How to Improve on Saving Fuel Costs

How to Improve on Saving Fuel Costs

A company may incur high costs due to the transport of goods and services from the warehouses to the dealers or consumers. There are various strategies in supply chain management, which are essential to cut down the transport cost. Optimizing the operational efficiency of the transport logistics in the supply chain can help a business to reduce considerable expenses. Fuel costs notably contribute to increased expenses in a supply chain operation (A & A Customs Brokers, 2017). Thus, a business should strive to reduce the consumption of fuel during transportation processes. One of the methods of reducing fuel cost is by outsourcing outbound logistics. Another appropriate way of reducing the cost of fuel includes consolidation of the shipments. Combining shipments helps the firm to reduce fuel consumption and transport costs. The paper discusses the methods of saving fuel costs in transport logistics.

Outsourcing Transport

Small firms can save costs by outsourcing transport. Sometimes, it may be costly for a firm to invest in the transport sector because buying as well as maintaining the trucks and other carriers can consume significant resources. Outsourcing the transport gives a firm a highly variable cost structure, which grants it flexibility in its operation (CSCMP, n.d.). The transport of the goods, such as those requiring excessive care, may require specialized equipment, which may be costly to the manufacturing company. In furtherance, the costs can increase if the transport must be done more frequently.

It would be a nice idea to outsource the transport from a supplier who specializes in the transport field. Furthermore, outsourcing can be necessary because transport services may not be the core competency for a smaller company. Other factors such as government regulations can increase the cost of transport. Notably, compliance checks and document processing combined with the cost of fuel can result in increased transport expenses. Thus, Outsourcing may help a company avoid the costs.

Proper Planning for the Customer Care Services

The customer services may have a notable impact on the money that a company spends on transport. Some companies offer free delivery of products to customers in order to win their loyalty. Nevertheless, transportation costs may increase if a firm decides to offer free delivery services to every consumer. A firm may decide to give a particular customer transport services if he or she purchases goods worth certain value or weight. Alternatively, a company may deliver goods to South on Monday, to North on Tuesday, and to the West on Thursday. The step would help a company to save money by cutting “unnecessary servicing” to the clients. Thus, transport planning is an essential way of reducing the expenses on the fuel. Nevertheless, a company should proceed with caution because the consumers are sensitive to shipping costs being incorporated in their bill.

Appropriate Design of the Supply Chain Network

An organization can keep the costs down by reducing the use of the trucks in the supply chain. The management should design the supply chain in a manner that minimizes product handing, especially through transportation. Every time the products are moved from the warehouse to the suppliers or the customers, the cost of transport usually increases. The design of the supply chain should be in a way that it allows minimal handling, reduces the stock points and facilitates effective use of distribution points. The above measure results on low distribution costs, which in turn cut down the fuel expense.

The design of the supply chain network should consider the inbound and outbound logistics. Proper control of the routing during the inbound and outbound logistics can play a crucial role in the reduction of fuel costs. The company should regulate carrier and the routing for inbound freights. The shipping contracts during the outbound logistics should be given to a third party. The company may decide to control the transport logistics, in part, and leave the other part to the third party.

Supply Chain Visibility and Technology

Management should ensure visibility of the outbound logistics on the supply chain in order to promote effective management. The mismanagement of logistics can lead to additional expenses for a company. Visibility of the supply chain ensures that the top executives have better insight into the routing. The management should be in a position to determine the distance traveled and routes covered. It can establish a tracking software in order to determine the overall freight distances.

Leveraging technology in Transport Management Systems (TMS) helps a business to have control over its operations. The management can access if the vendors have selected a relatively expensive means of transport or an inappropriate routing for a particular shipment (Ascent Global Logistics, 2017). Thus, the TMS helps to ensure the effectiveness and accountability of the vendors. Regulating the vendors helps save a lot of fuel, and consequently, the transport cost.

Consolidated Shipments

It is straight forward that transporting cargo in full truckload (FCL) is cost-saving compared to the less than truckload (LCL). A firm will make many shipments using LCL compared to FCL. Thus, the use of FCL results in reduced shipments and this reduces the cost of fuel. It is essential to define the recommended minimum capacity for vendor goods. The firm may decide to consolidate the shipments in order to reduce fuel consumption when transporting the goods. For instance, a company may combine multiple shipments from several suppliers with the same destination to a single shipment. Thus, the firm will not have to transport the goods to each supplier at a time. Sometime, the company may purchase LCL from a particular supplier. It can be a good idea to collaborate with another company in order to combine the shipments and share the costs of fuel.

Embracing an Integrated Platform

The manager of a small company may save the cost of logistics if he or she decides to integrate the firm’s operations into a single unit. The manager should ensure that other stakeholders including the customers, dealers, and suppliers could access services and goods at that point. Failure to do this, a company may end up duplicating transport activities across different operations. The above step also increases the distance that the carriers have to cover to deliver the services. The duplication of the transport efforts would mean increased fuel expenses for a business.

Conclusion

Transport logistics, especially fuel consumption, contributes to the supply chain costs. Small firms should take various measure in order to cut down the cost of fuel in transport logistics. Outsourcing transport services can help a firm to reduce the cost of transport since it will not spend any funds on the fuel. A firm needs also to consolidate its shipments to reduce the distance traveled, and ultimately, the cost of fuel. Having visibility of the whole supply chain helps the firm to monitor the routing of the vendor and prevent incorrect choices.

References

A & A Customs Brokers. (2017). Strategies for Reducing Logistics and Supply Chain Costs. Retrieved from https://www.aacb.com/reducing-logistics-costs-supply-chain-costs/

Ascent Global Logistics. (2017). 3 Tips to Reduce Inbound Logistics Costs. Retrieved from http://blog.ascentgl.com/3-tips-to-reduce-inbound-logistics-costs

CSCMP. (n.d.). 7 Ways Everyone Can Cut Supply Chain Costs. Retrieved from https://www.supplychainquarterly.com/topics/Strategy/scq201102seven/

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Optimizing logistics efficiency and expanding operations: case study of Lineja Transport Corporation

Optimizing logistics efficiency and expanding operations: case study of Lineja Transport Corporation

Introduction

The Lineja Company is one of the largest logistics operators in Lithuania. As part of the company mission and vision, the company is always looking for new ways to expand their service quality, accessibility and flexibility for better competitive advantage (Lineja Transport, 2018). The company is committed towards achieving growth and expansion in other European regions and beyond. The purpose of this report is to evaluate some of the expansion possibilities for Lineja Company and an analysis of how the company can optimize their logistics efficiency.

Company Analysis

Lineja Transport Limited began their logistics operations in 2011 by Gediminas Norkus, Vytautas Gliaubicas and Jurgita Norkiene. The company was able to position itself as a consumer oriented, accountable and organized company which made market penetration much easier. The cargo and freight transportation is mainly land transport with destinations being: Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Western Europe. The company is founded on the values of quality customer service, professionalism, team work, knowledge, quality, communication and integrity. The current number of employees is thirty.

SWOT analysis

Strengths

  • Expanding transport industry that grew by 12% in 2017 alone.
  • Pattern of urban development creating more demand for logistic services (Ministry of Transport and Communications, 2018).
  • Offer transport for full loads, partial loads, bulk loads and oversized cargo (Lineja Transport, 2018)
  • Investments in up to date trucks
  • Well developed road networks in Lithuania
  • High level quality public transport network
  • Adherence to the Lithuania emissions legislations
  • Use of bio fuels (Lineja Transport, 2018)
Weaknesses

  • Lack of access to sea
  • Very little workers – the company has 30 workers while competitor company employ over 50 workers (Lineja Transport, 2018)
  • High unitary costs
  • Lack of consistent systematic and scientific planning
Opportunities

  • Expansion into new markets
  • Develop potential for intermodal logistics
  • Potential to increase efficiency
  • Potential for hybrid vehicles
Threats

  • Outdated infrastructure
  • Volatile fuel prices
  • Competition from companies like Bastata
  • Tariff and non-tariff barriers create obstacles for international expansion (Nežerenko & Koppel, 2017)
  • Cold weather limits navigation
  • Changing consumer demands
  • Economic shocks

 

Value chain analysis

The value chain reflects the operations of the business. The basic operations of the value chain include: “internal logistics, production and management, external logistics and marketing”. These processes mainly include warehousing, transport and distribution, packing, loading and offloading and information management (Bozarth & Handfield, 2019). The smaller activities in the value chain include: the system design, communication, coordination of activities and inventory visibility. A comprehensive value chain analysis of the logistics company can be shown by the figure below:

Source: Zhou (2013)

Porter five generic strategy analyses

A strategy guides organizations to superior market performance. The five generic strategies established by Michael Porter helps to understand the business environment in order to help develop a strategy that is relevant to a company’s needed to become competitive. The competitive environment of Lineja can be depicted by five competitive forces:

Entry of new competitors – the Lithuanian cargo transportation industry is open for entry to any new investor, making competition from new entrants a major threat to Lineja. However, the high capital investment required to establish a logistics company discourages the entry of too many participants into the market. The company has also established itself as a quality and consumer oriented company which has led to a lot of brand loyalty.

Threat of substitutes – There is a low threat of substitutes due to the unique characteristics of road transport. The buyer propensity to substitute is low given that some of the goods are too bulky and expensive to transport by air. Air transport is not accessible to all consumers making it reasonable for most logistics suppliers to go for land transport. Ship transport is slow and does not offer the level of flexibility, accessibility and convenience offered by the land transport modes and is only preferred for international transport (Ministry of Transport and Communication, 2018). Railway transport on the other hand is underdeveloped and very outdated and is not a preferred mode of transport for most consumers.

Bargaining power of buyers

The bargaining power of buyer is high due to the large number of operators. Consumers are very vigilant of timely delivery, customer service and level of professionalism which warrants logistics companies to mould their transport models to suit consumer needs (Mačiulis Jakubauskas 2007).

Bargaining power of suppliers

Suppliers do not have a high bargaining power since they are considered partners to the cargo transportation. The logistics industry of Lithuania is based on collaboration with suppliers, making their bargaining power low.

Rivalry among existing competitors- The high capital investment required to establish and run a logistics company discourages a lot of investment, making competition among operators low. Currently, the main competitor for Lineja is Balstata Transport Company.

Possibilities for expansion of Lineja transports

According to the Ministry of Transport and Communication (2018), the European logistics market has grown tremendously due to increased exportation and favorable terms of trade between European Union countries and other states. The Lithuanian transport services grew in response to increasing export demand to Northern and Western Europe countries. The domestic land cargo transportation grew by 13.4%, generating a gross value added rate of 12%. Lithuania presents a desirable environment for expansion, given that the country is crossed by two European Transport corridors that make it possible for logistics companies to take advantage of trade between European countries and Asia. As a result of the expansion, Lineja Transport is currently exposed to expansion opportunities in desirable markets such as Denmark, Germany, France and Russia. The existing transport network provides possible routes for freights movements. The demand for transport services in these countries based on statistics released by the Ministry of Transport and Communication (2018) grew by 40% in 2017. Denmark, Germany and France are well developed countries with increasing industrialization, population and market demand, which makes reliable cargo transportation an important element of economic growth and development. Providing cross-border road transport will be critical in supplementing the free movement of goods from one economic power house to another. To do so, it will be important for Lineja to increase their potential for intermodal logistics. Intermodal logistics refers to an approach of moving cargo that involves more than one kind of transportation. Intermodal logistics allows a company to use special types of containers to move their goods from trucks to shop or rail without repacking. The company should invest in their own individual intermodal service networks or collaborate with intermodal logistics operators to ensure that consumer goods are professionally handled and delivered as required.

Russia presents a viable expansion opportunity for Lineja given the strategic location. Russia is one of the countries neighboring Lithuania. Russia is the fourth largest trading partner of the European Union in both export and import activities. Russia exports energy products ranging from gasoline, diesel fuel, crude oil and coal. Russia also exports steel, copper, wood, ammonium and fertilizers into the E.U. The EU is Russia largest trading partner with 90% of the imports to Russia being manufactured goods (Visenescu, 2018). Lithuania already has a transport network connecting the country to Russia due to the Pan-European corridor, North-south corridor as well as the Trans-Siberian railway and the Pan-European corridor IX. Lithuanian transport links have already been using the Pan-European transport corridor IX to get cargo to and from Russia (Povilanskas et al, 2015). These routes provide strategic opportunity for Lineja Transports to facilitate the ongoing trade between the EU and Russia by allowing professional and reliable multimodal transport of cargo between the two destinations. The increasing freight flows from Russia to the Baltic ports will be a lucrative opportunity for Lineja in future if they decide to expand operations to cover Russian foreign trade.

The transport flows extend accessibility to Germany, Sweden and Denmark also presenting an expansion possibility for Lineja Transport. The motorways of the Baltic sea provide trans-European networks that help provide accessibility to the four countries. The West- East corridor II, the Trans-Siberian railway and the North- South corridor links Lithuania to the rest of the Eurasian plate (Povilanskas et al, 2015). Over the last five years, the German government has been involved in various initiatives towards improving road safety, accessibility and convenience. Due to the strategic location of Lineja in Lithuania and the well established reputation of the company, the growth in the German transport system presents a strategic opportunity for Lineja to provide value added logistic services between Lithuania and Germany (Nežerenko & Koppel 2017). Lineja transport is already operating in areas like Poland and Latvia, which like German have direct rail road’s to Lithuania. Germany is also connected through a port terminal to Lithuania, which would make it possible for Lineja to access the German market.

Denmark constituted the second largest export market in 2016, also making it a strategic possibility for the expanded operations by Lineja. The figure below shows Denmark as the second leading export market from Russia, proving the increasing demand for freight services in Denmark.

Source: Nežerenko & Koppel (2017).

In 2014, Denmark generated revenue worth 446.2 million Euros from export trade. The export of transport services was 12.4% and was a 10% increase from the previous year demand for export transport services (Nežerenko & Koppel, 2017). The increasing demand presents Denmark as a viable option for Lineja to expand and increase their consumer service.

Sweden business and export needs have also been increasing rapidly, presenting a viable opportunity for Lineja to expand their market operations. In 2017, Sweden experienced a significant demand increase in E-Commerce which made the demand for logistics space high. The E-commerce industry is expected to grow by a further 20% every year, which will make demand for international logistics highly important (Nežerenko & Koppel 2017). The Swedish and Lithuanian governments have transport between the two countries possible by building a terminal connecting the Lithuanian and Swedish ports (Olsson, 2015). The road network was also developed such that it takes a total of 38 hours and 16 minutes for a truck to move across from Lithuania to Sweden.

How Lineja Transport can optimize their level of logistics efficiency

Increasing the level of efficiency at Lineja is based on five main areas of performance as shown in the balanced score card below

Areas of increasing efficiency based on the balanced score card approach
Financial perspective
  • Increase profitability and return on investment
Internal Operations perspective
  • Enhance the efficiency of processes and increase productive capacity
Customer perspective
  • Enhance the quality of logistics service and customer satisfaction
Innovation and learning perspective
  • Research and development
  • Employee training
  • Leadership development

To increase financial revenue and financial effectiveness, the organization must be willing to invest in viable business expansion options. To increase revenue, the company should implement an expanded transport system that will comprise of various transport nodes, namely: sea, inland ports, road and rail (Minsitry of Transport and Communication, 2010). By integrating all transport sectors either through direct control or outsourcing of intermodal services, the company will create new possibilities for freight mobility and customs services, thus expanding their revenue potential. The logistics industry of Lithuania is currently developing logistic centers known as “freight villages” (Nežerenko & Koppel, 2017). The freight villages are a new generation of logistic centers designed to integrate an organizations intermodal transport strategy. The freight villages are located in Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Italy, which will also allow Lineja to successfully establish their operations in these regions. The new generation logistic centers stimulate intermodal transport processes by encouraging the use of recent innovations of logistics and transport. The modern logistic systems also help to create efficiency by increasing the operational capacity of logistic companies (Ministry of Transport and Communication, 2010). The freight village system also encourages the use of door-to-door service deliver and manufacturer-consumer direct delivery to help eliminate the need for warehousing. This helps to eliminate all the intermediary costs associated with warehousing for more profitability.

Improving the internal operations also presents a strategic opportunity for increasing the efficiency of logistics in the company. Internal operations include the role of management, information management, risk management, quality assurance and effective monitoring processes. The management of Lineja has an important role to play to ensure that the business environment is favorable for improved performance. The management must be willing to provide the resources and information required for more coordinated and efficient performance in timely and relevant manner (Nežerenko & Koppel 2017). The management must also be willing to set the right organizational policies and procedural standards in consistence with industry standards, since this will help all the employees to develop an organizational culture of efficient operation and quality performance (Ministry of Transport and Communication, 2010). The right policies and procedures relate to audit processes that ensure internal organizational effectiveness, ethical standards of professional conduct as well as the role played by leadership in shaping better productivity among employees.

The management should also establish coherent and efficient information management system to support decision making, communication and safety of information. According to Zhou (2013), logistics companies should promote better internal processes by having a well integrated information infrastructure. The information infrastructure refers to “an integrated aggregate of informatics and communication means, standards, technical regulations and organizational procedures that enables electronic accumulation of major information resources of the transport system, their processing in a coordinated way and, with the help of computer communication means, immediate provision of reliable summarized information of different nature, form and purpose, which is necessary for technological activities of companies”( BV, 2016). The information infrastructure will allow for more coordinated movement of freights and customer communication. An efficient logistics system should ensure that an organization is able to track movement of cargo, track driver’s behavior and also maintain communication with the intended consumer. The information infrastructure should be designed to track the performance of all systems and processes to ensure that all system elements have the desired technical abilities for better information management (Ministry of Transport and Communication, 2010).

Innovation and learning are very important in creating a favorable logistics environment and ensuring increased customer satisfaction. The EU union recently introduced a transport policy aimed at making roads more safe, convenient and fluent in terms of traffic flow. Given that the TransEuropean transport network will continue to grow and expand, it is important that Lineja invests in intelligent transport systems. Intelligent transport systems include the use of hybrid trucks, bio fuels and use of renewable energy in management operations. The intelligent transport systems are more integrated and coordinated to provide fuel efficiency and cost minimization which will allow the company to build on economies of scale (Nežerenko & Koppel 2017). The intelligent transport systems are also characterized by larger trucks that will allow larger cargo volumes. Larger cargo volumes per truck will enhance the operational capacity and allow for fuel efficiency by allowing an increase in the amount of goods carried per trip. An important aspect of modernization and improvement of the transport system must be complemented by employee training and development (Zhou, 2013). To achieve efficient logistics, it is important to offer training and development to the drivers and supporting staff to ensure the supply chain is better coordinated. Employee training and development will build employee awareness of the specific technical skills required to run the intelligent transport systems and also build their awareness of the legal, social and environmental considerations involved in the logistics process. Employee training will not only help to build employee knowledge but also help to build favorable job characteristics required for employees to perform efficiently. Favorable job characteristics include job involvement, job satisfaction and organizational commitment, all which motivate an employee towards developing accountability and professionalism towards their job (Olsson, 2015). The training and development of employees should be continuous and relevant to meet employee learning needs for more consistent performance and adaptation to industry dynamics.

Lineja should be willing to collaborate with external stakeholders to ensure strong establishment of operations. Partnerships and alliances with strategic players in the transport industry will ensure sharing of information, resource and markets for better expansion (Lineja Transport, 2018). Expansion of business operations can be a resource intensive and complex process that may lead an organization to challenges. Selecting a strategic partner to help with various resources and information will ensure a smoother transition of the business model.

Conclusion

The expanding European and Russian market present a lot of potential for logistic companies. The Lithuanian transport services grew in response to increasing export demand to Northern and Western Europe countries. Lineja is therefore in a more strategic position to provide logistics services to countries like Germany, Denmark, Russia and Sweden. Providing cross-border road transport will be critical in supplementing the free movement of goods from one economic power house to another. To do so, it will be important for Lineja to increase their potential for intermodal logistics, the internal environment effectiveness, innovation and learning as well as customer service quality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Aidas Vasilis Vasiliauskas & Jurgita Barysiene (2008) Analysis of lithuanian transport sector possibilities in the context of europeanasian trade relations, Transport, 23:1, 21-25, DOI: 10.3846/1648-4142.2008.23.21-25

Bazaras, D., & Palšaitis, R. (2017). Logistics Situation in Lithuania–Changes During 10 Years. Procedia Engineering, 187, 726-732.

Bazaras, D., Yatskiv, I., Mačiulis, A., & Palšaitis, R. (2015). Analysis of common governance transport system development possibilities in the East-West transport corridor. Transport and Telecommunication Journal, 16(1), 31-39.

Bozarth, C. C., & Handfield, R. B. (2019). OPERATIONS AND SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT.

BV, E. N. (2016). Study on Strategic Evaluation on Transport Investment Priorities under Structural and Cohesion funds for the Programming Period 2007-2013. Synthesis Report. European Commission.

Nežerenko, O., & Koppel, O. (2017). The Baltic Sea Macro-Regional Transport Cluster as an Element of the Silk Road Economic Bel. Croatian International Relations Review23(78), 77-95.

Olsson, A. (2015). Swedish Stories of the Neighbour Across the Baltic Sea: A Narrative Media Analysis of Swedish Reporting on Lithuania.

Ministry of Transport and Communication (2010) ON THE APPROVAL OF LONG-TERM (UNTIL 2025) DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY OF THE LITHUANIAN TRANSPORT SYSTEM , Retrieved from: http://www.transport-research.info/sites/default/files/project/documents/20150807_140932_12902__263_Strategy_E.ppdf

Ministry of Transport and Communication (2018) Year 2017, Record for the Lithunian transport sector Long-term (until 2025) development strategy of the Lithunian transport system.

Palsaitis, R., & Ledauskaite, K. (2008, May). Determining of effectiveness of using information technologies in Lithuanian transport companies. In 5th International Scientific Conference. Business and Management 2008. Conference Proceedings (pp. 240-242).

Povilanskas, R., Armaitiene, A., Jones, E., Valtas, G., & Jurkus, E. (2015). Third-country tourists on the ferries linking Germany with Lithuania. Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism15(4), 327-340.

Vasiliauskas, A. V., & Barysiene, J. (2008). Analysis of Lithuanian transport sector possibilities in the context of EuropeanAsian trade relations. Transport23(1), 21-25.

Visenescu, R. S. (2018). Russian-ASEAN cooperation in the natural gas sector. Lessons from the Russian-Vietnamese relation. Energy Policy119, 515-517.

Zhou, X. (2013), Research on Logistics Value Chain Analysis and Competitiveness Construction for Express Enterprises, Retrieved from: https://file.scirp.org/pdf/AJIBM_2013041710325632.pdf

 

Ending Implicit Bias in Educators through Job Embedded Professional Development

Introduction

            Education is a crafted profession developed on experimental knowledge for the students to pursue their future goals. The facilitators professional behavior is largely determined by the key experiences that teachers have on curriculum and specified careers. An inherent bias has always affected the future of job professional development due to inadequate preparation of educators to undertake their core duties (Nance, 2016). The proficient of most of educators is well understood when conceived out of long service in learning and offering education at different levels. Notably, implicit bias in learning refers to the stereotypes, unconscious attitudes, and reactions that influence understanding and certain behaviors.

For the educators in the higher education levels, the aspect is rooted on the socioeconomic bias towards certain group of students. The approach also goes beyond to include explicit bias where facilitators clearly have exclusion attitudes towards students from a certain ethnic group making it hard for them to pursue their professions. In most incidents that bias has come out clearly, instructors hold some assumptions about student’s credibility on learning behavior and their capability to attain academic success. Haynes (2018) adds that the implicit bias expressed by educators ties incapability of the students to professionally have breakthroughs in future careers based on personal identity and background. These assumptions have a negative impact on professional development with student’s growth impended and their dreams of becoming professionals shuttered.

The aspect of stereotyping by instructors has grown to one of challenges that professional development in a contemporary teaching environment is facing. For instance, implicit bias reveals instructions assumption that student from certain background seek help when struggling academically which in really sense does not apply in various occasions (King, 2015). However, with the need end this bias and promote professional development, educators have widely considered new approach on matters of academics. Assessment of implicit bias is taking course with instructors reviewing how relevant they are in terms of curriculum delivery to their students.

Reflective teaching has also proved vital with educators offering both formal and informal strategies that accommodates uniqueness of students habits to give them a chance to pursue their dream careers. More importantly, cultural inclusivity is becoming a long-lasting solution to the implicit bias in professional development with inclusive classroom climate addressing any potential prejudice. The proposed study will account for implicit bias that for decades has rocked the academic sector and impact it has on professional development. Further, the study will seek to avail the most appropriate solution to the bias and best ways to sustain job embedded professional development.

Background of the Study

            Implicit bias that most educators depict in their academic profession is self-steered in that they can have much control of it for the benefit of the leaners. As leader’s educators are facing low students’ achievement and engagement. The negative assumption on what certain group of students is capable of achieving lowers their morale and interest in preparation to achieve professional development. A clear evidence from previous studies is that successful school systems have always developed job embedded proficient development curriculum. Battey and Leyva (2018) argues that the restructuring to accommodate the professional development has a wider benefit such as improving students’ achievement and making an institution a clear professional hub for future expertise across different professions.

That notwithstanding, bias and absence of professional development in schools creates a compelling need to restructure existing programs to accommodate changes that promote specialized learning. The aspired changes targets have a link to both structural and cultural orientations that educators enforce in their teachings not only to create equity but also promote leadership. The prejudice that educators practice emanates from the fact that some institutions lacks strict measures within their academic regulations to curb any reported unprofessional conduct against groups of students (Staats, 2016). Thus its essential for teachers to engage in professional learning and treat as a platform to all learners enjoy the outcome of a career-based education system. With the need to address myriad of problems associated with bias in educator’s approach, there is need to view the role institution have in supporting professional development.

There is need for leaders in schools to first go for what know on the problem and bringing the educators on board to discuss such concern. Further, it’s vital to restructure the institution programs if they create an avenue for educators to act out of bias and limit professional development. The aspect of restructuring takes into account integration of direct job embedded professional development to ensure that facilitators and students are part of the new program. The link that exists between professional aspect of development and school leadership ensures that improvement in current is reflected in the future aspirations of students in the corporate world. Given the importance of professional learning it’s important to review the bias that exist in whole system.

For instance, embedded professional development is more of dynamic activities that need a key interest on the learning program and the students. The educators must prove to have impartial attributes that implement professional development changes in education based on equity and capability of the students. A deeper understanding of how educators ascertain dynamism in professional development does not only reduce the implicit bias but also promote cultural shift to accommodate teaching that futuristic in nature. Though bias goes hand in hand with limiting core opportunities to development, change in school attitudes grants an opportunity for professional development to flourish towards a direction that is defined by inclusivity. The sense of urgency to end implicit bias among the educator’s prompts an immediate intervention to restructure school system to more flexible programs build on inclusive learning.

Purpose Statement

Problem

            Instructors hold different assumptions on learning behavior and capabilities that students hold on professional development. The implicit bias among the educators in many of scenarios is that they build negative attitude on the capability of students to pursue professional development programs. A wider assumption is tied to the students based on their background creating doubt on their academic capabilities. Thus an aspect of low morale among the students invades the learning environment in that students loose hope in future and see their ethnicity as a source of failure for their professional desired dreams. With implicit bias having a socioeconomic effect, the process of learning to those feeling excluded from the emended professional development may make a decision to drop their studies.

The ambitions satisfied at this level gets degraded and the whole system of learning turns to benefit a few and exclude the majority. However, an overwhelming agreement between scholars on implicit bias has restored dignity of educators and promoted impartiality. A relentless effort among most education programs has taken a strategy of restructuring most curriculum to reflect inclusive student administration. The major problem is that most educators working in unstructured programs always act out of assumptions (Gilliam, Maupin, Reyes, Accavitti, and Shic, 2016). They group students based on a perspective that seems to serve their perceptions on what professional development concerns. Thus an inbuilt believe among many instructors is that students will always seek assistance when really struggle with a certain problem. However, in most situations students struggling with issue like professional development in their studies settles to keeping silent on their problems. The bias that educators holds now creates a risk of the learners losing a golden opportunity and struggling academically to meet their life ambitions.

Purpose

            The purpose of this study is addition to existing knowledge of addressing and ending implicit bias that educators have adopted to compromise professional development. Creating a professional environment is a major breakthrough to continuously engage a specialized environment to enhance students’ knowledge and capabilities. The clear understanding of how professional culture operates in academics raise the educators’ perception from narrowed assumptions to a wider concept where they consider student capability individually. The self-assess implicit bias which involves a process of ending prejudice accounts for professional development in different ways. The proposed study will consider one of the approaches which includes reflective teaching where educators consider own pedagogical habits.

The aspect applies both formal and informal strategies meant to ensure that across the academic environment educators advocate for equity to ensure the bright and less knowledgeable students have a chance in professional development. Specifically, the study will account for culture inclusivity in that educators must consider sensitivity of each student and their legibility to undergo a similar professional development program. Inclusive classroom and culture set by the educators will be reviewed as a source of upholding diverse student sensitivity on professional development. Thus the observational protocol that educators ought to adopt needs to keep sensitivity of students on track in that the proposed professional development command diversity.

Aim and Objective

The aim of the proposed study will be to review ending of implicit bias in educators through job embedded professional development targeting district schools with children from a poor background.

            The proposed study will be guided by following aim and objectives;

  • To evaluate the effectiveness of equity and social justice in district schools
  • To investigate how superintendents combat implicit bias experienced by students from poor backgrounds
  • To assess whether equity training among the educator’s staff in district schools leads to measurable change on implicit bias
  • To review the higher expectations for students when equity and ending of bias in professional development in learning are achieved.

Research Question

The proposed study on ending implicit bias in educators through job embedded professional development will consider the following research questions;

  • To what extent can effective equity change practice of educators in learning?
  • what are necessary undertaking to end implicit bias among educators?
  • How does equity training among educators enhance change on implicit bias held by most educators?
  • To what extent does protecting students from the educators’ implicit bias affect their future learning?
  • How does applying professional development after bias redress among educators works best for them?
  • To what extent does equity training and inclusivity among the educators’ combat bias treatment for students from poor background?

Literature Review

Introduction

            Teaching marks one of the best profession that is fully committed to see all students succeed in their level of learning. Through touching lives both directly and indirect means, educators have realized that the future of any country lies on the shoulders of the youth. Thus the system of profession development needs to provide educators who have clear awareness on the potential of students to become future through examining their personal implicit bias. According to the past researches implicit bias is an automatic and unconscious in that whoever initiates them does that on a negative narrative. The bias arises as an attitude or stereotype leveled against certain ethnicities that affect educators understanding, actions they take, and decisions made.

Several conditions have connection to the implicit bias which depict individuals to rely on their unconscious system 1 to make prejudice decisions on issues connected to education. System association that most educators rely on includes ambiguous and incomplete information, time constraints, compromised cognitive control, and general fatigue. The teachers have a likelihood of undergoing the above condition with many researchers concluding that they promote the biased decisions they undertake. For the implicit bias it’s both positive and negative with everybody becoming susceptible. A largely automatic underlying process among the educators’ disposal, therefore guides individual to act out of bias in a learning environment.

Thus whatever individual undertake in the course of implicit bias happens unnoticed with many of educators without awareness that their actions amount to prejudice and stereotype. Thus in most cases the act of bias especially in professional development for students from different ethnicities goes beyond the control of the educators. An implicit bias is broadly in existence especially in school disciplinary systems which proves challenging to execute. The educators find it hard to classify certain behavior as good or bad depending on the believes of certain student’s background. Though judging some behaviors remains in the eyes of the beyond educators in most cases go beyond such assumption and make judgement on ambiguous situations.

The approach applied by the educators’ warrants whether certain behavior merits discipline but a with big concern to what extent. Previous studies on disciplinary disparities have asserted that students of color are more likely to face severe punishment despite similarity of offence committed. These issues of discipline amounting to sanction to disciplinary offices for the colored include petty mistakes like noise making and disrespect. However, the same issues among the Whites in most schools does not account for disciplinary office sanctions. In reference to the disciplinary bias studies it’s clear that serious issues such as vandalism and smoking among the Whites is only offence treated with seriousness in most cases.

Importance of Ending Implicit Bias

One of the most important responsibilities educators have as a human race is to educate children about bias, why it exists, and how to eliminate it consciously and unconsciously from their lives and achieve a coordinated professional development. Further, improving the future of students grows right from the aspect of showing equity in all areas of learning despite individual ethnicity and color. The attributes of less hate, fear, and misunderstanding of “others” championed by the educators is what society needs.  Students in a diverse learning will always create fear among the students for what they do not know.

Thus as students in different levels of learning knowing others from diverse backgrounds creates a better understanding, have empathy for others, and work to together with the common good of academics. Educators are in contact with students for 6 or more hours per day. The concept creates an avenue to use job embedded professional development to educate teachers on explicit and implicit bias. The understanding of such bias could lead to reduced instances of prejudice and thus improved outcomes for students in their future expectations. An equity framework on addressing bias among the educators depict that its necessary for them to undergo implicit association test for awareness of unconscious association they own.

The reason behind this aspect as for previous research is that implicit bias can yield inequitable outcome even for individuals regarded as professionals. However, mitigating the assumption requires change in the implicit associations. The framework therefore, advocates for reprogramming process that takes into account personal mental to ensure that they avert bias to create positive explicit convictions. With the implicit bias operating beyond one’s conscious control, it has become important for the student interest to have a priority against such treatment. Researchers have recently identified one major way of addressing the unexpected associations to ensure that within each decision that educators settle for has less bias and promotes alignment of all students’ interests across the learning systems.

The Implicit Association Test (IAT) involves an online assessment of strength that exists between two pairs of associations. The unconscious system 1 association creates a response on reaction of time. Most studies assert that Association 1 link and assess two close interactions that have a positive intent on the assumptions. For instance, in addressing bias in schools, educators try to create positive assumptions that describe their students. Rather than calling them ugly and filth in their academics based on their personal backgrounds, most educators choose an optimistic redress. A good example is connecting aspect of pleasure and cheers to assure learners that in professional oriented environment they still have the opportunity and the capability to make it in future.

The IAT has validly created a reliable measure to avert the implicit bias. The major benefit derived from the Association is that it has adopted intergroup identity to engage individuals based on their diversities. Thus the framework of association aligns race, religion, and ethnicity of all students in a learning system to ensure the attitude that educators develops has a backing of equality. Most of the scholars on implicit bias have developed another solution to the problem. The approach involves exposure to counter-stereotypical exemplars who are individuals that address issues of bias. The educators are major target for exposure to exemplars with an aim of redeeming their pre-existing personal bias that create inequality in teaching. However, the aspect of challenging bias does not only apply to the teachers but also to the students they teach. Various scholars have held a decision that the imaginary aspect created by stereotypical exemplars activate new mental association that help parties in the learning environment to review their conduct and address issues on biases.

Explicit and Implicit Bias

            The implicit and explicit bias attitudes shape a unique or a combination of opinions and attitudes on the environment that surrounds them. The attitudes about objects, events, and ideas creates a choice of life that people leads. The fact bias revolves around the judgement we make on individual either based on their personality or actions, the major effective develops on the behavioral assumptions we make. The explicit bias is the most common attribute that defines the valuation of personality we hold about others. The prejudice is a common negative attitude that builds on a conscious level in that its deliberately oriented and easy to note among the perpetrators.

On the other hand, implicit bias is kind of attitudes based on unconscious level which are meant involuntary. The approach is hard to review in that the bias that occurs to some extent becomes hard for involved parties to ascertain that their actions are out of order and out of prejudice. Thus most of the bias stemming from implicit component has typically unknown origin and most of educators of the educators react without consent. According different surveys in academics, implicit bias is common and widely associated with racism among educators and students. The unconscious attitude that instructs have targets a certain group of learners with a similar background or ethnicity.

The implicit bias in this context defines these groups on a stereotype which is more permanent. The explicit bias creating a more intentional aspect such as prejudice is less common among the educators to whom it’s unfair to treat some students unfairly in the contemporary society. However, implicit bias creates a natural tendency of the mind in that it categorizes and sorts information to create certain attitudes. Thus educators are susceptible to bias based on implicit factor due to a number of factors. Among the reasons is that instructors rely much on the social cognition to form association and patterns that needs to satisfy their cognition and views on a certain group of people.

Most of the studies also attest the implicit bias among educators’ commands taking of shortcuts in life. The brain tendency takes everything with simplicity without considering each learners attribute. Thus a negative attitude build against individuals is not given a second chance for consideration to promote equity among the learners.

References

Nance, J. P. (2016). Over-Disciplining Students, Racial Bias, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline. Racial Bias, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline50, 16-33.

Haynes, J. K. (2018). High expectations and teacher implicit biases in a culture of care (Doctoral dissertation, University of South Florida).

Battey, D., & Leyva, L. A. (2018). Making the implicit explicit: Building a case for implicit racial attitudes to inform mathematics education research. In toward equity and social justice in mathematics education Cham: Springer

Gilliam, W. S., Maupin, A. N., Reyes, C. R., Accavitti, M., & Shic, F. (2016). Do early educators’ implicit biases regarding sex and race relate to behavior expectations and recommendations of preschool expulsions and suspensions. New Haven, CT: Yale Child Study Center

King, J. E. (2015). Dysconscious racism: ideology, identity, and the miseducation of teachers. in Dysconscious racism, Afrocentric praxis, and education for human freedom: through the years I keep on toiling. Abingdon-On-Thames: Routledge.

Staats, C. (2016). Understanding Implicit Bias: What Educators Should Know. American Educator39(4), 29.

Religion and Theology

Sigmund Freud

Viewed religion as a psychological control tool for the males over the female, it served to give social structure to a society, give a false illusion of fulfilment of wishes and bring forth delusion. An atheist, Sigmund believed that religion should be overcome by intellect and reason. Letting religion flourish was handing power to a few to control a vast majority by neurosis, taking advantage of the human instincts and fear of unknown and manipulating it to serve an illusive purpose. This, he believed, robbed people of their senses, creating a wish-world, only applicable to children. Religion should thus be overcome as one moves from childhood to adult maturity.

Sigmund coitized the harsh tones of religious aspects, its alienation of those deemed sinful and its hate for those who ascribed to a different belief. Religion thrived on threats, selling faith and n total submission at the rewards of an illusive heaven and giving torment and hell fire to those who didn’t tore. Sigmund auctioned scientific reasoning and intellect at the place of oppressive religious dogmas. Religion dummied the views of the mortals, stumping on their wills and robbing them the chance to be themselves. Religion claims to save humankind from guilt, an illusion it calls sin.

Sigmund argued that those who choose to believe in god do so only to seek a sense of security and to absolve themselves of guilt. They have wishes that can only be masked by a false hope, but never realized. God, a father figure thus provided an escape from reality and safety from an imaginary evil.

Karl Max argued that humans should be guided by reason. He believed that religion was misguiding and oppressive, especially to the poor. Max argued that religion was invented to dissuade the suffering from the realities of their life. To mask their suffering and provide them with a false hope of giving up their hard-earned wages at the promise of a heavenly rewards. An economist, Max was critical of the religious propagation of the idea that those who gather much wealth in the earthly beings, will not be rewarded in the heavenly life. His disgust for blind faith rather than reason led to his famous quote ‘religion is the opium of the poor’. It soothes the poor and dulls their pains to oppression. This summarizes his belief that religion was invented by the wiser, to sublimate the little wealth that the poor have, in exchange for unproven heavenly riches. He argued that people should be presented with the truth, and offered a choice between scientific reason and faith. Despite his diabolical views, he however never thought that religion should be abolished.

Emile Durkheim analyzed religion as a social phenomenon, attributing its origin and development to a byproduct of communal living and the necessity for an emotional security. In totemic societies, he believed that each society, ascribes human sentiments and superhuman abilities to totems they closely relate to. These totems thus become the symbol of god. God is a unifying factor. Unifying all believers through practices and adorations, bringing all who subscribe under one umbrella called a church.

Emile summarized that a society will always attribute batters beyond their control to a supernatural. The group association then amplifies the perception giving rise to a symbolic power. Thus, expression he argued is an expression of collective consciousness creating a new virtual reality. The more complex a society is, the more complex the religion it will create. Emile argued that, as societies interacted, the dominant societies seemed to amplify their faith as more universal, urging the less vocal to assimilate. To Emile, religion was humanly created for the purpose of uniting the people, and what is sacred is a perception, not an absolute. Thus, every society had a sacred totem, but their sacred totem would not hold the same sentimental value to a different society.

And how their theories differ from each other.

Sigmund, Max and Emile, though critical of religion, their views differed, though not so much. Both max believed that religion is a yoke of oppression, preying on the poor, using their lack of material possession as a trap to pull them in a common pool, robbing them then offering them hopes in return, in a later life. This he called an opium, robbing the poor while soothing them with a virtual reality and promise of a better life in heaven. Sigmund, although agreeing with max, he viewed religion as mind colonization. Dumbing of wits and oppression at a psychological level. He believed that both poor and rich fell victim at the expression of guilt and offered themselves for purification from a higher force, god, the father. Sigmund agreed with Max on the sense of oppression, but was more leaned on the psychological perspective while max relied on the economic and social perspective.

Emile on the other hand sought to understand the tidbits that make religion as powerful. His analysis was scientific and logically summarized. He believed that although religion sought strong commitments, mass association, belief on material and unseen forces, religion served a positive aspect, unity. It gave people a sense of belonging, bringing them together and helping them identify as one. The totems provided a tangible object that those lost of hope could fuel their disappointments in the vicissitudes of life and draw inspiration. Emile, though argued that, all these were humanly created and were illusions, robbing people of the will to act on the problems at hand but rather mask them in prayers to totems and belief in unforeseen hopes.

Their views that religion is a form of false consciousness, a psychological and sociological product that alienates man from reality are all echoed through their strong critiques.

In conclusion, Both Max, Emile and Sigmund challenge the mortals to reason. They ask the common man to indulge their scientific logical minds and question every decision before diving deep. If one does not involve religion with reason, they may end up being economic slaves to the faith, psychologically colonized by the faith or dumbed to oblivion by their own faith. Their arguments are however not absolute and still leave chance for further introspection and making a decision, based on one’s own conclusions, to follow religion, or to abstain fully.

Reference. The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life, Emile Durkheim1915,

New introductory lectures, Sigmund Freud.

Public Relations Campaign Evaluation

Executive Summary

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the various aspects of PR through clippings analysis and development of recommendations to assist VW in overcoming public publicity. The negative publicity following the disease emission cheat scandal and the recently revealed on the sale of pre-test automobiles are the primary focus. The ten clipping reveals that VW is in need of a PR campaign to assist it to come out of the negative publicity. Models of PR including Preparation, Implementation, and Impact (II) Model, Pyramid Model, public information model and Press Agentry/Publicity are discussed. Subsequently, Media and content analysis and evaluation strategies and approaches are elaborated. Lastly, recommendations on the PR strategy that VW can adapt to overcome the negative reputation are provided.

Table of Contents

Background

VW is one of the leading automobile companies in the world market. It is a Germany based company with its products sold across the world (Reutter, 2018). The automobile industry is characterized by stiff competition with as giants including Toyota, General Motor and VW competition for the same market (Reutter, 2018). The production process starting with modeling, development, testing and commercialization is lengthy and constitute of the use of massive resources. The industry is, therefore, capital intensive. The players in the industry as also required to produce vehicles that are of high quality meeting the set standards for roadworthiness and environmental. The diesel cheat system applied by VW was, therefore, a strategy to gain favorable carbon emission ratings. The scandal brought VW into negative publicity and hence the need for PR campaign to manipulate the reputation positively.

PR Campaign Models, Media Analysis and Evaluation

PR Campaign Models

The purpose of any PR campaign is to have the intended message reach out to the target audience and create the intended picture about the issues or concern. PR managers/experts should, therefore, apply appropriate models in the analysis of the PR campaign, the media used and the evaluation of the outcomes. The primary models used in the analysis include Preparation, Implementation, and Impact (II) Model, Pyramid Model, public information model and Press Agentry/Publicity. Preparation, Implementation, and Impact Model holds that PR campaigns that are prepared effectively tend to realize the intended outcomes (Lai & To, 2015). During the preparation, the practitioners should consider the values of the messages, suitability of the campaign and intend impact. Here, one should set clear objectives and goals for the PR activity or campaign. The implementation regards to how the messaging was formulated, the components incorporated and the platform used in reaching out to the target audiences. Impact of a PR campaign regards to the change in attitude, knowledge gained, as well as behavior and opinion changes by the audience following the campaign. After the implementation of the campaign as planned, the PR practitioner should continuously monitor the effectiveness by considering the outcome and intended outcomes. The evaluation can assist in the identification of some of the successes and areas in need of adjustments.

Pyramid Model considers a PR campaign as a process moving from the bottom of a pyramid towards the apex. According to the model, at the bottom, the PR campaign is at ground zero, which marks the beginning of the process. It is considered the input section and is characterized by huge amount of information and options to pursue (Lai & To, 2015). The PR expert/practitioner sets the objectives, identify the audiences and the media considered appropriate for the campaign. From the bottom, the PR campaign moves to the middle section, which is referred to as the outputs from the first phase. Here, processes and programs are implemented to have the intended messages and information shared to the target audience through the selected media. In other words, the activities in this phase can be regarded as the implementation of the campaign. A transition phase from the middle section of the pyramid and the top/apex, refer to the out-takes or rather the monitoring and assessment phase (Grunig, 2017). As the processes and programs are implemented, the practitioners in charge evaluate whether every component or strategy is incorporated as planned. Through the assessment, mistakes during the planning and program development are avoided through response mechanisms. At the apex, the process involves the evaluation of the outcomes. The evaluating team aims at establishing functional and subsequent outcomes of the campaign processes and programs.

The public information model is applied when an organization or an individual strive to create a positive image by circulating relevant information into the public (Grunig, 2017). particularly, the public relations manager or expert releases press brief, videos, newsletters, magazines and others with information that creates a positive image about the individual or organization concerned. The wordings and other components involved in the PR program are effectively selected to assist in enhancing the quality of the output.

The other model is the Press Agent /Publicity Approach. According to the model, PR is a one-way communication in which one use persuading, half-truths and manipulation in influencing audiences (Grunig, 2017). In other words, the model infers that with the communication tactics adopted by an organization assist in the realization of the intended outcomes. An individual or firm hires a PR expert with the skills and expertise to plan and implement HR campaign with the capability to manipulate the behavior and opinion of the audience. In this case, the expert is the agent acting on behalf of the firm or the individual.

Media and Content Analysis

Apart from the preparation of the script and the message, the media used in a PR campaign play a direct role in influencing the outcomes. An evaluation of the media used is a critical undertaking in a PR exercise. The analysis, in this case, can be qualitative or quantitative. A quantitative media analysis, one gathers numerical data on the media content and the volume of the responses from the audience. For instance, the data on aspects such as the context, the number of views research, and the responses are considered. In other words, media analysis using quantitative approach considers the statistics of the audience reach. On the other hand, qualitative content analysis of the media in PR involves the consideration of the contextual and textual meaning to the target audience (Michaelson & Griffin, 2005). Qualitative analysis of the media is therefore appropriate in incidences where the media and outcomes of a PR can only be measured on a textual form. Media analysis is fundamentally used in the measure of the impact of the PR program(s).

Evaluation

Irrespective of the method used, the evaluation of PR can be done using strategies such as clip counting, circulation and readership analysis, advertising value equivalence, and simple content analysis. Clip counting involves the analysis of the article of the PR messaging adopted. The elements incorporated include the placement, the context, content, audience reach, tone and shareholders. The placement concern the platform and techniques used including the media, audio, and visual feature (Schriner, Swenson & Gilkerson, 2017). The audience reach is the accessibility of the target audience to the information. The context regards to the circumstances, the content is the information and the text, the tone is the attitude extracted from the message and the stakeholders and contributors to the PR program or information.

Circulation and readership analysis concern to the extent to which the PR information and message dispense among the target audience and the number that gets the time to see or read through. The consideration, in this case, is driven by the fact that the PR campaign and information may not have the intended impact if not circulated effectively. Simple content analysis is used in the analysis of the content of the PR message in textual form to establish the intended meaning and theme from various PR campaign messages/information (Schriner, Swenson & Gilkerson, 2017). The analysis and evaluation, in this case, involve the coding of the textual information to establish whether the target audience gets the intended meaning of the PR message. Lastly, the evaluation of the PR campaign and messaging involve the determination of the outcome. Here, it is evaluated whether the campaign has manipulated public opinion, perception or view.

Analysis of Clippings and Recommendations

The ten clippings on VW reveals that the company has in recent years from 2015 been exposed into negative publicity. Therefore, it has acquired a negative reputation upon which it can lead to negative. The analysis of the clipping, in this case, can, therefore, form the basis upon which VW can pursue PR strategy to rectify the tarnished reputation. as evident, the placement of most of the clippings were in prominent online news websites and hence the audience coverage and readership is considerably high. However, VW can come up with a narrative that would assist in manipulating positive thinking about itself to the target audience. The article by Argenti (2015) as per clipping one reveals that the emission cheat software was deliberately mounted and was a decision by VW leadership. In addition, according to bbc.com (2015) (clipping 2) states that according to a board member, the staff involved acted criminally. The information, in this case, infers that the board may not have been entirely involved and hence it was a decision by a section of the management and engineering team. As long as VW must accept the wrongdoing, it can formulate a PR campaign to create a narrative that it was not a decision by the board. The campaign can be built on the fact that the former CEO in charge at the time of the scandal and the VW American Executive have been jailed for their personal responsibility. According to clipping five, the VW American Executive pleaded guilty and apologized for his personal responsibility. The company can have a PR campaign to create an impression the people behind the scandal did not get the approval by appropriate systems within the organization including the board of management. In further framing of the message, the PR Company should seek to emphasize that intended motive for not seeking the approval was to avoid making it public or have the idea rejected or halted at the board of management level. Therefore, the target audience to the message would be persuaded that it was not the VW policy or company decision to have the scandal pursued.

Clipping six shows that VW has already paid a hefty in penalties, fines and compensation to the affected customer. Having paid $32 billion and the decline in share price by about 2% is an indication that the company has suffered significantly for the scandal. Sharing such information and data through a well-organized PR campaign can assist in manipulating the current negative reputation about the company.

Besides, clipping 9 reveals that the diesel emissions scandal shadow is still haunting VW. In this clipping, it is revealed that investors constituting of shareholders have sued VW for compensation. PR messaging to demonstrate how the company has handled the scandal and stabilized to the benefits of the shareholder can assist. The campaign can be formulated in such a way that the 1,670 shareholders demanding 27.4 billion euros can be termed as ill motived at the expense of the majority shareholders.

The last set of clippings regard to another scandal in which VW is accused of secretly selling Pre-Production Test and modeling cars. Clipping 10 reveals that about 6,700 of the test model cars were sold in Europe and North America since 2006. The scandal has been revealed in 2018, which is about 12 years since it started. Clipping 7 reveals similar information, which puts VW into the limelight for the wrong thing yet another time. In response to this, VW should arrest the negative publicity by first accepting about the issue, and affirm that it is taking necessary action. Alternatively, the company can manipulate the information by affirming that the pre-test models were sold only after they were tested and approved to have similar roadworthiness and quality as another automobile in the commercialization of the production cycle.

In any of the PR campaign recommended, a strategy is required to ensure that the success is achieved. Three recommendations are proposed to ensure that the intended outcomes are realized. First, the company should use an appropriate model. Particularly, Press Agent /Publicity Approach would be the best in that it will involve experts in PR as the agents of VW, who would come up with a suiting strategy. Secondly, the media platforms used should be effectively selected. Regarding this issue, the company should first undertake massive campaigns through the same media used in propagating the negative perception. For instance, using Reutters, BBC, Motor Authority, and motor1.com can assist in countering the negative publicity. Thirdly, VW should have a team to review and evaluate the effectiveness of the PR campaign to learn from the weakness and escalate the areas of strength for optimal results.

Conclusion

In summary, it is evident that VW has over the last 3 years since 2015 suffered negative publicity arising from the diesel emission scandal. The company has paid a lot of money in fines, penalties and in compensation of the customers. Addition, the uncovering that it has been selling pre-test and modeling cars as new or secondhand products escalate the intensity of the negative publicity. The analysis of the PR campaign models, the content analysis and evaluation of effectiveness reveals that a PR campaign should be systematically and effectively pursued. Involving PR experts can assist VW in manipulating the negative publicity in its favor as recommended in this paper.

References

Argenti P., (October 13, 2015). The biggest culprit in VW’s emissions scandal. Fortune. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2015/10/13/biggest-culprit-in-volkswagen-emissions-scandal/

BBC.COM (29 September 2015). Volkswagen staff acted criminally, says board member. BBC News. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/business-34397426

Bernhard M., (Aug 1, 2018) VW takes another hit from emissions scandal. Market Watch. Retrieved from https://www.marketwatch.com/story/vw-takes-another-hit-from-emissions-scandal-2018-08-01

Bruce, C (DEC 12, 2018) VW Recalling 6,700 Test Vehicles Wrongfully Sold To Customers. motor1.com. Retrieved from https://www.motor1.com/news/297007/vw-pre-production-vehicle-recall/

Cheromcha K., (December 11, 2018). Volkswagen Illegally Sold Pre-Production Test Cars Instead of Crushing Them the cars—riddled with defects big and small—were never certified for road use. Retrieved from http://www.thedrive.com/news/25421/volkswagen-illegally-sold-pre-production-test-cars-instead-of-crushing-them

Gilboy J., (September 10, 2018). Investors Sue Volkswagen for $10.7B Over Dieselgate Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal nightmare isn’t over yet. Retrieved from http://www.thedrive.com/news/23478/investors-sue-volkswagen-for-10-7b-over-dieselgate

Grunig, J. E. (2017). Symmetrical presuppositions as a framework for public relations theory. In Public relations theory (pp. 17-44). London, Routledge.

Hotten R., (10 December 2015). Volkswagen: The scandal explained. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/business-34324772

Lai, L. S. L. & To, W. M. (2015). Social Media Content Analysis: A Grounded Approach, Journal of Electronic Commerce Research, 16 (2), 138-152.

Luann J., L., (October 15, 2016). Volkswagen’s lax ethical and emissions standards. Washington post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/volkswagens-lax-ethical-and-emissions-standards/2016/10/13/aab55684-8fc0-11e6-9c85-ac42097b8cc0_story.html?noredirect=on

Macnamara, J. (2015). Breaking the measurement and evaluation deadlock: a new approach and model. Journal of Communication Management, 19(4), 371-387.

Michaelson, D., & Griffin, T. L. (2005). A new model for media content analysis. Gainesville: Institute for Public Relations. Wikipedia’s role in reputation management: An analysis of… institutional environments”. Administrative Science Quarterly, 43(4), 877-905.

Placement:

Reutter (2018). Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE). Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/overview/VOWG_p.DE

Schriner, M., Swenson, R., & Gilkerson, N. (2017). Outputs or Outcomes? Assessing Public Relations Evaluation Practices In Award-Winning PR Campaigns. Public Relations Journal.

Szymkowski S (December 11, 2018). Another scandal at VW: Automaker sold pre-production vehicles as used cars. Motor Authority. Retrieved from https://www.motorauthority.com/news/1120404_another-scandal-at-vw-automaker-sold-pre-production-vehicles-as-used-cars

Appendix: Portfolio of 10 Clippings

Clipping 1

Source: Argenti P., (October 13, 2015). The biggest culprit in VW’s emissions scandal. Fortune. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2015/10/13/biggest-culprit-in-volkswagen-emissions-scandal/

Placement:

  • The article was published on fortune.com, which is an online new platform

  • The article was placed in the commentary section of the website

  • A photo of a diesel motor at a plant in Salzgitter is place maybe to prominently bring the attention of the audience that the scandal was planned right at the planning and in the production process

Audiences reach:

  • The audience reach of the article is considerably high

  • Fortune.com is highly respected online news and contemporary issues reporting platform.

  • The target audiences are the online users from across the world

  • Parties including other news agencies, the customers to the affected vehicle, authorities in jurisdictions to which the cars were sold and environmental care champions would be interested to the content

Context:

  • At the time when the scandal was made public but little was known about critical details on whether it was deliberate or not

Content:

  • The author dismissed an editorial by The New York Times which was quick to report that it was not a corporate decision, but a matter of a couple of software engineers

  • The author is of the opinion that the scandal was intentional with the aim of given VW a strong competitive edge as a leader in corporate social responsibility

Tone

  • the tone used by the author is a negative by stating that it was deliberately and criminally perpetrated

Stakeholder

  • The author mentioned New York Times and borrowed a quote by Greek philosopher Socrates

  • He also borrowed a lot from his past research and writing on corporate responsibility

Clipping 2

BBC.com (29 September 2015). Volkswagen staff acted criminally, says board member. BBC News. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/business-34397426

Placement:

The article was published on the official online page for BBC News

  • The page includes a video of the board member making the statement and an image of the care under the test system demonstration how the scandal was uncovered

Audience reach

  • bbc.com is a reliable source of information and data on contemporary matters

  • The interested stakeholders including the owners of the cars

  • The information can be easily accessed by millions of people who regularly search for information from the site

Context

The publication was made at the time the world was wondering about what happened and who was responsible

Content

  • The author reports that the Olaf Lies, a Volkswagen board member said that the staff criminally placed the cheat device and hence should be held responsible

  • The extent of the damage is also revealed about 11 million diesel engine cars were affected and were to be recalled.

Tone

  • The tone used is harsh as it implies that as VW carry on the financial burden in recalls and fines, the officers should be brought to book

Stakeholder

  • The key stakeholder brought on board include US Environmental Protection Agency which played a role in uncovering the scandal

  • Matthias Mueller who replaced Martin Winterkorn as chief executive and promised relentless investigations in interested of uncovering what went wrong

Clipping 3

Hotten R., (10 December 2015). Volkswagen: The scandal explained. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/business-34324772

Placement

  • Published on the official online page for BBC News

  • An image of broken VW logo over the American flag is placed after the headline to symbolize the loss of acceptance of the brand in the American market.

Audience reach

  • The target audience or those interested to the information include the shareholders, car buyers and owner, and the highway authorities

  • BBC.com can be accessed by millions of people across the world who are interest on information about the

Context

  • The context of the publication of the article is that it can

Content

  • The author reveals the EPA found that about 482,000 cars were affected in US with the brands affected including Audi A3, Jetta, Beetle, Golf and Passat

  • The action was likely to be deliberate to assist the company in boosting its sale volume objective

Tone

  • A negative tone is used by the author because it infers that the act was unethical and deliberately planed

Stakeholder

  • The stakeholders mentioned include VW engineers and  the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Clipping 4

Luann J., L., (October 15, 2016). Volkswagen’s lax ethical and emissions standards. Washington post. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/volkswagens-lax-ethical-and-emissions-standards/2016/10/13/aab55684-8fc0-11e6-9c85-ac42097b8cc0_story.html?noredirect=on

Placement

The article was published on Washington post

Audience reach

  • Washington post is among the leading online news reporters and analysis hence would be viewed by a large pool of audience in search on news information online.

  • Interested individuals wanting to know about VW, the emission scandal or any other thing about the company can get access into the article and the information contained

Context

The world was still getting into terms with the magnetite of the problem and implication of the scandal

Content

  • The scandal may have been compelled by Martin Winterkorn’s ambitious plan to see VW sell more than 10 million cars and become the world’s largest automaker

  • Lessons learned include the impact of severe pressure to succeed and ethical violations can led to undesirable behavior and massive losses

  • VW had to recall over 10 million vehicles and incur huge fines in addition to the adversely affected

  • The CEO, Winterkorn resigned after the scandal was discovered

Tone

  • Negative tone is used because it infers to the scandal is a deliberate unethical practice

Stakeholder

  • The stakeholders mentioned include VW engineers and  the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Clipping 5

Gonzales R., (December 6, 2017). Senior Volkswagen Executive Sentenced In Diesel-Emissions Scandal. The National Radio INC. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/12/06/568949541/senior-volkswagen-executive-sentenced-in-diesel-emissions-scandal

Placement

  • The article was placed on The National Radio INC online news website

  • An image of Oliver Schmid the VW’s US executive jailed for 7 years is placed to show the reader the individual sentenced

Audience reach

Online information searchers about the outcomes of the discovery of the VW’s emission cheat

Context

Amid the speculations on whether the scandal was widely known within VW and who were involved

Content

  • Oliver Schmid was sentenced for 7 years and $400,000 fine for been involved in the scandal

  • He pleaded guilty and tendered his apologies for making the unethical decisions

Tone

  • A negative tone us used because it reveals that the scandal deliberately pursued considering that Oliver Schmid agreed that he was aware about everything

Stakeholder

The New York Times is involved as the source of some information to the article

Clipping 6

Bernhard M., (Aug 1, 2018) VW takes another hit from emissions scandal. Market Watch. Retrieved from https://www.marketwatch.com/story/vw-takes-another-hit-from-emissions-scandal-2018-08-01

Placement

  • The article was published on Market Watch’s website.

Audience reach

  • The audience targeted are the readers interested to know about the magnitude and consequences of the scandal

  • Online information searchers and reader about automobiles can easily access the article

Context

  • Amid speculations about the impact of the scandal to VW and related stakeholders

Content

  • VW reported that it already incurred $32 billion in penalties, fines and compensation for customers

  • About 11 million vehicles recalled

  • VW’s Shares price in the Wolfsburg declined by 2%

Tone

  • Neutral tone but the message can create a negative impression about the performance of VW.

Stakeholder

  • VW’s Chief Financial Officer Frank Witter is quoted as the source of the financial data

Clipping 7

Szymkowski S (December 11, 2018). Another scandal at VW: Automaker sold pre-production vehicles as used cars. Motor Authority. Retrieved from https://www.motorauthority.com/news/1120404_another-scandal-at-vw-automaker-sold-pre-production-vehicles-as-used-cars

Placement

  • The article was placed on The National Radio INC online news website

  • A logo for VW is placed in the top section of the page for better identification of the company

Audience reach

The fans to the radio and information searchers about VW and the sandal can access the information

Context

At the time that the information about the sale of pre-production models are sold by VW as completed vehicles

Content

  • VW has been selling the pre-production model since 2006 as complete products

  • Mostly sold in U.S. and European

  • About 6,400 cases are confirmed, but could be more

Tone

  • A neutral tone is applied as the author just intended to share the information

Stakeholder

  • Handelsblatt and Der Spiegel

Clipping 8

Bruce, C (DEC 12, 2018) VW Recalling 6,700 Test Vehicles Wrongfully Sold To Customers. motor1.com. Retrieved from https://www.motor1.com/news/297007/vw-pre-production-vehicle-recall/

Placement

The article was published on motor1.com, a news website focused on automobiles

Audience reach

  • Individuals interested about the topic and information about automobiles are easily reached

  • It is shared online hence accessed to all those who have internet connection

Context

  • Amid the revelation that productions models were sold to buyers as new or old vehicles

Content

  • The article reveals that VW sold 6,700 test model cars since 2006 Europe and North America

  • However, Der Spiegel’s research reveals that about  9,000 vehicles investigated do not have a clear construction status

Tone

  • A neutral tone is witnessed in the article, but it also reveals escalation of the unethical reputation of the company

Stakeholder

  • Handelsblatt and Der Spiegel are the sources of information mentioned in the article

Clipping 9

Gilboy J., (September 10, 2018). Investors Sue Volkswagen for $10.7B Over Dieselgate Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal nightmare isn’t over yet. Retrieved from http://www.thedrive.com/news/23478/investors-sue-volkswagen-for-10-7b-over-dieselgate

Placement

  • The news article was placed on The Drive, which provides news and information about automobiles

  • An image of the VW logo is placed to give the readers the picture of the company whose issue is addressed

Audience reach

  • General audience is the target of the news article, but it is of significant meaning to shareholder

Context

  • The news emerge at the time VW has tried to overcome

Content

  • A bundle of 1,670 VW’s institutional shareholders claiming compensation of 27.4 billion euros for the losses they suffered

  • The investors claim that VW did not inform them of the magnitude of the problem

Tone

  • A neutral tone is adopted as it only provided the information about the demands and how it bring back into the scandal it has tried to leave behind

Stakeholder

  • Reuters is particularly mentioned as a source of some of the information shared in the article

Clipping 10

Cheromcha K., (December 11, 2018). Volkswagen Illegally Sold Pre-Production Test Cars Instead of Crushing Them the cars—riddled with defects big and small—were never certified for road use. Retrieved from http://www.thedrive.com/news/25421/volkswagen-illegally-sold-pre-production-test-cars-instead-of-crushing-them

Placement

  • The news article was placed on The Drive, which provides news and information about automobiles

  • The article provides a broken VW log, to signify the damage to its brand

Audience reach

  • The Drive specializes on news and information about automobiles

  • Audiences interested to such information would always access it online through the website

Context

  • The discovery of the secrete that VW have been selling test models as new or used cars depending on millage to unaware buyers

Content

  • VW has sold 6,700 test model cars since 2006 in Europe and North America

  • The unconfirmed sources suggests that as high as 17,000 vehicles were involved hence more investigation can assist in ascertaining the magnitude of the problem

Tone

  • A negative tone is applied, the authors paints the unethical practice and reveal that it took place for over a decade

  • The author reminds the readers about the diesel cheat scandal which the company has been fighting for the last three years

Stakeholder

  • The stakeholders whose information contributed to the development of the article include Handelsblatt, Der Spiegel and Germany’s Motor Transport Authority.

Book Review – Paleofantasy by Marlene Zuk

Introduction

In her book Paleofantasy, Marlene Zuk addresses multiple assumptions and misconceptions that people have regarding their Paleolithic ancestors. She addresses multiple aspects including sex, their ability to consume different kinds of food and how they lived as well. She essentially discusses evolution in terms of how fast it works, especially in the case of humans. The author provides information on many concepts of evolution, citing studies to explain different points. This paper provides a detailed review of the book.

Discussion

The book tackles common paleofantasies, including diet, reproduction, exercise, and love. The author uses the book as a starting point to start a different discussion regarding human evolution. some of the concepts explained in the book include gene flow, genetic drift, and natural selection. Through the entire book, Zuk critiques ideas that humans adapted well to a Paleolithic environment or that any rapid environmental changes would indicate a mismatch between our genes and the environment. She points out that there was never a time when humans complete adapted to their environment because evolution does not result in stasis (Zuk, 234). She compares a human adaptation to a broken zipper that works in some places and fails in others (Zuk, 8).

The author focuses on the last 10 thousand years, analyzing some of the latest work on human evolution. One hypothesis here is that most modern populations have greater chances of improved mutations. She critiques multiple paleo-lifestyle arguments, concluding by addressing claims of possible slowing human evolution. I agree and disagree with different parts of the book. The author is right in her analysis that the majority of young people with long-agricultural ancestry have a good adoption to extensive consumption of foods like rice and wheat (Rose, and Rutledge, 15). This could be due to the fact that natural selection is most powerful during the younger years, giving the individual sufficient time to adapt to certain kinds of foods. The author, however, fails to point out that the effects of natural forces of selection fade out during adult age. A long sustained selection probably builds an extensive adaption to nutrition and activity deep in the life history of the individual. Primates are most likely to have this kind of adaptation to a new source of food.

The author mentions that humans did not adapt fast enough to cope with modern life, which to some extent is true because our bodies are often ill-suited for modern activities like sitting at a computer all day (Zuk, 125). Although humans have to constantly face new environments, they have to do so shackled by genes from their ancestors. I agree that we live in an unquestionably different environment as compared to ancient humans. Aspects of disease, population size, density, lifespan, and many others show significant differences in how the two groups lived their lives (Zuk, 125). However, it would be untrue to state that we are completely not adapted to living the modern life. After all, there was never a time when humans were completely adapted to their environment.

Zuk initially shows some skepticism of the mismatch perspective because all species, including humans, adapted to their past environments and not the currents ones (Deaner, Robert, and Benjamin, 263). This aspect would indicate that no current populations or species are more mismatched in terms of adaptation than others. I think this is a false claim because different species could be mismatched at different levels. Even similar species in different geographical locations have different levels of adaptation to similar conditions.

The third chapter of the book shows the authors devotion to describing rapid adaptations highlighting her empirical critique of the mismatch perspective. Other chapters of the book explain how humans rapidly adapted to processing lactose, responding to various pathogens and living in high altitudes (Deaner, Robert, and Benjamin, 265). The chapters provide the notion that species can evolve rapidly, meaning that in case of any mismatch, they get over it after a while. It is, however, important to note that highlighting instances of rapid evolution without taking into account different cases of persistent mismatch is misleading. A good example is the case of flightless birds whose adaptations to different challenges and threats is still remarkably ineffective (Deaner, Robert, and Benjamin, 264). Humans also have various mismatched traits despite years of adaptation. A good example is the high rates of stroke and hypertension in Japan despite years of enjoying traditionally salty foods. I think the book is a reaction to the high levels of technology we live through. Many people struggle with something as simple as what to eat or how to move regularly. These struggles make the idea of returning to nature and our animalistic nature appealing.

Conclusion

The book is overall delightful, with consistent witty and engaging writing. The author uses multiple metaphors and analogies to explain different concepts of evolution and correct different misconceptions regarding evolution. Most importantly, Zuk illustrates that we still do not know enough and that we have a long way to go in fuguring out the best way to move our bodies, eat, and even be with each other.

Works Cited

Deaner, Robert O., and Benjamin M. Winegard. “Book Review: Throwing Out the Mismatch Baby with the Paleo-Bathwater.” Evolutionary Psychology, Jan. 2013, doi:10.1177/147470491301100123.

Rose, Michael, and Rutledge, Grant. Marlene Zuk’s Paleofantasy. Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology: University of California, 2013. http://sites.uci.edu/grantrutledge/files/2016/03/Review-of-paleofantasy.pdf

Zuk, Marlene. Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet and How We Live. New York: W.W. Norton, 2013. Print.