Tag: Reflection

Strategic Plan and Self Reflection Summary – Case of Harley-Davidson

Strategic Plan and Self-Reflection Summary Assignment Instructions

Review the initial scenario and the Strategic Business Plan presented in Module 1 to make sure that the requirements of the Board and the Part II Strategic Plan are met. In order to meet the requirements of the Board, you will prepare the final Strategic Business Plan—Part II—Strategic Plan to the Executive Board. Ensure your strategic plan is thorough, succinct, and complete. Challenge yourself to link the targets to specific initiatives you have identified in the Strategic Plan you are developing.

Your written report should include a title page, table of contents, executive summary, and each of the following sections in an 8- to 12-page report:

  1. Part I: Global Economy & Factors Affecting the organization
    • Identify the organization’s Motivations & Risks
    • Motivations for Expansion
    • Risks in Expansion
    • Explain organization’s competitive advantage in Global Markets
    • Determine and explain entry strategies for global expansion
    • Recommend an Internet approach/strategy for organization
    • How the Internet adds value
    • Internet Business Models
    • Competitive Strategies
    • Leverage E-Business Capabilities
  2. Part II: Corporate Leadership
    • Develop the following: Current Direction Setting
    • Organizational Culture: In addition, evaluate the culture at the organization and define what attributes you think team members should possess in reaching the business goals set forth by the organization. If you were part of the management team at the organization, what motivational techniques would you implement to make these teams successful?
    • Organizational Design: As you have been completing the Strategic Business Plan, the management at Harley-Davidson has decided to take a team-oriented approach in various departments rather than the traditional, functional structure. Based on your knowledge of different types of teams and their focus, suggest what kinds of team strategies should be applied to each department. Be sure to explain your recommendations in detail.
    • Leadership Traits
    • Ethical Organization Characteristics
    • Identify elements
    • Identify missing elements
    • Learning Organization Characteristics
    • Identify elements
    • Identify missing elements
  3. Part III: Strategic Plan Summary
    • Conclusions
    • Recommendations
    • Implementation
    • Discuss how you will implement your strategic plans, including how teams should be implemented in each department
    • Develop a brief roadmap for implementation
    • Identify the primary benchmarks to assess success or failure
    • Risks
  4. Part IV: Self-Reflection Summary
    • Self-reflection is the key to good leadership and good management. Reflect on what you have learned in this class and on what you gained from your Bachelor of Science program. Based on your reflections, discuss the following:
      • Five or six key “lessons” learned from the textbook and the content that will help you in your career.
      • Consider what you have learned throughout this program. Discuss career opportunities that interest you in business.
      • Include what you have learned about yourself.
      • Evaluate how your personal biases and assumptions have affected your work in the past and how you plan to manage them in the future.

LASA 2 Strategic Plan and Self Reflection Summary – The Case of Harley-Davidson

Part I: Global Economy and Factors Affecting Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson’s Motivations and Risks

Motivations for Expansion

Diverse factors are motivating Harley-Davidson to expand. First, Harley-Davidson is keen on expanding to increase its revenue base by increasing production. Especially, the expansion of the company abroad will see it capturing new markets, thus increasing sales. The higher the number of dealerships it will open up abroad, the higher will be its capacity to attract more prospective customers (Eckes, 2011).

Second, the stagnation in the growth of Harley-Davidson’s core market in the US is compelling it to expand into new markets. Lastly, the company is motivated by the many opportunities that international markets have to offer. Most of the markets have segments that remain relatively untapped by motorcycle manufacturers.

Risks in Expansion

Even as it remains keen on expanding its business spread, Harley-Davidson faces various possible risks in its efforts geared towards venturing into new markets. One of the risks is that the aggressive growth of shipment of its products to foreign markets may harm its brand (Pride, 2011). In the past, its marked retail inventory occasioned exceptional promotional activity levels, which have been defined by decreasing motorcycle prices (Eckes, 2011). In the long run, considerable increases in its retail value may force it to review its product prices downwards, hurting its sales.

Another probable risk is that the expansion may force Harley-Davidson to maintain an unwieldy supplier network. The network may give the company complex, as well as extensive, challenges, which may decrease its production capacity. Besides, Harley-Davidson may have the capacity affected by the emergence of more and more stringent standards for noise emission, especially in Europe. Such standards reduce the attractiveness of motorcycles as transport means.

Harley-Davidson’s Competitive Advantages in Global Markets

Harley-Davidson has three principal competitive advantages over most of its rivals in the international markets. The first competitive advantage is that its products bear the Made in USA tag, or label, which props the company’s image continually. Globally, many consumers readily pay premiums for products that are made in the US, for instance, compared to China-made products. Products bearing the tag command considerable price premiums as they are taken to be of good quality.

The second competitive advantage is that Harley-Davidson’s products are of better quality than those of its competitors like Polaris. Harley-Davidson’s vast workforce allows it to provide every motorcycle that it produces advanced particularized attention from several, highly competent employees (Pride, 2011). Its competitors have fewer employees than it, which limits their capacity to focus on motorcycles’ quality like Harley-Davidson. The other competitive advantage is that Harley-Davidson is a Fortune 500-listed company. Obviously, the listing projects it to international markets as a having a stronger and more dependable commercial foundation and background than its competitors.

Entry Strategies for Global Expansion

Companies that are keen on expanding their business operations into new global markets can adopt various market entry approaches or strategies. The strategies can entail the indirect or direct selling of the companies’ products to customers in targeted markets or selling of the products via intermediaries. For instance, Harley-Davidson can opt to sell motorcycles to customers in targeted foreign markets directly via the appointment of its local distributors of the motorcycles or representatives in the markets according to Bibb and Kourdi (2004) and Pavlovic (2010). The representatives would just promote the motorcycles while the distributors take possession of the motorcycles and the attendant risks from Harley-Davidson.

There are numerous indirect ways of entering new, possibly foreign markets. The ways include hiring companies that specialize in managing exports, hiring the services of export trading firms, counter trading, and entering into contractual arrangements with other companies. The contractual arrangements include licensing foreign companies to use particular products as their own for specified durations and franchising (Eckes, 2011). Franchising involves the supplying of other firms with intangible assistance and property for specified durations. Others indirect ways are equity-based. They include the establishment of strategic alliances, subsidiaries, and joint ventures with other businesses to enhance the capacity of given firms to get their products to global markets.

Recommended Internet Approach or Strategy for Harley-Davidson

Manufacturer’s Direct Model

Harley-Davidson should adopt a Manufacturer’s Direct Model (MDM) to allow the internet add value to its processes and operations. The MDM involves the setting up of an Internet-based catalog of a manufacturer’s products on a website. The model will allow local along with foreign customers to visit Harley-Davidson’s website directly and purchase their preferred motorcycles online according to Bibb and Kourdi (2004) and Pavlovic (2010). That will grant Harley-Davidson another advantage: it will require fewer salespersons in its local and international markets, helping it cut costs.

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If Harley-Davidson adopts the MDM, it will have granted its customers the capability of having their preferred motorcycles customized as per their desires before delivery (Pride, 2011). The website that Harley-Davidson will develop in line with the MDM will support it in building an international trade promotion strategy and help it project a favorable image of itself globally. Another Internet-based business model that Harley-Davidson may consider is the Merchant Model. The Merchant Model is a company-to-company and company-to-consumer model involving the selling of particular products through websites. If Harley-Davidson adopts the Merchant Model, it will have gotten a platform for operating online storefronts, providing its customers with catalog shopping-like experiences.

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Competitive Strategies

To ensure that it remains successful running the business online based on either the MDM or the Merchant Model, Harley-Davidson should adopt various competitive strategies. First, the company can sell motorcycles at highly reduced prices in the short-term to attract consumers to them. The consumers would be hooked to them owing to their high quality. After developing large pools of loyal customers in its target markets, the company can charge premiums for the motorcycles.

Second, Harley-Davidson can partner with companies with resources that are useful in its processes. For instance, the company can partner with companies that are involved in business processes that are useful to it such as shipping (Pride, 2011). If Harley-Davidson contracts another company to ship the products it manufactures in the US to all its markets, it will allow itself concentrate on the core business of manufacturing motorcycles. Possibly, that would see the quality of the motorcycles rise overtime, increasing their competitiveness (Eckes, 2011).

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Leveraging e-Business Capabilities

Harley-Davidson can leverage e-business capabilities in some ways. It can create value for its customers by sending them updates on any novel design features or functionalities in the motorcycles it manufactures. It is quite easy to push such updates to customers regularly over the internet. As well, Harley-Davidson can use its e-businesses resources, including website, in tracking the behaviors of its customers. It can use the resources in forecasting the behaviors, thus allowing it to any related changes in knowledgeable and timely ways according to Bibb and Kourdi (2004) and Pavlovic (2010).

Part II: Corporate Leadership

Organizational Culture and Current Direction Setting

Harley-Davidson has a rebellious, or non-conforming, culture. It projects as a company that draws lots of strength and success from being different. Its employees work in an excessively interactive environment and come to work in casual wear. It encourages intellectual curiosity, allowing its employees to embody innovation and creativity. To attain Harley-Davidson’s business objectives, its employees should demonstrate reliability (Thompson, Strickland & Gamble, 2007). They should communicate constructively, listen actively, and share willingly.

As well, they should pitch in to assist their colleagues with challenging tasks and exhibit flexibility. The management cadre at Harley-Davidson should share the company’s organizational vision with all its teams to make them successful. Team members who are aware of their shared visions become highly motivated to partake and succeed in shared, or organizational, activities.

Organizational Design

Harley-Davidson comprises of diverse departments, including service, transformation and organization, financial services, human resources, manufacturing, engineering, legal, and marketing departments. Each of the departments is run by a team working in a rather interactive environment. If a team-oriented approach is adopted for each of the departments, the team running each department should be energized, or incentivized, regularly to make them view the company as appreciating the efforts they contribute.

The management should focus on staff relationships in all the departments to give the team members the notion that the company values them. Each of the teams should be allowed and supported to optimize own function autonomously. The targets set for each of the teams should be hinged on its function. The members of each of the teams should be encouraged to volunteer feedback on its functioning to give pointers to the areas requiring adjustments. Besides, the teams should be allowed ample time to celebrate own successes, socialize, and develop helpful relations among team members (Thompson, Strickland & Gamble, 2007).

Leadership Traits

Presently, the management cadre at Harley-Davidson has staff members with leadership attributes that support the growing, as well as success, of teams. First, the staff members are effective communicators, verbally as well as in writing. They demonstrate cultural fluency, making them at ease when communicating with individuals from diverse backgrounds (Buller & Schuler 2003).

Second, the management staff members are inspiring and approachable. They have genuinely adopted open-door policies in their interactions with other employees, persuading the employees to open up to them regarding any extant work issues. They inspire the teams they lead to get over particular challenges, however, their difficulty. Besides, the managers are effective in leading teams since they provide them with clear directions. They are adept at giving clear directions since they are organized and quite clear regarding workplace guidelines, measurements, procedures, and expectations.

Ethical Organization Characteristics

Harley-Davidson projects itself as an ethical organization. There are various elements present in it which support its projection as an ethical business; respect, honor, and customer focus. The company encourages its employees to respect themselves and work in teams whose members they can respect according to Bibb and Kourdi (2004) and Pavlovic (2010). That makes the employees express considerable trust in each other. Harley-Davidson encourages its members to remain honorable in executing their roles. It gives employees who come off as honorable significant attention and rewards them at times. Harley-Davidson’s focus on own customers bolsters the responsibility it has to its markets.

In the past, Harley-Davidson has been accused of lacking some ethical elements as an organization, especially integrity, and persistence. As expected, the company has always fought off such accusations (Rigsby & Greco, 2003; Sugiyama, Shirahada & Kosaka, 2015). Businesses that retain or contract individuals who are devoid of integrity may lose the trust of some of their stakeholders (Bibb & Kourdi, 2004). Persistence helps organizations cope with particular challenges, for instance, dismal performances.

Learning Organization Characteristics

Harley-Davidson projects itself as a learning organization. There are various elements present in it which support its projection as a learning organization; sharing of extant information, valuing learning, and forgiving failures (Thompson, Strickland & Gamble, 2007). In the organization data sets, culture, as well as information, are shared freely by the management rather than hoarding them. The organization values and emphasizes continuous training of its staff members, offering them many learning and training opportunities.

Those who make mistakes or fail to achieve the targets set for them are not punished. They are supported to enhance their performance in the days ahead. Even then, unlike other learning organizations, Harley-Davidson has not made learning a core element of its culture. Its employees do not practice learning sporadically. Rather, they are obligated to take up the opportunities.

Part III: Strategic Plan Summary


Harley-Davidson is keen on expanding to increase its revenue base by increasing production. In its expansion efforts, it faces various possible risks, including that the aggressive growth of shipment of its products to foreign markets may harm its brand. Its major competitive advantage is that its products bear the Made in USA tag. Concerning Internet business models, it should adopt an MDM and create value for its customers by sending them updates. Harley-Davidson has a rebellious culture, and highly interactive teams run its departments. Its leaders are effective in leading teams since they are effective communicators, inspiring and approachable, and give clear directions. The organization projects itself as an ethical organization although it is accused of lacking a firm commitment to integrity and persistence. It projects itself as a learning organization although it has not made learning a core element of its culture.


  1. Harley-Davidson should plan its expansion cautiously to ensure that the aggressive growth of shipment of its products to foreign markets does harm its brand and that its networks do not become unmanageable (Pride, 2011).
  2. Harley-Davidson should always adhere to the set standards for noise emission, especially in Europe.
  3. Harley-Davidson should adopt an MDM and develop a website to support itself in building an international trade promotion strategy and projecting a favorable image of itself globally.
  4. The management should focus on staff relationships in all the departments to give the team members the notion that the company values them. Each of the teams should be allowed and supported to optimize own function autonomously.
  5. It should strengthen its commitment to promoting staff integrity and persistence and make learning a core element of its culture.

Implementation of Teams in the Departments

In each of the departments, the company’s management should formulate team objectives and facilitate the election of a team leader by the employees in the department. The leader and the rest of the employees in the department will constitute a team charged with the realization of the objectives in specified durations (O’Connor, 1983; United States, 2003). The leader will be tasked with leading the team accountably, making the requisite modifications. The team will be required to come up with and adhere to a strategic plan geared towards the attainment of the objectives. Besides, the progress made towards the realization of the objectives will regularly be evaluated (Fogg, 1999; Wheelen & Hunger, 2004).

Strategic Plan’s Implementation Roadmap

Step Activity
1Appraisal of the plan
2Development of a vision to guide those implementing the plan
3Selection of the group of team members to be charged with the plan’s implementation
4Holding of team meetings to evaluate and discuss the progress made
5Informing the management on the progress made regularly

lllPrimary Benchmarks

There will be several elementary benchmarks set to examine the success, as well as the failure, of the strategic plan together with its implementation. The first benchmark will be a 20% increase in the productivity of the Harley-Davidson’s teams in the first year following the implementation of the plan. The other benchmark will a 50% decrease in the number of reported cases of staff conflicts the Harley-Davidson’s teams in the first year following the implementation of the plan.


Several risks may define the implementation of the plan. They include lack of organizational commitment to the plan’s implementation, lack of appreciation of the business’ operational environment among team members, and having persons who are not well versed with the implementation of strategic plans leading others to implement Harley-Davidson’s strategic plan. Others include resistance to planned changes and lack of the requisite leadership (Fogg, 1999; Wheelen & Hunger, 2004).

Part IV:  Self-Reflection Summary

From the course textbook, as well as content, I have learned several lessons that will assist me in own career. They are that:

  1. In the long run, considerable increases in its retail value may force it to review its product prices downwards, hurting its sales.
  2. The MDM grants customers the capability of having their preferred products customized as per their desires before delivery.
  3. A rebellious organizational culture encourages intellectual curiosity, innovation, and creativity.
  4. Managers should focus on staff relationships to give the team members the notion that they are valued by the company.
  5. When companies focus on own customers, they bolster the responsibility they have to their markets.

The program has increased my interest in several business careers. It has encouraged me to pursue a career as either a business ethics consultant or an import-export specialist. Business ethics consultants appraise and advise on organizations’ ethical practices. Import-export specialists facilitate international shipments.

The program has taught me that I need to develop an acute eye for details and view businesses in ways that are holistic. It has brought to the fore the assumptions and biases that I harbor, and which may be affecting how I work. One of the assumptions is that ethics have no significant place value in the business world. Actually, I have been biased against businesses that insist on marketing themselves as ethical organizations. The assumption and bias have made me pay no attention to examining the ethical foundations of businesses when appraising them. Without examining the foundations, one cannot claim to have a holistic appreciation of given businesses and their workings. In future, I will manage the assumption and bias by striving to gain insights into them always endeavoring to have an open mind when executing all tasks, including appraising businesses.

Significance Of Core Values To An Individual And Organization

Values refers to  a set of guidelines  that regulates the conduct of employees in an organization, an organization is thought to be in order  especially when the moral direction of business is practiced, the mission and vision  statements  gives direction and energy to individual  hence form a basis of morale building. They express the integrity in decision making. The core values comprise of  Integrity, Hard work and Honest. Values  which are either at macro level or in material culture. Mostly, American schools teach their children good morality and  character which is enhanced through political speeches and media presentations. The required standard of behaviors is further reciprocated in workplaces

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American generally believes that the achievement an d success are based on high values a person sets in everyday life (Bansal, 2003).  Americans consider it significant to do things fast and constantly increases their efficiency. In American Constitution. It upholds the democratic values which are the fundamentals beliefs and principles of constitution for the American society which it unites them all, these values are expressed in states constitution, documents, speeches and even writings of the nation. The values like justice, liberty equality, diversity and truth.

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Walsh, Hinings and  Greenwood,(1981). The acquiring of values is a combination of attributes, behaviors and skills which being strengthened by behavior of  an individual career. The ongoing process and formal training are needed in promoting staff competencies and planning and their continuous development. An organization adhering to their principles is more important than the gains from their products taken to the market (Walsh et al, 1981). A situation to a manufacturing company Tylenol capsules which resulted to deaths because of poison in it contents. They confiscated those in the market by removing all since the  company believed  that their first responsibility   is to attend patients, doctors and nurses and the trust they had  to its consumers ,currently the company enjoys prominent households support  because of its guided  principles.

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Values describes  the beliefs of  a person such that once  we internalize values, this are the values which guides our behavior both consciously or subconsciously hence we behave towards different aspects as it emerges  from everyday life .For instance, values to an  individual   provides a standard  against the judgment of behaviors in the society. Individual values  helps in underpinning personal development  such as independence, tolerance and responsibility which at the end influences economic behavior  at social lane, the closed link between the values and economic development gives a clear  the relationship between the two variables and  is most frequently use  in order  to determine personal development where it is the mandate of the supervisor and employee working in partnership so as to ensure the attainment of both the  organization goals and individual objectives. To promote constructive workforce there is need to assist the employees to achieve career and individual goals.Values of an individual relates to their attitude behavior, social experiences and roles. However to clarify how work values and other aspect of activities relate there is need to explore the importance of work as a vehicle for attaining the cherished objectives. Individual values serves as basis of motivation as it specifies the distinct direction to be followed by an individual thus opposes the conflict with oneself.

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Organizations too rely on its core values as its based on the leadership whereby leaders are those with an underlying ethical and moral foundation. The management addresses the need for good morality and ethics that is inclusive in the leadership style (Simmerly,1987).

The influence between how organization and some factors of performance statistically correlate between the way an organization performs. It establishes a relationship to how both the organization and individual values grow which shapes them  into an organization culture. The significant of organizational values are strongly shown during the times of economic uncertainty, In this case, the existing values inspire the employees as well as the consumers of their products This helps form a powerful marketing tool because clear organization values are positively noted and they absolutely encourage potential buyers to buy company’s products (Kabanoff.Waldersee and Cohen, 1995).

Creating a Podcast Project – Reflection

Many people agree that podcasting is the right tool for freeing listeners from the shackles of schedules and monotony that are normally the order of the day. They also agree that it is a perfect way of reaching out to an audience that often misses out on quality broadcasts, either on the radio or on other media channels (Perdue 127). For those involved in the preparation and creation of the podcast itself, I have discovered that it an exciting and thought-provoking activity. In this paper, I will reflect on the experience of working as a member of a group that successfully prepared and created a podcast project. I chose Vulture TV as my blueprint to completing the assignment. On completion, I learnt a lot on the foundation and design of a podcast, as well as the necessary steps for achieving success. I also learnt that preparing a podcast is not an easygoing experience; we encountered various challenges and obstacles in several stages including pitching, rehearsal, production, and exhibition stages. However, taking everything into account, working together as a group on a real issue was the most remarkable experience for me.

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            The best part of the project was the rehearsal. It allowed me to be as social as possible and to demystify the few ambiguities I had about podcasting. First, I was surprised at how inexhaustible the themes were. Whether it is an opinion, passion, or a promotion, the subjects for discussion in a podcast are endless. For instance, in my chosen podcast, Vulture TV, I had numerous options to choose from including TV news, TV recaps, episode previews, celebrity news, and other numerous updates. The content ranged from interviews, discussions, music reviews, and educational segments among others. However, to pick the right choice, my colleagues and I had to review the goal of the podcast and use our creativity. We had to consider the audience and what we wanted to communicate. In addition, it was necessary to look into how we would approach the chosen topic in the next stages, that is, the production and exhibition.

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The worst element of the project was the production. After writing the script and rehearsing, I knew that producing was a tough part. Personally, I had never engaged in an activity that would become part of a practical project. Yet, a podcast was the last thing I had ever thought of. My biggest challenge was to prepare the visual components of the podcast. It meant that I had to use technological tools for the task. It was a daunting task, partly because of the technicality of the assignment, and moderately because I never knew what my colleagues’ reaction would be towards the outcome. Surprisingly, it was a success. I discovered that time is an important factor in the production stage. When deciding upon the format of the final outcome, it is necessary to consider the amount of time available for every task. This is a challenge that caught our group by surprise, although we managed to tackle it by the end of the production stage.  In my opinion, working as a group was an enabler in the achievement of success; mostly in putting up all pieces of the puzzle together to bring out the outcome of the project. Otherwise, I think that learning and tackling the details of the production on my own would have been dispiriting indeed. I felt more secure in the group because all members were supportive and they helped to improve my self-image.

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Although my podcast was a success, there are a few issues that inhibited its perfection. The first one was publishing fair audio. During production, audio quality is one of the most important attributes of a podcast. My project’s audio was good, but it was not the best. The main cause of this was bad equipment and a bad environment. It is necessary to record audio using high-quality equipment in a tranquil environment in order to get a high-quality podcast (McElhearn et al. 33). It is also essential to use superior editing skills to remove any noise from the audio. However, even though this was a challenge, I still enjoy listening to my self-created podcast. It has even changed my perception towards television and film. It is now clear to me that much effort is needed to produce even the shortest programs. Furthermore, the inclusion of other aspects like copyrights and regular prerequisites adds on to the exertions.

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In conclusion, I found that a podcast is heavily reliant on the end goal of the party involved. One must deeply examine the necessary details, plan diligently, and follow each step meticulously in order to achieve the desired objectives. An important factor to consider in the whole process is time. Each minute of podcasted material could be a general product of more than five minutes of writing, recording, post-production editing, and dead air. This means that planning must be governed by the amount of time at hand. I also learnt that the three broad purposes of a podcast are spreading a word about a topic, sharing a passion, and promoting someone or something (Walker 23). Here, the list of the potential themes to feature in a podcast is endless. In general, the podcast project sparked intrinsic and extrinsic pressures in me for pursuing a goal. I was motivated to become part of the winning group, and this empowered me into exploring more on a topic that I thought had been strange before. Now I can actively plan, prepare, and present a podcast; I am well aware of the requirements and the obstacles to face.

Sound Walk Reflection

A sound walk can be referred to as a listening exercise that assists individuals to become aware of their surrounding’s acoustic environment. Generally, sound walk includes all excursions which their main purpose is environmental listening.  Sound walk mostly take place in wilderness, countryside, town and other various mediated areas. The exercise can be done either as a group or individually and it might be recorded or not. The exercise motivates individuals to engage themselves in listening exercises and perceive different sounds in a specific environment. Sounds travel through vibrations that usually combine to make unique sound waves depending on the sound source. When individuals are attentive, they can judge the presence of imbalances and balances brought about by these sounds in a sonic environment. The sound walk exercise can also be an essential activity to determine natural sounds associated with the ground and identify other sounds caused by humans from the same ground.  Even though sound walk may appear like any other hiking walk, the sound walk includes walking action and listening activities that bring the attention of the audience details that are often assumed, such as sounds, practices, events, and processes. 

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One of the weekends, I decided to go to a nearby arboretum for a sound walk. I intended to excise listening in line with our previous class lesson. While in the arboretum, I realized that the forest host a lot of natural creatures that make distinct sounds. Among those sounds include the whistling sound of the wind as it blows through the trees and various chirping sounds produced by different birds.  Also, I realized that forest terrain is characterized by multiple humming and buzzing sounds produced by different insects within the forest. Besides, I could also hear creaking sounds produced by toads and frogs from streams passing across the arboretum. I could also note Breaking sounds from the trees, as weak and dry twigs were being broken by the wind and small tree jumping animals. I also noted Crabbing and Chattering sounds that were being produced by various animals such as monkeys in the arboretum. Lastly, I also noted a roaring sound produced by the falling water, and I could quickly tell there were waterfalls nearby. From my sound walk experience, I realized that there are so many ignored sounds that can only be noted when interested in sound listening.

The tree terrain contains a hi-fi soundscape that an individual can listen to and discern various discrete sounds vividly and without interruption. According to Schaffer,  a  hi-fi soundscape refers to a soundscape with a  good signal-to-noise ratio, to the extent that sounds are clearly and apparently distinguishable because of reduced ambient noise levels (Schaffer, 2004).  From my experience, I relished that arboretum sounds authenticity is indissoluble. This is because most of the sounds came directly from their producers, although there few sounds that had schizophonia because of echoes. I also noted that not all artificial sounds are pleasant; some are wired, and they can be unbearable to specific individuals. For instance, croaking sounds from the frogs were bothersome, and they kept interfering with my focus on other sounds.  However, I enjoyed breaking, whistling, cracking, chattering, and scrabbling sounds. Buzzing sounds produced by insects were also fascinating, especially when tried to distinguish particular insects producing them. However, they were also boring, especially when I walked to a place where the sound emanated from and the specific insect could switch off.    

The combination of sounds from various sources in the arboretum was magical to the extent that they carried my full attention. The psithurism enhanced high connection with the arboretum. The humming melodies were terrific as they caressed my mind. These sounds also made me release all my unrevealed emotions for scrutiny. Moreover, the whistling sounds and the crunching sounds that I made upon stepping on the dry leaves were also exciting. The arboretum sonic environment also enabled me to have deep meditation from my experienced a confirmed Schafer’s statement that the sounds of nature are therapeutic (Schafer 2004). The serene and the silence of the arboretum were incredible. The exciting sounds and arboretum nature carried away my thought until they were interrupted by thunderstorms sound, and that the time I realized it was about to rain.

 According to Lopez (2004), sounds in arboretum or forest terrain are prone to dislocation of space and time. Scientifically, sound travels spherically through space, just like the light waves. When substances block sound waves, they are either reflected, absorbed.or transmitted.  Moreover, forests’ architectural aspects are characterized by natural features. For example, the squeezed forest has more interruptions than a sparse forest.

Moreover, it should be noted that the forest’s organic soil is characterized by high porosity. This characteristic enables these soils to absorb loud noises, creating a quiet and serene forest environment. Besides, the sound cannot transverse through corners and various barriers. Sound-absorbing and sound-blocking objects help limit the effect of loud noises in the forest and, therefore, enhance the quiet environment in the forest.

Natural sound aspects that exist in the forest also enhances the sonic environment. The forest’s atmosphere’s tranquility does not result from quietness or the availability of artificial sounds. The senses’ interplay in the forest is sometimes impaired because one may not always see the exact origin of the sound. Mostly, echoed sounds are typical in woods. Based on the obstacle’s closeness, sounds move from distinct origins within the forest as they are reflected by rocks and trees (Akiyama, 2010).  Forest’s Constant sounds in the sonic space also play a crucial role in listening enhancement. For example, flowing water sounds from the rivers and springs diversify the sonic space suppressing unwanted sounds.

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Notably, the sonic environment aspect such as those discussed above sometimes overlap and alters the usual sonic forest experience. Generally, these overlapping effects come from changing conditions of weather. For example, heavy rainfall causes the river and waterfalls to roar louder due to the increased water amount brought about by rain. Moreover, birds and animals’ sound diminishes, as most of them hide in their habitats to cover themselves from rain. Also, thunderstorms alter forest sonic space significantly as sound from thunder is echoed throughout the forest (Lopez, 2004). This echo tends to affect birds, insects, and animal’s normal operations because they are terrified by such loud sounds. When it is windy, the whistling and rustling sound increase as plant branches are swung by the wind. Moreover, birds produce more sounds as they become more playful as the branches and twigs are swayed by the wind.

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In conclusion, the sound walk is exciting leisure and therapeutic activity that includes walking action and listening activities that bring to the attention of the audiences the sounds that are often assumed. The hi-fi soundscape enables individuals to listen to different sounds in the forest clearly. The psithurism in the sonic environment of the forest enhances the deep connection of nature and the individual, allowing someone to meditate. Humming, Chirping, scrabbling, and chattering sounds were pleasant, whereas roaring and crocking sounds were disturbing.  Forests Architectural aspects depend on the vegetation cover component. Furthermore, the artificial aspects of the forest also allow harmonizing sounds to develop an ambient sonic experience. Finally, the natural and architectural aspects overlap enhances a conducive sonic forest environment.

Facing Death Film Reflection


In the past, limited treatment options give patients, families, and medical professionals little leeway to decide on keeping patients alive or letting them die as the progression of the disease would almost always make this decision of them. Today, advancements in technological innovation have enhance the capabilities of modern medicine. An increased range of options makes it possible to keep terminally ill patients in an eternal, animated state where all vital bodily functions are sustained. However, the patient still remains unconscious and confined to intensive care hospitalization indefinitely.

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The availability of this options has further confounded the making of end of life decisions. Even as physicians push the boundaries of modern medicine by going above and beyond to improve patient outcomes, the limitations of medicine at the brink of death have never been more apparent. This paper is the author’s reflection on the film, facing death and its depiction of end of life opinions, culture, and the cost of intensive care.

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Opinion on End of Life Decisions

Making end of life decisions is complicated for patients, families, medical professionals, and policymakers. When a patient’s prognosis is abysmal, the physician has to respect the patient’s autonomy, provide information, prioritize the patient’s self-determination, and preserve life. However, patients often lack sufficient information about the options available for them or are unable to understand the options provided enough to make informed decisions. For instance, in the film, John is facing severe complications from his struggle with multiple myeloma and the aftermath of a stem-cell transplant. When his doctor explains to him the options available for him, he does not seem to understand. His wife has to clarify what the doctors meant when they asked if he wished to continue treatment given his prognosis, retire to a hospice or sign a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order.

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Family members have long been considered an invaluable unit in making end-of-life decisions for their loved ones. However, as can be deduced from the case of Martha, family units may know very little about what to do with their loved one at this critical time. Martha’s family seems divided as to whether to allow doctors to perform a tracheotomy on their ailing mother or stop treating her entirely. One of her two daughters wants the doctors to do as much as possible to keep Martha alive as she believes she does not have the authority to decide on her mother’s behalf. Martha’s other daughter feels that there is a need to exercise compassion and grant their mother the opportunity to die with dignity.

According to the care team, Martha’s Alzheimer’s has progressed so rapidly that it is likely that she will have to be intubated again. Moreover performing a tracheotomy is expected to bring her additional pain and suffering. However, the family chooses to go ahead with treatment, which leaves their mother confined to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for a year after her initial hospitalization. It is unlikely that further treatment is improving Martha’s quality of life and quite possible that her family is prolonging therapy out of fear of making a premature decision or being in denial about their loved one’s prognosis.

End of life decisions are even more challenging to make for the physician. In the film, doctors try to advise patients on the options available for them, while being careful not to expose professional or personal bias. Norman’s physician expresses guilt for having performed the transplant. She feels that he would not have died so painfully had she not done it. Although patients can recover from a potentially life-threatening illness as a result of an intervention, it is also likely that the intervention could expedite the patient’s decline. This uncertainty is well evidenced in the case of Albert, who has undergone two stem cell transplants and was awaiting the results of deliberations among his physicians so he could have another. It certainly is challenging to weigh the option of treating someone with procedures that might kill them or waiting for them to die from an illness.


American individualistic culture informs most policy decisions. Thus, it is not surprising that the individual, and not the family, is given primary consideration when making end of life decisions. If individuals are unable to make health decisions for themselves, they are advised to have a health proxy, a person whom they inform of their preferences at the end of life, and who is supposed to abide by these directives until the patient decides otherwise. An illustration of individualism is the case of Norman, who has appointed his sister as his legal proxy. When he expresses interest in signing a DNR to his girlfriend, the care team confirms from Norman if he does indeed feel that way.

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Individuals from collectivist cultures allow more family control over end of life decision making. Martha’s first daughter is ready to let her mother go without consulting with Martha first. She feels this decision shows compassion for her mother’s suffering and will enable her to die with dignity. However, her sister, who seems more inculturated into American individualism, vehemently disagrees. She feels that making that decision should not be their prerogative. It was difficult to witness what happened to Martha when a conflict between individualism and collectivism generated a collectivist decision to keep her confined the intensive care unit indefinitely. Had Martha appointed a health proxy and stipulated what her preferences in terms of treatment were, her family may not have been so divided.

Cost of Care

In the film, Albert undergoes tow stem cell transplants, both of which fail. The combination of aggressive treatment and his illness takes a toll on him, leading to his ultimate demise. It is daunting to consider that his treatment may have been futile, done more harm than good, and placed an incredible financial burden on his insurance, which may be transferred to the larger society through higher premiums. Only 5%of all patients admitted to hospitals require treatment in the ICU (Kılıç, Yüzkat, Soyalp & Gülhaş, 2019). Although this number seems minute, ICU spending may account for up to 30% of a hospital’s budget (Kılıç et al., 2019). ICU admissions are associated with the complications of serious illnesses, the need for specialized testing, the need for expensive equipment, the need for specialized medical attention and round-the-clock attention from other hospital staff. Even in patients with a promising prognosis, the cost of this kind of care is substantial (Kılıç et al., 2019). Central to healthcare spending reform is the notion that close to 30% of all health spending is wasteful (Doyle, Graves & Gruber, 2017). This idea is driven partly by the concern that hospitals are subjecting terminally ill patients with suboptimal prognoses to intensive treatments that yield no apparent benefit in terms of health outcomes or quality of life. The high costs of care place a significant burden on the taxpayers and policymakers as they attempt to justify denying people treatment to preserve scarce resources.


End of life decision making is a challenging task for everyone involved. It is difficult for some patients to grasp the idea of their mortality. Similarly, family members may find it challenging to decide on a life that is not their own. Healthcare providers face the daunting task of balancing the greater good they feel will come from harmful treatment with their obligation to respect the patient’s autonomy. Given the high costs of intensive care hospitalization, there is a need to simplify end-of-life decision making for all parties involved.

Reflection on Organizational Change

Organizational change is that process where organizations make transitions in their current structures, strategies, technologies, or culture, and it can be continuous or occurring on distinctive time. Managing change can be quite challenging due to employee resistance and the cost incurred by the organization while at the same time maximizing effectiveness in the company. Therefore, effective leadership is vital if a company is to achieve a successful transition during the change process. There are skills that leaders should possess necessary to make connections between change in the organization and the people being affected, and they include communication, collaboration, and commitment. For a successful change to occur, leaders must communicate what and why it should happen, then collaborate people in executing the change, such as involving employees in the decision-making process and finally make sure their behaviors and beliefs support the change, for instance, by being resilient and persistent.

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What I have learned about organizational change is that, when change is managed poorly, the result is confusion, which eventually leads to discord, failure, and conflicts in the organization. However, when change is managed well, it triggers success, growth, and high productivity. The main issue in change is finding the best approaches that can inspire and empower employees so they can find good in change and achieve an organization’s objectives. As such, leaders should provide justification for change since people expect accountability and consistency from the top leadership. When it comes to organizational change, I would like to learn more on integrating overall organizational change and culture and how they impact the success or productivity of the employees.

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On that note, the greatest assets of an organization are the people; as such, their attitudes, customs, and beliefs constitute the culture that exists in an organization. Therefore, when making significant changes in the organization, culture must be considered since it ensures its own continuity through its resistant to change; thus, it maintains a status quo. Primarily, organizational culture is what keeps an organization in check during change.

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As much as culture is critical in change management, motivating employees through the change is as well essential. Nevertheless, it can be difficult to maintain employees’ morale even when there a small change in the operations of a company unless when the real value is put in the changes being made. First, providing additional training for the employees to familiarize themselves with the new organizational changes together with the development of employees’ emotions and integrity are important ways to motivate them. Secondly, aligning organizational goals to personal goals for the employees helps increase motivation when there is change. Finally, communication is key, and it makes employees feel involved in organizational changes. Keeping open and positive communication during change keeps high levels of motivation and leads to new ideas from employees that were not initially considered.

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Understanding organizational change and the way of managing it to avoid negative effects is essential. At whichever level in one’s career, it is essential to understand how to manage changes as they come; otherwise, a huge disappointment would be inevitable. When you do not embrace change, you lose a competitive edge, and this does not only affect businesses; it also affects individuals in employment. Conclusively, as long as you understand that change is inevitable, resistance to change will be minimal, and there will be a smooth transition.

A Reflection Olaudah Equiano Life As a Slave, Path To Freedom And Colonial America and Slavery

Assignment Instructions – Portrait of Olanudah Equiano

Olaudah Equiano reflected upon his life as a slave and his path to freedom in his memoirs. We will read three chapters from his memoir—a book first published in 1789 by abolitionists seeking to end slavery. After reading about his life story in these three chapters, reflect upon what you now know about colonial America and slavery in an essay. There are many directions you can take in this essay. Feel free to incorporate additional questions, but be sure to start with these.

  • How would you describe Equiano’s path to freedom?
  • What surprised you about his experiences in Africa, on a slave ship, at work, and as a free man?
  • What role did his religious beliefs play in his life?

Sample Answer – A Reflection Olaudah Equiano Life As a Slave, Path To Freedom And Colonial America and Slavery


Olaudah Equiano is a biography of an African slave who struggled to free himself from slavery. Equiano was born in Eboe; current Nigeria in 1745. He was kidnapped at his home together with his sister when he was only eleven. He was later separated from his sister and taken in as a slave in unfamiliar place but by his tribesmen, he was later sold to out and landed in a homestead where he was treated as member of the family, but this did not last for long. He was shortly taken away and boarded in a ship in unfamiliar place across shore in Africa. He was sailed by whites to a foreign country; West Indies, in a journal which was full of fear, despair and horror experience. Some people died on the way, while other starved with little to eat as their masters had enough to eat and throw away. Equiano stayed briefly in Virginia, and later sold to serve ships captains of British navy vessels and slave ships. During this time he got an opportunity to travel from one country to another. He had different bad experiences in these countries especially when he started trading to earn himself personal earnings. He however management to overcome all and to save enough money to secure his freedom in 1766 from Robert king who was his master since 1763. This paper reflects on Equiano life as a slave and his struggle to freedom.

Equiano Path to Freedom

Equiano path to freedom was not easy. It took so many years and great level of determination, discipline and God’s grace. Equiano stated thinking about his freedom immediately after he was captured. He kept note of the direction he was taken to from his home with the hope to escape any time he gets an opportunity. He even tried to alert passersby at the initial stage of his journey when he was still together with his sister. However, he was unsuccessful. After killing a chicken by accident and hide in fear of his masters reaction, he realized that running away from his master, which he had planned to do any time he had chance would be a bad idea, since those who were searching him were sure that he would not come out of the wood alive (Equiano 13). The hopes of ever being free and reuniting with his family faded when he was sold out to a different place far from home.  However, at this place he was treated quiet well that the idea of running away did not cross his mind. Nevertheless, he was shortly sold to a foreign nation, an aspect that killed his dream of seeing his family ever again. Although Equiano dream of going home was no more, he still yarned for his liberty even in the foreign nation. He had seen free negros during his service as a slave in the ship, and he knew that this was possible. He tried to find chances to escape during his duties, having experienced how bad the recaptured slaves were treated he knew it was not a good idea. Moreover, he never had the ability to run far since a slave never had anything of his or her own. He owned nothing and hence, he could not have survived for long after running away. In addition, whites were well known for mistreating blacks at any slightest opportunity. It was thus not very easy to run away and survive their wrath, especially when one seems to depend fully on them for survival.

Equiano situation changed when he was sold to Mr. King who was running merchant businesses with help of a ship captain. Mr. King promised him his freedom but at a fee of 40 sterling pounds. This was not a small amount to be raised by a slave who does not own his time. However, Equiano was considerably lucky,Mr. King’s captain seemed to have developed special liking to Equiano due to his job efficiency. The captain requested his master to permit his to be sailing with Equiano as his right hand man. He gave convincing reasons for preferring Equiano over whites who were economically based, and their master permitted Equiano into the sailing business (p. 51). It is here that Equiano considered using the travel from one country to another to sell products from one end to another. He started with very few cents he had at the beginning and managed to grow his earnings with time. However, this was not without challenges which included diseases, being harassed by the foreigners, and in some cases having his good seized by force. Being a Negro, he could not get assistance from the authority.However, Equiano did not lose hopes. He kept on trying and improving. He also seems to have God’s favor upon him. His captain started assisting him to handle brutal whites who could confiscate his goods. His master also bought a new larger ship which gave him a chance to carry more goods (p.56). Eventually, Equiano was able to afford his freedom and his master was good enough to honor his word (p. 58).

What surprised me about Equiano Experience in Africa, on Slave Ship, at Work and as a Free Man

What surprised me in Africa is how other Africans were being used by whites to enslave their own. Equiano was captured by Africans and his trade from the time of kidnapping to the ship he was being exchanged among African. It is quite surprising to see how fellow countrymen would snatch someone’s children without second thought to enslave them in western nations. What surprised me most is that the reaction of Equiano first African master after the death of his daughter. He seemed to be highly affected by his daughter death, although he could afford making other children kidnapped and separated from their parents. His reaction demonstrated a twist in his emotions and humanity.

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What surprised me most in the ship is how cruel whites were with Africans. The ship was overcrowded such that people died of suffocation and hunger. This happened when the whites had enough to eat and to throw in the sea. This episode made me think that it was easier carrying enough slaves that they could sustain than having the ship crowed only to have some die and suffer. Surprisingly, even after neglecting most of African in the ship to die, they did not permit them to commit suicide. In (p. 19), the ship crew used their boats and later died into the water to save the life of Africans who considered death as a better option and punished the one that they saved for trying to escape through death. In my opinion, they could have treated them better by trying to preserve their life if they wanted them alive. The chaining of African in a ship which took months in the sea was considerably inhuman, especially due to congestion and lack of enough food. Chaining them reduced their chances of survival. Generally, the white took so much trouble to get African slaves, but did very little to keep them alive. In actual sense they subjected them to hardships that could increase their chances of death. This contrast is surprising and can be used to demonstrate not just their inhuman nature, but also their inefficiency in doing business. Another surprising thing in the ship is the African perception of whites. They kept on thinking that whites intended to eat them at the end of the journey or kill them for some weird sacrifices. The idea of being eaten is laughable to some extent.

At work, Equiano was liked by either his master or a close family member of the family. This ensured that he was treated much better in his life compared to other slaves. He was somehow favored by God to receive kindness from the people who were known to be cruel to Negros. It is also surprising how discipline and honesty earned him a clear path to freedom in the long-run. Equiano was always sold to a good master following his discipline. It is this discipline and good manners that landed him to Mr. Robert King who eventually facilitated his freedom. it was surprising to see Equiano demonstrate a higher level of efficiency more than even whites employed to do so, mostly after being properly educated. I am surprised by Equiano ability to learn. He was able to work in the deck effectively despite having no previous experience. He was also able to learn clerical work and to be among the most trusted and efficient slaves.  I am also surprised by the fact that Equiano worked for so long in the sea but did not see the importance of learning to swim. He once almost drowned for lack of the ability to swim (p. 30). Surprisingly, the whites he was working with him always protected him and this was considerably surprising. In other cases, they could have used this inability to harass a Negro.

As a freeman it surprised me how Equiano was able to rebuild his life and became successful. Freedom seems to be very valuable since after getting it his quality of life was improved a great deal. I was surprised by his master’s decision to retain him as an employee after he had granted him his freedom as slave. This shows how much his master loved and trusted him. He must have treated Equiano fairly when a slave that he never feared that Equiano would destroy him when free. He even considered leaving the management of his ship under his care after the death of its captain. This demonstrates an example of a health relation between a master and a slave, something that was considerably rare among the whites when handling Negros in this era (p.68). Another surprising thing is that, Equiano never tried to go back home after his freedom. He instead focused on building his life in England where he earned a living via the sea.. This was unexpected, based on the circumstances under which he left his home.

Role of Religious Belief Play in Equiano Life

Initially, Equiano had religious beliefs that matched that of Jews. He was later baptized and became a Christian. Since that time Equiano based his trust in God. He presented any hard situation to God with hope that God will make a way. His faith was considerably strong that he always had a breakthrough in hard situations. He depended on God to be delivered from slavery and shortly after he got a new master who promised him freedom at a fee (p.40). He also trusted that God would heal him when he acquired fever in Georgia and his desires were fulfilled. His trust in God strengthened when he purchased a bible and got to read and understand what God expected of him. This made him work hard to obtain his freedom. He prayed God for help when his fruits basket were seized from him and he got his back, and even after giving the other man denied his bay three-quarter of his, he still made unimaginable profit. His trust in God eased his struggle and made everything possible.His connection with God was considerably strong even after he became a free man. In (p.69) Equiano talks of the recurrent dream that was warning him about the danger ahead in the sea. This dream turned out to be a vision which surely came to pass. His vision made him play a great role in trying to save the ship and its cargo and occupants from drowning. He also interpreted the occasion as God’s punishment to him for cursing the vessel which was his source of livelihood and repeated for doing so. In (p.83) Equiano was yet again faced by the danger of death from fire, and only trusted God for his survive. I was saved from the fire and only had God to thank for this. His reliance and trust in God for deliverance from different forms of dangers in life has been cited in various other occasion.

Culture Shock Reflection Paper

Assignment Instructions

Think about a time when you were immersed in a new culture or co-culture. Write a 250-500 word reflection, addressing the following:

  • Explain the circumstances surrounding your immersion in a new culture/co-culture. What was the reason for your trip/experience?
  • Identify the stages of culture shock present in your experience of the new culture/co-culture.
  • Explain how you tried to cope with the culture shock.
  • Discuss how you might cope with the culture shock in a healthier way in the future based upon what you learned about culture shock in this topic.

Sample Culture Shock Reflection Paper

I experienced new culture immersion when I was sent back to my ancestral home to live with my grandparents for a while. My grandparents lived among individuals who practiced Chamorro culture, something I never knew anything about. I had a problem communicating and interacting with people, having been brought up in the United States. I could also not understand most of their daily life routines including dressing, behaving among different people or even interacting with those of my age. It was a great challenge to be there at first. While there I experienced different stages of culture shock.

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The first stage was honeymoon stage which was highly adventurers to try new food, to see new forms of dressing and living and to try new language, though without being conversant with it. I then experienced the frustration stage where I could not understand what was being said, making it hard for me to walk around doing anything on my own. This was considerably frustrating since in most cases I could not even understand what my grandparents were saying to me and signs and gestures did not do me any better. This went on for more than three weeks before I started adjusting. In the adjusting stage, I was able to understand a few spoken words and I had understood their sign language and gestures. I had also developed some liking to different dishes that it was easy to know what I would eat and what I would not. Although my time of stay did not give me a chance to feel comfortable with this culture, I had at least managed to integrate with them and to learn a few things. I am sure that the next visit will be different, such that I will feel more adapted by the time I leave this place.

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I tried to cope with culture shock using various methods. One involved the use of gestures while speaking to make others understand what I was saying. I also tried to learn the language. I identified a few young people who conversant with English and they played a great role in training me the basics of their language and culture. I also used to walk with them for interpretation which helped me a lot in coping. According to Anjalin, Mazumdar and Whiteside (2017), one can cope culture shock by being engaged in hobbies and other interesting activities to be distracted. One can also set personal goals in learning the culture to ensure that they understand it as soon as possible. It also helps to be patient with oneself and to be less judgmental. One should also use the available resources to learn and start a journal to write every new cultural aspect that is encountered.

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Different Faces of Policy in Practicing Social Work – Articles Summary and Reflection

The permeation of social work across the globe has seen it morph into a unique discipline with specific standard operating procedures. Among the most integral aspect is the development and implementation of policy frameworks that are feasible and complement the work done by agents on the ground (Negi & Furman, 2010).  The whole idea behind succinctly spelling out the policy that would be implemented at any given moment has more to do with the modus operandi that would be put in place for the posterity. A common thread among the policies implemented is the fact that they focus more on the people since the whole idea is to create a structure that ultimately suits them the best. The purpose of this essay is to provide a summary and reflection of four essays presenting the different faces of policy in practicing social work.

In Harry Ferguson’s article dubbed, “What social workers do in performing child protection work: evidence from research into face-to-face practice,” the author focuses on the pivotal role played by social workers whenever child protection services are in play. Social workers are expected to work within the confines of the law and their mandate, even when it is clear that their work may involve more than just routine practice. Ferguson outlines the host of practices that are a common feature during these routine face-to-face interactions between the social workers and their subjects. In cases such as these, the social worker also doubles up as an investigator tasked with ensuring that they evaluate the conditions under which the child is living under and whether or not they can thrive (Ferguson, 2014). Similarly, Jackie Sanders and Robyn Munford seek to delve into the subject of universal diversity in “Embracing the Diversity of Practice: Indigenous Knowledge and Mainstream Social Work Practice.”  In practicing their work, social workers often grapple with coming across communities from a diverse setting. They, therefore, need to ensure that they have the necessary tools in their arsenal that would enable them to carry out their work without any hiccups (Payne, 2016). In other instances a community’s culture is utilized in the best interest of all those involved, setting a precedent that is then applied from that point onwards. A case in point is the Maori framework that has been in use in the mainstream and serves as the embodiment of social work practice (Munford & Sanders, 2011). These philosophies are then molded and fashioned into practices that be implemented when dealing with a diverse population.

In “Finding Meaningful Support: Young People’s Experiences of “Risky” Environments” Jackie Sanders and Robyn Munford seek to explore cases involving children who often find themselves living in conditions that do not promote their growth. The psychosocial development theory has over the years been implemented in social work with the view that I will, in the long run, influence the manner in which social work is carried out (Munford & Sanders, 2016).  The authors make these specific group of children the focus of their study since their vulnerability qualifies them as an at-risk population requiring immediate intervention. Children are most impressionable when young, which is why social interventions serve as feasible options. In “Life after Growing Up in Care: Informing Policy and Practice through Research” Jim Goddard and Suellen Murray focuses on the challenges faced by children making a transition from living in care to the point where they now enjoy independence. At the center of this drastic change are social workers who painstakingly ensure that these young adults can now acclimatize to their new environment and life and make a successful changeover.

The Reserve Bank of Australia- Critical Reflection Briefing Paper

Reserve Bank Purpose and Brief History of its Development

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) refers to the central bank of Australia, which drives its power and function from the 1959 Reserve Bank Act. This was an advance step after the establishment of the Australian Commonwealth Bank by the legislation in the 1911.The corporate original body of the Australian Commonwealth Bank was in 1959 preserved in the legislation as the Reserve Bank of Australia (Rba. gov.au, 2017).The RBA duty is to add to the currency stability, economic welfare and prosperity, and full employment to the Australian people. RBA manages this by setting the rate of cash to meet an approved medium-term inflation goal, working to uphold an efficient payment system and strong financial system, and delivering the country’s banknotes. The RBK offers specific required baking services to the Australian Government as well as its agencies, and to several official institutions and central banks in the foreign nations. It also manages the foreign exchange and gold reserves of the country (Fsi.treasury.gov.au, n.d.). The RBA also carries out monetary policy and participate as the policy-making body in the country.  This institution is divided into boards based on the 1959 Reserve Bank Act. The two boards include the Payment System Board and the Reserve Bank Board.

Main Argument in Favour of the Reserve Bank

The RBA is one of the most important government institutions in the Australia. This is because the institution plays a great role in determining the general economic welfare of the country, and individuals’ financial ability. According to Rba.gov.au (2015), the Reserve Bank works in the financial market, conducts market analysis, operates the key high-value Australian payment system, and enhance the institutional developments. The Bank is also involved in government as well as other local regulatory discussion regarding regulatory structure initiatives, mainly via the Council of Financial Regulators (CFR). The CFR bring the Australian Treasury, the Bank, Australian Securities and Investments Commission and Australia Prudential Regulatory authority together in order to make a contribution to the effectiveness and efficiency of the financial system stability and regulation (Bnm.gov.au, 2009).

The Reverse Bank under the 2001 Corporation Act, via the Payments System Board has a duty for establishing standards for financial stability for licensed settlement and clearing facilities and evaluating compliance of these facilities with the set standards. In addition, the Corporations Act determines over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives markets regulation regime that comprises of Bank advisory role on various matters. The diverse responsibilities help the Reserve Bank in enhancing the general financial system stability (Rba.gov.au, 2015). Although the bank does not contain the financial institutions prudential supervision responsibility, the Bank and all appropriate agencies would work during disturbance of financial system eliminate the systemic consequential risks. This means that the Reverse Bank of Australia play a very vital role in protecting the country against unnecessary financial crisis.

The RBA is very important in the country since it ensure high level of integrity during its operation. This is because the RBA is accountable to the legislation body of the county. This is as guided to the 2013 Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act. Having a bipartisan operation power, this clearly means that any malpractice the institution considers all its actions carefully to avoid cases of integrity which can be propagated further easily after or when being discussed in the parliament by the media. The fear of losing the public and government trust, and the tight supervision makes the Bank work with high level of integrity to the advantage of the country. This simply means that the Reserve Bank of Australia act independently without government interference, however, its actions are closely monitored, with a high need to show accountability. This prevents the government officials from imposing their own rules or procedure for personal political gains and also pushes the bank to work with high level of integrity to pass the legislation scrutiny. This plays a major role in enhancing effective functionality of this institution for the betterment of the people of Australia.

Main Argument against the Reserve Bank

The RBA is highly involved in the development of monetary policies that governs the Australia country, without government interference. These policies are mostly developed without much consultation with the affected parties. Although the bank seeks the government approval, their policies are not lobbied like other policies that are effectively scrutinized in the parliament and lobbied by the affected stakeholders to ensure that all the involved parties benefit equally or the policy benefits the majority. In most cases, some stakeholders feel oppressed by these policies as the normal citizen enjoys the benefits. However, their concerns are never taken into much consideration. In the recent past, the Reserve Bank reduced the housing investment borrowing interest rate. Although this was done in good faith, to boost citizens in acquiring their own homes, the rate of borrowing in this sector has gone extremely high such that there is a possibility of eruption of financial crisis in the country (Lowe, 2015). This demonstrates a considerable level of incompetence in the Reserve Bank’s ability of setting economically sound decisions and policies to protect the economy of the country. While the bank plays great role in protecting some of its stakeholders, it oppresses others by minimizing their profitability and increasing their level of liability. In the long run,some of the policies created by the Reserve Bank maybe creating a wanting situation such as economic crisis, where all individuals in the country may experience the impact of the past policies made to promote the citizens.

Although the Reserve Bank is scrutinized by the legislation body, this only happens twice per year. There is no scrutiny of the policies made by the legislators before they are implemented. This implies that the legislative body only scrutinizes the outcome of the applied policy and it is never given a chance to determine the practicability of the policy. Thus, some of the applied policies may highly affect the financial welfare of some stakeholders in the country before it is rectified (Rba.gov, 2016). Moreover, all the Bank applied policies are approved by the government. This simply means in a bipartisan argument, the party ruling the country may easily protect the bank decision as a way of protecting the government credibility. This neutralises the independence that the body is given and the strength of legislative body scrutiny. This simply means, while majoring on promoting the welfare of the citizen, the Reserve Bank may develop measures that highly undermine the ability of other financial institutions to grow and do their business effectively.

Reserve Bank Recommendation for Reform

The Reserve Bank of Australia plays a major role in controlling economic health and citizens’ financial welfare in the country. The Bank develops policies that govern the economic performance of the country. However, unlike other government policies, the Bank policies are only reviewed by the government officials and once approved, these policies are implemented. This forces the affected stakeholders to follow policies that they were never involved in their development or which were developed without considering their opinion on the matter (Stevens, 2010). This seems oppressive to all stakeholders especially those in the financial institutions whose operations are always regulated by the Reserve Bank. In this regard, I would recommend that the Reserve Bank policy making policy may integrate all the affected stakeholders through lobbing. This implies the policies should be presented to the public after the governmental approval for public scrutiny. The institution should then review the public view before making the final decision on the policy, and consider them in decision making or creating a balance in its policies. This will ensure fairness and balance in the experiencing of the possible impact of the provided rules. The Bank should work to ensure a state of balance where the welfare of all is regarded.

The Bank is closely supervised by the legislation to ensure that it stays within its limit. However, this scrutiny happens on events that have taken place. This scrutiny takes place twice per year. This means that the Bank is only scrutinized on events that have already taken place. The bank does not offer accountability to the legislative body on the formed policies before they are implemented. This may mean that the legislative scrutiny may be sometimes late especially when the applied policies have negative short-term effect on the economy. Thus the law governing the institution scrutiny may need to be changed. The institution should be scrutinized regularly, especially in events where a new policy needs to be implemented. However, it should still be given an upper hand in the policy development due to high expertise on economic matters. The legislator in the new changes should be given a chance to review the policy and give their opinion on the same. This will ensure that the citizens are fully represented in the formation of the policy. Nevertheless, the Reserve Bank has played a great role in ensuring that the Australian economy is highly protected and the financial welfare of the people is put into great consideration. Its measures in ensuring the financial health of the country and has for a long time managed to instil economic balance in the country. The Bank only needs to ensure that it consider both short and long-term impact of its policies before they are implemented.

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