Factors Affecting Foreign Exchange Rate
Foreign exchange rate is always dynamic and it affects every sector of life. The economic health of a country is influenced by its current exchange rate. Consequently, it is important to understand some of the factors that affect foreign exchange rate.
When the interest rate of a country rises high or falls low than the rate of another country the currency of the country with low rate is sold while that of the country with a higher rate is bought for purposes of achieving high returns. Given the demand of the currency with a high rate, its value will increase against that of other currencies. The world today had become globalized and as such, the market trend has shifted towards one of free capital mobility and foreign exchange restriction elimination.
Differential in inflation
As a rule, a country that has a consistent low inflation rate will exhibit an increasing currency value since its purchasing power will rise relatively to that of other countries. Towards the end of the twentieth century, some of the countries that had low inflation were Switzerland, Germany and Japan while in countries like United States and Canada, it came later. Countries that have a high inflation witness depreciation in currency compared to the currency of trading partners. Usually, this will be accompanied by high interest rates.
Expectations of economic growth
In order to meet the need of an ever growing population, the economy must expand. However, in cases where the growth occurs at a very high rate, wage advances are outpaced by price increased such that the buyer power of consumers decreases despite the fact they earn averagely. Majority of countries target a 2% economic growth per year. With high growth comes high inflation and consequently, the central banks raise their interest rates in order to increase the borrowing cost and slow down spending in an economy. Changes in interest rates can signal currency rate changes.
Actions of Central Bank
With majority of major economies having an already low interest rate, government officials and the Central Bank have resorted to others measures which are not used often to intervene in the markets and influence the rate of economic growth. For instance, quantitative easing is used to increase the supply of money within an economy and this involves purchasing of government bonds as well as other assets from financial institutions to give them additional liquidity
Other factors that also affect foreign exchange rate include employment outlook, political stability, public debts, and terms of trade as well as economic performance.
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New Product Adoption Process Model
How does a company introduce a new product in the market? How will consumers adopt the product? These are important questions for marketers whenever introducing a new product. Essentially, they need to identify classes, in which their adopters fall. This adoption process is also called the Diffusion of Innovation. It is not a new concept in business as it has been in existence for more than forty years. In essence, it gives a description of how consumers behave when they buy new products in the market. In this paper, we discuss the five categories in which consumers fall when adopting a new product.
Innovators: This usually denotes a small portion of the market, which fully supports the adoption of the new products. These people do not care about the price and are always enthusiastic about trying new products. However, research shows that innovators do not make loyal consumers because they keep on shifting their loyalty and trying new products elsewhere in the market. They always have the urge to be the first to own the products before average consumers can acquire it. Most peers do not take innovators seriously in their decisions.
The second category are early adopters: The membership of this group is higher than that of innovators. They are more practical about what they want even though they share the same enthusiasm as adopters. It is important to note that early adopters act as opinion leaders and may influence other consumers in the market. They are the first to hold on to the new products and influence people around them like family members and friends.
Early Majority: This marks massive entry and acceptance in the market. They account to about 30% of the entire market. Though these consumers have a taste for new products, they are not in a hurry to make a purchase until the early adopters influence them with positive testimonies about the new entrants in the market. Early majority mean a lot to the company because they result into profit since they are in large numbers. However, many new products die because they fail to reach this stage of massive acceptance from consumers.
Late Majority: Their numbers are almost equal to early majorities. They also watch from a distance to see the benefits of the new products in the market before they cause humongous surge in consumption. Manufacturers are likely to realize pinnacle profits whenever a product gets to this level of adoption. Though they consume in bulk, they are slow to accept new products.
The last step of adoption consists of laggards. These consumers resort to the new product only when they do not have any choice. It is worth noting that this group is sometimes large enough even though marketers hardly give it attention because of its reluctance to adopt the new product. This category also comprises of consumers who never adopt the new product at all because of personal reasons. Their impact is not that significant. It is important to note that the success of the adoption process largely depends on the impact of marketers, as consumers seek information about new products.
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Parliamentary Sovereignty in the UK
Definition of parliamentary sovereignty
Parliamentary sovereignty is a concept of governance in which the parliament of a country is bestowed with complete authority over all legislative matters in the country. This concept is practiced in a few countries across the world and has been widely contested in debates concerning governance issues. Basically, parliamentary sovereignty assumes that since the parliament is elected into power by the people, the views and practices of the parliament are a true representation of the people hence giving this body full authority to make, amend and even abolish laws.
History of parliamentary sovereignty in the UK
The United Kingdom is one of the countries that upholds parliamentary sovereignty. This practice in the UK dates back to the 14th century when there was struggle between the royal rule and parliamentary rule. However this issue was settled once and for all in 1611 when the Chief Justice ruled that the parliament had the sole legislative authority in the country. Ever since this rule was initiated, the UK has been practicing parliamentary sovereignty.
Parliamentary sovereignty in the UK is governed by three main principles. These principles also map out the functions and mandate of the parliament and they include:
- Formation of new legislations. The parliament of the UK is charged with the responsibility of forming all new laws. The parliament basically looks at what currently affects the country and makes laws that are relevant.
- Repealing of decisions. The parliament is also in charge of repealing any decisions that have been made by the executive or judicial bodies in the country.
- Amending laws. Previous laws that are no longer applicable can also be changed by the parliament of the UK.
Parliamentary sovereignty in the UK gives the parliament authority over every other body in the country including the judicial bodies such as courts in the country as well as the executive body. In addition to this, the parliament is absolved from all previous parliamentary decisions that have been made by its predecessors. The parliament can thus change such decisions if it deems this necessary.
Advantages and disadvantages of parliamentary sovereignty in the UK
Even though parliamentary sovereignty in the UK has been a hugely contested issue it has both advantages and disadvantages. Some of the advantages of having a parliament that is above all other legislative bodies in the UK include:
- Ease of changing laws that are retrogressive because each parliament has its own independent authority and discretion to form, repeal and amend laws.
- It makes it easy to govern the country because the parliament is the ultimate body to consult hence limiting bureaucracies.
Despite these advantages, parliamentary sovereignty can give room for abuse by current parliaments because of the large amounts of power given to the parliamentary body. Since parliament holds supreme authority, there is little check and balance over parliamentary decisions.
Developments affecting parliamentary sovereignty in the UK
Over the years, the parliament of the UK has been passing laws that have reduced the powers that parliament had and this is seen as a dilution to the concept of parliamentary sovereignty in the UK. Some of the decisions passed include:
- The passing of the Human Rights Act in 1998
- Devolution of power to the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament
- The formation of the Supreme Court of the UK in 2009
- Joining of the European Union
These have devolved the powers of the parliament in the UK.
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Uncodified constitution is a form of constitution where fundamental government rules take precedent, usage and customs form as well a range legal instruments and statutes. The constitution is understood through the judiciary, legal experts and government committees reading commentary. In this type of constitution system, all elements are recognized by government legislators, bureaucracy and courts as binding upon government limits its powers. Such framework is also known as “unwritten constitution” though this is not 100% accurate. This is because uncodified constitution elements are written down in various official documents but not codified in one single document.
There are several advantages associated with uncodified constitution such as adaptability, resilience as well as adaptability. A new situation or condition of government for instance can be solved by passing legislation or precedent. No unique procedures are required in order to make constitutional law and it is not essentially superior to other existing legislation. Countries with this form of constitution lack a particular moment where its government’s principles were decided deliberately. Rather, the principles evolve according to the social and political forces arising throughout history.
The major disadvantage of an uncodified constitution is the fact controversies might arise as a result of varying understandings of the customs and usages forming the basic provisions of the constitution.
Examples of states with a codified constitution
Some of the states with this type of constitution are as highlighted below:
- New Zealand
- UK-The country does not have any defining document that can be referred to as ‘the constitution’. The political system in UK evolved with time and was not changed by an event like a revolution therefore it is continuously defined by decisions of Law courts and parliament.
- Saudi Arabia-The only source that is quoted to provide basic law is the Quran.
While in Canada there is a constitution act, important aspects of the country’s constitutional system still remain uncodified. The constitution preamble states the constitution should be ‘similar in principle to that of the UK’ which is not codified. This is applicable at the provinces and federal level though they both have power to enact their own or alternatively make modifications within their exclusive responsibility areas.
Former uncodified constitution examples
- The Roman republic was comprised of 12 Tables as well as other statues
- In Hungary from 1949, the constitution was uncodified.
- The Grand Principality of Finland’s constitution was uncodified and it did not specifically recognize emperor of Russia from 1809 through to 1917.
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Techniques of Competitor Analysis
Competition is one of the key factors that push certain companies to success while others fail completely to meet desired goals. Competitive rivalry is one of the core Porter’s five forces for business analysis and a corporate strategy that can easily propel any business to incredible status. There is nothing disreputable about prying on the competition in a marketplace. Evidently, an organization will be in trouble if it does not know more about the finest techniques of competitor analysis.
To stand out in any business and be able to compete with other entrepreneurs, using the modern competitive analysis techniques is one of the greatest strategies to rely on. These are exceptional strategies that help refine a company’s sales approach and boost its ranks in the market. There are traditional competitive analysis methods that have always worked miracles such as attending market conferences, reading industry periodicals, reading annual reports and much more.
With the advent of technology and ever-growing markets, entrepreneurs should not lag behind when it comes to business operation information. Entrepreneurs have to know what their competitors are doing right now and what they anticipate on the near future. With the right techniques of competitive analysis, it becomes much easier to study the competition’s position in the market and substantial factors that can present the much needed competitive edge. Here are the exceptional techniques of competitor analysis to rely on and stay ahead of your rivals in the business industry;
- Follow competitive industry blogs
Blog posts are the in-thing these days especially if they are written by your competitive rivals and industry experts. Many times, these blogs are usually part of a company’s website, although they may stand alone.
- Embrace LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the world largest professional network and will make it easy to find out more about your competitors employees and what they usually talk about in regards to business and related-activities. For instance, you can compare employees experience gap and what they have been able to bring to the table over the years of service.
- Investigate website traffic of competitors
At all times, conducting investigation on operations of your competitors is a great way to dominate the market. It is easy to ascertain more on visitors hitting your competitors website and compare with your own websites as web traffic tells a lot about a company.
- Utilize sales alerts
There are incredible technologies that will spider the web and provide essential information from competitors. From web alerts it is easy to learn about competitors acquisitions, new clients, layoffs and managements changes among other issues.
- Read competitors tweets and posts
You can follow your competitors on twitter or Facebook. From these social mediums, you can see who follows your competitors and also read their updates and followers feedback. Through these technologies it is easy to interact with clients and find out more on how to beat your competitors at ease.
Doing a competitive analysis should always be a great plan to help a company win. Relying on the best technique can always offer that competitive advantage. However, keep into consideration that your competitors are also doing similar analysis. Hence, you should conduct your analysis better and in a smart manner.
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Porter’s 5 Forces Analysis of Kodak Company
The photographic film industry has experienced great transformations. Kodak is one of the great companies that have impact the industry in great ways. Kodak also known as the Eastman Kodak Company is an American technology company founded by George Eastman in 1888 and focuses on imaging solutions and services. On top of this, it Kodak provides packing, functional printing, graphic communication and professional services globally.
It has dominated the photographic film sector for many years, but like any other company, it has also experienced a number of challenges over years. Kodak has tried to intensify its impact in the photographic business, but it has nose-dived as a result of decline in sales in US. It has also experienced a huge competition from companies in the industry for better market share. Surprisingly, competitors like Canon, HP and Sony have posed vast threats that have impacted Kodak’s operations in the film industry.
Today, most of its products span across digital cameras, inkjet printers, sensors, software, retail kiosks, and paper processing chemical and professional photographic films services among others. Mergers with companies such as AOL online, Cinelabs Ltd and Sanofi have helped Kodak enjoy a great market share. Porter’s five forces have also impacted Kodak hugely and it has founded better ways to compete with its rivals in the photographic film industry. These forces include;
- Threat of new entry- From the Porter’s 5 forces analysis, it is clear that the impact of new entry to Kodak is moderate. A lot of capital is required to join the photographic film industry. Most of the new entrants have not been able to cope with Kodak due to lack of experience and knowledge in core areas like digital imaging and photography.
- Power of consumers- The number of buyers in the hunt for electronic products and services is high. Companies like Kodak, Sony and others have always presents clients with an opportunity to enjoy wide range of film products. Consumers have always expect the best from the industry.
- Power of suppliers- In the photographic film industry, the power of suppliers is low. Majority of the suppliers in the hunt out for film products and services are locked out both locally and internationally. Kodak has supplier’s contracts that run for one to three years and it is cautious when it comes to third party suppliers as they reduce industry profitability.
- Threat of substitute products and services- Threat of substitute’s products and services is high in the film industry. Companies in the sector work hard to match their specifications, pricing and other characteristics of the industry. There are less switching costs between substitutes as consumers can change the photographic film products based on their preferences.
- Competitive rivalry- Kodak has been facing huge competition from Sony, Canon, Nikon, HP and Fuji Photo Film among other companies. Competitive pricing and increase of prices on related products and services has impacted its operations in the industry.
Kodak has worked hard to reach a wide market and it has developed new competences for future developments. It has also strategically transformed its entire business operations to utilize the new opportunities in the industry despite a number of challenges it has faced.
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Irish Potato famine
The Irish potato famine started mysteriously in September 1845 with the leaves of the plant suddenly turning black and curled then rotting. It was seemingly as a result of a fog wafting across the Ireland fields. However, the actual cause was an airborne fungus (pytophthora infestans) transported in the hold of ships that were traveling from North America to England.
The virus was carried by winds from southern England to the Ireland countryside around Dublin. The spread of the blight was so fast and it rapidly spread through the entire fields in the form of fungal spores that settled on the leaves of potato plants that were healthy.
The spores multiplied then they were carried in millions by the cool breezes that surrounded the plants. Under moist ideal conditions, single infected potato plants infected thousands more within a couple of days. The plants attacked fermented while providing the fungus with the nourishment it needed in order to survive.
As the plants blackened, the emitted a nauseous stench then withered leaving the Irish farmers disbelieving. Note that previously, the farmers had experienced crop failures as a result of poor weather and other diseases.
However, the new failure was strange and unlike anything they had ever seen. Potatoes that were dug from the ground looked as if they were edible at first but then, they would shrivel and rot in a matter of days. By October 1845, the news of the blight had spread to London and the British Prime
Minister then, Sir Robert Peel established a scientific commission to look into the problem. After looking at the situation for a while, the commission issues a gloomy report which indicated that half of the potato crop in Ireland might go to waste as a result of ‘wet rot’
Famine fever, dysentery, typhus, dysentery, cholera and scurvy as well as infestations of lice spread throughout the entire Irish countryside. Observers made reports of children crying because of pain and resembling skeletons because their features were already sharpened as a result of hunger. Observers also reported that the limbs of such children were wasted with little left but their bones.
In the next 10 years after outbreak of the Irish potato famine over 750,000 Irish people die while another two million left their home for the United States, Canada and Great Britain. Within 5 years of the famine, the population reduced by a quarter.
The famine was not a simple natural disaster bit a result of social causes. The Irish Potato Famine left in its wake, a legacy of lasting and deep feelings of distrust and bitterness towards the British. The Irish were convinced the famine was as the direct result of British colonial policies outgrowth.
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Role of NGOs in Municipal Solid waste Management
Huge amounts of municipal solid waste create massive challenges for all Asian cities across the economic spectrum. The issues and characteristics of Municipal solid waste vary as such the techniques used to manage solid waste should vary in accordance to local conditions as this is the only way to maintain sustainability.
Most of the Asian cities are home to over 1 million billion people and by 2025, it is expected it will be inhabited by over 4 billion people. Half of this population is found in cities and is expected to produce over 180 million tonnes of municipal solid waste per day. Waste managed by municipalities includes waste from offices, small businesses, restaurants and households.
However, in other countries especially those that have limited waste legislation, it might include waste from some of the small industrial plants. NGOs play an important role in municipal solid waste management in these countries. Some of these include the following:
- They provide prominent support to waste workers in the informal sector and enterprises so they can organize themselves to improve working facilities and conditions, increase earnings and also extend access to some of the important social services like schooling for children and healthcare.
- When NGOs come into the picture, privatization means there will be transfer of ownership and management from the public to private sector. While this is the case, it has proven to be a reliable and powerful technique of improving waste management services like haulage, disposal and collection.
- By operating in different partnership forms with public sector, NGOs also provide management, organization capacity capital, technical skills and labor.
NGOs are also mainly involved with collection of waste from different sources of generation suc as hotels, houses, restaurants and markets. After collecting waste, they dispose it in the nearest SDSs. However, it is important to note that most of the NGOs don’t handle composting of the organic waste as well as medical waste. This is especially true in cities such as Khulna.
What is more, NGOs also set up collection systems. This means that waste collection from the generation sources is carried out by the NGOs and some even transfer the waste to compost plants. More importantly, some of the NGOs also collect waste from some of the households and they receive payment in small amounts from dwellers.
For NGOs to play their role in municipal solid waste efficiently, they need to collection facilities as well. As such, most of them have vans used for collection and manpower in order to increase efficiency. It is because of all these reasons and more that NGOs are an important part of municipal solid waste management.
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Impact of Trade Liberalization on Economic Growth
According to most people, trade liberalization has an association with economic growth. In fact, the belief is that increased international trade directly contributes to economic growth. However, it should be noted that the truth or falsity of this statement is based on the approach that each parson takes. The impact of trade liberalization on economic growth has been an issue of debate across the board with some pointing negative results and others positive. In fact, the debate has not yet been settled.
Trade liberalization has been effected in various ways that boil down to either the reduction or complete elimination of trade barriers so that people can freely engage in trading on international markets. In fact, this has been the most popular economic policy of both industrialized and developing nations. The motive behind the push for free trade has been the achievement of macroeconomic goals of the economies of the nations. Developing countries are mainly implementing trade liberalization policies so as to achieve economic growth.
One of the points to note about the impact of trade liberalization on economic growth is that it has led to the increase in imports and exports. Since trade liberalization has given both domestic firms the freedom to pursue markets for their products globally, there has been a significant increase in exports and imports for various countries across the globe. As a result of this, individuals and governments across the world have been able to rake in better revenue, hence, economic growth. However, it should be noted that the income generated from free trade varies from one economy to another based on their exports and imports.
Before the liberalization of trade, it was not easy for countries to trade with their counterparts with which they do not lie on the same geographical proximity with. As a result of this, most nations only used domestic markets for their products. However, trade liberalization has opened doors for exports for quite a number of countries. Today, nations that have implemented policies for liberalization of trade are able to export their products to the markets that they deem profitable. As a result of this, such nations have been able to experience a faster growth in GDP. With the growth of GDP, it is obvious that the economy is also growing.
Trade liberalization has opened up new doors for developed nations to invest in foreign countries so as to reduce costs of production among other reasons. This has created employment opportunities in developing countries and even raised the living standards. In the nations where foreign investments have been established, economic growth has been achieved through the opportunities offered. It should also be noted that such foreign firms have brought in innovative technologies that to some extent curtailed the development of domestic industries. In fact, the influx of foreign firms in emerging economies has led to intensive competition that have driven quite a number of domestic firms out of business. To this extent it can be said that trade liberalization has hindered economic growth.
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Measures to Enhance Euro Zone Recovery
The European Union together with the euro area have responded to the euro crisis by coming up with measures that will help improve financial stability, improve economic governance and support employment and growth. The financial and global economic crisis that started in 2008 has left a profound impact on the EU as well as its member states’ economies.
The public debt crisis that came in the wake of the crisis exposed the fact that there was structural weakness in the European economies like unsustainable levels of private or public debate and declining competiveness. In addition to this, it revealed systematic shortcomings in the monetary and economic union itself.
In response to the crisis, European institutions and governments took a range of measures that were aimed at safeguarding the financial stability of the Euro and strengthening institutional architecture f the EU and the euro area as a whole. They came to an agreement about comprehensive economic governance reform for purposes of avoiding the occurrence of similar shocks in the future.
Positive fragmentation and sentiment
During the first half of 2014, there are three economic developments that have taken place in the euro zone.
- Acute phase of Euro crisis has come to an end officially. Countries that are worst affected like Portugal and Greece have found their way to the capital markets and spread on bonds of the crisis in these countries declined even further. Portugal also followed the Ireland example by leaving the program for bailout. The euro zone has continued to grow as a whole while the sentiment indicator is used as the yardstick for economic expectations.
Several factors are driving the recovery of the euro zone such as the introduction of accommodative monetary policies by the ECB June aimed at addressing the crisis. The goals of ECB are those of countering deflationary tendencies and supporting lending to the real economy. The ECB package includes the following:
- Low key interest rates
- Offers for cheap bank loans on the terms that lending to corporate is increased.
- Imposing of a negative interest rate which should be on bank deposits that are made overnight by the ECB
All these factors add up to a range of monetary stimulus programs aimed to aid in recovery of the euro zone. The ECB has also made a commitment to introduce some additional measures which might be unconventional if it sees any risk that might lead to a season of low inflation.
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Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Patent Infringement
Law suits between electronic manufacturing companies have become rampant in the Federal Courts. One of the widespread lawsuits was between Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Company limited. The case was based on the dispute between the design of smartphones and tablet computers between the two companies. More than half of smartphones were sold globally as of July 2012. Apple had begun to litigate against Samsung in a patent infringement suit whereas; Apple and Motorola Mobility were engaged in a patent war on several instances.
Design patents took core stage in the epic battle between two great electronic companies in the world; Apple Inc., and Samsung Electronics Company. What took place was a dispute centered on design rights between two titans in the electronic world. The case grip was felt not only in the legal fields, but also in the conventional media and press. The case came at the right time and more so during the advanced design era of smartphones and tablets.
In April 2011, Apple filled its complaint against Samsung in the U.S District Court of California. Apple accused Samsung of infringing eight utility patents, six trade dress rights and seven design patents. Apple trimmed its allegations down to three utility patents, four design patents and four trade dress rights and this was after the urging of Judge Koh. Apple claimed that its intellectual property rights have been infringed by two Samsung tablets and 26 Samsung smartphones. Apple clarified that Samsung’s new acquired status was as a result of, copying its lavish product designs.
Apple repeatedly used different demonstratives at the trial to make its claims clear. It required the jury to look at the difference in appearance of the widely acclaimed and commercialized Samsung smartphones before and after the 2007 apple’s iPhone. To clarify their patent infringement allegations, Apple presented to the jury four asserted design patents.
This includes U.S patent Nos. D593, D618, 677; D504, 889 and D604, 305 whereas the D’087 and D’ 677 patents were both send to the ornamental appearance of the front part of the smartphone. The D’889 appeared on the overall appearance of the Samsung tablet. There are more features that Apple that claimed Samsung copied from them to come up with more unique designs.
When the functional element argument was brought forward, Samsung argued that all the asserted Apple design patents are “invalid” due to the fact that each claimed trait in the designs is functional and not ornamental. The basic coverage on the law of design patent infringement was also employed in the case. The first patent infringement test was laid down by United States Supreme Court in 1871 in Gorham Co.v. White. On the Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics co. ltd patent infringement case serves a meaningful data points that can aid in reference in case of a similar case.
The jury was made in regard to distinctive findings on the difference between the patents and accused products. Apple is seeking $2 billion on damages. The trial began on April 2014 and by May 2nd 2014; Samsung was instructed to pay $119.6 million to apple for patent infringement on its smartphone designs. This is a good lesson to manufacturers of many electronics in the world as no one wants to be the design team for its rival corporation.
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What is concept mapping?
Concept mapping is a technique which is used in teaching, training, learning and delivery of information processes in order to help in visually illustrations of the relationships and linkages between different ideas and concepts. This technique often makes use of concept maps in which there is a graphic representation of ideas. Basically, concept mapping is aimed at organizing, structuring and representing knowledge in an easy to follow and structural manner. It helps people to organize and understand basic learning concepts more easily and even enables them to explain them in a more comprehendible manner.
In most cases the main concepts and ideas are usually placed in boxes or circles. These are linked using phrases and words which explain the connection between each concept and idea. The concept maps more often than not are represented in a hierarchical structure and the main or overall concepts are placed at the top of the chart while the more specific concepts follow below. Generally, the broad concept is always at the top of the chart and the breakdown of this concept is done below in a more specific approach.
How is concept mapping done?
In order to carry out concept mapping, you must design a concept map. This should always be based on a main broad idea with sub-topics and specific ideas that are connected or linked to it. There are four main steps of carrying out concept mapping:
- Choose the main idea or topic of focus. This is the most important step in concept mapping. The main idea or concept should be broad and objective. This topic should enable one to answer certain questions or solve a particular problem.
- Determine the key concepts linked to this idea. Once a topic of focus has been selected, there is need to come up with smaller and more specific sub topics. These should be relevant to the main topic and in some way help to answer the question at hand or solve the problem being looked into.
- Connect the concepts to the main idea. After identification of the specific subtopics, it is important to identify the inter linkages between them and the main or basic concept. This connection should then be infused into the concept map by drawing maps and using short words or phrases that explain the linkages.
- Make any necessary alterations. One of the advantages of concept mapping is that it allows for alteration between the concepts. Although one can still retain the same relationship that has been established, it is important to re-examine the connection between the ideas and make any necessary changes.
Concept mapping can be done manually if there are a few ideas and concepts involved. However, if there is a bigger data set involved, this process is done using special software.
What are the benefits of concept mapping?
Concept mapping is used in both educational systems and even in the business and human resources disciplines. There are several benefits of using this method in trainings and teaching:
- It can help to summarize key concepts and enable learners and participants understand different linkages to the main concepts.
- This method can be used in communicating complex ideas
- Concept maps are a good and cost effective in preserving an organization’s information
- Business concept mapping can be used in business analysis activities.
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Importance of Motivation in the Workplace
Motivation is the ingredient needed to stimulate energy and the desire in people to continually commit to performing great or giving their best at work. It is a critical aspect and involves use of internal and external factors.
People who are motivated intrinsically take pleasure in what they are doing and they are not overly concerned about external rewards. It is not uncommon to come across employees who do as little as they possibly can, miss deadlines and constantly need correction and supervision in order to perform. Such employees lack the motivation needed to push them to give their best at work.
Theoretically, the importance of motivation in the workplace is quite straightforward but empirically, it cannot be measured. Ascertaining what level of motivation is needed in order to increase productivity is difficult for the simple reason the effort of an individual cannot be easily measured by metrics. While salary is viewed as the key component of keeping employees working in any workplace, it is never enough to capitalize on the full potential of employees.
Motivation plays a significant role in the workplace and this includes:
- It helps push the human resource (HR) into action-Every concern demands human resource, financial and physical resources to accomplish set goals and through motivation the HR is able to capitalize on it and this helps the organization enjoy full utilization of available resources,
- Improves employee efficiency- The level of an employee is not solely dependent on their abilities and qualifications but getting the most out of their willingness and ability to accomplish goals. Through motivation, the productivity of employees is increased, their overall efficiency is increased and operation costs reduced.
- Achievement of a company’s goals-The goals of any company can be achieved when the work environment is co-operative, employees act in purposive manner and are goal directed and utilization of resources is maximized. Motivation also ensures that there is proper co-operation and co-ordination which ensures that work is done properly.
- Fosters great friendships-Employees who are motivated are more likely to feel happy and satisfied. To achieve this, an organization needs to come up with incentive plans which will benefit employees. Some of these incentives include promotion opportunities, non-monetary and monetary incentives and disincentives for underperforming or inefficient employees.
Motivation in the workplace is important not only for employees but the organization as well.
For individuals motivation is important because:
- It helps them achieve personal goals
- They enjoy job satisfaction
- Helps in self development of individuals
- Individuals gain by working within a team that is dynamic
For the business, motivation helps by:
- Empowering teams because employees are motivated.
- Success and profitable because of increased employee contribution
- Creativity and adaptability comes to the fore when making amendments
- Creates a challenging and optimistic environment in the workplace.
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Bait and Switch
Bait and switch refers to a fraud that is common in retail sales although it is also used in other contexts. At first, merchants bait customers by advertising services or products at low prices but on visiting their store, customers realize that the goods or services advertised at those prices are not available. The customers are then pressurized to consider similar products or services but at higher prices. This is what is known as switching.
The main intention of this technique is to encourage buyers to purchase substituted goods by ensuring that consumers are satisfied by the offered products or services as an alternative for the inconvenience or disappointment of having no goods at all. The technique also functions to reckon the seemingly recovery though incomplete, of the sunk cost that is expended in an attempt to obtain bait. The technique suggests that a seller should not avail the original service or product advertised. Instead, they will demonstrate a similar product that has a higher margin or a more expensive good or service.
To most people, bait and switch is a dishonest tactic used by marketers to make their rate, terms or price attractive to potential buyers. It is commonly used in the mortgage market to dive business. Mortgage companies or agents post exceedingly low prices or rates when they know very well that most applicants may not qualify for teaser rates. Once customers start visiting their office for inquiries on the low prices or rates, the agent or company will offer higher rates that they might qualify for. This enables the agents to get greater commission.
According to the U.S courts, purveyors who use this technique can be subjected to lawsuits by buyers or customers on the basis of false advertising. These purveyors can be charged in court for trademark infringement by other manufacturers and retailers who profit from selling the product that is used as their bait. However, cause of action does not exist if purveyor does not sell the advertised goods but pushes the competing product aggressively.
Competition Act prohibits retailers from advertising a service or product at a bargain price if they do not have reasonable quantities available. However, a retailer can avoid liability by establishing that non-availability was occasioned by circumstances that are beyond their control, reasonable product’s quantity was obtained and that the customer got rain check after the exhaustion of the supplies.
This technique can cause a retailer to lose their loyal customers and customers who shop from you once may not
consider entering your store again.
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Intergroup Contact Theory
According to some social scientists, intergroup contact theory is among the best ways of improving relations among conflicting groups. Development of the intergroup contract theory is accredited to Gordon W. Allport. The theory is also known as the contact hypothesis. According to this theory, interpersonal contact is among the most effective means of reducing prejudice between the minority and majority members when conditions are appropriate.
When an individual has an opportunity for communicating with others, understanding and appreciating their point of view on their ways of life is enhanced. Prejudice is diminished due to the new understanding and appreciation of the other persons. Among the issues that occur more often among rival groups include discrimination, prejudice and stereotyping. According to Gordon, all these issues can be reduced through well-managed contact leading to better interaction between individuals.
However, when anxiety is created by contact among those involved, it fails to resolve conflict. To decrease anxiety, contact situations should be long so that members of conflicting groups can feel comfortable in the company of one another. In addition, contact will not reduce conflict if the members of conflicting groups use the contact to exchange insults and argue with one another. This will cause discrimination and even physical violence between the members.
Positive contact must be ensured to realize beneficial effects. Several criteria should be used and they include the following:
- Common goals must be set which should entail solving the problem between them.
- Equal status must be established by minimizing differences among members of the two groups
- Intergroup cooperation must also be established by both sides working together to realize common goals
- Support from the customs, law and authorities are also important in encouraging helpful, friendly and egalitarian attitudes between the groups. In-group-out-group comparison should also be condemned.
- Personal interaction should also be encouraged between groups’ members to develop cross-group friendships.
In explaining the intergroup contact theory, Gordon says that prejudice is directly caused by oversimplifications and generalizations that are made about entire groups of people on the basis of mistaken or incomplete information. Basically, prejudice can be reduced by learning more about a group of people.
Some experts have described a change in belief via contact as one example of a general cognitive process that can be used to modify attributes of a group. Contact with culturally distinct group members can modify beliefs of individual, subsequently elaborating or modifying beliefs about the group as a whole.
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