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Items filtered by date: February 2014

Rules Prevent Wellness Program Discrimination


To The Editor

I have read about the rules that the Obama administration finally issued on 29th may, 2013 which are designed to help companies that are discriminating the sick. This is a wise approach, but we should also remember that companies are part of the society, and they should be left to come up with their own strategies of corporate wellness programs. The programs in the recent years have gained popularity simply because they are believed to give incentive to the employee for the purpose of improving their health.


Most companies are trying to practice exactly what these rules are saying in order to regulate and prevent employees from unhealthy conditions. This is a way of helping companies cut medical expenses for their employees and improve the working conditions. A good number of businesses are those who are responsible and take care of their employees. Those businesses, which do not mind about their employees, have seen an approach that betters their actions. It is true that firms that were doing this for the right reasons will not be shown.


There is a lot that is required in order effectively apply and work on these rules for the safety of employees in the working environment. Most companies are relying on these programs so as to encourage their employees on how to stay healthier and also encourage them adopt healthier lifestyles that will assist them reduce health cost both at work and at home. It is true that these programs have enabled most companies reduce health cost of employees and have assisted employees improve their health aspects in many ways.


Published in Business Studies

The Government Should Adopt a Gun Control Policy


Introduction

Americans have a culture of guns.  In 2009 about 124 million households owned over 270 million guns. Guns pervade our debates on crime and are constantly present in movies and news. How many times have we read about shootings, or how many times have we heard about tragic gun accidents, bad guys shooting innocent victims, members of warring gangs exchanging fire, police shooting or even shootings in the name of self-defense. Incidences of rogue shooting have increased in the recent past. A case in study is the Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre, which left 20 innocent children dead.  Despite the defeat of Barrack Obama move to institute gun control, it is my strongest convictions that the government and other stakeholders should make up with some regulations to control the use of guns in the country. Background check should be incorporated in gun control measures to ensure arms are in the right hands.


The strongest opposers of gun control are the conservatives, who argue that the right to have arms is laid down in the second amendment of the U.S constitution and as such controlling guns would be an infringement of individual rights.  They also argue that control of guns, whatever their political impacts they have only a marginal effect on firearms violence. There have also been arguments that gun control will not keep firm arms out of the hands of criminals and other high-risk individuals. Lastly, conservatives argue that the widespread gun ownership is one of the best deterrents to and defends against crime (Squires, 2000).


According to Gischler (2004), united state is the only modern democracy that does not impose strict guns control. The country experiences a much higher crime rate than those nations that impose strict gun controls. Therefore adopting gun controls like other democracies will lower the American crime rate.


Let’s explore some of the argument opposing gun control. First, opponents of gun control argue that gun control legislations by the government are aimed at “taking away our guns.” This notion is misguided. None of the current efforts by the government to control gun targets obtaining guns from citizens. The president had proposed the banning of assault weapons, and he did not intend to confiscate assault weapons currently owned by citizens. 


It is a common believe among American citizens that the second amendment is intended to protect them from a tyrannical government.  They believe guns provide a way through which they can rebel against the government.  A thorough evaluation of the second amendment will shed light o these citizens.  The amendment reads “a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the citizenry to keep firearms, shall not be infringed.”  A well regulated militia refers to a group of citizens who assume the role of the military.   The second portion addresses protection of the national interest while the last portion gives the citizens the right to keep arms.   The intent of the amendment was to rally citizens to help the government in times of war or rebellion.  It is also crucial to assess the context in which the amendment was enacted. At the time, the southern were fighting to control slaves. Therefore, the amendment could have served to increase the control of the southerners of slave uprisings.


Opponents of gun control argue that regulating guns will take away guns from the citizens exposing them to armed citizen.  This is a baseless argument and a fallacy. The intent of gun control is to conduct a thorough background check on any individual intending to own a weapon.  Why are people afraid of background check? It is through a background check that the government can identify past offenders, mentally unstable individuals and criminals.  


Another common fallacy about guns is the argument that guns do not kill; it is the people who kill.   True, it is the people who kill, but does that address the key issue?  Guns provide an effective tool of killing.  It facilitates the act of killing. Consider the skills and efforts that one need in order to kill using a gun.   A person requires very minimal effort or even training to use a gun.  The ease of killing using a gun varies with the type of gun. You cannot compare a pistol with an Ak-47 rifle (Shapiro, 2013).


In conclusion, a time for action has come when the American citizens and the government to reflect gun/arms ownership. It is crucial for people to prevent future Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre by effecting gun control. It is imperative for citizens to realize that gun control does not mean confiscating guns from citizens, and it does not infringe their rights.  The idea behind gun control is to ensure arms are in the right hands.  This can only be achieved through thorough background check that is conducted within the law and expeditiously.


References

Katrin Gischler (2004). Why has gun control become such a contentious issue in American politics? Auflage Publishers. New York, USA.

Robert Shapiro (2013). Main arguments against gun control lacks logic.  Retrieved from http://heraldnews.suntimes.com on 8/6/2013

Peter Squires (2013). Gun culture or gun control? Firearms, violence and society.  Routledge, New York USA.


 

Published in History
Monday, 10 February 2014 07:00

Gender Inequality

Gender Inequality


 Introduction

            Perhaps, there is no society in the world that treats its women the same way as it does to the men.   That is why in the contemporary society the term gender equality has become an order of the day whereby people all over fight for equal rights. Indeed, gender inequality is deep rooted in the society, and the female gender normally fall victim of it.  This paper observes gender inequality issue by providing relevant data and how this issue affects the society.


 Body

  Gender Inequality as an Issue

            Gender inequality is an issue because it presents unlawful violence against the victims.  This has caused several individuals to lose important opportunities, undergo traumatizing or even fetal conditions.  Therefore, gender inequality not only holds back the growth of an individual, but it adversely affects the evolution of societies and the development of countries, which disadvantage both men and women.  It is a matter that affects human rights and development priorities. Perhaps, other issues that affect human population can never be solved if gender inequality as a problem that affects individual is unsettled. Therefore, gender inequality need to be addressed at all means in order to enhance a balanced society that is effective for development (NCBI, 2012).


In the society where we live, at least there are several incidences whereby individuals experience gender inequality. This is usually a disillusioning event because one is treated unfairly because of the gender. As a girl, I have encountered several situations of gender inequality.  The most devastating situation that I underwent is when I was playing outdoors with my childhood friends from the neighborhood most of whom were boys. There were fewer games that were dominated by girls, and boys played more competitive games than those played by girls.  In fact, if it happened that girls join the boys groups, boys would always play games that lasted long. At times, boys in the neighborhood would even disrupt girls’ game falsely claiming that girls are using their play yards. Taking play-things to the play yard was also a risky event for girls because boys always would get away with them or even spoil them. At some point, I was forced to stay indoors rather than playing in the play yard because of the annoying boys’ behavior towards girls in the neighborhood.


            There are several real-life cases regarding to gender inequality. Sex selection abortion is one of the situations that violate gender rights. Some parents may deliberately abort a fetus having known that it is of the gender that they do not want.  For example, in China, may families opt for boys as opposed to girls. Some countries also pay males more money than women for the same work done despite equal skills that they have.


 Effects of Gender Inequality to the Society

            Gender inequality has enormous adverse effects to the society.  This has been felt in terms of economic development, health, and other aspects of society. When individuals are not given equal rights and are consequently subjected to suffering and despair, the economy of the society will be poor because such alienated individuals might have been skillful and innovative. Health of the society is also affected by gender inequality because members of the society undergo trauma and lack of appropriate services (Academia, 2009).


 

 Conclusion

 Gender Inequality is a situation whereby one gender is favored over the other one.  This is a common event in most of the societies. However, it is not a good idea because it subjects some group of individuals to sufferings, which eventually lead to the general suffering of the society due to poor economic conditions, health, and other factors.  Therefore, gender inequality need to be eliminated by all means in order to enhance development in the society.


References

NCBI, (2012). Gender Inequality as a Global Problem. Retrieved From, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1173418/  On June 6, 2013.

Huff Post, (2013). The Global Problem of Gender Inequality. Retrieved From, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nake-m-kamrany/gender-inequality_b_1417535.html On June 6, 2013.

Academia, (2009). Dimensions of Gender Inequality. Tanzim, J: Author. Retrieved From, http://www.academia.edu/663453/Dimensions_of_gender_inequality_and_Its_impact_on_society  On June 6, 2013.

Discovery, (2013). Gender and Sexuality. Retrieved From, http://dsc.discovery.com/tv shows/curiosity/topics/examples-gender-inequality-around-world.htm  On June 6, 2013. 


Published in Sociology
Monday, 10 February 2014 06:49

Football Hooliganism

Football Hooliganism


Introduction

            All over the world, sports matter. They hold a singular position among leisure time activities and have unparalleled impact on the everyday lives of billions of people. According to Markovits and Rensmann (2010; Pg 124-127), sports shape and stabilize social and even political entities around the globe. Sports have been known to unite nations, warring factions, and even the worst enemies.  The globe has set up international competitions that bring thousands of individuals together. These individuals exchange culture and build bonds between nations. One of such games is soccer. Soccer or football as it is popularly known is the game/sport that has the largest following in the world.  Football in many countries is run and club and international level.


             Soccer and politics are often inseparable because soccer is part of most community life (which in turn is run by local and regional politics). Soccer politics are dynamics that shape the sport of soccer, and can be roughly divided into those aspects internal to soccer authority all over the globe and those external to soccer authorities (Witzig, 2006; 37). Both national and club football are dominated by behind-the scene politics, which affects the operation and management of football. Football has taken political role in different parts of the world.  The relationship between politics and football emanate from some characteristics shared by both politics and football. Politics and football have huge audiences they generate extreme tribalism and ethnicity, and they share huge expectations and involve a lot of rivalry (Rotherman, 2012). Football has been associated with hooliganism of different forms (Guilianotti, 1994).  


The political origin of football can be traced in the mid 1960s.  The period between 1968 and 1970 witnessed the “maturation” of football hooliganism from irregular disturbances into definite social policy area (Jardine, 2011).  Hooliganism gained international attention after various bloody incidences in England. A lot of government and police efforts have been dedicated to reducing the scale of hooliganism in football. However, hooliganism persists to date. According to an online journal published by http://www.politics.co.uk/, England is reputed as the country with the worst for m of football hooliganism. However, according to Cawthorne (2001; Pg 87), football hooliganism is widespread and nowhere has the game spread is not affected by football hooliganism. A good example of football hooliganism occurred in 1984 Manchester united fans confronted Juventus fan during a European cup-winners cup semifinals.


 However, some of the historic football hooliganism include the Burnden park disaster of 1946 which left 33 people dead,  the Heysel Disaster of 1985, which resulted into 39 deaths,  the Orkey disaster in 1991 (42 causalities) and Ellis park stadium disaster of 2001, which resulted into 43 deaths (http://oddculture.com). The worst incidences of football hooliganism were witnessed during 1980s and 1990s. In 1996, over 80 people died in Guatemala disaster (cnn.com), in 1988, approximately a hundred people perished in Katmandu disaster, the Hillsborough disaster of 1989 resulted into 96 deaths and in 2001, over 126 individuals died in the Ghana disaster.


Recent incidences of football hooliganism have been witnessed Egypt, Argentine and Colombia (http://www.dailymail.co.uk). Arguably the most serious contemporary football related disorder still take place in south America,  where mass rioting, often inside stadiums, is a frequent occurrence (as it is in south Sahara Africa). The scale and severity of this violence is such that fatalities are a regular consequence due to the widespread use of guns and knives (Fisher & Steven, 2003; Pg 54). In Argentinean football, violence is endemic. There have been incidents of violence in the US, where soccer is considered a family game (http://soccerlens.com).  In 2008, some thirty West Ham fans took on over a hundred supporters of Columbus Crew in Columbus, Ohio, marring an international friendly. Football hooliganism periodically generates widespread political and public anxiety in numerous European and non-European countries. In spite of efforts and resources invested over the past decades, football hooliganism is still perceived by politicians, policy makers, media and other acts as a disturbing social problem (Spaaj, 2006; 13). Much of these hooliganism acts tend to occur during national and international matches. 


 

            Over the years, football hooliganism has been portrayed in films, though many critics condemn them for glamorizing violence. However, this remains as one of the effective way of communicating to the audience on the vices of football hooliganism. The documentary intends to cover hooliganism incidences in major leagues, in the world.  The target will include the English premier league, Spain la Liga, Germany boundersliga, Italy league, argentine league, Brazil league and American football league.   Due to limitation of resources, the documentary will concentrate major international and national hooliganism incidences that have happened in the past ten years.  


Clips of these incidences will be combined to form one video film that will highlight the evils of hooliganism. The intent of the documentary will be to sensitize individuals who participate in the vice on the negative effects of hooliganism. The film will also insight football organizers who have assumed that football hooliganism has receded due to lack of media highlights.  The documentary will seek to bring into light unseen incidences that take place in clothing tunnels, local pubs and entertainment centers, and off-the-field incidences that have continued to taint the wonderful game of football. Football is one the sporting activities that attracts the highest number of spectators.  It is, therefore, expected that the documentary will not only capture the huge fan base, but it will draw the interest of policy makers and activists who are fighting the vice of football hooliganism.  The film will be based on research done on historic football hooliganism incidences in the world that have been recorded.


Work cited

            Richard Witzig. The global art of soccer. CusiBoy Publishing. L A, USA. 2006; Pg 37

Football and politics: a unique relationship.  Retrieved from http://www.progressonline.org.uk

Markovits A. & Rensmann L. The gaming world. Princeton university press. New Jersey, USA. 2010; Pg 124-127

Giulianotti R., Bonney N and Hepworth Football violence and social identity. Routledge Publishers. London UK. 1994; Pg 361

Luton V millwall cup draw brings back chilling memories from football’s dark days. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk on 4/6/2013.

Ramon Spaaj. (2006; 13)Understanding football hooliganism: a comparison of six western European countries.

History’s top 15 worst soccer disasters. Retrieved from http://oddculture.com on 4/6/2013.

Fisher B. & Steven L. (2010; 121). Encyclopedia of victimology and crime prevention, volume 1. SAGE publications, Inc.

Neil Jones. Football violence & Top 10 worst football riots. Retrieved from http://soccerlens.com on 4/6/2013.

Football Hooliganism. Retrieved from http://www.politics.co.uk on 4/6/2013.

UK 70/80’s football hooligan riots. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=px0wlQhOxNc on 4/6/2013.

Nick Jardine. Bruising, burning and beatings: Europe’s worst soccer hooligans. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com on 4/6/2013.

Http://www.telegraph.co.uk

  1. British football hooligans/casuals. Retrieved from http://www.dailymotion.com/video on 4/6/2013.

Football violence. Retrieved from http://www.mirror.co.uk on 4/6/2013.

Football hooliganism. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/channel/HCBR4cu-8IU2M on 4/6/2013.

Argentine football hooligans’ growing clout. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEzm6twTLSU on 4/6/2013.

The barra bravas: the violent Argentinean gangs controlling football. Retrieved from http://www.guardian.co.uk on 4/6/2013.


Published in Education
Monday, 10 February 2014 06:29

Mac and PC Users

Mac and PC Users


There are different things that bias people on whether to use Mac or PC. One of the factors that could influence users to either use Mac or PC is the processor. Mac uses a more graphic based interface and PC is more text centered. For Mac users, they are influenced by the processor of this product because it tends to offer a powerful video and graphic software like movie editors and photo and the processor are designed to enable the programs to operate smoothly and quickly. The reason as to why the Mac users will prefer using Mac is because PC is usually less geared in these areas (Reynolds, & Elferdink 2000). The interface is also something that tends to influence the preference of a person because Mac users may prefer the aesthetic of Mac where many of the users are not professional video editors or graphic users; hence, these people like the feel and look of Macintosh computers both outside and inside. The price is also a factor that can bias people on their preference to either use PC or Mac.


According to the PC users, they usually claim that Macs are normally too expensive. On the other hand, Mac users do not complain of the price because Apple has been able to introduce some other affordable computers like Mac miniseries and eMac; hence, Mac users do not have to quit, but still maintain their preference for the brand. Another thing that influences Mac user’s preference is that they counter that they get more capabilities and power that when buying a PC of the same price (Reynolds, & Elferdink 2000). The users tend to weight the capabilities, cost, and software of the computer when they are determining the model and brand that will work well for them. Compatibility also biases the preference of Mac and PC users. The reason as to why Mac users are influenced to use Mac is because PC has not made many advances on compatibility (Pogue, 2012).


Most of the computers, which are using windows, cannot open files that are in the diskettes which have been formatted specifically for Mac. However, Mac is running Mac OSX Tiger which is one of the newest versions of the operating system, and it can open PC files, and it is also possible to co-exist in local networks with PCs. Something else that could bias the Mac user’s preference over PCs is the advertisement of Apple on Mac. Apple is having a positive impact on the preference of its users as they have sharp influence on the decision that people make so that to  become  and also remain Mac users.


When designing survey questions, biasness on survey questions can be avoided by ensuring that only the right questions are asked, and asking questions in the correct manner. Failure to do this will result to useless information. In order to avoid biased survey questions, it is necessary to avoid making the survey cumbersome and difficult which will help the respondents in participating to the survey (Jackson, 2010). The questions should be put in the correct order which will result to results that are not biased. Biasness can be avoided by creating questions that are precise, clear, and relatively short. This will help the respondents in interpreting the meaning of the survey questions in the exact way.


Reference

Jackson, S (2010). Research methods Cengage Learning

Pogue, D (2012). Switching to the Mac O’Reilly Media, Inc

Reynolds, D & Elferdink J (2000). Appleworks 6 O’Reilly Media, Inc


Monday, 10 February 2014 06:23

Director of Manufacturing

Director of Manufacturing


 Introduction

Manufacturing is an essential process because, through it, raw materials can be converted into finished goods products.   Finished goods are part of the essential assets of an organization because they generate cash through sales. Manufacturing as a technical process employs machinery and labor force.  In a large manufacturing organization, man-machine setup with division of labor exists in order to effectively enhance large scale production.   However, effective operations of the manufacturing process cannot occur without the director of operations/ Manufacturing. The director of manufacturing an organization, therefore, plays a set of roles that enhance effective production of goods.  This paper, therefore, observe the characteristics of a career as a director of manufacturing.


  Director of manufacturing is one of the executives of a production business organization.   A director of manufacturing, therefore, has enormous duties in an organization, which include coordination of the workers and use of machines in the production process, quality control of the production process, process improvement, and administration (Executives, (2013). 


            The director of manufacturing ensures that machines and workers working in the production department are in the acceptable conditions in order to enhance efficiency in production.   The director of operations, therefore, supervise workers by being attentive of the production process, implements quality control programs so as to ensure that the finished products meet the acceptable standards, analyze the production process for efficiency to enhance improved output, and make an update of the costs of labor, raw materials, and equipment to the leaders of the organization, thereby performing an administrative function (eHow, 2013). 


            An effective director of manufacturing needs to possess both technical and functional skills.   The abilities of concern in this career include effective communication, understanding, quick identification of situations, and problem solvability.  A director of operations must be interest in enterprising and conventional occupations, and conversant with the certification requirements and programs.  The appropriate educational requirements, therefore, must be a degree in the line relevant with the production together with graduate studies in administration.  Training and experience are also important factors to consider.


References

Role of Operations Manager. Retrieved From, http://www.executivesontheweb.com/manufacturing-director-jobs On June 22, 2013.

eHow, (2013). Duties of Manufacturing Manager. Retrieved From, http://www.ehow.com/list_7544212_duties-manufacturing-manager.html On June 22, 2013.

Jobs, (2012). Career Guide for Industrial Manager. Retrieved From, http://jobs.virginia.gov/careerguides/IndustrialProMgr.htm On June 22, 2013.


Published in Business Studies

Ways in Which Microsoft Office Applications are used to Support Paralegal Environment


 Introduction

  Being the most widely used software in the world because of its numerous and excellent software programs, Microsoft Word office has gained use in various working environments.    Various professionals, therefore, use Microsoft office programs that include Word, Excel, and Power Point for accomplishing various professional tasks.    Paralegal is one of the professional fields that have embraced the use of Microsoft office programs.  Such programs have highly assisted paralegals to effectively run their professional tasks. This paper, therefore, observes how the skills in Microsoft Office Applications such as Microsoft Word, Power Point, and Excel support paralegal work environment.


 Discussion

             Perhaps, Microsoft office Applications such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel are used by individuals to accomplish many functions. They are used at home, in school, and more so at work.    Microsoft office applications have gained use in nearly all the professions since they efficiently accomplish several professional tasks.   Therefore, Paralegals have also found convenience in using the Microsoft office programs.


            According to American Bar Association (2013), it is essential for the paralegals in the modern world to have strong computer skills.  In fact, well trained paralegals must possess excellent word processing skills in order to format a variety of documents that they handle as they keep track of their attorneys records.  Microsoft word, for instance, is applied by paralegals to edit clients’ cases and record relevant information.  Therefore, gaining excellent skills in Microsoft word is important.


 Power Point presentations also help lawyers to present court cases because the information of such cases can be effectively displayed on slides presentation.   Therefore, paralegals as assistance of lawyers should always have skills on how to prepare good presentations on screens in order to assist lawyers in presentation of their cases (Courtechforum, 2012).   Additionally Microsoft excel is a useful application that assist paralegals keep data such as clients’ contact address and the other  information that need to be placed in a systematic order (eHow, 2013).


 Conclusion

Microsoft office software is a powerful tool in the paralegal profession, and other professional fields.  In the paralegal fields, Microsoft software is used to edit clients’ cases and record relevant information, present court cases, and keep systematic data.  Therefore, paralegals and other professionals need to have skills in Microsoft Office Applications.


References

American Bar Association, (2013). What Paralegal Do. Retrieved From, http://apps.americanbar.org/buslaw/blt/2007-01-02/orlinsky.shtml  On June 14, 2013.

Courtechforum, 2012). Why Attorneys Need Power Point. Retrieved from, http://www.courtechforum.com/2012/06/11/why-attorneys-as-well-as-paralegals-need-power-point/ On June 14, 2013.

eHow, (2013). Paralegal. Retrieved  From, http://www.ehow.com/about_6122366_need-order-become-paralegal-secretary.html  On June 14, 2013.


Published in Social Sciences
Monday, 10 February 2014 06:05

Organization Diagnosis Theory and Model

Organization Diagnosis Theory and Model


Janicijevic N. (2010). Business Processes in Organizational Diagnosis. Management Journal. 15 (2): 85- 106

This article promotes a process focused approach in organizational diagnosis. The article suggests that managers need to include business processes into the diagnostic models that are used to manage organizational change. The author notes the role of organizational diagnosis in assisting firms to manage change. The diagnostic process helps the organization to understand the causes of change and the content of the change. The author holds the view that the diagnostic models must be based on the business process in order for the organization to have an effective diagnosis. The article goes further to point out business processes components that need to be considered when developing an organizational diagnosis model.  The article divides business processes into three broad classes; back processes, middle and front processes. The article also explains action plans that may be used to improve the processes.

Hamid R. et al (2011). The Analysis of Organizational Diagnosis based on Six Box Model. Higher Education Studies. 1 (1): 84- 92


This article describes the use of the six box model in conducting organizational diagnosis in a university. This article describes organizational diagnosis as a process that uses different patterns to understand organizational problems with the aim of effecting necessary modifications. This process requires the use of systematic approaches in understanding organizational problems. One of these approaches is the six box model. The six box model examines six vital elements within an organization; rewards, structure, purposes, relationships, leadership and helpful mechanism. The article creates a better understanding of this model by describing its application in a university context.

Singleton L. Anderson D. Humphrey J. Taneja S. & Pryor M. (2008). Challenges Facing Change Management Theories and Research. Delhi Business Review. 9 (1): 1-20


This article explains a number of change management models and research and addresses the challenges facing researchers and organizational researchers in implementing these models. The authors note that the relevancy of the change management theory and research in the modern business environment has been questioned. The authors hold the view that change management models are still worth and relevant. However, the complexity of the modern business environment has introduced challenges in the implementation of change management models and research. The article examines a number of models including the action research model, Lewin Three-step model, Kotter’s Strategic Eight-Step model, and Jinks Ten-Step model. The modern business environment is characterized by multiple and simultaneous changes, changes occurring at increased speed and complex changes. The article makes recommendations on how leaders and researchers can overcome these challenges during the implementation of change management models.

Bushe G. & Marshak R. (2010). Revisioning Organization Development. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. 45 (3): 348- 368


This article examines contemporary forms of organizational development practice and compares the original forms of organizational development. The authors have noted that contemporary practices in organization development do not adhere to the prescriptions and assumptions created by the founders of the concept of organizational development. The article argues that the original concept of organizational development had a positivist perspective. This original concept of organization development assumed the existence of discernable and objective reality. Contemporary forms of organizational development take a constructivist perspective when addressing organization issues. This contemporary form of OD assumes that social organizations are open to multiple realities. This article helps readers to understand the origin of the concept of organizational diagnosis, and how this concept has evolved over the years.

Hassin A. (2009) Effective Diagnosis in Organization Change Management. Journal of Business Systems, Governance and Ethics. 5 (2): 23- 28


This article explains how an organization can enhance the process of organizational diagnosis. The author notes the significance of the process of organizational diagnosis in the management of changes. Modern businesses operate in highly dynamic and interactive environments. This environment exerts pressure on businesses in terms of meeting stakeholders’ expectations. The organizational diagnosis process helps an organization to have an accurate assessment of it environment and identify areas that need changes. Wrong diagnosis makes the change process ineffective. Manager need to design effective organizational diagnosis mechanism in order to implement changes that are meaningful to the organization. The article points out that the choice of organizational diagnosis model is determined by the organization, its context and the type of problem.

Khan W. (2012). The Functions of Dysfunctions. Implications for Organizational Diagnosis and Change. Consulting Psychology Journal. 64 (3): 225- 241


This article explains the impact of organizational structure on change management. The author argues that a highly hierarchical system undermines the change management process as it creates multiple purposes within the organization. The author notes the significance of having a common purpose with the organization in ensuring the successful operations of the organization. However, a highly hierarchical structure creates fragmentations with an organization and divides the employees of an organization. This results in misalignment of purpose thus resulting in resistance to change.


Published in Business Studies
Monday, 10 February 2014 05:57

Wal-Mart Stores

Wal-Mart Stores


Introduction

Wal-Mart is a multinational retail store recognized for its many discount stores and warehouses across the world. Customers throng the stores due to the incredibly low prices that the company fixes on its commodities. Wal-Mart has remained profitable since it was established in 1962 (Wal-Mart Store, 2012). The store maintains a centralized system of management allowing managers to be in control of their branches. The continued success of the company has enabled the company to keep its competitors at bay, though its faces a tough challenge of keeping its prices low. The paper analyses Wal-Mart Stores in relation to the salient factors affecting the business as well as issues that can interfere with organizational performance.


Organizational Environment

Organizational environment refers to forces that surround an organization and its ability to function properly. Wal-Mart boasts of strong tangible resources. The store has remained financially stable regardless of the harsh economic time felt worldwide (Gereffi, & Christian, 2009). In 2012, Wal-Mart reported an increase in sales of 11%. Wal-Mart also has a strong leadership at the helm of the company with leadership structured on a regional basis. The decentralized system of leadership has seen managers have the authority to manage their own staff. Wal-Mart also has adequate human and innovative resources that have enables the company remain ahead of its rivals. From the technological perspective, Wal-Mart has remained technological savvy thus able to manage its own logistics using a central hub-and-spoke system (Wal-Mart Store, 2012).


Organizational Relationships

Organizational relationships refer to the networks that an organization forms to ascertain the success of the organization. Wal-Mart strive to do business with companies that they can relate with, for instance Wal-Mart and protector and gamble have worked together in sharing data across their mutual supply chain. Such company relationships have enabled Wal-Mart to sell products that customers need. Wal-Mart is also preferred by customers due to the company’s ability to lower its prices (Basker, 2005). Wal-Mart has also engaged in efforts to provide its customers with a one-stop-shop where customers can access all that they need less than one roof.


Competitive Environment

The competitive environment is the market structure under which a company operates. Wal-Mart’s competitive environment is unique as it competes against physical companies such as Target, but also online companies such as Kindle. However, Wal-Mart has to-date emerged victorious having beaten most competitors hands down. Wal-Mart operates with the mantra “pile it high, sells it cheap” and is thus able to attract high numbers of customers throughout a financial year (Gereffi, & Christian, 2009). Wal-Mart remains unmatched on pricing due to its incredibly cheap prices that its competitors cannot match. Wal-Mart also offers a wide range of commodities hence attracting customers to its stores compared to their rivals.


Strategic Challenges

Strategic challenges refer to the pressures that influence an organizations decisions and the drive towards future success. Wal-Mart main strategic challenge is keeping the prices of its commodities low despite the economic crunch and raises prices of raw materials. Companies and individuals are all affected by economic strains hence the tendency to shop less (customers) or to hike commodity prices (organization) (Tillquist, 2002).


Performance Improvement System

Performance improvement systems are the strategies that a company adopts so as to enhance their efficiency. In Wal-Mart, the store strives to establish efficient ways to improve performance. In 2011, for instance, the store achieved 69% improvement in fleet efficiency thus reducing transportation time. Wal-Mart has embraced fleet technology that focuses on improving the efficiency of heavy duty trucks that the store uses to transport its products.


Issue affecting employee performance

Optimal employee performance is paramount for any organization that desire to be successful and remain competitive. The management has to invent effective strategies that ensure employee are satisfied with the working environment provided. Employees must be motivated to work thus ensure productivity and efficiency in their job posts. Wal-Mart is faced with numerous issues that affect employee performance. One of these issues is low wages and long working hours. Wal-Mart has faced persistent complaints that it exposes its employees to long working hours, yet pays them very little.


A 2006 study by the Los Angeles alliance for the new economy revealed that Wal-Mart has one of the poorest payment structures. Wal-Mart pays its employees and average of &10 dollars per hour, yet the employees work for 34 hours per week (Gereffi, & Christian, 2009). Wal-Mart stores have also been accused of exposing its employee to off the clock working without the surety of overtime payment. The low pay by Wal-Mart towards its employees is so severe that most of its employees depend on government aid to survive. Some employees use food stamps to access free food rations from the government.


The issue of low pay affects employee performance significantly. Salaries and benefit packages are used as incentives, and motivation strategies to encourage employees to work hard in their respective assignments. Unfortunately, Wal-Mart employees work so as to survive (Tillquist, 2002). Job opportunities are available at Wal-Mart; however, the incentive to work for the store is nonexistent due to poor pay. The theory of motivation indicates that positive human behavior can be reinforced through rewards. The payment of salaries and benefits are some of the rewards that employers can accord to employees so as to encourage performance and efficiency at their work stations. Poor pay demoralizes employees who then focus on finding alternative employment opportunities.


Mission Statement: Wal-Mart Store

 Wal-Mart has a direct mission statement that reads “we help people save money so they can live better”. The issues of low pay and poor working conditions do not represent the overall mission of Wal-Mart store. Most of the employees at Wal-Mart live in deplorable conditions due to meager salaries. The company earns a lot of profit but performs poorly in terms of salaries and employee compensation packages. With the economic crunch still biting many citizens, the Wal-Mart employee suffers as his salary cannot afford him the basic commodities. The otherwise cheap, and customer friendly products offered by Wal-Mart stores are expensive for the Wal-Mart employee (Gereffi, & Christian, 2009).


From the employee perspective, Wal-Mart saves money, but its employees are living in poor states. The salaries paid by Wal-Mart are so meager that employees hardly have any left for purposes of savings. The low wage tendency by Wal-Mart has also been found to affect the American taxpayer. Employees cannot afford basic needs such as healthcare and thus sign up for publicly funded health programs that are supported by American taxes. With this in mind, Wal-Mart appears to be complicating the lives of its employees and customers rather than save. Employees cannot afford basic amenities for survival and the ordinary American has to foot these expenses through taxation (Basker, 2005).


Organizational Assessment Model

An organizational assessment model is used to determine the performance of an organization thus establish areas of weakness and strength. There are numerous types of organizational assessment model. The first is the causal model that analyzes the organizational and environmental dimensions within an organization. A company can use the causal model to determine how each function within its organization affect another hence ensures effective performance. The main advantage with the causal model is that it allows managers to make a critical review of the internal and external factors that affect performance in an organization (Fox, 2013).


Factors such as mission and strategy of the company, existing systems, motivation and organizational culture are considered. The main disadvantage with this model is that it is complex hence managers tend to avoid it. The second model that can be considered is the 7s framework model that analyzes the seven organizational variable that must be considered in any company.  This model allows managers to look at the hardware and software of the organizations. The hardware represents the organization strategy and structure, whereas the software represents the organizational management style, existing systems, staff, existing skills and values within the organization. This model is excellent for resolving internal issues but fails in handling external issues of an organization. The third model is the organizational intelligence model that looks at the cause and effect of different issues affecting the organization (Basker, 2005). The model analyzes the external and internal inputs that affect performance and employee engagement within an organization. The organizational intelligence model is simple hence easy to follow. However, it fails to capture the intricate internal and external environment of an organization thus risk missing essential factors.


The causal model of organizational performance and change can best be used to analyze and resolve the issue of low pay and long working hours. This model illustrates how internal and external factors affect performance within an organization. As mentioned, low pay results to poor performance in which customers at Wal-Mart fail to attain set sales targets (Gereffi, & Christian, 2009). There is also high employee turnover as employees strive to seek other alternative opportunities that guarantee improved pays and better working conditions (Fox, 2013). The diagnosis process to resolve the problem affecting employees at Wal-Mart will entail analyzing the mission and strategy of the company and establishing whether the current issues is reflected in the missions.


 Analysis will also focus on the work unit climate determining the reason why employees work for long hours. Analysis will also focus on task, and individual skills of employees. This will ensure that work is assigned according to skills that employees demonstrate. The work that an individual does will also reflect the amount of wage that he, or she receives.


Conclusion

Wal-Mart Stores is a multinational company that has proven to be a company to revere with regards to its outstanding performance and success in the face of the economic crisis. Wal-Mart continues to enjoy increased retail market growth as it ventures into other continents. The cheap cost of its commodities also gives Wal-Mart a competitive advantage as its competitors cannot lower their prices to Wal-Mart’s level. Wal-Mart has also been successful in retaining a strong customer base due to brand loyalty. Customers pleased with services offered at Wal-Mart have remained loyal to the store hence enabling the company realize profits. However, the store continues to face several problems. High employee turnover due to low pay and poor working conditions is one of the issues that are bound to affect performance. The store can use the causal model of organizational performance and change to determine how to handle and resolve the issue.


Reference

Basker E. (2005). Job creation or destruction? Labor market effects of Wal-Mart expansion.Rev. Econ. Stat.87(1):174–83

Fox, E. (2013). Wal-Mart’s low wages cost tax payers. Retrieved from http://money.cnn.com/2013/06/04/news/companies/walmart-medicaid/index.html

Gereffi, G. & Christian, M. (2009). The impacts of Wal-Mart. Annual reviews of sociology. Vol. 35: 573-591

Tillquist, J. (2002). Strategic connectivity in extended enterprise networks. Journal of electronic commerce research. Vol. 3(2):77

Wal-Mart Store (2012). Our company.

http://www.walmartstores.com/sites/responsibility-report/2012/ourCompany.aspx


Published in Sociology
Monday, 10 February 2014 05:20

Characteristics of a Research Problem

Characteristics of a Research Problem


Research is the wheel that drives technological, scientific, educational, and business advancement.  Through the intruding process of research, human beings have been able to solve some of the most dogmatic issues in life. This paper explores some of the characteristics of a good research problem, researchable problem, components of Statement of Research Problem and theoretical framework.


A quality research problem is the basis of a successful research.  In broad terms, there are two types of research questions, those that relates to the state of nature and those which relate to t relationships between variables.  Some of the fundamental characteristics of a good problem statement include:


The problem of interest should be interesting and intriguing to the researcher. The researcher should select a topic that is worthy their time and resources. The researcher should choose a topic that will add to the existing knowledge or create a new area of exploration.  The findings of the study should be relevant to human beings or the society.  It is crucial for students to know that their topic of choice will also reflect on their resume.


The researcher should ensure the problem is connecting to the overall goal of the research.  The answer to the problem should meet the goal of the research.   The selected problem should pose questions that can be answered scientifically or those other means. It is crucial for students to avoid questions that are abstract and too broad. It is imperative o be specific while selecting or expounding the research problem. 


The problem should be stated plainly and succinctly.  The problem must be defined unambiguously for that help discriminating relevant data from irrelevant ones. A clearly stated problem statement ensures the researcher has a strong foundation of the research.  The problem should be described in grammatically correct sentences that are precise and easy to understand.   A lot of care must to take to ensure the background and facts concerning the problem to ensure objectivity and validity.


The second important characteristic of a good problem is that it must be feasible.  The researcher should select practical ideas.  Practicability of the problem is crucial in determine the feasibility of the study. The research should ensure that the research is not only financially viable but also methodologically.  It is crucial for the researcher to state precisely what he or she intends to study or investigate. They should not make assumptions that the reader is abreast of the study. The choice of words should be precise and clear to a layman.


The problem should be able to raise a number of specific research questions.  This turns the problem into a question format and presents various aspects or components of the problem.  Singling out the research problem is one of the most fundamental set in the breakdown of the main question into several questions makes it easy to address and provide a framework for the research?  


Any topic worthy commitment of resources should be a problem that is relevant to human beings.  The research problem a researcher decides to solve should be have adequate literature review to help in developing a theoretical framework.  The problem should be feasible within the resources of a researcher.  A research problem can be fined tuned to make appropriate.  A researcher should conduct a detailed literature review. This will enable him or her to generate as many questions about the topic as possible.  The researcher should visualize the problem in a holistic manner. He or she should analyze the problem and concepts under investigation critically.


He should investigate overview all aspects of the problem including literature review, data collection and analysis, and interpretation of results.   A well-stated problem relates to a literature review.  It often relates to a well-defined body of literature, written by a group of researchers and published in a small number of journals. In some instances, there are insufficient data to address the problem.  Students should select to topics/problems that will not give them a lot of challenge in accessing relevant data.  They should look for existing databases to offer them detailed and wide literature resources. As well as being grounded in discipline, a good research problem generally relates to some sort of standard methodology.  This might be historical, or comparative or empirical, but it should build on the strengths of the investigator (Anderson, 2002).  There is a need for a student to select a problem that addressed in statistics when the student is not comfortable with statistics.  A researchable problem should be new i.e. students should not select topics/problems that have been discussed exhaustively.


According to Hartas (2010), what constitutes a researchable problem is influenced by a, complex dialectical, process linking the researcher’s identity, position and experience with their understanding of themselves, their work and relationship with the society.  This relationship is both an individual level and social one involving the researcher in different roles as a student, practitioner, parent and a community, that forms of social interaction that predispose the researcher to an interest in what is happening in the society.


In the process of reviewing the literature, a research comes across a lot of literature.  This literature can be used to develop a theoretical framework.  The primary purpose of a theoretical framework is to offer an explanation of a phenomenon, its nature, challenges and experiences that shape its existence. The researcher uses the literature to either proof or disapproves his theory or thesis.  Theoretical framework provides the researcher with a coherent outlined problem to build his argument.


Theoretical framework helps the researcher to breakdown the main research question into simpler questions or sub-problems.   This helps the researcher to chance to have a thorough analysis of each of the concept or idea in his or her research.  It is crucial for the researcher to distinguish sub-problem from pseudo sub-problems, which may divert his or her attention. Theoretical framework of any study consists of concepts, their definitions, and existing theories that are used in the study.  An effective theoretical framework must demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of theories and concepts that are pertinent to the area of study.  Theories developed should be based on appropriateness, simplicity of application and its explanatory. If appropriately used, theoretical framework can strengthen the study in several ways.  It connects the research with the existing knowledge and arguments made concerning the topic.   The research can use relevant theories to create a strong basis for the chosen thesis.  It also offers a strong basis for the selection of the research method.


  Development of a theoretical framework enables the research to address the questions of causes and effects  It allows the research to offer detailed anatomy of the problem instead of offering basic or generalized observations. A researcher uses a theoretical framework to demonstrate how various concepts of the study are interrelated.  Development of an effective theoretical framework is, therefore, a crucial process in research writing.  An effective theoretical framework is based on the research problem.   The entire study is anchored o an effective research problem.   The researcher should brainstorm on variables he or she considers being the main concepts of the study.  The researcher should find for relationship between ideas and the effects they have on the phenomenon under investigation.  The researcher should use the existing theories to develop  his or her theoretical framework.  Such a framework should be based on a detailed literature review to reveal competency of the concept.  It is crucial for a researcher to brainstorm with other parties on the framework developed.


Conclusion

Research problem is the core of research. Any researcher should take adequate time to refine problem statement because it helps the researcher to link different concepts with the overall goal of the research.  Research problems should be selected from topics or areas that interest the writer. They should be stated precisely and with standard language.   Theoretical framework is a crucial component of research.  It offers the writer a chance to breakdown the concept under study into sub-problems.  This makes it easy to study the concept under investigate. A credible theoretical framework is developed from a detailed literature review.  


References

Leedy D. & ormrod E (2010). Practical research. Planning and design. 9th edition. Pearson Publisher, New York, USA.

Garry Anderson (2002)Fundamentals of educational research. Routledge Publishers.  Philadelphia, USA.

Dimitra Hartas (2010). Educational research and inquiry.  Continuum international publishing group.  New York, USA.


 

Published in Education
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