Dissertation Writing Tips

 

Dissertation Writing

  • Clear and explicit about the subject
  • Objective and detached about the arguments and conclusions drawn
  • Rational

Before you submit your dissertation in, check the following

Content

The text answers the central question posed by the title The main line of argument is clear, not lost in a sea of detail
Sufficient space (words) has been given to the most important points There is sufficient evidence to support the arguments
All of the information included is relevant to the question The dissertation contains evaluative comments as well as description
Style and Presentation
The dissertation is written in the third person (not ‘I’, ‘me’ or ‘my’) The language is clear and straightforward
The dissertation is presented with the correct font, font size and line spacing Sentences are of reasonable length and are uncomplicated
Spelling, grammar and punctuation are correct Technical vocabulary is used correctly
Each paragraph is well structured The words used are my own (there is no plagiarism)
Ideas are presented in the right order and there is no repetition There is nothing the reader will find confusing
The text is not too chatty or flippant and is free of slang and colloquialisms The dissertation is within the word limit
The introduction summarises the argument/ approach that will be taken The assignment front sheet has been completed
The conclusion sums up the main points The conclusion does not introduce any new material
References
Appropriate references have been used All sources have been acknowledged correctly and included in the reference list
Have you taken account of any feedback you have been given for previous work?

Dissertation writing uses:

  • Evidence (correctly referenced) to support the arguments or question perspectives
  • A critical approach to the subject

Introduction: should:

  • Contain a brief explanation of the topic and context
  • Identify the main themes or concepts
  • Outline what the topic means – its relevance
  • Describe the approach to the topic
  • Set a clear direction and structure to the dissertation

Main Body

Contains all the points to be made in the argument and presentation of the material in a series of paragraphs

Conclusion

Contains no new material. It:

  • is a reminder of:
    • the question posed in the dissertation title
    • the important features of the argument main themes

Is a summary of:

  • The main points
  • The specific evidence presented
  • Explains the significance of the conclusions
  • What general points can be drawn from the writing as a whole?

The conclusion should clearly signal to the reader that the piece of writing is completed and leave a clear impression that the purpose of the text has been achieved. Remember to refer back to your title – you could use words from the question to prove that you have answered the whole question.

Think about the lasting impression your reader will have.

What is a paragraph?

A paragraph is series of sentences;

  • The first sentence introduces the main idea of the paragraph
  • The other sentences develop the topic of the paragraph: use relevant definitions, examples, details, evidence, quotations, citations
  • The final sentence leads up to the next paragraph – use transition words (see handout on the Study Skills page on Moodle) to indicate to the reader the ‘route map’ of the dissertation.

NB a paragraph is longer than one sentence and shorter than a whole page.

Tips for Good Dissertation Writing

Use source materials – you do not have an opinion – you must remain emotionally neutral and use evidence (all referenced) from lecture notes; reading, case studies. Avoid writing in the first person. This means avoiding the use of phrases like ‘I think’ or ‘I agree’. Instead use the third person, ‘It can be argued that’ for example, sounds more academic. Other useful phrases might be ‘It can be seen that’, It has been found that’.

Be cautious. Academic writing generally sounds cautious in drawing conclusions. For example a writer might say ‘the evidence suggests that’ rather than ‘this proves that’. Use the full form of words and phrases, not contractions like ‘don’t’ or can’t’.

Be precise. Avoid phrases like ‘some people disagree’ and ‘some psychologists agree that’. Give the reader enough detail for them to know exactly what you are talking about.

Avoid ‘lazy’ words such as got, did and nice.

For example, rather than saying ‘a lot of research was done’ say ‘extensive research was conducted’. Rather than saying ‘Smith did a study’ say ‘Smith conducted research’.

Avoid slang and colloquialisms.

Avoid unnecessary words and phrases such as ‘a man called Smith (2015) …’

Simply say ‘Smith (2015) found…’

Develop an academic vocabulary. You will already be coming across new terms in your course. Don’t use these terms without understanding them but if you do use them appropriately your writing tends to sound more precise and hence more academic.

If you use someone else’s ideas then you should reference them. To try and pass ideas off as your own is called plagiarism. Even if you put the ideas into your own words they still belong to the original author and this should be acknowledged. You can do this as follows: ‘as Smith (2015) argues’ or you can give a direct quote followed by the author’s name, date and page number of the quote. Use quotes sparingly.

Proof read your work. Reading it out loud is an excellent way to check the style.

Finally – a dissertation needs a final draft.

Dissertation_Writing
Dissertation_Writing

Prompts to Support Critical Evaluation of the Literature

This resource first lists general questions on this page, and then more specific questions on the following pages. Please browse the entire list for prompts on what to think about while you are evaluating the literature.

Where is the author coming from?

  1. Who is the author?
  2. What is the author trying to convince you of?
  3. Is the author objective/neutral or subjective/biased? Are statements facts or opinions?
  4. Does the author have any vested interests (conflicts of interest)?

Where are you coming from?

  1. Recognize your own viewpoint.
  2. Remain open to consider the viewpoints of others.
  3. Consider how your prior knowledge and understanding relates to what the author has written.
  4. Following evaluation, clarify your own (possibly new) viewpoint and its social significance; ask yourself ‘so what?’

Evaluation of argumentation

  1. Are the arguments logical or flawed?
  2. What assumptions are made and are they valid or flawed?
  3. Are other counter-arguments omitted?
  4. Are there any inconsistencies in the author’s arguments?
  5. What evidence is provided and is it valid?
  6. Is any counter-evidence omitted?
  7. Are any authorities referred to and are they reliable?
  8. Are alternative perspectives and interpretations considered? Can you think of any others, e.g. ‘What if…’
  9. Is the writing style analytical or descriptive? Is the language used appropriate?
  10. Are any comparisons or analogies made appropriate?

Examples of More Specific Questions

  • Publication
  • Subject matter field: e.g. health, engineering
  • Credibility: peer reviewed/scholarly, reputation
  • Geographical location: scope

Authors

  • Who is the author?
  • What is their subject matter expertise?
  • Affiliation / roles / qualifications / reputation?
  • Geographical location: scope?
  • What is the author trying to convince you of?
  • Is the author objective/neutral or subjective/biased? (facts or opinions?)
  • Does the author have any vested interests (conflicts of interest)?
  • Funding / Acknowledgements?
  • Are any conflicts of interest apparent from the funding source?

Introduction and Literature Review

  • Does the introduction provide a sound rationale for the research?
  • Is the research question identified clearly?
  • Is it a significant question? Do you think that the research is useful?
  • Does the research question follow from the information given in the introduction?
  • Is the hypothesis a testable one?
  • What theory (if appropriate) is discussed and is it relevant to the main theme?
  • Are other relevant theories omitted?
  • Might there be any problems actually doing this research?
  • Is the literature review critical with strengths and weaknesses of previous work?
  • Are works cited relevant to the research question / topic?
  • Are the references recent?
  • Are the references primary ones?
  • Are there varied sources (peer reviewed articles, books etc.)?

Methods

  • What is the overall methodology and is it appropriate for the research question?
  • What methods were used, why and were they appropriate?
  • Are there any other methods which might be more appropriate?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the chosen method?
  • Who or what were the participants or objects of focus for this research?
  • How was the sample selected and might there be any bias?
  • Was the sample relevant to the research?
  • Was the sample size representative of the population?
  • How was the independent variable manipulated?
  • Are there any problems with this?
  • Are there any possible confounding variables?
  • How was the dependent variable measured?
  • Is the data likely to reliable (repeatable) and how was reliability optimized?

Results

  • Recording: How was the raw data recorded?
  • Analysis:
  • Has the raw data been translated, reduced or manipulated in any way?
  • How has the data been analysed?
  • What statistical analysis has been chosen? Is this appropriate?
  • Is there any other form of analysis that could have been done?

Presentation

  • Are data presented in prose, tables, graphs, charts?
  • Is the presentation appropriate?
  • Is the presentation easy to interpret?
  • Are the scales or emphases appropriate?
  • Are all data shown, or only parts and why?
  • Are any data missing?
  • Interpretation
  • Do the results help to answer the research question?
  • Are there any other possible interpretations?
  • Do you agree with the conclusions drawn from the data?
  • Are there any other factors that could have influenced the results?

Ethics

  • Are ethical considerations reported?
  • Did the research conform to ethical guidelines?
  • Did the research risk harming any participants, researchers or anyone else?
  • Can you think of any ethical issues which have not been addressed?
  • Did participants (if appropriate) give their informed consent?
  • Were any other relevant permission provided?

Discussion / Conclusions

  • Are conclusions logically drawn from the results?
  • Are the conclusions stated clearly?
  • Are the conclusions sufficiently cautious?
  • Are conclusions generalized (assumed to apply elsewhere or more broadly)?
  • Are any other conclusions possible?
  • Have the researchers succeeded in their aims?
  • How does this research compare / contrast with previous research?
  • Do the researchers address the limitations of their research?
  • What implications does the research have?
  • What further research could be conducted?
  • Does this article raise any further questions that the author doesn’t address?

References

  • Are the references recent?
  • Are the references primary ones?
  • Are there varied sources (peer reviewed articles, books etc.)

References

Bailey, S. (2011), Academic Writing. A Handbook for International Students.3rd ed. London and New York: Routledge.

Blaxter, L., Hughes, C. and Tight, M. (2007), How to Research. 3rd ed. Buckingham: Open University Press.

Connors, K. and Seifer, S.D. (2005), Reflection in Higher Education Service-Learning,

Cottrell, S. (2008), The Study Skills Handbook.3rd ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Gillett, A., Hammond, A. and Martala, M. (2009), Successful Academic Writing. Harlow: Pearson Educational Limited.

Greetham, B. (2008), How to Write Better Essays. 2nd ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hart, C. (1998), Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination. London: Sage

Kirton, B. (2010), Brilliant Study Skills: What you need to know and how to do it. Harlow: Pearson Educational Limited.

Moore, S., Neville, C., Murphy, M. and Connolly, C. (2010), The Ultimate Study Skills Handbook. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Neville, C. (2009), How to Improve your Assignment Results. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Page, M. and Winstanley, C. (2009), Writing Essays for Dummies. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Useful Dissertation Writing Links

Dissertation Help | Dissertation Introduction | Dissertation Literature Review | Dissertation Methodology | Dissertation Data Analysis | Dissertation Results and Findings | Dissertation Discussion and Conclusions | Dissertation Bibliography | Dissertation Appendices | Dissertation Plagiarism | Dissertation Ten Top Tips

Nuclear Power Dissertation

The Potential for Indigenous Power Generation From Below the Ground for Nuclear Energy

This is a brief content analysis of the potential of nuclear power in UK. We are greatly concerned with nuclear power and some of its renewable alternatives. We shall discuss how Nuclear energy contributes as one of the components used to supply electricity in the UK and in other countries. We will also take a look at some of the pros and cons of nuclear power. Is there a way to dispose of its waste products? If so then what are the levels of nuclear waste products and how do they affect the environment. The essay also has an extensive coverage of the technologies as is compared to dimensions found to characterize energy issues (environmental, economic, technological, psychological risks and future/political). We also take a look at how the last four decades has seen the world come a long way in learning how to dispose nuclear waste, how to release nuclear energy, how to make use of it and how to control it. We also take a look at the theoretical comparison of all costs and benefits arising from alternative development patterns and which one would be the ideal method to use while estimating the potential role of nuclear power in meeting electric energy requirements in UK/oversea countries. In addition, we have defined both reactors Magnox and AGR noting in particular that some of the environments are in areas ‘threatened’ with the potential sitting of a new nuclear power station and that in ‘unaffected’ areas. In a more in depth perspective, we find that nuclear power was evaluated as alternatively positive and overwhelmingly negative. Further discussions of this pattern in particular showed a degree of consistency irrespective of the dimension of evaluation. These findings are related to people’s attitudes towards nuclear power, and the growth of antinuclear feeling from environmentalists and other sectors. In general, we have broadly discussed how nuclear power as the expansion programme with the least cost would definitely yield maximum net benefits. Though this fact if debatable, it has yet to be proven otherwise as nuclear power is sourced as a carbon free source of energy.

Introduction

Nuclear energy is a one of the most highly concentrated energy available that is made accessible by nuclear reactors. It is low carbon, dependable, affordable energy that also increase the diversity of energy supply. It was clearly stated in the Nuclear White paper in 2008 that the along other carbon sources, the nuclear power stations also have to play their vital role in country’s better energy development. The energy produced by the fission process is being generated in nuclear power stations. This energy is also produced by the splitting of uranium atoms in nuclear reactor. 50 million times energy is produced and generated in this process as compared to the carbon consumption. Total 441 powers stations are producing and generating nuclear power in a capacity of 375GW in all around the world (Meeting Energy Demand).

The constructive possibilities of uranium were identified some time back during the development of nuclear energy, even as plans were being made to release nuclear energy explosively. The post war decade was mostly dominated by the awesome destructive power of nuclear weapons. In the mid 1950s engineers and scientists started harnessing nuclear power for other purposes that mostly involved peace. This prospect looked brighter and brighter. A surge of euphoric predictions that was there in the aftermath of the two nuclear explosions in Japan ended the 2nd world war. The atomic power is considered so powerful that it could run a car on an engine that was the size of a fist (Walter C Patterson, 1982).

It’s also considered powerful enough to keep ‘atom powered’ aircrafts aloft for an indefinite period. People who understood the powers of nuclear energy choose to be more realistic and choose applications for nuclear development that would lead to development rather than fiction (Popular Mechanics, 1957, pg. 258).

The term atomic energy originated back in 1903. It is energy produced by atoms or from a nuclear reaction.

Uranium ores are very economical recoverable concentrations of uranium found in the earth’s crust. Uranium is one of the most common elements present in the earths crust. Uranium ores are even more common that both gold and silver (Enrico Fermi 1938). Uranium ores can be found in rivers, oceans, rocks and in the soil.

It’s important to note that when dealing with nuclear atoms, energy is only released when there is a change in an atom’s nucleus. There are two types of nuclear change namely nuclear fission and nuclear fusion. Large atoms in nuclear fission are split into two so as to release energy. New elements are often formed as a result of nuclear fission reactions. There is always loss of mass during nuclear fission. This is because the missing matter has been converted into energy that can be used to generate electricity. Uranium is one of the isotopes used to start nuclear fission chain reactions (Michael A. Seeds & Dana E. Backman, 2010, pp 119).

Nuclear fusion when a new element is formed. It often occurs in small atoms such as hydrogen. It has the capability of releasing much greater amounts of energy as compared to nuclear fission. Nuclear fusion reaction is also referred to as thermonuclear reaction. A great example of such energy can be found on the sun where hydrogen atoms join together to create a new element known as helium. This type of reaction not only releases energy, but also light, heat and radiation. The hydrogen bomb is also another great example of nuclear fusion energy (Joseph A. Angelo, 2004, pp. 156).

In general, nuclear fusion energy has with time proved to be among the countries cleanest energy source (Jonathan Fildes, 2005). The only disadvantage it has is that it’s hard to control nuclear fusion reaction. If this can be achieved, then there would be enough time for governments and organizations to set up energy plants to supply to the large population.

History of Nuclear Power in the UK

The economical issue surrounding energy varied in the ensuing years as the cost of coal increased, while that of oil remained low. The balance remained uncertain as some of the nuclear costs increased. Public concern started building up in the late 1960s as attention was drawn to problems arising from the large scale use of fuels. This included the air pollution from the burning of oil and coal, ecological damage from surface mining and health hazards from underground coal mining. The increase of oil prices in the late 1960s plus the increasingly uneasy labour relations in the coal field increased the attraction towards the use of nuclear power. This factor tentatively and gradually accelerated industrial commitment to nuclear power. It also accelerated nuclear component of the total electricity output (Roy M Harrison & R E Hester, 2011).

The availability of nuclear energy saw electricity supply systems lessens their dependency on coal while governments reduced their dependence on petroleum exporting countries. Generation of electricity using nuclear power obviously seemed as the best alternative. Coal and oil were seen as irreplaceable raw materials for the chemical industry that should be reserved. Meanwhile nuclear energy was to be used to generate electricity which was seen as a premium form of energy that is high grade, clean and versatile at the point of use. The use of energy worldwide continued to rapidly rise as more and more people were exposed to the use of technology. Experts predicted that the worldwide consumption per person would grow to be twice as that used. Glasstone (1979) argued that this energy would only be provided by some 4000 clusters of nuclear power stations with each cluster having enough reactors to produce at least five times the output of the largest power station today. This requirement of high energy for use by humans thus made the future role of nuclear energy very crucial. This created the vigorous growth of nuclear capabilities since all these energy requirements had to be met (Walter C Patterson, 1982).

The civil nuclear power programme in the UK grew out during the post – war military imperative that produced plutonium for nuclear weapons. The UK only had two plutonium producing reactors known as the Windscale piles. They started work in 1947 under a labor government (Rebecca Morelle, 2007).

The reactor’s design comprised of a large composite clock of graphite which ran horizontal cooling holes into the uranium metal fuel. The reactor core was enclosed into a concrete box that provided a biological shield, and was cooled by air that was blown into it through powerful pumps. There were chimneys capped with filters that were used to discharge the heated air. It was later realized that changing the design would allow the heat to generate steam that would later drive the turbines to produce plutonium and electricity. This resulted in three major changes in the design which saw an increase in the heat removal capability. It was a very important step to increase thermal efficiency so that the conventional steam turbines could be used effectively. The second changes saw a move away from using air as a cooling agent. It was necessary since the major component of air is nitrogen, and in its compressed form would prove to be too great a neutron absorber for the reactors to operate with natural uranium. In its place, carbon dioxide was chosen since it’s a more reasonable heat transfer medium which has lower neutron absorption. The third and final change made was to use magnesium alloys to clad uranium bars and engineer them into the cladding radial cooling fins. This design led to the generic name of Magnox for the reactor type (Thomas Telford, 1995).

In August 1953, work on the construction of Calder Hall began. The plant was later opened by Queen Elizabeth in October 1956. This was almost 14 years down the line since the first man-made reactor was assembled by Enrico Fermi at the University of Chicago. The opening of Calder Hall was greatly appreciated since the country was experiencing oil and petrol rationings. This was a remarkable solution to the current shortage of energy that the country was experiencing (Thomas Telford, 1993).

Social and Environmental Issues

There was a turbulent period experienced in the UK from the 1990 – 2006. This was because a lot of nuclear fortunes were seen to rise and emerge from ruins. Some of the events were self made while others were entirely as a result of outside developments. There were a lot of personalities involved in the development of this industry. They did this by developing the philosophical and political rationale for privatizing the industry. Most of these personalities made the industry more competitive while others provided the determination and energy to drive the industry side through to floatation. There were very many fundamental changes in almost every dimension that greatly affected nuclear power in the UK in way or another. Some of the phases include

  • World oil prices leap 100%, gas prices soar, electricity market prices recover
  • Weakening pool prices
  • British Energy in crisis seeks government aid
  • Market introduction – the pool
  • Dash for gas
  • Break-up of the nationalized electricity industry
  • Gas linkage to Europe
  • Major external companies act as predators on smaller UK companies
  • Strengthening pool prices
  • Privatization of British Energy

(Adrian Ham & Robert Hal, 2006)

Nuclear Waste Disposal

This is by far one of the most controversial topics that will continue to haunt generations to come (Robert C. Williams and Cantelon, P 1980). This is because a clear cut solution has not yet been formulated on how to properly dispose of some of the nuclear end products such as radioactive waste. Radioactive waste is the gaseous, liquid or solid waste produced by nuclear fuel production, nuclear power stations, nuclear plant decommissioning and weapons manufacturer and reprocessing of spent fuel. There are three basic types in which wastes are categorized. This is according to the type and the amount of radioactivity it contains. They include:

  1. LLW (Low level waste): this consisted of lightly contaminated paper towels, clothing and laboratory glass ware. Land allocated for such type of disposals should be restricted for at least 300 years to allow for the radioactivity to wear out.
  2. ILW (Intermediate Level Waste): they consist of heavily contaminated material such as parts of decommissioned reactors, used fuel rod casing and used ion exchange resins. Disposal of this level of waste products requires heavy shielding so as not to expose any living thing to some of the harms caused by radioactivity.
  3. HLW (High Level waste): this consists of highly radioactive reprocessing liquor and spent nuclear fuel: this is the most radioactive and concentrated of all the three categories. Wastes of this intensity therefore require intense radioactive decay processes where a large amount of heat is generated so as to facilitate the decay of the waste products (Royal Society of Chemistry, 1999)

Potential of Nuclear Power in the UK

Although the nuclear power industry can employ people directly at power stations, in the bigger picture this can boost the economy and businesses locally and throughout the supply chain. It is estimated that 56,000 jobs are dependent on the UK civil nuclear within the UK alone. Many more thousands of jobs will be created if more power stations are proposed and created.

Most of the UKs current nuclear plants are due to close by 2023. To maintain the current flow of nuclear power in the energy it is estimated 10 million kilowatts (kW) of new nuclear capacity will needed to be added to the UK’s supply. This works out to be about six to eight new nuclear plants being built. Due to UK having gained nuclear experience both in Britain and abroad, UK is in a position to take advantage of these opportunities.

In a study it was indicated that British industry could potentially have 70% of the skilled workforces necessary within Britain already. EDF is already investing in training. Edf is working hard to train more people to be necessarily skilled for working at the nuclear power stations. EDF are proposing to open 4, which they will secure 700 permanent and 200 contract positions for more than 60 years. (EDF energy.com). Below is an image showing EDF’s current nuclear sites.

Future developments of nuclear energy prospects saw various programmes launched as competition costs between other fossil fuels increased. One of the programmes launched was the ‘Programme of nuclear power”, government established white paper in February 1955. Some of the things proposed included

  • The construction of a twin reactor power station. This was to be started in mid 1957 and to be operated in 1960 – 1961
  • Construction of a further twin reactor power station that was of the same design as the latter but more improved in terms of performance. It was to start in 1958 – 1959 and start operations in 1963.
  • A construction of four other power stations that were envisaged as being a developed design.

 (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2011)

Currently, close to one sixth of UK’s electricity is generated by nuclear power. This is done utilizing 16 operational nuclear reactors at 9 plants. You should note that out of this nuclear reactors, there are 14 advanced gas cooled reactors, one pressurized water reactor and one Magnox. This show how much the UK greatly relies on nuclear power so as to produce energy. This also brings out the huge capability of nuclear energy as a potential force that the UK can’t live without. Picture the country without at least one sixth of a power source. This would be disastrous for not only the countries economy, but also on its development. Nuclear power in the country has also shown tremendous signs of growing and producing an even bigger share of UK’s power source. This will also be heavily facilitated by the fact that the government gave the go-ahead to permit private suppliers to construct up a total of 8 new power plants. This was done back in October 2010. The only set back experienced was that some few member countries refused to back this proposal and therefore refuted the construction of any nuclear power on their soil. One of these countries was Scotland. However with the groundwork already started in several areas, there is simply no stopping the momentum made to increase UK’s reliance on energy generated from nuclear energy (Manasi Karkare, 2008).

Nuclear power is not only an alternative source of energy that is clean, but it’s also a cost effective way to produce power (Felix A Ferrit, 2006). The UK stands to benefit greatly through any findings our of nuclear power research. However, there are some few problems that need to be addressed before this can be achieved. They include:

  • Nuclear waste disposals
  • Nuclear power use and control (I.e. weapons of mass destruction)

Tony Blair (2006) argued during his speech at the CBI annual dinner that once these two issues are addressed, the country can march forward and explore other potential advantages that they can get from nuclear power. Otherwise, they have no choice but to stall any development since each move should be monitored to ensure whether it’s constructive or destructive. These issues bring out to light the fact that this country still has a very long way to go because we have yet to achieve any mature technology that can handle such immense potential of power. There is no need for alarm since there are several proposals being brought forward to help improve the sector (Patrick Wintour & David Adam, 2006).

Even though its waste products are harmful to the environment, it’s still wise to say that nuclear power has the capability to become the largest source of carbon free electricity. This however can only be achieved if the country steps up its current economy and meets its carbon targets. This source of energy is also seen as a way out of global warming and meet UK’s target on reducing emissions of gases responsible for this. It’s assumed that using nuclear power will help the country attain its ambitious target of cutting emissions by 80%. The concentration of the government on this source of energy has with time proven that nuclear power has the potential of also undermining any other attempts of finding a cleaner, greener, secure and more sustainable source of energy. This fact can be blamed on the heavy reliance of the country on nuclear power to produce their electricity (Making It, 2011).

Currently UK has 17 reactors that generate about 19% of its electricity. The country has a number of full fuel cycle facilities that include major reprocessing plants. The shut down of some of the power plants has greatly reduced the power contribution from nuclear plants that were experienced back in the 90’s.

Below is a table of nuclear reactors operating in the UK

Plant

Type Present Capacity (MWe net) First Power

Expected Shutdown

Wylfa 1 Magnox 490 1971 Sep 2014
Dungeness B1 & 2 AGR 2×545 1983 and 1985 2018
Hartlepool 1 & 2 AGR 2×595 1983 and 1984 2019
Heysham I – 1 & I – 2 AGR 2×580 1983 and 1984 2019
 Heysham II-1 & II – 2 AGR 2×615 1988 2013
Hinkley Point B 1 & 2 AGR 2×610 (but operates at 70% 430 – MWe) 1976 2016
Hunterston B 1 & 2 AGR 2×610 (but operates at 70% 430 – MWe) 1976 and 1977 2016
Torness 1 & 2 AGR 2×625 1988 and 1989 2023
Sizewell B PWR 1188 1995 2035
Total: 16 units 10038 MWe

(World Nuclear Org)

Magnox: currently, it’s one of the obsolete types of nuclear reactors which was designed and still is in use in the UK. The name Magnox originates from the alloy used o clad the fuel rods found inside the reactor. They are carbon dioxide cooled, pressurized, graphite moderated reactors that use Magnox alloy as fuel cladding and natural uranium as fuel. The design for the civilian Magnox power station was created with on-load refueling as a consideration since the government wanted to maximize the power station’s availability by eliminating refueling downtime.

Nuclear Power Dissertation
Nuclear Power Dissertation

AGR (Advanced Gas-cooled reactor): this is a type of nuclear reactor that uses carbon dioxide as coolants and graphite as moderators. It was developed from the Magnox reactor requiring stainless steel fuel cladding to withstand high temperatures and operating at a much higher gas temperature for improved thermal efficiency. Enriched uranium fuel is needed due to the fact that the stainless steel fuel cladding has a higher neutron capture cross section than Magnox fuels (World Nuclear Org).

Conclusion

Nuclear power as a sustainable source of power has yet to be fully explored in terms of its prospective. There is no lucid motive about the Fukushima events’ impact on the development of the nuclear power industry internationally as well as national. However, logically protection will be highlighted on the schema. Since nuclear power is one of the most important entity all around the globe, but UK efforts to maintain its carbon emission level and increasing demands for energy supplies. To develop nuclear energy, the government, semi government and private/public authorities, operators, and contractors must have to consider the importance of developing nuclear energy by focusing on it as an industry. They should measure up the safe and improve the nuclear energy development at industrial levels. The UK Government has pressurized the third party liability on operators, industrial contractors, and suppliers, due to which they are well experienced to increase intention towards industrial development of nuclear energy. To meet with liabilities and demands, the UK companies are in a state to take improvement of these opportunities as they have attained nuclear skills in Europe as well as on international levels. In 2009, a research done by the NIA (Nuclear Industry Association) demonstrated that British industry could better supply the experienced labor force obligatory to manufacture and preserve a new nuclear armada. The industry of nuclear power hires workers openly on industrial levels and can enhance the cutback and businesses in the vicinity and right through the supply procession. Anticipated thousands of jobs are reliant on the national nuclear industry in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, several jobs would be increasing during the building and maneuver of projected innovative nuclear power stations. Opportunities included the mechanized of apparatus, site setting up, preservation, servicing, plan, and engineering mentoring, authorized and monetary services, and jobs on position once the power stations are prepared. The UK’s existing nuclear plants are schedule to end up their operations in 2003. Just to sustain the current divide up of nuclear power in the energy combine about 10 million kW of new nuclear plants which are in progress.

2003 Energy White Paper

The Government’s Energy White Paper, published in 2003 and titled “Our Energy Future – Creating a Low Carbon Economy” concluded that:

Nuclear power is currently an important source of carbon-free electricity. However, its current economics make it an unattractive option for new, carbon-free generating capacity and there are also important issues of nuclear waste to be resolved. These issues include our legacy waste and continued waste arising from other sources. This white paper does not contain specific proposals for building new nuclear power stations. However we do not rule out the possibility that at some point in the future new nuclear build might be necessary if we are to meet our carbon targets.

Bibliography

Angelo A Joseph. (2004). Nuclear Power Technology. Westport (Connecticut); London: Greenwood Press. pp. 156-300.

BBC (2010) News Politics 2010 [Online] Nuclear power: Eight sites identified for future plants.

EDF energy (2012). What nuclear power energy means for UK economy.

Everett Bob et al. (2011). Energy Systems and Sustainability nuclear power for a sustainable future. Oxford: oxford university press. pp 395 – 455.

Fildes Jonathan. (2005). Science & Environment 2012 [Online] Man-made star to unlock cosmic secrets.

Ham Adrian & Hal Robert. (2006). A Way Forward For Nuclear Power. 2006 Energy Review Submission.

Harrabin Roger (2012) Treasury messing with UK clean energy policy, say MPs.

Joy. D.S. & Jenkins. R.T. (1974). Wien Automatic System Planning Package (WASP): An Electric Utility Optima Generation Expansion Planning Computer Code. Washington, D.C: Ernst & Whinney.

Karkare Manasi. (2008). Nanotechnology: Fundamentals and Applications. pp. 104.

Mark Tran (2007) The Guardian (London)[Online] Government nuclear power talks pointless, say green groups.

Morelle Rebecca. (2007). Science & Environment 2007 Windscale Fall Out Underestimated.

Making It. (2011). [Online] Is nuclear power necessary for a carbon-free future?

Royal Society of Chemistry. (1999). Environmental impact of nuclear power generation. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry. 3.5 in. pp. 83.

Royal Society of Chemistry. (2011). Nuclear power and the environment. Cambridge: RSC Publishing. pp. 8.

Seeds A Michael. & Backman E Dana. (2010). Belmont, CA: Thomson Brooks/Cole. 11th ed. pp. 119.

Telford Thomas. (1995). Radiation Dose Management in The Nuclear Power Industry: Proceedings Of The Conference Organized By The British Nuclear Energy Society And Held In Windermere, Cumbria. London: the society. pp. 65.

Telford Thomas. (1993). Remote techniques for nuclear plant: proceedings of the conference organized by the British Nuclear Power Energy Society, held at Stratford-upon-Avon. London: British Nuclear Energy Society. pp. 83.

2007 [Online] Available at; Energy White Paper Supporting Documents, Department of Trade and Industry

2007 [Online] Available at; The Future of Nuclear Power: Consultation Document, Department of Trade and Industry

Hearst Magazines (1957). Popular Mechanics. Vol. 107. No. 4. pp. 258.

Meeting Energy Demand. Nuclear Power.

Walter C Patterson. (1982). Nuclear power. 2nd ed.

Roy M Harrison & R E Hester. (2011). Nuclear Power and The Environment. Cambridge: RSC Publishing.

Felix A Ferrit. (2006). Integration of Alternative Sources of Energy. Hoboken : John Wiley & Sons

Patrick Wintour & David Adam. (2006) The Guardian. Blair presses the nuclear button.

Click Here To View Construction Management Dissertations

MBA Stakeholder Theory

Stakeholder Theory

Business and management ethics encompasses numerous theories which provide adequate explanations on how moral and ethical issues in business can be addressed. They are important in management of businesses organizations because they set up the outline on which managers should monitor the distinctive operations in their organizations (Hasnas, 2013,112, p47-57). These theories are important in managing entities since they work towards establishing avenues that are important in guiding human beings in their daily activities. Theories like normative theory have been identified to be important in business management and organization control because it offers focus to managers and all other important stakeholders in the entity (Miles, 2012, 108, p285-98).

These theories attend to distinctive aspects in an organization which enables effective running of these entities. They have certain specifications which differentiate them from other theories and aid in outlining their purpose in a business setting. For instance, a theory like the normative theory is identified by its prescriptive nature and its ability to give direction on how certain actions should be done. It is known for its concerns about moral issues in an entity. This differentiates it from other theories like the philosophical ethics theory and many others. This paper therefore is focused towards establishing validity of stakeholder theory as an ethical theory which has been largely used in the business and organizational settings for long (Parmar, Freeman, Harrison, Wicks & Purnell, 2010, p10)

History of Stakeholder Theory

The stakeholder theory is an organization oriented as well as business focused theory which points out importance of shareholders in an entity, the rights that they deserve as well as benefits that they should get. These it explains based on the argument of maximizing shares of the shareholders their access to information as well as control on the issues of the organizations they are having shares in. the theory is said to have been established by Freeman in 1984 in order attend to ethical practices in business management (Purnell & Freeman, 2012, 108, p285-98.)

Understanding this theory it is significant to establish who these stakeholders are and what qualifications one have to be a stakeholder. This is important because it will help in ascertaining whether the arguments that the theory puts forth are valid or not. This in turn helps the study to identify the levels of ethics in this theory (Purnell & Freeman, 2012, 108, p285-98.)

.Stake holders are considered to be individuals or groups that have legal claims in the operation of an organization. These individuals or groups ranges from the local community where the business is situated to its suppliers, the people it employs, people possessing the organization`s stocks, its customers and all parties which plays important part in its existence (Wempe, 2008, 18, p549-53). The coordination of these groups is significant for development and growth of a company. Their interactions and coexistence will possibly determine the extent to which such a business entity can move in terms of prosperity, and it is due to exclusion that freeman noticed in his time that perpetuated development of stakeholder’s theory.

Stakeholder Theory Ethics

The theory can be considered ethical on different ground, first, ethics in the theory is identified by fact that it advocates for consideration of other parties which have important contribution in a firm. In this way it tries to disengage the ancient belief that operations in a business entity are directed towards increasing the profits of the stockholders while ignoring other groups like employees,  customers and local community which have numerous parts to play in the well-being of the business. Stakeholder theory stipulates that apart from stockholders other parties should be given adequate attention and their priorities should not be neglected. In this way the theory advocates for selflessness, which is an ethical aspect in the society. It tries to decentralize benefits of businesses to everyone and ensure equity in gains of business outcomes (Parmar, Freeman, Harrison, Wicks & Purnell, 2010, p10). It also has an active campaign against high preferences on profits rather than on their stakeholders who ensure that these profits are generated. It does this by pointing out and explaining the values of every stakeholder in operation and sustenance of a business entity. Every constituency in a business has an important role they play to ensure that the objectives and goal of the firm are met. It is therefore not the efforts of the shareholders which generate quality outcomes in a business but a combination of different parties which serves different purposes. This makes ideas that business is a moral involvement where people who do not work benefit at the expense of those who bear larger part of responsibility to lack relevance (Purnell & Freeman, 2012, 108, p285-98.)

Human beings are not means to an end but rather the end itself, groups` contributions towards prosperity of any entity cannot be considered means to an end. By addressing this fact stakeholder theory is justified as an ethical theory. This is because it tries to address issues of exploitation of human capacities, creativities and potentials in a way that will not be egalitarian (Miles, 2012, 108, p285-98). The theory argues that every stakeholder groups needs to be awarded its share of contribution in promoting future of the entity they are associated with. This becomes ethical since it tries to prevent instance of exploitation and greed which might be making some entities in a business better off while others are getting worse off.

By addressing how operations in modern organizations which do not take interests like basic needs of its stakeholders in accounts is a moral foundation on which this theory is built on. The theory identifies issues such as safety and health of the employees and other stakeholders to be equally important in the process of generating profits for the stakeholders. In this way an ethical working environment is facilitated where activities from economic entities which might be having adverse effects on those who contribute to growth of such an organization can be attended to and compensated adequately (Purnell & Freeman, 2012, 108, p285-98.)

In establishing fundamental moral principle in any business operation the theory advocates for equality in sharing of benefits of a business involvement. It is more directed to the universal moral attribution of human personality which Charles Taylor advocated for in his time. This means that everyone who is actively contributing to any process is bound to be considered relevant and significance participant in the process. Such parties have to receive shares of the outcome of the productive process that they took part in minus any form of exclusion. As a result of this the theory addresses need to ethical appreciation of human agents as important component in production. This he theory explains that it should be on an equal level without any form of inequality (Miles, 2012, 108, p285-98).

Pragmatism also emerges as another reason for the theory to be accepted as an ethical postulation. This is based on notion that, by managing stakeholders the entity is not only operating on ethical grounds but promotes its capacities to succeed since stakeholders are important people that an organization cannot operate without. In the same way world is controlled by principles of ethics and it is these principles that help to create order in all sought of interaction and engagement. This calls for need to establish explanation of the world, what is in it and how it operates. This creates the ethical basis of the theory, since it helps in creating order by establishing what constitutes business management and the expected relations in the business relations.

The theory also calls for coexistence and establishing of strong relationships between the participants of a business organization. This proves ethics in the theory since it implies that there is no business which cans operate in evacuee. In the same way the stakeholders depend on the business is the same way the business relies on the well-being of stakeholders. This makes these two parties to be inseparable hence the need to cordially coexist.

Summary of normative and stakeholder theory

Normative theories basically judges whether an action is moral or immoral based on two aspects and these are the consequences that an action causes as well as based on the characteristics of the actions themselves, their nature and manner in which they are carried out. The theory argues that an action can be right or wrong provide that it is promoting and individual`s long-term gain or it undermines it respectively. This argument is founded on the concept of egoism, these can be personal impersonal or psychological. All of these aspects have a common argument in that they advocates for taking particular decisions and courses in life that benefits one self.

On the contrary the utilitarian aspect argues differently, since it tries to address its concern a way from individualism. In this way it advocates for business decisions and activities to be done in a way that don’t benefit oneself but a greater number of people. Human actions should be directed towards creating the greatest welfare of human person in a universal way so as to ensure that people are at the same level and that others do not get disadvantaged while others are benefiting (Wempe, 2008, 18, p549-53).

Therefore according to normative theory net worth of happiness and well-being of human beings should be given first priority in enacting decisions. People should also be presented with equal opportunities to help them discover their full potentials and also to help the gain from whatever activity they are being involved in. in so doing greater degree of morality and ethics will be achieved.

The martin Friedman’s view that business entities do not have any form of moral obligation or social responsibility if not increasing the profits  that they generate in their operations is what is being referred to as shareholder theory. The theory argues that the shareholders are the main drivers of any business entity this calls for needs to be socially responsible to the shareholders and not their exclusion as it happens in most cases. The theory stipulates that business organization will not adequately attend to the society if it starts to concern itself with it. In this way it advocates for a society where the businesses ensure that the only responsibility they have on the society is to ultimately utilize their profits in a way that it does not operate outside set regulations and standards.

Stakeholder Theory
Stakeholder Theory

Critical analysis of both the normative and the shareholders theories provides imperical evidence can be established the shareholders theory is part of normative theory. This is because normative theory explains the importance of moral action to undertake when making certain decision. In the same way shareholder theory seems to be stressing on the same issue based on what should an organization do so that it does not make profit only but increase welfare of those who contributes to its growth.

Issues identified in the literature

There is issues of diversity in the stakeholder theory, the study realized that more than one variety of stakeholder theory do exist this is clearly presented by Goodpaster in his stakeholder analysis and stake holder synthesis. Therefore goes ahead to refute the idea of using stakeholders issues to introduce ethics in business management activities (Purnell & Freeman, 2012, 108, p285-98.). This issue can be resolved by identifying ethical practices which business institutions are supposed to incorporate in their operations so as to avoid contradictions which arise due to dualism in the theory. The other issue that the study has presented is absence of justifications for certain claims in the theory, this can be seen in Donaldson and Preston`s study which argues that the theory cannot be depended upon since it lacks proper justification for claim and postulations it makes. The other reason that the two give for inability to justify stakeholder theory is fact that the theory itself is a prescription of what is expected in an organizational setting and not description of what should be done to attain the expected ethical standards.

The theory is also divided between instrumental and normative theories. This makes its classification difficult undertaking since it bares characteristics of the two types of theories. It also deals with importance of managers and their contributions in a business. The theory points out reasons as to why stakeholders has to be given attention in an organization due to their financial contributions they make to business as well as other significant contributions. The work also focused on conflict within the stakeholder theory which makes it contradicts itself hence giving validation to the critics’ perspectives on why the theory should be applied as basis of ethics evaluation in an organization (Purnell & Freeman, 2012, 108, p285-98.)

Application of Stakeholder Theory

The theory was widely practiced in Australia in the period after the post-war, this practices was associated with increase and escalation of entities which called for managerial controls. Growth of huge corporations owned by the Americans as well as the increased bureaucracies in these periods to a large extent facilitated the development of this theory and its application. The need for its use was voiced by vast number of stakeholders in Australia at that time that seemed to possess limited influence on issues of management of entities where they were stakeholders (Wempe, 2008, 18, p549-53).

Lessons

When establishing a theory it is significant to address all the aspects it is advocating for in a clear and precise way. This is to help avoid contradictions an inability to establish ethics in such postulations. Despite this collective inclusion of people who are an important part of a process is significant. This is because it promotes the sense of ownership and ethical values in the operations of such entities.

References

Hasnas, J 2013, Whither stakeholder theory? A guide for the perplexed Revisited. Journal of Business Ethics, 112, p47-57.

Miles, S 2012, Stakeholder: Essentially contested or just confused? Journal of Business Ethics, Prentice Hall, New York.

Parmar, B, Freeman, R, Harrison, J, Wicks, A &Purnell, 2010, Stakeholder theory: The state of the art. Academy ofManagement Annals, Prentice Hall, New York.

Purnell, L & Freeman, R, 2012, Stakeholder theory, fact/value Dichotomy, and the normative core: How Wall Street stops the ethics Conversation. Journal of Business Ethics, 108, p285-98.

Wempe, B 2008, Understanding the Teparation thesis: Precision after the Decimal point? Business Ethics Quarterly, 18, p549-53.

I hope you enjoyed reading this post on Stakeholder Theory and how it affects business. There are many other titles available in the business management and MBA dissertation collection that should be of interest to MBA students and academic professionals. There are many dissertation titles that relate to other aspects of business such as strategy, leadership, international business, mergers and acquisitions to name a few. It took a lot of effort to write this post and I would be grateful if you could share this post via Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section. Thank you.

Six Sigma MBA Project

Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a statistical methodology which involves multi-faceted business driven approach and the ability to improve processes, reduce costs and experience increase in profits. This improvement tool is extensively utilized in manufacturing, industrial and services industry. The purpose of this paper is to discover the implications and evaluate critical success factors for successful six sigma implementation in Pakistan and India. This research will assist in focusing on the critical success factors which has allowed industries in these two countries for having a successful implementation without investing on expensive consultation fee. The methodology adopted is evaluation of some real life case studies of six sigma implementation in various industries of Pakistan, India, Malaysia and Turkey.

The analysis conducted revealed that this is a strategic-level cycle, which allows development of focused projects to generate maximum business advantage. Moreover at an operational-level applying Six Sigma and lean tools provides numerous benefits to fixed and variable supply chain improvements. The benefits which are obtained from such model are also discussed and it is concluded that management should conduct a thorough analysis in practice before implementing this technique on a particular department. However it is certain that cultural changes entail time and commitment before they are strongly implemented and practiced fully into the organization.

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the success and failure rates of Six Sigma implementation in Pakistan and India in comparison with some international countries. The end result will assist in making a decision that every company whether it is small, medium or large scale organization should go for Six Sigma or Lean Six Sigma implementation in their businesses.

The six sigma technique which is a project-driven management approach aimed for improving the organization’s products, services, and processes by constantly reducing defects in the organization. It can be regarded as an improvement strategy which has the ability to deliver important business benefits in the longer run to all practitioner organizations (Guarraia, Carey, Corbett, & Neuhaus, 2008). However the debate is still underway which is in search of finding ways to have a successful model/procedure which can be applied to various fields of business. Six Sigma was originally introduced by Motorola, General Electric and Honeywell as an authoritative performance improvement tool (Pande, Neuman, & Cavanagh, 2006).The introduction of this technique has changed the face of modern industries today. It is basically a people focused management system that works by connecting all employees of a certain organization from top-to-bottom, in the form of a structured team (Thawani, 2002). It aims to persistently increase customer contentment by reducing real costs. The cost reduction is attained through attenuation in variation and focusing on the underlying reasons for poor quality or waste (Huesing, 2008).

The Six Sigma implementation requires cost and efforts in terms of training human resource and reformulation of business processes. This research is carried out for finding sustainability factors which will motivate multinational companies for investing in Six Sigma. The Six Sigma is regarded as a business management methodology which is designed for finding and eliminating the underlying causes of defects which will eventually improve the output. Six Sigma also looks for variations which are hidden in a particular process and then remove all those excessive variations (Antony, 2010).

Lean is an integrated approach which was developed by Toyota production system in Japan and their idea is to minimize waste between processes. Lean separates the value added process from the unnecessary steps which merely waste time and elongates a process from start to finish. In the year 2000 Michael George, a USA consultant proposed the idea of combining lean with six sigma as a single framework. He was of the opinion that this strategy will help in attaining better results with an integrated approach (George M. , 2002).

Methodology

This paper is aimed to find out “Six Sigma Success or Failure Experiences in Pakistan and India” for which we have conducted our research through online journals, articles and various case studies of companies which had implemented Six Sigma or are planning to implement in search of professionals who can assist them in applying this tool properly.

Research Methodology

This research paper is formulated with the core idea of having a critical review of real success or failure experiences of six sigma implementation in Pakistan and India. The observations were made on the basis of extensive literature review, case studies and real life instances. This phenomenon was followed for identifying the main factors which had made lean six sigma successful for small, medium and large scale enterprises. Eventually this research will assist other researchers to plan their direction from the recommendation offered by this study.

Research Questions

Q1: What is the success and failure rate of six sigma implementation in Pakistan and India considering small, medium and large scale organizations?

Q2: What can be the core success reasons for having a successful implementation of Lean Six Sigma in Pakistan and India?

Q3: How efficiently and effectively are the other international industries especially from Malaysia are able to integrate lean six sigma in their industries?

Q4: On the basis of national and international literature review which critical success factors have been deduced for having a successful implementation of Lean Six Sigma in Pakistani and Indian industries?

Q5: Which particular sector (manufacturing, service etc.) will be able to yield maximum benefit from lean six sigma implementation?

Research Framework

The approach which is taken for collecting data was mainly through case study observations which were made after analyzing various case studies and online research gathered from journals. The objectives were achieved by studying application of Six Sigma approach to various industries both in Pakistan and India which has give an insight of success or failure experiences. The objective of this research was to study the practical implementations of Six Sigma in Pakistan’s and India’s small, medium and large scale organizations. The basic philosophy of this research project is to put forward the positive approach towards Six Sigma implementation. However we will discuss both success and failures which are faced by these two countries during Six Sigma Implementation.

Hypothesis Development

The purpose of this paper was to present cases which depicts “Six Sigma Success or Failure Experiences in Pakistan and India – a comparison with, China etc. Moreover it has also discussed the business improvement methodology in relation to Six Sigma which has successfully applied across companies in Pakistan and India.

Research Hypothesis

Following hypothesis were developed keeping in view implementation of six sigma and lean methods in Pakistan and India:

H1: Management commitment and support is essential for having a successful implementation of Six Sigma and Lean in an organization.

H2: Prioritizing projects & assessing the organization for readiness for having a change in an organization.

H3: Following reward and recognition system is significant for having an ownership and cost accountability.

H4: Monitoring and managing organization performance is essential for guiding business units in an effective manner.

H5: The assessment of Small, Medium and Large Scale organization are significant for better Lean Six Sigma results.

H6: Bridging the gap between Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma together with sustainability and well-established governance.

Literature Review

Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a well-organized process which helps in selection of a particular direction. Moreover it allows in developing set of rules and procedures for delivering results with error minimization up to zero percent(Snee & Hoerl, 2003 ). This is a statistical term which measures how a particular process deviates from standard (Tang, Goh, Yam, & Yoap, 2007). The main idea which underlies behind Six Sigma is to measure how many defects a particular process has and then systematically find out ways to eliminate them which consequently attain end-result with zero defects (Summers, 2007). In order to achieve Six Sigma level of quality, a process is required to give output not more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. An opportunity is regarded as a prospect for non-conformance which is not able to meet the required specifications (Larson, 2003).

Six Sigma has recognized that business quality is regarded highest when the cost of providing a particular product or delivering a certain service, according to the customer requirements are at absolute lowest level. This level is defined not only for the producer but also for the consumer (Harry, Mann, Hodgins, Hulbert, & Lacke, 2011). Similarly if Six Sigma is applied in a construction sector that this tools is not only focused on removing or eliminating the errors and making it defect free, instead it is always in search of ways for designing processes and products which can be applied at Six Sigma levels of performance keeping in view the strategic importance and the associated cost (Tennant, 2001).

Six Sigma includes process which consists of five phases / steps for attaining a Breakthrough Improvement in the processes (goleansixsigma.com, 2012). These include the following;

  1. Define the issue, product characteristics that affect customer satisfaction
  2. Measure the response factors and baseline metrics, referred as (outputs/Ys)
  3. Analyze the process parameters that affect response factors, referred as (inputs/Xs)
  4. Improve the process response factors by design of experiments (Understand the nature of the function, f in Y = f (X) )
  5. Manage the gains through Control, robustness of the process response factors

Six Sigma process improvement model is defined with the notion that quality of a product, service or process must be regarded as the responsibility of all. If a person is working in an enterprise then maintaining quality levels can never be regarded as the responsibility of some specific personnel like QA staff only. Quality Assurance department cannot be regarded as responsible for the failures of new products at the stage of Research & Development, secondly when some defective parts are found by any department such as Manufacturing, quality of Sales & Distribution services, the identified errors effects the budget making process (Kumara & Khandujaa, 2013). Whenever there is a company each person of a certain department is required to take the responsibility of their work.

Six Sigma versus Lean Six Sigma

Lean Six Sigma is a technique which merges process speed with quality. In order to become an efficient and effective organization both in terms of business operations and processes it is required to have Lean and Six Sigma methodologies which will allow to execute every activity in an organized manner. It is worth mentioning that having one without the other will ultimately result in the lower process performance (Laureani, 2012).

Lean Six Sigma
Lean Six Sigma

Lean is a process which primarily focuses on speed and then directs towards reducing the amount of time between activities, events and cycles. Initially if we are able to reduce the cycle then eventually the amount of time between activities, cycles or even the events can be reduced easily. The shorter the cycle time then ultimately we will be able to complete more cycles in a given amount of time. Lean has the capability to identify areas where process wastes and bottlenecks can be detected and then removed from the associated processes (Byrne, Lubowe, & Blitz, 2011). There are around eight types of wastes which can be removed from business processes for reducing costs and the time required for completing a particular process.

Lean makes business processes to work rapidly but the problem of quality still remains. It does not make sense if the data or information collected is not of good quality. If the processes are just completed rapidly without having a proper check and balance then the complete environment will be filled with an error which requires rework at the end. At this stage there is a need of having Six Sigma business process management (Furterer, 2009).

The lean practitioners are of the opinion that waste arises from the unnecessary steps which are created in the production process. Six Sigma proponents state that waste is resulted from the variation added within the processes (Guarraia, Carey, Corbett, & Neuhaus, 2008). Practically there is a truth which lies in both of these assertions hence both of these methodologies are applied jointly for improving the overall business performance (Taner, 2013). In the end it can be deduce that lean reduce wastes, improves process flow which eventually streamlines working operations to a certain level while Six Sigma reduces process variations which consequently optimizes current business operations.

Six Sigma versus ISO 9000

Six Sigma and ISO 9000 are two methods which are established for companies for increasing the quality of their final product. Six Sigma is regarded as a management philosophy which is directed towards solving defects which are causes for improving quality, while ISO 9000 is a set of international standards which are applied in a quality management system (James R. Persse, 2006 ). Six Sigma is implemented, authorized and controlled internally whereas an ISO 9000 is an organized set of requirements and guidelines, the certification of which may be obtained from external auditing firms (Adams, Gupta, & Wilson, 2003).

ISO 9000 standards were developed in Europe which meant initially only for manufacturing processes but now this standard is being followed by various companies and industries. There are certain requirements which are essential for a company to fulfill in order to become an ISO certified company. These requirements include: monitoring individual processes, proper record keeping, scrutiny of all process outputs for the defects, corrective actions taken for removing defects and organizational commitment towards continual improvement of the quality system (Dirgo, 2005).

Six Sigma is a quality management strategy which focuses on process improvement by removing the defects to less than .00034 percent, meaning for every million production attempts. Hence Six Sigma is directed on process improvement through output variation reduction; removing the causes for defects and variation in the final product which in turn increases process efficiency and generates profit. ISO 9000 is appropriate for companies which are in search of obtaining competitive advantage through the implementation of a quality management system (Knapp, 2009). An ISO 9000 certification is a proof that a particular company has been audited and helps in improving public perception of the company’s quality standards. However ISO 9000 certification does not guarantee that the company is capable enough to sell high-quality products, it only approves that correct and formal business processes are being followed by the company for the development of a product or service (Hoyle, 2009).

Lean Six Sigma in Pakistan

China Mobile

China mobile is a Chinese owned telecommunication company which took a revolutionary step in 2011 for implementing Lean Six Sigma in their business operations. It is a big organization covering around 1500 employees and is the world’s largest phone operator having 650 million subscribers by January 2012. China Mobile implemented Lean Six Sigma in their Procurement, HR and Marketing divisions in which they devoted ten to thirteen employees completely with implementation of this new technique.

According to one of our hypothesis management commitment and support is essential for having a successful implementation of Six Sigma and Lean in an organization. Hence this organization is able to achieve Six Sigma with the help of commitment, management and leadership. At this point, role of line managers is comprehensible who have been able to successfully implement Lean Six Sigma. The management was able to bring readiness of change in the organization through prioritizing projects and was applied in small phases which was then eventually applied to all other department which were willing to implement this new tool in their operations. Moreover the company started the reward and recognition system which also gave a boost to the employees and they focused more on project completion (Zhang, Irfan, Khattak, Abbas, Zhu, & Shah, 2012).

Mobilink

Mobilink Pakistan is rated as the largest mobile phone service operator in Pakistan which has around 31.6 million subscribers. The company invested US$ 3.3 billion for implementing Lean Six Sigma Program in 2008 with 10 to 30 employees dedicated only for six sigma projects. Initially the company focused on Customer Care as their priority for Lean Six Sigma implementation but now other areas are also being targeted. The top management completely believed on the positive impacts of lean six sigma and finally as per our first hypothesis the company was able to save US $1.5 million which was a big achievement for a large scale project. Hence management commitment and support is essential for having a successful implementation of Six Sigma and Lean in an organization The company is still in the process of expanding Lean Six Sigma program to other departments. The attribute which made all these projects successful was the proper monitoring and organizational management which is essential for guiding business units in an effective manner. This feature is fully compatible with our fourth hypothesis. (Zhang, Irfan, Khattak, Abbas, Zhu, & Shah, 2012).

Telenor Pakistan

The other Pakistani telecommunication company which made entry into Lean Six Sigma is Telenor. Initially the company’s management conducted an assessment of their organization whether it falls in medium or large scale organization. This is according to our fifth hypothesis a significant point of assessment for successful lean six sigma implementation. The company implemented Lean Six Sigma in 2006 and their core areas were HR, Customer Service, Marketing, Technology and Finance. They have devoted 100 employees to work directly on Lean Six Sigma Projects. The management introduced reward and recognition system which is an essential aspect according to our fourth hypothesis, for attaining lean six sigma perfection. On the basis of this revolutionary technique the company was able to eliminate 30% waste which consequently reduced 30% of their cost. Moreover the company was able to gain 10% in quality and 15% in process improvements (Zhang, Irfan, Khattak, Abbas, Zhu, & Shah, 2012).

Pakistan International Airlines

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) observed that they were experiencing problems and their engines have started declining. Hence they took an initiative to introduce Lean Six Sigma in their processes. Their objective was to reduce the cycle time from 25 days to average 15 days and bring the curtail value lower to 80%. The implemented model allowed the company to stay efficient which further reduced their day to day activities. Although the company was following six sigma in their business operation but still there was something which was missing from their system. Hence the management decided to implement Lean Six Sigma in their processes which will not only reduce errors present in the system but it will also remove the wastage or redundant steps occurring in the system. This is in accordance with our sixth hypothesis and the company was able to experience a change. According to the CEO of PIA they were able to comprehend the advantages of Six Sigma which further reduced the material wastage and improved their supply chain activities which lead to overall cost reduction (AlSagheer & Mohammed, 2011).

Pakistan State Oil

Pakistan State Oil (PSO) was also thinking on same lines of reducing errors and increasing company profits. Hence the management of PSO also decided to introduce Six Sigma in their business operations. As per our first hypothesis, the top management was fully committed with their decision and they gave their full support for successful implementation of Lean Six Sigma. As per COO of Pakistan State Oil they were able to reduce their our effective time to market which further increased their interest in this model implementation to other areas of the business. The company first applied this technique in parts for assessing its validity and results which is totally in line with our second hypothesis prioritizing projects and conducting organization assessment for experience a readiness of change (AlSagheer & Mohammed, 2011).

Lean Six Sigma in India

Tata Chemicals Limited

Tate Chemicals is a subsidiary of Tata Pvt Ltd. which is now turned into a global business entity. The company is focused towards manufacturing and delivery of chemicals, fertilizers, agricultural services and other food additives. Tata Chemicals is rated as India’s top food brand for more than five years. The management of this group decided to implement Lean Six Sigma as a common business language which will allow them to obtain high performance. Full support and commitment was shown by the top management which is a core point according to our first hypothesis. Moreover the introduction of this technique will also allow them to improve their internal processes and build their decision making. Reward and recognition system was introduced which created directions for employees to work in an efficient manner. More significantly it laid the foundation for developing future leaders across the organization. This is in accordance with our third hypothesis which was also combined with monitoring and managing organizational performance with the tools applied during Lean Six Sigma implementation (Grichnik, Winkler, & Rothfeder, 2008 ).

Whirlpool

Another renowned brand Whirlpool also investigated Six Sigma and decided to start with this initiate in 1997 which involves a blend of methodologies. Soon the management of the company decided to use a blend of two technologies, Six Sigma and Lean for removing the inefficiencies, redundancy and other associated errors. The introduction of Whirlpool allowed the company to save $175 million in the first year and also achieved operational excellence by reducing the cycle times. All this when combined produced increased quality and high productivity (Evans & Lindsay, 2011).

Maytag

Maytag from India also initiated the step of implementing Lean Six Sigma in their business operations. The introduction of Lean Six Sigma improved the business efficiency which resulted in cost reduction. First the assessment of the complete organization was done which is essential for achieving best lean six sigma results. This is in accordance with our fifth hypothesis and then the gap was bridged between six sigma and lean together with sustainability and well-established governance. Lean Six Sigma reorganized the workflow and the production cost was also cut down by 55% which eventually allowed the company to save $25 million. This was all achieved through prioritizing projects and after conducting a proper assessment as per our second hypothesis (Martin, 2007).

Lean Six Sigma in Turkey

According to (Taner, 2012) the Critical Success Factors (CSFs) are explored which lead towards the successful introduction of Six Sigma in Small and Medium Sized Turkish Textile Enterprises. A survey is carried out for identifying and understanding the current quality practices of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). Turkish SMEs are in the initial stages of implementing Six Sigma. The participation and commitment of top management, linking quality initiatives to workers and information technology and innovation are found to be important factors for having a successful Lean Six Sigma. The guidance and commitment of top management, strategic vision, and data collection and measurement, are found to be the most winning methods for having Lean Six Sigma, whereas the lack of association with the system to start the initiative and the attendance of ISO-certification in the company are originated to hinder its completion. The company first made an assessment, worked by prioritizing projects in sub-modules which was all achieved through commitment and top management involvement. All these

Analysis

The facts which have been presented by (Mehdi, Ahmed, & Rasheed, 2007) represents the successful implementation of Six Sigma and DMAIC projects which increases productivity, and profit margins, and above all reduces errors. These results can definitely be regarded as key indicators for any industry to follow Six Sigma Implementation.

According to (Sambhe & Dalu, 2011) thee is very little research available about automotive sector and the study also reveals that 25.64% of medium scale automobile sector has successfully implemented Six Sigma. Other automobile industries are also spending time and effort on the integration of quality management strategies in their business. Further it has been found that Six Sigma can be linked with rewarding employees or giving them recognition will encourage them in improving self satisfaction and their motivation level will also increase. In this way expensive consultation charges will also be saved through motivated and trained employees who will be willing to join in-house training sessions.

As per (Mehdi, Ahmed, & Rasheed, 2007) the application of six-sigma in SSI assisted them in improve Z-bench Sigma level from 2.21 sigma to5.64 sigma and cost saving of 0.01929 million/annum. The systematic integration of Six Sigma tools and procedures is regarded as a challenge but this technique is proven definite which has reduced expenses, cost of poor quality and the concerning labor expenses.

According to the findings of (Knowles, Whicker, Femat, & Canales, 2005) six sigma provides a thinking pattern for redefining the present approaches towards supply chain improvement. In such scenarios Six Sigma cannot be applied directly but it can be adjusted with variations for eliminating the waste and non-valued added activities. Six Sigma can be combined with some other tools which will link error reduction to storage strategy which will provide results of waste and variation reduction.

The findings obtained from (Taner, 2013) concluded that the majority (97.18%) of the large-scale Turkish construction companies have successfully implemented ISO. However, it is still difficult for them to integrate Six Sigma properly in their operational activities. Undoubtedly, Six Sigma can help Turkish large-scale construction companies to maintain the highest quality of quality. First it is required to integrate the existing management procedures with Six Sigma by controlling variation with the help of its tools such as DOE (Design of Experiments), regression, correlation and hypothesis testing.

Findings

H1: Management Commitment and Support

On the basis of cases discussed above, it is evident that management commitment and support is extremely essential for having a successful implementation of Lean Six Sigma in an enterprise. The organizations which are in search of continuous improvement programs always welcome transformations and good governance. First the management should check the temperature of the organization before bringing any major change. Secondly a clear distinction must be made between leaders and managers and upgrade their communication plan with employees working at various levels. Once the proper emotional tone is generated then it’s only a few steps away to have Lean Six Sigma.

H2: Prioritizing projects

Companies both at local and international level, which has been successful in implementing Six Sigma in their organizations, know the importance of prioritizing projects. They know how to assess the organization for readiness which will direct the path of change in an organization. The goal is to recognize when the selection of a particular lever will make biggest impact business priorities. The best technique for making this selection is performing a benefit/effort analysis and then defining and setting the scope of the project.

H3: Reward and Recognition

The management must line up their behaviors, protocols and rewards across the business units. The morale of employees must be boosted by offering rewards and following a proper recognition system which will be significant for having an ownership and cost accountability. The ideas coming from all levels must be comprehended and given due importance.

H4: Performance Management

All those organizations which have been successful in true implementation of Lean Six Sigma are successful due to proper monitoring and direction provided to them. Leaders who run an organization are able to yield maximum benefits which allow senior leadership for understanding the programs running in an organization. Hence monitoring and managing organization performance is essential for guiding business units in an effective manner.

H5: Assessment of SSO, MSO, LSO

For establishing a system which takes ownership at macro-level view assesses internal and distributed processes. The boundaries must be clearly defined, identified, and responsibility must be assigned for each segment, and interpret the specific responsibilities for those roles. Hence the assessment of Small Scale Organization (SSO), Medium Scale Organization (MSO) and Large Scale organization (LSO) are significant for better Lean Six Sigma results.

H6: Bridging the Gap

Managers and Leaders are responsible for bridging the gap between Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma together with sustainability and well-established governance. If a certain company is not able to truly recognize the distinction and clarity between these two then the transformation would be a failure.

Barriers and Enablers in implementation a successful Lean Six Sigma

Barriers Enablers
Top Management Apathy Management Involvement
Employees averse to accept change Employees are willing to learn and be trained
Inability to change Accept Change and Willingness to Learn New
Bad Governance and Planning Proper guidance, planning, leadership & management
Lack of Training Regular Training and Workshops
Close ended environment Open to discuss and talk at all levels
Insulation across business units Culture of cross business communication
Lack of attention for customers Focus of customer satisfaction
Management lack ability to lead with tools Quality leaders know how to direct employees
Employees hesitate to be tracked in numbers No issues with tracking and reviewing at all levels
Less interaction and involvement of suppliers Suppliers are supported and introduced new technologies
Customer satisfaction is at nominal level Customer satisfaction is higher and tracked properly
Model is not effective for certain units Lean Six Sigma model easily applied to all business units

Research Limitations

Due to limited time constraints and the number of available real life cases of India and Pakistan the research was confined at some points. However it is ascertained to discuss two to three different industries who have implemented Six Sigma successfully in their organizations. It was not possible to conduct on-site analysis of the processes which are being followed in industries. Again this study can be extended to include various other industries and compare the results with other international companies who are working with Six Sigma and other prominent tools.

Six Sigma Dissertations
Six Sigma Dissertations

Figure 1: Conceptual Framework for Lean Six Sigma Research Model

Conclusion

This research and extensive analysis based on the implementation of six sigma in Indian and Pakistani companies have provided a framework. On the basis of this direction other similar companies can also participate in this race and experiment a new tools and techniques in business. Six Sigma has already come forward as one of the most effectual business strategies in the large organizations, internationally. From the time of its conception at Motorola and GE, many success stories were registered by a number of multinationals. India is one of the leading developing country who has recognized the importance and significance of Six Sigma. It has provided a breakthrough for Pakistani industries also, as they can also follow the same model and make some significant changes according to their environment. This can assist other industries, who have yet not experimented with Six Sigma, to have a clear focus regarding their expectations from this improvement drive. All in all it is a great tool which will reduce the scrap rate, improve sales and also the image of the company.

Six Sigma is primarily used as a tool and whenever any business integrates it into their processes it is bound to gain benefit. After combining this technique with lean methodology it is regarded as one of the key initiates for improving the management process than jut being remembered. Lean Six Sigma does not just pinpoint and count defects and errors, it presents real solutions and practices to existing management for yielding results. Various approaches are being applied by every industry for improving overall business performance and integration of Lean Six Sigma is regarded as a priority. Hence it is managements responsibility to ensure the long term sustainability of six sigma and lean for their organizations. This can only be obtained after analyzing and accepting the strength and weaknesses of both methods individually and in a combined form and then proceed towards proper utilization of six sigma principles, concepts and tools.

References

Adams, C., Gupta, P., & Wilson, C. (2003). Six Sigma Deployment. Routledge.

AlSagheer, A., & Mohammed, H. B. (2011). Six Sigma For Sustainability In Multinational Organizations. Journal of Business Case Studies , 7-15.

Ansari, A., Lockwood, D., Thies, E., Modarress, B., & Nino, J. (2008). Application of Six-Sigma in finance: a case study. Journal of Case Research in Business and Economics , 1-13.

Antony, P. J. (2010, August). Meet the editor of… the International Journal of Lean Six Sigma. (M. Adolphus, Interviewer)

Antony, P. J., & Kumar, D. M. (2012). Lean Six Sigma: Research and Practice. Bookboon.

Aruleswaran, A. (2010). Changing With Lean Six Sigma. Changing with Lean Six Sigma.

Breyfogle, F. W., Cupello, J. M., & Meadows, B. (2000). Managing Six Sigma: A Practical Guide to Understanding, Assessing, and Implementing the Strategy That Yields Bottom-Line Success. John Wiley & Sons.

Burton, T. T., & Sams, J. L. (2005). Six Sigma for Small and Mid-sized Organizations: Success Through Scaleable Deployment. J. Ross Publishing.

Byrne, G., Lubowe, D., & Blitz, A. (2011). Driving operational innovation using Lean Six Sigma.

Creveling, C. M., Slutsky, J., & Antis, D. (2003). Design for Six Sigma in Technology and Product Development. Prentice Hall Professional.

Darshak A. Desai, M. P. (2010). Six Sigma implementation barriers in Indian industries – survey results and case studies. Int. J. of Business Excellence , 142 – 162.

Dirgo, R. (2005). Look Forward Beyond Lean and Six Sigma: A Self-perpetuating Enterprise Improvement Method. J. Ross Publishing.

Evans, J. R., & Lindsay, W. M. (2011). Managing for Quality and Performance Excellence. Cengage Learning.

Furterer, S. L. (2009). Lean Six Sigma in Service: Applications and Case Studies. CRC Press.

George, M. (2002). Lean Six Sigma : Combining Six Sigma Quality with Lean Production Speed: Combining Six Sigma Quality with Lean Production Speed. McGraw Hill Professional.

George, M. O. (2010). The Lean Six Sigma Guide to Doing More With Less: Cut Costs, Reduce Waste, and Lower Your Overhead. John Wiley & Sons.

Grichnik, K., Winkler, C., & Rothfeder, J. (2008 ). Make or Break : How Manufacturers Can Leap from Decline to Revitalization: How Manufacturers Can Leap from Decline to Revitalization. McGraw Hill Professional.

Guarraia, P., Carey, G., Corbett, A., & Neuhaus, K. (2008). How to get the most from Lean Six Sigma.

Harry, M. J., Mann, P. S., Hodgins, O. C., Hulbert, R. L., & Lacke, C. J. (2011 ). Practitioner’s Guide to Statistics and Lean Six Sigma for Process Improvements. John Wiley & Sons.

Hoyle, D. (2009). ISO 9000 Quality Systems Handbook – Updated for the ISO 9001:2008 Standard. Routledge.

Huesing, T. (2008). Six Sigma Through the Years.

James R. Persse, P. (2006 ). Process Improvement Essentials: CMMI, Six Sigma, and ISO 9001. O’Reilly Media, Inc.,.

Jr., J. M. (2002). Six Sigma Quality for Business and Manufacture. Elsevier.

Knapp, D. (2009). A Guide to Help Desk Concepts. Cengage Learning.

Knowles, G., Whicker, L., Femat, J. H., & Canales, F. D. (2005). A conceptual model for the application of Six Sigma methodologies to supply chain improvement. International Journal of Logistics: Research and Applications , 51-65.

Kokkranikal, J., Kosgi, J. A., & Losekoot, E. (2012). Barriers and challengesin the application of Six Sigmain the hospitality industry. International Journal of Productivityand Performance Management , 317-322.

Kumara, V., & Khandujaa, R. (2013). Application of Six-Sigma Methodology in SSI: A Case Study. International Journal of Current Engineering and Technology , 971-976.

Kwak, Y. H., & Anbarib, F. T. (2006). Benefits, obstacles, and future of six sigma approach. Technovation , 708–715.

Larson, A. (2003). Demystifying Six Sigma: A Company-wide Approach to Continuous Improvement. AMACOM Div American Mgmt Assn.

Laureani, A. (2012). Lean Six Sigma in the Service Industry. Advanced Topics in Applied Operations Management

Martin, J. W. (2007). Operational Excellence: Using Lean Six Sigma to Translate Customer Value through Global Supply Chains. CRC Press.

Mehdi, M. A., Ahmed, N., & Rasheed, T. u. (2007). Six Sigma Implementation in Manufacturing Organization. Technical Journal , 58-63.

PANDE, P. S., NEUMAN, R. P., & CAVANAGH, R. R. (2006). The Six Sigma Way. Retrieved December 22, 2013, from McGraw-Hill

SAMBHE, R. U., & DALU, D. R. (2011). Evaluating Six Sigma Implementation in Medium Scale Indian Automotive Enterprises. International Journal of Engineering Science and Technology (IJEST) , 1790-1796.

Snee, R. D., & Hoerl, R. W. (2003 ). Leading Six Sigma: A Step-by-step Guide Based on Experience with GE and Other Six Sigma Companies. FT Press.

Summers, D. C. (2007). Six Sigma: Basic Tools and Techniques. Pearson/Prentice Hall.

Taner, M. T. (2012). A Feasibility Study for Six Sigma Implementation in Turkish Textile SMEs. South East European Journal of Economics and Business , 63-71.

Taner, M. T. (2013). Critical Success Factors for Six Sigma Implementation in Large-scale Turkish Construction Companies. International Review of Management and Marketing , 212-225.

Tang, L. C., Goh, T. N., Yam, H. S., & Yoap, T. (2007). Six Sigma: Advanced Tools for Black Belts and Master Black Belts. John Wiley & Sons.

Tennant, G. (2002). Design for Six Sigma: Launching New Products and Services Without Failure. Gower Publishing, Ltd.

Tennant, G. (2001). Six Sigma: SPC and TQM in Manufacturing and Services. Gower Publishing, Ltd.

Thawani, S. (2002). Six Sigma Quality in Service Industry.

Vanzant-Stern, T. (2012). Lean Six Sigm: International Standards and Global Guidelines. Fultus Corporation.

Yang, C.-C. (2010). Six sigma and Total Quality Management.

Zhang, Q., Irfan, M., Khattak, M. A., Abbas, J., Zhu, X., & Shah, M. S. (2012). Critical Success Factors for Successful Lean Six Sigma Implementation in Pakistan. Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business , 117-124.

Click Here To View MBA Dissertation Projects

International Intercultural

International Intercultural Management

The intercultural dinner is an interesting concept which helps gain insights into the various aspects of a culture. It is important to understand food and life style as well as personality aspects in order to form a better understanding of the culture of a nation (Hamel, 2007). I met all of the group members for dinner and all of us brought a dish belonging to different cultures. I brought Hummus which is a popular dip made from smashed chickpeas and tahini with other seasonings. China and Saudi Arabia were other two predominant cultures which were presented at the dinner. The learning and outcomes of this dinner was that culture is an extremely important aspect which impact management as well. As we discussed cultures, we were able to understand how history, lifestyle and exposure to globalization impacts them.

Culture of Iraq

Iraq is located in the Middle East Asia. Iraq is predominantly an Islamic country (A Country Study: Iraq, 2010). This makes it important to understand the laws of Islam and the preaching’s of Quran or Prophet Mohammad (Abdul-Jabar, 2002). Prophet Mohammed has been a very popular Prophet not only among the Muslims or the followers of Islam but also among several religion researchers, philosophers, diplomats and other people. Their culture and thought on food is that food is a blessing given by God. They believe in rich food which is enriched with nutrients and contains fruits, nuts and even meat. The teachings of Prophet led to his popularity growing from time to time and there are nations like Arabia, Pakistan and India where Islam is popularly preached and forms one of the main religions (Abdul-Jabar, 2002). Prophet Mohammed is as popular as Jesus Christ in America and United Kingdom. Similarly the food and cuisine of Iraq is also popular all around India, Pakistan, Arabia and other Eastern countries. Though the economy of Iraq is not very stable, it has a very rich culture (A Country Study: Iraq, 2010).

The revelations of God, received by Prophet Mohammad included the will of God and the principle of submission to God’s will (Musharraf, 2012). Prophet Mohammad narrated these principles to the people. The revelations of God include the Apostle of Peace which propagates love and brotherhood (Abdul-Jabar, 2002). So the people of Iraq believe in being good hosts and serving food generously to people that visit them. This is also an important part of celebrations of festivals like Id and Bakrid. Considerations of prestige and family strength are important values of the culture of Iraq (A Country Study: Iraq, 2010).

In Medina there were eight different tribes which had several conflicts among themselves. These led to them inviting Prophet Mohammed as a neutral negotiator and resolve these conflicts (Musharraf, 2012). So the  food habits and lifestyle varies significantly among different sub groups in Iraq itself (A Country Study: Iraq, 2010).

Iraq does not have political stability and such elements like instable political situation, poor economic conditions and war has led to deterioration of life and business, but their culture still remains extremely rich (A Country Study: Iraq, 2010). The texts of the “Quran” play an important role in formation of the texts of several other religions including Judaism (Abdul-Jabar, 2002). It has also greatly influenced middle-eastern ethics and common beliefs as it is one of the oldest religions practiced (Abdul-Jabar, 2002).

Comparison of culture of Iraq with China and Saudi Arabia

Culture refers to the values and lifestyle adapted by a society. The post-globalization era has been a time of merging of cultures and this leads to one culture impacting another and understanding these influences is extremely important in the present times as they impact the management of human resources in multi-national corporations (Dauber, 2012). Culture refers to the several lifestyle elements like food, dressing, sports, entertainment and several such factors along with the values like uncertainty tolerance or emotional involvement and independence, openness and several other faiths (Greenfeld, 2013). Culture is shaped through the interaction of people and their ideas as well as ideologies (Schein, 2004).

The comparison of cultures of these countries has been based on two models – one being Hofstede’s cultural framework and another being Hall’s cross cultural framework. These models help understand the similarities and differences between the cultures of Iraq, China and Saudi Arabia.

Hofstede’s cultural framework

The culture of Iraq does have several similarities with that of Saudi Arabia but is very distinct from that of China. Hofstede’s cultural framework helps evaluate cultures based on five cultural and behavioural parameters as explained below.

International Intercultural Management
International Intercultural Management

Fig 1: Comparison of culture of Iraq with the cultures of China and Saudi Arabia, based on Hofstede’s cultural framework

Power Distance

This refers to the extent of importance and influence of hierarchical relations in a culture. It reflects the degree of unequal allocation of power and psychological detachment that is accepted in a country. Power distance in China is high (National culture – Iraq, n.d.). Subordinate-superior relationship tends to be polarized and hierarchical ranks are followed strictly. Power distance is extremely high in Saudi Arabia and Iraq (National culture – Iraq, n.d.). Inherent inequalities, centralization of decision making and bureaucratic hierarchy marks the culture of Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

Uncertainty avoidance

Uncertainty avoidance refers to the risk appetite of the culture of a country. Hofstede refers this as “what is different, is dangerous” (Khastaret, et.al., 2011). China is low on uncertainty avoidance (National culture – Iraq, n.d.). Adherence to laws and rules in China are flexible and adapted on situational basis (Country Profile: China, 2008). Iraq and Saudi Arabia are very high on uncertainty avoidance (National culture – Iraq, n.d.). The rules play an important role in all aspects of life. People of Iraq and Saudi Arabia are bound to abide by the stringent codes of belief based on Islamic preaching. They are intolerant of modernisation and influence of western cultures.

Individualism vs collectivism

This dimension reflects the relative importance that a company places on interests of an individual or a group (Ryh-Song and Lawrence, 1995). China, Iraq and Saudi Arabia are collectivistic society (National culture – Iraq, n.d.). Individualism is found to be very low because the cultures are relationship driven. In China relationship needs to develop before doing business (Hatch, 1993). The traditional root of Chinese culture is Confucianism. Confucianism focuses on long term orientation, thrift and perseverance (Ryh-Song and Lawrence, 1995).

Masculinity vs femininity

This dimension reflects the importance of the level of dominance of masculine values for achievement of the organizational goals. Chinese, Iraq and Saudi Arabia cultures have more of Masculinity aspects than femininity (National culture – Iraq, n.d.). Chinese often prioritise work over family and leisure (Country Profile: China 2008). In Iraq and Saudi Arabia, the leaders in the organisation are decisive and assertive. Conflicts are often resolved by confrontation.

Long term orientation

The Chinese culture has a high long term orientation and Iraq and Saudi has a short term orientation (National culture – Iraq, n.d.). The Chinese are comparatively more employer oriented and the employee retention rate in China is higher in comparison to other countries (Bu and Xu, 2000). Cultures of Iraq and Saudi Arabia immensely respect and follow traditions. Propensity to save is low as Shariah law and Islamic banking does not encourage savings (Aggarwal and Tarik, 2000).

Hall’s Cross Cultural Model

Hall presents a popular cross cultural framework and when we apply that to these 3 cultures, they have been found to be extremely compatible. The Hall’s model is based on cultural awareness, cultural adaptation and effective management of the elements of personal, social and cultural aspects in present times of multiculturalism (Schneider and Barsoux, 2003).

Cultural Awareness

Awareness is high in Iraq and Saudi Arabia when compared to China. But in present times technology enables people everywhere to find information easily.

Cultural Adaptation

The model explains that multiculturalism is an important element of present times and seamless communication and technology promote it and the same can be observed in various cultural texts as well and in present times of globalization (Schneider and Barsoux, 2003). The adaptation of these elements is based on cultural adaptation, which is high in China as compared to Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Management of Cross Cultures

This can help create effectiveness and better competency (Schneider and Barsoux, 2003). It can help bring teams together and also create an environment that is suitable for work and helps create several competencies. It also helps ensure that there be effective balance between operational and strategic level planning and organizing.

Comparison of leadership styles in these countries

Leadership behaviour in organizations is demonstrated through taking initiatives, considering broader roles and helping the organization achieve better progress through focus on improving the overall organizational performance (Pillai, et.al., 1999). This is evident in China when compared to that of Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Leadership in Iraq and Saudi Arabia

In case of Iraq and Saudi Arabia, senior levels of management focus on overall performance of the organization and its competitive position. In order to create effective business development, leaders focus on operational efficiency as a whole and deal with managers who actually communicate with the team members. Leaders at the senior management levels set goals and targets which help in ensuring that the organization is able to form the common vision (Hofstede, et.al., 2002).

Authoritative style of leadership is focused on the creation of authority. The leader is mostly expressing the authority and passing the judgment during using such style leadership. The management communication follows a top down approach (Zaharna, 1995). This is evident in the day to day organizational activities in several of the local organizations. This is evident in Iraq and Saudi Arabia where in the rules and regulations are extremely strict and stringent. It is important that the authoritative style of leadership be based on mutual understanding and acceptance in order to avoid conflicts and retaliation (Smith, et.al., 2007).

In case of Iraq and Saudi Arabia, religion and political systems have a great impact on the leadership style used in these countries (Smith, et.al., 2007). It forms an essential impact on the styles in which the government and the public sector is managed. It also impacts the various business ideologies and set of ethics followed in these organizations (Smith, et.al., 2007).

The culture of Saudi Arabia and Iraq is based on  the preaching of Prophet Mohammed. In discussing the leadership style of Saudi Arabia, it would be relevant to evaluate the leadership style of Prophet Muhammad. Prophet Muhammad can be considered as a transformational leader (Musharraf, 2012). His teachings and public speeches have inspired thousands of people to do things for greater good of mankind (Musharraf, 2012).

Intellectual Stimulation: Prophet Muhammad not only inspired them for good deed and good thought, he also made is followers aware of following the right path. He increases awareness about what is right and good.

Individualized Consideration: the followers of Prophet Muhammad were trained by Prophet himself (Musharraf, 2012). He guided them to become leaders in their own ways.

Inspirational Motivation: He motivated his followers to spread Islam fearlessly.

Charisma or idealized influence: Prophet Muhammad can be considered an ethical charismatic leader. He had a unique vision for his followers and a long run perspective. His high ethical and moral values, forgiving nature and optimism for future showed direction to the followers (Musharraf, 2012).

Leadership in China

A futuristic measure is ensured in case of leadership in China. It assists the organization to take futuristic decisions and helps in implementation of the firms’ long term plans or strategies (Management in the People’s Republic of China in comparison with the West: Convergence, divergence or crossvergence?, 1997). Mostly, all organizations follow some core values according to their business strategies to serve the customers with better products and services  (Hirst & Thompson, 1996). The mission and vision creates an alignment with the strategic planning of the organization. These values impact the leadership as the leaders of the organization or the top management form these and ensure that they are effectively passed on to the subordinates (Management in the People’s Republic of China in comparison with the West: Convergence, divergence or crossvergence?, 1997). But this is not the case in present day multinational organizations as they belong to globalized environments. In this way the leadership styles used in organizations in China are compatible with the trends in leadership in several of the globalized countries and this helps them take benefit or advantage of globalization to propagate economic development. Leadership in China has been considered as effective and has been used to benchmark leadership strategies in several of the multinational firms all around the world (Management in the People’s Republic of China in comparison with the West: Convergence, divergence or convergence? 1997).

Future Trends

Transformational leaders are those who influence others based on the usage of participation with all of the other members of the team. In this way they are able to accept the leader as a part of the team (Wade, 2013). This form of leadership is coming up rapidly in all of the countries including Iraq, Saudi Arabia and China. In case of democratic leadership, it is crucial that there be consideration of opinions of everybody. A leader requires ensuring that things are understood by the people who are to actually implement them. He should be very careful about the client requirements as well as the need of the project (Wade, 2013). This is not consistent with the cultures of all the three countries and may not be adopted in the near future.

Conclusion

To conclude, culture forms an extremely important part of all nations and the global culture as well   (Albala, Ken, 2011). Culture is an extremely important factor that affects the business environment of an international business. It is important for present day organizations, especially multinational organizations to reform their policies in order to suit the present day need of these organizations. It is important that the business environment is well researched and cultural change adaptation strategies are formed for the purpose of creating better synchronization with the cultural changes. It is extremely important that there be effective balance among the culture and the dynamic environment around the world in the present times of globalization. It is also important that the focus on the required changes in organizational environments be made slow and steady in order to ensure smooth transitions.

References

A Country Study: Iraq, 2010, Federal research division, Library of congress.

Country Profile: China, 2008, Federal research division, Library of congress.

Aggarwal, R. K. and Tarik, Y., 2000, Islamic Banks and Investment Financing, Journal of Money, Banking and Credit, 32 (1), pp. 93-120

Abdul-Jabar, F., 2002, Ayatollahs, Sufis and Ideologues: State, Religion and Social Movements in Iraq, Saqi Books

Albala, K., 2011, Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, pp. 251–252

Bu, N. and Xu, J., 2000, Work-related attitudes among Chinese employees vis-a-vis “American”

and “Japanese” management models. In M. Warner (Ed.), Changing workplace relations in the

Chinese economy: Beyond the iron rice bowl (pp. 185-204). London: Macmillan

Dauber, D., Fink, G. and Yolles, M., 2012, A Configuration Model of Organizational Culture. Sage publications.

Greenfeld, L., 2013, Mind, Modernity, Madness: The Impact of Culture on Human Experience, Harvard University Press

Schein, E., 2004, Organizational culture and leadership, 3rd ed. San Francisco, Jossey-Bass.

Khastar, H., Kalhorian, R., Khalouei, G.A. & Maleki, M., 2011. Levels of Analysis and Hofstede’s Theory of Cultural Differences: The Place of Ethnic Culture in Organizations. [online] Paper presented at International Conference on Financial Management and Economics. IPEDR, 11. IACSIT Press, Singapore.

Hatch, M.J., 1993, The Dynamics of Organizational Culture. Academy of Management Review, 18 (4).

Hofstede, G., Van Deusen, C.A., Mueller, C.B. and Charles, T.A., 2002, What Goals Do Business Leaders Pursue? A Study in Fifteen Countries Journal Of International Business Studies, 33 (4), pp. 785-803

Musharraf. H. M., 2012, The Independent. Muhammad (SM): Transformational Leadership.

Management in the People’s Republic of China in comparison with the West: Convergence,

divergence or crossvergence?, 1997, Speech at the Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives Forum: Chinese

Interpretation of Western Institutions. University of Victoria. Victoria, B.C.

National culture – Iraq, n.d., The Hofstede Centre.

Pillai, R.,  Scandura, T.A. and William, E.A., 1999, Leadership – Similarities and differences accross Cultures, Journal Of International Business Studies, 30 (4), pp. 763-779

Ryh-Song, Y. and Lawrence, J. J., 1995, Individualism and Confucian Dynamism: A Note On Hofstede’s Cultural Root To Economic Growth, Journal of International Business Studies, 26 (3), pp. 655-669

Schneider, S.C. and Barsoux, J.L., 2003, Managing across Cultures, Financial Times Prentice Hall

Smith, P.B., Achoui, M. and Harb, C., 2007, Unity and Diversity in Arab Managerial Styles, SAGE Publications

Wade, L., 2013, Hook up culture: College kids can handle it. LA Times.

Zaharna, R.S., 1995, Understanding cultural preferences of Arab communication pattern, Public Relations Review, 21 (3), pp. 241-255

Click Here To View Business Management Dissertations