Archive for July, 2013

July 31, 2013

 

 

 

The effect of variable catechol concentration on the rate of enzyme activity

Niloufar Kosari

Lab Partners: Weiwei Liu, Ashkaan

Lab Section: 1219

Date: June/2/2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

Enzymes are biological molecules that are involved in chemical interconversions in living organisms. They act as catalysts that greatly accelerate both the rate and specificity of metabolic reactions(Garrette & Grisham, 1999). In our experiment a number of tests were carried out on a specified enzyme with the main aim of the experiment being to demonstrate some properties of enzymes. In the experiments, the activity of the enzyme polyphenol-oxidase from potato extract was measured under varying concentration of substrate catechol at Ph 6. The question was to find out what effect concentration of catechol on the rate of polyphenol-oxidase from potato extract reaction.

The variable under study in this experiment was the substrate concentration. In order to show its effect on enzyme activity, the concentration of the substrate used (catechol) was increased in the following proportions: 0.2 ml, 0.5ml, 1 ml, 2.5 ml and 3 ml. With this in mind the following hypothesis was made; as the substrate concentration is increased, the rate of reaction increases too. This increase is observed up to the point where all available enzymes are occupied by the substrate. In this case, this is the maximum rate and it can also be referred to as the plateau. This hypothesis is a reflection of what is expected from the experiment. However, an understanding of the occurrence of the phenomena was necessary and it is as presented in the following section.

In the world of chemistry, most of enzymes are proteins. Each particular enzyme has its own unique physical structure that is vital for its function. The importance of this shape is that it “fits” into the shape of the reacting molecule or molecules in a reaction where the enzyme acts as a catalyst. The enzyme “fit” enables reacting molecules to bond together at the appropriate bonding sites and this “lowers” the activation energy of the chemical reaction: which is the purpose of the enzyme (Liljas, Liljas, Piskur, Nissen, Kjeldgaard, & Lindblom, 2009).

In this experiment a phenolic compound, Catechol, naturally found in many plants (potatoes and apples) was used. Injured tissues of such plants release catechol, which is rapidly oxidized by their own catechol-oxidase to benzoquinone, that spontaneously get converted to the brown pigment Melanin (Creveling, 2000).

In this case, the catechol was reacted with polyphenol oxidase in order to measure the accumulation of colored products (the change in absorbance) in a spectrophotometer at 475 nm. The reaction for this process is as shown in the figure below:

 

 

This chemical reaction shows the conversion of catechol to benzoquinone in the presence of the enzyme, polyphenol oxidase (Creveling, 2000). This is the chemical reaction that will be expercted to be occuring during the experiment.

The outcome of the experiment was then used to carry out various analyses as required for this exercise. During the experiments, the change in color of the catechol was observed to take place. In addition, the graphical analysis done on the numerical results obtained from the experiment brought out the expected outcomes from such an experiment. The hypothesis posted earlier was also proven.

Method

In this experiment, the following chemicals and apparatus were used; potato extract containing the enzyme polyphenol-oxidase, 0.1% Catechol (substrate), Phosphate buffer of pH 6.0, test tubes, 1 mL, 5 mL and 10 mL pipet, two 100 mL beakers, timer and spectrophotometer. A five-milliliter reaction mixture containing each of the named chemicals was prepared in a test tube. The mixture was mixed rapidly as it was poured into a cuvette. The timer was started as soon as the substrate and the enzyme were both present in the mixture. Then, the absorbance was measured by the spectrophotometer at a wavelength of 475 nm every 30 seconds.

Six samples with various concentration of Catechol were made according to the following Table:

Sample

1

2

3

4

5

6

Substrate (mL)

0

0.2

0.5

1

2.5

3

Buffer (mL)

4

3.8

3.5

3

1.5

1

Enzyme (mL)

1

1

1

1

1

1

Total Volume (mL)

5

5

5

5

5

5

 

While doing the precise measurements, the potato extract was added in the mixture last and the recording of time stated at that instance. The readings of the absorbance of each tube were then recorded for increasing time intervals up to the 20-minute mark.

Results

In this section, the results obtained from each experiment are presented. The data was then used to carry out various analyses in graphical means as shown in the diagrams following the table of results.

Table 1: Absorbance values for produced Melanin at six various substrate concentrations. This is the raw data that was used to plot the graphs of absorbance against time and compared with the hypothesis in the beginning of this report.

Time (min)

Absorbance at 475 nm

1

2

3

4

5

6

0.3

0.105

0.118

0.0576

0.078

0.198

0.132

1

0.115

0.097

0.127

0.112

0.212

0.183

1.3

0.094

0.152

0.189

0.124

0.228

0.223

2

0.126

0.159

0.221

0.196

0.289

0.271

2.3

0.169

0.179

0.183

0.177

0.318

0.303

3

0.163

0.214

0.22

0.186

0.346

0.36

3.3

0.127

0.211

0.188

0.189

0.415

0.414

4

0.135

0.258

0.171

0.223

0.442

0.436

4.3

0.135

0.231

0.221

0.217

0.476

0.515

5

0.134

0.271

0.214

0.22

0.493

0.53

5.3

0.118

0.298

0.252

0.224

0.515

0.544

6

0.169

0.305

0.172

0.275

0.533

0.566

6.3

0.154

0.341

0.256

0.287

0.615

0.626

7

0.19

0.344

0.225

0.288

0.599

0.613

7.3

0.157

0.38

0.241

0.515

0.651

0.622

8

0.157

0.41

0.285

0.3

0.66

0.66

8.3

0.154

0.428

0.301

0.362

0.704

0.68

9

0.147

0.474

0.308

0.385

0.704

0.682

9.3

0.16

0.474

0.298

0.371

0.712

0.677

10

0.142

0.482

0.315

0.37

0.672

0.682

10.3

0.14

0.497

0.373

0.402

0.718

0.657

11

0.14

0.511

0.398

0.413

0.707

0.698

11.3

0.17

0.535

0.38

0.417

0.718

0.709

12

0.162

0.583

0.402

0.426

0.701

0.672

12.3

0.138

0.625

0.389

0.44

0.712

0.68

13

0.157

0.585

0.363

0.447

0.738

0.726

13.3

0.181

0.594

0.377

0.481

0.732

0.715

14

0.167

0.613

0.391

0.462

0.769

0.696

14.3

0.165

0.64

0.385

0.555

0.789

0.709

15

0.161

0.65

0.398

0.531

0.741

0.693

15.3

 

0.671

0.47

0.506

0.766

 

16

 

0.69

0.447

0.549

0.763

 

16.3

 

0.671

0.46

0.531

0.772

 

17

 

0.682

0.442

0.568

0.766

 

17.3

 

0.714

0.44

0.606

0.766

 

18

 

0.69

0.497

0.563

0.782

 

18.3

 

0.679

0.506

0.578

0.779

 

19

 

0.666

0.44

0.601

0.769

 

19.3

 

0.751

0.515

0.568

0.789

 

20

 

0.764

0.504

0.601

0.782

 

 

From this data, the following graphs were obtained:

 

Figure 1: Melanin production using six different concentration of Catechol for 20 minutes. The graph depicts the progression of enzymatic reaction for different substrate concentrations and is a reflection the Melanin production. The Melanin production increases over 20 minutes. The trend lines were assigned. The equation and the R2 of the curves of 0mL, 0.2mL, 0.5mL, 1mL, 2.5mL and 3mL are y = -0.000x2 + 0.007x + 0.111, R2 = 0.954, y = -0.000x2 + 0.052x + 0.053, R2 = 0.987, y = -0.000x2 + 0.023x + 0.111, R2 = 0.933, y = -0.000x2 + 0.034x + 0.078, R2 = 0.982, y = -0.002x2 + 0.078x + 0.155, R2 = 0.978, y = -0.004x2 + 0.106x + 0.0.087, R2 = 0.986, respectively.

From figure one, the following table of the rate of melanin production for each sample was obtained.

Table 2: Rate of melanin production for each sample of substrate concentration: This is the information that was then used to plot the plot of melanin production level against concentration as shown in figure two.

 

Sample

Substrate concentration (mL)

Rate of melanin production over 2 to 5 minutes

1

0

-0.005

2

0.2

0.034

3

0.5

0

4

1

0.013

5

2.5

0.073

6

3

0.091

 

 

 

Figure 2: kinetics of the enzyme reaction measured by the rate of the production of Melanin through the absorbance values of six different concentrations of Catechol over 2-5 minutes. The rate of Melanin production except for the 0.2 mL Catechol concentration between 2-5 minutes increases as the substrate concentration increases. The curve equation is y = 0.0099x2 – 0.0011x + 0.0084 and the R² = 0.95443

 

 

Discussion

From figure one, the shape of the figures can be explained by the fact that the rate of melanin production is affected by more than just the concentration of the substrate. That is, the rate of melanin production could have been affected by factors other than catechol oxidase activity, such as the intracellular organization, pH concentration and temperature. However, the concentration in this experiment was the effect of substrate concentration. From a cellular perspective, it can be seen that the activity of melanin formation depended on the amount of the enzyme in solution. For instance, in the solution without the enzyme the formation of melanin was so slow that it appeared to be inactive as compared to the solutions with enzymes. The reaction with the highest amounts of the enzyme was the most prolific. Then, from a molecular perspective the shapes of the graphs can be explained as follows: As catechol was oxidized by the enzyme to form 0-benzoquinone this was followed by the formation of a heterogeneous group of polymers called melanin. As the polymers got larger, their colors were seen to deepen from pink-gold through orange-brown and finally to an intense brown-black color. Since the larger molecules are less soluble in water they would eventually precipitate from the solution. The process begins as a spontaneous activity as shown in the initial stages of the graphs in figure one which then slows down as melanin formation comes to an end.

As earlier stated in the hypothesis, as the concentration of the substrate was increased, the rate of reaction increased as well (with exception of the second point.) The increase in enzyme activity for each level of substrate concentration was observed up to a point where the relationship became horizontal. From the theory on enzyme activity, this is the point where the enzyme is occupied by the substrate. In this case, this is the maximum rate and it can also be referred to as the plateau. The Melanin production in each salt concentration increases over the time. This is because the reaction proceeds as the time passes.

Despite the expected outcome being reflected by the experimental results, some errors were noted. For instance, the data produced irregular graphs that could not be conclusively used for analysis. This then prompted the use of interpolation techniques in order to carry out the required analysis. In addition, it was observed that the reaction rate for a substrate concentration on 0.2ml was higher than that of 0.5ml and 1 ml of concentration. This is also an experimental error since reaction rates should increase progressively with increase in substrate concentration. However, this error was not consistent since the other substrate concentrations followed the expected trend. These errors might have come about due to human related errors such parallax errors when measuring the various fluid concentrations and improper timing when using the timer or apparatus inherent errors such equipment wear and tear due to aging. However, since the experiment yielded the expected outcomes, it can be considered to have been a successful exercise.

 

 

 

References

Creveling, C. R. (2000). Role of Catechol Quinone Species in Cellular Toxicity. Tennessee: F P Graham Company.

Garrette, R. H., & Grisham, C. M. (1999). Biochemistry. Philadelphia: Saunders College Publishers.

Liljas, A., Liljas, L., Piskur, J., Nissen, P., Kjeldgaard, M., & Lindblom, G. (2009). Textbook Of Structural Biology. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Company.

Logan, R. 2003. Enzymatic Reactions. Biology 21 Lab Manual. Santa Monica College.

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The effect of variable catechol concentration on the rate of enzyme activity

July 30, 2013

 

 

 

The effect of variable catechol concentration on the rate of enzyme activity

Niloufar Kosari

Lab Partners: Weiwei Liu, Ashkaan

Lab Section: 1219

Date: June/2/2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

Enzymes are biological molecules that are involved in chemical interconversions in living organisms. They act as catalysts that greatly accelerate both the rate and specificity of metabolic reactions (Garrette & Grisham, 1999). In our experiment a number of tests were carried out on a specified enzyme with the main aim of the experiment being to demonstrate some properties of enzymes. In the experiments, the activity of the enzyme polyphenol-oxidase from potato extract was measured under varying concentration of substrate catechol at Ph 6. The question was to find out what effect concentration of catechol on the rate of polyphenol-oxidase from potato extract reaction.

The variable under study in this experiment was the substrate concentration. In order to show its effect on enzyme activity, the concentration of the substrate used (catechol) was increased in the following proportions: 0.2 ml, 0.5ml, 1 ml, 2.5 ml and 3 ml. With this in mind the following hypothesis was made; as the substrate concentration is increased, the rate of reaction increases too. This increase is observed up to the point where all available enzymes are occupied by the substrate. In this case, this is the maximum rate and it can also be referred to as the plateau. This hypothesis is a reflection of what is expected from the experiment. However, an understanding of the occurrence of the phenomena was necessary and it is as presented in the following section.

In the world of chemistry, most of enzymes are proteins. Each particular enzyme has its own unique physical structure that is vital for its function. The importance of this shape is that it “fits” into the shape of the reacting molecule or molecules in a reaction where the enzyme acts as a catalyst. The enzyme “fit” enables reacting molecules to bond together at the appropriate bonding sites and this “lowers” the activation energy of the chemical reaction: which is the purpose of the enzyme (Liljas, Liljas, Piskur, Nissen, Kjeldgaard, & Lindblom, 2009).

In this experiment a phenolic compound, Catechol, naturally found in many plants (potatoes and apples) was used. Injured tissues of such plants release catechol, which is rapidly oxidized by their own catechol-oxidase to benzoquinone, that spontaneously get converted to the brown pigment Melanin (Creveling, 2000).

In this case, the catechol was reacted with polyphenol oxidase in order to measure the accumulation of colored products (the change in absorbance) in a spectrophotometer at 475 nm. The reaction for this process is as shown in the figure below:

 

 

This chemical reaction shows the conversion of catechol to benzoquinone in the presence of the enzyme, polyphenol oxidase (Creveling, 2000). This is the chemical reaction that will be expercted to be occuring during the experiment.

The outcome of the experiment was then used to carry out various analyses as required for this exercise. During the experiments, the change in color of the catechol was observed to take place. In addition, the graphical analysis done on the numerical results obtained from the experiment brought out the expected outcomes from such an experiment. The hypothesis posted earlier was also proven.

Method

     In this experiment, the following chemicals and apparatus were used; potato extract containing the enzyme polyphenol-oxidase, 0.1% Catechol (substrate), Phosphate buffer of pH 6.0, test tubes, 1 mL, 5 mL and 10 mL pipet, two 100 mL beakers, timer and spectrophotometer. A five-milliliter reaction mixture containing each of the named chemicals was prepared in a test tube. The mixture was mixed rapidly as it was poured into a cuvette.  The timer was started as soon as the substrate and the enzyme were both present in the mixture.  Then, the absorbance was measured by the spectrophotometer at a wavelength of 475 nm every 30 seconds.

Six samples with various concentration of Catechol were made according to the following Table:

Sample

1

2

3

4

5

6

Substrate (mL)

0

0.2

0.5

1

2.5

3

Buffer (mL)

4

3.8

3.5

3

1.5

1

Enzyme (mL)

1

1

1

1

1

1

Total Volume (mL)

5

5

5

5

5

5

 

While doing the precise measurements, the potato extract was added in the mixture last and the recording of time stated at that instance. The readings of the absorbance of each tube were then recorded for increasing time intervals up to the 20-minute mark.

Results

In this section, the results obtained from each experiment are presented. The data was then used to carry out various analyses in graphical means as shown in the diagrams following the table of results.

Table 1: Absorbance values for produced Melanin at six various substrate concentrations. This is the raw data that was used to plot the graphs of absorbance against time and compared with the hypothesis in the beginning of this report.

Time (min)

Absorbance at 475 nm

1

2

3

4

5

6

0.3

0.105

0.118

0.0576

0.078

0.198

0.132

1

0.115

0.097

0.127

0.112

0.212

0.183

1.3

0.094

0.152

0.189

0.124

0.228

0.223

2

0.126

0.159

0.221

0.196

0.289

0.271

2.3

0.169

0.179

0.183

0.177

0.318

0.303

3

0.163

0.214

0.22

0.186

0.346

0.36

3.3

0.127

0.211

0.188

0.189

0.415

0.414

4

0.135

0.258

0.171

0.223

0.442

0.436

4.3

0.135

0.231

0.221

0.217

0.476

0.515

5

0.134

0.271

0.214

0.22

0.493

0.53

5.3

0.118

0.298

0.252

0.224

0.515

0.544

6

0.169

0.305

0.172

0.275

0.533

0.566

6.3

0.154

0.341

0.256

0.287

0.615

0.626

7

0.19

0.344

0.225

0.288

0.599

0.613

7.3

0.157

0.38

0.241

0.515

0.651

0.622

8

0.157

0.41

0.285

0.3

0.66

0.66

8.3

0.154

0.428

0.301

0.362

0.704

0.68

9

0.147

0.474

0.308

0.385

0.704

0.682

9.3

0.16

0.474

0.298

0.371

0.712

0.677

10

0.142

0.482

0.315

0.37

0.672

0.682

10.3

0.14

0.497

0.373

0.402

0.718

0.657

11

0.14

0.511

0.398

0.413

0.707

0.698

11.3

0.17

0.535

0.38

0.417

0.718

0.709

12

0.162

0.583

0.402

0.426

0.701

0.672

12.3

0.138

0.625

0.389

0.44

0.712

0.68

13

0.157

0.585

0.363

0.447

0.738

0.726

13.3

0.181

0.594

0.377

0.481

0.732

0.715

14

0.167

0.613

0.391

0.462

0.769

0.696

14.3

0.165

0.64

0.385

0.555

0.789

0.709

15

0.161

0.65

0.398

0.531

0.741

0.693

15.3

 

0.671

0.47

0.506

0.766

 

16

 

0.69

0.447

0.549

0.763

 

16.3

 

0.671

0.46

0.531

0.772

 

17

 

0.682

0.442

0.568

0.766

 

17.3

 

0.714

0.44

0.606

0.766

 

18

 

0.69

0.497

0.563

0.782

 

18.3

 

0.679

0.506

0.578

0.779

 

19

 

0.666

0.44

0.601

0.769

 

19.3

 

0.751

0.515

0.568

0.789

 

20

 

0.764

0.504

0.601

0.782

 

 

From this data, the following graphs were obtained:

 

Figure 1: Melanin production using six different concentration of Catechol for 20 minutes. The graph depicts the progression of enzymatic reaction for different substrate concentrations and is a reflection the Melanin production. The Melanin production increases over 20 minutes. The trend lines were assigned. The equation and the R2 of the curves of 0mL, 0.2mL, 0.5mL, 1mL, 2.5mL and 3mL are y = -0.000x2 + 0.007x + 0.111, R2 = 0.954, y = -0.000x2 + 0.052x + 0.053, R2 = 0.987, y = -0.000x2 + 0.023x + 0.111, R2 = 0.933, y = -0.000x2 + 0.034x + 0.078, R2 = 0.982, y = -0.002x2 + 0.078x + 0.155, R2 = 0.978, y = -0.004x2 + 0.106x + 0.0.087, R2 = 0.986, respectively.

From figure one, the following table of the rate of melanin production for each sample was obtained.

Table 2: Rate of melanin production for each sample of substrate concentration: This is the information that was then used to plot the plot of melanin production level against concentration as shown in figure two.

 

Sample

Substrate concentration (mL)

Rate of melanin production over 2 to 5 minutes

1

0

-0.005

2

0.2

0.034

3

0.5

0

4

1

0.013

5

2.5

0.073

6

3

0.091

 

 

 

 

Figure 2: kinetics of the enzyme reaction measured by the rate of the production of Melanin through the absorbance values of six different concentrations of Catechol over 2-5 minutes. The rate of Melanin production except for the 0.2 mL Catechol concentration between 2-5 minutes increases as the substrate concentration increases. The curve equation is y = 0.0099x2 – 0.0011x + 0.0084 and the R² = 0.95443

 

 

Discussion

From figure one, the shape of the figures can be explained by the fact that the rate of melanin production is affected by more than just the concentration of the substrate. That is, the rate of melanin production could have been affected by factors other than catechol oxidase activity, such as the intracellular organization, pH concentration and temperature. However, the concentration in this experiment was the effect of substrate concentration. From a cellular perspective, it can be seen that the activity of melanin formation depended on the amount of the enzyme in solution. For instance, in the solution without the enzyme the formation of melanin was so slow that it appeared to be inactive as compared to the solutions with enzymes. The reaction with the highest amounts of the enzyme was the most prolific. Then, from a molecular perspective the shapes of the graphs can be explained as follows: As catechol was oxidized by the enzyme to form 0-benzoquinone this was followed by the formation of a heterogeneous group of polymers called melanin. As the polymers got larger, their colors were seen to deepen from pink-gold through orange-brown and finally to an intense brown-black color.  Since the larger molecules are less soluble in water they would eventually precipitate from the solution. The process begins as a spontaneous activity as shown in the initial stages of the graphs in figure one which then slows down as melanin formation comes to an end.

As earlier stated in the hypothesis, as the concentration of the substrate was increased, the rate of reaction increased as well (with exception of the second point.) The increase in enzyme activity for each level of substrate concentration was observed up to a point where the relationship became horizontal. From the theory on enzyme activity, this is the point where the enzyme is occupied by the substrate. In this case, this is the maximum rate and it can also be referred to as the plateau. The Melanin production in each salt concentration increases over the time. This is because the reaction proceeds as the time passes.

Despite the expected outcome being reflected by the experimental results, some errors were noted. For instance, the data produced irregular graphs that could not be conclusively used for analysis. This then prompted the use of interpolation techniques in order to carry out the required analysis. In addition, it was observed that the reaction rate for a substrate concentration on 0.2ml was higher than that of 0.5ml and 1 ml of concentration. This is also an experimental error since reaction rates should increase progressively with increase in substrate concentration. However, this error was not consistent since the other substrate concentrations followed the expected trend. These errors might have come about due to human related errors such parallax errors when measuring the various fluid concentrations and improper timing when using the timer or apparatus inherent errors such equipment wear and tear due to aging. However, since the experiment yielded the expected outcomes, it can be considered to have been a successful exercise. 

 

 

 

References

Creveling, C. R. (2000). Role of Catechol Quinone Species in Cellular Toxicity. Tennessee: F P Graham Company.

Garrette, R. H., & Grisham, C. M. (1999). Biochemistry. Philadelphia: Saunders College Publishers.

Liljas, A., Liljas, L., Piskur, J., Nissen, P., Kjeldgaard, M., & Lindblom, G. (2009). Textbook Of Structural Biology. Singapore: World Scientific Publishing Company.

Logan, R. 2003. Enzymatic Reactions. Biology 21 Lab Manual. Santa Monica College. 

July 29, 2013

 

 

Consumer Analysis Project

Institution

Name

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Executive summary

This paper shall focus on a marketing strategy problem facing the insurance industry. The paper will attempt to figure out the essential factors in developing a suitable marketing strategy for insurance companies. It will investigate the main reasons people buy insurance for insurance users and reasons for not buying insurance for non-users of insurance. It will also investigate the consumer behavior concepts and how these concepts influence people in buying insurance products.

The paper will be based on primary data collected through questionnaires filled randomly from users and non-users of insurance. The results showed that the non- users of insurance are not aware of the insurance policies offered and benefits of insurance since the insurance companies have not reached their areas. The results also showed that demographic factors play a crucial role in consumer’s buying decision for users of insurance when it comes to purchasing insurance. Secondary data will also be used to find out what previous researchers feel about the challenges facing insurance companies and how to cope with these challenges.

The insurance companies, therefore, shall focus on the ways of improving their marketing strategy through mostly segmentation and positioning their products. They will also focus on improving their services rendered before purchasing insurance and after purchasing i.e. pre- purchase.

Background

The companies in focus are the Insurance companies that are in the service industry. The art of insurance started with the Chinese and Babylonian traders. The merchants would borrow a loan for a shipment, from this loan; they would pay an amount as a guarantee that the loan would be cancelled once a loss occurred when shipping the goods. This background check leads us to what is insurance? Insurance is assuming the risk that would have been suffered by another by pooling funds together from which, the insurer can make a claim.

Insurance companies experience low revenues due to the issues arising from the consumer buying behaviors that affect the marketing strategy of a company. The major problem facing the insurance companies in marketing the products is that, they are unable to reach out to customers in different regions, in a country because consumers are not well educated about the insurance products. This challenge to insurance companies needs to be looked out though it means allocating large amounts of their revenues to this initiative. Insurance companies should form an association that will help in educating citizens all over the regions especially the indigenous that have limited access to information. This initiative will cut down cost for the entire insurance industry (Bhalla, 2001).

Insurance companies compete among themselves. They try to attract consumers of other insurance companies by offering lower premiums for a policy. This is has proved not to be a solution to the problem as the low premiums means low pool of funds and the claims will not be fully met. Insurance companies offer similar products (policies). Therefore, it is difficult for them to diversify. The only way for insurance companies to have a breakthrough is by understanding the processes of consumer buying behavior and concepts. This way they will be able to win over the loyalty of consumers in to staying with the company without necessarily having to reduce the premiums. A SWOT analysis of a company can help take advantage of consumers buying behaviors (Seog, 2008). The SWOT analysis for insurance businesses tends to be the similar. The SWOT analysis as discussed below.

Strength

Insurance companies have a well-informed, qualified with positive attitudes personnel. Approaching a client can be difficult at times especially where there is money outflow involved. It will need a patient person. Having persistent personnel would help recruit more customers’ into the business.

Insurance companies have many branches that help in networking. These branches should be evenly distributed all over a region. Goals should be set for these branches to reach within a given timeline.

Weakness

Many competitors are offering same products with by title but the difference is the premium requested.

Insurance is not afforded by middle and low income earners that form a large part of the population in a country

Promotions endeavors are very expensive for the companies

Opportunities

Huge untapped market especially the indigenous

Government policy requires certain policies as compulsory i.e. Motor vehicle insurance

Insurance is gradually gaining acceptance

Many people are going for health insurance due to the many diseases emerging in today’s world.

Threats

Other insurance companies lower the premiums on policies with a bid to attract customers.

Product diversification and differentiation are difficult as similar products are offered by all insurance companies

Competition from multinationals is becoming a threat to the local insurance companies.

 

SWOT analysis stands for strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Insurance companies should use their strength points to overcome threats imposed on them, and use opportunities available to deal with their points of weaknesses. For instance, an insurance company will take advantage of the untapped market in the indigenous areas to beat their competition. However, this process should be undertaken early enough before the competitors find their way to these areas.

The Consumer and consumer issues: Consumer behavior is the study of processes that a buyer is involved in when he is buying a product or service to satisfy his needs and the impact of those processes to the survival off an organization. The study also helps in understanding the decision making process of a buyer that would want to purchase a product or service. Consumer buying behavior is influenced by five concepts. A marketer of an organization needs to be fully informed of the concept and how he can use the concept to persuade a customer into buying a product. Knowing these concepts is not enough to keep the customers royalty (Foxall, 2005).  The marketer should find ways to be able to keep up with the changing needs of a customer. This discussion will help a marketer to know how he can integrate consumer behavior concepts into the marketing strategy of an insurance company.

The five concepts involved are perception, attitude, reference group and personality. Perception may be referred to as positioning of a product in a consumer mind. Insurance policies are lowly perceived all over the world, If it were not for government intervention, there would be no insurance companies because governments have tried to impose certain covers as compulsory in a country. People perceive insurance covers as a way of “gaining where they did not leap” this is because insurance companies have made the process of filing claims a challenge to the insured. The process may take 2-3 years, and the chances of recovering the loss are minimal. Insurance companies would also not want to lose their pool of fund this is reason why they make this process a lengthy one. The uneducated group forms the largest market, yet they can not buy a cover because they see no use for it.

The process of perception is categorized into four that is selective exposure where the consumers select a product due to promotional messages they are exposed to. Insurance companies should take advantage of this by providing as much information as possible in their promotional strategies. This can be effectively done by providing brochures and accessible points of contact for the consumers. Selective retention is where the consumer remembers a message that is likely to satisfy his needs. Insurance companies try to cover all areas of risk so as to widen its scoop of customers. Selective comprehension is where the consumers interpret a message according to his values, beliefs and experiences. A company should try to understand different cultures within a region so that it suits consumers’ beliefs and values.

Another concept is the reference groups or family into which a consumer belongs to. Nowadays, consumers are building identity through various consumption activities that upholds ideas about them. What better way to do this other than follows his reference groups or family? A consumer would choose to purchase a policy just because another person has purchased. Insurance companies should realize that Social groups are important to a consumer life and, therefore, should try to take advantage by educating to its existing customers about the available covers within the companies. These customers can serve as an agent of educating and sale for the insurance companies. Many people have taken up an insurance cover through referral by a friend, family, colleague or spouse.

Attitudes concept can be favorable or unfavorable feelings about insurance policies. These feelings are a great motivator for purchase of a cover. Insurance companies have failed in connecting with the feelings of individuals. Their marketing is more for their gain other than changing the attitudes of consumers to favor the sale of policies. Some insurance companies have realized this gap and are trying to correct it through emotional marketing. This marketing is sensitive to consumer behavior. According to Philip Kotler, insurance companies have turned into marketing of emotional and image incentives to gain the best position in clients mind and hearts (Philip, 2003).

Another concept is the personality. Insurance companies should try to blend person’s personalities into their products. This way they will be able to create brand relationships that will eventually create identity, image and likability. Personality’s helps in creating various dimensions such as, self image, looking glass self, real self, ideal self that is relevant in marketing. For instance, the dimension of looking glass self helps a marketer understand what a consumer would want other people to see him as. The marketer will create a product that best suit his would be personality.

Insurance companies should identify that they cannot reach out to potential customers through mass marketing. They need to segment their market so as to be able to reach the most remote customers. There are various ways that insurance companies can segment their market that is demographic, geographical, psychological, and behaviourlistic segmentation. All this types of segmentation would help solve the issue of lack of knowledge of insurance and would help out in reaching out for the indigenous group in the market. The most effective way of segmentation would be the geographical segmentation.

Consumer analysis

The form of primary research that I used to gain information on consumers was questionnaire. Because through the questionnaires we can get individuals preferences, requirements and inclination from the product the insurance company delivers. It also helps us in identifying what respondents know or do not know about the products. We are also able to find out why people buy insurance and their behavior towards buying insurance.

The research objective was mostly to find out the most essential criteria people think about before investing in an insurance policy, and various investment alternatives that people prefer. Other objectives include; knowing what people thinks about insurance and finds it from people why it is necessary to take insurance policies. This will help draw a comparison between the observed behavior of consumers and the purchase.

The questionnaire included the following questions;

What do you think of insurance?

What is your reason to purchase insurance?

What is your objective of purchasing insurance?

What criteria do you use to select an insurance company?

What policy is popular among people or what type of policy do you know most?

Which factor do you consider when buying insurance?

Where do you like purchasing the insurance policy?

What is your insurance buying decision influence?

What is your experience with other existing insurance company?

What is your suggestion to improve insurance sector?

The finding after conducting the questioner concluded that most people purchase insurance for family security, some for tax saving, others for investments and few people for discipline saving. The main objective of purchasing insurance was for life stage needs i.e. fulfilling time to time need like child education, others insure to cover liabilities in case of disease, disability and death. Others insure due to fear while very few said that insurance gives them social relaxation.

On the basis of criteria used to find an insurance company, the finding was that most people choose the company based on policy scheme, income and its reliability and creditworthiness. We can conclude that people choose an insurance company depending on the policy scheme of the company i.e. if it fulfills the need of an individual.

The research finding shows that the majority of people do not know about different types of insurance. People in the rural areas are not made aware of different types of insurance policies. Others said that they had never heard of insurance policies. Those who have invested in insurance policies have invested in whole life insurance.

Most people like to purchase insurance from the agent while others directly from the company. In buying insurance, we found out through questioners that most people are influenced by their families. They take insurance according to their family’s need some people would not like to take loans in the future, so they invest in insurance especially in child education. Others are influenced by advertisements and brands while others from neighbors and friends or professional and trade unions (Foxall, 2005). 

Recommendation

The study shows that demographic factor is the key effect in the purchase decision of the consumer. The company should understand the demographic of the consumer and target them according to their way. The company should also try to find new markets especially in the rural areas. Proper educative measures should be taken to ensure that every person especially in the rural areas is made aware of the insurance policies. All consumers should be made aware of companies profile and all the returns associated with insurance.

The insurance company should segments its product i.e. policies in terms of age, income, religion, family size and gender. For example, the company can provide pension for all age group due to discipline saving. The company should also come up with policies that incorporate all earners. For example, middle income earners can pay their premium on a monthly basis instead of may be twice a year. The company should also provide proper assistance to customers at the time of settlement claim to avoid the bad perception people have concerning insurance.

The company should improve on its image because most consumers consider this before taking any insurance policy. This is because people expect safety and security for their money that they invest. They also look at the bonuses and interest paid by the company as well their services. The company should also try to reach all the people in different geographical areas by having their companies find new markets especially in rural areas.

The company should also focus on the products offered; all the policies should match the needs and wants of consumers. The company should make sure that the products reach all the geographical places. Reach out to all individuals both in the rural and urban, this can be through proper advertisements. The insurance policies should have a price or should accommodate all classes of people i.e. low income earners, middle and high class earners. The company service should also be improved to satisfy the consumers. I.e. the customers should be taken through the decision making process and guided on all issues that are essential before buying any policy (Seog, 2008).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Bhalla, K. (2001). Financial Management & policy 11 Edition. New Delhi: Anmol publication.

Seog, S. (2008). Informational Cascade in the Insurance Market. The Journal of Risk and Insurance, 75/1: pp145-165.

Foxall, G. (2005). Understanding Consumer Choice. Baingstoke: Palgrave Macmillian.

Kotler, P. (2003). Marketing Insights from A to Z: 80 Concepts Every manager Needs To Know. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Literary analysis “The lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara

July 25, 2013

Name:

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Date:

Literary analysis

“The lesson” by Toni Cade Bambara

A short story “The Lesson” focuses on education as the major theme. Education comes in many forms of life and it is very important because of the results of the knowledge acquired from the valuable lessons learned in life outside classroom. The story identifies three characters; Sylvia, Mercedes and a black woman, Ms. Moore who is educated and takes children from poor and underprivileged neighborhood to FAO Schwarz. The children do not want to go but they are forced by parents, showing how learning leads to discomfort though with a positive change. Ms. Moore is unique in the neighborhood that she moves and she is very black, thus connecting the white community with black. There are different types of pride as well as leadership functions identifying ways in which people either respect or disrespect one another. There is a notion of economic inequality among whites and blacks in the United States because Sylvia is a leader in charge of her friends’ activities. Ms. Moore wishes to get a lot from children and after trying for some times, she manages to get Sylvia who resents Ms. Moore’s appearance in her entire life because as an adult, Ms. Moore has more inherent authority and high education from college to change Sylvia’s life. Sylvia learned the lesson because she wound up and did not want to go regardless of the impact in her life from the trip. Her tone and use of slang terms as well as curse words showed how she disliked Ms. Moore who kept on mocking her because of her family’s poverty as this showed he the existing economic inequality in the world. Sylvia learns a lesson outside classroom for her rise above her circumstance through creating herself a better life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work cited

Bambara, Toni, Cade. The Lesson. New York: The Continuum Publishing Corporation, 1972.

Online Shopping System

July 25, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online Shopping System

[Your Names]

[Names of your Institution]

[Date]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abstract

This paper involves a research on creating an internet shopping website of a shop with the goal of increasing the number of customers since it will be accessed by anyone in any part of the world, and the effectiveness and efficiency of the shop. The shop that they need the system developed is identified by its name chrimoska systems where they would like to increase the market of their products. The shop sells different types of products such as computer accessories, laptops, smart phones, and networking devices among other products where they want to implement an information system in the form of an internet shopping website to increase the marketability of their products.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contents

Abstract 1

Introduction. 3

Phase 1: requirements analysis. 6

Problem definition. 6

Issues. 7

Objectives. 8

Requirements. 9

Constraints and assumptions. 10

Descriptions of the proposed system.. 11

Risks involved. 11

Technical risk. 12

Operational risk. 12

Financial risk. 12

Member risk. 13

Customer risk. 13

Other risk. 13

Benefits of the online shopping website implementation project 13

Tangible benefits. 13

Intangible benefits. 14

Logical model of the proposed system.. 15

Context dataflow diagram.. 15

Level 0 DFD diagram.. 16

Level 1DFD diagram.. 17

Phase 2: System and database design. 23

System architecture. 23

System interface. 23

Data design. 24

Project plan. 26

 

 

Introduction

An information system can be defined as a collection of software, hardware and people which helps in collecting, filtering, processing, creating, and distributing data which is used to support the operations of an organization by improving management and decision making processes.( Dennis, Wixom, & Roth.2009). An information system can be composed of five categories, which are;

  1. An office information system, which can also be defined as office automation is an information system which supports a range of business office activities which helps employees’ communication within the offices.  It contains software, hardware and network which are components that facilitate communication and exchange of information (Satzinger, Jackson,  &Burd, 2009).
  2. Transaction processing system which can be defined as an information system, which records and processes daily information that is generated from the organization’s daily business activities. For example, it can be a part of an information system that records any organization’s orders, payments, deposits or even reservations(Satzinger, Jackson,  &Burd, 2009).
  3. Management information system, which can also be called a management reporting system is an information system which generates accurate and reliable reports as at when needed or on a regular basis. It provides reliable, accurate and organized information inform of reports to the organization’s managerial group for effective, fast and efficient decision making processes, for supervising organization’s activities, tracking the organization’s progress and solving problems (Satzinger, Jackson,  &Burd, 2009).
  4. Decision support system, which is an information system that uses internal and external data to help the company’s executives make a wise decision when a decision-making situation arises (Satzinger, Jackson,  &Burd, 2009).
  5. Expert system is an expert system that records the knowledge of human expertise, where it imitates human reasoning and knowledge in solving and processing business processes(Satzinger, Jackson,  &Burd, 2009).

Currently, most business transactions have been turned to e-commerce due to its various numerous advantages and due to human beings technological advancement. The internet shopping website is an e-commerce information system, where customers can access the vendors’ products online via their web browsers anytime anywhere around the world. This paper explains how the shops internet shopping website will be developed where it will discus on the requirements analysis the system, the design of the system and its database, and the project plan on how the system will be implemented.

In developing the proposed system without any loss of systems objectives, goals and budget, the shop will use systems development life cycles (SDLC) process where it will implement it using waterfall approach model.  System Development Life Cycle can be defined as software development process that helps in forming the framework for controlling and planning the development of information systems. Waterfall approach is the linear system development model in which each developer in a development team works in different phases.  The phases in which the model uses are system planning, system analysis, system design, and system implementation which can be executed by the following steps as shown in the diagram below;

 

Phase 1: requirements analysis

 Problem definition

Chrimoska Systems have been having problems selling its products due to the reduced numbers of customer. The manager of the shop who is still the owner decided that for them to grow in sales they must implement a way of marketing their products and selling them online. Since the shop offers various products, by implementing the internet shopping site the manager argues that it must meet the customers’ ultimate decisions who when deciding what to purchase they choose from different varieties of products according to their taste and preferences. 

Another problem that the shop faces is ineffectiveness and inefficiency in their order placing system. The current system that the shop has depends on numerous paper works to be filled by the company from the moment the order is placed up to the time or period that the products are delivered to the customer. The manual process of taking orders from consumers imply recording of a number of specifications provided by the customer creates room for errors such as delivering the wrong type of goods ordered which causes ineffectiveness of the shop.

Also, the shop currently lacks a database that contains information about the potential customers where it’s hard for the business to acquire information about a consumer when an order is placed. Currently, customer information is recorded on hard copy materials and kept in a store log, which the shop maintains and uses when required. This information is recorded whenever customer makes or places an order and retrieval of the manual information consumes much time decreasing the efficiency of the shop.

Issues

Apart from having its numerous advantages to the vendors, customers do raise some issues concerning the internet shopping sites. Most customers do prefer to shop in stores that they can easily reach than on internet shopping websites due to their various reasons which sometimes discourages the internet shopping sites owners. Some of the reasons that discourage the customers from shopping online are;

  1. Most customers do not have trust with the online shopping websites hence they don’t like to risk their money.
  2. Some internet shopping websites may have too much complicated graphical user interfaces which discourages customers from browsing though and making their orders.
  3. When it comes to electronics, some of them may be mishandled as it is shipped to the customer’s premises hence it may reach to the customer with a malfunction problem.
  4. In case of an electronic malfunction, returning the item to the online vendor can be very costly and tiresome which most customers do try to avoid.
  5.  Most customers do fear to display their private financial information on the internet due to fear of being hacked, or to involve themselves in fraudulent purchases.
  6. Some internet shopping sites do take long to process the customers’ orders, where it may also take time delivering the product to the customer which may not meet the customer urgency state of needing the product that he or she ordered.
  7. Some goods are not insured by the internet shopping sites vendors hence incase the goods are damaged, destroyed, or even stolen hence the customers are not compensated which is a risk they don’t want to be involved with.

Objectives

After successfully completion of the internet shopping website project, the shop is expected to have the following benefits and improvements;

  1. It will increase in the effectiveness and efficiency in processing orders and shipping the orders to the customers in a timely manner.
  2. It will make effective the marketing strategy for the shop’s products which will end up increasing its customers.
  3. It will increase the profit margin of the shop since it will reduce the cost of operations within the shop.  The cost of operation that will be reduced includes a lot of paper work that consumes most of the shops time, money and energy.
  4. It will increase the confidence and trust of the customers with the shop by providing order tracking mechanism to the customer where the system will be sending order tracking emails to the customers regarding the state of the orders.
  5. The online shopping website will have administrative sections which will track and handle all the accounting information which will increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the shop.
  6. The entire operations of the shop is expected to improve since the information system developed will be expected to produce accurate and reliable reports which will improve the decision making process of the shop hence increasing the effectiveness of the entire operations.

Requirements

For an online shopping website to support successful products shopping, the websites must meet specific requirements standards. The requirements that the shopping websites must meet to ensure customers satisfaction are;

  1. The system must implement information confidentiality and integrity by ensuring that the entire customer’s information is kept away from unauthorized personnel.
  2. The systems graphical user interface should be simple which allows customers to navigate through without experiencing any difficulties in viewing the various products that the site offers, the means of payment, and how the order can be traced.
  3. The system should have adequate and effective search criteria mechanism that can help the customers to easily find and choose the products that he or she wishes to order.
  4. The systems should have adequate customer service functionalities such as integrated live chat services for handling urgent customer issues and email services for handling customers’ issues that are not urgent.
  5. The system should be light when loading in computers and mobile phones so that customers using different types of devices to access the system can access it without experiencing any delays due to the devices they are using to access the system.
  6. The system should have backup facilities such as onsite and offsite servers which can help in restoring the system to its previous state before any kind of attack happens. This increases the confidence of customers on the system due to maintenance of consistent records.
  7. The system should have reliability non functional requirements where they should be able to provide reliable information to its customers at all times.
  8. The system should be fast enough to provide notification messages to the shop’s staffs in case there is a new order from the customer so that it can ensure that the orders have been processed in a fast manner.
  9. The system should be easy to update so that customers can be having updated products details which will increase their effectiveness.

Constraints and assumptions

For the successful development and implementation of the online shopping website there are some constraints that must identified and kept in mind. The following constraints have been identified:

  • Time:  The project may not be completed within the allocated time.  The project has been estimated to be completed within 5 months or 150 working days where project team members are supposed to work on 8 hours per day and 5 days per week. The project was scheduled to start on 7th January 2013, the second week after ushering the new year.
  • Cost: The project may not be completed within the allocated budget constraints. The project cost is estimated to be$500,000, where it covers the project development cost and procurements of materials needed for the project.
  • Scope: The project may not fully cover the scope that has been identified.

            The following assumptions have been made in defining the scope, objectives and approach:

  • The shop’s board of directors has approved the project proposal.
  • There are enough funds for the project.
  • The feasibility studies of the project have already been carried out and approved.
  • The project will fully meet the shop’s needs.

Descriptions of the proposed system

The proposed system will have various functionalities which will make if satisfies the users requirement.  The proposed system will have the following functionalities;

  1. It will allow the shop’s staffs to add, update and delete products from the database.
  2. It will enable the customers to view available products for sale
  3. It will enable customers to search for the products using any search criteria
  4. It will enable the shop’s staffs to view ordered products
  5. It will allow customers to track the state of the orders they have ordered.
  6. It will allow the shop’s financial department to view order payment details before the order is processed.

Risks involved

The project may be affected with the following risks;

Technical risk.

This is a type of risks that may cause failure of the systems functionalities, which may also affect its performance. Some of technical risks are;

  • System security risks where unauthorized personnel may gain access to the system where they may violate data confidentiality, integrity and availability.
  • The system may have non functional requirements risk failure such as lack of multithreading functionality, lack of survivability functionality which may cause the system to crash if accessed by many users concurrently. The risks may have a severe impact on the company since it may cause denial of services where authorized personnel can’t access services that they are authorized to access.

Operational risk

 Failure of the information not being delivered on time which can be caused due to

  1. The project may fail to be delivered on time due to poor or lack of senior management support hence delaying in the decision making processes which may delay the project.
  2. The project my fail to be delivered on time due to lack of standardized project management methodologies which may lead to improper management of the system.
  3. The system may fail to be delivered on time due to overworked or undertrained project team.

Financial risk

The project may be at a risk of not being delivered within the planned budget.  For example, if the project is faced with a risk of being behind the schedule, the project manager may decide to add more team member, recruit other team members or even add overtime hours which must cost more than it was allocated. In this case, the project is at a risk of not being completed on the allocated budget since the cost to cater some milestones that could have been covered has been used as mislenious costs.

Member risk

The project may be at a risk of the project team not meeting the requirements of the user. The requirements may not be met either by having a non qualified team who may not have adequate knowledge about software development, or even it may be caused by the project procurement team who may purchase substandard materials that are not of high quality as it was expected by project sponsor. Also, the project may be at a risk of not meeting the clients’ requirements due to poor participation in the development process. For example, the sponsor team may fail to participate actively in the development of the project where they could be making some comments and confirm the development process which may be a risk.

Customer risk

The project may be at a risk of the customer changing the project requirements.

Other risk

The project may be at a risk of not being developed by the right people who have adequate skills and combination, staffs that are committed during the entire project period, or even staffs with the necessary training.  In this case the project team staffs may misuse the projects resources which may put the project at a risk of not being developed on time or on the budgeted cost.

Benefits of the online shopping website implementation project

Tangible or intangible benefits of the project are;

Tangible benefits

The tangible benefits that the company will gain after completion of the project are;

  • The company will increase its profit margin by reducing the operational costs that it may be incurring due to lack of an information system.
  • The shop will increase the number of customers who will be accessing its products online which will result in mass sale of their products.
  • The company will have a change to increase its online customers who increases the company’s page access traffic, which may lead to the company’s website becoming an advisements channel for other companies hence making the company to earn more money.
  • The company will reduce its advertisement cost, while on the other hand increases its customers which lead to profit maximization.

Intangible benefits

The intangible benefit that the shop or the company gains from completion of the project are;

  1. It increases the effectiveness and efficiency of the shop by improving on the efficiency of processing business processes and also producing reliable reports when needed.
  2. It improves communication within the business processes which reduces the time of processes operations
  3. It will increase the effectiveness and efficiency of decision making processes which will also increase the effectives of the shop.
  4. Due to the increased rate of decision making process and effectiveness of the shop it will increase the shop’s reputation which will also increase its trust to its customers.
  5. It will increase in the financial management processes of the shop.
  6. It will increase financial and document security within the shop since only authorized personnel will have the right to access the system.
  7. It will increase the rate of marketing since many customers who are of different geographical areas will easily and effectively access the shops products.

Logical model of the proposed system

The logical model of the proposed online shopping website for chrimoska system can be as shown by the following data flow diagram and context diagrams.

Context dataflow diagram

 

The inputs from the above diagram are the products details, and payment details entered by the shop’s staffs, and the order details and payment details entered by the online customer. Another input is the search index criteria that will be used by either the staff or the online customer. The output details are the confirmation details after input has been entered,  the  order details which is retrieved by the shop’s staff,  the product details retrieved by the online customer, the output of any search process, and the reports generated by the shop’s staffs.

Level 0 DFD diagram

 

Level 1DFD diagram

 

From the above Level 1 DFD, the processes, inputs and their outputs are;

Process 1:  Revise stock

Description

In this process, the procurement staff revises stock that is stored in the database.

Inputs: 

  • The input of this process is new stock data entered by the procurement officer.

Outputs:

  • The output of this process is a message from the system confirming to the procurement officer that the stock has been updated.

Process 2:  Delete stock

Description

In this process, the store procurement officer deletes some stock from the database.

Inputs:

  • The input of this process is stock data which is entered by the store procurement officer.

Outputs:

  • The output of this process is a message from the system confirming to the procurement officer that the stock has been deleted.

Process 3: Adding inventory into the system

Description:

In this business process, the store staffs who are responsible for adding or updating inventory into the database adds the inventory into the business where they can be accessed by customers online.

Inputs:

  • The input of this process is the inventory that the store’s staff adds or updates into the database. The inputs vary with the inventory details which may be the price, name, and description.

Outputs:

  • The output of this process is the same inventory but inform of goods available for sale to customers who accesses it online.

Process 4:  update stock

Description

In this process, the store procurement officer updates some stock from the database.

Inputs:

  • The input of this process is stock data which is entered by the store procurement officer.

Outputs:

  • The output of this process is a message from the system confirming to the procurement officer that the stock has been updated.

Process 5:  Search stock

Description

In this process, the customer searches for stock from the database that he or she can purchase.

Inputs:

  • The input of this process is stock data which is entered by the customer.

Outputs:

  • The output is the generated results of the search of the stock that the customer searches.

Process 6:  Checkout

Description

In this process, the customer checks his or her details in the system database  regarding the order

Inputs:

  • The input to this process is personal data that the customers enters.

Outputs:

  • The output of this process is that information regarding the order is displayed.

Process 7:  Verify credit card information

Description

In this process, the customer verifies the credit card information that he or she has entered into the system.

Inputs:

  • The input in this process is the customer’s data

Outputs:

  • The output of this process is the feedback data that the client will receive after verifying his or her credit card.

Process 8:  reject order

Description

In this process, the accountant may reject the customer’s order if the details provided are not relevant.

Inputs:

  • The input  in this process is the customer data

Outputs:

  • The output of this process is the results which are the reject order

Process 9:  Accept order

Description

In this process, the accountant accepts the customer’s order if the details provided are relevant.

Inputs:

  • The input in this process is the customer data

Outputs:

  • The output of this process is the results which are the accept order

Process 10:  Delivering order

Description

In this process, after the order has been accepted, it is delivered to the customer.

Inputs:

  • The inputs are order details which are passed after the order has been accepted

Outputs:

  • The outputs are order details which are passed after the order has been delivered

Process 11:  Email verification

Description

In this process, after the products have been delivered to the customer, he or she is notified of the progress by email verification.

Inputs:

  • The inputs are order details which are passed after the order has been delivered

Outputs:

  • The output of this process is a confirmation message to the staff that an email has been sent successfully.

Process 12:  Report preparing

Description

In this process, the store management team may generate reports from the system which may help them in decision making processes.

Inputs:

  • The inputs of this process are customer and order details, report requests, and stock status data.

Outputs:

  • The output of this report is a compiled report.

Process 13: final update

Description:

In this process, the entire data is updated where the customer and order data are updated after the order has been delivered to the customer.

Inputs:

  • The inputs in this process are the customers’ details and order details

Outputs:

  • The output of this process can be viewed can be viewed as a completed database after the entire order process.

Phase 2: System and database design

System architecture

The online shopping website will be based on the three-tier network architecture which is also called three-tier client/ server architecture where it will have the client on tier one, application server on tier two, and database server on tier three. The client server on tier one will be a web browser like Firefox or internet explorer for the customer can order company’s products online. The second tier will be the application server, which will also be a web browser, where it will be used by the shop’s staffs, to update and inserts new products into the shop’s website. The third tier is the database server where it will be used to store all the company’s information. The second tier will be used as a link between the tier one, which is the client and tier three which is the database.

System interface

The systems user interface will be the point of interaction between the user and the system. For effective communication and usability of the system, the user interfaces should be easy and simple to navigate through. Usability can be defined as learnability ease of use of human made objects where it is measured as how the object is efficiently used by human beings without experiencing difficulty, and how it is easy to learn without needing a lot of time to be trained.  For the system to have usability characteristics, its graphical user interfaces will be design in a simple way where customers can easily view products, make orders and even make payments without experiencing any difficulties in using the system. The systems user interface of both the shop’s staffs and customers will be made inform of a website where the scripting language used will be PHP and JavaScript.

Data design

The database model of the system can be as shown below where it shows the entities relations, their attributes and their primary keys.

 

 

Project plan

The online shopping website implementation milestones work breakdown structure is

1.0  Initiating

1.1 Prepare business case

1.2 Prepare charter

2.0  Planning

2.1  Team contract

2.2  Prepare scope statement

2.3  Prepare WBS

2.4  Prepare schedule

2.5  Prepare cost baseline

2.6  Requirement Definition

2.6.1        Gathering requirements or information

2.6.2        Analyzing gathered requirements or information

2.7  Writing the system proposal

2.7.1        Approval of the proposal written

3.0   Executing

1.1  Code generation and software construction

1.2  Code testing and system testing

1.3  System installation/ hosting

1.4  System training and education

1.5  System documentation

1.6  Investigating any system the group

1.6.1        may have

1.6.2         may have had

1.7  Building web application models

4.0  Monitoring & Controlling

1.1  Status Report

1.2  Support team establishment

5.0  Closing

5.1  project stakeholders meeting

5.2  Final project presentation

5.3  Final project report

5.4  Lessons learned report

The milestones, their approximated duration, starting date, finish date and the resources used are as shown in the Gantt chart screenshots below;

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Burd, D.S. (2011). System Architecture. United States of America: Cengage Learning, Inc.

Dennis, Wixom, Roth. (2009). System Analysis and Design (4th Ed.). New Jersey: John Willey&            Sons, Inc.

Mailer,W.M.(2009). The Art of System Architecting. United States of America: Cengage Learning,Inc.

Miles, R. (2006). Learning UML 2.0. United States of America. O’Reilly Media.

Shelly, B.G., Rosenblat, J.H. (2011). System Analysis and Design (9th Ed.). United States of      America: Cengage Learning.

Satzinger, J., Jackson, R. B., &Burd, S. D. (2009).Systems analysis and design in a changing     world (5th ed.). Boston, Massachusetts: Course Technology.

 

 

Money in circulation and inflation in the US

July 25, 2013

Name      

Professor

Course

Date

Money in circulation and inflation in the US

INTRODUCTION

Money is an important exchange medium, entity of account as well as a stock of value. The various functions that money serves are directly related to its pragmatic value. In any given economy, it is impossible to determine the accurate amount of money in circulation. There exists numerous measures that are categorized along scales between constricted and expansive monetary summative. Money in circulation for dollarized economies often gets unstable, making it hard to properly control inflation (Nienke and Ohnsorge 67). Inflation creates one of the most severe economic challenges of our current times. It implies quite a number of social prejudices that many citizens are grieved by.  Inflation results in economic instability leading to a decrease in efficiency and retardation in economic growth of a given economy with time. Gottfried (43) defines inflation as an expansion in the monetary circulation instead of a rise in the price level; more precisely as an increase in the product of the quantity of money and the velocity of circulation of money.[1]

In any economy, the amount of money in circulation has a direct impact on the inflation in the economy. The situation of Zimbabwe, an African nation, has prompted a lot of research work by many economists. Key among them is Krugman (72) who states that, by the summer of 2008, the African nation of Zimbabwe had achieved an enviable distinction: in June 2008, it had the world’s highest inflation rate of 11 % a year. [The government kept introducing even larger denominations of its currency. Suffice it to say, the Zimbabwean currency value depreciated so that its value was so miniature that bank cash withdrawals were made using suit cases.

Even though Zimbabwe’s case seems the most shocking of all times, the situation was mild and cannot stand comparison to the chronicle’s most popular example of extreme inflation that occurred in Germany.  In the light of what Krugman (96) has documented on this topic, it is evident that money issue had grave impact on the country’s economy between the years 1922-1923. This inflation has been described as a hyperinflation and towards its end, commodity prices were increasing at the rate of 16% each day. This hyperinflation made Germans reluctant to use the currency notes as its worth was depreciating hourly.

Bruce D Smith (84) evaluates the money supply and inflation in colonial Massachusetts. Consequently, for this research paper, it is paramount to appreciate the contribution of the level of money supply to inflation. In this research on colonial Massachusetts, the author clearly defines the amount of money in circulation as a key determinant of the country’s inflation rate. The situation in this country saw prices increasing by 618% and 800% in 1970. The government minted more currency and this led to depreciation in currency value resulting in increased rate of inflation characterized by high commodity prices. The country’s situation has been best described by use of the quantity theory of money which proposes that growth rate of money in circulation is roughly equal to the rate of inflation. This research will be conducted to investigate the impact of money issue on inflation in light of independent and dependent variables in the US. The main objective of this study is to determine the consequences of monetary policies and the contribution of these consequences to inflation and the reasons behind the loss of purchasing power of per unit money in the US economy. This paper includes some data in the SAS system that will be analyzed in the regard of this topic in order to reach sound conclusions. In the analytical section of this paper, money circulation is represented by X and is the independent variable while inflation is the dependent variable Y. This paper seeks to explore the relationship between X and Y and to explain the dependence of Y on X. Finally, the paper will give an extensive discussion on the phenomenon; the same unit of money purchasing fewer commodities in the face of inflation.

 

 

ANALYTICAL SECTION

            For the purpose of accurate analysis of the data for this specific research, M2 was used. M2 implies that the Federal Reserve Notes, the US Notes and Coins (whether is held inside or outside of the private banking system as reserves) in addition to the demand deposits amount, checkable deposits, money market accounts, travelers checks, savings accounts, retail money market mutual funds, and small denomination time deposits (Taylor 45).

            Money supply and inflation are two economic variables that are dependent on each other in one way or another. Money supply is however the independent factor since it is entirely a decision made by the central financial organ in a country. Inflation in this case is the most dependent factor. It is possible, economically, to have an increase in the amount of money supply in a country without necessarily leading to an increase in the inflation levels. Inflation is however dependent on it in the following way: with an increase in the amount of money supplied for economic usage within a country, there is a resultant increase in the money at the citizen’s disposal. Commodity prices in the same line rise from the various sectors of the economy both for the goods and services (Steven 67).

            Indeed, economists have a universal concurrence amongst themselves that there exists a connecting relationship between the prices of goods and services and the demand and supply of money. When considered in economic provisions, this is very true but there exists no general conformity concerning the accurate system and relationship linking price inflation and money supply.

 

 

 

STATISTICAL MODEL/REGRESSION EQUATION

 

 

Graph showing money supply for the past 30 years.

There has been a gradual but consistent increase in the amount of money released by the commercial banks for circulation in the U.S. over the years.

 

 

 

 

 

Graph indicating the levels of inflation rates in the United States between 1982 and 2012

The variables used for this research include inflation and money supply. 

The relationship between real GDP and inflation

This is given by the equation obtained through regression analysis:

                           y= 5.934955X-0.219151

The negative gradient implies a negative relationship between the real GDP and level of inflation.

 

            The relationship between the income level and the inflation

This is given by the equation obtained through regression analysis:

                              Y=13.46X+0.00021

The negative gradient implies a negative relationship between the income levels and level of inflation

 

DATA SOURCES

The data used in this research have been collected from various verified financial records based in the United States dating back to over 30 years of age. Among the data that was collected include inflation rates date both on quarterly basis and annual basis for the past 30 years from 1982 up until 2012. Data on the United States real Gross Domestic Product and the mean wages for the citizens were also used.

The rates of inflation used for the research had been pre-calculated using the Current Consumer Price Index. The used data had been published with monthly records by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the information retrieved from the source site, the data recorded had been last updated in May 2013 and covered up until the month of April 2013 (Krugman 56).

 

 

EMPIRICAL RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

For this analysis, the yearly data was used. This is because the data collected for the past 30 years are very large and complex to deal with. The use of quarterly data would have implied 120 different classes of data used for the project. There are also other data that do not have records on quarterly basis and, therefore, in this case forming comparison basis would be difficult. The data collected over the past 30 years were sufficient enough to make comparisons, make interpretations and draw conclusions which are sound enough.

            From the results from the graphs, it is very evident that inflation to a certain limit depends on the money supply and circulation in a country. For this research data, the United States was used to develop the relationship between money supply and inflation rates in a country and in the determination of whether or not the inflation faced in a country is dependent on the money supply. The apparent relationship and connection for the above variables is that for each and every additional supply of dollar money, there is a proportional and comparative increase in commodity prices. It is however notable that when there is an economic growth in a country or an increase in a countries productivity, then the relationship changes. In the charts on inflation and money supply, someone would take it like the numbers of the two decades are larger than that of the annual rate of inflation.

A deduction from the charts indicates that there has been a cumulative total inflation for the years 1990 until the end of 2000 of 33.4% which is a representative data for 10 years. From 1982 to 1992, a cumulative total inflation of 44.3% was recorded. The value is however lower between 2002 and 2012 where the cumulative inflation sums up to 26.0%. These figures are quite less and minimal compared to the inflation rates in the 1970’s where the cumulative inflation was at 102.9% over the entire decade. The numbers in two of the decades, from early 1980s coming up to early 2000s, there is a noted huge rate of inflation in the country. Values rose from 2% to over 5%. Though there has been a fluctuation as a result of rising and falling rates of inflation, it is still worth noting that a yearly incremental rate of inflation cumulatively results to a huge inflation rate using an earlier base year. To a level, it is evident that though there has been an increasing amount of money in circulation through the treasury adjustments to cater for developments and as a result of improving production rates within the country. Inflation patterns are also dependent on quarterly financial periods.

Deeply analyzing the different graphs derived from the data collected on the national statistical records on inflation and money supply indicate differently. Over the years dating to 30 years back indicate that as much as there has been an increasing rate in the supply of money to the circulation channels, there has been a noted decrease or reduction in the levels of inflation within the country.  

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

            This research was based on the relationship between inflation rates and the money supply in the country. Though other constants such as economic growth of the country and the Current Consumer Price Index and income rates were introduced in the research, it was only in a bid to understand the other economical underlying factors that may as well be affecting the influence. The other factors are, therefore, not used to back the economic growth in the research. The prices of commodities are found to decrease when there is economic growth due to increased economical productivity. When there is an increased money supply while at the same time there is an economic growth, then the result is unwavering prices; money supply growth above economic growth will lead to increases in prices.

            Price inflation comes as a result of money supply increase in excess of a countries economic growth. When the money supply released by the central commercial institution of a government is at or below the economic growth, then there is no resultant inflation. But when there is a release of huge amounts of money beyond the economic growth then there is a resultant inflation to that effect. This may well be in the countenance of a developing economy or a waning economy. There is indeed a relative relationship flanked by money supply growth and economic growth. Inflation therefore depends on the money supply in a country. The actual explanation for the rapid economic inflation for the past 30 years is similar to the explanation for economical inflations in the early and late 1970’s. There has been unregulated release of money by the Central Banks even when the economy was poorly performing and declining. As a result, there has been an excess release of money into the economy leading to economical inflation. Therefore, even when the money supply increment has not been massive, it has been in excess relative to the principal financial system and has led to price inflation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Bruce,  Smith. Money and inflation in colonial Massachusetts federal bank of   Minneapolis. Quarterly review, 1984.

Krugman, Swann. GDP and the Economy: Advance Estimates for the Third Quarter of 2007, 2007, pp. 45-68.

Gottfried, Harberl1er. Inflation its causes and cures. Chicago: American enterprise association Washington, 2005.

 Nienke, Oomes and Franziska Ohnsorge, 2005. Money demand and inflation in dollarized economies: the case of Russia. Retrieved from      <www.worthpublishers.com/krugmanwells>

Steven, Andrews. Adjusting for Inflation: Price Deflators and Real Estimates. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2007. Print.

Taylor, Lawn. Reconstructing Macroeconomics. New York: Springer, 2007. Print.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDICES

Year

Avg

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

June

July

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

2013

1.50%

1.59%

1.98%

1.47%

1.06%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012

2.07%

2.93%

2.87%

2.65%

2.30%

1.70%

1.66%

1.41%

1.69%

1.99%

2.16%

1.76%

1.74%

2011

3.16%

1.63%

2.11%

2.68%

3.16%

3.57%

3.56%

3.63%

3.77%

3.87%

3.53%

3.39%

2.96%

2010

1.64%

2.63%

2.14%

2.31%

2.24%

2.02%

1.05%

1.24%

1.15%

1.14%

1.17%

1.14%

1.50%

2009

-0.34%

0.03%

0.24%

-0.38%

-0.74%

-1.28%

-1.43%

-2.10%

-1.48%

-1.29%

-0.18%

1.84%

2.72%

2008

3.85%

4.28%

4.03%

3.98%

3.94%

4.18%

5.02%

5.60%

5.37%

4.94%

3.66%

1.07%

0.09%

2007

2.85%

2.08%

2.42%

2.78%

2.57%

2.69%

2.69%

2.36%

1.97%

2.76%

3.54%

4.31%

4.08%

2006

3.24%

3.99%

3.60%

3.36%

3.55%

4.17%

4.32%

4.15%

3.82%

2.06%

1.31%

1.97%

2.54%

2005

3.39%

2.97%

3.01%

3.15%

3.51%

2.80%

2.53%

3.17%

3.64%

4.69%

4.35%

3.46%

3.42%

2004

2.68%

1.93%

1.69%

1.74%

2.29%

3.05%

3.27%

2.99%

2.65%

2.54%

3.19%

3.52%

3.26%

2003

2.27%

2.60%

2.98%

3.02%

2.22%

2.06%

2.11%

2.11%

2.16%

2.32%

2.04%

1.77%

1.88%

2002

1.59%

1.14%

1.14%

1.48%

1.64%

1.18%

1.07%

1.46%

1.80%

1.51%

2.03%

2.20%

2.38%

2001

2.83%

3.73%

3.53%

2.92%

3.27%

3.62%

3.25%

2.72%

2.72%

2.65%

2.13%

1.90%

1.55%

2000

3.38%

2.74%

3.22%

3.76%

3.07%

3.19%

3.73%

3.66%

3.41%

3.45%

3.45%

3.45%

3.39%

1999

2.19%

1.67%

1.61%

1.73%

2.28%

2.09%

1.96%

2.14%

2.26%

2.63%

2.56%

2.62%

2.68%

1998

1.55%

1.57%

1.44%

1.37%

1.44%

1.69%

1.68%

1.68%

1.62%

1.49%

1.49%

1.55%

1.61%

1997

2.34%

3.04%

3.03%

2.76%

2.50%

2.23%

2.30%

2.23%

2.23%

2.15%

2.08%

1.83%

1.70%

1996

2.93%

2.73%

2.65%

2.84%

2.90%

2.89%

2.75%

2.95%

2.88%

3.00%

2.99%

3.26%

3.32%

1995

2.81%

2.80%

2.86%

2.85%

3.05%

3.19%

3.04%

2.76%

2.62%

2.54%

2.81%

2.61%

2.54%

1994

2.61%

2.52%

2.52%

2.51%

2.36%

2.29%

2.49%

2.77%

2.90%

2.96%

2.61%

2.67%

2.67%

1993

2.96%

3.26%

3.25%

3.09%

3.23%

3.22%

3.00%

2.78%

2.77%

2.69%

2.75%

2.68%

2.75%

1992

3.03%

2.60%

2.82%

3.19%

3.18%

3.02%

3.09%

3.16%

3.15%

2.99%

3.20%

3.05%

2.90%

1991

4.25%

5.65%

5.31%

4.90%

4.89%

4.95%

4.70%

4.45%

3.80%

3.39%

2.92%

2.99%

3.06%

1990

5.39%

5.20%

5.26%

5.23%

4.71%

4.36%

4.67%

4.82%

5.62%

6.16%

6.29%

6.27%

6.11%

1989

4.83%

4.67%

4.83%

4.98%

5.12%

5.36%

5.17%

4.98%

4.71%

4.34%

4.49%

4.66%

4.65%

1988

4.08%

4.05%

3.94%

3.93%

3.90%

3.89%

3.96%

4.13%

4.02%

4.17%

4.25%

4.25%

4.42%

1987

3.66%

1.46%

2.10%

3.03%

3.78%

3.86%

3.65%

3.93%

4.28%

4.36%

4.53%

4.53%

4.43%

1986

1.91%

3.89%

3.11%

2.26%

1.59%

1.49%

1.77%

1.58%

1.57%

1.75%

1.47%

1.28%

1.10%

1985

3.55%

3.53%

3.52%

3.70%

3.69%

3.77%

3.76%

3.55%

3.35%

3.14%

3.23%

3.51%

3.80%

1984

4.30%

4.19%

4.60%

4.80%

4.56%

4.23%

4.22%

4.20%

4.29%

4.27%

4.26%

4.05%

3.95%

1983

3.17%

3.71%

3.49%

3.60%

3.90%

3.55%

2.58%

2.46%

2.56%

2.86%

2.85%

3.27%

3.79%

1982

6.16%

8.39%

7.62%

6.78%

6.51%

6.68%

7.06%

6.44%

5.85%

5.04%

5.14%

4.59%

3.83%

 

 


[1] Inflation is briefly expressed as positive ∆ MV i.e. increase in Money quantity × Money circulation velocity of a given economy at a particular time. A sharp increase in M results in a great increase in inflation rate. However V is subject to much slower movement thus no substantial inflation occurs without a substantial increase in M. M is a sum total of the currency outside of commercial banks and demand deposits. V refers to the number of times a unit of currency is spent on annual income payments. 

Communications and media

July 25, 2013

 

 

 

 

Communications and media:

 

Name:

Institution:

Date:

 

Question 1: Why is Facebook losing millions of users?

            The dominance of facebook is coming down in the social media due to threats caused on other emerging new services such as Path and Instagram. Facebook is losing millions of its     users monthly and its biggest market is weakening. Other social networks are attracting the interests of people who are looking for new online playgrounds (Christopher, 2011). Facebook that is the giant social media has reached its saturation point and beginning to lose people. Most people in UK and America who intend to sign up have already signed up. People are trying to look for something new because there is boredom in facebook. Many people are leaving facebbok in order to look for other alternative social services like Path and Instagram. About six million American users      have abandoned facebook during last year while about 1.4 million users in UK have left the site.  Active users are declining to use facebook in Japan, Germany, France, Spain and Canada.  However, in certain regions, facebook is getting more people such as in India and Brazil.

 

Question 2: The difficulties of creating Apps for short term

            The mobile app is developed for short term period and is made of a particular purpose such as for selling something, an event, an election, conference registration and others. These are   perishable single use apps that have one chance to have it right; thus not improving its performance can ruin a business. This can cause users to lose trust for the business brand.    According to Christopher (2011), revenue can be lost whenever an app event registration is not in a position to handle more registrations. Short term and single use app has only one chance for delivering business value.  The shelf life of single use and short term apps implies that traditional remediation and   monitoring will not able to work. This means that the app will face its expiry prior to be fixed.

 

Question 3: Should government agencies censor Wikipedia?

            It is not appropriate for government agencies to censer Wikipedia because Wikipedia is     playing a crucial role of dissemination information to the world, a role which other institutions are not performing. There many cases were articles published by Wikipedia are not controversial, and Wikipedia is doing much better than other media houses and colleges for informing the public. Censoring Wikipedia does not solve the problem. There are certain problems regarding the manner in which Wikipedia handles certain subjects which require much improvement. In case Wikipedia solve such problems, it can become a bigger resolution rather than censoring Wikipedia (Christopher, 2011). Wikipedia should establish rules which forbid special interests from bringing interference.   

 

Question 3: Should individuals publish anything they want on an Internet?

             Some people think that writing online anonymously give them the freedom to say whatever they want in the internet. People who disseminate false information in the internet are hurting the public and the rule of law should prosecute them (Christopher, 2011). Effective rules should be enacted to eliminate cases of defamation in which people make comments that hurt reputation of others.   People are encouraged to write in the internet but they should maintain integrity, respect     human rights and comply with approved regulations. Damaging other people’s professional and personal reputation is criminal offence, thus not legally allowed.

 

 

 

Question 4: how will new mobile phones, technology such as Google Glass influence social networks like Facebook and Twitter?

            New mobile phone and technology such as Google Glass influence social network like   twitter and facebook. Such new devices appear futuristic oddity, but when they gain popularity they could develop a significant impact on social network like facebbok and twitter. Google glass is becoming a buzz  because  it  is wearable having eyeglasses and can activated in a computer that enable users to send massages, take pictures, translate language, ask questions, and seek directions. Christopher (2011) views that the popularity of the Google Glass is increasing that may lead to the declining significance of LinkedIn, twitter, and facebook. Google Glass is becoming a dominant site in the social network. Google Glass can take pictures that can be shared to any person connected to Google. Google Glass can be used for video chat. Google Glass provides affordable portability and accessibility; and thus email, phone and video and other social media service are more convenient in Google Glass thus it is gaining more market than other social media sites such as facebbok and twitter.

 

 

 

Reference

Christopher, H. (2011). A history of communications: Media and society from the Evolution of Speech to the internet. Journalism and mass communication quarterly, 88(3), 23-47. 

PRIVACY ISSUES WITH GOOGLE STREET VIEW

July 25, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Case Study

Student Name

Course Code

Date

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Privacy Issues in Google Earth

Since its launch in 2007, Google Street View has encountered a number of privacy concerns especially on collection and display of images by its digital cameras. Privacy advocates across the world objected to Google’s photographs that showed club strippers, abortion processes, public cottagers, people engaging in prostitution and other that they do not wish to be photographed and/or published online. There were claims also, of its reception of bigger Wi-Fi data from Wi-Fi receivers concealed on Street View vehicles (EPIC, 2013).  Network providers accused Google of having MAC addresses, which it utilized for capturing Wi-Fi hotspots and SSIDs (User assigned network ID name) which provided all information pertaining to private wireless networks. Due to the overwhelming protests around the world, Google admitted to have collected payload data, some emails and URLs and indeed terminated its illegal collection of Wi-Fi data transmissions. 

On March 2013, Attorneys general for 38 states and the District of Columbia established $7 million fine on Google over consumer protection and privacy claims. This was after EPIC mandated the Federal Communication Commission to carry out investigations on the Google Street View program following claims of its interception with communications of millions of Wi-Fi users. In June 2012, a Swiss court also developed requirements for Google Street View in Switzerland and allowed the company to continue running its operations under the newly established privacy protection measures (EPIC, 2013). One of the requirements by the Swiss ruling was that Google had to obscure license plates near ‘sensitive areas’ such as churches, schools and prisons. People who wished to anonymize their images also prohibited it from publishing pictures of lawns or courtyards invisible to pedestrians besides honoring requests.

There have been complaints from Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark and Germany but since then Google changed has changed some of its policies that make image removal more straightforward, although it removed the option for requesting removal of an image and replaced that with an image blurring option. Images described earlier, that made people move into streets have, however, remained active and are indeed widely republished.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference

EPIC (2013). Investigations of Google Street View. epic.org

 

 

Health and Safety in the Health and Social Care Workplace

July 24, 2013

 

 

Health and Safety in the Health and Social Care Workplace

Name:

University:

Course:

Tutor:

Date:

 

 

 

A workplace that has a poor health and safety policy tend to experience adverse effects on the individual, organization and the community at large. In a health and social care workplace, effects of illness and injury have been established and they range from small inconveniences to huge consequences. The effects include pain and suffering; illness, injury and death; psychological injury; financial problems; abseentism; low morale; reduced productivity; poor productivity; community costs; and poor corporate image[1]. Most organizations are faced with the challenge of ensuring that their employees lead a healthy and stress-free lifestyle. Workers should not get ill or injured, and if it happens, organizations should put in place provisions that assist them to return to fitness. The policy manual below provides ways through which health and safety legislation can be implemented in a health and social care workplace.

Implementation of health and safety legislation

Requirements

Risks: All concepts of safety, risk and security should be clearly articulated. The risks can be categorized into the following groups: zero risks, minimum risks, property risks, individual risks; accident prevention, hazard restraint, first aid; security versus safety, protection from harm; and practices, substances and equipment premises[2].

Communication: Another important factor is communication of information incase there is any threat. The communication process can be categorized into procedures and policies, use of different media, training and organizational culture, exchange of information, enforcement, record keeping and compliance.  

Responsibilities: There should be personnel who are responsible for enhancing the safety of both employees and the organization. Individual polices should take care of support workers, service users, managers, visitors and external agencies[3].

Legislative requirements: The organization acknowledges the laws passed with regards to health and safety and ways of implementing them. There are Health and Safety at Work Acts as well as codes of practice and associated regulations. Others include Food Acts and those specific to health and social care such as Mental Health Acts.

Technology: Technology plays an important role when it comes to health and safety in an organization. The policies are categorized into security systems, safety aids, maintenance environments and the effects of equipment breakdown or malfunction.

Review of systems and policies

For the health and safety legislation to be effective, there must be effective ways through which the policies, systems, procedures are implemented. First, the policies must by able to comply with the structures and processes of the healthcare organization[4]. Compliance can be achieved through a series of the following steps:

Care planning: There are several means through which an organization can implement its safety policies. Care planning ensures that there is an effective strategy put in place to implement the safety policies. An organization can meet this requirement through maximizing the wellbeing of employees, meeting their needs by enhancing security, and implementing the principles of good practice and security.

Dilemmas: Effective communication of health and safety in the workplace is usually faced with a wide variety of dilemmas and challenges. However, there are various factors that should be considered to ensure that the entire process is effective. These requirements include risk-benefit analysis, personal risk and risk to other individuals, implications of resource use, and different priorities of stakeholders, either external or internal[5].

Own practice- When it comes to communicating and implementing health and safety procedures, strategies tend to vary from one organization to another. Own practice and procedures can be classified into individual needs, responsibilities, changes in practice, professionalism and relations between employees and the clients or patients.

There are various policies, procedures and systems that can be utilized to ensure that the organization understands and communicates health and safety in the workplace. These systems can be categorized in four separate groups[6].

Monitored and reviewed: This basically involves review of practices, auditing of risks and threats, updating the procedures and policies, and learning from experience. An organization can only be effective if it takes note of past threats and develops strategies that can minimize recurrence.

Creating a safety and health environment – A safe and healthy environment can be created at various levels such as individual, team, managerial or organizational levels. In addition, the contribution and expectation of each level should be clearly articulated in the policy of the organization[7]. This implies that the organization should insist on compliance, responsibilities, practices, training, and how various groups, individuals and agencies interact[8].

Management of safety and health: It is the responsibility of the organization to monitor and evaluate health and safety policies and the way they are implemented. This can be done through inspection and auditing the workplace through the use of management information system or management structure and representation. 

Health and safety priorities appropriate to a work setting.

At the work place, it is the responsibility of the management to ensure that all employees are trained on health and safety issues that may occur during the course of their duties. This starts from the basic regulations such as cleanliness which is essential in avoiding food poisoning. In addition, ensuing that equipments are always kept at their designated places and there is an effective procedure of disposing of waste enhances safety[9]. This is because a banana peel left lying on the floor can cause a fatal accident if an employee’s steps on it. There are other major security issues that can contribute to reduction of hazards. For instance, all employees should have skills of using a fire extinguisher incase fire erupts from their departments. This would significantly reduce escalation of fire. In addition, what to do in case of a fire, like accessing fire exists or use of first aid is critical in reducing the effects of accidents and hazards[10].

Monogram of the Health and Safety positions

Top management (TM): Responsible for training employees on health and safety issues in the workplace. Also involved in purchasing safety requirements and developing safety policies in the organization

Mid-level managers (MLM): Have direct contact with the employees implying that they are responsible for educating and training the workers. They ensure that all safety policies of the organizations are adhered to through constant monitoring[11].

Employees (E): They follow the security policies implemented by the organization. Consult their respective managers on effective ways of preventing the occurrence of safety hazards. Employees report any cases of hazards or any faulty equipments and assets that may derail prevention of hazards.

Safety consultants (SC): These are hired by the organization to either train the employees or install equipments that can be used to deal with hazards. They provide important information to the top management on laws and regulations with regards to safety in the workplace.

 

 

Bibliographies:

AHS. Strategic Plan for Workplace Health and Safety. December, 2010. https://:www.albertahealthservices.ca/org/ahs-org-whs-strategic-plan.pdf accessed 22 March 2013.

CIS-Assessment. Com. Health and Safety in an Adult Social Care Setting. 2010. https://:www.cis-assessment.co.uk/docs/pdf

Fisher, A. Health and Social Care. (Oxford: Henemann. 2005)

Garcarz, W & Wilcock, E. Statutory and Mandatory Training in Health and Social Care: A Toolkit for Good Practice. (Oxon, ox: Radcliffe Publishing, 2005)

Morath, J.M, & Turnbull, J.E. To Do No Harm Ensuring Patient Safety in health Care Organizations. (Jossey Bass Wiley, 2004).

Moonie, N. Advanced Health and Social Care. (Oxford: Heinemann, 2000)

Nolan, Y. Health and Social Care (Adults). (Oxford: Heinemann, 2005)

Nolan, Y. Health & Social Care: S/NVQ Level 2. (Oxford: Heinemann, 2005)

OSHA. Preventing Workplace Violence for Health Care & Social Service Workers. 2004. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Pp.1-20

Sprenger, R. Health and Safety for Management. (London: Highfield, 2003)

 

 

 


[1] CIS-Assessment. Com. Health and Safety in an Adult Social Care Setting. 2010. https://:www.cis-assessment.co.uk/docs/pdf

[2] Morath, J.M, & Turnbull, J.E. To Do No Harm Ensuring Patient Safety in health Care Organizations. (Jossey Bass Wiley, 2004).

[3] Nolan, Y. Health and Social Care (Adults). (Oxford: Heinemann, 2005)

 

[4] Nolan, Y. Health & Social Care: S/NVQ Level 2. (Oxford: Heinemann, 2005)

[5] OSHA. Preventing Workplace Violence for Health Care & Social Service Workers. 2004. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Pp.1-20

[6] Fisher, A. Health and Social Care. (Oxford: Heinemann. 2005)

[7] Ibid.p24

[8] 20AHS. Strategic Plan for Workplace Health and Safety. December, 2010. https://:www.albertahealthservices.ca/org/ahs-org-whs-strategic-plan.pdf accessed 22 March 2013.

 

[9] Moonie, N. Advanced Health and Social Care. (Oxford: Heinemann, 2000)

[10] Sprenger, R. Health and Safety for Management. (London: Highfield, 2003)

[11] Garcarz, W & Wilcock, E. Statutory and Mandatory Training in Health and Social Care: A Toolkit for Good Practice. (Oxon, ox: Radcliffe Publishing, 2005)

Leadership Development Portfolio

July 24, 2013

Running Head: Leadership Development Portfolio

 

 

 

 

 

[Your Name]

[Instructor’s Name]

 

Leadership Development Portfolio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary

This report is dedicated to a reflection on the experience of taking a vLeader simulation on leadership development. The work consists of three parts – the first one titled “vLeader practice and reflection” is dedicated to the analysis of five various scenarios in which the researcher deciding the course of action and leadership style for the main simulation protagonist has to encounter situations of self-assertion in the new team, managing team conflict, managing power of people with more formal authority, and managing the decision-making process at the period of crisis. The first section of the paper presents the reflective accounts of the learning points contained in each scenario, the opinions about the most effective course of action taken by the researcher, and the academic basis supporting the learning points.

The second part of the work is dedicated to the reflection on the researcher’s personal results on the leadership inventory – Daft’s (2008) Leader’s SelfInsight set of tests that helps to uncover various aspects of leadership personality. The researcher’s skills in team management, spirituality, multiple intelligences, end and instrumental values, and a realm of other characteristics are determined through a set of tests, and five results are analyzed in terms of surprise, unexpectedness, and usefulness for the researcher. The third section of the work is an extended reflection on the vLeader simulation that contains the personal leadership model and its explanation, the description of the theories and models of leadership most appealing to the researcher, the gaps in the current leadership practice, and an action plan aimed at mitigating the defined gaps with the purpose of the overall leadership skills’ improvement. The main recommendations for the leadership growth made by the researcher include learning moderate risk-taking, becoming a more inspirational and visionary leader, and acquiring greater emotional stability.

 

Part 1: vLeader Practice and Reflection

Scenario 1: One-on-One

The first scenario set the scene for future simulations, since it represents the first day at the new workplace for Corey, and deals with the challenge of establishing himself as a leader in a not highly motivated and productive work team. The meeting with Oli thus serves as a very illustrative aspect of Corey’s leadership because Oli is also a resourceful and active employee who can grasp the leadership in the team in case Corey prefers to delegate it. Hence, the present first meeting was of strategic importance for Corey to set up himself as a superior through different means. The use of three leadership types yielded totally different outcomes that affected the attitude to Corey, the motivation of Oli, and the overall organizational outcomes such as financial performance, customer satisfaction, and employee morale.

First, the directive leadership style was used; the major part of talking was made by Corey, the support was visible only towards Oli’s ideas, not towards him as a person, or Rosa’s needs for seeking an apartment. The tension was not reduced by Corey, which made Oli quite tense, and which made him voice not all ideas about the work environment that he had. The overall results for financial performance and customer satisfaction were high, though the morale achieved in this scenario with this leadership style was only 75%. Corey effectively set the business objectives of saving costs and improving customer satisfaction, which can be seen in the outcomes of Oli’s cancelation of his order for an expensive computer, and his increased attention to customer service. However, the employee morale became lower, mainly because Corey preferred to prioritize the business over the employees’ needs. Hence, Corey failed to win trust and respect of his subordinates, though business indicators went up.

In the case of participative leadership strategy use, the situation was much warmer in communication with Oli. Corey supported both the ideas of Oli and the employees, which made Oli less tense. He became more relaxed, which is seen from his non-verbal cues such as slumping in his seat, and later – broad smiling and nodding in agreement with Corey’s directions made on the basis of his suggestions. In the delegating leadership style scenario, Oli received much support from Corey and actually received a go-ahead in solving the workplace problems. Hence, the relaxed atmosphere and acceptance of Oli’s opinion by Corey let Oli share many more ideas with Corey, especially the one with the introduction of the Coffee Break that improved the employee morale significantly. Hence, in the present scenario, one should make a conclusion that delegating leadership yields higher results in employee morale, while participative and directive leadership does not affect or even reduces employee morale, while financial and customer satisfaction impacts are positive. From the learning points perspective, one should admit that building partnerships at the onset of new work, and active listening and empowerment of employees are the key conclusions that should be made from the present scenario.

 

Scenario 2: Staff Meeting in the Break Room

 Scenario 2 presented the challenge of resolving a conflict and reasserting oneself as a leader to introduce and actively support some ideas of high value for the company. Corey in the present scenario faces the need to fulfill his boss’s order to raise customer retention to 65%, but he faces the problem of the intra-team conflict between Rosa and Oli, which makes it impossible for Corey to assert his idea initially. The present scenario puts Corey into the need to resolve conflict at first, and then get to the business objective. Hence, the Directive leadership style options such as “Stop Complaining” or “Raise Retention to 65%” are unsuccessful ways of gaining power at the beginning of the conflict resolution process. The task of Corey is to take a participative stance to managing conflict, thus winning trust and respect of the new team, and helping Rosa and Oli find some common ground on which alignment may be based. The application of the directive style may raise tension, which is also observable when the delegating style is used and Corey prefers to remain silent. The key learning point in this scenario is that a leader cannot either impose the conflict resolution decision or make it happen on its own – it is vital for the leader to take an active part in conflict resolution, and not to take any party’s side while the atmosphere is tense. The support to one side of the conflict may leave Corey without the support and commitment of the other side, which is a highly negative outcome taking into account that both Corey and Rosa are direct reporters to Corey.

Hence, at first, Corey has to use the directive style of leadership to attract attention to himself, and to reassert himself as superior interested in resolving the conflict. After the power is established and the initial chaos is overcome, Corey may adapt a participative style again to help Rosa and Oli establish the common ground, which, after being achieved, should allow Corey to shift to the directive style again to introduce and actively support the raining retention objective. This way, the crisis will be overcome, and morale will be fixed (which increases the scores for employee engagement and morale), while at the same time, the ultimate outcome is the focus on raising retention, which has a positive score for both financial performance and customer satisfaction. As one can see, in the present scenario, no single leadership style can provide the positive outcomes for conflict resolution and effective business focus; here, leadership is presented as a flexible notion that should be used contextually by the leader to achieve situational objectives.

 

 

 

Scenario 3:   Meeting in the Conference Room / Challenging the Status Quo

The present scenario creates an innovative challenge – making Corey assert himself in a continuum of leader-follower relationship in the environment where both his bosses and his subordinates are present. The situation is critical for Corey because he has an objective at hand that he has to introduce despite Will’s disapproval, and he has to gain support of his subordinates Oli and Rosa, as well as his second boss Herman, without raising a conflict and alienating Will. The present scenario presents an opportunity for Corey to influence the decision of leaders without using any formal power. Challenging the power of Will and Herman would bring about an explicit conflict, would cause their total opposition to the ideas of Corey, and would result in the rejection of the “Call Center Work” and “Rosa on Sales Call” objectives very important for Corey. Therefore, the use of directive leadership style is highly inefficient in the present case as Corey will only cause a conflict, while the delegating leadership style is also inappropriate because using it, Corey will not even manage to voice his ideas, and the idea of the assertive, energetic, and popular Will will be accepted.

The participative leadership style is the best variant in the present scenario because using it, Corey can raise tension in the conference room to make a call for new ideas, which will stimulate Herman voice the call center idea. It is wiser for Corey to make Herman speak about it, and not voice it on his own because of the hierarchy of power in the room. Rosa and Oli are afraid because there are three bosses in that room, and in case Corey voices an opinion and Herman supports it, Will is in the alienated position, which causes a conflict. If Herman is the initiator and Corey supports that idea, the present situation gives an opportunity for a healthy, proactive discussion of that option, and makes Oli and Rosa feel safer to voice their support of that opinion without intensifying the conflict. The key learning points in the present scenario are the opportunity to assert oneself without possessing the formal power, by navigating the currents of politics and power and stimulating thought-provoking discussions. The generation of ideas by people possessing the highest level of authority is the surest way to get those ideas endorsed, while the courage of emphasizing some ideas by middle management is likely to cause a conflicting division inside the team, and may lead to a reactive, formally asserted decision to stop the challenge of one’s power.

 

Scenario 4: Meeting at a Retreat / Merger of Cultures

This scenario shows how the person with the lowest level of authority and power in a certain place can become the resource for his leaders in building up, introducing, and asserting some ideas beneficial for their business, especially under the conditions of unsafe, challenging environment of a merger in which Nortic staff and vendors are put under threat. In the present conditions, Corey has also been caught between two fires – Herman and Will seeing one future for Nortic, and Alan opposing their views. Hence, the task of Corey, which is pushing the proactive, beneficial ideas for Nortic, can be achieved only through an effective alliance with the highest level of authority, and further bridging the gap between Alan and his immediate bosses Herman and Will.

The present situation requires much assertiveness, which is best achieved through a directive and participative leadership style. Corey has to build the initial alliance with Alan to gain some weight in terms of power and authority in that room, since building the initial alliance with Will and Herman may trigger the protective mechanisms in Alan who possesses the highest formal authority in the room, and can assert his goals overtly if he feels that his authority is challenged. Hence, an alliance with Alan gives Corey a power advantage, which enables him to further support Will and Herman, thus pushing his advantageous ideas through, and taking care of both employee morale and financial aspects of Nortic’s functioning. Distinct emphasis on retaining Nortic vendors promises both the increase of financial performance and customer satisfaction, which ultimately helps Corey and Nortic in general acquire beneficial terms of a merger.

 

Scenario 5: Meeting in the Board Room / Crisis and Opportunity

Meeting with a real crisis not depending on the power or authority of the people present in the room is the situation in which new ideas cannot be generated with the application of the tension increase strategy. Hence, the key role of a leader in the contingency situation is to keep the people calm and make them focus not on the current problems but on the future vision. Once the calm atmosphere is maintained and the employees become focused on the critical work tasks that need to be accomplished right ahead, the situation with deciding the future of the company may move ahead. Once the company’s executives become focused on some trifles such as choosing the person to speak with the press, the situation stagnates, and the staff gets more and more absorbed in panic about the current situation.

The function of Corey in the present scenario is about adopting a participative and directive leadership style to be able to release tension in the board room, to help bosses drop the insignificant issues in favor of more significant strategic decisions, and help the staff focus on more important issues such as choosing the location for the company, and favoring the best product, best service, and low cost provider options. Focusing on the current state is always connected with tension increase because the company faces a real-life challenge, the fire. However, positive outcomes can be obtained by choosing to focus on the future of the company – the presence of senior management makes Corey obliged to take their authority into account as well, which makes him not a directive, but a participative leader most of the time. However, as soon as a certain idea is introduced and supported by the senior management, Corey obtains an opportunity to become directive, and assert a certain positive course of action for the company.

Part 2: Awareness Through Leader Self-Concepts

Since my results for managerial qualities outweigh the leadership qualities, I am a more capable manager than leader. As a manager, I may possess the qualities of responding to organizational problems in a more objective, non-personal way, and to make rational decisions directed at sustaining the conditions of stability and efficiency in my organization. These features may be contrasted to the personal stance of a leader, and a creative, innovative, and often risky approach to organizational vision and change. It is of vital importance for companies to have effective managers because they form the foundation for leaders’ performance enhancement without shaking the fundamentals of the company’s daily functioning (Daft 2008, p. 16). My confidence level is moderate – 5 out of 10; these results suppose that I am not a highly confident person, though in my managerial practice, I am more apt to double-check and use only sure variants for development than take risks only because of my personal, subjective confidence about some issue. I think that at present, I lack personal confidence to a certain extent because I am not experienced and I cannot rely on my personal judgment as the ultimate source of truth. However, I expect to increase my personal judgment along with getting more applied experience in workplace management and leadership issues.

The MBTI scale showed to me that I am more of an introvert person who relies on intuition rather than sensing, and more often relies on feeling rather than thinking, which was a surprise for me because I have always thought of myself as a balanced and rational person. However, the moderate preference of judging over perceiving qualities showed that I am still more of a rational person, though often ignoring facts and emphasizing my personal feelings and emotions about a certain situation. I act as I implicitly feel is right to act; hence, I believe that in cases when I am experienced enough to make some decisions, my intuition and introvert considerations can help me make the right decision. However, some situations in which a discussion and consultation with more knowledgeable and experienced people is needed, I may feel a challenge and hesitation in decision-making because it is not an accustomed decision-making mode for me. The locus of control I possess is moderate; I am apt to believe that many things are in the power of people, and the way they do their work, try to achieve a promotion, and gain a leadership position mostly depends on them. However, I am also a dedicated believer in the things that are totally or mostly out of people’s own control, such as governmental activities, acquiring some position in a new company, etc. There are many situations in which being in the right place at the right time indeed plays the decisive role, though I am sure that such success stories are attributable more to the “magical”, “sensational” success, while moderate success is totally the outcome of personal work and effort.

From the testing results, I can say that team leadership skills I possess are moderate; I am really comfortable with teams that I know and that share my beliefs and ideas. However, as soon as I need to work with unknown people in a team, if I come across the need to manage an interpersonal conflict, or there is a problem of the majority of the team not sharing my opinions, it becomes increasingly challenging for me to come to an optimal, fruitful outcome in the team management effort because of my emotional nature. I am highly interested in receiving feedback, and I often seek feedback from my colleagues and administration. I want to make my work flexible and sensitive to the organizational needs; hence, I never avoid feedback even if it is very bad. I am an avid learner, and even when some initiatives fail, it is important for me to receive feedback on the issue, and to understand what I will need to do better next time to succeed.

My emotional intelligence, cultural intelligence, and communicative skills are strong, which means that I am a skilled communicator, and I can handle the variety of issues connected with managing people, negotiating, and resolving conflict really well. I possess strong communication skills and I can communicate my opinions, ideas, and viewpoints to the interlocutors. This way, I can often get the work done the way I want it because organizational communication lies at the core of activities’ alignment and goal achievement. Dealing with team conflict is a challenging activity for me, but I favor the accommodating and collaborating conflict management styles most. I totally do not accept the avoiding style because the conflict never vanishes in case it is ignored. It can bring about only the aggravation of an interpersonal situation in a team. Hence, collaboration on conflict resolution is the best way to resolve the conflict, though accommodation has to be used in case one party is more assertive and not willing to negotiate.

 

Part 3: Integration and Extension

Taking into account the variety of roles and functions a leader should fulfill in different situations, I have chosen the model of situational leadership as my guiding leadership model. Though situational leadership takes into account the differences among people on whom the leader wants to exert his or her influence, this model includes only the people’s factor, while leaders have to work in many other aspects such as managing their own personality, achieving the organizational purposes, and increasing organizational performance. Hence, to grasp the situational, flexible nature of leader’s functioning in an organization in different domains, I have adapted and extended the model to include more valuable attributes of a leader that I perceive as important in my leadership model – see Figure 1.

In this model, I have illustrated my perception of leadership and four key domains in which leaders may practice their leadership power – people, performance, purpose, and personality. In terms of people, the situational leadership characteristics are the most applicable – depending on whom the leader has to lead, he or she adapts the delegating, supporting, coaching, or directing leadership styles to make the purposes achieved best. Though Papworth, Milne, and Boak (2009, p. 593) noted that the situational leadership framework lacks empirical support, Thompson and Vecchio (2009, p. 837) conducted a large-scale analytical study to infer that the original 1972 version of situational leadership is a more effective framework for predicting employee behavior than the new revised 2007 model is.

Figure 1. My Leadership Model

–          Mission

–          Vision

–          Values

–          Getting the critical work done

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-delegating                                                                                   – situational fit

– supporting                                                                                  – self-awareness 

– coaching

– directing

                                                     – culture

                                                              – change

   – strategy and achievement

The performance domain is more typical for the style approach to leadership; depending on the area requiring more attention from the leader, according to the style approach, to leader focuses on either getting the employee perform the assigned tasks, or on the establishment of strong, friendly relationships within the working team (Pollard 2008, p. 21). Hence, the task of the leader is usually somehow related to the alignment to the organizational strategy and achievement of certain business objectives. Moreover, leaders are usually responsible for sustaining organizational culture and leading change (as in transformational leadership).

The personality of a leader has been attracting much research attention for many decades, and I also hold an opinion that leaders have some specific traits of character by nature, but they at the same time have to cultivate certain personality traits and skills to sustain their leadership positions. Hence, the key focus of leadership in terms of personality is always understanding the situational fit for certain leadership strategies (such as asserting one’s power, moving forward some ideas, or influencing people directly and indirectly) to have one’s goals met. Moreover, self-awareness is an important aspect of a leader’s profile; as Hinton (2008, p. 19) admitted, self-awareness refers to clear understanding of one’s values, motives, emotions, and strengths and limitations of his or her position in a certain situation. Building strong self-awareness enables the further search of the situational fit that would help a leader to achieve his set objectives in a variety of environments and groups, which makes leadership a flexible and dynamic characteristic rather than a fixed property (Gallagher & Costal 2012, pp. 3-4). 

Another vital domain of leadership practice is that of purpose; as Northouse (2010, p. 3) admitted, there is a need to point out that leadership always e\incorporates the care about common goals. Therefore, leaders have to exert their influence for making their subordinates achieve something together. Attention to common goals provides leaders with an ethical dimension of their influence, and by emphasizing mutuality, leaders can create the feelings of belonging in their followers, and make the goals indeed common, and not hierarchically imposed on their by administration. The communication of the purpose usually takes place through the pursuit of the company’s mission and vision, and emphasis of the organizational values cherished in that organization. Through forming the purposeful work frame by mission, vision, and values, the leader can focus his or her subordinates attention on the critical work that needs to be done first, thus accomplishing the most meaningful corporate objectives.

As for my personal theories of leadership, I believe that there is no single way of achieving the full-scale, stable leadership position for any person, and the situational approach shows how flexible and changeable the leadership characteristics and efforts should be in particular contexts. Hence, I am the proponent of the situational leadership theory and transformational leadership theory in my leadership practice. As noted by Shriberg and Shriberg (2011, p. 72), the situational leadership theory was developed by Kenneth Blanchard and Paul Hersey in the 1960s. The authors claimed that there is no unique model of leadership that would be effective in all situations, and effective leadership can be executed once the situation is combined with the followers’ readiness, and not the leader’s characteristics. Blanchard (2008, p. 19) personally admitted that effective leaders adapt their style to the level of development of people they manage. Lunenburg and Ornstein (2007, p. 43) also added that according to the situational leadership theory, task behavior and relationship behavior are the key leadership behaviors that situational leaders practice. Task behavior refers to employing one-way communication for explaining to the subordinates what and when they have to accomplish certain tasks, while relationships behavior is a reciprocal communication process in which socio-emotional support, psychological support, and facilitation of behaviors are provided to subordinates by the leader (Lunenberg & Ornstein 2007, p. 143).

Speaking about transformational leadership, I believe that it is the most effective and the most perplexing way in which people make others follow them; according to Bass and Riggio (2007) charismatic-transformational leadership is the method of moving followers to exceed expectations in performance (p. 50). This leadership style is highly effective in enhancing the followers’ self-concept and stimulating their motivation to participate and work more than is expected from them. Hence, the strong sense of belonging together with intrinsic motivation drives the team’s results upwards. Researchers also found the interdependence between transformational leadership and increased self-efficacy, which implies that transformational leaders affect their followers at a purely psychological level, thus ensuring their loyalty, enthusiasm, and relaxation for sharing new ideas, which ultimately drives the team’s performance to excellence (Bass & Riggio 2007, p. 50).

As the vLeader simulation showed, the path-goal leadership theory is also a beneficial way to construct one’s leadership activities in a team. The basics of the path-goal theory involve the distinction between three types of leadership behaviors – directive, participative, and delegating leadership (Kelly 2009, p. 10). Each of these leadership styles implies a certain way of behaving, speaking, and exerting the leader’s power over employees. Depending on the personal characteristics of employees and on the nature of leader’s objectives, one has to choose some style of leadership behavior.

According to the theory of directive leadership, leaders take an active part in the problem-solving and decision-making processes, and require their subordinates to follow them (Bass & Bass 2009, p. 460). In some cases, directive leaders make decisions without consultation with their subordinates, and even without explaining the rationale behind their actions, only communicating the instructions and requirements to employees for fulfillment. This strategy of leading a team may be consonant with the autocratic form of rule in which the leader is not interested in the opinions of followers, and does not even bother to persuade them that his/her opinion is right. However, there is an alternative form of directive leadership in which the leader makes some effort to actively persuade his or her followers to agree with his/her opinion, thus imposing his/her viewpoint on the subordinates feeling unsafe in such an environment, and not daring to oppose the opinions even if they are explicitly bad. Though in certain situation such as, for instance, contingency accompanied with massive panic and uncertainty, directive leadership is a must for a leader wishing to lead his company further, in more regular business conditions, it is a reactive way of leading a team, and is rarely effective in achieving team alignment, employees’ self-efficacy and motivation increase, and increase in performance.

The participative leadership framework presupposes the involvement in sharing ideas and opinions between the leader and his/her subordinates. There is a variety of participative leadership styles incorporating such features as listening carefully and attentively, gaining acceptance of their ideas through the engagement of colleagues into planning and decision-making, etc. (Bass & Bass 2009, p. 460). Moreover, participative leaders may allow subordinates to participate in the final decision-making discussions, thus seeking a consensus and generation of alternatives. The involvement of subordinates into the decision-making process vital for the company’s functioning is usually of very positive impact on the employees’ job satisfaction, which ultimately manifests itself in the employees’ work performance. The feeling of belonging to the team, as well as being listened to by the superiors, is always highly rewarding for the employee, and experience shows that such leadership mode is always much more proactive in terms of making wise business-related decisions.

Participative leadership is seen as a certain form of participation; according to Bass and Bass (2009, p. 461), “it does not mean that the leader abdicates his or her responsibilities”. The form of delegating leadership is most commonly associated with restating of what needs to be done, giving support and encouragement to those working on a particular task, requiring periodic progress reports. Researchers also recognized the distinction between the advisory, informational, and extreme delegating leadership – each of these subtypes presupposes various extents to which leadership responsibilities are delegated to employees, and it is obvious that the extreme type of delegating leadership presupposes the full delegation of responsibilities to employees, which reduces the employee morale and weakens the figure of a leader. Hence, informational and advisory delegating leadership practices are acceptable and beneficial in the business practices, since they give a certain level of autonomy to employees, thus empowering them and uncovering their creative potential needed for the generation of new ideas.

Taking into account my aptness to use situational leadership, I believe that all three types mentioned above (referring to the goal-path leadership theory) can be effectively applied in various leadership situations. There are situations in which employees need firm guidance through a crisis, and they have to be shown some opportunities to calm down and continue working. Hence, in such situations, directive leadership style is the most appropriate choice. Delegating leadership is a beneficial option in situations when leaders want to empower their employees and distribute duties for some project evenly; however, the excess of delegation may undermine the leader’s authority and challenge his or her position in a company. Hence, I believe that the participatory leadership style should be the core focus of every leader, since it empowers the employees to participate in the decision-making processes of the company, but at the same time, it helps the leader to maintain his or her strong position as a mediator in discussions, and the final decision-maker.

I would like to become a participative leader strongly focused on both organizational purposes and employee relationships though, as the vLeader simulation showed, these two goals are often incompatible and mutually exclusive. As my personal testing results indicated, I am a strong communicator, which increases my chances to succeed in leadership communication, as well as employee motivation and empowerment (Daft 2008, pp. 224, 258). However, there are some gaps I need to close to become an effective situational leader striving to the participating leadership style. I am still quite emotional and I have problems with leading teams because I rely more on intuition and feeling that on rational justifications of my choices. Moreover, my psychological assessment showed that I am more of an introvert person, so I may experience some problems with leading teams and managing conflict. I have strengths in terms of cultural and emotional intelligence, but I am not spiritual and charismatic enough to create the vision, shape a culture, and lead a fundamental change. Hence, taking into account my fascination with transformational leadership and my excessive emotionality, I have developed an action plan for my future development as a leader:

  1. Focus on the development of internal motivation and self-management
  2. Develop a sense of reasonable risk-taking
  3. Develop adaptability and emotional stability skills
  4. Develop the skill of inspiring other people
  5. Become a visionary leader
  6. Develop active listening skills and learn to involve subordinates into the business processes through participation, not delegation
  7. Develop symbolic leadership skills

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Bass, BM & Bass, R 2009, The Bass handbook of leadership: Theory, research, and managerial applications, 4th edn, Simon and Schuster, New York.

Bass, BM & Riggio, RE 2007, Transformational leadership, 2nd edn, Routledge, New York.

Blanchard, K 2008, ‘Situational leadership’, Leadership Excellence, vol. 25, no. 5, p. 19.

Daft, RL 2008, The leadership experience, 4th edn, Cengage Learning, Mason. 

Gallagher, D & Costal, J 2012, The self-aware leader, American Society for Training and Development, Danvers.

Hinton, L 2008, The role of leader self-awareness in building trust and improving student learning, ProQuest, Ann Arbor.

Kelly, P 2009, Essentials of nursing leadership and management, 2nd edn, Cengage Learning, Clifton Park.

Lunenberg, FC & Ornstein, AC 2007, Educational administration: concepts and practices, 5th edn, Cengage Learning, Belmont.

Northouse, PG 2010, Leadership: theory and practice, 5th edn, SAGE, Thousand Oaks.

Papworth, MA, Milne, D & Boak, G 2009, ‘An exploratory content analysis of situational leadership’, Journal of Management Development, vol. 28, no. 7, pp. 593-606.

Pollard, BM 2008, The effects of leadership style on the job performance of nurses, ProQuest, Ann Arbor.

Shriberg, A & Shriberg, D 2011, Practicing leadership principles and applications, 4th edn, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken.

Thompson, G & Vecchio, RP 2009, ‘Situational leadership theory: A test of three versions’, The Leadership Quarterly, vol. 20, iss. 5, pp. 837-848.

 

 

Appendix        Awareness and Assessment: Your Leader Self-Insights

Number & Title of Leader Self-Insight

Numerical Scores and/or other Outcome Measures

 

1.1  Your Learning Style: Using Multiple Intelligences – in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

 

 

Logical-Mathematical = 2

Verbal-Linguistic

= 3

Interpersonal = 2

Intrapersonal = 3

Musical

= 0

 

 

 

1.2  Your Leadership Potential- in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

 Count of Mostly True (even-numbered questions) = 5

Count of Mostly True (odd-numbered questions) =6

 

 

 

1.3  Are You on a Fast Track to Nowhere? – in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

 

Count of Mostly True:

People Skills = 15

Count of Mostly True:  Working with Authority = 13

Count of Mostly True:  Networking = 17

 

 

 

2.1  Rate Your Self-Confidence– in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

Total Score =5

Count of Mostly True: 1, 7, 9 10 = 2

Count of Mostly False:  2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 = 3

 

 

 

2.2  What’s Your Leadership Orientation? – in brief, what do the results mean?

 

Consideration Behavior Score (Mostly True, items 1-4) = 3

 

Initiating Structure Behavior Score (Mostly True, items 5-8) = 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.5  Personality Assessment using Jung’s Typology/Myers-Briggs

Your four-letter MBTI type is:___INFJ_____    – in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

 

Total for I: 33%

Total for E:

 

Are you more I or more E?

More I than E

Total for S:

Total for N:25%

 

Are you more S or more N?

 

More N than S

Total for T:

Total for F: 50%

 

Are you more T or more F?

 

More F than T

Total for J: 33%

Total for P:

 

Are you more J or more P?

More J than P

 

 

 

4.2  Measuring Locus of Control– in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

 

Your Score = 5

 

 

 

3.1  T-P Leadership Questionnaire: An Assessment of Style– in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

 

 

Your “T” Score (Mostly True for 1-5)

3

Your “P” Score (Mostly True for 6-10)

4

 

 

 

3.2  Are You Ready? – in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

Your “Readiness” Level = 3

 

 

 

10.2  Assess Your Team Leadership Skills– in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

 

Total Score = 6

Count of Mostly True for 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12 =  3

Count of Mostly False for 3, 4, 5, 7, 10 = 3

 

 

 

10.3  How Do You Handle Team Conflict? – in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

 

Score  for Competing (Items 2, 4, 15) =  1

Score for Avoiding (Items 1, 5, 9) = 1

Score for Compromising (Items 4, 7, 11) = 2

Score for Accommodating (Items 8, 12, 13) = 3

Score for Collaborating (Items 3, 6, 10) = 3

 

 

 

9.2  Listening Self-Inventory – in brief, what do the results mean?

 

Your Total Score (out of 12) = 7

Count of NO’s for Items 1, 2, 3, 5 , 6 ,7, 8, 9 = 4

Count of YES for Items 4, 10, 11, 12 = 3

 

 

 

7.1  The Power of Followership– in brief, what do the results mean?

 

Independent Thinking: High, Middling, or Low? Middling

Active Engagement: High, Middling, or Low? Middling to High

à Followership Style = Active

 

Score for Independent Thinking (Count of Mostly True, items 1, 4, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16) =4

Score for Active Engagement (Count of Mostly True items 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13) = 5

 

 

 

7.3  Receiving Feedback– in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

 

Score for Feedback Seeking (Items 1, 4, 7) = 2

Score for Feedback Avoiding (Items 2, 5,  8) = 1

Score for Feedback Mitigating (Items 3, 6, 9) = 2

 

 

 

9.3  Communication Apprehension– in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

Total Score = 8

Count Mostly False (2, 4, 5, 8, 9) = 4

Count Mostly True (1, 3, 6, 7, 10) = 4

 

 

 

12.3 Your Leadership Orientation (FRAME preference) – in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

 

Structural (sum all of the “a’s”) = 2

 

Human Resource (sum all of the “b’s”) = 3

Political (sum all of the “c’s”) = 1

Symbolic (sum all of the “d’s”) = 0

 

 

 

6.1  What’s Your Mach? (Machiavellian score) – in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

Your Total MACH score = 7

Count Mostly False for items 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 = 3

Count Mostly True for items 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 = 4

 

 

 

6.2  Your Servant Leadership Orientation– in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

Count Mostly True for items 4, 8, 12, 16 à Your Score for Authoritarian = 2

Count Mostly True for items 2, 6, 10, 14   à Your Score for Participative = 3

Count Mostly True for items 3, 7, 11, 15  à Your Score for Stewardship = 3

Count Mostly True for items 1, 5, 9, 13 à Your Score for Servant Leadership = 2

 

 

 

Cultural Intelligence– in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

 

 

 

Cognitive CQ

3,75

Physical CQ

4

Emotional / Motivational CQ

2.75

 

 

 

4.3  Instrumental and End Values– in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

 

 

 

End Value 1: Equality

End Value 2: Self-Respect

End Value 3: A sense of accomplishment

End Value 4: Pleasure

End Value 5: Social recognition

 

Instrumental 1: Self-Controlled

Instrumental 2: Responsible

Instrumental 3: Intellectual

Instrumental 4: Capable

Instrumental 5: Broad-Minded

 

 

 

5.1  Mindfulness– in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

 

 

Your Score for Open or Beginner’s Mind = 2

Your Score for Independent Thinking = 2

Your Score for Intellectual Stimulation =3

 

 

 

5.2  Emotional Intelligence– in brief, what do the results mean?

 

Count Mostly True for items 1, 5, 11, 13 à

Your Score for Self-Awareness = 3

Count Mostly True for  Items 2, 8, 12, 14 à Your Score for Self-Management = 2

Count Mostly True for  Items 3, 6, 9, 15 à Your Score for Social Awareness = 3

Count Mostly True for  Items 4, 7, 10, 16 à Your Score for Relationship Management = 3

 

 

5.3  Love or Fear? – in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

 

 

Count Mostly True for Items 1-5

à “Fear of Failure” score = 3

Count Mostly True for Items 6 -10 à “Love of Task” (Flow) score = 2

 

 

 

6.3  Assess Your Moral Courage– in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

 

 

 

Count Mostly True responses = 4

 

 

 

14.1  How Spiritual Are You? – in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

 

Count Mostly True responses =5

 

 

 

11.1  Values Balancing– in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

 

 

Count Words in Column 1 à Score for Personal Initiative = 3

Count Words in Column 2 à Capacity for Collaboration = 5

 

 

 

11.3  Social Values– in brief, what do the results mean?

 

Average your Results  for Items 1, 2, 3 à I-C Score (Individualism / Collectivism)  = 2

Average your Results  for Items 4, 5,6 àUA Score

(Uncertainty Avoidance) = 1

Reverse/Average Results for Items 9 & 10 àM-F Score (Masculinity / Femininity)  = 1

Average Results for Items 11 & 12à PD Score

(Power Distance)  = 2

 

 

 

13.1  My Personal Vision– in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

 

Count Mostly Trues à Your Total Score = 4

 

 

 

 

13.2  Visionary Leadership– in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

 

Count Mostly True for odd-numbered items à Your Score for Creating a Vision = 3

Count Mostly True for even-numbered items à Your Score for Implementing a Vision = 4

 

 

 

15.2  Are You a Change Leader? – in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

 

Count Mostly True responses = 6

 

 

 

15.1  How Innovative Are You? – in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

 

Your Total Score = 6

Count Mostly True for Items 1, 2, 8, 9, 10 =  3

Count Mostly False for Items 3, 4, 6, 7 =  3

 

 

 

15.3  Do You Have a Creative Personality? – in brief, what do the results mean?

 

 

Your total Creativity score (which may be positive or negative, but must be between +18 and -12) = +5

Add 1 point for choosing words numbered  2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 30. Your score = 9

Subtract 1 point for choosing words numbered 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 17, 20, 27, 29, 29. Your score = 4