Tag: UK

Marc Sageman’s views on terrorism in the 21st century

Much of Sageman’s data set focuses on the central organization of Al Qaeda. Do you feel that this can be generalized to the larger jihadist movement?

Sageman’s contention that Al Qaeda is now a decentralized and more diffuse organization is quite correct. After the killing of Osama bin Laden and his top rung of aides, there seem to be a weakening of command-and-control style of organizational leadership. Sageman’s data, drawn heavily from the Islamic diasporas from across the world bear this view. The new modus of operation is for discrete and disparate groups of a few individuals to conceive and execute acts of terror. The result is that the scale of these acts tend to be smaller and its targets less specific. That there were no acts of terrorism to match the human and collateral damage witnessed on 9/11 supports this view. Hence what is observed with Al Qaeda is applicable to the broader jihadist movement.

Discuss the roles that social networks . . . Read More

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The Creative and Powerful Brand Positioning of an Audi Advertisement:

The consumer car industry is always brimming with competition. Cars are a unique consumer good, in that, people develop a strong attachment to their cars. After all, it is like living in a home away from home when one is travelling in one’s car. For this reason, car manufacturers tap into deep-rooted psychological hooks and insecurities to impress their brand image on customers. We can witness in all car advertisements how marketers try to tap into a car user’s psychology to create brand equity. The same is true of the ad chosen for this essay. It is a 30 second Audi commercial accessible at <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=350tD8E7htM>. This essay will argue that the ad is brilliant in conception, optimal in its audio-visual expression and delivers a powerful message to the audience.

The ad runs for a mere 30 seconds but it encompasses layers of meaning and connotations. Using four car keys as the only props, the ad illustrates or interprets the meaning of the logo . . . Read More

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How coherent was the National government’s response to mass unemployment after 1931 in Britain?

The interwar years were some of the most turbulent in the history of Britain. Given the strong trade and diplomatic links between Britain and the rest of Europe and North America, the former’s economic stability depended on several external factors. The Great Depression that struck the United States in 1929 had repercussions across Europe. The mass unemployment witnessed in Britain during this period is not merely a coincidence.  On the political front the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany gave rise to distrust and apprehensions of war.  In this respect, the social history of interwar Britain is one highly influenced by unravelling economic and geo-political conditions.  To go with widespread unemployment there were also conflicts across class lines.  The General Strike and the hunger marches that were witnessed during this period were expressions of public frustration.  Although the national government was outwardly sympathetic to public angst, and on occasion participated . . . Read More

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Patient Safety and Health Policy

Triggle,Nick. Soaring costs prompt rethink of long-term care planning, Nursing Management 19.10 (Mar 2013) 6-7.

The article talks about how the public health budget in the UK has steadily grown over the years.  It has now superceded military spending and consumers 8.2% of national GDP.  But the bad news is that this trend is expected to continue in the future and could grow to 20% of GDP by 2061.  Considering an ageing population and shortage of funding and resources the country is faced with a large crisis in the near future.

In the article, some constructive suggestions were put forward by experienced healthcare professionals and policy makers. One important idea is to integrate social care and health care so that cost efficiencies are achieved. This is especially true for palliative, chronic or mental health issues.  Another important idea is focussing on preventative health measures so that instances of hospitalization are reduced.  . . . Read More

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


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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Four Top Experimental Filmmakers from the UK and America

Daniel Robin is a contemporary filmmaker who is given to experimentation.  Often, his films blur the line between fact and fiction.  A classic example is the film My Olympic Summer, which won the Best Short award at Sundance Festival in 2008.  In the film, Robin attempts to simulate truth in such as way that “audiences are filled with mixed feelings after learning that the personal story he tells is an invented one.  Robin examines his own divorce by dissecting his parents’ troubled relationship. He uses Super 8mm footage of the couple intercut with footage from the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, where his father was part of the Israeli team taken hostage by Black September. Well, that last part isn’t exactly true.” (Filmmaker, 2008, p.62)  Robin had previously made three 16mm short films that were all semi-autobiographical.  He employs a unique narrative angle in the making of My Olympic Summer: “I wanted to try to figure out a different point of entry. My . . . Read More

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Human Resources Management Case Study: Employee retention in GS Plumbing

What should GS Plumbing be doing when employees leave the organization?  How could such activities improve retention, recruitment and selection?

GS Plumbing, and especially Alan as the HR Manager, can take certain constructive steps in improving retention, recruitment and selection of employees.  As the case clearly illustrates, GS Plumbing is ailing from high turnover rate, low levels of trust between managers and employees, and chronic bickering from certain employees.  Hence it is high time for Alan and the founder Greg to take control of the situation.

The HR department of GS Plumbing can introduce/enhance employee welfare programs to keep the workforce motivated and satisfied.  Employee welfare refers to the array of benefits (either monetary or as services) salaried employees are entitled to during their term of association with a company.  Usually employee welfare measures include contributions to the pension fund, health insurance . . . Read More

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Compliance with the five main principles of the UK Corporate Governance Code

The UK Corporate Governance Code was conceived and written by the Financial Reporting Council.  The Code is part of a set of Listing Rules mandated by the Financial Services Authority of UK.  The Code governs transparency and accountability standards for companies listed in the London Stock Exchange.  In essence, the Code is a set of guidelines (not mandatory rules) aimed at achieving good corporate governance standards in the UK.

The first principle of the Code pertains to the role of non-executive directors in a company.  It states that the appointments committee should be headed and managed by non-executive directors.  More importantly, their neutrality and lack of vested bias should be illustrated their lack of previous/present personal/professional connections.  By satisfactorily adhering to this principle, a UK company can convince shareholders and the regulator about its compliance with the Code.

The second main principle relates to executive . . . Read More

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Does statistics pertaining to worker strikes in the UK indicate increasing workplace harmony?

The United Kingdom has had vibrant labour organization throughout the last century. The UK being one of the key centres of the Industrial Revolution, the working class had always striven to make its voice heard. The strength of the British labour tradition is borne by the fact that in the wake of victory in the Second World War it was the Labour Party which was voted into power despite Winston Churchill’s legendary status. Coming to the phenomenon of worker strikes, although they disturb production schedules and affect the profitability of industry, most instances of it does serve a legitimate purpose, namely that of employee representation. In the scholarly article by John Godard, titled ‘What Has Happened to Strikes?’, we learn how worker strikes have gradually decreased in Britain. But, while strikes per se have declined, this does not directly imply that worker satisfaction with management has correspondingly improved. There are other factors at play which account for the . . . Read More

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Will the controversial ‘AIDS is a mass murderer’ advertisement campaign be effective in creating HIV/AIDS awareness?

The advertisement campaign for creating AIDS awareness featuring Adolf Hitler has drawn much controversy upon its release. The ad shows a couple having steaming sex in a dimly lit room with music playing in the background. Towards the end of the ad, the face of the man is revealed to be Adolf Hitler, with the tag line ‘AIDS is a mass murderer’. The Rainbow group, which in association with Hamburg-based ad agency Das Comitee has conceived and promoted this awareness campaign, has defended the shock, disgust and provocation invoked by the ad. It’s spokesperson says that the ad is intended to wake up young Germans to the reality of AIDS prevalence in the country – a subject that has faded of late in public discourse. The discouraging statistics pertaining to the spread o AIDS in Germany, is warrant enough for this bold provocation, the charitable group justifies. And there is some merit in their point of view. For example, “Germans need the encouragement – the facts . . . Read More

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