Archive for January, 2012

Death a master from Germany

January 30, 2012

Introduction
Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) was one of the most renowned European philosophers of all time. However, his admirers were bereaved about his Nazism and his role in the death of the European Jews. His works are still revered all over the world. Martin Heidegger as a person has been written about by many writers like Hans-Georg Gadamer, Jean-Paul Sartre, Emmanuel Levinas, Hannah Arendt, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida and Jurgen Habermas. Through their writings it has been underlined that the character of Martin Heidegger was shrouded in mystery. Among the writings the best known was Paul Celan’s ”Death Fugue.” The incidents depicted in the poem have underlined the general happenings of the German society during the period of Nazism. The political background of Germany and the society played a huge role in the development of Nazism. It has to be stated here that Nazism has been regarded as one of the darkest happenings in the 20th century. The paper will deal with the political and the social backgrounds of Germany that played a key role in the development of Nazism in the country. This is to be done in the background of Paul Celan’s ”Death Fugue.” The poem beautifully depicts the condition of the country at that time. Though it has been written keeping in mind the character of one person, the essence of the poem covers the sentiment of the whole of Germany at that point of time. (Porty, 3rd May, 1998).
Death a master
It has been stated earlier that the basis of the paper is the poem written by Paul Celan. The inspiration for the poem is Martin Heidegger. It was proved that Martin Heidegger was an activist of Nazism and thus the character and the incidents depicted in the poem are common to Nazism. Therefore, it forms a very important background for the study. In this regard it is necessary to have some parts of the poem in the paper. This can be depicted as follows:
“Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
we drink you at noon death is a master from Germany
we drink you at sundown and in the morning we drink and we drink you
death is a master from Germany his eyes are blue
he strikes you with leaden bullets his aim is true
a man lives in the house your golden hair Margarete
he sets his pack on to us he grants us a grave in the air
he plays with the serpents and daydreams death is a master from Germany
your golden hair Margarete
your ashen hair Shulamith” (Hamburger, n.d.).
This is the last paragraph of the poem where the phrase “death is a master” has been used. The last paragraph alone can depict the character of the figure depicted in the poem. It can be found out that the character is a ferocious figure whose mere sight can bring in death. As this poem was depicted as one of the Nazis, it can be safely assumed that the condition of the society at that time was horrible. This cannot be brought about suddenly and huge political and social happenings should have played a role in the development of the movement. This will be dealt in the following paragraphs of the paper.  (Death in modern Germany, 2004)

Background of the Nazi party and Hitler
It has been widely accepted that Nazism has been one of the black spots of the modern day political world. To know the reason of the birth of the movement, the name Adolf Hitler has to be analyzed to full extent. Hitler was the principal architect of the birth of the Nazi party and the subsequent Nazism. Hitler was born in Austria and lived in Vienna during his childhood. He has an intense liking for art but was not given admission in an art school in Vienna. When the First World War started he was recruited by the German army. He impressed during his duties with the German army. Legend says that at one time he was responsible for catching 21 people at one instance. However, during the war he was injured and he had to be admitted to the hospital in Germany. Due to the brutalities of the war he was weakened to the extent that it took considerable amount of time for him to recover. However, when he recovered he got employment in a courier company in Munich. During his work he came in contact with the German Worker’s Party. He was influenced by the policies of the party and soon joined it. He was to become one of the most influential figures of the party in the later days. He gained prominent position in the party in 1919 and was one of the 7 executive committee members. Hitler was responsible for many policies to make the party larger. In one of his policies, Hitler prepared invitation cards for a meeting which was to be held in a beer cellar. The invitation cards were told to be provided to the friends and families of the members of the party. However, not many people came to the meeting. Hitler got the chance for the first time to speak in the meeting. To many people’s surprise, Hitler was one of the most passionate speakers in the meeting. In his autobiography Mein Kampf he writes, “I spoke for thirty minutes, and what before I had simply felt within me, without in any way knowing it, was now proved by reality: I could speak! After thirty minutes the people in the small room were electrified and the enthusiasm was first expressed by the fact that my appeal to the self-sacrifice of those present led to the donation of three hundred marks.”
In 1920, Hitler became the head of the party and carried the fortunes of the party in his shoulders. That he was a good speaker was already established and he began to organize meetings for the parties. The meetings of his parties were resented by the Marxist revolutionaries. However, Hitler never discouraged the Marxists in disrupting his meetings because he knew that this would increase the sympathy of the people for his party. In one of the meetings that took place in 24th February, 1920 a huge gathering took place. However, there were a considerable number of Marxist revolutionaries in the meeting too. But the support for Hitler grew and the applause of the supporters soon drowned the shouting from the Marxists. In this meeting, Hitler recommended the 25 points that went on to become the guideline of operations of his party in the days to come. According to Hitler, “When after nearly four hours the hall began to empty and the crowd, shoulder to shoulder, began to move, shove, press toward the exit like a slow stream, I knew that now the principles of a movement which could no longer be forgotten were moving out among the German people.” It was in 1920, that Hitler introduced the swastika as the symbol for the party and gave the new name of the party as National Socialist German Worker’s Party. In short this was called Nazi. After he went onto become the leader of the Nazi party he displayed his political skills that would engulf the country in the days to come. (Pust, n.d.; Bendersky, 2000:87; Scaife, 2004: 71).
Political reasons for the birth of Nazism
During the 1920s, the party leaders from all the parties in Germany realized that Hitler was the man that can overthrow the revolutionary Marxists in the country. Hitler also realized the fact and he went to Berlin in 1921 to talk with the other parties and discuss the terms and conditions. However, the other leaders were jealous of the popularity of Hitler and formed an alliance with each other. This was learnt by Hitler and he resigned from the Nazi. The leaders realized that resignation from Hitler would mean that the Nazi party would die a premature death and the sympathy of the public would go against them. Thus, Hitler was persuaded to join the party. However, Hitler stated that he should be given all the powers as the chairman of the party. A vote took place and Hitler was heralded as the new leader or the “Fuhrer” of the party. The popularity of Hitler made the number of members of the party grow in the days to come. Hitler and his party tried in vain to overthrow the Government in the Berlin. However, they were unsuccessful in the attempt. At the same time, the economic downturn set in Germany and most of the leaders of the Nazi party along with Hitler were imprisoned. The incident of imprisonment of the Nazi leaders made them iconic in the eyes of the people in Germany. (Pust, n.d.; The rise of the Nazi party, n.d.).
The economic downturn of the economy in the country also decreased the number of members of the Nazi party. As a result the percentage of the votes in the election of 1932 was lesser than expected in the Nazi party’s favor. The party gained 33% of the votes in the election. However, Hitler was the master of negotiations and the President of the country Paul von Hindenburg was taken into the aide of the party and Hitler was promptly named the chancellor of the country in 30th January, 1933. Hitler used his political skills to increase the powers of the Nazi party in the Government in the days to come. On 5th March, 1933 another election took place and the Nazi party got 44% of the votes in that election. It was assumed that Hitler used various tactics to increase the votes in the party’s favor. Despite the protests of the other parties, Hitler assumed the role of the chancellor of the country and strengthened the position of the Nazi party in the Government. The Enabling Act passed on March 23, 1933 made Hitler powerful to form rules and regulations that did not need the President to pass them. Thus, the Hitler Government assumed the role of the dictatorship Government in the country. On 14th July, 1933 with the help of the Enabling Act, Hitler stated that the party would be the only one in the political world in the country. He was considered as the leader of the country and Hitler organized the political conditions of the country as well as the party according to his liking. The officials in the higher positions of the Government were ordered to become the members of the Nazi party. In fact if they were not the members of the Nazi party they were not kept in the positions of the Government. As they become the members of the Nazi party they were to follow the rules and regulations of the party. The rules and regulations of the Nazi party and the popularity of Hitler gave rise to the “Hitler Myth” that underlined that Hitler was wise and powerful. However, it has to be stated that Hitler was helped in his operations and organizations by many of his Generals. The top officials of the Nazi party were given separate responsibilities that had to be fulfilled by them. The officials of the Nazi party were to report to Hitler but they were given freedom in the day to day activities in their field. (Kershaw, 2001: 253; Nazi party, n.d.).
In the case of the International policies, the Nazi party and Hitler were aggressive in establishing the German way of life all over the world. The country and the party made demands of the countries and threatened to go to war if the demands were not met. It has to be stated that the German army was headed by Hitler and was organized well. In fact it was one of the most developed armies in the whole of Europe. The country was able to conquer and enter into settlements with most of the countries in Europe. Hitler invaded Poland in 1939 which started the World War II. The whole world was divided for and against Germany. The country conquered most of the continent by 1942. However, the Nazis were defeated by Soviet Union in 1942. The World War II was one of the blackest points of the 20th century. It took the lives of 40 million people. (Del Testa,D,  Lemoine,F and  Strickland, J, 2003: 83).
One of the most disrupting images of the Nazi regime was the treatment meted out to the minorities in the country. The Jewish were considered as the secluded part of the society. They were to wear yellow badges in public from 1941. The “Final Solution of the Jewish Question” conference was headed by Reinhard Heydrich took into account the final treatment to be meted to the Jews. From 1941 to 1945 about 6 million Jews, 6 million Poles, Romanies, Slavs, Soviets were put to death. The countries and the provinces that were taken under control by the German forces were to go through ethnic cleansing. This was commonly called the holocaust. This incident increased the opposition of Hitler in the country as well in the other countries from the world. (Snyder, n.d.).
Hitler played a key role in the development of the German economy. It has to be remembered that when Hitler came to power, the German economy was in the down and most of the people were suffering from unemployment. However, the policies of Hitler helped the German economy to recover from the downs of the early part of the 1930s. For the development of the economy, the Nazi party took into account the mixed economy. The key parts of the Government were managed by the Government while the other avenues for opened for investments from the private parties. According to Richard Overy, a historian, “The German economy fell between two stools. It was not enough of a command economy to do what the Soviet system could do; yet it was not capitalist enough to rely, as America did, on the recruitment of private enterprise.”  (Overy, 1995: 205)
Thus, it can be stated that the Nazi party and Hitler played a key role in the poltical world of Germany. Though many facets of the Government of the Nazi party helped in the development of the country, there were some aspects like the Holocaust and the World War II that tarnished the image of the German Government. There were deaths everywhere and most of them were because of the policies of the German Government.
Social reasons for the birth of Nazism
The policies of Hitler in most of the aspects can be brought about by the political reasoning. However, the reason for the holocaust had traces in the social reasoning. Hitler had a special hatred for the Jews. However, the reason for this has not been inferred to this day. In his book, Hitler had written, “For the Jew was still characterized for me by nothing but his religion, and therefore, on grounds of human tolerance, I maintained my rejection of religious attacks in this case as in others. Consequently, the tone, particularly that of the Viennese anti-Semitic press, seemed to me unworthy of the cultural tradition of a great nation”. It has to be stated this was in the early part of his life and during that time he viewed the Jews as normal people in the society. (Lindsey, 2000: 201;Victor, 2007:18)
Dietrich (1988) studied the life of Hitler and found that there was no particular reason for Hitler or the Nazi party for the disliking of the Jews. However, he found out that the Nazi party was close to the German society. The disliking of the Jews was a common part of the people of the society in the 1930s. The Germans considered themselves as the prime component of the world. The holocaust was an incident that did not only involve Jews but the people of the other countries as well. Hitler and the Nazi party rose to the power and were popular because of their unconditioned love of the German people. This love translated in making them believe that they were superior to the other people in the world. They also believed that they have the responsibility to cleanse them of their deeds. In one of his speech, Hitler stated,
“During fourteen years the German nation has been at the mercy of decadent elements which have abused its confidence. During fourteen years those elements have done nothing but destroy, disintegrate and dissolve. Hence it is neither temerity nor presumption if, appearing before the nation today, I ask: German nation, give us four years time, after which you can arraign us before your tribunal and you can judge me! ….
“I cannot rid myself of my faith in my people, nor lose the conviction that this people will resuscitate again one day. I cannot be severed from the love of a people that I know to be my own. And I nourish the conviction that the hour will come when millions of men who now curse us will take their stand behind us to welcome the new Reich, our common creation born of a painful and laborious struggle and an arduous triumph—a Reich which is the symbol of greatness, honour, strength, honesty and justice.”(Why Hitler hated Jews, n.d.).
The speech clearly underlines the social sentiment during the time in Germany. Thus it can be stated that the incidents of the holocaust was because of the social upbringing of the people in Germany.
Holocaust
One of the worst incidents of the Nazism era was the holocaust. One of the major reasons for the holocaust was anti-semitism. It took the form of racial discrimination among the people in the country. The Jews were made responsible for the state of the economy at that time. In addition to this, the Jews were considered as a group of people that were ranked lower than that of the Germans. The Germans were held responsible for the start of the World War I. They were ordered to give back the land they had conquered in the World War according to the Treaty of Versailles. The loss of the World War II made the state of the economy of the country bad. This affected the pride of the people in the country and the Jews were held partly responsible. The Germans under Hitler developed into a brutal force and they found it apt to conquer more territories in the other countries. (Why did the holocaust happen, 2011; Zapotoczny, n.d.)
Several works have been published in the field of the holocaust that took place in Germany during the time of Nazism. It was univocally accepted that National Socialism was one of the main factors for the incidents of holocaust. This was brought forward by the works of Daniel Goldhagen in Hitler’s Willing Executioners (1996). According to Goldhagen, the holocaust took place because of the “eliminationist antisemitism” that was an unique feature of the German national identity. This type of “eliminationist antisemitism” developed in the medieval period when it was based on the religions. However, it took the form of secularism in the 20th century. According to Goldhagen most of the German population knew about the holocaust and supported the incidents. (Zank, 2008). According to Rogers Brubacker, Groupism exists in the modern world due to the “social constructivism”. This is not an evil for the society but the ability of the leaders like Hitler to make the people group under a certain objective and goal. According to him, the nation is “practical categories, situated actions, cultural idioms, cognitive schemas, discursive frames, organizational routines, institutional forms, political projects, and contingent events.” Thus, it cannot be denied that racism exists in the modern world. Nations are “perceiving, interpreting and representing the social world.” The social conditions in Germany at that time helped in the growth of groups in the society. (Goina, 2004). Van Der Berghe’s nepotism theory underlines the fact that the kin selection in the biological world is carried out among the relatives and their own genes. Thus, it is not surprising that the human beings will favor their relatives’ people of the same group and would look to eliminate the others.(Brigandt, n.d.). The psychology of evil suggests that men turn into killing beasts because of certain factors like social anonymity, knowledge of the evil, social happenings etc. These incidents transform a peaceful man into an evil person. In the case of Germany, knowledge about the Jews transformed them into killing machines and took the birth of holocaust. (Zimbardo, 2004). Hanna Arendt stated that the banality of the evil is a game of brain that is played by the man going in the path. (Hanna Arendt and Stanley Milgram, n.d.).
Wolffsohn in 1998 was against the general notion that the Germans were responsible for holocaust and debated that most of the Germans were not aware of the happenings. He stated that the world should stop blaming the Germans for it. The Jews were holocaust because of the conditions prevalent in the society and the economy at that time. (Rudolf, n.d.).  However, according to me the holocaust was a result of the “eliminationist antisemitism” described in the earlier paragraph. In addition to this, the groupism and the nepotism also played a role. Without these factors the holocaust would not have taken such a huge size and extent.
Conclusion
It has to be stated Hitler and the Nazi party played a key role in the history of Germany. The regime of the Nazi party helped in the development of the country but it also had some black points. The poem described in the early part of the paper was set in the Nazi Germany and portrays the life during that era. The period was market by deaths and fear of the people. This was because of the political agenda of the Nazi Government and the international relations meted out by the Hitler Government. The Nazi party was responsible for the start of the World War II. This took millions of lives all over the world. In addition to this, the holocaust activities were a shame to the German administration. This was because of the social upbringing of the people in the country. Thus it can be stated that the condition in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s cannot be brought about suddenly and huge political and social happenings should have played a role in the development of the movement.

References:
Pust, J. (n.d.). History of Nazism. Retreived on 1st January, 2012 from: http://www.angelfire.com/in/j4a/nehistory.html
The rise of the Nazi party. (n.d.). A teacher’s guide to the holocaust. Retrieved on 1st January, 2012 from: http://fcit.usf.edu/holocaust/timeline/nazirise.htm
Kershaw, I. (2001). The “Hitler Myth”: Image and Reality in the Third Reich.
Del Testa,D,  Lemoine,F and  Strickland, J.  (2003). Government leaders, military rulers and political activists. Greenwood Publishing Group.
Overy, R.  (1995) Why the allies won.  Random House.
Snyder, T. (n.d.). Holocaust. Eurozine. Retrieved on 1st January, 2012 from: http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2009-06-25-snyder-en.html
Nazi party. (n.d.). History. Retrieved on 1st Janaury, 2012 from: http://www.history.co.uk/encyclopedia/nazi-party.html
Why Hitler hated Jews. (n.d.). Majority rights.com. Retrieved on 1st January, 2012 from: http://majorityrights.com/weblog/comments/why_hitler_hated_jews
Death in Modern Germany. (2004). GHI Bulletin No. 34.
Hamburger, M. (n.d.). Death Fugue. Retrieved on 1st January, 2012 from: http://www.english.txstate.edu/cohen_p/postmodern/Literature/Celan/Hamburger.html
Porty, R. (3rd May, 1998). A master from Germany. Retrieved on 1st Janaury, 2012 from: http://www.nytimes.com/books/98/05/03/reviews/980503.03rortyt.html
Lindsey, D. (2000). The woman and the dragon. Pelican Publishing. USA.
Victor, G. (2007). Hitler. Potomac Books. Washington D.C.
Scaife, M. (2004). History.
Bendersky, J. (2000). A history of Nazi Germany. Cushing-Malloy Inc. Washington D.C.
Zapotoczny, W. (n.d.). Why the holocaust was possible.
Why did the holocaust happen? (2011). Your dictionary. Retrieved on 1st January, 2012 from: http://answers.yourdictionary.com/history/why-did-the-holocaust-happen.html
Zank, M. (2008). Goldhagen in Germany. Retrieved on 1st January, 2012 from: http://www.bu.edu/mzank/Michael_Zank/gold.html
Goina, C. (2004). Ethnicity without Groups. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004.
Brigandt, I. (n.d.). The Homeopathy of kin selelction.
Zimbardo, P. (2004). A Situationist Perspective on the Psychology of Evil: Understanding How Good People Are Transformed into Perpetrators.
Hanna Arendt and Stanley Milgram. (n.d.) Psychology and more. Retrieved on 1st January, 2011 from: http://danaleighton.edublogs.org/2011/08/19/hanna-arendt-and-stanley-milgram/
Rudolf, G. (n.d.). Dissecting the holocaust.

Global Crime Rates

January 26, 2012

Homicide is violence directed at an individual with injuries an intention of inflicting serious injuries or killing. The levels of homicides around the world vary widely. Even within a country, the homicide rate varies. In 2002, only 25 countries contributed to more than half of all homicides in the world. Mexico has one of the largest economy countries in the Latin America. It produces and exports a lot of oil which forms a major source of revenue for the government. However, crime rates in Mexico remain high. The increased homicide rates are as a result of organized criminal gangs. Drug trafficking has caused increased corruption and the government can not effectively deal with them. The judiciary system is infiltrated by corruption thus it is inefficient and can not effectively prosecute and punish the offenders. The police are also compromised by these gangs and therefore collude with them. Prosperity is far from many and the socio-economic gap is wide (UNODOC, 2011).

The social economic variables most commonly associated with homicide rates include the Age structure, urbanization, unemployment, population density, poverty and inequality, and education. Younger males are more likely to be involved in crime than females. Rural- urban migration result into urbanization and high population density in these areas. This puts a constraint in social amenities while unemployment levels rise due to the increased competition for resources. Income inequality becomes more pronounced and frustration sets in especially if the poor and the wealthy live side by side. Other differences such as religious, ethnic and language barriers can lead to increase in homicide levels due to political competition. Low education levels can lead to high rates of unemployment making people to engage more on crimes (Fajnzylber, Lenderman & Loayza, 2000).

The governance structure can also facilitate a rise or fall in homicide rates. The governance indicators include rule of law, political stability and control of corruption. China is rated among countries with low homicide rates because it has gained trust from its citizen. The government has in place stringent measures to reduce corruption. The Chinese justice presumes someone to be guilty until proven innocent. China still enforces death sentence to serious offenders, and this has ensured a low rate of homicide cases (UNODOC, 2011). Judiciary system which are not effective cannot prosecute and punish offenders thus cannot curb crimes.

References

Fajnzylber, P., Lenderman, D. & Loayza, N. (2000). Crime and victimization: An economic perspective. A Paper prepared for presentation at the 1st Meeting of the Latin America Economic Policy Review, New York, May 12 and 13.

UNODOC, (2011). 2011 global study on homicide. Retrieved 23 January 2012 from http://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/data-and-analysis/statistics/crime/global-study-on-homicide-2011.html

 

Global Crime Rates

January 26, 2012

Evidence from the official website of the U.S state of department indicates that Israel is one of the countries with high homicide rates in the world. Homicide in Israel has not been a surprise since it has been in existence since the time immemorial (Jones and Johnstone 2012). This is because killing was compensated by the members of the family whose member committed the crime. This can be seen from the outset that it creates enmity and the idea of revenge emanates. The high crime rate in Israel is as a result of political violence which has seen many youths of the age 15 to 24 dying since they are the most active during such events. This rate is considered the highest in the world seconded by the U. S which is followed by Scotland and New Zealand (Friedmann 1998).

One would expect a country with such high level of crime rate to be economically challenged, for Israel it is the contrary. The economy is regarded as the best with high GDP every year. There are however some wars now and then between Israel and the surrounding neighbors. This could be the reason for the cases of homicides. It is also good to note that economic indicators are not directly related to the rates of homicides. This is because technology is at the peak and thus economy is improving. In this case it is expected that people will settle and respect one another since the rate of employment is very low, but it is the contrary.

There are actually other indicators that demonstrate the continuity of the homicide trend. The discrimination against the non-Jewish population is a bad sign that hatred will suppress humane and thus more killings (Friedman 1998). If this is the case, then the new technology of advanced weapons which is as a result of the high level of scientific invention, will keep the trend of homicides at the same level or even higher.

 

 

References

Friedmann R. (1998). Criminal and criminal justice in Israel: assessing the knowledge base toward the twenty-first century. New York, USA: State University of New York.

Jones M& Johnstone P. (2012). History of Criminal Justice; homicide in Israel. Waltham, USA : Anderson publisher.

 

 

Having Hitler as a Father

January 19, 2012

Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy” is a poem about a daughter describing her feelings for her deceased father. This poem could be about the author’s father, as she’s also lost her dad at a young age. But rather than focusing on her relationship with, or her feelings for her father, it would be more interesting to talk about having Hitler as a father. Although it’s not directly stated in the poem, there are certain references to Hitler and his reign of terror. A lot of things have already been written about him, from his childhood to his death, especially on his horrible crimes against humanity. But despite all that, not a lot is known about the intimate details of his life. One could only assume what it was like having Hitler as a relative, especially if he’s the paternal figure that a kid would grow up with and look up to. The theme of the poem is having Hitler as a father, and from the poem, it seems that it is a very complicated relationship. There’s a conflict between feelings of animosity and attachment, of hatred and love.

Even from the start of the poem, it is already evident that having Hitler as a father is quite complicated. The opening stanza states immediately tells the readers that it was a restrictive relationship, like a foot stuck in a shoo “for thirty years, poor and white, barely daring to breathe or Achoo (Plath).” From the first stanza alone, one could understand that having a powerful man for a father could really take a toll on one’s freedom.

But having Hitler play the paternal role in one’s life would also mean that there’s a great deal of admiration for such a man. The statement “every woman adores a Fascist, the boot in the face, the brute, brute heart of a brute like you,” shows that it’s hard not to look up to a powerful man like Hitler (Plath). For a child of Hitler, the abuse and the torment that he or she may receive from his or her father is overwhelmed by his achievements, or by his stature as a man who could possibly rule the world.

At the end of the day, having Hitler as a father would always be a frightening experience and an inescapable fact. One stanza states that the author has always been afraid of her father. But unfortunately, the presence of her father overwhelms her. Hitler is “not God but a swastika so black no sky could squeak through (Plath).” Hitler is a symbol of authority, and his power transcends even that of a god or a deity. He’s a real person who can inflict real damage and pose real threats. His child would surely fear him more than anything else, even more than his fear of God.

But again, having Hitler as a father really complicates things. It would be impossible for that child not hold him in high regard. That could clearly affect a child’s perspective. Even when Hitler is gone, his hold on the emotions of his child would still be very great. Despite all the fear and all the hatred that he’s brought upon his offspring, Hitler would always be remembered even after he passes on. This is evident in the poem, when the author said, “I was ten when they buried you. At twenty I tried to die and get back, back, back at you (Plath).” This only means that even for the ten short years of living with a man like Hitler, the impact on the child’s life is so great that death was a welcomed idea to reunite with her father. Also, Hitler’s death left a gaping hole in his child’s heart. Because of this, she was forced to seek someone who could fill that void, someone that’s very much similar to her father.

Indeed, having Hitler as a father is really complicated. Sylvia Plath’s poem “Daddy” is a testament to this complication, although she wasn’t really talking about Hitler. For the author, her father is very much like Hitler, because with him, she felt love, hatred, attachment, and animosity. In the end, she looked for someone like her dad, but then she realized that it was a very bad decision. She had to “kill” her dad and her husband from her life and from her memories so that she could finally move on and live a fuller life.

Work Cited:

Plath, Sylvia. “Daddy.” Ariel: Poems by Sylvia Plath. Faber and Faber, 1965.

Differences and Similarities between Corporate and Organized Crime

January 13, 2012

Corporate crime is a form of fraud that is closely related to “white-collar crime,” which takes place in business organizations and other corporate institutions such as banks, manufacturing industries, and non-governmental organizations. Unlike organized crime which may involve illegal street activities such as kidnappings and cross-border operations like drug trafficking, corporate crime involves “clean jobs” like manipulation of accounting records by finance officers, insider trading, misappropriation of funds, tax evasion, etc. However, both forms of crime require some degree of financial, social or political influence to be successfully carried out. This is because although organized crime is not exclusive to a specific race, profession or class,  “many studies have shown that those with power, influence, and respectability in local, regional, national, or international society have tended to organize crime more successfully and securely than those without” (Woodwiss, 2001, p. 3). Further, as Edwin Sutherland (1939) once observed, corporate crime is a large-scale version of white collar crime, because it involves people of high-class society, committed in the course of their occupation. Thus, the two forms of crime (white-collar and corporate) overlap each other because they all happen within similar environments, in which the incentives are high for an individual or group of individuals to engage in bribery, money laundering, insider trading, forgery, and embezzlement. As in organized crime, the market is similar in both cases, since “the same market forces and factors that apply to legitimate (corporate) business markets are also mirrored in crime markets” (Dean, et al., 2010, p. 144). This paper discusses the similarities and differences between corporate and organized crime.
Perhaps the common denominator in both corporate and organized crime is the influence of money as the ultimate goal. As Jeffrey Sachs, Professor of Economics at Columbia University notes in The Global Economy’s Corporate Crime Wave, money talks, and it is the vice that corrupts politics and markets around the world. In the world’s big economies where mega-scandals thrive, such as in the U.S., “Every Wall Street firm has paid significant fines during the past decade for phony accounting, insider trading, securities fraud, Ponzi schemes, or outright embezzlement by CEOs” (Sachs, 2011, p. 1). It is corporate crime involving insider trading and manipulation of financial records that is presently shaking Wall Street, beginning with ENRON’s concealing of a staggering$50 billion debt in 2001. Similarly, it was the same kind of fraud that, in 2007, saw a number of supermarkets and dairy companies in the UK get fined $116 million for price fixing so as to artificially keep milk and cheese prices and profits high amidst a collapsing economy (Browne, 2011, p. 225). In this regard, the pursuit of financial gains through illegal means is what essentially ties corporate and organized crime together. Organized crime, such as mafias, engages in illegal activities such as drug and human trafficking for the sole purpose of making money. Likewise, companies engage in fraud in situations when keeping to the book rules will minimize profits, or lead to losses and, eventually, bankruptcy. Without money, the incentive of taking the risk will be absent, thereby eliminating the need for undertaking a venture that, if caught, is punishable by the law.
Both corporate and organized crime operates at a global level, thereby making it difficult for governments to adequately deal with their illegal activities. Big companies operate as multinationals, which allows them to carry out their activities in several countries. Consequently, it is not easy to monitor each of every financial transaction that is conducted by a multinational company. In a similar situation, organized crime can operate across international borders, making it equally difficult to track their activities. For instance, the trafficking of drugs from Mexico and Colombia into the U.S. has been a persistent problem despite efforts by the U.S. authorities to curb it. In addition, their financial muscle affords corporate and organized crimes legal protections against state authorities. More often, they both have access to unlimited financial resources, which help them to hire the best legal services to challenge any charges against them. Moreover, corporate and organized crime thrive because they sometimes buy political connections by funding election campaigns of favorite candidates. In some cases, politicians hold shares in companies that later get involved in scandals, and their power connections shield them from prosecution.  Thus, the close connections that exist between wealth and power on the one hand, and the law on the other, make it impossible for state authorities to rein in corporate and organized crime.
Another point of similarity between corporate and organized crime is on the source of capital for some corporate organizations. In certain circumstances, whereby perpetrators of organized crime may need to “clean” ill-gotten wealth, such as drug trafficking money, they may set up legitimate corporations for the purpose of money laundering. Therefore, corporate crime may relate with organized crime in that sometimes the former benefits financially from the latter (such as using mafia money as business capital), while corporate activities are used as a front to legitimize illegal wealth through money laundering.
Organized crime involves an association of individuals with close social ties, who cooperate in carrying out illegal activities for the purpose of achieving power and financial gains. Generally, organized crime involve “the illegal activities carried out by structured groups of three or more persons existing for a prolonged period of time and having the aim of committing serious crimes through concerted action by using intimidation, violence, corruption or other means in order to obtain, directly or indirectly, a financial or other material benefit” (Council of Europe, 2002, p. 6). The purpose of organized crime is to exploit illegal markets for monetary gains at the expense of society. In this regard, organized crime is similar to corporate crime in that no specific individuals are singled out as victims. However, organized crime is so dynamic that it can involve almost any illegal undertaking from street drug peddling, to murders and kidnappings for ransom. Consequently, corporate crime requires may require exceptional planning and organizational skills as well as extensive networks of participants, and this is what enables organized crime mobs to be versatile and dynamic in their activities (Kirby & Penna, 2010, p. 195)
Additionally, informal hierarchies exist in organized crime, whereby members, usually family members, occupy ranks that determine their duties. Mafias, such as the Sicilian Nosa Costra in Italy are the perfect example of organized crime. The common consensus is that
Organized crime functions as a continuing enterprise that rationally works to make a profit through illicit activities, and that it insures its existence through the use of threats or force and through corruption of public officials to maintain a degree of immunity from law enforcement, and more often than not, specialize in profitable yet illegal goods (Albanese, 2000, p. 411).
The functioning of organized crime differs from corporate crime in the secretive manner in which they carry out their activities. While corporations are usually legitimate and publicly known businesses engaging in legal activities, organized crime, on the other hand, include secret groups whose members remain strive to remain anonymous. Their activities and members are secretive in nature because their success entirely depends on the ability to evade detection by law enforcers. In contrast, corporate crime such as price fixing may be committed openly in the guise of a legitimate activity, using fraud and deception (Bologna & Shaw, 1997, p. 93).
While financial gain is the end result in both corporate and organized crime, they both often use different means to achieve their goals. Organized crime aims to establish a monopoly and market control of a given industry or territory. Thus, rivalry and competition may emerge between different mobs fighting for territorial or industry control. For instance, a gang may intend to control the drug market, or a given town. On its part, corporate crime almost always involve “inside job,” in which employees or investors make decisions or take actions that influence the stock value in desired ways. Additionally, the term “organized crime” does not necessarily imply the existence of rigid structures of command and responsibility as in corporate enterprises, but refers to a loose coalition of individuals who operate on mutual understanding and explicit rules, often enforced by sanctions and death threats (Abadinsky, 1990, p. 6).
There are a number of feature that make organized crime distinctly different from corporate crime. Organized crime is uniquely hierarchical, whereby decisions are made by mafia bosses, commonly referred to as “godfathers,” and executed by the ground soldiers, the individuals who operate at the street level. A notable similarity between corporate and organized crime is what Edwin Sutherland identified as the desire to avoid making one’s hand dirty. Organized crime achieves this by employing several go-betweens so as to distance the top leadership from a criminal activity. For example, mafias often use unsuspecting individuals to transport drugs, or “henchmen” to carry out a murder. The foot soldiers know little or nothing at all about the organization’s activities, hence little risk of exposing the inner circle in case of arrests or betrayals
Secondly, organized crimes rarely have political goals or connections. This is because they are illegal from the very beginning, and usually make efforts to avoid recognition. In contrast, business companies do not specialize in illegal activities as their core activities, but break the law occasionally when the need arises. For example, a company may tamper with financial records once in a while so as to evade paying tax. As such, business companies may seek political connections as a lobbying tool and business strategy, especially in securing lucrative government contracts. Moreover, some political leaders are former executives who retire to seek political office, but maintain their former business contacts. These ties help business companies to engage in fraudulent activities with impunity, with the knowledge that legal prosecution is an unlikely eventuality.
Membership in corporate crime is exclusive and limited. Accordingly, one does not get into organized crime on the basis of merit as in corporate occupation, but rather on the basis of kinship or friendship (Abadinsky, 2010). This is because as a venture that engages in long term illegal activities, organized crime depends on the trust and loyalty of its members to survive. As a result, most organized crimes are run by families or close relatives, who can be relied upon to keep important secrets. As a further precaution, organized crime maintains underground networks that help in performing activities.
Perhaps the most remarkable distinction between corporate and organized crime is the prevalence for violence and intimidation in the latter. Sometimes, organized crimes earn impunity by corrupting/buying out government officials, threatening and instilling fear in potential informants and law enforcers.  This may be in the form of death threats targeting individuals, close family members, or attack on one’s financial assets as revenge for betraying or compromising the organization’s illegal activities.
Gilbert Kelland observes that one of the challenges in dealing with organized crime is recognizing its existence, given that secrecy is a vital feature of most underground, illegal ventures. He states that “While the majority of crimes are poorly planned, frequently violent and generally not enormously financially rewarding, organized crime, committed by rational and intelligent individuals, is well planned and always aimed at an immense financial gain” (Kelland 1987, 356). The same characteristic is also common in corporate crime, where activities like insider trading and manipulation of financial records are carried out quietly and discreetly, and taking utmost care not to alert the relevant authorities.
In this respect, the Rational Choice and Routine Activity theories apply to both corporate and organized crime in terms of their motivations. The rational choice theory posits that individuals weigh the risks and rewards of a criminal offense before carrying it out. As noted before, corporate crime overlaps with white-collar crime as it involves individuals who commit offences in the course of their duties. As rational beings, the people involved make judgments regarding the nature of the risk involved and the gains to be made (Briggs, 2009, p. 177). Thus, even with the knowledge that insider trading or tax evasion is illegal and punishable, the associated financial gains overshadow such considerations. Moreover, corporate crime may take place after the company’s executives had determined that any fines to be paid are just a tiny fraction of the proceeds to be gained from a fraudulent activity. Similarly, organized crime such as mafia activities are often motivated by the knowledge that part of the accrued profits can be used either in hiring legal services or bribing law enforcers to subvert the course of justice.
The Routine Activity Theory argues that favorable conditions must exist to compel individuals into committing a criminal offense. Chief among them include the opportunity to commit an offence and absence of deterrents, such as law enforcers (Felson, 2009). Corporate and organized crime take place largely because perpetrators are presented with the opportunities to jump the law. For instance, a porous international border can encourage drug trafficking, while the safety and privacy of work place environments, such as personal offices, makes it possible for employees to secretly carry out corporate crimes without attracting suspicion.

In conclusion, both corporate and organized crime is motivated by financial gains. They are perpetrated by people with influence, either through their occupational positions or class in society. Similar motivational and environmental factors such as absence of law enforcers and rewards also play a role in influencing corporate and organized crime. Nevertheless, the two forms of crime differ in terms of the nature of activities the means employed to achieve their goals. While corporate crime takes place within a legitimate context and employs treachery, organized crime is secretive and “underground-based,” in addition to relying on violence, threats and bribery to evade the law.

References
Abadinsky, H., 2010, Organized Crime, 9th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth
Albanese, J., 2000, The Causes of Organized Crime: Do Criminals Organize Around
Opportunities for Crime or Do Criminal Opportunities Create New Offenders?, Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 16 (4), 409-423.
Bologna, J., & Shaw, P., 1997, Corporate Crime Investigation. London: Butterworth-
Heinemann.
Briggs, S., 2009, Criminology for Dummies. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
Browne, K., 2011, An Introduction to Sociology. London: Polity.
Council of Europe, 2002, Crime Analysis: Organised crime – Best practice survey no. 4,
Strasbourg, France.
Dean, G., at al, 2010, Organized Crime: Policing Illegal Business Entrepreneurism. London:
Oxford University Press.
Felson, G., 2009, Crime and Everyday Life. London: SAGE.
Kelland, G., 1987. Crime in London: From Postwar Soho to Present-Day ‘Supergrasses’,
London: Grafton.
Kirby, & Penna, S., 2010, Policing mobile criminality: towards a situational crime prevention
Approach to Organized crime, in: K. Bullock, R.V. Clarke, N. Tilley (eds.), Situational Prevention of Organized Crimes. UK: Cullompton
Woodiwiss, M., 2001, Organized Crime and American Power. Toronto: University of Toronto
Press.

Marketing High Quality 18k Italian Gold Jewelry

January 10, 2012

 

The product to be developed for marketing will constitute high quality 18k Italian gold jewelry. The choice of gold specification for this jewelry product is based on the premise that 18k gold jewelry constitutes approximately 75 percent of pure gold which is standard for consumer and designer jewelry4. This will ensure development of high quality jewelry products for the target market.

The high quality Italian gold jewelry portfolio to be developed will feature products such as earrings, pendants, necklaces and bracelets. Each of this product offering will meet the 18k gold measure while ensuring that each is completely handmade by experienced and talented goldsmiths. To enhance the ability of the produced jewelry to withstand daily wear and for high shine, metal alloys such as copper, palladium, nickel, zinc and silver will be blended with gold. Besides improving luster and durability of the gold jewelry, blending of gold with these metals will assist in enhancing the color of the product4.

Production of the high quality 18k Italian gold jewelry will be entrusted to a renowned jewelry company situated in Italy. This will allow exploitation of the outstanding craftsmanship of the experienced goldsmiths employed by the firm to produce high quality jewelry products that are handmade 1. Production of handmade jewelry will enable the goldsmiths to observe quality of each and every jewelry product besides ensuring consistency in design. This will also allow for the customizing of the gold jewelry where customers can recommend personalized engravings on the products.

The 18k gold jewelry will be suited to the need for quality and genuine products among gold jewelry consumers in the United States. Value proposition will be created as part of the strategic marketing plan for the product through assuring clients of genuine and high quality 18k Italian gold jewelry. This will assist in the differentiation of the product from those offered by competitors in the market thereby enhancing the competitive edge of the product3. The market segment that will targeted during marketing of the product will therefore constitute affluent clientele who seek to mark occasions such as anniversaries, weddings, birthdays, and births among others with high quality gold jewelry either through commissioning a piece or direct purchase.

The strategic marketing plan for the product will also entail creation of employees, partners and suppliers value. Value proposition for partners will be aimed at demonstrating to the firm contracted to develop the product of the value and benefits it stands to derive from the partnership2. Additionally, value proposition for the suppliers and employees will show how each stands to benefits from their input in distribution and production of the high quality gold products.

Internal strengths and weakness of the firm may affect product development and marketing. The firm may benefit from availability of highly skilled and experienced goldsmiths and its strong financial capital in the development of 18k gold jewelry. Internal organizational factors such as location of production center far from the target market and dependence on a single market may affect product sales and marketing efforts. Similarly, the environment external to the organization offers opportunities and threats for the new product2. Factors external to the organization such as ready market for genuine and high quality 18k gold jewelry globally can be exploited by the firm to boost its revenues. The firm can also seek to diversify its jewelry products by venturing into gold watch production. However, the new product faces threats such as well established and trusted gold jewelry manufacturers whose may offer stiff competition to the developed product. Development of substitute either genuine or counterfeit jewelry may also threaten the success of the new gold jewelry products offered by the firm.

 

 

 

References

  1. Disqus. (2011). Fine Italian gold jewelry made in Florence. Retrieved from http://www.visitflorence.com/florence-typical-products/gold-jewelry-florence.html
  2. Kotler, P., & Keller, K. (2011). Marketing management (13th Edition). New York: Prentice Hall.
  3. McKinley, M. (2002). Marketing alignment: Breakthrough strategies for growth and profitability. Tucson: Wheatmark, Inc.
  4. Simona. (n.d). 18k Gold Jewelry at Simona Fine Italian Jewelry. Retrieved from http://www.simonaitalianjewelry.com/18kgold.aspx

 

Curriculum development

January 10, 2012

 

Abstract

This paper is a curriculum development on the teaching approaches to be employed in teaching languages to students at the beginner level. The paper outlines ten keys areas which will be the central focus and each area is allocated a week of its own. These areas are; a general introduction of the various activities, talent, health, fitness, tourism, sports, shopping, arts, media and an assessment respectively.


Introduction

Historical concerns that were at the centre of discussion on how to teach foreign languages are the same ones that have encouraged innovations in modern teaching methods. Changes in teaching methods throughout the world have been informed by a shift in the needs of the learner such as a move toward oral proficiency rather that reading comprehension as the goal of study (Rodgers & Croft, 2007). Although significant gains have been realized from the study of a number of teaching methods, its appropriateness has not passed without criticism (Diane, 2001). This paper is a typical curriculum development on language teaching approaches for students at beginner level.

Weekly Focuses:

 

By the end of the week students will be able to:

Content: Language features such as grammar (G), Functions (F), Notions (N), Vocabulary (V) Specific student activities:

 

Students will:

Resources

 

Week 1: Introduction

  • Engage in discussions on different topics of the study with confidence
  • Be able to write research papers, journals and diaries about the subjects to be covered
  • Make a presentation on the different topics

 

  • Discussion (N)
  • Journal (N)
  • Enquiring about the role of each of each of the different topics (F)
  • Making presentations demonstrates our ability to understand different subject matters (F)

 

  • Involve themselves in team activities-discussing matters related to talents, health, tourism, fitness shopping, sports and the impacts of all these topics
  • Fill forms based on basic vocabularies and grammar
  •  Read and critically analyze information from various resources of the different topics
  • Apply the information in different settings that they will be in

 

  • Role cards
  • brochures
  • worksheets
  • Catalogues
  • Videotapes
  • Internet
  • Pamphlets
  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Journal articles

 

 

Week 2: Talent

  • Write a journal about talent; its nature and development (Sriraman, 2008)
  • Discuss the importance of talent growth in  the lives of people
  • Use charts and tables to represent how a person can progress in his or her talents
  • Journal (N)
  • Talent (N)
  • Some people are multi-talented (G)
  • Discussing about talent advancement (F)
  • Talent vocabulary
  • Participate in demonstrating our talents as a group
  • Explain the different  ways in which students can enhance their abilities
  • Work in pairs to develop articles on various talents
 
  • Talent information sheets
  • Talent catalogues
  • Talent videotapes
Week 3: Health

  • Discuss about health
  • Research on technology and health
  • Write a report on Health information
  • Technology (N)
  • Health (N)
  • Technology is essential in the advancement of health
  • Health vocabulary
  • Watch a video on health and how technology can be used in the treatment of chronic diseases like cancer
  • Identify procedures on how to improve health practices so as to reduce health problems
  • Discuss the connection between good health and healthy living
   

  • Video tape conference
  • Worksheets
  • Cancer brochures
  • Health physician talk
Week 4: Fitness

  • Explain orally  the mind-body fitness of ladies and gentlemen
  • Discuss about the relationship between nutrition and fitness with a friend
  • Give a presentation in a forum in relation to physical and mental fitness (Jones & Debra, 2005)

 

 

  • Fitness (N)
  • Nutrition (N)
  • Discussing about weight management (F)
  • Giving a presentation about physical fitness
  • Fitness vocabulary
  • Brainstorm the link between good nutritional practices and physical fitness and answer questions on the same
  • Discuss fitness related issues with a medical officer from a nearby hospital
  • Discuss the ways of keeping our bodies fit from a health brochure
  • Internet-fitness related websites
  • Maintaining mental fitness- physician talk
  • Pamphlets on how to enhance mental fitness for the young people
 
Week 5: Tourism

  • Discuss about tourism and the  importance of it  in our nation and the whole world
  • write how to protect our tourism attraction sites
  • Argue about the social and economic impacts of tourism
  • Talk about the social disadvantages of tourism especially those caused by foreign tourism
 

  • Tourism (N)
  • Tourists (N)
  • Checking understanding
  • I am from a tourism attraction site(F)
  • Arguing about domestic tourism (F)
  • Discuss with friends about tourism management
  • List the best attraction sites in the world
  • Participate in information gap activities about domestic and foreign tourism
  • Debate on the role of tourism in our economy
 

  • Tourism information sheets
  • Internet
  • Domestic and foreign tourism catalogues
Week 6: Sports

  • Talk about sport related issues with classmates and friends
  • Write a research paper about sports  and its role in promoting the living standards of ladies and gentlemen (Bloyce & Smith, 2009)
  • Make a presentation on their favourite sport
  • Write a diary about football in the western countries
 

  • Proper keeping of a diary
  • Sports (N)
  • Football (N)
  • Sports training (F)
  • Field (N)
  • I have to investigate about modern football tactics (F)
 

  • Engage in team activities-discussing sports related matters
  • Fill forms based on basic vocabularies and grammar
  •  Read and critically analyze a sports brochure
  • Use progressions for teaching  throwing methods
 

  • Role cards
  •  Sports brochures
  • Sports worksheets
  • Football magazines
Week 7: Shopping

  • Developed skills on various shopping practices
  • Discuss effective shopping techniques
  • Write a journal on “shopping and budgeting ’’
  • Discuss the different methods sellers use to fix the prices of goods and services (Papen, 2007)

 

 

  • Shopping(N)
  • Budgeting(N)
  • Discussing the economic role of budgeting  (F)
  • Enquiring about price setting(F)
  • Proper budgeting procedures that have helped me save on my expenses  (G)
  • Keeping a journal
 

  • Suggest the importance of comparing prices before budgeting
  • Complete worksheets based on crucial grammar and vocabulary
  • Read books on proper shopping practices
  • Discuss on the various ways of shopping through the internet
 

  • Books
  • Worksheets
  • Journals
  • Internet- companies advertisement websites
Week 8: Arts

  • Discuss artistic activities
  • Write a report on critical artistic analysis
  • Utilize facts and opinions in relation to artistic work

 

 

  • Art (N)
  • Criticism (N)
  • Analyzing arts (F)
  • Criticism and creative vocabulary
  • Giving opinions in relation to artistic performances (F)
 

  • Discuss fine art, drawing, painting and sculpture making
  • Analyze the different forms of art critically
  • Go for a field trip to discuss how artists can augment their performances
  • Involve in a discussion about the famous artists who ever lived and their contribution to the artistic work
 

  • Case studies-art analysis
  • Videos on the different forms of art
  • Books on artistic work
Week 9: Media

  • Discuss on media and its role in enhancing education with a friend
  • Plan for a media presentation
  • Write a journal on mass communication and how it has helped in the advancement of education in the 21st century
 

  • Media (N)
  • Education (N)
  • Discussing on make a media presentation (F)
  • Maintenance of a journal
  • I can effectively make a television presentation (G)
 

  • Read a mass communication brochure and answer questions
  • Complete media worksheets based on grammar and vocabulary
  • Discuss on how to make presentations using various forms of media
  • Participate in a discussion on how the media can be utilized to positively transform the education curriculum in the future
 

  • Media videotapes
  • Journals
  • Worksheets
  • Media exhibitions
  • Mass communication conferences
Week 10: Assessment

  • Demonstrate the impacts arising out of the various issues in relation to curriculum development
  • Discuss with friends the effects of skills gained in the various topics discussed
  • Engage in the  critical analysis of the manner in which the issues discussed can be put into practice
 

  • Assessment (N)
  • Analysis (N)
  • Analyzing the  topics discussed in depth(F)
  • Orienting friends on the different training practices (F)
  • The topics discussed have various impacts (G)
  • Participate in discussions in relation to the subjects discussed particularly in health, sports and art
  • Orient the other students about their understanding on the various topics discussed
  • Read different brochures, watch videotapes and research on any gaps that may be different from the ones discussed in class. Make criticisms and evaluation on the information obtained
   

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listing

Discussion 

Week 1: Introduction

Task based language teaching is currently widespread in many institutions and education ministries around the globe (Nunan, 1992). The first week will be an introduction of the various activities that will be performed for a period of nine weeks. By the end of the week, the students ought to have gained knowledge on the different topics that are going to be discussed and have confidence when engaging in discussions, debates and arguments with the other classmates. They should have the ability to write journals, diaries, research papers and make presentations in relation to the topics to be covered because they will be the techniques that are going to be utilized as a means of assessment of the work to be performed (Lunenburg & Ornstein, 2011).

Familiarizing themselves with team activities, filling forms based on vocabularies and grammar, engaging in critical analysis and application of the information will be essential for the students because it will form the basis of the activities that they will be involved in.  The students will know where to research information from a variety of resources like catalogues, magazines, journal articles, worksheets, pamphlets, brochures, books, role cards videotapes and the Internet which provides almost all the information that will be required (Kelly, 2009).

Week 2: Talents

While it self-evident that student learn from the interaction between them and their teachers, research has also pointed that the interaction between students and their peers is also significant in the learning process (Freeman & Richards, 1996). In the second week, the students will write a journal on talents and how they can be developed since its growth is quite essential in the promotion of better living in their future. They will do this by the use of charts and tables so as to demonstrate the manner in which people could progress in their different talents. The information in the charts will be useful as it will be a challenge for them to know the various ways which they can involve themselves in so as to advance their talents. This will be a great step to enhancing their creativity and the manner in which they will perform in the exercise that will be utilized as a means of assessment (Diane, 2001).

By writing the journal, they will gain writing skills hence be able to apply the same in other learning processes in future. Discussing about the importance of team cooperation in talent development will give them an insight about the whole process of team work. The resources that will be utilized such as the talent information sheets, catalogues and videotapes will be critical for meeting the needs of the student as different individuals have diverse talents (Dam, 2007).

Week 3: Health

By the third week, students ought to discuss issues relating to health. This is because health is of concern as its effects are adverse when compared to any other subject of discussion. In particular, the manner in which technology can be utilized to get some useful information on some disorders is crucial at present. The students should be able to communicate effectively about health. This will be through the processes that they will be engaged in such as watching a video on health and how technology can be used in the treatment of chronic diseases such as cancer. After which, they will research and come up with practices geared to demonstrating how problems related to health could be reduced.

Since there are many disorders that have become rampant in the developing nations such as diabetes, heart problems and cancer, they will be able to engage in a debate on the best nutritional procedures that people should adopt in order to reduce the rate of increase of these disorders. This is attributed to the connection that exists between good health and health living (Diane, 2001). The resources that will be used by the students such as brochures, worksheets and the talk with a physician will be able to provide up to date information on the disorders. In particular, the talk from the physician will provide them with a good experience since the clinical professionals have experience on the health problems affecting people. The students will have an opportunity to ask questions to the health physician and then discuss with their friends on the health talk which will serve as the means of assessment (Kiguli-Malwadde & Kijambu, 2006).

Week 4: Fitness

The activities to be performed in this week will serve as a turning point to the students, understanding the manner in which they have known about proper mental and physical fitness. To begin with, they will discuss about mind-body fitness of ladies and gentlemen as the practice is different for the two genders. After this, each of the students will engage in a discussion with his or her friend about the relationship between nutrition and fitness. Through these discussions, they will be able to advance their knowledge about the importance of both intellectual and physical fitness and how the same assists in the making of various decisions regarding their life issues.

Giving a presentation in an open forum about fitness, in particular how individuals ought to control their weight in order to be physically fit will serve as the method of assessment for the students by the end of the fourth week. This will happen after the practices that they will be involved in the course of the week such as brainstorming about fitness related matters with a medical officer from a nearby hospital and reading about the methods of keeping our bodies fit from a physical fitness brochure. The resources to be utilized will include internet fitness related websites particularly those dealing with the different ways of having mental fitness and pamphlets with information about the ways of enhancing mental fitness for the young people (Lund & Tannehill, 2009).

Week 5: Tourism

The activities in week 5 will enable the students to advance their skills and thus have the ability to educate others in the same way. They will discuss about tourism and its importance in our nation and the whole world. From this, they will gain information and use it to educate their friends on the different ways of maintaining the fascinating sites that are there in our country. This will be advantageous for them as it will show the level at which they have been able to grasp all what they will have discussed. Educating their friends will serve as an evaluation of their communication proficiency on how they can be able to deliver the information to other people (Black & Crabtree, 2007).

Their critical and analysis strengths will be verified after examining their arguments on the social and economic impacts of tourism and the talk about the social effects of foreign tourism in the developing world. The activities of the students in this topic will entail taking a trip to a tourist attraction site in order to be knowledgeable about tourism management in that site, debate on the role of tourism in the economy and research information from the internet on the management of some of the best tourism attraction sites of the world. All these activities will enable them to be assessed on whether there existed any gap on the information acquired from both domestic and foreign tourism. The tourism information sheets, the Internet and the catalogues of the domestic and foreign tourism will provide the necessary information required (Hsu, 2006).

Week 6: Sports

Students ought to participate in activities dealing with sports such as going to the field to play because practical activities make more impact than theory. By the end of the week, they should be able to write a research paper on sports and how it promotes the living standards of those who engage in it. This is because sports have been proven to play an important role in enhancing the economic growth and development of many different nations of the world. In addition, they should be capable of making a presentation on their favourite sporting activity to other students. This process will be essential in improving the communication skills of the students which is critical in education and in our daily activities.  The students will engage themselves in team work in order to discuss issues related to sports; read and critically analyse sports brochures that mostly deal with the manner in which the young people could advance their sporting skills; and fill forms in relation to basic vocabularies and grammar. The resources to be utilized by the students include role cards, sport brochures and football magazines. The benefit of these resources is they give more detailed information that can be used as a reference in the future (Coalter, 2008)

Week 7: Shopping

As there are diverse shopping procedures, the students ought to be aware of them together with the effectiveness on how to perform in each of the activities as there are skills essential for good shopping. The importance of budgeting before having any shopping practice will be useful as it reduces the expenses involved when shopping. Therefore, the students must discuss about the economic role of budgeting and inquire their classmates how price setting is done for different goods and services. Suggesting on the importance of price comparison before doing shopping, completing worksheets on grammar and vocabulary, engaging in a discussion on the various ways of shopping through the internet, reading books related to appropriate shopping practices and discussing on the different techniques of doing shopping through the internet will be some of the activities to be performed by the students in this topic.

All the discussions and the information that will be extracted from the different sources used will be helpful for the students in writing and updating a journal with any new information. This will be a great boost to their creativity as they will apply what they have investigated about. It will also have a positive impact on their writing skills which is a vital exercise for any learner. The resources to be utilized will mostly be books and information from the advertisement websites of different companies as they provide adequate information for the subject (Craft, 2000).

 

 

Week 8: Art

In this week, the students will do a critical analysis in order to enhance their understanding on the subject as well as develop their creativity through facts and opinions. At the end of the topic, they ought to have a high level of creativity in relation to various artistic activities such as painting, sculpture making, fine art and drawing. By way of discussing with other students, listening to news and going for a field day to critically analyze various forms of art in groups, they will have an in-depth understanding of the topic in general (Day & Hurwitz, 2011). The main activities in the same include appraising different forms of art and engaging in a discussion on how the work of some of the famous artists is contributing to artistic practices today.

The students will also go for a field day and in the process discuss the various techniques of improving artistic work.  Real case studies, news and videotapes will serve as essential resources in gaining such information. The case studies of different authors will give them an insight on how critical analysis can be used to improve the information the students have in regard to art. The assessment of the students will be according to their ability to engage in the critical analysis and how they apply their opinions considering what they already know about arts (Joubert, 2008).

Week 9: The Media

This will be the ninth week and the students will discuss about the media and its role in the enhancement of education. Since there are several categories of media, they will form groups and then plan for a media presentation of their choice. Even though this will serve as a method of assessing them, the students will also write a journal on their own about mass communication and how it has contributed to the advancement of education in the 21st century (future lab, 2011).

This assessment will be used to gauge the understanding of the students unlike in the other assessment which will be general for the different groups. Comprehension is regarded as an active process of constructing psychological representation of meanings by anticipating message contents (Nunan, 1992). The activities of the students will be answering questions after reading a mass communication brochure, completing media worksheets based on grammar and vocabulary, discussing the forms of making presentations using various types of media and participating in a debate on how the media can be utilized to positively transform the future curriculum of education. In spite of the many resources that can provide information relating to media, the students will use information from a variety of journals, attend mass communication conferences and exhibitions, watch videotapes and use information from worksheets (Rhys, 2010).

Week 10: Assessment

This week will involve activities to be done with the students demonstrating the impacts that arise out of the different topics discussed for the past nine weeks and how they relate to the curriculum development. By the end of the week, the students ought to discuss with their classmates about the skills that they have gained from various topics. This will entail a critical analysis of the issues discussed and how they can be applied in practise. This will be a great step in order to identify the gaps that exist among the students.

Their engagement in the critical analysis will be used to assess them on their understanding of the various topics that they have discussed since the term began (Nunan, 1992). They will thus involve themselves in discussions and answer questions particularly in sports, health and art. They will also read brochures, watch videotapes, research from various resources and thereafter make criticisms and evaluation on the information obtained from the topics discussed. In order to have knowledge on the impacts, they will utilize many resources depending on their preferences and then provide a summary of the best resources that provide the required information out of the several resources that have been suggested for each of the topics.

Conclusion

            The development of a curriculum is essential in education. Through it, the students will be able to know the activities they have and what they are expected to accomplish by the end of a defined period of time. The first week will entail an introduction of the various topics to be covered in the entire period. It will include a summary of the resources that will be utilized when covering the topics, the activities the students will involve themselves in and what will be expected of them. This is important as the students will have the opportunity of set goals to enable them to achieve the requirements of each of the topic. Talent will be discussed in the second week and after which, the students will write a journal in relation to it. The discussion about health, fitness, tourism, sports, shopping and art will give the students a chance to enhance their knowledge on the topics, engage in a critical analysis of the issues discussed and be assessed on their understanding. This will establish any gaps that exist among the students in relation to their levels of understanding.

 

 

 

 

 

References

Black, R., & Crabtree, A. (2007). Quality assurance and certification in ecotourism. Wallingford: CABI.

Bloyce, D., & Smith, A. (2009). Sport, policy, and development: an introduction. New York: Taylor & Francis.

Coalter, F. (2008). A wider social role for sport: who’s keeping the score? New York: Taylor & Francis .

Craft, A. ( 2000). Creativity across the primary curriculum: framing and developing practice. New York: Routledge.

Dam, N. v. (2007). 25 Best Practices in Learning & Talent Development. S.l.: Lulu.com.

Day, M., & Hurwitz, A. ( 2011). Children and Their Art: Art Education for Elementary and Middle Schools. Boston: Cengage Learning.

Diane, L.-F. (2001). Techniques and principles in language teaching. New York : Oxford University Press.

Freeman, D., & Richards, J. C. (1996). Teacher learning in language teaching. New York: Cambridge University Press.

futurelab. (2011). Curriculum Development and Youth Media. Retrieved October 15, 2011, from http://www.futurelab.org.uk/resources/curriculum-development-and-youth-media

Hsu, C. H. (2006). Global tourism higher education: past, present, and future. New York: Routledge.

Jones, J. C., & Debra, R. J. ( 2005). Physical activity instruction of older adults. Champaign: Human Kinetics.

Joubert, L. (2008). Educating in the Arts: The Asian Experience, Twenty-four Essays. Dordrecht : Springer.

Kelly, A. V. (2009). The Curriculum: Theory and Practice. Los Angeles: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Kiguli-Malwadde, E., & Kijjambu, S. (2006). Problem Based Learning, curriculum development and change process at Faculty of Medicine, Makerere University, Uganda. African Health Sciences , 127-130.

Lund, J., & Tannehill, D. ( 2009). Standards-Based Physical Education Curriculum Development. Sudbury: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Lunenburg, F. C., & Ornstein, A. C. ( 2011). Educational Administration: Concepts and Practices. Belmont: Cengage Learning.

Nunan, D. (1992). Collaborative language learning and teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Papen, U. ( 2007). Literacy and globalization: reading and writing in times of social and cultural change. New York: Taylor & Francis.

Rhys. ( 2010, June). curriculum development. Retrieved October 15, 2011, from http://themediaspot.org/tags/curriculum_development

Rodgers, T. S., & Croft, J. R. (2007). Approaches and methods in language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Sriraman, B. ( 2008). Creativity, giftedness, and talent development in mathematics. Charlotte: IAP.

 

management

January 10, 2012

 

Abstract

This report is about Singapore Airlines as a learning organisation and the way it sustained change and profitability along with the satisfaction of its customers. It explains how the organisation stood ahead of its competitors, even during a recession, and describes its quality service, compassionate treatment as well as concerns for the needs and safety of its customers, which has enabled the organisation to be innovative, cost effective and profitable in all periods of operation.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction                                                                                                               4

1.1 The Study                                                                                                            4

  1. Description of the Learning Organisation Selected and

the Departments in Question                                                                                      5

  1. Justification of the Framework                                                                        7

3.1 Attributes Used                                                                                                   7

3.2 Analysis of learning organization                                                                            9

4. Methodology                                                                                                                     10

5. Synopsis of the Data Collected                                                                                          12

6. Findings and Discussion                                                                                                     13

6.1 Indicators of a Learning Organisation                                                              13

6.2  Individual Level Learning                                                                                           13

6.3  Community Level Learning                                                                                         14

6.4  Organisational Learning                                                                                              15

  1. Conclusion                                                                                                                16
  2. Recommendations                                                                                                     17
  3. Reference List                                                                                                18

 

  1. 1.            Introduction

The Singapore Airlines has sustained change and has overcome the adverse effects of recession and that made the organization an ideal one to study as a learning organization. The reason is that without learning in the organization at all levels, sustenance of change is not possible and the study observes that aspect in SIA. The study observes, reviews and analyses the learning happened and happening at all levels to make it a learning organization. This is because, the purpose of this study is to examine how a learning organisation, namely Singapore Airlines, sustains growth in a changing environment along with the maintenance of profitability at a reasonable level. As part of the study, the ways and means of Singapore Airlines and the environmental factors that helped its management have been analysed. The necessities and demands of the customers are ever increasing, which is an environmental factor that needs consideration. Consequently, customers of Singapore Airlines were interviewed to discover the reasons for their satisfaction and their intention to return to the airline. Interviews with senior management members were also undertaken to understand the ways and means and ideas as well of SIA to make the organization a learning one. Their responses revealed that, ideas and the implementation makes SIA a learning one.

Thesis Statement: A learning organization can sustain change even in adverse times.

1.1 The Study

This study has been conducted on Singapore Airlines, which is one of the best airlines in the world that has accrued profits even in adverse economic times. Apart from its swift operation of flights and adaptation to newer technologies, Singapore Airlines is well known for its hospitality offered to the onboard passengers and its facilities and safety measures. Credit for this could be given to the management which framed and implemented strategies according to the changing times. Moreover, staff training is modified according to the changing needs of passengers and the firm’s strategies. As part of the study, some regular passengers of the airline and members of senior management were interviewed, the outcomes of which were compared with each other.

 

  1. 2.            Description of the Learning Organisation Selected and the Departments in Question

Singapore Airlines began as Malayan Airways Limited (MAL) on 1st May 1947 (Singapore Airlines, 2011). The first flights flew from Kallang Airport in Singapore to Kuala Lumpur, Ipon and Penang three times a week. From the first day of its inception, the firm has been upgrading itself and the first such step was to replace its flights with a larger capacity DC-3 aircraft to make the journey much faster and more comfortable. It also extended its services from within the country to other destinations like Indonesia and Vietnam. The services are for Burma (now Myanmar) and North Borneo (Sabah) also. The organization operated flights to areas like Sarawak. The organisation is famous for the hospitality shown by its staff towards its passengers. Known as “female pursers”, the hostesses of Singapore Airlines are the forerunners of today’s Singapore Girl. In 1963, according to the changes in the market, the uniform for the iconic ‘Singapore Girl’ was designed by the French designer, Pierre Balmain (Singapore Airlines, 2011).

The firm has increased its fleet in the 1950s and 1960s and in 1963 the airlines changed its name to Malaysian Airways Limited. On 16th September 1966, the airline changed its name to Malaysia-Singapore Airlines (MSA) and within two years, the organisation increased its revenues to S$100 million. However, until then it did not have flights to continents other than Asia; hence, it had international flights, but not inter-continental flights. Recognising the needs of the passengers to fly to other continents, MSA introduced its first transcontinental flight to London in 1971. In 1972, MSA was split into two airlines: Singapore Airlines and Malaysian Airline System. Within a decade, Singapore Airlines established a subsidiary company known as Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SATS). In 1981, Singapore Airlines completed the construction of ‘Changi Airport. Alongside the completion of Changi Airport, the SIA has built its headquarters at Changi Airfreight Centre (Singapore Airlines, 2011).

 

Continuing its expansion and growth, the firm established ‘Tradewinds’, which is another subsidiary, and renamed it as SilkAir. The SilkAir helped the organisation to develop network in South East Asia. This network has 30 destinations in the area. The working of new terminal at Changi Airport has been added to the advantages of the developed network and it started working from 22nd November 1990. Eight years after in 1998, SIA, has started designing new products for customers regarding the services offered onboard and on ground. These services offered extra comfort to customer and a better cuisine and entertainment in the air as well. Singapore Airlines started running its first A340-500 and set a record for running the longest non-stop commercial flight ever before in the world. The flight has flown from Singapore to Los Angeles. Along with its business class full-flat seats, it introduced economy class seats. Adding entertainment to comfort the organization started Kris world inflight entertainment system. This has won awards for Singapore airlines.

 

The Singapore Airlines departments examined in this paper include the top management team, and the scheduling and flight attendants (servicing) departments. The management team is responsible for cost effective enhanced services in adverse times, while the scheduling staff and flight attendants are responsible for the brand value created by the company through their hospitality towards the passengers.

  1. 3.            Justification of the Framework

3.1        Attributes Used

The framework used in this paper is one that considers learning that demonstrates individual, community and organisational learning. These three attributes and the associated practices followed by the employees or the management are used here for analysis. The first one is learning from individual experience, and the system in Singapore Airlines prompts the employees to continuously assess their work practices (Wirtz J & Johnston R: 2003, 11-12).[1] This prompting occurs through the management’s continuous monitoring of the practices in the organisation and of the necessities of the passengers, and the employees are trained accordingly. While observing the employees, the senior management team follows appraisal methods to determine the experiences and responses of the employees. As a result, the employees of Singapore Airlines are providing highest standards of hospitality to the passengers, and the scheduling department is running the flights punctually.

 

The second attribute of learning is community learning, and the employees learn from each other as the employees or managers who are trained according to the new necessities of the customers offer new standards of treatment that will help their subordinates and colleagues learn from them (Wirtz J & Johnston R. (2003, 12).[2] The employees share knowledge with their colleagues, and the managers set precedents with their behaviour and establish new practices while working to enable team learning. In order to know the extent of learning in the organisation, the framework examines the successful change efforts done by the management. In this regard, Gilley and Maycunich (2000, p. 27) referred to the flexibility of the organisation, the leadership that offers it and how the firm attains “measurable, tangible results without the fear of the unknown and ability to mobilize commitment to sustain change”.

 

The third attribute is absorptive capacity at organizational learning. After fulfilling the individual and community learning, Singapore Airlines takes feedback from the customers to know the extent of their satisfaction towards the services rendered. The absorptive capacity of an organisation indicates its acquiring and recognising capacities regarding the values and interpretation of the customers’ needs (Garavan T: 1997, 21).[3] To enable organisational learning, the information attained from feedback will be used to enhance work practices in the organisation and ensure communication between different departments. Gilley and Maycunich (2000, p. 27) explained that organisational vitality in a learning organisation is an indicator of the attributes ranging from individual to organisational learning. It is therefore necessary for the management to assess the required change in the employees according to the changing needs of the customers.

A learning organisation “represents a shift to organisational development and growth” (Garavan, 1997, p. 18). In Singapore Airlines, it is necessary for the management to ensure that its employees act according to the principles of individual and community learning, which leads to organisational learning and the airline manages to that by giving the necessary training to its employees. Armstrong (2003, p. 74) opined that there is ‘little opposition to the premise that the organisational learning is a competence that all organisations should develop in fast-changing and competitive environments’ (Armstrong, 2003, p. 74) and it is reflected in every step of Singapore Airlines as the management not only offers training, but also moulds the employees in that way and monitors the ways and means of their performance (Armstrong, 2003, p. 74).

 

3.2  Analysis of learning organization

The framework that will be used here involves the analysis of a learning organisation using the attributes of individuals learning from each other, learning as a group, and organisational learning and absorptive capacity. While considering these attributes, the human experiences are necessary to evaluate the learning nature of the organisation. According to Field (2011), they narrate the

social activity that revolve around such things as communication, achieving consensus and making meaning of our lives and freedom, autonomy and responsibility to maintain freedom from unjust constraints, power relations and the systems of beliefs and values which hem us in (p. 273).

 

In the organisation that does not remove the constraints and power relations, the individuals will be isolated and, according to Scriptorg (2007, 26), will not learn in such organisations. The situations that make individuals learn are of two types, namely single loop and double loop learning (Scriptorg (2007, 26). In single loop learning, the individuals correct their errors and improve themselves, but do not challenge the reasons under which they are working. This absence of challenging the reasons enables the management to have control over the organisation. However, this contrasts with double loop learning where employees reassess values and assumptions. Regarding this aspect, one can observe that the employees of Singapore Airlines have a deeper understanding of the external environment as they are able to cope with every change the management brings for the enhancement of quality service for the in-flight passengers (Scriptorg, 2011, p. 26). Consequently, organizational learning can be termed as an inherent doing or a process in an organization that reflects the collective learning of the individuals in the organisation. Hence, it is necessary for the teams to implement the learning practically during the different processes of the organisation to make its products or services effective (Ortenblad, 2001, p. 126). This can be seen in Singapore Airlines where the services and products are changing along with the fleet over the course of time. ‘The organisational learning hides who learns’ (Ortenblad, 2001, p. 128) as the learning is not individual-specific and depends on the knowledge of the management and leadership in the organisation (Ortenblad, 2001, pp. 126-128). Although the individuals are learning in an organisation, their learning may not be reflected in the activities of the firm, unless the learning of all the individuals enables community learning, which leads to organisational learning. This happens in Singapore Airlines as the quality of services is being increased over time (Janusik & Wolvin, 2007).

 

  1. 4.            Methodology

The methodology involved in this report is to gather the responses of the passengers who regularly travel with Singapore Airlines and to compare these with the ideas of the senior management team. Sixty passengers and seven senior management team members were interviewed, and the latter did not know about the interviews of the passengers. The data collected were of two types: primary data for the passengers and secondary data were collected from authentic journals and books written on the relevant research regarding the attributes considered for the framework.

 

Regarding the people considered for collecting the primary data, twenty were Asians who frequently travel to tourist destinations in Asia. The other forty people were Western expatriates residing in Singapore.

The questions posed to them are as follows:

  1. What airline do you prefer when there is the need of a journey?
  2. What is the reason for this?
  3. What difference do you observe in the quality of service offered by Singapore Airlines?
  4. Can you please differentiate between the hospitality of Singapore Airlines and its competitors?
  5. Does the organisation have enough capability to offer cargo services for an industry?

The questions posed to the passengers are capable of revealing the absorptive capacity of the organisation, which occurs when the customers are satisfied. The organisation learns according to the needs of the customers and changing times. The changing times prompted SIA to emphasize on cargo services for the sustenance of the organisation.

 

The second part of the data consists of the information given by the members of the senior management team of Singapore Airlines. Wirtz and Johnston interviewed Mr. Choo Pho Leong, Senior Manager for cabin crew performance; Dr. Goh Ban Eng, Senior Manager for cabin crew training; Mrs. Lam Seet Mui, Senior Manager for human resources development; Ms Lim Suu Kuan, Commercial Training Manager; Mr Sim Kay Wee, Senior Vice President for Cabin Crew; Ms Betty Wong, Senior Manager Cabin Crew Service Development; and Mr. Yap Kim Wah, Senior Vice President for product and service. The study was conducted on behalf of the Institute of Customer Service in the United Kingdom (Wirtz & Johnston, 2003, pp. 10-11).

 

  1. 5.            Synopsis of the Data Collected

The answer to the first question is overwhelmingly Singapore Airlines as the preferred airline, and a few interviewees even commented that it is difficult to get a seat on flights if the journey has not been planned in advance due to the demand for the tickets.

 

Regarding the second question, the Asian respondents indicated the hospitality of the staff and the expatriates were also satisfied with the same. They preferred the Singapore Airlines flights due to the treatment meted out to them when they first travelled with the airline.

 

For the third question, the respondents explained the difference between the Singapore Airlines and its competitors. Fifty-five of them observed that the concern of the management and staff towards the passengers is great and cannot be observed in the competitor airlines.

 

The concern mentioned by the passengers in answering the fourth question was explained in answering the fifth question. They are flattered by the courtesy of flight crew who show care and respect towards the passengers while serving them, which is the culture inculcated in the employees by the management.

 

More than half of the passengers interviewed were businessmen who use the cargo services of Singapore Airlines’ subsidiaries and are satisfied with this. Moreover, they want these cargo services extended to other geographical locations as they are limited as of the time of the interviews.

 

  1. 6.            Findings and Discussion

6.1    Indicators of a Learning Organisation

According to Chan (2000, p. 519), Singapore Airlines transformed itself “driven by the changing needs and demands of the individual traveller and modern travel, in a fast globalising industry fuelled by increased international trade, travel and tourism” (Chan, 2000, p. 519). The transformation of the services in air travel will not be possible without learning taking place in the organisation. Wirtz and Johnston (2003, p. 11) quoted the words of Mr Yap Kim Wah, Singapore Airlines’ Senior Vice President responsible for product and service. According to Mr. Yap, Singapore Airlines has a “high reputation for service and that means that when someone flies with us, they come with high expectations. Still they come out saying ‘wow’”..This means that Singapore Airlines is improving its quality in the execution of daily services which is only possible with continuous learning in the course of time.

 

6.2    Individual Level Learning

All the customers of Singapore Airlines interviewed commented that they are not only satisfied with the services, but they want to recommend the airlines to their friends and relatives as they are flattered by the treatment of staff onboard the flights. When different passengers who do not know each other are satisfied with the services of the flight attendants and other staff of the airlines, it could be understood that individuals in Singapore Airlines are learning according to the changing times.

6.3        Community Level Learning

Regarding the strategies that make a learning organisation effective, Wirtz, Heracleous and Pangarkar (2008, p. 5) mentioned the organisation’s “generic strategy and supporting capabilities”. The strategies of the company are directed towards offering services with quality and in a cost-effective way. To do so, the management of Singapore Airlines has effectively aligned functional strategies with business level strategy. The functional strategies are ‘HR, marketing and other operations. This needs community learning as the strategy needs communication between departments, which is only possible with each department being a group or a community. Mr Yap, Senior Vice President of Product and Service, recalled the onboard development of mobile phone and internet services. He mentioned the apprehension they had in the beginning as some of the businesspeople consider the flight as a place they could escape from from connectivity. However, when SIA conducted a survey, all the customers of Singapore Airlines welcomed the innovation, and when the organisation learned that the business-class customers love to have connectivity while flying, it introduced this feature.

 

Mr Sim, Senior Vice President of the cabin crew, also provided the example of the walkman, which has revolutionised listening to music by making it possible while mobile. In the same way, different departments of Singapore Airlines even understood the health consciousness of its customers and offered lighter as well as nutritional food on board. This strategy can be termed as mixing innovation with understanding the customers (Wirtz & Johnston, 2003, p. 13). It is worth noting that Singapore Airlines was ‘first to offer free headsets to passengers. The changes include the cuisine also as SIA offered a range of meals and free drinks even in economy class. This represents the management’s understanding of customers’ needs, which represents the extent of learning in an organisation. These types of activities and initiations differentiate the services of Singapore Airlines with innovation and quality in delivery.

 

6.4        Organisational Learning

When taking care of customers, it is important to mention the installation of ‘Amsafe inflatable bags. The inflatable bags are attached to the business and first-class seats of Boeing 777-300ER aircraft for safety of passengers. These aircrafts are newly introduced by SIA in 2007. These bags are useful in emergency situations when the passengers would be forced out of the plane. The organisational learning is reflected in the above context as the management were able to predict and offered vital piece of equipment in an acceptable and welcoming way for the passengers. This safety measure implemented by Singapore Airlines prompts all its customers to travel in business or first class as it would be safer in the context of an emergency as they could escape using the inflatable bag. The company as a whole reflected organisational learning by achieving cost effectiveness in the environment of severe competition. Singapore Airlines has learned and is learning from the environment and can use any situation. The organization used the availability of cheap labour in Asia to recruit at low cost.  In this regard, Strategic Direction (2004, 5) stated that the firm tries to overcome the barriers regarding cost, by getting the most out of available assets. Another aspect that helped Singapore Airlines to overcome the barrier of cost effectiveness and staying profitable in a recession is Asia’s emerging (Strategic Direction, 2004, 5).

In addition to the above aspects, indication for good will created by its financial stability and growth could be seen in the action of Airbus manufacturing its first A380 for Singapore Airlines in 2007 as buying that plane is a high cost affair (PRT, 2007).

  1. 7.            Conclusion

As per the thesis statement of the organization that a learning organization can sustain change even in adverse times, the study and analysis revealed the learning nature of the Singapore Airlines. It can be concluded that Singapore Airlines is a learning organisation as the learning occurs in all levels ranging from individual going through community and concluding with organisational learning. The essence of organisational learning in Singapore Airlines is that the management is using accumulated knowledge to make Singapore Airlines a learning organisation. The attributes of individual, community and organizational learning, which can also be termed as absorptive capacity, helped the organization to attain perfection in the services. This situation resulted in transforming the organisation into a learning organisation. The commitment of offering perfect quality services to the customers with the intention of retaining or increasing profitability have resulted in cost-effective methods in offering services. The responses of Senior management team members conveyed that management conveys to the customers that it not only cares about their needs and necessities, but also their personal aspirations as well as safety concerns also are part of the strategies of the organisation to better the services offered.. This factor has been considerably addressed by the management of Singapore Airlines with commitment and innovation as well as cost effectiveness.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. 8.            Recommendations
  1. Singapore Airlines has a system of training the employees according to the need. In addition to that, it is necessary to introduce a interpersonal communication system that allows the employees to discuss the aspects of duties among themselves. The team leaders could monitor the minutes of those discussions and give relevant suggestions to improve individual level learning.
  2. The same type of system mentioned in the first recommendation could be used between different departments or teams. The teams or departments need to maintain a record of their experiences and every month the coordinators of between different departments have to peruse those records and can select some aspects that are useful to all the teams or departments, which help in their activities.
  3. Regarding the third attribute of organizational learning, Singapore Airlines need to treat the economy and upper classes equally regarding offering of safety measures as this is the primary concern and right of every passenger. If the organization has to maintain difference between economy and upper classes, the difference could be in the comforts offered to upper classes. One such example is to offer inflatable safety bags even to economy class passengers.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. 9.            References

Aircraft Engineeering and Aerospace Technology. (2007). Singapore Airlines adopts life-saving AmSafe airbags. Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, 79(4). P.135.

Armstrong, A. (2003). Foundations for a Learning Organization: Organization Learning Mechanisms. The Learning Organization, 10(2), 74-82.

Chan, D. (2000). Beyond Singapore Girl: Grand and product/service differentiation strategies in the new millennium. Journal of Management Development, 19(6), 515-542.

Field, L. (2011). Exploring the Political Underbelly of Organizational Learning. The Learning Organization, 18(4), 272-282.

Garavan, T. (1997). The Learning Organization: Review and Evaluation. The Learning Organization, 4(1), 18-29.

Gilley, J.W., & Maycunich, A. (2000). Beyond the Learning Organization: Creating a Culture of Continuous Growth and Development through State-Of-The-Art Human Resource Practices. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing. Pp. 27.

Janusik, L.A. & Wolvin, A.D. (2007). The Communication Research Team as Learning Community. Education, 128(2). Pp.169-188.

Ortenblad, A. (2001). On Differences Between Organizational Learning and Learning Organization. The Learning Organization, 8(3), 125-133.

Pigment and Resin Technology. (2007). Airbus starts painting first A380 for Singapore Airlines. Pigment & Resin Technology, 36(4). Retrieved on 5th October 2011 from http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=0369-9420&volume=36&issue=4&articleid=1612578&show=html&view=printarticle&nolog=20046

Scriptorg. (2007). The Crucial role of Managers in Individual Learning. Development and Learning in Organizations, 21(2), 26-28.

Singapore Airlines. (2011). About Singapore Airlines. Retrieved on 30th September 2011 from http://www.singaporeair.com/en_UK/about-us/.

Singapore Airlines. (2011). Singapore Airlines: Our History. Singaporeair.com. Retrieved on 29th September 2011 from http://www.singaporeair.com/en_UK/about-us/sia-history/.

Strategic Direction. (2004). Singapore Airlines’ Winning Formula: Cutting the Cost of Being the Best. In Strategic Direction, 20(9), 4-7.

Wirtz, J., Heracleous, L., & Pangarkar, N. (2008). Managing Human Resources for Service Excellence and Cost effectiveness at Singapore Airlines. Managing Service Quality, 18(1), 4-19.

Wirtz, J., & Johnston, R. (2003). Interview with “Service Champions” Singapore Airlines: What it takes to sustain service Excellence – A Senior Management Perspective. Managing Service Quality, 13(1), 10-19.


[1] Wirtz J & Johnston R. (2003). Interview with “Service Champions” Singapore Airlines: What it takes to sustain service Excellence – A Senior Management Perspective. In Managing Service Quality. 13(1). Pp. 10-19

[2] Wirtz J & Johnston R. (2003). Interview with “Service Champions” Singapore Airlines: What it takes to sustain service Excellence – A Senior Management Perspective. In Managing Service Quality. 13(1). Pp. 10-19

[3] Garavan T. (1997). The Learning Organization: Review and Evaluation. In The Learning Organization. 4(1). Pp. 18-29.

Is an educated, enlightened population necessary a prerequisite for democracy?

January 10, 2012

 

For democracy to be present in any nation, there are some aspects that need to be present in the society for the realization of true democracy. Some of the prerequisites of democracy include peace, security, impartial media, a willing population, literacy among the population among other aspects. This paper is going to argue out the importance of education as a prerequisite for democracy. Both the negative and positive aspects will be discussed in this paper.

All over the world, the issue of democracy seems to be on the lips of every other person. Abraham Lincoln, a former president of the United States defined democracy as a government of the people, made by the people and for the service of the people (Beetham, 1999:23). Generally, democracy can be said to be a system of government that is run by the whole population or all parties represented in the state. However, one question that lingers in the minds of many people is whether education is a necessary prerequisite for democracy to exist. On a personal basis, I agree with the statement: education is very vital for any country or nation that wishes to embrace democracy as its system of governance.

High levels of education are a conditional prerequisite for democracy. It is very essential for a population to be highly educated in order for it to attain democracy. John Dewey argued out that education enables the “culture of democracy” to develop. When a population is educated, it learns the intricacies of democracy, which are posited in the system (Dewey, 1916:98). Through education, a population gets the opportunity to learn from history of past systems of leadership. It is through studying the history of past leadership that the population can understand the advantages and disadvantages of democracy. This gives the population an idea of the kind of system, which they may want in their society, and one of the systems is a democratic system of government.

Education is the key to greater prosperity and development of a nation. Political development is also thought to occur when prosperity is taking place. Through education, a population is fed with different skills, which are necessary for technological, infrastructural and economic development. As a population goes through the process of attaining necessary skills for prosperity through education, it also gets to learn best ways of managing the prosperity that is to be acquired. It is common knowledge that for proper management of a certain commodity, it is an expert in the said field that can do it best. It can therefore be eluded that education is key to democracy (Madhu, n.d.:1).

According to Seymour Martin Lipset, education broadens the outlook of men. Through this broadening of men’s outlook, people come to understand and appreciate the need for norms of tolerance. This restrains a people from being inclined to monistic and extremist doctrines, and at the same time increases ones capacity to make rational choices. In this context, education is known to provide a person with a broader view of the world, which also broadens a person’s way of looking at an event. Through education, a person gets to learn tolerance of other people’s point of view (Lipset, 1959:79). For example, in a class, students may have different views on a given issue, but by the end of the lesson, a middle ground is normally reached for uniformity. This means that even though some had a different view, they had to contend with the majority and accept the views of others. It is through this type of experience that a population learns to tolerate the views of others, which is a component of democracy.

Consequently, democratic norms and practices need to be taught for people to appreciate and understand their responsibilities and opportunities in a democratic society. It is not possible for a population to learn the intricacies of democracy without going through a system that gives them the lessons and understanding. This means that for realization of democracy, a population has to go through an education system that imparts the ideas of democracy in their minds. People cannot just learn democracy out of the blues; it has to be imparted by another person (McCullum, 2005:1).

On the other hand, it has been argued out that education is not a prerequisite to democracy. Every society normally transmits its habits of social norms, culture, mind and ideals from one generation to the next. This has been going on since time in memorial, even without a formal education system and enlightenment of the population. Just as other aspects of life have been learnt from one generation to the next, it is also possible for democracy to be adopted by a population without enlightenment and education.

Just by looking at some of the countries around the world where democracy is not present, the population is educated and enlightened. For example, Iran to some extent is not democratic in its leadership system, but autocratic. However, looking at the population, it is highly enlightened and educated than even some countries that are democratic. This can be used as an indication to show that education is not a prerequisite to democracy. In fact, the leaders of some of the most autocratic countries are very enlightened and educated (Freedom House, 2004:4).

Every society transmits its habits of culture, mind, social norms, and ideals from one generation to the next. Education is a way in which society will transmit its system of governance from one generation to the next. It is very possible for the education system to be made to fit and teach the system that is in play at the moment. For example, an autocratic system may incorporate autocratic norms in its education system, which will be transmitted from one generation to the next. Therefore, education is not a necessary prerequisite to democracy.

However, a general view is that education of a population is a necessary prerequisite for democracy. An example of a country that has recently moved into democracy is Malaysia. It is without say that Malaysia is one of the countries that are currently enjoying the fruits of education. Before 1960s, Malaysia was under dictatorship: however, with proper and dedicated enlightenment of the population, democracy is now the system of leadership. This has also led to development of the country, which has it to be among the fastest growing economies of the world. Looking at the education index of Malaysia, it is very high (World Bank, 2002:153).

Therefore, in order for a country to experience democracy, education and enlightenment of the population is vital. This is because education broadens people’s point of view, promotes development, teaches the norms of democracy and transmits democracy to younger generations. However, education can also be used as a tool of impending democracy and propagating other systems of government such as autocracy. But looking at both arguments, there is a broader understanding that education and enlightenment are a prerequisite for democracy.

References

Beetham, D. (1999). Democracy and human rights. New York: Wiley-Blackwell.

Dewey, J. (1916). Democracy and education. New York: Macmillan Company.

Freedom House. (2004). Freedom in the world. Washington DC: Freedom House.

Lipset, S. M. (1959). Some social requisites of democracy: economic development and political         legitimacy. American Political Science Review, 53, 69-105.

Madhu, S. (n.d.). Is education a prerequisite for democracy? MindTEXT. Retrieved from             http://www.mindtext.org/view/2/Is_Education_a_prerequisite_for_Democracy?

McCullum, H. (2005). Education in Africa: colonialism and the millennium development goals.            News from Africa. Retrieved from             http://www.newsfromafrica.org/newsfromafrica/articles/art_9909.html

World Bank. (2002). World development indicators. Washington, DC: World Bank.

 

 

Washington Consensus

January 10, 2012

The terminology Washington Consensus was a term coined by an economist called John Williamson. He used this term to put in summary the commonly shared themes from policy advice used by the Washington based Institutions of the day like World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the US Treasury Department. These very themes were believed to be significant for the recovery of Latin America out of the financial and economic upheavals experienced in the 1980s.Washington Consensus refers to a set of ten policies that the United States capital assumed were the most significant elements of the beginning “first stage policy reform” that all nations had to follow so as to boost and increase economic growth particularly in the crisis wracked developing nations of the world.  At the very focal point of the consensus is a particulate emphasis on the significance of macro-economic strength and intergration as pertains the international economy. In simple terms it was a neo-liberal perception of globalization. The pillars to this included:

ü  Fiscal discipline- there had to be a strict pattern for taking care of budget deficits

ü  Public expenditure priorities- they had to be changed and placed away from any subsidies and administration towards any fields of high economic returns that had been neglected in the past

ü  Tax reform- there had to be a plan to widen the tax base and trim down marginal tax rates

ü  Financial liberalization- there was to be a clear plan to ensure that interest rates are ideally market determined

ü  Exchange rates- they had to be managed so as to induce quick growth in the modern exports

ü  Trade liberalization

ü  Augmenting foreign direct investment (FDI)- this would be done by cutting down barriers

ü  Privatization- that all state entreprises shall have to be privatized

ü  Deregulation- all regulations that hindered the entry of new firms or were an obstacle to competition had to be done away wtih

ü  Secure intellectual property rights (IPR)- this had to ignore excessive costs and had to be ready and to the disposal of the informal sector

ü  Reduced presence and role of the state

The first of the three reforms above were good but in the long run, most of these proposals proved to be extremely controversial in and out of the Bretton Woods Institutions. Nevertheless, they were implemented although under so many conditions such as the structural adjustment programs ( SAPS) under the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank directives. SAPS were extremely good as they ensured that nations stuck to what they had endevoured to do as well as sticking to the payment of loans granted by these Washington institutions. In as much as Williamson plan emphasized on the duty and role of the Bretton Woods institutions in advancing the above goals, many other individuals have claimed  that Latin American policy makers deduced their personal assortment of policy reforms relying upon their analysis of the individual countries that they were coming from.

Contention abounds about the source of the policy in the consensus. For instance, there are those that argue policies stipulated in the original consensus were greatly a make up of Latin American political brass and technocrats. Williamson’s role in this whole thing was just to collect the ten points needed in a single place rather than to just come up with the collection of policies (Birdsall, Augusto and Felipe Valencia, 2010: 1).

So many nations tried to implement various components of the reform prescriptions. This at times due to the fact that it could be a requirement for access of funding from the IMF and World Bank. This led to some impacts that is an acclaim of so much debate. Some great record of development was noticed in the early stages as a result. However, there are those people out there with claims that the reforms proposed led to great destabilization. More other individuals have also put blame on the washington consensus for certain economic crises like the Argentine economic crisis of nineteen ninty nine to two thousand and two.

Williamson summarizes the general impacts that the Washington Consensus has had on growth ,employment, and poverty reduction in so many nations as very little and need improvement as it failed to particularly address all issues that had arisen by 1989 or others that followed (Williamson,1989:14). All this he claims to some three factors which are: that the consensus failed to put special attention on important mechanisms needed to avoid any crisis, the reforms were largely incomplete and that the reforms listed were also very ambitious in relation to them targeting any ameliorations in income share and distribution.

According to a World Bank’s study report called Learning from the Reforms, some developments witnessed in the 1990s are shown. Accordingly, there was a very entrenched and long decrease in output in some nations marking the transition from a communist to market economies. For instance, so many years later into the transition, so many nations had still not come up to their ideal 1990 expected levels of output (World Bank, 2005:11).

There is also empirical evidence that some of the stabilization programs proposed earlier through institutions such as the IMF have a good and positive impact on the nature of balance of payments and the current account. Nevertheless, profound evidence for obvious reductions in inflation and possibilities for growth is somehow limited and very questionable. A good example is the case for Argentina’s structural adjustment programs that led to an increase of inequality and poverty.

There exist complex problems in the measurement of any empirical success of such fund programs. It is particularly hard to make a calculation of the counterfactual. This is relation to questions of what might possibly have happened were it not for the fund’s intervention. As a matter of fact, the before and after proof of success in any balance of payments is a lot weaker than any calculations made of success relative to counterfactual.

 

 

 

 

 

References

Birdsall, Nancy, Augusto de la Torre & Felipe, Valencia Caicedo. The Washington   Consensus: Working Paper 213. Centre for Global         Development. April 2010. Web.          October 2011.

Williamson, John. (1989). A short History of the Washington Consensus. Washington:        Institute for International Economics.

World Bank. (2005). Economic Growth in the 1990s: Learning from a Decade of Reform.          Washington: Institute for International Economics.