Supply Chain Mapping MBA Project

Supply Chain Mapping is crucial to any organisation regardless of its size, specialization or region.  A typical supply chain system is composed of resources, activities that facilitate the movement of products from the supplier to the client and vice versa, i.e., upstream and downstream (Kozlenkova et al., 2015). However, the keeping track of all these supply chain activities, i.e., delivery and supply of necessary materials, information and other elements is getting complicated day by day.

Henceforth, it’s essential for organizations to manage these activities through visualizations which can help in identifying supply risk factors for necessary actions to be taken (Ho et al., 2015). And this is where supply chain mapping comes in handy. Supply chain mapping refers to the use of visual maps in monitoring the activities linking suppliers and customers.  The supply chain map shows how all partners and actions are connected such as supply, transport, warehousing, retailing and so on.

Moreover, a supply chain map takes into account the transactions and information exchanged by all parties, both upstream and downstream (Jayaratane et al., 2018).  Breaking down the composition of the supply chain mapping reveals interesting factors such as how it’s mapped, parts that are included in the map and criteria used to select. This paper thus discusses these elements of supply chain mapping in addition to the implications of various types of integration in the supply chain management.

Supply Chain Mapping Deployment

Mapping is meant to reveal opportunities and obstacles so that an organization can be able to formulate a winning strategy. To do so, a supply chain map has to indicate two crucial components; the supply chain flow and supply chain entity (Dujak, 2017). This can be achieved by following these steps.

Mapping the Physical Structure

An existing supply chain model already has physical locations that contribute to its value stream. These include the warehouses, factories and retail stores that support the movement of products and services upstream. However, the networks that support that these facilities can be at times complex, even for established organizations. For instance, it may be hard determining who supplies to the organization’s suppliers.

Which facilities or methods do suppliers or producers use to ensure that the raw materials are produced legally and ethically? This requires an organization to step up its involvement by in its analysis of supply chain structure.  Nuss et al., (2016) claims that identifying the relevant physical structures during mapping helps in determining the degree centrality of the supply chain.

Degree centrality is used to determine the level of physical sites that a particular organization owns. This, in turn, determines how the level of control they have on the supply chain and associated risks.

Networking Environment and Context Analysis

The environment that a company operates comes in handy in understanding the supply network system that they can tap into.  Rodriguez (2016) claims that this stage of supply chain mapping entails determining four different types of ties: similarities, relations, interactions and flows. These elements affect how a company is perceived by the society that it operates in.

For companies to successfully succeed in this state, they should take into consideration factors such as;

  • Cultural and ethnic differences,
  • The geography covered,
  • Politics and legal systems within the target markets,
  • Expectations of the end users.
  • The environmental protection laws.

A company that understands these factors will experience more success since it will be able to determine the trends, the drivers and conditions that affect the flow of goods and service both upstream and downstream.

An organization should consider any unique factors which present in the supply chain to determine if they are risks, threats or opportunities. This affects how the organization responds (Rodriquez, 2016). For instance, an organization can critically analyze:

  • Whether to standardize or customize the products:
  • The complexity of the products
  • Customer tastes and preferences
  • Bureaucracy and complexity within the organization
  • Cost of switching for customers
  • The degree of Competition in the market.

All of these factors affect the type of supply chain an organization selects. The more complex and customized the products are, the more complex the supply chain will be.

Supply Chain Mapping
Supply Chain Mapping

Considering the Buying Process:

This organization must consider how many hands the raw material or finished product pass through before reaching them or their target client respectively.  For instance, the company should determine if it buys the products directly from the producers, or from brokers and third-party companies.  To do so, a chart is created, showing how the current transactions and exchange of products are carried out in the supply chain. From this, the organization can determine which parties that they can away with to loosen up the supply chain model.

Dujak (2017) claims this part of the analysis can be classified under the extended value supply map. Brokers and re-suppliers can at times be adding no value to the whole production process, especially if the main producers of raw materials are within reach. In addition to hoarding products and inflating prices, brokers may also become unreliable parties when transacting with them. For instance, if products are not delivered on time despite being paid for, should you hold the broker or the producer accountable?

Can you eliminate the broker and purchase directly from the producer or supply directly to the final clients? Analyzing these elements will help determine how to approach non-value adding-component of the supply chain such as bypassing them.

Supply Chain Mapping – Accounting for Transparency of Information 

Mapping a successful supply chain model entails ensuring that the information being passed across the various parties is consistent and credible. For this reason, a company has to define the types of reports that it expects from all the actors in the supply chain. The expectations will be based on the type of contract that an organization has with these parties.

The suppliers should provide information on their production process and their transport mechanisms (Gardner et al., 2015).  Passing information on sample products or services ensures that expected standards have been met before the commercial production start. In this case, the information being passed down or up the stream covers concepts such as order status, product testing and such. There two ways of ensuring consistency information flow, i.e., manually or electronically.

Moreover, each actor should be provided on information about their expected roles and limitations (Gardner et al., 2015). When all these factors are considered, the supply chain mapping will be based on the transparent information. This implies that each of the party will be accountable and responsible for any issues that they are expected to handle. This stage is usually called the current state map.

Should the map include connected firms or primary firms?

The supply chain map mandates that every activity within the supply model must be accounted for. In doing so, the visualization of how the raw materials are produced to how they reach the final customer must be accounted. Henceforth, this takes into account all the primary and secondary activities that facilitates this process. For this reason, it’s essential to include the connected firm in the supply chain map

Means of determining who should be part of the supply chain map

Heat mapping:

This method entails identifying the main company priority regarding the products that it produces. Each activity of the firm is assigned a grade/ colour/size in the order of its overall importance to a company. In doing so, the company can be able to trace the main parties behind such activity. The parties that become part of the supply chain are those whose roles are found to be invaluable to the company, i.e. those whose grades are much higher (Bryan, 2015).  Regarding this, the supplier of a company has a high priority since the raw materials that they provide; facilitate normal running activities within the firm.

The degree of Risk:

Oliveira et al., (2017) claim the supply chain activities are proliferated with operational threats due to uncertainty in business environments. Such threats can lead to immense losses for a firm. For instance, Boeing suffered a loss of $2.25 Billion, while Cisco lost $2.25 Billion due to supply chain problems (Oliveira et al., 2017). Henceforth, when considering who to include in the supply chain, the main question should be if the party selected is ready to partake in the losses due to risks?

Secondly, how can the party help in mitigating risk? How accountable is the party in the organisational objectives? If a party feels the wrath of consequences related to risks and threats, then they should be included in the supply chain map.

Florian et al., (2015) break down this concept by assigning each risk category with the composition of risks that may proliferate it. All of these activities have a domino effect on the whole supply chain, any parties supplying these activities must be included in the supply chain map.

Supplying Risks: Poor quality good, non-delivery of agreed products, inflated prices, delayed delivery schedule.

Transporting Risk: Loss and damage to good when in transit

Warehousing Risks: Spoiling and damage to goods; changes in storage costs and taxes being levied on them.

Marketing Risks: Wrong promotional strategies, excessive, demand volatility.

Production Risk: Equipment failure, overproduction, poor quality outputs (Florian et al., 2015).

From the above, it’s evident that these are high-risk issues that may face an organization. Henceforth, an organization should monitor all activities carried out by these parties to ensure everything goes as planned. Moreover, when an issue arises, it can be easy for the organization to track through the use of an already established supply chain map. Henceforth, under this criteria, the supplier, the transporters, warehousing companies and marketing agencies must be included in the supply chain map.

Benchmarking

If a company wants to have a successful supply chain, it must study its competitors or other companies who have established a successful supply chain model. This is where benchmarking comes in handy where a company studies the processes, performances and products from the best practices (Routroy et al., 2015).  This strategy helps a company select the right partners for its supply chain model, who are more likely to help it achieve its objectives fast.

Hettiarachchi (2016) claims that Apple Inc. has probably the most successful supply chain strategy due to how it has mastered mapping and visualization technologies in monitoring the movement of all products, both upstream and downstream. Once the company has benchmarked other companies supply chain maps, it then decides on how it can visualize its map for maximum benefits. The bigger the firm and the more complex its activities, it might find itself integrating even the secondary parties to the map, just like Apple Inc does (Hettiarachchi, 2016). On the other hand, if the company activities are just simple and use basic raw materials, its supply chain map should include the basic parties, i.e. supplier, warehouses, the firm, and the retailers.

The Importer-Exporter Criteria

The Importer (Buyer):  This is a connected firm who supplies to the organization supplier. The importer is usually the source of goods within that region if he got them from the foreign nations. The importer negotiates purchase terms with the main supplier, which affects the final price of the raw materials when the reach a firm.  This party offloads and inspects the shipment to ensure that all the products that had been ordered are in place. This importer is categorized as a source to pay (S2P) within the supply chain map.

Supplier (Exporter):  Usually categorized as an Order-to-Cash Component in the Supply chain map.  The exporter receives the purchase order from company clients and validates their credentials.  After confirming the order, they fulfill their services by shipping the goods to the clients. He then collects the payment from the clients and reconciles them for analysis. The reason the exporter is accounted for in the Supply chain map is that he can help a company determine the level of demand from customers. The exporter is a connected firm within the supply chain model.

Exporter (Supplier):  This type of exporter falls under the connected firm category and is a Fulfill-to service component.  This supplier is in charge of fulfilling the order of all the raw materials scheduled for production. The exporter procures materials from their direct sources and delivers them to the company for processing. This type of exporter is placed in the Fulfill-to-service component.

Implications of a Good Supply Chain Management Practice

Vertical Structure:

More Control: Under this arrangement, the company control major activities within its supply chain, e.g. Apple Inc.  As a result, the company can make amendments or any changes in the supply chain with minimal tussles (McCandless et al., 2015). For instance, when a manufacturer acquires its product retailers, he can be able to dictate the prices of all the products, just like he would if he were to acquire the supplier. As a result, they may have more bargaining company than the customers’ especially if there are no alternatives.

Differentiation:  Having more control over the distribution channels, retails outlets, production materials inputs can enable a company to distinguish itself from competitors. Consumers may be able to notice these differences which can be leveraged upon further by clever marketing tactics.

Higher Profit and Revenue margins: Upstream and Downstream markets such as selling products to the customers or accessing raw materials directly from the source may become new sources of revenues.  For instance, a company can also supply raw materials or provide transport and warehouse facilities to other companies on a fees basis. Moreover, having access to these elements eliminates middlemen and intermediaries who usually hike the prices by the time the products are reaching the company or end users. Henceforth, eliminating these intermediaries implies all these profits they were enjoying will be redirected to the firm.

Higher Level of Certainty: Florian et al., (2015) claimed that the more the parties involved in the supply chain, the higher the risks due to reduced control the company may have in overseeing all the activities. With vertical integration, all the acquired companies are acting as subsidiaries to the main company; hence it may be easy to standardize products and regulate their quality. This implies that a company is guaranteed of quality raw materials, quality freight and transport, warehousing and even retailing of goods.

Supply Chain Mapping Horizontal Integration

Market Expansion: Horizontal integration refers to the process of acquiring business activities that are at the same level. For instance, a fast-food company can try to gain a footing in another country by merging with another fast-food company in that nation. This enables a company to have a larger market share, which in turn leads to more revenues and profits for a company.  The supply chain model also becomes flexible and loosens up, since they can experiment with different supplier simultaneously to determine the best one.

Industry Control: the merging of two similar businesses implies that their bargaining power also increases. As a result, they can use this power to set the market prices for their products, set standards for customers as well as dictate the quality they expect from their suppliers and prices.

This is an immense power which may lead to more third-party vendors focusing more on such companies due to being assured of continuous contracts and high demand for their goods.

Economies of Scale: An integrated company will be able to order quantity raw materials, engage in more productive activities at a much lower cost than if it were ordering low quantity products.  This may in turn, lead to bigger profit margins and optimal use of all the facilities within the company.

Increased Differentiation: if the company continues acquiring and merging with businesses along with all lines it operates in, it can have more control over the features of its products.  For instance, the products may be either cheaper, high quality, long lasting in a way that other companies which have not integrated themselves cannot replicate.

Focal Company:

Better relations with consumers: Under this structure, the company has a direct contract with the end users (Wang et al., 2016). This may help the company gain more trust and loyalty, leading to repeat sales from customers.

Better insight for better marketing and product strategies: The company taps to first-hand information from clients from matters about complains, suggestions that they may have on the type of services provided. The company may use this information to re-align and strategize itself so that it meets their demand or needs adequately.

Increased Accountability of suppliers and distributors: Since the company has contact with the end user, it may also provide guidelines that their vendors should follow to provide the best quality services and products for their customers. This may lead to the company monitoring the activities within the supply chain more closely than with other forms of integration (Wang et al., 2016). This may lead to a domino effect where the suppliers and other service providers to the company are also more keen, leading to quality products in the end.

In conclusion, it’s evident that supply chain mapping is very crucial for companies. It supports information distribution, shows channel dynamics and enhances strategic planning process for an organization. This enables the company can track all activities.  It helps companies get more insight on all activities that are crucial to its functioning, be it upstream or downstream.

How can a supply chain mapping be successful? Well, the answer lies in who is the parties that are included in the map, criteria used to select them and their contribution to overall organizational goals It’s also worth noting that the supply chain map will be dependent on the type of integration that a company uses in its acquisition and delivery of goods/services, both upstream and downstream.

References

Dujak, D. (2017, January). Mapping of natural gas supply chains: Literature Review. In 17th International Scientific Conference Business Logistics in Modern Management 2017.

Florian, G. L., & Constangioara, A. (2014). The impact of risks in supply chain on organizational performances: evidence from Romania. Series Economy Management17(2), 265-275.

Gardner, T. A., Benzie, M., Börner, J., Dawkins, E., Fick, S., Garrett, R., … & Mardas, N. (2018). Transparency and sustainability in global commodity supply chains. World Development.

Hettiarachchi, H. (2016). Apple’s Supply Chain Strategy. 10.13140/RG.2.2.32075.49448.

Ho, W., Zheng, T., Yildiz, H., & Talluri, S. (2015). Supply chain risk management: a literature review. International Journal of Production Research53(16), 5031-5069.

Jayaratne, P., Styger, L., & Perera, N. (2018). Role Of Supply Chain Mapping In Sustainable Supply Chain Management. 2nd International Conference on Management Proceeding.

Kozlenkova, I., Hult, T., Lund, D., Mena, J.,  & Kekec, P. (2015). The Role of Marketing Channels in Supply Chain Management. Journal of Retailing. 91. 10.1016/j.jretai.2015.03.003.

Bryan, C. (2015). Handbook of Research on Global Supply Chain Management. IGI Global. ISBN-10: 1466696397

Mccandless, E., Abitbol, E., & Donais, T. (2015). Vertical integration: A dynamic practice promoting transformative peacebuilding. Journal of Peacebuilidng and Development. 10(1).

Nuss, P., Graedel, T. E., Alonso, E., & Carroll, A. (2016). Mapping supply chain risk by network analysis of product platforms. Sustainable Materials and Technologies10, 14-22.

Oliveira, U.R., Espindolar, L.S & Marims, S.F (2017). Analysis of supply chain risk management researches.

Rodríguez, R. R. (2016). Social network analysis and supply chain management. International Journal of Production Management and Engineering (IJPME)4(1), 35-40.

Routroy, S., & Shankar, A. (2015). A benchmarking approach for supply chain risk management. International Journal of Services and Operations Management20(3), 338-357.

Supply Chain Mapping Protocol. (2017).  Supply Chain Sustainability. Version 1.

Wang, X. & Wood, L.C. (2016). The Influence of Supply Chain Sustainability Practices of Suppliers.

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Insider Trading University Essay

Insider Trading Ethical or Not?

Insider trading is malpractice that involves buying and selling stocks using information that is not available to the public. The practice gives some traders an unfair advantage over others, and it is a punishable crime. Insider trading is commonly found among the corporate officers or people who receive the non-public information. Traders are always tempted to carry out this malpractice to make more profits than others or avoid losses. This act is illegal, and the Securities and Exchange Commission usually investigates and prosecutes it. However, insider trading can be legal if the trading is done based on information that is available for public use. This papers aim is to discuss why insider trading is considered unethical and finding out if allowing insider trading would hinder the operation of the stock market in raising capital for new and existing companies.

Is Insider Trading Ethical?

Insider trading is unethical because it involves exploiting the knowledge that is only known to a few people. The insiders are usually given an unfair advantage that allows them to benefit from information of the stock market before the general public. These people get to exploit the opportunity before the rest making accumulative profits and avoid risks. Generally, insiders ought to maintain a fiduciary relationship with their companies and shareholders so when they try to benefit from the inside information puts their interest above the people they serve. The practice is unethical since the insiders are supposed to protect the interests of the entities they serve rather than using it to their advantage.

There are other times the people on the inside divulge the information to the people on the outside (Alldredge, 2015). The process involves a tipper and a whistle-blower, with the tipper being the person who divulges the information to the outsider and the tepee the receiver of the data. The whistle-blower then utilizes the information obtained to seek profits or avoid financial losses in the stock market. As much as the tippler may not benefit directly, it is still unethical since it makes some people gain unfair advantages over others.

In most cases, insiders are after personal gains at the expense of the investors and the company at large which is unethical. On moral grounds such as actions are unjust and are termed as a fraud. The investors feel unsafe and insecure to invest since they lose trust that they hold to the insiders.

Any interests in a stock market must look after the interests of all shareholders and not just favoring a few (Skaife, 2013). Generally, insider trading betrays investors’ trust; insiders act on data that is not available to shareholders for monetary gains, officers of a company are acting to satisfy their interests. The insider trading is an unethical practice and should be checked on and brought to a stop.

However, there some people who argue that insider trading is not a bad practice. Such people insinuate that insider trading allows for all the relevant data to be reflected in the shares’ price. The process makes the security it easy for investors to understand the costs before purchasing the shares (Alldredge, 2015).

In such situations, potential investors and current shareholders are able to make informed decisions on purchase and sale respectively.  Another argument is that barring the practice delays something that will eventually take place. Blocking investors from accessing the information on the price changes can subject them to buying or selling shares at losses which could have been avoided if the information had been available.

Insider Trading University Essay
Insider Trading University Essay

Insider trading hinders the operation of the stock market in raising capital for the new and existing forms. Instances when a few people benefit from the stock’s information, investors lose trust in the company hindering them from participating in the activities of the stock market. The process leaves the stock markets with nowhere to gets funds consequently affecting the market’s ability to carry out its operations. Without the services then it becomes difficult for the stock markets to finance new or existing companies (Skaife, 2013).

Additionally, when insiders reveal security’s information to some people before the sales take place, the stock markets become integrated affecting the stocks prices. The stock market fails to exploit the pricing advantage since buyers already know what to expect. The process may cause the market to suffer losses making it difficult for the market to raise cash for other firms. Generally, insider trading is allowed to continue, and it can lead to many investors being driven away and avoiding the practice.

Insider trading affects general business management and decision making. Managers may make wrong on a particular situation using the inside information which is not reliable all the time. On top of that, insider information influences investor decisions impacting the stock’s market price or valuation. For example, when the investors are aware that the price of shares is going to drop they sell their shares in advance to avoid losses consequently impacting a firm’s stock valuation.

Conclusively, insider practice is an unethical practice since it favors some people over others. The people on the side get to exploit nonpublic information for their benefits at the expense of the investors. The investors lose trust in the whole process of stock exchange and with time they get driven away. The method may leave the stock exchange market with funds that are needed to finance upcoming and existing companies. Insider trading is unfair and unethical since it involves lying to the investors and should be stopped to avoid negatively affecting the economy.

References

Alldredge, D. M., & Cicero, D. C. (2015). Attentive insider trading. Journal of Financial Economics, 115(1), 84-101.

Skaife, H. A., Veenman, D., & Wangerin, D. (2013). Internal control over financial reporting and managerial rent extraction: Evidence from the profitability of insider trading. Journal of Accounting and Economics, 55(1), 91-110.

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Coca-Cola Principles of Management

Coca-Cola is a multinational company which has been in the market for a long period of time. For it to survive, the company has adopted proper planning and strategies to its market and customer base. The main theme has been to make Coca-Cola products a refreshing beverage to all people. This theme has been maintained because the company has more than three thousand beverage products that market and customer. t are consumed by its portfolio. In order for this drink to be available to every part of the globe, Coca-Cola has so many companies that help in product distribution (Jones and Comfort, 2018). To have such a range of the beverage products selling well globally require proper strategic plans and marketing strategies. This is because the product has to penetrate through to customers of different cultures, tastes and preferences. Moreover, a strategy which works in one country might not work in another country. For instance, there have been campaign logos like a ‘delightful winter or summer drink’ which have been growing on the media. This advert logo was indicative that Coca-Cola products can be consumed at all times, all year round.

Coca-Cola Strategy, Vision and Mission

The second theme concerns the strategy, vision and mission of this company which are always progressive to make Coca-Cola beverages the first drink of choice by the customers on all occasions any time. The vision, mission and strategy for this company combined at the moment focused on vision 2020. While in 1989 F. David had developed nine components of the mission namely: technology, products, customers, philosophy, location, self-concepts, survival, public image concerns, and employees concerns. Currently, these components have changed and reduced to five, namely: people, portfolio, planet, profits and productivity. Out of these, the company has placed more emphasis on the component of people.

In this case Coca-Cola provides a good working environment through inspiration, and by supporting customers through supporting sustainable community projects. There are links between the former and the current these because some of them have been merged to reduce them from nine to five, while maintaining the final aim. At that time (1989), the mission and vision of the Coca-Cola Company was to sustain the business, improve the public image and meet the concerns of its employees. Once the component of people is properly handled, then customer and employee loyalty increases and hence more sales and profits. Coca-Cola engages in corporate social responsibility, then customer and employee loyalty increases and hence more sales and profits. 

A priority task to provide self-interest as well as care to the people and environment (Smarandescu and Shimp, 2015). Thus, the company has been producing disposable bottles annually. Based on the strategy of making positive contributions to all stakeholders, Coca-Cola USA has partnered with the government to encourage recycling of wastes materials.

Coca-Cola Management Dissertation
Coca-Cola Management Dissertation

Coca-Cola Mission Statement

The major role of the mission statement for a large organization like Coca-Cola is to make the customers, employees and other stakeholders aware about details of what the company is all about as well as the goals of the company (Gertner and Rifkin, 2018). The three mission statements of Coca-Cola are: to refresh the world, inspire moments and happiness, and to create value and make difference. By inspiring moments and happiness, Coca-Cola offers to its customers the beverages of high quality which refreshes their world and creates inspiration via the identity of their brand. The company creates value to stakeholders by participating in sustainability practices which benefits all stakeholders.

An example is the sponsoring of community based activities that have a common good. However, there some contradiction with regards to this mission due to increased solid waste, until the company gets to a point where they can reduce a large portion of the generated wastes. To refresh the world, Coca-Cola has engaged in innovative practices to produce so many beverage brands for its customers globally. From the perspective of Coca-Cola Company, the three points of mission statement have made the company the leading beverage company for so many years.

In the 1980s, most companies were aligned to continued improvement so that a business could survive for a number of years. However, Coca-Cola aligns to the portfolio aspect vaguely, although these companies have been in the process of increasing quality of the products for the consumers through continued improvement.

Reflection

I have come to clearly understand the significance of strategy and planning in a business organization. Without plans that are geared towards the customers, a business is bound to fail. This is because the interest of the customers is the most important.

Considering a company like Pepsi, their vision statement has lid more emphasis on financial performance. However, by concentration on meeting customer expectations and creating a loyal brand, sales and profits follows suit. However, this company also has statements similar to those of Coca-Cola such as corporate social responsibility and sustainability practices.

Coca-Cola has gone a step further to involve its staff in supporting various actions, more so the charity organizations, such as the Wings and Wishes. This is because, in some instances, poor or lack of philanthropic image can damage the long term plans of an organization. This is takes especially when the customers fail to appreciate the efforts of the corporate organizations.

There are a number of advantages and disadvantages associated with teamwork. For instance it increases productivity because a task is distributed based on the teams’ individual abilities. This division of tasks in teams also avoids task duplication and saves time (Costa et al., 2014). It also increases motivation where every team member feels as part of the team. However, teamwork could be associated with some disadvantages too. For example, there might be unnecessary wastage of time, especially when making decisions. This is because each team member has their own opinions and this might take a long time before the final decision is arrived at.

In assignment, since I was not in a group, I found challenges in completing the assignment. While it was easy for me to make decisions on the materials to use for the assignment, I took a long time to compile the important materials and come up with the final output. However, I have learned to make rational decisions and to utilize time properly especially when tasked with a complex issue to solve. Moreover, since I was not in a group I have learned innovative methods when handling complex and challenging tasks so as to come up with a fine output based on the requirements.

References

Jones, P. and Comfort, D., 2018. The Coca-Cola Brand and Sustainability. Indonesian Journal of Applied Business and Economic Research, 1(1).

Smarandescu, L. and Shimp, T.A., 2015. Drink coca-cola, eat popcorn, and choose powerade: testing the limits of subliminal persuasion. Marketing Letters, 26(4), pp.715-726.

Gertner, D. and Rifkin, L., 2018. Coca‐Cola and the Fight against the Global Obesity Epidemic. Thunderbird International Business Review, 60(2), pp.161-173.

Costa, P.L., Passos, A.M. and Bakker, A.B., 2014. Team work engagement: A model of emergence. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 87(2), pp.414-436.

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Decision Making Leadership Development

Decision Making, Leadership Development and Business Ethics at Boeing

Title: Decision Making Leadership Development. The Boeing Company is an American organisation which has been manufacturing aircraft, rockets and satellite for a considerable period of time. In the early 21st century, it had faced several problems regarding its ethical policy. With reference to the case i.e. Boeing: How Low Can They Flow? It has been ascertained that at the end of 2003, the board of directors sacked its chief financial officer Michel Sears and Vice President Darleen Druyun for their unethical approaches towards the organization. Accordingly, the study intends to comprehensively explore the case in terms of certain crucial parameters including effect of the issues faced by Boeing on its stakeholders along with offering optimal solution to address the situation among others.

With regard to discrepancies ascertained, the department of justice accused Michel Sears and Darleen Druyun on the basis of unauthorized discussion with a supplier during the contract review process about employment opportunity. Specifically, it had happened during the contract between Boeing and United States’ Air Force during the deal of 767 airborne refueling tankers. As per the investigation, it has been revealed that Druyun had lobbied with the political parties for competing Airbus’s bid for a military tanker contract.

After exposing the scandal, Druyun admitted that she had considered this high priced tanker deal as a gift before she started working with them. Apart from this, it was also exposed that Sears and Druyun had interconnections in between their family. The entire set of information had been exposed through the memo which had been written by the Air force e general counsel. After exposing the evidence in front of Boeing’s management, Sears and Druyun had tried to cover-up their unethical activities’ clue. On the other hand, Boeing had started reinvestigation about them thoroughly. After conspiracy both of them had been penalized financially and also sent to prison for rehabilitation. Moreover, the chairman of Boeing Philip Condit had mentioned that the responsibility of the organization was to prevent the unethical operations.

At the same time, a former executive of Boeing Larry Satchell had also been charged earlier during 1999s due to the conspiracy to violate United State (US) procurement laws. It also happened during the Condit’s period. During his tenure, several issues that occurred had enforced Boeing to become highlighted in front of media. Difference between the male and the female employees’ salaries had been one of the key incidents among them. As a result, The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program (OFCCP) under the U.S. Labour Department had charged Boeing and Condit had paid to settle that issue. In addition, in terms of airplanes cost recovering purpose, it had also come into focus. Even in case of personnel issues such as marriage and relationship, Condit had created conflict in Boeing. During the end of 2003, he had resigned from the post of chairman of Boeing. During his era, several personalities had complimented Boeing organization inversely.

After him, Harry Stonecipher had taken the responsibility of Boeing. During his period, Boeing had come up with couple of ethical programs to ensure the organizational discipline. The new chairman Lewis Platt had declared the zero tolerance policy for unethical behaviour. During that period in 2004, Stonecipher had taken extra responsibility for his employees at Boeing. Subsequently, in the year 2005, he had resigned from the post of Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Platt, the chairman of Boeing, stated that Stonecipher was having an extramarital affair with a Boeing female employee. Besides, he had also criticized about Stonecipher. In the middle of 2005, James McNerney had been appointed as the CEO of Boeing. After his joining, firstly McNerney had settled the Lockheed Martin’s stolen paper issue, due to which U.S. Air Force had suspended Boeing. McNerney through this settlement wanted to ensure the protection of unethical behaviour at Boeing. After a long time, in 2008, Boeing had attempted to enter into a large deal with Air Force to build refuelling tanker, but it was not successful. At that stage, U.S. Air Force had made an alliance with Northrop Grumman. Finally, it was observed that in the year 2011, U.S. Air Force confirmed the deal with Boeing, as it was lucrative one than that of Airbus.

Discussion of the Stakeholders Affected

According to the analysis of Boeing’s ethical conduct of its employees, it has been found that there were certain complexities that emerged for the stakeholders. The decisions of the stakeholders can affect an organization in both ways. Consequently, it can be also asserted that good practice in case of decision making in an organization can influence the work environment in a positive manner. In accordance with French Philosopher-mathematician Blaise Pascal (1623-62), the ethical decision making is related with the six steps. Those are mentioned below:

  • Perception
  • Analysis
  • Synthesis
  • Choice
  • Action
  • Learning

These are the factors that can be deemed as best practices through which the stakeholders can protect the ethical conduct of an organization. In this case, aircraft manufacturing company Boeing’s stakeholders’ such as employees, suppliers and consumers among others had been affected in several ways. In order to find those reasons, first of all, it was observed that there was an unauthorized discussion about employment opportunity. Besides, it has been also observed that during 1999s when Boeing had differentiated the salary of its male and female employees’, they were also noticeably affected. Moreover, the unethical approaches of the former CEOs Condit and Stonecipher with the internal organizational employees’ of Boeing can be termed as a key factor affecting the vital stakeholders of the company i.e. employees at large. Furthermore, due to the Lockheed Martin’s stolen paper issue, key stakeholders had been also affected in a bigger way and in order to settle that issue the organization had paid a substantial amount.

How the Company or Individual Should Prioritize Stakeholders

For maintaining the goodwill of the organization and good crisis management, prioritizing the key stakeholders is needed mostly. In order to find the stakeholders prioritizing process, it has been observed that it can be ethically maintained through BSR five steps approaches. This approach is emphasised below:

Engagement Strategy. In order to prioritize key stakeholders such as employees, suppliers and consumers among others first of all Boeing needs to set its vision. In addition, it needs to define the criteria for engagement mechanism and  it must have to keep focus on short and long term goals. Moreover, it should also  ensure the equality of stakeholders. Furthermore, identifying the opportunity to achieve the goals and planning for the future engagement ought to be key facets.

Stakeholder Mapping. It is a collaborative process, through research, debate and discussion, it helps to determine the key list of stakeholders. It can be segmented into four divisions. These include identifying, analyzing, mapping and prioritizing.

Preparation. It brings knowledge to fulfillment of a plan or project. It helps to ensure the engagement with stakeholders which in turn facilitates  to conduct the entire process successfully.

Engagement. After the preparation in case of Boeing for its stakeholders, it needs to  thoroughly work through  the planning stages. This is the moment when facilitation truly counts.

Action Plan. In case of engagement failure, it will help to avoid the pitfall. This step helps to develop a plan whose aim is to find the engagement with the stakeholders through communication.

This is the process through which Boeing can ensure the priority of stakeholders (Morris and Baddache, “Back to Basics: How to Make Stakeholder Engagement Meaningful for Your Company”).

What Is The Optimal Solution?

According to the analysis, it has been observed that there were multiple difficulties faced by Boeing. Even it has been also seen that within 18 months Boeing had appointed the third CEO for its unethical activities inside the organization. In order to prevent the ethical indiscipline, organisational decision-makers need to prioritize all challenging values and standards of organization behaviour. A common set of ethical standards can be developed to guide decisions when conflicting obligations, cost-benefit trade-offs, and challenging value choices are to be seen. These aspects are  illustrated below:

  1. Problem Awerness
  2. Problem Definition
  3. Decision Making
  4. Action Plan Implementation
  5. Follow Through

These are the optimum solutions which can prevent Boeing from unethical conduct and ensure leadership development in case of decision making (McGraw-Hill, “Ethical Problem-solving and Decision Making”).

Figure 1: The Rational Problem Solving Process/ Optimal Solution

Decision Making Leadership Development
Decision Making Leadership Development

Source: (Mcgraw-Hill, “Ethical Problem-Solving And Decision Making”).

An Optimal Solution?

This optimal solution can help Boeing to resolve the lingering multifaceted problems and eliminate the discrepancy between actual and desired outcomes. The prime responsibility of the decision making authority is to identify the actual problems and in order to do that gathering problem awareness is required. Through communication and monitoring process, it can be done. It will be useful because after identifying the issue trust needs to be established for assuring that the causes of disputes can be resolved. Clarifying the objective can also help to understand the problem otherwise it will be difficult to identify the core issues. Evaluating the current turbulent situation is also helpful for Boeing to identify the problem, because comparing the predetermined performance and earlier performance will enable to directly define the difference. Moreover, it can be asserted that identifying the problem can facilitate to understand the entire viewpoint.

On the other hand, through problem definition, problems can be analysed and it will also help to determine whether Boeing has agreed to solve the problem or not. However, decision making is also a very crucial task. It can help to establish a decision depending upon the situation. Besides, it can also aid Boeing to decide a way from various alternatives by evaluating those alternatives. Finally, it can facilitate to choose a better alternative plan.

Even action plan implementation is very essential for a firm as in initial phase it helps to assign the tasks and responsibilities in keeping with short-term objectives. During this process, it will also facilitate to schedule those tasks in an organized manner. This approach related to Boeing can directly and indirectly enable to fortify the organizational situation along with ensuring the level of commitment of key organisational stakeholders. Furthermore, it can also help to active the plan of resurrection of Boeing from the faced difficulties perfectly.

Consequently, the conclusive part in this solution approach is follow-through. It can help Boeing to evaluate its own decision making system. Through determining the actual performance and measuring the results, Boeing can take desired actions. It is almost like a feedback process through which Boeing can review its own leadership policies and ethical conducts for future period.

How Are the Various Stakeholders Effected and Why?

From the analysis of The Boeing Company’s case, it has been apparently observed that, various stakeholders are affected due to a number of key reasons. In order to discuss those unethical issues, first of all, it has been found that Boeing had suffered because its former CEO Sears and Vice President (VP) Druyun had been engaged in an unauthorized discussion about employment opportunity and during that time Druyun had lobbied with the political parties for competing Airbus’s bid for a military tanker contract.

Moreover, during Condit’s leadership, conflict had been raised in terms of male and female salaries discrepancy. Consequently, U.S. Labour Department had charged Boeing. In addition, he had also involved with an unethical issue for engaging in a relationship with the female employee of Boeing. As an effect, both of them i.e. Condit and the female employee involved had been fired from the organization.

Even after Condit’s period, the unethical approaches had continued in Boeing. Stonecipher had joined with several promises but he was unsuccessful to accomplish them. Within a short span, it had been exposed that Stonecipher was having an extramarital affair with a Boeing’s female employee. This kind of undesirable conduct by an organisation head affected different stakeholders of Boeing including its other employees as the image of the company got tarnished by a considerable extent. Moreover, Lockheed Martin’s stolen paper issue had been also happened at the same time; due to which U.S. Air Force had suspended Boeing from any short of business deals. This factor was a major setback for the company and its key stakeholders such as suppliers as they were deprived of placing their prominence in a competitive market.

Proactive Steps The Company Could Take To Avoid Similar Issues In The Future

With regard to avoiding these kinds of unethical conducts in the future, Boeing should take few precautions. Firstly, it should choose the right person as a leader who always intends to uphold strong ethical conduct as his/her main priority. Prior leadership experience should be provided greater emphasis to lead the organisation through complex and uncertain business environment. Besides, Boeing has to be stricter about its ethical conducts in terms of business dealings. In case of business deals with the suppliers or clients, Boeing should not only rely on one person instead it should give the responsibility to the top management council, where the decision will be taken by the discussion of the council members. Consequently, in case of employee selection, Boeing should follow the approaches laid down by best practices. Additionally, in case of women related scandals, it should react strictly to settle the issues and set examples for future ensuring zero tolerance. These are the key precautions Boeing should consider for future conducts to avoid the unethical scenarios in case of leadership development.

Works Cited

“Ethical Problem-Solving and Decision Making.” McGraw-Hill. n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.

Morris, Jonathan, and Farid Baddache. Back to Basics: How to Make Stakeholder Engagement Meaningful for Your Company. 2012. Web. 22 Apr. 2014.

Other Relevant Blog Posts

Leadership Styles

Effective Leadership

Business Management Dissertations

Did you find any useful knowledge relating to decision making, leadership development and business ethics at Boeing in this post? What are the key facts that grabbed your attention? Let us know in the comments. Thank you.

Writing A Quality Business Dissertation

Writing A Quality Business Dissertation

Welcome! Here is a helpful collection of resources to help you Writing A Quality Business Dissertation. This post has been written to provide a general overview to writing business dissertations.

Writing Business Dissertations

Writing an extended piece of research such as a business dissertation can be a challenging but a rewarding process. The tips and techniques included here are designed to enable you to manage the writing process more effectively. This post highlights the importance of writing an inspirational business dissertation. It aims to help you to feel confident in writing your own business dissertation, and to support you in its successful completion.

Although your business dissertation should contain your own dissertation title or topic, you will also want to refer to the ideas of other academics that relate directly to your business dissertation topic. This shows evidence that you have research your business topic thoroughly.

Your business dissertation should critically evaluate existing ideas and identify potential problems that are still prevalent in your specific area of research. Also, do not forget to investigate a particular area of business that has not yet been explored. So many business management students write their business dissertations on over exhausted business fields of research. I have seen so many similar business dissertations written on Linkages between Organisational and Employee Behaviour and Advantages and Disadvantages of Globalisation. No disrespect here, but these business dissertation research topics are not exactly groundbreaking or original.

Business Students
Business Students

For you to handle academic research questions follow these steps;

Step 1 – Understand the question first

It is important to comprehend the requirements and expectations of the issue at hand. Be aware of different business genres that are creative writing, argumentative essays, and dissertation papers among others. Then lay out your ideas as per the requirements.

Step 2 – Manage your time

 Set aside time to deal with the assignment. If possible come up with a timetable that will guide you when handling the assignment. Do not underestimate the time required to handle a given task. Give it the attention it needs for you to submit an outstanding business dissertation.

Step 3 – Identify your audience

You should always consider the person who is going to read or mark your work. If you are aware of their likes, then write about them, and their dislikes avoid them. Moreover, avoid writing using a personal viewpoint (using; I, we or us) unless you have been asked to give your personal views.

Step 4 – Do proper research. Don’t glance over…

In order to submit an high quality business dissertation you must understand the question and then make sure you do good research. Use books, newsletters, journals, and diaries. Google scholar offers help with academic materials such as books and journals articles.

Step 5 – Referencing

You need to be certain you reference and cite all the materials used either in Harvard, APA or MLA style of referencing depending on specifications and university guidelines.

Step 6 – Get advice

Consult teachers, lecturers, and friends for help. It’s not wrong to ask for help and assistance where you do not understand or feel that you’re going off topic.

Step 7 – Check, check and check again.

Once done proofread and edit your work as an assurance you have done the best. Ask others for their views too before presenting your work for marking. Your dissertation supervisor is always looking for a quality business dissertation that clearly shows you applied logic, creative thinking, constructive arguments / critiques, fresh ideas to the research field and appropriate referencing.

Step 8 – Final step

Before you submit your business dissertation ensure the research has the following;

  • The required number of words.
  • Free from plagiarism.
  • The assignment has met your university’s guidelines.
  • Correct dissertation structure – This is very important.

Importance of writing a quality business dissertation

According to a study by Edwards (2010) concepts developed for one assignment can be used for the next assessment. The assignment is a clear indication that you have an excellent connection between the course material and the assignment itself. Studies for instance (Kalogrides, Loeb & Béteille, (2013) claim that assignments assist the learners in developing better skills that make the better responsible in the future. The ability to work on diverse topics indicates that students can cope with for instance managerial task in the future when they get employed. When teachers give assignments, they are using their expertise knowledge of different development levels to accomplish the course objectives. However, accosting to Burman (1992) there are no enough evaluations that are applied in students’ assignment evaluation, and thus students are asked to positively work on the little that the teachers offer as an assignment.

Business Dissertation Topics
Business Dissertation Topics

Business Dissertation Topics

Below is a list of business dissertation topics that you can look into if you are struggling to find a specific topic to research. These business management dissertation topics are current and should help you.

Entrepreneurship / Innovation Dissertation Topics

  • Strategic Analysis of Banks and Small Firms
  • Business Clustering
  • Business Incubators/Business Support
  • Corporate Entrepreneurship
  • Creative Problem Solving and Effective Decision Making
  • Entrepreneurial Environments
  • Entrepreneurial Management of the Innovation Process Discontinuous Innovation
  • Entrepreneurial Orientation
  • Initial Public Offerings
  • Management Buyouts
  • Managing Innovation within the chemical/pharmaceutical industry
  • Organisational Learning, entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Performance Returns of Entrepreneurship Activity
  • Private Equity
  • Social Capital
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Strategic Entrepreneurship
  • Technology Transfer and University Spin-Out Businesses
  • The Entrepreneurial Firm
  • The impact of Entrepreneurship education upon new business formation
  • Venture Capital

Business Strategy Dissertation Topics

  • An investigation of how the decision to invest in future strategic high applications is made
  • Applications of the resource-based view of the firm
  • Business failure and its consequences
  • Capital Structure – its impact on firm behaviour and performance [note:  this is intended to be a quantitative dissertation – some data may be available]
  • Corporate Environmental Strategies (such as corporate strategies to react to climate change; organisations and the natural environment, organisations and sustainability issues…)
  • Corporate Environmental Strategies and Sustainable Strategic management (such as corporate strategies to react to climate change; organisations and the natural environment…)
  • Corporate Restructuring – its impact on pay/performance/investment [note:  this is intended to be a quantitative dissertation – some data may be available]
  • Creative industries: challenges and opportunities
  • Diversifying Market Entry as a Search Process
  • Doing business in China and India
  • Entry, Exit and Pricing in Electronic Markets
  • Executive Remuneration [note:  this is intended to be a quantitative dissertation – some data may be available]
  • Far Eastern Business
  • How Climate Change had become a strategic issue for insurers [note: this is intended to be a qualitative research based on articles published in insurance papers]
  • Identifying Core Competences as Predictors of Market Entry/Survival
  • Informational Asymmetry, Player Fitness and the Football Transfer Market
  • Institutional change and reform in public services
  • Insurance markets for terrorism risks
  • International Business Strategy
  • Optimal Model Life for Successful Products
  • Organisational learning and knowledge management
  • Price Discrimination and Academic Journal Publishing
  • Prices and Price Dispersion in Electronic Markets
  • Pricing and Product Characteristics [note:  this is intended to be a quantitative dissertation]
  • Strategic decision making
  • Strategic decision-making processes (investigation of how strategic decisions, such as decision to outsource, to diversify, to create partnerships/alliance, to launch a new business…are made)
  • Strategies for aging populations
  • Strategy and regulation: the case of financial services
  • Strategy in the financial services industry
  • Strategy in the insurance Industry
  • Sustainability and strategic management
  • The economic sociology of strategy
  • The history of strategy
  • The political philosophy of strategic management

Sources

Burman, J. M. (1992). Out-of-Class Assignments as a Method of Teaching and Evaluating Law Students. Journal of Legal Education42(3), 447-457.

Bucak, S. S., Jin, R., & Jain, A. K. (2011, June). Multi-label learning with incomplete class assignments. In Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition (CVPR), 2011 IEEE Conference on (pp. 2801-2808). IEEE.

Edwards, D. (2010). Managing an effective hardware based large class assignment.

Kalogrides, D., Loeb, S., & Béteille, T. (2013). Systematic sorting: Teacher characteristics and class assignments. Sociology of Education86(2), 103-123.

How To Reference A Dissertation

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