Expository Essay – Electronic Communication Media : Internet, Intranet, Extranet

Communication is an important part of human interactions. This explains why many organizations have fully-fledged departments that solely take care of the communication aspects of the entire organization. Technological advancements have evolved the communication strategies employed by organizations. It is possible to find a single company making use of a myriad of communication strategies depending on the needs and how fast the information is required to be conveyed. The use of email services and other electronic media in the office is widespread today. This paper elaborates on such electronic media as the internet, intranet, and extranet. It also highlights on the protocols that govern each of them for effective application.

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The internet is one of the most significant technological inventions ever made as far as communication is concerned. It makes it possible for millions of people to communicate from different parts of the world. The internet uses the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, or the TCP/IP. These are a set of protocols that dictates how the communication channel between different sets of distant computers are to communicate. The protocol provides end-to-end connectivity, which states how information is to be packaged, transmitted, and received at the intended destination. Other technological evolutions have resulted from the development of the internet and the large-scale fashion in which it can be applied. There is no argument that the intranet and extranet are the products of the internet.

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The intranet has been extensively adopted by many organizations. This has been done in different forms and varieties. The intranet is developed using the World Wide Web and is meant to serve as a private network. It is a network that provides restricted communication or local communication services (Fink, 2015). The protocols that guide the intranet are the HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTPP) and the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. The private network of this nature is commonly used to provide restricted access to an organization’s workers only. The computers within the organization run interconnected applications that provide synced information to all workers. The integrity of the communication system is fully secured by the use of a firewall. This system makes it cheap to share information and allows the company to save on a lot of money that would be used in other communication strategies.

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Extranet, on the other hand, can be viewed as an extended form of the intranet that gives controlled access to outside partners of an organization (Barnier et al., 2016). The basic structure of the extranet is that of the intranet. However, extranet allows others that are outside the organization to access the company’s intranet networking services. These outsiders could be customers, suppliers, and vendors, among others. In this kind of relationship, the network allows for a closer relationship between an organization and those that provide necessary outside services to the company. In addition to all the benefits of an intranet network, the extranet can be of special importance for a company that has extensively traveling workforce. The protocols that the extranet runs on are the same as that of an intranet system. In conclusion, it is clear that electronic communication media has gained much traction and application today. The internet forms the foundation of most communication strategies in many organizations. The internet can be used in a variety of ways and provides both distant and near communication. The intranet is used within an organization, while extranet can be extended to outside partners of an organization.

Relationships in Kite Runner Novel

The novel Kite Runner is a storyline set against the backdrop of tumultuous events following the decline of Afghanistan’s monarchy under the Soviet Military intention. It also gives a detailed ordeal of the migration of refugees and Taliban to Pakistan and U.S. The main characters are Amir, Hassan and Baba, who take the center stage and play dignified roles in the novel. The narrator of the story is Amir. He is a Sunni Muslim and the main protagonist in the novel. He undergoes a traumatic childhood experience in Afghanistan and strives hard to establish his true identity despite his devastating childhood encounters. Amir and Hassan spend their childhood days playing kite fight in the hitherto peaceful city of Kabul. Nevertheless, Hassan is a successful ‘kite runner’ for Amir. The novel creatively uses lots of stylistic devices to describe circumstances. Symbolism is one of them. Its prominence in the book implies that there is much to learn from it. As events unfold, the occurrence of various events seems to have been prophesied. For example, the kites in the book forecast about anticipated fate. On the other hand, the slingshot represents the two generations; both childhoods of Amir and Hassan in which Hassan and Sohrab use slingshots to stop Assef. The striking, conspicuous and most prominent theme brought out in ‘Kite Runner’ is relationships. This essay illustrates how characters in the novel handle relationships, how they relate to each other, their perceptions as well as how significant relationships are to the society and the nation at large. As a matter of fact, relationships are crucial for the growth and development of a community as well as a country. Nevertheless, the essay navigates into three arguments including parent-child relationships, family unity, and communication.

Parent-child Relationship

The manner of nurturing children has a lot to say about the kind of parental love shown to them. Ideally, parent-child relationships are crucial in child development. Nurturing a child especially during the early development stages helps instill morals and behaviors in the kid and most importantly inculcates character in him. In the novel, Amir undergoes bitter childhood upbringing, and though his father loves both Amir and Hassan, he disregards Amir by considering him weak and lacking the courage (Noor and Khaled 78).Amir craves for his father’s affection but with little success. Though his father claims to love him, he favors Hassan. Consequently, this is evident in the instance in which Baba undertook an expensive adventure by paying for Hassan’s plastic surgery in a bid to repair his lip. Baba fails to encourage Amir and does not hang out around with him most of the time due to his busy business schedules. Furthermore, he does not motivate Amir in his writing career and shows less concern about him. Amir feels this rift and longs for his father’s affection. However, Amir finds a kinder figure in Rahim Khan who is Baba’s closest friend. Rahim loves Amir and supports his nature and his talent as a writer. Amir chooses to be inactive and not to confront bullies and aggressors even when he has the chance to. Consequently, his choice of inaction leads to a chain of guilt, lies, betrayal and ‘cowardice’ as Baba refers it (Noor and Khaled 78). However, the primary cause of deception is due to the strained relationship between Baba and Amir especially during his childhood. Betrayal is considered abominable and is cyclical in the novel. In most of the sceneries, Amir makes frantic effort to deal with the guilt of betrayal and failing to rescue his half-brother, Hassan. He tries every inch to avoid and evade the guilt, but, unfortunately, it follows him all along. Avoiding the blame, however, does nothing towards his redemption. Guilt causes him to cringe every time Hassan’s name mentioned. Additionally, Amir feels betray upon realizing that all he thought and perceived about his father is false (Edward 20). Feelings of betrayal and punishment are not enough to redeem Amir. Rescuing Sohrab from Assef is also not enough to redeem him. However, in efforts to find the inner peace and correct his bitter past, Amir’s rescues Sohrab from the hands of Assef. He takes him to America so that he can enjoy the freedom and find happiness.

Family Unity

For success, stability, peace and growth in the society, unity especially in the family set up has to be harnessed. Unity in the family begins with parental love and extends to love among siblings. If this doesn’t work out, little if any can be done to unite such a family. Harmony is a vital characteristic of unity in the family. Charity begins at home and attaining unity requires the existence of love among family members. The novel Kite Runner has much to say concerning family unity. Kinship ties are seen to be concrete in the novel. Hassan’s upholds a brotherly relationship with Amir and his love for his half-brother is selfless (Noor and Khaled 78). His character becomes evident when he fails to hold hard feelings for those who wrong him and fails to give directions to the Taliban to Amir and Baba’s house. He trades his life with love. On the other hand, Amir’s love for Hassan is however dominated by selfishness. Amir fails to rescue his half-brother at the time he needs him most. Disunity in the society and nation is what causes the Soviet Union militarily to invade Afghanistan five years later in which the nationals flee the country for their lives and migrate to safer zones. Unfortunately, many die in the process. Amir and Baba find their escape route to Peshawar, Pakistan, and then they migrate to Fremont, California where they find shelter in a run-down apartment (SparkNotes 28). It all starts at the family level. Unity in the family resonates unity in the nation. On the contrary, disunity brews violence, and division. Social, political, economic and ethnic tensions are the resultant effects of disunity. The socioeconomic setting in the novel represents disunity and religious discrimination between the majority and the minority. The majority are the Sunni Muslims while the minority are the Shi’a Muslims. Additionally, socioeconomic disparities in United States are evident in the instance in which Baba and many other immigrants surrender their lives of prosperity in exchange of poverty, suffering, hard labor and reduced wages. The only way to restore family unity is through reunion.Amir is an epitome of to heal the wounds of family disunity. After getting back to his cradle land, he reunites with his friend and saves Sohrab after being sexually abused and occasionally dancing for Assef while dressed in women’s clothes. In order relinquish Sohrab, Amir agrees to engage in a fight with Assef. However, Assef beats Amir severely and breaks several of his bones. It is in this instance when Sohrab uses a slingshot to fire a brass ball in Assef’s left (Newsmakers for Students 21). As evident enough, family unity is paramount, and when it is absent, violence takes root. The pivotal scene in myriad occasions is violence. Apart from the political tensions in the country, Assef is an older boy with a sadistic taste of violence attacks Amir, Hassan, and Sohrab. In an attempt to attack Amir, Hassan intervenes and threatens to shoot Assef with his slingshot and Assef shows a white flag but swears to revenge. Assef also sexually abuses the children at the orphanages and Sohrab happens to be the recent victim but is saved by Amir (Michelle 14). Other consequences of disunity include unforgiveness. Amir actively witnesses Assef beating, raping and severely inflicting wounds on Hassan but is too scared to help him. Though he feels guilty and responsible for the occurrence, Hassan nonetheless forgives Amir. He is selfless and holds no hard feelings against Amir ((Noor and Khaled 78).


Communication among family members is a vital and absence of it causes the family members to live like strangers to one another. Communication among siblings and between parents promotes understanding and unity in the family. The novel ‘The Kite Runner’, provides vivid descriptions of how important communication is in the family set up. Communication barriers disrupt the informational flow among family members. In the novel, Amir is seen to strive hard in rekindling his relationship with his father, Baba (Lev 43). He plays the role of an unlikable coward who failed to help his best friend in myriad needy situations. As as a result, Amir believes that it would be better for Hassan not to be around. He, therefore, plots against Hassan by placing a watch and some amount of money beneath the surface of his mattress. To him, this would make Baba furious and consequently chase away Hassan. Upon confrontation, Hassan falsely confesses to Baba. Although Baba is strongly against stealing, he nevertheless forgives Hassan. To the surprise of Baba, Hassan and Amir both leave premises and for once, Amir is freed from the daily nagging feeling of guilty although he lives under its shadow. Amir unlike his half-brother Hassan gets haunted by the guilt feelings due to lack of communication (Edward 20). Great enmity emanates between him and his half-brother. Also, the break in communication and the resultant effects are devastating as separation takes the course. Both part ways and the close brotherly ties cease to exist. Amir is also a victim of circumstances by the fact that much of the vital information about his culture and customs remains unknown to him. He feels desolate and unloved. Ideally, much of the information is availed to Amir in very desperate situations and only after terror strikes. Amir gets to understand later that Ali’s death was a result of an accident at the land mine. Further, it becomes crystal clear to him that Ali was sterile and was not the biological father of Hassan. Hassan was Baba’s son and a half-brother to Amir(Lev 43). Rahim also finally reveals to him that the reason he called him to Pakistan was to rescue Sohrab – Hassan’s son from an orphanage in Kabul. All this unknown information gets availed in the end. When family members fail to communicate, trouble and fate faces families and the society as well. When members of the family are not conversing, things go haywire. Members of the family develop ill feelings towards each other and jealousy as well as insecurity arises. The nature of brotherly portrayed by Amir is one that is mixed up with jealousy and insecurity. He initiates plots against his half-brother and separates from him indefinitely (Deutsch, Lindsay 22). After finding homage in America, Baba and Amir undertake steps to rekindle their broken ties that resulted out of miscommunication. Baba, who was always busy with his business schedules, failed to communicate vital values and virtues to Amir. Baba was not affectionate to Amir, and he failed to educate the young Amir on matters concerning their culture. Guilt and haunt experiences were a direct result of failed communication. Even after finding refuge in America and striving hard to make ends meet, Amir and Baba are still haunted by their pasts. Their bitter past is a shadow of them. As a way of restoring hope and erasing all guilt, Amir returns to his cradle land and seeks to correct childhood mistakes. Nevertheless, as a way of showing affection, Baba initiates the negotiation process in a marriage proposal between Amir and Soraya. It is the marriage relationship that finally helps Amir develop and build his character.            

The novel ‘The Kite Runner’ is indeed a real reflection of the multigenerational need for strengthened relationships and family unity. Charity begins at home and therefore unity in the family should start at home and be present at all times. Family unity is the backbone for the existence of harmony and peace in the society. Unity cannot be achieved by holding ill feelings against one another. Forgiveness and love go together, and one requires to uphold them on self-basis before extending the virtues to others. It is the onus of each and everyone to practice the brotherly and selfless love portrayed by Hassan in the novel. Characters in the novel are seen to search frantically for affection and quest for love. The most likely reason for Amir betrayal for his friend is because of the sour and strained childhood relationship with his father during his childhood (Michelle 14).Amir’s character is a perfect epitome of the resultant character that results from poor parenthood. Wealth is not an enough prove of affection to children. Teenagers in their childhood require parental presence rather than being busy amassing wealth to the detriment of the child. It is the onus of parents to communicate the customs, norms and societal practices to their children. Nevertheless, they ought to show compassion and affection to them. Children living in a family set up with strained relationship afterward become a threat and a burden to the community. It a parent’s role to instill morals and behaviors to the youngsters. Many parents in today’s generation claim to love their children but instead fail to demonstrate it. It is the rule of the thumb that parent – child relationships determine the level of respect, obedience, and affection of the family. Parents should hence show love and pursue education on good parenthood. On the other hand, children should obey and respect their parents.

Factors Contributing To Pay Gaps in Australia


Factors that contribute to the pay gap in Australia and why the difference is more significant in some industry sectors than others.

The labor market is composed participants who are basically men and women. The rewards of the labor market are wages. The concept of wages is complex and has to be considered critically by employers. One of the greatest concerns in the labor market has been the disparities in the mean income between men and women. Differences between wages received by participants in the labor market is measured by the gender pay gap. The differences arises due to various aspects that differ from one organization to the next (Cohen 2007). In Australia for example, the wages pay gap is computed on the basis of full-time weekly earnings excluding overtime and salary sacrificed pay. Currently, the wage pay gap in Australia stands at 17.5%. The gap has been fluctuating with small margins but the figure has remained unchanged overtime. Differences in income levels of men and women are, for this reason, an important economic and industrial aspect worth consideration.

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In order to address the disparities in the pay gaps, it is important to examine the possible reasons as to the existence of remuneration differences between men and women. Why does the difference exist? Well, the answer to such a query is often critical and complex. However, the real explanation is the fact that there exist a range of factors responsible for the occurrence of the pay gaps. These factors range from historical, social, behavioral and labor market factors (Clark & Drinkwater 2007). These factors have collectively have led to pay gap differences. More often than not, the causes of gender pay gap are usually intertwined and related. In this view, it can be noted that women have been the primary victims of scanty pay. Most of the women earn less than the men. This has been the same case with Australia. Several factors that have been contributive to the existence of pay gaps include:

Gender biases.

Gender discrimination is evidenced when one sex is treated unfairly. There are two categories of gender biases: direct and indirect sex discrimination. Direct discrimination is conspicuous and openly practiced with unfairness leveled against a particular person on the basis of sex. The existence of different plans and choices in education, jobs and family are instituted in favor of men and against women constitutes indirect discrimination (Rodgers & Rubery 2003).  Indirect biases can also be seen in the case where preference is considered in the selection of careers designed for men while the low paying and undervalued jobs are designed for women.

In some organizations, gender is usually a great determining factor in order to fit in a given career and do certain errands. Many are the speculations levelled against the job profiles and professions that best suit the women and men in the labor sector. Others have it that women should only carry out specific chores while the heavy and professional jobs should be left out for men. These assumptions bring about the decisions made when applying for jobs. Nevertheless, these suppositions are the main cause of extended gender pay gaps.

In a study conducted by NATSEM, it was estimated that 60% of the pay differences arose as a result of gender biases as well as other related factors brought about by female-oriented factors. In actual sense, it is estimated that seventy to ninety percent of the Australian managers working on a full time basis have huge pay gaps and the variation in the income levels is not as a result of personal, work experience, family or industrial factors as well (Clain & Leppel 2001). It is however postulated that 70% of the gap is due to factors associated with being a ‘female.’

However, in recent surveys, women who represent 50.2% of the Australian population and 45.3% of the national workforce saw the number of the female workforce surge steadily especially in the year 2012. In 2008, for example, the female population that enrolled in tertiary education in Australian Universities accounted for approximately 55% of the total student population. In addition, in the labor market, the finance industry has the widest wage gap that accounted for about 32.2% of the mining sector following closely with about 27.2%.

Career Differences.

The balance between the paid and unpaid work undertaken by men and women in their lifetime. Notably enough, women still take social tasks without compensation in the society. Low payments obtained from undertaking such tasks affects the development and occupations of women. This is because, it leads to other errands being seen as ‘family-friendly’ as compared others (Mitra 2003).  Whenever women who are mostly associated with the ‘family-friendly’ chores take a break or even attempt to work part-time, this only reduces their already meager pay.

However, this leads to a negative effect on their long term working since they may never realize their long term earning prospects. Studies have shown that the wage penalty for women increase the more they are on maternal leave. Upon resuming work, women receive a pay cut of upto 5% in the initial years of their work (Rubery 2003). In case they decide to go back to work after three years, their wages are expected to drop by ten percent.

Industrial segregation.

The industries in which the women work is different from that of men. According to Anderson, Forth, Metcalf & Kirby (2001), the industries in which women work is usually under-valued. Women are located mostly in service industries that offer substandard pays. Even with an increase in women participation in the labor market, there has been a big difference between the industries where men work and where women work. In determining the wage level, the type of industry is of great importance as it is a critical factor in setting the wage levels. The clustering of women in a particular industry only widens the gap.

As an example, a good comparison to undertake would be that one of mining and retailing. One of the best paying industries include the mining firms. The percentage of women working in the mining industry account to about fifteen percent. In the retail industry, women account for about 57%. Notably enough, the retail industry is among the poorest paying industry in the market. Men in the retail industry account for only 40%. From this analysis, it is evident enough that the pay gap is significant enough and reduce the pay gap; it would require to redistribution of women and men across both industries (Swaffield, 2000).

Occupational segregation.

The setting of pay-rates. The pay rates for women are usually undercast and hence they are left without much to budget on. According to Miller (2005), occupational segregation can best be seen to occur in the scenario where women are over-represented in other industries while they are poorly represented in other sectors. Examples of industries where women are over-populated include occupations with clerical and administrative work by what women occupy 75% of the total workers in the industry. Additionally, women hold 68% in the community and personal service work industries. In the sales industry, women hold approximately 68% whiles in the professional business industries women take up the portion of about 52%.

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The fact of whether occupational segregation primarily causes pay gap differs from one study to another. Other studies do not appreciate the fact that occupational segregation is a causal factor. According to Smeaton, & Vegeris (2009), occupational discrimination is a great cause of increased gender pay gap.

Undervaluation of expertise of women.

Inadequate permanent part-time jobs as well as resilient working arrangements. Women are adversely affected by this fact bearing in mind that they are required to combine quality employment with family care responsibilities. Women having dependent children face this challenge and cannot maximize their current and future earning potentials.

From time immemorial, women related work that primarily entails social welfare work, as well as other community work, has been undervalued and seen not to be of great importance and value. These roles have been perceived as inferior not requiring any skill of expertise and due to this; they have been regarded as low class (Anderson, Binder & Krause 2003).  This has directly translated to their pay-wage. Women who do such tasks are paid poorly. In the real sense, social work which is termed by others as inferior greatly requires expertise and professionalism. The ability to apply hospitality skills is not simple.

Down the history of Australia, it is evident that the jobs regarded associated with women were demeaned. It reflects the perceptions and beliefs held in the past. The mismatch of jobs appropriation in the former award and pay systems led to under-valuation of jobs and poor payments too. However, with time, ‘women errands’ have transformed immensely. The social as well as the economic structures of men and women in the Australian industrial system has also changed significantly (Thewlis, Miller & Neathey 2004).

Religious beliefs pay gaps.

In certain religions, the gender roles of men and women are usually considered significant (Walby & Olsen 2002). In the Muslim faith, for example, there exist a wide religious pay gap between the Muslim men and women.

Pay-setting methods

The determination of wages differs from one organization to another. There exist several wage setting methods. Payments are set according to awards, collective, individual agreements as well as number of employees as well. The means of setting the pay rates has a direct effect on the difference in the wage rates. For example, full-time workers earn more than those working on part time basis. Average weekly payments set on an individual basis after negotiations between the employer and employees are greater than the already ‘set pay’ (Karamessini, & Ioakimoglou 2007). Additionally, individual and collective wage agreements for men are usually higher than that of women.  The difference in earnings, however, is less in the scenarios by what awards pay employees.

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When federal or legal institutions set the fee, the pay rates can be seen to be relatively equal. In an individual survey, it was found out that when agreement set pay rates, the pay gap was about 15.8%. In case the pay rates are set through individual agreements with the employer, the gap increased to 20.2% while if the pay rates were determined through awards; the pay gap reduced to 1.7%.

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Overpopulation of the women population in the casual and non-career part time jobs. These jobs are best described as non-formal jobs. They offer low wages and have little employment opportunities in terms of job security, training, development and career progression. In industries with both workforce of men and women, the women’s work is usually undervalued with the men’s work being highly valued due to technicality issues and complexity of the jobs.

Does the gap matter? How can the gap be closed?

To bridge the men and women wage gap equity should be embraced. Gender equality has to embrace since fairness and equity cannot be achieved while discriminating one group from another. Work opportunities as well payment rates should not be based upon gender. Closing the gap will undoubtedly improve the economy of Australia (Grimshaw, & Rubery 2001).

In actual sense, reducing the deficit by 1% point increases the GDP by 0.5%. Additionally, the introduction of flexible working agreements reduces the gap between men and women earnings and potentially increases the country’s GDP by 9%. On a business level, organizations that employ workers fairly without discriminating on the basis of gender stand to gain talented staff, as well as an increase in the staff morale and motivation (Agesa & Monaco 2006). The increase in motivation and morale in turn leads to the rise in productivity.

Removing the barriers that prevent women from exploring job opportunities expands the pool of talented staff through tapping the talents and skills from both genders. Essentially, reducing the shortage of competencies is essential especially at a time when the economy requires technical and economic boost. Increase in skill diversity leads to improved performance as the relationship between the financial performance of the company, and the gender are positively related. Nevertheless, the formation of policies of gender equality especially in the recent times has helped change the composition of the labor force in many organizations.

Companies are failing to adhere to these legislation risks being prosecuted in legal claims. These could be time-consuming as well as expensive on the part of the enterprise. Additionally, setting wages on a discriminatory basis may lead to prosecutions on the part of the business. In order to bridge the pay gap, organizations should consider doing the following:

Carrying out a gender pay gap research

 An organization in operation and carrying out the normal business operations should perform an analysis as to whether they are discriminating on the basis of sex. It should do this on a regular basis. It may conduct an analysis of the payrolls. Jobs that are similar in profiles can effectively be organized into one category and the payment scales determined. In case of wage disparities, the organization will identify on the best means of sealing the gaps and any unjustifiable gender pay gaps will hence be solved.

Fathoming concepts.

Organizations should be in position of comprehending about the existence of pay gaps. This is essential as it will help in the making of policies as well as decisions that do not infringe on the principles of fairness and equity.

Improving accountability

It is the onus of an enterprise to examine the payment policies. The corporation through the board of directors should put into place policies that completely abolish gender biased policies. This can be done through setting policies and ensuring that the board of directors in the organization puts it into practice.

Reviewing the human resource policies and procedures regarding recruitment.

It is not only essential to ensure that the human resource policies do not conflict with the equity principles but also to ensure that fairness and justice is practiced across all departments within the organization. Uniform recruitment procedures should be adopted by the company. Promotions should also be done fairly.

In conclusion, women should be in the forefront to forward their grievances in case they cite instances of gender discrimination in the company. Men should also rise and support the women too. It should be a collective effort conducted by both women and men in a bid to end gender discrimination. It goes without saying that, by abolishing gender discriminative laws and legislation, the economy as well as enterprises stand to increase in profits and productivity as well. What’s more? In the current world today, the practice of gender discrimination has become otiose, and it is no longer considered as a determining factor especially when applying for jobs. Women have advanced in intellectual knowledge as this can be witnessed by the fact that they are the majority in the universities and colleges. When enterprises organizes for appraisal schemes, women should also be included as this will give them the motivation to work even better (Daly, Meng, Kawaguchi, & Mumford 2006). For this reason, organizations should be hell-bent at focusing on the productivity and performance expertise of personnel’s across both genders. The government, in this case, has an enormous role to play. It is the onus of the government to conduct an independent audit of payrolls and also investigate whether the rules and regulations set are being followed strictly.

HR Issues, Credit Crunch Crisis Of 2008 and Multinational Organizations


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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- 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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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)


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 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.


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.


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).


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.