Month: November 2017

FIN 504 – Financial Analysis Case Study: Assessing a Company’s Future Financial Health – Adeptus Health

GRAND CANYON FIN 504

Financial Analysis Case Study: Assessing a Company’s Future Financial Health – Adeptus Health

 

Introduction

Adeptus Health is a holding firm that operates and own emergency rooms of first choice. The firm owns a network of freestanding independent emergency rooms in the US.  The firm offers emergency care via its freestanding emergency rooms. It offers patients with admittance to on-site treatments, registered emergency trained nurses, and wide-certified physicians. The facilities of the firm are armed with radiology suite, which include ultrasound, digital x-ray, onsite laboratories, and computerized tomography (CT) scanners. The company contains over 55 facilities situated in different parts of the US which include Texas Arizona, Phoenix, Colorado, Denver and Colorado Springs. Adeptus was established in 2002, in Lewisville, Texas in the US. Adeptus is for-profit health organization, however it highly benefit many especially in emergency cases were all patients are taken in despite the financial situation.  The company was publically listed in 2004 June (The New York Times, 2016). This paper focuses on analyzing the financial health of Adeptus Health Inc.

Analysis of Fundamentals

Adeptus Health is currently dealing with freestanding emergency facilities. The facility is expanded in various parts of Texas among other area. The company’s main goal is to expand its coverage area as a way of increasing its market share and hence its revenue. However, the company is currently experiencing great challenges while pursuing its goal. One of the main challenge is that the current business model; freestanding emergency business model is unproven.  In this regard, most stakeholders particularly insiders have lost faith with it and thus, they are selling most of their shares. This pushes the company into considering changing the organization model. Although the company is currently working to expand sources of revenue, the company is also experiencing another challenge. Many patients consider freestanding emergency facilities as urgent lower cost care facilities and thus, the company has never managed to grow financially as anticipated. Thus, the company is currently facing a number of challenges while trying to accomplish its goals (Adeptus Health, 2016).

The company’s main strategy used to accomplish its main goal is to expand its facilities in different parts of Texas and other parts of the US. The company currently has about 55 facilities in the US, with most of its facilities being located in Texas. This is highly facilitated by the capital collected from selling shares. The establishment of hospitals in partnership is also adding to the company strategies to accomplish its goals. Hospitals create a better chance for the company to offer more services to patients and thus increasing their customers’ satisfaction. In this regard, more expansion of the emergency facilities into hospital in partnership will reduce the company establishment cost and increase the rate of receiving patients and thus, increasing its ability to increase its revenue.

The company targets US market and more it has focused on the Texas market. The company has managed to dominate the Texas market by establishing a huge number of freestanding emergency facilities in the state. The company targets individuals with medical condition that would require immediate attention for instance asthma, heart attacks, and accidents among others in the region. The company has managed to equip all its facilities with the right medical personnel as well as the most significant medical personnel that would easily offer the required facilities. The facilities contains radiology suite, which include ultrasound, digital x-ray, onsite laboratories, and computerized tomography (CT) scanners. This has increased their competitive advantage since the company is able to provide the best care for any patient reporting in their emergency facility without main need of a supportive hospital. The company also has registered emergency trained nurses, and wide-certified physicians who offer on-site treatment to patients involved in any kind of urgent medical need. This increases the company’s competitiveness in the market. The company also offers its services on 24 hours bases and thus, they are always available for their customers of any patient at all time, especially when a patient needs it. This increases the company’s competitiveness since their facilities are readily available and at the same time, they are always ready to assist the community 24 hours a week. This ensures a high patient satisfaction which ranges above 95%.

The company facilities are highly based on the medical regelation provided to other healthcare facilities in the United States. Patient privacy is highly employed to ensure that no personal medical information get to a third party without the patient consent, especially if information sharing is nod based on enhancing the patient’s health. Despite being a for-profit organization, the company puts the patient’s health in front of money. Thus, the facilities handle the emergency cases first and consider the payment aspect later (Adeptus Health, 2016).

Revenue Outlook

The company demonstrates a positive growth in its revenue for the last four years. The revenue has grown from 72.6 million dollars in 2012 to 364.69 million dollars in 2015. This is a magnificent trend where the company demonstrates over 100 million dollar growth from 2013 to 2014 and also over 150 million dollar growth from 2014 to 2015. This demonstrates that the company has been growing in popularity for the last three years and thus, it may be able to break even in the near future. The only major problem with the company at the moment is that it has not managed to cater for its expenses using the current revenue and thus, the company has always recorded a negative net income value since in 2013. It was only in 2012 that the company managed to record a net income of 3.2 million dollars. Since then, the company has constantly recorded loss due to high operation cost. The company is also experiencing huge non-operational cost expenses which are highly increasing is expenses and eventually lowering its net income. Thus, despite the increase in its revenues, the company financial situation is still at the edge (Market Watch, 2016).

The current situation of having more expenses than the revenue gathered has been highly affecting the company’s operations. However, the company has managed to identify a new source of income from equity after it was declared public. This has given the company a considerable boost in 2015 operations. Moreover, the company seems to be overcoming the initial set-up cost which could have contributed to high non-operational expenses recorded in the past three years since the amount seems to have gone down in 2015. Although the company net income in 2015 is not declared yet, the situation seems more promising in 2015, were it not for the previous debts that the company has incurred as a result of negative earnings in the previous years.

Investments to Support the Business Units Strategies

The company invests heavily in the healthcare machinery or equipment and also in the employment of well-trained healthcare personnel. Adeptus Health deals with freestanding emergency facilities which focus on offering complete emergency services provided to all patients in hospitals emergency rooms. In this regard, the company has employed its best effort to ensure that each of their 55 facilities contains the most essential medical facilities to aid in the first care services provided in an emergency room. Some of the facilities found in each healthcare facility include radiology suite, which include ultrasound, digital x-ray, onsite laboratories, and computerized tomography (CT) scanners. This means the company focus on handling some very essential urgent health condition. However, the facilities have not managed to invest in surgical rooms and equipment and thus, they may still not able to handle critical accident based emergency cases. In this regard, the company is currently focusing on making allies with different hospitals to complete their services, particularly in critical situations where more facilities and knowledge is needed. One of such alliances include the facility partnership with Digital Health in Francisco to create the Laveen based Dignity Health Ariozona General Hospital. Nevertheless, most of its 55 facilities offer standalone services that are independent of any other healthcare facility.

Future Profitability and Competitive Performance

The exponential revenue growth of the company is a clear indication that the company has a good market and its situation will change soon. The company has managed to increase its number of sales or revenue year after year. A continues in this positive trend definitely shows that the company will soon breakeven. Nevertheless, the company’s profitability level is also threatened by a number of factors. One of the major factors is that the current business model employed by the standalone emergency facilities is not proven. In this regard, most investors are avoiding making investment with the company since they do not trust the business model. This has also increased the rate in which internal investors are selling their shares to move out of their initial investment. This may affect the company’s reliability on investment to advance their growth and hence their level of revenue, which determines the company’s profitability (Yahoo Finance, 2016).

Another major aspect that may impact the company profitability is the fact is that it is more expensive to run a standalone emergency facility as compared to running emergency rooms in a big hospital. This makes cost of the Adeptus services much higher as compared to urgent care services provided by hospitals in the region. As a result, most patients are reluctant to pay for the entire amount charged in Adeptus facilities and consider them expensive. In this regard, the company is facing stiff competition from hospitals in the region which offer similar or even more advanced emergency room services. To be able to attract more customers and to remain competitive, the company may consider lowering their service charges and increasing the extensibility of their operations in the emergency room. As a matter of fact, the company cannot manage to provide the full emergency care services as they could be provided in large healthcare facilities such as hospital due to limitation in the machinery, and personnel. In addition, this is a new business model that has not been used by many and thus, patients or relatives may take long to trust it. Nevertheless, based on the nature of emergency health needs, the company still stands a high chance of obtaining a huge number of customers due to its high accessibility in different parts of Taxes. Emergency pushes individuals to take the most accessible measures, and the company has ensured its accessibility. This gives it a higher competitive advantage over large hospitals, which are normally scattered and may require a longer waiting time as compared to Adeptus.

Future External financing Needs

The company wishes to keep on expanding its facilities, targeting US as its main market. However, it has only managed to maximize on Texas State. In this regard, the company will still need to finance its expansion in the future. Moreover, the company seems to be adopting a new more appreciated business model by making alliance with other healthcare facilities to make a complete hospital as in Laveen. In this regard, the company will still need more financing to grow and to realize its dreams. Based on its current financial situation, the company cannot manage to fund any of its development projects with its earnings at the moment. In this regard, the company may require more equity, loan or both to be able to fund its future investments before it can stand on its own.

Access to Target Sources of External Finance

The company was publically traded in 2014 and since then, the company has been hoping to acquire more finances from equity. Although the company has not managed to secure as much as it could have expected, this has highly boosted the company’s operations and increased its sources of funding. The company is anticipated to demonstrate a positive growth in the future which will better its financial health and thus attract more investors into the company. If this happens, the company will have a better chance of obtaining more finances from equity. However, this will only happen if the company will manage to demonstrate its abilities to the investors in the competitive market. The company also depends on loans while making its investment. The company recorded long-term debt of 19.85 million dollars in 2012, 78.85 million dollars in 2013, 109.04 million dollars in 2014 and 121.2 million dollars in 2015. This demonstrates that its reliability on debts is quite high. The company debt to equity ratio for the last three years is 0.24 in 2012, 4.23 in 2013 and 2.27 in 2014. This is a clear indication that the company debts more on debts as a source of its capital compared to equity. However, the situation may change with time bearing in mind that the company only entered into the public stock market recently; 2014. The company also has invested more on assets and thus, it is much easier to acquire loans due to availability of security as compared to acquiring financing from equity which is currently less reliable due to the current company’s financial situation (Financial Morningstar, 2016).

Visibility of 3-5 Year Plan

Adeptus Health main focus is to continue growing in the US market. The company has currently managed to venture into three main markets which include Colorado, Arizona, and Texas. However, the company hopes to venture into other US states and establish themselves in more promising markets. This is based on the accessibility of the emergency health services from other healthcare facilities. The future anticipated growth may highly be enhanced by the new strategy of making partnerships with other existing healthcare facilities. This may increase its rate of growth in the country. However, with the current company’s financial state, the company may be unable to expand at the anticipated rate. At the moment the company targets a total of 15-25 standalone facilities per year. However, its visibility will highly depend on the company’s ability to generate more income to pay for its previous loan and interests and also to attract more equity from investors.

Stress Test under Scenarios of Adversity

The company has already been extensively expanded in Texas and two other regions. However, the company situation may get worse if the company’s financial situation fails to improve in the future. For instance, in case the company remains with negative net income, the company will still need external sources of funding to operate effectively. This will mean that the company will have to pay for more loans interest in the future and thus, it may take quite a long time to breakeven. This may result to its death. This scenario may also mean that more and more investors will shy away from investing with the company since it will fail to prove its ability to offer investment returns. As a result, the company financial situation may get worse. In case the company fails to get more customers as anticipated in the future, the company revenues will go down and thus, the company will completely be unable to meet its future expenses. This will result to more loans and hence risking more of its assets to lenders. This will also impact equity negatively and thus, the company may be left without any reliable source of income.

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Cyber Terrorism : The America Response

This paper discusses the threat of cyber terrorism on the infrastructure of the United States, and the strategies that the federal government explores to respond to such threats. It is essential to note that cyberterrorism entails the utilization of computer network applications to interrupt or destroy national infrastructures of critical significance such as government operations, transport, energy, air traffic and various other utility systems. According to the arguments of Clarke and Knake (2012), the risk of cyberterrorism continues increasing each day because of one functional premise: the increasing dependence of critical infrastructures and nations computer networks in order to execute their operations. This has resulted into massive creation of new vulnerabilities. Cyberterrorism being a modern approach of attacks, appears appealing to many modern terrorists because of the ‘convenience’ it presents to them. According to Whitman and Mattord (2011), modern terrorists prefer cyberterrorism because of its media appeal, its psychological effect, its capacity to create enormous damage, and its anonymity. Cyberterrorism poses enormous threats and as a result, it grabs the attention of the information technology industry, the community that addresses security, and the mass media. Experts operating in various fields, politicians and journalists have been noted popularizing scenarios where cyberterrorists use electronic means to access computers that control air traffic, dams and many other functional activities. These actions wreak havoc, which endangers the national security together with the lives of millions of citizens.

The threat of cyberterrorism to the American or Critical infrastructures begun being discussed way back in 1997 when the commission of the president presented a report regarding protection of critical infrastructure (Martin, 2014). The concerns of the report majorly centered on the computer systems that were essentially helpful in remotely controlling various process equipment. Such computer systems were highlighted as particular areas of vulnerability. Cyberterrorism poses great dangers on the critical infrastructures of the United State. For a long time, a notion has been existent to suggest that critical infrastructures’ vulnerability and computer networks’ vulnerability are similar. However, considering the modernity in the technology of computer networks and how quick it spreads into activities of economy rules out the notion. The existing evidence suggests that the increasing vulnerabilities of computer networks have become issues of serious concern in business while considering that the enormity of their threat to national security cannot be overemphasized.

It is essential to note that protection of critical infrastructure influences creation of a new set of national security challenges because of involvement of different factors. Cyber-attacks mainly centers its focus on commercial and civilian services and systems (Martin, 2014). The range of such emerging problems depends on the definition of national security as well as the existing thresholds for determining damage. Present at the national level are dozens of various systems offering critical infrastructure services whereby failure can lead to denial of the service to civilians for hours. In order to create terror cyber terrorists have always had to initiate simultaneous attacks on many targets in order to achieve their strategic objectives. Some examples of the famous cyber-attacks happened in 2009 when a sequence of coordinated attacks was witnessed against new agencies and financial websites of South Korean and the US governments where botnet activation was involved (Setola & Lopez, 2012). Many computers were hijacked eventually leading to a scenario called DDoS attack, which essentially means interrupted systems due to overloaded servers.

It is; however, essential to note that the U.S government has put in place a number of measures to enable it respond to the threat of cyber terrorism. The response has been the cyber incident response plan that is centered at the national level. The formation of this plan followed the cyber security policy of the president that called on the coordination of various groups both at the state and at the local level. The plan is essential for helping the Department of Homeland Security manage the response of private industry, international partners, local and state governments, and federal agencies. The establishment of the National Cybersecurity and Communication Integration Center by the Department of Homeland Security in 2009 is another one of the U.S.’s response to cyber threats (Whitman & Mattord, 2011). The United States, through the Department of Homeland Security, responds to cyber threats by ensuring that there are trusted external connections to the internet. This timely response to the threat of cyber terrorism enhances national and global security by minimizing vulnerabilities to computer networks. For instance, the response will help to protect air traffic systems from being interfered with. Without administering appropriate response measures, cyber terrorists can disrupt flights and affect air transport thereby endangering the lives of the crews and passengers.

Canada responds to the threat of cyberterrorism through embracing its cyber security strategy. The strategy provides a vigorous set of reliable legal framework, strategies and legislation to address computer-aided and computer-related terrorism activities and crimes. The strategy depends on synchronized efforts that use crucial elements of international alignment, domestic security sector, and cooperative partnerships like INTERPOL, European Police Office, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Setola & Lopez, 2012). Canada has been successful in securing the government system through its cyber security strategy. The strategy, also, secures the safety of Canadians whenever they undertake their operations online. The strategy reflects on the values of Canada, which touches on privacy, accountability, and the rule of law thereby enabling the government have integrated activities. The cyber security of Canada is established on three pillars: securing the systems of government, collaborating to secure crucial external cyber systems; and enhancing online security of Canadians.

The U.S. National strategy for response to cyber threats differs from the one used in Canada in the sense that it entails a number of priorities. The U.S national strategy encompasses securing cyberspace of the government, a training and awareness program regarding the cybersecurity of the nation, a program for reducing the threat and vulnerability of cyberspace security of the nation, and a response system for enhancing the cyberspace security of the nation (Setola & Lopez, 2012). On the other hand, the cyber security strategy of Canada emphasizes three main priorities: securing the systems of government, collaborating to secure crucial external cyber systems; and enhancing online security of Canadians. Through the cyber security strategy, the Canadian government has been able to able to protect its critical infrastructures from cyber threats. This is evident through development of better governance approaches to enable government enhance cyber security.

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Evaluating An Organization’s Use Of Outsourcing

In recent times, there have been many reported cases of foreign call centers that expose their clients outsourcing to varied risks, including security threats. Many foreign call centers and call center agents cannot be subjected to the same background appraisals that the local ones are taken through according to Feinberg, Ruyter and Bennington (2004) and Jacques (2006).  Consequently, sensitive or confidential information made available to the foreign call centers may be more insecure than the one availed to local call centers, which go through stringent background appraisals. Anthony (2005) reported in E-Commerce Times about the theft of USA-based Citibank customers’ funds that were stolen by the staff members of a call center based in India. Fortunately, about $23000 of the funds were recovered by Indian police. Largely, the theft was blamed on ineffective judicial system of India, which is widely taken as impeding global business and compromising the corresponding security considerations. As well, the theft was blamed on the US’ lack of the requisite technologies to detect, as well as prevent, fraudulent acts happening on outsourced call centers according to Anthony (2005).

In their daily routines, the call center’s employees communicated with the bank’s customers to get assistance with own accounts at the bank. Some of the employees got some of the customers’ account information, including personal identification numbers fraudulently and transferred funds from the accounts without the customers’ express approvals. Some of the customers from whose accounts funds had been illegally transferred by the employees reported the thefts to authorities. The bank contacted the Indian police who arrested some of the employees who engaged in the fraudulent transactions. Anthony (2005) reports that when companies outsource Indian call centers they become highly susceptible to varied risks owing to a number of reasons. The reasons include that the continuity and accountability measures guiding most of the call centers are challenging and not adhered to frequently and most of the call centers do not screen their employees thoroughly according to Anthony (2005).

Kirkland & Ellis outsources varied resources related to IS (Djordjevich & Vault 2007). To minimize its exposure to the security risks such as those suffered by Citibank and some of its customers as reported by Anthony (2005), Kirkland & Ellis outsources the resources from better-managed and smaller facilities than the ones engaged by Citibank. Kirkland & Ellis examines the corporate ethics and cultures of specific overseas firms before considering them to offer it given services. By and large, Kirkland & Ellis outsources resources from firms that emphasize the strengths of effectively done assignments and the worth of their staff members as opposed to profits. The background checks that Kirkland & Ellis conducts on overseas firms prior to outsourcing specific resources from them makes the outsourcing effective. The USA-based Citibank does not invest adequately in such checks.

Firms draw several benefits from outsourcing particular resources. First, it eliminates or reduces the expenses related to having the resources build internally or locally according to Feinberg, Ruyter and Bennington (2004) and Jacques (2006). For example, firms incur fewer costs when they contract overseas call centers to handle client enquiries than when they establish customer care departments to handle the enquiries. The departments attract marked labor, overhead, infrastructure, as well as operational, costs. Outsourced call centers reduce the costs significantly, allowing organizations to make significant savings.

Second, the outsourcing of particular resources helps organizations increase own business continuity according to Feinberg, Ruyter and Bennington (2004) and Jacques (2006). For instance, when a company’s call center agent or provider guarantees continuous uptime, runs several servers in varied geographical zones, and has employees committed to ensuring that call quality is maintained always, the company can be sure of its capability to satisfy own customers’ requirements always according to Bergevin (2010). That can help build the company’s profits over time as well according to Feinberg, Ruyter and Bennington (2004). Despite the several benefits that organizations draw from outsourcing particular resources, the outsourcing may present them with several disadvantages.

One of the disadvantages is that the outsourcing of specific resources by organizations decreases client satisfaction by and large according to Feinberg, Ruyter and Bennington (2004) and Jacques (2006). That is because the outsourcing of the resources is likely to occasion considerable decrease in the quality of the resources hence client satisfaction according to Feinberg, Ruyter and Bennington (2004). Another disadvantage is that the outsourcing decreases the control that the organizations have on their organizational functions, including business functions. The outsourcing means that organizations put some of their vital processes and functions under the control, as well as direction, of foreign entities. The organizations find it challenging to monitor the processes and functions for quality assurance according to Bergevin (2010). As well, as noted earlier, many foreign call centers and call center agents cannot be subjected to the same background appraisals that the local ones are taken through thus they jeopardize the security of the sensitive or confidential information made available to them more than the local ones.

Roles Of Administrative Law And Rulemaking In Public Policy Making

Administrative law is a procedure of creating policies of equality and precision by rectifying administrative government. It restricts the power of administrative activities and creates acceptability to state actions. Rulemaking is a process that provides direction on state actions such as program applications, conflict determinations and personnel management. It is seen as a consequence of legislation proposed by the public and enforced by the administrative agencies. Administrative law and rulemaking have a symbiotic relationship, that of structuring the public lives of citizens in a particular state. In this perspective, administrative law includes rules such as order, fair judgment, protocols and ordinance (Harrington & Carter, 2015). The two foundations of law can be differentiated in terms of law making ability, groundwork of legal paraphernalia, choice and excellence as a norm, and everyday vitality through public policy. The administrative laws become way of life from a political countenance of public issues which lead to formation of public policies.

The roles of administrative laws enhance formation of public policies that are more efficient and beneficial to the public. For example, a daycare facility should adhere to the rules and regulations needed to hold such institutions. Failure to consider the requirements, the administrative law will take charge, creating measures to be used in future in case of similar occurrences. This explains how administrative laws take part in policy formations. Administrative laws are meant to reduce the unfairness in government bodies (Kerwin & Furlong, 2011).

It checks and balances existing systems that offers legal decisions, and in so doing, policies are formulated to protect those seeking legal help. An example is seen by how current cases can reference preceding similar cases to extract a similar assessment and judgement.The headings of public law concerning specific public issues such as general economy, environment, culture and public health are well equipped in civil law countries, since they are equipped with the room of general statutes like Administrative litigation Acts and Administrative Surrogate enforcements Act (Harrington & Carter, 2015). The roles of administrative law and rulemaking give emphasis to the validity of public intervention into the private sector and social justice. The main objective of this norm would include manufacturer and its consumers, stretching from regulation of monopoly, protection of environment, minimum wage, public health and price determination of essential commodities.

The roles of rulemaking in public policy making are massive in contemporary society. Public events and survey inform the developments of rulemaking process. Rulemaking expresses scope of issues that can impact on the lives of citizens of a given state. It advocates for the rights, benefits and services to be given to the people. Transparent rulemaking enables the creation of effective and quality public policies that make positive impacts to the people. Information is essential to rulemaking not only for administrative officials to make good judgments but also for the public to comprehend and take part in the rulemaking process (Shapiro & Holtz, 2013). For the public to monitor the agencies and contribute constructively in the process, they have to get enough access to information received by the agencies, and this calls for transparency to all parties. For example, when the Department of Social Services gave out a notice that it would not pay for inpatient psychiatric services, other than electric shock treatment, the changes were not affected because the right process in making the policy was not followed.

Relationship Between Law And Public Policy

The purpose of this paper is to explain the relationship between law and public policy. Law is described as the mechanisms used to control the behavior of people in a society, including government power given to administrative branches that govern the people. Public policy is the practice in which the administration of a state addresses public concerns by making laws. There are four kinds of laws that oversee the conduct of administrators. These are statutory, regulatory, constitutional and common laws (Harrington & Carter, 2015).

Regulatory laws control the activities of particular agencies or corporations. It states on the technical matters that arise in circumstances where citizens have criticisms of certain non-compliance by the agencies. An example here is the case of Goldenberg versus Kelly 397 U.S. 254, where the court upheld the rulings made by a district court that procedural protocols were adhered to, granting the litigants their rights after the dissolution of welfare remunerations according to New York state law. The public issue here was addressed in the court with the assistance of existing laws in the state. Statutory laws address societal issues and protect citizens from discriminations in the society such monopoly on companies or agencies. Constitutional laws entail rules which citizens must follow in order to maintain a peaceful coexistence in the society (Kerwin & Furlong, 2011). It entails the rules of the law that everyone is mandated to follow. In common laws, matters are solved according to the decisions made by the judges as per their reasoning of fairness and justice.

Having mentioned on the types of laws, it is paramount to add on the fact that these laws are made due to specific reasons that affect the public interests. The main aim of public policies is to brand and evaluate government decisions. The laws are used by the state to create legal regulations to be used by the citizens. It is therefore evident that public policies use the laws to solve public’s problems, whether social, economic or political issues (Harrington & Carter, 2015). For example, legalization of same sex marriages in some states created big controversies. An individual supporting same sex marriage will argue that its prohibition in the society will be an infringement of their constitutional rights, which is a fact. These misunderstandings can create public problems leading to the formation of public policies and laws that protects the interests of such people. States like California have legalized same sex marriage in a move to solve the problem.

Law and rulemaking are essential components in public policy creation; this is because it seeks to create effective and efficient policies for the society. Public policies are issues and concerns that are addressed by the administrative organizations, which outline the rules of operations that serve the public. The rulemaking procedure is monitored by the agencies for efficacy (Kerwin & Furlong, 2011). For example, a health care facility must ensure that all their staffs are licensed as health care providers by their relevant regulatory bodies. Failure to comply, and upon inspection by the state, they are summoned for tribunals, and the administrative law will continue with a rulemaking process on how the firms can continue to work in future with safety and health measures in place. This leads to the formation of public policies addressing the matter. A law aims at guarding private interests while public policy follows social justice, and arbitrates competing interests.

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A Definition Of Mixed Methods

According to Teddlie and Tashakkorri, mixed methods entail combination of quantitative and qualitative procedures in the methodology of a study, focusing on philosophical assumptions. It explains how the methodology involves fraternization of all stages of the research procedure from philosophical points, to extrapolations and finally to the interpretations of outcomes. Creswell & Plano Clark explains mixed methods as techniques or methods of gathering and analyzing data in a more specific view of the world. Creswell (2015) argues that there are three common categories that must be involved while using mixed methods. They include resources and time, pre-knowledge of the approaches as well as the problem of getting investigators convinced on the values that mixed methods present (Ivankova, 2014). According to Bergman, a mixed method involves the mixing of both qualitative together with quantitative methodologies in research with the main aim of maintaining the strengths and reducing the weaknesses in both approaches, producing more efficient findings.

Mixed methods are an evolving methodology in research that progresses the amalgamation of both quantitative and qualitative records in a program with the aim of increasing the prospects of attaining outcomes that are more reliable and convenient.  Mixed methods are research design with logical assumptions and inquiry techniques involving logical assumptions meant for guiding the direction of data collection as well as analysis along with the combination of qualitative and quantitative procedures in a research process (Clark & Ivankova, 2015). Its unique characteristic is that the utilization of different methodologies offers an enhanced comprehension of research problems as opposed to separate utilization of either approach.

Mixed methods despite having good values compared to other research methods, it is evident that it is difficult conducting the research. It is time consuming and needs more resources to collect and analyze the qualitative and quantitative data. Adding on that, it cannot be done by one person because of its complexity. It complicates research needing clear presentations for the user to be able to identify the different techniques used in the research. Tagging on that is the fact that most researchers are trained in only one form of investigation while mixed methods require the use of more than methods (Creswell, 2011).

Mixed methods would be appropriate when assessing multifaceted studies like Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMH) models. This is a move toward improving the excellence, understanding, exposure, cost and patient and health care provider relationships. It emphasizes patient-centered, harmonized, ample, accessible health care, and a methodical focus on safety and quality. With the combined utilization of qualitative and quantitative data, mixed methods allows the evaluation of PCMH models, showing how it can be well implemented to achieve the desired aims of the program. The core characteristics of mixed methods making it suitable for the PCMH models include the methods of data collection and analysis can involve any technique available to researches, making it more flexible to use (Clark & Ivankova, 2015). The other is that research difficulties can become research questions established on previous knowledge, experience and exposure to the research process. Tagging on that is that interpretation of information is repetitive and can impact stages in the research process. This method also allows outlining of procedures in theoretical models of research, for example, what the patients, health care providers and all the stakeholders would classify as the best experiences in the locality. The method is also easy to report and define and is useful when unanticipated outcomes arise from a prior study.

Comparison of United States and United Kingdom Cultures

The culture in the United States and the United Kingdom varies greatly with some few similarities. Both are English-speaking countries, and one country colonized the other. Though English is a common language in both nations, the way the words are spoken, especially the intonations and accents have led to the different meanings associated with words that may be similar in wording. Some of the words in American English differ from those of United Kingdom. The social life in both countries varies considerably, and so does the culture and the politics of the country. As such, the countries have different ways of interactions at social places and at the office, which further define the societies and their systems of governance.

Politics

Both countries differ significantly in politics. The politics of the United Kingdom is different especially since it follows a constitutional monarchy where the monarch is the head the state while the prime minister heads government.at the moment the queen is the head of state (Buckner 260).  The government of Her Majesty carries out the executive arm of the government. On the other hand, the United States uses is led by the president who is both the head of government and state at the same time. There is power sharing between the judiciary and Congress in the United States political system. The state governments together with the federal government share sovereignty. The monarchy has stayed in place for an extended period and had ruled Britain according to the constitution while the presidential system in the United States has been there from the start after the US got independence.

Religion

Religion plays a great part in both Britain and America. The two countries are mostly Christian though a vast majority of the United Kingdom is Christian and associated with the Church of England, which is Anglican. Christians in Britain from the majority or the religious groups. The church in England has representation in the parliament of the UK where the monarch assumes the position of supreme governor. On the other hand, most Americans identify themselves with Christianity. Catholics and Anglicans from the major Christian groups, and most of the country consider itself Christian. Other religious groups from the minorities and include Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Some other religious groups have cropped like the new age movement and Christian Science. As such, the US has more religious due to its large population when compared with the United Kingdom (Smith et al. 433).

Education

Further differences exist in education in the United Kingdom and the United States. A high school in the United States is known as a secondary school in the United Kingdom. A secondary school in the United Kingdom is further classified as a junior school while in the united states its referred to as middle school which is usually the transition period to high school from elementary which takes two to three years. Public schools hold a different meaning in both countries. In the United States,  the government owns public schools and taxpayers provide the financial support. However, in Britain they are referred to as private schools that are independent and are supported by student fees. Concerning tertiary education, the United States considers a student as one who is studying or majoring in an individual subject at the university while the United Kingdom defines a university student as one who is either reading or studying a subject. As a result, the education systems in both countries are different and thus the various definitions from elementary to high school or secondary school have different definitions.

Customer Satisfaction, Loyalty, Management And Empowerment – Verizon Wireless

Customer Empowerment.

It involves creating awareness to people about a certain product, idea or service. Verizon Wireless enables customers to take full control of what is pre-determined by its marketers. It includes information about the product or service, how to access it, exposure to clear advertisements and even prices. Marketers believe that increasing publicity to a product enables positive interests to the same product or service hence higher chances of purchasing it. However, too much exposure limits the expected relevance of marketing and customers may stop paying consideration to the product and ignore any advertisements about it (Li & Bernoff, 2011). These might create a notion to the consumer that the use of the product is holding them captive creating a negative effect. While creating consumer empowerments, marketers should consider the reactions and feelings of the product use by the customers. Verizon partners with Medallia, to capture feedback from customers from places where they are through contact center channels, social mobile and across web. This way, the company understands the feedbacks takes the necessary action in time.

Customer Satisfaction

With the increasing competitions, entrepreneurs are forced to pay more attention to satisfying their customers by providing efficient customer service. At Verizon Wireless, customers can express their dissatisfaction about the company through many ways. For example, the use of feedback channels, especially when buying online, these are sites at the end of a sale requesting for any information about the shopping experience in the company. Sometimes these can be promoted by requesting shoppers to log on the sites in exchange for rewards (Gitomer, 2011). Customer dissatisfaction can also be expressed through online surveys about the company, showing indicators of how customers respond about shopping in the company. To ensure customer satisfaction, the company should have good quality products and services that are fit for use by all people. Honesty and integrity should be part of the company policy, and made a routine that customers interests are considered first, not making profits. The response time to customers’ complaints should be the shortest, and solving the problems done with immediate effects. The other way is setting realistic customer expectations, for example, when they are promised rewards after purchasing a product, it should be done willingly. Finally, Verizon ensures that everyone in the company has love and respect for all customers.

Customer Relationship Management

This is a move towards managing the company’s interaction with current and future customers. The strategy analyses information about customer’s relationship with the company in order to come up with ways of improving the relationships that benefit both the company and the customers. It improves customers loyalty, reduces complaints and possibilities of defections. Verizon Wireless has a good customer relationship management strategy that has helped in increasing its sales and marketability (Li & Bernoff, 2011). It is shown by how the company is helping its customers spend less when purchasing from them. It started a system that prorates its termination fees, and how the company was moving from being a fee-based to a relationship –based firm. It also promotes its customer relations by guaranteeing customers who prefer using online means to pay their bills that they will receive emails to establish if the price plan better suits their usage demands.

Customer privacy

Verizon Wireless is dedicated to shielding the privacy of its customers. It is designed in a manner that explains how the company collects its data, uses the records, and many options on how the customer can access and use the information (Gitomer, 2011). It has methodological, organizational and physical measures in place that safeguards unauthorized access to, use or disclosure of customer’s information. Therefore, the privacy of customers, shows Verizon’s commitment to sustaining meaningful and strong protections of privacy.

Mission Statement Analysis – Southwest Airlines Vs Starbucks Company

Mission Statement Analysis

This assignment will analyze Southwest Airlines and Starbucks Company mission statements from the viewpoint of servant leadership. The mission statement guides the objectives and goals that are utilized in running the organization.

American Starbucks focuses on giving their clients a high-quality commodity (clients). Therefore, the employees that are hired and retained in the company have high financial expertise. The expertise should be notjust theoretical but applicable to the real cases that the company represents.

Southwest Airlines has specific mission statements to cater to their critical stakeholders; both internal and external.The stakeholders include employees, communities and the earth.

While Southwest Airlines has specific guidelines on ensuring their different sector stakeholder are catered to, Starbucks Company short but direct goals for the different sectors of their stakeholders in their mission statement.

Both Starbucks and Southwest Airlines have a high focus on customer focus to ensure that it is continuous. Even after making profits, these two companies continue to reinvent themselves in the manner in which they can meet the ever-changing client needs.

Both Starbucks and Southwest Airlines have a culture that promotes constant and consistent change in their organization.

Both Starbucks and Southwest Airlines have been able to expand their businesses based on the clients that they get from their focus on customer service.

Differences

While Starbucks first priority is customers, that of Southwest Airlines is employees. Southwest airlines give employees equal opportunity to so that they can work hard with the freedom of a prejudice mentality. Traditionally, individuals might have been able to get positions at their workplace based on their gender or affiliation. However, at Southwest airlines, there is an explicit statement on equal treatment of employees. This contributes to the right attitude at work because employees have the confidence that they can grow while working at the company (Minsker, 2015).

The failure to provide a specific mission statement related to the treatment of employees at Starbucks might contribute to poor motivation levels. Employees do not have specific objectives related to their growth in the organization that they can tailor their actions to (Investment Weekly News, 2011).

Servant leadership principles

Southwest airlines are specific in their focus of prioritizing their employees in the organization.The organization specifies that employees are critical to the functioning of the organization. Therefore, the leaders of the organization believe in finding out about the goals and parameters that motivate individuals (Muduli& Vinita, 2011).

The employees are encouraged to be engaged all the time in regards to ensuring that clients’ needs are fully catered to. Therefore, the leaders encourage employees to channel friendliness and warmth to the organization’s clients.

Public reputation

Starbucks is highly focused on being ethical in their delivery of quality services to their clients. Their business is also focused on expanding and opening up new outlets in different locations in the country and even in emerging markets. Starbucks staff members are known to be warm and friendly, which contributes to the outlets’ customers feeling appreciated. The service contributes to a high level of benchmarking for the company in comparison to its competitors in the food and beverages industry.

Southwest Airlines have a reputation of being friendly and customer focused. They have been able to maximize on customer referrals and customers that return to the company. Southwest airlines also have a reputation for high levels of social and corporate responsibility. Clients appreciate companies that portray responsibility in their endeavors to making money and increasing their market share in their industry.

Starbucks does not have specific information about their stakeholders on their mission statement. Southwest airlines emphasizes on the importance for a balance between their employees, members of the community and corporate organizations. The balance between these different institutions contributes to harmony and improvement in the airline’s financial viability. If the stakeholders have confidence in the services given by an organization, they are likely to respond positively to matters related to finances that would improve the company’s financial position.

 

Demonstration of values

Southwest Airlines charge low costs to their employees but are still able to remain profitable. The reason lies behind focus on the needs of the employees so that they can cater to those of the clients. Pilots, cabin crews and other air travel staff members at the organization go an extra mile to cater to client needs. Clients appreciate the service at Southwest Airlines because they are made to feel that they get the value of what they spend at the company. Clients are ready to spend their money in a company where they know they can consistently get good services.

Starbucks has a similar approach to customerservice whereby employees are warm to clients to ensure that they feel appreciated for the money that they spend. Even though other coffee outlets may sell better quality coffee, they might not have high quality customer service. Therefore, Starbucks Company canmaximize on the attention that they give to their clients (Gallaugher&Ransbotham, 2010).

Improvement of current mission

To increase their customers especially when benchmarked to their employees, Starbucks should increase the focus that they give to their employees. Employees are likely to volunteer in delivering high quality service if they are given exceptional attention and focus. The mission statements should have a higher focus on how the organization would align the personal objectives of the employees to ensuring meeting customer needs. Starbucks employees should have a first priority in positions that become vacant in the organization. Such knowledge and establishment of policies would increase employees’ loyalty to the organization.

Working Conditions Women And Children Faced After The Depression Of The 1890s

Depression simply means thefeeling of being unhappy andalways a person feels the state of beinghopeless for the future, inthis case, during the year of 1890 under the new administration in the United States, most womanandchildren of the faced depression which further resulted to failure of businessbecause of dissatisfaction,most people lost their jobs hence most of the families were left in absolute poverty,

Depression  affected the prosperity  in 1890s ,it resulted to a great decline in the economy,for instance the young children  and woman who hadsecured jobs  working were paid low wages  which  they wouldn’t afford sustain theirdaily basic needs,(Millar and Gardiner,2004).This later affected the country’s economy since theproduced goods were not fully consumed  because of  high rocketingprices ,the unconsumed and unsold productsweakened the economy.

Moreover, the rate of depression boldly affected woman and children intheOakland village in California.Mostresident working both in the farms and industries lived along the sewer lines fullof discarded garbage, children who could notafford food had to scavenge on the leftovers of the groceries which posed a hazard to their health

Woman also were  seen as the best managers in the family, depressed woman often affected their childrensince they could not  divorce their childrensince it was  acritical  stage where child needed their  mothers love and attention.(Wilson,1995),

In 1892,the government  formulated the policies that could help to reduce the menace  the significant aspect of the policieshelped bring a good working environment  together with  families and  children  to have financial support which improved the  mothers ability  to protect  theirchildren.. The governmentfurther startedon programs on how to address the quality and sufficient resourcesneeded for a comfortable stay.(Tiggerman,&Winefield, 2004), ‘

Inconclusion,toreduce the depression there isneed to demonstrate a clear linkthat promotes woman and children so that they can be able to exploit andrealize their potentials in the society and contribute unanimously to development.

Managing an IT Department of Virtual Employees

Managing an IT department of virtual employees is much different compared to the management of a system with a traditional setting. Nowadays, many companies have their employees working remotely, and this is especially for employees working in the IT department. The only thing that brings them together and sorts them in a centralized system is Information Technology (Dakrory & Abdou, 2009). Therefore, IT becomes a crucial entity in such a system and without it, the particular organization is doomed to fail. In this paper, I will discuss on approaches in managing an IT department effectively.

Firstly, the most significant thing to note is that when dealing with employees that are brought together by technology, you have to consider aspects such as communication, productivity, hiring and the culture of an organization. Companies that fail to compensate for team members bumping into each other are mostly victims of failure (Willmore, 2000). They ignore the fact that employees live in their separate worlds, and so they end up ignoring that communication and collaboration are important.

To offer excellent IT management of the Human Resource department, a company has to establish good communication. Some of the strategies in doing that are having a chat room open constantly, choosing a good and favorable communication style, using tools for quick visual/video communication, using screen-sharing tools, collaboration on spreadsheets and documents and setting up a project management system (Aggarwal, 2002).

In businesses where a chatroom is always open, team members often leave messages for the team. As much as such chat rooms should be kept alive, they should not be distracting. Employees should be capable of discussing important issues and feel like they are connected to each other. Sometimes, however, employees do even have a chat room where they can engage in casual conversations that create a “water cooler” effect.

Also important to note, before official communication begins, and IT specialist has to decide which communication style is right for the team. Options include Email, chat programs, phone calls, video chat or even creating short videos (Roncelliet al., 2011). Even more, the communication can be strengthened by simple communication tools such as desktop screenshots, videos, screen sharing tools and jings. Also, documents and spreadsheets can be edited by many employees at the same time, and Google Drive offers the best service in this area.

A project management system also comes in handy when dealing with virtual employees (Tedesco, 2013). When fused with the benefits of information technology, it is possible to achieve the intended objectives. Project management systems help in organizing conversations and documents into projects which make it easier for retrieval.

The other essential field in managing an IT department of virtual employees is productivity. A firm without a system is doomed to fall apart eventually.  As opposed to a business run in an office, an IT run department cannot compensate for lacking a system. A virtual system simply entices a virtual employee to have their processes and procedures that do not necessarily mesh with how the organization was intended to work (Eom & Lee, 1999). Therefore, it is well to have a standardized and documented way of working that gets refined constantly.

In this, the department has to allow a degree of flexible work hours while at the same time considering consistency, tracking the work output, tracking the amount of hours worked plus other basic measure of productivity, organizing a system of overlapping times for communication between different time zones and doing a quarterly review to rate the employees.

While other aspects of hiring and organizational culture are a responsibility of the company’s human resource department, the IT department aids a lot in a virtual scenario. When working virtually in the IT field, extra effort is needed to sustain a feeling of commitment among the employees. It is the responsibility of the IT department to connect virtually the employees to achieve a common goal.

Considering that the department itself is composed of IT workers, it is critical when managing the workforce. The members are already acquainted with the latest trends, and the company has to employ strategies to outsmart employees who may go against the company’s protocol. One such strategy is endorsing performance management. In fact, performance management is always the uppermost concern for managers managing a team of virtual IT workers (Huang et al., 2010). In this subject, performance measurement is the key approach to success.

In conclusion, “virtual” should not be taken as a word that means “never meet.” Sometimes, it should be arranged so that the virtual team can meet in one central place apart from the internet. Lastly, check in more often to ensure that all employees understand what is going on.

What Distinguishes a Good Plan From a Poor Plan?

What Distinguishes a Good Plan From a Poor Plan?

A good plan should be simple, realistic and complete. It should be relevant to what is needed in the company and benefits all the stakeholders. Plans established or evaluated from previous or past events are more successful than those which were just written without basic grounds. This is because possible downfalls are easily identified when information from past events is used hence avoiding possible losses. A good plan should also have long term and short term goals, which must be correlated and assist the accomplishment of the company’s objectives. A poor plan on the other hand is seen to have only long term goals which might be hard to achieve in the long run hence discouraging the planners to continue with the events (Gudda, 2011).

Why do plans sometimes fail? What actions can you take to safeguard the success of your plans?

Planning does not always guarantee the achievement of the desired goals because the plans might fail. This is often caused by the initial stages of making the plans. The planning process should be done by all the stakeholders needing the changes or business to avoid any misunderstandings. The plan should also be aimed towards a common goal and interests; this will help in implementation of the plans since each member will be working towards what will benefit them all, and not on personal grounds. The plans should be based on realistic goals and objectives that can be achieved on the required time frame (Jaunders, 2015). In order to ensure the success of the plans, the members should have unity of direction and command. There should be one plan at a time and assigned to a specific group of people to implement it.

MGT630 – Measuring Social, Environmental, and Economic Impacts In Saudi Arabia

Market benefits

Increased sales quantities due to increased market demand. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the second world’s largest oil producers. It has the biggest reserves of oil which makes it competitive and therefore many countries rely on this product. It is this demand for the product which has improved its sales and enhanced the country’s gross domestic product. Other than oil, Saudi has diversified its economy to other activities like mining and agriculture. Given it’s a desert and experiences little rainfall, the country is one of the largest producers of dates. It supplies the whole of Africa, Europe and other continents. The demand for dates makes it possible for the Saudi to record a higher sales margin (Al-Torkistani, et.al 2015, pp.1-8).

Elsewhere, increased prices due to quality and reputation made Saudi to gain a considerable mileage over its operations. For instance, the lack of civil liberties in the country has made individuals improve litigation, legislation and mobilized public enlightenment. Also, the regional influence and it’s goodwill over the years and the renowned oil reserves have made prices to sky rocket. The funding of Sunni insurgencies is another crucial element which has contributed immensely towards it reputation. In precise, customers are always ready and willing to pay an extra coin provided the product has good quality.

Similarly, reduction in costs due to increased efficiencies is another market benefit. Saudi produces its products in large quantities and is among the members of the OPEC (Moran, 2015). This qualification makes it possible to enjoy economies of scales which reduces costs and improves production and system efficiencies.On the other hand, Saudi has among the highest number of foreign workers who have been given jobs in both the private sector and the public sector. Most of the labor force is highly competent in the various fields in which they are absorbed. The use of capital intensive labor in large productions and the specialization of labor is one of the advantage the country enjoys. Job specialization aims at assigning individuals with the duty they can perform well. In a nutshell, improved efficiencies tends to eliminate the draws backs and abnormal losses associated with the systems operations.

Consequently, increased productivity is one of the market benefits in the industry. for example, the county has embarked on education and training to ensure that non-Arabic speakers are given training to equip them with the basic communication skills apart from knowing their culture. Saudi Arabia oil dominance high profile has compelled the government to strategize on the socio-economic infrastructural program.The ease of communication, online business, good roads and other improved social amenities have made it possible for the country to capture a higher turnover in its activities.

Lastly, reduced future costs related to environmental cleanup, internal control and ethics breath is a non-market benefit.  The Kingdom of Saudi, is governed by sharia law and therefore very strict on the breath of ethics. Obtaining bribe in business is considered illegal trading and punishable by the law. Among the internal controls are aimed at protecting the assets and ensure reduced wastage. Use of CCTV, electronic door lock tight securities are among the ICs in place. Saudi has managed its mines and wells thoroughly to shun environmental degradation and pollution. These measures and government involvement in trade has boosted its economy by a great margin. In summary, the Kingdom of Saudi is has in decades built its reputation which has seen the country advance in business through increased product demand.

How Does One Become a Change Agent?

A change agent is an individual from outside or inside an organization which assists an organization change itself through centering on matters such as organizational development, improvement, and effectiveness. Always an agent of change capitalizes his efforts on tasks on a group and interpersonal relationships and changing structures and technologies (Grimsley, n.d). Consequently, the agent of change centers on the persons and their interactions within the organization.

Functions & Capabilities

An agent of change is, in essence, an advisor or consultant to an organization or brought as an outsider. The change agents take the responsibility of a trainer, researcher, counselor, or teacher. At times, they play the role or function of a line manager. Although some agents of change focus and specialize in one responsibility, some alter their functions depending upon the needs and issues of the organization (Grimsley, n.d). For you to become a dynamic change of change, you must have these four capabilities or competencies’:

  1. Extensive and Broad knowledge: You need to have a full organizational knowledge, and a broad range of multidisciplinary information, which includes diagnostic, evaluative, ethical, conceptual knowledge, and understanding of methods of change.
  2. Relational and operational experience: You need to be able to trust, listen, form, identify, report, and observe relationships. An efficient change agent also needs to be flexible and have the capability to deal with various behaviors and relationships.
  3. Maturity and sensitivity: For you to become an effective change agent, you require to be mature and sensitive enough to recognize your motivations and inspirations.
  4. Dependability: You have to be dependable, as a change agent you have an obligation to act accord with the beliefs and values you strive to advance in the organization.

Steering Change in an Organization

Steering change in today’s frenzied business environments is almost like trying to navigate a tiny boat back to seashore although caught in the core of a hurricane (Hartzell, n. d). Already there are many pressures and forces in an operation that you will need to counter so as to reach safely at the dock. Consequently, today’s organizations are just like the tiny ship, where managers faced with the paramount amount of aspects that need an instant retort, in the form of organizational adjustment. The pressures and forces that lead to the organizational changes are recognized as the external and internal environments.

The External Environment

These are the factors that happen or occur outside of the company, which cause change within the organization, and are afar the control of the enterprise.  These factors include the economy, technology, customers, resources, competition, social, and political conditions. Although the environment happens outside of an organization, it contains vital influence on its current functions, long-term sustainability, and growth of the organization. Conversely, assuming the external environment is a harmful mistake for managers to perform (Hartzell, n. d). So it is significant for managers to adapt, and continually monitor the external environment, and work to initiating practical changes earlier on and avoid having a reactive approach.

The Internal Environment

It refers to the events, systems, structures, factors, employees, executive, and conditions within the organization, which are generally under the management or control of the organization. The factors that influence the internal environment are the style of leadership, the mission statement of the company, organizational belief systems and culture, and other factors connected to the company’s internal environment (Hartzell, n. d). Consequently, the internal organization of any business alters or changes its activities such as employee behavior, and attitudes, decision, adjustments in the leadership style, which will have significant impact on the company

Environmental Scanning and Change

For managers to respond to the forces of external and internal environments, they will depend or rely on the environmental scanning. Therefore, the Environmental scanning refers to the scrutinizing of the company’s external and internal environments for early signs, which recommend change so as to accommodate potential threats and opportunities. Further, allow changes and make adjustments that will permit the organization’s strength contest with its weaknesses. The SWOT analysis is commonly a type of environmental scanning that caters for the threats, weaknesses, opportunities, and strengths of the external and internal environments. While using the SWOT analysis, a manager will analyze the internal environment through observing the inadequacies within the company and later check the external environment happening independent of the company (Forbes, 2014). Consequently, the environment scans permits managers to implement the knowledge attained during the process, and decide what strategic changes to undertake or maintain the company’s competitive advantage.

In conclusion, adjustments, or change persists and continues to take priority and responsibility in academic research, company, and industrial practice. Even as it is hard collectively to recognize and accept change, it is paramount to remember that change management and to be a change agent is not a diverse discipline with strict distinct limits. However, it is a theory and process of change management, which illustrates some social disciplines, traditions, and sciences. As a consequence, the majority of change agents implement change management programs founded on complete change management forms, which described as recurring change management system.

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Early Childhood Curriculum and Assessment Plan

Introduction

This paper presents an outline of an early childhood curriculum and assessment plan where it incorporates, amongst other things, the purpose, methods of assessment/tools, grade level, training and timeline. The significance of putting a lot of emphasis on early childhood education that meets the requirements of high-quality education standards is because of its ability to produce long-lasting and sustainable benefits. It is upon consideration of such vital evidence that decision makers at the local, federal and state level have been asking valid questions regarding the kind of education that young children ought to receive (Jackman & Beaver, 2014). Furthermore, they have, also, considered the kind of content that should be presented to children between birth and age eight. Therefore, these concerns about childhood education have provoked stakeholders in the education sector to develop strategies that can help children receive the right content so that they can develop in the desired manner. Besides, the same stakeholders have, also, been tasked by the need to ensure that childhood curriculum or programs are available for children starting from infancy stage to primary grades.

The early childhood curriculum and assessment plans are essential for providing a method of applying standards both in assessing the progress of children and curriculum planning. Such frameworks, also, enable teachers to develop ways of planning and implementing a curriculum in such way that meets particular standards of learning. Appropriate ways, also, help teachers in observing and evaluating the progress of children to ensure that the required standards are achieved (Jackman & Beaver, 2014). The implication of this arrangement; therefore, is that the entire system should focus planning of curriculum on achieving standards as well as the learning outcomes as opposed to the traditional focus on activities. It is essential to consider that curriculum and assessment is the tool that drives the manner in which teachers should work with children on a daily basis. Successful operation in the entire process entails achievement of positive results for the young children. Care should be taken in order to avoid confusion between the purpose of current evaluation to support learning with evaluation for program assessment accountability and monitoring.

Purpose

The fundamental purposes of an early childhood and assessment plan are for:

  • Observing and monitoring the progress of every child as related to performance standards and curricular goals.
  • Sharing information with teachers who receive such children and to ensure that there are effective transitions;
  • Organization and mutual sharing of information between program members of staff and families; and
  • Supporting development of curriculum as well as planning in order to enhance children’s learning as well as development by families and teachers (Soderman & Whiren, 2014).
  • Conducting screening for all children in order to make recommendation about follow up for any child that may be showing signs of special needs or potential disabilities.

According to the findings of Soderman and Whiren (2014), assessment should be handled with the deserving seriousness because of the critical role it plays in selecting the kind of content that should be available in the curriculum in order to be beneficial to young children. It is essential to learn that assessment supports the framework of curriculum by informing the content as well instruction methods that should be used during content delivery in order to meet the needs of children either as individuals or as a group. For this reason, teachers should utilize assessment data in order to be informed and be able to refine their methods of planning and implementing curriculum activities. In regard to monitoring the progress of children by both families and teachers, assessment should serve the purpose of enabling teachers determine if children are progressing in line with the predetermined requirements of the curriculum. This is essential for establishing if there is need for changes in the instruction. Universal screening is essential for children as it helps to determine if there are any of anomaly in their development. Assessment; therefore, should help detect such developmental anomalies in time in order to seek timely solutions. Screening should be a brief procedure and should be undertaken once each year for every child. In the view of Eliason and Jenkins, (2011), assessment of a curriculum program should be conducted on a regular basis. This is essential for determining and demonstrating the effectiveness of a child care program in term of its ability to meet its objectives for improvement of the program.

Caution should; however be taken to ensure that the childhood curriculum and assessment is not for:

  • Making comparison among children;
  • Evaluating teachers;
  • Comparing one program or one classroom to another
  • Making retention or placement decisions.

Method of Assessment/Tools

Appropriate assessment tools, on a developmental basis, offer instructions regarding administration of the tool. This includes guidance regarding collection of data and organization of methods for documentation of data as well as recording of baseline date. The manual that accompanies the tool usually contains description of the theory that supports the tool content. The manual, also, identifies ways in which assessment findings can be utilized in guiding instructional planning. In this case, it is essential for providers to undergo training in order to understand the assessment tool that they intend to use so that they can be informed about their practice and be able to individualize instructions for the children they have in their care. Eliason and Jenkins, (2011) argue that there is need for noting criterion-referenced assessments as assessments that have a basis on curriculum and aligned with the required standards irrespective of whether they are developed by education systems or commercial publishers. These criterion-referenced assessments are essential in the sense that they have individualized philosophy that is reflective of behaviors and skills of young children.

There are various assessment tools that teachers may use for children between birth and age five, and for school age children. Assessment tools for children between birth and age five are:

  • New Portage Guide
  • Work Sampling by Rebus, Inc.
  • High Scope by COR Assessment
  • Six Simple for Assessing Young Children in accordance to Developmental Milestone Checklist (Jackman & Beaver, 2014).

 Assessment tools that are appropriate for school-age children

  • Parent, child surveys, provider, evaluations, or questionnaires.
  • National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) (Jackman & Beaver, 2014).

Grade Level

In regard to grade level, it is essential for curriculum providers to note that early childhood education, according to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), is the education that children receive before they reach age eight (Soderman & Whiren, 2014). This represents the period children undergo the most rapid growth and development phase of their life. They experience rapid brain development during this period as compared to any other stage of their life. Besides, this is the level at which establishments of foundations for their moral outlook, perception of life, self-esteem and social skills happens. Also, this is the key period for the development of cognitive skills. Therefore, it is essential for teachers handling such children at this level to consider the delicate nature of their assignment and, thus exercise he necessary caution.

Training

Selecting an early childhood curriculum is highly-critical decision. This is because the kind of curriculum that is preferred, and the manner in which it is implemented has immense effects on children’s outcomes. The training technique that should be embraced in early childhood curriculum as suggested by Jackman and Beaver (2014), is High Scope. This is the method that has capacity to revolutionize early childhood education by embracing a modern style to teaching as well as learning. High Scope is child focused and research based, and has capacity to achieve positive, powerful outcomes through active participatory learning. It is essential for education researchers, teachers and parents to embrace High Scope in early childhood curriculum because it promotes fundamental skills such as problem solving, creativity, decision-making, persistence, cooperation, curiosity and independence, which are critical for determining success in later years. Furthermore, High Scope assists children to excel in cognitive and language learning.

During training; however, it is essential that teachers heed the following considerations: the daily routine, the classroom, and adult-child interaction. In regard to daily routine approach, High Scope requires consistence in providing a balanced assortment of learning opportunities and experiences (Soderman & Whiren, 2014). It is essential for children to participate in various activities, engage in social play, socialize during meals, help with cleanup, exercise their muscles, and develop their self-care skills. This is a High Scope approach that allows children make plans about their activities, execute their ideas, and then later reflect on those activities together with other children and adults. In regard to classroom, High Scope approach requires division of the classroom into interest areas, and each area to be supplied with necessary materials to stimulate the objective. Examples of other areas aside from the classroom include writing and reading area, computer area, small toy area, block area, art area, and house area. Shelves in all these areas should have consistent materials and labels that are child-friendly (Cook & Klein, 2015). It is essential to note that a classroom’s organization is critical for enabling children understand the world’s organization. The last and most significant High Scope approach of training young children is adult-child interaction. Through this process, teachers (adult) work alongside children and maintain constant communication through verbal and nonverbal methods in order to encourage learning.

Goals

In an early childhood curriculum, goals are essential for providing guidance with regard to what children require learning. Development of goals for an early childhood curriculum should address the following significant areas:

  • Emotional/social development, which should help children develop the feeling of confidence and responsibility. Therefore, a curriculum should help children relate in a positive manner with others (Eliason & Jenkins, 2011).
  • Cognitive development, which is significant for the development of children’s thinking skills. The curriculum should aim at developing children’s symbolic and logical thinking skills, problem-solving skills as well as other approaches to learning (Eliason & Jenkins, 2011).
  • Physical development, which is essential for boosting fine as well as gross motor skills of children, and lastly
  • Language development, which is essential for helping children develop communication ability through words (Eliason & Jenkins, 2011). The curriculum should aim at developing children’s writing, reading, speaking and listening skills.

These goals are essential for enabling a program that provides stimulating daily experiences for the children. The above-highlighted goals signify the reason early childhood educators considered “the whole child” as the center of focus (Eliason & Jenkins, 2011). Intentional focus on the whole child is essential for promoting learning as well as growth, objectives and goals within the early childhood curricula in order to address all the necessary areas of development. To arrive at the appropriate goals in case of early childhood curriculum, educators should scrutinize child development and narrow down to typical expectations required of this age group. The next step should entail reviewing standards from various disciplines such as technology, the arts, social studies, science, math and literacy for children below the age of five years.

Objectives

The objectives of an early childhood curriculum should, amongst others, include the following as proposed by Schwarz (2013):

  • Accommodate the diverse needs of children ranging from socioeconomic, linguistic and cultural backgrounds, as well as those who may be experiencing disability issues;
  • Offer teachers and families the methods for monitoring as well as documenting the individual growth and progress of the children over time;
  • Utilize measurable and observable demonstrations of skills and knowledge in the context of typical occurrence of children’s behavior both at home and within the preschool program;
  • Be consistent and reliable across teachers, classrooms and different sites;
  • Evaluate significant and meaningful markers that correlate with goals of the curriculum at preschool level;
  • Consider every child in terms of areas of individual interest and strength, identify areas requiring strengthening, potential concerns and appropriate goals;
  • Enables teachers and families obtain useful information that can assist them understand the learning needs and individual styles of every child;
  • Unite teachers and families in developing the best approaches for supporting the growth of children both at school as well as at home; and
  • Be practical, realistic and simple to implement.

Student Learning Outcomes

In regard to student learning outcomes, it is essential for educators to note that they have a huge responsibility that entails active promotion of learning outcomes. This is a collaborative assignment when it comes to acquisition of knowledge, skills and dispositions by children. The major indicators of student outcome include: physical development and health, language development, approaches to learning, emotional and social development, logic and reasoning, creative arts expression, and literacy skills and knowledge (Schwarz, 2013).

The following table shows the major indicators for student outcomes at different stages

Different Domains and their Elements

Objectives and Dimensions

Realm: Physical Development & Health
Physical health status –          Ability to demonstrate self-knowledge
Gross motor skills –          Exhibit travelling skills

–          Exhibit gross-motor scheming skills

–          Exhibit balancing skills

Health Knowledge & practice –          Demonstrate self-knowledge

–          Control own behaviors and emotions

Fine motor skills –          Make use of hands and fingers

–          Exhibit fine-motor coordination and strength

–          Utilizes drawing and writing tools

Sphere: Approaches to Learning
Initiative and curiosity –          Indicates motivation and curiosity

–          Exhibit desirable approaches to learning

–          Demonstrates inventiveness and flexibility in thinking

Cooperation –          Intermingles with peers

–          Demonstrate positive and constructive cooperation in group situation

–          Creates and maintains positive relationships

Persistence & attentiveness –          Attends and engages exhibits desirable approaches to learning

–          Persists

Sphere: Emotional & social development
Social relationships –          Creates and maintains positive relationships

–          Responds to emotional signals

–          Establishes relationships with adults

–          Makes friends

Self-efficacy & self-concept –          Controls own behaviors and emotions

–          Exhibits knowledge about self

Self-regulation –          Controls own behaviors and emotions

–          Follows expectations and limits

–          Manages feelings

Sphere: Logic & Reasoning
Reasoning & problem solving –          Exhibits desirable approaches to learning

–          Remembers and relates experiences

–          Solves problems

–          Utilizes classification skills

Symbolic presentation –          Utilizes images and symbols to represent a missing thing

–          Participates in sociodramatic play

–          Reasons symbolically

Sphere: Language development
Receptive language –          Listens to and understands progressively complex language

–          Follows directions

–          Understands language

Expressive language –          Expresses needs and thoughts using language

–          Utilizes conventional grammar

–          Speaks in a clear manner

Sphere: literacy skills & knowledge
Book knowledge and appreciation –          Exhibits knowledge of print as well as its uses

–          Uses books and appreciates them

–          Utilizes emergent reading skills

Alphabet knowledge –          Demonstrates alphabet knowledge

–          Utilizes letter-sound skill

–          Names letters after identifying them

Early writing –          Exhibit emergent skills of writing

–          Writes to pass meaning

–          Writes names

Sphere: Creative arts expression
Music –          Explores musical expression and concepts
Creative movement & dance –          Explores concepts of movement and dance

Some Specific Activities as Justified by Research

Intentional Teaching

As far as early childhood education is concerned, teaching requires being a continuous process that entails continual planning and observation. The early childhood curriculum drafters are expected to develop plans that contain experiences that can promote children’s rate of learning (Hoffman, 2014). Through observation, teachers should be able to understand such young children in order to develop new teaching strategies and activities for presenting further challenges to the children. Therefore, through intentional teaching process, teachers give a careful thought to the planned activities. Selection of performance standards is the step that takes precedence when it comes to intentional teaching. It entails making decision about the content that children require learning. In order to have a successful preschool process of assessment, teachers should choose a number of weekly performance standards to be used as children’s learning goals. Through time, the teacher progresses and familiarizes with the assessment. The learning activities should fall within the major domains of child development, which include: communication and language, approaches to learning, social and emotional, and physical and health development (Schwarz, 2013).

Communication and language

Activities

Clap a name- this is an activity that enhances a special feeling among children, and makes them learn their friends’ names, and even count syllables. Research shows that ‘clap a name’ activity is an essential in developing phonological awareness. In this case, the teacher should teach children how to separate count syllables. For instance, children should clap three times when pronouncing a name that has three syllables. ‘How does something feel’ as argued by Hoffman (2014), is a sensory activity that enables children to explore objects that are familiar through touching in order to develop language concept to explain the feeling. This activity utilizes normal materials found in the environment of children such as paintbrushes, animals, trucks, small cars, and plastic fruits. The third activity under communication and language entails the teacher asking children whether they hear what the teacher hears. It is an activity that has a lot of fun and it is meant for helping children identify sounds through listening to them. This is an essential activity that enables children to understand communication that is conveyed through speaking.

Approaches to Learning

Activities

Tissue paper collages- as argued by several researchers including Hoffman (2014) enables children to experiment their creativity. It is, also, an activity that is meant to enhance fine-motor skills. Children, also, improve their cognitive skills by learning the names of various colors. Free exploration is another essential activity under approaches to learning. This activity enables children to experiment physical properties by applying their skills of solving problems.

Emotional and social development

Activities

Scary face, mad face- is an activity that entails expression of ideas that deal with feelings. It is essential for improving self-expression and coping skills thereby sharpening creative, thinking and problem solving abilities. The necessary material for this activity include stuffed puppet or animal, huge pieces of paper, and books that can give a scary impression. The ‘quilt of my scary things’ is an activity that many researchers such as Soderman and Whiren (2014), and Hoffman (2014) believe enhances discussion and sharing. It actually allows children to discuss their drawing while harboring the feeling of quilt. At the same time, it allows the uniqueness of every child to be celebrated. The material required in this activity include: construction paper containing various colors, crayons and markers, glue or masking tape, and butcher paper. ‘My hands can speak’ is a learning activity under emotional and social development that encourages children to use words and their hands while expressing their feelings.

Physical and Health Development

Activities

Jump the river activity is a jumping game for fun meant for capturing the children’s imagination enhancing the development of their gross-motor skills. The relevant materials for this activity are sheet or towel (Hoffman, 2014). The second activity under physical and health development is the bowling game. It is an essential activity for sharpening ball skills, and it involves counting and some math. The necessary materials for the game include: ball, broomsticks, empty shoe boxes, and empty milk carton.

Literacy Skills in Early Childhood Curriculum

The journey of a child towards literacy entails learning to speak, read, listen, understand, draw, watch and write (Griffin & McGraw, 2013). It is, therefore, essential to note that through playing word and sound games, singing, talking, drawing, writing and reading with young children is the most appropriate way of establishing a strong literacy foundation for them.

Literacy Activities that Entail Talking and Singing

Adult-children interaction through talking and singing is essential for helping them learn about sound and the manner in which such sounds combine to create language. Teaching children songs and language games is essential for promoting their speaking and listening skills. Listening to children is equally significant because it is the only way adults get to learn about the most enjoyable songs and stories to children (Griffin & McGraw, 2013).

Literacy activities for the children are:

  • Making use of rhymes whenever possible. For instance, children handlers can use rhymes such as ‘a rug in a bug’. Older children should be allowed to come up with rhymes on their own, and learn songs and poems.
  • Repeat sounds children make, or better still make sounds and let children copy them.
  • For young children, sing nursery rhymes with them. Children love singing and nursery rhymes are essential for teaching them language.
  • Talk about animal sounds and ask children to copy them.
  • Read books with children while ensuring that they see the face of the lead reader and the book that is being shared.
  • Visit the library with children and encourage them to pick books they prefer to read.
  • Read stories then discuss them with children.
  • Encourage children to write and draw using markers, crayons, pencils and pens.
  • Encourage children to write their names and those of their friends.

Formative Assessment Activities

The following are some of the activities that can be used in formative assessment to evaluate a student’s progress (Griffin & McGraw, 2013):

  • Graphic organizers, charts and lists- learners should be asked to organize information in such a way that demonstrates their ability to make connections and identify relationships by using different graphic organizers.
  • Summaries and reflections- learners will be expected to stop or pause in order to reflect as way of determining the information they have heard or read. This activity will serve the metacognitive skills of students.
  • Collaborative activities- learners will get the chance to move around and communicate with one another to develop and exhibit how well they comprehend the concepts.
  • Representation of information through visuals- here, learners will be expected to utilize pictures and words, determine connections and enhance their memory in order to facilitate subsequent retrieval of information. Many scholars refer to this process as dual coding because it enables teachers address various approaches of knowing, preferences in the style of learning, and classroom diversity.

Summative Assessment Activities

According to Griffin and McGraw (2013), summative assessments should be undertaken on a periodic basis to establish what the learners know and what they do not know. Summative assessment activities include:

  • Semester and/or end-of-term exams
  • Chapter or end-of-unit tests
  • Interim or district benchmark assessments
  • State assessments

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Personal Power, Communication and Effective Persuasion

The purpose of this assignment is for you to think about personal power type and how it can influence our ability to negotiate, communicate and persuade others during a negotiation.

 

In this assignment, you will write a research paper (5-6 pages) which will examine communication techniques, the use of power, and how the concepts of effective persuasion are applied to a specific situation.

Consider a scenario you have experienced or observed which involved a negotiation, persuasive techniques and balance of power. This could be a situation you experienced at work, home, school, shopping for a big ticket item or even negotiating at a yard sale or flea market.  You may also choose a video clip found on the Internet which involves a negotiation as the basis for this assignment. There is a link to a sample video scenario in the webilography entitled: Workplace Communication.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nl78zpEP9w&feature=related

 

  1. Describe the scenario you are using as the basis for this assignment. The scenario must include elements of negotiation, persuasive techniques, and balance of power.  If your selected scenario does not contain certain elements, then use what you have learned from your studies in this course, along with your research, to expand the scenario to include these elements. Provide a rationale for your choices.  If you are using a video, please include the URL in your description.
  2. Describe what you believe to be the top three communication issues presented in the scenario.  Explain your choices.
  3. Identify the sources of power used in the negotiation and explain whether the sources of power were perceived or real. Use examples to justify your response.
  4. Describe the relative balance of powers between the parties in the scenario.
  5. Assume you were the mediator in the chosen scenario and recommend strategies which might reduce the conflict between the parties.
  6. List and describe the top 5 factors you believe should be considered when building an effective negotiation strategy.  Explain your rationale for choosing the factors you included.
  7. Discuss how persuasion differs from negotiation and describe how each was used in the scenario. Explain if persuasion or negotiation was more effective in the scenario. Justify your response.

Organizational Diagnostic Model : Google

Nadler and Tushman’s Congruence Model for Organization Analysis (1980)

To carry out an effective organizational diagnosis analysis for a complex company the size of Google, which is on the leading edge of innovation in the 21st Century, a comprehensive model for diagnosing the organization would be best suited. An organizational diagnostic model that carries out a diagnosis by addressing the inputs, design and output components throughout  the three levels of organizational level, group level, and individual level. These levels and components make it possible to identify reliable data that leads to a better understanding of a company’s deficiencies, strengths, and improvement opportunities. For Google, a company that employs adaptive management in the way it runs its affairs, fit or congruence; the degree to which the structures, objectives, goals, demands, and needs of one component are harmonious with the structures, objectives, goals, demands and needs of another component (Falletta, 2013), is crucial.

On this basis, the Nadler and Tushman’s Congruence Model for Organization Analysis proves to be the best-suited organizational diagnostic model. This is because, besides being in harmony with the open systems theory, it specifies inputs, throughputs, and outs, and includes both informal and formal systems making it one of the more comprehensive diagnostic models(Falletta, 2013).This organizational diagnostic model explicitly acknowledges that change is always possible and that it occurs since organizations are dynamic entities and provides for the fact that organizational behavior takes place at the systems level, the group level, and the individual level. It also explicitly recognizes that organizations are open social systems within a larger environment and that there are interactions taking place between the three levels of organizational behavior: systems level, group level, and individual level.

BUS618 – Solving Compensation and Benefits Challenges In Boeing Company

BUS 618 – Compensation and Benefits Final Paper

Introduction

Employee benefits refers to the health insurance policy covers, retirement plans, vacations, disability insurance, employee stock ownership plans, as well as retirement plans. In various occasion, organizations consider employee benefits as one of the expensive aspects that they deliver to their employees. As a result, the range and options of the benefits are rapidly changing in order to include benefits plans that are flexible in nature. According to Lowe (2008), employee benefits form a basis of value delivered by the company to its employees. In this case, the benefits are offered to the employees as a result of their organization contribution. In this case, the benefits can be in the form of vacation pay and pension pay among others. Compensation on the other hand refers to the payment offered to the employees as a way of returning their contribution to the firm. Salaries, wages and tips refer to the most common form of compensation. Compensation is normally offered to the employees as variable or base pay. Compensation pay is arrived at based on the employee’s job description. Despite being required to take part in saving for their compensation and benefits plans, organizations still have an important role to ensure the delivery of costs efficient and high quality plans to the employees.

Review of Literature

Historical view of the Organization

Boeing Company is one of the American multinational companies available in the airline industry. The company mainly focuses on the manufacture, sale, and design of rockets, airplanes, and satellites. Besides the company also ventures in the leasing and delivery of product support services. In terms of size, the company is the second largest aircraft manufacturer across the globe as well as the largest exporter.  During the closure of the 2014 financial period, it is evident that the company was ranked 27 on the Fortune 500 list after recording total revenue of $90.78 billion sales revenue (Dodillet, 2015). Boeing Company focuses on the delivery of high quality and costly benefits packages for its workforce however there are instances when this may be impossible due to the failure of constant monitory of the employees’ level of investment when it comes to plans involving mutual funds.

Assess the Company’s Current Challenges

Boeing is an example of a company that has been associated with compensation and benefit issues. The company’s challenges in the identified line have landed it in court especially as a result of the company’s failure to offer retirement benefits to a section of its employees. There are several challenges facing Boeing making it difficult for the company to move forward in the industry.  The challenges have made it difficult for the company to move forward due to the fact that the company is required to pay compensation in large sums to the affected employees. One of the evidence showing the company’s need to pay compensation is the fact that the company has agreed to pay $57 million focused on settling the suit that the company had not been paying its retirement plans.

Looking at the literature provided by “Profiles of the top 200 pension funds. (cover story)” (2001), there are several factors that affect the compensation decisions of companies.  A slow growth in the recovery of economy is one of the factors that have made it difficult for companies to offer compensation to most of its customers due to the fact that the company was striving to save costs to survive within the industry despite the current state. Incidentally, with the difficult economic times, firm have resulted to measures focused on labor containment measures that not only involve cutting down the number of its stuff but also reduce or freeze some of its payment plans such as that of the retired employees. Besides, it is also evident that companies such as Boeing have focused on reducing payroll costs of its employees as a strategy of surviving in the industry despite the sluggish economy.

Black (2009) depicts that future cost cutting as a strategy for companies majorly focuses on the deduction or a complete elimination of the company’s benefits for the employees. A larger percentage of employers across the globe are focusing on the reduction on health welfare costs while improving on its employee’s share and reducing the health benefits to its employees as a strategy of dealing with the challenges associated with its compensation practices as a result of difficult economic times.

Black (2009) states that the cost of benefits is one of the factors that drive organizations to make significant decisions that impact its general compensation actions. As is, the compensation decisions affect the chances that the company will make drastic compensation decisions by 65%. Having this in mind, it is accurate to derive that Boeing Company refrained from offering its employees with retirement benefits as a decision coming from the high costs associated with benefits. The company’s action was not only driven by a motive to save on costs but also with a desire to maintain its current employees. Incidentally, offering compensation for the retired employees during the difficult economic moments means that the company will have to reduce the benefits offered to the current employees in the industry. With a reduction of the benefits to the current employees, the company will have to worry about other resultant factors affecting the company such as a decreased level of employee motivation. In support of this, Forbes (2016) reports that retaining the current employees is one of the factors that affect a company’s compensation choices by 52%. Considering the case of Boeing, it was much easier for the company to offer comfortable working conditions for its employees by maintaining their compensation and benefits levels other than offering retirement benefits for the already retired members of the workforce. This is accrued to the fact that the current workforce were more beneficial to the company that the retired ones.

It is also evident that the compensation decisions of a company are affected by its ability and intent to enhance the performance of the employees within the organization by 48% (Forbes, 2016). For instance, overlooking the current employees in the industry when it comes to compensation and benefits in order to please the retired ones by offering benefits is regarded as a wrong move likely to affect performance. As is, reducing or doing away with benefits means a general reduction in the customers’ motivation level that in turn affect their performance.

It is evident that over the years, retirement plan have been under a great scrutiny from different players such as plan sponsors, regulators, and even participants especially after the result of the 2008 financial crisis (Rachal & Chopin, 2015). It is evident that controlling the costs of plans, countering any arising risks and meeting regulatory requirements is an important consideration for plan sponsors. As a result, major companies such as Boeing have considered it an option to save on costs by reducing its retirement benefits and in other cases failing to pay its retired employees. One of the challenges facing Boeing is managing the costs of its plan especially after the recovery of the 2008 financial crisis. As it is, the high service costs that the company had to endure at the time resulted in additional strain on the company’s profit margins in turn affecting the company’s performance in the volatile market. The challenge became even worse for Boeing due to the increased pressure for the company to meet its fiduciary responsibilities through the establishment of new government regulations that calls for the full disclosure of the company’s requirement regarding services and investment costs paid under a company’s retirement plan to the retired employees.

The second challenge affecting Boeing is its ability to deliver quality cost of services when it comes to the delivery of benefits to the employees (Maatman, 2015). Prevalently, the company has overlooked paying some of its retirees as required by their retirement plans meaning a general decline in the quality of services delivered by the company to the employees. According to Maatman (2015), the cost of services as well as the cost of investment is regarded as some of the top most considerations that a company has to abide to when choosing a plan to deliver to the employees. This is coupled by a high level of quality service which majority of firms has adopted to ensure employee satisfaction when it comes to the delivery of quality care. Regardless of the company’s size or industrial location, it is highly recommended that companies should mind the cost and quality of services as important selection criteria factors.

With the compensation and benefits challenges that Boeing had to undergo in the industry, the company was sued for its failure to meet its retirement plan requirement. As a result, the courts directed the company to settle the lawsuit by paying $57. According to the suit, the company was accused of excessive fees that the employees had to pay in the form of exaggerated investment offering for the employees and the workers available under the 401 (k) retirement plans.

An examination of other organizations facing similar challenges

            Other than Boeing, a number of companies have also faced compensation and benefits challenges that has not only damaged the image of the company but also contributed towards the company’s extra spending when it comes to fee settlement as required by the law. Intel Corporation is one of the companies that have faced similar challenges over the past. Incidentally, Intel Corporation has overlooked its compensation and benefits requirements that have called for the company to show up in court under the 401(k) lawsuit. The company was sued for diverting it participant funds to private equity investments and hedge funds.

Anthem Incorporation, a health insurance provider, has also faced similar challenges in the industry due to the fact that the company has also been sued over the 401 (k) lawsuits. In this case, the company’s employees sued the healthcare provider for providing high levels of mutual funds under its 401(K) plan. As a result, the employees ended up paying lump sum finances to the company. Furthermore, it is also evident that the workers complained of the company’s failure to carry out investigation on non-mutual fund investments that the company engaged in before 2013 (Wille, 2016). The bottom line in the case was that the company was obtaining high fees from the employees since they were not implementing the lowest class of share available.

Strategies the companies used in addressing their challenges

            To address the outlined challenge associated with high fee charges when it comes to compensation and benefits, the companies opted to pursue a cheaper option that does not exceed the set fiduciary standards. With the cheaper option, the employees will not feel exploited in terms of high fee payments.

Theories and strategies of dealing with the situation

            Constant monitory of the company’s level of investment plan is a strategy of ensuring fairness when it comes to the delivery of the company’s compensation and benefit plans. As is, implementing strategies that involve monitoring the investment levels will raise and alarm regarding any unusual changes in the amount of fees saves. As a result, the company will have enough time to deal with the situation before it spurs anger among the employees. The second strategy to consider for dealing with the situation includes the use of a low cost option related to mutual funds saving. With the low cost option, the employees will always feel that the organization cares about how much fees they are charged for their investments in mutual funds. On the other hand, the company will promote equity and fairness in their compensation and benefits delivery.

Any area that have not been discussed used of review

            Despite the fact that literature has addressed various important areas of compensation and benefits with a close analysis of companies such as Boeing, literature has neglected to discuss how companies can reduce the extra costs that it incurs on a daily basis as a result of the increased costs of payments when it comes to settling the plans. Incidentally, the difficult economic times suppresses the profit margins of companies giving rise to intense pressure regarding how to settle benefits to the employees. Therefore, there is an increased need of addressing how companies can also benefit in terms of costs saving when it comes to the delivery and payment of their benefits costs to the employees. As is, the move will greatly discourage companies from engaging in shady dealing involving how to raise extra fees for the plans such as through the use of high cost coverage plans.

Implications of literature

With the provided literature a conclusion can be drawn that a company’s compensation and benefits choices are driven by its desire to cut down on costs. Therefore, increased costs as a result of the existence of difficult economic times is regarded as the main factor that prompted Boeing to refrain from meeting its obligation of paying the retirees as required by the retirement plans.

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Health Issues in South Africa

Most people might regard South Africa is one of the countries in the world where they can go and spend their holidays due to the healthy climate within that country. The beautiful oceans and the magnificent climate is something that most of the South Africans are proud of. However, on the contrary, most of the citizens in South Africa lag behind due to lack of good healthcare. Currently, the primary concerns within the healthcare sector include the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Additionally, the country battles with the high prevalence rates of diseases such as tuberculosis that are caused by smoking. The smoking related diseases are believed to be of a high prevalence amongst the non-whites residents as compared to the white’s population.

The health care nature in the rural areas of South Africa has been moving from bad to worse over the years due to the lack of better treatment facilities. In some areas, the access to treatment facilities such as hospitals and clinic centers becomes difficult to poor road network and also due to lack of finances. Statistics show that the current rate of mortality stands at about six times higher than what is experienced in most of the developed nations. Empirical figures show that close to 5.5 million citizens in South Africa are infected with HIV/AIDS. That figure is approximately 10.6% of the total population in South Africa. Out of that total population, it is estimated that 17% of them are adults while the rest of the percentage consists of young teenagers and small kids.  A big majority of those living with the disease are found within the rural set-ups. The deaths rate in the rural areas has been extremely high over the years due to the reasons that have already been mentioned above.

Understaffed health facilities

One of the biggest challenges that the country has been facing over the years is the understaffing of their health facilities. Most of the qualified health personnel’s prefer to seek for employment in the private sectors rather than working in the public sectors that pay low salaries. In a similar fashion, the government boasts of generating close to fourteen billion dollars in form of taxes from the medical professionals working in countries abroad. That huge figure clearly shows that there is a large number of qualified medical personnel who work in other countries apart from their motherland. If only the government could offer them better salaries and remuneration, then maybe the healthcare sector could have had a big change. Moreover, the remittances made by the professional working abroad should be put into productive use by the government so as to help the locals. The government however, seem to be embezzling the funds collected in form of taxation rather than using it to but modern equipment’s.

If the authorities would have been serious about improving the health sector in South Africa, then they would be buying new ambulances to ferry the sick to the hospital. Since the funds remitted as tax is being embezzled by the government of the day, most of the health professionals prefer working within the private sectors. The current ratio shows that every single doctor in South Africa gets to attend to between three thousand seven hundred and seven to forty nine thousands patients.  That ratio is so high compared to what happens in the developed nations where a single doctor attends to between two hundred and fifty nine to five hundred patients. Such discrepancy is what has led to the ever increasing gap of the life expectancy that currently stands at forty nine years of age as compared to 73 in the developed nations.

 

Poor maternal health

The health status of most mothers together with their children in South Africa has been extremely poor over the years due to lack of proper modern qualifications and the will to take good care of them. Reports from the World health organization show that there is a very high rate of maternal mortality in South Africa as compared to any other country in South Africa. Currently, the ratio stands at three hundred and ten deaths for every one hundred thousand live births experienced in South Africa. Similarly, the organization collected data from the mortality rates that were experienced during the year 2010. That particular set of data revealed that there were forty one deaths experienced for every one thousands live births for those who were aged one and below.

In a similar fashion, the mortality rate for those aged between one and five was at fifty seven deaths for every one thousand live births. Such figures are very discouraging especially for a big country like South Africa where one expects the healthcare system to be functioning at its best. Credits however have to be given to the public hospitals for the efforts that they are taking to n curb the spread of HIV/ AIDS. The current situation allows the pregnant mothers to go through a voluntary HIV testing in order to ascertain their status. Those who are found to be positive are taken through a counseling session and put on anti-retroviral drugs. Such a therapy works to prevent the transmission of the disease from the mother to the unborn child. Additionally, the health care centers offer a number of services and healthcare support to both the mother and their infants.

Adult risk factors

A number of risk factors that cause major health problems in South Africa do exist and have to be tackled as they occur.  One of the risk factors is the raised blood glucose among the adults. Statistics from the world health organization shows that close to twenty percent of the male adult population in South Africa face the raised blood glucose problem. Out of that figure, only eight percent of the male adults are likely to experience the problem in an area covered by the world health organization. The percentage of women who face the raised blood glucose problems is higher as compared to their male counter parts. Nine percent of women who live within the regions that are covered by the world health organization face the problem while eleven percent of them face it in regions that are not covered by the organization.

The number of male adults that struggle with obesity is however low as compared to their female counterparts. Currently, close to twenty three percent of the male have an obesity problem as compared to forty three percent of their female counterparts? Finally, the tobacco based problem has been one of the killer diseases in the region with estimates showing that twenty eight percent of the South African male dies as a result of tobacco usage. Similarly, it is estimated that eight percent of the female citizens die as a result of the use of tobacco.

Recommendations

Asa result of the already mentioned healthcare problems that face South Africa, the government in collaboration with the citizens has a long way to battle the problems that faces the nation. To begin with, the government must acts with speed and revives more than one hundred nursing colleges in the whole country. An increase in nurses across the entire country will improve the provision of healthcare services to the patients. The government also has to find a way in which it going to conduct an upgrading and renovation program for the hospitals so as to improve on their standards. An upgrading program will also include the provision of reproductive health rights as well as issuing of contraceptives to be used during sexual intercourse.

The government of South Africa through the health department will have to ensure that it widens the coverage area of the provision of anti-retroviral treatment to all the HIV positive patients. Since the country has a very large population, it may not be possible for the current number of nurses to provide adequate healthcare services for all the citizens. The government must therefore find a way of recruiting and training more than 1.3 million community workers who will help in the provision of the healthcare services.  The prevention measures that have already been started must be encouraged and supported at all costs. For instance, the prevention of mother-to-child transmission programs must be continued in order to protect the future generations. Additionally, the voluntary, medical male circumcision programs must be encouraged at all costs.

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Marketing Communications Objectives In AIDA Framework

The model of AIDA recognizes the cognitive stages that every customer goes through during the buying process for a service or product (Hanlon, 2013). The technique refers to the purchasing channel where buyers go through different stages to support the final sale. The three communication objectives in the AIDA tool are the following:

Attention

The attention segment of the marketing communication target happens at the initial stage, and it aims at providing a reason to the prospect customer to take notice of the product or service. For instance, presenting an appalling statistic or fact that recognizes a problem that can be solved by the service or product is one familiar technique of gaining attention (Hanlon, 2013). Also, provocative queries, and using the aspect of surprise are efficient methods of gaining attention, the purpose of these methods is to provide customers with an opportunity to learn and purchase the product or service.

Interest

After you have obtained the attention of the prospect customer, the second step is to ensure you maintain an interest in your service or product, so as to keep the receivers affianced. It is paramount at this stage to explain to the recipient how the problem you recognized in the attention stage is negatively affecting their lives (Hanlon, 2013). Further, personalizing and illustrating the problem can assist the prospect to acknowledge the problem and seek for possible solutions to resolve the problem.

Desire

The aim or objective in the desire stage is to demonstrate to the customer how your service or product can solve their problem (Hanlon, 2013). Therefore, display the features of the service or product and the allied advantages and benefits satisfy the need. Actually demonstrating your product or service at this stage will leave the customer desiring to buy your service or product.

Organizational Diagnosis – Whole Foods Market Company

The purpose of this paper is to explain the different types of organizational diagnosis models and elaborate on the best model to be used in Whole Foods Market Company. Organizational diagnosis encompasses evaluating the performances of a specific organization and coming up with measures of correcting the found problems or issues leading to its weaknesses or failures. The managers in charge of the diagnosis process come up with different models of collecting and analyzing vital information about the company, and designing interventions to solve the problems. In order for one to systematically review the entire system, the use of organizational models is advisable (Burton, 2011). An organizational model is the exemplification of how an organization works and provides a systematic way of collecting information, and categorizing it in a manner that can be easily understood by all members.

Force Field Analysis is an example of one of the models focusing on evaluating and managing of organizational problems. It identifies the driving and the restraining forces within an organization and explains on how the driving forces push for changes as the restraining forces, such as poor working conditions, act as obstacles to the changes. According to this model, in order to identify the existing problems in the organization, one must first identify the driving and restraining forces. There must be equilibrium between the two forces when defining the missions, policies and objectives needed to improve the performances in the organization (Johnson, 2015). The successful implementation of this model is achieved when there is a state of equilibrium between the two forces.

Leavitt’s model uses specific variables like the tasks in the organization, structures, technologies and human resources. The model explains that there must be interdependence in all the variables, and a change in one variable will have implications in all the other variables. For example, the introduction of new and efficient technologies will boost the morale of the employees which will in turn improve their productivity and overall performance of the organization. The main weakness of this model is that it is much easier to create underlying reports concerning the variables in the organization (Burton, 2011).

Likert System Analysis model discourses dimensions like inspiration, communication, collaboration, decision making, control, goal setting and performances. It describes the different types of management systems in an organization; these are the exploitative- authoritative group, the benevolent-authoritative, the consultative and the participative group (Johnson, 2015). The main goal of this model is to measure employee’s awareness of the organizational aspect within the organization and explain how the management and the non management team relate and which method works best to the benefit of both the employee and the company.

According to Bolman & Deal (2013), Open Systems theory explains how organizations are seen as social arrangements that rely on the surroundings in which they are established for the outcome of its products or services. For example, people working under poor working conditions will have high chances of performing poorly compared to those working in good environments that will have better performances. It provides room for repeated sequences of inputs, transformations, outputs and renewed inputs within an organization.

Weisbord’s Six Box model proposes six groups of administrative performances; these include commitments, order, associations, leaderships, compensations and supportive mechanisms. According to this model, the commitments of an organization are its desired goals and mission, the orders are the ways in which it is organized, associations are the ways in which the people interrelate, compensations are the intrinsic and extrinsic ways employees benefit from the organization, leaderships refers to how  the management handles the non management group in the organization and finally supportive mechanisms refers to the arrangement, monitoring, and information systems that aim at helping the organization achieve the desired goals (Bolman & Deal, 2013). This model also explains how the differences between the informal and formal arrangements should be as little as possible, since the greater the differences, the less effective the organization becomes. It also addresses the impacts of external environment in the organization for example, external pressures from customers.

The Congruence model for Organizational Analysis is established on hypotheses that are evident in contemporary managerial problem-solving themes. According to this model, organizations are open societal systems within a given environment where change is inevitable. It assumes that certain behaviors occur at different levels like the group, individual or the whole system, creating rooms for interactions at different levels. It also elaborates that the needs and objectives of one component should be consistent with those of the other components. The systems components are the organizational culture, the tasks in the organization, formal organizational arrangements and the individuals in the organization (Burton, 2011). In order for one to know the status of the congruence, organizational diagnosis is conducted through the analysis of the different system components.

McKinsey 7S Framework is explained with the use of seven variables, which include the styles, staff, systems, strategy, structure, skills and finally collective ethics. The way in which the organization is planned and organized shows its structure, staff represents the human resource and personnel in the organization, strategy represents the ways of allocating the existing resources for optimum productivity, systems are procedures and processes followed in the organization, styles are the measures used by the managers in managing the organization, skills are the experiences and knowledge acquired by the staff and finally shared values are what is guiding the success of the company that is shared among all the members (Johnson,2015). This model argues that changing one of the variables cannot successfully create changes in an organization, but it must encompass the change to all the variables and must be interdependent.

High Performance Programming model evaluates the existing performances in an organization in order to ascertain ways of transforming it into a high performing system. It elaborates on variables like period, concentration, arrangement, transformation, controlling, organization, perception, inspiration, growth, good relations and governance. Another method is diagnosing individual and group behavior. It puts more emphasis on productivities such as structural performances and value of how the employees relate in their working environments. It exemplifies an open system perception with minimum limitations between the company and outside surroundings (Burton, 2011).

Burke-Litwin Causal model explores on variables like outside surroundings, tasks and approach, governance, administrative arrangement, corporate practices, classifications, duty necessities and specific skills, inspiration, and overall performance in the company (Johnson, 2015). It shows a clear distinction between organizational climate and culture, and transformational and transactional changing aspects within an organization.

Whole Foods Market is facing serious issues that are tagging down their sales. The first issue is competition from big competitors like Wal-Mart stores and Kroger Company. It has failed to outdo its competitors who are quick in adapting to the new technologies (Burton, 2011). The second issue is brand differentiation, for the longest period of time the company has been in the market, their brands have remained poor and hence attracting less audiences with the rising competition. Thirdly, the company has failed to grow location base, giving more room for its competitors to expand too many locations, this has reduced its popularity and the consumption of their products.

The best model to use in a given organization is the Congruence model. The secret behind the success of organizations lies behind the type of diagnosis model it uses to correct the existing problems and make necessary changes. This is done by understanding the causes of performances in the organization and how they relate to each other (Bolman & Deal, 2013). Congruence model uses the four basic elements to derive the performances in the organization; these are the tasks, people, structure and culture, and it has a rule that, the higher the congruence amongst these elements, the higher the performances. Through the analysis of each key element, there will be sufficient diagnosis of the organization and the planned goals achieved.

By understanding the tasks to be done in the company, it will be easier to know the areas needing more attention and the crucial processes in the organization. It also helps in identifying the required skills necessary for performing the tasks, the rewards accompanying the tasks, the technologies needed to be improved and the flow of work from one stage to the other (Burton, 2011). For example, is there a good relationship between the sales department and the corporate sector? Or are they being forced to sell what is not required in the market? Such questions will help in evaluating the performances of both the group and individual parties. By analyzing the people in the organization, it helps to identify the employees doing critical roles, the kind of interactions between all the stakeholders including the employees, the skills the people possess and ensuring that each person is assigned the right job they were trained and have sufficient knowledge and understandings of the assigned tasks. It is also important to consider the peoples preferences to rewards and the likes for career progressions. This is aimed at improving their knowledge and interests in what they are doing in the company which will add up to increased productivity to the whole organization.

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MGT672 – Managing Group Dynamics in a Decision Environment Essay

Introduction

Working with other team members has considerably helped put into practice what I have learnt in class about group dynamics. Working in teams is not easy as different members are put together to achieve a particular purpose. Achieving that goal will depend on how united the team is and how the various members interact with each other (Bjerregaard & Jonasson, 2014). A team, therefore, has many aspects that need to be brought together to ensure that it meets its goals. Relationships should be harmonized so that members work together towards achieving the intended purpose of the group. Furthermore defining responsibilities for each person is important in ensuring that functions are carried out effectively without confusion. Therefore, a team rises or falls on how it is managed. I have discovered much by working with my team members and it has helped me to improve significantly in various capacities especially teamwork. Therefore, teams form an important part of an organization as they help meet specific purposes, which an individual cannot wholly carry out individually.

Roles and responsibilities

Each team member was assigned various roles and responsibilities. U learnt how to keep quiet and let the other people speak especially when they were contributing to the tasks. I was involved in translation, which mostly was cumbersome, but some team members helped me greatly and showed their concern especially when there was a lot of work.  The various roles and responsibilities have helped me concentrate on the different tasks I am assigned to and thus provided with a clear picture of how to manage my time. Therefore, it has helped me plan and manage my time to meet the various tasks and has to help me improve my organizational skills to ensure that I do not derail in my duties. The different responsibilities of different team members have contributed to creating an easier way to each result can be gauged without confusion. Some members may refuse to take on some roles, and therefore, it can be tiresome. However, in the team that I worked only two members did not want to take up their roles because they had not understood at first what they were to do.

Relationships

Building effective relationships among group members helps in making sure that groups work harmoniously. The various team members have different personalities that sometimes make it difficult to work together. Some are more bold and participative while other are quite and therefore do not contribute much to the group. Though there are individuals with the various personalities in the group whereby some may be more participative than others, learning to deal with each member is important. Having a team that is of the same mind towards achieving the set objectives, I have discovered that team members need to understand each other especially learning the strengths and weaknesses of team members. Many of my teammates are active in certain areas while lacking in some areas. As such, the whole team has worked smoothly since the members complement each other. I have learnt to share ideas in a clear way that can be understood by the team members and as a result, my confidence has increased significantly. I have discovered that groups rise or fall on how the individual members view each other (Estabrooks, 2014). Therefore, in the group we have sought to work together to ensure that the various people do not feel looked down upon or deficient in their capacities and in doing their responsibilities.

The different teams working in hospitals need to have teamwork since most functions are related. As such, nurses and doctors usually work hand in hand to ensure that the various goals are met. As such while working in the hospital especially with the physicians and patients together with the nurses, I have had the experience of translating while at the same time sharing the information with the group so that the various reports can be made. Translation involves making words from one language to understand with those who do not know the respective languages. The different reports on the translations that have taken place especially on the medical reports involving doctors, patients and staff. Therefore, the information is finally to formulate reports that are worked at by the group members.

I have learnt to develop trust in my team members and further help them to be trustworthy in their duties. Trust maintains a group member as a have understood from working in my team at the hospital. Getting the particular functions assigned to the team members done in the hospital requires trust. As a team, members trust each other that they will carry out their duties. Some team members may not do their tasks in the end as it happened at the hospital where some members failed to write reported that were needed by the end of the day. As such, other members had to step in to prevent confusion at the end of the day. Therefore, while working in teams, I have learnt to be dynamic and to expect the worst, especially among uncooperative team members (Kantor, 2012).

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Music Assigment On Jazz Analysis

On Monday, 24th October, from 8.00pm at the Kennedy Union Ballroom, I attended a jazz concert which had the University Jazz Band and Dayton Jazz Band as the performers of the evening. The directors of the evening were James          Leslie (artist/clinician for Ludwig Drums, Remo Drumheads, Sabian Cymbals and Vic Firths Drumsticks and Mallets) and Willie N. Morris III(Associate Professor of Music University of Dayton Department of Music Faculty) with musical guests artistes Brent Gallaher (saxophone) and Bill Dixon (trumpet). The concert was free courtesy of the Faculty of Music. I had looked up these experts of jazz and was keen to see them perform this fringe genre.

The twenty or so band members (mostly fellow students), were all dressed in black shirts with black trousers and were in three rows. They all faced the audience, except for the lady on the piano who faced the double bass player standing before her. Spirits were high before the start of the show and the band members could be seen chatting away jovially and in some instances having musical discourses with each other. The audience, on the other hand, seemed calm and enthusiastic at the same time, conversing tenderly in low tones as if to probe each other on their musical expectations this evening. We had learnt a lot about texture of music in my classes and I was keen to put my theory to practice by identifying them.

The first piece was an interesting one. The melody started with the alto saxophone which had terraced dynamics with the saxophone player swaying side to side momentarily. This first melodic phrase played by this aerophone was an introduction and it was accompanied by the percussion and in particular the drums. The drummer at the start focuses mostly on the cymbal part of the drum. The trumpet then proceeded to pick the same melody played earlier, and on the second phrase after it starting, it was joined by the trombone and this brass instrument joins in and plays the same melody.

In this first piece, it is noteworthy to acknowledge the use of polyrhythm throughout the whole performance. There was also the simultaneous use of two conflicting rhythms .These rhythms are multiple but at the same time contrasting and are used together at the same time consecutively. This in turn allowed the melody to be syncopated and develop independently every single time a new instrument picked it up. This was mainly due to the fact that different instruments produce different musical timbre, even when playing the same melody.

In terms of its texture, this piece could be said to have been thoroughly homophonic as there was only one melody, which in actual sense did not change. It is also important to note the melody, was at no point harmonized by any of the instruments and by so doing remains dominant throughout the whole performance of the piece.

After a short applause from the audience, the second piece started  with a slow Bossa Nova groove type drumming pattern         which had eighth-note based with its standard clave pattern. Members of the audience could be seen responding to this groove as some found themselves nodding their heads involuntarily as if being totally controlled it. The drums and the double bass provided accompaniment here.

It is also important to note that        there were various rests and percussion breakdowns. The melody was also played in unison and after the second solo, the alto saxophone started the second melody and later joined by the trombone which played a response to the melody which later led to the entry of a trumpet response at the end of this particular phrase. This emotional melody was played by a trumpeter who had his eyes closed the whole time as though to signify how in tune he was with the emotion. This smooth and somewhat unrestricted sound that this melody produced was typical of the feeling that jazz syncopated notes would have on an individual with the occasional off-beat. The eighth notes in this piece were swung in most if not all occasions.

As earlier stated, the polyphonic aspect of this piece, where it consists of various melodies played together at the same time was very evident. This thus means that this piece is of the polyphonic texture and it is clearly demonstrated throughout the pieces phrases where the melody is dominant.

The third and last piece to be analyzed is Shorter Wayne,One by One” (Art Barkley Album), PAL, 1981, as performed during this musical concert. The highly energetic performance starts with a grandiose introduction by the trumpet which blares out the melody. The alto saxophone then joins with the drums, all  playing the same melody as they are accompanied by the double bass. The alto saxophone solo was the most distinct one due to its harmonic embellishment. After the saxophone solo, the trumpet solo started after a short rest and its monophonic texture brightens the whole piece as the notes are properly articulated, right from the low notes to those of the high register.

It is noteworthy to acknowledge the use of improvisation in this genre of music. Jazz music gained its popularity through this spontaneity of creating new and fresh melodies over the ad infinitum repeating series of chords. Improvisation is important in creating expert artistes as it involves creating new melodies over chord progressions from the rhythm section. This allows the musician to be creative with any piece of music and for the sound to be enriched.

In conclusion, this was a very educative experience. The performance bit was the most important one for me as I picked a lot of interesting and important stage performance tips from the ensemble members by simply observing. This experience was important in honing my jazz skills, simply getting a chance to watch and learn literally.

Current Health Care Situation – Assignment Instructions

Write a 1,400- to 1,750-word paper on a current health care situation. For example, common issues might include one of the following: physician or employee with a conflict of interest, health care fraud and abuse, medical error, quality of care issues, aging in America, privacy issues’ selling names, losing patient information, or health care coverage for indigent or noncitizens.

  • Evaluate the effect of organizational structure and governance, culture, and social responsibility focus on what happened in your chosen situation.
  • Recommend how you would change the organization to prevent this situation in the future. Include the following components:
    • Identify and describe a health care news situation that affects a health care organization such as a hospital, clinic, or insurance company.
    • Examine and evaluate how organizational structure and governance, culture and focus (or lack of focus) on social responsibility affected or influenced what happened.
    • Recommend what resources will be allocated to prevent this situation in the future and what ethical issues may be tied to this decision.
    • Recommend how you would change the structure, governance, culture, or focus on social responsibility to prevent this situation in the future.

Include at least three references.

Format your paper consistent with APA guidelines.

It’s My Party – Movie Review

Crises are events that are or are anticipated to occasion dangerous or unstable situations that impact on specific societies, communities, groups, or individuals. Typically, a crisis is taken as an adverse change in the environmental, human, societal, political, or economic affairs, particularly when they happen abruptly, devoid of or with little caution (Ebert, 1998). Those going through crises, such as Nick in “It’s My Party”, are deemed as going through emergency events or testing times. The major crisis in the film is his being diagnosed with PML (Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy).

In “ It’s My Party ”, Nick implores Brandon not to leave him shortly after confessing to her that he has had a blood test that has shown that he has HIV. Nick fears that he will die alone. Regardless of Brandon’s protestations, their relationship becomes increasingly strained. The love they have expressed for each other for long gets ruined. After a year of separation, Nick, whose immune system is markedly ravaged already, undergoes various clinical tests that confirm that he has PML (Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy). The PML has made him more and more forgetful (Ebert, 1998). Nick has seen several of his friends succumb to PML. He promises himself that he will not go down with the same condition. He has the will to live.

The PML is rather aggressive; his conscious life will be gone in a matter of days. His plan to escape from the tribulations facing him is to end own life voluntarily. He conveys the plan to his friends and family. He is keen on ending own life voluntarily before the PML makes him appear odd, as well as unrecognizable, to those close to him. He is keen on ending own life before he becomes unable of recognizing them as well. A farewell party is held for him. Brandon is not invited to the party. That notwithstanding, she attends the party. Those in attendance jeer her. To them, she comes off as having deserted Nick when he needed her the most.

Nick’s death is not an unexpected and sudden event. Rather, it is a long process that commences with the PML diagnosis, goes on through the reflections Nick has, and ends ultimately in his death. The process means that both Nick, his close friends, and close family members are more and more confronted with the necessity of living with the notion of Nick’s impending death for long. Nick does not suffer all alone. His close friends and close family members are adversely affected by the crisis. As they spend time with him, they commence to interrogate how each of them relates to him intensely as seen in the party.

In the face of the crisis presented in “It’s My Party”, Nick, his close friends, and close family members should be assisted to alleviate it and develop resiliency. Particularly, that can be achieved via teaching them how to cope with the crisis. In some instances in “It’s My Party”, Nick, his close friends, and close family members come off as helpless. They have difficulties communicating own feelings. In the case of Brandon, she is pushed away from Nick to the side. All these individuals can be supported by ensuring that they are listened to by professionals or authorities such as counselors who acknowledge their efforts as well as pain (Ebert, 1998). Nick’s close friends, and close family members should encouraged to trust him to elect his own level of involvement in finding solutions to his suffering without appearing to control his decisions automatically.

In “It’s My Party”, the grieving of Nick, his close friends, and close family members during the crisis can be facilitated by acknowledging the pain they are undergoing. That would console (Bermeo & Pontusson, 2012). Notably, consolation begins when individuals accepts the feelings conveyed albeit how frightening it might be. Nick, his close friends, and close family members can be assisted to cope with the crises by guiding them through discussions of other crises that they have experienced in their lives and how they have coped with them. Such discussions would be helpful in re-engaging their coping mechanisms and action gears in the present crisis (Martz & Livneh, 2007). Given that Nick’s close friends, and close family members may literally put out of their minds from self-care, their ideas on self-support should be encouraged.

Nick, the primary victim of the crisis arising from the PML condition, goes through various phases of grieving. He appears to grieve effectively through the impending loss of his life and social relations. First, the diagnosis creates a crisis for him, his family as well as friends. Brandon leaves her, demonstrating that the diagnosis disrupts the equilibrium of Nick’s family and social relations (Martz & Livneh, 2007). In the first, or crisis, phase, Nick appears to have gotten guidance on what to expect of the condition and the need to share own emotions and memories, hence his thinking of the party. Second, Nick goes through the unity phase. In the phase, the actuality of his looming death presses him to put on hold the grudges and complaints that he may be having. His needs become paramount (Ebert, 1998).

Third, Nick enters the upheaval phase (Martz & Livneh, 2007). Various emotions, including anger and guilt emerge. He goes through the phase effectively by communicating to those close to him honestly. He appears more and more open to communicating his feelings and thoughts regarding the upheavals he is facing. Fourth, he enters the resolution phase. He decides that the best way to deal with his adverse situation is end own life voluntarily. During the phase, he decides to cast into oblivion all the grudges and complaints typifying own life (Ebert, 1998). Lastly, he enters the renewal phase; he appears energized at the party and comfortable that he is going to end own life before long.