Archive for December, 2013

Nursing Admission Essay

December 31, 2013

Nursing Admission Essay

In this world, despite one’s status in life or possessions that he or she has, each person needs to feel cared and loved by those who are close to him or her. This is what makes life worth living besides bringing happiness while in pursuit of a person’s goals. Mainly, this is especially when a person is facing life’s challenges, which threaten their existence like diseases. I developed the heart of helping sickly people at a very tender age, an attribute deeply rooted in me to date which will go well with my nursing career. From then as a child, I used to imitate these nurses at home while playing with other kids and even pretending to take close relatives’ body temperatures whom were “my patients”. Besides, from childhood to date I usually do nursing duties not at home but also in other areas where people need attention concerning their health like first aid. My passion in nursing as a career descends from strong desire within me of seeing other people free from any pain inflicted by their illnesses. Helping patients or other people experiencing pain gives me personal satisfaction. This is because I not only alleviate the immense pain that they go through but also give them vigor to face the next day and live a fulfilling life. Due to my desire to pursue nursing as a career, I have made an effort to mingle with many nurses while visiting friends and close relatives in hospitals or when accompanying them to seek medical attention. This heightens my desire and passion as I observe how nurses help patients both those facing mild and chronic illnesses to regain their full health. Sometimes when I am watching nurses undertake their duties like repositioning immobile or unconscious patients in orthopedic wards, I would wish that it were I.

Nursing profession is a very formidable career but due to my excellent personal attributes and qualities, I will emerge as reliable nurse. This is both as a student and later as a very resourceful professional in the field. I am good at paying attention to details because each action taken or initiated bears far reaching consequences in the medical field. This is will help me in undertaking researches not only as a student but also later while being a registered nurse. Due to numerous health complexities currently evident in the nursing field, it entails constant researches aimed at devising new strategies meant to curb them. Therefore, my attribute of being keen to every detail will be essential in coming up with adequate and proven information that will enrich the existing knowledge.

I also possess good communication skills including speaking and listening. This will enable me to coexist and conduct researches with other students during my learning period while preparing for great tasks ahead in the field. Mainly, this encompasses following directions and using available recording materials essential in the medical field to communicate well. While later in the field, I will be able to communicate well not only with other medical staff but also with patients and their relatives whereby the latter throughout would wish to receive progress reports. This is especially during crisis like death whereby some relatives may be unable to accommodate the news but as a nurse, I have to relay the information to them. I am compassionate and exhibit aspect of competence in all my undertakings. This is through understanding other people from a humanely point of view and being patient with them. These aspects apply both during schooling period and more so while in the medical field where I will be interacting with patients. Therefore, I will be able to exhibit heightened level of care and consideration to the ailing people who are undergoing immense pain.

In addition, I am capable of enduring long periods of standing without being exhausted easily. This is physical endurance, which every nurse in the field ought to develop including being able to lift patients while repositioning them especially immobile people. Besides, I am emotionally stable person capable of managing stressful situations and tensions very rampant in hospitals without allowing them to affect me. This is to make sure I am effective while handling patients and relatives who due to deteriorating situations of their loved ones some end up experiencing tension. However, being emotionally stable does not imply I cannot embody the aspect of empathy because of what my patients are undergoing. I also possess this attribute, which prompts one to share sufferings of others as a fellow human and caregiver.

In addressing and improving global healthcare delivery, nurses play significant role in ensuring quick recuperation process. This is encompasses physical interaction with patients while in hospitals and sometimes imparting them with structured education on how to care for themselves. Structured education in this case implies providing patients with adequate information and materials that will enable them care for themselves once they are in their homes. For instance, this is evident in the case of diabetic and AIDS patients who are not experiencing critical conditions. Therefore, nurses’ roles are indispensable because they take over after medical practitioners have done their part to ensure quick recuperation process. To be effective in their roles, they ought to conduct numerous researches and up date themselves with emergent strategies in their respective specializations. This is to ensure their nursing knowhow aligns with current demands besides technological advancements, for instance, informatics.

Therefore, equipped with these proven qualities and attributes essential for every person aspiring to be a competent nurse, I request for admittance in your institution. This is because I am capable of fulfilling all the required academic requirements besides contributing positively in your institution through research.     

Advertisements

Research Proposal – The Evolving Role of Social Media in CRM in the Airlines Industry: A Case Study of the British Airways

December 31, 2013

Table of Contents

1. Introduction. 3

1.1 Background Information. 3

1.2 Research Problem.. 4

1.3 Research Aim and Objectives. 4

1.4 Tentative Research Questions. 5

2. Literature Review.. 5

2.1 The Concept of Customer Relationship Management 5

2.2 Social Media. 6

2.3 The Evolving Role of Social Media in CRM in the Airlines Industry. 7

2.4 Conceptual Model 8

3. Research Design and Methodology. 9

3.1 Type of Investigation. 9

3.2 Data Collection Method. 10

3.3 Sampling Method. 11

3.4 Accessibility Issues. 11

3.5 Ethical Considerations. 11

3.6 Data Analysis Plan. 12

3.7 Research Limitations. 12

4. Timetable – Research Plan. 12

5. Reference List 14

 

 


1. Introduction

1.1 Background Information

The rapidly developing social media provides a big opportunity for organisations to improve their communications to their target customers (Chailom and Kaiwinit 2011). The increasing need for business organisations to get closer to the customers and understand their needs better and in most convenient manner necessitates the establishment of an integrative platform for both customers and organisations. As a result, the advancement of social media platforms making it possible for both communication and customer engagement brings a new opportunity into the current market sphere where customers and organisations are now linked more strategically. With business organisations being desperate to retain their customers, while attracting new ones, the role of social media has never been so critical than today; as the competition in the markets intensifies (Greenberg 2010). Currently, about 57% of the global population uses social media tools in their communication (Dutta et al 2011).

The airlines industry is reportedly one of the most competitive in the service sector where operators in the industry seek to not only understand their customers’ needs, but also track the level of customer satisfaction for their services (IBM 2012). As a result, using the modern social technologies to reach customers has been one of the fundamental practices for competitiveness among the players in the industry. One of the key players in the airlines industry in the UK is the British Airways with about 46% market share in the UK airlines industry (Rothwell 2011). This study will focus on the role of social media in the British Airlines company as part of its customer relationship management (CRM) strategy. By so doing, the researcher will further generalise the findings to the entire airlines industry.       

1.2 Research Problem

According to a study conducted by IBM (2012), the airlines industry is among the most stiffly competed in the service sector due to the low differentiation of the services offered in the industry. This necessitates firms operating in the industry to devise more innovative strategies through which they can improve their relationship with their target customers through CRM systems. Given the popularity of the social media today (reaching about 57% penetration levels), it is clearly evident that it is developing to be one of the most convenient and effective platforms through which communication to the customers is not only enhanced, but also customers are engaged as well (Avanade White Paper 2008; Bhagat et al 2009).

With CRM being associated with understanding customer needs while addressing any complaints in timely manner (Baird & Parasnis 2011); the role of social media in enhancing effective CRM has been critical. Since social media is one of the most dynamic marketing channels, up-to-date study is needed in order to establish how it can create viable CRM platform. Considering the intensity of competition in the Airlines industry, this study seeks to explore how social media strategy in the British Airways has been able to remain the leading airline company in the UK airlines industry. The theoretical contribution of this study is to promote deep understanding of the role of social media in CRM capabilities. On the other hand, the practical contribution of this study is to provide a practical guidance on the evolving role of social media in transforming CRM systems in the airlines industry in the most effective manner.    

1.3 Research Aim and Objectives

The aim of this study is to establish the role of social media in facilitating viable CRM in the contemporary airlines industry. With the increasing popularity of social media across the consumers, this study seeks to explore how the social media can transform CRM systems in the airlines industry with critical focus on the British Airways. In this regard, the following are the research objectives for the study:

a)     To identify the moderating role of social media in the creation of viable CRM in the airlines industry

b)     To establish the basis why the social media can be considered as an effective platform for effective CRM in service-oriented businesses like the airlines industry

c)     Ro explore the processes that have contributed towards effective CRM in the airlines industry

1.4 Tentative Research Questions

The overarching research question for this study is “what is the evolving role of social media in CRM in the airlines industry?” In the light of this research question, the following sub-questions have been adopted to guide the researcher in this study:

a)     What is the role of social media in creating viable CRM in the airlines industry?

b)      Why is the social media an effective platform for ensuring successful CRM in service-oriented businesses such as  Airlines

c)      What are the processes that have contributed to effective CRM in the airlines industry?

2. Literature Review

2.1 The Concept of Customer Relationship Management

Customer relationship management CRM) is defined by Greenberg (2010) as the philosophy and business strategy which is leveraged on technology which is designed to engage customers in collaborative manner. The key aim of CRM is to build customer-focused culture by maintaining close contacts with the customers in order to enhance long-standing relationships. One of the fundamental domains of CRM is the delivery of outstanding customer experiences which is done through focusing on customers’ social values and specific needs (Chen and Popovich 2003; Mitussis et al 2006). With regard to Greenberg (2004) ideas, establishing meaningful customer interactions through CRM platform is one of the key contributors of outstanding customer experiences. As a result, customers are able to derive value from the interaction which further fosters their relationship with organisation.

Another key domain of CRM is active customer engagement which contributes towards better understanding of the customer needs (Greenberg 2010). By actively engaging customers, it becomes easier for marketers to collect the customers’ feedback which in return enhances better understanding of their needs (Harker & Egan 2006; Labus & Stone 2010). In this regard, there is need for CRM systems to be interactive in nature so that customers can be able to be engaged through active interactions. This is a clear implication that, active engagement of customers through interactive CRM platform is not only effective in maintaining good relationships with customers, but also a useful business strategy that enhances better understanding of customer needs. It is also important to note that, CRM system should be easily accessible to customers for it to be considered to be effective (Kim et al 2012; King and Burgess 2009). Similar study conducted by also indicated that, effective CRM must be flexible and customisable in order to be able to accommodate the diverse needs of the customers from different cultures.        

2.2 Social Media

Social media is the interaction between people in which they share and exchange information which they create by their own through social networks and virtual communities (Trainor 2012). It is defined by Mangold & Faulds (2009) as web-based applications which allow users to create, share and exchange information through technology. With the advent of web 2.0, more interactive technologies have been developed which enables virtual users to interact more closely. Based on a study conducted by Dutta et al (2011), social media popularity by the year 2011 was about 57% across the world. This is an implication that, social media is currently becoming one of the most accepted social technologies. Based on the technology acceptance model (TAM) established by Venkatesh (2003), individual reactions to the use of technology and their intention to use it can be used to predict their use of such technology.

The increasing popularity of social media can be attributed to its increasing acceptance across the society, making it one of the most popular social technologies in the world. The increasing popularity of social media can be attributed to its ability to meet the users’ needs in the most convenient manner (Constantinides 2004). Based on a study conducted by Bhagat et al (2009), the integration of social media with mobile phones which people carry all the time wherever they are can be attributed to its increasing popularity across the social sphere. It is therefore clearly evident that social media will grow to be one of the most accepted and easily accessed social technologies across the world; transforming the way individuals, groups and communities interact. As such, social media can be considered as the most suitable platform through people across the society can rely on to communicate and engage each other with regard to the task-fit model developed by Goodhue and Thompson (1995).  

2.3 The Evolving Role of Social Media in CRM in the Airlines Industry

The airlines industry is one of the most dynamic in the service sector as a result of the dynamic nature of technology and its customer segments (Baird & Parasnis 2011). The intensity of competition in the airline industry makes it quite important for the players in the industry to establish more innovative customer relationship strategies which will enable them to remain competitive in the market (Bhagat et al 2009). Following the intense rivalry in the markets, firms in the airlines industry have been working aggressively to ensure that they retain their customers while attracting others. Given the popularity of social media as one of the rapidly growing social media technologies, it has been easy for firms to engage their customers through online experiences which expand their real-time value. This is a clear implication that, social media has been playing pivotal role in the airlines industry by providing an effective platform through which customers can be actively engaged (IBM 2012); which further enables the firms to gather feedback from their customers which contributes to better understanding of their customer needs.  

It is also important to note that social media platforms facilitate the delivery of outstanding customer experiences (Kim et al 2012). Considering the ease-of-use and flexibility of social media, it has developed to be one of the most popular social technologies across the society. In this regard, using social media platform in CRM systems is considered by King and Burgess (2009) as the most effective strategy in maintaining outstanding customer relationships. Currently, people are now more inclined towards social media in order to communicate with their friends, families and also companies (Labus & Stone 2010). This implies that, firms which adopt social media strategy and engages their customers through meaningful online experiences are more likely to build their brands more strategically. According to Mangold & Faulds (2009), social media is considered to be one of the most effective social branding strategies as a result of e-word of mouth. Given the virality of social media today, it has been easier for firms to build their brands through social media.

2.4 Conceptual Model  

Based on the theoretical framework underpinning social media and CRM established it has clearly been established that social media plays pivotal role in enhancing effective CRM. Since CRM domains include customer value, engagement, and ease of use and accessibility; while social media is among the most acceptable and popular social technologies which deliver value through online interactions; it is clearly evident that social media platform is critical for successful CRM in the airlines industry which results into customer loyalty (as shown in figure 2.4 below).

Figure 2.4 – Conceptual Framework for this Study

 

 
   

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Compiled by the Author

3. Research Design and Methodology 

3.1 Type of Investigation

There are three main types of research investigation which include exploratory, descriptive and hypothesis testing/explanatory researches. Explanatory research seeks to establish the relationship between variables through hypothesis testing procedure where explanations of ‘what’ variables are related is established; but rather fails to explain the causal relationship between the variables (Saunders et al 2009). On the other hand, descriptive research focuses on obtaining of both quantitative and qualitative data where a detailed map on how a research problem is solved (Lancaster 2005). As a result, descriptive research is mo suitable where there is need to test and verify a theory. Further, exploratory research seeks to provide new insights and identify the development of trends on a particular phenomena where explanation of ‘what’, ‘how’ and ‘why’ social trends are interrelated (Saunders et al 2009; Krauss 2005). 

With the aim of this study being to explore the evolving role of social media in CRM in the airlines industry, the researcher intends to adopt exploratory research. Through exploratory research, it is expected that more insights on how the social media is impacting on CRM in the airlines industry. Given the dynamic nature of social media technology today (Saunders et al 2009), up-to-date data is required to explain ‘how’ and ‘why’ social media is a key platform for the contemporary CRM. In this regard, exploratory research seems to be the most suitable based on the nature of the research problem.   

3.2 Data Collection Method

This will be an exploratory study where only qualitative data will be collected for the purpose of providing answers for the research questions. Triangulation will be used in this study where focus groups and netnography will be used in the collection of data. The target population for the focus groups is the students of the university where the researcher will select about twenty students on random basis. Focus groups will be conducted with five members in each group with the main discussion in the focus group being on how the participants have been interacting with the airline service providers through the social media. Focus groups are considered to be quite useful in this study since they expose the researcher to a wider view of responses from the participants within the same research settings (Merriam 2009).

On the other hand, netnography will be conducted through the use of Facebook and Twitter pages of the British Airways. The researcher will be passive participant where the trends in communications and responses between the company and the customers/users will be traced and the key observations made. Netnography is considered by Kozinets (2010) as quite useful in cases where time and financial constraints are limitations; and hence using it helps to save money and time. By adopting both netnography and focus groups in collecting the data, the researcher believes that comprehensive data will be collected which will increase the reliability of the research findings.    

3.3 Sampling Method

In collecting primary data in this study, the research participants will be the students in the university where focus groups will be conducted. In selecting the participants, the research will use probability sampling. The researcher will select twenty participants from his class on random basis where both males and females will be involved. There will be no specific criteria for selecting the participants, and hence all the members of the class will have equal chances of being selected to participate. By adopting random sampling procedure in selecting the participants, the researcher will have reduced the biasness in the study which may interfere with the reliability of the research findings (Easterby-Smith and Jackson 2012).    

3.4 Accessibility Issues

The issue of data accessibility is usually quite important in any social or scientific research (Saunders et al 2009). Since the participants in this study are the students in the university, it will be easy for the researcher to access them. This implies that, no complications are expected while accessing the participants while collecting primary data in this study. On the other hand, data collected through netnography is expected to be easily accessible since both the Facebook and Twitter pages of the British Airways are easily accessible for the public. In general, no expected accessibility challenges are expected in this study.   

3.5 Ethical Considerations

Research ethics are always quite as they provide moral basis for conducting a scientific or social study (Saunders et al 2009). In conducting this study, high degree of ethical considerations will be considered. First, the participants’ confidentiality will be upheld where no personal details including names or contact details will be collected from the participants. Secondly, informed consent of the participants will be upheld where no children participants will be involved, and the aims and objectives of the research will be publicly declared to the participants. Moreover, the participants will be protected from any harm (psychological, social or physical) during the study.   

3.6 Data Analysis Plan

Since this study does not involve the collection of any quantitative data, only qualitative data analysis techniques will be employed. The qualitative data analysis tool to be employed in this study is content analysis method. All the data collected from netnography and focus groups were analysed using this method. Content analysis was considered to be the most suitable for the analysing the data collected in this study which will make it easier for the researcher to corroborate the findings from netnography and those from focus groups. 

3.7 Research Limitations

This research is not without any limitations. First, the research participants are mainly students from the university. Having the same social characteristics, it is more likely that the research findings may not reflect the actual situation in the field. Secondly, this study will mainly rely on a single case study. Being a study on the airlines industry, studying a single organisation may not reflect clearly on the actual trends in the use of social media in the entire industry. These limitations are perceived to be having some influence on the quality of information in this study.

4. Timetable – Research Plan

This study is anticipated to be conducted within a period of 15 weeks (as shown in the Gant Chart below). This involves activities like the preparation of proposal and poster on the research topic, review of relevant literature, and preparation of focus group questions, conducting pilot study, focus groups and netnography. Other activities include data analysis and write-up of the dissertation.

Gantt chart – Research timetable

Activities

Time (week’s)

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

development of proposal and poster  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reviewing relevant literature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preparation of  focus group questions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conducting pilot study

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conducting focus groups

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conducting netnography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Data analysis and evaluation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Write of final dissertation and submission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


5. Reference List   

Avanade White Paper (2008), CRM and Social Media: Maximizing Deeper Customer Relationships, McGraw-Hill Publishers, Washington, DC.

Baird, C. H. & Parasnis, G. (2011), From Social Media to Social CRM – Reinventing the Customer Relationship, IBM Global Services, Somers, NY.

Bhagat, P., Klein, A. and Sharma, V. (2009), “The impact of new media on internet-based group consumer behaviour”, Journal of Academy of Business and Economics, Vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 83- 94.

Chailom, P. and Kaiwinit, S. (2011), “The effects of social network, internet dissemination, internet competitive learning, and information technology capability on e-marketing strategy and success of e-commerce business in Thailand”, Journal of International Business and Economics, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 86-102.

Chen, J. and Popovich, K. (2003), “Understanding Customer Relationship Management (CRM): People Processes and Technology”, Business Process Management Journal Vol. 9, No. 5, p. 672–688.

Christodoulides, G. (2009), “Branding in the Post-Internet Era”, Marketing Theory, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 141-144.

Constantinides, E. (2004), “Influencing the online consumers’ behavior: The web experience”, Journal of Internet Research, Vol. 14, No. 2, pp. 111-126.

Dutta, S., Dutton, W.H. & Law, G. (2011) “The new internet world: A global perspective on freedom of expression, privacy, trust and security online”, INSEAD Working Papers Collection Issue 89 preceding, pp. 3-34.

Easterby-Smith, T.R. and Jackson, T. (2012), Management Research, 4th ed., Sage Publications, London.

Goodhue, D.L. & Thomson, R.L. (1995), “Task-Technology Fit and Individual Performance”, MIS Quarterly, Vol. 19, No. 2, p. 213 – 236.

Greenberg, P. (2004), CRM at the speed of light: Essential Customer Strategies for the 21st century, 3rd ed, McGraw, Hill New Jersey.

Greenberg, P. (2010), “The impact of CRM 2.0 on customer insight”, Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 25, No. 6, pp. 410-419.

Harker, M & Egan, J. (2006), “The past, present and future of relationship marketing”, Journal of Marketing Management, Vol. 22, No. 1/2, pp. 215-242.

Harris, L. & Rae, A. (2009), “Social Networks: The Future of Marketing for Small Business”, Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 30, No. 5, pp. 24-31.

IBM (2012), The future of CRM in the airline industry: A new paradigm for customer management, [Online] available from< http://www-05.ibm.com/innovation/fi/pdf/highlights/integration/crm_airline.pdf> [27 April 2012]

Kim, M, Park, J, Dubinsky, A, & Chaiy, S. (2012), “Frequency of CRM implementation activities: a customer-centric view”, Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 26, No.2, pp. 83-93.

King, F. and Burgess, T. (2009), “Understanding Success and Failure in Customer Relationship Management”, Industrial Marketing Management: Vol. 37, pp. 421-431.

Kozinets, R. (2010), Netnography: Doing Ethnographic Research Online, Sage Publications, London.

Krauss, S.E. (2005), “Research Paradigms and Meaning Making: A Primer”, Qualitative Report, Vol. 10, No. 4, pp. 758-770.

Labus, M, & Stone, M. (2010), “The CRM behaviour theory – Managing corporate customer relationships in service industries”, Journal of Database Marketing & Customer Strategy Management, Vol. 17, No. 3/4, p. 155-173.

Lancaster, G. (2005), Research Methods in Management: A Concise Introduction to Research in Management and Business Consultancy, Elsevier-Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford.

Mangold, G. & Faulds, D. J. (2009), “Social media: The new hybrid element of the promotion mix”, Business Horizons, Vol. 52, No. 1, pp. 357-365.

Merriam S. (2009), Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation, Jossey-Bass Publishers, New York.

Mining Media Inc. (2011), “Service Sector: A Competitive Cluster”, Engineering & Mining Journal, Vol. 212, No. 6, p. 121-129. 

Mitussis, D., O’Malley, L., & Patterson, M. (2006), “Mapping the re-engagement of CRM with relationship marketing”, European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 40, No. 5/6, pp. 572-589.

Neil, H. (2012), “Building a brand socially”, Journal of Brand Strategy, Vol.1, No. 1, pp. 25-30.

Rothwell, S. (2011), Easy Jet extends lead over British Airways in market for short-haul travel [Online], Available at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-07/easyjet-widens-its-lead-over-british-airways-in-european-markets.html [Accessed Nov 26, 2013].

Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2009), Research methods for business students, 5th Edn., Pearson Education Limited, Essex-England.

Trainor, K.J. (2012), “Relating Social Media Technologies to Performance: A Capabilities-Based Perspective”, Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, Vol. 32, No. 3, p. 317-331.

Vargo, S. L. and Lusch, R. F. (2004), “Evolving to a new dominant logic for marketing”, Journal of Marketing, Vol. 68, No. 1, pp. 1-17.

Venkatesh, V., Morris, M.G., Davis, G.B. & Davis, F.D. (2003), “User Acceptance of Information Technology: Towards a Unified View”, MIS Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 3, p. 425-478.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

European Union Law

December 31, 2013

European Union Law
Name of Student
Name of Institution

European Union Law
Introduction
The European Union (EU) law’s supremacy over the national laws of member states is a widely accepted fact. There is a general understanding within the EU that there should not be enacted any law in member states that contradicts or is inconsistent with EU/Community law (Kwiecien 2005). The supremacy of  the EU legal regime over the laws of member states is expressly guaranteed under article I (6) of the Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe (Constitutional Treaty) (Stiernstrom 2005: Lenaerts & Corthaut 2006). Over the years, the ECJ has established several principles and doctrines in order to help in interpreting and enforcing Community law within member states. The most notable of these are the doctrines of direct/ indirect and the principle of state liability (Borchardt 2010). Since the establishment of these two doctrines and principle, individual citizens have sought to rely on them in order to protect their rights. The van Gend en Loos case offers an example of a private party that successfully relied on the direct effect doctrine to protect its rights (Moens & Trone 2010). The subsequent text of this paper examines the doctrines of direct/indirect effect as well as the principle of state liability under EU law with the aim of determining how they have enabled individual citizens to protect their rights. First, the actual meanings of these doctrines will be examined. This will be followed by an evaluation of the extent to which individuals have relied on them to invoke EU law rights.
Understanding the Principles of Direct/Indirect Effect and State Liability
There is no particular provision within the EU treaty system that makes any mention of the doctrine of direct effect or Effet Utile. What is mentioned, though, is the principle of the direct applicability of EU regulations (Bengoetxea 2008: Mayr 2012). Therefore, the doctrine of direct effect is a creation of the ECJ. This doctrine was first established by the ECJ in the Van Gend en Loos case against the Dutch Customs Administration (Kramer 2011). In this case, the ECJ set the conditions that an EU legal instrument must satisfy so as to be directly effective. These are clarity, precision and unconditionality. This means that the instrument must be sufficiently clear and precise, and should not be conditional (Kramer 2011). Furthermore, in order for an EU legal instrument to have a direct effect on the legal regimes of member states, it must have been intended to confer rights to citizens (Vlaicu 2011). Direct effect takes two forms; vertical and horizontal direct effect.
Vertical Direct Effect refers to the applicability of Community law in the protection of the rights of private parties against violations by the state (Engle 2009). In fact, it is vertical direct effect that the ECJ established in the Van Gend en Loos case. This doctrine is rarely disputed, especially as it concerns the EC Treaty are concerned (Engle 2009). Individuals facing criminal proceedings can rely on this doctrine to invoke their rights as provided for by the various treaties of the EU such as the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) which prohibits inhumane treatment of detainees. Horizontal direct effect, on the other hand, has to be understood in the context of a situation whereby a private party invokes EU law against rules or measures of another private party which are in breach of that (EU) law. An example could be a contract whose terms appear to restrict the free movement of one of the parties. Such terms run contrary to Community law on the freedom of movement of people and capital. Horizontal direct effect is, therefore, applied in horizontal disputes or cases involving private parties (De Mol 2011). It is used by courts as a tool for giving direct effect to directives (EU secondary law) (Craig & De Burca 2011). Horizontal direct effect was established by the ECJ through its decision in the Angonese case (Öberg 2007).
Indirect Effect is another doctrine used by the national courts as well as the ECJ to determine the applicability of Community law in member states. This doctrine is premised on the principle of harmonious/consistent interpretation which provides that domestic courts must interpret national legal instruments in a way that conforms to EU law (Schütze 2011). In other words, indirect effect provides that EU legal instruments which are not clear, precise and unconditional (conditions for direct effect) can still be invoked by individuals in the assertion of their rights. The indirect effect doctrine was established by the ECJ in the von Colson case and is not restricted to any specific form of EU law. It even applies to non-binding forms of EU law such as recommendations (Prechal 2007).
Although a state can be found to have violated a citizen’s right under EU law through the doctrine of direct effect, they can also be sued by private parties and the European Commission under the principle of state liability. As a general rule, EU law provides that individuals who have suffered loss or damage occasioned by a breach of Community law should have an effective legal remedy (Hughes 2006). Through the principle of state liability, states and their bodies can be compelled by courts to compensate their individual citizens for violating their rights which have been created by Community law (Dougan 2007: Rotkirch 2002). In fact, articles 258 and 260 of the TFEU empower individuals under community law by granting them the right to institute infringement proceedings (Lock 2012: Poltorak 2012). The principle of state liability was established by the ECJ in Francovitch v the state of Italy (1991). The rationale of the ECJ in this case was that, in the absence of the state liability principle, the effectiveness of community law and the protection of the rights created by this law would be impaired (Zingales 2010).
Reliance on Direct/Indirect Effect and State Liability in the Protection of Individual Rights
Since the ECJ’s establishment of the doctrines of direct and indirect effect as well as the principle of state liability, individuals are increasingly relying on them in order to protect their rights. In the van Gend en Loos case, a Dutch company, van Gend en Loos, sought to invoke Community law in proceedings it had instituted against the Dutch Customs Administration. The company had imported a product used for manufacturing glue from Germany (Moens & Trone 2010). When the EEC Treaty came into effect in the Netherlands, the product fell under the category of goods that attracted an import duty of 3 percent. However, the Dutch Customs Administration claimed that they had discovered that the product fell under another classification because its composition was different than had previously been thought (Moens & Trone 2010). Therefore, the new import duty on the product was revised to 8 percent.
 The company disputed this and claimed that it contravened article 12 of the EEC Treaty (Kwiecien 2005). This part of the Treaty prohibited member states from introducing new customs duties on imports and exports between themselves or any other charges having the equivalent effect of an import or export duty. The Dutch government saw this as a non-issue because it did not involve the interpretation of article 12 but the application of the same under the Dutch constitutional law. The ECJ faulted the government’s position and ruled that article 12 had a direct effect on the national law of the Netherlands (Kwiecien 2005). This is because it created individual rights which the national courts were mandated to protect. Therefore, the Customs authority was wrong in creating customs duties that had been prohibited under Community law.
The decision of the court in this case elicited mixed reactions. Commenting on the decision, Pierre Pescatore, a former judge of the ECJ, observed that the considerations leading up to the opinion of the Court in this case were an indication that the court viewed the EC treaty as having created not just a community of states, but also of people (Craig & De Burca 2011). As such, member states as well as individuals had to be viewed as subjects of Community law.
By choosing to invoke article 12 in order to protect its rights against an institution of the Dutch government, van Gend en Loos had made use of vertical direct effect. Through this decision, it appeared as if individuals could rely on vertical direct effect to enforce any provision of the EU treaties. However, the decision of the English Court of Appeal in R v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex p Flynn (1997) held that individuals could not always rely on direct effect to protect their rights even if they were provided for under an EU treaty (Tillotson & Foster 2003). The claimant in this was travelling from France in 1993 when he was asked to produce his passport at Dover. When he refused to comply the British authorities detained him. He subsequently applied certiorari to have the controls maintained at the body by the Home Secretary quashed as well as a declaratory relief and damages. He claimed that these controls were a hindrance to article 7a’s EC treaty provision on free movement of people. In fact, the claimant argued the article 7a required member states to have provided for the progressive establishment of internal market over the period ending 31 December 1992 (Tillotson & Foster 2003).
By the time these proceedings were instituted that period had already ended. It was the opinion of the court that in order for the appellant to succeed in this case, he had to show that article 7a required member states to abolish all frontier controls by the date provided, and that the requirement had a direct effect. Upon careful examination of article 7a, the court failed to find such an obligation (to abolish all border controls) imposed on the member state. The court concluded that article 7a did not express an obligation but rather an objective to be achieved by the Community by the 31 December 1992 target date (Tillotson & Foster 2003). Therefore, this deadline was not intended to be an obligation with a direct effect. In light of this finding by the court, the appellant could not, therefore, enforce his rights against the Home Secretary because article 7a had no direct effect on the member state.  
R v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex p Flynn (1997) and van Gend en Loos were cases that pitted a private party against a state body or authority. However, the case was silent on whether an individual could rely on the doctrine of direct effect to protect his rights under EU law from being violated by a private party. The ECJ got a chance to address itself on this matter in the Angonese case (Soy 2013). Roman Angonese was an Italian Citizen originating from Bolzano and his mother tongue was German. While studying in Austria in 1997, he applied for a position at the Cassa di Risparmio di Bolzano SpA, a savings bank located in Bolzano. The Bank required potential candidates for the position to be bilingual, and particularly have knowledge of both the Italian and German languages. Proficiency in these languages had to be proved by producing an official certificate solely issued by the authorities in Bolzano (Soy 2013).
Angonese did not have the certificate and he could not get it because he was time constrained. He nevertheless applied for the position and accompanied the application with degree certificates he had earned in Austria. In the application was also an indication that Angonese had served as a translator for a bank in Austria. In spite of this the bank rejected his application because he did possess the requisite certificate. Subsequently, Angonese sued the bank arguing that the requirement of a certificate as proof of bilingualism contravened article 45 of the TFEU (prohibition of discrimination based on nationality) and Regulation 1612/68 on the freedom of movement of person and goods in the Union (Soy 2013). The ECJ held that, indeed, the bank’s condition on bilingualism violated the said article and regulation. The ECJ took issue with the fact that the certificate could only be obtained from the authorities in Bolzano. This is because it created difficulties for candidates who resided far away from Bolzano. It is this particular case which established a private party’s culpability under EU law. Through this case, the doctrine of horizontal direct effect was established.
A great majority of the ECJ case law on the direct effectiveness of EU law is based on civil matters. However, the court has also addressed itself on the direct effectiveness of EU law on criminal proceedings in member states. In the joined cases of Gözütok and Brügge, the court was being asked to rule on the effectiveness of Article 54 of CISA (Neagu 2012). This article prohibits the prosecution of an individual in several member states on the same facts especially if that individual had already been penalised in any member state. Gözütok was a German citizen who lived in the Netherlands where he operated a coffee shop. In early 1996, the Dutch police searched his coffee shop and seized considerable quantities of hashish and marijuana (Neagu 2012). After the investigations into his case were concluded, the Dutch Public Prosecutor’s Office offered him a settlement where he was required to pay the requisite fines. Gözütok accepted the settlement and immediately paid these fines. Unknown to him was the fact that his bank in his home country, Germany, had reported to the German Federal authorities that his account unusually moved large sums of money (Neagu 2012). He was subsequently charged in Germany for dealing in narcotics in the Netherlands. The German court handed him a sentence term of one year and five months (Neagu 2012). Gözütok  appealed this conviction and a German regional court halted his criminal proceedings altogether based on article 54. It was the opinion of the regional court that article 54 of CISA prohibited his prosecution in Germany because he was deemed to have been appropriately penalised for the same act in the Netherlands (Neagu 2012). The public prosecutor’s office in Germany contested this decision in the Higher Regional Court which, in turn, referred the matter to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling (Neagu 2012). The ECJ decided to join the ruling on this case with the Brügge case because both involved the same question.
In the Brügge case, the offender (Brügge) was a German national said to have caused bodily harm to a Mrs. Leliaert (Neagu 2012). The public prosecutor in Bonn offered to discontinue the case if Brügge paid the necessary fine. In late 1998 Brügge paid the fine and the case was subsequently dropped (Neagu 2012). However, he was charged in a different court where the victim had entered an appearance claiming damages for mental anguish that she had suffered as a result of the assault. In its ruling on the applicability of article 54 CISA in the two cases, the ECJ, indeed, confirmed that this part of EU law prohibited a second prosecution of offenders on the same facts, especially since the cases were properly ended when they paid the fines asked of them (even though the fines had not been imposed by courts) (Neagu 2012). This is yet another decision of the ECJ confirming the direct effectiveness of EU treaty provisions and more so in the criminal law matters of the member states.
Community law has not only been ruled by the ECJ as having a direct effect on national laws, but also an indirect one. The doctrine of indirect effect was created by the ECJ in the Von Colson case (Drake 2005). The case involved two female German applicants who had been denied job positions based on their gender. They challenged this based on the 1976 Directive on Equal Treatment. The German state had not passed the necessary law to facilitate the implementation of the Equal Treatment Directive (Kaczorowska 2008). Therefore, the applicants could not rely on national law to seek redress. It is worth emphasizing that Directives have to be implemented through a national legislation. Instead of looking at the case from the direct effect angle, the court used article 5 of the EC Treaty to make a ruling. This part of the treaty required members states to take actions so as to ensure the fulfilment of their mandates under community law (Kaczorowska 2008). In view of the wording this article, the court ruled that the applicants’ rights had been breached since the state had not positively acted to promote equal treatment as required by Community law. The court in von Colson was aware that the state had not enacted a law to effect the Directive in question. In these circumstances, the Directive had to be ruled as having an indirect effect on the national law.
Interestingly, a Dutch public prosecutor sought to rely on von Colson’s indirect effect principle in order to supplement his case against a private company, Kolpinghuis Nijmegen. The prosecutor wanted to use the provisions of a Directive that had not yet been implemented though its implementation period had elapsed (Tillotson & Foster 2003). It shall be recalled that the claimants in von Colson had won their case even though the Directive they relied on had not implemented. In the Kolpinghuis Nijmegen case, however, the court ruled that the indirect effect doctrine could be used by the state against an individual since it did not create a corresponding right (Tillotson & Foster 2003). The Dutch prosecutor could not , therefore, rely on indirect effect to prosecute the defendant.
The van Gend en Loos and von Colson cases had been relied upon for a long time as a guide for court to prevent states from interfering with their citizens’ rights. However, states continued to fail in the community obligations especially as far as the enactment of laws to implement Directives are concerned. It was not until the ECJ’s decision in the Francovich case that states started to be held directly liable. This case involved an employee who had lost 6,000,000 lira as a result of the bankruptcy of his employer. In spite of his institution of legal action against the employer, he was unable to enforce the judgement because the employer was insolvent. Subsequently, he decided to sue the Italian state for the amount he owed his former employer as provided for by Council Directive 80/987 (Chalmers, Davies & Monti 2010). This directive had not been implemented in Italy despite the elapsing of the time frame within which it was supposed to have been implemented. The ECJ found the Italian state in breach of EC law for non-implementation of the Directive in question (Chalmers, Davies & Monti 2010). It was subsequently ordered to compensate the petitioner. This case established the principle of state liability under EU law.
Francovich established three conditions through which state liability is established. As a first step, the court had to establish that the result prescribed under EU law was meant grant rights to individuals. Secondly, the contents of those rights had to be identifiable from the provisions of the said EU law and thirdly, there had to be established a causal link between the state’s breach of its obligation under the EU law and the harm suffered by the individual. If these three conditions were present, then the state would be found liable for breaching EU law.
Prof. Gerhard Köbler sought to rely on the principle of state liability in order to challenge an Austrian salary law that required university professors to complete a 15-year service before they could become eligible for a special length-of-service increment in the calculation of their retirement benefits. Prof. Köbler was employed as an ordinary professor under public law contract (Beutler 2009). Before his employment in Austria, Prof. Köbler had worked in several EU member states. In 1996, he applied to the relevant Austrian authority for the necessary increment but the Austrian body rejected his application because he had not attained the requisite 15-year service. He subsequently challenged this decision at the Austrian Administrative Supreme Court arguing that it contravened article 39 EC Treaty and Regulation 1612/68 (Kaczorowska 2008). The Court rejected his application and held that the increment he sought was a loyalty bonus and did not hinder the free movement of workers within the EU in any way (Kaczorowska 2008). When he brought proceedings against the state of Austria seeking reparations for the suffering occasioned by his being denied the special length-of-service increment, the ECJ ruled in his favour. Prof. Köbler’s argument was that the Austrian Court erred in its earlier decision because it went against a previous ruling by the ECJ. The ECJ found the Austrian Court to have violated EU law because of the failure to consider Prof. Köbler’s prior work experience in other EU states. However, the ECJ found that the breach of Community law by the Austrian court was not sufficiently serious so as to lead to the imposition of liability on Austrian state (Kaczorowska 2008). This case showed that though the government could be liable for the violation of EU law by one of its bodies, the breach had to be sufficiently serious as set out in the Francovich case and it is this seriousness that individuals bringing actions against a state should to prove.  
One of the most famous cases that traverse the principle of state liability and the doctrine of direct effect and supremacy of EU law is Factortame. In this case owners of several British companies which owned fishing vessels sought to challenge the validity of the Merchant Shipping Act 1988 under Community law (Craig & De Burca 2011). The majority of the shareholders in these companies were Spanish and the Act forbade the registration of fishing vessels whose owners (or at least majority of the shareholders) were not British nationals. It was the view of the Spanish shareholders that this Act was contrary to Community law on discrimination based on nationality. It is worth noting that before the ECJ’s ruling in this case, there was a widely held notion that the UK parliament was a sovereign body and, therefore, no court could declare an Act of parliament inapplicable (Craig & De Burca 2011). The ECJ held that under Community law, national courts had to have the power to offer interim protection to rights that had been claimed by individual citizens or private parties, especially if those rights were directly effective under Community law. The ECJ further held that national courts had to possess the authority to set aside national legislation and apply directly effective EU law especially if the national law was inconsistent with community law. The UK government was found to be in breach of Community law in this case and subsequently ordered to pay damages for the losses the owners of the companies suffered as a result of the discrimination by the government (Craig & De Burca 2011). The government preferred an out of court settlement and subsequently amended the Act. The Factortame case met the three conditions necessary for establishing state liability.
Conclusion
The direct and indirect effect doctrines have been established by the ECJ in order to aid in the interpretation and enforcement of Community law. As has been discussed, the direct effect doctrine can either be applied vertically or horizontally. Vertical direct effect is used in the assertion of a private party’s rights against a state as established in van Gend en Loos. The decision in this case particularly demonstrated that treaty provisions had a direct effect on national laws. However, the R v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex p Flynn (1997) proves that not all treaty provisions have a vertical effect. Some treaty provisions may not be intended to impose an obligation on the state and, therefore, private parties may not necessarily rely on such provisions to assert their rights. The ECJ has also demonstrated that direct effect does not only affect states. EU law can also be directly effective against private parties through the doctrine of horizontal direct effect as has been established in the Angonese case. Direct effect is most suitable in asserting rights created by the primary sources of EU law such as treaty provisions and regulations. While the majority of the ECJ’s rulings are based on civil matters, there have been ECJ rulings which have indicated that individuals can rely on EU law provisions that either have direct or indirect effect to assert their rights under criminal law. This is evident in the ECJ’s preliminary ruling in the Gözütok and Brügge cases.
Better yet, any EU law legal instrument that does not satisfy the requirements needed for the application of the direct effect doctrine can always be applied relying on the indirect effect doctrine. This doctrine cuts across all the various forms of EU law including those that are not meant to bind member states (for example recommendations). Therefore, an individual who fails in protecting his rights under the direct effect doctrine will definitely find reprieve through the indirect effect doctrine. It is worth noting that this doctrine can be relied upon by individuals to protect rights that are created by EU Directives but have not been given force by national legislations. This was the case in the von Colson case where a Council Directive that had not been given force in Germany was found to be indirectly effective on the German laws. But perhaps it is the ability of individuals to sue a state for breaching their rights that acts as the ultimate guarantor of citizens’ rights under EU law. Through the principle of state liability, EU member states found to have breached the rights of EU citizens will definitely be required to compensate the affected individual for the loss suffered. The ECJ established this principle in its ruling in Francovich. Through this case, the court spelt out the conditions that must be fulfilled in order for a state to be held liable. For this to happen, it must be established that the EU law under which the right is sought actually intended to grant that right. Additionally, the right sought must be identifiable in the provisions of the EU law in question. Lastly, there must be established a causal link between the breach of state obligation with the damage or loss suffered by an individual. However, the Köbler case serves to remind individuals that the breach should be sufficiently serious if a state is to be held liable. The Factortame case is said to traverse the state liability principle and the direct effect doctrine. However, this case is associated with the reinforcement of the principle of the supremacy of Community law and state liability. Here the state was not only force to abandon the discriminatory provisions of a national law, but also compensate the petitioners. In light of the discussion in this paper, it suffices to conclude that the ECJ has created many devices that individuals or private parties can rely on in order to invoke their rights under Community law. Through the doctrines of direct and indirect effect as well as the principle of state liability, individuals are empowered to protection their rights against violations by both the state and private parties. In fact, there might not be any other effective legal devices with the capacity to protect individual rights as these three. The few examples provided show that these devices are highly relied upon by individuals in invoking their rights under EU law.

References
Bengoetxea, J 2008, ‘Is direct effect a general principle of European law’, in Bernitz, U et al, General principles of EC law in a process of development: reports from a conference in Stockholm, 23-24 March 2007, organised by the Swedish network for European legal studies, Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, Austin, TX.
Beutler, B 2009, ‘State liability for breaches of community law by national courts: is the requirement of manifest infringement of the applicable law an insurmountable obstacles’, Common Market Law Review vol. 46, pp. 773-804.
Borchardt, K 2010, The ABC of European Union law, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.
Chalmers, D, Davies, G T & Monti, G 2010, European Union law: cases and materials (2nd Ed.), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Craig, P P & De Burca, G 2011, EU law: text, cases, and materials, Oxford University Press, Oxford, NY.
De Mol, M 2011, ‘The novel approach of the CJEU on the horizontal direct effect of the EU principle of non-discrimination’, MJ vol. 18, pp. 109-135.
Dougan, M 2007, ‘When worlds collide! Competing visions of the relationship between direct effect and supremacy’, Common Market Law Review vol. 44, pp. 931-963.
Drake, S. 2005, ‘Twenty years after von Colson: the impact of “indirect effect” on the protection of the individual’s community rights’, European Law Review, pp. 1-16.
Engle, E 2009, ‘Third party effect of fundamental rights (Drittwirkung)’, Hanse Law Review vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 165-174.
Hughes, P 2006, ‘The enforcement of private actions for breaches of EC competition law – the role of shareholder under English law ’, Competition Law Review vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 73-95.
Kaczorowska, A 2008, European Union law, Routledge-Cavendish, Oxon, UK.
Kramer, T 2011, Main characteristics of EU law: relations between EU law and national legal systems, European Institute of Public Administration (EIPA), Luxembourg.
Kwiecien, R 2005, ‘The primacy of European Union law over national law under the constitutional treaty’, German Law Journal vol. 6, no. 11, pp. 1479-1496.
Lenaerts, K & Corthaut, T 2006, ‘Of birds and hedges: the role of primacy in invoking norms of EU law’, European Law Review.
 Lock, T 2012, ‘Is private enforcement of EU law through state liability a myth?- An assessment 20 years after Francovich’, Common Market Law Review, pp. 1-19.
Mayr, S 2012, ‘Putting a leash on the Court of Justice? Preconceptions in national methodology v Effet Utile as a meta-rule’, European Journal of Legal Studies vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 8-21.
Moens, G & Trone, J 2010, Commercial law of the European Union, Springer, Dordrecht, NY.
Neagu, N 2012, ‘The “ne bis in idem” principle in the case law of the European Court of Justice (II). The ‘final judgement’ and ‘enforcement’ issues’, Lex Et Scientia. Juridical Series vol. 2, no. XIX, pp.67-88.
Öberg, J 2007, The doctrine of horizontal direct effect in EC law and the case of Angonese, A masters thesis, Faculty of law, University of Stockholm.
Prechal, S 2007, Direct effect, indirect effect, supremacy and the evolving constitution of the European Union, viewed 15 December 2013 <http://www.uu.nl/faculty/leg/nl/organisatie/departementen/departementrechtsgeleerdheid/organisatie/onderdelen/europainstituut/publicaties/algemenerechtsbeginselen/Documents/S.%20Prechal,%20direct%20effect,%20indirect%20effect.pdf&gt;.  
Poltorak, N 2012, ‘State liability for violation of European Union law – a Polish perspective’, Academy of European Law (ERA) vol. 13, pp. 185-197.
Roman Angonese v. Cassa di Risparmio di Bolzano SpA, (Case C-281/98), viewed 15 December 2013, <http://www.biicl.org/files/1839_c-281-98.pdf&gt;.
Rotkirch, M 2002, The Principle of state liability: the creation of a general principle of law to enhance effective judicial protection of individual EC rights, Centre for European Studies at Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
Schütze, R 2011, The direct effect (s) of European law, Centre for European Legal Studies, Cambridge, UK.
Soy, S 2013, The concept of horizontal direct effect, viewed 15 December 2013, <http://www.academia.edu/4933352/The_Concept_of_Horizontal_Direct_Effect >.
Stiernstrom, M 2005, ‘The relationship between community law and national law’, Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series vol. 5, no. 33, pp. 1-14.
Tillotson, J & Foster, N G 2003, Texts, cases and materials on European Union law (4th ed.), Cavendish, London.
Vlaicu, A 2011, ‘Effectiveness of EU law in member states’, LESIJ vol. 1, no. XVIII, pp. 162-174.
Zingales, N 2010, ‘Member state liability vs. National procedural autonomy: what rules for judicial breach of EU law?’ German Law Journal vol. 11, no. 04, pp. 420-440.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Industry

December 30, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Industry

 

Name

 

Institution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am a third year student seeking to get a rotation with Bristol-Myers Squibb pharmaceutical industry. I learned about the company when I was in high school during the time when my interest in the field of pharmaceuticals was beginning to take shape. I learned that Bristol-Myers Squibb pharmaceutical industry has a manufacturing arm that specializes with manufacture of active product ingredients for supplies and drug products. As a student who would want to attain highest possible career accomplishments in the field of pharmaceuticals, I want to attend my rotation program in a company that aims to be most reliable and most admired in the global pharmaceutical industry.

During the course of my rotations, I want to put equal weight on the four key areas of the rotation program. As the global pace setter in pharmaceuticals manufacturing processes, latest pharmaceuticals manufacturing technologies, quality management, legal compliance and supply chain management, I believe that Bristol-Myers Squibb pharmaceutical industry is the place to go for my rotations. In the supply chain sector, I would want to familiarize myself with the generated supplier performance index and incoming quality scorecards for all its suppliers across its 16 global sites. The manufacturing technology rotation will enable me to be in a position to evaluate feasibility of emerging technologies in terms of cost. I would also want to get some quality control operations that use optimized business processes.

At the end of the rotation, I would like to have built my leadership potential and gained relevant experience in the pharmaceutical field. The rotational program will offer me in-depth experience, mentorship and training that is relevant in the field of pharmaceuticals. Based on fact that I want a rotation program that is unique in terms of duration and in-depth experience, Bristol-Myers Squibb pharmaceutical Industry is the place that best suits me. My long term objective is to make an impact on the world as a pharmacist.                                    

Running Head: Factors Shaping Organizational Citizenship Behaviour (OCB)

December 30, 2013

Running Head: Factors Shaping Organizational Citizenship Behaviour (OCB)

 

 

 

 

 

[Your Name]

[Instructor’s Name]

 

Factors Shaping Organizational Citizenship Behaviour (OCB)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Theory of Social Capital

Akdere (2005) studied the theory of social capital in relation to human resource development; by analyzing the theory of social capital in Lin’s (2001) presentation and emphasizing the need for more scholarly work in the field of applying this theory in the field of HRM, Akdere (2005) inferred that viability and applicability of the theory is still questionable. The author reviewed the theory’s historical development, analyzed it at macro-, meso-, and micro-levels, and identified certain limitations of Lin’s theory. Nevertheless, Akdere (2005, p. 20) acknowledged the strategically important role of social capital theory in HRD at present, and stated that organizational performance and productivity can be significantly improved in case the social capital theory is properly applied to tailoring RHD interventions at the workplace.

Storberg (2002) also worked on the topic of the social capital theory and its implications for HRD; the researcher took an evolutionary stance towards research and studied the change from the classical concept of capital to neo-capital (comprising social capital) as an integral component of organizational success. In the opinion of Storberg (2002), Lin’s (2001) theory of social capital provides a comprehensive framework for organizing and conceptualizing social relationships’ connection with the individual and organizational performance in a company. The present conclusion makes a positive contribution to understanding the role of the social capital theory in research of contributors to organizational performance and shaping employee behaviour.

 The performance spill over effects in entrepreneurial networks can also be studied through the lens of the social capital theory; as noted by Aarstad, Haugland, and Greve (2009), there is a strong link between social capital and performance at the firm level. The authors characterized the concept of social capital as an explanation to resources leveraged through collaboration with external agents, which makes it an essential object of research related to entrepreneurial activity. They also made a specific focus on studying partnering dyads and inferred that entrepreneurs lacking social capital often resort to compensating it through cohesion with colleagues.

 

Theory of Reasoned Action

Yen-Tsang, Csillag, and Siegler (2011) studied the application of theory of reasoned action for continuous improvement capabilities. The researchers used the theory of Froehle and Roth (2004) to identify its suitability for analysis of operational capabilities in the context of operations management. Their findings implied that the model could be used for analysis of continuous improvement capabilities, which is essential in management research because of CI’s key value as a company’s ability for maintaining a sustainable competitive advantage. Theory of reasoned action is thus applied for CI promotion in the forms of support by common and assimilated values and addition of small and creative ideas by everyone making a local improvement to the organizational performance (Yen-Tsang et al. 2011).

Langdridge, Sheeran, and Connolly (2007) researched additional variables in the theory of reasoned action such as the convergent, discriminant, and predictive validity of attitude vs. anticipated regret, subjective norm vs. moral norm vs. social relations, and assessed it highly for these variables. Nevertheless, the researchers found the validity of intention vs. desire or perceived behavioural control (PBC) to be low. The researchers concluded that there are clear distinctions between intention and PBC, intention and desire, and between affect, cognition, and anticipated regret. Therefore, Langdridge et al. (2007) found out that these variables should be researched as conceptually distinct, and their impact on the human behaviour should be understood better.

Theory of reasoned action can also be applied to studying the moral and ethical climate in organizations; Pickett (2011) used the theory of reasoned action to isolate and define factors predicting organizational behaviour. The researcher applied the model of Fishbein and Ajzen (1975) regarding confluence of social and personal beliefs on the intention to perform certain behaviour, and tested his model of intentional behaviour with the use of structural equation modeling. The outcome of Fishbein and Ajzen’s (2011) study is a better understanding of systemic complexity, and a variety of climates mediating the eventual decision-making processes of players involved in organizational performance.

 

Application of the Social Capital Theory and Theory of Reasoned Action in Research of Organizational Citizenship Behaviour

The theories of social capital and reasoned action can be applied in the proposed model of research in a number of ways. First, as Akdere (2005) and Aarstad et al. (2009) indicated, social capital is strongly linked with organizational performance and human resource development. In compliance with the social capital theory, social capital is the basic asset of strategic organizational importance, and stimulation of social relationships and interactions is a method of increasing organizational performance through enhanced performance of each individual employee.

Every individual’s performance is affected by his or her individual attitudes and perceived importance of norms, and performance is manifested in certain types of behaviour. Here, the theory of reasoned action (TRA) comes into play, since employee behaviour has certain motivation behind it, and affecting the reasoning of work-related conduct is the key to sharing organizationally appropriate behaviours of employees, thus achieving the organizational citizenship behaviour (OCB) based on the principles of civic virtue and conscientiousness. Yen-Tsang et al. (2011) pointed out the strong possibility of applying the TRA to tailoring behaviours contributing to sustenance of continuous improvement in an organization, which is a proactive employee behaviour. Thus, their findings imply that TRA can also be used for shaping other pro-organizational behaviours including OCB, which makes the theory relevant and valuable for the presented model.

 

Organizational Citizenship Behaviour (OCB)

Ellinger et al. (2013) noted a pronounced lack of research on support and development of service personnel, with the major portion of research endeavours being focused on the assessment of customer relationship management. Nevertheless, they also noted that the organizational investment on social capital pays off with the substantial increase in the company personnel’s commitment. Such an investment ultimately results in greater job performance, organizational citizenship behaviour, and other positive behavioural outcomes.

Foote et al. (2005) also worked on the issue of organizational citizenship behaviour and saw the need for stimulating its emergence in the increasing mobility of labour capital coupled with decreasing loyalty of employees to their employing organization. In such a context, employers may find it difficult to develop a sense of deep commitment among employees and to sustain a solid image of the company’s identity for their social capital. The concept of citizenship behaviour comes into play in such a situation, since it denotes a special type of behaviour promoting the goals of an organization by contributing to its social and psychological environment (Srivastava & Saldanha 2008).

Organizational citizenship behaviour is not recognized by any formal reward system in an organization, but it represents an intrinsic drive of an employee to pro-social, proactive behaviour (Foote et al. 2005). This type of behaviour consists of five dimensions: altruism (a selfless concern for the well-being of other people); courtesy (attempts to avoid conflicts and problems with other employees); sportsmanship (focus on the positive side without wasteful complaining of trivialities); conscientiousness (obedience to company rules and regulations); and civic virtue (keeping pace of the company’s changes and attendance to events in it, even voluntary ones) (Foote et al. 2005; Srivastava & Saldanha 2008). Wang et al. (2011) recognized the importance of OCB in the formation of the value/identity-based motivation among employees, a strong intrinsic drive contributing positively to employee performance, and ultimately – organizational performance overall.

 

Components of Organizational Citizenship Behaviour

As it has already been noted, organizational citizenship behaviour is envisioned as a complex of five aspects: altruism, courtesy, sportsmanship, civic virtue, and conscientiousness (Foote et al. 2005). Altruism and courtesy in the organizational settings are regarded as helping behaviours directed at assisting specific individuals, while sportsmanship relates more to the avoidance of complaining behaviour. Conscientiousness and civic virtue are considered aspects going beyond the behaviours required from employees, and involve higher-order behaviours such as a deeper sense of involvement in, and commitment to, organizational policies and events (Foote et al. 2005).

Ellinger et al. (2013) also referred to OCB as a result of employee commitment to service quality; they assumed that organizations may benefit from investment into social capital development by means of improving work-related attitudes, cultural norms, and behaviours of employees. Graham and Van Dyne (2006) specifically focused on the civic virtue element of OCB by characterizing it as responsible, proactive participation in the organizational life. They also found out that civic virtue enables employees to develop skills and habits benefitting them in the larger society as well, such as information processing and persuasive communication. Ramasamy and Thamaraiselvan (2011), in their turn, paid attention to the relationship of OCB and knowledge sharing. Their findings imply that all five elements of OCB are positively related to it, showing that organizational norms conducive to spontaneous behaviours should also be conducive to knowledge sharing.

Discussion of Model’s Elements

The core element of the present model is social capital; following the idea of Ellinger et al. (2013), social capital is a strategic asset of value in any organization because it represents the informal values and norms shared by the organization’s employees. Organizational social capital symbolizes the staff’s commitment to, and respect of, the company’s rules and norms, which is inevitably manifested in employees’ workplace behaviours, interpersonal relationships, perceived responsibility and seriousness regarding their duties, etc. Hence, organizational investment into social capital is a targeted effort of an organization aiming at strengthening its organizational culture, enhance knowledge sharing, strengthen mutual support, improve the working climate, introduce strong emotional intelligence, etc. All these components of organizational environment have proven to have a strong, direct impact on the job performance of employees, which ultimately influences the overall organizational performance.

There is also a close connection between the concepts of job involvement and in-role job performance in an organization. Chughtai (2008) researched that relationship and found out that organizational commitment partly mediated the job involvement-performance relationship, and job involvement produced a stronger impact on OCB. These findings suggest that job involvement is a strong tool in the hands of managers on the way to increase the in-role and extra-role (OCB) performance of the staff; low job involvement, on the contrary, was associated with turnover, absenteeism, feelings of alienation among employees, etc. Hence, an explicit organizational focus on job involvement in the framework of investment in social capital helps to create the sense of meaningfulness of one’s work, maintenance of clear and consistent behavioural norms, continuous feedback about completed work, supportive relations with superiors and colleagues, and opportunities for personal growth and development (Chughtai 2008).

Dhammika, Ahmad, and Sam (2012) also added that job satisfaction, performance, and organizational commitment have a direct impact on the organizational effectiveness. Job satisfaction is a direct result of the investment in social capital of organizational staff, and it refers to a pleasurable and positive emotional state of individuals working in a certain organization. High level of job satisfaction results in higher levels of commitment to the firm and the quality of work done, which is manifested in the overall job performance of employees.

There is also a strong connection between the organizational commitment and job satisfaction, while the mediating effect between these two concepts is attributed to OCB, in the opinion of Sani (2013). The researcher studied the impact of procedural justice, organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and the mediating role of OCB in the organizational work-related environment. Sani’s (2013) findings imply that both procedural justice and organizational commitment affect OCB positively, while job satisfaction was not found to have any positive impact on OCB. The present research outcomes support an idea that commitment is more correlated with OCB because it relates to the person’s working attitude, and reflects the feelings of the employee (positive and negative) in regard to the organization in which he or she is employed.

OCB was also found to affect performance, mainly because it is positively associated with individual, group, and organizational performance. These research outcomes imply that fostering the establishment of OCB in an organization is a sure way of improving performance at all levels, thus contributing to the organizational success in multiple dimensions (Sani 2013). The present connections drawn from the research outcomes of Sani (2013) may allow the researcher to suggest that the concepts of commitment, performance, and OCB are very tightly and directly connected in the organizational context, and their formation as a strong basis of organizational success can be stimulated with the help of allocating additional effort in the form of investment in social capital.

 

Thesis Topic

Since the model used in the present study follows the model of Ellinger et al. (2013), the suggested topic for the upcoming research is to enrich the understanding of how targeted investment into social capital development can affect organizational commitment, job performance, and the emergence of established OCB. Though these aspects of organizational behaviour have already been researched, and their interrelationship has already found strong support and analysis in prior studies, there is still a lack of understanding of how directed impact on the social capital of an organization leads to the expected positive organizational outcomes. There is a lack of connection between job satisfaction with OCB and organizational performance, but the connection of OCB with performance and commitment is much more evident. Hence, the proposed topic of research is as follows:

 

What mechanisms are enacted by the organizational investment in social capital in a particular organization to improve employee commitment, job performance, and formation of OCB?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Aarstad, J, Haugland, SA & Greve, A 2009, ‘Performance spillover effects in entrepreneurial networks: Assessing a dyadic theory of social capital’, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, September 2010, pp. 1003-1020.

Akdere, M 2005, ‘Social capital theory and implications for human resource development’, Singapore Management Review, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 1-24.

Chunghtai, AA 2008, ‘Impact of job involvement on in-role job performance and organizational citizenship behaviour’, Behavioral and Applied Management, vol. 9, no. 2, 169-182.

Dhammika, KAS, Ahmad, FB & Sam, TL 2012, ‘Job satisfaction, commitment and performance: Testing the goodness of measures of three employee outcomes’, South Asian Journal of Management, vol. 19, no. 2, pp. 7-22.

Ellinger, AE, Musgrove, CF, Ellinger, AD, Bachrach, DG, Bas, ABE & Wang, Y-L 2013, ‘Influences of organizational investments in social capital on service employee commitment and performance’, Journal of Business Research, no. 66, pp. 1124-1133.

Foote, DA, Seipel, SJ, Johnson, NB & Duffy, MK 2005, ‘Employee commitment and organizational policies’, Management Decision, vol. 43, no. 2, pp. 203-218.

Graham, JW & Van Dyne, LV 2006, ‘Gathering information and exercising influence: Two forms of civic virtue organizational citizenship behavior’, Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, no. 18, pp. 89-109.

Langdridge, D, Sheeran, P & Connolly, KJ 2007, ‘Analyzing additional variables in the theory of reasoned action’, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, vol. 37, p. 8, pp. 1884-1913.

Pickett, M 2011, ‘Theory of reasoned action: Reassessing the relationships of moral and ethical climates in organizations’, Journal of Organizational Psychology, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 63-72.

Ramasamy, M & Thamaraiselvan, N 2011, ‘Knowledge sharing and organizational citizenship behaviour’, Knowledge and Process Management, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 278-284.

Sani, A 2013, ‘Role of procedural justice, organizational commitment and job satisfaction on job performance: The mediating effects of organizational citizenship behavior’, International Journal of Business and Management, vol. 8, no. 15, pp. 57-67.

Srivastava, K & Saldanha, D 2008, ‘Organizational citizenship behavior’, Industrial Psychiatry Journal, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 1-3.

Storberg, J 2002, ‘The evolution of capital theory: A critique of a theory of social capital and implications for HRD’, Human Resource Development Review, no. 1, pp. 468-498.

Wang, L, Howell, JP, Hinrichs, KT & Prieto, L 2011, ‘Organizational citizenship behavior: The roles of value/identity-based motivation’, Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 14-24.

Yen-Tsang, C, Csillag, JM & Siegler, J 2011, ‘Theory of reasoned action for continuous improvement capabilities: A behavioral approach’, RAE : Revista de Administração de Empresas, vol. 52, no. 5, pp. 546-564.

 

 

 

 

 

 

System Thinking and Practice

December 26, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

System Thinking and Practice

 

 

Name

 

 

Institution

 

 

Date

 

 

 

 

 

 

Task one:

 

 

       
   
 
     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

Notably, system thinking is critical in problem solving and strategic planning tool in the business environment. The tool helps in strategic planning by contributing to problem solving initiatives by the management. The use of this tool with the strategic planning is critical in providing the organization with solution to complex problems. In addition, this tool is critical in enabling the organization to plan effectively. Successful implementation of system thinking in the organization is critical in ensuring that business realizes its objectives. System thinking tool is critical in enhancing performance and growth since t helps in problem solving.

System Thinking has played a major role in strategic planning of issues in a world of interconnected components. It has also facilitated the process of decision making hence providing reliable solutions to challenges faced by people worldwide (Checkland, p. 4). System Thinking views strategic planning as a root cause of a problem and that several factors are involved too. However when both System Thinking and Strategic planning go hand in hand, then effective solutions to problems are likely to be achieved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Task two:

The real origins of system thinking are still very controversial and it is believed that it emerged and established itself as a trans-discipline in the 1940s and early 1950s. In 1956, Professor Jay Forrester introduced the concept of system thinking in a bid to come up with better ways of overcoming challenges such as strategic planning (Warring, 2009, p8). System thinking enables us to establish the initial cause of a problem as well as find effective solutions to address the problem.

Alfred D. Chandler, Philip Selznick, Igor Ansoff, and Peter Drucker played a major role by in the introduction of Strategic management in the 1950s and 60s. In 1957, Philp came up with the SWOT analysis, which takes into account the internal and external factors influencing an organization (Checkland, p. 24). Peter Drucker introduced the ideas of managing objectives and the importance of intellectual capital.

System Thinking applies principles, which involve that one becomes part of the system and he or she reasons without influence from traditional ways of thinking. However, System thinking does not consider fragmenting the problem into smaller components for examination. Instead, it tries to analyze how the problem at hand is related to other components of the system (Jackson, p54). This has contributed to the emergence of new ideas, which help in solving a problem effectively. Even so, the nature of system thinking contributes to a manner of solving complex problems. For instance, difficult problems aid the observers to determine external factors and not only considering themselves, Previous efforts to solve some problems have led to their recurrence, external influences such as competition affect some actions and some problems do not have readily available solutions (Checkland, p. 14). Some laws used in system thinking help to understand and solve problems better such as today’s problems come from yesterday’s solutions and the harder you push, the harder the system pushes.

Ackoff was the pioneer of providing a system approach to strategic planning. He integrated the idea of system thinking in strategic planning. Strategic planning can be defined as a process of defining the direction of an organization and deciding how to allocate human and financial resources to achieve the set objectives (Jackson,p53). It uses techniques such as SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats), PEST analysis (Political, Economic, Social, and Technological), STEER analysis (Socio-cultural, Technological, Economic, Ecological, and Regulatory factors), and EPISTEL (Environmental, Political, Informatics, Social, Technological, Economic, and Legal).

The principles of system thinking contrast to those of strategic planning in various ways. System thinking tries to analyze how the problem at hand is related to the other components of the system whereas strategic planning does not (Checkland, p43). System thinking tries to come up with new ideas of solving problems but strategic planning does not. System thinking tries to identify external factors, which have contributed to a certain problem whereas strategic planning does not. Strategic planning is interested in allocating different duties to different individuals whereas system thinking does not take into account the person who is responsible in undertaking a certain task (Checkland, p.34). Strategic planning takes into account how certain duties are to be performed, the methodologies and techniques involved whereas system thinking does not. Strategic planning is not interested in decision-making processes whereas system thinking is an effective tool for decision-making.

System thinking explores the root cause of the problem in question but strategic planning analyzes the problem at the top only and makes assumptions of what is unknown (Córdoba, p. 43). In contrast, system thinking contributes to long-term solutions of problems by providing solution to all the reasons related to the problem whereas strategic planning eliminates the reasons, which are related to the problem in hand.

Steps for applying holistic thinking principles:

Define the Situation: A detailed explanation of the problem at hand should be given. However, solutions should not be given at this stage.

Develop Patterns of Behavior: It is advisable to offer history of a certain behavior.

Evolve the Underlying Structure: It is essential to try and understand where a certain behavior comes from and factors relating to it.

Identify the factors contributing to the underlying structure: Some problems may crop up because of assumptions in the system.

Identify the Leverage Points: This involves identifying the factors influencing a certain behavior in a system.

Develop an alternate structure: One should identify areas of weakness and come up with strategies to improve on them.

Find a solution to the problem: One should come up with an appropriate solution to the problems identified.

In some cases, system thinking has been integrated into strategic planning. System thinking offers long-term solutions that are used effectively in strategic management. This can be attributed to the fact that system thinking provides a detailed analysis of finding the root cause of the problems at hand. It identifies more factors that have contributed to that problem. System thinking tries to come up with solutions to address all the factors, which are related to the problem in question (Córdoba, p. 33). System thinking is therefore effective in strategic planning.

Motivation is the urge to perform a certain task. It could be internal or external. Motivation is important as it can help an organization to achieve the set goals and objectives. Some forms of extrinsic motivation include praising workers and giving them rewards. The systems approach has been integrated into management in a bid to motivate workers. For instance, division of labor creates motivation in that one is able to put his or her skills into practice and familiarize himself more with a certain task (Córdoba, p. 40). Discipline also contributes to motivation in that a disciplined worker may be rewarded to encourage him or her to uphold the desired behavior. Unity of direction creates motivation in that if an organization has one head and a common goal, then workers will work towards achieving it.

Subordination of individual interests to the general interest should be controlled to bring motivation. All workers interests should be taken into consideration to avoid some people dominating over others. The benefits should be fair to the organization and the employees to create motivation. Order is essential for the success of any organization as it creates motivation by ensuring that the right people handle responsibilities at the right time. Equity and equality should be upheld in an organization (Warring, p54). A just action to everyone creates motivation. Stability of tenure of personnel creates motivation to workers. Workers should be comfortable in their workplaces and should be given ample time to settle in their jobs by their employees. Esprit de corps, which involves embracing teamwork and tranquility in a firm, should be encouraged, as it is a source of motivation.

For example, organization goals can be realized when employees assist one another in execution of their responsibility. Employee motivation can be achieved through appraisal and commending them for good work done. In addition, business needs to ensure that they create a work environment that is fun. This is critical in ensuring that employees can associate with each other. This inspiring activity will enable the employees to be co-creators of the company success.

COMMUNICATION

Effective communication requires active listening, which involves trying to understand what the speaker is saying. It involves paying full attention to the speaker while ignoring distracters and not interrupting while he or she is speaking (Jackson, p67). One can use body movements such as nodding the head in agreement as a sign that one is listening keenly to the message being sent. Good communication helps to attain the set goals of a firm and it contributes to strong teamwork at all levels of an organization.

Listening is a skill, which requires paying attention to what is being said when people are conversing. It is essential as it contributes to a better relationship with others and can enhance the effectiveness of a certain task (Frank, p34). We listen to gain knowledge, to understand, for pleasure and so that we can learn. Listening requires improvement so as improve our productivity; improve our ability to persuade, influence, and negotiate and to avoid misunderstandings that lead to conflicts.

There is a correlation between active listening and systems thinking. A problem at an organization may have come up because of poor communication caused by poor listening skills (Córdoba, p. 35). Therefore, system thinking will try to create solutions to address the problem of poor communication leading to the well being of an organization.

For instance, System thinking helps organization in solving problems by emphasizing on use of experts as originators. An originator will enable the organization to solve problems caused by resistance to change. This model helps managers to understand that solving the problem in the organization requires in-depth analysis of the problem.

CONFLICT

A conflict is a disagreement between two or more parties. Conflicts arise from misunderstandings. System thinking can be applied effectively by identifying the real areas of disagreements and a solution to this can be found (Frank,p32). The parties involved can bring conflicts. Threats are involved in conflicts hence are a source of conflicts. Conflicts may affect people in various ways. For instance, competition in case some people feel that their needs are being ignored while those of other people are being addressed. Accommodating is an approach which is applied to address the needs of others to maintain harmonious relationships. Avoiding is a tactic used to address conflicts (Nano,p 34). However, it is not effective, as people do not share their views leading to break up of relationships. Compromising is also an approach used to address conflicts. It involves a party making sacrifices to maintain peace.

However, it leads to personal dissatisfaction and mistrust. Collaborating is an approach used to resolve conflicts. It involves both parties agreeing to work together to achieve a common goal. It is the best way of solving a conflict as it brings new time, energy and ideas hence creating a harmonious relationship (Robert, p45). The systems approach is effective in conflict resolution. This is because it examines the root cause of the conflicts within an organization. Moreover, it provides a detailed analysis of the factors involved as well as solutions, which can help to solve the conflicts.

For instance, youth and the unemployed persons enter the street to commit violence and sell drugs. The government tries to solve this problem by increasing the number of police officers on the street. However, dysfunctional families cause the problem of youth joining gangs. Therefore, system thinking plays a critical role in helping in understanding the interconnected issues causing these problems.

SYSTEM THINKING AND MENTAL MODELS

A model is a simplified system. A mental model on the other hand is a system, which is constructed in a mind that is conscious. Mental models comprise of knowledge and they aid us to create new ideas (Warring, p 67). When we start perceiving abstract objects in our minds, then things become more complex. Descartes divided the world into two to help us understand the mental modeling better. There is the material world with objects that we can measure and the world of human mind, which is immeasurable.

Systems thinking can help in the case of mental model, which have self-sealing impact. This is because system thinking enables one to identify the root cause of a problem that one is facing (Checkland, p 65). One is also able to identify the factors, which also contributed to that problem. Nevertheless, system thinking helps one to come up with solutions, which can enable one to overcome the problem. For instance, we can identify the areas of weakness and attempt to improve on them.

               System thinking is crucial to an individual as one is able to examine his or her actions carefully and to determine if he was right or wrong (Robert , p65). If right, one can feel a boost of his or her self-esteem. If wrong, one can identify the reasons, which were involved and can try to come up with solutions so that a repeat of the same cannot happen. Therefore, systems thinking are essential in creating mental models, which would otherwise have self-sealing impact.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Checkland, P. (2002). Systems thinking, systems practice. New York: Wiley & Sons.

Córdoba-Pachón, J.-R. (2009). Systems Practice in the Information Society. London: Routledge.

Frank Stowell, C. W. (2012). The Manager’s Guide to Systems Practice: Making Sense of Complex Problems. London : Wiley & Sons.

Jackson, M. C. (2007). Systems Thinking: Creative Holism for Managers. London: Wiley Publication.

Nano McCaughan, B. P. (2013). Systems Thinking for Harassed Managers. London: Kormac Books.

Robert L. Flood, N. R. (2006). Critical Systems Thinking: Current Research and Practice. London: Springer.

Warring, A. (2009). Practical Systems Thinking. London: Cengage Learning.

 

 

 

Relationship between War and Culture

December 26, 2013

 

 

 

 

Relationship between War and Culture

Name

Institution

 

 

Abstract

 The social political systems in the United States for a long time have been affected by historical wars. Amidst all these wars, the United States and its allies emerged stronger than ever. This paper through the study of the works of Wayne Lee, an American historian, explores the effect different wars fought in the world stage. He tries to find out how war relates to different cultures (Lee, 2011). The works analyses the different views and beliefs of those who were involved and those that were affected. The study is also aimed at elaborating how these views differ. Civilians maintain that war destroys peaceful cultures that exist. Historians and writers have diverging opinions on history and culture and the relationship between the two.

 

 

Relationship between War and Culture

Case study in Relationship to War and Culture

 In a study of Lee works on War and Culture (2011), war and conflicts are defined the political and social economic systems created by governments. He maintains that the America war was inevitable for peace to be maintained. He sees the need for a lasting peaceful process. Civil war in America, he believes resulted from weak policies towards slavery and that conditions created by the governments at that time were meant to frustrate efforts to abolish slavery (Lee, 2011). The hostility from slaves against the government created tension between the slaves and the government. The two world wars began at a time when different countries were aligning themselves in regional blocks to dominate the super status in the world. Most countries rose against each other and each was fighting to control the world. He asserts that each of these wars greatly influenced the world and culture that it resulted in the worst history in the political systems of the world.

Contemporary study: American Invasion of Iraq                                  

The Second World War shaped world events. It led to fruitful efforts that were driven towards achieving peaceful conditions in the world. Though much effort has been made by world countries to foster peaceful coexistence, there have been instances where countries with military might have invaded countries with less military capability. American invasion of Iraq raised questions about the viability of its mission. The United States had accused the Iraqi government of using weapons of mass destruction. This war led to the capture and eventual execution of Saddam Hussein. This act elicited anger across the Arab nations. A culture has been created in the process. Most Arab nations consider the United States as an enemy to world peace. Extremist, mostly Muslims, has used this notion to attack the United States and its allies. The act of execution of Saddam Hussein showed the worst kind of justice system. As much as this act was seen as an injustice, it had its positive side. It sent a harsh signal to dictators in the world.

War and Culture in American Civil War

It began because of expansion of slavery into American western territories. It prepared America for future war. Slavery was abolished and slaves were set free. It led to death of slave culture and initiated an historical culture of liberation. In addition, it led to the creation of systems that favored human values and creation of emancipation proclamation principle in which the president declared all the slaves free. Slavery changed the course of history and psychological state of slaves changed from inferiority to equals within the society. Conversely, the military grew more equipped with better weapons.  The culture of collective action by the slaves led to their freedom. The American image improved on the world map when it abolished slavery and historical books were written about the war.

War and Culture in the First World War

It affected the world in different spheres. That is it led to the creation of a culture of unification of the world when the League of Nations was created. This became a culture at the end of the Second World War. Countries refined their military culture and the strength of their military capability for subsequent wars. The First World War led to the formation of the League of Nations, which is an international body whose mandate was to oversee upholding of peaceful conditions in the world.

War and Culture in the Second World War

In the Second World War, there was participation of different races. As a usual culture, countries fought to protect their economies and sovereignty. Africans fought along their imperial European colonizers. The effect of this is the urgency for the creation of a body that would unify the world. This resulted in the creation of the United Nations to oversee the peaceful transition of building a new world order through which peace would be maintained. Elsewhere, the Vietnamese war changed the feelings of the world towards American policies.

War and Culture in varied professional spheres

The war fought in different parts of the world resulted in loss of property and loss of countless lives. Loss of lives and destruction of properties has been the norm for every war. Soldiers who have survived the war suffered psychological problems. It leads to the disintegration of social values. Many families were displaced because of the war.

The American civil war started at a time when Abraham Lincoln, opposed to the war, was the president of the United States and lasted for four years. It started at a time when the slavery in America was at its toll, but eventually led to freedom of slaves and it led to the abolition of slavery. This war made Abraham Lincoln fame in the world stage. This war marked the beginning of a journey towards American military strength. The Second World War was a global war. Most countries and races were involved. This war came at a time when countries had gone through periods of scientific and economic development. As a result, it caused more damage than any other war. The war was fought in different parts of the world. The war changed the structure of world politics as the European powers were weakened and African countries began fighting for their independence.

Account of Effects of War in the World

             The opinions on the battles and the wars fought in the history of the world have been varied for different people. The soldiers, civilians, writers and historians all had their opinions on the wars. An account of soldiers who took part in some of those war paints pictures of destruction. That is degraded humanity and wasted resources. Civilians maintain that they have been on the receiving end of war. They are forced to bear the consequences of war. Historians feel that war brings with its culture of stability and that war that took in different time created a stable system in the world. Civilians have been on the receiving end of these wars.

From the study carried out, there is a close relationship between war and culture. The modern cultural systems established have created conditions that maintain peace in the world. The cultural histories provide means through which people reflect on their history and values and this helps in fostering peace and unity. Different professional disciplines all believe in maintaining peace. The military has a culture, which guides them through their mission of protecting and defending their countries. Politicians through which they practice politics and professions have a culture that guides them through their professional endeavor. Citing the effects of destruction from the war that took place, most people believe that freedom from any kind of turmoil is an utmost necessity. Most of them have taken it upon themselves to be agents of preaching peace and maintaining it.

In historical context, decisions were made depending on the political state of affairs. Countries made decisions that would counter the effects of the decisions made by other countries. The first and second world war was initiated by a few countries. By the time each of the two wars ended, many countries had taken part. Countries had a culture of making decisions as blocks. America and its allies made decisions that bound them together as they fought against a common enemy.

World War and Effects on different Spheres

The American civil war, European war, Second World War and Vietnam War had a profound effect on different spheres. The family roles and structures changed. Most women took the roles of their husbands of heading their families. The civil war in America led to termination of slavery. This initiated a journey of subsequent racial battles in America. The Second World War was a multi racial war and more races got involved. Books were written and museums were formed to provide avenues of commemoration of the war and paying tribute to the war heroes. Additionally, international bodies of medical organizations such as Red Cross.

A close analysis of culture and war shows how the two relate with each other. Historical battles have definitely a change in the structure of the world. They have led to changes in the policy of countries towards others. The war has led to the creation of cultures that favors humanity. Creation of these cultures has ensured upholding of peaceful systems and institutions in the world.

 

 

References

Lee, W. E. (2011). Warfare and culture in world history. New York: NYU Press.

 

Lessons learned from Katrina, Irene and Sandy

December 25, 2013

Student name

Subject

Professor

Date

Lessons learned from Katrina, Irene and Sandy

Introduction

Hurricanes are the most dangerous and costly natural disasters in the United States. In recent times, the country has witnessed three of the deadliest hurricanes in its history, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Irene.  Apart from lost lives, there was destruction of property which resulted to great economic losses. For example, the Hurricane Katrina is estimated to have caused losses of up to 8 billion USD. In order to ensure that this loss is reduced in the event of future floods, the United States government through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has set up standards that will help reduce or prevent life and property loss during these natural disasters. Some of the standards adopted have a direct effect on the engineering of houses in areas that are vulnerable to these tropical cyclones (Saint-Saens, 55). In this study we look at engineering recommendations and lessons learnt from the Hurricane Sandy, Irene and Katrina.

Lessons from the New Orleans Levee system failure

This is a major challenge to hydrology experts when it comes to the design of flood prevention systems. From the outcomes of Hurricane Katrina, it is safe to say that the New Orleans levee system was under designed or was not designed well enough to handle disasters such as the hurricane Katrina. However, those whom designed the system cannot be blamed because the Saffir-Simpson Category 3 storm is one which has never been encountered in United States history and one which was not expected. According to a study conducted by Corp engineers, a lot can be learnt from the Hurricane Katrina and recent storms that have hit the United States. First, the protection levees were not high enough. They were designed based on meteorological information acquired in the 1950s and this indicates that there have been changes in the way oceanic and meteorological status of the water bodies surrounding the United States. Therefore, engineers should come up with far much effective and more durable hurricane protection systems. The New Orleans levee system should be raised higher and made more durable to sustain a Saffir-Simpson Category 3 storm and better. This is because it is difficult to determine what the magnitude of the next cyclone will be (Van Heerden & Bryan, 15).

 

Furthermore, it is crucial to ensure that the right level of elevation is used when designing the levee elevation and the floodwall. The floodwall and levee elevation was between 1 and two feet short. This was not strong enough to prevent the Hurricane Katrina from hitting the larger New Orleans. The right elevation has to be calculated when designing this barriers. On the other hand, strata tested by corps engineers in 1980 indicates that the soil under the levee and the floodwalls was weak. This means that there was an opportunity to improve the quality of the storm protection system but nothing was done. Therefore, this is a very crucial engineering practice when designing a flood protection system. The soils have to be strong enough for the system to withstand the impact of a flood. This lesson does not only apply to New Orleans but other parts of the United States that are susceptible to floods.

 

Another problem associated with the New Orleans flood protection system is that it was not maintained or tested throughout the 40 year period until the Katrina. Most people visited the area to view the engineering masterpiece that its function as a museum stood out more than its function as a protection system. This built the walls’ vulnerability over the 40 year period and nothing was done to improve it further. What contributed to increased protection capabilities is the fact that the protection system continued to operate with design assumptions and parameters designed back in 1965. This is a good lesson for FEMA and the federal government with respect to managing water related protection systems. It is advisable to constantly revisit the systems from time to time and test them to ensure that they work. The tests should involve high magnitude floods and storms just to make sure that the country is protected (Van Heerden & Bryan, 29).

Construction standards and distance from high risk areas 

Most construction standards are dedicated towards ensuring the safety of the people and building equipment. Therefore, constructors should always ensure that they observe these rules at all times. These rules will go a long way in making sure that the buildings they come up with are safer and can withstand the impact of floods. For example, making sure that the water system is installed high enough in order to withstand the effect of a flood will go a long way in making sure that the water system is still present even after the flood. This reduces the overall loss encountered from the flood (FEMAa, 3). Furthermore, a distance has to be observed when building in flood susceptible areas. For example, it is not allowed to build too close to water bodies in New Orleans. First, there is need to give space for the construction of a protection system and secondly it is advisable to keep this distance so a structure and individuals can withstand the impact of the floods since it reduces with distance. Therefore, building close to high risk areas is prohibited in order to enhance safety. Furthermore, individuals should look to utilize weather and meteorological information from the NOAA. Through this information earlier preparations for such a natural disaster can be made. Furthermore, more sophisticated equipment should be adopted to ensure early and accurate detection.

Control of water flow

There has been very little that has been done to ensure total control of water flow. This is due to the impact that river Mississippi had on the New Orleans protection system. A gulf outlet of the river breached a part of the hurricane protection system. This indicates that little has been done to control water flows. This increases the risks in case there is a flood. Therefore, there is need to make sure that there is controlled water flow in order to reduce the impact of these floods. Flood surges in New Orleans were witnessed at Lake Bologna. These surges were higher than the levee and flood walls. This indicates that uncontrolled water flow greatly contributed to the damage caused by the hurricane.  A navigation canal of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet that intersects with the hurricane protection system contribute to the failure of the system. Therefore, it is not only about setting up protection systems but also coming up with water control mechanisms (Van Heerden, 30).

 

Changes to Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing Systems

FEMA issued directions for repairing utility systems for buildings that were affected by Hurricanes in New York and New Jersey. These new reconstruction directives can be applied by any reconstruction team or person affected by a hurricane where the house’s utility system is underground. In the reconstruction process, it is important to ensure that the reconstruction plan or the position of the utility system does not violate the set floodplain standards. This is to ensure that the impact of damage on such systems is not as great as before in case there is another flood or storm (FEMAa, 3).

The main utility problems that have to be addressed starts with the position of the utility system. First, the position of most utility systems in residential areas is not up to the required standards or they are below grade. Secondly, there was extreme damage to these systems by the flood and finally houses are located too close to each other to allow for these systems to be relocated. This possess a new challenge to constructors in areas that are susceptible to hurricanes such as Katrina, Sandy and Irene. Utility systems such as water plumbing and electrical wiring should always observe the set construction standards.

There are different standards in different areas therefore, they should be on the lookout for these standards always. Furthermore, people should avoid installing their utility systems in crawl spaces, ground garages and near shore lines. All these areas subject the utility systems to great damage in case there is a flood. There are general recommendations from FEMA on how residential home builders should install the utility systems in order to avoid great damage from floods. First. The level of such systems should be elevated. Water pipes should be installed higher on the ground compared to before. Each state and region has a recommended depth for the systems (Jackson, 19).

People with new homes should observe these new depths. Those who reconstruct as a result of a storm should also raise the level of utility system above the ground. Systems such as the electrical system may not require such changes. However, the insulation mechanism used should be one which reduces the effect of floods. For example, wires can be encased in a non-corrosive metal. This reduces the effect of the flood on the system. On the other hand, homebuilders are also urged to use water heaters that do not have tanks, instead use those that heat the water instantly. This will reduce the overall damage of the flood on the water heating system and the storage tank (FEMAa, 2).

Prediction and prevention of hurricanes

Before the hurricane Irene, meteorological information indicated the possibility of a high scale tropical cyclone. Therefore, authorities moved to ensure that people are at a safe distance and that they have a chance to survive the hurricane. However, despite these actions people still lost their lives. This is still a huge tragedy without putting into account the loss of property. Therefore, this is a lesson that the authorities should take. There is need for NOAA to come with better prediction measures in a bid to make sure that these disasters are prevented on time.

Conclusion

From the above, it is quite clear that most buildings do not take into consideration the effect of floods on their buildings. This contributed a lot of destruction during the hurricane Katrina, Irene and Sandy. However, the new recommendations and standards set up by FEMA and NOAA will contribute largely towards making sure that such destruction is limited in the future. The main consideration during construction should be the distance. Individuals should avoid building houses and office blocks too close to the sea or water bodies. This will go a long way to give emergency responders an opportunity to respond to the problem in time. Furthermore, it will reduce the effect that the disaster will have on the property. Furthermore, constructors should observe certain standards when it comes to the installation of fuel systems and utility systems. Such systems should be installed a little bit higher and should be protected with flood proof equipment in order to reduce the impact of flood water on them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

FEMAa. Builders guide for coastal construction. 2nd December. 2013. Web. April 2013

 

FEMAb. Hurricane Sandy building science. 2nd December. 2013. April 2013

 

Jackson, B. Construction Management Jumpstart (2nd Ed.). Indianapolis, Indiana: Wiley. 2010. Print

 

Saint-Saens, A. Ordeal at the Super dome. Escaping Katrina’s Wrath. New Orleans: University Press of the South, 2010. Print

 

Van Heerden, L. & Bryan, M.  Storm: What Went Wrong and Why during Hurricane Katrina: Inside Story from One Louisiana Scientist. New York: Viking, 2006. Print

 

Van Heerden, L. Failure of the New Orleans Levee System Following Hurricane Katrina and the Pathway Forward. Louisiana State University Hurricane Centre, 2007. Print

 

THE U.S NATIONAL SECURITY OVER THE NEXT 10 YEARS

December 24, 2013

 

 

 

 

Threats to U.S. National Security over the Next 10 Years

Name

University of Affiliation

Introduction

Throughout the previous half century, the United States of America (U.S.A) has gained excess political and economic power across the globe. The nation has particularly influenced the development of international laws through the U.N and other international organizations. This has been enabled by its successful imperialism quest, which has seen the nation make strong ties with many nations across the globe. While many may think that the relationship between the U.S. and its close allies is symbiotic, it is apparent that most of the nations are in the relationships to appease the superpower. Many nations would rather maintain a good relationship with the U.S. and have it back their national interests than oppose the super power and suffer the dire consequences of abandonment. It follows that this power has accorded the U.S. a lot of respect from the various countries over the years; however, there are several nations actively looking to liberate themselves from the superpower. Most of these nations have empowered themselves economically, and they have emerged quite influential in the world, whereas others have openly disagreed with the political sentiments of the U.S. The Arab nations are a particular menace to the U.S. domestic security because the extremist groups in the region have assumed terror as their method of choice to counter the U.S. imperialism. The terrorists have attacked the U.S. severally in the past, and they are bound to continue with their inhumane acts to force the U.S. to give in to their demands. Over the next 10 years, there are projected security threats that the U.S. may experience concerning national security. This paper looks into some future security threats for the U.S. and the possible solutions.

Potential Threats in the Waterways

After the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., the Maritime Security authorities enhanced the security on the large vessels travelling across the U.S. waterways. This was in a bid to ensure that the terrorists could not use the ships to enter into the land. It was also aimed at ensuring that the waterways were safe for the ships ferrying cargo and people in and out of the United States (Department of Homeland Security, 2008). After securing the airports and airlines, the only possible avenue for the terrorists to enter into the U.S. from their respective nations would have been through the waterways; hence, the Homeland Security has invested in technology and the navy in securing the waterways. One interesting fact is that the security has mainly focused on providing heavy security for the large vessels cruising in the U.S. Waterways. The smaller vessels have been ignored and only provided with the basic security. Over the next 10 years, if the U.S. fails to look into fixing the security issue, the terrorists may manage to use the smaller vessels to ferry their weapons into the U.S. The may also target the smaller vessels through bombings or hijackings because of the relatively low security offered to them (Department of Homeland Security, 2008). As the situation stands, the smaller vessels in the U.S. waterways are being used by different people to smuggle drugs and people into the U.S. This is a clear indication that the U.S. waterways may establish a big threat to domestic security if the situation is not addressed (Department of Homeland Security, 2008). Solving this potential risk to national security is as easy as focusing on the security of all the vessels and waterways. Both large and small water vessels should be screened thoroughly at the ports, and they should be monitored as the cruise in and out of the U.S. Waterways to detect any suspicious behavior in time (Department of Homeland Security, 2008).

Economy

The U.S. homeland security in relation to the economy is at a crucial point. Over the past several decades, the federal government of the United States has increased its national debt (Paul, 2011). This has posed big challenges in terms of the retention of the economic power that the nation has enjoyed over the past century. The U.S. is currently facing stiff competition from nations like China, to whom it owes hefty amounts of money. Being in debt with other nations makes a nation vulnerable to economic failure in the event the relationships get sour. The government deficit is filled with debts from other nations, and with the current state of the economy, the next decade may see the downfall of the economy of the United States (Paul, 2011). This will have dire implications for the national security of the nation because the national interests of the U.S. will be compromised significantly. Perhaps the greatest threat to the state security that will emanate from such developments will be the inability of the nation to finance the military as required. The United States government allocates hefty amounts of money in the development of national security through equipping the military, financing different technological research to enhance national security, and financing intelligence organizations to keep track with the plans of the potential terrorists (Paul, 2011). The downfall of the economy would mean that such efforts would be ill-financed or halted altogether. The federal government needs to look into ways of fixing the national spending to ensure the necessary structures required to cut the national deficits are put in place. The nation needs to act immediately to prevent the projected economic downfall that may pose serious national security over the next decade and for the future generations (Paul, 2011).

Energy Centers

The economy of the United States relies heavily on the availability of energy. Oil is the primary source of energy for the United States, and it has been directly linked to the enhancement of economic and national security (SAFE, 2013). The U.S. incurs very high direct cost from the purchase of the precious commodity to satisfy its large demand for oil and its products. The fact that oil is primarily imported into the U.S. from the Arab nations where it is in abundance, means that the U.S. may be directly financing its rivals. The Arab nations are home to the terrorist groups that have vowed to keep attacking the nation. It also follows that as the U.S. increases its spending on oil, the national debt continues escalating and this may have dire consequences in the next 10 years. The case of Saddam Hussein financing the Al-Qaida terrorist group was an enough indication that the Arab nations are risky if they attain certain levels of economic power (SAFE, 2013). The oil business is actively empowering some nations like Iran and their rebellion against the laws advocated by the U.S. and its allies are a significant threat to the state security of the U.S. Oil supply disruptions also poses a bigger risk to the United States homeland security (SAFE, 2013). Over the past decade, the prices and supply of oil have been fluctuating and this has caused serious economic depressions in the U.S. and the rest of the world. As researchers have already indicated, the supply of oil in most of the producing nations has reached the peak level; hence, nations need to look into alternative sources of energy. The cost of the alternative sources of energy is too high. There is no doubt that the fluctuations in the supply of oil will continue through the next 10 years, and this hints on potential national security risks for the U.S (SAFE, 2013).

Borders

The United States boarders have acted as the entry points for illegal aliens from different parts of the world for the past century. Securing the boarders has proved to be a very difficult task for the government because of its vast size and the various cunning and violent ways that the aliens use to enter into the nation (Rosenblum, Bjelopera & Finklea, 2013). The Department of Homeland Security has invested in various security measures like employing border police patrols to secure the points of entry from the neighboring countries, but this is not as effective as it should be effective (Rosenblum, Bjelopera & Finklea, 2013). There have been many cases of human smuggling and killings of the border patrol units by the illegal aliens. This means that there still are illegal aliens crossing the U.S. borders. There are serious implications to this, mainly because the past several terrorist attacks in the U.S. have been linked to illegal aliens dwelling in the nation. The next 10 years may present an opportunity for terrorists to cross the border and engage in their terrorist activities. The United States has placed every possible measure to prevent terrorists from crossing their borders, but the authorities cannot control the entry of the terrorists into the neighboring nations like Mexico (Rosenblum, Bjelopera & Finklea, 2013). This means that the illegal aliens from Mexico, who are notorious for their cunning entry methods into the U.S., will continue to pose national security threats to the U.S.A. Over the next decade (2013-2023), the U.S. will continue confronting terrorists attempting to pass weapons of mass destruction across its borders as well as criminals trafficking people and drugs. The Department of Homeland Security has a big task of ensuring it increases the amount of Border Security Enforcement Resources to counter the aggression from the aliens (Rosenblum, Bjelopera & Finklea, 2013).

IT Networks

The fastest growth in technology has been met with an equal development in the skills of cyber terrorist to attack different networks. Cyber terrorism in the U.S. is a constant threat, which is the price that most companies in the private and public sectors are facing (McCarter, 2012). In the most recent serous cyber terror attacks, the terrorists jammed the bank systems. They managed to cripple the banking activities in some of the busiest banks in the U.S. The economic implication of the attacks was dire. There is no way of guaranteeing that such attacks will not be experienced in the future; hence, it can only be logic to project several attacks in the Internet (McCarter, 2012). The projection by the National Security Agency reveals that the attacks will probably be primarily from smaller cyber terror groups in different parts of the world rather than the big terror groups like the Al-Qaeda. This is mainly because the larger groups have traditionally failed to use any electronic devices in their activities for security purposes. The future threats will be posed by smaller groups trying to get access to information from various important government agencies as well as jamming the business activities of various companies to chock the economy of the nation. With active research in the development of security channels, the U.S. can prevent such attacks effectively. The next 10 years may see the execution of very serious cyber-attacks in different targets (McCarter, 2012). The essence of cyber terrorism is to attack the most unsuspecting victims, and this will definitely be seen in the next 10 years as technology grows. The social networks are also subject to being used by the terror groups as avenues to spread terror. In the past decade, terror groups have actively used various social networks like Facebook and Twitter to spread terror messages. The relevant agencies dealing with IT network security should look into ways of preventing such occurrences in the future (McCarter, 2012).

Overseas Embassies

The biggest challenge that the United States has faced over the years since the terrorist groups waged war on the nation is securing its embassies in different nations across the world. The embassies have acted as potential targets for the terrorists, who get satisfaction from killing innocent Americans (Terrorism Research, 2013). Through the previous couple of spans, the U.S. has actively engaged in the neutralizing of the terror groups in the Arab nations. Enhancing the security level of the U.S. has frustrated the terror groups because their access to the nation has been compromised significantly. Most of the groups have gone for the alternative, which is to attack the U.S. embassies in different nations where they can easily gain entry into the nations. With the projected future developments in the security of the United States, a high likelihood that the terrorist groups will turn to attacking the American embassies exists (Terrorism Research, 2013). Over the next 10 years, there will also be more cases of Americans delegates and journalists being attacked, and kidnapped by the terrorists. The act of kidnapping and killing Americans in the Arab nations will increase as the terrorist become desperate to remain relevant. The national security issues in the U.S. will continue becoming a global issue because the terrorist will not differentiate between the Americans and the innocent citizens they kill in the overseas American embassies. The Terrorists are quite bitter about the killings of most of their leaders after the long-term attacks by the U.S. military over the past decade. The remaining members are bound to retaliate by any means possible. Attacking the U.S. Embassies and any other American related entities overseas may be the only option the terrorists will have in the next 10 years (Terrorism Research, 2013).

Future of Military Forces

The future of the American Military Forces is directly dependent on the economic performance of the nation. The United States Military is one of the most costly liabilities for the federal government of the United States. The Government has injected many funds into the military to ensure the members are well trained, and to equip the military with the best weapons. The United States has invested vastly in the production of high power military weapons like War aircrafts, Battleships, and ammunition to enhance its chances of winning any war that may arise between itself and its rivals. The current trend of the economy has made it quite difficult for the government to finance some of the military related projects. The membership level of the military force has also declined over the past several years, especially because of the high death rate of the soldiers who were deployed to various parts of the world to fight against terror. The cost of health care for the survivors is also extremely high for the government. In the next 10 years, it is likely that the U.S. military will not engage in any wars. The government is likely to assume a passive approach toward agitation by the terror groups. It is also quite clear that the major terrorist groups in the world have been weakened extensively through the killing of their leaders. For instance, with the slaying of Osama, and the other leaders in the Al-Qaeda group, the terrorists have been weakened significantly. It may take more than a decade for them to get back to their feet in terms of financial and material resources to pose any threat that will require the U.S. to mobilize its military force again. The next 10 years will be quiet for the American Military force as far as national security is concerned. If need be, the military is most likely going to use technology to lower the fatalities in the future wars (Clutterbuck, 2013).

Expected New Technology

The Expected new technology in the quest to improve homeland security in the U.S. will include the investment in the latest technological devices for the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) to detect security threats. The government is bound to invest in the latest technology in communication, and disaster detection (Pincus, 2013). For instance, the government will install the latest security technology in airports and harbors to beef up the security system. The Homeland Security will particularly engage in investing in preventive measures to protect the critical infrastructure in the United States. The federal government will also not be shy to invest in arming the Air force with the most expensive fighter jets that will be developed. The federal government will not compromise the power of the military; hence, the budget for the military will continue increasing every year (Pincus, 2013). The quest of arming the military with the use of technology to reduce the number of fatalities in the battlefield is expected to continue over the next decade. The war in Iraq served as a motivation for the federal government to use technology in the fight against terrorists to enhance the survival rate of its soldiers (Pincus, 2013). It is also expected that with the arrival of the new technology in fighter aircrafts, the members of the Air force will have to undergo extensive training in the use of the new technology. The wars will transform from a pilot having to fly a bomber over the enemy’s land to using a computer console to control the jet. The war against terror will be machine against the enemy rather than man against man for the U.S. over the next 10 years. This will reduce the number of deaths in the fights (Pincus, 2013).

Expected International Ties

In the future quest for enhancement of national security, the United States is likely to make new close ties with some nations. One of the nations of particular interest to the United States is China. The United States has been enhancing its relationship with China over the past decade because of the economic influence China has generated across the world. China rivals the United States in terms of economic power; hence, the U.S. will have to be in good terms with the nation (Clutterbuck, 2013). A large portion of the national debt of the U.S. is owed to China. The U.S. will also look to make partnerships with the overseas nations to protect its people from terrorists. The U.S. will continue offering security aid to the developing nations to protect its people abroad. Ties may also be made with countries possessing vast amounts of cleaner fuel as the U.S. looks to alleviate itself from the overreliance on oil. Solving the economic upheavals in the U.S. will potentially solve most of the national security threats (Clutterbuck, 2013). The stability of the economy will enable the government to deal with the threats faster, and with minimal negative effects on the U.S. In the past, the U.S. has collaborated with nations like Britain in the fight against terrorism. Such ties will continue to be effective in the future. The ties will particularly be potent in the fight against cyber terrorism (Clutterbuck, 2013). The U.S. will also be willing to create relationships with any nation that will be willing to share vital information on terrorists. The Department of Homeland Security will require direly the access of such information to secure the critical infrastructure for the U.S.

Conclusion

The U.S. will experience a significant transformation in the prevention, response, and coping with national security threats in the next 10 years, and it will manage to keep its people and infrastructure safe from terrorists hopefully. After the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., the Maritime Security authorities enhanced the security on the large vessels travelling across the U.S. waterways. This was in a bid to ensure that the terrorists could not use the ships to enter into the land. It was also aimed at ensuring that the waterways were safe for the ships ferrying cargo and people in and out of the United States. Over the next 10 years, if the U.S. fails to look into fixing the security issue, the terrorists may manage to use the smaller vessels to ferry their weapons into the U.S. The may also target the smaller vessels through bombings or hijackings because of the relatively low security offered to them. The government deficit is filled with debts from other nations, and with the current state of the economy, the next decade may see the downfall of the Economy of the United States. This will have dire implications for the national security of the nation because the national interests of the U.S. will be compromised significantly. There is no doubt that the fluctuations in the supply of oil will continue through the next 10 years, and this suggests about the potential national security risks to the U.S. The expected new technology in the quest to heighten homeland security in the U.S. will include the investment in the latest technological devices for the DHS to detect security threats. The U.S. will experience a significant transformation in the prevention, response, and coping with national security threats in the next 10 years, and it will manage to keep its people and infrastructure safe from terrorists hopefully.

 

References

Clutterbuck, R. (2013). Terrorism and guerrilla warfare: forecasts and remedies. London: Routledge.

Department of Homeland Security. (2008). Small Vessel Security Strategy. Retrieved from: http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/small-vessel-security-strategy.pdf

McCarter, M. (2012). Future Homeland Security threats comprise smaller groups, cyber security vulnerabilities, experts say. HsToday. Retrieved from: http://www.hstoday.us/briefings/industry-news/single-article/future-homeland-security-threats-comprise-smaller-groups-cybersecurity-vulnerabilities-experts-say/1477d61bf86af9a2ebb0fcc346a71384.html

Paul, R. (2011). The biggest threat to our national security. The American Spectator. Retrieved from: http://spectator.org/articles/37020/biggest-threat-our-national-security

Pincus, W. (2013). Is the U.S. military ready to embrace new technologies that will define future wars? The Washington Post. Retrieved from: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/is-the-us-military-ready-to-embrace-new-technologies-that-will-define-future-wars/2013/11/04/146c7182-43e0-11e3-8b74-d89d714ca4dd_story.html

Rosenblum, M. R., Bjelopera, J. P., & Finklea, K.M. (2013). Border security: understanding threats at U.S. borders. Congress Research Service. Retrieved from: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/R42969.pdf

SAFE. (2013). Oil dependence: a threat to U.S. economic & national security. Securing America’s Future Energy. Retrieved from: http://www.secureenergy.org/policy/oil-dependence-threat-us-economic-national-security

Terrorism Research. (2013). Future trends in terrorism. Retrieved from: http://www.terrorism-research.com/future/

Chapter Two Literature Review

December 24, 2013

Chapter Two Literature Review

Name:

Institution:


 

2.1 Introduction 

According to Alhashmi et al (2008), business firms have always recognized that access to quality information is crucial to remaining competitive.  Bayyavarapu (2005) agrees with this sentiment and adds that knowledge is increasingly being viewed as an important source of sustainable competitive advantage. It is not surprising that organizations have now turned their focus to knowledge management. Bayyavarapu however points out that the full potential of KM is yet to be attained as firms that that have invested in KM have not yet realized the benefits expected. Several suggestions have been made with effect to this with some scholars emphasizing on the need for the KM focus to shift from technology to people and processes for it to be beneficial and effectively managed. Other scholars argue that knowledge is a strategic important resource and firms must therefore develop effective strategies for managing it. Alhashmi (2008) adds that with rapid changes that characterize the business environment today, managers have no choice but to  develop effective knowledge strategies and provide their employees with the best available knowledge to aid them in the decision making process. Rasula et al (2012), point out that building a successful organization is highly dependent on proper management of knowledge in the set up. According to these authors, KM is very valuable as it develops the capacity of employees to perform a variety of tasks hence ensuring that all operations within the organisation run smoothly. It is therefore clear that KM strategies chosen by an organization are essential in determining the performance levels, efficiency, and skills exhibited by employees.

2.2 Value of Knowledge Management

KM has been described as the process through which firms are able to generate value from their knowledge-based assets and intellectual capital. According to Mayfield (2008), knowledge management is not limited to just managing knowledge as a resource but also entails using that resource to manage all businesses processes that are related to that resource. For the value of KM to be realized, Kogut and  Zander (1992) point out that the process should involve analysis of the existing knowledge as a valuable resource, and also define the objectives relating to the generation, storage and application of new knowledge, its dissemination, exchange and transfer,  its effective use as well as performance evaluation. They further add that creating value out of organisational knowledge depends social networking, intellectual capital, knowledge sharing culture, KM training, knowledge retention and KM resources.

  According to Grant (1996), the value of knowledge management is a focus on innovation driven KM with the impact of people and brand. KM value is created through identification of innovation, best practices and success measures through technology, business intelligence, people and processes. This author adds that KM processes seek to support innovation and facilitate free flow of ideas within the organisation (Grant, 1996). Grant notes that service organizations that apply KM tend to report more value creation in innovation, customer capital and human capital in comparison to service firms that lack KM.  This implies that KM has a positive impact on firms’ intangible assets.

            KM helps increasing revenues by encouraging development of new products and ensuring that they are delivered to the market fast. It also helps reduce costs by encouraging innovation of more efficient processes and eliminating redundant as well as unnecessary processes. According to Tisen et al (2006), KM increases the value of the organisation and its competitiveness by increasing efficiency and effectiveness, innovation and synchronising the relationship among all resources within the firm.

2.3 Theories of Knowledge Management and Organisational Culture (500)

2.3.1 Knowledge Management Theory

In his discussion of the system-based management theory, Porter (1969) assets that knowledge management is centered on the creation, storage, sharing, absorption, and utilization of information and knowledge that is effectively documented. This strategy is founded on the ability and to codify, store, and utilize available information. Bayyavarapu (2005) highlights the important role of information technology (IT) in a system-based approach of KM.  Bayyavarapu explains that IT facilitates codification of information and as such, it plays a key role in the development of the practice of KM.  A study conducted by Kogut (1970) reveals that information technology is often confused with KM simply because of the close relationship between the two concepts and the great role IT plays in KM which is highly influenced by the development of computers that form the basis of the system theory of knowledge management.

Other studies have discussed the KM theory by discussing its theoretical models. Dalkir (2005) has identified and discussed these models in details. These models include; The von Krogh and Roos Model of organizational epistemology (which distinguishes individual knowledge from social knowledge and takes an epistemological approach to managing knowledge within organizations), Nonaka and Takeuchi knowledge spiral model which asserts that successful innovation is as a result of tacit-driven approach to KM, and, the Choo Sense-making KM model which emphasizes on sense making in creating knowledge for decision making conversion, among others.

In spite of its popularity, the KM theory has also been critiqued by a number of scholars with the main argument being that it is difficult to distinguish knowledge from information in the various theories developed in KM. Others argue that the amount of information available to organizations is just too much and impossible to filter all in order to obtain that which is relevant while other critics maintain that distinguishing between KM is and IT is difficult. KM has however survived all this criticism and continues to be applied and even developed to increase its effectiveness (Dalkir, 2005).

2.3.2 Organisational Culture Theory

According to Moradi et al (2012), knowledge management and organizational culture are closely linked. Ndele & Toit (2000) explain that the type of existing culture within an organization is key to the success of knowledge management. These authors argue that as firms interact with the various environments, they take in information, turn it into knowledge and apply it based on their experiences, internal rules and values. Moradi et al (2012) emphasize that each organization’s specific beliefs, norms, values, systems, management styles and policies create a unique culture with manifestations that can be identified.  Organizational culture must be supportive of KM otherwise its components (the beliefs, policies, values, norms, policies and leadership styles) will work against KM efforts (Moradi et al., 2012). This highlights the embedded significance of corporate culture in the success of KM within a firm. Ndele and Toit (2000) point out that firms that are serious about KM foster an organizational culture and environment that support continuous learning.

According to Furner et al (2009), organizational culture theory focuses on employees’ beliefs, values and attitudes. Organizational culture is shared through interpretation of organizational phenomena. Organizational culture impacts human behavior through the values, norms and policies hence making it a critical success factor for KM (Trompenaars & Hampden-Turner, 1997).

In his examination of the how organizational culture affects KM, Mayfield (2008) identifies four types of organizational culture that enhance KM.  The first type is a team culture which mainly focuses on people including employees and customers. The advantage of this type of culture is that it enables joint decision making, commitment, loyalty and teamwork. The second type is the innovative culture in which members are required to respond to market changes quickly and are therefore flexible, creative and adaptable. This type of culture is dynamic, creative and entrepreneurial in nature. The third type of organizational culture is the hierarchy culture which emphasizes on procedures, rules, policies, authority and structures and as such, it put a formal stress on coordination, efficiency and organizing (Hedlund, 1986). This culture offers stability to employees. The fourth type is the market culture with a focus on competitive factors such as differentiation and positioning. Its focus is on external success in the market by improving profit, increasing productivity and gaining a wider market share (Schein, 2004).

Hedlund (1986) supports hierarchical culture (which most studies term as an impediment to KM) o and argues a hierarchy power enables faster respond to urgent problems as compared to a democratic culture. Hedlund explains that for this approach to be successful, the organization must develop effective strategies in document management, a reliable taxonomy of knowledge and information and efficiency information flow maps.  Moradi et al (2012) however notes that bureaucratic structure of management slows down the flow of information, and proposes open system of management that allows easy and fast flow of information from the top management to the bottom employees which makes knowledge creation and sharing more effective.  Ndele and Toit (2000) however argue that there is no single type of organizational culture that can be said to be perfect. A perfect culture is that which combines different aspects to create a supportive and collaborative environment without traditional rivalries.

2.4 Strategies of Knowledge Management

This study will discuss the three strategies as identified by Bayyavarapu (2005). In his study, Bayyavarapu developed three strategies for knowledge management namely information technology-centered, learning-based, and capture-based strategies.

2.4.1 Information Technology Strategy

IT-centered knowledge management strategy emphasizes on the role of IT in KM. There is ample evidence highlighting the savings made by organizations that employ IT solutions.  This strategy involves installation of technological tools with the expectation that knowledge will somehow get managed because of availability of technology. According to Bayyavarapu (2005), the goal of KM is to provide managers with IT solutions as well as prescriptions on how to manage existing knowledge in organizations in a proactive manner. IT is therefore considered to be one of the key drivers of KM, a sentiment that is also observed by Kogut and Zander (1992) who argue that IT is relied upon to provide ways of managing knowledge within firms. Firms that use this strategy believe that knowledge can be effectively managed by employing IT tools in the firm and relying on technology to enable KM.

According to Bayyavarapu (2005) many organizations use the IT-centered approach to manage their organizational knowledge. This is indicated by results from a survey of 431 firms in Europe and the United States which revealed that these firms planned and implemented KM efforts that were IT related.

IT-centered KM strategy arises from the belief that once technology is put in place, it will enable management of organizational knowledge. This strategy involves creating KM models and providing IT tools. It does not however involve active codifying of organizational knowledge and making it accessible to every member within the organization (Bayyavarapu, 2005). 

 2.4.2 Capture-based Strategy

According to Bayyavarapu (2005), this strategy borrows some of its concepts from the knowledge-based view (RBV) of the firm which asserts that firms exist because they are superior in managing knowledge. This theory suggests that knowledge is an intangible resource that is difficult to appropriate and protect. Firms have however been able to protect and appropriate knowledge through employment contracts, rewards, and incentive alignment to knowledge creators. Firms are also able to capture specialist knowledge in knowledge bases where other qualified people can access and use.  These efforts have led to the  emergence of the capture-based theory in which the  firm focuses on capturing knowledge by codifying and storing it in data bases or repositories so that it may be re-used in future (Bayyavarapu, 2005). 

Capture-based strategy generally emphasizes on codifying organizational knowledge and storing it so that it is accessible to all organizational members (Bayyavarapu, 2005). Organizations that use this strategy store documents in data and information bases where they can easily be retrieved when required.  According to Bayyavarapu the essence of this strategy is to capture and store relevant knowledge obtained from employees. It is important to note here that IT tools are not necessary for management of the repository as research reports, articles and presentations can be stored in hard copy and be retried in a manner that is similar to how the old-fashioned library works without the aid of IT.  Bayyavarapu notes that firms that use this strategy regard KM as a tool for exploiting existing knowledge and have the following goals for managing knowledge; to capture learnt lessons, to avoid repeat of mistakes and capture expertise before it is lost.

Capture-based strategy however fails to integrate the captured knowledge into the organizational procedures and systems thus limit its knowledge exploitation by the firm (Zhou & Li, 2012). Readily available knowledge could also slow down the exploration, development and experimentation of knowledge assets. As such, a company’s competitive advantages will be hindered by that of the competitors since there would be a lack of innovations in the long-term. Older firms’ innovations have less impact on technology when compared to younger firms since their innovations are based on their previous innovations. Routines are formed by capturing knowledge thus limiting the ability to learn new experiences that in turn affect the long-term performance.

2.4.3 Learning Based Strategy

The third strategy is the learning-based strategy affirms that learning is key to the management of organizational knowledge.  This strategy stems from the belief that knowledgeable employees are the key for knowledge management. According to Bayyavarapu (2005), this strategy focuses on developing organizational processes that will enable individuals to share knowledge in groups. Groups are also encouraged to interact with others in order to share their solutions. Learning-based theory makes it possible for people to see beyond what is already known and create new solutions to address organizational problems. This strategy has many advantages. According to Lee and Yu, (2004), the elements of learning in an organization have a positive effect on organizational performance. Øgaard et al (2005) discussed in length the importance of using teams to resolve organizational problems. These argue that working in groups is an efficient way of ensuring that knowledge possessed by an individual is shared within the organization. They explain that by sharing the knowledge with the group members who also go ahead to share it with member of other groups, knowledge is transferred, shared and can be put to good use within the organisation. Schein (2010) adds his voice to this argument by stating that a successful KM requires an organizational culture that upholds teamwork.

2.5 Effect of Knowledge Management strategies on Performance Improvement

According to Carrillo et al (2012), several firms have recognized the importance he significance of managing their organizational knowledge in a more strategic and structured manner.  Carrillo et al point out that firms are increasingly becoming aware of the importance of innovative approaches that will enable them to respond more effectively to changes in the market as well as client demands. They emphasize that KM is central to achieving this and to responding have recognized as an essential part of a firm’s strategy to improve on its performance. Carrillo et al., further argue crucial to the implementation of KM strategies is the evaluation of the expected impact.

IT-centered knowledge management strategy does not provide any performance benefit for organizations because it merely concentrates on providing the infrastructure rather than helping develop systems and processes to use the organizational knowledge (Bayyavarapu, 2005). This strategy normally involves appointment of one individual to take the responsibility of managing knowledge, as such, it does not allow information sharing, exploration and organizational learning.

Capture-based strategy contributes to organization performance by capturing valuable knowledge, storing it and making it available to those who need it (Bayyavarapu, 2005). According to this author, this strategy enhances performance by improving and ensuring access to expert knowledge reduces costs associated with recreation of knowledge. These performance benefits are however short-termed as value of knowledge decreases with time because of the rapid changes in business and technology environments. This strategy also facilitates exploitation of existing knowledge which is crucial for the prosperity and success of the organisation (Bayyavarapu, 2005). He notes that existence of readily available knowledge however has some negative effects as it deters development of knowledge asserts deterring exploration and experimentation. 

Learning-based KM strategy facilitates conditions and processes for learning enabling knowledge sharing and consequently organizational learning (Dimovski et al., 2008).  It allows individuals to freely take part in teams or groups, gives them opportunity to experiment and make mistakes which Nonaka (2007) argues is good for creativity and innovation. It also creates new knowledge by involving individuals as well as groups in dialogues. It generates organisation-wide capacity by including knowledge that exists across all organizational levels. This capacity is important for both knowledge creation and exploitation. These activities improve a firm’s performance advantage as it facilitates innovation, creativity, efficiency and effectiveness.

             KM Strategy

Effect on Performance Improvement

IT-Based strategy

No effect

Capture-based

  • Improves access to expert knowledge
  • Reduces cost of recreating knowledge
  • Deters exploration hence innovation

 

 

Learning Based strategy

 

  • Organizational learning
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Creation of new knowledge
  • Facilitates openness and tolerance
  • Encourages a culture of team work
  • Encourages exploration and innovation

 

Given that each of the three discussed KM strategies emphasize on different components of KM, they should be seen as complementary to each other. Bayyavarapu (2005) explains that when these strategies are used to complement each other, they result in superior performance and hence sustainable competitive advantage.

2.6 Knowledge Management in Saudi Arabia

According to Almutairi and McCarthy (2012) the key factors for organizational culture in Saudi Arabia are economic status, religion, education levels, race and environmental factors. The Saudi Arabian culture is mainly Arabic in language and Islamic in religion. In reference to this, the Quran and Sunnah which are the traditions of the Prophet tend to form the Saudi Arabia’s constitution. Logical thinking and innovations in Saudi Arabia is guided by culture, technology and the modern society (Balkhir, n.d).

Saudi people tend to be shy in nature as the people and particularly the women try to be modest and decent in their language, manner of dressing and personal appearance (Al-Omar & Al Ghanim, n.d). The main problems experienced in knowledge management in Saudi Arabia is limited strategic planning, lack of proactive education, limited information services and less commitment to professional development and training as listed by Almutairi and McCarthy (2012).

The basic knowledge components of a plan for instance, a mental health plan in Saudi Arabia include the following; first, the implementation of a timeline of the set mental health plan (Khudair & Bawden, 2007), second, shifting and transferring resources and services from different organizations such as from the mental hospital to the community health facility, and third, allocation of financial resources into the implementation process. Fourth, integration of the services offered in a mental health facility with those of primary care.

In Saudi Arabia, firms also have to protect their knowledge through copyrights, trademarks and intellectual property rights. Knowledge leakage to competitors is protected by non-disclosure agreements and confidentiality clause (Chang & Gurbaxani, 2012). In summary the benefits include the following. First, recreation of knowledge costs is avoided. Second, access to expert knowledge is improved. Third, there is no misappropriation of knowledge. These are the benefits of protecting the flow of knowledge and storing it in the organization away from competitors. Saudi Arabian firms have their main copyrights and trademarks on oil and petroleum products.

2.7 Discussion

 The knowledge management theory focuses on organisational knowledge as the main strategic resource of the firm. KM is concerned with organizational structure, the firm’s coordination, firm boundaries determinants, innovation theory, decision-making allocation and the role of management. Knowledge creates value in the firm through arbitrage and production inputs. Organizational culture theory is driven by the need to use knowledge as an existing resource to create high value for customers thus attain a sustainable competitive advantage in the market or industry.  For firms to reap the potential benefits of KM, they must manage knowledge in a structured and strategic manner. Review of existing KM strategies reveals the importance of these strategies and their different impacts on firm performance.

IT-centered approach focuses on placement of IT tools in the organization so as to aid in effective and efficient service provision. However this placement does not focus on active management of knowledge. Likewise, capture-based strategy holds the belief that the knowledge being held by employees should be captured and stored as it is an invaluable resource. This stored knowledge cannot be reproduced without the permission of the owner such as copyrights. Learning- based strategy aims at promoting specialists and experts in a specific field as the role models for knowledge management in the firm.

These strategies affect the firm performances differently. IT-centered strategy has no impact on the firm performance while capture-based only benefits in the short–term while in the long run its impact is negative. On the other hand, learning-based strategy is beneficial in the long-term while disadvantageous in the short-term. As such, they should all be interlinked and integrated into the overall organization strategy.

Knowledge management success has also been found to be closely linked to organizational culture are closely linked. The components of organisational culture which include internal rules, beliefs, policies, values, norms, policies and leadership styles are found to have a significant effect on the success of KM efforts. Studies show that for KM efforts to bear fruits, a supportive and collaborative organisational environment and culture are crucial. 

2.8 Chapter Summary  

This chapter reviews existing literature on knowledge management in organizations. The study is mainly focused on the strategies of KM and their effect on performance improvement of the organisation. This review however also examines other aspects of KM including its value of knowledge management where it is revealed that for the value of KM  which includes increased effectiveness, efficiency, revenues, and competitive advantage through innovation to be attained, the appropriate organizational culture must exist, strategies be well aligned and the objectives of KM be clearly defined. The review also examines the theories of KM organizational culture and established that organizational culture has a significant effect on KM through its components which include values, beliefs, norms, policies and management styles. The review then explores the three KM strategies and discusses their effect on improving the performance of an organisation. Literature reveals that the three strategies are complementary to each other and provide superior results when used simultaneously. The chapter concludes by reviewing KM in Saudi Arabia context. The next chapter is the methodology chapter, and it will describe in detail all the methods used to carry out this investigation.

 

 

 

References

Alhashmi, S., Siddiqi, J., & Akhgar, B. (2006). Staying Competitive By Managing Organisational Knowledge.  IET Engineering Management. April Issue, pp. 43-44

Almutairi, A. F. & McCarthy, A. (2012). A multicultural nursing workforce and cultural perspectives in Saudi Arabia: An overview. The Health, 3(3), pp.71-74.

Al-Omar, B. & Al-Ghanim, S. (n.d). The utilization of hospital resources: A survey study of some Saudi hospitals in Riyadh City.

Balkhir, A. (n.d). Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The National eHealth Program

Bayyavarapu, H. B. (2005). Knowledge Management Strategies and Firm Performance. ProQuest Dissertations and Theses

Carrillo, P. M., Robinson, H. S., Anumba, C. J., & Al-Ghassani, A.M. (2012). IMPaKT: A Framework for Linking Knowledge Management to Business Performance. Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management, 1 (1): 1-12

Chang, Y. B. & Gurbaxani, V. (2012). Information technology outsourcing, knowledge transfer and firm productivity: An empirical analysis. MIS Quarterly, 36(4), pp. 1043-1063.

Dalkir, K. (2005). Knowledge Management in Theory and Practice. Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, UK.

Dimovski, V. et al. (2008). Comparative analysis of the organisational learning process in Slovenia, Croatia and Malaysia. Expert Systems with Applications, 34(4), pp. 3063-3070.

Furner, C. P., Mason, R. M., Mehta, N., Munyon, T. P. & Zinko, R. (2009). Cultural determinants of learning effectiveness from knowledge. Journal of Global Information Technology Management, 12(1), pp. 30-50.

Grant, R. M. (1996). Toward a knowledge-based theory of the firm. Strategic Management Journal, 17, pp. 109-122.

Hedlund, G. (1986). The hypermodern MNC: A heterarchy? Human Resource Management, 25(1), pp. 9-35.

Khudair, A. & Bawden, D. (2007). Healthcare libraries in Saudi Arabia: Analysis and recommendations. Aslib Proceedings, 59(4-5), pp. 328-341.

Kogut, B. & Zander, U. (1992). Knowledge of the firm, combinative capabilities and the replication of technology. Organization Science, 3(3), pp. 383-396.

Lee, K. & Yu, K. (2004). Corporate culture and organizational performance. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 19(4), pp. 340-359.

Mayfield, R. D. (2008). Organizational culture and knowledge management in the electric power generation industry. University of Phoenix.

Moradi, E., Saba, A., Azimi, S., & Emami, R. (2012). The Relationship between Organizational Culture and Knowledge Management. International Journal of Innovative Ideas, 12 (3): 30-46

Ndela, L. T., & Toit, A. (2000). A Corporate Culture as a Foundation for Successful Knowledge Management. South African Journal of International Management, 1 (4): 1-9

Nonaka, I. & Takeuchi, H. (1995). The knowledge-creating company: How Japanese companies create the dynamics of innovation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Nonaka, I. (2007). The knowledge-creating company. Harvard Business Review, pp. 162-

171.

Øgaard, T., Larsen, S., & Marnburg, E. (2005).  Organizational Culture and Performance Evidence from the Fast Food Restaurant Industry. Food Service Technology. 5(1):23-34.

Rasula, J., Vuksic, V. B., & Stemberger, M. I. (2012). The Impact of Knowledge Management on Organisational Performance. Economic and Business Review, 14 (2): 147-168

Schein, E.H. (2010). Organizational Culture and Leadership. Vol. 2, Jossey-Bass

Tisen, R., Andriessen, D. & Lekan Deprez, F. (2006). The Knowledge Dividend: Creating High-Performance Companies through Value-Based Knowledge Management. Financial Times Prentice Hall.

Trompenaars, F. & Hampden-Turner, C. (1997). Riding the waves of culture: Understanding cultural diversity in business. London: Nicholas Brealey Publishing

Zhou, K. Z. & Li, C. B. (2012). How knowledge affects radical innovation: Knowledge base, market knowledge acquisition, and internal knowledge sharing. Strategic Management Journal, 33, pp. 1090-1102.