Archive for January, 2014

A deductive research project to assess why people in a town (population 30,000) partake in shoplifting.

January 31, 2014

Semester A Assessment

Not more than 1300 words.

 

 

Research Proposal

Module –Research methods in criminology.

Question-

A deductive research project to assess why people in a town (population 30,000) partake in shoplifting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. What is the subject of this research proposal?

 

The overall aim of the proposed research is to explore the reasons and factors of people’s participation in shoplifting. The research will be conducted in the framework of a town with the population of 30,000. The primary question of research must be formulated as follows: What are the main reasons why people take part in shoplifting? The secondary question of the proposed study must be expressed as follows: Are residents of a small town (population 30,000) less predisposed to shoplifting as compared to the residents of a big city?

 

  1. Please provide a full summary of research designs and methods that have been used by previous researchers in this type of research or for research with similar kinds of aims.

 

In their collaborative study of crimes, including shoplifting, in rural and small-town America, Weisheit et al (1995) utilize the following research designs and methods: a) literature review as a secondary data collection and analysis design; and b) interviews as either qualitative (unstructured) or quantitative (structured) primary data collection designs in terms of an exploratory study. In addition to this, the scholars make use of several research designs which help to measure the findings from literature review and interviews. They include: a) operational definitions; b) the intuitive or subjective approach; c) demographic statistics; d) occupational and economic measurement; e) measurement of self-identifications Weisheit et al (1995).

On the other hand, Clarke and Petrossian (2013) in their up-to-date publication on shoplifting utilize the following methods of research: a) observation (qualitative research method); b) categorization; c) case study; and d) literature review. Hence, it follows that both Weisheit et al (1995) and Clarke and Petrossian (2013) give priority to qualitative and theoretical data collection designs.

 

  1. What kinds of designs and methods are commonly considered to be suitable for research with similar purposes?

 

Primary data collection designs/methods and secondary data collection design methods, as well as qualitative research methods and quantitative research methods, are considered suitable for research with similar purposes. The fact is that the proposed research is directed at the study of the crime of shoplifting from a criminological perspective. According to Maxfield and Babbie (2007), the study of any crime may be conducted through the application of quantitative research methods to the same extent as qualitative research methods. Alternatively, a mixed research design may be utilized. Each design has its pros and cons. All the strengths and weaknesses of research designs and methods are going to be analyzed next.

 

  1. Please describe two different but possible types of research design that you have considered in depth for this research project.

 

The proposed study may be conducted either as a quantitative (fixed) research or qualitative (flexible) research. Robson (2002) writes that flexible and fixed research designs have intrinsic differences and carried out through discrepant research methods. According to the scholar, flexible research designs, also known as qualitative research, incorproate the plan of methodological procedures that can be changed or developed while the project is underway. By contrast, the projects using fixed research designs, also known as quantitative research, are totally pre-planned in detail.

According to Robson (2002), flexible designs are more general in initial planning than fixed designs. The author claims that flexible research designs accentuate on the scope of research, while the step of initial planning is reduced to the development of general research questions only.

This peculiarity of flexible research designs lies in the facts that the details and characteristics of such designs may change depending on the initial results. Also, Robson (2002) states that the most salient examples of flexible research designs are grounded theory or ethnographic studies. The above-mentioned types of research designs rest predominantly on the collection of qualitative data, irrespective of the fact that some quantitative data may also be gathered in the framework of flexible designs.

 

  1. Please provide a set of arguments for and against each of these designs.

 

Arguments for and against flexible research design. The main benefits of qualitative research are the following. First, qualitative research design may help to deduce a new theory concerning shoplifting in small towns. Second, one of the main advantages of doing qualitative research is to become more informed and experienced with the phenomenon in question (Trochim 2006). Third, qualitative research is likely to facilitate the in-depth study and clarification of what shoplifting truly is, and what innermost motives and incentives of shoplifters are. Fourth, Trochim (2006) writes that qualitative research methods are suitable for the investigation of complicated and sensitive problems (Gilbert 2008). Fifth, according to Blaxter, Hughes and Tight (2010), qualitative paradigm is largely based on ungeneralizable single case studies which takes into account the dynamic nature of the discussed phenomena and relies on grounded, discovery oriented, descriptive, exploratory, expansionist and deductive process.

The main shortcomings of flexible research design are the following. First, qualitative research designs are directed at profound knowledge by minimizing the use of individual facts, statistical trends and numerical data. Second, qualitative research can not show correlations between several individual cases of shoplifting. Third, the volume of data is time-consuming.

Arguments for and against fixed research design. The main advantages of quantitative research are the following. First, it is easy to compile the data onto a chart or graph. Second, the research can be conducted on a large scale and provide more information. Apart from the above, the main disadvantages of quantitative research are the following. First, it is more costly than qualitative research. Second, statistical information change often and, thus, it is sometimes difficult to ensure that the results are up-to-date.

 

  1. Please identify your preferred design, stating the reasons why you think it is the best available design.

 

Qualitative (flexible) research design with the methodology of field research (observation and unstructured interviews) was considered the most pertinent research design in the context of the proposed study (Hobbs and May 1993). This research design will help to approach the problem of shoplifting from the deductive perspective by having an idea of what to expect. This design will help to gather data in an attempt to plug that data into the bigger picture. Also, qualitative research will have to monitor all research behaviours, because it will produce field notes and observations of not only behaviours, but also motivation. The technique of field research will be used a composite research method in the framework of qualitative research design by combining the methods of observation and interviewing (Maxfield and Babbie 2007, p. 188; Noak and Wincup 2009). The key specificity of unstructured interviews lies in its independence from a predefined set of questions. Also, the method of unstructured interviewing does not have a fixed structure (Davis et al 2009).

On the other hand, the method of direct observations will reinforce interviewing. This type of observation is more directed at watching rather than acting, whereas the method of structured observations is emphasizes the collection and fixation of data by means of various highly structured forms with well-elaborated parameters. In terms of qualitative research, direct observation is more justifiable.

 

  1. Please describe, in detail, your plans for data collection

 

Unstructured interviewing will be carried out through the following sequential steps: : a) – statement of the research problem; b) – search and selection of the relevant interviewees; c) – making a start with some initial questions; d) – sustaining the course of the interview; e) – recording the data; f) – establishing relevant inferences.

The first step will be the employment of the negotiation techniques and tactics to introduce the problem statement and convince the perspective interviewees to participate in the process. The second step will be the search and invitation of the interviewees to participate in the interviewing. As the next step of the interviewing, brief statements about the purpose of the interviewing and the requirements to the interviewees will be made. Then, the interview was conducted according to the script.

Observation has not concrete steps.

 

  1. Please provide a flow-chart with associated dates for completing the proposed research.

 

Introduction

 

Literature Review

 

Methodology

 

Results and Discussion

 

Conclusions

December 2013

 

December 2013 – January 2014

 

January 2014

 

January – February 2014

 

February 2014

 

 

 

  1. Please supply a table which summarises the types and quantities of resources required for implementing the preferred research design.

Primary Data

In the framework of the proposed research, the sources of primary data are: a) opinions, thoughts, attitudes of respondents; b) legal documents; c) other primary documents.

 

 

Secondary Data

In the framework of the proposed research, the source secondary data are: a) academic publications; b) scientific reports; c) internet sources.

 

 

 

 

  1. Please identify the ethical issues raised by this proposal and say how you have resolved them or propose to do so.

 

Cohen et al (2007) identify the following ethical problems in social sciences research: a) informed consent; b) gaining access to and acceptance in the research setting; c) privacy matters; d) anonymity, confidentiality, betrayal, deception; e) code of practice for research; f) responsibilities to the research community, etc. (Cohen et al 2007, p. 51).

These issues will be eliminated through the following steps. First, official letter will be sent for the purpose of interviewing (Bryman 2012). Second, the formal access to the places of direct observation will be requested. Third, the interviewees will be informed about the nature of research and ensured that the information about them may be depersonalized.

 

 

WARNING – PLAGIARISM AND COLLUSION:

You are reminded that it is a breach of University Assessment regulations to copy or use another person’s work without proper acknowledgement. It is also an assessment offence for two or more students to present the same or substantially similar piece of work. Any student who is found to be in breach of assessment regulations will be subject to an appropriate penalty (ranging from failure of the relevant unit to expulsion from the University).

A breach of assessment regulations cannot be excused by ignorance or external pressures.

 

No part of your work, except where clearly quoted and referenced (ie: correct use of quotation marks and footnotes etc.), may be copied from material belonging to any other person. You should employ a consistent referencing system throughout your work. eg:

 

Books: author, title, place of publication, publisher and date

Articles: author, title, journal, volume, year and first and last page numbers

Edited works: author, title of chapter followed by “in” editor(s), name of the work, place of publication, publisher, date and first and last page numbers of the chapter

Quotations: require the above detail plus appropriate page numbers

 

 

This piece of coursework will be assessed by reference to the following criteria:

 

1. The extent of evidence of knowledge of research methods used in previous research of this type

 

2. Comprehensiveness and detail of coverage of each required element in the research proposal pro-forma

 

3. Clarity of understanding of key research terminology

 

4. Care in identification of potential research designs & appraisal of the cost-effectiveness of each design option

 

 

 

 

Cont/d.

This coursework assessment is designed to allow students to show how the following

learning outcomes have been achieved:

 

1. Skill in finding, understanding and assessing the utility of previous research

 

2. Understanding of how to develop and present a design for a criminological research project

 

3. Understanding of research methods effectiveness, broad cost and reliability

 

 

 

     

Instructions

 

Students are required to answer both of the following and produce a research proposal of 1,300 words in length

 

 

 

Topic 1

 

A deductive research project to assess why people in a town (population 30,000) partake in shoplifting.

 

 

 

 

Required Output:

 

A structured research proposal document using the supplied template, with the following elements:

 

  • A brief introduction which explains and clarifies the topic to be researched

  • A summary and evaluation of designs and methods used in previous research with similar objectives

  • A description of the range of possible research designs

  • A justification for and detailed description of the preferred design and related data collection methods

  • A flow-chart with associated dates for completing the proposed research

  • A detailed table summarising the resources that would be required for implementing the research design

 

 

 

 

 

ESSENTIAL READING.

BRYMAN,A.(2012 OR 2008) SOCIAL RESEARCH METHODS,OXFORD .OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS.

 

DAVIES,P.,FRANCIS,P., AND JUPP.(2007 OR 2010) DOING CRIMINOLOGICAL RESEARCH.LONDON.SAGE.

 

NOAKS,L., AND WINCUP.,E.(2009)CRIMINOLOGICAL RESEARCH:UNDERSTANDING QUALITATIVE METHODS,LONDON:SAGE

 

GILBERT,N.(2008) RESEARCHING SOCIAL LIFE,LONDON.SAGE.

 

HOBBS, D AND MAY,T (1993) INTERPRETING THE FIELD,OXFORD:OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS.

 

 

 

 

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Management Information System

January 31, 2014

 

 

 

Management Information System

 

 

Name:

 

Instructor:

 

Institution:

 

Date:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

Information systems/information technology has emerged as a significant part for most business firms in the contemporary business environment due to rapid technological development. Most departments in all sectors of companies are primarily reliant on information technology (IT) and information systems (IS) (Peppard, & Ward, 2004). With the emergence of IS/IT in business, companies everywhere are undergoing significant and rapid changes; thus IS/IT in business are evolving towards a strategic role with the potential of supporting, as well as, shaping new business strategies. Managing IS/IT strategically is a key to successful aspect in a dynamic business environment. Many business sectors have attempted to employ information management strategies as an effective approach for achieving successful business performance. Therefore, alignment of business or corporate strategy with the strategic choices of IS/IT are key area of concern for a high priority business management issues.

Question A: Importance of aligning the business company’s long term IMS

Aligning the business company’s long-term information management strategy with the overall corporate strategy is significant in an organization. One of the benefits of aligning long-term information management strategy with the overall corporate strategy of a business company is the achievement of a competitive advantage. Porter (2008) argues that developing a strategy that can enhance a company’s long-term profits is important and this is through analyzing the industry’s underlying structure in terms of the five forces. Apple Company is one of the companies that have sustained a competitive advantage in the global competitive market because of an effective alignment of their long-term management strategy with the overall corporate strategy. Apple has reinvented new products including iPhone products and iTune music apps; making it the most successful electronics company in the globe.

Another benefit is that the product management becomes stronger and this enables the company to stay ahead of their competitors in the contemporary business world (Dess, 2012). Apple Company has realized the significant of aligning their long-term information management strategy with their corporate strategy because of the need to make their product management stronger. An innovative way of managing product portfolios and making product management stronger is through aligning long-term information management strategy with the corporate strategy. This does not only help the company to manage their products portfolios, but it helps companies stay ahead of change. Apple Company introduced iPhone in the market and this enabled them to grab a huge share of the burgeoning consumer market because of employing effective long-term information management strategy. This enabled them to increase sales and their brand products became stronger due to effective alignment of their information management strategy with the corporate strategy. Therefore, the company has continued to remain competitive in the market and this has enabled them to thrive successful in the competitive business environment.

Another significant aspect is improving the company’s bottom line. Apple Company has dominated the portable media industry since the introduction of innovative products in the market such as iPod, iPhone, iPad and other new products. This is because of effective aligning of the long-term information management strategy with the corporate strategy; hence enabling the company to improve their bottom line. Dess (2012) argues that automating the performance management process of the company can offer huge returns for the company and generate high revenues through employee productivity, improved employee retention and compensation optimization (Ward and Peppard, 2002). The automation can bring about dramatic cost savings and increase-operating margins through improved productivity. This contributes to better organizational performance and improves the company’s bottom line in case the company aligns their long-term information management strategy with its overall corporate strategy.

It is important to align the information management strategy of the business with the corporate strategy because this helps the company to transform information into usable form for coordinating with the workflow within the company, and helps in decision making, as well as, solving other organizational problems. The information system alignment is crucial because it helps a company in implementing information system and integrates it with its business strategy; hence, creating a competitive advantage (Issa-Salwe, Ahmed, Aloufi and Kabir, 2010). For instance, IS/IT based applications in Apple Company has enabled them to create a competitive advantage based on the generic strategies of product differentiation, cost leadership and market focus. Managers employ IS because this system play significant role in the contemporary business environment. The IS can affect the way manager make decisions, plan and manage their resources. In the current business world, there is an increasing interdependence between corporate strategy and IS/IT of a company (Issa-Salwe, Ahmed, Aloufi and Kabir, 2010). Therefore, information management strategy is crucial for managers because this can enable the company to survive and prosper in the modern competitive business world.

Question B: Analysis of the IS/IT systems of a typical high street estate agent

There has been a little innovation in traditional high street agency in the past decade. The research survey conducted reveals that the competitive pressure on fees will increase substantially for a typical high street estate agent. From the research survey, the estimate for average estate agency will fall to about percent by 2013 and then to converge at the prevailing online agency rate of about 0.5 percent by the year 2018 (BrightSale Research, 2008). The study indicates that the competitive cost will be driven by high competition from online estate agents (Titley, Goodyer, Edwards, Craig and Birkett, 2012). The research survey conducted revealed that the online estate agency started to gain significant market share in the UK and the shares grew rapidly to 2013 as the traditional agents refuse to abandon their established business model (Titley et-al, 2012). The research analysis conducted by use of questionnaires, and sampling surveys indicated that online estate agents are gaining market share at a rapid rate, as consumers awaken up to the benefits of the service. Online estate agency has now become a realistic alternative and this is because of increased technology advancement.

The research study indicates that the latest IT technologies can further improve the efficiency and economic performance of the company through responding to rapid technological changes. The ability of a nation to respond to speedy technological change considerably depends on the availability of the right set of skills, investment markets and conducive to novelty, as well as, receptive to innovative or new technological changes. The United States is one of the economies that have well-functioning products and capital markets. Many OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) governments are taking steps to adjust their policies to the growing significant of technology and innovation. The role of networking is increasingly recognized and funding of R&D is linked to collaboration in research. This is vital because it enables organizations to adjust effectively to the changing technology; hence improving the efficiency and increasing economic performance.

Using IS/IT systems require an effective understanding of the company, management, and technology that shapes the system. This is imperative because it can contribute to the improvement of the efficiency and economic performance of the company. As the IT technologies are developing enormously, so are the opportunities in an effective manner to prepare the organisation in the competitive advantage environment (Issa-Salwe, Ahmed, Aloufi and Kabir, 2010). Therefore, in order to achieve efficiency and economic performance, it is imperative to have appropriate strategy that defines the IT systems and offer means for managing the strategic information systems alignment. Moreover, management needs to recognize the evaluation management techniques that are in place for strategic information systems alignment to be realistic (Sarngadharan and Minimol, 2010). This is imperative because it can enable companies to manage the latest IT technologies efficiently thereby improving the efficiency and economic performance of the company.

The latest IT technologies can improve the efficiency and economic performance of high street agency in case there is an effective allocation of IT resource. A key to successful IS/IT performance in a company is the optimal investment, use, and allocation of IT resources such as applications, people, facilities, and technology in servicing the needs of the business (Issa-Salwe, Ahmed, Aloufi and Kabir, 2010). The business can achieve successful business performance because of effective allocation of IT resources and this should align with their long-term information management strategy. Companies need to address appropriate investments in IT infrastructures and capabilities, as well as, align them with their long-tem information management strategy. Managing IT assets is complex because they keep changing continuously because of the nature of technology and changing business requirements. Therefore, effective management of the human resources and lifecycle of products is a critical success factors in managing changes and optimizing the IT database. This will not only enable the company to achieve effective business performance but also sustain their business advantage in the ever competitive and ever-changing business environment.

Question C: Proposal of a new structure of the computer system for Apple Company

One of the ways that high street agent can manage their database system is by using management information system because this are computer systems employed for managing information, tracking inventory, payroll data and billing, as well as, sales data. However, the company can use database management system and this is through building effective tools for database and system software management. In most cases, many companies use oracle database because this is an effective database management system used for official support and other related office issues (Sarngadharan and Minimol, 2010). The data captured in this system offers a synopsis of the database environment intended for trouble-shooting and analytical aspects (Stallings, 2000). Oracle database can enable the company to collect data and treat it as a unit. The aim of using databases it to store and retrieve related organization data for future references. The use of database server will enable the company to solve issues of information management. This is because the server can enable the company to manage the large amount of organizational data in a multiuser business environment and enable multiple users to access the same information at the same time. This is vital because it can deliver high performance and offer efficiency solutions to data failure because a database server prevents unauthorized access to information.

Customers rule the business and it is complex to envisage the customer behavior in a competitive business environment (Ward and Peppard, 2002). This is because the changes in demand take places with growth and technology chnges; thus, companies need to make changes to business orientation to suit the changes in the consumer demand. High street estate agent should make effective managerial decisions and use data efficiently in order to generate information for improving the customer services. Therefore, one way through which the company can use data to generate information for improving customer services is through use of cloud computing. Cloud computing is an effective model being employed in many business companies because it offers a broad network access to computing resources without the hassle of owning and maintaining them (National Computing Centre Limited, 2005). Moreover, cloud computing enable the company to manage resources and by using hardware virtualization, as well as, autonomic computing technologies, the consumers sees one homogenous and unlimited supply of computer resources.

Moreover, consumers can work at the infrastructure level and manage operating systems on virtualized hardware at platform level using operating system. This can enable the company to generate information, which they can use in improving customer services efficiently. Cloud computing offer metered usage of the resources in order to enable consumers pay only for the services they use (Stallings, 2000). The company can deploy publicly cloud computing in a multi-tenancy model because this can enable them to improve customer services. For instance, large IT vendors have nowadays realized the significant of using new technology for the purpose of improving customer services and increasing organizational profitability. Therefore, the use of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) can help the consumer and the provider to generate information that will help in making significant changes in an organization.

Question D: Management of introduction system in the new system

Several issues are likely to result during the management process of the new IS/IT system in an organization. One of the anticipated issues is that the new IT system would have a profound impact on the organizational structure and function internally. When information is distributed effectively to different organizational structure, line of control and influence becomes clearer and individual units in the organization may self-organize in new or effective ways. In this case, the organizational impact may be complex not only creating destruction the structure and function of the organization but also altering the skill mix of workforces. The evidence indicates that new IT system may reduce the set of skills required by an employee thereby contributing to significant changes in an organization.

Another anticipated issue that might result is the profound changes in the nature and structure of different functional departments. These changes can create profound impact in the effective organizational performance of the company and ultimately the delivery of customer services. The new IT system might also affect the nature of customer service research by allowing individual research operations within a particular organizational structure and this might create complex issues (Bodker, Kensing, & Simonsen, 2004). The changes might results as the organization may begin to experiment with new IT systems to serve a wide range of organizational functions. This will eventually create an impact on investments in new IT systems a problem, which will also contribute to effective organizational performance.

One of the effective ways of solving the above issues is through enrolling for training programs in order to improve skills vital for managing the new IT system. Training is an effective ways that can enable managers or workforces to acquire new skills or improve their skills. This will contribute to effective acquisition of knowledge vital for managing new information system in a company with different functional departments. Training is imperative because it enables one to develop deeper understanding and knowledge of managing information systems in the ever-changing technological business world. It can also enable one to understand the consumer preferences and choices, as well as, help one to apply new skills in the workplace. This is imperative because it contributes to increased organizational performance in the company.

The other effective ways of resolving issues arising from the introduction of new IT system is working together as a team and establishing clear communications across the organization departments. Teamwork is one of the effective ways for creating successful business performance. The success of effective performance management systems requires resources and adequate time; thus, the support of the board, senior managers, employees and other team members is crucial. Therefore, the specialist can develop a new performance management process by working together as a team in order to create successful organizational performance. Moreover, establishing clear communication across the organizational department is imperative in the ever-changing business world. Clear communications across the different functional departments is an effective way that can enable the specialist to manage the internal data sharing efficiently.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Bodker, K., Kensing, F., & Simonsen, J. (2004). Participatory IT design: Designing for Business

And Workplace Realities. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

BrightSale Research. (2008). Is there a Future for High Street Estate Agency? BrightSale

Research Department. [Online] Available from http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&ved= 0CEQQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.housepricecrash.co.uk%2Fpdf%2Fis-there-a- future-for-high-street-estate- agency.pdf&ei=ZrTCUszjMcyT0QXZjIGwDw&usg=AFQjCNGuiPrd4Oe-bt- 1GoC4iVfxNw8r2A&sig2=sluyB1YmrmaDIVi9woysmg [Accessed on 31st December 2013].

Dess, G. G. (2012). Strategic Management: Text and Cases. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Issa-Salwe, A., Ahmed, M., Aloufi, K., & Kabir, M. (2010). Strategic Information Systems

Alignment: Alignment of IS/IT with Business Strategy. Journal of Information Processing Systems, 6, 1, 121-128. Retrieved on December 31st, 2013 from http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&ved= 0CEIQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.researchgate.net%2Fpublication%2F2206357 37_Strategic_Information_Systems_Alignment_Alignment_of_ISIT_with_Business_Stra tegy%2Ffile%2F79e41513d69426f770.pdf&ei=cYnCUtauFMKmyAOExoFo&usg=AFQ jCNGK4B-vT1BuM7EEZfa3tyjo8VnTjQ&sig2=VfyztfLIX7MlA_q9faLbbw

National Computing Centre Limited. (2005). IT governance: Developing a Successful

Governance Strategy: A Best Practice Guide For Decision Makers In IT. Manchester: National Computing Centre. Retrieved on December 31st, 2013 from

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCsQFj AA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.isaca.org%2FCertification%2FCGEIT-Certified-in-the- Governance-of-Enterprise-IT%2FPrepare-for-the-Exam%2FStudy- Materials%2FDocuments%2FDeveloping-a-Successful-Governance- Strategy.pdf&ei=pYvCUo6oA4OZyAOmnYHIBw&usg=AFQjCNG2DcpYuVTw4krRx EJKl9JBuzuG2Q&sig2=_y0uWF1DSBIrBRZ79DNJeg. [Accessed in 31 December 2013].

Porter, M. (2008). The Five Competitive Forces That Shape Strategy. Harvard Business Review.

[Online] Available from

http://hbr.org/2008/01/the-five-competitive-forces-that-shape-strategy/. [Accessed on 31 December 2013].

Peppard, J., & Ward, J. (2004). Beyond Strategic Information Systems: Towards an IS

Capability. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 13, 2, 167-194.

Sarngadharan, M., & Minimol, M. C. (2010). Management Information System. Mumbai [India:

Himalaya Pub. House.

Stallings, W. (2000). Data and Computer Communications. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Prentice

Hall.

Titley, C, Goodyer, J, Edwards, C, Craig, F. & Birkett, D. (2012). Future of the High Street.

Engineering and Technology Magazine.Retrieved on December 31st, 2013 from

http://eandt.theiet.org/magazine/2012/05/future-high-street.cfm

Ward, J., & Peppard, J. (2002). Strategic Planning For Information Systems. Chichester, West

Sussex, England: J. Wiley.

NFORMATION SECURITY

January 31, 2014

 

Information Security

 

Name

 

University

 

Course

 

Tutor

 

 

1Introduction

According to Jacobs (2011), information security is the practice dealing with the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information systems. If an information system is accessed for in any unauthorized, unwanted, unwarranted and malevolent intention, then the security of information in that system is compromised. Information security is a general term that refers to the confidentiality, integrity and availability (CIA) of information systems whether they take an electronic or physical form. The two major aspects of information security include IT security and information assurance. IT security is responsible for keeping IT assets safe from malicious attacks and any unauthorized attempts to access information.

On the other hand, information assurance ensures that even when attacks occur, the data in information systems can be recovered. Information security threats occur when there a possibility of taking advantage of vulnerability in an information system. For a security breach to occur there must be vulnerability (susceptibility), access to the vulnerability and actual execution of an attack. There are several threats that face information systems today. Since the internet revolution, the amount of personal and business data stored in information systems has greatly increased. A corresponding increase in threats has also been experienced as criminals attempt to breach information systems for their gain. The purpose of this paper is to discuss modern information security threats. An insightful summary of at least ten threats will be given to show the several threats that exist today.

2Body

In IT security, a threat refers to possible danger that exploits vulnerabilities in an information system intentionally or unintentionally. Chou (2011) noted that in example of an intentional threat, a hacker may compromise a computer system and delete or modify files. In an unintentional threat, a computer may malfunction and lead to equipment or networks malfunction. In this section we shall look at the major threats to information security today.

2.1Information Security Threats

2.1.1Computer Viruses

For the past 10 years, computer viruses have been the most common and popular types of information security threats. A virus may contain malicious code that is aimed at breaching information security in a several ways. Vacca (2012) noted that a virus may contain malicious code that deletes files, modifies files, alters computer operation or destroys your operating system. Computer viruses may differ in their design, deployment and malicious action. Some viruses are spread via email, disks, websites and chat technologies.

One key characteristic of a virus is the ability of the code to replicate and execute itself. Viruses are designed to self-replicate within host computer and execute once it is copied into the computer. Therefore, deleting the virus may not help the computer since the malicious code can replicate itself. Kissel (2011) noted that another characteristic of a virus is that it alters files in a computer with neither the knowledge nor the permission of the owner. They are designed to access information systems silently and cause damage without detection. However, the installation of a powerful antivirus can protect information systems from virus attacks since such programs are designed to locate and delete viruses.

The popularity of viruses is reducing due to the evolution of stronger programs or code called malware. Malware (Malicious Software) is used to gain illegal access to information systems, collect critical information and hamper computer operations. The evolution of malware shows a move from simple computer programs or pieces of code used for simpler functions such as revenge attacks, annoyance and disruption to more sophisticated and well-orchestrated attacks using specialized software implemented through scripts, code or active content.

Malware may include ransomware, dialers, adware and rootkits. Attackers use malware to conduct coordinated attacks which can sometimes be conducted for financial gain. For example, ransomware can lock information systems and demand ransom to unlock the affected systems on payment of requested sums. In addition, malware can be used to disrupt the operations of financial institutions to cause great loss and panic.

2.1.2Adware and Advertising Trojans

Kees & Andre (2010) noted that the internet revolution has led to an internet marketing phenomenon that is characterized by millions of adverts on the internet. Developers usually use search engine optimization tools to enhance the visibility of these adverts in many websites. Within such technologies, programs, scripts and malicious code that can record consumer behavior can be embedded to increase the effectiveness of online advertising. The advertising companies may track consumer behavior so that they can decide the best adverts to send to such customers.

In addition, the adware can download code into your computer that records your activity and sends information to an advertiser’s server. Such programs can have access to your computer microphone and camera which can be used for malicious activities. Even though most adware does not contain viruses, it can use computer resources to slow down your internet connection while displaying the adverts. In extreme cases, these advertising Trojans can be used for malicious purposes if they are deployed to copy your files, modify documents and turn on recording devices such as the computer camera or audio device to record your activities.

Vacca (2012) noted that even though these programs can hamper the operation of your device, the main concern is privacy. The adware and advertising Trojans record every activity of the user and send it to a management center where a user profile is built to help send targeted adverts to your web searches and websites accessed on your device.

2.1.3Social Engineering

Social engineering involves tricking computer users to reveal their private information which can be used for illegal access to a system. Today, vast amounts of personal data are shared on online platforms since people have become confident with online platforms as secure repositories for their information. For example, many people share their information in social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook. Here, individuals have come to accept these websites as safe platforms where they can share information. When passwords, email addresses and PINs are shared by trusting users to unknown people, there is a risk that they can be used for illegal access. Here, several techniques can trick users into sharing their personal information. Sometimes, a user is presented with an application log-in where email address and password is required. Such websites can save your log-in credentials.

Social engineering has also been used in the business circles to trick trusting employees to share confidential information. A typical social engineering attack can be perpetrated in an attacker gains illegal access to a manager’s email account and uses that account to ask trusting employees to share critical information. Here, the attackers prey on the trust that employees have for their seniors to ensure that they share information. Social engineering attacks have been on the rise in the recent past; it is expected that the rising use of social medial platforms and electronic communication in business circles will lead to an increase in threats through social engineering.

2.1.4Phishing Threats

Phishing attacks involve masquerading as a trustworthy person or business partner to the victim of the attack. Vacca (2012) noted that phishers may attempt to steal personal and financial information using instant messages and emails. In a specific phishing attack called “the viral” website, a website is used to entice users to visit platforms that contain Trojans and malware. Some of this websites may look like some common websites; they may even have a similar URL as the website being imitated.

When users visit such websites, they unknowingly download viruses that can lay ground for an attack by providing the attacker information that is useful when attacking your computer. Kees & Andre (2010) noted that other cases of phishing attacks using the “viral” website may involve an imitation of a popular website where users are prompted to enter their authentication details into the fake website. Once entered, your authentication details are logged and used to access your account in the popular website.

2.1.5Spyware

Spyware is a serious information security threat due to the privacy issues that arise from the use of spyware to illegally monitor and eavesdrop. Vacca (2012) noted that spyware is any computer program that can monitor your online activities or install software on your local computer to capture and record personal information. Today, there exists software that to monitor online activity. For example, software can monitor your online searches, favorite websites and social media activity.

The information collected by spyware on your online activity can create a profile depending on the intention of the attackers. In other extreme cases of information security, spyware can be used to install programs that activate audio and video devices on your computer to record sound and video. Such programs take control of your laptop camera and audio device and record sound or video which captures your activities. Here, if a person is connected to the internet, spyware can transmit live video and audio that shows your current activities.

2.1.6SQL Injection

Bidgoli (2006) noted that the information security threats associated with SQL injection may not affect users directly. These types of attacks are used to attack websites and access information stored in the database. Attackers use such techniques to compromise enterprise information systems to access sensitive customer data such as bank accounts, PIN and social security numbers.

Therefore, even though this method is not used to directly access a user’s computer, it may be used to steal critical information regarding customers in enterprise information systems. Cavelty (2007) noted that successful compromise of information systems using SQL injected may lead to losses when financial information systems such as banks, mobile money transfer platforms and online payment solution providers are attacked.

2.1.7Cyber terrorism

This is one of the most recent threats to information security. Kees & Andre (2010) noted that cyber terrorists can use internet based attacks to further their agenda. The cyber terrorists may use attacks for the deliberate or intentional disruption of telecom networks, computer networks and other computer systems set up during major events.

Since modern individuals and organizations are highly reliant on information systems for the completion of activities and tasks, the widespread disruption of information systems by terrorists would cause panic which would serve the interests of terrorist groups. Cyber terrorism is a relatively new type of information security threat; authorities have emphasized on the prevention of such attacks since they would greatly hamper economic activity through the compromise of critical infrastructure.

2.1.8Cloud Computing Security Threats

According to Guardian (2013), cloud computing systems are faced by several information security threats. Since volumes of personal and corporate information are stored in cloud computing platforms for owners, incidents of hacking cloud infrastructure are on the rise. It is estimated that in future, more security incidents in cloud computing will arise. This is because the cloud provides a single repository of information for individuals and businesses.

Such a repository is vulnerable to many types of attacks since many hackers attempting to compromise information assets of different organizations will target the cloud since the data for such organizations is centrally stored. The cloud creates a central target of attacks since information from different sources is stored in one platform.

2.1.9Key loggers

A key logger is device or computer program that keeps records of all the key strokes that are made on the key board by the user. Key loggers are used in recording important information such as passwords, PINs and other authentication data. The key loggers eavesdrop on the user and sends information to the attacker. The attackers use your information to access your information later since sensitive information such as PIN and passwords have are already in their hands.

According to Kees & Andre (2010), key loggers require advanced devices or programs to record and transmit your key strokes. Sometimes, such devices can be installed on your personal computer in your absence. In addition, the user has no way of telling whether the key strokes being entered are being recorded and transmitted.

2.1.10Online Cookies

A website cookie is a piece of code or script that is stored in a user’s computer by a website. Each time the user accesses the same website; the cookie communicates with the server and updates the user’s activities. Initially, cookies were developed to ensure that websites have memory of information such as the items selected by a user into a shopping cart. However, their use has evolved since they can now be used to carry viruses and record the browsing history of users.

Cookies lead to privacy concerns since they can deploy adware which logs the activities of users. The information collected by cookies may include internet searches, browsing history, shopping lists and favorite websites. If such information is accessed illegally with malevolent intention, the privacy of information systems and individual works stations is compromised.

3Conclusion

Information security is concerned with guaranteeing the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information. If information is accessed illegally, then the security of such platforms is deemed to have been compromised. There are several threats to information security today; viruses, SQL injection, cookies, cloud security, adware, spyware, key loggers, social engineering, phishing and cyber terrorism are some of the major information security threats today.

With the increasing use of information systems to complete daily activities at home and at work, the threats to information security may increase as attackers look for different technologies and loopholes that can gain illegal access to information systems. It is therefore advisable for individuals and organizations to remain vigilant ant take all available technological measures to eliminate information security threats.

 

4References

Bertino, E. (2012). Data Protection from Insider Threats. Morgan & Claypool Publishers.

Bidgoli, H. (2006). Handbook of Information Security, Threats, Vulnerabilities, Prevention, Detection, and Management. John Wiley & Sons.

Cavelty, M. D. (2007). Cyber-Security and Threat Politics: Us Efforts to Secure the Information Age. Routledge.

Chou, T.-S. (2011). Information Assurance and Security Technologies for Risk Assessment and Threat Management: Advances. Idea Group Inc (IGI).

Ec-Council. (2010). Penetration Testing: Network Threat Testing: Network Threat Testing. Cengage Learning.

Erbschloe, M. (2004). Trojans, Worms, and Spyware: A Computer Security Professional’s Guide to Malicious Code. Butterworth-Heinemann.

Guardian. (2013). 2013 Information Security Threat Predictions: Cyber War, Cloud and BYOD. Retrieved 11 23, 2013, from http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/partner-zone-infosecurity/2013-information-security-threat-predictions

Harkins, M. (2012). Managing Risk and Information Security: Protect to Enable. Apress.

Harold, F. T., & Micki, K. N. (2012). Information Security Management Handbook, Sixth Edition, Volume 6. CRC Press.

Jacobs, S. (2011). Engineering Information Security: The Application of Systems Engineering Concepts to Achieve Information Assurance. John Wiley & Sons.

Kees, H., & Andre, S. (2010). Foundations of Information Security: Based on ISO27001 and ISO27002. Van Haren Publishing.

Kissel, R. (2011). Glossary of Key Information Security Terms. DIANE Publishing.

Michael, E. W., & Herbert, J. M. (2011). Roadmap to Information Security: For IT and Infosec Managers: For IT and InfoSec Managers. Cengage Learning.

Park, J. H. (2009). Advances in Information Security and Its Application. Springer.

Vacca, J. R. (2012). Computer and Information Security Handbook. Newnes.

William, C. B., & Gerald, L. K. (2000). Netspionage: The Global Threat to Information. Butterworth-Heinemann.

 

 

Weaknesses in both Global Tax Laws and Regulation of MNEs

January 28, 2014

Part 1

Introduction

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published a report to address disreputable Loss and Profit Fluctuation. This report was to respond the above concern by multinational corporations (MNCs). The OECD report recognizes that the existing global tax system has not provided consistent advances in the business environment . This provides MNCs with sufficient chances to adventure in the legal ambiguities and hence benefit from the tax free earnings. The implementation of profit-shifting strategies by MNCs is one of the main causes of base erosion. This work examines the concept of how the multinational companies avoid taxation, its effects and the implication of global law and policies. In the view of OECD, the current condition is a subject to examination of the essentials of the global tax system. This will incorporate deviations to the present global tax laws that will monitor the operations of MNCs. When this is done, MNCs will have to report their profits and pay their taxes in the places where their economic activities and ventures are located. The resulting success is appropriate taxation of MNCs that will lead to a reasonable world tax system .

Taxes avoidance approaches have been embraced by MNCs in industrialized countries. By this, MNCs use numerous tactics to transfer revenue from high-tax to low-tax countries. These strategies include the alteration of intra-firm transfer prices, the company debt-equity structure and the premeditated location of assets as well as overhead costs. The evidence for less industrialized countries is limited . This is significant due to insufficient reliable and consistent data by researchers. The present global financial downturn and the related policies for economic union have raised an issue for the developed countries in avoiding and evading tax. However, the possible significant of the effects are in the developing economies. According to tax revenues in OECD countries, the developing countries get the least. The total tax raised by these countries indicates that the governments cannot acquire financial resources required to assure the citizens’ access to vital services, such as education, clean water and sanitation. Moreover, low tax revenues suggest the necessity for governments to increase debt and aid levels. This in turn questions liability of creditors and donors .

Raising of low tax revenues in developing countries is caused by various factors. The huge informal sectors and high poverty levels lead to subsequent incapacity of minor citizens to pay taxes. The identified reasons are tied with the presence of weak institutional ability to develop the tax source and implement taxpayers’ compliance . The implications of these reasons are significant to the government due to the existence of the shadow economy. This OECD warrants that tax havens have been amalgamated into essential elements of the organizations and approaches related to tax avoidance and evasion practices. MNCs have finance secrecy where there is limited tax information exchange with other authorities and cover the beneficial ownership. This facilitates evasion and avoidance of tax practices thus permitting the taxpayer to hide from tax authorities in a different place. The combined low tax rates and secrecy increase the capability of tax havens to encourage foreign capital easy to movement between countries. This becomes clear by looking into the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) figures .

The rules to achieve low or no-taxation in relation to financing

Company based in high tax authority accomplishes an operation of tax rate on the income established by providing credits through a remote branch that is subject to a low-tax government. This obliges that the country in which the main offices are located to function as an exception system for remote branches. The low-tax in the branch is achieved where the country of the branch charges a low tax rate on the income as compared to the country of the head office. Hybrid entity is one that is preserved as taxable to person in one country and not in another country. For example, in the other country the profits or losses of the entity are taxed at the level of the members . This disparity in management allows the group to claim a deduction in Country B for a payment that is not taxed in Country A.

Several derivative tools are used to diminish taxes on cross-border payments. For example, derivative fees or interest rate changeovers economically substitute interest payments and thus avoid suppressing tax at source. Many company tax structures emphasizes on assigning significant risks to low-tax authorities, where their returns benefits are promising to the government . This provision contributes to BEPS due to shifting income through transfer pricing arrangements. The price transfer rules regard the designation of assets and risks within a group and are realistic on an entity-by-entity basis. The measures concerning to risk shifting contributes to various issues of transfer pricing. In addition, it is not easy to determine if the payment should be made between members when risk shifting the price

Given that tax laws differ across jurisdictions, can be elucidated by dissimilar legal traditions. This leaves the decision of determination to domestic, as well as treaty based anti-avoidance regulations that make up the benchmark in deciding whether a particular tax strategy should be put into place. The decision is based on shifting of the tax burden to the side of the taxpayer which is dictated by the tax authorities from different countries . However, tax avoidance policies on different jurisdiction tend to protect these companies with the notion that they contribute to economic growth and development of host countries. The ongoing discussions on whether MNCs should pay taxes call for change of strategies in the application of anti-avoidance rules. For instance, the existing rules may be altered to favor tax avoidance on multinational companies.

A significant examination in matters relating to the tax structure of the corporation is that it encompasses interplay of numerous practices and standards that results to the occurrence of BEPs (Base Erosion and Profit shifting). The policy of excluding tax rules of taxation in one country in reference to the territorial tax rules of different country, as well as entity characterization taxation rules in a third country makes it possible for certain transactions to occur. However, these transactions may facilitate the emergence of a tax system that impacts on shifting revenue to jurisdictions where there are no compulsory taxes. Moreover, relevant structures need to be put in place and which directly touch on BEPs where numerous harmonize strategies should be developed. Some of these strategies include reduction of taxation in the source country through shifting of gross profit using trade structures. Similarly, a no taxation strategy should be implemented on the recipient, and this can be attained through arrangements on hybrid mismatch or preferential regimes.

The analysis of BEPs needs to take into consideration various taxation elements that target on limiting tax avoidance on multinational enterprises. Therefore, there is a need to restructure the tax systems in favor of local companies that are not meant to shift the tax burden to taxpayers and domestic companies. One of the major issues of multinational companies is that there is a tendency of taking back profits to mother countries. Hence, the per-capita income of individuals in these countries is affected by the imposition of fiscal policies that are aimed at increasing the amount of taxes to fund the government spending . This implies that the based erosion and profit shifting (BEPs) may have a tendency of manipulating existing tax systems in both the host and parent countries .

Conclusion

The link between MNCs to tax havens engross in profit shifting largely than those MNCs with no tax haven links. This approves the fact that when companies have tax haven associations, they face higher encouragements due to the low tax rates in tax havens and opportunities generated by the secrecy provisions the tax havens offer to shift revenue. The various different reasons to profit shifting and antagonistic tax arrangement also influence the low taxes. The OECD in its recent report indicates that profit shifting to low tax authorities is one of the chief cause for base erosion. This implies that the existing regulations on transfer prices and measures might affect the tax evasion caused by company’s profit shifting. This MNCs practices to shift profits in order reduce the tax revenues collected by governments. In those countries where collected taxes are very low, the revenue predetermined seriously destabilizes the efforts to reduce poverty and capitalize in human development.

OECD states that, the present global tax system is not favorable to the business environment. One of the key complications relates to the fact that the diverse distinct legal entities that form an MNC are still viewed from a tax perception as if they were sovereign. This is not the case as reality shows that these different legal entities follow an overall business procedures, and their management and recording structures have relations that exceeds the nationwide boundaries. OECD acknowledges that each country should tax a reasonable share of the profits made by MNCs operating in its region.

There is a need to treat MNCs as what they really are where multifaceted structures are bound together by consolidated management. This will ensure that MNCs pay their taxes where their economic activities and asset are really located, rather than in authorities where the existence of the MNCs is sometimes untrue, and tax avoidance approaches are common. Through OECD towards BEPS report, the United Nations Tax Committee should discover the extent evolution is towards a common taxation with profit distribution. The unitary approach to the taxation of MNCs will fairly reflect how MNCs currently operate and lead to a more transparent and easy-to-administer system.

 

Part 2

Question 1

International foreign direct investment (IFDI) is the process by which one country invests in the economy of another country. These investments are in the form of either goods or services. IFDI may cause the investing country to have influence over the politics within the host country as the result of giving them too much power. The IFDI are thus able to influence the economy and the labour market in such a method that lots of countries try to set this kind of investments .

Benefits and costs resulting from FDI

Benefits of FDI

FDI raises the Level of foreign investment in the country. Foreign direct investment bridge the gap between preferred investment and nearby mobilized savings. The local capital markets are normally not well developed. They cannot, therefore, meet the capital requirements for bulky investment venture. FDI solves these problems at once as it provides a direct source of external capital. It fills the gap linking preferred foreign exchange supplies and those resulting from net export earnings.

FDI has helped in improvement of technology of the host country. Foreign investment brings with it technological knowledge while transferring equipment and machinery especially to developing countries. This is because the majority of production units in less developed countries use outdated machineries and equipment. This reduces the amount of output and techniques that can trim down the productivity of workers and lead to the production of goods of a lower quality.

FDI has greatly acted as resilient factor during countries financial crisis. For example, in parts of East Asian countries such foreign direct investment was extremely stable during the global financial crisis of 1997-98. In comparing with the other forms of private capital flows like portfolio equity debt flows were subject to large reversals during the same crisis. Furthermore, similar trends were observed in Mexico in, 1994-95 and Latin America, in the 1980. FDI is less prone to financial crises because direct investors typically have an extended perspective in their view when engaging with the host country. Moreover, apart from risk sharing on properties, it is broadly alleged that FDI have improved stimulus to economic growth in the host countries than any other types of capital inflows in the country. FDI provides more than just capital in that it provides ways of access to internationally available technologies and management advancement .

FDI results to increased export competitiveness in the global market. FDI helps the country develop its export performance. The FDI increases efficiency and product quality; FDI makes a supportive impact on the country’s export competitiveness. Furthermore, as the result of the international link of MNCs, FDI provides the country better access to foreign markets. Improved export possibility contributes to the enlargement of the host country economies by soothing demand side hindrance on growth. This is important for those countries which have a small domestic market and must increase exports vigorously to maintain their tempo of economic growth. A good example of a case study is an investment of phone services in several countries that included Brazil, Mexico and India where FDI in the industry that was previously controlled by the government dramatically reduced the cost of manufacturing and improved the after sale service. The introduction of competitiveness led to service improvement in the phone service industry .

FDI helps in the employment creation in the host countries. FDIcreates employment in the various sectors especially in developing countries. FDI trains employees in the course of operation of the investment undertaken which contributes to human capital improvement in the host country. The introduction of FDI in the host country reduces the level of unemployment as it uses some personnel’s from the countries for carrying out their business activities.

Cost of FDI

Before the adoption of FDI, the host government needs to be careful when making a decision concerning conditions and patterns of investment in the country. Inappropriate decision may result to adverse effects on FDI. Some of this cost of poor decision in adoption of FDI is discussed below.

The incorporation of Multi Nation Corporation (MNC) can result to social protest and disorder in the host country. The MNC exerting of too much power by acting as a monopoly in the provision of public goods e.g. electricity and water can result in protest and resentment by the citizens. This can directly result to hostility in the business environment, social disorder and even political instability. A case study that clearly reflects such a scenario happened in Cochabamba, Bolivia in 2000. This was when a local water service was undertaken over by Bechtel which is a conglomerate that led to doubling of prices. This lead to strike and transportation shut down in Cochabamba.

The introduction of FDI may damage the competition of the local industries. This is this primary disadvantage of FDI. The FDI possess technology, skills and capital that locals industries can’t match. The local industries are easily damaged, even driven out of the business and thus result to unemployment. However, competition from more efficient MNC is beneficial to the country as it improves the general productivity and helps the local industry to increase efficiency and modernization .

FDI can result to “decapitalization” as firms established under FDI repatriate earnings to their home country. These results to capital drain especially if the owned company is large. The effect of this is similar to the effect of foreign leaders refusing to have short term loans. The host country can be starved of capital and can result to worsen of economic conditions in the country . This acts as the primary risk of the country becoming too reliant on FDI.

Question 2

The above benefits and costs are usually determined by the level of development and growth of the country and firm. This is clearly shown in the above discussion as the benefits and cost cases that are used for illustration are mostly from developing countries that have not reached self actualization. The introduction of FDI has resulted to great development and economic growth in the host country. This is the case of developing countries .

The FDI is an important aspect for the transfer of technology and usually contribute more to growth and development of the domestic investment. The high productivity of FDI has the effect of increasing the overall investment of the country by providing complementary effect with domestic industry.

Majority of developing countries have eased restriction on FDI and have offered attractive subsidies and tax incentives to attract foreign capital. The rationale behind this is that FDI contributes to development and economic growth through stimulation of capital accumulation by the provision of positive externalities in the form of productivity spillovers to local industries.

The growth and development across the various developing nations is as the result of high concentration of FDI. In 2007, approximately more than half of the FDI to developing countries went to five countries: Russia, Mexico, Brazil, Turkey and China. Least developed economies that include most of the Africa has continued to receive relative little FDI. This tends to be shunned by MNCs by preferring to invest in the countries that are believed to be safe with political stability, education and infrastructure. This creates better working conditions on the MNCs. Low income countries are getting almost equal amount of FDI as the middle income countries. This was the scenario as Africa attracted more attention in the mid 2000 as demand for its commodities grew substantially in the boom period .

The developing countries aim at boosting their development and economic growth. The developing countries are marketing themselves outside their borders to encourage development and growth in the country. This is achieved through the introduction of stimulus that includes FDI. This helps in encouraging productivity gains through the introduction of new process, employees training, managerial skills and access of international markets. This perception has guaranteed solution to the accelerate development and growth of development in the developing country .

The macro studies conclude that FDI has a positive impact on development and growth of a country. The countries with higher levels of per capita income, higher degree of openness, better educated workers and well developed financial system have benefited developing countries significantly. A good example is a case study of Ghana which has attracted MNCs to invest in the country. Furthermore, foreign firms have provided a wide range of assistance to local suppliers of the country social benefits. The report indicates that there are tradeoffs between the costs and benefits incurred as the result of FDI. This indicates there is a need of cross examination of the country governance before acceptance of the investment by the multinational corporation.

 

 

 

References

Blaine, H. G., 2008. Foreign direct investment. New York: Nova Science Publishers.

Buckley, P. &. C. M., 2009. The internationalisation theory of the multinational enterprise: A review of the progress of a research agenda after 30 years. Journal of International Business Studies, Volume 40, pp. 1580-1593.

Busse, M. a. J. L. C., 2008. Foreign direct investment, regulations and growth. Washington, D.C.: World Bank, Development Research Group, Trade Team.

Büthe, T. a. H. V. M., 2008. The Politics Of Foreign Direct Investment Into Developing Countries: Increasing FDI Through International Trade Agreements?. American Journal of Political Science, 52(4), pp. 741-762.

Devereux, M. P. & Griffith, R., 2008. Evaluating Tax Policyvfor Location Decisions. International Tax and Public Finance, p. 107.

Egger, E. & Winner, 2010. Saving Taxes through Foreign Plant Ownership,. Journal of International Economics, pp. 99-108.

Jansky, P. & Prats, A., 2013. Multinational Corporations and the Profit-shifting lure of tax havens. Christian Aid Occasional paper Numbe.

Kapuria-Foreman, V., 2008. Economic Freedom And Foreign Direct Investment In Developing Countries. The Journal of Developing Areas, 41(1), pp. 143-154.

Langenmayr, D. & Bauer, C. J., 2013. Sorting out outsourcing: Are profits taxed at a gorilla’s arm’s length?. Journal of International Economics, pp. 326-336.

Li, Q., 2009. Democracy, Autocracy, and Expropriation of Foreign direct investment. Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 42(8), pp. 1098-1127.

Luo, Y. & H, Z., 2009. Doing business in a transitional society: Economic environment and relational political strategy for multinationals. Journal of International Management, 52(3), pp. 515-549.

OECD, 2013. Addressing base Erosion and Profit Shifting. OECD, Paris.

Simpson, H., 2008. How Do Firms’ Outward FDI Strategies Relate to theirActivity at Home? Empirical for the UK. Bristol: University of Bristol.

Verbeke, A. & Greidanus, N. S., 2009. The End of the Opportunism v trust debate: Bounded Rationality as a new Envelope in Research on MNE Governance. Journal of International Business Studies, pp. 1471-1495.

Voget, J., 2011. “Relocation of headquarters and international taxation,”. Journal of Public Economics, pp. 1067-1081.

 

 

Proposal

January 27, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proposal for a fundraiser

Name:

Institution:

Course:

Tutor:

Date:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proposal for a fundraiser

Introduction

On 30th May 2014, the Talents Finance Trust will be having a fundraising project. This is a proposal for raising funds for our organization that has the mandate of nurturing talents in our young children. The organization is holding her first fundraising ceremony this year. The idea behind fund raising came after the organization was challenged by the increasing number of children with distinguished talents who need the help of the organization. After approaching various individuals and organizations they proposed of having a fund raising ceremony. The amount of money estimated is $100,000 (Sargeant & Shang, 2010).

Background.

The proposal for the fundraiser is to help to contribute money that is intended to build the talent show hall. The hall will enable more kid to be able to come and participate in the talent nurturing program promoted by the organization. The most crucial reason behind our proposal is the increasing number of children who are living poor lives, though they have distinguished talents which only needed to be established, nurtured and developed. The fundraiser will make the mission of the organization “Talents for a bright future” be realized. The guidelines for the fundraising are documented and we have alleged to comply with them thorough a development committee that has been established (Sargeant & Shang, 2010).

Concept and Approach.

The fundraising is proposed to be conducted on the municipal council football ground on 30th May 2014. The ground is a neighborhood to the construction site that the talent show hall will be constructed. The events that will take place will involve the fifteen registered children who are beneficiaries of the program. They will participate in a football tournament with a neighboring under twelve football teams, have gymnastic demonstrations and singing competitions. The team has contributed $500 each for the fifteen registered children. The money will cater to the necessities that they require to have the field ready and buy small gifts to be sold all around the field (Sargeant & Shang, 2010).

The proposed fundraisers who are professionals in the field of art works and sports, families of the children, interested businessmen and college students who are great fans of football. They will participate by having to contest for the gifts bought by the kids and also actively contributing money by payment of gate pass fee. This will enable enough money to be collected for the construction of the talent show hall (Sargeant & Shang, 2010).

Benefits.

The proposed fund raiser will enable the organization to get money for the construction. Moreover, there will be added advantage of getting the organization a wider visibility in the society. More people in the society will get to know more about the undertakings of the organization which will make it earn more sponsorships and affiliated stakeholders (Sargeant & Shang, 2010).

The amount of money that has been budgeted for the event is feasible. The registered children are contributing each $500 which are catering for the making of the ground and buying some small gifts. Moreover, there has been some society members who have given free services in the attending of various obligations for the day. There are some well-wishers who have promised to aid with foodstuffs and water for the distinguished guest in the occasion. The municipal council has promised to give the ground toll for three days prior to the event. There is a challenge in the provision of chairs for the participants, we are requesting for donators to cut on the lending cost for the chairs (Sargeant & Shang, 2010).

Timeline.

There a number of things that have to go hand in hand if the proposal is approved. This is the proposed schedule for the various tasks and events.

Date

Event

Amount of time allocated in hours.

Venue.

25th  March 2014

Invitations for the guests. And sponsorship solicitation.

7

Their respective places

26th March 2014

Marketing, selling and publicity.

8

Use of posters in public social places

27th March 2014

Giving of progressive reports to the committee

3

In the main office for organization.

28th  March 2014

Preparation of the ground.

8

In the municipal ground.

29th March 2014

Preparation of the teams and rehearsing for the day.

8

In the municipal ground.

30th March 2014

The fundraiser day.

9

In the municipal ground.

31st March 2014

Meeting of the committee to discuss the way-forward.

4

In the main office for organization.

 

Organizers

I have been a fundraiser in many other ceremonies such as bring jack home a fundraising for a cancer survivor, the loyal green group and women artist world day.  This fundraising has been successful due to my elaborate qualifications. I have a degree in events, organizing and post graduates in human resource and finance management (Sargeant & Shang, 2010).

Conclusion

The fundraising is a venue that has been used by many non-profit organizations to meet their organizational goals. The case of Talents Finance Trust is no different. If the fundraiser proposal is approved, they will be able to get capital to construct their talent show hall, get a wider visibility and sponsorship and consequently help more children in nurturing their talents.

 


 

Reference

Sargeant, A. & Shang, J. (2010). Fundraising principles and practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health Promotion Proposal

January 25, 2014

Health Promotion Proposal

Name

Affiliated Institution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Course Title/Number

Date

Instructor’s Name

 

Literature Review

The development of cardiovascular disease and stroke has been attributed to unhealthy lifestyle choices such as overeating, inactivity, and other associated conditions such as hypertension which exacerbate the development of these conditions. Minority groups in The United States of America such as the African-Americans are prone to these conditions due to various reasons (Dundas, Morgan, Redfern, Lemic-Stojcevic, & Wolfe, 2001). Some of the common factors that have been attributed to the higher prevalence of these conditions compared to other populations such as the Native Americans, include low socioeconomic status of these groups which limit their accessibility to health care services, lack of exposure to screening and treatment services, and social, cultural and religious beliefs.

Following the prevalence of these conditions, it is essential to come up with programs and intervention plans, which can address primary, and secondary preventive care measures heart diseases and the associated risk factors. Genetic predisposition to cardiovascular conditions and stroke is another major risk factor that has been highlighted to be responsible for the development of these conditions among African-Americans (Dundas, Morgan, Redfern, Lemic-Stojcevic, & Wolfe, 2001).

Components of promotion of people’s health in relation to the prevalence of  heart diseases and stroke, entails the institution of a concrete action plan that can be used to enhance better, and quality living standards. This is because heart disease and stroke has been documented as the first and third leading causes of death for men and women, among the most common and heal problems in The United States of America. In the year 2009, cardiovascular diseases were responsible for the deaths of 46, 334 black males and 48,070 black females, figures which have been described to be very high in relation to the desired level of morbidity and mortality rates (Lemic-Stojcevic, Dundas, Jenkins, Rudd, & Wolfe, 2001).

Theoretical Framework

The major action plan that can be used to curtail the prevalence of these conditions among the minority groups include coming up with goals that will increase the quality and years of healthy life, and eradicate health disparities among these groups of people. In relation to reducing the prevalence of these conditions among the minority groups in The United States of America, an action plan has to be instituted to reduce the prevalence of these conditions. The main components of the theoretical framework that can be used to solve these problems include the use of present reality, a vision of the future, intervention approaches, healthy people 2020 partnership goals, and target population (Lemic-Stojcevic, Dundas, Jenkins, Rudd, & Wolfe, 2001).

The present day reality is a key component that is used to explain and summarize the existing knowledge about the progressive development of these conditions. This will help in strategizing on long-term solutions to these problems. A vision of the future explains the conducive conditions that must be achieved for epidemic heart disease and stroke to be arrested and reversed. Target population indicates the number of people who can be reached by each successive intervention approach, while the healthy people 2020 partnership goals is majorly concerned with reducing the prevalence of these conditions using intervention approaches (Lip, Barnett, Bradbury, Cappuccio, Gill, Hughes, & Patel, 2007).

The process of dealing with these conditions can be divided into five components which include the plan of taking action. This involves the transformation of the current situation into effective health action. The second component is the strengthening capacity, which entails sustainability of the mounted actions. Impact evaluation and advancing policy are the other stages, which involve defining the most critical policies which will prevent the recurrence of the same problems. Lastly, engaging in regional and global partnerships is the last step that aims at multiplying resources for sustainability of the improved conditions (Lemic-Stojcevic, Dundas, Jenkins, Rudd, & Wolfe, 2001).

 

 

Theoretical framework of health promotion

 

 
   

 

 

 

 

 

Advancing policy

 

Impact evaluation

 

Capacity strengthening

 

                                               

 

 

           
   
     
 
 
     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Dundas, R., Morgan, M., Redfern, J., Lemic-Stojcevic, N., & Wolfe, C. (2001). Ethnic

Differences in Behavioural Risk Factors for Stroke: Implications for Health Promotion. Ethnicity & Health6(2), 95-103. 

Lemic-Stojcevic, N., Dundas, R., Jenkins, S., Rudd, A., & Wolfe, C. (2001). Preventable

Risk Factors for Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke Amongst Ethnic Groups in London. Ethnicity & Health6(2), 87-94.

Lip, G. H., Barnett, A. H., Bradbury, A. A., Cappuccio, F. P., Gill, P. S., Hughes, E. E., & …

Patel, K. K. (2007). Ethnicity and cardiovascular disease prevention in the United Kingdom: a practical approach to management. Journal Of Human Hypertension,21(3), 183-211.

INFORMATION SECURITY

January 24, 2014

1 Introduction

According to Jacobs (2011), information security is the practice dealing with the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information systems. If an information system is accessed for in any unauthorized, unwanted, unwarranted and malevolent intention, then the security of information in that system is compromised. Information security is a general term that refers to the confidentiality, integrity and availability (CIA) of information systems whether they take an electronic or physical form. The two major aspects of information security include IT security and information assurance. IT security is responsible for keeping IT assets safe from malicious attacks and any unauthorized attempts to access information.

On the other hand, information assurance ensures that even when attacks occur, the data in information systems can be recovered. Information security threats occur when there a possibility of taking advantage of vulnerability in an information system. For a security breach to occur there must be vulnerability (susceptibility), access to the vulnerability and actual execution of an attack. There are several threats that face information systems today. Since the internet revolution, the amount of personal and business data stored in information systems has greatly increased. A corresponding increase in threats has also been experienced as criminals attempt to breach information systems for their gain. The purpose of this paper is to discuss modern information security threats. An insightful summary of at least ten threats will be given to show the several threats that exist today.

2Body

In IT security, a threat refers to possible danger that exploits vulnerabilities in an information system intentionally or unintentionally. Chou (2011) noted that in example of an intentional threat, a hacker may compromise a computer system and delete or modify files. In an unintentional threat, a computer may malfunction and lead to equipment or networks malfunction. In this section we shall look at the major threats to information security today.

2.1Information Security Threats

2.1.1Computer Viruses

For the past 10 years, computer viruses have been the most common and popular types of information security threats. A virus may contain malicious code that is aimed at breaching information security in a several ways. Vacca (2012) noted that a virus may contain malicious code that deletes files, modifies files, alters computer operation or destroys your operating system. Computer viruses may differ in their design, deployment and malicious action. Some viruses are spread via email, disks, websites and chat technologies.

One key characteristic of a virus is the ability of the code to replicate and execute itself. Viruses are designed to self-replicate within host computer and execute once it is copied into the computer. Therefore, deleting the virus may not help the computer since the malicious code can replicate itself. Kissel (2011) noted that another characteristic of a virus is that it alters files in a computer with neither the knowledge nor the permission of the owner. They are designed to access information systems silently and cause damage without detection. However, the installation of a powerful antivirus can protect information systems from virus attacks since such programs are designed to locate and delete viruses.

The popularity of viruses is reducing due to the evolution of stronger programs or code called malware. Malware (Malicious Software) is used to gain illegal access to information systems, collect critical information and hamper computer operations. The evolution of malware shows a move from simple computer programs or pieces of code used for simpler functions such as revenge attacks, annoyance and disruption to more sophisticated and well-orchestrated attacks using specialized software implemented through scripts, code or active content.

Malware may include ransomware, dialers, adware and rootkits. Attackers use malware to conduct coordinated attacks which can sometimes be conducted for financial gain. For example, ransomware can lock information systems and demand ransom to unlock the affected systems on payment of requested sums. In addition, malware can be used to disrupt the operations of financial institutions to cause great loss and panic.

2.1.2Adware and Advertising Trojans

Kees & Andre (2010) noted that the internet revolution has led to an internet marketing phenomenon that is characterized by millions of adverts on the internet. Developers usually use search engine optimization tools to enhance the visibility of these adverts in many websites. Within such technologies, programs, scripts and malicious code that can record consumer behavior can be embedded to increase the effectiveness of online advertising. The advertising companies may track consumer behavior so that they can decide the best adverts to send to such customers.

In addition, the adware can download code into your computer that records your activity and sends information to an advertiser’s server. Such programs can have access to your computer microphone and camera which can be used for malicious activities. Even though most adware does not contain viruses, it can use computer resources to slow down your internet connection while displaying the adverts. In extreme cases, these advertising Trojans can be used for malicious purposes if they are deployed to copy your files, modify documents and turn on recording devices such as the computer camera or audio device to record your activities.

Vacca (2012) noted that even though these programs can hamper the operation of your device, the main concern is privacy. The adware and advertising Trojans record every activity of the user and send it to a management center where a user profile is built to help send targeted adverts to your web searches and websites accessed on your device.

2.1.3Social Engineering

Social engineering involves tricking computer users to reveal their private information which can be used for illegal access to a system. Today, vast amounts of personal data are shared on online platforms since people have become confident with online platforms as secure repositories for their information. For example, many people share their information in social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook. Here, individuals have come to accept these websites as safe platforms where they can share information. When passwords, email addresses and PINs are shared by trusting users to unknown people, there is a risk that they can be used for illegal access. Here, several techniques can trick users into sharing their personal information. Sometimes, a user is presented with an application log-in where email address and password is required. Such websites can save your log-in credentials.

Social engineering has also been used in the business circles to trick trusting employees to share confidential information. A typical social engineering attack can be perpetrated in an attacker gains illegal access to a manager’s email account and uses that account to ask trusting employees to share critical information. Here, the attackers prey on the trust that employees have for their seniors to ensure that they share information. Social engineering attacks have been on the rise in the recent past; it is expected that the rising use of social medial platforms and electronic communication in business circles will lead to an increase in threats through social engineering.

2.1.4Phishing Threats

Phishing attacks involve masquerading as a trustworthy person or business partner to the victim of the attack. Vacca (2012) noted that phishers may attempt to steal personal and financial information using instant messages and emails. In a specific phishing attack called “the viral” website, a website is used to entice users to visit platforms that contain Trojans and malware. Some of this websites may look like some common websites; they may even have a similar URL as the website being imitated.

When users visit such websites, they unknowingly download viruses that can lay ground for an attack by providing the attacker information that is useful when attacking your computer. Kees & Andre (2010) noted that other cases of phishing attacks using the “viral” website may involve an imitation of a popular website where users are prompted to enter their authentication details into the fake website. Once entered, your authentication details are logged and used to access your account in the popular website.

2.1.5Spyware

Spyware is a serious information security threat due to the privacy issues that arise from the use of spyware to illegally monitor and eavesdrop. Vacca (2012) noted that spyware is any computer program that can monitor your online activities or install software on your local computer to capture and record personal information. Today, there exists software that to monitor online activity. For example, software can monitor your online searches, favorite websites and social media activity.

The information collected by spyware on your online activity can create a profile depending on the intention of the attackers. In other extreme cases of information security, spyware can be used to install programs that activate audio and video devices on your computer to record sound and video. Such programs take control of your laptop camera and audio device and record sound or video which captures your activities. Here, if a person is connected to the internet, spyware can transmit live video and audio that shows your current activities.

2.1.6SQL Injection

Bidgoli (2006) noted that the information security threats associated with SQL injection may not affect users directly. These types of attacks are used to attack websites and access information stored in the database. Attackers use such techniques to compromise enterprise information systems to access sensitive customer data such as bank accounts, PIN and social security numbers.

Therefore, even though this method is not used to directly access a user’s computer, it may be used to steal critical information regarding customers in enterprise information systems. Cavelty (2007) noted that successful compromise of information systems using SQL injected may lead to losses when financial information systems such as banks, mobile money transfer platforms and online payment solution providers are attacked.

2.1.7Cyber terrorism

This is one of the most recent threats to information security. Kees & Andre (2010) noted that cyber terrorists can use internet based attacks to further their agenda. The cyber terrorists may use attacks for the deliberate or intentional disruption of telecom networks, computer networks and other computer systems set up during major events.

Since modern individuals and organizations are highly reliant on information systems for the completion of activities and tasks, the widespread disruption of information systems by terrorists would cause panic which would serve the interests of terrorist groups. Cyber terrorism is a relatively new type of information security threat; authorities have emphasized on the prevention of such attacks since they would greatly hamper economic activity through the compromise of critical infrastructure.

2.1.8Cloud Computing Security Threats

According to Guardian (2013), cloud computing systems are faced by several information security threats. Since volumes of personal and corporate information are stored in cloud computing platforms for owners, incidents of hacking cloud infrastructure are on the rise. It is estimated that in future, more security incidents in cloud computing will arise. This is because the cloud provides a single repository of information for individuals and businesses.

Such a repository is vulnerable to many types of attacks since many hackers attempting to compromise information assets of different organizations will target the cloud since the data for such organizations is centrally stored. The cloud creates a central target of attacks since information from different sources is stored in one platform.

2.1.9Key loggers

A key logger is device or computer program that keeps records of all the key strokes that are made on the key board by the user. Key loggers are used in recording important information such as passwords, PINs and other authentication data. The key loggers eavesdrop on the user and sends information to the attacker. The attackers use your information to access your information later since sensitive information such as PIN and passwords have are already in their hands.

According to Kees & Andre (2010), key loggers require advanced devices or programs to record and transmit your key strokes. Sometimes, such devices can be installed on your personal computer in your absence. In addition, the user has no way of telling whether the key strokes being entered are being recorded and transmitted.

2.1.10Online Cookies

A website cookie is a piece of code or script that is stored in a user’s computer by a website. Each time the user accesses the same website; the cookie communicates with the server and updates the user’s activities. Initially, cookies were developed to ensure that websites have memory of information such as the items selected by a user into a shopping cart. However, their use has evolved since they can now be used to carry viruses and record the browsing history of users.

Cookies lead to privacy concerns since they can deploy adware which logs the activities of users. The information collected by cookies may include internet searches, browsing history, shopping lists and favorite websites. If such information is accessed illegally with malevolent intention, the privacy of information systems and individual works stations is compromised.

3Conclusion

Information security is concerned with guaranteeing the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information. If information is accessed illegally, then the security of such platforms is deemed to have been compromised. There are several threats to information security today; viruses, SQL injection, cookies, cloud security, adware, spyware, key loggers, social engineering, phishing and cyber terrorism are some of the major information security threats today.

With the increasing use of information systems to complete daily activities at home and at work, the threats to information security may increase as attackers look for different technologies and loopholes that can gain illegal access to information systems. It is therefore advisable for individuals and organizations to remain vigilant ant take all available technological measures to eliminate information security threats.

 

4References

Bertino, E. (2012). Data Protection from Insider Threats. Morgan & Claypool Publishers.

Bidgoli, H. (2006). Handbook of Information Security, Threats, Vulnerabilities, Prevention, Detection, and Management. John Wiley & Sons.

Cavelty, M. D. (2007). Cyber-Security and Threat Politics: Us Efforts to Secure the Information Age. Routledge.

Chou, T.-S. (2011). Information Assurance and Security Technologies for Risk Assessment and Threat Management: Advances. Idea Group Inc (IGI).

Ec-Council. (2010). Penetration Testing: Network Threat Testing: Network Threat Testing. Cengage Learning.

Erbschloe, M. (2004). Trojans, Worms, and Spyware: A Computer Security Professional’s Guide to Malicious Code. Butterworth-Heinemann.

Guardian. (2013). 2013 Information Security Threat Predictions: Cyber War, Cloud and BYOD. Retrieved 11 23, 2013, from http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/partner-zone-infosecurity/2013-information-security-threat-predictions

Harkins, M. (2012). Managing Risk and Information Security: Protect to Enable. Apress.

Harold, F. T., & Micki, K. N. (2012). Information Security Management Handbook, Sixth Edition, Volume 6. CRC Press.

Jacobs, S. (2011). Engineering Information Security: The Application of Systems Engineering Concepts to Achieve Information Assurance. John Wiley & Sons.

Kees, H., & Andre, S. (2010). Foundations of Information Security: Based on ISO27001 and ISO27002. Van Haren Publishing.

Kissel, R. (2011). Glossary of Key Information Security Terms. DIANE Publishing.

Michael, E. W., & Herbert, J. M. (2011). Roadmap to Information Security: For IT and Infosec Managers: For IT and InfoSec Managers. Cengage Learning.

Park, J. H. (2009). Advances in Information Security and Its Application. Springer.

Vacca, J. R. (2012). Computer and Information Security Handbook. Newnes.

William, C. B., & Gerald, L. K. (2000). Netspionage: The Global Threat to Information. Butterworth-Heinemann.

 

 

Leadership Development Plan

January 24, 2014

Running Head: Leadership Development Plan

 

 

 

 

 

[Your Name]

[Instructor’s Name]

 

Leadership Development Plan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary

The present paper represents a leadership development portfolio in three parts. The first part represents the reflection on the use of different leadership styles in five scenarios of the SimuLearn’s vLeader simulation aimed at the development of leadership skills. Each scenario presents a unique challenge for the learner such as asserting himself in the new working team, resolving the conflict in a team, pushing his own ideas in the teams with members possessing more formal power, managing the adoption of sound decisions under pressure of the upcoming merger, and the crisis management after a fire in Nortic. Hence, the first part contains reflections on which leadership style was more appropriate and effective for which scenario, with general conclusions on which outcomes the use of each leadership style usually brings about. The second part of the present work is dedicated to the personal reflection on the leadership qualities based on the assessment via Daft’s (2008) Leader’s SelfInsight tool. The strengths and limitations of the researcher’s leadership qualities are presented in the second part. The third section of the present work is dedicated to an extended leadership reflection in which the researcher’s personal leadership model is presented and explained, the theories of leadership personally used by the researcher are discussed, the gaps between practice and theory are delineated, and an action plan for improving the researcher’s leadership qualities is presented. The theories of particular interest to the researcher are the trait theory and contingency theory. The gaps in leadership skills refer to little focus on social needs, low team conflict resolution skills, and low emphasis on the stewardship and servant leadership in the leadership style. Steps to tackle these limitations are presented at the end of the third section.

 

 

 

Part 1: vLeader Practice and Reflection

Scenario 1: One-on-One

The first scenario “One-on-One” sets the scene of Corey’s development as a leader in team of the new company to which he came, and the choice of any leadership style in Nortic, specifically during his first encounter with Oli, an employee also willing to take the leadership position in the company, determines the way in which the future course of action will develop. It is of high importance for Corey to assert himself in a team, but not to push subordinates away by adopting a directive style at once; hence, the best variant of leadership in this scenario is that of participating leadership. On the one hand, Corey shows his strong emphasis on certain organizational objectives he aims at pursuing; on the other hand, Corey shows understanding and sympathy to some personal matters of his subordinates in Nortic, thus showing the awareness of the close connection between personal issues and the employees’ productivity at the workplace. Once the personal issue is resolved, the employee morale may go up significantly, which will ultimately have a positive impact on the overall organizational performance.

Moreover, it is essential to understand that the participative style in this scenario fosters Oli’s idea sharing, but at the same time keeps him within the limits of a subordinate position. Corey should take into account that Oli is a very energetic and ambitious employee who is well known in the company, and who can easily grasp the initiative once Corey adopts a delegating leadership style, thus undermining the authority of a new boss. However, the directive style increases tension and prevents Oli from sharing highly valuable ideas of much benefit for the company. Hence, the participatory style in communication with Oli is the best alternative for Corey if he aims at identifying himself as a leader but at the same time winning trust and cooperativeness of his new subordinates.

In the present scenario, effective steps that can be taken to assert Corey as a leader but at the same time not to alienate from employees is the adoption of the participative leadership style. Only in this style, this scenario develops effectively. The key learning point in scenario one are that a leader should not overtly assert himself in a new team through a directive style as this may isolate some employees and hinder idea sharing. Another learning point is that subordinates share ideas more eagerly when they are relaxed, so it is in the interest of the leader to relax tension, and to achieve more productive outcomes this way. The present findings are consonant with the steward and interactive leadership theories that emphasize power sharing among subordinates and the leader to achieve more productive cooperation results.

 

Scenario 2: Staff Meeting in the Break Room

The scenario of a meeting in the break room presents Corey with a serious challenge of resolving a conflict between his two direct reporters, and building proper alliances in the conditions of conflicting interests. The key learning point in the present scenario is the fact that building an alliance with any of the conflict parties is potentially disadvantageous for Corey because by getting close to one of his subordinates, he will automatically alienate the other one, which will ultimately result in grave climate deterioration, and the conflict will only intensify. The present learning point is in alignment with the theory of conflict management strategies in teams – accommodating and compromising strategies are less beneficial than the collaborating one. Hence, the only effective step that could be taken by Corey in this scenario was to find the common ground for the two persons in conflict, and only then pass on to the critical work tasks that need to be completed.

The most appropriate leadership style at the beginning of this scenario is that of participation – Corey has to find out the core reasons for the conflict between Rosa and Oli, and reduce tension in the team by finding the common ground, a joint goal for both subordinates. Only once the conflict is resolved and the common ground is found, Corey may successfully endorse his goal of raising customer retention to 65% – under these conditions, both Oli and Rosa will be actively involved in that idea’s passing, which will ensure the overall acceptance of the objective. Hence, the team’s alignment and commitment to the pre-established goal of Corey is possible only after conflict resolution, and Corey may then adopt a directive leadership style to firmly push his idea of customer retention and further support it until he gets the unified acceptance thereof.

 

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

In contrast to the previous two scenarios in which he acted as an indisputable leader among his subordinates in Nortic, in the present case, he is more of a follower because his bosses Will and Herman are present in the conference room. Nonetheless, on the other hand, Corey is still a leader because Oli and Rosa are also present in the conference room, and they are the subordinates of all others present. Here, Corey faces the double jeopardy – either not fulfilling his business objectives (he sees very clearly that the Call Center initiative is highly beneficial for Nortic, though Will is against it) or failing as a leader in the eyes of his subordinates (Oli and Rosa are tense in the room where too many bosses are present, but they still watch Corey as their boss, and in case he fails to prove his point, his reputation as a leader will surely be undermined). The key learning point in the third scenario is that the influence is not always in the hands of the person holding the most formal power, but still, more powerful people should introduce ideas for them to gain weight and be considered. Moreover, the learning point is that the subordinates will support their boss in the conditions of a safe environment only; in case they feel unsafe, they will choose the strategy of non-intrusion facing a conflict of opinion between their bosses.

The present scenario is highly informative from the learning viewpoint, as it shows that people may be able to push their ideas through even in case they are not formal leaders in some situation. Here, the most effective step is about building alliances and supporting the right person without alienating another boss, thus preventing the trigger of his self-protection reactions. The most appropriate course of the development action in scenario three thus seems the adoption of the participative leadership style at first. By artificially increasing the tension in the room, Corey may make a call for brainstorming for new ideas and beneficial options. If such conditions are created, Herman may be pushed to voice the idea about the Call Center, and Corey’s objectives of “Call Center Work” and “Rosa on Sales Call” may be passed in that atmosphere of idea search. After the ideas are offered, and Corey has voiced his strong support for those ideas, he can adopt a delegating leadership style to prevent the alienation of Will, while the proposal about Rosa on Sales Call is likely to attract Will’s attention because of his position of the Head of the Sales Department. This way, Corey will achieve all his objectives without causing discontent of his bosses, and not losing respect of employees. in such conditions, Corey may be seen as fulfilling both task focus (promoting the idea of Call Center Work) and relationship focus (pushing Rosa to the sales position). The present scenario is consistent with the contingency theory of leadership (Daft 2008) under which leaders should rely not on their characteristics and skills, but on the unique set of variables of their environment, people present, the level of tension, etc. to achieve their purposes.

 

Scenario 4: Meeting at a Retreat / Merger of Cultures

In the fourth scenario, Corey is challenged with making his ideas endorsed in the environment where he enjoys the least formal power, though he is also a leader by nature, as those present are. In the conditions where the fate of Nortic is decided, Corey has to apply his best leadership skills to ensure that the right, wise decisions are made. In this scenario, the most effective steps by Corey can be made only through a participative leadership style by entering an alliance with Alan and achieving a higher position of influence once he and Alan push the same ideas. Alan is the person with the highest level of formal authority in the conference room, so alignment with him may give Corey much weight in the discussion. Here, the benefit will be of purely political, diplomatic nature, since entering an alliance with Herman and Will is not likely to bring any benefit to Corey and the three of them – Alan may grow protective after seeing that his authority is challenged, and may adopt a directive leadership style. In terms of objectives, it will be good for Corey because he agrees with Alan about the future of Nortic; however, in terms of relationships, such a strategy will be destructive, and will separate Alan as the boss from his subordinates Will and Herman, which is unhealthy for the corporate relationships. Logically, Corey should use the participative and delegating leadership styles in this scenario to achieve his objectives and to reserve a relaxed, positive working climate and interrelationships among the executives.

Consequently, here the learning point is to apply the trait theory blended with the contingency theory to create the favorable course of action for Corey on his way to asserting himself, gaining influence on other people’s opinions, and finally leading the discussion to the most proactive decisions. According to Daft (2008), a leader should possess such social characteristics as sociability, interpersonal skills, cooperativeness, and ability to enlist cooperation with tact and diplomacy (p. 41).

 

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

The present scenario poses Corey into a situation of a conflict between his bosses, and the dilemma of who will report to the press, and how much truth will be communicated. The most effective step for Corey is to apply the directive leadership style from the very beginning of the conflict and to take the issue off the agenda by assigning some person, either Herman or Will, and instilling the focus on saying all truth to the press. The principles of dealing with the crisis from a leadership perspective state clearly that being calm, focusing on the future, and telling the truth are the basic preconditions of successful pursuit of a way out of the crisis (Daft 2008). After this issue has been resolved, Corey again should apply directive leadership to draw the focus of the employees on the critical work that needs to be done to get out of the crisis. If the participative or delegating leadership style is adopted in such a situation, the team will get too much involved in their problems, and will never find the way out, yielding to panic and being paralyzed by it.

After the direction of looking for the future of the company is set, the most effective decision for Corey is to take a participative leadership style to help the team make common decisions, thus increasing their sense of belonging and commitment to dealing with the crisis. Deciding on the relocation, and making decisions regarding best products, best service, and low-cost providers are among the strategic objectives for Corey at that moment. Nevertheless, other leaders such as Herman, Will, and Alan are present at the meeting as well, so after the situation is taken under control and tension is decreased, so the most appropriate decision for Corey in preserving the respect to his bosses in the team is to take a delegating leadership style to help Will and Herman regain their confidence and formal leadership positions in the conditions of a crisis. The key learning point of this scenario is that managing a team in the times of a crisis may be not a bad experience, but a path to opportunities – the outcome depends on the strategic thinking of the leader and his or her ability to focus the team not only on the present problem, but also on the future potential, thus reducing the tension.

The fifth scenario is a pure example of contingency theory of leadership according to which the leader’s position in the situation is dictated not by responsiveness to the needs of each separate employee involved, but the destiny of the overall company. In such a situation, the leader should be firm and calm, and the best choice in such a situation is the directive style of leadership, since it is the surest way to save the situation, and help the subordinates and bosses to focus not on the present panic, but on the future fate of the whole organization.

 

Part 2: Awareness Through Leader Self-Concepts

The testing through Leader’s SelfInsight tools in the book of Daft (2008) revealed many important and at times surprising aspects of my personality as a leader. First, I discovered that my level of self-confidence is 7 out of 10, which is highly reassuring for me – I did not ever think that I was such a self-confident person, though I am quite assertive in the issues in which I am sure, and about which I am experienced. The present feature is of highly value for me because, as noted by Mumford (2010), self-confidence as a belief in one’s ability to fulfill a certain task is the key to a leader’s success (p. 95). However, every leader should keep in mind that too much self-confidence may be mixed with arrogance and impudence, which is not healthy for leaders’ relationships with other people.

Another interesting result for me was my preference of certain team conflict management strategies. I have always thought that I was an effective conflict manager, but as the results of the test indicated, I prefer competing and avoiding more than compromising and accommodating. However, the reassuring result was achieved regarding the collaborating conflict management style – I gained the maximum number of scores for it, which means that I most often choose to collaborate, compete, and avoid the conflict. According to Yarbrough (2008), the competing style is assertive and uncooperative, collaborative style is both assertive and cooperative, and avoiding style is neither cooperative nor assertive (p. 65). Hence, I see that I have to make some conclusions from these results, and make more effort to focus on the collaborative conflict resolution style, since two others seem not highly effective in terms of the overall conflict management outcomes.

The result of testing regarding my communication apprehension surprised me in a positive way because I am always striving to achieve the improvement of my communicative skills, but I did not know that I would score that high on the test. I believe that communicative skills present the core skills for any person in any situation in which interaction with other people is involved. Communicating one’s idea properly is half of success in getting something done, since communication breakdowns and inconsistencies are the most frequent reason for certain objectives’ failures. Moreover, as Malloch and Porter-O’Grady (2009) indicated, “interpersonal communication includes a wide array of relational and communication skills that result in constant investment and engagement and inclusion of individuals in decisions and actions” (p. 34). Hence, nobody should underestimate the role of interpersonal communication because of its strategic influence on the work outcomes and relationships.

The analysis of my end values as a leader showed that I am more focused on my personal values such as exciting life, pleasure, self-respect, and sense of accomplishment. True friendship, another end value I chose, is of ambiguous nature and borders on social and personal values. Hence, as one can see, personal values are of much more importance for me, so I think my developmental focus should be made stronger on social values than on personal ones. As for instrumental values, they are also mostly concerned with competence than morality – I chose ambition, logic, and self-control as competencies, and responsibility and helpfulness as morality features. These results show that I am both focused on morality and my own competence, while the personal focus is still stronger than the attitude to other people.

The self-centered nature of my leadership profile can also be proven by my test on servant leadership; as the test results stated, I am more of an authoritarian and participative leader, while stewardship and servant leadership features are present in my leadership profile to a minimum. I scored 3 out of 4 for authoritarian style, 4 out of 4 for participative style, 1 out of 4 for stewardship, and 1 out of 4 for servant leadership. According to Lussier and Achua (2009), stewardship and servant leadership are directly related to charisma and transformational leadership skills of a leader; these skills may empower the followers for exercising leadership and accomplishing the organizational goals (p. 356). However, my lack of focus on these leadership styles signals about my extreme preoccupation with maintaining my personal power as a leader, and unwillingness to delegate authority and power to my followers. Consequently, I feel I need to work more on these features of leadership to strengthen my leadership profile, and to gain a more favorable reputation among my followers.

 

Part 3: Integration and Extension: Personalized Leadership Approach and Development Plan

After the completion of the vLeader simulation and the series of personal testing inventories for leadership qualities, I have come to a clear and coherent understanding of my own leadership model that I want to pursue and in compliance with which I want to bring all my skills and behaviors. Upon studying a number of theories of leadership, I have decided to take the core of my model in the trait theory of a leader, since not every person can be a leader, and some inborn and consciously developed features distinguish a leader from other people. Hence, I concentrated on the traits I saw as indispensible ones for a leader and included them in the central part of my leadership model. I believe that no matter how well a person manipulates the behavioral features and the environmental variables, he or she will never be recognized as a leader in case he or she does not possess such basic features as knowledge in the field of work, sober and analytical judgment, experience of work, decisiveness and enthusiasm to lead his or her followers to the estimated objective’s completion, as well as politeness and tact often necessary to navigate the flows of power for the attainment of certain objectives. Leaders also have to be honest with their subordinates, and should be highly sociable, that is, possess strong communication skills, to succeed as leaders. Hence, these are the traits I included in compliance with trait theory – see Figure 1.

Figure 1. My Personal Leadership Model

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The features of a leader are at the core of my scheme; nevertheless, I am also a proponent of a contingency theory of leadership that states that leaders cannot be evaluated in a vacuum, separated from the environment in which they exercise their leadership qualities. Hence, following the contingency theory, I have figured out a series of typical leadership roles in which various leadership styles are exercised under varying conditions. Thus, for instance, the two key foci of a leader at the workplace are to manage people and manage tasks. An effective leader has to take care of both relationships and task, which at times is unattainable within a single leader effort. Sometimes, making some virtuous outcomes happen for the organization means remaining blind to the needs of employees, while the focus on relationships with employees is highly dangerous for a leader in terms of his or her loss of organizational focus, and extreme preoccupation with what employees, think, feel, or do at the expense of the organizational welfare. Consequently, as the vLeader simulation showed, there are some situations in which both the interests of the company and the needs of employees can be satisfied, though such outcomes require a delicate and wise strategic leadership behavior. Therefore, I focused my attention on these two fields of leader’s activities in my model.

Two other aspects of leader’s activity, as I perceived it from the vLeader simulation, are conflict management and crisis management. These two fields of leader’s responsibilities differ significantly from their regular tasks at hand, and leaders have to take into account a variety of variables, features, and their own skills to devise a workable strategy that will lead to the achievement of the most effective outcomes in these situations. Team conflict management is obviously one of the basic skills that a leader should possess, because work is usually done in teams, and leaders have to take a direct part in contributing to the teams’ cohesion, viability, and satisfaction. In case the leaders fail to take an active role in the life and functioning of their teams, both in times of peace and conflict, the trust and respect to a leader may reduce, which threatens his or her leadership position.

Leading the people in the times of a crisis is a separate role that any leader should possess, and that can come unexpectedly – as in vLeader, the fire unexpectedly destroyed Nortic’s building, and the need to decide on the company’s destiny was evident. Hence, in these conditions, the leader was a vital head of the desperate team welded in panic that could not decide on the easiest problems. For this reason, I have included crisis management in my model – I believe that every leader should have skills of managing people under stress and uncertainty, which is of strategic importance in some emergency situations, and wrong decisions under the influence of panic may lead to disastrous consequences for the firm in the long run.

Since I have recognized my gaps in leadership skills such as the excessive personal focus instead of the social orientation, lack of skills in proactive team conflict management, and the lack of focus on the stewardship and servant leadership, I have designed the following personal development plan to accomplish the goal of becoming a proficient and capable leader of modernity, and to comply with my model of leadership I have designed. The steps are as follows:

  1. Develop a socially oriented focus of my leadership

  2. Acquire more transformational and visionary leadership skills through focusing more on stewardship and servant leadership

  3. Work more on effective conflict management strategies

  4. Work more on my emotional intelligence to manage relationships and my own personality better

Each of these steps is of key importance, taking into account the modern pressures on leaders and the environments in which they are urged to exist and manage people and processes. Hence, each of them should be considered separately for the sake of clarity in my future activities on achievement of a higher leadership skills’ level:

Develop a socially oriented focus of my leadership. Sears, Sears, and Clough (2010) admitted that a more socially oriented leadership focus can be obtained by means of adopting an interactive leadership style characterized with intense emphasis on interpersonal communication, involvement, and interpersonal respect. Daft, Hendrik, and Vershinina (2010) also emphasized the benefit of interactive leadership as a path to servant leadership skills – the key features of interactive leadership include minimizing personal ambition and developing others, favoring a consensual and collaborative work process, and deriving influence and power from relationships rather than formal authority (p. 567). Ruminski and Holba (2011) also emphasized the critical role of information sharing in the interactive leadership style – the information flows are reciprocal, flowing in two directions as a symbol of power distribution. Though the present leadership style has been traditionally associated with female leaders, at present, it is seen as a valuable choice for both male and female leaders, since it offers highly necessary values such as personal humility, inclusion, relationship valuing, and personal care about each other at the workplace (Daft et al. 2010, p. 567).

Acquire more transformational and visionary leadership skills through focusing more on stewardship and servant leadership. Inbarasu (2008) emphasized that service is at the heart of the servant leadership style, which makes it more of a moral obligation than a formal duty of a leader in a company (p. 62). Servant leadership and stewardship are closely related concepts; servant leaders should incorporate the features of stewardship in their daily activities to become more socially oriented in their work. Taft and Ellis (2012) admitted that in their understanding, stewardship in leadership is connected with the acceptance of accountability for the impact of one’s own actions, as well his/her company and the industry, on the larger community. Similarly, Atwater and Waldman (2012) associated stewardship with the partnership in which power and control shift from formal leaders to the company’s employees in appropriate situations (p. 93). However, in case servant leadership integrates the concept of stewardship, the latter concept is seen as having the increased benefit for the company and the leader. Servant leadership thus presupposes helping followers to grow and develop professionally and personally, which makes them better servants for the customers’ and clients’ needs (Atwater & Waldman 2012, p. 93). As stated by Wheeler (2011), being a steward leader requires everyday emphasis on ensuring that resources are efficiently used by the company staff; moreover, the focus on stewardship requires constant work for the future fate of the business (ch. 11). Stewards can be both leaders and followers, while the concept of leader succession is of critical importance for stewardship, which I have to keep in mind to become a servant leader successfully. Hence, I believe that in case I manage to focus more on developing stewardship skills and adopting the servant leadership style, I will encourage growth and encouragement of my subordinates, which will ultimately lead to a significant improvement of their job satisfaction, loyalty, commitment, motivation, thus the corporate performance.

Work more on effective conflict management strategies. The state of conflict in a team is the disagreement over issues of substance that may or may not be accompanied with strong emotional antagonism (Schermerhorn 2011, p. 352). There is an urgent need for leaders to take advantage of the research findings available on the issue of conflict management in teams because leaders have to be personally interested in effective conflict resolutions. As Tekleab, Quigley, and Tesluk (2009) found out, there is a direct relationship between conflict management and team cohesion; successful conflict managements strategies employed by formal and informal leaders in a tam lead to the moderated relationship between relationship conflict and team cohesion, which in its turn affects the quality of team’s performance, satisfaction within the team, and the team’s viability (p. 170). These findings suggest that I as a leader can play a decisive role in managing intra-team conflict and contribute to the accomplishment of certain organizational goals, as well as to the increase of my subordinates’ job satisfaction directly related to intrinsic motivation.

As Kolb (2013) recommended based on her empirical research results, action on conflict resolution should be taken early in the conflict cycle, and the effective conflict management process can be facilitated by the involvement of ground rules for productive discussion of disagreements (p. 79). Moreover, there is a need to distinguish the interpersonal and work-related conflict, and to discuss the personal aspect of conflict in the group only in case it is concurrent with the group’s purpose, time availability, and skill set of the group. In other way, there is a threat of distraction from the work-related conflict roots, and the danger of personal offense and shame that will further disable the team’s work (Kolb 2013, p. 79).

Work more on my emotional intelligence to manage relationships and my own personality better. The need to possess emotional intelligence is repeatedly emphasized by researchers and practitioners in the modern business world. Williams (2007, p. 13) admitted that the core value of emotional intelligence (EI) for a leader is in the ability to understand, manage, and respond to emotions, which is of vital importance for a leader as a human being working with other human beings. The most comprehensive and clear definition of EI was proposed by Mayer and Salovey (1997, p, 10), and stated that EI is

“the ability to perceive accurately, appraise, and express emotion; the ability to access and/or generate feelings when they facilitate thought; the ability to understand emotion and emotional knowledge; and the ability to regulate emotions to promote emotional and intellectual growth”.

To become emotionally intelligent, leaders have to keep in mind four prime areas of EI – self-awareness (understanding yourself), self-management (managing yourself), social awareness (understanding others), and relationship management (managing others) (Nadler 2007, p. 15). Hence, I am planning to focus on the development of these four core areas to become a better emotionally intelligent leader; I believe that these skills will help me better understand myself, and will equip me with the inventory for understanding others’ emotions, thus enabling me to make more emotionally sensitive decisions.

 

 

 

 

References

Atwater, LE & Waldman, DA 2012, Leadership, feedback, and the open communication gap, Psychology Press, New York.

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

Daft, RL, Kendrick, M & Vershinina, N 2010, Management, Cengage Learning EMEA, Hampshire.

Inbarasu, J 2008, Influence of servant-leadership practice on job satisfaction: A correlational study in a Lutheran organization, ProQuest, Ann Arbor.

Kolb, JA 2013, ‘Conflict management principles for groups and teams’, Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 45, iss. 2, pp. 79-86.

Lussier, RN & Achua, CF 2009, Leadership with Infotrac: Theory, application, and skill development, 4th edn, Cengage Learning, Mason.

Malloch, K & Porter-O’Grady, T 2009, The quantum leader: Applications for the new world of work, 2nd edn, Jones & Bartlett Learning, Sudbury.

Mayer, JD & Salovey, P 1997, ‘What is emotional intelligence?’, in P Salovey & D Sluyter (Eds), Emotional development and emotional intelligence: Educational implications (pp. 3-31), Basic Books, New York.

Mumford, MD 2010, Leader one hundred one, Springer Publishing Company, New York.

Nadler, RS 2007, Leader’s playbook: How to apply emotional intelligence – keys to great leadership, Richard Moss Seminars, Santa Barbara.

Ruminski, EL & Holba, AM 2011, Communicative understandings of women’s leadership development: from ceilings of glass to labyrinth paths, Lexington Books, Plymouth.

Schermerhorn, JR 2011, Exploring management, 3rd edn, John Wiley & Sons, Danvers.

Sears, SK, Sears, GA & Clough, RH 2010, Construction project management: A practical guide to field construction management, 5th edn, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken.

Taft, JG & Ellis, CD 2012, Stewardship: Lessons learned from the lost culture of Wall Street, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken.

Tekleab, AG, Quigley, NR, & Tesluk, PE 2009, ‘A longitudinal study of team conflict, conflict management, cohesion, and team effectiveness’, Group Organizational Management, vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 170-205.

Wheeler, DW 2011, Servant leadership for higher education: principles and practices, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken.

Williams, RK 2007, Emotional intelligence and leadership style: An investigation within a major telecommunications company, ProQuest, Ann Arbor.

Yarbrough, BT 2008, Leading groups and teams, 2nd edn, Cengage Learning, Mason.

 

 

 

Appendix Awareness and Assessment: Your Leader Self-Insights

Number & Title of Leader Self-Insight

Numerical Scores and/or other Outcome Measures

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

 

 

 

 

Logical-Mathematical = 3

Verbal-Linguistic

= 2

Interpersonal = 3

Intrapersonal = 1

Musical

= 2

 

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

 

 

Count of Mostly True (even-numbered questions) = 7

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

 

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

 

 

 

Count of Mostly True:

People Skills = 12

Count of Mostly True: Working with Authority = 15

Count of Mostly True: Networking = 13

 

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

 

 

Total Score =7

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

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

 

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

 

Consideration Behavior Score (Mostly True, items 1-4) = 2

 

Initiating Structure Behavior Score (Mostly True, items 5-8) = 3

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

Total for I: 35%

Total for E:

 

Are you more I or more E?

More I than E

Total for S:

Total for N:20%

 

Are you more S or more N?

 

More N than S

Total for T:

Total for F: 49%

 

Are you more T or more F?

 

More F than T

Total for J: 32%

Total for P:

 

Are you more J or more P?

More J than P

 

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

 

 

 

Your Score = 5

 

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

 

 

 

 

Your “T” Score (Mostly True for 1-5)

2

Your “P” Score (Mostly True for 6-10)

3

 

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

 

 

Your “Readiness” Level = 4

 

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

 

 

 

Total Score = 8

Count of Mostly True for 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12 = 5

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

Score for Avoiding (Items 1, 5, 9) = 2

Score for Compromising (Items 4, 7, 11) = 1

Score for Accommodating (Items 8, 12, 13) = 1

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

 

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

 

Your Total Score (out of 12) = 8

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

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

 

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

 

Independent Thinking: High, Middling, or Low? High

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

Followership Style = Active

 

Score for Independent Thinking (Count of Mostly True, items 1, 4, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16) =6

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

 

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

 

 

 

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

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

Score for Feedback Mitigating (Items 3, 6, 9) = 1

 

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

 

 

Total Score = 7

Count Mostly False (2, 4, 5, 8, 9) = 3

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

 

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

 

 

 

Structural (sum all of the “a’s”) = 2

 

Human Resource (sum all of the “b’s”) = 1

Political (sum all of the “c’s”) = 1

Symbolic (sum all of the “d’s”) = 2

 

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

 

 

Your Total MACH score = 8

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

Count Mostly True for items 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 = 5

 

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

 

 

Count Mostly True for items 4, 8, 12, 16 Your Score for Authoritarian = 3

Count Mostly True for items 2, 6, 10, 14 Your Score for Participative = 4

Count Mostly True for items 3, 7, 11, 15 Your Score for Stewardship = 1

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Cognitive CQ

3

Physical CQ

3.5

Emotional / Motivational CQ

3.75

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

End Value 1: Exciting life

End Value 2: Pleasure

End Value 3: Self-respect

End Value 4: A sense of accomplishment

End Value 5: True friendship

Instrumental 1: Ambition

Instrumental 2: Helpfulness

Instrumental 3: Logic

Instrumental 4: Responsibility

Instrumental 5: Self-control

 

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

 

 

 

 

Your Score for Open or Beginner’s Mind = 3

Your Score for Independent Thinking = 2

Your Score for Intellectual Stimulation =1

 

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

 

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

Your Score for Self-Awareness = 4

Count Mostly True for Items 2, 8, 12, 14 Your Score for Self-Management = 1

Count Mostly True for Items 3, 6, 9, 15 Your Score for Social Awareness = 2

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

Count Mostly True for Items 1-5

 “Fear of Failure” score = 2

Count Mostly True for Items 6 -10 “Love of Task” (Flow) score = 4

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Count Mostly True responses = 5

 

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

 

 

 

Count Mostly True responses =4

 

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

 

 

 

 

Count Words in Column 1 Score for Personal Initiative = 4

Count Words in Column 2 Capacity for Collaboration = 4

 

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

 

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

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

(Uncertainty Avoidance) = 2

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

Average Results for Items 11 & 12 PD Score

(Power Distance) = 1

 

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

 

 

 

Count Mostly Trues Your Total Score = 5

 

 

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

 

 

 

Count Mostly True for odd-numbered items Your Score for Creating a Vision = 2

Count Mostly True for even-numbered items Your Score for Implementing a Vision = 3

 

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

 

 

 

Count Mostly True responses = 5

 

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

 

 

 

Your Total Score = 7

Count Mostly True for Items 1, 2, 8, 9, 10 = 4

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

 

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

 

 

Your total Creativity score (which may be positive or negative, but must be between +18 and -12) = +8

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

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

 

 

 

Report on Statoil environmental conservation measures

January 24, 2014

 

 

 

Report on Statoil environmental conservation measures

 

Name:

 

 

Institution:

 

Date of submission:

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

Environmental sustainability involves carrying out of set actions in a very decisive manner to ensure the natural environment especially water, forest and land are protected (International Energy Agency, 2013). So as every industry engages in its daily activities to achieve its set goals, the management should ensure that all the activities carried out from the senior level to the lower level are in line with the set rules of reducing negative environmental impact on the business.

If not well monitored, industries can have dire consequences to all areas of the environment especially by damaging rainforest through logging, polluting the oceans and oceans by disposing untreated wastages, and even polluting the atmosphere through emission of poisonous gases and also allowing spills and leakages (Construction Research Congress, Rojas, Construction Institute & University of Washington, 2009).

With the current industrialization, global prosperity solely lies on reliable and affordable energy (Davidson, Lee & NATO, 2008). There should be an operation system that assures the growing energy needs are met at the same time ensuring that there is a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and environmental impacts, which are one of the key world environmental challenges facing the globe in the current world we are living in.

Being a renowned international energy company, Statoil company has a very crucial role to ensure that there are valid solutions towards this energy, climate and environment dilemma facing the world (Doern & Carleton University, 2007). In their use of available technology, experience and capital at their exposure, they should ensure that they contribute towards development of some possible solutions towards this environment dilemma.

Despite the growth in renewable energy sources, there is much to be done to ensure that the ever growing world need for energy is fully met. This will require maintenance of all sources of energy whether renewable like rivers or non renewable like hydrocarbon. In line to this, Statoil’s greatest contribution is to ensure that it embarks on measures that will ensure continuous reduction of carbon intensity of the global oil and gas production by developing low carbon and renewable technologies (Doern & Carleton University, 2007).

Impact of Statoil activities on the environment

Statoil activities and projects have various impact on the land, vegetation and wildlife in areas they are established. Some of the key impacts on this company activities and operations include temporary disruptions on wildlife habitat. Their industrial activities come with increased air emissions which if not controlled will have dire consequences on the environment (Doern, 2005).The company’s operations also have immense impact to wildlife.

Importance of Statoil to act in a responsible manner

With all the immense effect the company operation has on the environment, there is great need for this company to act in a responsible manner. First, the company has to come up with appropriate working ways to ensure it puts the footprints of the projects to a minimum (Doern, 2005).

This will be possible if and only if the company agrees to follow the federal laws laid down on operation of such projects the company intends to carry out (Doern, 2005). The federal laws have laid down standards to be adhered to by any company that intends to carry its activities which are of huge impact to the environment. This will ensure the company has adhered to the regulations stipulated on the EIA that was presented to the environmental regulatory body.

On issues of alternative energy, Statoil should ensure it embarks on the possibility of adopting and using alternative energy like use of natural gases to replace non renewable sources (El-Halwagi, 2012). This will hugely propel the company towards achieving its goal of zero pollutant operations.

With their investment on heavier oil and other key international projects, Statoil’s carbon intensity is expected to rise (El-Halwagi, 2012). With such plans, the management has come up with a capital value process, which is a plan intended to identify and facilitate adoption of technologies that aid in the carbon dioxide reduction from the initial phase of their projects design.

This is a very crucial move by the company as it will help them hugely reduce the high negative impact that could have been caused by increased carbon intensity growth if they directly engaged in such international projects without careful adoption of measures to control their increased emission of harmful gases associated with such projects (International Energy Agency & Besson, 2005).

However, the company should be very keen with the adoption of such measures as they are somehow expensive, and with increasing economic condition complexes’, they may be unable finance and sustain such control measures (International Energy Agency & Besson, 2005). So as I applaud their set measures to curb the increased carbon dioxide emission in the new projects they intend to engage in, they should also consider coming up with cheaper alternative measure so that in case they are unable to uphold the cost value process, then they will have alternative measure at their exposure to adopt to prevent pollution.

Water management

Statoil Company appears to be very keen on its activities to ensure it effectively manages the water resource. The company has been for a very long time involved in preservation of water quality, recycling and usage thus preventing overall water pollution (Leeuwen, 2010). Back in 2011, in its endeavor to achieve sustainable water management, the company came up with tools that have aided its early identification of water related risk. Together with the global environmental management initiative, the company has embarked on a project to develop local water tool. This tool has helped both companies to feasibly asses’ water risk relating to unconventional onshore activities.

The company has also initiated up internal projects like the review of its tools to for early risk assessment (Lerner, Lerner & Thomson Gale, 2006). This has helped them to develop tool box for technologies of treating low quality, on fresh water sources. The company also continues with its initiatives to update and develop further environment impact factor tools for various specific uses, e.g. those used in marine environment, drilling discharges and also coastal discharges.

These measures have greatly helped Statoil’s to hugely preserve the water sources and reserves. It has enhanced the preservation of water through its recycling systems and other measures like treatment of low quality water (Maltby, 2009). However, despite these efforts by the company to preserve and conserve water and water sources, it has failed to invest in new technologies that reduce the amount of water needed to carry out its various operations. The company should not only embark on conservation of available waters, but should also think of adopting technologies that are more efficient to ensure it minimizes on its total water consumption. Currently, their only effort to reduce their water consumption is based on their effort to recycle water only.

Sustainable shipping strategy

With almost a 100 ships sailing on its behalf every given period, Statoil has embarked on effective measures to ensure they fully control and reduce their maritime environmental footprint. With their major products being transported by sea, that company has put up some effective measures to ensure it support its sustainable shipping strategy. For instance, the company has been the first company in the world to convert its tankers from heavy oil fuel to dual fuel (Milner & Rowcliffe, 2007). This has facilitated utilization of liquid natural gases to produce power. This has enabled the company to reduce emission of harmful gases like nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide by large percentages.

In its attempts to reduce the fouling of ships, which increases the fuel consumption, the company has settled on a decision to employ Norwegian service company clean hull (OECD Publishing, 2012). This will largely help it conserve environment, as hull cleaning is known for its ability to reduce emissions and its ability to minimize transfer of invasive species too.

Though the company has put up appropriate measures to control environmental pollution on its shipping activities, it has not fully eradicated the environmental harms associated with its shipping activities (OECD Publishing, 2012). For example, though the employment of Hull activities has helped it to reduce emissions in the environment, the problem has not been fully eradicated as they are some emissions that still occur thus polluting the environment.

Stopping spills

Though Statoil Company has been able to greatly reduce its oil spills from tankers, its reputational and economic impact has tremendously risen. With a sole aim of identifying and analyzing risk, the company has in collaboration with Veritas developed an information technology tool to aid calculation of risk from their operations (OECD & International Energy Agency, 2005). This has successfully led to the adoption of geographical information system to calculate and develop ways of reducing risks.

Statoil has also embarked in a programme of training its emergency personnel (OECD & International Energy Agency, 2005). These precautionary measures have been very crucial in the long journey of this company to reduce incidences of oil spills and its impacts from its ships. However, it should be noted that the company enhanced its precautionary measures only after the 2007 incidence where oil spill occurred during the loading of its shuttle tanker.

However despite the measure put up by the company like training of emergency personnel and development of risk assessing tools, there are more that can be done. For example, instead of offering training to emergency personnel only, they should think of extending these training services to their loading personnel and the entire shipping staff (Ogugbue, 2006). This will ensure that the shipping department is handled by a very high trained personnel’s from the loading to the transport and to the offloading phases. This will ensure that the shipping sector is well prepared to avoid incidences of oil spillages thus minimizing pollution.

Biodiversity

Biodiversity is a natural part of sustainable development hence there is great need to conserve it. In general biodiversity is very crucial when it comes to ensuring and enhancing the stability of ecosystem and providing source of food and natural resources. Biodiversity also has a very great value when it comes to spiritual, cultural and aesthetic matters (Ortiz & Oceanography Society, 2011). With all these importance of biodiversity in mind, Statoil Company has put up comprehensive measures to ensure that there is total conservation of biodiversity by the entire company employees.

First, the company has mapped up environmental baselines, planned activities and also monitored those activities during the implementation phase to ensure they comply with the set standards (Ortiz & Oceanography Society, 2011). This has allowed the company a chance to minimize impacts and conserve biodiversity.

In its effort to promote its activities in east Africa, Statoil has initiated a programme where it is carrying out environmental sensitivity mapping in entire Tanzania coastline (Pons-Vignon & International Labour Office, 2011). This coastal line of Tanzania is known for its protected areas of both national and international importance. This coastline has served as a habitat for importance species like mangroves, whales and also coral reefs.

The stallion company in collaboration with university of Tanzania has come up with a key project going by the name Tanzania sensitivity atlas (Pons-Vignon & International Labour Office, 2011). This project has now been expanded to allow other major oil companies in this region.

The company has also embarked on environmental monitoring programmes (Skjr̆seth & Skodvin, 2004). These programmes are in line with its effort to achieve its goal of zero harmful discharges. The company is working very hard to transform these environmental monitoring programmes from being separate activities to become integral part of their daily production. This will enable the company to achieve safer operations at an affordable cost.

In its endeavor to identify and maintain high value biodiversity, Statoil Company has fully supported the world database on protected areas (Skjr̆seth & Skodvin, 2004). In its expansive measures to protect the unprotected areas, Statoil Company is closely working with Oxford University with an aim of developing an automatic web based tool to facilitate conservation of non protected areas. This web based tool is capable of providing ecological valuations for ecological factors such as biodiversity and also fragmentation.

These are some of the key measure that Statoil has put in place to ensure that biodiversity across the globe is protected and conserved. But when it comes to unprotected areas by UNEP, the company has to put up more comprehensive measures to ensure that there is sufficient control on usage and exploitation of this unprotected environment. This will ensure that biodiversity is fully conserved across the globe. The company also needs to engage other key companies in its web design programme (Slootweg, 2010). This will give an opportunity to other key industries to take part in protecting the external unprotected environment by UNEP.

Natural gas

Natural gas has offered several advantages that enhance the maintenance of sustainable energy. For instance, natural gas is very flexible, a factor that allows it to be effectively used as a backup energy for enabling intermittent energy carriers such as solar power (Slootweg, 2010). With these massive advantages of natural gas, Statoil Company has brought up more natural gas to the market that massively contributing to a cleaner energy future.

In order to achieve a decarbonised society, Statoil has taken several initiatives like participating in European gas advocacy forum, which is a paper that highlight on how natural gas can help Europe to reach its target of reducing gas emissions by 80% (Slootweg, 2010).

The company has also launched a gas machine campaign, which is intended to campaign for intensive use of natural gases (Slootweg, 2010). Statoil Company holds to opinion that the only way to significantly reduce the emissions, is through embracing the use of alternative energy sources. This has become reliable as it has been estimated that with replacement of old coal plant with new natural gas could approximately lower carbon emission by at least 70%.

The adoption of all these measures has helped the company to greatly contribute in reducing the emissions in transport sector and other areas like in industrial centers. However the company should come up with long term solutions to the emissions especially in its industrial centers. This is due to the fact that adoption of natural gases, though it contributes largely in reduction of emissions, it does not completely curbs the problem of environmental degradation as there is still some emissions experienced in their industries (Soares, 2008).

Sustainable arctic operation

According to UNEP, every company is supposed to explore, develop and produce arctic resources within minimal impact on the general natural environment. To ensure it complies with these set guidelines, Statoil company has embarked on a research with universities and colleges with a sole aim of coming up with innovative technologies that will allow it to safely and sustainably explore and produce hydrocarbon in an efficient manner (Soares, 2008).

The company has continuously engaged in developing decision support tools that will lead to safe and cost effective operations in the arctic (Carleton University,2009). It has also invested in a project to develop procedures and tools for arctic marine operations. These procedures will aid in early detection of threats thus allowing time for analysis. These measures will hugely contribute in improvement of ecosystem understanding, thus providing support for future impact assessment processes in arctic areas. This will in the long run ensure sustainability in arctic.

 

 

References

International Energy Agency (2013), Annual Report on the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises 2012: Mediation and Consensus Building, Paris: OECD Pub.

Carleton University (2009), Biodiversity in Environmental Assessment: Enhancing Ecosystem Services for Human Well-Being, Leiden: Cambridge University Press.

Construction Research Congress, A., Rojas, E. M., Construction Institute, & University of Washington (2009), Building a sustainable future: Proceedings of the 2009 Construction Research Congress, April 5-7, 2009, Seattle, Washington,Reston, Va: American Society of Civil Engineers.

Davidson, W. F., Lee, K., & NATO CCMS Workshop on Oil Spill Response (2008), Oil spill response: A global perspective, Dordrecht: Springer.

Doern, G. B., & Carleton University (2007), Innovation, science, environment: Canadian policies and performance, 2007-2008, Montreal: Published for the School of Public Policy and Administration, Carleton University by McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Doern, G. B. (2005), Canadian energy policy and the struggle for sustainable development, Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

El-Halwagi, M. M. (2012), Sustainable design through process integration: Fundamentals and applications to industrial pollution prevention, resource conservation, and profitability enhancement, Boston, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.

International Energy Agency, & Besson, C. (2005), Resources to reserves: Oil & gas technologies for the energy markets of the future. Paris: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Leeuwen, J. (2010), Who greens the waves?: Changing authority in the environmental governance of shipping and offshore oil and gas production. Wageningen: Wageningen Academic Publishers.

Lerner, K. L., Lerner, B. W., & Thomson Gale (Firm) (2006), Environmental issues: Essential primary sources. Detroit, Mich: Thomson Gale.

Maltby, R. A. (2009), Implementation of the framework agreement: An agreement between the State of Michigan and the Dow Chemical Company. Midland, Mich: Richard A. Maltby.

Milner-Gulland, E. J., & Rowcliffe, J. M. (2007), Conservation and sustainable use: A handbook of techniques. Oxford [England: Oxford University Press.

OECD Publishing, (2012), Annual Report on the Oecd Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises 2011: A New Agenda for the Future. Paris: Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development.

OECD & International Energy Agency (2005), Resources to Reserves: Oil and Gas Technologies for the Energy Markets of the Future, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Ogugbue, C. C. (2006), Economics of gas to liquids technology for monetization of Alaska North Slope Natural gas reserves.

Ortiz, J. D., & Oceanography Society (Virginia Beach, Va.) (2011), The changing Arctic Ocean: Special issue on the International Polar Year (2007-2009). Rockville, Md: Oceanography Society.

Pons-Vignon, N., & International Labour Office (2011), there is an alternative: Economic policies and labour strategies beyond the mainstream. Geneva: ILO.

Skjr̆seth, J. B., & Skodvin, T. (2004), Climate Change and the Oil Industry: Common Problems, Different Strategies. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Slootweg, R. (2010), Biodiversity in environmental assessment: Enhancing ecosystem services for human well-being. New York [etc.: Cambridge University Press.

Soares, C. (2008), Gas Turbines: A Handbook of Air, Land and Sea Applications. Elsevier Science & Technology.

 

interest groups Political Science

January 20, 2014

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Interest Groups

Part 1: Introduction

A politician in an effort to sell his manifesto to the public requires money to finance the activities of his or her campaign. The amount of money to campaign from one state to another is substantial, and support from the public becomes necessary. Nownes demonstrates how the process of financing campaigns started raising concerns in 1896 and 1900 when Mark Hanna benefited from donations from businesses and wealthy individuals. Wealthy donors will do it hoping that once their candidate gets into office they will gain favors and privileges thereby corrupting the system. Political action committee (PAC) was initiated in 1943 and it signifies the best-known groups that finance political campaigns. The groups raise money to either defeat or elect a candidate to federal office and must register with the federal Election commission. Corporations may not make direct contributions, but can set up PACs that can solicit inputs from the sponsors. PACs may receive a maximum of $5000 and can give $5000 to a candidate committee per election cycle. In 1955, the CIO merged with the American Federation of Labor thereby creating the committee on Political Education (COPE). American Medical Political Action Committee (AMPAC) together with the Business Industry Political Action Committee (BIPAC) are some of the committees that were formed in the 1950s (Nownes 17).

Corrado reports that in 1976, the court of appeal issued its judgment on Buckley. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 case declared several provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act Unconstitutional. The other major contribution was the Revenue Act of 1978 signed by President Jimmy Carter. The Act changed the tax deductions and credits in regard to political contributions (Skinner 33). The Amendments to the federal election campaign act of 1979 were in response to the campaign finance regulations of 1976 and 1978 (Skinner 35). Several miscellaneous changes were made in light of compliance and enforcement actions. The number reached the highest in 1988 standing at 4,268 with corporations accounting for 43% and non-connected PACs accounting for 26%. In 2008, a fall to 38% of the total corporate PACs was realized and an increase to 31% of the non-connected ones.

Part 2: State of Law and how it affects the 2014 Campaign Cycle

Congressional campaign fundraising and spending are seen to rise despite the historic objectives of reducing corruption and enhancing transparency. (Skinner 45) informs that fundraising and spending has more than doubled from 1992 to 2010. Disbursements have also gone up. His main concern however is that despite the rise in fundraising and spending, there has not been much difference in the election cycles citing 1996-1998 and 2000-2002. SpeechNow and Citizens United seem to have encouraged more fundraising and spending. This is demonstrated by the more than 70 super PACs that have spent approximately $84.6 million during the 2010 election period. Effects of worry are because the bulk of the administrations had not arisen to the summer of 2010. Unlike today, amounts of contributions and the sources of contribution would not have been legally allowed.

Part 3: Predictions about the Future of Campaign Finance

Recent developments in campaign finance systems suggest that they will endure and flourish at least in the long-term. Fundraising as well as expenses is likely to increase in the future, but this will come from parties financial capabilities. The future trend will see political parties being more proficient with their own resources which will force them allocating themselves as per their budget (Franz 56). As a result of globalization where the corporations are assured to be in business without the soliciting favors from politicians, most corporations will ignore PACs. The take home for parties is that in the future, unlike in the past, ability to flourish will not necessarily be from SpeechNow or Citizen United. This is perhaps because additional financing will not reduce competition. Communication has now become cheap and convenient to both the politician and the voter, so both sides of the campaign can relax their financial muscles (Franz 61).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works cited

Nownes, Anthony. Interest Groups in American Politics: Pressure and Power. New York: Routledge, 2013. Print.

Skinner, Richard. More than money: interest group action in congressional elections. London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007. Print

Franz, Michael. Choices and Changes: Interest Groups in the Electoral Process. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2008. Print.