Field Notes at Math Classroom
In this research paper, I am going to present my views and observations about Gompers Preparatory Academy (GPA) mathematics class. GPA works in partnership with UCSD to offering a rigorous program of instructions to high school college education in order to prepare students for college education. The core foundations upon which this school is founded made me curious and wanted to learn about some few issues. My main concern was a mathematics class, a field in which I had prior issues to deal with and a few questions I wanted answers on.
As noted in the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, mathematical classrooms have been envisioned for reform and this reform movement is underway. Students not only develop competency in computation skills in a mathematical class, but they are also destined to obtaining mathematical reasoning and its application. For students to meet the standards of NCTM mathematical discourse, they not only need to discuss their mathematical reasoning with their teacher on a regular basis but they should also endeavor to back their reasoning with the relevant basis; both in mathematical discourse and in writing. The question that lingers always in my mind is whether teachers believe in reform-based method of teaching or traditional method? At GPA, I go to one class and the teacher there explained to me that she believed the reform-based method is very effective as compared to the traditional method.
Statistics from various available research studiers agree that quality mathematical classes for high school students can only be accomplished by a highly trained teacher.
While in the classroom at GPA, I get an opportunity to observe a mixture of both the teacher’s knowledge of the subject and teaching method. I also notice some examples of reform-based method of teaching, teaching methods of the teacher and student’s engagement and behavior to the subject. While I am still seated, some road blocks seem to be apparent to me. Together with raising these road blocks, I will also raise some of the questions regarding the long-term effects of the teaching methods of this teacher. This research paper focuses several issues that are observed in one class at GPA and I will attempt to give an insight into what defines mathematical lessons in our contemporary high schools.
This research paper is a collection of notes taken during my five different visits to GPA mathematical classroom, in a two-week period of time. This research report is based on notes taken during five separate visits to a local high school mathematical classroom, over a two-week time period. During my time here, I observe one teacher known as Ms. Kinney and I should observe either algebra or college geometry class. Because my objective is to observe a more mature class, I decide to observe the college geometry class. I decide not to interact with students and I choose to remain as inconspicuous as much as possible. The class consists of 20 students and takes 45 minutes. I realize that Ms. Kinney teaches the class most of the time, but I also realize that she is also helped by Mr. Jones occasionally. I am interested mostly in quadrilaterals.
Before beginning my observation, I have my own expectations about this class and the teacher. I expect a well-behave class, I expect the teacher to at least discipline indiscipline students, I also expect the teacher to challenge students on their knowledge about the subject and finally I expect the class lesson to follow this sequence: collection of homework, taking of class notes by students, and assignment to be given for the next day.
Data Collection and Analysis
I decide to use field observation method. I am right in the class and take a seat to the back much earlier than any student. I record everything about Ms. Kinney’s teaching style and the students’ responses to her teaching style.
I think being a college student observing high school students, many of the actions could be done to catch my attention
Another limitation is that I myself have never been a teacher and therefore my conclusions may not be appropriate.
Teaching reform vs. traditional-based math
As an observer in this classroom, I believe that Ms. Kinney’s goal is to use a reform-based method of teaching. At some point, she tells me” I will do anything to see my students as interacting more possible than seeing them asleep while I am in class”. Occasionally, I observe Ms. Kinney use reform-based method but she almost immediately reverts back to her traditional method.
I get a general sense that most of the students in this class are not very conversant with mathematics. I realize that most of the time here students are learning about features of quadrilaterals.
I observe that each class uses most of its time to calm down students who are making noise. Suddenly the class is very noise and I see Ms. Kinney say this, “all class put your head on the desk”. While at this state, she continues, “I know you are good students and if you listen carefully, you will pass your exams and become prominent people in future. After this period, I will teach you shortly and then give you time to talk”. After here, all the students are calm but I observe that Ms. Kinney’s method of calming them has taken 15 minutes.
I also notice that most of the students in this class are not as engaged as they are taught in a mathematical class. Every time Ms. Kinney puts up a warm up practice question, most students just write and wait for the Mr. Kinney to give the answer or perhaps another student to provide an answer. While waiting for the answers, the students keep on talking to their friends on different issues that are not related to the topic at hand.
Several questions came up after my observation: would a reform-based method have worked to this particular class? Were these students immature to handle the questions presented to them by Ms. Kinney? Another concern in this Kinney class is about this students who are about to enter college but then cannot be able to fully handle some simple geometry.
The field of my research was as an institution known as Gromper Middle School GPA and I studied the special education class. In this type of class, the instructor’s name is Ms. Bianca. The day I first enter the class I come across many variations from what my expectation are more especially since I had never before attended any special class there before. As the lesson commence here, two assistants are seen. Every student is seen being highly active and noisy. My physical observation lets me into knowing the kind of characters that these students do possess. One of them comes on to introduce himself to me as Ms. Wang the tutor. The class teacher, Ms.Bianca poses all the directives that clearly stipulate the nature of the assignments that thesespecial needs education students are planning to do during this lesson.Despite the fact that she takes too much effort in explaining the instruction s to the students, only a negligible number of them are ready to take them in. None of the students lays focus on Ms. Bianca. The lesson is part of a course which is geared into aiding these students in finishing their assignments. My physical observation tells me that eight of these students have ADHD. Additionally, one more student has been cross examined to be found that he has a defiant kind of demeanor. This one student can be well described as oppositely defiant. A clear indication that he does the intricate opposite of what he is asked to carry out. The oppositely defiant student has been segregated from the other students and thus he owns his own desk- that is well offset from the rest of the other students. These other students can be seen to be well arranged in seats which are along three tables located on one of the sides of the room. This class lacks a teacher assistant.
The room is bright due to the fact that one of is walls is composed on purely windows. The other three walls have various assignments and other works aimed at the students posed on them. There are many signs which as per my understanding are meant to make the students recall various rules, the letters of the alphabetical order as well as numerals. These are well located where none of these students can struggle seeing them. On the opposite side of the classroom, two dry erase boards are evident. Furthermore in this room, there can be seen ample space for locations of cubes for every special needed student of this classroom where they can keep their belongings safely.
From what I observed, most of the students remained bored during the entire class. This can be attributed to the fact that each of the students as got his or her own special needs, they are varied, yet they only have one teacher controlling them. This is really hectic for they teacher and the kids themselves are every unlikely to find this kind of class engaging them.
So as to overcome the foresaid kind of problem, it is recommended that the class need to be sub-divide into various groupings. With this kind of approach, the class will turn into an interesting kind of class thus relevant to many individuals. In occasion whereby the tasks need new learning skills, is common that the human brain is eager and thus focused with learning. What follows is practicing and then applies the new skills. Ii this class, each student was observed doing different things in subgroups. This case of different ions is thus sound for the case here. However, the setting necessitating differentiation hereis different form where the students in class are differentiated on the basis of being clever or dumb. At times, the whole group takes responsibility for the completion of the task assigned to them. Contrary, in other groupings, each individual does the work on their own, but cooperation is essential for the completion of the work. In this kind of setup, skills are acquired as well as perseverance gained though in some scenarios, failure is frequent. As a remedy, direct instruction is spearheaded, however,this ought to be done in small bursts on a need to know basis.
In normal learning environments, it is obvious that some application take quite some substantial amount of time as other just take a few minutes for their completion. Typical story problems are absolutely not realistic thus they do not involve deep thinking. Thus, the use of prompts else situation which demand just a few days of thinking and action for their completion is thus a solution. Such kinds of problems usually possessmany corrects solutions, so longs as the approach employed is justifiable. Once the students have set up various equations which they find difficulties in solving, they can go to their tutor for consultations either as a group thus necessitation direct teaching on this sort of technique.Therefore, these are able to keep track of the skills they acquire with a toolbox, perhaps an envelope, full of cards that symbolize the skills they have learnt over time. The content that is learnt inclass is prepared by the types of problems that each of the skills is used for, not the chapter that Pearson has settled on putting it on.
Next I moved into the GPA’s middle school. This was established in 2009 in a partnership with UCSD. The school offers rigoroustype of high school college preparatoryprogram that has been well drafted so as to prepare students for college. The school’s program incorporated honors also advanced placement courses in field’shistory, Mathematics, science, and English. The school’s students are training ways of thinking in a critical way and developing analytical skills which ultimately prepares them for professional relations which they poses with the teacher. The schools teachers are professionally prepared in ways that are geared into meeting the students’ academic needs besides social needs. The staff is employed following a thorough application process which incorporatesthe parents, staff members and the student’s panelist owing to the fact that the school, chartered. The school’s activities, curriculum, extracurricular as well as instruction are carefully set up so as to create great kind of partnership between homes also the school environment. Each of the students’s attending college classes that are focused on REACH values. This school is committed into preparing high school students into their next stage of life, through their movement from home into the university, community as well as the working world. Plans are there to extend the facility of the school, so that coming the following year, there will be a high school with grade 9 and 10.
The next move involved a survey to Gompers Charter School (GCMS) that was started in 2005 in partnership with USCD together with the community. This is aimed at supporting, challenging besides loving the adolescents in due course the interval as they transition from elementary school to high school. The students are encouraged in the course of their academic development to depict REACH values. Emotional support is provided to the students in the school at all costs besides intellectual challenge. In the school, every spring, eight grade students are involved in adventure of their lifetime: the Historical Students Tours, during which they explore Washington D.C also other sights on the east coast. Middle schools years are full of energy, transition also excitement. GPA is keen on balancing middle school years through a focus on four chief elements that include REACH values, a community of friends, positive teacher relationships also a center of academic excellence.
1. DEVELOPMENT CHALLENGES
In the 2013 Human development Report, China had an HDI of 0.699. The accelerated progress in human development is medium. The basic dimensions of human development are long and healthy life, access to knowledge and the standards of living. Chinas life expectancy at birth is 73.3 percent, with 11.7 expected years of schooling, 7.5 mean years of schooling and 7, 945 GNI per capita. The HDI trend shows that with a HDI of 0.699 and above the average of medium human development of 0.683, China is progressing to the high human development group. The 0.699 HDI represents a remarkable 72 percent rise in HDI from 0.407 in 1980. China has an average year increase of 1.7 percent (Wollscheid, 2014). The rise is due to china’s investment in agriculture, creation of high quality education, provision of high quality healthcare, enhancing of equity, establishment of special economic zones and promotion of social cohesion. For high human development, China requires more than improving the HDI components but ensuring equality in income, sustainable consumption, reducing military spending and enhancing social cohesion.
There are four main challenges to china’s development. There is the unbalanced structure of urban and rural populations. There is increasing urban population with approximately 200-250 million people moving into the cities however are still trapped in rural living standards (Morrison, 2013). Secondly china has conflict between low and high- income population. There is a widening gap between the different social classes as well as geographic areas. China also faces serious conflicts between employers and workers. The government tried to solve this conflict through legalizing a labor code that would regulate the registered 40 million entrepreneurs along with other 10 million economic entities. There are similar difficulties between government officials and citizens leading to peoples’ mistrust in governance (Morrison, 2013). Steps have to be taken to overcome problems such as bureaucracies, alienation from people and corruption. To solve the problems, china has deepened its economic structural reform, implemented an innovation-driven development strategy, strategically adjusting its economic structure, integrated urban and rural development as well as promoted improvements to its open economy.
In recent years, China has increased its economic exchanges with neighboring countries. The state has become more concerned of its relations with main powerhouses such as Singapore and Japan, as well as other neighbors such as Mongolia, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia. Although competing across different industries, China has given more significance to its allies such as Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam, and Singapore. Countries such as Singapore and Indonesia have a leading role in china’s economic development and in other ASEAN countries. They have helped china to gain more regional economic influence. However China faces development challenges from bordering states with territorial disputes. There are territorial disputes with Japan and Vietnam (Morrison, 2013). Land seizures as well as environmental degradation from economic activities causes more disputes with neighboring states and hinder economic development. With India, china has difficulties in border relations but still maintain extensive trade relations, while Vietnam is a main trade partner with China.
Gender differences are very influential to education and aspirations as well as a person’s life chances. Gender influences the differences in life chances between boys and girls, which later cause inequalities in socio-economic status. For example, in China, boys have value more than girls and this has affected life chances for girls as they are adversely affected. There are lower expectations of girls than boys and girls who do not have sufficient family support hence cannot reach full potential. Girls also lack social support and are not protected against vulnerabilities such as sexual exploitation. China also has 20 percent lower working age women in urban areas than men. Women get fired disproportionately than men and are also hired at lower rates than men. It shows how gender has affected women’s life chances in global south (PALUDI, 2013).
There is also the concept of “leftover” women that stigmatizes urban, educated women so that they leave their search for higher education for better jobs but instead pressure them to get married. The declining female participation in development is a major problem in the global south. Learning institutions also have gender-based quotas favoring the admissions of men over women. It limits women life chances to better paid jobs. Women are also sexually harassed at workplaces (PALUDI, 2013). The global south economies may continue to develop and more women may continue to drop out from the workforce, but it comes at a cost of deepening and destabilizing gender inequality.
The cooperative conflict concept as referred by Sen is the bargaining that exists between household members over the decisions that affect them. It is used to explain on the gender relations and how they influence well-being. Cooperative conflict is a model of intrahousehold bargaining that was theorizes and assists in understanding the power differentials that exist between men and women in their households. The model by Sen predicts that in a certain relationship, the individual with bargained outcomes that are in close conformity to their preferences than the preference of the other party; has more self-interest (in actuality as well as self-perception); has the greatest household income contribution; and is in a favorable breakdown position, hence will lose less if defeated (MORRIS, 2009).
Risk aversion by peasant farmers means that peasant farmers are not willing to adapt new types of seeds, new planning practices or even new fertilizers that may improve average yields, due to the substantial variations in outcomes resulting from the new practices. For a new farming practice, even with a small long-term variance, usually has high variance because the novelties require experimentation. At start-up, the farmer would be required to change their skills in order to accommodate new practice into the specifics of their local situation. Most farmers are economically precarious hence prefer the tried-and-true farming practices (Binswanger, & Sillers, 1983).
Various factors converge and make food security a global issue. There is increase in global population, change in diets, limited access to water, and increased costs for fertilizer and fuel. Countries such as china and India have changed their consumption patterns and the issue of climate change has also led to extreme weather patterns that hinder food production. Complexity of the current food crisis is also due to poor harvests, flooding and drought due to climate change, the imbalance between agriculture and biofuels, low food stocks, changing consumption patterns, low agricultural investment, increased oil prices as well as poor political leadership (BEHNASSI et al., 2011). There are various promising prospects to avoid food shortages. The Food and Agriculture Organization has started to invest in rural markets along with rural infrastructure by coming up with public programs that enhance long-term economic growth for the poor. It provides short-term food security through vouchers for seeds, and fertilizer, for increase agricultural production. Others are subsidies as safety nets to improve households’ purchasing power. The World Food Programme has come up with “Food for Assets” program to provide new infrastructure, and new skills for increase food production. The International Water Management Institute has also come up with water investments and policies to upgrade the management of rainfall and runoff for more diversify in food production. USAID has also assisted in access to finance and agricultural technology (BEHNASSI et al., 2011).
There are various key difficulties in the formulation of agricultural policies in the global south. Most countries do not have the understanding of current agricultural policy making processes. The main challenges they face in policy formulation include inadequate funding, availability of weak research-extension farmer input supplier linkages, inadequate logistical support, as well as poor management and coordination of staff. Policy makers are faced with conflicting agendas from sectors such as trade, climate and energy. Due to lack of access to information, agricultural policy researchers do not understand the initiative of the private sector in issues such as pricing of fertilizer and output. There is also the imbalance between Tax policies and agricultural policies due to political reasons. The process also suffers from ineffective participation of stakeholders, who play a passive role in policy formulation leading to systemic mistakes in new policies. Conflict between other sectors is also unavoidable (BEHNASSI et al., 2011).
There are various development challenges that face Africa today. The first challenge is the increasing youth population that creates high unemployment levels. 70 percent of Africa’s population is the youth. Unemployment of the youth has led to high youth poverty levels in Ethiopia, Uganda, Zambia and Nigeria. The second issue is poverty and inequalities. Poverty rates have significantly declined but, inequities and disparities have led to high income inequality gap. Africans per capita income is smaller than the world average and has remained stagnant. Disparities in basic services like health, education as well as social participation prevent Africans from realizing their potential, and hinder social and economic development (KREMER, & LIESHOUT, 2009).
Africa is finding it hard to do business due to unstable policy regimes, lack of public sector reforms, and weak fiscal as well as operational independent judiciary. Small and medium enterprises do not gain from fiscal, and policy incentives in the public sector. Another issue is the conflicts that tear countries apart. The international community has been intervening in conflicts in Mali, Congo and Guinea Bissau. African countries do not often agree on governance reforms, limiting investments and weakening domestic economies (KREMER, & LIESHOUT, 2009).
Africa is addressing its problems though first investing in education. African countries are starting to provide must free and compulsory elementary education. Good governance is also reducing conflicts among nations and regions. Effective leadership through welfare and social structures improve people’s access to basic services. African is also investing heavily in agriculture and industries for job creation. Through enlightening people on family planning, Africa continues to address poverty. Through regional and international partnerships, Africa encourages foreign investment and trade for economic development. Africa is moving away from agreements with Western countries that do not have mutual benefits and starting to partner with emerging markets such as China through bilateral agreements that allow exchange of technology and energy for agricultural products. There is more trade with China and the Gulf States that include exchange of natural resources for credits and more imports from the continent. With key reforms in foreign investment policies, Africa is protecting its domestic markets, as well as attracting investments in key sectors such as the energy industry for increased economic production (KREMER, & LIESHOUT, 2009).
Aid and development in the global south is influenced by the history of a country and its colony. Global south countries have different histories and political systems that were inherited from their colonies. Aid and development is influenced by colonially-drawn boundaries that are responsible for creating the problem initially. For example, Global south countries that were not aligned to a first or a second world country in the Cold War were offered aid to become allies of either the United States or the Soviet Union. These Third World countries adopted either capitalism or communism economies and received aid from the side they supported. Since then, Global south countries have become recipients of aid from the West for economic development. Africa, Asia and Latin America have become targets for aid from Western governments and have used it for industrialization and economic growth. But overdependence on aid by the Third World economies has led to underdevelopment. Some countries have failed due to the traditional conventional approaches from the West leading to more disparity between the rich and poor (BAKER, 2014).
Since 2000, ‘doing good’ for development changed with the introduction of partnerships with multilateral organizations, donors as well as partner countries. There was the development of the partnership approach to development assistance that includes the sector approach as well as poverty reduction strategies. It introduced of Aid effectiveness approach where donors have to enter into agreements to ensure better harmonization, alignment, as well as results. Earlier, assistance was through projects and evaluation. The donor was the only one to evaluate for efficiency and effectiveness of the projects. However since 2000, there have been structural adjustment policies that require development evaluation beyond the project level. Evaluation is more complex and involves all policy-based approaches. All participating stakeholders are evaluated for accountability (Collier, & Dollar, 2001).
Aid effectiveness has since assisted donors and aid agencies to be more effective and have a positive impact. Through the new partnership approach, donors and recipient countries harmonized their activities to meet the Millennium Development Goals of poverty reduction. The principle of partnership required mobilization of national governments, the development agencies, and civil society to a single national strategy through a well-coordinated approach. There were emerging aid providers that still received aid from western countries. They included China, India, Korea, Turkey, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and Brazil, among others. Multinational corporations, international NGOs, the civil society and philanthropists also became major donors (Collier, & Dollar, 2001).
The MDGs have had a profound difference in many people’s lives. There has a been a reduction in Global poverty by almost a half and over 90 percent children in developing regions can access primary education. Disparities between the enrolment of boys and girls have narrowed. There are also gains in the fight against diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis. Child deaths before age five have also decline by half in the past decade (Wilkinson, & Hulme, 2012).
Countries such as Brazil have achieved their targets while Benin has lost track to realize its goals. Other successes include reduction in poverty population in china from 452 million people to 278 million. The goal to half the amount of people surviving on less than $1 daily was realized in 2008 due to reduction in poverty in China, India and East Asia (Wilkinson, & Hulme, 2012). More has to be done to meet targets on sanitation, education and child mortality.
The post-2015 development agenda has the prospects of dealing with various issues that include ending poverty and hunger, improvement of health and education, improving the sustainability of cities, combating climate change, and protection of oceans and forests. There are 5 main dimensions. The first is to leave no one behind by not only reducing poverty but ending poverty. The second puts sustainable development at the core through improving climate change and eradicating environmental degradation. Third prospect is transforming economies for jobs as well as inclusive growth through harnessing innovation, business potential and technology to diversify economies. Fourth is enhancing peace, openness and accountability in institutions through emphasis on good governance. The last is forging a new partnership for solidarity, mutual accountability and cooperation of civil society organizations, local and national governments, the scientific and academic community, multilateral institutions, and businesses. It is an ambitious and long-term agenda that is will change people’s lives and provide protection of the planet for many future generations (Wilkinson, & Hulme, 2012).
BAKER, A. (2014). Shaping the developing world: the West, the South, and the natural world.
BEHNASSI, M., DRAGGAN, S., & SANNI YAYA, H. (2011). Global food insecurity rethinking agricultural and rural development paradigm and policy. Dordrecht, Springer. http://public.eblib.com/choice/publicfullrecord.aspx?p=690916.
Binswanger, H. P., & Sillers, D. A. (1983). Risk aversion and credit constraints in farmers’ decision‐making: A reinterpretation. The Journal of Development Studies, 20(1), 5-21.
Collier, P., & Dollar, D. (2001). Can the world cut poverty in half? How policy reform and effective aid can meet international development goals. World development, 29(11), 1787-1802.
KREMER, M., & LIESHOUT, P. V. (2009). Doing good or doing better: development policies in a globalizing world. Amsterdam, Amsterdam University Press.
MORRIS, C. W. (2009). Amartya Sen. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Morrison, W. M. (2013, March). China’s Economic Rise: History, Trends, Challenges, and Implications for the United States. Library of Congress, Congressional Research Service.
PALUDI, M. A. (2013). Women and management: global issues and promising solutions. Santa Barbara, Calif, Praeger.
Wilkinson, R., & Hulme, D. (Eds.). (2012). The Millennium Development Goals and beyond: global development after 2015 (Vol. 65). Routledge.
Wollscheid, C. (2014). China: Economic Review and Outlook 2013-2020.
Sale of Goods Act of 1979
Sale of Goods Act of 1979
The primary goal of business is to make profits. In this regard, buyers and sellers in the market place play a significant role in the realization of this goal. However, influx of fake business persons in the market has arguably led to the formation of laws that govern business transactions. This includes contracts that bide business parties to certain terms and conditions (Edlin and Harris, 2013).
This essay affirms that sections 13 to 15 of the Sale of goods Act offer sellers’ unnecessary conditions that alter the market environment as a result of their controversial conditions.
In the wake of globalization, business transactions have gone a notch higher through the incorporation of technological expertise. However, this has arguably transformed quality of products’ thus the need to put in place legal measures to regulate the business environment. In an example, fake products continue to find their way into the markets thus posing potential risks on clients. McKendrick (2004) argues that business transactions call for mutual understanding of both the seller and buyer. In essence, it is important for the parties involved to remain glued to the contractual agreements. This entails signing of contracts to secure the business transaction should irregularities surface.
Compare and contrast the relevant cases relating to section 13 to 15 of the Sale of Goods Act
The sale of goods Act of 1979 provides an avenue for ensuring business transparency within the United Kingdom and is practicable across the world. The 1979 Act was an amendment into the Sale of Goods Act 1893. Fundamentally, section 13 to 15 is convoluted thus making comprehension reasonably complex. For example, section 13 contradicts itself by offering condition for the seller subsequently giving opportunity for the buyer to decide on the viability of the contract. The section empowers the buyer at the sole expense of the seller. As a result, the seller is left in a dilemma as the probable solutions to making the buyer contented. In this regard, courts were and continue to be utilized as the ideal arbitrators of the contract deals. Sub section 4, for example, grants the buyer the opportunity to decide on the viability of the contract. Section 13 of the sale of goods Act of 1979 is convoluted to the extent that the seller is unable to meet the expectations of the buyer (Bridge, 1998). This is chiefly because of the vulnerability of the seller to vend his or her products by description whereas the goods are similar to buyer’s description they may vary in the intended use. For instance, a pig farmer may purchase cattle feed only because the description given by the seller resonates with the ingredients he or she requires only that the products serve diverse purposes. This creates a situation whereby the seller is unable to meet the demands of the buyer. According to this section, the seller only offers products that the buyer needs. This, as a result, implies that there is no room for complementary goods. In an example, a buyer is governed by the contract not to sell tea whereas the buyer needs coffee cognizant of the fact that both can be used as beverages to quench thirst. In the subsequent sub section, the seller under contract is required to offer samples of the products (Willis, 2005). Cognizant of the fact that research methodology dictates that a sample represents a substantial portion of the whole; the seller may enter into contract with the buyer using the sample only to realize that the sample was totally different with the actual products. However, this alienates the seller from blame thus the perception that the seller under this section of the Act may be unable to meet the buyer’s expectations. Ryder, Griffiths and Singh (2012) state that “if the sale is by sample as well as by description, it is not sufficient that the bulk of the goods correspond with the sample” (87). In a classical example, Judge Nourse offered a diverse interpretation in the Harlingdon and Leinster Enterprises Limited versus Christopher Hull Fine Art Limited that sale by description can be considered a breach of the contract in the event the buyer finds the products to be direct opposites of the required since the buyer relied heavily on the description. Notably, a case involving Harlingdon sale of German expressionist artist Munter had the defendant seller allege that the plaintiff buyer had been notified of the fact that the seller was not a professional but relied on descriptions present. In such instances, description is not purported to the party to the contract thus the inadequacy of the seller to meet buyer’s expectations. The section, for example, expects the seller to offer the goods or services identical to the description provided. In light of this, the description of the product may be insufficient thus putting at risk, the essentials of the agreement. A seller, for instance, may offer a snippet description of a product only for the buyer to insinuate that the product is dissimilar to the description. This as a result injures a prospective business engagement. Ervine (2004) argues that the wide interpretation of the word description narrows down the sellers’ ability to convince a potential customer. For this reason, the broad interpretation could easily injure the sellers’ intention to scale up his or her sales. For instance, color, measurement and date and place of shipment remain detrimental to sellers. This is because those specifications later the prices of the commodities notably second hand goods. The section in entirety galvanizes the buyers’ energy to be the sole determinant of the best products in the market thus watering down the rights of the seller to sell his or her products without keen scrutiny by the buyers (Furmston, 2001:117).
In addition, sub section 2 is complex as it details the sample requirements. According to the sub section, the seller is not at liberty to provide his or her services. The sub section infers on the seller to produce identical samples to meet the buyer’s preference. However, it does not offer credible oversight on to the extent into which the samples should be identical. For instance, two radios can be similar in shape and company that manufactured them but be different in internal composition. This as a result leaves the seller with the dilemma on the best interpretation of this sub section. In essence, the sub section guarantees the buyer protection with minimal attention leveled towards the seller. In particular, the samples section is widely construed to broaden the buyers’ expectations. As explained herein, similarity in samples is generally addressed leaving the seller with minute discretion to comprehend the actual essence. For instance, in pharmaceutical practice there are genetic and original drugs. In this case, such an Act may fail to address pharmaceutical drugs since genetic and original drugs are similar in composition but diverse in companies that manufacture the same. This therefore fails to address the sellers’ requirements that will eventually meet the clients’ expectations. In a nutshell, the section is overprotective to the buyers thus leaving the sellers with minimal options in the business environment (Dorfman, 2012).
Furthermore, sub section 4 is not analytical in composition. This implies that the sub section is heavily convoluted to the extent that the seller is unable to meet the buyers’ expectations. For instance, the wording is so much that comprehension is hard. The section in entirety plays the buyers’ advocate since the seller is left with minute strategies to meet the demands of the buyer. This is in cognition of the diversity in products that a seller has in possession. As a result, the section requires extensive amendment to weaken the stringent conditions present between the buyer and seller. Acquiescence with section 14 is a diverse interpretation that creates huge discrepancies in service delivery (Andrews, 2011). This implies that the seller may concentrate on one particular aspect of description notably quantity and therefore fail to take into consideration color and measurements. In this regard, the seller will be breaching the contract in the event that the description lacks merit in the basis of the buyer. According to Ryder, Griffiths and Singh (2012) dissatisfaction arises when the seller and buyer undermine the de minimus rule. In a case involving Re Moore and Company Limited versus Landauer Company Limited, the buyer was compensated over 3,000 cans of fruit purely because of inconsistent packaging. In light of this example, it is imperative to note that the seller cements the perception that satisfaction is unachievable in business transactions. On the other hand, section 14 cements the value of quality upon purchase of a product. In light of this, buyers in accordance to the sale of goods Act of 1979 were granted the leeway to purchase and refund goods that they deemed to have compromised on quality. It is apparent that businesses engage in low quality products thus the Act in section 14 provided reprieve for buyers. However, this is injurious to the seller whose input in terms of quality should be blamed. The section is fallacious both in writing and application. This is because the seller is not in most cases the manufacturer of the products thus putting such conditions lacks merit in an economic perspective. Section 14 entails the presumption that the buyer’s expectations are unmet by sellers because the latter are not able to effectively come up with an idea on the shelf life of the product (Baatz, 2014:104). According to Hoskins (2012), section 14 bolsters an assumption that the buyer has to engage the seller in diverse explanations about the products he or she wants thus the seller may not meet the expectations of the buyer. Liability in this section is extensively leveled towards the seller. For instance, a buyer holds the privilege to return already bought products in the event the goods do not pass the satisfactory mark required. In light of this, the section does not in any way provide solutions to the seller to defend his or her products (Whittington, 1980). In an example, a person purchasing a television set has the liberty to synchronize the hold the seller responsible for unsatisfactory demands. However, the section alienates the seller from blame in the case whereby the buyer uses the product in other ways. For example, a pig feeds seller will not be deemed to have breached a contract in the event the buyer uses the pigs feed for cattle products. According to this school of thought therefore, sellers are unable to meet the expectations of the buyers who convincingly purchase products without prior investigations of indeed receiving treatment. In essence, the seller is unlikely to meet the buyer’s expectations notably because the buyer in reference to this section has no legal and moral authority to seek the clear usage of the product. However, in the event of a contract that points out the intention of the purchased product, the seller is mean to admit liability (Fuller, 2010).
In addition, linkage is inevitable between the two sections namely section 13 and 14. This is because liability discussed in section 14 occurs under similar circumstances laid out in section 13. For instance, a livestock farmer may require the services of a bull to produce pure breed, however, the seller offers the bull under description but the bull fails to conduct the presumed job. In such situations, the seller does not admit liability. In a case pitting Ashington Piggeries versus Christopher Hill whereby animal feed was purely described but lacked the quality that was required (Rowan, 2012). The court interpreted the seller to have done his part but the buyer misrepresented what ideally was important. On the other hand, the sections are proficient to be independent without relying on each other. Section 15, alternatively, seeks to address sale by sample. This creates a similarity with section 14 that regulates sale through quantity among other variables. In this case, the section creates more discrepancies. Nevertheless, sellers are unable to meet the demands of buyers since buyers largely take into consideration all conditions pre-set in the Sale of Goods Act section 13 to 15. Blythe (2005, p.77) argues that the Sale of Goods Act of 1979 remained incredibly sophisticated whereby the seller was bound by influential conditions.
The paper has extensively shown that contractual agreements are bound by numerous conditions that may limit the realization of a healthy business environment. This is because as sections 13 to 15 have shown, excessive privileges leveled towards the buyer makes it hard for the seller to make considerable growth. For instance, a seller is highly likely to report stagnated growth in the event that any negligible defect on goods sold is considered a breach of the contracts. In addition, as the sections have shown the diverse conditions put in place notably; quality, color, measurement and sample as influential ingredients, it is difficult for the seller to have in his or her possession all the ingredients. In an example, a livestock farmer may have a cow that fits a considerable percentage of the description by the buyer only for minute inconsistencies to breach contract. In conclusion, future amendments into the Sale of Goods Act of 1979 will go an extra mile in ensuring business consistency that is imperative for the growth of the economy within and beyond borders.
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For any kind of hospitality enterprise world-wide, the management should be under no illusions regarding the vitality of running an effective operation. Managing any kind of restaurant is an immensely complicated task. The customers have every right to be demanding. They expect first-class service and that’s what any bar owner ought to tom give them. Should be there any problems in managing this kind of operation, the customer sees them immediately and this definitely is the biggest incentive for the bars to take operations seriously.
The site selected for a restaurant franchisor is the location provides a prime place for the purchase of fast foods and other drinks for the purposes of providing visibility and also for the frequency in exposure. This has its own impact based on the restaurant and the architectural design. The type of color used therefore becomes the source of brand recognition on one hand and the fundamentals of the concept of franchise on the other hand, which actually makes it difficult for any franchisee to alter.
For example, B-bar restaurant is predominantly situated at a choice location with its golden color and arches, which actually establish its presence in the middle of the existing business centre. This actually may or may not blend with the cultural environment and atmosphere of the locality.
Fast turnovers in many franchise restaurants like B-bar have the need for bright lighting, warm colors, less comfortable seating, and drive-through. This creates an ambiance and environment that may not blend well or be in conflict with the existing atmosphere.
Foods become the main component in franchising and therefore a good concept for B-bar. Therefore the menu as shown in the walls of B-bar is central around which the concept of franchising is premised. B-bar has done well enough to make sure that their plan remains on only serving food and beverages that are preferred for enjoyment by its customers on regular basis. Just like any franchise, B-bar has tried to make standard its major items whose taste is relatively similar. This standardization itself has an impact on the lifestyle, eating habit, food, preferences, and food habits.
To touch on dependability, the quality of service of B-Bar is just impeccable. The basics have well been dealt with. For instance, the staff is courteous at all times and yet also friendly towards the guests. They possess the knowledge of being able to respond to the customer’s questions. The building and equipment, in fact all the hardware of the operation, support the luxury atmosphere which has been created in the B-Bar. Stylish design and top-class materials in B-Bar not only create the right impression, but they have been so carefully chosen thus the bar looks good. Most of all thigh, quality has been improved through the anticipation of the guests’ needs. Thinking ahead so that it has been able to identify what delight or irritates the guests.
Dependability has been held as a fundamental principle in B-Bar. The bar always keeps to its promises. For instance, rooms rooms are always ready as per the time they are needed and the accounts are ready for presentation when a guest departs. With this, the guest ever expects a dependable service and thus anything less than fully dependability is a regarded as a legitimate cause of dissatisfaction. On grand occasions, dependability is held prime to B-Bar. For example, when staging a banquet everything is ever on time. Drinks, foods, entertainment are availed exactly as desired and planned. Another vital fact in the bar that directly impacts dependability is flexibility (Pearson South Africa, 2000). This is so because it is through this that the bar is able to meet a guest’s requests. B-bar is thus bale to cope with seasonal fluctuations in demand.
Pearson South Africa. 2000.Operations Management. Pearson South Africa.
Timothy L., 2013 Global Cases on Hospitality Industry Routledge,
Since most digital evidence is always ruled inadmissible especially if it is obtained without authorization, it would be therefore prudent to seek for authorization before taking and working on the evidence. A search is generally illegal and unreasonable without a warrant; this is subject only to a few exceptions. Before commencing with the search, it is important to note that the law officer must demonstrate and display a probable cause that the search is justified. A probable cause is necessary before commencing with the search. In this case I believe that Mr. Got has hidden information that is of great controversy and that is subject to criminal offence. Before I seize the property, I will seek the authority of a magistrate who will consider the totality of the circumstances before and later on determine whether it is justified to issue a search warrant. For the magistrate to issue the warrant, I will have to document my request so as to prove that Mr. Got is taking with him Make stuff’s intellectual property with him to his new employer. An action that is liable to stealing and invasion of privacy. The recorded interview with Mr. Andifrum is primary evidence that can be used to seek for the authorization.
Three potential items of digital evidence that can be found in the photo are; Computer, Western Digital hard disk and Thumb drive, and USB, PNY-brand, 64GB in size
The computer is a device that can hold information ranging from emails, digital photographs, word processing documents, ATM transaction logs, files that have been saved for accounting programs, internet browser histories, computer backups, contents of computer memory, GPS tracks, computer printouts, logs from office electronic door locks, audio files and digital video. In order to prevent any alteration of the digital evidence collected, during the collection process I will first document information, that I have collected by first taking photographs and recording the information displayed in the screen. I would also move the mouse without pressing any button or moving the mouse wheel so as to identify or find out if anything is moving on the screen. If the computer is on I would seek the help of a computer forensic expert so as to ensure that any connections to criminal activity are not lost when I switch it off. In case the computer is on but it is running destructive software; software that is deleting, wiping out information or formatting the data stored, I will first disconnect the power immediately so as to preserve anything left in the machine (Casey, 2011). USB, PNY-brand, 64GB in size is a backup data device that can also be used to store video files, audio files, database login details, spreadsheets and files. In order to prevent any alteration, my first step would be to unplug it from the computer or laptop incase it is connected; If it is disconnected I will put it in an antistatic paper bag for further analysis. The computer hard disk is also an example of a back up data that can be used to store information. In the hard disk, audio files, video files and database can be found. Such information is quite important for primary and secondary investigations. The best way to collect such digital evidence is to put it in an antistatic paper bag for further analysis.
Other forms of non digital evidence that can be found in the photograph include; yellow stickers attached on the wall, a white notebook, and files in the brown envelope. The yellow stickers attached on the wall and other equipments contain reminder notes that can be used as a link to the general source of information. The best way to collect such information is by detaching them carefully so that they do not tear off. The white notebook contains scribbled notes that either act as a map to the source of information or a map to link to the general information. Such information can be recorded or photographed before sealing it for further analysis. The files in the envelope act as the source of vital information and they are very important during the investigation. Such information should be handled carefully to avoid tearing off or alteration. The best way to collect them is to photograph every document and seal the information.
I believe my coworker has not described the items adequately. In his description, the coworker should identify the functions and the capacity of the items. My coworker should indicate for example; voice recorder small silver Olympus capable of recording audio sound and high pitched sounds of up to 20 gigabytes. Item no 2 and 3 have however been adequately described.
The digital evidence collected from the scene should follow normal evidence collection procedures such as sealing the documents in a transparent polythene and antistatic bag for digital devices to prevent exposure to things such as extreme moisture, temperatures and static electricity. Digital devices should be placed in antistatic packaging e.g. paper bags cardboard boxes and envelopes (Casey, 2011). Plastic paper bags should not be used since they can convey static electricity and allow for humidity and condensation. The non digital evidence described above should be stored in a dry place and away from light to prevent bleaching of the document and ink written information.
Casey, E. (2011). Digital evidence and computer crime: forensic science, computers and the internet. Academic press.
Kraft Food Case Study
Teams in Kraft Company ensure improved organizational learning. Working in teams has pressure on the learning atmosphere within the organization. This implies that category teams within the organization assists and promotes education to the entire members of the organization. Kraft Company has been one of the organizations that have embraced proper leadership in enhancing its performance. The company has been able to lead in the market and thereby meeting its objectives. Its managers can respond to the organizational changes as they ensure proper teamwork in the organization. Kraft ensures that before introducing a new product considerable planning and investment is made. The company uses its planning analysts, Research and Development Divisions and the product teams to analyze the available markets. Market orientation strategy can help Kraft Company in ensuring its stakeholders’ expectations are met. Market orientation is important as it ensures that the customers are served with the right products and services. Satisfied customers are retained by the company, and this enhances the company’s performance.
Usefulness of ‘Category Teams’ in the context of Kraft Foods
Kraft Company is one of the biggest businesses in the food industry. It has markets in United States and other parts of the world. The company has been performing well over the past years as it mainly concentrates on the customers’ needs. In the United States, it controls over 40% cheese market (Chasse & Wolfe, 2013). Category terms are essentially important in an organization as they ensure that the strategic goals of the organizations are achieved. Teams are frequently created to undertake a specific and impermanent issue such as projects or research and development. They are created to benefits from the know-how of the variety of people from diverse departments in the organization. Involving specialists from diverse departments ensure that, the company can produce a product that can be successful in the market. Kraft Company has been one of the organizations that have embraced proper leadership in enhancing its performance. The company has been able to lead in the market and thereby meeting its objectives. Its managers can respond to the organizational changes as they ensure proper teamwork in the organization. This helps in responding to the dynamic business changes and the customer’s requirements.
Kraft can be categorized as one of the companies that have been successful, as it has diverse people who work to achieve the organizational goals. The company has corporate strategy that helps the team members to work in harmony so as to achieve a common goal. The teams help in the implementation of the strategic plan of the organization. Category Teams’ enables the staffs members of Kraft to have shared information about the group’s objectives and goals that they are expected to achieve as a group. In Kraft Company, the members are assigned to different responsibilities or tasks that they are expected to accomplish within a stipulated time frame. Structuring of the work groups enables teams of the diverse groups to dedicate themselves to the attainment of the team’s specific goals. The Category Teams’ in organizations can maximize their knowledge on a long term basis.
The category teams ensure a shared vision within the organization. In Kraft Company, the category teams help in the research and development of the new products. They ensure that the markets for the new products are effective, and the right niches are selected. Their shared vision ensures that the company performs well in the market compared with the rivals. Teams work harmoniously to achieve their vision and that of the company. The category teams are self-directed and mostly, they are careful while making their judgments or receiving the directions from their seniors. Team members who are self-directed have better morale for their jobs and their managers always have confidence in their work. The teams ensure that the corporate strategies are developed within the organization. Joint efforts in the organization are important in ensuring the organizational success. Different expertise is brought about by organizations that ensure teamwork in achieving their common goal. There is a high performance for companies such as Kraft foods that encourage teamwork. The category teams have special skills and the members ensure the success of the business by applying some distinctive knowledge and creativity. Team members bring to the organization technical know-how and problem solving expertise. Kraft is using its skillful managers to enhance its performance. The company understands that, skilled managers have the expertise in carefully developing plans that help to meet the company’s goals.
Teams in Kraft Company ensure improved organizational learning. Working in teams has pressure on the learning atmosphere within the organization. This implies that category teams within the organization assists and promotes education to the entire members of the organization. In Kraft, category teams have diverse skills and knowledge that they learn from each other. They have created an environment for shared knowledge, skills, responsibility, and continuous personal and professional growth of all the staff members. The workers have the chances to development themselves proficiently from the efficient team that is created within the business. Category teams enhance the chances of the staffs taking part in the guidance program organized to enhance the performance. Teamwork is also necessary for the members of the business to elevate their self-esteem. Every associate of the team feels important and aggravated to work, and this contributes to the success of the organization. Category teams maximize their creativity and talents in order to achieve high organizational performances. Category teams in Kraft also help individuals within the organization to build up their personal responsibility. The team members have diverse skills that may harmonize one another in order to come up with more efficient result for the organization. People in a team possess varied attitudes, knowledge, and skills, and they can monitor each other’s task and performance
How Kraft Foods might research the market beforehand to ascertain the potential success of new products?
Kraft has an extremely wide area of operation around all countries in the world. The company deals with diversified foods and beverages that give the company a competitive advantage over its rivals. Many diverse organizations that form part of Kraft usually deal with the marketing, processing, distribution, and packaging of basic food products. There are different important success factors that have contributed to Kraft company’s great performances. This includes; proper teams, its product innovation, brand image, proper customer service, experience, and store location. The company’s innovation and teamwork have enabled it to draw much attention to its clients with less effort. Kraft Foods’ sells its goods and services even before the organization engages in promotional plans. Kraft Company has effectively created awareness of its products in the market, and thus new products stirs up the consumer interest in the Kraft products. Market research is important for the Kraft Company as it helps the company to have the ability to capture the exceptional locations and open stores that can serve different niches. Research should combine all expertise in the organization so as to ensure that the new product fits in the selected market niche. Business plan is essentially effective before carrying the market research, as it will guide the employees on the strategies to be followed.
Kraft ensures that before introducing a new product considerable planning and investment is made. The company uses its planning analysts, Research and Development Divisions and the product teams to analyze the available markets. In order for Kraft to ensure the success of a new product, it must plan ahead on the ways to ensure the new product receives a great boost from the selected niche. It is thereby essential for the company to carry out research to ensure that the niches selected fits the new products which needs to be introduced. Kraft food can be able to research the market by using the innovative ideas from its staffs, involving its employees in the decision-making, and setting aside certain amount of funds to be used in the research and development. This can help in identifying the customer’s needs within a certain environment; help in identifying the competitors within the niche and their pricing strategies, and how the new product may be perceived in that markets. Legal and Political systems affect the decisions made by a company with regards to the entry in the new market internationally. It is essentially important for a company to undertake the research on the political and legal environment so that it can provide the new product under the rules of the country. The marketing research on the new product helps in ensuring different market segments is targeted. It also helps an organization to evaluate the attractiveness of each market subdivision and select the market segment that have the potentiality of providing better returns in the future. After researching the markets, Kraft Company should ensure that the product yields greater client satisfaction, and the products can increase the marketing effectiveness.
How marketing orientation would help the organization
There are wider areas of opportunities Kraft Food can apply. It can use market orientation strategy, and use the available space in the new emerging markets for improvement. A move towards marketing orientation for Kraft Company would also help it in achieving its set goals. This move can help the company to satisfy its customers’ needs, by reacting to their needs/wants. Kraft Company operates in a competitive market, and adopting market orientation strategy, would help it, in becoming more sensitive to the client’s needs. This would help the company in ensuring more sales than the rivals. This strategy may help Kraft in providing what is right for the clients, rather than what the business thinks might be right for their clients (Riley, 2012). Kraft Foods’ management operates in a fast-changing niche or market place where it must ensure that its customers are treated with concern, and the employees are treated as part of the company.
Kraft adopting the marketing orientation strategy can plan ahead in ensuring the organizational goals are met. Managers who use this strategy ensure better decision-making processes in their organization. The use of this strategy can help the company to adopt the new technologies. There are new technologies that Kraft Company can adopt to ensure that the product and services meet the client’s needs. The development of the online networking sites helps the organizations to achieve their strategic goals. Facebook and Twitter are online networking sites that provide the Kraft Company with the platform to advertize its products and services to the audiences all over the world. The company can adopt the mobile technologies such as Wi-Fi in advancing its service delivery. Adopting the online payment methods may help Kraft to serve wider markets. Online payment cards make it economical for the clients to pay their services companies.
Market orientation strategy can help Kraft Company in ensuring its stakeholders’ expectations are met. Market orientation is important as it ensures that the customers are served with the right products and services. Satisfied customers are retained by the company, and this enhances the company’s performance. A better performing organization can attract investors, and this influences the decisions of the shareholders. Better performing company can provide dividends to the shareholders where the sales are more. CSR and corporate governance contribute positively to the organization performance. Market orientation is very important to Kraft foods in providing the suitable structure that the company can effectively attain its goals and objectives. Kraft needs to balance the interests of diverse stakeholders of the business such as the management, shareholders, the government, customers, financiers, suppliers, and the community members. Market orientation is one of the key success factors that can enabled Kraft Foods to compete in an impressive way. The company should ensure strong commitment to product quality in its market segments to make sure its goods and services provide the right contentment to its clientele. This can be achieved by selecting workers with the right knowledge and skills in the field of food manufacturing.
Programme of internal marketing for Kraft and how it would assist the organization’s communications to business and to end customers?
Kraft Food company since its inception has promoted its products portfolio through the well-coordinated internal approaches as well as through the use of the advanced technology applicable in the food industry. Effective internal communication and integration scheme is a program that can ensure proper communication within the organization and enhance the customer’s satisfaction. Communication is essentially important in an organization so as to ensure the attainment of goals and objectives. There is no corporation that can survive without proper communication and integration schemes. Communication also enables organizations to ensure workers are well aware of what is anticipated of them at any given time. Effective internal communication and integration scheme entails individuals showing empathy. It is necessary for the group working together to view the state of affairs from their colleagues’ perspective. This entails the individual workers aligning their goals with the goals of the organization or other team members. This attribute leads to groups within the organizations acting in good faith. They can pay attention to one another ensuring effective communication. Empathy is a characteristic displayed by workers as well as the management of organizations that want to achieve success. Kraft adopting this characteristic may help its workers to listen to one another. Clarity ensures better performances within the organization. Kraft needs to ensure that it adopts effective internal communication and integration scheme to ensure that the organization attains its objectives. Lack of clarity within the organization makes many individuals fail. Kraft has to ensure proper clarity in integrating its employees and its customers. The management of Kraft must ensure that its workers can understand what is required of them and be able to act accordingly.
Effective internal communication and integration scheme in the workplace requires of individuals to show litheness when communicating to guarantee competence. It is very important for them to display diverse communication abilities to be able to handle diverse situation. This means Kraft employees should view things in diverse perspectives to ensure the company’s success. Effective internal communication ensures rigidity as people can handle problems using certain tactics. Adopting flexibility in the internal communication is important as the changes in the organization may not affect the staffs. The management of Kraft can use diverse communication strategies to guarantee the better handling of the employees and the customers. Effective internal communication and integration scheme entails people in the organizations ensuring fittingness when talking with one another. Lack of appropriateness pilots to others resisting whatever it is one might be trying to communicate, and this might affect the organization. Appropriateness can be a trait for Kraft Corporation in ensuring that it stays ahead of its rivals. This can help the organization in ensuring that it can comply with its set standards. Application and innovation of advanced technology is an additional factor that the firms must take an advantage in ensuring that it expands its markets. Expanding the market share for the company requires dedicated efforts from the employees and the management communication or through individual and acquisition. Advertising is very important to Kraft Company given the fact that it can enhance and promote the brand awareness to the clients. Kraft Company has realized an incredible increase in marketing and other expenses incurred in promotions.
Effective internal communication and integration scheme can help the employees to be sensitive to consequences. The employees are able to know what actions can lead to either negative or positive results. Effective communication ensures coordination, motivation and proper delivery of information. Effective internal communication and integration scheme can help the employees at Kraft to display feedback skills so as they can communicate in a proficient manner. Essentially, communication and integration is not absolute until feedback is provided by the other party provides. This helps the management to understand whether their employees were able to get the right message. Lack of feedback in the organization may result in poor performance, as the company may not be able to improve its products. The employees and management at Kraft need to work closely with one another in ensuring the success of the company. People in the company need to be encouraged to communicate freely with other staffs and supervisors, so as to enhance the organizational performance. Kraft needs to encourage the staff and the customers to provide feedback at all times so that, the organization can measure its performance.
Kraft Company should also take advantage of their brand recognition and invest in research and development so as to adjust their new products and services. This will help in increasing the effectiveness of organizational operations. To enhance the customer’s satisfaction and proper customer service, the management should be taught competently so as to also coach their workers well. The clients have high considerations regarding Kraft Company, as they value the company’s products. They also value the Kraft’s employee’s attitude and behavior. However, the clients would not be satisfied with the notion of waiting in long queues and insufficient workers handling them. This may result in the customers moving to the other substitute fast food stores. Employee’s rudeness may result in the failure of retaining customers. Better communication and integration will ensure a better relationship between the customers and the employees. Motivated employees have extended ability in serving the customers.
The benefits that will accrue in Kraft after adopting the internal communication and integration scheme are many, and this will ensure better business communication. They include; better performance by the employees as they will be encouraged to be accountable and responsible, the employees, and the customers will be able to understand the organization better, the individual employee’s development will be enhanced, also this will ensure improved customer retention, and lastly, there will be good cooperation and coordination among the business departments.
To ensure diverse teams in the organization, Kraft Company needs to ensure that each team member has a role or responsibility to play within the team. Kraft Company should be active enough in ensuring that it changes with the changes in the market demand. This can help the organization to maximize its revenues. The Kraft management needs to motivate their teams in ensuring that they perform well in the organization. Motivation can be in the basis of rewards to the best performing teams. Corporate governance is indispensable to Kraft foods as it provides the suitable framework that the corporation can effectively achieve its goals and objectives. Focusing on the marketing strategies and financial gains may not effectively help Kraft company in attaining its goals. The management should focus on ensuring corporate social responsibility is enhanced, so as to create a good image for the society and the customers. This will help the company in achieving more returns in long-run. Effective internal communication and integration scheme is a program that can ensure proper communication within the organization and enhance the customer’s satisfaction. Communication is essentially important in an organization so as to ensure the attainment of goals and objectives. To improve the customer’s satisfaction and proper client’s service, the management should be taught competently so as to also coach their workers well.
Kraft has invested huge capital in branding as well as the advertising of the products through the use of online advertisement. The Kraft Company has so far recorded very low number of limitations because of its regulation guidelines and its organizational structures. The company exploits the available opportunities in ensuring that it achieves its set goals. It has ensured proper teamwork in the organization to help in accomplishing the organization’s objectives. The company uses many incentives to promote its products and expand its market. To ensure more success, the company can adopt market orientation strategy. In this strategy, the company can concentrate on the client’s needs and be able to obtain feedback from them.
Chasser, A. H., & Wolfe, J. C. (2013). Brand rewired: Connecting branding, creativity, and intellectual property strategy. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.
Riley, A. (2012). Marketing orientation [Online] Available from http://www.tutor2u.net/business/gcse/marketing_orientation.htm [Accessed on 11 February 2015]
Development of a Specialized Search Tool for Microbiology
Table of Contents
- Requirements Analysisand Discussion
This chapter is essential to achieving the goal, which is the development of a specialized search tool for microbiology. Major emphasis is laid on performing a thorough analysis of the best set of requirements that will meet the targeted functional characteristics of a quality microbiology search engine (Chauhan et al. 2013).
The user requirements have to be achieved by the search engine provider who also has requirements. The research is to investigation what the users and provider require. When these are understood in detail a system can be developed that meets those requirements as well as possible.
This research describes the search for and assembly of the user and provider requirements and the development of a search engine tool for microbiology. The study aims to assess the importance of search engine techniques applied as E-learning tools in Biology and the advantages of a specific search engine technique. It is imperative to understand the potential ways of E-learning that may be adapted to support microbiology researchers and students. Google’s search engine capabilities return specific microbiology results to the users. Google is a widely used search engine which has an enormous database of content. Furthermore, the tool shall ensure efficiency as it attempts to provide most relevant results for Microbiology researchers. In addition, it shall make use of machine learning techniques and data mining concepts to ensure efficiency of the document classification.
Repercussions of the study for those concerned with implementation of Microbiology search engines in Saudi Arabia will be analyzed. Moreover, the study aims to investigate different ways of using E-learning to boost the academic achievements of students and researchers. Other aims include evaluating the relevance of such technology both in the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia as well as acceptance of E-learning technology for Microbiology for academics in KSA. This will be a quantitative study supported by use of surveys to facilitate data collection from a selected population.
User requirements entail a clearly stipulated set of activities or functional procedures that users are expected to implement in their day-to-day interaction with a system. Among the most essential user requirements for microbiology researchers are functions such as the ability to perform very a specificsearch through query expansion to overcome the width of retrieval responses arising from microbiology finding terms used in other areas leading to ambiguities and multiple meanings, such as genetic algorithms and part words such as gene occurring in everyday words such as general. That is, achievement of the final goal of specific relevant retrieval being obtained by applying concepts such as domain Ontology Semantic search methods.(Chauhan et al. 2013).
Domain ontology search is a fundamental functional requirement for users of the targeted microbiology search engine. This is because ,it facilitates efficient retrieval of the required information through a feature called automatic expansion of a query request (Chauhan et al. 2013). On this regard, when a user enters a particular search query, the meaningful notions are extracted. These notions along with the aspect of domain ontology are then used as the basis for performing query expansion. Finally, a large set of documents are retrieved and then ranked based on relevance to the given user query. This ranking of results is a very essential need for the users of a specialized microbiology search tool. In this sense, this chapter acts as a crucial building block to the success of this research.
The successful implementation of the proposed search engine depends on a comprehensive analysis of the user and provider requirements. This means conducting an analysis first, by questionnaires, and/or observing how users interact with existing search engines, and then, on the basis of the results found determine the requirements catalogue.From the survey conducted, the users provided suggestions on the type of services they wish to enjoy from the search engine. Therefore, the quantitative type of data that can be converted to useful and achievable deliverables will be used to create the architecture of the final search engine tool.
The results of the Questionnaire Survey on Exiting Search Engines
- The search engines are used by both males and females with proportions of 62.43% and 37.57% respectively (Q2).
- The existing search engines are utilized by people of varied age groups. The majority of the users are aged between 20-30 forming 61.38% of the sampled population. The age group 30-55 follow with 32.80% then under 20 with 5.29%. Those over the age of 55years are the least users at 0.53% (Q3).
- A look at how the sampled population frequently used the computer for studies shows that they are vital part of studying for majority. For example, 82.54% of the students used computers daily for study followed by 13.2%, weekly, and 3.70%, monthly. It is significant to note that only 0.53% commented noted to use them at all (Q4).
- In regard to the commonly used search engine, Google won with 98.94%, followed by Yahoo and Bing at 2.66% each and at last position, Ask.com, 1.06% (Q5).
- From Q6, it is evident that the search engines are very helpful in study with students rating it at 4.33 out of 5.
- Students often use search engines in study with 65.08% using them on daily basis, 28.5% on weekly basis, and 2.38% on monthly basis. A negligible fraction, 3.978% never used them for study (Q7).
- 75% indicated that they do not use an E-learning system or a specialised search engine for microbiology. Only 18.25% used either of them (Q8).
- In regard to the rate of satisfaction with existing search engines, 21.43% indicated to be very satisfied, 42.86% indicated to be satisfied, 32.54% were neutral and 2.38%, dissatisfied (Q9).
- In Q11, 81.75% indicated that the search engines have the ability to give result in more than one language. 18.25% said no.
- From Q12, “Are all subfields of microbiology considered in the search engine?” , majority, 51.59% said “NO” and 48.41% said “Yes”.
- When the sampled users were asked whether the new search engines should be more friendly-user than current ones, 25.56% strongly agreed and 50% agreed. 24.44% were neutral. On contrary, no one, 0% disagreed or strongly disagreed (Q13).
- There was strong need to integrate the proposed search engine with other web resources to access more search engines. This was portrayed by a good number of the sampled users when they were asked on the same. 36.67% strongly agreed, 48.89% agreed, 12.22% were neutral and only 2.22% disagreed (Q14).
- On whether the proposed search engine should allow for customized search on microbiology content, 26.67% strongly agreed, 43.33% agreed, 28.98% were neutral and 1.11% strongly disagreed (Q15).
- In respect to the inclusion of a multilingual feature into the proposed search tool, 53.33% strongly agreed, 33.33% agreed, 8.89% were neutral and 4.44% disagreed (Q16).
- The users were also asked whether ‘search-as-you-type’ facility should be included in the proposed search tool (Q17). From the results, 44.44% strongly agreed, 40% agreed, 14.44% were neutral and 0% disagreed.
- In Q18, the author wanted to know whether it was important to provide access to other common search engines such as Google. The statistics indicated 44.4% strongly agreed, 38.89% agreed, 13.33% were neutral, 2.22% disagreed and 1.11% strongly disagreed.
- In, Q19, the author sought the users’ opinion whether it was necessary to include a user instructions kit on using the tool and searching through different sub fields in From the results, majority found it necessary. 40% strongly agreed and 36.67% agreed whereas 23.33% were neutral. On the contrary, no one disagreed.
- With regard to currency of microbiology content and research, the majority said that the proposed search tool should include both the past and the current resources. Metrics indicated that 41.11% strongly agreed, 36.67% agreed, 22.22% were neutral and no one disagreed (Q20).
- One of the important questions in the survey was whether there was need to include microbiology content as sub disciplines and other forms of classifications (Q21). The results indicated that there was need to do so. 34.44% strongly agreed, 43.33% agreed, 21.11% were neutral and only 1.11% disagreed.
- In Q22, the sampled users were asked whether it was necessary to include links to other microbiology learning resources. Basically, the statistics implied it was necessary. 37.65% strongly agreed, 40% agreed, 21.118% were neutral and only1.18% disagreed.
- In Q23, the author found it crucial to determine the significance of a microbiology search engine in enhancing lectures, tutorials and practical studies. Indeed, the microbiology search engine was deemed significant for supporting learning activities. 41.18% strongly agreed, 37.65% agreed, 20% were neutral and only 1.18% disagreed.
- Do specialised search engines bring students with similar subject interests together through information exchange? (Q24). From the results, it can be concluded as “Yes”. This is because 38.82% strongly agreed, 43.53% agreed, 12.94% were neutral, 3.53% disagreed and 1.18% disagreed.
- Above, the sampled microbiology students indicated the web search engines eliminate the constraint of learning resources in microbiology (Q25). 18.2% strongly agreed, 41.18% agreed, 32.94% were neutral, 5.88% disagreed and 1.18% strongly disagreed.
Resolutions from the Survey
A critical review of the results from the survey clarified on issues that need to be considered in the development of the proposed Specialised Search Engine for Microbiology (SSEM). It was clear that users expect a tool that supports;
- Multi-lingual feature which allows for search in more than one language.
- High user-friendliness
- Topical and other forms of classification for organizing search results.
- Customization of the search
- Search-as-you-type feature which provides insight to user when launching a search.
- Accurate and relevant results.
- simple but advanced search
- All fields in microbiology
Among the key functionalities that will achieve the targeted user requirements determined in earlier research are:
- Faster retrieval of information from a wide set of predefined online sources
- A granular topical selection,
- searching within content and metadata
- Metadata is title, subject, author and/or language and inclusion of non-English documents in the corpus.
- Expansion of queries to gather and filter required information or results
- Ranking of results based on relevance to subject matter
- A module for processing Language based search operations
- Categorization of results on the basis of key microbiology topics
In order to achieve these functionalities, the proposed search engine will be bound to effective approaches that include; application of semantic technologies, existing free tools as the tool is intendant to be free for use, comprehensive database strategies, and incorporating cloud computing strategies.
Firstly, from the user interaction, the semantic technologies will be explored to determine if they are an practical approach to ensuring that there is an organized extraction and exploitation of valuable information from technical documents. This approach applies robust information search processes in conjunction with machine learning platforms, which is one of the most valuable aspects in promoting the ability of the targeted search engine to extract efficient data needed in the day to day activities of a microbiology student or researcher (Garzoli et. Al, 2013).
The search engine for Microbiology shall therefore be developed using simple tools and easily available resources. For data classification, NLTK building package shall be used. Furthermore, machine learning methods techniques shall be employed to increase the tool’s effectiveness.
Secondly, for any online computer system to be considered high quality, it is always important that a well-designed database provides a standard platform for storage and retrieval of data. In this respect, two approaches are necessary to be applied to the data storage requirements of the targeted search engine. These are: (1) auser driven approach and (2) adata driven approach, which will work together as one coherent component. For the user driven approach, query instructions have to be designed in such a manner that they search and retrieve data from the database with emphasis on the level of education of a microbiology student. On the other hand, the data driven approach will ensure that sets of closely related materials regarding the searched subject are presented to the user (Abai, 2013).
Thirdly the integrated connectivity to the cloud network will be considered. This is a very important requirement as it ensures access to a wide set of global data. Cloud network plays a huge in promoting faster and relevant data access. It also eases the workload on a local database by creation of a virtual data access centre where resources can be stored and retrieved upon need (Schadt, 2011).
Semi-structured interviews will be held with specialists inthe various fields of microbiology that include applied and pure microbiology to help determine the organization of microbiology content.In the pre-implementation interviews, the specialists will be asked about the organization and relevance of search results from the existing search engines in their work.There will be several post-implementation interviews to gain insight on their experience of using different search toolsfor microbiology and techniques they use to achieve relevant feedback.The pre-implementation interview will be between 40 and 60 minutes and the post-implementation interviews will be for a similar period of time. The interviews will be recorded as notes and analysed.
Semi-structured interviews will be held with search engine IT and application specialists to assess the technical aspects and range of specific search engines, learning algorithms and retrieval, processing, and presentation techniques that are used in web tools and techniques and how they perform in practice. In the pre-implementation interviews with the specialists they will be asked about their experiences in determining user and provider requirements.
After the determination of the user requirements, the software specialists will help to review the development of the tool and its components as part of the tool development process for the software, firmware and hardware and web retrieval algorithm experiences.
The research will also determine a number of areas and specific microbiology topics to evaluate how effective the search tool will be with some current locally important microbiology searches of existing literature. The effect of these tests on the requirements and design of the search tool will be noted. A range of potential searches considered relevant to microbiology in Saudi Arabia will be considered to ensure the tool is not restricted by several tests.
Saudi Arabia has pressing needs for the adoption of advanced microbiology learning activities. Saudi Arabia has a number of challenges in microbiology. A better search engine which encourages students is a key component in promoting interest in microbiology .success of this proposed project. Promoting the adoption of advanced microbiology learning activities in Saudi Arabia is one of the key aims of this research project.
The socio-economic, cultural and educational practices in Saudi Arabia have beenconsidered as a subject of concern to the nation’s progress. The implementation of the planned tool will be fundamental in promoting the wider and deeper study of microbiology.
This project places major emphasis on some areas of the Saudi ways of life where there is need for significant microbiology considerations.
A significant number of issues of concern in the Saudi environment include the hygiene of water used by most of the citizens. This is particularly in areas such as the Al baha province where people consume contaminated water (Omer et. Al, 2014). This water is shared with the camels and yet there are no strategies applied to prevent any microbiological infections that come along with the use of unsafe drinking water. The quality of water in the region requires significant microbiological follow up in order to save the people from a wide number of deadly water borne diseases (Omer et. Al, 2014).
Another major requirement in Saudi Arabiais the effect of microbiological infections that cause infections such as the coronavirus infections that affects dromedary camels and spreads to humans. This virus poses a significant threat to the health of camels and livestock. In fact, if not treated with the right antibodies the virus can easily result in large numbers ofdeaths among livestock.
Lastly but certainly not the least, there is the subject of respiratory tract infection, which has hugely been experienced the periods of Hajj. Hajj is an Islamic religious practice where almost three million Muslims from all around the globe perform mass gathering in the Saudi for religious practice called pilgrimage. In some cases, this has resulted in the spread of a number of diseases, which include respiratory infections. The most common respiratory tract infections that have been recorded include influenza and rhinovirus. To reduce the spread of these infectious diseases, the use of masks, hand hygiene and vaccination has always been motivated.
In general, all this set of information has to be well integrated into the proposed microbiology search engine. It will play a very crucial role in enhancing the levels of knowledge of microbiology in the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and the world at large.
The ever increasing and complex data needs for biological subjects has in recent years become a crucial subject of concern. To aid in promoting fast and efficient data access technological professionals have been working hard to come up with technologies that will promote better access to scientific materials. In this sense, a significant set of microbiology requirements have proved to be key in ensuring that the targeted search engine ends up a successful project. In simple terms, the microbiology requirements have been divided into two major groups, which are stipulated below.
Microbiology search engine requirements
- A set ofsemantic functional procedures that will enhance online data search through knowledge based and intelligent discovery of web contents. The semantics need to be incorporated both in the data and the search engine. This will be very important in ascertaining that the targeted microbiology search engine is achieved.
- A module to integrate searched information into the predefined sets of semantic functionalities. In essence, the aim is to provide computational solutions for the large data volumes that has undergo timely management and analysis before being to the user. This is to aid in faster retrieval of the requested information (Schadt, 2010).
Microbiology Student/Researcher Requirements
- A search engine that can speed their research by offering relevant results.
- A search engine that can process text and group results in relevant subcategories of Microbiology.
- A search engine that can process language specific queries while returning most relevant results in a desired format and category.
It is important to outline the number of pressing needs that this application will cater for.
Firstly, it will play a role in promoting granular topical selection, which has been a key challenging issue for microbiology students and researchers. Most of the current search engines provide wide and irrelevant search results that make it challenging for microbiology students to enjoy direct access to useful resources. Therefore, this application will cater for the need to access information search results that accurately relates to required subject of concern (Gupta & Singh, 2013).
In addition, the need for search process to be conducted within the metadata and content can easily be catered by this proposed application. Through adoption of semantic technologies along with direct connection to the cloud network, users will enjoy better access to the required information.
Last, there is the need to havean optimized search engine that delivers the most relevant results within reliable or reduced time frame and using less processing power is another key aspect that this application will cater for (Gupta & Singh, 2013).
Evaluation will involve using real users in testing the functionality and capability of the search engine tool. The search will be configured on a server – for testing purposes, we shall use free hosting services. One hundred students studying Biology related courses will be given the URL to the search engine tool to research about a microbiology subject. Instructors will be used to evaluate the students’ response time from the research.
On the search engine tool page, a survey button will be available for the students to give feedback on how they found the search engine tool. They will be asked whether it was helpful and how easy and efficient it was to find information. The results will be stored in a database within the search engine tool for analysis.
This chapter has focused on a thorough analysis of the user requirements for the day-to-day operations of the proposed microbiology search tool. It begins by outlining that the success of the proposed system depends mainly on its ability to meet the expected functional features by the users. These users include students, practitioners and other professionals in the field of microbiology.
To gain a clear understanding of the user requirements, a significant number of sections have been considered as very essential in coming with the appropriate analysis. These include a section on the Existing Search Engines, an approach to User Requirements Analysis, the Saudi Requirements Analysis, the Microbiology Requirements Analysis and the most pressing needs the application users require. Consequently, it has been found out that the targeted users require the specialized microbiology search engine to offer services such as faster retrieval of information and ranking of results on the basis on relevance to the subject matter.
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Financial Statement Analysis at IHG
Date of submission
Table of Contents
Financial statements are not to be taken on their face value. Often, it is not enough for a shareholder, and other stakeholders, to simply look at the financial statement figures provided by the management in making the decision whether a company is worth investing in (Prentice-Hall, Inc., 2001). For instance, while a company might post higher than normal profits, these returns could be driven by the purchase of more assets. Therefore, an investor needs to ask himself whether the company is efficient in its use of assets implying the need to query what the management is doing with the resources available. To achieve this goal, an analysis of financial statements is a prerequisite. This is because it links items from different financial statements to come up with a complete illustration of how well the firm has performed over the current period as compared to previous years. The aim of this paper is to conduct a financial ratio analysis on the financial statements provided to the shareholders of Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) over the 2012/2013 period. Performance over this period will be compared to the 2011/2012 financial year so as to arrive at a conclusion on how well the group has performed over the two periods.
The IHG is a high-end hotel group and one of the largest hotel groups in the world. Launched as a single hotel in Brazil in 1946, the group has grown to over 4,700 hotels spread across the globe (Intercontinental Hotel Group, 2014, p. 5). These establishments are spread across one hundred countries under nine different brands that include the intercontinental and Crown Plaza brands. Currently, IHG operates on a management and ownership model where it manages most of the hotels operating under its brand, while owning very few of these establishments. Currently, the company is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange as well as the London Stock Exchange. Over the most recent reporting period, IHG posted gross revenues amounting to $1.9 billion dollars, making a gross operating profit of $668 million (Intercontinental Hotel Group, 2014).
The table below illustrates the ratios calculated in the course of a financial analysis of the accounting reports filed by IHG over a two year period.
IHG has divided its operations into different segments for reporting purposes. Geographically, the group has divided its operations into, Asia, Middle East and Africa segment, Americas segment, Europe, and Greater China segments. For operational purposes, these geographical segments are further divided along with the ownership structure of the group’s operations. Therefore, the arising operational segments are franchise, managed and owned and leased segments. Such a segmentation makes it easier to account for the various types of shareholders to whom the management is answerable. The tables under Appendices illustrates segmental information for each geographical and its respective operational segment.
Segmental information shows that the Americas region continues to show strong growth in terms of total revenue as it accounted for nearly half of IHG’s total revenue. However, Europe had a decline in revenue of $36 million while all other segments showed strong revenue growth. In terms of operational segments, hotels owned and leased by IHG had the highest revenue of all segments in greater china region. However, the AMEA region had hotels managed but not owned by IHG positing the highest revenues. Europe showed that ownership was not significant enough a difference to affect revenues while franchises had strong growth in the Americas region.
From these two tables, a number of deductions can be made. Over the 2012/2013, IHG saw a 3% increase of revenues as they rose from $1.8 billion reported in the 2011/2012 to reach $1.9 billion in the most recent year. At the same time, cost of sales increased by $12 million in 2012/2013 above the $772 million reported as cost of sales in 2011/202 financial period. These changes had a number of impacts on the profitability of the company. First, the gross profit margin increased from 57.93% reported in 2011/2012 to reach 58.8% achieved in 2012/2013 financial period. As a company that is heavily reliant of the intellectual and service capability of its employees, IHG has had to cut expenses incurred in developing physical facilities and the utilities that come with such developments (Liu, et al., 2013, p. 186). These cuts have seen the company’s operating profits increase from $551 million over the 2011/2012 period to $595 million in the 2012/2013 year. While these profits exclude exceptional items, the all-inclusive net profit before interest and tax rose from $547 million in 2011/2012 to $600 million in 2012/2013. This increase in profit led to an increase in the operating profit margin ratio that increased from 29% in 2011/2012 to 31% in 2012/2013 financial year. On an overall, the return on capital employed increased from 22% in 2011/2012 to 26% in 2012/2013 financial year.
As a result of increased profitability over the two reporting periods, IH reported increased efficiency in the use of its assets (Ahrendsen & Katchova, 2012, p. 262). Its asset turnover ratio was 0.19 in 2011/2012 year, while in 2012/2013, it rose to 0.22. This means that for every dollar of assets owned by the company, the management was able to derive sales of 22 cents in the latest financial period. Owing to increased profitability, IHG reported higher returns on the assets owned. This is denoted by the fact that the return on assets ratio increased from 16.89% in 201/2012 to 19.14% in 2012/2013. This means that for every dollar of assets owned by the company, the management was able to make three more cents in 2013 than it did in 2012 (Kaminski, et al., 2004, p. 21). This further illustrates the fact that the management at IHG is doing more in improving the company’s profitability using the scarce resources at its disposal. As a services company, IHG is not expected to turn over its inventory as many times as a company in the retail industry (Chadwick, 1984, p. 35). Over the 2012/2013 period, IHG was able to turnover its inventory at least once every two days. This is denoted by the fact that the inventory turnover period ratio was 1.86 over the latest period. In comparison, the same ratio was 1.89 in 2011/2012. This means that the company was not able to turnover its inventory as many times in 2013 as it did in 2012 (Drury, 1981, p. 24). This could lead to higher inventory storage. However, this was not reflected in the income statement, leading to the deduction that the increase was not significant enough to affect overall profitability.
To improve profitability, it would be expected that IHG would risk to have more receivables as well as payables in its balance sheet. This would lead to higher liquidity ratios that would be an indicator of higher risk of facing a liquidity crisis. This was the case over the last two financial periods at IHG. In 2011/2012, the company had a current ratio of 0.85 that means that its current assets only accounted for 85% of its current liabilities. During the 2012/2013 period, the current ratio was 0.75 which means that current assets accounted for 75% of current liabilities. It can be deduced that IHG had higher receivables over the most recent period, but they were not enough to cover for the increase in payables over the same period. The acid test ratio shows a complementary movement as it reduced from 84% in 2012 to 71% in 2013. As the acid test ratio is net of inventory, a decline points to higher risk of liquidity as company can only cover 71% of its current liabilities using its most liquid assets that are mainly made up of cash.
Higher risk of liquidity was also accompanied by higher gearing. In 2012, IHG had a gearing ratio of 41.22%, while in 2013, the company posted a gearing of 49.56%. This shows that its capital structure was made up of 41% debt and 49.56% debt in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Therefore, in 2013 IHG had a higher risk of liquidity and financial problems owing to its higher financial obligations in that year. Its debt to total assets ratio also increased from 90% in 2012 to 97% in 2013 showing that in the last financial period, debt made up 97% of total assets owned by the company. Higher gearing is often accompanied by higher interest obligations. As such, the interest cover ratio increased from 9.6 times in 2012 to 7.63 in 2013. This decline further proves that the company is more burdened with debt in 2013 than it was in 2012. It would be expected that higher interest commitments would lead to lower dividends thus the lower dividend coverage ratio (Estrada, 2005, p. 193). Therefore, IHG had a lower dividend coverage ratio in 2013 than it did in 2012 denoting that it would not pay as much dividends in the near future as it had over the previous years.
Accounting reports should be an accurate and faithful representation of the company’s performance over the reporting period (Deloitte Global Services Limited, 2014). While accuracy is a desirable quality of financial statements, one hundred percent accuracy is almost unachievable. This is because of the many small items that cannot be fully accounted for in full in a group’s financial reports. As such, the conceptual framework incorporates the materiality concept that states that those items that are large enough to have an impact on the decision made by stakeholders should be included in the financial statements (International Accounting Standards Board, 2014). As such, materiality is entity specific as what might be material for a multi-billion dollar company is not material to a company worth thousands of dollars.
Faithful representation serves to underline the importance of having an error-free reports (Deloitte Global Services Limited, 2014). As such, it is important that the management discloses information in a neutral manner that is complete as it is free of error (Deloitte Global Services Limited, 2014). As such, consideration must be given to those who can interpret financial numbers as well as those who need these numbers translated into words. Therefore, financial reports should be a representation of the economic status of the company in numbers as well as words to explain the numbers (Deloitte Global Services Limited, 2014).
In drawing up its financial statements, IHG has met the desired qualitative characteristics of faithful representation and accuracy. This is denoted by the fact that the company discloses in full all exceptional items that have been incurred in normal operations. Exceptional items such as audit fees have been shown in the notes to the accounts. The company’s management has also disclosed factors such as risk and any changes in the accounting policies adopted by the company. This is not only in compliance with accounting standards, but also a way of letting users of financial know about how different the current financial statements differ from those of the previous year.
Often, financial statements include items such as deferred tax that are not easy to understand for the general user of the statements. For these users, the company has made full explanations on how the figure has been arrived at matching the words to the numbers. This makes financial statements relevant to both the analysts and the average stakeholder who has not had a tight grasp of accounting concepts. Moreover, the management discussions and analysis section of the report gives all users how the management views the company’s performance in the future. This gives the accounting reports a predictive value as well as a confirmatory value useful to decision makers.
An in-depth analysis of financial statements is often a prerequisite before one judges the financial soundness of a company. Dividing the analysis along the lines of profitability, liquidity, gearing and investment gives the decision maker a sound background check on how well the company has performed over the desired financial period. This is taken a step further by comparing two financial periods. As one of the largest hotel groups in the world, an analysis of IHG provides a look into the health of the hospitality industry over the 2013 financial period. An overall profitability analysis shows that the company performed well as it kept its operational costs low while increasing its revenues. Efficiency ratios show that IHG was able to derive more use of its assets in the s2013 period compared to the previous financial year. This is shown by the fact that its asset turnover ratio, and return on assets ratio increased in the current period as compared to the previous financial year. However, increased profitability meant that the company had to borrow more to finance the growth. This is reflected in the gearing and liquidity ratios. The effect of more borrowing is that it placed more pressure on the returns to shareholders, as denoted by a reduction in dividend and interest covers.
In meeting the qualitative expectations of accounting standards, IHG has ensured that its financial statements are easy to read for the general public. The management matches numbers to words in a bid to explain exceptional items. Though these items are incurred in the normal course of business, deeper explanations of the largest and most material items enables decision makers arrive at that right conclusions as to the general direction of the company. It can be concluded that the financial statements from IHG meet the qualitative expectations as stated in accounting conceptual frameworks.
Ahrendsen, B. & Katchova, A., 2012. Financial ratio analysis using ARMS data. Agricultural Finance Review, 72(2), pp. 262-272.
Chadwick, L., 1984. Comparing financial performance: Ratio analysis and retail management. Retail and Distribution Management, 12(2), pp. 35-37.
Deloitte Global Services Limited, 2014. Conceptual Framework — IASB-FASB joint project. [Online]
Available at: http://www.iasplus.com/en/projects/completed/framework/framework-joint
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Drury, J. C., 1981. A Study of Industry Financial Ratios. Management Decision, 19(1), pp. 24-25.
Estrada, J., 2005. Adjusting P/E ratios by growth and risk: the PERG ratio. International Journal of Managerial Finance, 1(3), pp. 187-203.
Intercontinental Hotesl Group, 2014. Annual Report 2013, New York: Intercontinental Hotesl Group.
International Accounting Standards Board, 2014. A Review of the Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting, London: International Accounting Standards Board.
Kaminski, K., Wetzel, S. & Guan, L., 2004. Can financial ratios detect fraudulent financial reporting?. Managerial Auditing Journal, 19(1), pp. 15-28.
Liu, C., O’Farrell, G., Wei, K.-K. & Yao, L., 2013. Ratio analysis comparability between Chinese and Japanese firms. Journal of Asia Business Studies, 7(2), pp. 185-199.
Prentice-Hall, Inc., 2001. Ratio Analysis. [Online]
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Source: (Intercontinental Hotel Group, 2014)
Appendix 2: Segmental operations
|Owned and leased||141||138|
|Owned and leased||44||48|
|Owned and leased||140||198|
|Owned and leased||212||199|
Source: (Intercontinental Hotel Group, 2014)