Hrafnkel: Guilty or not Guilty?
The main character, Hranfnkel, in the Scandinavian family story is vindicated for his killing actions. He slayed Einar, who was one of his workers. His vindictive deed was illegitimate, but, the verities that back his deed overshadow the conflicting facts. The Icelandic perception of civilization, rule, and the relevance of one’s word all provided an extremely sturdy backing for Hrafnkel actions (Coles 1).
In line with the account, Hrafnkel was a respectful and caring man. He was gentle to every person who worked for him and those who complied with his orders. Nevertheless, he was quite strict and coldblooded to his enemies as well as individuals who opposed his directives (Hermann 37). It was due to his strict and pitiless personality that pushed him into slaying many people. The other quite imperative trait of Hrafnkel’s character is that he was so committed to his God Fray. He depicted his loyalty to Fray via pledging to him “Large temples and a half-share in all his best treasures” (Hermann 36). Freyfaxi, one of his many horses, is amongst the dearest resources that he dedicated to god Fray. Consequently, Hrafnkel took “a solemn oath to kill anyone who rode the stallion without his permission” (Hermann 38). Freyfaxi was a holy asset to Hrafnkel as he had dedicated it to a god that he cherished so much.
Einar, who was a victim of homicide, and had been a servant of Hrafnkel in his farm for many years. Nevertheless, he contemplated of looking for job in Hrafnkel’s settlements, when things were not in his favor. On agreeing to serve Hrafnkel, Einar settled never to ride on Freyfaxi; the sacred horse that he had warned him about (Coles 2). Einar promised “never to be so wicked to ride the one horse which was forbidden to him” (Hermann 40). He was as well sentimental of the penalties of disagreeing with Hrafnkel commands. The supreme directive being never to ride on the blessed horse without approval (Coles 2).
The indisputable verity in this entire account is that murder actually occurred, but, the most imperative question is whether Hrafnkel was responsible of taking life of another person or he was right to slay this individual as a form of sentence. In relation to the saga, Einar, was a devoted worker for a short period that he “never lost a single sheep” (Hermann 40). Nevertheless, after being a servant for Hrafnkel for a number of months, things went astray, and he lost 30 of his employer’s sheep at last. He searched for the lost sheep everywhere without any trace. He panicked and so opted to take a horse in his endeavors. He could not ride any of the available horses, except for Freyfaxi the sacred horse. He had no other option that to contradict his employer’s directives. As a result, he opted to ride his boss’s horse without authorization, as he was determined to find the lost sheep (Coles 3).
Exploring this instance, it can be summed up that Hrafnkel’s life taking acts were vindicated in several means. When he employed Einar as his sheepherder, he cautioned him from riding his sacred horse, Freyfaxi. Einar could ride the rest of the horse except Freyfaxi. Hrafnkel had made it apparent that he would slay him if he rode his sacred horse. The core motive for Hrafnkel act was defending his horse that he had already presented to god Frey. He had made it clear to those around him that it was him or god Frey who had the right to ride Freyfaxi (Hermann 38). In the course of this old times account, a man’s expression was quite imperative. People who kept their talk were highly respected. Hrafnkel affirmed to Einar that “Warning wards off all blame”, which meant that “I will kill you if you ride Freyfaxi, and it will be your fault” (Hermann 40). It was apparent that he could ride Freyfaxi when permitted. The most vital question is why did Einar had to ride his boss’s horse without his approval? The instance was not an emergency, because he had been looking for the lost sheep for a while, and the option to ride Freyfaxi was made beforehand. From the time when he started serving Hrafnkel, he was conscious that demise was the punishment for any person who rode the sanctified horse (Tracy 117).
The other motive that vindicates Hrafnkel murderous act is that his actions set an exceptional example to all surrounding people as well as the rest of his workers. It unmistakably depicted what would befall in case one went against his directives. For Einar, he had the choice of alerting him of the lost sheep and save his life instead of opting to go break his firm promise. Despite the fact that Hrafnkel had slayed a number of people, his deeds were defensible murder as not all wrongdoings avowed in his book carried a punishment of manslaughter. Even though homicide was illegal under the common law of the Vikings, it is likely that reasonable killing was pardonable (Yeo 262). Even states castigate wrongdoers by execution if found guilty of certain misconducts. The Scandinavian family story occurred when the federal states were not present. Therefore, Hrafnkel had no other option but to do it himself (Hermann 8).
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Hermann, Pálsson. Hrafnkel’s Saga and Other Icelandic Stories. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1971. Print.
The Story of Hrafnkell, Frey’s Priest. [translated by J. Coles.] Eng. , 1882. Print.
Tracy, Larissa. Torture and Brutality in Medieval Literature: Negotiations of National Identity. Cambridge [England: D.S. Brewer, 2012. Print.
Yeo, Stanley M. H. Partial Excuses to Murder. Sydney: Federation Press, with the assistance of the Law Foundation of New South Wales, 1990. Print.
Days of Glory
The director and screenwriter of this film are Rachid Bouchareb and Oliver Morello respectively. They produced a film that showed the contribution the North American Soldiers made by fighting in France against the Nazis in the World War II. The Arabs fought for France, their native nation which set the emotionally-charging drama seen in the rest of the film. Starring in the movie are Jamel Debbouze, Bernard Blancan, Sami Bouajila and Samy Naceri. In the bid to break the powerful 1943 grip by Hitler that lasted three long years, France recruited African armies, comprised of 130,000 North Americans, who were committed to place their life at risk in order to because the downfall of the death machine that was Nazi into a bottomless pit.
However, regardless of their remarkable sacrifices, the French dubbed themselves contemptuously as natives. They dreamt that one day, they would visit their country which they had fought for from afar. However, in the end, their selfless efforts were transcended by their superior contemptuous disregard for the services offered by these soldiers. Their soldiers provided invaluable aid in the darkest hours of the world. The historical context of the movie dates back to 1944-45. During the liberation of the Alps, Italy, the Rhone Valley, the Vosges and the Province marked the deadliest stages in the allied triumph.
France was in the position to take allies following the Armistice. The first French Army they recruited from Africa executed the bloody and triumphant demonstration on the German Nazis and helped circumvent the German officials and occupiers of the Vichly regime. Approximately 130,000 African soldiers were part of the French troops with the remainder of the troops was made up of young French soldiers who fled from the profession. Often, this film reminds views of the story that is forgotten of “native” French soldiers. The North Africans, Arabs especially believed they were natives of France and they were fighting the Germans for France they believed to be fighting for their country. The French superiors however, betrayed them in their hour of need. This is the message passed all through the film (Jeffries 1).
The director of the film is Rachid Bouchareb. He was born in Paris, France to Algerian parents. He is well known for producing art that is thought provoking, by challenging multiculturalism and philosophies of immigration. The ways through which ethnic differences and culture play out in different societies in historical periods comes out clearly in his art pieces. For example, in the film, Days of Glory, he depicts the kind of discrimination that goes on in the Free French Forces to the North African Soldiers. The soldiers from North America received 2nd class citizenship despite sacrifices they made in the fight for their “native” county. The film also fits the philosophy through the manner in which discrimination continues through the setting.
There is a distress portrayal of discriminations and injustices that were enforced against African soldiers from Tunisia and Algeria in one of their exploits. In one of these episodes, it is clear that the North African soldiers but nothing more than cannon fodders used by commanding officers to be on the battlefront. Rachid Bouchareb presents suffering of the soldiers go through an the kind of deep discriminatory military institution, which offers a prism through which we can look at discrimination immigrants in modern France have to go through. As such, his films, especially The Days of Glory, had public discourse in the French forums, which helped in bringing about changes to the manner the French natives looked upon the North African veterans (Jeffries 1).
Rachid Bouchareb uses cinematographic techniques in order to portray the message he wants viewers to perceive in the best manner possible. He uses powerful drama, which shines a light into the North African soldiers, fighting for the Free France after D-Day. The piece of art in itself is not a masterpiece, it entertains and the characters are well established from the start to the end of the film. Thought it can be predictable at times, the most important and notable thing about the film is ripples it creates as well as the impacted created in minds of French people who saw the film. It is worth noting that immediately after release of the film, the French government made an agreement for the first time to begin paying compensation to remnant widows that North African fighters left behind. Hollywood film style, though, is different in some aspects. For instance, it failed to merge French, English and Arabic at the same time and in the same film. However, the film shows Arabs speaking in Arabic while slapping or fighting someone (Todd 1).
African films do not follow similar formulas as those by Hollywood film maker style. They are stories telling of something valuable, informative and not products that are for selling only. They are part of informative entertainment teaching the society about their value. African directors produce films challenging conventional ideas of cinemas by drawing global themes, cosmopolitan scripts and local legends. Products of African films are issues affecting local and ordinary people on a daily basis. Rachid Bouchareb produced a similar theme regarding an issue affecting international and local immigrants to France on a daily basis. The film is about discrimination African soldier went through as they offer their services to the military France. He produced a film that was thoughtful that moved the France government to start paying compensation to remnant widows the African soldiers left behind.
The major question that made me interested in research of the movie is the relationship France had to Muslims. Majority of the Arabs in North African countries are Muslims an anytime Muslims are fighting, it is never a simple war. Possibly, this was part of the reason France recruited the Muslims so they could fight with all they had. What is more, the rest of the European countries did not have as many Muslims as France, yet they were closer to them. As a matter of fact, majority of Arabs in North African countries claimed they were French notices. Additionally, Muslims believed in Liberty, Equity and Fraternity which, are aspects lacking in the film. The question therefore remains on the kind of relationship French had with the Muslims from North Africa.
The film Days of Glory is a depiction of some realities that are happening to humanity throughout the globe which tend to be forgotten by people too soon. An example is the role played by African-Americans in the making of the nation that is now the United States of America. During Second World War, African-Americans were at the forefront of the military battle, an advantage they did not have initially, to the point they redeemed the nation. The country has been in a state where Whites do not favor the Black man as the president despite the role the Blacks made in making it the nation it currently is.
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Todd, Andrew. “Sotigui Koyaté Obituary.” The Guardian, 2 May 2010. Web. 13 Oct. 2010.
Jeffries, Stuart. “Rachid Bouchareb: My Film about the 7/7 London Bombings.” The Guardian, 6 July 2010. Web. 13 Oct. 2010.
Doing the best I can: Fatherhood in the Inner City
Synopsis of the Book
“Doing the Best I can” is a book that looks into the truth regarding inner-city fatherhood. There is no doubt that whenever one becomes a parent, so much is expected from them. Clearly, it is expected that they should provide clothing, food as well as other basic needs for the child, to make sure they have shelter, happy, comfortable and encouraged life. Additionally, the society expects when one becomes a parent, they should teach the child compassion, religion, good morals, respect and other moral living aspects like sending them to school. What is so amazing is that even the president of the state expects fathers to stick around the baby.
This poses a major question, which is, just how easy is parenting? What aspects make a good father? Such questions are answered in the book written by Kathryn Edin working with Timothy Nelson, Doing the best I Can.
Newscasts, commencement speeches as well as other kinds of speeches overflow with the recommendation: youthful Black men must make improved “choices”, specifically, they are expected to accept responsibilities as well as bring children they parent. Any reluctance to do so as stated by Timothy and Kathryn is “denounced as one of the leading social problems of our day”.
Nevertheless, the reality on inner-city fatherhood is a reality. Kathryn and timothy, in seeking the answer actually went to Camden, N.J in order to observe the behavior of one hundred and ten men in Philadelphia and Camden. Their main objective was to have an understanding of the experiences of White men, Latino and Black men, all of whom comprised unwed fathers. To the surprise of the authors, they made the discovery formation of a couple was, for majority of men, an informal incident, almost like an accident. Affairs “just happened” and so did pregnancies, which in majority of cases, “happened” comparatively at a similar speed. Despite the fact, authors also noted there were pregnancies that appeared to be “semi-planned”.
Experts could point to the opposite, though fathers indicated a “surprising desire to parent their kids”. For the largest part, individuals interviewed were happy regarding their “own” children. As a matter of fact, Kathryn and Timothy came to the establishment that, it was the child the father was actually attached to. The mother, was an afterthought. Yet, in the end, decisions that pertained to financial help, daily provision for the child and child bearing were responsibilities assumed by the mum, regardless the fact fathers did what they could by using their limited resources either financially or physically. Additionally, every man was quite precise regarding whom a “good father” is citing deeds and actions that were contradictory to that which they expected from their own dad…
Without doubt, doing the Best I Can is a captivating solitary book. From the start to the end of the research, Kathryn and Nelson wind up some readers while they bring others down. It is however evident that it has encouragement as well as a strong call to responsible fatherhood within pages that are contained in the book. The book, doing the Best I Can, does not in any way substantiate most of the aged beliefs; on the contrary, it turns them into the region of knowledge with compassionate and hopeful sympathy in opposition to “unintelligent” behavior. What is more, the book includes an advice and warning to inner-city white, black and Latino women which is quite a revelation.
The book’s main new contributions to the literature
Doing the Best I Can is a book that makes remarkable contribution to the existing research and literatures in the field of unwed fatherhood and parenting and single motherhood. More importantly, it addresses the concern of development and growth among children that is based on cultural, economic, environmental and social factors. The behavior of a child as well as his or her ability to navigate through different stages in life is viewed as one of the most crucial indicators for socioeconomic wellness, though factors influencing it still remain unresolved. There are suggestions that determine the behavior of a child and these are reliant on whether the parent is poor or rich. The impact on development of the child, in case of poor parents, could also be affected by economic and social challenges. Doing the Best I Can focuses on the manner in which social and economic factors influence the healthy development of a child. Using data from 110 men, who are White, Black and Latino, with income groups, the authors discerned financial constraints, unplanned pregnancies, unwed fatherhood and relationships that came to an end are the major child development contributors.
There are more studies that attribute child development to environmental influences and they take it to be responsive to socioeconomic factors (Fan & Chen, 2001). The negative relationship between infant development and economic development has been given a lot of weight in literature. Ford et al (2010) makes the argument that income inequality leads to health risks. This is contrary to absolute hypothesis, which postulates that income is the only thing that affects health and not how it is distributed. The study additionally provides analysis of various connections between health and income, in which case, the argument is that income has great impact on health, income affects health following epistemological transition.
The book also contributes to literature on motherhood and poverty. It is common to find poor women giving birth early in their lives when they are not financially prepared to offer support to their children (Edin & Nelson, 2013). Early motherhood, positively relates to the financial stability of females and labor participation rate, which means women with financial challenges and low labor participation give birth often to unplanned babies on the desire or promise to be married. However, coefficient for female labor participation is close to zero, with possible explanation that women who take part in labor are breadwinners and hence, they have enough income to spend in maintaining the health of the babies, though at the same time, they lack time to care for the babies hence have a net off-effect.
Based on findings in the book, social work professionals have an understanding of challenges faced by unwed fathers, single mothers and reasons contributing to unplanned pregnancies. Social workers entrusted with the mandate of helping people make decisions, understand life, and avoid future problems and other numerous responsibilities. As such, understanding the reason men or women participate in an affair they are not ready to face the consequences is crucial for them to be effective. Such knowledge is outlined in the book Doing the Best I Can and can be of great assistance to women in inner city.
How the premise presented in the book relates to life-course development
Drawing from the book, Doing the best I can indicates how cultural and economic challenges change the meaning of fatherhood for the urban poor people. Because of hardship, parents often leave responsibilities of child raising to mothers. This leads to hardships in the early years of a child’s development. Such issues relate to the growth and development of children since they are often affected by the social and economic state of their father.
Overall, the book exposes a notable trend in process of child developmental psychology. The author’s findings are linked with theories of human development and other theories explaining that unconscious happenings affect a child’s growth. Many psychonauts have worked as individuals helping others solve their behavior problems and well develop them. Sigmund Freud and Erik Erikson are 2 scholars and psychonauts who have made some great impact in the field. Freud believed have to be caused (Mac Brayer, Milich, & Hundley, 2003).
Freud also believed a person goes through some psychosexual stages from childhood through to adulthood and whenever they miss one pint in these states, they can remain stuck for the remainder of their lives. They included 5 stages that include anal, phallic, oral, and genital and latency stages. The first stage is oral which is evidenced in the child’s first year. Everything in this stage is cantered in the mouth as that is where they put everything. The second is anal stage which covers the age bracket of one and 3 years, it focuses on the anus and its products. In this stage, children endeavor to gain control of their excretory functions. Phallic stage starts at the age of three to five years and focuses on sexual activity, as the boys desire to spend time with their mother while the girls with their fathers. This happens for boys to learn what it takes to be a father and the girls, a mother. Failure of this taken place results in individuals admiring men and women who are the replica of their parents (Georgiou, 1996).
The third stage is known as latency stage and covers the age bracket of 6 to 12 years, children in this stage are more social and they also develop the urge of making cross sex friendships. Genital stage occurs during adolescence and above and its where attraction between individuals of the opposite sex is clearly evident. At this stage, people have the urge of practicing sexuality; sexual libidinal, hedonistic desire is also part of the stage (Baumrind, 1996).
Erikson’s theory presents social development aspects that are different. His primary stages are the same to Freud’s, though the last ones talk more about development in adults. Each stage is characterized by the development of ego strength or virtue. The developed virtue is what forms part of the person’s or child’s ego skills. As such, a negative form of ego strength arises if it is developed poorly at any of the stages. Every stage has a crisis with conflict that is centered on a given issue. Conversely, the early development stages give way to later stages though rehabilitation occurs later in healthy relationships that one engages in life. Other relationships are vital in every stage; as such intergenerational interactions are very crucial in assisting children, young people as well as the elderly develop life skills that are important. The development, whether in an adult or child, can as well affect their cultural and social development.
From these developmental theories, it is evident that the findings in Doing the Best I Can indicate children of unwed fathers encounter numerous challenges in the course of infancy that affect their growth (Edin & Nelson, 2013). These include identity issues, anxieties, ego, failed dreams, unmet needs and poverty as well as other problems. Precisely because of this, they might not be in the position to develop desirable behavior when they are grown. For example, because of anxieties, ego creates a defense mechanism to avoid them; all the mechanisms may be unhealthy and immoral but still capable of helping one cope with harsh realities. Some of these mechanisms include; denial which is most common, people are afraid of admitting the obvious truth which appears to put them down before others, it endeavors to protect ego from aspects it cannot cope with though the process is energy consuming. The most common form of denial is addiction, which many people view as problematic and they fail to admit that they are under the influence of alcohol or substance. Repression is another defense mechanism, striving to maintain information from mindful consciousness. While the memories might be kept under cover, they might not disappear fully and in some cases, might influence future behaviors. Displacement is another defense mechanism people use in order to relieve their stresses on others. When people become frustrated by situations, they become harder on their family and friends and they are said to have displaced them (Baumrind, 1966).
Role of Social Work for Professionals in Human Development
Children who are fatherless or those from poor families always remain marginalized in society and they experience “considerably high rates of poverty than those who come from rich backgrounds in the UK” due to exploitation and discrimination by other groups that have vested interests (McCarthy, 2007). However, over the years, the need for a foundation that is strong to make their rights known and as such, find ways to improve their status in society has focused on the work of social activists and professionals (Fan & Chen, 2001). Additionally, other parties involved offer their support to the poor children come together and they decide to undertake initiatives that offer them equal opportunities as others within the society.
In the same manner, the UK government is focused on “greater emphasis on improving employment outcomes for the ethnic minorities” to enhance their economic status (McCarthy, 2007). Additionally, some of the organizations in the UK, like Oxfam, created events that involve policy makers, policy papers and published articles as well as linked with media in order to give the poor families a platform where they can articulate ideas in society. According to Robl et al. (2012), the concerted efforts made by the agencies as well as support of poor people has helped them to immensely improve and develop their economic position in order to enable political mobilization.
As children coming from poor families continue to fight for a place in the community, social work experts are managing their lives across the world. These professionals as well play a critical role in fighting for a society that is just and improving the status of marginalized people and enhancing services efficiency for all. In the UK, such experts fight for the minority rights and they make sure their suggestions and views reach policy-makers (McCarthy, 2007). They also work with ethnic minority women in order to provide a basis for them to air their views. The political mobilization, on the other hand of ethnic minority people has played a central role in making it possible for them to achieve their goals.
While doing an assessment of the financial needs of children coming from poor backgrounds, it is also critical to develop communication with not just family members and primary educators of these children but a need to communicate with the children. Communication is critical in the emergence of the need for both school and residential settings. It contributed to effective development of the child. Skills that are related to effective and clear communication plays a crucial role in helping the child since often, fatherless or children from poor background suffer the common inferiority problem, anxiety, aggression and others, as such, communicating with peers is difficult (Henderson, 2006). According to Santamaria (2005), even though they have socializing problems because of their deprivation state or poverty, they can still learn the skills and get along with others well. They might not complain but they can feel and this contributed to their intellectual, physical and emotional state.
Improving quality of life and evolution of attitudes to improve the social and economic well-being of the population, the major objective of social work professionals is developing an individual centered on development plan. Advice is offered to people so they can maintain respect, dignity, promote safety, health and comfort. The standard of services social workers provide is also maintained to satisfaction level of the individual and their primary caregivers (McCarthy, 2007). This is due to the fact people providing social workers services must be aware of their duties and responsibilities and they should also have good skills and knowledge that is needed to create services that are of high quality (Brooker, 2007). Social work professionals, in summary play a crucial role in development of human life through the provision of advisory services to policy makers, educators and the family members of children who come from poor or fatherless backgrounds. Also, there is need for social workers to carry on with learning more about social development of children in modern world with partial involved of the fathers.
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The merging of different cultures in the process of integration of traditional features of native culture with unique or new features of the introduced culture to create new beliefs and traditions is known as cultural syncretism. The process often occurs when different countries seek to explore other countries, which ensures the integration of native and foreign cultures (Balme, 1999).
The concept mainly denotes the integration of contesting political and religious doctrines often attribute to specific rituals that ultimately get accepted as the common aspects of local practices. Therefore, it acts as a process and a hinges definition presenting inappropriately intertwined cultural and religious categories that tend to be alienated to each other.
The idea therefore defines the extensive imposition of a foreign culture to an existing one via the introduction of foreign beliefs and practices. This attributes to the development of politicized cultural approach or topography only describing a prevailing cultural condition without explaining the processes under which the condition occurred (Serge, 1998).
Cultural syncretism in Africa and America versus China and India
It is clear that significant similarities and differences in the way the idea of concept of cultural syncretism occurred in the west and in Asian nations. It is also clear that India and China were faced by same aspects that enhanced syncretism in America and Africa as similar episodes included integration different cultural orientation growing from different races that resided within cultures already existed.
According to Balme (1999), diverse communities particularly from the African origin that had clear social and cultural practices in resided in the culture of America. Conversely India and America had been invaded by foreign communities and had clear cultural practices that could be in diluted nature practices to create new ones (Stewart, 1994).
The growth of Shang dynasty led to the creation of creating different cities in Chinese territory that allowed foreign
societies with defined religious and cultural practices to reside within the country. The communities had also been particularly retained cohesive relationship that enabled them to share various wide range cultural practices that helped them to fight barbarians that existed in the region (Serge, 1998).
India was also invaded by foreign societies leading to the growth of distinct cultural orientation that could impact native Indian culture. The growth of Aryans in the Indian Territory also led to the introduction of unique dialects that were closely related to European languages and new religious beliefs that led to the introduction of books relating to the new religion (Stewart, 1994).
The West and Asian countries territory invasion also touched the political field leading to the modification of leadership systems that had discriminatory authorities. The political system of the USA for instance included the incorporation of various African races that were largely segregated in the political arena.
The African Americans on the same note were also not permitted to vote or engage in political activities on an equal footing as the Americans. China and India conversely were characterized by divided authorities that included high class communities on top of their bureaucratic systems as well as poor populations including outcasts in the society who occupied the bottom hierarchy (Yacob, 1995).
It is also evident that the effect of invasions was clear because cultural influences in the American territory were accepted easily compared to that of Asian countries. The availability of different societies with unique cultural practices also offered room for the introduction of unique music styles that signified the new American society. The religious culture additionally included new practices from various communities living in the region and it created a cohesive society that preached same beliefs.
However, such developments were non-achievable within Asian nations because they resisted any cultural and religious practices that could be accepted in the society. Different factors also generated the differences including religious beliefs as well as societal structures. Amongst unique features that can be connected to the differences were spiritual orientations that some cultures had because they could determine the level at which foreign practices would be incorporated into the existing culture.
For example, Indians believed in preaching enlightenment spirit via the use of main native scriptures making it hard to incorporate spiritual teachings that originated from other cultures (Serge, 1998).
China also had a unique religious system that had been held for a long time. All religions within the region strongly believed in peaceful coexistence making it hard for other religious cultures that were bound to disintegrate the people to be accepted in the country. Christianity which included the main religion in American society also had formal structures that could pave way for integration of new cultural settings.
Existing religions within the Indian and Chinese territories even so did not have any formal structure and as a result, they could not allow for any changes in their cultural setup to take place within their religious systems (Yacob, 1995). The unique nature and level at which different cultures were incorporated in the west and the two Asian countries also left a significant affect that is still common in modern day societies.
The modern day American Christian legacy according to Stewart, relates to the way in which they invaded foreign nations thus influencing the communities that strongly believed in idolatry. The other important legacy that has since remained by orientations differences towards cultural change is that which appears to be common faith betrayal in one culture appearing to be some form of appropriation in another culture. This further explains why modern day society religions appear to object what others consider to be comfortable to them (Balme, 1999).
However, it is obvious that modern day American society would be completely different in the process of Cultural syncretism that takes place in the region. According to Steward (1994), the political culture of the US would be very discriminative as the government would be divided into Black Americans, having a separate governance system and White Americans with their unique system on the other hand.
Unlike the government system that is prevailing in Modern day American society, the political culture of the US would be characterized by conflicting racial politics that would also be sidelined discriminatively by each group of individual on racial grounds (Yacob, 1995). It is also notable that the music system in America could not be the way it is in the event of cultural syncretism if it did not occur.
While various cultures integrate their orientations to create a clear and advanced music system, each society would be struggling for dominance in the music arena while challenging music styles would also exist (Stewart, 1994). This kind of disintegration would in the end affect the advancement level of each style because they would have a small part of the audience challenging and supporting its advancement or growth.
While it is also clear that a specific resistance level to cultural change displayed syncretism to take root in early encounters that existed in China and India, cultural orientations would be quite different from the way they are in modern day of syncretism did not impact at the time.
The two nations according to Serge (1998) would have a structured religious unit if their sacred texts would be given a chance to undergo interpretations as well as translations characterized with clear religious traditions. However, this was not the case in different religious orientations that existed thus, explaining the reason as to why they have been quite tenacious and resilient to be in a position to expand and grow.
Religious orientations in India and China also focus on work as part of their religious orientation in that dedication to work defines the deeds of each and every individual and needs to be rewarded positively.
The effect of including syncretism at an early stage would also be clear as smaller communities that do not belief in cultural work emerge in the end. This would also reduce the productivity of a person as he or she would be resistant to work and led to trade commercialization (Balme¸1999).
It is clear that the effect of cultural syncretism was rampant in China, India and America as foreign cultures incorporated part of their practices into their already existing cultures. Even though the syncretism effect occurred within the American territory at an early age in history, this was not the case in China and India as many factors included religious beliefs, social structures, economic orientations and political systems that could not enhance assimilation effect of different cultural practices.
This further explains the reason as to why cultural practices could be incorporated easily within the American territory yet it could not be realized in the two Asian nations.
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Balme, C. (1999). Decolonizing the Stage: Theatrical Syncretism and Post-Colonial Drama, Oxford, Clarend on Press.
Serge, M. (1998). Cultural Diversity, Pedagogy, Assessment Strategies, The Journal of Negro Education, 67(3): 65-80.
Stewart, C. (1994). Syncretism/Anti-Syncretism: The Politics of Religious Synthesis, London, Routledge.
Yacob, T. (1995). Ecumenism, Culture and Syncretism, International Review of Mission, 84(3): 78-99.
Boutique Hotels in Thailand
The idea of boutique hotel has been widely embraced across North America and the United Kingdom to mean hotels that have more than ten rooms characterized with luxurious amenities founded in intimate locations and with full service lodgings. They are often tailor made to offer high quality services and in an intimate, luxurious, unique and comfortable setting that is not likely to be found in any normal setting which regular hotels homogeneity are found (Balekjian, 2011).
Background of the Study
The importance of creating boutique hotels has been an essential evolution that has continued to be part of the vast developments experienced in cultural tourism. While the concept can be traced back to the 1980s, its evolution is imperative and is highly related to the growing interests that individuals have employed in history, art and cultural heritage.
According to Berger& Chiofaro (2007), international hotel chains rapid growth led to the creation of a more standardized idea that would be utilized to define the facilities in the vast majority. This led to the initiation of the idea of box hotel, which is characterized by homogeneity in facilities and products offered in the hotel industry.
Lack of differentiation between majority of products and services offered in the hospitality industry eventually saw to the growth of McDonaldization of the industry where many hotels would be characterized with products and services available across the globe among other features.
However, this kind of development aggravated the introduction of a counter movement that was enhanced by clients who sought hotels with unique sophistications to match their unique lifestyles (Aliukeviciute, 2010). The need to integrate a high sophistication level as well as innovativeness additionally led to the growth of new lifestyle hotels characterized with exceptional designs and hotel niches.
The term boutique was therefore introduced to provide a generic definition of niches that were characterized by unique designs tailor made for expression of classic lifestyle. Some of the unique features of such hotels were first witnessed in Las Vegas in 1981 where unique features were tailor made to replicate cities among other unique features.
The Hotel Vintage Court, a hotel with an exceptional theme was established in 1983 in San Francisco (Tidti, 2009). This marked the turning point of rapid development of interior trends that also marked the boutique hotels’ unique features. The initiation of boutique hotel concept also generated new public recognition of such hotels in 1994 and it led to development of lifestyle hotels across many parts of the globe including New Zealand, United Kingdom and North America.
Such developments can be closely linked to a wide range of choices that the hotels offer and have continually made while offering hospitality products as they seek to ensure their guests are served with an exceptional cultural experience (Nagovisyna, 2012).
Statement of the Problem
Companies operating in the hospitality industry have continued to look for ways to expand their business as the rate of losing clients has continued to threaten their existence. This has led to rapid implementation of marketing strategies in the industry that has witnessed growth in boutique hotels.
Even though business owners have continued to employ a wide range of management strategies designed to ensure boutique settings are distinct from the traditional hotel set up, no study has been carried out to investigate how the rapid development of the hotels has affected regular hotel operations in Thailand.
There are also different studies that have been carried out to try and investigate how the entities designed new strategies to acquire and retain a high number of clients operating in the region. The studies have been however considered inadequate based on the fact that they do not indicate how the development of the hotels has affected normal operations of regular hotels in the region (Klumbis, 2003).
This study will therefore be quite essential in filling different gaps that have been identified as a way of establishing means by which rapid boutique hotels in Thailand has influenced the operations of normal hotels.
Justification for the study
Rapid tourism industry growth in Thailand is expected to continue as the economy of the country has continued to register positive growth with a solid GDP. According to Lang (2013), tourism in the country’s market is indicating a significant recovery from global instability state as a result of severe financial crisis and political turmoil. As the number of tourists visiting the country is expected to grow, developing different factors that may impact performance quality and productivity in the industry is subsequently imperative.
This is attributed to the fact that tourists visiting the region are mainly attracted by unique features of boutique hotels, which are rarely found in regular hotels. According to Lo (2012), superb attention is also given to specific boutique hotels details that make them stunningly attractive and unique.
Managers in the institutions maintain an incredible ambience attracting visitors from across the globe. The hotels also employ a unique collection of styles offering a unique experience that tends to be quite rare in regular hotels.
Research to topic
This paper aims at investigating unique features of boutique hotels that influence the decisions of tourism choices as a way of determining the reasons behind rapid expansion of the hotels in Thailand and how they affect regular hotels performance. The specific questions that will be utilized to guide the study include
- Which unique features attract tourists into the boutique as opposed to regular hotels in Thailand?
- What effect has the tremendous growth in boutique hotels had on regular hotels?
- How does clients taste and preference of the people of Thai compare to the type of hotel from which they seek for hospitality products and services
- How does quality of services of boutique hotel compare with the regular hotel?
Participants in any given market in most cases go after recognition of unique features which can be distinguished in the purchasing behaviors of certain consumer groups via creation of market niches. According to Tidti (2009), marketers can as a result enhance segmentation factors in the market to ensure the business niches narrow down in terms of target population to a given sub group that is quite distinct in lifestyle decisions.
Market segregation via creation of market niches has also been well employed in the hotel and travel industry as participants aim at enhancing their competitiveness level via increased productivity.
Distinct and unique qualities of boutique hotels have continued to attracted distinguished tourists whose tastes and preferences have been impacted by the exceptional characteristics. A study carried out by Chan (2012) revealed that user features are among the most essential factors affecting decisions made by tourists seeking hospitality services from boutique hotel. Chan also found out that unique and cleanliness of location is some of the most significant features that tend to attract more tourists and in the end, impact their ultimate choice for boutique hotels.
According to Mattila (2010), the hotels are additionally characterized with well-maintained chambers, attractive locations and secure environments and courteous staff offering quality services. This affected the decisions made by repeat clients who will always seek unique experiences offered by the hotels.
Affordability is also an essential feature that impacts the decisions made by tourists who seek hospitality services in boutique hotels. A study that was carried out by Naqshbandi & Munir (2011), revealed that tourists are in most cases attracted by exceptional characteristics evident in the interior of boutique hotels as they offer luxurious experience that cannot be found in traditional hotels.
Naqshbandi & Munir also found out that many luxurious tourists considered the decision of having interior features in traditional hotels as not appealing and non-arousing thus, the dire need to seek luxurious experiences in boutique hotels. Additionally, experiential relationships are essential features that can be utilized to explain the decisions made by tourists to consider the products and services offered in the hospitality industry, more specifically boutique hotels.
A study that was carried out by Nixon (20110, revealed that many tourists seek unique hospitality avenues where they can experience unique cultural attributes among other features that they may have not experienced in the past. This paper reveals that tourists are mainly attracted by sensory and experimental unique features found in boutique hotels.
Some theories can be used equally to explicate unique trends that tourists display in relevance to their search for hospitality services, which, tends to focus more on the boutique establishments more than regular hotels. According to the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, this can be explained depending on various client needs and expectations affecting their decisions to consider boutique hotels products and services.
Individuals according to the theory often have basic needs as well as expectations that trigger their decisions to consider more favorable avenues where their needs can be fully addressed. This can also help to provide a clear understanding as to why tourists seek high quality hospitality services in boutique setups where their expectations and needs to feel higher or dignified level of luxury can be met (Chan, 2012).
The service quality model can also explain the reasons behind the decisions of tourists to consider hospitality services in boutique hotels. The theory explains that quality of services often impact perceptions of past experiences originating from analysis of general performance. Clients also make decisions on the need to look for repeated services if their experiences in the past revealed a high satisfaction level exceeding their expectations.
The theory is therefore essential in explaining how clients continually settle for hospitality services in boutique setups where the services surpass their expectations and is not usually the case in regular hotels (Tidti, 2009).
Summary and Conclusion
It is clear that extensive scholarly work has been carried out to evaluate different aspects related to the choices of tourists to settle for boutique hotels as opposed to regular hotels. Evidence from scholarly research indicate different features affecting their choices thus contributing to the growth of trends where tourists relate to in the search for hospitality services in boutique hotel setups.
Even so, the research failed to describe the different effects of the developments on regular hotel operations and how they impact the preferences of clients in regard to their products and services. The study as a result aims at filling this gap by carrying out an extensive investigation in relevance to the growing boutique hotels trend in Thailand as a way of determining their impact on regular hotels.
This research seeks to explore unique features attracting tourists into the boutique hotels as a way of determining their effect on the growth trend of the hotels as it is bound to have on regular hotels. The study will also employ a qualitative approach to data collection to ascertain that questions used in the research are responded to sufficiently.
According to Marshall S (1996), qualitative approach to research is essential as it creates room for flexibility when examining significant issues while dropping unproductive areas as well as those that may not be answered in the study.
The main data collection tools will include interviews and questionnaires that will have same information. According to Akbayrak (2000), these tools are essential because they pave way for collection of in-depth information relating to a given field of study. The population used in the study will also be selected from five boutique hotel establishments in Thailand as well as 3 General Managers, 5 Departmental Managers and 3 Senior Managers from each of the hotel.
Additionally, ten guests from each hotel will included in the study to generate more information in relevance to client experiences and their views on the setups. The collected information will then be analyzed using the SPPS program and the findings will be presented in histograms, graphs, frequency tables and pie charts.
The final result will also be used to reach conclusions relating to different characteristics attracting tourists to the hotels, their impact on regular hotels and how this impact influence the preferences of clients on the type of hotel they consider for hospitality services.
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Akbayrak, B. (2000). A Comparison of Tow Data Collecting Methods: Interviews and Questionnaires, Journal of Education, 18(1):1-10.
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Balekjian, C. (2011). Boutique Hotels Segment: The Challenge of Standing out from the Crowd, London: HVS, London Office.
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Holverson, S. et al. (2010). The Strategic Importance of Affiliation with Lifestyle Consortia for Small and Medium-Sized Independent, Retrieved on 17th January, 2014 from https://www.google.co.ke/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=10&cad=rja&ved=0CGkQFjAJ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fpublications.ehl.edu%2Ffre%2Fcontent%2Fdownload%2F1096%2F6966%2Ffile%2FFinal%2520Report%2520.pdf&ei=rVfZUu6cFOSS7QbG-IAo&usg=AFQjCNEhPjJMbn1WXrbLtAFn4bbAHz7NEA&sig2=rWNm6HswipbcuCK8IvzMuQ&bvm=bv.59568121,d.ZGU
Klumbis, D.F. (2003). Seeking the Ultimate Hotel Experience, retrieved on 17th January, 2014 from http://www.esade.edu/cedit2003/pdfs/danielafreund.pdf
Lang, J. (2013). Spotlight on Thailand: Hotel Investment Market, Retrieved on 17th January, 2014 from http://www.joneslanglasalle.com/ResearchLevel1/Spotlight%20on%20Thailand%20Investment%20Jan2013.pdf
Lo, Y.H. (2012). Back to Hotel Strategic Management 101: An Examination of Hotels’ Implementation of Porter’s Generic Strategy in China, Journal of International Management Studies, 7(1): 56-69.
Marshall, M.N. (1996). Sampling for Qualitative Research, International Journal of Family Practice, 13(6):522-525.
Mattila, J. (2010). Hotel Brand Strategy, Journal of Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 51(1):27-34.
Nagovitsyna, M. (2012). Boutique Hotel, Retrieved on 17th January 2014, from http://www.gttp.org/content/listings/118/files/12/russia-2012.pdf
Naqshbandi, M.M. and Munir, R.S. (2011). Atmospheric Elements and Personality: Impact on Hotel Lobby Impressions, Journal World Applied Sciences, 15(6):785-792.
Nixon, N.W. (2011). A Study of the Experiential Service Design Process at a Luxury Hotel, Retrieved on 17thJanuary,2014from http://faculty.philau.edu/nixonn/documents/Dissertation_NWN_WileyISPIM.pdf
Tidti, T. (2009). Lifestyle Segmentation for Boutique Accommodation in Relation to the Service Quality and Customer Satisfaction, Thailand: Payap University Press.
Tort of Negligence
Crippling of large companies is quite common in Australia. Such ruins, leads to many losses to relevant stockholders, more specifically, third parties. Under such incidences, blame game is also a common scenario and none of the auditors face the wrath of third parties with professional negligence claims. The claims are costly to auditors because of indemnity insurance therefore, the implementation of law on negligence of auditors in the country.
The negligence tort also helps the court to offer prove on breach and existence of duty of care when handling such cases. Consideration of policy also plays a crucial role in the decisions. This means normative thinking where the court employs logic to the rights of individuals and more specifically on any new development. Since the tort of negligence is still new, many policies are still considered when it is applied.
This is based on the fact that the negligence duty of care is a broad concept without a meaning that is clear cut. Many tests are also needed to determine the presence of real elements and the ability to foresee by the defendant. The defendant’s proximity and plaintiff is additionally an issue in such cases. Policies therefore enable the court to acknowledge a reasonable duty care and in discretion. This in the end helps to determine the defendant’s legal obligations.
Negligence tort cases are broad ranging from government, education, business and medical institutions. Many cases have been in the past handled by the Australian High Court. The cases can enable one to comprehend the employment of this kind of tort. For example, the Cattanch v Melchior (2003) HCA 38 involves negligence in a medical environment.
In the case, Doctor Cattanach had been asked to carry out tubal ligation by the plaintiff because she did not want another kid due to financial factors. The defendant did not operate on the second fallopian tube of the plaintiff as a result of assumptions. She conceived and therefore sued the doctor for negligence. The doctor was found guilty and paid for consortium, pregnancy, and child maintenance and birth charges.
The decision was based on the negligence of the doctor in his duty to explain to the parent that there is still a probability for conception. Even though the child born was healthy, there were legal expectations in terms of taking care of the kid by parents and it was carried on by the medic because the patient had indicated financial constraints when seeking the service.
Therefore, the award for the damages was approximated and the medic paid more than $210,000 and it was a case of a positive wrongful life claim. In another tort of negligence, Harriton v Stephens (2006), the plaintiff did not make a fruitful wrongful life claim. The appellant, Harriton, sued her mum’s doctor for wrong pregnancy advice when she was paged with her.
Her mother had been infected with rubella virus and at the time, this made her give birth to a disabled child, Harriton. Harriton therefore felt that the medic was responsible for negligence of duty of care because her mum would have had the pregnancy terminated if she was well advised.
However, the case was dismissed by Justice Tim Studdert but later on Harriton made an appeal at the New South Wales Supreme Court. The court dismissed the case because termination of the pregnancy is not a moral value and Harriton’s conception was not the responsibility of the medic.
These two cases represent clear examples of negligence of tort application in Australia. They depict the significance of proving duty of care existence as well as breach of duty and responsibility of damages before a judgement is passed. This creates a basis for the case in relevance to negligence tort where auditors are involved.
Auditors are presently responsible to the tort of negligence. The purpose of this law is to offer protection to the auditing profession by ensuring that there are sufficient auditing companies to enhance competition in Australia. The liability of the auditor can be classified under the law of contract depending on the plaintiff. The common tort of negligence law in Australia is only liable if there is a breach of an existing duty of care leading to damages.
This guideline of negligence is however different from that, evident in the Donoghue v Stevenson’s case. In Donoghue v Stevenson (1932) AC 562, the plaintiff may not sue the defendant because there was no existing contract between them. In this case, the plaintiff had purchased a bottle of ginger beer only to discover that there was a decomposing snail in the bottle after drinking the contents.
In this case therefore, the plaintiff should have sued beer manufactures. This case therefore used the locality principle whereby, there is no contract between people and each person is responsible for actions taken with reasonably foreseeable negative effects on the other person. According to the principle therefore, a duty of care can exist even in the absence of the contract.
I therefore agree with the present negligence of auditor’s law as it offers room to the defendant to defend his or her case. Auditors are responsible to several standards and laws especially in Australia from both the governing units and the government. As a result, their obligations and duties are broad thus; there is a greater liability risk in this kind of profession.
Many theories for instance the ‘’deep pockets’’ theory assumes that auditors are in a position to pay for indemnity cover without any problem yet this is not always the case. This further threatens the existence of the profession and the common law requirement calling for proof of an existing duty care, damages from the breach of duty and the breach of duty itself to ensure fair justice.
If the plaintiff is confident that violation of duty care has occurred, then it will not be difficult to provide essential evidence. Lack of evidence will mean that the auditor is innocent. Corporate crippling is as a result of different factors and it is not fair for any auditor to unduly bear the blame. The neighborhood principle is also to general to be used in this case because it would mean that auditors are not responsible for commercial collapses.
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“Negligence & Foreseeability: Doctrine of Law or Public Policy.” Australian Insurance Law Bulletin. 1999. Web. http://www.supremecourt.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/53760/Negligence99.pdf
Davies, Martin. “Liability of auditors to third parties in negligence.” Australasian Legal Information Institute. 1991. Web. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/UNSWLJ/1991/7.pdf
Grey, Alice. Harriton v Stephens: life, logic, and legal fictions. Sydney law Review. 2008. Web. http://sydney.edu.au/law/slr/slr28_3/Grey.pdf
Mason, J K. “A turn-up down under: McFarlane in the light of Cattanach.” Scripted. 2004. Web. http://www2.law.ed.ac.uk/ahrc/script-ed/docs/mason.asp
Nguyen, Vylan. and Rajapakse, Pelma. “An analysis of Auditors’ liability to third parties in Australia.” Common Law World Review. 2008. Web. http://www98.griffith.edu.au/dspace/bitstream/handle/10072/23782/51198_1.pdf;jsessionid=ACDBE84BA5F947A944613A5B90DA1AF4?sequence=1
Witting, Christian. “Tort Law, Policy, and High Court of Australia.” Melbourne University Law Review. 2008. Web. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1101185
Doepel, Mark. and Downie, Chad. “A comprehensive guide to tort law reform throughout Australia.” Kennedys. 2006. Web. http://www.kennedys-law.com/files/Uploads/Documents/AusGuidetoTortLaw_November2006.pdf
Wal-Mart Strategic Competitiveness
Wal-Mart is one of the amazing success stories in the history of the world. The company found by Sam Walton in 1962 started as a mini discount shop in Arkansas. Since its inception, it has grown to be the global largest corporation. It appears almost unbelievable that the organization has grown to be the second largest organization in less than sixty years.
Almost one third of the country’s population shops at Wal-Mart on weekly basis (William, 2010). Additionally, up to 93 percent of households in the US visit the store at least once a year. In the financial year ending 31st 2006, the slogan for the company ‘’every day low prices’’ made about $354billion in more than 500 hundred facilities in more than 15 nations and with more than 1.4 million staff members.
Wal Mart stores in the USA generate about 8.8 percent of all retail sales (William, 2010). It was also profitable and in 2009, it earned 14.7 percent of invested capital return (Hitt & Hoskinson, 2013). It was as a result ranked top of its competitors Target and Costro with 10 percent and 9.4 percent respectively. Currently, the company has more than 3900 stores in the US alone and has since been considered the national commons.
This paper will therefore evaluate the role of technology and globalization changes in competitiveness in regards to Wal-Mart, and how the company’s vision and mission statements have affected its overall growth.
Vision and Mission Statements
The most significant feature of the strategic management process according to Hitt and Hoskisson (2013) is to design a company’s mission statement. This should provide a background within which the formulation of objectives will take place. A mission statement defines the organization’s reason for existence clearly where the company hopes to be in the future is known as vision and the major goals are the key values of an organization’s statements.
In the USA, the success strategy for the company is based on the sale of branded products at an affordable price. The store grew rapidly by reducing its prices compared to local retailers and as a result, keeping them off business easily (William, 2010). This is why the company has managed to do exceptionally well in a retail industry characterized with cut throat competition.
“If a company’s strategy results in superior performance, it is said to have a competitive advantage”. Wal-Mart has rapidly enhanced competition based on establishing new knowledge while creating the first, mover benefit, price and quality positioning as well as competition to help protect and invade markets that are geographically established. This has enabled the company to enjoy superior performance from 1994 to the present despite growth of new rivals.
The store has additionally achieved a cutting edge over its competitors (Hitt & Hoskisson, 2013). Its higher profitability replicates an economic advantage that depends on successful implementation of different strategies. The company was also among the top first movers to employ the self-service strategy created by grocery stores to common merchandise.
The company is also focused on suburban locations and southern towns that are often ignored by its competitors including Target and Kmart. Even so, the industry in which a company competes has a major influence on its performance compared to internal forces of management. The components of the industry may include various factors such as economies of scale, diversification and differentiation of production among others.
The external environment in which Wal-Mart operates imposes constraints and pressures that govern strategies leading in average returns above. Therefore, a company will create and develop internal skills needed by external environment to point out what a company can make of existing opportunities.
Technology is one of the most crucial elements of competitive advantage. The ability to effectively and efficiently access and utilize IT has been considered an essential resource of economic advantage (Tsui, 2012). IT includes virtual reality, PCs, massive databases, electronic network, artificial intelligence, online business and cellular phones.
The success story of the Wal-Mart is therefore not restricted to its location strategy. The company is an innovator driver in information systems and logistics. It paved way for retailers in the US in the creation and application of high quality goods tracking system that utilized a bar code technology as well as checkout scanners. The company through the technology was in a position to keep track of sales and make necessary adjustments to its stores accordingly to match the found in store products with the demand of locals.
This made it possible to prevent any unnecessary stoking and as a result, not holding any periodic sales to shift unsold inventory. Later on, the company connected the information system to a state distribution network facility where the inventory was kept before shipping other products within a radius of 300 miles.
The inclusion of information and distribution centers also led to a reduced number of inventories that the company held in stores thus, devoting more time to selling of space, which also reduces the capital it held in its inventory over time. the company also influenced its suppliers to have an electronic network in its stores to cut down on geographical distance between them, store information on daily sales, expenses, profits and loses gathered, evaluated and processed electronically on real time basis.
On the other hand, IT development has been a major driving force behind globalization and that it has since been considered the focal constituent of a company’s global business strategy. It has also been embedded in almost every field including economic government, business or social fields.
Globalization has also affected the way in which the world operates. According to Hitt and Hoskisson (2013), it is “the intensification of global interconnectedness, suggesting a world full of movement and mixture, contact and linkage, and persistent cultural interaction and exchange”. Today, different markets have gone global thus evaluating the environmental situations in the industry would also mean evaluation the effect of globalization on completion in a given industry.
Even so, according to Tsui (2012), globalization is a process of enhancing flow of capital, humans, products, images and idea across the globe. Wal Mart- has transformed from small scale retail business to a global company at an impressively increasing rate. It has more than 4000 operational stores in the US and more than 1, 6000 facilities in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Germany, China, Korea, Argentina and the UK.
Additionally, the company has embraced the global supply chain integration that is monitored by multinational producers as well as distributors. Even so, globalization has led to growth of competition amongst companies. Trade is taking place across nation’s leading to importation of products from all global corners. This has also forced the store to keep up with new trends and changes to maintain an edge in the market.
Its growth has also been seen by others to have long term benefits. The company is too be and could experience profitable growth limits (William, 2010). Wal-Mart is also a target of law suit constantly and many staff members across the globe have various lawsuits claiming that the company’s culture segregates against them.
Globalization is a strategy of spreading out the political, social, cultural and economic practices across frontiers. It has brought about time-space compression. The change between different moments and space between localities are reduced and shortened. The company recognized this opportunity and planned on global markets. Additionally, it has firsthand facts on information systems, logistics and human resource practices. These strategies when combined together had led to enhanced productivity and reduced costs compared to any other competitor.
This also helped the company to generate high levels of profit while trading at low prices. This analysis further reveals that a company can move from production facilities to another country to expand into developing markets aggressively.
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Hitt, M. A., &Hoskisson, R. E. (2013). Strategic Management: Competitiveness &
Globalization. Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Tsui, E. (2012). Technology in Knowledge Management. Bradford, England: Emerald Group
William, F. A. (2010). Center of Global Leadership: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Norwood, N.J: Ablex
Organizational Politics and Leadership
It is the desire of every organization to grow from one level to the other. This kind of movement is however possible when members of the organization embrace team work and are motivated to work towards a common goal, without necessarily compromising any stakeholder within which the company operates (Hubbard, 2006, p.1).
Enhancement of performance is therefore a gateway through which a company can achieve greater heights in terms of success and performance. it involves (performance enhancement) ensuring that those within a company realize their full potential through transition from good to great and by doing, it enables the company to move upwards even in the event of troubling moments.
However, different issues in a company can prevent as well as enhance performance. They include leadership personality, organizational culture, organizational politics and trust. Depending on their state and handling, these issues can determine the success of the organization and whether it will realize its objectives or not.
Organizational politics often impact company performance a great deal especially in the pursuit of personal interest and company agenda. Through it, people can interact freely on different scales thus, affecting the performance of employees negatively or positively and in the end, the performance of the entire organization (Bedi & Schat, 2013).
In a company that encourages productivity via the leeway in which staff members can make personal decisions and enjoy rewards following exceptional performance for example appointment of exceptional performers as supervisors that greatly enhance company performance. In this case, staff members have confidence in their work and respect for the organization and its management. In essence, it helps to boost their attitude towards the company thus leading to excellent performance, promotion at work and pay rise.
Literatures on company politics recommend that it is an epidemic tendency in organizations with ability to interfere with normal processes in a company (Vigoda, 2000;Bedi & Schat 2013). Employees have as a result registered negative results in their attitude and performance in the company due to politics. According to Bedi & Schat ( 2013), perceived company politics amongst staff members generates negative results both to the staff and the organization including high level of stress related to work, low job commitment levels as well as lower job satisfaction rate.
Therefore, any form of company politics can greatly affect its performance amongst staff and in the end, the entire organization. The effects of organizational politics are even more severe in public settings compared to the private sector. Company politics according to Vigoda (2000), leads to negligence at place of work and in some cases, exit from work.
Employees in the public sector as a result neglect their duties as a response to organizational politics. This has generated negative results on their remunerations and their jobs. For instance, employees in the public sector are not compensated for their efforts and performance (Vigoda, 2000).
The effect of such politics in an organization is negligent staff behaviors and negative attitudes towards work which can “yield low-quality work outcomes and poor and ineffective public services, Low efficiency of public systems threatens large populations and thus carries high potential damage for the society” (Vigoda, 2000, p. 342).
While it can be quite hard for low income staff to exit the public industry because of limited job opportunities and options, many highly educated employees can easily exit their jobs positions in the private and public sector when overwhelmed by company politics (Vigoda, 2000). In the event of such exits in the public and private sector especially by competent staff, low level of performance is registered in the organization.
Besides organizational politics that affect a company profoundly, there are still other factors that affect company performance. Leadership is one of the issues which, according to some studies, have underplayed as insignificant in the performance of a company while others reveal that it plays a crucial role in performance with close to 50 percent performance disparity (Peterson et al, 2003).
Research on influence leadership to the performance of an organization however did not stop at leadership alone. It also focuses on other issues of a leader that impact his or her relationship with staff members and in the end, affecting the performance of the organization (Peterson et al, 2003).
Additionally, leadership styles studies reveal the benefits of a leader who is focused compared to a competitive leader. While competition is a very crucial factor as it drives a company towards realization of its goals, it can take place at the expense of other organizational factors in some cases for example staff members. (Chen-Mei et al (2011) offers an important insight into leadership effect on realization of company goals, indicating transformational style of leadership which has more potential in initiating changes amongst followers compared to transactional leadership.
Followers using charisma, intellectual stimulation, personal consideration, transactional leaders can influence their followers towards acting for the benefit of the organization and themselves thus realization enhanced performance in the organization (Chen-Mei et al, 2011).
The overall view of leadership personality focuses on personal traits of leaders as well as their influence on staff members and performance of the management. Therefore, a leader with predisposition is on cooperation is more likely to influence the creation of cooperative groups or teams. As a result, the teams would work efficiently towards creation of solutions by sharing information.
What’s more, the cohesive dynamics in such groups “should ultimately lead to the smooth implementation of intended goals because all team members are cooperatively focused on decisions” (Peterson et al, 2003, p. 797). However on the reciprocal, leaders who are extremely competitive push their teams as well as followers towards team and personal competition.
Each of the teams and individual will therefore work towards convincing the leader of their solutions viability (Peterson et al, 2003). Additionally, having such a competitive dynamic is an ideal program application issue as members of the teams and groups have little or no motivation of work across different functions.
With such competitiveness and misunderstandings amongst members and personal employees, it becomes quite difficult for an organization to realize its goals. It is even worse as such companies tend to create staff members who are less motivated with their jobs especially those on specific competition. Organizational performance in the end will be affected under such kind of leadership.
Another factor that affects company performance is organizational culture. This is defined as the intricate link of standards and values that affect the attitude of a person (Al-bahussin & El-garaihy, 2013). The realm of culture in an organization includes values, experiences, expectations and thoughts gained via socialization, participation and education within the company.
Therefore, the culture of an organization settles for ideal features which are considered desirable for the realization of company goals and are accepted widely within the boundaries within which, the company operates (Al-bahussin & El-garaihy, 2013). The significance of culture can therefore not be underplayed and its effect on the performance of an organization.
A significant consideration is the fact that “A top level of organizational performance is generally linked to an organization, possessing an effective culture with appropriately merged and productive set of values, opinions and attitudes” (Al-bahussin & El-garaihy, 2013, p. 6).
While the culture of an organization reflects a uniformed way of doing things in an organization and ensuring equality amongst staff members, which may in some cases lead to good performance in general, it is also known to have its limitations. According to Al-bahussin & El-garaihy (2013), a solid organizational culture limits individual performance, creativity as well as innovation via provision of stringent guidelines within which staff members operate.
Staff members do not as a result, work to their full potential since such cultures demoralize them from exploring anything new that can enhance their performance and overall performance of the organization. However, company performance relies more on trust in the organization. The perception of fairness by staff members is a determinant of their trust in their leadership and in the company at large.
It therefore, affects their performance based on the fact that trust in the leadership has been found to enhance commitment of staff to the organization and to enhance their identity in the company (Paliszkiewicz, 2012). In the end, many staff members would double their performance, focus more on their tasks and spend more time at work, thus enhancing their overall performance in the company. Trust is also indicated to help enhance employee productivity and reduce absenteeism.
High levels of trust in groups and individuals are known to reduce organizational performance. According to Paliszkiewicz (2012), this is attributed to the fact that it reduces monitoring and in the end performance. Absence of trust between the leadership and staff members calls for collective measures amongst staff members thus, having a detrimental effect on the company Paliszkiewicz (2012).
It is therefore imperative that companies strike a balance between the mentioned factors above because they affect the performance of the company a great deal. While it may lead to competition amongst staff members, politics in an organization can be quite detrimental as opposed to being beneficial hence, the need to minimize it.
Leadership is also an important factor when it comes to performance and leaders should lead by example and inspire staff members and not act as deity.
On the other hand culture defines the company representing its values. However, in keeping up with organizational culture, companies should create a leeway for implementation of new connections in the dynamic world of company practices.
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Al-bahussin, S. A. & El-garaihy, W. H. (2013). The Impact of Human Resource Management Practices, Organizational Culture, Organizational Innovation and Knowledge Management on Organizational Performance in Large Saudi Organizations: Structural Equation Modeling With Conceptual Framework. International Journal of Business and Management, 8(22): 1-17
Bedi, A. & Schat, A. C. H. (2013). Perception of Organizational Politics: A Meta-Analysis of Its Attitudinal, Health and Behavior Consequences. Canadian Psychology, 54(4):246-259
Chen-Mei, H. et al. (2011). Perceptions of the Impact of Chief Executive Leadership Style on Organizational Performance through Successful Enterprise Resource Planning. Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, 39(7)
Hubbard, G. (2006). Sustainable organization performance: Towards a practical measurement system. Monash Business Review, 2(3): 1-17
Paliszkiewicz, J. (2012). Orientation on Trust and Organizational Performance. Management, Knowledge and Learning
Peterson, R. S. et al (2003). The Impact of Chief Executive Officer Personality on Top Management Team Dynamics: One Mechanism by Which Leadership Affects Organizational Performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(5): 795– 808
Vigoda, E. (2000). Organizational Politics, Job Attitudes, and Work Outcomes: Exploration and Implications for the Public Sector. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 57:326 –34
Manager’s Decision Making Model
There are many challenges that are faced by organizations that originate from both external and internal factors. The management or leadership of an organization is responsible for addressing such challenges in an appropriate way in order to enhance or to restore organizational performance in the current times and in the future. Solving the problems of any organization involves making properly informed decisions. The structure of the organization and the position that a person holds in the hierarchy of the organization influences such decisions. Managers can use models that demonstrate organizational authority, structure, responsibilities’ distribution in the organization and relations in solving daily problems as they manage their organization. Using conceptual framework, this paper discuses and identifies vital concepts that managers can use in making the decisions that will address different challenges that they face while managing the daily work of the organization.
All organizational and personal decisions ought to have an ethical ground. Managers’ decisions ought not to compromise the organization, individual or society’s ethical values. This means that all decisions that a manager makes in solving the encountered problems ought to have an ethical nature. The conceptual framework that will be indicated in this paper shows this. It shows that all decisions should lie within the ethical boundaries. Strategic change in the organization as well as strategic decisions should address the long term problems or challenges. The organizational executives formulate such strategies.
However, their implementation is largely dependent on managers’ competency in the formulation as well as implementation of tactical decisions for addressing the experienced short-term challenges while running the organization. The tactical decisions of the manager can have their efficacy enhanced via a participative process of management in which they learn the relationship of the mission of the organization and strategic decisions. The undertaking of daily operations of the organization is guided by its mission. Such operations may include formulating and implementing the policies of the human resource in order to enable the organization to retain highly performing and experienced workforce as well as to continue to attract more talented persons to join the organization.
Managers can also make tactical decisions that include partners and customers’ engagement in the initiatives of improving products, implementing programs for social responsibility activities as well as accelerating the ability of the organization to react to the market dynamics and conditions. Apart from being critical in improving the relations of an organization with its public, tactical decisions are also important in enhancing relations of the organization with vital stakeholders, shareholders and the employees. In addressing problems that relate to business cycle as well as the duration that is taken in accomplishing tasks, it is important that managers make informed tactical decisions such as redesigning tasks to improve efficiency in production processes while minimizing the required time for completing tasks (Hansen & Mowen, 2007, p. 517-518).
Problems that relate to the operations of an organization can also be solved by managers via the improvement of social aspects that relate to the tasks that employees perform. This may include establishment of mechanisms for resolving conflict in which the management and employees conflicts are solved in an amicable manner without the organizational performance being compromised. The processes of making operational decisions by managers ought to be aligned to the strategic planning as well as the tactical decisions in order to enable the organization to realize the set objectives. It is important that managers engage employees in operational decision making because they are involved in the operation tasks directly (Gilmore, 2003, p. 143). Allocating responsibilities and tasks to employees can be involved in the operational decisions.
Managers are given authority to ensure the enhancement and maintenance of the culture of the organization in order to enhance the attainment of the organizational goal. This is the management’s control function and it is achievable if the conduct code and rules of the organization are followed by the employees. Therefore, managers are required to make various decisions that relate to the discipline of the employees in order to ensure maintenance of the culture of the organization during the operations. Making decisions that address misconduct of the employees is one-way. However, decisions for enhancing relations between the employees and management are two-way. As such, the management should involve employees when making such decisions in order to make them effective. This is because even if the decisions will not affect the employees directly, they will influence their satisfaction and attitudes towards the job.
It ought to be noted that in the decision-making process, feedback plays a very important role. This is because the process entails participative management in order to address the challenges that managers as well as well as the other employees are facing while running the organization. In order for the rising challenges to be addressed, new managers should be familiar with the culture, relations and structure of the organization and the way the hierarchy of the organization influences them. There are problems that can be solved with one process of making decision. However, there are problems that require decisions to be combined in order to address them effectively. Evidently, this model is important in dealing with different problems that organizations face daily because it provides insights on how proper decisions should be made (Ragsdale, 2012, p. 4-5). Managers get an opportunity for exploring different essential options while addressing the challenges in different organizational levels. Nevertheless, new managers ought to choose the models that are most appropriate in addressing the problems encountered while performing daily tasks.
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Gilmore, A. (2003). Services, marketing and management. London: Sage.
Hansen, D. R., & Mowen, M. M.(2006). Managerial accounting. Mason, OH: Thomson/South-Western.
Ragsdale, C. T. (2012). Spreadsheet modeling & decision analysis: A practical introduction to management science. Mason, Ohio: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Culture of Spain
Uniquely diverse and rich fields are incorporated in the modern Spanish culture. As such, covering the culture of the whole country within a specific period is almost impossible. The existing Spanish culture originated from the domination of this country by some people for over a thousand years ago. The culture of these people is indicated by the ancient castles, ruins, language, festivals, art and music. Stanton notes that Spain is a country that follows its traditions steadfastly. People in Spain pledge loyalty to the region where they come from more than they do to their national government (1). There is cultural diversity in this country and this diversity is based on regions’ autonomous which is the basis of Spain. Every Spanish culture depicts a spectacular identity that is created from the characters of the people. However, this ends up with a celebration in the whole country or region. The aim of this study is to expound different customs that the culture of Spain depicts.
Religions and festivities
Spain has remained a strong Catholic state for some time. Christianity was introduced by the Romans in Spain. Christianization continued until the Romans were invaded by the Muslims from the Northern part of Africa. Nevertheless, Christian insurgency won and they expelled the Muslims out of Spain. Spain was ruled by King Ferdinand from 1400 to 1500. At this time, he ordered Spaniards to transform into Roman Catholics (Lior and Steele 6). Consequently, other religious groups were compelled to adapt Roman Catholicism but others opted to get out of this country. Over 97% of Spaniards are still Roman Catholics up to now although non-Catholics are allowed to practice any religion openly. Nevertheless, all Spaniards irrespective of the faith that they practice live in a catholic surrounding or environment. This comprises of shrines, churches as well as artistic heritage that is referred to by the religion. The basis of the national culture of the Spanish is Catholic environment. Therefore, visitors and citizens must understand this environment. Saints are honored by Christians who go for pilgrimages which entail seeing their statues. An example that can illustrate this is the belief that Mary’s statue brings good luck.
Festivals or fiestas are usually held by the Spaniards. These are either secular or religious. They are held throughout every year in urban settlements and rural areas. Businesses are usually closed during fiestas and people take part in dancing and eating the entire night. Additionally, attendants call one another Dona or Don and then the person’s first name. Semana Santa, Nochebuena and Navidad are some of the fiestas of the Spaniards. Most of them have a Catholicism attachment. There is a fiesta for every city and this is held in the honor of their special cultural identity. An example of this is a fiesta that is held in Pamplona city in honor of patron saints. Bulls that run in the streets are the most interesting part of the festival. People wearing white clothes wait for charging bulls which chase them via narrow streets (Lior and Steele 10). Residents come together in the Barcelona City during the Day of Saint George which is celebrated on 23rd April. They celebrate love this day. The entire nation is usually at a standstill during the public holidays for celebrations. Spaniards observe holidays strictly without extension in case the day comes on the weekend.
Urbanism and use of space
Spain as a nation started from the early small tribal groups at the time of the rule of the Romans. The other social and cultural progressions emerged from the presence of the Romans. Usually, the Spaniards were living in settlements that were tightly clustered. These structures’ concentration caused urban centers’ emergence. In Spain, majority of the rural areas comprised of stores, dwelling houses, churches, schools, pastures and gardens. The types of settlements are associated with the locality. Most houses in the rural areas are built traditionally and they host both humans and animals. This settlement is not preferred by most Spaniards.
In places with dispersed settlements, people mostly practices livestock keeping and mixed cultivation. However, most Spaniards hate living in isolation. In the rural areas, people have multi-family villages. Stones, bricks, and timber are the most preferred building materials. Most Spain cities including Valencia, Barcelona and Madrid attract the rural populace. Each villager would like to live in the cities because services and opportunities are available there. Monuments and palaces are located away from rural homes and these show the architecture of the Spaniards. This country prides itself for having a spectacular Islamic architecture that includes the Alhambra which is found in Granada and Great Mosque situated in Cordoba.
The traditional food of the Spaniards emerged at the period of the agrarian revolution. They remain common and their preparation entails the use of hands and fresh ingredients from the market are used. Different areas in Spain have their cuisines. Comida, which is a family meal, is preferred by the Spaniards. This can be taken with colleagues and friends. Food sharing boosts good relationships. As such, seeing a person eating alone at a place where people eat from or drinking alone in a Spanish bar is unusual. Members of a family take breakfast at varying times on the basis of their work schedules. People take mid-day meals at around 2.00 pm. This is the main meal of the day. Individuals travel home where they take comida before returning to work. Siesta is very important and it is part of the Spanish customs that is recognized by all Spaniards. People rest at this time and it lasts from 1.30 to 5 o’clock.
Drinking and eating is a common way through which the Spaniards spend time together. It usually happens during special events and every day. Christmas and Easter are among the common religious events which bring friends and families together. Weddings and birthdays are also great opportunities during which people eat together. People also gather in social groups during leisure time and they enjoy drinks and foods together. There are also table customs that are observed in the Spaniards culture. Hosts are allowed to be the first ones to eat. The guests are motioned by the host to their seats prior being served meals.
Individuals’ achievements determine the social classes that they belong to. There are three classes in the Spain society. These include the lower, the middle and the upper classes. Families with members who can afford money for hiring babysitters who looks after their kids as they go to work belong to the upper social class. These are represented by large home owners who have expensive furniture. Families that send children to public or private schools yet they do not have much possession similar to those of the families in the upper class represent the middle social class. Families whose members perform laborious jobs with children attending public schools belong to the lower social class. Majority of the lower social class families cannot afford hiring a babysitter. They also struggle to meet their necessary needs.
Professions and occupations also illustrate social stratification. Nevertheless, there is interaction among social classes. People interact in bars and hotels regardless of the social classes that they belong to. Apart from family inheritance, education provides a social advancement’s platform. Urban and rural settlements have differences which create distinction in the society. In Spain, farming is honored as a self-employed trade although it is not valued much. As such, traders and farmers residing in the Spain’s countryside belong to the lower status. Material worth exhibits social stratification. This includes jewelries, leisure, clothing and homes. There is a large gap between the poor and the rich at the economic level in Spain. There is a class for the Spain’s royal family. Although this country endeavors to achieve equality, there are groups that are discriminated along tribal and gender lines. Spanish women still face sexual harassment and low wages.
The national identity of Spain was acquired when Christians chose to unite in order to fight Islam. Parliamentary monarchy governs Spain and this includes the bicameral legislature. The state is headed by a monarch who performs the duties of selecting a government’s head (Hay 104). Absolute powers are vested on the King. From the time when General Franco died, the state has been headed by the King. He also promotes order within the government. The government is headed by a prime minister from a majority party. Many parties are allowed to take part in the elections.
Political resignations in Spain are virtually unheard off. This is because people see resignation as a serious political weakness due to the fact that parliamentary democracy was embraced in this country following Franco’s death in 1975. Dictatorship was the ruling style in Spain before this time. Since 1923 all the way to 1931, a political model that General Primo de Rivera had designed was used to rule Spain. This leader was associated with Spain’s modernization (Magone 9). Actually, this political system was fighting for workers’ rights and this was something rare in a kingdom that was ruled through dictatorship. More optimism came with the Second Republic because it brought a separation of the state from the Church since it restricted Catholicism. Opposition kept growing and this caused a Civil War. The uprising was led by General Franco. On taking over, Franco established the totalitarian state that aimed at eliminating enemies.
Spain was influences by the experience of the Portuguese making it embrace democracy. This led to the smooth succession to Juan Carlos I from Franco (Magone 15). Free market replaced the protectionism system that was practiced under Franco. Modern Spain is politically organized into 17 “autonomous regions” as well as 50 provinces. In Spain, leadership is considered an accomplishment of a person. It is supported by family connections. Party membership relies on the ability of the government to provide jobs to the citizens. The responsibility of guarding villages is under the informal controls in the society. Military officers are from the higher classes in the society although people join the army voluntarily. Young men have the freedom to establish social groups within their villages on the basis of their age.
Gender roles and statuses
In Spain, family is a very important institution for both females and males. Family is even crucial than work since it promotes collectivity instead of individualism. Roles are shared among the Spaniards on the basis of social statuses and genders. The contracts of traditional gender asserts the main women’s role which at the center of a family. Men on the other hand are the breadwinners in the family (Calvo-Salguero, Martínez-de-Lecea, and Aguilar-Luzón 122). Agriculture is practiced as the major activity in the rural areas. Men play the heaviest tasks and women attend to house chores and gardens. Women and men can perform any task in professional farming and herding.
Managing domestic economies and raising children is the responsibility of married couples. Women and men across Spain are allowed to engage in leisure activities together even in the public places. Culture permits men to practice politics in their public life while religious activities are observed by women as well as looking after the children in their homes. Old women servants mainly provide household help. Culture depicted women as the homemakers. However, women are allowed to run businesses in the modern culture and they are also employed in different professions. Women also engage in politics. Property inheritance is allowed by the Castilian law and they can also dispose their property whenever they please (Coolidge 41). Equal sharing of inheritance is also allowed by the law among members of a family irrespective of the gender. Women retain surnames in most regions even after their marriage. Family titles’ succession is allowed for royal women if there are no brothers in their family.
Marriage and family
Spanish culture requires marriage to be a partnership in which each partner’s input is important. Owning property was traditionally vital than love at the time of courtship. People were encouraged to court for long and breaking marriage ties was not allowed. Remarriage of women who cannot bear children due to their old age and divorce are abhorred by the Spaniards’ culture. Nevertheless, weddings and these customs are considered as special events and they attract a large gathering of guests. Gender culture is a characteristic of Spain and family relationships are encouraged as well as individualism levels (alvo-Salguero, Martínez-de-Lecea, and Aguilar-Luzón 121). Families display a collectivist culture which gives life meaning while bringing prosperity and personal happiness. Work is not considered by culture and independent aspect in family and work time cannot compete with the family time. In Spain, the attitude that families have towards life is positive. Studying is encouraged for children so that they can be successful in life.
Language, arts and humanities
The establishment of Latin language followed the Roman conquest. This led to the emergence of Iberian languages. The language that is used the most in Spain is the Castilian Spanish. This is used mostly in courts, offices and schools. Art is highly valued by the Spaniards. They visit architectural monuments and art museums regularly just to admire artifacts. Most Spanish artists are treated like celebrities. Humanities and fine arts are highly valued in universities and professional academies. Decorative arts are an important aspect of the national legacy in Spain. They are displayed in the museums within Spain as well as other regions of the world. There are strong architectures that are developed by the Spaniards for painting and sculptures. Their mode and designs resemble national or regional identity.
Musical instruments, dances and songs are perceived in a unique way more so in the Andalucía region. The impression that is created by musical expressions is completely different from power resistance and hierarchy. Flamenco refers to a dancing type whose characteristic is hands clapping and stomping. This dance includes playing a guitar and dancers depict emotions. Movies are also loved by the Spaniards and a lot of time is allocated to it by cultural analysts who spend time studying the film industry in Spain. Soccer is loved by many Spaniards and they go to the fields to watch their teams playing. There are clubs where membership to Barcelona FC is passed down the generation tree.
The culture of the Spaniards still values ancient Spain’s customs although they have been transformed with the modern technology and novelty. This culture was influenced by the Romans. Roman Catholicism is the basis of most customs of the Spanish. Historically, a lot of emphasis was put on relationships in the family in Spain because collectivity was valued than individualism. This is depicted by the way people leave workplaces to have midday meals with families. Sisters and brothers share inherited properties equally. There is a wide gap between the lower and upper social classes but there are free interactions among people in these classes during public events. Artworks and decorations are valued by the Spaniards because they are important aspects of their national heritage. People abandon their activities just to celebrate public holidays. There are different cultures because of autonomous regions in Spain and every culture exhibits its exceptional identity that is created from their attributes but these are distinguished in the country or the whole region.
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Calvo-Salguero, Antonia, José-María Salinas Martínez-de-Lecea, and María del Carmen Aguilar-Luzón. “Gender And Work–Family Conflict: Testing The Rational Model And The Gender Role Expectations Model In The Spanish Cultural Context.” International Journal Of Psychology 47.2 (2012): 118-132. Web. 23 Jan. 2014.
Coolidge, Grace E. Guardianship, Gender and the Nobility in Early Modern Spain. Farnham, Surrey, England: Ashgate, 2011. Print.
Hay, Colin. European Politics. Oxford : Oxford Univ. Press, 2007. Print.
Lior, Noa, and Tara Steele. Spain. New York: Crabtree Pub. Co, 2002. Print.
Magone, José M. Contemporary Spanish Politics. London: Routledge, 2004. Print.
Stanton, Edward F. Culture and Customs of Spain. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2002. Print.
Story Comparative Essay
There are several differences and similarities of Franz Kafkas’ Metamorphosis and Leo Tolstoys’ the death of Ivan IIych. Both indicate lifestyle bourgeois that mental and bodily suffering accompanied. Both books have characters that experienced existential crisis which they were able to resolve before dying. Apparently, the suffering described in these books was experienced by the authors. The books give a description of the way two men were struggling to succeed in the society that was causing mental depersonalization to them. They were also desensitized by the society. However, both of them opted to pay the expensive cost of breaking from it. This cost was death and both characters paid it. Mental problems as well as the eventual death of the two characters are discussed in this paper.
There are similar protagonists in these novels because they were living artificial lives. Although they made the other people to perceive them as living a comfortable life, the reality is that they were always struggling. These characters adopted such lifestyles even when they hated their experiences. Gregor and Ivan had mental illnesses. Both of them were craving for others’ approval. They also had a tendency of lacking a resolve for asserting their convictions. These authors also depict the protagonists as weak men subservient of the society’s expectations. Ivan is determined to impress others. He lives as per the standards of an upper class legal man of his age. Ivan was living beyond his means while trying to satisfy this desire. He incurred debts while trying to fund this expensive lifestyle.
There is a point where he says that nobody knows the kind of injustices that life has done to him. Due to depersonalization, he lives beyond what he can afford in order to please others. The protagonist’s mental illness is apparent from the start. His life is pretentious during his childhood because he pretended to be happy. Being neutral indicates that he was seeking approval while struggling from the inside. According to the author, there were times when Ivan did disgusting things and then tried to keep them hidden. This can also be seen in the final moment when the window frame hurt his head after slipping but he kept this a secret. Only after being reduced to a state of a vegetable does he confess this to others.
According to psychological perspective, these are indications of mental problems. The wife that Ivan married was not the woman that she loved. She married her as a way of conforming to society’s norms. He did not have self-will and this could determine his actions. Apparently, his problems were added by the wife since she was always complaining and nagging him. He also kept denying that in his life he was mostly suffering. To impress the workmates, he was dressing expensively regardless of his economic state which was poor. He bought a décor for his house so that he could impress the workmates. During the last days, he did not struggle to live because he was paranoid. His feeling was that he was a family burden and therefore he chose to die. This is indicated in a statement that he made to the daughter and the wife when he told them that they ought to be happy since the burden will be gone soon. He feels that he is hated by his family and the doctor.
Ivan reflects on his life and it does not impress him due to the choices that he made. At some point he laments that all life that he lived was a waste although it is late to change things. This is good because it shows that he has learnt his mistakes. It is also at this point that he learns that he had been living a lie and he accepts that he was not in love with his wife. The hatred’s depth is indicated by sending the wife away. This indicates that he has recovered from the initial state of living to impress his society. It is clear that he has realized the essence of making right choices. He is also given opium by his wife and this kills him and it indicates the hatred that she felt for the husband. The last chapter indicates he experiences immense pain. He acknowledges that there is no need for hating his daughter and wife. This is when he apologizes and informs them that he no longer hates them.
Grogor was also living as per the expectations of the people. His belief was that all family needs should be met by the most capable family member. He was not relating with the others since he was confident in his ability to solve his problems. Being a salesperson made him complain because he was not earning enough money. He has a clearly poor livelihood as he states that he is exhausted of consuming miserable food. Gregor complains that he is tortured by his superiors but he has to keep working there in order to meet the needs of his family. Gregor is living for his parents because he is struggling to pay debts for them. He does not like his job though he knows that it is necessary because it enables him to cater for his needs. This can be seen from what he told his superiors about the job enabling him to provide support to his sister and parents.
Similarly to Ivan, Grogor suffers from mental problems more so because he is holding up the true feelings because he does not want trouble. He says that he wish that he could walk right to his boss to express how he feels but he holds this back so that he can keep his job. He is also not himself to his family because he is also afraid of seeking assistance from his sister with domestic chores. His pretence affects his identity because he has internal conflicts that cause him mental torture. Finally, he became a monster when many legs are spread in front of him.
In both stories, depersonalization affected the characters’ personality. It forced them to admit living inappropriately. These characters admitted showing artificial sides to others while hiding their real secrets within themselves. This caused internal conflicts which led to identity crisis. During the last moments, the characters came face to face with the truth. Gregor admitted living his life shallowly while Ivan accepted that he was not alive in his entire life. His final words show this. They symbolized the reality that he would start a new life after death. The way these characters die is the major difference between them. Ivan died while being surrounded by a nurse and his family who were attending to him. However, Gregor was alone. This was the case for him even after sacrificing his entire life just for other people.
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Commercialization of Organ Transplant
Most parts of the world are experiencing donated organs’ shortage (Cherry, 2005). The explanation of this is the gap that is widening between the required organs and the donated organs. As such, this has increased the black markets in which the sale of human tissues and organs occurs. It is also due to this that fact the question about the use of tissues that are acquired after a post-mortem and their use in transplant arises. This also raised questions regarding human organs’ commercialization (Kanniyakonil, 2005). Different views regarding commercialization of organ’s transplant are presented in this paper. The paper also presents the view of the right actions regarding this practice.
Argument for the Commercialization
Proponents argue that humans are born in families and this makes them community resources. As such, human bodies ought to be seen as the resources of the community. Legalizing this practice will diffuse tension that family members hold about relatives after donating organs (Cherry, 2005). Therefore, people will be able to donate their organs without the feeling of being obliged to the demands of their relatives.
Additionally, proponents observe that this practice ought to be legalized but there should be strict restrictions. They claim that this differs from an illegal market for organs since the safety of the donor will be improved. There will also be an even distribution of organs (Kanniyakonil, 2005). This implies that in such arrangements, organs’ prices would be at the level of the annual salary on average. This way, donors will not just be the poor individuals but the rich as well.
Arguments against the Commercialization of Organ Sale
The argument of the opponents is that organs commercialization will motivate the poor to donate organs so that they can raise their standards of living (Kanniyakonil, 2005). This is against ethical standards since people should offer help to the needy as a kindness act. It can also cause exploitation where the rich entice poor people using their money and eventually the poor will donate organs to them.
According to the opponents of organs commercialization, children are highly vulnerable since they would be easily coerced into donating organs. There are parents who would have more children so that they can use them for commercial purposes. The argument of opponents is that this would be abusing moral standards that exist currently. These stipulate that incentives should not be offered to people so that they can sell organs (Cherry, 2005). There are cases when the sale would cause poor health or death of the donor. This would also degrade the values of the community. It would not be ethical and children’s rights would be abused. The conclusion of opponents is that donating organs ought to be a charitable act.
On the basis of these arguments, there are disadvantages and advantages of each side. However, ethical standards provide the most ideal solutions in regards to this subject. Commercializing this practice will make money the main incentive. People will abandon moral values that include good will and charity and they will offer organs for monetary value only (Kanniyakonil, 2005). The people who are less privileged in the society such as the mentally ill and children will also be abused for financial gains. This will be against ethical standards and exploitative.
The totality’s normative principle states that transplants can be justified only when the donor’s functional integrity is maintained (Kanniyakonil, 2005). The implication of virtue ethics is that the basis of the donor’s decision ought to be their character rather than general opinion. The implication of this is that selling an organ for economic position or value is moral (Kanniyakonil, 2005). It is also important to avoid exploitation by making sure that an informed donor’s consent exists. If there is no self-determined donor’s decision, then the benefactor is not respected by the decision makers. Children and mentally challenged individuals ought not to be used in such donations since they are incapable of making decisions on their own (Cherry, 2005). Charity virtue should be maintained and they should donate organs freely. There should be no obligation for people to do this.
In conclusion, organ commercialization ought not to be practiced since human organs ought not to be sold. People should not treat them they way they do with commodities since this is not acceptable on moral basis (Kanniyakonil, 2005). This violates human dignity. It also spoils altruism spirit. It is important for everybody to learn to help others as a value. Only the willing individuals should donate organs. This donation should also be done in a charitable manner of assisting the suffering individual (Cherry, 2005). The donor should make sure that they will not be at risk while healing. The implication of this is that they should be checked thoroughly to ensure that they are in good health.
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Cherry, M. J. (2005). Kidney for sale by owner: Human organs, transplantation, and the market. Washington, D.C: Georgetown University Press.
Kanniyakonil, S. (2005). Living organ donation and transplantation: A medical, legal, and moral theological appraisal. Kottayam: Oriental Institute of Religious Studies India.
Applying Management Functions in Managing Life
The four functions of management include leading, organizing, controlling and planning. These have established the management process which is highly effective in the management of different types of organizations including small and privately owned organization as wells as regional, multinational and national corporations. It is possible to apply these functions of management in different aspects of human life in order to enhance the attainment of goals in the desired way. In this paper, I describe how I employed management functions in managing a soccer team of the youths in Madinah city in Saudi Arabia. The paper also describes the important role played by these functions in enhancing participation of the team as well as the eventual performance at the time of the league tournament of Madinah soccer.
Planning being a management function entails establishing goals for a team as well as formulating strategies that will be used to achieve these goals. To undertake this function, one must be sufficiently knowledgeable about environmental conditions which are likely to be faced as well as the future conditions that are expected for the future. It involves identifying opportunities as well as analyzing the most appropriate actions to take in order to exploit them. I saw an advert inviting teams that play soccer when I was 23 years old. This advert was inviting early teenage individuals to take part in the soccer league of the Madinah city. I came up with a strategy using the planning function that enabled me to establish a soccer team in the local area comprising of the neighborhood teenagers. On realizing the participation opportunity as well as forecasting the future predicaments that were likely to emerge from participating in this league, I came up with a framework for enabling me to achieve the goal of participating and realizing excellence in this league. To achieve this, I had to identify individuals who could facilitate the creation of a soccer team, establishing goals for the team as well as the strategies that would make achieving these goals possible.
Organizing as a management function entails developing the structure for an organization as well as arranging tasks, resources and people in order to accomplish certain work or objectives. The aim of this function is to ensure coordination of work efforts in order enhance goals’ attainment. While establishing a soccer team, organizing function entailed establishing different ways via which this team would be managed. As such, organizing involved tasks allocation to the team members as well as other vital stakeholders who included the parents of the teenagers who supported the participation of the children in this league.
I also organized a training program for five months whose aim was to identify various talents of the young members of the soccer team. I allocated different positions to team members as per the skills that they demonstrated in enhancing proper coordination of the team effort after training. Additionally, organizing function entailed ensuring that adequate materials, facilities and equipment required for training were provided to the team. This enhanced performance. I was responsible for ensuring that adequate training materials were provided to the team including training gear and soccer balls.
Leading function involves directing, influencing and motivating people in a group so that they can accomplish the shared goals. Leading as a function within any organization focuses mostly on subordinates’ energizing so that they can improve productivity. I derived leading function from the position that I held as the coach of the team. My responsibilities included guiding and motivating members of my team so that we could meet the ultimate goal which was to win the soccer league’s trophy. For me to do this effectively I had to discover the inspiration and motivators of team members in order to enable the team to get the trophy. I enhanced personal relationship between me and team members to understand what motivate them and their personalities. I did this while telling them how important their teamwork and individual contribution was towards the success of the team in achieving its goal. I ensured the involvement of every team member while making decisions of the team regarding issues that were affecting them. This imparted a feeling of being appreciated and valued in them. As such, their commitment improved and this enhanced the ability of the team to win the league’s trophy.
Controlling function entails ensuring that organizational performance maintains the set standards. It involves performance monitoring in the organization as well as comparing actual performance with the set standards as well as taking corrective measures when necessary in order to ensure that the set goals are attained. As the coach of this team, my controlling entailed establishing performance and training standards in order to ensure that the team was competitive. I monitored the training strategies as well as the performance of the team closely in every match played against competitors. I also came up with strategies for enhancing the playing tactics as well as strategies for winning subsequent matches.
Team performance was enhanced by the integration of the four functions of leading, organizing, controlling and planning. The team secured a second position and this made all team affiliates proud. Although I acquired skills when I served as the captain of the soccer team in high school, I also improved my skills as the founder as well as the coach of the teenagers’ soccer team. Nevertheless, my organizing requires improvement more so in relation to allocation and sourcing resources that include finances. This will prevent negative effects on the team. I should also improve strategic planning in order to realize long-term goals more so in the situations where uncertainties are involved.
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Reasons to Believe Advertisement by Coca Cola
Coca Cola is a leading beverage and soft drink multinational company that operates in more than 200 countries across the world. The organization is renowned for its resilience in advertisements that are usually aired on TV. On 5th January, 2014, Coca Cola launched its latest advert called, ‘Reasons to Believe.’ It has used this advert to urge its customers to believe in a better world. The advert is timed 60 seconds and incorporates a children’s choir singing a modified version of the song titled, ‘You Got the Love.’ The advert jumps to short scenes of negative things that occur in the world after the scene of the children’s choir. These short negatively themed clips are counteracted with other positive things. The key message of this advert is telling the masses that better things can be achieved (Faull).
The company is trying to attain its tradition of being among the few organizations that use their products for the promotion of positivity in society. The advert has not been created with the aim of growing sales and revenues, instead, to have a positive impact in society. The advertisement is trying to convince the people that they can easily make positive impacts in society by doing simply things day by day. This is enhanced by the way in which it incorporates bad things that occur in society and how simple deeds can effectively prevent these things from taking place.
The advert has involved both persuasive and informative aspects of communication. This can be due to the fact that the paper is persuasive in the sense that it highlights the importance of people taking parts in activities that could benefit the society at large. This has been accomplished through appealing to the emotions of the viewers. Coca Cola has used this advert in making sure that people who view it are emotionally engaged on different topics that are relevant to the masses. The title of the organization is also naturally persuasive because it highlights the importance of remaining optimistic and positive despite the various negative things that are affecting the society in different measures.
It can also be said that the advert is informative in that it passes information to people of different spheres in life that are experienced in their daily lives even though they may be oblivious to some. Coca Cola has used logic in order to convince the people that they should be optimistic and change their attitudes in order to make the world a better place. The fact that the company has highlighted various factors that have been noted as challenging to many people across the world has played a crucial role in ensuring that the masses are informed on the afflictions of people across the globe. The advert has also used informative insights on how people can change the lives of others and make them have positive experiences in their daily activities.
The company has also integrated both traditional communication channel of TV adverts and the modern channel of online communication methods like social networking and advert streaming. Coca Cola has created a Twitter account with the hashtag #Reasons to believe and a Facebook account with the same name. This is an indication that the company is trying to reach out to both the traditional and contemporary viewers. The linking of communication channels plays a major role in ensuring that the company is able to reach out to millions of people on the global market.
One of the lessons that can be learnt from this scenario is that organizations should not create advertisements or marketing media that is solely dedicated to the promotion of their sales and profit margins. The advert has shown that companies can also use their corporate social responsibility by appealing to the customers to make positive changes and shun activities that could cause harm to the society. However, the company could have highlighted some of the elements that make Coca Cola play a role in making the world a better place. The advert could have showed some of its Corporate Social Responsibility activities in order to promote the involvement of its target population towards making the world a better place.
Scenes of the actual lives of the people as portrayed in the advert. This enables people to identify with the brand.
Problems with the sustainability campaign, in relevance to the aspects of cost and message.
The firm can incorporate a corporate social responsibility model in the advertisement plan to assist in the exploitation of the linkages of the community with the brand. Another opportunity is the availability of various options in real community life for the company to develop campaigns for enhancing the brand.
Diversification requires that the company invests in other beverage areas apart from the main soft drink division that it is specializing on.
Google to Acquire Nest Labs, Inc January 13th 2014
This press release was meant for investors who had made investments in Google stocks and potential investors who are considering investing in the organization. The key message of the press release was to announce to the investors that Google was in the process of acquiring Nest Lab, Inc. This move was intended at enhancing creativity and innovation of the company. Google’s and Nest Lab’s CEOs, Larry Page and Tony Fadell have concurred that the acquisition will be effective in making sure that Google comes up with new devices that will make life easier for all who will be using the company’s products. The dissemination of the message in the press release was successful because it was straightforward and much easier for people of different backgrounds to relate to. However, Google should also create links with other channels of communication for people who do not rely so much on the internet for information. The press release has mainly relied on the internet for reaching out to investors (Google Inc).
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Faull, Jennifer. Coca-Cola launches #ReasonstoBelieve campaign with new ad. The Drum, 2014. Retrieved on January 20, 2014 from http://www.thedrum.com/news/2013/12/27/coca-cola-launches-reasonstobelieve-campaign-new-ad.
Google Inc. Google to Acquire Nest. Mountain View, California, January 13, 2014. Retrieved on January 20, 2014 from https://investor.google.com/releases/2014/0113.html.
Personal Ethics Statement
How do you personally determine what is right or wrong?
Everyone has their own manner of reasoning and response they would give in elevated situations which largely depends on their intellectual capacity as well as ability to control their emotions. Reasoning, is a process that entirely entails all human sense ranging from hearing, listening, tasting, feeling and seeing. People have the ability to reason differently depending on environment of exposure as well as the circumstances within which the process of reasoning is developed. Among the factors that would affect how I reason and respond to issue is the level of freedom I have in the entire reasoning process. Connected to this process of reasoning, is ability to establish what is right or wrong. In differentiating right from wrong, I engage all necessary techniques of thinking that have been logically proven. The first step in establishing the accuracy of the statement, idea or anything as wrong or true.
This is to say the supporting evidences must be reliable, consistent and presented in a timely fashion. If the idea fails to meet the standard measures, underlying the process of reasoning, then I would say convincingly that the idea is far from being the truth. For instance, as a judge that is bestowed with the mandate of making a decision over an ongoing case, I would need high levels of constituency within the presented statements. Though the presentation made is weak, so long as the victim remains consistent in their arguments, the individuals have the opportunity of winning the case. It might not be easy convincing an individual for justification on true accounts if the individual is not in any position to derive an element of truth in a specific process presented. This means going so far as tabling standing elements of truth through determined evidences. Still, on part of judgment, as a scientist I would involve use of experiments in the process of investigation to provide evidence as the true account of an investigation. As a process, experimentation remains proven logically and as such, provides the true account of circumstances.
Where does your personal ethical perspective come from?
In the process of reasoning ad differentiating the truth from the right, ethical perspective plays a very strong foundation. The values of an individual that are constituent with justification of societal norms is ethics and aids in determining the response one gives when they are faced with very high critical situations in order to decide the appropriate directions to take. In most cases, the decision I would give regarding whether an issue is false or right rests on instinct developed in line with core values. My personal ethics are also internally based and derived on the true meaning of circumstances in the process of interpretation. Whatever might be true should be consistent with my ethical control. For instance, when faced with the decision to rule on whether prostitution is morally wrong, my decision would be driven ethically and would maintain high moral behaviors. My personal ethics originates from social ethics and is a description of the response I give when making a decision on whether a give case is wrong or true. From the negative perspective, I understand wrong application of personal ethics might be misleading since the justification given under the instance aims at fulfilling personal interest.
What do you expect from yourself in dealing with others?
Just like I said earlier, the environment of application determines the kind of response one gives to issues and judgment we present on whether a given case is true or not. On this grounds, the judgment we provide can fulfill either professional or personal interest. On a personal account, the judgment I would give might be totally different from personal reasoning, but whenever reasons behind such an act get examined professional, I might revisit my judgment and conclude stealing is right. On a professional account, I will justify my reasoned on the basis of evidences that are scientifically researched. In all instances, I would expect the truth, personal integrity and accountability while dealing with one another. On that same account, I expect that others will show similar attributes while they deal with me.
What is meant by “core values”? What are your core values?
Core values refer to principles that are laid down to provide individual guidance in every encounter. These core values are supposed to guide an individual’s social trait as well as create a barrier between the don’ts and dos in a particular organization. Contrary to social values, an individual is supposed to develop their own principles in order to provide guidelines so far as interaction with varying social groups is concerned. Development of individual core values is dependent on environment of operation and the population’s social make up. There are some values however, that remain universal and their application provides a standard measure of rational human behavior. Some of my core, important values include respect for personal feelings , the opinions of other people, an understanding for different social settings, respect for authority, practice of patriotism in every process of delivery as well as practicing humility as a means of dealing with colleagues. In all areas, I know that personal values that are highly developed must always correspond to social values for purposes of maintaining high social cohesion levels. If the society’s reasoning were different from that of individuals, then the kind of behavior exhibited by an individual would be termed as immoral.
How has your decision making being influenced by your core values?
The guiding principles of the decision I make whenever faced with conflicting ideas is guided by my core values. If an individual is morally upright, then their decision should follow the perspective of morality and dissipate all statement or actions that are consistent with their core values. Take into consideration what you might do in the event someone asked you to make compromises on your ethical foundation.
It ends up being extremely difficult for one who is deeply rooted on ethics to disengage from such traits and instead, apply non-ethical tools while making certain important decisions. If someone asked me to make compromises on my ethical foundation, they must first provide reasons as to why I should take such action. If these reasons are not convincing, I would stay firm with my decision if it underlies ethical issues that are consistent with moral standard measures.
Sometimes, bad decisions are made by good people. Explain why you think this might be taking place in the business environment today
Decisions made in the business environment depend on a couple of contributions that should be fulfilled. As such, for the maker of a decision to conform to ethical standards of business, going against production objectives of a business becomes critical. In a business environment, one is supposed to make decisions satisfying all stakeholders regardless of the standard of measures.
Give one example of unethical business activities or practices by attaching an article of your choosing. Summarize the article and provide your perspective on why this took place
Stealing company’s money or items is very unethical and might have a negative impact on different processes of production of the company. As it is presented in the article, stealing is an unethical business practice that costs the company and if it is not controlled, might result to collapse and failure of company. In some instances, workers go to the extent of taking materials from the company for personal gains and use. In the same manner, managers take assets of a company and might use the name of the company to acquire external benefits that are self-driven. The major reason managers and workers might decide to engage in this form of unethical behavior is due to insufficient motivation in the form of compensations within the company.
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