Archive for July, 2015

Psychology

July 31, 2015

Psychology

Article 1

Margot Shield’s article, “Smoking, smoking cessation and heart disease risk: A 16-year follow-up study”, focuses on the effects of smoking among Canadians. It classifies smoking as a major endangerment for the human heart. Smoking leads to the introduction of heart diseases in humans (Shields, Wilkins & Statistics Canada, 2013). The study sample concentrates on a present-day age group of men and women free of heart disease. The article seeks to measure the correlation between smoking cessation, smoking and heart disease.

The study is established on the nine cycles of information. The cycles are from the year 1994/1995 through 2010/2011. These cycles of data, from the National Population Health Survey, gathered data on the smoking status of the modern day age group of men and women from Canada. The sample consisted of 5,715 women and 4,712 men aged twenty five years old or older. The study sample had not developed heart disease. Data was collected every two years. The heart disease was dictated by self-report of identifying the symptoms and cause of the disease, its medication and observed deaths. Risks associated with heart disease were equated among present daily smokers, those who did not smoke daily and one-time daily smokers.

The study conducted found out that the common behavior of smoking had reduced over the past ten years in Canada. The number of cigarettes Canadians smoked on a daily basis had also decreased. When heart disease risks were compared among current daily smokers, one-time daily smokers and those who never smoked daily, current daily smokers were more susceptible to the risks. Present daily smokers had a sixty percent higher risk of developing heart disease compared to those who never smoked daily. The risks associated with heart disease were less prevalent among present day daily smokers who had fewer cigarettes. In spite of associating smoking cessation with a lower risk of developing heart disease, twenty or more years of uninterrupted cessation were needed for the risk to draw near to that of people who did not smoke on a daily basis.

Although smoking affects both smokers and non-smokers, heart disease risks are more prevalent on smokers. Smoking on a daily basis heightens the risk of developing heart diseases. One-time daily smokers are also exposed to the risks associated with smoking cigarettes. They are however not much endangered compared to current daily smokers. The risks lean mainly on the health perspective of humans. Health effects due to smoking cigarettes are more dominant than environmental effects.

Article 2

Dan’s article, “Psychiatry and mental health research in South Africa: National priorities in a low and middle income context”, reviews the recent National Mental Health Summit discussion for South Africa. The summit discussed the research priorities in mental health and psychiatry for South Africa. The research of the study concentrated mainly on low and middle income countries (LAMICs). Research was encouraged by a scope of different priorities in mental health, psychiatry and related research and limited resources in these countries. One of the vital debate discussed in the summit was a research fallacy and a common relation between good academic scholarship and good clinical exercise. The article also outlines conclusions drawn by most summit members on the topic of national research priorities.

Some summit delegates polled stakeholders and researchers in several countries and found out that health systems, psychoses and substance use disorders ranked high globally. Others utilized the multi-region interview procedure and realized that adolescents, women and children ought to be prioritized in a population with mental and psychic disorders. Collins and fellows utilized a Delphi panel to key out challenges faced in mental health research. Overcoming these challenges would greatly impact the lives of people with mental, neurological and substance use (MNS) disorders.

Mental or psychiatric disorders are not rare conditions or unpopular diseases. These diseases affect many people globally compared to physical diseases and conditions. This study confirmed that ten percent or less of worldwide research resources are utilized on such common diseases. Of the ten percent of the resources, very little, close to no resources, are used on mental and psychiatric health research (Stein, 2012). The research study done found out that there exists a treatment gap in low and middle income countries. Due to the level of income of these countries’ citizens, there exists limited or no treatment resources for psychiatric disorders. Hence, people with mental or psychiatric disorders in these countries receive inadequate interventions.

Health research on mental and psychiatric diseases in LAMIC countries is to a lesser extent not likely to be published in high recognizable psychiatric journals as compared to high generating countries’ research work. LAMIC countries’ medical journals were to a lesser extent not likely to write articles regarding mental and psychiatric disorders than those of high generating countries. Over the recent past, there has been evidence of increased level of research on mental and psychiatric health compared to other scientific areas in South Africa. The citizens and other health workers in South Africa are seeking to find out ways of delivering cost-effective interventions on children and adolescent mental and health disorders in the low-resource economy.

Adequate human and financial resources contribute to work efficacy and efficiency in the health sector. The resources ensure that a culture of safety is maintained in all health care institutions. Scientific journals have an obligation to ensure publication of mental and psychiatric health work in both research and general journals in LAMIC countries. It is vital to come up with good health and clinical system interventions suitable for resource limited situations. More research on mental and psychological disorders should be enabled in LAMIC countries.

Article 3

Philippa’s article, “Prodromal services improve clinical outcomes in people who present with an established first episode of psychosis”, writes of prodromal clinical services for psychotic people. The services are said to be highly developed, over the past twenty years, for people with an eminent risk of psychosis. Clinical outcomes of people with the first episode of psychosis were compared to those of people showing ideal mental health conditions. A comparison between patients with first episode of psychosis attending conventional mental health services to those who attending prodromal mental health services was also done.

A study was conducted to compare the results of people with first episode of psychosis who were introduced to the OASIS prodromal service (n=164) to those of the people introduced to established Maudsley NHS Trust and South London mental health services (n=2779). The primary result measured the period of hospital admission while the secondary result measured the time taken to identify the cause of the disease, necessity for mandatory hospital admission and times of admissions. Regression examples were performed to examine the consequence of presenting to the prodromal clinic on clinical outcomes. Ethnicity, age, employment and marital status, diagnosis, gender, borough of residence and exposure to antipsychotics were let in as covariates.

Nearly one third of the patients made reference to prodromal services were already in the first episode of psychosis (FEP). This was found out when they were evaluated. The patients were generally referred directly to a particular first episode psychosis clinical service. Patients introduced to the prodromal services responded at a faster and more efficient way to treatment compared to those who went to established mental health services. Most patients were young males from the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) group. Those introduced to prodromal mental health services experienced more advantages than first episode psychosis patients who attended conventional mental health services (Philippa et al, 2012). They had a shorter period to diagnosis, seventeen fewer hospital stay days, a lower probability of mandatory hospital admission in the two years after referral and a lower occurrence of being admitted to hospital.

Prodromal services, meant for patients with high risks for psychosis, seems to better the clinical results for patients who are psychotic. These research findings propose possible roles for the prodromal clinics to assist with the admission of health care for patients with first episode of psychosis. This would be of much assistance since the patients are most likely to undergo difficulties while engaging with conventional mental health services.

Article 4

The article, “Virtual reality study of paranoid thinking in the general population”, writes of paranoia. The article shows that people with no life threatening mental illness in a population go through paranoid thoughts without any basis. It seeks to find out the factors that cause paranoia by using a laboratory procedure of getting the experience. Fear of whether to trust other people is fundamental to social interaction in spite of being prone to error. The fear is brought by modern day social and political situations. This mistrust, that has no basis, is referred to as paranoia. In severe cases it is called schizophrenia.

One of the methods used in this research was the computer yielded interactive environments. The selected neutral social condition was an underground train ride. Two hundred general public members were assessed and enrolled to a particular train ride inhabited by neutral characters. The advantage associated with this method was that paranoid experiences were not to be unfounded since the computer individuals were programmed to act in ways held by consensus to be neutral. In spite of what an individual did, the individuals retained their neutral nature in their evident responses.

Socio-economic status, computer games, intellectual functioning, education, ethnicity, age and gender were some of the additional factors used to find out causes of paranoia. The interviews and questionnaires used in the research indicated that paranoia happens on a regular basis in about 15- 20% of the population (Daniel et al, 2008). The questionnaires used to assess paranoia experiences did not bring out paranoid thoughts based on reality. Additionally, the interviews conducted did not lay down the truth claiming suspicious thoughts. So as to find more accurate results, the laboratory method was utilized.

Majority of the characters of the paranoia tests were found to be neutral or friendly. However, few were found to have paranoia experiences. These cases were anticipated by worry, anxiety, cognitive inflexibility and perceptual anomalies. The levels of mistrust in the society were linked to the rates of mortality and social togetherness. Hence, both clinical and non-clinical paranoia cases were linked with similar risk factors. However, non-clinical paranoid symptoms were more likely to heighten later psychotic disorder diagnosis. The studies demonstrated that paranoid experiences concerning virtual reality individuals can happen in students and in individuals with a high risk of acquiring psychosis.

Paranoia refers to the baseless fear that other people want to harm you. A clear understanding of clinical paranoia experiences is gained after studying non-clinical paranoia experiences. Clinical observations propose that the most prompt cause of paranoid thoughts is the misunderstanding of daily experiences such as an individual’s facial expression. However, this presents challenges for the research study done on paranoid thinking since it is unacceptable to offer everyone a similar daily experience. This is of great importance since patients with paranoid thoughts act in a different manner compared to others evoking different reactions.

References

Shields, M., Wilkins, K., & Statistics Canada. (2013). Smoking, smoking cessation and heart disease risk: A 16-year follow-up study. Ottawa?: Statistics Canada.

Stein, D. J. (December 05, 2012). Psychiatry and mental health research in South Africa: National priorities in a low and middle income context. African Journal of Psychiatry, 15, 6, 427.

Rashmi Patel, Paolo Fusar-Poli, Covadonga M Díaz-Caneja, Lucia Valmaggia, Majella Byrne, Steven Badger, Philippa Garety, Hitesh Shetty, Matthew Broadbent, Robert Stewart & Philip McGuire. (May 13, 2012). Prodromal services improve clinical outcomes in people who present with an established first episode of psychosis.

Daniel Freeman, Katherine Pugh, Angus Antley, Mel Slater, Paul Bebbington, Matthew Gittins, Graham Dunn, Elizabeth Kuipers, David Fowler, Philippa Garety. (March 31, 2008). Virtual reality study of paranoid thinking in the general population.

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Risk Management

July 30, 2015

Risk Management

Name of Student

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Risk Management

The current global business environment is highly characterized by great unpredictable instability in almost every aspect of the social and economic sphere. The continued change in the manner in which business is done throughout the world is itself a perfect marker of the role played by various state economies to support growth of both local and international business sector (Grasman, 2008, p32). Of great interest to investors however, is the urge to see their investments grow according to their expectations. If all investors are given an assurance that their investments, be it in Real Estate or in any other forms of investments, will grow there is no doubt that; the amount in volumes of investments will encounter unprecedented growth even without advertisement efforts. However, in real life cases, the business sanctuaries can be highly unpredictable and threatening causing investors to pull back a bit as they gauge the direction of the already made investments. Sometimes, the existing supporting structures for businesses may not be adequate to wholly support the kind of investments made. As a precursor, may be the investment involves development of a new product or improving the usability through innovation and to overcome such derailments, each of the components of this new product have to put in check in order to avoid incidents of failure. This paper will delve into various aspects of invention, innovation and the process of product development with the aim of reviewing the entire subject of risk management in order to appreciate the role played by management of risks in successful implementation and integration of new products.

To begin with, the terms invention and innovation have continued to coexist with each other in business context. Invention, on one hand, has been used in many occasions to mean creation of either a process or a product for the first time. On the other hand, innovation puts invention at its base and is used to signify the improvements made on a specific product, process or service (Grasman, 2008, p21). In order to highlight the difference between the two, the case of Iphone can be used in the same way predecessors have. The Iphone was originally an invention and subsequent improvements and upgrades made to the original invention can only be described as innovation. For example, the invention of GPS may have been invented during the age of Sputnik (Jaizki, 2009, p34), but its inclusion into an Iphone is termed as innovation. Another meaning of innovation emerges from what people continue doing with the Iphone invention. A sample of these include; health monitoring, getting their geographical location and restaurants and making bookings. Therefore, invention is considered in the business sphere as being the benchmark for innovation to take place.

Both invention and innovation are two concepts considered very relevant to the growth of any industry. Whereas various researches have continuously indicated that innovation is of great importance when compared with invention, there is also much counterevidence to refute this argument. Although this is a debatable argument, both have advantages contributions they make to the current industry and marketplace. Invention on one hand is the one strongly accredited to building up on scientific knowledge to come up with absolutely new products, processes and services that are much helpful to any human generation that finds use of these inventions appropriate. As such, invention is considered important to industry as it leads to the creation of new products and services that innovation can later work on to lead to better lives. On the other hand, innovation is crucial since it involves the use and application of inventions in various platforms to bring about increased quality and efficiency of products or processes. It is very much relevant to the contemporary business industry because of a number of reasons. To begin with, innovation is the most desired trait in any business since through it, businesses can better respond to existing market trends and competition by discovering an assortment of opportunities that exist both currently and make a projection of what the future may be like. In addition, innovation enables the industry to make the best use of what it currently has by either focusing on designing a new product/service, looking for new prospects or focusing on the existing business practices and processes to increase the level of efficiency. Besides that, innovation can present a new avenue through which a business organization can develop an outstanding selling point since research shows that; consumers associate innovation with value addition to a company that embraces it (Rothwell 2014, pg 16). Therefore constant innovation can be an avenue through which an industry can obtain better staff, increase satisfaction of clients and above all, increase the level of profitability for any business.

The process of new product development is a crucial element in determination of useful life of a product or service. Due to this known fact, it is important that those who are delegated with duties to introduce new product do so following an appropriate path for a more successful end. Depending on the type of business enterprise, the process is normally made up of many components. Although this process might be a typical example of what many current industries use, its effectiveness in development of new products may be insufficient owing to difficulties in obtaining feedback from the target market (Cortada 2005, pg 6). The process of new product development always begins with idea generation which involves gathering of ideas which are later evaluated as options for the product. This first component often calls for contributions from both within and without the organization. In addition, this involves brainstorming, and inclusion of various research techniques such as running focus groups and inciting customers towards giving comments and suggestions through various media platforms. The second component of new product development is the screening process where various ideas received from the idea generation component are thoroughly evaluated by specialized personnel in order to choose the best options. The people involved in this step are the high level executive staff who, depending on the number of generated ideas, may want to review the generated ideas on a number of rounds. Once the idea has been chosen, rough estimates are made and the product moves to concept development and testing. Both customers and employees are involved in this process which often takes the form of a concept board presentation where both consumers and employees can openly express their; likes and dislikes, level of interest in the product, purchase frequency and the price points. The fourth component of new product development is the business analysis step where the large number of ideas originally generated will have been greatly reduced to only one or two alternatives. This component is greatly affected by results of market research since viability of business ideas is the main object in this stage. This is the stage in which forecasts on the market size, financial projections alongside operational costs are made in order to align the product to the company’s strategy and mission. In addition, both internal research and external marketing research are considered instrumental at this stage of product development. The fifth component of new product development constitutes of product and marketing mix development. In this component, serious considerations are given to ideas that surpassed the business analysis stage and companies generally pull a lot of their research and develop resources to come up with an initial design of the product. Marketers, on the other hand, spend a larger portion of their time developing an appropriate marketing plan before seeking input from customer. The overall significance of this stage is to solidify the decisions of marketers and provide vital information such as purchase rates and the overall reaction from customers. The next component is the market testing of the real product. Although this component can be skipped by various companies, this component is vital since through it, a company that is still interested in obtaining more input from other groups through marketing it in a few selected outlets can do so at their peril. The marketers, on the other hand, take it upon themselves to visit potential outlets such as supermarkets and other retail outlets for their products to be tested in the market. This stage can also be accomplished through running computer simulations where actual customers may not be involved at all. The final step is the commercialization component which comes after sufficient amount of research and evidence have literally confirmed that the product is ready to be launched to the market.

The process of innovation is often a long one and its successful implementation involves a number of responsibilities which, in a typical organization, need to be shared among staff (Jerrard 2008, pg2). Based on the kind of leadership and preferences, various organizations may decide to adopt a number of models for various innovations.  The first type of innovation model is the one chaired by the management team. In this model, this team is entrusted with the overall responsibility to conduct the innovation. In the contemporary business environment, research indicates clearly that; it is the most commonly adopted model in many organizations since it calls for every personnel in the top management to make a contribution to the final product (Hubbard 2009, p9). In the real life, this model has for a long time been adopted by Lego, IBM and Coming although the composition of the innovators vary greatly from each of the mentioned companies. The second model is the one that is conventionally headed by the CEO or either Group or Division President. This model is – according to research- the second most supported model across organizations especially in organizations where direct founders are the owners of these organizations (Zhao 2008, pg45). An example of where this model of innovation was adopted is in Apple where Steve Jobs was the CEO in-charge of innovation. However, since the succession, Tim Cook may not expressly lead the innovation team therefore prompting the Apple team to adopt another model for successful innovation. The third model is where innovation in a particular organization is headed by a high level, cross-functional group where several managers are appointed and assigned different roles which work towards realization of an innovation. This is somehow different from the first model in the sense that; not an entire group is drawn from the organization’s top leadership. In the contemporary marketplace, a number of case studies have shown existence of this kind of innovation model in companies such as Philips, Eli-Lilly, royal Dutch and even Tetra Pack. The fourth model is the one chaired by Chief Technical Officer or Chief Research Officer which is widely considered one of the oldest models used in technology-based innovation. In this case, either the CTO or CRO are seen as new technology promoters. This model is largely applied in the engineering, pharmaceuticals or even the finance industry. There are couple of other models which include; that headed by a dedicated innovation manager, one headed by a group of innovation champions, one that has no particular leader and finally, the duo model which is led by a team of only two persons. Although these models are many, it is generally considered good practice that both companies and organizations refrain from restricting themselves to only one model since both advantages and disadvantages for each vary across models and industries (Hubbard 2009, p28).

During the process of new product development, it is apparent that many factors are in play and failure to observe and analyze the effect of each prior to completion, may lead to serious losses.  A number of researches have been conducted and found out that; both risks and creativity have an inexorable link in the sense that, they are infinite in their own variety with a combination of the two defying any accurate description. Owing to the complex nature of the environment in which new product development takes place, risks tend to emerge from different number of levels and respective situations. Additional research has openly found out that; 80 percent of projects involving new product development fail to reach completion stage while more than half the remaining 20 percent don’t turn out to be profitable (Cortada 2005, pg67). This is usually a harsh reality given the amount of resources which most companies put to enable successful launching of these products. A number of reasons have been pointed out as being the major causes. These include; poor response to diverse risk factors in the development phases, overreliance on inappropriate development schedules, poor time allocations to various phases, insufficiency brought about by inappropriate decision making system. Studies have also shown that; risk, likelihood of risk and the likely consequence are interrelated by

Risk = Likelihood X Consequence

Therefore, by reducing the likelihood, the risk of making losses due to poorly performing products of new product development process can be avoided (Zhao 2008, p2). However to reduce this likelihood, a number measures can be taken. These include; reviewing and controlling each phases of product development, conducting a more thorough and perfect design/analysis, and finally making both test and evaluation components more real either through design-of-experiment, accelerated life testing or reliability qualification testing. From this analysis, it is therefore evident that when adequate risk analysis is done in every stage of new product development, it can play a vital role in shielding organizations from encountering surmountable losses brought about by investment on products that may not produce commendable results.

On the other hand, systematic risk management plays a very significant role in implementation of innovation. This is especially true since innovation generation and subsequent adoption entails risk which brings a lot of uncertainty no matter how well risks are dealt with. Although risks can be managed, they must not be allowed to deter innovation of products. Through identification, periodic assessments, and partial mitigation by employing appropriate tools can help save some of the inevitable costs associated with innovation. Among the major roles played by risk management is that; although risk is quite significant, management makes it easy to overcome major hurdles in the path of innovation. Secondly, research has conclusively found out that; many organizations tend to get worried when risks involved emerge from both technical and financial dockets. However through systematic risk management, risks arising from the technical hemisphere can better be handled by use of appropriate information and eventual push to the suppliers while financial risks can better be handled by use of insurance policies, guarantees and imposition of adequate modalities of payment. Thirdly, the application of risk management plays the roles of identifying, mitigating, reducing risks for an innovation. By applying all these roles to a specific innovative venture, innovation is more likely to succeed in its purpose. Fourthly, through application of appropriate risk management procedures, risks can be properly managed through making trade-offs. For example, increasing the number of actors can greatly reduce risks but at the same time increase the amount of delays. In addition, very detailed and explicit risk management potentially increased time and cost of an innovation while lack of such can lead to even worse situations. Therefore, by striking trade-offs, boundaries as to where intelligence gathering should stop and action begin can be easily marked thus enabling innovation to transform organizational performance in the face of competition. In the advent of technology, a number of tools have been brought that have the potential to help those in charge of innovation to manage various risks. However, overall change of attitude is a compulsory ingredient towards proper identification, reduction and eventual mitigation of innovation these risks.

References

Cortada, James W. (2005-11-03). The Digital Hand: Volume II: How Computers Changed the Work of American Financial, Telecommunications, Media, and Entertainment Industries. USA: Oxford University Press.

Grasman, S.E., Faulin, J., Lera-Lopez, F. (2008).  Public‐Private  Partnerships  for  technology growth  in  the  public  sector.  IEEE  International  Engineering  Management Conference.

Hubbard, Douglas (2009). The Failure of Risk Management: Why It’s Broken and How to Fix It. John Wiley & Sons. p. 46.

Jaizki Mendizabal; Roc Berenguer; Juan Melendez (2009). GPS and Galileo. McGraw Hill

Jerrard, R. N., Barnes, N., & Reid, A. (2008). Design, risk and new product development in five small creative companies. International Journal of Design, 2(1), 21-30.

Rothwell, Roy,(1994),Towards the Fifth-generation Innovation Process,in: International Marketing Review,Vol.11,No 1,1994,pp.7-31

Saghee M, Sandle T, Tidswell E (editors) (2011). Microbiology and Sterility Assurance in Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices (1st ed.). Business Horizons

Zhao,  Zhen‐Yu  and  Duan,  Lin‐Ling  (2008).  An  Integrated  Risk  Management  Model  for Construction  Projects.  PICMET  2008  Proceedings,  27‐31  July,  Cape  Town,  South Africa.

Book Review: Tell My Horse

July 30, 2015

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Book Review: Tell My Horse

Tell My Horse by Zora Neale Hurston is an interesting read first published by Lippincott back in 1938. For the most part, it is a detailed account of Hurston’s anthropological fieldwork in the two countries, Haiti and Jamaica, between 1936 and 1937.  Tell My Horse comprises of three sections: the first is about the land of Jamaica; the second presents different personalities and politics of Haiti; while the third talks about voodoo and magic as practiced in Haiti. Interestingly, hers is a firsthand account of how voodoo is part and parcel of the cultures (Hurston 92). She shows all these with the help of illustrations, photos and drawings. The book also includes eerie recipes for different types of poison, song lyrics, and several political outlines.

Zora Neale Hurston was born in Alabama in 1891, but the family later moved to Florida where she would spend a large part of her childhood. Remembered as the first ever black woman anthropologist, Hurston was an alumna of Barnard College as well as Columbia University. She wrote folklore, short stories and novels such as Mules & Men, Jonah’s Gourd Vine, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and not forgetting Tell My Horse. As a devoted anthropologist and folklorist, all of her works depict folklore, specifically from the mythical rural South. She was also a good singer, best known for her rendition of the song Crow Dance, which details the story about an African buzzard that often swoops down to eat its prey and then fly away. She died in 1960 at a place called Fort Pierce in Florida.

As mentioned above, part of Tell My Horse offers a historical review regarding certain huge events that transpired in the history of Jamaica and Haiti. Her stories on this appears like a fascinating portrait and travelogue of religious traditions, peasant cultures, and political conditions. The author describes the politics, life and religions of people in Haiti more than Jamaica. Nonetheless, the time she spent in Jamaica offers insight on issues to do with race relations. According to her, the mulatto and black divide was present in Jamaica just as it was present in Haiti. Hurston also describes Jamaica’s belief in the culture of duppies, Maroons’ traditions in Accompong, as well as the hunting and feasting of a giant boar the followed.

Besides the beliefs and traditions, the author also offers examples of race or color barrier between the mulattoes and blacks of Jamaica. The mulattoes are still black, however, they are an elite separate group because they wield political power, white contacts and access to knowledge. Just like Haiti and other parts of Caribbean Islands, the mulattoes have anti-black prejudice thus cannot intermarry with blacks from the lower classes. The hold on to power by the mulattoes has been going on for a long time.

The author also dedicates part of her book to talk about US imperialism in the land of Haiti. Apparently, the Haitian politics can be described as full of deception and lying techniques to substantiate the status quo. The way the author analyses this topic depicts the deeply rooted economic and political woes caused by mulatto elites and blacks, which set the stage for an American invasion. Indeed, such an invasion was deemed preferable to the status quo. Hurston speaks to one Haitian intellectual who goes ahead to lie regarding Haitian history and in the process overlook the main issues that led to the American invasion (Hurston 220-1).  This covers approximately a third of the book, nonetheless, it is less fascinating that what comes next. The rest of the chapters include Hurston’s personal account of the experiences she underwent as a recruit to the voodoo faith.

According to Hurston, Haiti is a place full of zombie folklore. Any Haitian can tell a story or two regarding past or recent raisings of people from the dead. People take in these stories differently. The more affluent part of the society may pass off such stories as mere myth but the majority of the poor take voodoo and zombie folklore more seriously. They present this as real events that happen on the ground. The author’s account of Voodoo acknowledge some of the bizarre and supernatural events and ritual that are linked to voodoo, zombies for instance. The author goes to the extent of taking a picture of one Zombie discovered in a hospital (Hurston 195). To this extend, the author is nonskeptical regarding the power of the voodoo, she offers a chilling and unbiased account of these practices, rituals and beliefs because she was part of them.

She discusses some of these rituals, like the bokors’ practice, who turn their victims into zombies. The author offers details of how these people follow certain receipts to compose drugs, poison or remedies that are from Haitian secret societies, who specialize in the performance of evil rights to turn their victims into zombies or practice cannibalism. Hurston also discusses how to evoke the loas, as well as the music and dances associated with the loas. Some of the descriptions feature popular loas of the Rada and Petro Voodoo rites that originate from various parts of Africa (Hurston 42-3).

There are several terms from Conrad Kottak’s book Anthropology: Appreciating Human Diversity, which I found to be exemplified by specific examples in Hurston’s Tell My Horse. The first term, ritual refers to stylized, stereotyped and repetitive behaviors done in special and often sacred places at particular times (Kottak 194). Some of the rituals described by Hurston to help understand this term include those done by Mother Saul and Brother Levi in their Jamaican cults, for instance, chanting and singing. The second term, magic refers to supernatural techniques meant to attain specific objectives (Kottak 193). Hurston gives details of how Haitian secret societies follow certain receipts to compose drugs, poison or remedies that are part of magic to turn their victims into zombies or practice cannibalism.

The third term, animism is the belief in spiritual beings (Kottak 191). This term is expounded by some of the beliefs mentioned by Hurston, for instance the loas and their association with the zombies. These people belief in the fact that the dead can rise up from their graves. The fourth term, stratification refers to the creation of different social strata in terms of access to prestige, wealth and power (Kottak 131). This term makes sense especially from the Hurston’s example of the racial divide between the mulattoes and blacks in Jamaica. The mulattoes are an elite separate group who wield political power, white contacts and access to knowledge. They look down on the poor blacks and cannot even intermarry. The last term, ethnocentrism is defined as viewing one’s culture as higher to others (Kottak 137). The same example of the mulattoes expounds on this term. The mulattoes see their own as superior to the black Jamaicans and thus cannot mingle with them.

To conclude, Hurston’s Tell My Horse offers a thrilling account of the Voodoo practice in Haiti. She describes the origins of Voodoo, its practices and theology behind it, thus dispelling the myths that characterize voodoo as superstition. The way Hurston described the flaws of Jamaican and Haitian societies with regards to gender and race is also essential towards understanding the present economic and political conditions of the Caribbean islands. Indeed, the real experiences of the author and the pictures to support offer a significant look into some of the world’s most dismissed religious belief and political systems.

Works Cited

Hurston, Zora Neale. Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica. Philadelphia : Lippincott, 1938. Print.

Kottak, Conrad. Anthropology: Appreciating Human Diversity. McGraw-Hill, 2012. Print.

Statistics

July 30, 2015

Statistics

Name

Institutional affiliation

Question 1

For the first trial the probability of winning can be presented as;

Possible out come The probability of winning fraction gained
1 5/6
2 5/6
3 5/6
4 5/6
5 5/6
6 56

Tacking the frequency of winning to be F, the distribution function can be given by

The expected value sequence therefore is,

The gives then can be given by;

The odd is not fair since the probability of gaining is very low.

Question 2

  1. situation 1

The probability that the first marble is red and the second one is green is given by;

This is because the marbles remains two in number in the second pick since there is no replacement after the first picking.

Situation 2

The probability that the first marble is one and the second one is green where there is replacement after picking is given by;

The probability of picking green in the second attempt remains a third since the total number goes back to three due to replacement.

  1. Probability of C
  • situation 1

Event A is given by;

Event B is given by;

The probability that event A and B occurring is given by;

Event A× Event B

  • situation 2- Drawing with replacement:

Event A;

Event B;

The probability that event A and B occurring is given by;

Event A× Event B

The Probability of E

Situation 1

The probability that A occurs is given by;

The probability that event B occur;

The probability that Event A or B occurs is given by;

Probability of Event A occurring + The probability of Event B occurring

Situation 2;

Event A;

Event B;

The probability of event A or B occurring can be given by;

Event A + Event B

  1. the probability that A does not occur:

Situation 1

The probability that Event A does not occur can be given by;

1– The probability of eventA occurring.

Situation 2

Likewise the probability that event A does not occur is given by;

Question 3;

  1. the probability that there will be at least one tail;

1– The probability of obtaining five tails.

  1. the probability that there will be at most one head;

the probability of obtaining one head + the probability of obtaining all tails

P (one head) =

P(all tails)=

The probability of obtaining at least one head is therefore;

  1. the probability of obtaining one head;

Let n be the number of trials which is equal to 5 and R be the number of success which is 1,

The number of failure would be:

From a single toss,

P(success)=p(failure)=0.5

The probability of obtaining 1 head is therefore given by;

P (success)R×p(success)n-R which is 0.51×0.54=0.03125;

The possible ways of obtaining a head is given by polynomial expansion:

NCR = 5C4 =5

The probability of obtaining one head from five tosses is therefore;

5(0.03125) =

It more suitable to use binomial probability formula since the data is widely distributed and considering individual situation will be tiresome. Besides binomial binomial probability formula works best in this situation since the population is remarkably larger that the sample size

Question 4

This is because the ball has an equal probability of landing any pocket (black or red), even or odd, small digits or large digits. The probability of winning a simple bet and their elements is as shown;

Simple bet Probability odds Pay out ($)
Straight up 35 to 1
Low or high bet 1 to 1
Even or odd bet 1 to 1
Color bet 1 to 1
Dozen bet 2 to 1
Colum bet 2 to 1
Line bet 5 to 1
Corner bet 8 to 1
Street bet 11 to 1
Split bet 17 to 1
Straight up 35 to 1

The chance of winning a bet is determined by the position on which a bet is placed and the number of bet attempted and its given by the product ofthe set off all roulette number by the set of group of numbers from the set of all roulette number made by the unique placement which are allowed for betting. The average law states that the chances of a ball falling into a slot are one out of the 38 slots available for the entire slot and this is very independent of the previous bet. Sampling a long range of independent possible chances and averaging them may be used to obtain a stable prediction of the possible outcome.

References

Freedman, D., Pisani, R., & Purves, R. (2008). Statistics. New York: Norton.

Role of Television in Modern World

July 30, 2015

Role of Television in Modern World

Name

Name of Institution

Role of Television in Modern World

Among the most dominant media forms, television will probably rank the highest. Despite its pervasiveness, its influence is predominantly of a negative nature. Far from serving the role of a unique unifier, television individualizes and atomizes the modern world while simultaneously laying the foundation of a precarious future society.

Television has become inherently divisive in nature. It has long been associated with deterioration in socializing. People prefer to remain glued to the idiot box instead of mingling with others around them. Even in case of families, television permeates their time together, distracting them from the real issues they should focus on. Studies suggest that in previous decades, limited number of programs would serve as a unifying force within nations(Text 2). However, with modern day programming and choices available, the positive aspect of television is a thing of the past, making its isolating nature even more potent and dangerous in today’s society. The medium of television isn’t satisfied with present day impacts alone.

Television is carefully laying the seeds of a more violent and even estranged future society. Some researchers argue that appalling content on TV is “worse than ever before (Text 1).” The debate regarding television induced violence is not a new one with studies confirming that long-run exposure to violence on television is linked with greater violence in children, the forerunners of our future(Text 3). Unstable children cannot distinguish between fact and fictionalized violence(Text 3). Further, television cuts into the time families must spend in rearing children correctly while simultaneously setting negative parenting examples for kids to mimic. In this way, television is acting as a key negative influence on future generations.

Time spent in passive entertainment in front of the TV, could be put to innumerable productive uses. Though this observation is not new, it needs reiteration in the light of television’s ever increasing horrid influence on the members of society.

References

Last Name, First Initial Middle Initial. (Year).Title. Location: Publisher.

Last Name, First Initial Middle Initial. (Year).Title.Retrieved from web address.

Separation of Church and State

July 30, 2015

Separation of Church and State

Student’s Name

University

Separation of Church and State

Overview on the State and Church

Religion and government have been connected since the early centuries. These two forces usually go hand in hand in some countries when it comes to public administration. Today, there are still some religious bodiesthat claim that separating government and church is not a good idea. In Western countries specifically the United States, these two powerful forces have become separatedas explained inboth theory and application. Generally, the public supports the separation of church and state particularly in cases when the church interferes with the political decisions of thegovernment. However, there are instances in the past when it was the other way around and it was politics that controlled the church(Doerr, 2004, p.2).

This paper provides an analysis on how state and church affects each other directly. It will also discusses issue of state and church separation as well as the values, perspectives of philosophers, interpretation of the law and why church affairs must be separate from that of the  functions of  the state.

Values

The separation of church and state isone of the most unnoticed and misinterpretedamong conventional American values. In Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, one of the main ideas he presented concerned the separation of church and state. The two others pertain to the need for momentary elected rulers, and the belief that abusive rulers will constantly be abusive. Paine’s principles on church and state separation remain very applicable in current times even though they were originally written in the1700s. He asserted the common sense on who protects whomin the church and state. Paine claimed that the public sees the concept of separation of church and state as a means to keep the church from interfering with political matters when in fact, it is politics that interferes with the work of religious groups(Devine, Jasnowski, Mason, Stites, &Wydeven, 2003, pp. 21-38). This idea of Paine emphasizes the common misconception of people regarding church and stateseparation and even today, the idea is still relevant.

Philosophers’ Perspectives

Aristotle

In Aristotle’s writing about the origin of democracy and politics, he discusses thata city-state as an important element of politics. He referred to a city-state as a community that aims for the common good. However, Aristotle asserted that a city-state or a political community is not possible if it is consists of slaves and masters. He believed that political leaders arecapable of giving protection to its people (Devineet al., 2003, p.147). Hence, equality and affection make thepolitical community’s existence possible.

When it comes to politics’ relation to religion, Aristotlestated that these two elements are directly related with each other.He referred to politics as the highest and most architectonic actionsince itaffects everyone in society. According to the philosopher, politics is an art where all other arts are secondary to it. One of the arts Aristotle pertained to is religion.He believed that religion is subordinate to politics. Hence, politics is thesuperior form of art as it has the power to rule the spiritual life ofpeople. Moreover, Aristotle said thatchurch matters such aschoice of the priests and templewardenare important (Devineet al., 2003). Thus, Aristotle believed that religion is a function by the state.

As this philosopher claimed, religion is aconstitution’s component ruled by political leaders which makes politics rule over other aspects in the community. In my opinion, Aristotle’s premise cannot be applied especially during present times given the liberal minds of the members of the younger generation. More people are aware of their human rights today. Moreover, politics is not superior to church given that both offer equal benefits to society. Hence, Aristotle’s argument is not applicable today.

John Locke

John Locke asserted that understanding political power in detail starts when a man’s function is clearly identified. He claimed that a man is bound by the natural lawand all are children of the supreme God. This philosopher believed that aperson is free from illogical and unjust laws and responsiblefor the interests of other people (Devineet al., 2003, p.161). Locke emphasized equality as first step in building a successful political system.

In his Letter Concerning Toleration, he explained the basis of his argument on theseparation of church and state(Locke, Shapiro, & Locke, 2003, n.p.). His first basis pertains to the Care of Souls wherein he asserts that a state can punish anyone according to crimes committed, but it cannot control people’s judgment. Therefore, a state has control over punishment, but it cannot dictate beliefs that it wants the people to believe in. Secondly, the Salvation of Souls is not the state’s function. In this premise, Locke asserted that political leaders cannot impose punishment against a person’s choice of religion. Locke’s last premise on this issue is valid even the first two premise doesn’t exist. He asserted that the freedom to choose a religion and that the state cannot interfere with this human right. Therefore, John Locke’s premises clearly support the separation of these two powerful forces.

Plato

In Book VII, Plato discussedpolitical justice through his work, The Republic. He identified an ideal society with three key classes of people. He believed that if this social status of people is properly arranged, an ideal society is possible. These classes pertain to three, namely the producers who are laborers, auxiliaries who are the warriors and guardians who are leaders.Each class must act upon its role where leaders must rule, auxiliaries must follow the leader’s commands, and producers must do their assigned tasks(Devineet al., 2003, pp.112-115). For this reason, Plato saw justice when duties are properly assigned according to social status. He asserted that each person must dohis taskand not interfere in other’s business.

Similar to this argument, the church and state must do their tasks independently. The church must focus on religious advocacy and more on spiritual matters and let the state handle political issues and public administration. Hence, Plato’s arguments on political justice are applicable and in support of the principle of the separation of church and state.

Thomas Jefferson

In 1776, Jefferson publicly made his Declaration of Independence.This is a document used to speak out why the colonies had to become free from Britain’s control. He stated that all men are born equal and that there are rights that a state can never take away from its people. Jefferson wrote that each person has a right to live and be free and to seek happiness (Devineet al., 2003, pp.190-194). Hereferred to these as “unalienable rights” wherethese are therights that cannot be taken away from them. He urged the people to write down their protest against the monarchy, and asserted that setting the colonies free will protect the rights of its people. This includes freedom to choose a religion.

This advocacy of Jefferson to human rights was influenced by John Locke. In 1802, Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association about the issue of separation of church and state. In this letter, Jefferson points out that religion is a matter of a man’s relationship to his Supreme Being and that the power of the state should not include governing these matters.He mentions that is no law that would prohibit anyone to exercise their right to freedom of religion.           Jefferson believed that it is the people’s will to have such a human right as it will restore satisfaction and progress for the entire nation(Ragosta, 2013, p.136). The expression “separation of church and state” which is widely used until now started from this letter. His letter evidently calls fora separation between church and state. His premises claim freedom of religion as gateway to achieving state progress and fulfillment.

Clearly, Jefferson supported the separation of these two powerful entities. Aside from his letter to Danburry Baptists, Jefferson sent other letters to deliver his message with regards to this issue. In his letter to Samuel Miller in 1808,he mentions that activities by religious groups are not part of state’s function. He directly points out fasting and prayers are religious exercises(Jefferson, 2000, n.p.).

Jefferson believed that every religion has a right to decide for itself for these exercises and aperson should act according to his own sense of right and wrong and beliefs. In 1809, he sent a letter to Methodist Church in Connecticut. There, Jefferson states thatthere is no law in the constitution that allows functionaries to control or do something to change its people’s conscience. If that would happen, a state would have a power to restrict the citizen’s freedom which opposes the natural law(Peters, 2012, para.3).With these letters, Jefferson showed how much he wanted to build a wall between church and state as both elements play a different role in society.

Constitutional Interpretation

James Madison’s Bill of Rights is one of the best legacies of the US Congress.He believed that by separating the powers of the church from that of the state, priesthood’s morality as well as people’s devotion to both forces will distinctly increase (Devineet al., 2003, p.202). Aside from basic human rights, the amendment on Bill of Rights openly assures both complete religious freedom and the parting of church and state. It asserts freedom of conscience as a basic personal right.

On the other hand, Benjamin Franklin was also an advocate of the separation of church and state. In his speech in a convention in 1787, he criticized political groups involved with religious sectors. Franklin believed that if a religion is doing well, it cansupport itself. When the time comes that it cannot support itself, civil power is ready to help, but the idea will not work as these two elements are different in nature (Devineet al., 2003, p.226). Therefore, these two powerful forces may meet difficulties but a support from either of these two wouldn’t really help.

The Changing Role of Religion

According to “A Model of Christian Charity”,the idea of separating the church and the state is an abomination (Devineet al., 2003, p.6). As explained by John Winthrop, Puritans obviously do not accept this idea of separating the two elements. Puritans believe that separation is present between social classes and created by the Supreme Being for a reason to bring the unity among peoplethrough love and support for each other. It discusses three main ideas why Puritans refuse to believe in the idea of separating the church and the state; (1) peacekeeping maintainsstability to guaranteean ideal community, (2) material things such as money can offerpious ends, and (3) stable public life relies upon some outside threat to its being (Devineet al., 2003, p.9).

These ideas are arguable; regardingthe first idea, peacekeeping is not the only reason to guarantee an ideal community given that it is not applicable today. For instance, military force is active in maintaining peace and order. Secondly, material things cannot guarantee anyone a slot in heaven. Hence, these ideas by Puritans are uncertain and debatable.

 

 

Conclusion

In my opinion, separating the church and state is important to prevent social chaos where multi-religious groups are co-exist.Given the premises on why religious groups should separate themselves from political matters, philosophers have presented a wide range of concepts that support the argument. However, this idea has advantages and disadvantages. If there is separation between the two powerful forces, the state’s morality is at risk. Given that the church cannot interfere with political matters, the government may execute unjust laws. On the other hand, this separation offers protection to both society and the people. Everyone will be afforded protection since everyone would have to respect one another’s belief. Entities cannot force people to join a specific religion. Overall, the benefits of separating church and state outweigh the disadvantages. Hence, the separation of the church and the state is ideal as advocated by the philosophers whose ideas were cited in this paper.

References

Devine, D. J., Jasnowski, T., Mason, C., Stites, D., &Wydeven, J. J. (2003). Western vision and American values: The Kirkpatrick signature series reader. Bellevue, Nebr: Bellevue University Press..

Doerr, E. (2004). The importance of church-state separation. Toward a New Political Humanism1(59), 1-18. Retrieved from http://www.arlinc.org/pdf/doerrimportance305.pdf>

Jefferson, T. (2000). Amendment I (Religion): Thomas Jefferson to Rev. Samuel Miller(1904–5). Retrieved from The University of Chicago website: http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/amendI_religions60.html>

Locke, J., Shapiro, I., & Locke, J. (2003). Two treatises of government and a letter concerning toleration. New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press.

Peters, T. (2012, May 19). Thomas Jefferson on church and state. Retrieved February 11, 2014, from http://candst.tripod.com/tnppage/qjeffson.htm>

Ragosta, J. A. (2013). Religious freedom: Jefferson’s legacy, America’s creed (808930419). Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press.

Mediation: Ethics

July 29, 2015

Mediation

When a dispute arises between two or more people, a third party would comes in to help resolve the conflict. This is called mediation and involves a neutral third party trained in helping people to resolve their disputes informally and confidentially (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). This summary is a presentation of the different styles of mediation, including its pros and cons. In many cases, mediation is the best way to settle scores between individuals.

There are four main styles of mediation according to Dorman Mediation. Facilitative mediation involves the mediator asking questions while validating and normalizing the conflicting individuals’ point of view without making recommendations. Transformative mediation mainly focuses on empowerment and recognition mainly for growth and change. Evaluative mediation, on the other hand, involves identifying the weaknesses in the case presented. Unlike the former styles, meeting in evaluative mediation are done separately. Lastly, directive mediation involves an intensive collection of facts, arguments, and evidence while presenting advice, opinion, and information. It is more of advisory compared to the others.

Mediation has both its pros and cons but the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Compared to trials, mediation is cheaper. It is also fast especially with when the parties are cooperative. Mediation is simple and does not have complex procedures that must be adhered to. Through mediation, the parties can revise and adjust their range of conflict and resolutions. As such, mediation is characterized by flexible solutions and agreements. Compared to courts, both parties are more agreeable through mediation. However, mediation may fail to bring the intended results. Their absence of procedural and constitutional protection make them debilitated. More so, they do not have a formal discovery process (National Paralegal).

In conclusion, mediation is essential considering the unending conflict between diverse people with diverse cultures and belief set. Mediators can leverage different styles of mediation depending on the case presented. While mediation is efficacious, it also has its disadvantages.

Work Cited

Dorman Mediation. “Four Different Styles of Mediation” October 18, 2012. URL:

http://dormanmediation.com/mediation/styles-mediation/ [Accessed July 29, 2015].

National Paralegal. “Advantages and Disadvantages of Mediation”

URL:http://nationalparalegal.edu/public_documents/courseware_asp_files/ADR/MediateHow/A            dvantageMediate.asp [Accessed July 29, 2015].

US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. “Mediation” URL:

http://www.eeoc.gov/employees/mediation.cfm [Accessed July 29, 2015].

Fit Stop Compensation System

July 28, 2015

Fit Stop Compensation System

Name

Institution

Fit Stop is a new firm whose aim is to sell all kinds of fitness, training, exercise and conditioning equipment. Its core value is to provide customized and personalized assistance to all its customers. This is based on a high quality advice system where they will use specialists and professionals in these equipment’s to advice their customers on the choices they make based on their specific needs. For this reason, Fit Stop wishes to employ salespeople who are of at least high school diploma category who will be working on a full time basis for seven days a week. The sales people have to undergo in work training in order to learn on how to give customers the personalized advice they require. This paper evaluates whether base pay can be an imperative component of compensation for Fit Stop’s sale staff the factors to consider in designing the compensation system.

Base pay can be defined as a worker’s initial rate of compensation not including increase in any rate or extra lump sum. Generally, it is compensation a firm provides to its employees in exchange for them performing specific responsibilities, which can be also termed as wages or salaries. When an organization needs to establish a base pay system it has to ensure that the system is externally competitive and internally equitable. The system has to promote the firms objectives while at the same time creating a link between jobs and rewards. Another consideration to make when determining a compensation system is the objectives of the organization and how they can be achieved. There is an urgent need to motivate employees at work and one of the crucial components that determines their motivation is their compensation.

When it comes to determining base pay for a firms employees there are imperative issues that the organization has to consider. This includes the role an employee is taking on, the responsibilities they will have and the experience needed in that position. All this can be done by undertaking a thorough analysis of the kind of employees the firm wants. Firstly, the firm has to create job descriptions. These descriptions define the responsibilities and requirements of a job. These job descriptions play a major role in the creation of a compensation structure. There is also the need to conduct a full job analysis. Conducting analysis on all jobs and departments assists in determining whether tasks will be done well and aligning them in a systematic way that eradicates overlapping of duties. This is imperative as compensations is based on levels of experience and skills in performing core functions.

Job evaluation is another key factor when it comes to developing a compensation system. Fair pay is based on relative worthiness also known as internal equity. Job evaluation can be based on a job content approach or a market –based approach. It is imperative in the determination of salary ranges for various positions ensuring compensation is done fairly, based on job value. At Fit Stop, the sales people will be the driving force of the firm. This is because due to the sensitivity of customer-personalized assistance they will have to represent the firm’s image. For this reason a base pay compensation system will be quite essential but there is also a great need to consider an additional reward system. At fit stop it will be all about motivation of employees to ensure they work hard to achieve the organizational objectives.

Fit Shop Analysis

July 28, 2015

Fit Shop Analysis

Name:

Institution Affiliation:

Course Title:

Date:

Fit shop case study analysis

Susan has identified an opportunity in the recreation sector by taking advantage of the lack of knowledge of the existing business. She sees it an opportunity to provide and sell recreation equipment with personalized services to the customer to ensuring right equipment selection.

She has successfully identified a team of management. Having the manager being a commerce person it shows that’s he appreciates the professionalism in her business.

Hiring the psychiatrist and a kinesiology expert to offer high-quality advice creates an excellent avenue for developing a good clientele base.

Salesmen’s training is an excellent strategy to improve customer service and her idea to train them will raise the quality of customer service in the stores. Furthermore, the need for the personal development plan of her store staff is seen as a good strategy of to have a good team of salesmen who will handle the expected crowd of customers. However, the staff should not be hired at once; they should be hired on an incremental basis as the activities increase to cut down the operation cost.

Her analysis of her competitors’ ability will enable her design a good pricing model. Though the competitors can price lower than Fit shop, her social responsibility of providing high-quality advice will make her business to outdo her competitors.

Her intention to open several stores at once does not seem to be a good idea. She should rather start small and grow big. The reason behind this is because the market is unpredictable about the sales. She may end up investing all initial capital and have working capital complexity in future.

Delivery of the goods in large quantities may reflect some benefits in benefits but for a starting business she may end up purchasing dead stock that will tie up the capital. She should, however, supply some of the goods on demand and stock the most volatile stock.

Her SWOT analysis does not involve analysis of the possible threats that might face the business in future. She should ensure full identification of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats towards her business.

Compensation of employees is very imperative. She should not reward her staff as her competitors do. As a beginner, the starting remuneration of the employees should be reasonable for a small business and increase as the operations profits grow. However, for the sales staff salaries should be based on the amount of sales. They should have a basic constant salary and a bonus expressed as a percentage of sales to motivate the employee and work harder to win more customers.

The primary factors considered in making the above decisions are: vulnerability risk of the business to failure, the scope of the market and the customers, the amount of capital available as they are funded and progress will be essential, competitive advantages of the company in extra customer service provision

Plastco Packaging Case Study

July 28, 2015

Plastco Packaging Case Study

Name

Institution

Course

Due date

Plastco packaging, a medium sized plastic bag manufacturing company is having difficulties in satisfying its employees. Its job design is lacking im many aspects. The poor job design is leading to high turnover of junior staff and the inability to retain skilled workers due to low job satisfaction and unhappiness with their work and their compensation. High turnovers are an indication of dissatisfied employees and unhealthy or unsafe work condition. In addition, the poor job design is leading to excessive waste in raw materials that ultimately leads to time loss and inconsistency in product quality. Customers are complaining of their inconsistency and there is an added threat in the form of a new competitor who is cheaper and quite consistent. There are other secondary problems arising from this root problem of job dissatisfaction.

It is clear that there are various constraints that are hindering interpersonal relationship between coworkers and that organizational commitment is exceedingly low. There is also minimal accountability between workers who always blame others when confronted by their supervisors. This is a tendency that results to loss of profit, production inconsistency, low motivation and less teamwork. The supervisors and the management have to formulate a plan that will solve these problems in order to prevent future losses.  One of the core solutions is redesigning the job structure.

In order to redesign the job structure there is a need for a thorough job analysis that will avail essential information before the making of any organizational decision. This analysis has to indicate the number of job in the organization and their nature determining the worthiness of each position and the appropriate class. Job analysis facilitates accurate selection and recruitment practices in an organization. It also sets standards for various performance appraisals allowing for proper classification of positions. It will also help in the establishment of an appropriate compensation system based on the different job values ensuring that the compensations are done in accordance to skill levels. This is a sure way of motivating employees.

The most significant solution should be based on restructuring Plastco’s compensation system through the incorporation of an appropriate reward system. Employees are always appreciative when employers make efforts to make their jobs challenging and motivational. This is deemed as a chance for an employee to prove their worth and also as an opportunity to develop and improve their skills. Plastco can incorporate a system such as pay-for-performance that will motivate desired employee behavior and in turn attract and retain achievement-oriented personnel. This kind of reward systems assist in the retaining of excellent performers while weeding out poor performers enhancing the organizations productivity, job satisfaction and productivity.

There is also a need for training of employees on how to foster a peaceful or harmonious work environment and imperativeness of teamwork. Through the specification of jobs and appropriate ranking it is possible that some worker may feel like they are better than others are. Therefore, there is an urgent need for employees to be trained on teamwork. Even though some job descriptions seem independent from others there is a need for teamwork across all levels in a bid to enhance the flow of work and encourage accountability. A reward system tends to people working solely if not well organized. There is need to incorporate a balance between independence and teamwork ensuring that every employee knows the organizational goals and is determined to work with others to achieve the goals.