League of Nations

February 9, 2017

 

The League of Nations, famously abbreviated as LN was an intergovernmental organization that was founded on tenth January 1920. It was as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that brought to an end the World War I. It was an organization formed with the aim of maintaining World Peace just as the UN was formed in 1945 to maintain worldwide peace. Some of its primary goals included maintaining peace through collaboration with the various governments, settling disputes between nations, and arbitration whenever there was a conflict between different nations. Other issues that it aimed at delving into included labor organizations, fair treatment of immigrants, global health, drug trafficking, protection of minorities, and protection of prisoners of war. By 1935, the LN had fifty-eight members. Thai m of the paper is to address the League of Nations from the perspective of liberalism and assessing whether it was successful in its endeavors.

In my opinion through the information that I gathered from various online and scholarly journals, the League of Nations was not successful in bringing about sustained peace across the globe. This was due to various shortcomings that it had for the time it existed. First, the LN did not have its own armed forces. It thereby relied on the Great powers across Europe for military support. Overreliance on the Great Powers meant that it did not have authority in enforcing its resolutions and maintaining economic sanctions in the regions that it deemed fit to do so. This gradually meant that it could not have any authority over the Great powers. Great Powers had immense control over the League of Nations since the organization depended on these nations for support and military power.  This meant that the League of Nations could not solve the problems in areas where the Great Powers were the protagonists.

There were also numerous loopholes in the League’s Covenant that meant that war was inevitable during the 1930s and the 1940s. Many historians and politicians suggest that the Covenant and its loopholes gradually led to the start of World War II. An example of such a loophole was in Article 11 of the League’s Covenant. The article stated that when one of the Nations within the League was at war with another member, then the LN had no moral or legal obligation to intervene in the war (Wilson 536). This means that its failure to participate in arguments and wars between member states would slowly see member states start to fight against each other. Another issue that led to its failure was the lack of funding. Most of the member states were hesitant to contribute funds and other military personnel and weaponry to the LN. This meant that its authority was not enhanced over the life of the LN.

Its little number of members also meant that the funds collected could not allow the League of Nations to pursue the objectives that were intended during its establishment. Some of the most influential members of the League of Nations were France and Britain. On many occasions, these two nations would ignore the authority that the League of Nations had. An example that did not please Britain and France was when the League of Nations tried to appease Hitler. Britain and France were against these ideas and this subsequently led to the start of World War II in 1939.  There were also numerous conflicts against other member states that slowly led to some of the member states leaving the League of Nations. In 1932, Japan conquered Manchuria. The actions by Japan agitated China and the League of Nations decided to support China. The action by the LN led Japan into leaving the League of Nations.

As member states started to leave the LN, its authority over the countries in Europe and some parts of Asia started to diminish by a significant rate. Another incidence of conflict in the League of Nations was when Italy invaded Abyssinia in 1935.  After the invasion, the LN condemned the actions of Italy. However, it was later realized that France and Britain were in negotiations so as to give Abyssinia to Italy (Bendiner 65). The League of Nations also failed since it was unable to reach its goal of disarmament. The goal was aimed at reducing the conflicts that existed in the member states. This goal meant that nations could produce weapons the way they wanted and this gradually escalated into conflict in the years that followed.

Another aspect that led to the failure of the League of Nations was when member states started to defy the Treaty of Versailles. The Treaty of Versailles suggested that no member states could create unions or unite to create a block. This took place when Germany claimed that iot was uniting with Austria. The move was rejected by the LN although it had no authority to stop the union. In 1939, the fascists won the Spanish Civil War. This led Spain into leaving the League of Nations and this led to World War II. The failures of the League of Nations led to the creation of the United Nations immediately after the end of World War II.

In conclusion, the United Nations was founded to accomplish the goals that the League of Nations was unable to achieve during its life. The United Nations inherited most of the departments that had been created by the LN. Since then, the United Nations made sure that it had authority over the Great Powers and also developed its own military force that is made up of a collection of the various servicemen and servicewomen from its member states. The success that has been witnessed by the United Nations is proof that the mistakes of the League of Nations were too expensive since they did not deter the incidence of another World War. Today, international cooperation and world peace has been enhanced by a significant extent with the United Nations even placing sanctions on countries that do not respect the agreements that were set up in 1945. An example of such a country is North Korea.

Works Cited

Bendiner, Elmer. A Time for Angels: The Tragicomic History of the League of Nations. New

York: Knopf, 2009.

Wilson, Peter. “Leonard Woolf, The League Of Nations And Peace Between The Wars.”

Political Quarterly 86.4 (2015): 532-539. Academic Search Premier. Web. 18 Nov. 2016.

 

 

Nigeria Breweries Plc

February 9, 2017

Nigeria Breweries Plc


 

Table of Contents

Introduction. 3

Company Background of Internationalization. 4

Critical Analysis of Internationalization Strategies. 5

Joint Ventures. 5

Product Distribution through Third Parties. 7

IB Theory in Relation to Nigerian Breweries Foreign Markets Entry. 8

Recommendations. 9

Improvement and Expansion of Distribution Channels. 10

Mergers and Acquisition in West Africa. 11

Foreign Direct Investment in Emerging Markets. 12

Conclusion. 13

References. 14

 

 


 

Introduction

            This paper will highlight the internationalization history and structure of Nigeria Breweries Plc, a global business lauded as Nigeria’s very first and largest Brewing firm, and details some of the company’s strengths, weaknesses, and areas in need of improvement (Ogunbiyi, 2007).  The company dates to 1946 and, three years later, Nigeria Breweries Plc “recorded a landmark when the first bottle of STAR lager beer rolled off our Lagos Brewery bottling lines” (Nigerian Breweries, 2017). Throughout the years, the Lagos-based company has underwent many optimization processes to make it competitive and able to meet the ever changing demands of its customer base and international clientele. As a consequence of the company’s attention to marketing demands and trends, it is not one of the most highly recognized modern brew houses in Nigeria. (Nigerian Breweries Plc, 2009; Nigerian Breweries, 2017)

A decade later, in 1957, Nigeria Breweries Plc commissioned another brewery in Aba, Nigeria.  Over the years, this brewery, too, has undergone many optimization changes and processes.  Today, it is fitted with the best and most innovative brewing technology. In 1963, the company expanded, once more, and commissioned yet another brewery in Kaduna. It was not until nearly twenty years later, in 1982, that Nigeria Breweries Plc opened its Ibadan Brewery.  In 1993, the Enugu-based brewery was opened.  Finally, the Ama Brewery in commissioned in 2003 and, today, it serves as the largest of all the company’s holdings in Nigeria. A malting plant was finally acquired in 2008 and located in Aba. (Nigerian Breweries Plc, 2009; Nigerian Breweries, 2017)

Company Background of Internationalization

            It was not until 2011 that Nigeria Breweries Plc decided to internationalize and expand into the global marketplace.  To make this lofty transition, Nigeria Breweries Plc bought out the majority of the equity in “Sona Systems Associates Business Management Limited, (Sona Systems) and Life Breweries company Limited from Heineken N.V” (Nigerian Breweries, 2017).  Subsequently, Heineken acquired the majority control of five Nigerian-based breweries from Sona Group.  Since these changes have transpired two new breweries, one located in Ota and the other in Kaduna, as well as the prestigious Life Breweries located in Onitsha have been incorporated into the greater Nigerian Breweries Plc.  Furthermore, three brands of beer – Malta Gold, Life Continental Lager, and Goldberg Lager, have all merged into one company owned by Nigerian Breweries Plc. (Nigerian Breweries Plc, 2009; Nigerian Breweries, 2017)

Three years later, in 2014, Nigerian Breweries Plc and Consolidated Breweries PLC merged their operations with the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission.  This merger was finalized at year’s end, 2014.  The company reports that “Following the successful merger, we now have three additional breweries in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, Awo-Omamma in Imo State and Makurdi in Benue State. The merger also brought an additional seven brands into our portfolio” (Nigerian Breweries, 2017).

Therefore, the company has grown from one, small brewery that only served Nigerian clientele to an international business which boasts 11 distinct breweries, 2 plants for malting beverages, and 26 depots for sales.  (Nigerian Breweries Plc, 2009; Nigerian Breweries, 2017) The high-quality beverages are distributed throughout the entire country and internationally as well. Starting in 1986, the company really expanded its international distribution push and offered sales, logistics, and marketing support to its international customer base.  Currently, its products are found in fifteen nations throughout Britain, the United States, South Africa, continential Europe, and the Middle-East. It also boasts “world-class outlets such as TESCO and ASDA Stores in the United Kingdom.” (Nigerian Breweries, 2017).

Country Internationalization Strategy
South Africa Joint Venture (Heineken)
West African Nations and the United Kingdom Third Party Distribution

 

Critical Analysis of Internationalization Strategies

Currently, Nigerian Breweries Plc employs three primary internationalization strategies: mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and product distribution through third parties (Frankel, 2009). The following is a brief description of each.

Joint Ventures

Joint ventures are basic business arrangements or agreements made between two or more parties (Netzer, 2009).  In these instances, the two parties agree to merge or pull their own resources in order to accomplish or fulfill a very specific and much needed task.          With a joint venture, each individual entities is fully responsible for all business dealings to include profits, risks, debts, losses, and costs.  Yet, the venture becomes its own entity and is considered to be fully separate and distinct from the other holdings of each participant (Netzer, 2009).

Today, one of the most common uses of joint ventures is to enter foreign and international markets without having to jump through all of the hoops associated with the paperwork, bureaucracy, and legalities. A very common use of this arrangement is to help a local business enter into a larger foreign market.  The business which wants to enter into a new market can benefit from an already existing distribution network and a company which has already done all of the legal paperwork.  Moreover, many nations, particularly in socialized nations, have very strict laws and restrictions on foreigners entering into their markets.  The joint venture is an excellent option because the company can partner with a local entity and enter into the new market legally (Netzer, 2009).

Currently, Nigerian Breweries Plc has managed to form a joint venture with Heineken. Initially, the IJV was aimed at increasing Nigeria’s domestic dominance which resulted in its having over 70% of the alcohol market in Nigeria. However, according to the Nigerian Breweries financial report of 2013, the company also benefited from forming a partnership to provide hybrid sorghum together with Heineken Supply Chain B.V (Nigerian Breweries, 2013). Further, in 2016, when Nigeria Breweries decided to start selling in South Africa, the prior establishment of Heineken in South Africa made it easier for the company to make its investments in South Africa.

The approach taken by Nigerian Breweries is the industrial network approach. This theory views the industrial system as a network of firms that are engaged in the production, distribution, and use of goods and services which results in the creation of lasting business relationships. As such, each firm in the network has to consider its relationship with customers, distributors, and suppliers. Further, it has to consider the importance of competition within the industry. Therefore, any industry comprises of four groups of variables which are the processes of interaction, atmosphere surrounding the interaction, characteristics of parties involved, and environment within which the interactions are carried out. As such, Nigerian Breweries has to account for other factors apart from its own position before venturing into other markets. For this reason, a joint venture with Heineken results in injecting more capital for the company. Further, when considering an export destination such as South Africa, the country is more economically developed than Nigeria. However, having its origins in the Netherlands, Heineken has a higher level of acceptability. As a result, the Nigerian Breweries products are able to trounce those in South Africa through using the Heineken name.

Product Distribution through Third Parties

Another strategy is to use already established, effective, and efficient product distribution channels to sell products in a new location, internationally.  This is done, typically, through third parties. (Dent, 2011) The benefits to this type of an arrangement are obvious; the system is already established and the physical building is already in place.  The chain of distribution is firmly rooted and does not have to be tweaked or altered to ensure that the product is properly distributed to all stakeholders. Studies indicate that third party storage and distribution makes the most sense in the earliest stages of a company trying to internationalize its products and services (Liberman, 2013).

Dent (2011) reports that new businesses that are trying to enter the interntional market are “in a precarious situation when it comes to planning for the future.”  This can place extreme pressure on the company and result in major challenges. “On one hand, the business plan lays out specific steps for growth, on the other; it’s unlikely that everything will go exactly as planned. In addition, they rarely have the experience, capital or real estate necessary to provide for adequate distribution and warehousing of products.” (Dent, 2011) Therefore, the evidence shows that “in these situations, a start-up partnering with an experienced 3PL is a sound decision with several benefits.” (Dent, 2011). Nigerian Breweries Plc has benefited from using third parties’ distribution channels to internationalize its business.  For instance, it has connections with TESCO and ASDA Stores in the United Kingdom, and uses their distribution networks to ensure that products are available in all parts of the nation (Nigerian Breweries, 2017).

The decision to use third party distributions can be best explained by the eclectic paradigm. Based on this paradigm, a company is likely to consider the costs against benefits of exploring into a certain foreign market. For Nigerian Breweries, while it is well established in Nigeria, trying to explore other markets through direct investment would mean learning the local market and competing with other already established products (Whitelock, 2002). Considering that beer is not a product that would be said to have a high level of specificity, it would not make sense trying to control the distribution channel. As a result of this, the decision by the company to use third part distributors such as TESCO results in reduced transactional costs.

IB Theory in Relation to Nigerian Breweries Foreign Markets Entry

The eclectic paradigm is the theory best placed to explain the decisions made by Nigerian Breweries. This approach assumes that markets are competitive (Whitelock, 2002). When there is a lot of competition, then a low control model is considered the best approach since any organization must consider the likelihood of replacement and the ability of suppliers to perform well in the conditions of competition. In the business model of Nigeria Breweries, though the company’s local market share is 70%, it has not had the same success outside Nigeria. Since there are numerous beers competing, the company’s model of ensuring that it does not involve itself with direct foreign export is informed by its aim to reduce transactional costs.

Essentially, this means that when entering a foreign market, a company would consider giving its products to numerous distributors. At this point, the competition to sell is no longer between the manufacturers. Instead, it is distributors who will be competing to sell the product (Whitelock, 2002).  For example, with both TESCO and ASDA selling Nigerian Breweries products, the two companies conduct free advertising of these products for them to increase client flow. As such, using the eclectic paradigm, it is expected that the producer will select the method that produces the lowest level of costs while enabling him to have the highest level of returns.

It is through the consideration of the factors outlined in the eclectic paradigm that Nigerian Breweries decided on having joint ventures and distribution of products through third parties (Whitelock, 2002). For example, considering that Nigeria Breweries sells its products to most of the West African countries, Nigeria is the most developed country in the region. Further, it is the most populous. Comparing itself to other countries in West Africa, Nigeria thus has the best means of production from skilled employees to well-developed infrastructure. Further, being the largest brewer in Nigeria, it has a higher flow of revenue than other companies in West Africa. In this case, Nigeria Breweries reduces its production cost by producing large quantities in Nigeria and then uses its higher financial ability to market the products in the other West African countries.

Further, the decision to form a joint venture with Heineken was the result of perceiving the ability access raw materials that are produced in the Netherlands and also importing the production technology. As a result of this, the partnership with Heineken resulted in reduced costs of transaction in obtaining a technology that other firms in Nigeria do not have (Whitelock, 2002). Further, Nigeria Breweries has been able to exploit the connections that Heineken has in South Africa in order to export its products to the country. The use of this approach is as predicted in the eclectic approach of investment in the foreign markets.

Recommendations

            While the company has done an excellent job of marketing and distributing its product to the greater international community and has managed to internationalize in a relatively short period of time, there are still ample areas in which improvements could be made. (Hamersveld and Bont, 2007) There are always areas that could be improved and the company has yet to employ some of its more appropriate tactics in order to gain a wider and more diverse international audience.  The following are areas where the company would greatly benefit from internationalization improvements.

Improvement and Expansion of Distribution Channels

            Right now, connections with TESCO and ASDA Stores in the United Kingdom help to ensure that the companies many alcoholic offerings are available to people living within the UK; however, this is not nearly sufficient.  There are so many more distribution outlets within the UK, not to mention the rest of the European Union, that Nigeria Breweries Plc has failed to properly target and exploit.  The company should have at least five to ten distribution channels in each of its major areas of interest (Weathington, Cunningham and Pittenger, 2012).  Two is a small number and hardly maximizes the potential for exposure available.  It would be extremely fruitful for the company to reach out to local area consultants in each of its target international areas and form working relationships with distributers.  This would take minimum effort and resources and have high returns (Weathington, Cunningham and Pittenger, 2012).

According to the eclectic paradigm, a company should try to increase its investments in different countries provided that the transactional costs are not going to exceed the gains. So far, considering that Nigeria Breweries though with a good revenue flow in Nigeria may not be in a position to have foreign direct investment in developed countries, it would be beneficial to aggressively use third party distributors. For example, Australia is renowned as one of the most lucrative markets for the selling of alcoholic beverages (Smith, 2000).  Not only do Australians consume a lot of beer and related products, studies show that they appreciate variety and diversity in their products (Smith, 2000).  Therefore, it is absurd that Nigerian Breweries Plc has yet to market its products to this target audience.  Here is an audience that is already established.  There is no need to convince Aussies to partake in alcohol (unlike many Middle Eastern nations where alcohol is not commonly consumed).  All the company needs to do is form appropriate partnerships and relationships with distribution channels and other similar businesses in Australia and it would have an entirely new clientele to sell to.  It is imperative that businesses which want to internationalize be able to readily see where there is an already thriving market and target it (Roberts, 2009).

Mergers and Acquisition in West Africa

The use of mergers and acquisition as an internationalization strategy is one of the areas that Nigeria Breweries has failed in. Its most recent acquisition of Consolidated Breweries giving it a domestic market of 71% did not improve its standings in the international market. However, this showed that the company has the financial capacity to acquire other companies. According to the industrial approach theory of internationalization, a company should compare itself with other companies in the market it wishes to invest in and also the consumers.

Taking advantage of the above scenario, it would be appropriate for Nigeria Breweries to venture into the West African market by acquiring breweries in these countries such as Mali, Ghana, Benin e.t.c. Since Nigerian Breweries performs financially better than these companies, it would not be difficult to carry out such a process. Further, there are other factors that cement its advantage. Hofstede (2011) cautions that one of the factors that would predict failure in such a venture would be a huge difference between the cultures of the countries involved. However, in this case, the cultural differences in the West African countries are minor. Therefore, the company should critically consider merging with other companies.

In fact, by failing to expand its production sites, the company opens itself to being greatly affected by the market turbulence in Nigeria without a backup plan. In considering the concept of eclectic paradigm, the cost of remaining in Nigeria only is too high especially considering the cycles of political instability experienced in the country (Sun, et al., 2012). Therefore, expansion would mean that even in times of turbulence in Nigeria, the company would have alternative incomes coming from other countries.

Foreign Direct Investment in Emerging Markets

            Foreign direct investment is one of the internationalization strategies that requires the company to take bold steps in its investment decisions. In order for Nigerian Breweries to decide on using the FDI approach, it is important that the PESTLE analysis of the country targeted to be favorable for investment (Huo, 2013). Nigerian Breweries should target carrying out its FDI processes in Asia. Basically, Asia and in particular the Far East represents one of the highest developing emerging markets. With a high population and increasing favorable governments, it means that the political and economic environments are ripe for business. While the company may experience a few issues in terms of the legal systems, these are compensated by the superior technologies found in the countries.

            Though traditionally, the Asian marketplace has not had a robust demand for alcoholic beverages, it certainly has become a vital place for international trade and commerce.  With people visiting many international business cities, such as Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing, the demand for alcohol in these locations has skyrocketed.  Nigerian Breweries Plc would be well-served to take this into consideration and consider marketing its products to these major commerce and trade cities. (Hamersveld and Bont, 2007) This suggestion does not have to be taken too far.  Simply by just targeting the largest trade cities, the company could see significant augmentation in its bottom number.

Conclusion

            To date, it is obvious that Nigeria Breweries Plc’s internationalization strategies are based on the assumption that partnerships and cooperatives are the key to moving their company forward and targeting new markets (Frankel, 2009).  The company has revolutionized its operations in just a few short years and done an impeccable job of extending its influence into the international marketplace.  It has diversified its products, appropriately, and today it is one of the most productive and esteemed beer, lager, and malt liquor companies in all of Africa. It is likely that it will continue to expand and grow into the future, and save money, limit its risks, and maximize its chances of success in a highly competitive foreign marketplace (Haahti, Hall and Donckels, 2014).  The future looks incredibly promising for the company and it is likely that it will see lucrative returns in the future.

 

References

Dent, J. (2011). Distribution channels. 1st ed. London: Kogan Page.

Frankel, J. (2009). The Internationalization of equity markets. 1st ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Haahti, A., Hall, G. and Donckels, R. (2014). The internationalization of SMEs. 4th ed. London: Routledge.

Hamersveld, M. and Bont, C. (2007). Market research handbook. 1st ed. Chichester, West Sussex, England: John Wiley & Sons.

Hofstede, G., 2011. Dimensionalizing Cultures: The Hofstede Model in Context. Online Reading in Psychology and Culture, 2(1), pp. 3-23.

Huo, D., 2013. Cluster analysis of market potential in emerging markets: A dynamic Research Based on MArkov Chain. Romanian Journal of Economic Forecasting, XVI(4), pp. 218-231.

Liberman, L. (2013). Internationalization. 1st ed. Palgrave Macmillan.

Netzer, A. (2009). International joint ventures. 1st ed. Alphen aan den Rijn: Kluwer Law International.

Nigerian Breweries Plc. (2009). 1st ed. Lagos: FSDH.

Nigerian Breweries, (2017). Home. [online] Nigerian Breweries. Available at: https://nbplc.com/ourcompany.html# [Accessed 5 Jan. 2017].

Nigerian Breweries, 2013. Nigerian Breweries Plc: 2013 Annual Report and Accounts, Lagos: Nigerian Breweries.

Ogunbiyi, Y. (2007). Sixty years of winning with Nigeria. 1st ed. Ibadan: Bookcraft.

Roberts, D. (2009). Mergers & acquisitions. 1st ed. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons.

Smith, R. (2000). Cold beer and crocodiles. 1st ed. Washington, D.C.: Adventure Press, National Geographic Society.

Sun, S. L., Peng, M. W., Ren, B. & Yan, D., 2012. A comparative ownership advantage framework for cross-border M&As: The rise of Chinese and Indian MNEs. Journal of World Business, Volume 47, pp. 4-16.

Weathington, B., Cunningham, C. and Pittenger, D. (2012). Understanding business research. 1st ed. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons.

Whitelock, J., 2002. Theories of internationalisation and their impact on market entry. International Market Review, 19(4), pp. 342-347.

 

 

FEMSA

February 9, 2017

FEMSA

Table of Contents

Introduction. 3

Company Background and Basic History of Internationalization. 4

Uppsala Model and Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions in FEMSA Internationalization. 5

Critic of FEMSA Internationalization Strategies. 7

Mergers & Acquisitions. 7

Export Management Company. 8

Foreign Direct Investment 9

Recommendations. 9

Augment Networks with Distributing Companies. 10

Increased FDI in Latin America. 11

Conclusion. 12

References. 14

 

 


 

Introduction

            Internationalization is basically understood as the planning and implementation of both goods and services so that they can readily be adopted by foreign customers and adapted of specific locations within the international community (Haahti, Hall and Donckels, 2014).  Internationalization is a trend that has seen significant popularity in the past decade or so and has revolutionized the way in which companies throughout the world do business and conduct their everyday operations (Sjursen, 2014).

One company that has done an impeccable job of internationalization is FEMSA (Fomento Económico Mexicano, S.A.B. de C.V.).  FEMSA is headquartered and incorporated in Mexico, but is now a multinational retail and beverage company.  Its main office is in Monterrey, Mexico, a mecca of international business and commerce in Latin America (Yordán and Romm, 1994; FEMSA, 2017).  Importantly, FEMSA operates the single largest and most influential global bottling group, Coca-Cola, and owns the most abundant chain of convenience stores, OXXO, in Mexico.  Moreover, it is the second largest stakeholder in the multinational company of Heineken International.  It is not surprising, therefore, that FEMSA is a highly profitable company which boasts revenues of just shy of 20 billion USD in 2014.  It is the fifth largest Mexican-based company, and has operations throughout the Philippines and Latin America, most of which are bottling/ manufacturing plants. (Femsa.com, 2017)

This research will carefully detail the history and background of FEMSA, paying particular attention to its initiatives to internationalize and appeal to a larger global marketplace.  The paper will outline the company’s basic history of internationalization, detail its strategies for internationalization, critique these strategies using real examples from the FEMSA case study, offer recommendations for augmenting and improving its internationalization agenda, and finally provide a summary or conclusion.

Company Background and Basic History of Internationalization

FEMSA has enjoyed a long history and was first listed, in 1978, on the Mexican Stock Exchange.  It was not until twenty years later, in 1998, that it made its first appearance on the New York Stock Exchange through ADRs.  It is now a member of the IPC and of the S&P Latin America 40.  However, its history goes back much further. It traces its origins to the foundation of Cervecería Cuauhtémoc in 1890 by a team of prominent Latin American business men. The brewery, during the 1910 Mexican Revolution, was taken over by new owners. (Yordán and Romm, 1994)

In around 1936, both Cervecería Cuauhtémoc and the Vidriera Monterrey were owned by a two-family partnership consisting of the Garza and Sada families. At this time, both families decided to restructure their holdings and create a joint-venture (JV) which later became known as FEMSA. The new JV serves as a holding company; it controlled the shares of both families.  Its major shares were held in Cervecería Cuauhtémoc and FAMOSA (Fábricas Monterrey, S.A.). (On the record with Jose Antonio Fernández Carbajal, 2008)

Some 52 years later, in 1988, FEMSA was officially established after the previous holding company restructured its debt (Yordán and Romm, 1994).  FEMSA is the main subsidiary of VISA, and its emergence is attributed to Eugenio Garza Lagüera who brought together four interrelated business ideas – alcoholic beverages, soft-drinks, packaging, and retail companies – to form a new, diverse international company.  Today, FEMSA is a leading company which is highly competitive in the international beverage, packaging, and marketing scene. It participates in the beverage industry via Coca-Cola FEMSA, and is the single largest bottler of Coca-Cola products throughout the world. (Femsa.com, 2017)   It also partakes in the international beer industry, via its large equity stake in Heineken – a leading brewing company with operations in more than 70 countries on all six inhabitable continents.  Moreover, it participates in the retail industry through its subsidiary FEMSA Comercio.  This subsidiary is made up of many small-format chains and individual stores to include OCCO and OXXO Gas, a fuel division chain of service retail stations.  Its Strategic Business Unit is highly lauded for providing impeccable logistics, point of sale refrigeration options and solutions, and plastic solutions to FEMSA’s third party clients and business units. (Femsa.com, 2017)

Country Internationalization strategy
Philippines Merger and acquisition (Coca-Cola Philippines)
United States of America Export Management Company (Heineken USA)
Brazil Merger and Acquisition (Vonpar)
Colombia Foreign Direct Investment

 

Uppsala Model and Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions in FEMSA Internationalization

The Uppsala model predicts that when entering foreign countries, firms do so in increasing order of the psychic distance from the country. Basically, the model emphasizes that rational profit maximizing firms should be careful when evaluating the profit potential and feasibility of foreign countries and the countries in an order of decreasing expected profits (Johanson & Vahlne, 2009). The model assumes that at every instance, firms are proactively pursuing international opportunities and that obtaining information about the potential profitability of the countries is possible. Psychic distance relates to factors such as culture, religion, language, and development levels. Hofstede (2011) specifically points at culture as a major concern in a company’s decision to enter the market. The assumption held by Hofstede and confirmed by the Uppsala model is that the market-specific characteristics of a country such as national culture and business environment are an important link to the success of the firm.

Observing the investment patterns of FEMSA, it is clear that the company has taken into consideration the Uppsala model. First, the foreign investments of the company are concentrated in Latin America through acquisitions in Colombia and the Philippines. Further, the company has expanded its acquisitions to include Brazil. In fact, in Colombia, FEMSA has used the Foreign Direct Investment approach and has built its most efficient plant worth $250 million (Leith, 2015). The company’s confidence in the Columbian, Philippines, and Brazilian markets is as a result of the closeness in culture with the parent company’s country, Mexico (FEMSA, 2013). Hofstede predicts that in such a scenario where the investor invests in a country where they share similarities in terms of the national culture, there is a high likelihood of success (Hofstede, 2011).

The Uppsala model has also informed FEMSA’s investment decisions in the USA. Before FEMSA formed a partnership with Heineken, the company had only carried out export of its products to the Southern parts of the USA. Due to border proximity, Mexico shares a lot of characteristics with the states in the south of the USA (House, et al., 2002). As such, the company was cautious not to venture into the northern parts where huge differences existed. However, as the Uppsala model predicts, as a company continues to learn the business environment in which it exists, it continues to increase the investment. The learning curve of FEMSA was hastened by Heineken which had been in the USA market for a while. Therefore, instead of acquisitions or FDIs like in the other areas, FEMSA chose to give Heineken sole ownership of distribution rights of its products. This way, since the psychic distance that FEMSA perceived to exist with the USA was huge, the company was able to have its products sold in the USA without incurring costs of transport and creating distribution channels.

Critic of FEMSA Internationalization Strategies

Within the business world, there are many useful strategies that companies can and do employ to internationalize their businesses in a cost-effective, efficient, and marketable manner.  Studies indicate that companies which use smart internationalization strategies are significantly more likely to thrive and turn a lucrative profit in the highly competitive global marketplace (García-Merino and Santos-Álarez, 2011).  This section will careful explain the three strategies FEMSA has employed most readily in order to internationalize: mergers & acquisitions, Foreign Direct Investment, export management companies.

Mergers & Acquisitions

FEMSA has viewed the use of mergers & acquisitions as a lucrative method of entering foreign markets. So far, the company has favored vertical acquisitions where it has become the buyer of the companies hence controlling the source of supply and distribution within the companies that it has acquired. A major concern for any company when deciding to go into a merger is the cultural implications. Basically, when a company acquires another, it is expected that it will provide the managerial expertise to make the company a success (Duncan & Mtar, 2006). Lack of cultural knowledge such as language, religion, and symbols is critical and it may result in operational problems within the company.

FEMSA invested in the Brazilian market through 100% purchase of Brazil’s privately owned Vorpar. In Philippines, it acquired 51% of Coca-Cola’s shares becoming the main shareholder of the company. In acquiring these shares, FEMSA’s PESTL analysis showed it that it had a high potential for success. The political environment in Brazil and Philippines are welcoming to investors. Further, considering that the two countries are considered as emerging markets, they have a likelihood of a high level of returns (Essoussi & Merunka, 2007). In fact, considering the large number of the middle class in Brazil, FEMSA considers itself to have gained a significant market in the country. An area that may present problems to the company is the legal aspects and especially in the Philippines. Basically, countries in the emerging markets have business laws that are still maturing. However, considering that the business laws in Mexico are also in their maturity stage, there is no comparative disadvantage in investing in Philippines.

Export Management Company

The second strategy used by FEMSA is the use of Export Management Company. In this case, the company chose Heineken as its preferred distributer. According to the eclectic model, a company is likely to analyze the cost and returns from a given venture before it decides the best method to use (Whitelock, 2002). Basically, a company is likely to use the method that reduces the risks of failure in the given market. A major risk is that of the unknown. When FEMSA was operating in the USA, the company was coming from a position of knowledge of the southern population due to cultural closeness with Mexico (FEMSA, 2004). However, FEMSA did not venture into the northern parts since it was relatively new to the culture in this part. Therefore, owing to the increased risk of failure, the company had not invested there for long. Heineken had established its presence in the USA for some time and it was seeking a premium beer brand to present to the USA market. As such, FEMSA’s decision enabled it cut cost. Further, the eclectic model proposes that for highly specific products, the producer is likely to limit the distributors (Whitelock, 2002). This is what happened with FEMSA only giving rights to its premium products to Heineken only.

Foreign Direct Investment

According to Dunning (1998), a firm will only decide to have an FDI if it can perceive benefits in Ownership, location, and internationalization. For the ownership advantage, it addresses whether the firm will be able to operate at a cost that is equal to or almost equal to those of local firms. Any cost that the company incurs for being a foreigner is quantified. These costs are as a result of geographical distance, cost owing to lack of legitimacy of foreign companies, and cost owing to unknown business environment. In its decision to have a subsidiary in Columbia, FMSA had considered the home advantage and realized that owing to its proximity to Columbia, it was familiar with the Columbian environment. Further, Dunning (1998) considered location expenses as those that determine whether the price of the commodity in the host country provides a compelling advantage to have a plant built in the country. Finally, the internationalization advantage determines whether the process will be carried out through FDI or licensing. For Colombia, after removing the factor of having to import its products, FEMSA considered it an environment where it would make profits hence the choice of FDI.

Recommendations

            As shown, FEMSA does an excellent job of utilizing its internationalization strategies to gain a competitive advantage and expand its products and services throughout the world.  However, like all businesses, there are areas in need of improvement.  To further augment its internationalization plans and initiatives, the company should consider implementing some or all of the following three recommendations.

Augment Networks with Distributing Companies

            There is no doubt that the company does an above average job of forming mutually beneficial networks with many, different distribution companies throughout the globe.  It has robust distribution networks throughout all of the United States and the European Union. However, it seems to lack distribution network arrangements with companies outside of the Western world (FEMSA.com, 2017). Particularly, it does not have distribution networks in much of Asia and Australia.  These are two excellent marketplaces where people want to purchase the offerings of the company. Currently, Asia is the most populated continent in the world and most countries especially in Asia-Pacific have recorded robust growth rates. The middle-income earners have been increasing which increases the potential market for FEMSA’s products.

By applying the eclectic paradigm and the three elements of OLI used to consider benefits of internationalization, while ownership and location do not favor having a subsidiary in these countries, the internationalization element seems to point towards an efficient distribution system as the key to profitability (Whitelock, 2002). When in countries like Australia, the comparative advantages that Mexico has such as cost of labor are lost. Therefore, it would not make business sense to move operations to such an area and incur higher costs of production. In countries such as Australia, there is a growing market for foreign manufactured goods. Therefore, once the FEMSA products are produced, it should refine its distribution channels to ensure that the products reach these markets.

Currently, FEMSA’s alcoholic beverages are hardly ever seen in these portions of the world, in part due to a lack of partnerships with distribution companies.  Studies indicate that even in the most remote portions of the world, some rudimentary distribution networks exist; it is simply a matter of companies researching their specifics and engaging in dialogue with their management teams (Dent, 2011).  FEMSA could benefit from augmenting its networks with these companies.  Then, it would not have to contact individual stores or distribution centers to sell its products; instead, it could simply form a contract with the network and enjoy the benefits of its products being distributed throughout the world (Rolnicki, 1998). In fact, the eclectic model predicts that when this process of having numerous distributors is used, it results in increased competition to sell more products (Whitelock, 2002). As a result, the persons competing now become the distributors. To be able to compete with other beverages in the new market, this method is appropriate as it enables the company to have a large number of its products in different categories.

Increased FDI in Latin America

            As shown, the company specializes in very diverse product and service offerings which makes it stand out from the competition and provides it with an excellent and resilient portfolio.  However, most of these options are available in only one or two locations and have not yet internationalized.  In other words, while the company has internationalized, some of its individual products and services have not. A great example is its convenience and fuel chain, Oxxo.  These businesses models could be easily internationalized and taken into other marketplaces.  They are very well structured and have benefited the company in extraordinary ways.  They already have their initial shortcomings worked out and are not highly profitable businesses that function well and turn a very lucrative profit.  (Yanagisawa and Guellec, 2009)

According to the Uppsala model, when a company has a good understanding of the business environment in which it wishes to invest, then there is a high likelihood of being profitable in its new ventures (Johanson & Vahlne, 2009).  First, Spanish is the main language in both Mexico and most of Latin America; therefore, the business models, paperwork, contracts, and other language specific business items can be used in the new locations without having to worry about translation issues (Yanagisawa and Guellec, 2009).  Second, there is a lot of cultural similarities between Mexican people and residents of other Latin American nations.  The business model would be appropriate for these cultural needs, beliefs, and worldviews. Through FDI, FEMSA can transfer the knowledge it has learnt in the domestic market and some of its foreign subsidiaries to the new companies to be opened. Further, using FDI, FEMSA will be able to benefit from directly selling products to consumers hence gaining market knowledge.

Therefore, there is absolutely no reason that these pre-established and already-tested models cannot be used in other marketplaces within the global community.  It would be wise for FEMSA to at least consider taking the business models and setting up new businesses throughout Latin America.  This would be an exceptional beginning marketplace for expansion for several reasons.  Finally, the expansion would fill a gap throughout much of Latin America.  People throughout the world need fuel and they need food items.  These are the two major offerings Oxxo offers its customers (FEMSA.com, 2017).

Conclusion

Ultimately, there is no doubt that FEMSA has done an exceptional job of internationalizing its products and services and expanding its outreach into the greater community.  Undoubtedly, some of its uncanny ability to do so it the result of the foundation on which it was built.  Since its earliest days, the company has taken advantage of mergers and acquisitions and its ability to directly invest in the Latin American countries.  The company has a very optimistic future ahead of it and its position will be even further augmented if it employs some or all of the aforementioned recommendations.  By expanding and diversifying its manufacturing and processing plants’ locations through forming strategic subsidiaries,  expanding its products into emerging marketplaces, and augmenting its networks with distributing companies, FEMSA will continue to excel at within international global marketplace.

 

 

References

Dent, J. (2011). Distribution channels. 1st ed. London: Kogan Page.

Duncan, C. & Mtar, M., 2006. Determinants of international acquisition success: Lessons from first group in North America. European management journal, 24(6), pp. 396-410.

Essoussi, L. H. & Merunka, D., 2007. Consumers’ product evaluations in emerging markets. International MArketing Review, 24(4), pp. 409-426.

Femsa.com. (2017). FEMSA. [online] Available at: http://www.femsa.com/en [Accessed 5 Jan. 2017].

FEMSA, 2004. FEMSA and Heineken Join forces in the USA. [Online]
Available at: http://www.femsa.com/en/press/femsa-and-heineken-join-forces-usa
[Accessed 7 January 2017].

FEMSA, 2013. FEMSA in the Phillipines. [Online]
Available at: http://www.femsa.com/en/countries/filipinas
[Accessed 7 January 2017].

García-Merino, T. and Santos-Álarez, V. (2011). Managerial cognition and strategic management. 1st ed. New York: Nova Science Publishers.

Haahti, A., Hall, G. and Donckels, R. (2014). The internationalization of SMEs. 4th ed. London: Routledge.

House, R., Javidan, M., Hanges, P. & Dorfman, P., 2002. Understanding cultures and implicit leadership theories across the globe: an introduction to project GLOBE. Journal of World Business, 37(1), pp. 3-10.

Hofstede, G., 2011. Dimensionalizing Cultures: The Hofstede Model in Context. Online Reading in Psychology and Culture, 2(1), pp. 3-23.

Johanson, J. & Vahlne, J.-E., 2009. The Uppsala internationalization process model revisited: From liability of foreignness to liability of outsidership. ournal of International Business Studies, Volume 40, pp. 1411-1431.

Leith, S., 2015. Big investment in Colombia: Coca-Cola Femsa calls new plant its most efficient yet. [Online]
Available at: http://www.coca-colacompany.com/coca-cola-unbottled/big-investment-in-colombia-coca-cola-femsa-calls-new-plant-its-most-efficient-yet
[Accessed 7 January 2017].

On the record with Jose Antonio Fernández Carbajal. (2008). 1st ed. New York, N.Y.: Conference Board.

Rolnicki, K. (1998). Managing channels of distribution. 1st ed. New York: AMACOM.

Sjursen, K. (2014). Globalization. 3rd ed. Bronx, N.Y.: H.W. Wilson Co.

Whitelock, J., 2002. Theories of internationalisation and their impact on market entry. International Market Review, 19(4), pp. 342-347.

Yanagisawa, T. and Guellec, D. (2009). The Emerging Patent Marketplace. 1st ed. Paris: OECD Publishing.

Yordán, J. and Romm, M. (1994). Coca-Cola FEMSA, S.A. de C.V. 1st ed. New York, NY: CS First Boston.

 

 

Acron Group

February 9, 2017

Acron Group

Table of Contents

Introduction. 3

The Company Background History of Internationalization. 4

Eclectic Paradigm and Acron Internationalization Patterns. 5

Critic of Acron’s Internationalization Strategies. 7

Export Managing Companies. 7

Joint Ventures. 8

Acquisition. 9

Future Ideas/ Recommendations. 9

Conclusion. 12

References. 14

 

 


 

Introduction

            Internationalization is not a new phenomenon; since antiquity, ancient trade routes were established for merchants to transport their products abroad and benefit from new marketplaces and a diverse customer base (Liberman, 2013).  However, the extent of internationalization seen today far exceeds anything witnessed in any other time in recorded history.  Modern companies, especially larger ones which provide supplies and services used throughout the world, recognize that to compete in the highly competitive international marketplace and thrive in a globalized world, they must be able to internationalize their companies in an effective manner while cutting down on unnecessary expenditures when possible (Amante García and Martínez Martínez, 2014).  The goal is to maximize exposure while minimizing costs, overhead, and legalities.  This is where solid strategies come into play (Liberman, 2013).

One company which has done a great job of internationalizing and meeting the ever changing demands of the international marketplace is the Russian based company Acron Group.  Acron Group is well recognized throughout the international community as a global producer of mineral fertilizers (Acron.ru, 2017).  Its clearly defined development strategy and incredibly well detailed and articulated business model helps to ensure that the company continues to thrive, grow, and turn a lucrative profit in the foreseeable future. The company is extremely forward thinking and claims that “over the next few years our investment programme will make Acron one of the most competitive producers of complex fertilisers globally.” (Acron.ru, 2017)

This report aims to detail the company’s general history as well as its basic history of internationalization.  It will carefully detail some of the many strategies Acron relies on to internationalize its products and, subsequently, critique the effectiveness of its chosen strategies. The next section will offer recommendations to be considered in the future to ensure that the company continues to remain highly competitive.  Finally, a conclusion will be offered highlighting the likely future outlook of the company.

The Company Background History of Internationalization

            Acron Group is a very prestigious leading Russian “vertically integrated NPK producer” (Acronusa.com, 2017). It is ranked among the top ten global producers by its NPK capacity. It is comprised of two major production facilities.  The first is Acron, which was first established in 1961.  The second is Dorogobuzh, which traces its roots back to 1966. (Acronusa.com, 2017)  These two companies formed the basis of the entire Russian fertilizer industry.  Following the collapse of the Soviet Bloc, these two entities were privatized and no longer owned by the state.  To deal with the major changes involved in the privatization process, the companies underwent a substantial revamping and upgrade program.  Moreover, they consolidated their corporate governance system. Today, Acron Group has its very own distribution and logistics networks.  It also invests directly in raw materials, which eliminates the need for a middle man. Acron Group has had to make many key changes in order to increase its marketability over the years and has done a very good job of remaining highly competitive with China, the largest fertilizer market. (Acronusa.com, 2017)

In 2005, the company acquired 50.5% shares of the highly profitable fertilizer producer Hongri Acron. With this acquisition, Acron Group was able to set up its own distribution network, again cutting out the need for a middle man and augmenting its total revenue (Acronusa.com, 2017). However, in 2016, Acron sold the shares citing a need to remain within its long term goals. Then, six years later in 2011, the company entered into a very lucrative international joint venture (IJV) with Saskatchewan, Canada based company Rio Tinto.  The IJV was coined the Albany Potash Prospect; its headquarters are in Canada, thereby ensuring that the company had strategic alliances with fertilizing industries and raw material mines in Russia, China, and Canada. (Acron.ru, 2017).

Internationalization Strategies used by Acron

Country Internationalization strategy
People Republic of China Indirect Export: Export Managing Company (Yong Sheng Feng)
Estonia Acquisition of AS DBT
United States of America Indirect Export: Export Managing Company
Switzerland Indirect Export: Export Managing Company
Poland Shareholding (Grupa Azoty)
Canada Joint Venture (Rio Tinto)

 

Eclectic Paradigm and Acron Internationalization Patterns

The model of internationalisation used by Acron can best be explained by the eclectic paradigm. This theory sets out to explain the pattern of international production which is founded on the notion of the advantages that the company’s owners accrue from the foreign investment. Further, it shows that for the parent company, it is likely to weigh the attractions of the foreign market for production and finally make decisions rationally based on analysis of transactional costs (Whitelock, 2002). In particular, the use of transactional costs is important in explaining the vertical integration decisions of firms and how they decide to enter into a given market.

Using the eclectic paradigm, a transactional cost analysis assumes that there are numerous suppliers in the market hence making it competitive. Transactional cost analysis predict that when a given product is of high specificity, a firm is likely to maintain control of the distribution channels in order to control its specific advantages in the market (Whitelock, 2002). On the other hand, the firm is likely to have numerous suppliers to encourage efficiency. In the case of Acron, using this paradigm, the company has been highly critical of the cost of operation in foreign companies. In 2016, Acron group sold its stake in the Chinese producer Hongri Acron (Acron, 2016). Initially, the company had acquired these shares considering the large market in China. In its 2009 annual report, when describing the business environment in China, Acron stated that one of the main problems was the legal system within China. The company stated that the legal system in China though depending on written statutes was not fully developed. It lamented the fact that previous decisions make in similar cases were not binding and new and totally different decisions could be entered against a company in future cases (Acron, 2009). Owing to this, the company felt that the protection given by the law was not adequate for it to continue operating in China. In its 2016 decision to sell stakes it held in the Chinese company, Acron considered the uncertainties as would be predicted in the eclectic paradigm.

Using the eclectic paradigm, it would be expected that a company only invests in a foreign country when it has certain advantages that limit its costs and increase its returns. So far, while Acron has used export managing companies to invest in Switzerland, China, and USA, it acquired the Estonian company AS DBT and also acquired shares in Poland’s Grupa Azoty. Both Estonia and Poland being part of the former USSR, their traditions do not differ much with those of Russia. According to Hofstede (2011), the ease of a company doing business in a foreign country is greatly dependent on the closeness between the cultures of the parent company’s country and the host country (Hofstede, 2011). As a result of this, Acron can easily make the few changes in its management styles to meet the standards required by Estonia and Poland. Unfortunately, Acron does not hold similar advantages in USA and Switzerland hence choosing a less hands on approach which would not require it to directly do business in the countries.

Critic of Acron’s Internationalization Strategies

Companies in the modern marketplace not only have to internationalize, they also must take advantage of the best and most appropriate internationalization strategies in order to remain competitive (Amante García and Martínez Martínez, 2014). In the case of Acron Group, a wide array of strategies are employed including international joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, and Export Managing Companies (Fry et al., 2014).

Export Managing Companies

            When a company chooses to internationalize through indirect export, it means that the company is not active in the foreign market. Instead, it gives activities such as transport, handling of payments, and product delivery to an export management company that is situated in the home country. As a result of this, all the risks are passed to the intermediary. For Acron, this is the approach that it chose for China, the USA, and Switzerland (Durmaz & Tasdemir, 2014). The choice of Acron to use export managing companies in the three countries can best be explained through the business environments. For the USA, the country’s population and economic might provides an important market outlet for Acron’s products. Unfortunately, USA and Russia’s relations have always shifted based on the administration in power hence creating a hostile political environment for Acron (IBP.Inc, 2015). As shown for China, the decision to sell its shares in Hongri Acron and use Yong Sheng Feng for distribution of its products was informed by lack of a stable legal environment. For Switzerland, the reason for Russia’s establishment of an Export Management Company is to take advantage of the good political relationship between the countries (Lyubinsky, 2014). While Russia does not enjoy such cordial treatment with some of the European countries, the good relations with Switzerland means that it can use Swiss companies to distribute fertilizer to the rest of the European countries. This has been achieved through the Switzerland based companies Agronova Europe AG and Agronova International Inc.

Joint Ventures

            Acron has also benefited from forming several IJV. Its IJV with Rio Tinto, which formed the Albany Potash Prospect, provided the company with yet another means of obtaining raw materials needed to make its products.  Ultimately, this helped to cut out the middle man and protected the company from being beholden and vulnerable to suppliers of raw materials. The creation of a joint venture between Acron and Canada’s Rio Tinto is in line with the company’s eclectic paradigm concept. The concept predicts that when an asset is of high specificity, a company is likely to maintain control in order to ensure that the specific advantages are retained in the market (Whitelock, 2002). Since Acron had operated a subsidiary in Canada for some time, the discovery of potash would mean pushing down the company’s fertilizer production costs. As a result, to ensure that these benefits were kept, Acron thus reach a joint venture agreement with Rio Tinto Group which is a company whose origin is in Canada (Acron, 2014). While Acron provides the financial muscle in the venture, Rio Tinto has an advantage of knowledge of the Canadian market and laws hence reducing the would be transaction costs for Acron in that area.

Acquisition

Recently, Acron has used the concept of acquisition with a lot of caution. When the company first acquired 50.5% shares in Hongri Acron, it had envisioned market benefits such as a high population and a growth of the Chinese economy at a higher rate than other world economies. The failure in the Chinese approach and the likely success in its current acquisition of Estonia’s AS DBT and Poland’s Grupa Azoty can be explained by Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. According to Hofstede, when countries are far apart in several cultural aspects, there is a likelihood of failure of a business venture that a company wishes to run in such a country. Based on Hofstede’s research, there is a big difference between China and Russia in terms of individualistic concept, masculinity, and uncertainty (Hofstede, 2011). This is further compounded by the language barrier between the countries. While Estonia and Poland also have differences with Russia in terms of several Hofstede dimensions, they share several similarities in their cultures. As a result of this, Russia’s Chinese venture’s failure was owing to lack of critical consideration of culture.

Future Ideas/ Recommendations

            The previous sections testify to the company’s appropriate use of effective and well thought out internationalization strategies and its ability to market its products to the greater global community. Complacency is an issue that all businesses, especially large and successful ones, must fight against (Buckley, 2009).  It is too easy for companies which are experiencing success and extreme profitability to become careless in their business models and initiatives; therefore, it is germane for companies to continue to work hard to continue to retain their competitive advantage and adapt to market changes (Rolnicki, 1998).

The first recommendation for improving the business’s internationalization strategy would be to form more and better joint ventures with American businesses (Netzer, 2009).  The recent political environment in the U.S. is uncertain with the 2016 election of the new President; and many investors are leery because a lot is unknown.  One recent study reported “While we’ve seen wildly positive sentiment in many of the investor and consumer surveys released recently, it appears that Wall Street strategists don’t have high expectations for the stock market in the year ahead, many due to Trump’s foreign trade policies” (NBC, 2017).  While President Elect Trump seems to be on amicable terms with Russia, he and his administration has spoken out concerning the push towards eliminating free trade contracts and levying taxes on foreign exports.  This might mean that Acron Groups’ will be taxed heavily; this will make it extraordinarily hard for the company to compete with American companies (Young, 2009).

Based on the eclectic theory, for every transaction that Acon wishes to make, it must consider the costs and benefits of such ventures. Currently, while the use of an export managing company has been rewarding, if America changes its export and import policies, Acron’s products will be adversely affected in the USA. As a result of this, the company will suffer from having its products being priced much higher than those of other companies. Since there is a likelihood of having better relationships with the USA government, then having a joint venture where it produces its goods inside the USA will provide better returns than using the current strategy of indirect export. For example, it may be wise for Acron Group to try to form a partnership with an American fertilizer company.  This would work to the company’s advantage on several levels.  First, a competitor would no longer be a threat; rather, the two entities would work together for a mutual goal.  Second, Acron Group could protect itself from future trade policies which could threaten its marketability and competitiveness in the American marketplace (Tueth, 2010).

A second internationalization strategy the company should consider is the use of direct marketing. Acron is one of the largest companies by revenue. As a result, the company is financially able to carry out its own distributions. Currently, Acron Group boasts a competitive advantage in part because of its extensive distribution networks, particularly throughout Russia and China (where its main competitor companies are located). The company’s distribution chain does not stop there; instead, it had well-established distribution networks in Europe and the USA.  It notes that these relationships “provide the Group with market diversification and 100% product sales” (Acron.ru, 2017).  Further, the company is able to hold on to leading marketing positions in Brazil and Thailand due largely to its effective distribution chains (Acron.ru, 2017). In sum, the company has done an excellent job of appropriately using distribution chains to internationalize its products.  It has made many sound decisions to include partnering with well-established intermediaries and distributing its products throughout China, its largest competitor.

The World Trade Organization has been working to ensure reduction in tariffs and reducing discrimination of trading countries (Porter, 2015). Therefore, in areas where countries could have treated Russia negatively, the country will not have such a problem. As a result of this, several business environment factors as would be laid out in a PESTLE analysis will improve. In particular, the political environment will be more welcoming to the Russian companies such as Acron. In fact, another advantage gained from such an approach would be the ability of Acron to learn the market in details so as to consider other more aggressive strategies of entry. Since the main hindrance to using direct trade in some of the countries such as the USA and other European countries has been the stringent laws applied against it, then the assistance received from the World Trade Organization will ensure an easier way of maneuvering through the political systems in the respective countries.

Further, to form more direct relationships with high end customers so as to avoid losing money with middle men.  Already, the Group does a great job of selling its products directly to its buyers.  The company should consider furthering this initiative and doing more research to identify other larger purchasers who, currently, are buying the company’s products from a middle man.  On scholar notes that “You don’t need to be a corporate giant to save big on distribution costs. By marketing directly to customers, companies can reap the benefits of significant savings opportunities” (Durmaz & Tasdemir, 2014).  By identifying and marketing directly to these customers, the company can maximize its profits and avoid the risk of losing customers due to the increased costs associated with a longer distribution chain.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Acron Group has done an excellent job of appropriately using distribution chains to internationalize its products.  Moreover, it has made many sound decisions to include partnering with well-established intermediaries and distributing its products throughout China, its largest competitor.  There is little room for improvement in this sphere.  It is well on its way to fully benefiting from internationalization norms and trends.  Nonetheless, several shortcomings were identified that should be carefully considered if the company hopes to compete in the international marketplace and not be put at risk of an alternative product taking over.  The first recommendation for improving the business’s internationalization strategy would be to form more and better joint ventures with American businesses. A second internationalization strategy the company should consider is to form more direct relationships with high end customers so as to avoid losing money with middle men.  If the company takes advantage of these recommendations and employs them, then it is likely that it will continue to reap the benefits of globalization and internationalization trends.

 

           

 

References

Acron.ru. (2017). Acron. [online] Available at: http://www.acron.ru/en/ [Accessed 5 Jan. 2017].

Acronusa.com. (2017). ACRON – Building Wealth – ACRON Group – History. [online] Available at: http://www.acronusa.com/cnt_acron/en_history.php [Accessed 5 Jan. 2017].

Acron, 2009. Annual Report 2009: Acron, Moscow: Acron.

Acron, 2014. Acron Group and Rio Tinto Group forms Joint Venture Company to develop Albany potash prospect in Saskatchewan. [Online]
Available at: http://www.acron.ru/en/presscentre/pressrelease/10579/
[Accessed 7 January 2017].

Acron, 2016. Acron Group Sells its Stake in Chinese Producer Hongri Acron. [Online]
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[Accessed 7 January 2017].

Amante García, B. and Martínez Martínez, M. (2014). Internationalization: Changes and challenges chasing internationalization targeting. Journal of Technology and Science Education, 4(1).

Buckley, P. (2009). Business history and international business. Business History, 51(3), pp.307-333.

Durmaz, Y. & Tasdemir, A., 2014. A Theoretical Approach to the Methods Introduction to International Markets. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 5(6(1)), pp. 47-54.

Fry, F., Stoner, C., Weinzimmer, L. and Fry, F. (2014). Strategic planning for new & emerging businesses. 4th ed. Chicago, Ill.: Dearborn Trade.

Hofstede, G., 2011. Dimensionalizing Cultures: The Hofstede Model in Context. Online Reading in Psychology and Culture, 2(1), pp. 3-23.

IBP.Inc, 2015. Russia Today. Atlas for Business and Political Decision Makers – Strategic Information and Developments. Washington, DC: Int’l Business Publications.

Liberman, L. (2013). Internationalization. 1st ed. Palgrave Macmillan.

Lyubinsky, S., 2014. Great Optimism about the future of Russian-Swiss Relations. International Affairs: A Russian Journal of World Politics, Diplomacy and International Relations, Volume 1, p. 3.

NBC. (2017). Despite investors’ enthusiasm for Trump’s policies, Wall Street’s outlook remains muted. [online] Available at: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/29/despite-investors-enthusiasm-for-trumps-policies-wall-streets-outlook-remains-muted.html [Accessed 5 Jan. 2017].

Netzer, A. (2009). International joint ventures. 1st ed. Alphen aan den Rijn: Kluwer Law International.

Porter, R. B., 2015. The World Trade Organization at Twenty. The Brown Journal of World Affairs, XXI(II), pp. 103-115.

Rolnicki, K. (1998). Managing channels of distribution. 1st ed. New York: AMACOM.

Tueth, M. (2010). Fundamentals of sustainable business. 1st ed. Hackensack, NJ: World Scientific.

Whitelock, J., 2002. Theories of internationalisation and their impact on market entry. International Market Review, 19(4), pp. 342-347.

Young, M. (2009). Free trade. 1st ed. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.

Law and Legal Reasoning

February 9, 2017

Facts of the Case

The website BuzzFeed has published an article on the existence of alleged intelligence reports claiming that the Russian government has a dossier of information about Donald Trump collected over years. With the article, the BuzzFeed website has also attached the alleged intelligence report for all to see. According to the website, the source of information is a person claiming to have worked for the British Intelligence offices. The report alleges that Donald Trump has personal ties with the Russian government who have also been assisting and supporting his campaign efforts. Trump feels that these allegations are an attack on his person and reputation hence he wants to sue for defamation and libel. In this case brief, I will advise Donald Trump on whether I believe he would win this lawsuit.

Libel

Libel is viewed as defamation by any form of communication that touches on a person reputation. In a court of law, a lawsuit can be filled by a compensation for injuries on profession or personal reputation claiming compensation from a publisher who reports falsified information that exposes the victim to hatred, ridicule or public contempt (Cornell.edu, 2015). However, an attack on a public figure reputation requires that even after the plaintiff proves that publisher knew that published the statement was false before publishing, and the publisher printed the statement  without regards for its truth or not which constitutes ‘actual malice’ (Sack, 2014). Actual malice, therefore, relates to knowing that the publisher knew the statement was false before publication yet went ahead and published it or failed to perfume a background check on the validity of the information printed before going to print (Abraham Keller, 2014).

Actual Malice

In any libel and defamation lawsuit filed by any public figure the burden proof falls to the plaintiff (Edmondson, 2017).  In other countries, the publisher is liable for all the defamatory statement published but in the United States, the First Amendment protects the publication of all statements about public figures. The publisher can make defamatory statements concerning the conduct of Public officials and the court can hold them liable if the statements were made with actual malice. The plaintiff, therefore, must prove to the courts that the publisher was at fault when publishing the defamatory statement. Actual malice in defamation suits removes the feeling of the reporter towards the public figure from the case. To the courts, the conditions of actual malice requires that the plaintiff prove that the publisher printed the statement while fully aware of the fact that it was false and in doing his duties, the reporter disregarded the truth or the falsity of the statement (Youm, 2014).  Actual malice conditions requires the plaintiff to produce clear evidence to convenience the courts that there publisher deliberately published false information while fully aware it was false and didn’t bother to check whether the information was false or true with the public figure or the source of the information.

The two standards of actual malice require Donald Trump to prove that BuzzFeed knowingly published false information about him and didn’t bother to check whether the information was false or true. The publisher shouldn’t publish any information that false and even when making any statement about public figures, it’s important that they do some background research to ascertain the validity of their sources and contact them for a comment. In this case, the website can only be held liable for defamation using falsity if there was no effort to ascertain the truth or false nature of the allegations. As they stated in their report, these are allegation made by a third party hence the website is simply reporting the information they have which is their job (Ken Bensinger, 2016). According to their publication, these are explosive and unverified allegations that can neither be confirmed nor denied by the website. In the entire article, there is no single point where the report mentions any single allegation statement, addition or comments made by anyone else in the website offices but only quote from their unknown source. Their research in the information already points at the discrepancies they too identified in the dossier which distances the website from all the alleged information on Donald Trump.

In 1964, the Sullivan case transformed actual malice from common law ‘element of a libel plaintiff burden of proof’ to a constitutional one when they ruled in favor of the New York Times.  In the case brought against the newspaper for defamation, the court held that for a public officer (Sullivan) to receive compensation from the defendant, he must prove that the publisher made the defamatory statement while fully aware it was false.  Thus, ill will, contempt and hatred has nothing to do with the publishers intentions of publishing a false statement hence the plaintiff must prove that the publisher knew the information to be false beforehand and the publisher didn’t take any steps to establish the truthfulness or falsity of these statements (US Courts , 1964). In this case, there is plenty of effort to establish the validity the information in the dossier from the website.

To win this law suit, Donald Trump has to prove that the website published this information:

  • with knowledge that it was false
  • with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not

With knowledge that information was false is something hard for the plaintiff to prove in a court of law because they are not the source of the information. The dossier is a collection of allegations made about the presidential campaign, the candidate and some of things in these files cannot be countered in a court of law. While it’s possible to argue all the information is fabrications, there is no way of disputing them with absolute certainty from Trump’s campaign team or the opposition accused of preparing these files. The publisher has no way knowing establishing that this information is false. Without any knowledge that the dossier was all falsified, the plaintiff cannot seek any damages in a court of law.

Disregard of whether the information was false or not brings us to the next complication with this suit. After receiving information from their source, the next step requires due diligence by the publisher. Once they have these allegations, BuzzFeed conducted an investigation of their own on the validity of these allegation. To highlight their regard whether the information was true or not, they have already made numerous corrections to the information hence they showed regard to whether the information was true or false. Identifying inconsistencies in the dossier and refraining from ascertaining anything in the publication clearly shows that the website is concerned with establishing the validity of the information. Before going to print, they directly contacted Trump’s attorney, who denies the allegations which is proof of background research.

Tavoulareas v. Piro in the D. C Circuit court argued that the defendant’s attitude towards the plaintiff in defamation cases shouldn’t be used as way of establishing actual malice (Abraham Keller, 2014). While the website might have printed this report as a way of increasing their viewing and rating with those opposed to Trumps election to presidency, their case is well researched which makes it fully acceptable. In this context, the details in the dossier may be all lies or fabrications by the opposition but since the article already mentioned that, then there is no law against reporting what is written by others. The Website has distanced itself from all the reports, labeled them as allegations already and made sure that they too raise concerns about the validity of the details provided by their source. In the end, they attached the entire document to their publication without any opinions on whether they supported these allegations which makes it hard to prove defamation. Nothing in this report comes from the publisher hence its futile to take them to court.

In their report, the website hasn’t accused Trump of anything. From a different legal prospective, the people directly vindicated in this publication are the Russian government and the opposition. According to BuzzFeed, the information was prepared by the opposition in a bid trash Trump during the campaign with their source being the Russian government. In the dossier, FSB is mentioned and a number of Russian officials have been quoted and named. These are the victims of these publications and if anyone is in a place to question the legality of these documents they should. At the moment, it’s alleged as compromising information by the Russia on Trump hence if Trump has a problem with anyone; it should be the Russians for having compromising information on him, invading his privacy and airing his sexual obscenities to the entire world. If the file was prepared by the opposition in their attempt to sneer dirt on their opponent, the Trump should take it up with the Hillary team and not the media because BuzzFeed reporting on this story is just them doing their jobs.

 

 

 

References

Abraham Keller, N. V. (2014). Research exercise: Analyzing the Actual Malice Standard in New York and Virginia Defamation Cases.

Cornell.edu. (2015). Libel. Retrieved 2017, from Legal Information Institute : https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/libel

Edmondson, A. (2017). Rearticulating New York Times v. Sullivan as a Social Duty to Journalists. Journalism Studies 18.1 , 86-101.

Judith Haydel, H. B. (2015). Actual Malice. The Encyclopedia of Civil Liberties in America, 7.

Ken Bensinger, M. E. (2016, Jan 10). These Reports Allege Trump Has Deep Ties To Russia. BuzzFeed News.

OYez.org. (2017). The New York Times Company V. Sulivan. Retrieved 26 2017, from https://www.oyez.org/cases/1963/39

Sack, R. D. (2014). New York Times Co. v. Sullivan-50-Year Afterwords. Alaska LAw Review 66, 273.

US Courts . (1964, March 9). New York Times v. Sullivan Podcast. Retrieved January 26, 2017, from US Courts : http://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/educational-resources/supreme-court-landmarks/new-york-times-v-sullivan-podcast

Youm, K. H. (2014). The “Actual Malice” of New York Times Co. v. Sullivan: A Free Speech Touchstone in a Global Century. Communication Law and Policy 19.2, 185-210.

 

A CASE STUDY OF A PATIENT WITH ANEMIA

February 8, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A CASE STUDY OF A PATIENT WITH ANEMIA

 

 

 

 

Name

Course

Institution

 

 

Introduction

Anemia is an abnormality in the body of a person. [1]It arises from a complication of a disease. It is therefore not a disease. It has different kinds of definitions. It may be defined in the quantitative or qualitative manner. In a manner of quantity; in females one is deemed to be anemic if the hematotric is <37% and in men <41%. The reason is iron is the main component in hemoglobin. It is therefore responsible for the transmission of oxygen through the red blood cells. In matters of quality anemia can be defined as an abnormal low number of red blood cells that are circulating. Therefore, the result low levels of oxygen available in the blood.[2]

Prevalence

It is the most single occurring deficiency disease in world[3]. It affects people of all jobs. Approximately, a fifth of the world suffers from this iron deficiency. Females demonstrate a higher number of deficiencies in iron; six percent of them.  Men on the other hand; it occurs in every four percent. The paper describes a case study of a pre-menopausal woman; with severe anemia. Her name is Jewry[4].

Case study

`           She is a teacher; she constantly complains of frequently being tired. Many the times she gets nausea. Sometimes, she claims to notice her skin turn yellow. Seeking to know further symptoms she says; she is frequently dizzy and sometimes faints. She notices that the dizziness and falls is as a result of standing for long hours. When participating in exercises she complains of shortness of breath an inability to breathe properly. She has noticed weight loss since she began having the symptoms. When further interrogated she denies a number of symptoms. Those include; change of bowel habits; abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, changes colour of both urine and stool. Lastly, she denies having dysphagia. However, she admits to having taken over the counter drugs. Those are normal painkillers due to her headaches. She says she has been eating normally. Due to severity of the symptoms her appetite has gradually been reducing.[5]

According to Jewry, she thinks her symptoms first appear; around eight months prior to the visit. During the period her symptoms gradually worsened. Thus, she decides to have a check-up. Looking at her skin her sclera was completely clear. However, at closer look at the colour; it appears to have a yellow colour. That was colour that she previously describes. Her heart beat was normal; with a regular beat of a hundred and ten beats per minute. However, she was a tachycardiac but at rest she was a tachypnoeic.[6]

Her chest was clear and there were no signs of blockage resulting to difficulty in breathing. She did not have any calf tenderness or swelling. When checking her heartbeat; the sounds were clear. Thus, there was nothing that could cause unclearness of the heartbeats. There was a need to examine her abdomen. It showed no masses, tenderness or even organomegaly.[7]

Medical History

Jewry was not a smoker in whatever way. However, she admits to taking alcohol a number of times. She says her consumption is not frequent. In most circumstances, she takes it during parties. They occur around once a month. However, during the parties she says her consumption is still minimal. Her gynaecological history; that dates back to twenty years earlier reveals that she had menstrual abnormality. At this time she had an abnormal cycle; whereby her menses would come after twenty one days. [8]

It is during that period; that she would experiences heavy blood flow. During, her subsequent pregnancies she has had to take iron boaster pills. She therefore has had a few minor gynaecological procedures.  Her medication intake has not been consistent; since she has no disorder. Her medication intake has risen due to her frequent headaches. The same case applies to her appetite that had reduced drastically due to her increased symptoms. Her history somehow gives a clue of having anemia. However, the possibility of having thyroid disorder could be ruled out. There was a also possibility of having hepatic and renal dysfunction. The tests were therefore arranged according to the order of the suspicions.[9]

Results from the tests

Immediately after the results, Jewry was called in to receive them. The test revealed a very low quantity and quality if hemoglobin levels. It showed that the levels were 5.8 g/dl. The mean cell volume was drastically low; being 111fl. Her white blood cells were accurate and adequate for performance. On the other hand the platelets levels were also very low. 130*100/L. the TFTs and U&E levels her glucose levels were normal. It means they had an ESR of 19mm/hr. The levels of bilirubin were very high, being 60 micromol/L. Other LFTs were normal[10].

There was a very high possibility of her diagnosis being that she had; the anemic disorder. Considering her low hemoglobin level; which were less than half of the required levels in a lady. Her results could show that she had a deficiency of vitamin B12 also known as folate deficiency. It is the leading cause of haemolytic anemia. It is also known as myelodysplasia. At this point it is possible to consider admission. However, an advice from the haematologist confirmed that an admission might not be necessary. He even confirms that blood transfusion might not be included. It is because the folate and B12 levels would have to be urgently assessed.[11]

On further test if the later appear normal then bone marrow analysis would be indicated. There was an absence of a significant reticulocytosis were arguing that haemolytic anemia was not the major cause of anemia. The test on B12 levels were conducted a second time.  They still were very low. It was despite the fact that they were performed by a different analyst. The results of the B12 remained the same. The folate levels still were around the normal levels. Secondly, the ferritin levels were not abnormal in any way. With the results it was possible if she really was suffering from anemia. It is also imperative to determine the type of anemia that she was suffering from.[12]

Treatment and management

The diagnosis was pernicious anemia. With it as the abnormality it is crucial to treat her for the exact abnormality. If not taken seriously the results may be very fatal. On that same day Jewry had to begin her medication. She began having six injections of 1mg hydroxocobalamin for more than two weeks. It was paramount that she receives supplementary ferrous sulphate. It is imperative that she still receives folic acid boasters. She took part in for more than a month without hesitation. It an expectation that after the dosage is over the patient will begin to feel better. The symptoms will soon subside.[13]

Two weeks after she started her medication. She began to feel different and also notice difference. The symptoms were fading away. The nausea began to slowly go away. The same thing applied to her headaches and light headedness. She began to have her energy back. She also has less of the difficulty in breathing. As result simple exercise such as walking were proving not to be difficult. It was also very important to find out if indeed her hemoglobin levels were reflecting as she physically felt better.[14]

Therefore a second test was unavoidable. In the second blood test the hemoglobin levels were 7.7g/dl. On the other hand her mean cell volume 107fl. Her platelet levels were normal. The bilirubin levels also appeared normal. She still could stop taking the medication because the levels of hemoglobin were still low. However, the progress was noticeable. She still had to take the medications for another one month. After the one month she was to take another test. The results of the test were amazing. Indeed the taking medication caused a lot of changes. Her mean cell volume had gone back to normal. Her hemoglobin levels had more than doubled from her first visit. It was evident that indeed the diagnosis was not wrong with the levels shooting up to 11.8g/dl.[15]

The doctor’s instructions were that was still a possibility of the levels going down again. The doctor’s advice included taking large quantities of fluid. Apart from increase the levels of taking veggies; which play a great role in increasing the blood levels and also maintaining the normal hemoglobin levels. Apart from that she was to receive a three month injection of hydroxocobalamin.  They would help maintain her blood levels.[16]

Discussion

Intake of vitamin B12 is essential in ensuring proper hemoglobin levels. It plays a magnificent role in synthesizing of DNA and thymidine. Deficiency will result in less production of red blood cells. When the cells are less in the body; it means that there will be less oxygen in body. It is because the red cells are responsible for carrying oxygen all through the body. That is the reason why patients with anemia are often feel dizzy. Sometimes the dizziness may result in fainting. Through fainting it is clear that there is no sufficient supply of oxygen in the brain.[17]

Deficiency of the vitamin is mostly as a result of poor intake of veggies. The same foods those are rich in folic acid. The vitamin is not available in plants. Sometimes, the deficiency is as result in mal-absorption. It is mainly, because an individual lacks the intrinsic factor that is available in the stomach. It causes the pernicious anemia due to post-gastrectomy. When there is a problem of B12 absorption; it must be given intramuscularly. [18]

Pernicious anemia has got a female preponderance and conditions in relation to immunity of the system. As result the skin shows evidence of jaundice. It is because the red cells produced are due to the fact the bone marrow is already in state that it is compromised. The cells are therefore haemolysed causing a liberating bilirubin. The condition is usually corrected very fast by providing the patient with the vitamin supplements. When a patient is for a long time exposed to the insufficiency of the vitamin; the feet and hand may be affected by paraesthesia. Sometimes, may result in angular stomatities and reversible dementia to the elderly.[19]

Conclusion

It is clear that the deficiency of iron is as a result of lacking certain foods in the body. Intake of sufficient folic acid will help prevent the deficiency. Anemia is prevalent mostly in pregnant women and those in the pre-menopausal ages. It generally affects women of all ages however; those mentioned are the most affected. It is because of the menstrual cycle; as much as it is normal to others especially the elderly it becomes a disorder. It slowly develops into anemia. In such scenarios individuals should take a lot of fluid and sufficient iron rich foods. [20]

For patients that have the above symptoms it is highly advisable to go for check up. Proper diagnosis of anemia involves taking medication to letter. It involves complete follow of the doctors’ advice. It is clear that in most circumstance the deficiency is preventable. The case study above shows that with proper medication; will completely do away with the condition.[21]

 

 

 

 

 

References

Block GA, Fishbane S, Rodriguez M, Smits G, Shemesh S, Pergola PE, Wolf M, Chertow GM. A 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of ferric citrate for the treatment of iron deficiency anemia and reduction of serum phosphate in patients with CKD stages 3-5. American Journal of Kidney Diseases. 2015 May 31;65(5):728-36.

Camaschella C. Iron-deficiency anemia. New England Journal of Medicine. 2015 May 7;372(19):1832-43.

Dignass AU, Gasche C, Bettenworth D, Birgegård G, Danese S, Gisbert JP, Gomollon F, Iqbal T, Katsanos K, Koutroubakis I, Magro F. European consensus on the diagnosis and management of iron deficiency and anaemia in inflammatory bowel diseases. Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis. 2015 Mar 1;9(3):211-22.

Hershko C, Camaschella C. How I treat unexplained refractory iron deficiency anemia. Blood. 2014 Jan 16;123(3):326-33.

Jamieson JA, Weiler HA, Kuhnlein HV, Egeland GM. Prevalence of unexplained anaemia in Inuit men and Inuit post-menopausal women in Northern Labrador: International Polar Year Inuit Health Survey. Can J Public Health. 2016 Jun 27;107(1):81-7.

Lomagno KA, Hu F, Riddell LJ, Booth AO, Szymlek-Gay EA, Nowson CA, Byrne LK. Increasing iron and zinc in pre-menopausal women and its effects on mood and cognition: a systematic review. Nutrients. 2014 Nov 14;6(11):5117-41.

Longo DL, Camaschella C. Iron-deficiency anemia. N Engl J Med. 2015;372(19):1832-43.

Lopez A, Cacoub P, Macdougall IC, Peyrin-Biroulet L. Iron deficiency anaemia. The Lancet. 2016 Mar 4;387(10021):907-16.

Macdougall IC, Bock AH, Carrera F, Eckardt KU, Gaillard C, Van Wyck D, Roubert B, Nolen JG, Roger SD, FIND-CKD Study Investigators. FIND-CKD: a randomized trial of intravenous ferric carboxymaltose versus oral iron in patients with chronic kidney disease and iron deficiency anaemia. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation. 2014 Jun 2:gfu201.

Wolf M, Koch TA, Bregman DB. Effects of iron deficiency anemia and its treatment on fibroblast growth factor 23 and phosphate homeostasis in women. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. 2013 Aug 1;28(8):1793-803.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Longo and Camaschella 2015, 1840

[2] Camaschella 2015, 1840

[3] Lopez, Cacoub, Macdougall and Peyrin-Biroulet 2016 , 910

[4] Longo and Camaschella 2015, 1840

[5] Longo and Camaschella 2015, 1837

[6] Camaschella 2015, 1842

[7] Hershko and Camaschella 2016, 328

[8] Hershko and Camaschella 2016, 328

[9] Wolf, Koch and Bregman 2013, 1798

[10] Lomagno, Hu, Riddell, Booth , Szymlek-Gay, Nowson and Byrne 2014, 5137

[11] Jamieson, Weiler, Kuhnlein and Egeland 2016, 82

[12] Block, Fishbane, Rodriguez, Smits, Shemesh, Pergola, Wolf and Chertow 2015, 730

[13] Dignass, Gasche, Bettenworth, Birgegård, Danese, Gisbert, Gomollon, Iqbal, Katsanos, Koutroubakis and Magro 2015, 222

[14] Macdougall, Bock, Carrera, Eckardt, Gaillard, Van Wyck, Roubert, Nolen and Roger 2014

[15] Hershko and Camaschella 2016, 327

[16] Hershko and Camaschella 2016, 328

[17] Camaschella 2015, 1840

[18] Hershko and Camaschella 2016, 326

[19] Camaschella 2015, 1840

 

[20] Hershko and Camaschella 2016, 328

[21] Camaschella 2015, 1840

 

Case study of a patient with anemia

February 8, 2017

 

 

 

 

A CASE STUDY OF PATIENT WITH ANEMIA

 

Name

Course

Date

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

Anemia is an abnormality in the body of a person. [1]It arises from a complication of a disease. It is therefore not a disease. It has different kinds of definitions. It may be defined in the quantitative or qualitative manner. In a manner of quantity; in females one is deemed to be anemic if the hematotric is <37% and in men <41%. The reason is iron is the main component in hemoglobin. It is therefore responsible for the transmission of oxygen through the red blood cells. In matters of quality anemia can be defined as an abnormal low number of red blood cells that are circulating. Therefore, the result low levels of oxygen available in the blood. The deficiency is not in any way inherited. Possibilities of inheritance are at the zero percentage. Instead it is acquired from low levels of hemoglobin.[2]

Prevalence

It is the most single occurring deficiency disease in world[3]. It affects people of all jobs. Approximately, a fifth of the world suffers from this iron deficiency. Females demonstrate a higher number of deficiencies in iron; six percent of them.  Men on the other hand; it occurs in every four percent. It is treatable through provision of iron supplements; and also changing diets; by taking foods rich in iron and folic acid.

Case study

The paper describes a case study of a pre-menopausal woman; with severe anemia. Her name is Jewry. She presents her case to a general practitioner; who noted her symptoms[4].She is a teacher; she constantly complains of frequently being tired. Many the times she gets nausea. Sometimes, she claims to notice her skin turn yellow. Seeking to know further symptoms she says; she is frequently dizzy and sometimes faints. She notices that the dizziness and falls is as a result of standing for long hours. When participating in exercises she complains of shortness of breath an inability to breathe properly. She has noticed weight loss since she began having the symptoms. When further interrogated she denies a number of symptoms. Those include; change of bowel habits; abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, changes colour of both urine and stool. Lastly, she denies having dysphagia. However, she admits to having taken over the counter drugs. Those are normal painkillers due to her headaches. She says she has been eating normally. Due to severity of the symptoms her appetite has gradually been reducing.[5]

According to Jewry, she thinks her symptoms first appear; around eight months prior to the visit. During the period her symptoms gradually worsened. Thus, she decides to have a check-up. Looking at her skin her sclera was completely clear. However, at closer look at the colour; it appears to have a yellow colour. That was colour that she previously describes. Her heart beat was normal; with a regular beat of a hundred and ten beats per minute. However, she was a tachycardiac but at rest she was a tachypnoeic.[6]

Her chest was clear and there were no signs of blockage resulting to difficulty in breathing. She did not have any calf tenderness or swelling. When checking her heartbeat; the sounds were clear. Thus, there was nothing that could cause unclearness of the heartbeats. There was a need to examine her abdomen. It showed no masses, tenderness or even organomegaly.[7]

Medical History

Jewry was not a smoker in whatever way. However, she admits to taking alcohol a number of times. She says her consumption is not frequent. In most circumstances, she takes it during parties. They occur around once a month. However, during the parties she says her consumption is still minimal. Her gynaecological history; that dates back to twenty years earlier reveals that she had menstrual abnormality. At this time she had an abnormal cycle; whereby her menses would come after twenty one days. [8]

It is during that period; that she would experiences heavy blood flow. During, her subsequent pregnancies she has had to take iron boaster pills. She therefore has had a few minor gynaecological procedures.  Her medication intake has not been consistent; since she has no disorder. Her medication intake has risen due to her frequent headaches. The same case applies to her appetite that had reduced drastically due to her increased symptoms. Her history somehow gives a clue of having anemia. However, the possibility of having thyroid disorder could be ruled out. There was a also possibility of having hepatic and renal dysfunction. The tests were therefore arranged according to the order of the suspicions.[9]

Results from the tests

Immediately after the results, Jewry was called in to receive them. The test revealed a very low quantity and quality if hemoglobin levels. It showed that the levels were 5.8 g/dl. The mean cell volume was normal; being 111fl. Her white blood cells were accurate and adequate for performance. On the other hand the platelets levels were also very low. 130*100/L. the TFTs and U&E levels her glucose levels were normal. It means they had an ESR of 19mm/hr. The levels of bilirubin were very high, being 60 micromol/L. Other LFTs were normal. The following table represents the results[10].

Blood components Test results Index range
Hemoglobin 5.3g/dl 11.5-16.0g/dl
Mass cell volume 111fl 98-120fl
White blood cells 7.0g/dl 4.0-5.5g/dl
Platelets 130*100/L 150-400*100/L
ESR 19mm/hr 0-20mm/hr
Bilirubin 60micromol/L 3-17micromol/L

 

There was a very high possibility of her diagnosis being that she had; the anemic disorder. Considering her low hemoglobin level; which were less than half of the required levels in a lady. Her results could show that she had a deficiency of vitamin B12 also known as folate deficiency. It is the leading cause of haemolytic anemia. It is also known as myelodysplasia. At this point it is possible to consider admission. However, an advice from the haematologist confirmed that an admission might not be necessary. He even confirms that blood transfusion might not be included. It is because the folate and B12 levels would have to be urgently assessed. It is a great limitation thus the need for a retest.[11]

On further test if the later appear normal then bone marrow analysis would be indicated. There was an absence of a significant reticulocytosis were arguing that haemolytic anemia was not the major cause of anemia. The test on B12 levels were conducted a second time.  They still were very low. It was despite the fact that they were performed by a different analyst. The results of the B12 remained the same. The folate levels still were around the normal levels. Secondly, the ferritin levels were not abnormal in any way. With the results it was possible if she really was suffering from anemia. It is also imperative to determine the type of anemia that she was suffering from.[12]

Treatment and management

The diagnosis was pernicious anemia. With it as the abnormality it is crucial to treat her for the exact abnormality. If not taken seriously the results may be very fatal. On that same day Jewry had to begin her medication. She began having six injections of 1mg hydroxocobalamin for more than two weeks. It was paramount that she receives supplementary ferrous sulphate. It is imperative that she still receives folic acid boasters. She took part in for more than a month without hesitation. It an expectation that after the dosage is over the patient will begin to feel better. The symptoms will soon subside.[13]

Two weeks after she started her medication. She began to feel different and also notice difference. The symptoms were fading away. The nausea began to slowly go away. The same thing applied to her headaches and light headedness. She began to have her energy back. She also has less of the difficulty in breathing. As result simple exercise such as walking were proving not to be difficult. It was also very important to find out if indeed her hemoglobin levels were reflecting as she physically felt better.[14]

Therefore a second test was unavoidable. In the second blood test the hemoglobin levels were 7.7g/dl. On the other hand her mean cell volume 107fl. Her platelet levels were normal. The bilirubin levels also appeared normal. She still could stop taking the medication because the levels of hemoglobin were still low. However, the progress was noticeable. She still had to take the medications for another one month. After the one month she was to take another test. The results of the test were amazing. Indeed the taking medication caused a lot of changes. Her mean cell volume had gone back to normal. Her hemoglobin levels had more than doubled from her first visit. It was evident that indeed the diagnosis was not wrong with the levels shooting up to 11.8g/dl. The following tables reveal the tests from the second third tests respectively .[15]

Blood components Test results Index range
Hemoglobin 7.3g/dl 11.5-16.0g/dl
Mass cell volume 107fl 98-120fl
White blood cells 7.0g/dl 4.0-5.5g/dl
Platelets 180*100L 150-400*100/L
ESR 19mm/hr 0-20mm/hr
Bilirubin 16micromol/L 3-17micromol/L

 

Blood components Test results Index range
Hemoglobin 11.8g/dl 11.5-16.0g/dl
Mass cell volume 111fl 98-120fl
White blood cells 7.1g/dl 4.0-5.5g/dl
Platelets  180*100/L 150-400*100/L
ESR 19mm/hr 0-20mm/hr
Bilirubin 16micromol/L 3-17micromol/L

 

The doctor’s instructions were that was still a possibility of the levels going down again. The doctor’s advice included taking large quantities of fluid. Apart from increase the levels of taking veggies; which play a great role in increasing the blood levels and also maintaining the normal hemoglobin levels. Apart from that she was to receive a three month injection of hydroxocobalamin.  They would help maintain her blood levels.[16]

Discussion

Intake of vitamin B12 is essential in ensuring proper hemoglobin levels. It plays a magnificent role in synthesizing of DNA and thymidine. Deficiency will result in less production of red blood cells. When the cells are less in the body; it means that there will be less oxygen in body. It is because the red cells are responsible for carrying oxygen all through the body. That is the reason why patients with anemia are often feel dizzy. Sometimes the dizziness may result in fainting. Through fainting it is clear that there is no sufficient supply of oxygen in the brain.[17]

Deficiency of the vitamin is mostly as a result of poor intake of veggies. The same foods those are rich in folic acid. The vitamin is not available in plants. Sometimes, the deficiency is as result in mal-absorption. It is mainly, because an individual lacks the intrinsic factor that is available in the stomach. It causes the pernicious anemia due to post-gastrectomy. When there is a problem of B12 absorption; it must be given intramuscularly. [18]

Pernicious anemia has got a female preponderance and conditions in relation to immunity of the system. As result the skin shows evidence of jaundice. It is because the red cells produced are due to the fact the bone marrow is already in state that it is compromised. The cells are therefore haemolysed causing a liberating bilirubin. The condition is usually corrected very fast by providing the patient with the vitamin supplements. When a patient is for a long time exposed to the insufficiency of the vitamin; the feet and hand may be affected by paraesthesia. Sometimes, may result in angular stomatities and reversible dementia to the elderly.[19]

Conclusion

It is clear that the deficiency of iron is as a result of lacking certain foods in the body. Intake of sufficient folic acid will help prevent the deficiency. Anemia is prevalent mostly in pregnant women and those in the pre-menopausal ages. It generally affects women of all ages however; those mentioned are the most affected. It is because of the menstrual cycle; as much as it is normal to others especially the elderly it becomes a disorder. It slowly develops into anemia. In such scenarios individuals should take a lot of fluid and sufficient iron rich foods. [20]

For patients that have the above symptoms it is highly advisable to go for check up. Proper diagnosis of anemia involves taking medication to letter. It involves complete follow of the doctors’ advice. It is clear that in most circumstance the deficiency is preventable. The case study above shows that with proper medication; will completely do away with the condition.[21]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Block GA, Fishbane S, Rodriguez M, Smits G, Shemesh S, Pergola PE, Wolf M, Chertow GM. A 12-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of ferric citrate for the treatment of iron deficiency anemia and reduction of serum phosphate in patients with CKD stages 3-5. American Journal of Kidney Diseases. 2015 May 31;65(5):728-36.

Camaschella C. Iron-deficiency anemia. New England Journal of Medicine. 2015 May 7;372(19):1832-43.

Dignass AU, Gasche C, Bettenworth D, Birgegård G, Danese S, Gisbert JP, Gomollon F, Iqbal T, Katsanos K, Koutroubakis I, Magro F. European consensus on the diagnosis and management of iron deficiency and anaemia in inflammatory bowel diseases. Journal of Crohn’s and Colitis. 2015 Mar 1;9(3):211-22.

Hershko C, Camaschella C. How I treat unexplained refractory iron deficiency anemia. Blood. 2014 Jan 16;123(3):326-33.

Jamieson JA, Weiler HA, Kuhnlein HV, Egeland GM. Prevalence of unexplained anaemia in Inuit men and Inuit post-menopausal women in Northern Labrador: International Polar Year Inuit Health Survey. Can J Public Health. 2016 Jun 27;107(1):81-7.

Lomagno KA, Hu F, Riddell LJ, Booth AO, Szymlek-Gay EA, Nowson CA, Byrne LK. Increasing iron and zinc in pre-menopausal women and its effects on mood and cognition: a systematic review. Nutrients. 2014 Nov 14;6(11):5117-41.

Longo DL, Camaschella C. Iron-deficiency anemia. N Engl J Med. 2015;372(19):1832-43.

Lopez A, Cacoub P, Macdougall IC, Peyrin-Biroulet L. Iron deficiency anaemia. The Lancet. 2016 Mar 4;387(10021):907-16.

Macdougall IC, Bock AH, Carrera F, Eckardt KU, Gaillard C, Van Wyck D, Roubert B, Nolen JG, Roger SD, FIND-CKD Study Investigators. FIND-CKD: a randomized trial of intravenous ferric carboxymaltose versus oral iron in patients with chronic kidney disease and iron deficiency anaemia. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation. 2014 Jun 2:gfu201.

Wolf M, Koch TA, Bregman DB. Effects of iron deficiency anemia and its treatment on fibroblast growth factor 23 and phosphate homeostasis in women. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. 2013 Aug 1;28(8):1793-803.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Longo and Camaschella 2015, 1840

[2] Camaschella 2015, 1840

[3] Lopez, Cacoub, Macdougall and Peyrin-Biroulet 2016 , 910

[4] Longo and Camaschella 2015, 1840

[5] Longo and Camaschella 2015, 1837

[6] Camaschella 2015, 1842

[7] Hershko and Camaschella 2016, 328

[8] Hershko and Camaschella 2016, 328

[9] Wolf, Koch and Bregman 2013, 1798

[10] Lomagno, Hu, Riddell, Booth , Szymlek-Gay, Nowson and Byrne 2014, 5137

[11] Jamieson, Weiler, Kuhnlein and Egeland 2016, 82

[12] Block, Fishbane, Rodriguez, Smits, Shemesh, Pergola, Wolf and Chertow 2015, 730

[13] Dignass, Gasche, Bettenworth, Birgegård, Danese, Gisbert, Gomollon, Iqbal, Katsanos, Koutroubakis and Magro 2015, 222

[14] Macdougall, Bock, Carrera, Eckardt, Gaillard, Van Wyck, Roubert, Nolen and Roger 2014

[15] Hershko and Camaschella 2016, 327

[16] Hershko and Camaschella 2016, 328

[17] Camaschella 2015, 1840

[18] Hershko and Camaschella 2016, 326

[19] Camaschella 2015, 1840

 

[20] Hershko and Camaschella 2016, 328

[21] Camaschella 2015, 1840

 

Colgate

February 8, 2017

Introduction

Market segmentation as defined by Cleveland, Papadopoulos and Laroche (2) plays a significant role in determining marketing strategies employed by a business. It is an important tool used in identifying a target market and understanding appropriate strategies to meet the needs of the target market. Ideally, market segmentation group consumers with similar needs and value profiles as such individuals require adapting a similar marketing strategy while addressing needs of the target market (Osland and Yaprak 53). However, needs of customers are subject to change, especially in the current setting, hence organizations have to identify strategies that will satisfy the needs of evolving and fragmenting customer groups in different parts of the globe (Yaprak 1).

According to the case study, it is evident that Colgate has a good reputation in the international market and introduction of new products by the company has significantly played a role in enhancing the business market share (Quelch and Randle 1). Colgate wishes to expand its business to China and Mexico where consumers seem to have almost similar needs, which is gum protection. Colgate-Palmolive Company (CP) as evidenced operates in more than 200 countries and focuses on two main product segments (Quelch and Randle 1). The target markets (China and Mexico) lies within the company’s geographical lines, by adapting an effective marketing strategy, the business can effectively meet the needs of the target market.

Application of market segmentation has attracted different concerns from various stakeholders with global segmentation drawing increased interest from various scholars. Based on recent studies carried out in eight countries including Mexico and China, it is evident that consumers in the countries have varied characteristics. Therefore, CP will treat the separate markets differently; hence require development of different marketing mix as an efficient strategy of satisfying the diverse needs of its target consumers. Although embracing a standardized approach is perceived to have numerous benefits to the business such as economies of scale and efficiency, adaption marketing strategy is more suitable for this case study (Cleveland, Papadopoulos and Laroche 3). The fact that the two countries (Mexico and China) differ regarding cultural diversity is adequate to show the need for utilizing adapting marketing strategy.

Some of the important market segments that Colgate should consider investing its effort include the following; the first is in the germ and tooth decay which is the largest segment for Colgate. However, competitors are attacking the segment with the introduction of new products such as Germicheck variant which is preferred by consumers. However, Colgate should capitalize on its “Colgate Strong Teeth” as it is a strong brand in the segment. Another significant segment that the organization should consider investing is its effort include sensitivity as consumers in the market are concerned about the issue, hence it is an ideal opportunity for enhancing business growth. Gel and Gum protection are some of the other areas where Colgate experiences a lot of competition from competitors, hence the need focus on the segments. However, due to change in consumer tastes and preferences, Colgate should further focus on producing products with multi-benefit, as the segment is understood to impact positively on the business growth.

To overcome competitors in the market such as P&G and Close-UP, it is important for Colgate to consider embracing effective marketing strategies. This includes introducing sub-brands products such as; Colgate Gel, Colgate Herbal, Colgate Sensitive and Colgate Total among other brands with unique benefits in the target market. The improvisation will ensure that Colgate can meet the needs of small sub-segments, a strategy that will help the business to retain its leading position in the market. Besides, it will be an effective strategy that meets the needs of their consumers based on their buying behavior or lifestyle habits (Euromonitor International n.p).

Aim

This paper seeks to understand whether CP will implement standardized marketing strategy or an adaptive marketing while venturing into the new market. To achieve the study objective, the paper will further evaluate some of the important segments that the organization will focus its marketing efforts and some of the required adaptations that should be embraced to achieve the set goal for the business.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Work Cited

Cleveland, Mark, Nicolas Papadopoulos, and Michel Laroche. “Identity, demographics, and consumer behaviors: International market segmentation across product categories.” International Marketing Review 28.3 (2011): 1-30.

Euromonitor, International, “Consumer Types for Successful Targeted Marketing.” (2015)

Osland, Gregory E., and Attila Yaprak. “Learning through strategic alliances: processes and factors that enhance marketing effectiveness.” European Journal of Marketing 29.3 (1995): 52-66.

Quelch, John and Randle, Jacquie, “Colgate Max Fresh: Global Brand Roll-Out.” 2007; (1-30).

Yaprak, Attila, “MKT 7500 International Marketing Strategy Marketing Fundamental Handout” 1-4.

 

 

 

 

Letter of Motivation

February 7, 2017

Studying International Management has been one of my main educational goals since childhood. Being a German who hopes to learn a lot from Sweden through cultural exchange, I intend to study a course in International Management as an international student in Sweden. Notably, I understand that the International Management program is a course that takes three years and a requirement for the student to attain 180 credits before graduation and would be glad if I get an opportunity to join the course program in the autumn 2017 semester.  I am specifically interested in “business and academic communication” and “marketing management” since I have several inspirations that made me to choose this course program. One of such inspirations include the fact the course gives the student lots of options and exposure, as it covers topics on many different fields. In addition, the International Management course also provides a student with skills on internationalization, entrepreneurship, and business renewal thereby making them all-round in the job market. Moreover, the course also prepares students for the dynamism that characterizes the international business environment, for instance, the common vicious competition brought by multinationals.

While pursuing the course on International Management, I would glad to seize any opportunity for student exchange programs. This is because such programs always allow students to study a semester abroad and only focus on specific course related to the main course they are admitted. As a student in International Management, I would mainly focus on specific topics such as business management in order to help me improve my ratings once I graduate.  Besides, having an opportunity to take up my studies will also enable me to expand my knowledge on international businesses and allow me understand more on how multi-nationals operate. Having finished my A-level studies back in the year 2014, I proceeded to take up internship roles in different organizations in order to learn basic work aspects such as discipline, punctuality and performance delivery.

Between July 2015 and July 2016, I spent most of my time working as an au pair in Wellington, New Zealand working for 45 hours per week. This experience helped me gain confident, become reliable, organized and creative in personality making it easier for me to grasp various elements. I have since done university courses in business administration, mathematics for economics and finance making it quite easy for me to understand different topics in International Management. Additionally, I have always desired to study in Sweden due to a perception that the education system is more advanced and is more involving compared to other European nations. I believe that as an international student, I stand to gain management skills by enrolling to Swedish universities that prioritize good communication between teachers and their students. As a matter of fact, I have also been planning to work as a volunteer at the International House in my hometown doing jobs that involve bringing together exchange students studying in different foreign countries by organizing symposiums and workshops. Such meetings could create opportunity for the international students to deliberate on different aspects affecting their student life.

I believe that pursuing the International Management course program would build my business foundation and give me the impetus to pursue international careers in sales management, export management, project leadership, business development or market coordination. Upon successful completion of the course, I would prefer to become a sales manager as this could be in an international company, a multinational, or my own business organization. I have been raised in an entrepreneurial family, and this is background gives me some inclination to also pursue entrepreneurship in future. When new career opportunities open up in the future, I might consider pursuing a Master’s in Business Administration program to  enable me understand more facts on international business.

 

 

The RUPAS Case

February 6, 2017

Chapter C

Consider who might do an evaluation of that program (RUPAS). Can the evaluation be done by an internal evaluator? If so, would that be a member of the FM staff?

Evaluators are responsible for undertaking evaluations pertaining to their individual training, skills, and expertise. Professional evaluators undergo training and academic programs to enhance their evaluation skills and appropriate sensitivities (Alkin, 2011). The evaluation for RUPAS program can be done by either an external or internal evaluator. To avoid bias, the evaluator should be external from RUPAS. The evaluator should be external and not part of the RUPAS program. However, the evaluator should be someone with some knowledge on the program. Thus, since FM genuinely supports RUPAS, the evaluator should be internal to FM.

Would that suit the purposes that Amy Wilson has in mind?

Amy Wilson is aware of the prerequisites of evaluation as she embarks on the new grant funding. Since evaluation gets done in diverse ways, the particular method to be applied is specified with consideration to the primary role and purpose of the assessment. Evaluation enables an organization to understand their program better and foster organizational change. Since Amy Wilson have had a funding for the past two years, gathering information through program evaluation for the following two years will be easy and her purposes will be met.

Would an external evaluator be more appropriate?

An external evaluator is usually considered in cases where bias is probable and where the organization may want to keep a distance. However, it is worth noting that hiring an external evaluator will require extra funds. Amy Wilson should have available funds set aside for hiring an external evaluator. It should not be a problem since the program has two years before seeking more funds. This duration is enough to set aside funds and also get exposure on the prerequisites of the evaluation process. My opinion is favored towards having an external evaluator since it will prevent bias. Although additional funds might be incurred, the quality of the evaluation will likely be better.

Chapter D

For the purposes of the rest of the exercises, assume that there is an external evaluator.

Whom do you believe to be the primary stakeholders?

Stakeholders in the evaluation include clients, staff, and participants.  In the case of RUPAS, the primary evaluators are Amy Wilson, the founding staff, funding agencies and the parents. The evaluators work with individuals representing these stakeholders groups (Alkin, 2011

What other stakeholders would it be important to get information from?

Other than the primary stakeholders, other parties who who have a keen interest and attention towards the evaluation and have the will to make improvements to the program based on the evaluation should be considered. An example includes the parent leaders since they basically represent the parents as well as the children.

Are there others whose views should be included?

The recruiters, teachers and community leaders should also be considered. However, priorities must be established on how to deal with the various stakeholders since they have diverse opinions, inputs, and influence. This expanded participation and engagement leads to increased knowledge, appreciation, and benefits.
Chapter E

Consider that you are the external evaluator of the RUPAS program. What aspects of your resume are potentially beneficial in helping to gain credibility?

During my internship programs and other contractual tenures, I have had the chance to engage with many activities similar or close to evaluation. Most of the skills and expertise learned is applicable to the process of evaluation. I was involved with such activities as assessments and collection of data, which are also vital to evaluation.

What personal experiences have you had that enable you to better relate to the context and to the various stakeholders?

I have been actively involved in facilitating the accreditation team in our college. This has exposed me to exclusive data collection, assessment, and evaluation. Additionally, I have been part of many stakeholder groups and have also been involved with admission, enrollment, and orientation of new students. I have interacted and worked with diverse parties such as parents, students, accreditors, alumni and teachers thereby expanding my exposure.

Examine the communication skills listed in the section recap and reflect on your personal strengths and areas for further improvement.

I have actively been involved with many programs for the past years. As a result, I have developed a wide range of communication skills through exposure, participation and interaction with diverse parties. I have therefore gained various skills related to personal demeanor, humor with empathy and understanding the program context.  However, I still feel there is much more I need to learn and incorporate in my communication skills. it includes understanding other people when communicating with them to ensure I don’t hurt their feeling or reply in a way that they may not be able to fully understand.

Chapter F
In thinking about the organizational, social, and political context for the RUPAS case, consider the aspects of the FM organization that might affect the evaluation.
What factors immediately stand out?

The organizational, social and political context is usually directly connected to a programs founder, in this case Amy Wilson and her colleagues. They came up with the idea and thereafter developed the context of RUPAS. All those employed afterwards were all influenced by what was put in place by these primary founders. Since most of the staff are educated women, a great connection have stood out making the program a great success.  RUPAS, being a social program, have worked hard towards helping parents to nurture and develop their children.
What are the characteristics of the communities that might affect the success of the RUPAS program?

Since the RUPAS program is mostly social-oriented, the most significant communities are those whose organization, social and political features have been inhibited. This typically prevails in communities where childhood education resources are missing, women are restricted in their activities, minimal socialization takes place, infrastructure is wanting, state-run day care centers are missing and there are minimal retail outlets.
What other organizational, social, or political aspects of the context might be relevant?

In my opinion, the educational level of the families residing in the community should be considered as it affects how people live and interact socially and politically with each other.

Chapter G

Use the headings in the first part of the recap, where appropriate, to summarize what you know about the RUPAS program.

What We Need to Know about Programs – following is a recap of the questions asked:

-RUPAS program

  • Amy Wilson serves as the director of FM which caters for under-served populations. The RUPAS program aims towards promoting the curriculum and training parents on how to nurture their children.

-Intended accomplishments

  • The main function of the program is assisting parents to better nurture and interact with their children for an enhanced development. The programs also aims towards creating a better interaction between parents, teachers and children to facilitate education in the community and better performance.

-Who is served?

  • The RUPAS program aims to serve the under-served populations through enhanced organizational, social and political interactions in the remote rural communities of Washington State.

-Services Provided

  • The program offers workshop events and training to parent educators. These parent educators then volunteers and educates other parents.
  • The RUPAS staff and volunteers also promote the program and train parents to be parent educators who can there after form their own groups and train more parents in the community.

– What is not in the program?

  • Amy Wilson serves as the director of FM. Although she is fully responsible for the entire organization, it is not clearly stipulated how long she commits to the RUPAS program. This is also the same case with volunteers. During evaluation, this information is very critical.
  • The program lacks Spanish language materials and its outreach for Latino families have been limited concerning certain considerations such as that those families may fall under migrants or permanent residents category with their own fixed schedules.
  • Allocation of funds in the RUPAS program is not clear and transparent. It is also unclear on whether FM has contributed any stake towards funding the program.

– What else do you need to know, and how would you go about getting that information?

  • Amy Wilson serves as the director of FM. Thus, she is fully responsible for the entire organization. Since the RUPAS program will be seeking additional funds for a period of two years, she is obliged to gain more information concerning program evaluation.
  • To fully understand the program, the evaluator should review the programs strategic plan, objectives of the program, the set goals and overall intent of the program. The set financial overview should also be made available to the evaluator and any other essential guidelines.
  • All other documents and materials vital to the program should be provided including handouts, academic achievements, organizational charts, job descriptions and skills required.

The evaluator should also interview the FM director and RUPAS program staff for additional primary information.
Chapter H

Some activities that take place in the RUPAS program are: create booklets, identify Parent Leaders, organize parents in a community, organize community meetings, supervision by RUPAS staff.

Are these all of the activities? What else would you add?

The activities included are not exhaustive. Other activities that ought to be considered include reaching out to more surrounding regions, providing additional programs to the parents and introducing new skills during the workshop events.

What do you believe to be the short-term outcomes related to activities or groupings of activities?

Short-term outcomes are those expected within a few years into the program. The short-term outcomes in this context include enhanced interaction and socialization activities within the community. The party encompassing parents, teachers and children should also have an increased bonding and interactions as they share same resources and spend much time together.

What is the goal or expected long-term outcome of the program?

There are various long term outcomes expected out of the program. One major long term outcome is the increased health of children among the community. The children will also have an enhanced interaction with their parents, as well as their teachers. Thus, instances of abuse will decrease due to the positive interaction. The children will therefore have better reading skills and improve in their studies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Alkin, M. (2011). Evaluation essentials from A to Z (1st ed., pp. 33-79). New York: Guilford        Press.