Category: Management


Steve Jobs and the invention of the iPhone

Introduction:

Thesis Statement:

Steve Jobs is one of the prominent inventors and pioneers in the field of information technology.  Some of his creations such as the iPhone speak highly of his vision in recognizing technologies of the future.  By introducing products such as the iPhone, he took Apple Computers to new heights through its exceptional performance and features.

Invention:

In order to grow any business innovation is a key element.  Without innovation the business would stagnate and will soon be consumed by more competitive firms. At the beginning of Apple Computers’ corporate life, the Mac computers were a great product innovation. In more recent years, it is the iPhone.  The quality and popularity of iPhone is such that it has even overtaken companies like Blackberry. At the beginning of the IT revolution in the 1990s companies like Microsoft were taking huge strides in Graphic User Interface . . . Read More

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Community Policing in the USA and Britain

  1. Develop a typical “community policing” model utilized by local/American policing tactics. How would you deploy road patrol personnel to best promote the model of community policing? How would you instruct your officers to interact with the community?

The community policing model had found success in the United States because of its balancing of authority with community. A typical model would comprise of a squad of patrollers assigned to a locality.  They would come under the leadership of the delegated sheriff for that locality. The key feature of the community policing model in the United States is ‘participation’. Rather than acting like authorities in power, the patrollers strike camaraderie with local residents.  They develop a first-name calling rapport with the locals. The local residents serve as useful informants and witnesses for suspect activity. At the same time the patrolling officers do also monitor the regulars he comes . . . Read More

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The Eleventh Hour and Sick Around the World: Studies on the U.S. Healthcare system

What did I learn from the novel and the PBS videos?

Both the novel and the documentary film has been full of relevant information for me.  I learnt different things from the two different media.  The novel The Eleventh Hour is a unique mélange of fact and fiction.  That it presents details pertaining to the American healthcare system in the form of an engaging story made it easy for me to focus and keep track.  As the drama of the story unfolded I was able to pick up facts about the healthcare system that were erstwhile unknown to me.

Sick Around the World, on the other hand, offered me a comparative perspective on several leading healthcare systems. I was astounded that countries which are less economically powerful than the United States offer a better healthcare deal to their citizens.  The five countries studied by the PBS documentary crew – Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, Taiwan and Switzerland – all have cheaper average per . . . Read More

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How the US could have been more prepared for 9/11?

After going through the 9/11 Commission Report, please describe your thoughts on how the US could have been more prepared for 9/11, or if that was impossible, what is being done to change that.

The 9/11 terror strikes were the most gruesome to have taken place on American soil.  In the wake of the shocking event policy makers carried out a detailed analysis, the product of which is the 9/11 Commission Report.  The report pointed to how the attacks could have been anticipated and prevented with better application of intelligence gathered by the CIA.  It also highlighted structural and organizational deficiencies that hinder swift action when there is a possibility of a terrorist act.  It was based on the recommendations outlined in the report that the National Security Agency was created and endowed with substantial powers to act.

On the legislative side the USA PATRIOT Act was passed, which has proved controversial in the years since. The main objection to . . . Read More

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‘Two Cheers for Materialism’ by James Twitchell & ‘Profiles in Splurging’ by Randall Patterson : A combined overview

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

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Case Study: How the new HR strategy makes Lloyd’s one of the best companies

Summary:

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

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Two key events that shaped the field of Emergency Management

In the two and half century history of American history, the nation has seen a fair share of disasters and emergency situations.  Some of these events were man-made, like the great Wall Street crash of 1929. Others were natural events, like the high-magnitude earthquake that hit Los Angeles or more recently Hurricane Katrina.  For much of the country’s history there was no exclusive government agency that was mandated to prevent or manage emergencies.  Often the military or the paramedics would step in and, with the aid of volunteers, deal with the situation on an ad-hoc basis.  But the disorganized and unsystematic nature of these efforts would lead to less than satisfactory response to the event.  It is only in recent decades that organized and exclusive government agencies were set up to prevent and manage unexpected emergencies.

It is with the formation of FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) in 1979 that the nation had a separate government body for tackling . . . Read More

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What are the many cultural, political & geo-economic challenges faced by organisations operating in a global environment. How could they be addressed?

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

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The Real World Case mentions several organizations. For each organisation, discuss the business drivers for that organisation to expand globally.

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

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Water as a commercial commodity

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

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