WOMEN IN SMALL BUSINESS
Women in Small Business
Women, including Emirati ones, are increasingly starting small businesses in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as the country is credited for having greater gender equality than any other in the gulf region. Almesafri (2019) noted that UAE was promoting and attracting many women entrepreneurs because in 2017, it promised to support the Women Entrepreneur Finance Initiative in the country with a pledged of $50 million, had availed a female-only business setup package in freezones, government initiatives focused on attaining gender equality by 2021, and it provided additional support to women entrepreneurs through business training and partnership opportunities. Mona Ataya is one of the leading women entrepreneurs in UAE that has benefited from this conducive business atmosphere.
Approach and Reasons for Selecting Mona Ataya
Mona Ataya is a woman entrepreneur from the United Arab Emirates who founded one of the leading online shops in the Middle East. After searching the internet for some of the most influential small and medium enterprise (SME) entrepreneurs from the country, I came across her as one of the most prominent businesswomen, not only in her country, but in the region as well. Ataya has tenaciously build her startup, called mumzworld.com and won several accolades for her achievement as a visionary leader in business, including the SME Executive of the year in 2013 and the SME leader of the year award in 2018, in addition to being recognized as one of the 100 Most Powerful Arabic women in 2018 (Wadhwa, A. 2019). Her ability to create a recognizable brand serving a niche market of underserved mothers, skillfully working with other talented people, and her gift to attract and retain top talent have been instrumental in her business success, the reason why she was selected as an outstanding woman in small business. As an outstanding business leader, Ataya is inspiring other women in the Islamic world to venture into business, which of traditionally perceived to be a man’s world, and therefore motivating other women to venture into business and pursue their passions in life.
Description of Mona Ataya and Her Business
Mona Ataya is married and a mother of three boys, two of whom are twins. She is a graduate of marketing and commerce. She joined Procter & Gamble at 20, shortly after graduating and forgoing her intentions to enroll for a graduate course, and was based in Cincinnati in the United States. Thereafter, she joined Johnson and Johnson, a renowned firm in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) where she manages portfolios of global brands while in Europe and MENA regional assignment. After a stint in employment, she co-founded Bayt.com, an online recruitment platform in the Gulf and Middle East region, helping people find all kinds of jobs.
In 2011, she and four others founded mumzworld.com, an online retail outlet that specialized in items for children up to the age of 12 years (Mumzworld.com 2019). As an online baby shop, mumzworld.com is set up as a bilingual (English and Arabic) online market place from where proprietary and regional brands of mothers and babies products can be purchased. After an initial stock of 15,000 items, the firm has grown its inventory over time, to reach 250,000 products from more than 4,500 global brands. Notable brands in its inventory include Chicco, Disney, Lamaze, Lego, Mattel, and Phillips Avent, among many others. Although the firm is headquartered in Dubai and delivers to UAE customers free of charge for purchases below AED200, it serves the neighboring countries in the Middle East and delivers via courier for a charge.
Why Mona Ataya Decided to Start Mumzworld.com
Ataya decided to start this business after being dissatisfied with the range of products and related information in the marketplace, frustrated by crowded malls, and challenged by shopping on several online stores for items for her boys. In an interview, she revealed that Arabic mothers were underserved by the retail market because they could not access quality products, Arabic information about the products, and lack of a mothers’ community that could share product experiences (Ataya, M. 2019 a). She wished that she could get all she needed under one roof, where she could ‘search, compare, and buy’, access real transparent objective information to help make informed purchasing decisions, and a community of mothers on single a platform. Consequently, as she indicated in her interview, she envisaged a central online platform from where mothers in the Middle East could search for a wide range of products, compare prices, purchase, and have them delivered to their homes speedily, conveniently, and cost-effectively (Ataya, M. 2019 b).
What Mona Ataya Expected to Gain
Ataya expected to gain customer loyalty and personal satisfaction for her role in making shopping for mothers convenient, affordable, and swift while allowing them to continue with their most important duty, that of nurturing young ones. She revealed in an interview that her obsession with customers was driven by Mark Twain’s quote ‘The two most important things in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out WHY’(Ataya, M. 2019 a). She also expected to uplift women in the region through entrepreneurial mentorship and community-based initiatives, while creating jobs with flexible working hours and opportunities to work from home through her internship program. This way, she felt that she would make a difference in the community.
Analysis of Issues and Recommendations
Ataya has several personal and leadership qualities that have propelled her to business success. She is passionate about what she does, highly committed to her women empowerment mission, and has a strong desire to do the right thing; have a positive impact in the community (Ataya, M. 2019 a). These skills have made her creative and courageous in her entrepreneurship (Lupsa-Tataru, D.A. 2014). Moreover, her entrepreneurial motivation emanated from a desire for self-fulfillment and self-realization rather than the need for flexible working hours and frustration with employment, meaning that the pull factors have been more influential than the push factors (Al Matroushi, H., Jabeen, F., Matloub, A. & Tehsin, M. 2020; Tlaiss, H.A. 2015).
In addition, Ataya is a transformational leader because she inspires women, coaches and mentors workmates, and encourages them to keep learning, and seeks to change society. This intertwines transformational leadership with social entrepreneurial behavior (Muralidharan, E. & Pathak, S., 2018). These leadership qualities were instilled in her during her childhood and through her international education experience.
She is also an ethical leader because she strives to deliver what she promised her customers. Notably, having promised everyday low pricing on her wares, she strives to match the customers’ expectations by seeking suppliers and implementing organizational processes that can deliver the best prices in the regional market. In this regard, she also values honesty, loyalty, and a sense of community, which is reflective of her Arabic and Islamic culture (Tlaiss, H.A. 2015).
However, Emirati women like Ataya continued to experience challenges in the business world because of cultural, religious, traditional, and social dictates (Kargwell, S.A., 2012). The negative stereotypes associated with women entrepreneurship rather than women’s employment still abound in the country (Al Matroushi, H., et al. 2018). Moreover, she is expected to fulfill her domestic duties in conformity with the cultural and social expectations, despite being a business leader running a fast-growing enterprise. For this reason, she has to balance her personal ambitions and societal expectations.
From Ataya’s experiences, it is recommended that Emirati women capitalize on the entrepreneurial opportunities and environment that their country and government provide. In addition, it recommended that Emirati women be motivated by higher-value ambitions rather than material success. Moreover, it is recommended that they persist in their entrepreneurial and leadership pursuits, while balancing those with sociocultural and societal expectations, to succeed in their dual role.
Mona Ataya has broken several cultural, gender, social, and economic barriers with her successful startup. While she nurtured her entrepreneurial ambitions through education and international exposure, she has conformed mostly to the Arabic and Islamic expectations of the Emirati society. Her drive and success have inspired may Emirati women, giving her a sense of self-realization.
Al Matroushi, H., Jabeen, F., Matloub, A. and Tehsin, M., 2020. Push and pull model of women entrepreneurship: empirical evidence from the UAE. Journal of Islamic Accounting and Business Research, pp. 1-22.
Almesafri, M., 2019. Why now is a great time to be a female entrepreneur in the UAE. [Online] (updated 26 Dec. 2019) Available at: <https://gulfbusiness.com/now-great-time-female-entrepreneur-uae/> [Accessed 7 Oct. 2020].
Ataya, M., 2019 a. Interviewed by Tariq Qureishy for MAD talks, 21 May. Available at: <https://blog.mumzworld.com/inside-mumzworld/meet-mona-ataya-mumzworld-ceo/> [Accessed 7 Oct. 2020].
Ataya, M., 2019 b. Interviewed by Victor Sunyer for Delta Partners, 21 May. Available at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bce2QBWD9Y8> [Accessed 7 Oct. 2020].
Coulson-Thomas, C., 2017. Leadership for creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. Effective Executive, 20(2), pp.12-30.
Kargwell, S.A., 2012. Women entrepreneurs breaking through: Push and pull within UAE cultural context. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(17), pp. 122-131.
Lupsa-Tataru, D.A., 2014. Entrepreneurship and Creativity. A Comparative Study. Bulletin of the Transilvania University of Brasov. Economic Sciences. Series V, 7(2), p.139.
Matroushi, H.A., Jabeen, F. and All, S.A., 2018. Prioritising the factors promoting innovation in Emirati female-owned SMEs: AHP approach. International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 22(3), pp.220-250.
Mumzworld.com, 2019. About us. [Online] (updated 2019) Available at: <https://www.mumzworld.com/en/about-us/> [Accessed 7 Oct. 2020].
Muralidharan, E. and Pathak, S., 2018. Sustainability, transformational leadership, and social entrepreneurship. Sustainability, 10(2), pp. 567-589.
Tlaiss, H.A., 2015. Entrepreneurial motivations of women: Evidence from the United Arab Emirates. International Small Business Journal, 33(5), pp.562-581.
Wadhwa, A., 2019. Top 5 women founders in the UAE. [Online] (updated 21 Jul. 2019) Available at: <https://www.sme10x.com/10x-industry/top-5-women-founders-in-the-uae> [Accessed 7 Oct. 2020].
Emerging technologies in human fitness will continue disrupting the future of the health club in unprecedented ways. The technological advances that appear to increase at an unmatched rate continue to affect virtually all aspects of the human life, and more so, human health. The innovations have altered the manner in which individuals communicate, listen to music, search for information, eat, and exercise. Unsurprisingly, fitness club owners have had to make significant changes to accommodate the influx of personal fitness innovations. The business aspect of fitness has ostensibly always been concerned with providing a spacious room equipped with metal apparatuses where individuals can perform their workouts, which is ordinarily in exchange for a stipulated regular fee. However, in the contemporary fitness world, fitness club owners will find themselves having to find novel ways of keeping up with the unyielding flow of innovative solutions and products while simultaneously satisfying the shifting desires of their clientele.
The paper will be organized into four sections: 1) background, 2) trends in innovative personal fitness technology, 3) literature review and 4) discussions and conclusion. The background section will provide a brief overview of the recent novelties in personal fitness technology as an introductory segment, concerning fitness management. The second section will outline the trend of some of the most disruptive personal fitness innovations in the recent past. The literature review section will offer a detailed analysis of how the technologies will affect club owners, with the final sections discussing the challenges and providing a deduction from the analysis.
Technological innovations that are rising at an unparalleled pace continue to affect almost all parts of human life. They have, and continue, to alter the way individuals go on with their lives (Greenberg and LoBianco 318). Predictably, the impact has extended to the fitness industry, with fitness club owners being significantly affected from a business perspective. Currently, the pertinent questions are: what challenges will the technological disruptions in personal fitness technology bring to fitness club owners, and what will the future health clubs look like? Despite a completely automated and individually customized fitness gym experience remaining a future dream, various recent technological advancements are changing the industry, altering the way club owners have to approach their establishments, and laying the ground for this subsequent revolution (Pedragosa n.p.). Fitness data and wearables, “smart equipment,” and mobile technology, are all molding the manner in which fitness club owners and equipment manufacturers design their operations today.
Trends in innovative personal fitness technology
Akin to other industries, the global health club industry has been affected by the surge in innovative personal fitness technology. However, while the perception would be that the pervasion of personal fitness technology would adversely affect the health club fitness industry, the contrary is true. According to Research & Markets, the global health club industry is forecasted to advance at a 7.8 percent CAGR between 2020 and 2025 (1). Clients are willing to increase their expenditure on the fitness club, with the aspect of health playing a vital role to influence market growth globally. The increasing number of health clubs equipped with gym and individualized training, as well as the most updated equipment, is appealing to consumers to obtain health and fitness club membership. The trend has a high probability of influencing market growth during the upcoming years. In other words, while the rise of recent discoveries in personal fitness technology poses various challenges for fitness club owners, it simultaneously offers opportunities for growth, as will be discussed in the subsequent section. Currently, there are over 210,000 health clubs globally, all offering fitness services with differing technological degrees (Research & Markets 2). The United States leads the global market with approximately 38, 477 health and fitness clubs (International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association 1). It is no coincidence that the top fitness trend of 2019 in the industry was fitness technology, which is a leveraging factor for most fitness club owners.
Figure 1: Fitness Market Insight
Source: Research & Markets (1)
Currently, smart equipment is taking over the health and fitness club industry at an unprecedented pace. From shoes to shirts, wearable technology is presently embedded in various forms of fitness clothing (Baran and Galka 47). For instance, Athos Inc., an athletic apparel company, has a complete body suit fitted with various tracking sensors linked to an application that indicates which muscles are working and the level of individual exertion during exercise. Focus Motion, another apparel brand, is designing products intended to link with smartwatches to robotically track motion, providing real-time feedback on an individual’s pace or form. Similarly, Bowflex is currently manufacturing “smart” dumbbells that count reps and track weight.
From the trends, it is clear that smart personal training devices, including wearables and automated machines, will progressively become more conventional (Greenberg and LoBianco 319). Consequently, it will be ordinary to continue seeing them being utilized to augment hybrid training frameworks. Here, the implication is that consumers can perform their own workouts at their own locations and in their own time, but coaches and trainers can access and view their workout information from anywhere, offering tips and feedback to provide guidance in the course of their fitness journey. Such devices are proving to be perhaps the biggest game-changers in the fitness industry: artificial intelligence (AI) can offer personalized bio-sensing earphones that utilize real-time feedback technology designed on the consumer’s individual physiology, health goals, and fitness (International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association 1). Besides, the consumers will be able to apply voice commands to alternate between Vi’s cycling and running modes.
However, while coaches and trainers might feel encouraged by the technology since it enables them to achieve better fitness goals for their clients, club owners might feel threatened by the reality that the influx of such technology could be detrimental to their business. While training coaches are confident in a future that has a “robot” trainer within the health clubs, the owners are concerned with issues such as education, integration, and cost (Goldman 13). While such costs are more speculative relative to the probable clash between AI training equipment and human personal trainers, it is evident that the fitness club owners will have to seek solutions to overcome them. Currently, more than ever before, the owners will have to contend with industry disruption. As outlined by Baran and Galka, disruption implies growth, elevation, advancing, moving forward, and increasing (46). Some owners will look at the disruptions positively, as a trend that will help them achieve better outcomes, while others might view it adversely, as an event that interferes with business profitability.
Besides, while market demand for fitness programs is robust, the rise in the number of personal fitness technologies creates a challenge for club health owners. With the increase in technological devices, there is a corresponding rise in online do-it-yourself sessions, where consumers can learn how to work out using the devices devoid of external assistance (Pizzo, Baker and Jones 5). The trend is especially alarming because many health-conscious consumers have included fitness and exercise into their day-to-day regimen. The biggest gym-attending demographic, young adults aged between 26 and 64, has increased, driving demand for health club membership over the period between 2014 and 2019. Advances in innovation and technology continue to evolve business models and consumer behavior, with the industry not being an exception. To serve the market better, club owners will be compelled to embrace the personal fitness technology opportunities, albeit with their ability to surmount various challenges.
First, talent crunch is an aspect of every industry that faces technological disruption at unparalleled levels. As outlined by Baran and Galka, as industries grow, so is the corresponding need for better equipped and trained employees (49). As Market and Research project, the fitness industry would require an additional 60,000 skilled people by 2020 (1). Since the principal selling aspect of the organized sector is the quality of service, it logically follows that it is critical to train employees in the various innovations in personal fitness. The industry is characterized by a high risk of injury and adverse outcomes should anything go wrong. Ordinarily, consumers will only look for the most reliable health clubs committed to safety. Consequently, club owners face the challenge of training and educating employees since it requires significant investment in equipment and finances from them.
Secondly, the aspect of cost cannot be undermined. As the industry progresses and thrives, so does the need to satisfy the rising demand (Pizzo, Baker and Jones 3). Smart devices and AI technologies are quite expensive and it will be essential for fitness club owners to make substantial cash injections to remain competitive. Today, many trainers and coaches encourage the utilization of personalized fitness equipment since it makes their work easier as they can monitor their clients’ physiology, work patterns, and state of health from remote locations. Given that they desire the best outcomes for their clients, they will endorse the use of the innovations, which the owners have to incorporate in their periodic budgets.
Another challenge for club owners emerges in the form of alignment. According to Pizzo, Baker, and Jones, while wearable fitness technology can enhance the consumer experience through increased gamification, social interaction, and accountability, the innovations have to be assimilated carefully to circumvent misalignment between users’ and providers’ perceptions (14). The challenge lies in aligning the innovations because of the rapid pace at which they are emerging and the number of suppliers in those particular niches. For instance, a smartwatch from one supplier might possess superior features and capabilities when compared to others, which might make consumers judge the health club on that basis.
Besides, fitness club owners have to deal with increased instances of misinformation and information overload. As mentioned earlier, the rise of technology has contributed to the ease of information access where every user can search for information regarding any fitness technology they desire (Goldman 13). In turn, users can obtain a lot of information, some of which might be inaccurate. Here, club owners find themselves having to deal with very high expectations, for example, when a consumer learns online that a particular attire can perform some features that are not being offered at his or her current club. Progressive owners can address this challenge by investing in emergent technologies that can expand and enhance the service experience past the physical environment, providing innovations with technology-mediated prospects of engaging consumers.
Similarly, while personal fitness technologies can prove to be beneficial for all stakeholders, they might often prove to be detrimental to health clubs in terms of image. For example, when a health club integrates its fitness systems with individualized ones for consumers, there is the risk of consumers misusing the devices, thereby hindering achievement of the expected goals (International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association 1). Recent innovations in personal fitness technology have augmented the already available discoveries regarding programs, routines, and diets. When utilized with social media, the results can be negative. For instance, Instagram has successfully pushed personalized fitness technologies as more and more celebrities post their individual diets and routines to their millions of followers. Similarly, there are various Instagram fitness experts and models who talk about their journeys towards fitness and how some particular fitness technologies assisted them. Armed with such information, fitness club owners will find themselves having to deal with cases of consumers altering their diets to conform to those they see on social media or attempt to change their work routines, which reflects badly on their current health club’s image. Hence, consumers’ misuse of emerging technologies can be detrimental to the business success of health clubs.
Discussion and Conclusion
Undoubtedly, the novel innovations in individual fitness technology pose various challenges to fitness club owners, with some being opportunities for growth, while others are detrimental to business. Today, the fitness industry is growing at an unprecedented pace, with the volume of demand rising as more people obtain membership. Education and awareness regarding the significance of a healthy lifestyle have imparted knowledge that exercise is imperative for better health. Accordingly, many suppliers and innovators have been making efforts to make exercising easier through artificial intelligence and robotics. For trainers and coaches, the innovations have made it easier for them and their clients to attain their goals of fitness. However, for the fitness club owners, there are challenges in adopting innovations due to factors such as costs, integration, and training and education. When fitness clubs adopt the use of such innovations, they have to ensure that they train their employees on how to use them to guarantee reliability and quality. With the consistent rising in the demand for fitness membership and corresponding utilization of the innovative techniques, club owners face a training crunch: there are insufficient qualified people to operate the continuously advancing personal fitness technologies. Besides, the owners have to foot the costs of aligning and integrating the technologies with their own systems for better coordination. As the technologies disrupt the industries, the owners will find themselves having to contend with rising costs and the risk of a bad image as some users might be misinformed or misuse information gained freely from online sites. Fitness club owners who can overcome such challenges and turn them into opportunities have better prospects of being successful than those who do not.
“2019 Fitness Industry Trends Shed Light on 2020 & Beyond.” International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. 2020. www.ihrsa.org/improve-your-club/industry-news/2019-fitness-industry-trends-shed-light-on-2020-beyond/. Accessed 08 Oct. 2020.
Baran, Roger J., and Robert J. Galka. Customer Relationship Management: The Foundation of Contemporary Marketing Strategy. Taylor & Francis, 2016.
“Global Health and Fitness Club Market Size – Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2020 – 2025).” Research & Markets. 2020. 08. https://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/4622301/global-health-and-fitness-club-market-size. Accessed 08 Oct. 2020.
Goldman, Stuart. “Technological Advances Disrupting the Fitness Industry.” Athletic Business, 2016, pp. 1-34.
Greenberg, Jayne and Judy LoBianco. “Organization and Administration of Physical Education: Theory and Practice.” Human Kinetics, 2018.
Pedragosa, Vera. “Expectations, Satisfaction and Loyalty in Health and Fitness Clubs.” International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, vol.5, no. 4, 2019, pp. 15.
Pizzo, Anthony D., et al. “Sport Experience Design: Wearable Fitness Technology in the Health and Fitness Industry.” Journal of Sport Management, 2020, pp. 1-14.
Authors Journal NameYear of PublicationResearch DesignSample SizeOutcome Variables MeasuredQuality (A, B, C)Results/Author’s Suggested ConclusionsKuhlenschmidt, M., Wallace, C., Reeber, C., & Chen, Y. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing2016Randomized, controlled design91 inpatients in a bone marrow transplantation section.Patient’s view of risks for falls vs. a decrease in falls.AImproving awareness to the patients’ supposed risks for falls can assist them become more conscious of potential risks.Mansfield, A., et al.Rehabilitation Medicine Research2018Randomized controlled trial88 patients with chronic stroke. 12 months post-training vs. reduced falls.APerturbation-based balance training can lower falls poststroke, but daily practice is necessary.Radecki, B., Reynolds, S., & Kara, A.Applied Nursing Research2018Survey12 inpatients at an academic healthcare facility.Patient’s perspective vs. decreased falls.AMost fall deterrence plans favor clinician-led strategy improvement and execution.Tzeng, H., & Yin, C.Nursing Economics2015ReviewAt least 20 relevant literature on the topic.Patient engagement vs. minimization of falls.BEnabling patients to take care of their selves reduce falls.Kathryn, W., et al.Nursing Management2015Descriptive case-studyFaxton St. Luke’s Healthcare (FSLH).Staff-led interventions vs. drop in falls.AStaff-led initiatives play vital roles in reducing falls in high-acuity patients.
Case Study: Implementation Strategies
Case Study: Implementation Strategies
TO: The Branch Manager
DATE: August 19, 2020
SUBJECT: Changes in Product Line Offerings
Market research and investigations demonstrate that the proposed product offerings can be achieved viably using Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM) Strategies. A QRM strategy will lead to shortened lead times, and by extension, enhancing quality, eliminating non-value-added surplus in the organization, and reducing costs, while simultaneously amassing the organization’s market share and competitiveness through serving customers faster and better (Siong & Chong, 2018). QRM’s time-based structure accommodates strategic feasibility, such as providing custom-engineered products while eradicating dysfunctional variability like altering due dates and reworking. Currently, shadow Information Technology (IT) products overshadow real product offerings, which poses a problem for streamlining the entire product portfolio. It would be advisable for the organization to consider several significant changes to its product offerings using QRM strategies within the next three years.
Significant Changes for the Organization within the Next Three Years
First, insufficient prediction of alterations in product offerings means that shadow IT products conflict with the organization’s real products. An innovative QRM, as outlined by IQMS (n.d.), ensures that organizations can deliver precisely what customers desire and in the required time using minimal resources. QRM offers complete solutions for components and parts for a wide range of customers, right from disposable packaging to sophisticated medical components for fine arts equipment.
QRM offers novel solutions through addressing the workforce and building greater flexibility with human resources by discarding the old ways of viewing production staffing. For instance, the conventional floor management would require mold hangers, process and [production technicians, materials handlers, supervisors, and managers staffing every shift. The best approach would be to overlook job titles and employee classifications through defining the skills and talents required for ideal shifts on the production front. Within the next three years, the organization ought to realign its personnel and shift structure to anticipate and counter rival technologies, while simultaneously considering the shadow IT products and their viability for market share and industry relevance.
Competitively, the alterations will enable the organization to free up personnel for any additional responsibilities or duties in line with the proposed product changes. In the event there is a need for a quick response concerning competitive advantage, principally in varied or low volume and custom-engineered products, QRM is the best approach. Using QRM strategies, the organization will focus on quick response to clients’ needs through reducing the lead times in the entire process. With QRM, customers will receive increased satisfaction from customized products (IQMS, n.d.). Delivering products that clients need, notwithstanding any special requirements, and when they want them, means that they will make repeat purchases. The organization has to stand behind its commitments to deliver to customers.
The cash influxes offer greater impetus, enhanced capacity to respond to market alterations, and more flexibility. Finally, with QRM, there is heightened innovation. QRM strategies will drive the organization to find avenues of always improving (Siong & Chong, 2018). The mindset has to push the organization to augment ergonomic caster and wheel, radically elevating the safety of personnel and reducing the costs associated with high push force. Enhancing quality and diminishing lead times are essential strategies that the organizations incorporate to remain competitive. In addition to the strategy, there is an overall comprehension that to make the organization’s commitment to clients work, there is the necessity for a team of individuals who understand the undertakings they make, regardless of whether the commitments are to colleagues or to clients, which are elementary to success. The dedication to excellence, to persistently pursue the highest possible degree of customer service, is one thing that any good organization and is an endeavor for every day, in each way.
How the Information System Addresses and Adapts to the Introduction of the Novel Changes
With QRM, the organization will be able to establish a credentialing program for in-house and personnel who will be rewarded for their technical aptitudes and willingness and openness to learning original production and process-associated aptitudes. Here, newly structured pay ranges will be defined for every skill level, meaning that as employees advance in their capacity to handle more complicated issues, the value to the organization will increase, and as will the compensation. QRM will define new employee roles, commencing with addressing individual QRM initiatives (IQMS, n.d.). The strategy involves altering the accounting mindset. Given that standard costing does not represent a critical precept of lean accounting, it follows that actual or real accounting of overhead costs is essential. Here, the only test is getting the personnel to think based on actual costs and time to deliver. Similarly, new roles using QRM means identifying in-house materials and their availability for leaner, client-targeted production. Daily usage, suitable reorder points, and recognized purchasing plans are ways of guaranteeing adequate stocks of essential house materials.
Justification for New Product Offerings
The greatest hindrance to executing QRM does not lie in technology; instead, it is in the mindset. QRM solves this issue by requiring the organization to rethink its policies across all areas, including the mindset of all employees (IQMS, n.d.). Hence, the principal aspect of QRM in the information system is to alter employees’ mindset to identify how their IT products can be integrated with the organization’s to achieve the objectives of profitability and sustenance. QRM will enhance this target through networking and learning, where the employees will offer input in the design and implementation of novel products to suit the relevant markets.
In conclusion, the Quick Response Manufacturing Strategy (QRMS) is the ideal approach to developing innovative product offerings using shortened lead times and at lower costs. QRM enhances innovation and competitiveness, raising market share, and heightening brand visibility. With successful implementation, QRM will assist the organization in achieving its customer delivery and quality targets at lower costs.
IQMS. (n.d.). Nicolet Plastics’ quick response manufacturing strategy. Retrieved from IQMS: https://www.iqms.com/files/case-studies/quick-response–
Siong, B., & Chong, K. (2018). Implementing quick response manufacturing to improve delivery performance in an ETO company. International Journal of Engineering and Technology(UAE) 7, 38-46.
Contemporary Curriculum Design and Development in Nursing Education
Contemporary Curriculum Design and Development in Nursing Education
Course Overview: The course seeks to provide students with a strong introduction and summary of community health nursing. The trainees will learn about the different functions of a community health nurse, goals and objectives of community health nursing, community healthcare evaluation and planning, and advertising of population-based nursing practice. Furthermore, the course will introduce students to the epidemiological trends, and professional ethics and cultural elements in community health practice.
B: Title of moduleCommunity health nurses and promotion of population-based nursing.Course ObjectivesUpon completing this course, the learner will be able to: Tell the importance of community health nurses in helping the society address its health issues. Identify the issues that community health nurses need to focus on to know what the target population requires. Describe the connection between health service provision at the community level and the health care system.Student learning outcomesUpon accomplishment of this module, the learners will be able to: Identify the duties and responsibilities of community health nurses in the promotion of population-based nursing assessment and action planning. Describe the different methods for measuring the requirements of multiple populations.Identify and use various mechanisms to apply in assessing, recognizing, and comprehending the varied needs of different populations within the target societies.Content overviewStudents will take time to examine the different various techniques community health nurses could use to examine the community or society’s needs. For example, students will learn how the community health nurse could use techniques such as direct observation, questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, assessments, and surveys, review of current literature, and records and report appraisal to conduct the basic needs assessment (Dahl, 2018). The faculty will also take the students through why it is important to know the various needs of a community, and how this helps to embrace appropriate intervention methods. The practice will inform community health nurses why some approaches are more effective compared to others, and why it is essential to choose the one that best meet individual capabilities, available resources, and community needs. Students will share ideas among groups to sharpen their awareness about the techniques for conducting basic assessment needs and develop small reports on their findings and perceptions. For example, the students will examine the possible challenges in conducting the basic needs assessment, and find out possible remedies. Learning resourcesDahl, B.M. (2018). Challenges and demands in the population-based work of public health nurses. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 46(20), 53-58. https://doi.org/10.1177/1403494817743897Scenario based learning activityStudents will be required to consult from various sources regarding the different techniques for conducting population-based problem analysis and why the process is important. Moreover, students will consult from various literature sources such as journal articles, books, magazines, web sources, and newspapers and identify how community health nurses have played important functions in promoting population-based nursing examination in different communities and assess their outcomes. The primary intention of the exercise is to introduce learners to as many aspect regarding population-based nursing assessment as possible, and help them use the information to know why it is significant to evaluate, identify, and comprehend the many needs of specific groups within the target population or the larger society. Scenario: Students will divide themselves into a group of five learners and identify a health facility as a group. The team should ensure that the health facility hires community health nurses to get the chance to interact with them either through video call platforms such as Skype and Zoom, or other communicative avenues such as phone or email (Nies & McEwen, 2018). The interview should contain at most ten questions seeking to find out how the professionals use various methods to perform population-based nursing assessment and action planning. Moreover, the interviewer should use open-ended questionnaires to give respondents the chance to respond using a more diversified approach. The interrogation should not last more than fifteen minutes, and should deviate from the main objective. The team should meet afterwards to assess the findings and find out how they relate with already acquire information.
Course Overview: The course introduces learners to the effective ways to assess the distribution of possible disease factors, ailments within the communities, and the nursing roles in forming an evidence-based structure for recognizing and mitigating such ailments using population-based techniques.
B: Title of moduleEpidemiological patterns influencing the nursing role in community healthCourse ObjectivesUpon completing this course, the learner will be able to: Identify the most effective approaches to conduct a community health prevention and promotion program.Describe the factors for improving community health.Understand some of the possible obstacles for executing community health programs. Identify possible remedies to the obstacles.Student learning outcomesUpon accomplishment of this module, the learners will be able to: Gain the ability to apply various needs assessment techniques in recognizing potential disease factors. Identify the roles of community health nurses in planning aligning action plans for health improvement.Content overviewLearners will begin by exploring various sources describing the suitable techniques for carrying out community health campaigns and taking time to understand why it is essential to engage in such practices. They will complete these tasks either as individuals or as a group. They will want to confirm the claim by Corless et al. (2018) that using diverse needs assessment techniques increase the chances of driving the message more effectively as opposed to using one technique that is likely to become obsolete and less effective as times change. Students conduct personal and group studies to identify the constraints that could disrupt the community health programs. They take time to find how to address these hindrances. The leaners explore various resources as a team that could help to understand the various techniques that could facilitate the community health program.Learning resourcesCorless, I.B., Nardi, D., Milstead, J.A., Larson, E., Kurth, A.E., Kirksey, K.M., & Woith, W. (2018). Expanding nursing’s role in responding to global pandemics. Nursing Outlook, 66(4), 412-415. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2018.06.003Scenario based learning activityLearners will select one of the approaches for conducting community health sensitization (face-to-face interaction, community seminars, print publications, and media campaigns using a community health nurse. Using the information they gather about the approaches, they proceed to make recommendations on the most suitable techniques to reach out the most people within the shortest time possible, and to examine the epidemiological factors that influence their practices as well as impact on members of the community. Scenario: The learners engage each other in locating sources that provide relevant information about how the distribution of epidemiological factors could enhance the how the community nurse attends to the community. For example, they group will look into how wide spread of diseases may require the health practitioners to use better and effective evidence-based plan for identifying the ways for addressing the ailments utilizing the most effective population-based mechanisms. Finally, all team members contribute towards developing a plan illustrating what they find out regarding the potential impact of disease factors and diseases within the target populations could influence how provide their services in the community.
Course OverviewThe course seeks to introduce learners to the various roles of community health workers in adapting to changes and being resilient in preparing for major disasters. Moreover, the course will inform the trainees about the various functions of community nurses as community-level educators and mobilizers, and how they contribute towards the surveillance of syndromic disease. The course also introduces learners to the roles of community health nurses in completing medical functions.
B: Title of moduleRole of community health nurse in adaptive resilienceCourse ObjectivesUpon completing this course, the learner will be able to: Appreciate the importance of designing applicable and operational mitigation strategies to address community concerns. Prevent the emergence of such potential difficulties in the future through epidemic alertness. Use their knowledge and skills to ensure they achieve health care resilience, which is necessary for better community health outcomes.Student learning outcomesUpon accomplishment of this module, the learners will be able to: To understand the disaster management issues and the functions of community health nurses in decreasing the dangers of epidemics.Appreciate their role as community health nurses in identifying possible health threats in various communities.Content overview The instructor will simulate to the learners and tell them why disaster management is a vital aspect of the nursing practice. The instructor will inform the trainees that it is important to identify the possible obstacles for identifying and lowering the potential health threats in a community, and how finding the most suitable remedies or solutions may help to attain the desirable outcome (Boyce & Katz, 2019). The trainer will tell the trainees how various community health nurses have embraced different mechanisms to improve their resilience and how this has helped them to achieve more satisfying results. Students will then have the time to examine how being adequately prepared during a pandemic and conducting effective surveillance may enhance the provision of medical services to the target groups. Learning resourcesBoyce, M.R., & Katz, R. (2019). Community health workers and pandemic preparedness: current and prospective roles. Frontiers in Public Health. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2019.00062Scenario based learning activityThe learners will get the opportunity to visit a computer lab to perform a study using online-based resources describing the suitable ways to build resilience, which is important in improving community health outcomes. They explore as many sources as they can, but try to focus their attention on the ones that they find more relevant for the study. Each learner writes down important notes while they peruse through the various sites, to allow them reflect on the points later on. Scenario: Leaners form groups of fives where they pay considerable attention to how to build resilience when planning to or dealing with a threatening pandemic. The practice aims at equipping learners with firsthand information regarding why it is essential to achieve resilience to acquire the best results. Students will then produce reports on why resilience is important and how to achieve it.
How the Course Elements will Foster an Intellectually Stimulating Environment
The course element will play important functions in creating an environment that is stimulating, encouraging, and inspiring for everyone. Allowing students to interact with the resources transform them into individuals who can conduct personal researches and come up with appropriate findings and recommendations. The practice enables them to use various analysis methods to examine the data that they generate from the various resources. Besides, allowing learners to form groups and share ideas provide them with the opportunity to understand what it takes to perform well when working as a team. Furthermore, allowing students to work in groups provide them with the chance to gain new skills that they can use to improve their individual practices.
How Learning Outcome Reflects Established Theory
The learning objective that seeks to find out the sensitization approach that would suit everyone is in accordance with the ideas of social constructivism. The learning theory acknowledges learning as an intricate interactive social phenomena between instructors and learners. Picciano (2017) describes the learning process as problem solving and that the social perception of remedies to problems is the foundation of the learning initiative. The theory applies to the online learning environment in the way it allows for different people to use technological platforms such as Zoom, Skype or any other online social interactive avenues to share information about issues affecting the society such as diseases. Bringing together the various perceptions of members of the society increases the chances of finding appropriate solutions that may impact the health of everyone.
Why the Resources Suit the Course
The various resources are effective in gathering relevant information during the course due to several reasons. One of the factors that make these resources helpful for the study is that they provide relevant information about the subject matter. Most of them address the issue of sensitizing members of the public about their health using the most effective techniques. Moreover, the resources are suitable for the course because it is possible to authenticate the credibility of the respective authors. The authors choose a diction that is easy to understand making the resources more appropriate for this exercise. Besides, the resources bring diversity into the course in the way they differ in nature (journal articles, online sources, and books). Finally, the resources are suitable for the study because they provide some hint on how qualified health practitioners are better placed to provide proper remedies to common health issues.
Asking learners to access information from various sources to acquire information about the various functions of community health nurses in mitigating health issues at the community level enable them to be critical thinkers and evaluators. Also, the process equips them with more information and knowledge that they can use in other areas. The scenario-based context facilitates learning because students get the chance to come together and share ideas on the subject and other important aspects. Students become motivated when they work as a team, and become more engaged in the learning process. Moreover, encouraging students to examine various resources and to draw information from them promote reflective practice because they are able to recall what they read. It is easier for the leaners to recall the information when they conduct personal study rather than when the teacher dictates everything to them. Overall, the scenario-based learning activity enables learners to be self-confident that they can conduct independent study and give reliable findings.
Boyce, M.R., & Katz, R. (2019). Community health workers and pandemic preparedness: current
and prospective roles. Frontiers in Public Health.
Corless, I.B., Nardi, D., Milstead, J.A., Larson, E., Kurth, A.E., Kirksey, K.M., & Woith, W. ]
(2018). Expanding nursing’s role in responding to global pandemics. Nursing Outlook,
66(4), 412-415. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.outlook.2018.06.003
Dahl, B.M. (2018). Challenges and demands in the population-based work of public health
nurses. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 46(20), 53-58.
Nies, M., & McEwen, M. (2018). Community/public health nursing: Promoting the health of
populations. London: Saunders.
Picciano, A. G. (2017). Theories and frameworks for online education: Seeking an integrated
model. Online Learning, 21(3), 166-190.
Frames Structure of an Organization and Culture
The organizational structure that comprises the structural frame, human resource frame, political frame, and the symbolic frame has considerable implications on the corporate culture. The business under the structural frame focuses on developing practical vision, mission, and strategy that promote system operations. The company also focuses on creating adequate supervision, managerial, and leadership structures that promote business operations. Regarding the human resource frame, the firm tries to enact measures that would enable employees’ welfare and make them feel valued. The team attempts to embrace proper motivational approaches that would inspire workers. The organization tries to enhance its labor relations, improve power-sharing and connections, and enhance the distribution of resources under the political frame to boost business activities. The corporation focuses on making a sense out of the unknown under the symbolic frame and pays attention to restraining adverse emotions.
All four frames determine the nature of organizational culture and influence how the firm relates to people. Components of the structural frame contribute to creating a corporate culture where staff members focus on their duties and attain business goals and objectives. The human resource frame contributes to developing a work culture where employees are interested in their work and stand with the company during difficult times. Besides, the political frame contributes towards a work culture where workers feel that the company cares for their well-being by establishing appropriate labor relations initiatives. Moreover, the political frame contributes towards an organizational culture where leaders distribute power rather than practicing authoritarian leadership. A company is likely to create a work culture where the distribution of resources occurs uninterruptedly to meet customer demands and reduce waiting time. Finally, the symbolic frame contributes towards a work culture that considers its workers’ emotions and where people try to understand the unknown.
This review focuses on top-down and community participatory criminal justice models of administration. The literature on the latest theories and best practices is discussed, along with their implications on community relations, diversity, organizational design, and departmental morale. The literature is structured around the major themes, specifically, the models of the criminal justice administration, community participation, top-down administration, and leadership.
Models of the Criminal Justice Administration
Kleinfeld (2016) argues that the criminal justice system in the United States is in a crisis because it had become dysfunctional. Specifically, he noted that the system’s dysfunction was characterized by mass incarceration, discriminatory and violent policing, cruel prisons, and disproportionate minority targeting. In this regard, he was concerned by the deterioration of the effectiveness of the system since the formation of the American nation, which had eroded its democratic vision once set by the founding fathers. The deviation that led to this state commenced in the 1970s when they began focusing on punishment rather than reconciliatory and ended up becoming an overenthusiastic instrument for social control for the government using over-criminalization and discretionary enforcement. Although Kleinfeld (2016) attributes the deterioration of the American criminal justice to the dilemma about democratization and bureaucratic professionalization among the American public, he advocates the democratization of the system through increased community focus and responsiveness. However, he faults the technical and institutional design of the system for undermining its democratization by creating an environment that was characterized by the increased power of prosecutors, rampant plea bargaining, and a high social cost of reducing criminality. While he supports a return to the democratic vision of the American criminal justice system, he laments about the resounding lack of political will despite the numerous reform promises by politicians during their election campaigns. Conrad and Clements (2018) extend this conversation by addressing the decline in the use of the jury system in the American criminal justice system. The authors attempt to explain this occurrence by evidencing the 2006-2016 trial statistics to identify new factors that have driven the vanishing criminal jury trial system and entrenching the top-down administration of justice. Notably, the authors identify changes in the policies of the department of defense, extrinsic factors, like the expense and strength of evidence, changing expectations and efficiency concerns, and the Supreme Court’s advisory during the United States v. Booker case of 2005 (Booker) as the main causes of the unfolding phenomenon. Notably, Booker had an overwhelming influence on the declining use of the jury system by elevating the sentencing hearing process as the preferred procedure for adjudicating criminal cases. Notably, it had changed the focus of court arguments by trial attorneys. It has also changed the relationship between the defense and prosecution, which was previously adversarial, thus presenting tactical advantages not found in the jury approach (Conrad & Clements, 2018). Moreover, plea bargaining had become the preferred dispute resolution mechanism on the American criminal justice system owing to the stronger evidence availed through technology, which reduced the ambiguity about reasonable doubt for culpability. However, the authors warned that these developments had stifled the defendants’ and public voices, thus reducing public participation in the administration of justice. Therefore, they called for courage in the main actors in the criminal justice system, to defend the sixth amendment of the American constitution, along with promoting the concept of democracy and innocence.
Asimow (2015) goes on to describe the five models of administrative adjudication that were commonly used around the world. In describing the five dominant models, Asimow (2015) discussed the three phases and four variables that characterized the administrative adjudicatory systems. The three overarching phases of the administrative adjudicatory systems were i) the initial decision phase involving the opportunity provided to the first agency to present the case of the private party, ii) the administrative consideration phase allowing the reconsideration of the initial decision to be undertaken administratively, and iii) the judicial review phase in which a reconsideration of the initial decision by the court is afforded. The four fundamental variables included a) a choice in the nature of the adjudicating body based on whether it was a separate tribunal of a combined function agency, b) a choice between an inquisitorial or an adversarial proceeding, c) a choice between a closed or open judicial review process, which dictates whether to introduce new evidence or not, and d) a choice between a specialized administrative court and one with a generalized jurisdiction. In turn, the first model was characterized by adversarial hearing involving a n agency with combined functions with general jurisdiction courts providing a closed review. The second model differed from the first one in the undertaking of a closed review, the third model different from the first one by involving a tribunal rather than a combined function agency. The fourth model resembled the first model but employed an inquisitorial rather than and adversarial approach and using a closed review process rather than an open one. The fifth model resembled much the fourth model, except for the use of a specialized court rather than a generalized one. The first model was prevalent in the United States, the second, in the European Union, the third, in Australian and the United Kingdom, the fourth, in Argentina, China, and Japan, and the fifth one was used in France and Germany.
The administration of justice in the criminal justice system is founded on two fundamental theoretical underpinnings, the crime control and the due process paradigms. Kaylor (2014) delves into the dichotomy between crime control and due process, and the controversy they present to the criminal justice process. She noted that although the criminal justice process had been undermined by dilution of the exclusionary rule prohibiting the admission of illegally-accessed evidence in judicial proceedings and the doctrine of ‘fruits of the poisonous tree’, they remained critical influencers of the process. The political rhetoric around crime control is discussed further by Loader and Sparks (2016), who delved into the evolution of political thinking regarding the crime control paradigm since the 1970s and contends that the governance of crime reduction is more than just a controversy between techniques and tactics because it is embedded in the political legitimacy that promotes the dominant neoliberal perspective of governance. They note that emerging practices, such as specialist courts, reinvestment in justice and restorative justice have arisen to deal with the changing crime control environment, which had become characterized by the commercializing justice and policing, increased use of jails as a control strategy, and the declining rehabilitative justice. Although there is agreement about the domination of expertise in crime governance, the models remained polarized between evidentiary and democratic approaches. The rationalities of expert and tactical evaluation had been clouded by different political ideologies, thus undermining the progress of crime governance. However, Manikis (2019) indulges the crime control and due diligence models in developing a new model that would govern criminal justice proceedings. She insists that the two overarching models of justice administration remained relevant to date. However, a supplementary model was needed to effectively apply the models in promoting the participation of victims. The outstanding features of the proposed model to promote the engagement of victims have a penal frugality and temperance, and a non-punitive component. Specifically, the proposed model expands the rights of the victim by conforming to the crime control and due process models through its punitive and non-punitive features.
Innovative applications of the crime control and due diligence paradigms had emerged in criminal justice administration practice. For instance, Moore, Sandys, and Jayadev (2014) noted the introduction of participatory defense in criminal justice proceedings as a way of capturing the voices of the critical stakeholders and furthering the judicial system reforms. This approach was transformative because it turned key stakeholders, such as the incriminated individuals, and their families and communities, into active participants of the reform process rather than passive consumers of legal services. This approach offered new perspectives on the community-focused, all-inclusive, and client-centered approaches to the reforms in the criminal justice system. Braga, Weisburd and Turchan (2018) extend the crime control exposition by noting that the popularity of the focused deterrence method of controlling and preventing crime was premised on the behavioral foundations and strategic use of social services and enforcement to promote socially-acceptable behavior. However, Sherman (2018) shifts the attention towards crimes committed by police officer rather than the public and the crime control paradigm to explore the deterrence of extrajudicial police shooting. He revealed that police killings challenge the police organizational system and operational policy frameworks. Although, the police have attempted two operational changes that had influenced the number of killing, largely renowned as the first and second great awakenings, these atrocities persisted. Therefore, Sherman (2018) proposed a system-crash prevention framework that was anchored in crime deterrence and focuses on the organizational aspect rather than the blameworthiness of the individual officer. The framework reengineers the core functions of the police, like dispatch management to reduce confrontations, along with bringing forth new features that focus on saving civilian lives, like first aid and transportation for shooting victims. It also accounts for the interactive complexity of the police-citizen relations and cognizant of the tight coupling between moving on and risk containment pressures that confront police officers. However, the framework would need to be contextually sensitive to address the different circumstances of police operations. In the same vein, Legewie and Fagan (2016) addressed the police killings using group threat and race relations theories. According to the group threat theories, minority communities were viewed as posing an economic, political, and crime threat to the dominant ones. The perceived economic threat was rampant during high unemployment circumstances, which led to the competition for jobs and resources between the African and Caucasian Americans. Similarly, according to the racial theories, deeply ingrained divisions in society that segregated majority and minority, or dominant and marginalized racial groups resulted in biased crime control approaches characterized by disparate arrests, sentencing, and the use of brutal force (Legewie and Fagan, 2016). Consequently, the African Americans were subjected to higher levels of social control to eliminate the economic threat they presented. Legewie and Fagan (2016) observed that a diversified police workforce reduced these threats by improving the emotional intelligence of the police officers through multiracial and multiethnic interactions.
However, Holdaway (2017) provides another perspective supporting organizational practice changes in the police by revising the concept of police re-professionalization. He argued that although the professionalization of the police had been done severally, England and wales had introduced a new regulatory framework that was loosely coupled. The College of Policing was championing the new system of regulation, which was endeavoring to separate the government from police representative institutions and law enforcement. Re-professionalization involved claiming the police to be a profession, which was done publicly, authoritatively, and periodically. However, the claims had changed from focusing on policing ethics to educational achievements and managerial expertise, likening the police to other professions like law and medicine that had characteristic systematic foundations, accreditations, and codes of ethics. This process was critical for the rejuvenation of the police to handle the new and emerging challenges it was continuously encountering.
Community policing has become one of the innovations in police practice, although it required special considerations for community diversity to be effective in the modern crime arena. Ramshaw (2013) describes community policing as an appealing approach being adopted by countries amid the perennial scarcity of resources and rampant prevalence of austerity measures. Apart from enabling community-focused social control, community policing had provided an avenue for the diversification of police’s careers. In this regard, Ramshaw (2013) argued that community policing provides a lateral career progression alternative to demotivated and dissatisfied police officers without resorting to exiting from the service. However, he warns that the Anglo-American foundation of community policing may hinder its adoption is culturally, economically, and politically different environments from those found in the United Kingdom and United States. Lai and Zhao (2010) extend the discussion about community policing by investigating the attitudes and trust issues toward the police by Hispanics, whose population was increasing in the United States. While supporting community policing as an effective policing strategy in the contemporary society, the noted that the Hispanics exhibited lower attitudes compared to their white counterparts. Their study revealed that ‘race, gender, age, victimization, and satisfaction with police work’ influenced the attitudes and trust perceptions towards the police. The use of taser guns was particularly opposed by the Hispanics and contributed significantly towards their attitudes and level of trust in the police in the United States.
Carter (2016) used the institutional theory to explain how community policing and homeland security has intersected to develop the intelligence-led policing approach, and how this could be adopted by police agencies. The institutional theory helped focus on the environmental factors instead of organizational factors when implementing innovative practice changes. Supportive environmental factors and institutional pressures were influential in the adoption of intelligence-led policing. However, it was likely that the uniform adoption of new practice strategies would lead to isomorphism over time, which would overlook the peculiarities of the different operational circumstances encountered by police officers. Similarly, Roberto et al. (2015) used the community capacity framework to explain how the criminal justice system should respond to cases of abuse of elderly people, which were often ignored and underreported. In this framework, they proposed the integration of formal and informal community networks to diminish the threat for the abuse of elderly people in the community and surmount the obstacles for such vices when they are identified. The framework enabled the shaping of community perceptions by the criminal justice system by encouraging collective action from a cooperative community. In a different perspective, Kużelewski (2016) addressed community participation in the administration of justice by discussing lay judges, which is a popular approach used in communist countries. The author revealed that the selection of judges through an elective process or involving competent courts to select able lay judges was an innovative approach of involving the community in the administration of justice.
Paus (2018) discusses the application of restorative justice using a mediating agency to enhance the performance of the top-down criminal justice system. The National Mediation Service, which is mandated by the Norwegian legislation to facilitate restorative processes between the offender and the victim. This agency played an important role in completing the process of administering justice after culprits had completed their jail sentences. The agency assured the parties of confidentiality, volunteerism, and safety, and most importantly, resolved unsettled conflicts. This allowed the parties to return to normal life much faster after encountering the criminal justice system and helped build a culture of peace-building post-conflict (Paus, 2018). Although the Norwegian system was very successful and servicing as a blue print for other countries wishing to set up similar agencies, it was being challenged by unequal access across the country. Moreover the top-down administration of the restorative justice administration had prompted the establishment of guidelines and recommendations by the United Nations and European Union. Similarly, Gau and Gaines (2012) explored the effect of the managerial style in police organizations on the effective implementation of the order maintenance policing strategy. They reiterated that police organizations were typical top-down organizations with characteristic unidirectional downward flow of orders from high-ranking officers to be executed by the low-ranked personnel. Moreover, order maintenance was a widely-used serious crime prevention strategy commonly used in urban settings in the United States and popularized by the New York Police Department. Findings from police officers in southern California revealed a negative more attitude towards the importance and prioritization of order maintenance among patrol officers compared to those of officers higher up in rank. The diminished support for the order maintenance strategy was caused by the lack of involvement of low-ranking officers in decision-making and low officer-supervisor attachment. The promotion of subordinate support and reinforcement of the effectiveness of the top-down police administration could be achieved by popularizing the order maintenance strategy, opening effective supervisor-subordinate communication channels, and strong leadership that encouraged the integration of new policies into the agency culture.
However, Michael, Neubert, and Michael (2012) revealed that although organizations could execute changes in their values through the top-down, spontaneous decentralized, and interactive dialogical approaches, the top-down approach was most problematic of the three. It presents unforeseen outcomes, such as enhancing uncertainty and increasing rigidity after reengineering and restructuring the workplaces. Besides, this approach is often accompanied by a lack of commitment and even resistance from the low-ranking personnel. In turn, since the planed value change was leader-prescribed, it only managed to change the official values of an organization while maintaining the status quo and generating indifference among the lower ranks toward the new values.
From a different perspective, the judges complemented the top-down administration of justice by overseeing the arbitration and sentencing process. Clair and Winter (2016) studied how they dealt with disproportional representation of minority groups in the criminal justice system in the united states when making judicial decisions. The authors described the two strategies that judges used to address the racial disparities, which have implications in the top-down administration of justice in the American criminal justice system. The first was the noninterventionist approach in which judges employed their own differential treatment of the disparities. The second was the interventionist approach in which other actors, along with the differentiated impact of facially-neutral law and poverty influenced the judges’ decision-making process. Notably, judges overly employed the noninterventionist strategies, which had the effect of reproducing the disparities unintentionally. Specifically, the noninterventionist approach permitted the possible disparate treatment by other actors, which facilitated the unchecked propagation of racial disparities (Clair & Winter, 2016). The approaches used by the judges provides insights into the challenges of administering justice using the top-down approach that lead to the unending racial disparities in the American criminal justice system despite the judges having good intentions.
McKergow, M., & Miller, C. (2016) noted that heroism and authoritarian leadership were rampant in the police force in the United Kingdom. They noted that this leadership style was effective during emergencies because it delivered rapid results, but risked disenfranchising and disempowering police officers by undermining teamwork. However, they note that transformation leadership was best suited for advancing community policing because it facilitated team work within the organization and with the surrounding communities. By likening a senior police offer to a host, they noted that such leadership facilitated the management aspect while inspiring the best performance in other officers. For the United Kingdom’s police organizational system, they advocate recruitment that is based on teamwork qualities rather than heroic skills, considering that the police force had a culture of internal promotion for career advancement towards leadership roles. In the same vein, Martin, Rogers, Samuel, and Rowling (2017) noted that the traditional leadership approaches to police work had become ineffective in modern times due to the challenges of terrorism, cybercrime, budgetary constraints, and globalization. They noted that the community demands had called for the delivery of evidence-based, responsive, and flexible policing services. Also, although police training had embraced professionalism, leaders in policing practice were still struggling with accommodating new police academy graduates. Martin, et al. (2017) noted that the longstanding militaristic leadership anchored the bureaucratic structure of the police organization continued to equate rank with good leadership, thus entrenching the command and control leadership style. Moreover, police recruitment has been based on the possession of heroic skills, which were insufficient for the demands of police services in the current society. Consequently, servant leadership was recommended for the modern police organization and the new graduates could facilitate a change in the leadership style though their bottom-up influence. Indeed, Guadamor, Agustin, and Aquino (2017) revealed that young police officers though that police chiefs possessed democratic leadership qualities that were characterized by flexible decision-making, making them suitable for leading a modern police agency. However, the chiefs were perceived to lack creativity in problem-solving and incorporating greater decision-making participation among their subordinates.
Garner, R. (2017) studied how much the leadership philosophy and practice among the police had changed in three decades by using police chiefs and executives drawn from Texas. His findings revealed that the recognition of vision, competence, and honesty as indicators of strong leadership had not change over the period, however, the focus on courage and fairness has been replaced by inspiration and compassion. From a managerial perspective, measured and reflective action has replaced rapid responsiveness emphasized in the 1980s. Similarly, a humanistic policing philosophy had replaced authoritarianism. The cause for these changes included the waning need to maintain control and the increased appreciation of individual contribution over the collective ones, considering that the public trust in police has dwindled significantly. Haake, Rantatalo, and Lindberg (2017) contributes to the leadership debate by noting that the policing institutions were under increasing demand for change in response to the calls for increased police presence, availability, and effectiveness in the community. However, using the leadership practice in the police departments in Sweden, Haake, Rantatalo, and Lindberg (2017) revealed that police leadership was experiencing pressure from the management and subordinate members and that these demands were incongruent. Consequently, the rhetoric from police leaders regarding the requisite organizational changes needed to modernize the police service differed from practice. Notably, while the Swedish police were under pressure to attend to the increasing public demands, they were unable to change because of incapacitated leadership as agents of change. The incongruence of the demands of the top police management and subordinates was a barrier to organizational change, and police leaders were unable to undertake this role.
Krogh (2017) provided critical insights into how interactive governance environments such as the police can apply multi-actor institutional design and network governance theories and policies. He identifies policy capture and skewed institutional design through the deployment of offensive power strategies as the main hindrance to effective implementation of top-down interactive governance policies and strategies. By studying the Local Crime Prevention Councils in Denmark as an example of interactive governance environments that were facing challenges in implementing top-down new public governance strategies, Krogh (2017) proposed the early involvement of stakeholders, the distribution of leadership roles across agencies, and the mediation between actors during the policy implementation process. His recommendations were informed by the interactive design theory, which posits that multi-actor institutional designs were fashioned by resource distribution and stakeholder influence rather than sensible, calculated, and compassionate considerations of attaining collective goals and optimizing task performance.
The literature revealed that although the top-down administration remained entrenched and pervasive in the criminal justice system around the world and in the United States, the community participatory approach was growing in popularity. The participatory approach was not only filling in the gaps left by the top-down model of administration, but also improving the delivery of justice, especially restorative justice. However, the two models of the administration of justice were used concurrently as the justice system managers, including judges and police chiefs, had retained control, which the public was calling for more involvement to improve outcomes. The challenges of finding the right balance between the two models, the leadership skill deficiencies, and entrenched organizational cultures remained the most significant barriers limiting the effective and efficient administration of justice in the united stated, and therefore, were deserving of further investigation.
Asimow, M. (2015). Five models of administrative adjudication. The American Journal of Comparative Law, 63(1), 3-32. https://doi.org/10.5131/ajcl.2015.0001.
Braga, A. A., Weisburd, D., & Turchan, B. (2018). Focused deterrence strategies and crime control: An updated systematic review and meta‐analysis of the empirical evidence. Criminology & Public Policy, 17(1), 205-250. https://doi.org/10.1111/1745-9133.12353.
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Assessment 1 Critical Reading Activity
Assessment 1 Critical Reading Activity
Task A: Reading Logs
Boeckmann, M., et al. (2018). German public support for tobacco control policy measures:
Results from the German study on tobacco use (DEBRA), a representative national
survey. InternationalJournal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(4), 1-15,
Rosenberg, M., et al. (2012). Public support for tobacco control policy extensions in Western
Australia: A cross sectional study. BMJ Open, 2(2), doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000784
Boeckmann et al. (2018) describe how a majority of people in Germany support the total ban on tobacco sales, increased taxation, focus on e-cigarette, and the ban on smoking in public places. The main argument in Rosenberg et al. (2012) is that policymakers seeking to enact new tobacco regulations require community support to plan suitable implementation techniques.
Both articles are academically credible and provide quality information. For example, Boeckmann et al. (2018) give adequate data to support their argument, including the percentage of those who support an increase in age, total prohibition, quitting, and heavy taxation of producers. The paper by Rosenberg et al. (2012) is credible because it offers enough evidence to back up their position.
Reading a Section
The first section in both articles is the abstract that grabs readers’ attention by stating the main purpose or argument of the research. The materials in these literacy works relate to the authors; argument as they form the basis of the entire study. The researchers try to support their claims in the initial section by performing surveys that equip them with vital data and awareness.
Reading in Depth
The introduction sections in each article provide valuable insights into the importance of curbing smoking in public areas. The introductory part in Rosenberg et al. (2012) talks about enacting stiffer policies while Boeckmann et al. (2018) describe how tobacco is highly addictive and a great risk factor for morbidity and mortality.
I will use the main ideas from the work to illuminate the public’s perception regarding extending the ban on smoking and identifying the possible restrictive measures.
Task B – Government Intervention to Extend Public Smoking Bans
The government’s intervention to regulate smoking, junk food advertising, food labeling, and alcohol licensing in England cause much debate. Some believe that any state intervention is a violation of individual rights and intrusions into the private lives of its citizens. However, others think that only the government can change the environment that influences how people behave and make decisions (Jochelson 2006). Despite the controversies, the state should intervene to protect public health. The legislation is vital in regulating smoking because it is hard for individuals to make decisions that would make them quit the lifestyle that puts them and others at risk (Jochelson 2006). Besides, the government should proceed with enacting changes because the intercession creates new guidelines and expectations for the public good. Jochelson (2006) argues that rather than castigating such involvement as a nanny statist, it may be more suitable to perceive it as a way of providing stewardship. Jochelson (2006) thinks that enacting taxation policies, enforcing advertising bans, creating regulations to prescribe behaviour, and increased education facilitates the formation of a health framework that prevents adverse practices such as smoking and alcohol abuse. Besides, the model would help to shape individual decisions towards safer and healthier behaviors.
The government should extend public smoking bans because tobacco’s health effects affect both the smoker and non-smokers who hang around the addict. Akhtar et al. (2007) identify children and young people as being susceptible to the health consequences of passive smoking. Akhtar et al. (2007) assert that children have reduced airways and higher oxygen requirements than grownups resulting in increased respiratory rates. Other factors that put minors at risk include their less-developed respiratory, nervous, and immune systems. The government should proceed to ban smoking in households that have children because Akhtar et al. (2007) identify domestic sources such as the home or car as primary origins of exposure to secondhand smoke. The state should always encourage parents to embrace self-regulation and control their offspring anytime they want to smoke (Christensen et al. 2012). For instance, the regulators can ask smokers to seclude themselves in a place that does not put others at risk. However, administrators should proceed to regulate smoking in other public spaces where tobacco use is not forbidden because, like adults, children can be exposed to such environments.
Each individual has the right to act as they wish so long as they do not interfere with other people’s rights and freedoms. International human rights law outlines the obligations that countries are bound to follow. The obligation to abide by the law means that governments must refrain from curtailing or upsetting human rights enjoyment (Pizacani et al. 2012). The duty to safeguard requires states to defend individuals and groups against violation of human rights. Nevertheless, failing to act when people smoke in public places is equal to contravening individual rights and freedoms. Some people, especially those with particular health complications, can hardly sit where smokers use tobacco without taking any precautions, and a government that allows people to indulge in improper smoking habits denies those who detest the smell and use of tobacco the choice to move and interact freely (Pizacani et al. 2012). Thus, the state must extend its bans on smoking, especially in public spaces.
Smoking affects both smokers and non-smokers, and the state must extend its bans on the practice to save humanity from the health implications that come with the unregulated use of tobacco. The government can form restrictions that protect vulnerable populations and introduce tougher penalties to punish lawbreakers. The state can play a vital role in creating a society where people view smoking as harmful and an act that requires considerable thought before practicing.
Akhtar, P., et al. (2007). Changes in child exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (CHETS)
study after implementation of smoke-free legislation in Scotland: National cross sectional
survey. BMJ British Medical Journal, 335(7619), doi:10.1136/bmj.39311.550197.AE
Boeckmann, M., et al. (2018). German public support for tobacco control policy measures:
Results from the German study on tobacco use (DEBRA), a representative national
survey. InternationalJournal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(4), 1-15,
Christensen, T., et al. (2012). The impact of the Danish smoking ban on hospital admissions for
acute myocardial infarction. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 21(1), 1-19, doi:
Jochelson, K. (2007). Nanny or steward? The role of government in public health. Public Health,
120(12), 1149-1155. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2006.10.009
Pizacani, B., et al. (2012). Implementation of a smoke-free policy in subsidized multiunit
housing: Effects of smoking cessation and secondhand smoke exposure. Nicotine &
TobaccoResearch, 14(9), 1027-1034. https://doi.org/10.1093/ntr/ntr334
Rosenberg, M., et al. (2012). Public support for tobacco control policy extensions in Western
Australia: A cross sectional study. BMJ Open, 2(2), doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2011-000784
Policy Advocacy Program
Policy Advocacy Program
Needs Assessment and Supportive Study
A major challenge in the society, especially in communities where many people are socio-economically challenges is lack of access to quality healthcare at affordable rates. Thus, increasing the number of health facilities that target low-earning and poor citizens will provide many individuals and families with low individual and household income with the chance to access healthcare, which is a vital human requirement, and give social workers the chance to work under less pressure (Brill, 2015). However, improving access to health services, particularly for the vulnerable populations require considerable planning, commitment, and investment. Besides, the venture requires effective leadership to attain the desired outcome. Developing more health facilities that provide affordable care to the socio-economically challenged individuals and families will create a healthy society where people participate in their daily activities actively.
A significant body of investigation indicates that the socio-economically unstable people are unable to access quality care at affordable rates, and most health facilities disregard their plea. Reader and Gillespie (2013) informs that patient neglect is an issue of escalating public concern in North America and Europe, yet remains poorly explored. A systematic literature review by Lee, Khong, and Ghista (2006) reveals that several factors contribute towards indiscriminate service provision; including a person’s race, education, workloads, burnout, and economic inability. The government initiated the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 with the objective of improving access to health services to as many Americans as possible, but still many vulnerable Americans lack medical services due to the unwavering obstacles (Barr, 2011). The problem requires the various stakeholders to consider developing health centers to increase access, and to direct health workers to provide services to the vulnerable population without charging unbearable charges. More fundamentally, the process would succeed by motivating health workers using different motivational approaches such creating an appealing work environment, providing timely payment, and offering promotion. Otherwise, they may not have the morale to treat patients who may not pay the required amount for the service or not pay at all.
Goals and Objectives
Goal 1: Increase the number of health facilities that accept vulnerable populations
Objective 1.1: Constructing new facilities
The associations should advocate for the development of new health facilities to decrease population in overcrowded facilities, and to establish facilities that solely focus on helping those who lack any health cover and cannot afford to pay any bill.
Objective 1.2: Transforming existing centers
Stakeholders should consider transforming the existing facilities to meet the current needs. It is possible to adjust the systems such that those who cannot pay for their bills have a system to follow.
Objective 1.3: Forming collaboration and partnerships
Operators in the health sector should form partnerships and collaborations to provide better and quick services to vulnerable populations. Forming partnerships is a cheaper alternative to providing care and equipping workers with new skills.
Goal 2: Motivating Health Workers
Objective 2.1: Training social workers
Training workers equip them with valuable knowledge on how to handle vulnerable patients, which in the long run equips them with helpful skills to advance their career.
Objective 2.2: Paying health workers
Increasing the workers’ pay encourages them to commit themselves to treat vulnerable individuals without expecting any direct reward.
Objective 2.3: Promoting physicians
Offering promotions will encourage healthcare workers to welcome and treat every individuals regardless of their background and socio-economic situation.
Goal 3: Creating Public Awareness
Objective 3.1: Educating target populations of their rights
Informing members of the public about affordable care to everyone
Conducting community-wide campaigns that inform the vulnerable populations about their rights to access affordable care will increase the number of those who turn out for checkup and treatment.
Objective 3.2: Informing Health workers
Extending the awareness programs to health workers familiarize them with new skills for handling people from various backgrounds, and make them confident to handle different cases.
Objective 3.3: Sensitizing state authorities and nurse associations
The various groups that may facilitate the formation of better structures for helping highly vulnerable individuals need to know the importance of offering support to achieve a society where everyone has access to the vital requirement, which is healthcare.
BoardBoard ChairmanPresides over meetingsProvides guidance in creating goals and objectivesSetting the group’s agendaMaking major decisionsDeveloping consensusVice ChairmanAssisting the Chair in all rolesAssumes the Chair’s position in his absenceHelps the Chair in decision-making
Every stakeholder who aspires to improve how the vulnerable individuals access healthcare are welcome to register as members. The membership may include, but not restricted to;
Registered NurseGovernment officialsCompliance officersCivil rights representativesPatient welfare representativeClinical nursesLead physicians
The proposal advocates for the identification of new approaches of offering care to vulnerable populations. It suggests the creation of new facilities that pay much attention to the socio-economic challenged, motivating health workers, and creating public awareness on the availability of affordable healthcare to everyone.
Barr, D. (2011). Introducing to the U.S. health policy: The organization, financing, and delivery
of health care in America. New York, NY: JHU Press.
Brill, S. (2015). America’s bitter pill: Money, politics, back-room deals, and the fight to fix
broken healthcare system. New York, NY: Random House.
Lee, P., Khong, P., & Ghista, D. (2006). Impact of deficient healthcare service quality. The TQM
Magazine, 18(6), 563-571.
Reader, T., & Gillespie, A. (2013). Patient neglect in healthcare institutions: A systematic review
and conceptual model. BMC Health Services Research, 156,
The Bill SB 50 essay help online free
The Bill SB 50
Urbanization and increased participation in the labor market is exerting much pressure on the built environment. The workforce and its productivity drive a country’s economy, yet as the labor force is attracted to work, it presents a myriad of demands, including their residences. Cities and other urban areas sprout up around productive centers, and soon, desolate places thrive, to become large urban centers that are increasingly becoming congested. While the urbanization trend cannot be reversed, concerns about the effectiveness and efficiency of public services these spaces becomes contestable (Bliss 1). Specifically, while the policymakers and the government champion the economic agenda, they often encounter resistance, especially because of disrupting the serene and otherwise tranquil neighborhoods with scattered homesteads in the suburban areas.
The state of California has large cities, like San Francisco and Los Angeles, which have experienced tremendous growth over the years. These cities sprouted as small urban centers in the 1840s when Americans in the east flooded the western edge of the United States during the famous Gold Rush (Duffin 2). Later, with the establishment of large commercial farms, single dwelling occupying large tracts of land came up. However, other commercial activities, and especially the entertainment industry, and later, the services and high technology industry, saw the population of California grow exponentially. Currently, California is home to 39.51 million residents, making it the most populous state in the United States (Duffin 1). This high population has inspired the building of public infrastructure, like roads, rail and airports, to support the labor force, while residential dwellings have also increased to accommodate the huge number of Californians. However, some of these infrastructures are surrounded by sparsely arranged single residential dwellings and therefore, are not used optimally (Nichols para 4). This discussion delves into the proposal that cities in California be required to allow high density housing blocks to be setup near transit and employment hubs the bring Californians close to their workplaces and public transportation services, as contained in the Senate Bill 50. The discussion commences by pointing out the merits and demerits of the proposal. After that, the proposal is analyzed to unearth the logic and rationalization behind its conceptualization. Finally, a policy recommendation is made regarding the creation of a modern and functional urban ecosystem.
Pros and Cons of SB 50
The proposal to build high density residential dwelling near employment and transportation hubs to replace the single dwellings in cities in California has benefits and detriments to the California residents and urban environment. the benefits of this urban restructuring is that, firstly, it would bring people near public infrastructure, like roads and rail, thus encouraging them to use public rather than private transportation. This is beneficial to the environment because it would reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, which would reduce atmospheric pollution from burning fuel. Secondly, it would promote the use of space in cities more efficiently to accommodate the high and growing population, which is otherwise underutilized when in the hands of few single-dwelling homeowners. Third, supporting services and infrastructure would be established to accommodate the high population. For instance, the demand for food, entertainment and healthcare services would encourage the setting up of grocery stores and shopping malls, recreational centers and healthcare facilities, thus creating a thriving ecosystem.
Contrastingly, this proposal also has detriments. First, it would turn quiet neighborhoods into noisy areas bustling with people. This would upset the serenity of the neighborhood and displace its residents, pushing them further into the suburban and periurban areas of the cities and far from public amenities. Second, the dense population could lead to higher crime rates, considering that the proximity to transportation would help criminals to move in and out of the residential areas. For instance, the bay area rapid transport (BART) attracts criminals and is considered one of the most unsafe transportation systems in the United States (Kukura para 1). Third, it would increase the cost of housing, particularly when high rise residential blocks are converted into luxury apartments, whose rental and sale prices are much higher that those of regular apartments. This would risk turning Californian cities into New York where there is an oversupply of luxury apartments that cannot be sold or rented out due to their high cost. This would reverse the original intention of the proposal, which is the efficient use of urban spaces.
However, the success of this proposal is dependent in the support of the diverse and numerous stakeholders. These include the residents that would be affected by the rezoning exercise, the housing development companies along with the team of different professionals, like architects, quantity surveyors, constructors and builders, and the state and local authorities, including policymakers and city planners. Entrepreneurs that would erect the supporting infrastructure like grocery stores and healthcare facilities and environmentalists that would ensure that the project is environmentally safe would also be involved as critical stakeholders. The opinions of these stakeholders are valuable because they would enrich the planning and implementation of the proposal.
Analysis of the Bill
The proposal in SB 50 is rational and logical and was informed by modern thinking of emerging urban ecosystems. For instance, the human ecology theory and the concentric zone model explain the structure of cities. According to the theory, urban populations distribute themselves and use land in predictable patterns (Banai 2). However, city planners in the United States are challenged by the lack of public transport and have to accommodate private vehicles plying the road network in the country. In this regard, public rail transportation systems, such as the Bay Area Rapid Transport is are new phenomenon that is not optimized by the design of American cities. Although the city has a predictable design, the rail network could disrupt this consistency by deemphasizing zoning in cities and therefore, negate the concentric zone model because diverse areas can be interconnected cheaply and speedily. American cities are also structured around the grid and sectoral models. In the grid model, urban land is divided into blocks that are interconnected by streets that intersect at right angles (Lumencandela). This structure is popular in the United States because it encourages land development and maximizes land use while discouraging boundary disputes. In addition, some cities in the United States are structured around the sectoral model, which is an enhancement of the concentric zone model that was advanced by Homer Hoyt in 1939. According to the model, urban land is subdivided into the rings radiating from the central business district (CBD) at the center and sectors with unique characteristics that are based on land use are illustrated in figure 1 (García 6).
Figure 1. Sector model of urban structure
Using these theories, the proposal seeks to remedy the problems generated by modeling cities in California along the sector model, which has led to the perpetual problem of housing shortage in California. California has a very large population of over 39.51 million people and a high rate of homelessness. The high rents in many residential dwellings exacerbate this problem because it places the single dwellings and luxury apartment beyond the reach of regular Californians. Moreover, the spaces occupied by the high-end residential areas are large compared to that on which low-class residential neighborhoods are located.
The proposal would also address the failure by the market to regulate the development of the urban infrastructure and control the prices of the built structures. Rent and purchase prices of houses in California are higher that the average in the United States. Therefore, although the demand for housing is high in Californian cities, it is not met by the right supply and it targets a small and exclusive segment of the population. With this proposal, it is likely that the market will respond by having homeowners sell their parcels at high prices to give way for the high-density residential apartments, in a bid to discourage the proposal. Moreover, others will purchase the built high-density apartments to be closer to their working area, thus reducing the commute time and cost. However, market dynamics present diverse positive and negative externalities. The proposal is likely to lead to reduced commuting time by workers living close to their workplaces. In addition, the energy demand by buildings would be lower because of the sharing aspect. For instance, the energy required for central heating of a high-density apartment block is much lower that that needed by the same number of residents strewn across single dwelling of detached housing units. Moreover, the reduced commuting distances and the use of mass transport rather than personal vehicles would reduce air pollution from the greenhouse gases emitted by the burning of petroleum fuels. Contrastingly, the negative externalities occasioned by the proposal include the traffic congestion due to the lack of mass transport connectivity in the last mile. People going to or leaving the mass transport hubs would congregate on roads to their homes causing traffic snarl-ups that have a huge energy and time cost.
The proposal also addresses the efficiency of city functionality and equity implications. The positive aspects on efficiency include the efficient use of land space by allowing a small area of land to hold many homes and host huge populations. Moreover, transportation management would be more efficient because of the use of mass transportation, which uses fewer vehicles. Besides, school districts would function more efficiently by administering schools in close proximity rather than those that are spatially dispersed. In turn, student activities between schools would increase, and become better managed by school administrators because schools would be close to each other. Equity would also be enhanced when affordable houses are available to employees of all calibers. These high-density residential areas would exist alongside the detached high-class housing units, thus improving land use and enabling residents of all social classes to access their workplaces cheaply and efficiently. Moreover, the housing developers would boost their profits by building high-density houses for the huge Californian population to address the housing shortfall in the cities therein.
The Bay Area in San Francisco is a practical example of how the proposal contained in SB 50 would work, thus emboldening its proponents. Specifically, The Bay Area population is high (over 7.7 million) and demanded affordable housing near their workplaces to cater for the annual shortfall of 699,000 homes, which has accumulated over the last two decades to reach between 2 to 3.5 million housing units (Carlifornia Yimby para 2; Lowrey para 3). Therefore, in the development of this area, the transportation system was build first and the housing structures were built around the transit corridor. Consequently, the Bay Area, which is rich in employment opportunities, has a rapid mass transport system know as BART that is surrounded by affordable high-rise residential apartment blocks. This creates a built space that meets the jobs-housing fit criteria of the San Francisco residents.
In applying the sectoral model of urban development, the residential planning has allocated at least two-thirds of the land area to residential housing development. in addition, the metropolitan transport commission designated some sections of Bay Area as intersections of vulnerable and disadvantaged communities deserving of affordable and disability-friendly residential blocks. These sections are to be reviewed every five years to accommodate the shifts in demography. Besides, the residential development initiative has been termed as the “transport rich housing project” with apartments blocks being located within a quarter mile to a bus-stop on the high-quality bus corridor and at leas half-a-mile to a major transit stop.
However, the opponents of the SB 50 proposal cite the problems that Bay Area would encounter following a transportation breakdown. If the mass transportation system were to be interrupted or temporarily discontinued for an extended period, the traffic congestion would reach astronomical proportions and the huge masses of people would be unable to reach their workplaces or return to their homes in good time. This would frustrate residents and possibly lead to social unrest, which would destabilize the Bay Area community. In the same vein, the longstanding comfort of families that have capitalized in the single-family zoning would be displaced as developers procure entire blocks to set up the more lucrative apartment blocks (Lowrey para 9). This is because the proposal would nullify some extant zoning provisions, such as the transport rich areas, curve-out counties, 10-unit exemption, job-rich areas, and neighborhood multi-family areas. Because the proposal would attract profit-driven housing developers, the open spaces for public utility and the trees that serve as a carbon sink would disappear to become built areas. Sites of historical significance would be demolished for economic expediency and apartment complexes would be set up without commensurate parking spaces. Moreover, sensitive communities are likely to be ignored in the apartment design and pricing, exacerbating the problem of homelessness, which the proposal intends to resolve in the first place.
In fact, the opponents of SB 50 used the argument on the harmful effects of the proposal to shoot down the bill in the Senate. The profit and economic question were central in their argument against the proposal, which convinced many to vote against and defeat the bill. Moreover, in acknowledging that there was diverse evidence supporting and opposing the proposal, the profit question overshadowed other positive arguments. the envisages problems include an oversupply of overpriced houses, displacement of vulnerable populations, and destroying of the natural environment in Bay Area, erasing years of the rich legacy and history left by the pioneers of San Francisco.
However, to have more benefits than detriments, it is recommended that focus should be directed towards a transit-oriented development (TOD) policy, which has been evidenced to work effectively in urban other jurisdictions in the United States and foreign countries like the Netherlands (Thomas, et al. 1202). This policy delivers more benefits that detriments and addresses the challenges of a modern urban society. The policy has a job-home-environment convergence that creates a livable, energy and time efficient, environmental-friendly urban setting. The benefits include increased livability, enhanced job creation and access, increased housing, reduced congestion and atmospheric pollution, and enhance commuting convenience. Pear District in Portland has adopted the TOD policy very effectively and serves as one of the best examples in the country. The neighborhoods in Pearl District have parks within 20 minutes of walking and transport to parks, stores, and schools has been prioritized.
The proposal encapsulated in SB 50 is controversial even when it seeks to address perpetual problems of urban dwellings in California, such as the high levels of homelessness, elevated air pollution, and loss of valuable time and energy in traffic congestion. Although the bill promises to deliver a job/home-appropriate urban environment in a state that has the highest population in the country. however, it raises concerns about the detriments it would presents to the communities in case the mass-transportation system breaks down and open spaces are replaced with apartment blocks, to the environment when the trees are cut to give way to high-density residences, and to the zoning code tradition. Many are worried that housing developers would capitalize on the opportunity to make huge profits and flout zoning codes, while disenfranchising vulnerable communities who cannot afford the overpriced apartments. However, a transit-oriented development policy would refine the proposal and still deliver the intended outcomes.
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Kukura, Joe. Lengthy expose shows how crime in BART has gone off the rails. 18 November 2019, https://sfist.com/2019/11/18/lengthy-expose-shows-how-crime-on-bart-has-gone-off-the-rails/. Accessed 28 November 2020
Lowrey, Annie. “The bill that could make California livable again.” The Atlantic, 13 January 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/01/sb50-california/604786/. Accessed 28 November 2020
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Nichols, Chris. PolitiFact California: Fact or fiction? A look at the claims about SB 50, one of California’s most controversial housing bill. 21 January 2020, https://www.capradio.org/articles/2020/01/21/fact-or-fiction-a-look-at-claims-about-sb-50-one-of-californias-most-controversial-housing-bills/. Accessed 28 November 2020
Thomas, Ren, Dorina Pojani, Sander Lenferink, Luca Bertolini, Dominic Stead, and Erwin van der Krabben. “Is transit-oriented development (TOD) an internationally transferable policy concept?” Regional Studies, vol. 52, no. 9, 2018, pp. 1201-1213.
Social Movement Report
Social Movement Report
Racism continues to be a major hurdle in Canada and other parts of the world, which calls for more effective and robust ways for addressing the concern. The report focuses on the Black Lives Matter movement, which is one of the many social groups that disapprove unfair practices against the black community. The study calls on other parties to contribute towards overcoming racism by playing their roles in the best way possible. The paper argue that it is possible to suppress racism by acting as a team with a common objective rather than letting the Black Lives Matter movement to act independently.
Describing the Movement
Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a decentralized social and political movement championing for non-violence civil disobedience in opposition to cases of racially instigated violence and police cruelty against black people. Whereas the group comprises of specific groupings such as the Black Lives Matter Global Network, that usually consider their groupings to be part of the larger Black Lives Matter, the movement comprises of a wide range of organizations and people (Black Lives Matter 2020). Other than opposing police brutality towards black people, the organization plays essential functions in calling for policy adjustments perceived to be connected to black liberation. The group adopted the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter in 2013 on Twitter in reaction to the unprecedented release of George Zimmerman who allegedly shot dead Trayvon Martin who was an African American (Black Lives Matter 2020). Black Lives Matter – Canada is part of the larger social movement functions as a movement and organization calling to an end to state violence and dismantling anti-black racism (Black Lives Matter 2020). The movement serves as a platform upon which black people and communities in Canada can rely on to actively overcome all kinds of anti-black racism, and advocate for the liberation of blackness while enhancing the existence of the black community, freedom, self-determination to fight suppression, and foster black healing (Black Lives Matter 2020). Overall, the Black Lives Movement provides an avenue for many black people to stand up against police brutality and other forms of injustice.
Why the Group Receives Overwhelming Support
Racism, which can be perceived as a structured form based on the ranking and categorization of ethnic or racial groups into social groups whereby different teams are given dissimilar values and have dissimilar access to resources, opportunities, and power, causing some groups to be disadvantaged while others continue to thrive, continues to draw different reactions. The Black Lives Matter movement receives overwhelming support because it opposes racism manifested at the individual and structural levels (Black Lives Matter 2020). It acknowledges that institutionalized racism, which can be expressed at the structural level results in the seclusion of groups because the dominating side facilitates the development of norms, policies, structures, and practices leading to differential reach to opportunities, services, and goods (Black Lives Matter 2020). Usually, the group holds protests, which cause some form of disturbance, thereby attracting the attention of the target audience. The group may hold protests against the killing or unlawful arrest of black people with the objective of attracting the attention of administrators and security officers (Black Lives Matter 2020). The group held massive protests in the U.S. in 2014 following the death of two blacks, Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Areas such as Missouri and Ferguson experienced harsher effects of the protests because people’s properties were damaged and looted (Black Lives Matter 2020). The movement regained national and international attention in 2020 after the death of George Floyd in the hands of the police. The protests that lasted several days stressed on the importance of preserving the lives of black people just as it happens with whites. Indeed, the fame of Black Lives Matter has increasingly shifted over the years. Even though the popularity of Black Lives Matter had dropped in 2018, it rapidly grew through 2019 and 2020.
Canada has experienced its share fair of the operations of the Black Lives Matter movement, which makes the group to garner much local support, especially from those supporting its activities. For example, the group in 2015 held protests in Toronto and shut major highways as a reaction to the death of two black people at the hands of the police (Huffpost 2015). The incidents of the event in Toronto featured prominently during the Take Back the Night gala in Toronto (Huffpost 2015). The event that brought thousands of people together highlighted the need to shun sexual violence and police brutality that continue to affect the lives of the marginalized black community (Huffpost 2015). The event that happened thanks to the collaboration between the Black Lives Matter Toronto Coalition and the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre attracted many people and gained overwhelming support because it also advocated for the rights of members of the LGBTQ (Huffpost 2015). Many people chanted “no racist police, no peace, no justice” during the event that lasted the entire night, and sang liberation songs with the hope that such unity would help to address the disturbing threat. The high turnout during such events and protests shows that the group receives much support for its activities and aspirations in Canada.
Significance of the Movement and its Operations
The movement plays essential functions in creating societies where people get the same opportunities regardless of their color or racial affiliation. It reminds people that racism is wrong and could have devastating effects if unregulated. Stanley et al. (2019) inform that racial discrimination is perceived as an essential social determining factor of health and a key driver for ethnic and racial health imbalance. Stanley et al. (2019) acknowledge that diverse manifestations of racism can disrupt health through various identified direct and indirect ways. The indirect ways through which racism can affect health include differential reach to health determinants and societal resources by resource, as depicted by persistent ethnic imbalance in living standards, employment, education, and income (Stanley et al. 2019). Individually, incidences of racism can interfere with health directly through stress pathways and physical violence, with physiological and psychological effects, resulting in substantial physical and mental health repercussions. Furthermore, racism impacts on healthcare through institutions and individual healthcare giver, resulting in ethnic imbalance in reach to care and a quality one for that matter (Stanley et al. 2019). For instance, ethnic discrepancies in social and economic status can indirectly cause a differential reach to healthcare, while caregiver ethnic bias can impact on the outcomes and quality of healthcare services. There has been significant recent advancement in studies showing a direct connection between experiences of health and racism. A recent meta-analysis and systematic review revealed the connection between self-witnessed personally instigated racism and adverse mental and physical consequences, with the immense effects witnessed in mental health (Stanley et al. 2019). Related studies have also revealed that the experiences of racial discrimination is connected with other severe health implications and preclinical signs of diseases and health risks across different countries and ethnic affiliations, including in Canada and other parts of the world.
The activities of the Black Lives Matter movement are appropriate and likely to receive more global support because the practices help to overcome racism, which is a psychological stressor that could tamper with developmental trajectories. Macedo et al. (2019) performs a qualitative study with the objective of estimating the effects of racism on indicators of child social and emotional wellbeing at one to two years after being exposed to the unpleasant stimuli. The researchers gather data from the Longitudinal Study of Indigenous Children (Macedo et al. 2019). The investigators also collected using a questionnaire and face-to-face interviews to acquire information that would help to understand how exposure to discriminative practices. The child’s caregiver were the primary source of information (Macedo et al. 2019). The study revealed that exposure to racial acts were related with increased risk for behavioral and emotional problems. The conclusions recorded in the study contributes to the understanding of the effects of racism on young children. Support for behavioral and emotional problems, and hyperactive behaviors for affected children might help ease the adverse consequences of racism (Macedo et al. 2019). Therefore, the actions of the Black Lives Matter movement are important and highly appreciated because they help to protect children from encounters that would affect their growth and development and future well-being.
The activities of the Black Lives Matter movement may help to suppress the effects of cumulative discrimination across different generations. Brian (2002) informs that discriminatory effects can accumulate across many generations and over lifetimes. It means that discrimination against parents of people in one generation may directly interfere with outcomes for their offspring and indirectly impact on life opportunities for succeeding generations in many ways, including through poorer health and education. Some studies, including that by….are able to connect discrimination witnessed by parents directly the outcomes experienced by children, although these studies also acknowledge that there are a variety of ways through which such a connection may happen. For example, prolonged racial discrimination in housing has continued effects for wealth accumulation and levels in future generations. Brian (2002) also reports that parents’ education can impact the educational achievements and aspirations of the youth. In addition, awareness about going through higher learning impact not only the rate of college attendance in this generation but also on the expectations and knowledge of future generations. Thus, parents and guardians who experience segregation may condition those under their care to avoid particular situations or places. Such people may also have occupational and educational aspirations, knowledge, or encounters that restrain prospects for their offspring. Brian (2002) points out that discrimination against parents at one generation may restrain prospects for their offspring even if the discriminatory acts come to pass or the children do not encounter any form of discrimination. Although proof of the implications of parental income on child performance and outcomes is still unclear, recent findings reveal that parental income may be significantly essential for young people in low-income households. For instance, if parents cannot enjoy to reside in proper places, or avail extracurricular learning experiences, their children are not likely to perform well in school. Thus, constraints, including racial segregation experienced by older generations, that restrain parental income may result in lower performance and achievement by future generations.
Black Lives Matter alone cannot achieve its aspirations of creating societies where discrimination serves as the basis of making people different unless the group receives considerable support from other areas. Another possible way to overcome racial discrimination and to create a society where people interact with each other regardless of their cultural dissimilarities is to train people and learners on the merits of developing a society that has no place for racism (Berman & Paradies 2010). Educators in learning facilities and in other settings should remind people about the negative aspects of racism, and put emphasis on the positive effects of fostering a united community and society. It is important to constantly remind people the need to overcome racism because Berman and Paradies (2010) feel that it is difficult to adopt multiculturalism in many contemporary liberal democracies due to unclear description of racism and anti-racism, and misunderstanding about the functions of multiculturalism in suppressing racism. Berman and Paradies (2010) assert that the lack of clearness has resulted in in marginalization of anti-racism within multicultural societies. Therefore, educators should take the initiative to educate people about what they need to understand about racism and creating a society where racial differences do not cause division.
The government can play vital functions in developing a diverse society where people do not segregate each other because of their race. The state should support the activities of the various social movement groups, and always heed to their calls. The government should facilitate the registration of such social movements, and ensure that nothing obstructs their functions. Consequently, administrators should facilitate the registration of such social movements, and always protect them when under considerable threat. For example, the government should support the activities of the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as other establishments such as the Me Too movement that plays essential functions in advocating for decreased sexual and racial discrimination, and Time’s Up movement that calls to an end to sexual violation. The state, however, should formulate structures that ensure these groups conduct their functions and protests in an orderly manner to avoid disruptions and situations where people lose their valuable properties due to unregulated revolts and unrests.
The study addresses the reasons why the Black Lives Matter movement receives overwhelming support and illustrates why the activities by the group are essential. The group manages to attract overwhelming support from many people in Canada and other parts of the world because it addresses the issue of racial discrimination. The group uses protests to attract the attention of the target audience, and the approach seems to yield some positive results. The attempts by the Black Lives Matter movement are significant because they help to eradicate racial discrimination, which can result in adverse social, economic and psychological effects. The operations of the Black Lives Matter help to avoid a situation where the adverse repercussions of racism moves from one generation to the other, and where future children suffer because of the injustices their ancestors experienced. However, it is imperative to acknowledge that the Black Lives Matter movement cannot win the war against racism without the support of other groups. Educators should take the initiative to educate people about the benefits of developing a multicultural society, and should take the initiative to clarify the areas that remain unclear to many people, and which could push them to indulge in discriminatory acts. The government can also support the activities of the Black Lives Matter movement by facilitating the operations of such groups, including ensuring that they do not experience considerable hurdles during the registration process. The study also illustrates describes the significance of creating policies that do not promote discriminatory acts as a way of showing solidarity with the activities of the Black Lives Matter.
Black Lives Matter. (2020). Black Lives Matter – Canada. Retrieved 20 November, 2020, from
Brian, B. (2002). Culture and equality: An egalitarian critique of multiculturalism. Harvard:
Harvard University Press. Press. ISBN 978-0-674-01001-7.
Huffpost. (2015). Black Lives Matter takes back the night and shuts down downtown Toronto.
Retrieved 20 November, 2020, from https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/09/28/black-
Macedo, D., et al. (2019). Effects of racism on the socio-emotional wellbeing of aboriginal
Australian children,’ International Journal for Equity in Health, 18 (132)
Stanely, J. et al. (2019). The impact of racism on the future health of adults: Protocol for a
prospective cohort study. BMC Public Health, 19 (346),
Current Strategic Issues within Nokia limited Company essay help
Current Strategic Issues within Nokia limited Company
Table of Contents
Internal and external analysis. 4
Problem identification. 6
Current Strategic Issues within Nokia limited Company
Nokia is public limited company providing telecommunication services. It was the leading mobile vendor in the 90’s up to 2012 where it was overtaken by the new companies like Samsung an apple which used their innovation capabilities to produce new smartphones. It has since 2012 majored on internet provision. The company has faced several challenges including the competition, innovation challenges, management and also financial setbacks. However, there is still room for bouncing back to dominating the market with the utilization of the available resources.
Nokia public limited company is a telecommunication company that has its roots in 1865 in Finland. Nokia company has since expanded to dominate the Global market (Pappe 2020). The Company’s headquarters are based at Karaportti in Espoo, Finland. It has ventured into different markets ranging from Data networking services, pulp milling to telecommunication device production. Nokia has been the leading mobile phone vendor up to 2012, where it lost its market to competitors due to its slow adaptation to smartphone production. The company management sold the phone business to Microsoft in 2013 and has been following variant market strategies, including Data mapping (Pappe 2020). Vecchiato (2020) affirmed that Microsoft had announced halting the production of phones inherited from Nokia in 2016, leading to the almost extinction of the famous Nokia phones. However, the Nokia mobile production is now roaring back to life. This has been witnessed by the production of new Android devices. Nokia had bought the Here in 2008, which focuses on data mapping, technology, and cloud computing services. Here was later sold in 2015 to Audi, BMW, and Daimler. To date, Nokia has been focusing on Telecom infrastructure following the purchase of the French Telecommunications Equipment Company referred to as Alcatel-Lucent (Pappe 2020). The current Nokia competitors in the telecommunication infrastructure include; Huawei, Qualcomm, Ericsson, and Cisco. Huawei and Ericsson are the main in the service provider network.
Nokia boasts various contributions to the market, including assisting the development of the network upgrade from 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G and the development of phones (Vecchiato 2020). In 2018, the Company received an award in innovative cable/ video production from the Leading Lights award (Idrees and Gul 2019). It was also named the most ethical Company in the world by Ethisphere in 2018 (Sucher and Gupta 2018). According to the newly released data, Nokia generated annual revenue of 6.62 billion euros in 2019. My main focus on the Nokia company is based on current strategies; operational management inefficiency, corporate culture, redefining competition, competitive pressure, and weak innovation management.
Internal and External Analysis
Nokia, the Finland’s Company, adopts a group leadership team type of management. The President and the Chief Executive Officer appointed by the board chair the Group Leadership team. The rights and responsibilities are outlined to the President under Finland law (Idrees and Gul 2019). The chairman of the Nokia Leadership team is the only member of the leadership team that belongs to the Board of Directors. Personnel Committee, Corporate Governance, Audit Committee, and Nomination Committee form the Board of Directors (Vecchiato 2020). Nokia abolished the position of Chief Operating Officer and amicably distributed the powers to the other company officials.
As of 2018, Nokia had one hundred and three thousand employees working at their one hundred and thirty workstations worldwide. Europe and Asia-pacific regions account for the larger share with about eighty thousand employees. The female gender accounted for a mere twenty percent of the total Nokia employees; hence men dominating. This resembles the Company’s close competitor that is Erickson, with the same gender distribution of employees.
The Company’s corporate culture is developed according to the Company’s manifestos in 1990. The Nokia way emphasized on more speed decision- making flexibility in a flat, networked organization. English is the official language used in internal communications, with all documentation being made in English and also used in intra-company communication (Idrees and Gul 2019). The Company adopted new core values in 1992, which entailed respect, renewal, achievement, and challenge. After a thorough discussion on the company employees’ values in 2007, the employees were to possess the following; employee engagement, teamwork, passion for innovation, and human culture (Vecchiato 2020). The Company, however, redefined its values after the sale of some of the Company’s business department to Microsoft. The current corporate values of employees in Nokia Company are Respect, Challenge, Reward, and achievement, which were adopted after the sale of some of the Company.
Nokia Company follows a horizontal type of organizational task. This method enables effective communication among its employees in the various departments. Nokia’s organizational structure is composed of four departments. These include; Enterprise solution and networks, Device department, which is in charge of mobile phone development and production, Customer and Marketing operation department. The departments work independently of each other and also interdepended. In October, the Company announced a shift in the management system of its Company (Idrees and Gul 2019). The new model is set to be effective by January 1st, 2021. These changes are; the inclusion of four P and L responsible business groups (Mobile networks, Cloud and network services, IP and Fixed networks, and Nokia technologies) in alignment with the Customer purchasing norms. These new changes are targeting increased customer relationships across the whole company departments (Vecchiato 2020). The new changes are also set to increase transparency and accountability, ease the organization’s structure, and is cost-efficient.
Other general environmental factors also affect the operation of the Nokia Company. With Nokia being a multinational, it follows certain ideologies put forward by the rules and laws which govern its operation. This is because the President of the Company follows the policies passed by the Finland government. Competition of Nokia with other companies for the market also determines the Company’s success (Vecchiato 2020). The Company’s slow adoption of the current competition in smartphone production has led the device department to face stiff challenges in market customer satisfaction. Many have shifted to other companies like Apple and Samsung, which are innovative and produce higher-quality smartphones than Nokia. However, the Nokia Company has seen some improvement in competition with a new shift from the expensive phones sold by major companies like Apple and Samsung to the new cheap Nokia smartphones (Schwarz 2019). The economy of the Europe based countries has been tremendously growing and these has led to increase in income to the workers and thus people tend to buy more luxurious goods like the Apple and Samsung phones. In addition, Nokia Company has to still abide by certain set laws by the international Security Council. This rule ensures that the Company upholds ethical values in its operation and satisfies the targeted customer. Technology and innovation is the key to the success of the telecom companies. Nokia received an award for being the best innovative Company in 2018 (Vecchiato 2020). The new technology model has been making new approaches to realizing their dominance in device production and distribution.
The management of a company determines the dominance of the market by the Company. There has been a complicated type of leadership in the Nokia Company where the Company is led by the President who has got the Chief Executive Officer of which their roles are almost the same. The President does not work under the Company’s rules but by the rules and laws passed by Finland’s legislature (Schwarz 2019). Therefore, Nokia’s management experiences some shifts in conducting business due to the legislators’ conflicting interests. The management board of Nokia also determines the employees’ corporate culture (Vecchiato 2020). The employees’ input determines the achievement of employees’ goals. There is a shift in the management of Nokia employees announced in September this year and is likely to be implemented by January 2021 (Schwarz 2019). Vecchiato (2020) argue that the transformation period is short and might land the Company in losing some of the key dominance as employees’ adjust to transformation, periodization employees will have to undergo as they shift from the older to the new system.
Nokia has also been experiencing challenges across the fixed access businesses and mobile (Vecchiato 2020). The major challenge in fixed access is attributed to the shift from copper to fiber. The mobile access challenge has seen the Nokia Company fail to reach the Company’s goal in its profit-leading business, which is the provision of 5G data to its clients (Schwarz 2019). The 5G network is seemed to fail to help the Company on a long-term basis largely. Still, the President of the Company assured that since Nokia is among the first developers of the internet, it is well-positioned to benefit from the internet. Competition from other companies who have adopted the fiber optic cable presents a threat to Nokia, by inhibiting it to achieve its set goals.
Enterprise growing and web-scale business in digitalization of the private industries is still a problem affecting the Nokia Company. This can be well illustrated by it being in direct trade with one hundred and fifty countries out of the one hundred and ninety-five countries in the world ((Sucher and Gupta 2018). The question of why isolation of the remaining forty-five countries presents the obstacle of the Company being a key contributor to the fourth industrial revolution, which is occurring through technology. The forty-five country disparity can significantly determine the success as a high potent competitor might outshine the Nokia technology in these countries and slowly out-challenge Nokia in other countries it dominated.
Capital is one of the big players in a competition. Nokia has been challenged financially for quite some period in the first. For instance, it was among the first innovators of the 5G network. However, the Company has not been able to thrive well in the market due to financial matters revolving around the Company. The Company produces quality work but goes way too high from the applicable charge and competitors’ charge hence scaring away the buyers (Sucher and Gupta 2018). To remain viable in the market, the Company offers to achieve smaller profits corresponding to its competitors.
Technology and innovation are still a challenge in the Nokia organization. Schwarz (2019) argued that the Company’s poor innovation has seen it lose the market dominance in mobile devices in 2012 and is soon draining the Company to lose over its current market in the network providers and even the available smartphone production department. For example, Nokia is producing cheaper phones, but they still cannot thrive better in an Apple and Samsung mobile dominated market. This is because Nokia does not innovate new strategies but uses the available through economical way to serve the market with a cheaper product of high quality (Schwarz 2019). The customer demand for higher and new features in a device is not catered for, and thus, Nokia starts losing its grasps in the mobile department. This strategy fails as the dominated companies are laying off workers to be left with some manageable laborers and hence intensifying the competition.
Adopting the new management system is better since the Company becomes too smooth to run with the horizontal type of leadership. The management change should also include the Company’s privatization to shun away from the constant political interference, which interfere with the Company’s performance. This is because it will compete fairly with other companies, free from political interference and influence. However, this would lead to lower operating capital as the government will cease from Kenya’s monthly financial support.
Nokia should utilize more economical means to achieve global markets. This would enable them to have dominance in providing their internet to all the countries over the world and reduce the competition. However, this comes with a cost where the Company should be innovative with the dynamic world. The competitors will be targeting to use any leak in the market to out-compete the dominant Company. This calls for the utilization of technology in the day to day business to cut off certain expenses. Therefore, one would require better the workers’ terms and conditions to deliver the best quality under minimal supervision.
Nokia should accommodate the labor burden, which is economical, and they can afford it. Although calls for a healthy promotion of the Company’s corporate culture, which attracts employees from various parts of the world, the employees’ values should also foster them to deliver. This can mean the hiring of the most qualified and smart employees as the market target. It will be better for an organization to have a manageable human resource who are paid good incentives and work willingly than invest in too many employees but not delivering. Offering of vacations and holidays to the employees also motivates the employees to work in the organization.
Nokia should become more innovative and hire smart employees. This is because the teamwork of experienced and smart employees will enable the Company to counter any stumbling block on the way. For instance, Nokia can innovate new operating systems able to accommodate various apps and features in phones. It can also develop the existing Android versions and phones with long-lasting battery development and production at a cheaper price than the rivals. These will see the Company be able to dominate the production of the mobile device. This recommendation’s negative effect is the high infrastructure that it calls for innovation as the Company sponsors various individuals within the organization who are trying to develop a certain idea. The biggest gain will be its ability to out-compete the competitors and have control of the economy. Nokia can also promote the invention and innovation culture where the individuals who invent new technological advances are recognized and even awarded.
Idrees, S. S., & Gul, S. S. (2016). Alcatel-Nokia Merger: The Challenges of the Change Process.
Retrieved from https://www.bam.ac.uk/sites/bam.ac.uk/files/contribution893.pdf
Pappe, S. (2020). So We Innovated… Now What? Journal of Intercultural Management and Ethics, 3(3), 27-43.
Schwarz, S. (2019). Nokia Go: Future Success Strategy.
Retrieved from http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:amk-2019101019832
Sucher, S. J., & Gupt/a, S. (2018, June). Layoffs that don’t break your company. Harvard Business review 5 (2). doi: 10.5430 https//diorg/ org/2018/05
Vecchiato, R. (2020). Analogical reasoning, cognition, and the response to technological change: Lessons from mobile communication. Research Policy, 49(5), 103-958.
Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Saudi Arabia
Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in Saudi Arabia
Entrepreneurial ecosystems are the unique independent structures that directly or indirectly influence the generation and growth of new business ideas. The entrepreneurship ecosystem pillars encompass culture, finance, laws, markets, human resource, aids, and markets (Almuzel et al. 2020). Entrepreneurship is, therefore, a core stakeholder in the economic geography with new companies growing from scratch to attract considerable interest across the world. A positive correlation between the various entrepreneurial ecosystem leads to more significant economic growth.
How can the Saudi government develop and improve the entrepreneurial ecosystems in the country?
What are the predictions for the future of these countries’ entrepreneurial ecosystems?
How can the Saudi government encourage its women to participate more in the economy as business entrepreneurs by developing its entrepreneurial ecosystems?
Bloomfield and Fisher (2019), argued that entrepreneurship plays a critical role in economic geography by creating new opportunities and modification of the available options to conform to the market.Scientific, technological, innovation, and entrepreneurial policies are the new orders of the day in highly developed countries. In design, the system cannot work without entrepreneurs. This study would be conducted to map the entrepreneurial ecosystems in Saudi Arabia, where little evidence of research on this topic in Saudi Arabia (Bloomfield et al. 2019). This research will have a significant impact in alignment with the existing literature hence positively influencing the need for more research work in the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Saudi Arabia from various approaches. This research provides known facts of the shifts in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, pinpointing its impacts. This research study will then review what is already known about entrepreneurial ecosystems in the Saudi context. It will then focus on three entrepreneurial ecosystem topics, including appropriate scale analysis, ecosystem hubs, and ecosystem evolution. Furthermore, it offers suggestions for researching the future of women entrepreneurs and methods of research. There is an ongoing research work on assessment of entrepreneurial ecosystem and Saudi Arabia’s ecosystem
Cultural and government policies ecosystem present a more significant challenge to women as entrepreneurs (Almuzel et al. 2020). This is probably championed by the country being a male-dominated society and despise upon the women. Women entrepreneurs are highly challenged in Saudi Arabia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem because it is a conservative country (Hechavarrí 2019). Some states have strong religious traits influenced by political positions, which lead to the adoption of specific rules and policies that scare away potential investors, for instance, the requirement of one to adopt a particular cultural style allowed to trade. This raises the curiosity to identify if the Culture and government policies in Saudi Arabia affect entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia, which is believed to be an assertive country.
Entrepreneurship, together with its ecosystem components, is affected by technological advancements. Technology comes in alignment with the entrepreneurship levels as the citizens invent better mechanisms of survival. There is a lot of innovation in this sector influenced by the favourable political environment and knowledge acquired during various workshops and exhibitions. For instance, a country mighty develops specific plans like advancing technology in alignment with the long-term goals. A company’s external environment plays a fundamental role in the success of any business idea. Therefore, the entrepreneurial ecosystems are developed from the literature on both local developments and business strategy and ambitions (Bloomfield et al. 2019). This case study of Saudi Arabia will seek to establish the correlation of the different entrepreneurial ecosystems and how they affect the entrepreneurship culture.
This study’s primary goal is to reveal the theoretical and methodological principles in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, evaluate the establishment and implementation principles, and learn the uniqueness in entrepreneurial ecosystem development, including the significant benefits of the formation of entrepreneurial ecosystems in Saudi Arabia.
Quantitative research methods will be used in carrying out this study. Sussan and Acs (2017) argue that this statistical method entails numerical data collection and the population’s density to illustrate a particular phenomenon. It usually employs descriptive and experimental designs. Illustrative research designs are used in correlating different variables (Cavallo et al., 2019). Therefore, this research will utilize this tactic in the correlation of the entrepreneurial ecosystems in Saudi Arabia. The scientist involved in collecting the data will be neutral and will not possess a conflict of interest in the study’s subject. The data contained in this research design will be objective and statistically analyzed to ensure objectivity and generalization. Questionnaires, which entail no questions to collect information from the responders, will be employed (Cavallo et al. 2019). Closed format questions that use multiple-choice questions are suitable for collecting logical information from Saudi Arabia government officials in departments correlated to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. For instance, the Department of Gender and Development officials in Saudi Arabia will provide data about the various gender discriminatory policies. The data will then be analysed using correlation data analysis, regression analysis, descriptive analysis, and electronic data analysis methods such as SPSS. SPSS is highly recommended in analysing extensive scale data. This is due to its ability to generate tabulated charts, reports, and plot trends and distribution. Besides, it analyses the more statistical concepts like regression statistics. It is relatively easy to work with, thus compatible with this research. (Acharjya et al., 2017). This will ultimately lead to accepting or rejecting the null hypothesis. This forms the conclusion of findings the proposal was entailed to investigate hence bringing the study to ultimatum. One ought to be careful while performing the data analysis so as not to provide contradicting information from the results obtained.
Qualitative research design is a statistical analysis tool, which involves collecting data in non-numerical mode and interpreting it. It is commonly used in micro-analysis with a small sample size that encompasses the routine lifestyle. This statistical tool is omitted in this research as it provides a platform for collecting data in the form of meanings, interpretations, and meanings, which will be less useful for the study compared to using the alternative quantitative research design.
This project will be conducted in Saudi Arabia in the middle east, a country believed to have greater male dominance and rich natural resources. The study analysis outcome may project a positive correlation among the entrepreneurial ecosystems in Saudi Arabia or may signal a negative correlation. There will be direct interviews with Saudi Arabia officials in various departments. I will be the person conducting the interviews. Interviews will be both orally and virtually with the integrated technological methods which use cloud meeting between the respond and interviewer. The study findings will be presented at the end of the study period.
Publication and Dissemination
Finally, the publication and dissemination of the results will be carried out at the end of the study. The study will also be presented to the relevant authorities after completion.
Acharjya, D., & Anitha, A. (2017). A comparative study of statistical and rough computing models in predictive data analysis. International Journal of Ambient Computing and Intelligence (IJACI), 8(2), 32-51.
Almuzel, M., & Anderson, T. (2020, June). An Assessment of Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: The case of Saudi Arabia. In 2020 IEEE Technology & Engineering Management Conference (TEMSCON) (pp. 1-6). IEEE.
Bloomfield, J., & Fisher, M. J. (2019). Quantitative research design. Journal of the Australasian Rehabilitation Nurses Association, 22(2), 27.
Cavallo, A., Ghezzi, A., & Balocco, R. (2019). Entrepreneurial ecosystem research: present debates and future directions. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, 15(4), 1291-1321.
Hechavarría, D. M., & Ingram, A. E. (2019). Entrepreneurial ecosystem conditions and gendered national-level entrepreneurial activity: a 14-year panel study of GEM. Small Business Economics, 53(2), 431-458.
Sussan, F., & Acs, Z. J. (2017). The digital entrepreneurial ecosystem. Small Business Economics, 49(1), 55-73.
Table of Contents
Executive Summary. 3
1.0 Introduction. 4
2.0 Company Background. 5
3.0 Analysis of the Business Environment 8
3.1 The Macroenvironment 9
3.1.1 Political Environment 9
3.1.2 Economic Environment 10
3.1.3 Social-Cultural Environment 10
3.1.4 Technical Environment 11
3.1.5 Legal Factors. 12
3.1.6 Environmental factors. 13
3.2 The Microenvironment 13
4.0 The Organization’s Marketing Mix. 14
5.0 Segmentation, targeting and positioning. 16
5.1 Segmentation. 16
5.2 Targeting. 17
5.3 Positioning. 17
6.0 Recommendations and Conclusions. 17
Technology firms are increasing around the world as information and communication technologies become increasingly adopted by firms. Currently, the technology solutions industry is very crowded and highly competitive, considering that the barriers of entry are low. Eigen Innovations Inc is an innovative company led by an entrepreneurial founder and CEO, and employs a combination of traditional and social media marketing activities that deliver a consistent message of automating the production process, as articulated in its mission statement (Cawsey & Rowley, 2016). Although the marketing audit revealed several positive aspects of the company’s marketing strategy, it also revealed the diversification of marketing activities as potential areas of improvement. It is recommended that Eigen Innovations Inc expand its public relations advertising strategy and focuses more in demystifying the high technologies in uses in the production solutions it develops for corporate clients.
Eigen Innovations Inc is a B2B firm because it develops solutions for firms rather than individuals. As companies experience increasing competition in their domestic markets, they internationalize to diversify their market presence. Such diversification is part the growth trajectory of a firm that seeks to evolve from a domestic player to a global company. in this regard, companies engage in aggressive and well-targeted marketing strategies that raise the awareness of their offering to clients in these different markets. Therefore, marketing initiatives that are supports by a strong branding strategy ensure that a firm can consolidate its presence in the market and become the preferred provider of goods and services to corporate clients in a given industry. In this case, Eigen Innovations Inc targets car-parts manufacturers and promises them an improvement of their manufacturing processes and quality of car-parts in an industry in which product quality is in high demand. The company is in a unique position because to receives marketing assistance from the Canadian government through agencies like the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) (Wong, 2019). This is because the government believes that the firm in a critical player in the Canadian and global economy, considering that it focuses on improving operational efficiencies in factories.
The ensuing marketing audit interrogates the marketing approaches employed by Eigen Innovations Inc as it strives to accumulate more corporate clients across the world and expand its market share in Canada and across the world. Marketing audit is a management tool that contemporary organizations utilize to study their marketing strategies and the findings of such studies help the firms develop improved marketing plans in the future. In this regard, marketing audits are performed periodically and systematically to help firms understand their business environments against their corporate objectives, strategies and activities. Such initiatives unearth the problematic areas surrounding firms and identify business opportunities that firms can capitalize on to become and remain profitable, enjoy business success by keeping their clients satisfied. Consequently, the findings of marketing audits facilitate the development of improved marketing plans by providing recommendations that address the improvement of marketing performance. This marketing audit focuses Eigen Innovations, which is a Canadian-based solution provider to car-part-making firms. The audit begins by explaining the background to the company to help understand its nature of business, its industry of operation, its location, and other critical information that are related to it. After that, the business environment in which Eigen Innovations operates is analyzed to unearth the characteristics of the macroenvironment and microenvironment using the PESTLE and SWOT analytical tools, respectively. Next, the marketing mix employed by Eigen Innovations will be analyzed using the 8ps tool. Then the segmentation, targeting, and positioning strategies of the company are analyses to identify the areas that the company capitalizes on during its marketing activities. The findings of these analyses will be consolidated to develop recommendations that the company can employ to improve its marketing outcomes.
2.0 Company Background
Eigen Innovations Inc is the brainchild of Scott Everett, a Canadian entrepreneur that was inspired by the machinery at his parents’ farm. Everett pursued his passion of machines by acquiring mechanical engineering credentials in university, which later led him into the automotive industry. However, in 2012, Everett and Dr. Rickey Dubay utilized $250,000 seed capital from the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF) to co-found a company that sought to utilize the vast amounts of data generated by manufacturing machines to improve the efficiency of manufacturing processes (Adzo, 2020). The company employs the technology-as-a-service approach by utilizing big data and artificial intelligence technology to create solutions to manufacturing problems and process efficiency.
Eigen Innovations is rated as one of the most innovative companies in Canada. Borzykowski (2019) noted that this firm was one of the 10 most innovation companies in Canada that had a global impact from the findings of BDC Captial, which invest in innovative entrepreneurs and firms. Its entrepreneurial nature is reflected by it founder and chief executive officer, Everest who left employment to venture into business. The entrepreneurship of Everett is evidenced by using the experience he had accumulated in the automotive industry and his passion for machines as a mechanical engineer to create a company that targeted vehicle parts manufacturers and their manufacturing challenges. His ability to decipher the trends in the manufacturing industry in Canada and the world and his foresight in predicting the future direction of manufacturing came to light during the ongoing pandemic in which lockdowns were instituted and many companies were forced to close down to stem the spread of Covid-19 (Borzykowski, 2019). In this regard, the software solutions and data collection sensors from Eigen Innovations became useful when factories cut down their staff and instituted social distancing rules in factory floors to become Covid-19 compliant (Adzo, 2020). This is because the customized solutions leverages automation, big data, and machine learning technologies to enable the vehicle manufacturing process continue seamlessly and more efficiently despite the automotive manufacturing factories operating with skeleton staff. Its innovativeness have brought accolades and recognition to Eigen Innovations, when its started showcasing its solution in the Internet of Things Grand Innovation Challenge that brought together over 3000 firms from more that 100 countries across the world (University of New Brunswick, n.d.). Eigen Innovations was the only Canadian company to have been shortlisted in the final ‘Super Six’ companies in the competition, which resulted in an invitation to the IoT World Forum in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (University of New Brunswick, n.d.). Consequently, the company won the third position in the Grand Innovation Challenge, which provided the company with a brand awareness and marketing opportunity that it has leveraged ever since to expand its market presence (University of New Brunswick, n.d.). The company continues to collaborate closely with the University of New Brunswick (UNB) to advance its innovation agenda.
Eigen Innovations Inc is headquartered in Fredericton in Canada and specializes in designing and developing application software, which it combines with data collection sensors to create solutions for the manufacturing industry. The company’s solutions help manufacturers to monitor their production processes, detect defects, and optimize these processes to enhance production efficiency and quality. At present, the company has employees as per its 2019 figures. Its mission statement inspires its operations. Eigen Innovations Inc’s mission statement is “to inspire innovation on the factory floor”. Its slogan is ‘see better act faster’ which encapsulates the overall vision of its founders, who have a strong engineering and research background, which is to provide advanced vision solutions to enhance problem detection and resolution in production lines. To this end, the firm works closely with manufacturers, analyzing the big data collected from their production processes to identify any challenges that my undermine efficiency and quality. The resultant analysis is used to make intelligent and smart process control equipment that can predict and resolve production challenges autonomously and deliver products of the highest quality speedily (Delhi, 2015).
Currently, Eigen Innovations Inc collaborates with Flir Systems, the world’s largest producer of imaging sensors and cameras, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Dell, a renowned American computer company to develop solutions that leverage high-resolution image data, artificial intelligence technology, and physical inspection and monitoring of the manufacturing process of car-parts (Eigen Innovations, 2020). However, the company has ventured in to other manufacturing industry like, the paper-making industry, Although the firm initiated its operations in Canada, it has expanded its market presence into countries like, the United States, Mexico, and Japan, and others in Europe (Eigen Innovations, 2020). Scott Everett predicts that his company will increase its international presence and diversity into other industries as the cost of technology lowers and more industries adopt new technology for improving the efficiency of their processes (Eigen Innovations, 2020). Its notable achievements include developing a customized solution of a leading paper manufacturer that was experiencing a manufacturing problem of numerous cold streaks on their high-gloss products. The streak detection solution has helped the paper manufacturer save about $1 million due to reduced equipment downtime and costs (Eigen Innovations, 2020). Similarly, the company developed a solution for detecting quality errors such as read-through defects, splay, and short shots found in molded car parts. The solution combines big data analytic and high-resolution imaging to create machines that can learn to detect the three defects in real time (Eigen Innovations, 2020). The company is also running a #SeeBetter marketing campaign to popularize its solutions and prides its self in using three unique approaches, including scalable machine learning, automated feature extractions, and best-in-class data capture tools (Eigen Innovations, 2020).
3.0 Analysis of the Business Environment
The business environment in which firms operate is critical for the survivability and success of a firm. In this regard, performing an business environment analysis is critical for identifying the aspects surrounding the firm that influence its performance and growth and can vary based on the particularly industry and location of the firm, among other internal and external factors. In this regard, this analysis is divided into the microenvironment which is the larger environment influencing an entire industry in a country and the microenvironment which is the most proximal environment surrounding an individual firm.
The software and technology services industry is still nascent and therefore undergoing numerous changes and technology evolves and new areas of application emerge. Therefore, the macroenvironment and microenvironment of this industry is very fluid and still developing. In this regard, there are numerous areas undergoing tremendous evolution as the industry matures and its governance structures become established to regulate an area of the economy whose importance is beginning to be realized. The PESTLE analysis and SWOT analysis frameworks are used in this paper to unearth the critical areas that influence the macroenvironment of the software and technology services industry and the microenvironment of Eigen Innovations, respectively (Nurmi & Niemelä, 2018).
3.1 The Macroenvironment
The macroenvironment of the software and technology services industry comprises the political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental aspects, which are beyond the influence of the individual companies.
3.1.1 Political Environment
Political factors are very critical to the technology industry because of its increasing adoption across the world and the globalization of networks using the internet and digital technologies. Governments are increasingly concerned, especially about the misuse of these technologies, considering that they surpass the temporal and special boundaries imposed by national borders. Cybercrime is a real threat to the national security of nations and can destabilize economies when dissidents within and across borders use such technologies to perpetrated their criminal intentions. Considering that governments and organizations in countries are sharing huge volumes of information across borders, securing the use of information and communication technologies to reduce political risk and sanitize the political environment is critical. In this regard, the Canadian government has joined the international community to ensure that these technologies are used responsibly within the national borders and collaborates with other nations to secure the global cyberspace to discourage technology misuse, which can threaten national security and destabilize the Canadian government (Nawata et al., 2020). In this regard, the Canadian government contributed to the responsible use of these technologies by providing regulatory frameworks that govern the technology industry without stifling innovation and organizational progress.
3.1.2 Economic Environment
The software and technology services industry is very sensitive to the economic environment of a country. This industry thrives in a free market environment that stimulates business operations. Therefore, growing economies are critical to the development and progression of the technology industry in which business-to-business firms operate. Contrastingly, economic shocks are unfavorable to this industry because they discourage and impede business operations and therefore, lower the demand for the software and technology services. Canada is a highly-developed country with a thriving business environment. The manufacturing sector in the country is still thriving despite the enormous competition from the newly-developed and emerging manufacturing centers, especially in Asia (Nawata et al., 2020). Moreover, since the barriers of entry into the technology are few, a free-market economy like the Canadian one is abuzz with technology company startups and foreign entrants, making it a highly-competitive industry.
3.1.3 Social-Cultural Environment
Organizations and individuals who have realized the operational efficiencies delivered by software and technology services are increasingly embracing these new and evolving technologies. The evolution of this industry is particularly influenced by the demands and deeds of end users, spurring software developers to create new services to satisfy an increasingly meticulous and demanding market.
The high adoption of digital technologies by the millenials and generation z’s have spurred the growth of the software and technology services industry. moreover, the increasingly elderly population in highly-developed countries like Canada has created demand for automation and technology-as-a-service, as the baby boomer generation retires and exits the labor market (Nawata et al., 2020). These demographic shifts are also critical to the development and evolution of the software and technology services industry as automated processes replace the manual ones and the workforce becomes increasingly technologically-oriented and aware. Moreover, the entrepreneurial spirit is enhanced by the availability and accessibility of digital technologies, and new technologically-oriented companies are emerging fast.
3.1.4 Technical Environment
The software and technology services industry is influenced greatly by technology emergence and evolution. New digital technologies are emerging speedily, new ways of using existing digital technologies are being discovered very often, and new combinations of existing technologies are emerging on a daily basis. Very often, the emergence of new technologies, like artificial intelligence, deep machine learning, and robotics in this case, disrupt the industry. moreover, corporate communication is increasingly occurring over social media than through traditional channels, exposing firms to much more public scrutiny (Cawsey & Rowley, 2016). Therefore, players in this industry must keep abreast of the latest technological development to avoid being relegated to obsolescence. Moreover, contemporary firms are increasingly adopting technology in the processes because of the operational efficiencies they deliver. The rate of diffusion of these technologies across companies is indicative of its usefulness within and across several industries. Therefore, firms need to be confident that they can access the best technologies in the market without incurring a huge financial cost on their balance sheets before making purchasing commitments. In this case, manufacturing firms are adopting automation to bring down costs and enhance efficiencies of the production process. These processes are being disrupted by robotics, artificial intelligence, deep machine learning, and big data analytics as they become increasingly unmanned (Nawata et al., 2020). Moreover, the manufacturing value chain has been fragmented making firms to specialize in producing components while others focus of assembly of the parts. This has led to the development of customizable production equipment that can be reprogrammed to make new products in a short notice.
3.1.5 Legal Factors
The technology solutions firms operate in an evolving regulatory environment, considering that many of the new and emerging digital technologies are pushing the technological frontier that has not been addressed before, legally. As technologies evolve and emerge, they present new challenges to the regulatory environment because new laws have to be formulated and enacted to address the novel regulatory gaps and challenges. In the software and technology services industry privacy, piracy, and intellectual property protection, consumer protection and antitrust regulations, and information sharing between companies and with governments are critical influencers of the legal environment as governments attempt to balance corporate interests of technology providers and personal and private interests of users (Nawata et al., 2020).
Canada is a liberal modern highly-developed country that pursues free-market operations although it has placed trading sanctions of several countries it deems to have authoritative and repressive regimes. Its high regard for human rights has motivated the Canadian lawmakers to enact business permissive laws that uphold the rights of employees and consumers. Moreover, the business environment in Canada is regulated by laws that are premised in the English common law, although the province of Quebec follows a civil law system, considering that the country accommodates both British and French operational standards (Nawata et al., 2020). Moreover, the country has not restrictions of capital flow so long as they are not with companies located in countries the Canada has posed business sanctions. Moreover, the government incentivizes various economic aspects by availing cheap credit, loan reprieves, marketing support, and tax rebates to companies that develop or adopt green technologies, enhance the manufacturing process, conserve energy and promote research and development (Nawata et al., 2020; Rojas, Solis, & Zhu, 2018). Eigen Innovations Inc should be conversant with complex legal environment in Canada and the regulatory diversity across the markets in interest.
3.1.6 Environmental factors
Environmental safety, conservation, and protection have become a central focus of the corporate governance as firms seek to guarantee their social license to operate amid increasingly environmentally-conscious customers and governments. Higher demands are being placed on the environmental-friendliness of business operations and production processes and robust brands are increasingly being associated with practices such as, recycling, energy conservation, waste management, pollution prevention, conservation of the environment and endangered species, and mitigating climate change (Nawata et al., 2020). However, different markets have different regulatory frameworks that influence the environmental aspects of technology, and Eigen Innovations Inc should be able to navigate through the complex regulatory environments in different jurisdictions across the world.
3.2 The Microenvironment
The microenvironment of an industry is the space surrounding the companies that operate in it. It comprises the internal and external factors that influence the operations and performance of a firm and identifies the competitive edge of the firm. In this case, the environment that surrounds Eigen Innovations is critical for this analysis because it determines the strengths and weaknesses, which are internal to the firm, and the opportunities and threats facing the firm, which are external to the firm. Therefore, the microenvironment is aptly analyzed using the SWOT analysis tool (Adagba & Shakpande, 2017). Table 1 summarizes the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats on Eigen Innovations.
BeneficialDetrimentalInternalStrengths Led by visionary leaders that are experienced in the automotive and engineering industries and have a passion for innovationUses artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and advances imaging technologies to create innovative solutionsHas strategic partnerships that complement its organizational competencies while ensuring that it delivers solutions of the highest qualityStrong sense of team spirit among employeesFirm enjoys a strong support from the Canadian government and enjoys regular fundingWeaknesses Relies heavily on highly-skilled individuals The company is exposed to stiff competition even from its strategic partners, which may venture into automating the manufacturing sectorNew employees must assimilate to the organizational culture speedily because the firm relies in teamworkExternalOpportunities Can leverage the new developments in big data, artificial intelligence, robotics, and deep machine learning to create new solutionsThe solutions can be adopted by any other manufacturing firm and not only automotive manufacturingThe company could venture into foreign markets in a growth and expansion strategyCan enter into more strategic partnerships to broaden the solutions is developed and diversify its market reachThreats The company is operating in an industry whose regulatory frameworks are changing fast. Restrictive legal and regulatory frameworks may stifle the capabilities of the manufacturing solutions created, considering that the company handles large volumes of proprietary data. Cybercrime remains a significant threat to the company due to potential loss of intellectual propertyThe company is exposed to stiff competition from other startups in and outside Canada
4.0 The Organization’s Marketing Mix
This section will analyze the marketing approach used by Eigen Innovations. Although marketing of products is more straightforward than marketing services, marketing services is challenged by the intangibility of the offers and extensive reliance on people, despite its importance as the mainstay of the tertiary sector of advanced economies (Finchum, 2017). In this regard, the eight (8) P’s of marketing mix are employed in this analysis. This analysis approach is preferred because it is recommended for the analysis of the marketing of services rather than tangible products. Eigen Innovations operates in the business-to-business segment by providing technology-as-a-service to automotive manufacturers. This marketing mix tool of analysis defines the product/service, price, placement, promotion, perspective, philosophy, people, and planning (Ahmed, 2020).
PDescriptionProduct/serviceThe company offers a unique combination of a service and associated products. the manufacturing solutions come with high-definition imaging capabilities that can detect and correct production errors while improving production speeds PriceThe solutions of the company are not fixed on price because they are customized to specific challenges if particularly manufacturing firms. The price is negotiated after the extent of the problem and the intended interventions has been fully understood by both parties. However, the price reflects the high-quality of the high-technology solutions and is justified by the projected savings in money and timeThe firm employs value-based pricing approach, which benefits the early adopters the mostPlacementAlthough the company avails its products/services physically at its headquarters in Fredericton, it also has an e-commerce presence to attend to the far-to-reach customersIts offerings are well displayed in its official websitePromotionThe company promotes its solutions across diverse media. It uses a mix of traditional and new media. Specifically, news articles and press releases in magazines as well as social media presence in LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube The company also employs public relations through conferences, attending challenges, and testimonies from satisfied customers that lead to referralsPerspectiveThe company has adopted the end-use or customer-oriented perspective in the solution it offers. The company works closely with manufacturers to help them determine the production inefficiencies evidenced by their data. Therefore, each solution is defined uniquely by the consumer and informs the solution to be developed by Eigen Innovations.PhilosophyThe philosophy behind the company’s marketing strategy is captured in its mission statement, which is “to inspire innovation on the factory floor”. Therefore, the marketing approach aims at inspiring manufacturing firms to automate their production processes and reduce errors due to inefficientPeopleThe company has a tight pool of 15 highly-skilled employees that have a passion in new digital technologies. The recruitment process is based on technical expertise and organizational fit, considering that the firm uses projects to create its innovative services and solutionsThe senior management are the brand ambassadors for the firm and are regularly taking interviews and interacting with consumers on the company’s social media handlesPlanningEigen Innovations prioritizes marketing planning by creating cohesive and consistent marketing messages that are contained in the internal and external communication activities. The marketing plan is strategic is directing selected messages to targeted corporate customers
5.0 Segmentation, targeting and positioning
Marketers need to define their markets precisely to develop accurate marketing strategies that would deliver the expected outcomes. The days of defining markets broadly are gone and have become replaced with the era of targeted marketing in the contemporary business environment, which has become highly competitive. Moreover, the current pace of technological innovations exposes technology firms with a high rate of obsolescence and a much shorter organizational lifecycle. In this regard, this analysis delves into the segmentation, targeting, and positioning of Eigen Innovations, which spurs its organizational success and is responsible for the recognition of the firm as one of the most innovative ones in Canada (Hollensen, 2019). Segmentation, targeting, and positioning (STP) are the modern marketing approaches that firms employ to develop highly-focused marketing communication plans.
Eigen Innovations targets automotive manufacturers rather than individual customers because it operates in the business-to-business sector. It has identified that vehicle manufacturers collect much data in the process of vehicle production and face many operational challenges that influence the quality of their products and efficiency of their manufacturing processes. Therefore, Eigen Innovations has segmented the manufacturing industry into vehicle manufacturers that use automation in their manufacturing processes. it helps these firms use their huge database to resolve manufacturing problems and improve efficiencies.
Targeting is a description of the attractiveness of a market segment. Eigen Innovations has considered the need to segment the manufacturing sector by identifying the smallest segment, that of car-part manufacturers. Nonetheless, the different segments in the manufacturing industry derive similar benefits from the companies solutions. These benefits are the improvement of production processes to reduce defects and quicken output, lowering of cost and time overheads by reducing equipment downtime and repair/rework costs, and lowering operational costs by reducing human intervention through automation of the production process. These benefits are well-articulated in the communication messages of the company.
Positioning is the description of how a product or service is presented to the market. It identifies the unique selling point of the offering and places the product or services among the other offerings in the market. A well-positioned product/service should be unique so that it is easily identifiable from competitors’ offerings. In this regard, Eigen Innovations have positioned its products/services as technology-as-a-service for automotive manufacturers (Hollensen, 2019). This offering is unique in the technology market and has few competitors considering that consumers contract software developers and production automators to created unique solutions for individual companies.
6.0 Recommendations and Conclusions
This marketing audit revealed that Eigen Innovations Inc is operating in a fast-developing industry of developers of technology-based solutions that combine customized software and hardware packages targeting specific and individual firms. However, this marketing audit, especially the microenvironment and macroeenvironment analysis revealed some areas in which the company can strengthen to enhance its marketing outcomes. To this end, its is recommended that the company increased its online engagement and focuses on relation-building, considering that its current focus is on creating awareness of its services with minimal interaction with the company’s senior management (Hollensen, 2019). Most of the time, it is Eigen Innovations Inc that is setting the online discourse agenda, which does not seen to attract sufficient interacting from the targeted clients. Secondly, it is recommended that the company included discounts for companies that order their solutions in a certain time or period. Many manufacturers may be unfamiliar with the new digital technologies like artificial intelligence, deep machine learning, neural networks, and big data analytics, and therefore are wary of the cost implications because they think that these smart technologies are very expensive to acquire and install. Regular discounts by demystify the fears of high cost by transferring the lowering costs of using new digital technologies to the clients. Thirdly, it is recommended that the company attend more innovation and smart technology summits to increase its visibility in the global market. Corporate clients seeking for revolutionary technologies find them in symposiums and other innovators’ forums in which new technologies are showcased.
In conclusion, Eigen Innovations Inc has ventured into uncharted business segment that holds great potential. However, despite its impressive performance and accolades accorded to it in recognition of its stellar performance, the digital technologies it employs in its solutions are yet permeate the manufacturing industry extensively. Therefore, many manufacturing firms miss the opportunities presented by smart technologies that would automate their production processes while saving costs from defects, wastages, and equipment downtimes. The technologies it employs to develop solutions are yet to be well understood by manufacturers who are not well-versed with the potential held by their rapid evolution. In this regard, the company should target its marketing strategy towards raising awareness among manufacturers and exposing the production efficiency potential of these technologies and the benefits such technologies deliver to manufacturing firms.
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AD642 Individual Assignment 2
Columbia Gas of Massachusetts Case – Project Issue Analysis
Table of Contents
Executive Summary. 3
Issues Identification. 7
Safety Culture. 7
Risk Management 8
Project Coordination. 9
Proposed Solutions. 9
Pros and Cons Matrix. 10
Fires and explosions riddled the natural gas pipeline that is owned and managed by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts in 2018 when it became overpressurised following the erroneous installation of replacement piping by Feeney Brothers, which had been subcontracted for the piping system replacement project. A life was lost and scores of others were severally injured, lost their properties, and were displaced from their homes. An analysis of the project revealed several project management failures. This report addresses three major issues; lack of a safety culture, lack of a risk management plan, and lack of effective project coordination. These issues were identified as the main reasons behind the incidence that cost the company huge payouts in fines, compensation, and resettlement charges. This report discusses these issues, proposes solutions and their advantages and disadvantages, and makes recommendations that would help prevent the recurrence of similar incidents in such projects in the future.
Columbia Gas of Massachusetts Case – Project Issue Analysis
Merrimack Valley in Massachusetts wound down the day of September 13 in 2018 to a series of fires and explosions that reined the sky. The natural gas distributions lines in the towns of North Andover, Andover, and Lawrence contained overpressurised natural gas, which breached the piping system and ignited property and homes, creating a mass panic that called for an evacuation. Five explosions and 151 incidences of fire were reported after the incident, which occurred in the late afternoon of the fateful day (Maltzman, 2020). Many residents were caught by surprise when they attempted to light up their ovens only to be met by explosions, while in other cases, gas explosions occurred in basements of homes and lit up to form fires that engulfed them before spreading to the rest of the homes. By the end of the incident, which lasted about two and a half hours before it could be contained, 1 fatality and 21 seriously-injured people was the extend of the human catastrophe. In addition, the gas system was shut down making 10,894 consumers go without cooking or heating fuel for months, while an estimated 30,000 people were displaced from their homes, with the total cost of the damages being estimated at more than $1 billion (Maltzman, 2020).
At the center of this disastrous occurrence was Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, the company that owns and operates the natural gas distribution system in the commonwealth of Massachusetts and its environs. The company was renewing the subterranean natural gas line in a project that went awry, causing the pressure in the pipes to be increased to levels that would not be withstood by sections of the steel piping system, leading to the explosion and fires. This incident is not attributed to a single cause but rather to a series of systematic loopholes that had been created over time, since natural gas became deregulated in 2014.
This analysis focuses on the project issues that arose in Columbia Gas of Massachusetts and the company that commissioned the renewal of the antiquated subterranean cast-iron piping system for conveying natural gas to homes in Massachusetts. The analysis begins with a brief background of the disastrous event followed by the identification of issues from a project management perspective. After that, solutions are proposed and their pros and cons weighed in a matrix, to inform the recommendations that follow thereafter. In the end, this analysis will facilitate the prevention of the recurrence of such incidences in the future. This is because project management errors are costly and damage reputations of organizations, and can endanger the survivability of a firm that has a significant social responsibility to its stakeholders.
The disaster in the natural gas piping system owned and run by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts exposed the dangers in the lack of collaboration between contractors and subcontractors in a deregulated environment. Several fires and explosions that damaged property and devastated populations in towns of North Andover and Andover, and the city of Lawrence in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States commenced at about 4:20 pm on September 13, 2018 when natural gas subterranean pipes became overpressurized and breached. This incident occurred during the replacement of the gas lines, which was being undertaken by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, a subsidiary of NiSource Inc. and its subcontracted project partner, Feeney Brothers, a company that specializes in servicing pipelines. These companies were replacing the cast iron low-pressure natural gas piping network in Merrimack valley, which was installed in the 1900s, with polyethylene ones. This replacement, which had been initiated in 2016, was necessitated by the fact that the old cast iron system has rusted and had weakened over time due to the shifting ground level and soils due to frost heaves, thermal stress in extreme cold weather, expansion pressures from ice and snow (National Transportation Safety Board, 2019; Rosenfeld, 2015).
However, on the fateful day, the replacement project was proceeding as usual. The Feeney Brothers contractor embarked on replacing the cast iron segment with a polyethylene pipe as directed by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts. It specifically detached the bypass pipe situated between the plastic mains and the old cast iron piping to isolate and abandon the old pipe. However, the subcontractors or Columbia Gas of Massachusetts did not relocate the pressure sensor attached to the cast iron pit, thus leaving it live, despite having been isolated from the gas system (National Transportation Safety Board, 2019). The gas pressure monitoring system registered a drop in gas pressure and activated the pressurization process, without confirming the reason for the sudden drop in gas pressure. Consequently, gas pressure built up in the three areas in Massachusetts resulting to the fires and explosions. Even after the initial incidences were reported, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts could not respond or close the gas pipes fast enough because the valve locations were not sufficiently staffed, and the few that were present were scattered all over the region. The gas shutdown was completed at around 6:27 in the morning following Columbia Gas of Massachusetts seeking assistance from the Northeast Gas Association at almost 3:00 in the night.
An investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (2019) revealed that the weak engineering management practices at Columbia Gas of Massachusetts were the cause of the large increase in gas pressure in the gas distribution network. The weak project management practices led to the abandonment of a cast iron pipe with the regulator sensing line still attached to it and sending pressure signals, instead of transferring it to the newly fitted polyethylene one (National Transportation Safety Board, 2019). Moreover, the low-pressure gas line operated without sufficient overpressure protection and therefore, could not respond autonomously and swiftly enough to overpressure events (National Transportation Safety Board, 2019).
These engineering management failures can be viewed from a project management lens and distilled into project management issues. Evidently, an ongoing pipeline replacement project had failed and caused a disaster that was costly to Columbia Gas of Massachusetts and its holding company, NiSource Inc. These failures had exposed the gaps in the collaboration between contractors and subcontractors, communication failure, documentation deficiencies, planning incompetence, and several other challenges. The ensuing segment delves into the safety culture, risk management, and project coordination as the major project management issues exposed by this incident.
The Columbia Gas of Massachusetts incident demonstrated three significant issues that can be related to project management. These include the safety culture, risk management, and project coordination, whose weaknesses as implicated in the explosions and fires that occurred in Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts incident exposed the safety lapses at Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, which can be construed to be the lack of a safety culture. NiSource Inc and Columbia Gas of Massachusetts confessed that they had violated the Pipeline Safety Act, which was a federal law, causing it to pay $53million as a fine and an additional $143 million as settlement of damages caused to businesses and residents of the affected areas. The Pipeline Safety Act is very comprehensive, is enforced by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), and calls for prudent detection of leads, accurate reporting of incidents, and regular inspection of pipelines, among other regulatory management, and project managers in the oil and gas industry are expected to adhere too it, strictly. Such meticulous adherence to the safety requirements of this law are reflected in the safety culture of an organization and its project management practices (Trinh & Feng, 2020). In this case, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts overlooked several safety measures during the pipeline renewal project, including ensuring that the monitoring sensors were removed from the old cast iron piping and installed on the new polyethylene ones, and tested sufficiently before commissioning the new lines. Therefore, the pressure monitoring system was taking readings from a decommissioned cast iron pipe and therefore, reading the ambient pressure (0.01 psi) initially, which is much lower than that in low-pressure gas pipes (0.5 psi), and which elevated by 2.5 psi (National Transportation Safety Board, 2019). Moreover, the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system used by NiSource monitors pressures in the pipeline but canner be used to control the gas system remotely. Therefore, human intervention was required to correct the pressure spike, but few technicians were on call and could not attend to the 14 regulator stations strewn across the firm’s jurisdiction (National Transportation Safety Board, 2019). Trinh and Feng (2020) noted that such situations occur when projects are complex technically and environmentally, and therefore required a resilience safety culture to improve the safety performance of a project team. In fact, Freeman, Apt, and Dworkin (2018) warned on the high levels of pressure drop occurrences in natural gas lines, which called for improved pipeline monitoring and leak detection.
The second issue exposed by this case is the ad hoc nature of the risk management practices at Columbia Gas of Massachusetts. Columbia Gas of Massachusetts has overlooked the development of a comprehensive risk mitigation plan prior to its pipeline renewal project to ensure that all the probable risks were identified, classified, and mitigation strategies developed based on their probability of occurring, impact on the project, and level of stakeholder influence. Moreover, the involvement of diverse and multidisciplinary stakeholders in the form of contractors and subcontractors presented challenges in relationship management, going by the gaps in instructions given to Feeney Brothers by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, which did not indicate the presence of monitoring sensors in the lines they were replacing. Hwang and Ng (2016) noted that engaging subcontractors created risks in a project due to the loss of control over the subcontractors’ activities by the main contractor. In this case, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, who was the main contractor in the pipeline replacement project, had ceded some control and authority to Feeney Brothers and therefore, could not supervise their activities closely. Moreover, the main contractor did not define the expectations of the subcontractor succinctly, by leaving out the transfer of the bypass pipe hosting the pressure sensors.
The third critical issue of concern in this case is the absence of efficient and effective project coordination, particularly between the holding company, the contractor and the subcontractor. This issues is closely related to the second one because it requires the protect team to work like a cohesive and high-performing team. The case indicated that the project manager could not follow the activities of all the project team members. The National Transportation Safety Board summarized these inefficiencies as weak management and poor oversight after investigating the incidences thoroughly (Ly, 2019). Specifically, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts did not instruct Feeney Brothers to relocate the leakage and pressure sensors from the old cast iron pipes to the new polyethylene ones after they installed them. Moreover, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts were not cognizant of this oversight as they made readings from a decommissioned pipe remnant that gave a false state of the gas pressures in the refurbished pipeline (Penn, 2019). In this regard, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts had failed as a main contractor for not involving its stakeholders, including subcontractors, enough.
The issues identified in the previous section can be resolved using several approaches. To the first issue of the absence of a culture of safety at Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, the entire project team should be retrained in the correct past safety oversights and errors, and acquire the most recent safety knowledge and measures. In addition, a safety culture can be fostered through organizational-wide safety policy that includes the latest best practice standards and practices, including the safety guidelines provided by the federal and state pipeline safety acts.
The second issue regarding the lack if comprehensive risk management can be resolved by having a comprehensive risk management plan that incorporates all the stakeholders in projects. In this case, the project manager should incorporate the main contractor, the subcontractors, third-party providers and even the regulatory agencies during the planning phase of the project, to facilitate the identification of all the project risks and formulation of mitigation measures. Adopting best practices such as those in ISO 31000 would help the company seal all the risk management loopholes in its projects (Olechowski, et al., 2016). Moreover, such a risk management approach would enable the development of a concise and detailed work breakdown structure that assigns responsibility to the different stakeholders in their role in mitigating the possible risks in projects.
The third issue of the lack of proper project coordination can be resolved by enhancing communication between the project team members. The use of interoperable communication and information technologies to facilitate prompt and interactive communication, concise language and terminologies that are understood by all parties, and the enhancement of incident-reporting and incident-response mechanisms (Muriana & Vizzini, 2017). This is best done by implementing an organization-wide communication strategy and plan that enables speedy, accurate, interactive, and open communication across the entire project team. Moreover, a team-building exercise that enhances the cohesiveness of the project team would enhance the congruity of the diverse working styles of the multidisciplinary team members and convert them into high-performing and effective work teams.
Pros and Cons Matrix
The pros and cons matrix summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed solutions. These aspects are presented in table 1.
Table 1. Pros and cons matrix
Issue noSolutionProsCons1Safety trainingEnhanced incident reduction Increased employee responsivenessIncreased employee responsibilityRequires finances, which can disrupt budgets and profitsTime-consuming before outcomes can be realizedCan be resisted by some employees Safety policyProduces a company-wide culture changeIncreased employee responsibilityCulture change is time-consuming and resource-intensive2Risk management planHelps identify all the project risksEngages all project stakeholdersConsultative meetings are time-consuming and resource-intensive, and can disrupt project budgets can create time and cost overruns Detailed work breakdown structureAssigns activities, duties and responsibilities to all project stakeholders in the project teamMay cause project delays if sequential work is help up by one partyCan cause ambiguity in duties and responsibilities if activities are shared by different teams, subcontractors, and third-party providers3Organization-wide communication strategy and planGuarantees effective and seamless organization-wide communicationSome parties may withhold vital information to guard their turfs in the project
To avoid a recurrence of a similar incident at Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, the proposed solutions are used to inform the recommendations provided in this section.
Firstly, it is recommended that the project management strategy foster closer working relations between the main contractor and subcontractors. Columbia Gas of Massachusetts should inform Feeney Brothers of all the details about the existing natural gas pipeline system, including the location of the monitoring sensors, so that the replacement is complete and the sensors are included into the new pipeline. This can be effected by implementing an organization-wide communication plan. In the same vein, relationship enhancement approaches, like team building, should be incorporated into the relationship enhancement strategy to enable diverse and multidisciplinary teams work cohesively and complementarily.
Secondly, it is recommended that NiSource Inc. upgrades its SCADA system to enable remote and autonomous detection of leaks, pressure fluctuations, and mechanical damages in the gas pipeline network and resolution of such issues. This should be combined with an organizational culture change that instills a culture of safety in the organization and its subsidiaries. A policy reform that captures all the safety aspects of projects needs to be included in the change process. Moreover, this change in technology and culture should be managed prudently to reduce employee resistance and increase their buy-in.
The Columbia Gas of Massachusetts fire and explosion incidents of 2018 exposed the challenges that the pipeline replacement project faced when the contractor and subcontractor worked independently. Although Feeney Brothers did their work according to the instruction provided by Columbia Gas of Massachusetts, they were not engaged in the formulation of the risk management plan, and therefore, did not consider the installation of monitoring sensors as part of their project responsibility. In turn, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts overlooked the sensors issue considering that it did not have control over the activities of Feeney Brothers in the project, consequently, the absence of a safety culture, poor risk management, and lack of proper project coordination emerged as the main issues that required immediate attention. The proposed solutions included the enhancement of a good working relationship between the project stakeholders, and especially between the main contractor and the sub contractors, and the upgrading of the pipeline management system, accompanied by a company-wide organizational change to project its effective use among the company employees. These measures are expected to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents in the future.
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Ly, L. (2019). Merrimack Valley gas explosions were caused by weak management, poor oversight, NTSB says. Retrieved 24 November 2020 from https://edition.cnn.com/2019/09/24/us/ma-gas-explosions-cause/index.html.
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National Transportation Safety Board (2019). Overpressurization of natural gas distribution system, explosion, and fires in Merrimack Valley, Massachusetts, September 13, 2018. Pipeline Accident Report NTSB/PAR-19/02. Washington, DC.
Olechowski, A., Oehmen, J., Seering, W., & Ben-Daya, M. (2016). The professionalization of risk management: What role can the ISO 31000 risk management principles play? International Journal of Project Management, 34(8), 1568-1578. doi:10.1016/j.ijproman.2016.08.002.
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Personal Leadership Portrait
Personal Leadership Portrait
Proper leadership is an important aspect that plays significant functions in influencing organizational functions and culture. Leaders play vital functions in improving the quality of care, and contribute towards employee well-being and development, and those receiving the services (Savel & Munro 2017). It is apparent that in health care, prosperous leadership contribute towards increased reach to care, increased safety and quality of care, enhanced ethical practice, affordability, and increased inclusion and diversity. The report illustrates the importance of applying the transformational leadership style in leading a health care team, and using ethical leadership principles that make it easier to deliver services. The study illustrates how scholar-practitioners have the potential to serve as leaders, and how their practice give more insight into effective leadership in the health sector. The leadership approach and techniques health professionals use to lead teams determine how well they perform in their duties.
Personal Approach to Healthcare Leadership
The leadership approach one uses is important in determining the possible outcomes in health care practices. An appropriate leadership approach that may help to steer health care is transformational leadership in which leaders motivate, inspire, and encourage workers to innovate and introduce change that will help advance and transform the future success of the health facility (Giddens 2018). It is easier to achieve the desired goal by setting the appropriate examples at the executive stage through a robust feeling of organizational culture, worker ownership, and autonomy at the place of work (Giddens 2018). The leadership approach assumes that inspiring and motivating the members of staff and trusting trained personnel to take charge over decision-making in their assigned areas (Giddens 2018). The managerial style is the most effective in improving performance and enhancing worker satisfaction because it is designed to allow employees more space to be creative, be visionary, and identify new remedies to past challenges.
Besides motivating workers and giving them autonomy over their duties, the transformational leadership style is the most suitable approach in health care settings due to several other reasons. The style exemplifies ethical values and standards within the firm and advocates for the same of others, and promotes an ethical workplace with clear standards, priorities, and values (Giddens 2018). Transformational leadership is an appropriate approach because it helps to improve the organizational culture by encouraging workers to shift from a mindset of self-interest to an attitude where they serve with a common objective (Giddens 2018). The style is favorable because it provides room to emphasize on open communication, cooperation, and authenticity, which are vital requirements in health practices (Giddens 2018). Moreover, the approach is more suitable because it allows for mentoring and coaching while at the same time providing workers with the chance to take ownership of duties and make vital decisions.
Interprofessional Relationships, Community Engagement and Change Management
The transformational leadership approach plays significant functions in building interprofessional relationships within the health facility. Transformational leaders acknowledge that interprofessional relationships in health practice are a fundamental aspect of enhancing collaborative health practice. The approach takes into account that common objectives among individual health practitioners and mutual intentions are the building blocks to establish the formation of these connections (Sfantou et al. 2017). Adequate and effective stimulation and motivation, which are vital aspects of transformational leadership may encourage various professionals to come together and handle an issue as a team (Sfantou et al. 2017). Thus, other leaders should consider applying transformational leadership because it appears to be an effective leadership style in building interprofessional relationship.
The leadership style promotes community engagement, which is a vital requirement in health care. Such leaders know that community participation is chief to any health care intervention, and that its significance is even more felt during health emergencies. It is easier for a transformational leader to promote community engagement because the technique offers a clear path, motivation, and inspiration that may encourage members of the community to give their views on how to handle the organizational processes. Transformational leaders are able to use their collaborative skills to include members of the community in initiatives that will benefit their health and overall well-being.
A transformational leader can effectively facilitate change management within the organization. The leadership technique takes into account that whereas change alters actions through external influences, transformation changes the belief system of a group so that it is possible to attain good end results (Sfantou et al. 2017). Such leaders are visionary and understand what measures the organization needs to take to reach the targeted goals. Accordingly, leaders in healthcare settings should focus on applying transformational leadership if they want to foster change.
How Ethical Leadership Principles can be applied to Professional Practice
Professional leaders must apply ethical leadership principles that would help them to improve their practice. Shale (2012) writes that even though leadership ethics is a relatively recent field, it provides valuable guidance as it provides the chance to know who leaders are and how they do their things. The decisions that managers make and how they react in a given situation are influenced and guided by their ethics (Belton & Anderson 2017). Abiding by the ethical principles provides the chance to follow the morals and values that the society and individuals find appropriate (Shale 2012). Therefore, health leaders must follow the ethical leadership principles that would allow them to act professionally.
Respect, justice, and honesty are some of the ethical leadership principles that can help professional health workers to improve how they help others. Professionals must respect themselves to ensure that they conduct themselves in the most appropriate manner all the time (Shale 2012). They must respect the views of their clients and those above them to do what everyone appreciates. The respect that health professionals display should be deeper, and depict a sense of empathy and tolerance to conflicting views (Shale 2012). Professionals who apply the ethical principle of justice are able to perform their duties with impartiality, fairness, and equality. For example, a leader in a clinical setting has the obligation to be fair to everyone if they wish to conduct their operations effectively and in accordance with moral guidelines (Shale 2012). Justice is a vital requirement for every professional because if they are not fair to community groups and individuals within their environment while executing their duties, it will be difficult to build public trust and this will have negative effects on performance. Health professionals must understand that they have a duty to be fair and uphold high ethical values at all times, encompassing truthfulness and privacy towards all clients in the same way (Shale 2012). Besides, professionals should practice honesty which is significant principle. Dishonesty is a harmful practice that could result in lying and could distort reality. All professionals should observe the ethical leadership principles if they want to realize the best results.
How to address Diversity and Inclusion
One of the concerns for many organizational leaders today is the need to develop diverse and inclusive workplaces. Managers now understand that employing or relating to people of diverse characteristics provides the opportunity to enjoy many benefits (Dreachslin, Gilbert & Malone 2012). Therefore, leaders in health facilities are striving to develop a workforce that bring together people from different educational backgrounds, abilities, religion, sexual orientation, gender, race, age, culture, ethnicity, and socioeconomic class (Dreachslin, Gilbert & Malone 2012). Health leaders have the obligation to address issues of diversity and inclusion because diverse settings provides a higher chance for increased innovation, attracts a wider group of clients, and increases the chances for advancing the brand image (Dreachslin, Gilbert & Malone 2012). Consequently, health leaders should apply actions that would help them to address issues of diversity and inclusion. They should educate workers on the benefits of establishing a diverse and inclusive team, and remind them that such an approach increases the chances of succeeding (Dreachslin, Gilbert & Malone 2012). The leader can create an inclusion council that works to ensure that the group is diversified (Dreachslin, Gilbert & Malone 2012). Health leaders should develop a plan for celebrating the worker differences, and to appreciate everyone while reminding them that they contribute towards the organizational performance in their unique ways.
How Scholar-Practitioners Function as Leaders
Scholar-practitioners use critical thinking to conduct their functions, which increase their chances of serving as good leaders. The skill and competence enable them to acquire much valuable information that they can use to address some of the issues that occur within the place of work (Werner & Bleich 2017). Scholar-practitioners have the capability to serve as leaders because they should have the potential to identify, understand, and share their daily experiences, which allows them to develop better relationships with their clients and workmates (Werner & Bleich 2017). Thus, leaders in health facilities can acquire valuable lessons from scholar-practitioners that they can use to improve their service delivery.
How Scholar-Practitioners Contribute to Leadership and Professional Development
Scholar-practitioners add much value to leadership and professional growth because of their appropriate skills and competence in many areas. They conduct numerous researches on various issues that they can use to empower leaders in health settings (Werner & Bleich 2017). Health leaders can improve their competence and service to their subjects by acquiring valuable information from scholar-practitioners that they acquire through engaging with various team members, taking part in conferences, and collaborating with other professionals (Werner & Bleich 2017). Thus, health leaders should consider scholar-practitioners as a potential sources for valuable knowledge on how to serve as a manager.
The report illustrates the importance of using the appropriate leadership techniques in a healthcare setting. An effective style that may help professionals to lead their teams towards the right direction transformational leadership, which involves motivating and inspiring workers to change how they perform their duties. It is easier for a transformational leader to build interprofessional relationships, promote community engagement and foster change management. The report urges professionals to follow the ethical leadership principles such as respect, justice, and honesty. Leaders in health facilities can acquire valuable tips from scholar-practitioners who have the potential to act as good leaders and to give valuable tips of proper leadership.
Belton, L., & Anderson, P. (2017). Servant leadership: A journey, not a race. Health
Management, 17 (4): 268-270.
Dreachslin, J., Gilbert, J., & Malone, B. (2012). Diversity and cultural competence in health
care: A systems approach. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco. ISBN-10: 1118065603
Giddens, J. (2018). Transformational leadership: What every nurse dean should know. Journal of
Professional Nursing, 34, 117-121.
Savel, R., & Munro, C. (2017). Servant leadership: The primacy of service. American Journal of
Critical Care, 26 (2): 97-99.
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healthcare settings: A systematic review. Healthcare, 5 (4):
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Werner, H., & Bleich, R. (2017). Critical thinking as a leadership attribute. The Journal of
Continuing Education in Nursing, 48(1), 9–11. https://doi.org/10.3928/00220124-
9-1 Final Project Submission: Quality Plan
9-1 Final Project Submission: Quality Plan
The following performance improvement plan intends to reduce the number of patient falls in the critical care unit of a community hospital. The hospital is located in South Korea, a country renowned for its rapid technological development and universal health converge. However, despite the wide adoption of technology in the healthcare organizations in the country, comprehensive meaningful-use is yet to be achieved even at the hospital. Incidences of patients’ falls are on the rise as an increasing number of elderly patients are admitted into critical care. This quality improvement plan intends to resolve this healthcare challenge using innovative application of a patient surveillance system.
Purpose and Quality Statement
Quality plans in healthcare organizations are demonstrations of the keen interest and commitment to improve continuously the delivery of high-quality healthcare services to patients and the community. They have become a critical component and product of strategic planning in the healthcare sector, in response to the high demand for patient-centered care, accountability and improved patient outcomes. Patient safety is one of the most critical areas addressed by quality plans because it not only influences the satisfaction and uneventful recovery of patients but also places the healthcare organization in good light, professionally and socially, giving it the social license to operate. It is therefore, a critical element in improved care quality and health outcomes. Patient safety is essentially the absence of harm to a patient while accessing healthcare services (World Health Organization, 2019). It is anchored by the continuous improvement of care quality resulting from the lessons learned from adverse effects and errors in the healthcare setting with the intention of reducing, efforts, risks and harm to the patient. The world health organization (2019) emphasizes that the quality of healthcare is gauged by the safety of patients along with the effectiveness and patient-centeredness of care. In turn, repeated observance of patient safety promotes a safety culture in a healthcare organization, which is a mark of high quality standards therein.
Healthcare organizations are incentivized to establish high standards of patient care through accreditation. According to Richie, et al. (2019) accreditation is a system used to assess the commitment of healthcare organizations towards continuous improvements in quality of services and care using recognized third-party assessments. The accreditation process followed a well-laid out and strict procedure that is well known and often, based on universally acceptable standards. The Joint Commission (TJC), is the most influential and significant accrediting body across many states in the United States, and employs an extensive metric comprising 25 performance measures that a healthcare organization must satisfy before being accredited (Nash et al., 2019). Accreditation promotes patient safety by emphasizing particular safety competencies and capabilities and increasing vigilance in healthcare organizations, as evidenced by Lyle-Edrosolo and Waxman (2016) and Barnett et al. (2017), respectively.
The healthcare organization under consideration is particularly concerned about the occurrences of falls among patients. This concern is a reflection of the organizations vision and mission, which articulate the commitment to providing high-quality healthcare to all patients and improving the health wellbeing of families and the community (Health Resources and Services Administration, 2011). Persistent falls are an indication of low patient safety levels and poor quality services in a healthcare organization, which can undermine the realization of the organization’s goals. The mission statement of the hospital is to ‘serve with diligence and compassion’, and policies directing the operational processes and procedures are well articulated and documented. These statements were used to formulate the philosophy underpinning the quality plan at the healthcare organization. Besides, they are congruent to the National Patient Safety Goals set for hospitals by The Joint Commission (2020), specifically, prevention of mistakes in surgery and infection, identification of patient safety risks, safe use of medicines and alarms, improvement of staff communication, and correct identification of patients.
The performance-improvement process anticipated by the quality plan requires a multidisciplinary, multiprofessional, and multidepartmental approach. Therefore, the plan will require the involvement of and collaboration between different critical stakeholders, who are identified as nursing practitioners, patients, nursing leadership, physicians, hospital administrators, and the families of patients. The inherent nature of patient care, which required the employment of diverse and effective teams, informed the engagement of this stakeholder group (Hicks & Nininger, 2012). Each of these parties is concerned about and has a stake in the welfare of patients and advocate for a safe and caring environment, particularly in a healthcare setting. They are related as illustrated in figure 1.
Figure 1. Organizational Chart of the stakeholders
Although the community hospital in this quality plan has made significant progress in enhancing the quality of healthcare, more needs to be done, particularly in the acute care unit, where the level of patient falls is still worrisome. The older patients are at higher risk of falling while in hospital compared to younger ones, and the prevalence rate has been worsened by the aging population phenomenon, which as seen the proportion of the elderly in care increase gradually, as the huge number of baby boomer move past the middle age (Slade et al., 2017). For this reason, the quality statement that articulates the essence of the quality improvement plan is reduction of patient falls through the leadership of a safety committee. The clinical nurse leader at the community hospital’s intensive care unit will spearhead this initiative, which is expected to enhance the development, supervision, and testing of the specific measures according to the existing best practices in the healthcare industry.
Status of Quality Tools and Standards
The community hospital is accredited to the Korea Institute of Healthcare Accreditation since 2010 also to the Korean Institute of Healthcare Accreditation (KOIHA) since 2017 to comply with the Support for the Oversees Expansion of the Healthcare System and the Attraction of International Patients Act. This has spurred the continuous improvement in the healthcare organizations in the country as they face the challenges of an ageing population (Lee, 2018; Shin, 2017). The hospital has benefited tremendously from the technological leadership and innovation of the country, and has automated all its healthcare processes using a health information management system that focuses electronic health and medical records (EHR/EMR), which had been adopted by 93.6% and 91.6% of Korean hospitals and clinics countrywide, respectively (Tursunov, Lenox, & Cleave, 2019). In this regards, the hospital joins many others in the country that have adopted electronic medical records (EMR) and gone paperless, making South Korea one of the few countries with near-universal digitization of healthcare services.
The health information technology (HIT) used at the hospital addresses two domains of the accreditation standards prescribed in the accreditation program for healthcare organizations by KOIHA; the patient care system and the administrative management system. Specifically, it facilitated the management of patient information and medication, organizational operations and management, simplified the scoring of clinical quality indicators, promoted the real-time sharing of pertinent patient information, which contributed to favorable scores during the accreditation evaluation process. Some of the accreditation criteria by KOIHA required that healthcare organizations demonstrate the use of technology and information management systems in the enhancement of the management and administration of patients’ information and medication, control of the occurrence and spread of infections, guaranteeing safety during sedation and surgery, and facilitating the evaluation of care delivery quality, among others. In these standards, elements of meaningful use of health information technologies are evident, as prescribed in the American law, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009, although South Korea as yet to enact a similar directive to promote technology adoption and guide the accreditation of healthcare organizations (Furukawa, 2017; Tursunov, Lenox, & Cleave, 2019).
Nonetheless, the hospital’s meaningful-use application of the health information technology had helped reduce medication errors that undermined patients’ safety, while enhancing the levels of positive patient outcomes. However, despite these positive indicators, the hospital was still in the first stage of the three-stage process of attaining interoperability. Specifically, the hospital was using health information technology to capture patient data and share it within the organizational premises because the country still had restrictions on sharing health information inter-organizationally and especially, with third party providers (Tursunov, Lenox, & Cleave, 2019). This means that the hospital was yet to leverage digital technologies to advance clinical processes and improve health outcomes of patients, which were the second and third stages of entrenching meaningful use (Jones, et al., 2014). This may explain why the hospital and healthcare system in the country was especially challenged by the rising number of elderly patients and their complicated conditions, and the associated rapidly-rising healthcare costs, which were 4 percentage points above the OECD average of 2.1 % (Tursunov, Lenox, & Cleave, 2019). In other words, meaningful use of health information technology was yet to exert its full effect on the enhancement of quality of care and safety of patients at the hospital.
Measures and Benchmarks
The performance-improvement data at the hospital is tracked in a granulated manner at the departmental level, which are then aggregated to provide parameters that reveal the change in operational and clinical efficiency at the hospital level. Specifically, at the department level, specific events, such as number of admissions, transfers, and discharges per day, drug-to-drug contradictions per patient, and the exhibition of adverse drug reactions by elderly patients, are recorded on a daily basis. These metrics are used to compute the efficiency of operational and clinical activities as a percentage increase or reduction to provide a trend that reflects the improvement or degradation of health services at the organizational/hospital level. The resultant trends are tracked in real-time are they are computed immediately data in fed into the hospital’s health information system.
The reimbursement criteria will include the performance metrics from the program. However, unlike the United States, South Korea’s healthcare system uses a universal reimbursement approach based on the capitation model because of the universal health coverage (Kang, Kim, & Jung, 2020). This approach does not have a direct impact on patient safety and health service quality enhancement because it encourages the expansion of the patient base for monetary gains rather than service improvement (Nash et al., 2019). Nonetheless, this approach promotes access to healthcare, although this metric is not used for accreditation purposes. Despite these limitations in the nascent and developing healthcare system, leadership at the community hospital is increasingly collaborating with tech firms to research, develop and implement innovative technologies that would help reduce the cost and increase the quality of healthcare.
The elderly patients present many challenges to the hospital because their numbers are increasing in tandem with the aging population in the country. These patients present more co-morbidities compared to their younger counterparts, and therefore, are often under several prescriptions simultaneously, which increases the risk of adverse-drug-drug and drug-patient- interactions. Sometimes, medications disorient these patients such that, they engage in risky behavior, like leaving their beds without alerting the nurses, not using their crutches, walkers, or wheelchairs, and moving around aimlessly, thus exposing them to the risk of falling, despite being provided with alerting switches at their bedsides. The hospital does not have an uninterruptable system of visually observing patients to identify their conditions and progress, apart from the regular instruments found in an intensive care unit that are hooked directly to the patient. Therefore, the accuracy of patient identification is hindered by the lack of sufficient visual evidence of the behavior of elderly patients, particularly when they are under medication yet able to move around (Elgarico, 2019). From this premise, the goals of the quality improvement plan are a) to reduce the events of patients moving unattended, b) encouraging the use of bedside alert switches to call for assistance, c) to discourage the avoidance of movement-assisting devices, and d) reducing the events of falls by patients.
Therefore, it is recommended that a falls prevention safety committee that would help monitor and track the behavior of patients and nurses be formed to reduce the fall events at the acute care unit in the hospital. To this end, it is also recommended that nurses should record the events in which the patient attempts or actually moves out of bed with any assistance or calling for attention, the occurrence of drug-to-drug and drug-patient counter-indications that would indicate adverse reactions to medication by the patients.
A new technology that would facilitate the implementation of the quality improvement plan is closed-circuit televisions (CCTV), which would help monitor the behavior and movement of patients in the critical care units and intervene when the patients display behaviors that increase their risk of falling. These cameras should be fitted with motion sensors that detect abnormal movement of patients and alarms that become triggered by such movement or falls. This would not only help the nurses to anticipate the movement of the elderly patients, especially, who are at a high risk of falling, and therefore, take preventative measures, it would also help evidence the nature of falls too facilitate speedy and appropriate intervention, while discouraging patients from moving out of their beds unattended.
The proposed quality improvement program involves several stakeholders from diverse professions, locations, and disciplines, and with diverse interests. Therefore, a transformative leadership style is recommended as the most appropriate leadership strategy that can spur a change in attitude in the patients and healthcare workers. Specifically, this leadership approach incorporates coaching and mentoring of novice healthcare professionals, especially nurses, collaborative leaderships that seeks collective decision-making by involving all the stakeholders, and authentic leadership that accommodates the diverse and disparate opinions of stakeholders without making being judgmental. It is also inspirational because it encourages best performance from the healthcare workers, and hence, critical in guaranteeing the success of the quality improvement plan and enhancing patient safety at the acute care unit and hospital (McSherry & Pearce, 2016).
A recommended policy change would be the recording of patients’ movement behavior and part of the patients’ personal health records. The use of CCTV footages as a diagnostic and monitoring tool for in-patients is critical for indentifying the responses of patients to medication, which would adversely endanger their safety (Morris, 2017). To implement these operational and policy recommendations, the involvement of the hospital’s administration is critical because they would avail the budget for procuring and implementing the electronic patient surveillance system. Similarly, the departmental heads of other healthcare units are critical to the effectiveness of the policy change because they would help diminish or prevent the possibility of resistance from nurses, clinicians, and other healthcare workers, who my view the system as being used to monitor their operations and activities at the workplace, thus infringing on their privacy (Kampstra et al., 2018). In these regards, these leaders would facilitate the buy-in from all the healthcare practitioners in their department and encourage the sharing of critical information that may jeopardize patients’ safety and diminish the quality of care at the hospital (McSherry & Pearce, 2016).
Evaluation and Reporting
The ultimate goal of the quality improvement program is to cut down the incidences of patients’ falls by 15% in 6 months. This is an ambitious achievement levels that will require prudent monitoring and evaluation processes that would deliver accurate reporting on the key performance indicators. It is proposed that the success of the program plan is hinged on the application of the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) implementation strategy to be undertaken within projected six months (Benson & Townes, 2011). In the planning stage, an interdepartmental and interdisciplinary falls prevention safety committee will be set up, to be headed by the clinical nurse leader in the intensive care unit at the hospital. This committee will devise a plan for selecting the technological requirements of the surveillance system, its third-party supplier, and identifying the training needs of the system users, especially, the nurses in the critical care unit. The plan will also outline the measurable components of performance, the activities of the implementers, and the data to be collected. The doing phase will perfect the stalled efforts of ensuring that patients did not move unattended and sufficient signage encouraging patients to seek help whenever they felt the need to move out of their beds, which would be augmented by the visual surveillance of their unattended movement. The data to be collected will include the number of incidences of unattended movement of patients, the number of assisted movement of patients, and the number of falls, slips, and uncoordinated movements in a day by patients. Other anomalous observations will also be recorded on a daily basis. The study stage will involve the analysis of the collected data, its comparison with the projected predictions, and a collation and reflection of the lessons learned. In the act phase, the program will be adjusted and modified using the feedback of the data analysis and lessons learned, to inform the next round of testing (Benson & Townes, 2011). Each PDSA cycle will last a month until the projected results are attained, which is summarized in figure 2.
Figure 2. The PDSA cycle of the quality improvement program plan
The successful implementation of the patient surveillance technology will be measured using parameters, such as i) the number of patient unattended movement identified through CCTVs, ii) the frequency of response by nurses from the alerts sent by the system, iii) the number of falls that went undetected, the number of possible falls that were prevented, iv) the frequency of use of the footages by nurses, and v) the information recorded in the patient’s health record from the surveillance system. This information will be condensed into specific performance metrics, such as the change in fall incidences and the frequency of data sharing. These metrics will move the meaningful use of health information technology from the data capturing and sharing stage, to the advancement of clinical processes and improvement of health outcomes. They will evidence the occurrence of drug-induced disorientation of the patients, thus improving medicine administration and safety, and elucidate improvements in health outcomes, by reducing the number of fall incidences at the acute care unit at the hospital, which are pertinent performance parameters for KOIHA accreditation.
The proposed quality improvement program plan intends to reduce the number of patient falls by 15% within six months. A patient surveillance system using closed-circuit televisions will be implemented using the plan-do-study-act model to deliver a comprehensive practice change among the healthcare professionals attached to the critical care unit of a community hospital in South Korea.
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Impact of FDI on Economic Development in the Middle East and Africa
The study provides valuable information regarding the implications of FDI on the economies of MENA countries. The study illustrates how the countries in the region have made considerable improvement in the recent past to increase the level of FDI with the objective of improving the economies of the respective countries. The report describes how FDI provides an opportunity to create more employment, improve infrastructure, and gain better knowledge and skills, including technology, which all impact positively on the economy. Even though the governments in the MENA countries acknowledge the significance of FDI in boosting the economy, some constraints still derail the attempts to achieve maximum benefits from foreign investment. An interview with the ministers in charge of FDI in some MENA countries shed more light into the economic implications of FDI initiatives, possible constraints and plans to address these challenges. The study urges policymakers to review the policies that impact on FDI practices to ensure that foreign investors have a better opportunity to conduct their activities in a way that benefits the host country. It also calls on future researchers to illuminate further on the subject by explaining the possible effects of improving infrastructure, skills and technology, and the impacts of acquiring helpful tips from countries that perform well in managing FDI practices and its impacts on the economy.
The importance of FDI as an exogenous factor in hastening economic growth and development is well recorded in the neoclassical growth models. Researches bases on exogenous expansion, often referred to as neoclassical, indicated that the economic expansion emerged due to inspirations outside the economy or the participating business groups (UNCTAD, 2011). The exogenous growth framework underscores the significance of external factors in promoting economic growth rather than internal factors. The model assumes that, given a fixed amount of technology and labor, economic expansion will cease at a particular point, hence long-term economic advancement is to be attained by advancing capital accrual, expansion of labor, and productivity advancement, often called a technological progress (UNCTAD, 2011).
The connection between FDI and economic expansion, both in the developed and developing nations, is still a matter of significant research. Researches by various scholars reveal that FDI flows have positive influence on economic expansion in the long run, and have also confirmed the positive connection between steady FDI inflows and economic outcome of the host nations (Iqbal & Nabli, 2007). As the neoclassical framework theoretically implies, FDI inflows serve a very imperative function in economic advancement by improving efficiency of investment plans, shifting various techniques hast nations, diversifying production base, improving the productive capacity, facilitating the diversification of sources of income, initiating new job opportunities, and advancing productivity, and quality of the rest of the factors influencing production practices (Iqbal & Nabli, 2007). The fact is that increasing number of developing nations has relied largely on FDI inflows as a way of boosting their economic growth (Iqbal & Nabli, 2007). Moreover, FDI tends to advance use of technology, management, and labor skills in the host nations, and assist the host nation to minimize its rate of underdevelopment.
Various scholars have used different words to describe FDI, but they all give almost similar views. Bardesi (2016) describes FDI as involving project management, technology use, and capital inflow. As such foreign direct investment, if selected appropriately to suit local comparative benefits of the host nation, is projected to advance growth outcome of the manufacturing industry considerably by increasing optimal use of raw materials and factors of production that result in escalating factors productivity. Besides, use of new technologies and designs in manufacturing practices, marketing, and management practices, result in advancement in quality of human capital by advancing their productive expertise and skills (Bardesi, 2016). Ever since the 1980s, the rate of inward FDI inflows widened in volumes all over the world, especially into developing countries hitting the highest rate at approximately $681 billion with a 2% increase in 2014 (Bardesi, 2016). The primary factors attracting high rates of FDI flows towards developing nations were the presence of raw materials and affordable labor. Furthermore, the World Trade Organization brought the foreign direct investment under special attention, and places emphasis on hastening unobstructed flow of FDI among the member countries. Developing countries thus widened their lead in international inflows. Accordingly, the rate of FDI inflows into developing nations accounted for more than 54% of the worldwide volume in 2014 alone, with most of the investment going to major areas such as manufacturing, service, and other fundamental areas in the developing economies (Bardesi, 2016).
Researchers reveal that one of the most essential features of globalization during the last thirty years has been the spectacular increase of FDI. The obstacles to foreign investments have decreased gradually to allow investors explore foreign markets. Evidence by Ernst & Young (2013) informs that governments across the world are competing each other to acquire the largest share of the investment emanating from global firms. The expansion of FDI flows has also come with some transformations in the nature of the origin of these sources and their destinations, with an escalating engagement of regions that some few years ago faced increased marginalization (Ernst & Young, 2013). Until in the recent past, the interest largely paid attention to FDI flows originating from developed economies, but the functions of developing nations has expanded exponentially in the recent past. China, India, Russia, and Brazil, together with a decreased set of emerging economies, encompassing South Africa and Malaysia, are still behind this concept, which has seen the southern part becoming a significant origin and destination of foreign direct investment (Ernst & Young, 2013). In this light of a new geographical region for FDI inflows, the intention of the study is to illuminate more awareness onto the major characteristics and implications of FDI in the Middle East and Africa regions.
The economies of the MENA countries are diverse, but can fall broadly into three major section; oil-importing countries, such as Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, and Egypt, developing oil countries, such as Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Algeria, and oil exporters, including the six GCC nations (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE) and Libya (Ernst & Young, 2013). Knowing the connection of each nation with oil and petroleum products is important to understanding the function FDI serves in each of them. Generally, the MENA region could be termed as being on the path towards growth with the average growth in the last decade (4.80%) lying between the growth rate of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nations (2.1%) and the economic bloc of countries consisting (BRICs) (8.0%), comprising of countries such as India, China, South Africa, Russia, and Brazil (Ernst & Young, 2013). Most countries in the MENA region had by 2010 largely healed from the implications of the global financial crisis, and growth levels were anticipated to hit pre-crisis stages beginning 2011. Nonetheless, at the beginning of 2011, series of prodemocracy and anti-establishment activities started that caused considerable alterations in the leadership of countries such as Yemen, Syria, and Bahrain (Ernst & Young, 2013). The unrests and uncertainties related to these initiatives have interrupted the short-term micro and macroeconomic overview, and the inflows of FDI was projected to drop over some period as global investors wait for the uncertainties to be addressed (Ernst & Young, 2013). In the medium-term, nonetheless, growth projections and FDI inflows are expected to advance, particularly if the political transformations are related to more transparent and accountable leadership and more rapid transformations.
At least 82% of the FDI inflows in the MENA countries mainly centered around seven nations in 2010. The countries that recorded the highest rates in order from the highest to the lowest, included KSA, Egypt, Qatar, Lebanon, the UAE, Libya, and Iran. For example, FDI inflows have had considerable implications on the economy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, both in direct and indirect ways (Ernst & Young, 2013). The Middle East country is perceived as one of those nations that aspire to attain a high level of economic advancement aimed at ambitious investment strategies. For this reason, KSA has modified its Foreign Investment Act that it introduced in 2000 for the third time (Ernst & Young, 2013). The adjustments create more opportunities for KSA to increasingly attract FDI inflows, which reached approximately $40 billion in 2009 as compared to the $183 million realized in 2000. Even though the rate of FDI inflows in the country started to dwindle after 2009, its stock continued to expand, and hit more than $214 billion in 2014 (Ernst & Young, 2013).
The trend is not only fixed to 2010, but also to the entire past decade where KSA attained approximately 30% of all FDI inflows, followed by the United Arab Emirates (16%) and Egypt with 11.5%. The report by Ernst &Young (2013) informs that the even though Egypt retains the third position, its rate of FDI flows do not meet the expected targets for a nation of its large population and promising GDP. The fall of Mubarak leadership – although a reprieve to those who advocate for democracy – has heightened the level of political instability over the past few years, which has in turn affected FUD inflows
The most important feature of FDI flows in the MENA region is the escalating significance of the cross border investments taking place in the region. FDI has played significant roles in promoting regional economic integration since the start of 2000, and bases on the report by Ernst & Young (2013), it has improved much more than trading practices, and is penetrating across the various sub-regions in a manner that commerce has never done before. The advancement has had significant influence since the start of 2005, but economic reviewers think that the pattern of growth has been irregular, heightening at about $ 35 million in 2005 (Ernst & Young, 2013).
FDI Attraction Techniques
In acknowledgement of the increasingly significance served by FDI, most MENA nations have identified a broad range of regulations to appeal to foreign investors. The appealing techniques have been diverse, encompassing the adoption of a wide variety of laws and policies, particularly financial and fiscal incentives, free trading zones, and investment promotion groups. Nearly all MENA nations have introduced new investment regulations that permit foreigners to own organizations in nearly all areas of the economy. The increasingly intensified competition with other regions and nations has compelled the region to embrace incentives that would make their countries the most appealing to foreign investors. Countries in the mentioned regions have adopted fiscal incentives with the objective of increasing FDI inflows (UNCTAD, 2011). For instance, Syria and Egypt have adopted a tax holiday for a maximum time of 5 and 20 years, respectively, depending on the significance of the sector. Other countries have embraced a drop of corporate income tax as a fiscal incentive. Qatar, for instance, lowered the maximum business tax from about 34% to 30%, while the KSA made the highest reduction in corporate income tax on FDI from about 45.2% to 30% (UNCTAD, 2011). There are also certain exemptions of indirect taxes in certain economic areas like in the situations of Lebanon or Jordan. In the case of Algeria, incentives are provided on a case-by-case scenario upon endorsement by the National Investment Council, which can provide recommendations on unspecified tax holidays. Some other nations provide exclusion of foreign personnel from social security contributions and income taxes, as it happens in Jordan, or the exclusion of reinvested returns from business taxation like it happens in Tunisia.
The adoption of financial incentives and free trade zones appear to be effective strategies that MENA countries use attract more FDI. The primary function of the financial incentives is to attract and encourage private firms to invest into these countries (OECD, 2007). Financial incentives are justified by the need to reward investors for the limitations of a particular place with higher unemployment rates and low levels of development. The approach could take the nature of financing work infrastructure as it happens in Algeria, or reducing the real expenses of shifting organizational units like special rates on energy use as it happens in the KSA, or even the utilization of state-owned lands at preferential rates as it happens in Tunisia (OECD, 2007). With regard to free trade zone, OECD (2007) informs that nearly all MENA nations have enacted free zones apart from the KSA, Qatar, and Algeria. The case of UAE is one of the highly prosperous free zone encounters in the entire globe. For instance, UAE introduced a number of new free trade zones with the objective of establishing the nation as a global base for trade. Moreover, African countries such as Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia have enacted free trade zones, although their prosperity produced mixed results.
Some MENA countries embrace investment promotion agency (IPA) as a strategy to encourage foreign investment. The report by Ernst & Young (2013) informs that MENA nations have established institutional structures to encourage FDI. Most of these agencies establish a one-stop store to deal with all the needs of the foreign investors. Most of the NEMA nations have taken considerable measures create investment promotion agencies. Some of the countries that have made considerable steps in establishing IPAs, include Egypt that formed the General Authority for Investment and Free Zones, KSA developed SAGIA (associated investment authority), and Algeria formed the NIDA (National Investment Development Agency) (Ernst & Young, 2013). Generally, the assessment of MENA nations’ techniques to improve FDI suggests mixed outcomes. Several researches of investment facilitators have indicated that financial incentives holds the lowest rank in significance than factors such as economic and political stability, market reach, and most fundamentally, the ease of conducting business activities. If the nation is relatively not stable, or if the level of red tape is high, the financial incentives will not offset a devotion to open and free global markets (Ernst & Young, 2013). International investors have always put significant prominence to the political and economic importance than to incentives plans (Ernst & Young, 2013). Thus, it can be expensive and inefficient for a state to provide financial incentives without developing an environment where it is considerably honest and free to engage in business. However, most of the MENA nations are still evidently devoid in this area.
Economic Impact of FDI in MENA nations
Foreign direct investment plays a vital function in economic advancement of developing nations because of their capacity in enhancing growth and economic changes through accumulation of capital stock and technological spillovers and the advancement of infrastructure and employment opportunities and conditions. The implications of cross-border interactions and activities create an opportunity for the private sector in developing nations to tap into new opportunities and markets, to reach new resources and technologies, to enhance competitiveness, to lower costs, and to lower costs (Mohamed & Sidiropoulos, 2010). The economic benefits to local consumers can be great, as domestic monopolies are diminished and competition from foreign entities causes lower prices and wider reach to quality services and products (Mohamed & Sidiropoulos, 2010). While some or most of new employment opportunities created by FDI may not appear to bring with it proper working conditions and remuneration for local dwellers, employment benefits are much greater.
Four factors must exist for FDI to enhance economic growth on the host nation. The first factor is the availability of stock of human capital that permits a domestic labor force to embrace new technologies, the second is suitable level of technology in the host nations, considerably high level of financial sector advancement that permits foreign companies to advance their technologies, and the openness to trading activities of the host nation as it enhances technology shift (Mohamed & Sidiropoulos, 2010). Studies on the implications of FDI on economic advancement in the MENA region are not common, largely because of the data challenges in the country level. However, despite these constraints, there are a few good researches. Overall, they identify a beneficial but weak impact of FDI on growth and development in the MENA nations (Mohamed & Sidiropoulos, 2010). Most of the researches find that the absorption capacity of FDI in MENA nations is restricted in comparison to that of other developing nations. This could provide a convincing reason for the frail effects of FDI on growth and productivity in the area. Mohamed & Sidiropoulos (2010) also discovered that it may be hard to create a positive and important connection between FDI and economic advancement in the region. The research blames the restricted human capital stocks and the impacts of FDI crowding-out in local investment as the primary major factor for feeble link between FDI and economic growth.
FDI and Employment Formation
Despite the significant implications of FDI in job formation, in a region with high rates of unemployment rates among young people, MENA nations lack adequate research examining the implications of FDI on employment. The data deficiency and restricted capacity usually do not permit administrators in the region to create effective promotion regulations that would attract more FDI that could yield positive implications on employment. Nonetheless, even when FDI projects get underway, they are incapable of taking in new graduates, because they do not possess the needed high set of skills and competence. Massoud (2008) reports after conducting one of the exceptional researches on the subject that FDI does not put desirable impact on employment opportunities in Egypt. The study reveals that the situation prevails because foreign direct investment displays dissimilar features; mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and Greenfield FDI. These dissimilar features have different and even contradicting implications. Massoud (2008) reports that Greenfield and Manufacturing FDI yielded beneficial results on employment, especially when they were connected with high level of exports and human capital, while foreign investment in in the services sector and agriculture had negative effects and insignificant interactive implications because most of these implications reduced the number of employees due to benefits in productivity rate and a shift to a more capital thorough production methodologies. With regard to the situation in Tunisia, FDI projects are focused in labor-intensive areas such as the textile sector that contributes nearly 58% of the entire FDI jobs (UNCTAD, 2011). Nonetheless, the textile sector cannot hire university graduates who form the most significant portion of the unemployed, with exemptions in the administrative positions. While the studies exploring the effects of FDI on employment in the GCC countries (where the structure of the labor force very dissimilar than in the MENA oil-importing nations), there is a strong proof that FDI offers few job opportunities among the local residents, taking into account their very intense preferences for job security offered by the public sector (UNCTAD, 2011). Moreover, in some of the GCC countries, such as the UAE, Qatar, and Kuwait, a significant portion of people (approximately 90%) of the nationals working in various sectors serve for the state. Therefore, whereas FDI has caused some room for employment in MENA countries, the rate of absorption is not as high as host nations would expect.
Impact on Infrastructure
The connection between infrastructure and FDI is bidirectional, which means that the growth and advancement of one largely depends on the other. FDI usually improves the development of local infrastructure, which has a direct impact on economic growth and development. At the same time, the availability or absence of infrastructure are essential determinants of the host country’s ability to appeal to foreign investors, particularly for multinational firms that want to establish their operations in strategic places that enable them to serve the global markets. Foreign investors perceive infrastructure as a vital determinant for increasing the level or returns by lowering the costs of total investments, and thus ass add to the advancement of the entire investment. The availability of infrastructure is hard to determine. Kumar (2001) examines an index that fuses various infrastructures, such as energy facilities, information, telecommunications, and transport, among others. In the index that captures data for 66 countries reveals the MENA countries that featured in the list, include Bahrain, which attained the 9th position, Kuwait became 21st, KSA was ranked 33rd, Libya 39th, and Egypt closed by attaining the 53rd position (Ernst & Young, 2013). Overall, Gulf nations have state-of-the-art infrastructures, whereas oil-importing MENA nations are still to develop in this area. In the last few years, some of the major foreign investment projects in the MENA region, particularly the FDI flows within MENA countries, have targeted the financial, communication, airports, and ports sectors what should add with an overall beneficial impacts to the levels of available infrastructures of these nations.
Method – Research Design
The study uses the qualitative research design to gather and examine the relevant data for the report. The process entails gathering and assessing non-numerical data to acquire more awareness about the experiences, views, and concepts pertaining to the research questions. The process providers the chance to acquire in-depth awareness into the problem and to generate new information about a research (Bowen, 2009). The approach provides a better chance to ask why and how things are the way they appear, rather than just how much, when, or what. The research design is preferable because it provides a higher sense of flexibility, and erase the increased chances of depending on the surveyor’s predetermined assumptions, and the chance to give greater detail and depth in a researcher’s outcome (Bowen, 2009). Nonetheless, the study takes into account factors that make a qualitative research less effective, including the idea that it does not statistically present data, depends on the researcher’s experience, and can result in misguiding results.
The study relies on the systematic sampling approach, which is a type of probability sampling. The approach entails selecting sample members from a wider group based on a random starting point, but ending with a specific group of participants. The systematic sampling approach provides a better chance to settle on respondents who are conversant with the topic, and are highly likely to give responses that suit the study (Bowen, 2009). The systematic sampling method is more suitable compared to simple random sampling, which may result in the selection of a sample group that does not have the right information necessary for completing the research (Bowen, 2009). For example, the simple random sampling may result in the selection of individuals who are not conversant with the economic impacts of FDI in the MENA region. Consequently, the study involves four participants who are all ministers overseeing FDI practices in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria, and the UAE. Specifically, those who take part in the study are Khalid A. Al-Falih who is the Minister of Investment in KSA, Sahar Nasr who is the Minister in the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation in Egypt, Ferhat Ait Ali Braham who is the Minister of Industry in Algeria, and H.E Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansoori who is the UAE Minister of Economy. All these four participants have rich knowledge about the impact of FDI in the respective countries and the entire MENA region.
The study uses email interviews to acquire qualitative data from the four participants. The researcher forwards a set open ended questionnaires to each of the participants, with a complete set of the research questions. Each of the ministers react to the following research question;
What measures has the country put in place to attract FDI?What are the economic implications of FDI in the country?What are the possible challenges facing FDI in country?What plans do the government and relevant stakeholders have to address the potential challenges.
The research uses the email interviews and open-ended questionnaires due to several reasons. Email interview is appropriate because it saves on the travel expenses, and allows the respondents enough time to think. The open-ended questionnaire is preferable to closed ended questionnaires because it provides a suitable chance to gather more information, and are quick and easy to fill.
The survey uses the descriptive to describe the nature of the data. The descriptive approach makes it possible to examine each response and to assess its nature while explaining why the situation is as recorded. The descriptive data analysis provides the chance to make comparisons between the different sets of data, and makes it possible to know how they relate to the study.
The survey shows that the participating countries have enacted a number of measures to appeal to foreign investors. The respondents mention that they have introduced policies and incentive programs to attract FDI, and to increase the chances of benefitting economically. However, the participants agree that lack of better infrastructure, unskilled labor, inadequate technology are some of the factors that inhibit high FDI inflows. All the four ministers report that their countries are doing everything within their limits to advance FDI in the near future, and restore hope that they will excel if they put adequate effort into the venture.
Relationships between Variables
The study reveals great connection between the independent and the dependent variables in the study. The research shows how the economic implications of FDI in the participating countries depend on the level of preparation in the host country, including the nature of policies, possible constraints, and the country’s commitment to introduce other factors that promote FDI. The findings suggest that those countries that witness high level of unpreparedness with regard to advancing FDI practices experience considerable hurdles that deny them the chance to gain from international investors. Therefore, the higher the level of preparation and promoting policies the better the chances of gaining economic benefits from FDI initiatives.
The findings of the study provides valuable lessons that may help countries in the Middle East and Africa to improve how they benefit from FDI. The study calls on governments to consider whether they enact the appropriate measures that appeal to foreign investors. The research reveals how such impediments can deter a country from attaining its economic goals, with regard to FDI (Ernst & Young, 2013). Thus, each country in the MENA region should carry out regular appraisal of its ability to appeal to and retain foreign investors to know their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (Depetris-Chauvin, 2012). Nonetheless, failing to examine the whether a country has the capacity to attract FDI and gain economic benefits from such investors may deny these nations the chance to overcome some of the evident obstacles to achieving maximum gains from foreign investors.
Limitations of the Research
The research exhibits some limitations that may impact on its implications and possible effects. One of the potential limitations is that the research only incorporates four respondents who serve in the ministerial position, thus limiting the possibility of acquiring a broad range of responses that would provide more insight into the subject. The other limitation of the research is that it conducts an interview of individuals who may include their personal views in the responses, thereby providing room for the inclusion of information that may not be reliable and truthful. Finally, the limitation in the research is that it only incorporates four countries, which limits the chances of acquiring more information about the economic impact of FDI in the other countries in Africa and Middle East. Nonetheless, the study relies on the fact that by engaging administrators, specifically the minister in charge of local and foreign investors will increase the chances of acquiring reliable findings about the research questions. Moreover, the research relies on the notion that engaging two countries in Africa and two from the Middle East will provide valuable insight into the overall nature of economic impact of FDI in the MENA countries.
The findings of the study has significant implications on policy developers who understand the importance of creating regulations that support FDI flows. The report challenges countries that are yet to develop effective policies that promote FDI to act very fast. The findings suggest that failure to develop policies that allows FDI and overall business activities could tamper with the efforts to attract foreigners, and may deny the nations in question the chance to develop their economies as a result of foreign investment (Depetris-Chauvin, 2012). It is very important to create policies that advocate for increased foreign investment because it happens that away from the situation of the present political and economic situation, it is imperative to indicate that there is still a broad gap between the FDI inflows in other parts of the globe and the potentiality of the MENA region (Depetris-Chauvin, 2012). Regardless of the successive transformations, global comparisons indicate that the MENA region trails other places with regard to investment plans. Therefore, policymakers should strive to formulate policies that ease the high transaction costs for commencing, running, and closing economic activities because such high costs may have adverse implications on FDI flows. Policy makers learn the importance of developing regulations that make the affected regions a suitable place to do business because further research by Depetris-Chauvin (2012) indicates that the fact is that outside the Gulf Corporation Council, the MENA region may not be an easy place to engage in business operations because presently nearly half of the MENA nations are presently placed at lower positions in the ease of doing business activities. Therefore, before enhancing the practice of attracting more foreign investment, which is much required, administrators must refine policies that touch on the structural issues that make doing business on a daily basis hard, if not impossible.
The report by Ernst and Young presents several policy implications that may help MENA countries to improve the positive economic benefits of FDI in the various countries. The report also acknowledges the significance of continuous advancement of policy environment to stabilize financial systems and to minimize macroeconomic instability. Ernst & Young (2013) informs about the importance of reducing state dominance by promoting privatization initiatives that would lower corrupt deals and red tape, while at the same time opening economic areas owned by the government to FDI. The report suggests that leaders in the MENA countries should engage in intense transformation of vocational and educational training structures and enhance domestic human capital accrual. Ernst & Young (2013) reports that without finding suitable remedies to the structural concerns, the expensive financial incentives to appeal to foreign investors will be inadequate, the region will not get the opportunity to tap the benefits that come with FDI.
Suggestions for Future Research
The study provides valuable information that would help future researchers to conduct surveys, experiments, and researches that provide more insight into the various ways benefitting from FDI. Future researchers should conduct more studies that inform about the various factors that still deter MENA countries from enjoying the maximum benefits of FDI (Mina, 2012). Other than creating policies that attract foreign investors, future researchers can inquire more on how developing better infrastructure is likely to appeal to more FDI, and how this increases the chances of benefitting from this form of investment. It is significant for future researchers to shed more light into the benefits of FDI to encourage operators and administrators in the region as a way of encouraging the mentioned countries to increase their focus on the area (Mina, 2012). For example, future researchers should shed more light into how enhancing FDI practices provide the chance to acquire new skills and techniques for doing business, and how this may impact on business efficiency and effectiveness. It is vital to provide more information on how FDI increases the chances of improving technological practices. Mina (2012) informs that technology is essential for economic advancement, resulting in better trading activities, capital accumulation, and transformations in the structure of production and social relations. Furthermore, future researchers should shed more light into how to increase technology transfer through technical aid to consumers and suppliers, managerial activities, access to global marketing networks, and demonstration effects on domestic companies in the selection of the appropriate technology (Mina, 2012). Also important, future researchers should emphasize the significance of learning from countries that perform well in attracting FDI to stand a chance of rectifying areas that do not seem to record unsteady outcomes in foreign investment practices. Considering all these factors will provide a better chance to attract and benefit from FDI in future.
The study pays particular attention to the economic implications of FDI in the MENA regions, which includes countries in the Middle East and the norther part of Africa. The evidence suggests that all countries in the targeted region understand the importance of FDI in boosting the economy and have made considerable transformations in the recent past that have continued to increase the rate of foreign investment. However, these regions still experience considerable constraints that impact on FDI practices, including inadequate infrastructure, insufficient policies, and lack of qualified human capital. However, the overall rate of FDI has increased over the years in the MENA region, thanks to availability of raw materials, affordable labor, and more market opportunities. The findings from the study illustrates the importance of making some necessary adjustments, including refining FDI and business policies, advancing infrastructure, and adopting better technology to appeal to more foreign investors. The study calls on future researchers to conduct more studies that would inform administrators in the MENA region how to benefit economically from FDI practices. Some of the factors that would require more analysis, include the possible implications of improving infrastructure, knowledge and technology, and learning from countries that perform well in FDI planning and execution.
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Depetris-Chauvin, N. (2012). A comparative analysis of FDI in Lebanon, Tunisia, and the UAE.
Ernst & Young. (2013). FDI flows in the MENA region: Features and impacts. Institute for
Emerging Market Studies, 13(1), 1-25.
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Mohamed, S., & Sidiropoulos, M. (2010). Another look at the determinants of foreign direct
investment in MENA countries: An empirical investigation. Journal of Economic
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UNCTAD. (2011). World investment report. Geneva: UNCTAD.
The background section describes the origins of party funding policies in Canada, and provides information on how the practice has transformed over the years.
The section provides an in-depth overview of the policies regulating party funding in Canada. III. Funding Third Parties
The section illustrates how the newly adopted guidelines resulted in considerable impact on funding third parties that lacked proper guidelines prior to the introductions in 2004.
IV. Implications of the New Directives
The area provides an overview of some of the major implications of the party funding guidelines and how different groups perceive them.
V. Areas of Concern
The section illustrates some of the contradictory views that various groups have concerning the new directives that may help to provide guidance on what ought to happen to achieve an effective plan.
VI. Unequal Donations and Violations of the Set Rules and Guidelines
The area mentions some of the areas that contravene the set guidelines and helps to understand why it is important to take further measures to address the loopholes.
VII. Emerging Corrupt Practices
The section outlines how despite the attempts to restrict the funds directed to political parties, it is essential to consider the possible implications on corruption, and evade any possible loophole that could result in misappropriation of the acquired funds.
VIII. Broader Aspects
The section highlights the possible merits of the changes introduced by the new directives. It mentions how various groups now have the chance to engage in political activities, and how the changes could impact on democracy.
The section recaptures the main points in the report and reading it provides the reader with an overview of the entire document.
Party Funding in Canada
As a section of a wider extension of state overview of the organization and execution of elections and the activities of political groups, successive governments in Canada have sought to regulate the influence of money on political action. Since the 1960s, the government has focused on regulating spending on campaigns by political parties, clarify their expenditures on inter-campaign activities, and to inquire about the origin and magnitude of their private funding (Sayers and Young 1). Successive governments have also tried to verify the costs of elections for parties and candidates. The introduction of the Election Expenses Act of 1974 served as the initial effort by the state to govern the financial activities of parties (Crandall and Andrea 8). The legislation outlawed all other groups other than political parties or candidates from taking part in election spending (Sayers and Young 1). The inclusion of the exemption, which ought to be in good faith, nonetheless, permitted spending that directly supported goals or policies not related to any political group. Though not apparently prone to abuse, the provisions of good faith was ruled out in 1983 (Crandall 8). Since then, the regulations on party funding have undergone considerable transformations. The transformations provide the chance to achieve accountability in funding and expenditure and allow increased involvement by other groups in political activities, but it is essential to consider the emerging concerns surrounding its application.
Contrary to the American approach then, the Canadian traditional view only focused on the contribution aspect of public funding in the main was channeled at electoral campaigns. However, all these changed after the 2004 general election, which was performed under new regulations that try to regulate contributions is similar ways found in some Canadian provinces and first applied witnessed in Quebec (Crandall and Andrea 8). Changes to the Income Tax Act and the Canada Elections Act enshrined in Bill C-24, developed in 2003.
The new law introduced a raft of changes that are still applicable until today. It directs that only individuals may give financial contributions to official political groups. It directs that unions, business groups, and other agencies can give financial support of a maximum of $1000 annually to officially electoral district groups, nomination contestants, candidates, parties and their affiliates. The guidelines direct that each permanent resident or citizen of the country may give up to $5000 annually to each registered political group and its affiliates, nomination contestants, candidates, and registered electoral district associations (Crandall and Andrea 9). In addition, the bill adopted in 2003 directs that individuals may give up to a maximum of $5000 for each leadership contest (Crandall and Andrea 9). The removal, however, attracted the attention of many interested groups, including the National Citizens’ Coalition, to move in and challenge the legislation. The opposing group successfully challenged the legislation, and termed it a breach of expression as outlined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The regulation also offers a more generous plan of public funding for political groups and candidates and extends the provisions to the electioneering period. The regulation directs that political groups will get a yearly allowance estimated at $1.75 for each vote the party garnered in a recent general election if they got at least 2% of all votes casted all over the country or 5% in electoral districts where it has competing candidates (Sayers and Young 1). The legislation directs that the reimbursement for election funds of registered political groups grows from 22.5% to 50% (Sayers and Young 1). It directs that the threshold for compensation of election expenses by candidates will be reduced from 15% to 10% of the valid votes acquired, whereas the percentage election costs viable for reimbursement will be expanded from 50% to 60%. Furthermore, the legislation increased the upper limit of the entire political contribution tax credit, which allows individuals a 75% tax credit for offerings to political groups from $200 to $400, with other upward modifications to the magnitude of credit for higher contributions (Sayers and Young 2). Nonetheless, legislation enacted by the Chretien Liberal government in 2003 restricted union and corporate donations to a maximum of $150,000 each year per political group (Beange 4). The parliament introduced the Federal Accountability Act in 2006, which outlawed all union and corporate donations to political candidates, part conventions, electoral district associations, and the party itself, and local candidates (Beange 4).
The new directives promote state engagement in party activities, requiring these restrictions to be applied to elections (which are mostly conducted as plebiscites of party affiliates and the nomination of local candidates that come before main elections. The newly adopted regulations also directs local political associations to file annual financial reports, something only needed of political groups in the past (Sayers and Young 2). In addition, recent transformations to the description of a party refer to those candidates from groups with at least 250 affiliates who attain specific requirements will get the chance to enjoy the reimbursements.
Funding Third Parties
Policymakers have developed regulations to guide spending on third parties in Canada with the objective of achieving uniformity in the way funding happens. Crandall and Andrea (8) informs that despite the dominance of political groups, guiding third parties through campaign and election finance regulations has been one of the major preoccupation of the government in Canada since the recent past. Crandall and Andrea (8) points out that third party spending was largely unrecognized until the general election conducted in 2008 when this group used close to $4.7 million on adverts that largely paid attention to the proposed Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. The Royal Commission on Electoral Reform and Party Financing formed a taskforce to inquire the activities surrounding third part spending after complaints of excessive expenditure were reported. The task force was also charged with the duty of identifying the possible implications of banning third party spending in the country (Crandall and Andrea 8). The federal government adopted recommendations from the task force, and among them was the introduction of a $1000 spending regulation for partisan advocacy, while placing no limitations on issue advocacy in the middle of 1993 (Crandall and Andrea 10). The National Citizens’ Coalition, once again, moved to court and successfully challenged the directives, emanating in a situation where third parties enjoyed a period of limited spending restrictions (Crandall and Andrea 8). Crandall argues that while the issue of third party spending have not been the issue of attention, the federal government has moved in to embrace measures to regulate spending dedicated to parties and individual candidates. Furthermore, the directives of Bill C-24, which also refers to the Amendments to the Canada Elections Act of 2004, had significant impact on third party funding and spending in the country (Crandall and Andrea 10). For example, based on Bill c-24, third parties could only receive a maximum of $1000 from corporations and unions, while individual contributions were restricted to $5000 (Crandall and Andrea 10).
It is imperative to acknowledge that political parties in Canada presently get their revenue from the following chief sources; donations from individuals, reimbursement from electoral expenses, quarterly subsidies, and allowances from parliamentary groups for some parties in the House of Commons. Since 1993, the Canadian law has outlawed parties from taking foreign political donations. The 2014 Fair Elections Act clarifies that only the citizens of Canada and permanent residents may contribute to political parties. Before 2003, unlimited contributions had been made unions, corporations and individuals in Canada. Whereas this appeared generous, rarely did such donations even including donations from some of the leading Canadian banks surpass $75,000 and such contributions were usually offered in relatively similar portions to the Progressive Conservative and Liberal Parties. The Canada Elections Act underwent significant transformations in 2018 to forbid foreign groups from offering funds to impact elections. The amendment reiterated the fact that only permanent resident or citizens can submit contributions to a registered political party (The Law Library of Congress 19).
Implications of the New Directives
While it may be quite early to give a complete overview of the entire effects of the recent transformations, some impacts and trends are identifiable. One of the effects is the considerable advancements in funding available to political groups, despite their decreased capability to attract large donations from individuals, businesses, and unions. For example, the direct allocations to parties in 2004 increased to approximately $22 million compared to the $16 million generated in 2001 (Sayers and Young 2). The amount realized in 2004 nearly doubles the forecasted loss of about $10 million in the revenues political parties generate following the new directives on contributions (Sayers and Young 2). Consequently, the fortune of each party will advance under the new guidelines, although the effect of this growth will differ from a mere 8% for the New Democratic Party (NDP) to a flabbergasting 256% advancement in income for the BQ (Bloc Quebecois) (Sayers and Young 2). Despite their contradicting views on the new directive, the Conservative Party did well under the newly developed regulations, which undoubtedly levelled the playing field with the Liberal Party of Canada at the June 28, 2004 general election. The real implication, however, remains difficult to tell because it is alleged that Paul Martin who served as the leader of LPC and the Prime Minister of Canada had moved money left over from his campaigns to his party before the new directives came into force. Sayers and Young (2) inform that the amount is projected to have been close to $9 million.
The regulations that directed the 2004 general elections were rather peculiar and generated an associated particularity. Often, public funding is issued after every four months, but C-24 allowed Elections Canada to pre-pay registered political parties all their yearly allowances at the end of the first month of January 2004.
Areas of Concern
Even though many perceive the new directives as an opportunity to generate more revenue and funding from supporters and affiliates, it is imperative to consider the possible adverse consequences of such a move to avoid unpleasant effects, and to take quick measures to address any loopholes. Crandall and Andrea (1) refer to the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission when the United States Supreme Court made a landmark ruling in 2010 striking down long-standing regulations that had barred unions and corporations from directly offering financial support to political parties during campaigns and federal elections. Crandall and Andrea (1) inform that it was not until the federal election conducted in 2012, which saw Super PACs (political action committees) use more than $500 million, that the real effects of the ruling was felt. While undoubtedly a vital milestone in improving U.S. election policy, the emergence of Super PACs can be perceived more broadly as one of the most recent indicators of an unavoidable problems experienced by all democratic societies – the hardship of balancing the right of political teams to take part liberally in elections, while at the same time ensuring that those with better financial resources do not overpower political campaigns and communications. Enacting the political guidelines of equality and liberty in direct payment, the answer to this issue is not a straightforward one, and as expected, brewed much debate in the academic, legal, and political spheres (Crandall and Andrea 2). While never entirely looked at, these tensions and relentless debates indicate that the concern of what function money should play in campaigns and elections is both an essential and complex one to address.
Thus, the case in the U.S. opens an avenue to examine further some of the issues that still pose significant challenges despite the attempts to achieve credibility in how political funding takes place. Beange (9) informs that generally, the Canada Elections Act outlines a highly detailed level of reporting for nomination contestants, candidates, and political parties and the trend persists many decades after the introduction of such regulations. Submitting details of expenses and contributions did not commence until 2004. However, somewhat challenging is the lag allowed between the occasion and its submission to Election Canada and a consequent gap between the receipt of the information by Election Canada. In addition, problems revolve around the acceptability of expenses, and on the publication of reports on the agency’s website. On the contrary, the U.S.’ Federal Election Commission promotes online publication of acquired information within 48 hours. In addition, whereas Elections Canada reports that the level of adherence to finance regulations are well above 90%, it is still possible to witness some form of opposition and dissatisfaction. Beange (9) informs that despite the satisfying level of compliance, it is still possible to experience cases of litigations being forwarded to the Federal Court or the Supreme Court of Canada in the past twenty years. Some of the opposing groups contest the broadcasting regulations, while some differ with guidelines on third party spending. It happens that some groups challenging the current regulations on party funding do not agree with the description of party funding, and others contest interpretations of the law by the Commissioner of Canada Elections or Chief Electoral Officer. Such litigations have resulted in contradicting views because while one team favor the guidelines and practices by Elections Canada, other groups are calling for substantial transformations in the Canada Elections Act (Beange 9). Equally attractive to many stakeholders are contraventions, which although looked into by Elections Canada, did not yield substantial formal penalties. Examples of expenditure violations that have gone unnoticed, and which raise public concern as to whether the relevant authorities are committed to avoid any unscrupulous dealings in party funding are the in-and-out plan by the Bloc Quebecois and violations by Wajid Khan who was a candidate under the Liberal Party.
Unequal Donations and Violations of the Set Rules and Guidelines
Other groups on Canada feel that it is imperative to reform the country’s political donation structure to eradicate a scenario where some groups enjoy more benefits than others. Some people feel that failing to limit how individuals, unions, and corporates contribute to parties to achieve a level playing field for everyone. For example, Zelder describes how B.C. NDP surpassed the B.C. Liberals in donations during the 2017 electioneering period. Zeidler thinks that the information released by Elections BC signals the significance of pushing forward political financial reforms. Even though the gap in donations between the Liberals and the NDP started to narrow since the 2013 provincial elections, the Liberals have secured more financial donations. The organizers of election polls were keen in predicting a win for NDP despite the increasing of donations to the party. Data indicates that the NDP managed to garner more than $9.4 million in donations compared to the Liberals who managed to secure approximately $7.9 million. The B.C. Green Party, on the other hand, only managed to secure slightly more than $800,000 for refusing to accept donations from unions and corporations during its campaigns (Zeidler). Elections BC reports that indicates that nearly 40% of the donations to NDP were acquired from unions, with contributions from individuals coming in second (Zeidler). The Liberals, on the other hand, managed to secure approximately 60% of their donations from corporations. Consequently, some individuals feel that more need to happen to prevent the scenario where some parties generate much more money than others claiming that this could result in unfair competition, and signals considerable inconsistency in the current regulations. For example, Attorney General David Eby thought that it would be a good idea to find ways of developing strict funding regulations when lawmakers would reconvene in September 2017. Some also think that it would be essential to develop stricter guidelines and to strive towards achieving compliance with already set guidelines (Zeidler). For instance, some corporations and unions violated the guidelines by the Chretien Liberal government in 2003, which directed that unions and corporations would contribute a maximum of $150,000 (Zeidler). Instead, some companies and unions such as United Steelworks, BC Government & Service Employees’ Union, and Hospital Employees Union offered more than the stipulated amount with each side contributing $520,000, $261,153, and $244,377, respectively all which were directed to NDP (Zeidler). Even though the NDP appears to have an upper hand in generating donations from various groups, various stakeholders feel that making necessary adjustments to the policies on party funding will have considerable effect as well as improve how different parties receive financial aid.
Emerging Corrupt Practices
Various scholars and stakeholders feel that more need to happen to transform the current regulations on political funding to avoid developing a sense of corrupt deeds or a society where party funding provides an avenue for corruption. For example, Dermod Travis, who serves as the Executive Director of Integrity B.C., which is a non-partisan group in Canada, and Christopher Cotton who is a political commentator, economist, and analyst at Queen’s University think that whatever the reasons for donations to the leading parties, the reforms on political funding are inevitable (Zeidler). Cotton thinks that B.C. still lags behind across Canada and Western democracies regarding elimination of union and corporate monies from political campaigns and elections (Zeidler). The two critics feel that if nothing else, the situation creates a sense of corruption in the country. Eby, the Attorney General, feels that until the reform bill is brought before the house and accepted, some parties such as NDP will continue to receive unlimited donations from individuals, unions, and corporates. The Attorney General thinks that some parties, including NDP may take advantage of the situation to generate more money than they need for the campaign at hand, and may transfer into its accounts any additional money for future use or to meet its party requirements. Eby declared that the reform bill will seek to regulate the money parties receive after election with the belief that this is unlawful and likely to pave way for corrupt practices (Zeidler). The Attorney General expressed his opinions that introducing a raft of changes would ensure that the 2017 election was the last one where parties acquired a lot of money from political groups despite the existence of certain laws and regulations forbidding such heavy spending.
Other groups also think that the current regulations are ineffective and less likely to achieve the desired objectives. Sayers and Young (6) assert that attempts to regulate the impact of money in electoral processes are rampant in the democratic world. Sayers and Young (6) think that at the core, it is the potentially corrupting impact of money, and its capability to distort election results and policy formation and implementation – that drives this reaction. Regulating these results has variously been related to ensuring transparency, building integrity, and developing accountability and equity. There has also been widening in making sure that the function of money in elections help rather than tamper with democracy and democratic engagement. Sayers and Young (6) feel that the current transformations have relatively insignificant implications on developing accountability as present legislation offers for the sort of transparency with regard to expenditures and donations that might be perceived as necessary to make the regulation an attainable goal. Sayers and Young (6) think that the new legislation does not really affect transparency, although it could be perceived that by restricting contributions and offering more public funding the conditions in which elections happen becomes simplified and easier to comprehend, enhancing both accountability and transparency. Furthermore, the measure of reporting needs to local groups between campaigns and elections advance transparency. The truthfulness of elections, to the extent that it implies to concerns about undue impact over policy and decision-makers, is most likely improved by the regulations on huge donations.
In this sense, there is some interest, nevertheless, that some unions and corporations might be able to identify ways of circumventing the regulations on donations, for instance, by advancing individual contributions by board directors or members. It actually appears that in reaction these limitations parties are already marshalling their affiliates to act as funding coordinators, bringing into one place sets of maximum individual contributions from their associates and collogues (Sayers and Young 6). In this sense, they will acquire the kind of preferential access to the party chairman that was one provided to large contributors.
The call by various equality groups is to allow equal access and opportunity for all parties and candidates. To the extent that some traditionally excluded teams – notably women and minority groups – experience financial hurdles to take active roles in political and party activities (for example, seeking nomination), these directives may offer more opportunities (Sayers and Young 7). Regulating money utilized in elections and nominations and ensuring that there is a generous reimbursement plan may help to keep away certain groups and people from dominating and manipulating nomination results, promoting engagement from formerly excluded teams (Sayers and Young 7). The increased opportunities increased the number of women representatives in the Canadian House of Commons by nearly 1% as a result of the initial election conducted under the new guidelines.
The first general election under the new directives indicates that a significant implication may happen at the party level. For instance, the new guidelines were essential to the Green Party, which was contented that any vote in its support would not go into waste, instead that would help it to build its organizational and financial future. Such an avenue would in turn ensure that environmental issues would find a space in the wider policy process (Sayers and Young 7). Being guaranteed of generating at least $1 million each year, Green Party is now at a better position to influence public policy and strive towards legislative and electoral advantages (Sayers and Young 7). The strengthening of the party restore hope and confidence that new voices will be able to express their views long enough to highlight legislative constraints, thus creating the chance engage in political processes (Sayers and Young 7). However, it is expected that raising the money required by parties, and to reach a target that makes it possible to perform day-to-day activities and to take part in elections, will be a major constraint to entry for new political parties.
Regarding its implications on democracy, improving the participation of political parties and citizens is likely to generate mixed feelings. Sayers and Young (7) argue that it is still quite early to determine whether the hope that proper public donation and the interconnected advancement in organizational capability will allow political parties to focus more intensely on policy development will be attained.
The report outlines the changes made to improve party funding in Canada, but urges for increased vigilance to avoid issues that could disrupt the credibility of the entire process. It is projected that the changes adopted in 2003 and 2004 will restrict how political parties generate funds from various groups and individuals. Consequently, this will allow for increased surveillance in how parties receive and use funds, and will provide a better opportunity for minority groups and new parties to express their views. Nevertheless, it is important to watch out for some of the possible flaws surrounding the new directives and make necessary adjustments that would make them more directed at achieving the desired objectives. The developers of the policy should ensure that parties abide by all aspects and that what happens during elections is not what the law says. Canada should review its regulations on party funding from time to time to develop a plan that considers the interest of every group while focusing on developing electoral practices that are in complaint with defined policies.
Beange, Pauline. “Canadian Campaign Election Finance Regulation by Network Oversight.” Journal of Parliamentary and Public Law, 2015, pp. 1-15.
Crandall, Erin and Andrea Lawlor. “Third Party Election Spending in Canada and the United Kingdom: A Comparative Analysis.” Election Law Journal, vol. 13, no. 4, 2014, pp. 476-492.
Sayers, Anthony and Young Lisa. “Election Campaign and Part Financing in Canada.” Democratic Audit of Australia, 2004, pp. 1-10.
The Law Library of Congress. Regulation of Foreign Involvement in Elections. The Law Library of Congress, 2019.
Zeidler, Maryse. “B.C. NDP Outpace Liberals in Donations Leading up to 2017 Elections.” CBC, 20 August, 2017, https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-ndp-outpace-liberals-in-donations-leading-up-to-2017-elections-1.4253757. Accessed 18 November 2020.
Beange, Pauline. “Canadian Campaign Election Finance Regulation by Network Oversight.” Journal of Parliamentary and Public Law, 2015, pp. 1-15.
Beange’s work provides an overview of the adopted legislations by the Canadian authorities to regulate party funding in the country. The source describes the sources of funding for parties, and provides some insight into the possible implications of the newly adopted guidelines.
Crandall, Erin and Andrea Lawlor. “Third Party Election Spending in Canada and the United Kingdom: A Comparative Analysis.” Election Law Journal, vol. 13, no. 4, 2014, pp. 476-492.
The journal is an important source describing how the U.S., the UK, and Canada differ in their regulations on third party spending. The source is particularly helpful in exploring the concept of third party funding in Canada.
Sayers, Anthony and Young Lisa. “Election Campaign and Part Financing in Canada.” Democratic Audit of Australia, 2004, pp. 1-10.
The source provides a comprehensive overview of the party funding laws in Canada as adopted in the early 2000s. It also illustrates some of the merits and demerits associated with the new guidelines.
The Law Library of Congress. Regulation of Foreign Involvement in Elections. The Law Library of Congress, 2019.
The report summarizes the attempts various countries have taken to regulate party funding. It provides a comparative analysis of various countries, including Canada, Australia, the U.S., France, India, Israel, and Japan among others. The document helps to understand how Canada compares with the rest in party funding legislation and reimbursement.
Zeidler, Maryse. “B.C. NDP Outpace Liberals in Donations Leading up to 2017 Elections.” CBC, 20 August, 2017, https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-ndp-outpace-liberals-in-donations-leading-up-to-2017-elections-1.4253757. Accessed 18 November 2020.
The source captures the views of different stakeholders who feel that the current party funding laws requires considerable amendments to prevent scenarios where some parties gain more than others. It illustrates how lack of transformation create the opportunity for corrupt deals.
The world today experiences considerable challenges that could affect the well-being and safety of many people across the globe, which calls for effective measures to mitigating the challenges. The report addresses how the international order is at considerable risk due to a number of threating factors, including escalating improper smuggling and use of dangerous weapons, increased terror attacks, food insecurity, and development of improper and ineffective policies that promotes the interests of individual states. However, the liberal international relations (IR) theory provides a suitable avenue to combat the threats to a stable international order because the concept calls for increased cooperation across international spheres. The theory acknowledges that it may be difficult to address these global problems while acting independently without engaging international institutions and other states. Even though the state is the chief player in a liberal setting, liberal IR theory holds that it is improper and inadequate to act without engaging others. Therefore, acting cooperatively and ensuring that each state participate in addressing the most pressing issues provides a suitable chance to develop an international order where every person and country enjoys peace and harmony.
The Core Principles of Liberal IR Theory
Overall, liberalism implies that the preferences of individual states, rather than their capabilities, are the chief determinants for how states conduct themselves. Contrary to realism where the state is perceived as a unitary player, liberalism promotes for the engagement of multiple players in state activities and operations (Rienner 23). Therefore, preferences could differ from one country to the other depending on a number of factors, including the type of government, economic systems, and culture (Oye17). Liberalism also asserts that the interactions between different states is not restrained to political issues alone, but socioeconomic and cultural factors (Oye 17). Thus rather than sticking to anarchic structures, liberalism permits for the participation of multiple teams that make it easier to attain absolute gains through interdependence and cooperation (Oye 18). The theory of IR falls into two broad categories; neoliberalism and post-liberalism. Neoliberalism, also called liberal institutionalism, is a part of liberal thinking, which holds that international groups can permit states to prosperously work together in the international system (Oye 20). Post-liberalism, on the other hand, implies that states should work as a unit to develop their sovereign interests and to enhance security in the contemporary globalized world.
Liberalism is a notion within international relations (IR), which can be perceived to revolve around several interconnected perceptions. The proponents of the theory do not acknowledge power politics as the only probable result of IR. Power politics in this scenario refers to the belief that distribution of interests and powers, or modifications to these distributions, are vital originators of conflicting situations such as war and also a cause of political or system stability (Doyle 1158). The concept of liberalism promotes cooperation at the global scale, as well as advocates for mutual benefits. Liberalism allows non-governmental actors, which comprises of domestic and international groups that carry out their duties without being restricted by state entities, and international organizations to influence the production of state policies (Doyle 1158). Moreover, the notion advocates for other factors that would promote cooperation among states and prevent the emergence of conflicts. It allows for the engagement of international bodies such as the United Nations (UN) in handling conflicts in ways that do not involve violent. The theory holds that international groups serve a primary function in fostering cooperation among different countries regardless of the sociopolitical differences. Doyle (1160) informs that with the appropriate international groups, and escalating interdependence, encompassing cultural and economic interactions, countries have a better chance to lower or eliminate the possibilities of entering into conflicts. Liberal IR theory urges states to interact using various techniques, including through cultural, financial, and economic ways, while ensuring that they uphold security to achieve successful state-to-state interactions (Moravcsik 526). Liberals believe that international diplomacy is an appropriate approach to get states to engage with each other fairly, and promote non-violent remedies to issues that could have global impact (Moravcsik 526). The supporters of the theory believe that with effective and well-established diplomatic initiatives and institutions it is easier and convenient to function as a team to evade conflicts and improve growth and development.
The school of thought also calls for increased international trade because the proponents believe that when countries interconnect their economies through trading activities, the chances of going to war with each other decreases and people are likely interrelate with each other in the most appropriate manner (Oye 24). More fundamentally, the liberal IR theory calls for the adoption of democratic practices because adequately established societies do not wage war against each other, and strive to find quick and effective solutions to threatening situations.
Liberals believe that the universal situation of global politics is globalization. Proponents assert that countries are, and have always been interconnected with a transnational and domestic societies, which create the urge to engage in cultural, social, and economic interactions across international borders. The concept of liberalism holds that the policies individual states create may either promote or disrupt such engagements (Oye 26). Likewise, some local groups may either benefit or be affected by such directives, and they constantly pressurize the state to create policies that safeguard the attainment of their objectives.
Threats to International Order
The liberal international order that has remained moderately steady for many years, especially after the end of WWII, may now be at a considerable risk, and could experience substantial perils that could result in severe implications, based on the findings of RAND Corporation, which is one of the leading think tanks in the U.S. RAND examined some of the possible factors that could disrupt the international order since 2014, and ruled that the order could be in a much more trouble that the findings through 2014 would indicate (World Economic Forum). Some of the events that RAND find to be of considerable threat to the order, include Russia’s aggression and involvement in Ukraine, UK’s decision to opt out of the European Union, the election of Donald Trump as the president of the United States, and the impact of the far-right political groups in the larger Europe (World Economic Forum). These threats to international order calls for an effective approach to address the issues, lest many countries continue to suffer the adverse implications of these disruptions.
The objective over the years has been to uphold an international order that advocates for peaceful coexistence with each other. The World Economic Forum describes international order as set of regulations, institutions, and norms that define or regulate interactions between the main players on the global arena. Today, the group that plays significant functions in maintaining a peaceful international order, include the World Trade Organization (WTO), the United Nations (UN), regional and bilateral security institutions, and liberal political practices (Ikenberry and Stokes 4). On the other hand, as globalization continues to erode national and international borders, states have to deal with emerging issues that could disrupt the international order. Jones, Pascual, and Stedman (17) identify factors such as increased global warming, the emergence of deadly infectious ailments, weaker states, and the increased threat of terrorism. When it comes to possible risks to global security, the relevant stakeholders need to be more vigilant to address the most pressing issues. Jones, Pascual, and Stedman (17) inform that transnational criminals unlawfully traffic powerful and dangerous nuclear weapons and technologies to relatively unstable governments in highly conflict-prone areas of the world. It is worrying that some of the dreaded terrorist groups that aspire to cause much havoc and inflict pain have complete manuals and training kits on how to use weapons of mass destruction (Jones, Pascual, and Stedman 18). Other factors that could derail international order, include increase in food prices, persistent droughts, escalating energy prices, widening energy prices, increased storms, cases of food shortages, particularly in poor countries, and escalating cases of riots (Deudney and Ikenberry 180). The Center for Strategic and International Studies also find that the modern world experiences considerable instability and international threats (Long 1378). The report reveals that instability and conflicts of high intensity spread across the globe, and the range of unsteadiness encompasses countries and regions that are not witnessing much conflict, but that are economically and institutionally susceptible and open to shocks (Center for Strategic and International Studies).The Center for Strategic and International Studies identifies several threats and concerns, among them, transnational terror acts, regional meddling and coercion, health concerns, increased displacement of persons, unbearable humanitarian constraints, and use of chemical, biological and other unconventional and destructive weapons. All these threatening factors according to the Center for Strategic and International Studies create an adverse operating environment for everyone. Moreover, the traditional tools and approaches for reacting to these concerns have turned out to be increasingly inadequate against such problems, with the fusion of instability and threats creating considerable hardships for leaders and policymakers.
How Liberal IR Theory Promote International Order
The core assumptions of the liberal theory implies that it is possible to develop an international order where individual states enjoy peace and the benefits that come with living in a peaceful place. One of the factors that makes the theory a suitable approach to develop a peaceful international order is that it advocates for the engagement of international groups and nongovernmental actors in handling some of the issues that affect individual and national well-being. For example, engaging international bodies such as the UN provide the chance to address and overcome some of the issues that threaten international order and peace (United Nations). For example, former UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, initiated the Zero Hunger Challenge in 2012 to help vulnerable countries address the issue of widespread hunger, which could affect the level of stability in a country or region. The UN through the program restored hope across the world that when acting together it is possible to overcome hunger and malnutrition that affect many societies around the globe (United Nations). Moreover, the UN restored hope that acting as a unified team provides a suitable chance to establish sustainable and inclusive food structures that may help to overcome the most worrying situations (United Nations). The UN reports that after several years of steady drop, global hunger has shown a solid increase since the beginning of 2015. It further reveals that approximately 821 million people in globe suffered from the effects of hunger in 2018 alone. The UN further reveals that if countries fail to act as a unified force to combat the problem, it may be difficult to attain the objectives of Zero Hunger Target come 2030 (United Nations). However, embracing the ideology of liberalism, which calls for states to engage international bodies in alleviating global threats such as hunger may promote the formation of an international order where hunger does not result in disruption of peace.
The UN plays an equally important role in promoting global peace, and adhering to the directives of the liberal IR theory, which calls for the incorporation of international bodies in addressing global concerns may help to achieve an internal order where peace prevails. The UN has been in the forefront in preventing conflicts and helping the participating sides in wars achieve peace. Furthermore, the UN plays an instrumental function formulating the conditions to permit peace to flourish and thrive. Specifically, the UN Security Council plays a significant function in upholding international security and peace, which are vital requirements for international order to prevail (Mazower 71). The Security Council plays a vital function in informing member states about potential threats to global peace or acts of aggression. The Council urges its affiliates to embrace peaceful ways of settling disputes. Chapter VII of the Charter allows the Council to use enforcement approaches to uphold or foster global security and peace (Mazower 71). Such initiatives range from global military action and economic sanctions. Also important in contributing towards global peace are the Secretary-General and the General Assembly that contribute towards decision-making on matters that would stabilize international peace. The General Assembly, on the other hand, provides member states to express their perceptions to the entire agency and come with suitable approaches to address tough issues (Mazower 72). Thus, it is clear that adopting a liberal mind that allows for the engagement of international organizations provides a better chance to establish an international order that promotes peaceful coexistence across the globe.
Nonetheless, it is imperative to consider the possible implications of the idea that states play significant functions in determining their practices in liberalism. States come up with policies that determine how they relate with international organizations, and formulate guidelines to dictate how they engage in global trade (United States). Besides, individual states create guidelines that influence how they address possible cases of conflicts and insecurity. Therefore, only those states that formulate effective policies and structures that permit the engagement of international actors and welcome engagement with other states are likely contribute to peaceful international order. However, when a state fails to create systems that encourage cooperation at the global level it may be hard to contribute towards an international order where peace prevails (United States). For example, such countries may lack the necessary support from international bodies such as the UN and the WTO when in need of security or trade guidelines, respectively. Therefore, countries should not embrace the aspects of liberalism that encourage the formation of policies that do not promote international collaborative as this is likely to derail how they contribute towards a peaceful and steady international order.
The study reiterates that the liberal IR theory has potential solutions to some of the threats to international order, and effective application of the desired factors could help to achieve a peaceful and appealing situation for everyone. The study illustrates how the modern world faces threats such as increased food insecurity, climate change, improper use of destructive weapons, weakening state policies, and increased terrorism among other factors derail the attempts to create an international order that fosters peace and habitable environment for every person. Nonetheless, applying the concept of liberalism provides an opportunity to mitigate these issues because of the increased opportunity to work as a team regardless of the international borders, political differences, and socioeconomic variations. Allowing nongovernmental actors and international organizations to intervene issues that may disrupt global peace provides a better chance to address the disturbing concerns. Moreover, engaging in international trade provides a better chance to address the problem in the most effective manner because no state would want to harm the other, especially when they mutually depend on each other. Nonetheless, the idea that the state is the sole actor and decision-maker could derail the attempts to achieve international order, only if some nations develop policies that do not concur with other directives, and only seem to favor their internal interests while putting others at considerable risks.
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The American consumer culture is the single most significant influencer of advertising in the United States and across the world. Advertisements have changed significantly in the last century is response to changing social and cultural norms, technological advancements that increased the advertisers’ modes of communication with consumers, and the shift of buyers from passive to active consumers of advertising messages (Sivulka 41). In this regard, advertising techniques have been influenced significantly by the changing identities of the American people, the unique individual preferences and demands that have fragmented consumer products, and the nuanced racial, gender, socioeconomic status attributes of the targeted consumers. Therefore, while advertising has largely reflected the changing needs of American and global consumer, it has been used as a tool for demonstrating consumerism, modernity, and progress in society, providing critical and valuable insights into the gendered and racialized consumer culture to illustrate the idea of American individualism. An analysis of the history of advertising analyses across three eras that are classified by the overarching advertising types and techniques and the cultural and societal changes of the time is undertaken. The analysis will draw examples from soap advertisements and the depiction of the woman across these eras, and how that informs about the social and cultural transformation of American society.
Advertising Eras and Their Styles
Print Advertising Era
Advertisers took to print media with the development of the printing press in the 1400s and the industrial revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries which made many manufactured products affordable by the consumer masses. The use of printed advertising material is significant in the advertising practices of the 1800s, characterizing this era. The industrial revolution of the 1800’s in Britain and the United States saw the proliferation of printed adverts from the ease of printing presented by the printing press (Sivulka 7). Graphic designers created hand-made posters providing product information alongside suggestive images to attract the attention and emotion of customers. These posters were market by vintage depiction of people, and especially women, when promoting home-based products like soap. In some of them, the posters combined classical paintings with the marketing message on the product. These posters were then reproduced for newspapers, magazines and outdoor billboards, which were the main advertising tools at the time, to supplement direct selling and face-to-face promotions (Sivulka 21). Thomas Barratt is credited for using classical paintings in advertisements and pioneering brand marketing, as depicted in his Pear’s Soap advertisements.
Pear’s soap was first manufactured by Andrew Pears, an Englishman that had amassed many affluent clients as a barber, to whom he sold skin-lightening products. Introduced in the 1800’s, the Pear’s Soap was a solution to skin damaged by dryness and harsh chemicals line lead and arsenic, and a mark of social advancement toward cleanliness (Thomas and Dennis 205). The product particularly targeted women that pursued alabaster complexion, which was the signature of refinement and wealth. During this era, women were viewed as being home-based and demure while the men were macho and outdoor-oriented, while white English women were considered cleaner that those of other races or locations (Thomas and Dennis 205). However, the body soap product often targeted the affluent in the society. Figure 1 depicts a typical scene of the affluent dining at a table during the Victorian days. The woman, who may have used Pear’s Soap for a while to maintain her fair and spotless skin, appears to be persuading a well-spruced up gentleman to try it. Notably, the woman appears humble in from of an overbearing male that is looking down at her while she suggestively maintains his attention by touching his chin. The sexual connotation is evident with the women being depicted as using her beauty and sexiness to persuade men, and hopefully, customers, to purchase the product. However, other print advertisements give a broader story about the use of women as marketing objects for homecare products, and the sexual, gender, social, and stereotypical undertones nuanced in the soap ads. For instance, appendix 1.1 depicts a nude woman flying like a witch to inscribe Pear’s Soap in the sky. Her alabaster skin is in full display to not only reinforce the effectiveness of the soap but also to present the attractiveness and nudity of a woman as a persuasive advertiser’s weapon. Appendices 1.2 and 1.3 depict women in their domestic chores of washing babies, with the former being a realistic while the latter is a classical vintage depiction of the women’s domestic roles.
Figure 1. Woman introducing soap product to a man
In these adverts, the society was largely conservative, although it was cognizant that people often fantasized over the body and beauty of women with fair and spotless skins. However, Art Nouveau, in its modern style, characterized the advertisement imagery design, and in turn, communicated societal modernity and progress. This style of advertising was brought into the United States by European settlers and perfected to promote American brands. Similarly, the women stereotypes were also imported from Europe, although the American depiction of women in soap advertisements had the unique element of embracing the woman as a critical and progressive component of the modernizing American society. Notably, Sivulka (65) noted that in the 1890s, women became highly sought after by the emerging magazines because of the realization that a woman perspective about products was critical for selling consumer goods to the female market. In this regard, women were not only objectivized as marketing symbols by the male-dominated society, but were also perpetuators of this culture by imputing their knowledge to persuade other women buyers and targeting the increasing middle-class readers that were embracing appropriately-advertised consumer products that reinforced their ambition to climb up the social ladder.
Broadcast Advertising Era
The broadcasting era in advertising was market by the invention and ubiquity of radio and television, which were capable of reaching huge masses of consumers simultaneously and instantaneously. This era is marked by the technological development, namely radio and televisions, in the 1900s. These two inventions took advertising a notch higher from the delayed visual-oriented advertising messages on print media to the immediate auditory and visual messages that humanized the advertiser-mediated relationship between the client and product. Radio advertising used male voice overs usually, to broadcast advertising messages and subtly communicate gender stratification in which men were depicted as being authoritative and knowledgeable on the consumer products in the market, while women were the demure passive recipients and purchasers of the household products. This occurrence coincided with the golden era of radio that spanned between the 1920s to the 1950s, when radio stations and uptake grew exponentially before television took over as the dominant and favorite entertainment medium. At the same time, the popularity and transformation of radio advertising was spurred by the proliferation of the gadget in United States households following its affordability due to technological advancements in electronics and the debut of broadcasting networks like National Broadcasting Company (NBC), Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), and American Broadcasting Company (ABC) in 1926, 1927, and 1945, respectively. Advertisers had a channel that had a broad reach and networked across the entire country, through which they could reach their target customers nationally. Notably, catchy jingles took root as accompaniments of adverts that facilitated product brand awareness and recall because they helped develop an emotional attachment between consumers and branded products (Wang 22). Soap advertisements over radio were marked with memorable sing-along jingles that would be easily remembered by women and children, who that the targets of the marketing campaigns at the time. The advent of the television, thereafter, reinforced the advertising trend over radio by adding the visual component, thus broadening the sensory reception of the marketing messages.
Matthes, Prieler, and Adam (318) revealed this era heralded the commencement of research on the portrayal of gender roles in television advertisements, with United States pioneering the studies in the 1970s before Europe and Great Britain joined the foray in the 1980s. They note that the gender stereotyping that took root during this era has persisted in advertising practices to date, albeit at a lesser scale that depicts the societal progression towards gender equality. Women were still depicted as the homemakers whose duty was to ensure and promote cleanliness of homes and bodies, while the men were portrayed as the gatekeepers of high moral standards in the society. However, with the exponential increase of women participation in the labor market, changed the way they were depicted in television, especially. In turn, women were now demonstrated as enjoying unprecedented liberties including overt demonstration of their bodies and beauty, and the use of this attributed to persuade men, as demonstrated in a 1949 Palmolive poster.
Figure 3. Palmolive advert of 1949
Moreover, this era was characterized by the scaling up of content marketing, which had become established in print media, by introducing soap operas, which were serialized drama shows that were sponsored by soap-manufacturing companies like Colgate-Palmolive. Soap operas over radio allowed women to remain engaged while doing their household chores as their husbands and children were out at work and in school, respectively. In addition, women also lent their voices as actors, as depicted in figure 3, in the recording of the popular “Ma Perkins” soap opera sponsored by P&G’s Oxydol laundry soap (Suess para 7).
Figure 4. Women in CBS studio recording a P&G soap opera
Source: Suess (para 7)
Sponsored content and advertisements became a significant source of revenue for the media houses, which were not critical of the cultural and social undertones depicted in the soap adverts provided the sponsored paid for airtime (Buchwitz 139). Similarly, broadcasters, musicians, actors, advertisers, and brands joined hands to project messages of public interest, including consumer goods like soap, which not only enhanced hygiene but also personal beauty (Wang 24). In this regard, the American society was experiencing rapid growth, which was briefly interrupted by the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the enthusiasm and optimism of society was depicted by the advent of the consumer economy, through which the middle-class could access consumer goods conveniently enough without interrupting their participation in the labor market. Nudity, open sensuality, and provocative language of women were especially leveraged in the television soap commercials to communicate liberalism, capitalism, and autonomy, which underpinned the American culture at the time. However, the imagery of the traditional depiction of women performing domestic chores had given way to exhibiting their professional and occupational positions, with professional women being used to endorse soap products, an indication and beauty and sensuality could be demonstrated alongside professionalism in the same advertisement.
Digital Advertising Era
Invention of the internet and personal computers in the 20th century saw that emergence of the digital advertising era that turned consumers from passive receivers of advertising messages to active and interactive generators of advertising content. Like the previous era, this era is denoted by the technological developments in the 2000s. One significant characteristic of the advertising tools of this era is their interactivity, which was lacking with the print, radio, and television advertising channels of the previous eras. Now, a commercial can reach clients instantaneously and repeated at the consumers’ convenience and comfort using mobile gadgets like smartphones, laptops, and tablets though websites and social media. In turn, audiences can provide immediate feedback to the advertiser or manufacturer by engaging in a chat, writing a product review, or simply indicating a “like” or “dislike” to indicate approval or disapproval, which are provided in many social media platforms.
However, this era differs from the previous ones because it elevates women to an almost similar status to that of men, at least economically, and places women as being equally knowledgeable, entrepreneurial, and assertive as their male counterparts. Although women participation in the labor market had transformed their gendered roles from simply being focused on homemaking to being breadwinning partners alongside their male peers during the broadcasting era, the digital advertising era cemented their position as entrepreneurs capable of making and marketing their own beauty and personal care products.
The digital age has liberalized marketing, with the role of advertising gatekeepers, such as large advertising agencies, giving way to smaller, individualized, and personalized advertisers in the name of influencers. The influencing power of women endorsers has been multiplied exponentially by the internet and digital technologies. Now women can control the advertising narrative while leveraging their natural assets of beauty, sensitivity, individuality, and nurturing competencies to persuade consumers to make purchasing decisions, in a phenomenon known as ‘femvertising’, as illustrated by the Facebook page excerpt in figure 5 and appendix 1.4 (Drake 593). In this regard, social media is the marketers’ tool of choice in this era, because it allows a narrowed targeting of the desired but dispersed market segment without incurring a huge financial advertising cost burden. Moreover, it presents women with a larger voice related to beauty and womanhood with the women valuing opinions of regular users of soap products and famous female celebrities more than they do that of men (Khamis, Ang, and Welling 192).
Figure 5. Dove’s Facebook page
Source: Sadder (para 3)
Despite these developments, the stereotyping of women along gender, racial, and social lines, still pervades soap advertisement, with the notion of white clear skin being superior to dark and freckled one. However, the market displays its opinions, often anger, more openly when women are denigrated by advertisers and manufacturers, as indicated in Dove’s advert in figure 6 posted on Facebook, which demonstrated how a dove body lotion could turn a dark-skinned woman into a white-skinned one (Slawson para 3). The company had to bring it down and apologize after much public outcry. But this was an indication of the pervasive racial and body image perceptions that are still held deeply by Americans, despite calls to embrace diversity across the female gender.
Figure 6. Dove’s controversial advert on Facebook
Source: Slawson (para 1)
Altogether, new media has been beneficial to women by offering them autonomy, while conflicting advertisers due shift of power towards the consumer.
This analysis of soap advertisements focused on the 1800s, 1900s, and 2000s as distinct eras in the evolution of advertising and their social, cultural and economic ramifications to women. In the early adverts of the 1800s, women were depicted on print media through their traditional roles of homemaking and child-rearing. The advent of radio and television in the 1900s did not change this outlook and stereotypes much, as men continued to dominate the advertising narrative through their authoritative and deep voice overs and objectification of women as marketing conduits. During these two eras, the channels of advertising were unidirectional because they did not accommodate the active participation of women as decision-makers or opinion-shapers. However, the 2000 heralded the digital age, which largely shifted the balance of power in women’s favor. As an exhibition of modernity and progress, social media empowered women to control their narrative and shape consumer opinions using their fame, knowledge and experience of the soap products, and entrepreneurship, considering that they were now making and marketing their own soaps to niche segments of the market.
Buchwitz, Lilly Anne. “A model of periodization of radio and internet advertising history.” Journal of Historical Research in Marketing 10.2 (2018): 130-150.
Drake, Victoria Elizabeth. “The impact of female empowerment in advertising (femvertising).” Journal of Research in Marketing 7.3 (2017): 593-599.
Etsy. “1800-2000 soap ad.” 2020. https://www.etsy.com/market/1800s_soap_ad?ref=l2.
Khamis, Susie, Lawrence Ang, and Raymond Welling. “Self-branding,‘micro-celebrity’and the rise of Social Media Influencers.” Celebrity Studies 8.2 (2017): 191-208.
Matthes, Jörg, Michael Prieler, and Karoline Adam. “Gender-role portrayals in television advertising across the globe.” Sex Roles 75.7-8 (2016): 314-327.
Sadder, Leen. “Dove: Real beauty by design competition. (n.d.). http://portfolios.sva.edu/gallery/5744171/Dove-Real-Beauty-by-Design-Competition.
Sivulka, Juliann. Soap, sex, and cigarettes: A cultural history of American advertising. Cengage Learning, 2011.
Slawson, Nicola. “Dove apologizes for ad showing black woman turning into a white one.” 8 October 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/08/dove-apologises-for-ad-showing-black-woman-turning-into-white-one.
Suess, Jeff. “Our history: P&G put the ‘soap’ in ‘soap opera’. October 4, 2017. https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2017/10/04/our-history-p-g-put-soap-soap-opera/732149001/.
Thomas, Christy Kuruvilla, and Navya Dennis. “Questioning Representations of the Unclean: Racism in Victorian Soap Advertisements.” Journal of the Gujarat Research Society 21.15 (2019): 204-214.
Wang, Pinie. “Music and advertising: The influence of advertising and the media on the development of the music industry in the USA.” International Journal of Music Business Research 1.1 (2012): 21-43.
Appendix 1. Soap adverts from the 1800s
Appendix 1.1 Nude woman trying to inscribe the product name on the sky
Appendix 1.2 Modest mother washing her baby with the soap product
Appendix 1.3 Goddess-like woman washing her baby with the soap product
Appendix 1.4 Dove advert showing woman embracing her age
Source: Sadder (para 3)
Comprehensive Change Management Process
Comprehensive Change Management Process
The fast food industry is highly-competitive and lucrative, although it is challenged by thin margins that limit profitability and high employee turnover rates. In Saudi Arabia, the popularity of fast foods is increasing rapidly and fast food restaurant chains have entered this space to capitalize on the business opportunities that exist in the Saudi market as the Saudi society modernizes. Moreover, young Saudis are attracted to this industry, although their high education levels and career ambitions are not matched by the management practices therein, despite the governments support for the saudisation of the country’s labor market (Deloitte & Touche, 2019). This critical analysis delves into the challenges experienced by the fast food industry in the country and focuses on McDonald’s KSA, which is an increasingly popular fast food brand in the country. it identifies the runaway employee turnover rate as a critical issue to the success of the company and prescribes a comprehensive change management process to address this problem.
Description of Organization
McDonald’s KSA is one of the fast food outlets operating in Saudi Arabia. Despite being an American fast food chain brand, which entered the kingdom in 1993, McDonald’s KSA’s restaurants are wholly owned and operated by Saudis under the auspices of Riyadh International Catering Company. Currently, there are 284 McDonald’s outlets in the country that are operated by 8004 employees (McDonald’s, 2019). However, 2295 of the employees are Saudi nationals, making up 29% of the entire workforce if the firm in the country. The company has only 30 female employees, which is reflective of the highly-paternalistic Saudi society. Nonetheless, the restaurants served over 156 million diners in 2018, comprising of individuals, groups, and families (McDonald’s, 2019).
McDonald’s KSA perpetuates the rich historical legacy of the McDonald’s American brand in the United States where the company was first incorporated back in 1954. The brand has become synonymous with the Bic Mac burgers, Chicken McNuggets, and Happy Meals that were popularized by a small barbeque restaurant in California in the United States that was founded by Ray Kroc (McDonald’s, 2020). The company’s vision is “to move with velocity to drive profitable growth and become an even better McDonald’s servicing more customers delicious food each day around the world”, while its mission statement is “to be our customers’ favorite place and way to eat and drink” in which the customer is prioritized (Meyer, 2019). The growth and profitability strategies of McDonald’s KSA are premised on the customization of menus to incorporate the Saudi culture. This has seen the introduction of the McArabia Chicken, which is halal and uses Khubz (Arabian bread) and Big Mac burgers that use halal beef instead of pork (McDonald’s, 2019). Moreover, McDonald’s KSA strives to attract young Saudis, who have traditionally had a negative attitude towards restaurant services, which introducing the quick service restaurant format, which was unique in the country (McDonald’s, 2016). Besides, the company has embraced the saudization of its workforce, which is dominated by expatriates, to conform to the Saudi Government’s nationalization agenda, which seeks to attract more Saudis into the job market and increase their labor participation in the public and private sectors (McDonald’s, 2016). In this regard, McDonald’s KSA endeavors to become a significant private sector player in the economy Saudi Arabia and a major promoter of the Saudi government’s economic diversification and nationalization agenda.
Issue confronting the organization
McDonald’s KSA has been bedeviled by high staff turnover rates that continue to challenge the hotel and hospitality sector in the country. At one point, the turnover rate of Saudi employees was as high as 149%, which was largely caused by the negative attitude towards restaurant work, leading to Saudi employees seeking alternative employment to escape the negative connotation associated with their restaurant careers (McDonald’s, 2016). Moreover, the employees disliked the long working hours, shift practices that denied them a social life, transportation challenges due to lack of public transport, and discrimination due to their weak English skills. The challenging work conditions were matched with low basic salaries and minimal benefits, forcing employees to seek better working conditions or quit employment altogether to claim Hafiz, which is a subsidy afforded to Saudi jobseekers, despite the Nitaqat incentive provided by the Ministry of Labor in the country to encourage the employment of more Saudi citizens (McDonald’s, 2016).
Despite several changes in the work environment at McDonald’s KSA outlets, the high turnover prevails. For instance, the company has increased the minimum pay from less than SAR 3,000 before 2012 to SAR 5,500 in 2015. In addition, it has offered employees more incentives to attract employees to remote locations beyond the large cities of Riyadh, Medina, Mecca, and Jeddah. These include flexible work shifts in which they can choose a shift that suits their personal commitments and lifestyle, while earning for the exact hours worked, a five-day break after three months of continuous working, a three-week vacation after every 11 months of working continuously, and a free travel ticket during vacations (McDonald’s, 2016). Moreover, the company has introduced the Tahadi Track, which provides a pathway of being promoted to the level if a shift manager within 11 months and earning a salary of SAR6,500 from SAR5,000, as an accelerated alternative to the regular progression that take 24 months (McDonald’s, 2016). However, the pathway to the branch manager position is more rigorous, requiring progression from a shift manager, possession of an undergraduate degree alongside exemplary spoken and written English skills. Furthermore, career progression at the company is skewed towards the male employees, leaving the female ones with very little or no opportunity of ever rising to a managerial position. Therefore, despite these changes, Saudi employees continue exiting the restaurant chain.
At the root is this problem is the negative attitude that the senior management has for Saudi employees. Many company executives feel that Saudi employees are not hardworking and feel entitled senior positions based on the Government’s nationalization agenda, a notion that was revealed by Iqbal (2010). Iqbal (2010) noted that the negative attitude held by executive against Saudi employees induced a feeling of job insecurity among the Saudi workers in the private sector. Moreover, the career progression route is very narrow and only favors the employees that are liked by the senior management, indicating the presence of cronyism. Moreover, the youthful employees that make the majority of Saudi employees are disoriented and disenchanted by the limitations and prohibition of ikhtilat, which forbids the mixing of men and women in public places. Recently, a video of a male and female hotel workers sharing breakfast at their Mecca workplace went viral and cause the Egyptian man to be arrested for violating Saudi traditions (Reuters, 2018). The accusations included the employment of a foreigner in a profession reserved for Saudis and lack of a private space for the female employees at the workplace, even though the woman was fully veiled during the entire incident (Reuters, 2018). Such restrictions discourage male and female employees at McDonald’s KSA and contribute to the high turnover.
A change in the leadership style used by the executives in McDonald’s KSA is recommended. The company’s leadership should adopt leadership styles that motivate employees to stay in the profession, despite the challenging work conditions that are premised on Saudi law and traditions. Moreover, the leadership style used by the firms top management should employ meritocracy rather than cronyism in providing career progression opportunities. Masfar (2020) noted that few Saudis were willing to stay in employment in the hospitality industry in the country after the age of 30 years because of the lack of meritorious career progression. Since the leaders’ managerial style includes the career trajectory of employees, Masfar (2020) recommended that they should employ leadership styles that impacted positively on the morale of employees and fostered an organizational culture that recognized performance. Similar observations were made by Shriedeh (2019) who noted that the human resource management practices in the fast food industry in Jordan promoted the feeling of discouragement among employees, especially due to the effort-reward imbalance. Shriedeh (2019) recommended that the human resource managers in the fast food industry should device ways of promoting employee loyalty and enhancing the reputation of their restaurants to reduce leaving intentions among employees.
Change Implementation Plan
The intended change will involve the revamping of the organizational culture that will influence the acquisition of leadership skills that promote employee motivation and support meritorious career progression. The recommended change approach is the Lewin’s change management model, which divides the change process into three distinct phases: unfreeze, change, and refreeze. Using this model, the first step would be to articulate the need for change and to prepare McDonald’s KSA for accept the change as a necessary step towards fostering loyalty and commitment. Although the change targets the leaders most, employees should be engaged in deciphering the need to change the leadership styles used by company executives. This phase is critical because it will guarantee buy-in and participation of the entire workforce at McDonald’s KSA, regardless of rank and position. Next is the change process, in which the executives are retrained in leadership, and a leadership program that promotes transformational leadership is implemented in the management training program at McDonald’s KSA. In this training, executives, managers, and supervisors are trained in coaching, mentorship, encouragement, authenticity, meritocracy, and other leadership skills that promote motivation and loyalty in employees (AlBattat, Som, & Helalat, 2013). The final step is refreezing, in which the changes that have been implemented are entrenched into the organizational culture of McDonald’s KSA. Facilitative employee rewards based on the evaluation of the feedback obtained about the change effectiveness would help promote the entrenchment of the proposed leadership style change.
The effectiveness of the change management process will be evaluated through employee satisfaction surveys that gauge the level of job satisfaction and the intentions to stay with the organization among employees (Farrukh et al., 2020). In case this change plan is not implemented as expected, a plan that incentivizes the senior managers and supervisors is recommended. Managers that make improvements in their management style would be eligible to additional perks, like an exchange program to other McDonald’s restaurants in the gulf region and around the world to expand their experiential knowledge, with the hope of join similar positions in different markets.
This project has enlighten me about the intricacies of managing change in organizations, and especially the complexity of changing the organizational culture of a firm, which has entrenched deep-rooted traditions and beliefs, as the one in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I have learned that corporate problems have deep-rooted causes that require a comprehensive change in the culture of an organization, which is a major undertaking in the Saudi context where the Saudi traditions and Islamic beliefs are deeply-entrenched. This research has made me realize the importance of engaging all stakeholders in the organizational change process if issues like employee loyalty, commitment and intention to stay are to be resolved comprehensively.
The high employee turnover rate at McDonald’s KSA can be resolved through change in the leadership style among managers and supervisors. However, this calls for a change in the organizational culture, which promotes cronyism rather than meritocracy is supporting the career progression of employees and motivating them enough to stay with the firm.
AlBattat, A. R., Som, A. P. M., & Helalat, A. S. (2013). Overcome staff turnover in the hospitality industry using Mobley Model. International Journal of Learning and Development, 3(6), 64-71. doi:10.5296/ijld.v3i6.4844.
Deloitte & Touche (2019). Leading the social enterprise: Reinvent with a human focus – 2019 Deloitte Middle East human capital trends. Retrieved November 25, 2020 from https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/xe/Documents/human-capital/ME-HC-Trends-2019.pdf.
Farrukh, M., Kalimuthu, R., Farrukh, S., & Khan, M. S. (2020). Role of job satisfaction and organizational commitment in employee loyalty: Empirical analysis from Saudi hotel industry. International Journal of Business and Psychology, 2(1), 1-20.
Iqbal, A. (2010). Employee turnover: Causes, consequences and retention strategies in the Saudi organizations. The Business Review, Cambridge, 16(2), 275-281.
Masfar, Z. M. (2020). Exploring factors influencing employee turnover in Saudi Arabia’s hospitality industry. American Journal of Tourism Management, 9(1), 1-18. doi: 10.5923/j.tourism.20200901.01.
McDonald’s (2016). Nationalization… more than just a vision: Annual report 2015. Retrieved November 25, 2020 from https://www.ajyalona.com/report4en.php.
McDonald’s (2019). Nationalization of workforce report 2018. Retrieved November 25, 2020 from https://www.ajyalona.com/report7en.php.
McDonald’s (2020). Our Company. Retrieved November 25, 2020 from https://www.mcdonalds.com/sa/en-sa/riyadh/ourcompany.html.
Meyer, P. (2019). McDonald’s mission statement & vision statement (an analysis). Retrieved November 25, 2020 from http://panmore.com/mcdonalds-vision-statement-mission-statement-analysis.
Reuters (2018). Hotel worker is arrested in Saudi Arabia after he was filed eating breakfast with a female colleague. Retrieved November 25, 2020 from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6150795/Hotel-worker-arrested-Saudi-Arabia-filmed-eating-breakfast-female-colleague.html.
Shriedeh, F. B. (2019). Employee turnover in the fast food restaurants: Investigating the role of human resource management practices. International Journal of Human Resource Studies, 9(4), 205-220. doi:10.5296/ijhrs.v9i4.15559.
Convincing Americans to Embrace a Safe and Effective COVID-19 Vaccine
The Covid-19 vaccines have finally arrived before the festive season and the year 2020 comes to a close yet not all Americans are excited by this news[P11] . The lightning speed at which these vaccines have been developed is commendable and indicated monumental advancements in vaccine technology. However, the same speed is making many Americans doubt the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, despite the numerous clinical trials already conducted and the endorsement from reputable medical professionals, like Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has graced our screens as the sound of reason during the height of the pandemic[P12] . Americans would not fear being vaccinated if they were supplied with verifiable and reliable information from credible sources, like the medical fraternity, on the cost/benefit analysis of the available vaccines and the federal government supported the vaccination development and disbursement process, and awareness raising using of public resources rather than relying on entirely private ones. [P13]
Many communicable diseases in the world have been controlled by over 90 %, courtesy of vaccines[P14] . In the United States, vaccination has enabled the eradication of diphtheria, paralytic poliomyelitis, and smallpox, with rubella and measles have been controlled to up to 99.9% (1). [P15] The benefits of vaccines continue to outweigh the risks and there is wide consensus that they are among the most significant achievements in public health and medicine (2).
Vaccine production methods have advanced significantly[P16] . With the first vaccine having been tested against cowpox in 1796, the last 200 years have seen the knowledge in vaccinology transform significantly. The original approach to vaccination involved the principle of isolation, inactivation, and injection of the pathogen into humans to create and immune response that was developed by Louis Pasteur, which protects the individual from the actual disease (3).[P17] Now, systems and structural biology, immunology, and genetic engineering are used to design vaccines (3). More recently, messenger ribonucleic acid (nRNA), which is a single strand of protein corresponding to a gene sequence, is being used to develop vaccines. These mRNA vaccines are fully synthetic and therefore easy and cheap to manufacture en-masse, do not integrate with the genome of the human cells and do not produce infectious species, unlike other nucleic acid-based vaccines, such plasmid DNA and viral vectors (3)[P18] . This is the technology that has enabled the speedy discovery of the Covid-19 vaccines[P19] .
Two vaccines have already been approved for emergency use by the FDA and are already being administered to the most vulnerable segments of the populations in the United States[P110] . The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are mRNA-based and will be administered in two shots, three weeks and four weeks apart and are expected to have exhibited efficaciousness of 95% and 94% respectively (4). However, both need to be stored and transported in subzero temperatures, with Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine requiring colder temperatures (-600C—800C) than the Moderna (-200C) (3). Other covid-19 vaccines that could be available to the Americans include Oxford-AstraZeneca, Valneva, Janssen, GSK-Sanofi, and Novavax, which are being developed in the United Kingdom and several others in other countries (4). [P111] It has not been lost to the public that this time, several vaccines are under development hardly a year into the pandemic, while in previous cases, they took years to craft.
Many Americans believe that the Covid-19 vaccines are not yet safe for use by the public. [P112] Several reasons for such objections have surfaced and are not much different from those that have been held by anti-vaccine activists. The anti-vaccine activists attribute their rejection of vaccines to mistrust they have with the pharmaceutical industry or ‘big pharma’ and ‘big government’ whose motives are thought to be commercial rather than humanitarian (5). In this case, the heavy involvement of the political class in endorsing the covid-19 vaccine has elicited mistrust among many Americans. In addition, there is a longstanding belief among many vaccination opponents that vaccines cause autism and that the CDC has purposefully held that information secret (5). This segment of the American population believes that vaccines are unsafe and worsen the health wellbeing of individuals rather than improve it.
Moreover, many vaccination opponents have advanced the notion that vaccination mandates violate personal and religious freedoms (6). [P113] These sentiments make a section of the American population oppose mass immunization drives that aim at protecting the population against highly-infectious and debilitating diseases, especially in children. In the same vein, similar sentiments have been expressed by a section of Americans that oppose the public health interventions towards Covid-19, such as quarantining, social distancing, and stay-at-home orders. The antiquarantine advocates argue that these public health measures violate the right to assemble, work, and travel, which are fundamental rights protected by the American constitution (6). Much of this information permeates into the society through social media, which is difficult to regulate and monitor, and has been renowned for propagating fake news.
The American public should have accurate, evidence-based, and objective information from reliable sources to facilitate a positive attitude towards Covid-19 vaccines[P114] . Before proactive awareness campaigns are held to promote these vaccines, the groupthink mentality among Americans needs to be addressed because it impairs rational decision-making and presents pressures to conform to the dominant belief, alongside inducing isolation fears (7). [P115]
A proactive COVID-19 vaccine educational campaign should be grounded on a multisectoral, multidisciplinary, and multichannel approach. The proactive strategy should be cognizant that the American society is highly-fragmented, ideologically, economically, politically, and socially. Therefore, engaging the different segments of the American society is critical to vaccination acceptance. Convincing Americans to accept the Covid-19 vaccines should not be reserved to either the medical professionals or the politicians, but should involve all segments of society, especially pro-vaccination advocates as social media influencers to counter the prevailing vaccination hesitancy and resistance (8). Equally, collaboration between the public health and traditional media professionals is critical if public trust is to be restored through positive narratives about vaccines, their production, safety, availability, and efficacy (8). Moreover, pro-vaccine proponents’ voices should be amplified over all media channels to create a consistent message. Besides, social media, which has become the main channel of misinformation, should be monitored continuously to enable the speedy correction and rebuttal of misleading information that can impede the acceptance of the covid-19 vaccines (9). [P116]
My final take on this issue is that information is power and the medical professionals hold the power and responsibility to furnish Americans with accurate, evidence-based information and data about vaccines. Medical professionals should wrestle this power from the politicians and facilitate the change of negative attitudes, myths, misinformation, and confusion about the two promising Covid-19 vaccines. Roozenbeek et al. has demonstrated that people trusted scientists across the United States, Mexico, Ireland and Spain, which should embolden individuals like Dr. Fauci to spearhead the vaccine education campaign (10). In any case, although the vaccines may not eradicate the pandemic entirely, it may create herd immunity, which would significantly suppress the spread of the virus. We have a responsibility of ensuring that this pandemic lasts the shortest time possible, compared to other such events in the past[P117] [P118] .
Ventola, C. L. (2016). Immunization in the United States: recommendations, barriers, and measures to improve compliance: part 1: childhood vaccinations. Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 41(7), 426-436. Ventola, C. L. (2016). Immunization in the United States: recommendations, barriers, and measures to improve compliance: part 2: adult vaccinations. Pharmacy and Therapeutics, 41(8), 492-506.Maruggi, G., Zhang, C., Li, J., Ulmer, J. B., & Yu, D. (2019). mRNA as a transformative technology for vaccine development to control infectious diseases. Molecular Therapy, 27(4), 757-772.Mahase, E. (2020). Covid-19: What do we know about the late stage vaccine candidates? BMJ, 1-2.Szabo, L. How anti-vaccine activists are using Covid-19 to boost their movement. https://www.spectrumnews.org/opinion/how-anti-vaccine-activists-are-using-covid-19-to-boost-their-movement/.DeFranza, D., Lindow, M., Harrison, K., Mishra, A., & Mishra, H. (2020). Religion and reactance to COVID-19 mitigation guidelines. American Psychologist. 1-11.Forsyth, D. R. (2020). Group-level resistance to health mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic: A groupthink approach. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice, 24(3), 139-152.French, J., Deshpande, S., Evans, W., & Obregon, R. (2020). Key guidelines in developing a pre-emptive COVID-19 vaccination uptake promotion strategy. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(16), 5893.Van der Linden, S., Roozenbeek, J., & Compton, J. (2020). Inoculating Against Fake News About COVID-19. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 2928.Roozenbeek, J., Schneider, C. R., Dryhurst, S., Kerr, J., Freeman, A. L., Recchia, G., … & Van Der Linden, S. (2020). Susceptibility to misinformation about COVID-19 around the world. Royal Society Open Science, 7(10), 201199.
[P11]Hook sentence drawing attention towards the mixed reactions to the covid-19 vaccine news
[P12]Background information indicating possible sources of resistance towards Covid-19 vaccines
[P13]Thesis statement providing measures to improve vaccine acceptance
[P14]Topic sentence introduces the importance of vaccines
[P15]Evidence of the benefits of vaccines
[P16]Topic sentence about the advancements in vaccinology
[P17]Evidence of early form of vaccine production methods
[P18]Evidence of the lated vaccine production approaches
[P19]Mini-summary of application of technology in covid-19 discovery and production
[P110]Topic sentence about the new covid-19 vaccines
[P111]Facts about the two vaccines and other that are still in the development stage
[P112]Topic sentence ontroducing the reasons why some Americans mistrust and resist the new covid-19 vaccines
[P113]Further evidence of the sources of vaccine resistance and hesitancy
[P114]Topic sentence introducing the way forward to overcome vaccine hesitancy and resistence
[P115]The main issue underlying what should be tacked to promote vaccine acceptance
[P116]Evidence on how vaccine education campaign should be undertaken
[P117]Conclusion summarizing how Americans can be convinced to accept the new coronavirus vaccines
[P118]Final thought that the reader should consider
Analyzing a Current Health Care Issue – Health Inequality/Disparity
Analyzing a Current Health Care Issue – Health Inequality/Disparity
Although the term disparity is usually applied to refer to ethnic or racial differences, many aspects of disparity exist in the U.S. and other parts of the world, especially in health. If health outcomes are perceived to a greater or lesser extent between different groups of people, it is possible to experience disparity. Information by HealthyPeople show that sex, ethnicity or race, age, sexual identity, socioeconomic status, geographic location, and disability all lead to an individual’s capacity to receive good health. It is imperative to identify the repercussions that social determinants have on healthcare delivery and outcomes of particular populations and take appropriate measures to deal with the concern.
Elements of the Problem
Over the years, efforts to eliminate discrepancies and attain health equity have largely paid attention on illnesses and health care delivery. Nevertheless, the lack of disease not inevitably relate to good health. The Community Health Organizations (CHO) and Adult Basic Education (ABE) have partnered to look into the issue of health inequality among groups with limited capability to speak English (Marcia et al., 2019). Thus, the activities by the partners indicate that improving the level of literacy among vulnerable groups may improve their chances of accessing health care. Thus, offering necessary training on why everyone has the right to healthcare may help to lessen the disparity. The other issue that contributes to health disparity is lack of adequate awareness among caregivers on how to deal with transgender patients (McDowell & Bower, 2016). Thus, it may be necessary to train the caregivers on the most effective ways to reduce the discrepancy. Consequently, members of the population find it difficult to access health care resulting in considerable disparities. Moreover, lack of effective policies may result in racial stereotypes when offering care, resulting in considerable constraints in how some individuals reach the vital services.
It is important as a medical practitioner to understand many issues regarding health disparity to be in a position to take effective remedies. For example, one should understand the possible implications of the problem and identify the groups that are likely to suffer the most. Therefore, interveners should develop proper plans that would guide them through the intervention process to handle the matter effectively.
Context for Patient Safety Issues
People usually take advantage or may be disadvantaged because of their individual feature, which could influence how they reach out for health care. Furthermore, practitioners may fail to give adequate attention to particular patients because of their distinguishing factors, such as sex, gender, or race (Mota, Atkin, Trad & Dias, 2017). However, it is such restrains that deter people from overcoming the restrictions that deter them from seeing each other as equal partners. Besides, some health facilities lack adequate measures to ensure that patients receive the necessary care they require when they seek help. Therefore, it is imperative to overcome these restraining factors and adopt a new perspective that would offer equal opportunity for everyone.
The highly affected groups in this case are those who face social discrimination because of their status. For example, people from racial minority groups are likely to experience segregation in accessing health services, in the same manner transgender people may find it hard to access care (Mota, Atkin, Trad & Dias, 2017). Besides, individuals with low education may find it difficult to access care because they might not know the appropriate steps to follow when reaching out for health care. In addition, those who lack health cover are at a higher risk of failing to get the relevant health services, which calls on relevant groups to take adequate measures to include such people in receiving care (Mota, Atkin, Trad & Dias, 2017). Segregating these groups in offering care results in a scenario where only some people get appropriate care while others lack these vital services (Mota, Atkin, Trad & Dias, 2017). It calls on relevant stakeholders to consider possible solutions that would address the concern.
The interveners should consider the possible remedies that can help to deal with the inequality in access to health care. One of the possible remedies is to educate members of the public about the need to avoid factors that make them look different from each other. The other possible solution would be to introduce better policies on ending health disparities, and to refine the one that already exist.
The best solution would be to create policies that advocate for equal access to care, and to ensure implementation of these regulations. Even though it possible to increase access to care through public awareness, especially by reaching out to the highly vulnerable populations, that might not work out in areas that are difficult to access (Purtle et al., 2018). Furthermore, people many people already understand the need offer or receive medical care without any form of segregation but because of the existing dominating social effects such as racial and gender affiliation, it is still difficult in many scenarios to provide equal care and attention (Marcia et al., 2019). The most suitable option, therefore, would be put more focus on policies that advocate for equal access to healthcare because it is possible to apply these regulations across the country or over a wide region. The other possible remedy would be train medical workers the importance of offering care to everyone without considering their differences. McDowell and Bower (2016) identify lack of adequate awareness among caregivers as one of the major obstacles in providing equal care, and are confident that empowering the health workers may help to address the issue. The third possible solution would be to develop more health facilities such that people find it easier to access health services (Purtle et al., 2018). The government should target the interior regions and places that lack such vital facilities to improve how individuals get medical attention (Purtle et al., 2018). Thus, interveners and other stakeholders should consider these remedies that have the potential to change how people access health services.
Implementing the option would require different stakeholders to play essential functions that would result in the desired outcome. Various teams will examine the existing policies and identify the gaps that require more attention. Implementers will perform the exploration phase by finding possible ways of advancing policy formation and execution, before proceeding to the installation phase, which entails familiarizing people with the new changes and the benefits of adhering to them. Administrators and policy makers should dispatch officers to various regions to ensure that practitioners and members of the public are aware of the changes and act as directed therein (Purtle et al., 2018). The implementers may have to make some necessary modifications on the developed regulations to identify whether it is necessary to make further adjustments. Otherwise, it may be appropriate to expand each phase and reach for the best results.
Developing policies that advocate for equal access to health is ethical and would send a positive image to the highly vulnerable groups. Refining the policies so that it is possible for everyone to access care without reference to their status is in line with the utilitarian theory of ethics, which implies that a good action is one that yields the best results for everyone (Kemparaj & Kadalur, 2018). Moreover, working towards offering healthcare to everyone helps to promote justice, which suggests that an element of fairness should exist when making medical decisions and offering care (Kemparaj & Kadalur, 2018). Striving to offer care to everyone promotes justice because it provides the opportunity to make decisions that influence most people (Kemparaj & Kadalur, 2018). Developing polices and ensuring that all health practitioners adhere to them is likely to represent the interests of most people because legislations often have effect on the entire state or country.
The study illustrates the significance of developing better policies that would ensure that every person get unregulated access to health care regardless of their distinctive features. The report describes how such seclusions deny many people reach to the vital services, which put them in more threat. It is essential to overcome the notion that some people or particular groups deserve better health serves than others because this could propel the situation where vulnerable groups continue to suffer yet they can have the chance to attain medication in the same way as others. The process requires the relevant teams to abide by effective implementation techniques to achieve the desired outcomes because the approach is ethical and wants the best for everyone.
Kemparaj, V., & Kadalur, U. (2018). Understanding the principles of ethics in health care: A
systematic analysis of qualitative information. International Journal of Community
Medicine and Public Health, 5(3), 822-828.
Marcia, D.H., Winston, L., McKinney, J., Rosen, D.J., Santos, M.G., Sheppard, R., Ziskind, A.
(2019). Adult basic education: Community health partnerships and health disparities.
Health Literacy Research and Practice, 3(3), 1-7.
McDowell, A., & Bower, K.M. (2016). Transgender health care for nurses: An innovative
approach to diversifying nursing curricula to address health inequities. Journal of
Nursing Education, 55(8), 476-479.
Mota, C.S., Atkin, K., Trad, L.A., & Dias, A. L. A. (2017). Social disparities producing health
inequities and shaping sickle cell disorder in brazil. Health Sociology Review, 26(3), 280-
Purtle, J., Henson, R.M., Carroll-Scott, A., Kolker, J., Joshi, R., & Roux, A.V.D. (2018). US
mayors’ and health commissioners’ opinions about health disparities in their cities.
American Journal of Public Health, 108(5), 634-641.
VR Serious Game
VR Serious Game
A suitable and safe behavior for exiting a facility is essential in lowering injuries and advancing chances for survival when having to deal with an emergency escape in a building. Often, people would acquire knowledge and skills on the best evacuation practices through traditional techniques, including evacuation drills, posters, and videos, but evidence shows that they may become quite ineffective in terms of passing knowledge and ensuring trainees retain it. Serious games (SGs) have emerged as an innovative style dedicated to training and enlightening people in a gaming setting. Stakeholders have in the recent past increased their attention to immersive virtual reality (IVR)-based serious games that have the capacity to provide suitable knowledge on evacuation delivery and behavior assessments because they are engaging and support enhanced cognitive learning. The research seeks to comprehend the advancement and execution of IVR SGs with regard to building evacuation research and training, which can be relevant in various indoor cases such as earthquake and fire. Thus, a conceptual model for appropriate design and execution through a systematic literature review approach was formulated. Consequently, the model incorporates critical features and develop links between them, encompassing behavioral and pedagogical effects, the development of gaming environments, and outcomes and engagement experience measurements.
Nowadays, many people tend to use most of their time living and offering their services in buildings, either for commercial or non-commercial purposes. Nonetheless, man-made or natural threats can render the building environments harmful for occupation. Effective evacuation techniques and behaviors during an urgent incident is an essential component to advance the chances of survival. Overall, people undergo training that equip them with knowledge on evacuation, where they acquire relevant skills and competence on evacuation, including best practice, self-protection techniques, and emergency response methods, through conventional techniques such as evacuation drills, courses, posters, seminars, and videos. However Feng et al. (2018) argue that these traditional methodologies may not appropriately relay knowledge. One reason for this is that after undergoing an evacuation drill, the occupants of a building rarely have the chance to receive individual feedback examining their evacuation behavior. Another possible reason for this situation is that it may be difficult to emotionally engage the occupants of a building in a learning process that could result in decreased effects on attitude and minimum adjustments in behavior. Yang, Wu, and Li (2011) assert that behavior in real-life evacuation differ from that of experiments such as evacuation drills, which implies that current evacuation frameworks still have weaknesses when they are the reference or foundation of evacuation research and training. Evacuation drills also have other deficiencies such as being expensive in resources and time by interfering with the daily routines of the building’s occupants, and are not likely to present the hazard. Therefore, there is an urge to identify more effective and innovative techniques to overcome the restrictions highlighted above. Such transformations should have the capacity to change evacuation knowledge of the occupants of a building into more efficient and effective ways.
In that regard, SGs have recently garnered much focus on pedagogical studies. Connolly, Stansfield, and Boyle (2009) define SGs as video games whose chief role to educate and train, not primarily for entertainment. Wouters, Van Nimwegen, Van Oostendorp and Eric (2013) argue that those who participate in SGs have a higher chance of gaining and retaining knowledge than those who use traditional techniques. Connolly, Stansfield, and Boyle (2009) point out that SGs have the capacity to advance the capacity of conventional techniques to pass evacuation knowledge and skills. In turn, there is another innovation that can boost the engaging features of SGs called Immersive Virtual Reality (IVR). The technology (IVR) permits participants to be fully entrenched in virtual settings that can give more participation and view than text-based papers, videos, and 2D games. The using together of SGs and IVR promote participants to retain skills and knowledge for longer than conventional techniques because of the fact that they have the chance to fully participate, and to experience high physiological and emotional arousal. As such, a growing number of researches have sought to inquire the correlation of IVR and SGs to improve evacuation training and behavior analysis. A systematic comprehension of how IVR SGs have been formed and executed for evacuation training and research is inevitable.
Evidence from Systematic Review
Ruppel and Schatz (2011) presented a triadic game plan to SGs that brought together three interconnected worlds that require balancing during the design phase. The focus of the game focused on expressing reality, that is how the game relates to the physical world, meaning, which refers to the values that need to be acquired, and play, which seeks to develop playful acts. Ruppel and Schatz (2011) investigate these three major areas for their research. The study allowed the researchers to react to two major research questions. In order to obtain in-depth understanding of these two major areas of study, they formulated eleven auxiliary questions. One of the major research questions in the study was to examine results and measures for applying IVR SGs in evacuation research and training, and the second major research question was to identify the important components for forming IVR SGs in evacuation research. The sub-questions in the study, include; finding out the research questions, examining the learning measures, identifying the behavior outcomes, finding out the behavior measures, how to evaluate trainee experience, and to identify the relevant teaching methods. The other sub-questions in the study focused on identifying the navigation solutions, understanding the triggered senses, knowing the narrative approaches to motivate participants to adhere to the game plan, and complete it, to find out if there are non-playable parties and how they influence the process, and to understand the simulated hazards.
Summary of Evidence – The Outcomes of Gaming and Measures
Ruppel and Schatz (2011) identified two forms of outcomes from their research, namely behavioral and pedagogical outcomes. Regarding pedagogical outcomes, Ruppel and Schatz (2011) found that various evacuation training and knowledge were issued as learning results. Overall, three forms of knowledge were recognized by the study namely self-protection techniques, evacuation best practices, and spatial knowledge. Buttussi and Chittaro (2015) encouraged participating individuals to recognize any potential fire threats. Following their identification, the participants underwent training on the best evacuation practices in case of a fire breakout at home. A substantial growth in measured fire-safety knowledge after training was examined in the outcomes. Buttussi and Chittaro (2015) offered the whole evacuation plan for an aviation emergency ranging from evacuation into a lifeboat following a forced landing on water to turbulence instability reaction. Consequently, trainees underwent a training with ten learning items related to best practices for an emergency case in aviation. The outcomes revealed that IVR SG had better outcome in contrast to the safety card approach. The use IVR SG was essential for participants to remember knowledge on effective evacuation techniques in real-life emergencies.
Apart from the research addressing multiple knowledge, such as best practice, others tend to focus on single knowledge transmission. Li et al. (2017) inform that utilizing IVR SG as a training model to teach trainees how to safeguard themselves in indoor settings during an earthquake. Overall, trainees who received guidance through IVR SG achieved better results than those directed by manuals or safety videos about health avoidance and awareness. The leading learning objective for Burigat and Chittaro (2016) was to allow trainees receive spatial information to enhance appropriate evacuation of an aircraft. Outcomes indicated that trainees who received the guidance IVR SG acquired superior spatial information and competence than those directed by safety cards. Burigat and Chittaro (2016) also inquired spatial competence influenced by body orientation during IVR empowerment in an airplane evacuation. The outcome indicated that local training allowed route and landmark learning, while station training advanced feeling of direction and productivity in lowly visible areas.
The reviewed works reveal that IVR SGs have the capacity to deliver particular skills and knowledge as learning results, even as intricate as best practices with numerous learning items. The anticipated learning results, which are the foundation of the game narrative and storyline, should be described prior to the formation of IVR SGs. Moreover, the tool played vital roles in boosting the participant’s rate of knowledge acquisition and knowledge retention, which are beneficial during the training and after afterwards, sometimes in real life situations. Yang, Wu, and Li (2011), for example, acknowledges that there is a significant advancement in measured fire precaution skills after the training session. Yang, Wu, and Li (2011) also revealed that the technological tool are more effective in boosting knowledge retention compared to the conventional approaches. They believe that this is the vital need for survival during evacuation practices because individuals need to retain suitable evacuation techniques over a long duration so that they get the chance to apply them in case of an emergency. Li et al. (2017) discovered that IVR SGs could give enhanced knowledge transfer than commonly explored techniques. Thus, it can be deduced that IVR SGs are appropriate in offering considerable evacuation information regardless of whether it is multiple skills such as best practice or single information such as spatial skill. Additional evidence indicates that regarding behavioral impact, IVR SGs have considerable beneficial results on participants, which may help to handle a real life incident. Yang, Wu, and Li (2011) show that IVR SGs are a suitable tool to assess trainees’ behavior for different goals.
Key aspects of the Gaming Environment
Successful application of IVR SGs in evacuation training requires trainers to be conversant with the six primary aspects for the gaming environment. The first is pedagogical methods whereby it is possible to apply two forms of teaching techniques utilized to give evacuation knowledge. One of these approaches seeks to offer feedback after a reaction to an incident. In such a manner, participants could easily tell if their conduct was correct or incorrect after making a choice to an incident, thus, trainees could learn from their blunders (Feng et al., 2018). The other approach was to give instructions before reacting to an event. This also means that trainees were instructed on what to do before attending to an incident, thereby getting the opportunity to learn the desired behaviors accordingly (Feng et al., 2018). Nonetheless, regardless of the applied teaching method, trainees report positive outcome concerning the acquisition of evacuation knowledge and skills. Nevertheless, the distinction of the efficiencies between each pedagogical technique is still scanty in the literature (Feng et al., 2018). Those planning to use IVR SGs should know the possible implications of navigation solution as part of the gaming environment. It is imperative to understand that navigation solutions is an essential component connected to the side effects of IVR SGs often called motion sickness. Participants tend to experience sensory imbalance when the perceived transmission inside IVR SGs do not correlate with the movement of their physical bodies.
It is helpful to be aware about the other aspects of the gaming environment to achieve the best results when using the technology. Concerning the narrative methods, they refer to the methods applies to stimulate trainees to abide by and complete the storyline of the IVR SGs that they interact with (Feng et al., 2018). The storyline could refer to the group of scenarios in which trainees can choose choices and take measures appropriately. In this manner, it is easier to generate and attain the expected results. The underlying feature for a specific storyline is that an IVR setting can be presented as an open place where trainees may cruise around out of anxiety. Concerning hazard simulation, which is also part of the gaming environment, and they fall into static and dynamic levels (Feng et al., 2018). The static level means that simulated threats are static, and do not actively relate with trainees, therefore, they do not yield any adverse implications on them. The hazards could be used to increase panic and anxiety, trigger certain events, and advance environmental realism (Feng et al., 2018). It is also essential to consider senses simulation, which is another significant aspect of the gaming environment, as well as the non-playable features, which do not take active role in the learning process.
Nonetheless, IVR SGs have weaknesses. One significant challenge is that a VR setting may instigate motion sickness. Yang, Wu, and Li (2011) argue that there is a high possibility of developing VR induced side effects when constantly exposed to head-mounted displays. A likely explanation for this effect is that trainees suffer from sensory complications when they see appealing visual effects and representations of self-motion in the IVR setting with a self-body that is physically stationary. A study by Yang, Wu, and Li (2011) found that approximately 61% of trainees reported symptoms of malaise such as headache, nausea, and dizziness during the practice. Yang, Wu, and Li (2011) on the contrary, reported that only about 5% of the participants developed emotion sickness in their research, which was advantaged from navigation systems of high quality. Thus, an appropriate and more thoughtful design of IVR design is required to lower the potential side effects. Moreover, researchers have examined various forms of IVR. Nevertheless, so far literature that systematically reviews the matter to examine the possible implications of combining IVR and SGs for building evacuation reasons still lack. Taking that into account, there is still the urge to comprehend how to systematically form and execute IVR SGs for building evacuation research and training.
It is imperative to identify the ways of dealing with the other possible limitations of VR SGs that could have considerable adverse implications on participants. Whereas it may be affordable some forms of VR SG games that may not be the scenario in all cases because as with any new technological operations, the beginning cost can be extremely high, especially if the game has to display some specialized features. Trainers should not overlook the possible instance of addiction, which many scholars identify to be a concern when interacting with VR-enabled devices. Connolly, Stansfield, and Boyle (2009) write that with the advanced graphics and engaging and immersive content, addiction to VR SGs if a very likely possibility. Connolly, Stansfield, and Boyle (2009) inform that addiction to videogames is already a serious issue, but being dependent to the VR encounter will be more influential taking into account the engaging and immersive nature of the technology. In addition, the limitations related to graphics use is another major concern that scholars are looking at. Connolly, Stansfield, and Boyle (2009) points out that VR is almost ten years old now and for a software apparatus this old, it is likely to experience some challenges with its graphical interface. Whereas the support for VR-based encounter may appear good, thanks to cameras that move 360 degrees, its vital use in the gaming sector is so far less satisfying. It happens that some VR SGs graphics are considerably worse when contrasted with some modern devices (Connolly, Stansfield & Boyle, 2009). Therefore, it is imperative to consider the matter to avoid any hitches. Experts also warn of the possible eye damage when constantly exposed to VR SGs because the training approach requires one to constantly interact a screen placed a few meters or centimeters from the trainee’s eyes. The concern comes at a time when people’s addiction to computers and related systems developed a new health concern known as computer vision syndrome. Moreover, further evidence indicates that TVs and computers has considerable impact on eyesight and eye damage is becoming a serious cause for alarm (Connolly, Stansfield & Boyle, 2009). While VR SGs rely on display screens of high quality, this is a major concern and a real drawback and influential enough to get all stakeholders involved in finding suitable solutions.
The literature review illustrates the significance of VR SGs games in offering training regarding evacuation practices. It identifies that compared to the traditional training mechanisms, the new tools provides better chance for acquiring and retaining knowledge. The technique also happens to be a cheap alternative, especially if the game does not require any customization. VR SGs are applicable in different evacuation practices, including in building, fire, and airplane evacuations. Thus, trainers should consider ways of identifying more influential information that would help participants to acquire better skills and knowledge. However, whereas VR SGs provide a better chance to transmit knowledge on how to conduct successful training, it is imperative to understand some of its possible limitations. Knowing its limitations may help to make necessary adjustments, and provide the chance to make timely preparedness such that it is possible to overcome any hindrance that occur during use.
Burigat, S., & Chittaro, L. (2016). Passive and active navigation of virtual environments vs. traditional printed evacuation maps: A comparative evaluation in the aviation domain. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 87, 92-105.
Buttussi, F., & Chittaro, L. (2015). Assessing knowledge retention of an immersive serious game vs. a traditional education method in aviation safety. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 21(4), 529-538.
Connolly, T., Stansfield, M., & Boyle, L. (2009). current practices in serious game research: A review from a learning outcomes perspective Games-based learning advancements for multi-sensory human computer interfaces: Techniques and effective practices. IGI Global pp. 232-250
Li, C., Liang, W., Quigley, C., Zhao, Y., & Yu, L. (2017). Earthquake safety training through virtual drills. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 23(4), 1275-1284.
Wouters, P., Van Nimwegen, C., Van Oostendorp, H., & Eric, D. (2013). A meta-analysis of the cognitive and motivational effects of serious games. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(2) 249-265.
Yang, X., Wu, Z., & Li, Y. (2011). Difference between real-life escape panic and mimic exercises in simulated situation with implications to the statistical physics models of emergency evacuation: The 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and Its Applications, 390(12), 2375-2380
Community Assessment: The American Public Health Association (APHA)
Department, Institutional Affiliation
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Community Assessment: The American Public Health Association (APHA)
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is determined to pinpoint the needs of the immediate public health community in order to integrate nutrition and healthy living as core components of diabetes prevention and control (American Public Health Association, n.d.). The assessment describes the initiating stage in planning and policy design and implementation. Essentially, a community health assessment is the gathering, analysis, and application of data to mobilize and educate communities, garner resources, plan actions, and develop priorities to enhance public health (Green & Kreuter, 2004). Many private and governmental organizations have undertaken community health evaluations across a wide assortment of public health challenges. The APHA has identified a chronic disease, diabetes, as its principal focus point since it exerts significant pressure on patients, their families, the economy, and the health care delivery system in entirety.
Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF)
The strategic prevention framework, or SPF, describes a data-inclined operating system that assists inferential and statistical methods to design evidence-based diabetes prevention and control programs (Park, 2017). Ordinarily, prevention planners are anticipated to establish solutions to pressing issues facing their communities. However, experience and research have demonstrated that prevention has to commence with comprehension of the complex behavioural tendencies within their complicated environmental settings; it is only then that communities can develop and execute effective plans and programs to address diabetes as a chronic issue in society.
To enhance understanding, the APHA has to develop a strategic prevention framework. The framework is inclusive of two guiding principles and five sequential steps aimed at offering a comprehensive approach to the comprehension and addressing of diabetes prevention and control, as well as the behavioural tendencies that cause the problem (American Public Health Association, n.d.). APHA’s SPF is guided by two pertinent principles that ought to be integrated into every step of the framework. The first is cultural competence, which is the ability of an organization or individual to comprehend and interact effectually with individuals who are characterized by different lifestyles, values, traditions, and ideologies based on their social relationships and distinctive heritage (DSHS Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, 2020). The other cross-cutting guideline is sustainability. Here, the process of building an effective and adaptive system that attains and maintains the desired long-term objectives is essential.
APHA’s SPF will include five stages, as is outlined in the subsequent sections.
It involves the identification of local prevention needs grounded on data, which includes demographics and the precise problem (Butuner, 2019). The aim of this phase is to comprehend the local prevention and control needs based on a meticulous review of data collected from varying sources. The data assists planners to pinpoint and prioritize diabetes effects on individuals and families in the community; illuminate the impact the challenges have on the community; identify the particular factors that lead to the identified problems; evaluate readiness, and define the resources needed to address the factors. Eventually, a thorough and all-encompassing assessment process assists to guarantee that diabetes prevention and control efforts are suitable and on track.
To undertake a comprehensive evaluation of prevention needs, professionals collect data on various aspects. First, the prevention planners need data regarding chronic disease, diabetes, including its prevalence, and how it affects individuals, the economy, and communities. The second item for data collection is concerned with the risk and safeguarding factors that contribute to diabetes in the community, especially those of high priority within the community. Lastly, prevention professionals at APHA seek data concerned with the community’s aptitude for prevention, including available resources and readiness. Across the United States, crude 2018 data by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicated that over 100 million Americans are suffering from diabetes (see appendix 1, Centers for Disease Control, 2020). As of 2015, approximately 9.4 per cent or 30.3 million residents were living with the condition. Another estimated 84.1 million people had prediabetes, which is a condition that, if left untreated, typically contributes to diabetes type II in five years. The indication is that the risk factor for contracting the chronic condition is high among Americans. While a report by CDC (2017) indicates that the rate of fresh diabetes diagnoses is steady, the disease consistently presents a progressing public health care problem that requires urgent solutions. In 2015, diabetes was cited as the seventh dominant cause of mortality in the country. The CDC 2017 report also included county-level data, which was the first time it was doing so, with the data indicating that some specific regions in the country have had to bear a weightier diabetes encumbrance than others.
Diabetes refers to a severe chronic condition that can typically be managed through diet, physical activity, and the proper utilization of insulin and related medications intended to control levels of blood sugar (American Public Health Association, 2017). Individuals suffering from diabetes are at an elevated risk of severe health complications, for instance, premature death, loss of vision, cardiac diseases, kidney failure, stroke, and amputation of legs, feet, or toes.
By gender demographics, among the Alaska Native/American Indian group, men were less likely to contract diabetes, standing at 14.9 per cent, against the women’s 15.3 per cent prevalence rate (CDC, 2017). In Asian communities, women’s prevalence rate was 7.3 per cent against 9.0 per cent for men (see appendix 2). For Black, non-Hispanic, women stood at 13.2 per cent, while men stood at 12.2 per cent. The figure was 8.1 per cent for men and 6.8 per cent for women among white, non-Hispanics.
Also, diabetes prevalence in America differs across regions and socio-economic categories based on education. Among American adults who had not proceeded past high school education, approximately 12.6 per cent were suffering from diabetes (CDC, 2017). Among those possessing high school qualification, 9.5 per cent had the condition, while among those with a tertiary qualification, only 7.2 per cent had the disease. The trend demonstrates that, the higher the level of education, the lower the prevalence rate of diabetes among the population. The Appalachian and southern regions of the country possessed the highest incidences of new and diagnosed cases of diabetes. Therefore, many partners have identified the need to prevent and control the condition before it escalates and gets out of hand. For example, the CDC introduced the National Diabetes Prevention Program to reduce the impact of type 2 diabetes and prediabetes. Similarly, APHA collaborates with other stakeholders to enhance the treatment and management of the condition. APHA has partnered with Opus Science and Endocrine Society to assess the association between physicians and pharmacists and find solutions for improving diabetic patients’ care (Richard, 2012).
Its aim is to foster local readiness and resources to handle prevention and control needs. Here, the pertinent question is, “What does APHA possess to work with to address the issue?” APHA is an assets-based community with the capacity for research and project implementation. Its resources act as a positive reinforcement for attaining the vision of facilitating the healthiest generation it possibly can (Wahowiak, 2017). APHA possesses adequate resources for advocacy, which can simultaneously serve as generators of revenue, which in turn counter the challenge of restricted obtainment of revenue to increase the target operations. Besides, APHA has the application of various social media platforms in hand. The community can utilize the avenues presented by platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, among others, to create awareness about the risk factors of diabetes, ways of preventing the disease, and how to obtain treatment and therapeutic management for diabetic patients. APHA can also utilize the platforms to provide constant information and statistics regarding diabetes to ensure the public derives news continuously and are aware of the severity of the condition. In addition, communities can utilize other forms of resources to advance the program, including, people (volunteers and staff), specialized skills and knowledge (such as research expertise), concrete supplies of technology, money, and equipment, and existing efforts (policies) to address the issue.
Planning for Program Selection and Development
The process involves creating a plan of action by establishing what works to handle prevention needs and the manner of undertaking it. It involves what the planners need to do and what they ought to avoid (Butuner, 2019; Green & Kreuter, 2004). Strategic planning elevates the efficacy of prevention efforts through guaranteeing that prevention planners pick and execute the most feasible strategies and programs for their communities. Effective planning processes are characterized by the involvement of stakeholders, replacement of hunches and guesswork with data-based decisions, and the creation of all-inclusive, evidence-grounded prevention plans that address their priority diabetes prevention issues.
Consequently, APHA needs to prioritize the protective and risk factors linked to diabetes administration and containment (Leung, Lee, & O’Bryen, 2008). Here, APHA has identified diabetes as a risk area that needs urgent solutions in terms of treatment and prevention. To achieve these objectives, the community has to select appropriate practices and programs. APHA will apply a community nutrition education (CNE) approach to mitigate the issue. The program involves creating awareness among the public members and stakeholders about healthy eating and diets as a way of preventing and mitigating diabetes.
Program Selection Rationale
Program selection ought to be based on a solid foundation influenced by data evidence. The data could be from government registries, databases, peer-reviewed sources, individual assessment reports, and systematic reviews (SAMHSA, 2019). The rationale for selecting a nutritional approach towards preventing diabetes is driven by the report published by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which indicated that a sedentary lifestyle, alongside consumption of unhealthy foods, were the leading causes of diabetes and obesity in America (Centers for Disease Control, 2020). Therefore, it is only logical to address one of the principal underlying causes of the condition using a viable, planned approach.
Also, APHA will combine practices and programs to guarantee a comprehensive approach. There will be a blend of on-site awareness programs and online advocacy that will run together. The blended approach will be based on a logic map that includes the inputs and expected outcomes from the selected practices and programs (see logic map in appendices). The logic model ought to be shared with the stakeholders prior to program execution. Besides, the selected practices and programs have to be appropriate for and be responsive to, the diverse cultural groups that are found in the focus population (SAMHSA, 2019). The United States has a diverse cultural fabric, implying that the selected program will be able to cater to their different backgrounds, cultural preferences, and general lifestyles. The step will be achieved through assessment, where prevention professionals will map out the cultural backdrop to mark out different population groups, including critical leaders in each of the groups.
Implementation involves the delivery of evidence-based practices and programs as desired (Green & Kreuter, 2004). In other words, it details how the APHA can put its plan into action. APHA’s prevention planners will seek to deliver the nutrition-based program and awareness drives as intended. Successful implementation will depend on the supports provided by the prevention planners. For example, APHA will rely heavily on its past prevention successes to convince the public to accept its programs and practices. Its past successes in research and disease prevention will be a positive reinforcement.
Secondly, successful implementation will involve administrative and leadership support. Prevention practices and programs take many forms and are executed in diverse settings (American Public Health Association, n.d.). Yet, to achieve the desired level of effectiveness, they all require robust administration and leadership from crucial stakeholders. Thirdly, it is imperative for APHA to select the best possible candidate in program delivery. The planners have to consider aspects such as professional experiences and qualifications, pragmatic skills, aptitude, and ability to fit with the selected (focus) population. Fourth, APHA must ensure that any collaboration with a stakeholder or other players follows a distinct, well-laid-out action plan. The action plan will include all tasks to be implemented, clear deadlines, and people responsible. Also, the evaluation plan will be predominantly outcome-based because the prevention planners will be interested in comparing the levels of diabetes prevalence before and following the execution of selected practices and programs. The outcomes, besides the prevalence figures, will also include the number of respondents who have transformed their diets and lifestyles after participating in the practice and program.
In the preparation of practice and program implementation, it is critical to balance fidelity and adaptation (SAMHSA, 2019). Fidelity describes the extent to which practice or program is executed as desired. On its part, adaptation outlines to what extent, including which ways, practice or program is transformed to satisfy local conditions. Evidence-based practices and programs are described as such since they dependably lead to positive outcomes. As outlined by SAMHSA (2019), the greater the significance of fidelity to the initial program design, the higher the likelihood that the program will produce positive outcomes. For this reason, it is significant for APHA to tailor the program to better mirror the beliefs, attitudes, values, and experiences of the focus population. However, even while customizing the NCE program, it is critical to note that such adaptations could compromise the effectiveness of the program.
Therefore, remaining steadfast to the initial design of the evidence-based practice or program, while handling the distinct characteristics and needs of the focus population, will require a balance between adaptation and fidelity (SAMHSA, 2019). APHA will have to retain its core elements, which are those components responsible for leading to positive outcomes, making them indispensable and essential. In other words, adapting with care is essential for APHA if the community is to achieve its objectives of preventing diabetes among the focus population. Besides, APHA will have to consider building capacity prior to altering or introducing its NCE program. Instead of altering the existent programs to fit the prevailing conditions, it is important that the community’s prevention officials consider approaches of developing resources or fostering local readiness to ensure the practices and programs are delivered as intended.
It describes the exploration of the processes and results of practices and programs. It is the stage where APHA planners will determine whether the plan is succeeding or not (DSHS Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, 2020). Essentially, the evaluation focuses on improving prevention practice through the systematic gathering and assessment of information regarding prevention activities to decrease the uncertainty, facilitate decision-making, and enhance effectiveness. The evaluation stage will assist APHA to accomplish various things. First, it will be the stage where the community systematically records and outlines prevention activities. The step will enable future referral for prevention specialists who desire to compare the present state and the previous states. Secondly, evaluation assists the team in meeting the varied needs of stakeholders, including financiers. Each stakeholder requires pertinent information to guide their actions in implementing and monitoring developments of the prevention plan.
In addition, evaluation is important for building and fostering support and credibility for effectual prevention programming among the focus group. A positive evaluation outcome will generate greater confidence and trust among the public and stakeholders alike. Besides, and most importantly, the evaluation stage will help APHA to demonstrate the impact of the NCE program on diabetes prevention and mitigation. It will answer the pertinent query of how the community can decrease the prevalence of the condition, while simultaneously creating awareness among the public members regarding the benefits of consuming healthy diets. Finally, the evaluation step is vital in the SPF because it identifies the components of an all-inclusive prevention plan that are operating optimally and those that are below par. Identification of such elements will enable the prevention professionals to determine which areas to reinforce, which ones to alter, and which ones to eliminate altogether.
Essentially, process evaluation answers the query regarding whether AHPA accomplished what it had set out to do, whereas outcome evaluation gauges the express implications of practice or program after implementation. Therefore, a proper evaluation plan needs to consider the principles of feasibility, utility, accuracy, and propriety (SAMHSA, 2019). Selection of an appropriate evaluation plan is a meticulous process. The plan ought to be selected after clarifying its purpose, developing questions that have to be resolved, selecting the appropriate design, and selecting the suitable technique. APHA’s evaluation plan will be based on quantitative methods. This form of evaluation utilizes instruments such s checklists and surveys to generate data that is expressed typically through numbers. Such data permits planners to arrive at general conclusions regarding a population or an issue founded on solutions to queries such as “How often?” “How many” or “How much?” on the other hand, qualitative evaluation utilizes focus groups to produce data, which is typically expressed using words. Such data lets planners examine a population or issue in detail.
American Public Health Association. (2017). Addressing obesity and health disparities through federal nutrition and agricultural policy.
American Public Health Association. (n.d.). Conduct research to build an evidence-base of effective community health assessment practice. Retrieved from APHA: https://www.apha.org/policies-and-advocacy/public-health-policy-statements/policy-database/2014/07/07/13/06/conduct-research-to-build-an-evidence-base-of-effective-community-health-assessment-practice
Butuner, H. (2019). Systematic strategic planning: A comprehensive framework for implementation, control, and evaluation. Auerbach Publishers, Incorporated.
CDC. (2017). https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2017/p0718-diabetes-report.html. Centers for Disease Control.
Centers for Disease Control. (2020). National diabetes statistics report 2020: Estimates of diabetes and its burden in the United States. Centers for Disease Control.
DSHS Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse. (2020). Quick overview of community coalitions and the strategic prevention framework. DSHS Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse.
Green, L., & Kreuter, M. (2004). Health promotion planning: An educational and ecological approach (4th Ed.). ISBN-10: 0072556838, ISBN-13: 978-0072556834.
Leung, P., Lee, C.-S., & O’Bryen, P. J. (2008). Species and system selection for sustainable aquaculture. John Wiley & Sons.
Park, J. J. (2017). The strategic prevention framework: Effectiveness of substance abuse prevention system. Walden University.
Richard, C. (2012). Working together to fight diabetes: APhA, Endocrine Society, Opus Science collaborate to improve patient care. , 62. Pharmacy Today, 18(4), 62.
SAMHSA. (2019). A Guide to SAMHSA’s Strategic prevention framework. SAMHSA.
Wahowiak, L. (2017). APHA Annual Meeting engages participants in ensuring health for all: Nearly 12,000 health professionals attend APHA’s 2016 Annual Meeting and Expo. APHA.
Figure 1: CDC statistics showing the number of diabetic cases in the United States in 2018
Source: Centers for Disease Control (2020)
Figure 2: Percentage of diabetes prevalence by demographics
Source: CDC (2017)
Appendix 4: APHP’s NCE Logical Model
Policy PartnersPinpoint/identify gaps in nutrition Use core indicators to illustrate areas of concern/priorityEstablish plans to achieve intended markers Assess activities regularly Issue policy guidelines Review policies, laws, and practices Demonstrate evidence of progress in attaining goals
Obtain personal knowledge regarding healthy eating Integrate skills/alter behaviours Reduce risk factors to deter diabetes Dietary Quality Markers Choose or plan menu using a meal pyramid Enhance intake of various healthy foods Decrease apprehension regarding food security Food safety indicators Enhance ability to practice individual hygiene Ensure continuous maintenance of personal hygiene Reduce instances of fatty or unhealthy foods and drinks Lifestyle Changes List available sources of healthy foods Make a list of sustainable healthy foods and vegetables Decrease dependence on social security and others for food supplies
Individuals/household levelEducation, sensitization awareness campaigns Use core elements as guidesMake food stamps available to vulnerable members of the community
The purpose of the community nutritional framework is to sensitize the community regarding how healthy eating reduces the probability of diabetes
Social policies, structures, and practices levelCustomize social and public systems to the desired core elementsPolicymakers at various levels
Human augmentation college essay help online
Human augmentation – Assessment 3
Table of Content
Introduction…………………………………………………………………………3Describing the Technology…………………………………………………………3Foreign Company Applying the Technology………………………………………4Constraints…………………………………………………………………………..6Adopted Solutions………………………………………………………………….7UAE Organization that can benefit from Optimizing the Technology…………….8Impact of the Trend…………………………………………………….…………..8Differentiation…………………………………………………………….…….….8Cost Leadership…………………………………………………………….………9Customer Responsiveness………………………………………………………….9Recommendations…………………………………………………………………..10Conclusion………………………………………………………………………….10References…………………………………………………………………………..12
Human augmentation – Assessment 3
The study pays attention to the application of human augmentation in business, and the possible outcomes. The report elaborates how organizations that apply the technology register some form of consumer satisfaction and increased performance (Laudon & Laudon 2020). The paper uses operators in the health sector to describe how organizations try to use the various forms of augmentation, and the possible challenges they encounter. It illustrates how Johns Hopkins has made considerable strides in recommending wearables to some of its clients, and how it adheres to the ethical principles in nursing.to avoid causing any harm to those who use the technology. Hatta Hospital can improve its application of human augmentation by training its staff and placing more investment in the research and department section. Adhering to all the necessary directives would transform Hatta Hospital relates with its buyers, and will increasingly embrace differentiation, be identified as a cost leader, and becoming consumer responsive.
Describing the Technology
Human augmentation refers to the use of technology to advance one’s physical and cognitive capabilities and experiences. The technology works by transforming an inherent physical capability by hosting or implanting a technology within a person’s body. Eaisamo et al. (2019) describe human augmentation as an area of research that seeks to advance human capabilities through technology or medicine (Gartner 2019). Modern development in technology and science have resulted in a broad range of implants and other innovations that could be categorized as human augmentation. The technique is part of the broader field of augmentation, which Eaisamo et al. (2019) classify as the most common concept in the interdisciplinary research team that pays attention to the communicating digital extensions of human capabilities. A distinct journal called Augmented Human Research and a conference series known as Augmented Human provide more insight into the field. For instance, the mining or automotive industries utilize wearables to advance employee safety (Gartner 2019). In other areas such as travel and retail, wearables play an important function of increasing employee productivity.
Scholars in the field divide human augmentation classify the technology into three major divisions. The first group is augmented senses, also called extended senses or enhanced senses. Augmentation in this area is attained by understanding available multisensory data and presenting information to a person through specific human senses (Eaisamo et al. 2019). The sub-categories in this areas, include augmented taste, smell, vision, sensation, and hearing. The second category according to Eaisamo et al. (2019) is augmented action, which is attained by sensing human activities and mapping them to action, in virtual, remote, or local environments. Sub-groups in this category, include remote presence, motor augmentation, movement, and teleoperation among others (Eaisamo et al. 2019). The third category is augmented cognition, also called enhanced cognition, which is attained by identifying human cognitive state, utilizing analytical frameworks to make a precise and reliable deduction of it, and embracing response from the computer to relate present and predictive requirements of the user, such availing recorded or stored data during natural conversation (Eaisamo et al. 2019). Various facilities have successfully applied human augmentation and are now reaping from its merits.
Foreign Company Applying the Technology
Human augmentation turns out to be a significant innovation in the health sector where the technology provides a wide range of solutions. Various health facilities now provide wearable technology applications that are designed to prevent diseases and maintain health, such as monitoring physical activities and controlling weight (Wu & Luo 2020). Wearable devices help various health facilities to management diseases as well as patients (Wu & Luo 2020). Some operators believe that the technology can directly influence clinical decisions, and advance the quality of patient care while lowering the cost of care, such rehabilitating patients outside the clinical setting (Wu & Luo 2020). Nevertheless, it is imperative to consider the possible merits and demerits of using the technology.
A good example of a foreign organization that uses the technology is the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, which functions as a not-for-profit academic medical facility that sets the trends and standards in education, research, and patient care. A group of researchers from the facility learned that wearable accelerometers, including mechanical sensors worn like a bracelet, watch, or belt to monitor movement and other health-related activities are a more reliable way to monitor physical activities (John Hopkins Medicine 2020). The professionals realized that these wearables are more effective compared to other techniques utilized by health workers at examining five-year risk of mortality in older people (John Hopkins Medicine 2020). An overview of the effects of wearable technology at Johns Hopkins reveals that a precise and objective examination of physical activities outweigh traditional indicators of mortality within half a decade, such as heart disease, cancer, alcohol use, diabetes, smoking, and age. Based on these results, the researchers and physicians at Johns Hopkins recommend that clients and other people can confidently utilize the devices to help them overcome unhealthy practices and improve physical activities, and possibly, achieve healthy and longer lifespans (John Hopkins Medicine 2020). Consequently, the group advocates for, and help its clients get a wide range of wearable devices, such as My Skin Track UV that help users to know their level of exposure to pollution, humidity, pollen, and ultra violet rays and Motiv Ring that monitors the user’s heart rate, sleep, and other activities (John Hopkins Medicine 2020). The facility records impressive results from its use of wearable technology, but also experiences considerable challenges in its application.
Johns Hopkins considers the ethical issues surrounding the use of human augmentation and tries to weigh its options very carefully. The group understands that some parties do not consider human augmentation as ethical, and try to confine its recommendations to applications that are not likely to cause contradicting views. The hospital ensures that before making any technology available to consumers, it considers the far-reaching effects of any tool or application. The objective of Johns Hopkins is to act in accordance with the directives of utilitarianism an ethical or moral action is one that yields the best results for everyone (Mandal, Ponnambath & Parija 2016). The other challenge Johns Hopkins encounters in applying human augmentation is rapid transformation changes and needs. Many developers continue to come up with more products that serve almost similar purposes, which takes time for the institution to examine their reliability, integration, and user-friendliness. The fast-changing technology requires the facility to ensure that the device is safe and not likely to cause any harm. The team of experts uses much time examining whether the emerging technologies meet necessary regulations, and applies the directives of ISO 56002 that provide significant guidelines on innovation management (ISO 2020). Despite these hurdles, Johns Hopkins strives to achieve the best results with human augmentation.
Johns Hopkins has adopted some mitigation measures to address the challenges it faces with wearable technology that Eaisamo et al. (2019) classify under augmented senses. The organization adheres to the four basic ethical principles that guide health practices. The health facility follows the guidelines of respect for autonomy, which is a norm obliging health workers to respect the decisions of adults who have the capacity to make sound decisions about their health or those of their loved ones (Jahn 2011). The group ensures that each time it recommends a wearable to a client the deal is out of intentionality, understanding, and absence of external influencers. The group pays particular attention to beneficence while dealing with the technology, which is the moral obligation to serve for the good of others (Jahn 2011). Specialists who recommend these devices seek to provide benefits while balancing the merits and possible risks. The facility adheres to the directives of non-maleficence, which holds that there is a call not to cause harm on others, such as causing offense, incapacitation, suffering, or pain (Jahn 2011). Specialists at Johns Hopkins follow the teachings of the ethical principle of justice that obliges caregivers to evenly distribute resources, risks, benefits, and costs (Jahn 2011). Physicians at the hospital believe that every person has an equal opportunity to access care depending on their need, effort, and contribution. The facility deals with the issue of the fast-changing technology by empowering a team of experts who keep up to date with emerging technology and explain their possible implications on the hospital and users.
UAE Organization that can benefit from Optimizing the Technology
Hatta Hospital, in Hatta city center, Dubai is a possible privately-owned institution that can benefit from optimizing the technology. Specialists at the facility presently use augmented senses that help clients to improve their sensing with regard to vision, taste, smell, sense, and hearing (Dubai Health Authority 2020). The 123-bed multi-specialty hospital can consider wearables that may improve how it provides pediatrics, gynecology, dental, eye, and skin services that are some of the key areas in the institution (Dubai Health Authority 2020). The facility should consider whether it recommends products that employ advanced technology and are likely to give reliable and consistent results. Working towards improving how the facility makes use of human augmentation presents a better chance to improve the well-being and quality of life for those seeking services from the firm.
Impact of the Trend
Optimizing the technology is likely to improve the functions and position of Hatta Hospital in Dubai and across the UAE. Improving how the firm makes use of the technology is likely to advance how the firm differentiates its activities, functions as a cost leader, and achieves customer responsiveness.
Optimizing the use of human augmentation at Hatta will help it to achieve differentiation, which is an essential strategic approach in business that functions in a market full of other operators. Laudon and Laudon (2020) describe differentiation as a marketing approach that attempts to different an organization’s services or products from the competition. Differentiation goes well with forming a robust value proposition to make an item or service appealing to a target audience or market. Developing how the facility uses the technology will distinguish it from the rest as one of the health institutions that provide the best wearables while considering the possible implications of their use. In addition, achieving differentiation because of advancing how the facility recommends wearables to patients provides the facility with an opportunity to be the buyers’ favorite choice. Differentiation may help the company to defend its prices, because buyers would be willing to buy so long as they get what meet their needs.
Applying the technology provides the facility with the chance to practice cost-leadership such that it is among the cheapest providers of health services, especially when it comes to applying human augmentation (Laudon &Laudon 2020). Practicing cost leadership would serve as a technique for attracting more people, and at the same time shows how the organization cares for the welfare of its patient such that they do not spend much money on acquiring the services. However, the company balances between what it gets and spends to avoid running at huge losses.
Applying human augmentation appropriately provides a suitable opportunity for the health facility to achieve consumer responsiveness. Laudon and Laudon (2020) describe consumer responsiveness as the business’ capability to react to service inquiries and work on them in real time. Customer responsiveness also encompasses the speed it takes the organizational agents to begin interaction and the time it requires for them to fulfil the consumers’ needs (Laudon & Laudon 2020). However, it is easier to achieve consumer responsiveness by asking them what they want, managing their expectations, developing appropriate procedures, and educating clients about the technology, its merits, and possible limitations.
The study illustrates how using human augmentation provides an opportunity to improve organizational operations, which requires the management and caregivers to consider effective ways for improving use. The group leaders should facilitate the training of some workers, especially those serving in areas where they interact with wearable technology. The training will equip service providers with better skills and information regarding what needs to happen to achieve the best results when using the technology. The other recommendation is that facility may increase its investment in the research and development (R&D) department to improve its capacity to understand how technology changes and how it influences the production of devices used in human augmentation.
The report pays attention to the use of human augmentation and describes how the technology increasingly transform how organizations conduct their operations. It uses examples of establishments in the health sector that have already introduced the technology. It illustrates how Johns Hopkins pays considerable attention to using wearables that help their clients to improve their senses. Even though the facility experiences some considerable hurdles in implementing the technology it has adopted some measures to make it possible to overcome the hurdles. Hatta Hospital in Dubai can acquire increased benefits from the technology if it chooses to optimize its use of augmentation. The facility can achieve differentiation, become a cost leader, and improve its customer responsiveness by effectively applying human augmentation. However, it would be easier to achieve the desired goals and objectives with the technology by training employees who constantly interact with the technology, and by providing more support to the R&D department so that it has the capacity to learn how new technologies work and how they impact on users.
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OPERATION MANAGEMENT REPORT
Sohar International Bank (SOAG) is an Omani bank that is repositioning itself to be a world-leader in banking services. To this end, the banking firm wants to build a new headquarters in Muscat, Oman that will consolidate the management activities undertaken in three other head offices. It is expected that the new building will change the skyline of the capital city and demonstrate the latest in building technology that encompasses the application of the 4D planning framework comprising lean construction principles, building information modeling (BIM), and computer aided design technology to deliver an environmentally-friendly and aesthetically-pleasing iconic building suitable for a company with global operations. This operational management report discuses the project context and objectives, project team, project stages and project plan, which are supported by a project schedule, a work breakdown structure, an activity list, a network diagram, a budget, and a risk register.
Table of Contents
Executive Summary. 2
Section A: Project Context and Objectives. 5
Section B: Project Team.. 6
Section C: Project Stages. 7
Appendix A: Project Timeline. 13
Appendix B: WBS. 13
Appendix C: Activity List 14
Appendix D: Network Diagram and CPA.. 14
Appendix E: Budget 15
Appendix F: Risk Log/Risk Register 15
Operation Management Report
Sohar International Bank (SOAG) is an Omani banking institution that was founded in 2007 and offers banking services to corporate and retail clients in the country and the Middle East region. The organization has experienced steady growth since its inception under the leadership of Mohammed Ardhi as the chairperson and Ahmed Musalmi as its chief executive officer (CEO). As of 2019, the firm generated $271.28 million in revenue and $89.48 million in profit using its 883 employees (Sohar International 2020). In 2018, the new management of the firm launched a five-year strategic plan aimed at repositioning the bank as a world-leading service company, which will be propelled by five pillars; experience, personality, principles, promise, and purpose (Sohar International 2019). It also launched a new corporate logo of two semicircles to signify perpetuity, dynamism, and elegance. Part of its strategic plan is to increase the velocity and value of its services using digital technology that integrated telecommunications with banking services to enhance the quality of services to its customers (Albawaba 2019).
The proposed project seeks to advance Sohar International Bank strategic plan improving operational processes while leveraging the latest architectural technology to deliver an energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly building that will serve as the headquarter of its global operations. This global head office will combine the three head offices that the company uses in it expanded banking services. This operational management report is structured in four sections; the first outlines the project context and objective, the second describes the project team, the third explains the project stages, and the fourth discusses the project plan.
Section A: Project Context and Objectives
Large buildings place a large financial burden to the firms that own them because of the costs of running and maintaining them. In the Middle East region, buildings are heavy consumers of electricity because of the air-conditioning required to make them comfortable to the people inside them despite the high temperatures outside (Schaufelberger & Holm 2017). They are also an environmental burden because the electricity they require is generated using generators that consume petroleum fuels, which pollute the atmospheres by emitting greenhouse gasses. Therefore, the demand for smart buildings that have fuel economy and are environmentally-friendly is increasing in the contemporary business environment where social responsibility has become premium to firms to be guaranteed a social license to operate (Heravi, Coffey, & Trigunarsyah 2015). The public and governments are persuading corporate entities to be more environmentally and socially-responsible in their daily operations. It is upon this backdrop that this project is proposed.
The proposed project is the building of a new headquarters for Sohar International Bank from where the firm will run its global operations. The proposed new smart building will consolidate the three head offices into one and employ the latest digital technologies to not only enhance service delivery to customers but also save energy and enhance its environmental friendliness. The building will have a shape that captures the wind to use it as part of the ventilation system to cool the interior air. It will also be made of materials that make it has a lower carbon footprint by allowing light to get in while facilitating the reduction of the carbon content in the atmosphere inside the building produced by the exhalation of people therein (Ogunde et al. 2015). In this regard, the building will have a façade of translucent glass to capitalize on natural light and areas with green plants to absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen (Mhuireach, et al. 2020). Moreover, the building will be fitted with artificial intelligence, robotics, and telecommunications technologies to deliver an environment supporting the internet-of-things connectivity, including the automated conduct of building maintenance such as cleaning, remote monitoring of the temperature of the building and adjusting the heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system accordingly to maintain a comfortable working ambience (Basnayake et al. 2015).
Section B: Project Team
This project will be executed by a team lead by the project manager. The project team in this case, will consist of the client, architect, engineers, consultant, main contractor, and subcontractors, thus representing the major stakeholders of the new headquarters building (Heravi, Coffey, & Trigunarsyah 2015). Sohar International Bank is the client in the proposed project who will prescribe the functional and aesthetic needs that need to be achieved and avails the fund for the execution of the entire contraction, thus commissioning the project. The consultant is a specialist professional that defines which standards should be achieved by the project including its sustainability, safety against fire, earthquakes, monsoons, noise and air pollution, which influence the performance of a modern building. The architect will prepare the design of the building according to the proposals of the client and will strive to ensure that the building regulations in the industry and country are achieved using the advice from the specialist consultant (Schaufelberger & Holm 2017). The engineer will prepare the civil, electrical, and mechanical design aspects of the building, which will be superimposed on the architectural design. The designs presented must adhere to the industry and national standards that ensure that the structure functions and performs as expected. The main contractor will oversee the implementation of the project by executing the architectural and engineering plans alongside incorporating the advice from the specialist construction consultant (Schaufelberger & Holm 2017). The contractor will also enlist subcontractors to perform specific tasks in the project, like laying out the electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems, and the civil works including landscaping. The main contractor will ensure that the subcontractors adhere to the work breakdown structure (WBS) prepared by the project manager in consultation with the project team (Heravi, Coffey, & Trigunarsyah 2015).
Section C: Project Stages
This project is more of a modernization project that seeks to facilitate the delivery of banking services from an operational management perspective. The proposed new building is expected to improve the operations of Sohar International Bank at the management level by offering an office space that brings the entire senior management under one roof while ensuring that the running and maintenance of the building is efficient and cost-effective. In this regard, the project will proceed through four stages of activities, as outlined in the 4D project framework (Fadeyi 2017). The four stages outlined in this change project methodology include, definition, designing, development, and delivery.
During this stage, the short and long-term business objectives of Sohar International Bank, as the project sponsor, are identified and tied to the outcomes of the head-office construction project. This stage will benefit from the information generated by the initiation and discovery processes, which will have identified the organizational needs that need to be met and the organizational problem that needs to be resolved by the construction project (Walker 2015). In this regard, Sohar International Bank intends to improve the efficiency of management operations of its global banking activities to help position it as a world-leading banking service company, which is one of the outcomes of its new five-year strategic plan. The project scope will be defined in this stage as part of the project planning process. Also, the project team will be constituted and a project plan will be mooted to ensure that the construction project is aligned to the requirements of the project sponsor (Schaufelberger & Holm 2017).
During this phase, the project will be designed to ensure that it meets its intended outcomes within the time and resource budgets that have been present at the definition phase. The design process involves the application of the confident estimates in financial cost, time, and quality of the deliverable at each construction project milestone (Walker 2015). First, a communication system will be established to ensure that all stakeholders and the project team share information and are kept updated on the project progress. The communication system will facilitate the seamless attainment of the milestones within the proposed timeframe, without scope creep and budget and time overruns (Schaufelberger & Holm 2017). Secondly, the architecture of the proposed solution, which details the functional specifications and quality criteria for the construction project, will be designed. Besides, the project documentation system will designed at this stage (Schaufelberger & Holm 2017). The documents needed to the successful implementation of the construction project include the project charter, project, quality, and commitment plans, the project brief and timeline updates, and the governance documents, including the service level contracts with the contractor and subcontractors, risk register, issue log, change requests and site meeting minutes (Walker 2015).
In this phase, the project team identifies all the construction activities and develops a work breakdown structure that places these activities sequentially within the prescribed timeframes, while assigning responsibilities to the members of the project team (Walker 2015). The activities are listed in Appendix C, while the work breakdown structure and the project schedule are provided in Appendices B and A, respectively.
During this phase, the actual construction of the head office building will be undertaken according to the schedule provided in the project schedule and work breakdown structure (Walker 2015). Moreover, the budget outlined in Appendix E will be expended and finances disbursed to the project team, and especially the main contractor to ensure that construction continues on course without interruptions.
Section D: Project Plan Discussion
Project planning is a rigorous undertaking that involves the entire project team and the key stakeholders. The planning process commences with the kickoff meeting at which the project stakeholders and project team meet and the project owner introduces the project following the signing of contracts, constitution of the project team, and identification and engagement of the project manager and main contractor (Ahmed, Hosni, & El Yamany 2018). Working relationships are established, a communication system is agreed upon, and the project schedule is launched and discussed in detail during the planning process. At this point, the 4D planning methods will be employed, which will leverage building information modeling (BIM), lean construction practices, and computer aided design technology that will help visualize all the project activities in a temporal sequence (Brioso 2015; Butkovic, Heesom, & and Oloke 2019; Sheikhkhoshkar et al. 2019). In addition, the planning process will include the development and discussion of the risk register in which project risks will be identified and prioritized based on their occurrence likelihood and impact on the entire project. This is to ensure that the construction project is completed successfully within the finance and time budget to avoid overruns, as detailed in Appendix F (Abd El-Karim, Mosa El Nawawy, & Abdel-Alim 2017).
Also, the planning process will also involve the development, familiarization with, and discussion about the project schedule, the activity list, and the work breakdown structure, as outlined in Appendices A, C, and B, respectively (Walker 2015). In the same vein, the project governance processes will be discussed during the planning stage to ensure that the highest quality standards of the project deliverables are achieved at the projected milestones and that the project is delivered within the scope outlined in the project charter (Derakhshan, Turner, & Mancini 2019).
The new headquarters project for Sohar International Bank is a huge building construction project undertaking that is complex, and therefore will require an estimated budget of $150 million. This building is intended to change the skyline of Muscat in Oman because it will be a landmark feature of the city and country. it will not only have a unique design that captures the culture of Oman and integrates it with the latest technology in building construction, operations, and maintenance, including artificial intelligence, internet-of-things, and digital technologies to ensure that it achieves the highest standards of energy efficiency, low carbon footprint, and overall environmental friendliness. Because it will leverage the latest advancements in green energies, including the optimized use of solar and wind power to replace the petroleum fuel-powered energy needs such as ventilation and lighting, the new headquarters is expected to propel the banking firm to a leadership position in the global banking sector, which is part of the firm’s five-year strategic plan. The project plan detailed in this report outlines the project management process that will ensure that the new building is delivered within 2 ½ years at a cost of $150 million.
Abd El-Karim, MSBA, Mosa El Nawawy, OA & Abdel-Alim, AM 2017, ‘Identification and assessment of risk factors affecting construction projects,’ HBRC Journal, vol. 13, no. 2, pp.202-216.
Ahmed, EFED, Hosni, HE & El Yamany, A 2018, ‘Factors affecting construction planning,’ Journal of Al-Azhar University Engineering Sector, vol. 13, no.46, pp.14-19.
Albawaba 2019, ‘Sohar International celebrates 12 years of banking and beyond,’ Available from: < https://www.albawaba.com/business/pr/sohar-international-celebrates-12-years-banking-and-beyond-1278788>. [15 December 2020].
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Brioso, X 2015, ‘Integrating ISO 21500 guidance on project management, lean construction and PMBOK,’ Procedia Engineering, vol. 123, pp.76-84.
Butkovic, B, Heesom, D & Oloke, D 2019, ‘The need for multi-LOD 4D simulations in construction projects,’ Journal of Information Technology in Construction, vol. 24, pp. 256-272.
Derakhshan, R, Turner, R & Mancini, M 2019, ‘Project governance and stakeholders: a literature review,’ International Journal of Project Management, vol. 37, no. 1, pp.98-116.
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Appendix A: Project Timeline
ActivityTime (weeks)Year/Quarter202120222023 1234123413Preconstruction Commissioning project1 Constituting project team2 Project plan4 Soil analysis12 Architectural design16 Construction Excavation30 Driving piles12 Concrete works64 Steel works48 Electrical installations48 Plumbing32 Interior works48 landscaping48 Close-out Hand over/ Sign off/ Commissioning1/3 Scope analysis1/2 Lesson learned documentation1 Celebration1/7
Appendix B: WBS
Appendix C: Activity List
NoNameDependencySubcontractor1Subsurface analysis0Soil analyst2Excavation1Civil engineer3Drive piles2Civil engineer4Earthworks2Civil engineer5Concrete works3Mechanical engineer6Steel works3Mechanical engineer7Electrical4,5Electrical engineer8Plumbing4,5Plumber9Interior7,8Interior designer10Landscaping7,8Landscaper
Appendix D: Network Diagram and CPA
Appendix E: Budget
The project is estimated to cost $150 million
NoItemUnit price ($)Cost ($)1Hire consultant1.25% of budget1,875,0002Hire architect2% of budget3,000,0003Hire project manager2.25% of budget3,375,0004Higher main contractor12% of budget18,000,0005Subcontractors 5aCivil works 29,425,0005bMechanical works 25,450,0005cElectrical works 33,550,0005dInterior (fixtures & furnishings)2.5% of budget3,750,0005eLandscaping works 8,500,0005fSmart technology (internet-of-things)10% of budget15,000,0006Meetings 2,000,0007Communication/documentation/internet 1,950,0008Foreign currency fluctuations0.5% of budget750,0009Legal fees1% of budget1,500,00010Contingencies (budget overrun)1% of budget1,500,000Total 150,000,000
Appendix F: Risk Log/Risk Register
Risk descriptionLikelihoodImpactTotalRankChanging market conditionsVery High Very High 251Scope creepMedium Low 65Budget overrunVery High Medium 152Time overrunHigh Medium 124Natural calamities (sandstorms, monsoon, earthquake)Medium Very High 152Site accidentsLow Medium 65
Very high 
Very low 
Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 Implementation
Saudi Arabia Vision 2030 Implementation.
There have been economic, social, and political changes in Saudi Arabia for the previous years. The country boasts of its high oil production since the discovery in 1932. This has boosted the economy of the Nation due to its sale across the world. The income generated from the oil sale has made the Nation to realize the ability to sustain itself. The contribution of the oil could not have been realized if the county lacked a good political foundation. In 2016, the country drafted the vision 2030 goals, which stipulated the guidelines to guide the country to prosperity if adhered to accordingly. The vision 2030 is aiming at diversification of the economy from being oil-dependent only. The Nation’s strong foundation pillars have resulted in achievements that the country has realized so far. In addition to the strong country’s pillar, Citizen is a key stakeholder in implementing the vision 2030, as discussed below.
Saudi Arabia has one of the most influential religions worldwide. The strong Muslim culture has seen the country host an annual event that attracts a large population as Muslim loyalists come to pray at Mecca. The number of people arriving in the country for this event has almost tripled due to a conducive environment that attracts visitors. The number of mosques has consequently doubled, with the main one located in Mecca. Good infrastructure like roads, residential areas, social amenities, and entertainment joints attract many skilled laborers to stick in the country and seek job opportunities within the Nation. The best-skilled laborers from other countries can support the implementation of the vision 2030 as they will share the innovative ideas within the different areas they are based for in work. The sharing of innovation ideas by the new immigrants will be not as a result of job obligation but will be a voluntary exercise owing to the hospital environment that they are living and work in. in addition, the conducive environment attracts several people coming for the annual event hence translating to increased income.
Although Saudi Arabia is an Islamic state, it is accommodative to other religions as well. This creates a harmonious environment across the staff, where they freely associate and work together as a team. However, the companies uphold the spirit of national identity by recognizing some aspects of national identity like loyalty to the president and breaking for national holidays. The government’s companies are required to create seminars and exhibitions that foster teamwork and attract potential skilled laborers. The country is improving and implementing various government ties with other nations to see the country’s foreign nationalists feel comfortable while away from home. This is through the creation and setting up of ambassador offices in the country.
Security is an essential requirement in both residential and working environments. People are willing to work and deliver best when they are secure from any danger. The recognition of the other non-Muslim workers and their smooth interaction with inhabitants make them deliver. Saudi Arabia has installed measures to ensure its citizens are secure. In airport as an entry point, there are various security screenings to safeguard the airport from illegal immigration and terrorists. This leads to the realization of 2030, where many individuals from other countries are attracted to attend various cultural activities in Saudi Arabia. In addition, the various companies have adopted modern mechanisms in screening and surveillance systems that safeguard the company materials and equipment as well as securing the workers.
Consumer satisfaction has been one of the pillars for the success of current Saudi Arabia. This has been made possible through the timely delivery of visas and the conducive environment that visitors encounter. During the umrah visitation at Mecca, the visitors have shown some satisfaction from Visas’ processing, the warm reception at Saudi Arabia, and the security guaranteed in Saudi Arabia. Introduction of online accessibility of services to apply for visa and accommodation services several days before travel and event will translate to greater consumer satisfaction, which is one of vision 2030. The high consumer satisfaction will then translate to the high income from the members upon visitation to the area. The increased consumer satisfaction will increase even the investment level as many investors will be eyeing the country to invest due to the conducive environment.
Resource management is one of the key elements to accomplishing the profit goal in the current competitive market. Saudi Arabia is one of the leading oil producers worldwide. Still, the country’s dependence on oil will not guarantee economic stability due to the growing competition, which decreases the number of buyers against suppliers. Saudi Arabia has come up with better mechanisms to secure its markets by establishing a personal relationship with the countries it is entitled to supply. The country is investing in various other sources to generate income country as stipulated in the vision 2030.
Ultimately, a good working and living environment will help boost the country to achieve the set goals in the various pillars outlined in the vision 2030. The various pillars included in the Saudi Arabia vision 2030 are; security, Islam culture, the annual ceremony, Resource management, consumer satisfaction, and national identity recognition.
Teaching Plan: Secondary Prevention/Screening of Vulnerable Populations
Teaching Plan: Secondary Prevention/Screening of Vulnerable Populations
Identification of Focus for Community Teaching
The topic that will be the focus for community teaching is secondary prevention that involves the screening of vulnerable populations. The vulnerable population to be considered is the elderly people in the united states that are aged 65 and above.
Epidemiological Rationale of Topic
The vulnerable population segment to be targeted by the community teaching plan is the elderly Americans that are aged 65 years and above. This demographic is considered vulnerable because it is predisposed to non-communicable diseases that usually affect people of advanced age.
Screening for diseases like cancers, hypertension and diabetes is critical because the risk of these diseases increase with age. Early diagnosis of these diseases by nurses is critical in early intervention as their treatment becomes suboptimal if these diseases are discovered in their advanced and critical forms.
Readiness to Learn
The population segment in consideration here is considered ready to learn if there are knowledge gaps in their understanding of the importance of regular screening of diseases for early diagnosis and effective treatment. In addition, the gaps in information about the various ways of preventing these lifestyle diseases are critical in acknowledging readiness to learn. However, the readiness to learn by the adult learners is influenced by their social roles and developmental tasks that they perform daily.
Learning Theory to be utilized
The adult learning theory or andragogy will be utilized in the community teaching program. This theory was advanced by Malcolm Shepherd Knowles to underpin the learning principles used by adult learners. According to Knowles, adults need to be involved in the planning and evaluation of their educational instructions, their learning activities must accommodate the experiences of the learners, learning subjects must be those that are relevant and impactful to the occupation, interests, and personal lives of the adults, and learning should be problem-oriented rather that content-centered (Dernova, 2015). To this end, the assumptions made by Knowles when developing the adult learning theory include, motivation to learn, orientation to learn, readiness to learn, learner experience and self-concept (Brockett & Hiemstra, 2018).
Goal: Healthy People 2020
Some of the overarching goals of Healthy People 2020 that are relevant to this teaching programs are extension of life that is free from preventable diseases, attainment of health equity, and elimination of health disparities in society. The goal that this community teaching program will seek to achieve is the improvement of access to comprehensive, quality healthcare services. Access to health services (AHS) objective 5 will be the focus of this teaching program. Specifically, this objective (AHS-5) intends to increase the proportion persons who have a specific source of ongoing care. More specifically, the attention f the programs is AHS-5.4, which seeks to increase the proportion of adults aged 65 yeas and older who have a specific source of ongoing care (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2014). In this regard, the intention of this teaching program is aligned to the objectives of Healthy People 2020 by seeking to enhance secondary prevention by regularly screening the elderly as a vulnerable population segment. Besides the AHS-5.4 objective is aligned to the global objectives of the 1978 Declaration of Alma-Ata in Kazakhstan, which include the protection and promotion of health for all people through government, and community actions (Birn, 2018).
Develop Behavioral Objectives
Behavioral Objective and DomainContentStrategies/MethodsIdentify common diseases affecting the elderlyExamples of diseases: cancers, diabetes, and hypertension. Causes and symptoms of these diseasesInteractive poster presentation of the diseases, their causes and symptomsMobile application Group discussionIdentify common screening methodsExamples of screening methods: blood test, tumor markers, pap smear, biopsies,Interactive poster presenting screening methodsMobile application Group discussionTreatment of common diseasesExamples of treatment protocols for the different diseases and the need to early diagnosisInteractive poster presenting screening methodsMobile application Group discussionDisease prevention approachesRegular disease prevention approaches Health-seeking behaviorRegular hand washing to improve hygiene and prevent debilitating diseases, like Covid-19 Interactive posterMobile applicationGroup discussion
Creativity has been applied in the adult teaching strategies by incorporating technology into the teaching and learning processes. For instance, interactive posters will enable learners to interact with the teaching content. Similarly, mobile applications will help the adult learners to interact with information at their own pace, and preferred locations and times. Besides, the group discussions will be guided by the information obtained from the technology-assisted sources and learners’ experiences.
Planned Evaluation of Objectives
Entry-level knowledge. The level of knowledge possessed by the learners that is related to diseases, screening, and prevention will be measured using a question and answer session and questionnaires at the beginning of the teaching program.New knowledge acquired. The new knowledge about diseases, screening approaches, and disease prevention strategies will be measured using a question and answer session and questionnaires at the end of the program.Health-seeking behavior. The acquisition of health-seeking behavior based on evidence of disease risk from family background and exposure to risk factors will be measured using a question and answer session and questionnaires at the end of the teaching program, and 6 and 12months thereafter.
Planned Evaluation of Goal
Evaluation of the ultimate goal of the teaching program will involve summative assessment at the end of the program, and after 6 months intervals after the summative assessment to determine the level of knowledge retention and behavioral change.
Planned Evaluation of Lesson and Teacher
The teaching process will be evaluated using formative assessment using question and answer sessions after every instructional unit. This will help identify the teacher’s and participants’ strengths and weaknesses, identify the teaching and learning needs, and identify the students that are struggling to inform the next instructional session.
Potential barriers that may arise during the instructional process include:
Loss of learning speed, low self-concept, and low memory response due to aging can demotivated the adult learners. This can be prevented through encouragement using specially designed instructional sessions that accommodate these problemsLack of finances can undermine the attendance of the adult learners. This can be overcome using financial assistance from donors and well-wishers. It can also be addressed by dividing the participants into groups based on their residence and bringing the learning sessions closer their homes to cut down on commuting costs and inconveniences.Lack of time to attend the learning sessions can afflict the participants that have a busy and inflexible schedule. This can be addressed by using recorded lessons that learners can access at their convenience over digital devices, similarly, remote learning using video links can help participants attend their lessons without changing their schedules.
Birn, A. E. (2018). Back to Alma-Ata, from 1978 to 2018 and beyond. American Journal of Public Health, 108(9), 1153-1155.
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP). (2014). Access to Health Services. Retrieved from https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/Access-to-Health-Services/objectives.
Dernova, M. (2015). Experiential learning theory as one of the foundations of adult learning practice worldwide. Comparative Professional Pedagogy, 5(2), 52-57.
Brockett, R. G., & Hiemstra, R. (2018). Self-direction in adult learning: Perspectives on theory, research and practice. Routledge.
The Role of Race and Ethnicity in the United States’ Criminal Justice System
While researching in academic journals and online libraries, it is easy to find contentious issues touching on race and ethnicity within the United States’ criminal justice system. Over the decades, there have been conversations regarding the system’s ability to ensure equality when dealing with matters related to crime and justice, particularly based on these two factors, which have often threatened to split communities apart in the debate. In all criminology, ethnic and racial disparity during criminal sentencing has continued to be among the most enduring study topics. According to Randall, at least seven decades of empirical studies have focused on the issue, albeit without reaching a concise consensus (3). Over that particular period, a remarkable body of research has been amassed on the theme. Some studies have established that ethnic and racial minorities have regularly been punished more harshly than their white majority counterparts despite legally relevant aspects such as prior criminal history and offense severity have been taken into consideration. In contrast, only a few studies have established that the opposite is true or that the criminal justice system is balanced and fair in giving out punishment across all ethnicities and races. The criminal justice apparatus needs to ensure ethnic and racial minorities are treated with the law’s justice to end the debate.
Racial and ethnic incongruences can be discerned not only in the policies, procedures, and institutions of the United States’ criminal justice framework but also in the discrepancies in economic and social standing within society (Randall 1). Criminal impartiality and punishment can be perceived as an avenue of social control to explain the unreasonably massive spread of its repercussions in black American males. The majority are males. The sociological view of social control theory shapes both how victimization of crime within black communities and structural obstacles encourage the incidences of offending, as well as reinforcing them during and following incarceration or upon contact with law enforcement. The disparity in criminal justice consequences between whites and blacks affect their social standing and mobility, families, communities, and economic status.
The U.S. criminal justice scheme is the globe’s largest, albeit with structural and impartiality issues based on race and ethnicity. At the close of 2015, the country had approximately 6.7 million people under correctional control (The Sentencing Project 2). The U.S. has consistently been the global leader based on the rate of imprisonment, towering above virtually any other country. Such extensive statistics veneer the racial incongruence that permeates the criminal justice system, especially for African Americans. Black Americans have a higher probability than their white counterparts to be taken into custody for any reason; once taken in, they have a higher likelihood of getting convictions, and upon conviction, they are more prone to receive lengthier jail sentences. According to the United Nations report on disparities characterizing the criminal justice system, black adult Americans are around 5.9 times more likely to face incarceration than white Americans. At the same time, Hispanics are viewed as being 3.1 times more likely to undergo the same (The Sentencing Project 3). Data has determined that by 2001, one out of every three African American boys born could anticipate going to prison during his lifetime; Latinos’ figures stood as one out of every sixteen boys, while that of white Americans was one out of every seventeen boys born in that particular year. Ethnic and racial incongruences among women have proven to be less substantial than men, although it remains prevalent.
Public perspectives in America regarding crime and sentencing are often not in alignment with prevailing data, nor do incarceration statistics rise proportionally with crime increase. Routinely, the Pew Research Center’s surveys established that at the close of 2016, approximately 57 percent of the registered voters answered that their perception was that crime had risen starting from 2008, in spite of the federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) data and that of the Bureau of Justice Statistics indicating that property and violent crime rates had decreased by 22 percent and 19 percent respectively (Lewis 224). At the moment, it remains speculative whether those interviewed were largely Donald trump supporters whose perception was that crime was mostly fueled by the minority black community. However, these perceptions and the responses from the Pew Survey suggest that tangible repercussions that can emanate from politics and media that selectively quote statistics and perpetuate stereotypes that incongruently affect African Americans in the country. Also, as outlined by Randall, the importance of this particular data is not a new phenomenon because, from 1998, Gallup had been researching public views of crime patterns, and just in 2001, equal proportions of respondents perceived that crime had risen, as opposed to declining (4). Furthermore, the manner in which law enforcement handle suspects from the black communities has continued to cause an uproar among lobby groups and human rights activists, implying that the criminal justice arrangement is skewed in favor of the larger white population.
The source of the discernible disparities is more systematic and deeper than outright discrimination. In effect, it can be said that the American criminal justice framework operates two separate criminal justice schemes: one instituted for the wealthy individuals and the other for people of color and the poor in society (The Sentencing Project 2). The wealthy possess the machinery to access a dynamic adversary system backed by strong constitutional safeguards for perpetrators. Yet, the tribulations of the minority and the poor defendants in the system typically vary significantly from that framework because of various factors, each contributing to the overrepresentation of such people within the system. In his book titled “No Equal Justice,” former Georgetown University law Fellow David Cole writes:
“The set double standards are not, obviously, unequivocal; at face value, the criminal law proves to be both class-blind and color-blind. However, in a sense, this only serves to make the issue worse. The pomposity of the criminal justice apparatus conveys the message that the society carefully safeguards everyone’s constitutional freedoms. Conversely, in the pragmatic sense, the rules guarantee that law enforcement entitlements will generally triumph over those of the minorities and the impoverished” (The Sentencing Project 4).
He continues further to state:
“By affording criminal suspects substantial constitutional rights, in theory, the Supreme Court validates the results of the criminal justice system as fair. That formal fairness obscures the systemic concerns that ought to be raised by the fact that the prison population is overwhelmingly poor and disproportionately black” (Cole xvi).
From the excerpt, Cole surmises the current state of the system sumptuously, eliminating the stereotyping that has been the result of many public views. Through creating and propagating policies that flame such ethnic and racial incongruences to exist in a constitutionally-created criminal justice framework, the country fails in its obligations as stipulated under Articles 2 and 26 of the ICCPR – International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that are intended to guarantee that all its citizens, regardless of any cultural or social profiling, receive equal treatment as guided by law. Presently, the UN Special Rapporteur has been proactively collaborating with civil society groups regarding modern forms of racial discrimination, racism, and correlated intolerance (The Sentencing Project 5). It is essential to determine a precise evaluation of ethnic and racial incongruence in the American system to enable the design of a more functional and equal framework that safeguards all citizens’ rights to justice.
Furthermore, despite crime incidences starting a steep drop that persisted throughout 2010 following a peak in the previous year, roughly 89 percent of the residents thought that the rates were on an upward trajectory (Randall 4). The perception is especially astounding because, in the decade after 1991, the total number of individuals incarcerated and controlled in the correctional facilities, including imprisonment, parole, and probation, rose by between 50 percent and 75 percent (Randall 4). That particular absence of correlation between sentences and crime has been expounded by various sociologists as the outcome of the application of chastisement as an instrument of social control. For this observation, empirical proof and its explanations in the academic literature on racial disparities, sentencing, and crime remain controversial topics for debate.
However, it would be inappropriate to conclude that only black American minorities undergo discrimination meted by the justice system. In their experiment, Robertson and Adelman applied in-depth data obtained from thirty young Black men with West Indian heritage (434). They desired to explore the experiences of the young men and the views on the U.S. criminal justice arrangement. The results indicated that their experiences led them to state that the structure, particularly law enforcement, does not distinguish between African Americans on the basis of ethnicity and race, consequently handling African Americans and West Indians identically, that is, race above ethnicity. The respondents discussed their perceptions regarding typecasts of minorities, particularly as the media represents them, as the elementary reasons for law enforcement officers treating them in the manner they did. However, they also offered nuanced narratives, where not all components of the system participate in discriminatory tendencies. Overall, the perceptions are bound to continue being pervasive in a period of significant sociodemographic transformation.
From the analysis by of various scholars, it is clear that the stereotypes spawned and broadcast by the media and political influencers play a vital role in building the perceptions of race within the country’s criminal justice structure. Besides policy reforms, it would be necessary to encourage a media that relied on facts, not opinions and emotions, when reporting on such compelling issues (The Sentencing Project 5). The actors have to be truthful and responsible in their handling of the issue since it often stirs debate and adversity across the country. Besides, it is time the country acted on the Kerner Commission’s 1968 report, which called upon the nation to make “massive and sustained” outlays in education and employment to reverse the trend of poverty and segregation that have led to the racial ghetto transforming into the destructive environment completely unknown to a majority of white Americans (The Sentencing Project 6). Five decades later, the lone surviving member of the Kerner Commission asserted that in many perspectives, things have failed to improve, in reality, gotten worse.
An increase in mass incarceration commences with lop-sided degrees of law enforcement contact with black Americans. The trend is striking, especially for drug and substance offenses perpetrated at approximately equal rates throughout all races (The Sentencing Project 6). The lack of significant efforts to mitigate disproportionate poverty levels and societal segregation has been the loophole for criminal justice to introduce a dragnet aiming at African Americans. Besides, the misuse of policies such as “Stop, Question, and Frisk,” “Broken Windows,” and “the war on drugs” has led to the exponential increase in the number of black minorities facing police harassment and potential incarceration. Sociologists contend that such policies have achieved little in reducing crime incidences, only serving to segregate blacks and increase costs on the system. Criminal justice leaders and policymakers have often responded late to mitigate the discriminatory policies that they did not offer justification for, to begin with, for example, revenue-inclined policing and prejudiced application of officer discretion.
Consequently, officers, and even members of the public, have been scandalously taking the law into their own hands based on stereotyping cases. For example, in 2012, George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, unarmed (Randall 7). He was only seventeen. The court charged the culprit but later cleared him, an aspect that spurred policy and public debates regarding the inequalities embedded within the system, as well as the need for policy reform. The incident led to the introduction of the widespread Black Lives Matter movement that was the idea of black mothers who had had their sons murdered by law enforcement officers in response to the brutality and victimization of young blacks and the absence of conclusive prosecutorial justice. Ironically enough, a majority of white citizens are in support of harsher sentencing, even for trivial crimes. The reason could be that they are confident in a system designed to safeguard their freedom at the expense of that; or it could be not, there are not many studies based on the issue.
Evidently, the criminal justice system in America needs urgent measures to address the ever-present feature of racial and ethnic incongruence in meting out punishment and delivering justice equally to all. The black minority has often been at the end of harsh punishment, longer incarceration and jail terms, as well as mishandling by law enforcement officers. Historically, the system has shielded the interests of the wealthier class in society at the expense of the poorer, unspoken for minorities. The implication is that the system takes a two-pronged design aimed at separating the two classes in society, in spite of a well-crafted constitution that guarantees everyone identical treatment as per the law. Despite being the most democratic country globally, the United States lags behind in terms of ensuring equality in justice for crimes of equal proportion. Top politicians and the media are responsible for perpetuating perceptions of stereotypes, but are late in propagating those of positive policies to help lift the minorities out of poverty and ensuring their rights are respected.
Cole, David. No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice System, 8-9. Wiley & Sons, 2016.
Lewis, Chris. “The Truth About Crime Statistics.” The Police Journal, vol. 86, no. 3, 2013, pp. 220-234.
Randall, Jenay L. “Race and the Criminal Justice System in the United States: Part 1.” Audens, vol. 2, 2020, pp. 1-32.
Robertson, O. Nicholas and Robert M. Adelman. “Race, Ethnicity, and the American Criminal Justice System: The Perceptions and Experiences of West Indian Men.” Race and Justice, vol. 9, no. 4, 2019, pp. 434-453. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2153368717705961#articleCitationDownloadContainer.
“The Sentencing Project.” Report to the United Nations on Racial Disparities in the U.S. Criminal Justice System, 2018, https://www.sentencingproject.org/publications/un-report-on-racial-disparities/. Accessed Dec. 01, 2020.
Language and Society
Language and Society
According to García, Flores, and Spotti (2016), language is the principal communication method within a community. It comprises of structured words to convey a particular message either through writing, speech, or even gesture. Therefore, human communication is defined as the transactional process through which meanings are developed through the interexchange of an oral and written message in various contexts, which can be attributed to individual and societal cultural forces.
The study of language comes with it multiple advantages, which include; individuals can develop personal and professional relationships and opt-out of irritating ones, partner communication aids in the development of communal ideas, reflection on the past and reshaping the future together and helps in realization of self-identities as well as others perceiving them (García et al., 2016). The various challenges associated with poor communication include; unemployment due to insufficient skills in interviews, termination of relationships, and low self-esteem due to negative feedback from informal parties. The study of linguistics is different from other disciplines as it only pinpoints the exchange of messages to create a meaning (Aryani, 2018). It, therefore, mainly focuses on the improvement of abilities to communicate. This is because specific communication mechanisms like co-ruination cause adverse outcomes like depressions, anxiety, and self-harm. Critical thinking as an aspect of linguistics invokes thoughts and behavior (Fröhlich et al., 2019). Critical thinkers thus think on their own and others’ communication, behavior, and ideas before responding to a message thus very beneficial.
There are seven fundamental components of exemplary communication: creation, meaning creation, setting, participants, channels, noise, and feedback. Message creation forms the core pillars of communication and involves encoding (receiving and converting ideas and opinions into messages) and decoding (receive and interpreting of messages) (Schöller et al., 2018). The spoken system is comprised of linguistic symbols. In contrast, the written plan includes non-linguistic symbols such as hand gestures and emotional expressions through tones, laughter, and winks. In communication, the meaning of words can change over time, and thus society must agree on the importance of the word-meaning as this influences the message creation (Fröhlich et al., 2019). The main aim of exchanging symbols is to create meaning as people can hear the same message but interpret it differently. Therefore, the message meaning carries two types of purpose: content meaning, which is the concrete definition of the news, and the relationship meaning, which defines the message conveyed on account of the relationship between the parties involved. Communication also creates communal meanings representing families and societies, and communities (Schöller et al., 2018). This can be illustrated when people who live or come together to form a group develop communal meanings for their social beliefs and traditions. Setting in communication includes the location where the communication is taking place, time, environmental conditions, and proximity of the communicators, which form the physical environment. The number of participants in touch determines how communication unfolds. It is believed from the recent studies that the more the participants share the cultural and historical values, the more quickly they communicate as they share the common assumptions and beliefs (Schöller et al., 2018).
The type of relationship also defines communication among participants. Channels in touch are defined as the modes through which the message is conveyed (Aryani, 2018). Since the world is a dynamic society, it has undergone transitions in the communication sector from face to face to written communication channels. However, the type of medium used in communication defines how the message is perceived and affects the parties’ relationship. Noise is the disturbances in touch that downgrade the message’s quality. The interference may be semantic or even within an individual, like hunger and sleepiness (Fröhlich et al., 2019). Feedback explains how the message was received and interpreted.
The seven communication components are usually described through various models related to how they bring about communication (García et al., 2016). Traditionally, a linear process model was used to describe communication as transferring information across two individuals. The sender encodes the message, which is then transmitted to the receiver. In relaying the feedback, the sender and receiver interchanged respectively to receiver and sender. Noise and channels are also included in this model (Fröhlich et al., 2019). The limitations found in this model was that it assumed that if the sender crafted a message, the meaning would be apparent to the recipient despite the age, experiences, and interpretation (Aryani, 2018). This limitation later led to the development of the synergetic communication model, which reveals the association of various factors in the interactions to influence the communication process. It further explains that communication happens when parties involved, irrespective of their number, create meaning amongst themselves and the environment. It also appreciates the vital roles of individualism and societal contexts, forces, and culture (Aryani, 2018). From this method, we define the communication to be transactional, meaning that both parties construct each participant in contact us sender and receiver simultaneously, the meaning of the context, communication is a continuous process, and the precedent occurrences and relationships define the purpose in communication.
Individual demographic characteristics like age, gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, personality, and cognitive and physical ability affect personal identity and, hence, communication (Fröhlich et al., 2019). Other fields of experience, such as education and experiences, also define one’s communication. A university graduate is aware of the universities evaluating students who obtained various degrees at one college when hiring new professors, unlike an aging individual in the automotive workshop who believe in integrity as a critical quality of employer to the employee (Schöller et al., 2018). In addition, an individual living in the united states of America is involved in discussing sports among the male gender and fashions styles and using non-verbal gestures in communication for the women. Communication is also influenced by societal forces, like discrimination in the United States. It tends to affect individuals in their view on the immigrants that they are not fluent in English and involved only involved in the business. Religious teachings have shaped numerous individual opinions on sexual matters, as many societies still believe in women being valued in the public realm instead of their male counterparts (Aryani, 2018). In this case, the male is overlooked, and the communication language addressed to them is harsh and rude than to the female employees even in the administration of punishments. Culture also influences the communication whereby age is a part of the culture; it entails one from restraining specific teenager language upon maturity. Context also defines communication where a private setting among a particular group of individuals uses different means of communication, unlike when in public.
Razmerita, Kirchner, and Nielsen (2016) argue that it is essential to develop communication ethics while communicating with other individuals. This is because communication ethics determines the kind of message sent or received. Truthfulness in communication ethics defines the truthiness in the news as messages have repercussions. Good communication among individuals culminates in a better relationship, which is abruptly broken by the deceiving acts and verbally demeaning the friends and lovers (Razmerita et al., 2016). This is because one’s attitudes, beliefs, and behavior determine how the message is valid. In communication ethics, it is defined that there is an urge to know the kind of news to share and the kind of message to withhold. In need to observe the communication ethics, one considers the benefits and harms the message he or she sends or receives is likely to cause. While one decides on communication ethics, one should check on how absolute or relative the etic standards will be. Communication ethics helps sustain professional success in the long term compared to those who do not observe the communication ethics (Aryani, 2018). This is illustrated in the employment sector, where the employer hires individuals who follow integrity in their communication. Therefore, all communicators develop communication ethics based on values, beliefs, and moral training.
A good communicator is defined as using communication appropriately to achieve their objective (Fröhlich et al., 2019). Speakers should be competent enough to understand the audience’s expectations in behavior to satisfy them effectively. In the interaction, speakers have three types of goals; content in which the speaker’s specific objectives are outlined, a relationship where the speaker should mutually engage the audience, and identity where the respondents’ views on the speaker are summarized (Razmerita et al., 2016). Therefore, communication is judged to be effective within individual relationships and situations.
In conclusion, language forms the basis of communications. The study of language has led to the acquiring of better skills and improvement of relationships with others. Synergetic communication model has overruled the traditional linear method to explain the model of contact with the synergetic communication model in cooperating with the various seven models of communication. Multiple factors influence communication like age, culture, and context, and there is a need to develop different communication ethics in order to have a good communication with others.
Aryani, N. L. (2018). Implementation of communication ethics in building social harmony. International journal of social sciences and humanities, 2(1), 147-156.
Fröhlich, M., Sievers, C., Townsend, S. W., Gruber, T., & van Schaik, C. P. (2019). Multimodal communication and language origins: integrating gestures and vocalizations. Biological Reviews, 94(5), 1809-1829.
García, O., Flores, N., & Spotti, M. (2016). Introduction—Language and Society: A Critical Poststructuralist Perspective. In The Oxford handbook of language and society. Retrieved from
Razmerita, L., Kirchner, K., & Nielsen, P. (2016). What factors influence knowledge sharing in organizations? A social dilemma perspective of social media communication. Journal of knowledge Management, 20(6), 1-31
Schöller, H., Viol, K., Aichhorn, W., Hütt, M. T., & Schiepek, G. (2018). Personality development in psychotherapy: a synergetic model of state-trait dynamics. Cognitive neurodynamics, 12(5), 441-459.
Anthropology: Problematic Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Department, Institutional Affiliation
Course Code: Course Name
Anthropology: Problematic Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic
Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost everybody globally in unprecedented ways, unsettling ordinary lives and contributing to significant uncertainty. In the fight against the pandemic, humanity has largely emerged as lacking sober leadership, especially with the United States witnessing record figures in deaths, recoveries, and infections (Freeman & Botsford, 2020). In May 2020 alone, the death toll had reached 5,000 people, and given that it was an election year, most of the responses were off the cuff and not well-thought-out. Consequently, gone are the previous days when individuals could enjoy conversations freely with strangers and other members of the public devoid of concern for their life. To win the war on pathogens, it is essential to create a robust public health framework that can offer adequate guidelines to contain the spread and treat the infected.
Leadership has been attributed as the principal cause of the erratic responses to the pandemic by the federal government. For example, responses were virtually undivided, with top White House figures alleging that the donning of masks was unnecessary and would instead send a negative signal to the citizenry regarding the magnitude’s crisis (Lawrence, 2020). Containment decisions made were unstructured, slow, and largely coordinated. Various commentaries have argued that the pandemic ought to have been preliminarily viewed as a transdisciplinary societal issue that called for coordinated system actions and considerations in the environment of uncertainty. Reactions to the spread of the virus, social, health, and economic impacts are emergent, uncertain, and complex. Therefore, it would have been necessary to balance three virtuous relations: collective and individual behaviors, forms of resources, and multilevel knowledge and governance. Most specifically, multilevel governance is essential. From the onset, it is necessary to challenge the public and political skepticism depicted by the incapacity of policymakers and politicians, and laypeople to acknowledge and learn from clinical studies and professional input in the light of susceptibility and uncertainty.
In the absence of prudent measures to fight the virus’ spread, individual behaviors and lifestyles are prone to change. Despite the U.S. being perceived as arguably the most equipped country globally to fight the pandemic, the erratic decisions have led to the disruption of normal social life, where public mingling is now becoming a thing of the past (McCoy, 2020). Today, many Americans are wary of socializing with their neighbors, workmates, and strangers in public meeting places. Governments ought to collectively address the issue comprehensively to reassure the public and mitigate the pandemic’s spread.
Evidently, indecision, slow responses, inadequate measures, and lack of education and public awareness have spurred the unprecedented magnitude of COVID-19 in the United States. Mostly, the responses have been uncoordinated and problematic, continuing to endanger the lives of millions of people. Consequently, people have seen their daily habits transformed to adapt to the new changes and uncertainties that the disease has brought. It is time that the government embarks on a multilevel governance plan encompassing public health experts with the requisite knowledge of tackling the disease. In addition, it is essential to create public awareness regarding the severity of the virus with the objective of helping individuals to safeguard themselves and their households from contracting the disease. The response has to be quick and premeditated.
Freeman, D., & Botsford, J. (2020, Nov. 07). How Trump’s erratic behavior and failure on coronavirus doomed his reelection. The Washington Post, pp. https://www.washingtonpost.com/elections/interactive/2020/trump-pandemic-coronavirus-election/.
Lawrence, R. J. (2020). Responding to COVID-19: What’s the problem? Journal of Urban Health 97(4), 583–587. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7274514/.
McCoy, M. (2020, Oct. 12). Trump returns to a capital in chaos as covid-19 outbreak spreads. New York Times, pp. https://www.nytimes.com/live/2020/10/06/world/covid-coronavirus.
The global aviation industry is one of the hardest hit industries by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The movement restrictions and social distance requirements that have been instituted by governments across the world have nearly grounded air travel, with passenger travel having been grounded to a near halt and cargo flights having diminished considerably.
The UAE aviation industry, which is dominated by Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways has not been spared, although it has performed much better than many other airlines, some of which are staring at bankruptcy. The air cargo transportation has helped these two airlines navigate the vagaries of the pandemic, although the aviation industry in the UAE is yet to return to pre-Covid levels, despite the easing out of travel restrictions across the world. This proposal seeks to formulate a recovery strategy for the aviation industry in the UAE following the Covid-19 pandemic and its worsening economic effects.
Research Background and Questions
The aviation industry is experiencing lowered travel demand among passengers that are scared of contracting Covid-19 disease. Moreover, flight restrictions that have restricted domestic and international air travel due to social distancing and testing requirements have diminished the volumes and frequency of air transportation. Notably, IATA reported that the passenger air transport shrunk by 90% within the first two months of the pandemic, when calculated as revenue passenger kilometer, as indicated in figure 1 (OECD 2020).
Figure 1. Number of commercial flights worldwide, 2019 vs 2020
Source: OECD (2020)
The civil aviation traffic in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region decreased by 51% and was expected to loose revenue worth $10 billion in the first quarter and $23 billion in the next two quarters of 2019, as reported by IATA and PwC (OECD 2020). The global aviation industry is not expected to recover to its pre-Covid levels at least in the next 2 years. This means that the aviation sector in the UAE will continue to experience suboptimal performance if a recovery strategy is not formulated fast to resuscitate it as the lockdown measures are eased and the world gradually opens up with the current promise of mass vaccination following the discovery of viable vaccines in the United States and United Kingdom.
To address the current situation in the aviation industry in the UAE, the identified problem is the lack of a recovery strategy that would enhance the resilience of the aviation industry in the UAE against infectious disease pandemics. Therefore, the research question is, which strategy should airlines in the UAE adopt to enhance their resilience against the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and other similar occurrences in the future? The objectives that would facilitate the answering of this question are:
To explain the various dimensions of aviation business operations that have been disrupted by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemicTo identify the extent of business disruptions presented by the ongoing coronavirus pandemicTo explain the lessons learned so far from the business disruptions in the global aviation industry occasioned by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemicTo identify the recovery strategies that are being employed by the aviation industry in other countries to address the ongoing Covid-19 pandemicTo propose a recovery strategy for building resilience in the UAE aviation industry against public health crises in the future using the lessons leaned from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) (2020) reported about the economic vagaries suffered by the global aviation industry. This publication contextualized the economic effects of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic on the aviation industry and projects the air traffic reductions and financial losses that will be suffered by airlines and national economies across the world, considering that the aviation industry is a significant participant in international trade and contributor of the gross domestic product (GDP) of many national economies.
In the same vein, Melas and Melasova (2020) trace the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the aviation industry across the world in its early days. They noted that the aviation industry was experiencing tightest travel restrictions that could yield economic declines worse than those experienced during the financial crisis of 2008, because they would cost the global economy up to $2 million in 2020 alone. The most notable disruptions include massive layoffs by airlines, grounding of aircrafts for extended periods, international trade and travel disruptions, the spillover effects especially into the tourism and hospitality industries, and the heavy financial burden placed on governments as they implement stimulus packages to avoid the total collapse of their domestic economies (Melas & Melasova 2020). Similarly, Elias (2020) extends the discussion about the effects of pandemics on the aviation industry. They also include the measures that were instituted by the major stakeholder in the aviation industry in the United States to address previous infectious disease pandemics, such as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) of 2003, the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MARS) of 2012, and the Ebola outbreak of 2014. His study revealed that although a multidisciplinary and multi-departmental approach was used in the United States’ aviation industry to address the previous and present infectious disease pandemics, several challenges persisted. For instance, the shortage of highly-qualified pilots, technicians, and mechanics was a challenge before Covid-19, this pandemic could erode the attractiveness of the aviation industry, thus worsening the talent shortage (Elias 2020).
Gössling, Scott, & Hall (2020) provides an expanded perspective on how major crisis events have affected global tourism, whish is largely facilitated by the aviation industry. they noted that the terrorist attack of 2001, the SARS outbreak of 2003, global economic crisis of 2009, and the MERS outbreak of 2015 had dampened the number of air passengers and international tourist arrivals, although the aviation industry remained resilient and the number of passengers continued increasing, as illustrated in figure 2. They noted that the recovery of the tourism sector during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic was critical for the recovery of the aviation industry.
Figure 2. The influence of major crises on global tourism numbers
Source: Gössling, Scott, & Hall (2020)
Lamb et al. (2020) conducted a study in the United States that sought to determine the characteristics and concerns of passengers that influenced their willingness to fly during and after the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The study revealed that fear, agreeableness, and the perceived threat from covid-19 influenced the passengers’ willingness to fly, and therefore, governments and airlines needed to convey positive and encouraging messages that highlighted the safety measures instated in aircrafts and airports to dispel the passengers’ fears and rebuild their confidence in the aviation industry (Lamb et al. 2020). Czerny et al. (2020) provided a Chinese perspective of the recovery journey in the Chinese domestic aviation industry, and noted that the use of wide-body aircrafts previously used for international travel had been redeployed to domestic routes. This strategy was used to handle the high demand for flying, which had returned to almost pre-Covid levels in September 2020, in anticipation of the Chinese National Holiday of October 2020. In the same vein, Linden (2020) presented the lessons that aviation managers should learn from the experiences of Covid-19 on the aviation industry. He noted that aviation managers hold back on airline and airport development programs due to the uncertainty of productivity, but instead, embark in retrenchment turnaround and recovery strategies. To this end, Linden (2020) proposed the inclusion of the uncertainty factor on long-term planning in the aviation industry to build resilience from the vagaries of environmental and public health shocks occasioned by natural calamities.
A qualitative study employing secondary sources will be used in this study. The qualitative research approach is preferred because it provides an in-depth perspective of an unfolding phenomenon, such as the economic vagaries of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Moreover, it accommodates the application of a variety of data collection and analysis techniques that are viable when the collection of primary data is challenging, such as is the case with the ongoing restrictions of people gatherings and extended contact between individuals, as required by the public health protocols in the UAE. Besides, secondary sources that will yield secondary data fit well with the prevailing research circumstances. Using secondary data is cost-effective and time-effective owing to the resource constraints encountered by the researcher during the ongoing pandemic circumstances.
Data will be collected from online sources that will be retrieved from the World Wide Web using search engines, like Google Scholar and Microsoft Academic. Secondary sources will include peer-reviewed journal articles, news items from reputable media houses, organizational and governmental reports, and expert opinions. The secondary sources sampling criteria include a) they should have been published in the last five years, b) they should be relevant to the research question and objectives. In this regard, search keywords like, aviation recovery strategies, recovering economically from Covid-19, and policy interventions for economic/business recovery during pandemics, will be used to help retrieve the desired secondary sources, and c) sources should be published by reputable authors and organizations to guarantee authenticity, verifiability, reliability, accuracy, and relevance. This study will target to retrieve 20 high-quality secondary sources that fit the selection criteria.
The secondary data will be analyzed using thematic analysis to unearth the major underlying themes and subthemes that give meaning to the textual information retrieved from the secondary sources. The unique and common themes revealed by the text in the publications will be reduced into subthemes, and later condensed into the major themes. These themes will be used to formulate a recovery strategy proposal for the UAE aviation industry.
Limitations and recommendations for future research (200 – 250 words)
This study is limited, firstly, in methodology due to the travel and gathering restrictions placed by the public health protocols under the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In this regard, primary data was difficult to collect, which would have provided deeper first-hand insights into the perceptions of the key stakeholders of the aviation industry in the United Arab Emirates regarding recovery strategies they considered most desirable, feasible, and effective. In turn, this has made the collection of data using interviews, questionnaires, and focus group discussions not suitable under the prevailing circumstances. Secondly, the research question is challenging to answer using quantitative research methodologies. In this regard, the extent of the business challenges cannot be quantified, and consequently, the measurability of the outcomes of the proposed strategies is challenged by the lack of quantitative data. Thirdly, the data and information regarding the research problem is still evolving and accumulating because the pandemic is still unfolding and new business challenges in the aviation industry are still emerging. Therefore, the proposed recommendations may not benefit from new information and data that emerged after the completion of the study, and therefore, may not provide the optimal outcomes to address conclusively the resilience strategies against public health pandemics.
Therefore, future research into this research question should employ primary data collection strategies to benefit from first-hand insights from the key aviation industry stakeholders. In addition, future studies should include the aviation industries in countries in the GCC region, considering that most studies are often conducted in western settings.
This research proposal is aimed at developing a recovery project for the UAE aviation industry. This project is inspired by the ongoing business challenges being experienced by airlines due to the prevailing coronavirus pandemic, which has seen the demand for flying plummet to record-low levels and passengers fear flying. The expected outcome of the proposed study, which will use secondary data, is the development of a recovery and resilience-building strategy for the UAE aviation industry.
Czerny, A.I., Fu, X., Lei, Z. and Oum, T.H., 2020, ‘Post pandemic aviation market recovery: Experience and lessons from China,’ Journal of Air Transport Management, vol. 90, pp.101-971.
Elias, B 2020, Addressing COVID-19 pandemic impacts on civil aviation operations, Congressional Research Service (No. R46483).
Gössling, S., Scott, D. and Hall, C.M., 2020, ‘Pandemics, tourism and global change: a rapid assessment of COVID-19,’ Journal of Sustainable Tourism, pp.1-20.
Lamb, T.L., Winter, S.R., Rice, S., Ruskin, K.J. and Vaughn, A., 2020, ‘Factors that predict passengers willingness to fly during and after the COVID-19 pandemic,’ Journal of air transport management, vol. 89, pp.101-897.
Linden, E., 2020, ‘Pandemics and environmental shocks: What aviation managers should learn from COVID-19 for long-term planning,’ Journal of Air Transport Management, vol. 90, pp.101-944.
Melas, D & Melasova, K 2020, ‘The early impact of Covid-19 pandemic on the aviation industry,’ Acta Avionica Journal, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 38-44.
OECD 2020, ‘Covid-19 and the aviation industry: impact and policy responses,’ pp. 1-8. Available from: <http://www.oecd.org/coronavirus/policy-responses/covid-19-and-the-aviation-industry-impact-and-policy-responses-26d521c1/>. [15 December 2020].
The low-cost aviation industry is facing massive headwinds from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Amid travel restrictions, social distancing, and the unfolding economic downturn, this aviation industry segment is barely surviving and players are being forced to review their operational strategies to guarantee survivability and profitability. A distributed and containment model alongside the adoption of digital technologies has enabled the industry to survive the strong competition from legacy carriers and the unpredictable and hostile global business environment. This report analyses the strategic operations of Air Arabia, a low-cost airline based in the United Arab Emirates and proposes a strategy that would help realize the firm’s internationalization ambition while weathering the hardships presented by the ongoing pandemic. External and internally environments are analyzed using the Porter’s five forces, VRIN, value chain, and BCG matrix analysis to identify the sources of sustainable competitive advantage that will inform the identification of two internationalization strategies that the firm can employ to venture into new foreign markets.
Air Arabia is a low-cost carrier that is based in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. Following its establishment in 2003, Air Arabia set it main hub at Sharjah International Airport and has secondary hubs at Ras Al-Khaimah International Airport in Ras Al-Khaimah in the UAE, Borg El Arab international airport in Alexandia in Egypt, and Mohamed V International Airport in Casablanca, Morocco (Air Arabia 2020). This has helped Air Arabia to interconnect the MENA region and access international markets in Europe, the Middle East, and the Indian Subcontinent. While it is the first low-cost carrier in the Middle East, it aims to become the first pan-Arab airline as part of its long-term vision and strategy. The airlines vision is, ‘to be one of the world’s leading budget airlines in terms of operational excellence, reputation, innovation, and profit margin’ while its mission is to, ‘revolutionize air travel in the region through an innovation business approach offering superb value for money and a safe, reliable operation’ (Air Arabia 2020). The airline runs a fleet of 55 aircrafts with the Airbus A321 neo LR being the latest additions. Moreover, it has ventured into the medium haul markets, such as Prague. Vienna, and Kuala Lumpur. Moreover, the company placed an order of 120 aircrafts worth $14 billion with Airbus, which would triple its fleet and help support its global network expansion strategy (Air Arabia 2020). In 2019, the airline served 12 million passengers across 170 routes to make earn AED 4.75 billion in revenues and AED 1 billion as net profit using a seat factor of 83 % and a workforce of 2100, 22 of whom are Emiratis (Air Arabia 2020).
External Microenvironment Analysis
Porters Five Forces Analysis
Threat of new market entrants
The threat of new market entrants into the low-cost carrier aviation industry is high. This is because the barriers of entry are lower compared to those of long-haul and legacy carrier industry. Low-cost carrier aircrafts are often smaller and therefore cheaper that large aircrafts, making it cheaper to enter the industry. Besides, the industry is characterized by low customer switching costs because the products/services are undifferentiated between airlines. Moreover, low-cost carriers can use the point-to-point flight model, which is cheaper to deploy compared to the hub-and-spoke model used by legacy carriers, which requires much more resources (Morrison & Mason 2017).
Threat of Substitute Products/Services
The threat from substitute products or services is moderate. High-speed rail threaten the flying as a traveling mode alternative. High-speed trains can reach destinations at more or less the same time it takes flights. However, this threat is confined to destinations in the same country or region that are interconnected by high-speed rail networks. However, the largest threat is from videoconferencing, which negates the need to fly for meetings. Business is the reason why many people use low-cost carriers, and in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, which has seen travel restrictions instituted within and between countries, technological alternatives of conducting business have gained popularity. Using Zoom and Webex offers a more cost-effective alternative to flying without eroding the interactions enabled by physical meetings.
Power of Customers/Buyers
The bargaining power of buyers, in this case, flying passengers, is high. Flying passengers are either business or leisure travelers. The high demand for low-cost flying services forces the low-cost carriers to device ways of lowering their operational cost with the benefits being passed on to passengers as low ticket prices. Moreover, passengers can easily switch to airlines that offer lower ticket, forcing the airlines to compete mainly on price, to the benefit of the fliers. From another perspective, travel agencies and online portals act as the second tier of buyers that make customer switching even easier. These groups of buyers mediate between the airlines and passengers, and allow the passengers identify the cheapest offers, which undermines customer loyalty of specific airline brands. In this regard, the passenger is able to use technology and agencies to identify the cheapest carriers, thus forcing low-cost carriers to compete on price as dictated by the customer preferences.
Power of Suppliers/Sellers
The bargaining power of suppliers is high because they are able to control the supplies through monopolies and high prices because of their few numbers. For instance, aircraft manufacturers are few, dominate the airline industry, and can therefore, dictate the supply and prices of their aircrafts and maintenance. In addition, since the industry is dependent of oil-based fuels, aviation fuel suppliers hold considerable power due to their limited number, thus driving up prices against the wish of the airlines. Moreover, airports hold considerable power because they provide the boarding and packing services to the low-cost carriers. Airports can dictate the number of slots assigned to the aircrafts of an airline, and low-cost carriers are often given fewer slots due to the small size of their aircraft fleets. Airlines have to negotiate with airport to secure the number of airport slots that they need, and the airport dictates this number.
The rivalry among competing low-cost carriers is high, considering that air Arabia operates in some markets, like Europe, where competition is fierce due to the large number of European low-cost carriers, such as Easy Jet, Ryanair, Norwegian Air, and Wizz Air, some of which operate budget long-haul flights into the United Arab Emirates. Besides, the MENA region aviation industry, which is the primary market for Air Arabia, has several indigenous low-cost carriers in the, such as FlyDubai, FlyNAS, Flyadeal, Salam Air, and Jazeera Airways, which compete fiercely (Air Arabia 2020). This large number of low-budget airlines has been motivated by the increasing demand in local travel within the region to fill in the gaps left by the legacy airlines like Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways, which concentrate on international long-haul flights (Air Arabia 2020). Moreover, many airlines and firms in the region have entered into joint ventures with foreign low-budget airlines, which has intensified the rivalry between local and foreign low-cost airlines in the Emirati, Middle East, Central Asia, and MENA market (Morrison & Mason 2017).
The high demand for low-cost flights is not offset by the low profitability due to high operational costs and huge exit barriers. Moreover, countries protect their aviation industry players through bailouts, particularly during economic downturns, such as the one presented by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, thus keeping even the unprofitable carriers in business.
Considering that the competition and attractiveness of the low-cost carrier industry segment of the aviation industry is high, the opportunities for Air Arabia lie in market expansion to the underserved destinations in the MENA region, where low-budget flying is increasing in popularity. Specifically, the African market is still developing yet it remains disconnected in air travel. Already, Air Arabia has presence in Egypt, Eritrea, Kenya, Morocco, Somaliland, Sudan, and Tunisia and many cities in these countries, along with many other countries in Africa remain underserved. In this regard, expansion into other cities within these countries and entry into other countries, especially in the east, central, and southern Africa, hold huge potential for expansion of the market and in turn, the growth of the airline. Despite the impressive performance, Air Arabia has been ravaged by the ongoing covid-19 pandemic just like other airlines across the world. Flight cancellations, airport closures, and traveling restrictions are mostly responsible for the $12 million-dollar loss in net profits during the third quarter of 2020 (Breitfeller 2020).
Internal Situation Analysis
The valuable resources of Air Arabia include its cost structure, its financial muscle, and large young aircraft fleet. This way, the airline is able to provide value to customers through comfortable, entertaining, and low priced flights. For instance, while the airline provides low-priced tickets, it is also able to avail new, safer and more comfortable aircrafts that are fitted with a modern in-flight entertainment system that allows customers to stream live digital content on their mobile devices.
Financial resources, a large distribution network, and multiple hubs are rare resources possessed by Air Arabia. The signing of memoranda with foreign airport to allow the establishment of or secondary hubs is not common in the aviation industry and airports prioritize indigenous airlines over foreign ones. Therefore, this strategy allows Air Arabia, which is considered a foreign airline in Egypt and Morocco, to share similar advantages with the indigenous airlines in those countries, wherein the secondary hubs are located. Moreover, air Arabia has diversified its service offerings vertically and horizontally
The resources possessed by Air Arabia can be replicated by other low-budget airlines, albeit with difficulty. For instance, although the airline is located in a oil-rich country and therefore can access cheap jet fuel, other low-cost carriers in the UAE and Middle East share a similar advantage. Similarly, the financial muscle possessed by the firm and the governmental support it enjoys can be replicated in other countries in the Middle East region, where airlines enjoy similar support and financial strength. However, Air Arabia enjoys a first mover advantage, which enabled the firm to establish its market presence early as the first low-cost carrier in the MENA region, which cannot be replicated by rival airlines.
The first-mover advantage enjoyed by Air Arabia is one of the non-substitutable resources. This gives Air Arabia considerable advantage over its rivals in the MENA regions, and particularly the underserved areas in Africa, where the idea of low-cost flights is beginning to become embraced by yet to be well-established.
Value Chain Analysis
The inbound logistics of Air Arabia are characterized by using hubs that are located outside the capital cities of UAE, Egypt, and Morocco. This allows the firm to enjoy low charge in landing fees and ground services. Besides, the airline enjoys benefits from the longstanding relationships with aircraft suppliers (Airbus) and jet fuel sellers, which enables it to negotiate for low prices on bulk purchases. Similarly, the outbound logistics at Air Arabia are characterized by direct sales of tickets to customers through the company’s website, thus avoiding the commissions charged by travel agents. In addition, operationally, Air Arabia does not serve meals to its passengers and therefore, can keep its ticket costs low, besides, the low staff requirement because most business processes are automated enables that airline to sustain its low-cost leadership strategy (Joshan & Maertens 2020).
Further, Air Arabia has diversified its business into pilot, cabin crew and aircraft maintenance technician training, ground-handling services at its primary hub in Sharjah, the hospitality industry in the UAE, and airline business units in Egypt and Morocco. This allows the airline to save costs by training its own pilots, technicians, and cabin crew at the Alpha Aviation Academy and Air Arabia Simulator, handling its own ground services using Sharjah Aviation Services, accommodating clients at Radisson Blue Dubai Marina and Centro Sharjah, and handle tourism using Tune Project Arabia and Cozmo Travel. These ventures also allow the firm to earn additional income and earn higher profits.
BCG Matrix Analysis
The low-cost flights remain the star operation of Air Arabia. This is because it is the generator and user of the most revenue while having the largest potential for growth, especially in the international market. Business units of the airline, such as Alpha Aviation Academy, Air Arabia Simulator, Sharjah Aviation Services, Radisson Blue Dubai Marina, Centro Sharjah, Tune Project Arabia and Cozmo Travel are the cash cows of the firm, which generate income that could be invested in the star operations to support the further growth of the airline.
The strategic map places Air Arabia against its rivals based on the long-haul/short-haul versus low-cost/high cost criteria. Figure 1 illustrate the market positioning of Air Arabia’s selected competitors
Figure 1. Market positioning of selected Air Arabia’s competitors
This strategy canvas compares the strategy of Air Arabia and against that of FlyDubai and FlyNAS, which are some of the fiercest competitors of the firm. The comparison is made against the ticket price, network size and extension, lounges, hub connectivity, and fleet size, as illustrated in figure 2.
Figure 1. strategy canvas of Air Arabia, FlyDubai, and FlyNAS.
The core competencies of Air Arabia are premised in its low-cost carrier business model. This business model is rare in the UAE, Middle East and MENA region in which the airline operates. In addition, the company has embraced technology in its operations, from an enterprise-wide management system, to online ticketing and marketing and in-flight entertainment system (Morrison & Mason 2017).
Air Arabia’s distinctive competencies include, a highly-trained staff, engagement is strategic partnerships through joint ventures with countries and airports that make up the two secondary hubs, and a young fleet that ensures low aircraft maintenance costs, better fuel efficiency, and comfortable and safer flights.
Air Arabia has an open organizational culture that recognizes gender diversity at the workplace, despite operating in a highly-paternalistic business environment that is based on deeply-rooted Islamic and Arabic cultures. In the same vein, the organizational culture allows employees to experience different positions in the firm regardless on one position. For instance, executive are free to participate in any operational activities on the daily running of the company, and reverting to their executive positions for decision-making and policymaking.
Air Arabia could expand its network into more cities within the countries of operations. For instance, the airline operates only to the capital cities of Eritrea, Kenya, Sudan and Tunisia. However, it could expand its operations in these countries by flying to other cities therein. Also, air Arabia could venture into new countries, especially in eastern, western and southern Africa, such as Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia, where he low-cost air travel is still underdeveloped but exhibits great potential due to the fast growing economies of these countries.
Equally, Air Arabia could venture into the long-haul market while still using the low-cost pricing strategy. This would make the airline attractive to short-haul and long-haul fliers and serve as the preferred connecting airline services in its international markets. This way, the airline can leverage its established hybrid network structure that combines point-to-point network with the hub-and-spoke structure, thus enabling the airline to expand its network sustainably.
Justification Business Strategy
The low-cost business strategy remains a source of sustainable competitive advantage for Air Arabia. The low-price leadership strategy that the company has employed in its traditional routes in the MENA region, and the European and Central Asia markets can be replicated in the new and emerging markets in Africa. The economic crisis presented by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic makes this strategy feasible and attractive to fliers in these countries that would like to visit their families within the airline’s network as well as tour the countries therein. Increased use of operational technologies, such as online ticket purchasing, flight booking and boarding pass acquisition, and reward redemption can endear the airline to the new markets and facilitate it entry (Joshan & Maertens 2020).
Equally, Air Arabia’s point-to-point network structure that it combines with a hub-and-spoke structure using its three hubs is another source of sustainable competitive advantage and therefore, can apply as part it its business strategy. The proposed new destinations in Africa, which are underserved by the regional airlines, can be well-served with the point-to-point network. This strategy reduces the waiting time that passenger spend in airports awaiting connecting flights while keeping the airline’s aircrafts in the air, thus reducing idle capacity and aircraft downtime.
This report analyzed the business and market situation in which Air Arabia operates to help discern a strategy that would help it achieve its vision and mission through the expansion of its low-cost services. The competitive analysis revealed the low-cost airline segment remained attractive, especially to markets in developing economies where the demand for travel was high amid economic hardships. Similarly, the VRIN, value chain, and BCG matrix analysis revealed that air Arabia had several sources of sustainable competitive advantage, including the first-mover advantage, young aircraft fleet, horizontal and vertical integration, and the hybrid point-to-point and hub-and-spoke network structure, that the firm could leverage when entering new international markets. Therefore, it was recommended that Air Arabia employs these sources of sustainable competitive advantage to venture into markets in Africa as part of its network expansion strategy.
Air Arabia 2020, Annual Report 2019. Available from: <https://www.airarabia.com/sites/airarabia/files/gallery/AA_AnualReport_en-9mar20.pdf>. [20 December 2012].
Breitfeller, J 2020, ‘Air Arabia announces third quarter net loss of AED 44 million on revenue of AED 294 million,’ 10 November 2020. Available from <https://www.breitflyte.com/post/air-arabia-announces-third-quarter-net-loss-of-aed-44-million-on-revenue-of-aed-294-million>. [20 December 2012].
Joshan, S & Maertens, S 2020, ‘Low cost carriers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region: Emergence and barriers to development,’ Journal of Transport Geography, vol. 87, pp.1-36.
Morrison, WG & Mason, K 2017, ‘Low cost carriers in the Middle East and North Africa: Prospects and strategies,’ Research in Transportation Business and Management vol. 21, pp. 54-67.
The Heavy Metal Rock Subculture
The report addresses the effects of heavy metal rock on Canadian youth and explores how being a subculture member that listens to the music creates some differences with those who do not belong to the group.
Explaining the Issue
Heavy metal is a rock music genre that emerged in the latter parts of the 1960s and became more prominent during the 1970s and the 80s. The type of music is associated with intense bass and drum sounds, vigorous vocals, forceful rhythms, and loud distorted guitars (Rollmann 2014). The sub genres of heavy metal either tend to add more or omit either of these features. The emergence of bands such as Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Cream in the late 1960s attracted many people’s attention towards the emerging form of music (Rollmann 2014). Even though the music attracts as many audiences as any other category, claims emerge that the genre has a considerable impact on listeners, particularly concerning causing distorted perceptions to life.
Why it is a Youth Subcultural Issue
The distortion of normal lifestyle associated with listening to heavy metal rock is a youth subculture issue due to several factors. One evident factor is that more youth are into heavy metal and are being more liberal in how they relate with the genre and its practices (Rollmann 2014). More youth want to associate with the music and the subculture through their attire, which is easy to identify from the rest. The fashions have transformed over the years while retaining some core features (Moberg 2012). Typically, the heavy metal of the final parts of the 70s and the significant part of the 80s comprised drill or blue jeans, black t-shirts, and high-soled sneakers or cowboy boots.
Several factors push Canadian youth into listening to heavy metal rock that may have a considerable impact on listeners. One of the major factors is the media influence that is increasingly influencing young people in Canada and many other places in the world. Some people want to imitate or even look like some of the artists they see on TV or the Internet (Bennett 2015). The advancement of technology provides the chance for the subculture members to share songs, videos, and images related to hard metal rock. It is also now easier for members of the subculture to share and retrieve lyrics about their favorite songs, artists, or bands (Bennett 2015). The other factor that promotes the formation of the subculture is peer influence from other group members that is so much into the music and its forms. Some individuals may think that the most effective way to fit into the group is to associate with the genre and its related practices. Some people find themselves in such subcultures without their wish because they are born in such communities or families (Bennett 2015). They end up developing the love for hard rock music and learning its practices based on the social learning theory description, which argues that new practices and behaviors can be gained through observation and imitating the practice s by others. For example, a child is more likely to become attached to the hard metal rock and learn its practices when their parents are into rock or if the siblings spend much time listening to the genre. More fundamentally, the liberal Canadian society is a significant factor contributing to the formation of the subculture and the related issues associated with being a group member.
Positive Effects on Youth
Music has many impacts on people’s lives. For instance, from an evolutionary psychological perspective, music adds to social fortification, which is why it elevates group action efficiency.
Negative Effects on Youth
Many concerns exist regarding the possible negative effects of heavy metal on the youth. An apparent scenario is that such a kind of music pushes its primary audience, which has become a subculture, believing in occultism. Apart from the music videos that display evident signs and practices associated with occultism, films increase incorporating scenes that depict adverse practices associated with occultism. For instance, a nine-minute scene from the 1986 Crossroads film creates an evident impression that heavy metal is associated with satanic practices and beliefs (Farley 2012). Eugene Martone, one of the band members, moves majestically towards the stage. His mission is to play for his friend’s soul, who has struck a deal with the devil with the promise of getting musical virtuosity in return. To express his desires, Old Scratch chooses Jack Butler, who plays heavy metal guitar and displays unfriendly attitude, wears leather clothing, and has long hair (Farley 2012). Butler swings an axe several times before landing it on the stage to signal the contest’s start. At first, it appears as if Butler has run wild. He rocks on his guitar more vigorously until they start appearing as if the strings will pull apart (Farley 2012). He strikes harder until the strings pull apart before smashing it to the ground in everyone’s amazement. The scene from an otherwise ordinary film shows the connection between heavy metal music and Satanism. Straw (2014) describes how those who go to heavy metal concerts openly show the devil horns hand gesture legendary made famous by Ronnie Dio, the head vocalist of Black Sabbath. Besides, most song lyrics are usually laced with dark supernatural themes, and some are satanic.
The other adverse effects of heavy metal on Canadian youth are an indulgence in unregulated alcohol and drug use engagement. The heavy metal scene is associated with substance abuse because several songs praise drugs and alcohol (Foster 2011). For example, Black Sabbath’s ‘Sweet Leaf’ praises marijuana. However, not all heavy metal songs advocate for the use of alcohol and drugs. Many artists associated with heavy metal accepted that their association with the genre led to battling drug and alcohol addiction. Although some successfully underwent rehabilitation, many succumbed to the health outcomes associated with unregulated drug and alcohol use (Foster 2011).
Some, such as ‘Master of Puppets” by Metallica urge the audience to refrain from substance abuse, ultimately resulting in independence. Metallica signs about how drug addicts ultimately end up being manipulated by the substance they use. Judas Priest is another example of a heavy rock band that encourages people to shun drug and alcohol abuse.
Perception in Mainstream Culture and Society
The mainstream culture and society usually perceive the subculture and its related practices as unique, requiring intervention to protect more young people from falling into a controversial lifestyle. Some members of the Canadian mainstream society think that members of the subculture and those who practice the adverse practices associated with the group are victims of the “selling out” phenomenon, which is a common term for the compromising of one’s principles, authenticity, morality, or integrity in exchange for personal gains such as fame and money (Bowman 2013). It is the reason why some heavy metal rock artists and bands will use devilish props during their shows and performances, yet they do not practice occultisms. Such as an artist or group of singers may go to such prolonged heights with the motive of satisfying their audiences and generating income from what they do. The mainstream society also believes that the notion of “selling out” would push the subculture members to practice other habits associated with the group such as wearing unique attire, keeping a particular hairstyle, and using drugs and alcohol. Moreover, the mainstream society thinks that members of the subculture require help to save them from their defiant acts and ways of looking at things (Bowman 2013). The mainstream population thinks that some youth behave contrary to many people
Integration into Mainstream Canadian Society
The Canadian society does not restrict members of the subculture from practicing their acts and acting as they wish, provided that they do not infringe on other people’s rights and freedoms. Members of the subculture are free to attend local performances and to host shows where their fans attend. Members of the group are free to attend Canada’s various spots, usually associated with heavy metal (Bowman 2013). The Canadian constitution allows every citizen the right to go about their activities and to express their views without fear of prejudice regardless of one’s race, religion, social status, gender, level of education, personal interests, among other distinguishing factors. It is also common to come across retail stores that sell regalia associated with heavy metal and manufacturing firms that develop similar items (Bowman 2013). Such provisions indicate that the mainstream Canadian culture regards members of the subculture as parts of society like other people who deserve equal rights and opportunities.
The Canadian society presents various features that may help members of the subculture feel that they require some guidance concerning their affiliation to the group. For example, those who require assistance in overcoming drug and alcohol dependence can seek guidance from the various institutions that provide rehabilitation services across the country (Bowman 2013). Members of the subculture can also benefit from therapeutic guidance that helps them overcome other uncomfortable feelings associated with being a subculture member, such as the disturbing thoughts of being a member of the occult or being associated with other devilish acts.
However, not everyone may feel free to interact with the subculture members, and those who belong to the group may experience considerable hurdles fitting into the mainstream culture. For instance, those who believe that members of the group are under the influence of alcohol and drugs may distance themselves from the subculture and fear interacting or even meeting with the youth in this population (Bowman 2013). Such people think that members of the subculture may act contrary to their expectations because of their influence from abusing drugs and alcohol. Besides, members of the subculture may have considerable hardships securing employment in certain public offices, especially those that require strict compliance with what the mainstream society perceives to be the norm (Bowman 2013). Such seclusion makes members of the subculture feel secluded, which means that more needs to happen to help those who feel that their being part of the group subjects them significant injustice.
The study examines the possible effects of hard metal rock on the subculture that listens to the music. It shows that even though the social issue has some possible merits, members of the subculture are likely to experience considerable adverse effects.
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