News Corporation, under the leadership of Rupert Murdoch, has unparalleled power and reach in the news media industry. The Murdoch Empire spans several continents, with significant footholds in Australia, United States and the United Kingdom. Founded and headquartered in Australia, the company now boasts of being the number one newspaper publisher in the world, with a cumulative daily readership of 14 million in these three countries alone. Murdoch has a near monopoly in the media space in Australia, owning two-thirds of all newspaper circulation in the country. Across the Tasman Sea, in New Zealand, he owns nearly half. Further, he is the owner of two fifths of the Australian Associated Press. (Knowlton & Parsons, 1995, p. 200) These holdings are notwithstanding his considerable market share in Britain and the United States. These statistics bear testimony to the Murdoch’s media monopoly. Between the lines one can read the dangers . . . Read More
In “Two Cheers for Materialism,” James Twitchell posits that “We live through things, we create ourselves through things and we change ourselves by changing our things.” When we look at this claim by the author, it sounds like a veiled criticism of a materialist culture. But through numerous apt examples and nuanced explanations, Twitchell comes around to acknowledge the power of consumerist impulses and seeks to explain what drives them. He also argues that capitalist consumerism is not something that is imposed on people as academic critics often claim. Instead, the continued thriving of consumerism is due to our own innate needs, desires and aspirations. The article by Randall Patterson titled ‘Profiles in Splurging’ complements Twitchell’s core thesis. This essay will qualify the aforementioned working thesis by considering all the facts and arguments presented in these two articles.
To a great extent, the claim in the working thesis can be viewed as a . . . Read More
The case study highlights a major recent transformation underwent by Britain’s global insurer Lloyd’s. The appointment of Suzy Black as HR Director in 2009 was unprecedented in the history of the company. It indicated a new competitive branding for its HR practices, breaking away from traditional personnel office style of functioning. Though there was initial apprehension from senior managers in the company, Black skillfully managed to get them on board to be part of her HR vision. In the milieu of an ever growing global presence for Lloyd’s, Black was able to create a challenging work environment, healthy incentive programs and meaningful community outreach programs. Black’s approach is flexible enough to modify HR programs to suit specific locations across the globe. Black was successfully able to pull off a balance between efficiency and team spirit which accounts for Lloyd’s ranking high in recent polls in the list of most . . . Read More
The major cultural challenges facing a global enterprise is understanding and adapting to local business customs and norms. In the Real World Case we saw how business in Africa tends to go on at a leisurely pace – a practice that undermines the principles of efficiency and expediency that multi-national enterprises thrive on. Understanding cultural sensibilities and adapting to them requires an open-mind and a flexible management approach. This can prove quite challenging if the top management is too engrained in their B-school trained approach. Often government bureaucracy or red tape can hinder expedient project execution. Red-tape can thus be considered both a cultural and political issue. Another political issue is the state of development. As emerging economies are mostly from the Third World, the available infrastructure can be quite rudimentary. This is a geo-economic challenge, for a majority of the population might be IT illiterate, as reflected in minimal usage of . . . Read More
The main companies discussed in the Real World Case are Cadbury, Forrester Research and A.T.Kearney.
The case of Cadbury’s expansion into emerging economies is discussed at length. As affluence levels increase in emerging markets, the consumer base for chocolate-based sweets also increases. Since chocolate-based sweets are not a subsistence commodity, its consumption is directly correlated to affluence levels. In the era of globalization, many suitable markets have opened up for companies such a Cadbury spanning different continents. The appeal of chocolates and sweets is universal and is not restricted by cultural sensibilities and norms. As a result, Cadbury is well placed to exploit a lucrative, erstwhile untapped, market for chocolates and sweets in developing countries.
Forrester Research is a services company and not a products company. This could work to their advantage, as they could offer their services to a range of industries venturing into developing . . . Read More
How do you evaluate the growing expectations and the changing role of companies in the arena of water management? Discuss the potential and the limits of what corporations can ultimately achieve in the business of water.
Given the abysmal record of private companies in managing water resources and their equitable distribution, the public has a sceptical view of privatization. International controversies over water privatization are shaping the debate across the world. In a world of six billion people, of which a sixth don’t have access to safe, drinkable and cost-effective water, privatization looms as the great big threat to what prospects they have for fulfilling this basic need. As the failure of privatization in Bolivia, India, Argentina, Ecuador, Panama, South Africa and Philippines suggest, privatization is not sure shot method for optimal utility and usage of limited water resources. To many commentators, these instances of failure of . . . Read More
In terms of the scholarly discussion on corporate social responsibility please outline the key arguments that may support the actions of the firms given in the case. Furthermore, discuss the main arguments against corporate social responsibility considering these firms’ actions. Use scholarly literature and examples from the case study to illustrate.
Though water is considered as essential to survival of all life forms, getting access to quality water is increasingly becoming difficult in the under-developed world. While privatization is promoted as the solution for this crisis, previous examples of such a move have resulted in adverse results, especially for the poor. Where privatization of water has been implemented in the last 10 years, contentious debates and protestations have risen in the communities affected by the project. In the case study titled ‘The Business of Water’, we read about the activities of some of the major water and beverage . . . Read More
Cadbury’s is one of the most recognizable brands in the world of sweet products. Its flagship chocolate varieties have become synonymous with consumable cocoa products. And to maintain such sweeping monopoly and brand loyalty over more than a hundred years is a great achievement. What is also remarkable is the fact that Cadbury’s had always conducted business in a socially responsible manner. It is one those exceptional enterprises which did not operate purely on the basis of profit motive. Cadbury’s had had an impressive track record of employee welfare schemes and other philanthropic activities. But, unfortunately, such a philosophy is seldom seen in the business world today, where greed overcomes any humanitarian impulse. This essay will argue that the corporate culture and business philosophy followed in Cadbury’s during the 19th century is impossible to apply in the present times.
When John Cadbury started the . . . Read More
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
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