Effect of Corporate Social Responsibility on Firms Performance Telecommunication

 

 

 

 

 

 

Effect of Corporate Social Responsibility on Firms Performance Telecommunication Industry in USA

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Contents

  1. Introduction. 3

1.1 Background and Rationale. 3

1.2 Research Aims. 5

1.3 Research Objectives. 5

1.4 Research Questions. 5

  1. Literature Review and Critical Analysis. 6

2.1 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and its brief history. 6

2.2 Effect of CSR on Firm’s Financial Performance. 7

2.3 Effect of CSR on Firm’s Non-financial Performance. 9

2.4 Research Gap. 10

  1. Research Design and Methodology. 11

3.1 Research Paradigm.. 11

3.2 Research Methodology. 12

3.3 Data Collection Methods. 12

3.4 Data Analysis. 13

3.5 Ethical Considerations. 13

3.6 Time Plan. 13

References. 15

 

 

 

1.      Introduction

Corporate Social Responsibility as an area of research has evolved over a period of time. There are different studies on the impact of CSR on firms’ performance across different industries and countries. Mostly, the studies have focused on evaluating impact of CSR on the financial performance of the corporation (Mujahid and Abdullah, 2014; Murtaza et al., 2014; Chetty et al., 2014; Kim et al., 2015) given the fact that the financial aspect offers the most tangible performance measurement criterion.

This research study aims to explore the impact of firm’s CSR commitment on both the financial and non-financial performance of the organization. The study will focus on telecommunication industry in USA and will explore different financial and non-financial aspects of firm’s performance to determine if CSR shows any significant impact on firm’s overall performance and whether this impact is direct or indirect, and short term or long term.

1.1 Background and Rationale

CSR has gained the attention of corporations over the last few decades and several organizations are streamlining their CSR efforts to ensure they become socially responsible organizations and ultimately avail the benefits of corporate citizenship. Today’s competitive environment and keen focus of businesses on giving back to the community has motivated many organizations to display socially responsible behaviors. Literature shows that Corporate Social Responsibility brings several benefits for the firms and has a significant impact on firm’s financial performance (Mujahid and Abdullah, 2014; Murtaza et al., 2014; Chetty et al., 2014; Kim et al., 2015). This study will evaluate if a relationship exists between CSR and thefinancial and non-financial performance of the organizations in telecommunication industry in USA.

Before studying the impact of CSR on the performance of the organization, it is important to determine if there exist a relationship between the financial and non-financial performance of the organization. Studies focused on evaluating performance of the organizations identified that both financial and non-financial measures determine the overall performance of the organization. Zuriekat et al (2011) while exploring the subject put forward empirical evidence showing that the relationship between financial and non-financial measures is not that of substitutes but that of additives where non-financial measures work as a supplement for financial performance of an organization as shown in figure-I. This relationship between the two measures leads to the development of frameworks that are focused on both the financial and non-financial performance measures given the fact that financial information alone cannot determine overall organization’s performance (Berrah et al., 2006). Hoque and James (2000) and Laitinen (2002) also affirm that it is important to focus on both financial and non-financial information if a true picture is to be drawn for the overall performance of the organization.

Figure I – Relationship between financial and non-financial measures in determining overall organizational performance

Having said that, there are different studies that explore impact of CSR on firm’sfinancial and non-financial performance;however, there are none or fewer researches that study the impact of CSR on firm’s financial as well as non-financial performance simultaneously along with determining if the impact is visible in short-run or long-run and whether its direct or indirect. This study is important as it aims to investigate the impact of CSR on firm’s financial and non-financial performance while aiming to determine if CSR efforts of a firm significantly influences non-financial performance measures having indirect impact on firm’s financial performance.

1.2 Research Aims

The purpose of this qualitative study is to investigate if CSR has an effect on the short-run and long-run financial and non-financial performance of the organizations in telecommunication sector in USA.

1.3 Research Objectives

Following are the objectives of the study:

  • To investigate the relationship between Corporate Social Responsibility and the performance of the organization in telecommunication sector in USA.
  • To analyze the impact of CSR on non-financial performance of the organization.
  • To analyze the impact of the CSR on the financial performance of the organization.
  • To determine if CSR efforts of a firm, by influencing firm’s non-financial performance, can significantly impact firm’s financial performance.

1.4Research Questions

This research study aims to answer following questions:

  • Is there a relationship between Corporate Social Responsibility and the financial and non- financial performance of the organization?
  • If there is a relationship, is it short term or long term with respect to the financial and non- financial performance of the organization?
  • If there is a relationship, does theimpact of CSR on firm’s non-financial performance indirectly impacts firm’s financial performance?

2.      Literature Reviewand Critical Analysis

Literature review as defined by Machi and McEvoy (2009, p. 4) “is a written document that presents a logically argued case founded on a comprehensive understanding of the current state of knowledge about a topic of study. This case establishes a convincing thesis to answer study’s question”. The literature presented for the purpose of this study will explore the research studies conducted on the effect of CSR on firm’s financial performance and non-financial performance and based on that determines if there exist a direct or indirect link between the two. It will also help achieve the objectives of this research and answer the study’s questions. Literature will also provide a base for the study by developing the case and setting a framework for the study. Ultimately, this framework will help relate the findings of the study with the existing knowledge base and help identify similarities and highlight the new contributions by the study towards the existing body of knowledge.

This section explores the existing literature and research studies and provides a critical analysis on the subject matter. The section starts with a brief history about the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility and moves on to the research carried out in this area to provide a deeper understanding of the topic. Finally, the section relates the literature to the current topic of study.

2.1 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and its brief history

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been defined in several ways and there is no one definition of CSR that is widely accepted (Hopkins, 2012). However, the concept of CSR is more or less same as explained by different authors which refers to the responsibility of a corporation to act ethically and responsibly towards the variety of stakeholders including the community and society at large (Hopkins, 2012). Sims (2003, p. 43) has taken one useful definition of CSR as that it requires “the continuing commitment by business to behaving ethically and contributing to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the community and society at large”.

The term ‘Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)’ was first coined by Bowen (1953) where the author emphasized on the responsibility of the businessmen to ensure their actions and policies are complementing society’s values while contributing to the betterment of the overall community. This concept was further augmented by several authors in 1960’s with prominent contributions by Davis (1960), Fredrick (1960), McGuire (1963) and Walton (1967) (Aras and Crowther, 2016).

Initially, the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility was referred to as ‘Social Responsibility’ and the focus was mainly on businessman; however in 1967, Davis generalized the term to include institutions and corporations as well. At different periods of time, different terms were coined parallel to CSR such as corporate citizenship or corporate sustainability (Hopkins, 2012). One of the recent perspective on CSR is illustrated by Beal (2013) where the author explained that the CSR can be used as a tool to align corporate and individual interests in order to enable economic markets to function properly. The author explained that once the interests of the corporations are aligned with the common interest of the society, the need to assess the impact of corporations’ doings on the society will diminish.

2.2 Effect of CSR on Firm’s Financial Performance

There is a range of literature available on CSR and its impact on different facets of the corporations. One of the major areas studied in this regards is the effect of CSR on firm’s financial performance. Firm’s performance as defined by Rayner (2002) is a combination of processes, methods, metrics and systems, to manage and monitor a company’s performance. The author explained that for performance management it is vital to set performance dimensions and measurement criteria in the light of company’s targets, business objectives and strategic goals.

A study carried out by Kanwal et al. (2013) explored some of the large corporations in Pakistan and determined that corporations having prominent CSR campaigns and large CSR spending have seen positive relationship between their CSR efforts and the financial performance of the organization. The researchers found that spending on CSR have helped these corporations benefit from sustainable image development and financial returns. In another study by Murtaza et al., (2014) on the food sector of Pakistan, the researchers found that higher the spending of firm on social exercises, higher are the benefits with regards to financial gains and image building.

Another study carried out by Malik and Nadeem (2014) investigated the impact of CSR on firm’s financial performance in the banking sector of Pakistan. Using regression model, the researchers established that there is a positive correlation between the CSR program implementation by the organizations and the profits earned in the long run. The researchers have linked these findings with the overall lack of CSR in Pakistan which according to them results high impact of such activities on the profits of the corporations.

However not all research studies show similar findings; in a study carried out by Chetty et al. (2014) on South African firms, the researchers have interrogated if it is worth spending on CSR to gain long run benefits even if it requires a sacrifice in short term profits. The researchers took 10 years data starting 2004-2013 and found that there is no significant relationship between firms CSR efforts and long run financial performance of the firm. Similarly, in another study carried out by Hirigoyen and Rehm (2015) also found that there is a negative relationship between CSR and firm’s financial performance and increasing CSR spend results in decreased returns and profits.

Yet other researchers have analyzed the topic with a distinct view such as the research carried out by Kim et al. (2015) studied the relationship between CSR and the firm’s financial performance using competitive action perspective. The researchers have used 113 listed firms from the software industry in the U.S. and using five years data from year 2000-2005 found that competitive action has higher impact on firm’s financial performance than firm’s CSR and other moral initiatives. The researchers established that if the competitive action level is high, the CSR activities (positive CSR) leads to higher financial performance, however if the competitive action level is low, then the socially irresponsible activities (negative CSR) also leads to high financial performance. Hence the researchers concluded that for CSR to have positive impact on firm’s financial performance competitive action level of the firm should also be high.

2.3 Effect of CSR on Firm’s Non-financial Performance

There is literature on the impact of CSR on firm’s non-financial performance measures such as organizational commitment, employee performance and corporate reputation. Turker (2009) studied the effect of CSR on organizational commitment and found that CSR initiatives by the organizations for its employees and customers are good predictors of organizational commitment however there is no relationship between CSR and employee commitment levels.

In another study conducted by Gond et al. (2010) on analyzing the impact of CSR on employees found that how employee perceives CSR contributions of the organizations will decide their behavior and attitudes in the workplace. The research further elaborates on how CSR affects organizational performance by influencing employees’ behavior and attitudes.

Yoon et al. (2006) in their study on effect of CSR on companies having bad reputation found that effectiveness of CSR on company’s reputation is determined by the perceived sincerity of company’s CSR activities by the consumers. The researchers found that if the CSR efforts of the company is deemed as sincere by the consumers, it will have a positive impact on company’s reputation; if the CSR efforts of the company is deemed as ambiguous by the consumers, CSR efforts will be ineffective in creating any impact on company’s reputation; and if the CSR efforts of the company is deemed as insincere by the consumers, it will hurt company’s reputation.

Khan et al (2013) while exploring the effect of CSR on company’s reputation found that there is a strong positive impact of CSR on company’s reputation.

2.4 Research Gap

From the review of literature, it can be determined that there are none or fewer researches that study the impact of CSR on firm’s financial as well as non-financial performancesimultaneously along with determining if the impact is visible in short-run or long-run. This study aims to investigate the impact of CSR on firm’s financial and non-financial performance while aiming to determine if CSR efforts of a firm significantly influences non-financial performance measures having indirect impact on firm’s financial performance.

For the purpose of this study, core financial performance indicator such as profits, and return on investment are focused on while the non-financial measures considered for this study are corporate reputation, and employee commitment and satisfaction and customer satisfaction.

The premise followed by this study will be that the financial measures show impact on firm’s financial performance in the short run while the non-financial measures effect firm’s financial performance in the long run as determined by many studies such as Ittner and Larcker (1998) and Banker et al. (2000). Following presents the theoretical framework for the study.

Telecommunication Industry in USA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short-run Impact vs. Long-run Impact

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Impact of CSR
On Firm’s Financial Performance
On Firm’s non-financial Performance
 
Stakeholders
Stakeholders
Indirect / direct link

Figure II – Theoretical Framework for Current Study

  1. Research Design and Methodology

3.1 Research Paradigm

Several quantitative studies have been carried out to determine the impact of CSR on firm’s financial and non-financial performance, however none of the studies have taken a holistic viewwhile deep diving into the subject and identifying how and why CSR possibly impact or doesn’t impact firm’s financial and non-financial performance, if this effect is seen in long run or short run and if the relationship among these elements is direct or indirect if any.

This research will use an interpretivist paradigm that believes reality is based on subjective interpretations and that there is an associated social meaning to every occurrence. The study will focuson research questions to guide the study rather than hypotheses, which is one of the premise of interpretivist research according to Croucher and Cronn-Mills (2014).

3.2 Research Methodology

The study will use case study method to unveil the impact of CSR on firm’s performance. Yin (1994, p.13) defines case study as “an empirical inquiry that investigates contemporary phenomenon within its real life context, especially when the boundaries between phenomenon and context are not clearly evident”.

Since the literature shows that even using same quantitative approaches and analyses fail to get same results and the findings of the studies vary significantly with the change in context (industry, country and so on), an in-depth analysis of the case is proposed. This research study will use case study method where two big corporations from the telecommunication industry in the USA will be selected and different aspects of their CSR efforts will be evaluated to determine its impact on firm’s performance. It would be interesting to compare the findings of two cases to see if there are areas where the both case analyses suggest similarities and vice versa.

3.3 Data Collection Methods

Both secondary and primary data collection methods will be used in this study. For secondary research, data available on two corporations from telecommunications industry in USA (to be selected) will be used to dissect the cases and present an analysis on the impact of CSR on their business performance, whereas primary data will be collected through semi-structured interviews with the representatives of the two organizations. Schensulet al. (1999, p. 149) explained that “semi-structured interviews consist of predetermined questions related to domains of interest, administered to a representative sample of respondents to confirm study domains and identify factors, variables, items or attributes of variables for analysis or use in a survey”.

3.4 Data Analysis

This study will use Philipp MAYRING’s data analysis approach which is a qualitative content analysis approach defined by MAYRING (2000, p. 2) as “an approach of empirical, methodological controlled analysis of texts within their context of communication, following content analytical rules and step by step models, without rash quantification”. This approach was developed in 1980s and is good to analyze lots of content that comes from open ended questionnaires / interviews. According to MAYRING (2000) this approach helps “to preserve the advantages of quantitative content analysis as developed within communication science and to transfer and further develop them to qualitative-interpretative steps of analysis”.

3.5 Ethical Considerations

While carrying out data collection for the study, it will be ensured that the confidentiality of the information shared by the interviewees and data protection of the organization is taken care of.  Other than data protection and confidentiality, it will be ensured that those interviewees who will agree to take part in the study will give informed consent and has the right to withdraw from the study at any time if they feel they do not want to participate.

3.6 Time Plan

Detailed analysis of the cases are expected to take around 4 weeks. The first week will be dedicated to analyze the cases in detail while evaluating different aspects of CSR in the selected corporations. Second week will be dedicated to relate the findings to the literature in order to see areas where strong relationship can be established and where the findings are not matching at all. Third week will focus on developing relationship between financial and non-financial performance of the corporations with regards to CSR and last week will be dedicated to compare the two cases and see if the information has some connection.Task of report writing will take place simultaneously.

  Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Selection of the corporations for study in telecom industry of USA        
Deep analysis of the cases to evaluate impact of CSR on firm’s financial and non-financial performance        
Making sense of the data – relating the findings of the study to the literature        
Answering research questions and meeting sims of study        
Comparing the findings of two cases to conclude the study        
Report compiling and proofreading        

 

Figure III – Proposed Timeline for the Study

 

 

References

Aras, G., and Crowther, D., 2016, A Handbook of Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility, London and New York: Routledge: CRC Press.

Banker, R. D., Potter, G., and Srinivasan, D., 2000, An empirical investigation of an incentive plan that includes nonfinancial performance measures, The Accounting Review, 75 (1), pp. 65-92.

Beal, B. D., 2013, Corporate Social Responsibility: Definition, Core Issues, and Recent Developments, Washington, CD: SAGE Publications.

Berrah, L., Mauris, G., and Vernadat, F., 2006, Industrial performance measurement: An approach based on the aggregation of unipolar or bipolar expressions, International Journal of Production Research 44 (18/19), pp. 4145-4158.

Bowen, H., 1953, Social Responsibility of the Businessman, New York: Harper & Row.

Chetty, S., Naidoo, R., and Seetharam, Y., 2014, The Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility on Firms’ Financial Performance in South Africa,Contemporary Economics 9 (2), pp. 193-214. 

Croucher, S. M., and Cronn-Mills, D., 2014,Understanding Communication Research Methods: A Theoretical and Practical Approach, New York: Routledge.

Davis, K., 1967, Understanding of social responsibility puzzle: What does the businessman owe to society? Business Horizons 10, pp. 45-50.

Gond, J-P., El-Akremi, A., Igalens, J., and Swaen, V., 2010, Corporate Social Responsibility Influence on Employees, Research Paper Series – International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, Available at: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/business/ICCSR/assets/ibyucpdrvypr.pdf [Accessed 27 April 2016]

Hirigoyen, G., and Rehm, T. P., 2015, Relationship between Corporate Social Responsibility and Financial Performance: What is the Causality?, Journal of Business and Management 4 (1), pp. 18-43.

Hopkins, M., 2012, Corporate Social Responsibility and International Development: Is Business the Solution?, UK and USA: Earthscan.

Hoque, Z., and James, W., 2000, Linking balanced scorecard measures to size and market factors: Impact on organizational performance, Journal of Management Accounting Research, 12, pp. 1-17.

Ittner, C., and Larcker, D., 1998, Innovations in performance measurement: trends and research implications, Journal of Management Accounting Research 10, pp. 205-238.

Kanwal, M., Khanam, F., Nasreen, S., and Hameed, S., 2013, Impact of corporate social responsibility on the firm’s financial performance, IOSR Journal of Business and Management 14 (5), pp. 66-74.

Khan, M., Majid, A., Yasir, M., and Arshad, M., 2013, Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Reputation: A Case of Cement Industry in Pakistan, Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business 5 (1), pp. 843-857.

Kim, K., Kim, M., and Qian, C., 2015, Effects of Corporate Social Responsibility on Corporate Financial Performance – A Competitive-Action Perspective, Journal of Management, DOI 10.1177/0149206315602530.

Laitinen, E., 2002, A dynamic performance measurement system: evidence from small Finnish technology companies, Scandinavian Journal of Management 18 (1), pp. 65-99.

Machi, L. A., and McEvoy, B. T., 2009, The Literature Review: Six Steps to Success, Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Malik, M. S., and Nadeem, M., 2014, Impact of corporate social responsibility on the financial performance of banks in Pakistan, International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences 21, pp. 9-19.

Mayring, P., 2000. Qualitative content analysis. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 1(2), Art. 20. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/fqs-texte/2-00/2-00mayring-e.htm [Accessed 27 April 2016].

Mujahid, M., and Abdullah, A., 2014, Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility on Firms Financial Performance and Shareholders wealth, European Journal of Business and Management 6 (31), pp. 181-187.

Murtaza, I. A., Akhtar, N., Ijaz, A., and Sadiqa, A., 2014, Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility on Firm Financial Performance: A Case Study of Pakistan, International Review of Management and Business Research 3 (4), pp. 1914-1927.

Rayner, N., 2002. CPM: A Strategic Deployment of BI Applications. Gartner Research ID Number: AV-16-3211.

Schensul, S. L., Schensul, J. J., and LeCompte, M. D., 1999. Essential Ethnographic Methods: Observations, Interviews, and Questionnaires. New York and UK: Rowman Altamira Press.

Sims, R. R., 2003. Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility: Why Giants Fall. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.

Turker, D., 2009, How Corporate Social Responsibility Influences Organizational Commitment, Journal of Business Ethics 89 (2), pp. 189-204.

Yin, R. K., 1994, Case Study Research; Design and Methods, USA: Sage.

Yoon, Y., Gurhan-Canli, Z., and Schwarz, N., 2006, The Effect of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Activities on Companies With Bad Reputations, Journal of Consumer Psychology 16 (4), pp. 377–390

Zuriekat, M., Salameh, R., and Alrawashdeh, S., 2011, Participation in Performance Measurement Systems and Level of Satisfaction, International Journal of Business and Social Science 2 (8), pp. 159-169.

 

 

 

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What Does It All Mean?

In his book, What Does It All Mean, Thomas Nagel introduces the subject of free will. To demonstrate this topic of free will, he gives the example of choosing between chocolate and peach options. According to Nagel, this is the scenario in which free will is at work given that no force is making an individual to select one option over the other. Nagel asserts that our actions are determined by existing circumstances which make the actions inevitable (Nagel 34). This suggests that there are no other choices given other than to act according to the predetermined circumstance.

The chocolate and peach raise fundamental questions that call for explanation. Suppose it were not determined in advance that one would select the peach over the chocolate, and the individual reached the decision to choose the peach without explanation, how could that have been one’s own doing? Or if it was predetermined that the person would select the peach rather than the chocolate, how is it probable that one is able to reach such decisions if decision making should be alternative options?

The answer to those two questions lies in the concepts of free will and determinism. One may be driven by their own free will to choose the chocolate but their desires are influenced by some cause (Nagel 54). One’s desire to pick peach over chocolate serves as the motivating variable for the act of free will to be conducted (Nagel 45).

If people’s actions are predetermined, then they are not making the decisions and it is practically impossible to perform anything different from what has been determined in advance. There are forces (antecedent cause) that exist before one acts determine his/her action. This perspective is referred to as determinism. This concept holds that our actions and thoughts are ultimately predetermined by physical forces and the laws of the universe. Free will and determinism are incompatible. If our universe is deterministic, it means free will is not possible.

There are two aspects of free act including responsibility and autonomy.  In his discussion, Nagel address the problem of autonomy. He does not buy the idea that people freely performing their actions is an illusion. For Nagel, people do not act all; rather it is the physical and natural law that acts through them (Nagel 43). Responsibility deals with what one could have done or could not have done in the first place. An agent can be held responsibility for the state of affairs which stem from the actions in which they are under control. If determinist holds true, then antecedent causes are responsible for human actions. But if determinism does not hold true, then nothing is responsible. There are people who believe responsibility needs that actions are predetermined. For example, when one chooses a peach, it was because the desire for it was greater. The idea of free act is incoherent. This is because free act is impractical regardless of whether the concept of determinism is true or false.  Both determinism and indeterminism renders our actions unfree (Nagel 52). Moreover, free will needs self-regulation which is impossible to exercise.  The fact that free will is incoherent, it means that the concept is meaningless.

Autonomy is similarly threatening to the concept if free will. “The  problem  of  autonomy  is  the  fear  that  the  idea  that  our  own  actions  are  freely  performed  by  us  as  agents  is  merely  an  illusion. We really do not act at all, but rather what we do is only what happens through natural and physical law” (Nagel, 57-58). For Nagel, the problem of autonomy leads to the situation of hopelessness of desiring something impossible.

Meaning of Life

In chapter 10, starts by refuting famous arguments by those who contemplate the meaning of life as absurd. Although Nagel accepts that life is absurd, he claims that inadequate reasons have been provided for thinking that life is not only meaningless but absurd.  Them he gives reasons why he thinks human condition is absurd.

Philosophers suggest that human life is absurd since nothing human achieves matters in the distant future because well be dead and gone. This is a strange thought since it is not explicit why the idea that people will be dead in distant future should suggest that nothing they do presently really matters. It is true that people are struggling to attain their goals, but there is no logic if those accomplishments will not last. Nagel gives some examples to show why the arguments are inadequate. It is always suggested that nothing we achieve now will matter in two hundred years to come. But if that is the case, then by the same taken, equally nothing that will be the case in a thousand years matters now” (Benatar, 32). If this is the case, Nagel offers, then it remains that facts concerning the future matters nothing as well.  For Nagel, this is inadequate reason for contemplating that human condition is absurd. People have the tendency of using the phrase human life is short to show that life is absurd. For Nagel, these considerations are irrelevant to view human life as absurd. He argues that living infinitely would not reduce the absurdity.

Nagel sees absurdity as within humans themselves. Although we engaged in our work, we journey via life with great seriousness, but we are able to expand our thinking and about our achievements as arbitrary. Immortality complicates human chances of discovering meaning in life as it “casts doubts on the ultimate significance of our projects” (Benatar, 54). Nagel does not consider immortality or human reason as redemptive.

Nagel also denies the argument that human condition is absurd because people cannot give ultimate justification or rationale for their action because of the fact that they will be dead in the distant future. He again refutes this reasoning because chains of justification do not need to continue indefinitely. It is suggested that one can study and earn income for paying food, entertainment, housing and clothing and support a family, but the final end is nowhere. Nagel’s response is that “life does not consist of a series of activities each of which has its purpose some later member of the chain”(Benatar 32).

Nagel views absurdity of human condition from a different angle. For Nagel, absurdity comes about due to discrepancy between the aspiration or pretension of human interactions with the world and the way our world is ordered (Nagel). People view their lives with seriousness, but they are also capable of stepping back and seeing that “everything they take seriously is open to doubt” (Benatar 34). Human lives are absurd due to the fact people live as if the doubts can be addressed

Taking our lives seriously entails aiming at greater things that survival and comfort. It means that one is committing himself to something big, “not just important to you, but important in some larger sense: important, period” (Nagel 101). But seriousness seems to collide with the viewpoint from nowhere. If one attempts to view his “life from the outside, it wouldn’t matter if you had never existed. And after you have gone out of existence, it won’t matter that you did exist” (Nagel 103).  Yet one’s existence matters to his parents and friends who passionately care about him.

To evade absurdity, Nagel advises that we cease from taking human lives seriously. This seems to suggest our human condition is meaningless regardless of whether we are taking it seriously or not.

According to Nagel big projects fare the same as the small ones. For example, concern for state, family, intellectual innovation and revolution do not any fare well personal career (Belliotti 54).

Nagel believes we should respond to the absurdity of life with irony.  This is because the absurdity of human condition is uniquely human. As humans, we have the ability to rise above and arrive at the cosmic perspective. He advises that absurdity should be approached with irony, acknowledging the discrepancy between what to be expected and what really occurs.

Nagel’s idea of the absurd can never be an inevitable part of our human condition, especially for those of us who are dedicated to religious theism. Moreover, the notion that human life is absurd relies upon human pretensions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work Cited

Belliotti, Raymond A. What Is the Meaning of Human Life? Amsterdam [u.a.: Rodopi, 2001. Print.

Benatar, David. Life, Death, & Meaning: Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2010. Print.

Nagel, Thomas. What Does It All Mean?: A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.

 

Faith and Globalization

 

 

 

 

 

Faith and Globalization

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27 May 2016

 

 

 


1

Globalization, also at times referred to internationalization, is a concept that has been gaining rapid traction in the contemporary world. There are various perspectives through which internationalization can be explored (Golebiewski, 2014). Regardless of the perspectives, it is evident that globalization brings about significant changes to the political, social, economic and religious features of different parts of the world (O’Hagan, 2005). Through globalization, people from across the globe, having different backgrounds, have been able to effectively interact. A common attribute of the interaction is that people from different parts of the globe get to share their customs, beliefs and values (O’Hagan, 2005). Over time, globalization has been found to result in the erosion of particular cultural practices, and giving rise to others. The impact of globalization on religion has over the past 15 years become more profound. This is especially so as a result of growing terrorism in the world (Ben-Nun Bloom, Arikan, & Sommer, 2014).

Religion has been defined by Ben-Nun Bloom, Arikan, and Sommer (2014) as a system of beliefs and practices. Such practices and beliefs commonly bind people together, through dictating their cultural values and morals, as well as dictating how people interact. Basically this means that religious beliefs and practices differentiate between what is wrong and right (Paul, 2012). Different regions according to Ismael and Rippin (2012) practice different religions, however, globalization is threatening all this because it provides a platform for some religions to exert influence over others, and or spread more rapidly and in the process limiting the progression of other religions. Golebiewski (2014) uses this viewpoint to express that Christianity has been able to grow into a dominant global religion through globalization. This shows that globalization can be beneficial as well as harmful to the wellbeing of religions (Paul, 2012).

Many past theorists tried to explain that people are usually a product of their surroundings when it comes to religion. The principle behind this ideology was that different parts of the world practice different religions. Ferjani (2007) believes that this theoretical perspective has been put to the test by globalization. This is because it is through globalization that various different religions have been able to spread. A good example of this is that Christianity and Islam are the most dominant religions in Africa, yet in the past the region predominantly practiced different traditional religious practices (Paul, 2012). This perspective can be used to argue that globalization lead to the spread of religion, as well as the beliefs and morals associated with the religions.

With regards to religion and globalization in the contemporary world, there is a significant population that regard themselves as being protestant, catholic, Islam, or belonging to any specific religion. Ismael and Rippin (2012) argues that in reality they do not engage in any single practice or doctrine associated with the religion they claim to be a part of. This points out that Freud, 1957; Marx and Engels, 1848/1858; Tylor, 1871; Weber, 1958; and Giddens, 1990 were all right when they determined that religion would eventually erode because it is a fallacy (Ismael & Rippin, 2012). A notable attribute of their opinions is that they did not factor in the concept of globalization. Despite declining religious practices across the globe, religious association among the world population is on a steady increase. This can be explained to mean that terrorism has resulted in a majority of people, associating themselves with particular religions, despite their lack of having practical links with the customs and doctrines of the said religion (May, Wilson, Baumgart-Ochse, & Sheikh, 2014). Terrorism has resulted in growing animosity between different religions of the world. Internationalization has only fueled the rift between different regions because it is usually associated with standardization, yet there are some regions that are highly conservative and rigid (Golebiewski, 2014). This makes them resistant to change and as a result it only fuels the problem of ‘Us and Them’ (Golebiewski, 2014).

Growing global challenges such as terrorism have prompted various individuals across the globe to either associate or differentiate themselves from specific groupings and religions. People across the world have in the recent past become critical of the doctrines, morals and values that are practiced by other religions (May, Wilson, Baumgart-Ochse, & Sheikh, 2014). This has fostered divisions which prompt religious groupings to consider that they are better than other religious groups. According to Ben-Nun Bloom, Arikan, and Sommer, (2014) it is worth noting that politics has fueled the concept of ‘Us and Them’ even further, within the religious realm. The authors explain that this is majorly because religion, like many other social and cultural factors is regional based. This is why specific religions are more popular in particular regions than in others. For example, a majority of the countries in the Middle East are Islamic States, while a majority of the European countries are Christian societies (Ismael & Rippin, 2012).

Religions have become more self-conscious in current times as opposed to the past because communication and transport technologies have increased the manner in which religions are able to spread across the globe (Ismael & Rippin, 2012). When introduced to receptive societies, for instance India and African countries, religion is able to spread. However, when introduced to conservative worlds such as China and the Middle East, inter-religious friction is increased. This aspect therefore enhances the notion that the international system is both beneficial and threatening to religion (Ismael & Rippin, 2012). The United States (U.S) is currently one of the best examples of how religion has been eroded in the modern world. The country is very influential and it is the main trend setter of the world’s popular (pop) culture which is spreading at rapid rates. This poses a threat to the existence and spread of religion and points out that religion can be eroded as fast as it was spread, because the world is increasingly becoming globalised. This idea is fostered by the fact that most of the youths in different parts of the world are embracing pop culture as the standardized culture of the future.


 

2

The world is made up of different cultural blocks, each having its own unique set of principles, values and practices. Huntington believed that these differences are the main reasons why the world would one day have to clash, because various civilizations were rigid in that they would not accept change, or allow themselves to be influenced by other civilization (Huntington, Ajami, Mahbubani, Bartley, & Liu, 2010). Though quite relevant, Huntington’s doctrine was one sided. Huntington focused more on the difference between the civilization of the West and Islam without regarding other civilizations such as the Confucius civilization of China. Ismael and Rippin (2012) posit that the differences that exist between different civilizations across the globe have been in existence for centuries. The authors add that the kind of friction or clash that Huntington foreshadowed is made possible by the continued interactions between the civilizations, which are in turn fostered by growing globalization.

According to Huntington, et al, (2010) the best lesson that can be learnt from the cold-war and the immediate post cold war era is that unipolar and bipolar systems of superpower do not work. The world is diverse and its diverse people (civilization) usually consider that their way is valuable to them hence necessary. Having systems where a single or a select few nations are dominant and exert influence over others can only lead to friction and in turn war. Ferjani (2007) believes that using this perspective shows that Huntington’s doctrine of clash of civilizations is not appropriate. The most appropriate doctrine would be individual civilizations having respect for other civilizations (Paul, 2012). For instance, the religious faith of different civilizations is sacred to them and interfering with such faith is disrespectful and it is likely to result in the clash of civilization. The clash of civilization can therefore be avoided when civilizations, whether large or small, respect other civilizations and keep their distance with regards to wanting to influence or control the other civilization. In the contemporary world, religion is at the center of the clash of civilization as the concept of ‘Us over Them’ is rapidly growing, especially between Christianity and Islam (Golebiewski, 2014).

Huntington proposed that having a superpower in the globe is one of the best ways through which the clash can be avoided (Huntington, Ajami, Mahbubani, Bartley, & Liu, 2010). Huntington proposed the United States as the superpower. This idea is not warranted and it is likely to increase the chances of the world experiencing strife in relation to clash of civilizations. May, et al, (2014) believe that history provides succinct education of how superior national power is not warranted because it gets to suppress the individual and national diversity which characterizes the world. The explanation offered by the author is that according to history, each nation which attempted to dominate the entire globe coercively attempted to ensure that their set of values, beliefs and values superseded those of the regions that were under its influence. Examples of nations that achieved the superpower status in the past include the Persian Empire, the Roman Empire and the British Empire (O’Hagan, 2005).

Lessons from past superpowers indicate that there will always be a civilization that will oppose ‘your’ civilization; hence the approach cannot be used to mitigate a clash of civilization (Ferjani, 2007). Based on this perspective, the superpower idea can be considered as the actual clash of civilization. Individual and national differences need to be valued and respected if the clash of civilization is to be avoided. Golebiewski (2014) articulates that there is no circumstance under which great powers should intervene to prevent a clash of civilization. This is because through interfering, the great powers get to directly exert their influence. Instead, the most prudent approach would be to foster mutual respect and understanding among different civilizations to ensure that the values and morals of different civilizations are valued and not interfered with or belittled.

 


3

Then, apply those lessons to future policy recommendations for dealing with world’s major religions. 

In the past, most religions were highly tolerant of one another. For instance, Islam and Christianity were able to effectively and peacefully spread across the globe. Other religious values and principles such as Confucius and Buddhism were more subtle and they were not able to grow globally at the same rate as Christianity and Islam (Ferjani, 2007). However, in the recent past, the religions have become more aggressive and non-tolerant to one another. Ferjani (2007) believes that this can be attributed to the growing global terrorism which is predominantly associated with the Islam religion. Currently, there is growing hostility between Islam and Christianity in the West. The West which includes North America and most of the European countries have always pride themselves as being liberal (Paul, 2012). Given their liberalism, they have promoted freedom of worship as well as association to ensure that people are able to practice whatever religion they want to (Paul, 2012). This is in sharp contrast to Islam countries in the Middle East. Islamic Middle Eastern countries are not based on nationalistic values. Instead, they are governed by religious values which dictate each aspect of human life, thus limiting notions of pluralism, individualism and democracy (Paul, 2012). It is with this respect that the Islam realm is not tolerant to the influence of other religions or civilization.

The best example of a conservative Muslim State that lacks tolerance is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Regardless of the civilization, outsiders are usually expected to maintain particular behavior that is acceptable to the Islam religion. In the same breadth, products and services that are shunned by the Islamic religion are prohibited in the country (Golebiewski, 2014). There are some products and services that can only be consumed in privacy by non-locals of the region. Any aspect that contradicts the region’s religion is punishable. This way, the region gets to use coercive approaches to limit other civilizations. On the other hand, regions such as the United Kingdom are tolerant (Ben-Nun Bloom, Arikan, & Sommer, 2014). Though protestant Christianity is arguably the most predominant religion in the region, there is freedom for worship and everyone is allowed to practice whatever religion they want provided it does not impede on the rights of other residents. This approach is more cooperative in nature.

It is highly recommended that when dealing with the world’s major religions, mutual respect and understanding is promoted. This gets to ensure that each civilization gets to feel valued and the pride that they derive from being valued makes them more tolerant. When individual civilization differences is acknowledged and respected, then different civilizations will be able to co-exist peacefully. The same goes for the Islam civilizations and their bordering neighbors with whom they are in constant war with. In essence, Huntington doctrine is accurate in that a clash of civilization will continue to loom provided cultural civilizations do not integrate. However what needs to be added into the doctrine is that when the cultures respect one another, the threat would be averted without necessarily integrating the civilizations.

 

References

Ben-Nun Bloom, P., Arikan, G., & Sommer, U. (2014). Globalization, Threat and Religious Freedom. Political Studies, 62(2) , 273-291.

Daniel Golebiewski, J. 1. (2014, July 16 ). Religion and Globalization: New Possibilities, Furthering Challenges. Retrieved April 9, 2016, from http://www.e-ir.info: http://www.e-ir.info/2014/07/16/religion-and-globalization-new-possibilities-furthering-challenges/

Ferjani, M. (2007). Brandishing the Spectre of “The War of Cultures”: Whose Interests Are Served? History & Anthropology, 18(3) , 259-268. doi:10.1080/02757200701389279.

Huntington, S. P., Ajami, F., Mahbubani, K., Bartley, R. L., & Liu, B. (2010). The clash of civilizations? : the debate. New York, NY : Foreign Affairs.

Ismael, T. Y., & Rippin, A. (2012). Islam in the Eyes of the West: Images and Realities in an Age of Terror. London; New York: Routledge .

May, S., Wilson, E. K., Baumgart-Ochse, C., & Sheikh, F. (2014). The Religious as Political and the Political as Religious: Globalisation, Post-Secularism and the Shifting Boundaries of the Sacred. Politics, Religion & Ideology, 15(3) , 331-346.

O’Hagan, J. (2005). Beyond the clash of civilisations? Australian Journal Of International Affairs, 59(3) , 383-400. doi:10.1080/10357710500231255.

Paul, T. V. (2012). International relations theory and regional transformation. Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press.

Project Charter for Beautiful World Resorts (BWR) REVISION HISTORY

 

 

 

 

Project Charter for

Beautiful World Resorts (BWR)

Revision History

 

Date Version Description Staff
       
       
       
       
       

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

Scope Overview                                                                                                              3

Business Case                                                                                                                  3

Background                                                                                                                     4

Milestone Schedule                                                                                                         5

Risks, Assumptions, Constraints                                                                                     8

Budget Estimates                                                                                                            9

Stakeholder List                                                                                                              9

Team Operating Principles                                                                                            10

Signatures and Commitment                                                                                         10

 

 

 

 

Scope Overview

Beautiful World Resort is a one-stop resort for conferences, hotel, entertainment, event, and show services. As an integrated resort, Beautiful World Resort strives to offer top quality services to its customers. This project strives to integrated technology into Beautiful World Resort’s operations to improve customer experience. The project will require funding from the resort. For the resort to compete well with the rest of the players in the hospitality industry, it must give the customers something extra. Thus, the project will go a long way in making the resort more attractive by improving on the customer experience. The first major variable for this project is the project charter that identifies the project needs, duration, cost, and acceptance criteria. The second variable is the project management plan that gives the stakeholders all the relevant project information and details. The third variable is the project schedule that highlights the timeframe associated with each of the tasks to be accomplished. The fourth variable is the requirements review that will be conducted to with respect to the project requirements. The other main variables are design review, acceptance testing, and the deployment plan.

Business Case

The hospitality industry has been experiencing significant growth in the last couple of years (Jauhari, 2014). Hotels and resorts are striving to remain competitive by coming up with strategy that will allow them to serve their customers better. Various areas strategies have been used by industry players to improve their operations and customer experience. In the case of Beautiful World Resort, technology is one of the areas that can be exploited to improve customer experience. Technology offers the resort numerous opportunities that it can exploit to improve its resort management system (Jauhari, 2014). By integrating technology into its resort management system, Beautiful World Resort can improve its efficiency and ensure that the customers get the best experience when the use the resort’s facilities and services. This project will therefore give the resort an avenue for improving its internal management operations and ensuring that customers get the best services. In the long run, the resort will be in a position to effectively compete with other hospitality industry stakeholders.

This project seeks out to realize three key objectives. First, the project strives to improve the customer experience by increasing the efficiency and the effectiveness of the Beautiful World Resort internal management system. Secondly, the project is aimed at improving on the quality of services received by Beautiful World Resort customers by enhancing the booking, room reservation, and rooms maintenance scheduling. Finally, it will improve brand loyalty by creating a strong and positive relationship with the customers. These three main objectives are to be achieved by refining the resort’s management system through the use of technology.

Background

Beautiful World Resort has cut a niche for itself as a resort that provides services and merchandises that meet the requirements of the patrons. This has been achieved by continually identifying the needs and coming up with processes that will ensure that they are met. The resort is a one stop facility where entertainment, food, conference, shows and events services are provided.  This is done to ensure that it become Asia’s ultimate leisure and business destination. Employees and the management of the resort strive to offer world class leisure, entertainment and other hospitality services so that tourists, business travellers and other guests can have memorable moments. Some of the services and element that make the resort unique include beach villas, tree top lofts, and theme parks. Asian and western restaurants, convention centres, grand ballrooms, theatre and car par facilities. The services and products offered by Beautiful World Resort are supported by various systems. The resort management system and the casino management system are some of the critical systems that play an imperative role in the setting up of best customer services. The resort management system can however been improved through the use and integration of technology.

Milestone Schedule

Milestone Completion Date Stakeholder Acceptance Criteria
Customer Relationship Management System

 

20/02/2016 Customer relation Manager

Project Manager

The performance of the customer relationship management system will be measured by the project manager to ensure that it can perform membership registration and generate E-Brochures for updating customers about the events in the resort.
Hotel Room Booking System

 

20/04/2016 Development Team The team will evaluate the performance of the room booking system to ensure that it meets the intended performance standards. The room booking system will be required to have the capability to perform room reservation, issue logs and execute customer check-in and check-out operations.
Assets Management System

 

20/06/2016 Project Manager

Maintenance Manager

The asset management system will be developed in a way that it can help in managing assets in the resort manages. In this project, the acceptance criteria for the assets management system will be the ability to perform hotel maintenance scheduling and theme park maintenance operations.
Staff Management System

 

20/08/2016 Project Manager

Human Resource Manager

The staff management system will ensure that the resort can maximize the benefits that it gets from its human resource capital. The acceptance criteria for this functional milestone will be the ability of the system to carry out staff registration, staff training, and generate staff duty roster. These are system capabilities that will ensure that the resort is able to improve the performance of its workforce.


Risks, Assumptions, Constraints

Risk Event Contingency Plan Who Owns the  Contingency Plan
Documentation risk: This kind of risks may affect proper documentation of the critical information about the project To ensure that the risk is managed, the development team will have a dedicated person who will be in charge of documenting on the critical and relevant information about all the aspects of the project Project Administrator
Technological Risk: These are risks that involve the use of technology in the four functional systems that are being created. They may affect the installation of the system, maintenance and proper alignment with the existing structures. A contingency plan to be used in dealing with the risk will require the team to always work with a technology expert during the purchasing, installation and maintenance of the systems The project manager and the involved Project Administrator will be in charge of the contingency plan

 

The following six assumptions were made when this project charter was being developed:

  1. The required funding for the project will be available at the beginning of the project
  2. The required personnel and resources will be made available at the start of the project
  3. The project manager and the development team will give the project the attention and seriousness that it deserves
  4. The quality of the items and resources supplied will be of the required standards
  5. Existing staff will be trained on how to work with the new systems
  6. The resort management will support the project team throughout the duration of the project

The following constrains and limitations have been identified to be relevant to this project:

  1. Work will only be done from 8.00am to 6.00pm
  2. The involved stakeholders can follow the agreed schedule but will not guarantee quality
  3. The project will have to be done within the agreed budget

Budget Estimates

The allocation of money during the project will be done by the Project Manager. The project manager is expected to allocate the money in such a way that it covers the material purchases and labor fee for the technology experts who may take part in the project. At the start, $1,500,000 will be allocated for the project.

Stakeholder List

  1. The project manager
  2. Customer relation Manager
  3. Human Resource Manager
  4. Maintenance Manager
  5. Project Administrator
  6. Development Team
  7. Project Sponsor

Team Operating Principles

For the team to effectively deliver on this project, all the involved stakeholders will have to work together. Thus, collaboration and team work will highly value operating principles (Brown, 2013). All involved parties will bring their expertise and skills to the team so that the goals and objectives are achieved. Open communication will also be an important operating principle (Brown, 2013). Members of the team will be given equal opportunities to air their views about the projects activities and decisions. Everyone will be reporting to the project manager during the project period.

Signatures and Commitment

Signature:   Date: 14/1/2016
Name: Beautiful World Resort    
Title: Project Sponsor    
 

Signature:

  Date: 14/1/2016
Name:    
Title: Project Manager    

 

 

Signature:

  Date: 14/1/2016
Name:    
Title: Human Resource Manager    

 

 

 

References

Brown, D. M. (2013). Designing Together: The collaboration and conflict            management handbook for creative professionals. Indianapolis: New Riders.

Jauhari, V. (2014). Managing sustainability in the hospitality and tourism industry:         Paradigms and directions for the future. Boca Raton:  CRC Press.

 

Crowd management in the Hajj Pilgrimage

Introduction

Crowd management in the Hajj Pilgrimage

A risk is a potential future harm that can happen to an asset, people or arise from the present actions. A risk is always regarded to be a loss, and it can occur in many ways, such as lose of property, life, future of the business and the credibility of the establishment. To minimize the probability of a risk happening there has to be policies and activities to do, all this form part of the risk management system. Risk management is made up of two stages; they are risk assessment and risk control.

Risk assessment

Risk assessment involves identifying risks, analyzing risks and prioritization of the risk whereas the risk control involves taking measures to minimize the occurrence of the risk through planning, mitigation and monitoring the events to reduce the occurrence of a risk.  (Bolia, 2009). The management looks into all the risks systematically to determine the most common risk to occur as a result o0f the hajj pilgrimage before they become problems. To risk, there must be understanding of the current environment. There are factors to consider when identifying risks; they include; population, the size of the structure, the organization, management and the estimations. Risks can be categorized as generic risks and product-specific risk; which are further sub-divided into project risk, product risks, and business risk.  There are models used to assess risks; they are; ALARP, risk mode, fault tree and the bow tie risk assessment.

The ALARP, which stands for “as low as reasonably achievable”. It’s mainly principled on the fact that the risk expected should be as low as possible; this means that the cost of reducing a risk should be lower than the benefit realized from the benefit gained. To determine the level of tolerance that a risk is one must consider healt6h and the safety guidelines as the main factors of assessing the risk. ALARP does not only rely on the cost of reducing a risk but also the sacrifice that one make to enjoy the benefits of the risk reduction.

A risk is only considered safe only if it doesn’t put to risk the health of a person. The risks on the ALARP model is in a triangle presentation to show the tolerance and the amount of risk involved. The fewer risks and tolerable are at the bottom of the triangle with the riskiest and intolerable on top of the triangle. These risks involve health risk such as contaminating diseases when on the pilgrimage. The model demonstrates both qualitative and quantitative properties.

The risk model is that a business might face due to using models to make decisions, the risk model shows the probabilities of the risk happening. Risk model happens as a result of not three errors made; they include instances where there was a wrong application of the model, the figures used in the evaluation were incorrect and that the findings are not correct and as a result of calibration errors. The risk model is used to rank the risk according to the priorities.

The fault tree model analysis is used to analyze the undesired risk by identity ways in which risk can be reduced to determine low risks and failures. The fault tree analysis extensively is based on the level of severity of the risk. This fault tree enables a business to prioritize the risk that will result to a fatal consequence and helping in listing most dangerous risks in an event. This model enables the understanding of the risk evasion system, a risk once prioritized all the problems that may result to the risk are analyzed and computing the probability of the risk occurring after eliminating the problems. After getting the alternatives and plotting the fault tree then alternatives that may directly or indirectly result to another risk are determined. The point of using a fault tree model is to eliminate one risk; all problems are eliminated to reduce the probability of the risk ever occurring. The main risks that the pilgrims that the pilgrims that visit Saudi Arabia would be faced with are; attack be terrorist, collapse of the building due to congestion, stampede  in case of panic, heath infections due to the communicable diseases, suffocation due to congestion with limited air supply. Lose of personal property to thieves and other immoral people, getting lost within the pilgrimage and harsh weather conditions.

 

Planning

The planning stage will involve gathering information about the visiting pilgrims from the travel report and background information to allow us to think ahead and to enable risk assessment. The plan will determine the time to develop and modify the current precautions to fit the changes in risks, such as the gradual increase in the number of pilgrims per Planning is always done at an early stage, and it will always ensure success and low risk from an event. A proper planning guarantees the safety of an event and for this, there must be sufficient time to gather concrete information and consult. In this case, the safe running of the pilgrimage is the priority of Saudi Arabia. Accessing the expected turnout involves forecasting the expected number of visitors. For a clear estimate, the authority can study statistics from previous attendances, the level of publicity, the advance ticket sales and bookings, and extra visitors attending special attraction site at the same (Xie et al., 2006).  The accessibility of the ritual sites involves the safe entry and exit of people

 

Communication

For the ritual to take place safely, there have to be a good means off exchanging information within to avoid confusion, getting lost and misunderstanding of information. Communication will determine a person’s knowledge and experiences. Individuals who are not familiar with the event will need more assistance compared to someone who is acquainted with Mecca. Unaware visitors will take more time evacuating a building because they will always reside to use the primary ways that are familiar to them this eventually leads to stampedes (Xie et al., 2006). To reduce people getting lost the authority will have to devise a means of enabling the pilgrims to have a map of Mecca on their devices and having buildings labeled to ease identification (Bolia, 2009).

The primary use of communication will be to provide information before and during the Hajj event, contact with the pilgrims in case of an emergency notification, additional information or guidelines. For this reasons the authorities should aim at setting up an agency with specific policies that will operate within procedures with regards to the personal use of electronic devices and social media owned by the pilgrims, this is mainly aimed at operational security (Still, 2014).

Good surveillance and monitoring

These will involve arrangements to detect and deal with any potential problem, and the authority will be able to deal with it at an earlier stage. The surveillance can be done using closed circuit televisions (CCTV) and cameras that can be deployed to monitor movements at the agency. The delays in monitoring lead to panics and these panics are majorly the cause of stampede in full events like this. There should be personal and electronic surveillance of the pilgrim at the Jamarat Bridge heading to the three pillars. Monitoring also involves relay of gathered information, so the authorities must ensure that the information can be communicated and received with accuracy for quality interpretation.

Monitoring the pilgrims will also involve timing, to determine the time taken to develop into a dangerous level risk and this may differ based on the crowd as some areas will be prone to risks such as the Jamarat Bridge, Mecca, and the three pillars and others will have low-risk levels. Monitoring is not only directed towards the people but also on the buildings, surveillance on the structures, the temporary tents, and the air conditioning and coolants will help prevent previous occurrences such as tent fire that has occurred twice over the decade (Xie et al., 2006).

Emergency planning procedures

Emergencies may include fires, a collapse of structures, hostile weather conditions, and panic. The main reason for crowd management is so that there is no disorder and overcrowding which the main factors are causing emergencies.  Evacuation via the routes that people are familiar with, assistance will be provided for the individuals with disabilities, adults with younger children. There will be the need to have barriers and signs written in different languages to ensure maximum communication (Still, 2014).

 

 

 

References

Bolia, N. B. (2009). Risk management strategies to avoid a stampede at mass gatherings.

Daman, D. (2009). COLLISION AVOIDANCE SYSTEM FOR CROWD SIMULATION.

Merad, D., Iguernaissi, R., Aziz, K. E., Fertil, B., & Drap, P. (2016). Tracking multiple persons under partial and global occlusions: application to customers’ behavior analysis. Pattern Recognition Letters.

Still, K. G. (2014). Crowd Risk Analysis

XIE, Z. H., SUN, C., & YANG, L. (2006). Crowd Risk Analysis and Regulation for Large-Scale Event [J]. China Public Security (Academy Edition), 4, 008.

 

 

CRITICAL THINKING SCENARIO (NURSING ESSAY)

Critical Thinking Scenario – Nursing Essay

Critical thinking is an essential part of a nurse’s professional growth because it determines the quality of decisions made in the course of practice. In this case, there is a patient who is elderly, just retired, and is aged 60 years old. She is a female and has arthritis while also suffering from advanced liver failure. As such, she has been presented to the emergency department after being found by paramedics in her bathroom floor at her house. She lives in a flat with her husband. The husband was responsible for making the emergency call and on the call, the husband noted that the woman was hard to arouse. The woman also had shallow respirations. On the scene, there was a prescription bottle of temazepam and it was empty. It was a 30mg size, and it had been refilled a week before the incident, going by the date indicated on the bottle. When given painful stimuli by paramedics, the patient responded verbally indicating the need to die. The patient is also reported to have resisted medical attention. At the time, her consciousness diminished and her speech slurred but even as she was in the emergency department, she kept on insisting that she should be left to die. The nurses noted that her vital signs were temperature 37.2 degrees Celsius, her blood pressure was 80/40 and other indicators were P118, R 12, SPO2 92% on 2L/min via nasal cannula. The current issues at the emergency department is a discussion on what should be done for the patient. The present suggestion is for the patient to be put into intensive care unit where she can be monitored. The husband does not see the need and wants the woman to go home with him when her vital signs are normalized.

According to Kaddoura (2013), critical thinking has been in development as a practice within nursing for several years, and it is part of the nature of humankind. However, many nurses lack sufficient capacity to use critical thinking skills because of reliance on subjective, indefinite, limited and conventional or narrow-minded approaches when seeking solutions. With critical thinking skills, nurses have to analyze and appraise evaluations. It ensures that theoretical knowledge can be applied to clinical skills and employ reasonable judgments for ensuring that patient care is of the highest qualities.

A definition of the problem

One of the issues worth looking at on patients brought to the emergency department is their vital signs, to confirm their wellbeing from a physiological perspective. The vital signs collection and documentation is a general nursing practice serving as a measure of health and has been established as part of the clinical workflow. While using the workflow allows a nurse to identify the next course of action, thinking about the process should also lead to the identification of barriers and opportunities in the process for improving it and improving the outcome of the process or its efficacy (Yeung, Lapinsky, Granton, Doran, & Cafazzo, 2012). The documentation of the vital signs is a major reason for different prescription outcomes because nurses have to look at the signs and the context of the signs. If the situation is not explained thoroughly in an evidence-based perspective, it is easy to use the right vital signs but still make errors. Another challenge is in the timing of the documentation such that if there is a medical intervention needed urgently, it can be prescribed or administered to a patient. In this case, the patient got to the hospital without any administration of medical other than painful stimuli, which have not been adequately documented. Thus, while the vital signs will offer the right information regarding what should happen to the patient, they do not provide a complete narrative of the events and circumstances that affected the patient before her presentation to the emergency department.

The problem, in this case, is the documentation of the vital signs, which does not include other aspects of the patient’s condition and therefore cannot serve as a comprehensive basis of making clinical interventions.

Analysis of the problem

            The use of vital signs for informing nursing decisions is crucial for nursing practice. It is also a consistent practice for nurses. It forms a central part of any nursing workflow when dealing with emergency department patients. The circumstances surrounding a patient’s situation are significant. The fundamental importance to the clinical outcomes of a patient starts with the way a situation is documented and the way vital signs are recognized and addressed.

A condition that was presented in the case involves monitoring of the patient in an intensive care unit to find out whether there are changes in vital signs and possibly verify the relevance of the indicators to the patient’s conditions. The move is useful for detecting patient deterioration. It shows that the vital signs are signposts. Also, nurses have to proceed carefully to seek restoration of health while at the same time, ensuring that no additional harm is presented to the patient (Mok, Wang, & Liaw, 2015). The vital signs are just a first indicator, and that is why the documentation of the workflow is important and should offer a better context for a patient intervention. The case offers background information about the problems at it emerged, but for a nurse responding to the emergency department, the details may not be apparent as paramedics handed over the patient to the department. Thus, there can be incomplete and infrequent monitoring of the patient, when a nurse only settles on the vital signs as indicators of what ought to happen next (James, Butler-Williams, Hunt, & Cox, 2010).

Problem solving

The early warning or scoring system and critical outreach teams that exist in today’s clinical situations in hospitals arise because of limitations in recognizing or acting on the deterioration of patients. When patients’ condition deteriorates when they are under care, it is possible that the mechanisms implemented for their care are ineffective (Odell, Victor, & Oliver, 2009). Finding out whether the systems are indeed ineffective may take time and would require different approaches for different patients. Nevertheless, responding to each patient case uniquely can be a way to ease the burden for nurses, allowing them to handle cases according to opportunities presented and according to the available information. Rather than affix a solution based on standard practice, there should be leeway in the way the nurse comes up with the solution, considering more than the vital signs. The nurse should look at the documentation of vital signs and the surrounding circumstances of the patient then make an informed decision. They have also to consider their experience and the additional protocols by their caregiving facility as well as patient’s family wishes (Johnstone, 2009). Care is provided in a holistic way, and a robotic response to vital signs does not offer sufficient avenue for addressing unique patient needs (De Meester, Bogaert, Clarke, & Bossaert, 2013).

Evaluation

When there is an increase in documentation regarding a patient’s conditions, experts are less likely to designate a case as potentially preventable. They make decisions according to the richness of the information present. Documentation ensures that they are making decisions and verdicts on health interventions from a more accurate perspective than when it is not present. Vital signs are part of the documentation, but they are not the complete source of information for useful decision making on patient outcome. They are static, while what is more important is a continuous narrative of weak performance to show improvement or deterioration. In fact, renewed attention to accurate recording, documentation, and interpretation of vital signs was identified at the right recommendation for practice in hospital nursing (De Meester, Bogaert, Clarke, & Bossaert, 2013). A weakness with this approach on relying on comprehensive documentation to make decisions is that the comprehensiveness may not be timely. For example, for the present case, the woman’s documentation could arise after she is taken to the intensive care unit. The arising information could show that she is deteriorating and upon inquiry, it may be revealed that she has had other medications and medical interventions that could have accelerated her emergency situation. The detail in the documentation of the information alongside the vital signs may cost her life or make the recovery incomplete. Thus, focusing only on a comprehensive documentation presents new weaknesses of timeliness to the nursing intervention (Jonsson, Jonsdottir, Moller, & Baldursdottir, 2011).

If one is documenting but does not understand the need for documentation other than to comply with policies and work procedures, there is the challenge of the data collected being ineffective. For example, just having vital signs as indicators of patient’s wellbeing offers limited information for addressing specific patient needs (Dahnke & Dreher, 2011). If the reaction of the patient is not taken into account, for example, then one loses the ability to think about conditions that would cause the patient to express verbally a wish to die (Dart, 2011). It is not a vital sign, but it is critical to the determination of the right approach to take for the patient, after the emergency department (Glembocki & Fitzpatrick, 2013). Thus, merely advocating for timely documentation as part of the nursing workflow leaves out a major area that would inform better nursing responses (Hardy, Titchen, Manley, & McCormack, 2009).

Synthesis

The handover structures at the emergency department may not be effective at ensuring that there is adequate continuity of nursing care. Many nurses in the department handling emergencies will see the handover as specific for patients they care about, and such handover happens at the bedside (Klim, Kelly, Kerr, Wood, & McCann, 2013). It is a structured process that will contain key patient elements like details, problem presentation, treatment, plan, observation by nurses and other relevant elements. However, timing the handover to make room for any additional intervention for the next nurse or physician is essential to improving patient outcomes (McKay, et al., 2013). Thus, to improve the documentation solutions presented in this case, there is a need to ensure that handover does not just happen at the transfer of the patient from paramedics to the emergency department (Holly, Salmond, & Saimbert, 2012). The documentation should be continuous from the first response so that successive nurse attendants to the patient have sufficient room to act and hinder further deterioration of the patient’s health. Early and timely comprehensive documentation also serves as learning resources for nurses to verifying whether the application of best practices for patient care is yielding preferred outcomes (Gerdtz, et al., 2013).

The recognition of the physiological changes that patients encounter, which are key factors leading to critical care admission, happens through nursing surveillance. Another notable factor is that patient experience deterioration rapidly, but 24 hours before that, they undergo a decline. During the decline phase, nursing surveillance plays the role of collecting, analyzing and interpreting information about the patient. The monitoring and evaluation process allows nurses to act on emerging indicators as the patient’s status changes. While this is the required approach, the adequacy of the surveillance will affect the outcomes. If there is a lack of information, then the outcomes from the surveillance will be inferior, and the recognition of the deteriorating vital signs might happen late (Fasolino & Verdin, 2015).

The proposed solution can be improved by having nurses and other caregivers and responders to emergency situations understand the importance of timely documentation. By knowing the role, they play for the completion of the care process for the patient; the responsible parties should have the right attitude for documenting patient conditions including vital signs in a timely way. They would not only consider what the basic threshold for reporting is, but also consider the unique insights of a case and include them in the documentation. In the case presented for this essay, the solution can be improved by querying details of the patient and including them to the report on vital signs to aid the response by other nurses in the intensive care unit when the patient will be transferred to (Melnyk & Fineout-Overholt, 2011).

Reflection

In completing the assignment, there was a need to consider the situation based on the problem presented and then selected one aspect that is worth addressing. The case offers multiple problems, but the chosen problems appeared like one that would affect the individual case outcomes while also offering sustainable solutions that nurses could apply to future problems. In thinking critically, the possibility of more than one problem and solution emerged. Thus, prioritization based on the case, and on information already at hand became important. At the same time, it was apparent that thinking critically about the problem also raises other problems seeking solutions. For example, focusing on the documentation of vital signs as a matter in the main case, also presented a realization that the manner of looking at the problem could be a problem in itself. Also, the solution offered was not absolute, and it needed further modification to strengthen its sustainability.

When undertaking the same assignment in future, it would be necessary first to outline more than one problem and then allocate solutions to the problems before prioritizing them based on an ideal outcome given the cases’ circumstance. Although the case is concentrating on nursing perspectives, it may be necessary to bring up other medical perspectives and the societal issues affecting the case. The outcome would be a better understanding of the role that nurses play in patient outcomes both from a literature review perspective and from a pragmatic approach perspective. When reviewing the case in future, it would also be important to consider implications for the solution suggested to the case from a nurse who happens also to handle other similar cases (Levin & Feldman, 2012).

 

 

 

References

Dahnke, M. D., & Dreher, H. M. (2011). Philosophy of science for nursing practice: concepts and application. New York, NY: Springer.

Dart, M. A. (2011). Motivational interviewing in nursing practice: empowering the patient. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

De Meester, K., Bogaert, P. V., Clarke, S. P., & Bossaert, L. (2013). In-hospitality mortality after serious adverse events on medical and surgical nursing units: A mixed methods study. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 22, 2308-2317.

Fasolino, T., & Verdin, T. (2015). Nursing surveillance and physiological signs of deterioration. Medsurg Nursing, 24(6), 397-402.

Gerdtz, M. F., R, W., Vassiliou, T., Garbutt, B., Prematunga, R., & Virtue, E. (2013). Evaluation of a multifaceted intervention on documentation of vital signs at triage: a before-and-after study. Emergency Medicine Australasia: EMA, 25(6), 580-587.

Glembocki, M. M., & Fitzpatrick, J. J. (2013). Advancing professional nursing practice: relationship-based care and the ANA standards of professional nursing practice. Minneapolis: Creative Health Care Management.

Hardy, S., Titchen, A., Manley, K., & McCormack, B. (2009). Revealing nursing expertise through practitioner inquiry. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

Holly, C., Salmond, S. W., & Saimbert, M. (2012). Comprehensive systematic review for advanced nursing practice. New York: Springer.

James, J., Butler-Williams, C., Hunt, J., & Cox, H. (2010). Vital signs for vital people: An exploratory study into the role of the Healthcare Assistant in recognising, recording and responding to the acutely ill patient in the general ward setting. Journal of Nursing Management, 18, 548-555.

Johnstone, M.-J. (2009). Moral theory and the ethical practice of nursing. In Bioethics: A Nursing Perspective (5th ed., pp. 35-70). Chatswood, NSW: Elseview.

Jonsson, T., Jonsdottir, H., Moller, A. D., & Baldursdottir, L. (2011). Nursing documentation prior to emergency admissions to the intensive care unit. BACCN Nursing in Critical Care, 16(4), 164-169.

Kaddoura, M. (2013). New graduate nurses’ perceived definition of critical thinking during their first nursing experience. Educational Research Quarterly, 36(3), 3-21.

Klim, S., Kelly, A.-M., Kerr, D., Wood, S., & McCann, T. (2013). Developing a framework for nursing handover in the emergency department: An individualised and systematic approach. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 22, 2233-2243.

Levin, R., & Feldman, H. R. (2012). Teaching evidence-based practice in nursing. New York: Springer.

McKay, H., Mitchell, I. A., Sinn, K., Mugridge, H., Lafferty, T., Van Leuvan, C., . . . Abdel-Latif, M. E. (2013). Effect of a multifaceted intervention on documentation of vital signs and staff communication regarding deteriorating paediatric patients. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 49(1), 48-55.

Melnyk, B. M., & Fineout-Overholt, E. (2011). Evidence-based practice in nursing & healthcare : a guide to best practice. Philadelphia : Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Mok, W. Q., Wang, W., & Liaw, S. Y. (2015). Vital signs monitoring to detect patient deteroriation: An integrative literature review. Journal of Nursing Interventions, 21(Suppl. 2), 91-98.

Odell, M., Victor, C., & Oliver, D. (2009). Nurses’ role in detecting deterioration in ward patients: Systematic literature review. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 65(10), 19992-2006.

Yeung, M. S., Lapinsky, S. E., Granton, J. T., Doran, D. M., & Cafazzo, J. A. (2012). Examining nursing vital signs documentation workflow: Barriers and opportunities in general internal medicine units. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 21, 975-982.

 

Plan for Conducting Investigations

A plan to conduct investigations to obtain any possible pieces of evidence against Mr. Zdravko and MacGregor and to trace and arrest individuals involved in the crime. Covert intrusive surveillance will be used. Also, the investigation must be by the law to not compromise the Human Rights of Mr. Zdravko and MacGregor.

Potential Criminal Offenses

  1. Both Mr. Zdravko and MacGregor will be subjected to the illegal access of various computer networks or websites[1].
  2. Both Mr. Zdravko and MacGregor will be subjected to human trafficking[2] with given sentence of 14 years incarceration and fraud with given sentence of 10 years in prison[3].

Methods to Counter Crime

  1. Communication Interception
  • Authorization for communication interception is legal following the RIPA[4]. This will allow us to collect information through phone call records and mobile internet usage via their mobile networks. This may give information regarding the internal sabotage of Mr. Zdravko with the Bennington family or evidence of association of Mr. MacGregor and Mr. Zdravko. Also, their Internet Service Provider (ISP) can provide us their web history and communications among the connected persons.
  1. Intrusive Covert Surveillance
  • The best surveillance method, in this case, is intrusive covert The authority is granted to us by our chief officer[5]. This method gathers information secretly and more efficiently than direct surveillance. This method allows us to install devices such as video cameras to detect and prevent Mr. Zdravko and Mr. MacGregor from doing their unlawful business.
  1. Property Interference

–     In most cases, the “owner” will not allow us to put the device.   However, the law validates us to put the device[6].

Search Warrant

Through the significant investigations, a search warrant will be issued to the police officers to enter the premises of the suspect to search for any possible evidence such as documents, items, or even additional information that can be used against the suspects[7]. The authority to conduct the search warrant is granted by the law[8].

Measures to Consider

  • The crime must be proven serious accompanied with substantial evidence to begin the crime investigation. Also, in any cases, it must be by the law. Otherwise, the evidence or any proofs will be judged as unfair and will not be recognized as truth[9].
  • The surveillance team must monitor the suspects, without being noticed.
  • The warrant must also include all the possible requirements to do such operation to refrain the suspects to refuse the said operation. Also, their home place must be searched to make sure that the above evidence was not stored in their homes along with their unwittingly elder parents.

Human Rights

  • The communication interception and property interference cross-lined the privacy contrary to Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). However, these acts are permissible whenever it is related to national security[10]. In this case, Mr. Zdravko and Mr. MacGregor are suspected of committing serious crimes. Thus, these interferences are allowed under national security and are significantly proportionate.

Executive Summary

  • Illegal activities that are suspected of committing a serious crime, surveillance and interception of communication are advised to be done first in gathering evidence. Association, phone call records, exchange of emails, and other activities could be traced without alerting the suspects. Although interferences are against the law, it is permissible with proper authorizations that are also by the law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Computer Misuse Act 1990.

European Convention of Human Rights 1950.

Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.

Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) 2000.

Sexual Offences Act 2003.

 

 

 

[1] The offences are related to the use of restricted computer networks without lawful permission and for the commission of other indictable offences, as per the Computer Misuse Act (CMA) 1990, ss. 1-2.

[2] Sexual Offences Act 2000, ss.57-59A

[3] Fraud Act 2006, s.1 (3),

[4] Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) 2000, s.1 (1).

[5] A senior authorising officer or the Secretary of State may only grant the authorisation

[6] Authorisation is lawful if the surveillance is necessary for the purpose of preventing or detecting serious crime: RIPA s.32 (3)(b).

[7] Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984, s.8.

[8] PACE s.8(3)

[9] PACE s.78

[10] ECHR, Article 8(2)