Archive for November, 2011

Personal Statement

November 30, 2011

 

I have been brought up in California where the living standard is low. The community I grew up in is a capitalist community, where the gap between us (children from poor families) and the children from rich families is wide. The poor increasingly become poor while the rich become richer. It could be noticed in many ways such as the way we dress. Although the status difference could be easily told, we were lucky to mingle as we went to the same school. My family – mum, dad, my brother and myself – have adopted a simple and easy life but full of fun.

School life introduced me to the world of acting. During my lower education years, we performed several plays. Our teacher would assign roles according to the character traits of the team members. Coming from a poor family, I was always chosen to play the part of an old poor man or unattractive character living a simple life. I always wore torn shorts with mended patches and worn out shirt. Since I liked to perform, I acted with full passion instead of getting offended. In fact, I used to act out my role during supper with the rest of the family to show them how we were doing in school. Whenever I felt shy, mum would encourage me to go on.

After years in lower and middle grades, I frequent cinema showrooms to watch comedies, which I love. I even felt that stage acting is my dream. At that point, it was clear to me that I have a passion for stage performances. My mother also recognized my talent and decided to nurture it but financial limitations hindered her efforts.

In high school, I joined the drama club that has helped develop my talent. Whenever we compete on behalf of our school, we emerged as winners. I had even secured several awards from stage actions. During one stage performance in California Theatre Centre, I was recognized as the best actor with the best play qualities. That experience emboldened me to bring my talent broadly for the world to see. I joined other action and dancing groups such as the Orange County California Actors Group and Sears and Switzer. The drama club and these two action groups polished my acting techniques. For me, these environments were essential in shaping my talent and personality.

Whenever I reflect on our family status and the community where I grew up in, I tend to believe that they fired up my interest and talent in acting. My school intensified my talent by introducing me to the world of acting. I even find pleasure in recalling my tortured pair of shorts and worn out shirt. Although these are a symbol of poverty, they were the appropriate play costumes offered to me by my family and the community.

I now believe that acting has captured my heart. I have not yet attained the level of perfection but I am certain that my talent will scale higher after facing the challenges in college. I look forward to leave my community and explore new places where I can hone my talent and understand the craft better. Thanks to my experiences with my family in our poor community. I am confident that my talent will soon become a worthwhile career as I look forward to perform in stage shows and dances.

 

In a Million Words or Less

November 30, 2011

 

All cherish your guardian on earth! What a Mighty Mom! By recognition of your marvellous efforts from the wits in my head, sincerely you are one in a million. I am proud of your relentless efforts which have undisputedly put my child on track in terms of behaviour and performance. I fully support your endeavours in educating my child on all relevant areas in the British literature, as stated in your curriculum. That is why, I remain optimistic that you will furnish my child with all literature skills to enable him apply what he learns into real life.

On my part, I will support the child where I can with his research work, home works and projects to ensure that he gets a passing grade prior to his graduation. Financially I will support his enrolment, pay the entire fee and other library charges so that he gets access to all literature books, videos, printing services and other materials necessary for his learning.

Great mom! Matters of classroom attendance should be strictly adhered to and no absence should be compromised, unless stated otherwise. Nonetheless in case of any disciplinary action, please inform me to chat the way forward. On the films, I permit you that my child should have access to all relevant films provided that they comply or are related to their literature and other course-work objectives. In a nutshell, I am confident that through your great mastery in student education will remain evident, as always, in what the child aspires to become in the future. I am grateful of your work and I heartily support you, Mighty Mom!

Citation

Chesler, Nicole. British Literature-CP English IV. “In a Million Words or Less.” Gurdian

Response on Child Conduct. 2011.

 

READING BETWEEN THE LINES: A LOOK IN THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE EMPLOYER AND THE EMPLOYEE IN THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL RED CROSS

November 30, 2011


Introduction

How would the internal environment of an organization affect its external relationship with clients or stakeholders? This is the very dilemma of the Philippine Red Cross. For an organization that is primarily service oriented, ensuring quality and reliability is of utmost importance. But how will you ensure quality service when your organization is facing the challenging task of leading the multi-layered and multi-functioned levels of management into a single direction? How will the internal functions of an organization perform to ensure its external relationships are met with quality service and utmost reliability?

 

The Philippines is an archipelagic country with almost 7,100 islands and islets. It has three major island divisions (Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao), and has 79 provinces and more than 120 cities nationwide (CIA, 2011). The geography of The Philippines is a very challenging task when it comes to management. Unlike in other countries where innovations in Organizational Management are advanced, the Philippine Organizational environment in a nationwide scope has an uneven development in terms of accessibility. This is because of (1) cost efficiency and (2) logistical demands, making it difficult for companies to exercise equal development in the country. In effect, the mega urban centers like Metro Manila and Metro Cebu are the only ones enjoying the benefits of development (Addler and Gundersen, 2008).

But this problem is not only limited to results or output among organizations. The relationship among offices and regional chapters of different organizations are in fact affected with this problem. The Philippine National Red Cross, a non government organization with objectives of providing humanitarian services will be our case example to answer our question above. It is ideal because of its broad organizational structure ranging from various provinces and regions based on cities and even to the municipal level.

 

Research Method

As prescribed earlier, we will us the Philippine Red Cross as a case study. Though, there are limited references on how the nature of the organization works, the case study will capture the analysis through the efficacy of its performance and delivery of services through its annual report for 2009. The Case Study will involve a brief discussion on the (1) organizational framework of the PNRC vis-à-vis the delivery of services to its’ clientele, (2) steps taken to meet the challenge of service delivery and (3) recommendations in enhancing further its quality service.

 

The Philippine National Red Cross has 97 chapters nationwide, employing more than 5,000 regular staff. It has 7 regular services; (1) disaster management, (2) safety service, (3) community health, (4) social services, (5) national blood service, (6) Implementation of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and (7) Red Cross Youth. The PNRC has additional services depending on the capacity of the regional or provincial chapters. Each chapter is headed by the Chapter Administrator. The entire Philippine Red Cross is run by the Board of Governors and in each service, seats a service manager. The Secretary General serves as the over-all administrator of the whole organization. In each chapter, there is a set of Board of Directors, similar to the Board of Governors but is limited only to the jurisdiction of the chapter.

 

Source: redcross.org.ph

The function of the whole organization is to be auxilliary to the government in times of disasters, calamities and ensuring the proper implementation of the International Humanitarian Law. The function of each layer of management is to ensure the implementation of the functions of whole organization in respect to the management level. The function of each services is to provide the stakeholders, in this case, the people who benefit the services of the Red Cross, with quality and reliable service.

 

Local office versus National office

The highest policy making body of the Philippine Red Cross is the Board of Governors headed by their Chairperson while the local chapter is governed by the Board of Directors. The highest administrative position in the national level is the Office of the Secretary General, while in the local level it’s the Chapter Administrator.

 

Although the function of the Board of Directors is similar with that of the Board of Governors, decision making is usually held by the national office. Compelling the local chapters to perform and follow the directives of the Board of Governors, hence, the implementation and initiative is left to the local Board of Directors. But in this relationship alone the higher office is blinded already on current situations of the local chapters. In effect, policies may not be coherent or unparallel with the conditions in local chapters, especially in rural areas or provinces with limited access to resources. This is in conflict with the organizational framework of the Philippine Red Cross.

 

But the problem is not only limited to the relationship of both policy making bodies. Even in the administrative position in relation to their respective Board, either the Office of the Secretary General or the Chapter Administrators have conflict in terms of policy implementation and organizational output and result. With a concrete target at the end of every quarter, the uneven development among chapters is very much rampant. In effect, bringing uneven development to the organization as a whole. It is the function of the Chapter Administrator to ensure all policies are implemented, but it is also their function to find solutions to the problem of every policy. Hence, the relationship between the upper level management and the mid-level is already in conflict with the interest of each position.

 

The third layer conflict in the PNRC’s organizational structure is between the lower level management to the mid-level and the upper level management. The lower level management comprises the staff, volunteers and different service representatives and managers of the different services. The function of the lower level management is purely operational and implementation. But in cases of problem solving, they are the troubleshooters. In effect, they act as a funnel of all the problems in the upper level and mid-level management. But the inter-relationship of the lower level management is also affected by the function of each position in that level. For instance, the service representative in the disaster management service is tasked to provide training, but there is a service with a specific function of providing all sorts of training. In effect, the staff member of one service is over-lapping the performance of another service.

 

Grassroots Management

According to the annual report (2009) submitted by the Philippine Red Cross to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, it has initiated Project 143 to initially resolve the problem of its broad organizational structure. The concept of the Project 143 is grassroots based organizational management. In this project, there is a massive effort to recruit volunteers and perform the function of all services of the Red Cross in the community level. In this process, the Local Chapter shall consolidate all community based services and offer extension to the national program.

 

Through the Project 143 program, the organizational framework of the Philippine Red Cross was able to establish a connection with all other layers of the organization through their volunteers. But whether this resolves the internal coordination problem of the whole organization is still uncertain. The Project 143 is a method in itself, as it is still in its experimental phase. But as the annual report suggested, the Project 143 shows initial sign of progress as it is able to recruit more volunteers to augment the large number of services of the organization, catering to a larger target client (2009).

 

Conclusion

For every organization to perform its function simultaneously with its objectives, it should consider several factors; (a) geography/scope of territory, (b) function of services and specific task of every individual in the organization, (c) flexibility of policy and direct managerial control of the organization and (d) uniformity in orientation and organizational structure both in the national and local level.

 

Now that the dimension of organizations is rapidly changing, based on technology and available resources, it is important that the organizational framework should be adjusted as well (Morgan and Hunt 1994). This is to avoid inter-organizational conflict between layers of management, especially if the organization is result oriented and expecting output as performance basis.

 

But in establishing a service oriented organization, like the Philippine Red Cross, its’ internal environment is simultaneously paralleled with the large number of clientele it services. The process by which the Philippine Red Cross is involved in making each layer of management reach out to the grassroots is realized with the experimental program Project 143. But this program itself, as suggested in the report, is not a guarantee in ensuring quality service to its clientele.

 

On the other hand, the Project 143 proposed an alternative to the PNRC’s relationship with its clients through their services offered. Despite of the congruent framework of other departments, the Project 143 minimizes the whole organization into the grassroots level. This way, it makes the PNRC more accessible and within reach of their clients.

 

References

Morgan M. and Hunt S. (July 1994). The Commitment-Trust Theory of Relationship Marketing. The Journal of Marketing Research. (Vol. 58 No. 3).  20 – 38

 

Nancy J. Adler, Allison Gundersen (2008). International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior. 5th Ed. West Eagan, MN. Thomson Southwestern.

 

External Links

(2011). The World Fact Book. Central intelligence Agency (CIA). https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/rp.html

(2009). Philippine Programme Update. International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/

http://www.redcross.org.ph/

 

A brief paragraph of the summary of the research and your question. So it seems to me that this is your question.  How would the internal environment of an organization affect its relationship marketing?  I see how you look at how internal communication and power connections internally between levels or structures impacts decision making.  I am not sure I see how it affects relationship to the external community?  I think perhaps part of the problem is the same problem you had in the first paper.  The words “relationship marketing”  Typically refer to business to business relationships established to build both businesses or business to consumer relationships that build trust and loyalty to the business.  So I see the structure analysis here.  But I don’t see how it answers your question.  Perhaps I am missing a key component. 2/5%
Description the methods. What did you do to answer your question?  This includes who where the participants?  Why did you choose them?  This is where you describe the survey or interview or observation.   What questions did you ask and why in your survey or interviews?  Hopefully you can do this in half a page. The methods still seem unclear to me.  Is this a review of someone else review?  Did you decide on the topic and then use published information to describe the problem?  Writing a case study still should have a set of methods for how you gathered the information to write the study? 0/25%
Description of the project results.  This is just the facts.  You might want to use tables or charts to summarize your data.  You should also include text that explains what the charts mean.  If you did interviews, this is where you would list out the themes you found and give one or two examples of what participants said that led you to that theme. This may be 1 to 2 pages.  It depends on whether you asked a survey or did interviews.  A case study is an acceptable method.  You have a good description of international functions and how that is influenced by dispersed locations.  I just need to know how you got this information, 20/25%
Discussion is the “so what” part of the paper.  What does it mean?  How does it relate back to prior research?  What can you do with this knowledge as a manager? Hopefully you can do this in a half page as well.  You can do more here. You have an ok on conclusion.  I think it would have been better if you had stuck with your original question. 20/25%
Organization, support, language use, style, proofreading, design. The writing style is good. 20/20%

 

 

Case Study of the Causes of Problems in the Greasex Line of a Company and the Possible Quality Improvement Steps

November 30, 2011

 

In the high-technology sector, the Greasex line is specialized in manufacturing solvents packed in cans for degreasing. Nonetheless, the company had experienced some trouble with the new filling equipment. The main problem was the presence of high-pressure beyond the required upper specified limit in some second shift cans. However, these problems as identified from the case study are related to several areas. They include personnel such as the newly assigned operator from a different department. He lacked formal training and was also negligent as he was absent from his position of operation during the process. Moreover, Mac Evans; the line supervisor, after picking and tagging the cases as “hold”, went on his duties and did not supervise their progress. Although vetted by hand by Wayne Simmons, the first-line supervisor, they could still be of low quality and pose safety threats to the customers.

In addition, the machinery used was not initially designed to handle the process involving lower viscosity of Greasex, lacked preventive maintenance schedule. The appropriate equipment, which is the special filling head for the process, had been poorly and haphazardly adjusted. Materials used in production such as plastic nozzle can heads were designed on a rush order by a vendor and, therefore, had slight burrs on the inside rims causing fitting problems. They had to be forced on by increased pressure application at the filling head. Hamler; the quality control manager, on the other hand, does not check with maintenance to ensure adjustment of filling machine. With regards to the production plan, although the rejected Greasex cans were vetted thus delivered in time, Simmons was avoiding delays on the shipment schedule. He was supposed to send them to the rework area to ensure quality standards of productions. Measurement on the possible outcome of the process on the product design and packaging was not accurately done. This is because the contoured- can acted as a carrier creating suction from a high-pressure filling head. The management generally failed on its part as it hastily introduced Greasex to beat competition, therefore, producing a product with 50% standard rates.

Fishbone Diagram on the causes of Problems on Greasex Line

 

 

 

 

 

General Steps to be taken by Hank to set up a Continuous Improvement Program for the Company

The continuous improvement program for the company entails improvement of quality. The information provided by Morgantal, the general manager, concerning the lack of quality attitude would play an important role in his efforts. For solutions to be found, Hank, the new director of quality assurance needs to brainstorm with other managers and supervisors. He will have to use the Six-Sigma project method and Design, Measure Analyze, Improve and Control the processes of implementation. In general, it will put a stop to the downward quality-productivity-turnover trend and reduce the cost in terms of money spent. To achieve this, he has to start by talking to the staff in the production unit and personnel in general and to determine and study the fundamental cause of the problem.

After the study, he should outline a plan of action which should be communicated to the top managers. Subsequently, other staff will be met and informed on the new policies. This may also involve hiring and training of personnel. Some adjustments he will need to do are to ensure that people working on delicate areas have the required standards of training, and are present in their fields at all working times when required. The right equipment should be purchased and used for their specific intended jobs. This should in turn be used for the production of the right product. If any adjustments are to be made, it should be done by renowned and qualified places and workforce. A preventive maintenance schedule should, in addition, be prepared for all equipment.

Purchases and orders should be made early in advance to ensure quality standard material use in production. In case of such problems, the purchasing agents should not wait for the next time but notify the vendor immediately the problem is identified. The management should ensure that any new inventions to beat competition are tested for appropriateness and compliance with the related processes. They should also not be prone to trouble causing after implementation. Rejected stuff must be taken to the rework area to ensure standard quality instead of subjection to manual correction. However, any good work should be rewarded. The quality assurance department needs to make sure that a larger sample is taken for test all the time to ascertain that the products are safe for use.

There was a major problem of postponement of intentions and actions. Most personnel worked with their attitude in the future which Kolb should strive to change. To avoid future problems, mistakes should be reported and handled immediately they occurred so as to be solved appropriately. Furthermore, proper plans have to be made before the introduction of a new product and more so placing it for advertisement to make consumers aware of it. The company had to ensure that production would meet demand. It was also viewed that slightly below quality was Harmler. However, all personnel had to be notified on the need for high-quality production, safety and lack of compromise. This is more important than schedule and market share, and thus should be prioritized. He is bound to face some resistance at first, but should insist on the advantages on the plan in increasing quality and safety hence customer satisfaction as well as saving on costs.

 

 

References

Manufacturing Service Processes. Case Study. Hank Kolb. Director Quality Assurance: pp. 174

176

Cost efficient recruitment and selection strategies

November 28, 2011

 

Introduction

The human resource function plays a very important role in organizations.  Human resources are by far the most important asset that an organization can have if it chooses the right persons. In the course of an organization’s lifetime, its workforce keeps changing. Based on the employee turnover rate, the human resource manager will engage in staffing functions from time to time. The effectiveness and efficiency of the hiring process has an impact on the level of employee turnover. When the hiring policies are inadequate, the firm incurs huge cost in terms of wasted time and money as new trainees are recruited, selected and trained for the job. As such, an ineffective recruitment and hiring policy leads to wasted resources. To reduce such waste, it is important for a firm to develop a hiring strategy that is cost effective. As Rioux and Bernthal notes, the effectiveness of a hiring strategy determines the ability of a firm to hire and retain competent personnel.

Resourcing and development

Each and every organization desires to achieve better results always. This can only be achieved by having the required manpower to accomplish upcoming and scheduled organizational task. Employee resourcing ensures that an organization has appropriate skilled people. The aim of resourcing strategy is to ensure that the organization identifies its personnel need both now and in the future, and tries to meet them through internal and external recruitment s as well as employee development (loosemore, Dainty and Lingard 2003). Employee resourcing is categorized under human resource planning function. With effective management, employee resourcing can help the organization to achieve organizational flexibility by ensuring access to full range of skills that can be utilized for longer term strategic planning and immediate response to upcoming problems and arising opportunities. Employee resourcing can enhance can help to achieve job satisfaction, employee development and career management process (loosemore, Dainty and Lingard 2003). Employee resourcing is concerned with many activities a part from recruitment and selection. It is concerned with many areas that ensure an organization meets its needs for certain required skills and behaviours.

Cost efficient recruitment and selection strategies

The success of an organization is highly dependent on the quality of the workforce. To obtain the most qualified employees, organizations have recently adopted a recruitment and selection strategy that is effective, cost efficient and easy to align with the overall organizational strategy. This strategy is employee outsourcing (Nolot, 2011 and Klaas et all, 2006. This entails contracting the services of a competent recruitment and selection firm to offer these services to the firm as it concentrates on other areas of the organization’s operations, for a small company like ours, cutting cost is important if the firm is to survive in the highly volatile software developing industry. Thus the outsourcing strategy is the most cost effective strategy for optimal hiring. Other than leaving the organization’s human resource department with enough time to handle other HR functions, the firm offering these outsourcing services is a qualified firm that has devoted its time to this task entirely. Thus, the chances of making a misjudgement in finding an employee for the given post are very low. Moreover, the competition that is prevalent in this new yet thriving business has ensured that the cost of acquiring these services is very reasonable and affordable. However, this strategy cannot be effective if the firm does not give maximum support to the service provider. This strategy calls for the active participation of the HR department in a number of areas.

The role of such a strategy is to enhance an organization’s ability to hire and retain qualified employees. More so, the recruitment process needs to be attract only competent candidates, not over qualified or under qualified candidates. Reducing cost is crucial in such a strategy and the human resource manager has the role of designing and ensuring implementation of such a strategy. For the process to be cost effective, it has to highlight the importance of a clear job analysis and specification. The current job market if filled with job seekers and an unclear job specification can lead to numerous applications. To avoid this, the firm, through the human resource department will engage in a rigorous exercise aimed at identifying the requirements of a job in detail. For instance, in the current vacant position, there will be specifications on age since the firm requires young software engineers.

A detailed job analysis will help job seekers to easily identify whether they fit the advertised job. Moreover, it will help the interviewers to easily tell the extent to which a candidate is fit for the selection and even for hiring. Therefore, the first step in this strategy is to give a detailed description of each job or vacant position in the firm.  This will identify the job design and evaluation criteria. By so doing, the firm will be able to identify probable future jobs and candidates thus avoiding wastage of time in establishing such requirements. In addition, a detailed job description will help in avoiding time wastage since likely candidates are identified beforehand.

Since the recruitment process can identify candidates from within or from outside the organization, the strategy will entail employee participation in the recruitment process. As noted by Griffin (2011) employee involvement has a lot of benefits. First, employees have firsthand experience of the job and know the type of skill required in handling the task. This way, they are able to describe the job in more job related terms that will easily grab the attention of qualified candidates while leaving out the under qualified lot. In the actual selection process, employee involvement helps to identify overqualified candidates who may become dissatisfied with the job soon after employment and leave either willingly or unwillingly resulting in increased turnover.

Thirdly, employees can identify potential qualified candidates reducing the tasks involved in recruitment. This will be used for some technical posts where employees will be allowed to recommend candidates for certain posts based on their networking experience. Some of the tasks that the firm’s HR will engage in to promote quick recruitment will include determining in advance the remunerations that the firm will offer for each job and recording and storing the particulars of various job positions and policies on employment equity and criteria (Richardson). The issue of remuneration is especially important since most qualified candidates refuse job offers due to unsatisfactory compensation (Bernthal).

In assisting the outsourcing service provider to come up with a manageable list of qualified candidates, the HR department will continuously keep in touch with the firm to give assistance on areas such as the organizational culture and values of the firm (Evans et al, 2007). This is because the right candidate is one who is highly likely to be comfortable and to fit in with the culture of the firm. Such assistance will involve the participation of the HR officials in some of the interviewing sessions to ensure that the firm conducts it in a manner that is likely to produce the required outcome.

Costs associated with hiring that will be reduced through outsourcing strategy

Outsourcing these services will save costs in more than one area. Other that the recruitment and selection related costs, the firms offering these services also offer payroll management services hence reducing costs in this area. Moreover, by ensuring that only competent persons are hired, the ratio of operation costs to productivity reduces due to a motivated productive employee base (The Times 100, 2011). This is mainly because as the turnover reduces, the employees will become more skilled in their profession. This strategy will help the firm to maximize on the service provider’s technology and expertise and to get international competent employees at minimal cost. It will also help to do away with fixed hiring costs that are unnecessarily incurred due to the unpredictable nature of hiring needs (Byham:13).

Costs of hiring can be much hidden such that they are not carefully managed when recruitment and hiring is done internally. Some firms engage in informal interview sessions where potential employees are interviewed in informal settings such as restaurants. Such interviews lead to refreshment expenditures that make the hiring process expensive. Moreover, internally operated recruitment and selection exercise may necessitate use of several advertisement mediums such as newspapers and internet to reach the required target. When this job market is international in nature, the costs of advertising go up. Another cost lowered by outsourcing is the cost of flying in such international candidates for evaluation and testing. In addition, when the evaluation and assessment process has to be conducted on all candidates, the costs increase. However, when the firm develops a lasting relationship with an outsourcing service provider, these costs will go down due to the economies of large scale recruitment that it enjoys. Moreover, such firms have a large accessible database of qualified candidates based on previous evaluations done. As Hudson (2010) notes, such firms maintain well updated and relevant databases of all employees that they have screened as well as resumes of potential candidates who have registered with. In this case, it the strategy will save the firm a lot of time and money which is the main objective of developing this strategy.

It is however important to note that the cost of using these services can outdo those of internal recruitment and selection exercise if the firm is not chosen well. As such, before selecting the firm to contact with, the software firm will conduct a critical review of the service providers in the market to understand the average costs of outsourcing, the level of screening and selection skill of the firm’s professionals and the flexibility of the contract terms to ensure that the firm will be committed to helping the business to meet its cost efficiency goal in hiring and in overall operations.

Other benefits that will accrue from outsourcing include flexibility of the managerial focus on other HR issues as well as increased autonomy from tight organizational policies. It will lead to a more flexible operations environment where the firm will attain a competitive advantage and greater creation of value in each process of software development (Naikrihub.com, 2011). The firm will however have to exercise maximum care to ensure that the process does not lead to divulging of critical inside information to outside parties who may knowingly or unknowingly expose it to our its competitors (Belcourt, 206).

There a number of studies that supports the outsourcing of recruitment and selection services. According to Ordanini and Silvestri (2008), this service plays a very important role in determining the quality of the firm’s workforce. As such, deciding to outsource these services may lead to high quality of work due to the expertise of the service provider. They also note that outsourcing recruitment and selection services increases the firm’s resource base, based on the resource based view of the firm. In addition, this strategy is highly linked to the firm’s cost reduction strategy since it leads to reduction of costs such as training costs and adverting costs.

Ume (2008) notes that this strategy has benefited several firms a great deal. He however warns that this strategy must be coupled with other HR strategies to avoid the event that a firm loses competence and ability to innovate. If the management does not monitor the recruitment and selection process closely, some aspects of its organizational needs may be undermined. Thus, in the implementation of this strategy, the HR manager will be closely involved to ensure that the needs of the particular job and the organization as whole are put into consideration. This will ensure that the hired persons have the right mix of skill and temperament to handle the job. Such aspects will go a long way in improving the firm’s ability to retain its competent employees. Moreover, better retention rates will allow the firm to focus on career building which in turn will lead to a contented workforce with high productivity.

This article highlights major companies that have in the past used the strategy to reduce hiring costs and increase quality of work. One such company is Ford Company limited that used the services of The Outsourced Training Company to maximize on the skills available in the UK resource market. This service allowed the firm to attain the best workforce while saving the hassle of going through the many applications that would have landed on the HR manager’s desk. Another company highlighted is the M&G Investments in UK that has in the past reduced hiring costs by outsourcing its employees through the Origin HR Company. The managers of these firms assert that this strategy is highly beneficial which indicates that it is the best strategy to adopt in the software company.

Bracken (2011) also supports the recruitment outsourcing strategy of engaging in cost efficient hiring process by noting that the strategy reduces the cost of each single hire, reduces time of filling out vacant positions and provides access to effecting hiring technology without having to make extra investments. The efficiency of the outsourcing strategy includes the excellence involved in the whole process from job profiling all the way to training of new employees for the particular task. Given the sensitivity of the current job position, outsourcing will play a major role in ensuring that the young software engineers hired are well suited for the role and the organization.

 

 

Conclusion

In reducing cost of hiring, firms are now outsourcing this service from more competent organizations. This strategy will help the firm to reduce the number of job finalists that are interviewed for a job thus reducing the time and financial resource spent on the hiring process. Moreover, outsourcing will lead to hiring of the right persons thus increasing quality of work and reducing employee turnover at the advantage of the firm. This strategy not only leads to quick, cost efficient hiring of the right persons for the 5 vacancies and future positions, it will also open up the software firm to strategic business alliances. Since recruitment and selection outsourcing firms use different software to screen and assess candidates, the competent employees employed through the outsourcing process will be engaged in developing such software which will then be sold to the firm at a subsidized price.

References

Belcourt, M., 2006. Outsourcing – the benefits and the risks. Human resource management

Review, Vol. 16 (2), pp 269-279. Available at:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053482206000234

Bernthal P. R.  Recruitment and Selection. Available at:

http://www.ddiworld.com/DDIWorld/media/trend-research/recruitment-and-selection_ere_es_ddi.pdf?ext=.pdf

Bracken, C., 2011. Using Recruitment Process Outsourcing to Reduce Cost Per Hire.

Available at: http://iq.callme.io/2011/09/28/using-recruitment-process-outsourcing-to-reduce-cost-per-hire/

Byham, W. C. The outsourcing question, p 13. Available at:

http://www.ddiworld.com/DDIWorld/media/white-papers/outsourcingquestion_wp_ddi.pdf?ext=.pdf

Evans et al, 2007. Effective recruitment strategies and practices: addressing skills needs and

gender diversity challenges in ITEC and related sectors. Available at: http://www.uoc.edu/symposia/genere_tic/pdf/pres/Recruitment_Strategies__Practices-ebook.pdf

Griffin, D., 2011. Employee Selection Strategy. Available at:

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/employee-selection-strategy-2539.html

Hudson, 2010. 3 Ways Recruitment Process Outsourcing Reduces Operational Cost.

Available at: http://hudsonrpo.com/node.asp?kwd=3-way-rpo-reduces-cost

Klaas et al, 2006. HR outsourcing and its impact: the role of transaction costs.

Personnel Psychology. available at:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1744-6570.1999.tb01816.x/

Loosemore, M. Dainty, A. & Lingard, H. 2003, Human resource management in construction industry: strategic and operational approaches, Taylor & Francis, New York.

 

Nolot, 2011. Recruitment Process Outsourcing. Available at: http://www.nolot.net/services-

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Management, Vol. 19, (2), pp 372-391. Available at: http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=3&hid=19&sid=d8d0ca5c-5d56-4faf-810f-efd76eb0e6ea%40sessionmgr4

Richardson, M. A. RECRUITMENT STRATEGIES: MANAGING/EFFECTING THE

RECRUITMENT PROCESS. Available at: http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/un/unpan021814.pdf

Rioux, S. M. & Bernthal P. Recruitment and Selection Practices. Available at:

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A fiscal outlook for Poland using Generational Accounts

November 22, 2011

Abstract

This paper shall critique and analyze the strengths and weakness of the generational accounting assumptions and conclusions made in the research done by Jablonowski, Muller, and Raffelhuschen (2010) regarding Poland’s future fiscal scenario. The aim of the paper is to look into the current methodology and frameworks used in the analysis of generational accounts in certain countries. We explain why generational accounting measures may not sufficiently capture future fiscal situations. This paper shows that while generational accounts may be useful for policy-making purposes, current theoretical models still need some further fine tuning to ensure that the results of such analysis are reliable and credible. The limitation and future extensions of the said research are also briefly discussed and analyzed.

Table of Contents

 

 

 

  1. Introduction

Many developed countries have experienced steady decline in their population and fertility growth rates. This phenomenon can significantly affect the fiscal situation of many economies as the public sector scrambles to finance health care costs of its ageing population amidst the declining labor force. Moreover, current government policies especially on taxation and social security spending have the potential to shift current tax burden from one generation to the next. Fiscal policy, especially in relation to taxation, is a very sensitive issue especially among politicians and voters. Basically all types of people, regardless of class and nationality, would prefer lower taxes, better benefits, and more safety nets. Politicians are aware of this and are thus wary about raising taxes or cutting down on social security budget for fear of facing public backlash and loss of electoral support (The Economist, 2011).However, the current debt debacle in the US and the ageing population in many developing countries such as Japan have highlighted the risk of an economy going into default due to failure of the government to consider the impact of their policies on future economic sustainability.

Central banks and policy makers often use conventional budget measures such as deficits and national debt as primary indicator of the current economic health of the country (Gokhale, 2008). Very rarely do they go beyond and incorporate future impact of policies in the presentation of country statistics.

Economists and social scientists are now debating whether current macroeconomic accounting is enough to measure the country’s deficit or should this measure be more comprehensive and show how the future would look like given the current policies and population scenario (CBO, 2011).

The research done by Jablonowski, Muller, and Raffelhuschen (2010) attempt to picture Poland’s future fiscal situation using generational accounting techniques. Generational accounting is a word coined by Auerbach, Gokhale, and Kotlikoff (1991) to describe a framework for measuring “fiscal burdens facing current and future generations”. The intention is to create a meaningful statistics that will enable policymakers to determine whether existing policies are sustainable or not. At the same time, it offers an insight on how much a person is likely to pay in taxes in the future given his/her age (O’Neill, 1995).

The paper under review shows a distressing picture for the future of Poland. The country’s future fiscal situation is said to contain substantial imbalances that can hurt future generations. Moreover, the authors extended the use of generational accounting theory and analyzed the sustainability of existing social structures on health care and other government benefit plans. The authors conclude that many of these programs will be unable to meet future demands given the ageing population and the decreasing labor force of the economy if not sufficient measures are undertaken today to correct such weakness.

The goal of this critical reviewis to look deeper into the assumptions made by the author in coming up with the generational account output for Poland. The frameworks used and the robustness of data employed shall be the main focus of this writer’s critique.

This review shall be organizes as follows: Chapter 1 shall contain the review’s introduction. Current literature regarding generational accounting shall then be discussed in the next section. Chapter 3, on the other hand, shall contain the critical analysis of the paper and possible extensions of the said research. Finally, the conclusions of the critical review are presented in the last chapter.

  1. Literature Review

The idea that current fiscal policies have impact on future generations is not a new concept. Feldstein (1974) was the first pointed out the likelihood of generational debt transfers under the assumption of a balanced government budgets in his paper “Social Security, induced retirement, and aggregate capital accumulation”. However, it was only when Auerbach, Gokhale, and Kotlikoff (1991) developed the generational accounting terminology when such framework for measuring fiscal condition gained widespread attention.

Since then, several researches were conducted featuring some of the most developed nations in the world today. Raffelhuschen, Walliser, and Leibfritz (1999) applied generational accounting principles in analyzing future situation of Germany. Their findings suggest that the country is severely imbalanced and will require substantial corrective measure to ensure the sustainability of its social security system. The same conclusions were reached by Sartor, Kotlikoff, and Leibfritz (1999) who studied the generational impact of current macroeconomic policies of Italy.

In the case of Canada, Oreopoulos, Kotlikoff, and Leibfritz (1999)found current fiscal situation to have neutral effects on future generations. Other countries such as Thailand, New Zealand, and Sweden, meanwhile registered negative generational imbalances. This suggests that their current policies are enough to sustain current programs and changes in demographic population and at the same time, lead to lower tax obligations for future generations.

The researches above and most of the existing literature on generational account measurement uses the framework and formula developed by Auerbach, Gokhale, and Kotlikoff (1991) which uses net present value concepts under zero-sum constraints. The model computes for the present discounted value of future government purchases which is paid out by current net financial stock, future payments by current population and payments contributed by future generations. The model also assumes prospective population profile in the computation for the present value of tax payments of current and future generations.

However, the model used presents some critical challenges. Computation of net financial stock, for example, ignores the effect of real assets to isolate the effect of the need to include rental payments into the equation and limit the analysis solely on the impact of tax collection. However, in the real world, contributions of these real assets can significantly affect the fiscal situation of a particular economy.

While some countries have already adopted the use of generational accounting, the methodology still receives some criticisms. Gokhale (2008), for example notes that current generational framework does not consider the economic benefits derived from current government purchases which may be able to offset future fiscal imbalance. Another criticism is the current model’s disregard for policy adjustments that the public sector can implement in the future. These adjustments may change altogether the data assumptions and results derived.

In response to these criticisms, Gokhale and Smetters (2003) devised a new model which eliminates the need to involve hypothetical assumptions regarding future policies. In their paper, they cited certain desirable characteristics that will help guide future researches regarding generational accounting methodology. According to the two, generational models should be forward looking and incorporate future policy adjustments in its assumption. Data sets must be calculated in its entirety, preferably in terms of perpetuity and should encompass the entire operations of the government and not just parcel of it. Finally, the data to be used needs to be conceptually straightforward and easy to understand and communicate.

Some economists, on the other hand, criticize the uniform discount rates applied in the model. As different time periods feature changing profile and risks, applicable rates of discounts should therefore vary as Klumpes and Liyan pointed out (2010). Uniform rates cannot be applied for current and future generations as they face different risks and economic situations during their time.

Moreover, projections of future costs of social services are also based on a lot of uncertain assumptions which tends to weaken the result of the model (Urban Institute, 2010). Changes in the assumptions in the real world may render the analysis useless.

The current paper under review uses much of the theoretical model developed by Auerbach, Gokhale, and Kotlikoff (1991) in analyzing the generational effects of current fiscal policy. The authors extended the framework further and developed an isolated sub-system model to analyze the sustainability of selected sectors in Poland specifically in the areas of pension, health care, social security, and education.

  1. Critical analysis

The research content is analyzed based on the robustness of the data used and the overall strength of the analysis derived from the result of the generational accounts devised by the authors.

    1. Two Model Analysis

The paper analyzed the generational accounts of Poland in two ways. First, it looks into the generational impact of current policies and population on selected sub-systems (i.e. NDC pensions, other types of social insurance provided by Social Insurance Institution (ZUS), social insurance scheme for farmers, civil servants’ social benefits system, health care system and education). After doing a separate sub-system review, the authors went on to summarize the generational effect on the whole system. The conclusions for both frameworks are the same but it was more mixed on the first method than in the second. While the paper notes that education budgets are likely to be sustainable, pension programs, disability funds, insurance and health care were found to be not.

One good thing about the paper is that it provided sufficient explanation as to the assumptions used in the two analyses. However, it is quite hard to reconcile at one glance the relationship between the two methodological frameworks. While both theoretical models lead to practically the same conclusion, that Poland’s fiscal situation is not sustainable, introducing two frameworks to analyze the same topic only adds confusion. The graph below taken from the paper further explains this point.

 

Figure 1. Isolated Sub-System Approach for Pension and Disability Fund

Figure 2. Generational Accounts analysis of the whole system

The graph above for example both shows that Poland’s whole fiscal system and pension and disability plan are unsustainable in the long-term. However, their shape is very much different from each other. The paper did not provide sufficient explanation why such may be the case.

Moreover, the sub-system approach, in particular, suffer from too much rigidity since it does not factor external inflows which are characteristic of many social schemes such as pension, insurance, health care and education.

    1. Growth and discount rates used

The research applied RCG15 standard growth rate of 1.5% and real long-term interest rate of 3.0%. This is significantly different from the figures published by CSO (2009) reflecting the per capita GDP growth rates from 1998-2008 of 1.9% and discount rate as indicated by the yield of Poland’s ten-year government bond which was 3.4% at the time the paper was written. This could have a significant implication on the outcome of the model especially if we are considering the magnitude of imbalances at the long-end of the curve (Geske, 2007). As seen in the research by Gopalakrishnan and Sugrue (1995), Piana (2002), and Harper (2010), changes in the assumption in yield curve can lead to different conclusions.

There is also again the question regarding the correctness of using a standard return and discount rate in projecting generational income and expenses. As stated in other literature, a single discount rate tends to distort the results of the GA analysis since each time period is subject to different risk scenarios and fiscal considerations.

Research Extensions

The authors attempted to portray the sustainability of selected sub-systems in the Polish economy. Most of the existing literature focused only in analyzing the whole sector. Future research especially those focusing on a specific sub-system can benefit from the methodology developed by the authors.

While there is a good attempt at analyzing generational accounts of isolated system, the result of such analyses were not sufficiently tied together with the system-wide results. It would have been good had the author linked and explain why such variations exists between the sub-system model and the whole system outcomes.

Moreover, future generational account analysis could also benefit from incorporating some sensitivity analysis. Most of the literature reviewed pretty much used one rate in their analysis. Doing a sensitivity analysis will help reduce the opposition being raised regarding the use of one rate in discount and growth rate projections and at the same time, give policy makers a working range to guide their decisions (Asian Development Bank, 2008).

  1. Conclusions

Generational accounting is a growing discipline that is likely to prosper more in the coming years. The problem on population ageing and increasing budget deficit is something that does not only concern today’s population but other generations as well. Using generational accounting indeed has its benefits as it help policy makers picture out how much tax burden future citizens will likely shoulder given today’s fiscal policies. However, the overall theoretical model still needs some further fine tuning to ensure that the results of such analyses are reliable and credible.

 

 

 

Reference List

Jablonowski, Janusz, Muller, Cristoph, and Raffelhuschen, Bernd (2010). “A fiscal outlook for Poland using Generational Accounts”. Forschungszentrum Generationenverträge No.47 – October 2010

 

Gokhale, Jagadeesh (2008). “The new Palgrave dictionary of Economics”, Second Edition. Palgrave Macmillan

 

The Economist (2011). “Generational accounting definition”. Retrieved from: http://www.economist.com/economics-a-to-z/g#node-21529945

 

US Congressional Budget Office (2011). “Who pays and when? An assessment of generational accounting”. Retrieved from: http://www.cato.org/pubs/articles/gokhale-

 

Auerbach, Alan J., Jagadeesh Gokhale, and Laurence J. Kotlikoff (1991). “Generational accounts: A meaningful alternative to deficit accounting iIn Tax policy and the economy”. MIT Press, Cambridge, Ma.

 

Geske, Teri (2007). “Back to basics: Key Rate Durations”. On the Edge Interatctive Date Fixed Income Analytics NewspaperQrt. 3

 

O’Neill, June (1995). “Who pays and when? An assessment of generational accounting”. Central Budget Office November 1995

 

Feldstein, M. (1974). “Social Security, induced retirement, and aggregate capital Accumulation”. Journal of Political Economy 82

 

Raffelhuschen, Bernd, Jan Walliser, and Willi Leibfritz (1999). “Unification and Aging in Germany: Who Pays and When?” National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

 

Asian Development Bank (2008). “Chapter 7: Sensitivity and Risk Analysis”. Handbook for the economic analysis of water supply projects. Asian Development Bank, Manila.

 

Sartor, Nicola, Laurence J. Kotlikoff, and Willi Leibfritz (1999). “Generational Accounts for Italy” (p. 299 – 324) National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

 

Oreopoulos , Philip, Laurence J. Kotlikoff, and Willi Leibfritz Canada (1999). “On the Road to Fiscal Balance” National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA

 

Gokhale, Jagadeesh (2011). “Who pays and when? An assessment of generational accounting”. Retrieved from: http://www.cato.org/pubs/articles/gokhale-

 

Gokhale, J. and Smetters, K. (2003). “Fiscal and Generational Imbalances: New Budget Measures for New Budget Priorities”. American Enterprise Institute, Washington, DC

 

Klumpes, Paul and Tang, Liyan (2010). “Shortcomings of government financial management: a generational accounting critique”. International Journal on Government Financial Management

 

Piana, Valentino (2002). “Interest Rates Analysis”. Retrieved from: http://www.economicswebinstitute.org/glossary/interest.htm

 

Harper, David (2010). “Financial Statements: Pension Plans”. Retrieved from: http://www.investopedia.com/university/financialstatements/financialstatements9.asp#axzz1Yjomjrtd

 

Gopalakrishnan, V. and Timothy Sugrue (1995). “The determinants of actuarial assumptions under pension accounting disclosures”. Journal of Financial and Strategic Decisions Vol.8, No.1 Spring 1995

 

Urban Institute (2010). “Taxes and the Budget: What is Generational Accounting?”. Retrieved from: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/background/taxes-budget/generational-accounting.cfm

Novel Renaissance

November 22, 2011

The play Patient Griselda has been changed many times by many authors like Boccasio and Cervante. The story, written in the middle ages, depicts the suffering of a woman in the society (Marcote 2007: 5). The themes of gender and marriage have been illustrated differently in these authors’s version of Patient Griselda. Moreover, the status of women in the society has been depicted differently by both authors. This essay seeks to look into the works of the three authors Boccasio, Chaucer and Cervantes to discover how through the themes of gender and marriage, the role of women of the society has been illustrated in these works.

Written by Boccasio in the 14th century, Decameron comprises of many tales and is often narrated as a frame story. There are various stories in the book that have catastrophic to erotic themes. Moreover, stories that contain jokes that are practical to tales that have lessons about life have been illustrated in the novel. The story of patient Griselda has been revealed in the Giovanni’s Decameron. Boccasio manages to write the story without portraying the woman as a rebel against the harsh living conditions in marriage. A nobleman known as Marquis puts the love of his woman to the test in order to prove if she could fulfill her marital vows (Boccaccio 1886: 283). Maquis ensures that he subjects Griselda to harsh living conditions so that he refuses him. The first action that he does is to subject her to verbal abuse. Next, Marquis ensures that she is separated from her kids. Additionally, he ensures that she knows that he will murder them since as a man; he has the power to carry out the action. Marquis then takes her back to her parents. After this, the nobleman recalls her back and announces his wedding to a young woman aged twelve years. Finally, he reveals that his new wife is the real Griselda and that she is his daughter (Boccaccio 1886: 309). He then states that his son is his real child. Finally, the noble man manages to forgive Griselda and welcomes her back to their matrimonial home.

In Giovanni’s society, women have been placed in a lower position than their male counterparts. Women are mostly not permitted to carry out any function that is noteworthy except taking care of children and being a wife. Despite all the actions of her husband, Griselda manages to still respect, honor and be affectionate to her husband. This clearly reveals how the society perceived the roles to be carried out by women. Women were considered as lower beings that had to subject themselves to their husbands. The various humiliations that Griselda’s husband put her through simply revels the kind of treatment that women in that place faced. Women were battered by the spouses, their children taken away from them even though they were the mothers (Boccaccio 1886: 300). This nature depicts how women in the society were expected to be patient through everything that was placed on them as this was considered a noble character.

In the story, the behavior of the nobleman, Gualtieri, has been justified in the eyes of the society. In the marriages, husbands did not value their wives and considered them to have no opinion over household affairs. In the story, Gualteiri tested his wife by taking her children without considering her opinion. Secondly, he tested his wife’s faithfulness to the marital vow without consulting her opinion on the issue (Boccaccio 1886: 83). Moreover, he went ahead and wanted to marry a young woman without consulting his wife’s opinion. In this society, marriage depended on the ability of the woman to keep her marital vows and not the man. Men are liberal and could get away with anything because they had power over women. Since Griselda underwent all these humiliations and was able to successfully come through strong, she is considered as a noble woman in the society.

Geoffrey Chaucer is known to be a figure that has been very influential in the history of literature. His work dubbed “Canterbury tales,” has been restructured so that it can appeal to a contemporary audience (Marcote 2007: 6). With that perspective, Patient Griselda is portrayed as a woman who can be a source of inspiration for her endurance. The story is exactly like Giovanni’s Decameron with slight variations. Both authors desired to depict what true love entails and encourage other individuals suffering in their marriage. In Canterbury tales, Chaucer continues to retell the story of Griselda. In Chaucer’s side of the story, Griselda is a peasant who ends up getting married to a man called Walter. Despite being an outstanding wife, and being loved by many people, Walter decides to test the obedience of his wife. The sequence of the story relates more to Giovanni’s Decameron’s version of patient Griselda.

Understanding the theme of gender and marriage in Chaucer’s version of patient Griselda requires that we look into the society’s perspective on women in the middle ages. In this society, there were various constraints that shaped the life of women and men in that society. In the story, Walter is portrayed as a man who is desired by all women. This is illustrated in the nicknames that people address him (Marcote 2007: 25). Moreover, they employ courtesy towards him as they appeal for him to choose them as a spouse. This depicts how men are perceived in the society by women. Like Giovanni’s Decameron, women see men as their heroes and are portrayed as the only beings that are passionate about marriage. Walter only agreed to marry Griselda due to pressure from his subjects. This is because they dreaded the fact that Walter would die without leaving an heir.

Like Giovanni’s Decameron, men accepted marriage only for children. Women were viewed as objects of producing the children that were required by the society. This is why men had the right to take children away from their wives without asking for their permission. Moreover, Griselda had to prove that she was not barren by giving birth hoping that a male heir would be produced. During that era, marriage was perceived as a sacred bond that subjected women to be obedient to their spouses at all times. In this situation, an author known as Condren argues that Griselda has been employed by Chaucer to reveal the nature of Christ(Marcote 2007: 28). This is seen in the way she is portrayed by the author as a person who is sent from heaven and born in a stall where oxen stay. Walter has been illustrated by Chaucer as God in that he ha authority and everything subjects itself under him. In another case, Walter has been portrayed to be like Satan in that he coerces Griselde to carry out his wishes. He does this by reminding Griselde of her past as a poor peasant and her marital vows.

Like in Giovanni’s Decameron, Chaucer illustrates women as people who are in search of their position in society. At the beginning of the marriage, Griselda demonstrates his ability to become a great mediator as she is able to settle disputes amongst his husband’s subjects. They have no ability to become great wives that is why they have to prove their worth before men. This is clearly depicted when Walter chooses to test his wife’s love towards him. The woman has no ability to offer herself liberally to her suitors hence has to wait to be chosen. Eventually when their desire to get married is fulfilled, the man who was once a perfect suitor turns into an ugly monster (Marcote 2007: 28). A woman from a poor background had a much harder time proving her worth in the society. Griselda’s son was taken away from her simply because of her poor background. The society could not consider her worthy to produce a child that could become an heir. In both stories, women are considered to have more endurance than men. Women are capable of tolerating adverse conditions in order to prove their love and worth in the society. In addition, whenever women face harsh conditions they are usually in no condition to deliver themselves from their agony. In Chaucer’s story, Griselda manages to endure all the hardships and maintain calmness in the process.

In the novel Cervantes, a man named Don Quixote decides to travel in order to find glory and honor because of a woman named Dulcinea. He gives up studying many books on Chivalrous knights in order to be accepted by a woman. In this book, a man has been employed to depict the story of patient Griselda. In this search, Don Quixote understands that the world lacks a sense of beauty and purpose. These two things are also the things that he lacks in his life. Before he understands how the world really is, he manages to cause harm to a lot of people (Echevarria 2005: 56). However, his friend Sancho manages to assist him to see the world in a clear perspective. In this story, the author manages to reveal that men also go through the same thing that women undergo. In the other two stories, women were depicted to be the only ones who lacked a sense of purpose and direction. In this story, a man has been depicted to lack such and goes through the same thing that the two women in the other stories went through.

In Cervantes’ Don Quixote, different women have been employed to depict different attributes about women. This is contrary to Boccaccio and Chaucer’s works. In the novel, the first woman to be described is a farm girl known as Aldonza Lorenzo. A man named Don Quixote manages to fall in love with Lorenzo and in turn ends up performing crazy things because of love. For instance, he makes men prostrate before her commanding them to confess that she is beautiful (Echevarria 2005: 44). This is done in spite of the men never seeing the girl. This author manages to depict women as masculine in that they are able to make men perform crazy things. In Giovanni’s and Chaucer’s version of patient Griselda, women are portrayed to be beggars of love and attention. In Cervantes, men are depicted to be the ones who carry out crazy actions because of love. This is clearly illustrated in Don Quixote’s obsession of Dulcinea. Despite her social status, Lorenzo has managed to rise and become a woman to be respected in the society because of love.

Throughout this whole story, men are bowing down to a woman who is invisible to their naked eye. This fact is agreeable in all the three works where a woman is depicted to be an individual that has much strength that the society has not yet realized. Historically, women have been invisible species, always living behind the shadows of men. In this case, Don Quixote subjects himself to harsh conditions in order to prove his love for a woman (Echevarria 2005: 56). For example, Don Quixote’s hunger to find out Lorenzo’s name causes him to carry out strange actions. Don Quixote manages to undergo remorse that he imposes on himself as a result of his love towards this woman. Moreover, this story reveals how love causes men to be weak in the presence of women.

In all the three stories, men are depicted to be dominating in the society. This is because; Don Quixote subjected himself to pain under his own volition. Moreover, it took a man to reveal to the other men the value of a woman which forced them to bow down at that revelation. Furthermore, Don Quixote manages to beat the sales men severely because they failed to acknowledge Lorenzo’s beauty (Echevarria 2005: 9). In Giovanni’s Decameron, the man himself chose the necessary conditions that will enable the woman to prove her love. The woman undergoes name callings, has her children taken away from her and is even undergoes divorce all in attempts to show her trustworthiness.

In another instance, Don Quixote falls in love with another woman, Dulcinea. Unfortunately, she fails to reciprocate this love which results in Don Quixote complaining. He fails to recognize Dulcinea as Aldonza Lorenzo. In this case, the role of women in the society changes from seeking for love. Women are empowered with the capability to refuse any man who seeks for their hand in marriage. Don Quixote describes how Dulcinea’s sight depicts great brevity and wisdom. This fact illustrates how women are able to influence men’s action because of love. He could never call another woman as beautiful as he idolized Dulcinea more than other women. Don Quixote employs women as objects employed by men to satisfy their sexual appetites. This is depicted when he calls prostitutes as virgins who are noble.

As of such, the role of women in all the three works has historically been undermined. Regardless of the type of society, women have been placed at a lower position than men and have to fight to be respected.

Work Cited

Boccaccio, Giovanni. The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio: including forty of its hundred novels. New York, NY: Routledge and sons publishers, 1886.

Echevarria, Roberto. Cervantes’ Don Quixote: a case book. London, UK: Oxford Press, 2005.

Marcotte, Andrea. Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales: Rhetoric and Gender in Marriage. University of New Orleans. 8th August 2007. Accessed on 1st November 2011 from http://scholarworks.uno.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1591&context=td&sei-redir=1&referer=

Mitigation of Earthquakes

November 16, 2011

 

 

Question 1:

Describe impediments for disaster prevention in megacities.

An impediment is something that hinders or impedes the carrying out of a particular action. In recent years, there has been a series of different natural disasters that have hit major cities in the world including those in the United States. Some of the impediments that hinder efficient prevention of disasters in these megacities include the poor risk assessment and reduction management by planners of the megacities. Most megacities are geared more towards modernization and economic growth without giving much thought to what would happen if a disaster occurs.

Most of the cities are also highly populated, and there are a lot of economic activities going on. Due to their modern nature, they are able to hold a substantial capacity of people in a small area. This makes it difficult to evacuate people in case of any kind of disaster, whether natural or artificial. Since such disasters cause panic and confusion, it happens that more damage occurs as these people try to escape at all costs since they were caught unawares. They end up accelerating the effects of the disaster in question. It is necessary to capture the distribution of earthquakes motion at an early stage (Gasparini et al., 2007).

Some of these megacities are built on grounds that are susceptible to massive destruction in case a natural disaster, such as an earthquake occurs. For instance, rocky and mountainous surroundings, when hit by an earthquake of a medium magnitude, would not result in as much disastrous aftermaths compared to a location with abundant sediments. Planners of some of these megacities do not take into account these facts while selecting a site for constructing the cities.

In most cities there is lack of efficient systems to predict the coming of calamities like earthquakes and given the complaisant nature of individuals; they would not want to believe that sooner or later earthquakes will destroy their houses and spoil their property. Most of the currently available tools that are used in disaster management are focusing on temporal of the four phases of disaster management leaving an obvious gap the spatial element particularly in visual disaster and emergency information (Oosterom et al., 2005).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Question 2:

Provide specific examples of these impediments in recent earthquake disasters.  Describe strategies for addressing these impediments.

A specific example of a recent natural disaster is Haiti’s 7.0- magnitude earthquake that hit the country’s capital, Port-au-Prince in the year 2010. Prior to the 2010 earthquake, the other earthquake that hit Haiti was in the 18th century. This insinuates that during the modernization of Port-Au-Prince, the planners did not give much thought on what would happen if an earthquake was to hit the capital city in the future.

Therefore, presence of shoddy infrastructure, and poor disaster management contributed greatly to the disastrous aftermaths of the earthquake. Haiti has a poor economy, and therefore it does not have a brilliant building style, most of the buildings are built of adobe bricks with no steel reinforcements hence almost nil perseverance to such a high magnitude earthquake.

Another example would be the Hurricane Katrina, considered to be one of the most costly and most deadly of all hurricanes to have ever hit the United States of America. The planners of New Orleans, Louisiana, which was hard hit by the hurricane, underestimated the occurrence of such a disaster when designing and constructing the levee system around the town. This levee system failed catastrophically, in holding back the insurgent floods that devastated the region.

 

Some of the strategies that should be put in place to prevent the devastating results of these disasters should include the improvement of infrastructure in major cities

There should always be risk managers who forecast and ensure that all risks are identified and minimized at all times. They should also evaluate and revise disaster management programs that they had designed from time to time. The construction of earthquake resistant buildings would reduce the effects of such a disaster.

Creation of awareness programs and education on how to act in case of a disaster would also be helpful in minimizing the effects of these disasters. It is necessary to create public awareness in disaster management and also towards financing of financial management (Mukhopadhyay 2005).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Gasparini, P., Manfredi, G., & Zschau, J. (2007). Earthquake early warning systems. New York: Springer.

Mukhopadhyay, A. K. (2005). Crisis and disaster management turbulence and aftermath. Daryaganj, New Delhi: New Age International (P) Ltd., Publishers.

Oosterom, P. J., Zlatanova, S., & Fendel, E. M. (2005). Geo-information for disaster management. New York : Springer-Verlag.

 

 

 

Madoff Securities Case Analysis

November 11, 2011

Question # 1

Recent developments in the Madoff case include:

  • Bernard Madoff’s son, Mark Madoff committed suicide on December 11, 2010, two years after his father’s arrest (Price, 2010). The decision by the trustee for defrauded victims, Mr. Picard, to investigate Mark’s children on grounds that Bernard transferred funds to their accounts may have triggered this development.
  • Some of the defendants have been sued by the trustee in a bid to recover monies lost (Smith, 2010). Picard took this action based on the high returns such defendants received compared to their initial investments.
  •   This case has had international repercussions with aggrieved persons suing culpable entities (Kennedy, 2010). In Ireland, a class suit has been brought against AA (Alternative Advantage) plc and Thema International Fund plc, investments funds that handled business for Madoff, by clients whose investments were affected by the case.
  • The SEC has undertaken various reforms to prevent rogue businessmen from defrauding the public (SEC, 2010, September, 10). These include measures aimed at securing investors’ assets by facilitating surprise audits of investment funds to establish the veracity of various portfolios.

Question # 2

The principal goal of independent auditors would be to establish the accuracy of accounts presented and confirm the actual existence of assets recorded. To achieve this, a number of audit tools should be employed including a review of the audit procedures used, analytical measures adopted, risk assessments and materiality decisions.

Such processes will identify inherent and control risks that contribute to misstatements in balance sheets and accounting information. To ensure that detection risk is as low as possible, a careful audit of key transactions should be undertaken to confirm the degree of accuracy.

By addressing issues of materiality, the review will further qualify the accounts presented and ensure that the investment firm is not being hoodwinked by the investment advisor. This exercise will eliminate misstatements that overstate the financial health of an investment fund and provide crucial evidence that will guide the investment firm’s financial decisions.

To address issues like check kitting, the independent auditors should conduct banking reconciliations on all operative accounts. This audit procedure will establish the actual bank balances held and reveal any discrepancies in the accounts presented.

Question # 3

A peer review is an independent evaluation of a professional entity’s work by a peer in the same industry (Shatz, 2004). In the auditing profession, a peer review will involve a detailed examination of the firm’s accounting work by another firm with no ties to the entity being audited. The exercise is intended to provide an independent corroboration or qualification of accounts presented to clients. This process ensures industry standards are maintained, accounting practices are above board and that conflicts of interest are eliminated.

A peer review would have detected Madoff’s fraud because questions would have been raised about the resource capability of the firm to handle such a large account effectively given that it had one accountant. The fact that the firm held accounts with the Madoff’s   firm were sufficient grounds to impute a conflict of interest and suggest that accounts presented would be tainted with misstatements meant to portray a rosy picture.

Banking reconciliations would have revealed check kitting and established the actual amounts held by the company in various banks. Comparing the firm’s payouts with that of similar firms in the industry would have identified a major disparity that required further investigation. Based on investigative reports, evidence would have emerged showing that Madoff’s firm engaged in illegal practices.

Bibliography

AP, (Oct.26, 2011) Madoff’s wife: We tried suicide after Ponzi arrest. Retrieved from

http://news.yahoo.com/madoffs-wife-tried-suicide-ponzi-arrest-215242268.html

Kennedy, P. (2010) Madoff Claims Latest Developments. Retrieved from

http://www.dilloneustace.ie/download/1/Madoff%20Claims%20-%20Latest%20Developments.pdf

Price, M, J. (2010) Recent Updates In Madoff Securities Fraud Case. Retrieved from

http://www.criminallawyerblogdallas.com/2010/12/recent-updates-in-madoff-securities-fraud-case.shtml

SEC, (2010, September, 10) SEC Homepage. Retrieved from

http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/secpostmadoffreforms.htm

Shatz, D, Ed (2004).  Peer Review: A Critical Inquiry, Rowland & Littlefield.

Smith, A. (2010) Another blow for Madoff victims. Retrieved from

http://money.cnn.com/2010/12/07/news/companies/madoff_trustee_victims/

 

How managers use economic theory to an international situation

November 8, 2011

The economy forms the central part of any nation. The behaviour of the economy will enable the nation make decisive decisions on planning matters.  Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Marx Weber and Emile Durkheim were referred to as the classical economists were the first to explore the interrelationship between the effect of market and market behaviour.  The analysis of economic market behaviour is based on their founding. Through observation of economic trends, one will be able to predict the future outcome of any nation.

In dealing with international economic situations, analysts use economic theorems that have been formulate by past economic theorist. The market behaviour, risks and outcomes may be analyzed before decisions are made McConnell & Brue (2007, p.77).

Managers may use Adam Smith theorems in understanding the market’s supply and demand.  Adam Smith regarded as the father of economics claimed that the aim of any entrepreneur is to maximize revenue. The entrepreneur’s success will be measured by the number of customers he or she serves. In effect of the entrepreneur making profits, the needs of the customers are satisfied. Smith referred to this situation as the”invisible hand” where both the interests of the customer and the entrepreneur are satisfied at the same time. The enterprises earn financial rewards by providing people’s needs, hence the creation of “wealth”, not only for the entrepreneur but for the whole nation. Adam Smith argued that the government should leave companies alone to perform on their own. Smith referred to this situation as the laisser-faire, where the government does not interfere with the workings of the market. According to Smith, the market enterprises will tend to charge a higher for goods and services to increase for their profit margin. As more and more enterprises enter the market, the profit margin will decline due to competition of customers. The outcome will force the market enterprises to operate at normal costs. Adam Smith emphasized that the involvement of the government will only offset the equilibrium. In implementation of policies, managers may need to have a clear understanding of the outcome. Unfavourable firm competitions may have a diverse effect on the economy. An example being closure of most firms which may not with stand the competition.

Karl Marx based his theory on the overall behaviour of the structure of the society. According to Karl Marx, the trends of the economy can be analysed by the society’s structure. The economy will be based on the people’s methods of production. Marx considered division of labour an effective way of production as it is easy to implement and sustain. Karl Marx differentiated between the bases a superstructure Varian (1989, p.7). The base referred to the economic system in place in a nation while the superstructure referred to the political and cultural systems.  Political and cultural structures are derived from the economical means of production. The superstructure is implemented the consciousness. In the conscience, conflict is bound to occur between individual and common interests.  Most influential theories that Karl Marx brought forth was the theory of labour. Marx considered the society to be a communism entity, where the owners of means of production exploited the worker.  According to Marx, the society’s enterprises aims were to make profit.  The owners of means of production exploited the workers in a way of making profit. The enterprise it bound to increase it productions.  As the production of goods increases so does the goods in the market.  Following the law of demand, the increase in goods will lead to the reduction of prices in these goods. The enterprise will be forced to lay off workers to accommodate their working expenses. Marx concluded that a series of these occurrences will make the worker the king. In Marx view, the outcome of a communist economy in the long run will be forced to be a socialist economy.

Max Weber inter related the economy to be influenced by religion. The theorem explained in the protestant Ethic and the spirit of capitalism (1930), Weber discusses a phenomenon of conflict between the worldliness, ecclesiastical and asceticism, and participation in capitalistic acquisition. According to Weber, profit motive is strictly utility dependent. Weber put it that “ Human beings do not wish to earn more, though situations make it necessary for them to live and earn as much as possible but is not accustomed to be their nature. Weber advocates for enterprises that are non profit centred as education Kurz, at al (2007, p.56). He believes that such enterprises explicit a sense of responsibility. On issues about labour, Weber claims that labour cannot be evocated by giving the worker high or low wages alone, but motivation of the worker forms the main interest.

Emile Durkheim considered the economy to be a contributing factor in the well being of a society. Unlike Karl Marx, Emile considered the economy to have no privilege positions relation to the superstructure McConnell & Brue (2007, p.234). According to him, the society is a biological factor. Emile argued that the society worked for it well being. His thought of the society being driven towards by personal interests deferred. Unlike Karl Marx who argued that the enterprises main aim was to maximise profit disregarding the worked, Durkheim believed that enterprises were entities formed a bridge to cater for the consumers needs. Just like the an organism’s parts work for the well being of the organism, so does the society work for its well being Durkheim compared the society to an “anomy” Scott (n.d, p.5).  Anomy was used to referrer to a condition in the society where social norms were unclear or not present Sowell (2007, p.78).  He considered egoism, anomy and suicide to be the natural result of declining solidarity and a perpetual slow rise to organic solidarity due to division of labour and industrialism, a condition he considered to affect all classes.

Managers while forming decisions may consider considering the theory of John Maynard Keynes. Keynes theorems tried to analyse the effects of money, interests and employment to an economic setting. His views were on money equilibrium. According to him, when the money demand  equalled the money supply, the economy was said to be at equilibrium. Keynes viewed the economy as an unstable factor that is liable to fluctuations. According to him the reason for these fluctuations was due to the offset of the equilibrium, dependable on the supply and demand.  The other reasons for fluctuation that Keynes considered external factors include investments and saving; both being rooted in the phenomenology of uncertainty. In order to justify his theory, Maynard developed a certain equation which included; aggregate demand equation, national income accounting and the multiplier Simon (n.d. p. 8).  National income concepts deals with the productions of a nation referred to as the gross national product (GDP). The economy will largely depend on equilibrium.

The approach on which the manager wishes to solve an international situation will depend on the type of situation. The application of any economic model will deeply depend on the problem. Application of different theorems in the finding of the solutions will guarantee different outcomes. So it will up to the managers to decide on the type of economic model to be used. The outcome of the decision should be the key to solving the problem. The manager should evaluate all the theories to decide on which displace the desired outcome, at the same time conserving the available resources.

Bibliography

Kurz, at al (2007), Interpreting classical economics: studies in long-period analysis. New York: Routledge

Marques, H (2011), New Economic Theories, Retrieved from< http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=economics%2Btheories.pdf&source=web&cd=7&ved=0CFQQFjAG&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fep.up.pt%2Finvestigacao%2Fworkingpapers%2Fwp104.pdf&ei=vUOrTo-XN4vA8gOhwsCZCw&usg=AFQjCNGHnJCsEGWRq4VWdlAkicd0JiwZkw&cad=rja&gt;. Accessed October 29, 2011.

McConnell, R, C & Brue, L, S, (2007) Economics: Principles, problems, and policies. New York: McGraw-Hill

Simon, J, S, (n.d), Economy and Society in Marx, Durkheim and Weber. Retrieved from< http://shell.cas.usf.edu/~simon/documents/Economy%20and%20Society.pdf&gt;. Accessed on October 29, 2011.

Sowell, T, (2007), On Classical Economics. Yale: Yale University Press.

Varian, H, R, (1989), What is Economic Theory. Retrieved from< http://www.ces.fas.harvard.edu/publications/docs/pdfs/PSGE_WP7_1.pdf&gt;. Accessed on October 29, 2011.