Benefits of Outsourcing
What is outsourcing?
Outsourcing is the contracting out of a business process to a third party. It sometimes involves transferring employees and assets from one firm to another, but not always. Outsourcing is also used to describe the practice of handing over control of public services to for- profit organizations. Outsourcing includes both foreign and domestic contracting and sometimes includes off shoring or relocating a business function to another country. Financial savings from lower international labour rates is a major motivation for outsourcing.
The benefits of outsourcing
There are many benefits of outsourcing that companies need to understand in order for them to take most advantage of the practice.
- Reduced costs of infrastructure and labour are a major benefit. Hiring and training staff, investing in infrastructure is quite expensive but with outsourcing you save your company all the burdens of manpower and infrastructure. A company does not have to pay additional benefits to their employees hence a lot of money is saved
- Outsourcing saves you a lot in terms of time, effort and costs.
- There is the benefit of cost advantage. The same services are provided by another company at the same quality but lower costs hence a company gets increased savings form outsourcing.
- Access to specialized services since outsourcing allows you to hire experts and experienced people who specialize in the particular business process. This encourages provision of better services than you and your existing manpower could have provided.
- Faster deliveries and improved customer satisfaction hence saves a lot of time and promotes customer trust and loyalty.
- Outsourcing allows you to focus on the core of the business without compromising other processes hence there is increased productivity and efficiency. Companies that handle everything in house spend more on research, marketing and other development processes.
- Continuity and risk management is a major benefit of outsourcing. High employee turnover will add uncertainty and inconsistency to the company operations hence outsourcing provides a level of continuity to the company.
- Competitive edge for your business since it enables even small companies to enjoy the same efficiency and expertise that large companies enjoy.
Precautionary measures for outsourcing
Despite the many benefits of outsourcing in a firm, there are also different demerits that companies have to be aware of. It is very risky to outsource certain services because a company can expose itself to security risks. Confidential data can be leaked especially if the company outsources human resources services which deal with payroll and recruitment procedures.
Companies can also hire substandard services and laborers and still spend so much money. This will not be cost effective for the companies involved. It is necessary for companies to take appropriate measures to precautionary measures in order to avoid all these issues. These may include taking the following measures:
- Carrying out thorough research on the firms to be hired.
- Being vigilant on services being offered
- Signing a foolproof contract that protects the company information and employees from exposure.
By taking these measures, a company will be better off as it will choose the best outsourcing services hence benefit fully from outsourcing.
What is concept mapping?
Concept mapping is a technique which is used in teaching, training, learning and delivery of information processes in order to help in visually illustrations of the relationships and linkages between different ideas and concepts. This technique often makes use of concept maps in which there is a graphic representation of ideas. Basically, concept mapping is aimed at organizing, structuring and representing knowledge in an easy to follow and structural manner. It helps people to organize and understand basic learning concepts more easily and even enables them to explain them in a more comprehendible manner.
In most cases the main concepts and ideas are usually placed in boxes or circles. These are linked using phrases and words which explain the connection between each concept and idea. The concept maps more often than not are represented in a hierarchical structure and the main or overall concepts are placed at the top of the chart while the more specific concepts follow below. Generally, the broad concept is always at the top of the chart and the breakdown of this concept is done below in a more specific approach.
How is concept mapping done?
In order to carry out concept mapping, you must design a concept map. This should always be based on a main broad idea with sub-topics and specific ideas that are connected or linked to it. There are four main steps of carrying out concept mapping:
- Choose the main idea or topic of focus. This is the most important step in concept mapping. The main idea or concept should be broad and objective. This topic should enable one to answer certain questions or solve a particular problem.
- Determine the key concepts linked to this idea. Once a topic of focus has been selected, there is need to come up with smaller and more specific sub topics. These should be relevant to the main topic and in some way help to answer the question at hand or solve the problem being looked into.
- Connect the concepts to the main idea. After identification of the specific subtopics, it is important to identify the inter linkages between them and the main or basic concept. This connection should then be infused into the concept map by drawing maps and using short words or phrases that explain the linkages.
- Make any necessary alterations. One of the advantages of concept mapping is that it allows for alteration between the concepts. Although one can still retain the same relationship that has been established, it is important to re-examine the connection between the ideas and make any necessary changes.
Concept mapping can be done manually if there are a few ideas and concepts involved. However, if there is a bigger data set involved, this process is done using special software.
What are the benefits of concept mapping?
Concept mapping is used in both educational systems and even in the business and human resources disciplines. There are several benefits of using this method in trainings and teaching:
- It can help to summarize key concepts and enable learners and participants understand different linkages to the main concepts.
- This method can be used in communicating complex ideas
- Concept maps are a good and cost effective in preserving an organization’s information
- Business concept mapping can be used in business analysis activities.
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Disadvantages of Employee Empowerment
What is employee empowerment?
Employee empowerment is where authority is given to employees to make critical decisions concerning the organization with little or no supervision from the managers. This entails using different techniques to empower the employees so that they can make better decisions for the company.
Most companies carry out employee empowerment by using techniques such as:
- Job enrichment. This is where employees are assigned more duties at the same position or cadre of employment.
- Job expansion. This entails promoting employees and also assigning them more duties which are considered of higher cadres than what they are currently doing.
- Job rotation. This is where employees work in different departments so that they enrich their skills and knowledge of the organization. This gives them better decision making skills.
Employee empowerment also entails giving the employees information regarding the company and getting their opinions regarding different aspects of the organization. Organizations usually carry out employee empowerment in order to motivate the employees and also increase productivity levels at the work place.
Disadvantages of employee empowerment
In as much as employee empowerment may have many benefits in terms of increasing motivation and productivity amongst employees, it also has its downsides. There are many challenges that can be brought by leaving major decision making to employees. These include:
- Abuse of authority. When an organization decides to let employees make major decisions on behalf of the company without going through the major rungs of power, there are high chances of abuse of authority. Employees may not be mature enough to make decisions without a certain amount of supervision and hence can abuse the given authority and powers.
- High levels of insubordination. Many a times, employee empowerment can become over-confident and arrogant when given the chance to make and implement decisions on their own. This can lead to high levels of insubordination because the employees may have little respect for their managers. The hierarchy in the organization can be overlooked when employee empowerment is implemented in an organization.
- Reduced confidentiality. Since employee empowerment is about giving the employees the chance to make decisions on behalf of the company and involve them by sharing confidential information with them, it can lead to a big compromise on information of the organization. Employees who are not mature enough can leak out important information concerning the organization to the wrong people and compromise the security of the organization.
- Poor decision making. If employees who are inexperienced are given the opportunity to make decisions on behalf of the organization, they are more likely to make the wrong decisions. Even though the employees may be creative and good ideas, they may make the wrong decisions for the organization.
There are generally several benefits of employee empowerment. However, there are several demerits as discussed above and these can be detrimental to an organization. It is thus very important to implement this strategy with the right conditions so as to reap of these benefits.
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Disadvantages of Outsourcing from Local and Foreign Companies
What is outsourcing?
Outsourcing is where a company decides to contract a third party to carry out a business process on its behalf. Outsourcing may be domestic or foreign. It can entail moving employees and assets from a domestic or international firm to another. In foreign outsourcing cases, the firm can off shore or relocate its major business functions to another country.
Why do companies outsource?
The main motivation behind outsourcing is the need to source for more cost effective services from both domestic and international firms. Companies have over time discovered that labour in certain international destinations is way cheaper than in their countries. This is why they seek services from the cheaper labour markets.
Additionally, companies also outsource services so as to increase productivity levels by concentrating on the business activities that they are best at. When the minor activities are taken care of by the outsourcing firms, the employees can then concentrate on the major pursuits of the organization.
What are the disadvantages of outsourcing?
- Employment problems. When an organization outsources its services to firms in foreign countries, it creates employment gaps in its own country. This is because foreigners gain jobs at the expense of the locals who are left unemployed. This has a ripple effect on the economy at large.
- Confidentiality and insecurity issues. There can be loopholes in security and confidentiality when companies decide to use third parties to carry out their business activities. This can be in the form of leakages of important company information to other companies hence compromising the security of the company.
- Companies can become complacent when they only have to focus on the activities they are good at. They may intensify their activities towards producing the same products hence overlook the changing trends in the markets. The employees might also focus less on customers and concentrate on the market products.
- Job insecurity and disloyalty among employees. When employees know that the company is capable of outsourcing their services they feel less secure about their jobs. This creates disloyalty on their part because they are uncertain of their future in the company.
- Poor services. Companies can get poor services when they outsource their services from poor companies. This can beat the logic of outsourcing and make companies get worse instead of cutting on costs.
- Stiff competition. When several companies in a particular industry begin to outsource services, they unintentionally create stiff competition within the industry. This is because they make it easy for more entry players to access the market and hence raise the standards of the industry.
- Growing and hidden expenses. When so many companies begin to outsource services they can raise the demand for the services and hence make it expensive to access the services. Besides, the labour standards and costs have risen in some countries which were originally considered ideal destinations for cheap labour. There are also other hidden costs especially in terms of legal fees for outsourcing especially from foreign firms. This makes it more expensive to outsource from the foreign firms in such countries.
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Disadvantages of Downsizing in Business
Downsizing is a term that refers to elimination of departments, divisions or positions within a company or business. While this exercise can trigger positive outcomes, it has negative impacts as well. It impacts numerous employees, ongoing projects, future organization of the business as well as techno logy updates.
Cash flow complications, poor performance of stock market as well as low profit margins are some of the factors that drive the decision to downsize. The impact of downsizing is often felt by those employees left behind and its disadvantages include the following:
While downsizing helps reduce costs in terms of benefits and salaries, it also comes with a set of high costs. The business has to prepare severance packages as well as deal with payment for continued benefits which can be quite costly depending on the number of people being laid off as well as what their contract states layoffs.
Employees with vacation time built up also results to payouts for that amount thus adding to costs. In addition to this, employees left behind are forced to assume the role of those laid off and this means they might neglect their own duties and this could also result to increased overtime. When the business grows and there is need to hire more people, the business also incurs additional costs in screening, advertising, hiring and recruiting employees.
Disruption of communication
Downsizing also affects informal and formal communication channels within a company. From casual communications to international streams of communication, downsized employees are not part of the communication process and this could destabilize the business.
Employees left behind also have a hard time establishing current operations as well as indentifying the individuals responsible for the project as well as defining a new chain of command. This communication loss hampers information flow as well as the company’s internal ideas exchange and decision making process.
Whenever a downsizing announcement is made, the morale of workers takes a turn for the worst. Employees will often worry about those losing their jobs as well as how the company is going to function once the downsized workers leave.
Once the employees laid off leave, those left behind have more responsibilities without necessarily a higher pay and this decreases their morale. In addition to this, those left behind also worry that more layoffs might be made and if for some reason they think that the downsizing process was unfair, the respect and trust they have in employers is diminished.
Even when a business has a valid reason for choosing to downsize, it will face a potential legal suit if any of the employees feel like they were unfairly treated or laid off.
There are other disadvantages to downsizing and they include a drop in the creativity and productivity of employees left behind, loss of knowledge and skills, employee stress and creation of a negative image about the business.
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Importance of Empathy in Healthcare
Empathy is a term that is often underused and misunderstood yet it is completely important in the healthcare industry. It is through empathy that therapeutic effectiveness can be achieved and it also helps form a health relationship between the patient and healthcare provider.
The term empathy dates back to the 80s when Theodore Lipps, a German psychologist coined the term to describe emotional appreciation of another person’s feelings. It is also described as the process or ability to understand an individual’s subjective experience while maintaining the stance of an observer.
Empathy is ‘borrowing’ another person’s feelings so as to understand or feel them without taking them upon oneself. By becoming a participant observer, it becomes easier to understand the feelings of the other person. The importance of empathy in the healthcare industry cannot be overly stated. Without doubt, it builds a connection but in the healthcare sector, empathy is more than an emotional and clinical connection.
It is about letting patients know that healthcare providers care about their well being. Emotional connection makes it possible for these healthcare providers to understand how patients are feeling and this makes it possible for them to create more sense about their lives. Every patient has a story and behind the patients, there is also a life. Because of sickness, lives are put on hold while others are interrupted.
It is therefore important for healthcare providers to understand how patients are filling in order to foster great and flourishing relationships to enjoy better outcome. Beneath any diagnosis made on a patient lies a life put on hold. Patients are bound by hospital devices, machines and walls as such they need emphatic nurses and doctors. Healthcare providers should note that there is more to patients than the diagnosis they make.
Recognizing that a patient has an outside life, even for a minute is invaluable to patients. Empathy is however not that easily noted in the healthcare industry. Often, patients, family members and their caregivers are termed as ‘difficult’ whenever they ask questions. However, most of the time, they are not difficult but rather, afraid and they want to get the assurance that their concerns are heard.
What they want above all else is a connection. With empathy nurses and doctors are able to engage, empower and connect with patients. It makes it possible for these healthcare providers to understand the feelings and experiences of patients. By acknowledging the emotional state of patients and listening to them, patients become more proactive and it also fosters trust, partnership and it triggers the healing process.
The most efficient, powerful communication tool in the healthcare industry is empathy and it should extend to understanding the patient beyond their symptoms and history to include their feelings, ideas and values.
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Importance of Motivation in the Workplace
Motivation is the ingredient needed to stimulate energy and the desire in people to continually commit to performing great or giving their best at work. It is a critical aspect and involves use of internal and external factors.
People who are motivated intrinsically take pleasure in what they are doing and they are not overly concerned about external rewards. It is not uncommon to come across employees who do as little as they possibly can, miss deadlines and constantly need correction and supervision in order to perform. Such employees lack the motivation needed to push them to give their best at work.
Theoretically, the importance of motivation in the workplace is quite straightforward but empirically, it cannot be measured. Ascertaining what level of motivation is needed in order to increase productivity is difficult for the simple reason the effort of an individual cannot be easily measured by metrics. While salary is viewed as the key component of keeping employees working in any workplace, it is never enough to capitalize on the full potential of employees.
Motivation plays a significant role in the workplace and this includes:
- It helps push the human resource (HR) into action-Every concern demands human resource, financial and physical resources to accomplish set goals and through motivation the HR is able to capitalize on it and this helps the organization enjoy full utilization of available resources,
- Improves employee efficiency- The level of an employee is not solely dependent on their abilities and qualifications but getting the most out of their willingness and ability to accomplish goals. Through motivation, the productivity of employees is increased, their overall efficiency is increased and operation costs reduced.
- Achievement of a company’s goals-The goals of any company can be achieved when the work environment is co-operative, employees act in purposive manner and are goal directed and utilization of resources is maximized. Motivation also ensures that there is proper co-operation and co-ordination which ensures that work is done properly.
- Fosters great friendships-Employees who are motivated are more likely to feel happy and satisfied. To achieve this, an organization needs to come up with incentive plans which will benefit employees. Some of these incentives include promotion opportunities, non-monetary and monetary incentives and disincentives for underperforming or inefficient employees.
Motivation in the workplace is important not only for employees but the organization as well.
For individuals motivation is important because:
- It helps them achieve personal goals
- They enjoy job satisfaction
- Helps in self development of individuals
- Individuals gain by working within a team that is dynamic
For the business, motivation helps by:
- Empowering teams because employees are motivated.
- Success and profitable because of increased employee contribution
- Creativity and adaptability comes to the fore when making amendments
- Creates a challenging and optimistic environment in the workplace.
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Importance of Self Motivation
Self motivation, in simple terms is the force or drive that makes an individual to achieve more than what they set out to do. It is about doing a task or job well not because it pays well but because one wants to. People who are self motivated will always want to give their best and will often take responsibility even when they don’t have to. Self motivated people will have the tendency to:
- Work for longer hours than others.
- Become team leaders
- Learn and develop new skills while also taking up regular courses
- Take over problems and come up with solutions
- Go beyond and above what their job description says.
Self motivation is the key to life’s skills and an aspect that every individual should think of possessing. It pushes an individual to achieve goals, feel fulfilled and improve their quality of life. In addition to this, individuals who are self motivated tend to be:
- More organized
- Excellent at time management
- Self confident and they also have high self esteem.
Self motivation is closely correlated to personal achievement and goals. In order to get motivated, an individual must first of all, spend time thinking about their personal goals as well as what they intend to achieve. Everyone has the desire to achieve something and it is this aspect that makes it possible to carry through life.
As an individual achieves more, their self confidence increases as well and this in turn increases their desire to achieve even more. Conversely, when someone fails to attain or meet their goals, their confidence and self esteem suffers and this has a negative impact on their motivation to set higher goals. Self motivation is crucial because:
- It makes it easy to accept opportunities and challenges that crop up.
- It makes it easy to plan one’s life and also helps point the most suitable direction to follow.
- It boosts enthusiasm for life
- Self motivation provides the opportunity to live a fulfilling life.
- It empowers and encourages individuals to live an enthusiastic life.
Self motivation makes it easy for individuals to achieve any of the following:
- Monetary goals-What one expects to earn at a given point.
- Career goals-Where an individual expects their career to take them and the level.
- Academic-The knowledge or qualifications one wants to attain
- Physical-Development of skills in a particular sport
- Domestic-How one wants their domestic life to be in future
- Ethical goals
- Creative goals
B y setting goals and planning on the strategy to use to achieve them is one of the most reliable and efficient ways of staying motivated. To stay motivated, one must stay positive, acquire and learn new knowledge, stay with enthusiastic people, set goals and set out to achieve them.
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Schizotypal Personality Disorder
Schizotypal personality disorder is best described as a personality disorder that is characterized by the need or desire for social isolation, odd thinking or behavior, unconventional beliefs and anxiety when exposed in social situations.
People with this disorder experience extreme discomfort when it comes to maintenance of close relationships as such they don’t form such relationships. In addition to this, they also display manners of dressing and talking that are peculiar and have a hard time forming relationships. In other cases, they will act oddly during conversations or not respond at all.
Frequently, they will misinterpret situations as strange or believe they have an unusual meaning. With such people, superstitious and paranormal beliefs are common. In most cases, individuals with this disorder end up seeking treatment for depression or anxiety thus overlooking the real problem which is personality disorder.
Individuals with schizotypal disorder will often display the following symptoms:
- Odd fantasies, beliefs or behavior
- Eccentric behavior and appearance
- Difficulty following conversations and odd speech
- Perceptual experiences that are unusual
- They will have few close friends or none
- Paranoia and suspicion
Majority of those with this disorder tend to join cults because they want to feel like they belong.
The cause of schizotypal disorder is not yet known. While this is the case, research indicates that those individuals with the disorder come from families with relatives who are schizophrenics. In order to diagnose the disorder early, family history awareness is important. Personality disorders often have enduring and long standing patterns of behavior as such, they are diagnosed in adulthood.
It is not easy for this disorder to be diagnosed in adolescence or childhood because then, the teen or child is going through constant development, maturation and personality changes. Like most other personality disorders, the intensity of schizotypal personality disorder decreases with age with those in their 40’s or 50’s showcasing extreme symptoms. Genetic, social and environmental factors are also known to play a major role in causing schizotypal personality disorder.
Schizotypal disorder is diagnosed by mental health professionals who are trained like psychiatrists or psychologists. General practitioners and family physicians are not well equipped or trained to diagnose this type of disorder.
Majority of people with schizotypal disorder often don’t seek treatment until it begins to impact or interfere with their life.
Treatment of schizotypal disorder involves long term psychotherapy. This should be done by therapists with experience treating this type of personality disorder. There are also medications that might be prescribed in order to assist with specific debilitating and troubling symptoms.
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Bait and Switch
Bait and switch refers to a fraud that is common in retail sales although it is also used in other contexts. At first, merchants bait customers by advertising services or products at low prices but on visiting their store, customers realize that the goods or services advertised at those prices are not available. The customers are then pressurized to consider similar products or services but at higher prices. This is what is known as switching.
The main intention of this technique is to encourage buyers to purchase substituted goods by ensuring that consumers are satisfied by the offered products or services as an alternative for the inconvenience or disappointment of having no goods at all. The technique also functions to reckon the seemingly recovery though incomplete, of the sunk cost that is expended in an attempt to obtain bait. The technique suggests that a seller should not avail the original service or product advertised. Instead, they will demonstrate a similar product that has a higher margin or a more expensive good or service.
To most people, bait and switch is a dishonest tactic used by marketers to make their rate, terms or price attractive to potential buyers. It is commonly used in the mortgage market to dive business. Mortgage companies or agents post exceedingly low prices or rates when they know very well that most applicants may not qualify for teaser rates. Once customers start visiting their office for inquiries on the low prices or rates, the agent or company will offer higher rates that they might qualify for. This enables the agents to get greater commission.
According to the U.S courts, purveyors who use this technique can be subjected to lawsuits by buyers or customers on the basis of false advertising. These purveyors can be charged in court for trademark infringement by other manufacturers and retailers who profit from selling the product that is used as their bait. However, cause of action does not exist if purveyor does not sell the advertised goods but pushes the competing product aggressively.
Competition Act prohibits retailers from advertising a service or product at a bargain price if they do not have reasonable quantities available. However, a retailer can avoid liability by establishing that non-availability was occasioned by circumstances that are beyond their control, reasonable product’s quantity was obtained and that the customer got rain check after the exhaustion of the supplies.
This technique can cause a retailer to lose their loyal customers and customers who shop from you once may not
consider entering your store again.
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Door in the Face Technique
Door in the face technique refers to a compliance method that is very common in social psychology studies. The technique entails attempts by persuaders to convince respondents to comply by making large requests that respondents are highly likely to turn down. It is more of a metaphorical door slamming on the face of the persuader. There are high chances of respondents agreeing to the second and more reasonable requests as compared to similar reasonable requests reached in isolation.
In door in the face technique, a larger request precedes a certain request. Refusal of a first request combined with apparent concession on the requester’s part make people highly likely to accept the second request feeling that making a concession independently is the noblest thing.
This technique is a strategy that is used to gain concession or compliance. After having the first request turned down, the requester counteroffers it with a more reasonable request that is hard to turn down. For instance, you want to apply for a two weeks no-pay leaves on a busy month. In that case, you approach the manager asking for a one month leave. The manager rejects the request and then you cut the request down to three weeks and then to two weeks. The manager will most likely approve the two weeks no-pay leaves after rejecting the first two requests.
Conmen also use the door in the face technique. For instance, a conman may approach you asking for you to help him with $50. After rejecting him, he will continue begging you until when you give him a smaller amount.
Door in the face technique is a contrast of foot in the door technique. In this technique, persuaders start with small requests and then increase the demands of the requests gradually. This technique although different, increases the chances of the respondents agreeing to the second requests.
Several studies have been done to determine whether the door in the face technique is really effective due to social responsibility or reciprocal concessions. Reciprocal concession explanation is common and it entails reciprocity or simply put the need for compliance on the side of the respondent to smaller second requests since the persuader compromises from the first request.
Social responsibility explanation entails the internal standards and the essence of assisting others and making respondent feel that they have to comply with the second smaller requests. Other explanations of door in the face technique effect entail reducing guilt and maintaining positive self-presentation.
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Health Belief Model
Health belief model refers to a behavior change model in psychological health that was developed with an aim of explaining and predicting health-related behaviors especially in the uptake of medical or health services. The model was established by the social psychologists in the U.S. Public Health Service in the 1950s. It remains one of the widely used and popular theories in health behavior studies.
According to this model, beliefs that people have regarding health problems, self-efficacy, action barriers and perceived benefits of the action explain engagement or lack of it in behaviors that promote health. To trigger health promoting behaviors, a cue to an action or stimulus must be present.
This model was developed in a bid to understand why people were not adapting strategies for preventing diseases or screening tests to enhance disease detection at early stages. Later, the model was used in analyzing responses of patients to symptoms and medical treatments’ compliance.
The health belief model derives from behavioral and psychological theory with its foundation being two health-related behavior components. These are:
- Desire for avoiding illness or getting well if ill
- Belief that a certain health action prevents or cures an illness
Ultimately, the course of action taken by an individual is dependent on the perception of that individual of the barriers and benefits that are related to that health behavior. Health belief model has six constructs. Four of these constructs where established as the initial tenets of the model and the other two were added later after the evolution of the model.
The constructs are perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, perceived benefits, perceived barriers, cue to action and self-efficacy. Health belief model has several limitations which affects its utility in the public health sector. For instance, this model fails to account for the attitude, beliefs and other determinants of the acceptance of a person for a health behavior.
It also does not account for habitual behaviors which may inform decision making process and acceptance of a recommended action. The model also does not account for behaviors that individuals perform for reasons that are not related to their health like social acceptability reasons. Other factors that health belief model does not account for are economic and environmental factors that can promote or prohibit a recommended health action.
In addition, the model assumes that individuals have equal access to information on the disease or illness. Additionally, the model assumes that cues to health action are prevalent and that they encourage individuals to act and that the main goal in decision making process is health actions.
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Intergroup Contact Theory
According to some social scientists, intergroup contact theory is among the best ways of improving relations among conflicting groups. Development of the intergroup contract theory is accredited to Gordon W. Allport. The theory is also known as the contact hypothesis. According to this theory, interpersonal contact is among the most effective means of reducing prejudice between the minority and majority members when conditions are appropriate.
When an individual has an opportunity for communicating with others, understanding and appreciating their point of view on their ways of life is enhanced. Prejudice is diminished due to the new understanding and appreciation of the other persons. Among the issues that occur more often among rival groups include discrimination, prejudice and stereotyping. According to Gordon, all these issues can be reduced through well-managed contact leading to better interaction between individuals.
However, when anxiety is created by contact among those involved, it fails to resolve conflict. To decrease anxiety, contact situations should be long so that members of conflicting groups can feel comfortable in the company of one another. In addition, contact will not reduce conflict if the members of conflicting groups use the contact to exchange insults and argue with one another. This will cause discrimination and even physical violence between the members.
Positive contact must be ensured to realize beneficial effects. Several criteria should be used and they include the following:
- Common goals must be set which should entail solving the problem between them.
- Equal status must be established by minimizing differences among members of the two groups
- Intergroup cooperation must also be established by both sides working together to realize common goals
- Support from the customs, law and authorities are also important in encouraging helpful, friendly and egalitarian attitudes between the groups. In-group-out-group comparison should also be condemned.
- Personal interaction should also be encouraged between groups’ members to develop cross-group friendships.
In explaining the intergroup contact theory, Gordon says that prejudice is directly caused by oversimplifications and generalizations that are made about entire groups of people on the basis of mistaken or incomplete information. Basically, prejudice can be reduced by learning more about a group of people.
Some experts have described a change in belief via contact as one example of a general cognitive process that can be used to modify attributes of a group. Contact with culturally distinct group members can modify beliefs of individual, subsequently elaborating or modifying beliefs about the group as a whole.
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Low Ball Technique vs Foot in the Door Technique
Many experts have always tried to compare low ball technique vs. foot in the door technique. In low ball technique, a sales person offers potential buyer a lower price than the actual price intended for selling the item. Afterwards, the price is increased to obtain more profit. Once a buyer start enjoying a deal prospect and future benefits of the item, they are not likely to back out on the deal since this would cause cognitive dissonance. Thus, the buyer ends up down playing negative effects of the extra cost of the item.
Foot in the door technique is a common compliance tactic. This tactic entails having a person accept a large request by setting them up with a modest request first. Simply put, you make a small request and then once it has been accepted, you make a bigger request.
The foot in the door technique is highly successful due to the basic nature of human known as successive approximations. In essence, when a subject goes with small commitments or requests it is likely to continue in the desired attitude’s direction or cause the desired behavioral change which results in the feeling of obligation to go along with the larger requests. The foot in the door technique works by achieving a small yes first and then a bigger yes later.
Low ball technique and foot in the door technique enables a requester to increase the chances of the subjects agreeing to accomplish given requests without external pressures. In foot in the door technique, subjects are led to performing the first low-cost request before they are asked to perform a target request. In low ball technique, subjects are led to accept to perform a target behavior when they do not know the exact cost of their behavior. The full cost of the behavior is reveled to the subjects after accepting the initial cost.
Both low ball technique and foot in the door technique are based on a similar principle. This principle is that of committing the subject into performing the target behavior by first having them accept the initial request or behavior that is less or even more linked to a target behavior or request.
However, foot in the door technique and low ball techniques have slight variation. In low ball technique, the subject is requested to perform a single behavior (initial and final requests pertain to a target behavior) while in foot in the door technique a subject is requested to perform two behaviors (initial and final behavior pertain to different behaviors).
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Antisocial Personality Disorder
Antisocial personality disorder is a mental health condition that entails the total disregard and violation of the rights of others. People who are diagnosed with this condition do not have any sort of respect for the feelings and wishes of other people. They tend to treat others in antagonizing manner; harshly and without any consideration to the impacts of their actions. Such people are often caught violating the law, acting violently and also have problems with drugs, alcohol and substance abuse.
People with antisocial personality disorders are often caught in indecent and violent acts but show no remorse or feeling of being sorry. As a result, they are usually incapable of fulfilling their responsibilities at work, home and even school. The condition comes with the ‘I don’t care’ attitude. However, they may at times look so calm and charming. As a result of this, they are times very unpredictable and it becomes difficult to tell whether they are speaking the truth or lies.
Symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder
Antisocial personality disorder occurs in a pattern and has to be monitored over a period of time for a conclusion to be arrived at. Below are the signs that can be relied upon in diagnosing the mental condition.
- Inability to conform to social norms that include disrespect to the law
- Deceitfulness; constant use of lies for personal pleasure or profit
- Aggressiveness and irritability that can lead to assaults and physical fights
- Failure to lay down plans for the future or impulsivity
- Disregard for the safety of other people
- Lack of remorse after causing offence.
These symptoms can be evident in children as young as 15 years of age. However, diagnosis can only be done to adults who are above the age of 18 years. The reason is because in adolescence, a lot of developments that lead to change in personality and maturity occur. Thus, diagnosis is only recommended for people who have attained adulthood.
It is still very unclear the particular cause of antisocial personality disorder. However, there are several theories about the possible causes. Most of the cases have been attributed to genetic and social factors for instance; the way a person interacts with the family, friends and even fellow children during early development can impact their behavior in adulthood.
Psychological factors; an individual’s temperament and personality, defined by their environment can also lead to the development of the condition. It is viewed that antisocial personality disorder results from a combination of all these factors.
Treatment of Antisocial Personality Disorder
Long term psychotherapy with a professional therapist with an experience in handling such disorders is the best form of treatment that can be administered to people who have been diagnosed with the condition. There may also be medical prescriptions offered to avert the symptoms.
The enduring pattern of antisocial personality disorder can be evident in the interpersonal functioning, impulse control or cognition of the patient. It is advisable to see a psychiatrist or psychologist immediately the symptoms are identified in order to get help on time.
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