Analyse The Assumptions About The Pentateuch Religion Essay

The aim of this assignment is to present as clearly as possible the Pentateuch and the assumptions about the Pentateuch. This will be done by vigorously and thoroughly challenging the first five books of the Bible. It will enable students to know the Pentateuch’s basic and theory content.
1.2.1. What is the Pentateuch? The Pentateuch (that is, a book in five parts) has been a title for the first five books (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) of the Old Testament since the second century at least. When it assumed this five-part form is not really known. Though it may always have had such a form and was formally known to Philo (c. 20 B.C. – A.D. 50) and Josephus (c. A.D. 37-100) and probably earlier, the flow of the Sinai narrative from Exodus 19 through Leviticus to Numbers 10 shows and suggests a later division. More than ever, the Pentateuch must be viewed as a single book (Sailhamer 1992:1-2).
The basic content of the Pentateuch is not legal in character; it is the story of God who saved the people of Israel. While a theological use of law, as revealing of Israel’s sin, is present throughout the Pentateuch, inspiring words about God’s gracious actions also flow through the narrative (Arnold and Beyer 1999:27).
We can see that the five books give us the historical basis of biblical faith and are fundamentally important and will always remain so (Arnold and Beyer 1999:27).
1.2.2. What is the Pentateuch about? The Pentateuch handles God’s dealings with the world and especially the family of Abraham, from creation to the death of Moses. When the proper time came and Israel cried out to God from their bondage, God heard their cry and remembered His covenant with them (Arnold and Beyer 1999:27-28).
The Pentateuch is not just a book about the historical background within which it was written or the historical background of the events recorded, it is a book of faith. It speaks about the effective Word of God whilst giving comfort and warning to us (Arnold and Beyer 1999:28).
The book starts with Genesis (Genesis 1-11, LASB), explaining to us the origin of the world and of the nations. This section describes the Creation, the fall of man, the beginnings of civilisation, the flood, the table of the nations and the tower of Babel. Then came the patriarchal period (Genesis 12-50, LASB). This period depicts the call of Abraham, the initiation of the Abrahamic covenant, the lives of Isaac, Jacob and Joseph and the settling of the covenant (Arnold and Beyer 1999:28).
Exodus explains the departure of Moses and the Israelites from Egypt and the giving of the law at Mount Sinai. Exodus consists of a variety of traditions from various periods in Israel’s life. God’s creational and historical promises are fulfilled among Jacob’s family in Egypt (Arnold and Beyer 1999:28-29).
The book of Leviticus calls the people to physical, moral purities and moral holiness. This book is devoted to describe to us that sacrifices are ordained by God that bear on the upholding of man’s relationship with God. Worship without sacrifice is inconceivable (Arnold and Beyer 1999:29).
In Numbers the Israelites have heard much from both God and Moses since reaching Sinai. Instructions, rules and exhortations have been abundant. Now is the time to break camp and move on. Three different scenes are presented in this book. First, there is a general complaining about misfortunes in the camp. God responds with a consuming fire on the borders of the camp. Second, not satisfied with an ordinary menu (manna), the people cry to God for diverse food. Third, Miriam challenges both the wisdom of Moses in the choice of a wife and the credibility of his unique relationship with God. Therefore they were doomed to wander in the desert for forty years (Arnold and Beyer 1999:29).
Deuteronomy represents a long series of laws and Moses undertook to explain this law. These public addresses were the last words Moses spoke to the people as they were preparing to enter the Promised Land (Arnold and Beyer 1999:29).
1.2.3. What are the main themes of the Pentateuch?
For me the themes of the Pentateuch are as follows:
God as Ruler
God created the world and all living creatures on it. Human beings received life from the Creator quite apart from any knowledge of its source. It demonstrates that God’s work in the world has to do with more than human beings. We can see that God’s activity in Genesis 1 involves the creation of that which is other than human; indeed God involves things like the flood and the Tower of Babel. God chooses to interact with Isaac rather than Ishmael and Jacob rather than Esau (Fretheim 1996:44-45).

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By far the greatest majority of events recorded in the Pentateuch can be seen as history. The first is the historical background within which the book was written (who wrote the book and for whom), second, the historical background of the events recorded in the book (the Garden of Eden, the Flood and Sinai wilderness). All of the above is theological truths and we as evangelicals don’t have to choose, we know the importance of all these historical events (Sailhamer 1992:3-4).
Human Beings as Sinful Creatures
The message is simple: Adam and Eve are put in the Garden of Eden to worship God and obey Him. They were there to enjoy God’s blessings, to trust Him and to be at peace. God alone knows what is good for human beings and God alone knows what is not good for them. The disobedience of Adam and Eve leads to temptation and the whole picture changes. Adam and Eve wanted to be like God, although the irony is that they were already created “like God” and in the “image of God”. So because of their sin, the perfect relationship with God was lost forever (Arnold and Beyer 1999:31).
God’s Protection
In striking contrast to God’s judgment on Adam and Eve, we can see that immediately after He judged them, God was at work: “Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21:12, LASB). God covered their nakedness because of His love and grace for them. God chooses to be our Saviour, nobody forced Him. God is the Saviour of the world and also the Saviour of the people of Israel like in the Pentateuch (Arnold and Beyer 1999:31-32).
God as Relational
God is present and active in the Pentateuch. In all of this, God has chosen not to stay distant, but to get caught up with the people of Israel. God gives the law and human beings are to be obedient, but not just because “God said so”. God gives motivations for obedience; the law is given for the sake of life, health and the flourishing of the people.
1.2. Critically evaluate the Documentary Theory and provide a defence of Mosaic authorship.
An evaluation of the Documentary Theory
The Documentary Theory was actually an attempt to take out the supernatural out of the Pentateuch and to deny its Mosaic authorship. It denies that Moses wrote the Pentateuch and instead ascribes its authorship to four or more authors (Wolf 1991:1). Jean Astruc came to believe that he could uncover the sources of the Pentateuch by using the divine names Yahweh and Elohim as a guide. He placed passages that use the name Elohim in one column (A), those that use Yahweh in another column (B) and passages with repetitions (C) and non-Israelite sources (D) in a third and fourth column. From this simple groundwork the Documentary Theory originated. Behind the Pentateuch are four source documents that came from different people, called J (Yahwist), E (Elohist), D (Deuteronomist) and P (Priestly Code) (Wolf 1991:11-14).
Wilhelm DeWette (Wolf 1991:12-13) argued that none of the Pentateuch was written before David. He said that the “D” document stood for Deuteronomy, which he believed was written during the reign of King Josiah around 621 B.C. They now had three source documents: J, E and D.
Weaknesses in the Theory
Here are just some of the weaknesses in the Document Theory:
There is no such thing as supernatural revelation. The Bible can’t be a supernatural revelation. The O.T. writers were incapable of using more than one name for God or more than one style of writing. The whole structure of source division has been applied exclusively to the Pentateuch and not to any other literature. Biblical statements are considered unreliable and suspect as archaeological evidence unless it conforms to the accepted theories. Pagan and heathen sources are automatically given preference over the Bible as historical witnesses. Hebrew literature alone cannot show any repetition or duplication by the same author. Repetition and duplication betray diverse authorship (Wolf 1991:16-19).
Accepting Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch
In Exodus the author gives eyewitness detail of every event that only Moses would know about. Moses was raised by the Egyptians and in Genesis and Exodus we read about all the Egyptian names and places. This knowledge is evident even in the style of writing used. The author used a large number of idioms and terms of speech, which is characteristically Egyptian in origin, even though translated into Hebrew (Wolf 1991:2)
First, there are many passages in Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy that point Moses as author. For instance, “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write down these words, for according to the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel” (Exodus 34:27, LASB). In fact, there are references throughout the O.T. (Joshua, 1 & 2 Kings, Ezra and Nehemiah) that claim that Moses wrote the Pentateuch. “But the children of the murderers he did not execute, according to what is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, in which the Lord commanded, saying, “Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their fathers, but a person shall be put to death for his own sin” (2 Kings 14:6, LASB) (Wolf 1991:3-4).
N.T. writers claimed that Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible. In Matthew 19:8 Jesus refers to laws regarding marriage in Deuteronomy and gives honour to Moses for writing them. For me it would be hard not to attribute either deception or error to Jesus Christ and the apostles if Moses didn’t write the Pentateuch (Wolf 1991:4).
Moses received his training in the most advanced literature culture of the day as well as having access to the Jewish oral traditions and that makes Moses a remarkable and able author for God to use in writing the journeys of the Jewish nation. We also know that Moses wanted to learn more about God and the Promised Land (Wolf 1991:2).
Where does all the above leave us then today? I think we must remember that the Documentary Theory is only a hypothesis, it has never been conclusively proven to be correct in spite of the witnesses that say otherwise. If Luke and Paul can testify that Moses had written at least three of the books, if not all of The Pentateuch, why can’t we also belief. If this becomes the accepted view, Mosaic authorship can really be entertained.
Arnold B T and Beyer B E 1999. Encountering the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Baker.
Barton B B, Beers R A and Galvin J C (eds) 1996. Life Application Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
Fretheim T E 1996. The Pentateuch. Nashville: Abingdon Press.
Sailhamer J H 1992. The Pentateuch as Narrative. A Biblical-Theological Commentary. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House.
Wolf H 1991. An Introduction to the Old Testament Pentateuch. Chicago: Moody Press.
The first thing that strikes us as readers of the Bible is the shortness with which the story of the creation of the world and man is told. The mathematics of Genesis is surprising. Only two chapters are devoted to the subject of creation and one to Adam and Eve with their sinful nature. The rest are contributed to Abraham, Jacob and Joseph. Nevertheless, we need to embark on this journey to experience God’s restoration of the human race and His faithfulness towards us.
2.1. Explain the structure of the book of Genesis. Pay attention to the development of different sections and how they point to a common purpose.
Read Genesis and be encouraged. There is hope in the book of Genesis. Genesis is a book about beginnings because it moves from the creation of the world to the ordering of families and nations to the forming of the fathers and mothers of Israel. Genesis testifies to the beginnings of God’s activity in the world. It is a new day for God too, and given the divine commitment to creation, God will never be the same again. Creation is more than chronology. If we look at the outline of Genesis, we see that it consists of two primary types of literature, narratives and genealogies. What does this mean to us? God used these things to stress His plan of bringing new lives into families. All of creation, from the least to the greatest, is shaped daily in wonderful ways by our Creator. God has a plan and that is where Genesis begins. God creates the world with power and purpose, culminating with man and woman made in His image. Before long sin entered the world and Satan was unmasked. Adam and Eve get expelled from the Garden of Eden, their first son turned a murdered and God decides to destroy everyone except Noah and his family. God’s covenant with Abraham and his descendants are shown through His salvation plan with them so that the Saviour of the world will come through this chosen nation. The stories of Isaac, Jacob and Joseph which follow are promises of God and the proof that He is faithful. The people we meet in Genesis are ordinary people, yet through them, God did great things (Archer 1988:39-42).
2.2. Compare and contrast the biblical account of creation with one of the two nonbiblical creation stories Hamilton describes.
The Enuma Elish will be compared and contrast with the biblical account of creation:
Fighting broke out among the gods when the goddess Tiamut and her group of rebel people prepared for total war against the prevailing gods and this is very different from the record in Genesis. In Genesis we do not read of such barbarity as gods fighting, nor of immortal activity and nonsense whereby two rivers flow through the eyes of a goddess. The Bible account is dignified and noble, acceptable as a record of divine activity and it speaks about the one true God who is all-powerful, able to create from nothing (Hamilton 1982:80-81).
The story actually begins with Marduk as king in the assembly of the gods, the king of the gods of heaven and earth, the king of all the gods. We have seen that Marduk was confirmed by the full assembly of gods as king forever. Again, contrast all this with the Bible record which so magnificently introduces us to God who in eternal. He does not need to be made eternal. In the Babylonian story the creation of the earth is not discussed early in the story. In the Bible the creation is discussed in the first two chapters. Genesis is a revelation by God to man and of course the Bible account allows for no polytheism or myths (Hamilton 1982:80-81).
The Bible concept of God’s purpose in creation of man is also very different. In the reign of Marduk, man is just a slave, brought into being by Marduk at the plea of the rebel gods. For them man is just a labourer but in the Bible we read of man who is made in the image of God, to live in fellowship with God. I can give more examples, but the more I study these ancient records the more I am impressed with the Biblical account. If I must choose on Christian and Academic grounds, I will definitely select the Biblical account (Hamilton 1982:80-81).
2.3. Briefly describe a few interpretations of the six days and indicate which one you support.
The account of six days of creation in Genesis tends to be a controversial issue among Christians. There are numerous theories to reconcile the biblical account of creation with the secular account of creation. In the Bible the word “day” has several meanings. It means a day of twenty-four hours. On the view that a day is twenty-four hours, some have insisted that creation was carried out in six days literally. This does not agree with the facts of genealogy. Others have argued that a day represents a long period and sought to find a correlation with the genealogical records, a view which is tied too closely to the scientific theories of Charles Darwin. This is the belief that each of the six days of creation could represent more than an actual day but a day to God could mean a thousand years to us. Again, this does nothing to explain the contradictions between God’s Word and the word of science. Billions of years cannot be added to any particular day, and still reconcile the Word of God with the word of science. One of the major problems we all have is that we tend to start from outside God’s Word and then go to what God has written in the Bible to try and give our own ideas. I think we need to realise that the Bible is God’s Word and that it is authentic and truthful. Thus for me we should always start with what God’s Word says regardless of outside ideas. Only God’s Word is infallible. The Genesis account is not trying to set down a factual record of how God created the world, say in seven literal days, but enabling us to take in the essential truth about creation, sun, moon, stars, plants, animals and human beings came into being through the mighty power of God (Archer 1988:42-54).
2.4. Make a list of both obedient and disobedient personalities in Genesis, include verse references from Genesis.
“Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”. Therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken” (Genesis 3:22-23:12, LASB).
Obedient personalities
Abel (Genesis 4:1-8).
Noah (Genesis 5:29 – 10:32).
Abraham (Genesis 11-25).
Sarah (Genesis 11:29-25).
Melchizedek (Genesis 14:17-20).
Isaac (Genesis 17:15, 35:29).
Jacob (Genesis 25-50).
Joseph (Genesis 30-50).
Hagar (Genesis 16-21).
Rachel (Genesis 29:6 – 35:20).
Disobedient personalities
Adam (Genesis 1:26 – 5:5).
Eve (Genesis 2:19 – 4:26).
Cain (Genesis 4:1-17).
Lot (Genesis 11 – 14, 19).
Ishmael (Genesis 16, 17, 25:12-18, 28:8-9, 36:1-3).
Rebekah (Genesis 24-29).
Esau (Genesis 25-36).
Laban (Genesis 24:1 – 31:55).
Reuben (Genesis 29-50).
Judah (Genesis 29:35 – 50:26).
The book of Genesis gives us wonderful information of the lives of great men and women who walked with God. They sometimes succeeded and sometimes failed miserably. Where did they get their motivation and courage? They got it by realizing God was with them despite of their inadequacies. Knowing this should encourage us to rely on God and His guidance.
Archer G L 1988. A Survey of the Old Testament Introduction 3rd ed. Chicago: Moody Press.
Barton B B, Beers R A and Galvin J C (eds) 1996. Life Application Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.
Hamilton V P 1982. Handbook on the Pentateuch. Grand Rapids: Baker.
In Exodus there is an amazing range of activity, from plaques to sea walls to wilderness to mountains and golden calves. I will try to find the theological significance in Exodus and also look at the relationship between God and Israel (based on covenant and law).
3.1. Provide an overview of the book of Exodus. Explain the structure of the book and demonstrate the link between different sections.
Exodus moves from slavery to worship, from Israel’s bondage to Pharaoh to its bonding to Yahweh. More particularly, the book moves from the enforced construction of buildings for Pharaoh to the glad and obedient offering of the people for a building for the worship of God (Barker and Schultz 1988:85). The book of Exodus advances from an oppressive situation in which God’s presence is hardly noted in the text to God’s filling the scene at the completion of the tabernacle. The not human order gets caught up in these occasions as much as do people. God becomes engaged in events in a way not often paralleled in the Old Testament. The people of Israel are the focus of all of this activity, but God’s purposes are creation-wide: “But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth” (Exodus 9:16:114, LASB) (Barker and Schultz 1988:85).
My own point of view is that Exodus is a patchwork quilt of traditions from various periods in Israel’s life. Yet it is also a finished product. In its earliest form, it was propbably a relatively brief narrative with the basic thread of the story, dating from the period before the monarchy. The Old Testament is the Word of God for the Christian church. That is, it is a means by which God speaks words of judgement and grace to the community of faith. It may be said to have other functions, it helps to define what the Christian was and still properly is, and it assists in delineating a shape for Christian life in the world. But, at the heart of things, the Old Testament has for centuries served more than a opening function; it has actually spoken an effective Word of God to Christians, calling, warning, exhorting, judging, redeeming, comforting and forgiving.
3.2. Briefly summarise the two main views regarding the date of the Exodus event, listing a few of the most important arguments for each view.
The first view is the “Late Date View”. The pharaoh came to the throne who had no respect for these desecendants of Joseph and feared their large numbers. This suggests that the pharaoh that forced the Isrealites into slavery in order to oppress and subdue them, was Seti I (Sthos, c. 1304-1290 B.C.) and the pharaoh of the exodus was Rameses II (Ramses, c. 1290-1224) B.C. (Barker and Schultz 1988:86).
For the “Late Date” View the most important arguments are:
Advocates of the late view also take the reference in Exodus 1:11 to the building of the store cities of Ramses literally. The Israelites were forced to build and make bricks for the great building projects of Ramases II. It is argued that he must have been ruling during that time, but the city could have existed earlier than that time and only renamed after Rameses II. The archaelogical evidence for the destruction of Jericho and other Canaanite cities also point to a late date as well (Barker and Schultz 1988:86-87).
The second view is the “Early Date” View. The pharaoh of the oppression was Thutmose III (C. 1504-1450 B.C.) and the pharaoh of exodus was Amenhotep II (C. 1450-1424 B.C.). The “Early Date” View typically dates the Exodus to about 1446. This date is derived by taking the 1 Kings 6:1 reference to 480 years literally and adding it to the fourth year of Solomon’s reign in 966 B.C. Likewise, the 430 years in Exodus 12:40-41 as well as the numbers in the rest of the texts identified above are taken quite literally. Overall, we suggest that a stronger case can be made for an early date around 1446 B.C. (Barker and Schultz 1988:87-88).
3.3. Acquaint yourself with the following major themes found in the book of Exodus and write brief notes on each:
Exodus – The book of Exodus is shaped in a decisive way by a creation theology. A creation theology provides the cosmic purpose behind God’s redemptive activity on Israel’s behalf. The deliverance of Israel is ultimately for the sake of all creation. God’s work in redemtion, climaxing God’s effert at re-creation, returning creation to a point where God’s mission can once again be taken up. Israel is called out from among other nations and commissioned to a task on behalf of God’s earth. The book of Exodus is concerned in a major way with the knowledge of Yahweh. Pharaoh sets this question: “Who is Yahweh”. This question is primarily undertaken by God in Exodus to show the people His identity (Barker and Schultz 1988:88-90).
Covenant – Exodus has to do with the people of Israel. Israel’s status as God’s elect people is in place from the beginning. They are the people of the covenant made with Abraham by God; the promises to Abraham are also their promises. Peoplehood is the assumption of these events, not the result. Israel is called beyond itself to a true covenant within the Abrahamic covenant. Israel’s obedience is ultimately for the sake of being a kingdom of priests among the other people of the world. The golden calf disaster demonstrates that Israel does not remain faithful. The importance of obedience is not thereby set aside and obedience remains central. God’s tabernacle assists Israel on that journey (Douglas 1973:265-266).
Torah – In the beginning the term “tôrâ” was used to describe single instructions and decisions taken in concrete dilemmas. “Tôrâ” is given to Moses through God. The central core of the many laws laid down in Exodus and Leviticus is the Ten Commandments or Decalogue. The first half sums up the people’s relationship with God and the second half their relationship with others. These laws are far more than a passing set of rules for one group of people. They have been widely acknowledged as universal and permanent; the present-day laws of many countries in the West are based on them. There are many other laws laid down in the Old Testament law books, some of them clearly relating to life as it was lived at that time. Ritual law has to do with the worship and service of God (Douglas 1973:718-719).
Tabernacle/worship – The tabernacle was Israel’s tent of worship. The Israelites were instructed to make a portable tent for God, to carry with them throughout their journey to the promised land. When they set up camp, God’s tent would be erected at the centre. God was in the midst of His people; He was always present with them. The tent had two rooms: the private inner room held the Covenant Box and the copy of God’s laws. In the outer room was a lampstand with seven lamps, an altar for incense and a table with twelve loaves of bread. An altar was provided for sacrifice. A bronze basin held water for the priests to wash before going into God’s tent (Cundall 1988:109-115).
3.4. What is the significance of the Exodus event and its bearing on Israel’s subsequent history?
The Exodus event marked the birth of Israel as a nation. God guided Israel out of Egypt by using the plagues, Moses’s heroic courage, the miracle of the Red Sea and the Ten Commandments. God is a trustworty guide. The fact that the Hebrews could call-out as a nation to serve God and live out a covenant directly with their God, was unique. Through these experiences, the Hebrews could look back at history and trusted God for future things they needed (Harrison 1988:97).
The events leading up to and following Israel’s flight from Egypt form the main theme of the book. The chronological setting is given only in general terms, consistent with the Hebrew treatment of history as a sequence of events and not as a series of dates. So we can see that to give the event a definite date is not possible (Harrison 1988:97).
3.5. Identify the terms and conditions of the Sinaitic covenant. Explain the importance of the covenant to Israel.
The Sinaitic covenant was to be the foundation of Judaism. It was also seen as a formal instruction of a relationship between God and His chosen people. The covenant gave Israel the freedom to become a theocratic state (ruled by God). The nation of Israel was called to stand in for all other nations before God. “And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6:133, LASB). God wanted the priests to be pure and holy and they had to know God when they entered the tabernacle. God then gave the people of Israel a law that would assist them on their journey out of Egypt (Craigie 1988:135-136).
The importance of the covenant was designed to lead Israel to a life of practical holiness. In them, people could see the nature of God and His plan for how they should live. God was seen as the head of the nation and the Ten commandments were like the criminal law. If you broke the law, you were sinning against God. The covenant at Sinai was made for Moses and his people, but also for future generations that were following, like Joshua. The commandments and guidelines were intended to direct the community to meet the needs of each individual in a loving and responsible manner. God’s name is special because it carries His personal identity. When God told His people to worship and believe in Him, that wasn’t so hard for them. He was just one more God to worship, but when He said “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3:134, LASB), they accepted it instandly (Craigie 1988:136-137).
Exodus begins in gloom and ends in glory. This parallels our progress through our Christian life. We begin as slaves to sin, are redeemed by God and ends our pilgrimage living with God forever. The lessons the Israelites learned along the way we also need to learn.

Gender-Based Assumptions of War Victims

International actors faced numerous Humanitarian crises throughout the 1990s, leading to a New War thesis, made particularly prominent by Mary Kaldor. Whilst wars have historically been concerned with violence against the most vulnerable, only recently have studies focused on massive civilian casualties, largely women and children (Kaldor 2013: 133). In mainstream thinking, war remains an exclusively male issue where men are ‘naturally’ those who perpetrate violence; meanwhile, women and children are seen only as victims. Empirical data, however, reported that men as potential fighters are most likely to be targeted in armed conflict, including sexual aggression (Carpenter 2006: 88). Wars create all sorts of victims and perpetrators, spanning gender and roles. Thus, is the role of women and children merely as victims too simplistic? Want

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This paper examines how common gender-based assumptions and unclear victim-related terms led observers to consider victimization as intrinsic and gender specific. As Cynthia Enloe (2004: 10) stated, ‘naturally’ is a dangerous notion that depicts women as life-giving versus men as life-taking (Coulter, Persson and Utas 2008: 7). However, men, women and children’s roles are much more diverse and complex. Analysis of the Syrian crisis illustrates this argument and provides evidence that men, women and children may be victims, perpetrators, or even both.
‘Women and Children First’.
The necessity to have a ‘victim’.
Thinking about armed conflict and human security, victims are often at the heart of leaders’ decision-making and civil society’s policies. The search for adequate victims’ and humanitarian programs raised the debate about which side or communities should be acknowledged as victims and revealed the many faces of victimhood (Huyse 2003: 54). Part of the dilemma comes from the political-biased connotations and the legal definition(s) of the term victim. To discuss the former argument, we choose to use the definition provided by the 1985 UN Declaration, which defined a victim as:
a person who, individually or collectively, have suffered harm, including physical or mental injury, emotional suffering, economic loss or substantial impairment of their fundamental rights, through acts or omissions that are in violation of criminal laws operative within Member States (UN 1985).
Women and gender-based violence.
Gender-based violence, especially wartime rape, is as old as war itself. For a long time in history, the ‘inferior’ position of women or certain ethnic or racial minorities was considered as natural, following Browmiller’s thesis that ‘War provides men with the perfect psychological backdrop to give vent to their contempt for women’ and became inherent to territorial advance (Brownmiller 1975, 32). During the liberation of Europe in 1945, the Russian Army raped over two million German women (Beevor 2007).
However, women had to wait fifty years with the atrocities of Bosnian, Sierra Leone and Rwandan reports on rape camps to finally obtain the ear of the International community. The mediatization of armed groups using the enemy’s women to achieve ethnic cleansing, genocide and occupation goals upon the enemy raised awareness about the use of rape as a weapon (The Economist 2001, Farwell 2004). Pressures by feminist lobbies and academics led to an attempt by the UN to reinforce the protection of women and girls from gender-based violence, recognizing this ‘regrettable aspect of the war’ as a crime against humanity (Farwell 2004: 389, Erturk 2008: 1, DEDAW 1993).
Nonetheless, sexual violence is not the only form of conflict-related victimization of women. The over-classification of women as ‘bush wives’, camp followers, and sex slaves undoubtedly raised the world’s awareness on gender-based violence but also diverted policy makers to address and establish efficient policies for all the range of victims (Coulter, Persson and Utas 2008: 8). For example, concerns about the health needs of women in conflict-zones – especially pregnant mothers and their children are annually expressed. In 2009 the Red Cross reported the highest rates of maternal deaths happen in war-torn countries (Puechguirbal 2009). Besides physical sequels, women suffer also from long-term and indirect psychological, social, and economical related-forms of violence. For example, women injured by sexual violence endure physical sufferings but also psychological pressures such as shame when they are back in their communities or economic deprivations and sanctions. Those issues are particularly contentious in cases where women are culturally dependent and subjected to their husbands. (Puechguirbal 2009, Erturk 2008, Tickner 1997: 628).
Children as victims
The same reasoning occurs with children. UNICEF recently alleged the number of children affected by civil wars has more than doubled over the past years, exceeding more than 5.5 million (UNICEF 2014: 3). However, the numbers do not reflect the form of violence and oppression nor do they specify a time distinction. Children are mainly described as ‘direct victims’ – suffering from the direct effects of violence. Nevertheless, more attention should be given to the many other invisible victims, such as those children who lost one or more family members and suffer from the aftereffects of the violence they witnessed (Huyse 2003: 57, Worldvision 2014). Usually defenceless and vulnerable, children are killed, physically abused, kidnapped, recruited as soldiers, and/or displaced.
In Syria, more than 1.2 million children have fled their homes, most of them are under 12 (UNICEF 2014: 18). In refugee camps, children are particularly exposed to malnutrition and unsanitary conditions, leading to all kinds of disease. Separated from their family, and/or without support from parents who could barely afford to feed and protect them, children suffer socio-economic deprivation and usually have no access to basic necessities. They are prevented from going to schools and are either enrolled as child labour and/or forced into sexual slavery, – or in the case of young women, married off to older men – to supplement their family’s meagre income (Shivakumaran 2014).
In addition to physical abuses, children suffer from long-term psychological traumas from their experiences. In Syrian refugee camps, psychologists noticed unusual level of distress and visible signs social and physical dysfunction among displaced children (Atlas 2014, Winter 2014). Isolated and socially rejected, children who have been traumatized during the conflict develop sequels that can lead to new forms of violence –child soldiers, street gangs, juvenile delinquency or vendetta— (Boyden 2006: 4). In war-torn societies, the observations can generally be extended to second-generation victims; from children who suffered high levels of stress from the adults around them and children born in camps[1], to the grandchildren who carry memories from elder generations (Huyse 2004: 54, 57).
Victims of Man’s war
For a long time, there was a belief that men fight wars to protect vulnerable people, defend their family’s wealth, and the interests of the nation. This stereotypical role of the ‘active male protector’ naturally defined women and children as ‘passive-protected’ actors. Nevertheless, this common understanding about women and children’s victimization largely diverted the international debate from other under-acknowledged realities (Tickner 1997: 627, Enloe 2012: 7, Rygiel 2006: 150)
First, armed groups are not always protecting the weak; second, the assumption that victimization is gender specific overlooks the presence of female fighters among armies (Goldstein 2001: 59). Finally, keeping in mind the fate of children as victims, recent researches indicate empirical evidence about children’s contribution to armed violence, including child soldiering.
From victims to active participants
Violence committed by children or women has an important symbolic power on people’s minds, because it challenges traditional social constructions that women and children are the most vulnerable (Hunt and Rygiel 2006: 2).
Children as weapons
Child soldiers have been in use for a long time: regular armies before the Geneva agreements made use of children. As a result of changing societal values and greater awareness of the issue, child soldiering increasingly gained political salience over the last decades of civil wars intensification. Images of tens of thousands small boys with an AK-47 –considered as a ‘cheap’ and ‘disposable goods’ by African War-lords (Rosen 2005)– created terrifying damages worldwide (Erwin 2002, Hoge 2014). However, child soldiers are generally portrayed as direct or indirect victims, forced and pressured by adults to commit brutal atrocities.
Numerous testimonies by former child soldiers show the dilemma for those children who killed to defend themselves, either from their captor or an opposing armed faction (BBC 2005). The recent video released by the Islamic State (IS) shows the process of indoctrination and militarization: children carry guns as big as them, and are trained in radical ideology (Vinograd, Balkiz and Omar 2014). Many of those children are around 12-13 and do not actually have a choice, but some of them are already adults. This also leads to the debate around the capacity of youth to exercise a measure of personal autonomy in their decisions and actions (Maclure and Denov 2006: 120).
Since 2002, ‘child soldiers’ definition relies the UN straight 18 principle and outlaws all major forms of children involvement in hostilities under that age (OPAC 2007). However, this strict definition tends to obscure the weight of experience, social-context and environment in which youth are evolving (Boyden 2006, Maclure and Denov 2006) Latest psychological analyses demonstrate the necessity to differentiate childhood and adolescence: much of the analysis so far has infantilized the young people as receptors of environmental stimuli, or of adult pressures, often disregarding particular cognitive and behavioural dynamics (Boyden 2006: 1).
In some cases, children join for ideological reasons or for other advantages and opportunities war can bring – e.g. money, resources and power to name a few reasons. The prospect of getting a better life is worth war, leading young people to join the rebellion for the same reasons as adults (Hoeffler and Collier 2001, Boyden 2006: 4). Moreover, some scholars tend to explain instability in certain region as a consequence of demographic changes and increasing masses of youth. Post-conflict zones are primarily addressed taking into consideration the limited capacity of war-torn states to handle youthfulness (Maclure and Denov 2006, Boyden 2006: 10). For example, re-recruitment of child soldiers into war is particularly difficult to address (Hoge 2014). In response to evidence of child soldiering by the Kurdish rebel group, the International Criminal Court signed an agreement with the YGP establishing a ‘non-combatant’ category for children between 16 and 18. However and despite Demobilization, Demilitarization and rehabilitation (DDR) programs, dozens of children have tried to re-join local Kurdish military unites on their own (Geneval Call 2014).
Women and Men on the moral continuum.
From Antigone[2] to the Ozalp[3], women have actively participated in all aspects of war. Historical records show that women perform successfully in war –sometimes even more than their male colleagues. The quasi-exclusion of women as ‘combatants’, refers to the gender constructed discourse and dichotomy between women (peaceful) and men (warlike) which denied the active participation of women as individual perpetrators of violence (Hunt and Rygiel 2006). For example, in 2003, when were released the images of Lynndie England abusing Iraqi prisoner at Abu Ghraib surfaced, the first comments were not related to the atrocities perpetrated on the Iraqi prisoners nor the executors —no one knew, knows, or remembers the names of the other U.S. guards (Brittain 2006: 84). The shock was particularly focused around the picture of the ‘little white woman’ holding a leash tethered to the prisoner’s neck (Struckman 2010, Brittain 2006: 84) Consequently, it has become necessary to critically analyse women’s role as ‘perpetrators and perpetuators’, regarding the estimated number of women engaged today in ‘unwomanly’ behaviour worldwide, including Western armies (Goldstein 2001, Cohen and al. 2013).
Fighting for freedom – The case of Kurdish Female fighters
The recent growing progress of IS has given particular attention to the fighters for freedom, which fight to prevent the expansion of the Islamic caliphate. In reporting on Kobani attacks by IS, media have begun focusing specifically on the increasing proportion of female fighters who joined the Kurdish movements under the banner of the Women’s Protection Unit (YPJ). Never before has such international concern been given to female combatants and the role they can play in a major combat zone. In the region of Kobani, one in three of the city defenders are female (Pratt 2014, Mezzofiore 2014).
From passive ‘protected’ to active ‘protector’, Kurdish female fighters represent a category of women that diverge from the one previously encoded in the society. Besides their abilities to shoot multiple types of weapons, they developed a full range of other skills based on physical and cognitive differences between men and women. For instance, they are mostly marksmen and snipers, as it requires ‘calm, patience and finesse,’ a typically female trait (Pratt 2014). Contrary to the images of vulnerable women, YPJ soldiers almost reveal signs of masculinity by accepting ‘death as a sacrifice that is part of the life choice they have made’ (Pratt 2014). And yet, motivations could be almost identified as feminist ones. IS treat women as objects, giving female fighters even more power against ISIS; some say that Islamic rebels are more terrified of being killed by women because if they do they cannot go to heaven (Mezzofiore 2014)
The Kurdish example raises many concerns among scholars since it contrasts the common perception of women’s role. The YPJ’s struggle proves that women can be perfectly capable and willing of performing violent acts to ‘defend the Kurdish people against all evil’ (Pratt 2014). Some suggest that this could lead to the empowerment of women in the region, since female fighters are being taken much more seriously today than in the past (Mezzofiore 2014, Gatehouse 2014).
Under fire – All victims?
The institution of war has never been good for women and children (Farwell 2004). To a larger extend, war has never been good for anybody. Even if women and children are among the worst victims, they are not the only ones. The held idea that women and children are most likely to be displaced is not always giving justice to the data. Regarding the statistics about Registered Syrian Refugees, Males represent 48.7% and Female 51.3% of exiles. Refugees also include elderly persons, wounded warriors, minorities, people with disabilities, etc (UNRHC 2014). By qualifying women and children only as victims or combatants, scholars conceal the large range of positions they can occupy during a conflict.
The mobilization of the society in the war effort has existed as long as war itself. During the First World War, the Munitionettes[4] and their children worked in factories to provide for men at war. They have been enrolled in offices, communications, intelligence, maintenance and many other under-acknowledged ways (Goldstein 2001: 78). Partly victimized, partly victimizing, women are often considered as those who sacrifice the most during war (Huyse 2003: 56) In Africa, women who must fight in armed groups have often been doubly victimized – forced to join the rebellion and raped by enemies and comrades. Consequently, it is impossible to draw a sharp line between the two categories, preventing the implementation of programs to address these women and girls’ actual lived experiences (Coulter and al. 2008 XXX).
For example in post-reconstruction policies, they have failed to include women and young girls in DDR programs. Part of it is due to policy-makers’ refusal to recognize woman as combatants (Coulter and al 2008: P). Thus, depending on the policies implemented, women can suffer from deeper discrimination mainly related to the structural roots prevailing in society before the conflict (Cohen and al 2013:5) Porter’s study about rape in Uganda found that rapists are more often husbands/boyfriends or men from the same community rather than enemies (Porter 2013, Utas 2005). Or they can expect better positions with regard to equality between women and men. For example women were generally granted the right to vote after World War Two.
Moreover, by emphasizing on the large proportion of women who have been abused, the debate on gender-based violence on men has been overlaid. Barring a few exceptions, the literature does not pay attention to the fact that men are also victims of poor treatment, thereby tortured more violently. Sexual violence is an issue commonly defined as affecting women and young females and yet, male rape, genital mutilation and other forms of emasculation have an important impact on men that should be documented (Cohen and al 2013: 7, Sivakumaran 2013). Aggressors often abuse male enemies or political prisoners intentionally dehumanize and humiliate them (Sivakumaran 2013, Carpenter 2006). Nevertheless, because of the psychological and social implications of male victimization, less attention is given to male adults and adolescents who have been oppressed and/or forced to commit crimes (rape, mass killings, kidnapping), leading to a bias in human security studies (Carpenter 2006).
From ‘Women and Children’ to ‘Women’ and ‘Children’
Gender-based common assumptions have largely shaped the way people perceive men, women and children’s roles in war. The persistent idea of a masculine monopoly on force promotes a simplistic view of war as the continuation of politics, where men are the main actors (Enloe 2004). By categorizing men as life-taking, women as live-giving and children as the next generation, it appears that scholars have misjudged the role of women and children, especially during wars. After the mediatisation of the Bosnia Civil War and the Genocide in Rwanda, policy-makers and NGOs mainly focused on those visible atrocities that reduce the role of women and children to mere victimhood. The proportion of women and children suffering from conflicts is substantial. However, the amalgamation of ‘Women and Children’ under a unique category because of their relative ‘vulnerability’, diverted attention away from existing structural realities. Following this myth, scholar’s researches have exacerbated the idea of ‘tough men’ dying to protect ‘tender women and children’ and failed to question if women and children are merely victims of war.

[1] The huge number of child refugees is not only driven by the recent Syrian conflict but also by the growing number of Syrian, Afghan and Somali children that were born in refugee camps. (UNHCR 2014)
[2] Antigone… (Anouillh
[3] With a lack of ammunition and in a hopeless situation, Ozalp killed herself not to fall into the hands of the rapists (Mezzofiore 2014)
[4] Women working in munitions factories during WWI.

Assumptions, research design and data collection strategies

Chapter 1 Introduction
The purpose of this assignment is to offer a critical analysis of the underpinning assumptions and research design and data collection strategies and the practice of academic research. Two research papers are chosen for the purpose of this analysis. The first paper is a quantitative study and the second paper is a qualitative study. They are as follows:-
Shafer, W. E., Fukukawa, K. and Lee, G. M. (2007) ‘Values and the perceived importance of ethics and social responsibility: The U.S. versus China’, Journal of Business Ethics, 70 (3), pp. 265-284.
Tsoi, J. (2007) ‘Stakeholders’ perceptions and future scenarios to improve corporate social responsibility in Hong Kong and Mainland China’, Journal of Business Ethics, pp. 1-14.
The main reason for selecting these two papers is that they both report upon the area of corporate social responsibility, which is the focus of my PhD. Within the field of corporate social responsibility (CSR), there has been considerable research discussing the relationship between values and perception with the attitude/behaviour of businesses towards CSR. These values are considered quantifiable and thus have been measured quantitatively using scales developed by authors such as Forsyth (1980), Singhapakdi et al.(1996), and Vitell and Patwardhan (2008). Interviews have been used to bring forward the values that are deemed important by stakeholders, and were explored qualitatively by Fukukawa and Teramoto (2009), Siltaoja (2006), and Lähdesmäki and Siltaoja (2009).
The two papers selected both looked at cross-cultural values and perceptions, however, they utilise different methods of investigation. This difference could provide a good basis for comparison, in terms of philosophical assumptions, research design, and the method of data collection.
The analyses will begin for each paper with an introduction of the research aims, followed by the epistemological and ontological position, the research design, followed by analysis of its research methodology, the alternative research design and lastly, conclusions from this discussion will be provided.
Chapter 2 Review of Quantitative Research paper
2.1 Research Objectives
This study by Shafer, Fukukawa and Lee (2007) examined the values and the perceived importance of ethics and social responsibility on managers from China and the U.S. The authors used scales instruments to obtain quantitative data in order to make inferences on whether the managers’ nationality and personal values have effect on their ethical perception.

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The American and Chinese managers are assumed to differ in their personal values and subsequently this should be reflected from their responses to the “Perceived Role of Ethics and Social Responsibility” (PRESOR) scale. The authors provided the relevant background information and built up the reasoning for their hypotheses. The first hypothesis was that managers from China would believe less strongly than American managers in the importance of ethically and socially responsible conduct to achieve organisational success. The second hypothesis was that both American and Chinese managers’ personal values are believed to have significant impact on the responses to the scale. These hypotheses seem to correlate strongly with the research objectives which are to determine that there is variation in response due to cultural differences.
2.2 Epistemological and Ontological Assumptions
It is likely that the authors based their research on moral philosophy which “refers in particular to the principles of rules that people use to decide what is right or wrong” (Ferrell, Fraedrich and Ferrell, 2005:19). This paper seems to indicate that the principles of rules of managers of different cultures are likely to differ and thus ethical decision-making would vary. The authors provided examples of other empirical research to support this notion. The assumption that personal values can influence ethical decisions shows that the research is likely to infer an ontological assumption of realist, whereby reality is seen to have an existence independent of the activities of the human observer (Blaikie, 2007:13). As the research strives to compare values and perceptions, these elements are thought to be measurable and quantifiable; seemingly leaning towards the empiricism position in which the key idea is that knowledge comes from observing the world (Blaikie, 2007:19). The authors employed deductive research whereby the “hypotheses formed are tested to determine if the statements can be supported” (Sekaran, 2003:31), which is a typical research approach of empiricists. Taking possibly the stance of positivists, these values are assumed measureable, and are thus thought to form the social reality that these values affect the perception of corporate social responsibility amongst the managers from these two countries.
2.3 Research Design
The intention is to establish the differences in personal values, by using large quantities of data, which would be representative of the overall population of American and Chinese managers. This suggests that there are two assumptions, that values are measureable and that it is possible to generalise the population from the sample. In order to generalise, a considerably large amount of data is required, thus a survey research instrument was employed.
The PRESOR scale developed by Singhapakdi et al. (1995) was used. The reasons that the PRESOR scale was chosen over the cultural dimensions formed by Hofstede (2001) were argued; examples of the latter in other research were shown to be inconsistent and inconclusive in its directional impact, thus making theoretical predictions difficult. The use of PRESOR scale in other research was exemplified and seemed to have established the reliability of its measurement. The PRESOR scale was explained further in the introduction of the paper. Thirteen out of sixteen original items were selected and the authors justified this by stating that only these thirteen items had significant factor loadings in the Singhapakdi, Scott and Franke (1999:25) study. These items were grouped into two categories; the Stockholder and the Stakeholder views. The Stakeholder View reflects the importance of ethics and social responsibility to organisational survival and success, whilst the Stockholder view indicates that organisational success depends on more than just profitability and obligations to the stockholders (Axinn et al., 2004:104)
In the methodology section, the Schwartz value instrument and a demographic questionnaire were mentioned as being used together with the PRESOR scale. There was little mention of the reasons the Schwartz scale was used and how it was applied. It was only later in the appendix that the items considered in the Schwartz scale was provided in details. A clearer explanation could have improved the clarity of the paper.
The research design employed the use of two research instruments (PRESOR scale and Schwartz value instrument) as means for data collection. The sample of practising managers from the two different countries was given the same survey to complete, thus the responses could be compared on that basis. The results from the analyses were then compared against the hypotheses formed, affirming or not affirming the hypotheses. This process is typical of the deductive approach (Blaikie, 2007:70).
2.4 Data Collection
The sample consisted of 311 practising managers, enrolled part time in selective MBA programmes in the U.S. and China. The participation was voluntary and the scales were completed as an in-class exercise. The authors acknowledged potential problems from this sample selection. The first is that, although the MBA programmes in these two countries appear to be comparable, the sample may have confounded the effects of national differences and MBA programme differences. Secondly, the sample was not randomly selected as the authors had asked their students to complete the scales in-class. The authors did not provide further justification for these two problems and thus this is believed to have weakened the external validity of this investigation (Bryman and Bell, 2007:204). Aside from this comment from the authors, there was very little mention of the validity of the measurement which makes it difficult to make further discussion on this. The basis of their selectivity and the criteria in which these programmes were said to be comparable, were also not provided in details. The details of its comparability may have helped clarify and strengthen the validity of the selection criteria, as well as making the paper more understandable.
Considering the objectives of the research, in which the authors seem to be looking at making generalisations on the affect of personal values, there is a need to collect large quantities of data. The survey method seems to be appropriate as surveys are easy to distribute to large number of people and costs can be kept to a minimum (Bryman and Bell, 2007:195). This relates to external validity, which is “about generalisability of results beyond the focal study” (Easterby-Smith et al., 2008:87). In this paper, external validity was not discussed; however, it is likely that the results are meant to be applicable for the context of China and the U.S. only.
The authors stated the limitation of which the participants can not be assumed as representative of the broader populations of managers in these two countries, due to the fact that the MBA programmes were selective in nature. The research took consideration of the possibility that the age and experience differences of their sample might affect the results, and thus these factors were examined for significance. The scale was translated to Mandarin Chinese and later back-translated with resolution of discrepancies, to take account of the language difference. These examples seem to reflect on the effort of the authors in ensuring that the results are not significantly affected by other variables. In order to test the dimensionality of the PRESOR scale, a principal components factor analysis with varimax rotation and Kaiser normalisation was applied. This is typical of a quantitative study where factor analysis is usually applied as part of the research design.
In terms of research replication, this research had provided considerable amount of information which would possibly allow other researchers to perform similar research. The items from the two views (Stockholder and Stakeholder) of the PRESOR scale were provided in details. In addition, the authors also mentioned the calculation method used, such as the use of mean values and the Univariate Analysis of Covariance models (ANCOVA). The only exception would probably be the PRESOR scale itself, whereby the questions that were asked and the choice answers were not explicitly given, which might mean that future researchers might find it difficult to replicate the research and might even have to approach the authors or Singhapakdi who developed the scale.
2.5 Alternative Method
The authors mentioned that more in-depth examination using qualitative design of investigation such as interviews would perhaps be more revealing. It is agreed that qualitative measure would allow insights into the importance of ethics to managers, and the various ethical issues that managers prioritise. The researchers are more likely to obtain a richer data of the decision-making process of managers, at the same time; they would be able to achieve the research objectives. The researchers can make use of semi-structured type interview which will allow better control of what questions need to be asked, and to ensure that the objectives of the interview are achieved as well (Bryman and Bell, 2007:474), if time and costs are constraints.
There are also other alternatives methods to obtain qualitative data that would have fit this research, such as the use of focus groups. Focus group interviews allow researchers to observe the behaviour of the American and Chinese managers as they interact with each other. It would be possible to see the differences in reaction to ethical issues much more clearly, when these managers are given, for example, the same ethical dilemma, and they are required to rationalise the problem and come up with solutions. This method might be more useful than questionnaire surveys, particularly in that the values of the American and Chinese managers could be brought out through the way they respond and react to ethical problems, the problem-rationalisation process, and the degree of attention paid on a particular problem. Similar to the interview method, this would be considerably more costly to conduct, and it might even be more costly than doing interviews, however, the researchers would gain not only in achieving the research objectives but they would also attain a better understanding of the effects of personal values in ethical decision-making.
However, if the goal was only to establish that perception of CSR differs between diverse cultures, the research design would have fit the purpose. This is because the data collection strategy used (questionnaire survey), allowed the authors to obtain considerably response for generalisation. A questionnaire survey would also have been more cost-efficient and less time consuming, especially for cross-cultural studies.
Chapter 3 Review of Qualitative Research paper
3.1 Research Objectives
In this second paper, this qualitative study aims to make apparent the perceptions and views of the future scenarios from stakeholders within the garment industry in Hong Kong and Mainland China. The underlying intention was to seek consensus and common ground, on a local and regional level to help companies develop an appropriate CSR strategy, to improve the state of corporate social responsibility and in the long run, to achieve sustainability in the region.
The main objective was stated as “by engaging with major stakeholders, to identify the local and regional supply chain stakeholders’ perceptions and expectations” (Tsoi, 2007:1). Typical of a qualitative study, generalisation is often not the objective of the study (Bryman and Bell, 2007:410). This is apparent from this study as the author had mentioned that the sample may not be sufficient for generalisation for the entire garment industry, however, it is “relevant to garment businesses involved in export-orientated activities” (Tsoi, 2007:1). Tsoi (2007) used an inductive approach to identify the perceptions of stakeholders by conducting interviews.
3.2 Epistemological and Ontological Assumptions
Although the author did not indicate the philosophical assumptions behind this study, the author implied that by identifying the stakeholders’ perception, “the findings would help in building consensus, strengthening the implementation, and establishing future CSR framework”. This suggests that the author has an ontological position of constructionism, which asserts that social phenomena and their meanings are continually being accomplished by social actors, implying that there exists social interaction and that there is a constant state of revision of the social phenomena (Bryman and Bell, 2007:23). In this case study, the social reality of what is happening in the garment industry, in terms of its corporate social responsibility, is a social reality that was formed by the stakeholders. It suggests that the social phenomena (condition of CSR) can undergo changes, and that it is dependent on the activities of the social actors. The views of the social actors are thought to be indicative of the important issues in corporate social responsibility, within the garment industry.
This form of research is consistent with the research paradigm of the interpretivist position, as the basis of the research is that the study of the phenomena requires an understanding of the social world that social actors have constructed and which they reproduced through their continuing activities (Blaikie, 2007:124). In this instance, the stakeholders are the social actors who will continually interpret and reinterpreting their social world which can be the garment industry. The social phenomenon that the author is investigating is the current state and the future of the corporate social responsibility in Hong Kong and Mainland China. The future conception of CSR in these two places is related to phenomenology, whereby, it concerns with the question of how individuals make sense of the world around them (Bryman and Bell, 2007:18). In this case, it can be viewed as the way stakeholders make sense of the state of corporate responsibility in the region.
3.3 Research Design
The author relied on a qualitative method, specifically, the face-to-face semi-structured interview, which indicates the leanings of the author in “conducting a naturalistic inquiry in real-world rather than experimental or manipulated settings” (Ritchie and Lewis, 2003:4). For qualitative studies, semi-structured and unstructured interviews are commonly used as they provide rich, detailed answers and taps into the interviewee’s point of view (Bryman and Bell, 2007:474). As the focal source of data was the stakeholders themselves in this study, this seems to infer that the research design is based on the interpretivist view that the “social phenomena can only be understood and be investigated from the inside” (Blaikie, 2007:125). The author identified major stakeholders possibly with stakeholder theory, stating the assumption “that multinationals see stakeholder consultation and management as an important communication tool in identifying and interpreting the needs of salient stakeholders” and as such would enable “the development of a common language for CSR and subsequently the development of proactive CSR strategies”. This correlates with the stakeholder approach of Wheeler et al. (2003:19) who stated that “value creation at the highest level requires an ability to build value-based networks where all stakeholders see merit in their association with and support for a business”. In this instance, it is likely that the stakeholders were deemed to be important in the future direction of CSR in the region, and this was the reason that stakeholders were chosen as source of data.
The author mentioned that these interviews conducted in 2004 and 2005 may no longer be relevant, since there were major developments in 2008. This might have made the interviews slightly outdated however; there should not be many changes to the overall aims of the stakeholders and thus the outcomes of this research would remain valid. However, as an alternative, the author could have applied longitudinal design which “represents a distinct form of research design than is typically used to map change in business and management research” (Bryman and Bell, 2007:60). The longitudinal design would not only serve the purpose of this study, but it would also allow insights into the factors that cause change to the perception. With this sample, it is possible to use cohort study, whereby “the cohort is made up of people who share a certain characteristics” (Bryman and Bell, 2007:61), since the stakeholders have a stake in the garment industry. However, longitudinal research may require a lot more preparation, could be time-consuming and thus it could be more costly.
3.4 Data Collection
With regards to the methodology, the interview questions that were used for this research was not provided. As this was a semi-structured interview, it would have been useful if the author had provided general information on how the questions were formed, and the structure of the interview questions as this would provide an indication of the depth of the interviews, and hence the validity of the research design.
For the sample, 25 representatives from academia, the business organisations, the non-government organisations, trade association, and government officials were identified. The response rate was 84%, in which 21 out of a total of 25 representatives of these organisations agreed to be interviewed. It was mentioned that the reason for such a high response rate, was that the author had contacted the interviewees on a one-to-one basis. Furthermore, the interviewees were also guaranteed anonymity. The sample, thus, appears to be extensive and is representative of the various stakeholders that are vital in the garment industry.
3.5 Alternative Method
The intention was that the “findings would help in building consensus, strengthening the implementation and establishing the future CSR framework” (Tsoi, 2007:1). The author might have meant that having collected all the different views from these stakeholders, the author would be able to determine the consensus of how CSR should be developed and how CSR should be like in the future. However, it is doubtful that a consensus could have been obtained using this method of analysis. The interviewees, although were representative of the garment industry, each one a vital stakeholder, there was no real interaction between these stakeholders, and thus, the consensus that is meant is only based on the researchers’ understanding from the interviewee’s responses. Stakeholders are thought to be able to reach a better compromise through discourse, with different sides arguing for the validity of their point as well as ensuring that the interests of the group or association that they represent are taken account of (Bryman and Bell, 2007:511). While it is understandable, that there is a strong possibility that it could be costly to get all the interviewees to sit together through a discourse, nevertheless there are alternatives which might be more useful for the purpose of this investigation, given that the objective is to reach a consensus amongst the stakeholders. With this reasoning, the research design could improve by firstly conveying the findings of the interviews to all of the stakeholders interviewed, and follow up with another interview to see if there were changes to their views.
Alternatively, the author could use the method of focus group interviews. With this method, Merton et al. (1956) (in Bryman and Bell, 2007:511) stated that the “accent is upon interaction within the group and the joint construction of meaning”. Focus group interviews could provide a platform for the interviewees to interact and to establish a joint construction of what it means to strengthen CSR and also determine what future scenarios should and could be like. With regards to selecting a suitable size for the focus group, it is recommended by Bryman and Bell (2007:517) that the typical group size should be six to ten members, whilst Sekaran (2003:220) recommends a size of eight to twelve members. The reason that the focus group interview method was recommended was that the interviewees would be encouraged to express their opinions argumentatively, which would then allow the researcher to gauge the degree of importance of certain issues and how much flexibility the interviewees might have to reach a compromise with others. There are of course possible pitfalls using the focus group method, in that some interviewees might be dominant over others, and thus the opinions of those less dominant might not be heard, but these effects can be reduced to a minimum level by having a good moderator (in Bryman and Bell, 2007:511). The one-to-one interview method could still be more advantageous compared with the focus group interview, as the time and monetary costs of conducting a one-to-one interview would probably be considerably less and thus be more manageable especially if there was only one researcher, as was with this case study.
In this case study, it seemed that a quantitative design would actually be difficult to apply, and it would also be inappropriate for an investigation on the perception of CSR as a business concern. Taking the example of using a questionnaire survey with closed-ended questions, it is very likely that the respondents would answer that they are very concerned about CSR, as that might be perceived as the correct response, thus creating social desirability bias to the results. Furthermore, with a questionnaire survey, the researcher would not be able to pin-point all the various future scenarios for CSR in Hong Kong and Mainland China, even if it was possible, the list of future scenarios might be too long to be practically manageable. Another issue would be that in making assumptions of the future scenarios that are deemed significant to the stakeholders, it would be problematic as the researcher might risk missing out relevant information. Therefore, it would be difficult, from these reasons, that a quantitative design would not be suitable for such a case study.
Chapter 4 Conclusions
In summary, the two papers reflect significant differences in their research approach. This was seen through the objectives of the research, the underlying assumptions of the research philosophy and the conceptualisation of research design and the data collection. There is certainly much to learn from these two research papers, both had given valuable information on the differences between quantitative and qualitative methods, as well as offer guidance on the selection of research method and how to go about utilising these methods. The research designs, as shown in these papers, are dependent of the research objectives and the designs are also influenced by the epistemological and ontological assumptions made. Even though the philosophical positions of the researchers were not made explicit, however, the likely positions can be assumed. These papers have also shown that the advantages and the disadvantages of the different methods of investigation, and they need to be considered to ensure that the best method is chosen for the purpose of the research.
In these two papers, the method of investigation is distinct, one was a qualitative study and the other was a quantitative study, however, this does not necessarily mean that a mixed method of investigation can not be used. In fact, (Bryman and Bell, 2007:646) suggested that triangulation can be applied, in which “the results of an investigation employing a method associated with one research strategy are cross-checked against the results of using a method associated with the other research strategy”.

Basic Assumptions in Accounting

Accounts are produced by all companies as a way of providing information to all third parties interested in the company’s performance. One of the primary aims of these accounts is to reduce the problems inherent in the agency relationship of the directors with the other interested stakeholders such as investors, employees and even government bodies. Due to the wide range of uses for accounts, it is little wonder that research into the way that these accounts are drafted and presented has had to lay down some fundamental assumptions in the way that accounts are written.
However, in reality the assumptions that have underlined the analysis of accounts may, at times, be flawed, causing the overall analysis of these accounts to be at best incomplete and possibly even inaccurate (Hermanson, 2005)[1].
Assumption 1 – Accounts are Primarily for Shareholders
This is a very common assumption and in many cases is not a damaging one. Even the law seems to support this assumption, with legislation requiring that annual accounts are produced and supplied to the shareholders (Companies Act 2006)[2]. This fuels the concept that the accounts are for the use of the shareholders, only.
It is true, however, that accounts are largely for shareholders. The company belongs to the shareholders and is managed and run by the directors. This structure produces an agency problem with those running the business not being those individuals who ultimately benefit or suffer from its success or failure.
Shareholders need the accounts in order to determine whether their investment is safe, whether they should be investing more, withdrawing their investment or asking certain questions of the board in relation to policies or activities. The accounts give valuable information to the shareholders in relation to the volume of sales, profitability, comparative analysis of key competitors and the overall value of the shares.

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Accounting standards have been developed with this key use in mind. It is necessary for all accounts to be audited by an independent auditor to determine that the accounts offer a true and fair value of the state of the financial position of the company. This is, of course, vital for the shareholders as they must trust the accounts being produced by the directors to be accurate, in order for them to make their investment decisions.
Whilst all of these principles appear to be geared towards the shareholders, there are other users of the accounts that benefit equally from the standard set out in relation to published accounts. Other key users include the lenders. For many businesses, these stakeholders are absolutely vital and they will be largely interested in the same information as the shareholders, although will only really be concerned about whether the company has sufficient resource to pay back the loan that they have advanced to the company and that suitable security over assets exists (Watts, 2003)[3].
Employees are clearly interested in knowing the health and profitability of the company so that they can be comfortable with their own job security. However, this stakeholder group is often overlooked, despite its central role within the organisation.
In addition, government agencies should not be overlooked, with agencies such as HM Revenue and Customs requiring information in order to collect the correct amount of corporation taxes (Brennan, 2000)[4].
Therefore, whilst shareholders may be the most visible group of stakeholders with an interest in the accounts, there are other stakeholders which also have an interest and should not be disregarded.
Assumption 2 – Accounting Measures a Concrete Reality which is ‘Out There’
Prepared accounts are required to follow the basic principles such as relevance, understandability, consistency and comparability. Therefore, whilst accounts are prepared in line with the directors’ decisions and interpretations, there are certain underlying rules that must be followed to ensure that the accounts are as close to an unbiased, concrete reflection of the state of the business as is possible.
In particular, this is important for the benefit of investor and shareholder comparisons. In order to make suitable judgements regarding investments and decisions about which company should be given support, the accounts of the two companies must be comparable. To be comparable the accounts must be as objective and factual as possible.
However, just because it is desirable for the accounts to be a concrete reflection of what is ‘out there’ in the company does not mean that this is an assumption which can be drawn as being true.
This need for consistency has been recognised by the International Accounting Standards Board which has developed, in so far as is possible, the financial reporting standards that companies need to follow in a bid to ensure that accounts are as close to being a concrete and comparable reflection as possible (Kroll, 2004)[5].
Take, for example, the way in which a company chooses to report its cash earned. The company could choose to operate on either a cash or on an accrual basis. Under the cash basis, the company would report income as soon as it actually arrives within the company, whereas the accrual basis shows the income earned at the time of the writing of the accounts, regardless of whether or not it has been already received. It is clear to see that the choice as to whether to follow a cash model or an accrual model will have a significant impact on the way in which the profit and loss appears in relation to the company.
Other policies that are managed by international standards include issues such as the treatment of goodwill or depreciation, both areas that have traditionally allowed considerable director discretion. By having these basic accounting standards that companies must follow, there is certainly a move towards establishing concrete accounts. This, however, has not been fully achieved yet and, therefore, it is not fair to assume that all accounts are a completely concrete reflection of what is ‘out there’.
Assumption 3 – Accounting Can be Neutral
Clearly, it is desirable that financial accounts produced by companies are entirely neutral in the way that they are presented. Inaccuracy in accounts generally falls into two distinct categories, dishonesty or incompetence. Dishonesty has several different gradients and may be as simple as the desire by the management team to present a certain aspect of the business, whilst minimising the importance of other activities within the business.
One of the main ways that a company could ensure that there is no element of dishonesty in the accounts is to have external auditors checking the accounts to ensure that they are a fair and accurate reflection of the company situation. Furthermore, with the financial reporting standards that have now been developed to ensure neutrality in the published accounts, companies are required to state definitively if they have deviated from the financial reporting standards, so that any move away from neutrality can be immediately and categorically identified.
Therefore, whilst not all accounts will always be unbiased or neutral, identifying where neutrality has been deviated from, companies are now required to draw attention actively to this fact, thus increasing transparency.
The use of external auditors in the preparation of the accounts is also a useful check and balance to ensure lack of misleading statements in the accounts (Cottingham, 1995)[6].
Despite all these measures, there remains the biased element of the accounts in the chairman’s statement. This is the opportunity for the board of directors to state their opinion and to detail the rationale of the company in terms of previous decisions and the direction which the company is taking in the longer term. This element of the report will naturally result in a non-neutral position (Goch, 1975)[7].
Company accounts are produced, as established earlier, for the benefit of many stakeholders, although primarily they are used by the shareholders and lenders to assist their investment decision. It is only natural, therefore, that companies will choose to forward their best possible position for the accounts. Whilst there are checks and balances in place in the form of financial reporting standards and the requirement of the independent auditor, it is fair to state the accounts are not entirely neutral, at all times.
Assumption 4 – Accountants are Professionals and Have the Ability to use ‘Sound’ Judgement
Accountants are used at all levels by companies of all sizes to manage the financial affairs of the company and ultimately to produce the accounts for external use, on an annual basis. All qualified accountants are required to be members of professional bodies such as Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and have strict codes of professional ethics in relation to the way in which they conduct their role (Riahi-Belkaoui, 1992)[8].
Despite the need for these accountants to be controlled and to be managed in a way that they conduct their role, it is essential that they are given suitable freedom to exercise their own professional judgement.
Increasing transparency requirements and the greater degree of prescription that is being placed on the accounting profession, in terms of financial reporting standards and requirement is changing the role of accountants in the preparation of accounts. Accounting standards have resulted in accountancy becoming much more of a science than an art form. There is a danger in this shift of emphasis. Accountants are professionals and their sound professional judgement is essential in ensuring that the most accurate company accounts are produced. However, this sound professional judgement is only useful if it is unbiased to the company itself, i.e. through an independent accountant or auditor (Thomas Keim, 2003)[9].
Internal accountants who are employees of the company are under the influence of the directors and, as such, may have an unhelpful level of bias towards the company. In this case, where there are competing requirements, accountants cannot be relied upon to exercise the same degree of sound professional judgment.
Published accounts are only as good as the information that is supplied to the accountants preparing these accounts. If accountants are not given the full information in relation to the company, they will simply not produce accurate accounts, regardless of how sound their professional judgment is (Chisnall, 2001)[10].
Professional accountants, as a whole, are required under their own code of ethics to exercise professional judgment when conducting their roles and this is generally followed. Constraints are increasingly being placed on the way in which accountants can prepare accounts and this is restricting the ability to exercise professional judgment in all cases. Care must also be taken when considering accountants who are biased due to their position with the company.
Many assumptions are made when it comes to published financial accounts. In almost all cases, these assumptions are not universally true and care should always be taken to reconsider these assumptions, whenever accounts are being analysed. Any deviations from these assumptions could dramatically impact on the way in which the company accounts are viewed by all stakeholders concerned.
Brennan, N. & Gray, S.J., 2000. Accountants’ reports on profit forecasts: regulation and practice. Managerial Auditing Journal, 15, 9.
Chisnall, P., 2001. Fair value accounting – an industry view. Balance Sheet, 9, 1.
Cottingham, J. & Hussey, R., 1995. The Prevention of Misleading Accounts Through Disclosures of Related Party Transactions. Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance, 3, 4.
Goch, D., 1975. The Changing Face of the Annual Report. Managerial Finance, 1, 3.
Hermanson, R.H., Edwards, J.D. & Maher, M.W., 2005. Accounting Principles. 8th ed., Freeload Press, Inc.
Riahi-Belkaoui, A., 1992. Morality in Accounting. Quorum Books.
Kroll, K.M., 2004. The Lowdown on Lean Accounting: A New Way of Looking at the Numbers. Journal of Accountancy, 198.
Thomas Keim, M. & Grant, C.T., 2003.To Tell or Not to Tell: An Auditing Case in Ethical Decision Making and Conflict Resolution. Issues in Accounting Education, 18.
Watts, R. L., 2003. Conservatism in Accounting Part I: Explanations and Implications. Accounting Horizons, 17.

[1] Hermanson, R.H., Edwards, J.D. & Maher, M.W., 2005. Accounting Principles. 8th ed., Freeload Press, Inc.
[2] Companies Act 2006. Section 413.
[3] Watts, R.L., 2003. Conservatism in Accounting Part I: Explanations and Implications. Accounting Horizons, 17.
[4] Brennan, N. & Gray, S.J., 2000. Accountants’ reports on profit forecasts: regulation and practice. Managerial Auditing Journal, 15, 9.
[5] Kroll, Karen M., 2004. The Lowdown on Lean Accounting: A New Way of Looking at the Numbers. Journal of Accountancy, 198.
[6] Cottingham, J. & Hussey, R., 1995. The Prevention of Misleading Accounts Through Disclosures of Related Party Transactions. Journal of Financial Regulation and Compliance, 3, 4.
[7] Goch, D., 1975. The Changing Face of the Annual Report. Managerial Finance, 1, 3.
[8] Riahi-Belkaoui, A., 1992. Morality in Accounting. Quorum Books.
[9] Thomas Keim, M. & Grant, C.T., 2003. To Tell or Not to Tell: An Auditing Case in Ethical Decision Making and Conflict Resolution. Issues in Accounting Education, 18.
[10] Chisnall, P., 2001. Fair value accounting – an industry view. Balance Sheet, 9, 1.

Assumptions of the H-O Model

Eli Heckscher (1919) and Bertil Ohlin (1933) found the basis for crucial and substantial theoretical developments of international trade by emphasizing the relationships between the composition of countries’ factor endowments and commodity trade patterns. The Heckscher-Ohlin (H-O) theory is the simplest explanation for why countries involve in trade of goods and services with other countries. Heckscher-Ohlin model, which is the general equilibrium mathematical model of international trade theory, is built on the Ricardian theory of comparative advantage by making prediction on trade patterns and production of goods based on the factor endowments of nations (Learner 1995).
Assumptions of the Heckscher-Ohlin Model
The following assumptions pertain to the 2*2 model of Heckscher-Ohlin.

It is assumed that there are only two nations (1 and 2) with two goods for trade (X and Y) and two factors of production (capital and labour).
For producing the goods, both nations use the same technology and they use uniform factors of production.
In both countries, good X is labour intensive and Y is capital intensive.
The tastes and preferences of both nations are the same (both countries can be represented in the same indifference curve).
In both nations, the assumption of constant returns to scale is applicable for the production of goods X and Y.
In both nations, specialization in production is not complete.
Goods and factor markets in both nations are perfectly competitive.
There exists perfect mobility of factors of production within each country though international mobility is not possible.
There are no restrictions or limitations to the free flow of international trade. That is, there exist no transportation costs, tariffs, or like other obstructions either to control or to restrict the exports or imports.
It is assumed that there exists full employment of all resources in both nations. That is, there will not be any under employed resource in either nation.
The exports and imports between the nations are balanced. It means that the total value of the exports will be equal to the total value of imports in both nations.

Implications of the Assumptions
The assumptions are made in order to depict the theory in a two-dimensional figure. It is also implied that both countries have access to and use the same general production techniques. The labour-capital ratio (L/K) of commodity X is higher than that of Y in both countries with the same relative prices of factors. As constant returns to scale is assumed, increase in the amount of labour and capital will result in the proportionate increase in the output also. Another implication is that though free international trade exists, both of the countries produce both commodities and it can be presumed that both countries are not small in size.
As the tastes and preferences related to demand are identical in both countries, if the relative prices of the goods are equal, the consumption of goods X and Y will be in the same proportion in both countries. Likewise, in both countries producers, traders and consumers are too small to affect the commodity prices. Mobility of factors of production implies that capital and labour are free to move from areas or industries of lower prices (earnings) to those of higher prices (earnings) until earnings become same equal in all areas or industries. That is, price equalization theory is implied here. International differences in the earnings exist because of the factor immobility in the absence of international trade.
The assumption of incomplete production specialization implies that the process of specialization in production continues until the commodity prices (either relative or absolute) prices are the same in both countries. Again, if the transportation costs, tariffs or any other restriction are allowed, specialization will continue only until price differences by less than or equal to the costs or tariffs.
The Heckscher-Ohlin Model
Heckscher-Ohlin model is generally described as two countries, two goods and two factors model (2x2x2 model). This formulation of HO model was mathematically developed by Paul Samuelson. The goal of the model is to predict the pattern of international trade in commodities between the two countries on the basis of differences in factor endowments in both the countries.
Definition: A nation exports the commodities which are produced out of its relatively abundant and cheap factors or resources and imports the commodity which is produced out of relatively scarce factors or resources. In another words, relatively labour abundant country exports relatively labour intensive commodity and imports the relatively capital-intensive commodity. Country 1 exports commodity X because X is the Labor (L) intensive commodity and L is relatively cheap and abundant factor in country 1. Country 2 exports commodity Y because Y is the Capital (K) intensive commodity and K is relatively cheap and abundant factor in country 2.
The theory implicates two things: first, different supply conditions in terms of resource endowments explain comparative advantage and second, countries export goods that use abundant and cheap factors of production and import goods that use scarce and expensive factors.
According to Heckscher-Ohlin theory, international and interregional differences in production costs occur due to the differences in the supply of factors of production. Under free trade, countries export the commodities whose production requires intensive use of abundant factors and import the commodities whose production requires the scarce factors. Hence, international trade compensates for the uneven geographic distribution of factors of production. The theory gives insight to the fact that commodities are the bundles of factors (land, labour and capital). Thus, the exchange of commodities is indirect arbitrage of factors of production and the transfer of services of otherwise immobile factors from regions where factors are abundant to regions where they are scarce.

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The H-O theorem identifies the basic reason for comparative advantage and international trade as the different factor abundance or factor endowments among nations. Because of this particular reason, the theory is known as factor proportions or factor endowment theory. The theory postulates that the difference in relative factor endowment and prices is the main reason for the difference in relative commodity prices between two countries.
Factor Endowments
Factor endowment can be defined as the ratio of capital to labour (K/L). If the capital – labour ratio in country 1 is greater than in country 2, then country 1 is said to be relatively capital-abundant (and labour-scarce) while country 2 is labour abundant (and capital scarce). Symbolically, this can be represented as:
(K/L) 1 > (K/L) 2
Important implication of different factor endowments is for autarky prices of factors of production (the autarky prices are implied in the figure represented below).
For two countries with same demand patterns, relative factor prices leads to relative factor scarcities. Country 2 will have relatively inexpensive labour and country 1 is in a position to provide relatively inexpensive (abundant) capital.
Factor Intensities, Factor Abundance and Production Frontiers under H-O Model
Factor Intensity
Commodity Y is said to be relative capital intensive and commodity X is relatively labour intensive if the capital labour ratio used in the production of Y is higher than that of the production of commodity X.
That is,
(K/L) y > (K/L) x
If the for the production of commodity Y, the country use 2K and 2L, then K/L = 1 and if the production of commodity X requires 1K and 4L, K/L=1/4. In this case, it can be said that commodity Y is capital intensity and commodity X is labour intensive. Factor intensity depends on K/L rather than the absolute amount of K and L.
At the equilibrium points, for producing the commodities, both countries choose capital-labour ration that minimize the factor costs at the prevailing relative factor prices.
The relative factor prices are represented as W=w/r where w is the price of labour and r is the price of capital. Though in principle, the factor intensities can be reversed when factor prices change. But it is assumed that this does not exist in H-O model. There is no factor intensity reversal.
Factor Abundance
Factor abundance can be defined in terms of two ways:1) Physical Units and 2) Relative Prices of factors.
In terms of physical units, the overall amount of capital and labour available to each country is taken into consideration (that is, TK and TL). As per this definition, country 2 is capital abundant if the ratio of total amount of capital (TK) to total amount of labour available in country 2 will be greater than that in country 1. The ratio of TK/TL is important rather than total absolute amount of K and L of the countries.
Country 2 may have less capital than country 2 and still there may be the capital abundant country if TK/TL in country 2 exceeds TK/TL in country 1.
In terms of relative factor prices, country 2 is capital abundant if PK/PL is lower in country 2 than in country 1. As the price of capital is taken to be the interest rate, r and the price of labour is wage, w, then PK/PL= r/w. The ratio of r/w is important, not the absolute level of r or w, in determining whether a country is capital abundant or labour abundant. The first definition takes only the supply of factors into consideration, while the second considers both supply and demand factors.
Factor Endowments and Production Frontiers
When country 2 is capital abundant and the commodity Y is capital intensive, country 2 can produce relatively more of commodity Y than in country 1. Similarly, if country 1 is labour abundant and commodity X is labour intensive, country 1 can produce relatively more of commodity X than country 2. This situation gives a relatively flatter and wider production frontier curve for country 1 than country 2.
Diagrammatic Representation of H-O Model
The following figure represents the Heckscher-Ohlin model diagrammatically. As it is assumed, two countries have same tastes and preferences for demand, both the countries are represented in the same indifference map.
I is the highest indifference curve that country 1 and country 2 can achieve separately in the absence of international trade. The points A and A/ represent equality of production and consumption of both countries in the absence of trade. The tangency points of A and A/ determine the no-trade equilibrium prices of PA and PA/ in country 1 and country 2 respectively.
When PA The right side of the figure shows that country 1 specializes in commodity X and Country 2 in commodity Y when both countries involve in international trade.
Specialization proceeds at point where country 1 achieves the point B and country 2 reaches at point B/. At these points transformation curves are tangent to the common relative price line of PB.
Country 1 exports commodity X in exchange for commodity Y and consumes at point E on the second indifference curve (IC II). Likewise, country 2 exports commodity Y in exchange for commodity X and the relative equilibrium point of country 2 is point E/ which coincides with point E.
In this context, it is important to note that country 1’s exports of commodity X equal country 2’s imports of commodity X (that is, BC=C/B/). Similarly, country 2’s exports of commodity Y equal country 1’s imports of commodity Y (that is, B/C/= CE).
When PX/PY>PB, country 1 wants to export more of commodity X than country 2 is able to import at this high relative price, and PX/PY tends to diminish to PB, which is equilibrium and normal price. Likewise, when PX/PY

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At point E, more of commodity Y and less of commodity X than at the point A are involved. However, country 1 will gain from international trade because E lies on higher indifference curve (IC II). Similarly, though at E/ more commodity of X and less commodity of Y are involved compared to the point of A/, country 2 gains from the trade because E/ lies on higher indifference curve, IC II.
As a connotation of H-O theorem, three other prepositions or theorems are associated:
Factor price equalization theorem 2) Stopler-Samuelson theorem and 3) the Rybcsynski Theorem (Jone 2002).
Even though the national frontiers rule out the international mobility of factors, free trade in commodities leads to reduce the disparities in demand relative to supply of factor and thus to decrease the disparities in factor returns among different countries. International free trade leads to sharing of same technology by different countries and bringing of equality of factor returns if the factor endowments are similar and sufficient quantity of commodities are produced commonly (Samuelson 1992).
Changes in relative commodity prices as brought by free international trade have strong effects on the factor prices or rewards. If there is no joint production, some factors may raise their rewards uncontrollably and other rewards may be lowered unambiguously. If the number of factors equals the number of commodities and production is non-joint, the relative changes in commodity prices will raise the price of any particular factor (Uekawa, 1971).
If there is unbalanced growth in factor supplies, it may lead to stronger asymmetric changes in outputs also. If the quantity of factors of production and commodities are evenly matched and production is non-joint, this pattern of asymmetry may pertain to growth in some factors of production (if there is given commodity prices) and may lead to the reduction of outputs.
Leontief (1953) was the first to confront the Heckscher-Ohlin model with empirical investigation. He had developed a set of data in the frame of input-output accounts for the U.S economy and he computed the amounts of labour and capital used in each industry for 1947. Likewise, he made use of U S trade data for the same year to compute the factors of production (labour and capital) used in the production of $1 million of US exports and imports.
Each column of the table shows the amount of labour and capital required to occur $1 million worth of international trade (exports or imports) to United States in the year 1947.
Firstly Leontief measured the capital and labour required for the exports from US. This estimation required the labour and capital used in each and every exporting industry and from the first row of the table, it is seen that $2.5 worth of capital was used to export worth of $1million. For labour, 182 person-years were used to produce the same exports.
Taking the ratio of labour and capital, it can be said as in the third row of the table, each labourer is working with $13,700 worth of capital. Turning to the import side of the calculation, there emerged a problem non-availability of data on foreign technology. Still Leontif managed to estimate the model assuming that same technology of US used in imports. The estimation on imports (i.e., $3.1 million of capital, 170 person- years and capital-labour ratio as $18,000) indicates that capital labour ratio of imports is higher than that of US exports. But US economy is found in 1956 as capital-abundant and this appears to contradict the H-O theorem. Thus the findings of Leontief came to be called as “Leontief Paradox” (Learner 1995).
Under the framework of H-O theorem, many explanations have been proposed for the existence of this paradox.
By examining the limitations of Leontief ‘s estimation, Bowen, Leamer and Sveikauskas (1987) estimated the H-O model by using data on a large number of countries. It was estimated to check whether countries are net exporters of the factors of production (which are relatively abundant) as factors of production are indirectly embodied in the trade. Cline (1997) suggested a more generalized H-O model by taking into account more and disaggregated factors of production. It was recognized that factor endowments change over a period of time as the investment and technological advances occur.
H-O theorem has been vehemently criticized on many grounds including in terms of its basic assumptions. Some empirical studies even questioned the validity of the theory. Despite of the many criticisms and drawbacks, H-O theory has its own merits and contributions in the theoretical history of international trade.
By taking both commodity and factor prices into consideration, H-O theory provides a more and satisfactory explanation of international trade.
In comparative cost theory of David Ricardo, it was pointed that comparative cost difference is the basis for international trade. But H-O theorem better explains the reasons for these cost differences in terms of factor endowments. The price equalization principle, a concomitant of H-O theorem comprehensively explains the situation which is of course, superior to the previous theories of international trade.

Evaluation of Capital Asset Pricing Model Assumptions and Limitations

The Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) is a very useful model and it is used widely in the industry even though it is based on very strong assumptions. Discuss in the light of recent developments in the area.
In finance, “a fundamental question asked, is how the risk of investment is going to impact its expected return” (Perold, 2004). Introduced and developed in the early 1960’s (Fama and French, 2004), the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) demonstrates the link between the risk and return of an asset, in a reasonable equilibrium market. The aim of the CAPM formula is to assess whether a stock is valued fairly when considering risk and time value of money, compared to its expected return. In order to calculate the expected return of investment for an asset, given its risk, is illustrated through Image 1. Put simply:

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Return = Risk free rate + Beta (Market Return – Risk free rate).
This essay plans to evaluate assumptions based on the CAPM, whilst discussing limitations faced by the model. It will consider how useful CAPM is, when the returns of an asset should earn, dependent on its risk. Whilst recognising the recent developments of this model, the essay will critically compare and discuss the models’ usefulness.
History of CAPM
There was very little understanding of risk until as late as the 1960’s – whether in terms of theory or empirical evidence (Perold, 2004). Theories regarding investor’s risk preferences and decision-making under uncertainty only emerged in the 1940s/1950s, particularly through the work of von Neumann and Morgenstern.
In the 1950s, Harry Markowitz introduced the Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT), being among one of the first to discuss the relationship between risk and the rate of return (Raei, 2011). “Harry Markowitz provided the first truly rigorous justification for selecting and diversifying a portfolio with the publication of his paper “Portfolio Selection”” (Sullivan, 2006). This theory argues that the characteristics of an investment’s risk and return shouldn’t be considered solely but should recognise the broad impact the investment has on the portfolio’s risk and return. The MPT assumes that investors are all risk averse, which means they will opt for the least risky asset when investing, given its level of return. This suggests that an investor will engage in more risky investments, with the expectation of a higher return.
What is the Capital Asset Pricing Model?
Originally introduced by William Sharpe (1964), Jack Treynor (1962), John Lintner (1965) and Jan Mossin (1966), the Capital Asset Pricing Model builds upon concepts from the Modern Portfolio Theory, yet based on the concept that the price of an asset should not always be dependent on its risk. CAPM is a theoretical representation of the behaviour of financial markets, can be employed in estimating a company’s cost of equity capital (Mullins, 1982). The MPT demonstrates how rational investors should build a profitable portfolio regarding their risk-return preferences. Whereas, the CAPM includes a relationship, expanding on how assets should be priced in the capital market (Diksha, n.d.). “CAPM holds that the expected return of a security or a portfolio equals the rate on a risk-free security plus a risk premium. If this expected return does not meet or beat a theoretical required return, the investment should not be undertaken” (Capital Asset pricing model, 2014).
The graph below illustrates portfolio opportunities and explains the story of CAPM. The axis which runs horizontally across indicates portfolio risk which is measured by the standard deviation of portfolio return. The axis that’s vertical, illustrates the expected return. The abc curve (known as the minimum variance frontier) demonstrates the combination of expected return and the risk of assets which minimize return.

Source: (Fama & French, 2004)
Assumptions of the Capital Asset Pricing Model
The CAPM is the basis for most of the recent works in capital market theory, asset pricing and finance. This model “postulates that under certain assumptions, there is a linear relationship between the return of an asset and its non-diversifiable risk” (Francisco, 1987).There are 4 main assumptions on which this model is based. The first being that investors are all risk averse, basing their investment portfolios entirely through expected returns and standard deviation of return, both measured during the same holding period. Another being the assumption of the “Perfect Capital Market”, where “all assets are infinitely divisible; there are no transactions costs, short selling restrictions or taxes; information is costless and available to everyone; and all investors can borrow and lend at the risk-free rate” (Perold, 2004). A further assumption on which the model is based, is that all investors have equal access to the same investment opportunities. And the final assumption is that investors make the same estimates of individual asset expected returns, standard deviations of return as well as the correlations among asset returns.
Limitations/Flaws of the Capital Asset Pricing Model
The capital asset pricing model is often faulted as a result of the basis of its assumptions. Although the CAPM is widely used as it measures the expected rate of return of a security and relates it to expected risk, however, the empirical evidence shows that it is “poor enough to invalidate the way it is used in applications” (Fama & French, 2004). It can be said, the reason for this, is that the Capital Asset Pricing Model was developed at a time when “the theoretical foundations of decision making under uncertainty were relatively new and when basic empirical facts about risk and return in the capital markets were not yet known” (Perold, 2004). The fact that the model assumes the capital market is going to be perfect is unreasonable and is evident the capital markets aren’t perfect.
Recent Developments of the Capital Asset Pricing Model
Since being introduced, many researchers have decided to extend and develop the standard Capital Asset Pricing Model since the 1960s. Asset pricing models have evolved considerably with the aim of improving its realism.
Three Factor Model
“One critical assumption in CAPM is the risk premium estimation, the residual between the market return and the risk-free interest rate” (Gustafsson and Gustavsson, 2019). The Three-Factor Model was developed and proposed by Fama and French in response to accumulating empirical evidence that the CAPM performed poorly in explaining realised returns (Gaunt, 2004). When developing the standard CAPM, Fama and French added two factors in the aim of better explaining the returns of the portfolio, including market capitalisation and book-to-market value. In 1995, they identified a covariance between the company’s book-to-market ratio and size, in the aim of measuring the return of the stock. After testing the Three Factor Model empirically, it was confirmed that this model had higher explanatory power than the one factor CAPM (Gaunt, 2004). This means that the main advantage of this model is that it includes the size and value of the firm, and the market risk factor used in the CAPM.
Five Factor Model
After developing the three-factor model, Fama and French went on to further expand on this theory, introducing the Five-Factor model. This model was directed at not only taking into consideration the size and value of the firm, and the market risk factor – but it also considers the profitability of the stocks, and the investment patterns in average stock returns (Fama and French, 2014). The empirical tests of the five-factor model aim to explain average returns on portfolios formed to produce large spreads in size, profitability and investment (Musarurwa, 2019). “With the addition of profitability and investment factors, the value of the previous three-factor model becomes redundant” (Fama and French, 2015).
Arbitrage Pricing Theory (APT)
Like CAPM, this theory gives investors an estimated required rate of return on portfolios which are of risk. The Arbitrage Pricing Theory aims to reduce the limitations of the one-factor CAPM, with the understanding that different stocks will have alternative sensitivities to different market factors. The APT bases its assumption on the fact that an asset is dependent on numerous macroeconomic factors, i.e. inflation, exchange rates, market indices, changes in interest rates and market sentiments (Bulaki, 2019), to name a few. Simply, not all assets or stocks can be expected to react to a specific and same parameter all the time, thus the requirement to consider the multifactor and sensitivities.
Zero-Beta CAPM
Developed by Black in 1972, the Zero-Beta CAPM showed that the results from CAPM do not require a risk-free asset which has returns constantly in every state of nature. A zero-beta portfolio is one which is built without systematic risk. The zero-beta CAPM implies that beta is still the correct measure of systematic risk, and that the model still has a linear specification. This means that the value of the portfolio doesn’t fluctuate with market movements. Without systematic risk in a zero-beta portfolio, the return is the same as the risk-free rate. Thus, the return on a portfolio with zero-beta is going to be low, and without the volatility of the market exposed, it does not allow the portfolio to benefit from potential upswings in value of the overall market (InvestingAnswers, 2009).
Inter-Temporal CAPM
Derived from Merton (1973), ICAPM focuses on relaxing the single time period assumption from the standard CAPM. It is said that investors who use ICAPM are only concerned with the end-of-period payoff, as well as the chance to consume or invest this payoff., whereas investors of the standard CAPM would be interested about the wealth of their assets at the end of the current period (Elbannan, 2015). With the Inter-temporal CAPM, there is the assumption of a perfect market; no costs or taxes, all assets have limited liability, investors believe their decision has no impact on the market price and the market is always in an equilibrium etc. It’s evident that the ICAPM extends the CAPM to a more dynamic environment, where the results almost mirror that of the APT. The difference between ICAPM and APT, however, is that the ICAPM has the ability to determine risks from characteristics of the assets (Krause, 2001).
Downside CAPM (Downside BETA)
Downside BETA, or Downside-CAPM is another extension from the CAPM. This concept dates back to as Beta is used within the standard CAPM as a way of calculating the expected return of an asset. Downside beta is a way to measure the downside risk of an asset, the risk associated with loss (Pedersen & Hwang, 2007). Investors may try and consider constructing their portfolios by minimising the downside beta. The reason for this is to ensure they can maintain the value in times of market decline.
Revised CAPM
This model is a further development of the standard Capital Asset Pricing Model, which includes financial, operational and economic leverages. In order to achieve a more accurate prediction of return, it focuses on systematic and unsystematic risk, including historical and estimating data completely (Roodposhti & Amirhosseini, 2009). When testing this model, they compared R-CAPM with the traditional CAPM, Downside CAPM and the Adjusted-CAPM, and found that there was a meaningful difference between the measures of expected return for R-CAPM and the alternative CAPMs.
Consumption CAPM (Co-CAPM)
Founded by Robert Lucas (1978) and Douglas Breeden (1979), the Consumption CAPM is an additional extension of the standard CAPM. “Co-CAPM quantity market risk is measured by movement of the premium with consumption growth. Thus, the Co-CAPM explains how much the entire stock market changes related to the consumption growth” (Raei, 2011). This model is argued to be the best theoretical model, however the basic link between consumption and stock returns assumed by the Co-CAPM cannot hold. The Co-CAPM is used more from an academic perspective as it covers many forms of wealth, beyond stock market wealth, providing an understanding of variation in returns over a number of periods.
Reward CAPM (Reward-BETA)
It was stated by Graham Bornholt in 2006, that investors require a better methodology in order to estimate the expected returns within the stock market. With this in mind, he developed the Reward-BETA CAPM. This model is based on assumptions which are consistent with the Arbitrage Theory; dividing returns of stocks into two parts: expected and unexpected stock returns.
The purpose of this essay was to discuss the extent to which the Capital Asset Pricing Model is useful in light of recent developments in the area. The CAPM is the basis of all recent developments, and although very simple, is a fundamental contribution to the understanding of the determinants of asset prices (Perold, 2004). Recent developments from this model have proved to be more intricate and complex, solving issues which were raised regarding the simplicity of the CAPM, allowing ease when comparing investment alternatives. Although there have been various criticisms of the standard CAPM, without it, the other extensions from it would not exist.

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