Category: Business

Decision Making Process: Buying a House

Decision making is integral to management practices.  The decision-maker will have to consider various factors before arriving at his/her decision.  Recently, I made an important decision in personal life, namely, to buy a house.  I used the management principles I learned in the course as a guideline trough my decision making process.  I would like to believe that I have made the correct choice.  But when it comes to evaluating how good my choice was, I need to make a time-wise longitudinal study.  In this sense, only ‘time will tell’ how good the decision was.

One of the features of managerial decision making is the lack of any systematic approach to it.  In other words, decision making is usually an unstructured process, which is built on broad rules of thumb like weighing pros and cons, exploring risk potential, understanding historical precedents of similar scenarios, etc.  Hence, in my own project to buy a house I had to adopt a free flowing, open-ended . . . Read More

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Wireless Networks in Emerging Markets – Article Review

The article chosen for analysis is titled ‘Google to Fund, Develop Wireless Networks in Emerging Markets’. It is published by the Wall Street Journal on 24th May 2013. From a Managerial Economics point of view, the article throws light on Google’s market expansion in emerging economies.  Google is renowned for its innovations in the field of information technology.  In recent years, the company has ventured into creating hardware for that would complement and support its popular software applications. Google’s search engine is its flagship product which is very prevalent across the world. On the back of the stupendous success of the search engine, the company has created numerous web applications such as gmail, youtube, google books, etc which are ever gaining in popularity.  The company is known for coming up with fresh and interesting ideas that create new niches in the markets related to the web.  The article in question talks about one of the . . . Read More

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To what degree did Buddhism provide a basis for cultural exchange and trade along the Silk Road?

The Silk Road (or Silk Route) was a vast network of inter-continental pathways that was a key artery of trade and cultural exchange during ancient times. First developed during the Han dynasty two millennia ago, the routes connected China to India, Europe, Arabia and beyond. While silk produced in China was a major commodity being traded along these routes, far more significant cultural and intellectual exchanges happed through this conduit. This essay is an exposition of how Buddhism provided a basis for cultural and commercial exchange along the Silk Road.

At the time of the Silk Road’s highest utility, several new religions were taking root across geographies. For example, two millennia ago, Christianity was born, having broken away from Judaism. The other major monotheistic religion, Islam, was born much later in history. Though these religions had their original doctrines, they were also defined in relation to one another. In other words, there were key distinguishing . . . Read More

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Satisfying all stakeholders when the business is competing in mature product markets is difficult

The business dynamics at play in a mature product market is quite different from that of newly introduced products.  Companies dealing with mature products will have to employ different manufacturing and marketing tactics than those adopted for trendy products in order to succeed.  One of the concerns facing the management is satisfying all involved stakeholders, including shareholders, customers, vendors, and to a lesser extend the society-at-large. Satisfying this diverse group is arduous at the best of times, but it gets close to impossible during an economic downturn or an industry-wide recession.  Another handicap facing mature products is that the markets they operate in are likely to be mature as well, making growth prospects for the product as well as industry very tough. The rest of this essay will present various factors that have a bearing on stakeholders when a business is competing in mature product markets.

Shareholders are one of the main (if not the most . . . Read More

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Marriott Hotel: Case Study


Marriott has established strong brand equity due to its excellent processes and an openness to adapt. Yet, there are areas where it could improve, leading it to the position of a leader in the field of Hospitality Management.

One of the areas where the Marriott management could look into is its Corporate Social Responsibility program and think of making it more effective. It is right now a vogue among corporate institutions to state that they treat the larger society the same way they treat their customers and shareholders.  But this is usually nothing more than lip service and token/unsubstantial measures.  Marriott’s CSR program is drawn up in earnest purpose with consideration to all sorts of current social problems, including poverty, environmental degradation, welfare of children, etc.  But the amount of resources it actually allocates to these programs is rather small. This is one area where the management could reassess and . . . Read More

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Highlights from the Corporation Documentary

  1. Applying the 14th amendment to business corporations meant that they were given legal personhood.  This is problematic as corporations have gone on to gain more rights and privileges than human citizens have gained.  This makes it difficult to make corporations accountable and act responsibly.
  2. As Eisenhower famously mentioned, the existence of Military-Industrial complex is undeniable.  This means that public policy, especially the decision to go to war, is dictated by corporate interests.  It is a well known fact that companies allied to the energy industry (Halliburton, Chevron-Texaco, etc) and weapons industry (Lockheed-martin, Boeing, etc) greatly benefited from American invasion of Iraq in 2003.
  3. The purpose of any business corporation is to make regular profits. But sadly, this single-minded objective often leads to the neglect of the environment and other external costs – (both social and economic).
  4. An externality is the . . . Read More

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How are customers’ needs different for timeshare units than for hotel rooms?

There are various differences in customers’ needs for timeshare units compared to hotel rooms.  Timeshare houses are sought for their exotic locales, ideally suited to tourists and vacationers wanting to enjoy nature in its pristine form.  Hotel rooms, on the other hand, are used for far broader range of purposes.  These purposes could either be pleasure trips, business engagements, professional conferences, temporary stops en route to another destination, etc.  Hence, the target consumers for these two markets are different.

The concept of timeshare residences have been around for more than three decades now:

“Timesharing, the idea of buying a portion of a property and the right to stay there for a corresponding number of days every year, was born in the 1970s at ski lodges in the French Alps.  People who were interested in a vacation house but didn’t want to fork out a huge amount of capital went in on the transaction with friends and family . . . Read More

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Book review: The One Minute Manager Builds High Performing Teams by Ken Blanchard

The One Minute Manager Builds High Performing Teams is co-authored by Ken Blanchard, Donald Carew and Eunice Parisi-Carew. It is a valuable addition to the genre of self-help management books. The One Minute series of books by Ken Blanchard and his team of management gurus have become indispensible sources of scholarship. These books explain in jargon-free language the intricacies and nuances of various aspects of management. The book in discussion is typical of the series and offers valuable insights to both new and experienced managers. The book can be used for both study and reference. The rest of this essay will highlight the key contributions and interesting facets of the book while also pointing to deficiencies if any.
One of the points emphasized by the authors throughout the text is that people are the most important resources of a business organization. In this respect, teamwork assumes great importance and can make the difference between success and failure. It is . . . Read More

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Annotated Bibliography: The role of human resource management in meeting organisational goals

Assessment #1 – Annotated bibliography

Assignment objective: Explain the significance of the human resource management role in organisations, its different facets and its contribution to the achievement of corporate goals.

Lawler Iii, E. E., & Boudreau, J. W. (2009). Achieving Excellence in Human Resources Management:  An Assessment of Human Resource Functions. Stanford, CA: Stanford Business Books.

This book is an excellent introduction to the subject of HRM.  It analyzes the role and functions of HRM in the context of global competition, advances in information technology, new knowledge, off-shoring, and an array of other changes that are forcing business organizations to constantly examine and re-evaluate how they operate. The author claims that these important changes have crucial implications for their human capital and their human resources functions and goes on to answer questions such as: . . . Read More

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Toyota: Origins, Evolution and Prospects

The story of Japanese car manufacturing company Toyota is one of the enduring successes in the history of manufacturing industry. From a small, obscure entity in 1947, it has now risen to the second spot in terms of global sales. Over the past 30 years, Toyota Motor Corp. has not only been the envy of the automotive industry

“but also been held in high esteem as a symbol of manufacturing and leadership excellence in the business world. In fact, the Toyota brand has been touted as the pinnacle of automotive excellence by rating agencies (e.g., Consumer Reports) and industry consultants alike, and this status has been reflected in a continuous stream of high marks in consumer confidence. (Piotrowski & Guyette, 2010, p.89)

It was Mr. Toyoda Sakichi, who provided the original impetus to the young company. This entrepreneur and inventor par excellence translated some of the creative ideas he employed in the textile industry to the fledgling . . . Read More

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