Category: Management


Malcolm Gladwell’s ideas and philosophy in The Tipping Point, as they apply to Occupy Wall Street Movement

Malcolm Gladwell has attempted to create a unique style of scholarship that navigates between science and popular culture.  As a result he has earned the wrath from both quarters.  For example, scientists accuse him for being simplistic or lacking in rigor. On the other side, commentators from mainstream media accuse him of bringing esoteric scientific concepts to popular discourse. Yet, his book The Tipping Point has sold more than a 3 million copies.  His other titles such as Blink (2005), Outliers (2008), David and Goliath (2013), etc, continue to fascinate and provoke in equal measure. Despite the controversies surrounding some of Gladwell’s inferences, his ideas and philosophies have become assimilated into popular discourse. It is an interesting exercise to study how the most important social movement of recent times – Occupy Wall Street movement (OWS) – measures up in relation to the author’s theories. This essay endeavors to perform the same.

The Occupy . . . Read More

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Deming’s 14 Points: Continuous Improvement, Prevention of Defects and the SDSA and PDSA cycles

Deming’s 14 Points for Leadership in the Western World is a well rounded guide for achieving excellence in management. The 14 points or guidelines are applicable to any domain or industry.  One of the key insights offered by Deming is how a high level of quality (or even a zero-defect production record) does not pre-empt the scope for improvement.  The very first point talks about creating a “constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service”.  This indicates how improvement is an ongoing engagement that is detached from prevailing production quality.  Deming makes clear that ‘defect detection’ and ‘defect prevention’ are preludes to the continuous improvement process.  An optimal defect detection system would not operate on the misplaced assumption that increasing the quantity of tests (mass inspection) would automatically “decrease the variability of the quality characteristics of products and services.”  Likewise, a robust defect prevention . . . Read More

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What is meant by the moment of truth in service design

Moments of truths are those brief periods of communication between the customer and a service provider where either a positive or negative response is generated.  For example, in a retail store all points of contact between the customer and service personnel are considered moments of truth.  These include check-in, enquiries about products, bill settlement, check-out, etc.  Hence, understanding the concept of moment of truth is essential for good customer service.

One of the ways in which customer goodwill can be generated is by anticipating points of interaction and developing protocols for the service team to follow. By paying attention to service design a business can convert accumulative moments of truth into brand loyalty.  In the service industry the customer experience is usually not based on tangible factors.  Instead they are constituted by first impressions, feeling of trust and confidence toward the service provider, etc.  In other words, the customer . . . Read More

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Operation Strategy: The benefits of using a forecasting system

With businesses ever more dependent on streamlined and efficient processes for success, the role of forecasting has come to the fore. The first step in developing a forecasting system is Problem Definition. This is the most important step for it sets the agenda for the forecasting system. The scope, range of utility, accessibility and function of the forecasting system is outlined herein.  Following this is Information Gathering, whereby the sources of data collection are identified and statistical tools are devised to analyze the data.  Rich historical and archival data add credibility and soundness to the eventual forecasts.  The next step is making a Preliminary Analysis of the forecasting methods and techniques. This involves experimentation and verification.  The next step is Choosing Models, whereby complex mathematical concepts like regressions, exponents and neural networks are integrated into the forecasting system.  The final is Evaluating and Fine Tuning the system . . . Read More

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Sewing for Millionaires: Rawlings’ operations in Costa Rica

  1. In your opinion, is Rawlings exploiting its Costa Rican employees? Explain your answer.

In my opinion, I don’t think Rawlings’ operations in Costa Rica are exploitative.  The very nature of capitalist enterprise is such that cost efficiency is a major driver of business.  To criticize Rawlings for doing what it is legally mandated to do (namely, to seek profits for is shareholders) is quite unfair.  Moreover, critics are not appreciating how Rawlings has created jobs in the Costa Rican economy. Companies such as Rawlings have helped consolidate Costa Rican economy.  It is in recognition of this fact that the Costa Rican government has offered special economic zone status to Rawlings and other MNC manufacturing units.

Even when one looks at wages and employee benefits, Rawlings has done nothing illegal.  The company has adhered to minimum wage standards of Costa Rica.  Further it complies by paid-leave and medical insurance . . . Read More

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Women and Global Leadership at Bestfoods – Discussion Questions

  1. Should the headquarters of U.S.-based multinationals promote diversity initiatives in their worldwide subsidiaries? If so, what’s the best way to accomplish this?

There is nothing wrong in U.S.-based headquarters taking the initiative for diversity promotion across other locations in the globe.  The thoughts and measures of Brody and Shoemate are instructive, for they provide a framework that all MNCs could follow.  Since American business culture and social values are somewhat different to that in the rest of the world, the HR Manager taking decisions from U.S. headquarters will have to be culturally sensitive. The HR Manager will also be cognizant of the fact that the definition of diversity is not constant across locations.  Moreover, the HR Manager will have to heed to what configurations of diversity ideally suit local teams. Actually, Bestfoods’ diversity program is a good starting point for any company trying to achieve similar . . . Read More

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What is the basic controversy about advertising for children (and commercialization of childhood)?

(In order to limit the negative aspects, should the government regulate it, or is this responsibility more with others (e.g. families, media, schools, etc).)

Advertising targeted against kids is a concept that invokes ethical issues.  The major criticism against this practice is that it abuses the vulnerability of children for commercial gain.  The ‘kid market’ as it is called is a multi-billion dollar industry today.  As capitalism becomes entrenched as the uncontested economic model, all aspects of life are being commoditized and commercialized.  Children are taught from a very young age that in order to be happy one has to consume products and services.  Even self-worth is tied into the drive for consumerism, leading children to develop the belief that they are worth what they possess.  Moreover, “whilst this child-targeted marketing used to concentrate on sweets and toys, it now includes clothes, shoes, a range of fast foods, sports . . . Read More

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Managing Decision Making: A Reflection

Introduction

Decision making is a complex process that involves giving consideration to numerous factors and perspectives.  If decision making as an individual action is difficult enough, it is all the more complicated when performed by a group.  In our group, the four members Aleksandar Burneski (110064964), Rocco Guiducci (110065658), Kuir Alaak (100044490) and I Mossab Aljamdi (110079132) have different personality types and character traits.  Hence we bring a wide range of inputs to the process of decision making.  Two features of our deliberations are conflict and conciliation. Conflict is inevitable in any group interaction, but we make sure that it is constructive and instructive.  What we strive as a group is to talk, deliberate, analyse and eventually concur on our decisions. The objective of our project was to compile a report on End User Development (EUD), which is a buzzing concept in the world of Information Technology.  Numerous decisions were taken at . . . Read More

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Article Review – A Universal Healthcare System: Is It Right for the United States? By Marleise Rashford

Abstract

The prevailing healthcare system in the United States has drawn many criticisms – from healthcare professionals and citizens alike.  The American system fares badly compared to nationalized public health systems of Western Europe. Even in terms of overall costs, the American model is more expensive, which is significantly inflated by bureaucracy costs.  All comparative evidence points in one direction – that the country would benefit through an overhaul of the healthcare system. Single payer and universal insurance coverage are the cornerstones of the optimal system.  Posing hurdles for this noble objective are vested private interests in the form of private insurance companies, ideologically entrenched politicians and to a lesser extent, healthcare providers.

Why is the article relevant to our course discussions on the U.S. Healthcare system?

The issue of healthcare is a pressing social problem in the United States.  . . . Read More

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Code of Ethics Case Study: News Corporation

Introduction:

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

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