Philosophy of Religion

Religion has been described as a powerful effect upon any form of happiness. There are times it takes or adds much from happiness that comes naturally. All this depends on the type of religion in which individuals believe. Coming to the practical side of religion, there exist five kinds of religious experience. Among the five, four of them leads to very little happiness, in other words, it hinders happiness in one way or the other.

The first kind of religious experience is mystical experience; this type has also been described as self-denial religion. This type is hedged with lots of restrictions. It has been described as a religion under which the person worshiping s kept in a jacket that is straight, hence largely; it is a negative kid of religion. Worshipers having this type of religion in most cases are seen as being very strict. As a result, there is no happiness in it, as happiness can’t emerge from the negative side of life.  It is explained that, the purpose of self denial in religion should not be based on what be without it, but on how it will contribute to happiness along with well-being of the worshiper.

The second type of religion is numinous religious experience; this religion is mainly composed forms and celebrations. It also entails following or obeying rules as well as regulations. Others take it as “or doing works of merit. Its followers may find considerable satisfaction in reading prayers, bowing down and arising, in making the sign of the cross, in keeping holy days, making pilgrimages in closely following outlined ceremonials and going through forms. Some of the forms of religion have a certain value in giving soul uplift, but they are a poor substitute for the realities of true religion”, (Smart MP3) This type of religion trusts much in work as it draws much fulfilment from what one has done.

Pandemic religion is another type of religion experience; this religion is grounded on the principles of “thou shalt” and “thou shalt not”, (4.1 Smart MP3). Provided that one keeps the commandments, then is fulfilling the requirements of this religion, as it is an authority worshiping. It entails doing something because it is a must that one has to do it, and no alternative. It makes one refrain from doing something due to the punishment that might follow. In this religion, God of Sinai still thunders forth, as He is considered as being great.

Shamanic religion experience is one that holds power on people. on the other hand is one that slips away if people don’t hold it fast with their mighty lest, hence it puts people in a constant fear of losing it. In everything they do, they wonder if they have lost their religion. This makes them to examine themselves always. They never settle for certainty, as they are mostly in doubts and fear. In real sense, the kind of struggle they have is not keeping their religion, but satisfying their doubts and questions.

The fifth kind of religious experience is shamanic.This religion is in line with the teaching of the New Testament. It is a region of the heart, as individuals who have read and understood the real religion. It is neither of restriction, formalism, Sinai nor slippery, as it full of peace contentment, along with joyful services. It has been termed as being the natural soul of the heart.

The teachings of Martin Buber fall under self-denial numinous type of religion. This is based on the fact that, his teachings emphasizes more on one attending more to others as compared to what he does to himself, this is a essence of felling different, that is unique. This means a sense of self denial for the sake of others. On the other hand, Black Elk’s visions seem to lie between numinous experiences. This is basically on his vision of choosing the good red road and walking in a sacred manner.  It can be seen that, in the process of choosing good road and walking in sacred manner means obeying rules and regulations and following them to the latter. In addition, in his teaching, he emphasized more on how Native religion should carry out their celebrations in a proper way, to ensure that they are on the right path. All these are explained when Elk’s vision of choosing between the two paths.  On the other note, Suzuki advocates for Buddhism, in which he advocates the religion of hybrid religious.  This is because, according to him, the right religion has to contain various schools, which have to be unified. For instance, Buddhism developed various theories that have existed till then. He condemns other types of religion for having just a single thought. This is because when one theory arose, it is just at the same time that will lead to divisions. This is because, every individual is unique.

Just like Jantzen who has been criticized by many for not choosing his samples well hence giving wrong conclusions about Catholics, it can be observed that, Suzuki is also a prey of the same. It has been shown that, Most of Suzuki’s work seems to be just a caricature of a competition between East and West. Without any doubt, his work can be categorized as the most egregious silly that occurs as a result of his nationalist leaning. In addition, this makes people to suspect that Suzuki’s lifelong effort of bringing Buddhism clarification to the Occident had become inextricably clear to a studied contempt for the westerners.

 

 

Work cited

4.1Smart MP3

 

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The Problem of Abstract Reference

Introduction

The problem of abstract reference is the problem of how to best understand the reference of singular terms. This is a worry that, like the linguistic problem of predication, originates in language. One feature of predicate expressions is they can, with little trouble, be turned into singular terms— usually with the addition of some suffix such as “-ness” or “-ity.”[1] The problem of abstract reference revolves around the question of how best to understand the use of certain terms that prima facie name or refer to properties— terms such as “redness”, “triangularity”, or “honesty.”

Call these terms, for lack of a better name, “abstract singular terms.” Both the metaphysical realist and trope nominalist claim these terms are genuine singular terms. Hence, they are said to derive their meanings from a relation of naming. They stand, within the sentences in which they appear, for the objects they designate. And each term is singular in that it is held to have but one referent. Such is the role singular terms are said to play within semantic theory. Each genuine singular term is object denoting.[2]

The existence of terms like “redness”, “triangularity” and “honesty” has in recent years been the focus of the debate over universals. Metaphysical realists and trope nominalists have argued that nominalism is unable to provide a satisfactory account of abstract singular terms. The classic articulation of this argument is found in Arthur Pap’s “Nominalism, Empiricism, and Universals.”[3] Elaborations on this argument can be found in Frank Jackson’s “Statements about Universals”, Loux’s Substance and Attribute, and Armstrong’s Nominalism and Realism.[4]

In discussing the features of this line of argument, we will stay closest to the version of the argument Loux articulates in Substance and Attribute. We do this not because his discussion differs in important ways from that of the others but, rather, because he makes explicit the important role the notion of a singular term plays within the argument. Even so, we will not be offering a reconstruction of his argument so much as a way to conceptualize the structure of that argument.

In its details, the argument Loux presents is quite simple. It can be summarized as follows: 1) Either terms such as “redness” and “triangularity” are genuine singular terms or they are not; 2) Assume, to start, that they are genuine singular terms; 3)Then, from the definition of such a term, each such term must designate one and only one object; 4) Hence, it is the requirement for any adequate theory of abstract reference that, within the theory, one be able to fix the reference of all such terms; 5) Nominalism purports to be such a theory. 6) But within nominalism one cannot fix the reference of such terms; 7) Hence, either nominalism must be false or such terms must not be genuine singular terms; 8) Such terms are genuinely singular; 9) Hence, nominalism is false.

Obviously much of the weight of this argument falls on premises six and eight. If “redness” and “triangularity” are genuine singular terms and we can secure the truth of premise six, then it would seem that we are in a position to deal a serious blow to the nominalist program. Before we can evaluate this argument, however, we will first have to say more on the notion of a singular term. What we require is criteria of singularity articulating necessary and sufficient conditions for the delineation of the class of genuine singular terms.

We begin this paper with a consideration of the problem. In articulating the problem, we defend a criterion of singular term-hood. According to this criterion, terms such as “redness” or “triangularity” qualify as genuine singular terms. Hence, since such terms appear within true sentences and singular terms appearing within true sentences are held to be object denoting, there is a need to say to what it is such terms refer. It is here that nominalism stumbles. Nominalism, we argue, is unable to answer the problem of abstract reference — it lacks the semantic resources necessary for fixing the reference of abstract singular terms.

  1. Singular Termhood

Initially, it seems plausible to think that the sort of criteria we demand may be formulated from grammatical considerations alone. Criteria of singularity must differentiate singular terms from general terms— differentiate, that is, terms such as the name “Jeff Crowe” which purport to name objects singularly from common names like “the Crowes.” In Word and Object, Quine offers the following definition: “if a term admits the definite and indefinite article and the plural ending, then normally under our perfected adult usage it is a general term.”[5] Conversely, if a term, e.g. ‘mama’, admits only the singular grammatical form and admits of no article, then it is singular.[6] Yet there are problems with the criteria Quine advocates. It fails to correctly classify some terms.

Consider, for example, the term from which “mama” is derived, i.e., “mother.” “Mother” admits of both indefinite and definite articles as well as a plural ending. Consider, for instance, the following sentences: “A mother is a valuable thing to have growing up”; “mothers are honoured on mother’s day”; “The mother of my friend is still young.” By Quine’s criteria the term “mother” must be classified as a general term and, hence, should never be thought to function as a singular referring expression. But surely there are instances in which it does function as a singular referring expression. I was in a store recently when a child who had been separated from his mother screamed “Mother, where are you?” The store was crowded. The child was near a number of adult females some of whom were undoubtedly mothers. Yet if they and not his mother had come to him, he would not have been comforted.

In such a context the child’s utterance of “mother” functions as a singular term. It is used by the child to denote a particular person, namely his mother and no other. Though this example may sound contrived, it points to a critical failing in the criteria Quine has offered. Quine accepts a distinction between singular terms and general terms. He defines a general term as any term that “admits the definite and indefinite article and the plural ending.”[7] According to this criteria “mother” must be thought a general term and never a singular term. But as our example shows there are occasions in which the term “mother” functions as a singular referring expression.

The problem with Quine’s criteria is this: It tails to be sensitive to the context of a term’s utterance. The very notion of asking of a term whether it admits of indefinite and definite articles or plural endings suggests that the term in question maybe plucked from the context in which it appears and be considered separately. But surely this is a mistake. The term “mother” though it admits of both indefinite and definite articles and a plural ending is itself, considered by itself, neither a singular term nor a general term, though relative to some context it is capable of being either.

It is general as it occurs in the sentence “A mother is a wonderful thing to have” and it is a singular term when used by the child to call out to his mother as when he yells “Mother where are you?” We should reject the attempt to draw a distinction between general and singular terms based on very general grammatical distinctions. What matters most to whether a term is general or singular is the inferential role it plays within the contexts in which it used. Moreover, we recognize that orthographically identical terms may differ on the matter of being singular or general depending upon the occasions of their use.

Better than the criteria offered by Quine are those offered by Michael Dummett in Frege: Philosophy of Language and improved upon by Bob Hale in Abstract Objects.[8] Both Dummett and Hale reject purely grammatical criteria of singular termhood in favour of criteria that take into account the inferential roles such terms play within the sentences and contexts in which they appear. The basic idea behind both authors’ discussions of singular terms is this: Certain inferences are valid only when certain terms occupy certain positions in the premises. And though no single inferential pattern is sufficient for a delineation of the class of singular terms, Hale maintains that together several such patterns do jointly yield a set of necessary and sufficient conditions for delimiting the class of such terms.

Hale’s criteria are as follows:[9]

T functions as a singular term in a use A(t) if:

1)         In that use of A(t), the inference from A(t) to ‘there is something such that A(it)’ is valid.

2)         In that use of A(t) and some use of some sentence B(t), the inference from A(t), B(t) to ‘there is something such that A(it) and B(it)’ is valid.

3)         In that use of A(t) and some use of some sentence B(t), the inference from ‘It is true of t that A (it) or B (it)’ to ‘A(t) or B(t)’ is valid and;

4)         the conclusions reached in (1) and (2) cannot be such that a point may be reached where a grammatically well formed request for further specification can be rejected as illegitimate.

II. Singular Terms and Nominalism

After presenting of argument, we are now in a position to revisit the concerns of this paper. Recall we concerned the possibility of constructing an argument against nominalism based on the occurrence of so called “abstract singular terms” — terms such as “redness” or “triangularity.” In representing the structure of such arguments, we constructed the following nine step argument that we take to be representative of this general line of argument:

1)         Either terms such as “redness” and “triangularity” are genuine singular term o r they are not.

2)         Assume, to start, that they are genuine singular terms.

3)         Then, from the definition of a singular term, each such term must designate or denote one and only one object.

4)         Hence, it is a requirement for any adequate theory of abstract reference that, within the theory, one be able to fix the reference of all such terms.

5)         Nominalism purports to be such a theory.

6)         But within nominalism one cannot fix the reference of such terms.

7)         Hence, either nominalism must be false or such terms must not be genuine singular terms.

8)         Such terms are genuinely singular.

9)         Hence, Nominalism is false.

Such an argument is clearly valid. It is not, however, problem free. Two premises demand our attention. The first is premise six: the claim that nominalism is incapable of offering an adequate semantic treatment of terms such as “redness” or “triangularity” when these terms are assumed to be genuine singular terms. The second is premise eight: the claim that such terms are, in fact, genuine singular terms. It was in preparation for a discussion of these two premises that we engaged in an exposition and critical examination of Hale’s criteria of singular termhood. We cannot evaluate the nominalist’s responses to this argument outside of an informed opinion concerning the notion of a singular term. Hence, it is only now that we are in a position to give this argument the sort o f consideration it deserves.

The importance of premises six and eight lie in the fact that these are the premises the nominalist will attack in offering a response to this argument. In order to save his theory, the nominalist must deny one or both of these premises. That is, he must show us either that, pace premise six, he does have the semantic resources to secure the reference of abstract singular terms within his ontology or he must convince us, pace premise eight, that these terms are not the singular terms they appear to be. In what follows, we will consider whether either of these two strategies may be carried out successfully. In considering the nominalist’s possibilities for response we will implicitly assume that my nominalist has available to him all of the resources of any of the nominalist theories we have touched on thus far (i.e. he has available to him the resources not only of the ostrich nominalist but also those of the class nominalist, the predicate nominalist… ).

Consider first the nominalist’s attempt to show premise six false. The adoption of this strategy can be regarded as an implicit acceptance of the claim that premise eight is true and that terms such as “redness” and “triangularity” are genuine singular terms. As such, the nominalist accepts that there must be an entity to which each of these terms refers — that is what it is to be a genuine singular term. Genuine singular terms occurring within true sentences are object denoting and there is little doubt that “redness” and “triangularity” appear in true sentences. But to accept that “redness” and “triangularity” are singular terms and, thus, object denoting is to say nothing about the objects that they denote. The metaphysical realist of course insists that they denote abstract properties of colour and shape or universals. The nominalist, however, need not accept the metaphysical realist’s answer. He or she might respond that the metaphysical realist is fooled or seduced by language into positing entities for which there is no need. We can secure the reference of these terms, the nominalist maintains, simply within the world of physical objects or, at worst, the world of physical objects with the addition of classes.

Such is the strategy Quine explores in “Identity, Ostension, and Hypostasis.”[10] In this work, Quine outlines how, consistent with the acceptance of “redness” as a singular term, the nominalist might, nonetheless, avoid a commitment to universals. He or she can do so, Quine writes, by allowing “redness’ or “red” to designate the spatio-temporally scattered individual that is the scattered total of all red things.[11] Red becomes on this view “the largest red thing in the universe.”  It is, if you will, the mereological sum of all rednesses. Such a strategy, however attractive it may be, cannot be consistently maintained. Quine himself acknowledges as much when he turns his attention away from colour terms to shape terms.

Consider, for instance, the denotatum of “triangularity”. If we follow the strategy Quine suggests for “red” or “redness” we will say that the denotatum of “triangularity” simply is the spatio-temporally scattered sum of all triangular things. But this is problematic. There is no guarantee when we do this that we will not generate the identical sum for “squareness” as well. Suppose, for instance, that all isosceles right triangles are created by the vertical halving of a square, then it is possible that the sum о f all such triangles will simply be the sum of all squares.  But this leaves us in the intolerable position of concluding that squareness is identical to triangularity. As a general strategy for dealing with the problem of abstract reference the attempt to fix the reference of terms like “redness” and “triangularity” to the mereological sums of spatio-temporal individuals fails. Such an answer cannot be consistently maintained.

Mereological sums of spatio-temporal objects, however, are not the only objects the nominalist might suggest as being the denotata оf abstract singular terms. The class nominalist might well maintain that the denotata of such terms are classes and that sentences containing such terms are but veiled ways of referring to classes. Consider, for instance, the sentence “Red resembles orange more than blue.” “Red, “orange”, and “blue” each seem to (unction in this sentence as singular terms. What a nominalist who accepts this strategy is likely to claim about this sentence is that once it is properly understood one will see that it really concerns itself with classes of individuals and the relations that obtain between those classes. So, on reinterpretation, the following might be suggested as a perspicuous translation of the above sentence: “The class of red objects resembles the class of orange objects more than it resembles the class of blue objects.”

Again, though, there are problems, it is not clear that such a translation is truth preserving. To see this, suppose that the only red, orange, and blue objects that exist are a red and blue writing pen and an orange dance-floor. Then the class of red objects would contain but one red pen, the class of orange objects would contain but one orange dance-floor, and the class of blue objects a blue pen. But then, what we have claimed to be a perspicuous translation fails to be truth preserving, for, even though red resembles orange more than it does blue, the class of red objects does not resemble the class of orange objects more than it does the class of blue objects. Two pens resemble one another to a greater degree, whatever their colour, than does a pen and a dance-floor.

Worse still is the trouble coextensional properties pose for such an account of abstract reference. Classes come with well-defined identity conditions. Two classes are identical if and only if they have the same members. But now imagine that we live in a world where all and only triangular objects are red, then if we identify the class of red objects as the referent of the term “redness” and the class of triangular objects as the referent of the term “triangularity”, then we must say that these two terms are, at least in transparent contexts, synonyms and that a certain shape is identical to a certain colour.

Now for the above two problems, there is a solution. It is got at by going modal. We may solve these difficulties provided we allow classes to contain as their members not only all actual objects answering to a certain description but also all possible objects answering to that description.[12] Once such modalisation is accepted, the above two problems evaporate. First, consider again the sentence “red resembles orange more than it resembles blue.” Once we allow classes to contain possible entities as well as actual ones we can then offer the following interpretation of this sentence: What it really says is, “it is necessarily the case that the class of red objects resembles the class of orange objects more than it resembles the class of blue objects.” And this sentence will be true in all and only those case where the original sentence is true. To see this we need only recognize that colour is a contingent property.

Hence, for any member a of the class of red objects there will be a counterpart to a in both the class of blue objects and the class of orange objects that differs from a only in respect to its colour. The same will be true, respectively, of any member of the class of blue objects and the class of orange objects — each will have a counterpart in the other classes that differs only in respect to its colour. Hence, if there is a difference in the resemblance of any two of these classes to the third, then it must be the colour of the objects within the class that accounts for that difference. Hence, red resembles orange more than it resembles blue if and only if the class of red things (taken modally across all possible worlds) resembles the class of orange objects (taken modally) more than it resembles the class of blue objects (taken modally).

Similarly, the modalisation of our classes seems to allow us to solve the problem of co-extensional properties. We said one problem with the above account was the possibility that all and only red objects were triangular. But if this is so and all red objects are triangular, this is merely a contingent and not a necessary relationship that obtains between triangularity and redness. It is a coincidental (and somewhat strange) fact about our world. It is not a fact about all worlds. Hence, once we allow classes to be constructed from possible individuals as well as actual ones these two classes pull apart in a way that frees us from having to identify them one with another. Once classes are construed modally the problem of co-extensional properties largely dissolves and the attractiveness of identifying classes as the referents o f abstract singular terms increases.

Still there lingers a residue of our original problem. There will still exist a subset of properties for which it will be true that the classes of individuals having those properties are identical. Intuitively, there are properties that, though different, are necessarily related. Triangularity and trilateralness are two such properties. It is necessarily the case that anything that is trilateral is also triangular and vice versa. Hence, if we adopt the strategy of regarding abstract singular terms as having as their referents classes of individuals, then we will be forced to say that, at least in transparent contexts, “triangularity” and “trilateralness” are synonyms which they are not.

Moreover, we are forced into this position even if we construct our classes from possible individuals as well as actual ones. We must conclude that this strategy, too, fails. Moreover, having now examined the two most plausible ways in which the nominalist might agree that so called “abstract singular terms” are genuine singular terms, we are forced to conclude that the nominalist, if he or she is to salvage his or her theory without emendation, must show that such is going to salvage his or her theory, then he or she must show us that it is a mistake to accept premise eight of the realist’s argument.

It is here, in the effort to show that so called “abstract singular terms” are not genuine singular terms at all, that our examination of Hale’s criteria of singular termhood becomes important. Terms such as “redness” or “triangularity” meet the first four of our criteria for being singular terms. “Redness is a colour” licenses an inference to “there is something such that it is a colour”. Equally, from “redness is a colour” and “redness resembles orangeness” we may validly infer “there is something such that it is a colour and it resembles orangeness.” So too, does “redness” meet our third criterion. From “it is true of redness that it is a colour or it is not a colour” the inference to “either redness is a colour or redness is not a colour” is valid.

And finally, the occurrence of the term “redness” is such that in the above contexts the term operates at the first level of generality. No point is ever reached where a grammatically well-constructed request for further specification may be rejected as being illegitimate in the sense we outlined earlier. Consequently, the focus of the nominalist’s rebuttal must be our fifth criterion. What the nominalist must argue is that all such terms are eliminable via perspicuous paraphrase in a fashion that makes clear that the ostensible reference to an object is merely a stylistic element of the sentence and not a necessary feature of the proposition the sentence expresses.

It is this very thing, however, that the metaphysical realist and the trope nominalist has claimed the nominalist can not show. Consider, again, the sentence “red is a colour.” According to the suggestion we are now considering, “red”, as it occurs in this sentence, is non-denoting. It is not a genuine singular term. Instead, its occurrence in the sentence is a stylistic shorthand for talking about red objects. Such sentences, the nominalist maintains, are but abbreviations of sentences that talk of objects having certain properties. Thus, “red is a colour,” under this suggestion, is regarded as equivalent to the sentence “for all x, if x is red, then x is coloured.” And as we have seen, sentences of this form commit us to nothing more than the existence of red objects — the predicates of the sentence are treated syncategorematically or as non-referring terms.

While such an answer may seem plausible, or perhaps even warranted, in the case of a sentence such a “red is a colour” there exists a subset of seemingly descriptive statements in which the apparent reference to objects cannot be eliminated via paraphrase. Instead of “red is a colour” consider the sentence “red resembles orange more than blue.”[13]  According to the nominalist’s suggestion, this sentence is to be interpreted as an abbreviated way of talking about red, orange and blue objects. Hence, the sentence will be claimed equivalent to the following sentence: “for any x, y, and z, if x is red and y is orange and z is blue, then x resembles y more than it resembles blue.”[14]

But this is clearly inadequate. The problem, of course, is one with which we are already familiar. It is that red objects, blue objects, and orange objects may resemble one another in respects other than colour. Hence, while red may resemble orange more than blue, a red object may well resemble a blue object more than it resembles an orange o ne. Think again of our two pens, one red and one blue, and the orange dance-floor. As a paraphrase of our original sentence, the above will not suffice.

Nor are mere plausible strategies for resolving this difficulty. One manner in which one might try is this: One could attempt to build into one’s paraphrase the respect of resemblance that is said to hold between the various objects. According to this attempt, our resulting paraphrase would be as follows: “For any x, y, and z, if x is red, y is orange and z is blue, then x colour resembles y more than it colour resembles z.” But when we unpack this paraphrase what we have to say is that the notion of colour resemblance smuggles into our paraphrase a new singular term that itself will have to be excised from our analysis. Colour resemblance just is resemblance in respect to colour. And “colour” as it appears in the phrase “resemblance in respect to colour” is a singular term.

Hence, we have not excised the so called “abstract singular terms” from our analysis; we have merely replaced the existing ones with a new one that itself will have to be excised if our strategy is to succeed. A more detailed explanation is perhaps called for here. What we are saying is this: If colour resemblance was a two place predicate, then all would be fine with our proposed paraphrase for we could treat the predicate syncategorematically and thus excise from the original sentence all unwanted reference to suspicious objects. But, unlike resemblance simpliciter, colour resemblance is not plausibly construed as being a two place-predicate. It is best construed as a three-place predicate. Resemblance in some respect is resemblance in respect to something. That something must in the case of colour resemblance be colour.

Hence, our paraphrase, though it suppresses this information, involves an implicit reference to colour that, when made explicit, involves us in the use of yet another suspicious singular term, i.e., the term “colour”. Hence, we conclude that this attempt at linguistic reconstruction fails. More generally, we can say the nominalist’s strategy for eliminating such singular terms is itself highly dubious. There seems no systematic strategy for the elimination of abstract singular terms from all of the contexts within which they appear. Nominalism, considered by itself, seems unable to answer the problem of abstract reference. We must concede, we think, that nominalism, by itself, cannot answer the problem of universals.

Conclusions

In this paper, we have considered the phenomenon of abstract reference and how it relates to the notion of a singular term. So called “abstract singular terms”, we have argued, pose considerable difficulty for any nominalist attempt to solve the problem of universals. The nominalist has two strategies for treating such terms. He may either attempt to secure their reference within his own minimal ontology or he may try to deny of them that they are genuine singular terms and thus are object denoting. Neither strategy, we have argued, may be successfully carried out. Some of these terms must be regarded as genuine singular terms that have as their denotata objects the nominalist refuses to countenance. Nominalism by itself is thus found to be inadequate.

Such a conclusion is often regarded as a victory for the metaphysical realist. Pap, Loux, and Armstrong all regard the above conclusion as evidence for the existence of universals. Universals it is claimed are well suited to filling the role of being the denotata of abstract singular terms. With this we agree — at least, to an extent. Universals indeed seem well suited to this role. We disagree, however, that nominalism’s inadequacies constitute a de facto argument in favour of metaphysical realism. Even if we set aside the fact that trope nominalists seem able to deal with these problems, we still disagree.

Suppose that it is the case that nominalism by itself fails. Suppose as well that universals are well suited to the theoretical role of being the denotata of abstract singular terms. This alone does not constitute an argument for universals being uniquely suited to this role. It may still be the case that nominalism may be ontologically supplemented in some way that both preserves its claim to being the more parsimonious theory while, nonetheless, allowing it to answer the problem of abstract reference and, hence, the problem of universals.

References

Armstrong, D.M. Universals and Scientific Realism, 2 vols, Cambridge: Cambridge Univeristy Press, 1978

Armstrong, D.M. Universals, Boulder Westview Press, 1989

Dummett, Michael. Frege: Philosophy of Language, Cambirdge: Harvard University Press, 1981

Hale, Bob. Abstract Objects, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1987.

Jackson, Frank. “Statements about Universals”, Mind 76 (1977): 427-45

Loux, Michael. Substance and Attribute, Boston: D. Reidel Publishing Co., 1978

Quine, W.V. Word and Object, Cambridge: MIT Press, 1960

Quine, W.V. “Identity, ostension, and hypostasis”, in From a Logical Point of View, second edition (revised). Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1980

Pap, Arthur. “Nominalism, Empricism, and Universals,” Philosophical Quarterly 9 (1959): 334-355.

Vendler. Zeno. Linguistics in Philosophy, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1967


[1]  Michael J. Loux. Substance and Attribute. Boston. D.Reidel Publishing Co.. 1978, pp.61-65.

[2]  Zeno Vendler. Linguistics in Philosophy. Ithaca. Cornell University Press, 1967. pp.33-69: Hob Hale. Abstract Objects. Oxford, Basil Blackwcll. 1987. p. 15.

[3] Arthur Pap. “Nominalism, empiricism, and universals. The Philosophical Quarterly Vol.9, No.37 (1959). pp.330-350

[4] C. Jackson. “Statements about Universals.” Mind 86 (1977) , pp.427-429; M.J. Loux. Substance and Attribute. Boston. D.Reidel Publishing Co., 1978, pp.54-87; David M. Armstrong. Nominalism and Realism: Universals and Scientific Realism. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1978, pp.58-59.

[5]  Quine. Word and Object. Cambridge. The MIT Press. 1960, p.90.

[6]  Ibid., p. 90.

[7]  Ibid., p. 90.

[8]  Michael Dummett. Frege: Philosophy of language. Cambridge. Harvard University Press. 1981. p 54-80; Bob Hale. Abstract Objects. New York. Basil Blackwell, 1987 pp. 15-44.

[9]  Bob Hale, Abstract Objects. New York. Basil Blackwell Press. 1987, pp. 15-21.

[10] W.Y.O. Quine. “Identity. Ostension. and Hypostasis.” in From a logical Point of View. Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1980 (revised), pp.65-79.

[11] Ibid., p.72.

[12] there are many who would regard this response as itself being a violation of nominalism. Arthur Pap, for instance, in “Nominalism, Empiricism, and Universals” (The Philosophical Quarterly, 1959) writes that nominalists notoriously frown on “subjunctive and modalities as much as on names of attributes”(p.334). But we are inclined to take a less skeptical view of these matters. The focus of nominalism, as we interpret it, is to provide a more parsimonious answer to the problem of universals than that which the metaphysical realist provides. If this can be done consistent with the acceptance of modalities, then we see no reason to rule out such a manoeuvre on the part of the nominalist. And since universals should themselves be considered modal entities, we see no reason for thinking a nominalism that accepts some form of modality must necessarily forfeit its claim to having still provided a more parsimonious answer than that which the metaphysical realist provides.

[13]  Arthur Pap, “Nominalism”, p.334

[14]  Ibid.

Sickle Cell Anemia

INTRODUCTION

Mass media is largely associated with Public Health. They are paid millions in account of salaries and the production of pamphlets, brochures, newspaper articles and television programs. The primary objective of these activities is to develop learning of correct health information, transforming health attitudes, and development of a positive health behavior.

SUBJECT OF STUDY

We will be focusing on sickle cell anemia disease.

PURPOSE OF STUDY

We will discuss the symptoms, causes and treatment of sickle cell as well as analyze the role of mass media in creating awareness about this disease.

HYPOTHESIS

Sickle cell disease has three types; S disease, SC disease and Sickle cell anemia. They are caused by mutation in blood protein called beta globin. The mutation leads to changes in the shape and behavior of red blood cells (Pet Quinn). The sickled, slick and stuffy red blood cells of sickle cell disease cause severe organ damage and intense pain.

The person suffering with the disease can feel pain associated with blocked blood vessels. It can lead to hospitalization in the worst cases. The blocked blood vessel will cause spleen, lung and heart damage, and stroke. It even causes anemia which leads to drowsiness.

SINIFICANCE OF STUDY

Sickle cell disease is common in many regions of the world where mosquito-borne diseases like dengue and malaria are present. According to medical science, people who are suffering from sickle cell disease are more vulnerable to malaria (Peterson, 2008). Approximately 0.2 million children across the globe are born every year with naturally carrying this disease, majorly in African region.

METHODOLOGY

A person is screened for hemoglobin test to find out the disease. A child with sickle cell makes hemoglobin S instead of A. This helps in finding the disease in the child at the earliest state and helps in getting proper medical treatment. When we talk about the treatment, bone marrow transplant is the only way available currently of getting cured despite the high risk involved in it. It is observed that the chances of getting cured decreases with the passage of time. Adults have a tendency to refuse the transplant while the children who were suffering severely with the disease were able to get rid of it.

In the light of the above explanation and research it is clarified that sickle cell can be cured. The mass media must be focusing to create awareness amongst masses that they go for early screening of their babies to determine the hemoglobin type in its blood. As we learnt that the disease can be cured easily in children as compared to adults.

Reference:

Jones, P. (2008). Sickle Cell Disease. Infobase Publishing.

Knutson, W. G. (n.d.). The Role of Mass Media in Public Health. Retrieved 05 21, 2011, from Public Health: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1373306/

Pet Quinn, D. T. (n.d.). Sickle Cell Disease and Sickle Cell Carrier. Retrieved 05 21, 2011, from Illonios Department of Public Health: http://www.idph.state.il.us/HealthWellness/sicklecell.htm

Peterson, J. M. (2008). Sickle Cell Anemia. The Rosen Publishing Group.

Economic Questions

 

Economic Questions

Name:

Course:

Tutor:

Date:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Question 1:

a)      Y= ln(3x2+5x+10)

dy/dx =

b)

c)

d)

e)

 

 

 

 

Question 2:

a)      MR, MC, AR and AC

MR =

MC =

AR=

AC=

b)      Average cost maximizing output

Average cost is independent of the price of the commodities. However, it depends on the elasticity of demand and supply. Average cost curve varies with the produced output in the short run. However, in the long run, the average cost curve is U shaped depicting increasing returns to scale. The average cost of a firm is related to the marginal cost. while the average cost declines as the quantity of products are increased, the marginal cost of the firm is less than the average cost. the two are equal whenever the average cost is neither increasing nor decreasing. However, the marginal cost is higher than the average cost of an organization whenever the average cost is increasing.

Question 3:

a)      Profit function

Market A:

Qa=350-0.5Pa

Market B:

Qb = 600-1.33Pb

TR=[Pa(350-0.5Pa)+Pb(600-1.33P)-$10,000 – 50(350-0.5Pa) – 150(600-1.33Pb)]

TR = 350Pa-0.5Pa2+600Pb-1.33Pb2-10,000-17500-25Pa-90000-199.5Pb

TR= 325Pa-400.5Pb-0.5Pa2-1.33Pb2-117500

b)      Profit maximizing quantity

Max

TR= 325Pa-400.5Pb-0.5Pa2-1.33Pb2-117500

dTR/Pa= 325-400.5Pb-Pa-1.33Pb2-117500

=-400.5Pb-Pa-1.33P b2-117175 = 0

=Pa = -400.5Pb-1.33P b2-117175 substitute in the below equation

dTR/Pb=325Pa-0.5Pa2-2.66Pb-117900.5

Pb=122.18Pa-0.18 Pa2-117900.5

Pb= 122.18(-400.5Pb-1.33Pb2-117175)-0.18 (-400.5Pb-1.33P b2-117175)2– 117900.5

Pb= -48933.08b-162.49 Pb2-14316441+70.09+0.2394 Pb2+21091.5

Question 4:

Max U= 10x0.4y0.7 at 400 = 5x+7.50y

dx= 10x0.4y0.7 – µ(5x+7.50y-400)

=4x-0.6y0.7-5µ =0

=4 y0.7/ x-0.6 =5µ

dy=0.7x/y-0.3-7.5µ/ y-0.3

=0.7x/y-0.3=7.5µ/ y-0.3

= µ = 4y0.7/x0.3*1/5

µ = 4y0.7/5 x0.3

400= 5x+7.5 (7/6x)

X= 29.09

Y = 7/6 (29.09)

Y= 33.93

Max U=10(29)0.4(3y)0.7=453.9358063 =454

c)      MRTS = MPL/MPK

= 4x0.6y0.7/7x0.4y0.3 –(4y/7x) =-0.6695

= 0.7

The MRTS indicates the level at which a unit of good x can be exchanged for a unit of good y. A MRTS of -0.7 indicates that a substitution of a unit of good x for -0.7 of good y. the effect is negative indicating that no substitution is possible.

Question 5: Cobb-Douglas production function

Q=20L0.6K0.5

a)      The function represents the relationship between inputs and outputs during production. The above function has the following components:

Q- total production

L – Inputs in terms of labor

K – inputs in terms of capital

20 –  is a total factor productivity component

0.6 and 0.5 – these are elasticity of labor and capital respectively.

The responsiveness of the total output to the changes in labor and capital inputs is measured by the elasticity of labor and capital. The above production function represents increasing returns to scale since the sum of the elasticity of labor and capital is greater than 1 (1.1).

b)      MPL =  12L-0.4 K0.5

MPK = 10L0.6 K-0.5

MRTS = MPL/MPK = K/L

L/K= 50/100 = ½

MRTS = 12L-0.4 K0.5 / 10L0.6 K-0.5 = ½ therefore, L: K = 1:2

Therefore, K=2L substituting for K in the production function,

5000= 20L0.6(2L)0.5

28.284L= 5000

L= 176.77 = 177 units of labor

K = 2L = 2*177 = 354 units of capital

Spending level

=(177*50)+(354*100)

=$ 44,250
c) percent of cost spent on Labor

= 8850/44250*100

= 20%

The firm spends 20% of its production cost on labor while the rest of the cost is spent on capital. It is evident that capital is expensive for the company. In addition, the business environment is capital intensive. However, the firm can substitute capital for labor at the rate of 1:2 in order to minimize on the cost of production.

Question 6: Demand and Supply

P=50-0.5X2 and P=2X2-10

a)      Equilibrium

Demand =supply, 50-0.5X2 = 2X2-10

50+10=0.5X2+2X2

60/2.5=2.5X2/2.5

24 = X2

X = 4,898 units

50-0.5X2 = 50-0.5*4.89892

P = $38,000

Therefore, equilibrium quantity is 24,000 while equilibrium price is $ 38,000.

b)     Subsidy

Subsidy =$ 4 per unit produced

Supply equation = 2X2-10 – $4

Equilibrium

50-0.5X2 = 2X2-10 – 4

64/2.5 = 2.5X2/2.5 = X2 = 25.6

X = 5,058 units

P = 50 – 0.5X2

P = 50 – 12.8

P = $37,2 00

Therefore, the new equilibrium quantity and price are 5,058 units and $ 37,200 respectively.

c)      Sharing of subsidy between producers and consumers

The introduction of a subsidy by the government will enable the supply curve to shift to the right by the margin of the introduced subsidy. This implies an increase in the quantity supplied that will have an effect of reducing the price paid by consumers for the product.

d)     Consumer and Producer Surplus

Equilibrium price is -$5

50-0.5X2-5 = 2X2-10 – 4

59/2.5 = 2.5 X2/2.5

X2=23.6

X = 4.857 *1000

X=4,857 units

P = 50-0.5X2-5

0.5X2 = 45

P = 9.486*1000

P = $9,486

Supply curve p = 2X2-10 – 4

Intercept = -14*1000

=-14000

Producer surplus= (14000+9486)*0.5*4857

= 57,035,731

Consumer surplus

Demand curve= 50-0.5X2-5 = 45 -0.5 X2

Intercept = 45*1000

= (45000-9486)*4857*0.5

=86,245,749

e)      Tariff

A tariff is a trade barrier imposed by the government to restrict trade. The impact of a tariff is to increase in the import price of the commodity making consumers to reduce its consumption hence reduce the imported product. The consumer surplus would reduce while the producer surplus would also reduce. However, the government revenue would increase (Moyer, McGuigan & Kretlow, 2001).

Question 7: Saving for Retirement

a)      The favorable interest rate for the person is that of 6.25% per annum. The interest rate is favorable for the person because its annuity factor is higher than that of 6.35% indicating that the savings of the person will earn a higher interest per year.

= (1+0.0625/2)4-1=0.06398

b)      Between 25-29 – saves $1500 per year

Savings between ages 25-29

= $1500*[(1+0.06398)5-1/0.0635]

= n -5 while r= 1500 per year

S=1500 (1.063985-1)/0.0698

= 8532.07954

Between 30-44 saves $ 2500

R =2500 and n=15

S=2500 (1.0639815-1)/0.06398

=60492.77

Ages 45-65

R=0, n=20

S = 69024.054 ((1+0.064508)/1)20=240982

The total value at retirement of the account is

= $240982

c)      Only save between 45-64

N=20, i= 0.0645080

R= ?

R = 240982 (0.0645080/1.0645080-1)

= 6239.9861

R = 6239.99

Question 8: Net Present value

buy lease
PV PV
DF

-20000

-500

0.9302

-2400

-2232.48

-6600

-6139.32

0.8653

-2400

-2076.72

-6600

-5710.98

0.805

-2400

-1932

-6600

-5313

0.7488

-2400

-1797.12

-6600

-4942.08

0.6965

-2400

-1671.6

-6600

-4596.9

Salvage value

3000

2089.5

NPV

-27620.4

-27202.3

 

The net present values for each option is negative. The buy option has a higher negative value of -$27,620.4 compared to the lease that has a less negative value of -$27202.3. this indicates that the lease option is the better option that should be chosen since the cost to be incurred is lower than the cost to be incurred in a buy option.

Question 9: Bonds

$10,000 bond redeemable in 15.5 years at a monthly coupon of 5.5%

a)      Purchase price today given a yield market interest of 6%

The bond price today can be given by the formula:

Where C – coupon payments, n – number of payments, i- interest rate and M – value at maturity.

Coupon payments= (12*15)+6 = 186

Value of coupon payments = coupon is paid monthly. Therefore, divide the coupon rate by 12. Coupon payments = 0.055/12 *10000 = $45.83

Monthly yield = 0.06/12 = 0.005

Bond price = $45.83*[1-[1/(1+0.005)186]]/0.005+10,000/(1+0.005)186

=$45.83*120.9 + 3955.38

= $9396.22

b)     Premium discount

A bond that sells at a given coupon rate is a bond that sells at par value. However, sometimes the bond can sell at a price that is either higher or lower than the par value. A premium is a bond that is sold for a price that is higher than the par value. On the contrary, a discount is a bond sold for a price that is less than t the par value.

c)      Holding bond to maturity with monthly interest earnings saved in annuity. Earnings at maturity:

Where:

C = Cash flow per period
i = interest rate
n = number of payments

Value of coupon payments = 0.055/12 *10000 = $45.83

Monthly yield = 0.062/12 = 0.0052

=$45.83*[1-[1/(1+0.0052)186]]/0.0052+10,000/(1+0.0052)186

= 5454.1595+3811.55

= $9265.7095

References

Moyer, C., McGuigan, R. & Kretlow, J. (2001) Contemporary Financial Management, 8th Edition. OH: Cincinnati: South-Western College Publishing.

An analysis of the promotional strategies for Blackberry Phone Services for TSTT Trinidad and Tobago

CHAPTER ONE

1.1. INTRODUCTION

Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (TSTT), founded in 1991, is the biggest telephone and internet based service provider in Trinidad and Tobago. Headquartered in Port of Spain, the company was the result of a merger between the Trinidad and Tobago Telephone Company Limited (Telco) and Trinidad and Tobago External Telecommunications Company Limited (Textel). Now it is jointly owned by the Trinidad and Tobago Government and the Cable & Wireless Company. TSTT/bmobile and Research in Motion (RIM) launched the BlackBerry Pearl in Trinidad and Tobago in December 2006. The device was manufactured by RIM and was incorporated with a series of applications including the phone, e-mail facility, texting, web-browser and the personal organizer. Its digital camera with 1.3 megapixels and three zoom-levels had a built-in flasher and a media player.

At the time the BlackBerry Pearl was considered one of the best buys in the market. However with new developments in mobile telephony technology and the markets, competition has grown severe and TSTT has been faced with a strategic marketing dilemma. The first blow to TSTT came when its monopoly power in fixed lines was challenged with the Flow’s launching of a fixed line service a long time ago. Similarly its cellular telephone monopoly was challenged in 2005 when Digicel and Laqtel were given licenses to operate a mobile network. This study investigates the nature and scope of marketing promotion strategies available to TSTT in promoting the BlackBerry Phone in Trinidad and Tobago. The strategic marketing promotion approach of TSTT has to be studied with particular emphasis on the company’s current market leadership status in the mobile telephony segment (Crane, 1993).

When making an effort to identify the characteristics of the target market demographics such as age, age group, gender, marital status, location of the business, incomes of consumers and their preferences matters. Next psychographics such as cultural values, mores, lifestyles, tendencies, propensities, choices and personal concerns matters. In the same way the kind of industry and typical market structure matter. In this instance the industry is the mobile phone company and the market structure is oligopolistic in nature. The latter means there are only a few sellers or rather brand names.

                In today’s competitive environment, mobile phone market has become more customer oriented and product driven. Thus with the changing trends in behavior and shopping patterns by the consumers, mobile phone service providers and manufacturers need to focused on multi channel marketing approach to target the market to enhance their shopping experience and to increase sales.  The target market of the TSTT’s mobile phones is the people who are fed up with popular brands, their new technology tactics and those who are interested in customized mobile phones. Thus company can categorized their existing customers as their store visitors and online shoppers (Kotler  Philip Kotler (Author)

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& Armstrong, 2009). However recent research shows that the most of the shoppers would tend to search the products, features, prices and offers through the online and prefer to buy through offline. In fact TSTT’s service objective is to provide customized mobile phone services for its customers over the internet and drive customers to make a purchase over the physical stores. The potential customer’s profile in the TSTT’s mobile phone market includes such characteristics as price variabilities and income variabilities. Price related differences in the average customer profile are determined by the fact that the underlying customer preferences for customized mobile phones are based on the technology and its price. New technologies are in demand in this industry but the price plays a pivotal role. High price attracts some customers on the premise that the technology is far superior. Low price attracts some customers on the basis of affordability. Any market research plan must be able to identify these two sub categories.

1.2. RESEARCH AIMS

  • To ascertain the extent of the existing marketing promotion strategies of TSTT in promoting Blackberry phones in Trinidad and Tobago.
  • To focus attention on the wider perspectives of promotion strategies being adopted by rivals of TSTT in Trinidad and Tobago.
  • To identify and analyze the strength and weakness framework of TSTT with reference to its promotion campaign on BlackBerry.
  • To identify and investigate the customer demographics and market segmentation strategies to promote TSTT’s current marketing campaign on BlackBerry phones.
  • To carry out a strategic audit of the current TSTT’s marketing and promotion strategies.
  • To examine the extent to which TSTT might be able to adopt a mixture of promotion strategies to achieve long term marketing goals in selling BlackBerry in Trinidad and Tobago.

1.3.   RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  • Have the current marketing strategies adopted by TSTT in seeking to capture greater market share for BlackBerry in the Trinidad and Tobago markets helped?
  • What are the structural, cost and marketing planning constraints faced by such promotion strategies?
  • Does the existing level of competition forebode well for TSTT’s strategic marketing initiatives for BlackBerry?
  • Do niche marketing segmentation related strategies have a greater probability of success for BlackBerry despite the existence of smaller competitors?
  • What is the nature and scope of competition from fixed line operators against mobile telephony in Trinidad and Tobago?
  • How best TSTT might be able to align its current marketing strategy with the BlackBerry centric promotion strategy to achieve profitability objectives?
  • Is there any possibility of changing the strategic market and customer orientation approaches of TSTT to achieve long term corporate objectives related to BlackBerry marketing campaigns?

1.4.   RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

The research hypothesis of this study is based on the possible correlations between and among a number of variables such as demand for and supply of mobile telephone services in general and the BlackBerry in particular; customer demographics like age, employment and income and the relative effectiveness of sales promotion strategies; super brand status of BlackBerry and market growth factors; and TSTT’s market leadership and the potential relative impact of a new promotion strategy. SWOT analysis, Porter’s five forces, Porter’s Generic Value Chain, marketing mix, extended marketing mix, Ansoff’s product-market growth strategy and all related promotion strategies would be investigated with emphasis on the Trinidad and Tobago markets for mobile telephony.

CHAPTER TWO

2. Literature review

  2.1. Product and marketing strategy

               Product and marketing strategy of mobile telephone services is connected with the overall orientation strategy which is classified into product orientation strategy, market or consumer orientation strategy and competitor orientation strategy. Mobile telephony industry has been noted for its product orientation strategy based on the success of critical factors or competencies and the product development strategy is highly based on the constant rapid and innovative factors.  TSTT has developed highly innovative and technology-centric products and services such as the BlackBerry (Wills, Samli & Jacobs, 1991). Corporate governance occupies a very important place here along with critical capabilities to achieve organizational goals such as market share growth, share price growth, customer satisfaction, stakeholder satisfaction and so on. Product development programs of TSTT have been successfully executed to a certain extent. For example its diversification strategy in segmental product placement efforts has paid off with a rise in revenues for the last two years. With the recent market developments a product diversification process has been initiated though such diversification activities need to be focused on the customer’s response to the ultimate product.

Given different demand elasticities, i.e. income, cross and price, for the internet search engines, there is always an amount of uncertainty associated with industry orientation and the level of competition. Product orientation strategy is thus focused on the development process. The company has successfully adopted such a product development strategy and outperformed its rivals in Trinidad and Tobago (Hickman, 2009). Industry revenues began to rise faster and the product loyalty began to rise among a substantial cross section of customers everywhere. However brand loyalty and its offshoot product loyalty have been less visible in the strategy implementation process.

Marketing or customer orientation strategy is marked by an intensely focused growth oriented approach. Strategic initiatives include viral marketing and promotion drives to preempt rivals’ strategic moves. Marketing drive is focused on worldwide internet users, especially the IT communication professionals’ and the youngsters’ market segments.

Extreme strategic marketing choices have been forced on TSTT by this market trend setting behavior of professionals and teenagers. While cost considerations of such marketing techniques have been uppermost at TSTT, there has been a shift in strategy from mere customer satisfaction to value creation. TSTT’s choice of strategy as outlined above and the implementation process are intertwined. For instance its advertising revenue has been growing by manifolds due to its concerted efforts at identifying gaps in the existing market arrangements. TSTT’s own strategy of product placement in the new high income buyer  and younger web surfers’ market segments has paid off with handsome returns though its current diversification strategy of enhancing online music file sharing among web surfers has met with stiff opposition from  recording companies. TSTT’s own strategy of diversifying product placement approaches to produce convergences in different market segments so that competition related outcomes become manageable within the organizational environment has been met with stiff resistance though (Hughes, 2010). It’s also essential as a product-centric approach to achieving operational cost recoveries. There is very little freedom for a search engine to differentiate products unless it’s done through a systematic process of enhancing services through value addition to the customer. In the eyes of the customer such value additions such as amazing spell checker for translating web pages from one language to another and TSTT’s built-in calculator to do the calculations with ease have a greater attraction.

The product marketing drive of TSTT, on the other hand, has been characterized by its efforts to keep the search engine market in its entirety to itself as the major market segment along with current business strategies (Enigmax, 2010). However its current product marketing drive is essentially determined by cost-cutting efforts. TSTT has designed effective viral marketing campaigns and even today it’s so effective with establishing a brand identity for the organization.

Marketing clout of TSTT is based on customer-driven value creation efforts plus cost-effective achievement of marketing synergies through an aggregation process that involves a series of customer-care policies both within and without the organization. The internet services industry demands a qualitative approach to customer care services including public relations. TSTTs success in carrying out an effective customer care campaign has invariably produced some progress in respect of its marketing campaign as well (Dunmore, 2008). While TSTT has effectively initiated a strategic focus on some customer care services in order to avoid duplication by its competitors, the real scenario of competition is characterized by a still greater percentage of budgeted expenditure by rivals.

Marketing strategy of TSTT has a very positive cornerstone, i.e. it’s focused among other things on a combined approach to marketing and enhancing customer experience, not so an unusual combination today. Marketing strategy is implemented with focus on sales volumes to achieve quantifiable transaction flows across a range of products to the internet searchers who otherwise tend to ignore the qualitative parameter, simply because it’s inconvenient if not bought (Dan, 2008).  Such marketing dynamics have placed TSTT in a well-heeled position in the market.

2.2. Segmentation strategy

TSTT’s current market leadership position in mobile telephony in Trinidad and Tobago can be regarded as one of the greatest plus factors in its marketing strategy of BlackBerry though its real impact on promotion strategies has to be examined against the evolving backdrop of completion and its severity. In this respect market segmentation strategy occupies a very significant place.  Market segment for mobile phones comes under demographic segmentation. The other most common two market segmentation strategies are the geographic segmentation and psychographic segmentation (Abratt, 1993). In the first instance demographic segmentation refers to the practice in which the firm has to focus on age, gender, marital status and similar characteristics. It’s the most popular strategy or basis for segmenting the market though its complicated nature at times necessitates fast hand information about customer behavior. Consumer demographics also involve age and lifecycle studies though lifecycle centric approach demands tracking the customer’s changing needs for customized mobile phones with new technology and accordingly mapping the future requirements. Secondly, geographic segmentation is based on identifying the market according to its geographical characteristics. The firm which is going to sell mobile phones online and offline might identify these segments where they are more likely to occur and then target those potential consumers. Finally, Psychographic segmentation is based on such characteristics as cultural values, societal mores, attitudes, interests and lifestyles. A company seeking to market a mobile phone among customers would focus its attention on one or more of these characteristics in order to successfully create a niche market capability. Psychographic segmentation is essentially connected with the evolving personality and thus the firm might target the most vulnerable character traits of the target group.

Thus any successful attempt at profiling the potential customer’s tendentious purchasing behavior requires segmenting the market according to customer preferences. TSTT’s consumer mobile phone market has the potential for further segmentation and thus consumer preference based segmentation would facilitate not only the promotion related outcomes but also performance ratio based outcomes such as net and gross revenue and sales volumes (Engle, & Fiorillo, 1972). Such an approach would enable the new entrant to articulate customer’s purchasing habits on a more realistic note than otherwise is possible. For instance point-of-sale data available at TSTT mobile phone stores show that bargain hunting consumers are on the increase. Whenever the store announces a bargain potential customers queue up outside the shop for long hours.

Globalization has not only shrunk international borders between countries but also shortened product life cycles on numerous occasions. The purchasing specialist’s functional environment requires such special skills as an understanding of the variables that impact on product lifecycles of both locally produced and imported goods (Hart-Davis, 2009). Further the initiation of skills training programs and their relevance and impact on innovation and leadership culture would definitely create a framework of reference for the purchasing specialist’s project procurement and contract management requirements. This is more so in respect of change management programs at the organizational level.

Customer relations and strategic focus on facilitating the control over internal and external relations are much more important than the activity of selling. As such the logistics team’s functional skills are augmented by both complexity and diversity of the facilitator’s role rather than putting the purchasing manager or specialist into an old fashioned functionary’s mould. TSTT has been more concerned about selling the total output rather than minimizing associated costs of maintaining stocks.

The logistics team would have to place emphasis on the supplier’s credentials rather than the price itself. In the first instance a competitive tendering processes involve not only specification and evaluation criteria but also the painful task of selecting the best team for the task in hand. This requires not only a knowledge of tendering skills but also particularly strong evaluation techniques.  This is due to the fact that value parameters attached to the determination process of suitability criteria are fundamentally based on the logistics team’s dynamic role. The entire process of procurement of supplies has to be specified in conformance with the cost involved in the prolonged lifecycle of the product. The logistics team has to plan for the appropriate evaluation criteria, that would otherwise be ignored and delivery schedules dragged without much consideration of the promotion strategy. This might affect both the functional parameters and the technical specifications, thus hindering the aesthetic and qualitative outcomes of the process.

Finally the supply chain team needs to focus attention on the objective of controlling the entire supply chain evaluation process in a manner that non price factors receive a fair share of attention throughout the supply process, thus leaving little room for any marked variance or divergence away from the predefined criteria. Similarly the team’s success or failure is determined by how best they are able to reconcile those divergent parameters of the process. Hence there is the need for some debriefing procedural applications to be adopted.

2.3. Marketing mix

When the marketing mix – price, product, place, promotion and by extension people, process and physical evidence – is considered against the current level of market concentration ratios there are a lot of opportunities on the marketing front available to the average mobile telephone service provider in Trinidad and Tobago (Freeman, 2006).  However the existing brand loyalties might curtail the degree of freedom enjoyed by each seller because super market chains stock a variety of products with identical labels from different sellers. This development has a very significant impact on the organization’s marketing goals too. A conceptual framework for a uniquely propositioned marketing strategy depends on the viability and logicality of these outcomes. Assuming that a good  marketing plan once put in place would take care of the 7 Ps above, there is very little else to accomplish in order to maintain a good cash flow and ensure positive and constant returns over the life cycle of each product – launch, growth, maturity and decline (Kotler  Philip Kotler (Author)

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& Armstrong, 2009).

Price of the product is essentially a reference to the larger context of the company’s pricing strategy and especially in the current competitive environment there is very little liberty if any available to the firm to adopt a pricing policy of its choice. In fact market penetration would seem to be the most ideal pricing strategy for BlackBerry.

Product characteristics include those tangible and intangible benefits for the customer. A typical cross section of youth and professionals would be inclined to buy BlackBerry since its promotion strategy places emphasis on BlackBerry’s super brand image.  In other words the seventh P “Physical evidence” of the product carries much weight as in sensory marketing (Miser, 2006).

Place again imposes some limitations on the firm’s ability to exploit broader marketing principles. Market segmentation strategy of TSTT is exclusively intended for the creation of brand dependency and therefore there is a drawback associated with its geography. For example TSTT which markets BlackBerry, has a huge network of stores in almost every nook and corner in Trinidad and Tobago.

Along with a proper promotion policy, an ideal people-oriented marketing strategy ought to be put in place. Customer-centric product promotion is nothing new in the industry though product promotion campaigns are less likely to be determined by any other factors than the strengths of the product. While the emphasis might be placed on the overall promotion strategy to attract as many potential customers as possible there won’t be any strategic advantage in the long term if the company concentrates too much on its strengths only. This is a strategic shortcoming in the continual development process (Lovelock, 1999).

CHAPTER THREE

3. Research methodology

3.1. Phenomenological Approach

According to phenomenological approach the reality is a social construct. In other words people tend to focus on their experiences as coming from the world reality. The fundamental principle which drives phenomenological approach can be distinguished from positivistic approach as a qualitative paradigm which identifies the existence of reality in a quantum dimension. The world reality has to be interpreted by humans in relation to this perception (Lester, 1999).

3.2. Research Philosophy

Research philosophy explains how theoretical constructs of research methodology have been evolving in a particular field of study through a series of assumptions. The researcher thinks of the practical nature of the research effort rather than the outcome. Thus it is all about the correlations between the knowledge and its applications. Research philosophy has three branches – epistemology, ontology and deontology (sometimes referred to as axiology).

Epistemology refers to the nature of acceptability of the kind of knowledge concerning a certain discipline. Epistemology in turn has three sub branches – positivism, realism and interpretivism. Positivism is related to philosophy while realism refers to reality of knowledge. Interpretivism on the other hand is concerned with researcher’s own opinion about knowledge (Saunders, et al, 2007).

3.3. Positivistic approach

Positivism is concerned with the derivation of laws that have natural characteristics. For instance, in natural sciences positive laws are defined as those relations that can be proved through tests to exist in the positive realm of natural phenomena. However it must be noted that emphasis on facts and figures as proof of existence of phenomena can be at times misleading though. Quantification of relations is central to the positivist approach.

3.4. Triangulation

Triangulation is a technique used in research to make it doubly or triply sure that the results arrived at by the researcher are reliable. If a particular researcher uses two methods or techniques the subsequent results might diverge. Therefore it’s desirable to use three methods. Triangulation has been known for a number of advantages in arriving at conclusions. For instance conclusions based on correlations can be tricky due to variances occurring at successive phases of progress. Therefore it’s necessary to test the results by using a third method.

3.5. Deductive and inductive reasoning

Deductive research refers to a process in which a more general approach leads to a more particular approach. For example the researcher may start off with a theory on the subject and then build up a series of hypotheses to arrive at specific details of the research topic. Deductive reasoning is sometimes known as top-down approach. On the other hand inductive reasoning refers to the opposite process or approach. In inductive research the researcher starts from more specific hypotheses and then go on to generalized areas of study. This is sometimes known as bottom-up approach.

3.6. Research approach

This Methodology gives both a theoretical and conceptual outline first. Next it dwells on the practical aspects of the research methodology utilised to analyse the research data and describes the various methods used in this study. This paper is based on a structured approach that makes it variable-independent in respect of learning outcomes. Thus the deductive research methodology approach adopted here would specifically delineate correlations variances and regressions based on premises. Exploratory research approach is characterised by three elements.

An independent approach to research essentially presumes that the researcher has a greater degree of freedom in deciding the choice of variables and their scope of applications. Thus the researcher would adopt a free style of inquiry that seeks to establish correlations and regressions between and among variables based on available premises of facts. Deductive logic or reasoning process in this research methodology would be functionality oriented. However didactic logic would be avoided when learning outcomes are presented. In other words the deductive reasoning process would be determined by only the extent of relevance that is associated with available premises irrespective of the didactic nature of most of the research available on the subject now. This research methodology would be tantamount to a pioneering effort in respect of the development of its hypothesis for future purposes by other researchers. In other words the research hypothesis of this paper and the associated methodology are intertwined to produce some authoritative and original conclusions.

3.7. Research strategy

 

Secondary research data for this study would be collected through a very extensive research task conducted both online and in libraries. This researcher may mostly utilize the books currently available on the topic and also study research journals, articles, newspapers and reports including commissioned reports by federal and state authorities.  References might be adopted from most of the currently available research data on the subject. This study mainly depends on the secondary research data, because theoretical and conceptual study is much well aided by it than primary data which is basically limited to responses to the questionnaire and the survey interviews. Further reports published by TSTT and the Government Offices in Trinidad and Tobago have been used. References were taken from most of the research material available in the field.The available literature has been analyzed with specific focus on the product marketing and choices thereof in the context with particular emphasis on strategies adopted by rivals as well. This researcher has tried to show the most important aspectual overview of the research in the Literature Review. Also there is considerable reflection on the state and relevance of current research (Wind, Douglas & Perlmutter, 1973).

         Data gathering process is one of the major challenges in any research project. It is perhaps the only possible interaction with the people to assess their opinion.  Data are gathered and categorised according to the aims of the research. There are many methods of collecting data and especially secondary data would provide invaluable information that is used for policy decisions, marketing strategies, and academic studies etc. At this stage it is always advantageous to think in advance what variables and tabulations would be required for later analysis.

Future research possibilities in the field are discussed in depth to show how theoretical underpinnings evolve with time and space with specific reference to product marketing. There is little or no critical literature to support the methodology of metrically determining   the feasibility, attraction and obstacles to creating a model for the BlackBerry marketing strategy in Trinidad and Tobago. This particular handicap has affected the researcher to a greater extent. However the research methodology segment of this paper places emphasis on the qualitative aspect of it rather than the quantitative aspect. As such the available empirical evidence has been greatly utilized by the researcher to delineate the current line of arguments as expounded in the Literature Review of this paper.  

 3.8. Data Analysis

In the secondary research segment, this study would seek to establish a series of positive and negative correlations between and among the endogenous and exogenous variables ranging from the TSTT’s price cutting strategy to the probable impact on demand for BlackBerry. These correlations would be established with specific reference to other important variables as well. For instance the positive correlation between the increasing demand for the product and the rightward shift in the supply curve would be examined with reference to the secondary research data already available on the subject.

Other effects include, the rivals reducing prices and as a result its sales might be affected. That in turn will affect its revenue and profits. All these variables point towards some serious positive and negative correlations. This study has particularly identified a set of variances and co-variances coming into existence through the host country government intervention in such related matters as space management and economic policy alterations. The impact of economic policy variations has been taken into account to produce a strong set of dynamic statistics in determining the extent and relevance of the learning outcomes.

 3.9. Case study method

Relevant case studies were attached and reports were analyzed with reference to as secondary data analysis in order to provide greater credibility to the research effort. Some marketing promotion campaigns being undertaken on Apple and BlackBerry were subject to greater analysis in the process. Based on those case analyses various aspects are highlighted such as the marketing techniques being adopted by respective companies to promote sales within particular market segments and the statistics were subject to a proper comparative analysis. While the statistical inferences were based on the published material some of the reports were not published in full by the companies concerned.  The marketing dimension in promoting BlackBerry in Trinidad and Tobago has been particularly focused on the available data thus integrating marketing mix functions with strategic customer and competitor orientation. Assuming a greater degree of divergence between published literature on the subject and this researcher’s findings, the explanation can only rest on the time scale differences and the subsequent variances in analogy.

Theoretical analysis is much well facilitated than primary material which is basically limited to responses in the questionnaire and the survey. The available literature has been analyzed with specific focus on the learning related outcomes. Also there is considerable reflection on the state and relevance of current research, the relevance of data published on web sites and official documents because Trinidad and Tobago’s mobile telephony market structure is being increasingly skewed in favor of a government dominated industry. Even in TSTT, the government’s shareholding is 51%.  This analysis seeks to provide greater credibility to the study through a set of consistent inferences.

3.10. Research Limitations

The industry-centric research methodology aspect was focused on both the quantitative and qualitative paradigms but nevertheless the qualitative aspect was hindered by a variety of shortcomings including the inability of this researcher to obtain quality testing measures at successive levels of service delivery within the mobile telephone industry.  However it must be noted here that this detailed study would pay more attention to qualitative shifts than to quantitative data shifts caused by an industry in transition.

The skewed nature of published data cannot be stressed on too much either because such bias and prejudice are only too common at each level. However for the purpose of the ascertaining of strategic marketing initiatives by TSTT and other rivals in the industry, such skewed data did not have a greater negative impact on conclusions. In fact even the published data had come to such conclusions as a near-total exemption from the global economic downturn, which according to this author could not have been the outcome for a variety of reasons.

Next the all too well known limitations, viz. cultural bias and prejudice displayed by researchers in Trinidad and Tobago hampered the efforts of this researcher to a certain extent. By following strict control mechanisms and a set of relevant guidelines the accuracy of the analysis can be made right though. This tendency apart some data sets were characterized by a degree of inaccuracy with regard to analysis. The recent developments in the mobile telephony market in Trinidad and Tobago were not adequately borne out by these analyses.  Thus the qualitative research aspect also assumes a significant dimension of right or wrong. Organizational settings could have hampered the data collection efforts of many researchers and as a result they might have been influenced by cultural attachments and biases.

The most significant data sets for any serious conclusions have been sifted to come to some conclusions that have a direct bearing on the learning outcomes of this study. For instance the TSTT’s current marketing strategy as based on targeting mass markets as against niche segments is particularly influenced by a desire that small competitors are well equipped to cut down on costs when it comes to niche marketing. This fallacy has helped many those small but well equipped competitors to achieve market share on the basis of selective marketing. This example particularly illustrates the sense of complacency that TSTT has been under.

CHAPTER FOUR

4.  Data Analysis

      4.1. Primary research data analysis

      4.1.1. Questionnaire (See Appendix I)

            The questionnaire was given to 60 company executives and managers working in Trinidad and Tobago telecommunication industry – including TSTT.

 Q. 1. What is the nature of your job at this firm?

        Out of the 60 respondents to the questionnaire 24 are IT executives, 8 IT engineers, 20 IT marketers and 5 managers. The rest occupy various positions ranging from directors to consultants. The respective representation figures for each category show the broader perspective-based approach of this analysis.

Q.2.   How long have you been working at this firm?

     Almost 55% of the respondents said that they have been working at their respective organizations for than two but less than five years. Almost 11 of them said that they were there for more than five years. 12 of the respondents said that they have been working at their respective organizations for less than one year. The rest have been working for more than 1 year but less than 2 years. The lower the period of time is, the younger the respondent, because they were fresh college and university graduates.

Q.3. Have you ever been involved in more or anyone of the following tasks?

The highest number, i.e. 38 are involved in IT management while the lowest number, 6, are involved in customer relations. 14 of the respondents are involved in marketing related work. The overall representation of involvement in different jobs shows the extent to which the surveyed companies have placed emphasis on the marketing aspect of all else. Thus the overall outcome of the questionnaire in relation to product marketing assumes such big importance.

Q.4. Given your current job, how do you rate BlackBerry’s launch by TSTT against other companies? 

Almost 65% of the respondents said that there are more benefits associated with such marketing or product launches. Almost 9 of the respondents were not sure as to what differences are there between product launches and marketing. For them benefits are intangible and therefore cannot be recorded.

Q.5. What is your company’s current marketing strategy in the face of current level of competition in the country?

44 respondents said that their companies preferred launching products that carried lower prices and a number of value added services. 14 respondents said that their companies have been marketing a variety of products and services thus ignoring the impact of competition. Fear factor could have played a very significant role in those fewer companies that were trying to evenly balance the two options.

Q.6. How do you assess the probability of success on TSTT’s BlackBerry related marketing strategy?

Almost all the respondents said in unison that risk associated with any new marketing campaign or product launch is substantial. This is due to the fact the degree of variability in price related uncertainties, is considerable. The market uncertainties are directly associated with price variations and the success of TSTT’s BlackBerry marketing strategy is determined by them.

Q.7. How do you assess the impact of the TSTT’s initial strategic BlackBerry launch success with the new effort?

      31 of the respondents said that the current effort is partially successful while 25 said that the current effort has to go a long way. Others weren’t sure of its impact on the outcomes of the new marketing campaign. Invariably the respondents agreed that there was a positive impact on some of the outcomes like market share.

Q.8. How do you assess the TSTT’s strategic corporate strengths in launching BlackBerry in Trinidad and Tobago while other competitors are not far behind?

35 respondents said they believed TSTT’s strategic strength lay with the critical resources at its disposal. 21 of them believed it all came from its government connection and near monopoly power.  

Q.9.  Do you think that TSTT will be able to capture market shares of rivals with         the new marketing campaign?

Only 25 respondents believed that the company would be able to capture rivals’ shares while the rest categorically said no.

Q.10. Which of the following factors have a greater impact on the current demand for mobile phones and services in Trinidad and Tobago?

Almost 56 respondents identified the income factor while the rest identified the price factor.

4.2. Secondary research

 4.2.1. Marketing Mix – Seven P’s

This paper uses an extended marketing mix with 7ps

Product- TSTT has the capacity to adopt both wireless and fiber optic networks that enable it to deliver multimedia, voice and data services to its customers. BlackBerry has been in great demand ever since it was launched.  Its software is highly sophisticated. Its service delivery platform consists of a user friendly interface and the latest features. TSTT is constantly in the process of improving and improvising its existing products to suit the needs of its customers and to stay ahead of its competitors. BlackBerry sets are of high quality thus customers are enticed to buy them even by paying a higher price (Michaluk, Mazo  & Trautschold,  2008).

Price- From a price point of view the download of the interface is free of charge. Even though the profit margin for each song was only about 10%, the iTunes aim is to be the center of a user’s digital world.

Promotion- Most of the retailers are more than glad to promote the idea of a more powerful and versatile BlackBerry because its super brand image is compatible with their brand image. Without restricting themselves to advertising on the television and radio, a mobile based marketing drive such as sending of messages can be used. Viral marketing techniques such as the sending of multiple e-mails could be used. Viral marketing techniques are more cost effective than for example advertising on the television or radio.

Place- Since BlackBerry phones are available online they are available anywhere and anytime. Distribution cost can be curtailed.

People- TSTT has to establish meaningful people’s relations such as with customers, employees and others.

Process- It refers to paraphernalia that assist in the marketing efforts of the products. Callers on mobiles might text each other and become effective promoters.

Physical environment- TSTT has a highly substantial physical environment related set of services, including technological superiority, for example on the mobile phone digital music file sharing was never so sophisticated before the launch of digital mobile telephony services.

Physical environment– This refers to comfort and facilities.

   4.2.2. The possibility of price discrimination by TSTT

The supplier sets different prices knowing very well the position of its near monopoly power to segment the market according to consumer demographics. For instance the prices were higher in the high income segment due to the higher prices charged by the network service providers for the service (Martin, 2011). In the high income segment mobile telephony service providers would have to provide some extra services in order to charge that extra price. In other words there should be a process of incremental customer value creation. This approach in placing the product at the center of the marketing campaign to capture the most economically viable consumer segment would pay off well.

This is shown by the following diagram which segments the market into three according to the supplier’s ability to price discriminate among his customers. The second segment of mobile telephony market enables the supplier to sell a varied product to those who are less able to afford it at the higher price (Sweeny, 2009).

Finally the supplier reduces the price further for the low income segment. This segment is almost catching up with much more revenue promise in the future. This aggregation of market segments and their revenues will only be successful only if the good in question cannot be resold by those who buy it at the lower price. Secondly it becomes successful only if the cost incurred in the lowest price segment is covered with gains made in other segments partially or wholly. In fact labor costs might rise too fast even in the high income segment thus leading to a loss in that segment.

Figure 4.1: Price discrimination on the basis of market segment

Price ($)                                   D

High income segment

P3

   Middle income segment

P2

Low income segment

M

D

P1

Quantity

Number of factors would have to be considered by the firm in determining the market price for each segment. For example the firm had a virtually monopoly position in Trinidad and Tobago in the past though its ability to act as the ‘price maker’ was limited by a number of factors such as the ease with which competitors can enter the market and supply constraints. The absence of monopoly power of TSTT is there though it cannot be taken for granted in deciding on the price.

Thus the price determination process gives less freedom to the supplier. For instance the price is determined in the mobile telephony market by the possibility of other firms responding to the unfolding market developments there. When adequate infrastructure develops in the market newcomers would have a tendency to enter with ease and not to leave even in the face of rising costs. Further supply constraints as in the case of natural monopolies like power supply can be taken into consideration in determining the price (Heid, 2004).

Figure 4.2: Monopoly power and monopolist’s equilibrium price and output

Price ($)

P2                                X                           MC

AC

P1                                    Y

E

AR = D

Q                                                                                     Quantity

MR

As the above diagram illustrates the supplier here acts like a monopolist because of his capacity and capability in price discriminating behavior. He sells the quantity Q at the price of P2 and makes a monopoly profit equal to the amount shown by the rectangle P1, P2, X and Y. This surplus profit would not last long if competitors are able to enter the market with ease (Jimenez, 2007).

He maximizes profits at the point E where Marginal Cost (MC) is equal to Marginal Revenue (MR). Thus he is a ‘price maker’. His Average Cost (AC) and Average Revenue (AR) remain at a point higher than the equilibrium point when he maximizes profits. In fact he can sell to the right of the point E but he doesn’t. However it’s obvious that depending on the nature of demand for BlackBerry the firm is able to price discriminate and therefore at least in the short run competitors are less likely to enter the market. Thus at least in the short run this firm acts as a ‘price maker’ and not a ‘price taker’ as in perfect competition.

4.3. Service quality parameters

There are significant service quality parameters to ensure the customer satisfaction with the BlackBerry mobile phones. This would be applicable to create a quality and convenience in-store as well as website (Chumpitaz, 2004).

  • Average Customer handle time

           TSTT lacks in strong customer support department which would provide solutions to the customers and take care of them in the log run. Thus there is a communication gap between the company and the customer.

 

  • In-store and website quality

      The company needs to focus and understand in depth about online and offline shopping behaviors of the customers and develop a suitable website and in-store according their convenience (Flipo, 1986). Otherwise they might have search about competitors and intend to purchase those mobile phone products.

  • Product, process & technical knowledge

However the product technology argument mentioned above presumes that mobile phone customers have been influenced by an equal desire to keep up with changing times.   This argument is very important in Trinidad and Tobago.

  • Customer loyalty

Company can encourage their employees towards the high customer activity to satisfy them and increases the total spend of each customer. This can be done by encouraging customers to integrate online and offline through loyalty programs like privileged cards and redemption points. While there is no particular set of metrics to measure brand loyalty for TSTT’s Blackberry in Trinidad and Tobago there s enough empirical evidence to prove that the product is attracting a wider cross section of customers already (Tasner, 2010).

  • Evaluation of service quality

The company would adopt Six Sigma and Total Quality Management concepts and tools to make sure that both the perceived level of quality and the actual quality of the product are the same. Under the Six Sigma concept, the company would adopt those quality management methods and tools such as continuous improvement by minimizing variations in standards, unifying product specifications and removing errors systematically. Its data-based methodology of removing defects is the main criterion which underlies the process of matching the six standard deviations between mean and the limit. On the other hand the TQM concept would involve quality improvement based on continuous assessment of standards.

4.4. Service Gap Analysis

 

There can be identified some applications for service marketing strategies to address the Service gap (Hoffman, 2010). Service gap analysis of TSTT’s current BlackBerry marketing campaign would shed some light on its strategy though the extent to which a research study could focus attention on the strategic policy initiatives in the sphere of marketing depends on the quality and quantity of the available data.

  • The quality option

Brand or product differentiation strategies heavily weigh on the subsequent ability of the firm to differentiate its brand on the basis of quality. A customized mobile phone service company would have the desirable impact on the customer’s expectations only when the quality standards have been satisfactorily met (Donovan  & Samler, 1994). Thus the quality option in brand differentiation for the TSTT’s new brand of mobile phone for this age group is determined by the company’s ability to drive the point home for the potential customer that quality means a lot.

  • Building strong brand

On the other hand strong brand has become cliché as already pointed out above. A strong brand doesn’t mean that rivals would remain inactive. In other words the building of a strong brand depends on the already established degree of brand loyalty. For that to come about there must be some brand equity promotion activity (Macdonald & Sharp, 2000). The company must be constantly seeking to build up a strong brand on the basis of brand equity. Brand equity is a strategically significant measure of the existing customer’s response to new promotions and the potential customer’s assessment parameter to decide on the purchasing decision. Thus strong brands ultimately depend on the concept of brand value from the customer’s viewpoint.

  • Product-market expansion

      The product-market expansion strategy for the company customized mobile phones must be based on the following principles (Gonzalez & Quesada, 2004). These principles can be identified as a first measure or approach to overcome the existing level of competition and strategically reorient its marketing campaign to achieve positive synergies directly and indirectly related to the corporate goals of the company.

4.5.Addressing gaps related to the perception of quality at TSTT

Some authors identify five major gaps that business organizations have to narrow down in satisfying their customers. In the first place there is a perceptive distance between customer expectations and what managers think about service quality. The company is trying to reduce this gap by introducing various measures such as frequent quality circle meetings among managers and employees. In the fifth place there is the gap between the customer’s expectation and the real experience about the service. The company here is making efforts to minimize the gap by articulating a service quality improvement project (www.bmobile.tt.blackberry.com).
Sales team was more concerned of adding newer products to the existing portfolio so that diversity of products and wider choice would appeal to customers who are constantly on the lookout for newer and better products. Thus bonuses and targets were their prime concern. On the other hand the supply chain team was highly worried about out-of-stock inventory mix. When volumes and profits drop in times of economic recessions there is something really to worry about. The supply chain team was also worried about the service related challenges in order to fulfill customer demand (Porter, 2008).

Against this backdrop a more comprehensive resource use rationalization strategy would be pertinent though it’s equally imperative to know how best to avoid supply chain bottlenecks and associated costs by way of reducing inventory of no-go-products. In other words a rationalization strategy would require a number of tasks to be performed before putting into effect any program of action (Gruber, 2007).           

In managing supply chain related activity in procurement of materials the purchasing manager or the specialist has to perform a series of tasks according to some predefined criteria. In the same way the purchasing manager or the supply chain team has to take it to consideration the number of factors that directly and indirectly impact on their performance. In the first instance skills of the supply chain team would be enhanced by the vertically integrated organizational and management structure which essentially support the design planning and implementation of supply chain strategies, especially those directly related to the purchase of raw material and components for primary operations. TSTT was just faced with this problem.

The purchasing specialist has to focus on his tasks associated with procurement and management in order to achieve a degree of functional conformance to established standards such as the core business activity related efficiencies. This means that the ever increasing practice of modern business organizations’ preference for outsourcing certain tasks that lie out of the core business functions of the organization is dictated by competitive pressures. For instance the logistics team would be able to hone their skills depending on the level of concentration on core business operations by the company. Business organizations’ increasing level of dependency on resources procured from outside enables teams to develop a special set of skills for effective practice as a supply chain team.

CHAPTER FIVE

5.1. Conclusion

From the above findings it can be safely inferred that TSTT already has been losing its monopoly power.  Since the demand for mobile telephone services is bound to increase, it can be inferred that the market for BlackBerry is bound to grow. TSTT maintains a good brand image and a loyal customer base in Trinidad and Tobago. It is vital that it continues to invest in developing new technologies as otherwise new innovations and inventions from other companies could capture the market (De Burca, Fletcher & Brown, 2004).

It’s possible for TSTT to form informal partnerships and formal legally binding partnerships with other companies in order to share knowledge and technology to help further enhance TSTT’s deliverables as efficiently as possible. TSTT is also faced with a threat from inferior quality pirated products in the market for example through mobile phones imported from countries such as China.

Product and marketing strategy of airlines as with any other firms, is connected with the overall orientation strategy which is classified into product orientation strategy, market or consumer orientation strategy and competitor orientation strategy. TSTT has been particularly noted for its product orientation strategy based on the success of critical factors or competences directly associated with BlackBerry. Product development programs of TSTT have been successfully executed to a certain extent. For example its diversification strategy in segmental product placement efforts has paid off with a rise in revenues for the last two years (Czinkota, Ronkinen & Kotabe, 2009). With the creation of an extra service platform for the users of BlackBerry a product diversification process has been initiated though such diversification activities need to be focused on the customer’s response to the ultimate product. Given different demand elasticities, i.e. income, cross and price, for mobile telephone services, there is always an amount of uncertainty associated with industry orientation and the level of competition. Product orientation strategy is thus focused on the development process. TSTT has successfully adopted such a product development strategy and outperformed many rivals. Its revenues began to rise faster and the product loyalty began to rise among a substantial cross section of customers in Trinidad and Tobago.

Its marketing or consumer orientation strategy is also marked by a similar approach. Advertising and promotions go apace with local and foreign agents being enlisted for a variety of service contracts. Right now TSTT is trying to venture into the digital music market with emphasis on music file sharing by mobile phone users on a high speed data downloading platform. Its strategic initiatives include up-market advertising and promotion drives to preempt rivals’ strategic moves. For instance in advertising its latest BlackBerry services the company has promised an uninterrupted service provision

Extreme strategic marketing choices have been forced on TSTT by this up-market trend setting behaviour though.   Rivals’ own strategy of product placement in the up-market segments has paid off with handsome returns to them though. But nevertheless it’s essential as a product-centric approach to achieving operational cost recoveries. In fact there is very little freedom for a mobile telephony service provider to differentiate products unless it’s done through a systematic process of enhancing services through value addition to the customer. In the eyes of the customer such value additions such as instant reductions in prices are the best attractions (Trinidad & Tobago Manufacturers’ Association, 2011).

However its current product marketing drive is essentially determined by cost-cutting efforts as well.   Marketing clout of TSTT is not altogether shadowed by its rivals and the latter have been increasingly going after customer-driven value creation efforts plus the cost-effective achievement of marketing synergies through an aggregation process that involves a series of customer-care points both within and without the organization.  Recently the company has adopted a marketing technique to offer more additional services such as instant messaging from and to selected friends at little or no cost.

Such customer-centric sales allow agents to achieve quantifiable transaction flows across a range of products to customers who otherwise tend to ignore the qualitative parameter, simply because it’s inconvenient. Such marketing dynamics have placed TSTT in a well-heeled position in the market. Going up-stream in a tightly competitive market to place products at a strategically advantageous level is a very difficult task. However, the proposed marketing strategy requires a degree of time related planning. 

TSTT’s operational environment is also characterized by a greater degree of involvement in promoting corporate sustainability programs outside its day to day operations. For example TSTT has been influenced by advertisers’ and bloggers’ interaction on price competition related problems such as. Its ability to price lead the market. This has been criticized by many.

The digital music industry is evolving very fast. There is always the threat of a new company introducing something totally new to the market such as wireless technology that could replace the need for a physical music player. It’s of paramount importance for TSTT to invest a lot in research, and development and marketing in order to keep up with other companies that could introduce newer products to the market (www.asseco.com).

The digital music industry is very competitive today, and since almost every mobile phone user wants to listen to music on their sets, the service providers are in a hurry to identify their tastes. TSTT is not an exception to this rule. TSTT is a successful company and equally well attracts competition. This is a potential threat. It invests a lot on research and development and marketing in order to stay ahead of other companies in the mobile phone industry. The popularity some rivals’ products is increasing (Taylor, 1992). Given the fact that the digital music industry is evolving very fast, even though iPod and MP3 are in vogue today, tomorrow’s technology might be much different. Wireless technologies could replace the need for a physical music player (Barton, 2005). TSTT is faced with the risk of employees themselves divulging secrets about its new technology.  This could cost it a lot of profits. File sharing is another threat. When one customer buys a file, if others are allowed to share this, it’s a threat. Rivals of TSTT are just aware of these possibilities.

CHAPTER SIX

6.1. Recommendations

A new marketing strategy for TSTT’s BlackBerry phone has to be characterized by a series of value additions to tempt the potential customer to purchase the product. A product orientation and expansion strategy based on the existing brand strength associated with the new customized mobile phone’s market leadership is desirable. Ansoff’s product-market growth strategy might be useful to a certain extent, e.g. in targeting new niche markets (new markets- new products/brands) to place the customized mobile phones for teens. However, new niche markets where there is already some stiffer competition from rivals can be expensive (Gerpott & Jakopin, 2005). Newly emerging markets might be more feasible for a sustained product-market expansion program and a sustained marketing campaign in different local market segments might be needed with new smaller competitors coming into the market almost on a daily basis with their highly distinguished brands and products. A broader and better focused strategic vision in conformance with long term marketing goals, including competitor and customer orientation strategies, might be the best alternative for TSTT right now.

Market segmentation according to consumer demographics based on key variables such as the number of visits to store during a given time period by an average customer is feasible. Above all the awareness of customer preferences matters. The existing market shares of TSTT mobile phones and its rivals show that TSTT leads with the lion’s share. The bigger the market share the greater would be the possibility of success. But nonetheless the company is highly concentrated at the top management level. This means that decision making process has to be decentralized to accommodate marketing campaigns that run on high budgets and tight time schedules (Bennett & Blythe, 2002).

The extent of available resources to launch a sustained marketing drive to promote the brand would determine the TSTT’s capacity to compete strategically. Therefore the Trinidad and Tobago market segment requires a diversified marketing strategy based on targeting a mass market and a number of niche markets. The latter are characterized by customer preference and sentiments. This is so much the case right now because digital music market segment is on a roller coaster ride in demand.

TSTT’s BlackBerry needs to be marketed by adopting a market penetration strategy. This means the introductory price must be kept to a minimum so that a sizable share of the market can be captured and maintained. The existing competitors in the mobile telephone market in Trinidad and Tobago basically rely on providing a core number of enabling services, especially to the 3G mobile phone user.  TSTT’s current strategy of concentrating on providing a broader spectrum of services across seamless applications of both technology and user friendly operational parameters is good enough but requires a much cost conscious approach.

TSTT has successfully created customer value through the expanded marketing mix rather than restricting the marketing strategy to the 4P based mix in the market. However there is a still greater possibility of increasing market share through an extensive online advertising campaign.

Rivals such as Nokia tunes and Sony Ericson tunes have noticed the reliable efficacy of sensory marketing as a potent force in appealing to youth in the digital music market in Trinidad and Tobago delivered on the mobile, e.g. visuals and audio quality. The country has a large market for mobile telephony but an innovative marketing strategy should be used to capture this market by concentrating on customer preferences and their taste (TSTT Trinidad, 2010). TSTT has not done just that.

In order to capture a large segment of the market it’s vital that initial price of the products be kept to a minimum. The price cutting war in the market is going to be particularly deadly for small competitors though. In other words a market penetration pricing strategy is almost the foregone conclusion with rivals. TSTT cannot afford to be complacent. They should continue to invest in experimenting with newer technologies in order to come up with novel inventions. Else they could be overwhelmed by other competitors (Alleyne, 2011).

TSTT could form new alliances with other companies informally and formally in order to share technology and thus further enhance the quality of their products. Technology agreements with other service providers would be desirable. The consumer demographics in the market for mobile products in the country shows that the purchasing behavior of consumers is fast changing and therefore rivals of TSTT are increasingly focused on strategic marketing reorientation programs like advertising and customer targeting in a variety of segments.

Sensory marketing has been one such specialty of the rivals. Five senses don’t essentially act as the ultimate determinants of purchasing decisions of consumers. However sight in particular is influenced by appearance. What’s seen, heard, felt, smelled and tasted matters in the immediate decision making process.  Thus the high income is the most basic factor which drives buying decisions.

The value statement as defined by service quality can be based on the company’s customer value creation strategy with versatility, low price, quality and fun. As a value statement shows the first word is versatility. This key concept has become a very big issue in the current times. The potential customer must be informed about the level of versatility in the service and the product.

Similarly quality matters because the price paid by the consumer is for the quality as much as it’s for its many uses. TSTT has not yet come to terms with this aspect because its BlackBerry unit was found to be lacking in some extraordinary features, especially seamless integration that rivals like Nokia and Sony Ericsson could provide on their platforms (Moyer, 1968).

Thus a few extensive and serious research studies have to be undertaken in order to determine the extent of influence on consumers’ decisions to buy mobile phone services and this should not be limited only to the semiotics but also extended to a study of how brand loyalties are formed even in the absence of any tendency to associate personal preferences of consumers with some product quality.  This is in conformance with the current trend in marketing adopted by Nokia and Sony Ericsson.

REFERENCES Visit Amazon’s Philip Kotler Page

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APPENDIX I

Questionnaire

Q. 1. What is the nature of your job at this firm?

□ IT executive                                □ IT manager 

□ Marketer                                    □ Other

Q.2.   How long have you been working at this firm?

□ Less than one year                                □ More than one year but less than 2 years

□ More than 2 years but less than 5       □ More than five years

Q.3. Have you ever been involved in more or anyone of the following tasks?

□ IT management                       □ Marketing

□ Customer relations                □ Other

Q.4. Given your current job, how do you rate BlackBerry’s launch by TSTT against other companies? 

□ Product launch benefits                                 □ Marketing benefits

□ Benefits are not tangible                                □ Not sure

Q.5. What is your company’s current marketing strategy in the face of current level of competition in the country?

□ Launching lower priced products                           □ Price indifferent

□ Competitor oriented                                                 □ Other

Q.6. How do you assess the probability of success on TSTT’s BlackBerry related marketing strategy?

□ Risk higher than potential success                     □ Risk minimal

□ Price related uncertainties                                  □ Price related uncertainties less

Q.7. How do you assess the impact of the TSTT’s initial strategic BlackBerry launch success with the new effort?

□ Partially successful                                           □ Not successful at all

□ Positive impact on market share                     □ Not sure

Q.8. How do you assess the TSTT’s strategic corporate strengths in launching BlackBerry in Trinidad and Tobago while other competitors are not far behind?

□ Strengths related to resources                            □ Strengths related to government

□ Strengths are not substantial                              □ Other

Q.9. Do you think that TSTT will be able to capture market shares of rivals with the new marketing campaign?

□ TSTT might succeed in capturing market share of rivals

□ TSTT might not be able to capture markets shares of rivals.

Q.10. Which of the following factors have a greater impact on the current demand for mobile phones and services in Trinidad and Tobago?

□ Customer income                            □ Price

□ Technology                                      □ Versatility

□ Other

REDUCING JUVENILE DELINQUENCY

Introduction

Cases of juvenile delinquency have been on the rise despite increased government effort to reduce them. There has been a controversy on how to handle juvenile offenders with some people arguing that they should be treated like adult offenders. The government has considered both public safety and the need to rehabilitate the juvenile offenders in its effort to fight this behavior. However, this has not been effective in reducing the cases of juvenile delinquency. This paper argues that concentrating on reshaping the juvenile offenders and giving them social guidance is the most effective way of reducing juvenile delinquency as opposed to use of punishment. This paper will provide evidence and supporting information on why remolding and social guidance are effective in reducing juvenile delinquency. As an antisocial, illegal and criminal behavioral disorder, juvenile delinquency, remolding and social guidance serves as effective structures of addressing the problem. Accordingly, it is clear that evidence is based on previous studies and expert views on juvenile delinquency. As a result, punishment based programs have failed to reduce juvenile delinquency. The paper pays attention to major causes of juvenile delinquencies and how remolding, social guidance and early interventions are effective in reducing this behavior among the young people.

Reducing juvenile delinquency

Juvenile delinquency has been a major problem affecting modern day societies. Juvenile delinquency is antisocial, criminal or illegal behavior and acts that have become common among children and adolescents. Recently many theories have been formulated to explain the reasons behind high rates of juvenile delinquency. Additionally, various agencies have developed different intervention programs in an effort to reduce this behavior. A combination of these theories and programs has provided a means of understanding this behavior and a platform for developing better intervention measures. Accordingly, social guidance and counseling of juvenile offenders is the most effective means of reducing juvenile delinquency as opposed to use of punishment (Mendel, 2002).

Despite much effort by government agencies to reduce juvenile delinquency among the children, there is notable increase in cases of this behavior. The use of punishment is therefore ineffective in reducing these incidences. On the contrary, preventive interventions measures provide more efficient means of reducing juvenile delinquency. Since this is a rampant problem in all societies, a combined effort is necessary between the government and community in reducing this behavior. According to evidence based on recent studies, juvenile system processing does not help reducing the incidences of child crimes instead it has been found to increase their occurrences. This evidence was based on an evaluation of studies that incorporated 7300 juveniles in 29 researches carried out within a period of 35 years (Petrosino, Turpin-petrosino and Guckenburg, 2010).

Punishment based correctional programs have been found to increase recidivism among the juvenile offenders. There are several ways of measuring recidivism among the juvenile offenders. The harshness and rate of recurrence of crimes committed by released juveniles is the most common measure of recidivism.  This and many other studies therefore emphasize the importance of preventive and social remolding measures in reducing juvenile delinquency. This further shows how the government lacks the capability of reducing juvenile delinquency. The increased recidivism has been associated with policies that handle juvenile offenders in a similar manner as adult offenders. These policies and programs despite of their heavy funding by government, they fail to reduce the juvenile delinquency due to their harsh treatment of these young offenders (Mendel, 2002).

The current social-economic and peer influence constitutes the major causes of juvenile delinquency. Other aspects of life such as family also contribute to the rising cases of juvenile antisocial behavior. Poor family ties, lack of proper supervision, conflict and parental abuse predispose minors to delinquent behavior. Lack of parental connection force minors to associate more with their peers thus increasing their chances of receiving wrong information that lead them into committing delinquent activities. Therefore, early molding and social intervention will serve a better purpose in responding to some of these causes of juvenile delinquency and thus preventing the likelihood of kids behaving in a delinquent manner. Several social factors have contributed to the disappointment of many kids thus increasing their chances of criminal behavior (Mann & Reynolds, 2006).

Kilby (2009) argues that teenagers who believe they will die early in their lives have a high tendency of behaving in delinquent manner since they lack focus and expectation in life. This is mostly caused by the modern day disintegration of social relations that have been previously useful in shaping the youth into responsible and law abiding adult. The emergence of diseases such as AIDS are likely to disillusion the youths pushing them to delinquent behaviors such as drug abuse, robbery, among others. However, with proper molding and social directions these kids have been guided into overcoming these challenges and pursuing their objectives in life. This further stresses the usefulness of social programs and molding of juvenile offenders as a means of reducing juvenile delinquency (Kilby, 2010).

Most government programs and services meant to reduce juvenile delinquency focuses on public safety and rehabilitation of the young offenders. However, these efforts concentrate more on public safety than the young offenders. Mann and Reynolds (2006) argue that these programs’ main objective is to reduce recidivism of the young offenders. The inefficiency of these programs is therefore attributed to lack of total focus on kids and the causes of delinquent behavior among them. In some instances, these programs in their focus on public safety treat juvenile offenders in a similar manner to adult offenders thus hardening them and increasing recidivism (Mann & Reynolds, 2006).

Early interventions focusing on education and social molding of these kids are more effective in reducing juvenile delinquency. The success of this approach is mainly attributed to the aspect of instilling discipline, responsibility and understanding in these kids at early stages of their lives. This is mainly achieved through improved family connections and non-violent treatment of children at all social levels. These enable them to understand legal consequences of delinquent behavior and how to avoid them (Mann & Reynolds, 2006).

The peer influence has been a major factor that predisposes most children to criminal behavior. The peer association and influence among young people has resulted in emergence of gangs all over the United States. According to Bjerregaard and Lozotte (1995), the high numbers of gangs in America is directly connected to the increase in criminal activities. It is through these gangs that the young people acquire criminal behavior as well as weapons used in criminal activities. There is high likelihood of delinquency among the young people belonging to a gang than those who do not belong to a gang. It is only through social molding and programs that are centered on the young people that the gang problem can be tackled effectively. Proper tackling of this gang problem will serve as a preventative measure to juvenile delinquency (Bjerregaard & Lozotte, 1995).

Education also plays a very significant role in molding young people into responsible and law abiding adults. Education based programs provide both parents and children with the right information and thus influencing their decision. These programs educate young people about drugs, sexuality gangs and weapons. This information helps them understand the consequences of their delinquent actions. These programs are more successful in reducing juvenile delinquency since they target the young people in their early stages of life as opposed to punishment based programs. There is notably high likelihood of committing crime among non-school going young people as compared to school going. Other community and social program may focus on recreational activities that provide positive interactions and proper use of time. This reduces idleness that may contribute to criminal behavior and activities among the youths (Mann & Reynolds, 2006).

It is therefore clear that the best way to reduce juvenile delinquency is through molding and social intervention. The preventive measure is the most appropriate means of controlling the rising criminal behavior among the juveniles. The use of non-punishment correctional programs is also effective in rehabilitating juvenile offenders and integrating them back to the society (DPC, 2010).

References:

Bjerregaard, B. & Lizotte, A. (1995). Gun Ownership and Gang Membership. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. Vol 86. (1) PP 37-58.

This article focuses on the relationship between gun ownership, gang membership and gun use. It is a review of literature to determine the effect of gangs on juvenile delinquency. The authors investigate whether the rise in incidences of gangs has led to a rise and sophistication of crimes committed by young people and find out that there is not much research on gangs and rise in juvenile crimes but conclude gang members are more likely to commit more serious crimes than other youth.

DPC. (2010). Delinquency prevention council programs. Retrieved on 14th January 2011 from http://www.helpingkidsnow.com/programs.iml

This is the website of the delinquency prevention council of Jefferson County that gives information on the programs that the council undertakes to mould young people who have been involved in juvenile crime back into law abiding citizens that can be accepted back into society and feel at home. The site elaborates on a number of very innovative programs like those allowing the offenders to meet their victims and reconcile in the offender victim conferencing program.

Kilby, J. (2010). 15% of teens expect to die young. Retrieved on 14th January 2011 from http://www.newser.com/story/63073/15-of-teens-expect-to-die-young.html

This newspaper review article is concerned about a report appearing in the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspapers indicating that up to 15% of young people who engage in risky behavior including crime are convinced that they will not live long

Mann, E. & Reynolds, A. (2006). Early Intervention and Juvenile Delinquency Prevention: Evidence from the Chicago Longitudinal Study. Social Work Research. Vol 30. (3). PP 153+

This journal article is about a study carried out in Chicago to determine the role played by early educational interventions together with family, peer and other factors that impact on juvenile delinquency cases reported in court. It was mainly done among youths from low income backgrounds a majority of whom were African American. The study found out that taking kids to school is key to preventing juvenile delinquency. The authors also prefer interventions to be undertaken at the earliest times possible.

Mendel, R. (2002). Less Hype, More Help: Reducing Juvenile Crime, What Works-And What Doesn’t. New York. DIANE Publishing.

This work is an examination of the justice system and juvenile crime policies. The book investigates notions that have informed the public policies in place namely that, juvenile crime gets worse and worse due to a generation of young people who are super predators, treating juvenile offenders as adults is more effective and others to determine the interventions that work and those that don’t.

Petrosino, A., Turpin-Petrosino, C. & Guckenburg, S. (2010). Formal System Processing of

Juveniles: Effects on Delinquency. The Campbell Collaboration Retrieved on 17th                                             January, 2010 from: http://www.campbellcollaboration.org/news_/formal_processing_reduce_juvenile_delinq            uency.php

This article examines the whether the strict adherence to juvenile justice system controls juvenile delinquency.  In examining this, the authors of this article have reviewed several studies. Based on the studies reviewed, it has been established that formal processing increases delinquent behavior rather than reducing it.

Capital Punishment

Introduction

Capital Punishment or as commonly known; the death penalty, has existed since before the founding of the United States. The name Capital Punishment borrows from the Latin name capitalis which used to “mean concerning the head” and thus this form of punishment initially used to be carried out by cutting off the head using a guillotine or some other means of severing depending on the cultural context. However there is much debate surrounding Capital Punishment as a form of criminal punishment because since the beginning of civilization, punishment of crime has always been deterrent and meant to change the criminal (Banner, 2002). But the inception of the death penalty brings with it the problem of no second chance for the criminal and also other ethical issues surrounding the matter such as the fact that human beings can change their ways. This paper examines the history and other factors regarding Capital punishment with the aim of enlightening the masses.

History of Capital Punishment

Capital Punishment is as old as civilization and thus it is difficult to pin point exactly which culture or society of the world pioneered it as every society has carried it out in one way or another. However, in the United States the history of capital punishment is heavily rooted in the British laws which in turn originated in the ancient laws that involved killing for personal retribution. The first recorded incidents of capital punishment as a legal form of punishment in the ancient world was in the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi written in 1700 BC that lists some crimes as punishable by death (Henderson, 2000). In the United States, the initial crimes in 1612 that were punishable by death were rather unfair and included stealing grapes trading with Indians and killing chickens. However, as the British colonies developed, so did the laws and the crimes punishable by death narrowed down to murder and other related crimes. However, they were punishable by death because it was believed that humans were intrinsically brutal and depraved and this had nothing to do with their environment (The Death Penalty Information Centre, 2010)

At the turn of the 20th century, incidences of capital punishment were on the decline as the definition of crime and its causes changed to that of being influenced by the environment and not a product of mere human depravity. There was also scientific evidence linking some of the crime to genetics and thus more blame was shifted from the criminals who were also perceived as victims of some sort leading to the further decline of Capital Punishment. But the first World War changed this trend as the Russian Revolution led to the need and reinstatement of capital punishment (The Death Penalty Information Centre, 2010). Since then, the debate regarding its abolishment has continued to rage till now with a heightened debate being experienced during the Civil Rights Movement age and occasional uproars being experienced to the present time.

The debate regarding Capital Punishment

The debate surrounding capital punishment in light of whether or not it should be abolished ranks in the same level of other major debates such as abortion. As voices from both the Civil Rights group and the religious movements bombard the walls of the criminal justice offices, the debate continues to rage. The main argument is that the government has no right over human life while the other arguments include the claim that crime is supposed to be not only eliminative of the behavior but corrective towards the criminal (The Death Penalty Information Center, 2010). In other words, it is supposed to make the criminal better and not get rid of him. The argument stands that the justice system should live up to its title of a correctional system and not a murdering house. There have been specific cases that have continued to reinforce the argument for the abolishment of capital punishment such as the case of Stanley Tookie Williams.

Opposition of the Justification for death penalty

The above case is just one of the many similar cases that the jury, apparently, thought warranted a death penalty. Yet, a specific case still haunts the consciences of many pro-death-penalty advocates because of the apparent changes that the accused underwent while awaiting execution. Stanley Tookie Williams (Nov 29, 2005) who was responsible for the creation of the Crips gang in California in the seventies is a case worth examining and re-examining. Though he was charged with the murder of three people, these crimes fade out in the light of his achievement during his 10 year sentence as he awaited the death penalty (Delfino, & Day, 2007). In those ten years, he authored eight children’s books all with the aim of stopping a violent gang life in young people. He also became the recipient of five Nobel peace prize nominations and a commendation letter from President George W Bush for his work and finally, a movie was made to portray his life called, “Redemption.” Though he was later executed by lethal injection in December 2005, the debate concerning the justification of his death still rages on to date as some people claim that his life was a success story and did not deserve the sentence.

As can be seen from the example above, it appears that the greatest conflict in the death penalty debate is not over whether it should be abolished or not but whether it is justified especially when cases like that of Williams continue to go against all logic and defy this justification (Delfino, & Day, 2007). There are several reasons that have been brought forth to justify the death penalty throughout the history of this penalty. This paper focuses on just a few of the pros that prove that the death sentence is an essential part of our justice system and is here to stay if justice is to prevail in future. Starting with the William’s case, he later self-confessed to all his crimes and claimed redemption and full conversion. His words were further backed up by his unusually good works and achievements in the few years preceding his death. There was absolutely no doubt that Williams had learnt his lesson and was a changed person, something that crime punishment is supposed to achieve in the first place, yet despite posing no threat to society, the sentence was still carried out. This is not justice by the very definition of the word but a blind following of the law.

The other reason why the death penalty is not justifiable and is usually an issue that is improperly approached is the focus of the constitution. There seems to be greater attention paid to the methods of carrying out the sentence than whether the sentence itself is justified or not. When the focus becomes whether the punishment should be in the form of execution or lethal injection, we lose the point and it no longer is an ethical issue (Dow, and Dow, 2002). For instance, the Supreme Court nullified many death sentences in 1972 under the reason that the form of punishment was cruel and unusual. However, this decision was reversed when new methods of execution that were less cruel were invented such as the lethal injection. This warrants the need for a fresh definition of the issue at hand, that is, whether the death (in whatever form and by whatever too) is justified and necessary or not (Dow, and Dow, 2002).

The strongest reason so far as to why many people still oppose the death penalty is the religious, ethical and moral implications surrounding the penalty. For instance, killing, be most basic definition of the word is considered a sin and a breaking of the Mosaic Law that clearly states that “thou shalt not kill”. This is a heavy issue since the right to give and take life is considered divine under any circumstances, thus the argument stands that it is unreasonable to break one law for the sake of fulfilling another one (Delfino, & Day, 2007). It is also viewed that although execution may be effective in removing killers from the society, it also brutalizes the society itself and may end up increasing the murder rate. But the final reason why the opponents of the death penalty find it unjustified to murder prisoners is when it is weighed against the cost of imprisoning them for life and picked as the cheaper option. This option demeans the value of human life as a budget commodity and ends up making the death penalty less of a punishment and more of a budget decision, thus degrading the value of human life and infringing on human rights.

The future of Capital Punishment

There are several justifications for the death penalty that have stood the test of time. The first one is the fact that it ensures the murderers who have been convicted will never kill again as most of the convicted felons are usually serial killers who have formed a habit of killing throughout many years and breaking from the habit is not guaranteed. The problem comes when there is the alternative of jailing the same convicts under a life sentence which will also prevent the murders. However, there are many other factors surrounding a life sentence as history has shown that many people end up being pardoned for other reasons such as good behaviors or presidential pardons (Dolan, 2005). Secondly, justice is not just about applying punitive actions to extract adequate reparations, but it is meant to maintain civil order. In other words, the punishment is not meant to just change the person who committed the crime but to ensure that the rest of the population will learn the lesson and thus reduce such crimes. The death penalty, in this case, serves to protect law abiding citizens against other criminals who may have the intention of carrying out similar crimes.

Thirdly, there has not been found a more adequate compensation for the victims of some heinous crimes such as murder and rape, thus severe consequences must be applied by the society in order to regain the trust of the victims that they failed to protect during the perpetrations of these crimes. Also, the religious arguments against the death penalty are rather weak and one sided as the same religious books that dictate their viewpoints also advocates the execution of murderers and other criminals depicted within the same book and thus, it is seen that there is a particular type of killing that can be carried out by the government as punishment and is justified even by these religious and moral laws (The Death Penalty Information Center, 2010). Finally, the argument against the death penalty that is based on the cruelty of the execution process no longer stands as there have been invented more subtle and less cruel ways of carrying out the sentences such as the lethal injection. Thus, although the debate has currently shifted from the cruelty of the sentences to the ethical basis of the sentence, it still stands that the death sentence is necessary for not only justice to prevail, but for some crimes to be accorded the weight they deserve.

Conclusion

In the end, it is the American citizens who must determine whether or not capital punishment should be continued. It is the society that owes the victims of crimes like murder and rape a debt from our failure to safeguard them while criminals must pay the debt owed to our society for the instability they created. There is no form of punishment that by the very standards of crime and punishment equals murder except the death of the murderer. Even though many may try to argue against this verdict based on moral or ethical grounds, it helps to revisit the origin of the death penalty now and then, lest we belittle the seriousness of some crimes.

References

Banner, S. (2002). The Death Penalty: An American History. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Henderson, H. (2000). Capital Punishment. Rev. ed. New York, NY: Facts on File.

The Death Penalty Information Center. (2010). Introduction to the Death Penalty. Retrieved November 26, 2010, from http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/part-i-history-death-penalty

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Michigan