From the time when Kurt Lewin coined the term, action research has crossed boundary from its application in social and medical sciences to organizational development and information systems. Baskerville (1999) lists a variety of action research under different designations such as soft system methodology, prototyping, participant observation, field work, action science, and process consultation.
Action research is a class of methodologies based in the culture of its researcher-participant collaboration. It aims to provide practical solutions in an immediate problem context and contribute new knowledge to science at the same time. In essence, the approach focuses on both action and research concurrently. The action researcher participates in the context of the social or organization problem in conjunction with the practitioners to effect change and also develop knowledge. This means that there is a dual commitment in action research; the action researcher collaborates with the client system therefore highlighting co-learning as a significant part of the process.
Concept of Action Research
“Action research simultaneously assists in practical problem-solving and expands scientific knowledge, as well as enhances the competencies of the respective actors, being performed collaboratively in an immediate situation using data feedback in a cyclical process aiming at an increased understanding of a given social situation, primarily applicable for the understanding of change processes in social systems and undertaken within a mutually acceptable ethical framework” Hult and Lennung (1980).
This comprehensive definition of action research covers the contextual setting of research, the double expectations, and the ethical considerations of the methodology. Action research differs from other research methodologies in various ways. The most significant of these differential attributes is its aim of transforming all the participants into researchers, as everyone ‘learns by action’. Asides this, the research takes place in real-life situations where practical solutions are developed to the contextual problem. The primary role of the action researcher is to train local leaders to a level where they can be responsible for the process, that is, able to continue with the research when the action researcher discontinues. During the course of the action research, the researcher may oscillate between different roles which include planner, leader, facilitator, teacher, designer, observer, and catalyzer.
Common Characteristics of Action Research
According to Peters and Robinson (1984), action research authorities seem to agree on four common characteristics of the research paradigm, which are;
Firstly, action research has both action and change orientations. This emphasizes the dual outcomes of the methodology, action and research. Secondly, it focuses on problem; it targets to identify and implement actions on the problematic situation. In addition, action research involves collaboration between the action researchers and the client system. In this regard, all participants can be described as co-researchers. Lastly, it is a cyclic or spiral process consisting of steps which are repetitive.
The Action Research Processes and Methods
The process of action research is a sequence of events comprising of iterative cycles of stages. There are different models used to describe this processes. However, the most common action research paradigm is that described by Susman and Evered (1978), which consider five steps in each cycle. They are diagnosing, action planning, action taking, evaluating and specifying learning.
Diagnosing involves identifying the primary problem of the organization; action planning involves specifying actions that will change these primary problems; action taking implements the planned action; evaluating involves determining whether the action was successful or unsuccessful, while in ‘specifying learning’, generalized findings are made in an ongoing process.
The methods used in data collection during an action research project include surveys or questionnaires, keeping of journals, structures and unstructured interviews, observation recordings, taking photographs, and case studies. All these are tools are common with qualitative research paradigm.
Criticisms of Action Research
Some researchers have criticized action research as a rigorous research approach, maintaining that it is just a bit more than consultancy. Such set of academics point to weaknesses of the methodology such as bias and impartiality of the action researcher, difficulty of generalizing results from the study, lack of validity of data, and the assumed absence of key attributes of rigor and discipline associated with normative scientific research methods (McKay and Marshall, 2001). In spite of these criticisms, action research has proven successful in some case studies across different disciplines.
Action Research in Practice
Action research is a powerful tool that can be employed by Information System researchers for investigating the interaction between humans, information systems and social community.
Lau and Hayward (2000) in their study, Building a Virtual Network in a Community Health Research Training Program, applied action research paradigm to explore the effect of IT on the transition of health workers into a collaborative work group. The study evolved following a seven-week training course of about 25 health representatives from various regions. Each participant was presented with a notebook computer, internet connection, and technical support, and were directed to apply the knowledge acquired from the training in their domains, The action researchers discovered that individuals who used the system interactively tend to undertake collaborative projects, and that the dearth of quality community healthcare information online was a shortcoming. Overall, the participants attested to learning a lot from the experience. The research outcome is the provision of a descriptive model involved in creating virtual networks which can serve as groundwork for future research.
It is evident that action research is a valid methodology that bridges the gap between traditional research paradigms and socio-cultural research approaches.
Baskerville, R. L. (1999). Investigating information systems with action research. Communications of the Association for Information Systems, 2(19), 1-32.
Hult, M., & Lennung, S. Å. (1980). Towards a definition of action research: a note and bibliography. Journal of Management Studies, 17(2), 241-250.
Lau, F., & Hayward, R. (2000). Building a virtual network in a community Action Research research training program. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 7(4), 361-377.
McKay, J., & Marshall, P. (2001). The dual imperatives of action research. Information Technology & People, 14(1), 46-59.
Peters, M., & Robinson, V. (1984). The origins and status of action research. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 20(2), 113-124.
Susman, G. I., & Evered, R. D. (1978). An assessment of the scientific merits of action research. Administrative Science Quarterly, 23, 582-603.
Leadership: It is the process in which an individual leads a group of people or an organization by influencing them with the same notion to attain a common goal. We can also define leadership as defined by Theo Haimann as “Leadership is the process by which an executive imaginatively directs, guides and influences the work of others in attaining specified goals”. The leader is at center of the group’s power structure and responsible for keeping the group together along with infusing life into it so that it can move towards its goal. Inside each every one of us there is a leader who is waiting for an opportunity to come out and lead it in an effective manner. A good leader is fully aware of his/her strengths and weaknesses. I would like to list down some of my strengths related to my personal leadership effectiveness –
Optimistic: I am highly optimistic person. I have the ability to think positive and look after the bright side of everything. It’s really important for the leader to lift the people of his/her group to the clouds instead of dragging them into mud. I seek out the positives in people and help them overcome their feelings of self-doubt which helps them keep motivated.
Confidence: Highly effective leaders know deep down inside their minds that they and their team can accomplish the work they set themselves for. Confident makes you motivated and helps you strive even in difficult times. In a group if the leader is confident about something, his followers will be too. I also possess this trait of confidence in me. I am always optimistic and confident about any work that I have to do because it helps me complete the work easily.
Self-Assessment: I believe I know my areas of strengths and weaknesses and it helps me to self-assess myself which is really important. A Leader should always be good self-judging himself and also others so that at every point of time, the leader has an idea that whatever he is doing is not wrong which would allow delegating to others who have those abilities.
Decisive: Basic duty of a leader is to make decisions. I personally believe I have that decision making quality in me. I am not afraid to make decisions and quick calls when circumstances require it. Once I make a decision I stick with it unless there is some strong particular compelling reasons for me to change it.
Supporting my Team/Group: I have worked in various teams as a leader. Be it in school or during my work term, I have always supported my team/group by making it safe to take risks, speak up or to tell the truth. Supporting your group by making this kind of environment always facilitate the group’s progress towards attaining the desired aim or goal.
Some of weaknesses include procrastination due to which sometimes I pay a lot attention to non-urgent work rather than concentrating on the urgent work. Also the compulsiveness to complete one task while having the stress of all the other tasks at the same time has led me to think unkindly about the person or the circumstance. Sometimes I get too much occupied with work that I even don’t think about my personal life. This is due to the inability to say “No” to people who ask me for any kind of help or work. I also have this problem of overthinking sometimes. I care way too much about things than normally required.
Too leverage my strengths and to develop my weaknesses the best thing can be asking people around for the input and then deciding- what areas to work on. Asking people to give genuine feedback on what they feel about my abilities and weaknesses will help move forward in the right direction. I have always listened carefully whenever someone has given me feedback and I try to work on my weaknesses. I have to stop being procrastinating which will allow me to take on urgent tasks rather than taking on something I like. This will help me complete those urgent tasks first and then proceed on to other tasks. To do this I will make a task plan stating which tasks need first attention. The issue of compulsiveness can be solved by managing equally between the tasks. Even if I have multiple tasks to work on, I will not limit myself onto solving one task first; rather I will aim on completing each of them side by side which will eliminate any kind of compulsion and the effects after. Talking about overthinking, the best way to overcome this is self-satisfaction. I usually don’t get satisfied easily with anything which creates this problem of overthinking and over looking into matters which do not even require that attention. I believe all of the action plan discussed above will help me overcome my weaknesses. To grip on my strengths I will keep on working in the same leadership style and manner. To improve and gain new skills I will set specific life goals with timelines. The goals can be designed by moving backwards in time of your life to the present month. After setting up goals and deadlines next thing is to formulate the action plan so I can commit to that and it will help me achieve those skills. I will keep on educating and improving myself in every possible way. The person who thinks he is an expert in something, has a lot more to learn. Learning never stops. I aim to be receptive to others perceptions and information I get from people I meet daily. I am keeping my self-updated with any kinds of development in my field. As John F Kennedy once said “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” So always learn and grow.
There are different barriers that can come up while implementing the plan we discussed above. We always fear of overstepping our boundaries and think that the response to our initiatives will be “Mind your own business”. Some of us are even afraid to get evaluated by others because of uncertainty about what people think of us. There are challenges that come from different sources, some being external and some internal (ctb.ku.edu). External challenges usually include public criticism, financial issues, and hostility from powerful forces etc. whereas internal challenges come up from within the (leader) person. Internal challenges can include emotional intelligence which is defined as the ability to understand and manage one’s own emotions. If someone has a high degree of emotional intelligence then that personal know what their emotions are, what their emotions mean to themselves and to others, and how their emotions can affect themselves and others. To be an effective leader one should has strong understanding of his/her emotions so that emotions does not create any kind of barrier while leading a group. There are some other internal factors like impatience, lack of decision making ability etc. that can result in hampering the growth of the leader.
Values guide human actions and they are really important in understanding leadership as they explain the focus and directions of people’s actions (Katherine D, 2015). They may vary with culture but some of the values are fundamental like honesty, credibility etc. which fits all human beings uniformly. Demonstrating the values through appropriate actions enables leaders to build network and connection with their followers which helps in building the bond of trust and commitment. To satisfy followers, a leader has to connect with them and then values come into the play as values are the primary way in which that connection is made. Our values certainly influence every decision we make in our daily life. As values play such an important role, so it becomes critical to recognize, understand and evaluate these values in sound decision making. Some of the personal values driven by leadership are:
Perception of Decision: The personal value associated with a decision is the perception of considering it as successful or ineffective. As an example let’s consider a leader who thinks more about the people and environment will consider a decision to invest in community and environment in contrast to the leader who thinks about company’s annual profit will make decision that favors statistical performance. The thing that matters is value associated with the decision making.
Loyalty and Trust: If someone is loyal and trustworthy then this personal value of that person helps to remain committed and loyal with anyone that persons works for. If a group is made of members who are loyal to each other and trustworthy then that group is effective in terms of achieving the final common goal. I personally think being loyal and trustworthy has helped me get many lead roles in the organization I work. Being someone whom your management can trust can surely help that person attain leadership roles.
Vision stimulation and inspiration: If a leader has a vision setup in his mind regarding the goal of his team/group, the personal value is inspiration and motivation to others. In order to get employees passionate about what they are doing, leaders have to possess great energy so that they can spark excitement and achieve results. (Katherine D, 2015). According to Peter Ernest, CEO of Values Journey, “when a truly values-based leader ensures that his organization has an engaging process for the people to explore their personal values, as well as their teams’ and the organizations’ values, there are benefits on many levels”.
To understand the behavior of people there are few variables such as attitudes, motivations, personality, skills, knowledge, confidence, perceptions etc. The importance of a value system is that once internalized it becomes, a standard or criterion for guiding one’s action. Thus the study of leaders’ values is extremely important to the study of leadership (Bruno F.C, 2006). Personal values impact leaders in at least two ways one out of which is it acts as a perceptual filter that shapes decisions and behavior, and personal values act as a driver of leader’s methods of creating these values.
Heroic Management versus Engaged Leadership
After reading the article by Mintzberg, I have a clear understanding of the differentiation between a heroic manager and an engaged manager. Let’s first start off talking about heroic managers. To manage is to make decisions and allocate resources and it often involves analyzing and calculating. In heroic management, the managers are considered important people which are quite apart from all those who develop the products or deliver services. As these managers go higher up, they become more important part of the organization and at the “top” of the organization is the chief executive. They have a clear, deliberate and bold strategy and the chief is the one who takes the dramatic steps that drive up the share price. Everyone else implements the same. But this is the time when the problem comes because although chief embraces change, most of the other people resist it. This is the reason to favor contractors or consultants over the insiders. The rewards for increase in the share price go largely to leader and the risk taker who pays no penalty for drops in the share price. According to a recent survey, “Executive Excess 2001,” conducted during the 1990s by the Institute of Policy Studies, CEO pay rose by 570%, while profits rose by 114%, and average worker pay rose by 37%, barely ahead of inflation (Anderson S. 2001). Real leadership is often more quiet than heroic. It is about teamwork and long term goals, which builds an organization slowly and collectively.
Let us talk about Engaging Management and leadership. According to Mintzberg, in this type of leadership managers are important to the extent that they help other people be important as well. Managers understand the importance of other employees in an organization and they create engaged teams. An organization is not a vertical hierarchy rather an interacting network where effective leaders work throughout and not sit on the top. People who develop the product or deliver the services solve little problems using strategies that later merge into new initiatives. In this type of management formulation and implementation go side by side and cannot be separated. The managers involved in this type of leadership style believe in bringing out the energy that exists naturally within the people thus making it more engaging and inspiring. According to a study conducted by Gallup, just 35% of the US managers are themselves engaged while 51% are not engaged. The not engaged group costs US $77 billion to $96 billion every year through their impact on those they manage (Gallup, 2015).
I work for a multinational oil and gas company. My organization has both types of managers and the management style. I will talk about my department and the managers I deal with. My manager use engaged type of management. They provide intensive feedback and training to new employees and proactively manage the onboarding process making a positive first impression. They communicate with their staff in a clear manner. Many of us prefer on having informal conversation with our supervisors regarding performance reviews or feedback which not only helps us keep involved with the team but also helps in performing the job better and easily. The engaged managers know that they are held accountable for the performance management of their employees. When employees are not meeting expectations, these managers listen to their employees and make suggestions from the vantage point of their professional capacity that will help them overcome their problems and difficulties (Insightlink.com, 2015). Being a part of the organization and led by such managers gives me chance to be effective during my work and it keeps me motivated and confident. Engaged employees are builders of an organization.
The two types of leadership styles impact on employee morale and performance. When an employee joins an organization he/she wants to know the role and their expectations which are desired by the supervisor/manager. It helps them meet their objectives and exceed them. Engaged management with the employees help them perform at consistently high rates. This also helps them use their talents and skills in the right direction. Hence the employees work with passion and drive innovation to move the organization forward (Govleaders.org, 2015). This different leadership styles sometimes also lead to participative approaches during projects. In this the employees working on a project in a team take part in decision making which gives them a chance to develop their leadership skills as well. Managers also have to challenge employees within their areas of talent and help them to acquire the required skills and knowledge which later can be turned to their strengths.
The strategic leadership of an ethical behavior in business practices cannot be ignored. To be considered a leader in ethical business practices I believe my organization can follow the points below –
The goals of creating and sustaining ethical climates within which employees act ethically as a matter of routine should be included in the strategic leadership responsibility for business executives.
Secondary stakeholders may be viewed with more urgency by executives than primary stakeholders. The government can shut down a business in a matter of hours; it takes much longer for disgruntled customers to have such a drastic effect (Terry Thomas, 2004).
Special attention should be paid in finding and developing the best people as it involves taking ethics and character into account in the selection process.
There should be a conversation across all levels of the business where the basics of value creation, stakeholder principles and societal expectations were routinely discussed and debated.
I think organizations should start establishing new standards and best practices that everyone can enjoy, learn from and improve along the way. The new workplace is less about the business defining the individual and more about the individual defining the business. The point noted above should also be taken into account towards an ethical behavior in the business practices.
“The Corporation” movie revolves around the notion of limited liability and corporate social responsibility. It also shows the development of corporation as a legal entity and is an attempt to assess the “personality” of the corporate person. The film is based on the argument that – since the corporation has been given the rights of a legal person, we can evaluate what type of person it is. I work for an oil and gas corporation. My organization has its own culture where everything related to health, safety, environment and production growth is taken care of. The corporation movie revolves around the concept of corporate social responsibility and I will discuss what my organization has done for the same. My organization is committed to partnering with community members and other stakeholders in the areas it operates. A long term trust is built by sharing information, consulting with stakeholders about business decisions and working collaboratively to understand their needs and expectations. Now limited liability is the type on investment in which the investor/partner of any organization cannot lose more than invested amount. Even my organization has the same notion in which there is limited liability benefit that is given to all the organization’s partners or investors. So they are not afraid to suffer with any kind of loss.
Code of ethics is a kind of policy statement or a properly framed code in which the organization forms and issues a set of guidelines to its employees to help them conduct their actions properly. My organization also has an integrity work guide stating its code of ethics. Some of them are:
Respecting each other and Environment: As my organization deals with the production of oil and gas, special concern is given to the environmental safety. My organization believes in respecting its employees, stakeholders, customers and most importantly the environment. In respect of this, the organization ensures that emergency response capability is in place and is tested for all company operations and facilities. Everyone is open to different points of view and approaches while doing things and seek to understand and value each other’s perspectives.
Confidentiality and Privacy: As any other organization, mine also respects confidentiality and safeguards intellectual property. Sensitive information outside of organization is shared only with authorized parties who have signed an appropriate confidentiality agreement.
Accuracy: Ensuring accuracy and completeness of business records helps us make informed business decisions and allows us to meet our responsibilities to our stakeholders. There is proper disposal of business records according to policy and legal requirements; no undisclosed or unrecorded amount is maintained.
Secure Work Environment: My organization believes in protecting the assets and maintaining a secure work environment. All the movement of company’s equipment, its materials and inventory is tracked and reported accordingly. The organization is responsible for the security of all its employees and workers.
Avoiding Conflicts of Interests: Trust is important to every successful business relationship. To manage the conflicts of interests my organization discloses any situation that could be perceived as potential interest conflict.
No Bribes: A direct or indirect offer of anything of value like money, gifts or advantage of any kind is prohibited. My organization complies with international anti-corruption laws even when bribery may appear to be an accepted part of local business practice. Reasonable steps are taken to avoid making indirect payments to government officials, other employees and also customers.
The code of ethics reflects about an organization and if there is any failure in code of ethics it means that there is a failure in leadership as well. An organization always tries to create and define a logical and defensible code of ethics but it’s not easy to cover all the possible scenarios. The process of identifying an ethical problem and defining the facts and resolving organizational, interpersonal and professional conflicts that arise are instrumental in giving organizations ethical leadership credibility. When a system fails to adequately address legitimate employee concerns whistleblowing may occur (ispub.com, 2015). Leaders and employees adhering to a code of ethics create an ethical organizational culture. When leaders have high ethical standards, it encourages workers in the organization to meet that same level. Ethical leadership also enhances the company’s reputation in the financial market and community (smallbusiness.chron, 2015).
Sometimes organizations face some challenges while shifting or enhancing the social responsibility. One main problem that usually comes up is growing consumer skepticism. Consumers now recognize that for many organizations, social responsibility is simply a public relations campaign in disguise. They are skeptical about the true motivation behind corporate social responsibility and are not easily convinced that a business is acting in the best interests of the community and environment (toolkit, 2015).
After filling the survey on code of ethics, I came to know about a noticeable fact that 51% of the people say their organization currently does not have a code of ethics. And 62% people lack of know-how which they feel to be a barrier in creating code of ethics. An implication for my role in my organization is to have an ethical behavior among workers in the organization that ensures that employees complete work with honesty and integrity. I use ethics to guide my behavior, also referring to the organization’s work guide that adheres to employee policies and rules while striving to meet the goals of the organization. Ethical employees also meet standards for quality in their work, which can enhance the company’s reputation and also helps in responsible development.
There is a conventional wisdom that management and leadership go hand in hand, that every manager is (or at least should be) a good leader, thus leadership in management has been taken up as a cause to be promoted, and leadership as a word has become a mantra chanted by all. One should understand his/her own strengths and weaknesses to become a successful leader. The strengths should be changed to skills and the weaknesses should become strengths. I have learnt that to be a successful leader, one should have the ability to delegate and it’s also important to trust your team with sane vision and goal which will eventually help to take progress to the next stage. I have also learnt to be optimistic, confident and decisive. Personal values and ethics guide leadership and human actions and they are really important in understanding leadership as they explain the focus and directions of people’s actions. Talking about Heroic and Engaged management I learnt that a proper blend of both kinds of leadership and management style can help in getting out the best from the employees. They have an impact on employee’s morale and performance; implementing these styles properly can not only help employees give their best but also help them exceed their objectives. Heroic leaders set an example of discipline whereas the engaged keeps the morals of the team high and keeps the team members cohesive. While working in a team, one should listen to the ideas or point of views of the other team members. Although different arguments might lead towards conflict, but a real team leader listens to all the members unbiased and then makes a final decision which is favorable for the whole team. I have learnt that emotions also control the style of leadership. That is why it is worthy to keep a happy environment and a positive attitude in the team as well as in personal life.
Talking about the code of ethics, it is really important for every business as it guides all managerial decisions and is common framework upon which all decisions are taken. It also helps in creating a cohesive understanding within an organization and also with stakeholders and customers. Code of ethics is used by many companies to prohibit any inappropriate employee behavior which compromises company’s policies and standards. Code of ethics can help employees understand what inappropriate actions are and what they are accountable for. Not only this, code of ethics build trust between the organization and its employees. Let’s now discuss the barriers towards more corporate socially responsible behavior. The common one being Lack of stakeholder awareness which is due to the lack of ethical awareness that keeps the stakeholders uninformed about CSR implementation. Also sometimes there are financial constraints due to lack of financial support from the upper level management. Due to this organizational managers find that implementing CSR does not fit their budget. Sometimes company culture also becomes the barrier as some organizations rely on old company culture and are resistant to new strategies (Duarte F, 2015).
Ctb.ku.edu,. ‘Chapter 13. Orienting Ideas In Leadership Section 6. Recognizing The Challenges Of Leadership Main Section Community Tool Box’. N.p., 2015. Web. Sept. 2015
Katherine D. (2015). Values Based Leadership – Valparaiso University’. N.p., 2015. Web. Sept. 2015.
Bruno F.C (2006). Personal Values and Leadership Effectiveness.
Anderson, J. Cavanagh, C. Hartman and B. Leondar-Wright, “Executive Excess 2001” (Washington, D.C: Institute for Policy Studies, 2001), 1
Gallup (2015). Gallup, Inc. ‘Only 35% Of U.S. Managers Are Engaged In Their Jobs’. Gallup.com. N.p., 2015. Web. 2015.
Insightlink.com, ‘The Nine Habits Of Highly Engaged Managers Insightlink Communications’. N.p., 2015. Web. 2015.
Duarte, F.P.; Rahman, S. Perceptions of corporate social responsibility by Bangladeshi managers: An exploratory study. Int. Rev. Bus. Res. Pap. 2010, 6, 119–136.
To create and develop a sound pricing strategy in line with the demands of the target market segment, it requires proper market analysis before segmentation and positioning takes course. As a perquisite to their pricing strategy, distribution and promotion tactics development insured the success of the promotion bid as a security factor to the entire marketing process. Managers have the opportunity to design innovative pricing models that meet the needs of both the firm and its customers in an efficient manner. To achieve this, the organization sets a product price to levels adequate to achieve a target return-on-investment. Therefore, to market their shipping services to potential customers in the competitive Maritime Industry in UK, London and Overseas Freighters marketing executives invoke a penetration pricing strategy designed to gain a larger marker share greater than the rest of their competitors.
Pricing a product or service is among the four key elements of marketing. It is an important strategic issue because it relates to the entire process of positioning a product in a target market segment. The other three marketing elements namely product features, channel decisions, and promotion utilized in positioning a product depend on the pricing strategy. To create and develop a sound pricing strategy in line with the demands of the target market segment, it requires proper market analysis before segmentation and positioning takes course. Since the introduction of this aspect of marketing into the corporate business sector, 12 pricing strategies offer marketing executives an efficient way of marketing products and services as they appeal to potential consumers (Longenecker & Petty, 2005:338). These strategies are namely premium, penetration, economy, price skimming, psychological, product line, optional product, captive product, product bundle, promotional, geographical, and value pricing respectively. The aim of this essay is to explain the pricing strategy that London and Overseas Freighters uses to market their products to potential customers and their overall effectiveness.
Penetration Pricing Strategy
As a perquisite to their pricing strategy, distribution and promotion tactics development insured the success of the promotion bid as a security factor to the entire marketing process. While there is no single recipe to determine pricing of services offered, the management board of the organization commissioned a team of 11 competent market analysts to perform an in-depth market analysis (MvGrath, 2001:196). Their major role revolved around segmenting the target market to initialize the process for positioning their products in the market.
This process entailed defining various shipping service packages that the company wanted to introduce into the UK maritime industry. As a way of estimating their demand for shipping services in UK and its neighboring countries, the marketing executives estimated a demand curve that indicated a high surge in demand for automated shipping services that other competitors did not have (Smith, 2011:71). From the analysis, price seemed to dictate the quantity of demand for their electronic-simulated shipping services that were more efficient than manual handling of cargo.
Understanding Environmental Factors
As a way regulating overhead operation costs for the entire organization, market analysts enlisted by the company derived fixed and variable costs associated with each product line they hoped to introduce into the selected market segment. In the UK, the maritime industry is highly monitored by the government as a means of eliminating unhealthy competition among players in this economic sector (Shen, 2008:41). Furthermore, evaluation of likely competitor actions served as a way of understanding the demand and supply of shipping services in UK to all the major destinations in the world.
Setting Pricing Objectives
The main objective set for the pricing strategy was to maximize revenue collected by the company from its shipping operations. To achieve this, London and Overseas Freighters management team decided to lower their shipping prices to levels 10-15% lower than their rivals (Shen, 2008:45). This marketing strategy aimed at attracting potential customers with bulk shipping needs as well as to poach customers from their rivals with low prices for large cargo shipments. Price reduction as a marketing tool served to attract a large clientele base for the organization before restoring the prices to normal to maximize on profit generated. Using the information collected by market analysts, the organization marketing committee selected the penetration pricing method by developing a coherent pricing structure that was inclusive of attractive discount rates offered to meet different client needs.
Applying Pricing Methods
Pricing methods assist managers of organizations to set specific price levels designed to achieve certain pricing objectives. In this, London and Overseas Freighters lowered their shipping prices for large cargo shipments to capitalize on ensuing large economies of scale. This period lasted for three consecutive months before the company restored their prices back to normal. This gave them a large clientele captured by their pricing strategy three months prior to price restoration. It is a complex way of marketing hence the company had to plough back their 2005/2006 fiscal year profits prior to initializing the marketing (Atienz, 2002:80). In addition, plans to purchase new and more efficient automated loading machines siphoned much of the company’s capital set aside for asset development that could have acted as another financial back-up resource.
Efficiency of the Penetration Pricing Strategy
By aiming at building a large clientele before profit maximization, London and Overseas Freighters managed to market their products to many local and international customers within a very short period. Immediately after running their first commercial outlining their low-priced shipping services, customers started walking into their premises inquiring of the advertised offers (Burton & Holden, 2008:53). Within twelve weeks after launching the pricing strategy, the company registered a 30% percent increase in revenue collection before tax. This remarkable achievement signaled the beginning of the next phase of the pricing strategy that involved restoring prices back to normal to capitalize on the captured clientele.
Though harshly criticized by their rivals for implementing price cuts and discounts below normal market standards, the company capitalized on the opportunities they curved for themselves in the target market segment (Bojanic & Reid, 2009:96). Shipments headed to Middle East and China received a 10 percent price reduction as a way of forging permanent business relations with these fast growing economies. In conclusion, by reinvesting back profits to finance the pricing strategy, the company did not strain its reserves as projected in the initial master plan. This pricing strategy formed the foundation for all other marketing strategies that the company has implemented since 2007. Several other companies have also created and developed similar pricing strategies in a bid to catch up with London and Overseas Freighters.
As outlined by Berry and Yadav, flat rate pricing boosts a company’s competitiveness of a service by minimizing the imminent threat of escalating costs. Satisfaction-based pricing application to marketing shipping services offered by London and Overseas Freighters could have increased the company’s profit margins as the penetration pricing strategy. In addition, introducing product guarantee could have increased customers loyalty to the company as well as attract potential customers. The main reason why customers become loyal to a business is the measure of satisfaction they receive from the service or product they purchase from the company. Therefore, London and Overseas Freighters could have ensured this by providing shipping services that meet the needs of each individual customer. By modeling their service products according to the shipping needs of each customer is hard but the rewards are great. A company capable of implementing a satisfaction-focused pricing strategy needs to understand individual needs of each customer before suggesting a price for the services they promise to offer to ensure they include all the costs they are to incur whilst offering the service.
A company offering satisfaction-prices prioritizes customer’s needs over the organization objectives of the company. Therefore, satisfaction pricing is not suitable for marketing service-based products in a competitive market such as UK. According to Berry and Yadav, Relationship pricing could have helped the company to base its pricing parameters on issues that define their individual relationship to their each customer (Berry & Yadav, 1996:160). Some of these factors include how long the customer has been loyal to the company, the total volume of business transacted, and the type of transaction they use regularly. This helps a company to identify profitable and not-so profitable customers. By having such a deep understanding of the needs of each customer, the company can comfortably develop products aimed at different classes of customers in the same market segment (McDaniel & Gitman, 2008:309). Moreover, it is easier to monitor their transactions to assist them derive appropriate discounts for each product line offering.
Relationship-based pricing would assist the company to streamline its product-centric pricing practices across the enterprise as well as to switch to a customer-centric pricing policy (Bateson & Hoffman, 2010:160). RBP solutions assist product managers at London and Overseas Freighters to define price lists for various product lines at a global level as well as define expectations at regional, customer, and account levels. This assists them to personalize the product to fit the needs of the client. Thus, it would be the most appropriate pricing for marketing shipping services offered by London and Overseas freighters in the UK maritime industry.
As a cushion to unexpected over-head costs, Relationship-based pricing would assist the company to take care of the pricing and billing functions of any product. In addition, Relationship-based pricing assists companies to retain loyal clients, sell more to the existing customers, as well as have a 360-degree view of the customer-base to prevent revenue leakage (Ryals, 2009:303). Relationship-based pricing is an economically sound strategy that does not require the replacement of the existing core system to function properly. Furthermore, it is low-risk inclined in that it would enable a company to achieve its business vision successfully.
To achieve true customer-centricity, company could utilize Relationship-based pricing to assist them to leverage and reinforce their individual relationships with each customer the transact business with (Phillips, 2005:24). To improve on the profitability of the each product line, Relationship-based pricing assists a company to facilitate innovative approaches to manage existing customer relationships. It is the easiest way of empowering companies to reward clients for their loyalty by introducing specific pricing and reward scheme aimed at fulfilling the organizational goals and objectives. In addition, Relationship-based pricing helps to minimize the overall maintenance and set-up time for individual customer accounts as well as improve customer communication aimed at reducing misuse of the collected revenue (Berry & Yadav, 1996:159). Therefore, relationship pricing is more suitable for marketing shipping services offered by London and Overseas Freighters.
Efficiency pricing serves to appeal to economically minded customers who are looking for the best priced products or services. Therefore, if implemented by London and Overseas freighters, it would help them to market their shipping services o economically minded customers who are looking for the lowest price possible to ship their products to China and the Middle East. To achieve this, the company would need to redesign their current shipping products to offer discounts for loyal customer every time they ship with them. This would increase customer’s loyalty and increase their annual revenue collection. However, it would cost the company a lot to implement this pricing strategy as getting customers who ship regularly in a competitive market like UK is hard. Therefore, Efficiency pricing is not an appropriate pricing strategy to market shipping service products currently being offered by London and Overseas Freighters.
Reaching Target Markets
Well-articulated marketing strategies assist marketing executives to build adequate awareness of a business, its products, and the service they offer. Communication methods such as company websites, press releases, brochures, and trade show presentations assist an organization to communicate its business offerings to potential customers. To reach its target market easily, London and Overseas Freighters designed an attractive website where customers can view all the product prices that they are currently offering (Goldszmidt, 2003:73). This way, potential customers get a chance to learn of the various shipping services that London and Overseas Freighters offers. Before deciding on which marketing communications strategies to adopt, marketing executives at London and Overseas Freighters carried out a substantial research in the target market. The aim was to identify individual customer’s needs in order to develop appropriate marketing strategies that could ensure every customer is well versed with the shipping services offered by London and Overseas Freighters.
An in-depth analysis of the target market segment assisted marketing executives at London and Overseas Freighters to understand the processes involved in buying and selling shipping services products in order to develop pricing strategies that could march these needs sought by the clients. By the time London and Overseas Freighters introduced low-price cuts to shipments destined to the Middle East and china, no other company in the UK had implemented such a pricing strategy (Vargo & Lusch, 2006:376). Therefore, the company developed and implemented a promotional mix aimed at stimulating potential clients to buy the shipment service packages that the London and Overseas Freighters had introduced into the UK maritime industry.
Positioning In Relation To Competitors
Operating a shipping company in UK is tough a business especially considering the large number of competitors and the current economic downturn. To meet this challenge, the company’s market analysts selected the right combination of promotion tools aimed at squashing the competition and giving the company a competitive edge over their rivals (Vargo & Lusch, 2006:378). The promotion mix depended solely on the shipment needs expressed by potential customers as well as the current pricing standards prevailing in the market segment.
Through promotional advertisements, the company was able to market its products and services to potential customers describing to them how their shipping services could benefit their businesses. Their aim of advertising new product lines was to promote the company as a whole entity rather than single products and services. This served as an efficient way of popularizing the company to all potential clients in UK and its neighboring countries. Moreover, advertising helped London and Overseas Freighters to keep their existing customers updated on new developments in the industry (Bekkum, 2001:129).
To increase on their profit margin after implementing the penetration pricing strategy, London and Overseas Freighters invoked an advisement drive aimed at reducing per unit cost of each product line as well as increasing the sale of their services to their existing customers. This enabled them to communicate their product changes to their customers directly rather than depending on intermediaries to educate potential customers of their new service offerings. Therefore, through advertising they were able to increase their market share formerly commanded by major competitors in the maritime industry in UK.
Forming Customer Expectations of the Services Offered
Introducing new products into a highly competitive maritime industry in the UK necessitated London and Overseas Freighters to develop appropriate ways of forming customer expectations for the Services Offered by the company. This entailed sales promotions, public relations, and personal selling which helped the company to communicate to potential customers of the low-priced shipping services that the company had introduced to all shipments destined to Middle East and china (Jones, 2008:144). Given that the company based its pricing strategies on market analysis derived by professional marketing executives, the new prices were designed to cover almost every hipping need raised by potential customers during the process of analyzing the target market segment.
To reach more customers through direct marketing, the company employed 2,000 sales agents who were responsible of marketing their new price-cuts to potential customers in the streets of London and all major towns in the UK. Moreover, they hired billboards strategically located on all major highways in the UK to post their advertisement targeted at motorists plying these routes (Jones, 2008:143). These advisements outlined the benefits that customers would gain by shipping their products with London and Overseas Freighters. These included assured security for their shipments, full compensation in case shipments were lot before reaching their destination as well as automated methods of handling cargo to prevent breakage and damages commonly associated with manually handling of cargo from a ship. Finally but yet importantly, the company streamlined its electronic cash transfer systems to accommodate clients transacting business with internally recognized credit cards such as American Express, MasterCard, and Maestro inclusive of visa cards too. This enabled customers to transact their businesses in real-time as well as reduce the need of carrying cash to pay for shipping services.
The Impact of Marketing Communication Strategies on the Employee’s Behavior
The marketing communication strategies implemented by London and Overseas Freighters motivated employees to work harder to achieve the set marketing goals and objectives. As a way of motivating them, the company introduced commissions to be earned every time a sales agent convinces a customer to use their shipping serves. This was beside their basic pay that was inclusive of entertainment, housing, and travel allowances. Costs incurred by sales executives travelling abroad to meet with potential customers in Middle East and china were covered under the company’s marketing campaign budget (Gradus & Dijkgraaf, 2008:125). To meet high employee job satisfaction and retention rates, the company introduced a training program that equipped each employee with the relevant knowledge and skills concerning its operations in each department. This gave employees a chance to develop their career in the field they felt suited them most as a way of motivating them to achieve the set organizational goals and objectives.
Equipping employees with the relevant information regarding the core operations of the company gave employees a feeling of belonging to the organization. Finally yet importantly, employees received awards for their achievements as a way of appreciating their commitment to ensuring the realization of the company’s organizational goals and objectives. In some cases, promotions and pay rises were given to employees who showed exemplary marketing skills as well as adequate knowledge in new product management.
In summary, the pricing strategy had to take into account all the legal constraints expected to pose a challenge to the marketing plan endorsed by the organization’s management committee. Lastly, the main objective set for the pricing strategy was to maximize revenue collected by the company from its shipping operations.
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Effects of Multicultural Diversity Organizational Processes
Managing a multinational corporation requires one to understand different cultures that comprise the subordinate staff. This is because different cultural backgrounds promote different social communication skills that define personal relationship amongst members of a certain workgroup. Thus, Members in a heterogeneous group consisting of employees sourced from different cultural backgrounds have the ability to generate diverse ideas that can help streamline organizational strategies. This benefits the organization by improving and enhancing communication links within organizations. Information is thus shared freely amongst the subordinate staff of the organization. Predominantly male or female oriented workgroups suffer from intra-gender conflicts as competition for supremacy in the group disrupts communications within the entire organization. This because power and role struggles dominates relationships between employees as they seek favors from their senior managers hoping to be rewarded with promotions or pay rises. This presents barriers to effective communication hindering the flow of the necessary organization processes pivotal to the business as a separate entity.
According to Hofstede, a manager in charge of such an organization should strive to understand how the subordinates relate to each other culturally before grouping them together to perform a certain task. In addition, it is important for a manager to understand how cultural beliefs affect employee’s judgment towards organizational issues to align the organization goals focused on meeting their personal needs. Thus, the paper will focus on how multicultural diversity affects organizational processes in a Multinational Corporation such as Euro Disney Land.
Multicultural diversity is appreciating and accepting the existence of multiple cultures as related to the demographic make-up of a certain group of individuals. It affects relationships within a group depending on the level of acceptance of different cultures comprising the group. In an organization, it describes the demographic make-up at the organizational level aimed at harnessing benefits of different cultures both from major and minority identity groups. Proponents for embracing multicultural diversity in an organization suggest that increasing the number of minority groups improves cohesion within the organization’s management structure. For example, increasing the number of women in an organization to match the number of the male counterparts, improves contact between them. This in turn it reduces the overlap between sex roles and work roles that hinder proper information flow within the organization’s structure. The overall organizational effectiveness is enhanced by increasing the role of traditionally underrepresented groups within an organization. Multicultural diversity influences both positively and negatively the overall organizational effectiveness of a multinational corporation.
Effects of Group Composition
Demographic diversity increases the pool of human resources that can assist an organization to achieve its set organizational goals and objectives. These may include styles, perspectives, insights related to solving complex organizations needs or problems. For centuries, women and people of color have suffered immense discrimination both at social gatherings and at work places (House, Hanges, Ruiz-Quintanilla, Dorfman, & Javidan, 2010). The cultural perspectives and styles of these marginalized groups are valuable assets that managers of organizations can exploit to improve the overall organization effectiveness other than relying solely on the role played by the majority groups.
In essence, multicultural diversity in managerial ranks of an organization serves the needs of an organization better as compared to reliance on dominant cultures only. Proponents for multicultural diversity further argue that cultural values dominant among black people such as forthrightness, assertiveness, verbal inventiveness, and good will can be beneficial in stimulating organizational interactions among the subordinate (Moon, March 1997). This is a positive representation of how odd deficiencies in a race can contribute to the overall integration of organizational values along ethnic lines. It is important to remember how each race contributes positively towards organizational effectiveness to meet the needs of each employee successfully. It is important for a manager to understand how cultural beliefs affect employee’s judgment towards organizational issues to align the organization goals focused on meeting their personal needs.
Employees feel confident and secure in their jobs whenever they see efforts being made to allow cultural integration within the organization. For example, being a manager of an organization located in the Middle East requires one to embrace the Muslim culture such allowing women to wear veils in the office. This may seem odd in western countries but in culturally controlled civilization such as the Middle East, they demand respect for their culture. Therefore, the manager has no option but to be flexible enough to meet employee’s personal satisfaction in their work. Members in a heterogeneous group consisting of employees sourced from different cultural backgrounds have the ability to generate diverse ideas that can help streamline organizational strategies (Cox, 1994). This in turn provides an opportunity for the manager to improve on the quality of decisions made by incorporating ideas sourced from different employees. In a study carried out at Apple.inc on May 3, 2008, mixed-sex groups performed better in organization processes than single-sex groups. This was an indication of how useful multicultural diversity is towards mobilizing human resources to achieve set organizational goals.
Diversity and Workgroup Functioning
Even though increasing the number of traditionally underrepresented groups yield more success to the organization, it does require power relations balance between the dominant and subdominant groups in the company. On gender representation, empirical values favor men more than women skewing the trend towards male dominated leadership. Some cultures prohibit women from desiring to compete equally to men for leadership but should rather concentrate on family matters (Kundu, July – December 2001). This favors men over women increasing the gender disparity in Multinational Corporation to less than 30% of the total number of employees. Allowing employees to express their individual perspectives at the place of work may fetch in both rewards and disaster for the organization. First, benefits because the organization has a large pool of human resources committed to meet the set organizational goals and objectives. On the contrary, they may express their newfound freedom to indulge even in matters not concerning them.
Integration and Learning
In a heterogeneous group, decision-making takes long as everyone’s opinion must be put into account complicating the organizational process that is simple when attempted by a homogeneous group. Thus, the manager should play the role of integrating cultural diversity in a workgroup to ensure all the functions of the organization are in harmony with the subordinate’s views (Cox, 1994). Training programs offer employees a chance to understand the role they play in an organization minimizing conflicts commonly associated with managing a heterogeneous group.
Access and Legitimacy
Unlocking the potential of a business or an organization requires communicating the organizational goals to all the members of the subordinate. Therefore, managing an international corporation requires giving every subordinate access to the information more so that relating to their field of operation (Cox, 1994). To control information shared within an organizational process; employees can be issued with different access codes limiting the information they retrieve.
Diversity Climate Factors
In a group, personal affiliations with people of different cultures affect the overall organizational behavior in a multinational corporation. Therefore, a manager in charge of such an organization should strive to understand how the subordinates relate to each other culturally before grouping them together to perform a certain task. This because employees define their values and principles based on their group affiliations. Most employees feel confident to work when coupled with subordinates they share a cultural background with since personal affiliations boost their self-esteem. Being a member of a certain tribe or race attracts several stereotypes that may irritate the subject of ridicule. For instance, a Black American would feel uncomfortable working with a white colleague because of the dark past between the two races (Kundu, July – December 2001). Muslims are falsely mistaken to be terrorists just because of their choice of religion. Other races seem to view them with suspicion thus weakening trust among subordinates. This eventually affects the overall performance of the group and may stall organizational processes due to differences in personal beliefs and affiliation.
Therefore, to rally such a group requires first understanding their personal relations in order maximize their output by utilizing their individual relationships. Personal affiliations are a key source of motivation that is cost-free to the organization. In this, the manager needs only to group the subordinates according to their personal affiliations to trigger personal motivation amongst the employees as they seek to impress their colleagues.
According to a research carried out by Ijzendoorn, a Dutch researcher in 2005 revealed that some persons affiliated to certain cultural groups suffer discrimination and prejudice for simply being members of the minority group. Authoritarian personalities present in dominant races seem less tolerant towards subordinates who are members of underrepresented minority groups (Guidroz, Kotrba, & Denison, 2009). This causes tension between how the two groups relate towards the chain of authority in an organization. For instance, the three major sources of prejudice namely communication proficiency, physical attractiveness, and legal issues such immigration affect relations among individuals in a multicultural group created to achieve a certain objective.
Irrespective of an employee’s educational status and academic achievements, physical attractiveness rooted in their DNA plays a major role when a manager is choosing the subordinates to work with. In addition, their communication attitude attributed to their upbringing and cultural backgrounds determines how an employee responds to others working in the same unit or group (Rao, 2006). In the current business world, English language is a prerequisite for every employee seeking to work for a multinational corporation. Thus, if someone is not proficient enough in the language they are viewed as not intelligent enough.
In an organization, the root cause of power struggles is because of stereotyping among the subordinates. For example, hiring a woman as the senior manager in organization causes a status of rebellion among male compatriots. This role-playing struggle affects the flow of information throughout the organization’s management structure. Those against the proposed power-sharing status in the organization present hurdles aimed at discouraging all her managerial efforts and strategies.
Stereotypes that exist within a working organization may affect the establishment of productive relationships across the subordinate staff as people relate to different cultural identities differently. If the divide is too wide between the two groups involved in the power struggle, the manager should intervene to arrest the situation before it evolves into a managerial crisis that may halt vital organizational process (Appelbaum, 2002). Personal relationships among employees working for an international corporation determine the level of trust bonding them together to achieve the set goals and objectives efficiently.
In an organization, informal groups define themselves along factors such as common language, ethnocentrism, and social similarities among the subordinates. These social networks play a very vital role in enabling efficient communications within an international corporation. Differences in races and cultural backgrounds determine the dominant social networking skills possessed by different employees (Ely & Thomas, June, 2001). Therefore, the senior manager of a Multinational Corporation should be accommodative enough to understand how well to communicate to each group of employees formed along certain social networking skills. People prefer to associate themselves more with those who share a common cultural background, as they feel closer to them due the common features they share culturally.
Multicultural Diversity and Management
The basic attitudes and values shared by individuals of a certain cultural group affect their response to managerial attitudes and ideologies. Moreover, since culture affects how people think and act, it can affect positively or negatively government-business relations (Lott, 2010). In some cultures or societies, a few top managers are charged with the responsibility of making important decisions related to the organizations they lead in complete disregard of the opinions expressed by the subordinate.
In a country such as Japan, employees relate more close to an organization’s management as compared to their American counterparts who do not care about the welfare of the organization they are working as long as they get their pay. This shows that if one has to manage an organization that is based in these two countries, they must be ready to vary their managerial strategies to suit the two situations (Lott, 2010). In communist and socialist economies, cooperation is encouraged among people while in Capitalist economies competition is seen as the only way to achieve success. Therefore, the type of eco-cultural ideologies embraced by a society determines the type of organizational strategies used to implement the company’s missions on a foreign territory.
According to Hofstede, being the senior major of a multinational corporation requires understanding the different cultural divides that exist in a common work group. This is because an international corporation does business in different countries sourcing their human resource from the native population. This brings in the factor of cultural disparities as people relate differently to foreign authority. In some case, an international corporation doing business in a foreign territory may be seen as an extension of neo-colonialism especially in communist and nationalist societies. This presents barriers to effective communication hindering the flow of the necessary organization processes pivotal to the business as a separate entity (Bhattacharyya, 2010). A variety of opinions generated by cultural differences assist to improve the quality of decisions made as well as the emergence of unique behavioral styles of leadership. For decades, gender disparity affects the communication behaviors exhibited by individuals within a workgroup as they relate uniquely to each other based on their different cultural affiliation. Thus, it is crucial for a manager to create and develop workgroups that reflect gender balance based on cultural motivation to self-motivate the subordinates to remain loyal to their duties and responsibilities.
Predominantly male or female oriented workgroups suffer from intra-gender conflicts as competition for supremacy in the group disrupts communications within the entire organization. In male dominated, money and power are the main causes of conflict as each member of the group wants to be regarded as the most influential due to the great power and respect they command in the entire organization. Chauvinistic male senior managers tend to prey on women for sexual favors in exchange for work-related appointments that promise money and power to women victims (Kochan, Bezrukova, Ely, & Jackson, November, 2002). This stems from the way culture has conditioned men that a woman is barely a sexual object that can be bought at a cost. Due to the harsh economic conditions being experienced worldwide, women tend to give in to these temptations to gain financially even though they have to compromise their morals upheld by their cultures.
Influence on Group process and Group Outcomes
Positive communications links bonding the members of a workgroup together help to reduce conflicts as well as improve cooperation among the group members. Efficient problem-solving strategies coupled with concise communications links improve the overall performance of the workgroup. For a group of subordinates to achieve success in completing a task delegated to them by the senior manager, they must be willing to communicate ideas, collaborate as well as compromise their views and opinions to increase the overall performance of the group (Guidroz, Kotrba, & Denison, 2009). Therefore, the senior manager should give the group the freedom to be creative by allowing them to utilize their cultural affiliations to improve their daily outcome delivery frequency. Thus, effective communication skills sourced from employees sharing different cultural backgrounds reduce the degree of organization conflicts as well as establish positive influence on the overall workgroup outcomes.
Cultural and Gender Diversity and Group Outcomes
Multicultural diversity increases a groups critical thinking base as personal relations amongst the members of the group generate alternative viewpoints to an issue requiring consultations before a decision is made about the overall group process. This redefines the clarity of decisions of individual workgroups in an organization improving the overall organizational outcomes. If cultural diversities within an organization promote negative effects such as racism, tribalism, gender disparity and discrimination, then the ripple effect will cause a negative process outcome affecting other group processes such as communication (Bhattacharyya, 2010). Thus, the manager of such an organization should try to attain equitable balance between the effects of culture and gender diversity in order to focus the energy and resources of the entire workgroup towards achieving set goals and objectives. It is hard but with proper training and experience one can absorb cultural differences prominent in a group and promote unity and accountability within the organization.
Even though gender equity promotes balance and cohesion within a workgroup, empirical figures fail to support this phenomenon in a normal working place as men usually outweigh the number of female colleagues by far. This is because most cultures do not allow women to pursue their careers reducing their chances of entering the corporate level of business management (Ely & Thomas, October 2000). For instance, in countries such as Germany, France, UK, U.S, and Eastern European countries, good governance and leadership is viewed as the central keys pillars that support democracy and fairness within an organization. In an organization, the founders tend to determine the behavior of their subordinate leaders by ensuring they use management selection criterions that favor members of a certain culture as their preferred employees. Furthermore, the societal and cultural norms endorsed by the founders of an organization induce global leadership practices desired by the owners. In turn, the subordinate managers have the responsibility to enforce the norms throughout the organization.
Once the founders of the organization establish the initial organizational culture, subsequent leaders and their subordinates have a responsibility of upholding the practices irrespective of their cultural backgrounds. However, as the leadership of the organization is handed down to different generational leaders, dominant organizational cultures are usually altered to favor the dominant races or genders within the organization. This is usually unfair to the minority-underrepresented groups, as they have to tone down their cultural beliefs to accommodate the overall organizational cultural norms dominant in each workgroup they join (Moon, March 1997). Organizational contingencies force managers of international organization to adopt new leadership attributes aimed at fostering the desired communication behavior within the organization.
A Case Study on How Multicultural Diversity Affects International Corporations
Euro Disney Cultural Problems in France
According to Hofstede’s cultural dimension on power distance index, Euro Disney Park under the management of Ron miller failed to understand the acceptance levels of power and authority among the French population that they expected to be their customers. Since France has a high Power Distance Index of 69 out of 100 on Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, it therefore means that the French population is more assertive to infringement on their individual privacy by the government or any powerful institution such as Euro Disney S.C.A (Keegan & Green, 2002). It was a failure by the management of Euro Disney to start requiring French citizens working for them and those visiting the park to speak in English at all meetings inside the park.
Trompenaars’ Research on Organizational Culture
According to Hofstede’s cultural dimension on Uncertainty Avoidance Index, France has a high score of 86/100. This means that the French population was not tolerant to trends of uncertainty and ambiguity that Euro Disney management were trying to introduce to the rigid French culture. Euro Disney management disregard for the French culture was the beginning of the company’s problems in its operations in France. In addition, they required all the employees working for them to maintain a strict Disney’s appearance code for members of staff. This appearance code for members of staff required every one working at Euro Disney to use no make-up, facial hair, tattoos nor any type of jewelry while working for the company.
Trompenaars’ research on organizational culture helps to explain the cultural differences between the United States and France by highlighting how the management of Euro Disney developed a pattern of assumptions that eventually led to its slow growth in Paris France. The Managers at Euro Disney made so many assumptions about how they expected the French population to accept their American culture. What they failed to understand is that the French citizens loved their personal space and individual rights protected by the French law and any attempt to infringe on was met with numerous lawsuits that destabilized the operations of the company (Keegan & Green, 2002). The most appropriate way that the company would have to gain popularity between the French population, would have been to embrace the French language and culture as proposed to them by the French government. This would have attracted even those natives of France who did not speak English fluently as they would be allowed to converse in French whist in the park.
Mistakes That the Company Made In Managing Euro Disneyland
The three major mistakes that the company made in managing Euro Disneyland are as follows. The first major mistake that the company made when they set ground in France was requiring English to be spoken at all meetings inside the park. Many throughout France criticized this ignorant stand on language (Goodman, 1999). One very vocal journalist wrote in a French paper Le Figaro that he wished with all his heart that the rebels would set Euro Disneyland on fire for the lack of respect for the indigenous French culture. Many protesters viewed this restriction on language use in the park as new age colonialism. It was not fair for the managing director of Euro Disneyland to restrict speaking in French in the park since it is the national language of France and his target market is the French population (Ely & Thomas, June, 2001). Some people refused to visit the park not because they were not interested but it was because they considered language restrictions in the park as a form of cultural imperialism that the Americans were trying to introduce to France.
Therefore, the company failed to attract the population it was targeting to capitalize on leading to the company making huge losses within its first year in operation. The second mistake that the company made was imposing dressing code regulations to all its employees. This regulation required all the employees of the company to limit their use of make-up, facial hair, tattoos and jewelry. The company did not take a proper dress code survey before they imposed this regulation (Keegan & Green, 2002). This is because if they did they would have learnt of the rich fashion culture that blooms in France and by imposing this regulation; they were insulting the fashion culture in France as a national heritage. The third major mistake that the company made in its operations in France was that they created small pathways like those in their main branch in California.
In summary, multicultural diversity affects the overall organizational culture that is dominant within workgroups comprising the organizational process. In addition, gender equity a key component of cultural relativity at work reduces conflicts within an organization improving the effectiveness of each organization process. In addition, personal affiliations with people of different cultures affect both positively and negatively the overall organizational behavior in a multinational corporation. Therefore, a manager in charge of such an organization should strive to understand how the subordinates relate to each other culturally before grouping them together to perform a certain task. Lastly, members in a heterogeneous group consisting of employees sourced from different cultural backgrounds have the ability to generate diverse ideas that can help streamline organizational strategies. This in turn provides an opportunity for the manager to improve on the quality of decisions made by incorporating ideas sourced from different employees.
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A work environment that has a poor health management system has a tendency to encounter consequences for the individual, association and the group on the loose. In a health care system, impacts of ailment and harm have been secured and they extend from little problems to big outcomes. The impacts incorporate suffering; sickness, harm, pain and demise; mental damage; money related issues; low spirit; lessened productivity; poor profit; group expenses; and poor corporate image. Most associations are confronted with the test of guaranteeing that their representatives lead a strong and anxiety free way of life. Specialists ought not get sick or harmed, and on the off chance that it happens, associations ought to put set up procurement that aid them to come back to wellness.
Survey of policies and strategies
For the health and security enactment to be powerful, there must be successful routes through which the strategies, frameworks, techniques are actualized. First and foremost, the approaches should by ready to follow the structures and courses of action of the social insurance organization. Agreeability can be attained through an arrangement of the accompanying steps:
There are a few means through which an association can execute its safety approaches. Care planning guarantees that there is a successful procedure put set up to actualize the security arrangements. An association can meet this necessity through augmenting the well being of workers, helping by improving security, and actualizing the standards of great practice and security.
Effective correspondence of health and safety in the work environment is generally confronted with a wide mixture of problems and difficulties. In any case, there are different components that ought to be considered to guarantee that the whole process is successful. These prerequisites incorporate risk profit investigation, individual hazard and danger to different people, ramifications of asset utilization, and diverse needs of stakeholders, either outer or internal.
When it comes to conveying and executing health and security methods, systems have a tendency to fluctuate starting with one association then onto the next. Own practice and methodology can be arranged into individual needs, obligations, changes in practice, professionalism and relations in the middle of workers and the customers or patients. There are different approaches, techniques and frameworks that can be used to guarantee that the association comprehends and imparts health and security in the working environment. These frameworks can be ordered in four different gatherings.
Health and Safety Act 1974
The Health and Safety Act 1974 (additionally alluded to as HSWA, the HSW Act, the 1974 Act or HASAWA) is the essential bit of enactment covering word related health and safety in Great Britain. It is an Act to make further procurement for securing the health, security and welfare of people at work, for ensuring others against dangers to health or wellbeing regarding the activities of people at work, for controlling the keeping and utilize and keeping the unlawful obtaining, ownership and utilization of risky substances, and for controlling certain emanations into the environment; to make further procurement concerning the business medicinal warning administration; to revise the law identifying with building regulations, and the Building (Scotland) Act 1959; and for joined purposes.
Execution of health and safety legislation
All ideas of health, danger and security ought to be unmistakably enunciated. The dangers can be classified into the accompanying gatherings: zero risks, least risk, property dangers, individual dangers; mischance anticipation, danger restriction, emergency treatment; security versus health, insurance from loss; and practices, substances and equipment premises.
The association recognizes the laws passed concerning health and security and methods for actualizing them. There are Health and Safety at Work Acts and also codes of practice and related regulations. Others incorporate Food Acts and those particular to health and social care, for example, Mental Health Acts.
Great communication skills are key for you as a director to pass on data, to give training and feedback, to increase understanding, to rectify mistakes or perilous conduct, and to organize with different divisions, ventures and gatherings. Communication can be written, verbal, visual, or through non-verbal communication, by exhibiting, or essentially by showing others how it’s done. Perceive diverse learning styles and pick your specialized tool in like manner (Duggan, 1998).
Used for strategies, guidelines, SOPs etc. Simple to convey and this can be posted with reader, but needs writing proficiency and is hard to keep up and overhaul.
Verbal: Used for one-on-one, group gatherings, telephone and so forth. This style is common, simple to do, and gives an individual touch. This methodology can prompt perplexity and inconsistencies.
Visual: This style generally uses pictures/design/features in training. This style requires significant investment to plan.
Demonstration: This style ranges for certain learning. This style can overcome challenges, yet is lengthy, obliges a skilled mentor, and can be troublesome in loud situations. Perceive that everybody learns in an unexpected way. In this manner, powerful correspondence frequently obliges a combination of distinctive styles. At last, you should dependably check laborers’ acceptable comprehension of the thought or idea you were attempting to convey.
Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals Regulations) 1996
The Regulations spread different method for conveying health and safety data. These incorporate the utilization of illuminated signs, hand and acoustic signs, e.g. fire alerts, talked correspondence and the stamping of channel work containing unsafe substances. These are notwithstanding conventional signboards, for example, denial and cautioning signs (Reason, 2001). Fire security signs, i.e. signs for flame passageways and fire-fighting equipment are additionally secured. They oblige employers to give particular security signs at whatever point there is a hazard that has not been dodged or controlled by different means, e.g. designing controls and safe frameworks of work. Where a security sign would not assist to decrease that hazard, or where the danger is not critical, there is no compelling reason to give a sign. The regulations, where important, oblige the utilization of street movement signs inside working environments to manage street activity furthermore oblige businesses to keep up the health signs which are given by them, clarify new signs to their workers and let them know what they have to do when they see a security sign. The Regulations apply to all spots and exercises where individuals are utilized, however prohibit signs and names utilized within association with the supply of substances, items and gear or the vehicle of perilous merchandise.
A responsibility or commitment to attractively perform or complete an assignment (allocated by somebody, or made by one guarantee or circumstances) that one must satisfy, and which has an ensuing failure for risk.
As an employer, it is your obligation to keep up a protected and healthy work environment. A security and health administration framework, or health system, can help you center your deliberations at enhancing your work environment.
Don’t imagine it any other way, overseeing corporate risk is a key issue for all executives and senior administrators to address. There is much to say in regards to this subject and the accompanying is simply a synopsis of a percentage of the fundamental focuses included.
It may well be worth recalling that the compelling administration of health and dangers increases the value of the business by expanding the prosperity and benefit of representatives consequently serving to avoid ailment and harm. This perpetually has long haul and positive impact on turnover and benefit. What’s more specialist contribution in wellbeing & security underpins a positive wellbeing and health society (Sackett, 1979).
The rule sets out four center obligations regarding executives in their health and security administration part: strategy and arranging; convey; screen; and surveys. This can also be followed in the case study. Under each of these headings, the rule sets out a discourse of every obligation; an arrangement of inquiries to be utilized by chiefs as an apparatus to figure out if the association’s practices are proper; and a rundown of chief activities. The activities for chiefs are isolated into two classifications – benchmark activities and prescribed practice. The rule additionally sets out obligations of directors. The following is a review of the general obligations regarding directors as set out in the rule.
Approach and planning
To focus the board’s sanction and structure for heading health and security.
To focus abnormal state health and security procedure and arrangement, including giving an announcement of vision, convictions and strategy showing the board’s dedication to, and convictions about the administration of health and well being.
To consider administration responsible for executing procedure.
To point out focuses on that will empower them to track the association’s execution in executing board procedure and arrangement.
To deal with the health and security execution of the CEO, including determining desires and giving criticism.
To set out a reasonable desire for the association to have a fit-for-reason health and security administration framework.
To practice due persistence to guarantee that the framework is fit-for-reason for existing, being adequately actualized, consistently evaluated and constantly made strides. To be sufficiently educated about the nonexclusive prerequisites for a present day, ‘best practice’ health and security administration framework and about their association and its risks to know whether its framework is fit-for-reason, and being viably actualized. To guarantee sufficient assets are accessible for the improvement, usage and support of the framework (Lewis, 1997).
To screen the health and security execution of the association.
To layout clear desires on what ought to be accounted to leave and in what timelines.
To audit reports to figure out if intercession is obliged to accomplish, or support hierarchical enhancements.
To make them acquainted with procedures, for example, review, hazard appraisal, occurrence examination, sufficient to empower them to legitimately assess the data before them.
To look for autonomous master exhortation when needed to increase the obliged level of confirmation.
To guarantee the board leads an occasional (e.g. yearly) formal audit of health and security to focus the viability of the framework and whether any progressions are needed. To guarantee the board considers whether an outside survey is needed for a free presumption.
Role of Health and Safety Commission and HSE
The Health and Safety Commission (HSC) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are the two agencies responsible for health and safety in Great Britain. The merger is a sensible proposal however the move could prompt a tremendous loss of accomplished HSE staff that are unwilling to migrate. The first authoritative system administering work environment health and security is proportionate however bosses can be over-careful in their elucidation of its procurements, expanding the agreeability trouble on themselves. Over-fanatical wellbeing and security “specialists” help this issue and the report requires an arrangement of accreditation of advisors and guides.
Different conclusions and suggestions include
HSE plans to meet a 60:40 proportion of proactive and sensitive work, yet organizations are just prone to have a HSE investigation recently once like clockwork and mischance examinations are, no doubt scaled back. Current levels of fines for health and security offenses are excessively low and don’t give a sufficient hindrance to guarantee obligation holders conform to their commitments. There is increment in the quantity of fatalities in the development business, the seaward oil industry’s disappointment to reach its significant danger sub targets, and wellbeing and dangers to vagrant specialists are key territories of sympathy toward HSE. HSE is attempting to adapt to its word related health transmit. It confesses to basing its word related health plan on a fragmented information source and is neglecting to reach its word related sick health targets. HSE needs to focus on its center transmit and measures to broaden its obligations into different zones puts an intemperate strain on its assets and dangers occupying its centering.
All associations utilizing five or more individuals must have a composed Health and Safety Policy explanation (Sackett, 1979). The approach ought to cover all parts of the association and be significant to all workers. A Health and Safety Policy shows how genuinely an association takes its wellbeing and security obligations. A decent strategy will demonstrate how the association ensures the individuals who could be influenced by its exercises. The arrangement ought to be of a suitable length and significance to the exercises and size of the association. Legitimate obligations and commitments around Health and Safety Policies
Act 1974 The Act says that you must set up your announcement and bring it to the consideration of all workers. The approach ought to be checked on and modified as regularly as essential. Legitimately, the approach just obliges you to address the wellbeing and security matters identifying with workers, however in numerous associations, it is a decent thought to have an arrangement that considers the security of other people who may be influenced by your exercises, i.e. volunteers, builders and the overall population. With or without a composed approach, all superintendents have an obligation of forethought to secure their representatives and others from mischief emerging from work exercises.
Environmental Health is the estimation, assessment and control of components inside our surroundings that have an impact on the health and prosperity of people in general. Word related Health is that part of Environmental Health, which frets about the association between the working environment and the soundness of the specialist. The Common Law’s commitment of Duty of Care is pertinent to everybody to guarantee that the conclusion of one’s activities or communications does not influence others adversely. Individuals have the right to expect and guarantee that there is a satisfactory level of control over those natural elements that influence their state of well being. Parts of a group ought to have the right to drink safe water, to inhale safe air, to consume safe nourishment, to live in sheltered asylum, to have a safe work environment in which to win a wage, and a safe group in which to live. Statutory Authorities have a legitimate and tying obligation to control those components representing an unsuitable danger to the group.
Hospitals are vast, authoritatively intricate, framework driven foundations utilizing expansive quantities of specialists from diverse expert streams. They are likewise conceivably unsafe working environments and open their laborers to an extensive variety of physical, synthetic, organic, ergonomically and mental perils (Smith, 1985). Clinics likewise assume an essential part in group assurance through more extensive Public Health issues including damage and disease avoidance, health reconnaissance and illness notice, and debacle administration. Furthermore, well beyond their center business of intense human services for inpatients, clinics are likewise concerned for the security and insurance of those inpatients regarding nonsocial disease control, clearing arrangements for inner crises, and sustenance planning and taking care of by the clinic kitchen. At last, healing facilities are likewise concerned with environment assurance through their waste administration procedure, and specifically, the accumulation and transfer of tainted waste.
Risk Assessment is the place the seriousness of the Hazard and its potential conclusions are considered in conjunction with different variables including the level of presentation and the quantities of persons uncovered and the danger of that peril being figured it out. There are various diverse formula used to ascertain the general danger from fundamental figuring utilizing high, medium and low classifications to convoluted calculations to figure dangers at Nuclear force stations and other high hazard work areas.
As a feature of dealing with the well being and security of your business you must control the dangers in your work environment. To do this you have to contemplate what may cause damage to individuals and choose whether you are making sensible moves to keep that mischief. In the event that you have less than five workers you don’t need to record anything. A danger appraisal is not about making immense measures of paperwork, but instead about distinguishing sensible measures to control the dangers in your working environment. You are most likely officially making moves to secure your workers, however your danger evaluation will help you choose whether you have secured everything you need to. Contemplate how mischances and sick health could happen and focus on true dangers – those that are no doubt and which will result in the most damage. For a few dangers, different regulations oblige specific control measures. Your appraisal can help you distinguish where you have to take a gander at specific dangers and these specific control measures in more detail. These control measures don’t need to be evaluated independently however can be considered as a major aspect of, or an augmentation of, your general danger appraisal.
Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992
You have to follow the risk evaluation prerequisites set out in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and the prerequisite in the Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (as changed) (MHOR) to do a danger appraisal on manual taking care of assignments.
The MHOR Regulations
The business’ obligation is to stay away from Manual handling the extent that sensibly practicable if there is a plausibility of damage. If this isn’t possible then they must lessen the danger of harm the extent that sensibly practicable. In the event that a worker is whining of inconvenience, any progressions to work to stay away from or decrease manual taking care of must be checked to check they are having a positive impact. Then again, in the event that they are not meeting expectations acceptably, choices must be considered.
The regulations set out a progression of measures to diminish the dangers of manual handling:
evade unsafe manual taking care of operations so far as sensibly practicable; survey any unsafe manual taking care of operations that can’t be kept away from; or diminish the danger of damage so far as sensibly practicable.
Workers have general health and security obligations to: take after suitable frameworks of work set down for their security make fitting utilization of supplies accommodated their security co-work with their superintendent on health and security matters educate the boss in the event that they distinguish unsafe taking care of exercises fare thee well to guarantee that their exercises don’t put others at danger
A moral situation is a complex circumstance that frequently includes an obvious mental clash between good objectives, in which to comply with one would bring about transgressing an alternate. Great talks on morals are regularly determined by circumstances that test our capacities to focus the correct thing to do, do successful moral activity, or lay out a powerful system for evading moral deterrents later on. Given that conceivable outcomes for moral clash exist in many fields, this area gives connections to destinations particularly equipped towards furnishing you with materials significant to your field.at first look, this moral quandary is decently clear: It is an ill-use of your manager to lead private concern on organization time. Be that as it may there are shades of light black here. Suppose it is possible that your companion calls to let you know that your kids are sick. Is it accurate to say that it is OK for you to calendar a medical checkup? A decent dependable guideline is for a worker to check with his supervisor or human assets chiefs to clear up what include as a significant offense the organization (Horne, 1997).
Non-compliance is a significant, extravagant, immovable issue in healthcare which can prompt wretchedness and mischief. I have contended that the hypotheses of the reasons for human slip in associations could give an influential explanatory model of resistance. On the off chance that my contention is underpinned by experimental examination, then it would prompt distinctive methodologies to diminishing rebelliousness improvement of hypothesis.
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