Archive for February, 2016

Debate on YouTube Overtaking Television

February 29, 2016

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Debate on YouTube Overtaking Television

Introduction

Television refers to a mass medium used in telecommunication to enable viewers’ access multiple image and audio broadcasting channels (1). Television is recognized to have begun in the UK in 1936 when it was recognized as a public service. Since then, Television broadcasting has grown over the years to include many free and subscription TV services with over 480 channels. These TV stations continue to attract massive viewers. Li et al. assert that Television has ceased from being just a box to a telecommunication device that has transformed the entrainment and advertising industry (769). However, the growth of internet technology is forcing changes in the entertainment industry raising doubts about the role of broadcasting television stations in the industry. Due to the rapid growth of the internet, video streaming sites such as YouTube are eating most of the TV viewers, especially the younger generation (Spigel 1). Moreover, the rise of smartphones has led to the rise of smart televisions with the capability to connect to the internet. Therefore, accessing the desired content from the streaming site is making most these sites preferable over traditional broadcast media. Of the numerous video streaming sites, YouTube has been posing the greatest threat to the initial dominance of television in United States households.  With over one billion users as of 2014, the site can reach many users globally than any other cable network in the United Kingdom (Kim et al. 255). Consequently, the new development has made some people argue that YouTube is taking the role of television is modern households. Therefore, the paper utilizes academic research and articles to show that though YouTube has exponential growth regarding users; it is still far from replacing television as the essential tool of entertainment in modern households.

Arguments in Support of the Debate

Flexible Nature of YouTube

Pikas et al. emphasize that the flexible nature of YouTube enables the site to overtake television broadcasting at an alarming rate (71). Converse to television, YouTube gives viewers the autonomy to choose what to view. YouTube viewers spend most of their time on the site following their best films, their best stars, or other areas of interest such as education tutorials. While doing so, the viewers have the monopoly to choose when to view their programs of interest without restrictions (Pikas et al. 73). However, viewers using television have to pass through content editors to see their best program. McPhillips analysed BBC shows and the prevalence of adverts in between (240). He found out that in every one hour of the show, he had to spend at least fifteen minutes watching boring and always repetitive advertisements. He notes that such interruptions dissatisfy most viewers forcing some of them to resort to YouTube to watch their best programs (247).

Universal Nature of YouTube

Marwick and Alice argue that the worldwide content offered by YouTube will see over eighty percent of middle-aged and young people spend most their time on YouTube and other related sites that in front of a television (1). Similarly, Gluck et al. argues that YouTube leaves the general population all over the world to generate content and upload it to their site (5). As such, the site has different programs tailored for specific target group in various parts of the world. Taking FIFA matches, for instance, match reviews attract viewers from different parts of the world at their convenient time. On the contrary, television broadcasting lacks universality due to the different time zones of the world.  While BBC News is broadcasting matches in Europe, other people in areas such as United States, Japan, and Russia are asleep or busy working in their offices (Gluck et al. 15). Similarly, groups such as religious groups can access their content that aligns with their traditions and practices on YouTube. However, television stations do not have regular content implying the have limited coverage (Burgess et al. 75). Consequently, Watson argues that most people will spend much of their time on YouTube in future with cheaper data rates and faster network speeds.

Rise of Smart Television

Recent research suggests that 56% of the UK homes have TVs that are connected to the internet through either a smart TV or a set- top box.  Smart televisions have internet connecting capabilities hence one does not require additional investment in buying desktops to access the internet. Consequently, it has become relatively easy for most viewers to access YouTube content (Katz and Barbara 33). Katz points out the new development poses the greatest threat to television. Initially, viewers could not come to terms with buying two gadgets to meet the same needs. Moreover, the small screen for most desktops reduced user’s experience. However, smart televisions have bigger screens (Katz and Barbara 36). Similarly, Marwick and Alice argues that viewers are likely to spend less time watching non-attractive programs while spending much time on YouTube watching a program of their interest (1).

 

Argument in Opposition to the Debate

Convenience and Reliability of Television

According to Evens, Tom, and Karen, television stations remains the most convenient and reliable means of viewership and advertisement as opposed to YouTube in the United Kingdom (29). They note that for UK population values authentic information since it helps them to make informed decisions (29). Television programs have to pass through professional editors who ascertain their correctness. Consequently, media houses such as BBC and Sky news provide ninety percent of UK’s population with credible information (Simpson and Wes 23). Besides, one does not require an internet connection to access television channel. With a remote controlled tuner, the viewer can access their channel of choice with little struggle. However, accessing YouTube requires following a lengthy process of accessing the internet and visiting the site with the need to update browser plugins to access the content (Seabrook and John 28). Besides, the information posted on YouTube remains has a high prevalence of propaganda. Consequently, Katz and Barbara assert that television remains the primary mode of advertising in the United Kingdom (35). In their article, “The future of television: Advertising, technology and the pursuit of audiences.” Gluck, Marisa, and Meritxell arrive at a similar conclusion as Katz and Barbara. They evaluate the tendency of UK multinational firm advertisement expenditure on YouTube and television (33). They note that FIFA television spending accounts for over ninety percent of their total expenditure on advertising (34). Advertisement expenditure on YouTube is way below five percent (34). Consequently, they conclude that YouTube is far away from replacing television in modern households (49)

Suitability across different Cohorts

According to McPhillips and Merlo, televisions have content tailored for different age groups (239). Most programs are of interest across cohorts. For instance, movies, documentaries, and series that broadcast on BBC attract viewership across different age sets implying larger viewership at the same time (239). Consequently, they are likely to attract more pricey advertisement. The program developers also place the programs at the particular time of the day in due consideration of the target age group. (239). On the contrary, YouTube landscape is different. According to Pikas, Bohdan, and Gabi, YouTube content is most appealing to the younger people. Moreover, most of the content developers are the young people thereby creating a content gap for viewers whose age exceeds forty years (75). Burgess, Jean, and Joshua arrive at the same conclusion by analysing YouTube statistics (55). They note that, in the United Kingdom, the majority of YouTube visitors are between the ages of 18 and 35 (55). However, as the age advanced, the number of viewers decreases significantly. According to World Health Organization 2014 report on world population trends, populations UK has the bulk of its population above the age of thirty-five years. As such, most of them rely on their TVs to watch their best programs.

Real Time Broadcast

According to Pikas, Bohdan, and Gabi, televisions have the advantage of reporting the information as it happens (76). Programs such as FIFA soccer matches, daily news by organizations such Sky News and TV show by BBC NEWS attract large viewers in the United Kingdom and beyond hence drawing costly advertisement. The aspect remains the major pillar that makes television irreplaceable by YouTube (76). They note that most TV programs are most likely to be broadcast nowhere else. Therefore, they serve to create suspense that keeps viewers glued to the screen (77). Besides, viewers get to see events as they are happening in real time. For instance, European League football matches attract large viewership during their airing. Such is possible due to the infrastructure. However, YouTube viewers rely on past events. For most filmmakers or event holders, they enter into an agreement with media houses to have their events aired on real-time (77). Such events would later be available on YouTube. Katz and Barbara pose a similar argument by noting that most of the YouTube content is a past event with the majority having viewed the content elsewhere (49). Moreover, most actors do not avail their movie on YouTube, as they prefer televisions due to the better revenues. Consequently, as much as people access YouTube to follow their areas of interest, they ultimately spend a substantial period in front of the TV watching live events (Katz and Barbara 50).

Organization of Programs

Berk and Ronal note that television stations have the advantages of organized content matching the time of target group’s free time. They note that editors conduct background research of their viewers to capture their best time of watching their favourite programs. Consequently, televisions have programs tailored to match the current activities of the viewers. However, YouTube content is placed for one to view at their own convenient time (Katz and Barbara. 54). Besides, they will have to pass over vast amount of unnecessary information before they can access their relevant information. Such proves to be tedious for most viewers who just need to tune into their channels at the right time and watch their favourite programs. Therefore, the shortcoming on the part of the YouTube leaves most viewers opting for TV programs (Katz and Barbara). As such, television continues as the dominant form of entertainment in modern homes, as well as a preferred advertising media.

 

Significance of the Debate

Katz and Barbara evaluate the discussion in their article, “Development and current issues of interactive television in the UK”. They note that the dialogue is contemporary due to the rapid growth of internet technology (35). The internet is raising a generation of individuals whose endeavours is to pursue that, which interests them most (35). Besides, the internet is empowering everyone to discover him or herself at the lowest cost. The Internet provides the best platform. YouTube runs on the internet platform offering free video downloading and viewership. Consequently, it has proved a darling for most people who cannot afford to pay a subscription fee to view their content (Pikas, Bohdan, and Gabi 80). Besides, the platform is offering a ground for people with inadequate finances to show their talents hence attracting sponsors. Similarly, small and medium enterprises have found a platform to market their businesses at the lowest costs (Burges, Jean, and Tomas 21). As such, stakeholders in the media industry, as well as media critics, have developed the feeling that YouTube is about to replace televisions in our homesteads. However, the growth of the internet remains on controversial on whether it possesses the capability to outshine the numerous advantages realized using TV (Marwick an Alice 1). However, as experts have it, television stations are set to diversify their content to counter the competition from YouTube. Similarly, Watson notes that Google is planning to reorganize YouTube services to render them a direct substitute for television programs. Though the move may lead to the sight losing a substantial number of viewers, he believes that the site will offer noteworthy competition to established television networks (Katz and Barbara 39).

Conclusion

Television has played a great role of transforming as well as liberating and informing our society as a whole. For the entire 20th century, television has ruled the entertainment and the mass communication industry. For this reason, it has retained the monopoly of advertisements and other forms of promotion. However, YouTube has utilized the growth of internet to offer an alternative and more appealing platform. By providing flexibility, variety, and affordability, YouTube has gained users as well as advertisement commercials rivalling established media houses.  The trend has raised the debate whether YouTube is overtaking television. However, research shows that YouTube is far away from replacing television in the modern homesteads. Television remains reliable, suitable for different cohorts, and offers real-time information. However, the industry will face stiff competition from YouTube leading to a whole transformation of the industry as Spigel and Lynn asserts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Berk, Ronald A. “Multimedia Teaching With Video Clips: TV, Movies, Youtube, And MTVU In The College Classroom.” International Journal Of Technology In Teaching And Learning 5.1 (2009): 1-21.

Burgess, Jean, and Joshua Green. Youtube: Online Video and Participatory Culture. John Wiley & Sons, 2013.

Evens, Tom, and Karen Donders. “Broadcast market structures and retransmission payments: A European perspective.” Media, Culture & Society 35.4 (2013): 417-434.Jenkins, Henry, and Mark Deuze. “Convergence Culture.” Convergence-London- 14.1 (2008): 5.

Gluck, Marissa, and Meritxell Roca Sales. “The future of television: Advertising, technology and the pursuit of audiences.” (2008).

Kang, Seok, Soonhwan Lee, and Kang-Bon Goo. “The influence of multimedia exposure on purchase intention of sponsored products: The case of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.” International Journal of Sports Communication5.2 (2012): 153-175.

Katz, Barbara. “Development and current issues of interactive television in the UK.” European interactive television conference: Enhancing the experience, Brighton. Vol. 9. 2004:30-60.

Marwick, Alice E. “The People’s Republic of YouTube? Interrogating Rhetorics of Internet Democracy.” Interrogating Rhetorics of Internet Democracy (October 1, 2007). Association of Internet Researchers 8 (2007).

“Online Advertising Predicted to Top TV by 2017.” BBC NEWS (London, U.K). N.P., 2 November 2006. Web. 11 Jan 2016.

Pikas, Bohdan, and Gabi Sorrentino. “The Effectiveness Of Online Advertising: Consumer’s Perceptions Of Ads On Facebook, Twitter, And YouTube.” Journal of Applied Business and Economics 16.4 (2014): 70-81.

McPhillips, S., & Merlo, O. (2008). Media convergence and the evolving media business model: an overview and strategic opportunities. The Marketing Review, 8(3), 237-253.

Simpson, Wes. Video Over IP: IPTV, Internet Video, H. 264, P2p, Web TV, And Streaming: A Complete Guide To Understanding The Technology. Taylor & Francis, 2013.

Spigel, Lynn. Make Room for TV: Television and the Family Ideal in Postwar America. University of Chicago Press, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reflection

February 29, 2016

Reflection paper

As a nurse, in the past eight weeks, I have experienced a lot in the process of achieving the course outcomes. The essential VIII program is involved in ensuring that the quality and safety of all levels of health services including their implementation procedures are all addressed in an appropriate manner that matches the required quality. This program helped me in pursuing my master’s degree that involved being trained on how to use tools and observe the culture alongside acquiring of the basic information that includes definitions of the standards that relates to the safety and quality in the practicing process of a nurse.

In addition to essential VIII, the nursing practitioner program that involves defining of the core competences in the field of nursing also helped in building my nursing career. As a practitioner, the program assisted me in gaining the knowledge on how to analyze and evidence with an aim of improving the advanced nursing practice. Besides, the program also assisted me in integrating the previous knowledge that I had learned on humanities and sciences, within the context of nursing science.

In the process of achieving course outcomes, nursing competences program boosted my ability to translate research and other forms of knowledge, which is important in improving the practice process and its outcomes. Through the program I was able to develop new practice approaches based on the integration of nursing research, theory and the practice knowledge. Scientific foundation competences program assisted me in gain the required knowledge on the field of nursing research and the basic steps that should be followed while conducting a scientific research that touches on the nursing profession.

References

Daly, J., Speedy, S., & Jackson, D. (2010). Contexts of nursing: An introduction. Sydney: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier Australia.

Contemporary Issues in the Society and Karl Marx

February 22, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

Contemporary Issues in the Society and Karl Marx

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Introduction

The 2007/08 economic crisis meant massive losses of jobs, home, and savings for millions of people across the globe. This has demonstrated the fallacy that is the monetarism economic doctrine which postulated that economic crisis can be minimized or totally eliminated through the adjustment of the amounts of money that are held in the banking systems together with the interest rate. As a result of this, leading financial systems across the world employed fiscal policies that would see government intervention in the monetary crisis by trying to adjust the prevailing interest rates and increase the amounts loanable to individuals during the economic crisis. The economic stimulus plan suggested by the USA government of using almost $800 billion financed by government borrowing in order to “jump start” the economy followed this reasoning. This runs against Karl Marx boom-and-bust cycle that he used to predict the likelihood of economic crisis in a capitalist economy. While the Economic crisis may have been viewed as a purely financial catastrophe, it had its roots in more factors such as skewed education systems, income inequalities, classism within the capitalist economies, and lack of social mobility. The contemporary issues surrounding this phenomenon will be described with reference to Marxism.

Upper Social Classes

One difference between the modern school and Marxism is the concept of class. According to the modern school, there is no capitalistic class. Instead, non-capitalist entrepreneurs borrow from rentiers using the funds to establish productive enterprises. As a result of this, the only link between the entrepreneurs and the rentiers is the interest rate that the rentiers expect to get. Through this notion, Britain’s economy grew where an increase in entrepreneurs and the sources of funds continued to characterize the economy (Herold, 2002). However, Karl Marx stated that the capitalist class was a definite concrete group that comprised of those who had the monopoly of production mean such as loanable capital. Marx stated that the capitalist class is composed of innumerable familial, personal, and organizational affiliations. As such, the atomised non-capitalist entrepreneur is a fiction. Marx further explained that the ability to borrow is limited by the ability of one to own capital assets that are required to act as security against loans (Marx, 2007). As a result of this, credit in the capitalist system of economy is often rationed on the basis of the specific monopoly complexes that involve financial, commercial, and industrial capitalists. During the economic crisis, the precipitators of the crises were prominent as empires of monopolistic lenders started collapsing (Bresser-Pereira, 2010). In the USA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two personal monopoly lenders, were rescued by the government. Northern Rock in Britain was also rescued using tax money. All these represent organizations owned by the upper social class (Champion, 2008). As pointed out by Karl Marx, the upper class defends itself and ensures that it remains at this level. Taxes that were contributed by all citizens were used to secure the interests of a few “upper class” family businesses at the expense of the very people who provided taxes.

A major tenet of Karl Marx is that the “working class” can result in sustainable economic prosperity. The cycles of economic crises experienced across the globe have been as a result of ignoring this tenet. In the 1970s, one of the major concerns of employers was the need to stop the continuous increase in real wages for the employees. In the USA, this was accomplished by outsourcing labour, bringing women into the labour force at lower wages, substituting machines for workers, and introducing low-wage immigrants into the labour force (Smith, 2011). The results of this move were predictable. First, there was an increase in the profitability of organizations as workers increased production but were paid low wages. However, after a few years of stagnant employee salaries, the ability of the employees to purchase the commodities produced was greatly reduced. With looming economic crises, the capitalistic system found a way of postponing this. The employers introduced employee loan to enable employees purchase more. Organizations started investing their increased profits in purchasing of new securities that were backed by employees’ auto loan, mortgages, and credit-car loans. Those who owned such securities received a certain proportion of the monthly payments made by the employees (Burton, 2013). The postponement of the economic crises in the 1970s was only paving way for a much bigger economic crisis. According to Karl Marx, it is only through real empowerment of the working class that economic prosperity can be guaranteed as opposed to being an illusion or bubble that breaks with time (Schuman, 2013). According to Karl Marx, the distinctive ownership of the means of production and consumption would only result in the over-exploitation of the working class to an extent where it was no longer in a position to purchase the commodities in the market (Bresser-Pereira, 2010). Karl Marx prediction would start materializing in 2006. By this time, the employees had been stretched to their limits. However, the employers with a need to make profits led to the relaxation of borrowing requirements in order to continue exploiting the working class. However, the working class was eventually stretched to its limits and the spiralling descent of the economy began (North, 2009). As such, the forcing of the working class to spend in a capitalistic economy where the working class does not own the resources of production will always be counterproductive since the owners of the instruments of production do not have the interest of the workers at heart.

Social Mobility

Karl Marx postulated that two tenets determined social mobility. These are “education hypothesis” and “income hypothesis”. On the education hypothesis, it is best defined by the class origin and the ability to attain education. If children from all classes are able to access college education, they are in turn able to decrease the class gap. In the USA and England, the increase in access to education has reduced the association of son to their fathers’ careers (Corak, 2013). However, a scrutiny of the education system and social mobility shows the work of a “hidden curriculum” that persists in the enactment of classes instead of the systematic ascent of people from lower classes. However, Marxists support mass education as a viable way of closing the gap between classes and increasing social mobility.

Another factor on social mobility is the income hypothesis. According to the income inequality hypothesis, the privileged class has a lot of resources that it can use to lavish its children. These resources are then used by the children to secure desirable class positions for themselves (Piketty, 1995). The parents increase the human, social, and cultural capital of their children by providing high quality childcare and education (Clark & Cummins, 2013). With the increased access to better school and neighbourhoods and friends who can provide career advantages, this is the beginning of the formation of a human capital. As this trend continues, Karl Marx states that the class conflict is only likely to be accelerated. While all the classes require quality education, the upper income class is the one with the means to provide this high quality education (Brennan, et al., 2014). On the other hand, the lower income class does not have much choice in the education it gives it children. According to a new research, the attempts to increase social mobility in Britain have not resulted in any tangible fruits. According to a study tracking down rare surnames such as Nottidge and Pepys, it was realized that the “iron law” of inheritance has consistently shown better results than the efforts made to improve social mobility (RT, 2015). The report noted that there is a significant correlation between the wealth of families five generations apart. The research showed that the descendants of those who were wealthy in 1858 are wealthier than the average person in 2012 (Doward, 2015). As a result, Marx postulation about the need for income equality is thus observed.

Capitalist Societies

According to Marx, capitalist crises are the result of “overproduction”. There are very many commodities that are produced in order to be sold at a profit and eventually, too much capital is invested in the industry in order to get a part of the profits. Marx believed that the reason for this is that the capitalist system on both the national and international fronts is a system that has separate and independent ownership (Katz, 1993; Wood, 1987). During the prosperous periods, there is an increase in investment in production. In particular, the periodic boom stimulates production of “fixed capital” in the form of buildings and machinery. Resources are strained in order to provide more capital to purchase fixed capital. The mass production triggered by this capital increment results in flooding of commodities which leads to an economic crises. Marx explained that the high levels of investment in fixed capital result in a decline in the level of employment. At the onset of the economic cries, unemployment strengthens the bargaining power of the workers and this forces production levels to slacken. This explains the housing bubble and its eventual burst in the USA and in Europe (Evans, 2013). During the period preceding the economic crises, real estate prices in the United States had been rising for decades with only few instances of slowdown resulting from changes in interest rate during this period. The price continued to increase with home ownership through government sponsored programs increasing. Further, the general sentiment was that owning a home was the ultimate American dream. As Karl Marx showed, this overproduction and overspending on housing was short lived. As a result, the levels of production reached a maximum and there was an eventual drop in this sector of the economy.

Bourgeois including Keynes held that the interest rates in an economy would be used to control the economic cycle. According to this, they believed that the levels of investment would be determined by the difference between the interest rate of borrowed money capital and the rate of profit created by the mean of production. As a result of this, they held that provided the interest rates remain substantially lower than the profit rates entrepreneurs are likely to accrue, the entrepreneurs will continue borrowing and invest until this gap in interest is eliminated (Doepke & Zilibotti, 2008). As a result of this, there is a notion that as long as the interest rates remain sufficiently low, there will be full-employment of capital. However, Karl Marx believed that the level of investment in any economy is as a direct result of the rate of profit accrued from the privately owned means of production. Further, Marx stated that during an economic recess, even with abnormally low interest rates, the loanable capital remains unused. Marx characterised this as a period during the industrial cycle immediately after a crisis that low interest loanable capital remains idle in great masses (Tabb, 2010). The validity of the position taken by Marx was demonstrated by the excesses in bank reserves that were characterised by the USA banks during the period following the economic crises. Despite the fact that interests on bank loans were below the rate of inflation at one point, the USA continued to experience a decline in the amounts of bank loans taken.

Education

Karl Marx was critical of the education system and how it continues to stratify the society into different classes. The main function of education in the capitalist society can be seen as the creation of efficient and obedient workers. This is achieved by transmitting the ideologies of capitalism to the students. The current school system from an early age teaches the students to compete with their colleagues in order to become better than them. The teachers are the authority in the school and they urge the students to become submissive to authority which is a trait that is carried on to the workplace. Ideology in the capitalist society is essential and the best way of transmitting the ideologies of capitalism is through education. In fact, Marxists view education as a state instrument that is used to pass on ruling class ideology to justify the capitalist system (Anyon, 2011). An example of this can be observed in the differences between the private schools system and the public school system. Remarkably, private schools have created a system where the ruling class is educated while in the public schools, the working class is produced. In the current UK government, an example is current Prime Minister David Cameron and MP Boris Johnson. Both attended Eton which is a private school and were later members of the Bullingdon Club which is an exclusive men’s club at Oxford. This shows a deliberate attempt by the system on one hand to produce the owners of the means of production while on the other hand producing the working class. The fact that education is working well for the elite only increases pressure for it to work for the majority. Currently, education is geared towards employability for the majority to an extent of changing the curriculum to fit what the businesses want or need (Anyon, 2011). The current employability notion needs fine tuning to equip the students to compete in a more effective manner. The current education paradigm cannot chance the ratio between the graduates who are seeking for graduate level jobs and the actual jobs available in the market. A retrogressive solution is to cut the number of students accessing universities. A more radical move that Marxists support would require allocation of greater investment into the economy including the social economy. However, this would require confronting capitalism and the system of upper classes hording wealth in financial systems and banks.

Conclusion

Having been a beneficiary of public schooling, I have had the opportunity to observe the skewed manner in which resource allocation and teaching within the school system only works to entrench the beliefs that we are meant to get an education in order to join the growing population of employees. In school, we are pressured to attain the minimum 5 GCSEs in order to amount to anything. In the real sense, the 5 GCSEs are the requirements put forward by the industrial players and they do not signify anything of significance. Instead, we are confined to this way of thinking while a private education system prepares the privileged to take over the instruments of production. Unfortunately, the high costs of these schools mean that the only people who can access them are the children of the privileged within the society. As I have pointed out earlier, Karl Marx shows that the idea of capitalism is pushed forward by the increase in disparities in education and the continued income inequalities. Overall, the paper shows that the capitalistic system has only worked to alienate the classes further with little or no tangible benefits to the working class. The financial crisis and the continued enrichment of the privileged through inheritance in the UK are just an example of the different directions through which the economic classes are growing.

 

 

References

Anyon, J., 2011. Marx and Education. London: Taylor & Francis.

Brennan, G., Menzies, G. & Munger, M., 2014. A Brief History of Equality. Economic Discipline Group, 17(2200-6788), pp. 1-24.

Bresser-Pereira, L., 2010. The Global Financial Crisis and a New Capitalism?. Getulio VargasFoundation, Volume 592, pp. 1-41.

Bresser-Pereira, L. C., 2010. The 008 Financial Crisis ad Neoclassical Economic. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, 30(1), pp. 3-26.

Burton, R., 2013. Neoliberalism, Social Harm and the Financial Crisis. Internet Journal of Criminology, pp. 1-20.

Champion, J., 2008. Workers need bailout plan. [Online]
Available at: http://www.workers.org/2008/us/bailout_0724/
[Accessed 18 January 2016].

Clark, G. & Cummins, N., 2013. Surname and Social Mobility: England 1230-2012. Economic History Working Papers, Volume 181, pp. 1-26.

Corak, M., 2013. Income Inequality, Equality of Opportunity, and Intergenerational Mobility. IZA DP No. 7520, pp. 1-31.

Doepke, M. & Zilibotti, F., 2008. Occupational Choice and the Spirit of Capitalism. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, pp. 747-792.

Doward, J., 2015. Inheritance: how Britain’s wealthy still keep it in the family. [Online]
Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jan/31/inheritance-britain-wealthy-study-surnames-social-mobility
[Accessed 18 January 2016].

Evans, M., 2013. Karl Marx. 4th ed. New York: Routledge.

Herold, C., 2002. On Financial Crisis as a Disciplinary Device Empire: Emergence and Crisis of the Crisi. The Commoner, pp. 1-16.

Katz, C., 1993. Karl Marx and Transition from Feudalism to Capitalism. Theory and Society, Volume 22, pp. 363-389.

Marx, K., 2007. Capital: A Critique of Political Economy – The Process of Capitalist Production as a Whole, Volume 2. New York: Cosimo, Inc.

North, D., 2009. The economic crisis and the resurgence of class conflict in the United States. [Online]
Available at: https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2009/05/rep1-m19.html
[Accessed 18 January 2016].

Piketty, T., 1995. Social Mobility and Redistributive Politics. The Quarterly Journal of Economics , CV(3), pp. 551-584.

RT, 2015. To those who have, more is given’: Britain’s social mobility myth broken?. [Online]
Available at: https://www.rt.com/uk/228719-social-mobility-broken-britain/
[Accessed 18 January 2016].

Schuman, M., 2013. Marx’s Revenge: How Class Struggle Is Shaping the World. [Online]
Available at: http://business.time.com/2013/03/25/marxs-revenge-how-class-struggle-is-shaping-the-world/
[Accessed 18 January 2016].

Smith, D., 2011. The Age of Instability: The Global Financial Crisis and What Comes Next. London: Profile Books.

Tabb, W., 2010. Marxism, Crisis Theoy and the Crisis of the Early 21st Century. Science and Society, 74(3), pp. 305-323.

Wood, J. C., 1987. Karl Marx’s Economics: Critical Assessments, Volume 1. London: Psychology Press.

 

 

ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEMS

February 22, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEMS

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ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEMS

Introduction

Technology is moving fast, and everyone is yawning to be in the mood of moving with it and that is the reason even the energy sector is not left behind. For many years, gas and oil industries have dominated the market in the renewable energy field. Every day every hour oil or gas is used, but technology is taking this sector to another level with the introduction of Solar-PV and Wind-Turbine. The system is gaining momentum across the globe, and everyone appreciates it though it does not operate the same way as other systems because it depends on energy storage systems. In subsequent paragraphs, we will look at the positive and negative aspects, the commercial availability, and the impact on the environment during the usage and the cost – effective recommendations of energy storage systems.

The followings are the positive and negative aspects of energy storage systems: They are renewable; means when you use the system, you will never miss out power especially when you are using solar as compared to oil and gas and other non-renewable sources (Maehlum and Mæhlum, 2012). As long as the there is the sun; you will continue having a stable supply of energy. The second positive aspect is abundance; you will always get enough of the energy required. Earth receives more than 120,000 terawatts of radiation (Iqbal, 1984) which is 20,000 times than the regular supply of energy required. The third point is that, they are sustainable; it means, when you are using mainly solar power you will always get enough, no time you will miss solar, and that is how it is easy to sustain, you do not need to spend some little more to pay for the sun and you cannot over-consume. It does not end there; energy storage systems are environmentally friendly that is to say, there are no pollutions caused when you are using solar for instance, you are always assured of your health (Gibson, 2004).  Energy storage systems are available, you could not struggle to get them, and they are everywhere in shops and approximately every country (Energy and United States. Dept. of Energy., 1995).  They are easy to install; for instance when you are using the battery, you do not need an expert to come and fix it for you, as long as you know how to read to can set your battery (Chen et al., 2013).  They reduce costs for electricity; it means when one is using Energy storage systems will never experience the same burden of power bills (Zavalani, 2011).

As much as we have talked much on the positive side of using energy saving systems, there is a negative aspect. For instance, when you opt for solar you must analyze the depth of your pocket that means it expensive for an average income earner to afford (Zydeveld, 2000). The other limitation is intermittent; every time you use solar energy, for instance, you have a check on the weather. Intermittent means the system is limited to some weather conditions like night and morning (Maehlum and Mæhlum, 2012). Even though the system is termed as environmentally friendly when using it, its manufacturing process is related to greenhouse gas emissions (Tian and Qiao, 2013).Lastly, it requires space as compared to the oil and gas.

The systems are available commercially everywhere around the world. For instance, solar panels can be found even supermarkets and they more reliable than batteries.

Solar batteries and other energy saver systems are termed as the best and friendly to the environment, but they have another dark side. Air, water, climate, land, landscape and wildlife can be damaged by conventional generation that also raises the rank of harmful radiations (EC,1995,1997). Regardless of the way that the era of solar thermal (ST) structures requires sensible measures of materials, insignificant totals are moreover exhausted in the midst of their operation; around then the principle potential usual poison rises out of the coolant change, which can be adequately controlled by awesome working practice. The incidental spillage of coolant structures can realize fire and gas releases from vaporized coolant, unfavorably impacting general wellbeing and security. On the contrary, the massive scale plan of ST developments will on a very basic level reduce the ignition of general powers and will along these lines; diminish the average impacts related to these fuels  (Tsoutsosa, Frantzeskakib, and Gekasb, 2005) . Energy saver systems (photovoltaics, solar thermal, solar power) give gigantic common points of interest in the examination of the official essentialness sources, thus contributing, to the possible change of human activities. Sometimes, however, their apparent scale association needs to face potential negative environmental repercussions. These potential issues seem, by all accounts, to be a substantial obstacle for a further scrambling of these structures in a couple of purchases  (Spellman, 2014).

Another example is batteries; Batteries are recognized as an issue material in the waste stream. Batteries are delivered utilizing a combination of chemicals to control their reactions. Some of these chemicals, for instance, nickel and cadmium, are to an extraordinary degree hurtful and can make mischief individuals and the earth. In particular, they can realize soil and water defilement and imperil untamed life. For delineation, cadmium can cause damage soil small scale life structures and impact the breakdown of particular matter.  In like manner bio-total in fish, which diminishes their numbers and makes them unfit for human usage. Exchange Landfill is all things considered where batteries wind up. Regulations speaking to battery move contrast in each state and space in Australia. In Western Australia, both unnecessary and rechargeable batteries are classed as hazardous waste; they are placed in steel drums encased in bond inside secure landfills so that air and water cannot dissolve the battery lodgings. In Queensland, by connection, people hurl batteries in the canister with an exception. The primary batteries in a matter of seconds reused in Australia are the lead-destructive batteries that power our cars and trucks; more than 90 for every penny of which are reused. The exciting news is that moves are in advancement to develop family battery reusing. In Melbourne, a trial of a independent reusing organization for family unit batteries began in mid-2007. The organization is a joint movement between the Government and industry to give places where people can drop off their dead batteries (OECD, 2005).

Foreseeing through 2050, the report looked at the money related parts of three setups in five urban zones—Los Angeles, Honolulu, San Antonio, Louisville, KY and Westchester, NY. Besides, saw a ton of elevating news. It found that the most traditionalist structure for the customer advanced after some time from the cross section just, to arrange notwithstanding daylight based, to framework notwithstanding the sun controlled notwithstanding battery. In three of the five urban regions, the system/universes were financially profitable to purchasers today, and they would be so in each of the five civic groups within ten years. The report moreover found that structures that included battery stockpiling would be preservationist in three of the civic groups within 10-15 years (Pantsios et al., 2015) .

It in like manner observed that, paying little regard to whether the structure fused the stockpiling battery, customers’ reliance on imperativeness from the system decreases after some time, especially as the cost of force from the grid augmentations and sun arranged and battery costs reduce (MacGill and Watt, 2015).

“Amazingly, the examination shows that system joined Sun situated notwithstanding battery structures get the chance to be monetary for generous amounts of customers, and those systems can supply more foremost and more distinct parts of customers’ energy,” said the report.”Assuming customer allocation takes after full money related matters, the degree of a potential kilowatt hour (kWh) abandoning from the grid in large  (Sumathi, Ashok Kumar, and Surekha, 2015) .

Energy saving systems is a technology that has come to stay. Many people have started using it entirely in their homes. As much as we could have some negatives aspect, it has more positives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Electrical Power & Energy Systems, 45(1), pp. 264–270. doi: 10.1016/j.ijepes.2012.08.037.

Energy, U. S. D. of and United States. Dept. of Energy. (1995) Technology assessments of advanced energy storage systems for. Business/Technology Books.

Gibson, D. (2004) Solar power (sources of energy). 1st edn. United States: Black Rabbit Books.

Iqbal, M. (1984) An introduction to solar radiation. New York: Academic Press.

MacGill, I. and Watt, M. (2015) ‘Economics of solar PV systems with storage, in main grid and Mini-Grid settings’, Solar Energy Storage, , pp. 225–244. doi: 10.1016/b978-0-12-409540-3.00010-4.

Maehlum, M. A. and Mæhlum, M. A. (2012) ‘Solar energy pros and cons’, .

OECD (2005) ‘When removing subsidies benefits the environment’, Environmentally Harmful Subsidies, , pp. 109–67. doi: info/10.1787/9789264012059-4-en.

Pantsios, A., Mathres, M., Wockner, G. and Wasserman, H. (2015) ‘Solar energy: Grid vs. Battery storage’, Business, .

Spellman, F. (2014) ‘Environmental impacts of renewable energy’, Energy and the Environment, . doi: 10.1201/b17744.

Sumathi, S., Ashok Kumar, L. and Surekha, P. (2015) ‘Solar PV and wind energy conversion systems’, Green Energy and Technology, . doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-14941-7.

Tian, Y. Y. and Qiao, Y. Y. (2013) ‘New mechanism of saving energy and reducing pollution in burning processing of emulsified oil’, Advanced Materials Research, 634-638, pp. 768–774. doi: 10.4028/www.scientific.net/amr.634-638.768.

Tsoutsosa, T., Frantzeskakib, N. and Gekasb, V. (2005) Environmental impacts from the solar energy technologies. Available at: http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Tsoutsos_Frantzeskaki_2006_EIA_ST.pdf (Accessed: 28 November 2015).

Zavalani, O. (2011) ‘Reducing energy in buildings by using energy management systems and alternative energy-saving systems’, 2011 8th International Conference on the European Energy Market (EEM), . doi: 10.1109/eem.2011.5953039.

Zydeveld, C. (2000) ‘Why do we neglect the proof? Advantages without disadvantages’, World Renewable Energy Congress VI, , pp. 136–138. doi: 10.1016/b978-008043865-8/50027-1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT: A CASE STUDY OF TESCO

February 22, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT: A CASE STUDY OF TESCO

By Name

Name of Instructor

Institution

Date of Submission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Executive Summary

This report examines Tesco’s state of current networking and operations management. The report is founded on three main perspectives namely operations management, operations design, and operations strategy. Then, Tesco’s strengths and weaknesses in as far as efficient networking and operations management are concerned will be revealed. Additionally, the report evaluates the general approaches to managing improvement in an organization, and later link current Tesco’s operations needs to the different improvement management techniques. Finally, after the analysis, the report will recommend one improvement management approach that is ideal for the prevailing Tesco’s operations needs, and explain the risk involved for selecting this particular approach.

Operations that Require Improvement and Justification

Faced with the challenges of cutthroat competition, domestic saturation, and self-development demand, the company has moved to expand its operations to overseas markets and is using its store business model in countries such as China, Turkey, and Poland among others (Hill 2008). Largely, the success of Tesco in international expansion can be attributed to the excellent corporate strategies it has in place. Tesco has gained significant success and its growth in foreign markets is rapid. The company localises and translates its store format depending on the behaviour habits of the host country. Despite the success in foreign markets, Tesco is only in twelve countries. The company therefore needs to venture into more countries do diversify its market

With regard to the functional strategy and the business unit strategy, Tesco follows a consumer-centric concept and breaks myriad traditional “rules” of retailing.  Tesco is always ahead of its competitors. One of the most important operations strategies of Tesco has to do with customers’ benefits. Using a strong customer-focussed concept, the company adopted the low-price policy, and the Tesco club cards to enhance customer loyalty. From its inception, the company has always competed on the price basis (Mañez 2006). The basis ideal of Tesco is to sell more at low prices. This is made possible through cost cutting approaches such as bulk buying and minimising wastage. Tesco also buys non-food items from developing economies such as India and China, which also enables the company to sell cheaply. The ability to sell at low prices is a key competitive advantage that. The problem with low price policy, despite its success, is that it does not cater for all segments of the market. Customers in higher economic strata can perceive low prices as a compromise in quality.

To win customer’s loyalty, Tesco introduced loyalty cards (Wright 1999). This has helped the company collect vital information about the customers. This data enables the company to conduct more focuses promotions and even adjust business layout according to the customer’s needs. The danger of this is that it can scare away potential customers who are not ready to share their information with the company. To get the necessary data, Tesco should conduct surveys. It should also innovate other ways of maintaining customer loyalty such as offering attractive discounts.

Tesco has also focussed vocal at improving the delivery system and innovating the supply chain for better quality services delivery to customers. In the year 1999, Tesco started to venture in online grocery shopping (Rowley 2005). Even though online shopping increased the unit cost for many other retailers at that time, Tesco made online sales of up to £500m within six years and this kept growing. Despite the success of online shopping at Tesco, the company has not taken the online model to foreign markets. This is an area that the company needs to work on. In most foreign markets, there is a small number of Tesco stores which makes it difficult achieve effective delivers bases on the store-based approach.

To improve supply chain management, Tesco also embraced new technology by introducing the RFID technology (Jones 2005). The technology has to do with use of barcodes in scanning and tracing a product throughout the chain of supply.  This technology also improved employee efficiency the work of goods processing. However, it is important to realize that there are dangers of using technology. One danger is that the security of information cannot be guaranteed. Hackers can infiltrate the systems and steal or even doctor information. Furthermore, technology such as the RFID is expensive and can raise the costs of operation.

  Approaches to Managing Improvement

The following approaches are at the disposal of Tesco in managing the company’s operations that require improvement. After discussing each in general, the best approach to managing improvement for the specific operations will be recommended.

Continuous Improvement Management

One methodology that Tesco can use to manage improvement is the continuous improvement (CI) approach. This is where the company’s operations that have weakness are improved gradually and not by impulse. As Bhuiyan and Baghel (2005) state, CI is all about improving the products, services, or operations on an ongoing basis through breakthrough or incremental improvements.  CI incorporates all the other improvement management techniques discussed below, but on an ongoing basis.

Education and Training Management

Improving management sometimes requires an organization to consider the education and training aspects of its employees. According to Sola and Xavier (2007), some operations require the employees to be educated and trained to how to handle them. For example, some improvements that require technologically new equipments and machines may require the employees to be trained on how to use them (Schleich 2009). Therefore, educating and training the employees is one way of managing improvement.

Employee’s Management

The management should also consider the element of employees. This is because sometimes employees can be resistant to strategies for improving the efficiency of operations (Murray & Chapman 2003). As such, it would be important for the management to assess whether it would be necessary to introduce incentives such as higher pay, promotion, and rewards among others in order to avert any resistance to strategies meant for improving the operations of the organization (Wilson & Collier 2000).

Leadership Management

According to Prajogo and Sohal (2003), lack of appropriate management systems can hinder the operations for quality improvement. Hence, improvement management requires considering the management systems with an organization (Inoue et al. 2013). For instance, employees need to be involved in the decision-making and management so that they can work towards quality improvements. For instance, some operations could be having problems because of presence of a bureaucratic management, where decisions are made by the management and prescribed downward to the employees. Hence, managing the leadership could lead to improvement of the operations.

Strategic Planning Management

Managing planned improvements in an organization requires a strategic vision (Narasimhaiah, Somers & Wong 2010). In this light, the management needs to evaluate the effects of the planned improvements on the organization. This is because some improvements strategies can backfire and cause undesired outcomes that can lead to a discontinued future of an organization (Anderson 2000). Therefore, in management of improvement, Prajogo and Sohal (2004) recommend that there is a need to conduct a scenario analysis to help in proactively predicting the anticipated outcomes. Hence, strategic planning is one way of improving the operations.

2.4.6.   Process Management

In this improvement management technique, it is suggested that an organization should focus on managing the processes that lead to success and reduction of failures instead of focusing on the management of the outcomes (Tehm, Ooi, & Yong 2008). According to Motwani (2001), this improvement management technique strives on promoting knowledge innovation and creating to improve and optimize processes. This results in added value, quality, and harnesses capabilities of the employees, which then leads to reduced cycle-time, down-time, and increased efficiency (Al-Mabrouk 2006; Holsapple and Joshi 2000).

Customer Focus Management

As Sila (2007) states, the satisfaction of customers on an ongoing basis is what determines the long-term success of an organization. For this reason, improvements that are managed with customer focus in mind result in increased satisfaction, and hence repeated purchases and patronage (Santos-Vijande & Alvarez-Gonzalez 2007).  Therefore, apart from meeting and exceeding the specific expectations of the customers, this improvement management approach is inclined towards the realization of high sales and revenues for the organization.  This is because increased customers’ satisfaction translates to increased sales and revenues.

Conclusions

From the foregoing analysis, one operation that requires improvement is Tesco’s diversification to foreign markets. This is because Tesco is only in twelve countries and to spread the risk, it therefore needs to venture into more countries. Global expansion should be a strategic goal. Hence, it requires the strategic planning improvement management.

Tesco also needs to improve its pricing. This is because the company’s low price policy, despite its success, is that it does not cater for all segments of the market. Customers in higher economic strata can perceive low prices as a compromise in quality. Therefore, the company ought to have considered the different needs for its different customer segments. Therefore, this points to a lack of customer-focused improvement plans and management.

Tesco needs to improve its strategy about the use of loyalty carts. This is because it posses the danger of scaring away potential customers who are not ready to share their information with the company. Before introducing such strategies, Tesco should get the necessary data first, such as conducting customers’ surveys.  The company should also innovate other ways of maintaining customer loyalty, such as offering attractive discounts. All these point to the need for customer-focused improvement management.

Despite the success of online shopping at Tesco, the company has not taken the online model to foreign markets. As such, in most foreign markets there are a small number of Tesco stores, which makes it difficult to achieve effective delivery based on the store-based approach, and that is why switching to online shopping to reach out to more customers is an ideal improvement strategy. Hence, customer-focused improvement management is ideal here.

There are dangers of using RFID technology and an improvement is necessary. One danger is that the security of information cannot be guaranteed. Hackers can infiltrate the systems and steal or even doctor information. Furthermore, technology such as the RFID is expensive and can raise the costs of operation. Therefore, in order to improve, the company requires training some of its employees on security issues of RFID. In addition, to neutralize the operations costs of using RFID technology, the company needs to improve service delivery so that customers can be satisfied, which in turn would lead to repeated purchasing and hence more sales revenues that can counter the fixed expenses. This is a customer-focused approach to managing improvement.

Recommendation

From the conclusions above, it emerged that among the different areas that require improvement, one requires strategic planning improvement, another training and development, and fours areas required customer-focused improvement management. Therefore, an inference can be made that Tesco needs to direct its efforts on embracing the customer focus approach of managing improvement. This is because most of the prevailing operations that require improvement relate directly to the customers. However, the risk of selecting this method is that it ignores the other two, these being training and development and strategic planning management. One method that would have encompassed all is the continuous improvement management approach, but this will be expensive to sustain as it covers other elements, such as employees, leadership, and process management that are beyond the scope of the prevailing operations requirement at Tesco. Therefore, selecting one that would improve most of the operations that need improvement is the best strategy for Tesco, which is the customer-focus improvement management.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Al-Mabrouk K 2006, Critical Success Factors Affecting Knowledge Management Adoption: A Review of the Literature, Innovations in Information Technology, IEEE Xplore pp.1-6

Anderson TJ 2000, Strategic planning autonomous actions and corporate performance, Long Range Plan, 33(2): 184-200

Bhuiyan, N & Baghel, A 2005, An overview of continuous improvement: from the past to the present Management Decision, 43(5):761-771.

Hill, C. (2008) ‘International Business: Competing in the Global Market Place’, Strategic Direction, vol. 24, no. 9, pp. 9-22.

Holsapple, CW & Joshi, KD 2000, An investigation of factors that influence the management of knowledge in organizations, J. Strategic Info. Syst. 9(3): 235-261.

Inoue, A, Kawakami, N, Tsuno, K, Tomioka, K & Nakanishi, M. 2013, Organizational Justice and Major Depressive Episodes in Japanese Employees: A Cross-sectional Study, Journal of Occupational Health, 54(2):47–55.

Jones, P. (2005) ‘The benefits, challenges and impacts of radio frequency identification technology (RFID) for retailers in the UK’, Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 395-402.

Mañez, J.A. (2006) ‘Unbeatable Value Low‐Price Guarantee: Collusive Mechanism or Advertising Strategy?’, Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 143-166.

Motwani, J 2001, Critical factors and performance measures of TQM, TQM Mag. 13(4): 292-300.

Murray, P & Chapman, R 2003, From continuous improvement to organizational learning: developmental theory, The Learning Organization, 10(5):272-282.

Narasimhaiah, G, Somers, TM, & Wong, B 2010, Organizational impact of system quality, information quality, and service quality, Journal of Strategic Information Systems , 19, 207–228.

Prajogo DI, & Sohal AS 2003, The relationship between TQM practices, quality performance, and innovation performance: an empirical examination, Int. J. Qual. Reliability Manage. 20(8): 901-918.

Prajogo, Di & Sohal, As 2004, Transitioning from total quality management to total innovation management: an Australian case, Int. J. Qual. Reliability Manage. 21(8): 861-875.

Rowley, J. (2005) ‘Building brand webs: Customer relationship management through the Tesco Clubcard loyalty scheme’, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 194-206.

Santos-Vijande Ml & Alvarez-Gonzalez, LI 2007, TQM and Firms performance: An EFQM excellence model research based survey, Int. J. Bus. Sci. Appl. Mange. 2(2): 21-41.

Schleich, J 2009, Barriers to energy efficiency: A comparison across the German commercial and services sector, Ecological Economics, 68(7):2150-2159.

Sila, I 2007, Examining the effects of contextual factors on TQM and performance through the lens of organizational theories: An empirical study, J. Oper. Mange. 25(1): 83-109

Sola, AVH & Xavier, AADP  2007, Organizational human factors as barriers to energy efficiency in electrical motors systems in industry, Energy Policy, 35(11):5784-5794.

Teh PL, Ooi KB, & Yong, CC 2008, Does TQM impact on stressors? A conceptual model. Ind. Manage. Data Syst. 108(8): 1029-1044

Wilson DD & Collier DA 2000, An empirical investigation of the Malcolm Baldrige National

Wright, C.a.L.S. (1999) ‘Loyalty saturation in retailing: exploring the end of retail loyalty cards?’, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 27, no. 10, pp. 429-440.

 

Legal Aspects of Oil and Gas Industries

February 22, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

Legal Aspects of Oil and Gas Industries

Name:
Instructor:
Institution:
Date:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

It has been said that host-governments ‘concedes’ control or sovereign rights over their countries’ natural resources to foreign oil companies. This statement is still applicable in the present climate of the global oil and gas industry. Basically, the production, transportation and pricing strategies and policies adopted by foreign oil firms are directly influenced by the host nations (Kaygusuz 2012). The laws that regulate ownership of oil and gas differ significantly across the world, for example, there is private ownership in U.S.A and national government ownership in most European countries (Joffé et al. 2009). Nevertheless, oil and gas extraction is normally regulated by individual local, state and/or national governments through common law and statutes (Guenther, Hoppe & Poser 2006). The oil and gas sector is one of the most crucial industries globally, and a sound contractual and regulatory legal environment is a critical element to successful development in the sector (Cleveland 2005).

Basically, there are complicated legal concerns that surround the global oil and gas sector due to a number of factors, for example, the politics surrounding the actual owner of oil and gas resources, international obligations, upstream investment concerns, and the integral role played by contractual agreements between the sellers and buyers (Cleveland 2005). The legal framework determines the foundation for bargaining since involved parties (host governments and foreign oil firms) are made to understand the elements they must adhere to in order to avoid negative consequences in addition to distribution of responsibilities and benefits (Bernardini 2008). The laws and regulations enacted by host nations are critical to bolstering the security of their oil and gas resources. In addition, foreign investors are protected against violation of their rights and contractual agreements (Frynas 2009). However, Hirsch (2008) argues that the legal provisions seek to serve the oil-producer’s interests in a manner that encourages responsible oil investors while rendering any special grants and guarantees unnecessary. The legal provisions cover contractual agreements, joint ventures, environmental protection, concession, service and production sharing contracts, taxation and occupational or workplace health and safety in the global oil and gas system over specified exploration and exploitation periods (Pongsiri 2004).

Vivoda (2009) postulates that there is continuously increasing awareness across less developed nations with respect to the need for establishing laws as a control measure pertaining  to natural gas and oil resources. This can be attributed to the fact that these countries have recognised the existing and potential benefits that may be gained from their oil and gas resources (Stevens 2008). Simply put, host governments are increasingly imposing conditions inclined towards their advantage in contracts with foreign oil firms. The approaches applied to achieve such results range from suggestions, requests, negotiations, agreed amendments, nationalisation to boycotts seek to sustain the relationships and interactions between host countries and foreign investors. Here, the former intends gain unparalleled enrichment in terms of economic development, while the latter seeks to gain profitability. The factors that have led to these developments are closely related to political changes, technological advancement, and changes in persons’ attitude (Stammler & Wilson 2006; Wälde 2008). Watts (2005) argues that the legal principle of permanent and overall sovereignty over oil and gas among other natural resources have made host countries to seek ways through which they can secure control  of these resources from within. One of the approaches has been pursuing joint ventures between the host government and foreign oil firms in the realms of ownership and day-to-day operations of oil and gas companies (Umbach 2010). Oil-producing nations have adopted approaches that take the form of legal-economic agreements, or acting collectively as host nations under the banner of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). To a greater extent, such partnerships boost the bargaining power of oil-producing countries. OPEC is a fundamental organisation which determines the direction in host countries should follow to control their oil resources. Through the organisations, host nations are able to establish international collective bargaining within the legal orders (Magrini & dos Santos Lins 2007; Weaver & Asmus 2006).

From contractors and operators to minority stakeholders, existing provisions for distribution of responsibilities are generally undefined. Taxation in the oil and gas sector is a specialised business, including complex tax questions, continuous tax disputes, and sophisticated relationships between operating contracts and national tax laws. In addition, there is no in-depth definition of decommissioning among other common topics. As a result, the tax system in the oil and gas sector has not been good (Maniruzzaman 2009). The oil and gas sector remains a fundamentally unique industry because of the large amount of investment needed, the strategic significance of the oil and gas products to concerned parties such as foreign company owners and host and consumer countries, the few countries that produce the product, the need for strong relationships between host nations and oil production companies.  In fact, countries such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) directly tax companies in the oil sector and the industry is greatly protected by the government (Konoplyanik & Walde 2006). Mostly, oil rich countries have implemented solid economic structures supported by legal and regulatory frameworks to protect their valuable oil and gas sector (Bernardini 2008). Basically, there are huge monetary gains that come with restrictive foreign investment in the oil industry. Multinational contractors and operators are challenged by extremely high taxation risks across the oil-producing nations globally. It is worth noting that the nations that have large oil and gas reservoirs greatly control these risks, which are cumulatively increasing gradually. The oil firms are also expected to work within the set carbon emission constraints as a measure against considerable environmental degradation and climate change, while positively contributing to sustainable development (Pongsiri 2004; Utting & Ives 2006).

Today, oil and gas extraction contractual agreements are often based on public-private partnerships. Concerns with oil and gas investments are certainly justified due to its considerable significance for companies in the sector, oil-producing nations, and other nations such as consumers (Konoplyanik & Walde 2006). Maniruzzaman (2009) claimed that the oil and gas sector is very important to a country in both national and foreign contexts. As a foreign investment in third world and developing countries, the oil and gas sector is one of the most important industries for the U.S. and other developed nations. Aside from the obvious economic benefits associated with the oil and gas, the sector has attracted legal challenges with respect to foreign private investments in most less developed nations (Bernardini 2008). However, these problems must be remedied through collaborative participation between the host countries and oil firms. Cleveland (2005) advances the principle of mutual equivalence in contractual advantages to build long-range and lasting relationships between oil-producing countries and foreign oil firms. According to Konoplyanik and Walde (2006), nationalisation is undesirable option for host countries because national governments may not afford to raise the capital, the required exploration skills and knowledge, or the sales and marketing outlets. As such, nationalisation may not be a feasible solution today or in the near future. Hirsch (2008) argues that the sanctity of legally-bidding contracts is one of the most critical elements of strong relationships between oil-rich countries and foreign companies. According to Weaver and Asmus (2006), the entire process of contract negotiations, countermeasures and ongoing change are important in actual oil and gas concessions.

Typically, the oil and gas industry is guided by rights that extend from the country where the reservoirs are located. This remains the case until the oil and gas resources are extracted from the surface, where rights can be sold, transferred or purchased just like other products (Vivoda 2009). Host governments may lease the gas and oil rights to qualified firms for development, because the former are the owners of the underneath oil and gas resources. The laws that govern oil and gas stems from the fact that the owner of a surface also owns all the things that are below it (Watts 2005). In today’s modes of operation in the oil and gas industry, host countries put pressure on foreign oil firms with respect to increasing production and controlling pricing (Kaygusuz 2012). Iran is one of the latest examples of host nations that exert pressure on contracted oil firms to continually increase their oil production. Contract risk, international boundary and production sharing disputes, and international sanction issues make the global oil and gas sector an extremely complex operation area with regard to legal and regulatory issues (Cleveland 2005). In view of the day-to-day oil concession issues, the aspect of permanent sovereignty and mutual equivalence should be guided by law. Nevertheless, the subject should never be approached as an endless process of negotiations, agreements, adjustments and operations, but should be tailored to adapt to changing socio-economic and technological factors (Frynas 2009).

With the increasing reliance on tertiary approaches to oil and gas exploration in different parts of the world, it is apparent that the hydrocarbon reservoirs are increasingly drying up. Moreover, there are many legal issues faced by countries, especially the non-producers who are subjected to laws created by governments in countries where oil and gas reservoirs are located. It appears that a number of people perceive that the traffic controlled by oil and gas resources has led to a transportation issue. Countries with poor legal climates are generally faced with transportation problems (Humphreys, Sachs & Stiglitz 2007). National governments continuously seek to gain additional authority over their oil and gas resources, but they must involve foreign companies to realise the full potential of their hydrocarbons (Utting & Ives 2006).  According to Joffé et al. (2009), oil and gas industry has a truly long history in production and commercialisation. Oil and gas laws and regulations are formulated from time to time across the world to adapt to changing demands. There are widespread liberalised economic policies adopted by various governments in pursuit of licensing and regulating the oil and gas sector. Over years, there have been different laws that have been devised and implemented by host governments to regulate various aspects of the oil and gas industry, for example, importation, transportation, refinery and production of petroleum (Weaver & Asmus 2006).  Further, the host governments have implemented regulatory frameworks for national oil and gas fields (Utting & Ives 2006). Cleveland (2005) asserts that the participation of host governments in the oil and gas sector, along with enactment of domestic and global petroleum and energy legislation and agencies greatly influence the cooperation between the host nations and foreign oil investors.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is evident that the global oil and gas sector is complicated by laws and regulations. Currently, there are a lot of pollution and environmental issues related to the oil and gas sector. Apparently, a lot of legal and regulatory issues have played an integral role in all aspects and areas of cooperation between the developed and less-developed nations as well as between host governments and foreign oil investors. Successful relationships between oil-producing countries and foreign oil firms are challenged by a number of factors such as huge taxation that negatively affect the latter. The host governments play a great role in creating laws pertaining to rights associated with acquisition, ownership and discovery aspects of the oil and gas industry, along with adjudication related to the rights. This is inline with the host nations’ permanent ownership and sovereignty principles associated with their natural oil and gas resources.  Stakeholders in the oil and gas sector must have essential knowledge and skills to work within legal provisions that are mainly mandated by host governments. While organisations such as OPEC are critical to successful bargaining by host nations towards better terms between them and oil firms, there are explicit conflicts with joint ventures that are based on mutual agreements between a country and an oil country. The relationships between host governments and foreign oil firms are often complex due to processes of negotiation and countermeasures. Concerns related to judicial processes mainly guide negotiations to ensure that specific legal elements are considered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Bernardini, P 2008, ‘Stabilization and adaptation in oil and gas investments’, The Journal of World Energy Law & Business, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 98-112.

Cleveland, CJ 2005, ‘Net energy from the extraction of oil and gas in the United States’, Energy, vol. 30, no. 5, pp. 769-782.

Frynas, JG 2009, ‘Corporate social responsibility in the oil and gas sector’, The Journal of World Energy Law & Business, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 255-264.

Guenther, E, Hoppe, H, & Poser, C 2006, ‘Environmental corporate social responsibility of firms in the mining and oil and gas industries’, Greener Management International, vol. 2006, no. 53, pp. 6-25.

Hirsch, RL 2008, ‘Mitigation of maximum world oil production: Shortage scenarios’, Energy policy, vol. 36, no. 2, pp. 881-889.

Humphreys, M, Sachs, JD, & Stiglitz, JE 2007, ‘Future directions for the management of natural resources’, Escaping the Resource Curse, vol. 2007, no. 1, pp. 322-336.

Joffé, G, Stevens, P, George, T, Lux, J, & Searle, C 2009, ‘Expropriation of oil and gas investments: Historical, legal and economic perspectives in a new age of resource nationalism’, The Journal of World Energy Law & Business, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 3-23.

Kaygusuz, K 2012, ‘Energy for sustainable development: A case of developing countries’, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 1116-1126.

Konoplyanik, A, & Walde, T 2006, ‘Energy Charter Treaty and its role in international energy’, J. Energy Nat. Resources L., vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 523-527.

Magrini, A, & dos Santos Lins, L 2007, ‘Integration between environmental management and strategic planning in the oil and gas sector’, Energy Policy, vol. 35, no. 10, pp. 4869-4878.

Maniruzzaman, AF 2009, ‘The issue of resource nationalism: risk engineering and dispute management in the oil and gas industry’, Texas Journal of Oil, Gas, and Energy Law, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 79-108.

Pongsiri, N 2004, ‘Partnerships in oil and gas production-sharing contracts’, International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 431-442.

Stammler, F, & Wilson, E 2006, ‘Dialogue for development: An exploration of relations between oil and gas companies, communities, and the state’, Sibirica, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 1-42.

Stevens, P 2008, ‘National oil companies and international oil companies in the Middle East: Under the shadow of government and the resource nationalism cycle’, The Journal of World Energy Law & Business, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 5-30.

Umbach, F 2010, ‘Global energy security and the implications for the EU’, Energy Policy, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 1229-1240.

Utting, P, & Ives, K 2006, ‘The politics of corporate responsibility and the oil industry’, St Antony’s International Review, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 11-34.

Wälde, T 2008, ‘Renegotiating acquired rights in the oil and gas industries: Industry and political cycles meet the rule of law’, The Journal of World Energy Law & Business, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 55-97.

Watts, M 2005, ‘Righteous oil? Human rights, the oil complex, and corporate social responsibility’, Annu. Rev. Environ. Resour., vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 373-407.

Weaver, J, & Asmus, D 2006, ‘Unitizing oil and gas fields around the world: a comparative analysis of national laws and private contracts’, Hous. J. Int’l L., vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 36-47.

Vivoda, V 2009, ‘Resource nationalism, bargaining and international oil companies: challenges and change in the new millennium’, New Political Economy, vol. 14, no. 4, pp. 517-534.

 

 

 

Total Quality Management: Analysis of Reeds Exhibition

February 19, 2016

Total Quality Management: Analysis of Reeds Exhibition

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Table of Contents

Total Quality Management: Reeds Exhibition

Introduction

The term quality has often been applied to refer to the measures undertaken by the organization to meet the needs and expectations of the consumer (Feigenbaum, 2002 p. 56). For an item to be considered quality, it must fully meet the performance, appearance, reliability, and availability of the consumer among other things. This paper will analyze the various elements of total quality management on the Reeds Exhibition Company. The selection was made based on their glowing reputation as well as outstanding performance in the events industry hence making a good case study of some of the TQM measures that they have adopted.

Total quality Management

Total quality management is a management approach where the members in the organization work to improve the processes, products, services, and culture of their organization. Total quality management is customer focused and often it involves the continual improvement of all employees (Feigenbaum, 2002 p. 56). Total quality management (TQM) adopts measures like effective communication, and adequate strategies to integrate quality discipline into the culture and activities of the organization. TQM is construed towards promoting customer satisfaction every stage of production (Feigenbaum, 2002 p. 56).

Total quality management process is centred on the provision of quality and ensuring that all stakeholders’ needs and expectations are met effectively without in any way compromising the ethical values of the organization. However, it is important to note that the use of adopting total quality management is not limited to quality assurance, quality control as well as continuous improvement. TQM is also construed towards creating a culture of quality in the organization with the customer at the centre of this process.

According to Yusof and Aspinwall (1999), TQM has resulted from the organizational need to improve the understanding of the critical elements that affect the success of the organization. Yusof and Aspinwall (1999), further note that measuring quality is, however, the main challenge towards total quality management. Powell (2006), on the other hand, notes that TQM is a source of sustainable competitive advantage in any organization. Some of the features associated with TQM in an organization entail quality, process improvement, training, as well as benchmarking. However, as Powel (2006) indicates, these do not necessarily guarantee a competitive advantage rather they have to be accompanied by an executive commitment, culture, and employee empowerment to produce the desired competitive advantage.

TQM is primarily concerned with the continuous improvement of all the work in the organization. It targets to continuously improve results in the organization as well as improve the capabilities, processes and capabilities of the organization towards fulfilling the customer requirements. TQM focusses not just on improving the current results in the organization; rather it targets the future results as well.

Introduction to business enterprise: The Reeds Exhibition

Reeds exhibition is a public company that was founded in 1968. The company has subsidiaries in at least 41 countries including UK, France, Australia, Russia, Brazil and the Middle East. However, the company’s headquarters in Richmond England. The company deals primarily in exhibitions, conferences as well as the planning of key events worldwide. Currently, the company has over 3500 employees worldwide. As of 2014, Reeds exhibition had managed events that had cumulatively brought together over 7 million people from all over the world. Their portfolio also has over 500 events so far with more scheduled for the future. Currently, they are considered the world’s largest exhibition organizer and they are seeking to explore other regions like Asia alongside other emerging markets. Mike Rusbridge, who acts as the company chairperson, currently heads the company while Chet Burchett executes the CEO duties.

Evaluation of Reeds enterprise and their TQM activities

TQM operates under several principles namely: Management Support/Involvement, Mission Statement, Proper Planning, Customer and Bottom Line Focus, Measurement, Empowerment/Shared Leadership, Teamwork/Effective Meetings, Continuous Process Improvement, and Dedicated Resources/Training. These are analysed below on Reeds Exhibition.

1) Management Committee

Their roles are to plan, deploy, review, and recognize any areas that need improvement in the organization. The management in the company is also very bureaucratic with the top management delegating more responsibilities on their juniors. For example, a manager is held directly responsible for his group of employees, while the team leader is held directly responsible for the operations and performance of tier team. This keeps the things in the organization simple and organized since the flow of command is concise and closer to the people.

2) Mission Statement

Total quality management, as indicated in subsequent sections, is a system of management that is aimed at ensuring the quality of work and organization gives is high in quality. It seeks to improve the performance of all facets of the organization. Reeds Enterprise, to achieve this TQM, they have to integrate all processes and functions in the organization and streamline them to their missions, vision and goals as an organization. The company envisions delivering contacts, content, and communities with the power to transform their customers’ businesses. This forms the essence of what the company does as they strive to ensure their customers have up to date information, with access to more education and innovation. More so, they work to bring people together for their professional and personal benefit. Reeds exhibition, therefore, offers their customers a chance to adopt dramatic change as well as to help them grow in their respective fields. More so, they envision drawing industries together and under a common banner to foster relationships amongst them.

3) Customer and Bottom Line Focus

The management must ensure that they service their relationships with internal customers. This can be guaranteed by ensuring they never compromise on the quality of the products and services as well as the customer driven standards (Easton and Jarrell 1998, p. 290). The company values are construed towards promoting customer focus. The company is a service industry and the services they provide ae responsible for the returns the get. This means they are driven by the customer needs and their demands. TQM Is construed towards promoting customer satisfaction and in Reeds exhibition, the same is true. For instance, the company is keen to provide their customers with superior quality programs. Professionalism has also helped to ensure their customer needs are well taken care of and that our customers get the highest level of quality and excellence from them. Apart from these, Reeds exhibition is committed to helping to promote the growth of all their customers helping them organize events that will not just transform them, but also trigger an increase in their return on investment. This included improved performance, brand building, education, as well as sourcing.

4) Employee Empowerment and teamwork

Employee empowerment entails raining them to meet the set standards as well as creating excellence teams to oversee the performance of the different work groups (Kanji et al., 1999, p. 130). The company needs to ensure they invest in their human resource to ensure total quality. Easton and Jarrell (1998, p. 254) note that it entails placing priority on recruiting and retaining only the best people in the industry. At Reeds Exhibition, the managers are directly responsible for hiring the new employees in the organization as well as training them in their respective departments to ensure this. This direct responsibility helps to promote the performance of the employee who has to work under extra hard to maximize their performance and increase their input in the organization (Bowdin et al., 2006). Projects in the company are also carried out in teams where the team leader is given the direct responsibility for the people under him. This puts pressure on the team leader who then has to ensure that his team performance meets the expected demand in the organization. This also empowers the employees once they are given more responsibilities they can grow in their positions as well as harness their leadership skills.

The company also recognizes the need to respect and encourage their employees. This is achieved through regular team building exercises where the people are engaged to ensure their plight is taken into consideration. More so, the company ensures there is open and honest communication between them top management and the lower level employees (Choudhary, 2010). This has promoted the efficacy of the company. The reason for this is that a motivated and encouraged workforce tends to perform better compared to one where the workforce is not motivated (Choudhary, 2010).

5) Continuous Process Improvement

As noted in Kanji et al., (1999, p. 130), continuous improvement encompasses ensuring that the cross-functional process of management and the systematic focus on CONQ is up to the expected standards (Lal, 2009, p. 67). It also requires that the management ensure they attain, maintain, and improve their production standards to suit their stakeholders’ needs.

As indicated in Lal, 2009, (p. 67), a company’s passion for winning in all their performances is also a major driving force. Reeds Exhibition is in a very competitive industry that demands high energy, decisive action, as well as fast moving projects. This ensures that the company meets the customer targets and deadlines within the period allocated. It also ensures that they execute all their projects well, with regular reviews from the customers to ensure their needs are met to the last detail (Bowdin et al., 2006).

Easton and Jarrell (1998, p. 254) note that the one thing that sets companies apart from the rest is their desire for change. Reeds Exhibition embraces change as it happens and this includes being innovative in their dealings with their customers as well as other employees (Accreditation Organization, 2013). For example, Reeds Exhibition encourages their employees to be more entrepreneurial and risk takers. Being risk averse in the industry slows down the progress of the company as well as limits their degree of creativity. More so, thy encourage their employees to make bold decisions and bold moves and think outside the box since this is what can give them the competitive advantage they need to excel in the industry.

A flexible approach towards service delivery has seen them grow as a company. It has also capitalized on its partnerships to get more customers. For example, the company has a joint venture with the Vision Council of America where they organize Vision events in Chicago, Las Vegas, and New York. The relationship with the Society of Petroleum Engineers opens them up to other opportunities in offshore Europe while their relationship with Asia has seen them be licensed to organize Asia-Pacific Incentive and Meetings Expo (AIME).

6) Dedicated Resources and training

The company also has a robust research and marketing team that are constantly looking for new markets and new ideas. This keeps them at the top of the industry as they familiarize themselves to the industry needs as well as the industry trends. By getting first-hand information on the changing market trends, they can stay ahead of their competitors. The company has subsidiaries in at least 41 countries worldwide, and they are still planning to venture into other emerging markets. The global nature of their business thus ensures that people work collaboratively across different business units and functions. It has also increased the partnership of the company with other countries globally.

7) Proper Planning and strategic alliances

The company has formed alliances with various other joint ventures. Kaynak, (2003 p. 407) notes that proper implementation of TQM strategies results in improved firm performance. Reeds Exhibition can provide their clientele with the best o services the industry can offer through their close supplier relationships. The company also has a robust team of experts who complement their in-house teams. They have also formed alliances with publishers’ worldwide a good example being the Reed Huabo: an alliance that saw the company work with representatives from China and Shenshen Sinexpo. This has made it possible for them to extend their market to other parts of the world. In addition to these, they have a steady relationship with trade associations, which has given them access to both domestic, and export markets.

They also have government alliances, which helps them to interact with both the local and national government opening them up for new opportunities. For example, they have a long-term contract with the city of Vienna to organize the exhibition centre at Messe Wien as well as the city of Cannes to organize the Palais des Festivals.in addition to these they have a 50/50 partnership with CPEC where they are involved in organizing the Sinopharm in China. They also enjoy the endorsement of many government ministries worldwide because of their exceptional work and professionalism.

Conclusion

Total quality management is important in ensuring the company remains competitive in the market. It ensures that the customer needs are met in the best manner possible as well as the enterprise of growing. As noted in the case of Reeds Exhibitions, the company has adopted various measures to ensure they remain competitive in the market. Some of the notable ones include ensuring they deliver quality to the consumers, ensuring their human resource is well serviced and is represented by individuals who are capable of meeting the everyday needs of the organization. They also have formed strategic alliances to aid in their growth and expansion to other emerging markets. Their leadership style is bureaucratic which helps to motivate the employees as well as ensure they remain innovative and creative. This has helped to keep Reeds exhibition among the top events companies in the world.

Reference List

Accreditation Organization. 2013, January 28. Continuous improvement. Retrieved November 22 2015, from Aged Care Standards and Accreditation Agency: http://www.accreditation.org.au/accreditation/continuous-improvement/

Bowdin, G., O’Toole, W., Allen, J., Harris, R., & McDonnell, I. 2006. Events management. Routledge.

Choudhary, M., 2010, September 4. Role of Effective Communication in Total Quality management. Retrieved November 22, 2015, from Academia: http://www.academia.edu/3580955/Role_of_Effective_Communication_in_Total_Quality_Management.

Easton, G. S., & Jarrell, S. L., 1998. The effects of Total Quality Management on corporate performance: An empirical investigation*. The Journal of Business, 71(2), 253-307.

Feigenbaum, A. V., 2002. Total quality management. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Kanji, G. K., Malek, A., & Tambi, B. A. (1999). Total quality management in UK higher education institutions. Total Quality Management, 10(1), 129-153.

Kaynak, H., 2003. The relationship between total quality management practices and their effects on firm performance. Journal of operations management, 21(4), 405-435.

Lal, H., 2009. Total quality management: a practical approach. New Delhi, New Age International.

Yusof, S. R. M., & Aspinwall, E., 1999. Critical success factors for total quality management implementation in small and medium enterprises. Total Quality Management, 10(4-5), 803-809.

Powell, T. C., 2006. Total quality management as competitive advantage: a review and empirical study. Strategic management journal, 16(1), 15-37.

Clinical vs. Statistical Significance

February 19, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clinical vs. Statistical Significance

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The significance is a synonym of the word important; it is the characteristic of quality and something being associated with high performance and reliability. In the field of medicine, the experts strive to establish a difference between statistical and clinical significance (Kazdin, 2003).

In the practices of medicine, they select some samples through which they carry out their studies. Their main goal is to apply the findings in a real life situation, for example, in selecting a sample of people to study a certain phenomenon with the intention of putting into application the final findings. The key concern in this case is the probability of the used sample providing misleading results. The cause being either the use of a small sample, biased sample or presence of people/ sample elements giving wacky results. In such events, statistical significance does consider only two factor excluding biases of the sample group (Kazdin, 2003).  Statistical significance in the test of any hypothesis can be expressed in terms of probability; commonly letter p is used. For example, a probability of 10% or 0.01 shows that by chance there can be a difference from the study results when it comes to real life situation. The percentage expresses the compatibility of the results found from the study. Statistical significance expresses the possibility of finding out that will not appear in future replications (Kazdin, 2003).

Clinical significance refers to the practical application of the intervention made during the study. It proofs to be important by making a significant difference in the life of patients or those associated with the patients in various ways. Usually, the validity of clinical significance is tested through thorough evaluation and analysis of the intervention effects. The evaluations factors include treatment, educating those involved, and offering prevention therapies. The critical factors of clinical significance are influencing the treatment for patients and bringing change in the field of medicine (Kazdin, 2003).

Demonstration of clinical significance is the work practice is very important. However, there are specific ways through which demonstration will be effective and beneficial. 1. The level of change is the most crucial demonstration that one can use. 2. The effect size is also a key demonstration of the clinical significance (Kazdin, 2003). A magnificent effect size demonstrates a big difference between the findings of the research and the actual situation. Clinical significance can also be demonstrated by giving proper attention to the clients, attending to their problems and maintaining a close relationship with them (Kazdin, 2003).

After carrying out the analysis of the study sample results, it can thus offer some contribution towards the development of new therapies. The data collected can as well be utilized in the development of importance dimensions necessary in the clinic significance operations. To demonstrate clinical observation, one ought to have the necessary skills of interpreting statistical significance. Preparing end results with little or fewer errors this guarantees accuracy in the clinical significance (Kazdin, 2003). The demonstration is not complete without it directing benefiting the consumers of treatment or patients.

The health care knowledge is rapidly developing and experiencing a lot of advancement. Therefore, the nurses and doctors need to stay ahead of the changes by continuing their education. Such programs will enable the serving nurses to acquire skills in other fields apart from providing health care to patients. Statistical and clinical significance remains to be a key area that all the nurses should uphold to help them efficiently relate with their colleagues, juniors, and patients (Kazdin, 2003).

Reference

Kazdin, A. (2003). 30: Clinical Significance: measuring whether Interventions Make a Difference

Effect of Nicotine on the Heart Rate of Daphnia

February 19, 2016

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Effect of Nicotine on the Heart Rate of Daphnia

Introduction

When any new chemicals is introduced to a living organism, there must be a reaction or a certain change. Although that is what is expected, other organisms tend not to reactive to certain chemicals. Daphnia is a very tiny that is under the planktonic crustaceans class also known as water fleas. Their length is between 0.2 to 0.5 mm. Their skeletons have a resemblance with a shell; hard and transparent. Having an ability to adapt any aquatic environment, they are common aquatic organisms. Although people choose to conduct an experiment on effects of nicotine on daphnia, fatal results are expected (Smirnov, 94). Different organisms like frogs and fish and many others feed on daphnia. Adding to that, most lab experiments including drug tests and many others use daphnia thus makes it a common organism in the laboratory. Daphnia heart rate test is the most common test done using this organism.

Daphnia bodies changes with environmental changes as they are ectotherms thus very ideal for testing the heart rate. An investigation whether nicotine affects the heart rate of daphnia is what this paper is explaining. However, many experiments have not shown the effects, it is going to use a ticker timer to count the heartbeats, where a marker/pen will be used for too fast rates. The heart rate before (control) and after nicotine introduction (test) will be recorded and differences obtained. Afterwards, laboratory analysis will be done and the results will be displayed in tables and calculations be done accordingly. After introduction to nicotine, the Daphnia heart rate was not affected much, it only increased a little bit but at its normal heartbeat rate expected. Thus this implies that nicotine does not have/ has a very little effect on the heart rate of Daphnia (Corotto, Ceballos and Vinson, 173).

Method

            Tobacco solution is obtained from cigarette. Approximately 20 cigarettes are enough to make a tobacco solution. After the extract is mixed with water, it was covered for 12 hours then sieved into another container. The reason for doing this is to extract nicotine from tobacco. Regarding to that, a different solution is obtained in comparison to water. Referring to the Washington Association for Biomedical Research, the study is done beginning with solutions with lower to higher concentration to find out the exact concentration that Daphnia can survive with. On this you have to make a note that cigarettes have different concentrations of nicotine; lowest have 0.3mg/cigarette while 1.7mg/cigarettes the highest. Having this knowledge, the choice of the cigarettes to use on the experiment is obtained. The information on the concentration of the tobacco solution is essential as living organisms heartbeat rates are highly affected by nicotine concentration; may cause death as they are fatal (Smirnov, 94). The water used (from daphnia aquatic habitat) is the same used to extract nicotine (test) and also used as the control (water in experiment).

Hypothesis

            The main purpose of this experiment is to establish the effect of nicotine on the heartbeat rate of a transparent crustacean called Daphnia magna. Different results of nicotine effect on Daphnia are expected. However, as nicotine is a stimulant, it eventually increases the rates of metabolism, thus there are very high possibilities that the heartbeat rate may increase a little with an increase in nicotine concentration. To add on that, with high heartbeat rates, Daphnia my die as this condition is fatal. For better results, the same age, culture of Daphnia among others has to be used. In addition to that, the daphnia solution and the animals need to be collected from the same aquatic habitat to be sure of the results (Derby, Charles, and Martin, 545).

Question: How will nicotine affect Daphnia’s heartbeat rate?

Ethical Issues

            While handling these animals, students should be extra careful as they have to be handled in such a way which illustrates ethical attitudes that are good regarding experimental animals. In addition, even if it is a fact that they are organisms that have minimum capabilities thus might not go through suffering as those higher animals, they are not exceptions thus deserves respect equally. After this experiment, all animals must be returned to their aquatic habitats, by doing that, it will be in support of different biological organizations experimental guidelines. Therefore students must first do a theoretical analysis of Daphnia Magna, its care and how to handle it before embarking on this experiment. In addition, they need to be complaisant with the guidelines of different biological organizations in order to know what is right or wrong   (Whitlock, Michael, and Dolph). However, in this experiment, a study and a wide research were done and also Scientific Operation Procedure S&OP was designed and submitted for approval by the supervisor. Note that while in the laboratory observe your and the animals safety (Whitlock, Michael, and Dolph).

Equipments:

  1. Cotton wool
  2. 3 droppers
  3. Tobacco solution
  4. Chart of Daphnia anatomy- for getting sources
  5. Microscope set to low power resolution
  6. 2 depression slides
  7. Kleenex
  8. Daphnia Magna- water flea culture
  9. 2 (22 by 60) cover slips
  10. Water from Daphnia Magna aquatic habitat

Procedure

            First of all you need to record the containers you are using e.g. rinse water, nicotine water and Daphnia water. Adding to this, make sure all droppers are marked and placed in places you cannot mix. Secondly, place the Daphnia on the slide using its dropper. Under a low light microscope, do a keen observation of the organism. By doing this, you will be able to locate the heart and entire body of Daphnia. After that, turn off the light to enhance tracing the position of the Daphnia if you are observing it directly. Thirdly, after the organism is used to the slide life, use a cover slip to cover the slide to hold it in a fixed position. After Daphnia has settled, suck some nicotine and gently remove the cover slip then using cotton wool sponge the liquid around Daphnia without touching it. Nicotine has to be put in the depression slide as Daphnia cannot survive in the absence of a liquid. By the use of a ticker timer to record the heartbeat rate after 2 to 3 minutes after nicotine was introduced and if Daphnias heart is still beating, reintroduce it to original aquatic water on a Petri dish a. Repeat the same procedure with pure water as a control. Note that 5 Daphnia have to be tested and recorded on a table. Also, a minimum of three replicates has to be produced. Another point to note is without covering the Daphnia with a slip, you can still make observations. Reasons to this are because a free space will be created for Daphnia to make small movements thus a great opportunity to view varying observations. Also from doing that you can obtain important data like the time it takes before stopping to make movements which is crucial and must be recorded in every experiment.

Results

            What was observed is that a Daphnia had an average heart rate of 153.6 immediately test (nicotine) was introduced and after the experiment was over i.e. 2-3 minutes, they recorded an average change of 214.4. The difference obtained from these averages is -15.2 which does not significantly change the heart beat rate. In comparison with the control (water), we find that the difference is almost the same. When water was introduced on Daphnia, the heart beat rate average was 166.6 and after the experiment was over they recorded a change of 157.6 with a difference of 2.5. From both test and control results figures, you can observe that the heartbeat rate was not highly affect or other within normal functioning. Note that from the experiment, the attribution of the heart was not by the specimen size (Corotto, Ceballos and Vinson, 173).

Although water is a control substance, it also had little effect on Daphnia heartbeat rate by decreasing it a little bit, this is seen from the results displayed. Adding to this, even though in the case of nicotine the heart beat increased, both the liquids did not go outside the required range thus making no difference to the heartbeat rate. The results on the Daphnia heartbeat rates are cleared shown on the tables that are included and calculations are also clearly done. The figures shown are experimental actual figures; this means they are exactly as originally recorded from the beginning to the end of the experiment without any data cooked or alterations. The heartbeat rates were taken using a ticker timer with a pen/marker as the rates were too fast for the timer alone.

Discussion

            From the experiment, an observation can be done that a minimal variation is there in the heartbeat rate between different Daphnias. The lower heartbeat rate is for bigger and higher for smaller Daphnias. Owing to this, the only way to get good results is by taking averages. Also from the experiment, an observation was done that in nicotine the heartbeat rate increases as the organism reacts to it. Observing the heartbeat rate in water, it reduces as Daphnia is settled. Another observation is that Daphnia makes a lot of movements when water is introduced but reduces when nicotine is introduced. From the observations, Daphnia is more active in water than in nicotine. The initial metabolic reaction can be reversed if you return Daphnia to its aquatic habitat, this is as per the experimental observations. In regards to that, it is so evident that the heartbeat rate of Daphnia did not change that much after nicotine was introduced but increased just a little bit.

Conclusion

            For Daphnia heartbeat rate examinations, nicotine is the suitable reagent to be used. The recommended concentrations for this is 5% to 10%, this are not fatal to the organism. A metabolic reaction will be increased by this concentration but cannot kill Daphnia although any increase in concentration will kill the organism. When designing a laboratory experiment on Daphnia heartbeat rate this information is crucial and has to be known. The reason to this is you cannot have a successful experiment when all your organisms are dead. However, it is of great importance for anyone willing to run this experiment to start from testing all nicotine concentration for clarity. An evident conclusion is that at accommodative concentrations used in this experiment, nicotine does not change but only increases Daphnia heartbeat rate a little bit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Work Cited

Corotto, F., Ceballos, D. and Vinson, L. Making the Most of the Daphnia Heart Rate Lab: Optimizing the Use of Ethanol, Nicotine & Caffeine, The American Biology Teacher 72. 3(2010); 173-179.

Derby, Charles, and Martin Thiel. Nervous Systems and Control of Behavior. , 2014. Print. 545

Smirnov, Nikolai N. Physiology of the Cladocera. London: Academic Press, 2014. Internet resource.

Whitlock, Michael, and Dolph Schluter. The Analysis of Biological Data. , 2015. Print.

 

Article critique

February 19, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article critique

Name

Institution of Affiliation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Which theory is used to guide the research in this article? From what you’ve read about the theory, is this theory appropriate for research? Why or why not?

In the article, Media Subservience and Satirical Subversiveness: The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, The Propaganda Model and the Paradox of Parody, the authors James Anderson and Amie Kincaid utilize the Propaganda Model (PM) as a theory to guide their research.The theory was formulated by Herman and Chomsky in 1988.Based on its application to two television shows namely, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report, one may conclude that this theory, though twenty years old, is still appropriate for research.

Today’s mainstream media may be different from the mainstream media for which the theory was composed, but the 1980s mainstream media and modern mainstream media share a great deal of similarities. The contemporary TV shows used in this research as case studies reveal the partial commonness between traditional and modern mainstream media. The analysis reveal that the two television shows conform to the concepts of propaganda model, though with some few unique aspects.

The PM argues that the role of the media in creating and disseminating propagandais intensified by five factors. These factors include:

“(1) corporate concentration and profit orientation, advertise; (2) advertising as the major source of revenue; (3) reliance on governmental and big business sources with presumed credibility; (4) flak as a disciplinary measure for news that oversteps doctrinal bounds; and (5) the dominant ideology tied to unquestioned conventional pieties” (Kincaid & Anderson, 2013, p.173)

With these tenets, or rather basis of research, one may conduct a media-related research to predict, test and confirm media subservience to power or todetermine the role the media plays in creating and disseminating propaganda fueled by powerful forces.

  1. What does this article bring to the theory? Or, in other words, how does it move the theory forward and apply it to a more modern issue? How does it build upon the theory?

Kincaid & Anderson’s (2013) article applies the theory to a rather unconventional media, thereby extending PM’s use beyond the established media. Unlike other studies, the research focusses on two television shows as opposed to a media group, as a whole.Moreover, the two television shows used in this research are comedic in nature and their content is ‘fake’. In most research, the PM model has been applied to media houses and shows with ‘real’ news.

Kincaid & Anderson (2013) examines how the content disseminated through the The Daily Show with Jon Stewart(TDS) and The Colbert Report(TCR) comedy shows relate to the propaganda model. The two comedy showscan be seen as new facets of the modern media, given their high public following and complex production. Unlike mainstream media, they cover sensitive governance issues by stereotyping things and making the coverage humorous. In so doing, they deliver their pro-democracy or anti-democracy propaganda without attracting the attention of regulatory bodies. They operate within institutional bounds and enlighten the public using means that cannot be used in mainstream media without attracting punitive actions. However, they are still driven by factors in the Propaganda Model.

The very nature of contemporary media such as the television shows used in this research compel Kincaid& Anderson (2013) to formulate a new term for them. The new term, “democomedicratic” is coined to represent satire-mediated shows and media that are “somewhat counter-propagandistic and potential democracy-promoting” (Kincaid &Anderson ,2013, p.185). The term was coined after the research found the nature of the two television shows diverting somehow from the descriptions available in the propaganda model.

 

 

  1. Concisely, summarize the findings of this article

The article can be summarized based on the analysis done on TDS and TCR using the five tenets of PM.

The two shows are disseminated via PM’s admonished institutional structure. They are distributed through a cable station’ Comedy Central’belonging to a commercial conglomerate ‘Viacom’.It is therefore subject to corporate power. While the comedy threatens the power structure, it also reaffirms state and corporate ideologies and status quo. The shows reference figures and concepts that reaffirm the legitimacy of government’s power. One of the instances where the media conforms to propaganda model forecast is where Colbert interviews a guest about Obama being a communist or capitalist. The discussion came at a time when economic injustices were on the rise. Thus, the discussion create a risk of “re-instilling” a “reality-deficient” claim (Kincaid & Anderson, 2013, p.178). The shows were also found to propagandize as a result of fear of plak, just like other ‘real’ news media. During an interview between OliverandStewart, Oliver brings to light a hypocritical contradiction when he describes Stewart’s show as lamestream media.

In some instances, the shows seem to critiquegovernance issues comically. In a TCR episode, Colbert describes a recently passed health bill as “disasportunity” and mocks the initiative using satirical specificity, as a comic strategy. Colbert is also seen critiquing the diversionary coverage in mainstream media when he shows fascination with Ricky Martin’s sexual preference among other issues with inherent civil irrelevancy.  In another instance, Stewart drops reading some news about president’s visit to Afghanistan, and instead covers a story on a “bondage-themed strip club scandal at the Republican National Convention”(Kincaid & Anderson, 2013, p.180).In demonstrating these aspects, the shows fall victim to issues admonished in the PM. As stated by Kincaid & Anderson (2013), the comedy shows largely conform to the prediction of the PM, but theyenlighten the public on matters pertaining to democracy.

Concisely, the two satire-mediated shows propagandizes and enlightens the public, and per se, they are described as ‘democomedicratic’ – democratic and comedic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference

James Anderson & Amie D. Kincaid (2013) Media Subservience and
Satirical Subversiveness: The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, The Propaganda Modeland the Paradox of Parody, Critical Studies in Media Communication, 30:3, 171-188, DOI:10.1080/15295036.2013.771276