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 book International Business: Environments and Operations is a quality and standard scholarly work by the authorial team of John Daniels, Lee Radebaugh and Daniel Sullivan. It covers a broad range of topics and is fairly in-depth in its treatment. One of the important topics dealt with is the relationship between Political Ideology and MNEs. Business leaders always keep a pulse on the political climate of the markets in which they operate. Often political decisions have significant implications for business prospects. In the era of globalization, MNEs act as investors to local economies, either inducing or reducing capital based on perceived political conditions. For example, if an MNE perceives the political ideology of a local government to be hostile to business interests, it can simply pull out of the country and invest that capital at a more favourable country. Authors Daniels et al touch upon this important facet to business practice in their book.
Just as governing . . . Read More
Professor Joseph M. Sussman’s hour long lecture aims to give an overview of the topic. At the outset, he explains how Critical Contemporary Issues (CCIs) are intricately tied to Complex Sociotechnical Systems. For understanding and designing solutions for urgent and important issues facing society, technical factors have to be taken into account. Indeed, technology and technical excellence will play a major role in addressing such contemporary issues as climate change, economic growth, mobility, large-scale manufacturing, health, and developing country megacities, etc. Moreover, an integrated knowledge across multiple domains and disciplines is required to building Complex Sociotechnical Systems.
Professor Sussman begins by defining what a sociotechnical system is. The complexities associated with these systems can be structural, behavioral, evaluative or nested complexity. The emphasis is laid on Intellectual Content Integration, whereby, “design solutions must focus . . . 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
Social media has been successfully adapted by a few MNC’s as channels for research and innovation. They have also shown their potential in promoting knowledge sharing and team building. The value of social media technology to improving overall organizational effectiveness is borne by statistical and empirical evidence. The use of Twitter for professional enhancement is well established now. The educational philosophy of constructivism offers a strong rationale for greater social media integration within the organization. These days, just as the sweep and reach of social media has increased, so have the niche media spaces that facilitate the interaction. Hence, beyond the prominent household names of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, we now have other specialized avenues for interaction like wiki portals and Youtube repositories of learning videos. In today’s competitive business environment, it is imperative for mutli-national companies . . . Read More
Garrett Hardin offers an in-depth analysis of issues surrounding humanity’s common resources. There are various common resources alluded to by the author, prominent among them are the geographic commons (the wilderness areas), air waves for telecommunication, public spaces that carry hoardings, the air that we breathe, rivers and oceans, etc. As citizens of a nation, we are all entitled to utilizing the commons for our individual good, albeit respecting certain limitations. One such right to a common resource is the right to procreate. While this might appear at first to be an individual right, seen in terms of its broader consequences, it is akin to the commons. By procreation, an adult couple locks up a portion of the common resources for the sustenance of the child. This includes the air, water, food and other material necessities that the child would require for survival. But people don’t aspire to merely survive – they want to ‘enjoy’ life’s comforts. . . . Read More
There are two opposing points of view presented by Robert C. Solomon and Gilbert Harman on the question of ‘Can Individual Virtue Survive Corporate Pressure?’ The two views can be loosely classified as pitting ‘determinism’ against ‘freewill’. Robert Solomon argues that “whatever the structures, the individual’s choice is free, and therefore his character or virtue is of the utmost importance in creating a good moral tone in the life of a business.” Gilbert Harman, on the other hand, “employs determinist arguments to conclude that no individual can of his own free choice make a difference in a group enterprise”. (Newton, et. al., 2011, p.60)
Robert Solomon objects to the deterministic standpoint, by noting how there is an evasion of ‘responsibility’ by both corporations and its managers for their actions. When corporate executives cite ‘market forces’ as ‘compelling external circumstances’ that hinder sovereignty in their decision . . . Read More
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
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