HR Issues, Credit Crunch Crisis Of 2008 and Multinational Organizations

Introduction

According to Barton (2003) the evolution of human resource management is related to historical evolution of business and economy in which the organization operate. Therefore, the role and the decisions of human resource managers and Hr function mainly adapt to circumstances of the economic cycles. In order to succeed and to survive in the local as well as international markets the HR managers devise such strategies when the economic or business situations need modified choices. This shows that HR or the employment decisions contribute significantly in the economy of the country (Bolman and Deal, 2007). 

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In this assignment, to study about credit crunch faced by the world in 2008, Nike one of the renowned multinational corporations of America has been chosen to investigate role and the contribution of HR in the global financial crisis. Nike was founded in 1964 and since then it is headquartered in Oregon, USA. Nike is involved in designing, development and the worldwide selling and marketing of apparel, footwear, sports accessories and equipment. Since the globalization has occurred Nike has shifted it majority of the manufacturing function in the developing countries of Vietnam, China and Indonesia and it currently employs more than 500,000 employees in developing countries (Burnham, 2009).

Identify and Critically Evaluate the Possible HR Issues that led to Credit Crunch

In the year 2008, the economy of the world has suffered one of the biggest financial and economic crises of the recent times. It has been said that the financial crisis in US is considered as the origin of this credit crunch which has had a significant impact on the global economy which In turn triggered broad and the profound crisis of employment which further has led to increase the social recession throughout the world. Based on the data provided by IMF (2009) and the global financial crisis has mainly led to 30 million people towards unemployment which is more than the figure that was evidenced in global recession. It is further identified that the global unemployment level has been increased to 200 million people at the end of 2012. According to Boxall and Purcell (2011) the evidence present in OECD, it has been recognized that the unemployment in developed countries is around 47.8 million people  and out of this more than 13.1 million is due to the onset of 2008 financial crisis.  This type of unemployment is known as cyclical as it has been said that this kind of unemployment is linked to the country’s business cycle.

Conner and Ulrich (2006)illustrated that when evaluate major causes of global financial crisis, it has been identified that there are some possible human resource issues that led to the financial crisis, as lots of changes has been evident in regard to the human resourced decision in last three decades. The biggest challenge the multinational organization like Nike faced was leading and managing people which was further complicated due to the recession, increased uncertainties and volatility (David, 2007).

Nike believed that the company greatly required adapting the quality and the size of the workforce to times (Dirks and Ferrin, 2003).  Out of several consequences, the head of HR at Nike have had to reduce the employee number in developed countries when the company shifted its operations in developing countries for the sake of reducing the costs (Guest, 2004). Nike took this initiative long back in late 1980s when the company identified that the developing regions are more cost effective in terms of production facilities. This step of Nike proved to be highly successful and helped in generating higher profits too.

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Nike currently 47% market share of domestic footwear industry with around sales of $3.7 billion. It has been more 25 years that Nike has been producing its products in Asian region.  However, after having several production facilities in different regions of the world it is reported that Nike only employs 20,000 employees in total (Watson, 2008). This is because Nike has used the strategy of outsourcing and has subcontractors in different parts of the world. Nike is originally an American multinational organization but most of its products are produced in the factories of China, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea and Vietnam (Wright and McMahan, 2002; Tsui, Pearce, Porter and Hite, 2005). All these factories are 100% owned by the subcontractors and Nike only employs a team of four expatriates in each region to look after the managerial functions. This can be considered as one of the major contributing role of Nike in global financial crisis because despite of huge global market share and the profitability the company only employs 20,000 employees which has led to higher rate of unemployment in developed countries as when the company has moved it production function in developing countries lots of people of developed countries were laid off and when many other organizations followed this trend it eventually resulted in the biggest financial crunch of 2008 (Gamberoni  and Richard, 2009).

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They also developed their code of conduct in 1992 and have implemented it across the globe, as its goal is to set the standard for subcontractors to follow if they wish to do business with Nike (Guest, 2004).  On the other hand, the internal management of the company focuses on efficiency. Though Nike is a very large organisation in terms of global market share and profitability it employs only around 20,000 employees. It is also identified that when organization faced pressure in late 1980s to decrease the cost and the fringe expenditures and also require the justification for each dollar of all the incurred expenditures the management of Nike decided to shift its production to more cost effective countries like China, South Korea and etc (Ellis & Shockley-Zalabak 2001).  This as result cause increase in unemployment in developed countries, economic contraction, redesigning the pay structures, cutting back the incentives, less training and development and career growth opportunities for the people of developed countries.

Challenges faced by Nike due to Credit Crunch 2008 – International HR Manager’s Perspective

Due to the global financial crisis Nike had to face several challenges in terms of international labor markets, skill shortages and training and development opportunities. First of all, shifting the production from the developed countries like Europe and US negatively impact the Nike to a certain extent as it played a significant role in deteriorating quality of the Nike’s product ad decreasing the competitiveness of Nike’s product (Barton, 2009). The reason behind this negative impact is that the workforce in Europe and US is more qualified comparatively to developing countries particularly in Asian countries like China or Vietnam where Nike has shifted its manufacturing functions.  The major reason of Nike behind relocating its production functions in developing countries is mainly due to the low cost workforce which proved to beneficial for Nike to a great extent (Bolman and Deal, 2010). At the same time provoked strong proposition from the public as they believed due to multinational organizations like Nike through shifting their production function

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faced the criticism that the home country US is no longer produce what to sustain themselves and they import more than they export and as a result assets sale has increased due to such measure taken by companies like Nike and forced people to take massive debts in order to sustain the their living standards because of increase unemployment and gradually this has led to global financial crisis 2008 (Burgess and Campbell, 2008).

The market of United States is one of the biggest and the saturated market in which Nike operates. The company has directed its efforts to expand into the emerging markets and the outcome of this is that the company started losing its market share in US and since US is the largest market the loss in US market share for Nike may substantially reduce the revenue of the company (David, 2009).

 Moreover, when the company expands its operations in international market it has to face several issues related to HR like short of talent, the foreign multinational company like Nike faced this issue when they attract and retain the qualified managerial staff in developing countries as the most of the people in developing countries are less qualified (Burnham, 2009). However, in the current era people of developing countries are progressing upwards professionally but since the foreign multinational companies like Nike require more technically skilled employees that can understand the international management techniques in order to set up good organizational culture.

Another HR issue that is faced by the multinational organization in the international market is the compensation system, as most of US and European multinational organizations like Nike decided to shift its production facilities due to the fewer wage in developing countries (Bamberger and Meshoulam 2010). However, the issue that is identified in regard to compensation system is the most of the qualified staff of the developing countries are moving to different developed countries to get the better paid jobs. Since China has now become one of the economies of the world after entering into world trade organization the turnover rate in China has increased and as a result salary of employees ahs increased by 8% per year (Cascio, 2010).  These increases have led to the growth in the wage rate of developing countries and this has increased the issue for Nike as they face difficulty in retaining its talented workforce in the organization because the organization is not paying the employees of developing countries as per their performance and demanding overtime form these employees in low wage rates (Gamberoni and Richard, 2009). The related consequence of this kind of pay system used by Nike in developing countries is increasing number of dissatisfaction among the qualified and the experienced staff.  When Nike faced the shortage of the experience and the qualified staff it has become difficult to involve the local employees effectively.

Furthermore, the economic globalization has increased the demand of the expatriates of Nike in developing regions because they are familiar with the organization’s management techniques and the methods that are used in the organization than the local employees of developing countries (IMF, 2009). However, the issue faced by the organization in international market is that they had to face high rate of expatriate failures as most of the expatriates returned back to the home country as they face the cultural shock in developing markets because the life style of developing countries is highly different form the western style of living and due to this cultural shock the expatriates of Nike failed to perform adequately in the developing countries as a result Nike had to develop sub-contractors in different regions of the world where Nike operates (Watson, 2008).

The training and development issue is also major HR issue that is faced by Nike because when any organization operates in the international market it is highly important to first train the employees of to get use to the organizational culture and the way the uncertain situation needs to be handle the uncertain situations (Bamberger and Meshoulam 2010). Cascio (2010) defined that due to the global financial crisis the organizations had to cut down its training and development opportunities I order to reduce the cost but when the employees are not trained properly they could not perform their tasks effectively and at the management level when employees observe that the company is not providing and development opportunities to them in terms of career growth opportunities it becomes difficult for the organization to retain the competent employees in the organization.

As An International HR Manager, Discuss And Justify Your Plan Of Action To Assist The Recovery Process Of This Crisis For Nike

The function of HR plays an essential role in the success of the organization; as a result several companies are more likely to place the HR management department at the heart of strategic decision making process in the business (Armstrong, 2006). Furthermore, the global financial crisis also has given rise to certain issues that provide HR to effectively demonstrate it expertise and enhance the image and the status of company in the market. The major HR issues that need to be addressed in Nike are training and development opportunities, the quality circles in the organization, enhanced integration in the organization and the improved communication (Burnham, 2009).  For Nike after the global financial crisis it has become significant to effectively deal with all these issues in order to retain and the engage the competent staff in the organization to improve the overall performance and to help the company in gaining the market share in its home country US which is also considered as one of the largest markets of the world (Boxall and Purcell,  2011).

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To address the defined issues an action plan is recommended to the Nike which is discussed below in detail;

First of all it is highly important for the multinational company like Nike to provide training and development opportunities to its employees because if employees are not motivated or supported by the organizations in term of their career growth the competent employees without giving a second thought exit from the organization (Burnett, 2002). Therefore, Nike is required to do the training need analysis which is done after evaluating the actual performance of the employees with the expected performance. Conner and Ulrich, (2006) also defined that the employee training is highly important in the modern economy when the nature of the work is constantly changing with the advancement of technology and new technology requires new improved work skills. Nike can use two types of training to train its employees especially in developing countries because the competition in the developing country has increased considerably due to many other multinational companies have expanded their operations the employees have more options there to switch the jobs easily.

Therefore, Nike can use on job training with the help of this kind of training employees can enhance and develop the skill as per the job requirements and this training is usually provided to the operational level employees (Dortok, 2006).  Secondly, Nike can also provide off the job training which the management can select a certain number of employees to attend the training arranged outside the workplace may be in foreign countries so that the employees can understand the international management techniques. Through off the job trainings the employees can retain highly proficient managerial employees in the organization.

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In addition to provide training and development opportunities the employees Nike should also use quality circles in the organization because quality circles helped the organizations in saving around $3 to $6 per unit and also facilitate to avoid the cost for every dollar that has invested in the business (Lepak, and Snell, 2002). Through quality circles the organization save a lot such as one of the most famous companies of US save around $6 million in three years and reported a saving to cost ratio of around  8 -1. Through some research findings it is also recognized that one more company of US saved 50% cost on or important contracts. Through quality circles the company like Nike can greatly reduce the defect level which increases the costs greatly (Watson, 2008).

However, it cannot be denied that the cost of organizing quality circles because it requires to held frequent meetings but in the end it could provide greater benefits to Nike in terms of productivity, quality, employee more, customer satisfaction and safety more than the costs (Gamberoni and Richard, 2009). Since Nike is a part of massive production industry therefore, the use of quality circles should be taken as the investment rather than the cost in order save each penny incurred as the product cost. Moreover, the quality circles also help the organizations to motivate the individuals this activity provides the training and an experience to form a great leaders. Tsui, Pearce, Porter and Hite (2005) agreed that quality circle works as the proven training program that highlights the managerial potential.

For Nike to effectively address its HR related issues that got affected due to the global financial crisis it is suggested that improving horizontal and vertical integration is highly important, through horizontal integration all the activities of HR at Nike should provide more support to each such as the activities of recruitment and selection, reward management and others must be tailored in a way that each gets the support from the other (Guest, 2004). On the other the improvement vertical; integration is important for Nike s it requires to effectively all support and merge the Hr activities with the other organizational activities in a way that the HR activities moves in the direction with organization’s vision and mission. For huge company like Nike it is highly difficult to manage effective communication across all its subsidiaries and within each subsidiary, but if the communication process of the organization is inappropriate then the organization cannot attain its long terms goals in an effective way (Grant, 2003). The organization needs to work in reducing the communication barriers ad after this financial crunch occurred across the world highly demands decentralization of decision making process in Nike subsidiaries.

Positive or Negative Outcomes of The Global Financial Crisis From HR’s Perspective

The world has significantly changed after the global credit crunch of 2008 and it descend as well as turned the business world and economies on its head. The credit crunch that has occurred in 2008 has created great chaos that has not been witnessed in the ages, due to this crisis the strategies of the businesses were completely torn apart as some of the strategies placed in reverse and others were kept on hold for the indeterminable period of time The survival became the preferred and only strategic priority even for the huge multinational organizations (Bamberger and Meshoulam 2010).

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In the period of global financial crisis the corporate world has shifted from routine to the survival and from excess to the essential (David, 2007). This required the designing of the new relationships, strategies and priorities. In order to ensure that the organization or the business to effectively survive in the tough conditions and in future the human resource play a significant role which is also known as the expanded role in the recruitment and selection of employees, corporate organization, institutional learning and training (Cascio, 2010).

 The positive outcome of this global crisis that has been observed in Nike is that in the times of constraint like global financial crisis of 2008, the major purpose of employee recruitment in Nike was not quantitative but more of innovative and qualitative in order to enlarge the company’s capabilities to overcome such uncertainties. It is also analyzed that usually in the organization the role of employees is rigid and defined clearly in terms of responsibilities in huge companies like Nike. However, in the crisis, at Nike the task of human resource get expanded and they were required to develop, initiate and assess appropriateness of organizational structure that can make effective changes to eradicate the silos, improve communication internally as well as externally and speeding up the development and releasing new products that are valuable to the customers (Burnham, 2009).

Once the focus, plan and priorities of the company is defined the next step that HR performs is to train and educate all the employees efficiently and consistently about the developed plans and each employee role in attaining the set organizational goals to overcome the crisis issues (Dirks and Ferrin, 2009). At this stage the management of the organization highly requires the support of HR to attract, retain and engage the employees in the organization through effective communication, negotiation, motivation for team building and to manage the employees and anxieties and fear about the crisis (Guest, 2004).  All these elements depict the positive outcomes of the crisis from the perspective of HR.

Despite the above mentioned positive outcomes, there are some negative outcomes as well of the crisis from the HR perspective. Such as such huge credit crunch often provide the substantial clarity regarding historical and internal maneuverings of the organization. Secondly, some of the hidden or inconsequential activities all of a sudden drive to the central stage (David, 2007). Another major challenge from HR’s perspective that occurred due to such huge financial crisis is to enhance the stressful working environment which is caused due to downsizing of the employees. Moreover, for long term success another negative outcome of the global financial crisis is that the employers cannot avoid the bargain hunting through hiring the top performers by offering less salaries and benefits then they deserve (Bolma and Deal, 2010).

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Lastly, the major negative outcome of crisis is that during such conditions the number of acquisitions and mergers usually increases as the companies want to collaborate with powerful organizations to survive (Boxall and Purcell, 2011). The consequence of mergers and acquisition in the workplace is observed among the employees in form of job insecurity, ongoing change, culture clash among two organizations and the reorganization.

Conclusion

After answering all the given questions as an international HR manager it is concluded that the global financial crisis caused significant impact on the businesses and the role of HR plays an essential role in causing the global credit crunch as well as in helping the organizations to overcome such situations. Since it has been analyzed that the origin 2008 global credit crunch was US and the example of Nike classified that some of the possible HR issues of huge multinational organizations like Nike was the one of the contributor in the global financial crisis, because whatever initiatives the HR of the organizations devise it not only impact the performance of the organization but also impact significantly on the economy of the world.  Like the decision of Nike of moving production facilities in developing countries helped the organization in generating sales and profits and reducing costs but overall it became one of the reason of downsizing in one of the world huge market of US and as result US gets involved in debts and they had to sell of their assets as they have stopped producing their products which gradually led to such huge credit crunch that not only affected the US economy but the world’s economy.

Les Mills International Internal and External Operating Environment Analysis in Context of Uniqueness of Small Businesses Theory

1.0 Introduction

Les Mills International (LMI) is a sports and fitness company founded by Phillip Mills in 1997 in Auckland, New Zealand. The company’s vision is to create a fitter planet through health living (Crossley, 2012). This report analyses the operations of LMI by looking at its strengths and weaknesses and attempting to find ways of optimizing those strengths and mitigating the weaknesses. It applies theories unique to operation of small businesses to help put the analysis in its right context. The report also fronts recommendation on the way forward for LMI. The final part outlines limitations of this report due to challenges encountered in its preparation. The structure of the report aims at establishing a good flow of the ideas; first performing a diagnosis, then a prognosis, while bearing in mind the limitations of the whole operation.

2.0 Uniqueness of small businesses and the agency theory

Small and medium sized enterprises have features that set them apart from the conventional forms of business, for example; their management structure is often incomplete and informal. The businesses are by-products of the entrepreneurial acumen of first generation entrepreneurs who pass on the baton to subsequent heirs. This is true of LMI, which is now in the hands of the second generation of the family. Owners of these businesses tend to have undiversified interests in the business, which is likely to be unlisted in the stock exchange since owners feel the need to maintain control (Fama & Jensen, 1985). All these features are evident in LMI.

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This creates a special agency problem that is different from the traditional manager-owner agency relationship. The proprietor/owner in LMI is the manager. This may increase the cost of monitoring the business for outside stakeholders since they have lesser access to information than they would if the company was a public corporation. The business is also likely to suffer lack of managerial depth since top positions are a preserve of family members. Another problem that may arise is the risk of the company running into management problems due to succession hitches especially if the current management fails to put in place a good succession plan. To overcome some of these unique challenges the management have to come up with unique solutions, for example to overcome high cost of credit, LMI should establish long-term relationships with a small number of creditors thereby ensuring a high number of transactions. With time, the creditors will have enough information about the company and the cost of credit will come down (Ang, 1991).

3.0 Strengths

3.1 Internal Strength: Marketing

 The company is thoroughly familiar with the market terrain. LMI is an offshoot of the LMN, which started operations in 1968. This gives the company several advantages relating to longevity in the market. Forty-five years of operations is a long period and the company has accumulated tomes of research data of trends recorded over long durations. Longevity gives the company credibility, as people seem to trust institutions that have operated for a long period. For instance when looking for credit, financial institution are jittery when dealing with a start-up (Education for Enterprise, 2010). Established firms like LMI do not experience such problems since they probably have a long history of relationship with a particular bank. Such relationships may help the firm access credit on more favourable terms than if the firm was new. According to Gibson (2011), an investor approached Les Phillip (The majority shareholder) in 2011 with an offer to purchase the company for $ 100 million he turned down the offer. This underlines the credibility that LMI enjoys.

3.2 Internal Strength: Management

 The company also enjoys a stable ownership and management structure. Crossley (2012) acknowledges that this has played an important role in the success of the company. The company has maintained a familial look from the beginning except from that brief period between 1984 and 1990 when the company listed in the NZST. After the stock market crash, the Phillip Mills bought back the company (Education for Enterprise, EFE, 2010). The company has few shareholders with the bulk of the company belonging to Phillip and the others distributed among the company’s staff and a few private investors. This has provided stability for the company as decision-making is swift since fewer people need to ratify decisions. Decisions such as profits to plough back and the projects to pursue can be made quickly thus affording the company flexibility that is not found in public corporations.

3.3 Technological Strengths

The international market and advances in information communication technology offers LMI an interesting mix of opportunities that the company has started exploiting. Communication technology offers new ways of training and keeping clients interested in exercise. LMI has leveraged on information technology to create an exercise management application that can be installed on mobile phones. The website Gladeye (2014) features this application, named Momentum, and provides further information about the program. The application helps individual to meet their training needs by enabling them to schedule their training programs. According to the site, the application also has customisable timetables, offers training tips, offers rewards for performance, and gives the user feedback. This represents a creative application of technology.

4.0 Weaknesses

4.1 Economic and Financial

Delisting from the stock exchange was a double-edged sword; while it brought stability and flexibility to the firm, it also limited the firm’s capacity to raise funds for expansion. According to the EFE (2012), LMI is worth about $ 100 Million. The company has to expand at a very slow pace due to this financial constraint. The family is however not willing to loosen their grip on the company. In this case, the company will continue to expand at a slow pace.

4.2 Cultural

Crossley (2012) provides us with one of the threats inherent in LMI’s business model, that is, different cultures have different attitudes towards music and exercise. Culture is an important determinant of success of a product in the market. The notion that the internationalization process is constrained by the ability of firms to surmount cultural and institutional barriers across borders has been around for a while. Researchers have suggested that firms need to learn about the cultural practices and customs of different markets before committing their resources abroad (Trompenaar, 1999). Crossley (2012) offers an example of the cultural challenges facing LMI. Music used in their workout videos is not universally acceptable. Some of the Jewish and Muslim communities in the USA feel offended by pop music used in some of the videos. This may harm the appeal of the company.

4.3 Technological and legal

LMI’s like all enterprises dealing with intellectual property is vulnerable to piracy. In an interview with Gibson (2011), Phillip Mills admitted that this is a considerable concern for a business that is easily replicable. The CEO gave the example of a case that happened in North Carolina, USA. A group of people operating as an organisation were found illegally distributing LMI’s products. The group’s mastermind was a former fitness club trainer who had worked with LMI’s products at the club. The group had established an illegal distribution network that had even started exporting the product to Netherlands and Britain. LMI sought the intervention of the authorities and eventually the parties reached an out of court settlement. Such incidents are likely to increase as the group widens its global reach.

5.0 7 Ps Marketing Mix and Creating New products

The 7Ps marketing mix is a marketing management tool that LMI can use to ensure their products meet the customers’ expectation. This approach is expedient when developing a wholesome product. The chartered institute of marketing, CIM (2009) in its interpretation outlines the 7Ps as follows. The first P helps us to come up with a product suitable to the tastes of the target group. The price should be competitive and sufficient to generate profit. Promotion is essential in creating awareness and communicating to the potential customers. The place should be convenient and suitable for the product. The people working for you need to possess the right skill set to offer the product efficiently. The process of dispensing the service should be customer friendly to keep your clients happy. Customers need physical evidence of what they are purchasing, that way they feel they have received their money’s worth. The company needs to develop products that respond to customers’ needs. In addition, LMI must anticipate emerging trends to ensure that it does not lose touch with its customer base.

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The 7Ps marketing mix is an important tool in creation of new products in a market a competitive market environment that is rapidly changing such as the one that LMI faces. The fusion of technology into fitness provides special challenges for LMI since technology is dynamic and therefore the company has respond fast in creating new product. This tool provides parameters that should guide the company on the nature of products it should create to remain relevant.

Another emerging area that should capture the attention of the company is the issue of emerging trends. Such trends provide opportunities for the business and analysis of the trends can help come up with new products that conform to the trends.  One emerging trend in physical fitness training is the trend towards personal training. Most people now want customized training that is geared towards optimizing specific features of their body. Traditional physical training espouses group training and generalized training where all the people use similar equipment and techniques to achieve fitness. People now do not want to run just to collect points or do a certain number of push-ups just because it is considered healthy. Individuals now plan with their trainers specific methods to achieve optimum levels of fitness. They collect the information from their workouts and analyze it with their personal trainers to determine whether the plan is achieving any tangible benefits (Green, 2014). However, this has not eliminated group training, as people still love the sense of community that a group creates. The only difference is that people gravitate towards groups that share their training needs. Otherwise, people can take common activities in groups but do their customized tasks alone or with a small group of maybe three individuals (Pai, 2014).

6.0 Recommendations and Conclusion

6.1 Marketing: Strategic Marketing and Market Intelligence

To understand trends emerging in the industry in which the business is operating, and the needs of the customer it is important to know what the recent developments in the industry are as well as what the organisation’s competitors are doing to enhance performance and to improve their share of the market (Bose, 2008). Market research is important in understanding the needs of the customers and identifying ways to better position the products so that they satisfy those needs. Additionally, market research plays an important role in monitoring and if necessary modifying the marketing strategy. Market research involves systematic application of scientific methods to study the market, various dynamics, and their interplay (Vessene, 2003).

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Marketing strategy is a philosophy that provides a mechanism to focus resources of the firm in such a way as to ensure that needs of the customer are the firm’s priorities. This customer-focused approach is the basis of the strategy that makes up the entire marketing process. A proactive, and focused marketing plan should provide guidance for pursuing the right customers at the right place and at the right time, this in turn optimizes the return on investment and increases profitability. As Trim (2003) observes, building a strong and profitable organization requires one to develop a strategy. Marketing is a process for creating value for the customer (Vessene, 2003). A marketing strategy is a plan that allows the management of the organization to direct the resources and the activities of the business in such a way that money is spent wisely guaranteeing maximum revenues for the business. As a firm that has existed for a long period and has a good understanding of the market terrain, LMI can solidify its position by adopting strategic marketing techniques.

6.2 Management

The company should adopt two strategies to strengthen management. The first is to put in place a succession plan. In this regard, the family has made some progress. In an interview with The New Zealand Herald, Phillips admitted to Gibson (2011) that the business will stay in the family. The entrepreneur also added that the business is putting in place a succession plan for his son, Les who works in the USA division and daughter Diana, who works as creative director at LMI headquarters to take over the business once the father gets out of the picture. That implies that the company may continue to enjoy stability and flexibility well into the foreseeable future. The second strategy is to make it possible for outsiders to rise to the highest level of management. The family can achieve this by taking the role of oversight and allowing non-family executives to run the business. This will widen the talent available to run the business.

6.3 Technology

From the analysis in the preceding sections, it is clear that the trends in the fitness industry point towards using more technology and using lesser time. The company therefore needs to re-align its business models towards this direction in order to respond to the demands of the younger generation who are using the gyms more (Dale et al., 2014). One emerging trend is the accelerated fitness concept. This entails achieving fitness using techniques that require less time than conventional exercises. One of these techniques is vibration training. The individual lies on a vibrating platform that exerts vibration pressure on joints or the whole body at intervals causing the individual to feel like they are exerting pressure on their body. As an advantage, this method offers efficiency in terms of time taken to achieve fitness. According to some advocates, a vibration regime involving a 15–minute work out three times a week can have equal effectiveness to a 30 –minute workout plan five days a week of conventional exercise (Edward & Laskowski, 2014). LMI needs to conduct research into this method and find out ways of exploiting the trend.

Another trend that the company must aim to exploit is use of computer and mobile applications in fitness training. The company has done well in developing its fitness management application, Momentum, but it must do more to develop applications that actually integrate training techniques in the applications. For example, the company should consider designing an application that has actual training techniques and one that can collect users’ data to customize the training methods to the specific user’s needs. That way, the company will cut on distribution costs since the users will only require to update the application regularly to get new methods and workout plans (Green, 2014). Users can pay annual or monthly subscription costs to ensure the company makes money from the venture. This will also solve the problem of piracy since duplicating an application and updating it regularly is almost impossible.

6.4 Overcoming Economic and financial constraints

Due to the limited financial muscle, the company should continue forming symbiotic relationships with other companies to help widen its reach. For instance, LMI has collaborated with the international food manufacturer, Nestle to promote its products. According to Nestle (2014), LMI and the company have an agreement to promote LMI products through its breakfast cereal in a product named Nestle Fitness. The cereal is packaged together with a free workout DVD to help Nestle customers exercise. In addition, LMI also has an important partnership with BeachBody, a multi-level marketing company that distributes fitness products in the USA. As part of this agreement, BeachBody distributes some L MI products to customers in USA (BeachBody, 2014). This will serve to diversify the company’s revenue base and increase brand recognition.

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6.5 Overcoming Cross-cultural Barriers

When developing a cross-cultural marketing and management policy the first step is to internationalize the headquarters HR team. With every new country that the firm touches down, there is an added dynamic to the existing cultural balance since the new culture always carries with it certain biases that will challenge the effectiveness of the already existing human resource and management policy (Jackson, 2002). Even if the stated policy is to be culturally neutral, there will still be silent cultural biases and nuances which if not recognized will render the entire policy ineffective or totally impotent. By engaging new international expats, or redeploying current local personnel from international divisions to headquarters and letting them take part in the designing LMI’s strategies and policies, the firm will acquire an outsider’s view and mitigate the likelihood of cultural bias quietly compromising the firms agenda (Hofstede, 2001).

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6.6 Limitations

Getting information for a small enterprise like LMI is difficult. This is because most media outlets, analysts, and scholars prefer to analyse public entities that attract greater interest from the public. In addition, it is impossible to access financial information from about the company due to its ownership model. The analysis is therefore based on limited information from scattered sources about the company. The company website provides a significant source of information, which limits its usefulness since such information, is likely to be biased in favour on the company.

Marketing Orientation Approach And Product Orientation Approach

Marketing Orientation Approach

Marketing oriented approach is a strategy undertaken by companies encompassing all actions geared towards satisfying the satisfaction of clients. Basically, organizations focus their production activities towards attainment of customers’ welfare. A marketing oriented organization will generally be concerned with identifying all the factors that are essential in meeting customer demand and needs (Jackson, 2000). After identifying the needs of the customer, the firm will then undertake a marketing approach usually formulated at market research stage. It is then that the company may head to produce products and sell them. After-sale services will also be conducted to identify whether the product meets its goal in satisfying customer needs. In case of faults, improvement strategies will be formulated and implemented. Due to the dynamic nature of the market, consumer demands and preferences are bound to change and hence the need to conduct research on the customer needs (Proctor, 2014).The market oriented approach is therefore a perpetual philosophical model. Ideally, the market orientation approach encompasses four processes including:

  • Products,
  • Services,
  • Processes
  • Research.

Marketing orientation business model was well stated by Bernard J. Jaworski and Ajay K. Kohli in the “Journal of Marketing”, stating that, “The organization-wide generation of market intelligence pertaining to current and future customer needs, dissemination of the intelligence across departments and organization wide responsiveness to it.” The pillars of marketing orientation are as follows:

  • Market research.
  • Market testing
  • Customer focus.

It is the onus of the organization to identify the competitors’ actions in terms of satisfying customer preferences. Companies understand well that by using this philosophical model, customers are of high priority. In actual sense, the strength of the company is essentially determined by how favorably it competes in the market as well as its customer base. 

Pros of Market oriented approach.

  • Promotes Favorable competition – Marketing operational approach enables firms in business to stay ahead of their competitors. Firms are tasked with identifying complementary services not offered by competitors and they in turn undertake to implement them.
  • Flexibility – Market orientation approach helps the organization to adopt changes in accordance with the changes in customer tastes and preferences. Changes in customer preferences are brought about by the changing world trends that keep streaming in the market (Jackson, 2000) To keep up with the pace of the changes, firms are required to embrace market orientation techniques.
  • Attainment of long term goals – As the business focuses its all its energy towards satisfying customer needs, repeated purchases and customer retention in the long run are likely to be borne. When a firm attends to customers’ complaints and queries promptly, customers on the other hand gain confidence and trust in the enterprise (Andrews, 1971). The enterprise is therefore the entity to gain.

Cons of Market Oriented Approach

Firms embracing the market oriented approach face massive challenges sustaining the competition posed by companies that specialize in the quality approach (Sutherland, 2008).  Customers who are hell-bent in considering the durability and quality of products when determining the items to buy are best fitted to use product orientation approach rather than the market oriented approach.

Product Orientation Approach

A company that is product oriented perceives that superiority of its products are of great essential and have a great bearing towards determining the. The organization believes each improvement in quality of a product draws more clients to the business.

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Product oriented approach aims at improving the quality and features of products in a manner such that the commodities are highly durable (Andrews, 1971). The organization will often concentrate on modifying and improving the product features, quality, processes and profits. Nevertheless, the skills, knowledge and systems that support the product are also considered.

The tools of product orientation include:

  • Product research
  • Product testing
  • Product focus.

Unlike the market oriented approach, the product orientation approach differs sharply in terms of the tools of orientation. While the market oriented approach focuses on satisfying customer needs, the product oriented approach is concerned with exclusively on commodities.

Pros of Product oriented approach.

  • Promotion of innovation and technology – By investing in the quality research, an organization is able to identify and invest in new and efficient methods of production. This in turns boosts durability, efficiency and convenience of products. The need to find more efficient methods of production promotes innovation.
  • Economies of scale – Increase in quality of product leads to the reduction in costs of production. Bearing in mind that the overall objective of each enterprise is to minimize costs and maximize revenues, companies that specialize in provision of absolute quality products stand a chance to dominate in the market flooded with firms producing low quality goods. Such firms greatly benefit from outsourcing contract services.

Cons of Product Oriented Approach

  • Failure to meet customer needs appropriately and hence tremendous limitations in terms of the scope of operations. Therefore, any changes in the market structure are never incorporated effectively by firms using the product oriented method.
  • All that product oriented model focuses is the quality of products. However, this may just be a fraction of what the customers might be looking for when making acquisitions. This approach misses out on the aspect of considering customer preference.
  • Another setback faced by the use of product oriented approach is the fact that the quality of a product is not the only factor that affects the demand of a product. Not until the product satisfactorily satisfies the client and is within his/her budget, it might never be bought. Therefore, product oriented approach does not satisfactorily identifying all the factors that affect the demand of a product.
  • Another drawback is the rapid loss in value and depreciation of products with time. Products that remain in the market for a long time also became obsolescence.

Steps a business may take to adjust its orientation.

Application of market and product orientation strategies.

In the real world, several companies may combine both strategies (market and product orientation model). Companies such as Gillette, Cocacola and Travis Perkins will often:

  • Conduct vivid market research on the products being sold.
  • Organize product research in conjunction with feedbacks obtained from market research.
  • Regularly engage in qualitative market research to ascertain the portion of the public that focuses on new aspects and trends of commodities.

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  • Test the products in small markets before unavailing them in the bigger market.
  • Measure and weigh the customers’ thought on the goods consumed. The question to ask in this scenario is whether the customers are obtaining optimum satisfaction from consuming the goods. If the expectations of the customers are not being met, measure and means of improving the products image, quality, quantity and brand will be improved.

In conclusion, companies focusing to optimize their returns and make best use of economies of scale should consider using the market oriented approach. Essentially, it is impossible to attain the highest level of quality production. Again, the organizations are not perfectly assured on whether when there will sufficient units to meet the current needs. Taking for example seasonal goods; production of high quality goods which are out of season will not guarantee that the customers will demand the goods since no one benefits by buying goods which are out of seasons. Therefore the demand for such goods will be low regardless of their high quality (Proctor, 2014) Taking the social classes in the society for example, the low level class in the society will not buy commodities associated with high income earners class in the society just because they are of high quality. They will still demand substandard goods as long as they are meeting their needs perfectly.

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The dynamicity of the world is what has prompted the great need to identify customer needs and meet satisfactorily. This is to say that the market oriented approach is very practical and applicable to almost all organizations. What makes one firm have an edge in the market is determined by the extent to which it has gone in producing products that meet the needs of the target population perfectly (Jain, 1998). The existence of myriad competitors producing the same products is what has prompted firms to consider going an extra mile to identify and meet unsatisfied demand in the market.

Analysis of Apple Company Marketing Environment and Adopt Methods of Learning

Introduction

This research paper is meant to study and analyze Apple Company in consideration of marketing environment and adopt methods of learning. The company produces quality products using the approach of direct business and sell to the customers directly which gives the company a competitive advantage over its competitors. The company competitors include companies such as HP, Toshiba, Dell, and Asus to mention but a few. The company external environment analysis presents are with an opportunity to point out the areas with a potential market.

Situation Analysis

The management of Apple is not only efficient but also very involved in offering support to the employees through training and encouraging them to be innovative. The former CEO Steve Job wanted to ensure that no other company beats Apple in innovation. Also, auditing and checks on business cash flow is always done on time. The company has adopted a new accounting principle by which the I-phone and Apple TV that generates high revenue will be considered as deferred revenue in Apple account statements thus creating better cash flow. 

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Products Lifecycle

Currently, iPod is midway in the maturity stage thus demanding an increase in innovation through research and development, which will result in sales and profits increase. Other products such Apple TV, are still new in the market and thus requires a lot of promotion in order to create consumer awareness. I-phone is best-selling product in Apple and is expected to cannibalize the iPod product in the near future (Katie, 2013).

Market Summary

In a research conducted on a sample size of 2,200 people in an effort to define Apple’s market for it products, the results indicated that approximately 22 million American uses its products such as personal computer, I-Pod, I-phone or another electronic gadget. Majority of the users are people aged 29-40 years. Apple products satisfy different users’ needs by providing various services with distinctive features at differing prices. The consumer value for Apple products is high due to the sound quality and features installed in the devices that are a match for its premium pricing. With the sales increasing for Apple Company products, it is expected that the newly launched Apple TV will take the television market by a storm due to its fantastic features. From past records Apple, new products have always surpassed expectations with sales rising to the ceiling a good example is iPhone whose market share soon after it was launched reaching 70-90%.  It was one of the products able to capture the market within a short span of time. The ability of Apple Company to outsource outlets to sell its products gives it an advantage over its competitors in its sales in such a case typically increases by 5%.

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Initially, Apple products such as iPods were targeted to travelers and teenagers however with each innovation everyone wants a piece of apple and thus scramble for them regardless of age. Thus, the target markets for Apple product have over the years grown to capture everyone with ability to buy. Everyone owning an Apple company product seems to belong to a community by what those without Apple company gadget is viewed as aliens. The stylish, easy to use devices have gripped the interest of many people from all demographics. As of right now the target market for Apple products is not defined. In addition, the fact that the teens were the intended target market gives Apple products an image of fresh, young and trendy.   

Internal strengths and weakness

In analyzing the internal strength and weakness of Apple Company, SWOT analysis will be considered. This will helps in understanding the company has emerged as a global entity. Understanding the weaknesses of the company will help know the shortcoming that the company is facing and how they can be handled. The SWOT analysis will hence entail the following:

S- Strengths

Apple Company experiences myriad economies of scale that helps it have an upper hand over its competitors:

  • Halo effect,
  • A substantial Brand Equity,
  • Opportunity to expand
  • Successful business model.

W-Weaknesses

The death of Steve Jobs significantly affected the company, in addition, the introduction of the weak brand damages the company good reputation the rumors of the faulty products may affect the company annual sales. The Apple TV is even less promising as anticipated before.

O- Opportunities

There is a likelihood that in future Apple company products will be less expensive. The association with the Nike Company is yet another fantastic opportunity. In additional to this, there is the likelihood of multiple revenue streams.

T- Threats

Some of the risks that face the company include the availability of substitute products, possibility of IPhone causing the fall of the Ipod, high competition is another threat that is faced by the Apple Company. There is an assumption that if the trends are favorable to Apple company the sales will continue to increase the company will retain its market share as long as it continues producing quality products thus gaining new strengths. If the company goes on pursuing innovation then competing companies will find it difficult to fight with it (Wilson & Thomson, 2002).

Marketing Strategy Summary:

Apple business strategy is to develop and design application software, hardware, operating system and other services associated with it thus offering its customers solutions and products that are superior and innovation industrial design. Apple believes in investing in research and enhancing its products. Thus, it continues to capitalize on improving mobile communication and personal computers through refining or creating innovations.

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Another strategy of the company is expanding its network of distribution. The aim of this technique is to reach the targeted customers and to offer them with high-quality sales.  Nevertheless, the strategy also helps support in case there is a default with their gadgets after sale.

Competition

All technology based products face a common threat of vulnerability from competitors. Apple designs it products out of innovation into very successful products. As mentioned earlier there are many competitors who produced products that compete with Apple products in the market. The advantage that Apple Company has on its product is the fact that it created an edge over its products and succeeded in winning excellent reputation for its products. For a competitor to beat Apple Company in the market, the competitor has to be excellent and introduce superb products that can change the Apple products consumers’ minds. In addition, the opponents ought to carry out thorough marketing in order to create consumer awareness of the unique features that makes their products better compared to Apple Company products. The death of Apple’s CEO triggered stiff competition from companies determined to take the leading position. However, Apple is still the leading companies at the top of the list in terms of innovation and sale of products meaning that the consumer have a high preference for Apple products.

Marketing Strategy

The general marketing objective of Apple Company is to maximize the captured market share and be able to get rid of the competitors, by doing so the company products sales will tremendously increase. In addition, the company can make its products available by distributing them to other retail stores to sell them and make them accessible to consumers. Additionally, the use of internet to create more awareness of the company available products plays a huge role in promoting the company products. Advertisement can also help market Apple goods and create more awareness to consumers who are not aware of the products. As of now since Apple is the trendsetter word of mouth is the most utilized advertisement of the company products. Additionally, Apple uses other strategies such as segmentation and price discrimination.

Apple as a global entity, has divided its markets according to the location of the country. In this divisions, it charges different prices in each. For example, the price charged in the Western countries would not be the same as the price charged by Apple for accessories. The charging of different prices at different quantities involves price discrimination strategy. As a service industry, it focuses on satisfaction of customer needs as well as the making of profits. Apple Company has used various advertising techniques in order to capture the customers. The indulgence of the company in intensive advertising has contributed in the success of the company. It has kept its rivals such as Samsung and Microsoft always on their toes.

Marketing Mix

In designing the marketing mix, Apple applies 4P’s. That is; product, price, promotion and place. This is an efficient marketing policy since it helps access and assess the target market.

Product

Apple products have great features that are user-friendly and of high quality. Ideally, Apple’s product image has improved over the years. The impression being clear, consistent and reliable products that make them prefer Apple products. The branding and efficient services and one-year warranty creates brand loyalty.

Price

Even though, Apple products are expensive compared to competitors’ products, they feature, reliability and benefit are higher.

Promotion

Advertising helps creates awareness of the brand and teaches consumer of the availability of the product and how to operate it.

Place

Distribution of Apple product occurs either directly or indirectly. Direct delivery is what the consumer goes to Apple company stores and buys the product from there. Indirect is the use of outlet retailers to sell the product to customers.

Conclusion

Apple Company has managed to influence the market through its innovations and products that are superior this fact means that the company should take this opportunity ensure that it maximizes on the sale of its products. The company should come up with methods that help it overcome its weaknesses and increases its strengths. For the company to remain competitive, it should continue pursuing Steve Jobs dream of being innovative and developing better products. Being updated with current changes will assist the company overcome the challenges of new players with better products.  

Is Feminism Harmful or Beneficial to American Society?

Feminism is a collection of thoughts and ideologies which share a common, definite and ultimate goal. It involves outlining, launching, and achieving equality in political, social, cultural and economic rights and opportunities for women (Hawkesworth, 2006). Historically, feminist movements have successfully campaigned for the rights of women to vote, work, hold public office, earn fair wages, access education, and own property. The awareness raised by feminists in American society has promoted bodily autonomy and integrity, and protected girls and women from sexual assaults and domestic violence (Hawkesworth, 2006). It; thus, goes without saying that feminism is beneficial to the American society. Various contemporary issues regarding feminism will be discussed in this paper in order to get insight into this topic. The primary objective of this paper is to use examples that help analyze the feminism situation in the American society.

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Feminist is beneficial because it promotes gender equality. Those who support feminist campaigns argue that the male and females were gradually growing apart. Something, therefore, ought to be done about this situation. Feminism encourages a society that is inclusive (Ghodsee, 2009). It attempts to achieve and sustain gender parity, which is essential for collective ideology in any given society. A significantly improved society where both men and women live responsibly is clear evidence that gender equality was instrumental in developing an inclusive community (Ghodsee, 2009).  It is this rationale that has been used to push the gender equality agenda so vehemently. The achievement of gender balance creates harmony among the different sexes in the society, allowing them to collaborate to develop a better society.

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Feminism is also beneficial to the American society because it accords room for the enhancement of societal moral and paradigm. A society’s morals and ideals are central in shaping the future of the community. Sociology experts have often argued that the legitimacy of any organization elucidates the moral values and ideals it has in place (Hawkesworth, 2006). Creating a sense of gender balance makes sure that all members of the community abide by the principles set values. Without this balance, one sex feels like it is locked out, and conflicts are often in the offing.

Feminism also helps to iron out various issues that affect a society. It is worth noting that feminism attempts to encourage female participation in decision-making. Prior to feminism, women in America societies believed that women had no voice hence locked them of the decision-making sphere (Hooks, 2012).  Issues such as balancing domestic chores and careers by women were strife in the American society before modernity set in. The ancient American society, which was largely patriarchal, impeded women from holding job positions because it required them to look after their families. Feminism; thus, creates a favorable platform of resolving problems affecting the American Society. It is evident, from the above benefits, that feminism in the American society is indispensable. The principles of the feminism help resolve various issues that affect the community. The harmony and collaboration functions of feminism show that it has more benefits and limited harm to the American society. Feminism enhances the values of the society and aids in developing a better society. The American Society should apply the principles of feminism in order to build a stable and cohesive society.

Economic Factors Affecting Demand and Supply of Commodities and the Resultant Price

Economic Factors Affecting Demand for commodities

The demand of product varies according to some given elements. Factors affecting demand are categorized in price and non-price factors. Price factors include the price of the commodity that has a direct influence on the demand for a given product. Non-price factors include other factors that do not affect demand directly through the altering of the price. Price factors will cause a movement along the demand curve while non-price factors will be indicated by a shift in the demand curve.

Price factors

Own Price

Arguably enough, it is the most important factor affecting the demand for a given commodity. As the rule of the thumb, an increase in price of a particular product results to the reduction in the demand of the product ceteris paribus. Hence, there exist an inverse relationship between price and quantity demanded. The relationship is known as the ‘law of demand’ (Buchholz & Todd 1995). From this relationship, a mathematical equation linking both price and demand can be derived, and it is as follows:

D=f(P)

Where:

D- Demand for the product

P- Price of a given product.

As seen from above, demand is a function of price. The equation defines the change in demand. As a result, in the change in own prices of the product.

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Where:

P- Price                        Q- quantity demanded

Increase in demand is indicated by an upward move up the demand curve while a decrease in demand is indicated by a downward move down the demand curve. Increase in price of the product lead to the decline in quantity (q) demanded.

Non-Price Demand factors

Changes in prices of related goods

  • Complementary products – These are products that are used together to the satisfaction of a particular want. A good example is car and fuel. The increasing price of a complementary good leads to the decrease in demand for a given commodity. The vice-versa is true. This is because the additional products becomes expensive and unaffordable by the buyer.  It is known as joint demand.
  • Supplementary goods – They are also known as substitutes. These are products that can be used in place of other goods for the satisfaction of particular need. An excellent epitome is tea and coffee. Increase in price of a substitute good leads to the rise in demand for the cheaper product (Hubert 2004). There is hence a direct relationship between demand and the price of a substitute good.

Income of the consumer

Demand is also affected by the change in income of the consumer. The higher the income of an individual, the greater the demand for goods and services. The reason for his is that higher wages increase the purchasing power of individuals and hence their budget set also increases. People can buy more products with higher incomes. However, the effect of the change in demand depends upon the nature of the commodity depends upon the nature of the product.

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  • Standard/normal goods: An increase in income of an average product leads to the rise in demand of the product.
  • Inferior goods: An surge in the income level of an individual leads to the decrease in the demand for the good while as a reduction in income leads to the reduction in demand level.

Customer tastes and preferences.

According to Pindyck, Robert & Daniel, (1992) postulated that the extent, to which a consumer is biased towards a particular good, will determine its demand. When a commodity is in fashion or is preferred by a consumer, the demand for such a product will increase greatly. The demand curve for the product will tend to lie at a high level. On the likewise, if the customer had no regard to the product, the demand for such a product will decline in case the customer had no taste and preference for it. Other factors affecting tastes and preference apart from fashion include pressure from advertisements from manufacturers and sellers.

Future expectation of changes in price.

In case the consumers anticipate the increase in price of a given commodity, people will buy the product in bulk above average purchases in order to evade buying the commodity in the future at a higher price. There is, therefore, a direct relationship between future expectations of changes in price and the demand. A good example would be the expectation of future increase in price of petrol. Many consumers of the product will fill their tanks with petrol in order to avoid purchasing gasoline in the future at a high price.

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Economic state of the commodity.

Some products such as the umbrellas are seasonal, and their demand varies according to the prevailing conditions. During boom seasons characterized by economic prosperity, investment, employment and income increases. The implication of this is to increase the demand for capital and consumer goods (Langabeer & Jim 2000). However, in periods of depression, low investments and income lead to decline in the market level.

Population size and composition

Increase in population lead to increasing the demand level. Additionally, if the population is composed of a significant target group such as youngsters, adults, women, men, or is dominated by a particular gender say men or women, the increase in population of the target group will lead to the rise in demand for that product.

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From the diagram above, an increase in the demand curve will be shown by a shift to the right while a change will indicate a decline in the demand level to the left., it is only the changes in own price of product that will cause a movement along the demand curve. All the other factors including changes in price of related products, customer preferences and tastes, income of the individual result to a shift in the demand curve.

Economic Factors affecting the supply of commodities

Supply may be best termed as the quantity that suppliers wish to avail of the market at a given price. A rise in the price of the product leads to an increase in the amount supplied in the market. The price of a product has a direct relationship with the provision of the good. This is known as the ‘law of supply’. Reduction in cost of production will motivate the supplier to offer more quantities into the market. Supply is, therefore, a function of price, and it is expressed mathematically as follows:

S=f (P)

Where:

s- Supply of a given commodity

p- Price of the commodity

Factors affecting supply of the commodity:

Price factors

Price factors are shown by a movement along the supply curve.

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Price of Commodity

An elevation in the price of the  product leads to rise in the amount supplied in the market. The converse is true (Buchholz, M & Todd G 1995)

An increase in the price of the commodity will lead to an increase in the quantity supplied. This is shown by an upward move along the supply curve.

Non-price factors

These factors are represented by a shift in the supply curve.

Price of other related goods.

An increase in the price of a similar commodity will lead to an increase in supply of the production. In case it is more profitable offering the product than supplying another commodity, producers will tend to prefer to provide the good with the higher price tag.

Change in cost of production.

Increase in any factor of production will result in a decrease in the supply of the commodity. The reduced profits brought about by increase in cost of production will prompt producers to offer less in quantity of a particular commodity. Heilbroner et al., (1994) put forward the argument that suppliers use inputs in order to produce outputs. The inputs in production include raw materials such as labor, utilities, licensing fees etcetera. When the price of a given input increases, the cost, as well as the price of the product will increases.

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Technological advancement

Technical progress results in the lowering of the cost of production and hence increased profits for the producer. The producer will hence tend to supply more of the product in the market.

The Weather changes.

Agricultural products are the most affected commodities since their produce is greatly determined by climatic conditions. When the weather is favorable, producers will tend to increase the production of agricultural products and vice versa.

Number of producers.

An increase in a number of manufacturers in the market will lead to a rise in supply since each manufacturer is bringing in an additional product into the market.

Government subsidies.

Increase in government grants leads to a decrease in cost of production. Consequently, a decline in production costs leads to the rise in supply and hence a shift towards the right.

Resultant product prices

Human requirements are unlimited in nature. With the supply of resources being scarce, the wants cannot be catered for fully. A choice has therefore to be made. It is the forces of demand and supply that determines the prices to charge for a particular product. The demand of product at any given time is determined by the willingness, ability to pay and the desire to possess a good by the consumer (Mann 2002).  The degree to which the demand and supply are responsive to the changes in price brings about the elasticity concept. The more resilient the product is, the more it is affected by the variations in rates. As stated earlier on, prices are arrived at by the interaction between demand and supply schedules. Individual supply and demand schedules generate the market demand and supply schedules and with the buyer, the buyer bears the cost that is equivalent to the equilibrium price. At this point, the amount is equal to the demand.

Suppliers are known to be profit maximisers while consumers are known to be utility maximisers.

Any attempt to shift the demand/supply will cause the equilibrium to change. The point above the equilibrium point indicates an excessive amount from the side of the suppliers while the point below the equilibrium point shows excessive demand from the side of the consumers.

Excessive supply/demand will generate pressure from either the supplier or the buyer and will force one of the parties to change the terms of purchase thereby restoring the equilibrium between price and quantity. Hence, the equilibrium point will remain in balance.

Ecological, Legal, Environmental, Technological, Economic, Political, Factors Affecting Businesses

Ecological Factors Affecting Businesses

Environmental Regulations

The environment can be conserved by the government by regulating business operations in certain regions. There are set standards for all business to adhere to for purposes of ensuring safety of the environment as a whole. Without such laws most businesses often pollute the environment while operating for purposes of increasing their profit levels. Issues of clean water and air often dictate how they operate their businesses as a whole (Brooke, 2000).

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Permit Requirements

Operating permits are required by all business to operate in their different regions. Without a permit a business cannot be allowed to operate, and this allows for collection of revenue by the government and overall regulations of businesses in the environment. Businesses are required by law to file for permits before they start operating from a local, state or federal agency. Business activities can be monitored with ease when they operate by using a permit. Due to this permits, the government is able to regulate how businesses interact with water bodies and other hazardous waste material that can be harmful to the people surrounding them (Armistead & Machin, 2002).

Compliance Requirements

Various natural environment factors usually affect business operations and their ability to expand or change to new operations. During business development stages businesses are supposed to comply with different regulations for purposes of ensuring safer environments for them all (Floor, 2003). All organizations that desire to purchase a building for example are required by law to ensure that the buildings are complying with various regulations to reduce risks associated with them. Most companies that are known to defy the requirements of compliance are always shut down or given fines in lieu of their mistakes.

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Environmental Contaminants

All business operations that work under hazardous circumstances are made to be responsible of their operations to ensure maintenance of the natural environment. Counterchecking such businesses through the compensation and liability act ensures that businesses are liable for their operations. Such laws and regulations are always applicable to all businesses which desire to purchase areas that are known to be contaminated.

Legal Factors Affecting Businesses

All businesses in the US are usually subject to various legal systems that are placed by the government (Teece, 2010). Most laws apply to the people in general while some of them specifically apply to the various businesses in the region. Doing businesses in different parts of the continent allows people to observe the rules and regulations of people in those countries. This is done with a view of streamlining business operations and also to offer a similar platform to all businesses engaging in different operations. Some of the legal factors that affect businesses include but not limited to:

Organizational laws

Legal entities are supposed to follow after laws and regulations of the states where they are situated. Legal business operations usually include partnerships, limited liability partnerships, limited liability companies and limited liability limited formations (Brooke, 2000). Business operations usually follow after the formation entity under which they are subject.

Securities law

Financed businesses, which have the assistance of investors usually, follow after different security laws that are in place. Companies or businesses that provide promissory notes to investors often see the offering as a security, and it is usually subject to federal and state regulations and laws (Armistead & Machin, 2002).

Employment laws

Business ventures are often informed to employ different individuals owing to their different laws which may include discrimination laws and occupational laws. Such legal provisions allow business owners to fully provide the required services to people without considering their background or ethnicity. Health laws are usually provided for businesses to ensure full provision of health facilities to all the employees of a business venture.

Contract Laws

Contract laws govern businesses when they get into agreement with other entities for purposes of doing business. Government procurement laws usually deal in different government contracts that are provided by the state to individual business owners.

Commercial laws

Commercial laws actively fall under the issues of selling various goods and services to the people. Due to increased business operations the government provides such laws to protect the interests of different suppliers and consumers in the event of doing business operations.

Immigration

Immigration laws are legal powers that all business operations are required to follow in the event of working with different people from different regions. Due to the diverse nature of work only a specified number of people are usually allowed to work in certain areas in any company abroad.

Environmental Factors Affecting A Business

There are various factors that affect the location of a business due to the environmental factors at play. One of the most important factors in choosing a place for a business location should be planned under the context of reducing costs and increasing profits. The impact of various environmental factors often leads to continuity or failing of businesses before they start their operations (Brooke, 2000). Some of the factors that affect the environment include:

Availability of Raw Materials

Availability of raw materials for a business venture is vital for the location of a business enterprise (Lange, 2007). Most prices set for the cost of products often emanate from the availability of the raw materials used for the products in question. The overall impact of raw materials for a product revolves around their source and nature. Easily located raw materials for a product leads to low costs of goods and increased  purchasing power, and this often lead to increased profits.

Labour Supply

Appropriate skills and available labour is the desire of every business venture. With available supply of labour businesses often tend to reduce their operating costs and prices as a whole. Such operations make it easier for consumers to afford their prices leading to high purchases. Increased labour supply is thus a requirement for any business venture which desires to increase their product offerings and increased profits.

Proximity to the Market

Having businesses near the market is recipe for success as business will not increase their expenses for such purposes. Customer relations can also be improved if businesses operate in regions where their market is near. When operating in far markets businesses increase their expenses, and this will prompt them to increase their costs in overall. High costs lead to minimal purchases and low level profit margins.

Power and Fuel

Available fuel and power is vital for any business operation to ensure uninterrupted operations of organizations. Organizations usually move from one region to another when they find out that their power needs are not met fully. Operating in regions with ready power gives businesses an advantage of spending less time and money in looking for such crucial commodities in their operations (Brooke, 2000).

Climatic Considerations

Climatic conditions of regions usually determine the placement of businesses in certain regions. Considerations like topography, drainage system and level of ground are aspects that are determined before businesses decide where to operate their businesses. There are companies that require humid regions for purposes of opesating effectively. Cotton textile industries for example, require such humid regions for their operations. It is therefore vital for businesses to determine the climatic conditions that positively affect their businesses to ensure overall success.

Technological Factors Affecting a Business

Organizational change

During routines modifications, workers are usually not able to keep with the pace leading to low quality provisions. Such instances lead to consumer outcry and low purchasing from businesses. It is crucial to inform all workers to change in advance to suit the technological changes in the business environment to ensure success (Blank, 2013).

Business Processes

Using new integrated modern technologies assists in achieving organizational goals and objectives. This can only become possible if business operations solicit different requirements that are in line with the business operation. Using more sophisticated technological advancements lead to quality provision and high customer demand (Piercy, 2012).

Cost Involved

Businesses benefit immensely if they are geared towards changing the outdated systems in their operations (Burnett, 2008). Such moves lead to increased expenses due to training, but beneficial to both consumers and business operators. Most organizations are usually hesitant to make changes due to the high costs involved leading to poor quality products and services.

Efficiency

Accuracy can only be enhanced in organizations if they desire to make use of various efficient methods in their operations. Such moves lead to low manual labor costs and high productivity. To ensure efficiency businesses make use of technological advancements and often do away with outdated methods of operation (Piercy, 2012).

Contingency Planning

All technological improvements are crucial for business success, but businesses ought to check on the responsibilities that come with the changes (Shepherd, 2000). Planning ahead is a tool that can assist business operations to soar into high heights while involving different technological facets. Businesses have a mandate of mitigating various risks like cyber crime to ensure continuity and increased profits from their operations. Businesses need to adopt all technological aspects of their business to be able to compete effectively in their niche.

Economic Factors Affecting A Business

There are different economic factors that affect a business venture (Piercy, 2012). Most entrepreneurs desire to fulfill their clients’ needs, but most business are affected by various economic trends (Heirman, 2004). It is therefore crucial for business owners to account for trends to ensure better decisions. Economic factors that affect most business in all industries include interest rates, employment, confidence of consumers and inflation.

Consumer Confidence

Consumer confidence is vital indicator that checks on the consumer optimism about the economy. Consumers with high level confidence tend to spend more money compared to consumers who have low confidence (Schick, 2002). With high level of confidence, consumers tend to purchase more leading to prosperity for businesses. Periods with high confidence lead to the emergence of new business and increased economic growth as a whole.

Employment

Sahlman (1997) states that “there is a business cycle that is followed by the economy and this can lead to periods of stagnation or decline in the business arena. Boom periods present economies with more jobs hence more workers for organizations to satisfy the rising demand in the market”. Subsequently, unemployment leads to low spending activities because consumers usually have little to spend.

Interest Rates

Lenders charge an interest rate to individuals when they borrow money from various institutions (Cessar, 2004). Most small and medium corporations rely on banks and other financial institutions to borrow money for their operations. Businesses with debt find it hard to run their operation when interest rates increase. Consumer spending also decreases when interest rates are high because most of the consumers find it hard to take loans and purchase various products and services for their consumption (Shepherd, 2000, P. 449).

Inflation

Arias (2010) confirms that inflation refers to the rising prices in an economy. Inflation always increases business expenses such as utilities, rent and the cost of all the raw materials required for production. Due to high costs, businesses often increase their prices to cater for the rising costs in the market. This is done with a view of maintaining profits and overall operation of business in various industries. Consumers tend to have low purchasing power during inflation leading to low purchases.

Political Factors That Affect A Business

Impact in the economy

The political nature of a country is crucial for any thriving business venture (Rodriquez, 2009). They usually affect the economic position of the area leading to changes in the business cycle. In the US for example, there are differences that are seen in the operations of the democrats and the republicans. Such changes have occurred due to their different policies and ideologies. With such differences there are different implications that occur in the government arena leading to changes in the business cycle. Policies that encourage high spending in any economy, lead to improved economies and increased business participation.

 Changes in Regulations in the Government

Any change made in the government regulation is recipe for business changes. When the rule of law changes there is usually a change in the economy and this may affect businesses positively or negatively. Corporate compliance has become a rule in the US because of the accounting scandals that have been witnessed in the 21st century. Public companies have been forced by the Oxley-Sarbanes compliance to be more responsible in their acts. Such regulations lead to increased or decreased business operations in the economy as a whole.

Political Stability

Political instability usually affects business operating internationally. This is also true for all local businesses as consumers usually change their way of shopping towards favorable products. Overthrowing a government for example, may lead to looting and other vices that reduce the desire for people to start new ventures in their regions. Most business people operate well in politically stable nations as they are able to operate without any interference.

Mitigation Risks

There are many risks that are encountered in most businesses around the globe. This has been mitigated by various methods like buying insurance policies. Buying insurance policies can assist a business to operate fully and avoid any uncertainties in the event of providing products and services to various players.

How My Current Worldview Effects Perception of Current Healthcare Debate

Assignment Instructions

Do research on Christian Worldviews then write a reflective paper about your current worldview and how your worldview effects your perception of the current healthcare debate. This reflective paper should be first person and reflect your view point on how healthcare should be defined, and services provided. You should utilize biblical scripture to support your view.

Reflection on Healthcare – Sample Reflective Paper

The healthcare system is an important part and parcel of everyday life. It is integral that it is framed in a manner that can take care of the healthcare needs of the entire population. The people’s healthcare needs vary from psychological, physical, and social, among others. The current United States healthcare policy is based on the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law by President Obama. The policy has been able to cater for different health needs that Americans have on different levels. This paper is my reflection on the healthcare system, and how my worldview interacts with it based on Biblical principles.

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For me, I think that the healthcare system should be able to take care of the most vulnerable in society. The vulnerable in our country are those that cannot adequately afford the high costs of healthcare services. Healthcare is very expensive in the United States, and many people without employment struggle to access quality healthcare. The country’s healthcare requires that a person has a medical insurance cover that is correctly serviced in order to be served. This makes it difficult for many families and individuals. At the moment, some states, such as Arkansas have not completely expanded Medicaid. This, therefore, makes it difficult for many to acquire health insurance cover (Sommers et al., 2016).

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The healthcare policy has made strides to ensure that it takes care of the needs of those who are vulnerable. I think this should be greatly applauded. Currently, the healthcare policy has regulations that mandate healthcare insurance companies not to discriminate anyone while enrolling people for health insurance cover. It was previously difficult for people with pre-existing conditions to acquire health insurance. This has been eliminated by the requirement that insurance companies should be able to provide comprehensive cover to this category of people (Leimbigler & Lammert, 2016). Such a move ensures that everyone is prepared for any adversity that may occur to them regarding their health. Acquisition of insurance is part of a good investment as espoused in 1st Timothy 5:8, which encourages families and individuals to provide for themselves and all they care about.

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Provision of quality healthcare is part and parcel of showing kindness, care, empathy, and love. I believe that these are essential values that should always be manifested in all spheres of life. The healthcare system in the country is based on scientific training of all medical professionals in a manner that enables them to serve based on the aforementioned values. The scripture in 2nd Chronicles 16:12 give an example of a situation where a high-ranking leader sought the services of a highly qualified physician when he was sick. This illustrates that it is important to train medical professionals adequately for them to provide the necessary services. One of the nursing theories that are required by the healthcare system to be passed to nurses and doctors is Watson’s theory of caring. This theory teaches the correct way of showing love and care to patients. It has been shown that this kind of care is essential for the quick recovery of patients as it enables them to be positive and responsive to medical instructions.

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In conclusion, it is apparent that the healthcare system has gone a long way in meeting the health needs of society. In the process, it has fulfilled several Biblical principles. My worldview, especially in nursing and healthcare, revolves around the values of love, care, and empathy. Additionally, the healthcare system, in my view, should take care of the needs of the most vulnerable in society.

How Early Cinema was affected by Photography, Film, Form, Style, Special Effects and Fictional Narrative

Historical Changes in Film

The introduction of photography in 19th brought significant change in the cinema. There was an option of presenting events with a picture which document real events happened, unlike paintings that represented imaginary events. Photographs were used in cinema to give background information about a story that was being performed in sequence. Photography technology was quickly advanced to films which enhanced the use of pictures in motion and integration of visual arts in the cinema. Form introduction in the early cinema enhanced the ability to create different plots of the story. Forms helped in developing a total system could be perceived by audience in a film. It enhanced the integration of stylistic subsystem and narrative subsystem in film development (Nelmes, 2012).

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It thus assisted in advancing the film development process by introducing functions, repetition or similarities to develop of motifs, variations and unity. All this assist in creating a film that directs audience expectation. Styles introduced a new way of combining colors, pictures, poetry and music in the film to bring a certain emotion. This was a great change in early cinema since it brought some kind of reality into the film where audience would share the climate in the film and relate it to the reality.

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Effects in early cinema were created by use of music, colors and pictures. Effect brought reality into the cinema. Just like style, early effect helped in developing a realistic environment by creating a happy, sad, dangerous, or fearful atmosphere in the film to bring out the actual feeling in real life. Fictional narratives brought about creativity in the film industry. The film makers were able to create different stories in a more fascinating ways to draw audience attentions (Eagan, 2010). All these features played a great role in enhancing film development to what they are known today.

Real-life Services Performed by Public Sector and Nonprofit Sector

Assignment Instructions

Complete the three prompts below by listing and explaining what each sector’s service does and how they serve or what service they provide. Once you have completed the prompts, expand on the learning with a short essay as outlined below.

  • Identify five real-life services performed by the public sector:
  • Identify five real-life services performed by the nonprofit sector:
  • Identify three real-life services performed by both the public and nonprofit sector:

In 250-500 words, explain how each, the public and nonprofit sector, serve the public good. Does it matter if each serves a different purpose? Should they both provide the same services

Real-life Services Performed by Public Sector and Nonprofit Sector – Sample Paper

The public sector plays a crucial role in the society at large due to the extensive service provision that it engages in. The purpose of non-profits has risen significantly in recent years, and, therefore, their contribution to society cannot be overstated. This paper highlights some of the real-life services provided by the two entities, as well as elaborate on how they serve the public good.

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The public sector performs crucial services in society. These services include the provision of public education, provision of healthcare services, and the provision of subsidized housing schemes (Altbach, 2015). The non-profits, on the other hand, provide such services as feeding the homeless, running rehabilitation programs for drug addicts, and provision of water to people in arid areas. Real-life services offered jointly by both the public sector and the non-profits include the provision of vaccination services, health campaigns, and the provision of scholarship opportunities to students.

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Both the public sector and the non-profits serve the public good. This is through the provision of necessary services that take care of unmet needs in society. Such services as education form the core of society and require a frequent evaluation and extensive funding. It would, therefore, be impossible for education to run. Health services are also very significant in society, considering that it requires comprehensive policies and legislations. The role of the non-profits is central to the lives of many people. Such services as rehabilitation of drug addicts and provision of services to the needy cannot be adequately catered for by the government (Sivesind, 2017). The government and non-profits can join hands in some roles or can do different tasks depending on suitability.