Monday, September 30, 2019
ASSIGNMENT FRONT COVER | | | |Module name: Class # 790 Ã¢â¬â Organizational Behavior | |Assignment title: Midterm Exam | |Assignment deadline: November 12th 2012 | |Effective number of words used: 1471 | |Table of Contents Question 1: Understanding Human Behavior is critical to organizations Ã¢â¬â discuss the benefits of self evaluation/self assessment as it relates to leaders today . Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦ 3 Question 2: Prejudice can be hurtful and destructive Ã¢â¬â discuss how you can personally reduce prejudice in your workplace Ã¢â¬â please provide an example Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦. Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦. 5 References and BibliographyÃ¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢ â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦Ã¢â¬ ¦ 6 Question 1: Understanding Human Behavior is critical to organizations Ã¢â¬â discuss the benefits of self evaluation/self assessment as it relates to leaders todayIn todayÃ¢â¬â¢s ever changing environment, organizations need to continuously adapt and transform, not only in order to succeed but even just to survive. While it takes a capable manager to efficiently run a business in steady-state, it takes a leader to successfully drive an organization through change (Kotter in Robbins and Judge, 2009: 385). Dealing with technology, economic and legislation changes isnÃ¢â¬â¢t new for organizations. The speed of change has however substantially increased in the last few decades as has the disruptive nature of these changes.Leaders today are faced with challenges such as globalization and instant communication that were not present until recently. The words and actions of leaders are broadcasted across the globe within seconds and are heard and seen by individuals who will perceive and interpret them through the filter of their own values, assumptions, beliefs and expectations. In this accelerated environment, effective leaders need to be able to swiftly read trends and anticipate change, adapt to new situations, fine-tune their actions and continuously inspire others towards the pursuit of a compelling vision.In order to do so, they need to be perceptive of the environment around them and detect when discrepancies between their assumptions and reality arise (Clawson, 2001: 14). An example of business failure due to the mismatch between leaderÃ¢â¬â¢s assumptions and environmental reality is Polaroid. When in 1977 Polaroid launched its instant-video product Polavision (an innovative instant movie camera that used an additive process to generate color), it experienced the first of several product fail ures that eventually forced the company into bankruptcy.The mistake that PolaroidÃ¢â¬â¢s Leader Edwin H. Land made was to assume that the market-follows-technology approach that had been successful for the previous 40 years was unchangeably valid (Lefler, 2010), despite the skepticism expressed by many within the company. Simpler and cheaper videocassette based alternatives were released at the same time by Kodak and other competitors. These Ã¢â¬Å"non-instantÃ¢â¬ products responded to marketsÃ¢â¬â¢ trends better than PolaroidÃ¢â¬â¢s ground breaking instant-video solution, condemning Polavision to irrelevance and Polaroid to massive losses (Giambarba, 1977).I think Polavision is the story of a self awareness lacking leader, failing to identify his blind spots and driving the organization to failure. In my opinion Mr. Land failed to question his assumption in a changing marketplace and to openly listen to others, consequently ignoring precious feedback. Had Mr. Land listened to the concerns expressed by others around him, including PolaroidÃ¢â¬â¢s president Bill McCune, things could have possibly gone differently. Self evaluation is what allows individuals to identify those blind spots and weaknesses and to put measures in place to compensate them (Musselwhite, C. 2007). Through self evaluation, self awareness is achieved. The benefits of self evaluation and self awareness for a leader in todayÃ¢â¬â¢s organizations are significant. By understanding your strengths, efforts can be focused on them, hence developing a greater potential for success (Roberts at all, 2005: 1). By recognizing your weaknesses you are in a better position to accept them and deal with them effectively. In the case of Polavision, Mr LandÃ¢â¬â¢s product and technology strengths were overshadowed by his marketing weakness. For his leadership to be effective, Mr.Land should have commissioned a market research to validate his assumption that the public was ready and willing to c onsume the product he was developing. Self awareness is the basis of self management and social awareness (Goleman, 2000; 80). The ability to read and manage your emotions, reactions and feelings, helps seeing yourself and the world under a different light. This in turns enables you to shift your point of view and identify opportunities and solutions that were otherwise impossible to imagine (Covey, 1989: 86). In the case of Polaroid a more socially aware Mr.Land would have valued the input of the Polavision skeptics and maybe redirected his creativity towards developing a product more in line with current market trends. Moreover, acknowledging your limits and not hiding them induces trust. You are perceived as human and people relate to you better. When trusted, you become a more effective leader as people feel safe when they follow your direction. Your behavior remains consistent in different situations and the influence of the environment on your actions is weakened. You develop charisma. You become authentic (George, B. et all, 2007: 7).Self evaluation implies asking for feedback and actively listening to what you hear. As you learn from asking questions, people around you also feel more comfortable doing so. This ignites a virtuous learning circle that drives personal growth. The biggest asset of organizations is their human capital. An engaged, motivated and virtuous human capital is the engine behind organizationsÃ¢â¬â¢ success. In particular, by developing an environment where it is OK to ask questions, to challenge status-quo, to try new things and to make mistakes, innovation forces are unleashed (Musselwhite, C. , 2007).Conclusion Self Evaluation develops self awareness. Self awareness promotes personal growth and enables behaviors that are associated with charismatic leadership. Charisma is what inspires others to follow the leader. They trust her, share her vision and feel empowered and motivated to work towards a common goal. Charisma is a cruc ial element of effective leadership, but it is often not sufficient to drive organizations, particularly large ones, to sustainable success (Nadler and Tushman, 1990: 85). Self awareness developed through self evaluation, allows a leader to also understand and address this.By recognizing her limits, a self aware leader will develop an organizational structure that complements her strengths and, through alignment, effectively works towards the set vision. The most prominent benefits of self assessment for leaders today in my opinion are therefore the enablement of charismatic and institutional leadership, both of which are necessary to effectively guide an organization. Question 2: Prejudice can be hurtful and destructive Ã¢â¬â discuss how you can personally reduce prejudice in your workplace Ã¢â¬â please provide an examplePrejudice (prior judgment) implies forming an opinion about the personality traits, expected behavior, skills and capability of a person, without that opi nion being backed by empirical evidence. These pre-formed opinions are often very strong, deriving from values and beliefs that are deeply embedded in our psyche. As such they are hard to remove. We may even unconsciously reject evidence negating the pre-judgment in a self affirming effort to confirm our assumptions. The end result is a diminished ability to appreciate the full range of qualities and the potential of the impacted individual.Prejudice and the corresponding discriminatory behavior, including institutional prejudice, are major issues for organizations today. Increasing cultural diversity in the workforce and the global reach of markets require organizations to actively strive for integration rather than assimilation or differentiation (Thomas & Ely, 1996: 1). In my opinion, the onus of promoting an effort in that direction lies mostly on managers. As a manager I have a moral and professional duty to address prejudice in my organization and I have taken specific steps i n that sense.I started with doing introspection to identify my own prejudices. I focused on my upbringing: who were the most influential figures in my childhood? What messaging did I receive from them and from the environment around me? What stereotypes derived from this? Being of white, catholic and Italian origin, I could immediately identify how anything outside of that archetype, was subject to some degree of prejudice, even if involuntarily. The good news is that Ã¢â¬Å"Prejudice is externally sourcedÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"since it s learned, it can be unlearnedÃ¢â¬ (Clawson, J.G. & Smith, B. , 1990: 5-6). I then realized that most likely everyone in my work environment have similar preconceptions. For example, some people talk to me with the typical Italian-American mafia accent from The Sopranos probably thinking it is hilarious. It doesnÃ¢â¬â¢t bother me, but I can definitely see how it could be bothersome to other Italians. I made treasure of these realizations and dete rmined that these are ignorance-based preconceptions that can be resolved by increasing inter-cultural knowledge.I therefore resolved to take steps to encourage people from different backgrounds and cultures to interact with each other. For example, recently I included two international team members (Bryan the reporting manager who is Chinese and Manish the systems analyst who is Indian) in a 4 person project team based in the US Midwest, dealing with the integration of systems and processes from our CompanyÃ¢â¬â¢s latest acquisition. I personally facilitated the first few meetings and encouraged open participation by listening to and publicly valuing everyoneÃ¢â¬â¢s contribution.I then assigned tasks in a way that required interaction and cooperation. The effort paid off and the team succeeded. The system and process integration was completed in record time, with wide consensus and to the smallest details. References and Bibliography Books Robbins, S. P. & Judge, T. A. (2009). Organizational Behavior. 13th Edition. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall. Covey, S. R. (1989). The 7 habits of highly effective people. USA: Free Press. Internet Resources Lefler, P. (2010). Polavision Ã¢â¬â Polaroid's disruptive innovation failure. [Webpage]Available from: http://www. spruancegroup. com/blog/bid/32860/Polavision-Polaroid-s-disruptive-innovation-failure [Accessed on Wednesday, November 7th 2012]. Giambarba, P. (1977). [Webpage] Available from: http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Polavision [Accessed on Wednesday, November 7th 2012]. Musselwhite, C. (2007). Self Awareness and the Effective Leader. [Webpage] Available from: http://www. inc. com/resources/leadership/articles/20071001/musselwhite. html [Accessed on Wednesday, November 7th 2012]. The Online Etymology Dictionary, word search: prejudice. [Webpage]Available from: http://www. etymonline. com/index. php? term=prejudice [Accessed on Thursday, November 8th 2012]. Wikipedia, word search: the sopranos. [Webpage] Av ailable from: http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/The_Sopranos [Accessed on Friday, November 9th 2012]. Journal Articles and Written Course Material Roberts, L. M. , Spreitzer, G. , Dutton, J. , Quinn, R. , Heaphy, E. , and Barker, B. (2005), Ã¢â¬Å"How to Play to Your StrenghtsÃ¢â¬ , Harvard Business Review, January 2005. Goleman, D, (2000), Ã¢â¬Å"Leadership that gets resultsÃ¢â¬ , Harvard Business Review, March-April 2000. Clawson, J. G. 2001) UVA-OB-0652 Leadership and Intelligence, Charlottesville: University of Virginia Darden School Foundation. George, B. , Sims, P. , McLean, A. N. , and Mayer, D. (2007), Ã¢â¬Å"Discovering Your Authentic LeadershipÃ¢â¬ , Harvard Business Review, February 2007. Nadler, D. A. , Tushman, M. L. , (1990) CMR-024 Beyond the Charismatic Leader: Leadership and Organizational Change, California Management Review, Harvard Business School Publishing. Clawson, J. G. & Smith, B. (1990) UVA-OB-0381 Prejudice in Organizations, Charlottesville: University of Virginia Darden School Foundation. Thomas, D. A. Ely, R. J. (1996), Ã¢â¬Å"Making Differences MatterÃ¢â¬ , Harvard Business Review, September-October 1996. Ã¢â¬âÃ¢â¬âÃ¢â¬âÃ¢â¬âÃ¢â¬âÃ¢â¬âÃ¢â¬âÃ¢â¬â  See the Ã¢â¬Å"Online Etymology DictionaryÃ¢â¬ (http://www. etymonline. com/index. php? term=prejudice)  From Wikipedia (http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/The_Sopranos): The Sopranos is an American television drama created by David Chase that revolves around the New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini) and the difficulties he faces as he tries to balance the conflicting requirements of his home life and the criminal organization he heads.
Sunday, September 29, 2019
In this Cosmopolitan magazine ad for Tacori jewelry, there is a silver honey comb stick with rich, golden brown honey on the end of it. The honey looks like it is about to drip off of the stick, making the honey look very indulgent. On the handle of the honey stirrer are three engagement rings. The bottom one is a wedding band with diamonds around the whole band. The middle ring and the top ring are the same ring just with different views. The middle ring is the top view and the top ring is the side view.The ring has one big rounded square diamond in the middle and little diamonds around it and on the band four more diamonds on each side. From the ad, the marketing idea is that these rings are a treat, sort of like and indulgent to go along with the sweet honey. In this ad, the honey wand is silver, unlike normal ones that are usually wooden or plastic. Color is a very important detail when creating an ad, and in this ad, the colors chosen were the not bright or vibrant colors, they were simple yet elegant.The background is all white, which allows all of the attention to be drawn to the delectable golden honey on the wand and to the sparkling silver of the rings. The word TACORI is located at the top left hand corner of the ad. It is a thin, black font and does not take up a lot of room, it is just enough to let the reader know what the brand is. I think that the reason why there are not many colors and the name of the company is not a huge bold font is because the main focus is the rings themselves. The honey wand is rather large and the rings are zoomed in on so that the crystal clear diamonds shimmer on the magazine paper.The bright yellow, deep orange and brown from the honey add the only splash of color for this ad. I think the colors of the honey though are used to create a rich feeling to the ad, after all, these rings are the best and money the best is what money can buy. The angle of vision for this ad is very important because in order to sell a produ ct such as these diamond rings, the viewer needs to see all of the aspects of the rings. This ad did a very good job at showing the rings in different angles. The ring at the bottom of the honey wand is the wedding band.In the ad, the ring is positioned so that the diamonds that go around the entire ring can be seen but also the inside of the ring is shown because the word TACORI is stamped on the inside. This is a very good marketing strategy because the rings look more desirable knowing they are name brand. The middle ring is the engagement ring. It is positioned so that the reader is looking straight at the huge square setting of the ring. It shows the top, which is what a person sees if they are wearing the ring. This makes it easier for a person to imagine what it would be like to wear the ring.And the top ring shows the side of the ring, and the small but beautiful details of the smaller diamonds surrounding the sides of the ring. This gives a person the full view of the rings at every angle. There are no characters in this ad nor are there any catchy phrases or sayings. The ad is very clear and shows everything the business needs for a person to want what is being advertised. I donÃ¢â¬â¢t think that characters were used in the ad because it would take away from the ring. If a woman sees a gorgeous model wearing a ring, they are not going to put all of their focus on the ring; they are going to look at the surrounding objects.With this ad, there are no distracting people, just sweet honey to make the rings look like a tempting dessert. I think the impression that the ad gives is that these rings are a treat. We as Americans love to be treated well and have things that are valued in our society. A woman for instance loves to be lavished with clothes and shoes and fine jewelry. And this ad is the perfect example of how the honey represents a sweet Ã¢â¬Å"treatÃ¢â¬ and the rings should go along with it. The rings are a treat for a woman, and she should indulge herself in it. What kind of woman wouldnÃ¢â¬â¢t want these rings on her finger?
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Seventeenth-Century Art Royalty and Riches - Essay Example The illusionistic style that had been developed presented a different angle to the viewer to deter from the usual pieces known to predict some societal events. Some of the paintings in the seventeenth century had been based on the Ostentatious Illusionism. The concept saw the application of an illusion style that had been meant to cause impressionism in the minds of the viewer. The concept saw inclusion of visual elements that cause an impression that saw critical elements that defined the composition. The seventeenth century paintings had been based on the aspect of visual illusion and distortion of elements to suit the provision of delivering a composition that contain the illusionistic elements (Stella 1986, p28). Moreover, Christianity had influenced the period and artists were under the authority of the church to create pieces that depicted the religious forms. The seventeenth century art had mostly been based on the two styles of illusionism and realism that saw the development of outstanding pieces mostly ceiling paintings that had been commissioned by the church. The style saw the influence in art across Europe, particularly in the Baroque period and the paintings by some famous Dutch artists. The style that had been dubbed Ostentatious illusionism saw a massive contribution to the development and creation of the seventeenth-century paintings and influenced various artists in differentiated ways. Baroque The seventeenth century witnessed the development of elements to derive the component of illusion to develop the known Baroque style. The period had been marked by the discoveries in the scientific technology and numerous religious developments that saw the enhancement of a style that held numerous techniques. The illusionism created in the Baroque era had been the response derived by the artists of the technique to develop the perception criteria (Stoichit?a? 1997, p117). Art pieces needed to hold more effects and meaning to the viewer and bear added l iteral definition. The artists managed to create forms that had structures meant to create an outstanding effect to the perception that meant the application of a unique illusionistic style. Within the baroque style, trompe lÃ¢â¬â¢oeil painting style had been developed to highlight the illusionistic effects. Within the Baroque style, the outstanding style that had been developed saw the development in the illusionistic ceiling paintings. In the style, the developed techniques saw illusion develop in the theme of di sotto in su and the renowned quadrata techniques of completion in paintings. With these forms, the style developed saw the inclusion of an outstanding perspective element that distorted the ceiling paintings to appear to have an extended dimension. The style saw the development of a three-dimensional illusion within a developed two-dimensional surface. The other illusionistic forms developed the perspective element and invention of trompe lÃ¢â¬â¢oeil that advanced the distortion element within paintings in the seventeenth century (Peucker 2007, p9). The style witnessed the increased definition of concepts to include an added meaning to the completion of works. The church grew more interested in the artistic influences and sought to incorporate illusion within the pieces created. The artists chose to adopt the illusion technique in Baroque to intrigue the viewer and enable the church to spread the needed
Friday, September 27, 2019
Free Movement of Person - Essay Example One is that Nic is a Bulgarian national. The other is that he has not been accepted to any job in Germany at the time of his attempt at entry. There are two sets of laws applicable here, both relating to freedom of movement of persons within the European Union. One relates to the rights of workers, and corollary to that, on the issue of whether a job applicant such as Nic has the right to enter Germany and be treated as a worker under the law. The other has to do with whether citizenship in a country that is either a member of non-member of the EU grants certain rights of abode and entry into other member states of the EU (Bamford et al. 2012, pp. 6-39). First Article 45 of the TFEU states that Ã¢â¬Å"workers of the Member StatesÃ¢â¬ are free to move within the EU. The article, together with Article 18, reinforces the ban on discrimination based on nationality, and the former article specifically prohibits such discrimination as it relates to work for citizens of the EU. There are also other worker rights in the EU law that support NicÃ¢â¬â¢s bid to enter Germany, among them the right against discrimination on job selection based on nationality, and the right to look for work in another EU country, as implied in the movement right provision in Article 45 of the TFEU. Meanwhile, while Article 45 is mum on the status of job seekers like Nic, the ECJ has made it clear that it is corollary to the stipulated rights of Article 45 for job seekers likewise to be afforded the rights guaranteed in Article 45. This is true for example in cases like R v. Immigration Appeal Tribunal, ex parte Antonissen (case C-292/89) [1991 ] ECR I-745, where the court ruled in favor of job seekers having equal freedom of movement rights as workers, in essence (Bamford et al. 2012, p. 13). This means that as a work seeker, Nic has the right to move within the EU (Bamford et al. 2012, pp. 6-15). Granted that a two-tier treatment system is in place in the EU, with states who were in the EU prior to the May 2004 inclusions being able to negate some of the laws on freedom of movement of persons, it was clear also that the two-tier system was to go by the beginning of 2012, and 2014 at the latest. GermanyÃ¢â¬â¢s only safe ground here is that Bulgaria is within the group of states post 2004, and therefore Germany has the right to invoke restrictions to free movement of Bulgarians in Germany prior to 2014. The Germans though should have signified legally their intention with regard to restricting or lifting restrictions on movement of Bulgarian nationals within Germany by 2008. Moreover, the restriction post 2012 is not absolute, and Germany has to show that the movement of Nic, a physiotherapist, into Germany to seek work would disrupt the labor market in Germany. On the contrary, there is a physiotherapist shortage in that country (Bamford et al. 2012, pp. 6-24). The balance of the evidence and the legal provisions for and against the free movement of the Bulgarian physiotherapist Nic seems to favor NicÃ¢â¬â¢s being allowed entry into Germany, and of Germany being on the wrong end of the EU law. Assuming this balance assessment is correct, EU law supersedes German law. ECJ case law provides many examples of the ECJ ruling on and deciding that national laws go against Article 45. Such is the case in Allue v. Universita degli Studi
Thursday, September 26, 2019
International Finance Question - Coursework Example When compared to a bank loan a bond tends to give the investor better terms, in loans the bank set the interest rates where else when a company issues a bond, the company controls the interest rates (Levi, 2009). Foreign bonds are also a good method of funding expansion to other countries because they protect the firm from currency fluctuation in the country of interest. The greatest disadvantage of bonds, however, is that it will reduce the firmÃ¢â¬â¢s trading flexibility. This is because the firm cannot trade out of a bond that is doing well while it maintains its other holdings (Levi, 2009). The second option that a firm can explore is getting money from private investors. They provide a flexible source of capital compared to what is provided by banks and other financial institutions. Loans from private sectors are often available at low costs (Levi, 2009). Acquiring funds from private investors is a simple process when compared to banks. A firm will save a considerable amount of time and money when acquiring the loan. The disadvantage associated with this option is that private investors might ask for an ownership stake in the company, and this is not usually acceptable with many firms. The second disadvantage is that the investor may require time to consider the request; this time may not be available to the firm if the situation is of urgency (Levi,
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Business - Essay Example From the very beginning of transport industry development, there was a need to regulate this sphere of human activity. There is a necessity to develop new regulations in transport industry covering peculiarities of a modern societyÃ¢â¬â¢s development. Therefore, the government is responsible for regulations in transport industry, because it is an integral part of any society. Public interests are protected under conditions of governmental regulations of transport industry. In case development of transport industry is protected by economical regulations and governmental protection, then public interest is in safety. Modern transport regulations are developed with regard to economical factors. Unfortunately, there is a lack of considerations about social and environmental factors. Consequently, it is necessary to consider properly about environmentally health vehicles development and exploitation. There is a direct connection between transport environmental safety and human health. M odern manufacturers often neglect this fact and their main goal is to gain profits hand over fist. This point should be corrected and regulated in favor of humans and public interest. A modern look on regulation in transport industry Regulation is developed in order to Ã¢â¬Å"balance concerns for the public interest within a competitive framework driven by private enterpriseÃ¢â¬ (Coyle, 20011). ... is put on a truck at some point. As a result, the trucking industry hauled 68.9% of all the tons of freight transported in the United States in 2003, equating to 9.1 billion tonsÃ¢â¬ (The trucking industry). If to suppose that all regulations are based on a common law principle: Ã¢â¬Å"Businesses affected with the public interestÃ¢â¬ (Coyle, 2011), then a central focus on societal and individual needs should prevail. Thus, a modern paradigm of transport industry regulations is anthropocentric and focused on public interest. In spite of the fact that there are numerous regulations in transport industry, such as Aviation and Transportation Security Act (2001), Creates Transportation Security Agency (TSA), Maritime Transportation Security Act (2002), Homeland Security Act of 2002 etc, there is a need to focus on deregulation acts. There is such kind of deregulation acts, as 4R Act (1976), Airline Deregulation Act (1977), Motor Carrier Act and Staggers Rail Act (1980) and others. T hus, economic regulations are violated in trucking industry. Surface Transportation Board (STB) is responsible for all surface mode regulation. Nevertheless, railroads are deregulated as well as air carrier industry, water carriers and pipelines. In order to protect public interests, there is a need to introduce anti-trust laws. In the transportation industry there is especially important social factor. Transportation industry is significant for social unity and economic and national defense of the country is on behalf of this industry. Transportation industry requires essential capital investments and different resources allocation (Martland, 1997). STB regulation of modes considers the following issue: to protect advantage of each mode. The development of
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Merger, Acquisition, and International Strategies - Assignment Example Through strategic positioning of the products and services of Skype, Microsoft strategically noticed the level of usage of Skype, through the voice and video calling application in addition to other features. Strategically, the acquisition connected the business of Microsoft Corporation and blended well with other services and products of this corporation. This also facilitated the strategic evaluation of the priorities of its products, as well as the development of business strategies of the corporation (Gaughan, 2010). The fact that Skype was a computer to computer based telephone program, made it even more ideal for Microsoft Corporation. Once it was acquired, the corporation was able to provide voice services to its wide range of clients across the globe, and this placed the corporation strategically for providing a wide range of services. This was not only a strategic decision for marketing the products of the corporation, but also a wise move that has seen the corporation incre ase its market share (Frankel, 2007). The justification for the opinion is that Microsoft is able to generate revenue through Skype, both locally and internationally through the services of the acquisition. This is facilitated by the fact that the services are computer based, and thus cheaper than the rates of other companies (Ulijn, 2010). Identification of a probable candidate corporation that has not been involved in mergers or acquisitions, and explanations why this company would be a profitable target Although mergers and acquisitions are applied by corporations strategically to finance and effectively manage the dealings of the corporation, through effective combination of various companies as well as similar entities that have a common enterprise for effective and rapid growth, there are corporations that have purely ignored this corporate strategy. Most corporations purchase companies and business entities for the purpose of combining their enterprise strategies (Gaughan, 20 10). An evaluation of the business-level strategy and one corporate-level strategy of a corporation that operates internationally, which is recommended for improvement The practice has clearly demonstrated that corporations that operate at the international level are subjected to more barriers and risks, due to the dynamic changes associated with the various regions across the globe. For the purpose of effective management of these risks, there is need for such corporations to evaluate the business-level strategies for the purpose of realizing the true value of conducting business at the international level (Frankel, 2007). A business-level strategy is fundamental for increasing the business value of any corporation. It is a very critical point for the corporation to identify and apply and appropriate business-level strategy. The practice of mergers and acquisitions has been applied by most corporations for the purpose of realizing the business-level strategies that are ideal for th eir cases. It is a very common trend which has seen most international corporations change their image in order for them to meet the demands and values of the consumer base. Apple has ideally identified such features through its technologically marketing strategies. The corporation has adopted modern quality appeals to
Monday, September 23, 2019
Ethical issues in organization communication - Assignment Example All the ethical issues and social responsibilities that come with communication must thus be given the attention they deserve in the communication structures of the company. Clients, consumers, and even various stakeholders would to an extent prefer to carry out businesses with such organizations deemed ethical in their operations (Seeger, Sellnow & Ulmer 2003). Two aspects are considered in dealing with the ethical communication issues in an organization: one that involves internal communication structures and the other that deals with external communication. Internal communication addresses internal audiences majorly the employees while external communication addresses the general public. A case analysis can be done of the AppleÃ¢â¬â¢s Rotten Business, reported on the CNN website, updated on the 4th of April in 2014. The case reports various accounts of unethical practices involving among them business malpractices, tax dodging and surveillance for profit. With a large customer base and a dominant presence in the market, one would have expected the Apple firm to conduct its business in the most fair and open terms, as noted by the writer of the news story. This wasnÃ¢â¬â¢t the case as revealed by the assessment that was carried out by Nicki Lisa Cole. The malpractices within the company included: Apple, unlike other tech companies in the industry, refused to disclose the sources of their tin which is normally used in soldering electronic devices. They were also involved in unlawful labor practices that extended into China. They employed underage students and subjected them to deplorable working conditions with unlivable wages. The company, according to Cole, acted too as a Ã¢â¬Ëpersonal shopperÃ¢â¬â¢ for its wares and products, creating apps that pushed sales offers and notifications to its online clients. Since the publication of its tax
Sunday, September 22, 2019
Guidelines for Communicating Emotions Effectively - Essay Example e regular subjects of everyday discussions and just how well these feelings are articulated and recognized is essential to interpersonal associations and personal health and well-being. In the same way, in restorative contexts, improvement depends upon, among other stuff, just how articulately the client conveys his or her feelings and how properly the psychologist comprehends and replies to these gestures. In this paper, we seize an interdisciplinary strategy to comprehending the verbal communication of emotion in many different contexts. All of the languages offer speakers with a cluster of verbal approaches for passing on emotions. In English, for instance, we certainly have plenty of both literal (e.g., irked, upset, raging), and figurative (e.g., switching ones lid, whack a gasket) miens that can be used to explain a technically unlimited variety of emotional states (Bush 432-435). Studies of dialect use in psychotherapy similarly are replete with samples of literal and figurative miens for feelings (Bush 57). Emotions go profound and they are strong. ItÃ¢â¬â¢s possible to shake off control and vital that you get around them the ideal you can. There are many measures to go through to communicate emotions efficiently, and conveying emotions efficiently can be good for everybody (Johnson 153). Before you may convey your feelings, you really have to understand what precisely you are going through. Can it be rage or anxiety? Joy or satisfaction? The very first thing you ought to do is steam everything down and figure out what the primary feeling is (Wood 234). Emotions can be found in packages. In fact, it is a very common occurrence to feel several emotions. however, determining the primary one can assist another person better know what is going on (Bush 57). Everyones way of feeling differs. Unhappiness, rage, thrill are all offered in numerous ways for every person. Making the effort when youre not mentally activated to take into consideration your emotions
Saturday, September 21, 2019
Effect of Internal Controls on Financial Performance Essay Over the past decade, Africa and other developing regions have been in the midst of tremendous changes. Market liberalization and governmental decentralization policies have interfaced with globalization and urbanization trends to dramatically transform social, political, economic and cultural lives. In this context of rapid change, SME operations can no longer remain behind serving only to meet sustenance income for their owners. SMEs engagements have to become a dynamic and integral part of the market economy. The identification of factors that determine new venture performance such as survival, growth or profitability has been one of the most central fields of entrepreneurship research (Sarasvathy, 2004). A multitude of research papers has focused on exploring various variables and their impact on performance (Bamford et al., 2004). However, in order to be able to analyze and model the performance of new ventures and SMEs, the complexity and dynamism they are facing as well as the fact that they may not be a homogenous group but significantly different in regard to many characteristics (Gartner et al., 1989) have to be taken into account. In line with the above, there have been challenging debates all over the world on the role played by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) towards economic development. Therefore, a vast literature on the growth and performance of SMEs has been developed over the years. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have had a privileged treatment in the development literature, particularly over the last two decades. Hardly any arguments are put forward against SMEs, even if development policies do not necessarily favour them and economic programs, voluntarily or not, often continue to result in large capital investment. Arguments for SMEs come from almost all corners of the development literature programs, particularly in the less developed countries (LDCs), tend to emphasise the role of SMEs, even if practical results differ from the rhetoric. (Carlos Nuno Castel-Branco. May, 2003) Therefore, SMEs seem to be an accepted wisdom within the development debate. It is believed that growth in SMEs should have a positive effect on the living conditions of the people, their income level, housing, utilities. Castel-Branco (2003), in a study, revealed that this is not always true because areas where SMEs are performing so well attracts public attention and many competitors begin to troop into the area. This subsequently leads to over congestion with its associated problems of which accommodation is not an exception. The structure of SMEs in Ghana as perhaps one of the main engines of growth can be viewed as rural and urban enterprises. For urban enterprises, they can either be planned or unplanned. The planned-urban enterprises are characterized by paid employees with registered offices whereas unplanned-urban enterprises are mostly confined to the home, open space, temporal wooden structures, and employment therein is family or apprentices oriented. In the recent pursuit of economic progress, Ghana as a developing country has generally come to recognize that the SME sector may well be the main driving force for growth, due to its entrepreneurial resources and employment opportunities. Nevertheless, the existing attempts to explore empirically the roles played by SME in the economic development of a nation are still somewhat ambiguous. This can be attributed, more or less, to the fact that when examining economic progress per se, economists have tended to ignore the industrial structure of the economy and the impact this can have on such development. The ambiguity of the role of SMEs has therefore necessitated the need for a study to be conducted to access the actual impact of the proliferation of SMEs on the inhabitants of the Medina community. 1.2 Problem Statement The small business sector is recognized as an integral component of economic development and a crucial element in the effort to lift countries out of poverty (Wolfenson, 2001). The dynamic role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries as engines through which the growth objectives of developing countries can be achieved has long been recognized. The growth of small scale businesses in Ghana so rapid, that it is now seen as a daily affair. Many Potential owners of SMEs move to areas where the feel they can succeed to set them up there. More so, many factors may contribute to the movement of people to settle at certain geographical areas. It is believed that the factors that influence migration include the need for peaceful and violent free environment, the need for fertile business locations, the desire for privacy, government policy and a host of others. Specifically, with reference to the above, the Medina municipality of the Greater Accra region has experienced a noticeable growth and increase in the number movements into the area and for that matter SMEs increase in the last few years. It is important to mention that some research studies have been conducted to determine the real impact of migrations on host societies. In line with the above, this study sorts to assess the nature of SMEs in Medina with respect to the involvement of men and women, the main sources funds for them, the main objectives and challenges faced by SMEs in Medina, reasons the explosion of SMEs in Medina and the scio-economic impacts of this growth of SMEs in Medina. 1.3 Objectives: 1.3.1 Main Objective The main objective of this study is to assess the general impact of the plorefication of SMEs in Medina on the Medina municipality of the Greater Accra region. 1.3.2 Specific Objectives 1. To assess the nature and forms of SMEs in Medina and the relative involvement of women and men. 2. To identify the main objectives and challenges of SMEs in Medina and to rank them in order of importance. 3. Assess the main sources of capital for SMEs in Medina. 4. To assess the status of SMEs in Medina with regard to business registration, savings, record keeping and business account holding. 5. To determine the factors that account for the emergence of small scale businesses in the Medina community 6. To assess the socio-economic impacts of the growth of SMEs in Medina 1.4 Research Questions The study shall provide answers to the following research questions: 1. What is the nature of SME operation in Medina and the relative involvement of women and men? 2. What are the main objectives and challenges of SMEs in Medina and which are ranked more importance? 3. What are the main sources of capital for SMEs in Medina? 4. What are the status of SMEs in Medina with regard to business registration, savings, record keeping and business account holding? 5. What factors have accounted for the emergence of small scale businesses in the Medina community? 6. What are the socio-economic impacts of the growth of SMEs in Medina? 1.5 Justification of the Study It is difficult to analyze the performance, nature of operation and behavior of the SME sector in Ghana due to the lack of comprehensive data on them and their activities. The sector is not classified into sub-sectors and the last industrial survey was conducted in 1995 but covered only medium and large-scale industries. In respect of this, the justification of this study rests on the fact that, study will help provide information on the nature of SMEs in Medina with respect to the involvement of men and women, the main sources funds for them, the main objectives and challenges faced by SMEs in Medina, reasons the explosion of SMEs in Medina and the socio-economic impacts of this growth of SMEs in Medina. Furthermore, the study while provide vital information policy makers of the Medina municipality and all other stakeholders of the Medina community. Finally the study while produce information to will add on to existing literature for further studies in this area. 1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study Due to time and resource constrains, this study is restricted particularly to the Medina community. The study focuses on the factors that account for the growth of SMEs in Medina and the socio-economic impacts of this change on the people of Medina among others. The study is limited in scope because it fails to cover the entire population of Ghana. The findings of this study may therefore lack generalizability as far as other communities in Ghana are concern. 1.7 Organization of the Study Chapter 1 deals with the background of the study, the problem statement, objectives of the study, justification of the study and organization of the study. Chapter 2 reviews both theoretical and empirical literatures on SMEs in general, in Ghana among others. Chapter 3 introduces the study area and describes the methodologies used to analyze the problems stated. It includes the methods used for data collection, and procedure for data analysis. Chapter 4 is devoted to presentation and discussion of results. Summary statistics of the variables used in the study are presented and discussed. Chapter 5 winds up this study drawing conclusions, their policy implications. Suggestions for future research based on the findings are made. CHAPTER TWO 2.0 LITERATURE REVIEW 2.1 Introduction This chapter reviews works on small and medium enterprises in the world, Africa and Ghana. The state of SMEs in Ghana is reviewed here. Also, Works on performance and determinants of performance of SMEs are captured. Furthermore, a section of this chapter assesses the various methods of measuring performance of SMEs which while help open up the understanding of the state of SMEs in Medina. Finally, this chapter closes with some migration theories to help facilitate the comprehension of the factors that actually account for human migration, in this case migration to Medina. 2.2 Definitions and Concepts of SMEs There is no single, uniformly acceptable, definition of a small firm (Storey, 1994). Firms differ in their levels of capitalization, sales and employment. Hence, definitions that employ measures of size (number of employees, turnover, profitability, net worth, etc.) when applied to one sector could lead to all firms being classified as small, while the same size definition when applied to a different sector could lead to a different result. The first attempt to overcome this definition problem was by the Bolton Committee (1971) when they formulated an Ã¢â¬Å"economicÃ¢â¬ and a Ã¢â¬Å"statisticalÃ¢â¬ definition. Under the economic definition, a firm is regarded as small if it meets the following three criteria: i. It has a relatively small share of their market place; ii. It is managed by owners or part owners in a personalized way, and not through the medium of a formalized management structure; iii. It is independent, in the sense of not forming part of a large enterprise. The Committee also devised a Ã¢â¬Å"statisticalÃ¢â¬ definition to be used in three main areas: a. Quantifying the size of the small firm sector and its contribution to GDP, employment, exports, etc.; b. Comparing the extent to which the small firm sectorÃ¢â¬â¢s economic contribution has changed over time; c. Applying the statistical definition in a cross-country comparison of the small firmsÃ¢â¬â¢ economic contribution. Thus, the Bolton Committee employed different definitions of the small firm to different sectors. 2.2.1 Criticism of the Bolton CommitteeÃ¢â¬â¢s Ã¢â¬Å"EconomicÃ¢â¬ Definition of SMEs A number of weaknesses were identified with the Bolton CommitteeÃ¢â¬â¢s Ã¢â¬Å"economicÃ¢â¬ and `statisticalÃ¢â¬â¢ definitions. First, the economic definition which states that a small business is managed by its owners or part owners in a personalized way, and not through the medium of a formal management structure, is incompatible with its statistical definition of small manufacturing firms which could have up to 200 employees. As firm size increases, owners no longer make principal decisions but devolve responsibility to a team of managers. For example, it is unlikely for a firm with hundred employees to be managed in a personalized way, suggesting that the `economicÃ¢â¬â¢ and `statisticalÃ¢â¬â¢ definitions are incompatible. Another shortcoming of the Bolton CommitteeÃ¢â¬â¢s economic definition is that it considers small firms to be operating in a perfectly competitive market. However, the idea of perfect competition may not apply here; many small firms occupy `nichesÃ¢â¬â¢ and provide a highly specialized service or product in a geographically isolated area and do not perceive any clear competition (Wynarczyk et al, 1993; Storey, 1994). Alternatively, Wynarczyk et al (1993) identified the characteristics of the small firm other than size. They argued that there are three ways of differentiating between small and large firms. The small firm has to deal with: (a) Uncertainty associated with being a price taker; (b) Limited customer and product base; (c) Uncertainty associated with greater diversity of objectives as compared with large firms. As Storey (1994) stated, there are three key distinguishing features between large and small firms. Firstly, the greater external uncertainty of the environment in which the small firm operates and the greater internal consistency of its motivations and actions. Secondly, they have a different role in innovation. Small firms are able to produce something marginally different, in terms of product or service, which differs from the standardized product or service provided by large firms. A third area of distinction between small and large firms is the greater likelihood of evolution and change in the smaller firm; small firms that become large undergo a number of stage changes. 2.2.2 Criticism of the Bolton CommitteeÃ¢â¬â¢s Ã¢â¬Å"StatisticalÃ¢â¬ Definition of SMEs (i) No single definition or criteria was used for Ã¢â¬Å"smallnessÃ¢â¬ , (number of employees, turnover, ownership and assets were used instead) (ii) Three different upper limits of turnover were specified for the different sectors and two different upper limits were identified for number of employees. (iii) Comparing monetary units over time requires construction of index numbers to take account of price changes. Moreover, currency fluctuations make international comparison more difficult. (iv) The definition considered the small firm sector to be homogeneous; however, firms may grow from small to medium and in some cases to large. It was against this background that the European Commission (EC) coined the term `Small and Medium Enterprises (SME)Ã¢â¬â¢. The SME sector is made up of three components: (i) Firms with 0 to 9 employees micro enterprises (ii) 10 to 99 employees small enterprises (iii) 100 to 499 employees medium enterprises. Thus, the SME sector is comprised of enterprises, which employ less than 500 workers. In effect, the EC definitions are based solely on employment rather than a multiplicity of criteria. Secondly, the use of 100 employees as the small firmÃ¢â¬â¢s upper limit is more appropriate given the increase in productivity over the last two decades (Storey, 1994). Finally, the EC definition did not assume the SME group is homogenous, that is, the definition makes a distinction between micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. However, the EC definition is too all embracing for a number of countries. Researchers would have to use definitions for small firms that are more appropriate to their particular `targetÃ¢â¬â¢ group (an operational definition). It must be emphasized that debates on definitions turn out to be sterile unless size is a factor that influences performance. For instance, the relationship between size and performance matters when assessing the impact of a credit programme o n a targeted group (also refer to Storey, 1994). 2.2.3 Alternative Definitions of SMEs World Bank since 1976 Firms with fixed assets (excluding land) less than US$ 250,000 in value are Small Scale Enterprises. Grindle et al (1988) Small scale enterprises are firms with less than or equal to 25 permanent members and with fixed assets (excludingland) worth up to US$ 50,000. USAID in the 1990s Firms with less than 50 employees and at least half the output is sold (also refer to Mead, 1984). UNIDOÃ¢â¬â¢s Definition for Developing Countries: Large firms with 100+ workers Medium firms with 20 99 workers Small firms with 5 19 workers Micro firms with 5 workers UNIDOÃ¢â¬â¢s Definition for Industrialized Countries: Large firms with 500+ workers Medium firms with 100 499 workers Small firms with Ã¢â° ¤99 workers From the various definitions above, it can be said that there is no unique definition for a small and medium scale enterprise thus, an operational definition is required. 2.2.4 Definitions SMEs in Ghana Small Scale enterprises have been variously defined, but the most commonly used criterion is the number of employees of the enterprise. In applying this definition, confusion often arises in respect of the arbitrariness and cut off points used by the various official sources. As contained in its Industrial Statistics, The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) considers firms with less than 10 employees as Small Scale Enterprises and their counterparts with more than 10 employees as Medium and Large-Sized Enterprises. Ironically, The GSS in its national accounts considered companies with up to 9 employees as Small and Medium Enterprises (Kayanula and Quartey, 2000). An alternate criterion used in defining small and medium enterprises is the value of fixed assets in the organization. However, the National Board of Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) in Ghana applies both the `fixed asset and number of employeesÃ¢â¬â¢ criteria. It defines a Small Scale Enterprise as one with not more than 9 workers, has plant and machinery (excluding land, buildings and vehicles) not exceeding 10 million Cedis (US$ 9506, using 1994 exchange rate) (Kayanula and Quartey, 2000). The Ghana Enterprise Development Commission (GEDC) on the other hand uses a 10 million Cedis upper limit definition for plant and machinery. A point of caution is that the process of valuing fixed assets in itself poses a problem. Secondly, the continuous depreciation in the exchange rate often makes such definitions out-dated (Kayanula and Quartey, 2000). Steel and Webster (1990), Osei et al (1993) in defining Small Scale Enterprises in Ghana used an employment cut off point of 30 employees to indicate Small Scale Enterprises. The latter however dis-aggregated small scale enterprises into 3 categories: (i) micro -employing less than 6 people; (ii) very small, those employing 6-9 people; (iii) small -between 10 and 29 employees. 2.3 Why Small and Medium Scale Enterprises? The choice of small and medium scale enterprises within the industrial sector for this study is based on the following propositions (Kayanula and Quartey, 2000). (a) Large Scale Industry (i) Have not been an engine of growth and a good provider of employment; (ii) Already receive enormous support through general trade, finance, tax policy and direct subsidies; (b) Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (i) Mobilize funds which otherwise would have been idle; (ii) Have been recognized as a seed-bed for indigenous entrepreneurship; (iii) Are labour intensive, employing more labour per unit of capital than large enterprises; (iv) Promote indigenous technological know-how; (vii) Are able to compete (but behind protective barriers); (viii) Use mainly local resources, thus have less foreign exchange requirements; (ix) Cater for the needs of the poor and; (x) Adapt easily to customer requirements (flexible specialization), (Kayanula and Quartey, 2000). 2.4.0 The Role and Characteristics of SMEs 2.4.1 Role of SMEs in Developing Countries Small-scale rural and urban enterprises have been one of the major areas of concern to many policy makers in an attempt to accelerate the rate of growth in low income countries. These enterprises have been recognized as the engines through which the growth objectives of developing countries can be achieved. They are potential sources of employment and income in many developing countries. It is estimated that SMEs employ 22% of the adult population in developing countries (Daniels Ngwira, 1992; Daniels Fisseha, 1993; Fisseha, 1992; Fisseha McPherson, 1991; Gallagher Robson, 1995). However, some authors have contended that the job creating impact of small scale enterprises is a statistical flaw; it does not take into account offsetting factors that make the net impact more modest (Biggs, Grindle Snodgrass, 1988). It is argued that increases in employment of Small and Medium Enterprises are not always associated with increases in productivity. Nevertheless, the important role performed by these enterprises cannot be overlooked. Small firms have some advantages over their large-scale competitors. They are able to adapt more easily to market conditions given their broadly skilled technologies. However, narrowing the analysis down to developing countries raises the following puzzle: Do small-scale enterprises have a dynamic economic role? Due to their flexible nature, SMEs are able to withstand adverse economic conditions. They are more labour intensive than larger firms and therefore, have lower capital costs associated with job creation (Anheier Seibel, 1987; Liedholm Mead, 1987; Schmitz, 1995). Small-scale enterprises (SSEs) perform useful roles in ensuring income stability, growth and employment. Since SMEs are labour intensive, they are more likely to succeed in smaller urban centres and rural areas, where they can contribute to the more even distribution of economic activity in a region and can help to slow the flow of migration to large cities. Because of their regional dispersion and their labour intensity, it is argued that small-scale production units can promote a more equitable distribution of income than large firms. They also improve the efficiency of domestic markets and make productive use of scarce resources, thus, facilitating long term economic growth. 2.4.2 Characteristics of SMEs in Ghana A distinguishing feature of SMEs from larger firms is that the latter have direct access to international and local capital markets whereas the former are excluded because of the higher intermediation costs of smaller projects. In addition, SMEs face the same fixed cost as Large Scale Enterprises (LSEs) in complying with regulations but have limited capacity to market products abroad. SMEs in Ghana can be categorised into urban and rural enterprises. The former can be sub-divided into `organisedÃ¢â¬â¢ and `unorganisedÃ¢â¬â¢ enterprises. The organised ones tend to have paid employees with a registered office whereas the unorganised category is mainly made up of artisans who work in open spaces, temporary wooden structures, or at home and employ little or in some cases no salaried workers. They rely mostly on family members or apprentices. Rural enterprises are largely made up of family groups, individual artisans, women engaged in food production of local crops. The major activities within this sector include:- soap and detergents, fabrics, clothing and tailoring, textile and leather, village blacksmiths, tin-smithing, ceramics, timber and mining, beverages, food processing, bakeries, wood furniture, electronic assembly, agro processing, chemical based products and mechanics ( Liedholm Mead, 1987; Osei et al, 1993, World Bank, 1992). It is interesting to note that small-scale enterprises make better use of scarce resources than large-scale enterprises. Research in Ghana and many other countries have shown that capital productivity is often higher in SMEs than is the case with LSEs (Steel, 1977). The reason for this is not difficult to see, SMEs are labour intensive with very small amount of capital invested. Thus, they tend to witness high capital productivity, which is an economically sound investment. Thus, it has been argued that promoting the SME sector in developing countries will create more employment opportunities, lead to a more equitable distribution of income, and will ensure increased productivity with better technology (Steel Webster, 1990). 2.5 SME Approaches There are several approaches or theories to entrepreneurship and small and medium enterprises. For the purpose of this study, the research team will dwell on three major theories. These include: venture opportunity, Agency Theory and Theory of Equity Funds 2.5.1 The Venture Opportunity The venture opportunity school of thought focuses on the opportunity aspect of venture development. The search for idea sources, the development of concepts; and the implementation of venture opportunities are the important interest areas for this school. Creativity and market awareness are viewed as essential. Additionally, according to this school of thought, developing the right idea at the right time for the right market niche is the key to entrepreneurial success. Major proponents include: N Krueger 1993, Long W. McMullan 1984. Another development from this school of thought is what is described by McMullan (1984) as Ã¢â¬Å"corridor principleÃ¢â¬â¢Ã¢â¬â¢. This principle outlines that, giving prior attention to new pathways or opportunities as they arise and implementing the necessary steps for action are key factors in business development. The maxim that Ã¢â¬Å"preparation meeting opportunity, equals Ã¢â¬Å"luckÃ¢â¬ underlines this corridor principle. Proponents of this school of thought believe that proper preparation in the interdisciplinary business segments will enhance the ability to recognise good venture opportunities. Comparing the study with the above theory, the question that arises is: What are the factors or opportunities that have led to the proliferation of small and medium scale enterprises in Medina Township? Is it due to a particular market niche, creativity or market awareness? If so, then what socio-economic impact do they have on the people of Medina Township? 2.5.2 Agency Theory Agency theory deals with the people who own a business enterprise and all others who have interests in it, for example managers, banks, creditors, family members, and employees. The agency theory postulates that the day to day running of a business enterprise is carried out by managers as agents who have been engaged by the owners of the business as principals who are also known as shareholders. The theory is on the notion of the principle of two-sided transactions which holds that any financial transactions involves two parties, both acting in their own best interests, but with different expectations. Major proponents of this theory include: Eisenhardt 1989, Emery et al.1991 and JH Davis Ã¢â¬â 1997. These Proponents of agency theory assume that agents will always have a personal interest which conflicts the interest of the principal. This is usually referred to as the Agency problem. 2.5.3 Theory of Equity Funds Equity is also known as owners equity, capital, or net worth. Costand et al (1990) suggests that larger firms will use greater levels of debt financing than small firms. This implies that larger firms will rely relatively less on equity financing than do smaller firmsÃ¢â¬â¢. According to the pecking order framework, the small enterprises have two problems when it comes to equity funding [McMahon et al. (1993, pp153)]: 1) Small enterprises usually do not have the option of issuing additional equity to the public. 2) Owner-managers are strongly averse to any dilution of their ownership interest and control. This way they are unlike the managers of large concerns who usually have only a limited degree of control and limited, if any, ownership interest, and are therefore prepared to recognize a broader range of funding options. Modern financial management is not the ultimate answer to every whim and caprice. However, it could be argued that there is some food for thought for SMEs concerning every concept. For example Access to Capital is really eye-opener for SMEs in Ghana to carve their way into sustaining their growth. 2.6 Policies for Promoting SMEs in Ghana Small-scale enterprise promotion in Ghana was not impressive in the 1960s. Dr. Nkrumah (President of the First Republic) in his modernization efforts emphasized state participation but did not encourage the domestic indigenous sector. The local entrepreneurship was seen as a potential political threat. To worsen the situation, the deterioration in the Balance of Payments in the 1980s and the overvaluation of the exchange rate led to reduce capacity utilization in the import dependent large-scale sector. Rising inflation and falling real wages also forced many formal sector employees into secondary self-employment in an attempt to earn a decent income. As the economy declined, large-scale manufacturing employment stagnated (Kayanula and Quartey, 2000). According to Steel and Webster (1991), small scale and self-employment grew by 2.9% per annum (ten times as many jobs as large scale employment) but their activities accounted for only a third of the value added. It was in the light of the above that the government of Ghana started promoting small-scale enterprises. They were viewed as the mechanism through which a transition from state-led economy to a private oriented developmental strategy could be achieved. Thus the SME sectorÃ¢â¬â¢s role was re-defined to include the following (Kayanula and Quartey, 2000): (i) Assisting the state in reducing its involvement in direct production (ii) Absorbing labour from the state sector, given the relatively labour intensive nature of small scale enterprises, and; (iii) Developing indigenous entrepreneurial and managerial skills needed for sustained industrialization. 2.6.1 Government and Institutional Support to SMEs To enable the sector perform its role effectively, the following technical, institutional and financial supports were put in place by government. (i) Government Government, in an attempt to strengthen the response of the private sector to economic reforms undertook a number of measures in 1992. Prominent among them is the setting up of the Private Sector Advisory Group and the abolition of the Manufacturing Industries Act, 1971 (Act 356) that repealed a number of price control laws, and The Investment Code of 1985 (PNDC Law 116), which seeks to promote joint ventures between foreign and local investors. In addition to the above, a Legislative Instrument on Immigrant Quota, which grants automatic immigrant quota for investors, has been enacted. Besides, certain Technology Transfer Regulations have been introduced. Government also provided equipment leasing, an alternative and flexible source of long term financing of plant and equipment for enterprises that cannot afford their own. A Mutual Credit Guarantee Scheme was also set up for entrepreneurs who have inadequate or no collateral and has limited access to bank credit. To complement these efforts, a Rural Finance Project aimed at providing long-term credit to small-scale farmers and artisans was set up. In 1997, government proposed the establishment of an Export Development and Investment Fund (EDIF), operational under the Exim Guarantee Company Scheme of the Bank of Ghana. This was in aid of industrial and export services within the first quarter of 1998. To further improve the industrial sector, according to the 1998 Budget Statement, specific attention was to be given to the following industries for support in accessing the EDIF for rehabilitation and retooling: Textiles/Garments; Wood and Wood Processing; Food and Food Processing and Packaging. It was also highlighted that government would support industries with export potential to overcome any supply-based difficulty by accessing EDIF and rationalize the tariff regime in a bid to improve their export competitiveness. In addition, a special monitoring mechanism has been developed at the Ministry of Trade and Industries. In a bid to improve trade and investment, particularly in the industrial sector, trade and investment facilitating measures were put in place. Visas for all categories of investors and tourists were issued on arrival at the ports of entry while the Customs Excise and Preventive Service at the ports were made proactive, operating 7-days a week. The government continued supporting programmes aimed at skills training, registration and placement of job seekers, training and re-training of redeployees. This resulted in a 5% rise in enrolment in the various training institutes such as The National Vocational and Training Institute (NVTI), Opportunity Industrialization Centres (OIC), etc. As at the end of 1997, 65,830 out of 72,000 redeployees who were re-trained under master craftsmen have been provided with tools and have become self-employed. (ii) Institutions The idea of SME promotion has been in existence since 1970 though very little was done at the time. Key institutions were set up to assist SMEs and prominent among them was The Office of Business Promotion, now the present Ghana Enterprise Development Commission (GEDC). It aims at assisting Ghanaian businessmen to enter into fields where foreigners mainly operated but which became available to Ghanaians after the Ã¢â¬ËAlliance Compliance OrderÃ¢â¬â¢ in 1970. GEDC also had packages for strengthening small-scale industry in general, both technically and financially. The Economic Recovery Programme instituted in 1983 has broadened the institutional support for SMEs. The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) has been established within the then Ministry of Industry, Science and Technology now (Ministry of Science and Technology) to address the needs of small businesses. The NBSSI established an Entrepreneurial Development Programme, intended to train and assist persons with entrepreneurial abilities into self-employment. In 1987, the industrial sector also witnessed the coming into operation of the Ghana Appropriate Technology Industrial Service (GRATIS). It was to supervise the operations of Intermediate Technology Transfer Units (ITTUs) in the country. GRATIS aims at upgrading small scale industrial concerns by transferring appropriate technology to small scale and informal industries at the grass root level. ITTUs in the regions are intended to develop the engineering abilities of small scale manufacturing and service industries engaged in vehicle repairs and other related trades. They are also to address the needs of non-engineering industries. So far, 6 ITTUs have been set up in Cape Coast, Ho, Kumasi, Sunyani, Tamale and Tema. (iii) Financial Assistance Access to credit has been one of the main bottlenecks to SME development. Most SMEs lack the necessary collateral to obtain bank loans. To address this issue, the Central Bank of Ghana has established a credit guarantee scheme to underwrite loans made by Commercial Banks to small-scale enterprises. Unfortunately, the scheme did not work out as expected. It was against this background that the Bank of Ghana obtained a US$ 28 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank for the establishment of a Fund for Small and Medium Enterprises Development (FUSMED). Under the Programme of Action to Mitigate the Social Cost of Adjustment (PAMSCAD), a revolving fund of US$ 2 million was set aside to assist SMEs. This aspect is too scanty in the midst of the abundant information, especially with reference to Ghana. 2.7 Gender and Small Business Performance Until more recently gender differences in small business performance remained largely unaddressed by social scientists (Greene, Hart, Gatewood, Brush, Carter, 2003). The majority of studies either disregarded gender as a variable of interest or excluded female subjects from their design (Du Rietz Henrekson, 2000). However, it is generally accepted that male and female owner-managers behave differently and that these behavioral differences influence their performance (Brush, 1992), but these differences have been recognized but not fully explained (Brush Hisrich 2000). A comparison of performance of male and female owner-managers in Java, Indonesia showed that female-owned businesses tend to be less oriented towards growth compared to male-owned businesses (Singh, Reynolds, Muhammad, 2001). Boden Nucci (2000) investigated start-ups in the retail and service industries and found that the mean survival rate for male owned businesses was four to six percent higher than for female owned businesses. Loscocco, Robinson, Hall Allen (1991) in their study of small businesses in the New England region of the USA found that both sales volume and income levels were lower for female- than for male-owned businesses. In a longitudinal study of 298 small firms in the United Kingdom (UK), of which 67 were female owned, Johnson Storey (1994) observed that whilst female owner-managers had more stable enterprises than their male counterparts, on average the sales turnover for female owners were lower than for male owners. Brush (1992) suggests that women perform less on quantitative financial measures such as jobs created, sales turnover and profitability because they pursue intrinsic goals such as independence, and the flexibility to combine family and work commitments rather than financial gain. In contrast to the above findings, Du Rietz and Henrekson (2000) reported that female-owned businesses were just as successful as their male counterparts when size and sector are controlled. In his study of small and medium firms in Australia, Watson (2002), after controlling for the effect of industry sector, age of the business, and the number of days of operation, also reported no significant differences in performance between the male- controlled and female-controlled firms.
Friday, September 20, 2019
Relationship Between Taste and Consumption The links between taste, consumption, social class and power Introduction The renowned French sociologist and philosopher Pierre-FÃ ©lix Bourdieu believed that taste and cultural consumption was inextricably linked to social class, which in itself is determined by those with power and position (BourdieuÃ¢â¬â¢s 1994). His detailed research on the subject concluded that the pressures of the society that we live in thus bring about all human acts and, to this extent are not governed by decisions made by solely by the individual. In his view the society in which we live, together with our standing individual standing within that culture will have considerable influence upon both our particular tastes and the choices of taste that we make. Furthermore, Bourdieu finds that those in a position of power, such as the media and government, by virtue of their position, are consistently using the power that they possess to create and feed the social distinctions that we see about us, and therefore manipulating the consumption pattern. The conclusion of BourdieuÃ¢â ¬â¢s research therefore is that the individual does not act autonomously from the dictates of his or her society, but rather reacts to patterns of social distinction that are being presented to them. To assess the validity of this theory, it is the intention of this research to identify, examine and evaluate the potential links that exist between Ã¢â¬Å"tasteÃ¢â¬ and cultural consumption and social class. The research will be segmented in an attempt to first of all provide an understanding of consumption and its cultural relevance and how this can be manipulated by those with the power to do so, before examining the relevant aspects of social class. This process will enable us then to reflect upon taste and reach a conclusion as to whether the hypothesis outlined above is still as relevant in modern society as it was when Bourdieu (1994) conducted his research into the subject. Consumption In the context of this research, the term consumption is not simply being examined in relation to the goods or services that we purchase with the purpose to consume, for example grocery items, although that is an integral element of the purchasing act. However, it also is relevant to the purpose and reasoning that lies behind the consumption process itself. The basic concept of consumption is that we make a choice of purchase based upon a number of factors, for example because we like the taste of the content in the case of food products or we are attracted to the look of the item, as would be the case in the decision for non foodstuff, such as furniture, automobiles, homes and a host of other goods. Irrespective of the validity of these determinates of choice consumption is not Ã¢â¬Å"merely the recognition or miss-recognition of the aesthetic intentionÃ¢â¬ (Storey, 2003, p.48). When we make a product choice we are also, either making a statement about our social position, and ourselves, or reacting to a statement that has been placed before us by others. Furthermore, as is reflected in the term Ã¢â¬Å"keeping up with the Joneses,Ã¢â¬ an element of our buying patterns will be made in relation to what others, our peers, might have that we do not. In terms of the influence of others, be the media or peers, this may be perceived as a guide to move us in a certain direction or to give us a distinction that we previously did not have. Therefore, it is true to say that the way in which we exercise our right to consumption is determined by the social structure that surrounds us (Mackay 1997, p.255). This can perhaps be better seen when viewed in a historical context. In the Victorian era, when the class situation within UK society was more pronounced, the patterns of consumption were seen as an inherent part of that system, in that the purchase should match the social position. A typical example of this process was obvious in the clothing industry, In those days one purchased clothing, that was considered to be commensurate with oneÃ¢â¬â¢s standing in society, be that class or professional position. It would have been considered Ã¢â¬Å"an offence to dress above oneÃ¢â¬â¢s stationÃ¢â¬ (Corrigan 1997, p.6). The theory of consumption being relative to position, and objected too if it does not maintain that distinction has been seen more recently in research conducted by Radway (1990, p.705 and p.710). The case being studied here was the emergence of book clubs and the controversial reaction to this in some areas of society. These book clubs were offering products that ranged from the mass-market romantic and detective novels through to the classics and Ã¢â¬Å"highbrowÃ¢â¬ products. The controversy arose because many believed that this was an unacceptable intrusion into the considered norm of social culture and distinction. Despite the fact that the social strata and distinction has been blurred to some extent in modern times, to a great degree the cultural habits of consumption still exist and operate in society. Irrespective of the wide variety of goods and products available, the patterns of individual purchase are still determined by the social and cultural position. For example, when faced with a choice for holidays, the general perception is still that the package tour and coastal seaside two-week summer break is mainly the domain of the working class element of society. Similarly, purchasing a Ford car instead of the more expensive Mercedes will automatically make a statement about the buyers standing, therefore producing a social distinction in consumption (Miller 2002, p.275). However, nowadays this pattern is tempered with consumption for the purpose of aspiration. Today the objective of bettering oneself is an integral part of the social culture. Peer pressure has also become more intense. People are concerned with being seen to either maintain their status by ensuring that they have the latest product, as may be the case with their neighbour, or wishing to use consumption and purchase as a way of moving up a position in the social ladder. They use consumption to make a statement to this effect (Brewer 1994, p.275). Furthermore, the availability of the product, in terms of price, model and novelty is also important. Consumption will change as a product becomes more popular. For example, a person of high social standing seeks a product that is not generally available to the masses. This can be seen in the case of the Mercedes car, once solely affordable by the few. As it became more popular and therefore more affordable, the novelty and distinction it gav e to the wealthier elements of society wore off (Miller 2002, p.180), and they sought to re-establish their position by transferring their consumption to more distinction and expensive automobile ranges. Typically, the peer-generated influence can be seen occurring with the Ã¢â¬Å"new rich,Ã¢â¬ such as footballers, corporate moguls and celebrities. Having achieved a position of wealth such people will use the purchasing process to acquire products that make a conspicuous statement about the new position they have achieved within society (Featherstone 2000, p.20). In terms of other influences on consumption, the advertising and marketing media have played a pivotal role. This has become particularly apparent during the period of rapid developments in technological and digital advances being made in the media. Marketers distinguish their target markets by demographic segments, and therefore operate on the basis of class distinction when determining Ã¢â¬Å"consumption criteriaÃ¢â¬ (Miller 2002, p.112). These organisations will use the segment analysis for a number of reasons. In terms of mass marketing, for instance with grocery and low cost household products, the intention will be too attract the working classes to consume their products in preference. Similarly, this system will be used to drive the Ã¢â¬Å"peer-pressureÃ¢â¬ determinant, using the subconscious cultural message that to maintain oneÃ¢â¬â¢s individual standing, these products are culturally essential. At the other end of the scale, Marketers will use their message to acce ntuate the difference in social standing that can be achieved by purchasing their product. Again this can be aptly seen with motor vehicles, where the promoter might use the vision of ownership of a 44, or top of the range vehicle as an indication of higher social standing. From this analysis it can be seen that consumption when viewed on a number of levels does reflect, either directly or indirectly, a social struggle to achieve a certain level of distinction. Consciously or sub-consciously it will affect the consumers position and social standing (Corrigan 1997, p.32). Taste Taste in dictionary terms, is defined as being the manifestation of an individualÃ¢â¬â¢s particular preference. This will extend beyond the simple food connotation of the word to all aspects of life, including all of the goods, services and activities they purchase or use. In his research Bordieu (1994, p.42) rightly identifies taste as being a matter of choice, which varies from individual to individual. Therefore, by definition taste has both a positive and negative reaction. For example, one chooses a particular food because of the preference to its taste or conversely rejects of food because of individualÃ¢â¬â¢s dislike of its taste. In the same way, similar decisions are made about other goods. Furthermore the levels of taste are varied. For example, one may react on a low level of negatively to something simply on a matter of ascetic taste, as in not being keen on the colour, or the level of taste dislike can reveal itself in the emotion of disgust, which in the case of foo d can even lead to sickness. From the individual point of view taste can therefore be attributable as an indications of the specific preferences of a particular person (Featherstone 2000, p.83). However, having previously stated that taste is a matter of choice, a rider should be added to this. Choice in taste is not always a decision that is taken freely. In most areas of life there is limitations and taste is often one such area. As Bordieu (1994) pointed out in his research, often in our daily lives and decision-making processes our taste decisions are restricted by a choice being forced upon us. For example, to return once again to an automobile comparison, it is often the case when faced with a choice of vehicles to purchase, that oneÃ¢â¬â¢s deep routed preference would be for a Mercedes. However if the income level of the purchaser is only say $10,000 per annum, this vehicle is clearly out of an acceptable price range. In such a situation one has to make a taste decision based upon an affordable, or forced, range of lower standard vehicles. Therefore taste is tempered by the social and economic position that the individual is situated within. Taste can also be applicable in a cultural sense and in this respect Bourdieu (1984, p.56), states that it can act as a class barrier. As with consumption, again this can be seen as more pronounced in historical times, although it still exists. By nature, the individual will aspire to a certain social level and consequently they will have an aversion to a life-style that does not match with their expectations. In respect of society itself, there are two levels of taste that can be deemed to play both an interactive and exclusive role. These are common taste and class taste respectively. In addition to individual taste, the format of society also dictates that there will be a common taste. This is an element that is shared within the specific culture to which one belongs. For example, within the UK there will be commonly accepted tastes in terms of the way that people should behave, and where the limits of acceptable common legislation should be drawn, although this is by no means the only area of taste that would be considered to be common. However, as Bordieu (1994), this common taste scenario produces a dichotomy. Achieving a balance between the common taste and the taste of individual classes of society is often difficulty. By the simple distinction of their class, there will be those elements of society that will wish at least part of their taste to be separate from those of other classes. For instance, the upper class will have a distinct taste that they would perceive to set them apart from the working class (Bucholtz and Sutton 1999, p.355). Taste and choice is another are where those with power, such as the media, can exercise significant influence. One only has to look at the television to notice the wide range of new products and designs that are constantly being promoted. This can serve to create movement in the individual and social taste requirements (Miller 2002, p.216). Whilst consumers demands and tastes for new products may change, as has been demonstrated this is not always as a result of their own changing tastes (Brewer and Porter 1994, p.601). Similarly, as with consumption, often these taste determinants will be directed at particular demographic segments of the community. A typical example of this occurred when Ã¢â¬Å"Wedgewood Potteries, in north Staffordshire, deliberately tried to direct upper-class tasteÃ¢â¬ through design and promotional efforts (Corrigan 1997. p.9). Taste therefore is influenced by a number of factors, not the least of which is the relative position of the individual Ã¢â¬Å"in the social structureÃ¢â¬ (Mackay 1997, p.230) of their own culture. Similarly, taste can be distinct between the relative class structures and also can create a tension when seen not to be achieving the correct values (Corrigan 1997, p.100). Social Class What is social class and how does it manifest itself? As will be seen within this section there are many aspects to class and numerous influences attached to its creation and maintenance of the class system. The class system in the UK has been in existence for countless centuries and, despite the moves during the last century to achieve equality is has still managed to survive, particularly, as Bordieu (1994) points in his research, within the higher intellectual and ruling class level. Indeed, as Brewer (1994, p.128), points out, in Wigston Magna, an old village, which is now a part of an expanded city called Leicester, social differences were being created as the village grew. Much of the creation of class Bordieu (1994) puts down to education and language. Success in education is achieve not simply by the act of learning, but also as a result of behaviour and even language, which in turn is a reflection of upbringing. Those students from privileged backgrounds will have learnt how to present themselves physically, in speech and their attitude, whereas the less privileged will not, precisely as a result of the way they have been brought up. Language is also important, not simply because it is a way of communication, but because it is seen as an indicator of position within society. To evidence this one only has to look at the immediate perception that is formed in the mind as a result of the Ã¢â¬Å"mannerism of speech of different social groupsÃ¢â¬ (Bucholtz and Sutton 1999, p.101). Automatically, the subconscious seeks to identify not simply the geographical background, but also their position within society. The way that people speak does therefore te nd to create an immediate recognition of class. There is a natural tendency for people to segregate themselves into groups where they feel comfortable, and an equal tendency to reject or distance themselves from those who do not fit into their own Ã¢â¬Å"circle.Ã¢â¬ This phenomenon is known as social distinction. Social distinction is what creates the various classes. It is defined by different values, tastes and consumption activity. Furthermore, its occupants rigorously protect it. For example, when describing ourselves to others we tend to refer to the social category that we belong to as a way of distinguishing ourselves from others (Mackay 1997, p.68). Mackay (1997, p.205) further evidences this by explaining how the middle classes, in an attempt to maintain their distinctive class, will put Ã¢â¬Å"geographical distance between itself and manual labourÃ¢â¬ or working classes. Even within classes that can be demonstrated by economic advantage, there still remains a distinction that is closely protected. The latter half of the last century saw a significant increase of wealth created and attracted to people who previously would have been considered to be working or middle class. As the wealth accumulation continued, these people began to acquire the trappings of the upper classes, such as large land estates, international residences and the like. This situation threatened the existence and position that was previously the domain of the nobility and aristocrats. As Bourdieu (1994) explains, the nobility were not prepared to lose their standing within society, based upon position and breeding, nor would they settle for it being diluted by invasion from individuals who they considered to be of a lower class, irrespective of wealth. Thus they encapsulated the retention of their previous distinction by use of the terms Ã¢â¬Å"old moneyÃ¢â¬ and Ã¢â¬Å"new mone y,Ã¢â¬ Individuals and groups within society use numerous ways to distinguish themselves from other classes. For example, the amount of leisure time that is available to an individual is often used as an example of their social standing (Storey 2003, p.37), as might be their house style where a detached property is viewed a social standing distinct from a terraced. Similarly, ones work position can be used to reinforce the social distinction. Subconsciously, when the terms blue-collar worker, white-collar worker and professional are used in relation to the employment of the individual, there is an automatic social and class distinction attributed to them. Power also helps to maintain the social distinction and class. By its terminology, the government is as guilty of this as any other sector of society. For example, consistent references to being a party of the Ã¢â¬Å"working classÃ¢â¬ by Labour is intended to distinguish them from the more affluent reaches of the conservatives. Similarly, the media makes use of class distinction in promotional strategy. For example, if a retailer wishes to appeal to the masses, for example with cosmetics, its promotion will lead with the term Ã¢â¬Å"Lower-priced cosmeticsÃ¢â¬ Corrigan 1997, 87. Conversely, if it wishes to appeal to affluent classes it will use quality and aspirations as its message. Conclusion From the research that has been studied during the preparation of this paper, it is concluded that there are numerous and significant links between consumption, taste and social class and power. Despite the fact that the modern trend is towards a more deregulated and less controlled society (Featherstone 2000, p.15), these links still exist, although they manifest themselves in different ways to those that were used in the past. Consumption is still driven by an individualÃ¢â¬â¢s desire to better themselves, which is deemed to be achieved by improving ones class or standing in society. Taste is still governed by ones upbringing and changed by both peer pressure and a desire to changes ones position in society, and the various social classes still endeavour to maintain their individuality and distinction from other classes. The major difference in the modern world when compared with the historical structure of society is the manner in which all of these links and distinctions are maintained. Today, the concentration is upon the use of signs and images as a method of promoting ones position in society (Featherstone 2000, p.85). Material possessions, together with the work position are used, consciously or subconsciously, to denote where the individual stands in society in terms of their class. Encompassing all of these aspects in the manipulative forces of those with power, such as the media and government. The government, by attributing demographic segmentation to the population, maintains the concept of different social classes with varying tastes and consumption needs. The media, whilst in many ways performing the same social distinction role as government, also use the individualÃ¢â¬â¢s distinctive position to create situations that convey how these positions should be maintained and, in addition, provide a perceived path for the individual to exchange the class and position they are currently in for one that would improve their standing in the community. References Bourdieu, Pierre and Nice, Richard (Translator) (1994). Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Harvard University Press. Massachusetts, US. Brewer, J., and Porter, R. (eds.) 1994. Consumption and the World of Goods. Routledge. London, UK. Bucholtz, M., Laing, A.C and Sutton (eds.) (1999). Reinventing Identities. Oxford University Press. New York, US. Corrigan, Peter (1998). The Sociology of Consumption: An Introduction. Sage Publications. London, UK. Featherstone, Mike (2000). Consumer Culture and Post-modernism. Sage Publications. London, UK. Mackay, H (ed.) (1997). Consumption and Everyday Life. The Open University. Milton Keynes, London, UK. Miller. D (2002). Acknowledging Consumption: A Review of New Studies. Routledge. London, UK. Moran, Joe (2005). Hum, ping. rip: the sounds of cooking. The New Statesman. London, UK. Radway, J. (1990). Ã¢â¬Å"The scandal of the middlebrow: the Book-of-the-Month Club, class fracture, and cultural authorityÃ¢â¬ . South Atlantic Quarterly. Fall, pp. 703-7. Storey, J. (2003). Cultural Consumption and Everyday Life. Arnold. London, UK.
Thursday, September 19, 2019
The Historical Geography of Mesopotamia Mesopotamia is a historical region in southwest Asia where the world's earliest civilization developed. The name comes from a Greek word meaning "between rivers," referring to the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, north or northwest of the bottleneck at Baghdad. It is known as Al-Jazirah, or "The Island," to the Arabs (3). South of this lies Babylonia. However, in the broader sense, the name Mesopotamia has come to be used for the area bounded on the northeast by the Zagros Mountains, and on the southwest by the edge of the Arabian Plateau, and stretching from the Persian Gulf in the southeast to the Anti-Taurus Mountains in the northwest (5). Only from the latitude of Baghdad do the Euphrates and Tigris truly become twin rivers, the "rafidan" of the Arabs, which have constantly changed their courses throughout the ages. This region was the center of a culture whose influence extended throughout the Middle East and even the rest of the known world. This paper will focus o n the importance of geography in raising this small region to such a level of high importance in the history of the world. Explanation of the Applicable National Standards for Geography The National Standards for Geography are being employed into school education programs throughout the United States. The source for the standards is Geography for Life in which they are published. The book suggests the essential knowledge, shills and perspectives that students should master by grades 4,8,and 12. One of these such standards is "knows and understands the physical and human characteristics of places." This is very important to the extent that people cannot fully understand a place unless they first ... ...peoples. The geography of this area certainly played a central role in the importance and influence of these lands. Geography has had a heavy hand in the culture and history of Mesopotamia, as it does in all areas of the world. Works Cited 1. Fertile Crescent Civilizations. http://killeenroos.com/1/mesodata.htm (4-27-99) 2. Fertile Crescent Home Page. http://www.leb.net/~fchp/FC-MNFM.HTML (4-27-99) 3. Kramer, Samuel Noah. The Sumerians. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1963. 4. Mallowan, M.E.L. Early Mesopotamia and Iran. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1965. 5. "Mesopotamia." Encyclopaedia Britannica: Macropaedia. 15th ed. 1997. 6. Oates, David. Studies in the Ancient History of Northern Iraq. London: Oxford UniversityPress, 1963. 7. Oppenheim, A. Leo. Ancient Mesopotamia. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1964.
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
A Freudian Reading of Hamlet and Titus AndronicusÃ Ã Ã Ã In 1900 the eminent Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud produced a seminal work entitled The Interpretation of Dreams which contains the idea that dreams allow psychic exploration of the soul, that dreams contain psychological meanings which can be arrived at by interpretation. Freud states that Ã¢â¬Å"every dream will reveal itself as a psychological structure, full of significance, and one which may be assigned to a specific place in the psychic activities of the waking state.Ã¢â¬ According to FreudÃ¢â¬â¢s original formulations dreams have two contents, a manifest content which is the dream that one actually experiences and a latent content which is the meaning of the dream as discovered by interpretation. Literature can be thought of in the same manner, as a figment of the imagination whose underlying truth can be discovered through interpretation. A piece of literature may have a truth to tell but it can may remain hidden to us until such time as we interpret its signs. According to Freud there are three routes into the unconscious; dreams, parapraxes (or slips of the tongue) and jokes, and it is evident that psychoanalysis asks us to pay a lot of attention to language, in puns, slips of the tongue etc. This suggests how psychoanalysis is directly related to literary criticism, since both kinds of analysis focus on close readings of language. Therefore, by understanding Freudian theory, we can gain a deeper understanding of literature. This essay attempts to discover how FreudÃ¢â¬â¢s psychoanalytical accounts of human nature can bring us to a deeper understanding of the family relationships at work in ShakespeareÃ¢â¬â¢s Hamlet and Titus Andronicus. According to FreudÃ¢â¬â¢s The Interpr... ...s, in Bevington, David Twentieth Century Interpretations of Hamlet. (New Jersey:Prentice Hall, 1968) Kovesi, Dr S. Lecture handout Ã¢â¬ËTitus Andronicus and PsychoanalysisÃ¢â¬â¢ (2001) Shakespeare, W. Hamlet and Titus Andronicus in The Oxford Shakespeare ed. Olver, H.J (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982) Information regarding FreudÃ¢â¬â¢s theory and works taken from website addresses http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Crete/4158 (General information) http://www.freudpage.com/en-us/freud/psychotheory1.html (Classic Psychoanalytic Theory) http://www.mii.kurume-u.ac.jp/~leuers/Freud.htmn (Psychoanalytic Theory) http://www.geocities.com/~mhrowell/ (Psychoanalytic Theory) http://fox.klte.hu/~keresofi/psychotherapy/index.shtml (Dictionary of Psychoanalytical Terms) http://www.vuw.ac.nz/psyc/vornikFreud/FRONT.HTM (General information and Psychoanalytic Theory) Ã