analysis of provided a basic framework for investigating the general process of individual decision making that it comprises a few discrete stages: (1) what is the problem? (2) What are the alternatives? (3) Which alternative is best? as with regards to managerial decision making, the text emphasizes that such stages play out in a set of steps ranging from initial detection of a problem to implementation and monitoring of a chosen solution. The individual’s decision-making style is his natural, habitual (albeit learned) approach to effecting a choice and then acting on that choice. In particular, a substantial amount of research has been done to investigate the impact of personal values on outcomes of the decision-making process. For example, values have been related to differences in behaviors ranging from preference ratings for automobile attributes, to mass media usage, to occupational choice.
Henceforth, described managers as having to mediate decisions in response to a wide variety of pressures, as well as often having to put together a coalition of inside and outside groups to survive using instruments that characterizes managers as “feelers” rather than “thinkers,” and as “intuitive” rather than “sensing”: These managers are more interested in people and feelings than in analysis and is always waiting to know more before deciding, holding off decisions and judgments. They are open and flexible, able to see and appreciate all sides of issues, welcoming new perspectives and information about issues. Although private managers might demonstrate value preferences different from those of different decision-making styles, our research proposition is that the relationships between their values and decision-making styles should obtain. There was a decision-making framework for business managers who want to build their brands in a corporate advertising environment. The framework raises several questions that brand managers need to address and be able to show how questions pertaining to consumer characteristics and brand tactics form the basis of a useful conceptual model. There needs to investigate whether brand managers consider consumers’ corporate ad knowledge and how they use it in their brand planning for learning about actual brand decision-making processes in a corporate advertising environment.
It was believe that the decision making framework will facilitate conceptually based research on the management of brands in the modern business environment and limiting the gut feeling approach to be done to develop a meaningful theory of organization knowledge that can guide the managers. Decision-making processes related to choice of market, timing and mode of entry are therefore important to understand from both a research and managerial perspective ( 1999). Moreover, (1989) challenged several of the accepted principles of decision making, her research demonstrated that more successful companies in a better environment could analyze more relevant data, consider multiple alternatives simultaneously, and make faster decisions than their less successful competitors practicing slower decision-making processes in the same market. For example, the “comprehensive” perspective posited that, due to human cognitive limitations (, 1955) faster decisions could be made by limiting alternatives considered and by constraining analysis ( 1984; 1973; 1976). It was also generally accepted that centralized decision-making would speed the decision making process because conflict and consensus are more time-consuming than an autocratic process.
(1989) stated that when decision makers immerse in real-time information, they acquire “a deep personal knowledge of the enterprise that allows them to access and interpret information rapidly when major decisions arise. The executives making fast decisions also use tactics to accelerate analysis of information and alternatives during the decision process (p. 570). theory to faster decision making argues that two of the antecedent’s necessary for strategic decision speed are a two-tier advice process and consensus with qualification. Both of these antecedents call for a leadership type that inculcates others’ ideas and thoughts in the decision-making process. Therefore, decision-making theory requires a top management leadership that values participation of intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration, would allow a faster decision making process through ‘s (1989) theory of decision making. Moreover, the business world has been able to adapt some of the thinking from the field management practice. Many concepts can be applied to how people interact and how to operate the business as one of the concept that plays a major role in decision is gut feel or intuition.
People generally agree that intuition refers to the brain’s process of interpreting and reaching conclusions about phenomena without resorting to conscious thought. Thus, the Boston Consulting Groups wrote “intuition is the subconscious integration of all experiences, conditioning, and knowledge of a lifetime including the cultural and emotional biases of that lifetime.” The debate raging in the business sector in the clinical world is whether you should trust your intuition in making decisions or ignore it because of its lack of critical analysis. takes the view that intuition is extremely important and essential in decision making. He uses multiple examples of firefighters, intensive care nurses, marines and leaders who use their intuition to come to decisions in a rapid rammer because of their intuition skills. People have “gut feelings” when faced with making choices at work. For example, you may have evaluated a job candidate when your gut told you “something” seemed wrong because there is no way to quantify, these hunches you dismissed them as untrustworthy, only to discover later that your gut feeling was right all along. demystifies the role intuition plays in the workplace and gives us permission to trust our instincts. He shows that gut feel, far from being an innate “sixth sense,” is an essential and learnable skill that anyone can use to improve job performance.
t is as important a tool in making a decision as interpreting numbers or analyzing data. Gut feeling or Intuition is an essential, powerful and practical tool. discovered that the more experience people have in any particular field, the more they rely on gut feelings because it is a natural and direct outgrowth of experience. He defines gut feel/intuition as “the way people translate their experience into action.” In other words, people’s experience lets them recognize what is going on and make decisions. Most real-life decisions are simply not amenable to classic, analytical decision making as the experienced managers often make the mistake of assuming that their subordinates see the same patterns that are known to them. Then, believes that a lot of us want to accept the transformative power of intuition as if it were magical. According to him, people want to believe in intuition but it unfortunately blinds us to the less romantic realities of business decision making. For every great example of a great “gut decision’’, there is an equal and opposite example of a terrible one. refers to research studies of cognition that show a person’s thinking is subject to all sorts of biases and flaws, most of which operate at a subconscious level – the level of intuition.
The essence of business environment is to apply decision making structure in its process even if gut feeling in some ways can be good as indeed, the human drive to find decision patterns that will deal into the process of developing and shaping an appropriate organization structure amicably effective for modern business environment as the new decision support systems don’t eliminate human gut feel or intuition, as asserts that people harness its power while remedying its most pernicious flaws. In fact, he believes computers will impose a left-brain discipline on right-brain hunches in a way that is well beyond the computational capacity of the human mind. He feels that gut feelings continues to play a key role, allowing people to make informed decisions without short-circuiting its power within the combination in a form of creative potential as it offers the true fulfillment of the promise of human intuition.
Therefore, I agree that managers should use set of framework that will give basis and support in terms of deciding on something integrating to the decision making process on the other hand, the gut feeling approach could be used by the modern business environment depending upon which the need may arise and it is a sort of case to case situation as the purpose of making better decisions is to provide business success in the global market by means of depicting the general nature of relative components along with its aspects within exclusive domains and believe that in order for an organization to be more successful there should be a fit within its decision-making processes and organization context along its top management team. Furthermore, business managers can use gut feeling approach in some ways of realizing the decision framework respectively. Finally, in referring to decision-making, certain scale can be developed to determine if the decision making framework process at the managerial level of needed information and if the decision-making process is essential for the structure of the business as it provides evidence and making such study in research an important basis for future research p.
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Define, identify, discuss the historical development and demonstrate a broad comprehension of the nature of systems-oriented theoretical approaces to social issues
by firstname.lastname@example.org (Muhammad Khaleel) @ Research Topics
Sat Nov 19 09:58:00 PST 2011
1. Define, identify, discuss the historical development, and demonstrate a broad comprehension of the nature of systems-oriented theoretical approaches to social issues. (5 pages)
The study of human systems began in the twentieth century in the introduction of General Systems Theory. This is a cross-discipline field assuming that social science can pin down the living and non-living and treat them as systems. A Person In Environment (regarded as PIE) yields the suggestion of existing in a system that may be organized and arranged through social means. By system, similarities are determined with relations to patterns, unities and connecting to a whole. Systems can be a group of people, or units such as “families, organizations, communities, societies, and cultures” (Anderson, Carter, Lowe and Gruyter, 1999, p. 4). It is important to see the origin of social systems theory as beginning on Systems theory that came out influenced by various fields post-World War II. To approach social science by systems has been a debate of scholars. Systems itself is a vague term that may be employed and applied in several manners but what remains true is how they consistent of components or parts that function to form a whole in their own interdependent manner.
Systems to put more simply and bluntly describe relationships and the workings of interactions. The smallest unit of society is not the individual that will consist of the society as acollective but the most basic interaction or relationship the individual is able to bridge that will then form sequences, “patterns of exchange that occurs between individuals”. According to Jacob and Tennenbaum, the smallest unit of society then is “the system of members in mutual and interdependent relationships with one another, not individual behavior in isolation of context” (p. 4). Thus, a social system. It then proceeds to say that society or the world’s root is not the person but the relationship and interaction this person forms with another. The world, or society to say, cannot exist without communication. This remains to be a general or broad take of what a system is supposed to be. Systems may still be divided into levels or ranked to consist of suprasystems and subsystems according to Joan Jurish and Karen Myers-Bowman (1998). Jurish and Myers-Bowman explain this configuration through the systems that consist a human body such as the “circulatory, digestive, neurological”, which may be regarded as subsystems consisting a whole suprasystem which is the human body. Systems Theory has various assumptions: First, it believes in holism which focuses on the sum whole than its parts (and which would be expounded further in Parsons’ section). In holism, each interaction is an event that builds up to a pattern and forming a whole. Secondly, it assumes that Living Systems are open in a way that it would actively initiate and bring forth exchanges and interactions rather merely taking the role of responsive individuals. Human beings are also deemed to be intelligent enough to be reflective on what they do and know. Reality is consequently a construct, subjective rather objective. Systems Theory may educate how reality is perceived according to how it is organized and understood. Above all, Society is self-sustaining on its own (Jurish and Myers-Bowman, 1998).
General Systems Theory may be considered as founded by Ludwig von Bertalanffy during the earlier half of the 20th century. Bertalanffy became considered how the study of living beings can be so technical, scientific and mechanical. This is said to limit and “neglect” as well as “deny” to how life functions. Bertalanffy would rather for the perspective on Biology to be a living organism which cannot be pinned down by laws and concepts. His theories were then published after the World War where systems theory began to be embraced by various cross-disciplines. Jurish and Myers-Bowman (1998) add that the second World War in itself was a “major impact on the development of systems theory” where new fields such that of Norbert Wiener’s cybernetics was invented in order to further boost the defense weaponries of an army. Cybernetics emphasized on “feedback systems and communication technology” which allowed a further appreciation of the systems theory as an appreciation of electronics lead to a re-evaluation of how the human brain functions. This application of systems theory was further expounded by Gregory Bateson who integrated both the cybernetic processes to that of human processes which further led to the utilization and application of systems theory to the social science especially the family (Jurish and Myers-Bowman, 1998)
The idea of social activity as identifiable and possibly treated as a system began in the ancient times when Greeks initially perceive of systems as resembling a body, each part with its own role to contribute to this body. Then Thomas Hobbes was said to have taken the idea of society as an organism in his book, Leviathan. These efforts inspire the idea of society as living and working together to sustain itself. According to Kenneth Bausch (1999) Talcott Parsons was the first to apply systems theory in American society. In the book, “The Social Systems”, he proposed the idea of organizing society in to systems as a viable and autonomous guide for research and study and not merely as limiting as “extensions of psychology or manifestations of culture”. The actions of the individuals consisting a society is towards societal goals, “people are determined by society” (Anderson et al, 1999, p. 4). Parsons emphasis is that people sum up to a whole and thus a system can only be understood in its whole than in dividing it into isolated parts. What was prioritized then is the relationships between This is also called the Macro point of view. Another proponent is Habermas who promotes the Action Theory which has to do with the necessity of communication in the existence of a society. By this, individuals need to interaction with each other and form a culture that would stress the importance of roles and functions in order to sustain society in its ongoing processes. This is a more interaction based point of view that emphasizes on the units that comprise society than the society that is collected and built up. By emphasizing on parts, the point of view becomes the atomic. In this regard, it is people who determine society than societal norms, culture and goals determining how people should function. Society is dependent to the people that exist within it and thus, it is dependent on how the individual functions or behaves so to speak. This behavior may comprise of a pattern that will then comprise of a system.
Thus maintaining the system can be performed in four ways. Firstly is to maintain the sense of pattern through stability and institutionalizing such pattern (which may be a challenge to do in curbing the individual to the patterns. The maintenance of the system may also be expressed by goal orientation wherein society is motivated towards the attaining of goals for the sake of the system. Thirdly there is maintenance through adaptation which is through the sacrifice or disposal of some goals in respect to a more necessary one to maintain the organization. Then fourthly there is the integration which is supposed to be the integration of the functions of pattern and goal orientation. By integration, adjustment also becomes essential in order to fully accept goals towards the effectiveness and stability of a pattern. It is what eventually keeps the system intact in its whole self.
The critique with the General Social System Theory was that it idealizes society as that is quiet, peaceful and orderly. Society also comprises of stable and rational individuals all working towards unity. It fails to include the possibilities of chaos, inequality and instability. Scholars dispute that Social Systems are in reality, chaotic and complex as systems are subjected to constant change. While General Systems Theory supposes that societies will proceed to one end, the Complex theory proceeds with the notion of multiple ends. There is no circular motion nor is there a way to go back to where society started. “Once a system has developed along a given path it cannot simply go back again.” This is because relationships upon interrelationships would have formed to “complicated and interwoven” heights. This theory actually disputes the existence of a systems theory as it postulates human beings as inability to be contained and covered by science and unable to supply the multiple levels and dimensions which will enrich it. It regards social systems as too complicated an understanding that cannot be pinned down (Franklin, Skeeter and Warren, 1998).
In the application of System approaches to School District Management, systems theory holds that schools are managed in such a way that they would resemble “organizations, where teachers are accountable for their students’ results”. Systems Theory also promote personalized, subjective and one on one learning where the learning is performed by the student and not provided by the mentor. The philosophy behind this is that the school is a sum of a whole, of each student working positively. Systems theory would make effective and efficient the educational institution through its arrangement of levels supra-systems and subsystems. Because relationships and interactions are emphasized, teachers are encouraged to build relationships with students as students are also necessary in building relationships with each other. With systems theory, students can indeed become “active learners seeking knowledge” because of the personal attention granted to them. This means the school needs to be self-sufficient, open and reflective (Hong et al, 1997).
Systems Theory calls for schools to be synchronized and united in one clearly defined purpose each subsystem with their purpose and functions to meet in order to allow the suprasystem to meet the said goal (through a feedback system). Systems are also supposedly dynamic that will consist of “cycles and trends”. School systems are also by assumption rational thus each child is worthy of such a treatment as rational beings (Sybouts, 1992, p. 25).
Schools should have “sufficient variety, or diversity” in order for it to be creative and responsive as well as self-regulating. The school is influenced by all its constituents and goal-oriented which is usually the “intellectual and emotional development of students” (p. 18) through modified thoughts (output, as well as input of another system such as the student’s families or other systems). In fact this is the major objective of each school which is to precisely “develop educated citizens” (p. 19).
The School District is a suprasystem containing ideally various interdependent subsystems such as the “classroom, an administrative council, a curriculum committee, or an extracurricular student club”. The School District as a suprasystem has relationships with each of its subsystems and to a larger suprasystem such as its “community and regional environments”. The school will be an inter-working of systems and resources outside and inside. Again, systems cannot exist without relationships so the very basic unit of school systems may be “tutoring pairs, project groups, committees, classrooms, school staffs, and entire districts” (p. 19). The classroom or school staff themselves may be a suprasystem of subsystems such as friendship cliques.
Patricia Schmuck and Richard Schmuck (1974) provide the Principles for employing systems theories to the school organization. According to the authors subsystems may consistent of “Learning groups, constituted of students, teacher(s) and curriculum materials.” Communication is established together through a sharing of data and responsibilities. The learning group may only consist of a pair of people or the group can be the entire school district in itself. The subsystems encourage interactions with one another. The changes are performed top-down. Personal relationships would also be established from the “I-Thou transactions.” These systems also have specified goals (p. 21) and are designed in such a way that may predict future outcomes thus leading to flexibility. The system also attends to the “emotional needs of members” in the achievement of the school mission as each member is increasingly sensitive of one another. Learning groups are also above all, interdependent along with the other subsystems and these systems continuously influence each other. This is in lieu of the system theory’s premise of an open and flexible system. This is usually the sources of conflicts due to discrepancies in goals and interdependence. This is natural in a school within the system theory set-up according to Schmuck and Schmuck but the system also holds that it is self-regulating and able to communicate grievances enough to lessen stress caused by the conflicts. There is also the availability of resources and the inevitability of culture.
In applying systems theory to schools, Schmuck and Schmuck propose a four-level framework. To enumerate (1974, p. 94):
1) The individual – Students, teachers, and administrators
2) The learning group – Classrooms and committees;
3) The school organization – The social procedures of the levels working together
4) The external environment- School board, budget, and parents.
By understanding the above mentioned levels, it may be even more possible to strategize a system-oriented school.
2. Critique systemic approaches to school district management associated directly systems-oriented theoretical approaches.
Systems oriented approach to social issues has made its mark in managing or administrating schools especially since schools can be taken as organizations: suprasystems and subsystems. The school is in every right a social system, not just of students and teachers, but also to the families of the students. Thomas Cafferty and Frederic Medway (1992) considers the contribution of school psychology to school psychology. They are related because they have similar origins and philosophies. Cafferty and Medway proposes the treatment of schools as organizations and believe that this allow “effective intervention strategies” with regards to “structure, process and behavior.” Structure means Organizational Structure which is given rise by the mission statement of an organization. It will determine the goal beliefs of the school and purposes of the school. This may enhance the functioning of the organizations.
As organizations, schools may relate to each other and respond to each other. Schools achieve its mission and goals precisely through the cooperation and coordination of its people and systems. More basically, this is performed through constant communication, interaction and building effective relationships that may be guided by effective policies. Everything in the school, despite having to deal with technical aspects such as “budgets, marketing, hierarchies” are systems that exist to manage relationships.
Bureaucracy was the common system or theory that has managed organizations such as schools. The literature is rich with theories, studies, research, critiques as well as analyses. For man times this structure was adapted to several organizations and fields. It introduced concepts such as “decision making, leadership, motivation, organizational politics, and systems theory”(p. 39). Bureaucracies present hierarchies. Some officials are higher than some and there are the presences of domination and authority (and thus subjection and accountability of subordinates). Contracts govern positions, formality, loyalty, technicality, and employment that is paid by salaries. The effect this has on schools is that there is “discontinuity”. This also means the lack of relationships and a prevailing impersonality. Roles are strictly and expected to be followed and employees are hired because of technical skills and abilities. Divisions make it difficult for communication to take place and lack of awareness of one division to another. Work has a tendency to be poorly distributed because some divisions have more responsibilities than others. There is also the prevailing indifference from one division to another such that disables the possibility of assistances. The lack of communication would lead to a lack of policies, a mission statement and core beliefs that would have been the administration’s way to communicate its goals to its subordinates. By having no such communication or policies, there was a vague notion of what to do, how to plan and inconsistency. Responsibilities were also unclear besides proceeding in a schedule. The lack of communication also made it impossible for teachers or students to air their opinions. Because there is a lack of policies, rules, orders and decisions were vague enough to cause internal conflicts, stress and tensions in the bureaucracy.
Thus, there is the Social Systems Theory as an alternative. This involves the need towards communication, interaction and relationships such that the Bureaucracy Theory was unable to address. The bureaucracy emphasizes hierarchy, structures and control while the social system theory involves a more meaningful and defined job beyond mere employment and salaries. They are the sum of a whole, working together for the good of the organization. Subjectivity is prioritized over objectivity as bureaucracy is deemed a dehumanized system for the lack of personal regard to them. Social systems consider the role of relationships in shaping the individual’s behaviour within an organization. It considers the organization as a culture, as consisting of roles, unique and gifted individuals and individuals as substantially enriched by socialization. Roles, rather to be strictly and expected to be followed, are a means towards expression of oneself. Roles, most importantly, are not only individual, but more importantly, social. It involves relationships with other people as teachers for example are necessitated to construct relationships with students, colleagues, and their administrators in order to fully enact on their roles.
Inevitably some would see schools as organizations that are not ideal for Systems theory. Learning may be taken as a complex activity than systematic and organized. David Reilly (1999) emphasized how education reform efforts in American education were unsuccessful in producing more “acceptable learning outcomes” and only end up spending several billions of dollars towards an effective learning for students because it fails to consider learning as a chaotic and complex process. Instead, the focus has largely been on systems theory. Systems theory had apparently limited student learning through low expectations and rigid guidelines. Nonlinear systems theory or the chaos and complex theory is said to be effective in understanding how a student learns and demonstrating this. “Learning is clearly a developmental process” such that cannot be traced or generalized. Students learn differently in different levels, ages, speeds and amounts due to the fact that each student has different ways in processing information. Learning cannot be logical and rational as systems theory would hold. Systems Theory, as mentioned earlier, assumes that there is equifinality and rationality in the organization in question. It is a more optimistic and rather utopic point of view that Reilly (1999) disputes against. Nonlinear systems theory hold that there is “irregular periodicity, sensitivity to initial conditions and minute changes in process, and lack of predictability” which also goes to say much as to how learning takes place. There is no logical procedure. Only then can teachers truly understand how students learn, by being open to various options rather set roles. In a Linear systems theory, Curriculum guidelines are “predictable, sequential and linear” each with certain set expectations to meet such that may cause problems later as it may be invariable to the learning extent of the child. In order to compliment the learner’s chaotic and unpredictable learning ability, the guidelines should not be set and in fact be interchangeable.
Bureaucratic Theory is usually regarded as the traditional model while systems theory is considered as the more innovative. Bureaucratic is hard to disregard in favour of the systems alternative. Tamar Levine, Hanna Shachar and Shlomo Sharan (1999) call systems theory as a combination while bureaucracies are known to divide through its specializations. Bureaucracy does not pay attention to the environment or “on the horizontal (rather than vertical) relationships and interaction in the organization, the exchanges and information flow between colleagues” (p. 2). Systems are known to, in the meantime, “exchange matter, energy and information with their environments” through processes and performances of inputs and outputs allowing it to be self-sustaining. Feedback is taken here as a crucial ingredient in schools especially in reinforcing communication, interaction and relationships between the organization’s systems. Feedback emphasizes that information comes not from one entity (the administration or authority) but rather, everywhere. This may be teams of teachers who will combine forces in order to solve problems. According to the three authors, this system remains to be unknown in today’s schools as the bureaucratic school remains prevailing. All parts are dependent to hierarchy rather interdependent among each other. Schools, according to Levine, Shachar and Sharan are “a strange kind of system” (p. 8) because the systems may not be as interdependent and rather, be “loosely connected” (p. 8) This is true in the cases of students with irregular classes and classmates. There is a prevailing disconnection between students and teachers. For a true systems approach to take place within a school, there is really the necessity to invite innovative teaching methods that will generate feedback loops and interaction rather a one-sided learning (all from which produced and coming from the teacher). Efforts include the changing of schedule, textbooks and inclusion of computer which will promote a sense of interaction. Schools are largely dominated by divided disciplines which fail to see holistic connections. In order to encourage communication among such mentors, they would need to group together and collaborate in solving problems and in the data gathering. Teachers may also collaborate to “formulate schoolwide policies” (p. 9). Basically, “there should be communication between teachers within and between departments dealing with different subject areas; it is equally important that such communication hold meaning for the students” (p. 10). Teachers are responsible of whether the curriculum will be rigid or not, or the collaboration or division of which. Once they are able to employ systems theory, it will be reflective and passed along from top down.
Levine, Shachar and Sharan (1999) consider “the concept of feedback for self-regulation and the goal-oriented nature of systems for transforming input to yield a product of some kind” (p. 16) as the Unique Contributions of Systems Theory to School Organizations. This is because schools have a recurring problem of having sufficient feedback processes that will monitor its processes and allow it to be self-regulated. The authors consider it an infamous problem of having “clear links between means and ends” due to the poor or lack of communication and inability to obtain feedback. This is also brought by the fact that schools tend to follow the traditional Bureaucratic model. This is largely because there is a lack of interest in being a community and accomplishing responsibilities to the good of the organizations. The systems theory indeed perceives of the school as not just an organization but a community. However bureaucratic tendencies still overwhelm and overpower the educational institution especially in teacher and classroom pattern. Levine, Shachar and Sharan (1999) are adamant in their recommendation of using the teams of teachers model as a means towards generating feedback and the systems model. Classrooms needed to be designed in such a way that will compliment the organization, “the whole” of the school. As subsystems embody and are interrelated into suprasystems, classrooms perceivably “incorporate the basic features of the manner in which the school as a whole is organized and operates” (p. 56). The school’s direction is enacted by the merest student following academic tasks.
The ideal school, or the school of tomorrow, will follow the systems theory. There will be “interrelatedness” and “integration” as the school will react not only among itself but to its outside environment (or the community it belongs to). In this manner, communication and interaction take place. Teachers will not be divided in their own classrooms and disciplines for specific amount of times. “The school’s organization will have considerable flexibility and mobility among its component elements” (p. 78) Decision is not only made by teachers but also teachers as participation and collaboration make up of the “critical decisions regarding teaching and learning”. Instruction is not one-sided or coming from teachers alone, but students will be active learners “through processes of problem solving, discussion, investigation, simulation and so forth as individuals or as in teams”. Students will not be alone in this undertaking as they will be supported by their mentors and the resources needed to perform this. Students will also be guided by other people who may be masters in their professions in order to integrate real life experiences in education. Resources will also include the latest technology and data all of which leading to a “production-oriented institutions”. The mission of this said school will be communicated with its processes (means to ends) while being learner centred at the same time as the students’ “interests, needs, and successes” will be addressed as acquired by feedback.
3. ) Demonstrate an understanding of the major concepts in systems-oriented theories, and how they are expressed in the context of school district management structures.
The Independent School Districts of Texas is one of the school districts which has been inching away from the Traditional fold, which would be the Bureaucratic way of managing a school district. It has been adjusting to environmental changes along with other public school districts. The changes have been from top down leading to a School wide Reform to redefine how its organizations and systems are arranged. Bureaucratic systems are known to under utilize and waste human and physical resources due to the lack of integration and interrelation. The State of Texas has consequently promoted a system of organizational changes through small districts or charter school districts. Charter school districts as well as Independent School Districts are now tasked to apply such change.
Having discussed system theories and having treated schools as organizations and having established the growing awareness to reform U.S. education by policy makers from top down, the paper will proceed to apply what has been established to the Charter school Districts and I.S.Ds in the State of Texas. This involves raising the bar to higher standards for not only the students to meet but also the teachers. The immediate solution that appears was the improvement of the system, the organization in which the school functions. Each individual is responsible and expected to accomplish their roles towards an improved learning and enhanced interaction through feedback. The school will also acknowledge that each subsystem is very much representative of the whole. The State of Texas has taken the challenge to upgrade itself to a higher more effective form of education. To do this, the change needs to take place within the system which means acknowledging the need towards interrelations and a clear goal. Most educational reforms opt to enhance a school’s resources which would not be as useful and contributing if it was not integrated along with the internal system, processes and results. If there is no cohesion or an innovative take in education, the reforms will find it difficult to surface. For systemic change to take place and for it to be totally comprehensive and penetrating, an educational environment should ideally employ a systems approach towards change. When one says top-down, that means the Federal government, to the local government, to the school district, to the school building in itself and to its very core: the classroom (which as emphasized, is a suprasystem of subsystems). The administration is linked to the instruction department (consisting of teachers) while the government supports the administration. By creating a flow of communication, interaction and relationship among the systems, systems may be open and flexible. It is necessary for the Educational system to be open because it needs to interact with its environment and within it. In this manner, evaluation and adaptability may be performed. By cohesion, it is possible for a system to function as a whole, from the classroom to the government level. There are Six Design Phases for a systems approach which is Planning, Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation and Evaluation. (Russo-Converso, 2001, p. 22)
· Plan: Determine desired outcomes, identify stakeholders that include sponsors, advocates, change agents, and change targets.
· Analysis: Identify gap between “what is and what should be” and causes of the gap. Select alternative solutions (e.g., innovations and interventions) to close or eliminate the gap.
· Design: Create guidelines and processes for implementing and evaluating selected solutions.
· Development: Create innovations and interventions to close or eliminate the gap between “what is and what should be.”
· Implementation: Diffuse the innovation and intervention.
· Evaluation: Formatively measure the effectiveness and efficiency in terms of desired outcomes for the purpose of continuous improvement.
The State of Texas Public Education Mission and Objectives is that every child is given quality education to allow them to reach their potentials and contribute as well as participate in their society. Students will be encouraged and granted several opportunities in order to attain growth and meet standards not only local but also international. The teachers will similarly have to be qualified and effective. Emphasized also is the need to train and develop them. The credo also mentions the needs of an environment that promotes safety and learning, critical to a systems approach organization. One objective is of critical note: “Educators will keep abreast of the development of creative and innovative techniques in instruction and administration using those techniques as appropriate to improve learning” This one objective emphasizes the openness towards a systems approach of the Texas Public Education system. There is also the goal towards resources and implementation of technological resources in order to “increase the effectiveness of student learning, instructional management, staff development, and administration”. There is a top-down approach towards the implementation of technology which also is an objective of a systems approach in order to enhance interaction and communication. The objective emphasizes how improvement must not only be made in the part of students but also the teachers and administrations.
It is important for Teachers to construct relationships with students, colleagues, and their administrators in order to fully enact on their roles. As they determine the instructional department of the school, constant training would be enormous in its contribution to allow them not only to work among students but among themselves as they could expertly provide evaluation and feedback regarding the school system. In this manner, there will be a bridging of communication rather the disconnection that has been plaguing poorly modelled bureaucratic schools. Teachers can enormously contribute to the curriculum which makes their training truly important and they have what it takes to bringing cohesion in a divided school organization. Teachers make critical decisions rearding the school system which emphasizes the need towards participation and collaboration in their part.
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Strategic Management of British Airways Company
Transportation plays an essential role to the success of many businesses and organizations. Without efficient transportation, many supplies and raw materials will not be brought from one place to another. It has been reported that humans have always needed to get around from place to place, making the act of walking a limitation on the distance traveled and the things they could carry. Consider the innovations that help humans travel around and transport cargo, including automobiles, ships, and airplanes (2006). Through these innovations, humans were able to effectively and efficiently move from one place to the next with the convenience of bringing luggage and cargo.
Today, through transportation, humans were able to make trade relations with one another. Many business organizations make it a point to travel to different cities and countries to promote their products and services. Traveling and promotion are now part of an organization’s strategic management. From this, airlines play a major importance in the success of business organizations around the world. Business organizations are able to widen their market by traveling to different places via the airlines. Their importance leads us to evaluate their strategies in dealing with their business. This paper aims to discuss the strategic management of a specific airline company and assess its effectiveness in the business.
British Airways Airline Company
It has been reported that the British Airways is the largest airline of the United Kingdom and one of the largest in the world, with more flights from Europe across the Atlantic than any other operator ( 2006). British Airways flies to over 550 destinations and to more than 130 countries worldwide, including London, major European centers such as Paris and Frankfurt, and Asian hubs like Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok (2005). This airline is synonymous with excellent service and quality and has always been regarded as a leader in the airline industry, and serves more than 35 million passengers annually. Its history traces back to 1924 when the five small British independent airlines merged under state guidance to form Imperial Airways. At present, British Airways operates out of London’s two main ports, namely Heathrow, which is the world’s largest international airport, and Gatwick (2005).
For its travel classes, the British Airways offers four cabins. The first cabin is complete with fully flat seats, each in its own cocoon-style area with a seat for a companion to join the passenger for meals or for a chat. The second cabin is called the Club World, having flat bed sleeper seats. The third cabin is the World Traveller Plus, a premium economy services, offering more room in-flight and dedicated check-in desks, and the last cabin is the World Traveller, which is the airline’s economy, or coach class ( 2006).
Strategy Review of the British Airways
Strategic management is that set of managerial decisions and actions that determines the long-run performance of a corporation, and includes aspects such as environmental scanning, strategy formulation, strategy implementation, and evaluation and control ( 2006). Strategic management is important for every business, as it determines its success in the market, in its formulation and implementation of projects. One of the strategies of airlines is alliances or merges. Alliancing in airline industry seems persistent, as every international airline is forging alliances of some form, which can be traced as far back as the 1940s (2004). From a strategic perspective, airline alliances have become an inherent part of the task environment of airlines (2004). Alliances are beneficial for airlines in its control and maintenance on the business. Similarly, this strategy was adopted by the British Airways for better service. On March 31, 1924, Britain’s four airlines, namely, Instone, Handley Page, Daimler Airways, and British Air Marine Navigation merged to form Imperial Airways (2006b). However, during this time a number of smaller UK airline companies had started their operations, so in 1935, these airlines merged to form the original privately owned British Airways Ltd. The British Government in 1939 nationalized the airlines and after the Second World War, the airlines were combined to form the British Airways in 1974 (2006b). The driving factor behind alliances is long-term profitability, and their formation tends to be for strategic reasons, such as accessing larger markets, establishing global brand loyalty and building hub-to-hub traffic (1998). This move is advantageous for the airline to service more passengers and establish market reputation. Alliances or merges are part their strategic management plan, as being part of the strategy formulation and implementation. Strategy formulation and implementation is an on-going, never-ending, integrated process requiring continuous reassessment and reformation, is dynamic, and involves a complex pattern of actions and reactions ( 2006). Being dynamic, airlines tend to always innovate and improve their actions to further enhance the quality of their service.
In addition, another way for the British Airways to cope with serious competition from other airlines, it continuously provides itself changes and innovation for better services. Strategic management, having its characteristic of being dynamic and complex, enables the British Airways to accommodate change. This change is done by improving the amenities of the airlines and developing new information systems as added services. It remains to be the world’s international airline and the first airline to offer jet passenger services, the first to operate weather-beating auto landings, the first to offer supersonic passenger services, and the first in the modern era to offer fully-flat beds (2006c). Due to the mentioned services, the British Airways were able to build a good reputation in the market and gain the trust of many customers. These has widened their industry and made the airlines to be “the world’s most favorite airline”.
British Airways is based at London Heathrow Airport in London, England, and has a commanding presence at Gatwick and Manchester International Airport. It has succeeded in dominating Heathrow to the point that the airport is commonly referred to as Fortress Heathrow within both the airline and its competitors (2006a). It serves flights to destinations in the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, India, France, Germany and other major countries around the world.
Currently, British Airways has a modern fleet with an average age of 9.7 years, and consists of Airbus A319-100, A320-100, A320-200, Boeing 737-300, 737-400, 737-500, 747-400, 757-200, 767-300ER, 777-200, and 777-200ER (2006b). The type of aircraft, aircraft number, capacity and destinations are shown in the table.
Short haul European and UK domestic routes
Being replaced by Boeing 737-500
(7 on order)
Short haul European and UK domestic routes
(3 on order)
Short haul European and UK domestic routes
Short haul European and UK domestic routes
Short haul European and UK domestic routes
Short haul European and UK domestic routes
Long haul international routes
Short haul European and UK domestic routes
Long haul and short haul routes to the Caribbean, the USA and Europe
Long haul routes
Long haul routes
From ( 2006a)
Moreover, the British Airways have franchises from other airlines including the British Mediterranean Airways since 1997, the COM air in South Africa since 1996, the GB Airways of UK since 1995, the Loganair in UK since 1994, and the Sun Air in Denmark since 1996 (2006a). Due to these alliances, the British Airways were able to produce large sum of profits, shown in the table below.
Passengers flown 
Profit/loss before tax (£m)
Net profit/loss (£m)
Basic eps (p)
31 March 2006
31 March 2005
31 March 2004
31 March 2003
31 March 2002
31 March 2001
31 March 2000
31 March 1999
31 March 1998
31 March 1997
31 March 1996
From (‘British Airways’ 2006a)
Demand for air travel has declined since four planes were hijacked and used to attack the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The world’s favorite airline, the British Airways, is one of the airlines that have been forced to cut jobs and routes ( 2001). Due to the incident, more problems bombard the company, such as the global slowdown in the travel industry, the lower demand for bookings, fuel costs rise sharply, insurance costs going up, and higher airport taxes ( 2001). From these obstacles, the company saw the need for strategic changes in attracting the market.
As a solution to this decline, the airline offered improved amenities, including sleeper seats, in an attempt to lure business travelers at the expense of economy class customers ( 2001). It has unveiled £600 million worth of new customer services and products, which is the biggest investment of its kind in airline history, including flat beds in its ‘Club World’ long haul business cabin. Furthermore, the airline has added legroom in its ‘World Traveller Plus’ section. With this sections, British Airways passengers can now upgrade from traditional economy on extended flights without paying for a Club ticket ( 2005).
In addition, due to the arising problems in the company, the president, Bob Ayling attempted to have a merger with American Airlines, but failed due to regulatory problems ( 2001). With this, different presidents of the company did many more attempts to revive its reputation and decreasing performance.
Moreover, in 2005, Cisco Systems and Prime Business Solutions announced a major network convergence project for British Airways to improve its communications for 14,000 offices and airport staffs. This project marks the sale of Cisco’s five millionth Internet Protocol (IP) telephone system, which is being developed and implemented by Cisco Gold Certified Partner, Prime, and will be the largest of its kind in the airline industry worldwide ( 2005). This improvement in the system of British Airways reduces costs and improves productivity through the integration of all voice and data communications onto a single network. It allows British Airways to remove the cost of inter-office telephone calls and will streamline the management and provisioning of telephony services throughout the company ( 2005). Furthermore, the networked capabilities of Cisco’s IP phone system will make the relocation of communications services quicker and easier ( 2005). With this advantage, British Airways deployed 8,500 Cisco IP phone system to the company, and the project was completed in March 2006 ( 2005).
The role of British Airways in the transportation industry is an important factor for many business organizations. With this, it is necessary to conclude that the British Airways continue to improve their innovations and systems as their strategies of developing their company. These are in accordance to their aim of increasing their profit and for rendering better services to their customers. With better services, the company can persist on maintaining their established reputation and image to their market. With their strategies, such as the mergers, and improvement of amenities and services, the company can attract more customers and can guarantee more improved service to many passengers and airline staff. These would not only generate more profit and prestige for the airline company, but would also foster harmony and good working environment for each employee. Continuous innovation and improvement in British Airways can sometimes produce problems, but with good leadership and company maintenance, development can be achieved properly and efficiently.
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Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) – Adolescent
This paper discusses the details importantly to take note of regarding the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-Adolescent or MMPI-A. This describes the historical background of the test in order to provide useful background or support of the discussion. It also includes the general description of the test, which would be highly useful in the progression of the discussion. Psychometric qualities of the test were also provided, which includes the standardization, validity, and reliability of the test. Its varied uses were also given importance, such as its use in the clinical or medical, legal or forensic, and psychological uses. A critique of the test was done through determining and analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the test, by stating its psychometric qualities, and by discussing the relevant ethical and legal issues involved in its use. Part of the paper is to specify its use in the practical setting, which indicates its purposes, benefits, challenges, and use of the results of the test. At the end of the paper, a conclusion was done, which places emphasis on the summary of what was discussed in the paper and the personal thoughts of the author.
Table of Contents
Title Page 1
Table of Contents 3
Description of the Test and Its History 4
Psychometric Qualities of the Test 6
Uses of the Test 8
Critique of the Test 10
Description of the Use of the Test in Own Setting 13
The drastic changes happening in the society today significantly affect the welfare, personality, perceptions, and even the future of adolescents, thus, affecting the future of the entire society as well. Such changes lead to more serious problems that result to emotional, physical, and psychological damages in individuals that consequently yield to other social problems, such as increased rates and cases of juvenile delinquency, crimes involving adolescents, abortion, single-parenthood, and diseases caused by sexual aggression, such as AIDS and sexually-transmitted illnesses. With these problems at hand, the field of psychology would be able to help the society, particularly the adolescents in terms of introducing psychological tests, which would assist adolescents in measuring their personality, such as the MMPI-A or the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-Adolescent. The different details about the test, including its qualities and uses are discussed in the paper, including its critique and application. At the end of the paper, a conclusion is provided in order to highlight the important points discussed in the paper.
Description of the Test and Its History (Important Evolutionary Milestone)
It has been reported by Archer (2005) that the work on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory or the MMPI was begun by Stark R. Hathaway, a psychologist, and J.C. McKinley, a neuropsychologist, in 1937. The authors of the test were motivated to come up a “personality inventory” based primarily on noticing that a large proportion of clients for medical treatment manifested psychoneurotic complaints. As such, Hathaway and McKinley sought to develop an instrument that would be useful in determining and describing clients in a manner that was more effective and appropriate than using psychiatric interview techniques, which are traditionally used for psychological evaluations of medical clients. During the continuous development and administration of the test, its application is extended to adolescent populations for both clinical and research purposes. Although the administration of MMPI was intended for individuals who were 16 years of age and older, Dahlstrom et al (1972) noted that it can be also used effectively with “bright children as young as 12”, thus, the delineation of age 12 as its lower limit in terms of MMPI administration was probably related to the estimate that a sixth-grade reading level was a prerequisite for understanding the MMPI item pool (p. 24).
The year 1941 marks the first research application of the MMPI with adolescents, which is two years before the formal application of MMPI in 1943. Dora Capwell, in 1945 indicated that the test has an ability to accurately discriminate between groups of delinquent and non-delinquent adolescent girls based on Pd scale elevation. The validity of the test was also proven by Hathaway and Monachesi, who collected the largest MMPI data set ever obtained on adolescents, in a longitudinal study of the relationship between MMPI findings and delinquent behaviors. In the end, the study done by Hathaway and Monachesi proved to be very valuable in a number of ways, namely, by (1) establishing that the MMPI can usefully predict at least one broad area of important behavior exhibited by adolescents, which is delinquency; (2) providing a body of crucial information concerning differences in item endorsement for male vs. female adolescents and for adolescents vs. adults; (3) providing a major component of the traditionally used adolescent norms, which is later developed by Marks and Briggs; and (4) providing an extraordinarily rich source of data for follow-up investigations of the original Hathaway and Monachesi subjects, across topics from the prediction of juvenile delinquency to the personality precursors of schizophrenia (Archer, 2005, pp. 30-32). Thus, with such findings, at present, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory is now the most frequently used objective personality instrument employed with adolescents (Janus et al., 1998, p. 321). It is now the most frequently used self-report measure to determine adolescents who are in need of psychological intervention and used to identify such adolescents from those displaying the normal spectrum of emotional and behavioral liability (as cited in Hand et al., 2007, p. 80). With this, it is often employed in court cases in order to provide personality information on defendants or litigants in which psychological adjustment factors are relevant to the resolution of the case. Its administration is fairly easy, thus, providing an objective measure of personality. Being a well-researched and highly-reliable instrument, the test is often used in custody evaluations, as it provides clear and valid descriptions of the problems, symptoms, and characteristics of individuals in broadly accepted clinical language. In addition, the profiles are manageable to explain in court and appear to be relatively simple for people to comprehend (Karp and Karp, 2008).
Psychometric Qualities of the Test (Standardization, Reliability and Validity)
Standardization of the Test. It has been indicated that the MMPI was re-standardized in 1992 specifically for use with adolescents, in part to resolve normative confusion and to modify its original form for more appropriate use with adolescent respondents. The development of the MMPI-A involved the collection of normative data for 805 boys and 815 girls between the ages of 14 and 18, inclusive. Its final form included the original 13 basic validity and clinical scales with significant basic scale changes largely restricted to scales F, Mf, and Si. Although endorsement frequencies for the MMPI-A items were examined, comparisons between normative and clinical samples were not used as criteria in retaining or modifying the basic scales. It also included the development of 15 content scales, where eleven overlap with similar measures developed for MMPI-2, whereas 4 scales were uniquely developed for the MMPI-A (Archer et al., 2001, p. 421).
Reliability. Groth-Marnat (2003) reports that reliability studies indicate that MMPI-A had moderate levels of temporal stability and internal consistency, due to fluctuations in some scales. For example, Scale 2 (Depression) is particularly likely to be lowered after successful treatment; Scale 7 (Psychasthenia) would be likely to change according to an individual’s external situation. Thus, in this sense, test-retest reliability may actually be an inappropriate method of evaluating these scales for certain populations. In addition, this defense of the tests’ reliability is somewhat undermined by the observation that test-retest reliability is actually slightly more stable for psychiatric populations than for normals. Whereas the media range for psychiatric clients is about .80, media reliabilities for normals are about .70. Split-half reliabilities are likewise moderate, having an extremely wide range from .05 to .96 with median correlations in the .70s (as cited in Groth-Marnat, 2003, p. 221).
Validity. It has been indicated that findings from studies of the MMPI-2 and MMPI-A have mostly been consistent with studies done of the original MMPI. Investigations and studies have suggested that an incremental, though modest, contribution to the accuracy of clinical prediction when the MMPI is compared or combined with other sources of clinical information. Moreover, evidence for the convergent validity of the MMPI, MMPI-2, and MMPI-A is generally recognized to be better than that for its discriminant validity. The method of contrasted groups, in which the item responses of a pathological criterion group are contrasted with those of a diverse group of psychiatrically healthy individuals, used for the development of the basic clinical scales has been the subject of criticism on both theoretical and psychometric grounds. Thus, in this regard, this method of scale construction increased sensitivity but allowed considerable item overlap, giving rise to enhanced correlations among the clinical scales and reduction of specificity and compromising discriminant validity. As a result, the test tends to perform better in discriminating between major psychiatric conditions than it does within them (American Psychiatric Assocation, 2000, p.91).
Uses of the Test
Primarily, the basic use of MMPI-A is in clinical settings. One clinical application of its use has been emphasized in the study done to address concerns about the mixing of different developmental ages, use of inadequate comparison groups, and the lack of reliance on reliable and valid measures of psychological, behavioral, and psychosocial problems used in previous studies of sexually abused children and adolescents. Through the administration of the test, the study has found out that a number of significant differences between reportedly sexually abused and non-sexually abused on the MMPI-A scales are reported, and a significantly larger proportion of sexually abused participants were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder had numerous difficulties. Based on the tests, sexually abused adolescents had significantly higher elevations on scales that reflect thoughts of self-harm, depression, feelings of worthlessness, withdrawal from others and frequent running away. In addition, adolescents with such elevations tend to see their future as hopeless, feel that no one understands them, and consequently, respond minimally to treatment (Forbey et al., 2000, pp.9-10). Thus, clinicians must be able to take note of such factors in order to provide better diagnosis and treatment for such adolescents.
Another use of the MMPI-A is for research purposes. It has been emphasized that the test manual for MMPI-A not only provides extensive data based on its normative sample but also provides psychometric data derived from a clinical sample of 420 boys and 293 girls between the ages of 14 and 18, inclusive. It also provided the mean MMPI-A profiles for 1,032 girls and 730 boys in psychiatric treatment who had completed the original MMPI, with the protocols rescored on MMPI-A norms. Through the test, a variety of studies have already been studied in relation to profile characteristics of adolescents in residential or inpatient psychiatric facilities, eating disorder programs, and in several inpatient and outpatient treatment programs for juvenile offenders (Forbey et al., 2000, p.3). Thus, in this regard, it can be understood that the test significantly provides additional information and knowledge regarding the different issue at hand.
The next use of MMPI in adolescents is having knowledge regarding their personality and measuring their type of personality, which would be very helpful in assessing and understanding themselves. Once an adolescent or his/her parents or guardians are able to have adequate knowledge regarding their personality, then they would able to come up with strategies that would contribute to behavior modification, most especially when the behavior of the adolescent creates nuisance or havoc to the family, community or society. In relation to this are the forensic or legal uses of the MMPI-A. There are a variety of referral questions that the MMPI-A can be useful for answering, as the clinical constructs assessed by this instrument are often relevant to forensic issues or to individuals being treated in forensic settings. Some of the uses include competency to stand trial and insanity evaluations, personal injury and disability assessments, and assessment of general mental functioning for purposes of placement and treatment planning (Archer, 2006, p.70).
Critique of the Test (Strengths and Weaknesses, Psychometric Qualities and Issues)
Strengths and Weaknesses. Primarily, its strength is its ability to provide a comprehensive clinical description for adolescents (Reynolds and Kamphaus, 2003, p.384). The test is helpful in assessing and evaluating the personality and associated behaviors of the adolescents, thus, making it easier to understand them. It also evaluates a wide range of symptoms and areas of functioning (Reynolds and Kamphaus, 2003, p.384), which can be used in clinical, psychological, and legal settings. In addition, clinicians using MMPI-A recognize the value of the updated normative sample, which is nationally representative, and includes minority populations (Reynolds and Kamphaus, 2003, p.384). In this sense, the sample does not exclude other representatives of the population, making the test more reliable and valid. The use of the test indicated ease of administration and psychometric soundness. This is because many of the newer scales, particularly the content scales have excellent internal consistency. Another major strength of the test is its ability to check for response biases and its ability to evaluate profile validity. This is because the test includes validity scales, which were also strengths of the MMPI, such as F, L, and K. In addition to such validity scales are the VRIN and TRIN scales, which show promise for determining inconsistent responding or a tendency for acquiescent or non-acquiescent responding. Lastly, the MMPI-A’s research base is supported by decades of MMPI investigations (Reynolds and Kamphaus, 2003, p.384), thus, making the descriptors and correlates of the test highly supported by studies and facts derived from researches.
However, despite such strengths are a number of weaknesses of the MMPI-A, which include its foundation. This is because most of the basic clinical scales were retained with minimal modification, thus, several of such scales show low internal consistency, specifically when evaluated by today’s standards. In addition, many items are found on more than one scale, thus, contributing to higher correlations among scales. This can lead to uncertainty and confusion in the process of interpretation. Another weakness is that a significant number of items on both the basic and content scales do not demonstrate differential rates of endorsement between clinical and normative groups (Reynolds and Kamphaus, 2003, p.384).
Psychometric Qualities. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory had a long history of use in the assessment of adolescents in various settings, including inpatient and outpatient psychiatric programs, substance abuse programs, and juvenile justice facilities. Similar to the parent and sister instruments of the MMPI-A, the individual scales of the MMPI-A often show appreciable intercorrelation. Factor analyses of the basic clinical and validity scales suggest that four factors account for the majority of the observed variance in scales scores. Furthermore, the large number of individual scales and subscales available on the MMPI-A serves to make the interpretation process quite complex for many clinicians, particularly given the varying degree of overlap between the scales (Archer et al., 2002, pp.1-2).
Specific Ethical and Legal Issues. It has been indicated that psychologists using the MMPI-A must adhere to ethical guidelines governing both psychological assessment and professional practice with minors. The “Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct” notes that users of psychological assessment devices must have appropriate training and expertise. The manual of the MMPI-A indicates that competent use of the MMPI-A requires knowledge of psychopathology and diagnosis, adolescent development and personality, and psychometric principles and concepts, as well as mastery of the MMPI-A’s content and structure. Although technicians may administer and score the MMPI-A, they must be thoroughly trained and closely supervised by qualified psychologists. The ethics code of the American Psychological Association also requires discussion with adolescents and their parents or guardians of the limits of confidentiality, the purpose of the assessment, how assessment results will be used, and the extent to which feedback will be provided and to whom. These issues become especially complex in forensic settings, where assessment may be ordered by the court (Hersen, 2004, p.219). In relation to its use in forensics, ethical and legal issue involves evaluating adolescents in civil cases rests on its ability to provide an overview of the plaintiff’s psychological or emotional functioning in reference to well-established adolescent norms (Archer, 2006, p.70).
Description of the Use of the Test in Own Setting
Purpose. In the hospital setting, the purpose of the MMPI-A is to provide appropriate diagnosis and treatment to clients, particularly to the adolescents concerned with by the test. It also allows understanding of the issues and problems experienced or faced by the adolescents in the family, community, and society. Another objective or purpose of the use of MMPI-A is to provide relevant solutions for the problems of the adolescents, thus, helping them avoid or prevent severity of their psychological, emotional, and social problems.
Benefits/Usefulness. One of the benefits of using the MMPI-A is to obtain more knowledge about the practice, thus, enabling medical practitioners to have develop more skills in the area. Another benefit is exposure to different cases, thus, having more references for future applications. The use of the test also provides more accurate and more relevant procedures for better diagnosis and treatment. Lastly, better medical practice can be developed through using the test.
Challenges. The lack of cooperation and communication among the staff and the clients is one challenge. The lack of knowledge in the administration and the use of the results of the test are also considered. The lack of priority in using the test and the lack of recognition of its importance and implications are also challenges.
How Results would be Used. Results would be used for additional researches. They can also be used for better treatment of the adolescents. The results can be used to provide better analysis of the problems of the adolescents in the community, thus, giving them useful and relevant options as solutions.
Based on the discussion, it can be deduced that the use of MMPI-A is relevant and significant in the field of psychology, particularly in relation to clinical, legal, and psychological applications. The different details regarding the test were provided, including the major descriptions, validity, reliability, standardization, strengths and weaknesses, and its practical applications in the medical field. In addition, the historical background was specified in the beginning of the discussion in order to provide a background of the test. The different uses of the test were also identified, thus, emphasizing its practicality and applicability in different fields.
In terms of its future applications, I believe that due to the rich sources and researches to support it, more and more applications can be thought of and proven in relation to the use of MMPI-A. In addition, the many uses and benefits of using the test serve to be the basis for its continued use in the clinical, legal, and psychological field. In the future, it can be perceived that more fields would be using the MMPI-A, such as education, sociology, politics, and economy. Furthermore, future applications of the test may also involve its further modification, which would help its users in terms of better application and results. Thus, it can be suggested that in addressing its limitations or weaknesses, the use of the test would be far more relevant and applicable in the present situation of the community and society, particularly in helping the society address the problems that concern the welfare of the adolescents.
American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Task Force for the Handbook of Psychiatric Measures. Handbook of Psychiatric Measures, 1st ed. USA: American Psychiatric Association.
Archer, R.P. (2006). Forensic Uses of Clinical Assessment Instruments. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Archer, R.P. (2005). MMPI-A: Assessing Adolescent Psychopathology, 3rd ed. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Archer, R.P., Bolinskey, P.K, Morton, T.L. and Farris, K.L. (2002). A Factor Structure for the MMPI-A: Replication with Male Delinquents. Assessment, 9(4): 319-326.
Archer, R.P., Handel, R.W. and Lynch, K.D. (2001). The Effectiveness of MMPI-A Items in Discriminating Between Normative and Clinical Samples. Journal of Personality Assessment, 77(3): 420-435.
Forbey, J.D., Ben-Porath, Y.S. and Davis, D.L. (2000). A Comparison of Sexually Abused and Non-Sexually Abused Adolescents in a Clinical Treatment Facility using the MMPI-A. Child Abuse & Neglect, 24(4), 557-568.
Groth-Marnat, G. (2003). Handbook of Psychological Assessment, 4th ed. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Hand, C.G., Archer, R.P., Handel, R.W. and Forbey, J.D. (2007). The Classification Accuracy of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-Adolescent: Effects of Modifying the Normative Sample. Assessment, 14(1): 80-85
Hersen, M. (2004). Comprehensive Handbook of Psychological Assessment. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Janus, M.D., de Groot, C. and Toepfer, S.M. (1998). The MMPI-A and 13-Year-Old Inpatients: How Young is Too Young?. Assessment, 5(4): 321-332.
Karp, C.L. and Karp, L. (2008). General Information on the MMPI. Retrieved May 15, 2008, from http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/mmpi-info.php.
Reynolds, C.R. and Kamphaus, R.W. (2003). Handbook of Psychological and Educational Assessment of Children: Personality, Behavior, and Context, 2nd ed. New York: The Guilford Press.
by email@example.com (william oakley) @ Introduction To Brand Management
Wed May 01 00:27:00 PDT 2013
IMPORTANCE OF BRAND MANAGEMENT
Basically brand management is an important branch of marketing management. The biggest reason for why brand management is done is to make brand loving customers, who will not only prefer you over all its competitors but will also be a source of bringing new customers for the company. A brand is needed to truly represent the unique features, characteristics, and quality level of the product of a company, and developing its ever-lasting, idiosyncratic, and distinctive perception in the minds of the customers.
WHY DO BRANDS FAIL?
by firstname.lastname@example.org (Muhammad Khaleel) @ Research Topics
Sat Nov 19 03:58:00 PST 2011
Contemporary Issues in Tourism
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government views tourism as a sustainable industry and one of the major pillars of Hong Kong’s economy (2001). As the Government realizes that tourism (1995) is a vehicle for economic and social development, some proactive policies and contingency planes had been adopted to further strengthen and enhance Hong Kong’s capacity to be a key tourist destination. However, even if Hong Kong has been able to manage the tourism issues and problems well, there are still issues that they should consider so as to sustain the development of their tourism industry. Primarily, the main goal of this paper is to identify the contemporary tourism issues and determine how these issues affect both the community and the industry.
Five to ten years from now, tourism will be envisioned as an aspect in which progress is utmost. Many alternative tourism activities and programs are implied to drive this development. It includes movements of persons for essentially cultural motivations such as study tours, performing arts and cultural tours, travel to festivals, visits to sites and monuments in which all movements of persons satisfy the human need for diversity, tending to raise the cultural level of the individual giving rise to new knowledge, experience and encounters ( 2002).
In contemporary tourism, we have seen a development from mass tourism to alternative tourism, and this trend marks the changes from modern to postmodern age. The issue of mass tourism was criticized for its pessimistic impacts on environment destruction as was evident in the slow but sure change in the late 1970’s to the 1980’s, which saw the manifestation of alternative tourism (1998). However, it also recognized that such economic gains from the commercialization of tourism can directly or indirectly help in supporting the conservation missions of these tourist attractions. (1993) as well as (1995) raised a question which inquires into “ascertaining to whom the past belongs” associating it to the influence the conservation processes of tourist attractions.
Analysis of the Issue
As mentioned above, the contemporary tourism issue that should be given attention is the commoditization aspect and the destruction of environment. Commoditization refers to the social heritages that become or treated as a sanitized package offering and glorified version of cultural artifacts and experiences for public consumption just like a commodity. Tourism has been criticized for presenting the concept of heritage in exploitative manner in which commercial considerations outweigh the historical accuracy and value. In this sense, communization is argued to result to the static portrayal as well as “production of staged authenticity” which is popular in village folk museums, pseudo-festivals, trivialization, and mass-produced handicrafts therefore, highlighting the substitution, reconstruction, replication, reproduction, simulation, invention, and permutation of otherwise authentic artifacts ( 1993; 2000).
According to (1994) and (1983) a culture is said to be commoditized for tourism when the customs, rituals and arts are performed or produced for tourist consumption changing not only the meaning of cultural products but also the human relations between the producer and the purchaser, the history of these relations, and their ethnic identities (, 2000). Moreover, the commoditization of tradition as a tourist product can likewise create and perpetuate misinformation in the form of stereotypes, biased viewpoints, and prejudices since heritage tourism in particular often serves to facilitate the construction and dissemination of “hyper-real images” of the lives, cultures and traditions of host communities. On the part of the tourists, such involvement in the commoditization is inevitable in their quest to getaway from their routine life and to seek and be exposed to extraordinary and alternative environment, behavior and living ( 2002).
Tourism is regarded as the world’s largest industry in the 21st century. In this manner, more and more places especially like in Hong Kong have been able to use their natural resources and also their tourism development and creativity to make their regions or sites become the number tourist sites.
It was mentioned above that there are various issues that should be considered in the tourism industry. These issues may have positive and negative effect in the community and the tourism issues and problems as a whole. Tourism issue, if managed strategically and efficiently, it would likely to provide economic growth for the place.
First, the tourism issues if managed properly and solve efficiently may be able to enhance the employment status of people. Because of the large number of tourists, more individuals are needed for construction purposes to build more accommodations, restaurants and other infrastructure that will enhance the tourism ability of the area. In this manner, when these people are working, they will have a stable income which may help them avail the products and consumer goods in the market place. Hence, more demands are required which will basically permit the enhancement of the economy.
Further, the tremendous growth any trends of tourism in Hong Kong may have a tendency to attract more investors to invest in Hong Kong. To be able to invite tourists, a certain place must be attractive so place would be given the chance to improve more landmarks and other tourist-spots within the area.
Although, tourism issues may post significant advantages for Hong Kong community and tourism industry it also encompasses some disadvantages. One of which is the notion that there are some tourists which may cause pollution and can destroy the natural environment such as noise pollution and visual pollution from different infrastructure built for enhancing the tourism industry. In addition, reengineering of a certain place to build other buildings that will contribute to be one of the central attractions for Hong Kong is costly and that the funds that have been spent may have been better used for other needs of the place or the regions such as educational needs.
In addition, there are some tourists who do not respect traditions, customs and cultures, hence, will result conflict among tourists and residence. Another disadvantage of tourism is it may destroy the natural beauty of a certain place and it may provide the loss of open spaces for future needs. Crowding and congestion are also some pointed disadvantage that Hong Kong may experience due to the rapid growth of tourism.
With the issues and problems faced by the tourism industry, it is but necessary to address tourism issues accordingly. Tourism and the changes in the social, economic and cultural environment call for the necessary measures of proving otherwise the claims made in the previous researches. The challenge that confronts the people in the tourism issues and problems is how to manage their attractions grounded on the standards and ideals of the preservation of the historic context and integrity of promoting particular places and artefacts. This will not only uphold the quality of the services provided by the tourism issues and problems but will likewise serve as an excellent tribute to the history that produced our contemporary society. The conflicts which arise from differing cultural interpretation should be in the realm of constant evaluation and adjustment.
Moreover responsible and educational tourism involves social responsibility, a strong commitment to nature and the integration of local people in any tourist operation or development that meets the needs of present tourists, host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future. It is envisaged as leading to management of all resources in such a way that economic, social and aesthetic needs can be fulfilled while maintaining cultural integrity, essential ecological processes, and biological diversity and life support systems in which tourism products are operated in harmony with the local environment, community and cultures so that these become the beneficiaries not the victims of tourism development. Resolving immediately the differences that hinder the balance of cultural preservation and economic considerations in the tourism issues and problems should be the number one priority.
Marketing Consultant, Social Media, Word of Mouth, Strategy, Digital, Search, Keynote Speaker
The Dove brand had its inception only a decade after World War II with the introduction of a new beauty bar that wouldn’t dry your skin the way soap did. It grew from this initial product into “the…
by email@example.com (Muhammad Khaleel) @ Research Topics
Sat Nov 19 05:22:00 PST 2011
‘Describe and explain the factors that influence interpersonal communication in the workplace’.
You must choose at least three of the following kinds of sources and must have at least five sources on your reference list in total:
• sections of a book (pages or a chapter)
• a chapter from an edited book
• a journal paper
• an online journal paper
• a reputable academic website such as a university website containing information on writing an essay, referencing and plagiarism issues
• information from an E-book
• an encyclopedia
• document on World Wide Web with no author
• document on World Wide Web with no author but with a sponsoring body
• conference paper (hard copy or online)
• newspaper article (hard copy or online).
Format of writing:
1. Language Skills
1.1 Paraphrasing (writing ideas from the readings in your own words, and referencing the original source) and Summarizing (providing a brief account of the main ideas in a passage and referencing the original source).
1.2 Quoting (showing clearly when the exact words from the passage have been used by enclosing the words in “quotation marks” and referencing the original source).
1.3 Sentence structure, grammar and editing.
2. Structure of Essay
• Thesis statement
• Definition of key terms
• Outline of argument
• Does the argument support the thesis statement?
• Is sufficient reference made to research?
• Is the author’s “voice” clear?
• Summary and restatement of main argument
• No new ideas
3.1 In-text referencing
• Author (surnames), date, page (books and journal articles)
• Appropriate online referencing (No URLs in the text)
• Understands referencing for author / idea prominent statements
• Follows referencing conventions as outlined in the referencing guide (No initials or titles such as ‘prof’ in in-text referencing)
3.2 Reference list
• Alphabetical order
• Uses Harvard Conventions appropriately
• Matches in-text references
Food Run Fix
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by firstname.lastname@example.org (Muhammad Khaleel) @ Research Topics
Sat Nov 19 04:58:00 PST 2011
This study is based on the scenario on the Harrison-Keyes, a global publisher of books, journals, and educational materials. The paper discusses the problems that are faced by the company with its new strategy: e-book publishing. This strategy has been the company’s solution to the current tough competition in the publishing industry. The paper aims to present the problems that are associated with this new strategy and the ways on how the company should handle and solve these problems.
This study’s objective is to present the importance of having the right organization that fits to the strategy of a company. It aims to determine the effect of the organization to the implementation of a strategy especially a global strategy that can bring changes to the production process, distribution and marketing channel that will demand new ways of organization.
Harrison-Keyes is a leading global publisher of technical, scientific, business books and journals, professional and consumer books, textbooks and educational reading materials since 1899. The company holds about 22,700 active titles and publishes about 2000 new titles each year. In recent years, the company has felt the competition from low-cost retailers and other publishing industry players. As an answer to this challenge, the company hired a new CEO who strongly proposes a new strategy for the Harrison-Keyes, the e-book publishing.
With the e-book publishing strategy, many problems arise, from the alignment of the company’s core business to the strategy, to leadership as well as financial problems.
The basic problem of the company came to the challenge of still gaining the top position in the publishing market by creating another market through the e-book publishing strategy. E-book publishing strategy is basically the publication of books through the internet. A company which utilizes the internet and other advancement in technology should have a good information technology system and information system strategy to capitalize the technology properly. This has been the first problem of Harrison-Keyes, the lack of established information technology system. First of all the CIO of the company lacks a strong background in technology. The company needs a CIO that has strong knowledge and can align the company’s information technology system with the implementation of e-book publishing. In most multinational companies today, both the productivity and competitiveness are dependent on an ability to generate and make use of information (Hillesund, 2001). The information needed for the implementation of e-books is a digital and network based technology for both distributing and reading books which needs technological competence, financial resources and access to information (Hillesund, 2001).
Moreover, production of e-books has been largely digitized. Writing, layout, and pre-press preparations are computerized and the publishing workflow is all network-based (Hillesund, 2001). This means that the company needs a standardized information system that will make its production reliable. Publishers will no longer be mere producers of paper books, but digital content agents, producing content in several formats and for different distribution channels, Publishers will produce books on paper and on demand in various digital formats, changing the structure of book production (Hillesund, 2001). The traditional information system of Harrison-Keyes will need a great change to adapt to technological changes brought about by e-book publishing. The company needed a strategic plan like updating their systems to fit to the digital content. Publishers like Harrison-Keyes need to relate to new technologies and should meet the special requirements on structuring and formatting of e-books. To be competitive in the world of digital books, a certain level of competence in the area of technology will have to be developed within the organization and more on to the research and development department of the company.
With the leadership of its CIO, Harrison-Keyes could have been started the project by planning it carefully, making sure that the project was backed up by reliable and capable systems, ensuring that all information and resources needed for the project will be distributed and allocated properly. The company basically needs an integrated information system that will help track its authors and books-in-process as well as the sales and royalties. The company needs a CIO that has strong technical qualifications plus a background in finance, marketing and strategic planning. With today’s technology driven industries, the role of the CIO is moving from technical planning and implementation to strategic planning. CIO tends to focus on the planning and implementation of specific information technologies, rather than on long-term company strategy (Anonymous, 1999). The current CIO of Harrison-Keyes lacks most these skills and the company should consider hiring someone more qualified to the current business plans of Harrison –Keyes.
Another problem of the company is the deal and communications with one of the company’s stakeholders, the outsourcing company, Asia Digital Publishing. Harrison-Keyes’ production manager is having a hard time communicating with the company that will format the e-books and is causing a significant delay to the implementation of the e-book project. The Asia Digital Publishing which was hand-picked by the company’s Executive Vice President for Global Strategy has a good reputation on the business. Looking at the situation, it seems that the problem is in the part of the production manager of Harrison-Keyes. Although he has been in the publishing industry for 25 years, e-books strategy is new to him and with the background of the company’s executive vice president in global strategy and consulting firm, she will not go wrong in picking up a company that should work with Harrison-Keyes.
To solve this issue, Harrison-Keyes might need a staff that will coordinate with Asia Digital, a staff who has good public relation, strong technical background on e-book productions and has good experience dealing with foreign suppliers. A good collaboration with a company that offers formatting for the e-books, along with Digital Rights Management, DRM, website construction maintenance, hosting and payment systems should be established. With the introduction of e-books, the whole production of process of books at Harrison-Keyes will definitely change and the knowledge and understanding of a production manager in the new situation should also be leveraged with the technology used in e-book production.
Another major problem of Harrison-Keyes has also something related to the stakeholders of the e-book supply chain, the authors. A well-known author who has been in the company for years has reservations and fear that his works are at risk of being pirated once becomes digitized. This issue has also put the company’s reputation in bad publicity. The company’s first step to address this problem is to convince the authors that there are existing technologies that will protect their works and prevent piracy. Again, this is another task of the CIO, to conduct researches on the development of new technologies such as encryption and Extensible Rights Markup Language, XrML, that will give protections to authors and the company and it should have been part of the project planning process even before the stakeholders were informed of the e-book project. There are companies that provide software and Digital Rights Management, DRM, systems for the protection of e-books. The problem with Harrison-Keyes is its being not up to date with the latest in technology.
The management of Harrison-Keyes must also gives emphasis on the advantages of e-books on the part of the authors such as reaching a wider audience than by just publishing in print encouraging new readers by producing e-books in an attractive format; gaining status from the wider dissemination of their publications; and gaining revenue from e-book (JISC, 2003). In order for the project to be successful there should be an alignment of the stakeholders such as the publisher which includes its management, the authors, the suppliers and the outsourcing company. By understanding stakeholders’ issues and striving for solutions, a company can maintain support for its operations and expansion plans (Willis, 2005).
Due to the delay of the launching of the project, financial problems arise in Harrison-Keyes. Due to not well-anticipated project cost, the project needed a cost that is beyond the budget of the company. It seems that the CIO and the CFO of Harrison-Keyes has no good strategic planning team. Another problem is that there is someone in the management who lacks good corporate ethics and links information outside the company that causes bad publicity.
Summarizing the problems of Harrison-Keyes, its problems include stakeholder misalignments, organizational structure and lack of good information technology system. Generally, Harrison-Keyes has good strategy but its strategy planning and implementation are hindered by many factors such as having the wrong person at a certain position due to lack of appropriate skills and stakeholders misalignment. Most multinational companies undergo reorganization especially when implementing a new project or strategy that will significantly change the company in order to meet new challenges. Basically, the challenges face by the company is to have a certain level of competence in the e-book publishing.
Considering the scenario on Harrison-Keyes, strategy planning and its relationship with the entire organization and the stakeholders should be taken into consideration.
Organizational structure and strategy are essential elements in the formula of sustainable business performance. Sound organizational structure usually means a certain mix and interaction of talented individuals, working in relevant functions and areas of responsibility, sharing knowledge and related assets, behaving responsively and constructively (Wolfe, 2003). When a structure’s elements are properly aligned with one another, that structure facilitates effective implementation of the firm’s strategies (Barth, 2003). Thus, organizational structure is a critical component of effective strategy implementation processes (Barkerna et al., 2002).
Effective organizational structure provides the stability of the firm to successfully implement its strategies and maintain its current competitive advantages that will be needed for its future strategies (Ireland et al., 2003). A firm’s structure specifies the work to be done and how to do it, given the firm’s strategy or strategies (Jenster & Hussey, 1997). Thus organizational structure influences how managers work and the decisions resulting from that work (Schilling et al, 2001).
Selection of new strategy calls for changes to an organizational structure especially when inefficiencies force it to do so. (Chandler, 1962). Some top-level managers hesitate to conclude that there are problems with the firm’s structure or strategy. Because of these inertial tendencies, structural change is often induced by the actions of stakeholders who are no longer willing to tolerate the firm’s performance.
Harrison-Keyes exhibits a functional type of organizational structure. Functional structure is a structure consisting of a chief executive officer, CEO, and a limited corporate staff with functional line managers in dominant organizational areas such as production, accounting, marketing, research and development, engineering and human resources. This structure allows for functional specialization, thereby facilitating active sharing of knowledge within each functional area. The negative effect of a functional orientation like this is on communication and coordination among those representing different organizational functions. Because of this, the CEO must work hard to verify that the decisions and actions of individual business functions promote the entire firm rather than a single function.
Analyzing Harrison-Keyes’ organizational structure, the new CEO is highly driven by technology while it CFO is not conformed to the new strategy. The company has roster of talents with its executive vice president who has knowledge in global strategy; with its vice president for marketing which is said to be creative; and with its head of the implementation team who seeks for promotion and seems to exert effort to get his promotion.
On the other hand, the company seems to be not ready with the implementation of e-books due to its current CIO who lacks understanding of new technologies and interpretation on how these technologies can be applied to the advantage of the business; financial background to properly set IT investment priorities to achieve business goals; knowledge management and knowledge creation.
The e-book publishing strategy is greatly dependent on new technology so the company needs a reliable CIO that can effectively develop, implement and align information technology strategy of the company with the implementation of e-book publishing. The CIOs of today plays key roles in strategic planning due to the driving force of technology and information.
The company’s production manager although has years of experience in publishing, e-book publishing is entirely different to traditional publishing and therefore should also has to be replaced by someone more knowledgeable of e-books production and process or the company can add another production manager that will be assigned solely on the implementation of e-books.
The main reason behind Harrison-Keyes implementation of e-book publishing is to maintain long-term competitive success which is kind of international strategy. International strategies also allow the firm to search for new markets, resources, core competencies, and technologies as part of its effort to outperform competitors (Begley et al, 2003). Therefore, an effective organizational structure is necessary for its implementation. Global operations such as e-book publishing need proper matching of strategies and organizational structure for coordination and control.
A strategy designed to achieve growth will be ineffective without the appropriate organization of a company’s talent and resources. As a company grows or implements a strategy that causes change to the company, it has to evolve its organizational structure to ensure optimal performance and to deal with changing priorities and business complexity. However, reorganization is a high-risk activity that represents a shock to the corporation, is personal to employees and can result in an erosion of performance. To address the risks associated with reorganization, companies need to be aware of key success factors when implementing reorganization initiatives and to initiate systematic communications plan to influence perceptions ay all levels and stakeholders within the organization (Goold and Campbell, 2002).
Having the right people in place allows a company to face changes and growth. Management needs to attract right people, train them properly if necessary and position them at the right position that can help the company pursue its purpose and meets the reasonable expectations of stakeholders.
by email@example.com (Muhammad Khaleel) @ Research Topics
Sat Nov 19 05:40:00 PST 2011
THE COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT OF VIRGIN ATLANTIC AIRWAYS
The Virgin Atlantic Airways is a UK-based private international airline that started operation in 1982. Flying up to 20 destinations in North America, Asia and Africa, it is 51% owned by Virgin Group and 49% owned by Singapore Airlines (). It competes with other local and international airlines including British Airways, the biggest and leading in UK. In 2005, it posted .5B in sales and M net income with year-on-year sales and net income growth more or less at 37% and 900% respectively (). With this information, it suggests firm’s bright future and industry fair share of the market. However, external and industry environment analysis is a continuous process ( 2003) that every now and then makes prediction and preparedness an integral part of strategic actions of firms to efficiently manage opportunities and threats outside its organization.
The External Environment: PEST Analysis
In the local environment, local elections to be held on May this year could made Tony Blair’s concentration in national issues such as health and education shift into local issues such as crime, anti-social behavior and environment (). As a result, transport industries including aviation should consider this early the type of their fuels and fix emission loopholes. They must research oil suppliers that sell environment-conscious fuels and test its efficiency and compatibility with aircraft engines including preparation to possible fluctuations in present fuel costs.
In fuel-related issue, the European Union resorted legal action against member countries like France, Germany and Italy of protecting their utility firms against foreign competition (). As a result, prices of fuels failed to obtain efficiencies of competitive industry making oil prices for the transport sector more costly. Local aviation firms should consider this EU action significant disincentive to their cost-effective strategies because UK, unlike the mentioned countries, fosters foreign imports making oil prices for the industry cheaper. If these countries are able to liberalize the energy sector, possible cost strategy is necessary to retain the prior upper hand.
Research suggests that rural, metropolitan and London population either employed, unemployed or economically inactive dispose most of their weekly budget to transportation along with food and recreation (). Since socio-cultural segment affects economic and political/ legal segments ( 2003), aviation industry could less be influenced by the latter outcomes despite of their ambiguity (will Blair retain position or will EU countries accept the directive) because consumers are willing to pay with little regard to price, instead, value of service. As a result, it is more strategic to focus on operations than financial structures.
Another finding show that 58% of the household population has computers while 49% of which has internet connection with metropolitan areas like London posted the highest incidence ( ). This information is relevant to most huge firms like Virgin Atlantic Airways who heavily relies in e-business with its interactive website wherein customers can obtain flight schedules and book a flight with their finger tips. The other half of the population without computers can be addressed by the firm through other forms of media. In addition, it can also verify through additional scanning the prevalence of internet café in rural areas where household ownership is relatively low.
The Industry Environment: Five Forces
New entrants in the industry basically face two difficulties: barriers to entry and retaliation from present firms ( 2003) In the aviation industry, particularly the service passenger-based ones like Virgin Atlantic Airways, in modern economies are privately-operated that calls for substantial financial requirements at the fore. Since travel services are derived demand (), new entrants should be able to cut a share in the pie in the presently saturated market. This endeavor could result to another substantial resource to be deployed. However, with such new entrant engagement, it does not assure of intended results because competitors like Virgin already created strategic links to other country-routes including its alliance with Asian giant Singapore Airlines that makes it easy to create counter-strategy.
Boeing, the largest manufacturer of jetliners and supplier of Virgin’s aircrafts, had recently signed long-term agreement with largest aerospace parts distributor for an Integrated Materials Management (). As a result, Boeing could reduce its inventory and minimize warehousing costs because spare parts will be provided only when needed. A cost reduction strategy from a supplier can assure customers like Virgin of price management scheme, if not, its another supplier, Airbus (the once number one airline manufacturer) could be resorted.
Competitors in the industry have the same capability in terms interactivity of their web pages like Virgin. This is supported almost fifty percent prevalence of internet connection among UK market, not to mention other countries. As a result, the power of buyers to gain access to prices and services of firms increase making them knowledgeable of distinction of one from the other. Companies on their part are obliged to be more competitive especially in maintaining and updating their web sites.
The country’s sea transport industry had developed super ferries while the 2003 recorded 17.4% increase of UK passengers who took cruise holidays that reached nearly one million in that year (). This development would make sense to airline industry tourism and leisure market especially foreigners that like to see the national endowments. With demand for airline transport rise at faster rate than supply for it, the airline industry is required to effectively allocate its resources in a manner that exploit this supply shortage.
Other airline competitors in the likes of AMR Corp., British Airways and Lufthansa are operating in at least 150 destinations compared to Virgin’s 20 (). As a result, rivalry among these firms against Virgin is relatively insignificant although strategic actions of Virgin that directly and significantly threat their market could spark retaliation in the detriment of relatively small firm. The firm should focus in its target market and avoid competing with these large firms.
By studying this external and industry analysis on environmental facts, it could be said that Virgin Atlantic Airways is situated in standard cycle markets wherein its competitive advantage is moderately shielded from imitation. In general, airline industry belongs to slow cycle markets, however, due to relatively smaller capital and operations of some firms like Virgin, companies within this industry are unable to assure their long-term above average returns because they are relatively vulnerable to general environment (low lobbying power) and relatively unsecured to industry forces (potential entrants or larger competitor predation). As a result, Virgin should focus in a specific market niche or specific routes to obtain value other than price and survive the competition.
Dove was when introduced into the market; the brand decided to follow the same pattern in terms of pricing as in case of the ‘dove soap’. Its price was initially kept at a higher range as compared …
As Dove celebrates its 50th anniversary, strategy examines how the brand has evolved from a bar of soap to a global master brand. Along the way, we look at how messaging to women has also evolved over this pivotal period in women's history
by firstname.lastname@example.org (Muhammad Khaleel) @ Research Topics
Sat Nov 19 04:22:00 PST 2011
Employee Motivation: the of the Nordstrom Legend
Identified Problems of Nordstrom
Different perception and understanding of the employees on the tradition and policies of the company
Lack of training that will inculcate the values and beliefs of the company
Weak company culture that divides the workforce
Theories included in the Report
Good Customer Relations
Training as a means of educating the workforce
Nordstrom is one of the biggest department stores in the United States. The beginnings of Nordstrom can be traced more than 100 years ago to a small shoe store in downtown Seattle. The humble beginnings of the store soon caught the attention of the market and they were able to expand their business to other states. From selling shoes, the store expanded their business by offering clothing lines for the whole family.
It has always been a family for Nordstrom. The management of the business has been handed down from one generation of the Nordstrom family to the next. The family affair perception of the business led the company to believe that customers must also be treated like family if the company wants to ensure that they will return. This started the legendary customer service that Nordstrom provides to its shoppers.
According to Bain and Co. (qtd. in Bhaskaran), it is more expensive to gain new customers rather than retaining them. The cost is estimated to be 6 to 7 times higher. They also stated that if customer retention increased by 5 percent, profit can increased between 25 to 95 percent. This numbers are significant given that on the average an American business looses about 50 percent of their customers every 5 years (qtd. in Bhaskaran). However, on average American companies lose 50 percent of their customers every 5 years. This, to a certain degree, it proves that there is an indirect relation between customer satisfaction and increase in sales through increased customer retention.
This numbers also indicates that building lasting customer relations can be beneficial to the company. The importance of building a lasting customer relation runs in the tradition of Nordstrom. From the management level to the salespeople that they employee they instill the value of good customer relations. The legend of Nordstrom when it comes to customer relations is not just supported internal stories; customers also validate the claim that Nordies are willing to go beyond the call of duty to ensure customer satisfaction (Pohlman and Gardiner 140).
However, the very culture that catapulted the Nordstrom business brought about a wave of controversies that sprang from within their ranks. Some employees have claimed that due to the desire of the company to please each and every customer that enter their stores, employees are the ones who are forced to take the burden. Heeding to the call of the customers became obligatory, if an employee wishes to continue working for Nordstrom. Off-the-clock work became a normal routine in among Nordstrom employees in order to deliver the kind of service that customers expect. Former employees claim that this kind of working condition is oppressive.
On the other hand, majority of the Nordstrom employees feels the opposite. They believe that the company policies are called for and that nothing should be changed. This division among the Nordstrom employees sparked the need to write this report. The aim of the report is to present possible explanations for the occurrence of the different views regarding the Nordstrom culture among its employees. The report will be focusing on the subject of employee motivation and how it affects the perception of the employees regarding their jobs and how this perception affects their performance.
Employee Motivation in Nordstrom
It has often been said that prevention is always better than cure. Medical doctors have advised their patients repeatedly that the best way to stay healthy is to avoid getting sick. They also advised that maintaining good hygiene is one way to ensure that viruses and bacteria will not find their way into the human system and disrupts its normal operations. One such manifestation of good hygiene is constant hand washing. This is recommended to kill bacteria that pose potential life threatening outcomes.
In the business world, maintaining good hygiene is also important. However, the definition of hygiene factors within the business world is different from its medical counterpart. Nevertheless, the premise behind the usage of the term is relatively based on a common notion of prevention rather than cure.
In the same way that the medical profession recognizes the presence of bacteria and viruses, the business community recognizes the presence of factors that can result to poor work attitudes of employees (Mausner, Snyderman and Herzberg 114). These factors are known as hygiene factors and include supervision, working conditions, security, peer relationships, salary and company policies (Herzberg).
In the case of Nordstrom, employee salary is one of the key factors that allows the business to keep its employees. The business is performance –based. This means that employees will be compensated based on metrics. One of the decisive metrics that affect the compensation of the employees at Nordstrom is sales per hour (SPH). Commissions are large part of employees’ salaries.
The commission scheme of the company is designed to go with the performance-based rating of the Nordstrom. The commission system of Nordstrom is called draw. In this system the employees will be compensated based as follows, commission percentage times the total sales for the pay period or hourly rates times the total work hours, depending which is higher. This implies that an employee has greater chances of being paid higher if he or she has a high sales margin.
According to Mausner, Synderman and Herzberg (114), factors that result to positive attitudes are able to do so because they satisfy man’s need for self-actualization or self-realization. According to many personality theorists, man have the innate yearning to experience the feeling of fulfillment in various aspects of life. One of the most important aspects of life is job fulfillment. This fulfillment can prove that man is unique based on his/her own personality in relation to the boundaries of reality.
The statements abovementioned suggests that the factors help man realize his/her life goals. It gives them the drive to excel in various aspects of life. In the workplace setting, these factors function in the same way. Hygiene factors, for example, prevent the proliferation of dissatisfaction among employees. This means that the absence of low levels of hygiene factors will result to the dissatisfaction of the employees and thus affecting their job performance.
However, studies have shown that the increase of hygiene factors do not translate in the increase of job satisfaction. This means that another set of factors affect the increase of job satisfaction and that hygiene factors are present just to control the levels of dissatisfaction. Factors that help increase job motivation are known as motivators. Motivators include recognition, advancement and growth to name a few (Internet Centre for Management and Business Administration, Inc).
Let us take some of the presented hygiene factors and analyze their absence result to dissatisfaction. First, there is salary. People work to gain financial independence or stability. This means that they expect companies to compensate the work that they do with financial incentives. If employees feel that the financial gain does not compensate the work output that they give the company, chances are they will feel that the company does not recognize their efforts to help the business succeed. This attitude towards work and the company itself can result to a decrease in job performance.
The case of some Nordstrom employees supports this point. Majority of the employees who stated that they are dissatisfied with the policies of the company claimed that the long hours of work are not fully compensated. The case of Patty Bemis, as presented in the case study, stated that she worked overtime to deliver cosmetics to customer and unpacking boxes of make-up. However, those hours that she worked were unpaid overtimes. The grueling hours became one of the factors that pushed Patty Bemis to leave Nordstrom for another job.
Another hygiene factor mentioned is peer relationships. Humans are social beings; they need to constantly see themselves on others to assure them that their experiences are not isolated and that others feel the same way they do. They need constant affirmation of the actions that they do. This means that people develop interpersonal relationships. In turn, these relationships help them get by obstacles. In the workplace, employees need to develop harmonious relationships with their co-workers if they want to perform well in their jobs.
Another employee story presented in the case study was that of Lois Lucas. Her case stated that their manager had accused her and other employees of not being team players. This is a tough call especially in the Nordstrom working environment where affirmations are expected. The tension between employees and mangers often result to the decrease of job satisfaction since employees fail to realize their capabilities especially when their co-workers or superior gives them the feeling that they are not exerting efforts to excel even if they really are doing so.
In conclusion, the presence of motivators and hygiene factors means that management must ensure that both factors are present in order to ensure the quality of performance that their employees provide. This means that it is not enough that the level of employee dissatisfaction is low; employee satisfaction rating must also be high in order to maximize the potential of each employee.
Possible Cause of Perception Differences among Nordies
In the case study that was the basis of this report, it was stated that employees received modest formal training upon being hired or promoted. Seasoned employees, through on-the-job communication, hand down the knowledge and skills of new hire and newly promoted employees. However, it is the case that people have different understanding or interpretation of the knowledge that they were able to acquire through the years. This means that the information that seasoned employees pass onto new hires may not be the perception that the company wished to inculcate to its personnel.
There are various reasons why employee training must take place. These reasons are closely linked to the company’s sustainability and profitability. According to Noe and Colquitt, training is being used to facilitate education (53). In addition, training is also seen as a tool to retain employees, improve corporate culture and design incentive programs for employees (Tannenbaum 29).
The formation of the appropriate corporate culture is important. The beliefs and values dictates the business ethics of the organization as well as code of conduct of the members of the organization. Therefore, corporate culture also determines the human relationships formed within the organization including business and personal activities. The perception of truth and reality by the members of the organization and the organization itself is also created through the corporate culture.
If the perception being handed down to new hires are different from the values and beliefs of the organization, then problems may arise. Every employee will be using their own interpretation to decode the policies of the company. Therefore, their understanding of the system will not be unified and thus the division of perception. This might very well be the case of Nordstrom. Due to the lack of formal training, employees were not properly educated about the culture of the company. The feeling of dissatisfaction may have been due to the different understanding of some employees regarding the policies of the company.
A company must be unified by the desire of its employees to attain a certain goal that is also being shared by the whole organization. Through the collective understanding of the employees, they will be able to work together towards the realization of their goals. It is also the case that training allows the organization to reiterate the importance of their mission or objectives. Through training employees will be able to familiarize themselves with the expectations of the company. They can also be motivated through training.
The results of training and development start a chain reaction. When the company is able to produce effective employees then their profitability will increase. When this happens, they will also be able to compensate their employees based on their contribution to the company’s growth. In turn, it will create a feeling of satisfaction that will motivate them to improve further their efficiency and then the cycle will once again begin (Parker).
In order to resolve the issue being faced by Nordstrom, it is being recommended that formal training be implemented especially for the new hires. New hires must be given importance when it comes to training programs since they basically know nothing about the company. If a business organization wants it employees to be accountable for their actions while working within the business organization, companies must make them feel that they are indeed part of the organization. Trainings are great opportunities to tell employees about the tradition of the company and how things are done within the organization.
The training program to be implemented must give emphasis on the tradition of building lasting customer relations. This will allow the employees to understand the logic behind the need to go out of one’s way in order to please the customer. The training can incorporate the existing training program with the new one.
For example, the existing training being given to new hires include practical issues such as scheduling, salary commissions and benefits. The new training program can be incorporated by relating the practical concerns with the benefits of creating lasting customer relations. It can be the case that the new training program state that an employee have the opportunity to receive higher commissions if more customers return to the store and purchase regularly.
This can motivate the employees to start doing their best to ensure that customers see and feel the good shopping experience offered by the store and return. By making the employees see that the benefits they will be getting is worth their efforts then they will continue on with the Nordstrom tradition.
In addition, trainings will allow the employees to master and put into practice the tradition of the company as the company intended it to be. A unified perception and understanding of the information will be achieved and thus the employees will be working with the same line of thinking which is to ensure the success of the business.
Unilever Middle East
In a world of hype and stereotypes, Dove empowers women's esteem recognising that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and it's simply about how you feel.
Dove grew from a moisturising Beauty Bar into a global brand with a range of products: body washes, hand and body lotions, facial cleansers, deodorants, shampoos, conditioners and hair styling.
by email@example.com (Muhammad Khaleel) @ Research Topics
Sat Nov 19 04:58:00 PST 2011
Buyer Behaviour: “Culture” is a Money Making Scam
Today’s market is characterized by highly competitive organizations which are all vying for consumer’s loyalty. Firms are faced with the challenge to maintain their own competitive edge to be able to survive and be successful. Strategies are carefully planned and executed to gain the ultimate goal of all: company growth. However, external factors are not the only elements which influence growth. There are also internal factors, components working within the organization which shape the direction of the company.
Despite the economic and technological conditions that make it possible now to promote products and services in a larger consumer market, there are other factors that still need to be considered for a business organization reach out easier to their target market. Looking into the characteristics and thought processes of the people still holds as the most significant factor to be looked into by the individuals in the field of sales and marketing. The large scope of market can pose a hindrance to a successful marketing strategy in terms of over generalized definition of the target or niche market.
According to and (2001), consumer buying behaviour refers to the buying behaviour of the individuals and households who buy the goods and services for personal consumption. Consumers around the world are different in various factors such as age, income, education level and preferences which may affect the way they avail of goods and services. This behaviour then impacts how products and services are presented to the different consumer markets. There are many components which influence consumer behaviour namely: cultural, social, personal and psychological ( & , 2001). These characteristics cannot be controlled by the companies; therefore, there is a need to assess these elements in order to create an effective marketing plan.
For the business people and the people in the field of advertising and marketing, the product or service being offered could be a good start in planning and executing an effective campaign. Knowing the product and its demands in the market as well as the people who will likely avail and take advantage of the offer will open the possibilities for a campaign that will be most ideal in the market. The manufacturers and the advertisers should be conscious enough to know the characteristics of their product and its demand. There are products and services that are only utilized in a particular location because of the unique lifestyle of the people. The character of the product, if properly studied, could be made and taken as an advantage rather than a drawback in gaining a larger number of target market. The advertisers especially the people in the creative department should answer to such demands in the advertising industry.
In this age of globalization and information technology, deciding which brand to choose can be a problem. Competition is evident and intense, and the marketing and management divisions of corporations are surely giving everything they can to establish their brands. A fine and well-advertised brand might have a competitive edge from a lesser exposed brand name. But then, a lesser known brand can also have an edge over price, given that they cost less than known brands. However, in the end, the decision still lies within the consumers.
In today’s business world, the value and importance of customers is not something that should be set aside by companies. Marketing plans and strategies would be incomplete without paying much consideration to the customers. Customers will always be a part of the agenda in any marketing plan of any company. Because of the implications for profitability and growth, customer retention is potentially one of the most powerful weapons that companies can employ in their fight to gain a strategic advantage and survive in today’s ever increasing competitive environment (, 1999).
Consumers can either be subjective or objective, testing the persuasiveness of brand names. Retail stores selling the products also play an important role in swaying the decisions of consumers. The whole package or visual appeal of the retail outlet can determine sales, or the service of the sales ladies or the clerks. Furthermore, consumers may choose particular products/brands not only because these products provide the functional or performance benefits expected, but also because products can be used to express consumers’ personality, social status or affiliation (symbolic purposes) or to fulfill their internal psychological needs, such as the need for change or newness (emotional purposes) (, 2002). These are just some of the factors that affect consumer behaviour. They have been the subject of consumer research for years, for instance, linking them with customer service and customer satisfaction, or the efficacy and persuasiveness of advertisement, etc.
According to the : “Consumers purchase products and services for the benefits derived from their use. While the study of economics focuses on outcomes, consumer behaviour emphasizes the process. Rather than assuming perfect conditions, researchers of consumer behaviour explicitly recognize the impact of situational elements on behaviour and the variance among individuals faced with the same conditions” which means that consumers buy products for the benefits they reap out of it, the study of consumer behaviour investigates the steps, or the processes involved regarding the decisions made by the consumer. Most consumers regard the purchase of real estate to be ‘high involvement goods’ that require complex decision-making,’ in purchasing real estate, such as houses, apartments or units, consumers usually go through three key processes before they consider buying, and these are: information search, evaluation of alternatives and decision rules.
, and , emphasized that “consumer behaviour is best understood as problem-solving behaviour.” Consumer behaviour is related to certain motivational behaviors that are aimed towards attaining a certain goal at the end. Goals, according to developmental psychologists are “cognitive representations of desired-end status which serve as standards in the control of behaviour. Research on sensation and perception, attention, categorization, inference making, information search, memory, attitude and behaviour, attitude formation and formation, conditioning and satisfaction have been undertaken to understand consumer behaviour. In the area of sensation and perception and attention, most works are confined primarily to visual or auditory processes. Among the studies on this area include those of and (1994) who examined attention to packages on store shelves, as measured by eye fixations.
Based on the integrated model, culture influences behaviour through its manifestations: values, heroes, rituals, and symbols ( and , 2001). The combination of both etic and emic perspective on the manifestations can basically reveal culture’s strong relation with customer behaviour. The etic philosophy is based on the definition of culture as “the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one group or category of people from another’’ (, 1997). On the other hand, the emic philosophy stresses upon understanding issues from the perspective of the subjects being studied ( and , 2001). As cited from (1988), this philosophy determines the coordinates of social action and productive activity, specifying the behaviours and objects that issue from both.
Values are basically the basis of one’s attitude or restriction in attitude. Some examples of values include freedom, pleasure, inner harmony, and happiness. Heroes, on the other hand, refer to icons in the society that may have an impact on people of different levels. Examples of heroes are sports figure or pop culture figures. and (2001) stated that heroes may influence consumer behaviour through their association with certain products and brands. The same goes with rituals, or symbolic activities commonly performed over and over, such as bathing, tooth brushing, attending to mass, to school, etc. Their involvement on the consumption of consumer products makes them important for consumer behaviour. Finally, symbols are equally important because different cultures have different symbols that they favor i.e. language, logos, signs, etc ( and , 2001).
Meanwhile, of all the components of a marketing plan, the most essential of all these elements, but most often the most overlooked is the definition of the target market. And yet, no one can proceed to a communication plan without answering the question of who do the company have to convince to buy the product or service. Market segmentation is the identification of sub-groups within the total market that the company wants to target. This fully recognizes that buyers of any product or service category need, desire, want and expect different performance characteristics from products or services in the category. It helps the company to position the product properly and prepare marketing strategies to satisfy a more focused range of consumer needs and wants. Furthermore, it is also a factor in effectively using limited marketing resources, identifying unique market niches, improving profitability and helping to retain consumer loyalty.
Companies now face the challenge of making its target consumers respond accordingly to their marketing efforts. Those who understand its consumers’ responses will have a great competitive advantage. The starting point towards this is through the stimulus-response model of buyer behaviour which involves examining the marketing and other stimuli in the consumer’s black box that translates into buyer responses ( & , 2001). Marketing stimuli often consist of the four P’s of marketing: product, price, place and promotion while the other stimuli may include economic, technological, political and cultural factors which exist in the marketing environment. All marketing communications should be directed to a particular target. This aspect suggests that in implementing marketing communication, the company should clearly identify the targeted constituents and stakeholders, or to whom the marketing communication strategy should be directed ( and , 2002). The purpose of this aspect is for the company to create or apply communication instruments that will encourage the market to purchase or patronize the product.
It is always important to know the characteristics and nature of the products and services offered by any advertising campaign because this will guarantee the success of the marketing strategy. But knowing the product alone can be detrimental in any marketing plan if the advertisers and the manufacturers themselves have no idea of the new target market they are trying to penetrate. The fact that there are really products and services that cannot be applied or utilized in a particular country should be a constant thought and reminder to the advertisers and business organization with plans of gaining entrance and share of clients and consumers. The services and products should be correctly classified as to whether they will be sellable in the new market. The lifestyle and daily routines of the people in the new target market should be likewise considered to ensure that the products and services offered will be able to enter the new market in a different locality. Conducting researches and market studies on the purchasing power and the consumer behaviour of these people will benefit the business organization to conceptualize, transmit and channel the correct advertising message to the target. Hopefully, this will eventually attract the interest of the target audience and gain their loyalty to the product or service being made available to them.
The products or services should always be in synch with the tastes, lifestyle, economic status and purchasing power of the prospect foreign target market. If the contrary of the case, it may also worthy to consider the time frame in which the marketing strategy and advertising plan will be duly employed and utilized in a foreign locality with different cultural orientation. Time is also the factor to be considered in conceptualizing and contextualizing a product or service innovation as well as its launching or introduction in the market. Even though the concept of the strategy is a standardized advertising campaign, the people who will be responsible in executing the said project should be sensitive enough to investigate on the local environment. The same advertising campaign does not necessarily mean that the strategy, plans and approached that will be utilized is similar. Too much generalization about a locality and the people who will be the target of the campaign may post danger on the success of the project. It is important to get close to the audience by knowing their culture.
A brand is a product with unique character, for instance in design or image. It is consistent and well recognised.
Dove grew from a moisturising Beauty Bar into a global brand with a range of products: body washes, hand and body lotions, facial cleansers, deodorants, shampoos, conditioners and hair styling.
A while back ago, I tried microwaving a bar of soap, basically in an effort to entertain my kids on an oh-so-boring cold-weathered Saturday. The only bar soap in the...
by firstname.lastname@example.org (Muhammad Khaleel) @ Research Topics
Sat Nov 19 05:40:00 PST 2011
Feminism is a general term used to describe a very broad and complex
ideology. There are lots of different feminist theories and approaches, as well as several different types of feminists. The most straightforward meaning however describes it as ‘a movement advocating the rights of women and of their social, political and economic equality with men’ (Scruton 150). Feminism views the personal experiences of women and men through gender identity (how people think of themselves), gender roles (how people act), and gender stratification (each sex’s social standing) are all rooted in the operation of society.
Certainly, as long as women have been subordinated, they have resisted that subordination. Sometimes the resistance has been collective and conscious. Despite the continuity of women’s resistance, however, only within the last two or three hundred years has a visible and widespread feminist movement emerged that has attempted to struggle in an organized way against women’s special oppression (Jaggar, 49).
There are two types of feminism, the liberal and radical feminism. Liberal feminism is the dominant ideology of modern society and is grounded in classic liberal thinking that individuals should be free to develop their own talents and pursue their own interests and should be treated according to their individual merits rather than on others basis’s such as in the feminist’s case, sexual characteristics (Oakley 85). But because liberalism evolved in a context in which the private sphere of the family was excluded from political demands for equality, in which traditional social arguments remained strong, and in which the Church upheld women’s subordinate role in the family, liberal feminism developed.
Radical feminists, meanwhile, find the reforms called for by liberal feminism to be inadequate and superficial. The main goal for radical feminists is not to introduce equal rights, (they do not want women to become like men) but to free women from patriarchal control, the main challenge to patriarchy being in the form of separatism. While liberal feminists wish to create equality in society and are quite happy to live with men so long as they are not treated as lesser citizens, some radical feminists wish to see a policy, which would see women, cut themselves off from men entirely both socially and sexually (Fuss, 111).
In spite of the clear context of feminism, there are still some questions which arise regarding the feminism theory. Hence, different social leaders have been able to focus on understanding feminism and try to answer the questions that are being attached to feminism. These three social groups include the socialists, the social democratic and the communist groups. Primarily, the main goal of this paper is to determine whether socialist, communist and social democratic leaders address the question of feminism. The first part of the discussion includes the evolution of feminism and the second part will focus on the main topic of this paper.
Evolution of Feminism
In the mid-1800s the term feminism was used to refer to the qualities of females, and it was not until after the First International Women’s Conference in Paris in 1892 that the term, following the French term feministe, was used regularly in English for a belief in and advocacy of equal rights for women, based on the idea of the equality of the sexes. Although the term feminism in English is rooted in the mobilization for woman suffrage in Europe and the US during the late 19th and early 20th century efforts to obtain justice for women did not begin or end with this period of activism (Rendall, 2002).
Other notable 19th-century feminists include, Emma Goldman, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Margaret Sanger. Feminism is not a new concept. Women have defended their rights, as they perceived them, on various battlefields throughout history. Even so, in the modern sense, Feminism can be said to have begun around 1830′s with the women’s movement for suffrage. Women, as a collective unit, stood together asserting their rights as members of society, to take equal part in the government that supposedly represented them. This movement is now known as the First wave of Feminism. Some forty years later women began mobilizing again and hence The Second Wave of Feminism arose out of the demand of equal pay for equal work.
In a sense, feminism has always existed. Certainly, as long as women have been subordinated, they have resisted that subordination. Sometimes the resistance has been collective and conscious. Despite the continuity of women’s resistance, however, only within the last two or three hundred years has a visible and widespread feminist movement emerged that has attempted to struggle in an organized way against women’s special oppression (Jaggar, 96).
One of the most important features of second wave feminism was the recognition that power was found in private as well as public life, and that for many women it was oppression in the private sphere that in fact harmed them the most. The popular political slogan of the day, The Personal is Political reflected the newfound importance of exploring the exercise of power in a variety of settings. As Arneil concludes, that each of the various forms of feminism developed its own ideas about how to break through this oppression of women in the private sphere (195).
Feminist theory is still a well – known and widely supported ideology, however, its high point was during the 1960′s and 1970′s in which many
of the goals that were sought, particularly by the liberal feminists, for instance the vote, equal opportunities at work and so forth have been more or less achieved. Some radical feminist ideas too, such as the legalization of abortion etc have also now been accomplished, although the other recommendations, concerning reproduction outside the female body have more or less been dismissed as too radical. The basic goal however for feminists from the beginning of the movement had been to emancipate women from society’s patriarchal order and this on the surface seems to have been achieved. More and more women are being employed in influential posts at work, men are seen to do more domestic and child associated activities and women of course now have the same access to education as men. However, it can also be seen that the majority of women in today’s society are still playing the
stereotypical female role in society.
Socialist Leaders and Feminism
As mentioned, one of the groups which gives emphasis about the context of feminism are the Socialists groups which is headed by Karl Marx. It can be said that socialist feminists have spent much time thinking about issues regarding feminism, leading to the development of a rich body of feminist thought and practice. There are six central features of socialist feminism: class/capitalism, revolution, patriarchy, psychoanalysis, subjectivity and difference. These six features suggest a wide-ranging and eclectic mixture of ideas and influences which minimally include Marxism, radical feminism and psychoanalysis. This mixture of influences together with the tensions over class versus gender all combine to make socialist feminism a fascinating and very complex set of ideas and practices. Additionally, the fortunes of the politics of socialism around the world over the last couple of decades (especially with the demise of the Soviet Union) have necessarily impacted on all forms of theoretical socialism, including socialist feminism. This all adds to the complexity of contemporary socialist feminism.
Clearly socialist feminism has been deeply influenced by Marxism, but, the term ‘socialist feminism’ more accurately captures the breadth and numerous strands of this form of feminism. Nevertheless, it was Marxist theories of class and capitalism that initially inspired socialist feminists. However, their concern with women’s specific experiences within capitalism led them in a variety of directions. Initially a classic argument was that women were second-class citizens within systems of capitalism and patriarchy. Such systems depended on the exploitation of working people and the special exploitation of women (Humm :213). Marxist principles were applied to analyse how women’s work in the home was crucial to the functioning of capitalism and yet how it was not regarded as ‘real work’ as it was not part of the market economy.
Given socialist feminists’ commitment to analysing class as well as gender, it’s not surprising that other forms of difference began to be impossible to ignore. Ignoring differences around race and sexuality was a major criticism levelled at socialist feminists. In 1984 a group of black feminists took over editorial control of the socialist feminist journal Feminist Review, in which the claim was made that ‘a particular tradition, white, Eurocentric and Western, has sought to establish itself as the only legitimate feminism in current political practice’ (Amos and Parmar, 3).
Socialist view for feminism have had to deal seriously with charges of racism and Western bias in their construction of theories which are predicated on the relationship between class and gender hierarchies, to the outright neglect, or at best, the marginalization, of other axes of oppression (Marshall, 86). The issue of sexuality too, much of it stemming from radical feminism, caused major problems for socialist feminism. For some feminists, it was the issue of sexuality, rather than race, which produced the fundamental rift between feminists at the end of the 1970s and which ‘shattered any potential unity about the nature, direction and goal of feminism’. Briefly put, the existence of lesbianism and the concomitant issues of political lesbianism and/or separatism combined with the radical feminist insistence on the reality of men’s violence added further tension and complexity to socialist feminist theory and practice.
A flavour of that complexity can be found in this list of socialist feminist aims outlined by Alison Jaggar in 1983, namely: to reconstruct knowledge (Jaggar, 377); to abolish class and gender (ibid.: 317); to better material conditions (ibid.: 318); to abolish workerhood and womanhood as social categories (ibid.: 343); to construct a political economy of women’s subordination (ibid.: 134); and the material over-throw of male domination (ibid.: 384). All this was to be achieved by material and psychic revolution. A liberal feminist in the 1990s might turn to a socialist feminist and remark on the lack of success in achieving all these aims.
Social Democratic and Feminism
Briefly, since the experience of the great economic depression with its severely high levels of unemployment in the 1920s there is possibly no single aspiration with which social democratic parties in Europe have identified themselves more closely than the achievement or maintenance of full employment. In fact, social democratic theory has been primarily concerned with searching for and applying a strategy which viewed the welfare state and full employment policies (i.e. social and economic citizenship) as necessary preconditions for a socialist transformation of society that was envisaged to be based on a modified efficient capitalist economy (Esping-Andersen & van Kersbergen, 188). In line with the questions of feminism, regarding the role of women in the society, social democratic parties give emphasis about the freedom from oppression.
The main goal of the Social Democratic is to help the society build an alliance which will promote freedom from oppression. The social democratic has been the key for the emergence of independent women’s liberation movement. The oppression of women as a sex involves the objective basis for the mobilization of women in struggle within their organisation. With the women’s movement, more women are being enlightened with their right against oppression. The social democratic supports the development of women’s movement for the liberalization. Such commitment are based on the nation that women must be considered as an essential component of the working class, and like men they can be a potential ally of the working class in the struggle to eliminate capitalism.
Communists and Feminism
In modern times, a Communist party is also regarded as a political party which supports communism. Communism means a political theory which favors collectivism in classless society. Communist Parties first began to be universally established throughout the world in the early 20th century. Communists are duty bound to discover, comprehend, engage, where appropriate, integrate insights from the different feminist perspectives, be they liberal, left or radical perspectives. In line with the question about feminism and the role that women must play in the society. Communist party pays attention for the concept of equality for women. Communist party clearly notes that men and women are distinct beings and the experiences of men are different from the experiences of women. However, communist part is against the notion of individualistic-subjectivistic which implies that women and men exist in separate realities. Accordingly, the communists believe that individual and society, including the subjective and objective emerge in relation to one another, in a whole, dynamic and single reality.
Thus, the communists are against the notion that the theories on gender, race and other singular aspects either confront the notion of Marxism or alters it as a universal theory of value and political practice and application. In France and in Italy, the communist parties have led in battles for reform of women’s status. The Eurocommunist CPs, have been able to show that they give importance to women by allowing them to be engage in public discussion and promote scornful condemnations of the responsibility of capitalism for the miserable treatment of women. However, in line with Eurocommunist CPs program and action, the approach to the freedom of women is like the opposition to a class-struggle fight for other demands of the working class.
Reason for Differences
Feminism can be best explained as the support for the social equality of the sexes, leading to opposition to patriarchy (social organisation in which males dominates females) and sexism. In concept and procedure feminism is highly variable. Those who see themselves as feminists advocate differing levels of criticisms of patriarchy and advance according alternatives to the status quo.
It can be said that Socialist, Social Democratic and Communist leaders and parties have a common ground in terms of adhering to the questions of feminism and the role of the women in society. However, each has their own way and concepts on how to address the issue about feminism. Such differences are caused by the different goals of each leaders and parties. The socialist group gives more emphasis about the capitalism issue about women, on the other hand, the social democratic highlights the freedom of oppression while the communist groups gives value to right of women to be part of the labour market and to see the capabilities of women equally with men.
The differences of the perception of the three groups about feminism can also be attributed to the variety of approach they use in order to enlighten women about their rights and roles within the society.
It shows that with the emergence of feminism theory and ideologies, different groups of people from the society have been able to contribute to this movement. Socialist, social democratic and communist parties are able to provide support to make the society realise the importance of women and the role that they play within the society. It can be concluded that although the approach of the three parties and leaders about feminism and the whole concept of womanhood are different from each other and their focus are not the same, the three only shows one objective and that is to understand better feminism and make other people realise the importance of women in the society.
Amos, V. and Parmar, P. (1984) ‘Challenging Imperial Feminism’, Feminist Review, vol. 17, pp. 3 – 19
Arneil, Barbara. Politics and Feminism. An Introduction, 1999.
Esping-Andersen, G. and K. van Kersbergen, ‘Contemporary research on social democracy’, Annual Review of Sociology, 18, 1992, pp. 187-208.
Fuss, Diana. Essentially speaking: Feminism, nature and difference. New York: Routledge, 1989.
Humm, Maggie, Feminisms and Women’s Movements in the 1990s. 1999
Jaggar, Alison M. Feminist politics and human nature. Sussex: Harvester, 1983.
Marshall, Barbara L. Engendering Modernity: Feminism, Social Theory, and Social Change. Northeastern Univ. Press, 1994.
Oakley, M. What is Feminism? Basil Blackwell, 1986.
Rendall, J Women’s politics in Britain 1780-1870:Claiming citizenship, York, 2002.
Scruton, R. A Dictionary of Political Thought. Harper & Row, New York, 1982.
by Joshua Murray @ Blade Brand Edge
Thu Aug 03 06:43:16 PDT 2017
First introduced in 2005, Coke Zero quickly became one of the three pillars that the Coca-Cola brand presented to consumers.
The post Will Coca-Cola Repeat New Coke Fiasco with Coke Zero Sugar? appeared first on Blade Brand Edge.
by email@example.com (Sanjul Kumar) @ DOVE DEEP PURE FACE WASH
Wed Aug 13 13:56:00 PDT 2014
- Need or the requirement of a particular product to satisfy its need
- The need is filtered towards a product family such as skin care, hair care, dental etc.
- Product class is next which can be called as the subset of the product family umbrella. E.g. face wash under skin care.
- Product Line refers to the brand customer is looking for. Generally the customer looks out for a trusted brand
- Brand variant comes under product type which tells what kind of the product customer wants to fulfil its requirement
- .Finally we have the item which is the SKU or the final product variant of the brand.
Dove grew from a moisturising Beauty Bar into a global brand with a range of products: body washes, hand and body lotions, facial cleansers, deodorants, shampoos, conditioners and hair styling.
Hindustan Unilever Limited website