Best Universities In The USA To Study Online Programs

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our day-to-day routines. We have had to adapt. Amidst all the uncertainty, you may still want to get your Diploma, Bachelor’s, Masters or Ph.D., and you are as uncertain about most things as the world is. The Education sector has also had to adapt.

Online programs are the best option in our current situation to get the ball rolling as far as your education is concerned. 

You are probably wondering:

  • Will I still be marketable in the workforce with a degree or certificate attained online?
  • Is studying online more costly or cheaper than attending classes physically?
  • And most importantly, which are the best Universities to earn your certificate via an online program?

In previous years, studying through online programs has been considered an option for long-distance students and working people whose work and class schedules conflict. In our current situation, online programs are a necessity. 

  • Will I still be marketable in the workforce with a degree or certificate attained online?

A certificate earned online is as good as one obtained in class. You should, nevertheless, look out for whether or not the institution you attend online is accredited. However, with the many colleges across the country, it is wise to choose the best ones. 

Being in the best online colleges will give you an added advantage over people who studied online in just a college offering online programs. Online programs or online courses are the same as those done in classes. The difference is, online programs are more convenient and flexible. It could suit your particular lifestyle.

  • Is studying online more costly or cheaper than attending classes physically?

Variations in tuition fees depend on the particular online programs and the university. We have highlighted some of them respectively in the universities below. 

  • And most importantly, which are the best Universities in the USA to study online programs?

Strayer University

Strayer University is a private, learning institution established in 1892. Over the years, the university has enrolled over 50,000 students globally through its online programs. It has its headquarters in Washington DC, with 76 campuses located in 15 states. 

Strayer specializes in degree programs for working adults. Currently, they have an offer for spring classes starting April 5th in which students enrolling for a Bachelor’s program are getting a laptop pre-loaded with Microsoft software.

Strayer’s online programs are many. You have to head on to their website strayer.edu/online-degrees to go through the entire list. Popular fields include online programs featuring Bachelors in Business related programs, Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, DevMountain courses, Digital Entrepreneurship, Health Sciences, Jack Welch programs, Joe Gibbs certificates, MBAs, Masters in Education, Masters in Health Service Administration, among others. 

All the online programs offered at Strayer University are accredited. Again, note that they have 50,000 students enrolled globally through the online programs. That is a testament to the excellent quality of their online programs. 

The tuition fee for the fall of 2019 was $1,480 per course for the Full and Part-Time degree programs and $1,480 for the Full and Part-Time Associates degrees. They may opt to update the fee structure, so stay updated on their official website strayer.edu/online-degrees.

Grand Canyon University 

GCU is a for-profit private, Christian University established in 1949. In 2018 they ranked, the largest Christian University based on enrollment. The university offers a variety of accredited online degree programs. 

They include Bachelors’ and Master’s online programs such as; Bachelor of Arts in Advertising and Graphic Design, Bachelor of Arts in Christian Studies, Master of Arts in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Master of Arts in Christian Leadership, Master of Arts in Communication, Master of Arts in Curriculum Instruction.

Grand Canyon University also offers online doctoral programs such as Doctor of Business Administration: Data Analytics, Doctor of Business Administration: Management, and Doctor of Business Administration: Marketing among many other Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral programs. 

All GCU online programs are fully accredited which helps in giving an edge when employers assess your papers. The university has also dedicated itself to providing online education with as good quality as traditional education. 

The requirements are a critical factor to GCU as they are to potential employers. Their online programs require the same credits as traditional programs. 

The tuition fees vary depending on the program of study. The range for all the online undergraduate programs is $395 to $470 per credit hour. Graduate classes range from $365 to $695. The rates apply to students interested in pursuing online degree programs or evening classes. 

University of Phoenix 

The University of Phoenix is a for-profit online college founded in 1976. The university has an open-enrollment admission policy meaning they accept all applicants with a high-school diploma, GED, or its equivalent as sufficient admission. UoPX is the largest recipient of federal GI Bill tuition benefits for military veterans. 

UoPX offers Bachelor’s, Doctoral, Competency-based programs, Associate’s Degree, Certificates, and Master’s online programs covering diverse fields like Business, Behavioral Sciences, Education, Healthcare, Technology, Criminal Justice, and Psychology.

All the online programs offered at the University of Phoenix are accredited. As stated above the requirements to apply for courses are a GED, High-school Diploma, or an equivalent. 

For Undergraduates and Associate’s Degrees, you pay $398 per credit as the tuition fees. For Master’s programs, you pay $698 per credit and for the Doctoral programs, you pay $810 tuition fees. The university has a platform on its website to apply for federal financial aid, military or veteran benefits, employer assistance, and other scholarships. For more information about the University of Phoenix online programs click on this link phoenix.edu.

American Public University System

American Public University System (APUS) is a private, also for-profit, online learning institution consisting of American Military University (AMU), American Public University (APU), and Hondros College of Nursing. The university was established in 1991 and is owned by American Public Education, Inc. a publicly traded private-sector corporation. 

The application process requires you to review APUS policies and declare your academic goal during your online application for admission. Remember they majorly focus on a particular niche of individuals. 

APUS’s most popular online programs include undergraduate programs in Intelligence Studies, Sports and Health Sciences, Homeland Security Cybersecurity, Information Technology, Criminal Justice, Emergency and Disaster Management, Nursing, Business Administration, and Management. The catalog explains their military branch. They also offer graduate programs in similar fields. Their curriculum has an emphasis on educating the nation’s military and public service communities.

Their tuition fees vary but the average rates are $285 or $250 with a military grant per credit for undergraduate courses and $370 without the military grant, $250 with a military grant per credit for Master’s programs. For more information on the tuition fees structure and doctoral tuition fees visit https://www.apus.edu/tuition/index

The University of St. Thomas 

The University of St. Thomas is a private, Catholic university located in ST. Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota. The institution was founded in 1885. They offer high-quality education in various fields. Annually, the University of St. Thomas enrolls 6,100 undergraduate students who are referred to as “Tommies”. 

Their online program focuses on participation. Thus students in online programs are included in live discussions, watching thought-provoking videos, listening to speakers, and collaborating with classmates. Online programs offered include undergraduate programs in Business, Catholic Studies, Education, Engineering, Law, and Social Work. 

Qualification varies for different programs and you can click on this link to get more information on the respective online program you may be interested in, https://www.stthomas.edu/academics/online-learning/.

Their tuition fees are averaged as $ 1,433 per credit for Undergraduate programs, $23,637 per term for Undergraduate banded rates for 12-18 credits. For more info on tuition fees hit this link https://www.stthomas.edu/businessoffice/resources/tuition2122/

Honorable Mention: Penn Foster College.

Penn Foster College is a private, for-profit college whose headquarters are in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The college was founded in 1890 as International Correspondence schools and is now a 100% online college. 

Penn Foster’s online programs are all asynchronous meaning you can start them any time. Penn Foster is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC).  Undergrad, Associates Degrees, and Undergraduate certificates offered are from the following fields; Automotive, Creative Design, Education, Engineering, Technology, Legal Studies, Trade, Health Services, and they also have high-school programs to get your GED. 

They accept international students.

Their tuition fees vary with the respective courses. They do have offers such as the $2 a day offer. For more info on their tuition fee structure, you can check out their website https://www.pennfoster.edu/college

Studying online gives you the flexibility to still work or do other things while earning your certificate. Online programs are the future of learning. You can earn a Bachelor’s, Master’s, or and even your Doctorate from the institution of your choice and suit your schedules without having to break bank traveling. 

Cancel Culture: The New Enemy Of Freedom Of Speech

Cancel culture means withdrawing support for celebrities/public figures and organizations after they have said something offensive or have an objectionable opinion. The phrase, cancel culture, was popularized in the late 2010s and early 2020s via social media.

Cancel Culture uses alarmism and relies on social media to push its agendas. Cancel culture started in the United States but is becoming adopted in more and more regions.

Cancel culture initially started as a mode for minorities to advocate for their beliefs, fight for their rights, and condemn discriminatory and derogatory actions by people/organizations in power. As cancel culture uses social media platforms as its tool to push agendas, it is hard to control when it turns toxic. Cancel culture, like viral social media trends chances limiting freedom of speech.

 As a result, cancel culture not only has positive but negative outcomes as well. The masses need to understand the negatives in or to minimize or stop harmful effects.

The Positive Effects of Cancel Culture

The practice has helped in battling sexual harassment, especially in Hollywood. Notable cases include Chris Noth, an actor best known for Sex and the City, who lost his ad campaign deal with exercise equipment company Peloton. Noth had been accused of sexual assault by three women.

Studies show that sexual assault and harassment cases are prevalent in Hollywood. Cancel culture could help curb it. It could prove effective as perpetrators, who in most cases are influential men, may fear losing everything. An example is Harvey Weinstein, now convicted of sexual harassment, who, because of public outcry on social media, ended up convicted and famous actors vowing not to work with him again.

Cancel culture has also brought the downfall of figures guilty of offensive racial slurs. Examples include wrestler Hulk Hogan and TV host, Paula Deen. The former lost his WWE honors while Paula Deen had her show and publishing deals cancelled by the Food Network.

Other cases of cancel culture include Kevin Hart losing his chance to host the 2020 Oscars. It was after a snippet of one of his specials in the early 2010s went viral. In the clip, Kevin Hart said he would chastise his son if he acted gay. There was an uproar by the LGBT community for Kevin to step down from hosting the Academy Awards.

Effects of Cancel Culture on Freedom of Speech

The main con of cancel culture is that the practice constantly risks denying people their right to freedom of speech. Comedian Dave Chappelle has come under constant criticism for his Netflix comedy specials. In the specials, Chappelle often voices his opinions on the LGBTQ community. He has said although he does not hate the trans community, he does not understand them but would like to get to understand them. In 2022 after the release of the Chappelle’s comedy special, The Closer, the trans community protested for his cancellation by Netflix.

Such a case brings division as concerns to cancel culture as it is a battle of opinion. In an interview, Jordan B Peterson, a renowned Canadian psychologist, argued that by exercising the right to freedom of speech,h an individual risks offending people with a contrary opinion. He added there was nothing wrong with that. He also says disagreeing on controversial topics does not warrant cancelling a person.

J K Rowling, the best-selling author of the Harry Potter series of books, was under the fire of cancel culture for her remarks that gender is a fact. Members of the trans community felt offended and called for the boycott of her works.

Despite instances of Cancel culture shedding light on the awful acts done by some prominent people and organizations, it can also be easily manipulated to silence people just trying to voice their opinion.

Why Cancel Culture Needs More Scrutiny

Like most trends, cancel culture can be effectively used to stop vile acts committed by people in positions of power, organizations and companies that exploit employees and clients. As cancel culture works through spreading information and instant calling for immediate action, it could punish offenders faster than the law.

However, as the law states innocent until proven guilty, cancel culture risks unfairly condemning people without hearing their version. An example is Johnny Depp. Mr Depp lost acclaimed acting deals, among them, his Jack Sparrow part in Pirates of The Caribbean. He ended up winning in court against Amber Heard, who had sued him for domestic violence.

Conclusion

Cancel culture may silence people with genuine opinions, who may be afraid to be offensive to particular communities. Such might hinder cohesion as harmony often comes from understanding each other through objective dialogue.

Agoraphobia, Symptoms, Treatment and Potential Impact at Workplace

Agoraphobia

This is an anxiety disorder that raises perceptions of fear towards the environment. Individuals suffering from this disorder perceive the environment as dangerous be it open places, shopping areas, public transit etc. Such individuals only consider their homes as the only safe place they can be. In serious cases individuals suffering from agoraphobia may not leave their homes at all and this may last for more than six months. Agoraphobia is categorized as a phobia under social phobia. Affected individuals are susceptible to depression and substance use. It is a combination of genetic and environmental factors (Robert, 2008).

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Agoraphobia Symptoms

This conditions subjects victims to fear in unfamiliar environments. It arouses feelings of anxiety and sufferers have little control over themselves when exposed to their external environment. The following are the signs and symptoms of agoraphobia

  • Fear of social embarrassment
  • Fear of death
  • Distraught in public places
  • Victims may suffer from temporary separation anxiety disorder
  • Susceptibility to panic attacks

Individuals with this disorder always want to dissociate themselves from people just to satisfy their emotional comfort. Short panic attacks are common for victims of agoraphobia and they can hardly control themselves during such attacks. Their fear of public embarrassment may trigger temporary separation disorder where they resort to solitude.

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Prevalence

Agoraphobia affects adults and it begins ate early adulthood and ends at old age. It is more common in women than in men. Women are affected twice as much as men. Children are hardly affected by agoraphobia. About 3.2 million adults in the United States aged between 18 and 55 suffer from agoraphobia. This translates to 2.2 percent of the population of this age group. This statistic is derived from the annual diagnosis rate of agoraphobia (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).

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Potential impact at workplace

It is a general tendency for victims of agoraphobia to abscond their work and sometimes for long periods of time. It is difficult to manage such employees because one cannot predict their future within an organization. Additionally, after agoraphobia attack, it is very unlikely for such individuals to re-establish contact at the places of work. It is therefore important for employers to keep in touch with such employees and make adjustments in their working environments to suit their conditions.

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Treatment

More often than not, individuals suffer from agoraphobia after a panic attack. It is the subsequent anxiety and fear after a panic attack that triggers agoraphobia. This means that treating panic disorder can prevent agoraphobia. The most common treatment method of this disorder is therapy. Exposure treatment and systematic desensitization may also be used to treat agoraphobia. However, most patients are likely to recover faster under exposure treatment as compared to other forms of treatment. This treatment method works best when the victim is in the company of their trusted friend. The treatment method that that has proved successful is cognitive restructuring. This involves psychological therapy whereby victims are taken through dianoetic discussion with the aim of replacing irrational beliefs with rational and factual beliefs. This cognitive restructuring has proved to be a successful method of treatment because it changes the mindset of agoraphobia victims and brings them back to normalcy.

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Impact of The Immigrants in The USA – Research Paper

Introduction

America has ever been branded as “a country of immigrants”, and this problem has been compounded further by globalization, which makes terrorism and migration easier (Tim Kane and Kirk A. Johnson). There are various impacts of immigrants in US on both economy and other development parameters.

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Percentage Number of Immigrants in the USA

Throughout the American history, it is clear that immigration has played a key role in the vitality of the country’s economy as well as enrichment of culture and demographic dynamism. On an economic perspective, immigrants are job creators, consumers, taxpayers and entrepreneurs, (CAP Immigration Team). Many pundits, however, argue that immigration system in the US is broken and needs an overall overhaul. They argue further that although the borders of the country are much secure now, there is need to enact laws to provide mechanism for citizenship for many immigrants living in the country and level playing ground for all the Americans.

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Latest statistics on the number of immigrants in the country shows a substantial number of immigrants in the country. There has been a general rise in the number of immigrants in the US since 2000-2012. During this span of time, the foreign population grew in the country from 31.1- 40.8 million people and this translates to 31.2% increase in number of immigrants.

Although there has been a steady rise in the number of immigrants in the US, the percentages are yet to hit a record high of 14.8% recorded in the country in 1890. In 1960, the population of foreign immigrants was 5.4% of the entire population in the country. This has since risen and the new numbers recorded in 2012 shows that the number of immigrants in the country constitutes 13% of the entire population of the country. The composition of the immigrants can be broken further. The 40.8 million immigrants consist of 18.6 million naturalized US citizens, and these are the foreign population born in the country. The remaining percentage constituted of 1.9 million of immigrants on temporary visas, 11.3 million unauthorized migrants and 13.3 legal permanent residents.

Impact of the Immigrants in the USA

There are many views that have been put forth regarding the impact that immigrants have on the economy of the country. However, many economists argue that immigrants have more benefits to the country than its negative effects. Although there are some negative impacts of the immigrants in the country’s economy, for instance states and localities spend more in educating them, the cumulative benefits outweigh the negative impacts.

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Impact of the Immigrants on Education

The large number immigrants that are naturalized as citizens owing to their birth, drains a lot of money from the states and localities who have to educate them (Amuedo-Dorantes and Sparber). In addition, many of the illegal immigrants and those who posses temporary visas make use of the educational facilities and these drain a lot from the economy. The ruling of the supreme court of the US, in 1982, in case, Plyler v. Doe, ruled out that the undocumented immigrant children have a right to access to education in the US public schools.

Some of these immigrants go back to their countries of origin after their education and this represents a brain drain for the country. Not only do immigrants come as mature people, there are many Mexican children, who illegally cross the border into the country. The immigrants who are not born in the country do not speak fluent English and this adds more cost to their education

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The impact of immigrants on the economy and education is more compelling on individuals who are educated and possess skills in the fields of Information Technology, Science and Engineering. If such individuals are allowed to work in the country, the likelihood of outsourcing such jobs is eliminated and the same individuals are retained and hired, pay taxes and thus adds to the economy.

Impact of the Immigrants on Healthcare Provision

Unauthorized immigrants have a great impact on the healthcare in the US. Most of these illegal immigrants access healthcare yet no one will pay for them in form of insurance and other forms of tax. This forms a great burden to the federal government since these costs will then be absorbed by the healthcare institutions and the government. The rates of “uninsurance” in the country drive costs of healthcare (‘Elderly Immigrants: Emerging Challenge for the U.S. Healthcare System’).

Most of the cases that create a major challenge include pregnancy and the elderly immigrants. These groups of immigrants create a big challenge in terms of costs that such hospitals, healthcare institutions and public entities have to shoulder. The costs of treating and nursing the elderly immigrants are high since most of them do not have any form of repaying for the services. Similarly, maternity and delivery services are more expensive and costly to such institutions. These cause a major cause of concern to the economy of the country. The undocumented immigrants have the right to use emergency services since hospitals are mandated to provide these services regardless of the ability to pay or immigration status (Wolbert). The users of such services include mothers who want to deliver. The long-term impact of the costs of the healthcare services to the state, undocumented by immigrants, has been estimated to be in the regions of $6-$10 billion per year.

Impact of the Immigrants on Housing

The international convention that seeks to protect the rights of the migrants and the universal declaration on human rights, advocates for the rights of the migrants to adequate and good housing, social housing schemes and against exploitation in payment of rents. Although the immigrants have a lower homeownership rates compared to the natives, these rates have improved drastically from 1990’s onwards. The immigrants live in less adequate houses than the native in the US does.

Although homeownership and adequacy is low among the immigrants in the US, recent studies show that the immigrants have had positive impact on the growth of the housing sector in the country. For instance, (Poppe), did extensive research on the home ownership among the immigrants in the US and the results revealed that although the immigrants have poor house adequacy, especially those who live in rural areas, there has been an increase in the demand for housing due to influx of immigrants to the US.

Language of Accommodation

Most of the immigrants that move to the US are from Mexico and neighboring Central American Countries. Most of the immigrants have poor English language skills. The naturalized immigrants have better language skills and speak fluent English. The fact that most of the immigrants have poor English language skills tends to impact negatively on their chances of getting employment and their children accessing education since the language of instruction in public schools is English.

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Criminal Activities

Most of the immigrants are in the US illegally and many are from Mexico. Most of them have difficulties getting necessary licenses to like natives. Even those who were born in the country, especially those who studied disciplines related to medicine, have found difficulties accessing the necessary licenses in order to operate as doctors and nurses and most of them are left operating cabs instead of practicing.

However, many studies have revealed that most immigrants are less likely to commit offences compared to Native Americans. Most of the criminal offences are perpetrated by the natives, who are more likely to be incarcerated than the immigrants are (Das).

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Conclusion

In conclusion, there is increasing annual number of immigrants in the US and majority come from Mexico and neighboring Central American countries. Many studies and economic reviews have shown that immigrants have positive impact on the economies of developed nations. US has been outmuscled by France and Germany as destination for immigrants as fight for skilled immigrants continues.

Long Term Care Sector – Healthcare Principles and Practice

Introduction

The following research paper will focus on the Long Term Care Sector which is part of the health care delivery system. It will look at the historical development of the sectors and the challenges and issues facing it prior to health care reform. It will also look at the specific challenges in the sector, and the benefits and risks it faces in the future associated with health care reform. Despite the US having one of the best medical care services in the world, it is only accessible to those who have health insurance plans or resources. It is has not been universally accessible to all American citizens. The Affordable Care Act ensures that all Americans have access to affordable health care.  Current health reform has focused on the key issues of those who are uninsured, and has not looked critically at long term care especially for the future.

Long term care users fall into two categories; the frailed elderly and the disabled. The long term care sector is a crisis in the horizon as the 77 million baby boomers enter retirement. The number of people requiring long term care in future will increase including the non-elderly persons with disabilities. Policy makers need to look at the key issues affecting the sector in order to come up with health reforms that will assist avert the crisis that will happen with long term care in the next 30-40 years. The costs of long term care are high and the existing systems do not have clear mechanisms for payment and delivery.

Historical Development and Current State of Long Term Care Health Care Delivery

In order to understand the historical development and current state of long term care in health care delivery one must look at the US Health Care Delivery system as a whole. The Health Care Delivery system consists of major components and processes that enable people to receive health care. Most developed countries have a National Health Insurance programs that enables all citizens to receive health care services. However, in the US not all citizens are entitled to routine and basic health care services. Despite the US Health Care Delivery System having evolved, there are concerns on access, cost, and quality as the system does not provide a universal basic health care package at an affordable cost. Organizations, individuals involved in health care include educational and research institutions, medical insurers, suppliers, claim processors, and health care providers.

The US health care delivery system has various subsystems that include managed care, military medical care system that caters for vulnerable populations, and the integrated system that consist of various forms of ownership between hospitals, physicians, and health insurers. Long term care is normally provided through managed care. Long term care is any arrangement where a Medicaid program contracts an organization to provide benefits which will include some level of long term care benefits.

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The following are the main characteristics of the US Health Care System. The system has no central governing agency, and has little integration and coordination. The health care costs under the system are high and there is unequal access. Legal risks influence practice behaviors, and there is conflict through the health care system in terms of market justice vs. social justice. The access to health care under this system is selectively based on insurance coverage. There is a quest for integration and accountability.  The US expenditure on primary health care is the highest in comparison with other developed countries and is almost 13% of the Gross Domestic Product.

The US has a unique Health Care system, but it lacks universal access to all American Citizens. Health care in the US is compromised by disintegration in delivery limited access and high costs. The two groups of patients that suffer under this system are those with complex long term care needs and those with low income or no health insurance. Access is restricted to those who have health insurance through their employer; those covered under a government health care program; those who can afford to buy health insurance using their own funds; and those who are able to pay for services with their own funds. In most developed countries the Government plays a central role in the provision of health care to its citizens. In the US this is different where the private sector plays a leading role.

In 2003, managed long term care market was expected to grow dramatically. However, only 2.3% of this market using public long term care is receiving these services. Managed long term care is provided mainly through large local non-profit plans or those that have progressed due to responses from particular states. The growth of long term care services has been very slow due to several factors. These include complex programs that take a relatively long time to plan, startup periods, and resistance of long term care providers, federal policies, and inadequate infrastructure. However, despite these challenges long term care is popular in the states where it is well established and has the potential to grow in the future (Fronstin, 2010).

In the 1970’s long term care services was mainly through nursing homes. This brought about large increases in nursing home expenditures and raised the issue of whether the long terms services system was sustainable. In the 1980’s there was the introduction of home and community based waiver (HSBC) so that states would create flexible community based services. The HSBC waiver program grew rapidly, however the nursing home expenditures continued to increase. This meant that the HSBC waiver could not control the growth of institutional care.

In the 1990’s several states planned initiatives on long term care based on Medicaid managed care. Different states had different legislation on long term care. In 2003, 3.1 million elderly persons and persons with disabilities received long term care through Medicaid financed long term care. Of these, over half a million were in nursing homes and half a million went through community based waiver services program. Examples of managed long term care programs include Arizona’s Long Term Care System, Florida’s Frail Older Option, and San Francisco’s On Lok Program. Minnesota, Colorado, and Wisconsin are among the leading states providing innovative models on long term care.

Types of Long Term Care

  • Formal and informal caregivers – this refers to unpaid family members and unpaid persons such as friends, neighbors, family members and partners. The individuals can be primary or secondary care-givers, live with the aging individual or separately, and can work full time or part time. This category comprises of the largest number of caregivers in America.
  • Home and Community Based Care – thevast majority or about 80 percent of people receiving aid include those with functional limitations and stay in private homes in the society and not in institutions. The ageing population aged 65 years and above with functionality impairment receives 9 hours of assistance daily while those who are aged more than 85 years have 11 hours of support daily. Hospice care can also be given at home for the terminally ill persons.
  • Nursing Home Care – There are many old people that resides in institutions mostly those who are above 85 years of age. However, the price of a room in nursing home caresgrowing over time. This is due to the surge in the number of people who seeks a long-term solution in this home care while the facility does not expand with demand.However, the nursing homes provide a cost-efficient technique to permit patients with injuries to recuperate in an environment outside a sanatorium. The nursing homes attend to two types of clients. The first group is those that have been discharged from clinics for rehabilitative upkeep. The Medicare recompenses for a limited time for this type of nursing home care. Secondly, it also caters for those who suffer from mental disorders and chronic physical ailments that they are unable to move about, provide their own meals, and clean themselves by taking a bath. This kind of care is paid by Medicaid and the kind of people who suffers from chronic physical diseases and mental disorders are referred to as long term care residence.
  • Supportive Housing programs – this kind of program offer low cost housing to the older people earning low to moderate incomes. The responsibility of developing such housing is under the state or local governments. They assist the client with tasks such as shopping, laundry, housekeeping, and meals. Further, they also assist with help such as eating, bathing, transportation, toileting, taking medicines, and dressing.
  • Continuing Care Retirement Communities – This type of long-term care provides a full variety of services and care based on what every occupant requires over time. This kind of arrangement provides care in three key stages namely: skilled nursing, assisted living and independent living(Crocker, Forste, Young, Brown, Ozer, Smith & Greenwood, 2013).

Challenges and Issues In Long Term Care Sector Prior to Health Care Reform

The major challenges and issues facing long term care prior to health care reform relates to access, cost and quality. Prior to health care reform, states had showed interest in using managed care models to purchase Medicaid benefits for those populations that required long term care. In developing these programs, States needed businesses that had managed care plus expertise in clinical, social management of long term care populations. Traditional health plans prior to health care reform did not have this expertise. On the other hand, those that had expertise to provide services for long term care did not have any experience in managed care. For the long term care market to succeed, it required the merging of managed care expertise with experience in long term care populations. Due to this the managed care institutions expanded into long term care or long term care institutions expanded into managed care. The market before health care reform was dominated by long term care businesses expanding into managed care (Baer & O’Brien 2010).

The role of the aging network advocates was another challenge facing long term care. Advocacy from aging networks has a huge impact on various long term care programs. For example, the aging network advocates were opposed to long term care reforms based on partnership models that involved integration of acute and long term care. This was because such plans would be dominated by medical HMO’s thus reducing the role of the aging network.

The other challenge is that there are not many private long term care businesses to offer long term care to the aging populations.  Prior to health care reform law, there were two major for profit players in the long term care market; Amerigroup and Evercare which is the leading player. Evercare has long term investment plan and it targets frail elders and all persons with disabilities. The company is working across the country and is also active at federal and state levels. Amerigroup on the other hand is Evercare’s major competitor, but long term care is not its core business. Most providers of long term care have developed a managed care service (Fronstin, 2010).

Another challenge is whether managed long term care can offer more value in comparison to HCBS services. HCBS or fee for service programs depend on the case manager who coordinates the long term care. Managed long term care increase the use of home and community based services, and reduces the use of institutional services. They also have high customer satisfaction levels. In addition preventable admissions and high death rates are not a concern.

Policy issues and complex program designs are a challenge to managed long term care. The managed long term care programs that have been implemented are very diverse across different states. Differences exist in payment methods, managed care suppliers, competition, and whether enrollment is mandatory or voluntary. Most states do not have a clear picture of which program models they should replicate. However, Arizona stands out as one of the most successful long term care programs (Grabowski, 2006).

Legal authority over managed long term care has advanced positively, however difficult policy issues often emerge that complicate program development. Payment challenges will always remain controversial and technical for most managed long term care programs. These need to be refined in the future. Constituents are concerned about political resistance to managed long term care from the established fee for service systems. Infrastructure is a challenge which affects access, and it is does not exist in some states where the target population for long term care lives. Managed long term care was in its infant stages prior to health care reform, where only 3% of the potential market has enrolled in managed long term care plans.

Challenges in the Long Term Care Sector

The biggest challenge that the long term care sector will face in the future is that baby boomers are set to retire and the number of citizens seeking long term care will increase. In addition new technology and medical advances are increasing life longevity. It is estimated that there are about 77 million baby boomers. Most of this population prefers to receive medical care from home or their community and not in nursing home. Very few of them have prepared for long term care either through insurance or savings. Majority of the baby boomers have fewer children and will most likely be divorced. It is therefore unlikely that they can have family to informally take care of them (Johnson, & Wiener, 2006)

Currently health care reform laws and associated regulations are concerned with the populations that are uninsured and the rising health care costs. However, long term care need to be considered as it may soon become a crisis in the future. Many elderly people live in fear that chronic diseases will drain them financially. This aging population may have to depend on their children or welfare, and this will limit how they want to live at the end of their lives. Long term care will soon become the issue after the health reforms on acute health care systems.

Policy makers need to reform the health care system to ensure that this aging population can access affordable long term care in the future. The current system does not meet the demands of the frail and elderly who require assistance in normal daily life tasks such as bathing, toileting, dressing, cooking, transportation, housekeeping, and managing finances. Long term care is expensive and the cost will continue to rise in future. Long term care is currently funded through Medicaid and Medicare (63%), with out of pocket expenses covering 22%, and the remaining 15% from private sources. Medicaid covers long term care, but Medicare only covers some level of long term care for short durations after hospitalization. Most of the people approaching retirement are unaware of this fact (Johnson, & Wiener, 2006).

Private financing of long term care is through long term care insurance. Currently about 8 million Americans have some form of long term care insurance. These policies vary as long term care insurance is a relatively new product in the health insurance market. Cases of difficulty in getting long term care benefits under some of these policies have been reported. The market for long term insurance is small because families, who can afford to but it earlier in life, do not because they are in denial about ending up in a nursing home when they retire. Other families do not have the necessary information to make a decision and sometimes they do not understand the insurance technical language. High premiums is also another factor that deters families from purchasing long term care insurance (Baer & O’Brien 2010).

As the baby boom generation approach retirement, most of them do not have financial plans for their retirement. This leaves them with insufficient savings to take care of their expenses in retirement. The average nursing home costs about $ 80,000 a year, whereas some of this generation end up with about $70-75,000 in savings when they retire. Additional policy effort is required to deal with the challenges that the long term care sector will face in future. Medicaid and Medicare are already facing huge financial strains due to high health care costs and an increase in demand for services (Calmus, 2013).

Potential Risks and Benefits

As discussed earlier the number of people requiring long term care will increase as baby boomers grow older and the number of non-elderly persons with disabilities increase. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act also known as the ACA or Obama care makes long term care services more affordable and protects the rights of consumers. All citizens are entitled to health care until they retire.  The law ensures that people can receive long term care services and support in their homes or community. It provides existing tools, new options and financial incentives for States to provide home and community based services. The aging population will have increased access to health care and the law will ensure quality of service (Gruber, 2011).

The health care reform provides enhance federal funding to states for the provision of person centered and home and community based attendant services. This will increase the ability of individuals with disabilities to live within their community. The law increases access to non-institutional long term services support (LTSS). The Money Follows the Person (MFP) was extended under the law for a further five years. The MFP allows for individuals who are provided with long term care to move out of institutions into their homes and other community based environments. In the area of quality, the law provide for a grant program (TEFT), demo grant for testing experience and functional assessment to test quality measurement tools and ensure quality of long term care services (Gruber, 2011).

The possible risks to long term care associated with health care reform are that the current health reform laws have not critically looked at the future. Long-term care should be part of efforts to improve health care for all Americans. It is believed that long term care affects only a small percentage of the population. 70 percent of people turning age 65 will need long-term care as they age, and about 33% will spend some time in a nursing home  (Wiener, 2009)

There are four critical factors that need to be considered when looking at the possible risks for long term care associated with health care reform. The first one is that the aging population and people with disabilities is going to grow dramatically in the future. The financial burden for long term care will be much greater than before. Health reforms need to consider how this part of the population will access long term care. Reforms need to consider the demographics or characteristics of the people who will require long term are in future as this is very different from those receiving long term care today (Wiener, 2009).

Secondly, federal and state governments are spending huge amounts of money on long term care. Public spending on long term care will increase substantially in the next 20-30 years. Long term care is one of the health sectors that is dependent on public funding. Thirdly, most of the older people with disabilities also incur high acute care expenses as these are related to their underlying chronic diseases. Fourthly, the current health care system under the existing reform laws does not have a proper financing and delivery system. There are no proper mechanisms in place to help people plan and pay for long term care as they grow older (Calmus, 2013).

Conclusion

In conclusion long term care is an important sector of the health care delivery system. Policy makers need to develop health reform laws and regulations that can deal with the growing number of people that will require long term care in the future. This is especially because of the baby boomers that are soon to retire and live longer due to medical advances. The focus has been on acute care services and the uninsured, but the focus should now shift to long term care. The Affordable Care Act benefits long term care in certain aspects but it does not look at the future.

Lupus Erythematosus, Its Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Medication

Lupus Erythematosus is a kind of a disease that is persistent and chronic besides it causes the infected individual to have inflammation on various parts of his/her body. Lupus as it is commonly known can be mild or severe and it is a systemic kind of a disease. There are two types of the disease namely; discoid lupus that only affects the skin and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), which affects mainly the joints, skin and even internal organs like liver , even brain and heart, (Tyndall, A.,2011)

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Systemic lupus erythematosus, as it is commonly referred to, is a kind of a disease that results from the immune system of the body “attacking itself”; it is an autoimmune kind of an ailment. Autoimmunity arises when the body’s disease protecting system mistakenly attacks itself. SLE is mainly prevalent in women than men, having ages between 20 – 40 years, however that does not mean it is age restrictive, it can affect anybody of any age. Although this condition can run in families, studies show that 3 in every 100 children in families having Systemic lupus erythematosus may actually develop the condition. This disease is common with African Americans and the people in Asia. It is believed to result from interplay of a number of factors including genetic, environmental and hormonal interaction with the body antibodies, (Lahita , R. G., 2011).

Discoid Lupus Erythematosus (DLE) is actually a mild or benign form of SLE, (Isenberg, D., & Manzi, S. ,2008), which involves body organs like skin and in particular the face. Patients who have DLE may develop SLE in its later stages, though a small percentage of DLE patients actually develop SLE.

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Discoid Lupus Erythematosus is a severe and chronic skin disease causing dermatological destruction as loss in hair, scarring and if not treated at it early stages it may lead to hyper pigmentation of the skin. DLE usually  manifestation of SLE that shows itself in form of plaques and papules with scales, these skin eruptions are usually photosensitive and they can be within a specific area of the skin or just widespread, (Bourgeois, S., 2008).

Causes and Symptoms of Lupus Erythematosus

As pointed out earlier above, SLE is autoimmune disease whereby the immune system of the body tries to attack its self. This presents a unique and complicated situation whereby the mechanism that is supposed to protect the body instead attacks itself, though many research has been done and studies continue, its underlying causes remain largely unknown. However, some research done show that SLE may actually be caused by certain drugs, hereditary genes, and exposure to ultra violet light among other causes.

SLE exhibit a variation in symptoms in the affected individuals, but the common of the symptoms is pain in the joints where some patients may end up to developing arthritis. The symptoms may appear and go. Although, there is variation in symptoms and severity in SLE, generally the patients exhibit a loss in weight and slight fever, (Callen, J., 2011) The other most prevalent symptoms include, pains in joints and muscles, this mainly affects the small joints of the hands and feet meaning, less major joints are affected. Although swellings usually occur in the joints, the damage and arthritis is normally not severe with this disease.

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The other major symptoms of Lupus include rashes that are shaped like butterflies mostly in the cheeks, oval patched rashes and general rushes on parts exposed to the sun. In addition, it manifests itself in form of sores in the mouth, inflammation of the heart or the lungs, also kidney problems are normally apparent with this kind of disease. Apart from the above symptoms, there is general drop in blood cells count, as well as neurological problems.

Lupus Erythematosus Treatment and Medication

There is no well-documented or known cure for LUPUS; however, it is advisable to prevent its symptoms than cure. Such type of treatment is symptoms dependent, (Urowitz , M. B., 2005). The seriousness and extend of the infection is also key in determining how better to handle the ailment.

At its early stage, a number of treatment methods can be employed, for instance, to treat symptoms of joints and pleurisy, NSAIDS is normally used, whereas skin rashes can be treated with creams, specifically Corticosteroid creams. Antimalarial drugs together with corticosteroids of low doses have also been used to treat arthritis and skin symptoms.

It should be noted that severely levels of LUPUS comes with great psychological impact to those whore suffer from the disease, (Wallace,  D. J. ,2002). however, its treatment include; decreasing of immune system response by using high-dose corticosteroids, similarly drugs that block cell growth have proved to be effective, for instance cytotoxic. However, these drugs can have severe side effects on the patient and need to be monitored closely.

A number of drugs have proved successful in the treatment of LUPUS at its chronic or more severe form. The following are the drugs that can be used to manage the disease;

  • Topical Corticosteroids:  Form the mainstay of treating Discoid Lupus Erythematosus, the patients on this medication start with a potent steroid that has to be applied two times a day after which a switch is as soon as possible to a lower potent steroid. The use of less steroids help reduce the side effects, that are normally recognizable for instance atrophy, purpura and striae.
  • Intralesional Steroids: These types of steroids are normally used in treatment of lesions that are chronic. Intralesional steroids are normally associated with cutaneous atrophy as well as dyspigmentation, as its major side effects, though these side effects pose no problems and can easily be handled by experienced medical staff. In the case non-responsive patients, systemic oral agents may be used.
  • Antimalarials: this type of therapy forms first-line treatment for DLE, it can be administered in combination or just singly. Three types of preparations are mostly used which include chloroquine, Mepacrine and hydroxychloroquine. Mepacrine, however, is commercially restricted in some countries like US. Normally the patient has to start with 200mg of hydroxychloroquine per day, for a grown up, and if no side effects for example gastrointestinal ,the dosage is then increased to two times per day.

It should be observed that any clinical improvement can be observed after 4-8 weeks of medication; therefore, patients should be advised accordingly. It is worth noting, however, that dosage be strictly be kept below 6.5g/kg/day and if the patient does not show any response, chloroquine should be administered as this maybe more effective. In some circumstances, patients may not be responsive to either of the above drugs and as such Mepacrine is advisable as an alternative. Other drugs used in the treatment of DLE include Methotrexate, CyclosporinA, Tacrolimus, Mycophenolate mofetil and Azathioprine.

General Measures and Management of Lupus Erythematosus

LUPUS has no treatment; the available measures can be so expensive and will incur considerable expenditures to facilities and individuals. However, its management is less costly and has proven to be successful.

The lesions, which are usually cutaneous, in individuals affected by Lupus are known to be made worse with exposure to ultraviolet light, an approach to manage discoid lupus involves avoiding of direct sun and the application of sunscreens to shield the person suffering, from the ultraviolet light. It is advisable also to educate the patients on the need to apply sunscreens and avoid direct sunlight especially between 10 AM – 4 PM, (Wallace, D. J., 2000).  Care should also be taken against exposure to ultraviolet light that results from reflection from snow hence such places should be avoided, if the patient has had great exposure to light they should apply themselves sunscreen or when they are wet. To sum it up, one needs to be active by having exercises and get to involve him or herself in personal care.

Conclusion

Lupus is an autoimmune disease, which can develop to its chronic form of Discoid Lupus Erythematosus, and as such early treatment is necessary. In its chronic stage, it has far much worse effects as it may lead to hair lose and disfiguring of the face as well as permanent scaring. Treatment of chronic form of Lupus can also be so costly and as such proper management of the disease need to done at early stage.

There are several forms of treatment that are effective to a lesser or greater degree than others. There are too few properly conducted randomized trials to enable an informed choice by clinicians. Clinicians at the present time are, therefore, likely to choose their preferred treatment based on their own experience. There is a need for further large randomized, controlled, and possibly multinational trials to be conducted that compare the effectiveness and safety of one form of treatment compared with another.

Early effective treatment may lead to total clearing of skin lesions, but failure of treatment results in permanent scarring; the depressed scars, hair loss, and pigmentary changes are often extremely disfiguring, particularly in darker-skinned people. The treatment of Discoid Lupus Erythematosus would in most instances be initiated at a dermatology department, but before instituting treatment for discoid lupus patients should be assessed for systemic involvement. This should include a full history and physical examination, full blood count, erythrocyte sedimentation.

PESTEL Analysis of Volvo – USA Market

Introduction

The automobile industry is facing a number of challenges in addition to fierce competition in the market. Global car manufacturers are looking for more ways to sustain their business in the more regulated automobile business environment. There is an increasing pressure from the environmentalists on car manufacturers, since they are keen to see cars, which contribute more to protection of the environment than cause more pollution. Similarly, consumers are becoming more concerned about their safety. In order to meet these challenges, PESTEL analysis is done in order to predict possible drivers for change that can sustain business in the future, (Yuksel, 2012).

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Looking across various governments across the world, there exist great roles to be played in adoption of various technological advancements. However, many countries have played little roles in encouraging use of modern technologies in production of automobiles that are eco friendly, termed as “green cars”. Government incentives are the widely used form of encouraging automobile companies to adopt more “greener car manufacture” in the US. The federal government has been active, acted as venture capitalist, and encouraged manufacture of automotive battery and electric cars by funding new ventures. These perspectives points the greater emphasis the federal government has towards environment protection and production of efficient pollution free cars.

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These trends present great challenge to Volvo Company in marketing and manufacture of its automobiles in the US market. Similarly, regulatory frameworks are not universal and automobile companies will be forced to adopt multipronged approaches in order to maximize returns on their investments. Volvo might be forced to concentrate on the US market as a single entity and directs its production line in line with this market requirement.

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PESTEL Analysis of Volvo – A Case of the USA Market

Environmental Analysis

World automobile manufacturers are looking at a variety of ways in which adopt green technologies. However, the diversity of regulations within different markets dictates the type of strategy to adopt in a specific market. Stop-start technologies, for instance, are expected to be widely adopted in Europe and not in North America. This presents a clear perspective in which Volvo can tailor its car production strategies to meet the demands in the North American market. The Chinese have adopted small-car production, which produces new energy vehicles (NEV’s), and this is likely to make them global leader in production of small cars. These vehicles are efficient and eco-friendly. This should ring a bell to Volvo in regard its major US market, which is more sensitive to environmental protection and where most families are single couples or having less than two children, which makes smaller cars ideal for such market.

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The energy and independence security act of 2007 regulates the standards of environment in the automotive industry in the North American market. This act has increased the corporate average fuel economy (CAFÉ) on the US market from 27.5 mpg to 35 mpg concerning its model year for 2020 by OEM’s. These are the regulations Volvo Company should be braced for in the North American market.

A good analysis of external environment shows great potential for car manufacturers if they adopt good strategies. Volvo is one of the leading car manufacturers who have adopted key strategies to address its business challenges, (Volvogroup.com, 2014). The company faces a lot of pressure from government regarding environmental protection and this affects the company the most in its two major markets – USA and Europe. The USA government has strict environment policies and regulations that any automobile company must meet in order to continue with its operations in the country. These emissions are currently governed and regulated for most vehicles in the USA. The types of emissions that are determined before a vehicle is given license to operate, includes total hydrocarbon (THC), nitrogen oxides, non-methane hydrocarbons, particulate matter and carbon monoxide. These analyses are carried out and determined by running the vehicles on standardized test cycle. These regulations determines the success of Volvo in USA market, given the fact that these regulations are also ever changing and cover diesel and gas fuel vehicles with varying degrees.

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Political Factors

Laws and regulations have affected the manufacture of the cars since its outburst. Moreover, this has always made car manufacturers to take into consideration the environmental issues during their car manufacture. In the USA, new schemes were introduced in the automobile industry and these regulations led to increased production of cars with high mileage.  There are extreme foreign policies adopted by the US in order to protect its local automobile company – CMC, which is just recovering from its worst economic recession.

Similarly, other regulations that govern the North American market exist, and these include the provisions of NAFTA trade agreements. NAFTA liberalizes trade operations between USA, Mexico and Canada in addition to making it easier for foreign investments are eliminating certain trade barriers.

Social Factors

The socio-cultural analysis of USA reveals a greater challenge for Volvo in this market. The country is a developed nation and the population growth rate is flat. Most of the cars seen on the roads are for couples who use them to commute to work. The population of the USA is sensitive to environmental impact and the safety and it is for these reasons that such population is keen in their choice of vehicles, (Gordon et al., 2010). The country’s policies regarding pollution are so expansive. It involves lower insurance fees, free parking and tax incentives on vehicle owners who posses environment friendly vehicles.

One other major aspect that determines car ownership in US is the car efficiency. Many of the US citizens are sensitive to cars, which consume a lot of fuel. There is rising global fuel prices and this has attracted more attention on fuel-efficient cars since this will always allow its operators to make more savings. Volvo therefore faces a number of challenges in order to meet the demand of its customers in the US market.

Technological Factors

The rapidly changing technology and presence of fierce competition means that in order to satisfy current market needs, there is need to adopt latest technology in the market. In the US, the citizens are conscious of new developments in the technology. Modern car manufacturers especially CMC and Toyota Japan are embracing new technologies in their car manufacture and this means that Volvo has to follow suit in order to satisfy and be able to compete in the technology sensitive US market, (Townsend & Calantone, 2014). USA forms a great technological hub and many studies and research related to automobiles and other electronics means that the citizens are well informed of latest technological advancements.

Economic Factors

The world economy has just recovered from recession. However, there is general rise in exchange rates in addition to unstable interest rates in the major markets of developed economies. The US citizens have high disposable income compared to other economies, especially those of developing countries. In addition, there is increasing amount of disposable income and majority of the workforce in the country is very skilled. The availability of skilled workforce provides a mechanism in which the company can get workers for its product and the amount of disposable income makes US a major market for Volvo, (Volvogroup.com, 2014). However, there remain major challenges regarding globalization and international economic uncertainties that makes US most vulnerable to economic recession.

The Strategies that Volvo Can Adopt in Order to Cope With These Challenges

PESTEL analysis provides a framework upon which a company can lay its strategic focus in order to ensure company sustainability in the end. It is evident from above analysis that although US market offers a great opportunity for growth and more sales, it is quite clear that the company has to meet some of the challenges the market offers, in order to ensure it success in addition to beating off the competition from US local automobile manufacturer, CMC Motors.

            In order to overcome environmental related regulations, Volvo needs to study the regulations of the US federal government regarding vehicle emissions and incorporate them in their car manufacture in order to ensure that the company produces cars with acceptable quantities of emissions. The fact that the US population is sensitive to environment means the company needs to produce vehicles that are eco-friendly in order to give such population opportunity to enjoy such benefits as parking incentives, lower insurance fee and other incentives, (Harrington, 1997). In addition, the company must look into use of lightweight material. Volvo should involve its research and development team into determining how best to use such material. For instance, the use of carbon fibers and semi-finished textile products has been shown to reduce the amount of emissions and this can be used in vehicle production. All these strategic adoptions will go a long way in enabling the company to overcome the challenges associated with environmental pollution and related regulations in the United States of America.

In addition, there are a number of incentives that Volvo can benefit from its investments in the American market and these includes the federal government funding of Advanced Battery Loan Guarantee Program that is available for development of manufacturing plants for vehicles using battery and battery systems. In addition other incentives includes Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) Incentive Program that provides loans for manufacture of vehicles in the US, with larger mileage and that can lessen the dependence of the country on foreign oil. This provides a clear mechanism in which Volvo can exploit in order to meet the market regulations in the US.

Volvo has three steps its follows in the manufacture of its automobiles, and these makes the company more suited, ready and adapted to ever changing and strict environmental regulations in the USA. The company manufactures vehicles that are fuel efficient, use bio-fuels and these helps it to reduce the impact of environmental pollutions by its automobiles. The company has also employed electrification in its manufacture of electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and serial hybrids creating key strategies for its medium term product terms.

It is worth noting that Volvo needs to assess the market requirements in terms of minimum emissions under the federal regulations and in addition tailor such requirements in order to ensure that customer needs are met. In addition, the company should not focus only on current regulations in the market but make anticipation of what the future trends regarding population awareness on effects of vehicle emission on their health as this could be a major determinant in their willingness to buy the company products.

            The company can overcome political factors by ensuring that the company operations are in conformity with the federal requirements for the operation in the country. The company has to outline its policies in order to ensure that they take into consideration the policies of the government that seek to protect its local automobile manufacturers. The presence of trade ties between USA, Canada and Mexico can provide better avenues in which Volvo can overcome political barriers towards investments in the region.

In order to overcome technological related factors, the company can do this by investing in continuous innovative strategies that ensures the company remains abreast with other major car manufacturers to ensure its long-term survival. In this regard, the company should invest in shared technology in order to ensure that it introduces technology at an increasing rate. Modern strategic plans that involve collaboration are more common, (Azibi & Sardas, 2002). Volvo can adopt collaborative strategies with the automobile manufacturers like Ford in order to share technological advancements and ensure they provide modern fuel-efficient cars in adopting latest technological innovations. Ford has become the first automobile manufacturer in the US to produce the most fuel-efficient car in the country and this makes it a worthy company in which Volvo can collaborate in order to share the new technological idea.

            The company can overcome social factors by building smaller cars that are designed to accommodate the smaller families since the country has flat growth rates and most of the people buy cars to commute from home to work, mostly couples and their children. It would be pointless for the company to manufacture big cars for such an economy. In addition, most of the consumers in the US have a belief that smaller cars cause less pollution to the environment.

Volvo can adopt collaborative strategies with Chinese based firms in order to manufacture small fuel-efficient vehicles that are most suited, market specific, in order to cover well the USA market segment. The Chinese automobile manufacturers are set to become global leaders in the manufacture of fuel-efficient cars and this provides good criteria for collaboration in order to beat off likely effects of competition in the huge North American market, (Townsend & Calantone, 2014). This also acts a strategic focus to remain in the competitive market, which could soon be overtaken by the mass production of automobile products from the Chine economic powerhouse.

Finally, the company can overcome the economic challenges in the country by manufacturing its products in the US market since the country provides skilled workforce and latest technology. This provides another important element of proximity to its customers and this has an added advantage of reducing the cost of manufacture and ensuring that the costs of the vehicles is cheaper than when manufactured in its parent country.

Volvo can exploit the potential in the North American market, which has relatively stable market with huge disposable income by setting its manufacturing base in the US. This has an added advantage of the company benefiting from the investment incentives that the federal government provides for the automobile manufacturers whose production are directed towards production of “green vehicles”.

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Role of Risk Manager in a Risk Management Program

In order to be successful, a risk management plan must be communicated and applied throughout the organization.

  • Prepare a paper that examines the role of the risk manager in integrating the risk management program within the organization and ensuring compliance.
  • Evaluate challenges that a risk manager might confront in developing, communicating, and implementing a risk management program.

Include at least three references, of which one must be a scholarly article.

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Role of Risk Manager in Heath Care

In most organizations, there is an overwhelming expectation to conduct their operations with minimal exposure to risks or any forms of liabilities. In order for such organizations to remain successful in terms of avoiding or minimizing exposure to liabilities, they require practicing proper risk management procedure. There should be sufficient time for such organizations to establish structural and organizational policies, which can protect them from experiencing any form risk especially financial liabilities (Kolb & Schwartz, 2009). Even though it is not possible to completely eradicate financial liability risk, effective application of risk management procedures will bring the exposure down to acceptable levels. There are various traditional methods, which various organizations implement in order to practice fundamental risk management. They include; implementing protective policies and procedures to the organization, establishing form practices of employment, development of materials for training and board orientation, and acquiring insurance coverage (Kolb & Schwartz, 2009).

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Role Of The Risk Manager In Integrating The Risk Management Program Within The Organization And Ensuring Compliance.

In modern times, efforts geared towards quality improvement and risk management in healthcare organizations do find it necessary to support patient safety (Youngberg, 2010). It is significant to note that a risk manager performs crucial roles in an organization. Some of these crucial roles include education, patient safety, loss prevention, and identification and analysis of risk (Youngberg, 2010). Risk manager should conduct an analysis of customer satisfaction and then initiate activities, which would improve performance in respect to the findings. He/she should, also, be active in conducting analyses to establish the root-cause of events. In this regard, he/she should design systems, which would assist in implementation of improvements (Kolb & Schwartz, 2009). He/she should engage in continuous identification of opportunities in order to sustain improvement. The risk manager should, also, perform consultative roles as far as various services and departments in the organization are concerned. Such consultative services are crucial for organizational compliance, accreditation and regulatory purposes. All these activities are significant for performance and quality improvement. The manager should, also, oversee programs, which aim at upgraded patient care outcomes (Kolb & Schwartz, 2009).

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In line with the roles of a risk manager, risk identification as well as control should be put on the forefront (Okoroh & Gombera, 2006). These two aspects entail adverse event reporting as well as prevention of loss and reduction. The risk managers of the contemporary times should be on the fore front to ensure effective policy review, claims management and risk financing. Risk management should, also, entail compensation of workers, mandatory event reporting, accreditation compliance, regulatory and corporate compliance, security and safety, and patient relations (Okoroh & Gombera, 2006). Some of the overlapping roles of the risk manager include strategic planning, accreditation issues, board reports, patient education, addressing patient complaints, engaging in proactive assessment of risk, and performing root-cause analysis (Kolb & Schwartz, 2009). It is worth noting that charitable and nonprofit organizations can get exposure to risks through various areas. These areas include the misappropriation of physical assets, fundraising activities, investments, possible loss of charitable or nonprofit status, tax liabilities, misuse of funds, and fraud. Therefore, for risk managers to be effective in their roles, they should establish and implement effectual internal controls (Youngberg, 2010).

Challenges That A Risk Manager Might Confront In Developing, Communicating, And Implementing A Risk Management Program

There are various challenges, which a risk manager may encounter during the development, communication and implementation of a risk management program. Following the current market interconnectedness and various other factors, it is significant to note that any form of risk can pop up anywhere in the world (Youngberg, 2010). This accumulates a lot of pressure of work for risk managers due to being uncertain of potential occurrences. Risk managers of today have to deal with the challenge of maintaining the reputation of their organizations. All organizations acknowledge the significance of this exercise especially during compliance or regulatory disputes. Therefore, challenges arise whenever they ensure reputational risk mitigation in all functional areas (Kolb & Schwartz, 2009). They, also, experience the challenge of global reach especially due to the Middle Eastern volatility and the expansion of upcoming markets in China, India, Brazil, and Russia (Okoroh & Gombera, 2006). There is the challenge of cultural change where risk managers have to deal with the introduction of a culture that is more risk enabled across a global organization. Another challenge, which the risk managers do face, is the compliance records. In most cases, accountability of the compliance records of an organization is the responsibility of the corporate counsel. This is mostly common on a global scale including the United States (Okoroh & Gombera, 2006).

In conclusion, most organizations have an overwhelming expectation to conduct their operations with minimal exposure to risks or any forms of liabilities. Even though it is not possible to completely eradicate financial liability risk, effective application of risk management procedures will bring the exposure down to acceptable levels. It is significant to note that a risk manager performs crucial roles in an organization (Youngberg, 2010). Some of these crucial roles include education, patient safety, loss prevention, and identification and analysis of risk. Some of the overlapping roles of the risk manager include strategic planning, accreditation issues, board reports, patient education, addressing patient complaints, engaging in proactive assessment of risk, and performing root-cause analysis. Risk managers of today have to deal with the challenge of maintaining the reputation of their organizations. They, also, experience the challenge of global reach especially due to the Middle Eastern volatility and the expansion of upcoming markets in China, India, Brazil, and Russia.

Sirhan Sirhan: The Man Who Assassinated Robert F Kennedy


Robert F Kennedy (RFK) was a prominent American politician, adored and endeared member of the US Democratic party and a champion of modern liberalism. Robert F Kennedy was also notably from the Kennedy family which has a long line of historical political figures and which is famous for its fortune, wealth and success in the stock market.
Kennedy served as the 64th Attorney General from the beginning of 1961 to September 1964. At this time RFK was Attorney General during his elder brother, John F Kennedy’s (JFK) tenure as president. Robert F Kennedy went on to be elected into the 89th United States Congress as a senator representing New York in 1965.
Robert had mass appeal among minorities due to his passion for civil rights, championing equality, equity, and his goal to unite the then-divided social classes in the United States. Robert F Kennedy was also against the controversial Vietnam War. He could be quoted in many speeches critiquing the wealthy and fighting for minorities.
Bobby Kennedy’s background and affiliations appealed to the American upper class enabling him to have a majority of America’s support in a period full of racial and class division.
His success in US politics and admirable character are, however, overshadowed by the questions – Who assassinated Robert F Kennedy? And, why was Robert F Kennedy assassinated?

Who assassinated Robert F Kennedy and why?

RFK was assassinated on June 5th 1968. It was shortly after being announced the winner of the 1968 California Democratic presidential primary. Robert Kennedy made his speech condemning the country’s toxic divisions and his aim to unite America and all was well received by the excited crowd.

As Robert Kennedy was exiting through the kitchen rear exit of the Ambassador Hotel, LA, at about a quarter past midnight he paused to greet Juan Romero, a busboy of the hotel, and it is then that Sirhan Sirhan fired a .22 revolver multiple times at close range and aiming at the senator. It is documented that Sirhan Sirhan was as close as a foot to Robert Kennedy when he fired the shots.
Sirhan shot Robert F Kennedy 3 times, twice in the back and once in the head. Kennedy died 26 hours later at the Good Samaritan Hospital. Sirhan had hidden the weapon in a folded poster and those years security for politicians was not as advanced and equipped as it is in recent years. It was thus hard for security to detect the weapon.

Why was Robert F Kennedy assassinated?

To understand an assassination or a murder it is best to first understand the perpetrator. Getting to know the person behind the assassination uncovers the motive and association between the assassination and the person assassinated.

Who is Sirhan Sirhan?

Sirhan Sirhan is the man that killed Robert F Kennedy and if it were not for the assassination his name would probably not be as pronounced in history books as it is.
Sirhan is of Palestinian descent and immigrated to the United States at the age of 12 with his family. His childhood was marred by the violence of the Arab – Israeli conflict and he even witnessed his brother getting run over by a military vehicle. His mother said the violence he witnessed as a child traumatized him. Sirhan and his family briefly lived in New York upon their arrival in the United States before moving and settling in California. Sirhan Sirhan’s father was strict and said to have raised his sons with an iron fist and often harshly beat them.
At 20 years Sirhan trained to be a jockey when he moved to Corona but quit that aspiration when he fell while racing and suffered a head injury. He never applied for US citizenship and chose to remain solely with Jordanian citizenship.

Why did Sirhan Sirhan assassinate Robert F Kennedy?

Sirhan was raised an Arab Christian from his early days in Jerusalem and remained Christian even in adulthood despite changing denominations several times. He is noted to have joined Baptist and Adventist churches.

Studies have shown that a background in child abuse and violence contributes to violence during adulthood. It is worth noting that Sirhan experienced extreme levels of violence as a child. Also at the time of Robert Kennedy’s assassination, Kennedy was very vocal about his support for Israel in the Arab-Israeli war. Sirhan might have developed strong political views during his stay in America and factoring in that he is from Palestine, Sirhan must’ve felt betrayed by Kennedy who had voiced his support for Israel during the June 1967 Six-Day War and especially during campaigns when Kennedy promised to send Phantom fighter jets to Israel if elected president.
Sirhan’s diary which was discovered during the investigation of Robert F Kennedy’s assassination detailed his anger which seemed to fixate on Kennedy. Sirhan’s diary is even quoted to say, “… Kennedy must die before June 5th.’

His written scripts not only seemed to obsess with Kennedy but also in support of Communism and strongly against American capitalism. Sirhan admitted guilt whilst in custody upon his arrest.

Trial and Conviction

What followed was a long and publicized trial dubbed The People of the State of California v. Sirhan Sirhan. Sirhan’s lawyers filed a motion in chambers to enter a plea of guilty of murder in the first degree in exchange for life imprisonment as the judge had initially rejected their plea of “not guilty”.
Sirhan’s lawyers argued impulse and reaction to America’s involvement in the Arab-Israeli war. Sirhan even had the support of the secretary-general of the Action Committee on American-Arab Relations who said, “… he was defending himself against those 50 Phantom jets Kennedy was sending to Israel.” Sirhan would also state that his actions were also fueled by his being drunk.
Despite his defense Sirhan was convicted on 17th April 1969 and days later given the death in the gas chamber sentence. Three years later the sentence was later changed to life in prison as California’s Supreme court ruled capital punishment was in violation of California’s Constitution which was against cruel and unusual punishment.
The assassination of Robert F Kennedy marked 1968 as the bloodiest year in American politics. Two months earlier Robert Kennedy had marched to Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral after he was also assassinated.

The assassination of the two was a big blow to civil rights movements. Some members of minority groups even claimed there were hidden agendas in the assassinations. Some said the Robert F Kennedy assassination was too well calculated and the shooter’s motive and evidence against him were so well elaborated to be believed.

Sirhan Sirhan’s lawyer Lawrence Teeter even claimed brainwashing and hypnotism as a defense during appeals. Other conspiracies also surround the Robert F Kennedy assassination including the Kennedy curse.
In August 2021, Sirhan Sirhan who was serving his 52nd year in prison was recommended for parole through the help of two of Robert F Kennedy’s sons who pitied the then 77-year-old. One of Kennedy’s sons said he could see how remorseful Sirhan was. America’s Criminal Justice System is however complex and the pity and forgiveness of Kennedy’s family are not enough to release Sirhan. California Governor Newsom, later on, denied Sirhan’s parole.
Robert F Kennedy continues to be remembered as a champion of civil rights, a president that America was robbed of that would have potentially been the bridge to unite Americans at a time when hostility and division among races and classes were at a high.

Personality Development Of Barack Obama

Studies by most scientists over time indicate that change in personality trait is not as common as consistency in personality trait (Allen, 2005). This, therefore, implies that personality trait is not often dramatic whenever change occurs. Whenever a person improves his/her attitudes and behaviours in an organized manner that would make him/her distinctive; the whole process results into personality development (Allen, 2005). In regard to this, there must be a continuous interaction of personality, environment and character for effective personality development to happen. People are different because of their varying personalities, and this depends on their behaviors, moods and beliefs that differentiate them. It is significant for people to understand that personality development happens in a systematic manner, which in due course, helps a person to make relevant and flexible adjustments to various conditions in the environment (Allen, 2005). Therefore, personality development as a topic continues to take charge of idealistic survival, which paralleled various fortunes that encompass the study of personality psychology. This paper conducts an in-depth analysis of the personality development of Barack Obama; a global personality, and the president of the United States of America.

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Barack Obama Personality Development

It is worth noting that, in general, different models of personality development do propose a strapping influence of initial experience on eventual personality (Rothbart, 2012). However, the level of influence depends on the nature or state of mind and development. A close examination of Barack Obama’s experience results into observations that comprise a complete chapter in his life. A Kenyan father and an American mother brought forth Barack Obama in 1961 (Shaffer, 2004). After the death of his father in 1982, Barack Obama decided to travel to Kenya in search of more knowledge about his father (Shaffer, 2004). This, also, assisted him to develop a clear perspective of himself as a heritage of mixed race. His background comprises multiple facets, which served as building blocks to enrich his experience in a significant manner. In a special way, therefore, all these helped in shaping his eventual personality, character and his perception of the world. Dweck (2000) contends that immediately after Barack Obama’s graduation from Columbia University, Business International Corporation hired him. He accepted the offer and worked for them for one year. Later on, he moved to work for the New York Public Interest Research Group for three years before moving to Chicago (Dweck, 2000). Barack worked as the director of Developing Communities Projects, which was a community organization under the Catholic Church. At the same time; however, Barack, also, worked for the Gamaliel foundation as a consultant and instructor. When he joined the Harvard school of law, the Harvard Law Review hired him as their editor through voting. Later on when he proceeded to his second year, he became its president, and this served as the first greatest milestone in the background of Barack Obama (Dweck, 2000).

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Application of Erikson’s stages of personality development reveals Barack Obama as a man who makes attempts to comprehend social extension of a multicultural president (Tharp, 2011). This happened to Barack Obama during his time in Hawaii and Indonesia. Tharp (2011) further expounds that there is a strong connection between the growth and upbringing of Barack in a multicultural and diverse state of Hawaii and his time in Indonesia where most of the population embrace secular Islam. Throughout his life as a child and young adult, he struggled to come to terms with the death of his father, and this shaped him into a populist champion. Much of Obama’s early socialization occurred in Jakarta, Indonesia. According to DePaul (2009), this is place where Obama’s multicultural perspective started becoming clear. In the same environment, he learned the significance of cultural relativism and compromise; essential traits, which would enrich him in his eventual duties as a community organizer, a senator and later as the president of the United States of America. In writing his book ‘Dreams from my father,’ DePaul (2009) claims that Obama tells the world that it is possible for people to arrive at a common ground irrespective of their dissimilar historical experiences. In his book, he narrates his life experience growing up in the United States as a biracial child in the generation that came after the civil rights. He capitalized on the experiences of racism as intermediary learning points. His personal story provided an opportunity for the world to understand the actual impact of interest convergence and colorblind beliefs on the daily life experiences of different people (Shaffer, 2008).

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Through the application of the lens of organismic model (Piaget’s epistemological interest), Shaffer, 2008) provides a clear explanation of the manner in which intelligence of Barack Obama developed. Obama’s capacity for knowledge and his efficiency owes back to his reciprocal interaction with the environment and, also, the death of his father. This, on the other hand, assisted him to develop a charismatic personality. His combination of congeniality, assertiveness and confidence completes his profile as a charismatic leader. He knows the right time for everything he speaks, and this is because of his deep understanding of law. DePaul (2009) further asserts that Obama has an amazing combination of outgoing, dominant and ambitious traits, which provide the basis for political skills that a leader requires in promoting a personal vision, interacting with people, and motivating followers.

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In applying psychoanalytic theories to Obama presidency, it is clear for one to note that Obama continuously portrays a cool bearing to stun most of his previous supporters (Tharp, 2011). To most people, Barack Obama appears to be oblivious, frightened, or disinterested in direct conflict because of his detachment. The collapse of the Super Committee, for instance, implied his passive observation, which influenced politicians and pundits from both political parties to accuse him of not being careful. As Rothbart (2012) asserts; however, the president’s disinclination to address such a critical issue in the government is a psychological issue rather than a cognitive one. This is because of his personality structure that did not allow him to prevent the Super Committee from failure. On a psychoanalytic basis, president Obama applies intellectual exertion to dissociate himself from fury, and, also, strains to keep issues in clear perspective (Calmes & Peters, 2013). In other words, he never contains his rage in his mind; rather, he dissociates it. This means that he separates feeling from thought to allow him uphold his operations in an unadulterated intellectual condition. This, therefore, protects him from any form of troublesome influences of extreme passions. Through recognition of president Obama’s patterns of behavior, it is possible for a psychotherapist to elucidate the unconscious processes of thought that might be causing influence on them (DePaul, 2009). He/she, therefore, requires applying a method known as ‘applied psychoanalysis’ to sketch the personality of the president from the already existing reference materials. One of them includes his autobiographic book; “Dreams from my Father” (DePaul, 2009). The advantage of applying psychoanalytic and neoanalytic theories are that they enable examiners to observe the bio-kinetics of the subject to develop a correlation between the body language and the mind-set. The main disadvantage of psychoanalysis and neoanalysis is that the procedure require too much time and, therefore, expensive (Tharp, 2011).

Psychosocial theories enable people to understand various changes that happen in self-understanding and social relationships. In applying these theories to president Obama, one may note that, just like everyone else, the president thinks and acts in reference to his thoughts. For instance, Obama’s administration does not support use of monuments and parks (Furnham, Eracleous & Premuzic, 2009). Besides, the recent shutdown of the US government comprises some of Obama’s beliefs that grew during his childhood in Indonesia (Wolffe, 2013). While in Indonesia, Obama schooled during the Suharto’s authoritarian rule while most of his colleagues who schooled in the US learned about equality, freedom, Bill of Rights and various other values, which the US advanced.  Depaul (2009) contends that Obama is a nice looking man, clean, bright, and articulate and, above all, the first conventional African-American president of the United States yet some people do not view him as a leader. They claim that his presidential approach of targeting adversaries, bullying, and abuse of power caused Richard Nixon to appear amateurish yet liberals, other lefties and progressives continue appreciating him (Furnham, Eracleous & Premuzic, 2009). One of the advantages of psychosocial theories is that they provide an extensive and integrative framework, which clarifies paths of healthy development. On the other hand, one of the disadvantages is that they do not elaborate how culture may impact development (Furnham, Eracleous & Premuzic, 2009).

Just like a Greek physician; Hippocrates, various other philosophers and scientists apply human heredity to determine or establish human personality (Shaffer, 2004). Some of them claim that relative amounts of four fluids or humors in an individual’s body determine his/her temperament. These four fluids include calmness and phlegm, irritability and yellow bile, depression and black bile, and cheerfulness and blood (Shaffer, 2004). Barack Obama as a person started expressing superior temperament at an early age prior to the presidency. While managing the Harvard Law Review at the Harvard Law School, he was always unflappable, calm and cool (DePaul, 2009). Currently, as the president, he continues to make powerful decisions just like George W. Bush used to do. He portrays both intellectual traits such as skill and expertise, and personality traits such as honesty, desire to lead, ambition and dedication. The advantages of trait, evolutionary, genetic/biological approaches are that they assist researchers to establish heredity in an effective manner. The main disadvantage is that they fail to focus on the actual way in which an individual conducts his duties, but rather focus on the way the leadership looks like (Shaffer, 2004).

There is a lot of application of cognitive, behavioral and social learning theory both in Obama administration and on himself as a person. From a behavioral perspective, Obama does a number of things to strengthen success in his leadership. For instance, he is persistent; he lost the US congress elections, but did not lose hope (DePaul, 2009). He maximizes on any opportunity that he obtains. He is, also, an excellent attention grabber (DePaul, 2009). From a social learning perspective, President Barack Obama possesses an excellent level of self-efficacy. Wolffe (2013) attributes this to Obama’s mother; an anthropologist and Saul Aliniski as the people who played a pivotal role in developing Obama’s self-efficacy. The main advantage of these theories is that they address the mental source of behavior in order to resolve detrimental behavior. The disadvantage of behavior theory is that application of behavior therapies for certain disorders cannot provide cure to a person; instead, they eliminate certain behaviors, which the disorder could be causing (Shaffer, 2004).

Humanistic theory offers people a comprehensible way to view the needs of men for war in order to restore peace (Shaffer, 2008). For instance, President Obama and President Vladimir Putin continue to have a tense and uncomfortable relationship because of their decisions regarding the on-going war in Syria. Obama, as a representative of his nation, wants his decision on war in Syria to be the best (Wolffe 2013). In regards to gay marriage in the United States, President Obama’s view is that gay members require receiving equal treatment under the law. The greatest advantage of humanistic theory is that it lays emphasis on people’s choices and their responsibilities. The disadvantage is that it encourages people to use excessive common sense instead of sufficient objectivity (Shaffer, 2008).

In order to measure president Obama’s personality, the following three approaches of personality assessment would be useful; projective techniques, paper and pencil tests and behavioral observations (Archer & smith, 2008). Behavioral observations are significant in helping people to develop impressions of other people. This can happen through interviews, which can either be structured or unstructured. This, however, requires psychologists to conduct interviews in a style that promotes self-reflection, forthrightness and honesty. Through a structured interview, an examiner can ask Obama standardized questions while through unstructured interview; an examiner engages the subject in a conversational interchange. During both interviews, the examiner would be able to develop an opinion regarding president Obama’s personality characteristics. In applying projective techniques, the examiner presents a vague stimulus, which requires President Obama to react by projecting his personality in his response. This can happen through the Thematic Perception Test (TAT), which comprises of a succession of indistinct pictures that the subject requires developing a description about (Archer & smith, 2008). This particular test would be useful in identifying the motives, problems and emotions of president Obama. Projective techniques can, also, happen through Rorschach inkblot test, which different people perceive in different ways.  Personality assessment can, also, happen through paper-and-pencil tests (Archer & smith, 2008). For these tests to be useful they should be reliable valid. Archer and smith (2008) assert that the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) has a wide application in identifying personality related problems. The examiners can, also, apply California Personality Inventory (CPI) on people who could be lacking personality problems (Archer & smith, 2008).

Conclusion

In conclusion, whenever a person improves his/her attitudes and behaviours in an organized manner that would make him/her distinctive; the whole process results into personality development. Barack Obama’s experience results into observations that comprise a complete chapter in his life. A Kenyan father and an American mother brought forth Barack Obama in 1961. In applying psychoanalytic theories to Obama presidency, it is clear for one to note that Obama continuously portrays a cool bearing to stun most of his previous supporters. In applying psychosocial theories to president Obama, one may note that, just like everyone else, the president thinks and acts in reference to his thoughts. There is a lot of application of cognitive, behavioral and social learning theory both in Obama administration and on himself as a person. From a social learning perspective, President Barack Obama possesses an excellent level of self-efficacy. Humanistic theory offers people a comprehensible way to view the needs of men for war in order to restore peace. In order to asses president Obama’s personality, the following three approaches of personality assessment were useful; projective techniques, paper and pencil tests and behavioral observations.

Embracing Blue Ocean Strategy Framework Into A Company

Assignment Instructions

Assume your new company president has heard about this new approach to business strategy called the Blue Ocean Strategy. Your president has asked you to prepare a brief PowerPoint presentation to explain to the company executives what this strategy framework is, how it compares to traditional strategy development and how it can be adopted in your company.

Embracing Blue Ocean Strategy Framework Into A Company – Sample Presentation

What is blue ocean strategy?

  • Blue ocean strategy is a phrase coined by Prof. Chan Kim and Prof. Renee Mauborgne in their book, ‘Blue Ocean Strategy’ published in 2005.
  • The term encompasses three major concept; untapped market, unknown market space and industries that are not in existence today.

Blue ocean according to Chan Kim and Renee (2005) refers to industries that are not in existence today-untapped market that is waiting to be explored. It is more of a strategy that  creates demand by carving its own market niche/space by venturing into untested waters.

Read also Blue Ocean Strategy , Blue Ocean Move Vs Red Ocean Strategy

Chief among its strategy is value innovation. It seeks to create value that is both beneficial to both the company and buyers of their products while those that the market views as less loosing value or will loose value in the future. (Harvard Business Review, 1997)

  • Blue ocean strategy seeks to reconstruct market boundaries through the action and belief of industry players by;
    • Rise of new industries e.g. eBay introduced online auction or,
    • New innovation from existing industries e.g. M-pesa introduced mobile money transfer.

Blue ocean can be created through;

Rise of new industries. This entails a company or industry player starting a new business that has never been done before anyone else in the industry. For example, eBay saw an opportunity to revolutionize the way auctions are done. Instead of limiting the auction to a geographical are, it saw an opportunity of auction transcending boundaries- thus online auction came to be.

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New innovation from existing industries. An industry may add value to its existing products or core mandate, for example, the Japanese automakers saw an opportunity to create smaller cars with better fuel efficiency. They managed to create a whole new demand from existing industry. M-pesa a mobile money transfer service introduced by Safaricom Ltd a telecoms company revolutionized the way money is sent. It broke down the tradition way of sending money and by so doing added value to its core business by creating demand while building market space.

  • It is different from the traditional strategy (red ocean strategy) in which companies/industries that exist today focus on their competitive advantage in a known market with rules of engagement well defined (known market space).

The traditional strategy or red ocean is a term used to describe the existing industries that are competing in the same market and for the same demand. Emphasis is placed on efficiency and low cost to have competitive advantage over their rivals. This was advocated by Michael Porters. Companies try to wrestle market share from their rivals by either efficiency to reduce the cost of their products and services or through mergers to create bigger companies. (Andrew Chua, 2008).  Industries operating within this strategy have their structural and boundaries set in which they operate. They do not have the capacity to operate outside the set rules of the industry.. (HBR, 2004)

  • Blue ocean  pursues three important strategies;
    • Costing
    • Value innovation-pursues both differential & low cost simultaneously
    • Demand-creating demand instead of competing for it

The strategy aims to create new untapped markets. It does not fight for control and growth of existing demand with other industry players like in the traditional strategy. It creates market for its services. For example

Costing-because it attracts customers in large volume, it creates economies of scale which discourages imitators. The large economies of scale translate to low cost in the long run. Their cost goes down as demand for their product is high. For example, the concept introduced by Wal-Mart which it embraced so it achieve economies of scale which enabled it to incur low cost in its business. Other players have found it difficult to imitate this type of model. Other telecoms players have tried to introduce mobile money transfers to compete with M-pesa. They have failed to make an impact because Safaricom established large economies of scale with its high customer numbers which has reduced the cost of its product offering.

Simultaneous pursuit of differential and low cost

This shows the strategy of pursuing value innovation with the aim of meeting the customer needs with concurrent low costing. This creates an opportunity to the company to create customer loyalty through their product offerings while at the same time pursuing an operating environment that has low cost benefits. It encourages economies of scale, creates demand and fill up market space not yet occupied.

Either differential or low cost

A traditional strategy or red ocean where emphasis is on efficiency to reduce cost. Its aim is to create competitive advantage of its product in relation to its rival’s. this strategy seeks to grow a company’s market share by exploiting the existing demand within the boundaries and rules of the market.It is value addition driven as opposed to value innovation.

Differences Between Traditional strategy (red ocean) And Blue ocean strategy

Compete in existing market spaceCreate uncontested market space
Beat the competitionMake the competition irrelevant
Exploit existing demandCreate and capture new demand
Make value/cost trade offCreate and capture new demand
Company’s strategic choice is based on pursuing differential or low costThe strategy is to pursue differential & low cost

The Four Actions to create Blue Ocean

Raise- what factors should be raised well above the industry’s standard? This entails the industry embracing values that sets it apart from the rest. This will create customer loyalty

Create- what factors should be created that the industry has never offered? bring innovation that the industry has not encountered before. This is aimed at building your own market niche

Reduce- what factors should be reduced well below the industry’s standard ?to achieve economies of scale with low cost, pursue an innovation that seeks to exploit opportunities but at a cost lower than the industry’s standard.

Eliminate- what factors the industry takes for granted should be eliminated? eliminate business practices and mindsets that tend to focus on pursuing the concept of competitive advantage through efficiency or low cost. Companies should seek to break the boundaries and think outside the box to create new markets and demand through value innovation as opposed to value addition.

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