Rolex Company Analysis

This report is about the research on a premium product brand on the market. The premium product out team agrees to choose is the Rolex Company product. Rolex Company was the companies that manufactures a high quality hand watch and sells the product to an upper high value to the consumer, Rolex Company also provide technical repair service especially for its product user at different places or facilities due to its different region and its global market or business operations.

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The objective of Rolex Company is to provide the high and luxury hand watch with innovative technology and design which also promote its brand to a kind of collection item which symbolize as prestige, luxury and high quality. The Vision and mission of Rolex Company was to always put the customer at the first place and make sure that their customer are satisfied with their product and services.
Provide the high and luxury hand watch with innovative technology and design and promote its brand to a kind of collection item which symbolize as prestige, luxury and high quality.
Vision & Mission Statement

Always put the customer at the first place.
Ensure that their customers are satisfied with their product and services.

2.0.0 Company Summary
Rolex is the world’s well known brand in luxury watches. In addition to that, Rolex was included in the luxury watch list of the world’s top brands. It is only brand that able to produce 2000 watches per day and able to earn 3 billion per day. lts brand name , exclusiveness and unique style attract people from all strata of society.
2.1 Background
Hans Wilsdorf and his brother-in-law Alfred Davis founded “Wilsdorf & Davis” and signed as “W&D” in the year of 1905 in London, England. Later the name “Rolex” trademark was registered in 1908 and opened a office in La-Chaux_de-Fond, Switzerland, which was the worlds center for most high quality watch making.
The name “Rolex” in phrase of French were horlogerie exquise which mean exquisite horology.
In 1919, the company’s headquarters was moved to Geneva, Switzerland, because taxes and export duties in the United Kingdom were driving up costs. The company was first established in Geneva as the Rolex Watch Company. Later, the name changes to Montez Rolex, SA and finally just Rolex, SA. To add on, Rolex was the first company to produce fully waterproof watch (1926), auto-winding watch (1932).
2.2 Company Location
Rolex Company split its product and services into two different sections one was the normal direct selling and the other was the service facilities. Until now, The Rolex main headquarter is on Geneva of Switzerland by Rue Francois-Dussaud. In Malaysia are only on Kelantan, Perak, Pulau Pinang, Sabah, Sarawak, and Selangor which the center for direct selling. But there was only one Rolex service center at Malaysia which in Jalan Sultan Ismail at Menara Dion
3.0 Product and services
People satisfy their wants and needs with products and services. A product can be provided to a market to satisfy a need or want. Besides that, product include services, which are benefits or activities provided for sale that virtually intangible. Examples include insurance, airline, banking, home repair services and so on.
3.1 Product Description
“A product is anything that is capable of satisfying customer needs.” (David Jobbs) The product was a physical product and took the form of a hand watch. The previous Special edition hand watch manufacture by Rolex Company hand watch model Submarine have evoke a feeling to the customer like a sea because of its blue design on the watch. Rolex Company took the symbol of a crown and places it on its company name to be its brand or logo (figure 1.1)
3.2 Competitive Comparison
The Swiss luxury watch making industry is a profitable market. However, new entrants find it difficult to enter the market due to the numerous barriers. In addition to that, there were still many top brands of luxury watches in the market to come up with different styles of watches. Here are some of the top brands and competitors of luxury watches which are famous.

Cartier is a company of the first worldwide luxury watchmaking group and Richemont Compagnie Financiere Group. Cartier enjoys the fame for selling only the first rate quality of jewellery and accessories.

Tag Heuer name has its distinct reputation and status in the world of luxury watches. Furthermore, many Hollywood stars also like to wear Tag Heuer watches.

Blancpain was founded in 1735 by Jehan Blancpain and is one of the luxury watches in the market. Famous businessmen and celebrities prefer Blancpain watches because Blancopain watches show the exclusiveness and individuality of their personality.
3.3 Supply & Demand Details
Due to concentrated on its quality and its image, Rolex company supply cannot exceed demand because using the certificate high quality material and qualified craftsmanship to produce each watch will very time taking and some model even required some special technology to produce the model.
Refer to the market, this product was considered as inelastic product because increase in price lead to fewer customer to purchase the product.
3.4 Technology needs
Rolex has a few series of its watches. There are Automatic Movement, Classic watches, Quartz Movements, Water resistant cases, Collection, Certified Chronometers and Ceramic bezels.
Ceramic bezels-The bezel of a watch will exacerbate when exposed to sunlight. Regarding to this issue, Rolex have been motivated to create a unique bezel with a Cerachrom disc. It is essentially scratch-proof and its colour remains unaffected by ultraviolet ray. They are available on the Daytona models, Sea Dweller-Deepsea, Submariner and GMT Master ll.
Water-resistant cases- The watch can be survived withstand pressure to a depth of 100m.
Classic watches- The classic watches assembled with scrupulous attention to detail and crafted from the first-rate raw materials.
4.0 Market Analysis
Market analysis is to understand its evolving threats and opportunities and determine the attractiveness of a market.
4.1 Target Market Segment Strategy
Rolex Company using the differentiated Segment by dividing the target market to three group that is normal model, female model, and the special model. These targets also targeting upper high or high social class population because are affordable compare to the lower class.
4.1.1 Industrial Participants / Key Player
9. Audemars Piguet
10. Hublot
4.2 SWOT Analysis
Brand awareness involves the ability of consumers to remember to the brand name or recognition brand. In the purchase decision, it can play a vital role because people usually like to buy familiar brands. Brand awareness has been calculated by a variety of brands and is available at Annex lV: Brand Awareness. This result shows that Rolex has 97% for awareness. The Rolex brand value is quite high and the name is known around the world.
The strategy has been defined so well but it is hard for the company to change its strategy even how innovative the strategy are. The weakness is that could remain some segments that hard to be achieved on the market. For instance, if the fashion goes to GPS watches, Rolex is hard to changes the strategy because
Even they try to change their product to GPS watches, people assume that Rolex to be classic watches. In this case, Rolex would be hard to get a market share of” GPS watches”
Rolex brand name is very valuable. It seems that I can be diversified in related fields. Rolex should take the opportunity to open jewelry line over the world. Rolex has the ability to produce jewelry with its technical.
The threat of Rolex is youth does not recognize the name of Rolex. Normally, the most mid age people recognize the name of Rolex because most of the segments were set only for mid age people or middle upper social people.
Market Need
Now days Customers are very concern and picky about on quality on a product especially luxury or premium product or services. To this situation, Rolex Company is very caution on its every product so that will not disappoint the customer and remain the good name of its Company. Other than that, Rolex Company also cautious on its design for every product example what meaning or message want to tell the wearer, or how attractiveness on the customer and probably create a new function technology.
5.0 implementation and strategies
5.1 Marketing strategy
The marketing goals of the company are increase awareness of your products and services and increase sales by 150% for next few months.
Besides that, the company could use the 5Ps of marketing to achieve its goal. There are product, price, promotion, place and people.
After that, the company will test ideas by doing research. The company could done its research through personal interview, survey, e-mail and telephone.
5.2 Pricing Strategy
In a nutshell, the Rolex Company could work on value-based pricing structure. Rolex Company will determine the price or value that their consumers willing to buy it.
5.3 Promotion Strategy
There are a few ways to promote the company and its products such as advertising, sales promotion and public relation. Those ways able to present information make it clearly to consumers. Furthermore, those ways also able to increase demand and differentiate the products.
The company could use advertising as their main components of promotion. Advertising able to spread and present information to people from all strata.
The company uses the informative advertising to introducing the new product. Moreover, its objective are telling the market about the new product and building company image.
5.4 Distribution Patterns
The company initial focus will be in the China Guang Dong market. There are huge populations and demand strong in China. Such a case, the interest for particular brands is stronger than others in some areas. Omega and Longines got the top two positions in most Chinese provinces. Besides that, the people who live in Guang Dong have preference for Rolex.
5.5 Marketing Program
The company could hold the program that retain existing customers and customer retention program. So that, this program able to encourage consumers loyalty and build a strong connection with consumers. This program will uses those social networking to communicate with existing customer and keep updating the information to consumers.
6.0 Web Plan Summary
Nowadays, Internet has played an important role in the business. Websites became a dynamic marketing tool for sales. Websites have the ability to build the connection with customers, connection with market partner and connection with the world around us.
6.1 Website Marketing Strategy
The use of E-business in Rolex Company. There are intranet, extranets and internet in E-business. Rolex Company creates intranets to help employees able to communicate and to access the information found in the company computers. Furthermore, company should set up the extranet with their supplier to enable information exchange, payments, transactions and orders.
The E-commerce able to provide buyers access to comparative information, competitors, products and information about company. Besides that, company could create a marketspaces to offer buyers their products and services online.
By using E-marketing, company can communicate about, sell product and services and promote their product over the internet. Company could create or design an attractive website to attract consumer. ‘Creating a website is one thing; getting people to visit the site is another’ (Marketing an Introduction sixth edition 2003 p99). The important key is to create a good and enough value to get consumers to come to the site , stick around the site and come back again.

Analysis of Intelligence and Cognitive Abilities Tests

Analysis of Intelligence and Cognitive Abilities Tests 

My goal is work in the field of ABA therapy, in cognitive and behavior therapy. I can work at a school or hospital as a behavioral therapist. I can also teacher as a special need teacher at a private school working one on one with student who need extra help. I would like to work in third world country where children with autism does not have services at their school. My vision is to provide training for children, families, behavior therapy and assessments. I will be looking at Intelligence/Cognitive Abilities test. I choose the Differential Ability Scales -11 (DAS-11), Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales- Fifth Edition and Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities from the List of Test by Type (PDF).  

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Element 1

The Differential Ability Scales -11 (DAS-11)

 The Das 11 is a used for children 2 years 6 months through 17 years 11  months. This test is standardized test designs as an intelligence test. The DAS 11 gives a General Conceptual Ability score which helps doctors use this information to determine eligibility for special education.  The test incorporates current trends in cognitive and developmental testing leading to different responses  in intervention for each child.   Each test comprises of three sections verbal, nonverbal reasoning and spatial ability. The test measures the phonological processing, rapid renaming, recall of digit backward and recall of sequential order skills of the child.  (Elliot, Colin D (1979- 2007)). The test is designed for all groups of children regardless of ethnicity background.

Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales- Fifth Edition

“The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales for Early Childhood, Fifth Edition (Early SB5) is a norm-referenced test battery measuring intelligence and cognitive abilities of young children, ages 2 years, 0 months through 7 years, 3 months.” (Roid, Gale H. (2005)). This test purpose is to evaluate the child’s cognitive skills, check for the most effective and reliable results in the smallest time. This test is administered by experienced examiner who asked the child to respond,  nonverbally, verbally or performing a skill to answer a question. This test is given to young children in a psychologist office or a school office.

 Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities

 The Woodcock-Johnson IV Tests of Early Cognitive is an individually designed for children 2.5 years to 7 years and 8 years to 9 years with cognitive delays. The purpose of this test is to “ “identify emergent cognitive abilities and early academic skills” and to get at cognitive delays and relative strengths and weakness that may inform early interventions.” (Schrank, Frederick A. et al. (2015)).  The test measures, written language (academic ability),  expressive language,  general intellectual ability,  reading, early academic skills,  math, cognitive abilities. This test is taken by children with special needs with various disabilities. 

Element 2.

The Differential Ability Scales -11 (DAS-11)

The test content is appropriate for children 2yr and 6 months to 17 yrs. and 11 months. “You can identify the child’s strengths and weaknesses, so the appropriate IEP goal, intervention strategies, and progress monitoring can be developed.” (Pearson Review (2018)). The DAS 11 test the child’s strengths in verbal test such as verbal comprehension; nonverbal test such as building;  fluid reasoning such as matrices; early number concepts, achievement test such as basis number skills and diagnostic such as recall of digits. This battery of test helps the administrator put in place a plan to help the child achieve it best outcome in school.

Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales- Fifth Edition

“Under the requirements of the individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEIA, 2004), the SB5 provides a comprehensive profile of the score to document the cognitive strengths and weaknesses of children, adolescents, and adults with learning difficulties, delays, and disabilities.” ( This test requires fluid reasoning to see if the child can complete a pattern of words such as pink is a color, 1 is ______. The child must answer the word in the same pattern.  Knowledge questions asking a child to explain food they like to eat. Quantitative reasoning , the child is asking to complete basis counting. Visual-Spatial processing, the child is having to complete a puzzle. Working memory, the child is must remember the last one word of a sentence during the testing.

Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities

 “Focus on evaluation of relative strengths and weaknesses will help assessment professionals identify and describe patterns or performance across achievement, language and cognitive domains that are key to diagnosing learning problems and developing target interventions for individual needs.” (Houghton Muffin Harcourt, (2014)).  People between the age of 2 to 90 can take this test. This test also tested children who are gifted so that they can be placed in an appropriate class. Achievement such as testing spelling and oral reading; language such as word reading and spelling of sounds; and cognitive such as reading rate and math problem solving.

Element 3

The Differential Ability Scales -11 (DAS-11)

 “ Validity refers to the degree to which evidence and theory support the interpretations of test scores for proposed uses of tests” and “the process of validation involves accumulating relevant evidence”. (Elliot, Colin D (1979- 2007)). The administrator is given test manual with a list of guidelines that must be followed in relation to the test taker ,age, education or background. The test showed high number of reliabilities for positive consistent among the test takers. When random test was done the it also showed high levels of agreement among the test takers.

Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales- Fifth Edition

 “The Early SB5 manual provides more than adequate evidence of the SB5’s content validity and criterion-related (predictive and concurrent) validity.” ( Roid, Gale H. (2005)). This test showed high scores between moderate to high in measuring cognitive ability. The Manual set high standards for the administrator concerning reliability and validity.  When test among preschool and primary age kid the results was consistent for all age levels.  The examiners also score the test technically well across at all levels.  The testing results was also consistent in a variety of sample groups.

Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities

 The test makers in this test worked with professional that work with children with various disabilities.  They made the test accessible to all children regardless of the region, county of birth or race. “The test manual states that validity evidence, in part, is based on prior validity studies related to the four versions of the Woodcock-Johnson test batteries and research dealing with CHC theory. The manual provides a summary of the 10 tests, describing test content, processes, and construct descriptions.” (Schrank, Frederick A. et al. (2015)).

Element 4

The Differential Ability Scales -11 (DAS-11)

 The DAS 11 must be administered by a level C individual. A level C individual must have a doctorate degree in education, psychology or a related field with formal training the ethical administration, scoring and interpretation of clinical assessment related to the intended use of the assessment. (Pearson Review, (2018)).  This test can change the outcome of a child life, if given incorrectly it can lead to grave circumstances for the benefit of the child. The administrator must be well verse in the administering of the test  ”Assessment in this test should be considered carefully  given the systematic differences in overall scores produces in the population. ( Marusiak, Christopher W. et. al. (2005)).

Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales- Fifth Edition

 The Stanford Binet Intelligence Scales can be administered by a Level C. A level C individual is required to have a  masters in speech pathology, psychology, occupational therapist, or a social work, education, special education , school counseling and social work. The test administrator must work with children and have a wide knowledge of experience dealing with kids with different learning challenges such as ADHD. “. Within the instrument’s Technical Manual, the authors provide some information about the CPM; however, the structural/theoretical support for the validity of the CPM is limited.” (Taub, Gordon E.(2014)).

Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities

 The Woodcock-Johnson test of Cognitive Abilities can be administered by a level B candidate. A level B administrator should have an upper level degree in education or psychology with experience in interpreting test for cognitive abilities. The administrator must be able to make decision based on the information gather from the test. “Without full explication of and factor analytical justification for, structural validity, a clinician or researcher will be less able to properly understand and interpret the scores provided by that instrument.” (PsycINFO)

Compare and Contrast

 I look  at the Differential Ability Scales -11 (DAS-11), Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales- Fifth Edition and Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities for this paper. The DAS 11 is my favorite of the test and I will continue to focus on this test for the rest of the class. The DAS 11 is designed for children in general education setting and special education. The DAS 11 allows you to apply the test scores to and IEP for a child with special needs. The DAS 11 is administered by professionals with background in psychology and education.

 All the test required the test administrator to have a background of experience and education in psychology and education. All the test looks at cognitive abilities for the individual. The woodcock Johnson test have to many sections to be tested on young children and can be time consuming.  The Stanford Binet was also the shortest test to give the best results. The Sandford Binet test examine the working memory of the child. None of the other test look this approach in conducting the cognitive test for children.


Differential Ability Scales-11 (Colin D. Elliot PhD) Dombrowski, Stefan C., (2018) Alternative conceptualization of the theoretical structure of the               Woodcock-Johnson IV Tests of Cognitive Abilities at school age: A  confirmatory factor analytic investigation. Archives of Scientific Psychology (Vol 6(1), feb 26,2018. pp.1-13. (PsyINFO No. 2169-3269).

Elliot, Colin D (1979- 2007). Differential Ability Scales-Second Edition.  R. A. Spies, J. F. Carlson, & K. F. Geisinger (Eds.), The eighteenth mental measurements yearbook. 2010. [electronic version] Retrieved from the Burros Institute’s Mental Measurements Yearbook online database.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Woodcock-Johnson IV Preview. Winter , 2014, Vol.1

Joint Committee on Testing Practices. (2004). Code of fair testing practices in education. Retrieved from

Kuriakose, Sarah. (2014) Concurrent Validity of the WISC-IV and DAS-11 in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment (V32 n4 p283-294. 12 pp.). (PsyINFO. No. 1557-5144)

Marusiak, Christopher W.; Janzen, Henry L. Assessing the Working Memory Abilities of ADHD Children Using the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, Fifth Edition, Canadian Journal of               School Psychology, ( v20 n1-2 p84-97 2005. 14 pp.)  (PsyINFO No.0829-5735)

Roid, Gale H. (2005) Stanford-Binet Intelligence-Scales for Early Childhood, Fifth Edition. K. F. Geisinger, R. A. Spies, J. F. Carlson, & B. S. Plake (Eds.), The seventeenth mental measurements yearbook. 2007. [electronic version] Retrieved from the Burros Institute’s Mental Measurements Yearbook online database.

Schrank, Frederick A.; McGrew, Kevin S.; Mather, Nancy; LaForte, Erica M.; Wendling, Barbara J.; Dailey, David (2015). Woodcock-Johnson IV Tests of Early Cognitive and Academic Development.  J. F. Carlson, K. F. Geisinger, & J. L. Jonson (Eds.), The twentieth mental measurements yearbook. 2017. [electronic version] Retrieved from the Burros Institute’s Mental Measurements Yearbook online database.

Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales-Fifth Edition (SB5) Complete Test Kit with Carrying Case.


ASOS SWOT and Finance Analysis




The global online retail business ASOS Plc (As Seen on Screen) was founded in June 2000 by entrepreneurs Nick Robertson and Quentin Griffthins. Aimed at 20 – 30 year olds, Robertson and Griffthins envisioned selling outfits worn by celebrities at affordable prices. The online retailer sells its own label products, as well as stocking 850 other brands including high street and other online retailers. Since their launch, new lines have been introduced, such as their 2008 Kids wear collection and the 2016 wedding collection as well as a variety of sizing ranges. ASOS have been able to launch international online stores in France, Germany and the US, as well as in Australia, Spain, Russia, China and Birmingham. Targeting over 200 countries, with over 4000 employees and 13 million users per month, ASOS is currently the UK’s largest online fashion retailer.

Marketing, Customers and Market Share

One of ASOS’s key marketing techniques is its use of a free returns policy. This gives the company a differentiation strategy, meaning that ASOS can charge higher prices as well as putting pressure on rivals such as BooHoo and Nasty Gal to improve strategies. 31% of British 15- 25 year olds agree that social media inspires their clothing choices, whilst 80% of millennials shop online. ASOS has created a vast social media presence, boasting 11.8 million followers collectively, using these platforms and digital cookies in order to advertise. ASOS has created a team of millennials who have a collective Instagram following of over 625,000. These ‘influencers’ use social media to promote ASOS products, allowing followers to purchase products straight from their posts. Nearly 10% of ASOS’s 2010 sales attributed to email marketing with student promotions and ASOS’s A-List offers. ASOS’s primary platform is its app, which had 10 million downloads in 2016. ASOS’s monthly magazine can be read either online paperback and boasts 820,000 subscribers. ASOS uses current celebrities to feature, such as ‘Stranger Things’ actress Millie Bobby Brown, appealing to ASOS’s young target market. At the 2016 and 2018 Olympic and Paralympic games, 677 British athletes and staff wore ASOS-designed products, pushing this idea of modern day celebrities representing the brand. The ASOS Marketing team focuses on social purpose, partnering with Beat, as well as the ‘Click and Collect’ scheme which aims to reduce its carbon footprint. Finally, ASOS’s communication team is a key part of its marketing and customer services which employs 2475 people to work in its ‘customer care teams’ around the world. ASOS’s market share was 7.5% in 2017 in the UK, whilst it was significantly lower in the rest of Europe at 1.6%. ASOS aims to increase this market share through further investment.








UK Opportunity

EU Opportunity


PESTLE, Porter’s Five Forces and SWOT Analysis


As ASOS targets a younger market, political changes affecting the finances such as the dismissal or reduction of student maintenance grants would lead to a reduction in disposable income. This would limit their purchasing power for price elastic goods such as clothing, therefore reducing the profitability for ASOS.

An increase in VAT would increase the price of clothes due to increased costs, which would affect ASOS as its USP is its affordable clothing.


In 2014, ASOS increased the number of employees by 16%. If minimum wages were to rise, ASOS’s costs would increase dramatically. This may result in redundancies which could damage the reputation of ASOS.

The threat of recession is prevalent for retailers such as ASOS who sell price elastic goods as lower disposable incomes means consumers may not buy non-essential products such as clothing.


In 2008, 49% of women used ecommerce to purchase clothing compared to 75% in 2015, whilst 57% of men used ecommerce in 2008 compared to 77% in 2015. This change in social trends presents an opportunity for ASOS.

However, social trends are constantly changing and it can be hard to predict what will happen in the future. This presents a threat for companies such as ASOS as we cannot be sure if ecommerce will continue to be successful, although customer research can reduce the risk of strategic drift. 


Technological improvements mean that ecommerce companies such as ASOS can continue to expand, making it easier and faster for consumers to find and buy products, allowing ecommerce businesses to market their products more easily through social media and other online platforms.

However, operating through multi-channel distribution like rivals such as Topshop would further increase ASOS’s profitability. Although ecommerce is booming, only 18% of retail sales are made on the internet, meaning that there is a huge market for in-store shopping.


EU directives such as the ‘EU packaging and Waste directive’ are introduced in order to reduce the amount of waste companies incur. Changes to these laws will mean that ASOS may need to adjust their strategies in order to reduce waste.


ASOS has introduced schemes to reduce its negative affect on the environment such as ‘click and collect’ as well as using 100% recyclable packaging. The click and collect scheme aims to reduce the companies carbon footprint and has proven to be successful. 

Porter’s Five Forces Model

Threat of new entrants

As technology continues to improve, an increasing number of retailers may operate online. With new entrants, pressure is put on existing companies to reduce costs and prices and differentiate their products.

ASOS can tackle the threat of new entrants in the market through economies of scale. ASOS can also reduce the threat of new entrants by investing in research and development, preventing strategic drift.

Buyer Power

In times of recession or changes in economic policies affecting disposable income, ASOS will have fewer customers as it is selling price elastic goods. This means that buyers have more power to negotiate. ASOS can reduce the power of buyers by increasing its brand loyalty. Moreover, through innovation ASOS can reduce the ability of bargaining power of customers as they will not be able to negotiate products which are not as established.

Supplier power

As the number of suppliers is reduced, purchasers have less room to negotiate prices. This means that companies such as ASOS experience increased costs. This threat can be reduced by building relationships with multiple suppliers, so if one supplier increases its prices, ASOS will have an alternative option. Alternatively, ASOS could experiment with various materials so that if the price of one increases, there are other options.


ASOS can reduce the threat of rivalry through differentiation, meaning rivalry will be automatically reduced and it can increase the selling price. Alternatively, ASOS can collaborate with rivals in order to increase the market size. If ASOS was to collaborate with a high-street store with a smaller online presence such as Urban Outfitters, they would benefit from the reduction in competition. 

Threat of substitutes

ASOS can reduce the threat of substitution through increasing the cost of switching for customers. ASOS offers free next day delivery for £7.99 per year, therefore increasing customer loyalty for a year. ASOS offers frequent customers discounts and vouchers, encouraging purchasing. 

SWOT Analysis


ASOS sells over 850 popular brands with over 4000 employees as a part of the organisation, covering over 200 countries. ASOS is currently planning further international expansion with further sales growth within the UK.


ASOS’s free returns strategy costs £10 million annually, whilst 30% of purchases are returned to ASOS. As this element of free returns is a USP of ASOS’s business plan, it is difficult to change the strategy and could potentially become increasingly problematic.


The improvements in technology means that ASOS may be able to benefit from an increase in sales as it will become increasingly easy to shop. ASOS is planning further expansion into China, increasing sales, so it will be able to further grow the business.


In 2016, poor working conditions were reported and in 2017, ASOS employees reported that they work without regular breaks. This raises issues such as worker exploitation, which could damage the reputation of the company. Larger retail companies existing in both online and physical form may have a higher brand recognition and be able to increase their market share through footfall, as well as online sales.

Finance and Ratio Analysis

In 2004, ASOS made a profit with sales almost doubling in the first half of the year. In the previous financial year, ASOS increased its revenue for the year by 52% (£339.7 million), with international sales increasing by 142%. Despite increased costs due to the investment programme, ASOS was able to increase profit growth by 28% and sales growth by 26% in the last financial year. The US had the largest sales growth in 2017 with a 46% increase in sales, followed by an increase of 45% in the EU.


Financial objectives

–          Generate medium to long term sales growth at 20-25% in order to provide cash to invest in the business

–          Keeping a 4% EBIT margin

–          Expand further into new countries such as China

–          Grow UK market

Financial performance risks

ASOS increased its employee count by 34% between 2016 and 2017, increasing costs. Warehouse costs increased to 8.8% of revenue whilst taxation increased from 19.3% in 2016 to 19.9% in 2017 as a result of deferred tax from the previous year. However, ASOS was able to reduce their marketing costs to 4.5% of sales due to digital marketing efficiency and higher returns on advertising. Operating costs were maintained at 4%.

Ratio Analysis

Financial ratios and diagnostics are used by companies for company analysis and benchmarking, as well as for potential investors.

Profitability ratios:

Gross profit (period ending 28/02)


= £440.1 million

Gross profit margin  

Gross profit margin 2017:

= 48.28%

2018: (period ending 28/02)

= £569.4 million

Gross profit margin 2018:

= 49.17%

Percentage change in gross profit between 2017 and 2018:

= 29.34%


If ASOS was to attempt to improve their gross profit, it could increase prices or reduce discounting. However, ASOS’s competitive advantage centres around its affordable products which are aimed at a younger target market who are attracted to the company through the use of discounts such as student offers.

Operating profit (period ending 28/02)


= £27.1 million

operating profit margin


= 2.973%


= £29.1 million


= 2.51%

Percentage change in operating profit between 2017 and 2018:

= 7.38%


If ASOS was to try to improve its operating profit, it could increase its sales revenue, reduce labour and operations costs or reduce the cost of goods sold. ASOS could reduce its labour and operations costs by reducing the size of its workforce. ASOS employs a vast workforce which contributes to a large proportion of its costs.

Liquidity ratios: (period ending 28/02)

Current ratio


= 1.02:1


= 0.94:1


The reduction in current ratio may represent a reduction in the ability of ASOS to pay off its short-term liabilities. They could improve their current ratio through controlling their stock more effectively, considering systems such as ‘just in time’ stock management, slowing down their debtor days, or improving their receivable days.

Acid test ratio

2017: (period ending 28/02)

154.3 + 0 + 24.9


= 0.43:1

2018: (period ending 28/02)

37.7 + 0 + 25.2


= 0.13:1


The reduction in acid test ratio shows that ASOS may not have enough liquid assets to pay its current liabilities. In order to improve this, ASOS should consider trying to increase their sales and inventory turnover, which will increase cash. Alternatively, ASOS could consider holding less stock or varying their stock management control.


Return on capital employed (period ending 28/02)


= 10.94%


= 7.78%


ASOS’s ROCE could be improved by selling machinery as this would lower the company’s total assets. However, by doing this, ASOS may slow down production which may be detrimental to an ecommerce business as consumers do not want to wait too long for their products. Alternatively, ASOS could pay off their debt, therefore reducing liabilities.

Activity ratio:

Asset turnover ratio


= 1.36


= 1.36


Every £1 worth of asset generates £1.36 worth of revenue. In order to improve ASOS’s asset turnover ratio, they could improve efficiency, sell assets or increase sales.


ASOS Plc is an extremely successful company, with plans to further increase their profitability. Although there are areas of weaknesses such as the high costs of delivery and labour, ASOS’s investment programme has been designed to cope with this increase. However, it is essential that ASOS continues to invest in research and development as the threat of strategic drift is prevalent. Moreover, investment in research and development  can ensure that the threat of new entrants into the market is reduced and therefore maintain its market share. ASOS’s current strategy of offering affordable clothing to a younger target market has so far proved to be very successful and with their future plans to expand we can expect the company to further improve its market share and profitability.


Office for National Statistics

Asos (ASOS) Balance Sheet – UK

Asos (ASOS) Income Statement – UK Us | ASOS

 Women’s Clothes | Shop for Women’s Fashion | ASOS

The History of ASOS








Analysis of Kate Clanchy’s ‘Recognition’

Recognition is a poem written by the contemporary poet Kate Clanchy, who is a Scottish teacher and poet, and who has been awarded with several prizes, among them; the Scottish Arts Council Book Award. An important fact is that she was born in 1965, so she grew up while the hippie movement was in its heyday.

Firstly, it must be clarified that the poem belongs to the lyrical poetry, which ‘…describes all poetry into which the poet has poured his own emotions, feelings, ideas, and personal philosophies. It is highly subjective […] and, as the emotions and ideas expressed are too powerful […] the lyric is usually short.’[1] As it can be checked in for example ‘I think the…’ (l. 5), it is totally subjective, since it is actually a thought of the speaker.

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Moreover, it must be mentioned that the title is symbolic, since it is a simple summary of the poem, basically the speaker is trying to recognize people from hippie movement, since everything has changed, including people and their aspects. And with respect to the speaker, it would be important to say that the speaker is the poet herself, so she is actually giving her own point of view. So all the times that in the poem the first person is used, it is making reference to Kate Clanchy.

‘We can often tell how someone feels by listening to the tone of his or her voice. Like a person’s voice, a poem also has a tone or mood that shows a feeling or an attitude that the poet wants to convey.’[2] In that case it can be perceived that the tone is wistful, because she is remembering a part of her life, therefore she realises that she is getting older, so the poem shows nostalgically the general human experience of getting older.

Metrically, the poem is formed in total by 21 lines, separated in seven stanzas with three lines in each stanza. It is known as triplet, which ‘is a rather rare stanza form in poetry and is basically three lines that rhyme. […] If we look closely at the triplet, however, we’ll see how poets use form to build crescendo in a piece and even use the form to break form.’[3]

That specific poem has regular verses represented with the following rhythm scheme: aaa bbb ccc ddd eee fff ggg. Hence, the speaker is trying to tell something different in each stanza. Regarding to the rhyme, the poem has a syllabic rhyme, for that reason the last syllable of the last word of each line sounds identical, although the most of them have an unstressed syllable at the end, as: ‘candles’ (l. 4) and ‘bangles’ (l. 6)

And it cannot be forgotten to mention that it has been written mainly using the iambic tetrameter, with many variations, that later are going to be analysed carefully. Probably the tetrameter (Four feet in each line) was chosen since according to Debbie Notari: ‘… tetrameter is a natural rhythm and that it is easy to read out loud. After each 8-syllable line, the reader tends to pause.’[4]

With respect to the syntax, it must be clarified that the author used hypotaxis, in other words, the sentences are coordinated, for instance: ‘Either my sight is getting worse, /or everyone looks like somebody else.’ (ll. 1-2). Therefore the polysyndeton is also present in the poem, due to the continuous use of conjunctions. On the other hand, there are also enjambments, as it can be seen for example in the second stanza, where one sentence is divided, so it begins in a line, and it finishes in the next one: ‘…the girl in hippy sandals / could turn…’ (ll. 5–6) Moreover tense is really interesting, as she is speaking in present and then in past, so she tries to mix both periods of time, to confuse the readers.

Additionally, diction here is important too. The author writes with a colloquial diction to be closest possible to the readers, and although she uses concrete words to provide better images, as ‘…the skinny boy in the Aran jumper’ (l. 9), she also uses abstract and figurative expressions (‘shadows’ (l. 3), ‘crystallise’ (l. 19)) to produce a poetic environment.

And now it is time to move on to the analysis of each stanza. The first stanza begins with a substitution, specifically with a trochaic variation (also called inversion), it is used to emphasize the beginning since she opens the poem ironically saying that her ‘sight is getting worse’ (l. 1) since she cannot recognize other people. It is also a metaphor about she is getting older. Two anapaests can be also found in that stanza, and the third line finishes with a hypermetrical. Besides, there is antithesis in words like ‘light’ (l. 3), ‘dark’ (l.4), and ‘fancy’ (l. 4) ‘hippy’ (l. 5), showing that time has changed, referring specifically to the hippie movement of light and peace in which she lived.

Unlike the first stanza, the second one begins with two unstressed syllables together, i.e. a pyrrhic, but then it is followed by a spondee. That stanza also contains an anapaest, which at the same time is a paronomasia: ‘dark bar’ (l 4) /ˈdɑːk ˈbɑː /, and another spondee, that is to say, there are two heavy syllables together, what means that the speaker wants to highlight that specific part of the poem since something interesting is being saying: the speaker sees a ‘girl in hippy sandals’ (l 5), what reminds her when everyone wore hippie clothes, therefore it is definitely an allusion to the hippie movement. It is also related with the rhyme, since the final syllables are unstressed and these falling lines show the yearning and the sadness that the speaker feels when she realizes that the hippie movement already happened, and she is getting older.

The third stanza is pretty interesting since there are two anapaests in the last line, and it finishes with a hypermetrical. But what is really interesting is the polypton found in the words ‘know’ and ‘knew’ (ll. 8 – 9), and the epanalepsis (the repetition of ‘her’ (l. 8) in the same line) emphasizes that she is speaking about ‘the girl in hippy sandals’ (l. 5). Moreover there is an antithesis in the words younger (l. 7) and older (l. 13).

The first line of the fourth stanza is dactylic like the beginning of the last line, and lines 11-12 end with a hypermetrical rhythm. That stanza and the fifth one finish with a consonance repetition, for instance: ‘feather’ (l. 10) /ˈfɛðə/ and ‘further’ (l. 14) /ˈfɜːðə/. The fourth stanza introduces with the colon the following one, i.e. the fifth stanza, which has a meter effect, specifically a synaloepha or elision: ‘no one’ (l. 13), which is pronounced as /ˈnəʊwʌn/ in order to fit with the metrical pattern. That stanza has some variations as the dactylic rhythm and the hypermetrical.

The first line of the sixth stanza ends with a pyrrhic, and here it can be also found an alliteration of the sound /ʃ/: ‘sheer short’ (l. 16) / ʃɪə ʃɔːt /. There is another alliteration in the following line: ‘recover, rewrite’ (l. 17) /rɪˈkʌvə, riːˈraɪt /. In that way, a musically effect is created and in consequence reader’s attention is got. In addition, in the word ‘recover’ (l. 17) there is a dactylic, and in the last line there is a ploce, which ‘… is the insistent repetition of a word within the same line or phrase…’[5] The repetition of the word ‘face’ (l. 18) is a device used to call reader’s attention. For the speaker the faces that she sees are important, since they reminds her to faces that she had already seen. It means that through the faces that she sees, she can remind the hippie movement, and it is the same that seeing again the hippies that she met in this epoch.

And finally the last stanza, which makes the difference since there is a line alteration; the lines 19 and 20 were written in catactelic trimeter, as the same way that we miss a syllable at the end of the line, the speaker also misses someone. The author miss people who she met in the hippie movement, according to her a wonderful period, so wonderful as to create a poem about it. And here again a consonance repetition: ‘crystallise’ /ˈkrɪstəlaɪz/ and ‘recognise’/ˈrɛkəgnaɪz/ (l. 21). These words also create a dactylic rhythm. It must be highlighted the verb ‘recognise’ (l. 21) which is related with the title, so basically it finishes with the key of the poem: She tries to recognise people from the hippie movement, a minimum detail like an ‘Aran jumper’ (l. 9) makes the speaker think that maybe she knows this person, maybe this person is someone who she met during the hippie movement but a bit older. Now both are older.

To sum up, Kate Clanchy uses many variations in her poem to show that life also varies, as the same way that her lines change, the world changes too. People that she met are not already here, and she expresses her sadness due to the falling lines. She actually wanted to say that now it is time to remember who are not with us, now we only can see them in our ‘blue eyes’ (l. 21)

Word count: 1650 (excluding footnotes and bibliography)


Clanchy, Kate, ‘Recognition’, in 18EAA104 Analysing Poetry: Coursework Assignment 1 (Loughborough: Loughborough University, 2018), p. 4.

Rawson, Claude, The Cambridge companion to English poets (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011)

Shelley Tucker, Writing Poetry, (California: Culver City, 2001), p. 119, , [accessed 13 November 2018]

Turne, M. J., The Study of the English Literature (Canada: Ardmore Publishing, 1998)

Working Scholars, ‘Iambi Tetrameter: Definition & Examples – Video & Lesson Transcript’, (revised 20103 – 2018) [13 November 2018]

Working Scholars, ‘Triplet in Poetry: Examples & Concept – Video & Lesson Transcript’, (revised 20103 – 2018) [13 November 2018]

[1] M. J. Turne, The Study of the English Literature (Canada: Ardmore Publishing, 1998), p. 89.

[2] Shelley Tucker, Writing Poetry,(California: Culver City, 2001), pp. 119, , [accessed 13 November  2018]

[3] Working Scholars, ‘Triplet in Poetry: Examples & Concept – Video & Lesson Transcript’, (revised 20103 – 2018)> [13 November 2018]

[4] Working Scholars, ‘Iambi Tetrameter: Definition & Examples – Video & Lesson Transcript’, (revised 20103 – 2018) [13 November 2018]

[5]Claude Rawson, The Cambridge companion to English poets (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), p. 81.

Standardization of Polyherbal Formulations for Drug Analysis

Standardization of polyherbal formulations is essential in order to assess the quality of drugs, based on the concentration of their active principles (markers or standards). As Mentat tablet (MT), a herbal formulation consist of natural multi-ingredient formula with active constituents responsible for treatment of neurological disorder and improvement of mental health, therefore it is worthwhile to take it as a model for standardization of polyherbal formulation. In this work, an ultra-performance liquid chromatography electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry method has been developed and validated for simultaneous quantification of 28 major bioactive constituents. Multiple-reaction monitoring scanning was employed for quantification in positive and negative mode. The analysis was accomplished on Waters AQUITY UPLC BEH C18 column with linear gradient elution of acetonitrile 0.1% formic acid with water 0.1% formic acid solutions at a flow rate of 0.3 mL/min. The comparative analysis of samples was carried out by hierarchical cluster analysis and principle component analysis. The proposed method was applied to analyze 4 different batches of marketed formulation with acceptable linearity (r2, 0.9984-0.9999), precision, stability and recovery (RSD ≤ 3.74 %), evaluated under optimum conditions. The developed method is capable of controlling quality of polyherbal formulations having similar markers and herbs.

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Herbal medicines (HMs) refer to one herb or complex mixtures, which usually contains hundreds of chemically different components. Their curative effects are principally based on the synergic effect of their multi-targeting and multi-ingredient preparations [1, 2]. Consequently, quality control becomes a troublesome issue for crude drugs and their medical preparations. Therefore, the method that employs pharmacologically active components to evaluate the quality and authenticity of the complex preparations is confronted with severe challenges and better analytical strategies to assure their efficacy, safety, and consistency are in great demand [3].
Moreover, the chemical compounds in the poly herbs in HMs products may vary depending on harvest seasons, plant origins, drying processes and other factors. Thus, it seems to be necessary to determine most of the phytochemical constituents of herbal products in order to ensure the reliability and repeatability of pharmacological and clinical research, to perceive their bioactivities and eventual side effects of active compounds and to enhance product quality control [4, 5].
Currently, selection of a single or a few specific components from a certain herbal medicine as markers for quality assessment is a widely applied strategy. However, it cannot afford sufficient quantitative information for the other medicinal compositions and cannot accurately reflect the quality of HMs products. All the HMs compositions play important roles in the therapeutic effects. Therefore, selecting multiple constituents from different medicinal herbs as evaluation markers has been gradually applied for the quality control of HMs [6, 7].
Mentat tablets (MT, commercial product) is a polyherbal medication with each tablet composed of extracts (136 mg of Bacopa monnieri, 70 mg of Centella asiatica, 52 mg of Withania somnifera, 52 mg of Evolvulus alsinoides, 52 mg of Nardostachys jatamansi, 50 mg of Valeriana wallichii, 50 mg of Embelica ribes, 50 mg of Prunus amygdalus, 42 mg of Acorus calamus, 36 mg of Tinospora cordifolia, 36 mg of Terminalia chebula, 36 mg of Emblica officinalis, 32 mg of Oroxylum indicum, 32 mg of Celastrus paniculatus) and powders (80 mg of Bacopa monnieri, 18 mg of Withania somnifera, 18 mg of Mucuna pruriens, 18 mg of Elettaria cardamomum, 18 mg of Terminalia arjuna, 18 mg of Anethum sowa, 18 mg of Ipomoea digitata, 14 mg of Zingiber officinale, 14 mg of Terminalia belerica, 14 mg of Myristica fragrans, 10 mg of Syzygium aromaticum). MT is a unique all-natural multi-ingredient formula that promotes brain health. It improves the mental quotient, memory span, concentration ability, stress threshold and exhibit significant anti-parkinsonian activity. MT also offers protection against convulsions, which is beneficial in insomnia with its sedative and tranquilizing effects [8-10]. There are various pharmaceutical manufacturers that produce herbal formulations with similar herbs combinations to treat various neurological disorders. Chemically, bacosides the saponin mixture of Bacopa monnieri and triterpenoid glycosides in Centella asiatica have been considered as the key active components. [11-14]. Phytochemical investigations show important classes of bioactive constituents in selected plants as in combination of MT that are responsible for the bioactivity [15-20].
Literature survey reveals that, analytical methods including thin layer chromatography (TLC) [21], high performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC) [22, 23], liquid chromatography (LC) [6, 24, 25], liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (LC-MS) [26-29], nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) [30] have been developed for the quantitative analysis of the bioactive constituents in HMs to assess the quality of the complex preparations. Natural alteration in preparation processes and climate affects the safety and batch-to-batch uniformity of HMs products. Highly sensitive analytical methods are thus required to identify ingredients and evaluate lot-to-lot consistence.
To the best of our knowledge, there is no method have been reported for the simultaneous estimation of selected 28 multi-markers in herbals by UPLC-ESI-MS/MSand no such formulation approach has been explored on this important drug combination for quality consistency evaluation of this herbal preparation. Compared to conventional TLC, HPTLC, HPLC–UV method which will take a longer analysis time, UPLC-ESI-MS/MS method in multiple reaction monitoring (MRM), tandem MS scan mode offers detection effectively with more powerful approach, to rapidly quantify multi-ingredients in complex sample matrices due to its rapid separation power, low detection limit, high sensitivity, selectivity and specificity.
The methods used or reported in literature only contained one or two compounds, without consideration of other active ingredients. This paper describes for the first time a simple, accurate and reliable UPLC-ESI-MS/MS method for the simultaneous determination of 28 bioactive multiple components from different polyherbs including: bacoside A (mixture of bacoside A3, bacopaside II, bacopaside X and bacopasaponin C), withanolide-A, withaferin-A, asiaticoside, madecassoside, jatrorrhizine, palmatine, magnoflorine, curcumin, gallic acid, protocatechuic acid, ferulic acid, caffeic acid, ellagic acid, rosamarinic acid, ursolic acid, catechin, apigenin, luteolin, quercetin, rutin, kaempferol-3-O-rutinoside, corilagin, chrysin and chlorogenic acid with single runtime of 10 min.
The results indicated that the developed method is fast, sensitive and convenient to show the real quality of the polyherbal preparations. Therefore, this proposed method could be reliable and feasible for quality assessment of MT and all other herbal formulations manufactured by various pharmaceutical manufacturers with similar herbs combinations containing either these 28 markers or less. The method was also applied to analyze the multiple components in MT different batches from same manufacturer. Our results will facilitate the comprehensive quality control of MT and other similar related preparations. The quantitative results were further analyzed by multivariate statistical analysis i.e., hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) and principle component analysis (PCA) to provide more information about the chemical differences and batch-to-batch uniformity.

Training Needs Analysis (TNA) Cycle

Training Needs Analysis (TNA) is the first stage in the systemic training cycle and is also a process the training and human capital professionals undertake to identify any gaps in employee knowledge. The systemic training cycle comprises of the following stages: training design, training delivery, and evaluation). The basic of a basic structure for a modern effective and socially responsible training and development policy is the assessment of the gaps that exist between what the employee actually has and what they require in terms of skills, knowledge and attitudes in term of process. However, the nature and purpose of a TNA can have different meaning and perspectives depending upon the various people and organizations in the process, resulting in misunderstanding about expectations and what can be achieved.

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Boy dell (1976); one of the earliest writers about TNA, proposed a systematic approach to training needs that had its origins in analyzing requirement through a method based on organizational objectives. It is important that a training policy must provide the basic system and management guide for the people who are involved with the process of designing and developing training manuals within the organization-for example whether manuals must contain the training policy; whether manuals are course-specific or job-specific or departmental specific; who is responsible for designing and whether the media formats of manuals are printed, online, etc Boydell (1976, P.4) stated that ” A training need exits when the application of systematic training will serve to overcome a particular weakness. ” He also argued that,” The identification of training need must therefore be resolved before training itself can be usefully undertaken.”
A TNA is an effective way to identify any gap between the skills a business need and those that employees have. It involves gathering information to locate areas where employees could improve the performance, Employee surveys, management observations, customer comment, company meeting and inspection can be utilized to collect this information, A TNA can assist in clarifying the objectives in training staff and this is invaluable for ensuring that money is spent on training that will enhance that achievement of the business objectives.
Bartram and Gibson (1994) stated that, “Analyzing training needs provides a focus and direction for investment on organization has to make in its people.”Similarly, Bee and Bee (2003) asserted that business to close any performance gap.
To carry out a TNA, you need to:

Analyze your business goals and skills to meet these goals.
Determine whether you are changing your products or business processes and what information or training employees will need to be effective in their job.
Evaluate who you want to train and how best to reach them
Establish how staff will best accept and integrate training and their preferred learning method
Evaluate the training in place and decide what your company can and cannot provide in the way of in house training funding and time.
Assess which consultants or training provides can fill these gaps.
Take a decision on which type of training fits your needs best.

Two political considerations influence TNAs were noted by Read (1994) They are: establishing who has ownership of the TNA will indicate whether the finding are ignored or implemented and the person who actually pas for it will indicate the real client, who is normally senior management. However, this systematic approach to TNA inclines to concentrate largely on organizational perspectives. Reid and Barrington (1999) recognized these perspectives, but asserted that these needs can occasionally conflict, e.g. long-term development for an individual and lack of promotion chances may be at variance with each other.
It is important to assess kills gaps at all leers of the business. Learning and development are on-going and pro-active (Sloman, 2003). They should not have to wait for business needs and training objectives to be set before embarking on a program. Thus, individuals need to be more responsible for their own learning, rather than waiting for the organization to guide them. Seeking employee input can be particularly revealing as they are ore likely to experience the daily problems that arises when there is a skills gap. This makes them well placed to identify the skills and training they need in order to improve performance.
The Meaning of TNA for Different Groups
Potential conflicts between the organization managers and recipients about the ownership and purpose of TNA are unhelpful and counter-productive. Research was conducted among three separate groups to examine their understanding of TNA and identify similarities and differences, in order to help in resolving some of the misunderstandings.
Passenger transport managers who had been recently queried about training needs;
Training managers from other organizations and responsibility from TNA, and
Training consultants who work independently and who predominantly design and deliver training based prior TNA investigations.
Data collection involved the distribution of the different questionnaires about the purpose and process of conducting TNA to the three groups above. Most of the questions were similar across the groups with additional ones being directed to specific groups depending upon their background. Following u are individual interviews involving each of the groups.
The facts were then studied using grounded theory (a method which involves developing a theory derived from the themes emerging from the data). It can be gathered form the table that there are both commonalities and some noticeable differences expressed that business needs were a dominant focus for all groups and that this should be constantly considered throughout the systematic training cycle.
Conclusions and Recommendations
The analysis revealed a number of findings to which recommendations have been made:
Business needs emerged as the main focus of training needs analysis. These business need should be clearly communicated.
From an individual perspective, the person may wish to learn different knowledge, skills, and attitudes atc, than those prescribed by the organization. It may be advisable to consider both sets of needs.
The various people involved with the TNA process should be aware of their part in the whole process. This should involve clear communication about its purpose, the process and decisions about training will be made.
Personnel involving with TNA should be aware of the expectations arising from those who are on the receiving end of the investigation. Often, genuine concerns were raised which were ignored because there are more important priorities, but if so, this should be communicated sensitively.
A clear and transparent process will enhance trust in the process and the organization. It will also encourage those in human resource and other management positions to create a more democratic process.
Defining Training
According to Nadler (1984):

Training is the organizational activity which aims to improve an employee’s performance.
Education consists of activities designed to prepare employees for future jobs.
Development is those learning activities designed to help the individual employee grow but which are not confined to a particular job.

Nearly all companies provide training for their employees but there is a great variation in the amount of educational and developmental activities organized by firms. Training maybe defined as the attempt by an organization to change employees through the learning process so that they are able to execute their jobs as efficiently as possible. Training programmes must be designed to maximize learning. Training may or may not be conducted in a classroom. Learning can take place in a variety of situation, none of which requires a classroom.
The Benefits of Training
In general, the benefits of training outweigh its costs, even when those positive outcome cannot be evaluated in financial terms. Robert Steinbach (2004) says, “Inadequate training leads to poor performance, angry customers and high turnover – exactly the kind of problems that keep supervisors too busy to focus or training. Talk about a vicious circle!”
The advantages of effective training include:

Training increases workers’ productivity
Training increases workers’ job satisfaction
Training keeps workers’ skills and knowledge up-to-date
Training helps to motivate workers

Training helps to increase worker productivity by improving their ability to do their current job. Learning organizations take proactive steps to retain employees’ knowledge within the organization. Training is a major financial investment for the employer and reasonable returns are expected. A systemic approach to training is the best way to ensure effective training. The steps to be followed in organizing a training programme are listed below:

Identify Training Needs
Set training Objectives
Design the Training Programme
Implement the Training Programme
Evaluate the Training Programme

Before organizing a training programme, a training needs analysis should be carried out. Timothy Ho Ha Yin (2003) describe a training needs as “the gap between an actual situation and the desired situation. ‘Situation’ may refer to job performance, knowledge, skills, behavior or attitudes.” In other word, gap analysis indentifies the difference between what is actually happening and what was planned to happen.
The training needs assessment is best conducted upfront, before training solutions are budgeted, designed and delivered. The output of the needs analysis will be a document that specifies why, why, what, who, when, where and how.
The document should contain the following questions:

Why do people need the training?
What skills need imparting?
Who needs the training?
When will they need the new skills?
Where may the training be conducted?
How may the new skills be imparted?

Thus training is needed when:

Individual workers are facing difficulties in performing their jobs satisfactorily.
New workers are hired.
New technology and procedures are introduced.
Individuals are transferred or promoted.
A major change such as a merger takes place.

In clarifying the purpose of the Training Needs Analysis (TNA), the following should be considered:

At the organization level?
At the project level for a specific project? or
At the department level for specific employees?

Your answers to these questions will decide:

Who will conduct the Training Needs Analysis (TNA)
How the Training Needs Analysis (TNA) will be conducted and
What data sources will be used

To carry out an analysis of the employee’s training needs, certain steps should be followed:

Identify a performance problem
Decide whether the problem is serious enough to justify action
Identify the cause of the problem
Produce alternative solutions to the problem
Choose the best solution and implement

Training Needs Analysis (TNA) must be carried out continuously as there is no short-cut to effective training and those involved in indentifying needs may:

Require supervisors to prepare a report on the training needs of each and every worker reporting to them, especially new staff undergoing probation.
Require all workers to periodically assess their own knowledge and skills and apply to attend training in areas in which they are weak.
Require workers to evaluate the strengths and weakness of supervisors, so that appropriate training can be organized for and supervisors who are unable to effectively manage their sections well.

The focus of these involved in organizing training must be the needs of the employees and the organization. To ensure only, relevant programmes are offered, some organizations utilize a competency approach whereby a careful analysis is conducted of each job grouping in the organization to identify the competencies heeded by employees at various levels in the job concerned. An example is shown below:
Set Training Objectives
As the main aim of training is to improve employees’ abilities and performance on the job, hence clear and specific objectives for each programme must be tabled. The objectives should be quantified as measurable objectives which are crucial in the evaluating process. They also act as a guideline to the trainee as what is expected of him/her. As Mager (1984) says “If you know where you are going, you have a better chance of getting there.” An ideal training programme objective comprises of three parts and includes a statement of:

Terminal behavior
Standards to be achieved
Conditions of performance

Training Needs Analysis Method
Employee Performance Appraisal
During the final part of the performance appraisal discussion, each worker’s manager discusses training and development needs. In general, the manager constructs an employee Performance Development Plan in collaboration with the employee being appraised. The Plan takes into consideration:

the organization’s strategies and plans
agreed employee goals and targets
the employee’s performance results
the employee’s role description
feedback from internal/external customers and stakeholders, and
the employee’s state career aspirations

Improvement Project
To carry out this successfully, the performance consultant needs to be familiar in process improvement methods and employee motivation theory and practice. Examples of improvement projects include planned and structured attempts to decrease the incidence of product defects, increase sales volume and reduce the number of customer complaints. The causes of underperformance needs to be determined through a series of structured questions. Possible causes and solutions are discussed and training solutions identified, where appropriate. When training is identified as suitable solution, we recommend a training needs analysis questionnaire (with the suitable stakeholders) which will give you the information needed to the program design phase.
An effective Training Needs Analysis questionnaire worksheet will cover at least the following areas:
Training Needs Analysis Context:

Project Sponsor
Reason for Request
Participant Roles
Organizational Objectives
Training Program Objectives
Target Population
Number of Participants
Current Job Experience
Current Performance vs Expected Performance
Language/Cultural Differences
Anticipated Attitudes
Task Description
Task Description
Performance Criteria
Underpinning Knowledge

Constructing a Training Calendar
The main objective of this tool is to ensure that it needs to be tailored for your specific organization’s real needs as many managers are not skilled in identifying which of their problems can be solved by training and which cannot. Make sure you engage in constructive communication about what their real problems are and which of them can be addressed through training. Consult your management team by studying which of the following areas required to be included in your training calendar:

management, leadership and supervision skills
soft skills, such as communication and conflict resolution
environment, health and safety
human resource processes, such as performance management
business skills, such as strategy, planning and process improvement
technical line and staff skills such as telephone etiquette and inventory management

Data Sources
In conducting a Training Needs Analysis (TNA), a number of factors have to be considered before selecting which data sources. These factors include:

the amount of time you have available
the human resources you have available
the level of accuracy you require
the reliability of each data source
the accessibility of each data source

The data sources that you have available may include:

interviews/surveys with supervisors/managers
interview/surveys with employees
employee performance appraisal documents
organization’s strategic planning documents
organization/department operational plans
organization/department key performance indicators
customer complaints
critical incidents
product/service quality data

Techniques for Determining Specific Training Needs
A number of practical methods can be used to gather data about employees’ performance. None of these methods can stand alone. Always use at least two. One of those that should be chosen should always be observation.
Job Descriptions
The Difficulty Analysis
Problem Solving Conference
Appraisal Reviews
Drive Pattern Identity
Analysis of organizational Policy
Whatever the method used to identify training needs, at least the following three points must be kept in view:

These methods should be used in combination, that is, there should be no dependence on only one method.
They may be used to identify training needs of each of the various groups of employees.
They should be applied to individual employees since training needs vary with each employee.

Sales Staff Training Needs Analysis
Telecoms Malaysia, a major telecommunication provider, is hiring sales staff for its business. The skills included are important in our sales representatives who are dealing with customers directly, Thank you for your time completing this analysis. At Telecoms Malaysia we are examining our human resources needs and exploring what can be done to provide our employees with the resources and materials you need in order to do your job most effectively. Building sales competencies will be a critical strategy for growth and planning. Thank you for your time and energy in making Telecoms Malaysia the best it can be.
In the questionnaire below, place a check mark in the column that reflects your current level of skill or ability for each skill listed. Rank your skills on a sliding scale, with 1 being poor or beginner-level skills and 5 being strong skills or more advanced experience in that area. Your responses will help us determine your current skill set, so we can plan the most effective training program to help you excel at your job.
How to Use this Training Needs Analysis Questionnaire
Whenever you’re conducting a training needs analysis, you’re looking to evaluate the current skills of your staff so you can figure out what areas they need the most training in. Having a proper training plan in place means that workers can work more productively and efficiently, because they’ll have the skills they need to get the job done right.
After distributing a training needs analysis questionnaire like the one above, you have to analyze the results.
The first step of doing that is deciding which of the skills listed are the most important to your business. Mark them or highlight them. Then look at those most important skills and see which of them has the lowest ranking based on employee feedback (the most 1s and 2s for example). These should be your priority areas for employee training. They’re the weakest skill sets in the most important areas for your company.
Once you’ve taken care of training in those areas, you can decide if the questionnaire results show training in other, less important, areas is also worth pursuing.

Opto-Electronics for Communications: Spectrum Analysis

This experiment studies the wavelengths of the colours in the spectrum of a light source. I will measure the angle at which colour splits. I will carry out this experiment with three different light sources:

Laser Diode

Light Source Spectrum
The electromagnetic spectrum describes all the wavelengths. It ranges from the smallest waves possible, radio waves to the largest waves, Gamma radiation. All different size waveforms have different uses.




Radiation type

Typical use




Radio waves

Television signals


Cooking, mobile phones


Optical fibre communication

Visible light



Detecting forged bank notes


Medical images of bones




Gamma radiation

Killing cancer cells

The only Electromagnetic waves we can see are Visible Light Waves. We see visible light waves as colours of the rainbow. Each different colour has its own wavelength different to the others. The longest wavelength is Red, with the shortest wavelength being Violet. The combination of all the light wave colours makes white light.
We can see each colour of the Visible light spectrum by shining a white light through a prism. By diffraction, the white light splits apart into different colours of visible light. Water vapour can carry out the same effect of diffraction, and the result is a rainbow.

A diffraction grating is a slide with a number of parallel slits drawn on it. The slits are very small, usually 600 per 1mm. When a beam of light is directed at the grating, light will diffract of it and the light is dispersed in certain directions only. This is commonly used to separate colours of the incident light because the diffracted light has different angles according to:

All equipment used for this experiment was taken from the ‘PASCO Educational Spectrophotometer Accessory Kit’

Rotary Motion Sensor
Aperture Bracket
Light Source
PASCO data acquisition software
High Sensitivity Light Sensor

Equipment Setup

Set up the Spectrophotometer next to your chosen light source as shown in Figure 2.
Mask the light source with Collimating Slits so it transmits a thin 0.5 to 1.0 cm beam. A hood should be used over the light source to remove any distortion in the experiment results.
Align the light source. Turn on the light source and align the light beam by adjusting the Collimating Slits, Collimating Lens and Focusing Lens so a clear image of the central ray appear on the light sensor.
Connect the Light Sensor and Rotary Motion Sensor to channels A and B of the PASCO computer interface.

Software Setup

Open the PASCO data acquisition software.
Connect Digital channels 1 and 2 to the Rotary Motion Sensor. Connect Analog Channel A to the Light Sensor.
Set up parameters for the Rotary Motion Sensor. A sample rate of 20 Hz with a high resolution of 1440 Divisions per Rotation.
Use the PASCO software’s calculator function to calculate the Actual Angular Position based on the Angular Position measurement made by the Rotary Motion Sensor. The measured Angular Position should be divided by 2Ï€.

Data Recording Setup

In the PASCO data acquisition software, select the graph mode.
Select the vertical axis as Light Intensity, and Horizontal axis as Actual Angular Position.
Turn off the lights in the laboratory to ensure the results are as accurate as possible and no background light interferes.
On the top of the light sensor select the appropriate gain setting. Different light sources will require different settings.
Select “Start Recording Data”
Turn the light sensor slowly in one complete circle. This will scan through the first order spectrum lines and data will be recorded in the PASCO data acquisition software.
Select “Stop Recording Data”

Data Analysis Setup
The size of the wavelength can be calculated by analysing the results of the experiments and using the gratings equation. By using a visible light spectrum, we can determine what colour the light is from the size of the calculated waveform.
— Wavelength

Measure the two peaks, R1and R2

Use the visible light wavelength spectrum below to find out what the wavelegth is

Tungsten Light Source
Dating back to the 1800’s, Tungsten light sources are the oldest and most tested light source invented. They first became commercialised by Thomas Edison at the end of the century, leading on to the first light fittings, named after Edison himself. The Edison Screw or ES.
A Tungsten filament is the key element to a Tungsten light source. Light is emitted from the filament when it is heated. The filament is heated by passing current through it. This is possible because of the high amount of current passing through such a small conductor. Inert gas such as Argon usually surrounds the conductor to ensure that it does not ignite. 95% of the energy from a Tungsten light source is wasted in the form of heat. Only 5% of the energy is actually used in the form of visible light. This makes it a very inefficient light source.

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Being a blackbody radiator, a Tungsten light source has a continuous spectrum of light. It generates a high amount of red light compared to natural day light, which gives it the yellow tint. Beyond the visible light spectrum a Tungsten light source even emits infrared wavelengths. This is a waste of energy as it cannot be seen by the human eye.
On the next page are the results from the PASCO data acquisition software whilst carrying out the experiment procedure using a Tungsten light source. The light sensor was set to have a gain setting of 100 because of the large spectrum that the wavelength covers.
Peak to peak wavelength:

Infrared Waveform
Trough to trough:

Ultraviolet Waveform
My experiment results show that the Tungsten light source is emitting wavelengths in the range of 317.88 to 895.14nm. The Tungsten light source is a warm white light as well as Infrared and Ultraviolet light.
LED Light Source
A LED or Light Emitting Diode is a semiconductor that gives out light when current is passed through it. It is a much more efficient method of emitting light compared to more conventional light sources such as Incandescent lights or Fluorescent lights because less heat is generated, resulting in less heat loss.
As well as being more energy efficient compared to Incandescent light sources, LED light sources have a much longer operational time. At the end of an Incandescent lights life the filament will burn out, resulting in the bulb not emitting light. A LED light source after 50,000 hours of use will start to become dimmer and emit less light. The result of this is a light source that lasts a lot longer.
The first commercial LED light sources developed were by Hewlett Packard in 1968 to replace indicator lamps. At this time, only LEDs emitting red light were available. Only later on in 1994 were LEDs that emitted blue light first demonstrated by Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano, who went on to be awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in physics for their discovery. With the invention of blue coloured LEDs, the invention of white LEDs became apparent. The white LED is a combination of LEDs that emit red, green and blue light. This then led to the LED light source revolution we currently live within.
The working principle behind a LED is what is called a ‘P-N Junction’. A P-N junction will convert electric current into visible light. This is often called electroluminescence.



Wavelength (nm)

Typical Material Used


> 760

Gallium arsenide


610 to 760

Aluminium gallium arsenide


590 to 610

Gallium arsenide phosphide


570 to 590

Gallium arsenide phosphide


500 to 570

Gallium phosphide


450 to 500

Zinc selenide


400 to 450

Indium gallium nitride


Indium gallium nitride


Broad Spectrum

Cool white is a blue LED combined with a yellow phosphor.
Warm white is a blue LED combined with a orange phosphor.

Table 1: Wavelengths of each colour LED
Above is a table outlining the individual wavelengths for each colour that is produced by Light Emitting Diodes.
The most common type of LED light source shines line in a single direction. The result of this is a light bulb that only lights up a small area. To correct this problem for use as light sources to light up areas and not as indication lights, most LED light sources are coupled with reflective plates that distribute the light evenly around the room.
On the next page are the results from the PASCO data acquisition software whilst carrying out the experiment procedure using a LED light source. The light sensor was set to have a gain setting of 100 because of the large spectrum that the wavelength covers.

Peak 1
Peak to peak wavelength:

Yellow Waveform
Trough to trough:

Green Waveform
Peak 2
Peak to peak wavelength:

Blue Waveform
Trough to trough:

Blue Waveform
My experiment results show that the LED light source is emitting visible light in the ranges of 388 to 473nm and 514 to 583nm. The LED is emitting a combination of yellow and blue to create a cool white colour.
White LED
By combining yellow and blue waveforms, a cool white colour is formed. This is carried out by lining a blue LED with yellow phosphor. Both yellow and blue photons are emitted. This method of creating white light is much more effective than the more conventional LED RGB method of combining red, green and blue waveforms. This effect was discovered by Sir Isaac Newton in the early 1700’s when he was performing colour matching experiments.
The colour temperature of the white LED light source is controlled by the thickness of the yellow phosphor that is coated onto the blue LED. Over time, the yellow phosphor will degrade and so the colour characteristics of the LED light source will change. Operating at high temperatures can accelerate this.
Laser Light Source
Laser is an acronym of “Light amplification by simulated emission of radiation”. A laser light source emits light when electrons in the atoms of gases become excited by absorbing energy from electrical current. Electrons travel from the lower energy point to the higher energy point around the atoms nucleus. When they travel back from the higher point to their resting state the electrons emit visible light.
The wavelength of the photons emitted are constant and coherent, unlike ordinary visible light from other light sources. This means that only one wavelength of light is emitted from a laser light source, resulting in only one specific colour. Also because of this, the light is not diffused like a conventional light source. The light emitted is a very tight beam. The result of this is a beam of light that can travel much further than other light sources.
By harvesting the narrow powerful light, laser light sources have various applications such as:

Entertainment – Laser light shows are created by bouncing different lasers into each other to create special effects
Computing – Lasers can be used as a form of communication due to the high speed of light. The most common application is fibre optics.
Production – Due to the high amount of energy concentrated in a laser light source, they can be used in production to cut a range of materials.

Optical Fibre Communications
Information in the form of coded light of infrared signals are carry across Optical Fibres. The information carried across Optical Fibres can be much more than an ordinary copper data cable of the same diameter. An optical fibre is a very thin shard of glass. Next to no light is absorbed by the glass. Light is carried from one end to the other by total internal reflection (TIR), even when the fibre is bent. The signals in optical fibres do not weaken as much over long distances as the signals in ordinary cables.
The laser diode that is used for optical fibre communications is typically either 850nm, 1300nm or 1550nm. This means that the waveform used is in the infrared field of the electromagnetic spectrum. We use infrared because the attenuation if the fibre is less at infrared wavelengths.
On the next page are the results from the PASCO data acquisition software whilst carrying out the experiment procedure using a LED light source. The light sensor was set to have a gain setting of 10 because of the small spectrum that the wavelength covers.

Peak to peak wavelength:

Red Waveform
Trough to trough:

Red Waveform
My experiment results show that the laser light source is emitting visible light in the range of 624 to 690nm. The laser is emitting a red light.
The overall results of the spectrum experiment look unique to each other. All three light sources have different spectra to each other. The Tungsten light source has a wide range across the spectrum covering all the visible colours, as well as ultraviolet light to infrared. The LED light source has a much smaller range across the spectrum compared to the Tungsten light source by only emitting waveforms that combine colours to create a cool white effect. The Laser light source had the smallest range on the visible light spectrum, only covering the colour red. This light source is much more concentrated on one area of the spectrum compared to the other light sources.

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From the results, I can see why each type of light source is used for its applications. Tungsten light sources cover all colours within the visible light spectrum, and so they are good for illuminating objects, in the form of a light bulb. LED light sources only cover specific colours within the visible light spectrum, and so they are good for indication lamps and signals. Laser light sources only cover one area of the light spectrum and therefor used for communications.
Laser diode light sources are the key piece of equipment for optical communications because of the small wavelength that they emit. This small wavelength can be interpreted as data signals and used as optical communications.
The overall results of this experiment where great. The result were exactly how I predicted them to be. If I could change anything about the experiment, it would be the Tungsten light source. I would use a larger light source as the Tungsten light source used was not very effective during the experiment.

Dr Yongkang Gong

University of South Wales Lecturer

For teaching me about light waves

Christopher Edwards
Alex Houston
Daniel Price

University of South Wales Students

For taking part in this series of experiments.

BBC. (n.d.). Introduction to light waves. Retrieved from BBC Bite Size.
Lighting Research Centre. (n.d.). How is white light made with LEDs? Retrieved from
NASA. (n.d.). What Wavelength Goes With a Color? Retrieved from
PASCO. (n.d.). Educational Spectrophotometer Accessory Kit and System.
Photon Start. (n.d.). How LEDs Produce White Light. Retrieved from
Physics Education. (n.d.). What is electromagnetic radiation? Retrieved from
Physics Forums. (n.d.). LED light diffraction . Retrieved from
Science World. (n.d.). Retrieved from Wolfram:
Snell’s Law Explained. (n.d.). Retrieved from Hyper Physics:
The Law of Refraction. (n.d.). Retrieved from Math Fundimentals:
TIR. (n.d.). Retrieved from Physics Class Room:
X-Rite. (n.d.). What is a spectrophotometer? Retrieved from

Shafer-Landau Ethical Theory Summary and Analysis

Brody Kent 
In this section, Shafer-Landau seeks to draw attention to a major flaw which he finds to exist in subjectivism through its incompatibility with an individual’s tendency to question his or her own moral values (p. 296).
To begin his argument, Shafer-Landau states that if subjectivism is correct, whatever is “right” is what he, Schafer-Landau, “approves of.” According to Shafer-Landau, this is because, under the subjectivist model of ethics, a person’s own values are the “ultimate authority” in determining what is morally right and what is morally wrong (p. 296).
In Shafer-Landau’s view, however, this use of personal values as the predominant ethical authority does not make sense, as it does not account for instances where a person may be undecided as to the value of their beliefs (p. 296). Arguing to this end, Shafer-Landau claims that he, himself, has personally experienced circumstances where he has been drawn to question his values and their supporting justifications (p. 296). According to Shafer-Landau, this tendency to for an individual to question their beliefs is incompatible with the use of these beliefs as the basis of moral truth (p. 296).

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Through close analysis of this argument as it is made by Shafer-Landau, it appears that he is thereby reaching this conclusion based on one of two premises: either it is wrong to question one’s values because they represent moral fact, or it is impossible for our individual values to represent moral fact because they are founded in beliefs that may be influenced by internal debate and which may therefore change over time; in other words, these values cannot represent moral fact because they lack consistency and objectivity. To counter this argument, I will seek to show that both of these premises are false: the first, due to its inability to describe a legitimate threat to the status of individual values as moral truths, and the second due to its inability to accurately represent the nature of individual, subjective truth described by the subjectivist model.
Regarding Shafer-Landau’s first possible premise to this conclusion, it seems unsound to conclude that because a fact is questioned it cannot be a fact. Certainly, there are many ideals which we now consider to be fact that have been heavily scrutinized throughout history. As a notable example, the fact that the earth is spherical and not flat has been, and in some cases even continues to be, questioned extensively.
Further, it does not seem that the act of questioning a potential fact plays any role in determining whether or not an idea is truly factual. Consider, as an example, the many conspiracies which assert that the Buzz Aldrin and the United States did not land on the moon. Despite this argument and those counterarguments which assert that the United States did, in fact, place a shuttle on the moon, the actual fact of the matter, whatever it may be, is a fact in and of itself and is not affected in any way by this questioning. In other words, the legitimacy of a fact is independent of and cannot be affected by any acts of questioning its value or legitimacy. Therefore, if it was Schafer-Landau’s intent to argue that our tendency to question our values is incompatible with our values forming the basis of moral fact, this reasoning seems false, as it relies on a poor argument that our act of questioning a fact damages that fact’s legitimacy.
Shafer-Landau’s second possible premise for his conclusion appears to be equally flawed, as it seems to disregard some major components of the essence of subjectivist moral reasoning. According to Shafer Landau, the act of questioning the legitimacy of one’s moral values “cannot make sense, since [one’s own] approvals and disapprovals are the ultimate test of right and wrong” (p. 296). Assuming that, through this argument, Shafer-Landau intends to say that moral values are unfit to represent moral truth because they represent ideas that are subject to change under the influence of internal questioning, it appears that Shafer-Landau is overlooking a key aspect of the subjectivist ideal. According to Merriam-Webster, subjectivism is a moral doctrine which states that “individual feeling or apprehension is the ultimate criterion of the good and the right” (Subjectivism, n.d.).  From this definition, it is understood that under the subjectivist model, there are no objective moral truths; rather, the subjectivist ideal champions that each individual’s values represent subjective moral truths, which are the highest level of moral truth (Ethics Guide: Subjectivism). As a result, subjectivism does not give preference to any single moral value, but supports every individual value as ethically meaningful to that individual. And it seems that the essence of this idea can easily be expanded to the individual level used within Shafer-Landau’s argument. If all ideas between individuals are morally valuable so long as they reflect the subjective moral beliefs of that individual, it seems to follow that all differing values within an individual are morally valuable so long as they reflect that individual’s perspective, feeling, or belief at the given time.
When considered in this light, it no longer appears that the susceptibility of our subjective moral truths to change truly conflicts with the subjectivist model of morality, as Shafer-Landau may be arguing. Rather, it seems that Shafer-Landau’s argument rests on a misrepresentation of subjectivism, whereby he is arguing based on a false perception that subjectivism intends for subjective moral truths to possess the level of infallibility and rigidness held by objective moral truths. Because the kind of subjective moral truths championed by subjectivist theory are not expected to possess this level of infallibility, and are, in fact, often celebrated for their tendency to differ and change across people and cultures, Shafer-Landau’s argument for the presence of a conflict in our tendency to question our own moral perceptions while using them to determine our moral beliefs appears false if it intends to argue that this conflict is derived from the resulting susceptibility of our moral values to our own questioning.
Through his argument in this section, Shafer-Landau seeks to convey that subjectivism conflicts with the tendency of individuals to question their moral beliefs (p. 296). I have objected to this conclusion in two ways, each of which correspond to one of what I perceive to be the two most likely reasons for which Shafer-Landau believes this conflict to exist. First, I have identified that Shafer-Landau’s conclusion is unsound if it is based on the false premise that this conflict exists because of our tendency to question factual moral truths. Second, I have found this conclusion to be unsound if it is based on the premise that subjective moral truths cannot be susceptible to adaptation or change due to our questioning our own moral values.

Power Resources Theory – Analysis

Paul Pierson stated, albeit thought provoking, that “the world of affluent democracies, the welfare states is at the centre of political discussion and social conflict (2001, p. 1). In many European welfare states the recent economic downturn has led to thousands of people demonstrating against cut to social programmes, wages and pensions. There has also been demonstration and protest in Greece, Spain and Portugal nations hits particularly hard by the crisis which started happening after European banks lost billions of dollars they had invested in the US subprime mortgage market which collapsed back in 2008. Recently, in France and the United Kingdom, there has been widespread social unrest as a result of government efforts to introduce significant changes to social policy. In fact in Britain, the parliaments passage of the bills to cut government spending in education have provoked sharp conflict and mass demonstration by the students.

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Historically, the welfare states which first emerged in England was founded through voluntary contribution before the allowance system was devised and so unemployment relief was funded by involuntary contributions commonly known as taxes. At the dawn of the new era, which is often refers to as the golden age (the post world period from 1945-1975) there has been major expansion of social programmes across the world of affluent democracies. During this period, all seems well. The people to be benefited from social programmes were few and the taxpayers available to finance them are available. Therefore taxpayer’s money is enough to maintain the welfare states and thus provides significant benefit to the few in needs of social cover. As welfare programme expanded, the numbers changed. The new politics of the welfares state is to be dominated by reforms; this period often called the era of austerity began in the mid 1970s.
The welfares state, as espoused above, thrives on the taxes paid by the working class. “The welfare system is a complex of government-funded programs including pensions, health-care subsidies, transfer payments and unemployment insurance” (Manzi 2010, p. 32). According to Power Resource Theory (PRT), the generosity of the welfare state is a function of its working class (Rothstein, Samanni & Teorell, 2010). The welfare system represents the majority of government spending in most modern, advanced nation (Manzi 2010, p. 32). Closely associated with the work of Walter Korpi, the power resource theory places emphasis on comparative and quantitative studies of the relationship between social policy and labour movement (O’Connor & Olsen 1998, p. 3). It thus enables the ordering of the welfare states of Scandinavia, Western Europe and North America according to the salient characteristics and their impact on social inequality (Ibid, p. 3). This short piece will explain how the power resource theory of the welfare state explains the differences in European welfare states.
The paper is organised in four parts. The first part, which is this section, is the introduction. The second section explains the power resources theory of the welfare state. Scholars have attempted to explain the waves of reforms that have led to dramatic increase in government spending particularly from the late 1950s to the mid 1970s. This section focuses on the power resource theory device, among others, to explain this development. The third section is an examination of how the power resource theory explains the differences in the coordinated social policy of Western European countries. Beginning after the golden age, there has been a tremendous increase and improvement of the social programmes of Western European countries. These countries are today, the hallmark of European welfare states. The last section concludes the paper.
2.0 Power Resource Theory of the Welfare State
The contemporary studies of the modern welfare state came of age in the 1970s (Myles and Quadagno 2002, p. 34). Across the industrialised nations, there were outpourings of competing theoretical accounts of the origins, development, character and impacts of modern welfare states (O’Connor & Olsen 1998, p. 3). One of the major theories that stand-out during this period was the power resource theory which highlights the differences in the welfare states on the basis of certain characteristics that many of these other theories tend to ignore. “Power resource theory essentially posits that working-class mobilization is a critical determinant of the public provision of social welfare or, more specifically, the extents to which public welfare system redistribute income and labor-markets risks” (Pontusson and Kwon 2006, p. 1).
As a reaction to the dominant structural functionalist approach, associated with the work of pre eminent macro sociologist Emile Durkheim and Talcott Parsons, that the idea of welfare state follow from a functional logic of modernisation and industrialisation and that of Marxist-Leninist schools that the welfare state should be understood as a merely functional requisite for the reproduction of capitalist exploitation; the power resource theory puts forward two important issues. According to Rothstein, Samanni, and Teorell power resource scholars were “the first to point out the variation in things like coverage, extension and generosity among existing welfare states and that variation needed to be explained” (2010, p. 6-7) Second, citing (Korpi, 1974, 1983) power resource theorists introduced the important of political mobilisation based on social class as an explanation for this variation (Rothstein, Samanni, and Teorell 2010, p. 7).
“The power resource approach focuses not only on the direct but also on the indirect consequences of power, indirect consequences mediated through various alternative strategies and actions available to holder of power resources” (O’Connor and Olsen 1998, p. vii).Workers Union is argued to be the key to the ability of workers to assert their interests in politics. Therefore, “Power resource theorist maintained that without politics there was nothing compelling rich nations to commit resources to the development of a welfare state” (O’Connor and Olsen 1998, p. 7). Although recent arguments by power resource theorists are been informed by the partisan effects of the displacement of trade unions by left parties, the extents of the effectiveness of working-class mobilization has much more impact in effecting government policies. According to Myles and Quadagno (2002, p.38) power resource theory and “a plethora of later studies in this tradition (Korpi 1989; Palme 1990; Kangas 1991; among many others) supported the conclusion that major differences in welfare state spending and entitlements among the capitalist democracies could be explained by the relative success of left parties, particularly Social Democratic parties, aligned with strong trade unions in shaping the democratic class struggle”.
Essentially, power resource theory indicates that the working class union is a very important tool that effect government policies towards development of social programmes. The worker’s union are therefore seen as the driver of the extents to which social justice is grounded in the state, this union is the underpinning active actor that tends to keep the welfare state. In this sense, labour union could be argued as the most organise voice for average citizens on essential matters. They played an absolutely essential role in constructing the system of social provisions that has developed into the welfare state system. As O’Connor and Olsen (1998, p. 11) note, “the distribution of power resources between collectives or classes and the changes in this distribution are of crucial importance for societal processes and social change”. Therefore, “this approach assumes bounded rationality in the sense that actors not only attempt to do as well as they can under the structural position in which they find themselves, but also to change the structures to their long term advantage” (O’Connor and Olsen 1998, p. vii). Despite that class and class conflict constitute the central role of Marx’s work, Marxism tended to ignore or depreciate the role of workers in the creation of social programmes and largely fails to acknowledge significant variation in the growth and development of these welfare states (Ibid 1998, p. 7).
In the light of above, the strength of organise labour is an important factor towards the creation and effectiveness of a welfare state. Democratic struggles is related to the pattern of struggles between competing interest in the state, that is to say public provision of social welfare is the object of democratic class struggle. Therefore, the balance of power between the classes, particular between the employers and economically well endowed categories and employees relying primarily on labor power is a major determinant of the extent of public welfare provision and also the extent to which public welfare provision redistributes risks and income (Korpi, 2006). This is why Huber and Stephens (2001, p. 1) submit that the dominant government in the welfare state that a given country had will determine the extents of its generosity, the structure of its transfer payments, and the type and volume of services it offered. However, this is not to say that the structure of decision making in such government does not influence the development of the welfare states.
3.0 How the power resource theory explains the differences in the coordinated social policy of Western European countries.
It is inevitable to ignore the fact that the decline in social union will have consequential effect on social provisions in the welfare state. This decline or the strength of the labour unions varies from state to state within the European Union. It might be tempting to attempt at comparing the labour unions of these wealthy European states, however the fact is that the capacity of the labour union in each of these state to pressurise the government in effecting improved social programmes varies in degree. This variation is directly related to the number of labour union, since the number of organise labour will implicates government income receive from taxation. For instance, the German labour union will be stronger because of their population strength compare to that of Switzerland more so national labour unions are influenced by the ideals of the party in power. In the social-democratic welfare states for instance, the citizen criterion predominate whereas, the liberal welfare state is characterized by a strong emphasis on mean-tested programs, and the conservative welfare state is distinguish by its variety of class and status-based social insurance schemes (O’Connor & Olsen 1998, p. 13).
In this regard, the working class are instrumental to, and are the base of the welfare state thus power resource approach explains the extents of the effect of trade unions on effecting government policies. It also explains labour strength as influenced by the favorability of the nature of party in government. Therefore, the differences in the coordinated social policy of Western European countries is a consequence of the extent to which the labour unions of each of these countries can push for social programs which abinitio defines the welfare state. This is to define power as an attributes (capacity or means) of actors (individual or collectivities) which enable them to reward or punish other actors (Korpi 1998, p.42). Particularly, in this case, where power is conceived as a relational concept between the labour union and government, “the attributes of actors become power resources only among two or more interdependent actors who have at least some interests in the attribute of the other actors” (Ibid, p.42).Certainly, workers combined to fight for their rights particularly on issues which rank top of the union priority list today such as better wages, shorter hours, safe working conditions and the right to bargain collectively.
The capacity and willingness of the masses to protest has the potential to influence the nature of the welfare state. The extent to which mass protest is used as a weapon by the labour union will determine the extent to which the government will initiate social security programmes. This may be argue as something of a clash between citizenship and capitalism which has meant that social issue is increasingly overtaking the importance of market economy this 21st century. Protest doesn’t has to be violent but the people must leave their work, factories, schools, homes etc to facilitate mass protests relegating to the background such factors like business (trade) that capitalism thrives on. However, it must also be stated that mass protest is illegal in all the countries of the world. It is illegal in the sense that the people needs a permit to organize protest and laws guiding the issuance of permits varies from countries to countries even within the European Union. Although some states are more relaxed in issuing permits than the other, all in all, it is illegal to stage a rally without a permit, even with a permit, it is illegal to use a mega phone in some cases.
The changes in the population composition from largely dominated by working class to that dominated by retiree has meant increase in social and welfare payments by the state. In essence, the number of taxpaying citizen has decrease significantly over the last three decades in most, if not all Western European countries. In this light, population composition has direct effect on the nature of the labour movement. In the context of power resource theory, the composition of the population will have effects of power classes. In a situation where the population of these countries are ageing particularly those of Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, the degree at which the labour union can effectively influence social policy is significantly affected. An ageing population will create a likely situation of large number of economically well endowed and at the same time large number of retiree who will rely on pensions. Situation such as this will lead to an increase social spending and reduce tax payers.
In fact this has caused mass protests in France recently when the government increased the retirement age so as to reduce the spending on social programmes such as pension. It is part of the fallout of recent financial crisis, and moreover most of these countries are running a deficit budgets since they are spending more than they could afford to maintain the welfare state. Therefore, there is the need for these countries to cut back on social spending. This variation will create differences in the welfare state, as tax payers are going down in ageing populations, hence ageing populations in these country are creating new social risks that are not well addressed by existing social programmes.
Increasingly, therefore, social programmes reforms are been linked to austerity measures. Although, most of these countries have been seen to be cutting on social programmes, what is particularly striking is how resilience the welfare state has been after this period of austerity and protest. Espen Andersen drew attention to welfare state variable capacity to reduce people’s reliance upon the market through the provision of public alternatives which allow them to maintain a normal and socially acceptable standard of living (Korpi 1998, p. 12). Korpi seeks to explain this scenario as “decommodification or protection from the total dependent on the labour market for surviva which highlight the distinction between weak and strong welfare states (Ibid, p. 12).
4.0 Conclusion
The trend nowadays is that most of the European nations are increasingly reducing the reliance of the people on social programmes. Although, most government will agree that there is a need for government to support the people which they serve, the issue however is around the level of support that welfare state is going to provide to protect the individuals. The whole welfare model should be based on getting people that relies on the welfare state back to work and not to leave them excluded from mainstream society. The dependant of more people depends on welfare state transfers and fewer people paying taxes to support the welfare state, budget deficit ballooned and government moved to control and then reduced deficits by cutting entitlements (Huber and Stephens 2001, p. 2).
Paul Pierson (2001) has argued that the new politics of the welfare state will be dominated by reforms. This is the case now. Several of these countries are increasingly reforming the welfare state so as to meet with the reality on ground, a reality of low number of tax payers compare to the number of people that relies on the social benefits. Birth rate and life expectancy varies in these countries and this variation will create differences in the welfare state, as tax payers are going down and the populations are ageing. The welfare state is been reforming while at the same time these state are aiming to drive down their budget deficits so as to have a sustainable welfare state.

PEST and Organisational Analysis of Tesco

Portfolio 1:

Key characteristics of Tesco:

One of the many key characteristics of Tesco is that it is a Public Limited Company (PLC), which essentially means any member of the public can buy shares. Another factor to take into consideration is that it has limited liability. Moreover, this is advantageous for a large company such as Tesco because they can receive a higher influx of investors making the company more valuable/ give a more prestigious profile (increased popularity etc.). However, there also disadvantages too, such as more exposure to public scrutiny because Tesco’s financial statements are published online for anyone to see (Tutor2u, 2018).

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Additionally, another key characteristic of Tesco is the organisational structure. Due to the fact that Tesco is a large organisation; it has a tall structure. The total number of employees is over 440,000 and they have over 6,800 stores located worldwide (Tesco PLC, 2018). This leads to a long chain of command via different levels of hierarchy which is shown in the diagram below (Marked by Teachers, 2016).

Finally, the last key characteristic is that Tesco have expanded into other markets. Own brands such as Tesco Mobile and Tesco Bank have been created. Due to changes in the market, they needed to respond effectively and expand their market. Unfortunately, one disadvantage is that already existing companies such as Vodafone, Three and EE have already built up their brand reputation, whereas Tesco is a relatively new/emerging competitor within that specific market. According to the Statistisa website as of last year Vodafone (21%) and Three (12%) had a much higher market share percentage- compared to Tesco Mobile (6%) (Statista, 2018). However, the pros outweigh the cons substantially because Tesco can not only delve into new sectors and evolve more as a company, but they can also expand their customer base. In the long run, this will lead to an increased amount of profit generated overall.

PESTEL Analysis:


Tesco operates in 13 countries (Tesco, n.d.), therefore Tesco is exposed to many political factors that can affect the operations of Tesco such as tax rate. For instance, lower tax rates can either make or break a business. Lower tax rates mean more money to spend which could increase sales for Tesco. However, customers will be able to afford more expensive products that are rich in quality which could lead to losing customers to higher end supermarkets like Waitrose.

Another prevailing issue is Brexit which is currently occurring in the UK, however, the official date that the UK will no longer be part of the EU is 29th March 2019. Brexit may impact the supermarket sector negatively because a fall in the value of the pound could lead to higher food prices in the UK as the costs of imports will increase. This means that in order for Tesco to cover their increased cost(s) spent on imports they will increase the prices of their products/services.

Lastly, if there is war and/or conflict(s) in places where Tesco’s suppliers are based, then supply may be affected. Tesco has a huge customer base and serves thousands of people every day in their stores, which means huge demand for their goods/products. Moreover, conflict can cause supply demanded to decrease and may even cause production to go to a halt. It can affect investment in conflict-affiliated countries as well.


One Economical aspect are interest rates, which may affect Tesco in a negative way because business costs may increase. In turn, Tesco will need to raise prices of products to cover costs. However, this will have a negative affect because customers will go to rival supermarkets where prices are cheaper. Conversely, a decrease in interest rates will have a positive impact on Tesco because for example, machinery and the cost of borrowing will be cheaper.

Another positive impact is it will increase investment and drive investors seeking higher returns for their money. Moreover, the cost of borrowing will decrease meaning that customers have more spending money and more disposable income. In relation to Tesco, this means that customers will spend more at their stores meaning more profit.

The current inflation rate is 2.4% (RateInflation, 2018). Any fluctuation in the inflation rate can affect Tesco in both positive and negative ways. Low inflation rate can lead to disruption in business planning and lead to lower capital investment. On the other hand, high inflation rate is bad and can affect currency exchange rates which can lead to higher prices as imports of products for Tesco will be at a higher price.


Ageing population is a very important factor for Tesco to take into consideration because the population is growing. In the UK alone last year, around 18.2% of the UK population were aged 65 years or over at mid-2017, compared with 15.9% in 2007, this is projected to grow to 20.7% by 2027 (Coates, 2018). However, as the population is ‘ageing’, customers are likely to be older (as presumably healthcare will be better) so products may need to be adapted to satisfy customer needs.

Furthermore, it also includes changes/shifts in lifestyle and culture. Specifically, I will be explaining about how much the Muslim population has grown (and is predicted to grow). Due to this factor, it means that Tesco would need to increase the amount of halal food that they already provide in their stores around the world. Failure to do so can lead to Tesco losing a lot of money as Muslims are an increasing customer base. As you can see from the graph below, it shows that Muslims are predicted to be the fastest growing religion.

















Technology has massively impacted Tesco regarding reducing costs, increasing efficiency etc. Machinery such as self- scan tills can reduce the number of workers, which will reduce the number of salaries that need to be paid. Due to technology, computers/tablets are used more and more which saves time.  However, one factor that Tesco must be careful of is making sure that the company’s data is secure and safe. Furthermore, Tesco will soon be using radio frequency identification (or RFID for short). RFID automatically counts and removes stock after sales which is helpful as Tesco employees would know if something is running low on stock. Depending on popularity more can be ordered and vice versa if the products are not selling as much.

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Additionally, online shopping has had a positive impact on Tesco because customers who are busy can still order and purchase products 24/7. The customer base of Tesco will increase as customers can order from the comfort of their own home. For example, people may not be able to in-store due to childcare reasons or someone may be physically disabled making shopping in- store a difficult task.  This will increase Tesco’s market share and will allow Tesco to have an advantage over their competitors.


The environmental factor of Tesco relates to external factors such as pollution. Tesco have been heckled on numerous occasions regarding their plastic bags and bio-degradable. The bags themselves, are supposed to decompose within three years. But it also depends on where the bags are dumped because they need to be presented to warmth and daylight for particles in the plastic bag to separate quicker. Any small abandoned plastic particles could hurt winged creatures like birds etc.

Tesco, are also trying their best to increase their sources of renewable energy. Tesco has announced it will run 100 per cent on renewable electricity in the UK and Ireland this year and worldwide by 2030 (Johnston, 2017). Moreover, Tesco works with Sustainable Fisheries Partnership (SFP) which allows there to be plenty of fish while meeting the needs of their customers by providing good quality fish for a decent price (Tesco PLC, 2018). The partnership enables the fish to repopulate and makes sure that species do not become endangered.


The legal factors of Tesco concerns specific laws including the Minimum Wage Act, Health and Safety at Work Act etc. According to the Health and Safety at Work Act (introduced in 1974) employees must work in a safe environment. For example, there shouldn’t be any exposed cable wires etc. to prevent any accidents such as electrocutions.

Government policies and legislations directly impact the performance of Tesco. Failure to comply with them could risk in getting fined, or stores getting closed down- in a worst-case scenario. One example of this is that Tesco was fined £95,000 due to them breaching five of the Fire Safety Orders, later pleading guilty at Wood Green Crown Court in April 2010 (Johns, 2015). Moreover, it can leave Tesco with a negative reputation which means that they could lose customers, therefore, decreasing profit. Another example of Tesco failing to comply with the legal factors was the Tesco horsemeat scandal back in 2013 which meant that nearly £300 million was wiped off their market value according to The Guardian (Fletcher, 2013).

Business Functions:

I will now be evaluating two important business functions and how Tesco might address the issues identified within my PESTEL analysis; the two functions that I have chosen are finance and operations. Firstly, is finance which involves profit, revenue and so forth. As of February, last year Tesco made £57.5 billion in revenue and £1,298 million profit before tax (Tesco PLC, 2018) . I have chosen finance because it relates to the legal factor of my PESTEL analysis. One issue is the National Minimum Wage (NMW) Act put in place in 1998. Therefore, it is imperative that Tesco pay their employees the correct wages as well as adhering to the National Minimum Wage Act. Failure to comply could lead to Tesco getting fined and taken to court for misconduct of the law.

Finally, the second business function I have chosen is operations, which they have already been successful with as they have opened many stores worldwide in 13 countries (Tescopoly, 2018). I have decided to link operations to the environmental factor of my PESTEL analysis. One issue that could be tackled is sustainability for the future. For example, it is vitally important (in my opinion) for Tesco to focus on farming and suppliers because this is where Tesco’s fresh produce is from. Without suppliers Tesco would not survive or would have to grow their own crops which would be expensive, time-consuming and so on. Furthermore, by Tesco coming up with ways to stay more sustainable such as preventing overfishing it shows that’s Tesco wants to the operations of the company.  By ensuring that operations are run efficiently, it can lead to a better economy in the long run. This shows that they’re an ethical business via trying to reduce their negative impact on the environment. Due to this, Tesco may attract more customers leading to more profit overall.


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