Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Biology Virus Essay

Biology Virus Essay A virus is a microorganism that cannot reproduce without a host. As a result of this, there has been a lot of controversy on whether or not a virus is a living or non-living organism. The dictionary. com definition for life is, â€Å"the condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic objects and dead organisms, being manifested by growth through metabolism, reproduction, and the power of adaptation to environment through changes originating internally. Viruses have characteristics of both living and non-living organisms, for example, a living characteristic includes reproduction. A non-living characteristic of a virus is that they cannot have both DNA and RNA. The living characteristics of viruses state that viruses can reproduce, but viruses can only reproduce with the help of a host. As a result of viruses not being able to replicate on their own, viruses are not living organisms. Viruses are small infectious particles that have nucleic acid. They can come in many different shapes and sizes. Although viruses vary in shape the common virus has four main parts, the head, DNA or RNA, tail sheath, and tail fiber. The head of a virus is a protein shell that protects the DNA inside it also known as the genome. In comparison, viruses and living organisms both are made up of smaller units that form up to make something larger. The physical appearance of a virus and living organisms are different and what a virus is made up of is different in comparison to a living organism. Viruses are made up of proteins and nucleic acid. The protein comes together to form an encasing shell for the nucleic acid. The protein shell is called a capsid. The nucleic acid inside a capsid can either be DNA or RNA, but never both. Viruses can be classified depending on the features they have, for example the various shapes of a capsid can determine the type of virus. A capsid can be a simple or complex structure. The most complex capsid is found in bacteria called bacteriophages. A virus can also have a viral envelope which contains protein and lipids. Based on shape and structure viruses can infect bacteria, animals and plants. The way in which viruses can infect theses organisms is different. The viruses that infect bacteria are the most common. The life cycle of viruses that infect bacteria are put into two categories known as the lysogenic and lytic cycles. In the lytic cycle, the virus injects its DNA or RNA into the bacteria and makes the bacteria create all the different components that form an entire virus. These parts come together to create individual viruses and as a result of this mass production of individual viruses, the cell bursts. Viruses that go through the lytic cycle are called virulent phages. Phages that go through the lysogenic cycle are known as temperate phages. In the lysogenic cycle the virus injects its DNA or RNA into the host in the same way as the lytic cycle does except the injected DNA or RNA sits and stays inside the host. As a result the virus doesn’t create more individual viruses and the host’s cell doesn’t burst. Although the nucleic acid sits and stays inside the genome, a reaction could occur and the virus could go from the lysogenic to the lytic cycle. In conclusion, viruses have characteristics of both living and non-living organisms. Like non-living organisms, viruses can’t have both DNA and RNA. They can reproduce like living organisms but that is with the help of a host. Without the help of a host viruses can’t perform the characteristics of a living organism. Due to the lack of living characteristics, this shows that viruses are not living organisms.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Peter Cratchit Essay

Dickens reveals his feelings about the importance of children and family in many ways. He vividly describes to us in several scenes, children and family enjoying themselves on Christmas despite their poverty, for example the Cratchit family scenes. However in contrast to this he also shows children hopelessly suffering on the streets, for instance the ignorance and want scene and the surplus population scene. Dickens writes in a personal, conversational and emotional way. He has the imagination and the creativity of a child. His style of writing challenged the views of Victorians, who disapproved of the importance of children and family. In Victorian times the society was declining so much that they had built workhouses and prisons for poor families and the surplus population to live in. Dickens style of writing is very unique and inventive. It is unlike any other Victorian authors who wrote in a manlier like attitude. They weren’t as emotional or sensitive as Dickens was. Unlike Victorians Dickens writes with the imagination and creativity of a child, whilst still writing the novel in a professional and successful manner. He uses effective similes and metaphors to create almost ridiculous imagery, for example when Dickens describes a house in a neighbourhood, he describes it as, ‘playing at hide and seek with other houses’. This description would surprise many Victorians readers. Dickens made Victorians think, why is Charles Dickens a respected popular author writing as though he is a child? Dickens perhaps writes his descriptions in this manner because he wants Victorians to know that children are actually cleverer then what they are credited for. Dickens fully believes that children should be free to unleash all their childish energy at times such as Christmas. Dickens creates a scene full of fun and excitement. When he writes, ‘What would I not have given to be one of them! ‘ this is a personal comment, typical of Dickens’ friendly, honest, conversational style. The Victorian readers would be impressed and slightly surprised by a grown man admitting to having such childlike impulses. Dickens describes children and family who enjoy Christmas despite their poverty. This is clearly shown in the first of the Cratchit scenes where he shows the family ecstatic with excitement and joy. This ecstatic energy and excitement is shown when Tiny Tim was at the dinner table curiously waiting for his Christmas lunch, ‘he beat on the table with the handle of his knife’. This description makes the reader think that even Tiny Tim, of all children, persists to be active and enjoy Christmas. This is uprising due to the fact of Tiny Tim’s disabilities. Dickens also portrays how grateful the Cratchits are for the things they have. The Cratchits are not troubled with the miniature amount of food they have in their Christmas lunch, instead they are satisfied and content with it. This is shown when Dickens allows the reader to know what thoughts are there inside the minds of the Cratchits, ‘nobody said or thought it was at all a small pudding for a large family’. Dickens uses another technique to portray his message, this technique is called irony. He writes the phrase, ‘small pudding for a large family’, just to show to the readers how undersized the pudding would have really been compared to the amount needed for the family. Of curse the Cratchits would think the pudding was small but there is so much family strength and appreciation that none of them actually minded the size of the pudding. Tiny Tim is an extremely important character in the novel. His character represents unfortunate and disabled children enjoying themselves at a time like Christmas. Although Tiny Tim is crippled and is on the edge of life he is still enthusiastic and grateful for the life given to him by God. At the end of the novel Dickens shows Tiny Tim’s importance and affection to others by him saying, ‘God Bless us, Every One’. Dickens writes these words with all capital letters in them to show the significance of the phrase. The death of Tiny Tim is a very depressing event which occurs in the novel. Dickens uses a personal and emotional style of writing to describe Tiny Tim’s death. It is as if though Dickens realises Tiny Tim’s death as soon as the readers do, ‘The colour? Ah poor Tiny Tim! ‘ The Cratchit family are no longer described as cheerful and as ecstatic as they were in the first Cratchit scene. Instead Dickens describes Bob Crachit in the second scene as, ‘a man whose face was care-worn’, to describe what used to be a ‘joyful man’ in the first scene. The death of Tiny Tim has a very large impact on the Crachit family’s atmosphere. Although the Crachits are deeply upset and depressed in the second scene they still persist to show the same family strength they had in the first scene. Every member in the family compliments each other no matter what the situation is like. For instance when Bob Cratchit says ‘you were a good wife’, straight after the remark his son Peter Cratchit says ‘everybody knows that! ‘ This is an indication of the immense respect the family members have towards each other. Scrooge is delighted when the first spirit takes him back to the past to show Scrooge when he was a child at school. Scrooge is ecstatic to see his former self, this is indicated to the reader when Dickens describes the atmosphere, ‘a thousand odours were floating in the air with joy’. Dickens describes Scrooge’s journey to his childhood in such a positive way, this makes the reader realise that even Scrooge, a man who hates children, is delighted to see him back as a child. Scrooge wishes he was still a child and resents all the precious times where he has wasted his life on. Scrooge, a solitary dispassionate man even cries when he sees himself as a boy again, he lets emotion take over him unlike ever before. This is pointed out to the reader when Dickens describes Scrooge’s actions and dialogue: ‘after drying his eyes with his cuffs: ‘It’s too late now to be a child’. As Scrooge sees his own childhood it changes his attitude towards children, he becomes more emotional and this makes Scrooge realise what a stubborn ignorant man he has become. This is shown to the readers when Scrooge shared his feelings to the spirit, ‘there was a boy singing Christmas Carol at my door last night. I should have liked to have given him something. That’s all’. The reader gets a feeling that maybe Scrooge is feeling guilty of not giving the boy anything last night. Slowly the spirit is opening gateways into Scrooge’s mind making Scrooge more emotional and less ignorant. Fred and his uncle Scrooge have a very mixed relationship. It is obvious that Fred likes his uncle because he talks proudly of him, he also defends his uncle’s name when other people are mocking Scrooge. In one of the scenes Fred says to a crowd of people, ‘A merry Christmas and a happy new year to the old man, whatever he is!

Monday, July 29, 2019

Business Mgt Essay

Part I. Assume you have taken over responsibility to play the lead Information Technology (IT) management role in Magnum Enterprises. Your boss, Rachel Heigl, is Magnum’s CIO. The IT management group is comprised of six people who you will be supervising. Ms. Heigl is an enlightened manager, and she believes that if you are to carry out your responsibilities effectively, you need to work with her in defining your IT management role. As a first step, she invites you to write a short statement where you describe what you see to be your role as head of the IT management effort at Magnum. Proper IT Management requires researching and discerning information technology as a company resource guiding both operational and crucial company capabilities. Using information technology to maximize satisfaction of the customer alongside productivity and profitability will ensure that our competiveness with other business stays at a maximum. In turn IT can make business processes more effective and efficient to provide said resources to customers. The lead IT shall ensure performance of the company through managing technology while encompassing priorities of the business into the role. Striving to be a partner with great initiative this business will discover its leader will have accomplished and achieved what they desired. My first role of business would be to establish the parameters and to understand the IT knowledge areas. These are made up of development processes; management challenges information technologies, business applications and foundation concepts. Concepts of the foundation are making sure the role of information systems paired with business and technical concepts are a familiarity with the end user. Familiarity of concepts in entry level information systems bind with a competitive strategy can lead to an overwhelming strategic advantage. Educating Magnum’s team upon the significance of information technology with the three roles that the business world performs in order to combine business management, software, and hardware capabilities. At the Management level, decision making would lead to significant improvements for IT utilization. Business operations see information systems as a huge support to review and collect data from financial operations, managing manufacturing processes that are very sophisticated, tracking company inventory, and productivity. The use of metrics paired with identifying trends to assist the company in making informed decisions faster to provide information about our competitors. IT  is used quite often to provide a strategic support advantage for the company. Automated inventory and ordering systems an assist with the savings costs. With this information we would need to review our mission statement that identifies the company’s functions, provides oversight on the overall goal, a sense of direction, and guides decision making. Investigating and development towards understanding how we generate money and ensuring a customer base for our company. Envisioning the business plan, mission, with current IT structure and the ability to communicate with senior leadership will guide me with necessary tools to assist the Chief Information Officer (CIO). To ensure a strategic IT plan is created in which will be shared and implemented with my team. Planning to have Magnum’s team familiar with data resource management capabilities, hardware, networks, telecommunications, and software within the company is the second area of information systems known as information technologies. In today’s society PDA’s (personal digital assistants; IE. Blackberry’s ETC.) Personal computers and network servers are integral computer hardware and are crucial in our business environment. Being extremely knowledgeable is vital to our team troubleshooting and resolving hardware issues instead of having to call anot her company for maintenance. We have the ability to break down our company’s software into two categories, application software and system software. Both types normally off the consumer shelf as commercial software instead of having an employee on the team write the software codes for these programs. I plan to ensure my teams are extremely familiar with all software programs and have a firm foundation when troubleshooting and resolving technical issues. Additionally, if not already formed, I will institute a configuration control board and implement test scenarios to ensure future hardware and software being purchased will not have compatibility issues. Also a part of information technologies is data resource management. This is essential in sustaining and maintaining our company. We will require a database management system of good quality that is capable of data consolidating into a database in turn can be accessed my several program applications. Within the past fifteen to twenty years networks and telecommunications software have played a vital role. To ensure the expansion and growth for Magnum Enterprises, we will need out network to be consistent, reliable, monetary sufficient. I would prepare the team to  either install or review and change as needed our network management system that assists with traffic management, capacity planning, network monitoring, and security in essence that our system will grow and change with modern day business culture and practices as the company expands. In order to have the most dependable and proven with the cost of it a ring network should be put into place. The next area, development processes, deals with designing, planning, identifying ideas, and implementing information systems to meet potential business opportunities. It is critical that we ensure our business management capabilities alongside our hardware and software are integrated successfully within our company. Basis within t he development process and depending upon the circumstance, there are a couple of processes we want our team to employ as resolving problems com along with our business systems. Those processes are considered or known as the prototyping approach and he systems development life-cycle. The synopsis of prototyping involves quickly developing or constructing test modules of a desired system in which we will engage when we cannot determine or classify the end user requirements. These systems would be used to assist our personnel with the capabilities to design or create an information system that will be intuitive and easy to navigate for consumers. Prototyping involves four steps with the first being investigation and analysis step. This step, requirements grouped and defined. Second, is the analysis and design step in which a model is developed and constructed to meet consumer business requirements. Next, in the design and implementation, this finalizes the model that was tested and begins the initial installation. The last step to this four step process is implementation and maintenance, which would consist of the business system being accepted, used, and maintained. Prototyping advantages are: decrease in the development time, development costs and requires user i nvolvement. This generates higher satisfaction results. I plan to employ this type of approach to small initiatives. The next area is business application for information systems. This will consist of being familiar with commerce and business applications for our employees and which are used within the company to make strategic leadership and management decisions. A few of the most used business applications within a majority of companies are accounting, human resource management, enterprise resource planning, supply chain management, customer relationship management, financial management,  and supply chain management. An Architectural picture of or IT business applications will ensure that I will have familiarity with all applications that we use. This approach will identify the current interrelationships, interfaces with customer, employees, business applications, and stake holders. We will then need to review the chart and see if there are any potential process improvements that we can make to integrate those systems cross functionally and keep operational costs to a minimum. The systems devel opment lifecycle employs the systems approach to create IT solutions. This lifecycle is often utilized for large applications and it is composed of five processes that I expect my team to know and become familiar when employing the systems development lifecycle: systems investigation, systems analysis, systems design, systems implementation and systems maintenance. The first process, systems investigation, involves project brainstorming, planning and performing a feasibility study. During the brainstorming and planning initiative, a project management implementation plan is created identifying the detailed steps that will be accomplished during the creation and development of the system. The feasibility study is critically important as this outlines all requirements for the system. It also explores four major areas, organizational, economic, technical, and operational feasibility, which determines if it’s worthwhile to invest in potential business ventures. In reviewing the organization’s feasibility, we need to determine if the system is in line with and supports our company’s strategic objectives. The economic feasibility identifies and evaluates the project’s tangible and intangible cost and benefits. Technical feasibility is assessed by confirming if the necessary hardware and software will be available or can be developed and tested before implementation. Operational feasibility is determined by the motivation, desire, willingness, and competence of the stakeholders (management, employees, customers and suppliers) to use and operate the proposed system. Systems Analysis consists of consolidating requirements and includes a detailed breakdown of the business needs and requirements of the organization. This starts with an organizational analysis from one of the business end users. This individual must be keenly aware of the organizational management structure, business requirements, and current IT systems operati ons and its proposed relationship with the newly created system. Some of the outputs generated from the systems analysis  include system flowcharts, data flow diagrams, and connectivity diagrams which aid in the development of the analysis report The next process, systems design, focuses on the design, process diagrams, business rules, and developing specifications for the hardware, software, data resources that will meet the proposed requirements for new business system. The three major outputs produced from the systems design phase are user data, interface, and process design. The fourth process of the systems development lifecycle is system implementation. This encompasses either acquiring the hardware or software or developing it from company resources and then testing the products in a test environment to see how well they operate and integrate with your existing IT architecture. If testing goes well, an implementation plan including training end users and developing system documentation will be accomplished prior to incorporating and execu ting this system within our IT architecture. The final process, systems maintenance consists of consistently monitoring and evaluating the newly implemented system. This also includes correcting errors and discrepancies not identified during the testing phase and continuously making system improvements, advancements and upgrades. The final area of information systems is management challenges. There are numerous challenges that our IT team may be faced with at Magnum Enterprises. One challenge is addressing our security concerns which involve several areas. For instance, our IT team needs be constantly vigilant and on the alert for potential competitors trying to or actually hacking into our systems to steal or damage our data. Additionally, we may also be challenged with setting up restrictions and locking down the network for personnel to only use the network and its software applications for official business. Ensuring that our software is controlled and that employees are not illegally making copies of software for personal use is another area of concern. Preventing virus attacks to our network and installing anti-virus software to diagnose and remove computer viruses is of utmost concern. Failure to maintain a secure network can potentially halt our business from being productive and resulting in thousands of dollars in lost revenue. Additional challenges the IT team may be faced with may involve expanding our infrastructure and network to address our growing business. Ensuring our network provides our employees accessibility to the data they need, wherever they require it, regardless of their location will test our innovativeness.  The company may not have a backup plan to allow it to operate effectively and efficiently in the event of a forced relocation. If that is the case, I will recommend to our management staff that we establish a continuity of operations plan enabling us to relocate with minimum impact to our business operations like a hot site for temporary functionality. In the dynamic world of IT we will always be faced with challenges, however, utilizing IT and being on the leading edge of new IT systems provides our business with many benefits and makes our organization more effective and efficient. For example, IT can be used to improve and promote new business processes such as creating an automated inventory system which will save money in additional labor costs. Another use of IT in making it more efficient and effective is that using certain software programs enables us to identify and target our top customers in terms of profitability to our business. In summary, IT enables our company to successfully plan, integrate, manage, and carry out strategies which lead to profit. Part II. Six months after you take over the lead IT management role at Magnum, the CIO, Ms. Rachel Heigl, is pleased with your work. She has just attended a meeting of Magnum’s executive committee (the committee comprised of the most senior managers of Magnum), where the CEO and Vice President of marketing have indicated that Magnum’s mediocre e-business capabilities must be strengthened. As CIO, Ms. Heigl is given primary responsibility in improving Magnum’s e-business performance. She in turn puts you in charge of a small task force comprised of representatives from the marketing, operations, finance, and legal departments. In order to advance and improve Magnum’s e-business performance operations, it’s vital I establish a cohesive team with representatives from the marketing, operations, finance, and legal departments. Their input and perspective is necessary and essential in developing a way ahead and strategic plan for the future of our e-busin ess department. Developing success with our e-business begins with marketing the company. Marketing is concerned with developing and creating an innovative plan so that the product or service can be promoted and sold. Promoting our products and services are key and critical in attracting new customers as well as maintaining our current customer base. It is important that I develop an understanding of the marketing role and how it can benefit  by using Information Technology systems. Marketing information systems support well established and e-commerce processes that sustain major elements within the marketing function and is described as a continuing and interacting structure of people, equipment and procedures to gather, sort, analyze, evaluate, and distribute pertinent, timely and accurate information for use by marketing decision makers to improve their marketing planning, implementation, and control. The major components of marketing information systems include interactive marketing, sales force automation, customer relationship management, sales management, product management, targeted marketing, and market research. Two of the seven components I will be discussing are interactive marketing and customer relationship management. In our environment today, marketing information systems aid marketing personnel in a variety of tasks associated with branding products and customer service initiatives. For instance, interactive marketing is largely dependent on utilizing the internet, which permits the business and its customers and potential customers to become partners in developing, socializing, acquiring and advancing products and services. With the IT department enabling this type of communication, the company benefits from generating new ideas for other products and services as well as establishing strong customer loyalty. Another area within the marketing information systems is C ustomer Relationship Management (CRM). This incorporates and automates many customer service processes. It consists of utilizing an IT framework to construct, automate, and integrate marketing processes with the company’s business operations. CRM is usually comprised of a software suite that allows a business to provide efficient, effective and reliable service to its customers. Additionally, CRM permits a company to identify and target their most important customers as well as facilitate real-time customization of products and services based on the customer’s wants and desires. Understanding the marketing department’s views and concerns enables the IT department to implement and install an IT infrastructure that will be capable of supporting various information technologies. Some of the benefits that can be obtained from the marketing department are: an opportunity to increase sales and revenue, a chance to touch new market areas, 24/7 accessibility for the customer, and more flexibility and convenie nce for the customers. The production and operations function is supported by  manufacturing information systems. Manufacturing information systems are designed to be used specifically in an operations and production environment. Different types of manufacturing information systems consist of computer integrated manufacturing (CIM), process control, machine control and robotics. CIM involves using computers to control the total manufacturing process, from design to distribution, to produce produces products of the highest caliber. Process control involves utilizing computers to oversee and control continuing physical processes. Machine control consists of using a computer based system to direct the actions of a machine. Robotics involves designing, constructing, and building machines that have the intelligence of a computer and human like physical capabilities. It’s key I understand how the operations representative depends on these information systems to operate effectively as well as their expec tations for these systems. Working together as a team will enable the IT and operations department to develop better ideas to increase the manufacturing and production process. Developing an understanding of all the accounting and financial based systems within our business and discussing these systems with the finance representative enables our IT and finance departments to plan effectively when troubleshooting and performing upgrades. These systems include but are not limited to order processing, inventory control, accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, general ledger, cash management, investment management, capital budgeting and financial planning. The success of these systems is integrally connected with its information technology and services. For example, the order processing system â€Å"captures and processes customer orders and produces data needed for sales analysis and inventory control and the accounts payable system keeps track of data concerning purchases from and payments to suppliers. Communicating with the finance representative is essential in setting up or modifying these systems to meet the needs of our business. Any interrupti on or degradation in service can lead to severe damage to the business and financial services that Magnum Enterprises relies on to function and operate. As with any business, competitors are always looking for an advantage to get them ahead in their particular discipline or industry. Unfortunately, being extremely aggressive and ambitious can sometimes cloud your decision making capabilities to the point that you may  be committing breaking privacy laws and monitoring and copyright violations. As the IT lead manager for Magnum Enterprises, I’m charged with ensuring our network infrastructure and IT systems are operating proficiently. However, when it comes to addressing privacy issues from an IT perspective, opinions and viewpoints from a legal expert are necessary. In regards to privacy, several websites accumulate usernames and passwords and personal information such as home addresses and phone numbers without authorization from users. Applying internet monitoring technology within the workplace raises concerns about where the boundaries lie between personal use and public resource use. Copyright concerns and violations has become an issue with the development of the Internet and upgrades to technology. Discussing these concerns with a legal expert and implementing and adhering to strict guidelines will help prevent our company from committing these violations. In addition to the goals of strengthening the capabilities of the e-business, attention must be paid to some key technical challenges. Overseeing secure information throughout our business is extremely difficult to implement and maintain successfully. Key technical issues that may be encountered when re-engineering our e-business include privacy and confidentiality, authenticity, data integrity, access control, availability and infrastructure. Privacy and confidentiality involves businesses protecting and securing personal information while being stored or t ransmitted through email. This can be accomplished by utilizing encryption devices or firewalls. Authentication is used to confirm an individual’s identity and during e-business transactions, the purchaser and buyer wants assurance that proper identity is established. A secure way to assist with confirming identity to both individuals is to utilize a virtual private network. Data integrity means the data is correct and has not been altered while being stored or transmitted. The use of firewalls assists in preventing unauthorized users and safeguarding data. Another way to ensure data integrity is through the use of antivirus software which also aids in keeping your data free from viruses. Access control exists when you’re authorizing certain individual’s permission to restricted systems or data. Several measures that can help with access control include firewalls, access privileges, passwords, digital certificates and virtual private networks. Availability is an issue when customers and employers need information  without any disruptions. Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) systems, data backups and the use of anti-virus software assist with ensuring data is always available. Our e-business infrastructure constantly needs to be monitored to ensure its meeting the needs of our business. An infrastructure that is unable to consistently support the network traffic load can potentially cost our company thousands of dollars in lost sales. If the network is continually slow, increasing the speed of the network backbone will assist in providing faster and reliable support for our customers. In addition to increasing the speed of the network backbone, implementing cross-functional enterprise systems will assist in improving critical business processes throughout Magnum enterprises. A final technical challenge is ensuring all of our systems are compatible and can operate on several different hardware platforms. By having this capabi lity, our operating costs from a technical refresh perspective will decrease. While strengthening capabilities and addressing technical issues, there are management challenges within the e-business that must be addressed. As discussed earlier, our team must be vigilant in addressing security challenges such as hacking into our systems, software theft, and protecting our software applications. In addition to security issues, there are ethical concerns that must be addressed. Privacy has always been a serious and contentious issue amongst employers and employees. For instance, computer monitoring is considered by many personnel to be an infringement on the employee’s privacy and shouldn’t be allowed. However, employers argue that since the computer is a company owned resource, they should be allowed to monitor the work of their employer. In reality, many employers are concerned as to whether or not the employee is actually working and producing or just goofing off and surfing the internet. Utilizing IT equipment at work has been mentioned to cause a variety of health issues which management must address. For example, if your job consists of being in front of a computer all day, some of the health problems you may experience damage to the neck and arm muscles, eye strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, job stress, poor posture and poor circulation. Resolutions to some of these health concerns can be through the science of ergonomics. The objective of ergonomics is to devise and create safe health work conditions with the goal of decreasing health issues and increasing employee morale and work productivity. If  Magnum Enterprises has customers internationally, they also may be faced with political, geo-economic and cultural challenges. From a political concern, there are countries that have restrictions regulating or denying the transfer of data across their borders which can potentially result in customers or businesses from having to pay import or export fees. Geo-economic concerns involve issues such as identifying and locating personnel with IT skills to work at remote sites and communicating with personnel across all 24 time zones. Cultural challenges â€Å"include differences in languages, cultural interests, religions, customs, social attitudes, and political philosophies†. For example, if Magnum Enterprises was conducting a business transaction via a Video Teleconference it would be disrespectful to look them in the eye when introducing yourself. Before meeting an international customer, it would prudent to review their customs and courtesies to ensure a smooth business relationship. Improving Magnum’s e-business performance faces several challenges. Consulting with key department personnel from operations, marketing, finance and legal as well as addressing technical and management obstacles will assist me in charting a plan to put our e-business on the right track towards success.

My Final Report for my internship in ExxonMobil Qatar Essay

My Final Report for my internship in ExxonMobil Qatar - Essay Example The company had interest in oil and gas companies including Qatargas Liquefied Gas Company limited and Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company Limited. In addition, it is committed to the government’s Qatarization policy, which means that majority of the employees of the company are locals. In partnership with the Qatar Petroleum, ExxonMobil works to promote maximum utilization of the gas resources in Qatar while ensuring that Qatar remains a reputable LNG exporter. The company upholds working business ethics that is a key pillar in the attainment of results. ExxonMobil has a total of ---employees, which includes both low cadre staff as well as senior management. The general manager who is also the president of ExxonMobil Qatar is Mr. Barton Cahir. Exxon Mobil Corporation’s shares as at 4th of August were trading at $ 99.23. In the current state of affairs, ExxonMobil Qatar is among the largest company in Qatar dealing with petroleum and petrochemicals. The mission of the company is to find long-term and sustainable solutions to the energy needs in the world. The company is committed to being the world’s premier petrochemical and Petroleum Company. In addition, the company is committed to promoting technologies that are energy efficient, and maximizing the use of energy. It further develops collaborations that facilitate the LNG projects in Qatar. Further, they have adopted the diversification of gas use while they have engaged in research that is geared towards the realization of solutions to the energy needs in the world. The company has developed partnerships with the state of Qatar as well as the Qatar Petroleum in providing solutions to energy needs. Additionally, the company endeavors to achieve financial success continuously and operating results while ensuring that business conduct is adhered to. With the company’s â€Å"Qatarization† approach to human resource, the company is able to employ a diverse w ork force mainly

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Unlawful Discrimination II Assignment Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words

Unlawful Discrimination II - Assignment Example mployer (Hillbrook Manufacturing Company Ltd) because she was not remunerated on equal employment terms with her male counterparts in the same kind of job. Mrs. Lauren had worked for Hillbrook Manufacturing Company limited for more than ten years. However, during her tenure for work, she was being paid less than her male counterparts due to under assessment which was being conducted by her immediate supervisors. She decided to file a case against her employer based on gender inequality. The statutes prohibit any unfairness by the employer to the employees hence Mrs. Lauren was acting according to the law. The United States judicial system recognizes any form of partiality at the working environment. The employer in this case was being undermined and underpaid compared to her male counterparts. This is against â€Å"Equal pay Act† of United States which requires all employers to remunerate their employees equally irrespective of their gender. Also, this was characterized by inequality hence it was against Equal Employment Opportunity Act (Beiner, 2004). This act requires all workers to be treated the same way irrespective of their social, political, race or even religious background. Therefore, biasness portrayed by the employer in this case was tantamount to breach of law. When dealing with the matter of biasness in the working place, judges should first establish the truth about the alleged inequity. They have to prove that the wronged person was indeed being underpaid and under evaluated compared to other male workers. Therefore, Mrs. Lauren should provide enough evidence to affirm that she was being underpaid, and that this was due to her gender. However, it is the employee’s responsibility to notify the court and provide evidence for the allegations against the employer (Beiner, 2004). The claim must support that the employees was not given equal chances and opportunities like her male counterparts. The role of judge is providing justice to the wronged

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Compair the Matrix, Cathedral, and Billy Slaughterhouse 5 to the one Essay

Compair the Matrix, Cathedral, and Billy Slaughterhouse 5 to the one who ascends from in The Allegory of the Cave - Essay Example On the hand, the blind man’s view of life comes from an open perspective and he is ready to learn new things about life (Carver, 2002). The narrators view on blindness (life), changes when the blind man asks him to describe the cathedral for him. When he lacks words to do this, he is forced to show him by drawing, by catching his hand. Communication through symbolism helps him to understand the world through the blind man’s point of view. The blindness that separated them at the beginning brings them together. This is achieved through seeing the world from others perspective. Slaughter house- five basically explores the illogical nature of human beings, free will and fate. This book explores the concept that we are powerless and can do only what we can actually do. Billy Pilgrim is an anti-war character, who trains as a chaplain assistant, earning him disgust from his friends. Despite being the main character of the book, he gets on the nerves of everyone because of his dreams, weak body and fecklessness. He still manages to survive one of the main human atrocities, where others have failed. Nothing in Billy’s life happens out of his own will, but he watches as his life unfolds in front of him for example he is recruited to the war without his consent and gets married to a woman he does not love. In most of the novel, his character is not one the narrator could call a â€Å"character†, and only does so when he becomes â€Å"crazy† and breaks out of hospital to a radio talk show to tell about â€Å"Tralfamadore†. This is a place where he was abducted to by aliens, and this could either be in his head or reality. Events in this place take place simultaneously, so nothing happens before or after the other. In this situation, a person can choose only the good memories of life. Some can argue that the events in his life are due to the post traumatic disorder he has suffered in his life. We all can agree that human life invol ves suffering, and in his case, this seemed to be happening a lot. The old ways of explaining this suffering; religion and patriotism, do not seem to work. In the end, Billy awaits death without fear and is in control, something he was not able to do throughout his life. He ends up being the most unlikely war heroes. In Matrix the movie, Thomas Anderson, is one of the many billions of people connected to the Matrix unaware that they live in a virtual world. Despite being a respectable programmer for a software company, he is also a hacker with an alias†Neo†. This is when he gets to know about the Matrix. He has a choice to forget all about it and live his normal life, or gather information on the Matrix. Neo chooses to liberate humanity from the virtual fate, and there begins his journey to enlighten and being a hero. This is despite warnings from those who know the truth. He embraces his role and even learns fighting skills quite first, in the journey of being savior of the universe, where he gets his other name, â€Å"the one†. This is when we start to see his messianic like qualities and belief from other characters such as Morpheus and the Oracle, towards human liberation. There are several similarities between this character and Jesus Christ, for example Jesus was both earthly and godly, which can be compared to Neo’s ability to go through realms. The name Thomas can also be compared to doubting Thomas in the New Testament, who doubted the resurrection of Christ. Similarly, Neo doubted his abilities at

Friday, July 26, 2019

The Impact of Retail Distribution Review on Aviva Research Paper

The Impact of Retail Distribution Review on Aviva - Research Paper Example As the industry involves customers, financial advisors, and financial service providers, there can be conflicts of interest between customers and financial advisors or company and financial advisors. This is called agency problem which leads failure of customers’ trust on market. Financial regulatory bodies aim to employ certain regulations to resolve these issues. The Financial Services Act had been attempting to realize the retail market of investment and the reason for the failure of customers trust. In order to retain the public confidence and trust the FSA introduced the Retail Distribution Review (Personal Financial Society. 2010). This retail review was launched in June targeting the standard and quality of financial advisory services given to the customer in the financial services industry. Through the RDR, the FAS aims to develop a retail market where customers easily understand the information; the financial firms fairly treat their customers and the customers will have much confidence to invest in the market (CISI. n.d.). The approach has been quite influential to keep the resilience, efficiency and the productivity of the retail investment market. RDR is supposed to modernize the industry by bringing back customer confidence to the market by offering them the best choices to fulfill their pension and savings needs. RDR not only approaches to solve the significant issues influential behind some of the longtime problems, but it also considers the operating procedure of the overall market of retail investments. At the same time, the authority was concerned about the future operational procedures of the retail industry. To maintain a control and authority over the fair operation of the investment retail industry, RDR has considered and modified a number of previous policy initiatives. The modifications and introduction of some new policies have been carried out taking due consideration of all of  the stakeholders’ interests including the practitioners and the consumers’ representatives in this industry.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Management of Organizational Behavior. Leadership Essay

Management of Organizational Behavior. Leadership - Essay Example A situational leadership is comprised upon an art of observing and dealing people to make effective changes according to the behavior, situations and sensitivity of a task (Patricia Zigarmi, 2000). In short, a successful leader has to be versatile with his leadership styles and should act according to the maturity level of his team workers. HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT: The topic of leadership is under constant growth and grooming in the organizational sciences since 1920’s and amendments or new theories are being laid continuously to bring the best of the option. Before, situational leadership by Hersey and Blanchard was introduced; different leadership theories were given like Great Man Theory, Trait Theories, Contingency Theory, Situational Theory and Behavioral Theories in which leaders were asked to follow different traits or behavior to get the tasks done (Yi-Hsuan Lee, 2007). Mouton and Blake laid a theory of behavioral leadership with a Managerial Grid, which emphasis on the concerns for people and productions can be done in different ratios which are more workable for a successful leadership. In 1970’s, Paul Hersey and Kenneth H. Blanchard introduced a new concept of leadership which was based on practical approaches within any organization. Later on different leadership styles were introduced but none fits as best as Situatio nal Leadership by Hersey and Blanchard (Robert D. Cecil, 2006). ... Task behavior could be dealt with complete guidance from when, how, where and with what to begin and relationship behavior allows followers or managers to be involved in discussions for different decisive issues. In other words, Relationship behavior offers a freedom for followers. Leaders can follow four leadership styles which were introduced by Hersey and Blanchard as guidance to act and demand according to a situation (Hersey, P. 1977). S1 (telling): Style 1 refers to the high task and low relationship behavior in which each and every task as how, when, where to be done is explained. S2 (selling): Style 2 refers to a balance of both task and relationship behavior in which followers are asked to communicate with the leader before starting any new task. S3 (participating): Style 3 refers to a low task and high relationship behavior in which followers are trusted for their endless efforts and dedication towards an organization. S4 (delegating): Style 4 refers to a low profile with b oth low task and low relationship behaviors in which the maturity level of the followers are completely incompatible with the work requirements and the leader has to delegate from top to bottom to get the work done. All these styles are adopted according to the maturity level of the followers. RESPONSE TO BLAKE AND MOUTON: In response to Blake and Mouton’s article â€Å"How to choose leadership style† published in February, 1982, Hersey and Blanchard appreciated the effort made by Blake and Mouton but Hersey and Blanchard responded well to this controversy by redefining that Grid talks about attitudinal dimensions and Hersey and Blanchard are more towards observed behaviors. In short, Grid interprets the values and attitudes of the followers and predicts to work with

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

American Pragmatiscm Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1750 words

American Pragmatiscm - Essay Example They also held that there existence tracedental truth above any inquiry that is used by organisms in coping with their life. Therefore it can be held an ecological account of knowledge in which there is a constructed inquiry constructed by organism in order to have a grip of the environment that they are living int. (Quine, 1991) Charles Sanders Peirce who lived from 1839 to 1914 founded the American Pragmatism. In his inquiry about he concept, Peirce wrote a number of topic including the mathematical logical and semantics which had the concept of psychology in them. Another classical pragmatist was William James who lived between 1842 and 1910. James was a religious theorist and a psychologist and also a philosopher. He was the first philosopher to be identified with the term pragmatism when compared to Perce who was not that much famous. Neo-classical pragmatists were those who lived from 1950. They have been associated with the work of the classical pragmatism as compared to the neo-pragmatists. There were a number of neoclassical pragmatists (Eldrige, 1993) Sidney Hook lived from 1902 to 1989. He is considered to have been a prominent intellectual philosopher how was based in New York. He was once a student of Dewey at Columbia University where he learnt his pragmatist's foundations. Susan Haack who was born in 1945 is a teacher at the University of Miami. She had done commendable work on foundherentism based on the work that was done by Peirce. She is sometimes referred as the intellectual granddaughter of Pierce. Hickman Larry was a philosopher of technology. He is also a Dewey scholar and heads the Center for Dewey Studies. Hildebrand David is one of the most ardent supporters of Dewey work. He has expressed his dissatisfaction with neo-pragmatism and therefore called for the continuation of the original work that was done by John Dewey. Nicholas Research is also another important neoclassical pragmatism who has done a lot of work on the concept of pragmatism. Others include Gorge Herbert Mead Ralph Emerson Josiah Royce George Santayana Giovanni Papini Giovanni Vailati 3. Analytical pragmatists Most of the analytical pragmatists are also referred to as neo-pragmatist according to their work. The following are analytical pragmatists William Van Ormane Quine lived between 1908 and 2000 was more concerned with language, logic, and the concept of mathematical philosophy Lewis Irving live from 1883 to 1964 and also didn't a lot of work of pragmatism. Richard Rorty who lived from 1931 to 2007 did a lot of work of the philosopher and the mirror of nature Hilary Putan expressed that classical pragmatism was permissive a theory. Hew is taken to have been

Corporate Cash holding Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1500 words

Corporate Cash holding - Essay Example The suitability of a new model must be determined before carrying out any tests owing to the complex nature of the measurements involved. The correlations will need to be carried out between loss dummy and dividend payouts as well as between loss dummy and firm size and positive relationships will need to be determined (see Appendix 4 for reference). This means that large firms are more likely to be without loss while also managing to pay dividends, an observation consistent with the results obtained by most researchers and providing evidence that the loss dummy variable can function as a proxy for financial restraints. In line with the other various researchers, we found out that firms which incur a loss, most of the times hold more cash than financially stable firms. Further examination into the correlation between loss dummy, the investment opportunity and cash flow volatility, we were able to found out that a negative correlation exists between loss dummy and the investment opportunity as well as a negative correlation between loss dummy and cash flow volatility. From this examination we can assume that financial constraints (loss dummy=0) have a positive relationship with cash flow volatility investment opportunity set (see Appendix 5). Financial constrained firms should hold some cash so that they are able to invest in investment projects which are profitable. The estimate models show us that cash flow volatility does in fact affect a firm’s cash holdings. Cash volatility differs from industry to industry and in order to depict this, we add a dummy variable, industry, into our model so as to determine the differences in cash holdings in each industry. The variable for industry, I, shall be used in out sample meaning that for the 32 industries listed in the London Stock Exchange, we would need to create 21(k-1) dummy variables. According to the results of the test, we can see that not all dummy variables are of significance. The ones that

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Euro Behaviour Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2000 words

Euro Behaviour - Essay Example From the report it is clear that  economic performance of a trade block depend more on individual countries performance. In our analysis, we intend to evaluate euro’s performance and as such will rely more on the overall activity within member countries. Euro is not political affiliated and thus depend in multi-nation policies regarding the member countries economic performance. When crisis in economic activity within one trade block occur, the effects easily spill to the global economic and asset market. The European Union, as a trade block, has frequently suffered such.According to the report findings  the links in international financial and asset markets are key determinants of a currency’s exchange rate. Single currency or states supremacy cannot influence the rates that her currencies are accorded. Macroeconomics teaches that multiple factors are put into play in regard to determining a currency’s worth in the international market. Individual states cur rency is rated on a scale that is unanimously accepted within the trading scope against a common denomination; majorly the U.S dollar, yen or the euro. However, the rates are never constant varying on the prevailing economic performances as determined by the World Bank. ‘Purchasing power parity’ (PPP) compares rates of trade and prices within a state. Projections of future interest rates of a currency relative to nominal interests are determined by the interest rate parity. (Cumby and Obstfeld, 1982, 1-2). Therefore, at the macro and micro level performance of an economy, the policies made always have an impact to the valuation of her currency. However, the determination of these indices within an economic block like the EU is not dependent on a single country but rather on sum of the overall economic performance of the economic block. The Euro use has expanded very much within the EU region and is now estimated to be in used throughout

Monday, July 22, 2019

Challenges Faced by Companies Entering Foriegn Markets Essay Example for Free

Challenges Faced by Companies Entering Foriegn Markets Essay 1. INTRODUCTION Companies move into foreign markets for various reasons. In certain cases, it is towards achieving a required sales volume. In other instances, it might be a bid to increase brand awareness. Other companies go into foreign markets to re-invigorate sales after their products have gone through their life cycle from inception to decline in home markets. Regardless of reason, moving into a foreign market tends to portend great opportunities for companies, particularly if it entails serving products in an emerging economy that has recently become wealthy enough to afford such products; or selling a new but needed product or service to a developed and wealthy market. However, in foreign markets, challenges are as numerous as opportunities. Some sources of challenges are discussed below. a) Socio-Cultural Differences Companies tend to adopt practices that were successful in home markets without adapting these models to fit the cultural inclinations of markets entered. When large cultural differences exist between the home country and that entered, such practices may result in ineffective business development and partnerships. An example is the now well known Chinese practice of longer meetings in the bid to become acquainted with potential partners, compared to the Anglo-American practice of brief to-the-point meetings. Adopting either approach in a market more inclined to the other, will no doubt hinder business development. Language differences are other examples of socio-cultural differences that posit challenges to companies entering a foreign market. Language differences make effective and efficient communication difficult between companies and local stakeholders. A light example is the Chevrolet Nova which was selling far below expectation in Latin America. Executives of General Motors could not understand why this was so until it was brought to their attention that, in Spanish â€Å"no va† means â€Å"it doesn’t go†. b) Differences in Levels of Bureaucracy – Efficiency of Procedures and Processes Company registration, the opening of a bank account, getting import permits, obtaining required licenses, etc, all reflect the ease of doing business in a country as well as the levels of bureaucracy that exist in that country. For companies used to relatively low levels of bureaucracy, entering a market with significantly higher levels of bureaucracy may result in unrealistic project plans translated into unachieved implementation. c) Differences in Availability of Skilled Human Resources Availability of a particular skill in a company’s home market may result in presumptions about the availability of the same skill in the market entered. 4This occurred in Nigeria in 2001 when the first set of GSM licenses were given to foreign companies MTN and Econet (both from South Africa). At the time, neither entrant foresaw a dearth of local skilled manpower. This ended up costing both companies an unprecedented increase in salaries and other expenses associated with bringing in expatriate workers. The challenge of sourcing skilled labour in foreign markets is further exacerbated when quotas exist on the number expatriates allowed into the country entered despite the dearth of local skill. d) Differences in Infrastructure Prevailing infrastructure affects how companies operate. Prevailing transportation infrastructure affect how companies move goods and personnel for service delivery; market infrastructure affect how players on a given value chain relate with one another; and the level of basic infrastructure such as power and water affect cost allocations and management. For companies entering a foreign market, failure to take into account the infrastructural base of the market entered may result in ineffective and or inefficient operating plans and processes. e) Legislation Favouring Local Companies Unsupportive legislation is another major source of challenges to companies entering foreign markets. Countries tend to enact laws intended to protect or enable local industries. These legislations take many forms. They could be outright levies on foreign businesses; or banning of the activities or management structure of foreign companies; or may be through more indirect means such as required licenses or permits to operate; cumbersome registration processes or permit procedures. 4 David Ogah, â€Å"Expatriates, some semi-skilled, take over even menial jobs from Nigerians†, The Guardian Newspaper Nigeria, December 21 2011,, accessed August 2012. 3. NIGERIAN E-COMMERCE E-commerce is the buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. E-commerce uses the World Wide Web at one point in the transactions life-cycle, although it may include a wider range of technologies such as e-mail, mobile devices and telephones. - The major customers of e-commerce businesses are individuals living in major urban centres in Nigeria, notably Lagos, the commercial capital; Abuja, the political capital; and Port Harcourt, an oil rich city in Southern Nigeria; as these cities tend to house the highest number of internet users in Nigeria. 5Nigeria has over 47 million internet users, with a majority of them living in the urban cities. In the mid 2000s, a couple of e-commerce companies were launched in Nigeria. They barely survived. The reason for their demise, or in other cases, stagnant growth, was the difficulty of getting customers to embrace the e-payment options available in Nigeria at that time. This difficulty was due to known cases of fraud that occurred over the insecurity of Interswitch, the only e-payment platform available in Nigeria at that time. However, with the entrance of major card payment solutions like Master card and Visa card in 2006, coupled with the improved security features of Interswitch, the industry experienced an increase in the number of Nigerians executing online payments.6(online transactions grew by 25% in 2011) Prior to the end of the first quarter of 2012, the Nigerian e-commerce scene had been somewhat lukewarm as the only vibrant players were and At the beginning of the second quarter, the sector experienced an increase in the number of e-commerce company in Nigeria, amongst which were Rocket Internet’s and The long-term outlook for the e-commerce industry in Nigeria is positive, with analysts predicting a significant increase in new entrants. The implementation of the use of mobile money in Nigeria by the Central Bank of Nigeria is expected to accelerate the development of the e-commerce industry in Nigeria, as mobile money allows a greater number of individuals engage in electronic transactions. Currently, the Nigerian e-commerce industry has slightly over 70 companies, though the industry is yet to have an estimated dollar value. Companies in the sector are categorized into: a. Fashion Retailers These are online fashion shops that primarily sell shoes, clothes and other fashion accessories. Major players in this category are,, and The clear leader among them is Sabunta, despite the fact that the platform was launched less than 3 months ago while most other players have been in the scene for significantly longer. Sabunta offers a wider range of international brands and possesses a more integrated logistic supply chain. This makes them more capable of serving customers all around Nigeria than competitors. b. Travel and Tourism These are primarily online companies that sell travel and tour packages. The clear market leader is with a current turnover of thirty-five million naira (N35 million) per month. Other players in this sector belong to private airline operators e.g.,, etc c. Electronic Gadgets and Books These are companies that sell electronic gadgets and books online. The major players in this category are and It is however difficult to tell who the bigger player is. Both players are less than 3 months old. Apart from electronics, also retails baby and female make-up products. d. Broad Product Retailers Players in this category include group-buying deal sites such as, and The major player with the largest market share is It was launched in 2011 and possesses the most robust group-buying deal site in Nigeria. 2. SABUNTA.COM is a fashion online retailer that offers a wide range of International and Nigerian fashion brands for sale in Nigeria. is an e-commerce company owned by Jolali Global Resources Limited, a privately held company in Nigeria, set up and owned by the German Company, Rocket Internet. Rocket’s headquarters is the vibrant centre of Berlin, Europes Silicon Valley, home to a network of 25 international Rocket offices that cover the operations of the company’s subsidiaries in developed and emerging markets. Rocket Internet is the largest, fastest and the most successful international online venture builder. It currently has over 50 online ventures in 7 continents where they are all playing in the top segments of the market. The primary focus of Rocket is building proven, transaction-based business models in the online and mobile space. The company has been executing this model since 2007 and have created over 100 market leading companies in over forty (40) countries, dozens of which have been exited successfully. The Rocket Internet Company is best known for cloning successful online business in the US in other countries where they play at the top of the market. In Europe, Rocket’s Zalando is currently the largest online fashion retailer. Other well known companies owned and operated by Rocket include; Wimdu in France, Zidora in Azerbaijan, Dafiti in Brazil, Mizado in Egypt, Locondo in Japan, The Iconic in Australia and Zando in South Africa. and are Rocket’s operations in Nigeria. Both operate from their headquarters in Lagos, Nigerian’s commercial capital, home to over 10% of the country’s $413 billion GDP. and serve customers around using warehouses in major urban cities. However, sells electronic gadgets and books, while sells fashion items. provides customers with flexible online platforms to shop for fashion items from the convenience of their homes, and delivers these items at the doorsteps of shoppers. The company provides flexible payment options including bank deposits, online payment, and its innovative payment-on-delivery option, actually first introduced in Nigeria by is young. The company started operations on the 8th of June, 2012 and is currently only three (3) months. Yet it has already become the largest and the fastest growing online fashion retailer in Nigeria, with over a 100 orders per day, The company aims to maintain its positions as the largest and fastest growing in Nigeria, as is being achieved in other countries by other Rocket Internet ventures worldwide. currently has 71 staff, 24% of whom are foreign nationals. The workforce at consists of graduates from Ivy league universities in the US and Europe, as well as top talent from Nigeria. Its management team consists of two foreign nationals and a Nigerian. 4. SABUNTA.COM TARGET MARKET The target market for is Nigeria’s upper and emerging middle-class living in major urban cities in Nigeria. The age bracket of the typical customer is between 18 and 65. This age range constitutes individuals who are capable of buying or making purchasing decisions with regards to fashion items. The company’s targeted customers are however less than 10% of the mentioned age range, as the company targets individuals with an annual income of not less than N2million ($12,500). Sabunta’s target market constitutes of individuals who live and work in major urban cities of Nigeria such as Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, Kaduna, Ibadan, Aba, Warri and Benin. These individuals frequently utilize the internet and various social media platforms to interact with friends, family and colleagues. They are fashion conscious, trendy looking and want to express their personalities with the kind of outfits they wear. They also recognize and wear popular international brands and shop for these brands whenever they or friends and family travel abroad. 5. SABUNTA.COM STRATEGY Having carefully studied the Nigerian e-commerce scene, concluded that the major problem hindering take-off of e-commerce in Nigeria is the sceptical nature of Nigerians towards online payments. The company responded by introducing the cash-payment-on-delivery option for its customers. Though the company offers regular credit card and online payment options for those who want to do so, the cash-payment-on-delivery option was an ice-breaker: it made sceptical Nigerians participate in online shopping. This enlarged the market of online shoppers, with being the only company to enjoy the patronage of this new surge in online fashion shoppers. Good performance on the part of further helped to enforce their dominance. On time delivery, even without having received payment, helped to instil confidence in its target market. To reduce problems associated with deceit and theft, usually by hoodlums posing as customers, Sabunta outsourced its delivery to Red Star Express, a leading Nigerian Franchisee of US global courier brand FEDEX a major courier company that has been in operations in Nigeria since 1992, known for its quality of service, also introduced various practices that, though standard in mature e-commerce markets, were novel and innovative in the growing Nigerian e-commerce market. These innovations include: a. Free Delivery and Return Policy Prior to entry, no e-commerce company in Nigeria offered free delivery or allowed customers to return purchased goods. entered the e-commerce scene offering a nationwide free delivery plan as well as a return policy which allowed customers return goods bought within the first 14 days if they were not satisfied with the condition in which it was delivered. To return goods, customers are allowed to drop the purchased items at any of the 158 Red Star Express offices situated in all the states in Nigeria at their convenience. This reduces the cost which customers incur during the return process. The ability to purchase goods at no extra cost of delivery and to return these goods if dissatisfied at minimal costs make a provider of high quality at low costs – attributes that appeal to the price sensitive and yet quality sensitive Nigerian market. b. International Product Offering recognizes that its target market constitutes those familiar with and who wear International fashion brands. Consequently, the company partners with sister fashion companies around the world, owned by the parent, Rocket Internet, to offer a large range of international brands over 150 different brands to the Nigerian market. enhances the display of international products on its site, both those it has in stock as well as those in the stock of its sister companies around the world. This allows the company serve the diverse international tastes of the Nigerian market, and to respond to trends regardless of its current stock. 6. SUCCESS For a company that has been in existence for less than three months in a foreign market, has been able to achieve a lot of success and has been able to overcome a significant number of envisaged challenges. successes include: a. Exceeding Projected Revenue Prior to entering the Nigerian market, the management of Sabunta projected revenue of â‚ ¬15,000 from about 150 orders in the first quarter of business. This projection was exceeded after the company’s first month of operations. The company found itself operating in a large market with a greater potential for online products than it had envisaged or planned for. The result was a restructuring of its operations to meet the demand. b. Obtaining Local Supplies Being an online fashion store, the ability to get local suppliers goes a long way in determining the amount of profit made. Local supply eliminates the various cost associated with getting supplies from outside the country – [The average mark-up for goods sold on is 50%]. The team was concerned about getting high quality local supplies for their business as the number and industry size of local fashion suppliers were not obtainable from official records or research archives. However, the company was pleasantly surprised at the large number of local fashion suppliers resident in Nigeria. The result has been high mark-ups on locally produced and sold products. This has lead to profitability in less time than projected.[ currently makes an average gross profit of 40% while their operating and net profits are still in the negative]. c. Finding Adequate Logistic Providers To ensure timely and accurate nationwide delivery, required services from delivery firms who possess best practices as well as offer cost-effectiveness as a value proposition. The firm understood that a weak or inconsistent logistics arm (for example due to different qualities of delivery by several logistic partners) will result in negative customer perception. This challenge was overcome through a partnership with Red Star Express – a Franchisee of the US international courier and logistics service provider, FEDEX, that has been operating in Nigeria since 1992. Red Star Express knowledge of the country’s transportation infrastructure aids in its optimal logistics service delivery. Moreover, Red Star Express provides support with more than just delivery and return of goods. It also collects cash from customers who chose to pay in cash upon delivery, and remits these funds to Sabunta. This saves the company costs associated with cash management. d. Recruitment of Required Personnel Another envisaged challenge was availability of skilled local labor. Given the poor state of Nigeria’s I.T. infrastructure and sophistication, the company was unsure of the availability of I.T related skill sets to carry out Rocket’s model as practiced in various other markets. The company was however relieved to find competent local talent. operates with a 100% local I.T team, capable of carrying out functions required by the Rocket model. 7. CHALLENGES Despite successes, the company faces a myriad of challenges, most of which result from differences between Rocket’s countries of operation and the Nigerian market. Some of these challenges include: a. Challenges Resulting from Socio-Cultural and Socio-Economic Differences Unlike successes gained in recruiting and maintaining local personnel, has not been able to maintain its international staff. Over seventy percent (70%) of Sabunta’s international staff who started out with the company left within two (2) months. The reason? Inability to acclimatize to the Nigerian environment with particular regards to the type of readily available food as well as the lack of or the high costs of, basic amenities such as food, water, regular electricity supply, health services, cooking gas, transportation, internet connectivity, etc. Other reasons for the departure of international staff included health concerns. As at August 2012, over 90 percent of international staff who resumed operations with the company (in June 2012) were diagnosed with malaria, a tropical disease most had never experienced. Unanticipated costs and time associated with replacing and training international staff continues to plague b. Challenges Resulting from Unavailability of Infrastructure. Being an e-commerce company, core operations involve the use of the internet. Consequently, the company requires reliable and (preferably) cheap internet connectivity and power. Yet, neither internet connectivity nor power supply exists cheaply or reliably in Nigeria. Nigeria generates and distributes less than 4,000Megawatts barely enough to serve the nation’s power needs and resulting in frequent power outages. spends over N640,000 (â‚ ¬3,200) per month on diesel to fuel their stand-by generators, and is constantly plagued with this high cost of power. The company also has high internet connectivity expenses N450,000 (â‚ ¬2,250) per month for a bandwidth size of 4/4Mbps. Even with such huge sums spent on internet connection, continues to experience less than optimal services from Nigerian internet service providers. c. Challenges Resulting from Legislation A key component of Sabunta’s strategy is offering a wide range of international brands in Nigeria, using stock held by sister companies around the world. Research and studies of Nigerian importation laws suggested that importation of fashion stock into Nigeria would be relatively easy. This left the company vulnerable to the shock it received when the first set of drop-shipment was seized at the airport by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS). The NCS claimed that the goods contained items that were contraband in Nigeria. Sabunta responded by removing such items from their offerings fragrance and perfumes.. Notwithstanding its response, Sabunta continues to face ever present threats associated with bans on importation of fashion related items including textile, leather, clothing, and shoes. Nigerian history reveals frequent policy changes and inconsistencies with regard importation of goods into the country, long identified as a major cause of failure of businesses in Nigeria. Another challenge faced by Sabunta from the Nigerian legislation is the restriction placed by the CBN on the sale of Foreign Exchange to companies and individual except for special purposes like the importation and exportation of goods and services and also the payment of services abroad. This meant that Sabunta had to buy foreign exchange at a higher price in the black market to settle all its international staff’s salary and other payments which were denominated in US dollars.(Official rate is 1$=159Naira as against the black market rate of 1$=163Naira). d. Challenges Resulting from Corrupt Practices. Despite the absence of contraband, Sabunta’s management continue to experience delays in the release of their consignment by Nigerian Customs officials. Further inquiry revealed that the logistic company they employed (FEDEX) to handle importation of their goods did not have a good relationship with the Customs officials due to the company’s implemented policy of not offering bribes as is the order of the day. Sabunta’s management continue to experience and consequently to remain alert to the constant threat of fraudulent and corrupt practices that plaque business in Nigeria. The company continues to face the challenge of local business partners who try to cut corners and deliver less. Prior to partnering with FEDEX, a Nigerian courier company was chosen and partnered with for local delivery. Similar to FEDEX’s collection and remission of cash, the courier company collected payment from customers on delivery. However, the company frequently fell short of its obligations in terms of timing and amount of cash remitted. The courier company also failed to report accurate figures collected from customers, and till date, owe Sabunta over 40% of payments collected. Sabunta was quick to recognize this problem and swiftly partnered with FEDEX for its logistics services. Nevertheless, other sources of corrupt practices persist especially from small independent service providers. This is particularly so with artisan related services such as plumbing, equipment repairs and office maintenance, and are frequent sources of lost funds or delayed services to Sabunta. 8. SABUNTA’S FUTURE: THE MERGER Plans are currently being made for a merger with Kasuwa, Rocket Internet’s other company in Nigeria, also launched in June 2012, to form Jumia. The merger is expected to result in the biggest e-commerce retailer in Nigeria a one-stop shop for all products related to fashion and electronic items. The new website,, will offer a wider variety of international brands, using strategies currently employed by Sabunta. Jumia is intended to provide benefits associated with scale such as discounts and bargaining power (in relation to suppliers), while addressing current challenges faced by both companies. They include: a. Staffing: The merger is expected to reduce the number of required staff. This will result in the reduction of salary expenses and will result in the need for fewer international staff. In other words, international staff who have acclimatized to Nigeria from both companies may continue to provide required services to Jumia without the need to recruit and retain new staff. b. Office Space: The merger is expected to result in shared office space at a cost smaller than the combined cost of Sabunta and Kasuwa’s current office cost. c. Fueling and Power: Similar to the effect on office space, the merger is expected to result in fueling and power costs that will be smaller than the combined current cost of both companies current fueling and power needs. d. Internet Connectivity: More than just reduction in costs, the merger is expected to result in Jumia’s ability to purchase larger bandwith sizes directly from internet providers in South Africa, Europe, and North America. This will address the unreliability of internet connectivity currently faced by Sabunta and Kasuwa. e. Repair and Maintenance: It is expected that the larger Jumia will be able to partner with large and reliable providers of office and equipment repairs thus eliminating small service providers who have corrupt or unreliable practices. 9. RECOMMENDATIONS 11Doing a proper market research and analysis When entering a foreign market, it is recommended that a firm carry out proper market research and analysis on that market prior to entry. Top on the list is an environmental analysis that needs to be taken also. There are uncontrollable forces which are external forces upon which the management has no direct control, and it can exert an influence. There are also Internal forces which are controllable forces upon which the management to adapt to. 12Form Strategic Alliances When entering a foreign market, it is recommended that a firm forge strategic alliance to enable them get the following * Great synergy with the partnering local company. * Opportunity to access assets that are not readily available in the market. * Access to larger market and technology for small companies. 11 Jusuf Zekiri and Biljana Angelova, Factors that Influence Entry Mode Choice in Foreign Markets, European Journal of Social Sciences – Volume 22, Number 4 (2011),, accesses August 2012. 12 Mihaela Belu, Strategies of Entering New Markets, The Romanian Economic Journal,, accessed August 2012. Appendix 1 Mobile Money In NigeriaMobile money as the name implies is the transfer of monetary value from one person’s mobile phone to another. It has been made waves and affected commerce greatly in certain parts of eastern Africa where it was launched in 2009. In Nigeria, the CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria), granted license to 11 mobile money operators in 2011. The CBN rolled out the Mobile money campaign in Lagos State, Nigeria commercial nerve center in January 2012, and planned launching it around the federation by 2013.The CBN also put in place some incentives for using the Mobile money services, by placing charges for Bank cash transactions above 500,000 for individuals and 1million naira for companies.| Appendix 2 Economics of Lagos StateLagos State is the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria. Located in the western part of Nigeria, it is home to over 18million people and has over 2,000 industries. 65% of the countrys commercial activities are carried out in the state. Two of the nations largest seaports -Apapa and Tin-Can Ports are located in Lagos State.| Appendix 3 Income Distribution of the Nigeria Population in 2010 Nigeria Population in 2010-156,051,000 (Source: International Monetary Fund 2011 World Economic Outlook) This report shows the distribution for seven groups within the Nigerian Population in 2010. Percentage of population in income bracket of 0-500 PPP Dollars –55.68% Percentage of population in income bracket of 500-1000 PPP Dollars-28.22% Percentage of population in income bracket of 1000-2500 PPP Dollars- 14.61% Percentage of population in income bracket of 2500-5000 PPP Dollars- 1.17% Percentage of population in income bracket of 5000-10000 PPP Dollars- 0.17% Percentage of population in income bracket of 10000-20000 PPP Dollars- 0.05% Percentage of population in income bracket of 20000+ PPP Dollars- 0.1% Source-Marketline analysis based on information from National Statistical Organization

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Henry Ford And Fordism Influences Cultural Studies Essay

Henry Ford And Fordism Influences Cultural Studies Essay Management techniques have gone through many different stages and continue to evolve even today. In the early part of the 20th century as well as the high growth periods of the US economy after World War II, Fordism, was in the forefront, as it focused on mass production and mass consumption as a means of expanding the economy. However as the US economy went through slow growth years, this particular system did not work and other management systems took precedence. Yet there are many organisations that continue to use Henry Fords philosophy even in the 21st century. And it is the objective of this research document to study the relevance of the concepts introduced by Henry Ford and the impact and influence it has on 21st century organisations. Literature Reviews: When the transformation from the agricultural age to industrial mass production took place, Henry Ford and his philosophy that consisted of using specialized tools, assembly lines and using non-skilled labour in direct production were able to drive economic growth and expansion at unprecedented levels (Shiomi Wada, 1995). Likewise it was Fords philosophy that was the driving factor behind the automobile industry and this system is still used to a great extent by the automobile industry to date. The automobile industry is still the worlds largest manufacturing industry and even though many of the leading car makers have automated their systems to a great extent and reduced their dependence on labour, they still use the assembly line method with the concepts that were introduced by Henry Ford (Shiomi Wada, 1995). This is not to say that the assembly line method was the brainchild of Henry Ford but rather that the assembly line of today has been greatly influenced by him and has not gone through many major changes in the last seven or eight decades (Gowing, Morris, Adler Gold, 2008). The moving assembly line that we have known through the years and is seen to date even in this age of advanced robotics being used in the automobile industry was introduced by Henry Ford (Laurie, 2000). There are currently a few schools of thought that have been finding it difficult to decide if Fordism has had a direct impact on the current economic system that is not wholly based on mass production and consumption as it was after World War II but rather a more streamlined method that is associated with socio-economic phenomena, that is prevalent in all industrial countries throughout the latter part of the 20th century. While it may not be the same as the Fordism that was seen in the automotive industry during the era of Henry Ford, it is still largely based on the system that was formulated by him. In his system employees worked on a production line and the tasks that they performed were specialized in nature and most importantly it was repetitive. The modern day concept of Fordism centers round the following concepts as opposed to the concepts that were discussed above. These concepts are as follows Production is in small batches rather than mass production Economies of Scope are valued The jobs and the products that are manufactured are all specialized Information Technology is widely used The emphasis is on the consumer rather than the different social classes in a society. Instead of the blue-collar worker of the past we see a number in the rise of the white-collar workers due to this concept. The workforce includes females as opposed to be male dominated like in the past. (Kim, 2002) The above concepts have come into play due to the saturation of the key markets, which worked against the concept of mass consumption. Due to this new concepts the emphasis is on uplifting the living standards, which in turn has changed the manner in which the market is viewed from the manufacturers end (production/manufacturing stand point). Rather than the consumers being seen as a mass market that can be served by one generic type of item, manufacturers began to see the consumers as individuals that made up many different segments of market. Therefore it occurred to the manufacturers that the consumers were better served if they were grouped in to batches and products and services were provided that fit the goals and needs of those specific segments rather than the mass market (Ray Reed, 1994). Therefore the mass market concept that was introduced by Ford has now been narrowed to markets that are specific to luxury items, custom made products and positional goods. Production, which was homogenous in nature at the start of Fordism, is today more focused and therefore is diverse and can be differentiated. Further as stated previously the economies of scale of the Ford era have now evolved into Economies of Scale due to the diversification and differentiation that is taking place in the market place (Raynor, 2004). The changes that have brought about the 21st century organisation, is largely due to factors such as the changing global economic and political landscape and the changes in prominent ideologies. Due to the declines that were seen in national production (that was prevalent in the post war America) for a more globalised production system of the late 80s and 90s, along with the increase of global markets and multi national companies, flexible specialization has replaced the mass markets of the post war era. Commanding the workers to behave in a certain way has now been replaced and management pays more attention to communication rather than ordering as was seen in Fords time. Further the centralized production process of yester year is now replaced by outsourcing, franchising, sub-contracting, part time workers, temporary workers, self employed individuals and work-from home individuals. Besides the economic changes that took place as stated above there have been many political changes that have taken place that has forced the evolution of Fordism (Thomas, 2004). The political changes are mainly the change from the class based political parties (as seen in the United Kingdom and the United States) to the political parties that are based on social movements, gender, race, religion and region. Labour Union influence is today almost non-existent North America and is now replaced by more localized entities that engage in plant based negotiations. Further the rise of an entrepreneurialistic culture has also lead to the evolution of Fordism. Even education today is less standardized as it used to be and become more specialized with the work force seeing a decline in the numbers of individuals opting for blue-collar jobs and rather joining the ranks of the white-collar workers (Lebowitz, 2004). Italy is a very good example of how the concepts of Fordism have evolved over the years. In areas such as Milan, Turin and Genoa, production used to be focused on the concept of mass production for mass consumption, however during the 1970s and later, the clusters of small companies and manufacturing plants started developing in areas such as Tuscany, Umbria and Veneto to name a few. Each of these regions specialized and produced a different set of products that were all very loosely related to one another. Each of the factories often employed workers that numbered between five and fifty (a majority of which were below ten). This is what is called the economies of scope and a far cry from the economies of scale that we saw in the initial stages of Fordism (Williams, 1998). The feature of these manufacturing units was that the product that were manufactured were of high quality and the workers who were employed were highly skilled and highly paid due to the high level of skills. There was deep integration and much involvement between the entrepreneurs, the designers as well as the engineers in each of these plants and the plants themselves were design oriented and multi-disciplinary in nature. Japan is another good example of the evolution of Fordism that took place. After world war II and the destruction of the country, the company structure within the country changed drastically, this caused the trade unions to be replaced with management friendly unions, increased number of individuals who were less specialized and more multi-skilled. Further the company had a pool of part time/temp and unskilled workers for periphery workers (Perkins, 2005). Further due to the trade embargoes that the country was faced with after World War II, the production processes within the country could experiment on the domestic market and when the embargoes were finally lifted and imported technology and processes came into the Japanese market, the production industry was ready to absorb the techniques and better it through philosophies such as TQM (Total Quality Management) etc. Due to the price fixing that was prevalent in the market, competition in the domestic market could only be won by differentiation. Further due to the demand for a wide range of products the country was able to have a wide range of facilities that were flexible and able to changeover and produce a large product line. Therefore instead of standardizing the country had a huge number of factories and plants that were specialized in a wide variety of products. Sub-contracting and supply networks were first born in Japan, which changed the Fordist view that American companies of the time were diligently following. Instead of having costly production machinery, the evolved Fordist concepts were more focused on multi-purpose technologies that were affordable for small and medium scale producers who were flooding the market (Pettibone, 2006). Findings: Even though assembly lines are thought to be a thing of the past and Henry Fords concepts of management are thought to be obsolete, the largest manufacturing industry in the world, which is the automobile industry, still uses the method and the concepts even though it has gone through a few transformations. However the concepts that were introduced by Ford has evolved to a great extent today and is used in companies in many different forms. Analysis: With the two stage transformations that the concepts went through in the last century, Henry Fords concepts are still relevant in the 21st century as they were in the 20th century. While many may argue that his concepts have gone through many different stages of evolution this is not the case. The automobile industry that is still in existence in North America and around the world use many of Fords concepts, and many of the concepts that are in different stages of evolution. Therefore it can be stated that the Automobile industry being the largest manufacturing industry in the world is one of the most important examples of the impact that Fordism has had on the 21st century company. The Automobile industry uses a combination of the mass production and flexible specialization. The flexibility that was introduced into mass production would not have been possible if Ford had not first introduced mass production, therefore even though Fordist concepts maybe hidden and changed beyond recognition over the years, it is apparent that without Fords concepts the foundation for modern day production would not have been built and therefore modern day theorist would not have had much to build on to get to where they are today (Bencivenga, 2002). Therefore it can be concluded, that even though Fordism and Ford himself is often forgotten in our flexible, technology driven, multi-skilled, multi-purpose, positional and customized production era, the influence of Ford and Fordism is very strong and none of this would have been possible without him and his concepts and methods. Conclusion: Based on the huge number of organisations that still eliminate skilled labour in direct production, use special tools and equipment through the assembly line, all go to show that the concepts that were introduced by Henry Ford are still relevant even in the 21st century even though mass production/mass consumption cannot be considered as a economic driver for expansion. Further even in companies that the above is not true, the concepts in place are all concepts that have evolved from Fordism.