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Gun Control or Not? A Case for Gun Ownership – Religious Studies Contemporary Ethical Issues

The gun culture prevalent in the United States emanates from colonialism, revolutionary tendency and expansion to new frontiers. It is also captured in the Second Amendment that states “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed” (Cook and Goss, 2014).

Guns are important for self-defense. A person with a gun protects themselves, family and country from local criminals and any invaders.  Guns discourage criminals from crime.

Guns in America’s History

In the American colonies, guns were used for hunting, self-defense and later during the American Revolutionary War. In several colonies, all able-bodied men were supposed to be in the militia and to carry firearms. Heads of households, including women, were required to own guns in other states. One adult male from each household was required to carry a gun to church or other public gatherings in the laws of at least six colonies including Connecticut. This was to protect against Native Americans attacks, stealing of firearms from unattended homes and “insurrections…of Negroes” in such places as South Carolina (Loesch, 2014). In laws of some colonies, immigrants had to have a gun to travel or own land.

Ratified on December 15, 1791, the Second Amendment does not expressly mention individual right to own a gun, but rather as part of a militia. But for the individual to fulfil the collective will of the militia and colony, by implication there is the individual right to have a gun (Spitzer, 2015). Further, a federal law enacted in 1792 required that every man who qualified for militia to own a suitable gun and ammunition. The guns were supposed to be registered and inspected frequently. However, this law was not strictly implemented with most people having hunting rifles and pistols rather than military guns.

There were also gun control laws. This targeted Native Americans, servants, slaves and such professionals as school masters, doctors and lawyers. This included enactment of the notorious “slave codes”, “black codes” and “Jim Crow” laws that targeted black people (Cook and Goss, 2014).

The frontier cities also had gun control laws. This included checking guns with the sheriff on entering town, requiring mayor’s consent to fire a gun in Deadwood and outright prohibition to carry a gun in Dodge City (Cook and Goss, 2014).

Developing federal laws

The federal National Firearms Act (NFA) that came into effect in 1934 was mainly a result of mafia crimes and internal wars. NFA requires registration and levies tax on such guns as shotguns, short-barreled rifles and machine guns. However, most guns are excluded from NFA (ProCon.org, 2016).

A federal act enacted in 1938 that targeted firearm licensees by making it illegal to sell guns to certain people and to keep customer records was overturned by the Gun Control Act (GCA) of 1968. The GCA was a result of constitutional concerns about gun registration brought up by Haynes v. US (1968), the 1966 mass shooting at University of Texas and the assassination of important people in the 1960s that included John F. Kennedy, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jnr and Robert F. Kennedy (ProCon.org, 2016). GCA regulates selling and transfer of guns between states.

In 1986, the Firearm Owners’ Protection Act that revised some prior gun laws was enacted. The act allowed dealers to sell guns to addresses not registered on licenses and curtailed the number of inspections without a warrant that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives can perform. The act also prohibited the federal government from keeping gun dealer records and the dealers did not have to keep records of ammunition sales (Loesch, 2014).

The 1993 Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act that applied to states without alternate background check systems required licensed sellers to wait for five days before handing over a gun to unlicensed persons. This was not only for background check but to ensure there were no crimes of passion. Now there is instant background check system that takes a maximum of three days if there are problems, with gun owners that have federal firearms licenses or state-issued permits being exempt from the waiting period (Spitzer, 2015).

The NRA successfully lobbied for non-renewal of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban that President Bill Clinton signed into law on September 13, 1994 and expired in September 13, 2004.  The ban had outlawed 19 models and makes of semi-automatic assault weapons and large-capacity magazines (Cook and Goss, 2014).

Modern laws

President George W. Bush signed into law on October 26, 2005 the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act and Child Safety Lock Act. This gives firearms manufacturers immunity in a range of civil liability, with responsibility for safety being shifted to individuals and families. All handguns must have a “secure gun storage or safety device” according to the Child Safety Lock Act (Loesch, 2014).

In 2007, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Improvement Amendments Act was enacted to incentivize states to provide NICS with information, including information about firearms purchase prohibitions. Following the 2007 Virginia Technical University shooting , the NCIS Act was amended on January 8, 2008 to enable the Attorney General easily and quickly important background check information (ProCon.org, 2016).

To make gun ownership safer, President Barack Obama signed new executive actions on January 5, 2016 that took effect immediately. These included expansion of background checks, more human and financial resources  to various gun control and safety programs and enhanced tracking of gun trafficking and theft (Cook and Goss, 2014).

Each state has its own gun laws with 43 of the 50 states having the “right to bear arms” in their constitutions, with California having the strictest gun laws while Arizona has the most lenient (Cook and Goss, 2014). Most state gun laws are concerned with background checks, waiting periods and licensee and buyer registration. Most states prohibit carrying of guns in certain areas (e.g. schools, campuses and parks) while some have banned assault weapons.   The “shoot first” law applies in many states.

The Supreme Court

The US Supreme Court repeatedly upheld the collective right to own rights as enshrined in the Second Amendment, hence by implication allowing states to form militia and to regulate gun use. However, in 2008, the Supreme Court upheld the individual right to own a gun in the DC versus Heller ruling, noting limitations such as “the right of citizens to carry arms for any sort of confrontation” (Loesch, 2014). Further, the Supreme Court extended the provisions of the individual rights in the Second Amendment to the states via the Due Process Clause contained in the Fourteenth Amendment, via the 2010 ruling of McDonald versus Chicago.  In the Voisine versus United States ruling of 2016, the Supreme Court ruled that someone can be disqualified from owning a gun because of “garden-variety assault or battery misdemeanors” (ProCon.org, 2016).

The National Rifle Association (NRA)

The National Rifle Association was founded by Colonel William C. Church and General George Wingate on November 17, 1871 to “promote and encourage rifle shooting on a scientific basis” with the aim of improving marksmanship among Civil War Union troops (Spitzer, 2015). In 1977, after the “Revolt at Cincinnati,” NRA bylaws were changed to focus on protection of the Second Amendment.  NRA successfully lobbied against the Gun Control Act of 1968 leading to the Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986.

When the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) funded a study that found that having a gun at home increased homicide risk, NRA accused CDC of “promoting the idea that gun ownership was a disease that needed to be eradicated”. It successfully lobbied against politically motivated studies leading to the Dickey Amendment that deducted from the budget of CDC the exact amount ($2.6 billion) of the gun research program (Spitzer, 2015). All federal gun research was henceforth stopped.

NRA actively lobbies for self-defense or the “stand your ground” laws and against gun checks and registration, magazine and weapon bans and gun ownership prohibition even for those on terrorist lists. It also lobbies against firearms tracing, ballistic fingerprinting and smart features on guns. With an approximate membership of 3 million, its spending budget in 2013 was $290.6 million. In 2014, it spent $3.36 million to lobby the Congress, Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, National Park Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service (ProCon.org, 2016).

Gun control lobby

There are also gun control lobby groups that can be traced to the founding of the National Center to Control Handguns (NCCH) by Professor Mark Borinsky in 1974. A victim of armed robbery, Borinsky grew NCCH with help from N T Shields whose son had been shot and killed in 1975 as well as a retired CIA officer, Edward O Welles (Cook and Goss, 2014). NCCH became the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence with a similar organization, the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, became the Brady Center to Prevent Handgun Violence. The two organizations are collectively referred to as the Brady Campaign, named after Jim Brady, President Ronald Reagan’s press secretary who was shot and disabled in an attempt to assassinate the President on March 30, 1981.

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Other gun control lobby groups include Americans for Responsible Solutions, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety, Sandy Hook Promise, and Violence Policy Center. These groups lobby the Congress, Department of Justice, the Executive, the Vice Presidency, the White House and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Their spending budget in 2013 was $13.7 million, less than 5% of NRA’s budget (ProCon.org, 2016).

The Gun Debate

Apart from during the election period, the gun debate becomes heated after a major mass shooting with gun opponents wanting more laws to curb mass shootings, enhance background checks and stricter registration requirements. Gun proponents however accuse gun opponents of utilizing a tragedy for a lost cause. They point out that more laws will not prevent the shootings. A Pew Research Center survey published on December 10, 2014 found that 52% of Americans wanted protection of the right to own guns with 46% wanting gun ownership control, a shift from 1993 when 34% wanted protection of gun rights with 57% wanting gun ownership control (ProCon.org, 2016). This is a trend I support for the following reasons.

Guns and the law

The US Constitution is the supreme governing law in the land. Individual and collective gun ownership is protected in the Second Amendment of the US Constitution that states “A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” (Cook and Goss, 2014).

Owning guns in America has existed even before formation of the country. Gun control laws would infringe on the right to bear firearms as enshrined in the constitution. The Second Amendment, especially with regard to individual rights to own guns, is bolstered by the Supreme Court ruling of June 26, 2008 in District of Columbia et al. versus Heller where Justice Antonin Scalia stated the majority opinion that “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home” and in The McDonald versus City of Chicago ruling that asserted the Second Amendment bestows individual gun ownership rights (Loesch, 2014).

To maintain liberty, freedoms are enshrined in the Bill of Rights. These include freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom to own and bear arms. The government should not encroach on these freedoms.

Guns and crime

To deter crime, governments should encourage gun ownership rather than gun control. Gun ownership doubled in the twentieth century yet murder rates decreased. Assault weapon bans in various states between 1980 and 2009 “did not significantly affect murder rates” and “states with restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons had higher gun-related murders” according to a study published on November 26, 2013 (Spitzer, 2015).

Gun control does not prevent criminals from getting guns or breaking the law. Criminals ignore gun control laws, just as they ignore other laws. Omar Mateen, the alleged Orlando attacker, and Mainak Sarkar, the UCLA gunman had both passed gun background checks. 49 shooters in 62 mass shootings between 1982 and 2012 used guns that were obtained legally whether by themselves, family or friends. A May 2013 report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics stated that 37.4% of state prison inmates who “used, carried, or possessed a firearm when they committed the crime for which they were serving a prison sentence” got the gun from family or friend (Spitzer, 2015). Yet gun control laws affect the law-abiding citizens who abide by them.

Professor John R. Lott, Jr stated that, “states with the largest increases in gun ownership also have the largest drops in violent crimes…When states passed these laws, the number of multiple-victim shootings declined by 84%. Deaths from these shootings plummeted on average by 90% and injuries by 82%” (ProCon.org, 2016).

Moreover 57% people in a 2014 Pew survey believe having a gun protects them from victimization (Spitzer, 2015). Criminals with weapons fear retaliation from victims with weapons. Guns cannot be the preserve of outlaws.

In countries with strict gun control it has been observed that robbery and assault cases go up. For example, robbery in England, Denmark Finland, Poland, Scotland and Sweden has been consistently higher than in the United States (Blocher, 2013). The BBC noted that in the decade after all private possession of handguns was banned, the number of gun crimes actually rose sharply.

Guns and self-defense

“Stand your ground” instils a sense of safety among people. Protection cannot be left to the police alone; everybody has a responsibility to protect themselves, families and fellow citizens. With gun control laws, there is no sense of safety since the right to self-defense is infringed. Yet guns are used in the country for self-defense 2.5 million times a year according to the NRA (Spitzer, 2015).

Professor Nelson Lund at George Mason University School of Law avers that “The right to self-defense and to the means of defending oneself is a basic natural right that grows out of the right to life” and “many (gun control laws) interfere with the ability of law-abiding citizens to defend themselves against violent criminals” (ProCon.org, 2016). 37 states have the right to have arms for self-defense in their constitutions.

A May 9, 2013 survey found out that 48% of convicted felons avoided committing crimes if they were aware the victim had a gun. 80% of gun owners and 64% of people living with gun owners felt safer (Cook and Goss, 2014).

Guns and sport

Banning “assault weapons,” infringes on the right to own guns for sport and hunting. This is an industry of about 14 million hunters who spent $7.7 billion in 2011 on sights, guns and other hunting equipment.  32% of gun owners in 2013 had them for hunting and 8% owned them for target or sport shooting, according to a Pew Research (Loesch, 2014). The National Shooting Sports Foundation notes that the “assault weapons” are likely to be less powerful than other more common hunting rifles such as high-powered semiautomatic rifles and shotguns. For example, the Colt AR-15 and Springfield M1A rifles that are the most common in marksman competition have standard hunting caliber cartridges.

Guns and government

Federal and state governments can become tyrannical by imposing gun control laws. This is by the government having too much power over the people by taking away their guns. Having lived under the tyranny of King George, America’s founding fathers must have wanted to guarantee that future citizens would never experience a tyrannical government (Loesch, 2014).

Government action in gun control is evident in such states as California, New Jersey and New York. These states started with modest gun control measures before graduating to enacting stricter laws. This is despite surveys showing oscillation in opinions about gun ownership and control. Such governments gradually interfere will all individual and communal freedoms, becoming tyrannical in nature.

Guns and privacy

Gun background checks and micro-stamping invade on an individual’s privacy through maintenance of government databases with people’s details such as names, addresses, medical records, criminal records, gun codes, etc. The information could then be used for unintended purposes such as government surveillance (Cook and Goss, 2014).

Guns and death rates

CDC’s “Leading Causes of Death Reports” covering the period 1999 to 2013, relatively few people are killed by guns compared to other causes of death. 9.7 million Americans died from heart diseases (21.5 times), 8.5 of malignant tumors (18.7 times) and over 1 million of diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease (2.3 times). Other deadlier killers than firearms include flu and related pneumonia, traffic accidents and poisoning. Firearms were used in 464,033 deaths (1.3% of deaths), ranking twelfth on the list. Despite Americans owning the most guns internationally, the United States was ranked twenty eighth internationally in 2012 homicide rates with 2.97 murders per 100,000 people (Loesch, 2014).

And there have been terrible mass shootings too in countries that have strict gun control laws. These multiple deaths have occurred in such places as Switzerland, Germany, France and Norway. 

Guns and suicide

Suicides are not prevented by reduced gun ownership. The country with the highest suicide data in 1999 from available data is Lithuania (45.06 per 100,000 people), yet it has the lowest gun ownership. Japan (18.41 per 100,000) and South Korea (12.63 per 100,000) also have high suicide rates and low gun ownership rates. Despite having the highest gun ownership rate, United States ranked twenty sixth in terms of suicide rates (12.3 per 100,000 people) (Loesch, 2014). Hence the idea that having more gun control laws would reduce the suicide rate is a fallacy.

Guns and education

As oft cited, guns do not kill people, people kill people. What is needed is not more gun control but more education about guns and their safety. Education and illness screening will curb mass shooting. As the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute, Inc (SAAMI) notes, “Whether in the field, at the range or in the home, a responsible and knowledgeable gun owner is rarely involved in a firearms accident of any kind” (Cook and Goss, 2014).

NRA’s Eddie Eagle program “promote(s) the protection and safety of children… (with guns) treated simply as a fact of everyday life” (ProCon.org, 2016). Kyle Wintersteen, managing editor of Guns and Ammo, observed that studies show that “children taught about firearms and their legitimate uses by family members have much lower rates of delinquency than children in households without guns” and “children introduced to guns associate them with freedom, security, and recreation – not violence” (ProCon.org, 2016).

Guns and invaders

Gun ownership ensures the citizenry can protect themselves from foreign invaders, with gun control laws diminishing this ability. As noted by the Libertarian Party “A responsible, well-armed and trained citizenry is the best protection against domestic crime and the threat of foreign invasion” (ProCon.org, 2016). This is averred by politicians with Marco Rubio, a 2016 Republican presidential candidate stating that “If God forbid, ISIS visits our life, our neighborhood, our school, any part of us, the last thing standing, the last line of defense could very well be our ability to protect ourselves” (ProCon.org, 2016).

Guns  and sales

Gun control laws cannot curb sales of guns. People, especially criminals, will still be able to acquire the weapons despite the strictest laws. Despite some of the strictest gun control laws in the world, Mexico had a higher homicide rate in 2012 of 9.97 gun homicides per 100,000 people than the US that had 2.97 gun homicides per 100,000. This is regardless of the fact that Mexico has one legal gun store known as the Directorate of Arms and Munitions Sales that is located on a secure military base with the strict laws requiring a customer approved after tough background checks to buy only one gun that is lower or equal in power to a .38 caliber pistol and one box of ammunition. This is as compared to the nearly 64,000 gun stores and pawn shops in the US as of February 2014. Yet Mexicans own about 15 million guns (Loesch, 2014).

This proves that strict gun control laws do not translate to less gun ownership. Tougher controls could lead to stealing or borrowing of guns. Other guns would be got through straw purchases. Dangerous people cannot be prevented from getting guns by enhanced background checks and or waiting-period laws.

Guns and racism

Laws that control guns are racist by tradition and current application. Traditionally the laws targeted Native Americans, indentured servants and slaves. Prior to the Civil War, blacks could not carry guns. Following Virginia’s Nat Turner’s Rebellion in 1831 where slaves killed about 60 people, a law that prohibited free black people “to keep or carry any firelock of any kind, any military weapon, or any powder or lead” was passed (Blocher, 2013). After the Civil War, the KKK was founded later to enforce gun control so as to check revolt among blacks. Further, the gun laws enacted in the late 1960s targeted the militant, gun-carrying Black Panthers. Currently the laws target the perceived dangerous people living in inner cities who include poor black and Latino communities (Blocher, 2013). Such discriminatory laws should not have a place in modern America.

Guns and militia

All able-bodied men between 17 and 45 years in the United States and women in the National Guard are supposed to have guns so that they can participate in a militia to keep the peace and defend the country. Hence these adult men and women should not have their rights to own a firearm infringed, as granted by the 1792 federal law and the Second Amendment (Cook and Goss, 2014).

Daniel J. Schultz, a lawyer, observed that, “‘well-regulated’ militias, that is, armed citizens, ready to form militias that would be well trained, self-regulated and disciplined would pose no threat to their fellow citizens, but would, indeed, help to ‘insure domestic tranquility’ and ‘provide for the common defense'” (Loesch, 2014).

Guns and law inefficacy

Efforts to control gun ownership are not effective, with there being no correlation between waiting periods and robbery or murder rates. Selling of high-capacity magazines does not necessarily increase the murder rates since small guns can effectively do the same damage. Commercial gun dealers who sell most of their guns at shows are bound by federal laws and hence there is no “gun show loophole”. A Lancet study published on March 10, 2016 found out that “state-level gun control laws do not reduce firearm death rates, and, of 25 state laws, nine were associated with higher gun death rates” (ProCon.org, 2016).

Guns and location

If guns are bad, most mass shootings would occur in places where guns are allowed. Yet many mass shootings have occurred in gun-free zones. This include the Orlando attack where about fifty people died, the Umpqua Community College attack that left nine dead, the Chattanooga military offices attack with five fatalities, the DC Navy Yard attack with twelve fatalities, two Fort Hood attacks that left sixteen dead, the Sandy Hook Elementary attack that killed twenty six, the Aurora movie theater attack that killed twelve people and the Virginia Tech campus attack that killed thirty two people (Web search, 2017).

Yet, in a Mississippi high school, an armed school administrator stopped a shooter at the school. There is an armed merchant who prevented more deaths in a high school in Pennsylvania. It is not unlikely that many lives would have been saved if the attacks were not at gun-free zones. Responsible armed people would have deterred the attackers before the fatalities escalated.

Conclusion

Gun control laws are of no benefit to individuals or communities. They disarm the “good guy” (law-abiding citizen) and empower the “bad guy” (criminal). Guns are useful as a deterrent and for self-defense. Moreover, guns are historical and cultural in the American psyche with guns having been totted in these lands before formation of the country. There are ways guns can be made safer. One way is education of the populace about gun handling and safety. That guns are used a lot in domestic disputes and are leading causes of homicide and suicide cases mean there is need for more awareness about importance of guns for both men and women.

Motivational Theories

Self-Determination Theory

Following the flaws in the cognitive theory, it became apparent that work motivation incorporates both the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation sources. Self-determination theory proposes that one can possess both intrinsic and extrinsic motives driving their work related and other behaviors. Thus, the more satisfying an activity is, the more the motivation that will be retrieved from it allowing you feel in charge of your behavior. Even mundane satisfaction can generate motivation through extrinsic rewards and the more autonomy one feels, the more self- directed they become leading to more satisfaction from work towards accomplishing intrinsic needs. Becoming capable of expressing inner motives and getting rewarded at the same time is a challenging combination to achieve. The challenge for many is the feeling that their work is under the control of influences outside their inner personal self-determination. Consequently, the feeling of external control causes discontent at work and overall stagnation in life (Deci & Ryan, 2012). Hence, the solution to the problem is identifying the means to express one’s autonomy even if just in small ways.

Read also Motivational Coaching And Motivational Coaching Process

Cognitive Theory

According to Neenan and Dryden, (2013), coming from simple realms of behavior conditioning controlled by thoughts, the cognitive, motivational theory posits that our behavior is guided and directly influenced by expectations. That we behave in manners that we think will result in desired outcome. The cognitive theory further proposes that we have two kinds of motivation; intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation pushes us to achieve our interests and inner potential, defining our desire to display our true self by behavior in work or leisure activities. Also, when driven by intrinsic motivation, one feels in charge of determining the results of their effort. On the contrary, extrinsic motivation defines one’s desire to attain tangible rewards such as money.  The extrinsic rewards such as fame, money and glory crowd out intrinsic fulfillment that one feels when doing something they enjoy doing. It further purports that extrinsic rewards are counter-productive because it leads to diminished creativity and productivity. Therefore, the concept of motivational crowding out introduces obvious flaws since managers can use it to deny granting their employees promotions or rewards because it leads to reduced productivity and creativity.

Read also Learning, An Aspect of Cognition, Emotion and Motivation

Arousal Theory

Arousal theory states that from the opposite pole of drive reduction, humans seek to increase rather than decrease their stimulation levels. We crave for the high that comes with endorphin rush when we push ourselves both mentally and physically. The theory further opines that both humans and animals get bored with excess homeostasis. However, excessive arousal can become detrimental to our quest towards achieving our set goals. Yerkes-Dodson law factors this and proposes that all humans function depending on an optimum arousal level. If we are too nervous or sleepy, we invariably perform poorly in the activities we participate in (Neenan & Dryden, 2013). Therefore, everyone and every task has its peak between an arousal that is too low and that which is too intense. Upon finding one’s optimum arousal level, performance becomes enjoyable and flawless.

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Drive Reduction Theory

The other perspective in understanding motivation is the Drive reduction theory that suggests that living organisms; simple or complex, small and large have preference for a homeostatic state that offers satisfaction for all of their needs. The drive infers to the state of need that propels a behavior that must then be reduced. The theory further states that one gets into the need state when their survival is under threat. Whenever the drive arises, an unpleasant tension state occurs, and the person will behave in a manner that reduces the tension. Tension reduction thus will involve finding the means to satisfy the biological needs such as seeking water to quench thirst when hungry. The theory further proposes that any behavior that results in drive reduction will naturally be repeated by the animals because drive reduction is a positive reinforcement for such behaviors (Gould, Carson & Blanton, 2013). However, the theory has been criticized for not being applicable with secondary reinforcement concepts or being unable to explain why someone can opt to engage in behaviors that do not reduce drives such as drinking when not thirsty.

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Instinct Theory

Instinct theory of motivation perceives that motivation results from either biological or genetic programming. The theory purports that all human beings possess the same motivations because of our biological programming orientation. It further claims that all our motivation roots from the innate desire to survive and that it is from that survival motivation that other life motivations arise. Again that our actions and behavior based on this motivation are considered instinct. A typical example that exemplifies the instinct theory is that of a mother who will do her best in providing comfort to a baby that cries all night, the mother naturally will not go to sleep until her baby is quiet and asleep. Instinct Theory argues that human mothers act in such a manner because they biologically wired that way; providing comfort to a baby is a mother’s instinct. The proponents of the theory posit that such action does not come from learning or conditioning having role models, being brought up in either poor or rich family but it is because it emanates from their instinct. Thus, human mothers can never disregard the motivation to care for their children. The instinct theory, however, has some challenges in that most of the instincts it is based on are not universal; some mothers lack the instinctual behavior towards their children. The other issue is, humans portray varying motivational levels because of jealousy or aggression instincts.

Employee Staffing and Compensation Plan for a Small Size Public Traded Company

Introduction

Staffing and compensation entail finding the right person for the right job, it will also ensure that this person is put in the right place and is doing the right job. Compensation, on the other hand, looks at all work-related payments like wages, insurance, time off, and commissions. Salaries and wages are the most obvious areas when it comes to the compensation of employees. This will also be based on job groups and other factors that affect employee compensation, related to the values of the job to the organization. The following is an employee staffing and compensation plan for a small size public traded company (Clady, 2014). The plan will look at the thought process used when staffing and compensating the company employees using the following deliverables:

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Components of the hiring/ succession Plan ( manager’s role)

  • Candidate evaluation – the manager will use this process in finding the right person for the right job. This will involve taking the selected candidates through an interview to determine the person fit for the job. Candidate evaluation should also look at work experience and other skills that the candidate has related to the Job.
  • Training – training of newly, employed staff will be very vital for the job. This will ensure that they are aware of what is needed from them. Training will also be done for new staff as a way of empowering them so that they can qualify for promotions within the company (Silverman, 2005). The manager should ensure that training needs go in line with the company policy.

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  • Key Positions- The key positions in the company will include marketing managers, public relations officers, and strategic planner. This is because the company has a weakness when it comes to the marketing of its services and products.
  • Access to records- This will entail the track of the movement or records in the organization. At this, the manager will provide employees with information on resource requirements like staffing, facilities and other business plans that ensure the internal relationship is maintained and the objective of the company is met.  Obsolete records will also be re-evaluated to ensure that only those, which add value to the company, are retained.

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  • Interest Assessment – this will be helpful to understand the staff position in relation to their career plan. It will ensure that the right person is selected for the position and that they have the interest of the company at heart.  As it is with careers, each employee will have own interest some of which nothing to do with abilities or skills. In most cases, people are usually attracted to activities that they are interested in or enjoy doing. This will afford them the opportunity to develop their abilities and skills (Weldon, 2012). For a manager, choosing the right staff also means getting an individual that finds the job interesting to do and not just about the salary that it attracts.

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Components of the Recruitment Plan

  • Needs Assessment – During needs assessment the manager will first analyses all the departments in the organization to find where positions are missing. There will also need to look at departments that are understaffed and the budget that the company can provide for the staffing and compensation process. The needs assessment is vital to the staffing process, as it will ensure that the right person is hired for the right position. In addition, the organization will be able to fill positions that are empty that there is no overstaffing in the organization. For this company after conducting the needs assessment, the marketing department needs to add more staff to increase the marketing strength of the organization (Clady, 2014).
  • General and Specific recruitment-  during the general recruitment, the manager will be looking for people who can fill up volunteer jobs. However, since this is not permanent, they will be hired depending on the needs of the time. For example, during the marketing plan, the company may need marketing research assistants to help in filling questionnaires, at this general recruitment will be done. During the specific recruitment, the manager will look for a candidate that will take on a permanent position in the company (Silverman, 2005). This individual will go through the interview process, training, and recruitment to ensure that they understand the company and can be productive. They will also be registered in the company monthly payroll.

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  • Goals, Strategy, Action steps – The goal of recruitment plan will be to find the right people to fill the right positions of the company. The company will also be looking for productive candidates that are interested in meeting the objectives of the company. The strategy will be to recruit able employees that will work for the company on a one-year renewable contract. This is important, as it will ensure these candidates are evaluated on a yearly basis (Silverman, 2005). The steps will entail advertising for the job, formulating the interview questions and panel, evaluation each candidate through a score sheet and finally selecting the right candidate for the position. 
  • Methods of recruitment – Two method of recruitment will serve the purpose of this organization. First, there will be an internal recruitment, which will consider people working with the company for the open job positions. Internal recruitment will be most appropriate, as it will ensure the recruitment budget is not stretch and less expensive. Internal recruitment will also be appropriate when employees are considered for promotion positions (Weldon, 2012). External recruitment will be considered when the company is outsourcing for new talent in the selected departments. Also due to the needs basis, the company will consider the type of recruitment.

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  • Budget- The main items in the recruitment budget will be

             Advertising-$ 500

            Interview – $200

            Training $1000

            TOTAL  = $1700

  • Resources- Recruitment resources will include interview schedules, score sheet templates, and affiliated companies.
  • Employee orientation and training – Orientation and training will be done when the right candidate is found. The new candidate will be introduced to each department of the organization and familiarized with other staff. Training will then be done on the company’s mission, vision, objectives, and strategic plan (Weldon, 2012).

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Compensation Plan: Salary Study and Incentive

  • Compensation Philosophy – The compensation philosophy for this company will be percentile based. This means that the rate at which the employee is able to perform to the required level will determine how much he or she will be compensated.
  • Pay Policy on hiring, promotion, and merit- Pay policy for the company will depend on the job position and not the education level of the employee. This is important to ensure that equality is observed. However, upon promotion, the employee payment will also rise. The company will not look at merit but at the productivity of the individual (Clady, 2014).

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  • Pay range alignment – the pay range will also depend on job position and the company policy. Previous places of work will be considered when negotiating pay range.
  • Communication of pay policy- Communication of pay policy to employees will be done during selection. As the employee signs the contract, he will be introduced to pay policy and asked to agree to the terms or decline (Silverman, 2005).
  • Consistency – the consistency of payment for the employee will be maintained under the written contract. The employee will be compensated so long as they are productive under the contract.

Read also Internet, Computer hardware And Software Industry Compensation System Evaluation

Diversity Management Policy

  • Recognition and respect for individual differences- The Company has a policy against any forms of discrimination and sexual harassment where any employee found to exercise this will be suspended and if continued fired.
  • Positive workplace environment- Employee relations is paramount in the organisations. Retreats and other bonding activities are incorporated in employment terms as a way of establishing a safe work environment.

Read also Importance of Cultural Diversity in Multinationals

MKT 505 – Entry Plan into International Market – Target Inc Entry Into Nigeria

Brief Company Overview

            Founded in 1902 and headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, Target is an international company with 1,800 stores in 49 states in the United States. The company is a general merchandize retailer, with product portfolio that includes dry grocery, frozen items and dairy and all sorts of electronics (Target Inc., 2017). The company posted sales of over 69 billion dollars in the second quarter of 2017, owing to its vast brands such as Archer Farms, Sutton & Dodge, Threshold, Smith & Hawken, Gilligan & O’Malley and Cat & Jack among others. The majority of the company revenues are generated from the large United States market although it has expanded its operations to include Canada and other countries in Europe. Its competitors include Wall-Mart, Costco Wholesale Corp., Groger Co., and Home Depot Inc.

Expanding into Nigerian

Brief Profile of Nigeria

            The Federal Republic of Nigeria has an estimated population of about 186 million (with 58 million constituting the labour market), with English as its official language. The country has had direct business investments from outside the country, with U.S being the leading foreign direct investor. U.S has often supplied the country with refined oil products, wheat, military equipment and parts and agricultural equipment among other products.  However, foreign investment in the country is governed by the country’s laws, which sets the guidelines that foreign investors must abide before being allowed to operate. According to (Hamilton & Webster, 2015) doing business in the country can be complex owing to three distinct legal systems based on Sharia law, the English Common Law and the customary laws.

The country has become stable in the recent past owing to the 2015 democratic elections. The country has witnessed civil wars over the years owing to fight over the oil mineral reserves. The heightened political tensions made it hard for foreign companies to invest in the country. The return to democracy, the rapidly growing economy and the increasing population makes the country a good destination for investments. The country has a GDP of over 405 billion U.S dollars, and a rapidly growing ICT in Africa (The International Trade Administration, 2017). The population in Nigeria is growing fast towards middle class. Majority of the population consists of young adults aged 20-40 years.

The country has a well developed Information Communication Technology framework, which is among the leading in Africa. Majority of Nigerians use internet, with the country ranked as the 7th country in the world with largest internet usage (The International Trade Administration, 2017). There are many telecommunications countries offering the GSM and CMDA services. The mobile telecommunication services is set to expand due to increased use of smart phones and the data charges are set to drop as more users are projected to use internet.

The Possibility and Feasibility of Integrating Ecommerce into the Company’s Offering

            The electronic commerce, popularly known as the e-commerce is the production, marketing, sale and/or the delivery of the goods/services through electronic means (Broome, 2016). Ecommerce has seen growth over recent years as one of the most viable business strategies. The growth in the telecommunication network coverage and the increase in bandwidth in Nigeria have opened more opportunities for companies that wish to expand to the region. The country has moved to cashless payment and many European companies that offer electronic payment systems such as visa have exploited these opportunities.

Read also Why Do Most Businesses Fail to Expand Internationally? – Research Proposal

            The country has passed laws that govern online payment systems including protection against cyber crimes, domain use and electronic signatures. The capacity building in the online payment platform in the country has created good opportunity for foreign companies that wish to establish their brands in the country. Moreover, the country is a member of the regional economic bloc known as Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS. The presence of such regional blocs is regarded as a catalyst for increased inter-regional trade (Seck, 2013). In addition, regional integration could lead to development of telecommunication infrastructure in member countries, which could further open up more market for Target in West Africa.

            Nigeria is considered one of the most populous countries in the world; their average family size is 6, which offer a good market for countries wishing to invest in the country (The International Trade Administration, 2017). With many people utilizing the internet and the countries rapidly growing population, it is expected that the volume of trade would increase in the next decades. Moreover, majority of the country’s population is projected to be middle class, which would coincide with potential increase in consumption and volumes of trade.

            The marketing mix relates to the price, product, promotion and place components (Baker, 2010). Having the right marketing mix is important for successful investment in the Nigerian market. Whereas it is easy to determine the product, promotion and place components, price has been cited as a major determinant of success especially when entering market where there are established companies. The importance of price as an entry strategy can be highlighted in the failure of Wal-Mart’s to establish itself in South Africa owing to lack of competitive prices compared of Shoprite, a major retail player in the market.

            The Nigerian economy is small and the average earnings are well below that of the developed countries. The International Trade Administration, (2017) points that the Nigerian people have lower purchasing power and most goods face stiff competition from cheap alternatives from Asian and North African suppliers. Moreover, the presence of price controls that were implemented in 2015 is bound to impact on prices. However, there are many cities where stores can be located. The major vibrant city with a rapidly growing population is Lagos. In regards to product promotion, there are many strategies that can be employed. With many Nigerians in the cities having education and electronic devices like TVs, the mass media can be used with great success.

            Nigeria was a British colony, and the country’s official language is English. However, with more than 250 tribes, the country has many languages. Moreover, the country has two major religions, Christianity and Muslim, with Islam being a popular religion among the 12 Northern States (Hamilton & Webster, 2015). The indigenous people have diverse cultural rituals, which are differ from tribe to tribe. The presence of different spoken dialect and religious faith creates a huge challenge in marketing operations for companies who wish to operate in the country.

Key Reasons Why Entering Market in Nigeria is Justified

            The entry into the Nigerian market is justified because of the growing population, the developing information communication infrastructure and the presence of fewer developed retail outlets. The Nigerian market has a rapidly growing market, which offers potential for revenue growth now and in future. The country is growing towards a middles economy, which is likely to see a rise in disposable income among families that will increase the purchasing power of the population. The well developed infrastructure and laws that protect firms who wish to operate with online stores makes it a good destination for foreign expansion. In addition, Target is likely to face competition from Amazon.com and Jumia (a local startup) as major competitor since Wal-Mart is yet to establish its presence. Presence of less competition ensures the firm can establish its brand name before other international retail stores.

Potential Risks of Market Expansion into Nigeria using ecommerce

            The move by Target Inc. to invest in Nigeria offers a number of potential risks. There are risks associated with tax controls, which are likely to make the company products expensive. The other risks include language barriers, which can be a challenge to reach the people that speak indigenous language. Also, there is a risk associated with presence of a number of laws, which could make business regulation a big challenge.

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            In order to overcome the challenge of tax controls, the company can focus on products that are exclusively U.S owned, such as iPhones, computers and other consumables. This will allow the company to remain competitive since the taxation raises the costs of products, but supplying exclusively U.S based products creates a uniform playground for all companies. In other consumer products, the company can make acquisitions of local startups such as Jumia, which will allow it to offer the products that the U.S market cannot have a control. The language barrier can be overcome through the use of local workforce in the development and implementation of marketing strategies. The issue of many laws can be overcome by use of local business registration companies in liaison with the American embassy to facilitate the business registration process and ensure that all aspects of law are adhered.

Ways of Adapting Operational strategies

            There is often a huge difference in the modes of business operations between countries. Companies who wish to invest in foreign destinations often face the prospect of local competition from local companies and the hiring challenges (Grünig & Morschett, 2016). In order to adapt Target operational strategies to fit the changing dynamics of Nigerian markets and foster its competitive advantage, there is need for a number of strategies to be implemented.            

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The first strategy is to set prices that match that of competitors in the market. If the objective of Target is to increase sales, there is need for the company to reduce inventory, use local suppliers for products that can be sourced within Nigeria and determine the best market price that matches the capability of consumers. In doing so, the company is able to remain competitive and at the same time enjoy huge sales volumes. The other strategy is to design its products or services that meet the local consumer needs. For example, in design of the websites for the ecommerce, Target should use local themes that are popular among the Nigerians. This ensures the company stands against its competitors and its technical measures capture the consumer needs.

Developing a Marketing Strategy for Coca Cola Company’s New Product

The Coca Cola Company and the New Product Offering

            The Coca Cola Company is one of the leading multinationals, with operations in more than 200 countries, producing over 500 brands to its customers. Founded in 1886 in Atlanta, U.S, Coca Cola has grown and expanded beyond the United States and its product portfolio includes Coca Cola Zero, Sprite, Fanta, Dasani water, Coke diet, Fuze tea, Minute maid and honest tea, among others (World of Coca-Cola, 2017). The company is listed in New York stock exchange and has operations in Europe, Asia, North and South America and Africa.

Read also Coca Cola Internet Marketing Campaign Analysis Paper

            Although Coca Cola Company has invested in the soft drinks market, the increasing competition from other market brands such as Red Bull and Pepsi Cola requires the company to diversify its market portfolio. The new product offerings will ensure the company increases its revenues even under the shrinking global market for soft drinks. It is for these reasons that the paper introduces new Coca Cola branded chewing gums called “You Gum”. The “You” gums would retail under the same taste as existing Coca Cola leading drinks. The presence of huge untapped market in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe, offers major incentive to invest in the product.

Approaches to Use in Order to Use and Incorporate Branding and Co-Branding Opportunities

            The term branding has existed for decades and is often used as means of creating a distinction of good from one producer and the other. Brand can be defined as a sign, symbol, design, name, term or a combination of the five (Mohr, Sengupta & Slater, 2009). There exist different types of branding strategies today that include co-branding, in-branding and ingredient branding.  Branding is useful when entering a market where already established and strong brands exist. According to (Kotler & Pfoertsch, 2010) most companies that enter into market with less power have to be cautious and adopt branding as a means of gaining good market share.

            In order to incorporate branding and co-branding, the new product will use same ingredient as that used in Coca Cola leading soft drinks such as Fanta and market the product together with Coca Cola brands. The new chewing gum name will have a unique name, with a highlight that shows that it has the Coca Cola ingredient inside. According to (Kotler & Pfoertsch, 2010) the use of co-branding and ingredient branding is critical in capitalizing on the capital equity of the leading brand and enhance product success. The new product will be advertised together with Fanta products and the product name though different would show its ingredients as including the major Fanta ingredient inside together with the Fanta taste. The rationale for adoption of the co-branding and ingredient branding is based on the information integration theory (pp. 22).

Strategy for Advertising the New Product

            Gum has been chewed over a long time since the discovery of the “natural” gum from trees. In the United States, for instance, people chewed gum from as early as 1850; a gum that exuded from trees (Segrave, 2015). The first gum was extracted from trees and sold in its natural taste without any additional ingredient (pp. 5). However, modern gums employ different types of ingredients in the manufacture of gums. Considering that chewing gums have been in existence over a long period of time, it is common knowledge that there are leading market brands and gaining entry into such a market requires effective advertising strategies to attain marketing objectives.

Read also Advertising – Friend or Foe? – Sample Argumentative Essay

            The advertisement strategy that “You Gum” would adopt is a combination of creative and media strategy. The creative strategy involves the creation of a compelling message targeted at informing and persuading the customers (Du Plessis, 2000). The media strategy will involve the use of media outlets to promote the creative message. Du Plessis (2000) asserts that a combination of media and creative strategy ensures that a product gains good reception in the market. While the media will play a role in communicating the message, the creative strategy will be crucial in developing the message. Combining the two advertisement strategy will ensure “You Gum” reaches wide audience with a convincing message. 

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            However, the advertisement message would vary from country to country. The reason to these is that the differences in culture and consumer preferences demands that the advertisement strategies be tailored according to specific market segments. For instance, a message designed in an English perspective may create a different perception, while some form of media are more effective in developed countries than less developed countries like Africa and Asia.

Market Segmentation Variables for “You Gum” in South Africa

            South Africa perhaps offers one of the best emerging market owing to the large population, good infrastructure and yet a largely untapped market. However, offering product in such a market can only be successful if effective segmentation strategies are employed. According to (Strydom, 2004) segmentation is the grouping of consumers using similar variables such as age, gender or region. However, the author asserts that there is not specific way of segmenting the market (pp. 65). 

Read also Business Level and Corporate Level Strategies – Coca Cola Company

            The marketing strategy for “You Gum” in South Africa will adopt geographical segmentation. South Africa is made up of several provinces and dividing the market based on the provinces will provide a way in which the people within those provinces could be targeted. The provinces will be further divided according to cities and towns. According to (Strydom, 2004) South Africa has 9 provinces, each with a city.  The segmentation of the South African market will therefore result in creation of nine segments of Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Limpopo and Western Cape provinces.

Main Types of Pricing Strategies for “You Gum”

            The pricing strategies define the methods that would be used to set profitable prices in the market, but are also justifiable (Kurtz & Boone, 2010). According to the authors, pricing are subject to influence from a lot of factors such as competition (pp. 47). Many pricing strategies exist, which include competitor-based, demand-based, price skimming, economy, premium and penetration pricing. The “You Gum” will be priced using the economy and penetration pricing, which combines both low and affordable prices. The use of economy and penetration pricing will be critical in establishment of substantial market share, the major marketing objective of the company. The modern economic down-turn has affected almost every country, and the use of economy based pricing is important in creating prices that would be taken easily by the price conscious public in South Africa. Through a successful economy pricing, the company intends to attain about 12 percent of market share by the end of fourth quarter.

Key Methods for Creating Distribution Channels

            The distribution method defines the method that is used to deliver products to the consumers in the market. Cognizant of the existing distribution channels for the Coca Cola Company in South Africa, “You Gum” will be sold through large scale and retails stores. This will ensure the company leverages on the existing supply network and that the product reaches wide range of consumers in the market.

Strategy for the New Product

For the new product, a multi-country strategy would be appropriate for the new product. The chewing gum market is yet to globalize, and is characterized by domination of multi-country competition. In addition, multi-country strategy offers a good way of initiating a global enterprise (Sinha & Sinha, 2008). Moreover, (Wagner & Barkley, 2010) points that multi-country strategy is good where countries are diverse and government regulations prevents standardization.

Theories Explain Border Migration Aspect of Intercultural Communication

Introduction

            Studies have described intercultural communication to include values, thought-patterning, stereotypes, perceptions, organizational culture, nonverbal cues, mass media, linguistics and language, journalism, cross-cultural training and business, cognition, beliefs and attitudes. However, some scholars have argued that not all these factors can be accurately considered as intercultural communication (Kurekova, 2011). As a result, theoretical constructs have been developed to assist investigator to comprehensively understand intercultural communication. Many theories have been formulated to explain the aspects of intercultural communication. One aspect of intercultural communication is cross border migration and the perfect theories to explain intercultural communication happening as result of migration are the theories of migrations. These theories are macro-level theories (push/pull, world-systems, melting pot), micro-level theories (u-curve model of adaptation, w-curve model) and migrant-host relationship.

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Macro-level theories

Push-pull theory

            Push/pull theory is described as condition where the life circumstance and economic opportunity “pushes” people to migrate towards the path or destination that offers better opportunity. These better opportunities “pull’ the migrants towards it. There are historical incidences that have forced people to leave their country and seek better opportunities in other countries. For example, many African migrants have died in Red Sea as they cross to Europe to seek new opportunities (Kim, 2012). The life circumstance in some of the African countries are unbearable and as a result, the citizens of these countries move to Europe to seek better opportunities. Similarly, German Jews migrated to United Kingdom and United States after being liberated from concentration camps in Germany.

Read also Personal Worldview and Its Effect on Intercultural Communication

World-systems theory

             This theory attempts to explains the migration based on factors happening in the world such as structure of global capitalism. For example, developed countries have more robust economy as compared to developing countries. The economic inequalities are attributed to colonization and it has led to migration flow from developing countries to developed countries (Fu, 2015). The second aspects are conditions whereby the global and national institution takes advantage of resources, labor and land of the developing countries to boost the growth of the developed countries. The third aspect is whereby the international financial institution such as IMF make certain countries inhabitable by creating scenarios that indirectly or directly affects the economy of the country. These factors cumulatively form world-systems and they make people to migrate from country of their origin to another.

Melting pot

            This theory explains a situation whereby migrant gels with the new culture because the they were allowed to blend or melt. The mainstream gives the migrants the opportunity to adopt the new culture in order to form a cohesive society. However, there are myths that are associated with this theory which a condition where the mainstream does not allow the migrants to melt and form a cohesive society (Kurekova, 2011). In addition, the mainstream may cast suspicions on the migrants who do not want to conform with norms of new culture. For example, a metaphor of U.S. society that the migrants’ adaptation to a new culture inevitably requires newcomers to “melt” or “blend” into the mainstream to form a cohesive whole.

Micro theories

U-curve model of adaptation

            This model of adaptation has three stages that anticipates a migrant should go through during process of melting and blending. The first step is anticipation which is an excitement in part of new migrant about the new culture. The second step is culture shock which is a situation whereby the migrants feel disoriented when confronted by unfamiliar environment brought by new culture (Kurekova, 2011). The third step is adjustment which is a process whereby the migrants learn to communicate verbal and nonverbal codes. The rate of adjustment depends on many factors such as gender, age, cultural similarity and desire to adopt new environment.

Read also Cultural Patterns and Communication Breakdowns

W-curve model

            This model is one of the micro-level theories that attempted to highlight solutions related to challenges faced by migrants when gaining re-entry into one’s home culture. The re-entry shock comes when the migrants are attempting to re-enter the new culture. The other aspect is adjustment where the migrant needs to adjust in order to new culture (Kim, 2012). For example, when the migrant returns to their original country, they have undergone similar process they went through in U-curve model.

Migrant-host relationships

This theory is one of the micro-level theories and it depends on four factros: Assimilation, separation. Marginalization and integration. Assimilation is the process where the migrants are assimilated into the new culture. Some migrants may take the shortest time to get assimilated into the mainstream based on the relationship they have with the new culture. Separation is a different aspect because the migrants are separated from the mainstream (Fu, 2015). This makes the migrants to take longer period to blend or melt. Marginalization is a condition where the migrants are discriminated by the mainstream. The last factor is integration where the migrants are accepted and integrated into the mainstream. Based on these factors, migrants can freely and effectively communicate with the mainstream.

How Patient Education and Technology Impacts the Delivery of Healthcare and Nursing Care

Introduction

            The information technologies and the research that result from such technologies has led to newer and better methods in which nursing information is brought to patients. In addition, the use of technology has further influenced the pattern of empirical knowledge in nursing, which has influenced by evidence-based research and experience. However, the presence of evidence-based research is not enough, but there is a need for an educated patient population. Patient education has been identified as an important component of any organization. An educated and knowledgeable population is associated with reduced medical errors, increased participation in treatment, reduced length of stay and increased satisfaction. In recognition of the important roles that technology and patient education play in healthcare, the paper seeks to determine the impact that technology and patient education have on nursing care and healthcare delivery.

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Impact of Patient Education and Technology in Nursing Care and Delivery of Healthcare

            The increased need for patient-centered nursing practice has seen an increase in patient involvement and use of technology in nursing care. According to (Rankin, Stallings and London, 2005) many patients are now more involved in their healthcare care plans. Healthcare providers are now crucial healthcare educators in the various healthcare delivery settings. The evidence shows that when combined with technology, increased patient education is associated with increased levels of healthcare outcomes.

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            The majority of the American population comprise of people in the old age due to the large number of baby boomers. This has lead to an increase in chronic diseases, which often require care to be provided in the home of patients. However, the increasing population, increasing complexity of healthcare and increase in the number of chronic illnesses makes patient education an important aspect of the nursing practice. Patient education increases their levels of participation in nursing practice, which reduces the physician home visits.

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            Moreover, an educated patient population positively impacts on the nursing practice. Patients who are educated play crucial role in their treatment plans, reducing the number of physician visits. Since the American healthcare is struggling with nurse shortage and increasing in patient demands, educated patient population is important in reducing the burden on healthcare practitioners, which allows more time for them to increase their attention to the hospital patients. In addition, the reduced workload is associated with an increase in the levels of output among the healthcare practitioners.

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            According to (Rankin, Stallings and London, 2005) patient education is associated with increased nurse-patient autonomy. Patient education not only increases their participation in their treatment plan, but allows nurses to focus more in primary care delivery. The authors point that increased patient nurse autonomy is associated with increased job satisfaction among the healthcare practitioners. As patients become more knowledgeable, they are able to make informed decisions, through increased knowledge about their problems and treatment pans. This eases pressure on nurses, especially those who offer advanced care, resulting in increased nurse job satisfaction.

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            The biggest challenge in patient education has been the move from the healthcare practitioner deciding for the patient the best care plan, to a more collaborative nature where patient and caregiver make together the treatment decisions. According to (Huston, 2013) traditional patient education models rely a lot on self-care instruction guidelines, written material and medical management. However, modern technologies such as internet, television and videos have changed the strategies in which patient are educated. The use of modern technology has increased patient involvement in healthcare, which is attributed with positive experience among the healthcare receivers.

            Moreover, the adoption of advanced medical equipment and electronic records has increased the levels of healthcare outcomes (Dowding, Turley and Garrido, 2012). In a country where the healthcare is increasingly becoming complex, the adoption of electronic medical records has revolutionized the access to patient medical information and the ease with which physicians offer medical assistance to patients. The use of medical records has now made it easy for patient information to be shared among healthcare providers, better management of patient information and increased efficiency unlike when paper records are employed. The reduced paperwork, increased ease of sharing patient data and proper patient data management has been critical in the increasing levels of outcomes and efficiency in healthcare system that has struggled to cut down on costs.

An Example of a Topic

            An example of the topic where patient education and technology has been used to improve levels of care outcomes is the management of diabetes. According to (Williams, Herman and Kinmonth, 2003) the involvement of nurses and patient education are associated with increased levels of outcomes among patients who suffer from chronic illnesses such diabetes. Moreover, (Hunt, 2015) asserts that technology can supplement the healthcare practitioner by providing motivational and education support. According to the author, the use of technology in patient education can be used to help them in learning new routines and practices that are related to the management of diabetes.

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            More than 90% of American populations have access to mobile devices and internet (Hunt, 2015). However, people who suffer from diabetes may not be able to attend diabetes educational programmes or to attend care schedules due to financial, time and other constraints. Using technology such as mobile health applications, barriers to provider access can be overcome. Mobile health applications allow diabetes patients to get education on diabetes self-management such as exercising, blood glucose management, problem solving, healthy eating, monitoring for complications and taking medication.

            Some of the technological strategies for provision of patient education and care assistance to patients who suffer from diabetes include mobile phones-based and internet-based interventions. The mobile phone platforms provide a real time education and in processing and communication of data (Hunt, 2015).  The features of the mobile phones include the use of mobile internet by patients in uploading the readings of their blood glucose readings and receiving their daily, weekly or monthly blood glucose charts through email. Moreover, patients can use mobile phones to text the healthcare professionals with questions, who in return received response on self-management.

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            Moreover, the use of internet-based interventions provides the healthcare providers with opportunities to offer diabetes patients with diabetes education, motivation and support (Hunt, 2015). The web-based interventions involve the use of computer internet in delivery of diabetes education. The strategy helps diabetes patients to communicate with healthcare providers without time and geographical restrictions.

An Example Where the Topic Impacted me Personally   

            Some healthcare complications require emergency treatment, and this requires that one has access to medical help or medical expertise to offer emergency treatment. However, most people luck skills or expertise given that most of the complications are complex in nature. One example, in which technology and education has impacted me personally was when my niece suffered from asthma complications. Although my niece was on routine medical care, one night she suffered difficulty in breathing. The efforts to use her inhaler did not make her condition better. However, with the help of her mobile phone we were able to get the contacts of her personal physician. The conversation with the physician revealed that she individualized medication to which we were given directions on giving medication by the physician until she was taken to hospital. 

            The positive aspect of the experience is that the mobile phone communication was important in provision of medication guidelines which led to improvement of the patient condition. However, the process can be difficult to conduct especially if one is not a trained healthcare practitioner since some of the guidelines employ medical terms which are difficult for people who have no background in healthcare. This can be improved through a provision of more personalized and user-specific information. This involves collection of patient data and feeding into an automatic web-based platform, which offers condition-specific response, thus reducing time and nature of response.

Conclusion

The use of technology in healthcare and patient education are critical components in service delivery in healthcare. Healthcare technology and patient education can positively influence the levels of healthcare outcomes. The use of technology in healthcare can help in patient education, and bridging geographical and time constraints. Moreover, patient education helps in increasing self-management, increase of nurse job satisfaction and improvement in levels of care. The purpose of the paper was to provide a research on the impact of technology and patient education in healthcare. Through the research, it has been determined that technology and patient education are important elements in healthcare care delivery. Through these insights, increased emphasis will be placed on the importance of technology and patient education in the future nursing practice.

Foundations Supporting Music in K-12 Grades

Introduction

Studies have indicated that supporting music and art in high school education is very crucial since it enhance the performance of the students as well as boosting the morale of the teachers. It is important to enhance the professionalism of the music teachers by supporting them to acquire the much needed skill, supporting the schools by equipping them with the required instruments and supporting the students to develop interest to learn the music. For many years, curriculum and funding institution have continued to marginalize music as a subject as well as undermine the professionalism of the music teachers.

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Statement of the purpose

However, recent studies indicated that several foundations have been established to support music and art in high school education. These foundations have different eligibility requirements that applications must fulfill in order to get the grant. Most teacher lack information about these foundations and as a result they do not know how to go about when seeking for these grants. Therefore, this informational report intends to provide the teachers with the information about the foundations that offer support and grants to music teachers and the schools

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Scope of this report

This report focused only on foundations that support music in K-12 grades.

Foundations

The foundations that support music in K-12 are:

New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc.

The mission of this foundation is to “To promote, preserve, perpetuate and encourage the music, culture and heritage of communities in Louisiana through festivals, programs and other cultural, educational, civic and economic activities (New Orlean Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, INC.). New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc. offer grants that support music and art education during the school day in Louisiana K-12 schools.

Purpose

The purpose of this grants is to support music and art in K-12 schools located within the jurisdiction of Louisiana. The grant specifically targets K-12 schools that offer music and art education programs during regular school hours. The grants supports music and art disciplines falling under the following categories: music, dance, theater, visual arts, literature, culinary arts, cultural traditions, and folk life and media arts. The school who qualify for this grant can use the fund to purchase the musical instruments, repair the instruments, and acquire supplies such as visual art materials, sheet music as well as other materials necessary for music and arts instructions (New Orlean Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, INC.). The finance cannot be used to settle the salaries of the art or music teachers who are in the school payroll, but they can be used to pay for the fee of visiting clinicians or teaching artists for programs during the school day.

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Eligibility requirements

The first eligibility requirement for this grants is that only application from schools that offer music or art programs during the regular school day at K-12 both public and private. These public and private school must come within the jurisdiction of the Louisiana. However, commercial and individual organizations are not eligible to this grants. The applications are required to submit a detailed music or art programs including the total amount the school spends on music or art instructions during the school day annually (New Orlean Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, INC.). Also, the grant allows the private school falling under tuition, tuition waiver, reduced or reduced-cost lunch category to apply. In their application, they must provide the percentage of the students under scholarship or partial/full tuition waiver program and the cost of tuition annually. Only one application per school accompanied by letter on the school’s letterhead and signed by board chair, chief administrative officer or school’s principal.

Activity schedule and funding amount

The current grant intend to fund only activities running between 1st September, 2017 and 31st August, 2018. The Jazz & Heritage Foundation grant fund music or art programs in K-12 school in Louisiana to maximum of $5,000.

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The mockingbird foundation

The mockingbird foundation is a non-profit organization that support music education for children in 48 states. This foundation was founded by the Phish fans in 1996 and was commission in 1997 to generate charitable proceeds from the Phish community. The foundation have manage to distribute more than $1 million to school to support music education for children (The Mockingbird Foundation). The mockingbird foundation receive funds from philanthropies which include direct donations from individuals, portion of Livephish proceeds, strategic partnerships, branded merchandise accessible from Phish.net Store and HomeGrown, special events unique donation premiums and the phish companion.

Purpose

The purpose of the grants offered by the mockingbird foundation is facilitate schools to acquire instrument and hire professionals to teach the children music from within the 48 states. The grant specifically targets children who are in the K-12 level.

Eligibility requirements

Unlike the Jazz & Heritage foundation that targets only music or art programs offered during regular school hours, the mockingbird foundation is open to all applicants (The Mockingbird Foundation). Although, the grant is open to all application from the 48 states, schools that targets students from marginalized communities such as the Latinos and African American stand a better consideration.

Muzak Heart & Soul Foundation

Purpose

The mission of this grant is to support music education in K-12 education. Studies have indicated that music education helps the children to realize their full potential as well as stimulating educational and personal growth (Muzak Heart & Soul Foundation). The grant focuses on supporting schools and non-profit music program across the United States. The grant are normally awarded in April of each year and funds distributed at the end of every year.

Eligibility requirements

The first eligibility requirement considered in this grant is music education that focuses on instrumental and vocal. The most targeted public schools or charter school programs are those serving students from 50 % low-income (Muzak Heart & Soul Foundation). These are students who are categorized as receiving reduced or free lunch. Also, students categorized under non-profit/501(c) (3) programs which directly fund the music education for students without considering whether these students have the ability to pay.

For a school to qualify for this grant, they must indicated in their application that music program/curriculum has been in place. However, this program does not fund salaries for regular music instructors. Nonetheless, this grant allows the successful applications to use the funds to pay stipends as well as performance fees for the musicians and instructors (Muzak Heart & Soul Foundation). In addition, the applicants must clear explain how their existing and planned music program improves the education of the students. As a result, total organization budget, proposed project budget as well as music program budget must be included in the application. Finally, the existing and proposed music education program must meet the national standard non-discrimination policies and serves the students on K-12 grades.

The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation

The purpose

The main purpose of the foundation is to donate musical instruments to schools across the United States of America (The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation). However, the donation focus on schools from low income communities. With the help of the committed school district, the support of the foundation has been included as part of the wider district plan for K-12 grades.

Goals

The goals of the foundation is to ensures that students from economically disadvantage families get accessed to music programs, eliminate the sharing of mouthpiece and musical instruments by students hence increasing the practice and adds instructions time, replacing the aged instrument hence enhancing progression, learning and student engagement, sustaining K-12 music education programs across the United States, increasing community engagement (The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation). Overall objectives of the foundation is to increase the graduation rate, school attendance and music student’s academic achievement.

Eligibility requirements

The first requirement that foundation considers is whether the school serves not less than 65 % of the school population from the economically disadvantage society. The second consideration is that the school must have already established instrumental music program that is applicable on a regular school days. The instrumental program include modern band, jazz band, keyboard labs, guitar, mariachi, strings and bands (The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation). The third consideration is that the school must have qualify instrumental music teacher with experience of two consecutive years. The fourth requirement is that the school must have inventory of instrument. Lastly, the school must have a dedicated instrumental music room with adequate and secure storage for musical instruments.

Summary

Based on the information available on the website of these foundation it is clear that each foundation have unique eligibility requirements. The applicants should ensure that they read the application guideline thoroughly in order to include all the requirements in the application. In the case where various people needs to sign the application forms, it is important for the applicants to ensure that the form is fully signed as require. In conclusion, this information is very important because more music teachers and schools needs to access this information in order to assist their students get the required music program. All the foundations insisted that all the applicants should explain in detail the existing music program and how the program intends to assist students realize their full potentials, personal and educational growth. This means that the grants aims at helping the students to prosper in their education and life.

An Individual that Exemplifies Excellent Leadership – Howard Schultz

High performance organizations such as the Southwest Airlines, Starbucks and U.S Marine Corps have achieved great success owing to excellent leadership. One individual that has shown exemplary leadership is Howard Schultz, the Starbucks chief executive officer.

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 Leading is one of the four functions of management (Plunkett, Allen and Attner 440). According to the authors, early leadership theories assert that exemplary leaders possessed certain traits, personal characteristics and values that formed the basis of their leadership (441). The success of Howard Schultz owes much to his traits of sociability, intelligence, determination, self-confidence and integrity. Howard Schultz believes that the belief in what is right and in oneself propels one during difficult moments. He has often maintained integrity in his time as the CEO of Starbucks and showed it by being honest and open in his communications with employees and the company shareholders. For example, during his return as the CEO when the company faced the economic downturn, he did not blame others for the slump but took responsibility even when he was not the CEO before the slump.

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Howard Schultz helped cultivate the culture of trust among his employees through high levels of integrity that he displayed as the company CEO. Also, he possesses huge determination with focus on employees first. He also has strong commitment to built relationships and an understanding of the needs and wants of his followers. Howard Schultz often felt that by motivating the employees to be proud of Starbucks, they would transfer the same pride among their co-workers and the company customers.

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In addition, Howard Schultz is visionary and believes that as an entrepreneur, one has to dream and then dream even bigger. For him, whenever he believes in something, he can be relentless in his enthusiasm, passion and drive to realize it. Besides, Howard Schultz possesses empathy and compassion, which has cultivated strong relationships between himself and his employees (whom the company calls partners). For example, during an incident when three Starbuck employees were shot and killed in the company Georgetown store in Washington, D.C., he did not call the police nor the company public relations or lawyers; he instead went straight to Washington to meet and grief with the families of the employees.

Examples of Howard Schultz’s Leadership in Action

One remarkable example of leadership under Howard Schultz is his care for the employees. Howard Schultz was brought up in poverty and his father had a job that offered fewer benefits than Starbucks does. In July 2016, as the company CEO, Howard Schultz announced that Starbucks would be offering new company benefits to its U.S employees, which included a 5% pay rise (Lebowitz). This was a strategy to make employee feel appreciated by the company for their contribution towards its success.

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The behavioral perspective of leadership styles points that two types of leadership styles are effective in organization management. In the example provided above, it is evident that Howard Schultz has a strong tendency to adopt and practice people-oriented leadership style. He shows himself as a leader who remarkably takes great and genuine care of the employee needs and benefits. He has shown his commitment to a company that provides stock options, pay rise and medical benefits to its employees. By taking care of the employee needs, he ensures that the company employees are taken care of. Howard Schultz beliefs that the best strategy of attaining great customer experience is through the delivery of excellent employee experience. Through his leadership, Starbucks has been consistently ranked as the best places to work.

Read also Starbucks Organizational Culture and Key Leadership and Management Traits Used to Execute the Business Strategy.

The other example of leadership actions of Howard Schultz is the introduction of melted-cheese breakfast sandwiches in 2008. The introduction of melted-cheese breakfast sandwiches led to masking of Starbucks’ coffee aroma and he order that the company stop making the sandwiches for its breakfast (Lebowitz). However, company key leaders pushed back for the sandwiches, which were later introduced. From contingency leadership perspective, Howard Schultz exhibits participative leadership. In realizing that his move to cancel the making of the sandwiches was not popular among his partners, he listened to their feedback and suggestions and once again Starbucks started making and selling melted-cheese breakfast sandwiches in a way that are less aromatic as the coffee.

Read also Starbucks Corporation Flexible Benefits Programs

How Howard Schultz Motivates Employees to Achieve Goals

The leadership style adopted by Howard Schultz revolves around the development of trust, admiration and creation of motivation among the organization employees (Schultz and Villanueva Galobart). He understands the needs of the organization employees, which is in accordance with the needs theory.  Howard Schultz satisfies the 3rd, 4th and 5th components of the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. For example, he attains self-actualization among his employees through his effective communication skills. Howard Schultz studied communication in college and it is perhaps one of his strengths in achieving employee communication. He continuously sends outs personal calls for feedback and advice. Instead of imposing his ideas among his employees, he listens to them and adopts a consensus, which motivates employees to work harder to achieve company goals. According to (Plunkett, Allen and Attner), the encouragement of constructive dissent and healthy debate, team strength is reinforced since it demonstrates that tension of diverse opinions creates answers.

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The other strategy through which Howard Schultz motivates his followers is his leadership styles. He achieves intellectual stimulation among his employees through his transformational leadership, by challenging the status quo and stimulating creativity among employees. In addition, Howard Schultz has adopted individualized consideration through his presence, ability to offer support and encouragement among the employees, listening to the employee contribution and giving direct recognition to their contributions. Also, his clear vision as outlined earlier in the paper is a source of inspirational motivation which enables him to communicate to his employees the organization goals thus enabling them to meet the same goals.            

Howard Schultz leadership has introduced an array of benefits for its partners (employees) who work for 20 hours or more. These include bonuses, discounted stock options and retirement benefits. In addition, the company employees enjoy health coverage, tuition reimbursement, recognition programs, store discounts up to 30% and a free pound of coffee. These create a feeling of love among employees, thus motivating them to work hard to contribute towards the organization goals.

Netflix Customer Analysis

Netflix, Inc. (Netflix) was founded by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in Scotts Valley, California, on August 29, 1997. Initially, it sold and rented DVDs, but abandoned the selling a year later to focus on DVD rental by mail and later expanding to Blu-ray rental. Netflix was to introduce streaming media in 2007 (Krengel, Dudek, Momboisse, Paik, & Martin, 2010).

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Netflix was then to expand its operation internationally starting with Canada in 2010. It is now available in over 190 countries, with its headquarters being in Los Gatos, California (Kelion, 2016). It has since expanded its operations to include online distribution as well as film and television production, with the latter commencing in 2013. Its debut production was the series “House of Cards”. It has become the largest film and television producer, producing about 126 original series and film in 2016. It now has an online library of film and TV productions that include the “Netflix Original” content. At the start of 2017, it had a subscriber base of 93 million, with nearly 50 million of the customers being in the United States (Netflix, 2017). Notably, a subscriber could be a family or a school, hence catering for more than one person. The company had user interface and customer support in 18 languages as of March 2017.

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The following is a customer analysis of Netflix with focus on customer characteristics, market segments and industry trends.

Netflix Customer Characteristics

Netflix is able to cater for customers from all economic groups, from cheap rentals to sale of new Hollywood releases (Masters, 2016). This is because of the increasing ubiquitous nature and low cost of internet for diverse populations. Netflix utilizes this media such that it does not require any storefront to cater for its customers, greatly reducing its distribution costs and passing on the benefits to the customer. In so doing, customers for all economic demographic groups are able to afford Netflix products.

Traditional film libraries had long line ups and due dates. This is unlike the modern movie libraries offered to customers by such companies as Netflix and Blockbuster. Apart from streaming their rented or bought films and series immediately and keeping them for as long as they can, Netflix customers can also easily search and queue their favorite rentals through algorithms inbuilt in the search engine and automatic movie recommendation engine (Krengel, et al., 2010).

Moreover, Netflix caters for the traditional home entertainment customer through mail delivery service. This ensures that the customers are derived from all age groups, rather than from the younger, technologically-savvy group only.

Netflix Market segment

Netflix’s market can be segmented to convenience and needy customers. Technological disruption has made the home entertainment consumer spoilt for choice; with film, television and music being available at the consumer’s convenience. This customer is able to rent or buy and consume such entertainment anywhere, anytime and on any device. Apart from the convenience customer, Netflix also targets the needy customer who cannot easily adapt to technology. The needy customer mostly depends on catalog sales and is typically older than the convenience customer. In addressing the needs of both the convenience and needy customers, Netflix is able to target markets in a wide age group from the young to senior citizens (Krengel, et al., 2010). The following table is a representation of Netflix market segments.

Read also Market Segmentation – Definition , Importance And Necessity

SegmentDemographyBehavior
Convenience customersUnder 45 yearsAdapts easily to technology. Has access to online sales and rentals as well as video-on-demand television through various devices.
Needy customersOver 45 yearsDoes not adapt easily to technology. Does not have access to speedy internet. Depends on mail-delivery service of physical discs for home entertainment.

Table 1: Netflix market segment

Industry trends

Because of technological convergence and changing demographics, the physical rental or sale disc customer is gradually shifting to online rental. Broadband connected computers, set-top boxes and game consoles means streaming of the content is easier, interactive and readily available (Masters, 2016). This trend of switching to online rental from physical rental was initially detected at Netflix in the first quarter of 2011 when DVD and Blu-Ray sales and rentals dropped by 35% and packaged discs dropping by 20%, while subscriptions of online rentals increased in the same period.

Success of Netflix has been a catalyst for entry into the online film and television rental business. This include by such companies as Walmart via Vudu, Blockbuster and Amazon Video.

Conclusion

Netflix pioneered film and rental online distribution before venturing into film and series production. It has captured a majority of the home entertainment market through pricing, original content and convenience. Though many competitors have since entered the market to offer similar or slightly varying products, Netflix remains the dominant player in the marketplace (Masters, 2016).