Asgrow Seed Co. V. Winterboer Patent Infringement
Many companies offering solutions to farmers in the globe have been established, but many have not been able to protect their inventions. Cases of patent infringement have been reported now and then, however, the case of Asgrow Seed Company against Winterboer was widespread and opened eyes of many corporations. The Plant Variety Protection Act [PVPA] of 1970 is a great act that many companies have relied on for many years. Asgrow is one of the widely acknowledged companies that have embraced the act by filling a patent infringement case against Winterboer.
Asgrow Seed Company held two plant variety protection act [PVPA] certificates protecting different variety of soybean seed. These two certificates act as patent presenting a great way to promote research on new varieties of plants and to protect the owners of the seed varieties from any unauthorized sales. There is an exemption for farmers who sell seeds to other farmers who core occupation is growing crops for sale. In 1990, Winterboer planted
Asgrow soybean variety and harvested 256 acres of land. Winterboer then sold the enough seeds to plant 1000 acres of land to many other farmers.
Asgrow did not take these actions by Winterboer as appropriate and claimed that the PVPA prohibits anyone from selling seeds more than would be needed to replant in his own land. This means that Winterboer sold what could not be planted in his respective land. Winterboer argued that the protections in the PVPA statute protect sales of unlimited amounts of seeds as long as both seller and buyer are able to grow crops primarily for “other than reproductive purposes”.
The case of Asgrow Seed Co. V. Winterboer was widespread and many people whether entrepreneurs or farmers want to see which side the federal court will rule in favor of in the case. The district court ruled in favor of Asgrow Seed Company; however the United State Court of Appeals for Federal Circuit reversed and disavowed Asgrow’s petition for rehearing of the case. If you are still wondering, whether the quantity of protected seed that a farmer can sell under the protections in the PVPA is limited to the amount of see the seller would require to replant on his own fields, then this case of Asgrow Seed Co. V. Winterboer offers exceptional solutions.
The best answer to your question regarding the amount of seeds to sell as compared to want to replant in your fields is; YES! In a decision authored by Justice Antonin Scalia, the court showed that a farmer may sell for reproductive purposes only such seed as he or she has saved for the purpose of replanting in his or her own land.
On the other hand, Plant Variety Protection Act [PVPA] statute allows farmers to save seeds to replant and then sell that saved seed to other farmers, it also bars growing protected seed as a “step in marketing” it as a seed for planting. The Federal court held the case because Winterboer’s planting and harvesting was conducted specially to market Asgrow’s protected seeds varieties. Winterboer surrendered eligibility for the PVPA exemption and infringed on Asgrow’s protective certificate patents.
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Martha Stewart Insider Trading At Imclone Systems
Martha Steward is a business connoisseur popularly known for the insider trading scandal at Imclone Systems. She is the founder and CEO of the widely acknowledged Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. a company known for its interests in television, merchandising, publishing, electronic commerce and related international partnership among other interests. In the early 2000s, Martha Stewart was accused of insider trading whereby she had sold four thousand ImClone shares one day before the company’s stock nose-dived.
The charges of securities against Martha were thrown away, she was still found guilty of four counts of obstruction of justice and lying to the key investigators. She was sentence to five months of prison, two years of probation and five months of house arrest. The insider trading case at ImClone systems was also filled with great vagueness as it relates to retributive determination and aspect of being innocent or guilty.
A lot of issues came up from this insider trading case and a lot has been debated on central moral and ethical issues that surround insider trading practice. In many countries, insider trading is illegal regardless of the inside information provided secretly. With regard to the Martha Stewart case, insider trading was clearly evident. For instance, Martha had been a stakeholder of the biopharmaceutical company ImClone system incorporated.
This is a company that focused on advance oncology care and had come up with a new drug design- Erbitux which would have a treatment for patients with colon cancer. The licensing application has been provoked and would result to ImClone lose on share price. Merrill , Lynch’s senior broker, Peter Bacanovic had informed Martha about the drastic market change likely to happen in ImClone’s share price via his assistant Douglas Faneuil .
Mr. Faneuil has specified that the Waksals had sold of their securities from ImClone. Mr. Sam Waksal the CEO of ImClone had made a call directly to Bacanovic one of his brokers and dumped his company share to avoid any financial losses. From the secret information, Martha Stewart sold all her securities that totaled to 3928. From the insider trading perspective, Martha Stewart had no real responsibilities to other shareholders of ImClone as she was not in an official position to interfere with the operations of the company.
It is a clear indication that there was not any infringement of fiduciary duty in this situation. Unfortunately, Martha Stewart did commit insider trading as she possessed material information about the ImClone financial crisis in addition to being deceptive to authorities of what information she was provided with. On top of this, she might have been convicted of insider trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC].
In the Martha Stewart case, she had information on the ethics surrounding trading of the stock, but it can be argued that she was not cognizant of the changing aspects surrounding the offence when she sold off her shares. Martha would have defrauded and misled her shareholders as they had been provided with false information on the amount of shares she would have sold. These actions indicate unethical behavior and define lack of integrity. The damages caused in such cases are evaluated as compensatory and punishing. Therefore, entrepreneurs should uphold to business law and ethics for exceptional growth of economy.
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Raj Rajaratnam Insider Trading At Galleon Group
Insider trading is an issue that has been quite rampant in the current business market. Crackdowns to pick out those involved in breaking business ethics have been helpful. The case of Raj Rajaratnam is one of the widely acknowledged incidences to date. Raj was found guilty of all 14 counts against him in the widely known case of illegal stock-tipping.
Raj Rajaratnam is a Sri Lankan American billionaire founder of the Galleon Group a hedge fund management firm. On October 16th 2009, Raj was arrested by the FBI on allegations of insider trading- a process of trading a public company’s stock or securities by an individual who has access to private information about a certain company. His actions led to the closure of the Galleon Group. On May 11, 2011 he was found guilty on all 14 counts of securities fraud and conspiracy.
The trial cases as a result of rampant crackdown on insider traders who were ruling the Wall Street, a promise made by Manhattan U.S attorney Preet Bharara. Prior to his arrest Raj Rajaratnam had claimed that Galleon analyst had an advantage over its competitors because most were trained as engineers and only focused on research. Adam smith, a former Galleon trader gave evidence at the Raj’s trial stating that the new York-based hedge fund grew its advantage through other means.
Raja emphasized that he was learning of revenue figures before they became public. Intel Corp. [INTC], Intersil Corp. and other publicly traded companies were some of the insiders and attested to the information provided by Adam Smith. In his testimony Smith stated that, research was sort of conducting homework ahead of time. He pleaded guilty of insider trading and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. He further added that, getting the number was just more than cheating on the test presented.
The Raj Rajaratnam case was exclusive in the sense that, the prosecutors wiretapped their targets conversations through the phone a tactic used in crime investigations. 40 recordings of Raj were heard by the jurors and in some of the recordings he was heard gathering secrets from his confidential sources.
One of his sources revealed that, Akamai Technologies Inc. was going to lower its forecast. Raj Rajaratnam used inside information obtained from his sources to trade ahead of any public announcements that were to be made on forecasts, earnings, mergers or any spinoffs involving dozens of companies.
Rajat Gupta, the director at Goldman Sachs, and Kamal Ahmed, a Morgan Stanley banker passed tips to Raj through Adam Smith. The CEO of Goldman Sachs Lloyd Blankfein said that Gupta violated the company’s confidentiality by telling Rajarantnam about the company’s earnings and its strategic plans.
This was the most widespread and paramount case in US in the fight against insider trading. The case led to arrest of more business personnel who have violated the insider trading rules and ethics. For the prosecutors, it did or does not matter whether you are a paramount figure in the society or not. All arrests made have been handled appropriately to set a good example in the country and in the business sector.
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Advantages and Disadvantages of Shifting Cultivation
Coniferous forests are mainly comprised of coniferous or cone bearing trees like pines, spruces, firs and hemlocks. Leaves found on these trees can either be needle like and small or alternatively scale –like and most of them stay green throughout the year. All trees found in this type of forest are also softwoods as such they have the capability to survive acidic soil as well as cold temperatures.
These trees are mainly found in northern hemisphere though there are others in southern hemisphere. Those forests found in the northern hemisphere are known as boreal or taiga forests and covers large regions of North America from the Pacific all the way to the Atlantic. In addition to this, they also range across Scandinavia, northern Europe and Asia through to Mongolia and Siberia to northern Japan and China.
The temperatures in coniferous forests are -400C to 200C while the average summer temperatures are 100C. The precipitation in the region is 300 to 900 millimeters per year. Coniferous forests are generally known as regions that have long, cold and snowy winters while the summers are humid and warm. In addition to this, they also have seasons that are well defined with at least 4 to 6 months that are frost free.
This type of forest thrives in regions that have cool and short summers with winters that are harsh and long. The forests also do well in regions that have heavy snowfall that lasts for as 6 months. The needlelike leaves of coniferous trees have an outer coat that is flexible and soft usually pointing downwards making it possible for snow to glide downwards. An example of coniferous tree that is found in one of the coldest regions is larches. The tree is however unusually for this type of tree simply because it is deciduous and sheds its leaves during winter. Coniferous trees like redwoods, cypresses and cedars on the other hand are found in regions that are much warmer.
Coniferous trees, though they are ever green also shed their leaves eventually to grow new ones. The needles therefore fall to the floor of the forest where they form a springy thick mat and they decompose or break down with the help of threadlike fungi. The fungi aids in ensuring that nutrients from decomposed needles are absorbed back to the roots of the trees but since pine needles never decompose easily, the soil tends to be acidic and poor.
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Shifting cultivation is described as agricultural system through which an individual uses a given piece of land and abandons it later or alters its initial use after a short duration. It involves clearing the piece of land which is followed by a couple of wood harvesting or farming years till the fertility of the soil is lost.
The land is used till it becomes inadequate for crop production after which is it reclaimed by natural vegetation or alternatively gets converted to another kind of cyclical farming practice. Cultivation can also be stopped when the piece of land gets overrun by weeds. The duration the piece of land is cultivated is often shorter compared to the time the land is given to renew by lying uncultivated.
The most common type of cultivation used in this case is known as slash and burn which involves the slashing and burning of vegetation, woodlands and forests. Others clear the lands without any burning while some cultivators are migratory and they don’t employ any cyclical techniques on the given piece of land.
There are instances when no slashing is needed and especially where the regrowth is purely of grass. This is not uncommon especially when the soil is close to exhaustion and the land needs to lie fallow for some time. Eventually, a piece of land that was previously cultivated will once more be cleared of natural vegetation and used for purposes of planting crops once more.
Fields in stable shifting systems and established fields are fallowed and cultivated cyclically. Ideally this kind of farming is known as jhumming in India. Most of the fallow fields aren’t productive and during fallow period, cultivators will use consecutive vegetation species for construction and timber for fencing, clothing, firewood, ropes, medicines, tools and carrying devices.
It is quite common for nuts and fruit trees to get planted in fallow fields making some of the fallows orchards. There are also instances when tree species and soil enhancing shrubs get protected from burning and slashing in fallows. Some of the species have been found to fix nitrogen and fallows contain plants known to attract animals and birds hence they are important for purposes of hunting.
Note that the longer any piece of land gets cropped, the greater the loss of nitrogen and phosphorus, soil organic matter and citation exchange capacity. In addition to this, it also leads to increase in soil acidity, soil porosity and reduction of infiltration capacity as well as seeds that naturally occur from soil seed banks.
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Sustainable Management of Natural Resources
Human wellbeing and development is heavily dependent on the state of the natural environment. Natural resources are used to power our social and economic development and we rely heavily on different types of ‘ecosystem services in order to ensure the planet carried on to be healthy such as clear water, air, raw materials and food. This is also important for disease regulation as well as creating space for recreation.
While this is the case, the natural ecosystems of the world are under immense and increasing pressure to expand and provide sustainable supply of fuel, fiber and food among other commodities while making provisions for services that are related to clean water, air and biodiversity. Some of the areas that can be focused on to ensure natural resources are sustainably managed include:
- Economic and ecological interrelationships in management of ecosystems
- Assessment of ecosystem services
- Behavior and management of resource managers
- Bio-energy, climate change and carbon sequestration
- Optimal multi-use management of natural resources like forests and parks
Sustainable management of natural resources deals with management of how natural landscapes and people interact. It helps bring together water management, biodiversity conservation, water management and future sustainability of industries such as mining, agriculture, forestry, tourism and fisheries. It also recognized people and their livelihoods are dependent on productivity and health of our landscapes and the actions they take as stewards of the land are critical in maintaining the productivity and health of natural resources.
Sustainability emphasis is traced back to the earliest attempts at understanding the ecological environment of North American rangelands during the late 19th century. The analysis coalesced during the 20th century with the recognition preservationist conservation strategies hadn’t been effective in alteration of the declining natural resources.
A much integrated approach was later implemented that recognized intertwined cultural, political, social and economic aspects of natural resource management. The New South Wells government in 2005 published a Standard for Quality Natural Resource Management with the goal of improving the consistency of practice based on adaptive management approach.
In the US, effective areas of natural resource management include wildlife management which is associated with rangeland and ecotourism management. In Australia, water sharing like catchment management and Murray Darling Basin Plan are some of the most significant management projects. The management of natural resources can be grouped in accordance to the right and type of stakeholder such as state property, private property, common property, hybrid and non-property (open access).
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Sustainable Management of Rangelands
Rangeland is a term used to in the US describe unforested, extensive lands that dominate the western half of the continent. Across the globe, rangelands are known as plains, shrub lands, steppes, grasslands, prairies, tundra, swards and semi-deserts.
There are different types of rangelands and together they form at least half of the earth’s total land surface. At least forty eight percent of the land in Idaho is rangeland. Rangelands are used for production of a range of services and goods desired by society and this includes livestock forage, wood products, wildlife habitat, mineral resources, wildland recreation, natural beauty and open space.
It is because of geographic extent and important resources of rangelands that it is important for them to be used properly. What is more, proper and sustainable management of rangelands ensures that people everywhere benefit from them. This includes purposes such as wildlife habitat, watersheds, grazing by livestock, aesthetics and recreation as well as other associated uses.
Developing management plans for rangeland requires information about:
- The objectives of the land owner
- Current condition of the rangelands
- Intended use
- Productive capabilities of the rangeland
The first consideration that should be weighed when carrying out management of rangelands is how the vegetation resource will be used for any prescribed grazing system. Some of the factors that need to be taken into consideration include the grazing period, animal impact, rest, levels of use as well as deferment that the changes will bring to the community.
The second aspect that needs to be considered is identification of practices that are necessary for implementing the desired grazing system. This is because such practices can help influence or control livestock movement which is necessary for ensuring there is even grazing distribution. The practices might include stock trails, fencing, herding, water developments and salting etc.
There are also supplementary practices which can be taken up in order t ensure that sustainable management of rangelands is achieved. Such practices can lead to dramatic changes and should be applied and planned carefully and they include, brush management, prescribed burning, mechanical treatment, water spreading, fertilizing and seeding.
There are professionals who oversee the management of private and public rangelands. There is also a growing number of professionals who work as resource facilitators for purposes of bringing together resource facilitators so they can craft suitable stewardship plans. Sustainable rangeland management is founded on ecological principals and deals with use of a range resources and rangelands for different kinds of purposes.
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Advantages of Employee Empowerment
What is employee empowerment?
Employee empowerment is a strategy and philosophy that enables employees to make decisions about their jobs. It helps employees own their work and take responsibility for their results. Employee empowerment helps employees serve customers at the level of the organization where customer interface exists.
It is the process of enabling an individual to think, behave, take action and control decisions in autonomous ways. It is the state of feeling self empowered to take control of one’s own destiny. Empowerment rules as a development strategy.
What are the advantages of employee empowerment?
Many companies implement the employee empowerment strategy with an aim to motivate their employees and increase productivity. Some of the advantages of empowering employees include:
- The employees become more involved in their work and hence more satisfied with what they are doing. This transforms into customer satisfaction as well because employees do their best using their own ideas to please customers.
- It relieves stress for the management as they do not have to be involved in all the operations of the organization. This is possible through the power transition from the management to the subordinates.
- Employee empowerment lessens the chance of unionization. There would be no need for employees to look to labor unions to fight for their rights in the workplace since their rights are recognized.
- Increased power reduces absenteeism leading to better productivity since employees are motivated to attain better results.
- Employees are more likely to agree with changes if they are involved in the decision making processes at the workplace.
- It also increases respect among employees hence creating teamwork which results in efficiency and satisfaction at the workplace.
- Employee empowerment reduces conflict with administration and managers hence creating high work levels and efficiency.
Disadvantages of employee empowerment
Despite the many advantages of employee empowerment, it has a number of disadvantages and has to be implemented with the right precautionary measures. Organizations should beware of the following disadvantages of employee empowerment:
- Employees can take advantage of their empowerment and abuse the power given to them. This is especially so when the management empowers them when they are not ready.
- Managers may constantly worry that employee empowerment may result in them losing their jobs. This is especially possible when an employee gets better at work.
- Some employees may focus on their own success rather than the growth of the organization or group and this may cause them to leave the organization.
- There may be increased conflict and power struggle between employees due to group tasks and this may hamper the production process,
- Employee empowerment may prove to be too much responsibility for some employees and they can easily get overwhelmed hence making them underperform.
- Some employees may not be knowledgeable enough to make business decisions.
Managers must therefore be well trained to facilitate the whole process through sharing information, cooperation and referrals to appropriate resources.
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Benefits of Outsourcing
What is outsourcing?
Outsourcing is the contracting out of a business process to a third party. It sometimes involves transferring employees and assets from one firm to another, but not always. Outsourcing is also used to describe the practice of handing over control of public services to for- profit organizations. Outsourcing includes both foreign and domestic contracting and sometimes includes off shoring or relocating a business function to another country. Financial savings from lower international labour rates is a major motivation for outsourcing.
The benefits of outsourcing
There are many benefits of outsourcing that companies need to understand in order for them to take most advantage of the practice.
- Reduced costs of infrastructure and labour are a major benefit. Hiring and training staff, investing in infrastructure is quite expensive but with outsourcing you save your company all the burdens of manpower and infrastructure. A company does not have to pay additional benefits to their employees hence a lot of money is saved
- Outsourcing saves you a lot in terms of time, effort and costs.
- There is the benefit of cost advantage. The same services are provided by another company at the same quality but lower costs hence a company gets increased savings form outsourcing.
- Access to specialized services since outsourcing allows you to hire experts and experienced people who specialize in the particular business process. This encourages provision of better services than you and your existing manpower could have provided.
- Faster deliveries and improved customer satisfaction hence saves a lot of time and promotes customer trust and loyalty.
- Outsourcing allows you to focus on the core of the business without compromising other processes hence there is increased productivity and efficiency. Companies that handle everything in house spend more on research, marketing and other development processes.
- Continuity and risk management is a major benefit of outsourcing. High employee turnover will add uncertainty and inconsistency to the company operations hence outsourcing provides a level of continuity to the company.
- Competitive edge for your business since it enables even small companies to enjoy the same efficiency and expertise that large companies enjoy.
Precautionary measures for outsourcing
Despite the many benefits of outsourcing in a firm, there are also different demerits that companies have to be aware of. It is very risky to outsource certain services because a company can expose itself to security risks. Confidential data can be leaked especially if the company outsources human resources services which deal with payroll and recruitment procedures.
Companies can also hire substandard services and laborers and still spend so much money. This will not be cost effective for the companies involved. It is necessary for companies to take appropriate measures to precautionary measures in order to avoid all these issues. These may include taking the following measures:
- Carrying out thorough research on the firms to be hired.
- Being vigilant on services being offered
- Signing a foolproof contract that protects the company information and employees from exposure.
By taking these measures, a company will be better off as it will choose the best outsourcing services hence benefit fully from outsourcing.
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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Disadvantages of Employee Empowerment
What is employee empowerment?
Employee empowerment is where authority is given to employees to make critical decisions concerning the organization with little or no supervision from the managers. This entails using different techniques to empower the employees so that they can make better decisions for the company.
Most companies carry out employee empowerment by using techniques such as:
- Job enrichment. This is where employees are assigned more duties at the same position or cadre of employment.
- Job expansion. This entails promoting employees and also assigning them more duties which are considered of higher cadres than what they are currently doing.
- Job rotation. This is where employees work in different departments so that they enrich their skills and knowledge of the organization. This gives them better decision making skills.
Employee empowerment also entails giving the employees information regarding the company and getting their opinions regarding different aspects of the organization. Organizations usually carry out employee empowerment in order to motivate the employees and also increase productivity levels at the work place.
Disadvantages of employee empowerment
In as much as employee empowerment may have many benefits in terms of increasing motivation and productivity amongst employees, it also has its downsides. There are many challenges that can be brought by leaving major decision making to employees. These include:
- Abuse of authority. When an organization decides to let employees make major decisions on behalf of the company without going through the major rungs of power, there are high chances of abuse of authority. Employees may not be mature enough to make decisions without a certain amount of supervision and hence can abuse the given authority and powers.
- High levels of insubordination. Many a times, employee empowerment can become over-confident and arrogant when given the chance to make and implement decisions on their own. This can lead to high levels of insubordination because the employees may have little respect for their managers. The hierarchy in the organization can be overlooked when employee empowerment is implemented in an organization.
- Reduced confidentiality. Since employee empowerment is about giving the employees the chance to make decisions on behalf of the company and involve them by sharing confidential information with them, it can lead to a big compromise on information of the organization. Employees who are not mature enough can leak out important information concerning the organization to the wrong people and compromise the security of the organization.
- Poor decision making. If employees who are inexperienced are given the opportunity to make decisions on behalf of the organization, they are more likely to make the wrong decisions. Even though the employees may be creative and good ideas, they may make the wrong decisions for the organization.
There are generally several benefits of employee empowerment. However, there are several demerits as discussed above and these can be detrimental to an organization. It is thus very important to implement this strategy with the right conditions so as to reap of these benefits.
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Disadvantages of Outsourcing from Local and Foreign Companies
What is outsourcing?
Outsourcing is where a company decides to contract a third party to carry out a business process on its behalf. Outsourcing may be domestic or foreign. It can entail moving employees and assets from a domestic or international firm to another. In foreign outsourcing cases, the firm can off shore or relocate its major business functions to another country.
Why do companies outsource?
The main motivation behind outsourcing is the need to source for more cost effective services from both domestic and international firms. Companies have over time discovered that labour in certain international destinations is way cheaper than in their countries. This is why they seek services from the cheaper labour markets.
Additionally, companies also outsource services so as to increase productivity levels by concentrating on the business activities that they are best at. When the minor activities are taken care of by the outsourcing firms, the employees can then concentrate on the major pursuits of the organization.
What are the disadvantages of outsourcing?
- Employment problems. When an organization outsources its services to firms in foreign countries, it creates employment gaps in its own country. This is because foreigners gain jobs at the expense of the locals who are left unemployed. This has a ripple effect on the economy at large.
- Confidentiality and insecurity issues. There can be loopholes in security and confidentiality when companies decide to use third parties to carry out their business activities. This can be in the form of leakages of important company information to other companies hence compromising the security of the company.
- Companies can become complacent when they only have to focus on the activities they are good at. They may intensify their activities towards producing the same products hence overlook the changing trends in the markets. The employees might also focus less on customers and concentrate on the market products.
- Job insecurity and disloyalty among employees. When employees know that the company is capable of outsourcing their services they feel less secure about their jobs. This creates disloyalty on their part because they are uncertain of their future in the company.
- Poor services. Companies can get poor services when they outsource their services from poor companies. This can beat the logic of outsourcing and make companies get worse instead of cutting on costs.
- Stiff competition. When several companies in a particular industry begin to outsource services, they unintentionally create stiff competition within the industry. This is because they make it easy for more entry players to access the market and hence raise the standards of the industry.
- Growing and hidden expenses. When so many companies begin to outsource services they can raise the demand for the services and hence make it expensive to access the services. Besides, the labour standards and costs have risen in some countries which were originally considered ideal destinations for cheap labour. There are also other hidden costs especially in terms of legal fees for outsourcing especially from foreign firms. This makes it more expensive to outsource from the foreign firms in such countries.
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Disadvantages of Downsizing in Business
Downsizing is a term that refers to elimination of departments, divisions or positions within a company or business. While this exercise can trigger positive outcomes, it has negative impacts as well. It impacts numerous employees, ongoing projects, future organization of the business as well as techno logy updates.
Cash flow complications, poor performance of stock market as well as low profit margins are some of the factors that drive the decision to downsize. The impact of downsizing is often felt by those employees left behind and its disadvantages include the following:
While downsizing helps reduce costs in terms of benefits and salaries, it also comes with a set of high costs. The business has to prepare severance packages as well as deal with payment for continued benefits which can be quite costly depending on the number of people being laid off as well as what their contract states layoffs.
Employees with vacation time built up also results to payouts for that amount thus adding to costs. In addition to this, employees left behind are forced to assume the role of those laid off and this means they might neglect their own duties and this could also result to increased overtime. When the business grows and there is need to hire more people, the business also incurs additional costs in screening, advertising, hiring and recruiting employees.
Disruption of communication
Downsizing also affects informal and formal communication channels within a company. From casual communications to international streams of communication, downsized employees are not part of the communication process and this could destabilize the business.
Employees left behind also have a hard time establishing current operations as well as indentifying the individuals responsible for the project as well as defining a new chain of command. This communication loss hampers information flow as well as the company’s internal ideas exchange and decision making process.
Whenever a downsizing announcement is made, the morale of workers takes a turn for the worst. Employees will often worry about those losing their jobs as well as how the company is going to function once the downsized workers leave.
Once the employees laid off leave, those left behind have more responsibilities without necessarily a higher pay and this decreases their morale. In addition to this, those left behind also worry that more layoffs might be made and if for some reason they think that the downsizing process was unfair, the respect and trust they have in employers is diminished.
Even when a business has a valid reason for choosing to downsize, it will face a potential legal suit if any of the employees feel like they were unfairly treated or laid off.
There are other disadvantages to downsizing and they include a drop in the creativity and productivity of employees left behind, loss of knowledge and skills, employee stress and creation of a negative image about the business.
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Importance of Empathy in Healthcare
Empathy is a term that is often underused and misunderstood yet it is completely important in the healthcare industry. It is through empathy that therapeutic effectiveness can be achieved and it also helps form a health relationship between the patient and healthcare provider.
The term empathy dates back to the 80s when Theodore Lipps, a German psychologist coined the term to describe emotional appreciation of another person’s feelings. It is also described as the process or ability to understand an individual’s subjective experience while maintaining the stance of an observer.
Empathy is ‘borrowing’ another person’s feelings so as to understand or feel them without taking them upon oneself. By becoming a participant observer, it becomes easier to understand the feelings of the other person. The importance of empathy in the healthcare industry cannot be overly stated. Without doubt, it builds a connection but in the healthcare sector, empathy is more than an emotional and clinical connection.
It is about letting patients know that healthcare providers care about their well being. Emotional connection makes it possible for these healthcare providers to understand how patients are feeling and this makes it possible for them to create more sense about their lives. Every patient has a story and behind the patients, there is also a life. Because of sickness, lives are put on hold while others are interrupted.
It is therefore important for healthcare providers to understand how patients are filling in order to foster great and flourishing relationships to enjoy better outcome. Beneath any diagnosis made on a patient lies a life put on hold. Patients are bound by hospital devices, machines and walls as such they need emphatic nurses and doctors. Healthcare providers should note that there is more to patients than the diagnosis they make.
Recognizing that a patient has an outside life, even for a minute is invaluable to patients. Empathy is however not that easily noted in the healthcare industry. Often, patients, family members and their caregivers are termed as ‘difficult’ whenever they ask questions. However, most of the time, they are not difficult but rather, afraid and they want to get the assurance that their concerns are heard.
What they want above all else is a connection. With empathy nurses and doctors are able to engage, empower and connect with patients. It makes it possible for these healthcare providers to understand the feelings and experiences of patients. By acknowledging the emotional state of patients and listening to them, patients become more proactive and it also fosters trust, partnership and it triggers the healing process.
The most efficient, powerful communication tool in the healthcare industry is empathy and it should extend to understanding the patient beyond their symptoms and history to include their feelings, ideas and values.
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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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