Normally, unemployment takes place when an individual who is actively searching for is actually unable to secure work. With this, any country globally uses the unemployment concept to determine the health of its economy. In essence, the unemployment rate is the most used measure of unemployment which is basically the actual number of unemployed individuals divided by people within the labor force. Thus, in any country, there happen to be unemployment even though the economy is at full employment because of frictional and structural unemployment (Hakim, 2015).
First and foremost, frictional unemployment takes place when people keep transitioning from their old works to new ones during a certain period. This kind of unemployment is actually considered a voluntary one since workers decide to remain unemployed in an economy instead of taking up the first job opportunity offered. Hence, this kind of unemployment is normally present because a significant number of people consistently keep on searching for new employment opportunities (Dullien & et al., 2018). Equally, structural unemployment take place when market conditions, as well as business cycles, keep on changing due to oversupply of employment opportunities and individuals are fundamentally willing to work, however they are not qualified for these employment opportunities; hence, it is absolutely impossible for unemployment to be zero in any economy (Johnson, 2017).
Lastly, individual, societal, and country costs are primal costs associated with unemployment. In essence, unemployed people are actually subjected to massive loss regarding income earnings, hence, reducing their living standards. With this, the societal is compelled to spend more in order to provide the needs of unemployed population and unemployment benefits paid by the government keep on increasing whilst the government is unable to collect enough income tax as before; hence, increasing government borrowing or reduce its other expenditures which reduce economic growth (Hakim, 2015).
Unemployment and Consumer Price Index
Produced by the Bureaus of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is used to measure the inflation rate in America. Normally, the CPI is determined by taking price changes of every item in the predetermined product basket and then averaging them. In essence, the CPI adjusts payments to inflation in order to effectively assess the price changes associated with the cost of living. However, CPI’s accuracy has been questioned to a number of biases that actually make it to overstate the effectiveness of the inflation rate.
First and foremost, when the prices for products in the consumer basket substantially increases and consumers opt to substitute them with lower priced ones, there exist substitution biases. This is because the CPI cannot precisely predict the price increase effect on consumers’ budget given the fact that the CPI is based on a fixed-weight price index (Dullien & et al., 2018). Moreover, the CPI does not take into consideration new products when determining the index until they fundamentally become ordinary. Above all, sudden decline in product prices normally linked with new technology ones and advanced increase in life and usefulness of products are not whatsoever depicted in the index. Lastly, when consumers shift to new outlets, the CPI is unable to account for this given the fact that the product basket is predetermined. With this, the CPI is not able to precisely measure a change in the cost of living standard over time (Johnson, 2017).
Dependability of Government Tax Revenue and Spending on the Economy’s State
In any country, when the economy expands so does people’s income rises since more employment opportunities are created and people are employed. Even if the government cannot actually raise the taxation rate, it can still collect more taxes. This is because the tax revenue base keeps on becoming big as more and more people are able to secure employment and pay income taxes; hence, the government is able to increase its expenditure.
Contrary to this, when an economy is unable to create employment opportunities and citizens are unemployed, the tax revenue base is small since people have no income on which taxes can be levied from. Subsequently, the government is forced to reduce its expenditure whilst increasing borrowing in order to provide unemployment benefits. Thus, the nature and composition of an economy’s state influence government tax revenues, government expenditure and social welfare (Hakim, 2015).
Limitations of Gross Domestic Product as an Indicator of Living Standard and Unemployment
As the total monetary value of final output produce within a nation’s borders in a specified time period, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is normally calculated either quarterly or annually. In essence, the GDP incorporates all total output of the country by adding up all private and public consumptions, government expenditure, investment, and net export to measure the economy’s overall activity as an indicator of nation’s economic health and its living standard (Dullien & et al., 2018). With this, the GDP measure a nation’s output produced and retailed in legal markets whilst omitting productive activities such as prostitution and individual fixation of water leak which have no market transactions; hence, the GDP does not perfectly measure the living standard within a certain country.
Moreover, the GDP does not measure the environmental quality in determining the living standard of the nation. By an economy having significant GDP does not necessarily indicate that its people have a quality life when air, water, soil or even other natural resources are actually polluted. In essence, the GDP totally fails to measure the contribution of environmental sustainability to the country’s living standard. Equally, the GDP does not take into account how leisure time actually contributes to the country’s living standard. Although a country can have higher GDP if its economy is 12 or 24 hours one, this does not imply that people are better off given the fact that leisure time is vital in living standard (Johnson, 2017).
Therefore, the prevalent alternative to GDP as an indicator of living standard is the Human Development Index (HDI). Besides considering a country’s GDP, the HDI emphasis on people more specifically on their opportunities to achieve work and live satisfaction. In essence, in addition to the GDP, the HDI uses health and education statistics to measure the living standard within a certain country. By partially using purchasing power, which measures the actual cost of the same basket of output produced with a country’s border, the HDI can adjust the GDP to better measure living standard of a country (Dullien & et al., 2018).
Dullien, S., Goodwin, N., Harris, J. M., Nelson, J. A., Roach, B., & Torras, M. (2018). Macroeconomics in Context. Routledge.
Hakim, T. A. (2015). Introduction to Macroeconomics.
Johnson, H. G. (2017). Macroeconomics and monetary theory. Routledge.
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Creating Competitive Advantage through the Application of Reverse Logistics in the Supply Chain Management
In every company, it is very important to attract new customers and retain the current customers on viable conditions. These actions cannot be accomplished in any single company without creating a competitive advantage. The main technique of creating a competitive advantage that a company can adopt is creating quality products or services than their competitors. They can also create products that the target customers would prefer than their alternatives. Many companies across the world have adopted reverse logistics as a strategy to increase competitive advantage. This is because this technique lowers supply cost in the supply chain.
Companies using reverse logistics can also reduce the opportunity cost of outdated products. Companies can also gain additional revenue and finally reduce the cost of operation. This is due to the fact that companies can be able to manage the flow of their products through the supply chain. Reverse logistics is also advantageous as it expands the global economy. Thus, reverse logistics can be defined as a process of controlling the flow of finished goods from their final destination back to the manufacturer for value addition so as to enable recycling or reuse or for proper disposal. Reverse logistics can be used to explain environmental externalities resulting from increased production and supply. The following essay will be on the theories that have been put in place in regard to creating competitive advantage through reverse logistics and evidence of the theories.
Theories in Reverse Logistics
The theory of reverse logistics has been gaining significant popularity for the organization across the world. This theory is essential for the cost-effective flow of the commodities that had been previously providing in the markets for the use by the consumers back to the organization. The theory of reverse logistics ensures that the organization can consider recycling and reuse of the previously supplied commodities as well as learn more about the market (Dowlatshahi, 2000: 1). This theory is used together with the theory of supply chain management. The theory of supply chain management ensures that the products flow from the point of production to the consumers is steady and maximized (Vural, 2015: 262). The theory of reverse logistics, therefore, can be used to ensure that the process of supply chain management is helpful to the organization. Supply Chain management theory helps the organization understand the methodologies that can be sued to maximize supply for the commodities through increase the demand and looking for new markets that have not be accessed before (Touboulic, and Walker, 2015: 3)
Reverse Logistics Concept in Supply Chain Management
The supply chain management deals with the flow of goods and services from the point of manufacturing to the point of consumers. The consumers are limited which make the organization selling a similar commodity to create a competitive advantage in order to outdo other fellow competitors (Mohamed and Omwenga, 2015: 45). The supply chain management requires an organization to apply various models in order to win the market. Some of the models that can embrace include the use of reverse logistics in the management of the supply chain and create a competitive advantage. The reverse logistics as defined in the introduction deals with the management of goods and services after they reach the market (Stănciulescu, 2011: 1). This idea means that the goods flow back to the organization for further management which ensures that the losses are minimized as well as optimizing the usages of the defective commodities (Menachof, et Al., 2009: 145).
In the market environment today, the consumers have a wide variety of goods and services providers. Therefore, the companies cannot sell all of their products at once. This means that the reverse logistics helps the company to manage the flow of goods from the flow of commodities from the manufactures to the consumers and managing those commodities that do not end up in the final consumers’ ownership. Reverse logistics can help the organization create a competitive advantage in that the commodities that are not sold will be managed for possible re-use (Stănciulescu, 2011: 2). On the other hand, the practices involved in the reverse logistics ensures that the organization minimizes the cost when some of the goods are recycled and reused in the organization’s activities (Vural, 2015: 265). This means that reverse logistics help the organization overcome the burden of surplus production wastage.
Moreover, management of the flow of goods and services enables the company to hire good and qualified staffs who are able to maintain the competitive advantages of the organization. Therefore, the reverse logistics practices can guide an organization to attract more consumers since the management of the flow of commodities from the manufacturer to the consumer is professional. Management of the surplus supply also requires professionalism hence the acquisition of qualified people in the supply chain management who can effectively apply reverse logistics can help an organization defeat the competitors in the markets.
Reverse logistics also refers to the process of ensuring the flow of raw materials is minimized. The low of these raw materials are from the consumers where they had maybe used the products of the organization and did not manage the waste properties. On the other hand, the management of the flow of goods from the consumers to the manufacturer can help the organization disposes of the waste properly hence helping the communities go green. Management of waste can be a good thing for the organization. This is because the environment which highly polluted with commodities and materials from a certain company, for example, the fast-food organization, can lead to discouragement from the potential consumers.
The efforts of keeping the environment clean can help the organization also minimize the cost wastage in dealing with problems associated with the dirty environments such as lack of clean water and raw materials due to global warming. In this regard, the consumers will not be happy with the company which is not managing the waste properly (Stănciulescu, 2011: 3). Therefore, the use of reverse logistics can help the organization acquire significant clean environment through recycling and reuse of the raw materials originating from the consumers.
Roles of Reverse Logistics
Through reverse logistic company can become efficient environmentally through recycling used products, reusing and minimization of the number of products used. Reduction of materials used in forwarding flow is one of the vital modes by which reverse logistics can work on. This reduces backflow of unused products and also reduces the damage of products as a result of over clumping when being transported (Mohamed, 2016:1). Recycling and reusing materials are very vital in the reduction of pollution it also allows products to move in reverse in the supply chain for the manufactures to reuse recycle and resells in subordinate markets. Many are the times when reverse logistic is confused with waste management but, there is a great difference between the two. In reverse logistic the materials that are recovered are revalued but waste management involves the collection of waste materials and treatment but these products are not assigned new roles. Reverse supply chain it entails all the activities that are involved in reusing, recycling, and final disposal of waste materials
Considering the entire word Europe has a waste management board which has directed all the firms to address their waste disposal in a manner that will cause little or no harm to the environment. The United States also has encouraged her firms to recover used products as this will minimize wastage and pollution in the country. In countries found in the Middle East which is an emerging market collection of waste products which is advised to be done by professionals sorting and transporting them is very much needed. In the third world countries which are also referred to as developing countries reverse logistic is known to add very low value to the recovered products this is as a result involvement of low reprocessing techniques. Reverse logistics if properly managed can lead to reduction of transport, disposal and procurement costs (Fleischmann et al, 2004:1). Due to increase in globalization and industrialization reverse logistic is expected to accelerate after some years especially in developing countries which in turn will lead to environment conservation and massive economic improvements.
Reverse Logistics and Competitive Advantage
We looked at the use of reverse logistics to ensure that the company management of the flow of goods is cost effective. This will help the company increase the wealth in the banks. As a result, the company will hence acquire an advantage over the struggling competitors. This is as a result of the reason that companies that do not use reverse logistics may be undergoing loses which could be easily avoided through the use of effective reverse logistics. The competition within the market and for the limited number of consumers is one of the determinants of how an organization functions within the market environment. Therefore, the use of reverse logistics ensures that the company is able to defeat the other companies in the same market and dealing with the same commodities and services. This can be achieved since the sue o reverse logistics enables an organization to acquire professional workers who will be able to manage the flow of commodities from the consumers as the origin and the company reuses the products or even disposes of them properly. On the other hand, reverse logistics ensures that the company is able to maintain a good relationship with the workers and the stakeholders.
One way that the stakeholders who include the customers are satisfied is through the application of reverse logistics to maintain a clean environment. If the company is able to maintain a clean environment where the consumers live, this will attract more consumers who will be willing to be associated with the organization (Aserkar, Kumthekar, and Aserkar, 2014: 228). This can only be effective if the company is able to apply the reverse logistics practices. This helps the organization to create a competitive advantage. This occurs since the consumers will have a good relationship with the company and do not refer to it as a polluter of the environment. The bottling companies which collect the used bottles for recycling have created confidence to the users of the products. Coca-Cola Company has created a competitive advantage through the application of reverse logistics. This company ensures that the used bottles are collected from the consumers and taken back to the company for reuse. This practice of reverse logistics helps this company in several ways (Lowe, 2017: 1).
To start with, the company reduces the cost of production. This is achieved since the bottles will be sued more than once hence the money which could have been used for the manufacture of other bottling equipment can be used elsewhere. Two, the company helps the environment to remain clean. This is an attraction to the end users who prefer a company that is promoting a green environment. Additionally, the company maintenance of the environment through the collection and recycling of bottling material helps to ensure that the raw material is always available. Coca-Cola Company uses a lot of water to manufacture the products (Lowe, 2017: 1). It is believed that the water to product value of 3:1. Therefore, reverse logistics enable the company to reduce environmental degradation (Mohamed and Omwenga, 2015: 45).
Another company that can apply the reverse logistics to have a competitive advantage is a fast-food company. This company can ensure that the leftovers are always collected and disposed of properly. The company in this industry can ensure that the tins and cans used to pack the fast foods are collected to ensure that the environment is not degraded. This can be achieved through the use of dustbins. The application of reverse logistics will ensure that the company installs dustbins in areas where the customers are likely to move when they purchase fast foods. Example, if a fast-food hotel is located near a beach or a people’s park, the dustbins can be distributed across the part or the beach.
Therefore, the consumers will not dispose of the packaging materials anyhow. However, they will put the materials in the dustbins which are labeled or branded to indicate which hotel has installed which dustbins. The collection of the debris in these dustbins can be of use to the organization in order to have a competitive advantage. To start with, the organization can screen the materials and see the waste products which can use again in the organization for the work they had been used for previously. That will ensure that there are cost management and minimization of production cost. As a result, the company or organization can be able to defeat the competitors through the accumulated funds which could otherwise be used for the production of new packaging materials.
On the other hand, the company can benefit through collecting the debris from the dustbin and disposing them properly. In many countries, there are set bodies that regulate pollution from the organization. Therefore, the collection of used materials and ensuring that they do of pollute the environment can be of help to help the organization adhere to the law and regulations concerning the management and maintenance of the environment (Aserkar, Kumthekar, and Aserkar, 2014: 228). Additionally, the members of the public who are the consumers will develop a close relationship with the organization that is managing the properties well. This will ensure that the company has less need to conduct intensive and aggressive advertisements in order to retain the consumers. On the other hand, the company will have a ready market for their products hence creating an advantage over the competitors (Vural, 2015: 265).
The reverse logistics also helps to maintain an agile supply chain (Elmas and Erdoğmuş, 2011: 161). This is a good way to ensure that the supply chain management id helping the organization benefit over the competitors. If the competitors are doing well in the market, an organization can be forced to either improve the services and good or exit the market. However, through the application of reverse logistics, the organization can improve its position in the market without being outplayed by the competitors. This can be achieved if the organization applies reverse logistics to acquire enough information concerning the issue of supply chain management. The return of goods initially provided or the market can be a source of useful information. The information helped the organization to understand which goods are doing well in the market. At the same time, the organization can use reverse logistics to acquire information about the commodities or services that are performing poorly in the markets (Elmas and Erdoğmuş, 2011: 164). This information is very necessary for the organization that is planning to win the competition battle among other potential competitors.
If the company realizes that certain products or service is not doing well in the market, they can either change the products and services or even abolish it can concentrate on the commodities that the company is doing extremely well. Unilever Company is one of the European based companies that was selling fast foods products. However, the application of reverse logistics helped the company identify the weakness in the market which led to massive losses due to dominance from fellow competitors such as McDonald’s. Therefore, the company stopped dealing with the consumable products and concentrated on the production and supply of dealing with product as us downy and baby products. This shows how a company can use reverse logistics to have a competitive advantage. The collection of the materials from the end users back to the company gives an overview of the market situation. The company can apply reverse logistics to ensure that the products which are not performing well in the market are removed from the manufactured commodities. This will help the company reduce the cost of operation as well as improve the performance in the market through concentrating on the good and services which are more likely to win the consumers in the limited market environment.
As a result, the company will have a competitive advantage since the cost of producing commodities that are bringing little or no returns will be eliminated. The specification is also a good way to ensure that the company’s dominance. Coca-Cola Company has dominated the beverages industry since the company has been concentrating on the sales of the soft drinks such as Coke Soda, Sprite, Fanta, among others (Coca-Cola, 2018: 1). The Coca-Cola Company had ventured into other practices such as selling fast foods and other branded commodities such as key holders, wallets, among others. Additionally, the company through the application of reverse logistics discovered that the used bottles for the coke brand are more compared to other products. Therefore, the concentration of the company developed along this line and most of the advertisements in the commercials have been focused on the major brands under this company.
However, if the company does not use reverse logistics, they cannot acquire enough information concerning the performance of the commodities in the market. This can make the organization to put more emphasis on the products that are not doing well in the market. However, acquiring enough information on the market will ensure that the company adopts supply chain management strategies that are helping to ensure that the competition is reduced and the organization has the ability to venture in the new markets through expanded revenue accumulation.
Reverse Logistics Common Practice
In order to make reverse supply management and logistics more efficient, a company has to have a deep understanding of areas of the business that is affected by recycling and returns. Measures and efforts should be employed to ensure that the component contributes to a positive stride (Govindan, and Popiuc, 2014: 3). To make the profit and ensure that the consumer attain maximum satisfaction, there are areas that the company needs to consider, and they include;
• Repairs and warranties which is a crucial area for the customer as there is need to inform them on the safety of the returned good. A company should have a number of ways to communicate with their customers such as creating a website or have a help desk as this will relieve their concern.
• Measurement of performance of goods particularly related to reverse supply chain e.g., checking on the sale of the returned goods, the percentage of returns, the growth or decline of returns year after another, the rate of asset utilization among others.
• Reason for return. The company must also find the reason for return. This will help to prevent processing of dishonest or stolen goods delivered. The company should therefore carry out analysis of the root-cause of good returned for processing. This is a key area in understanding business based on reverse logistic implication and coming up with strategies to close loop-holes for such good.
• Tractability is another key area that trace the flow of return to prevent mixing with items that are forward flowing.
• Company’s finance is another area and in order for the company to add value and profit, it should manage its finance issues to avoid causing bad relationship with customers, distributors as well as retailers. The companies should also check on taxes paid on return goods
• Optimization of logistics such as partnering with other parties that differ from them like in transporting goods makes increase logistic efficient on reverse-flow items. This makes it capable of improving its profit.
Returned goods may be disposed of through various ways and the option or choice of deposing used should not only focus the profit but should consider other factors such as the satisfaction of the consumer and the image of the brand (Prahinski, and Kocabasoglu, 2006:6 These options include
• Remanufacturing or repair. Damaged goods or items that have not lost their identity are repaired and taken back to the market. However, there are factors that should be considered such as the cost the company uses to repair the item, the cost of transporting the repaired item as well as the market price of the refurbished commodity (Blackburn, et Al., 2004: 2). However, the company should identify remanufactured items from brand image to avoid posing risk. This is because consumers consider this item inferior. To avoid this, the company can give such item an image that appear more positive.
• Recycling. Recycling helps in recovering materials that are used to produce another new product. In this part the original identity of the item is lost. Factors such as the value to be reclaimed, the cost of transportation among others are considered. Recycling of some items e.g. electronic products brings out economic sense as such product minimizes the cost of mining and extracting metals.
• Discount sale. Companies may sometime sell returned goods on heavy discount. However care should be taken to avoid poisoning the customer perception on the brand image of the item and some may feel disappointed for paying less for same item.
• Energy regeneration. There are items that are not advisable to recycle such as food products. The company may use organic waste to generate renew energy through anaerobic digestion.
Screening of Retuned Goods
As mentioned above, one of the practices involved in the management of supply chain through the application of reverse logistics is the screening of goods. This practice ensures that the company has acquired enough information concerning the defective goods which are returned to the organization although they were previously in the markets. Screening of goods also enables the organization to improve on the goods before supplying them to the markets (Menachof, et Al., 2009: 148). A good example is a company that is dealing with selling o fast foods but the application of return logistics has enabled the collection of waste foods from the customers for proper management and disposal. These products can be screened so that the organization will understand the type of foods which are being disposed of frequently.
In a mixture of different foods which are packaged and supplied as a single commodity, the screening enables the organization to have a clear and vivid image of the market consumers and their preferences (Menachof, et Al., 2009: 146). Therefore, the company will take remedies and ensure that the supply of the commodities which are highly wasted is minimized (Billington, 1998: 24). On the other hand, the company can increase the supply of the materials which are highly consumed by the customers.
That is one of the strategies that reverse logistics can help an organization develop a competitive advantage. Understanding the customer’s needs is vital if the company is looking forward to maintaining their customers and at the same time attract more consumers. If a company does not understand what consumers need and preferences, the other companies that are dealing with the same consumer might take that advantage to provide precise services and commodities preferred by the consumers (Bowersox, 1999, 553). Many organizations have lost their market dominance after the consumers are not satisfied with the products being supplied.
Other companies have incurred losses for manufacturing surplus commodities and keeping them in the warehouse after the supply chain becomes extremely slow due to lack of ready markets (Al-Mashari, and Zairi, 2000: 31). The effects of such activities have been fatal for many companies which have dropped in the ranking or even lost the consumers’ trust altogether. Reverse logistics can, therefore, aids the company to provide the commodities that are best for the particular markets. The demand and supply which defines the nature of the supply chain in the organization can be affected by diverse situations.
The company can ensure that demand for the products is maximized through the application of reverse logistics and strengthening the noted weaknesses which influenced the return of goods previously supplied to the consumers in the markets. If the company is able to learn the market and treat the diverse situations appropriately, its competitive ability will be improved.
In conclusion, each and every company needs to maintain its customers and attract new customers. This is because the customers are the main source of profit in every company. A company creates a competitive advantage which helps it to outdo their competitors. While creating a competitive advantage the company must make sure that it is customers prefer their goods more than alternative goods.
Reverse logistics is one of the strategies used by most of the companies worldwide nowadays. This involves the companies are much involved in reuse and recycling of their used products. In the collection and recycling procedures, this reduces the production cost of most of the companies as fewer resources are needed to revalue products compared to production of new products. Reverse logistics have different practices which involve remanufacturing of products retuning of defective goods recycling and reuse of products.
Shad Dowlatshahi, (2000) Developing a Theory of Reverse Logistics. Interfaces 30(3):143-155.
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Gender stratification is the unequal distribution of power, wealth and privileges across genders. It is usually characterized by sexism, sex roles, patriarchy, feminism, the glass ceiling, and institutionalized sexism. Gender and sex are two unmistakable words that have been misjudged and abused in the community today. Gender means the social and cultural behaviors whereas sex refers to the biological characteristics of men and women. Stratification by gender is exchanged starting with one age then onto the next as these practices are acquired. This paper focuses on the social construction of gender, evidence of gender inequality and the implication of how we see gender.
Gender impacts control dispersion of power distribution and how we organize our society. Roles according to gender determine how women and men should speak, think and interact with society. These roles are adopted during the early growth of babies, they spread until adulthood and influence people in every aspect of life (Ridgeway, 2011). Home is where children are ensnared to gender values, standards and esteems. At the moment a child is born he or she is assigned sex immediately and thus shapes how they should be treated, the opportunities they should be given and how they should behave. Girls have their own colors, toys, and interests as compared to boys. For example, in the summary, we see that Harry did like pink shading as well as drew himself as a young lady and also trusted that he was a girl. This is contrary to how boys are expected to behave and hence it’s against the norms of society.
Patriarchy is commonly practiced among many societies where men have more power in regard to other genders. Patriarchy contributes a lot to rise in gender inequality as women are seen as the minority. In some developing countries, ladies are denied the privilege to cast a vote and leadership positions. Notwithstanding when there is no boundary for the female to take the position of leaders, the community cannot vote for them as they are seen as week and inferior (Christopher , Mendelberg, & Shaker 2012). Developed governments have put in place regulations that ensure that 3% of the leaders must be women. There are also leadership positions secured for women only and men are not allowed to participate. Families which do not have a man or a boy are considered as weak and needy in the society hence showing the extent of gender inequality as a result of patriarchist.
Gender Stratification in the Workplace
Gender stratification is also evident in the work environment where there is a lot of inequality between men and women. Normally employed women end up doing a ‘second shift’ as they do housework and take care of the children after returning from work. There is a great disadvantage as women don’t have time to concentrate on their carrier a compared to men due to pregnancies and marriage. There is also a high salary gap between men and women due to several factors such as education choices, distinct job preferences, and skills required on the job (Greene, Marie & Smith, 2015). Many technical companies tend to prefer men during employment as men seem fitter than women. Currently, women have tried and re willing to take male occupations such as doctors, mechanics, and engineers. Contrary, there are very few men that are willing to take female occupations such as nursing as such jobs are vied to be light and only women can take them.
The glass ceiling is another contributor to gender stratification. This alludes as an undetectable hindrance in the general public that keeps the feeble gender from acquiring high-level positions. Despite women having achievements and qualifications higher than men, they cannot be promoted as those barriers always exist when factors such as experience, education, and ability are considered (Beeghley, 2015). The effects of glass ceiling are more evident with higher income occupations and high-powered jobs hence there are very few women holding these positions. As a result of women being denied these positions, the effects of gender inequality increase as men get more superior than women.
At last, education imbalance is a typical factor in establishments and the community. In many upcoming nations, ladies are denied the rights to education since they are considered for marriage and dealing with the youngsters (Williams & Christine, 2013). This is clear as there is a low populace of young ladies in the instruction institutions because of early pregnancies and early marriages. There are causes that require time and commitment hence it is hard for women to per sue them. A boy in a family is expected to choose a cause that is said to be that of men while a girl is expected to choose the one said to be that of women (Hacker, 2017). Currently, there is an availability of birth pills hence can avoid pregnancies and can give themselves time to chase their careers.
In conclusion, it is observed that gender stratification is an enemy to the development and should be avoided at all costs. The society should be educated on gender inequality and its effects through social protection programs and how it should be avoided. Women should fight for equality to be given the same opportunities as men. Furthermore, men should acknowledge the power of women, skills and treat them with fairness. The world cannot move forward without gender equity hence women should be empowered in society.
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Williams, C. L. (2013). The glass escalator, revisited: Gender inequality in neoliberal times, SWS feminist lecturer. Gender & Society, 27(5), 609-629.
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Globalization is a phenomenon that has swept across most sectors of the globe leaving firms to adjust to the changes that are occurring. The rise of competition Is one example of an aspect that has emerged within the twenty-first century, especially due to a dissolution in trade barrier that marked numerous markets as impenetrable. With globalization escalating gradually, businesses have gained an exposure opportunity to learn more as well as share tips on better ways of approaching futuristic growth. The following report will expound on globalization as a phenomenon, as well as its associated impacts within the modern day era.
From an entrepreneurship perspective, the duties and functions that defined the modern-day capitalist or businessperson, have significantly complicated with time. Ideally, the 21st century, unlike its predecessors, has been defined by a revolutionary economic, educational, political, and social landscapes, elements that have emerged as a result of globalization.
Interestingly, the emergence of the phenomenon has transformed the manner in which man does business, given that it has erased the limitations that were nurtured by geographical borders as well as trade barriers, an aspect that has resulted in man embracing new synergies that will offer him or her competitive advantage over other similar players in the same market niche. The following report will further expand on wise investment moves as well as tactics such as outsourcing and offshoring that managers can apply to realize a wider economy of scale as well as achieve a greater competitive advantage. By utilizing the Case study of Telstra Call center services Outsourcing and offshoring, this report will expound on the impact, opportunities, as well as challenges, Globalization, and its associated strategies, have imposed on business operations especially on the global scale.
The World as we know it is currently evolving at unprecedented levels, an aspect that is reconfiguring and transforming the manner in which business, as well as trade, is conducted. As a result of the rampant transformation, goods and services have become easily accessible for most people across diverse regions of the globe. In addition to this, the international business community has continuously expanded as a result of favorable influences that have been nurtured by the economic reconfiguration and transformation. But, what is all this economic reconfiguration and transformation? The 21st century, unlike its predecessors, has been defined by a revolutionary economic, educational, political, and social landscapes, elements that have emerged as a result of globalization. The emergence of globalization as a phenomenon has transformed the manner in which man does business, given that it has erased the limitations that were nurtured by geographical borders as well as trade barriers (Beck, U. 2018, P. 35).
From an entrepreneurship perspective, the duties and functions that defined the modern-day capitalist or businessperson, have significantly complicated with time. Why and How? With factors such as competition escalating as a result of the globalization aspect, most entrepreneurs have embarked on redefining the rules of trade and business engagement provoked by the need to craft and embrace new synergies that will offer them competitive advantage over other similar players in the same market niche (Hay, C. and Marsh, D. eds. 2016, p. 52). As a result of the shift in momentum, it is crucial to note that today’s economic environment has shifted its dependency from the public sector to the public sector, given that the later has emerged to be the global powerhouse, while the former segment has continuously shrunk in size, cumulatively losing its prior influence and relevance in the economy setting.
Globalization and Expansion
In spite of Globalization nurturing numerous advantages from an economic growth perspective, it is crucial to note that the phenomenon has also escalated the rate of competition present across all trade sectors. The given aspect has manifested as a result of numerous entities across diverse regions entering the market, with each unit producing a similar commodity, to an already existing product. The escalation of competition has provoked most organizations to invest heavily in expanding their operations onto a global scale, efforts that have emerged based on the need to grow and expand the market niche that each organization claims and controls (Beck, U. 2018, P. 27). As an approach, the expansion to international markets has provided firms with an opening to increase their returns, realize other potential economic opportunities, as well as improve their image perception and brand loyalty. Although there are also challenges associated with the entry into foreign markets, the manner in which a venture tackles the emerging challenges significantly determines its survival chance in the new territory.
Outsourcing and Offshoring
Outsourcing is a strategy that has been employed by numerous institutions, which have pursued the global expansion route, based on its cost-cutting approach. When entering new markets, firms have always been primarily challenged by their ability to adopt, embrace, and conform to new customs, cultures as well as language that define the new market (Solli-Sæther, H. and Gottschalk, P. 2015, p.90).
Outsourcing as a platform provides a solution to such challenges among others, by utilizing the local manpower within the new economic niche as the organization’s workforce. The following report will expound on globalization and its impact on today’s businesses as its foremost agenda. Furthermore, this paper elucidates on tactics that managers pursuing expansion into the international market should observe if they wish to remain ahead of the game. In the second segment, the publication will analyze outsourcing and offshoring, coupled with their contribution to globalization, based on an Australian firm Case study.
Globalization and Today’s International Managers
Globalization as a concept is not new as one may perceive it to be, given that the concept has existed for centuries, only evolving with time to its present state. By definition, Globalization is a term that refers to the gradual but global integration of the numerous states economies, through the production of goods and services, trade escalation, as well as investment flows (Hay, C. and Marsh, D. eds. 2016, p. 11). From a phenomenon perspective, globalization emerged as a result of the global outreach fever that swept most nations, transgressing through each of the states military economic, trade and geopolitical niches. The cumulative impact of the global outreach manifested in the erosion of national economic borders, an element that embraced the emergence and growth of integrated international economies.
From a profile perspective, globalization has been defined by; the emergence of global corporations, robust internalization of production related economic activities, growth in the level of specialization, and escalating disaggregation of production. How has this been possible? Globalization as a phenomenon has consistently relied on policy changes as well as technological growth as catalyst platforms (Teece, D. Peteraf, M. and Leih, S. 2016, p. 19).
From a policy perspective, the creation and amendment of numerous trade policies has resulted in the dissolution of trade tariffs and barriers, an element that has opened up and exposed the local markets to international products, while also local products from different nations have been able to trade on the global market platform (Beck, U. 2018, P. 42). Evidently, nations such as Australia, China, and Dubai, all of which opened up their markets to trade and embraced international brands, have gained immensely from Globalization, an aspect that is visible in each state’s current market situation.
Technology as the second catalyst factor propelled the evolution of globalization to what it is today. How So? As a result of its rampant evolution, technology has been integrated into man’s life as a crucial platform in his civilization. The emergence of a technology-based lifestyle, shifted the manner in which consumers’ access, shop, and order for their products, as well as the strategy in which manufacturers, industrialists, and producers advertise, retail, and distribute their products (Hay, C. and Marsh, D. eds. 2016, p. 52). Given that the dependency on technology is still expected to escalate with time, the business world has realized of its importance in globalization and the influence it imposes in the productivity, of goods and services as well as the consumption of the products.
Impact of Globalization: A Business Perspective
Globalization as an economic exposure platform has brought along with numerous advantages as well as implications both from the producer as well as consumer’s perspectives. When focusing on the producer side, which primarily made up of entrepreneurial organizations within the private sector, it is crucial to note that globalization has exposed the sector to competition, fluctuation in prices, as well as the substandard quality of products (Kraidy, M. 2017, p. 31). The following segment will offer an in-depth view of Globalization from a business perspective.
It is crucial to note that from the consumer’s end, globalization has been perceived to bear numerous benefits over time. However, that may not be necessarily the case when the aspect is perceived from a business perspective. The increased exposure of markets has also escalated the vulnerability of ventures both in local and international economies to a myriad of unforeseen risks, aspects that will be expounded on below.
Competition as the first impact of globalization emerges from the opening up of local markets as well as the integration of economies. It is crucial to note that exportation and importation, as well as outsourcing of product and services are crucial aspects of globalization. Unfortunately, the given elements have created an influx of substitute commodities to most products in diverse markets (Donati, P. 2017, p. 15). The cited aspect which has emerged as the entry of new players into the market culminated in the escalation of competition between existing firms and the new entrants. Cumulatively, although the approach has compelled previously existing firms to improve their quality of products and services, it is unfortunate to note that the cost of competition has been overwhelming for firms in markets that are defined by numerous players.
Fluctuation of prices as the second impact of globalization is highly associated with competition and market saturation. It is crucial to note that although globalization opened up local and international markets, the platform also led to the saturation of various markets that were already defined by a presence of numerous existing local players. Most of the international entrants into local markets were able to supply the consumers with alternative or substitute commodities, to local options at a lower price and even a better quality (Teece, D. Peteraf, M. and Leih, S. 2016, p. 27). Case in point, China’s products are renowned for their cheap price, although inconsistent quality. The given aspect nurtures price fluctuation of commodities because local producers will always be compelled to adjust their prices in a bid to compete with foreign producers, and the cost of their commodities, an aspect that culminates in the unsteady prices of goods.
Substandard Quality of Goods
The quality of a product as well as the brand it has crafted for itself, are aspects that significantly shape customer loyalty and satisfaction. Globalization as a phenomenon has compelled most firms operating in the international platform to outsource their products to developing nations, in a bid to realize a wider competitive advantage, margin when compared to other firms operating in the same niche (Kraidy, M. 2017, p. 22).
The downside of outsourcing is that for most organizations, the ability to observe a given set of quality standards becomes impossible especially when the firm focuses on offering services, or manufactured goods. Cumulatively, although globalization is inevitable, its impacts can be positive as well as be overwhelming for organizations without adequate control structures. The following segment will expound on strategies that international managers can adopt in a bid to remain afloat if not advance in the face of stiff and harsh globalization-induced changes.
Today’s International Managers: Winning tips amidst fierce competition
Drawing from the above analysis of globalization, it is evident that the phenomenon has significantly reshaped the manner in which organizations functions, and conduct business, especially within the international market platform. In spite of the prevalent changes, there are several tactics that wise international managers can utilize to continuously attain growth in returns, and market share. In addition to this, the tactics will enable an organization to establish a reputable image that retains a wide base of loyal customers.
Globalization, Identifying and analyzing the existing and potential Competition
For an organization to stay ahead of its competitors within any market niche, the firm should be aware of the existing threats, an aspect that can only be realized by conducting a thorough competitor’s analysis. It is crucial to note that any industry with new players and startups joining every day is considered to aggressively active, and as such, any firm operating within such a niche should consistently update its analysis in a periodical manner (McLean, M. 2018, p. 35). When analyzing the potential threats, it is crucial to identify the primary and secondary competitors as well as the level of threat each player imposes on your particular firm. By doing so, a manager can analyze the strengths and weaknesses of potential and existing competitors, in addition to making strategic moves that will consistently position the organization ahead of the competition.
Assessing and Understanding the Target Market
In any business competition, it is crucial to note that the clients or consumers always represent the judges, as their choice embodies their final opinion about their desired product. In any market niche, a wise international manager will always assess the audience, its expectation, and needs, as well as demands. It is crucial to note that consumer behaviors keep on changing depending on the influence of macro factors such as economic conditions (McLean, M. 2018, p. 54). In such an instance, an astute director establishes constant communication with the organization’s existing and prospective clients, as an approach to remain informed and update on consumer concern, predictions as well as desires. By doing so, a firm can adjust its product pricing, market strategies, product packaging, and promotional campaigns in a manner that will attract potential clients and retain the existing ones.
Outsourcing and Offshoring, Telstra Case study
Outsourcing, when defined, refers to the process whereby a firm subcontracts the organization’s tasks and mandates to various external organizations that have specialized in providing the desired service. In other cases, outsourcing also involves a practice whereby an organization acquires a smaller firm with adequate resources and employees to run its tasks. Cumulatively, outsourcing revolves around the breaking down of a given function, and it’s subsequent assigning to third parties (Oshri, I. Kotlarsky, J. and Willcocks, L. 2015, p. 15).
Offshoring, on the other hand, refers to the purposeful relocation of a specific or cumulative business procedure to another new location, such as a country. A good example of offshoring would be when an industrial firm physically relocates its manufacturing process to a new state. The main difference between offshoring and outsourcing is that the former focuses on establishing an operation in a new state as a result of repositioning, while the latter primarily refers to the subcontracting of a firms’ task or duty to a third party which in most cases is usually an external organization (Solli-Sæther, H. and Gottschalk, P. 2015, p.90).
The fierce aspect of globalization has compelled firms’ overtime to search for innovative and alternative approaches to getting the work done efficiently. Outsourcing and Offshoring have emerged to be promising alternatives means of meeting the production needs of any company. By employing the two approaches, numerous international firms have been able to regulate and cut down operational costs, free up internal resources to support other crucial sectors, and streamline time-consuming functions (Oshri, I. Kotlarsky, J. and Willcocks, L. 2015, p. 48).
Telstra within Australia is presently recognized as the largest media and Telecommunications Company, offering services that include; operating telecommunication network, as well as a vast range of entertainment and communication product and services. As a firm, Telstra prides its purpose to be creating a brilliant and connected future for everyone, a vision it has managed to achieve over time through the expansion of its products and services towards the international telecommunications market.
Expanding into the international market is a move that Telstra implemented provoked by the need to grow the company’s portfolio onto the next level, in addition to embracing the global market platform (CX Central. 2018b, p1). In its expansion operations, the firm has gradually relied on outsourcing and offshoring as approaches to realize its economies of scale and competitive advantage over other players present in the telecommunications industry. One particular and crucial department that the firm has constantly outsourced and offshored to India, Manila, and Perth is its call center operations (CX Central. 2018, p1).
Essentially, under the firm’s international operations plan, Call centers are usually overwhelming departments that are defined by large volumes of low severity type of work. If the firm was to house most of call center operations within its main headquarters back in Australia, evidently quite extensive resources would be committed to the department, to the extent of overwhelming significance performance targets of the institution. Thus by outsourcing and offshoring call center services, the firm is primarily able to focus its resources on dealing with challenging and more severe issues affecting its product portfolio, brand depiction, and customer market base (CX Central. 2018, p1).
Challenges of Outsourcing and Offshoring
Two of the major challenges that Telstra has realized in its international expansion conquest, are cultural and language barriers. As a telecommunication firm, Telstra is constantly in touch with its customer base compelled by the need to introduce and sell new products, as well as offer supportive services (CX Central. 2018b, p1). Given that the firm opts to outsource and offshore its call center operations, most of its customer base across the western world have been complaining of an ineffective call center support base, as in most situations their needs and demands have often been unmet (CX Central. 2018b, p1).
One good example was a recent scenario, where an American customer received poor call center support services that were perceived to be abusive and culturally insensitive, especially after the firm had withdrawn its support for same-sex relationships (CX Central. 2018, p1). It is unfortunate to note that the given aspect resulted from a conflict in cultural and linguistic customs between the firm’s support staff and a worried client, an aspect that could have been deterred if the firm offered locally based call support from America or Australia.
Globalization, Outsourcing and Offshoring Opportunities
From an opportunity perspective, Telstra was able to run its call center support services at a lower cost especially given that the standard labor wage of employees in most of the countries that the firm outsourced its operations are way below what Telstra was offering its initial employees. Additionally, the firm, thanks to outsourcing and offshoring was able to free up more resources back at home and commit them to more severe and demanding issues associated with the firm’s growth and future projections.
In conclusion, it is evident that Globalization is a phenomenon that is here to stay. More so, firm’s that do not embrace this occurrence will gradually become outdated in our ever-changing and first paced world. As economies integrate, there is a crucial need for managers to begin “thinking out of their market niche, and across the globe.” Customer preferences change from time to time, and with that being a significant determining factor of choice, firms should consistently lay down moves that will secure more potential customers besides retaining the existing ones. Additionally, with competition emerging to be a significant defining factor of today’s markets, there is a pressing need for firms to adopt positive elements of outsourcing and offshoring, besides other competition analysis schemes, all in a bid to remain ahead of the curve that is a saturated market full of numerous existing and emerging start-up players.
Beck, U., 2018. What is globalization?. John Wiley & Sons.
CX Central. 2018. Telstra call centre staff in Perth have language problems – CEO | CX Central.
CX Central. 2018b. Telstra’s offshore call centre has a cultural alignment shocker– CEO | CX Central.
Donati, P., 2017. Globalization of Markets, Distant Harms and the Need for a Relational Ethics. Rivista internazionale di scienze sociali, 1(1), pp.13-42.
McLean, M., 2018. Understanding your economy: Using analysis to guide local strategic planning. Routledge.
Oshri, I., Kotlarsky, J. and Willcocks, L.P., 2015. The Handbook of Global Outsourcing and Offshoring 3rd Edition. Springer.
Solli-Sæther, H. and Gottschalk, P., 2015. Stages-of-growth in outsourcing, offshoring and backsourcing: Back to the future? Journal of Computer Information Systems, 55(2), pp.88-94.
Teece, D., Peteraf, M. and Leih, S., 2016. Dynamic capabilities and organizational agility: Risk, uncertainty, and strategy in the innovation economy. California Management Review, 58(4), pp.13-35.
Kraidy, M., 2017. Hybridity, or the cultural logic of globalization. Temple University Press.
Hay, C. and Marsh, D. eds., 2016. Demystifying globalization. Springer.
Falling Oil Prices and their Long-term and Short-term Impact on Ordinary Investors
Falling Oil Prices – Oil prices for the better of human history have been subject to various factors like economic recessions and booms. All one has to do is to use history as a reference to ascertain whether these prices are likely to change when taking into account the prevailing global aspects like the change in the United Stated presidency. On the same note, it is undeniable that OPEC has acted to influence oil prices and hence the global economic setup. Bottom line, the crude oil industry experiences ups and downs and can only be treated as volatile.
It is for this reason that the effects of falling and low prices on investors ought to be interrogated in the sense that it is only prudent to assume that oil prices eventually influence investment decision makers. After all, oil prices have been found to have a tendency of affecting almost every aspect of the economy and hence both future and current investments. At the current global age, oil prices have experienced a dip and stand to remain so for a considerable time into the future according to economists and other stakeholders (Degiannakis, Filis & Kizys, 2014).
It is for this reason that OPEC, with its powers, has concentrated their efforts on ways and mechanisms to use in raising these oil prices including lowering production and hence prices. When there is a shift in oil prices, in this case, a downward shift, it means that they are losers and gainers. Thus, from a critical analysis point of view, there needs to be a careful and clear interrogation of the concept.
The purpose of this study paper is to investigate the impact of long term and short term implications of falling oil prices on the ordinary investor. The objectives of the study were to have a deeper understanding how this affects both energy dependent and independent investors. The study established that as oil prices continue to decline, it is crucial for ordinary investors to be long sighted in making their decisions. Though falling and low prices are a temporary phenomenon, it so happens that their effects can never be overlooked.
For example, low prices mean that oil and oil products consumers have a greater disposable income to spend on other products. This means that retail outlets experience a sense of business boom (Bohi & Montgomery, 2015). The same case applies for motor vehicle manufacturing industry whereby low oil prices induce prospective customers and consumers to indulge in buying more vehicles. Taking into account that the motor vehicle industry is rather a crucial sector of the global economy, it is only evident that oil prices have a causal effect on quite a large chunk of the economy.
The study further established that low oil prices have both macro and microeconomic effects which equate into more fiscal and monetary policies by stakeholders. For example, federal governments have to come up with such policies like increased tax rates due to the low revenue they get from low oil prices. Increased tax rates automatically affect ordinary investors. It is for this reason that such countries have to perform macroeconomic adjustments to cushion for these impacts. In so doing, falling or declining oil prices effects must be remedied by running substantial and rising fiscal deficits.
Additionally, falling oil prices results in reduced commercial activities around oil producing regions or areas in that such companies like truck retail and construction companies often reduce their investments due to low returns. This paper employed qualitative research methodology. Data was collected by reviewing relevant peer-reviewed economic literature on oil prices and the economy. Data was presented as a narrative essay and utilized convenience sampling method.
Statement of Problem
Though there have been numerous efforts geared towards understanding oil prices in the economy, the process has not been impressive so far. This is particularly so because ordinary investors may not be able to comprehend the underlying economic jargons, models and policies. More so, history have acted to teach investors lessons on investments in such cases where they are not sufficiently equipped to adapt to these oil changes. It has become increasingly important to have a better understanding and hence this study paper.
This study paper investigates and establishes the long-term and short-term impacts of falling oil prices on ordinary investors. The paper seeks to help have a better understanding of oil prices impacts on the economy by reviewing both fiscal and monetary policies that are taken in accommodating these oil price changes.
Significance of the study
Findings of this paper may be used by relevant stakeholders to help curb negative effects of falling oil prices and encourage ordinary investors to enjoy the benefits that come with the same.
Review of Literature
Effects of Falling Oil Prices on Currency Devaluation and Investments
Currency exchange rate is the value which one currency is measured against another currency. With low and falling oil prices, there tends to be push-up domestic inflation due to high import prices. It is undeniable that investors require higher returns to compensate for the inflation. It the follows to compensate for inflation; the federal bank has to raise interest rates to curb inflation. With the government attempting to curb inflation, various steps are followed including Open Market Operations and Cash to Liquidity Ratio for banks (Nazlioglu, Soytas, & Gupta, 2015). The effect of raising the interest rate on loanable funds can be explained by the following economic model:
From the above analysis, it is evident that an increase in interest rate leads to a reduced supply of loanable funds and hence low investment from ordinary investors.
The aggressive measures are aimed at reducing the supply of currency in the economy by making its supply low thus increasing its value. In so doing, the interest rate in the economy automatically increases meaning that the government is in a bid to discourage banks to lend loans and funds to the consumers and discourage investors from accessing such loans and finances. Consequently, it results to reduced investments. On the same note, it is important to note that currency value is a crucial factor in attracting foreign investments (Sadorsky, 2014). Thus a low currency caused by inflation acts towards discouraging ordinary investors from investing in such countries with low currency.
In the bond market, there is an inverse relationship between bond prices and interest rates such that if a currency crash was to happen, there is a likely hood of the bond market crash. High-interest rates caused by low or falling oil prices usually results into low bond values making it unattractive to ordinary investors including foreign investors who may be willing to invest in international government bonds.
The effects of declining oil prices in the economy have never been clearer. Falling oil prices mean that countries have to cut public budgets. This, in turn, has resulted into serious social and political ramifications that have been found to have a direct relation with investments. For example, in Russia, the ruble suffered significant devaluation with falling oil prices. Consequently, the stock-market prices tend to fall. The effects of declining oil are better understood when such factors like federal or central banks reserves shrinking, capital flight, low exports and low foreign investors are taken into account (Brown,Chan, Hu & Zhang, 2017).
Furthermore, when falling oil prices are significant enough, they tend to downgrade a country’s bond value to almost junk levels which are mainly done by credit rating agencies thus acting to discourage ordinary investors. Due to oil price weakness, Consumer Price Index has shown inflation might be incumbent in the long-run if oil prices are to continue into the foreseeable future. However, falling oil prices act like a tax cut for consumers such that they can spend other than oil and energy.
Currency devaluation in some cases may be a voluntary concept whereby a country may devalue its currency to make its exports competitive in the world market. In the recent past, China devalued its Yuen currency reaching an almost six year low (Basher & Sadorsky, 2016). Consequently, it resulted into the low crude oil. As the oil market is characterized by the dollar currency and hence dollar peg, countries have to act within and beyond their limits to maintain currency levels competitive against the dollar. As of the year 2016, the IMF urged Nigeria to devalue its currency as low prices hit the economy. Being an aggressive strategy, it was a viable option in attracting investments after the currency stabilized in the long-run.
In the Nigerian case study, the government sought to restrict access to foreign currency and ban quite a wide range of imports. Though this was viewed as being detrimental by the IMF, it was a measure to curb the effects of low oil prices and inflation (Alfaro, Bloom, & Lin,2016). The effects of the same were also felt by the common consumers and ordinary investors.
The Nigerian government was of the view that it was better to restrict access to foreign currency and limit certain imports into the country rather than devaluing their currency. This, of course, had a negative effect or impact on investors who dealt with this line of imports. Similarly, restricting access to foreign currency meant that local and international investors would not transact in certain currencies limiting their diversification both in stock and currency trading. Furthermore, in such a country which is import dependent in terms of food, it meant that investors had to get less for their money (investment returns) or had to charge consumers for their products.
In choosing not to devalue the naira, the Nigerian decision makers risked severe foreign exchange that could potentially lead to decreased foreign investment and hence an increase or surge in the black-market sector (D’Ecclesia, Magrini, Montalbano & Triulzi, 2014). Thus, this is a direct attack on the business sector especially considering that oil is just but one commodity affecting all other range of consumable products and services.
Falling Oil Prices and Increased Tax Rates
In a bid to recover tax revenues lost through falling oil prices, the federal or central banks usually takes upon increasing tax rates in the economy. Changes in the top marginal tax rates influence peoples’ decision especially in terms of consumption trends. From the argument of libertarians and economists at large, tax increase dissuades ordinary investors from economically viable projects. An increase in tax caused by falling oil prices automatically reduces the amount of disposable income for consumers meaning that they will spend less or forego certain products and services meaning such investors who had invested in those product lines experience a dip and form and revenue accruing from their operations. Additionally, when corporate taxes are high, it acts to derail additional investments. High tax rates mean that there is the low after-tax rate of return on investment hence low investment esteem.
High taxes in the economy results into low personal and house hold savings. Such savings would have otherwise been used for investment purposes in the long-run or even spent on goods or services at a future date (Brunetti, Büyükşahin, & Harris, 2016). When tax rates are increased, it means that there is a strong correlation between tax, interest rate, saving and hence investment. Taking into account that increased tax rates go hand in hand with high-interest rates, the effect of the same can be explained by the model below.
In increasing taxes, it has become a common phenomenon for federal and central banks to allow for tax credits. They have been found to be more favorable than tax deductions whereby the latter rarely occurs with falling oil prices. The value of a tax credit depends on the type of credit either given to individuals or individuals. In such cases where the government offers tax credits, it enables investors to continue investing in certain sectors of the economy to balance between high taxes effects and increased investment all the same. On the other hand, non-refundable tax credits are directly deductible from the tax liability (Enriquez, Smit & Ablett, 2015). Any excess of the same potentially reduces tax liability further. This has been found to negatively affect low-income earners because they are not able to enjoy and utilize the entire credit amount. Refundable tax credit is favorable and tends to promote expenditure and investment which is a good thing for ordinary investors all the same.
Falling Oil Prices, Local Investments and the Stock Market
With falling oil prices, it is a common phenomenon that business activities in oil producing regions tend to decrease. For example, construction companies benefit less from these low prices as oil mining and refinery companies have to cut and lower their production capacity in a bid to maintain high prices. The powers that OPEC has in dictating and influencing oil prices are quite shocking. According to the author, OPEC members’ oil production account for almost forty percent of the global oil supply which puts a considerable amount of power in their hands.
By acting as a united front, they would act to shape the future of the oil industry and more so regarding influencing oil prices to their advantage (Diaz, Molero, de Gracia, 2016). The underlying question is what would happen if these countries were to hold on and stop their oil exports for some time.
As of last year, oil producing countries including Russia and Saudi Arabia acted towards ensuring high oil prices. This was meant to reduce cut-throat competition and price under cutting proving that OPEC has the ability and power to increase prices. However, this was done by reducing the production levels and hence low supply into the market (Heitner, K. L., & Sherman, 2014). It is important to note that such countries like Venezuela have a binding agreement not to increase production significantly making the agreement even more strong in pushing the oil prices high.
With reduced supply and operations, local business suffers significantly. Ordinary investors in the housing sector feel the impact whereby the demand for housing units ultimately takes a deep. With reduced operations, there will be reduced workforce and hence a low demand for housing units. It is practical that with the opening of oil companies in a certain region, local businesses and investments sprout up. Thus, such investors like shareholders have to make a careful decision on the type of portfolio they are to invest in.
For companies being quoted in the stock market, it means that their shows trade less as they are less attractive to invest in. It has been established that there is a correlation between oil prices and the stock market (Javan & Vallejo, 2016). Such factor prices in the economy like wages and interest rates tend to offset energy costs. In reading future trends of the market, investors have to factor in factor prices. With increased consumption of oil product, prices in the market might rise.
With falling oil prices, the motor vehicle and other related oil energy industries experience a surge in their revenues and hence their share prices. The same case applied to the transport sector. However, there has not been an explicit correlational explanation as to the relationship between oil prices and overall stock market. It has been identified that in surprising cases, stock markets may fall with falling oil prices. In such cases where oil and stock prices go hand in hand, it is as a result of softening global aggregate demand. The relationship between stocks and oil is rather volatile. Prices may move in the same or opposite direction. As it stands, both prices seem to move in the same direction.
Time Value of Money and Falling Oil Prices
Time of value is an accounting concept that deals with what monetary benefit one would rather enjoy now rather than later. This concept has been so far been used in valuing investments and more so in the field of oil and accounting when such factors like interest rate and rate of return are put into account. Thus, the underlying question is, should one invest now or later in the oil industry as according to time value of money.
As previous research has shown, it is advisable to invest when oil prices are high because the interest rate is low and so is the tax rate. Thus, it can only be held that with the changing oil prices, investors should invest when oil prices are high to increase the returns in terms of present and future value of money.
The research methodology used in this dissertation was qualitative, Triangulation/Mixed Review study utilizing convenience sampling research methodology. This research method involves data integration in that illustration, triangulation (convergent validation) and deep analysis are undeniable in this study paper. Mixed method of research involves combining aspects of both quantitative and qualitative research methods through triangulation whereby data from different sources are compared and analyzed to come up with the most reliable and appropriate conclusion and recommendation.
Triangulation, in this case, involves the use of diverse data and combining various research methods. This would go hand in hand with convenience sampling where convenient and pertinent data to the study will be analyzed. It is the most applicable method in studying real life scenarios through a detailed contextual analysis of a limited number of conditions or relationships.
The study design involved went hand in hand with the triangulation of different data sources in relations to a specific issue, phenomenon or situation with an aim to deeply understand and explain it of characteristics and other aspects like rationale and distribution. It combines the strengths and reduces weaknesses of using a single method. Through triangulation, convergence and divergence of data can be established thereof.
Discussion, Conclusion, and Recommendation
From the above analysis, it is only true to hold that falling prices have both short-term and long-term impacts on ordinary investors. Falling prices tend to result in high taxes, high-interest rates and more so a change in the stock market. It is thus important for investors to have a clear understanding of oil prices changes and the corresponding effects in that it ultimately affects the general economy in various ways. This paper should prove useful for ordinary investors and other stakeholders who are willing to seek information on oil industry and investments.
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