Porter’s National Diamond Analysis

Porter’s National Diamond Analysis and Strategy – A Must Read For Business Management Students

Title: Porter’s National Diamond Analysis. Porter has undeniably enhanced understanding of competitive advantage with his published studies in The Competitive Advantage of Nations (1990) and On Competition (1998), among others. His analytical framework, called the ‘diamond’ captures the major determinates of competitive advantage of international business (Porter, 1990). Influencing the major determinates are chance and government.

Although Porter has focused his studies on developing or newly developed nations, the principles may be applied to developing nations, as demonstrated by Ainslie et al (2005). The core question was whether the principles would apply to lesser developed countries such as the island nations in the South Africa and particularly South African food retail industry. In this study we will discuss the Porter’s National Diamond analysis (PND), two key management issues and the market entry strategy in the selected county South African business environment to draw a clear conclusion and future recommendations to the top management of the food retail industry.

In this study Porter’s diamond analysis will discuss, which attempts to identify the sources of international competitive advantage, may be applied to lesser developed island nations of the South Africa. Porter (1990, 675) stated that the Porter’s National Diamond framework may be applied to lesser developed countries (LDC) where they tend to have a competitive advantage in industries. In these countries like South Africa, the basic advantage factors are cheap labour, abundant natural resources, and location advantages which increase their ability for export businesses.

Exports are sensitive to world market prices, leaving LDCs exposed to exchange rate and resource cost swings. This problem is intensified when an LDC faces the protectionist policies of the developed nations. Developed nations place trade restrictions on most of what an LDC does well: textiles and agriculture. By lifting tariff and non-tariff barriers on these sectors through the implementation of regional and multilateral trade agreements lesser developed countries may have the opportunity to develop competitive advantages in certain industries (Ezeala-Harrison 2005).

Porter (1990) has rendered a major service to the global community in identifying many of the explanatory variables of competitive advantage, which has shaped a new assumption to understand why a country’s success, but in some other industries. His analytical framework, known as the “diamond”, shoots the main determinant factors of competitive advantage. This framework includes demand conditions, factor conditions, support and related industries, corporate strategy, structure, and competition. Through a review of literature, the competitive advantage on production was evaluated by investigating the existence of clusters using Porter’s National Diamond theory.

Developing Porter’s National Diamond Framework

Porter (1990) found the answer to why a nation achieves achievement in a specific industry in the course of four broad characteristics a nation possesses. These attributes shape the home business setting by which domestic firms participate to support or obstruct the establishment of competitive advantage. The four broad attributes, or what Porter defined as the determinants of nation advantage, include: demand conditions, factor conditions, support and related industries, company strategy, firm structure, and industry rivalry.

The four determinants work both as a system and individually to create the environment in which a South Africa’s food retail firms are created and compete to gain and sustain competitive advantage. Besides the four attributes of nation advantage, Porter (1990) incorporated the functions performed by the state and probability as issues affecting the proper functioning of the nation attributes.

The complete framework developed by Porter was presented in Figure 1. Porter termed the framework the diamond due to the obvious shape of the four determinants that it is a vibrant arrangement in which all fundamentals interrelate and strengthen every other factor. These systemic surroundings make it difficult to imitate the precise arrangement of the business in a different country. In view of the fact that the diamond is a jointly strengthening scheme, the effect of single determinant is dependent on the condition of the other determinants.

Aiginger (2006) explained that having one favourable determinant in an industry it will not lead to a competitive advantage unless other determinants can be created to respond. Advantages in one determinant may create or have a positive effect on other determinants. Nations are most likely to succeed in an industry where the determinants or the diamond is the most positive. To gain a complete understanding of the functionality of the diamond, each determinant was examined, as well as the factors influencing the determinants and the functioning of the diamond as a system.

Porter’s Diamond Framework

Porter’s National Diamond
Porter’s National Diamond

Source: Wall et al (2008)

Factor conditions: Economists have termed the resources or inputs necessary to produce a product or service as factors of production, which include land, labour, capital, infrastructure, and natural resources. Porter (1990) divided factors of production into two basic distinctions, “the first involved basic and advance factors, where basic factors include natural resources, weather, position, skilled and semi-skilled labour, and capital of debt (p. 89). Porter (1990) examined that advance factors, including contemporary digital data communication infrastructure, such as a university graduate engineers and computer scientists with high academic qualifications, a complex subject and university research institutions (p. 77).

South African food retail is endowed with basic factors or they require very little investment to create. These factors tend to be insignificant to the African national competitive advantage or they prove to be unsustainable. Advanced and sophisticated features are more important for company’s economic benefits in that they are scarcer due to their creation demanding huge and continued investments in human and physical capital.

While advanced factors are often built upon basic factors, innovation requires advanced factors that are imperative to the design and creation of products and processes. The second distinction among factors of production is developed on specificity, which Porter broke down into generalized and specialized factors. Factors such as the thoroughfare system, the supply of debt capital, motivated employees with college education or pool are also included in generalized factors. These factors can be utilized in many different industries. Specialized factors occupy barely skilled workers, road and rail network with precise assets, and information basis in meticulous areas (Porter, 1990, p. 78).

Demand conditions. Porter (1990) asserted three significant characteristics of requirements, composition, the dimension and prototype of growth, and the internationalization of home demand, where the latter two are dependent upon composition of home demand. The composition of home demand dictates “how firms perceive, interpret, and respond to buyer needs” (Porter, p. 86). Home demand has important influence on economic benefit, more so than international demand as its proximity, both physical and cultural, makes it easier and quicker to monitor and recognize the buyer’s immediate needs and preferences.

The composition and quality of the domestic demand, relates to a certain extent than amount influential on competitive advantage. More complex and demanding buyers, the greater the pressure, product quality, features and services of local businesses, as well as enterprises able to anticipate the needs of the buyer, in order to meet the high standard terms and conditions. The scale and pattern of growth in domestic demand, with the ingredients, can strengthen its competitive advantage – outlined in Porter’s National Diamond.

Porter (1990) believes that several features of this property include: (a) the size of the domestic demand, it is able to take advantage of economies of scale, and (B) of the independent buyer “stimulus entry and speculation in the business reduce the apparent risk market enterprises will be shut down and limit the bargaining power of the dominant buyer, all profits (94), (c) the growth rate of domestic demand, which will lead to greater investment and technological growth, (d) anticipating buyers needs earlier than foreign rivals, and (e) saturation of the home market to create strong pressures to thrust along prices, bring in new description, develop merchandise presentation, and supply other inducements for buyers to reinstate new versions of old products.

This can happen when African domestic consumers are mobile and travel to other nations to demand the products from their home market, or when home consumers are multinational corporations with operations in other nations. Another mechanism of internationalization is “when domestic needs and desires get transmitted to or inculcated in foreign buyers” (Porter, p. 98). This can occur when foreign travellers use the domestic products or services and take the demand home.

Related and supporting industries

The presence of supplier industries and other related industries in a nation is an important determinant of creation and sustainability of competitive advantage. Porter (1998) stated that internationally competitive domestic suppliers create advantages in other industries in several ways. The competitive related and supporting industries can share common technologies, inputs, distribution channels, skills, customers, and even complementary products, to foster technological spillovers and exchange of information that can spur innovation and upgrading, and ultimately lead to competitive advantage.

According to Ketels (2006), the distribution of business knowledge would to spread between the business companies, human resources because they can be shared educational and research organisations. When internationally successful related industries are present in a nation, they can create demand for a complementary product. Porter referred to this as a “pull through effect” (1990, p. 106).

These complementary products provided by firms in the same nation may be more cost effective since the firms are used to dealing with their own rather than foreign firms. Lastly, firms from related industries may feel threatened by new firms wishing to enter the industry putting pressure on existing firms to improve their own competitive advantage.

Firm strategy, structure, and rivalry

Porter’s fourth determinant of competitive advantage included the strategies and structures in which organisations are created, planned and managed, in addition the environment of home rivalry (1990). Porter insisted that the objectives, planning, and methods of organising industries differ extensively between nations, but distinct patterns emerge within nations. The argument was made that a good fit should exist between an industry’s sources of competitive advantage and its structure, and the strategies, structures, and practices favoured by the national environment.

Government and chance

As shown in Figure 1, the government and chance are added to the diamond to complete the system. They are not determinants of national competitive advantage, but do play a vital role in influencing the four determinants. The government can influence and be influenced by each of the determinants, both positively and negatively, which is represented by the arrows pointing both ways (Porter, 1990). Each of the determinants is affected in different manners. The Government’s education policies and subsidies also affect factors conditions. Set of standards and regulations will affect demand conditions and related supporting industries.

A firm’s strategy, structure, and rivalry can be affected by the government’s involvement in capital market regulations, tax policies, and antitrust laws. Porter (1990) viewed the appropriate role of government as one of reinforcing the determinants of national advantage instead of attempting to create the advantage itself. The role of government is viewed differently as nation’s progress through successive stages of competitive development. During the early stages of development, especially relevant for developing nations, the government has the greatest direct influence on national advantage. Factor creation is a vital role for the government at this stage to encourage savings, accumulation of capital, and develop infrastructure and technology.

As a nation develops, the government must shift to an indirect role, always aware of its influence on the diamond. The tools used in the early stages of development now become counterproductive, so the government’s role is to create an environment where firms are the innovators, and the government is the “facilitator, signaller, and prodder” (Porter, p. 672).

Chance, also lying outside of Porter’s National Diamond, plays an important role in influencing competitive advantage. Some illustrations of chance events include development and innovation, oil shocks, major changes in world financial markets, and wars. Chance events may alter the diamond by creating forces that reshape an industry’s structure and allow for discontinuities that shift an industries competitive advantage.

Contemporary Management Issues

When we start talking about management issues within the South African food retail industry, there are some very basic internal as well as issues which are increasing the impacts of management at internal level. There are a large number of contemporary issues in South African food retail industry; however, here we will discuss the flowing two among them.

Crisis Management as an Internal Issue

Crisis process is a threat for the current situation and future of a business, it is very clear that administrative and organisational structure will require a significant change. During the crises, organisational stress reaches the top level. On the one hand try to find suitable solutions to resolve the crisis, on the other hand, the tension created by uncertainty and running time pressures negatively influence the management structure of enterprises.

Business managers have to try minimizing damages with precaution actions. To do this the first way is to make a series of organisational and administrative structure changes. Crisis requires rapid reactions, for this reason business structure is developed to provide quick decision. Standard decision-making methods are insufficient to resolve the crisis; these force managers for new decision-making methods. The important thing is to adapt personally to new environment (Basuroye t al 2003)

For this adoption instead of keeping current values South African food retail industry has to accept new values. Accurate collection of information, communication, which cannot be easily settled up well, and psycho-social status of employees are changing the organisations atmosphere. The atmosphere which is changed will effect significantly communication, motivation, organisational justice and moral, such as organisational trust and organisational citizenship (Stone & Ranchhod 2006).

Another issue which may increase the negative effects of crisis is an absence of proper plan for dealing with crisis, which has to include customers, competitors, vendors, partners, and credit agencies, various internal and external environmental factors. South African food retail industry must have crisis plan, in case they can face the reduction of mobility and flexibility.

Change in income of Company

There are also some external issues besides the internal issues. Biggest external issue is change in income of company and rapid price changes. The increase in costs will automatically come with preventions such as: reduce the number of employees, reduce the social benefits for employees and loading more work to the existing workers. New law and regulations can also increase effects of it. The new taxes, increasing social security contributions, to collapse of the credit facilities, the new customs legislation can also affect business dramatically (Boatwright et al 2007).

When Business managers or owners fail to follow international business changes and when they cannot keep pace with global developments or the country’s economic situation, it can increase negative impacts. If managers of South African food retail industry would not establish an early warning system by making the internal and external business environment analysis, they can face it as an another issue in their industry (Siggel 2006).

Market Entry Strategy using Porter’s National Diamond Strategy

A sound international market entry strategy is becoming gradually more important to the success of new products. The time interval between the launch of the two important issues of related to international market entry strategy are undeveloped international launch window of time (the focus of the country’s national launch of the product) and the sequence.

An important decision relating to international market entry strategy is the decision on the timing of entry into international markets. Two international entry timing strategies are commonly practiced (Chandrasekaran, Deepa, and Gerard, 2008). A waterfall or sequential release strategy is one in which the new product enters multiple countries sequentially. A sprinkler or simultaneous strategy, in contrast, involves almost simultaneous entry into multiple countries- Porter’s National Diamond.

Duan, Bin and Andrew (2008) use a competitive game theory framework to examine simultaneous and sequential strategies and show that sequential entry strategy is appropriate if (1) the product has a very long life cycle, (2) the foreign market is small, not innovative, and characterized by a slow growth rate, and (3) competitors in the foreign market are week.

However, empirical evidence for the success of each of these strategies is mixed. For example, Chandrasekaran, Deepa, and Gerard (2008) find that the takeoff of a new product category in one country increases the probability of takeoffs in other countries, suggesting a sequential release strategy is preferable to a simultaneous release strategy. Duan, Bin and Andrew, (2008) examine international market entry strategies in terms of market scope and the speed of rollout. They find that late mover brands that sequentially enter many large international markets show greater marketing spending efficacy through marketing spillover effect.

Foreign market entry is one of the most important strategic decisions for firms. Managers should consider cross-country spillover effect when they decide country sequence. Firms can increase overall performance in foreign countries, so enhance return on investment by taking advantage of these spillover effects. A firm should launch its products first into countries that are culturally closer to its home country and countries that are more open. Managers also need to consider factors such as potential adopters’ familiarity with the new product and cultural fit of the product with the country when deciding the order of country in the international launch sequence. They need to carefully consider the determinants of country sequence because they affect product performance in foreign countries (World Economic Forum, 2008).

Conclusion of Porter’s National Diamond

To conclude we can say that international business strategy is critical to the success of some products in several industries. Departing from Porter’s approach allowed focusing on the possible affects the regional trade agreement had on clustering. Porter’s (1990) viewing of international competitiveness of industries through the diamond framework seems to hold for the lesser developed nations like South African nations.

References

Aiginger, K. 2006. ‘Competitiveness: from a dangerous obsession to a welfare creating ability with positive externalities’, Journal of Industrial Trade and Competition, 6: 63–66.

Ainslie, A., Xavier D., and Fred Z., (2005), Modeling Movie Lifecycles and Market Share, Marketing Science, 24 (3), 508–517.

Basuroy, S., Chatterjee S., and S. Abraham R., (2003), How Critical Are Critical Reviews? The Box-Office Effects of Film Critics, Star Power, and Budgets, Journal of Marketing, 67 (4), 103–117.

Boatwright, P., Suman B., and Wagner K., (2007), Reviewing the Reviewers: The Impact of Individual Film Critics on Box-Office Performance, Quantitative Marketing and Economics 5 (4), 401–425.

Chandrasekaran, D., and Gerard J. T., (2008), Global Takeoff of New Products: Culture, Wealth or Vanishing Differences? Marketing Science, 27 (5), 844-860.

Duan, W., Bin Gu, and Andrew B. W., (2008), ―The Dynamics of Online Word-of-Mouth and Product Sales: An Empirical Investigation of the Movie Industry, “Journal of Retailing, 84 (2), 233-242.

Ezeala-Harrison, F. 2005. On the competing notions of international competitiveness’, Advances in Competitiveness Research, 13(1): 80.

Ketels, C.H.M. 2006. Michael Porter’s competitiveness framework: Porter’s National Diamond recent learnings and new research priorities, Journal of Industrial Trade and Competition, 6: 63–66.

Porter, M. E. (1992, June). The competitive advantage of European nations: The impact of national culture – A missing element in Porter’s analysis? A note on culture and competitive advantage: Response to van den Bosch and van Prooijen. European Management Journal, 10, 178.

Porter, M. E. (1998). Clusters and the new economics of competition. Harvard Business Review, 76, 77-90.

Porter, M. E. (2003). The economic performance of regions. Regional Studies, 37, 549-578.

Porter, M. E. (1990). The competitive advantage of nations. (Porter’s National Diamond) New York: The Free Press.

Porter, M. E. (1994). Comment on “Interaction between regional and industrial policies: Evidence from four countries,” by Markusen. The World Bank Research Observer, Cary, 303-308. Retrieved June 8, 2004, from ProQuest database.

Porter, M. E. (1998). On competition. Boston: The Harvard Business Review.

Siggel, E. (2006), International competitiveness and comparative advantage: a survey and a proposal for measurement, Journal of Industrial Trade and Competition, 6: 63–66

Stone, H.B.J. & Ranchhod, A. 2006. Competitive advantage of a nation in the global arena: a quantitative advancement to Porter’s diamond applied to the UK, USA and BRIC nations, Strategic Change, 15: 283–294.

R.S. Wall, M.J. Burger and G.A. van der Knaap, (2008), National Competitiveness as a Determinant of the Geography of Global Corporate Networks, GaWC Research Bulletin 285.

World Economic Forum, 2008. Global Competitiveness Report (2006–2007). Geneva: Switzerland.

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Instructional Theories Learning Development

An instructional theory refers to a theory that provides clear guidance on how to assist individuals learn and develop. Instructional theories center on how to design material for enhancing the education of individuals. They differ from learning theories in the sense that while learning theories explain how learning occurs, instructional theories stipulate how to assist individuals to learn.

Stated differently, instructional theories, as informed by learning theories, delineate the core teaching approaches (such as worked examples versus partial solutions, lecture versus cooperative activities, immediate versus deferred reinforcements) that may be included in a lesson. Instructional theories are usually normative and situation specific. The field of instructional science deals with understanding and improving instructional methods to make them more appealing and effective (Edgar, 2012, p. 2).

The origins of instructional theories can be traced to formative endeavors by educational psychologists to map out the link between psychology and the pragmatic application of instructional theory in education settings. John Dewey (1910) and Edward Thorndike (1913) are two important theorists who envisaged a special connection between instructional theory and educational practice (Dijkstra, Schott, Tennyson & Seel, 2012, p. 3). The connection between the philosophical perspectives and instructional theories is obvious. For instance, learning activities in a traditional classroom are centered on and controlled by the instructor, who presents the materials to be learned and prescribes the kinds of learning activities that students engage in.

Learners are expected to read and analyze the information (through homework and classroom activity) until they master it. Knowledge is regarded as a commodity to be passed from the teacher to the learner. In sum, instructional theories identify methods of instruction (ways of supporting and facilitating learning), as well as the circumstances in which the methods may or may not be used.

A Perspective on the Connection between Theory and Practice

The connection between instructional theories and pedagogical practices is made complex by a number of factors. It can be perceived that pedagogical practices should be founded on the best instructional theories available, but this relationship may not be as simple. Educational practices are likely to be informed by philosophical beliefs than by empirical evidence and theoretical discernment of learning. Learning institutions are established according to the various cultural and community beliefs and worldviews, the human nature, as well as what are to be learned. They also differ with respect to their beliefs regarding teaching and learning, although philosophical convictions frequently come first (Duffy & Jonassen, 2013, p. 17).

All instructional programs and educational systems incorporate some instructional theory, even though such theory is in most instances implied and frequently goes unnoticed. Vastly different classrooms materialize from different philosophical views. For instance, if one is of the conviction that knowledge is produced anew by each student, that a student’s mental activity decides what he or she learns, and that learning happens from engaging in authentic assignments in a social atmosphere, then the resultant classroom is likely to involve learners working on projects and learning in groups.

In this manner, the students are able to discuss how best to tackle problems or consult on the meaning of various concepts. There is a consistency between theoretical beliefs and pedagogical practices. However, the question concerning which comes first is not always clear since evidence exists that people seek out and agree to information that affirms their preexisting beliefs while rejecting those that do not conform to such beliefs.

There exists a reciprocatory link between theory and practice. A common conviction is that knowledge flows from systematic theories to the advancement of effectual practices, that effective instructional theories inform sound pedagogical practices (Leong & Austin, 2006, p. 7). However, science does not always work in such a linear manner. An examination of both social and physical sciences reveals that ideas frequently derive from observation and interrogation of naturally occurring events. Scientific theories often come from attempts to find practical solutions to problems, such as asking the question “what is the best approach of teaching the concept of osmosis?”.

Established pedagogical practices that teachers have been found to be effectual should be used as sources of ideas in coming up with a practicable instructional theory. A final caveat in comprehending the connection between theory and practice involves acknowledging that the learners are more important than the instructor in deciding the material to be learned. However, this is not to say that the teacher’s role is unimportant, only that the perceptions, previous knowledge, and beliefs of learners should dictate what and if they learn things related to the teacher’s instructional goals.

Attribution Theory

This theory deals with the manner in which individuals perceive and use information to explain events (Higgins & LaPointe, 2012, p. 1). It looks at what information is collected and how it is treated to shape a causal judgment. Heider (1958) first proposed the attribution theory, although other psychologists such as Weiner (1974) and Jones et al (1972) developed a theoretical framework that later became a key research model in social psychology. Heider offered a discourse on what he termed as “commonsense” or “naïve” psychology. According to his perspective, individuals are similar to recreational scientists, attempting to understand the behavior of other individuals by gathering and analyzing information until they obtain a reasonable cause or explanation.

Instructional Theories – Key Statements and Assumptions

Attribution theory concerns itself with how people construe events and how this construal relates to their thoughts and behaviors. The theory presumes that individuals try to determine why people behave in the manner that they do. An individual seeking to understand why other people or person behaved in a certain manner may attribute one or several causes to the behavior (Erbas, Turan, Aslan & Dunlap, 2010, p. 118). Heider proposed that individuals usually make two kinds of attributions, namely internal attribution and external attribution.

Internal attribution involves the deduction that a person is acting in a certain manner because of some inherent attribute about the individual, such as personality or attitude. Conversely, external attribution involves the assumption that a person behaves in a certain manner due to the circumstances that he or she is undergoing. Attributions are also considerably affected by motivational and emotional drives (Higgins & LaPointe, 2012, p. 3). Faulting other people and evading personal blame are existent convenient and self-serving attributions.

Instructional-Theories-Learning-Development
Instructional-Theories-Learning-Development

Individuals also tend to make attributions in defending against what they perceive as attacks. People sometimes even blame victims for their circumstances as they seek to distance themselves from thoughts and feelings of suffering the same predicament. Lastly, individuals also tend to assign less variableness to other people than themselves, viewing themselves as more versatile and less conventional compared to others.

A three-stage process forms the basis of an attribution. First, the individual must observe or perceive a behavior. Second, the individual must trust that the behavior was deliberately performed, and lastly, the individual must establish if he or she believes that the other person was coerced into performing the behavior (in such a scenario, the cause will be attributed to the circumstances) or not (where the action will be attributed to the other individual). Weiner’s attribution theory focused on achievement. He identified effort, aptitude, task complexity, and luck as essential factors that affect attribution for achievement (Higgins & LaPointe, 2012, p. 2). Attributions are categorized under three underlying dimensions, which include stability, controllability, and the locus of control (Jarvis, 2012, p. 148).

The stability dimension looks at whether causes remain constant or change with time. For example, effort may be categorized as internal and variable while aptitude may be categorized as a constant, internal cause. Conversely, controllability contrasts causes that are within the control of an individual, such as skills, from those that one is not able to control, such as mood, ability, the actions of other individuals, and luck. Lastly, the locus of control dimension is divided into two poles, which include external and internal locus of control.

Application of the Attribution Theory

Weiner’s Attribution Theory has found widespread application in various fields, including clinical psychology, law, and education. Weiner contended that causal attribution determines how people react to achievement and failure. For instance, a student is not likely to experience a sense of pride and accomplishment if he or she receives an A grade from an instructor who gives only higher grades. Conversely, a higher grade from instructors who issues few high grades is likely to lead to immense satisfaction to the student (Weiner, 1980, p. 362).

Students with higher academic achievements and high self-esteem often attribute their superior performance and achievements to internal, established, and intractable factors such as aptitude while attributing failure to internal, tractable factors such as task complexity and the level of effort. For instance, students experiencing recurring failure in numeracy are likely to consider themselves as being less proficient in arithmetic.

This self-perception of numeracy ability evidences itself in the learner’s prospects of success on numeracy tasks, as well in their thoughts on failure or success in the same tasks. Similarly, learners with learning disabilities are more likely to attribute their failure to ability, which is an intractable factor and not effort, which is more tractable.

The Elaboration Theory

This theory holds that to optimize learning, instruction should be prepared in an order of increasing complexity. For instance, when teaching procedural tasks, it is important to present the simplest adaptation of the task first. The lessons that follow should present additional adaptations until all the tasks have been taught. In all the lessons, the teacher should remind the students of all tasks taught (synthesis or summary). An important view of the Elaboration Theory is the observation that the student needs to develop a purposeful context for the assimilation of consequent skills and ideas (Nenkov, Haws & Kim, 2014, p. 769). Therefore, the Theory deals solely with organizational approaches at the macro level.

It stipulates that the instruction begin with an overview that provides knowledge of a few simple but general ideas, with the rest of the instruction presenting exhaustive ideas that expound on earlier ones. The Elaboration Theory includes three models of instruction, as well as systems from stipulating these models based on instructional goals.

Similar to other models of instruction, the three components comprise strategy components. It is imperative to note that the Elaboration Theory is not fixed, but continues to improve as studies expose weak strategy aspects that should be purged from the model and novel strategy aspects that ought to be included into the models.

The Models of the Theory

The three models of the elaboration include procedurally organized model, the conceptually organized model, as well as the theoretically organized model (Reigeluth, 2013, p. 368). A procedurally organized learning program, such as a regression analysis course, would teach the least complex and most generally applicable processes and procedures first, with the rest being taught as is necessary in attaining the same purpose but under different and more challenging conditions.

Conversely, a course in genetics may utilize a conceptually organized model where the general concepts are presented first. Lastly, a course in introductory microeconomics would probably utilize a theoretical structure where the fundamental principles (such as marginal costs, costs and opportunity costs, scarcity, rational choices, etc.) are taught first.

Application of the Elaboration Theory

The theory may be applied to the design of instruction, particularly in the cognitive domain. Instruction is more effectual when it adheres to an elaboration strategy, that is, the use of epitomes comprising analogies, motivators, syntheses, as well as summaries. For instance, nearly all economic principles may be explained as elaborations of the classic law of demand and supply, including taxation, regulation, and monopolies.

Problems with the Instructional Theories and Recommendations

Elaboration theory contends that the structure of content should be made plain and overt to learners through a number of organizers and synthesizers. This view is rather problematic in the sense that presenting learners with an outline that reflects the text structure is likely to encourage memory-level indoctrination and encumber the transfer of the memorized material to problem-solving assignments. Such likely negative outcomes of explicit teaching structure might be because of the continuous knowledge-of-result feedback that is usually characteristic of motor learning tasks. It is uncontested that learning may not occur when learners are able to decipher things effortlessly.

As it is currently constituted, the Elaboration Theory is more of an instructional design procedure than a theory. It provides precise steps for structuring instruction. Such a procedural approach presents two principal problems. First, the procedural directions prescribed beforehand often go beyond the knowledge base regarding instructional and learning processes and are frequently at variance with such knowledge and second, those tasked with designing instructions are disposed to adhere to models in a general, principle-based manner notwithstanding the procedural stipulations.

The theory should be redeveloped into a series of guiding rules that are lucidly referenced to instructional and learning processes. A rule-based formulation will permit instructional designers to adapt the theoretical constructs to a wider variety of situations.

The Component Display Theory

This theory was developed by David Merrill (1983) and delineates the microelements of instruction, that is, particular ideas and means of teaching them (Reigeluth, 2013, p. 279). The theory categorizes learning as bi-directional and comprising of content (concepts, facts, processes, principles, and procedures) and performance (memory and generalities). It identifies four principal forms of presentation, which include rules, examples, recall, and practice.

Rules refer to expositive presentation of generality while examples are expositive presentation of occasions and instances (Duncan & Goddard, 2011, p. 80). Conversely, recall is inquisitory or probing generality while practice refers to probing instances. The Component Display Theory also includes secondary presentation forms, which include goals, mnemonics, preconditions, as well as feedback. The theory stipulates that instruction is only effective as long as it contains all essential primary and secondary forms. Therefore, a comprehensive lesson would comprise of a goal, followed by a permutation of rules, examples, practice, mnemonics, recall, and feedback that are task-specific and appropriate.

CDT further proposes that for a given goal and student, there exists a distinctive combination of the various forms of presentation that leads to the most effectual and successful learning experience. In addition, a number of assumptions underlie the Component Display Theory. While there are several varieties of memory, the theory holds that algorithmic and associative memory structures have direct connections to the performance aspects of Find/Use and remember correspondingly. While algorithmic memory is made up of outlines or rules, associative memory consists of successive levels of network structure. The differentiation between the Find and Use performances lies in the use of extant rules in processing inputs compared to forming new rules through the restructuring of existing ones.

Application of the CDT

 The Component Display Theory has found extensive usage in applied instructional design. It was employed in designing the TICCIT computer-based instructional system (Choi, 1986, p. 40). One of the key roles of instruction is to foster active mental processing by the learner. Evidence exists that there is a direct correlation between the quality and quantity of learning and cognitive processing of pertinent information by the student. Nonetheless, proper use of attention focusing information, as well as an experiential environment, may improve the requisite mental processing, thereby improving the level of learning. Because computers are interactive, the execution of this active involvement becomes easier than is the case with other instructional media.

Limitations of the CDT

There exist at least for different elements of instruction that impinge in student performance, including the organization of instruction, the method of instruction delivery, student motivation, and the method used in managing the interaction between the instruction and the student (Choi, 1986, p. 43). Further, instructional organization may be classified into two distinct categories, which include organizing instruction on a set of topics and organizing it on one topic. The Component Display Theory only examines the organization of instruction on one topic. Although the theory covers only a single, limited facet of instruction, its meticulous procedures offer instructional designers ways of producing effectual instruction within this limited domain.

Instructional Theories Conclusion and Thoughts

The basic aim of instructional theories is to enhance the quality of instruction. A learning-focused instructional theory should provide guidelines for designing learning environments that can offer the proper combinations of self-direction, empowerment, structure, guidance, and challenge. It must also include guidelines for aspects that have been mostly ignored in instructional design, which include deciding among the various instructional approaches, including project-based learning, tutorials, problem-based learning, and simulations.

The needs for learning have increased and, therefore, new paradigms must provide guidelines for promoting social, emotional, spiritual, attitudinal, and ethical development, as well as an intricate understanding, meta-cognitive strategies, complex cognitive tasks, and higher-order critical thinking skills in the cognitive sphere. Various instructional theories must provide guidelines in every of the above spheres of learning and development.

References

Choi, S. Y. (1986). Application of Component Display Theory in Designing and Developing CALI. Calico Journal, 3(4), 40-45.

Dijkstra, S., Schott, F., Tennyson, R. D., & Seel, N. M. (2012). Instructional Design: Volume I: Theory, Research, and Models:volume Ii: Solving Instructional Design Problems. Hoboken, NJ: Taylor and Francis.

Duffy, T. M., & Jonassen, D. H. (2013). Constructivism and the technology of instruction: A conversation. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.

Duncan, S. F., & Goddard, H. W. (2011). Family life education: Principles and practices for effective outreach. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Edgar, D. W. (2012). Learning theories and historical events affecting instructional design in education: Recitation literacy toward extraction literacy practices. Sage Open, 2(4), 1-9.

Erbas, D., Turan, Y., Aslan, Y. G., & Dunlap, G. (2010). Attributions for Problem Behavior as Described by Turkish Teachers of Special Education. Remedial and Special Education, 31(2), 116-125.

Higgins, N. C., & LaPointe, M. R. P. (2012). An individual differences measure of attributions that affect achievement behavior: Factor structure and predictive validity of the academic attributional style questionnaire. Sage Open, 2(4), 1-15.

Jarvis, M. (2012). Teaching psychology 14-19: Issues & techniques. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Leong, F. T. L., & Austin, J. T. (2006). The psychology research handbook: A guide for graduate students and research assistants. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Nenkov, G. Y., Haws, K. L., & Kim, M. J. (2014). Fluency in Future Focus: Optimizing Outcome Elaboration Strategies for Effective Self-Control. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5(7), 769-776.

Reigeluth, C. M. (2013). Instructional-design theories and models: An Overview of Their Current Status. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

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Leadership Strategies for Improving Performance

Dissertation Title: Leadership Strategies for Improving Performance of SMEs in Saudi Arabia

Despite governmental support, healthy international trade and application of varied leadership styles, small and medium businesses in Saudi Arabia continue to struggle and are unable to sustain their operations. One of the factors that contribute to the decline of such firms is poor management. The study adopted the use of both quantitative as well as qualitative approaches in exploring the leadership strategies for improving the performance of small and medium enterprises in Saudi Arabia.

It uses surveys as well as secondary sources from various literatures to determine the leadership strategies that successful businesses in the Saudi Arabia have used to survive, especially during the tough financial times. The conceptual framework that is used in investigating the particular leadership strategies is the transformational leadership theory.

The theory has four tenets, which comprise of idealized influenced, individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation, and inspirational motivation. This research makes use of all these to determine particular ways of enhancing the profitability hence sustenance of the small and medium enterprise in the country. The intention of the study is to recommend the best leadership practices for small and medium enterprises.

The general objective of the study is to do a comprehensive study on Leadership Strategies for Improving the Performance of Small Businesses in Saudi Arabia. There exist various leadership strategies that when implemented have the potential of shifting fundamentally the organizational dynamics as well as the various strategic approaches to managing critical functions of small and medium businesses. The research will be guided by the following research questions:

  • How can leadership strategies be a tactical tool for enhancing success in the organization?
  • What are the leadership strategies that enhance the achievement of strategic business objectives?
  • What is the impact of strategic leadership on strategic development of SMEs in Saudi Arabia?
  • How do leaders drive organizational innovativeness as a strategy to implement change in the small businesses in Saudi Arabia?
  • How does ethical leadership influence the success of small businesses in Saudi Arabia?
Leadership Strategies Dissertation
Leadership Strategies Dissertation

Leadership Strategies Dissertation Contents

1 – Introduction
Context of SMEs
Background of the Study
Key SME Enablers in Saudi Arabia
Definition of SME
Strategic Management
Problem Statement
Objectives of Study
Research Questions
Importance of the Study
Limitations of the Study

2 – Literature Review
Organizational Innovativeness as a component of Leadership
Leadership versus Management
Strategic Leadership
Effective Strategy Implementation
Ethical Leadership
Theoretical Framework
Great Man Theory
Trait Theory
Contingency Theory (Situational)
Style and Behavior Theory
Skills and Characteristics of Strategic Leaders
Strategic Management Paradigm in Small Businesses in Saudi Arabia
Proposed Research Framework

3 – Research Methodology
Leadership Perceptions of small businesses in Saudi Arabia
Research Design
Case Study Research
Data Collection Method and Period of Study
Sample Population
Data Analysis

4 – Presentation of Findings
Gender
Measure of Age Central Tendency
Education Level
Years of Experience in Business
Area of Work
Strategic Leadership Skills key to SMEs
Commitment of Entrepreneurs
The effectiveness of Monshaat Support Center
Tactical Significance of Business Strategies
Significance on Monshaat to Strategy Development
Technology as an Essential Component of Growth
Influence of Ethical Leadership
Innovativeness
Inferential Analysis
ANOVA Model Summary
Testing the Relationship between Response and the Explanatory Variables

5 – Analysis of Findings and Discussions

6 – Research Discussions
Strategic Leadership Framework in SMEs
Monshaat Support Center
Organizational Innovativeness
Information Technology Capability
Presence of Monshaat Support Center
Effective Strategy Implementation
Ethical Leadership as a Strategic Tool for Growth

7 – Recommendations and Conclusion
Recommendations
Conclusion

References

Appendix
Survey Questions

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Recruitment Practices NHS Dissertation

Impact of Recruitment Practices on Employee Retention: A Case Study of Community Nurses in the NHS

This dissertation is based on evaluating the effect of recruitment practices on the retention rate of an organisation. The study focuses on the health sector on NHS and analyses the reason for the high turnover rates of the NHS nurses. Thus, the report is dedicated to the analysis of secondary qualitative and quantitative in finding the effect of the recruitment practices on retention rate in NHS nurses. The report shows the recruitment practices of NHS and the possible reasons for their high turnover.

The study has allowed evaluation of the recruitment and selection practices that have an impact on the retention of the community nurses in the NHS. The reasons of increasing employee turnover or lack of retention as found in the research are; poor recruitment planning, the wrong expectation of job roles and responsibilities, ineffective communication of job roles, and lack of use of technology to express the company’s culture, norms, and facilities. The high turnover rate is linked to the recruitment practices using the literature review of the past studies. The study found a difference in the actual practices and advertised practices of National Health Services.

This is one of the many reasons the NHS nurses are dissatisfied in their workplaces. In the NHS, internal recruitment effectiveness is a primary driver of motivation of nurses and consequently to their retention. The study suggests areas for improvement in the recruitment practices in terms of addressing diversity, regional shortcoming, technology usage, internal recruitment effectiveness, national and international recruitment, and demographic balance.

Dissertation Objectives

  • To explore the impact of recruitment on retention in the NHS
  • To evaluate the existing recruitment practices that drive the retention of NHS nurses
  • To make appropriate recommendations for effective recruitment practice that contribute to the retention of community nurses in the NHS
  • To achieve the research objectives, the following research questions are set:
  • Research Question 1: What are the recruitment practices for community nurses in the NHS?
  • Research Question 2: How the existing recruitment practice are relevant to employee retention on NHS focus?
  • Research Question 3: Which of the best recruitment practices should NHS adopt that retain in the NHS?
NHS-Recruitment-Practices-Dissertation
NHS-Recruitment-Practices-Dissertation

Dissertation Contents

1 – Introduction
Background of the study
Purpose of research
Research questions and objectives
Rationale of research

2 – Literature Review
Human resource management
Recruitment
Retention
Recruitment process
Sources of recruitment
Methods of recruitment
Recruitment challenges
Selection practices
Initial screening and application form
Assessment centres and psychological testing
Interview
Employee turnover
Employee Retention factors
Compensation, reward and recognition
Promotion and work-life balance
Training and development
Job motivation and satisfaction
Job characteristic model
Herzberg motivation theory
Job satisfaction and employee retention

3 – Research Methodology
Research design and approach
Descriptive research
Research approach: Inductive vs deductive
Research methods
Research strategy
Data collection and sources
Study population
Data analysis

4 – Data Analysis
Community nursing expectations framework
Quantitative data
Community nurses as a proportion of the total workforce
Demographics of community nurses
Workforce statistics and shortfalls of community nurses
Percentage change in community nurses
Joiner and leaver of community nurses
Turnover rate for community nurses
Workforce nationality and overseas employees
Qualitative data
HR planning context
Recruitment and selection practices
Retention practices and Rate at NHS
Retention issues and challenges for community Nurses NHS

5 – Result and Discussions
Summary of quantitative and qualitative findings
Evaluation and discussion of results

6 – Conclusion and Recommendations
Conclusion
Recommendations

References

Appendix

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Cryptocurrency Financial Operations

Consumer Perception of the Effectiveness of Cryptocurrency in Day To Day Financial Operations – Dissertation

Cryptocurrency has not received that much attention from IS (Information Systems) and as a consequence of this, there is still a gap in the literature with a great potential for research, specifically how the technology fares within the consumer context. Most notably, this dissertation is interested at the traction Cryptocurrency is gaining in today’s economy and how consumers are responding to this innovation. This dissertation will broadly present the evolution of Cryptocurrency, its financial characteristics, and what factors influence its value formation. The focus will then shift at the underlying models that are used both in a practical and academic setting to illustrate the factors that contribute to the acceptance and diffusion of a new technology. The conceptual model will be based on the Innovation Diffusion Theory of Everett Rogers.

Using a specifically designed questionnaire, consumer opinions are quantified in order to ascertain current attitudes and beliefs. Furthermore, after examining specifically designed hypothesis that deal with technology adoption, it was discovered that pivotal factors such as complexity, relative benefits and education play a distinct role in the uptake of Cryptocurrency. This is important because as a new technological instrument, Cryptocurrency opens the door to a number of opportunities for consumers, but only after overcoming a number of challenges and limitations that might prevent it to be accepted.

Cryptocurrency Dissertation
Cryptocurrency Dissertation

Thus, the aim is to investigate the monetary characteristics of a financial innovation in conjunction with the sociological component. This will lead to a better understanding of the constructs that influence the decision to adopt a novel technology by looking at a number of social and psychological factors. An overview of the leading technology adoption theories is provided that will address a number of cognitive, effective and contextual factors. While the study could potentially draw from all these theories, the Innovation Diffusion Theory of Everett Rogers will serve as a foundation, and all the assumptions will be based on this particular model.

Dissertation Objectives

  • What is the consumer response regarding the use of cryptocurrencies in day to day financial operations?
  • The main objective of this dissertation is to determine the level of consumer awareness, perception and degree of utilisation.
  • What are the main factors that influence the consumer intention to adopt cryptocurrencies?

Dissertation Contents

1 – Introduction
Background and Context
The Rationale for the Research
Research Objectives

2 – Literature Review
The Evolution of Cryptocurrency
What Is Cryptocurrency And What Is It Based On?
What Gives Cryptocurrencies Value?
Difference between Cryptocurrency and Traditional FIAT Currency
Cryptocurrency Nomenclature
Advantages and Disadvantages in using Cryptocurrency
Advantages
Disadvantages
Technology Adoption Theories
Hypothesis

3 – Methodology
Research Philosophy
Research Approach
Research Design and Strategy
Sample Size and Population
Ethical Considerations
Data Analysis

4 – Results
Demographics
Familiarity
Adoption Factors

5 – Research Findings and Discussion

6 – Conclusion

References

Appendix
Questionnaire

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