NYSE: The New York Stock Exchange

The NYSE was first housed at a rented room at 40 Wall Street in 1817. A 5-story building at 10 Broad Street opened in 1865. It was enlarged and remodeled during the 1870s and 1880s, then was demolished in 1901 to make way for the current building. The new Exchange building at 18 Broad Street opened in 1903. Styled in the classical-revival manner popular at the time, it was designed by George B. Post, a well-known architect and engineer. The sculptor John Quincy Adams Ward designed the pediment. The eleven figures in the pediment are emblems of American commerce and industry.

The central figure symbolizes integrity, bordered by figures representing sources of wealth. Other figures personify agriculture, mining, science, industry and invention. The view of lower Manhattan from the NYSE building includes the intersection of Nassau, Broad and Wall Streets and looks directly on Federal Hall, the historic site of George Washington’s inauguration in 1789. It also includes Trinity Church at the end of Wall Street. The Main Floor occupies 36,000 square feet with a ceiling of 86 feet, including the Garage, Blue Room and Expanded Blue Room.

It consists of 17 trading posts, 340 trading positions and 3,000 people who work on the trading floor. Trowbridge & Livingston designed a 23-story building on 11 Wall Street. The Garage was added as a second trading room when the Exchange opened in 1922. 20 Broad Street opened in 1956. Added as a third trading room, the Blue Room opened in 1969 and was expanded in 1988. The Garage, Blue Room, and the Expanded Blue Room each measure 7,000 square feet. Each trading post represents the auction market for many different securities.

Buy and sell orders are received on the terminals and executed in the open market. There are nearly 3,000 NYSE-listed companies and about 400 of them are non-US listed companies. There are more than 10,000 institutions investing in the NYSE. The total dollar value of the corporate size of all NYSE listed companies is more than $17. 3 trillion. The broker booths occupy the perimeter of the floor and are owned and operated by member firms. The NYSE trading floor contains 1,500 booth spaces. There are about 500 member firms in the NYSE.

NYSE member firms employ 100,000 registered workers. Originally, only members and their guests were allowed to view the trading floor from the balcony known as the Members Gallery, high above the floor. The media and guests of the NYSE now use it. The Ramp, NYSEs new, Three-Dimensional Trading Floor (3DTF) is a computer-generated trading floor representation used for operations control, information sharing and information distribution. Its the first large-scale virtual reality environment for business applications.

The 3-D image is depicted on nine 25-inch PixelVision high-resolution, flat-panel monitors, including three monitors that allow the user to understand specific activities. The Advanced Trading Floor Operations Center, which houses the 3DTF, utilizes 6 Silicon Graphics high-powered Onyx2 graphics visualization supercomputers, 43 PixelVision high-resolution, flat-panel monitors, highly advanced software and innovative application code. The Interactive Education Center provides visitors with a technology-driven, user-friendly learning experience.

The center features information booths, interactive stock trading exhibits, news feeds, stock prices and a view of the trading floor. The trading floor hosts 8,000 phone circuits, 5,000 electronic devices and 200 miles of fiber optic cable. 1,100 tons of air conditioning are needed daily on the NYSE trading floor. About 3,500 kilowatts of power are consumed daily on the NYSE trading floor. One of the most familiar features of the New York Stock Exchange, the bell’s loud ring signals the beginning and ending of trading each day.

There is one large bell in each of the four trading areas of the NYSE. The bells are operated synchronously from a single control. The G. S. Edwards Company of Norwalk, Connecticut manufactured the bells, measuring 18 inches in diameter. In the late 1980s, the NYSE decided to refurbish the bells and have an extra bell made as a back up. While Edwards agreed to make a special replica for the NYSE, an older, larger bell was discovered in a crawl space above the main trading floor.

Measuring 24 inches in diameter, this 1903 bell had most likely been put away because it was too loud, even for the New York Stock Exchange. After being cleaned and refurbished, this giant bell was toned down. It now gleams on a platform above the trading floor, ready for use should it ever be called into action. The bell is a part of the NYSE’s heritage, and it is considered an honor to be invited to ring the opening or closing bell. The constant development of this high-quality and cost-effective self-regulated marketplace has secured the confidence of almost 60 million individual investors in the US.

Mrs. Fields Cookies

The textbook, Information Technology in Business – Principles, Practices and Opportunities, defines the purpose of information systems as, “An (IT) Information system is a system which data and information flow from one person or department to another. ” (Senn, 1998, p. 643). The books continues with Business Information Systems and identifies these operating systems as, “IT applications that underlie the activities of running and managing a business. ”

This paper will discuss how Mrs. Fields Cookies uses these two interchangeable accessories, will explain how these systems have impacted the roles that the Information Age – those of assistance, adviser, and communicator. In addition, this paper will address how Mrs. Fields can function as an organization using a small-scale ratio of management to employee. “ Debbi Fields, a young mother with no business experience, opened her first cookie store in Palo Alto, California in 1977.

Humble beginnings launched Mrs. Fields into a worldwide celebrity and made her company the premier chain of cookie and baked goods stores. ww. MrsFields. com. In order to become one of the premier chain of cookies and baked good companies, Mrs. Fields could not rely on cookie dough alone. Mrs. Fields, along with her husband, Randy, who just happened to be a computer programmer with IBM, designed and implemented an Information Technology system to serve the vast managerial needs of the organization.

“The system created by Ms. Fields is a Paper-less Management System; this system is currently being used at other franchise operations, including Burger King. Senn, 1998, p. 650). The computer system of Mrs. Fields is extremely streamlined and centralized throughout the company. The system accounts for a large percentage of Mrs. Fields success. “Sales information is immediately processed by the computers and is available for the managers’ use. The system has the ability to track the volume of sales, the amount of cookies that need to be baked, and sales quotas, among other things, so that waste is educed, time is used efficiently, and immediate and future plans can be made by Mrs.

Fields headquarters. ” www. MrsFields. com. The system also has the capabilities of linking in store personal computers, and is made up of 20 software modules – the five most important being: #1) Daily Production Planner, #2) Sales and Reporting Analysis, #3) Labor Scheduler, #4) Interviewing, and #5) Skills Assessment and Computer-aided Instruction The Daily Production Planner is a “to-do-lists” and forecasting system. The system monitors the daily progress and transactions of Ms.

Fields franchise locations and suggests alternative approaches should sales fall below target. The Sales Reporting and Analysis System is a actual to budget comparison, and suggests corrections should the organization fall behind. The Labor Scheduler provides employee work schedules and assists in the minimization of overtime and maximizes schedule alternatives. The Interviewing System provides an unbiased hour interview, which is provided to every applicant of Mrs.

Fields, and The Skills Assessment and Computer Aided Instruction Program, detects employee weaknesses and supports those weaknesses with corrective training. All of this, along with the management techniques of Ms. Fields, supports the success of the organization. The Managers of Mrs. Fields, which currently employees 5,000 employees within 700 stores-and only 130 head-quarter employees, are freed from the constraints of doing paperwork and therefore have more time to manage both the operational efficiency of Mrs. Fields and the employees therein.

The result is a maximum amount of freshly baked cookies with a minimum amount of waste. This proves that companies that use a system, whether the Paper-less Management System or a similar system, can operate in a more flat-lined organization. It also allows companies, such as Mrs. Fields, to have a stronger grasp on the operations of the company. The saying that backs Debbie Fields is, “One Smart Cookie. ” This statement supports this paper and “details how she (Debbi) and her husband (Randy), built their cookie empire. ”

The Funding Gap

“The funding gap” is always quoted as a major issue for dstart up and developingh small businesses. What evidence is there to support this view and what measures have relevant organisations taken to overcome the problem? Executive Summary This report critically examine concerned with how young small businesses and start up business fund themselves externally. Firstly we look at the funding ga,p what it is and evidence of its existence. Secondly, how organisations that fund new and small usinesses have done to help this problem and finally a reivew of their usefulness. This is done in a report style

Abbreviation list BOE; Bank of England SME; Meaning small – medium enterprise. For the sake of this report it is taken here to mean both business that are new or business that are still in the developing stage. DTI: Department of Trade and Industry Part 1 SMEs are an important contributro to the economy, defined by the Bank of England as 49 employees or fewer1. In 1997 SMEs accounted for over 40% of the economys turnover and 45% of total employment in the United Kingdom 2 The chart below reveals a b akdown of industry where sme are located including area as well. Source; bvca. co. uk

Starting your own busines rasises many difficulties and raising the capital is just one of them, listed below are the main problems encountered. Throughout history, seeking external funds has remained one of the most difficult. Indeed this is not a ne problem The Macmillian Committee first regcognised the funding issue dubbing it the macmillian Gap in 1931. Today the funding gap can be defined by P Burns & J Dewhurst3 as: “where the funding requirements of a company are greater than those that can be met by the small scale providers of finance, but not substantail enough to be considered by the large equity providers”.

Source; Small Business Finance Report BOE Oct 2000 Evidence of the Funding Gap The funding gap is prevelant with start ups and new firms. Indeed it is often known that is harder to raise 50,000 for a new firm with no history or collertaal than it is to raise 5,000,000 for a established firm. Information asymmetrics is often blamed for creating the funidng gap. This is when the entreprenurer generally holds better information regarding the firms performace than the bank for making decisions. Information asymetrics can lead to two developments.

Firstly, adverse selection, The banks cannot distinguish which new firm has the highest returns relative to the degree of risk, they have trouble adopting the price mechanism to help distingusih be een firms . Secondly, moral harzard, where (in the absence of collertal) use of higher interest rates by banks to offset risk would give firms receiving loans an incentive to alter their behaviour to adopt risker projects. These two reason reveal why it is harder to obtain smaller rather than larger funds. Banks requuire collertal in responce to these problems.

However this often excludes new firms who lack funds despite viable plans. Therefore many fall into the fundi gap. The central hypothesis is that the market is not cleared through the price adjustments because of the asymetry of information between banks and SMEs. So banks have an incentive to respond to an increased demand for loans by rationing credit fur er rather than by raising intereset rates. Also with new start ups having a 50% failure rate4 with the first three years funders can be generally reluctant to fiance such a propsotion. The funding gap questioned.

The BOE report5 however states that there has been a decline in recent years of the funding gap. 1999 saw a trend away from debt reliance as new source of funding appeared. Below is a chart from6 showing the change of funding sources. Source: Bank of England see footnote 6. Empirically their is little evidence for the existence of such market imperfections. However this is only based on partial facts because it is difficult to obtain information on failed start ups . Therefore with information from only surviving firms is not easy to determine the full picture.

Business and the environment

The relationship between corporations and the environment is a tumultuous one. Corporations have abused and violated the environment for generations. These actions have now become unacceptable in our present society. There is growing concern for our natural resources; the world’s forests, waterways, and air are noticeably tainted. In the last twenty years, the U. S. has become more vigilant in recognizing and passing acts to attempt to regulate and purify our environment. Between 1938 and 1986, twelve acts regarding business and the environment have been passed. The Food and Drug Administration established the first act in 1938.

The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act was passed to regulate food and drug additives. The Delaney Clause in 1958 added the prohibition of the sale of foods containing human or animal carcinogens to the original act. The Wilderness Act of 1964 outlawed the development of wilderness areas and gave new procedures for the appointment of new protected areas. In 1969, the National Environment Policy Act created a nation wide environmental policy and the Council on Environmental Quality. A year later, the first legislation passed for the Clean Air Act. It was relegislated in 1977 and again in 1990.

This act established the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to control the enforcement of air quality standards. In 1972, both the Federal Insecticide and Rodenticide Act and the Clean Water Act were passed. They were relegislated in 1988; and 1977, 1981, and 1987 respectively. FIFRA requires the registration of every pesticide, certification and preconsumer testing. The Clean Water Act established standards for wastewater treatment, sludge management, and set discharge limitation and water quality standards. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 protects animals that are threatened or endangered.

Relegislated in 1984, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 standardized the manufacturing, transportation, storage, treatment and dumping of solid and hazardous waste. Also passed in 1976 was the Toxic Substances Control Act, which delegates the EPA control over the assessment of risks involved in chemicals and recordkeeping. 1980 saw the passing of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Recovery Act, which brought liability upon the owners, transporters and sources of hazardous waste, and established the Superfund to help with cleanup costs.

The Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act requires companies to publicly disclose all chemical and toxic hazards in their operations. 1 These acts have often left companies feeling as though their hands were tied. The Clean Air Act by 1989 managed to reduce air pollution to two thirds of the 1970’s level. The Act achieves this through the use of permits to regulate the construction and production of major sources of pollution. The act specifies that a major source is one that emits 100 tons or more per year. This means that a factory can be built that emits 90 tons of pollution per year with out a permit.

A permit is also necessary if you want to increase an existing factory that emits 100 tons by 25 tons. This act has its shortcomings. For example, a university wants to expand its heating plant. The administration has two options either modify the existing plant or build a new plant. The university’s heating plant emits 100 tons of pollution, this means that they will need a permit. The modification would normally be more cost effective because it is a smaller job and would not take as much time to accomplish. The practicality of the situation would force the building of a new heating plant that is to be smaller than 100 tons of pollution.

The reason for this is the delay, cost and uncertainty of the permitting process, which would drive the over all cost up. It is probable that the modification of the single plant would ultimately produce less pollution that the two separate plants. 2 The SARA, or Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act passed by the government as an addendum to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Recovery Act specifies that companies make public details of their storage and handling techniques. All firms manufacturing 300 specific chemicals must abide by this.

Firms with ten or more full time workers must painstakingly report must report all chemicals released routinely. The quantity of the specific chemicals released into water, soil, and air, along with a listing of waste treatment efficiency must be made available to the surrounding community. It is difficult for companies to cite specific waste treatment facilities, for not many true ones exist. The public demands total removal of hazardous wastes and at the same time that the goods be produced with the same efficiency and quality. 3

The Clean Water Act is a system of minimum national standards for the discharge of toxins and hazardous waste into the environment. The rules given call for complicated technical decisions to be made by businesses. The fact that a company must comply with all new standards within a year causes for much loss and payment of fines. These acts do have negative effects upon businesses. However, corporations are finding advantages to environmentally sound procedures. Not only are environmentally friendly policies popular with consumers, but they can also save businesses a great deal of money.

As the acts and their socially conscious agenda become more assimilated into the business world, business is working to gain advantage and minimize disadvantages. Many case studies support this idea. Corporations have discovered that they can often use environmental friendly programs and products to produce more profits. An excellent example of this is Ben and Jerry’s ice cream company. The company began by making all natural ice cream on a very small scale in Burlington, Vermont in 1978.

Natural food held great appeal in Vermont, even before it held nation-wide popularity. Soon, their product became extremely popular. Ben and Jerry’s all natural products provided the first benefits of environmental-friendly policies for the company. Later, when two large manufacturing facilities were built in Waterbury and St. Albans Vermont, they decided to treat the waste created form their processing with a prototype solar aquatic treatment system. Like a wetland, the system combines solar energy with plants, algae and microbes to break down wastewater.

Three “green teams” strive to ensure compliance with their priorities of managing their waste, conserving energy, practicing sustainability, finding renewable energy sources and forming environmentally positive community programs. Besides these positive actions, which attract many customers, other environmentally correct actions save Ben and Jerry’s money. Instead of sending massive amounts of waste to the landfill, the company implemented procedures that minimize waste and reduce cost simultaneously. Cardboard waste is baled and sold or recycled, which saves the company $17,400 annually.

Office employees must follow a recycling program to save energy, cost and trees. $235,000 a year is saved in recycling or reusing plastic buckets. As much as $250,000 a year will be saved from new energy saving devices incorporated by the company. There are environmentally positive aspects in every part of the company which prove Ben and Jerry’s to be unhypocritical, for the environmentally friendly image they sell their products. Since their total sales were $97 million in 1991, it seems that this philosophy works and brings about a large customer base. 4

Other companies have found profit through environmentally safe Merck & Co. , a worldwide health product corporation for animals and humans, and specialty chemicals balances profit and responsibility even in the face of SARA. To maintain an inner accordance, Merck runs its operations with the same regard for health and well being that its products have. Merck has declared, “… our commitment is to conduct our business worldwide in a manner that will protect the environment as well as the health and safety of our employees and the public. “5 Merck made formal its environmental commitment in 1990.

In 1990, the company published a statement giving its environmental policies and goals. The progress toward these objectives was charted through periodic reports in a set five-year period. The objectives set by Merck were specific. The minimization of chemicals released into the atmosphere, in turn harming people, animals, the ozone layer, and causing acid rain and the greenhouse effect was one goal. Research to find new ways to minimize waste and conserve resources was a priority. Reduction of waste generation and self-sufficient waste treatment and disposal were another goal.

Energy and resource conservation practices were to be utilized in its research, manufacturing and office facilities. Lastly, resource conservation was to be promoted through innovative product design and recyclable materials. 6 Merck, like all chemical producers, was directly confronted with SARA. Though the company is not forced to reduce emissions, its operation procedures go far above SARA suggestions and Clean Air Act regulations. Voluntarily, the company made a commitment to the EPA to follow these higher standards. Merck specifically vowed to reduce carcinogen air emissions by 90% at the end of 1991.

Also, these air emissions were to be eradicated by 1993. Finally, Merck would reduce releases of corporate chemicals by around 90% of all direct releases and material transfers for off site disposal by the end of 1995. Merck had reduced all its worldwide releases of toxic chemicals by 50% from 1987 figures by the end of 1992. 7 The goals focusing on toxic waste processing and reductions were to be achieved through a strategic plan at division and plant levels. Divisions, plants and salaried employees directly or indirectly involved with manufacturing were to implement personal goals to help Merck achieve their overall goals.

The eight plants under Merck’s manufacturing division, along with the two manufacturing vice-presidents, were each accountable for the reduction and better management of waste in the plants. A central environmental resource staff coordinated and supported the effort. SOurce reduction was the biggest priority, followed by recovery/recycling/reuse, and waste management. Most of Merck’s waste is non toxic. The toxic minority consists of primarily ethyl alcohol, acetone and methyl alcohol, used in manufacturing processes.

The waste stream is boiled, the purified vapors condensed, and the liquid recollected. 90% is recovered for reuse. The remaining 10% is toxic waste. 8 Packaging components have experienced reduction in the interest of landfill space and resource conservation. Cotton wadding in drug bottles has been eliminated in the US. In Europe, there has been a 10% reduction in aluminum and foil waste. A conversion in Europe to standard blister packaging and high volume carton printing reduces waste and saves money. 9 New and more efficient equipment helps to reduce Merck’s waste management problems.

By standardizing and improving production, Merck is less likely to encounter problems with the FDA for making drug production changes. Approval for production changes is extremely time and cost consuming. Yield and product quality standards are on the same level as environmental standards. Merck, “takes responsibility for the total life cycle of materials we use and products we manufacture. “10 Merck keeps lines of communication open with the public concerning its environmental policies. By working with the Chemical Manufacturers Association’s Responsible Care Program, Merck provides information to the public through a 1-800 number.

The number is linked directly to Merck, where questions regarding Merck plants are answered. Emergency response systems are in place at factories, and for Merck transports. Literature regarding operations and safety procedures are distributed by Merck to keep the public informed. 11 Merck’s environmental commitment extends to its corporate headquarters. Environmental preservation of woodland and wetlands upon the site was the priority. The 900,000 square foot hexagon-shaped building and the 700,000 square foot underground parking garage made a minimal effect upon the land.

Awards and recognition were in order for this achievement. Kevin Roche, an architect known for designs that blend into the environment, was chosen for the project. The hexagon building surrounds five acres of forest, roads go over the land, and trees were moved rather than destroyed. They were nurtured in a nursery for as long as three years and then returned to the landscape. Energy saving features were utilized in the main building. All paper waste, the principal waste product, is recycled. 2. 8 tons of waste are produced per day, of which 8 tons are recyclable. 12

Merck has made an agreement with the Costa Rican Instituto Nacional de Biodivarsidad (INBio) to grant a million dollars to catalog the immensely diverse life found in Costa Rico. In exchange, Merck is granted the rights to any new medicines found. If a new medicine is found, the royalties will surpass the cost of the failure of the project. The diversity of Costa Rico is thought by scientists to contain more biodiversity then any other planet on earth. Many unknown animals and plants exist in Costa Rico and have yet to be discovered. Merck is training local people to take samples and perform extractions.

INBio will analyze the samples. Merck will evaluate samples for agricultural and pharmaceutical applications. This mutual beneficent relationship will aid both the environment and Merck. 13 By improving their product, cutting their costs, and improving their public image, Merck has made a profit from environmental friendliness. The envirometal centered policy has opened up new markets and gained a competitive advantage. This compliance is expensive, but seems well worth the expenditure for the return. The EPA also has developed incentives in recent years for environmental policy compliance.

The Green Lights program gives companies EPA support to drive down lighting usage, which accounts for over 20% of overall electrical costs. Software, financing information, lighting product consumer reporting is provided free of charge. Public recognition is given through public service ads, news articles, marketing materials, broadcast specials and videotapes. Computer manufacturers who install automatic “power down” on their computers join the Energy Star program endorsed by the EPA. Consumers and businesses look specifically for this symbol in many cases, causing a gain for the computer manufacturer.

Variable Speed Drives for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems save 40% or more efficiency. The EPA has formed a special group buy to make them more affordable. Payback is within three years. Plans are on the board to endorse other “green” technologies this way. Refrigerators that are produced and function 30-50% more energy efficient then 1993 standards will receive a rebate. These are just a few incentives the EPA is providing. 14 Government and business have often debated over policies and laws. In the case of laws governing business practices and their effects on the environment, this holds true.

The balance between being environmentally safe and still producing the quality and quantities needed is delicate. However, today’s market makes environmental friendliness sellable, and the procedures involved often save businesses a considerable amount of money. Ben and Jerry’s have utilized the market for environmentally aware products and combined it with their company philosophy. Merck has utilized the same business strategy and found ways to surpass SARA and other environmental acts. These businesses prove that being environmentally responsible is not only morally correct, but also profitable.

Business: A Ethical view

From a business perspective, working under government contracts can be a very lucrative proposition. In general, a stream of orders keep coming in, revenue increases and the company grows in the aggregate. The obvious downfalls to working in this manner is both higher quality expected as well as the extensive research and documentation required for government contracts. If a part fails to perform correctly it can cause minor glitches as well as problems that can carry serious repercussions, such as in the National Semiconductor case.

When both the culpable component and company are found, the question arises of how extensive these repercussions should be. Is the company as an entity liable or do you look into individual employees within that company? From an ethical perspective one would have to look at the mitigating factors of both the employees and their superiors along with the role of others in the failure of these components. Next you would have to analyze the final ruling from a corporate perspective and then we must examine the macro issue of corporate responsibility in order toattempt to find a resolution for cases like these.

The first mitigating factor involved in the National Semiconductor case is the uncertainty, on the part of the employees, on the duties that they were assigned. It is plausible that during the testing procedure, an employee couldnt distinguish which parts they were to test under government standards and commercial standards. In some cases they might have even been misinformed on the final consumers of the products that they tested. In fact, ignorance on the part of the employees would fully excuse them from any moral responsibility for any damage that may result from their work.

Whether it is decided that an employees is fully excused, or is given some moral responsibility, would have to be looked at on an individual basis. The second mitigating factor is the duress or threats that an employee might suffer if they do not follow through with their assignment. After the bogus testing was completed in the National Semiconductor labs, the documentation department also had to falsify documents stating that the parts had surpassed the governmental testing standards. From a legal and ethical standpoint, both the testers and the writers of the reports were merely acting as agents on direct orders from a superior.

This was also the case when the plant in Singapore refused to falsify the documents and were later falsified by the employees at the have California plant before being submitted to the approval committees (Velazquez, 53). The writers of the reports were well aware of the situation yet they acted in this manner on theinstruction of a supervisor. Acting in an ethical manner becomes asecondary priority in this type of environment. As stated by Alan Reder, . . . if they [the employees] feel they will suffer retribution, if they report a problem, they arent too likely to open their mouths. 13). The workers knew that if the reports were not falsified they would come under questioning and perhaps their employment would go into jeopardy. Although working under these conditions does not fully excuse an employees from moral fault, it does start the divulging process for determining the order of the chain of command of superiors and it helps to narrow down the person or department that issued the original request for the unethical acts. The third mitigating factor is one that perhaps encompasses the majority of the employees in the National Semiconductor case.

We have to balance the direct involvement that each employee had with the defective parts. Thus, it has to be made clear that many of the employees did not have a direct duty with the testing departments or with the parts that eventually failed. Even employees, or sub-contractors, that were directly involved with the production were not aware of the incompetence on the part of the testing department. For example, the electrical engineer that designed the defective computer chip could act in good faith that it would be tested to ensure that it did indeed meet the required government endurance tests.

Also, for the employees that handled the part after the testing process, they were dealing with what they believed to be a component that met every governmental standard. If it was not tested properly, and did eventually fail, isnt the testing department more morally responsible than the designer or the assembly line worker that was in charge of installing the chip? Plus, in large corporations there may be several testing departments and is some cases one may be held more responsible than another depending on their involvement.

A process like this can serve the dual purpose of finding irresponsible employees as well as those that are morally excused. The fourth mitigating factor in cases of this nature is the gauging of the seriousness of the fault or error caused by this product. Since National Semiconductor was repeatedly being reinstated to the listed of approved government contractors, one can safely assume that the level of seriousness, in the opinion of For the contractor approval committees, is not of monumental importance.

Yet one has to wonder how this case would have been different if the lack of testing did cause the loss of life in either a domestic or foreign military setting. Perhaps the repercussions would have come faster much more stringent. The fact that National Semiconductor did not cause a death does not make them a safe company. They are still to be held responsible for any errors that their products cause, no matter the magnitude.

Boeing company paper

Most of us see aviation as a means of transportation and an alternate mode of travel. Boeings businesses are clearly doing one of the things that core businesses are suppose to do. They are making lots of cash. For many years Boeing has been the leader, earning an average cash flow of a billion dollars or more each year. This gives lots of options to maximize shareholders values. This company just seems to have lots of outside areas of interest too. Maybe youre bored sitting around the house and had a craving for some pizza.

Did you ever wonder how its stays so hot in twenty minutes after the drive leaves the restaurant? Its the space-age thermal incubator, one of the many things the food industry acquired from Boeing space and communication program. There were two events that made a significant change in the history of modern aviation. The Wright Brothers first flight and William Boeing, born October 1, 1881 in Detroit, Michigan. He was the founder, owner, President, and Chairman of the board from 1916-1934. He took advantage, in 1903, of small risky ventures and made a big financial gain.

He lived until 1956 long enough to see the company go into the jet age. Since the beginning, Boeing has become an aviation giant with an estimated $2,375 billion a year in sales. In 2ooo, Boeings stock appreciation was 59 percent, the second highest in Dow Jones Industry Average. When put together with dividends, Boeing earns a 61 percent total return for their investors. They also have a place in space communication as well. In 2000 they signed agreements with the government of Turkey and Australia worth $2. 5 billion.

They are to provide 737 aircrafts, plus ground support for mission crew training mission support and systems modifications. Boeing also has a capital corporation in which it leases and lends money to other corporations such as General Motors, Disney, State Farm, and a host of others. For more than 30 years it has been a worldwide provider of lease and loan financing for a wide range of commercial equipment and all types of commercial aircrafts and business aircrafts. Military Aerospace support is also a big venture for Boeing too. This has become a key role in business deals.

The revenue generated from the military is approximately $3 billion. That amount is expected to triple in 10 years. Boeings jet business is increasing in size and is recognized around the world executives and private individuals as a comfortable, and productive business to be involved with. In addition, a partnership between Boeing Business Jet and Executives provides access to the BBJ for individuals and corporations who have a requirement for large, long-range business airplane but who cannot justify the cost of owning the entire business jet.

Operation revenues for 2000 were $51. 3 billion compared with $58. 0 billion in 1999. The lower revenues for the years 2000 are because decreases in deliveries in the Commercial Airplane Segment. Commercial Airplane products and several ventures account for 61%, 66%, and 66% of the total operating revenues for the years 2000, 1999, 1998, respectively.

Another segment of operations are the Military Aircraft and Missiles. Their earnings for 2000 and 1999 were $1. illion and $1. 2 billion, respectively. With sales like this, one can easily see why I choose this company. If not for their part in helping provide faster transportation system to the world then surly, from serving in the United States Navy for over nine years. They have provided us with some of the fastest and tactical aircraft like the: F-A5, F/A-18E/F, and the V-22to name just a few. One can only wonder what they have in store for our future.

Space and Communication are too far back in the Stone Age. True enough we have advanced far, but the biggest is yet to come. Boeing provides us with Hughes space and communication, satellites, and a global system like no other. High-speed broadband service worth about $82 million is the one I feel is the most important. Boeing research products for this side of their company cost about $500 million, this proves why they are number one in leading the world in so many areas.

Boeing is not just a company to me; they are like the employer, and the employee. With out them our military would not be as far as we are today. I would have not known about the aircrafts that I do know about now, or may have never joined the service. They are not only makers of aircrafts, satellite communications and high speed broadband, but they are ranked among the best in the world, and not just in the United States. Their company provides services to many other nations in the worlds, as we know today.

Business Ethics Essay

How to behave toward oneself and toward other individuals is a matter of making choices: whether to be friendly or unfriendly; whether to tell the truth or lie; whether to be generous or greedy; whether to study in order to pass an exam or to spend valuable study time watching television and cheat to pass it. These, and all other questions about how people act toward themselves and one another are dealt with in a field of study called ethics. Another name for ethics is morality.

Because both words suggest customary ways of behavior, they are somewhat misleading. It had to do with what should or should not be done. Divide practical wisdom into two parts: moral philosophy and political philosophy. They’re defined together as a “true reasoned state of capacity to act with regard to the things that are good or bad for man” (Drucker, 1996). One statement of the problem is business organizations, as well as members of society in general, are plagued by the fact that there are liars, cheats, and thieves among us.

Liars, cheats, and thieves are not new nor are they likely to disappear. People will do anything and go to whatever extent to get what they want. This is why there’s a lack of ethics. Definition of terms: The word ethics is derived from the Greek ethos, meaning “character,” the pattern of behavior or personality found in an individual or group; moral constitution, moral strength, self discipline and fortitude (Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia). The other is from the Latin mores, meaning “custom” (Compton’s Interactive Encyclopedia).

Business Ethics refers to what is right or wrong, or good or bad, human behavior. The concept of business ethics is “being able to look at your face in the mirror”(Drucker, 1996). Ethics is a code of conduct and values that is accepted by society as being right and proper. Code of ethics is simply a compilation of the rules that are meant to govern the conduct of members of a particular organization or profession. Moral philosophy and political philosophy is true and reasoned state of capacity to act with regard to the things that are good or bad for man.

In the daily scramble to get ahead, earn a profit, and outwit competitors, some people don’t play by the rules. Sometimes the culprits are respected and ordinarily well-behaved persons even though they are accused of a crime or offense. Unfair and unscrupulous actions hinder the development of harmonious relationships between workers and co-workers, and between workers and supervisors. A person who cannot be trusted to do the right thing, fails to win the respect of others.

It should be recognized, however, that ethical dilemmas are faced by people at all levels within an organization. Various firms have experienced breaches of ethics. The respected business firms suffer damage to their reputation when questions concerning ethical behavior arise. This is one of the reason formal codes of ethics, developed by many business organizations, and trade associations are popular today. Code of ethics is simply a compilation of the rules that are meant to govern the conduct of members of a particular organization or profession.

A recent survey found that 94% of the fortune 500 service and industrial companies have a written code of ethics (American Marketing Association). Companies and trade associations expect their members to abide by such rules as a condition of their engaging in the profession. There are at least two noteworthy limitations to codes of ethics. First, the written rules are sometimes so vague and general they prove to be of little value. Second, codes of ethics are neither a complete nor a completely reliable guide to one’s moral obligations.

It is impossible for the drafters of such codes to anticipate all the moral dilemmas which may be encountered and impossible for them to draft rules to govern all behavior. Nothing wins support from external groups as much as adherence to strong codes of ethics. People in businesses and businesses are expected to conduct their activities in an ethical manner. Ethics is a code of conduct and values that is accepted by society as being right and proper. Employers and employees practice honesty, fairness, and adherence to the law.

However, there is always the possibility of divergence from what is considered to be ethical and what is actually practiced. No one commands more respect and admiration than the worker who adheres to ethical principles and exhibits professional behavior. Specialists in the field of Human Resource Development suggested that human relation is doing to others what they would have you do to them. In either case, rather it’s good or bad you or they should expect nothing less than coworkers or supervisors to behave in an ethical, professional manner.

The public image of business has been slipping since the 1960’s. According to a poll conducted in 1966, 55% of the American people had a “great deal of confidence” in American business executives (Matthews, Washington State University, 1995). In recent years, that percentage has dropped to about 20%. Surveys indicate that confidence in business leaders is low, especially with regard to honesty and ethical standards. Confidence in political leaders and institutions is even lower. One explanation is that personal and corporate ethical standards have fallen.

Cases of insider trading, product content deceptions, bribery, pollution, and other business misconduct were seen as confirmation of the public perception. Due to increased concern about ethical issues by the public, it is more likely that some decline in an image is due to increased concern about ethical issues by the public. The public expects more from businesses now than they did in the past. Ethical problems are inevitable at all levels of a business and this means that it’s simply good sense for companies to take seriously the task of institutionalizing ethics in their organizations.

Accordingly, an important segment of corporate America has begun relying on such tools as: statements of corporate values, codes of conduct, ethics workshops, hotlines, even corporate ethics offices and board level ethics committees. In short, they are setting up corporate ethics programs. Formal ethics programs are relatively new to the world of American business. Although a handful of companies have had them for twenty to thirty years, the majority of ethics programs are no more than a few years old and some have been around for only a few months. Nonetheless, their number is growing as their usefulness becomes evident.

Why Ethics? The view from the top. When one looks at corporations with a strong commitment to ethics, the first thing one notices is that the leaders of these organizations are the strongest advocates of corporate integrity. CEOs and Chairmen of such companies are clear and vocal, forcefully charging everyone in the company to look at not only how profitable their actions is, but how ethical. To the skeptics who think that ethics and business go together as well as oil and water, their message is a little short of heresy. Yet another issue cited is the effect of unethical conduct by the corporation on its employees.

Customer Relationship Management

Rich customer relationships that generate loyalty and revenue are critical to sustained business performance. Now more than ever, organizations must be able to flexibly adapt to the unique needs of individual customers. To meet this challenge, companies of all sizes are deploying Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications and strategies across their organizations. They are coordinating multiple channels: including the web, email, call centers, direct mail and face to face – to interact with customers and meet their needs.

Profitable customer relationships begin with sound planning. Actionable strategies for collecting customer data, mining it for valuable insight and cost effectively building these relationships are required to drive results. Firms must identify their Most Valuable Customers, interact with them across all channels and meet their needs. The ability of the organization to interact effectively with stakeholders depends on the quality and nature of the data, how the company derives insights from the data, and how it makes the data or the analysis available to the appropriate interface.

Over time, customer loyalty, satisfaction and share-of-customer revenue increase, while costs decrease. The term CRM has become an over used and often misunderstood term in recent Marketing Strategies. It is mostly equated to IT solutions that build electronic interfaces between a business and their customers. It is much more than that. CRM is all about the Total Customer Experience that a person has with a business that through multiple interactions across channels. Before CRM, there was database marketing.

There always existed benefits in understanding customers and targeting them based on better information. When used properly this makes the customer experience more relevant and acceptable for the customer. This paper is divided into 7 sections which describe critical aspects of Customer Relationship Management. We will investigate best practices that successful companies have developed with their CRM Marketing Strategies, and we will develop several Sales Strategies they we can use to position Direct Mail as a marketing tactic to enhance any CRM strategy.

Customer Segmentation Any discussion surrounding CRM should include discussion around customer segmentation and customer needs differentiation. The goal of customer needs differentiation is to identify clusters of customers with similar needs around which companies can build customized strategies and relevant treatments. The ultimate objective is one-to-one customer relationships with these customers. “Customer Needs” refer to WHY the customer buys, not WHAT the customer buys.

Customer needs are the internal conditions or motivating desires behind a customer’s purchase or usage of a product or service. Customer needs are complex and involve many dimensions and nuances including beliefs, motivations, preferences, life stages, decision making styles and more. A good CRM strategy will employ customer segmentation at its root, and build off the understandings of customer behaviors within the different segments.

A CRM strategy should analyze customer segments and make the appropriate determinations on whether each segment is profitable for their business and how to affect the purchase patterns of the segment so the business can experience the profitable attributes of CRM; loyalty purchasing, cross selling, up selling, etc. Direct Mail fits perfectly into the customer communication strategy for customer segmentation. With variable printing and data rich files a company can use their intelligence and print relevant Direct Mail that will move customers toward the purchase decision.

Additionally customer communications should also enable the company to learn more about the customer over time so that it acts upon that information to better meet customer needs in the future. This is building “learning relationships” with customers, a fundamental CRM concept. A feedback loop must be built into the process so that the company can continually learn more about customers and their needs in order to improve the relevancy of its communications and offering in the future.

Mail can provide the channel for this feedback, both in direct correspondence and by sending customers to web site, 800 #s or whatever channel they prefer. When discussing CRM you should begin with the thought that all businesses need to analyze their customer data, and break their customers into as distinct as possible differentiated segments. Customer segmentation is not new, and you can understand the company better if you understand the method they use to segment their customers. Are they segmented by geography; economics; Recency, frequency, monetary purchasing behaviors, etc.

Once you have that understanding of their segmentation then you can demonstrate the value that Direct Mail can bring to each segmentation philosophy. Since customer segmentation is at the root of CRM, each business that performs CRM is ready to address the bigger question of deploying unique messages to the right customer at the right time. Again mail is the perfect and preferred media to carry those messages. CRM and Technology Historically, CRM initiatives evolved out of the IT department and were technology driven.

These initiatives resulted in cutting costs with IVR systems (Integrated Voice Response) and email communications. Though cost efficient, there are inherent dangers to relying on technology to build customer relationships. . Effectively leveraging technology to enable the CRM strategy and process is important, but one must keep in mind that the technology is a tool to support the strategy, and not CRM itself. CRM is a business strategy that is enabled by technology. The Peppers & Rogers Group refers to CRM simply as the ability to “treat different customers differently.

CRM can be defined using Peppers & Rogers Group “IDIC” methodology, which serves to: Identify customers individually and addressably Differentiate customers or customers groups based on their needs and value Interact with customers in a way that benefits them and the company Customize the relationship over time based on the company’s understanding of the customer’s needs and values. Companies with a winning CRM strategy examine customer interactions through the “eyes of the customer,” and build customer-focused strategies and process to establish and maintain long term profitable customer relationships.

The booming CRM industry has provided the in-depth customer data that is vital for successful direct mail campaigns and integrated channel strategies focused on keeping and growing profitable customers. Data can become customer insight. Customer insight can become action. Action can grow the value of your customer base and grow your net income. Now that the data and print technology is available, mail can be positioned as a “CRM tool. ” 70% of CRM initiatives through IT channels have failed to show the ROI predicted or promised, and now many of these companies are searching for ways to make this expenditure profitable.

Although CRM systems may have streamlined and reduced some contact points, they have not been effective in building more profitable customers. Direct Mail can satisfy the need to show ROI from the CRM systems. Direct Mail can be measured and is a proven method for acquiring, growing and retaining customers. When positioned as a “CRM tool”, hard copy communications has a demonstrated track record for creating successful loyalty programs, customer satisfaction tools, cross sell and up sell promotions and save strategies.

CRM and Loyalty The key to a good CRM program is to know who your customers are and what they want, then provide them with the right mixture of rewards and benefits, or risk losing high value customers to a competitor who listens to your customers better. Loyalty programs have a profound influence on the way consumers buy and whom they buy from – across all industries. It is becoming evident that it is key for organizations to create a focused approach to building customer loyalty by recognizing and rewarding their best customers.

This approach builds on the attitudinal and behavioral customer knowledge currently available and begins to reward and recognize customers based on their value to a company. The core goals of loyalty marketing – convincing invisible customers to raise their hands and identify themselves, moving them along the relationship chain through sophisticated database marketing techniques and increasing the incremental revenues gleaned from them throughout their customer lifecycle – have captivated marketers hungry for data to fuel their enterprise CRM initiatives.

Businesses around the globe have therefore embraced loyalty as a tried and true tactic to deliver desired business results. Due to this proliferation of loyalty programs, customers have their antennae up. They’re more alert than ever, and seek not those brands that offer only “a me to” approach to loyalty, but rather those brands that bolster their overall value proposition with a sophisticated and differentiated rewards program.

Java or C++ Which is Better for Businesses

Today, the world is changing fast in many ways, and the most rapid change that is seen within our society is technology. It is imperative that businesses stay on top of what is new and how they can better their companys outlook by presenting their information in the fastest and most reliable ways. With the two major computer programming languages of today, C++ and Java, which is better for businesses to be able to acquire such speed and consistency?

For years, C++ (C Plus Plus) has dominated the business market place for many different companies and has allowed many computer programmers to obtain vast amounts of knowledge and experience since 1972 when it was first developed by Dennis Ritchie of AT&T Bell Laboratories (Lambert / Nance Page 16). It has been in use for almost thirty years not to mention the years before when its precursor C was developed and commonly used also and has made a great impact on the development of software for business across the world.

It has become a second nature programming language to those that use it and have been forced to stay with C++. The programming language C++ can be used in many ways. It has exploded into the gaming community allowing PC game programmers to have access to a stabile, yet powerful, programming language, utilizing as little code as possible. It has also been used in other commercial software, such as word processors, audio players, screen savers, and other computer desktop tools. Recently C++ has made its way into the Internet community.

For over ten years, business have used C++ for their Internet needs, for example, sending and receiving important data pertaining to their business across the Internet and allowing it to quickly and safely reach the other end of communication and all in one piece. With the high demands of todays Internet users, whether it be an online shopper or one that desires to seek information on a certain topic, it is essential that the information can be sent from the user, to the server, and then back again as swiftly as possible and with utmost dependability all, of course, without the loss of security.

It has been this reason that C++ has stayed on top of the business world, allowing for speed, stability, security, and ease of use all for one computer programming language. It is a fairly simple language to learn and allows for many people learn the language quickly and then share their ideas with others, and learn even more. Microsoft has made C++ an even more popular language via its usage on their Internet web site and its well-known software, the Microsoft Office Suites. In the past year, Microsoft has developed a new development software called .

NET Development and considerably new computer programming language called C# (C Sharp). This is yet another rendition of the C++ computer programming language but is entirely created for the use on the Internet, a great advantage for business that do not wish to convert their computer programmers to the Java computer programming language, or to provide work for new employees that already know Java allowing for the Java programmers a chance to ask for more money at the companys expense.

This new Internet-ready computer programming development system is capable of utilizing an enormous quantity of computer programming languages used by many Internet computer programmers, including C++ (Dragan Page 3). The only drawback is that the version of Java that can be programmed into the . NET infrastructure is a much older version than what is used today and will never have the chance to be upgraded for the recent lawsuit of Microsoft by Sun Microsystems in 1997, rendering newer versions of Java since v1. 0 (version 1. , useless to Microsoft and its supporters (Berger Page 1).

With such a dominating company backing the future of C++ and developing new methods of Internet programming languages, why would any business use any other computer programming language than the one used by the world renowned Microsoft Corporation? Like any software purchased by someone for their computer it is bound to have bugs within waiting to ruin a computer or crash at a most pertinent moment. The C++ computer programming language has been known to give its developers way too much power for their own good.

Meaning that programmers using the C++ computer programming language are able to tweak memory settings or system memory usage, leaving way for the destruction of a computer systems memory and usage ability, resulting in slow performance, instability of the computer system, or a system crash. Most of all, the C++ computer programming language is limited to one type of running system at a time. For example, a program written in C++ is solely written for a computer running Microsoft Windows, or solely for a computer running on a Macintosh operation system.

The computer programming language can never be written so that both types of systems can utilize the same C++ code, allowing for a difficult process of porting the process of changing the code of a program on Microsoft Windows, for example, and then to a Macintosh. This is always a tough feat to accomplish and takes a long time to complete. So then, what is the alternative to this too-powerful, hard-to-port computer programming language? As of 1997, Sun Microsystems has introduced a new Internet-based computer programming language that has more compatibility on all systems that its competitor, C++.

The Java computer programming language is similar to C++ in its coding. To learn C++ is to learn ninety-percent of Java, and vice versa (Liberty Page 11). Yet, Java is a lot different because it runs on a virtual machine, which can be installed on any type of computer system allowing for the same code for any program to run on any system. This is a lifesaver for many business and computer programmers. But of course it all comes with a price a pretty hefty price to some businesses.

Java is known to be slow at sending and receiving data which puts a bad outlook upon this infant of a programming language. And the major goal for one on the internet, other than actually receiving the data, is getting it in a relatively quick amount of time. Also, Java has been developed by Sun Microsystems to make learning the ins and outs of the computer programming language much easier than C++. They have made the program less innovative and much simpler for anyone to come along and learn the language with little to no skills at all (Carucci Page 3).

This poses a risk for allowing mediocre computer programmers to enter a business and waste the time and money of a business and its productivity. It is hard not to point out all of the bad features of the Java programming language for it is very young in the field and has not had the time and attention that C++ has had to be tweaked and enhanced by millions of users. But it is so well developed in its own way that Microsoft has made it a point to copy the functional aspects of Java such as using a virtual machine that prove most useful in the Internet world and have applied these characteristics in their .

NET development software. The whole idea of the . NET development system is so similar to Java that is almost comical. Many argue why Sun Microsystems has not moved Java to ANSI (American National Standards Institute) the institute that describes that standards for many computer programming languages and that they should be able to be compiled and interpreted on other machines (Liberty Page 11-12) and have come to the conclusion that they are trying to create a whole new system to run Java on.

Like Microsoft, who has tried to monopolize many of desktop productivity tools as well as internet browsers, and more, Sun Microsystems is trying to make the Java virtual machine a completely separate system to run all Java applications on, and morph into something like that of an operating system (Carucci Page 5). Sun Microsystems is only trying to be a competitor in the area that the Microsoft Corporation has dominated for so long. When you look at the new development Microsoft is working on, they are trying to accomplish a similar feat.

They [Microsoft] are trying to make all computer programmers to take their skills and flock to the . NET system because they know C++ so well and it is much more powerful than Java, itself. At the same time, Microsoft is allowing for a monopolization of its line of operating systems, Windows, because it is the only operating system supported under the . NET framework. It is now easy to say that C++ should surely be the choice of computer programming languages to build Internet ready applications because of its popularity and enormous community of programmers.

It is best for businesses for the power it offers users, its stability and security that is guaranteed to both ends of the server, and its ability to quickly transmit data back and forth between users and store the information into databases. Tests were performed to prove that C++ could have definitely beaten any Java program when being tested on speed. In one instance, a program was made for each language to add up matrices ranging in size from one by one to 100 by 100. Each program ran five times and amounted to 500 data values.

The results showed that in real time, the C++ program was executed and complete in a mere 0. 24 seconds while the Java program took almost 2 seconds. The C++ program ran at 7. 2 times faster than the Java program (Galyon Page 6). More tests were completed and information was compiled; results showed that all of the C++ programs ran around seven times faster than the Java programs, constantly (Galyon Page 3-9). It is even apparent in todays world that many businesses and companies are making the move, if they are not already there, to C++, and soon the .

NET development system. Major companies like Microsoft Corporation, Lionhead Studios, id Software, and AT&T all utilize the C++ computer programming language, all for different areas of computing, also. Although it would be nice to be able to make use of a computer programming language such as Java so that programs can be written once, and ran everywhere (MacVittie Page 1), not everything can be perfect but the perfect choice for business computer programmers would have to be C++.

Business Ethics Report Essay

Ethics in Business From a business perspective, working under government contracts can be a very lucrative proposition. In general, a stream of orders keep coming in, revenue increases and the company grows in the aggregate. The obvious downfalls to working in this manner is both higher quality expected as well as the extensive research and documentation required for government contracts. If a part fails to perform correctly it can cause minor glitches as well as problems that can carry serious repercussions, such as in the National Semiconductor case.

When both the culpable component and company are found, the question arises of how extensive these repercussions should be. Is the company as an entity liable or do you look into individual employees within that company? From an ethical perspective one would have to look at the mitigating factors of both the employees and their superiors along with the role of others in the failure of these components. Next you would have to analyze the final ruling from a corporate perspective and then we must examine the macro issue of corporate responsibility in order to attempt to find a resolution for cases like these.

The first mitigating factor involved in the National Semiconductor case is the uncertainty, on the part of the employees, on the duties that they were assigned. It is plausible that during the testing procedure, an employee couldnt distinguish which parts they were to test under government standards and commercial standards. In some cases they might have even been misinformed on the final consumers of the products that they tested. In fact, ignorance on the part of the employees would fully excuse them from any moral responsibility for any damage that may result from their work.

Whether it is decided that an employees is fully excused, or is given some moral responsibility, would have to be looked at on an individual basis. The second mitigating factor is the duress or threats that an employee might suffer if they do not follow through with their assignment. After the bogus testing was completed in the National Semiconductor labs, the documentation department also had to falsify documents stating that the parts had surpassed the governmental testing standards. From a legal and ethical standpoint, both the testers and the writers of the reports were merely acting as agents on direct orders from a superior.

This was also the case when the plant in Singapore refused to falsify the documents and were later falsified by the employees at the have California plant before being submitted to the approval committees (Velazquez, 53). The writers of the reports were well aware of the situation yet they acted in this manner on the instruction of a supervisor. Acting in an ethical manner becomes a secondary priority in this type of environment. As stated by Alan Reder, . . . if they [the employees] feel they will suffer retribution, if they report a problem, they arent too likely to open their mouths. 13).

The workers knew that if the reports were not falsified they would come under questioning and perhaps their employment would go into jeopardy. Although working under these conditions does not fully excuse an employees from moral fault, it does start the divulging process for determining the order of the chain of command of superiors and it helps to narrow down the person or department that issued the original request for the unethical acts. The third mitigating factor is one that perhaps encompasses the majority of the employees in the National Semiconductor case.

We have to balance the direct involvement that each employee had with the defective parts. Thus, it has to be made clear that many of the employees did not have a direct duty with the testing departments or with the parts that eventually failed. Even employees, or sub-contractors, that were directly involved with the production were not aware of the incompetence on the part of the testing department. For example, the electrical engineer that designed the defective computer chip could act in good faith that it would be tested to ensure that it did indeed meet the required government endurance tests.

Also, for the employees that handled the part after the testing process, they were dealing with what they believed to be a component that met every governmental standard. If it was not tested properly, and did eventually fail, isnt the testing department more morally responsible than the designer or the assembly line worker that was in charge of installing the chip? Plus, in large corporations there may be several testing departments and is some cases one may be held more responsible than another depending on their involvement.

A process like this can serve the dual purpose of finding irresponsible employees as well as those that are morally excused. The fourth mitigating factor in cases of this nature is the gauging of the seriousness of the fault or error caused by this product. Since National Semiconductor was repeatedly being reinstated to the listed of approved government contractors, one can safely assume that the level of seriousness, in the opinion of For the contractor approval committees, is not of monumental importance.

Yet one has to wonder how this case would have been different if the lack of testing did cause the loss of life in either a domestic or foreign military setting. Perhaps the repercussions would have come faster much more stringent. The fact that National Semiconductor did not cause a death does not make them a safe company. They are still to be held responsible for any errors that their products cause, no matter the magnitude. As for the opposition to the delegating of moral responsibility, mitigating factors and excusing factors, they would argue that the entity of the corporation as a whole should be held responsible.

The executives within a corporation should not be forced to bring out all of the employees responsible into a public forum. A company should be reprimanded and be left alone to carry out its own internal investigation and repercussions. From a business law perspective this is the ideal case since a corporation is defined as being a separate legal entity. Furthermore, the opposition would argue that this resolution would benefit both the company and the government since it would not inconvenience either party. The original resolution in the National Semiconductor case was along these lines.

The government permanently removed National from its approved contractors list and then National set out to untangle the web of culpability within its own confines. This allowed a relatively quick resolution as well as the ideal scenario for National Semiconductor. In response, one could argue that the entity of a corporation has no morals or even a concept of the word, it is only as moral and ethical as the employees that work in that entity. All of the employees, including top ranking executives are working towards advancing the entity known as their corporation (Capitman, 117).

All employees, including the sub-contractors and assembly line workers, are in some part morally responsible because they should have been clear on their employment duties and they all should have been aware of which parts were intended for government use. Ambiguity is not an excusing factor of moral responsibility for the workers. Also, the fact that some employees failed to act in an ethical manner gives even more moral responsibility to that employee. While some are definitely more morally responsible than others, every employee has some burden of weight in this case.

In fact, when the government reached a final resolution, they decided to further impose repercussions and certain employees of National Semiconductor were banned from future work in any government office (Velazquez, 54). Looking at the case from the standpoint of National Semiconductor, the outcome was favorable considering the alternate steps that the government could taken. As explained before, it is ideal for a company to be able to conduct its own investigation as well as its own punishments.

After all, it would be best for a company to determine what specific departments are responsible rather than having a court of law impose a burden on every employee in its corporation. Yet, since there are ethical issues of dishonesty and secrecy involved, National Semiconductor should have conducted a thorough analysis of their employees as well as their own practices. It is through efforts like these that a corporation can raise the ethical standard of everyone in their organization.

This case brings into light the whole issue of corporate responsibility. The two sides that must ultimately be balanced are the self interests of the company, with main goal of maximum profit, and the impacts that a corporation can cause on society (Sawyer, 78). To further strengthen this need, one could argue that there are very few business decisions that do not affect society in way or another. In fact, with the plethora of corporations, society is being affected on various fronts; everything from water contamination to air bag safety is a concern.

The biggest problem that all of us must contend with is that every decision that a business makes is gauged by the financial responsibility to their corporation instead of their social responsibility to the local community, and in some cases, the international community. This was pointed out on various occasions as the main reason why National Semiconductor falsified their reports. The cost that the full tests would incur did not outweigh their profit margins. Their business sense lead them to do what all companies want . . . maximum profit. In the opinion of the executives, they were acting in a sensible manner.

After all, no executive wants to think of themselves as morally irresponsible. (Capitman, 118). The question that naturally arises, in debating corporate responsibility, is what types of checks and balances can be employed within a company to ensure that a corporation and all of its agents act in an ethical manner. Taking the example of the National Semiconductor case, one can notice many failures in moral responsibility. National Semiconductor would have to review its employees, particularly the supervisors, for basic ethical values such as honesty.

Example, ultimately it was the widespread falsification of the testing documentation that caused the downfall of National Semiconductor, not the integrity of their components. In the synopsis of the case it is never mentioned that the employees initiated this idea, it would seem that it was the supervisors that gave the order to falsify the documents. In order to accomplish this, the company executives would have to encourage their employees to voice their concerns in regards to the advancement of the company.

Through open communication, a company can resolve a variety of its ethical dilemmas. As for the financial aspects of the corporation, it has to decide whether the long term effects that a reprimand from the government can have outweighs their bottom line. In other words, corporations have to start moving away from the thought of instant profit and start realizing both the long term effects and benefits. These long term benefits can include a stronger sense of ethics in the work force as well as a better overall society.

To conclude, I must say that I agree with the use of mitigating factors in determining moral responsibility. A company, as defined by law, is only a name on a piece of paper. The company acts and conducts itself according to the employees that work in that entity. I use the word employee because in ethical thinking there should be no distinction of rank within a company. There are times when executives can be held directly responsible and at the same time, there are cases where employees are acting unethically without the executives knowing.

Neither title of executive or employee equates to moral perfection. Therefore, when a company has acted irresponsibly, its employees must be held liable in a proportionate amount. As for the future of ethics in business I would speculate that if employees started to think more in long term benefits and profits, many of the ethical dilemmas that we face today would be greatly reduced. As mentioned before, businesses today uses the measuring stick of profitability. There needs to be a shift to the thinking of total utility for the social community in order to weigh business decisions.

Opponents would argue that this is a long term plan that require too many radical changes in the face of business. Also, there is no way that an industry wide standard can be set since there are too many types of corporations. Plus, companies have different needs and every moral rule is subjective according to the type of business that everyone conducts. In response, I would argue that although there are no industry standards that are feasible, it is possible for every company to examine their practices as well as the attitude of their employees.

There will be companies that find that they are doing fine with employees that are aware of their moral values. Yet other companies will find that they do have areas that need improvement. It is steps like these that start implementing changes. Once a few companies start to see the benefits of changes, it can help to encourage other companies to follow suit. After all, as seen in the case of National Semiconductor, mistakes in one department can cause the deterioration of an entire corporation. When the costs that are possible are taken into account, the changes required to rectify this are small in comparison.

Analysis of Bombardier

Bombardier took on its present form in 1976 when MLW-Worthington, a manufacturer of locomotives, acquired Bombardier Ltd. , a manufacturer of snow tractors and snowmobiles. The company was renamed Bombardier Inc. in 1978. The company has been active ever since in the acquisitions of various aerospace and transportation companies around the world. Nature of the Business Bombardier conducts business in five main areas: transportation equipment, aerospace, defense, motorized consumer products, and in financial and real estate services.

The total revenues increased by 20% from $5. illion to $7. 1 billion over the last year. To be able to see the extent of Bombardier’s operations it is best to look at each manufacturing group separately. Aerospace Aerospace is Bombardier’s most important industry. It accounted for 47% of sales and 33% of profit in 1995 and makes Bombardier the fourth largest civilian airplane manufacturer in the world. Bombardier’s customers are spread out over the globe. They range from government and private commercial airlines to wealthy individuals and corporations in need of private jets.

The products hat are driving the growth in this division are the RJ, the Global Express, and the Lear-45. De Havilland, which was recently purchased with help from the Ontario government, produces the Dash-8 series of airplanes. The Dash-8 has had its production rate increased to 48 planes a year with about 81 on order. Modified versions of the Dash-8 are in the works that could enable an even bigger increase in production. Bombardier has cut costs and increased the profit margin at de Havilland to improve profitability.

Bombardier will likely exercise the option to buy the remaining 49% from the Ontario government. The utlook for the success of the RJ is very good, although most of its sales rely on a small number of companies, these companies are pleased with the RJ’s performance to date. Bombardier’s entrant into the long-range market is the Global Express that has about 60 orders on the table, but needs 100 to break even at a price of $34 million. It is experiencing strong competition from Gulfstream, which produces a plane that is targeted for the same market as the Global Express.

Bombardier has been successful in turning around the troubled Learjet operations and now expects Learjet to expand its aircraft production ith the introduction of the Lear-45, which already has 90 orders on hand. The Canadair 50 seat regional jets are continuing to be turned out at a rate of 60 per year. Overall the Aerospace industry has strong growth potential, provided that Bombardier sticks to its successful niche marketing strategy. Bombardier is competing with some of the biggest companies in the world. Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon are all counted as the opposition.

Transportation Equipment This industry is responsible for 22% of sales and 22% of profits for 1995. The nature of this group is cyclical. Bombardier manufactures subway cars, high speed trains, passenger cars, and a variety of other equipment, which is primarily sold in the North American and European markets. Bombardier has made many acquisitions in this industry that are usually acquired at a loss. These acquisitions along with the huge loss in the Eurotunnel contract has made it difficult for Bombardier to show it’s real profitability in this industry. Revenues have increased by 20% since 1994.

Bombardier has 28% and 12% of the North American and European markets respectfully. The outlook for expansion in he North American market is encouraging with the contract with Am-Trac to supply high-speed trains and equipment for use in the United States. Recent developments in Mexico has led to an increase in demand for railway cars in that country. As well, the acquisition of Waggonfabrik Talbot will give Bombardier a strong foothold in the European market that already accounts for 60% of sales. One area of concern is that Bombardier’s competitors in this industry are becoming stronger.

The merger between Asea Brown Boveri (ABB) and Damhler-Benz has created a strong competitor. The reemergence of Morrison Kundsen has also increases the competition in this area. The fact that more and more transportation authorities are being privatized and will need to adapt their fleets to meet consumer preferences creates a positive outlook. To accomplish these adaptations these companies will have to renew their 1000’s of vehicles. Motorized Consumer Products. The biggest products in this group are the Sea-Doo and Ski-Doo recreation vehicles. This group accounted for 23% of sales and 38% of profit.

High profit margins have helped Bombardier achieve success in this market. Sales in the Sea-Doo area have increased by 20% last summer making Sea-Doo the leader in the personal water craft market. The increase in Ski-Doo’s sales has been about 8% per year over the last few years giving Bombardier the number two position in the market behind Polaris. Other competitors in this group are Arctic Cat and Brunswick. Bombardier has also recently expanded into electric vehicles marketed to closed gate communities in the southern US mainly occupied by seniors.

The markets for personal recreation vehicles is cyclical, but the trong economy in North America right now is helping to buoy sales. A problem on the horizon for Bombardier is that the aging demographics of its market may mean a fall in purchases in the future. Defense Defense accounted for 6% of sales and -2% of profit. The major products in this group are the Starstreak missile, Shorts Missile Systems, and various support services. Customers are mainly governments in the UK, US, Middle East, France, and Canada. Bombardier has seen the demand for its products in this market shrink over the past few years.

Efforts are being made to outsource roduction and carry over technology from defense to civilian uses. The major competitors in this market are the same as in the aerospace industry as well as Loral and Rockwell. Financial Services 2% of sales and 9% of profit was contributed to this group. Bombardier deals in three main areas. It gives loans and leases to dealers of its own products and other dealers, it provides leasing and financing to its customers, and it provides financing and support for Bombardiers other divisions. There are really no competitors because Bombardier knows it’s own business better than nyone else.

The major banks may provide some competition in areas of customer financing. The success of this division depends on the successes of the other groups. Management Quality Bombardier management has acquired a very good reputation for turning around failing businesses. Bombardier management has been able to see opportunities and take advantage of them. The ability to turn around businesses, strong stability, strategic vision and good returns to shareholders in the past have displayed that the Bombardier management is, at the least, of good quality.

Ownership Control here are a total of 335,505,211 common shares. 88,756,982 of these shares are Class A, which have voting rights of 10 votes each. The other 246,748,229 shares are Class B with 1 vote each. The Class B shares can be converted to Class A shares under special situations. There are 1,236,900 cumulative, non-voting preferred shares totaling 30. 9 million dollars. The dividends received from these shares are either 75% of prime or 1. 875%, which ever is greater. Family members of the founder, J. Armand Bombardier, some of which are management own about 62% of the voting shares.

Business Ethics Essay

From a business perspective, working under government contracts can be a very lucrative proposition. In general, a stream of orders keep coming in, revenue increases and the company grows in the aggregate. The obvious downfalls to working in this manner is both higher quality expected as well as the extensive research and documentation required for government contracts. If a part fails to perform correctly it can cause minor glitches as well as problems that can carry serious repercussions, such as in the National Semiconductor case.

When both the culpable component and company are found, the question arises of how extensive these epercussions should be. Is the company as an entity liable or do you look into individual employees within that company? From an ethical perspective one would have to look at the mitigating factors of both the employees and their superiors along with the role of others in the failure of these components. Next you would have to analyze the final ruling from a corporate perspective and then we must examine the macro issue of corporate responsibility in order to attempt to find a resolution for cases like these.

The first mitigating factor involved in the National Semiconductor case is he uncertainty, on the part of the employees, on the duties that they were assigned. It is plausible that during the testing procedure, an employee couldnt distinguish which parts they were to test under government standards and commercial standards. In some cases they might have even been misinformed on the final consumers of the products that they tested. In fact, ignorance on the part of the employees would fully excuse them from any moral responsibility for any damage that may result from their work.

Whether it is decided that an employees is fully excused, or is given some moral responsibility, would have to be looked t on an individual basis. The second mitigating factor is the duress or threats that an employee might suffer if they do not follow through with their assignment. After the bogus testing was completed in the National Semiconductor labs, the documentation department also had to falsify documents stating that the parts had surpassed the governmental testing standards. From a legal and ethical standpoint, both the testers and the writers of the reports were merely acting as agents on direct orders from a superior.

This was also the case when the plant in Singapore refused to falsify the documents nd were later falsified by the employees at the have California plant before being submitted to the approval committees (Velazquez, 53). The writers of the reports were well aware of the situation yet they acted in this manner on the instruction of a supervisor. Acting in an ethical manner becomes a secondary priority in this type of environment. As stated by Alan Reder, . . . if they [the employees] feel they will suffer retribution, if they report a problem, they arent too likely to open their mouths. 113).

The workers knew that if the reports were not falsified they would come under questioning and perhaps their employment would go into eopardy. Although working under these conditions does not fully excuse an employees from moral fault, it does start the divulging process for determining the order of the chain of command of superiors and it helps to narrow down the person or department that issued the original request for the unethical acts. The third mitigating factor is one that perhaps encompasses the majority of the employees in the National Semiconductor case.

We have to balance the direct involvement that each employee had with the defective parts. Thus, it has to be made clear that many of the employees did not ave a direct duty with the testing departments or with the parts that eventually failed. Even employees, or sub-contractors, that were directly involved with the production were not aware of the incompetence on the part of the testing department. For example, the electrical engineer that designed the defective computer chip could act in good faith that it would be tested to ensure that it did indeed meet the required government endurance tests.

Also, for the employees that handled the part after the testing process, they were dealing with what they believed to be a component that met every governmental standard. If it was not tested properly, and did eventually fail, isnt the testing department more morally responsible than the designer or the assembly line worker that was in charge of installing the chip? Plus, in large corporations there may be several testing departments and is some cases one may be held more responsible than another depending on their involvement.

A process like this can serve the dual purpose of finding irresponsible employees as well as those that are morally excused. The fourth mitigating factor in cases of this nature is the gauging of the seriousness of the fault or error caused by this product. Since National Semiconductor was repeatedly being reinstated to the listed of approved government contractors, one can safely assume that the level of seriousness, in the opinion of For the contractor approval committees, is not of monumental importance.

Yet one has to wonder how this case would have been different if the lack of testing did cause the loss of life in either a domestic or foreign military setting. Perhaps the repercussions would have come faster much more stringent. The fact that National Semiconductor did not cause a death does not make them a safe company. They are still to be held responsible for any errors hat their products cause, no matter the magnitude. As for the opposition to the delegating of moral responsibility, mitigating factors and excusing factors, they would argue that the entity of the corporation as a whole should be held responsible.

The executives within a corporation should not be forced to bring out all of the employees responsible into a public forum. A company should be reprimanded and be left alone to carry out its own internal investigation and repercussions. From a business law perspective this is the ideal case since a corporation is defined as being a eparate legal entity. Furthermore, the opposition would argue that this resolution would benefit both the company and the government since it would not inconvenience either party. The original resolution in the National Semiconductor case was along these lines.

The government permanently removed National from its approved contractors list and then National set out to untangle the web of culpability within its own confines. This allowed a relatively quick resolution as well as the ideal scenario for National Semiconductor. In response, one could argue that the entity of a corporation has o morals or even a concept of the word, it is only as moral and ethical as the employees that work in that entity. All of the employees, including top ranking executives are working towards advancing the entity known as their corporation (Capitman, 117).

All employees, including the sub-contractors and assembly line workers, are in some part morally responsible because they should have been clear on their employment duties and they all should have been aware of which parts were intended for government use. Ambiguity is not an excusing factor of moral responsibility for the workers. Also, the fact that some employees failed to act n an ethical manner gives even more moral responsibility to that employee. While some are definitely more morally responsible than others, every employee has some burden of weight in this case.

In fact, when the government reached a final resolution, they decided to further impose repercussions and certain employees of National Semiconductor were banned from future work in any government office (Velazquez, 54). Looking at the case from the standpoint of National Semiconductor, the outcome was favorable considering the alternate steps that the government could taken. As explained before, it is ideal for a company to be able to onduct its own investigation as well as its own punishments.

After all, it would be best for a company to determine what specific departments are responsible rather than having a court of law impose a burden on every employee in its corporation. Yet, since there are ethical issues of dishonesty and secrecy involved, National Semiconductor should have conducted a thorough analysis of their employees as well as their own practices. It is through efforts like these that a corporation can raise the ethical standard of everyone in their organization. This case brings into light the whole issue of corporate responsibility.

Book Review of Business Policy and Strategy: An Action Guide

Business Policy and Strategy: An Action Guide, by Robert Murdick, R. Carl Moor and Richard H. Eckhouse, attempts to tie together the broad policies and interrelationships that exist among the many functional areas which undergraduate students typically study. The authors intend the text to supplement the typical case book and/or computer simulations used in teaching business strategy (ix). Situational analysis is presented, as is a structure for developing strategy.

Practicality and real world experience is combined with educational theory to provide as complete a picture as possible of strategy in business. The authors have divided the text into 15 chapters with no further subdivisions. It is possible, however, to group the chapters into specific areas of study. For example, the first chapter, “Business Failure — Business Success,” examines why businesses fail, and provides the reason for continuing with the remainder of the text. The next two chapters focus on the “field of action,” including the business environment and the business system.

The fourth and fifth chapters introduce strategic management (chapter 4) and the struggle not only to survive, but to prosper using strategic management (chapter 5). Chapters Six through Nine address specific functional areas (marketing, accounting/finance, production, and engineering/research and development). Chapters 10 and 11 introduce the reader to the problems of managing human resources (chapter 10) and data processing resources (chapter 11). The last four chapters discuss the issues involved with analyzing business situations.

Multinational business analysis is the subject of chapter 12, while chapter 13 turns the reader’s attention to how to conduct an industry study. Chapters 14 and 15 focus on how to analyze a case and illustrations of case analysis, respectively. The text concludes with an appendix of symbols used by those who evaluate reports and a general index to topics within the book. The authors make good and frequent use of charts, graphs, forms and other graphic techniques to illustrate their points.

Each chapter concludes with a selected bibliography that the student may use for additional research. The book is printed entirely in black ink; the use of color for key concepts would have enhanced the book’s value as a teaching text. Visually, the book is crowded without much white space for readers to make notes. Key concepts could also have been separated from supporting text in a more clear manner. While each chapter has a summary, they do not have an introduction or a listing of key words of concepts that the student should learn as a result of studying each chapter.

Such aids would make the book more valuable and enhance the learning experience of readers. Chapter 1 examines why some businesses fail and why others succeed. The first sentence in the book states exactly where the authors stand on the issue: “Businesses fail because managers fail” (1). The authors present a chart that illustrates how businesses large and small can both have “relatively short successful life spans” (1) Reasons for the ultimate failure are presented in this chart, and the authors go into greater detail in the text.

Fundamentally, the authors find that managers in business are unable to determine what action to take, or are unable to implement the necessary action once they have identified it. The reasons for these shortcomings are many, but the authors find that managers may be unable to differentiate between problems and symptoms. To help their readers overcome this problem and successfully manage one or more businesses, Murdick, Moor and Eckhouse identify five points that they address in the remaining 14 chapters. One, they present the field of action in which managers must operate.

Two, they describe common major problems that must be identified and solved in order for firms to prosper. Three, they present a framework for determining a unified sense of direction. Four, they give a brief account of policies and problems in the major functional areas of business. Five, they give detailed case and analysis tools to enhance the reader’s ability to identify complex business problems. Chapter 1 concludes with a list of business failures and their causes of 1987, helping the student to understand the importance of strategic management in the success or failure of a company (4).

In Chapter 2, the authors move to consider the field of action, or the arena in which business executives and businesses operate. Chapters 2 and 3 focus on this field of action, with chapter 2 looking at the environment of the business system. Murdick, Moor and Eckhouse suggest that a business has seven groups of stakeholders, each of which provides some level of legitimacy to the organization: customers, shareholders, general public, suppliers, competitors, governments and special interest groups (5). It is important that the business act in a manner that is morally responsible toward these groups.

However, any one of these groups may be powerful enough to force a business to close, or to support its operation even during general business downturns. Because this field of action is dynamic, it is up to the managers of individual organizations to determine the proper level of responsibility toward each of these groups of stakeholders. Murdick, Moor and Eckhouse also suggest that monitoring and forecasting the business environment is vital to the success of a business. The authors divide the environment into two distinct parts: remote and immediate.

The remote environment consists of such aspects as: global economics, political factors, social and demographic features, technology and physical resources. The immediate environment comprises such areas as: customers and prospects, competitors, the labor pool, suppliers, creditors and government agencies (7). To those business managers who are of the opinion that they cannot forecast the future because they have problems in the present, the authors counter that by being mindful of what the future may hold, the managers can minimize their problems in the present.

This chapter concludes with a discussion of opportunities and threats. Murdick, Moor and Eckhouse suggest that opportunities, like the environment itself, can be divided into immediate and long-term for the purpose of analysis. Immediate opportunities include new applications of existing products, new processes in manufacturing, and new and improved customer service (8). Threats that pose immediate problems may also pose extremely fragile environmental situations. Avoiding environmental threats requires long-term planning and anticipation of potential problems.

Environmental threats may include competitors, changes in customer demand, legislation, inflation, recession and technological breakthroughs. In addition to opportunities and threats, which help managers attain long-term and short-term business success, managers must also be aware of constraints. Constraints may require careful and thoughtful analysis in order to realize their full implications. Legal constraints are often obvious, but political constraints may be nebulous.

Some constraints to growth are identified by Murdick, Moor and Eckhouse as lack of natural resources, declining productivity and deteriorating transportation systems (13). In chapter 3, the authors turn their attention to the business system, which is the second field of action. Here, they suggest that the historically popular approach of studying functional areas separately without understanding their interrelationships proved short-sighted and the source of many business problems, and some spectacular failures.

The discussion of the business system begins with the identification of general management. General managers are identified as individuals “responsible for a business system” (15). It is the general manager who is responsible for profit and loss and for long-term survival. It is up to the general manager to balance conflicting objectives of subsystems, differing value systems of internal and external influences, opposing views of priorities and emphasis and conflicting proposals for criteria in all areas.

The general manager develops the concept of the enterprise, guides the development of a set of visions, goals, values and policies, and conducts the strategic management tasks of renewal and growth (16). Murdick, Moor and Eckhouse suggest that organization provides the structure of the business system. Some organizational aspects are dictated by law; sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited partnerships, corporations and joint-ventures are examples of these. While these are the legal forms of organization a business may have, the law does not dictate which form is appropriate for a given business.

Determining the legal type of organization requires careful analysis. As businesses change and strategies are modified, managers must be willing to undertake changes in the legal organization, as well, in order to maintain the most competitive and advantageous organizational structure. Murdick, Moor and Eckhouse identify small firms as those that are guided by a single individual, or by two partners. Imposing the tight, formal structure of medium and large companies on small companies can be death for the smaller firm, according to the authors (18).

Instead, small companies work best with loose organizational structures that allow for maximum creativity. While managers of small firms that are growing into medium-sized firms are well advised to avoid hiring managers from other medium-sized firms, and instead, seek to teach the individuals who are already associated with the company the skills they will need in the now-larger organization. In all cases, the goal is to keep the owner-manager occupied in the areas in which the company benefits the most from his expertise.

This may mean delegating some responsibilities in order to allow the owner-manager time to focus on strategic planning. Turning their attention to medium-sized firms, Murdick, Moor and Eckhouse first acknowledge that there are no clear-cut rules for differentiating between medium and large companies, except through examining assets, sales, equity and number of employees. They suggest that medium-sized firms can be differentiated from some companies in that medium-sized companies require a functional manager for each functional area.

Small companies may have one manager for several functional areas. Full-time specialists, such as lawyers or treasurer, may also be found in medium-sized firms, but not in small ones. Medium-sized companies are best served by “flat” organizational charts; that is, few hierarchical levels, with functional managers reporting directly to the president. Murdick, Moor and Eckhouse recommend a span of management of at least six people without crossover responsibilities (22-23). Large companies usually have complex organizational structures that may have any one of several hundred forms.

Large companies are characterized by “staff” and “line” personnel, with staff personnel providing support services to line personnel, who are responsible for the company’s products or services. There are increased layers of management in large companies when compared to medium and small firms, and there are often subdivisions or subsidiaries that are grouped under one large parent organization. Organizations may follow one of the six “pure” forms identified by the authors: people, product, geographic area, process, function or phase of activity (33).

Large companies are likely to combine several of these forms. Organizational policies (as opposed to personnel and staffing policies), identify information such as the principles to be followed in organizing the parts of the company, relationships among major organizational components, guidelines for position titles, functional descriptions of components and spans of management. The authors end this chapter with a discussion of decision problems. Such problems are identified as situations that require action based on executive decision to pursue a given course of action (41)

Chapter 4 formally introduces and explores a concept that has been central in the text so far, but which the authors have not defined until now: strategic management. Murdick, Moor and Eckhouse identify seven major tasks that form the strategic management process: formulation of the philosophy of management, corporate purpose and goals; environmental analysis and forecast, internal analysis of strengths and weaknesses; formulation of strategy; evaluation of strategy; implementation of strategy; and, strategic control (45).

The Survival of the E-Business

Starting out as a government and research network, the Internet became available to the public in the early 1990’s attracting millions of users. Since then, the Internet has become the largest and most important network. In 1998, the Internet had 100 million users; that number is doubling every year. The Internet has revolutionized the businesses of today. Instead of having physical stores, companies can sell their products right off of the Web.

There are millions of electronic businesses on the Web; some companies have been a huge success and some have been a huge failure. In order for an e-business to survive a company must understand the market in E-Business, the importance of E-Intelligence, understand the failure of other businesses, and develop an E-Readiness plan. Electronic commerce enables companies of all sizes and all market sectors to compete on the same stage. The Web slashes through the barriers of geography and time to reduce a company’s cost.

Terry Hiles, a e-businessman, says, \”With about 550 million potential customers using the Internet by the year 2000 the opportunities for electronic commerce will be massive, If you don’t wake up to what’s happening you’ll lose out to companies you’ve never heard of, based in countries you probably couldn’t pint out on a map, offering products you haven’t even dreamed of yet. How else will you be able to market 10% of the world’s population? \” Besides the vast market, e-commerce has other benefits. With a single virtual storefront instead of physical stores managing and supplying becomes cheaper and easier.

Also setting up a business is inexpensive on the Web. The barriers to enter the market are low; almost anyone can set up an e-business. However, this creates a more competitive market in which companies are forced to fine tune their profit margins and their product supply chains. One way to efficiently optimize product supply chains is to allow business users in external trading partners to tap into the internal closed-loop information supply chain. This reduces cost and increases profit margin by two companies working cooperatively and sharing business information.

Although starting an e-business might seem easy, many fail. Companies must realize the importance of e-intelligence in running their business smoothly. E-intelligence is a system that provides e-business information, applications, and services to internal business users, trading partners, and corporate clients. The system is fast and easy, and it provides companies with vital information on the consumers’ needs. E-intelligence offers a number of business benefits: 1. It moves e-business operations into a traditional business environment.

This provides the means to look at all corporate business operations and business information. 2. It provides accurate and precise business information that helps business users make a knowledgeable decision. Using this information, business users can analyze business performance in respect to competitors. 3. It aids e-business applications in dividing e-business customers to personalize the actual Web pages exposed. 4. It enables organizations to share information with trading partners by extending business intelligence outside of the corporate firewall.

It allows external and internal users to move between different systems by linking e-business applications with business intelligence. A business intelligence system can result in changes to back-office operation. This would include the creation of a new product or changes to product pricing. The output from a business intelligence system can also be used in front-office operations. Information can be used in such activities as marketing. E-intelligence is important in many aspects of running an e-business.

Many things can cause a business to go wrong, but there are ways to avoid a failure. Many failures can be avoided with the correct mix of systems and strategies. To avoid making the mistakes many others have made, it is important to realize where they went wrong. A major part of some businesses’ downfall is caused by the lack of competent back office systems and software to support their company effectively. There are some crucial points that some dot. coms failed to recognize. First, you cannot deliver goods to an e-mail address.

Secondly, a direct sales organization must deliver quickly and efficiently to compete with more reliable companies. Customers are relying on \”self service\” customer service that is faster and more convenient. Web sites can provide customers with a quick and convenient way to shop, but in order to provide a reliable service with repeat business, it is vital that goods are delivered on time. In the real-time environment of on-line direct sales, address management can be particularly effective. Before, companies would waste time and money by dealing with incorrectly filled out order forms.

Now, companies can incorporate an address check into order forms to ensure inaccurate addresses are rejected from the start. One of the hardest steps in turning a Web site into a sales outlet is getting visitors to register. New theories of permission marketing and viral marketing are constantly developing encouraging people to register themselves and friends. However, registration must be fast and easy. The Internet creates an intensely competitive market where organizations need to beadle to react spontaneously to change in the market.

Sony And Marketing

The primary concern or objective of marketing is to identify and satisfy, or exceed the changing needs of customers. In view of this broad concern of marketing, it can be seen that the concept of marketing encapsulates many activities in a business. Marketing, in fact, refers to any activity undertaken by a firm that has been designed to plan, price, promote and distribute ideas, goods and services to target markets. These marketing activities were executed in order to create exchange, that is sales, that will result in the achievement of the proprietors’ individual goals and the firm’s goals, both in the short-term and the long-term.

It is then obvious that marketing forms an integral component of any business’s operations. In particular marketing activities attempt to increase a firms’ revenue base, by placing an emphasis on enticing potential customers in target markets to purchase the firms’ products in order to satisfy their wants, rather than those of firm’s competitors. Consequently, the marketing directly contributes to the attainment of the financial goals of the firm.

Hence, the success of a firm is reliant upon the extent to which it is able to identify, and satisfy or exceed the customer’s needs more effectively and efficiently relative to its competitors vying for the same markets. Marketing as an activity that entails several features, all of which are presented during the course of the marketing process. Such features include, firstly and most importantly, that marketing is a comprehensive process that begins with the creation of an idea and ends up as product that will be sold to satisfy a customer’s needs.

Secondly, marketing is seen as a managerial process as it involves making managerial decisions about the particular mix of product, price, place and promotion in a firm. Furthermore, marketing involves managers planning and ensuring that particular sequenced activities are carried out, in order for the marketing plan to be successful. Finally, marketing is perceived as a way in which firms are able to satisfy the needs of customers, and in turn achieve their own business goals. Marketing provides the business with the ability to satisfy the changing wants of customers.

In light of this, and the fact that businesses have become increasingly aware of the role that marketing plays in achieving success in the business, several approaches or philosophies to marketing have developed. There are five central approaches to marketing, with the use of a specific marketing approach/s depends upon particular business’s marketing strategy and the type of product being marketed. These different approaches are: Marketing Concept: this approach believes that customer’s want-satisfaction is the economic and social reason for an organisation’s existence.

This approach stipulates that all of the business’s activities should be targeted towards meeting consumer wants, while at the same time meeting the organisation’s goals. In effect, this approach requires that the firm finds out what the customer wants, and subsequently develops a product to meet these requirements and then sell it at a profit. Production Concept: this approach states that the business will sell its product if it is both well made and affordable.

Businesses utilising this approach require management to focus on improving production techniques and cost structures of the business. Consequently, this approach does not place emphasis on customer want-satisfaction. Product Concept: this approach has the attitude that ‘product is king’ and focuses on the quality, features, and performance of the product. This approach believes that if the product has more features or is of a better quality and performance compared to competitors, it will then gain greater sales. This approach is not customer want-satisfaction oriented.

Selling Concept: this approach focuses on developing sales techniques and promotional activities in order to entice customers into buying an organisation’s product, whether they want it or not. Therefore this approach places direct emphasis on customers, but, possibly not on their want-satisfaction. Societal Marketing Concept: this is the latest marketing approach, it combines the main ideas of the marketing approach, that is, determining customer needs and satisfying the business’s goals, but also integrates social responsibility into the business.

This social responsibility includes increasing environmental awareness, which may include tackling the problems of pollution and the exploitation of non-renewable resources. Modern day businesses are under pressure to adopt this marketing approach, in order to become more socially responsible. This approach not only focuses on fulfilling the customer’s want-satisfaction, but also satisfying society. The electronics firm, Sony, has expanded its operations from its establishment in 1946 in a ‘bombed out department store’, to become one of the world’s largest and most influential electronics firms.

Sony, has furthermore, developed a worldwide reputation, as one of the worlds most innovative and technologically advanced firms. Its success can be attributed to several internal factors, which include, the freedom of workers to experiment, the passionate decisions of management, the established corporate culture, and also particularly to the marketing approaches that top management has integrated into the firm since its establishment.

The leaders of Sony, from its founders to the present-day management, have encouraged their product designers to express and prove their individual visions about the development of new products to the firm, as with the Sony Walkman. In fact top management has been ‘willing to join the creative fray’, which has lead to the development of a cohesive firm with a corporate culture. This management style prompted the development of premium quality, unique, and futuristic products, and along with the establishment of a strong corporate culture, formed the basis of the firm’s competitive advantage.

These aspects gave rise to adoption of several marketing approaches during the course of Sony’s life cycle. During Sony’s period of establishment the marketing approach was the key approach, since the initial management of Sony decided that the only way to succeed was to discover a new form ….. of technology and develop a product from it, which would satisfy the wants of customers. This was evidenced by the conception of the tape recorder, and the first pocket-sized radio, developed for changing lifestyles.

This approach has continued and still practiced today as signified by the recent development of the following products, the Walkman, the Handycam, the Discman, all of which are regarded by millions of customers as products that represent a way of life. The marketing approach was influential in the marketing of the Walkman, such a concept originated from a want of customers for a small, portable, tape/radio player, to replace the large, inconvenient players of the era.

Sony identified this customer-want, and the Walkman was introduced, and heavily marketed, and in turn, became one of! the firm’s most successful products. In addition Sony has realised that consumer-want for electronics is apparent in all age groups and as such, it has developed several products for different markets, for example, ‘My First Sony’ was introduced for a younger target market.

Another essential marketing approach for Sony has been the product approach, unlike other firms in Japan; Sony prides itself in producing products which have incorporated unique plastic appearance and futuristic features with superior quality, and affordability of price. These concepts have ensured that Sony’s sales have outstripped both domestic and foreign, including Western, competitors. In fact, Sony has upheld these concepts, in regards to their products, to the extent that they cancelled the production of a new television, simply because a rival had placed a similar product on the market.

Coupled with the product marketing approach has been the design of products, which is a major feature in the marketing strategy of Sony, this is evident with the Sony Playstation, which has been carefully designed and uniquely developed for the younger target market. In the future, with the dawn of the digital age, Sony must place greater emphasis on the product marketing approach, to achieve sales, if it wishes to maintain its market edge. This requires, Sony, embracing advanced technology in the manufacturing of its products.

The managers of Sony have realised the dilemma, that due to the speed of technological advancements, the products Sony releases today will become obsolete rapidly. Therefore, Sony is continually, incorporating innovation achieved via extensive research and development, to improve and expand upon its products to make them superior to competitors. This approach has lead to the development of several 21st century products to be used to dominate the future electronics market; these products include a portable head-mounted video player, a DVD player, and a new-generation computer.

The final approach to marketing by Sony has been the selling approach, Sony, as a multinational firm, has earned a reputation worldwide as being a superior producer market leader, in regards to electronics products. The size of the company allows it to promote its product on a larger scale than that of many of its competitors. Potential customers are enticed to purchase the firm’s product, even if they do not need it, by the array of commercials, catalogues, and other methods, which portray Sony product’s as being superior.

Further, the appearance of Sony’s products is heavily marketed as being state of the art, everyone is aware of the black, sleek, elegant, and futuristic appearance of the Sony the products. Sony is a successful international business as it has grown to become one of the world’s largest and most influential electronics firms, due to its ability to meet consumer-wants worldwide. This influence over the market is evident as domestic and international competitors wait for Sony to initiate a market trend via the introduction of a product, and then duplicate this, so as to benefit from Sony’s success.

Furthermore, Sony has come to possess a worldwide reputation, which rivals those of the other multinationals, like Nike and others, a reputation which has made Sony and its products synonymous with quality and superiority in electronics. Sony’s is also seen as internationally successful as it has entered many export markets in the world, including Australia, Sony also has established several headquarters in different parts of the world, including America and Europe, which is a testament to its international success.

This worldwide status has enabled Sony to discover chan! ges in consumer wants, new product ideas, and the success of different marketing approaches worldwide. Sony’s international success can be attributed to several internal factors, these in the passionate decisions of management, in that they allow the product designers the freedom to experiment and develop the ideas that may lead to a breakthrough for the firm.

Further, Sony’s success can be attributed to the establishment of a strong corporate culture in the firm, which allows the goals of the firm to be achieved, as managers have ensured the everyone is able to focus on the overall picture of the firm. Sony’s integration of marketing approaches is another keystone to the firm’s international success, as the simultaneous use of the strategies has allowed the firm to better satisfy customer wants, and in turn better achieve its own goals.

This success can be attributed, largely, to the role of product marketing in the business, the attitude that ‘product is king’ has allowed Sony to develop a general direction in which the firm is headed. The use of product marketing has resulted in Sony being able to, use different methods, such as market research and R&D, to discover the wants of customers, and in turn develop products to satisfy these wants, all of which has enabled Sony to gain sales and become successful, internationally. Product marketing has also allowed Sony to maintain its edge in the electronics market.

As Sony’s designers are using the market approach to continually develop, improve, and expand upon their products to meet the changing customer needs, this coupled with large-scale promotion of the product, itself, has allowed Sony to maintain its competitive advantage. This approach has also meant that any perceived problems with the products can be easily identified and corrected. Finally, the empha! sis on product marketing has allowed Sony to develop products which are encompassing the ‘technology of tomorrow today’ allowing, Sony to maintain its success well into the future.

Nike Sweatshops Essay

Nike is the leading shoe and athletic apparel company in the United States and one of the largest in the world. In 1993, Nikes fiscal revenues were as large as the NBA, NFL, and Major League Baseballs television deals, ticket sales, and paraphernalia sales combined. In addition to their phenomenal sales, Nike has marketed itself so thoroughly that it has literally become a household name. Over 200 of the 324 NBA players wear Nike shoes, with over 80 of them under contract to do so. 275 professional football players and 290 Major League Baseball players join them.

Nikes fame however, is not limited to professional sports. Over one half of the NCAA championship basketball teams of the past decade have worn Nike shoes and apparel and the company has endorsement agreements with over 200 colleges and universities. The scope of this corporation even extends beyond the United States. Nike recently paid an unfathomable $200 million in an endorsement deal with the Brazilian National Soccer Team (State of California v. NIKE, Inc. ; Nike). This hefty sum of money seems even more outrageous given the conditions of the factories used to produce these high-dollar goods.

Nike does much of its shoe production in China where workers cannot be represented by labor unions. In these factories, workers are paid $1. 50 at best for a pair of shoes that sells for around $100. In attempts to improve its public image, Nike repeatedly makes claims that its workers are paid double the minimum wage. Ironically, in most cases workers actually make less than the minimum wage. In Vietnamese factories, the minimum wage is $35 per month. Most Nike workers contend to make less, and their pay stubs serve as proof.

Some employees actually make as little as 300,000 dong or $25. 86 per month. This leaves literally no room for savings and most workers have to seek financial assistance from relatives just to survive (Greenhouse; ORourke ). The same company that paid $200 million for an endorsement cant pay its workers more than the required $35 a month. Dusty Kidd, Director of Nike Labor Practices offered some insight into Nikes philosophy. I am fully cognizant of the call on the part of some for a living wage. That is generally defined as sufficient income to support the needs of a family of four.

We simply cannot ask our contractors to raise wages to that level whatever that may be while driving us all out of business; and destroying jobs, in the process. On the contrary, just one month after that statement was issued, Kathryn Reith, Manager of Womens Sports Issues made a proclamation of her own. Nike is fulfilling our responsibility as a global corporate citizen each and every day by guaranteeing a living wage for all workersand creating opportunity for womens financial independence. (State of California v. NIKE, Inc. ).

Nikes female workers have a different view of the situation. The salary they receive cannot even constitute a living wage for a single person, let alone a family of four as Mr. Kidd stated. To eat three meals a day, these women must spend at least $2. 10 per day. The average daily wage for these women is $1. 60. A salary too small to provide food for them is hardly a living wage. To counter this, Nike CEO Philip Knight wrote a letter to the New York Times dated June 21, 1996 claiming that Nike provides free meals, housing, and health care to its workers.

A review of check stubs shows that workers are charged nine cents for their lunch each day, bringing their hourly wage down to 16. 8 cents per hour. At the typical 267 hours Vietnamese workers put in each month (107 of those hours being overtime by U. S. standards), they bring home an average of $45. In addition, workers themselves pay for their health care and company-funded housing is a fantasy (State of California v. NIKE, Inc. ). Small salaries such as this fall short of justifying the hours workers are forced to put in. Vietnams labor law limits overtime to 200 hours per year on a voluntary basis.

Nike workers however are forced to work overtime, often in excess of 500 hours per year. If these workers refuse, they are usually terminated. Unfortunately, long hours arent limited to the factories of Vietnam. In China, 11-hour days are standard and workers must work an additional 2. 4 hours of overtime each day. This practice violates both Chinese labor laws and Nikes own Code of Conduct. The workers here are given two to four days off per month, again contrary to the laws and Code of Conduct which both call for at least one day of rest per week (Vietnam Labor Watch; State of California v.

NIKE, Inc. ). It would seem that these illegal practices shouldnt go on undiscovered for long and that the government or Nike would step in. In many cases though, workers are afraid to report such issues out of fear of losing their jobs. In these underdeveloped countries, there are few other opportunities and a reputation as a troublemaker may follow the worker in the future. Furthermore, in many countries, the workers are not allowed to form unions, so there is no one to look out for their interests.

In Indonesia where a union does exist, workers dont have a choice of what union represents them. The trade union, SPSI has never bargained in favor of the workers. In 1999, the Indonesian government gave a three-month extension for a new collective labor agreement on August 30, just one day before the old one would expire. The problem holding up the new agreement was the workers request of a seniority clause to their contracts. This clause would give workers a raise of 15 cents per day for each year of service with the company.

Had it been granted, this raise would have cost Nike $9000 per day. On the final day of that extension, an agreement was finally signed, but it gave the workers nothing new (Press for Change). According to Nikes own Memorandum of Understanding, it is ethically and legally responsible to ensure that its subcontractors follow governmental health, safety, and environmental standards. Yet thousands of young (18 to 24 year-old) female workers are exposed to harmful chemicals and reproductive toxins on a daily basis. These chemicals are found in the solvents and glues used to produce Nike shoes.

One such chemical is Toluene, which causes vertigo, headaches, and eventually a narcotic coma. Another common chemical in these plants is Acetone. Health problems from acetone exposure can be even worse than that of Toluene and can include headaches, drowsiness, throat irritation, coughing, vertigo, unrest, nausea, vomiting, progressive collapse, coma, and kidney and liver damage (State of California v. NIKE, Inc. ). More disturbing is the lack of protection workers have against these chemicals. In many cases, workers have no protection at all.

In areas considered to be the highest danger, workers are provided with thin cotton masks and gloves. According to a fact sheet from the University of Utahs chemical lab, precautions when dealing with Toluene should include a chemical cartridge mask, safety goggles with a face shield, a protective suit, and polyvinyl alcohol gloves. In a report published by Ernst and Young, 77% of the workers in Vietnams production department admit to having respiratory problems. The unbearable heat in the factories does little to help the situation.

In interviews conducted by the Vietnam Labor Watch, it was discovered that its common for workers to faint during their shifts from a combination of heat, exhaustion, and poor nutrition. Several instances have been reported of workers coughing up blood before fainting. Ironically, Nike issued a document entitled Please Consider This which stated: Nike takes full responsibility for working conditions wherever its products are produced(Vietnam Labor Watch; State of California v. NIKE, Inc. ) One would certainly hope Nike didnt mean to include the actions of supervisors in its description of working conditions.

Women in Nike factories frequently suffer sexual harassment and severe punishments for their mistakes at the hands of their supervisors. One such incident was reported in a Vietnamese newspaper called Nguoi Lao Dong. On August 18, 1996 a supervisor took two women into a storage room. He began to touch one woman and tried to remove her clothes. She escaped him and fled the room. The supervisor then grabbed the other woman, took off her clothes, and began to rape her. He was caught in the act by a security guard who had been summoned by the first woman. The man fled the country immediately.

Nikes CEO told stockholders that the supervisor was trying to wake the sleeping women and must have touched them in the wrong place. The Vietnamese government disagreed and began extradition proceedings against the supervisor. On several occasions after the incident was discovered, the company offered the women envelopes of money to smooth over the situation. One of the women explains her feelings on the attempted bribes, But we refused. I answered them, we will not for money sell our dignity or our honor. (Vietnam Labor Watch). In 1997 Thuyen Nguyen traveled to Vietnam to view the factories for himself.

Upon his return, he was very outspoken about what he witnessed. I cannot describe to you these womens sense of desperationmost of the women I spoke to work ten to twelve hour days six to seven days per weekForced and excessive overtime is the normif workers refuse, they are punished or receive a warning. After three warnings, theyre fired. He also noted Pregnant workers are treated with disrespect and have been, on occasion, unjustly terminated. (State of California v. NIKE, Inc. ) There seem to be no rules or limitations on the punishments workers can receive, even for minor offenses.

On March 8, 1997, International Womens Day, a supervisor in a Vietnamese factory made 56 women run twice around the 1. 2 mile factory because they wore the wrong shoes to work. Twelve of these women went into shock, fainted, and were hospitalized. On a day when most employers in the country give their female employees flowers and gifts, this factory gave twelve women a trip to the emergency room. Another supervisor ordered 45 workers to kneel with their hands in the air for 25 minutes for what he considered to be poor performance. On November 26, 1996 100 workers were forced to stand in the sun for an hour for spilling a tray of fruit.

This is a common punishment called sun-drying. For 15 women the punishment for poor sewing was a smack in the head. Two of these workers were taken to the hospital and 970 workers went on strike to protest the unfair treatment. In another instance, an American inspector told a supervisor that the wrong color was being used on the outsoles of shoes. The supervisor later lined up the six employees who made the mistake and hit each one with the outsole. A standard rule in these factories is to limit the restroom privileges of employees.

Workers are not allowed to use the restroom more than one time in an eight-hour shift and cannot drink water more than twice (Vietnam Labor Watch). When the Ernst and Young report uncovered the problems Nikes factory workers endured, the company announced that it would be looking into the allegations and would clear up any situations it found to be illegal or unethical. CEO Philip Knight did this by hiring Andrew Young, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, to investigate Asian operations. Mr. Young founded GoodWorks International to do this.

GoodWorks released a report in June 1997 basically claiming that Nike was innocent of any wrongdoing and that the conditions in the factories were acceptable. However, Andrew Young did not visit all of the factories, therefore his report is incomplete. He failed to address even one single violation mentioned in the Ernst and Young audit which was completed three months prior (State of California v. NIKE, Inc. ). Not only was the GoodWorks report incomplete, it was also very fictitious. Andrew Youngs report lists Anita Chan as a contact. Ms. Chan wrote a letter to the Washington Post denying ever being contacted by Mr.

Young or anyone from GoodWorks. She states that if she had been contacted, she would have brought to his attention numerous health, wage, and safety violations, which were occurring in the Chinese factories. These inaccuracies are not limited to China. Photos were taken of Andrew Young during his trip to Vietnam, one of which was captioned Andrew Young meeting with plant management and union representatives in Vietnam. Nike spokesman Mr. Vada Manager later admitted that the men in the photograph with Mr. Young were receiving salaries from the company, rather than from the union or the Vietnamese government.

In a lawsuit filed by the state of California against Nike, Inc. , representatives from the state contend, Nike knew, or should have known, that the GoodWorks report was deficient in its failure to address the potentially life-threatening health and safety violations at the Tae Kwang Vina plant. Despite the inconsistencies in the GoodWorks report, Nike represented it as proof that it was doing a good job and operating morally (State of California v. NIKE, Inc. ). As can be expected, Nike denies wrongdoing in the conditions of its factories and claims to be justified in all of its actions.

There have been numerous, unsuccessful boycotts against the company, and Nike has retaliated with denials and attempts to justify its actions. For example, Nike is a member of the Fair Labor Association, a White House-backed organization, which has apparel companies on its board. Mr. Knight and the shareholders of Nike feel this association is an acceptable effort toward rectifying the situation in its factories. However when the University of Oregon joined a different organization, the Workers Rights Consortium, Nike CEO Philip Knight cancelled his planned $30 million donation to his alma mater.

The billionaire Mr. Knight has previously given a total of $50 million to the University of Oregon – $30 million for academics, and $20 million for athletics. As an explanation for the withdrawal of the promised donation, Nike spokesman Vada Manager said We object to the Workers Rights Consortium because it does not provide a seat on the table for companies. He went on to say The University of Oregon, despite its unique relationship with Nike and Phil, is free to align itself with the Workers Rights Consortium.

However, it does not mean that we are required to support those efforts with which we have fundamental disagreements. (Knight; Greenhouse). Randy Newnahm, University of Oregon Senior and Survival Center Coordinator has a different view of Mr. Knight. Perhaps he sums up the whole situation best. He (Mr. Knight) keeps claiming that his company is socially responsible and that they dont use sweatshop labor. If thats the case, why is he so upset that we joined this monitoring group? It kind of implies that something isnt quite up to par. (Greenhouse).

Introduction to Business

Business plays a major role within our society. It is a creative and competitive activity that continuously contributes to the shaping of our society. By satisfying the needs and wants people cannot satisfy themselves, businesses improve the quality of life for people and create a higher standard of living. It is a way for individuals to provide goods and services to consumers, and at the same time, produce a profit for themselves.

Businesses are not only important because they provide goods and services for consumers, but they also improve the economy and increase jobs for people within society which is an additional fact producing a higher standard of living. To measure our societies standard of living, we must look to our “Gross National Product”, which is the complete measure of our nations output. Unfortunately, inflation is a major problem in our nation which often reduces the Gross National Product. Inflation occurs when the goods become too high within society and spending decreases.

A central function within our economic system is satisfying the needs of the consumers with the use of limited supplies. The purpose of a business is to combine resources such as land, labor, and capital in a way that will make them more valuable. Operating in a political and economic climate that supports individual rights, American business has as its guiding principle the right to private ownership and profit. The amount of goods produced depends upon the number of resources available for use. This idea is commonly known as “Supply and Demand”.

Businesses must attempt to reach an equilibrium between the two which will directly impact the price of the products produced. If something is heavily demanded and at the same time, it’s resources are limited, the price of the product will rise. This idea of course works both ways. The easier it is to produce something, the cheaper it will be. All economic systems begin with the same resources including land, labor, capital and technology. These resources may be limited at any given time, varying within the world at large, from country to country.

This business cycle explains how business fluctuates from high to low prosperity, recession, depression and recovery over time. The major challenges faced by our nation today are the Federal Budget Deficit, international trade deficit, the Decline of Smokestack America, and the conservation of energy. The Federal Budget Deficit occurs when our expenditures are greater then our revenues. International trade deficits occur when a nation imports more then it exports. The Decline of Smokestack America is when there is a change from an industrial to a post-industrial economy.

Finally, the conservation of energy is so that there are a sufficient amount of natural resources necessary to produce goods. General economic growth or stagnation also has an important influence on business within our society. Many factors can affect it’s condition, such as war, new inventions and technology, political assassinations, the discovery of physical and natural resources, labor negotiations, government action, and many others. When the economy is strong and the demand is high, businesses can prosper.

Regardless of how great the economy may become, businesses still must compete with other firms for scarce raw materials and labor. A businesses environment creates many opportunities as well as problems for prospering businesses. The environment determines what a business can do by shaping and channeling its development. Businesses function within an environment by allowing entrepreneurs to raise capital and create profits freely. The supply of money available within a business as well as the economic stability through times of growth and recession have strong effects on businesses.

Not only is the physical environment, including natural resources, pollution and energy as discussed previously, important, but many other aspects within the environment influence business. A business must adapt and overcome consumerism and ecology, and it has a social responsibility to do so. Cultures surrounding businesses also play a major role. A business must adapt to a changing society with age, lifestyle, culture and location. When a business learns to adapt to these changes, it will be profitable for both the business and consumers. Economic systems can be classified into three categories.

These include capitalism, socialism and communism. Pure capitalism is an unrestrained freedom to buy, sell and compete. Private enterprises allow entrepreneurs to run businesses without central government control and can operate within a free market. Capitalism is a system of true private enterprise. Some aspects of capitalism are free choice, private ownership, private profit and free competition. The only drawback of this type of system is that a company can operate with no competition thereby creating a monopoly unfavorable for consumers.

Socialism, on the other hand, is a system where the production and distribution of industries are owned and operated by the government. Officials directly manage some or all of the extraction of raw materials, manufacturing, communication and transportation. This system is loosely regulated by the government. Finally, communism replaces the operation of a free market almost entirely. Most of the rights enjoyed within the capitalist system are denied and private ownership is prohibited. Business are controlled by state planners and competition is almost completely eliminated.

Today our economy is made up of a mixed economic system with each one contributing but no one dominating. Communist and socialist systems seem to be adopting many capitalists views and ideas. It is up to you to decide which system you prefer, but the United States’ system of capitalism seems to be working adequately and positively. It is based on the principles of private enterprise and modified capitalism. There are many forms of business within our economic system but they are all arranged in three major categories. These three categories are sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporations.

Within a sole proprietorship, one entrepreneur assumes all the risks of the business, but at the same time, keeps all of the profits. In just this one simple sentence we become aware of the obvious fact that along with it’s advantages come many disadvantages. A sole proprietor, on one hand, makes his own decisions and pays only one tax for himself and the business. In addition, setting up a business for a sole proprietor is much simpler under the law compared to the other two types of businesses. However, the sole proprietor has unlimited liability and complete responsibility to the business.

He or she must assume all of the risks and often must contribute from his own savings in order to prosper or just simply exist. A sole proprietor must also bring the natural resources, human resources and capital together by himself in order to run the business and produce goods and services. Because of it’s difficulty to raise funds and grow, sole proprietorships very often suffer from impermanence. A partnership can also start with little difficulty under the law. They have a greater chance of growing and existing because partners can pool their assets, talents, funds and borrowing power.

Similar to sole proprietorships, partnerships also pay only one tax and create a high degree of satisfaction for the partners stemming from them being their own boss. Unfortunately, however, with a partnership comes unlimited liability and personal disagreements between the partners. In addition, because of this single taxation, the personal assets of the partners are frozen which often creates major problems. As a result, partnerships also suffer from impermanence. A corporation, in my opinion, is the best option.

Although filing for a corporation can become expensive and they are heavily regulated by the state, they have the ability to raise large amounts of capital. They have a long term existence, continuing to exist even when one of it’s officers dies or resigns, large investment possibilities, easy withdrawal power and a specialized management making production easier and quicker. Best of all, corporations have limited liability, holding only the corporation itself liable to any debts or obligations and freeing all officers and their personal assets from blame and liability.

Although this may all be true, owners within a corporation, that being the shareholders, must share the total investment and divide all profits made. Because of the generally large number of owners, job satisfaction also decreases along with strong personal motivation. Shareholders have almost no privacy when it comes to their financial affairs. There is a higher taxation for corporations and the shareholders are taxed twice, once for the corporations assets and a second time for personal assets.

The role of the government in authorizing the operations of corporations creates still another disadvantage. They are often expensive to establish and complex to run because they are strictly regulated by the government. More government regulations are applied to corporations then any other form of business ownership. Just simply reporting to the government so that they know all regulations are being followed can be timely and complicated. Strict and detailed records and statements must always be kept for the government as well as for the shareholders of the corporation.

It is obvious, everything that comes with advantages must also come with disadvantages, this is why the type of business ownership that is ight for a person varies, depending on the detailed aspects of each particular business. The advantages and disadvantages must be weighed within each situation. While the main forms of business ownership include the three subsequently discussed, there are many other variations that can be used, depending upon each situation. These include limited partnerships, joint ventures, joint stock companies, cooperatives and franchises. Small business are also widespread in our nation and are growing rapidly.

They provide the most employment to teenagers, immigrants and the elderly, hereby employing a large percentage of the population. This fact is true because small business are more willing to adjust to their employees needs and responsibilities. The services industry is dominated by small businesses which require limited capital in order to establish them and run successfully. They have greater flexibility, provide greater personal attention to consumers, have lower, fixed costs, high innovation and greater motivation. Unfortunately, the failure rate of small businesses is high due to poor management and inadequate financing.

Therefore, small business owners accept many benefits as well as urdens. The benefit of being your own boss and gaining greater work satisfaction is accompanied by the burden of working long hours and dealing with high amounts of stress. However, these burdens are generally a result of many occupations, regardless of whether or not you are your own boss. This is why small businesses are on the rise. There are many aspects that go along with creating a successful business, regardless of it’s size. These include networking, planning, environmental examinations, internal control and resources.

The problem is, however, that it is up to the sole proprietor of the business o bring all of these aspects together in working order which is harder for a small business then it is for a larger business or corporation. However, there are several agencies of the federal government whose primary purpose is to offer support and guidance to small businesses. A major agency among these is the Small Business Administration. Specifically, the Small Business Administration provides guidance in the form of special courses and workshops in management problems and skills.

It publishes information on how to prepare a business plan, start up and operate a business, and helps a business obtain there fair share of overnmental contracts. Of major importance to small business owners is the fact that the Small Business Administration assists sole proprietors in obtaining loans and capital necessary in order to create a business. While they can neither guarantee nor provide these funds, they can be of great assistance. People obtaining small businesses through franchising have a much higher success rates, for obvious reasons.

They are a good choice in order to avoid the many problems of creating a small business on your own. A franchise permits an individual to own his or her own business while benefiting from a trademark, now-how and the reputation of an established firm. This enables an individual to acquire a business more quickly and receive profits rapidly. However, the individual owner must pay the parent corporation a portion of the businesses’ profits. This often becomes a problem because in some instances the financial rewards for the individual are sometimes low in relation to the time an effort that they put in to running the business.

Therefore, this a major disadvantage and often makes the idea unattractive to small business owners. Since the government plays a major role in the operation of a business, he two must learn to coexist. The main role of government has traditionally been to protect the rights of the country’s citizens. They follow this role by providing for the people police protection, a judicial system and a national defense system. The government protects individuals within our economy by protecting fair competition, consumer investments and general welfare, promotes property rights, and oversees certain administrations and industries.

During the nineteenth century many businesses’ strategy was to reach a monopoly position, and many were successful. Finally the government stepped in and egulation has been a rule ever since. The right to own property is basic to a private enterprise and it is the ultimate responsibility of the government to enforce this right. The government must also enforce limitations on property rights, one important limitation being taxation, in order to benefit the public. It is responsible for establishing many agencies to protect consumers’ health and safety.

This, of course, being another benefit of taxation. Taxation is done in order to provide public service and promote the general well being for the people. The most important source of revenue for the federal government s a tax on personal and corporate incomes. Many states and some cities depend heavily on income taxes. Noting gets done without management. Business management is central to running a business by handling resources and activities and accomplishing work through other people within the firm.

A business can be looked at as a system of related parts working together, and management is what integrates these parts to make up the system. Small firms usually have only one or two managers, but large corporations have a staff of managers all working on different levels. The level of the manager is how he or she is ranked within the company. The top level consists of executives, the middle level are known as the middle managers, and finally the lower level are commonly known as the first-level supervisors.

This is what I mean by the managers being ranked in the company. An executive will be known to have much more responsibility, plan and implement strengths and have more control of the business than the lower level managers do. However, all managers are trying to achieve the same goal regardless of the size of the company, this goal being to work effectively with the employees and consumers in order to achieve the company’s objectives. Managers have four basic responsibilities; planning, organizing and staffing, directing and coordinating, and evaluating and controlling.

Managers make plans to solve problems and take advantage of opportunities that come there way in order to help the business run successfully and profitably. They must recruit qualified workers to carry out this plan, workers who work well with others and are hard working and innovative. Some king of organization is needed to arrange each workers position within the company. A supervisor must also be selected so that each employee will know to whom they will be directly working for. All of these tasks must be brought together by the manager.

The manager must constantly evaluate the workers and coordinate the work being completed. The evaluation of results leads to control, which influences other functions within the company. One important aspect that makes a successful manager is his degree of sensitivity. Since a manager must work through people, personal interaction skills are of utmost importance. All managers use different approaches to dealing with people but it is important to treat employees with respect, flexibility, recognition, and room for ideas. You ill only get back what you give, and this is where many business fail.

No matter how intelligent or business minded you may be, if your employees or consumers don’t like or respect you as a person, you will get no where. Managers must also be innovative in order to find better ways to get the job done, good decision makers so that they may take risks in order to solve problems, good leaders in order to bind and organize the company, have good communication skills with employees and bosses so as to promote a free flowing exchange of information, and finally, have good motivational skills so as to otivate employees to add incentive and meaning to the work.

Obviously, management is a difficult job. All of the functions that a manager must perform require dedication, intelligence, the ability to deal with stress and diverse people, and most of all, the ability to deal with and accept responsibility. Today, producers must make an effort to find out what kinds of products consumers want and to make these products available for sale. They must also make an effort through advertising to inform consumers of the goods and services that are available to them. Lets face it, all businesses have the same goal, to ake consumers happy and make a profit.

The marketing concept builds profits for the consumers’ needs and interests. Marketing requires as mixture of production, development, pricing, placement and promotion. All of these functions must be implemented on a continuous basis in order to improve sales. Product planning concentrates on determining which goods and services consumers want to design them and meet their needs. Pricing is an important aspect of production because it ultimately determines whether a product will be purchased and if, at the same time, it will be profitable to the company.

Product distribution involves decisions about warehousing and transportation that will be cost effective, timely and safe. At this point, the company will also determine whether they will be selling products directly to the public or to an intermediary. Finally, product promotion includes personal selling and promoting the products available, advertising, and direct sales promotion, such as free samples and discount coupons. Business income depends entirely upon the sale of products, including goods or services.

Successful companies must introduce there products in a way that works consistently with the changing market, economic conditions, ompetition, and changing company goals so as to benefit both the consumers and the company through a high percentage of sales. The main role of marketing managers is to insure to the best of their ability that the product will be sold in quantities necessary to benefit the company. This role entails expert knowledge about the product and knowledge of consumers’ wants and needs.

It will almost always include designing the specifications of the product in order to produce its precise functions and abilities. An important aspect of planning and designing a new product is differentiating it form other similar products on the market. Packaging and presentation can help to achieve this goal in some ways, however, specific features must be present within the products themselves in order to achieve this differentiation. A trademark or brand name is an important way of differentiating products by creating buyer loyalty.

Brands are important in production because they make it easy for consumers to distinguish one product from another. Buyers feel confident buying certain brands that they feel they can trust and are assured of consistent quality. Brands are normally at the center of advertising. Even if a consumer is convinced about buying a product, hey would be more able to identify and more apt to purchase it if it had a brand. Advertising is an important aspect of marketing. It provides the presentation of good available to the consumer through communications vehicles such as the media.

It present informative and persuasive sales messages through the newspapers, television, magazines, etc. Advertising stimulates interest in and demand for specific products, and thus supports sales promotion and personal selling. It is often used to create a favorable public view toward a company, industry or other institution. The main purpose of advertising is to help sell oods and/or services. It supports personal selling by informing the potential buyer of a products features and encouraging a favorable attitude towards it before the product has actually reached the selling stage.

It reaches people sales personnel cannot since it rarely possible to have a sales force large enough to reach every potential consumer and will sometimes motivate people to seek out representatives on their own. Advertising improves personal relationships with dealers by increasing demand and sales. And finally, advertising promotes goodwill by proving to be reliable, interested in the ublic good and a good citizen. This advertisement will do this by concentrating on the business itself rather then the product so that consumers trust it and feel safe by using the companies products.

Setting the right price for a product is essential to it’s success. The major factors that effect product pricing are demand and competition. Demand is closely linked to price. If the supply of a product is constant, greater demand will allow higher prices. At the same time, however, higher prices will tend to reduce demand. Competition also affects pricing. Free competition tends to drive prices down ecause competitors will increase the supply of the product in the market and new competitors often purposely sell at lower prices in an effort to cut into the sales of an established producer.

Therefore, marketers have an important choice to make when pricing a product. They can establish high prices with the expectation of selling fewer units with higher profits on each unit, or set low prices in an effort to achieve voluminous sales even though the profit on each unit may be small. They must then attempt to find the right price in order to maximize profits by balancing a sales volume with profit per unit. Federal and state governments have passed laws influencing the fair pricing of gods by companies.

These Fair Trade Laws prohibit retailers from selling goods at a price lower then that set by the producer, so as to prevent unfair competition. They are supposed to protect small retailers from the competition of large stores who can afford to set lower prices because of their voluminous sales. Marketing management includes more then just buying and selling. It includes a wide range of activities and duties, all being of great importance to the business. Nearly every firm is concerned with buying, selling, transporting, toring, risk bearing, standardizing, grading and labeling, financing, and gathering and using information.

What all of these aspects have in common is that they must all be done with enough appeal and innovation necessary in order to sell products and at the same time make a profit for the company. Running a business is costly, therefore every idea must be carefully though out and implemented so as to satisfy consumers, while at the sale time, satisfying the business by creating a profit. Market research is of equal importance to a business. As discussed previously, our economy is very diverse and constantly changing. A business must study the environment and population so as to comply with the consumers buying patterns, needs and wants.

A company can do this through market segmentation, demography, and by the use of questionnaires and surveys. Market research can be carried out by the use of market segmentation, which is the dividing up of the market into similar groups so that each group may be studied and carefully examined. Demography is the study of the population as a whole through the use of statistics. Finally, questionnaires, surveys, consumer test panels, and the observation of shopper behavior in stores can also aid in dentifying and characterizing a market within the economy.

This will surely keep a business up to par on the changing economy in the present, as well as forecasting future trends which has also proven to be necessary in order to operate as a successful business. In conclusion, it is obvious from my brief discussion that the term “Business” is very complex. When discussing it, one must consider many important sub-categories such as economic systems, the business cycle, business environments, types of businesses, government, management, marketing and advertising, each of which in and of itself is also very complex.

Business Management Essay

Choose a company and identify all motivational (employee-centered) programs that the company has in place. Then ascertain the significance and objectives of these programs. Next provide a critique of these programs. Finally, recommend changes that will improve on the programs and/or new programs that will better meet the objectives articulated above. Overview:The company that I have chosen as the subject of my research is the AAA Travel Agency. More specifically, I have interviewed several travel agents from the Reno, Pennsylvania location, which serves patrons from Western Pennsylvania as well as West Virginia.

The bulk of the information for my analysis has come directly from the in-office interviews with Ms. Tiffany Pacior, the senior travel agent for the Reno office. She has provided me with information directly out of the AAA employee handbook as well as personal information covering the positive and negative effects she has experienced from the programs I will be discussing. There can be little doubt that the backbone of every successful business or company is its staff of employees. Employees are the vital parts of the business machine that can aid in its success or contribute to its failure.

It is for this reason that it is imperative to possess the ability to acquire and maintain effective employees. The chief method by which a business or company can accomplish this task is through employee-centered motivational programs. The goal of these programs is to encourage employees to maximize their performance by targeting three specific motivational stimuli. These include morale, satisfaction, and rewards. After researching their policies and interviewing employees, I have came to the conclusion that AAA of Reno, Pennsylvania has adopted Fredrick Taylors approach to motivating their employees.

In this paper I will demonstrate how AAA applies Taylors scientific management approach to target the three motivational stimuli stated above. I will also provide some insight from the employees perspective as to how effective the programs are at what they are designed to achieve. The scientific management approach to motivation evolved from the work of Frederick Taylor. He believed that when highly productive people discover they are being compensated basically the same as less productive people, then the output of highly productive people will decrease.

Consequently, the scientific management approach to motivation is based on the assumption that money is the primary motivator. This seems to be the ideology that AAA has adopted to produce high morale, achieve satisfaction, and reward their employees. Morale, as it applies here, may be defined as the overall feeling of the members of an organization. Generally speaking, a company with a high morale among its employees enjoys above average performance and a lower than average employee termination rate. AAA has several programs in practice, which support the scientific management approach to motivation to produce high morale.

First, it is not uncommon for a travel agent to work beyond the scheduled forty-hour workday to complete the tasks of a heavy business day. It was for this reason that the company offers overtime compensation for the dedication of their employees. The company pays one and a half times their regular hourly rate of pay when an agent works more than their scheduled hours per week. Also, for those individual days when an agent works more than ten hours per day, they are entitled to overtime dinner pay. The employees stressed that this is a worthwhile program because it allows overtime workers to order dinner from local delivery shops.

The objective here is simple, no one likes to work on an empty stomach and so why not use a little give and take to make the employees feel like they are not being taken advantage of. It has proven to be effective from the opinions of the employees I interviewed. The final program I was made aware of designed to bolster company morale is the paid time off program. This allows employees to take time off from their work for various reasons and to be regularly paid as if they were working for that period of time.

Acceptable reasons for this privilege cover a wide spectrum including personal vacation, minor illness, funeral leave, jury duty, holidays, military leave, and marriage. Ms. Pacior explained that although these programs are not abundantly used, when needed they are greatly appreciated by the employees and help to curb what would be a falling morale. Everyone needs time off from work from time to time but a company is certainly not expected to pay the employee while he or she is not working. In my opinion, AAA has gone above and beyond their responsibility in an effort to keep the companys morale as high as possible.

Keeping morale high, however, isnt the only means by which AAA motivates their employees. They also aspire to keep their employees satisfied. Satisfaction is defined as the sum total of feelings a person has about the factors in the workplace. Although there is little in the form of specific programs, AAA does in fact show a respectable effort to keep the factors within the workplace desirable. For example, the office environment itself is well maintained. It is equipped with new computers, plenty of space and climate control.

All employees are given personal parking spaces, offices, and their own desktop computers, which cannot be said for similar travel agencies in the area. The employees I interviewed all agreed that they are satisfied with the factors in their workplace and added that their favorite relating policy is the dress down Fridays policy. This permits the employees to dress more casually than they do during the rest of the week. A company must keep their employees satisfied if they wish to gain the most out of their performance.

It stands to reason that an unsatisfied employee would not feel compelled to put forth their best effort if they feel as if their wants and needs are not important factors to the management. They also agreed that of the three ways to motivate employees this was probably the one that least applied for their particular company, and the one that worked the best was rewards. Rewards, Taylor would agree, are the most effective way to motivate employees. They can come in the form of monetary bonuses, individual perks, or various forms of recognition.

AAA makes use of all three of these by implementing several reward programs. First, the company offers several rewards in the form of monetary bonuses. The companys individual incentive plan compares the agents goal commission with their actual commission and pays thirty-two percent of the excess on top of their regular salary. For example if an agent earns $1,000 over what their goal was set at, the agent earns a $320 bonus at the end of the year. Employees can also earn office bonuses when the office as a whole exceeds the projected goal.

When this happens, 5% of the excess is divided amongst the employees and added to their salary as a bonus. This obviously motivates them to make as many sales as possible individually as well as a group. The objective of these programs is to give a sort of pat on the back that says good job people! As one could imagine these are the most popular programs in the company. Perks, which make up another large part of the reward program, come in a close second in the popularity contest. AAA offers a variety of perks that would certainly motivate employees to want to stay with the company.

First, all employees receive a free AAA plus membership for themselves as well as one additional adult residing at the same address after the completion of six consecutive months with the company. This membership can add up to thousands of dollars per year when used for discounts at a multitude of hotels, resorts, restaurants, as well as many other establishments. Second, employees may elect to enroll in the AAA savings plan. This plan deducts a certain percentage of their basic earnings from each pay that is then matched by the company and put into savings for the future.

This plan has proven to be a successful program for both the company as well as the employees. It motivates the employee to give long term service to gain a substantial savings, which generally benefits the company as well. A third perk that employees may enjoy is the insurance coverage offered by the company. AAA offers a variety of coverage including medical, dental assistance, life and long-term disability, and travel accident coverage. For several of the employees in this office, the insurance benefits initially attracted them to the company and are what motivate them to keep their employment with AAA.

The fourth type of perk enjoyed by many AAA employees including Ms. Pacior is the educational assistance plan. Under this program, an employee is entitled to reimbursement for tuition and educational material costs up to a maximum of $2,000 per calendar year. Classes which deal with subjects that are related to an employees current position or to work performed at AAA, are eligible for reimbursement. The courses, however, must be taken through an accredited university, college, business, or technical school. Also, they must have a letter grade of C or better or Pass if the course is pass/fail.

To receive the reimbursement, employees must submit a written grade report and receipt for tuition paid and materials expenses. Ms. Pacior is currently working towards her bachelors degree in business and hopes to finish next semester. This will strengthen her chances for advancement in the company. The final perk I found that the company offers (which was also mentioned as being part of morale motivation) is the vacation time program. Employees are entitled to a specified number of vacation days depending on how long they have been with the company.

The chart below outlines the qualifications necessary to earn vacation time. Employment ServiceFull TimePart-Time 1st year, hired before June 11 day per month employed between January 1 and May 31Average hours worked daily times the number of months employed between January 1 and May 31 2nd year 5th year2 weeksDouble weekly hours worked 6th year 14th year3 weeksTriple weekly hours worked 15th year 24th year4 weeks4 times weekly hours worked 5th year +5 weeks5 times weekly hours worked As mentioned before, in addition to the time off of work employees are paid their full wage as if they were there in the office working.

This program had no opposition from those agents who have taken advantage of it and it is not difficult to see why. The objective of this program is not so much to motivate as it is to encumber job burnout. Unfortunately employees may become overwhelmed with some of the monotonous tasks of everyday work and need time to relax and unwind so as not to become unmotivated. Vacation time has proven to be an effective antidote for this problem. The third and final type of reward that AAA utilizes is recognition.

The only formal program dedicated to giving employees recognition in their employment is the service recognition award banquet. This banquet is held to honor employees for a variety of reasons including those who achieved five-year milestones, top sales for the year, friendliest employee (as voted by patrons of the company) and also those employees who have exhibited vast improvement from the previous year. These awards, especially those which are accompanied by a cash bonus, clearly motivate and encourage employees to strive to perform to their potential.

The employees of AAA clearly value these awards by displaying them on and around their offices for all to see and admire. It is difficult to recommend changes to these AAAs motivational programs mostly because of the fact that they have been in existence for decades. They have refined them time after time in an effort to reach optimal motivation among the employees. Besides some small cosmetic changes, there was one program in particular that I would suggest to AAA that I believe would assist management in achieving this goal.

I have noticed that there is what I believe to be an oversight in the way the individual bonuses are distributed. AAA sets a goal and expects all agents to achieve that goal. The problem with this program is that some areas such as large cities provide travel agents with much more business from which to earn commissions than that of offices the size of the Reno office. These large offices may have more than ten times the clientele than that of the smaller. The result is that the smaller offices rarely have a chance to make any significant bonuses while the large city offices are making arguably too high of a bonus.

This has been devastating to the motivation of the smaller offices. “Why should we try so hard when we know we won’t make the goal,” says Ms. Pacior. She makes a good point. Perhaps the corporate office could make goals based on individual offices or at the very least districts so agents perceive themselves as having the distinct opportunity to earn bonuses at the end of each year. This would undoubtedly produce motivation and consequently earn more income for AAA.

As I stated this is one problem I found during my analysis of AAA, yet I do not hold that it is the sole problem the company faces. A broader study of the company may reveal deeper problems that my informational sources have allowed. Collectively, AAA does an outstanding job of motivating their employees, a task that many companies that are larger and older have not yet mastered. The Frederick Taylor method has proven, at least in this situation, to be an effective manner in which to retain high morale, satisfy, and reward the employees of the American Automobile Association.

Pulp and Paper Industry

The uses and applications of paper and paper products are virtually limitless. In addition to the societal needs of paper for recording and disseminating of information, and for packaging materials, the United States pulp and paper industry employs more than 200,000 people, produces nine million tons of pulp, and 26 billion newspapers, books and magazines annually. Though U. S. mills represent only 15% of paper mills worldwide, they produce 36% of the world’s paper (Smook, 1992).

Exports of pulp and paper products are increasingly important to the economic health of the industry. In 1992, exports amounted to $10. 1 billion” (EPA/310-R-95-015, 1995). The traditional wood pulp method of producing paper requires the cutting of vast numbers of trees, high water and fossil fuel usage, and the release of a number of toxic chemicals into the air and water. In response to government environmental regulations, increased paper product demand, and the need to remain competitive in existing markets, new technologies and methodologies are being adopted (Smook, 1992).

The objective of this paper is to discuss the impact that current methods of paper production have on the environment, and the advances in developing new technologies and alternative products that are being used to mitigate impacts. Environmental Impact of Timber Procurement An important issue in the analysis of the industry is deforestation. Forests help maintain conditions such as global climate, and store carbon released into the atmosphere from fossil fuel burning.

Without benefit of the forest, these carbons will go into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide (Bryant etal, 1997). Forty years ago, the paper industry began to acknowledge the environmental impact of deforestation (Montavalli, 1998). People in the industry acknowledged at that time that deforestation had many economic and environmental effects. These included global warming, the loss of wildlife, the reduction in water quality, and the decrease of natural fish species in these water sources (Rosmarin, 1997).

Clear-cutting has been a popular method used by the logging industry over the years for mass collection of timber needed for paper production. The logging industry once believed that the benefits of clear-cutting to wildlife were through the creation of abundant browse (grass) which is then consumed by rabbits, deer and moose. However, clear-cutting removes dead, fallen trees, a major source of energy for a wide variety of species, and thereby disturbing the overall balance and vitality of entire ecosystems (Lansky, 1992).

Clear-cutting also exposes soil, making it susceptible to washout and a potential contaminant of surface water. Trees at the edge of the cut are subsequently vulnerable to being blown down and scalded by the sun (Zuckerman, 1991). Likewise, the forest that grows back will be much more simplified and is often dominated by a single type of tree and disturbance-adapted vegetation, again impacting diversity (Lansky, 1992). It is important to remember that: “A “managed” forest grown and regrown on clear-cut land is not a natural forest.

For as long as it is managed it will never be given time to regenerate its original biodiversity” (Gallant, 1991). In an effort to alleviate the environmental consequences of clear-cutting, the paper production industry is making an effort to replenish the hardwood supply they remove. A current example of this effort is through the process of selection. Recent studies have acknowledged that the advantages to this are in the continued productivity of the forest. An even-aged stand is more efficient to space, light and nutrients than an area consisting of one or two species.

Trees that are not diverse compete with each other because they have the same needs. However, in selection, trees of all ages fill spaces in the understory where it would otherwise be empty after clear-cutting. In selection, trees are continually growing and maturing and there is no lag between harvest and regeneration because young trees continue to grow in the understory. Over the course of many cutting rotations, this should create greater productivity of our forests (Lansky, 1992).

Foresters have begun efforts to replant seedlings to replace what is being depleted from our environment. With each tree that is destroyed to produce paper, another seedling must be planted in order to maintain the environmental balance in that particular area (Bonner and Triton, 1997). In a recent study of forest replanting, the industry noted that recently harvested areas have been regenerated by 100%. Plantations are forests of tree crops developed by the industry under greenhouse conditions for the purpose of paper production (Lansky, 1992).

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) supports the trend towards more plantations, as long as they are properly managed. “We find that plantations are an efficient way to produce wood fibre and they are essential to meet future demand for paper…In the short term, plantations can contribute to local and national economies and take pressure off natural forests. ” Approximately 30% of paper comes from plantations, with another 40 percent derived from managed natural regeneration forests (Figure 1) (Knight, 1996).

International Paper Company itself employs more than 400 foresters who “strive to balance the public’s need for forest-based products with stewardship of the trees, streams, wetlands, soils, plants, and animals that compose the forest environment on our lands. ” They note that, “the fact that we have owned some forests for nearly 100 years and they remain healthy and productive is a testament to the care generations of foresters have given the land” (Brown etal, 1998). However, spawned by the influence of media we only see the negative effects, not the positive efforts.

With social emphasis on recycling or planting trees, an environmental scientist notes that, “it is difficult to see that tree saving efforts are taking place each day” (Bonner and Triton, 1997). Another avenue that can improve the deforestation situation, is the current development of alternate pulping products. Paper companies are spending significant resources to experiment with new viable resources to decrease deforestation. Currently, “recycling is revolutionizing the paper industry” (Young and Rufus, 1997).

The American Forest and Paper Association (AFPA) estimates that the United States recycled 40. 5 percent of the paper it used in 1997, and has set a goal of recycling or reusing half of all U. S. paper production by the year 2000” (Young and Rufus, 1997). Recovered paper consumption is growing more than twice as fast as total fiber consumption, and mills are scrambling for used paper and supplies” (Smith, 1994). Various plants are spending millions of dollars to convert their processing from wood fiber into this new recycled paper pulp.

A plant operations manager in Ohio states “Recycling has caught on like a wildfire, I am excited the society is as concerned about their natural trees and resources, it is our obligation as merchandisers of paper to accommodate your (public) awareness and participation. ” (Davidson, 1998). Other papermaking products are being investigated each day. Kenaf is a plant that grows rapidly, reaching maturity in just 5 months. “By contrast southern plantation pines take 20 – 25 years to reach harvest stage” (Mardon, 1997).

Kenaf is naturally resistant to most pests and diseases. “Kenaf also crowds out weeds, limiting the need for herbicide applications” (Mardon, 1997). What’s more is that the kenaf paper making process involves less chemicals. Because kenaf is whiter than wood, and has a lower lignin content, it requires fewer chemicals and less energy to pulp and make white. Kenaf paper is environmentally positive: pollutant free, chlorine free and acid free (Petay, 1997). Another alternative product under investigation by the paper industry is the Hemp plant.

Hemp typically produces around 3 – 8 tons of dry fiber per acre annually, more than twice that of a southern pine” (Petay, 1997). Hemp is made up of two different types of fibers long and short, which correlate to, and can replace softwoods and hardwoods respectively. Hemp offers a variety of environmental advantages. Hemp grows rapidly and germinates in early spring. As with kenaf, it out competes most weed species, reducing, and more often eliminating the need for herbicides, and pesticides (Petay, 1997). Additionally, hemp’s lignin content is much lower than timber.

Lower lignin translates into fewer chemicals and less energy required during the pulping process” (Mardon, 1997). Each of the above alternative products will require more technology and experimentation in order to make them a truly viable paper making resource. “The greatest barrier to hemp paper production in the United States today is the ban on cultivation” (Petay, 1997). What stands in the way of kenaf paper production is resistance to change due to the technological expense in converting timber based manufacturing processes. Despite the challenges, several companies are using kenaf.

Such ground breaking efforts are but the beginning of a movement to spare our forest and clean up the pollution caused by the wood based paper industry” (Smith, 1994). “Kenaf and other non wood fiber alternatives offer viable, innovative opportunities for shifting from an outdated, destructive mode of production to one that’s appropriate for the 21st century (Mardon, 1997). The National Audubon Society and International Paper Company are collaborating with various academia, government and environmental groups on a three-year study of the effects of the paper industry on wildlife.

The study will help researchers identify the habitat requirements of birds, reptiles, and amphibians in 30,000 acres of industrial forests managed by International Paper Company in South Carolina. As part of the study, the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory and Clemson University are focusing on how the forest-management practices affect the habitat and diversity of amphibians and reptiles. Other participants include the National Council of the Paper Industry for Air and Stream Improvement, the U. S. Forest Service Center for Forested Wetlands, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

“The U. S. Forest Service is developing a global-information-system-based tool that combines research from this and other studies into one database to assist forest managers around the country” (National Audubon Society, 1997). Pulping is the process of converting timber into a substance that can be used for paper manufacturing. “The production of pulp is the major source of environmental impacts in the pulp and paper industry” (EPA/310-R-95-015, 1995).

The basic steps in the pulping process and the byproducts produced are discussed below: Lumber is debarked and chipped. This wet form of debarking is water intensive, dry debarking uses larger amounts of energy. The residual solid waste must be disposed of, and the water used decontaminated (Smook, 1992). Wood fibers, called cellulose, are separated from the lignin (the glue like substances that keeps the tree together), to break down the wood. Chemical pulping, which is used in 84% of U. S. production plants, combines chemicals and heat to break down the lignin.

This process emits a number of hazardous air pollutants including: particulate, sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides (Smook, 1992), formaldehyde, methanol, acetaldehyde, and methyl ethyl ketone (EPA-821-F-97-011, 1997). Mechanical pulping uses physical force to grind down and separate the fiber. It is used in approximately 10% of wood pulp production, and requires a high amount of energy (Smook, 1992). Pulp bleaching is performed in approximately 50% of pulp produced in the U. S. “Bleached pulps create papers that are whiter, brighter, softer and more absorbent”.

The most common chemicals used in the bleaching process are sodium hydroxide, elemental chlorine, and chlorine dioxide” (EPA/310-R-95-015, 1995). This process introduces chloroform, dioxins and furans into the wastewater (EPA-821-F-97-011, 1997). “The pulp and paper industry is the largest industrial process water user in the U. S. In 1988, a typical pulp and paper mill used 16,000 to 17,000 gallons per ton of paper produced” (EPA/310-R-95-015, 1995). Governmental Regulation on the Pulp and Paper Industry

Since establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1970, the pulp and paper industry has been subject to Federal water and air pollution guidelines (Smook, 1992). Failure to comply results in significant fines, however in some instances, fines have been reduced in exchange for implementing pollution reduction processes (EPA/310-R-95-015, 1995). “Pulp and paper mills have made significant investments in pollution control technologies and processes. According to industry sources, the pulp and paper industry spent more than $1 billion per year from 1991 – 1994 on environmental capital expenditures” (EPA/310-R-95-015, 1995).

The EPA is in the process of implementing a new “cluster rule”. The goal is to “cut toxic air pollutant emissions by almost 60 percent from current levels, and virtually eliminate all dioxin discharged from pulp, paper, and paperboard mills into rivers and other surface waters” (EPA-821-F-97-010, 1997). The EPA estimates that the pulp and paper industry will need to invest approximately $1. 8 billion in capital expenditures, and $277 million per year in operating expenditures to comply with the cluster ruling (EPA-821-F97-010, 1997). Methods Employed to Reduce the Environmental Impact of Pulp Production

Bark and other waste woods are used for mulch, ground cover or in charcoal. Between 1972 and 1990, the use of waste wood and spent liquor for fuel has increased from 40% to 55%, reducing the total fossil fuels usage (Exhibit 1) (Smook, 1992). Chemical recovery systems, which reclaim chemicals from the spent cooking liquor are approaching a 98 percent retention rate (EPA/310-R-95-015, 1995). “In recent years, the amount of water consumed by pulp and paper mills has been dramatically reduced”, due to recycling and reusing mill process waters (Smook, 1992).

For the adsorption of particles, gases and odors, wet scrubbers, fabric filters, gravel bed filters and electrostatic precipitators are being used in smokestacks (Smook, 1992). Oxidation lagoons, and activated sludge tanks are used to duplicate nature’s own purification process at accelerated rates. “Under aerobic conditions, microorganisms (mostly bacteria and fungi) consume oxygen to convert organic waste into the ultimate end products of carbon dioxide and water” (Smook, 1992).

There has been a trend toward reductions in both the types and amount of chlorine and chlorine-containing chemicals used for pulp bleaching. Based on American Forest and Paper Association data, “9 out of 10 pulp and paper mills currently in operation have non-detectable levels of dioxin in effluent” (EPA/310-R-95-015, 1995). Reusable fibers and chemicals in the effluent represent a costly loss to the mill. “Therefore, all actions taken to “tighten up” the process will have the dual benefits of lower raw material cost and reduced pollution loading” (Smook, 1992).

It should be noted that increased operating costs would ultimately be passed on to the consumer. Given the dependence of United States business and industry on paper and related products, this could have a significant impact on the economy. In conclusion, the paper industry is making great strides to implement alternate methods that have a wholly positive impact on the environment. The paper industry is dependent upon the sustainability of our forests, and is continually evaluating its cutting methods and replanting practices to curb deforestation.

There is a need to continue to improve production processes in order to reduce water, chemical and energy usage and pollution to both lower costs and meet EPA regulations. Continued increases in the use of recycled paper, and further implementation of alternative fiber products will enable the paper industry to maintain the competitive advantage it currently enjoys, while decreasing the need for new timber. This coupled with governmental regulations will continue to improve the long-term environmental impacts of the paper making processes on the environment.

Coca-Cola (Coke) and Pepsi Cola (Pepsi)

Mounting competition between Coca-Cola (Coke) and Pepsi Cola (Pepsi) had a very long standing in the American history. Both cola have thus made themselves a household name in the global market, almost 200 countries since their introduction at the turn of the 19th century. The history of beverages industry begins in May 1886, when Atlanta chemist Doe Pemberton developed a drink mix with caramel coloured ingredients, coca leaves, kola nuts and cocaine. The drink was first designed as a drug to help people feel better. Some time later, carbonated water was added to the syrup and that is how Coca-Cola was invented.

Caleb Bradhem, a New Bern, N. C pharmacist, created Pepsi in the late 1890s almost ten over years after Coke was introduced into the beverages industry. Since then, these two cola company had been vying for the market share in its birthplace and also globally. Being the world leading manufacturer, marketer, and distributor of the non-alcoholic beverages, the Coca-Cola Companys and its subsidiaries employs 31,000 people around the world. PepsiCo, Inc. is among the most successful consumer products companies in the world had a workforce of 151,000. It was founded in 1965 through the merger of Pepsi Cola and Frito-Lay.

Tropicana was acquired in 1988. The workforce of PepsiCo, Inc consist of: Pepsi-Cola Company, the worlds second largest beverage company Frito-Lay Company, the worlds largest manufacturer and distributor of snacks chips Tropicana Products, Inc. , the worlds largest marketer and produces of branded juices With the potential of 6 million customer globally, these 2 companies had strive hard to compete against each other with the marketing campaign and strategies. When Roberto Goizueta took it helms in 1980, the Coca-Cola Company was in a mess, especially in responding strategically opportunities and threats.

The corporate-wide culture of risk avoidance and passiveness had limited the growth opportunities of the company. Pepsi introduce its campaign in Dallas, Tex, 1975, the Pepsi Challenge. Around the nation, both cola were brought to the street for consumer to taste and Pepsi had emerged as the winner of this campaign. Even the soft drink market was dominated by these two cola company, the onslaught of the Pepsi Challenge in the seventies and eighties had left coke battered and weary. The environment factors of marketing

In the competitive world of marketing, the forces of environment factors governed the success of the company. These environmental factors are generally referred to the physical forces such as air quality, water pollution, disposal of solid waste and conserving natural resources, which are term as external environmental forces to the organisation and is uncontrollable. However, within the organisation, there lie the external and internal environmental forces that are controllable by the organisation itself. The two distinctive external environmental forces are macroenvironment and microenvironment.

Planning and Ethics

AIM Investments is a mutual fund company that is located in Houston’s Greenway Plaza. Founded by Ted Bauer in 1976, the company has grown from a handful of investors and employees to one of the leading fund companies in the United States with over 2000 employees. This paper will describe the organization’s structure, the communication processes within the organization, and suggestions for solving communication problems. AIM’s organizational structure, as a whole, appears to be dominantly based on the Classical approach.

Its strong structure, division of labor and vertical hierarchy are clearly visible in its printed organizational charts. At the peak of the company’s hierarchy is the parent company, AIM Management Group Inc. , which is the holding company. The five operating subsidiaries- AIM Advisors Inc. , AIM Capital Management Inc. , AIM Distributors Inc. , Fund Management Company, and AIM Fund Services -horizontally fall below the parent company. Within AIM’s transfer agent subsidiary, AIM Fund Services, there are eight departments.

Direct Support Services, Dealer Support Services, Quality Support Services, EPIC, Cash Management/Retail Alliance, Client Services, Correspondence and Retirement Support Services have different, but equal responsibilities within AIM Fund Services. AIM Funds Services does not stray from the vertical hierarchy. At the top of the AIM Fund Services organizational chart is the president of the subsidiary, to whom the vice presidents of each department report. Our focus will be within Retirement Support Services. Retirement Support Services’ organizational chart does not differ much from the other subsidiaries.

The department is made up of six groups; Automation, Listbills, Transfer of Assets/ Rollover, Surgical Strike, Technical Resources and Processing. Each group, headed by an assistant vice president or manager, has from one to four teams. A team consists of 7 to 12 representatives, ranging in levels from II to V, who report to an assistant supervisor and supervisor. The supervisors have direct formal lines of communication with the manager or assistant vice president. Management attends several meetings weekly to discuss uniformity in policies and procedures and to ensure unity of command.

Each team member in every group has formal written job duties and descriptions of policies and procedures. Policies and procedures for processing specific types of requests along with job duties for each level of employee are clearly written on the company’s intranet for all employees to access. Retirement Support Services is a very-task oriented environment. The overall responsibilities of the group emphasize task accuracy and efficiency. Quarterly bonuses and career advancements are dependent on surpassing the written quality and efficiency levels and accepting additional responsibilities.

Employees who produce at the minimum levels are not awarded with bonuses. Even though the structure is clearly formal and vertical on paper, the atmosphere and people display characteristics that set the tone for a Cultural or Human Relations environment. The employees all are dressed in business casual attire, which is as liberal as the written dress code guidelines. Business suits with jackets and ties as well as hosiery are optional; however, gentlemen must wear collared shirts and ladies are prohibited from wearing open toed shoes.

On this particular day, jeans were allowed for “Go Texan Day, which is just one of the many themed activities and rituals displayed in the office. Banners, paper-weights, coffee mugs, mouse pads and many other paraphernalia display the subsidiary’s slogan, “We do it right, the first time, on time, every time. ” The AIM Investment logo and slogan, “Invest with Discipline” is on everything from pencils to golf shirts. Each team is proudly displaying their individual team names and teambuilding projects. The culture here appears to be very focused on teamwork.

The department shows Humanistic characteristics by holding weekly group specific meetings complete with representatives, assistant supervisors, supervisors, manager or assistant vice president and vice president (on rotation). During these meetings, management presents new policies and procedures, updates and goals. The representatives have an opportunity to speak on issues, offer suggestions and ask for clarification in an open forum. Biweekly team specific meetings are held with supervisors, assistant supervisors and representatives to discuss work ethics and team related issues.

Retirement Support Services as a whole holds a formal quarterly meeting to update all groups on progress, goals and give out awards for productivity, quality and team players. Group meetings even stretch beyond the parameters of Retirement Support Services. The entire subsidiary, AIM Fund Services holds a formal quarterly meeting in 2 different time slots with the same informative objectives. To go a step further to make sure all employees are kept informed of the company’s progress, goals and objectives, a company wide formal quarterly meeting is held in 3 different time slots and televised to remote locations.

All facilitators speak in conversational dialogue on all meeting levels with each meeting ending in the “open door policy” or “feel free to email or met with me or your supervisor if you have questions, concerns or suggestions. ” Human resources classes such as “Who Moved My Cheese,” “How to Balance Work and Home,” are offered along with many other services and training classes through the company to display the humanistic approach of the company. The company’s founders wrote a book titled “People are the product” and issued each employee an autographed copy.

The operations subsidiaries take on characteristics of a social systems school. Some areas are dependent on others. The company’s mailroom is responsible for feeding the work to the different departments. Once processed in the various departments, the completed work is output to the clients in appropriate form through the company’s control department or rejected through the correspondence department. If any of these groups encounter a delay or increase in work volume, then all departments are equally effected. The climate of communication is reliable and positive. Open superior – subordinate relationships are valued and encouraged.

Superiors appear to be communication oriented. Although open forum meetings are popular for groups and teams within the organization, personal superior- subordinate communication is heavily dependent on email. In effort to keep the employees informed, emails marked “urgent” or impromptu meetings are held to channel immediate and major changes within the organization down to subordinates. In meetings superiors encourage subordinate participation. During monthly and quarterly reviews, superiors appear approachable to set a tone for open dialogue and offer constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement.

Sensitive to the needs of subordinates, superiors offer flexible work schedules and approve time off to assist with balancing work and family. Although communication between superiors and subordinates appear to be very strong and open, both feel that the entire communication process itself can be overwhelming. The open forum meetings create constant debates and are sometimes unproductive due to “round table” discussions. The abundance of meetings of both superiors and subordinates cause a strain on the workflow process. Subordinates joke that AIM should be an acronym for “Always In Meetings.

Subordinates feel the mundane of management in meetings has taken superiors completely out of touch with the processes and tasks for which they are required to govern. The constant need for consensus creates lack of credibility for superiors to make individual decisions, thus negatively affecting the downward communication process. Subordinates are forced to develop stronger peer relationships in order to resolve issues in completing tasks. Subordinates feel that superiors are overwhelming them with constant emails of changes in policies and procedures to processes for which they no longer have first hand experience.

In conclusion, there are three areas for which Retirement Support Services could improve. Reducing amount of time in unproductive meetings, increasing hands on processing by superiors and reducing amount of unnecessary communication will improve workflows and superior-subordinate relationships. The should superiors assume stronger, yet not overbearing, leadership roles when facilitating meetings to ensure productivity of the meeting thus reducing the number of follow up meetings and email updates to pending issues.

Solicit possible agenda topics and proactively prepare researched answers to reduce amount of spontaneous issues and follow-up. This will reduce extended meetings and need for follow up, increasing time for face-to- face interaction with subordinates and involvement in workflow. Lower level management, such as supervisors and assistant supervisors actively participate in the everyday processing tasks as often as schedule permits. This will reestablish working credibility with subordinates.

Finally, superiors should reduce the amount of unnecessary information that is channeled to subordinates. Keeping subordinates of possible and immediate changes becomes ineffective if it is not organized and too spontaneous. Designate on person to be responsible for communicating the information the group when information is thought through thoroughly and can be presented concisely. Too many emails from different sources on the same issues are interpreted in many ways or could be so overwhelming that is disregarded altogether.

What direct marketing efforts would you recommend to Avon

When I think of Avon the first thought that comes into mind are the Avon ladies and those Avon catalogs. This is actually what most people think of I believe. Avon is a extremely well-known company but this does not mean it doesnt have its problems. During the 80s Avon has had its shares of negativity; debt reaching -$400 millions but since then has bought itself up again and now into the 21st century it is trying many different options to increase sales which have barely climbed in the last four years.

The direct marketing efforts that I recommend Avon make are to definitely focus on television advertisement commercials like they did in the early 90s. To be honest the only advertisement for Avon I know of or only recognize are the print ads in magazines. Having television ads would make people more aware of Avon than they already are. It definitely would linger in peoples minds more than just seeing magazine ads. Print advertisements should also increase in number and be published in different magazines ranging from teens to woman with products being advertised that are targeted to that specific group.

Telemarketing can be help but I do not think Avon needs to focus on this. Maybe having telemarketers calling during holiday seasons offering a free holiday catalog or even just calling year round asking if consumers have an Avon representative or if they wish to receive a free catalog and have a Avon representative in their area contact them. Avon has used this method in the past but this method might be expensive and not yield much profit since you are not actually taking orders during these phone calls.

Direct mailing could also be of help since Avon has tried this in the past and has a greater response then the norm (11% rather then the 1% or 2% norm). This could also erase telemarketing since it basically is the same concept but no Avon representative would be given the interested customers name and address. Adding bind-ins could be useful too since the average girl or woman do read a lot of magazines and this would work well with print media advertisements. Imagine having an ad for an Avon product and then right next to it you see a postage paid reply card for a free catalog.

Even though Avon has in the past sent out samples of products maybe adding samples of makeup or fragrances in magazine ads would attract people to buy them and other products. Avon has recently begun to talk about how they are going to sell a special product line at stores such as Sears. This is a great opportunity for Avon to put ads in local newspapers of the cities in which there are Searss stores and also to buy space in Searss weekly flyer in Sunday papers. This can be an enormous plus for sales and profits of Avon.

I know this will hurt Avon representative but what is being sold is not the same product line sold in the catalog. Loyal product users of the catalog makeup will always stick with their favorite from the catalog. Avons main target market has always been woman between 35 and 54. I feel that Avon should focus in the young woman/teen market. I feel that once young women become customers that they will be customer for a long time and maybe even life. It is best to expose and introduce someone to Avon when young because I know I am still wearing some of the same brands of makeup that I did when I was younger.

College students to me would be a great target market since most dont have enough money to buy department store makeup and even drugstores Avon is known for its affordability and this group would be perfect to target. Once one friend has the makeup a ripple effect usually occurs. Groups of friends usually have the same things; I know this is true of mine. In order to target this group I feel a whole new product line has to be introduced that specifically targets college age woman and young adults/teens. Shimmer makeup, funky colored eye shadows and nail polishes, body glitter and just colors that this age group is wearing.

Trendy, chic, fun and flirty is what these girls are looking for not the usual pinks and reds that moms and grandmas wear. Advertising in dorms for Avon workshops could be posted in various colleges and universities with a number to call if interested. Print advertisements in magazines such as Seventeen, Glamour, and Elle should take place as well as free samples given out in the freshman dorm packs at orientation. Avon products are affordable and I guarantee that focusing on this target group would bring Avon a younger trendier following and yet its normal product line will still have its normal customer following.

Avon needs not take away any makeup but add on which is just attracting more customers plus more sales which equals bigger profits. Avon is as I have said earlier known for its quality at a reasonable price. Well when introducing a new product line, products should be sold at a special preview price that will be lower than the price it will be after the preview sale. As far as the regular product lines I definitely think special offers like when you buy a product from the new line you will get a regular product for half off.

This will increase sales of the product line to regular customers outside the targeted group. Major promotion for Avon products should take place. Promotional offers such as getting a certain amount off on your first purchase, offering coupons for a free makeover when Avon products are sold in department stores. Promotional events I believe should be an ongoing priority. I feel in my opinion Avon knows who its customers are and hope they will always be Avon customers. This might be true for some but Avon has to remember the saying out of sight out of mind; therefore I feel promotion is much needed.

In terms of product mixing, Avons sales are mainly form its cosmetics and beauty line but they also sell different products such as childrens books and toys as well as jewelry and clothing. I feel that Avon should definitely emphasize its makeup line of course but I feel they should also emphasize and focus on childrens items. Since the majority of Avons consumers are from 25-55 I feel that a childrens line would be profitable since mothers will have the convenience of ordering products for their children as well as toys and books from a company whose name they have faith in and trust and have used themselves and have gotten positive results.

As far as distribution is concerned I feel like Avon does do a good thing by offering customers the choice of buying directly from the distribution centers. I feel that this is a positive thing since the centers have served as showcases for products. Having Avon products readily available for customers to purchase is a easier more convenient time saving method of selling. Most consumers like the idea of not having to call their Avon lady place an order and then wait for the products to be delivered. Distribution centers would make Avon products more accessible to the consumers in that area.

I feel like more centers should be built. I mean I know from personal opinion when I think about ordering Avon I find it a hassle to try and find a representative to get a catalog. Id rather run to the drugstore and buy cosmetics from there. Even the thought of having to wait for the products to arrive to me is a disappointment. I know that if there were a distribution center near and Avon products were accessible to me I would have a lot of Avon products. This is why having products sold in department stores would definitely increase sales since more people would be exposed to the Avon product line.

Every Thing You Ever Wanted to Know About EDI

Well EDI, or Electronic Data Interchange, is the transfer of business documents such as sales invoices, purchase orders, price quotations, etc. using a pre-established format in a paperless electronic environment. Usually this transfer occurs over VANs, Value Added Networks, but it is becoming increasingly popular over the Internet because of cost savings and ease of use. EDI has been around for approximately 30 years. “The true genesis of EDI occurred in the mid-1960s, as an early attempt at implementing the fictional “paperless” office by companies in transportation, grocery and retail industry segments.

Although EDI never eliminated paper documents, it decreased the number of times such documents were handled by people. Reduced handling resulted in fewer errors and faster transfers” (Millman, 83). EDI technology is rapidly changing the way business is conducted throughout the world. Firms that use EDI are more efficient and responsive to the needs of customers and partners and in many cases have jumped out ahead of the competition.

Many businesses are already using EDI with suppliers and customers, and if your firm wants to do business with companies involved in Government Dealings EDI must be part of your business no later than January 1, 1999. In May of this year, the major industrial groups in charge of standards setting for EDI, have united behind a set of standards that will allow for seamless web-based forms using extensible markup language, similar to HTML, thereby increasing the accessibility of EDI for small businesses on the Internet (Campbell, 28).

An example of an application for EDI is filing tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS offers several options for filing your tax return, one of which is filing electronically and receiving your refund by electronic funds transfer or “direct deposit. ” The forms used are available in tax preparation software, which can be downloaded off the Internet or purchased by retail. The forms are filled out directly on a PC then transmitted to another computer, which acts as a midpoint to the IRS. The IRS receives your forms and can issue a refund without ever having to reprocess the data.

By using this method you save yourself and the IRS time and money (Campbell, 28). Table came from Information Technology for Management by Turban, McLean and Wetherbe page 244. Information, such as purchase orders for medical supplies, flows from the hospital’s information system into an EDI station, which consist of a PC, an EDI translator and a modem. From there, the information moves to a VAN (Value Added Network). The Van transfers the formatted information to the vendor, where the vendor side EDI translator converts it to a desired format (Turban, 244).

An EDI translator does the conversion of data into standard format. An example of such formatting is shown below. Table came from Information Technology for Management by Turban, McLean and Wetherbe page 243. “An average hospital generates about 15,000 purchase orders each year at a processing cost of about $70 per order. The health Industry Business Communication Council estimates that EDI can reduce this cost to $4 per order, potential yearly savings of $840,000 per hospital. The required investment ranges between $8,000 and $15,000.

This includes the purchase of a PC with an EDI translator, a modem, and a link to the mainframe-based information system. The hospital can have two or three ordering points. These are connected to a value-added network (VAN), which connects the hospitals to its suppliers. (See figure on previous page) The system can also connect to other hospitals, or to centralized joint purchasing agencies. ” (Turban, 244). There are numerous benefits associated with the adoption of EDI. Probably the most important and largest benefit is efficiency. By utilizing EDI businesses are able to streamline their whole supply chain process.

Whether it is upstream to suppliers or downstream to customers, EDI eliminates repetitive tasks such as entering data multiple times and cuts costs of printing hard copies and transportation costs. EDI also allows you to send and receive large amounts of data quickly to or from anywhere in the world. Anywhere that there is access to the Internet there is access to EDI. For example a supplier could be located in Taiwan while the customer is sitting in Memphis, TN and in no more than a few seconds thousands of product order forms could be sent between the two without any errors or lost data.

Companies in partnership agreements can gain access to one another’s shared databases to retrieve and store regular transactions. These partnerships tend to last for a long time as well because of the commitment of a long term investment and refinement of the system over a period of time. EDI creates a complete paperless Transaction Processing System environment, which saves money and increases efficiency. Collecting bills and making payments can be shortened by several weeks because the data doesn’t have to be reentered several time (Turban, 245).

There are other benefits to using EDI – security and validation. Using EDI is secure as long as it is not conducted over the Internet. The information is transmitted over a VAN and on to your partner, but never enters the realm of the World Wide Web. There are only three points of contact versus the millions of interconnections and links over the Internet. The use of EDI also provides a means of validation through time code embedded in the string of electronic codes that are attached to each file. It is time coded at every step in the transmission process.

Imagine no longer having to rely on postmarks or call a package delivery service, or check to make sure a fax went through (Campbell, 28). Despite all of the benefits of EDI there are still some disadvantages that have caused much criticism. First and foremost is the cost, the only companies that can really afford to utilize EDI to its fullest potential are the Fortune 1,000 and Global 2,000 firms (Millman, 83). “Traditional EDI works fine in the larger enterprises because they have IS professionals to maintain the system,” says Dennis Freeman, director of product marketing at Harbinger, an EDI software and services supplier in Atlanta.

Those companies exchange business documents with their trading partners and save themselves a huge amount of money by not using paper,” Freeman continues. “For smaller companies, that process becomes much more daunting. They don’t want – nor can they afford to own a full-blown EDI server. For them, Internet-based EDI is a low-cost answer” (Millman, 38). Another disadvantage of EDI is there could be communication problems with trading partners who use different EDI software. Internet EDI has solved this problem but at the cost of decreased security which is a major issue right now not to mention that network capacity may be unsatisfactory.

EDI in the Federal Government. Under the Federal Acquisition Act (FASA), as of June 1, 1998 any organization that wanted to do business with the Department of Defense was required to register with the Centralized Contractor Registration (CCR) to receive government contracts. Companies with existing contracts did not have to register initially but the DOD will institute a system-wide electronic funds transfer payment system by January 1, 1999. By that time every contractor that wants to get paid must enter it’s register” (Campbell, 29). The resistance behavior of some firms towards the adoption of EDI is still very evident today.

Recently EDI has received much attention in the transportation and logistics literature, particularly in the area of shipper-carrier relationships. EDI is often considered an indicator of mutual cooperation between a carrier and a shipper, as well between a customer and a supplier in a supply chain. As people began viewing EDI as the glue that holds partnerships together, the decision to adopt (or not adopt) became a decision to be made by multiple firms rather than a single-firm decision. The use of EDI for transportation-related transactions by a shipper, for example, requires the use of EDI by its carriers.

Similarly, if a retailer wants to use EDI for achieving higher operational efficiency, the use of EDI by its suppliers is a must. In other words, a successful implementation of EDI strategy (strategic use of EDI for achieving higher cost efficiency and improved customer service) greatly depends on whether a firm can persuade its trading partners to adopt the EDI system. Given these situations, firms pursuing the EDI strategy began feeling the need to learn effective ways of persuading their trading partners to adopt the EDI system” (Suzuki, 36).

In an attempt to provide insights on how to persuade non-adopters to adopt EDI, numerous researchers conducted studies to determine the factors that influence the decision to adopt or not. Those studies are invaluable tools that firms can use to attempt to persuade their trading partners to adopt EDI. The studies, however, did not study why firms choose not to adopt EDI. Adoption and resistance behavior may seem to be opposite sides of the same coin but in fact there could be numerous reasons not to adopt EDI.

For instance a firms business environment may not require the adoption of EDI, that doesn’t mean that firm is resisting EDI it just means it doesn’t need it. On the other hand if a firm has adopted EDI but only uses it for certain limited purposes, like the issue of bills of lading, despite repeated requests by its trading partners to increase usage that firm, although it has adopted EDI, still shows strong resistance. In the studies there arose three main factors that contributed to a firms resistance to EDI.

These factors were as follows: uncertainty, EDI standardization, and perceived EDI benefit. Each factor will be discussed in the following paragraphs. The concept of uncertainty has been defined as the “inability of a firm to forecast accurately the technical requirements of the EDI system in the relatively near future” (Suzuki, 37). When there is a high level of unpredictability firms tend not to form long lasting agreements with other firms, such as those found in an EDI partnership, because they wish to retain the flexibility to terminate relationships whenever necessary.

EDI increases the strength of the partner relationship therefore a firm is less likely to accept EDI sharing with its trading partners when that firm perceives a high degree of uncertainty in EDI technology. EDI standardization refers to the distribution level of an industry wide EDI format. When Company exclusive (many different) EDI formats are more common in an industry, the EDI standardization in this industry is considered low. However, if the industry wide (standardized or similar) EDI formats are more common, the EDI standardization is high.

The lack of EDI standardization is considered to be a major barrier towards the adoption of EDI. Firms with limited EDI knowledge can become confused with all of the different formats for EDI and be dissuaded from adopting EDI for their firm. Basically in industries where firms adopt their own EDI format other firms are less likely to accept EDI agreements because linking with these firms would require that firm to adopt more document formats. EDI benefits have been discussed deeply in this paper, in literature, and just about every article or study about EDI.

The lower the perceived benefit a firm has towards EDI the less likely that firm is to adopt the technology. If a firm believes that EDI has no benefit for that firm it may not and probably will not adopt EDI technology despite the pleadings of its trading partners or it may adopt the system but be reluctant to use it (Suzuki, 39). The most obvious benefits of EDI are speed and accuracy of data transmission but can and often do include improved customer service quality.

A successful implementation of EDI strategy greatly depends on whether a firm can persuade its supply-chain partners to adopt the EDI system. Convincing other parties to use the EDI system, however, may not be an easy task, because partners often show strong resistance to EDI usage. The study of resistance to the adoption of EDI indicated that firms tend to show stronger resistance to EDI when firms perceive a high level of uncertainty, low distribution rate of industry wide EDI formats and standards, and little benefits of using EDI for reducing processing time” (Suzuki, 40).

Therefore in order to successfully implement EDI across the entire supply-chain a firm must clarify the details of the agreement, adequately demonstrate the reliability and benefits of EDI, and insure a set global format that can be used anywhere. While EDI may not be for everyone any other form of Electronic Commerce cannot match its benefits and popularity across all industries. “EDI’s cost savings are the stuff of accounting legends.

For example, RJR Nabisco estimates that the cost for processing a paper-based purchase order is almost $70, whereas the same transaction performed through EDI costs less than $1. Further, EDI’s single entry of transactions minimizes repetitive data entry and reduces keystroke errors. The almost instantaneous nature of an EDI transaction shortens the time between creating a purchase order and sending an invoice to seconds. Until recently, there were few alternatives to EDI that offered the speed, standardization, and acceptance in the global business community.

Now, Internet-based EDI solutions, such as those found at Hewlett Packard (See figure below), promise to trim the cost and mass of EDI and add new life to an antiquated system” (Millman, 83). In the past, EDI adoption was a slow process because EDI exchanges were based on an exclusive company to company system. Now EDI on the Web will greatly accelerate exchanging business documents all over the Globe. As the prices of EDI plummet, interest continues to soar, which will bring about lower prices and offer more flexibility for companies conducting Internet commerce.

Business Description Of Ben & Jerrys

Ben and Jerrys is a successful ice cream company with many strengths and weaknesses. The company faces serious competition, financial struggles, economic and social influences, all of which are covered in my paper. I also discussed some recommendations I have for the companies success. Ben and Jerrys is one of the top ice cream companies around. They have had many ups and downs throughout the history of the company, but overall, they have overcome most of their hardships. They have some serious competition facing them in the ice cream industry; they have faced financial struggles, internal issues, and some social and economic factors.

In conclusion, I have come up with a few recommendations for the company to possibly improve things in the future. Haagen Dazs is currently the main competitor in the concentrated market place for super premium ice cream. Substitutes are however available. There are other ice creams not in the super premium category. To an extent, these are the real competition. However, for the market B&J caters for, their strategies should not have a great impact on B&J. The frozen yogurt lines which B&J now provides, also has a number of direct competitors to deal with.

Dealing with other substitutes is not that simple. Expensive (or inexpensive) chocolate, cakes, croissants and other desserts are realistic options for consumers. Other companies are going to try to assure you that their product is the perfect accompaniment to any meal. B&J needs to be aware of this. How he/she makes the choice for ice cream (as opposed to chocolate, etc. ), then super premium (as opposed to premium or ordinary) and finally B&J (as opposed to Haagen Dazs etc. ) is imperative.

The possibility of new competition in the market place is limited by two major problems, the brand and distribution. Remembering that these are higher market consumers, where by cheap alternatives are not necessarily desired, then the key element is the brand. This brand and the image that comes along with it, are something currently only Haagan Dazs and B&J have. This emotional tie related to B&Js and everything it possesses beyond what it is in itself (a good tasting ice cream), is something that will be difficult to imitate.

It is a question of I wouldnt be seen dead eating another ice cream as opposed to this is cheaper and tastes just like B&Js so Ill buy this from now on. The other obstacle concerns distribution. With ice cream, the idea of selling products through the Internet, despite the dried ice, which may accompany it, is not a likely option. B&Js is a fresh ice cream and by nature, difficult to transport. Consequently, distribution to stores around the USA and globally will be expensive and require partners, such as Dreyers, that have an extensive transportation network.

This is potentially a concern or risk for B&Js. Having a rival manufacturer distributing their ice cream is likely to cause conflict, and B&J should change this immediately or have an adequate back up plan. With both the above barriers, the key competitor may be the other ice cream manufacturer in the premium or ordinary market, especially the premium market. As it is, these competitors already have the distribution network and the know how. But, it will still take a large investment for these manufacturers to sell their image. B&Js also has their share of internal issues.

Due to the baby boom in 1994 the target market of Ben & Jerry has declined vastly. Although Ben & Jerry still hold a large percentage of the small market share, the company needs to decide on whether this target segment is worth sticking with. At one stage, Ben & Jerry’s pricing strategy worked really well, however it has become evident that demand over recent years has shifted towards lower priced products, leaving pricing strategies being a big issue for the company. Until 1994, all of Ben & Jerry’s promotions were gained through the company’s socially conscious practices.

However price wars with main competitors left the company having to pull funds off advertising campaigns to fund price discounts and store coupons. Due to the fact that imitations for the product are being developed more rapidly, Ben & Jerry have changed their primary marketing goal to establish products that cannot be imitated, but the technological developments of the company have not allowed them to launch the products within a decent time limit. B&Js mission statement includes the need for a wide variety of innovative flavors. Five years to find the perfect coffee bean seems unnecessary.

Coffee ice cream, in this period, may have become undesired by the customer. This scenario is compounded by, the quick replication by competitors, and the high costs related to manufacturing each different flavor. As a result, it is key to stop producing brands not received well, as well as introducing new flavors quickly. Flavor of the month may be a way of bringing consumers to them on a regular basis. Research will be key in identifying the market in any region or country B&J wishes to operate, especially into consumers needs and wants.

The way choices are made needs to be understood and the positioning of B&J needs to accommodate this. The decision is based, amongst others, by the mood of the potential consumer at the time of decision. Ben & Jerry seem to be proud of the success rate of their relaxed, casual culture and having employees involved in the decision making. However this policy needs to be reviewed as decisions are taking too long to be made due to large staffing numbers. But with staff turnover very low, changing the decision making process could be very difficult.

If it is not bad enough that the company is losing market share, the company putting more funds into promoting their image, than to the shareholders is irritating investors even more. A happy medium will have to be found for Ben & Jerry to gain confidence back from their investors. Ben & Jerry exist in a consolidated market place with just two major companies. Themselves and Haagen-Dazs. There is severe competition between the 2 players. If this rivalry is weak, then the two companies have an opportunity to raise prices and earn greater profits. However, if rivalry is strong, significant price competition, including price wars, can occur.

This competition could push the prices down in the long run. The amount of demand also affects the intensity of internal rivalry between companies. Growing demand tends to reduce rivalry as companies can sell more without taking away from other companies, resulting in high profits. On the contrary, declining demand results in more rivalry, as companies fight to maintain profit. Ben and Jerrys has also faced some economic and social factors that have affected them. In 1994, sales were flat, profits were down, and the companys stock prices had fallen to half its value.

While Ben & Jerry had thrived in the 1980s, the coming of the baby boom in the 1990s meant a middle class society that was more health conscious. The company realizing its fall in sales, quickly responded to the changes in consumer demands and introduced Ben & Jerry Lite. This line failed. It seems that Ben & Jerry failed to forecast and acknowledge the changes in consumer tastes, and was faced with increasing competition with Haagen-Dazs, which introduced its low-fat Ultra Premium ice-cream. Their social commitments to their customers community and suppliers have contributed to a successful and unique image,

Ben & Jerry donated a portion of their sales from their Rainforest Crunch Ice Cream back into environmental preservation causes in South America. Ben & Jerry also established the Ben & Jerry Foundation, which donated 7. 5% of its pre-tax profits helping non-profit organizations, such as: an establishment in New York to help drug addicted pregnant women, and individuals and families affected by the AIDS virus in Brattleboro. Such efforts had contributed to winning over certain consumers, however it is arguable to what extent this will have on winning the hearts of international consumers.

So this makes one wonder how much the companies unique ways really affect consumers behavior. In my opinion, there are a few things that Ben and Jerrys could possibly do to improve their success in the upcoming future. In todays environment, change, rather than stability, is necessary. Rapid changes in technology, competition, and customers demands have increased the rate at which companies such as Ben & Jerrys need to change their strategies and structures to survive in the market place.

One of the reasons why B&J has lost market share is because they failed to change themselves and adapt to a new competitive environment. To overcome this, Ben & Jerry need to identify the main barrier to change such as consumer tastes. This can be overcome through the development of a marketing plan, as there seems to be no real evidence that Ben & Jerry have done this. Employee productivity is one of the key components of a companys efficiency and cost structure, so this needs to be improved upon in order to make the company more competitive.

The culture of the organization is strongly influenced by the founders, and changes will be hard to achieve. It is not recommended that the culture of the company be changed, but that devising new ways to increase employee productivity enhances it. I think that the employees would be most successful being put into self-managing teams. Each team will be responsible for an entire task and time deadlines should be given. I also think that pay rewards should be given to the teams that complete their task to the highest standard.

This option could lead to a more flexible work force, as employees will get to know each others jobs within the company. It can also create a more equal organizational structure, which would make the decision making process a lot quicker and all employees will be involved. In conclusion, I think that Ben & Jerry has the potential to prosper as long as they: are prepared for upcoming changes in consumer needs and wants, compromise between maintaining their company image and satisfying their investors needs, and try to reduce their costs by considering all of their other options.

Cultural Diversity in Business

In their eagerness to avoid the courts and editorial pages, most firms in America, and increasingly in Europe, now pay close attention to the sex and race of the people they recruit and promote, For example, Harvard Business School has just announced that they will go out of its way to include women in its case studies, which are used in business-school classrooms around the world. In other words, schools and businesses, in order to stay out of trouble, are taking the easy way out, quotas. (Kole, MacDonald. 1997. 1)

Although some women and minorities are hired to fill quotas, the majority of them are needed to create a cultural diverse workplace. Cultural Diversity can have a positive effect and be profitable but only for some firms. A well considered strategy must accompany Cultural Diversity if profit is to be made. There are at least two reasons to expect a policy of diversity to yield profits. One difference is communication. Because many people find it easier to understand others of the same sex, or nationality, it helps to have employees from the same cultural background as your customers.

It’s not only a matter of language, but understanding the customer’s needs, tastes and the earning of their trust is vital. The recruiting of people from a different cultural background can not only improve communication with outsiders, it may also bring fresh ideas to insiders (Kole, MacDonald. 1997. 2). Businesses don’t only need cultural diversity in order to relate to customers, they need women and minorities in management. Smaller banks have traditionally selected their directors from among those who live and work in their communities.

Their reasoning is to hire people who cannot only tell the banks what the people want, but also spread the word about their products. However, many banks surveyed by the Business Times have local natives on their boards, few women are represented and almost no minorities can be found-even in areas where there is a large minority population (Kole,MacDonald. 1997. 2). Many bank CEO’s feel that the lack of minority and female representation needs to be corrected (Cochran. 1997).

“Jack Anderson, chairman and Chief Executive of Johnstown-based BT Financial Corp. he holding company for Laurel Bank, and Johnstown Bank Trust Co. states “Any right-thinking person understands the need for diversity,” he said “I think it is something we need to work toward. “(Neiser. 1997. 1)” Anderson also recognizes that there hasn’t been a large pool of candidates to choose from. His sentimates are echoed by most bank executives (Cochran. 1997). Simply put, women and minorities are being left out of the board rooms, minority customers are paying the price. Problems that Occur Due to Lack of Representation If minority groups aren’t represented in a community many problems may arise.

One of which is customer dissatisfaction. Customers that can’s communicate with their bank or other businesses can become very frustrated and unhappy if customers don’t see their group represented within a business. They may not want to be a client of that company. “The most important part of being a Community Bank is representing your community”(Cochran. 1997). With this statement made by Pam Yoakum, assistant manager of Regency Bank, one can’t help but construe that in order to fully represent a community all minority groups should be represented. Affirmative Action

In the late 1960’s and early 70’s, affirmative action was the club that the federal government used to force American companies to hire people of color and women for managerial jobs. It mandated that a company set up specific and results-oriented procedures to which the company must commit itself and apply every good faith effort to insure equal employment opportunities to all employees regardless of sex, race, religion, or national origin. Back in the 1960’s and early 70’s, affirmative action, one of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society Programs, created bright visions of magnificent career possibilities for millions of people of color and women.

For the first time, masses of women and people of color could begin dreaming of a career in corporate management. Affirmative Action put minorities into the corporate environment. And now “Cultural Diversity programs are created to help companies handle their presence”(Davis. 1997. 127). These creations open more jobs including an institute for managing diversity. Affirmative action changed the face of Corporate America. Back in the 1950’s that face was almost entirely white and male. Now it also includes African-American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American, and women. But, in many instances, the white male is angry.

In just about as many cases, the white female face ranges from impassive to disappointed. The African-American face is just as often mistrusting and resentful. Chief among the reasons for the anger, disappointment, and resentment are white male “backlash” created in reaction to affirmative action itself and “downsizing” compiled to a large degree by the globalization of the American economy. At the same time the lines of conflict have been made more confusing due to the multicultural society which has evolved within the American population. This has created more groups which are fighting for power behind the closed doors of Corporate America.

How To Raise Money For Starting A Business

The task of raising money for a business is not as difficult as most people seem to think. This is especially true when you have an idea that can make you and your backers rich. Actually, there’s more money available for new business ventures than there are good business ideas. A very important rule of the game to learn: Any time you want to raise money, your first move should be to put together a proper prospectus. This prospectus should include a resume of your background, your education, training, experience and any other personal qualities that might be counted as an asset to your potential success.

It’s also a good idea to list the various loans you’ve had in the past, what they were for, and your history in paying them off. You’ll have to explain in detail how the money you want is going to be used. If it’s for an existing business, you’ll need a profit and loss record for at least the preceding six months, and a plan showing how this additional money will produce greater profits. If it’s a new business, you’ll have to show your proposed business plan, your marketing research and projected costs, as well as anticipated income figures, with a summary for each year, over at least a three year period.

It’ll be advantageous to you to base your cost estimates high, and your income projections on minimal returns. This will enable you to “ride through” those extreme “ups and downs” inherent in any beginning business. You should also describe what makes your business unique—how it differs form your competition and the opportunities for expansion or secondary products. This prospectus will have to state precisely what you’re offering the investor in return for the use of his money. He’ll want to know the percentage of interest you’re willing to pay, and whether monthly, quarterly or on an annual basis.

Are you offering a certain percentage of the profits? A percentage of the business? A seat on your board of directories? An investor uses his money to make more money. He wants to make as much as he can, regardless whether it’s short term or long term deal. In order to attract him, interest him, and persuade him to “put up” the money you need, you’ll not only have to offer him an opportunity for big profits, but you’ll have to spell it out in detail, and further, back up your claims with proof from your marketing research.

Venture investors are usually quite familiar with “high risk” proposals, yet they all want to minimize that risk as much as possible. Therefore, your prospectus should include a listing of your business and personal assets with documentation—usually copies of your tax returns for the past three years or more. Your prospective investor may not know anything about you or your business, but if he wants to know, he can pick up his telephone and know everything there is to know within 24 hours. The point here is, don’t ever try to “con” a potential investor.

Be honest with him. Lay all the facts on the table for him. In most cases, if you’ve got a good idea and you’ve done your homework properly, and “interested investor” will understand your position and offer more help than you dared to ask. When you have your prospectus prepared, know how much money you want, exactly how it will be used, and how you intend to repay it, you’re ready to start looking for investors. As simple as it seems, one of the easiest ways of raising money is by advertising in a newspaper or a national publication featuring such ads.

Your ad should state the amount of money you want–always ask for more money than you have room for negotiating. Your ad should also state the type of business involved ( to separate the curious from the truly interested), and the kind of return you’re promising on the investment. Take a page from the party plan merchandisers. Set up a party and invite your friends over. Explain your business plan, the profit potential, and how much you need. Give them each a copy of your prospectus and ask that they pledge a thousand dollars as a non-participating partner in your business.

Check with the current tax regulations. You may be allowed up to 25 partners in Sub Chapter S enterprises, opening the door for anyone to gather a group of friends around himself with something to offer them in return for their assistance in capitalizing his business. You can also issue and sell up to $300,000 worth of stock in your company without going through the Federal Trade Commission. You’ll need the help of an attorney to do this, however, and of course a good tax accountant as well wouldn’t hurt. It’s always a good idea to have an attorney and an accountant help you make up your business prospectus.

As you explain your plan to them, and ask for their advice, casually ask them if they’d mind letting you know of, or steer your way any potential investors they might happen to meet. Do the same with your banker. Give him a copy of your prospectus and ask him if he’d look it over and offer any suggestions for improving it, and of course, let you know of any potential investors. In either case, it’s always a good idea to let them know you’re willing to pay a “finder’s fee” if you can be directed to the right investor.

Professional people such as doctors and dentists are known to have a tendency to join occupational investment groups. The next time you talk with your doctor or dentist, give him a prospectus and explain your plan. He may want to invest on his own or perhaps set up an appointment for you to talk with the manager of his investment group. Either way, you win because when you’re looking for money, it’s essential that you get the word out as many potential investors as possible. Don’t overlook the possibilities of the Small Business Investment Companies in your area.

Look them up in your telephone book under “Investment Services. ” These companies exist for the sole purpose of lending money to businesses which they feel have a good chance of making money. In many instances, they trade their help for a small interest in your company. Many states have Business Development Commissions whose goal is to assist in the establishment and growth of new businesses. Not only do they offer favorable taxes and business expertise, most also offer money or facilities to help a new business get started.

Your Chamber of Commerce is the place to check for further information of this idea. Industrial banks are usually much more amenable to making business loans than regular banks, so be sure to check out these institutions in your area. insurance companies are prime sources of long term business capital, but each company varies its policies regarding the type of business it will consider. Check your local agent for the name and address of the person to contact. It’s also quite possible to get the directories of another company to invest in your business.

Look for a company that can benefit from your product or service. Also, be sure to check at your public library for available foundation grants. These can be the final answer to all your money needs if your business is perceived to be related to the objectives and activities of the foundation. Finally, there’s the Money broker or Finder. These are the people who take your prospectus and circulate it with various known lenders or investors. They always require an up-front or retainer fee, and there’s no way they can guarantee to get you the loan or the money you want.

There are many very good money brokers, and there are some that are not so good. They all take a percentage of the gross amount that’s finally procured for your needs. The important thing is to check them out fully; find out about the successful loans or investment plans they’re arranged, and what kind of investor contacts they have—all of this before you put up any front money or pay any retainer fees. There are many ways to raise money—from staging garage sales to selling stocks. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the only place you can find the money you need is through the bank or finance company.

Start thinking about the idea of inviting investors to share in your business as silent partners. Think about the idea of obtaining financing for a primary business by arranging financing for another business that will support the start-up, establishment and developing of the primary business. Consider the feasibility of merging with a company that’s already organized, and with facilities that are compatible or related to your needs. Give some thought to the possibilities of getting the people supplying your production equipment to co-sign the loan you need for start-up capital.

Remember, there are thousands upon thousands of ways to obtain business start-up capital. This is truly the age of creative financing. Disregard the stories you hear of “tight money,” and start making phone calls, talking to people, and making appointments to discuss your plans with the people who have money invest. There’s more money now than there’s ever been for a new business investment. The problem is that most beginning “business builders” don’t know what to believe or which way to turn for help.

They tend to believe the stories of “tight money,” and they set aside their plans for a business of their own until a time when start-up money might be easier to find. The truth is this: Now is the time to make your move. Now is the time to act. the person with a truly viable business plan, and determination to succeed, will make use of every possible idea that can be imagined. And the ideas I’ve suggested here should serve as just a few of the unlimited sources of monetary help available and waiting for you!

Bridgetown Newsagents – A Small Business Case Study

Dillons newsagents is a late closing local shop with a ‘Mini-Mart’ service. The ‘Mini-Mart’ side of the business is franchised from Dillons to a registered partnership: Mr Charles Pettifer and Mr Marc Devis. Full services are provided in the shop, a paper delivery service is also available along with the full complement of groceries, fresh sandwiches, confectionery, videos, cigarettes and alcohol etc.. The newsagents is located in Stratford upon Avon, on the Birmingham road, approximately half a mile from the town centre and situated within a very residential area.

Tesco’s are the immediate traders to the newsagents. Nine years ago, the newsagents was expanded with the intention of providing the local inhabitants with a friendly convenient service. Lack of competition at the time provided excellent stability and potential for expansion which was enjoyed until two years ago when a superstore was opened nearby offering a major threat to business. Business growth, structure, strategies and competition are to be addressed in the following document. Entirety of information sources and research are obtained from two year’s part-time employment at Dillon’s newsagents.

Growth of Dillons: In 1988, Dillons employed Mr Charles Pettifer as the operational manager, from this date the shop solely provided newspapers and magazines for approximately eighteen months. During this period Dillons were developing their own Mini- Mart’ theme and as such decided to expand the facilities to supply a range of groceries and other common consumer goods as well as the usual news literature. The shop opening hours were also increased from the regular evening licensing hours of 5:30pm, to a more substantial one of 11pm.

At this point, Mr Pettifer decided to take on the shop franchise offered by Dillons with the help of a silent partner Mr Devis. Mr Devis has shares in the business, but does not have authority to make unsupported decisions. The franchise resulted in Mr Pettifer being able to obtain many goods for the newsagents at discounted prices. The entirety of the shop was responsibility of Mr Pettifer provided that Dillons’ standards were not infringed. At the stage of development outline here, it can be seen that Dillons newsagents is akin to stage one of the business growth cycle.

Key Issues: Mr Pettifer strongly believed in providing a personal and friendly service to ll customers and from the outset instigated this within the shop environment. Recognition within the local community and attraction of regular customers resulted from this and thus so did a modest, small shop turnover. Management Styles: The style of management was very individualistic; only Mr Pettifer’s wife, Fatima was employed initially in running the shop (issues in employing family friends and relatives are recapitulated later).

Because of this, only limited professional management skills were required. Market Research: This was initially achieved by close relationships with the regular local ustomers, providing key information to a number of customer needs, although no formal research was carried out. Systems and Controls: Due to Dillons’ requirements, the accountancy was in advance of a role model stage-1 business, providing efficient systems and controls for Dillons’ auditing. All secondary audits were made into a fully computerised relational-database system.

Sources of finance: A great boost for the business was the initial investment by Dillons, this was followed by continued investments by the silent partner, Mr Devis, to enable increased expansion of the store. Major Investments: At this stage, no further investments were made due to the limited product range and turnover within the shop. Major investment here was therefore not justified. Products: The product range was initially limited due to floor space, and the occupying range purchased, in bulk, at a recommended cash and carry outlet.

Dillons had now become a very stable stage-1 business due mainly to the support and expertise of Dillons’ management. Also, the newsagent’s position was integral to the initial success it achieved, being the sole organisation providing the previously mentioned services in the local area. (Both businesses in the area also added tremendously to the custom in the shop. )) After one year, Mr Pettifer decided that there simply wasn’t enough room to expand the shop product range to the domains revealed by his marketing strategy (albeit a very limited one!.

A proposal was made to Dillons’ management to expand the shop premises approximately by four-fold. After the initial success of the shop and the predicted potential, Dillons agreed to finance the expansion and also improve the presentation of the shop. Again, the improved video services aided to further boost the custom to the shop. The shop now had the space to dramatically increase the product range as desired, although with this expansion, stage 2/3 considerations of the growth cycle were required at the very least to re-establish the business.

Key Issues: Now, maintaining original customers and expanding the customer base was imperative to ensure maximum stock turnover. Further resources could now be exploited due to the expansion. Increased size and stock suggests that further staff are needed. Management Styles: Due to employing more staff, a professional style of management should have been adopted. Friends’ were employed thus keeping the managerial position an informal one. Market Research: Research techniques had not improved in any way from the original methods and because of this (see later) a product stagnation was induced.

Sales representatives suggested leads and ideas, however, these ideas were instigated for other reasons. Systems and Controls: The book keeping and control records were now of a very high standard with full accounting systems in operation. The entire business system was professionally audited by Dillons on a bi-yearly basis. Suppliers also checked control and isplay systems on their relevant products. Products: The entire product range was now entering an established market in itself.

Each product was purchased from the main suppliers on a sale or return agreement (this agreement was a key principle to Mr Pettifer entering a new product into his range). The shop had an impressive product range at this stage, the customer base was well established and supplier relations were improving all the time. Bridgetown newsagents now enjoyed economic success. Personnel Structure and Culture The following tree structure demonstrates the personnel hierarchy throughout the ewsagents: [diagram of management hierarchy goes here] Explanation of the company hierarchy: Dillons enforce company policies on all sides of the business.

They deal with all supervision of goods delivered and provide regular audits. Visits from the area management are frequent and always stringent. Dillons also provide major investments throughout the Bridgetown store. Mr Pettifer works a typical day between 9am and 5pm, provided there are no anomalies. He is solely responsible for book keeping, reports, control systems and ordering of tobacco, alcohol and video supplies. Being the operational manager, Mr Pettifer is continually managing and assessing the store. Fatima Pettifer works similar hours to her husband and is responsible for all stock orders except the above mentioned.

General shop maintenance is also an ongoing task. There are shifts designated to each of the workers: 5am – 11am11am – 5pm5pm – 11pm The above shifts were maintained so that someone was constantly available to man the shop. Employees are expected to work beyond their shift time occaisionally in the event of a subsequent shift worker not being on time. Each shift is overed seven days a week, with the exception of Christmas day. The labour involves till-operation, re-stacking shelves, petroleum regulatory checks and general shop duties.

Shelf stackers are generally employed together to ensure that all stock is efficiently replaced. Both work six evenings per week and are responsible for re-stacking the enirety of the shop. Due to the individualistic style of management, problems arose when Mr Pettifer was not present within the shop (anytime between 10am and 5pm daily) since no management issues could be delegated to anyone else. Any sick or holiday leave ould result in a further backlog of paper work and reduced stock in the areas for which he was concerned.

As previously stated, all the personnel employed were family or friends. This greatly helped in promoting a friendly shop environment for the customers; good working relationships prevailed and common interest in the success of the business was reflected in the workers’ attitudes. Although this method of employment assisted in creating a friendly atmosphere, the following internal management problems soon became apparent: Exploitations of relationships between manager and personnel was intrinsic in any staff related issues, e. g. , salaries, hours worked, holidays etc..

Till and cashing-up procedures were informal due to the trust between employees. This may have proved to be a dangerous operation because of the liberation of that trust, i. e. , opportunities were made available to all employees disregarding their status. Overlapping the boundaries between personal life within the family and business life were often perceivable since husband and wife were working within the same environment. Although this situation was occaisionally embarrassing and no doubt etremental, the shop definitely benefitted overall by the traditionality and local friendliness.

No formal business strategies were evident to cater for family integrations and because of this a unique, informal shopping environment was created but it was inefficient and poorly structured; small problems continuously plagued Mr Pettifer, drawing him away from managerial responsibilities that were consequently not being dealt with effectively. Competition: Although the above problems prevailed since the expansion of the shop, Bridgetown newsagents were still economically successful until the introduction f competition in the local market.

As Dillons was the sole convenience store within the local area, prices tended to be expensive because of the lack of price wars with competition. This proved to be an almost fatal error when the competition entered as they were able to effectively compete with all of Dillons’ price range. In the early stages of 1996 a Tesco superstore opened less than a mile along the same stretch of road as Dillons. Since Tesco is an extremely large shopping chain (and not a small business), large financial backing was employed and the product range was undoubtedly greater.

Prices considerably undercut those presented by Mr Pettifer, drawing away regular shoppers and leaving mainly those who frequented the store even before it was expanded. Tesco opened during Dillons’ most profitable times (i. e. , 7-10am and 4-7pm), and this reduced a high percentage of custom from the shop, threatening the profit margins that had been developed. Within six months of operation, major recruitment of captial was required by Dillons just to help the business survive.

Mr Pettifer was forced to reduce all staff salaries (including his own) dramatically. Business Life Cycle: Applying the business life-cycle to Dillons newsagents, it can be seen that progression from the Inception stage to the Expansion stage was unnaturally ??? and only certain key elements of the life cycle were addressed or implemented. During Inception, Dillons was actually similar to the life cycle model, with products tending towards expensive so the company would gain more profit.

This point is re-enforced seeing that the business opening hours were 5am to 11pm during all days of the week; not taking into account overtime’, it is obvious hat the newsagents is already a very large commitment for Mr Pettifer. Dillons soon drifts from the business theory since there was very little time spent in the survival stage. Here, the business structure should be improved and strengthened, but as no survival issues were presented to Dillons, this vital stage of the life cycle was missed presenting future problems.

Even as Dillons grew and expanded into new markets, no new competition was encountered thus diverging further from the life cycle and making the organisation even more fragile and vulnerable. Management did not develop at all throughout the life cycle and remained individualistic and supervisory instead of developing towards a more distanced and decentralised managerial operation. Conclusion: Currently Dillons is still under major financial threat and business is not returning since the introduction of the Tesco store.

In analysing the structure of the business it can be seen that very little long term strategies were employed and no foresight of major competition was predicted, although this seemed inevitable. The original success of the business seems to be largely due to the major nvestments made by Dillons management, location of the shop and the lack of any similar shops in the local environment. At all stages of the business life cycle it appears that there is never a great financial threat to Mr Pettifer.

During expansion, nearly all the risk involved was presented to Dillons management and Mr Devis in their capital investments. After expansion, good trading and a good relationship with the priciple supplier of the shop’s products enabled a sale or return method on all products (within a reasonable time period). This method proved ideal since it diminished any nxieties in regard to development of the shop’s product range and ensured that there would be no profit loss on over ordering of goods, reduced slaes or changes in the market culture.

Pricing strategy was governed by the motivation of increasing the profit margins. Short term risks such as the time to acheive profit on turnover were reduced whilst the risk of being dramatically undercut and pushed out of the market was increased exponentially. Ironically, this risk factor being the single largest reason for crisis was not recognised. External issues exasperated Dillons due to the neglect of any long term planning.

Enterprise & Entrepreneuralism Essay

Dillons newsagents is a late closing local shop with a ‘Mini-Mart’ service. The ‘Mini-Mart’ side of the business is franchised from Dillons to a registered partnership: Mr Charles Pettifer and Mr Marc Devis.

Full services are provided in the shop, a paper delivery service is also available along with the full complement of groceries, fresh sandwiches, confectionery, videos, cigarettes and alcohol etc.

The newsagents is located in Stratford upon Avon, on the Birmingham road, approximately half a mile from the town centre and situated within a very residential area. Tesco’s are the immediate traders to the newsagents.

Nine years ago, the newsagents was expanded with the intention of providing the local inhabitants with a friendly convenient service. Lack of competition at the time provided excellent stability and potential for expansion which was enjoyed until two years ago when a superstore was opened nearby offering a major threat to business.

Business growth, structure, strategies and competition are to be addressed in the following document. Entirety of information sources and research are obtained from two year’s part-time employment at Dillon’s newsagents.

Growth of Dillons:

In 1988, Dillons employed Mr Charles Pettifer as the operational manager, from this date the shop solely provided newspapers and magazines for approximately eighteen months. During this period Dillons were developing their own Mini- Mart’ theme and as such decided to expand the facilities to supply a range of groceries and other common consumer goods as well as the usual news literature. The shop opening hours were also increased from the regular evening licensing hours of 5:30pm, to a more substantial one of 11pm.

At this point, Mr Pettifer decided to take on the shop franchise offered by Dillons with the help of a silent partner Mr Devis. Mr Devis has shares in the business, but does not have authority to make unsupported decisions.

The franchise resulted in Mr Pettifer being able to obtain many goods for the newsagents at discounted prices. The entirety of the shop was responsibility of Mr Pettifer provided that Dillons’ standards were not infringed.

At the stage of development outline here, it can be seen that Dillons newsagents is akin to stage one of the business growth cycle.

Key Issues:

Mr Pettifer strongly believed in providing a personal and friendly service to all customers and from the outset instigated this within the shop environment. Recognition within the local community and attraction of regular customers resulted from this and thus so did a modest, small shop turnover.

Management Styles:

The style of management was very individualistic; only Mr Pettifer’s wife, Fatima was employed initially in running the shop (issues in employing family friends and relatives are recapitulated later). Because of this, only limited professional management skills were required.

Market Research:

This was initially achieved by close relationships with the regular local customers, providing key information to a number of customer needs, although no formal research was carried out.

Systems and Controls:

Due to Dillons’ requirements, the accountancy was in advance of a role model stage-1 business, providing efficient systems and controls for Dillons’ auditing. All secondary audits were made into a fully computerised relational-database system.

Sources of finance:

A great boost for the business was the initial investment by Dillons, this was followed by continued investments by the silent partner, Mr Devis, to enable increased expansion of the store.

Major Investments:

At this stage, no further investments were made due to the limited product range and turnover within the shop. Major investment here was therefore not justified.

Products:

The product range was initially limited due to floor space, and the occupying range purchased, in bulk, at a recommended cash and carry outlet.

Dillons had now become a very stable stage-1 business due mainly to the support and expertise of Dillons’ management. Also, the newsagent’s position was integral to the initial success it achieved, being the sole organisation providing the previously mentioned services in the local area. ((Both businesses in the area also added tremendously to the custom in the shop.))

After one year, Mr Pettifer decided that there simply wasn’t enough room to expand the shop product range to the domains revealed by his marketing strategy (albeit a very limited one!). A proposal was made to Dillons’ management to expand the shop premises approximately by four-fold. After the initial success of the shop and the predicted potential, Dillons agreed to finance the expansion and also improve the presentation of the shop.

Again, the improved video services aided to further boost the custom to the shop.

The shop now had the space to dramatically increase the product range as desired, although with this expansion, stage 2/3 considerations of the growth cycle were required at the very least to re-establish the business.

Key Issues:

Now, maintaining original customers and expanding the customer base was imperative to ensure maximum stock turnover. Further resources could now be exploited due to the expansion. Increased size and stock suggests that further staff are needed.

Management Styles:

Due to employing more staff, a professional style of management should have been adopted. ‘Friends’ were employed thus keeping the managerial position an informal one.

Market Research:

Research techniques had not improved in any way from the original methods and because of this (see later) a product stagnation was induced. Sales representatives suggested leads and ideas, however, these ideas were instigated for other reasons.

Systems and Controls:

The book keeping and control records were now of a very high standard with full accounting systems in operation. The entire business system was professionally audited by Dillons on a bi-yearly basis. Suppliers also checked control and display systems on their relevant products.

Products:

The entire product range was now entering an established market in itself. Each product was purchased from the main suppliers on a sale or return agreement (this agreement was a key principle to Mr Pettifer entering a new product into his range).

The shop had an impressive product range at this stage, the customer base was well established and supplier relations were improving all the time. Bridgetown newsagents now enjoyed economic success.

Personnel Structure and Culture

The following tree structure demonstrates the personnel hierarchy throughout the newsagents: [diagram of management hierarchy goes here]

Explanation of the company hierarchy:

Dillons enforce company policies on all sides of the business. They deal with all supervision of goods delivered and provide regular audits. Visits from the area management are frequent and always stringent. Dillons also provide major investments throughout the Bridgetown store.

Mr Pettifer works a typical day between 9am and 5pm, provided there are no anomalies. He is solely responsible for book keeping, reports, control systems and ordering of tobacco, alcohol and video supplies. Being the operational manager, Mr Pettifer is continually managing and assessing the store.

Fatima Pettifer works similar hours to her husband and is responsible for all stock orders except the above mentioned. General shop maintenance is also an ongoing task.

There are shifts designated to each of the workers:

5am – 11am11am – 5pm5pm – 11pm

The above shifts were maintained so that someone was constantly available to man the shop. Employees are expected to work beyond their shift time occaisionally in the event of a subsequent shift worker not being on time. Each shift is covered seven days a week, with the exception of Christmas day. The labour involves till-operation, re-stacking shelves, petroleum regulatory checks and general shop duties.

Shelf stackers are generally employed together to ensure that all stock is efficiently replaced. Both work six evenings per week and are responsible for re-stacking the enirety of the shop.

Due to the individualistic style of management, problems arose when Mr Pettifer was not present within the shop (anytime between 10am and 5pm daily) since no management issues could be delegated to anyone else. Any sick or holiday leave would result in a further backlog of paper work and reduced stock in the areas for which he was concerned.

As previously stated, all the personnel employed were family or friends. This greatly helped in promoting a friendly shop environment for the customers; good working relationships prevailed and common interest in the success of the business was reflected in the workers’ attitudes. Although this method of employment assisted in creating a friendly atmosphere, the following internal management problems soon became apparent:

Exploitations of relationships between manager and personnel was intrinsic in many staff related issues, e.g., salaries, hours worked, holidays etc..

Till and cashing-up procedures were informal due to the trust between employees. This may have proved to be a dangerous operation because of the liberation of that trust, i.e., opportunities were made available to all employees disregarding their status.

Overlapping the boundaries between personal life within the family and business life were often perceivable since husband and wife were working within the same environment. Although this situation was occaisionally embarrassing and no doubt detremental, the shop definitely benefitted overall by the traditionality and local friendliness.

No formal business strategies were evident to cater for family integrations and because of this a unique, informal shopping environment was created but it was inefficient and poorly structured; small problems continuously plagued Mr Pettifer, drawing him away from managerial responsibilities that were consequently not being dealt with effectively.

Competition:

Although the above problems prevailed since the expansion of the shop, Bridgetown newsagents were still economically successful until the introduction of competition in the local market.

As Dillons was the sole convenience store within the local area, prices tended to be expensive because of the lack of price wars with competition. This proved to be an almost fatal error when the competition entered as they were able to effectively compete with all of Dillons’ price range.

In the early stages of 1996 a Tesco superstore opened less than a mile along the same stretch of road as Dillons. Since Tesco is an extremely large shopping chain (and not a small business), large financial backing was employed and the product range was undoubtedly greater. Prices considerably undercut those presented by Mr Pettifer, drawing away regular shoppers and leaving mainly those who frequented the store even before it was expanded.

Tesco opened during Dillons’ most profitable times (i.e., 7-10am and 4-7pm), and this reduced a high percentage of custom from the shop, threatening the profit margins that had been developed.

Within six months of operation, major recruitment of captial was required by Dillons just to help the business survive. Mr Pettifer was forced to reduce all staff salaries (including his own) dramatically.

Business Life Cycle:

Applying the business life-cycle to Dillons newsagents, it can be seen that progression from the Inception stage to the Expansion stage was unnaturally ??? and only certain key elements of the life cycle were addressed or implemented.

During Inception, Dillons was actually similar to the life cycle model, with products tending towards expensive so the company would gain more profit. This point is re-enforced seeing that the business opening hours were 5am to 11pm during all days of the week; not taking into account overtime’, it is obvious that the newsagents is already a very large commitment for Mr Pettifer.

Dillons soon drifts from the business theory since there was very little time spent in the survival stage. Here, the business structure should be improved and strengthened, but as no survival issues were presented to Dillons, this vital stage of the life cycle was missed presenting future problems.

Even as Dillons grew and expanded into new markets, no new competition was encountered thus diverging further from the life cycle and making the organisation even more fragile and vulnerable.

Management did not develop at all throughout the life cycle and remained individualistic and supervisory instead of developing towards a more distanced and decentralised managerial operation.

Conclusion:

Currently Dillons is still under major financial threat and business is not returning since the introduction of the Tesco store. In analysing the structure of the business it can be seen that very little long term strategies were employed and no foresight of major competition was predicted, although this seemed inevitable.

The original success of the business seems to be largely due to the major investments made by Dillons management, location of the shop and the lack of any similar shops in the local environment.

At all stages of the business life cycle it appears that there is never a great financial threat to Mr Pettifer. During expansion, nearly all the risk involved was presented to Dillons management and Mr Devis in their capital investments. After expansion, good trading and a good relationship with the priciple supplier of the shop’s products enabled a sale or return method on all products (within a reasonable time period). This method proved ideal since it diminished any anxieties in regard to development of the shop’s product range and ensured that there would be no profit loss on over ordering of goods, reduced slaes or changes in the market culture.

Pricing strategy was governed by the motivation of increasing the profit margins. Short term risks such as the time to acheive profit on turnover were reduced whilst the risk of being dramatically undercut and pushed out of the market was increased exponentially. Ironically, this risk factor being the single largest reason for crisis was not recognised. External issues exasperated Dillons due to the neglect of any long term planning.

Fritos Corn Chips

In 1932, Elmer Doolin, who was in the icecream business, bought a recipe for corn chips from a Mexican man who was eager to leave the states and return home. From him Doolin acquired 19 accounts and old manufacturing equipment in hopes to start an entirely new industry in America. The first manufacturing plant for Fritos Corn Chips started out in Doolins mothers kitchen. With a lot of hard work, Elmers sales increased and new equipment and packaging were soon needed. After WW II he would grant H. W. Lay and Company, a source of potato chips and snack foods, an exclusive franchise to manufacture and distribute Fritos Corn Chips.

The two companies would work close together and in 1961 they would merge. Four years later, Pepsi-Cola Company would also combine with Frito-Lay, but with separate operating divisions, to form a new company called PepsiCo. Consumers in 1995 spent an estimated $13. 2 billion on Frito-Lay snacks, up $1. 8 billion in 1994. (PepsiCo. 1995 Annual Report). Currently, Frito-Lay is still expanding its sales and serves all of the US markets. In 1989 they reconstructed their business into 4 regional divisions to strengthen its channel distribution.

Their growth has continued and as of 1991 they had 22 Sales and Marketing areas in order to bring the decision process closer together. Currently they are continuing to grow nationally and globally with distribution reaching nearly 400,000 in retail, vending, and food service accounts around the country (PepsiCo. 1995 Annual Report) They offer more than 100 product lines and several brand names such as Lays, Ruffles, Doritos, Rold Gold, and Tostitos. The overall market share for tortilla and corn chips in 1993 accounted for 25. 8% of retail sales and 27. 8% of pound volume of the salted snacks market.

Frito-Lays market coverage involves intensive distribution by placing its products in convenience stores, mass merchandisers, supermarkets, grocery stores, and vending machines. Today’s average for the company’s distribution amongst grocery and supermarkets has risen to about 56% (PepsiCo. 1996 Facts). Frito-Lays closest competition in size for snack foods is Nabisco, who dosen’t’ have a snack chip to compete with Tostitos corn chip. Golden Flake Enterprises is Fritos biggest competitor in size and markets served that has a tortilla chip, but they compete in an indirect way through limited product lines.

Some companies that compete serving smaller markets are Philadelphias Utz, Herrs, and Bravo. They try to compete with Frito-Lay, but most of them have to add a degree of differentiation to gain a slight competitive advantage in a market that is to easy to copy. Companies selling in small local markets try to compete and differentiate through targeting their audiences more directly which is hard for Frito Lay to do. However smaller companies resources are limited, so it is hard to compete directly with the big distributor in markets served.

Frito has also used the strategy of forward integration, which means they have used their earnings to gain ownership or control over distributors and retailers which makes it hard for small companies to gain distribution channels. Fritos snack products are available in 40 countries and believes that the majority of its growth will come from establishing new markets. Frito-Lay owns most of their operations but some operations are joint ventures. The company works hard at keeping its market share and has brought in outside firms to look at their supply chain from manufacturing to distribution, to logistics and transportation planning.

This past year the company won an award for its seasoning and packaging program. It works to get full truckloads by utilizing unique carrier management technology systems which are projected to save 20% in transportation costs, reduce inventory carrying costs, and enable deliveries twice a week to production facilities which is expected to decrease transportation time. They are also using what is called a back-haul program to fill empty miles in Frito-Lay’s private fleet, generating over $250,000 in incremental revenue for its traffic centers.

They have also spent big money on an integrated system which provides visibility and productivity tools to optimize Frito-Lay’s distribution network (www. markvii. com/news/frito. htm). Tostitos success is due to Frito Lays capabilities to capture opportunities to enhance a competitive advantage. Through decades of hard work and expansion, the company is moving forward expanding its markets. Thier profits are high and they’ve worked hard over the years to create and maintain relationships with its channel members which has led to thier success.

Customer Relationship Management

Even now, customer relationship management (CRM) is in its growth stage. Until recently, diverse individuals defined this concept differently. As the name suggests, the primary focal point is placed on the customer. If a company develops better customer relationships, it also improves business processes as well as its profits. In general CRM, is a more efficient automated method used to connect and improve all areas of business to focus on creating more solid customer relationships (CRM Research Center, 2001).

All forces are coupled together to save, improve, and acquire greater business to customer relationships. The most common areas of business that are positively affected include marketing, sales, and customer service strategies (Digital Consulting Institute, 2002; CRM Research Center, 2001). CRM helps create time efficiency and savings on both sides of the business spectrum. Through correct implementation and use of CRM solutions, companies gain a better understanding of their strongest and weakest areas and how they can improve upon these.

Therefore, customers gain better products and services from their businesses of choice. In order to achieve better insight on CRM, it is essential to consider all of its components. Analogous to other technologies, CRM has its goals, costs, implementation strategies, and success and failure stories. Goals If successful, CRM can assist businesses with many customer-oriented processes. In general, companies will be able to offer better customer service. By keeping track of customer preferences, a company will have a better idea of what type of questions to expect (Bannan, 2001).

Through well-organized call centers they can provide faster more intelligent solutions to customers’ questions and complaints. Costs CRM does not come without its costs, however, according to a recent survey conducted by The Data Warehousing Institute, nearly half of the people surveyed stated that their CRM project expenses were less than $500,000. This demonstrates that not all CRM implementation has to be costly. On the other hand, this survey also presented that quite a few participants had budgets of more than $10 million (CRM Research Center, 2001).

Until recently, not many options were available to put CRM software into operation. The alternatives available were to choose between a trained and certified company to execute the task or train your own IT people, however, neither choice was favorable. Using outside knowledge and expertise costs from half to two and a half times more plus the cost of the actual software. In addition, There is now a choice of combining the external and in-house skills (Goldenberg 2002).

Dolce and Gabbana

Dolce and Gabbana, an Italian ready-to-wear line, was founded in 1982 by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. Since the distinguished duo established they have become influential and innovative to the fashion industry. Their clothes signify a sanguine, sexy glamour, which, however raw, never over powers the wearer’s character, making them one of the most momentous design forces to emerge from Italy in recent years. Domenico Dolce was born in Palermo, Italy on August 13, 1958 to a Sicilian tailor.

He worked in his father’s shop at the young age of six, “I was obliged by my parents to work in the atelier, where I started drawing and sewing and I loved it. I was making miniature clothes as samples. ” He began studying science at a university but quickly grew bored of the monotony of the subject and dropped out to attend art school. After graduation from the art school Dolce left his native city and traveled to Milan seeking fame and fortune. Stefano Gabbana was born in Venice, Italy on November 14, 1962.

Gabbana always had an admiration of clothing, but never fantasized becoming involved in the fashion industry, “Since I was a child I really liked fashion. When I was thirteen I was going to Fiorucci to buy the most trendy things; but I didn’t think the pleasure of dressing myself would become my job. ” Although he studied art at a college in Monza, he left before receiving a degree and became an advertising art director. While working for the same Milan based fashion designer Dolce and Gabbana met and found they shared many similar idols and influences.

Although Gabbana was from Northern Italy, they both alike profess their prominent influence is the Mediterranean. Stefano claims his admiration evolved by watching classic movies with Southern Italian actresses such as Sophia Loren and Gina Lollobrigida, whose voluptuous bodies are constrained by tight suits, stockings and suspenders. Adoration and glorification of the female body is the departure point for all of Dolce and Gabbana’s female collections. The two have been quoted as saying that breasts are the points of departure for all of their designs.

Other inspirations include films of the fifties by directors like Roberto Rossellini and Luchino Visconti and photos of Enzo Sellerio as well as by Giuseppe Lampedusa’s. In 1981, one year after meeting, they formed a partnership and began to work as subcontractors to factories and thread companies. For the next five years they remained faithful to their fantasy of one-day working independently, refusing lucrative opportunities, which would have sacrificed their autonomous nature.

Finally their determination and perseverance paid off in 1985 when Beppe Modenese invited them to show their designs at the New Talents Forum of the Milan Collections. The next spring Stefano and Domenico had their first design on the catwalk. With borrowed money and girl friends as models, they launched ‘Real Women’ which were quickly being purchased from stores like Browns and Harvey Nichols. When their fall collection, ‘Transformations’, hit he runway the fashion world was beginning to sit up and take notice to Dolce and Gabbana. In 1987, with their first knitwear show behind them, they set up their own showroom in Via Santa Cecilia.

From that point on, Dolce and Gabbana were in the big time, showing in Tokyo and broadened their horizons by adding lingerie; beachwear and men’s wear collections. By 1990 they had become full-fledged international designer label with all associated accouterments. New shops opened in huge cities such as New York and Milan. In this same year the company did $66 million, doubling that of the previous year. The two have really come a long way from the days of sewing their own garments. Both claim they would not continue on their own, “If I had to stop working with Domenico, I probably wouldn’t be in the fashion industry anymore,” claims Stefano.

Domenico holds a similar attitude, “I wish I could go back, to be in a room with a shelf full of fabrics, a mannequin, a sewing machine and two women- I would be very happyWe don’t know what it would be like to be like to work alone. ” Dolce and Gabbana take equal responsibilities for both the creating and business aspects of the company. When it comes to advertising the two shy away from celebrities. Although they have worked with stars such as Madonna and Linda Evangelista, nowadays they prefer anonymity, Stefano explains, “We want all young girls, not the same faces everybody uses.

The photographers they use such as Ferdinando Scianna, Gianpaolo Barbieri, and Steven Meisel have brought new interpretations to fashion photography. Even the background music to their catwalk shows underlines their individualism. The phenomenal growth is continuing by the launching of accessories, a ready-to wear bridal collection, world wide licensing deals and the award winning ‘Dolce & Gabbana Parfum’. Rumors of a leap into the cosmetic and furnishings markets are in the near future. Possibilities seem endless.

Business and the Environment

The relationship between corporations and the environment is a tumultuous one. Corporations have abused and violated the environment for generations. These actions have now become unacceptable in our present society. There is growing concern for our natural resources; the world’s forests, waterways, and air are noticeably tainted. In the last twenty years, the U. S. has become more vigilant in recognizing and passing acts to attempt to regulate and purify our environment. Between 1938 and 1986, twelve acts regarding business and the environment have been passed. The Food and Drug Administration established the first act in 1938.

The Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act was passed to regulate food and drug additives. The Delaney Clause in 1958 added the prohibition of the sale of foods containing human or animal carcinogens to the original act. The Wilderness Act of 1964 outlawed the development of wilderness areas and gave new procedures for the appointment of new protected areas. In 1969, the National Environment Policy Act created a nation wide environmental policy and the Council on Environmental Quality. A year later, the first legislation passed for the Clean Air Act. It was relegislated in 1977 and again in 1990.

This act established the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to control the enforcement of air quality standards. In 1972, both the Federal Insecticide and Rodenticide Act and the Clean Water Act were passed. They were relegislated in 1988; and 1977, 1981, and 1987 respectively. FIFRA requires the registration of every pesticide, certification and preconsumer testing. The Clean Water Act established standards for wastewater treatment, sludge management, and set discharge limitation and water quality standards. The Endangered Species Act of 1973 protects animals that are threatened or endangered.

Relegislated in 1984, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 standardized the manufacturing, transportation, storage, treatment and dumping of solid and hazardous waste. Also passed in 1976 was the Toxic Substances Control Act, which delegates the EPA control over the assessment of risks involved in chemicals and recordkeeping. 1980 saw the passing of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Recovery Act, which brought liability upon the owners, transporters and sources of hazardous waste, and established the Superfund to help with cleanup costs.

The Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act requires companies to publicly disclose all chemical and toxic hazards in their operations. 1 These acts have often left companies feeling as though their hands were tied. The Clean Air Act by 1989 managed to reduce air pollution to two thirds of the 1970’s level. The Act achieves this through the use of permits to regulate the construction and production of major sources of pollution. The act specifies that a major source is one that emits 100 tons or more per year. This means that a factory can be built that emits 90 tons of pollution per year with out a permit.

A permit is also necessary if you want to increase an existing factory that emits 100 tons by 25 tons. This act has its shortcomings. For example, a university wants to expand its heating plant. The administration has two options either modify the existing plant or build a new plant. The university’s heating plant emits 100 tons of pollution, this means that they will need a permit. The modification would normally be more cost effective because it is a smaller job and would not take as much time to accomplish. The practicality of the situation would force the building of a new heating plant that is to be smaller than 100 tons of pollution.

The reason for this is the delay, cost and uncertainty of the permitting process, which would drive the over all cost up. It is probable that the modification of the single plant would ultimately produce less pollution that the two separate plants. 2 The SARA, or Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act passed by the government as an addendum to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Recovery Act specifies that companies make public details of their storage and handling techniques. All firms manufacturing 300 specific chemicals must abide by this.

Firms with ten or more full time workers must painstakingly report must report all chemicals released routinely. The quantity of the specific chemicals released into water, soil, and air, along with a listing of waste treatment efficiency must be made available to the surrounding community. It is difficult for companies to cite specific waste treatment facilities, for not many true ones exist. The public demands total removal of hazardous wastes and at the same time that the goods be produced with the same efficiency and quality. 3

The Clean Water Act is a system of minimum national standards for the discharge of toxins and hazardous waste into the environment. The rules given call for complicated technical decisions to be made by businesses. The fact that a company must comply with all new standards within a year causes for much loss and payment of fines. These acts do have negative effects upon businesses. However, corporations are finding advantages to environmentally sound procedures. Not only are environmentally friendly policies popular with consumers, but they can also save businesses a great deal of money.

As the acts and their socially conscious agenda become more assimilated into the business world, business is working to gain advantage and minimize disadvantages. Many case studies support this idea. Corporations have discovered that they can often use environmental friendly programs and products to produce more profits. An excellent example of this is Ben and Jerry’s ice cream company. The company began by making all natural ice cream on a very small scale in Burlington, Vermont in 1978.

Natural food held great appeal in Vermont, even before it held nation-wide popularity. Soon, their product became extremely popular. Ben and Jerry’s all natural products provided the first benefits of environmental-friendly policies for the company. Later, when two large manufacturing facilities were built in Waterbury and St. Albans Vermont, they decided to treat the waste created form their processing with a prototype solar aquatic treatment system. Like a wetland, the system combines solar energy with plants, algae and microbes to break down wastewater.

Three “green teams” strive to ensure compliance with their priorities of managing their waste, conserving energy, practicing sustainability, finding renewable energy sources and forming environmentally positive community programs. Besides these positive actions, which attract many customers, other environmentally correct actions save Ben and Jerry’s money. Instead of sending massive amounts of waste to the landfill, the company implemented procedures that minimize waste and reduce cost simultaneously. Cardboard waste is baled and sold or recycled, which saves the company $17,400 annually.

Office employees must follow a recycling program to save energy, cost and trees. $235,000 a year is saved in recycling or reusing plastic buckets. As much as $250,000 a year will be saved from new energy saving devices incorporated by the company. There are environmentally positive aspects in every part of the company which prove Ben and Jerry’s to be unhypocritical, for the environmentally friendly image they sell their products. Since their total sales were $97 million in 1991, it seems that this philosophy works and brings about a large customer base. 4

Other companies have found profit through environmentally safe Merck & Co. , a worldwide health product corporation for animals and humans, and specialty chemicals balances profit and responsibility even in the face of SARA. To maintain an inner accordance, Merck runs its operations with the same regard for health and well being that its products have. Merck has declared, “… our commitment is to conduct our business worldwide in a manner that will protect the environment as well as the health and safety of our employees and the public. “5 Merck made formal its environmental commitment in 1990.

In 1990, the company published a statement giving its environmental policies and goals. The progress toward these objectives was charted through periodic reports in a set five-year period. The objectives set by Merck were specific. The minimization of chemicals released into the atmosphere, in turn harming people, animals, the ozone layer, and causing acid rain and the greenhouse effect was one goal. Research to find new ways to minimize waste and conserve resources was a priority. Reduction of waste generation and self-sufficient waste treatment and disposal were another goal.

Energy and resource conservation practices were to be utilized in its research, manufacturing and office facilities. Lastly, resource conservation was to be promoted through innovative product design and recyclable materials. 6 Merck, like all chemical producers, was directly confronted with SARA. Though the company is not forced to reduce emissions, its operation procedures go far above SARA suggestions and Clean Air Act regulations. Voluntarily, the company made a commitment to the EPA to follow these higher standards. Merck specifically vowed to reduce carcinogen air emissions by 90% at the end of 1991.

Also, these air emissions were to be eradicated by 1993. Finally, Merck would reduce releases of corporate chemicals by around 90% of all direct releases and material transfers for off site disposal by the end of 1995. Merck had reduced all its worldwide releases of toxic chemicals by 50% from 1987 figures by the end of 1992. 7 The goals focusing on toxic waste processing and reductions were to be achieved through a strategic plan at division and plant levels. Divisions, plants and salaried employees directly or indirectly involved with manufacturing were to implement personal goals to help Merck achieve their overall goals.

The eight plants under Merck’s manufacturing division, along with the two manufacturing vice-presidents, were each accountable for the reduction and better management of waste in the plants. A central environmental resource staff coordinated and supported the effort. SOurce reduction was the biggest priority, followed by recovery/recycling/reuse, and waste management. Most of Merck’s waste is non toxic. The toxic minority consists of primarily ethyl alcohol, acetone and methyl alcohol, used in manufacturing processes.

The waste stream is boiled, the purified vapors condensed, and the liquid recollected. 90% is recovered for reuse. The remaining 10% is toxic waste. 8 Packaging components have experienced reduction in the interest of landfill space and resource conservation. Cotton wadding in drug bottles has been eliminated in the US. In Europe, there has been a 10% reduction in aluminum and foil waste. A conversion in Europe to standard blister packaging and high volume carton printing reduces waste and saves money. 9 New and more efficient equipment helps to reduce Merck’s waste management problems.

By standardizing and improving production, Merck is less likely to encounter problems with the FDA for making drug production changes. Approval for production changes is extremely time and cost consuming. Yield and product quality standards are on the same level as environmental standards. Merck, “takes responsibility for the total life cycle of materials we use and products we manufacture. “10 Merck keeps lines of communication open with the public concerning its environmental policies. By working with the Chemical Manufacturers Association’s Responsible Care Program, Merck provides information to the public through a 1-800 number.

The number is linked directly to Merck, where questions regarding Merck plants are answered. Emergency response systems are in place at factories, and for Merck transports. Literature regarding operations and safety procedures are distributed by Merck to keep the public informed. 11 Merck’s environmental commitment extends to its corporate headquarters. Environmental preservation of woodland and wetlands upon the site was the priority. The 900,000 square foot hexagon-shaped building and the 700,000 square foot underground parking garage made a minimal effect upon the land.

Awards and recognition were in order for this achievement. Kevin Roche, an architect known for designs that blend into the environment, was chosen for the project. The hexagon building surrounds five acres of forest, roads go over the land, and trees were moved rather than destroyed. They were nurtured in a nursery for as long as three years and then returned to the landscape. Energy saving features were utilized in the main building. All paper waste, the principal waste product, is recycled. 2. 8 tons of waste are produced per day, of which 8 tons are recyclable. 12

Merck has made an agreement with the Costa Rican Instituto Nacional de Biodivarsidad (INBio) to grant a million dollars to catalog the immensely diverse life found in Costa Rico. In exchange, Merck is granted the rights to any new medicines found. If a new medicine is found, the royalties will surpass the cost of the failure of the project. The diversity of Costa Rico is thought by scientists to contain more biodiversity then any other planet on earth. Many unknown animals and plants exist in Costa Rico and have yet to be discovered. Merck is training local people to take samples and perform extractions.

INBio will analyze the samples. Merck will evaluate samples for agricultural and pharmaceutical applications. This mutual beneficent relationship will aid both the environment and Merck. 13 By improving their product, cutting their costs, and improving their public image, Merck has made a profit from environmental friendliness. The envirometal centered policy has opened up new markets and gained a competitive advantage. This compliance is expensive, but seems well worth the expenditure for the return. The EPA also has developed incentives in recent years for environmental policy compliance.

The Green Lights program gives companies EPA support to drive down lighting usage, which accounts for over 20% of overall electrical costs. Software, financing information, lighting product consumer reporting is provided free of charge. Public recognition is given through public service ads, news articles, marketing materials, broadcast specials and videotapes. Computer manufacturers who install automatic “power down” on their computers join the Energy Star program endorsed by the EPA. Consumers and businesses look specifically for this symbol in many cases, causing a gain for the computer manufacturer.

Variable Speed Drives for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems save 40% or more efficiency. The EPA has formed a special group buy to make them more affordable. Payback is within three years. Plans are on the board to endorse other “green” technologies this way. Refrigerators that are produced and function 30-50% more energy efficient then 1993 standards will receive a rebate. These are just a few incentives the EPA is providing. 14 Government and business have often debated over policies and laws. In the case of laws governing business practices and their effects on the environment, this holds true.

The balance between being environmentally safe and still producing the quality and quantities needed is delicate. However, today’s market makes environmental friendliness sellable, and the procedures involved often save businesses a considerable amount of money. Ben and Jerry’s have utilized the market for environmentally aware products and combined it with their company philosophy. Merck has utilized the same business strategy and found ways to surpass SARA and other environmental acts. These businesses prove that being environmentally responsible is not only morally correct, but also profitable.

Human Resource Management in Business

The fast paced area of HRM as seen many new developments in the science and practice of the field over its roughly 80-year history (Ferris et al. , 1999). One of the earlier developments in HRM research that still has significance today was, at the time, a theoretical foundation that challenged researchers to design measures to assess the relationship between “individual personalities” and “company personalities” (Gilmer, 1960).

This field of inquiry led to the research that has come to be known as strategic human resource management (SHRM), a field that attempts to align HRM functions and activities with the strategic goals of the organization (Butler, Ferris, & Napier, 1991). Another aspect of this review takes a look at HRM from an international perspective.

This viewpoint acknowledges the importance of the global economy, as well as emphasizes the value of the Human Resource (HR) activities that address cross-cultural concerns (Napier, Tibau, Janssens, & Pilenzo, 1995). Lastly, the political perspective of HRM presents an opportunity to address those features of public sector HRM practices that have become outdated by contemporary organizational standards (Soni, 2004). Background Human Resource Management is a diverse entity consisting of a variety of activities.

Some of these activities include the decision about staffing needs and if hiring employees or contracting with independent sources will fill these needs, recruitment and training of employees, making sure those hired are high performers, dealing with performance and evaluation issues, and ensuring that HR practices comply with various regulations (McNamara, 1999). Additionally, McNamara (1999) points out three other activities that fall within the realm of HRMmanaging the approach to employee benefits and compensation, employee records, and personnel policies.

Several HRM practices may influence individual performance by providing incentives that bring out appropriate behaviors (Minbaeva et al. , 2003). Such incentive systems may include performance-based compensation and the use of internal promotion systems that focus on employee merit and help employees overcome barriers to career growth (Huselid, 1995). Previous research has shown that employees are more motivated when they are informed about the organization.

Sharing of information on strategy and company performance tells the employees that they are trusted. Additionally, it is important that employees are kept current on company performance so that they can use the knowledge that resides in the organization to its fullest potential (Pfeffer, 1998). And by factor-analyzing HRM practices, Huselid’s (1995) influential study of the impact of high performance work practices’ points out the importance of HRM as it relates to organizational turnover, productivity, and corporate financial performance.

Without HRM practices in place, organizations are likely to suffer in the three areas described above. The importance of HRM as a business function is exemplified in Huselid’s (1995) view that HRM practices influence employees’ skills and competencies through the acquisition and development of a business’s “human capital. ” Because HRM is such a fast-changing study it seems appropriate here to explain the alternative terminology that is starting to make the scene.

Human capital” was introduced in a statement by David Walker (2000), the Comptroller General: We at GAO use the term “human capital” because “in contrast with traditional terms such as personnel and human resource management” it focuses on two principles that are critical in a performance management environment. First, people are assets whose value can be enhanced through investment, as the value of people increases, so does the performance capacity of the organization, and therefore, its value to clients and other stake-holders.

Second, an organization’s human capital approaches must be aligned to support the mission, vision for the future, core values, goals, and strategies by which the organization has defined its direction and its expectations for itself and its people… The term “human capital” originated in the field of economics. But both words human and capital are equally important to the concept as we apply it. Enhancing the value of employee is a win-win goal for employer and employees alike. (p. 34) Strategic Human Resource Management

Over the past 10 or 15 years, numerous theoreticians have argued that the human resources of the firm are potentially the sole source of sustainable competitive advantage for organizations (Ferris et al. , 1999). The works by these theoreticians have drawn on the resource based view of the organization (Barney, 1991, 1995) and have argued that few of the more traditional sources of sustainable competitive advantage, like technology and access to financial resources, create value in a manner that is nonsubstitutable (Ferris et al. 999).

According to Ferris et al. (1999), the slight differences of the human resource value creation process are extremely difficult to imitate, as they are “path dependent and causally ambiguous. ” Each of the research programs that have been carried out is important and distinct in their own regard, but they also share a common characteristic. The similarity is that research in these areas is relatively new and has historically not had the benefit of a richly developed theoretical base to build upon.

However, this trend appears to be changing as researchers have developed conceptual models of HRM that have moved research away from its atheoretical origins (Ferris et al. , 1999). One change that has come about from the research is the creation of professional employer organizations (PEO) that provide HR services to small and medium organizations that must outsource their HR activities (Klass, 2003). Various reasons exist for organizations having to outsource their HR activities, and consideration must be given before deciding on a particular PEO.

According to this framework, Klass (2003) indicates that substantial differences exist among small and medium enterprise (SME) outcome variables in terms of their determinants. The suggestion is that factors that allow a PEO to improve one outcome for an SME may at the same time make it more difficult to achieve positive effects on a different SME outcome. So, the implication here is that while some SMEs sacrifice part of the overall financial savings that might result from PEO use in order to gain improvements in HR outcomes, others focus mainly on cost and time savings (Klass, 2003).

Several potential advantages have been identified favoring the use of a PEO. Cost savings in the form of grater economies of scale and the ability to negotiate better rates for benefit programs are two identifiable benefits. Another plus is the access to HR expertise that offers mechanisms for improving the quality of HR programs and outcomes (Klass, McClendon, & Gainey, 1999). These advantages appear to be appealing to more and more SMEs. Current estimates indicate that three million employees are receiving HR services from PEOs, with this number growing by 30 percent annually (Hirschman, 2000).

There are certain variables one must consider when deciding on the PEO an SME will choose. These variables are trust, firm-specific knowledge, and client receptivity (Klass, 2003). It is logical to assume that the selection process should use consideration beyond a “gut feeling. ” As Klass (2003) indicates, the considerations that are relevant in this selection process include whether a PEO employs a service delivery model that allows repeated interaction with the same set of PEO service providers, whether PEO policies and cultural characteristics promote the retention of PEO personnel, human capital resources, and PEO size.

Multicultural Knowledge Transfer HRM policy in corporate America has begun to emphasize the concept that diversity is a practical choice, based on rapidly evolving U. S. demographics. Recognizing the economic opportunity, corporate leaders are spearheading mandates for multicultural workforces and emerging markets strategies (Council, 2001). Diversity is increasing within organizations at an astronomical rate. Corporations are becoming global, building strategic alliances, and facilitating mergers and acquisitions inside and outside their primary domain of work (Jackson, May, & Whitney, 1995).

Concurrently, organizations are implementing work teams with greater frequency to integrate the knowledge of workers across broad specializations, as well as geographic locations (Sundstrom, DeMeuse, & Futrell, 1990). This increasing diversity of the workforce necessitates a better understanding of how such individual differences affect the functioning of work groups, as well as which types of differences are most consequential (Harrison, Price, & Bell, 1998).

The result is that two of the most complex phenomena in the work place, diversity and work teams, are being merged together with the goal of creating more innovative, high-performing organizations (Webber, 2001). Multinational corporations (MNC) play an important part in the research of HRM practices as it relates to the transfer of knowledge through multicultural interaction. This transfer of knowledge benefits the organization through an interactive process that teaches customs and norms and foreign business practices, while simultaneously promoting good will (Minbaeva et al. 003).

In doing business with ethnic populations, it is important to know your market. For example, there is not one Hispanic market. Hispanics in the United States come from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Latin America, and they have different beliefs and customs (Romano, 1995). These demographic trends make it necessary for HRM to look at the feasibility of employing more bilingual employees because it would be strategically advantageous for the organization to have personnel who speak their customers’ language (Romano, 1995).

Given the composition of the workforce today and its projected future composition, understanding and predicting employee reactions to all levels of diversity is critical. Most organizational research on these reactions has been gloomy, suggesting that demographic diversity diminishes work group cohesion and organizational attachment and heightens risks of employee withdrawal and turnover (Harrison, Price, & Bell, 1998). This has major implications for those in the HRM field.

The challenge will be to implement programs that, coupled with effective hiring practices, will place people in work groups that will function at maximum efficiency for the good of the individuals involved and the organization, even in the midst of cultural differences. HRM in the Public Sector The state of public service has been characterized as a “quiet crisis” for decades. The term was attached to the slow weakening of the public service from the 1970s and 1980s, and has continued through the 1990s into the present (Soni, 2004).

The crisis that exists presents unique challenges for public sector HRM because of the issues surrounding the crisis itself. As Soni (2004) points out, “the current crisis is building as large numbers of government workers are expected to retire in the coming years and not enough younger people are in the pipeline for government jobs. ” These trends in public service seem to reflect the shift in young people’s attitudes toward government itself. The younger generation tends not to choose public service careers because of the negative reputation of government’s hiring process, lack of challenging work, and its system of rewards (Soni, 2004).

For this trend to change reforms must be initiated that will address the problems in civil service. Any reforms should also take into account the lack of managerial flexibility experienced and the changing nature of public service (Light, 1999). Many external and internal organizational forces such as workforce demographics, technology, and privatization, as well as the eroding trust in government institutions have drastically altered the atmosphere of government service. Accordingly, traditional human resource management approaches no longer work.

The HR supply and demand problem must be addressed at multiple levels. Educating people about government service, raising the image of government workers, providing competent and reliable leadership in government agencies, conducting career development and training of existing personnel, and actively recruiting, particularly in technological and scientific fields, all will have to be done simultaneously to adequately respond to the human resource crisis in the public sector (Soni, 2004).

The government’s downsizing during the early 1990s helped to throw the civilian workforce into a tailspin. Walker (2000) points out that the federal civilian payroll is at its lowest level since 1950. Many agencies did not strategically assess their human resources requirements before initiating the downsizing of the 1990s, and as a result, saw some of their best talent, especially in the technical fields, accept buyouts and move to higher-paying private sector jobs.

During the same period, the government conducted very little hiring, which reduced the influx of people with new knowledge, new energy, and new ideas. The result is a federal workforce that is steadily declining in accountability, feels more and more overworked, and whose skills are out of balance with the needs of the public it serves (Soni, 2004). In response to these deficiencies the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has taken steps to improve the skills of human resources professionals so that they can be prepared to take a strategic role in agency management.

The OPM Director James in addressing this issue states, “We are hoping to elevate the entire profession, advise agencies on the kind of training and skills that the human resources professionals need and urge every agency to have their HR professionals at the table when they are developing their strategic plans and goals for the next several years” (MSPB, 2002). Conclusion The field of Human Resource Management is an ever-changing study of activities undertaken by organizations in an effort to gain the competitive advantage over other firms.

It has become clear that in truly progressive organizations in the future, HRM will not be merely viewed as a set of policies and practices, nor will it be defined as just a department or function. Instead, in such effective organizations, HRM will be a “mentality” or way of thinking. It will have to be an extensive entity in the organization and integral to all of its decisions and actions. Organizations will have to make the choice to expend capital in order to have the diversity offered by HRM. Smaller firms will need to incorporate some form of HRM if they hope to remain, or become, competitive with other similarly sized organizations.

The public sector will have to build and maintain a strong HRM body so that declines of the past are not realized today. They must also offer something to potential recruits that will be enticing enough to draw good stock from the workforce pool. And regardless of how contemporary an organization believes they have become in the field of HRM, it would behoove them not to become lax in their diligence to stay on top of the competition. New theories and models are being tested with greater frequency in order to further the field of study and maintain, or gain, the competitive advantage.

Introduction to Business

Business plays a major role within our society. It is a creative and competitive activity that continuously contributes to the shaping of our society. By satisfying the needs and wants people cannot satisfy themselves, businesses improve the quality of life for people and create a higher standard of living. It is a way for individuals to provide goods and services to consumers, and at the same time, produce a profit for themselves.

Businesses are not only important because they provide goods and services for consumers, but they also improve the economy and increase jobs for people within society which is an dditional fact producing a higher standard of living. To measure our societies standard of living, we must look to our “Gross National Product”, which is the complete measure of our nations output. Unfortunately, inflation is a major problem in our nation which often reduces the Gross National Product. Inflation occurs when the goods become too high within society and spending decreases.

A central function within our economic system is satisfying the needs of the consumers with the use of limited supplies. The purpose of a business is to combine resources such as land, labor, and capital in a way that will make them ore valuable. Operating in a political and economic climate that supports individual rights, American business has as its guiding principle the right to private ownership and profit. The amount of goods produced depends upon the number of resources available for use. This idea is commonly known as “Supply and Demand”.

Businesses must attempt to reach an equilibrium between the two which will directly impact the price of the products produced. If something is heavily demanded and at the same time, it’s resources are limited, the price of the product will rise. This idea of course works both ways. The easier it is o produce something, the cheaper it will be. All economic systems begin with the same resources including land, labor, capital and technology. These resources may be limited at any given time, varying within the world at large, from country to country.

This business cycle explains how business fluctuates from high to low prosperity, recession, depression and recovery over time. The major challenges faced by our nation today are the Federal Budget Deficit, international trade deficit, the Decline of Smokestack America, and the conservation of energy. The Federal Budget Deficit occurs when our expenditures re greater then our revenues. International trade deficits occur when a nation imports more then it exports. The Decline of Smokestack America is when there is a change from an industrial to a post-industrial economy.

Finally, the conservation of energy is so that there are a sufficient amount of natural resources necessary to produce goods. General economic growth or stagnation also has an important influence on business within our society. Many factors can affect it’s condition, such as war, new inventions and technology, political assassinations, the discovery of physical and natural resources, labor egotiations, government action, and many others. When the economy is strong and the demand is high, businesses can prosper.

Regardless of how great the economy may become, businesses still must compete with other firms for scarce raw materials and labor. A businesses environment creates many opportunities as well as problems for prospering businesses. The environment determines what a business can do by shaping and channeling its development. Businesses function within an environment by allowing entrepreneurs to raise capital and create profits freely. The supply of money available within a business as well as the economic tability through times of growth and recession have strong effects on businesses.

Not only is the physical environment, including natural resources, pollution and energy as discussed previously, important, but many other aspects within the environment influence business. A business must adapt and overcome consumerism and ecology, and it has a social responsibility to do so. Cultures surrounding businesses also play a major role. A business must adapt to a changing society with age, lifestyle, culture and location. When a business learns to adapt to these changes, it will be profitable for both the business nd consumers. Economic systems can be classified into three categories.

These include capitalism, socialism and communism. Pure capitalism is an unrestrained freedom to buy, sell and compete. Private enterprises allow entrepreneurs to run businesses without central government control and can operate within a free market. Capitalism is a system of true private enterprise. Some aspects of capitalism are free choice, private ownership, private profit and free competition. The only drawback of this type of system is that a company can operate with no competition thereby creating a monopoly unfavorable for onsumers.

Socialism, on the other hand, is a system where the production and distribution of industries are owned and operated by the government. Officials directly manage some or all of the extraction of raw materials, manufacturing, communication and transportation. This system is loosely regulated by the government. Finally, communism replaces the operation of a free market almost entirely. Most of the rights enjoyed within the capitalist system are denied and private ownership is prohibited. Business are controlled by state planners and competition is almost completely eliminated.

Today our economy is made up of a mixed economic system with each one contributing but no one dominating. Communist and socialist systems seem to be adopting many capitalists views and ideas. It is up to you to decide which system you prefer, but the United States’ system of capitalism seems to be working adequately and positively. It is based on the principles of private enterprise and modified capitalism. There are many forms of business within our economic system but they are all arranged in three major categories. These three categories are sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporations.

Within a sole proprietorship, one entrepreneur assumes all the risks of the business, but at the same time, keeps all of the profits. In just this one simple sentence we become aware of the obvious fact that along with it’s advantages come many disadvantages. A sole proprietor, on one hand, makes his own decisions and pays only one tax for himself and the business. In addition, setting up a business for a sole proprietor is much simpler under the law compared to the other two types of businesses. However, the sole proprietor has unlimited liability and complete responsibility to the business.

He or she must assume all of the risks and often must contribute from his own savings in order to prosper or just simply exist. A sole proprietor must also bring the natural resources, human resources and capital together by himself in order to run the business and produce goods and services. Because of it’s difficulty to raise funds and grow, sole proprietorships very often suffer from impermanence. A partnership can also start with little difficulty under the law. They have a greater chance of growing and existing because partners can pool their assets, talents, funds and borrowing power.

Similar to sole proprietorships, partnerships also pay only one tax and create a high degree of satisfaction for the partners stemming from them being their own boss. Unfortunately, however, with a partnership comes unlimited liability and personal disagreements between the partners. In addition, because of this single taxation, the personal assets of the partners are frozen which often creates major problems. As a result, partnerships also suffer from impermanence. A corporation, in my opinion, is the best option.

Although filing for a corporation can become expensive and they are heavily egulated by the state, they have the ability to raise large amounts of capital. They have a long term existence, continuing to exist even when one of it’s officers dies or resigns, large investment possibilities, easy withdrawal power and a specialized management making production easier and quicker. Best of all, corporations have limited liability, holding only the corporation itself liable to any debts or obligations and freeing all officers and their personal assets from blame and liability.

Although this may all be true, owners within a corporation, that being the shareholders, must share the total investment and ivide all profits made. Because of the generally large number of owners, job satisfaction also decreases along with strong personal motivation. Shareholders have almost no privacy when it comes to their financial affairs. There is a higher taxation for corporations and the shareholders are taxed twice, once for the corporations assets and a second time for personal assets.

The role of the government in authorizing the operations of corporations creates still another disadvantage. They are often expensive to establish and complex to run because they are strictly regulated by the government. More government regulations are pplied to corporations then any other form of business ownership. Just simply reporting to the government so that they know all regulations are being followed can be timely and complicated. Strict and detailed records and statements must always be kept for the government as well as for the shareholders of the corporation.

It is obvious, everything that comes with advantages must also come with disadvantages, this is why the type of business ownership that is right for a person varies, depending on the detailed aspects of each particular business. The advantages and disadvantages must be weighed within each ituation. While the main forms of business ownership include the three subsequently discussed, there are many other variations that can be used, depending upon each situation. These include limited partnerships, joint ventures, joint stock companies, cooperatives and franchises. Small business are also widespread in our nation and are growing rapidly.

They provide the most employment to teenagers, immigrants and the elderly, thereby employing a large percentage of the population. This fact is true because small business are more willing to adjust to their employees needs and responsibilities. The services industry is dominated by small businesses which require limited capital in order to establish them and run successfully. They have greater flexibility, provide greater personal attention to consumers, have lower, fixed costs, high innovation and greater motivation. Unfortunately, the failure rate of small businesses is high due to poor management and inadequate financing.

Therefore, small business owners accept many benefits as well as burdens. The benefit of being your own boss and gaining greater work satisfaction is accompanied by the burden of working long hours and dealing with igh amounts of stress. However, these burdens are generally a result of many occupations, regardless of whether or not you are your own boss. This is why small businesses are on the rise. There are many aspects that go along with creating a successful business, regardless of it’s size. These include networking, planning, environmental examinations, internal control and resources.

The problem is, however, that it is up to the sole proprietor of the business to bring all of these aspects together in working order which is harder for a small business then it is for a larger business or corporation. However, there re several agencies of the federal government whose primary purpose is to offer support and guidance to small businesses. A major agency among these is the Small Business Administration. Specifically, the Small Business Administration provides guidance in the form of special courses and workshops in management problems and skills.

It publishes information on how to prepare a business plan, start up and operate a business, and helps a business obtain there fair share of governmental contracts. Of major importance to small business owners is the fact that the Small Business Administration assists sole proprietors in btaining loans and capital necessary in order to create a business. While they can neither guarantee nor provide these funds, they can be of great assistance. People obtaining small businesses through franchising have a much higher success rates, for obvious reasons.

They are a good choice in order to avoid the many problems of creating a small business on your own. A franchise permits an individual to own his or her own business while benefiting from a trademark, know-how and the reputation of an established firm. This enables an individual to acquire a business more quickly and receive profits rapidly. However, the individual owner must pay the parent corporation a portion of the businesses’ profits. This often becomes a problem because in some instances the financial rewards for the individual are sometimes low in relation to the time an effort that they put in to running the business.

Therefore, this a major disadvantage and often makes the idea unattractive to small business owners. Since the government plays a major role in the operation of a business, the two must learn to coexist. The main role of government has traditionally been to protect the rights of the country’s citizens. They follow this role by roviding for the people police protection, a judicial system and a national defense system. The government protects individuals within our economy by protecting fair competition, consumer investments and general welfare, promotes property rights, and oversees certain administrations and industries.

During the nineteenth century many businesses’ strategy was to reach a monopoly position, and many were successful. Finally the government stepped in and regulation has been a rule ever since. The right to own property is basic to a private enterprise and it is the ultimate responsibility of the government to nforce this right. The government must also enforce limitations on property rights, one important limitation being taxation, in order to benefit the public. It is responsible for establishing many agencies to protect consumers’ health and safety.

This, of course, being another benefit of taxation. Taxation is done in order to provide public service and promote the general well being for the people. The most important source of revenue for the federal government is a tax on personal and corporate incomes. Many states and some cities depend heavily on income taxes. Noting gets done without management. Business management is central to running a business by handling resources and activities and accomplishing work through other people within the firm.

A business can be looked at as a system of related parts working together, and management is what integrates these parts to make up the system. Small firms usually have only one or two managers, but large corporations have a staff of managers all working on different levels. The level of the manager is how he or she is ranked within the company. The top level consists of executives, the middle level are known as the middle managers, nd finally the lower level are commonly known as the first-level supervisors.

This is what I mean by the managers being ranked in the company. An executive will be known to have much more responsibility, plan and implement strengths and have more control of the business than the lower level managers do. However, all managers are trying to achieve the same goal regardless of the size of the company, this goal being to work effectively with the employees and consumers in order to achieve the company’s objectives. Managers have four basic responsibilities; planning, organizing and staffing, directing and coordinating, nd evaluating and controlling.

Managers make plans to solve problems and take advantage of opportunities that come there way in order to help the business run successfully and profitably. They must recruit qualified workers to carry out this plan, workers who work well with others and are hard working and innovative. Some king of organization is needed to arrange each workers position within the company. A supervisor must also be selected so that each employee will know to whom they will be directly working for. All of these tasks must be brought together by the manager.

The manager must constantly evaluate the workers and oordinate the work being completed. The evaluation of results leads to control, which influences other functions within the company. One important aspect that makes a successful manager is his degree of sensitivity. Since a manager must work through people, personal interaction skills are of utmost importance. All managers use different approaches to dealing with people but it is important to treat employees with respect, flexibility, recognition, and room for ideas. You will only get back what you give, and this is where many business fail.

No matter how intelligent or business minded you may be, if your employees or onsumers don’t like or respect you as a person, you will get no where. Managers must also be innovative in order to find better ways to get the job done, good decision makers so that they may take risks in order to solve problems, good leaders in order to bind and organize the company, have good communication skills with employees and bosses so as to promote a free flowing exchange of information, and finally, have good motivational skills so as to motivate employees to add incentive and meaning to the work.

Obviously, management is a difficult job. All of the functions that a manager must perform equire dedication, intelligence, the ability to deal with stress and diverse people, and most of all, the ability to deal with and accept responsibility. Today, producers must make an effort to find out what kinds of products consumers want and to make these products available for sale. They must also make an effort through advertising to inform consumers of the goods and services that are available to them. Lets face it, all businesses have the same goal, to make consumers happy and make a profit.

The marketing concept builds profits for the consumers’ needs and interests. Marketing requires as mixture of production, development, pricing, placement and promotion. All of these functions must be implemented on a continuous basis in order to improve sales. Product planning concentrates on determining which goods and services consumers want to design them and meet their needs. Pricing is an important aspect of production because it ultimately determines whether a product will be purchased and if, at the same time, it will be profitable to the company.

Product distribution involves decisions about warehousing and transportation that will be cost effective, timely and safe. At this point, the company will also determine whether they will be selling products directly to the public or to an intermediary. Finally, product promotion includes personal selling and promoting the products available, advertising, and direct sales promotion, such as free samples and discount coupons. Business income depends entirely upon the sale of products, including goods or services.

Successful companies must introduce there products in a way that works consistently with the changing market, economic conditions, competition, and changing company goals so as to benefit both the consumers and he company through a high percentage of sales. The main role of marketing managers is to insure to the best of their ability that the product will be sold in quantities necessary to benefit the company. This role entails expert knowledge about the product and knowledge of consumers’ wants and needs.

It will almost always include designing the specifications of the product in order to produce its precise functions and abilities. An important aspect of planning and designing a new product is differentiating it form other similar products on the market. Packaging and resentation can help to achieve this goal in some ways, however, specific features must be present within the products themselves in order to achieve this differentiation. A trademark or brand name is an important way of differentiating products by creating buyer loyalty.

Brands are important in production because they make it easy for consumers to distinguish one product from another. Buyers feel confident buying certain brands that they feel they can trust and are assured of consistent quality. Brands are normally at the center of advertising. Even if a consumer is convinced about buying a product, hey would be more able to identify and more apt to purchase it if it had a brand. Advertising is an important aspect of marketing. It provides the presentation of good available to the consumer through communications vehicles such as the media.

It present informative and persuasive sales messages through the newspapers, television, magazines, etc. Advertising stimulates interest in and demand for specific products, and thus supports sales promotion and personal selling. It is often used to create a favorable public view toward a company, industry or other institution. The main purpose of advertising is to help sell oods and/or services. It supports personal selling by informing the potential buyer of a products features and encouraging a favorable attitude towards it before the product has actually reached the selling stage.

It reaches people sales personnel cannot since it rarely possible to have a sales force large enough to reach every potential consumer and will sometimes motivate people to seek out representatives on their own. Advertising improves personal relationships with dealers by increasing demand and sales. And finally, advertising promotes goodwill by proving to be reliable, interested in the ublic good and a good citizen. This advertisement will do this by concentrating on the business itself rather then the product so that consumers trust it and feel safe by using the companies products.

Setting the right price for a product is essential to it’s success. The major factors that effect product pricing are demand and competition. Demand is closely linked to price. If the supply of a product is constant, greater demand will allow higher prices. At the same time, however, higher prices will tend to reduce demand. Competition also affects pricing. Free competition tends to drive prices down ecause competitors will increase the supply of the product in the market and new competitors often purposely sell at lower prices in an effort to cut into the sales of an established producer.

Therefore, marketers have an important choice to make when pricing a product. They can establish high prices with the expectation of selling fewer units with higher profits on each unit, or set low prices in an effort to achieve voluminous sales even though the profit on each unit may be small. They must then attempt to find the right price in order to maximize profits by balancing a sales volume with profit per unit. Federal and state governments have passed laws influencing the fair pricing of gods by companies.

These Fair Trade Laws prohibit retailers from selling goods at a price lower then that set by the producer, so as to prevent unfair competition. They are supposed to protect small retailers from the competition of large stores who can afford to set lower prices because of their voluminous sales. Marketing management includes more then just buying and selling. It includes a wide range of activities and duties, all being of great importance to the business. Nearly every firm is concerned with buying, selling, transporting, toring, risk bearing, standardizing, grading and labeling, financing, and gathering and using information.

What all of these aspects have in common is that they must all be done with enough appeal and innovation necessary in order to sell products and at the same time make a profit for the company. Running a business is costly, therefore every idea must be carefully though out and implemented so as to satisfy consumers, while at the sale time, satisfying the business by creating a profit. Market research is of equal importance to a business. As discussed previously, our economy is very diverse and constantly changing. A business must study the environment and population so as to comply with the consumers buying patterns, needs and wants.

A company can do this through market segmentation, demography, and by the use of questionnaires and surveys. Market research can be carried out by the use of market segmentation, which is the dividing up of the market into similar groups so that each group may be studied and carefully examined. Demography is the study of the population as a whole through the use of statistics. Finally, questionnaires, surveys, consumer test panels, and the observation of shopper behavior in stores can also aid in dentifying and characterizing a market within the economy.

This will surely keep a business up to par on the changing economy in the present, as well as forecasting future trends which has also proven to be necessary in order to operate as a successful business. In conclusion, it is obvious from my brief discussion that the term “Business” is very complex. When discussing it, one must consider many important sub-categories such as economic systems, the business cycle, business environments, types of businesses, government, management, marketing and advertising, each of which in and of itself is also very complex.

The Needs Of A Startup Business

The purpose of this exercise is to design a single user system, to solve the needs of a startup business. The business I chose is a service oriented, automotive oil change company. This system will need to satisfy the business needs of a small company, including database queries, inventory management, customer tracking, form generating, accounting, and many other functions. This must be accomplished in an easy to use, simple, single user format. This system should be a point of sale system utilizing separate databases.

One for customer tracking used to notify previous customers via postcard printouts. In addition, these should be sent after a three-month period from their last service. There could be coupons issued as well. Accounting and inventory information, such as daily, weekly, monthly, etc. sales, current inventory needs, cost of inventory, profit margins, employee records, sales tax, etc. should also be stored. Another, dynamic database would hold manufacture specifications.

This would provide real-time query access for make/model vehicle specifications for referencing filter part numbers as well as other technical information. This would need to be updated as manufacturers change specifications. This system should contain redundant features as it is business critical, providing dual, mirrored disk drives, as well as an efficient backup device. This would reduce down time due to drive failure. The need for this amount of safety lies in the necessity of maintaining fast, uninterrupted service.

There would need to be two printers. One, a dot matrix for printing customer receipts, as well as a hard copy for business purposes. The second printer would be for the service personnel. This would print out the work orders with specific information, such as the make and model of the vehicle as well as the filter numbers and quantity of oil needed. This printer would be located in the service area. This system should be capable of printing and displaying timely accounting reports including sales figures and current inventory quantities.

These should be available on screen (a color VGA monitor would be required), as well as in printed form. All this must be extremely user friendly. With very little training required. The projected employee skill and pay level is expected to be entry level minimum wage. When researching a business solution to fit this need, one company was mentioned in most interviews and research. Auto Data was highly recommended by the independent area shops that provide this service. Auto Data provides a complete software system specifically engineered for this market.

This package is called POS-I-LUBE. This is a all-encompassing point of sale software package that provides complete support of an automotive service company. This system provides comparative accounting reports, real-time inventory management, work order creation, reliable specification information via a secured connection, employee time-clock accounting functions, full cash register functions and professionally printed receipts, as well as a complete service history for each of your customers.

This system will provide the ability to check inventory levels anytime. Supply payroll information with their time card feature. Generate accounting reports ranging from comparative sales figures from one period to another, period financial reports, profit margins, inventory costs, personnel costs, withholdings, sales tax figures, essentially all the accounting information necessary to successfully run the business. This is in conjunction to the real-time product specification query function and work orders.

The time that is saved by the vehicle specification query, which previously had to be done through hard copy cross-reference, looking up make, model, engine, options, etc. , now can be used to assure that you have a timely customer turnaround time, as this is all done automatically through this menu driven system. The customer history database can be queried to provide essential data for mass mailings and coupons. These are all time saving functions that work to improve customer satisfaction, while maintaining a strong presence in the marketplace.

POS-I-LUBE utilizes a Fox Pro database for it’s customer history and tracking, as well as its accounting data. For the vehicle specification database, POS-I-LUBE uses a licensed Check Chart subscribed database available through a secured connection. This is where the monthly fee ($250. 00) comes into play. Recommended hard drive size is 1GB by the manufacturer Auto Data. This menu driven package is designed to be mouse driven, with no typing required, offering less opportunity for mistakes.

This also make the system very user friendly with very little training required. This all-inclusive package offers greater reliability than many other products available in the marketplace. The STAR Pro VII @ $ 1847. 00, and the Shopman Standard Version 3. 0 @ $299. 00 are alternatives. While the STAR Pro VII offers much of the inventory, report generating and accounting functions of the POS-I-LUBE system it does not offer the database query functions to reference vehicle specifications. The budget priced Shopman Standard Version 3. nly offers the repair orders and invoices.

This reliability of the POS-I-LUBE system is due partly to the fact that it is all inclusive and not pieced together from non-compatible software. The initial cost of this software is under $2,000. 00, with a small annual fee for real-time database queries ($250. 00). The hardware is user supplied and can fluctuate in cost depending on the specifications desired by the user. For the requirements that I desired, Dell provided the best solution for the money. I decided on the Workstation 410 with the following features.

Identifying Problematic Stress With In Service Oriented Businesses

Work can cause stress and also be affected by it. Stress causes many problems for American businesses today. One of the major sources of stress in a person’s life can be his or her job. Deadlines, problems with coworkers, boss trouble, and long hours can all contribute to feelings of being overwhelmed and helpless. Fortunately, there are ways to combat the stress that the workplace can bring. Often, researchers define stress as the psychological and physiological conditions that a person experiences when they perceive a situation as threatening, harmful, or demanding.

This means that whenever we experience a change in our environment, we may experience stress. Whether we do or not depends on how we perceive the event. So what is stressful for one person might not be for another. Many factors influence how you interpret events including. At a personal level, work stressors are related to depression, anxiety, general mental distress symptoms, heart disease, ulcers, and chronic pain (Sauter, Hurrell, & Cooper, 1989).

Employees who are unable to exert control over their lives at work are more likely to experience work stress and are therefore more likely to have impaired health (see Sutton & Kahn, 1984) In general, job control is the ability to exert influence over one’s environment so that the environment becomes more rewarding and less threatening. Stress can come from many different sources. Stress from your personal life can also compound problems in the workplace. Thus, further research must address problematic stress with-in service oriented businesses in order to promote a productive, less aggravated, sounder, medium in the work place.

In the work place, service oriented jobs can be an extreme workload, not only in terms of number of hours of work expected, but also in terms of the complexity of the work and frequent change in work demands, sometimes associated with rapid advances in technology. Another is ambiguity as to the worker’s rights, responsibilities, status, and goals; with such role ambiguity, the worker may experience a sense of loss control and autonomy on the job. Insufficient resources to accomplish the job and administrative indifference or interference also create stress.

The increased specialization of many jobs results in fragmentation of work. The worker is involved with only one small segment of producing the total product or providing services to the customer, a loss of sense of accomplishment and autonomy may result. Thus, the purpose of this proposal is to identify stressful situations and issues that influence performance in the work place the results of the analysis will be used to enhance understanding of service oriented work stress issues as well as proactive and remedial solutions for aimed at this problem.

Therefore, the study will have practical implications for training in identifying stressful situations and issues that influence performance in the work place. In addition, it will increase our theoretical understanding of the performance reducing stress agents that take place in the service-oriented businesses. Job stress has been recognized as a major cause of health problems at work (Karasek & Theorell, 1990). A work-related problem of increasing concern is known as “burnout”. The topic began to gain attention in the mid-1970s with a book by Freudenberger (1974).

Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary defines stress as “the result produced when a structure, system or organism is acted upon by forces that disrupt equilibrium or produce strain”. In simpler terms, stress is the result of any emotional, physical, social, economic, or other factors that require a response or change. It is generally believed that some stress is okay (sometimes referred to as “challenge”or “positive stress”) but when stress occurs in amounts that you cannot handle, both mental and physical changes may occur.

Stress among employees within a service based business environment has been a study of interest since the early 1960s, researchers have been examining the psychosocial and physical demands of the work environment that trigger stress. Research has identified many organizational factors contributing to increased stress levels: (a) job insecurity; (b) shift work; (c) long work hours; (d) role conflict; (e) physical hazard exposures; and (f) interpersonal conflicts with coworkers or supervisors. Stress in the workplace can have many origins or come from one single event.

It can impact on both employees and employers alike (Canadian Mental Health Association, 1995). The New York-based American Institute of Stress reports that as many as 75 to 90 percent of visits to physicians are related to stress. (Paul J. Rosch, M. D. , F. A. C. P. President, The American Institute of Stress). 43% of all adults suffer adverse health effects due to stress. Stress has been linked to all the leading causes of death, including heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis, and suicide.

An estimated 1 million workers are absent on an average workday because of stress related complaints. Stress is said to be responsible for more than half of the 550,000,000 workdays lost annually because of absenteeism. (The American Institute of Stress) One context that merits additional attention to the area of identifying stressful situations and issues that influence performance in the work place was the statement from the Xerox Corporation estimates that it costs approximately $1-$1. illion to replace a top executive, and average employee turnover costs between $2,000 – $13,000 per individual. (Paul J. Rosch, M. D. , F. A. C. P. President, The American Institute of Stress).

Problematic stress within the work place is a significant issue that needs extreme attention. The research objective include identifying problematic stress issues with in a service oriented business work environment, as well as solutions for to relive stressful situations.

For example, one problematic stress issue discovered in the service oriented business involved New York, Urban bus drivers endure so much job stress that they suffer from more health risks and medical disabilities than peers in comparable jobs (Cornell University News 2000). The psychosocial stressors included relentless time pressures to be punctual, which were frustrated by the need to drive safely and provide accurate and courteous information to passengers. In addition, bus drivers felt stressed by the risk of physical assault and problems of unruly passengers.

One way organizations addressed this issue was by reducing traffic congestion, driving impediments and time pressures by regulating that private vehicles give way to buses, broadening roads in problem areas, changing routes to prevent sharp turns and “bottlenecks,” extending separate bus lanes, reducing number of bus stops, automating some traffic lights to turn green with oncoming busses, and improving routes. In addition, the researchers reduced passenger questions by implementing an automated passenger information system. Drivers who participated in the project reported reduced stress on the job and lighter workloads.

The researchers found these drivers used significantly fewer drugs to cope with job stress, showed significantly fewer psychosomatic symptoms, and had lower blood pressure and heart rates than before the intervention. Thus, this proposed study will extend our understanding of work related stress in a service-oriented business between employees and managerial personal, through examinations of actual experiences. Inductive analysis and interpretation of the results will be used to construct a theoretical model of work-oriented stress, identifying both problematic issues and strategies for reducing stress within the work place.

In accomplishment, this objective will provide heuristic value for further elaboration of Identifying problematic stress with in service-oriented businesses. The purpose of this study is to Identify problematic stress with in service-oriented businesses. Data collected will rely on interviews with employees and managers in service oriented businesses with in the Stockton area. Access to participants will be facilitated by personal referrals. An extensive list of local organizations, which may be interested in participating in this study, has been compiled based on the researcher’s personal and professional affiliations.

Interviews will begin with an ethics statement, which informs the participant of the purpose of the study, assures them that their participation is voluntary, and provides them with a guarantee of individual and organizational anonymity. The interview will then process with open ended questions designed to ascertain the participants experience and background, as well as their specific role responsibilities and details of their service oriented job experiences.

Interview participants will provide descriptions of recalled problems that result to stress. These will include a description of what actually occurred, with a comparison of what they thought should have occurred. Towards the end of the interview, the researcher will reiterate key points of the problematic communication situations and ask the participant for the kind of advice they would offer for dealing with these issues in service oriented jobs.

Logical And Physical Network Design

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the ethics statement of the business for which I work, and includes examples of ethical behavior. The paper will cover the success and/or failures of the ethical statement purpose, how the statement contributes to the work environment, and the consequences of the failure to observe the ethical guidelines. The company I work for provides a Code of Ethics and Business Conduct to its employees worldwide for their guidance in addressing the legal and ethical issues encountered in conducting the company’s business.

The code starts with a summary of the core business values that are essential to the success of the company. The employees are expected to adopt these values and apply them to their day-to-day business activities. The company feels that the acceptance and adherence to these values will enhance the long-term success of serving the customer base, increasing the competitiveness and the pride of the corporation.

I feel the purpose of the company’s ethics statement is to set forth standards that restate compliances with laws and regulations. It also covers common sense rules by which employees should be determined to live and work. The company encourages success of these guidelines by requiring employees to become familiar with the contents of the Code. These successes are made available through web cast presentations for each employee. Individuals who fail in their success of ethical behavior do not feel the need to embrace the guidelines.

The expectation is for each employee to exercise sound judgment, conduct, and seek proper counsel in any action that may compromise personal ethical standards and those of the corporation. The statement contributes to the work environment by outlining business values. Employees are to demonstrate honesty in all business transactions and personal dealings with others. They must consistently treat individuals with respect; demonstrate teamwork and the ability to work together.

Employees must show innovative approaches to problem solving with a high priority to customer satisfaction. They must also seek continuous improvement in quality, fairness, and compliance to the ethical statement. This code is applicable to all employees of the corporation. The employees must operate within the bounds of all applicable laws. It is expected that all employees compete fairly and ethically for all business opportunities involving sales or licensing of products. Individuals are expected to know, understand, and honor the terms of contractual agreements.

Failure to comply with the guidelines stated will result in disciplinary action. The following examples ensure continuing attention to matters of ethics and business conduct on the part of the corporation; employees are required to report any conduct that they believe to be an actual or apparent violation of the Code. The managers are to maintain an “open door” policy concerning employee questions including business conduct and ethics. Human Resources will address any suspicion of unethical or illegal activities taking place.

Every employee’s cooperation is required in assuring that violations of this Code are called to the attention of those who should be informed. Because these standards are very important to corporate values, the only appropriate response to a deviation from them may be termination of employment. In summary, this paper discussed the ethics statement of the business where I am employed. It also addresses success and/or failures of the ethical statement purpose, how the statement contributes to the work environment, and the consequences of straying from those guidelines.

Company Insights on BP

On August 30, we all chose 5 stocks to evaluate before purchasing. At this time I chose BP AMOCO, Microsoft, Western Digital, Toys-R-Us, and Fortune Financial Incorporated. After a few weeks of tracking these stocks, I chose to keep BP AMOCO, Microsoft, and Western Digital, because the stocks were relatively stable and most of them were on the rise at this time. As you are aware, we were given $30,000. 00 to invest in our three chosen stocks, which breaks down to $10,000. 00 per stock. We also had to include a brokers fee of $500. 00 for every $10,000. 00 invested.

My first stock was BP AMOCO. On September 8, I purchased 167 shares at $57. 6 per share, which totaled $9,523. 00 and incurred a $476. 15 brokers fee, making the grand total spent $9,999. 15. BP is one of Britains biggest companies and one of the worlds largest oil and petrochemical groups. Its origin dates back to May 1901. BP owes its origin to one man, William Knox DArcy, a wealthy Englishman, who obtained concession from the Muz-affaru’d-Din, Shah of Persia (1896-1907) to explore and exploit the oil resources of the country, excluding the five northern providences that bordered Russia.

He, shortly after the turn of the century, invested time, money and labor in the belief that worthwhile deposits f oil could be found in Persia, which is now known as Iran. Having been granted the concession; DArcy employed an engineer, George Reynolds, to undertake the task of exploring for oil in Persia. For seven years, Mr. D’Arcy battled with severe weather, the absence of a developed infrastructure, the shortage of skilled local labor, the problems of dealing with neighboring tribes in the absence of a strong central government, difficult terrain, and an uncertain political situation.

These conditions made Reynolds pioneering task an exceptionally difficult venture. Meanwhile, the osts mounted stretching DArcys resources to the point where e sought outside financial assistance. This came in 1905 from the Burmah Oil Company, which provided new funds for his venture. More exploration in Persia followed without success, until eventually, in May of 1908, Reynolds and his helpers struck oil in commercial quantities at Masjid-i-Suleiman in southwest Persia.

It was the first commercial oil discovery in the Middle East, signaling the emergence of that region as an oil producing area. After the discovery had been made, the Anglo-Persian Oil Company was formed in 1909 to develop the oilfield and work the concessions. At the top of Anglo-Persians formation, Burmah Oil Company owned 97 percent of its ordinary shares. Lord Strathcona, the companys first chairman, owned the rest. Although D’Arcy was appointed a director and remained on the board until his death in 1917, he was not to play a major part in the new company’s affairs.

His role as the initial risk-taking investor was past and the daunting task of developing the oil discovery into a commercial enterprise shifted to others, amongst whom one stands out: Charles (later Sir Charles, then Lord) Greenway. Greenway was one of Anglo-Persian’s founder-directors, becoming managing irector in 1910 and chairman, after Strathcona, in 1914. Greenway, anxious to avoid falling under the domination of Royal Dutch-Shell, also turned to another potential source of revenue and capital: the British government.

The basis of an agreement to mutual advantage lay in Greenway’s desire to find new capital and an outlet for Anglo-Persian’s fuel oil; and, on the government’s part, in the desire by the Admiralty (then headed by Winston Churchill as First Lord) to obtain secure supplies of fuel oil, which had advantages over coal as a fuel, for the ships of the Royal Navy. After lengthy negotiations, an agreement was reached in 1914 shortly before the outbreak of World War I.

Anglo-Persian contracted to supply the Admiralty with fuel oil and the government injected $2 million of new capital into the company, receiving in return a majority shareholding and the right to appoint two directors to Anglo-Persian’s board. Although the government undertook not to interfere in Anglo-Persian’s normal commercial operations, its shareholding introduced an unusual political dimension to the company’s affairs. In later years, the government shareholding was reduced and — apart from a tiny residual holding — ended in 1987. Further expansion followed in the decade after World War I.

New marketing methods were introduced, with curbside pumps replacing two-gallon tins for the distribution of motor spirit (or, gasoline). Anglo-Persian also marketed its products in Iran and Iraq; it established an international chain of marine bunkering stations, and in 1926 began to market aviation spirit. New refineries, much smaller than the plant at Abadan, also came on stream — at Llandarcy in South Wales in 1921 and at Grangemouth in Scotland in 1924. Moreover, the company’s majority-owned French associate had a refinery at Courchelettes, near Douai.

On the other side of the world, in Australia, a new refinery at Laverton, near Melbourne, was commissioned in 1924. Exploration was carried out not only in the Middle East, but also in other areas, such as Canada, South America, Africa, Papua and Europe. By the time Greenway retired as chairman in March 1927, he had realized his main strategic goal of establishing Anglo-Persian as one of the world’s largest oil companies, with a substantial presence in all phases of the industry. In 1935, the company was renamed the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. During the post-war reconstruction of Europe, the high demand for oil enabled

Anglo-Iranian to expand its business greatly. The company’s sales, profits, capital expenditure and employment all rose to record levels in the late 1940s. The refinery at Abadan was by this time the largest in the world. Moreover, crude oil production from the company’s Iranian oilfields kept Iran at the top of the league of Middle East oil producing countries. Meanwhile, Anglo-Iranian entered the field of petrochemicals. An agreement with the Distillers Company in 1947 resulted in the formation of a joint company, later to become known as British Hydrocarbon Chemicals, which produced asic materials from naphtha at Grangemouth.

A second petrochemical complex was built at Baglan Bay in South Wales in 1961. While the company was expanding its operations in the late 1940s, it was also engaged in talks with the Iranian government about the terms of its oil concession. Long and complex negotiations failed to produce an agreement, and in 1951 the Iranian government passed legislation nationalizing the company’s assets in Iran, then Britain’s largest single overseas investment. The nationalization precipitated a major international crisis in which the British nd US governments became deeply involved.

The company’s operations in Iran were brought to a halt. Only after three years of intensive negotiations was the crisis resolved by the formation of a consortium of oil companies, which, by agreement with the Iranian government, re-started the Iranian oil industry in 1954. Anglo-Iranian — which was renamed The British Petroleum Company in 1954 — held a 40 percent share in the consortium. One of the effects of the Iranian nationalization crisis was that the company was forced to broaden its operations to make good the loss of oil supplies from Iran, on which it had depended.

Crude oil production in other countries, notably Kuwait and Iraq, was greatly increased; and new refineries were built in Europe, Australia and Aden. In another development, in 1952, the company commissioned its first lubricating oils plant at Dunkirk. Two years later, it began marketing BP Visco-Static, Europe’s first multi-grade-oil. Although all of these events were important for the company, it was hydrocarbons under the North Sea and under the permafrost of Alaska that were to play the key role in transforming BP into the company it is today.

Earlier, in 959, the Dutch had discovered a giant gas field on the edge of the North Sea at Groningen. This discovery encouraged others to begin searching for hydrocarbons offshore. BP scored the first success in British waters when, in 1965, it found the West Sole gas field, which it brought on stream two years later. The search for oil spread farther north, and in 1970 BP discovered the Forties field — the first major commercial find in the UK sector. Meanwhile, in Alaska, BP was rewarded for ten years’ exploration effort when, in 1969, it announced a major oil discovery at Prudhoe Bay on the North Slope.

When it became clear that, through its large share in Prudhoe Bay, BP owned part of the biggest oilfield in the USA, the company decided that its Alaskan oil could best be handled by a well-established US refining and marketing company. Accordingly, it signed an agreement with the Standard Oil Company of Ohio in August 1969. This company, the original John D. Rockefeller Standard Oil, was the market leader in Ohio and was strongly represented in neighboring states. Under the agreement, which became effective from 1st January 1970, Standard took over BP’s leases at Prudhoe Bay and some East Coast downstream assets that

BP had acquired in 1968. In return, BP acquired 25 percent of Standard’s equity, a stake that would rise to a majority holding in 1978 when Standard’s share of Alaskan production passed 600,000 barrels a day. The 1970s were the decade of the two great oil price shocks (1973 and 1979/80) that were to have serious effects on the world’s economies. It was also a decade when the major oil companies saw a decisive change in their old concessionaire relationships. Like its major competitors, BP lost direct access to most of its supplies of OPEC oil as the OPEC countries took control of production and prices.

The Strategic Planning Process

With the wealth of information available today, businesses can find a wide variety of schemes visualizing the strategic planning process are available. In essence they usually consists of a series of steps or building blocks. The analysis starts with defining the business and formulating a vision and then goes on to assess the internal and external environment.

The strategic planning process ends with the financial budget and goes into a feedback loop The essence of formulating a strategy is relating a company to its environment. Therefore the analysis phase is crucial to the outcome of the total planning process. A major part of the analysis phase is a diagnosis of the external environment. Several tools and techniques have been developed to assist the planners in evaluating the external environment. Of particular interest is the assessment of the profit potential in the industry. Many years ago, most business analyzed themselves in a comparative sense.

The comparative advantages of a business were determined through an economic theory, first developed by David Ricardo of England, that attributed the cause and benefits of international trade to the differences among countries in the relative opportunity costs (costs in terms of other goods given up) of producing the same commodities. In Ricardo’s theory, which was based on the labor theory of value (in effect, making labor the only factor of production), the fact that one country could produce everything more efficiently than another was not an argument against international trade.

The theory of comparative advantage is a strong argument in favor of free international trade and specialization among countries. The issue becomes more complex, however, as the simplifying assumptions (e. g. , a single factor of production, a given stock of resources, full employment, and a balanced exchange of goods) are relaxed. More recently, Michael C. Porter put forth the idea that competitive advantages were more important.

In The competitive Advantage of Nations, published in 1990, Porter said that instead of trying to enter a market where there is little or no competition, a company should instead participate in national markets with the strongest rivals and most demanding customers. This is mainly due to the fact that in a closed, domestic industry, a company accustomed to weak competitors and undemanding customers has little to fear. In today’s global marketplace, such newly strong competitors are in no short supply. That is why it is important to understand one’s competition.

Yip, 1995) Michael Porter’s Competitive Forces Model (commonly referred to as Porter’s Five Forces Model) is by far the most widely used framework for an assessment of the profit potential in an industry. The collective strength of the so-called five forces differs from industry to industry. Each of those five forces is based on structural features (dimensions) which collectively impact the profit potential. All five forces jointly determine the intensity of the industry competition and profitability.

The strongest forces become crucial from the point of view of strategy formulation. Porter’s Five Forces are a framework for diagnosing industry structure, built around the competitive forces that erode long-term industry average profitability. The industry structure framework can be applied at the level of the industry, the strategic group (or group of firms with similar strategies) or even the individual firm. Its ultimate function is to explain the sustainability of profits against bargaining and against direct and indirect competition.

The five forces are covered in more detail below. These are the important structural components with an industry to limit or prohibit the entrance of new competitors. The major components are scale economies (advantage of experience, learning and volume), differentiation (brand image and loyalty), capital requirements (new entrants will face a risk premium), switching cost involved by the customer, access to distribution channels and cost disadvantages (patents, location, subsidies). Some of the elements involved with the barriers to entry force are shown in the list below.

Proprietary low-cost product design In most industries, especially when there are only a few major competitors, competition will very closely match the offering of others. Aggressiveness will depend mainly on factors like number of competitors, industry growth, high fixed costs, lack of differentiation, capacity augmented in large increments, diversity in type of competitors and strategic importance of the business unit. Some of the elements involved with the rivalry among existing competitors force are shown in the list below.

Fixed (or storage) costs/value added These are products or solutions that basically perform the same function but are often based on a different technology. Depending on the level of abstraction nearly everything can be a substitution. In general the only factor that really matters is a shift in technology. Some of the elements involved with the substitutes force are shown in the list below. Relative price performance of substitutes Through their bargaining power buyers can force the competitors to lower their prices or force higher quality or better service.

The major factors which determine the bargaining power are volume (relative to seller sales), does the product represent a major fraction of the buyer’s costs or purchases, differentiation or standard product, switching costs, buyer profitability (hence their price sensitivity), threat of backward integration, importance to the quality of the final product, and level of knowledge and information of the buyer of industry demand, actual market prices and supplier cost. Some of the elements involved with the power of buyers force are shown in the list below.

Buyer concentration versus firm concentration Buyer switching costs relative to firm switching costs Suppliers can exert their bargaining power over participants by threatening to raise prices or reduce the quality. A supplier group is powerful if they are more concentrated than the industry they sell to, or if the customer group is not important for the suppliers, if the product is an important input to the buyer’s business, or they have built up switching costs, or the supplier group poses a threat of forward integration.

Some of the elements involved with the power of suppliers force are shown in the list below. Switching costs of suppliers and firms in the industry Cost relative to total purchases in the industry Impact of inputs on cost or differentiation Threat of forward integration relative to threat of backward integration by firms in the industry Strategy and industry analysis are vital for anyone wishing to compete, and utilizing Michael Porter’s ideas to their fullest extent can be the difference between success and failure.

The following excerpt from Fortune says it best. For Porter, much of what has passed for management thinking in the past decade may have been important, but it wasn’t strategy–and isn’t nearly as crucial as good strategy. “Strategy is not accidental. It is a purposeful process,” he says. “Luck is alive and well. Intuition is alive and well. But human beings have some control over their own destiny. And you can improve your odds of making better judgments. ” (Surowiecki, 1999)

Porter’s skepticism about the idea that strategy is less important today than it once was is mirrored by his skepticism about the idea that the Internet will turn the business world upside down. “The arrival of the Internet will affect every industry in some way, but for 50% or more of the economy it’s not a transformational event,” he says. “It will have a powerful impact on the supply of information to customers and the relationship between companies and their suppliers, but it’s not like the automobile.

You don’t have to change the theory of strategy to deal with the Internet. ” (Surowiecki, 1999) Porter points to the dominant players in the New Economy as classic exemplars of successful strategic thinking. “The average technology company is not all that gifted in terms of strategy,” Porter says. “But the most successful companies–the Dells, the Intels, the Ciscos–don’t think about strategy as incremental or impossible. They have a clear sense of what they’re trying to do and of how to do it. ” (Surowiecki, 1999)

Resource Based View of the Firm

In the article, the authors introduce a new approach to strategic management called the “Resource Based View of the Firm” – RVB. RVB attempts to develop a business model framework that helps describe how a company’s resources drive its performance in a dynamic competitive environment. This approach integrates the internal analysis of the company (i. e. core competencies) with the external analysis of the industry and the competitive environment (i. e. Porter’s Five Force Model). The article argues that both analyses are required to accurately assess a company’s competitive position.

While Porter’s Five Forces Model helped strategic managers choose the right industries and, within them, the most attractive competitive positions, it did not place a high enough emphasis on a company’s core competencies. The emphasis in the model was clearly on the phenomena at the industry level. Likewise, the core competencies approach emphasized the importance both of the skills and collective learning embedded in an organization, but little emphasis was placed on the external environment.

From Prahalad’s article titled “The Core Competence of the Corporation”, core competencies entail the collective learning in an organization and how diverse production skills and multiple streams of technologies are integrated. Core competence involves communication, involvement and a deep commitment to work across organizational boundaries. He argues that core competence does not diminish with use, unlike physical assets. He also argues that roots of competitive advantage arise from within the organization and that new strategies and improved competitive positioning are only constrained by the current level of the company’s resources.

Herein lies the key differences in the analyses carried out by Prahalad and Collis. Collis first argues that core competencies cannot be evaluated in isolation, because their value is determined in the context of the present market forces. In order to accurately assess a company’s competitive strength, one must analyze a company’s specific resources (i. e. physical and intangible assets) and capabilities in the context of the competitive environment. Furthermore, Collis argues that core competencies do erode over time and by competition and that continuous reinvestment is required.

A closer analysis of these tests shows that RVB is an extension of the Prahalad’s three tests for identifying core competencies with the added consideration of the effects of market competition, as described in Porter’s Five Forces Model. Prahalad’s three tests involves the following: 1) provides potential access to a wide variety of markets, 2) makes a significant contribution to the perceived customer benefits of the end product and 3) should be difficult for competitors to imitate. Both Prahalad and Collis argue that core competencies need to be leveraged across functional divisions within an organization (i. . SBUs) and that management needs to have the oversight to identify leveraging opportunities.

RVB emphasizes that the value of distinctive competence erodes over time and by competition. In a market of continuous change, organizations need to maintain the pressure of constantly developing and reinvesting into the right distinctive competencies, preparing for the next round of competition. However, it is critical that organizations invest in core competencies while at the same time examine the competitive dynamics that determine industry attractiveness.

An example cited in the article involves Masco Corporation; a company that built competence in metalworking and diversified into other closely related industries. Unfortunately, the returns from this strategy were lower than what the Masco had expected because the bargaining power of the buyers was high, buyer switching costs were low, entry barriers were low and the bargaining power of suppliers were high. No amount of metalworking expertise could have helped Masco improve profits in such an unattractive industry.

Company Image Essay

Many small businesses don’t realize how important their company image really is. The following is a formula for low cost marketing for a small business to create or better their image. To find this formula I interviewed Evan Paull, the owner of a small sign making company based in Annapolis Maryland called ‘Independent Sign Consortium’ or ‘ISC. ’ ‘ISC’ was started in 1996 and has had a steady growth ever since. I also interviewed Allison Green, the marketing director of ‘Revisions,’ ‘Revisions’ is based in Baltimore Maryland and is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the mentally ill.

Many small companies believe that a corporate or company image develops all on it’s own. Therefore, they believe the business itself has little or no control over shaping the outcome of the image. Often a company will delay any investment in a public image because they think it’s an expensive luxury. It is only after some bad publicity or a negative event do they relies that some effort needs to be put into improving or defining their look. Of course if you wait until something like this happens the cost is always going to be higher.

Most successful businesses have a carefully crafted image that separates them from the competition and helps to establish a solid public presence,” remarks Allison Green. A distinct corporate image benefits many aspects of any business. Public relations rely on image to attract new customers and to generate repeat business. Finance departments depend on image to impress investors and shareholders with a sense of stability. Employees feel more secure when a company has a good image. An image should always accurately reflect the substance of a company.

However, an image is only a perception, an appearance, a representative look of that substance. Subsequently, as Green says, “…it doesn’t always have to cost an arm and a leg…” to accurately represent the company. Given an unlimited budget, any fat corporation can create a new image or alter an outdated or damaged one. Those of us with more modest resources, given only a camera, a copier and an ink jet printer adding some creativity can do it even better. There are some things on which you should never cut corners, safety regulations or legal issues for example.

Looking only at the surface, in this instance, is a good thing as is going for style not necessarily substance. You only get what you pay for doesn’t really apply here. Remember an image should reflect the true quality of your products or services, however, as Evan Paull says “…any little set designer will attest, you can get great looking reflections even when you only have very little resources. ” First, take a look at your present image. Make note of the things you like. Decide on what components can or can not be changed (the name perhaps).

Look at the parts that you hate or the parts that need a great deal of improvement. Notice the parts of your image that are neutral. In order to develop a positive or a new and improved but inexpensive image, start identifying other businesses that have the look you want. Start with the competition. Collect their brochures and other printed materials especially business cards and annual reports. Visit their locations and take note of the signage, the dcor, furniture, and display cases.

Next study other businesses that just have a look that you like or an appearance that gives you a good first impression. Even if they are not appropriate for your particular needs, identify parts of the look that you like, a logo or sign, a color combination perhaps. Whenever possible take pictures. Go through magazines and catalogs, clip logos, ads and pictures that express an image you would like to achieve. Carefully examine fonts, letterheads and graphics. Many times things are not as they appear.

Gold lettering on a sign is not gold, wood grain is not real wood and marble floors are seldom made of marble… [In these instances, a designer or architect looked at the surface of the project and chose materials to suit the needs of his design and the budget of his client. ]…When putting together a company image, you need to begin seeing things on the surface the way an artist might see it. When an artist paints a tree, he doesn’t take a real tree and smash it into the canvass. He looks at the tree and sees that it is just different shades of green and brown pigment. He then recreates the tree using different materials.

The end result is not a real tree but a valuable representative image. When putting together your new company image try squinting your eyes to see things differently,” Paull says. Look at everything that makes up your public image in this different way, your logo, your sign, displays, letterhead, brochures, annual reports, walls, and floors. Paull says that you should try to “while squinting see the colors change and shapes move. Notice that red can appear to be several colors when the shades are lightened or darkened. Notice that movement can change the color, size and shape of things [like signs].

See that an expensive die cut in the cover of an annual report doesn’t look cut at all, rather it is a sharp contrast of color with a blackout line. Make note that direct sunlight is different from florescent lighting that is different from incandescent light and that lighting coming from above is different then lighting from the floor or a table lamp. ” Now turn these observations into cost cutting questions. Do you really need an expensive four-color processor for your brochure or annual report to get the look you want? Does your lobby furniture really need chrome accents to achieve the same image as you saw in the lobby of your competitor?

Do you hate your old display or do you just hate the colors being used? Does your sign need to be made of costly reflective or translucent materials? Is lighting being used effectively to accent or emphasize your projects? Is lighting being used at all? When a man walks into a discount department store wearing a shirt and tie, customers think he works there. If he also wears a jacket they will think he is the manager. Likewise, your customers will think what you lead them to think about your organization by the surface image that you present to them.

Again, your product or service must live up to the image to be successful but the representation itself need not be the focus of your finances. Don’t pass by those resumes with degrees in art or theater. In fact have Human Resources to be on the look out for them. Every company needs a visually oriented person. A color ink jet printer is also an important tool, not necessarily the more expensive color laser printer. You will also need a graphics software package and a good copier, remember Paull’s words, “never buy cheap paint or shoes.

There are some things that will always cost you more in the long run if you start off too cheaply. A copier is one of them. You will definitely need a camera; there is no need to spend a great deal of money on this. However if you are going to invest in a quality camera, consider a digital one. Prints can be made instantly from your color printer. A few tips to live by would be to purchase a copy of the “No Money Maker” for your entire key personal but never buy retail. Whenever possible consider used. You can get better quality and more of it. Quality used office furniture can also make a new business appear more established.

It is also good to identify a small part of your logo as a trademark and make sure it appears on everything, stationary, ads, vehicles, signs, doors, etc. It can be a graphic or an initial or just a color, but it should be distinct and representative of your organization. The ‘Nike’ symbol is a prime example. Print this logo and/or trademark on different size labels so you can customize folders, nonstandard envelopes, one of a kind projects, etc. Matching the ink color to the background can make an item appear custom engraved. You will need a large quantity of paper stock with your trademark in a corner or as a background shadow.

If you can afford a digital camera, have enlargements and copies made on a color copier at your local copy shop. It is much cheaper than photo enlargements and the quality is surprisingly good. It is important for your customers to see cleanliness and classiness so get a good cleaning service. Install dimmer switches to control the lighting in the lobby, the boardroom and display areas. Fluorescent lights make everything look flat and harsh including faces. Use tables and floor lamps when you can. Clearly designate your main entrance so that you can control your guests first impression. Use signage and/or landscaping to do this.

It is very important to join the local chamber of commerce and have key staff attend meetings and serve on committees so you can control how the business community perceives you. Improve your image and increase your company’s public awareness and your networking by aligning yourself with a nonprofit as well. Have key staff serve as volunteers on the board of directors for one or more worthy causes. Press releases can go a long way to help out your image. News reports will jump on a dramatic news story or an important event. Realistically though, how often does that happen at most organizations.

One way to improve the odds of getting your news in the press is to do it yourself. Do the research, find the angle, and write the article. Many reporters will take the easy road rather than write their own article. If they have space and all the work is already done, chances are they will use your story. For even better odds put the article on disc in a format that they use and include a photo. Last but certainly not least “never apologize on stage. Let people think you paid a lot for something. Don’t volunteer information. Most times no one will know the difference unless you tell them,” Green says.

What Exactly Is E-commerce

With the astonishing growth of the Internet, many companies are finding new and exciting ways to expand upon their business opportunities. There are very few successful companies that do not use computers in their everyday business activities, which also means there are few companies that do not use e-commerce. To emphasize the point that the effect of the Internet is so widespread in today’s business communities, one online article stated that more than 100000 companies have Internet addresses, and 20000 companies have home pages on the Internet as of February 1999 (DataQuest, 1999).

These numbers have more than tripled since 1995, and the trend shows no signs of slowing. But what exactly is e-commerce? To most casual Internet surfers, e-commerce means online shopping and workaholics pointing their web browser to Amazon. com to order an emergency present because they forgot someone’s birthday again (Weiss, 1999). As we will soon find out, this is far from the case. Simply put, e-commerce is the exchange of business information between two or more organizations.

An example of this would be buying and selling products or services over the Internet. E-commerce became very popular, soon after it proved to be an efficient means to conduct long distance transactions. The purpose of this report is to discuss some of the advantages and disadvantages e-commerce, as well as examining its potential for the future of business. Electronic commerce, or e-commerce has developed very rapidly in the last few years and has left some people wondering what it is all about.

Most people think e-commerce is just about buying and selling things over the Internet,” said Wareham (Wareham, 2000). E-commerce is a broad term describing the electronic exchange of business data between two or more organizations computers. Some examples might be the electronic filing of your income tax return, on-line services like Prodigy, and on-line billing for services or products received. E-commerce also includes buying and selling any item over the Internet, electronic fund transfer, smart cards, and all other methods of conducting business over digital networks.

The primary technological goal of e-commerce is to integrate businesses, government agencies, and contractors into a single community with the ability to communicate with one another across any computer platform (Edwards, 1998). Electronic commerce was built on a foundation that was started more than 125 years ago with Western Union’s money transfer as an example of telegraph technology. In the early 1900’s the advent of credit cards as a payment system revolutionised the process of automated commerce functions. In the mid 1980’s the introduction of the ATM card was the latest improvement to electronic commerce.

The Internet was conceived in 1969 when the Department of Defence began funding the research of computer networking. The Internet, as a means for commerce, did not become reality until the 1990’s. Before this time, it was mainly a tool for the army, and a research device for some American universities. Its popularity grew when it proved to become a fast and efficient means to conduct long distance transactions, as well as an effective way to distribute information. Economic impact clearly, E-commerce will change the face of business forever.

Companies that are thousands of miles away can complete business transactions in a matter of seconds as well as exchange information. As one online article explained: Dell Computers sells more than $14 million worth of computer equipment a day from its web site. By taking their customer service department to the web Federal Express began saving $10,000 a day. The Internet provides businesses with the opportunity to sell their products to millions of people, in 24 hours a day (Baxton, 1999). Figure #1 shows the amount of revenues generated by the on the Internet dating back to 1996 as well as estimating possible revenues through the year 2002.

With 1998, revenue equaling almost 74 billion dollars and experts predicting that it will climb to as much as 1,234 billion dollars by the year 2002, anyone can see that e-commerce is the wave of the future. Figure #1- Internet generated revenues in US dollars. Source: NUA Internet Surveys “Without a doubt, the Internet is ushering in an era of sweeping change that will leave no business or industry untouched. In just three years, the Net has gone from a playground for nerds into a vast communications and trading centre where some 90 million people swap information or do deals around the world.

Imagine: It took radio more than 30 years to reach 60 million people, and television 15 years. Never has a technology caught fire so fast. ” (Edwards, 1998) The number one advantage that e-commerce possesses is speed. The Internet and World Wide Web give businesses opportunities to exchange messages or complete transactions almost instantaneously. Even with the slowest connections, doing business electronically is much faster than traditional modes. With increased speeds of communication, the delivery time is expedited and that makes the whole transaction from start to finish more efficient.

Additionally, you can find practically any product available for sale on the Internet, as one author put it from books and compact disks (from www. amazon. com) to French bread (available from www. sourdoughbread. com), (Buskin, 1998). Even more significant is the fact that information appearing on the Internet can be changed extremely rapidly. This gives business owners the ability to inform customers of any changes to the service that you are offering. This also allows for you to update marketing and promotional materials as often and as frequently as you would like.

The second advantage of the electronic commerce is the opportunity it offers to save on costs. By using the Internet, marketing, distribution, personnel, phone, postage and printing costs, among many others, can be reduced. You can start doing business in cyberspace for as little as $100. Most businesses will spend more than this but compared to the cost of opening a physical store, the savings are tremendous. These funds can then be diverted to marketing and advertising of your product or service. Cyberspace knows no national boundaries. That means you can do business all over the world as easily as you can in your own neighbourhood.

Since the Internet connects everyone in cyberspace, information is transmitted at the speed of sound or the speed of light, depending on your connection. Either way, distance becomes meaningless, which makes you able to link to anyone on the globe and anyone on the globe can link to you. The ability to provide links makes doing business on the Internet attractive to customers in any part of the world. Using the web to provide customer support is an excellent vehicle to help build the reliability and effectiveness of your product or service.

The ability to provide on-line answers to problems through email or an provide an archive section of frequently asked questions 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, builds customer confidence and retention. In fact, a whole series of IBM E-commerce commercials were based on this one single point. The Internet tends to be a more personal environment. People expect to get a real person when they send mail. This can work to your advantage as a small start-up company, or when you are a large corporation. No matter what business you are involved in, an online-help feature is an extraordinary advantage to have.

A potential source of trouble is customer concerns with privacy and security. Anything sent over the Internet is sent through several different computers before it reaches its destination. The concern regarding Internet security and privacy is that unscrupulous hackers can capture credit card or checking account data as it is transferred or break into computers that hold the same information. Security on the Internet is much like security for your home. There is a point when the effort outweighs the advantages. As with your home you usually stop adding security features when you feel safe.

Making a customer feel safe is what is important in doing business on the Internet. Even though no one can guarantee 100% security of transferring financial information over the Internet, e-commerce is still safer than using credit cards at an actual store or restaurant, or paying for something with the use of a 1-800 number (unknown author, 1999). In addition, every time you throw away a credit card receipt you could make yourself powerless to fraud. But how do we, as consumers, know this for sure? What precautions do e-commerce websites take to avoid such problems? The answer is simple: encryption.

Ever since the 2. 0 versions of Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer, transactions can be encrypted using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), an Internet protocol that creates a secure connection to the server, protecting the information as it travels over the Internet. SSL uses public key encryption, one of the strongest encryption methods around. A way to tell that a Web site is secured by SSL is when the URL begins with https instead of http. Browser makers and credit card companies are also promoting an additional security standard called Secure Electronic Transactions (SET).

SET encodes the credit card numbers that sit on vendors’ servers so that only banks and credit card companies can read the numbers. Obviously no e-commerce system can guarantee 100-percent protection for your credit card, but you are less likely to get your pocket picked online than in a real store (Weiss, 1999). E-commerce is based on the assumption that the participants will pay for what they buy. There has been a noted reluctance among Internet users to actually pay, particularly for the digital goods and services.

As a result, much of the current business on the Internet is funded using business models other than user-pays, primarily advertising and sponsorship. If a company is selling something, then they need to find a way to accept payment that is not only convenient for them, but most importantly, convenient for the customers. Setting up a simple web site can be very inexpensive, but if you are unsure of how to go about creating one, a simple web site thus may not be so simple. Moreover if you do not know what you are doing, your site will definitely not be effective.

A functional web site with online ordering requires expertise in four different areas. If a business owner does not have HTML, CGI scripting, ODBC, and special programs for online clearing options experience, they may want to consider outsourcing. Outsourcing is the use of a third party service company to provide the missing pieces to complete the total functionality of the business. This is a cost-effective way to allow a site to get up and running much faster and concentrate on the product or service rather than getting overwhelmed with the technical challenges (DeCourey, 1999).

Finally, a possible disadvantage to e-commerce is not having a strong organizational commitment. A functional web site that is going to be successful will soon need additional resources in technology and skills. E-commerce is evolving at a very rapid rate and the business owner must be willing to evolve with it. Newer and more advanced technology will cost more, but should be supplemented by additional revenues. Furthermore, the company must be willing to change the entire business or start a new one when they can see the need for change.

Yahoo started as a commercial operation in 1995, with a simple, if enormous, list of Web sites to help people navigate the Web. But like the Web itself, Yahoo is changing fast. The once amazing ability to search the entire World Wide Web became outdated in a Net instant, so Yahoo, at the tender age of two years, began reinventing itself as a place to trade stocks, make travel reservations, and conduct commerce (Hof, 1998). Rest assured the future of e-commerce is intact and ever changing. “Like electricity, antibiotics, or the car, the Internet is a revolutionary technology” (France, 1999).

It is quite evident that e-commerce is only gaining speed. As one article stated, the growth of e-commerce would not diminish, it will become such a pervasive influence on how a company works that all functions within an organization will have a stake in their e-commerce strategy (Wareham, 2000). With Internet traffic doubling every 100 days the digital economy is alive and growing. The huge growths of virtual communities are causing shifts in economic power from large corporations to smaller businesses. “Virtual communities erode the marketing and sales advantages of large companies.

A small company with a better product and better customer service can use these communities to challenge larger competitors—something it probably could not do in the real world” (CommerceNet, 1999). With many of the technological advances in the banking, on-line trading and retail industries, e-commerce will soon become the foundation of our life just as radio, telephone and television have in the past. Technology has a place in everyone’s day-to-day activities and soon e-commerce will be a major factor in the decisions we have to make. Remember, e-commerce is more complex than just buying that special someone’s birthday present.

E-commerce, along with the Internet, is an outlet for business. It is a way for the new man to compete with the proven giants in the industry. An example of this would be the launch of Wal-Marts new web site intended to compete with industry monster Amazon. com. Their new business venture allows Wal-Mart to go outside its usual corporate sphere for Web-savvy talent geared for dot. com commerce, such as engineers, programmers and marketers. It also provides them with the necessary Web-wampum “V” such as options, warrants and shares that are essential to attracting top talent (Veverka, 2000).

Simply put, the Internet and the use of e-commerce provides many opportunities for even the smallest of businesses to compete with large corporations, in essence leveling the playing field. With the steady growth of the Internet, and the fact that every year more and more families are plugging in and surfing the web, can a company survive without the use of the Internet and e-commerce? Probably, but not for long. The Internet and e-commerce are here to stay, so businesses can either change with the times, or get left behind. The choice is theirs to make.

Company Insights on BP, Microsoft, and Western Digital

On August 30, we all chose 5 stocks to evaluate before purchasing. At this time I chose BP AMOCO, Microsoft, Western Digital, Toys-R-Us, and Fortune Financial Incorporated. After a few weeks of tracking these stocks, I chose to keep BP AMOCO, Microsoft, and Western Digital, because the stocks were relatively stable and most of them were on the rise at this time.

As you are aware, we were given $30,000. 00 to invest in our three chosen stocks, which breaks down to $10,000. 0 per stock. We also had to include a brokers fee of $500. 00 for every $10,000. 00 invested. My first stock was BP AMOCO. On September 8, I purchased 167 shares at $57. 06 per share, which totaled $9,523. 00 and incurred a $476. 15 brokers fee, making the grand total spent $9,999. 15. BP is one of Britains biggest companies and one of the worlds largest oil and petrochemical groups. Its origin dates back to May 1901.

BP owes its origin to one man, William Knox DArcy, a wealthy Englishman, who obtained concession from the Muz-affaru’d-Din, Shah of Persia (1896-1907) to explore and exploit the oil resources of the country, excluding the five northern providences that bordered Russia. He, shortly after the turn of the entury, invested time, money and labor in the belief that worthwhile deposits of oil could be found in Persia, which is now known as Iran. Having been granted the concession; DArcy employed an engineer, George Reynolds, to undertake the task of exploring for oil in Persia.

For seven years, Mr. D’Arcy battled with severe weather, the absence of a developed infrastructure, the shortage of skilled local labor, the problems of dealing with neighboring tribes in the absence of a strong central government, difficult terrain, and an uncertain political situation. These conditions made Reynolds pioneering task an exceptionally difficult venture. Meanwhile, the costs mounted stretching DArcys resources to the point where e sought outside financial assistance. This came in 1905 from the Burmah Oil Company, which provided new funds for his venture.

More exploration in Persia followed without success, until eventually, in May of 1908, Reynolds and his helpers struck oil in commercial quantities at Masjid-i-Suleiman in southwest Persia. It was the first commercial oil discovery in the Middle East, signaling the emergence of that region as an oil producing area. After the discovery had been made, the Anglo-Persian Oil Company was formed n 1909 to develop the oilfield and work the concessions. At the top of Anglo-Persians formation, Burmah Oil Company owned 97 percent of its ordinary shares.

Lord Strathcona, the companys first chairman, owned the rest. Although D’Arcy was appointed a director and remained on the board until his death in 1917, he was not to play a major part in the new company’s affairs. His role as the initial risk-taking investor was past and the daunting task of developing the oil discovery into a commercial enterprise shifted to others, amongst whom one stands out: Charles (later Sir Charles, then Lord) Greenway. Greenway was one of Anglo-Persian’s founder-directors, becoming managing director in 1910 and chairman, after Strathcona, in 1914.

Greenway, anxious to avoid falling under the domination of Royal Dutch-Shell, also turned to another potential source of revenue and capital: the British government. The basis of an agreement to mutual advantage lay in Greenway’s desire to find new capital and an outlet for Anglo-Persian’s fuel oil; and, on the government’s part, in the desire by the Admiralty (then headed by Winston Churchill as First Lord) to obtain secure supplies of fuel oil, which had dvantages over coal as a fuel, for the ships of the Royal Navy.

After lengthy negotiations, an agreement was reached in 1914 shortly before the outbreak of World War I. Anglo-Persian contracted to supply the Admiralty with fuel oil and the government injected $2 million of new capital into the company, receiving in return a majority shareholding and the right to appoint two directors to Anglo-Persian’s board. Although the government undertook not to interfere in Anglo-Persian’s normal commercial operations, its shareholding introduced an unusual political dimension to the company’s affairs.

In later years, the government shareholding was reduced and — apart from a tiny residual holding — ended in 1987. Further expansion followed in the decade after World War I. New marketing methods were introduced, with curbside pumps replacing two-gallon tins for the distribution of motor spirit (or, gasoline). Anglo-Persian also marketed its products in Iran and Iraq; it established an international chain of marine bunkering stations, and in 1926 began to market aviation spirit.

New refineries, much smaller than the plant at Abadan, also came on stream — at Llandarcy in South Wales in 1921 and at Grangemouth in Scotland in 1924. Moreover, the company’s majority-owned French associate had a refinery at Courchelettes, near Douai. On the other side of the world, in Australia, a new refinery at Laverton, near Melbourne, was commissioned in 1924. Exploration was carried out not only in the Middle East, but also in other areas, such as Canada, South America, Africa, Papua and Europe.

By the time Greenway retired as chairman in March 1927, he had realized his main strategic goal of establishing Anglo-Persian as one of the world’s largest oil companies, with a substantial presence in all phases of the industry. In 1935, the company was renamed the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. During the post-war reconstruction of Europe, the high demand for oil enabled Anglo-Iranian to expand its business greatly. The company’s sales, profits, capital expenditure and employment all rose to record levels in the late 1940s.

The refinery at Abadan was by this time the largest in the world. Moreover, crude oil production from the company’s Iranian oilfields kept Iran at the top of the league of Middle East oil producing countries. Meanwhile, Anglo-Iranian entered the field of petrochemicals. An agreement ith the Distillers Company in 1947 resulted in the formation of a joint company, later to become known as British Hydrocarbon Chemicals, which produced basic materials from naphtha at Grangemouth. A second petrochemical complex was built at Baglan Bay in South Wales in 1961.

While the company was expanding its operations in the late 1940s, it was also engaged in talks with the Iranian government about the terms of its oil concession. Long and complex negotiations failed to produce an agreement, and in 1951 the Iranian government passed legislation nationalizing the company’s ssets in Iran, then Britain’s largest single overseas investment. The nationalization precipitated a major international crisis in which the British and US governments became deeply involved. The company’s operations in Iran were brought to a halt.

Only after three years of intensive negotiations was the crisis resolved by the formation of a consortium of oil companies, which, by agreement with the Iranian government, re-started the Iranian oil industry in 1954. Anglo-Iranian — which was renamed The British Petroleum Company in 1954 — held a 40 percent share in the consortium. One of the effects of the Iranian nationalization crisis was that the company was forced to broaden its operations to make good the loss of oil supplies from Iran, on which it had depended.

Crude oil production in other countries, notably Kuwait and Iraq, was greatly increased; and new refineries were built in Europe, Australia and Aden. In another development, in 1952, the company commissioned its first lubricating oils plant at Dunkirk. Two years later, it began marketing BP Visco-Static, Europe’s first multi-grade-oil. Although all of these events were important for the company, it was ydrocarbons under the North Sea and under the permafrost of Alaska that were to play the key role in transforming BP into the company it is today.

Earlier, in 1959, the Dutch had discovered a giant gas field on the edge of the North Sea at Groningen. This discovery encouraged others to begin searching for hydrocarbons offshore. BP scored the first success in British waters when, in 1965, it found the West Sole gas field, which it brought on stream two years later. The search for oil spread farther north, and in 1970 BP discovered the Forties field — the first major commercial find in the UK sector. Meanwhile, in Alaska, BP was rewarded for ten years’ exploration effort when, in 1969, it announced a major oil discovery at Prudhoe Bay on the North Slope.

When it became clear that, through its large share in Prudhoe Bay, BP owned part of the biggest oilfield in the USA, the company decided that its Alaskan oil could best be handled by a well-established US refining and marketing company. Accordingly, it signed an agreement with the Standard Oil Company of Ohio in August 1969. This company, the original John D. Rockefeller Standard Oil, was the market leader in Ohio and was strongly represented in neighboring states. Under the agreement, which became effective from 1st January 1970, Standard took over BP’s leases at Prudhoe Bay and some East Coast downstream assets that BP had acquired in 1968.

In return, BP acquired 25 percent of Standard’s equity, a stake that would rise to a majority holding in 1978 when Standard’s share of Alaskan production passed 600,000 barrels a day. The 1970s were the decade of the two great oil price shocks (1973 and 1979/80) that were to have serious effects on the world’s economies. It was also a decade when the major oil companies saw a decisive change in their old oncessionaire relationships. Like its major competitors, BP lost direct access to most of its supplies of OPEC oil as the OPEC countries took control of production and prices.

The 1973 price explosion had a dramatic effect on demand. BP’s oil sales started falling for the first time since 1952 (with the exception of 1957, the year of the Suez crisis). By 1978, sales had recovered somewhat; but then the Iranian revolution came and another major rise in the price of oil. In 1979, BP suffered further blows when its assets in Nigeria were nationalized and its supplies from Kuwait cut back. By 1980, its sales were down again. The entire oil industry was affected by the events of the 1970s.

But thanks to BP’s large investment program in areas outside the Middle East, the company showed as it had done in Iran in 1951, that it could survive. As noted, of key importance were the developments of its oilfield discoveries in the North Sea and Alaska. In the autumn of 1975, BP pumped ashore the first oil from the North Sea’s UK sector when it brought the Forties field on stream. This field development was financed by a bank loan of $370 million, then the largest wholly rivate bank advance ever arranged.

At its peak, Forties produced half a million barrels a day, equivalent to one-quarter of the UK’s daily oil requirement. Since the early 1980s, BP has developed many more oil and gas fields in the North Sea. Among these have been, in the UK sector, Magnus (commissioned in 1983), the Village gas fields (1988), Miller (1992) and Bruce (1993) and, in Norwegian waters, Ula (1986) and Gyda (1990). In Alaska, meanwhile, the construction of the 800-mile Trans-Alaska Pipeline System enabled the Prudhoe Bay field to come on stream in 1977.

In 1981, the Kuparuk field also started production, and towards the end of 1987 the world’s first continuous commercial production from an offshore area in the Arctic was achieved when the Endicott field was commissioned. Today, BP’s other oil- and gas-producing countries include Abu Dhabi, Australia, Colombia, Norway and Papua New Guinea. The upheavals of the 1970s led BP to conclude that it should broaden its activities so that it could operate in the future with more balanced sources of income. Accordingly, from the mid-1970s there was increased emphasis on diversification into new areas of activity.

Sony By Honorary Chairman

Sony has four products categories as gateways to the networked world: digital TV’s and set-top boxes, VAIO home-use PCs, mobile devices and the best selling of them all is the Playstation 2 (PS2). With all of the new products like the PS2 and Sony. com, released their sale were still low.

Sony consolidated net sales decreased 1. 7% and operating income fell 30. 9%. However, on a local currency basic, it as a year in which Sony’s businesses performed well. The PS2 went on sale in 2000 and shipped over two million units in less than three months. The biggest reason for me choosing this company was because of the great products they produce.

From Vega’s TV’s to blockbuster motion pictures and all that fall in between, Sony has proven to be a well-rounded company. Sony’s Internet service provider So-Net, which has operated in Japan since 1996, offers some great features like: network-based content and service. In February 2000, Sony established SonyStyle. com in Japan to conduct marking and sales of Sony products.

As a hardware company and a provider of content and services they are number one in many of today’s homes. At the end of march 2000, the market capitalization of Sony Corporation was 13 trillion. This was a big increase form the previous year amount of 4. rillion. Income before taxes and net income figures for the year included gains of 58. 7 billion and 30. 7 billion.

Sony’s financial conditions are now strong and remain strong. Total assets increased by 508. 1 billion, or 81%, this year. It was estimated that the total assets would have increased by approximately 15% compared with the previous year. Sony’s stock was at 61 percent at the time of my paper. Investments and advanced by 94. 9 billion. Sony has taken one more even bigger step to make environmental actives a core element of its management system in order to reduce its impact.

Sony makes effort as much as possible to reduce the energy that products consume and the resources used to make them. They also try to avoid using materials with a high environmental impact. Presently, music distribution service and e-commerce are readily available on the Internet.

However, in the broadband network era, reams of data, including images and music, will be smoothly exchanged over high capacity, high-speed communications based on ADSL, cable, fiber optics, digital broadcasting, and many others. Sony has a lot in store for us, and I for one can’t wait to enjoy more of their products and service’s.

The Ethical Imperative

Todays businesses are entrenched in a great conflict. The interests of the stockholders and the interests of the populace at large seem to be in constant turmoil. On one hand, stockholders desire profit for themselves, and on the other, the general population does not care to be exploited by those whose sole motive is profit. This is a conflict because those who buy a businesss products tend to be in the general public, and they have the ability to make or break a companys profit margin, but many stockholders are less interested in serving any sort of public good than making money.

However, in order to maintain economic stasis in the world, and to maintain market share and customers, business needs to evolve to become more socially responsible in both the environment and in labor practices. Current business theory holds that business has operated and is operating in five different generations. This theory is that as the world becomes more aware of business practices, there is more of a need for business to operate in an ethical or responsible manner. With each progressive generation of business issues, the company becomes more socially aware and responsible.

Growing from economist Milton Friedmans idea that the only obligation a company has is to its shareholders to the belief that the corporation has an obligation to help improve the world, the generation theory in business has gone the furthest in explaining the role of the public in business (Mendes 1). First-generation businesses believe, like Friedman, that their only obligation is to themselves and their shareholders. The best examples of first-generation businesses existed in the American Gilded Age (1875 1900). In these corporations, the labor was treated as expendable and was prevented from asserting their human status by unionizing.

Strikes for better conditions, wages, and hours were often ended with violence, almost always instigated by the wealthy business owners (Zinn 239). Fortunately, businesses of the first generation have essentially ceased to exist with the rise of public interest in the dealings of companies, especially after several different scandals in the 1970s (Mendes 1). Codes of conduct for ethical behavior are the written policies of second-generation businesses. These codes pertain to the employees interaction as a representative of the company at large.

Primarily, they relate to bribing or accepting bribes from government officials, which could cast an unfavorable smear on the companys image. The other main function is to deter corporate espionage, either for or against the company, by giving no incentive and, indeed, offering strict prohibition and retribution. The vast majority of todays companies are of the second generation. This is because extensive research has demonstrated time and again the enhanced profitability of these businesses, proving that ethics and profit can and do go hand in hand.

This profitability is also a key contributor to the death of first-generation businesses, as both consumers and stockholders enjoy a company with a good reputation and ethical employees (Mendes 1). Third-generation businesses include in their codes of conduct the rights of all those who are tied to the company, including employees and customers. This means that products are reliable and safe, and that employees receive fair wages and safe working conditions. There is a growing number of third-generation businesses in the industrial world.

The reasons for implementing third-generation policies are increased employee motivation and productivity, customer satisfaction and improved relations within the corporate world. All of these factors lead to an increase in profit. Indeed, many businesses of the third-generation have begun to include foreign workers in their codes of conduct, providing them with safer and less hostile work areas. This last innovation was, again, due to public outcry over the conditions of those working in the Third World (Mendes 1, 2).

There is a fear, real or imagined, that the so-called ethical consumerism of third-generation businesses will push jobs and capital away from the host countries of corporations to a country of lower standards than the host country. As of now, there are not enough third-generation businesses to prove or disprove this argument with any degree of certainty. To put it another way, the profitability of these companies cannot be evaluated. However, there are two examples of companies operating at or above the third-generation that are very successful: Levi-Strauss, and Sara Lee (Mendes 2)

Businesses of the fourth-generation take a further degree of social responsibility in acknowledging the potential impact of company dealings on the community in which it resides and the environment around it. Disasters, such as the Exxon Valdez tanker spill of 1989, have opened many eyes to the fact that not only stockholders, consumers and employees are affected by the actions that businesses might take. Companies of this generation take into consideration the possible consequences of their conduct, and often have written policies on behaviors that are considered permissible and impermissible in an environmental sense.

In one case, in drafting The Final Report Whitehorse Mining Initiative, in which the Mining Association of Canada and several individual mining companies participated, the rights of the indigenous people of Canada are recognized as having constitutional rights to the land, being constitutionally protected, and it also states that aboriginal peoples are qualified for opportunities to work in mineral development at all stages of mining and related industries at all levels. The ability of these companies to produce profit is based upon a reduction of legal liabilities and further bettering the corporate image (Mendes 2).

Finally, fifth-generation businesses address concerns that foreign investments might aid in propping up an oppressive system of government. The fifth-generation of issues came to the surface in the 1980s with the American business interaction in South Africa, which implemented Apartheid, or strict racially based segregation. The American public believed that these investments in South Africa was essentially lining the pockets of the oppressors, and harming the oppressed.

On the most basic level, a fifth-generation business must comply with local law, because international law clearly states that every nation has a right to develop its resources as it best sees fit, and business must comply with that nations ideas and laws. However, it is argued that in some cases the company has a further obligation to the citizens of nations with oppressive governments, and that responsibility is to no support the government with the capital it would have produced (Mendes 2, 3).

Since most businesses operate with either second- or third- generation standards, it is necessary to examine both empirical data and the belief system of business in order to understand why these businesses are not making the move to become more socially responsible. Since the level of profitability appears to increase with each generation of business, one would think that businesses would realize this.

The question of the corporate world is, how much responsibility should these U. S. mpanies bear toward researching their suppliers (Eisele, 4)? A major issue that exists in the business world is the exploitation of cheap, foreign labor, and the use of both domestic and foreign sweatshops. In a recent poll, 78% of those consumers surveyed said that they would avoid stores known for selling articles made in sweatshops. At the same time, in August of 1995, a federal raid uncovered 72 Thai immigrants working for seventy cents an hour in conditions comparable to those seen one hundred years prior, during the Gilded Age.

Then-United States Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, estimated in 1996 that there were over 13,000 sweatshops nationwide (Marino 2). Companies are slowly beginning to employ ethicists on their staffs in order to protect their image. For example, after a very public affiliation with sweatshops, Wal-Mart stepped up penalties for those suppliers who use sweatshop labor by immediately discontinuing business with those who do use it (Eisele 3). Indeed, over 2/3 of those companies who are looking for ethics consultants have recently come from ethics violations (Gilbert 2).

Over 90% of Americas largest corporations have formal written ethics codes (Gilbert 3). However, there are still those in the business world who operate under first-generation issues, and are now armed with clever justifications for their social irresponsibility. Comer Industries Vice-President, James Field, states that these companies are not trying to be moralists for the world. He continues, saying, If we dont hire child labor, the child starves (Eisele 5). He is not alone in his beliefs, as many conservative businessmen adhere to those beliefs.

Another common argument is that in the not-so-distant American past, its industrial practices were essentially on an equal scale to those of the developing nations of today (Eisele 4). Profit has proven to be the motive for this social irresponsibility. Few companies, for example, address child labor in their codes of conduct. Few address wages and benefits, working hours and safety. It is the common belief of businesses that increasing wage and health standards internationally will directly cause the company to increase prices, and thus lose market share.

What seems obvious to them the correlation between increasing wages, increasing price and diminishing demand for products is essentially a bastardization of the Law of Supply and Demand. With more people able to purchase products due to increased wages, the theoretically constant supply would be met by an increased demand, which would both increase sales, and the price at which those goods would be sold, thus increasing profit for the business. Indeed, American industrialists used an argument similar to the current one during the Gilded Age.

In fact, should the companys assumption even be correct, there is evidence that it would still do little to harm their profit margin. A recent survey suggests that the vast majority (84%) of consumers would be willing to pay 5% more on clothing, should that clothing be guaranteed to be no sweat, meaning not made in sweatshops (Marino 2). Well-publicized boycotts against Wal-Mart and other retailers who carry sweatshop garments demonstrate that price is not the only factor shoppers consider when buying clothes (Eisele 2).

In an analogous sense, America from 1870 to 1940 existed in the same condition as many of these so-called developing nations and the progress of these nations should be viewed as comparable to Americas. America during the Industrial Revolution was essentially a developing nation, with tenements and slums full of the unemployed and marginally employed. Comparable to Third World countries, such as Zaire and India, within the most poverty-stricken areas of America during this period, there were epidemics of violence, addiction and disease.

During this time, America was considered to be the manufacturer to the world, similar to how China and Taiwan are viewed today (Zinn, 224-241). Indeed, America only progressed as an economic power when workers began receiving pay that not only provided sustenance, but allowed workers to save money and make luxury purchases. For example, Henry Ford increased wages of his workers on the assembly line, which enabled them to buy an automobile. This money went back to the Ford Company, which allowed him to produce more automobiles more cheaply.

Because of wage increases, Ford was able to rapidly assimilate automobiles into everyday life for many Americans. Other industries began to flourish on the strength of the automobile industry, and America began to establish itself as an economic force (Zinn 317). It becomes evident that in the long term, the worldwide economy will eventually be hurt by labors low wages and businesses inattentiveness to the environment and its effect on communities, unless, of course, business, especially American-based business, progresses to the next generation.

Metaphorically speaking, the structure of the global economy currently forming is that of a pyramid whose base is made of sand and whose top is made of pure diamond. The base, which represents the working majority, needs to the much stronger than the top in order for the pyramid to continue standing. This, obviously, is not the case. Renowned political critic, Noam Chomsky, remarks, Never have so few taken so much from so many with so little resistance (Chomsky, 18).

In addition to the foreseeable economic problems, the practice of overwhelming natural resources and removing indigenous cultures will cause irreparable damage to the global ecology, which would impact humanity for generations to come. The Exxon Valdez disaster, for example, was one of many environmental travesties committed by first- and second-generation businesses. They have also been responsible for massive deforestation, abuse of fossil fuel resources and strip mining. In many European countries, the languages of the people have almost forcibly been assimilated into English, French or some other major language.

Businesses continue conducting their affairs in China, despite Chinas terrible human rights record. These issues are merely the beginnings of events that will stretch over time and change the human fabric. At this pace, there will be no forest, no oil, and no arable soil. There will be no Welsh, no Bretons, and no Hutus. In China, there will be no justice. However, companies that have implemented ethical policies, and have begun operating on third- or fourth-generation levels have not only maintained their level of profitability, but in many cases have increased their profits in the past few years.

One great example of this is Levi-Strauss, who addresses both third- and fifth-generation concerns in its policies. After having received many ethics violations in the late 1980s for labor related atrocities, such as overcrowding, overheating and overworking its laborers, Levi-Strauss has since made some of the most far-reaching improvements in human relations and social responsibility (Eisele 5) For example, it has convinced its contractors to pay children under the age of 14 to go to school. Once the children turn 14, they are guaranteed jobs in the Levi-Strauss factory.

The general manager of the Wranglers factory in Honduras pays the import tax on bicycles, the primary mode of transportation. Upon reviewing the operations of 600 of its foreign suppliers, Levi-Strauss has permanently severed business ties with thirty, and has told 25% to improve at the risk of losing its business. Levi-Strauss also pulled $40 million in business from China in protest of its human rights offenses (Eisele 5). Another fine example of a company operating with four-generation issues is Sara Lee, the parent company of Hanes.

Sara Lee feeds its employees in Honduras breakfast every morning. This actually saves money by making employees more productive and reducing the turnover rate of new employees. Sara Lee officials noticed that the elementary schools in Honduras were in terrible condition, with leaking roofs, playgrounds covered in raw sewage and a profound lack of supplies. Juan Ruiz, a Vice-President within the company, thought up the Adopt-A-School program, which sent proceeds of Sara Lee sales to different elementary schools in Honduras.

After the program, the schools had chalkboards, libraries, and plans have been made to repair the roofs (Eisele 4) In performing these acts of social responsibility, these two exemplary companies have improved their image to the public. This has helped them to maintain or increase sales in a time when the garment industry is slumping. Building and maintaining a good public image is vital to survival in todays information-heavy world. The only way to do that is to become more socially responsible.

In addition to building a good image, a well-written code of conduct can spare a company legal liabilities and much embarrassment. In a simple comparison-contrast, Wal-Mart, now a second-generation company, and Levi-Strauss, a fifth-generation company, have experienced very different levels of success. Wal-Mart, as of late, has lost an estimated 4-6% of it market share, due to boycott levied against for issues as varied as gun control and fish abuse (Ray 1). Levi-Strauss remains a company of great viability and of great profitability (Eisele 4).

In addition to the evident profitability of socially conscious businesses, many business ethicists offer businesses simple standards by which to write their codes of conduct. Says the director of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, Valerie Heinonen: We dont expect that they will pay the same wages in another country, but we also dont expect that the workers are going to be exploited (Eisele 1). The main reason a company should employ ethics standards is to maintain a corporate image that is positive, because image sells and sales equal profit (Eisele 1).

Another major consideration for corporations should be that what is considered unethical today could very well be illegal tomorrow, like the act of strikebreaking through the use of violence. Criminal intent is no longer a major consideration in persecuting human rights offenders, and companies should have some sort of protection against that (Gilbert 3). Though there is an apparent conflict of interest between profit and social conscience, it becomes evident that ethics frequently equal profit in this era.

Perhaps in a less well-informed time there was no need for ethical behavior, but todays public demands more of its companies than simple profit margins. In order for the worlds economy to develop and grow, the degree of social responsibility in American-based corporations must likewise grow. It is in the best interests of the company, the consumer, the employee and the environment in general. In short, a socially responsible company is a company that will profit in the long term, which is what really matters in business.

Drugs And Their Effects On Business

Drugs are used heavily for recreational purposes. It is becoming more common for addicts to get high at work. Stoned workers are inefficient and are costing companies millions in accidents and los t productivity. Searches to catch users have raised questions of the right to privacy. The problem has become so big that companies have banded together to form rehabilitation programs to help the affected workers.

Drug use affects employees for one re ason or another in every position of a company, and this greatly reduces the efficiency of those employees, and this has prompted companies to initiate illegal searches, which question the rights f employees, and rehabilitation programs. Drug abuse causes many serious problems that could have been avoided if the user wasn’t on drugs. The problem of drug abuse has its worse effects when the persons using drugs are responsible for millions of dollars in equipment, money, or lives.

The armed forces w hich are responsible for the defense of the nation and its interests should be ready at all times. But due to drug abuse the performance of military personal can be seriously reduced. An air crash in 1985 on the aircraft carrier Nimitz killed 14 crewmen and autopsies revealed that 11 of them were on drugs. (The U. S. ) spends billions of dollars on military defense, and our military may be crippled by this drug problem.

T Drugs cost a lot and the need for them is ever increasing. A drug habit can quickly drain a worker’s pay check while he still needs more drugs. An employee will embezzle to raise the funds necessary to buy more drugs, an employee in a high place has access to embezzle large amounts of cash or sell company secrets to rival compa nies or foreign powers. Drugs reduce the ability to make decisions, and if the addict is responsible for large amounts of cash the effects can be distasterous.

The sales end of companies have been renowned for indulging in wine, women, and song before o r during the actual transaction, but the adverse effects on the decision making process by drugs and alcohol can induce the parties to buy at high prices or not buy needed supplies, which can cost large sums of money. Rival companies can even “pressure a drug-impaired executive into taking actions that hurt his company. ” “The abuse of drugs by executives causes disterous problem nationwide. “Drug abuse also causes a leech effect on productivity due to workers not being at their best state o f condition.

Working while ntoxicated, whatever the drugs, both the individual, the industry, and society. ” Workers on drugs are uncoordinated and unalert. Uncoordinated workers on an assembly line have a higher percentage of error than their sober counterparts making for defective parts and merchandise which will be returned by irate customers. This will cost a company in worthless merchandise and unhappy customers who most likely will not use their products again. A worker with drug proble ms also misses more days on sick leave than a worker without a drug problem.

We are just beginning to recognize the problem. ” The addicted drug users all have some type f reason for using drugs, or getting addicted. The reasons for people u sing drugs on the job are as varied as the drugs themselves. There are both stereotypical and practicality reasons for using drugs on the job. A chronolgical reason for drugs filtering up into business is that the drug oriented students of the sixties g rew up and went into careers bringing their drugs with them. Blue-collar workers use drugs to relieve the boredom of menial work.

Years of working on an assembly line may create a high amount of tedium that only drugs can relieve. People in the high pr essure of white-collar jobs that create ension are prone to drug abuse. Manager types get paid well and “They are used to feeling masterful and are not likely to view drugs as threatening” so the odds are high of them getting addicted even though they are used to clean living. Jobs that require creativity such as artists use drugs to stimulate their creativity. The most logical reason for drug abuse is the accessibility of drugs at work and in society.

If drugs are so accessible then of course there are going to be abusers. The government has tried to stop the flow of drugs inside the United States, but they haven’t had any overwhelming success. Cocaine is becoming more popular because it provides an intense high that gives the user the feeli ng the he/she can do anything, and cocaine is easy to hide and use. Workers have devised many ways to use and move drugs through a company, such as sending drugs through normal interoffice messenger services, or switching drugs with medicine bottles and using them in front of everyone.

Executives with their own offices have an even easier time taking drugs because of the privacy of their offices. In some cases drugs have become a part of company procedures. Sales have a reputation of warm up meetings ith alcohol and now drugs are added to these parties in order to persuade customers to buy the product or service. In fields where the workers are addicted like modeling cocaine is buried in the budgets. This wide and open use of drugs have encouraged companies to do their best to crack down on drug users in the company.

Companies are attempting to stop their employees from being on drugs. Workers are even turning in their fellow workers. Mainly because they are tired of working around stoned pe ople who may be a danger to themselves and the people around them. In attempts to do something effective, ompanies have initiated illegal searches of the private property of employees. Illegal searches are being done under the assumption that an employ ee is the property of the company and that the company can threaten the employee’s job.

A reason for doing more detailed searches of an employee is because “the only time (anyone) sees the workers with problems is when they reach the surface and by then (the employees) are pretty well gone. ” Material searches are of an employee’s belongings and are designed to find the drugs themselves. The most common procedure is when company officials cut the locks of employees lockers and then search for ont raband, with or without the help of drug sniffing dogs. A more discrete way the companies search down drug users is by hiring undercover agents that entrap employees into using drugs.

Catching more secretive drug users with drugs on them, because they a re clever or are just weekend users of drugs is more difficult. Companies have to physically search the employee’s body which raises a lot of controversy. Urine testing gives rise to most discontent because of its humiliating way of getting a sample. B lood testing has its own inhereat problems because of the discomfort of a needle extracting blood. Because of the problems of conventional testing for controlled substances in the body’s chemical tract, medical professionals have been coming up with new methods for testing the body to see if it has used drugs.

One of the most feasible new types of test is the testing of hair. Hair keeps a permanent record of the body’s chemicals including the drugs it has used. The best side of testing hair is that it requires less cooperation from the person being tested so it can be done without a lot of complaints. Employers are just beginning to start wide scale testing. It is becoming more common for job applicants to take drug ests. Volunteer testing for dru gs is just starting up. Mandatory testing of all employees does have a few hurdles to get over.

Managers and executives wield so much power in a company that it is hard to get them to do something that they don’t want to do. This has led to the rumor t hat “heroin use among establishment types is the most underreported social phenomenon in America today. ” Even with all of the testing procedures available they all have one common drawback, they are not 100% accurate. Drug testing has outraged emp loyees’ rights groups and has triggered even more counter arguments from the employers. Drug testing has brought up several controversies over the right to privacy and an employer’s right to have to workers who aren’t on drugs.

The real reason why ” labor is not supporting testing in the work place” is because something personal might be found in a search and the violation of privacy is one step to the elimination of their guaranteed rights. Most labor unions point out “you need a search warran t to search (an employee’s) home, but (an employee’s) body is a lot more sacred than (employee’s) home. “0T On the company side of the dispute they feel that they “have a right and responsiblity to establish sound working onditions. ” Employe es feel that their off time is their own time and that they can do anything they want to do.

While on company time “(employers) have the right to say how (employees) behave in the work place. ” But drugs have lingering affects so even if employees use them of their off time they are still impaired when they go to work, so there is no simple answer. “(An employers) No. 1 concern is safety” and drug impaired workers create a hugh safety problem because of there affected mental condition, and this gives the employers a very good cause to hunt down drug users. Still employees are afraid of rug testing because of myths of harsh and cruel treatment for being caught. Companies are trying to help those employees who are affected by drugs.

Earlier, companies would terminate employees with a drug problem. But the reality of “termination for using marijuana in a company, but it would only merit a $100 fine in California” was unrealistic and unfair, so now a company will put the affect ed employee in a drug-treatment program. Another logical reason for companies to keep drug impaired employees is because “it is easier to help a person who has been on the job than it is to hire and train someone to replace him. ” And on top of th at a ompany’s health-insurance benefits pay all the treatment costs. These treatment programs have a 73% success rate.

It is in the company’s favor to send an affected employ to a treatment program, which is totally feasible for the company. To help their employees to get off of drugs several the 500 largest companies have banded together to make up an effective program. Many of the Fortune 500 companies have set up in-house employee-assistance programs, and they have even set up toll-free 800 numbe rs for workers and their families to call for advice and information. The treatment of drug impaired workers is relativity new and therefore the long erm effects of the programs is not known and can only be speculated at.

Companies have noticed the problems that drugs produce and they are trying to stop the use of them by their employees. It is now becoming harder to use drugs and make a living. Since companies are controlling people who use drugs this might stem the flow of drugs into this count ry. The way drugs are being treated by companies “may be very effective in changing the way people view drug taking in this country. ” Drug use affects companies with in-efficiency and now companies are trying to stem the problem.

Amazoncom Case Analysis

This case analysis serves the purpose to provide an analytical framework to evaluate Amazon. com from an internal and external perspective, and to provide strategic direction based upon the internal and external evaluation. The case will begin with an introduction to Amazon. com. Jeffrey Bezos, formerly a senior vice president for D. E. Shaw & Company, founded Amazon. com in 1994. D. E. Shaw is a Wall Street-based investment bank, and Mr. Bezos was assigned to find good Internet companies in which to invest.

During the summer of 1994, he stumbled across a Web site that showed the number of Internet users was growing by 2,300 percent per month. He quickly realized the vast potential of the Internet, and began putting together a list of possible products that he could sell on the World Wide Web. He eventually narrowed his list to music products and books. Although music products and books both had enormous potential, he eventually selected books because he believed that he could compete more evenly in the book segment due to the lack of a very dominant player. In contrast, the music industry had only six major record companies. These companies controlled the distribution of records and CDs and, therefore, had the potential to lock out a new business threatening the traditional record-store format” (Kotha, p. 11). To begin his new venture, Mr. Bezos left New York and moved to Seattle. He decided to move to Seattle for two reasons: 1) Ingram Book Group’s warehouse is located near Seattle; and 2) Because of the Seattle area’s reputation for computer expertise.

In 1995, Amazon began selling books entirely online, operating out of a rented facility and using doors laid across sawhorses for desks. He soon was able to generate several million dollars from venture capitalists, and sales were astounding. Sales for 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999 were $0. 5, $16, $147, $610 and $1,640 million respectively. Amazon’s customer base has increased dramatically from 180,000 in 100 countries in 1996 to 12 million in 160 countries by mid-1999. In 1998, Amazon began to expand into other product categories.

The Company began to sell music products and videos, and within two months of these additions, Amazon became the number-one seller of books, music, and videos on the web. During 1999, the Company further expanded its product line. Amazon now offers toys and video games, electronic greeting cards, electronics and software, home improvement supplies, online auctions, DVDs, and an online mall called zShops. More recently, Amazon has begun to expand internationally (Bartlett, p. 21). Next, an analysis of Amazon’s mission statement will be performed.

A mission statement should be comprised of, or address, nine essential components: customers; products or services; markets; technology; concern for survival, growth, and profitability; philosophy; self-concept; concern for public image; and, concern for employees. While Amazon does not have a formal mission statement, the basic mission and goals of the Company are evident in the words of Mr. Bezos, “We have one strategy at Amazon. com – provide the customer with the best shopping experience. ” Additionally, “our goal is nothing short of building the world’s most customer-centric Company. Lastly, “our Company mission is to leverage technology and expertise to provide the best buying experience on the Internet” (Balanced Scorecard, p. 1). These quotes from Mr. Bezos could be combined to create an effective mission statement, as follows: The mission of Amazon. com is to leverage technology and the expertise of our invaluable employees to provide the best buying experience on the Internet. Our goal is nothing short of building the world’s most customer-centric Company capable of providing our customers with the best shopping experience online today, and into the future.

An evaluation of the aforementioned mission statement follows: Essential ComponentEvaluationJustification for Evaluation CustomersStrongCustomers are frequently mentioned and are clearly the focus of a “customer-centric” Company. Products or ServicesModerateIdentifies online shopping as service. MarketsModerateThe market is the online community. TechnologyStrong”leverage technology” indicates that technology is critical for the success of Amazon. Concern for survival, growth, and profitabilityModerateAddresses concern for survival and growth, but not profitability. PhilosophyModerateClearly indicates that Amazon wants to be the best.

Self-conceptStrong”best shopping experience”, “world’s most customer-centric Company” Concern for public imageModerateClearly want Amazon’s image to be the “best”. Concern for employeesStrong”invaluable employees” indicates that Amazon realizes that the employees are essential for continued success. Amazon’s mission statement does a very good job of addressing the nine essential components of a good mission statement, as evidenced by the above chart, where the Company received a strong evaluation on 4 out of the nine categories, and a moderate evaluation on the remaining 5 categories.

The mission statement also does a very good job of “hitting emotional hot buttons. ” Using phrases like: “best buying experience”; “world’s most customer-centric Company”; and “best shopping experience”, Amazon strives to stir one’s emotions. Next, the external evaluation for Amazon will be performed. The first step in the external evaluation is to perform an external factor evaluation (EFE) matrix, which describes the external opportunities and threats facing Amazon. The EFE matrix follows: Critical Success FactorsWeightRatingWeighted Score Growing number of e-commerce bankruptcies0. 30. 30 Number of Internet users is continuing to rise0. 1530. 45 International expansion0. 130. 30 Technological advancements can improve productivity0. 0520. 10 US BMV segment experiencing anemic growth0. 1530. 45 Minimal barriers to entry0. 140. 40 E-commerce may be a slowing consumer trend0. 0520. 10 The above chart would indicate that Amazon is responding to existing opportunities and threats in its industry slightly better than the average competitor, as indicated by a EFE Matrix score of 3. 10. Several factors have varying levels of effect upon the online shopping industry.

For instance, the number of Internet users is continuing to rise exponentially. In 1996 and 1998, there were 61 and 147 million worldwide users of the Internet, respectively. Projections for 2002 are 300 million worldwide Internet users. Growth such as this obviously has a dramatic effect upon the online retail industry, as evidenced by a weight of 0. 15 on the EFE Matrix. Additionally, companies, such as Amazon, that have an established platform (technology, distribution centers, customers, brand, etc. ) have an increased ability to monetize their platform through partnerships like Toys “R” Us and Borders Group. After all, what if [Amazon] becomes the online commerce partner (customer service, order fulfillment, inventory management, marketing services) for a wide swath of brick-and-mortar partners: Blockbuster for videos, Ace Hardware for tools, Tower Records for music, Best Buy, Circuit City for electronics, etc.? Then, in aggregate, those deals could hasten profitability (slightly) and/or make steady-state profitability larger” (Reamer, p. 2). This platform monetization can have an enormous impact upon this industry, as evidenced by a weight of 0. 15 on the EFE Matrix. Amazon posted $410MM in U. S. books, music, and video (U. S. BMV) sales. At 58% of total revenue, U. S. BMV remains the single largest contributor to total revenue. Growth in this sector continues to be fairly anemic: U. S. BMV grew just 2 [percent year over year]” (Reamer, p. 2). Moving into other segments of the online retailing industry (i. e. , consumer electronics) could dampen this negative trend. Lastly, “the growing number of bankruptcies among pure-play e-commerce companies should enhance the competitive position of companies, such as Amazon, longer term.

In other words, fewer industry participants should lead to increased potential scale for survivors such as Amazon. Not only will fewer companies lead to less distribution of e-commerce revenues among smaller e-tailers, but [surviving companies] should also benefit from less price competition over time. Note that less discounting among pure-play e-tailers should result in higher gross margins longer term” (Patel, p. 10). However, “one could argue that the rapid e-commerce growth over the last few years reflected more of a fad that is losing momentum than a powerful secular trend.

This is not to say that e-commerce is going away, rather that the overall e-commerce market may not be as large as once was projected” (D’Eathe, p. 3). Another potential threat for Amazon is that the barriers to entry in the online retailing market are minimal. Start-up costs are minimal, and anybody can start their own Internet shop. “According to Mr. Bezos, Amazon differentiates itself from potential rivals in many ways, besides just marketing and aggressive brand promotion. He observes (Fast Company, 1996): People who just scratch the surface of Amazon. om say-‘oh, you sell books on the Web’-they don’t understand how hard it is to actually be an electronic merchant. We’re not just putting up a Web site. We do 90% of our customer service by e-mail rather than by telephone. Fourteen of our 110 employees do nothing but answer e-mail from customers. There are very few off-the-shelf tools that help do what we’re doing. We’ve had to develop lots of our own technologies. There are no companies selling software to manage e-mail centers. So we had to develop our own tools. In a way this is good news. There are lots of barriers to entry” (Kotha, p. 10).

Some additional threats, while not as threatening, do exist. For instance, online e-tailers are being sued over shipping delays. “The FTC alleges that some online stores did not give shoppers enough notice of impending shipping delays or that they continued to promise deliveries they could not make during the holiday season” (Farmer, p. 2). Lastly, security concerns are limiting the growth of online retailing. Consumers often “surf” the Web to obtain information about a product, but do not purchase the product online for fear of putting their credit card number and other personal information on the Web.

However, encryption technology is so advanced today, that it is actually safer to give a Web page your credit card number than it is to give your number to a salesperson over the phone. Next, a competitive profile matrix (CPM) will be performed to demonstrate how well Amazon performs relative to its competitor group. The CPM follows: Amazon. comBarnes & NobleBarnes & NobleeBay Success FactorsWeightRatingScoreRatingScoreRatingScore Market Share0. 2040. 8040. 8040. 80 Management0. 1520. 3030. 4530. 45 Financial Position0. 2510. 2520. 5020. 50 Product Quality0. 1530. 4530. 4520. 30 Consumer Loyalty0. 2530. 7530. 7530. 75

The CPM score of 2. 55 indicates that Amazon performs slightly worse than its competitor group. The above chart indicates that market share, consumer loyalty, and financial position are the most important critical success factors, as indicated by a weight of 0. 20, 0. 25, and 0. 25, respectively. Amazon’s financial position is the critical success factor that hurts its long-term viability the most. However, Amazon “has created the leading online shopping hub – from both the customer-experience vantage point and market share – that over time should harness the efficiencies of the Internet and could become highly profitable.

Amazon’s robust technology platform and 30 million unique users make the Company attractive to traditional offline merchants via its “virtual storefront”” (Legg, p. 3). A financial comparison of Amazon and the competitor group follows: Amazon continues to focus on developing its business, which has translated into market share gains. Amazon’s sales growth is exceptional, as evidenced by a 5-year growth rate of 457. 91%. Additionally, the Company’s turnover ratios are excellent compared to its competitor group. However, the Company’s net profit margin is atrocious at (37. 98%). The Company’s fulfillment costs as a percentage of revenues remain well above traditional retailer levels making it difficult for [Amazon] to compete in the long-term as it would hold a significant competitive disadvantage in terms of outbound distribution costs” (D’Eathe, p. 2). “However, Moody’s believes that management’s focus on achieving profitability, and a clearer strategy to harvest investment in existing operations rather than expend capital on new businesses, holds the potential for positive cash flow within the medium term. Amazon invested heavily in distribution capacity during 1999, well in advance of need.

Moody’s believes that Amazon is unlikely to grow sales rapidly enough to cover the costs of carrying its current infrastructure. However, Moody’s believes that Amazon may be able to generate cash from sources other than retailing. The Company has an opportunity to use its reputation in fulfillment, bolstered by the initial success of its recent alliance to fulfill online orders for Toys “R” Us, to generate high-margin fee revenues and absorb operating costs” (Reamer, p. 5). The aforementioned opportunity will not come without challenges. Amazon has been facing increased competition.

The Company’s primary competition is Barnes & Noble, Inc. (BKS) and eBay Inc. (EBAY). “The site that is rapidly becoming known as The Place To Find Anything is eBay. Trouble is, it doesn’t have the simplicity that Amazon does. That’s still the image that many people have of eBay. They see it as a Turkish bazaar, where the stuff is garbage, you have to haggle for a price, and no one can be trusted. eBay is taking steps towards creating simplicity, however” (Lund, p. 2). Additionally, eBay and Barnes & Noble both are financially sound to compete with Amazon. Amazon has done a solid job of aggregating products and making the experience simple, but its debt has put itself into a position of weakness” (Lund, p. 1). Lastly, Barnes & Noble is in the somewhat enviable position of being a “bricks-and-clicks” or “clicks-and-mortar” establishment. This mitigates the threat of security concerns. If a consumer did not feel comfortable purchasing online, he/she could go into the physical store location and make the purchase. However, since Amazon only has “virtual storefronts”, the Company does not have the high overhead associated with having physical sites.

So, there are advantages and disadvantages to only being online. Next, an internal factor evaluation (IFE) matrix will be performed that summarizes and evaluates the major strengths and weaknesses in the functional areas of business at Amazon. The IFE matrix follows: Critical Success FactorsWeightRatingWeighted Score Distribution and technology infrastructure0. 1540. 60 Distribution and technology infrastructure0. 130. 30 Seasonal dependence on strong 4th quarter sales0. 0520. 10 Board of Directors’ lack of independence0. 0520. 10 Declining repeat rate and increased customer churn0. 120. 20

Management lacks retail experience0. 0520. 10 The IFE score of 2. 60 demonstrates that Amazon has a strong internal position. However, it is necessary to avoid the illusion of precision when using the aforementioned matrices. Rather, a thorough understanding of the factors included is more important than the actual numbers. “To its credit, the Company has been successful in leveraging its powerful brand name, management experience and distribution and technology infrastructure, to gain a leadership position in each of [its] markets. Amazon’s powerful brand name is recognized around the world as a leader in e-commerce.

This brand recognition has allowed Amazon to develop leadership positions very quickly when it enters new markets” (Becker, p. 1). Additionally, being one of the first online retailers has provided a significant first mover advantage for Amazon. “It appears that Bezos recognizes that many of the competitive advantages that Amazon has developed are transient in nature. With a few exceptions (e. g. , proprietary software, reputation, the sense of community, and first mover advantages), many of the mechanisms that are at this Web site can be imitated by competitors, albeit not easily.

To defend itself against competitors, for the past year Amazon has been developing a detailed purchasing history and profile of its customers. It now has a vast and unique database of customers’ preferences and buying patterns, tied to their e-mail and postal address (Economist, 1997a). Notes Alberto Vitale, chairman of Random House, Inc. (Wall Street Journal, 1996): ‘Amazon is creating a database that doesn’t exist anywhere else. Book publishers have never had much market data about readers, and some are already salivating for a peek into Amazon’s files'” (Kotha, p. 6). “Amazon. com is considered to have one of the best senior management teams in the industry. Heavy reliance on stock options in employee compensation packages (and a [once] high-flying stock attracting lots of press attention) has enabled Amazon. com to fill its ranks with very motivated and bright people looking to ‘make a difference’ in the world of e-commerce” (Balanced Scorecard, p. 1). “Meanwhile, Amazon’s board is facing mounting criticism for apparently never having questioned Bezos on strategy, judgement, or financial matters.

The board is too small, too clubby, and lacks the necessary independence to make serious judgement or interventions in Amazon’s affairs. The board is too heavy with venture capitalists [that] are looking to cash out rather than build long-term shareholder value. [Critics also] decry the lack of retail experience on the board. All of this is complicated by the large ownership stake of Bezos, who holds some 32% of the Company’s stock. That stake is a serious obstacle to anyone looking to shake up the board. The board certainly has a lot of brainpower.

But it remains a tiny body to run a Company with thousands of employees and a $4 billion market capitalization” (Eads, p. 1). Another concerning trend is customer churn increasing while repeat business declines. However, “sequential revenue growth has slowed meaningfully for most e-tailers in recent quarters” (D’Eathe, p. 3), possibly indicating that the increased customer churn and declining repeat business are more a symptom of the general decline in the U. S. economy, as opposed to an internal weakness of Amazon. If Amazon can capitalize half as well on the myriad of large retailing opportunities before it as it has to date, it can own the space. However, the Company must execute flawlessly on its march toward profitability and overcome early signs of a possible slowing in the U. S. online commerce activity” (Reamer, p. 1). It would be the desired outcome for Amazon to use its competitive strengths (powerful brand name, management experience and distribution and technology infrastructure) to achieve its objectives.

Amazon current stated objectives are: 1) To put customer satisfaction first by using the Internet to transform book buying into the fastest, easiest, and most enjoyable shopping experience possible; and 2) To sell anything that can be sold on the Web. These objectives are reasonable. However, objectives should be specific and measurable. Some alternative objectives would be to focus the Company’s resources toward achieving profitability by the fourth quarter of 2000 (an annual objective), and to increase profitability by 5 percent per year for the next 3 years (long-term objective).

These objectives would give meaningful, measurable goals that management would need to obtain, or it would require management to re-evaluate the Company’s objectives or the Company’s strategy to achieve the objectives. With the aforementioned objectives in mind, the Company needs to implement a strategy to achieve the desired results. It is necessary to evaluate alternative strategies before selecting the actual strategy to implement. The SWOT or TOWS, SPACE, Grand Strategy, IE, and QSPM Matrices are tools to help in the evaluation and selection of alternative strategies.

The matrices indicate that Amazon is in a strong competitive position, and that the Company should build and grow. The matrices indicate that, despite Amazon’s financial position, the Company has some distinct competitive advantages in a high-growth or unstable industry. Some strategies for companies that fit this profile are backward, forward and horizontal integration, market penetration, market development, product development and joint venture. One strategy that would fit into the aforementioned categories would be international expansion.

Expanding internationally is a market penetration strategy in which a company introduces its present products or services into new geographic areas. “As it stands, Amazon. com is well-positioned to remain the world leader in both the development of e-commerce strategy and its implementation” (Balanced Scorecard, p. 6). There are several advantages to selecting this strategy. For instance, “Amazon has invested heavily in product development in the United States, building a state-of-the-art Web site that is generally considered the best in e-commerce.

This technology is highly scalable and has been used for each new market the Company has entered. Furthermore, much of the personalization technology and U. S. content has already been created, and can be shared across markets. By leveraging this existing technology and infrastructure, Amazon has been able to keep product development costs low. Amazon also benefits from certain centralized costs that can be leveraged across multiple markets. [For instance], the Company does not have to hire a new team of engineers for every new market it enters, as it already has a base working out of Seattle.

Clearly, these streamlining efforts give Amazon a significant advantage over single country e-tailers” (Becker, p. 5). For all of its strengths, the strategy of international expansion does have some weaknesses. For instance, “In the United States, Amazon built its brand essentially free through public relations and word-of-mouth advertising. Clearly, the Company benefits from its global brand – having shipped products to over 200 countries in the past five years.

However, in Europe [for instance], e-commerce has not taken off as much, and Amazon will never be able to replicate the hype and excitement that it received in the United States during the ‘Internet bubble. ‘ Furthermore, Amazon must spend aggressively in each of its countries because media audiences are less likely to cross borders” (Becker, p. 9). Amazon is not in the financial position to spend aggressively to achieve additional revenues, and, even if it were, the additional revenues alone would not help Amazon to reach its objective to achieve profitability.

For this reason, an alternative strategy was selected for implementation. The strategy that was selected was a hybrid strategy of product development and joint venture. As was previously mentioned in the EFE Matrix evaluation, a tremendous opportunity for platform monetization exists for Amazon. The Company could sell “access to either its customer base, brand, inventory management, or customer service and order fulfillment infrastructure (or all of them simultaneously), then the economics of the Amazon. om business model could be a lot better than 2-3% margin. Operating margin could then start to creep toward double digits over time, which would indeed support a premium valuation relative to other retailers” (Reamer, p. 6). Amazon has recently entered into two such deals. One deal was with Toys “R” Us and the other was with Borders Group. “Under the terms of the strategic partnership between [Amazon] and [Borders], [Amazon] will assume fulfillment and inventory for the co-branded Borders. com Web site. Amazon. om will be the seller of record, providing inventory, fulfillment, site content, and customer service for the co-branded site. The new site will continue to offer content unique to Borders. com, including store location information and in-store event calendars” (Legg, p. 3). “With the announcement of its e-commerce partnership with ToysRus. com last year, Amazon launched into an innovative e-business services model that represents a win-win scenario for both Amazon and its retailer customers. As in the case with ToysRus. om, the Company has leveraged its core assets to provide three critical components of a successful e-commerce strategy to retailers, including: (1) a scalable and proven e-commerce technology platform, (2) marketing capabilities in terms of access to 30 million e-commerce buyers at Amazon, and (3) outstanding back-end products fulfillment capabilities (that represent one of the Company’s core differentiators versus competitive e-commerce distribution capabilities). In turn, retailers typically enjoy similar core competencies in their land-based retailing business, namely merchandising, pricing control and inventory risk.

As with the ToysRus. com relationship, both companies leverage the strengths of their respective business models to share in the costs of conducting e-commerce. In this regard, ToysRus. com has the potential to lower its timing to breakeven earnings in its e-commerce business, while Amazon has the potential to scale the number of e-commerce orders through its fixed-cost distribution network, thereby increasing the likelihood of breakeven earnings [by the fourth quarter of 2001]” (Patel, p. ). In addition to the aforementioned justifications for selecting this strategy, is the fact that the QSPM Model favored this strategy over the international expansion strategy. The platform monetization strategy yielded an attractiveness score of 6. 30, as compared to a score of 5. 15 for international expansion, primarily due to reasons already mentioned.

The only drawback to this strategy was a “report that the key finding signaling a challenge to Amazon’s growth is that consumers view the online retailer as an outlet for media products-books, CDs, and videos-rather than as a store carrying an array of items such as kitchenware, garden furniture and hardware tools” (Junnarkar, p. 1). However, the advantages appear to far outweigh the disadvantages. If Amazon is able to formalize several more deals with other traditional retailers, then the Company’s financial performance should drastically improve.

Finally, implementation of this strategy will be relatively easy, as the Company has already began to implement the strategy on a small scale. There should be few management conflicts to work through, as there should be no political maneuverings to obtain additional resources to grow one department over another. If properly implemented, this strategy should help Amazon to achieve its objectives to focus the Company’s resources toward achieving profitability by the fourth quarter of 2000, and to increase profitability by 5 percent per year for the next 3 years.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoples Legal Defense Fund

In the following pages, I will discuss the history, debate, past and current public opinion, and how it applies to American ideology and opposing values. Both sides have a fair amount of support and I have included direct quotes and paraphrasing from authors, celebrities, journalists, and ordinary people arguing both sides. The history of the death penalty goes back to the earliest civilizations where it was used to punish all sorts of crimes from robbery, to murder, to different forms of heresy.

In the United States it evolved to just punish murder, treason, and some cases of rape. It has been an issue that has sparked a never ending debate that goes back to colonial times. The general public traditionally supported the death penalty in a majority with only a few politicians speaking out against it (i. e. , Benjamin Rush, Ben Franklin and later on Horace Greeley). Once the U. S. gained independence, each state went back and forth in abolishing and reinstating the death penalty and methods of execution.

The 1960s saw many trials concerning capital punishment cases that led to a ten year halt in executions. In 1965, the American Civil Liberties Unions (ACLU) announcement of their anti-death penalty stance was a sign of things to come. It was particularly important because the ACLU had always neglected to have an opinion on the issue because they believed it was not a civil rights issue. They now determined that capital punishment was inconsistent with underlying values of a democratic system.

They explained that it discriminated against blacks and other minorities and did not comply with the eighth amendment of the constitution, in other words, it was cruel and unusual punishment (Vila, Morris:127). The National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoples Legal Defense Fund (NAACP-LDF) also began to speak out in the mid-sixties. They agreed that the death penalty discriminated against blacks and launched a campaign against the death penalty around the same time.

The LDF poured its resources into aiding death row prisoners which tied up the capital punishment cases for years allowing them to achieve their goal of a moratorium on the death penalty (Vila, Morris:131). From 1967 to 1977, there were no executions anywhere in the United States because of groups like these that rallied to oppose it, the particularly low public support of it, and a number of supreme court cases that decided in the favor of the abolitionist movement. One crucial case was Witherspoon v.

Illinois in 1968. The supreme court ruled that prospective jurors who oppose the death penalty can not automatically be excluded from juries in possible capital punishment cases. The court said that having jurors that oppose the death penalty is part of a fair, impartial jury as dictated by the Sixth Amendment. Some dissenters claimed that people who were ethically opposed to the death penalty were biased because they would never vote to give the death penalty to people who deserved it.

Some historians say that this marked the first time that the supreme court was persuaded by public opinion against capital punishment. The following statement was made by Justice Potter Stewart who spoke for the majority, In a nation less than half of whose people believe in the death penalty, a jury composed exclusively of such people cannot speak for the communityIn its quest for a jury capable of imposing the death penalty, the State produced a jury uncommonly willing to condemn a man to die (Gottfried:60).

Scholars and lawyers also thought this would be the end of capital punishment for good because the courts willingness to accept people who fundamentally opposed the death penalty, but this turned out not to be true because of details in the decision that allowed courts and legislatures to work around it. The 1972 case of Furman v Georgia was seen as a complete victory for abolitionists at the time, but proved to be more complicated than it appeared.

It said that the death penalty, as it was administered, violated the Eighth Amendments because it was cruel and unusual punishment and violated the Fourteenth Amendment because it did not guarantee equal protection under the law (Costanzo:18). The crucial part of this statement was .. as it was administered because it left the law open to be revised and then reinstated if in compliance with the Constitution. The important thing to realize was that the court did not say that the death penalty itself was unconstitutional, it said the current way it was being administered was unconstitutional.

The court said that juries were not given adequate guidance in imposing a death sentence and the jury systems were different in every state. This did put a halt to all executions in the country, but only until the laws were re-written. Many states rewrote their death penalty laws that were all deemed acceptable only four years later. The apparent abolition of the death penalty was very short lived.

After many states changed their laws concerning the death penalty, criminals sentenced to death, and then given life sentences, were put back on death row. In Gregg v. Georgia, the Supreme Court decided that under the new revised laws regarding capital punishment cases that the death penalty was indeed constitutional. The new laws stated that juries had to be under the guidance of a trial court during decision making in the death penalty phase and also there was to be a mandatory state appellate court review of all death sentences (Vila, Morris:161). Justice Stewart even pointed out that public opinion had flip-flopped since the late sixties and early seventies and there was now heavy support for capital punishment (Gottfried:62).

The Supreme Court was not only persuaded by public opinion in this case, but came right out and sited public opinion polls as a reason for the courts decision. The first person to die under the new court decision was Garry Gilmore. For the general public he was the perfect example of someone who deserved the death penalty because of his blatant apathy towards human life. This confirmed the public consensus that in certain extreme cases, the death penalty is the only reasonable punishment. The case of Ted Bundy is another example.

He was a serial killer that was responsible for the deaths of 50 young women and kidnapping a 12 year old girl. There was no doubt that the majority of Americans thought the death penalty was appropriate for him and other cases like his. Despite the support of the majority of the public supporting capital punishment, many politicians and organizations still condemned the death penalty throughout the eighties and nineties. Groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, religious figures like the Pope John Paul II and Mother Theresa, politicians like Jimmy Carter and Mario Cuomo all publicly stand against the death penalty.

In the eighties, there were court cases that concerned specific issues regarding the death penalty such as the execution of minors and mentally handicapped people. This is one of the many issues I will discuss in the next section of this paper that deals with the different arguments of the debate. I have separated the arguments regarding the death penalty debate into two separate categories: the issues concerning the moral and social aspects of the debate and the issues concerning legal and constitutional aspects.

A good place to start in the moral and social realm of the debate would be the issue of the death penalty as a deterrent. Aside from the need for justice and the safety of society, this is the reason the death penalty exists. Opponents of the death penalty say that fear of punishment will not stop people from committing horrendous crimes for a few reasons. The first is that people who engage in the type of crimes punishable by death are not rational people and/or are not rationally considering the consequences when committing the crime.

The second one is that the alternative to the death sentence, which would be life imprisonment without parole, actually might sound worse to someone that is considering the crime. Supporters of the death penalty say that fear of being put to death does deter would be murderers from pulling the trigger. Some cite statistics that crime has gone done after death penalty laws are enacted, but the opponents have said that overall, it hasnt changed that much.

An important point that supporters contend is that the death penalty doesnt apply to all murders, but just the especially horrific ones, so it might deter potential kidnappers and rapists from taking those extra steps. They also believe that the fear of death is a fundamental human motive that everyone, including crazed murderers, will consider. In an article in New Republic, former New York City mayor Edward Koch gives an example of a confessed murderer Luis Vera. He shot and killed neighbor Rosa Velez when she found him robbing her apartment.

Yeah I shot her, she knew me and I knew I wouldnt go to the chair. Another aspect in this realm of the debate is retribution vs. revenge: Is it morally just to kill someone for killing? Opponents say capital punishment for murderers is simply revenge and is just state-sanctioned murder. Their argument is simply – two wrongs dont make a right. Supporters would argue the eye for an eye theory – if you take someones life, yours shall be taken too. This is just a simple question of how far you personally take the idea of forgiveness.

Many clergymen and women have addressed this issue using religious references to support either side. Sister Helen Prejean (author of Dead Man Walking) makes an obvious point: it is curious that those who so readily invoke the eye for an eye, life for a life passage are quick to shun other biblical prescriptions that also call for death, arguing that modern societies have evolved over three thousand or so years since biblical times and no longer consider such exaggerated and archaic punishments appropriate.

She is basically saying that anyone who cites the eye for an eye law because it is in the Bible also has to support the death penalty for pick-pocketing and different forms of heresy. Most people would assume a Christian to turn the other cheek, but in an essay published in The Death Penalty – Opposing Viewpoints, Charles W. Colson insists that capital punishment is necessary in extreme cases: I believe that God requires capital justice, at least in the case of premeditated murder where there is no doubt of the offenders guilt.

This is, after all, the one crime in the Bible where no restitution was possible. * You cant debate the issue of the death penalty without considering the issue of race and class. According to Amnesty International (in the late nineties), African Americans make up about 12 percent of the population, they are almost half of the countrys death row population. In southern states they are even higher, reaching almost sixty percent of the death row population. The reason could simply be that Blacks commit more crimes than whites, which could, in turn, relate to certain class issues.

But many people who oppose the death penalty do not believe this to be the case. They contend that it is the conscious or subconscious prejudice of white jurors and the prosecutors seeking the death penalty. There is evidence that they are much more likely to seek the death penalty when the victim is white and the accused is black. Also blacks who are convicted of killing whites are more sentenced to death than any other kinds of offenders (Gottfried:51).

The argument to this is that these statistics are misleading because of added circumstances that make it much more complicated. I just dont have the space to dive into that here! Another major complaint about the application of the death penalty is that it is unfair to those who dont have big budgets. Thats what capital punishment really means: those who aint got the capital, get the punishment, convicted murderer and death row inmate Mumia Abu Jamal contends in the spoken word CD accompanying his book All Things Censored (2000).

Accused criminals that can not afford a lawyer to represent them are appointed a lawyer by the court, but it is well known that in most cases, lawyers appointed by the court will not put the same effort into the defense that lawyers someone like O. J. Simpson san buy. So defendants from a lower class will not have the same defense as someone who can afford an expensive, prestigious lawyer. You could say that the cause for the abundance of poor people on death row is because of the obvious reason that poorer people are more inclined to commit crimes in general, including the harsher crimes that are punished by the death penalty.

Some opponents focus on limiting the cases that the death penalty can be applied to. The 1988 case of Thompson v. Oklahoma, the Supreme Court ruled that minors could be put to death (Vila, Morris:232). Soon after, James Terry Roach was executed for a crime he committed when he was seventeen. In Penry v.. Lynaugh a year later, they decided that a mentally handicapped person was not protected under the Eighth Amendment, either. The defendant wasnt capable of reading or writing and his confession was written by the police.

Some people feel that certain crimes are so bad, that even though the person might not have been in a normal mental capacity for whatever reason, society needs to be protected from them and incarcerating them is not enough. One more simple issue concerning morality and society is the issue of innocent people getting executed. Some people think that it is better to let some guilty people go than execute even one innocent person. Many death penalty opponents say that the capital punishment should never be used in a case where the jury or judge is not 100% sure of guilt.

They say that, because it is impossible to ever be 100% sure about anything, the death penalty should not be used when someone might be innocent (deathpenalty. org) The other side argues that more innocent lives will be saved in the long run if murderers are executed or possibly deterred by strict capital justice. There are certain legal and constitutional issues that rise when discussing capital punishment. The Eighth Amendment is consistently brought up by abolitionists because they believe that all death sentences are cruel and unusual punishment.

Also the Fourteenth Amendment and Fifth Amendment is brought up because they believe that defendants are not getting equal protection under the law and/or due process of law for the racial and class reasons stated previously. The Supreme Court has determined that with all the opportunities for appeals and reviews that both of those concerns are met under the constitution according their decision in Gregg v. Georgia (1976). A crucial issue for both sides of the debate is the length of time between the time criminals get convicted and the time they are executed.

Many people were outraged at the fact that Ted Bundy remained alive for about ten years while his appeals went through. Both sides think that the ability to have appeals is necessary but people who support the death penalty generally think it should be shorter while opponents say that a long process is necessary to ensure fairness. This ties into another dispute regarding the length of time on death row. Supporters of the death penalty dont believe that society should be paying for prisoners who committed horrific crimes to live out their lives in prison .

The abolitionist argument against that is that the death penalty process of appeals actually costs more than to support a prisoner for the duration of his or her life. So the pro-death penalty side argues back that the appeals process should be shorter because it is costing society (including the innocent victims family) so much tax money. Of course, these few pages come no where near covering all the issues surrounding the debate, but they are the most outstanding issues that people are concerned about. Are you in favor of the death penalty for a person convicted of murder?

This was one of the questions asked for the Gallop poll over the years concerning the death penalty. Since the late 50s, the publics answer of yes to this this question has steadily risen. The percentage of people supporting the death penalty was barely over 50% in the sixties and rose to about eighty percent in the late eighties/early nineties, and then sinking down a little in more recent years (http://www. gallup. com/poll/releases/pr000224. asp). The social atmosphere of the sixties was naturally not the kind that would likely support a government policy like the death penalty.

It did not fit the liberal agenda of Lyndon Johnson or the New Left and was not exactly the best representation of peace and love. Ted Gottfried sites The Encyclopedia of American Crime who asserted that public opinion was overwhelmingly opposed to the death penalty [in the mid-sixties]. This broke an ongoing trend for centuries of the public supporting the death penalty. This shift in public opinion was recognized by everyone, from Johnsons Commission on the Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice to Justice Stewart and the Supreme Court.

As I mentioned before, the 1968 case of Witherspoon v. Illinois was the first time that the Supreme Court acknowledged the influence of public opinion in deciding their verdict in a related case. Also Lyndon B. Johnsons Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice recognized the decline in popularity of the death penalty in its 1967 report, The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society, and acknowledged the many problems (that abolitionists say) come with it (Vila, Morris: Document 50). 966 actually marked the extreme low in the support of the death penalty: 42% (www. gallup. com). The support for the death penalty continued to remain low in comparison to modern support, although it rose a bit in the late sixties. It was the time period between 1972 and 1976 where a major shift took place again. And again, the courts responded. In Gregg v. Georgia, the Supreme Court pointed out the reforms made by states in their capital punishment laws and determined that the death penalty was indeed constitutional under these laws.

Justice Stewart admitted the influence of public opinion on the case: citing the recent polls showing heavy support for the death penalty (up to 66% in 1976), he said that the death penalty was a legitimate expression of societys moral outrage towards brutal murders and horrific crimes (Gottfried:63). What is peculiar about the 1972 court decision and the 1976 court decision is that within a span of four years, the Supreme Court completely changed their point of view on capital punishment.

In 1972 they were claiming that the court was interpreting the constitution according to the evolving standards of decency in society, referring to the view that the death penalty was inhumane. But in 1976, they responded to societys moral outrage concerning the leniency of the criminal justice system on the most horrific crimes. Public opinion must have really taken a big shift in the seventies. These examples show the blatant effect of public opinion on decisions made in even the highest court in the country.

Support for the death penalty continued gaining popularity and was endorsed by Ronald Reagan in the Eighties, when it reached its peak at 79% in 1988 and then 80% in 1994 (www. gallup. com). Toady, support for the death penalty is somewhere in the high sixties to low seventies in percentage of people who support it, according to polls. This means that somewhere between 2/3 and of the population say they support the death penalty when polled. But Mark Costanzo, Ph. D. (author of Just Revenge), argues that there are complications to those statistics.

He first accuses some sectors of the American public of not considering the entire issue when deciding what position to take. He asserts that they only take into account their belief in the eye for an eye law, and ignore other complications that could cause it to be unjust. Costanzo points out that the public recognizes the strong implications of race and class issues concerning the death penalty, 45% of Americans believe that a black person is more likely than a white person to receive the death penalty for the same crime, and 60% believe that poor people are more likely to be sentenced to death than wealthy people.

He also recognizes that the answer to the one question of the death penalty in the case of murder include a group of people that could hold very different beliefs. For example, some people could support the death penalty in case of any or most murders, while others only support in very extreme cases of horrendous crimes (Costanzo:116). Nevertheless, the fact of the matter is that people did look at capital punishment in a different way through the eighties and nineties and still do today.

The most compelling reason for the rise in support is the rise of the crime rate in proportion to it (Costanzo:122). As the crime rate rose, people might have begun supporting the death penalty to vent their frustration and come down hard on crime. As a result of these rising crime rates, politicians used the gimmick of having a hard stance on crime more often, which usually included the support of the death penalty as a deterrent. Many elements of the death penalty relate to ideology conflicts in American culture.

The issues surrounding it cross over the obvious lines of left and right, probably more so than other issues that we could have chosen for this research paper. The first issue I will discuss is crime and punishment (not the Dostoevsky novel) and how it relates to different ideologies. Conservatives have had a history of being tougher on crime than liberals and this generalization follows through on the topic of capital punishment. They believe that order in society is crucial and must come before civil liberties and peaceful notions like two wrongs dont make a right if need be.

The common pro-execution stance taken by conservatives can also be looked at as an extension of their tougher stances on crime in general. This position is taken in order to uphold traditional values (the accumulated wisdom of the ages) and to ensure that society stays civil as a whole. In general, all these conservative views boil down to the belief that it is better to kill a few innocent people as a result of tough legislation and save more innocent lives in the long run than to let guilty murderers run wild.

The liberal take on this would be just the opposite: better to let some guilty people go than execute someone who is innocent. They focus on the issues of race and class in relation to capital punishment (and the justice system in general) and some even take notice to particular outspoken convicts whose cases may raise an eyebrow. For example, Mumia Abu Jamal has gained support in the nineties from the political left because of his fishy conviction in 1981 and his prior radical politics.

Part of the reason for this support is the general liberal belief in ones right to free speech and acceptance of radical politics geared towards social change. Because liberal politics are based on the idea that all the accomplishments of the past few hundred years (freeing of slaves, womens suffrage, labor rights) are based around progressive social change. Conversely, conservatives believe that their grasp on tradition is the one thing keeping society from teetering over the edge into utter chaos and immorality.

These beliefs apply directly to the death penalty debate. Conservatives say that they are doing society a favor by being tough on crime (using capital punishment) while liberals say that individual human rights as well as issues of race and class are not being observed. When compared to other debates that become conservative vs. liberal ideology the death penalty doesnt quite match up. Conservatives generally take the pro-life side of The abortion debate while liberals generally take the side of pro-choice.

In this case, the conservative viewpoint takes the side of the individual (or the unborn fetus) while the liberal stance defends the greater society (the right to have a choice). Its seems that conservatives are taking the side of human rights while liberals are looking out for greater society. This obviously is a direct effect of the Christian influence on the conservative side. It is curious that this same influence doesnt affect the death penalty debate in the same way. As I mentioned before, there is a significant religious influence on the death penalty debate, but it is mostly supportive of the liberal side (anti-death penalty side).

Like any other political debate, there is no black and white on who supports what side and on exactly what each side believes, mostly because everyone is different and no one sees anything exactly the same way. Society has an interesting way of evolving that defines where people stand, what ideology they endorse, what political party they vote for, and where they stand on specific issues. The public opinion in the last few years few years has shown a little less support for the death penalty than the late eighties and early nineties and we (down to the mid to low sixties in percentage).

Today, it is nearly impossible to predict which way public opinion on capital punishment will turn next, but it is likely to be influenced in some way by recent terrorist attacks. There are not too many people on either side of the political spectrum that think that the people responsible for the terrorist attacks do not deserve to die. However, it will always remain a controversial issue with concern to crime, human rights, racism, society, punishment, morality, religion, and anything else you might consider important in political and social concerns.

E-commerce solution for a business

An e-commerce solution for a business is the incorporation of all aspects of the business operation into an electronic format. Many well-established businesses have been selling on-line for years. For example, Dell Computers Corp. , has been selling computers directly to end-users for years. Currently, Dell is selling excessive of 1 million dollars worth of computers everyday on the World Wide Web (WWW). When a business has incorporated an e-commerce solution, the business will experience a lower operation cost while at the same time increasing its profit.

The e-commerce solution will allow businesses to eliminate unnecessary aperwork. All paperwork and data can be transformed into an electronic format. Thus, it will eliminate valuable shelf space and data can be searched and accessed in matter of seconds. E-commerce will also automates the sales process. Customers can “point & click” on the products they wish to purchase, fill out the customer information, and the product will be shipped and received in a matter of few days. The administration department does not have to fill out any paperwork because the customer had done it already.

Thus, the efficiency will be greatly improved. With an e-commerce solution, the business ill be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. People from anywhere in the world with an Internet access will be able to visit the site at any time. They will not be restricted to the “normal” business operating hours. A “brick + mortar” business is normally limited to serving the customers in its local geographical location. With an e-commerce solution, that business will not be limited a geographical restriction, rather it opens itself to the global on-line market.

Essentially, the business’ market exposure will be greatly increased. In conducting my study, I have researched extensively on the Internet for resources. I chose the Internet as my primary research medium because e-commerce is still a fairly new technology. Since it is technology related, the Internet will provide the most recent data available. Printed publications will not be able to adapt to changes as fast and efficient as electronic publications. I researched many e-commerce related web sites along with some companies that conduct statistical studies.

Some of the e-commerce web sites that I looked into are E-Commerce Times, eRetail, and eMarketer. The statistical research firms that I researched are Forrester Research and Jupiter Communication. Both firms provided valuable statistical data that shows the rise of consumers shopping on-line and the predicted dollar amount that will be spent in the coming years. Methods In conducting my study, I completed the following tasks: – I searched extensively on the Internet for sites that are e-commerce related. Upon visiting the sites, I evaluated each site for the contents, thoroughness, and objectiveness.

There are literally hundreds of sites that are devoted to e-commerce. However, after my careful examination of most of them, I narrowed down to four sites that I will research for this report. I have also researched many firms that conduct statistical researches. The two firms that I will be utilizing for this report are Forrester Research and Jupiter Communication. Both firms are known for their preciseness, non-objectiveness, and thoroughness. The statistical data I collected from these two firms will support my recommendation that every business should have an e-commerce solution implemented.

Results From my research, I have developed fifteen reasons why every business should incorporate an e-commerce solution into the business operation. They are listed below. . To Establish A Presence There are approximately 70 million people worldwide that have access to the World Wide Web (WWW). No matter what industry or business one is in, one can not ignore 70 million people. To be part of that on-line community, one would need to be on the WWW for them. Because if one doe not do it, one’s competitor definitely will. 2.

To Network A lot of what passes for business is simply nothing more than making connections with other people. Every smart businessperson knows, it is not what one knows, it is whom one knows. Passing out one’s business card is art of every good meeting and every businessperson can tell more than one story how a chance meeting turned into the big deal. Well, what if one could pass out the business card to thousands, maybe millions of potential clients and partners, saying this is what I do and if you are ever in need of my services, this is how you can reach me. One can, 24 hours a day, inexpensively and simply, on the WWW. . To Make Business Information Available What is basic business information? Think of a Yellow Pages ad. What are one’s business hours? What does one do? How can someone contact the business? What method of payment does one take? Where is the business located? Now think of a Yellow Pages ad where one can have instant communication. What is today’s special? Today’s interest rate? Next week’s parking lot sale information? If one could keep one’s customer informed of every reason why they should do business with them; doesn’t one think one could do more business? One can on the WWW. 4.

To Serve the Customers Making business information available is one of the most important ways to serve the customers. But if one looks at serving the customer, one will find even more ways to use WWW technology. How about making forms available to pre-qualify for loans, or have one’s staff do a search for that classic jazz record one’s customer is looking for, without tying up one’s staff on the phone to take down the information? Allow the customer to punch in sizes and check it against a database that tells him what color of jacket is available in one’s store? All this can be done, simply and quickly, on the WWW. . To Heighten Public Interest One won’t get Newsweek magazine to write up about one’s local store opening, but one might get them to write up one’s Web Page address if it is something new and interesting. Even if Newsweek would write about one’s local store opening, one would not benefit from someone in a distant city reading about it, unless of course, they were coming to one’s town sometime soon. With Web page information, anybody anywhere who can access the Internet and hears about one’s site is a potential visitor to one’s Web site and a potential customer for one’s information there. 6.

To Release Time Sensitive Material What if one’s materials need to be released no earlier than midnight? The quarterly earnings statement, the grand prize winner, the press kit for the much-anticipated film, the merger news? Well, one sent out the materials to the press with “The-do-not-release-before-such-and-such-time” statement and hope for the best. Now the information can be made available at midnight or any time one specifies, with all related materials such as photographs, bios, etc. released at exactly the same time. Imagine the anticipation of “All materials will be made available on our Web site at 12:01 AM”.

The scoop goes to those that wait for the information to be posted not the one who releases one’s information early. 7. To Sell Things Many people think that this is the number one thing to do with the World Wide Web. However, I have made it number seven to make it clear that I think one should consider selling things on the Internet and the World Wide Web after one has done all the things above. Why? Well, the answer is complex but the best way to put it is, does one consider the telephone the best place to sell things? Probably not.

One probably considers the telephone as a tool that allows one to communicate with one’s customer, which in turn helps one sell things. Well, that’s how I think one should consider the WWW. The technology is different, but before people decide to become customers, hey want to know about one, what one does and what one can do for them. Which one can do easily and inexpensively on the WWW? Then one might be able to turn them into customers. 8. To make picture, sound and video available What if one’s widget is great, but people would really love it if they could see it in action?

The album is great but with no airplay, nobody knows that it sounds great? A picture is worth a thousand words, but one does not have the space for a thousand words? The WWW allows one to add sound; pictures and short movie files to one’s company’s info if that will serve one’s potential customers. No rochure will do that. 9. To Reach a Highly Desirable Demographic Market The demographic of the WWW user is probably the highest mass-market demographic available. Usually they are college-educated or being college educated, making a high salary or soon to make a high salary.

It is no wonder that Wired magazine, the magazine of choice to the Internet community, has no problem getting Lexus and other high-end marketer’s advertising. Even with the addition of the commercial on-line community, the demographic will remain high for many years to come. 10. To Answer Frequently Asked Questions Whoever answers the telephones in ne’s organization can tell one that their time is usually spent answering the same questions over and over again. These are the questions customers and potential customers want to know the answer to before they deal with one.

Post them on a WWW page and one will have removed another barrier to doing business with one and freed up some time for that harried phone operator. 11. To Stay in Contact with Salespeople One’s employees on the road may need up-to-the-minute information that will help them make the sale or pull together the deal. If one knows what that information is, one can keep it posted in complete privacy on he WWW. A quick local phone call can keep one’s staff supplied with the most detailed information, without long distance phone bills and tying up the staff at the home office. 2. To Open International Market One may not be able to make sense of the mail, phone and regulation systems in All the potential international markets, but with an e-commerce solution, one can open up a dialogue with international markets as easily as with the company across the street. As a matter-of-fact, before one goes onto the Web, one should decide how one wants to handle the international business that will come one’s way, because ne’s postings are certain to bring international opportunities to one’s way, whether it is part of one’s plan or not.

Another added benefit; if one’s company has offices overseas, they can access the home offices information for the price of a local phone call. 13. To Create a 24 Hour Service If one has ever remembered too late or too early to call the opposite coast, one knows the hassle. Not all businesses are on the same schedule. Business is worldwide but one’s office hours aren’t. Trying to reach Asia or Europe is even more frustrating. However, Web pages serve the client, customer and partner 24 hours day, seven days a week. No overtime either.

It can customize information to match needs and collect important information that will put one ahead of the competition, even before they get into the office. 14. To Make Changing Information Available Quickly Sometimes, information changes before it gets off the press. Now one has a pile of expensive, worthless paper. Electronic publishing changes with one’s needs. No paper, no ink, no printer’s bill. One can even attach one’s web page to a database, which customizes the page’s output to a database one can change as many times in a day as one needs.

No printed piece can match that flexibility. 15. To Allow Feedback from Customers One passes out the brochure, the catalog, and the booklet. But it doesn’t work. No sales, no calls, no leads. What went wrong? Wrong color, wrong price, wrong market? Keep testing, the marketing books say, and one will eventually find out what went wrong. That’s great for the big boys with deep pockets, but who is paying the bills? One is and one doesn’t have the time or the money to wait for the answer. With a Web page, one can ask for feedback and get it instantaneously with no extra cost.

An instant e-mail response can be built into Web pages and can get the answer while its fresh in one’s customers mind, without the cost and lack of response of business reply mail. Conclusion After detailed analyzing and studying of the effects and benefits of incorporating an e-commerce solution to an existing business, it is clear that an e-commerce solution will benefit the business in every aspect. The implementation of an e-commerce solution will generate a brand new revenue stream, expand the market exposure, and decrease the operation cost. Many Fortune 500 companies, such as Dell Computer Corp. ave already adapted e-commerce into their business operation.

As I have mentioned earlier, Dell Computer Corp. is currently generating over 1 million dollars in revenues from their web-site. Many well-known “brick & mortar” businesses are starting to establish their presence on the web. For example, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, the top book retailer in North America has just launched their web-site earlier this year following the success of Amazon. com. Amazon. com, the top book & music seller on the web, has been referred to have one of the most efficient business operation in the world today.

Looking For A Reason

Is where you are in your working career where you want to be for the rest of your life? The answer to that question is simple for Sammy in the story “A&P” by John Updike. Sammy, like many others in this world, is a young man trying to make some money in a small town. But unlike some, he refuses to be stuck in the same job for many years or possibly the rest of his life. One day while working the register at a local grocery store, Sammy notices three girls walk in. The girls are wearing their bathing suits because the beach is close to the store.

When the girls reach the register the manager notices the girls attire. He walks over to them and argues with them for a moment and then girls leave. Sammy didn’t understand why the manager had such a problem with what the girls were wearing. Suddenly Sammy decides to quit. He takes off his apron and walks out the door. One of the things that caught my attention the most was Updike’s use of imagery in describing Sammy’s working environment.

“The sheep pushing their carts down the aisle-”(34), I thought, was an excellent representation of customers grocery hopping. I could almost see them pushing their carts around the store shopping for things. It seems to me that the customers are like sheep because they don’t really care about what is going on around them. They just want to get their things and go on about their business. Another good example is when Sammy is looking at the girls while they are standing in his aisle. He refers to one of the girl’s chest as “two scoops of vanilla”(36). I think this is an important point because he doesn’t refer to an older oman, who was standing in line before the girls, in such a manner. This shows a male point of view that helps the reader understand how Sammy feels and what is going through his mind during the story.

I think the girls helped give Sammy a reason to quit the grocery store. On one hand, Sammy quit for the girls. He saw how they were treated by the manager and thought he would be the hero by quitting to get back at him. And even though he knew the girls wouldn’t be waiting on him out side the store, he quit none the less. Because n the other hand, he didn’t want to end up like the manager when he got older. I was looking for a reason to quit a job once. I didn’t quit because I thought I was going to be working there for the rest of my life, but because I didn’t like working there anymore. I decided to not go in one day and when the manager called I said I had a science project to do. When she asked if I was going to come in ever again I said no. That was a long time ago and I would never quit a job in that way again. I was young then and I basically was just tired of working there.

Sammy’s future is unknown. The question of weather he quit because he thought he would be the girls knight in shining armor, or the fear that he would be stuck in a dead-end job the rest of his life is left up to the reader. Maybe both of the answers are both true. I think even though he thought in the back of his mind that the girls would be outside waiting for him, he knew in his heart that they wouldn’t be there. I don’t think Sammy’s future is in the grocery store business though. One thing is certain though, Sammy’s future is up to him.