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Items filtered by date: February 2014

Tuesday, 18 February 2014 07:27

Events of the Conquest

Events of the Conquest


            There a number of events of the conquest that was experienced in Peru, Panama, and Mexico that related to infighting among the conquistadores. The earliest known inhabitants of Panama and Peru experienced were the Coclé and the Cuevas. The number of these inhabitants was decimated by the sword and disease when the Spanish arrived in the 16th Century. In 1510, the Spanish established a settlement at Nombre de Dios which is located at the mouth of the Rio Charges. This place is on the Caribbean coast, and it was established with the aim of creating some developments in that region. It was during this time Panama’s Pacific coast developed to be the springboard for invasions of Peru. These incursions generated a lot of wealth which was carried overland to Nombre de Dios from the Pacific port of Panama which was the city, (Garraty & Gay, 1972).


            The transport of wealth in Mexico and Peru attracted a lot of pirates. The situation in the Caribbean was dangerous to a point that Spanish ships started sailing directly and by passing Panama from the Peru region around the Cape Horn so as to reach Europe. Before South American nation received its independence in 1821, the city of Panama had declined. It became the province of Colombia and experienced a lot of conflicts. In 1880, the French develop a plan of constructing a canal which was never successful rather it resulted to huge losses such as the death of 22, 000 individuals who were working there due to yellow fever and malaria. Everyone who engaged in the activities of building the canal become bankruptcy for they had to cover all the expenses of disease among others, (Garraty & Gay, 1972).


Reference:

Garraty, J. A. & P. Gay (1972). The Columbia History of the World. New York & Toronto:          Harper & Row.


Eventos de la Conquista

Hay una serie de acontecimientos de la conquista que se vivió en el Perú, Panamá y México, que relaciona con las luchas internas entre los conquistadores. Los primeros habitantes conocidos de Panamá y Perú experimentaron fueron los Coclé y las Cuevas. El número de los habitantes fue diezmada por la espada y la enfermedad, cuando los españoles llegaron en el siglo 16. En 1510, los españoles establecieron un asentamiento en Nombre de Dios que se encuentra en la desembocadura de los cargos de Río. Este lugar se encuentra en la costa del Caribe, y se estableció con el objetivo de crear algunos acontecimientos en la región. Fue durante este tiempo de la costa pacífica de Panamá desarrollado para ser el trampolín para la invasión de Perú. Estas incursiones generan una gran cantidad de riqueza que se llevó a tierra a Nombre de Dios desde el puerto del Pacífico de Panamá, que era la ciudad, (Garraty y Gay, 1972).


El transporte de la riqueza en México y Perú atrajo a una gran cantidad de piratas. La situación en el Caribe era peligroso a un punto que los barcos españoles comenzaron navegando directamente y al pasar a Panamá de la región del Perú alrededor del Cabo de Hornos para llegar a Europa. Antes país sudamericano recibió su independencia en 1821, la ciudad de Panamá había disminuido. Se convirtió en la provincia de Colombia y se experimenta una gran cantidad de conflictos. En 1880, los franceses a desarrollar un plan de construcción de un canal que no se ha realizado correctamente y no dio lugar a enormes pérdidas, como la muerte de 22, 000 personas que estaban trabajando allí debido a la fiebre amarilla y la malaria. Todos los que participan en las actividades de la construcción del canal de bancarrota a ser para ellos tenían que cubrir todos los gastos de la enfermedad, entre otros, (Garraty y Gay, 1972).


Referencia:

Garraty, J. A. y P. Gay (1972). El Columbia historia del mundo. Nueva York y Toronto: Harper   & Row.


Published in Sociology
Tuesday, 18 February 2014 07:20

Violence Against Women Must Stop

Violence Against Women Must Stop


Introduction

As the crimes of motor vehicle theft, rape, murder, larceny, robbery, and drug trafficking has increased in United States, so do violence against women. Studies show that, in America, one out of three women has been abused sexually, beaten, or engaged in other activities, in their life time. Just like underage drinking, violence against women should be a zero tolerance law simply because it is true that most women in our society are suffering every day. Based on the statistics on violence against women, in America, every 9 seconds a woman is beaten by a man something which is unaccepted. On average, these statistics shows that more than three ladies are killed by their husbands or boyfriends in United States. As criminal activities increases in America, women are endangered by men whom they live with simply because they might get angrier something that results to women hurting.


The topic on violence against women must stop is something that have been studied by a lot of people simply because violence against women is increasing every day. Research shows that women in their early twenties and late thirties are in danger of domestic violence. It has been discovered that women are too scared to turn their partners in for hurting them and that is why few cases on domestic violence against women seek professional care. Women in the current society fear turning men into domestic violence because they believe that men get angrier faster and later turn and hurt them during the talk. If the society wants to give women equality and empower them, strategies on how to stop violence against women should be developed, monitored, and implemented in the best manner, (Yodanis, 2004).


There are several good reasons why violence against women has increased in the society in the past few decades. The inferiority status of women in a male dominated society is the key reason why most women end up in situations where they are hurt by men, husbands, or boyfriends whom they live in the same environment. Lack of women awareness about their rights also contributes towards the increase in violence against women in the society. The focus of this paper is on how violence against women must stop in the society, (Theresa, 2013). I will be arguing on how the issue of gender inequality has contributed to the increase of violence against women and strategies that should be implemented in stopping or ending the issue of women violence in the society.


Discussion

The world health organization (WHO) helps in defining the concept gender inequality in the society. ‘WHO’ defines sex as the physiological and biological characteristics that define women and men. Evidence shows that violence against women is highly contributed by gender inequality. Gender is the attributes that a given society, activities, behaviors, and socially constructed roles that a given society considers appropriate for women and men. Although there are societies that believe that gender is predetermined, most societies in the world believe that gender is constructed. It is with no doubt that gender inequality is the situation where men tend to have a higher status over women plus have the ability to control women in various aspects of life. Ascribing women lower status in society, hierarchies and norms, rigid gender roles, and unequal power relations between men and women contributes to the increase of violence against women. In order to stop violence against women in the society, promoting and achieving the concepts of gender equality is the only aspect that society should focus and work on, (Aysa-Lastra et al., 2012).


It is with no doubt that, in this world, there is no single country where men and women are equal in all aspects of life. Girls and women in the society are given the inferior protection and status by the law, poverty and marginalization, less food, property and income, unequal access to and control over resources, and restricted and limited access to services (education, finance, and health). The issue of discrimination and increase in the level of violence against women occurs because of the belief that our society holds against women. Women are seen as inferior to men; thus they don’t deserve equal treatment with men, and when they tend to fight for equality, they end up being hurt. Violence against women also results from the point where men want to drive a point home and the only way they get is by harassing women, (Steikunaite, 2010).


Violence against women must stop because they are humans like men and they also have rights similar to those of men. The notion that the society has against the issue of inferiority has contributed a lot towards the increase in violence against women and this should be focused in order to give women and girls equality and empowerment just like the way men enjoy having access to anything they want. Women play vital roles in the development and growth of a given society. In order to achieve these developments, the best way is to end violence against women. Empowerment of women and promoting gender equality is believed to be some of effective ways of fighting disease, hunger, poverty, and stimulate development that helps growth in the society. Achieving gender equality is the only way that the society is sure of stopping violence against women. This means removing barriers that prevent women from being fully equal with men, eradicating all forms of discriminations against women, and helping them realize their rights, (Theresa, 2013).


Although studies show that violence against women has grown in our society, it is with no doubt that it must stop in order for the society to develop and grow. To stop violence against women, the society should address the issue of gender inequality. Men alone cannot develop or handle all things that are necessary for a growth and sustainability of a given society. Women play necessary roles in these developments and that is why we should focus on the issue of gender inequality so as to give women rights and power that are similar to men. It is believed that, in every successful man, there is always a woman behind. Given that women are given equal opportunities with men, the society will grow in levels that people won’t believe. Addressing the issue of gender inequality will help in creating an environment that gives women freedom to exercise their power, get an education, and use the knowledge they have in making developments for the benefit of the society. A society that has educated women according to research is much better as compared to a society that women are meant to serve men. The reason behind this is that women in an open society tend to help men make sound decisions hence assist them in solving problems and challenges in their life. If we want a society that is real and worth living, violence against women should stop, (Yodanis, 2004).


Most societies don’t have freedom for women and girls. Women are taken to be slaves and assistances of the houses something that has dragged development of most societies. Violence against women must stop in order to have a common environment where women are respected and their contributions towards developments invited. A society that does not value women develops in a slow pace compared to a society that has a high level of women violence. Evidence shows that, on average, three women are killed or murdered by their loved ones. A good society is one that fulfills, protect, and promote the human rights of girls and women. Women have rights related to their sexuality, and it has been discovered that men do not promote this aspect. Instead of protecting such rights, men engage in violence activities where women end up becoming victims of such instances. So as to establish an environment where women are left to have control over and decide freely on matters of their sexuality, evidence shows that violence against women must stop. There should be free discrimination concepts where women are allowed to make decisions for their lives and exercise rights on matters of their sexuality plus health reproductive, (Burgess, 2012).


Women are equal humans like men, but this is something that most men don’t think have any meaning. Research shows that hunger and poverty as results of violence against women. In order to fight hunger and poverty in the society, violence against women must end by way of establishing programs that eradicate those problems. These programs are geared to promote women’s sexual and reproductive autonomy, economic participation, and provide services to survivors of women violence in the society. Men are responsible of violence against women, and that is the reason why they rarely talk on anything about stopping violence. To stop violence against women in the society, every shareholder in a given society must speak up against violence against women and give a good example. We should come out and give reasons why violence against women must stop. In one, occasion, I overheard a teen talking to his buddies on certain women. The boy said he would love to rape that woman. His friends did not say anything rather they just smiled and continued with their activities. It’s the duty for the society condemning actions that lead to violence against women plus giving advice to people who are affected, (Al-adayleh & Al Nabulsi, 2013).


An educated society has chances of developing as compared to a society that is not educated. Most violence that happens in the society is developed from the fact that our women are not educated thus reasoning with men becomes difficult and challenging. It is true that in old days, women were not fully educated as compared to men. This is something that has played a major role in the increase of violence against women. Violence must stop by training, coaching, and educating women on survival tactics. These women will stop becoming dependent to men helping them make their own choice and decisions hence reduce chances of making any conflict with men. These conflicts are sources of violence against women, and if they are handled in the right direction, such actions are not entertained. Rather than watch violence against women happens in the society, we can take a role in the society and talk about abuse something that will help stop such actions, (Luna-Firebaugh, 2006).


Men participate highly in the current increase in the level of violence against women. In order to stop violence in women, the society should establish and develop programs that engage men and boys in fighting the war against women violence. One of the main problems that contribute or give rise to violence against women is lack of communication. Women who are violated do not talk and seek help to relevant parties. No one is a mind reader thus we should talk what we are going through in search of help for acts that affect our life, (Chamberland, Fortin, & Laporte, 2007).


Conclusion

One out of three women has been abused sexually, beaten, or engaged in other activities in their life time. . As criminal activities increases in America, women are endangered by men whom they live with simply because they might get angrier something that results to women hurting. Just like underage drinking, violence against women should be a zero tolerance law simply because it is true that most women in our society are suffering every day. The inferiority status of women in a male dominated society is the key reason why most women end up in situations where they are hurt by men, husbands, or boyfriends whom they live in the same environment. Lack of women awareness about their rights also contributes towards the increase in violence against women in the society. Violence against women must stop because they are humans like men and they also have rights similar to those of men. To stop violence against women, the society should address the issue of gender inequality. Violence against women must stop in order to have a common environment where women are respected and their contributions towards developments invited.


Reference:

Al-adayleh, L., & Al Nabulsi, H. (2013). Violence against Pregnant Women - The Study Population in Salt City. Asian Social Science, 9(2), 257-269. doi:10.5539/ass.v9n2p257

Aysa-Lastra, M., Rojas, P., Dillon, F., Duan, R., & De La Rosa, M. (2012). Family Closeness and Domestic Abuse Among Caribbean and South American Women in South Florida. Journal Of Family Violence, 27(6), 547-559. doi:10.1007/s10896-012-9445-1

Burgess, G. (2012). When the personal becomes political: using legal reform to combat violence against women in Ethiopia. Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 19(2), 153. Doi:10.1080/0966369X.2011.573142

Chamberland, C., Fortin, A., & Laporte, L. (2007). Establishing a Relationship Between Behavior and Cognition: Violence Against Women and Children within the Family. Journal Of Family Violence, 22(6), 383-395. doi:10.1007/s10896-007-9093-z

Luna-Firebaugh, E. (2006). Violence against American Indian Women and the Services-Training-Officers-Prosecutors Violence Against Indian Women (STOP VAIW) program. Violence Against Women, 12(2), 125-136

Steikunaite, G. (2010). Mexicans wish away violence against women. New Internationalist, (437), 11

Theresa, M. (2013). We must stop casual tolerance of violence against women. Sun, The, 8

Yodanis, C. (2004). Gender inequality, violence against women, and fear: a cross-national test of the feminist theory of violence against women. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 19(6), 655-675.


Published in Sociology
Tuesday, 18 February 2014 07:11

Jihad

Jihad


Introduction

Jihad is among the most outstanding aspects of Islam. All Muslims consider Jihad as an essential aspect that serves as a platform for conforming in the expectations and ways of Allah. The practice of Jihad is characterized by variations across the entire religion of Islam. In most cases, these variations are strongly associated with the interpretation of the precise meaning of Jihad. For instance, some Muslims attach extensive spiritual significance to Jihad while others perceive it as a platform for defending the religion. The origins of Jihad can be traced in the Quran which serves as the Holy Book of Islam.


The phrase Jihad appears forty one times in this book. This is an aspect that signifies the extensive sensitivity of Jihad in the entire world of Islam. The interpretation of the phrase ‘Jihad’ has had immense implications even in the modern society. Research from intelligence agencies such as the FBI and CIA identifies Jihad as a factor that has heighted terrorist activities in recent decades. In addition to the war on terror, Jihad is a pertinent aspect that affects the perceptions on non-Muslims towards the Islam religion. Based on such perspectives, it is fundamentally essential to assess the meaning of Jihad in Islam. This analysis narrows down on this aspect while also identifying the role played by Jihad towards the worldviews of Muslims.


The Meaning of Jihad in Islam

In Islam, most people use the phrase ‘holy war’ to describe the meaning of Jihad. However, the actual meaning of Jihad is more than just the holy war.  Muslims who takes part in Jihad are termed as mujahedeen. The Holy Scriptures of Quran underlines jihad as an intricate system of checks and balances as pertains to Islam. From a linguistic perspective, jihad is a word that implies strife in the Arabic language.


There are three broad insights that help in demystifying the meaning of Jihad. Firstly, Jihad encompasses the struggle by Muslims to protect their own society. Based on this perspective, Muslims seek to ensure continuity and expansion of their religion through Jihad. This might also include the use of force if it serves as an effective platform for protecting the Islam religion. The second broad insight that underlines the meaning of Jihad is the spiritual framework. This serves as a pertinent aspect of enhancing the Muslim faith (Ford, 99). Based on this perspective, Muslims perceive Jihad as an essential platform to attain a higher level of spirituality within the self.


The third major aspect that helps in demystifying the meaning of Jihad pertains to the effort placed on building a stronger Muslim society. Consequently, these aspects indicate that the meaning of Jihad encompasses more than just the dimension of the holy war. Most Muslims consider Jihad as the internal struggle that steers them towards greater spirituality. This dimension of Jihad is also notable in the teachings provided by Prophet Muhammad. He used Jihad on numerous instances to draw closer to Allah. Based on fundamental Islam beliefs as stipulated by Prophet Muhammad and the Quran, Jihad also encompasses the five pillars of Islam. These are essential stipulations which must be practiced by all Muslims.


The first notable pillar of encompasses the Salat (Cook, 17). This pillar requires all Muslims to pray at least five times on daily basis. This is an essential pillar that connects Muslims to God while also symbolizing their allegiance to the religion. When a Muslim does not act in accordance to this pillar, he is deemed to have violated the fundamental principles of Jihad. The second pillar the guides Muslims is the Hajj. This pertains to the symbolic and spiritual significance of Mecca.


A pilgrimage to this holy place helps Muslims in fulfilling the Hajj pillar. Fasting is another pertinent perspective that constitutes the five pillars. This is usually practiced by Muslims during Ramadan. This pillar has immense spiritual significance to Muslims and is thus a building block of Jihad. The fourth pillar is the Zakat. This is a pertinent pillar that that encourages Muslims to assist the needy people. Consequently, this is an essential pillar that enables Muslims to contribute towards the advancement of humanity. The final pillar encompasses the Shahadah. This pertains to the role of all Muslim believers to recite their faith sincerely.


When Muslims conform to these pillars, they attain the required level of religious devotion. These aspects align to the stipulations of Jihad as outlined in the Holy Book of Quran. In addition to the five pillars, there are various activities that engage Muslims to greater Jihad (Lumbard, 61). Maintaining cleanliness in the mosque is a notable activity that signifies a Muslim’s conformity to Jihad. This is because of the immense significance of the mosque as the holy place of worshipping Allah. Engaging the Quran by heart is another crucial activity that constitutes Jihad among all Muslims.


In Islam, Quran encompasses the Holy Scriptures. Consequently, it is pertinent for Muslims to conform or adhere to the stipulations and teachings enshrined in the Quran as part of fulfilling Jihad. Desisting from smoking serves as another crucial activity that helps Muslims in the practice of Jihad. This is because smoking does not conform to the teachings given by Prophet Muhammad. In line with such guidelines, smoking is a widely condemned practice across the Islam world. Forgiveness is a crucial Islamic value that constitutes the practice of Jihad among Muslims. Based on this belief, Muslims must always seek to forgive others in order to advance the wishes and guidelines of God for humankind.


There are various rules that guide the practice of jihad. Firstly, jihad should always be initiated by a religious leader. A Muslim who does not hold any leadership position within the religious circles should not launch jihad at any time. Another outstanding rule of jihad is that it should not target innocent people. Despite the clarity of this rule, it has been violated on countless occasions in different jihad activities. The guidelines of jihad also require that justice be used while handling or dealing with any enemy. Additionally, the Quran discourages the destruction of property in any act of jihad (Ali, 117). This shows that the numerous terrorist bombings by Islamist extremists do not qualify as jihad acts.


The Justification of Military Jihad

Military Jihad occurs when Muslims use force to advance or enhance their beliefs. Due to the use of force, military jihad has generated widespread controversy within the Islamic world and also across other religions. In accordance with fundamental Muslim beliefs, there are various situations, instances or perspectives that help in justifying military jihad. Self-defense has been extensively used as a perspective that justifies military jihad. This occurs when a Muslim seeks to defend oneself from personal attacks by other people. In such an instance, the Quran permits the Muslim to use military jihad as an act of self-defense.


Another instance that can justify military Jihad is when it is used as an act of punishing an enemy (Ford, 19). The Quran does not clearly define an enemy but it is widely interpreted to mean an individual who seeks to thwart Islam or Islamic beliefs. When Muslims seek protection against oppression, military jihad can also be used. Under such circumstances, the source of the oppression does not matter. Consequently, resistance to oppression might also include military coups or other large-scale wars.


Safeguarding Islam freedom is another perspective that justifies military jihad based on fundamental Islam beliefs. Consequently, military jihad can be used when Muslims feel that their fundamental rights to freedom have been infringed upon (Cook, 87). Additionally, the Islamic religion considers strengthening of the religion as an essential reason that can trigger military jihad.


What does not constitute Jihad?

Having established the in-depth meaning of jihad, it is pertinent to assess the different aspects that do not constitute this practice. Most people, especially non-Muslims perceive these aspects as attributes of Jihad. However, these are just misconceptions or exaggerated clichés. Firstly, Jihad is not intended to act as a platform for signifying the powers of a leader. This implies that Muslim leaders must not intertwine jihad with their respective positions of authority especially in political circles.


Another widespread misconception is that jihads are used by Muslims to settle disputes. This does not align with the fundamental stipulations and guidelines of jihad. Jihad is also not a platform for Islamic believers to gain economically or acquire new territories (Ali, 72). Prophet Muhammad has strongly condemned such actions in his teachings and guidelines to Muslims. In line with this aspect, Jihad cannot be used as a platform for colonizing nations or conquering territories. Additionally, jihad does not seek to forcibly convert individuals into Islam. However, most people in the non-Islam world perceive jihad as a platform that seeks to advance such actions. Before practicing military jihad, the Quran requires that all non-military alternatives of handling the problem be exhausted. The fundamental guidelines of jihad also condemn any act of rape.


The Interpretation of Jihad by Muslims and Implications on Worldviews

The interpretation of Jihad by Muslims lack uniformity across the entire Islam world. While some Muslims have strongly exaggerated its meaning, others have been considerably conservative. Among most Muslims, jihad encompasses the attainment of greater levels of spirituality through religious devotion. In this group of Muslims, conformity to the five pillars forms the basis of jihad (Ford, 81). The exaggeration of the meaning of Jihad is notable among outlawed Islamist Extremist groups such as the Al-Qaeda. Among this category of Muslims, jihad encompasses the use of excessive force in order to avert perceived oppression and discrimination of Muslims. In this group of Muslims, jihad encompasses killing the innocent and also the destruction of property. However, these actions do not align with the guidelines outlined in the Quran by Prophet Muhammad. Consequently, these kinds of interpretations have been exaggerated in order to conform to the heinous intentions of the illegal groups.


In essence, these kinds of misinterpretations have also elicited condemnation from other Muslims. Consequently, the concept of jihad is highly contentious and also immensely controversial within and outside the Muslim circles. In the modern society, these interpretations have strongly influenced the worldviews of Muslims. Firstly, the perception that non-Muslims are against the religion is an outstanding worldview among most Muslims. This worldview is strongly attributed to the interpretation of jihad as a platform for advancing the interests of Muslims (Cook, 105).


Another notable influence of the interpretations to Muslim worldviews pertains to confinement. In line with this worldview, most Muslims have increasingly confined themselves from other people from different religions. These kinds of worldviews are notable in the West and also within the developing world. These aspects highlight the implications of jihad interpretation on worldviews.


Conclusion

The analysis narrows down on the meaning of jihad as used in Islam. This is a broad concept that involves high levels of spirituality and also military force in some instances. In most cases, jihad has been interpreted to mean the forceful conversion of individuals to Islam. This is largely a misconception in that there are numerous dimensions of jihad. For instance, the five pillars are pertinent aspects of jihad and Muslims seek to practice jihad by conforming to the different pillars. These pillars include constant prayers, forgiveness, assistance to the needy, and reading the Quran among others. There are various instances during which military jihad can be used. These instances include the protection of Muslims, handling oppression, and self-defense among others. Additionally, military jihad may be used by Muslims while seeking to punish enemies. Contrary to misinterpretations, jihad does not act as a platform for acquiring territory or economic benefits. These actions have been condemned by Prophet Muhammad in the Quran.  


References

Ford, Josh. Jihad, New York: AEG Publishing, 2008

Cook, David. Understanding jihad, Los Angeles: UCLA Press, 2005

Lumbard, Joseph. The religion of Islam, Fons Vitae, 2009

Ali, Muhammad. The religion of Islam, Dublin, OH: Megg Enterprises, 2011


Published in Sociology
Tuesday, 18 February 2014 07:07

Morals

Morals


             The difference between moral, ethical, and legal can seem somewhat challenging to many, but in the real sense, there is a difference amongst these words. Morals are used in the social setting to define the concept of personal characters. On the other hand, ethics is a social system where morals standards are applied. Ethics in other words helps establish codes of behaviors or standards that are expected by a group to which that person belongs. Family ethics, professional ethics, company ethics, social ethics, or national ethics are some of examples of ethics that define an individual’s behavior expected. It is true that when your moral code does not change, the ethics you practice is dependent of your behaviors.


Let’s consider a criminal defense lawyer in developing the difference between ethics, morals, and legal in the social setting, (Siegel, 1999). Although the lawyer’s personal moral code finds murder reprehensible and immoral, ethics calls the accused client defended in any way, irrespective of the lawyer knowing the party is guilty. It doesn’t matter whether setting the person free will engage in murder activities again. Legal ethics in respect to such a situation overrides personal morals for the purpose of upholding justice system. The accused at any given way must be given a fair trial where the prosecution should prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, (Trevino et al., 1999).


Compared to Microsoft, the Macintosh operating system development teams have engaged in activities of developing suitable systems that attract end users. The team has had graphical and usability performance, multimedia, and web application development as a high priority that stays longer. The results indicate on the usability, performance, and versatility of the Apple operating system. The bias of one to another made developed based on the preference to get sleek ergonomic design to the systems in any direction. Another aspect is due to the popularity and success of the Apple brands such as iTunes, iPad, and iPhone among others. The bias on the other aspect could result to cultural situations such as the surrounding favoring Apple systems over PCs, (Lu & Thomas, 2008).


Designing a survey in order to ensure that it’s not bias has never been easy in most cases. The reason is due to the many factors needed to be respected before the survey is approved. Different factors relate to each other thus developing suitable survey that is not biased becomes technical. In a general generic way, accountability of the system should be maintained by making mention of systems and PCs. This helps develop a designing survey that has no biasness in the setting. In such a situation, there will be no biases of leading of questions in support of one focus relative to the other party. The biases should be engineering out of the whole system effort in order to ensure fewer respondents as well, (Phillips & Spencer, 2011).


In summary, those who view ethics, morals, and legal aspect to look alike should understand either has a meaning and an application different from the other. The thing that these words share is that they relate and requires them applied effectively. Understanding such aspects help in the development of a survey that is not bias.


Reference:

Lu, I. R., & Thomas, D. (2008). Avoiding and Correcting Bias in Score-Based Latent Variable Regression With Discrete Manifest Items. Structural Equation Modeling, 15(3), 462-490. doi:10.1080/10705510802154323

Phillips, K. L., & Spencer, D. E. (2011). Bootstrapping structural VARs: Avoiding a potential bias in confidence intervals for impulse response functions. Journal Of Macroeconomics, 33(4), 582-594. doi:10.1016/j.jmacro.2011.02.007

Siegel, D. (1999). Skill-biased technological change: evidence from a firm-level survey. W. E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

Trevino, L., Weaver, G. R., Gibson, D. G., & Toffler, B. (1999). Managing Ethics and Legal Compliance: WHAT WORKS AND WHAT HURTS. California Management Review, 41(2), 131-151


Published in Social Sciences
Tuesday, 18 February 2014 07:03

Usable Information

Usable Information


            Information and data are used interchangeably, but they have different meaning in the real application. Information and data have a connection, and they are related to each other. There are several ways in which data changes and become useful or usable information. When data becomes interpreted, it changes from being data to something known as facts that contain some truth. When data changes from being raw facts that are not interpreted to interpreted facts, then it becomes usable information. Another aspect when data becomes useful information is when it relates to the based research. When the data changes from mere figures and numbers to meaning figures and numbers, then the data is said to be usable information for the end users. Data are in most cases meaningless, but when it changes to something you understand and use, it becomes something usable which you can benefit from.


Apart from being usable, there are instances when data can become misused. Data becomes misused when it does not give any meaning in your life. Usable data is which you can benefit from, but data, which is misused, is one that can give any life meaning to the user. Data that are interpreted and not understood by humans are misused data because they do not give any relevant information for human use. It is true that data that are gathered and it's difficult to interpret it becomes misused data that give no relevant information to the users. The article used in this essay is quantitative research simply because it uses hospital characteristics in the development of its findings.


Reference:

Amarasingham, R., Diener-West, M., Plantinga, L., Cunningham, A. C., Gaskin, D. J., & Powe, N. R. (2008). Hospital characteristics associated with highly automated and usable clinical information systems in Texas, United States. BMC Medical Informatics & Decision Making, 8(1), 1-11. Doi:10.1186/1472-6947-8-39


Tuesday, 18 February 2014 06:58

Environmental Impact of Colonialism

Environmental Impact of Colonialism


            A number of studies across southern and central Mayans Lowlands have developed records of land degradation. The land degradation mostly talked about is the soil erosion that occurred during the Mayans period before it collapsed. The thin soils found in the southern Mayans Lowlands are as a result of soil erosion and sedimentation. Some of these events attributed to the collapse of Mayans in AD 900. The proposition of soil erosion did not consider that Mayans’ limestone bedrock could have weathered naturally in the tropical climate and leave the thin residual soils behind. The hypothesis of severe ancient Mayans soil erosion, deforestation and land degradation evolved into sound resource management by a complex civilization living in a hostile environment to the region. Initially people in this region caused little environmental alteration which later changed to be a major impact in the society, (J. Lohse, et al 2006).


            The aspect of land degradation triggered by pioneer forest and agriculture clearance in the region was pervasive. This situation affected the productivity of the region because the soil erosion left a thin soil that could not support growth or the development of human agriculture activities. According to some studies, the high levels of soil erosions experienced in the area were as a result of land use situations such as deforestation. Land clearance has been one of the major factors that contributed to soil erosion in this region and not the long term land use practices. Human impacts on the land have posed a great threat on the issue of soil because it has affected the value of the soil in the region, (J. Lohse, et al 2006).


Work Cited

J. Lohse, et al. "Impacts Of The Ancient Mayans On Soils And Soil Erosion In The Central Mayans Lowlands." Catena 65.2 (2006): 166-178. Academic Search Premier. Web. 12 July 2013.


Published in Social Sciences

Influence Of Resources On The Application And Implementation Of CRM In Small And Medium Sized Businesses, In America.


Introduction

The need to have a credible customer relation has increased as the level of competition among corporate, businesses and organizations increases. As a result, customer relationship management (CRM) has emerged to solve the challenges facing customer relation. According to Goodhue et al (2002) and Mckim (2002), the aim of implementing customer relationship management is to create, develop and enhance personal and valuable relationship with customers, by providing personalized and customized goods and services.  The process involves integration of different aspects of production such as people, technology and business processes and procedures that satisfy the needs of the customer.


The number of customer relation management implementations has increased steadily in the past years. However, few studies have been dedicated assessing issues linked with the implementation of the concept. Small and medium-sized (SMEs) forms an integral part of the American economy.  Despite the fact that these organizations have adopted and implemented CRMs, they continue to lag behind compared to large corporate and organizations.  Several factors influence the adoption and implementation of CRMs. Cost effectiveness and availability of resources have been identified as some of the factors.


An overview of customer relationship management.

According to MCkie (2000), CRM is a highly fragmented field that has been assigned different meanings by different people. Levine (2000) defines CRM as the utilization of customer related information nad knowledge to deliver relevant products and services to the customers.  Despite this definition being narrow, it offers insight into the basic characteristics of CRM.  Richer definitions of CRM are emerging as the concept continues to mature and evolve.  This new definitions are emphasizing on the goals, logistics and complex nature of CRM. In 2001, Light stated that CRM evolved from business processes such as relationship marketing and increased need to retain customer through effective management of customer relationships. The core of relationship is the retention of customer to influence the profitability of an organization. According to Payne et al (1999) and Reichheld (1996). Firms can increase their profitability through effective retention of customers. The connection between relationship marketing and CRM has gained a lot of scholarly interest.  In 2000, Newell explored the strategic method for maintaining and retaining customers.  


Sandroe et al (2001) offers a technological perspective of CRM.  He states that the advancement of database technology such as data warehousing and data mining, are vital in the effectiveness and functionality of CRM.

In most cases, implementation of CRM involves business process change and introduction of new information technology. According to Girishankar, adoption and the implementation of the system require a holistic approach.  The holistic approach ensures all the processes of a business have be focused on customer orientation. The approach also helps an organization to coordinate and maintain effective customer contact points.  Many organizations outsource a significant portion of their CRM solution due to lack of the necessary resources to develop their own resources.


Implementation of CRMs in SMEs.

Many SMEs have implemented customer relationship management to increase they competitiveness. However, there are mixed results on the success of adoption of CRMs among SMEs. Several factors have been shown to affect the implementation of CRM. Some of these factors include technical, organizational and data quality factors (Alshawi, Missi & Irani, 2011). According to Rammaseshan & Peng (2010), the implementation of CRMs in SMEs is affected by six main factors that include relative advantage, cost effectiveness, government support, information technology, top management support and competitive pressure.  


Hypothesis

Small and medium-sized businesses are crucial components of America economy. However, majority of them struggle to adopt marketing strategies that are theoretically prescribed for large organizations and businesses. According to Harrigan & Ramsey (2010), most SMEs perform marketing through an intrinsic customer relation.  Cost effectiveness has been shown as one of the factors that affect adoption of CRM among SMEs. However, little effort has been dedicated on assessing how availability of resources affects the adoption of CRMs among SMEs. Implementation of CRM requires proper planning and utilization of resources.  Most small and medium size organizations and businesses operate with small resources base that may hamper their implementation of CRM.  Financial constraints affects the adoption, implementation and the success of CRM in SMEs. This is because the process requires acquisition of modern technology and, in most cases, hiring of professionals to manage the change. This process requires a lot of resources to ensure the strategy is implemented successfully. This paper seeks to explore how resource availability influences the adoption and utilization of CRMs.  Findings from the study will assist in the development of CRMs that are responsive to the financial position of SMEs.


Method

The research will utilize exploratory outlook.  First, the researcher will identify cases where CRM has been implemented in SMEs. Secondly, the researcher will conduct an analysis of the different challenges that face the implementation of CRM in these businesses.  The research will adopt a case study model in order to collect enough and rich data that can result to an inductive process the build theoretical concepts.  The case study will be concerned with the challenges that American businesses have faced in the application and implementation of CRM.  The organizations that have implemented the strategy will be included in the study.


Data collection

Several sources of data will be used in the case study. They include interviews with administrators of CRM in the different organizations, review of documents and direct observations.  The researcher will also analyze the scholarly work that has been documented concerning the challenges facing implementation of CRM in small and medium sized businesses and organizations.   A meta-analysis will be conducted from the literature review on the documented scholarly work.  The analysis is expected to provide a detailed analysis of the previous work that has been done on small and medium size businesses in USA. The responses from interviewees will be analyzed to form common themes and challenges facing the implementation of CRM in small and medium size businesses, in the United States.


References

Aldel B. Cheffi W & Prasanat K. (2010). Managing customer relationship management projects. The case of a large French telecommunication company.  International journal of project management. Vol. 28; Pg 339-351.

Alshawi S., Missi F. & Irani Z. (2011). Organizational, technical and data quality factors in CRM adoption-SMEs perspective. Industrial marketing management. Vol. 40, issue 3; Pg 376-383.

 Girishankar, S. (2000). "Companies Want CRM Tools to Manage Business Relationships." Information Week.

Harrigan P., Ramsey E. & Ibbotson P. (2010). Critical factors underpinning the e-CRM activities of SMEs. Journal of marketing management. Vol. 27, Issue 5-6.

Levine, S. (2000). "The Rise of CRM." America's Network, Vol. 104, issue 6; Pg34.

Payne, A et al (2000). Relationship Marketing for Competitive Advantage. Butterworth Heinemann, Oxford, 1999.

Ramasesahn B. & Peng K (2010). Factors influencing implementation of CRM technology among small and medium sized organizations. Retrieved from http://anzmac.org/ on 8/7/2013.

Sandoe et al (2001). Enterprise Integration.  John Wiley and Sons, Inc.  New York, USA.


Published in Management
Monday, 10 February 2014 14:18

New York Health Insurance Exchange

New York Health Insurance Exchange


The federal affordable care act requires states to operate health insurance exchange by 2014.  Insurance exchange us a form of organized market that will help will citizens to shop and enroll for health insurance from private health care providers.  The program is expected to provide affordable health insurance to more than 23 million people.  The federal affordable care act establish the option for states: states can formulate their exchange or adopt the federal exchange.


New York has established a health insurance exchange referred to as the New York health benefit exchange.  The exchange was established following the directive of the state governor on April 2012.  Following the executive order 42, a declaration letter was drafted and submitted to the centers for Medicare and Medicaid.  On December 14, 2012, New York received conditional approval for the application of the exchange program.   New York health benefit exchange will start receiving open enrollment from October 2013 and the coverage will begin on January 1, 2014. The exchange has provision for the establishment of five regional advisory committees to offer advice and counsel on the implementation of the exchange.  They committees have regional and professional balance.  This makes New York one of the states that are within the federal act requirement for the submission of blueprint application.


New York health benefit insurance will play a crucial role in increasing the number of New Yorkers covered by health insurance.  The exchange provides a flexible choice where individual will compare benefits of each policy they intend to buy.  It incorporates the private sector increasing its competitiveness.   The private providers will be free to offer competitive policies to attract customers.  This will benefit consumers of the policy and possibly lower the cost of the policy.


The insurance provides cover for individuals with pre-existing conditions under the New York bridge plan. This will ensure applicant with pre-existing conditions are not discriminated or charged unfairly.   It is estimated that the new insurance cover will increase the number of New York citizens covered with health insurance especially among the elderly and the poor.  The intent of the exchange is to help residents who are not eligible for Medicare and Medicaid buy insurance covers from private care providers.


The exchange will be open to small businesses and individuals. This is likely to increase the affordability of the insurance. Private individuals will have access to tax credits to help them purchase the exchange.  Applicants will be free to assess whether they are eligible for free or subsidize health insurance cost.  The program also allows small businesses with 50 or less employees to provide health insurance cover to staffs.  These businesses may be entitled for tax credits for staff covers purchased through the exchange.  


The state provides an online calculator that will allow potential applicant to calculate the cost of their policy before they apply. This will increase transparency and remove the ambiguities associated with Medicare and Medicaid.  The insurance bought by an individual citizen will depend on his or her income.  However, under the federal act, there certain standards that all the vendors of the service have to meet. This ensures buyers of the insurance get the basic coverage. 


References

Health insurance exchange. Retrieved from http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-health-insurance-exchange.php on 24/6/2013

New York health benefit exchange. Retrieved from http://www.healthbenefitexchange.ny.gov/resources on 24/6/2013.


Published in Education

Contribution of Individual Performance Management to the Performance of the Organization


Introduction

Many organizations today are putting much focus and effort on ways of enabling their workforce is effective and efficient. Organizations all round the globe has established programs and structures that help employees boost their performance and to perform in their best level. These organizations align the programs and structures with the goals and objectives of the organization. This effort has now come to be known as Performance Management. Organizations have generated the system of evaluating and appraising employee’s performance as a means of measuring and gauging productivity in operations and situations that are work related.


This paper evaluates the contribution of the management of individual performance to the overall performance of the whole organization. The paper will present in-depth examination of factors impacting on Individual performance and the overall importance of the organization to have a robust system for performance management system. This is through the various approaches of performance management, cultural diversity and performance techniques and tools, issue on compensation and reward and finally the performance measurements and appraisal.



  1. Approach performance management

Considering the approaches to performance management involve a discussion of inherent key issues and processes and how they impact the organization. Examining these processes and approaches indicate the main reason that the organization has chosen a specific approach in its performance management system. The main reason for adopting a given approach is to improve organizational and individual performance.



  1. High performance work system

Performance in organizations enables organizations to attain organizational performance at a high level. This is because of the firm’s ability to manage the employees (Armstrong and Baron, 2004). High targets of performance are achieved via the effectiveness of the required skills and knowledge in applying the effort needed in work and having the appropriate behavior. Organizations that utilize the High performance work systems (HPWS) have adopted the modern day approach related to scientific/ mass production management. The use of HPWS approach leads to the greatest potential of a company to attain and sustain its competitive advantage. This is because the organizations use this highly distinctive managerial approach that enables people attains high performance.


The key dimensions of HPWS according to Jefferet Pfeffer are; 1.) Selective means of hiring new employees 2.) Decentralized decision making by self-managed teams 3.) Employment security 4.) Extensive training, 5.) High Compensation contingent for organizational; performance, 6.) reduce barriers and status distinctions and 7.) Extensive sharing of performance and financial information all through the organization. HPWS is mainly concerned with the empowerment, involvements and commitment of employees in the organization and not controlling them.



  1. management by objectives

Management by Objectives is an approach where the subordinate managers write to their superiors about performance goals in the future and their steps and plans for achieving these goals. Management by Objectives presents an extensive and in-depth process of management. The approach is helpful in performance management for it enables organizations to examine whether employees outcomes and work are consistent with the set goals and objectives. The approach specifies the outcomes and work that will guarantee the firm of its success in the implementation of business strategies (Noe et al.2000).


Performance management process through the objective approach presents employees with the groundwork layout of excellence. It aligns the individual objectives of employees with the overall organization’s strategic mission and plan. It sets out a clear concept of employee’s contribution to the attainment of businesses objectives. the set performance expectations and goals determine the behaviours, actions and results of employees.


c. Human performance technology system

The technology used in the workplace determine if performance management practices are conducted by a group of employees or individually., in case technology is designed for work carried out by an individual, performance appraisal, goal setting, jobs and reward system will focus on the work behaviours of an individual. Similarly, if technology is designed in a way that is highly interdependent for groups, the performance management will focus on the group behaviours.


The level of employee involvement in an organization determines the nature and practices of management practices. Organizations operating under high bureaucratic levels suffer from low participation level among employees. In such organizations, it is essential to formalize and administer rewards systems, goal setting and performance appraisal by staff personnel and the management staff. Organization with high-involvement, on the other hand, requires heavy participation in performance management. This involves both the employees and the management staff setting appraisal, rewards and goals on performance. In high involvement organizations, employees in all stages of performance management are participating and are involved in administering and designing practices.



  1. Performance tools and techniques and culture diversity

Organizational success is achieved via an integrated and strategic approach aiming to improve performances among individuals and teams through developing their capabilities (Armstrong and Baron, 2005). Despite the fact that organizations have been driven by competitive pressures to ensure performance management, firms have used performance management as a means of driving and supporting culture change. It further place importance on self- development and individual performance (Fletcher and Perry, 2001). This means that in setting goals for performance management at an individual level, it is essential to acknowledge the issue of cultural diversity. The culture of an individual does impact on the appraisal process.


Shih et al (2005) indicates that the context affects operations at an international, national and at the organizational level. Therefore, the culture of a nation is a vital variable that impacts on the establishment of performance management. Understanding cultural diversity l will help in the selection of the right tools and approaches for performance measurement. Managers will identify the aspects that need to be measured since they are aware that they at a point of diversity. The managers are responsible for ensuring that employees work well in a diverse environment. A tool to assist employees is the Cultural Adaptability Program that will help employees enhances their skills in motivating others management of cross-cultural teams and communication.


Performance management is a driver of the cultural environment and involves ensuring that performance management systems and career planning in the organization facilitate harmonious and inclusive workplace (Hofsede, 2001). This can, for example, involve establishing objective and fair management system. This includes the incorporation of measurable standards for evaluating job performance.


Ensuring that opportunities for posting, training and assignments are accessible to all employees based on objective criteria. Last is that the promotion process should be related to job requirements. Organizations should take into account the ability of employees to work and manage diverse teams.


Another vital tool to ensure a harmonious and inclusive environment in the workplace is facilitating beneficial interaction and understanding among colleagues with different profiles. Some of the practices which organizations can incorporate to ensure a harmonious and inclusive workplace culture are as follows;

1.) workplace designs; the workplace has to support the interaction among employees.

2.) workplace activities; it is essential to organize informal and formal activities to encourage the interaction of employees of different departments and profiles

3.) employee networks: this is through employee mentorship and group’s programs as a support system for advising and helping employees.

4.) Buddy system this system will help new employees to settle into the firm. the program will guide them.


For an organization to address the issues of diversity, it has to consider the question on what practices, policies and ways of thinking and organizational culture different from other b other groups. There is a need for the organization to undertake the necessary changes so as to meet the diverse workforce needs and further maximize each worker’s potential. Cultural diversity in the workplace can be dealt with when every person acknowledges that people have differences according to their culture, generation and physical aspects. The employees should also recognize that each person has his or her own knowledge that is useful to the organization.


Last is the assessment of employees is also a tool to measure the preparedness of an employee to embrace diversity. This involves examining the employee’s attitudes and how they cope with others. It will be possible to find out the issues that might hinder them from interacting with other employees.



  1. Rewards and compensation

The reward system involves all the mechanisms used to distribute and determine the tangible and intangible returns as a result of employment relationships. The tangible returns such as compensation can be in the form of benefits or cash compensation. The intangible returns include employment security, status and recognition, learning opportunities and challenging work. Not all these returns have a relation with performance management systems since not all theses returns are attributed to performance management. This is because all return types as are given on the basis of past performance (Schraeder, 2007).


Performance management systems are meant for different purposes. The first function is the strategic purpose thank link the activities of employees with the goals and mission of the organization. The performance management systems ensure to maximize the extent that employees display the intended behaviours and wanted results. The performance management systems also serve as the administrative purpose for they lead to the production of information needed in HR decision-making and in the reward system such as disciplinary action, termination and promotion (Rummler and Brache, 1995).


Generally the performance management systems are a vital factor for determining if an organization is capable of managing its talent and resources effectively. Performance management gives information on the person to be trained and the specific areas of training. It also shows the employees deserving rewards and the type of skill that is lacking at a unit or organizational level.


A review of the employee’s performance can be done after six months or within an interval of three months. It is appropriate and convenient that completion of appraisal coincide with the rewards after the period that an employee receives information about his or her performance. These rewards will motivate and encourage good performance in the firm.


Rewards, recognition, and compensation are the key drivers to improve performances of employees. Recognition and reward are mainly used by organizations to influence predominance and behavior of employees. A reward and compensation system cannot be well implemented up to when there is a sound process of performance management that is perceived by all employees as being equitable and fair (Redman and Wilkinson, 2009).


Most forms give rewards to employees in the form of bonuses and other different types of compensations. This is with the firm’s expectation of enhancing performance. In order for the organization to achieve its intended goal, it is essential that it provides compensations and reward in a timely way and close to the time of the occurrence of desired behavior. The common perception that people have on rewards is that they are mostly in monetary forms. On the contrary, non-monetary recognition is a valuable tool that can be used to influence the behavior of employees. Recognition can be simple such as complementing an employee for his or her noteworthy performance. It is entail for firms to select rewards perceived to be valuable to an employee (Schreader & Jordan, 2011).


Cummings and Worley (2009, p 435) indicate that the reward systems play a vital role in the design of an organization. The authors also indicate that the rewards system has to be effective by being aligned with employee involvement, structure and strategy of work. They show that the main features of a rewards system involve group vs. individual reward, performance based versus job/person based, there is the external and internal equity, security, and rewards mix, centralization, hierarchy and seniority, the external and internal equity of a reward meant that when the reward is compared to other organizations are similar (Jansen, 2009).


The reward and compensation system enable an employee to work and be motivated in the attainment of the desired goals. They will trust the system by believing that their effort and hard work will be compensated and rewarded. The value expectancy model according to Cummings and Worley (2009, p436) is the availability of rewards and timely provision of the rewards. the model shows that reward has to be related with the goal; meaning that an employee is rewarded after accomplishing a certain goal. Conversely, the reward is decreased when an employee does not achieve the desired goal. the value expectancy model also shows that compensation and rewards should last for a long time and has to be visible for all to see and other employee knows that the reward is available (Lawler, 2000).


The rewards can also be in the form of job title, authority and promotions. Research evidence indicate that the participation of employee in the administration and designing of rewards leads to increased understanding among employees and have a sense of commitment and control ( Cummings & Worley, 2009, p 445). The reward system has to feature job/ person based or the performance based.


Heneman, Fisher and Dixon (2001) show that a reward system should have value comparisons, analysis of unit, reward levels, reward measures, reward forms, communication, timing and administrative level. the two main forms of reward are the monetary and non monetary (Heneman, Fisher, & Dixon, 2001). The monetary forms include the cash value in the form of pay increase, base pay, stock options, bonus pay and benefits. The nonmonetary is the less traditional types, such as training, psychological aspects of work and recognition.


Unit analysis according to (Heneman, Fisher, & Dixon, 2001) involves the allocation of rewards on the basis of the responsibilities and duties of employees or according to their qualifications. Reward measure is an evaluation an employee performance before giving him or her reward. Finally reward level shows the allocation of a reward on the basis of unit performance, group performance, or individual performance (Mullins 2005).



  1. Performance appraisals and measurements

Companies use performance measurements and appraisal for various reasons. Performance appraisal is used by an organization so as to communicate the weakness and strengths of an employee. It highlights the areas for continual development as well as areas in need of improvement. The practice gives the employee an opportunity to discuss vital issues and areas of concern with the manager. The performance appraisal system is, therefore, a vital tool for effective communication for it facilitates dialogue between an employee and manager. Performance appraisal is also used to determine the type and amount of compensation and reward to be received by an employee within a certain period of working (Moorhead & Griffin 2007).


Performance appraisal is usually done once in a year. It involves serious scrutiny of key elements and further poses a challenge in holding open talks between the employee and manager. The long duration taken for performance appraisals further poses the challenge of recalling the performance in various areas during the entire year. Therefore employee appraisals are normally conducted using the most recent performance before appraisal (Armstrong, 2000). An effective means of evaluating work performance of an employee is carrying out multiple progress appraisals during the calendar year.


Professionals have, in fact, agreed that performance discussions have to be conducted frequently. The frequent performance appraisals present motivational and positive purposes through enhancing and allowing dialogue to take place between and employee and manager. This, therefore, leads to the establishment of trust and further ensuring that performance is as per the organizational goals. The continual appraisals on performance are effective in continual assessment of performance more than the ones conducted ones in a year. This leads to the establishment of trust for managers have the ability to review performance in a fair and accurate manner (Guest, 1987).


The managers should beware of errors and their own biases in carrying out appraisals. Lack of preparedness is a contributing factor that hinders fairs and trustworthy performance appraisal. When the manager lacks the means and clue of conducting appraisal, his judgment is likely to be biased and subjective. Milkovich and Newman (2008, p 333) present a list of errors that can occur during the appraisal process. These are;

1. Horn Errors, which occur when the appraisals rates an employee poorly in all performance areas because of a mistake that occurred in one area.

2. Halo error ; Halo error occur when the manager offers favorable rating of an employee's job performances because of good performance in a single area.

3. First impression error. This is an error that occurs when the appraiser develops positive or negative opinions towards the employee even before conducting the interview.

4. Leniency error ; occurs when the employee is rated higher than he deserves by the appraiser.

5. Recency error; is the opposite of the first impression error. This error occurs when the appraiser does not use performance from the very beginning of the review process. This leads to positive or negative conclusions that are not guided by performance.

6. Severity error ; occurs when an employee is rated lower than he deserves.

7. Clone error happens when the appraiser rates an employee favorably as a result of his or her personality and behavior and not the real performance of the employee.

8. Central tendency error; the error occurs when the appraisals fails to use individual ratings on the rate and extremes of his or her performance as being at average.


The appraisers have to be aware of these errors. They further need training that will help them avoid and recognize the various types of errors. Giving employee’s fair and accurate performance appraisal is essential so as to determine whether the employee’s goals are aligned to the objectives and goals of the organization. Having an effective Performance System is essential to deal with challenges arising from performance appraisal errors. the effectiveness of this system is determined by incorporating a section that discusses the acceptance level of an individual to make the necessary changes so as to improve performance.


The system will also enable employees to express their concerns about the changes to be made. Therefore, the appraisal process provides an opportune time for the appraiser to provide employees with the in-depth reasons he suggested changes to be made so as to improve performance. the process is also a time to inform the employee on the need to be committed to changes especially if a person has negative feelings about the changes required. The performance approval is further the best time to explain to an employee on white he or she heard, understood and will place into consideration the areas to be changes. the appraiser will further inform the individual on the need to follow the directive given by the higher managers on the need to abide by the change process (Druckers 1954).


Performance appraisal can be web based so that they consume less time. the web-based process further has the advantage of accuracy since the managers will experience a less daunting process. the web –based appraisal further helps to combine all the necessary information without overlooking others (Boselie, Dietz, and Boon 2005).


Conclusion

Performance Management system that is effective include approaches, goals and practices for setting goals, issuing a reward set and performance appraisal. This paper has shown how individual performance management does impact on the overall performance of the organization. Having an effective Performance Management System enables easy setting of goals, performance appraisal and rewards. These aspects have to align so as to give the organization the ability attract and retain qualified employees. Organizations should ensure that it follows the guidelines of performance appraisals, rewards, and goals so as to minimize errors and issues within the organization. Frequent and consistent performance management review will help to ensure that individual goals of employees are aligned to overall goals of the organization. An effective system for Performance management will ensure information is given and fair awarding. Therefore, it is possible to achieve a successful workplace for all people.



Reference

 Armstrong M (2000) The Name Has Changed But Has The Game Remained The Same? Employee Relations 22(6):576-593

 Armstrong M And Baron A (2004) Managing Performance: Performance Management In Action. London Cipd (Chartered Institute Of Personal And Development)

Boselie P Dietz G And Boon (2005) Commonalities And Contradiction In Research On Human Resources Management And Performance Human Resources Management Journal 15(3):67-94

Druckers P.F (1954) The Practices Of Management New York Harped And Row Publishers

Guest D.E (1987) Human Resources Management And Industrial Relations Journal Of Management Studies 24(5):503-521

 Hofsede G (2001) Culture Consequences Comparing Values Behaviours Institutions And Organization Across Nations 2nd Edition London Thousand Oaks Sage

Jansen E. P Et Al (2009) National Differences In Incentive Compensation Practices: The Differing Roles Of Financial Performance Management In The United States And Netherlands Accounting Organization And Society 34(1) 58-84

Lawler .E.E (2000) Rewarding Excellence: Play Strategies For The Economy San Francisco: Mosey Bass Chichester Wiley

.Moorhead And Griffin (2007) Organizational Behavior: Managing People And Organization 9th Den Boston Western

.Mullins L.J (2005) Management And Organizational Behavior 7th Den Harlow New York: Prentice Hall/ Financial Times

Redman And Wilkinson (2009) Contemporary Human Resources Management: Text And Cases 3rd Edn Harlow

.Rummler And Brache (1995) Improving Performance : How To Manage The White Space On The Organization Chart 2nd Edn San Francisco Joss-Bass

Schraeder Et Al (2007) A Critical Examination Of Performance Appraisals : An Organization Friends Or Foe Journal For Quality And Participation 30(1) 20-25

Tyson S (2206) Essential Of Human Resources Management 5th Edn Oxford Butter Worth- Heinemann

Cummings, T.G., & Worley, C.G. (2009). Organization Development & Change (9th Ed.)

Mason, OH: South-Western.

Heneman, R. L., Fisher, M. M., & Dixon, K. E. (2001, November). Reward And Organizational Systems Alignment: An Expert System. Compensation And Benefits Review, 33(6), 18-29. Retrieved April 9, 2011, From ABI/INFORM Global.

Milkovich, G. T. & Newman, J. M. (2008). Compensation, (9th Ed.). New York : Mcgraw-Hill/Irwin


Published in Management
Monday, 10 February 2014 13:59

Pediatric Influenza

Pediatric Influenza


Pediatric influenza is an insightful article by Anna Bramley, Joseph Bresee and Lyn Finelli. The article analyzes pediatric influenza and its prevalence in USA. Influenza is a particularly common condition that affects children more often than adults. An adult can acquire influenza at least three times a year, whereas a child can get infected ten to twelve times in a year. The severity of influenza infection also differs in adults and children (Bramsley & Finelli, 2009). An influenza infection in an adult can last up to seven days whereas a child with influenza can battle with the condition for three weeks. The prevalence of influenza among individuals is associated with the tendency to confuse the ailments with the common cold. Influenza and cold have almost similar symptoms. Influenza in children can cause high fever, chills, respiratory distress, coughing, and tiredness.


Bramsley & Finelli (2009) indicates that influenza infections in children have seen a rise in hospital visits, hospitalization of children and the death of some children. There are three different types of influenza. Type-A influenza is a viral infection that affects human beings, as well as animals. Sub-types of influenza-A include H1N1 and H3N2. Type B influenza is related to genetic lineage of individuals and does not have subtypes. Unlike Type-A, type B influenza is less severe and does not result to a pandemic. Type C influenza is less predominant and lead to epidemics. The most common forms of influenza are thus Type-A and B are most common.


According to Bramsley & Finelli (2009) influenza in children should not be ignored as it can result to a severe form of infection such as pneumonia. There is the need for populations to seek preventive measures so as to avert the adverse effects of the ailments.  Vaccination is one of the most preventive measures that ensure that children are not adversely affected by influenza. Influenza vaccinations are available for children aged 6 months to 18 years.  Currently, there is no influenza vaccine suitable for children below 6 months hence vaccination is not recommended. There are also basic hygienic practices that are believed to minimize the spread of influenza virus (Bramsley & Finelli, 2009). Hand washing, for instance, has been found to reduce infection as the virus is weakened by soap and disinfectants. Practices such as covering of the mouth when sneezing also minimizes infection as respiratory droplets from a patient can be passed through sneezing and coughing.


Bramsley & Finelli (2009) also considers antiviral treatment as a reliable mode of treatment of influenza. Antiviral therapy is currently recommended for high risk children with influenza. High-risk children are those children exposed to the virus during vaccination. These children also live in an environment with high influenza activity.  High risk children are also those children whom influenza vaccination is contraindicated.  Some children, for various underlying medical reasons, are not supposed to take influenza vaccines. These are children below 6 months, children with asthma and chronic pulmonary diseases as well as children with immunosuppressive conditions.  Antiviral therapy should be used on infected children regardless of a history of vaccination against the ailment (Bramsley & Finelli, 2009). Children confirmed to have pneumonia as a result of persistent influenza infection should also be considered for antiviral therapy.


There are two classes of antiviral agents that can be used to counter influenza. The first class is the adamantanes which is effective only in the treatment of Type-A influenza.  The treatment of Type-A influenza should be done using adamantanes, and other forms of antiviral such as zanamivir and rimantadine. This claim was made after the emergence of H3N2 in 2006. H3N2 was found to be resistant to adamantanes as the sole treatment therapy. The second category of antiviral is the neuraminidase inhibitors used for the treatment of Type-A and type-B influenza. The use of the antiviral agents with other medications as mentioned results to fast relief from influenza and a reduction of days spent battling the diseases. In children, antiviral therapy is essential as it reduces the duration of the infection, improve lung function and reduce asthma related complications. Studies indicate that the sooner antiviral medication is started on a patient, the sooner the recovery process begins (Bramsley & Finelli, 2009). Neuraminidase has been found to be most effective when administered 48 hours after influenza symptoms are noted.


Anti viral medication such as oseltamivir and zanamivir has been found to be useful in the deterrence of influenza infections in individuals living in environments with high quantities of the influenza virus. Anti viral medication for prevention and treatment of influenza is safe, effective and tolerable. Anti viral medication is, however, used only in high-risk children and not any child suspected to have influenza. Anna Bramley, Joseph Bresee and Lyn Finelli article on pediatric influenza is quite informative, and with the rising incidences of different types of influenza, the article provides readers with detailed information on influenza. The public must be informed, of effective intervention strategies to prevent infections and spreads.


Reference

Bramsley & Finelli (2009). Pediatric Influenza. Pediatric nursing. Vol. 35(6); 335


 

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