Effective Strategies to Close the Gap Early Elementary Students in Literacy


There is a lot or research and talk on how to close the gap. However, during the 70’s and through the 80’s the achievement gap was closing.  In fact, the achievement gap between minority students and whites’ students was cut in half.  Unfortunately, it seems to come to a stop around 1988, and the gap seems to start to widen again.  It has continued to widen since then.  It is up to teachers and administrators to come up with effective strategies to cut this gap again.  In this Literature Review, it will discuss the strategies to cut it for the future.


Key terms: Socioeconomic, Achievement Gap, Instructional strategies, Effective strategies,



 The purpose of this Literature Review is to bring light to a problem that has plague our schools year after year.  There is a gap between at-risk students and their peers.  Specifically, Socioeconomic Status (SES) students from poverty schools. Unfortunately, minorities’ students are two times likely to be academically behind than their peers. Effective strategies can be used to close the achievement gap. The classroom needs to have more comprehensive interventions to tackle achievement gaps. This literature review will describe the tested research-based strategies that will hopefully close this gap.   Through this review, I will discuss the academic performance gap that is shown early on in lower elementary. 

Literature Review

Significant research was done on instructional strategies to help close the achievement gap.  Topics included teacher factors, after school assistance, and early childhood education. 

Early Childhood Education

Year after year, there is a lot of discussion on how we should make quality preschool available for all students.  When students have a quality preschool experience, it has shown that students have a better chance of doing well in the classroom.  Magnuson & Waldfogel (2005) observed Black, White, and Hispanic children had differing experiences in early childhood programs.  They wanted to discover connections between their experiences in early childhood program and racial and ethnic gaps in school readiness. Students who can attend a daycare or preschool programs enter school more ready to learn, but unfortunately, the quality of care is differ by race and ethnicity. Magnuson & Waldfogel (2005) found that Black children are more likely to attend preschool than white children but may experience lower-quality care. In addition, Hispanic children are much less likely than white children to attend preschool.

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Even though Black children do go to a preschool program, they tend to differ from their white counterparts. If we can make sure all students get a quality early childhood, this may help stop the education gap in education.  Magnuson & Waldfogel (2005) believes making preschool enrollment universal for three- and four- year-old children in poverty and increasing the quality of care could close to 20 percent of the black- white school readiness gap and up to 36 percent of the Hispanic-white gap.


It is known that having effective early education is important for academic achievement and positive life outcomes, especially students in low socioeconomic backgrounds. One of strategies is to focus on neuroscience, specifically on self-regulation.  Self- regulation is when learners become successful because they control their learning environment. They exert this control by directing and regulating their own actions toward their learning goals. Blair & Raver (2014) hypothesized that educational practices designed to support the development of self-regulation will lead not only to higher academic achievement but will also be associated with beneficial change in measures of children’s attention, executive functions, and stress response physiology.  A tool to accomplish this strategy is called “Tools of Mind.”  Tools of Mind gives teaching professionals tools to help each student to become a successful learning.  The program is helping teachers to develop cognitive, social and emotional skills.  The program builds on insight of Lev Vygotsky (1930). Tools of the Mind (1993) is a pedagogical approach that included the use of specific tactics to support of memory and learning, and the organization of “shared cooperative activity” designed to promote social-emotional as well as cognitive development.   Teachers can use the tools to focus on student academic progress and social competencies.

Blair & Raver (2014) believes it can enhance children’s engagement in learning and establishing beneficial academic trajectories in the early grades.  They did a study that focused on students who were in Kindergarten and having them use the approach of self-regulation into literacy, mathematics, and science.  The study chose to use a cluster randomized controlled trial involving 29 schools, 79 classrooms, and 759 children.  The results demonstrated improvement in reading, vocabulary, and mathematics at the end of kindergarten.  This helps prepare these students for first grade.  They found that several effects that were specific to high-poverty schools, aspects of self-regulation in early elementary education hold promise for closing the achievement gap.

Strong Background Knowledge

Maximizing the learning outcomes of students requires lessons from teachers with strong domain knowledge (Haycock, 2001). When teachers do not have strong backgrounds in the subject’s students’ learning motivation may diminish, which would likely impede students from fully demonstrating their abilities. Teacher expectations and teaching methods are also established as important factors that affect students’ self-effect (Haycock, 2001). It is important that there is balanced discipline might contribute to lagging achievement among students of color.

(Gregory et. At., 2010) It is important that teachers know what they are teaching and how to teach content to their students, especially in lower elementary.  Teachers need to have strong knowledge of what they are teaching, so students can learn and grow and understand the material they are learning.  If students have a highly effective teacher, this will help in closing the gap. Based on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, they indicated that pedagogical content knowledge is the basis for effective teaching.



Using technology is an effective strategy that will reach each student.  Specifically using a hand-held tablet technology.  This technology is an interactive intervention learner-centered software that is aimed at supporting the development of early math skills.  

Outhwaite, Guiliford, & Pitchford (2017) found there was immediate and sustain gains in mathematics compared to math performance before, immediately after, and 5 months after the intervention.  In the study, it focuses on 133 students from the age of 4-7.  Class teachers were instructed to implement the math intervention for a specified period.  In the study, the findings indicated that the tablet technology can provide a form of individualized effective support for early math development.  Finally, the study shows apps that incorporate repetitive and interactive features are beneficial to low-achievers and could help close the gap in early math skills in preschool.

Increased Instructional Time

Researchers have summarized the strategies (Brown et al., 2011) and characteristics of schools (Leithwood, 2010), which demonstrated the effects of narrowing achievement gaps.  Leithwood’s research gave an example of state of Kentucky which provided extra funds annually to low-SES schools to extend instructions, such as providing after-school assistance in academic subjects. The city of San Diego also did the same as Kentucky.  San Diego doubled instructional time, and schools saw improvement in their test scores.


Mindfulness is an intervention designed to help student’s focus on self-affirming values and lessening their psychological threat related to being negatively stereotyped was effective in reducing the racial achievement gap.  Similar methods were able to reduce gender achievement gap in a college-level introductory physics class. (Miyake et al. 2010)

Justification / Feasibility

Big gaps with children who are low-SES are the ones who are struggling.  Children from low-SES families enter high school with average literacy skills five years behind students of high-income (Reardon et. al., 2013). According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2014), individuals within the top family income quartile are eight times more likely to obtain a bachelor’s degree by age 24 as compared to individuals from the lowest family income quartile. Schools and the community are not doing enough to stop the gap occurring every day.

Children from lower SES households are about twice as likely then high-SES households to display learning-related behavior problems. Many schools are seeing an increase in these behaviors and are not sure what to do.  A mother’s SES is also related to her child’s inattention, disinterest, and lack of cooperation in school (Morgan et al., 2009). If teachers can start early with these instructional strategies it can start to close the gap. 


Achievement gap is complex; solutions must be address with all school staff.  Effective instructive strategies are the answer to help reduce the achievement gap in low SES students specifically minorities students.  Research identified varying factors that can help reduce achievement gaps.  Teachers need to have strong background knowledge in order to help students.  If teachers don’t have the strong background knowledge, teachers can further lengthen achievement gap for SES students.  Schools should have afterschool programs to help SES students to gain the knowledge they are behind.  Students will have opportunity to learn in a safe environment on the knowledge they are behind in.  Teachers should also use mindfulness, to help students.  Mindfulness will give students the courage and esteem to help them achieve their goals.


Aikens, N. L., & Barbarin, O. (2008). Socioeconomic differences in reading trajectories: The contribution of family, neighborhood, and school contexts. Journal of Educational Psychology, 100, 235-251. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-0663.100.2.235.

Blair, C., & Raver, C.C. (2014). Closing the achievement gap through modification of neurocognitive and Neurocognitive Function: Results from a cluster randomized controlled trial of an innovative approach to the education of children in kindergarten. Plos One, 9(11). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0112393

Blustein, D. (2013). The psychology of working: A new perspective for career development, counseling, and public policy. Abingdon-on-Thames, England: Routledge.

Diemer, M. A., & Blustein, D. L. (2007). Vocational hope and vocational identity; Urban adolescents’ career development. Journal of Career Assessment, 15, 98-118. doi:10.1177/1069072706294528

Morgan, P. L., Farkas, G., Hillemeier, M. M., & Maczuga, S. (2009). Risk factors for learning-related behavior problems at 24 months of age: Population-based estimates. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 37, 401-413.


Outhwaite, L., Guiliford, A., & Pitchford, N. (2017). Closing the gap: Efficacy of a tablet intervention to support the development of early mathematical skills in UK primary school children. Computers & Education,108, 43-58.

Reardon, S. F., Valentino, R. A., Kalogrides, D., Shores, K. A., & Greenberg, E. H. (2013). Patterns and trends in racial academic achievement gaps among states, 1999-2011. Retrieved from https://cepa.stanford.edu/content/patterns-and-trends-racial-academic-achievement-gaps-among-states-1999-2011.www.gale.com

Sung, Y., Tseng, T., Chang, T., & Chiou, J. (2014). Evaluating the effects of programs for reducing achievement gaps: A case study in Taiwan. Asia Pacific Education Review, 15(1), 99-113.  http://dx.doi.org.nmu.idm.oclc.org/10.1007/s12564-013-9304-7



Chuck Close | Art Style Analysis

When he left the UW for Yale in 1962, Close changed his style completely, dumping abstract paintings based on de Kooning in favor or “photorealist” portraits. He turned his back on abstraction in favor of photorealism because he wanted to “find his own voice” and not continue to do work similar to that of his UW mentor, Art Professor Alden Mason. It was a dramatic break: Photorealism is a painting style resembling photography in its close attention to detail, the opposite of abstract expressionism. He achieved his international reputation by demonstrating that a very traditional art form, portrait painting, could be resurrected as a challenging form of contemporary expression. His work has been superficially described as photo realist, “but is more revealingly positioned with the development of minimalism and process art of the 1960s and 1970s,” says Christopher Ozubko, director of the UW School of Art.
Close’s large, iconic portraits are generated from a system of marking which involves painstaking replication of the dot system of the mechanical printing process. The portraits he produces–utterly frontal, mural-size, and centered in shallow space–replicate the veracity of a photograph and undermine the objectivity of photography at the same time, critics say.
In the early days, though, his work was the complete opposite of realism. Upon his arrival at the UW from Everett Community College–which back in the 1950s was a feeder for the UW art program–he was influenced heavily by the now-retired Mason. They used to get thick paint by the gallon from a special dealer in Oakland, and churned out lots of abstract works. “It was the opposite of the precise work he is best known for,” says Mason. “We just glopped on tons of paint and followed the influence of de Kooning and other New York painters of the time. The brushwork then took a lot of energy, was emotional, hard work, full of anxiety and trauma because it was all improvisational. You had no idea what was going to turn out.

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The Marxist Analysis enables a piece of illustration or artwork to be put in its historical, social and cultural context. This can be done by analysing the production, consumption and status of the image. The work of Chuck Close can be analysed in this way to discover its purpose and context. I am particularly interested in the dramatic shift in the work of Chuck Close and the way he completely changed his style and way of working.
Close began by producing very large photorealistic portraits and had a unique and very well liked style. Photorealism was very popular at the time culture
However, he was not able to continue working in this way after suffering from a spinal cord injury in 1988, which caused him to lose mobility in all parts of his body except a small amount of movement in his neck. His accident left him feeling helpless and many believed this was the end of his career as an artist. However, he did not give up and continued producing artwork by holding a paintbrush between his teeth and painting small pixel-like sections to make up a larger image.
Although his later paintings differ in method from his earlier canvases, the preliminary process remains the same. To create his grid work copies of photos, Close puts a grid on the photo and on the canvas and copies cell by cell. Typically, each square within the grid is filled with roughly executed regions of color (usually consisting of painted rings on a contrasting background) which give the cell a perceived ‘average’ hue which makes sense from a distance. His first tools for this included an airbrush, rags, razor blade, and an eraser mounted on a power drill. His first picture with this method was Big Self Portrait, a black and white enlargement of his face to a 107.5in by 83.5in (2.73m by 2.12m) canvas, made in over four months in 1968, and acquired by the Walker Art Center in 1969. He made seven more black and white portraits during this period. He has been quoted as saying that he used such diluted paint in the airbrush that all eight of the paintings were made with a single tube of mars black acrylic.
However, Close continued to paint with a brush strapped onto his wrist with tape, creating large portraits in low-resolution grid squares created by an assistant. Viewed from afar, these squares appear as a single, unified image which attempt photo-reality, albeit in pixelated form. Although the paralysis restricted his ability to paint as meticulously as before, Close had, in a sense, placed artificial restrictions upon his hyperrealist approach well before the injury. That is, he adopted materials and techniques that did not lend themselves well to achieving a photorealistic effect. Small bits of irregular paper or inked fingerprints were used as media to achieve astoundingly realistic and interesting results. Close proved able to create his desired effects even with the most difficult of materials to control.
He soon regained some movement in his upper arm and was able to produce artwork even more freely.
He then found he was not completely powerless and developed a new style of working which was even more amazing than before his accident. By losing something valuable, he found something he never would have even imagined and realised he was stronger than anyone ever thought.
The cultural context of Close’s work contributes a lot to its meaning. At a time of Abstract Expressionism he went against the mainstream with his photorealistic portraits and redefined portraiture. He has always worked strictly from photographs, producing canvases usually about three meters high. Chuck Close uses grids to transfer the images to the canvas producing lifelike images with intricate detail.
His earlier work had a very strong photographic feel- he even blurred out things further away from the face, as a real camera lens blurs the background of a photo. Chuck
Close did not work in the same way as anyone else at the time. His portraits focused on the hair, skin and details such as wrinkles, rather than on the eyes, as many other artists at the time did. Such realism was created as Close captured every pore and wrinkle.
This technique started out with a series of portraits in black and white, and the artist began using more colours in the 1970’s.
In the 1980’s, he started towards abstraction. His best known technique is the fingerprint paintings in which he used an inkpad and his own fingerprints to fill in the grid of his canvas. The canvases got bigger, but the realism was still there, in fact, if a person were to stand at a distance where he/she could see the entire image, it would be very difficult for that person to tell that the piece was created with fingerprints. Once the person gets close enough to see the fingerprints, it is very unlikely that he/she can get a good view of the piece as a whole.
His most current stage of abstraction is one developed after he became partially paralyzed. He fills each of his grids with an oval composed of a few rings of bright colors. The style is still realistic, but not to the degree of Superrealism. Average paintings done with this technique is typically smaller than his earlier work.
Close usually works in stages but in this piece the rounded or hard-edged scribble shapes are not determined by a grid, unlike his other work. Close’s actual hand drawn pencil lines on the softground plate seem physical. To make this piece he had to alter his approach to the image but had wanted to make a face using colour separations for a long time. Colour separations are made through variations on the primary colours red, yellow and blue so rather than creating the image one square at a time, he needed to think in terms of the whole face at once even though the whole face could not come together until the final colour was layered on. Each individual state is scribbled echo of the entire face. The print is relatively small compared to the rest of his work, being only 18 1/4 x 15 1/4″, zooming in on Close’s face, cropping it off on all four sides. The extreme close up may symbolise the mature artist looking back on his career, confronting both the viewer and himself in a portfolio of intimate-sized etchings with a hand-drawn feel. Close’s own explanation for why he made this piece is practical and unpretentious “I wanted to demystify the process so that people understand how things happen.” This piece would have been very time-consuming and labour intensive for Close as each stage had to be planned expertly.
How does it communicate with the audience?
This Marxist approach can lead on to Semicotic analysis which studies the use of a set of signs which enables the intended audience to understand the artwork’s meaning.

Dangers With Living in Close Proximity to Power Lines

Research Task:

There have been several deliberations about the biological effects of exposure to electric and magnetic fields (EMF) and their possible detrimental effects on the health of humans and animals over the years. Illnesses attributed to power lines include abnormal heart pulses, leukaemia, cancers, miscarriages, birth defects, and other conditions that might lead to premature death. Regardless of the conclusions of many studies that find no evident risks, many people remain uncertain about the safety of power lines. The aim of this investigation is to determine and discuss the ethical issues behind power lines in residential areas and whether there are dangers that should be seriously considered.
Research Question
Are electromagnetic fields around power lines harmful to people living in close proximity to them?
Those exposed to power lines in close proximity for long periods of time may obtain health problems however the power lines are not the main cause of the health issue but rather a factor. The reason for this is that there is not sufficient research conducted to prove that power lines are dangerous and that no health programmes have advised people to refrain from living near power lines or protected them from them either. There are many possible risks associated with electromagnetic radiation as it is not only available from power lines but also from apparatus such as microwave ovens, computers, wireless networks and cell phones. However these are more powerful forms of electromagnetic fields that are essentially more detrimental to human health than power lines.
Data Research
All electricity is generated, transmitted, or used and electric and magnetic fields are created due to the existence and motion of electric charges. (Gledhill, 2014) An electromagnetic field (EMF) has two components: an electric field and a magnetic field. When two objects have a voltage difference between them, an electric field is created. There is an electric field between a power line and the ground below because the power line is at a large voltage relative to the ground. (Nedlands, 2006)The electric field is measured in volts per meter (V/m) or in kilovolts per meter (kV/m). (See Figure 1 below) A magnetic field exists when electric current flows through a wire. Thus magnetic fields surround the power lines conducting current from the power station to residential areas. (Geoff Cackett, 1979)Transformers decrease these high voltages for local distribution to homes and businesses.

Figure 1 – Graph indicating the relationship between the Magnetic Field and Distance from the High-Voltage Power Line (Runge, 2011)
The magnetic field from a power line can vary extensively because the current in the wires depends on the amount of power expended. In contrast, the electric field from a power line varies very little because the voltage fundamentally remains constant. In general, these fields are time-varying vector quantities categorised by a number of constraints which include their frequency, phase, direction, and magnitude. (Portier, 1998)

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Electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) are areas of energy that are invisible and connected with the usage of electrical power(Birnbaum, 2014)EMFs are characterized by wavelength or frequency into one of two radioactive categories: non-ionizing and ionizing.( See Figure 2 below) High-voltage power lines that transmit electricity expose anything nearby to electromagnetic radiation as they create electromagnetic fields around them. (Goldberg, 2014) Electromagnetic radiation is any form of energy that is sent as waves or rays between two places. Electricity and magnetism are both jointly responsible for many kinds of radiation. (Knapp, 2002)

Radiation Type


Forms of Radiation

Source Examples


Low to mid-frequency radiation which is generally perceived as harmless due to its lack of potency.

Extremely Low Frequency (ELF)
Radio frequency (RF)
Visual Light

Microwave ovens
House energy smart meters
Wireless (wifi) networks
Cell Phones
Bluetooth devices
Power lines


Mid to high-frequency radiation which can, under certain circumstances, lead to cellular and or DNA damage with prolonged exposure.

Ultraviolet (UV)

Ultraviolet light
X-Rays ranging from 30 * 1016Hz to 30 * 1019Hz
Somegamma rays

Figure 2 – Table indicating differences between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation types (Gledhill, 2014)
The strongest EMFs are found around those major transmissioned lines that carry the highest voltages and currents. EMFs are also present around suburban distribution systems that carry large currents but at much lower voltages,. (Nedlands, 2006)
Electric and magnetic fields are also different in the way they interact with our bodies. Electric fields have very little penetration, while magnetic fields can penetrate to our inner organs. (Toufexis, 1989)
A biological effect is any change that could occur either short term or long term in the physical state of the human body. (Runge, 2011) EMF’s are able to induce the conductive matter of the human body and may result in observed changes in the human health. The epidemiological studies have inspired laboratory research into how EMFs could be associated with cancer. It is generally recognised by researchers that EMFs cannot initiate a cancer. They suggest instead that EMFs may play a part in promoting the growth of an existing cancer.
Researchers from the University of Tasmania and Britain’s Bristol University(See Figure 3 below) found that in a study of 850 lymphoma, leukaemia and cancer related conditions that living for an elongated period near high-voltage power lines increased the risk for these conditions much later in life (Zeman, 2011). However, the British Medical Journal published a paper on the investigation of the effect of 50 Hz magnetic fields on the existence of several types of cancer and concluded by stating that the extremely low frequency magnetic fields of high voltage power lines at typical residential levels do not appear to be associated with an increase in cancer among various adults; this also pertains for the haematological malignancies and for tumours of the nervous system as well as for the male and female hormone related cancers in genitals. (Verkasalo., 1996) As for specific cancer types, the presence of extremely low frequency magnetic fields remains indefinite. Numerous studies appear to display a weak association between incidence of some cancers and the exposure to power-frequency magnetic fields. The reason for this is that the electromagnetic energy from power lines are of extremely low frequency and therefore low energy. They are evidently different in frequency from ionizing radiation such as X-rays and gamma rays and are non-ionizing. Biological material absorbs the energy from higher-frequency more readily. In contrast, extremely low frequency EMF does not have enough energy to heat body tissues or cause ionization. Generally, the evidence that power line fields cause or donate to cancer is weak to non-existent according to most scientists.

Figure 3 – The study conducted by the University of Tasmania and Britain’s Bristol University produced these results. (Zeman, 2011)
According to ESKOM and several other studies, electric fields of the intensity encountered close to power lines, cannot damage crops. (See Figure 4 below) Laboratory studies that expose animals to electromagnetic fields, looking for variations in body function, chemistry, behaviour or general health and have also concluded that they have no effect on the fertility, behaviour, carcass quality, reproduction, meat, milk and egg production or the development of their offspring. (Rayleigh, 2006)


Setting of study



Sunflower seeds

5 kV/m electric field

Marino et al, 1983

Reduced germination rates in a minority of the tests


500 kV power line

Hilson et al, 1983

Lower yields, but explanation not clear (suggested that it could reflect less spraying near power line)

Cotton, soy beans, clover

500 kV power line in Tennessee

Hilson et al, 1983

No effects


765 kV power line in Indiana

Multiple reports

No effects


1200 kV power line in Oregon

Multiple reports

No effects


7.7 kV/m field, Japan

Endo et al, 1979

No effects

Pasture grass

1200 kV power line, USA

Rogers et al, 1983

No effects

Figure 4 – Table indicating results of various investigations conducted on the effects of power lines on crops (Rayleigh, 2006)
Disadvantages of power lines in residential areas:

Recent studies approve a reported association between eminent long term health risks (e.g. cancer) and proximity to residential power lines, but it is not certain if the observation is coincidental or not. Physical impossibility of any health effect has been argued by scientists due to weak levels of EMFs, while others uphold that the potential health risks should not be terminated. (Zeman, 2011)
The World Health Organization (WHO) publications state that EMF such as those from power lines, can also cause short term symptoms such as headaches, fatigue,anxiety, insomnia, prickling and/or burning skin, rashesand muscle pain. (Verkasalo., 1996)
Power lines are not visually appealing in residential areas and are more prone to external damage as they are exposed to people living around them.

Advantages of power lines in residential areas:

House prices are less expensive closer to power lines as people usually look for homes without obstructions.
Any technical or maintenance problems are fixed as soon as possible as many people depend on the residential power lines.
There is no compelling evidence of health hazards from power lines as many forms or research indicate that some health risks are associated with power lines in close proximity but it does not prove that they are the direct cause of any biological dangers. (Goldberg, 2014)

Therefore there are known health risks that appear to relate to power lines and their electromagnetic fields emitted but no evidence completely proves that biological effects have been conclusively demonstrated to be caused by living near high-voltage power lines. Many scientists believe that exposure to the low-level EMFs near power lines is safe, but some scientists continue research to look for possible health risks associated with these fields. The risks are clearly small if there are any risks associated with living near power lines.

Birnbaum, L. S., 2014. Department of Health and Human Services. [Online] Available at: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/about/od/index.cfm [Accessed 2 August 2014].
Geoff Cackett, R. K. A. S., 1979. Core Physics. In: C. Ratray, ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 211.
Gledhill, M., 2014. Electromagnetic fields (EMF). [Online] Available at: http://www.who.int/peh-emf/about/WhatisEMF/en/ [Accessed 2 August 2014].
Goldberg, R. B., 2014. Environment, Health and Safety. [Online] Available at: http://www.ehso.com/ehshome/emf.htm [Accessed 2 August 2014].
Knapp, B., 2002. Visual Science Encyclopedia. In: M. Sanders, ed. Heat and Energy. Danbury: Grolier Educational, pp. 13-14.
Nedlands, 2006. Powerlines, Electromagnetic Fields and Health. [Online] Available at: http://www.public.health.wa.gov.au/cproot/1372/2/Powerlines_Electromagnetic_Fields_and_Health.pdf [Accessed 2 August 2014].
Portier, C. J., 1998. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. [Online] Available at: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/health/assets/docs_a_e/emf1.pdf [Accessed 2 August 2014].
Rayleigh, R., 2006. EFFECT OF ELECTRICAL FIELDS, IONS AND NOISE. [Online] Available at: http://oregonstate.edu/dept/coarc/sites/default/files/publication/88 DC lines cattle crops (’88).pdf [Accessed 2 August 2014].
Runge, K., 2011. Eskom Fact Sheet. [Online] Available at: http://www.niehs.nih.gov/emfrapid. [Accessed 3 August 2014].
Toufexis, A., 1989. Health: Panic Over Power Lines. Times Magazine, 127 July , pp. 40-42.
Verkasalo., D., 1996. British Medical Journal. [Online] Available at: http://www.bmj.com/content/313/7064/1047.abstract [Accessed 3 August 2014].
Zeman, G., 2011. Health Physics Society. [Online] Available at: http://hps.org/hpspublications/articles/powerlines.html [Accessed 3 August 2014].

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International Expansion into Culturally Close Countries

– Index –

Introduction 3

Internationalization 3

Culture 3

Manifestation of culture 4

Impact of culture on an Individual’s Life 4

Impact of culture on Internationalization and consumer behavior 5

Benefits of cultural understanding 5

Examples of cultural embracement by MNC’s 6

Conclusion 6


Internationalizing firms tend to start their expansion into culturally close countries before expanding further.



In today’s business environment, companies do business not only within the country but across the national boundaries also. Different nations have significant differences of attitude, belief, ritual, morality, truth, superstitions and the endless list of other cultural characteristics. Some of the beliefs may be important to one group of people and the same may mean nothing to another. The global markets, when their products are localized, and are planned for internationalization, support for the multiple languages without changes to the core application and the products is equipped for global use. These cultural differences deeply affect market behavior. Today’s market need to be familiar with the cultural traits of the countries they want to do business with. In the century of internationalization, the making bodies of the organization need to make decision regarding political, religion, cultural, economic factors to enter into the foreign market of the same. Now we will discuss the elements and the manifestation of culture as to how the markets are sensitive to the various cultures.


According to the Jane Knight, the Internationalization is the essential and important activity of international and intercultural dimensions to be seeded at the institutional level. The definition of Knight covers the methods adaptation and cultural sensitivity of market. Also the rapid growth of globalization of markets has changed economical pattern to internationalization. Thus the globalization is transforming into internationalization (Susman & Gerald, 2007). When a company takes steps to increase its clientage across the country and into international markets. They also make strategy taking place between the different countries. Thus internationalization is the process of designing and building the applications which are used to facilitate the localization as culture of the particular place or country.


Different people have varied views on culture, many consider it as something a country, region, firm or something you can see , hear or touch, some have belief in ceremonies, clothing etc.

According to Hall (1976) culture is an learned behavior which is not biologically transmitted. It depends on environment not heredity.

Hofstede (1980) states that the genetic programming of the person passes the culture from generation to generations which evolves gradually in stages.

There are multiple concepts given on culture by many as –

Pattern of behavior by which the things happen to occur in an organization is culture (Deal & Kennedy)

Culture is a learned behavior which is accepted and declared compatible and passed on to the generations through shared experiences (Schein, 1992)

(Geertz, 1973) the tenets of a culture extend to the other members of group. (Mulholland 1991) defined culture as total pattern of behavior by way of belief, ethnic, national, law, customs etc. be shared and long lasting effects be transmitted to generations.

Thus we may conclude that culture as a concept encompasses every part of a person’s life. It meets all human physical and psychological needs and is continuously evolving.


Impact of Culture on a person’s Life

Basically, culture is the individual’s way of life. For a group of people it includes, beliefs, values, customs, traditions, heritage, language, artistic expression, etc. which affect therin behavior.

For some, one culture and ethnicity affects their behavior which might not be same for other. (Ratner 2006)

culture as an influence of behavior takes the “nurture” side of the argument about influence of culture.

By concluding we may say that culture is individual’s secret weapon which allow us to express ourselves as individuals and at the same time as a part of the group. It allows us to learn from others and to build on the efforts of others. It is the way of which all that is wonderful in the past is carried to the future.

Manifestation of Culture

Hofstede (1980) categorized culture into different categories such as Signs, heroes, rituals and values.

Signs: – Signs refer to a mark or a word used as conventional representation of an object, function or process for those who shares same culture. It allows people to go beyond what is known or seen by creating linkages between otherwise very different concepts and experiences by different cultural groups. For example hairstyles, linguistic worlds etc.

Ideals: – Person with highly recognizable character who is admired for their courage, achievements or noble qualities whether real or not becomes ideal personalities for others.

Traditions: – Traditions are the essential set of activities consists of religious or solemnly activities which contains series of actions performed according to prescribed order. Say, greeting someone, religious ceremonies and way of paying respect.

Virtue: – It creates a origin of culture. The regard that something is held to deserve. Say, what is right or wrong, natural or unnatural, good or bad etc .

Impact of Culture on an Individual’s Life

Various cultural aspects influence the formation of an individual’s cultural value system and identity. Such elements consist social culture, regional culture and family values. Each social culture is coordinated by some specific social norms which are shared with its members which enormously influence an individual’s culture as he examines various elements of personality including beliefs, behaviors and ideas. Peer pressure, conformity, obedience, leadership, marketing and socialization be examples of societal cultural influences. According to Ratner (2006), it is the elemental nature of a human being that he achieves throughout his life by observing his surroundings and other persons and reciprocate the environment accordingly. An individual possesses the natural skills to choose and pick any form of the regional culture while rejecting some other associated ideas. For example, a person can adopt a language or religion and rituals from the region where he dwells his ideology and thinking.

Implication of Cultural Marketing

Culture totally depicts the way we live and attributes of specific group of people for example the way we speak, dress-up, attitude and our learning capacity etc. So, An organization do attain knowledge about every aspects of their culture before getting into trade with them so that the product can be adequately promoted and succeed between the local customers and bring up to their expectation. The components need to be looked into are as follows:

Spoken or Written Language:

A spoken language is produced by articulate sounds, as opposed to written language which states that there are different meaning of same words in various cultures. For example, English language spoken in England is different from the English language being spoken in Rest of the world. The intermediators need to learn the language of the country they are dealing with otherwise there may be miscommunication of dialogue resultant to failure of the product or service being rendered, even for the same purpose the intermediators can hire the translators which tend to increase the expenses of the organization and also the dependency on them. (Griffin and Pustay, n.d.)

Non verbal communication includes Kinesics, Facial expressions, Pitch of voice, Proxemics but a body gesture can be explained differently by the individuals of various cultures. For example according to Eckman, Eye contact is the major source of non verbal communication in which the duration of the same is the most meaningful aspect. The length of the gaze, the frequency of glances, patterns of flixation and blink rates are all importance cues because as the liking increases, the mutual gazing is increased. (Ekman, 1969).

Third most debatable concept of culture do have a major impact on international marketing. The faith community to which a consumer belongs controls their choices and influence their buying decision. For example, During yulin dog meat festival, an ancient tradition started in 1700 BC, dog being china’s one of 12 zodiac sign given esteemed importance whereas treated as a pet in other countries. (Koetse, M. 2016).



 In the 21ST century of internationalization, cultural aspect being focused aspect of marketing strategies of different organization influence its opportunities and decisions and provide a background for various stakeholders so various cultures need to be understood for the business growth (Adler, 2002).

As said by Drnevich & paul’s (2004) synergic avenue, A favorable agreement is the one which can be designed without complexities and with cultural insight so that it can be clearly communicated with cross cultural differences. A clear view about the prevailing culture eradicates the problems of misinterpretation and protects us from negative impact on business. (Danciu, 2009).


Examples of embracement of cultural Diversities among different countries by MNCs:

In countries like China, many brands faced many problems from which “COKA-COLA” brand name faced pronunciation issues as it is pronounced like ‘KOOKE-KOULE’ which refers ‘A mouthful of wax candle’ so they have to give it new pronunciation ‘KEE KOU KEELE’ which means ‘joyful happiness and taste’ (Sro.sussex.ac.uk, 2019). A Automobile company named “General Motors” faced the same issue in spain with their brand name ‘NOVA’ which states ‘Do not go’ then it was converted into ‘Caribe’ which means ‘Took off’ (Ricks, D.A., 1999).


According to the above concept, a conclusion can be made that culture do have an influencing impact on internationalization of the firm. Cultural potentialities have made market expansion a critical phenomenon in today’s boundaries less global economy. Countries with similar culture and consumer’s perspective towards new products are more business oriented as it is easier to build relationship with international market. So, A globalized firm need to focus on the culture of the respective country in which they are trying to generate profitability from their established unit.



Adler, N. J. 2002. International dimensions of organizational behavior. Cincinnati: South Western/Thomson. 4th edition.

Danciu and Victor. 2009. Marketing international. Provocari si tendinte la inceputul secolului XXI, editia a II-a, Editura economica, Bucuresti

Herbig, P.A., 1999. Handbook of cross-cultural marketing, Mumbai: Jaico Pub.

Drnevich and Paul. 2004, The Role of the Cultural Distance in International Negotiations, Purdue CIOER Working Papers, Krammert Graduate School of Management, West Littlefield.

Griffin, R. and Pustay, M. (n.d.). International business. 7th ed. pearson, pp.140 to 147.

HALL. 1976. Beyond Culture. New York: Anchor Books/Doubleday.

HOFSTEDE. 1980. Culture’s Consequences: International Differences in Work-related Values.London: Sage Publications.

Knight, J. 2003. Updating the Definition of Internationalization. InternationalHigher Education.

MULHOLLAND. 1991. The Language of Negotiation. London: Routledge.

Ohmae. 2005. The next global stage: The challenges and opportunities in our borderless world. Wharton School Publishing.

Ratner, C. 2006.Cultural psychology: a perspective on psychological functioning and social reform. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Ricks, D.A., 1999. Blunders in international business, Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Sro.sussex.ac.uk. (2019). [online] Available at: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/124/1/Coca_Cola.pdf [Accessed 15 Feb. 2019].

Susman, Gerald I. 2007. Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and the Global Economy. Edward Elgar Publishing. pg. 281.

Koetse, M. (2016, June 26). Tradition or Abuse? Chinese Views on the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. Retrieved February 18, 2019, from https://www.whatsonweibo.com/tradition-abuse-chinese-views-yulin-dog-meat-festival/

Did Fighter Command Come Close to Defeat in the Battle of Britain?

Fighter Command came close to defeat during the Battle of Britain.

How accurate is this statement?

The Battle of Britain is widely regarding as the first military campaign fought entirely in the air.[1] The Royal Air Force (RAF) defended Britain against large scale attacks from the Luftwaffe, Germany’s air force. Following Germany’s lightning war success’ over the French army, the German high command then set their sights on Britain.[2]Therefore, the Luftwaffe were set the task of achieving control of the air, to establish opportunity for invasion, known as Op Sealion.[3] Through analysis this essay will demonstrate that throughout the battle, Fighter Command never truly came close to defeat. This was due to a combination of German strategic failures, British technological advantages and the way each side applied intelligence. It will be shown that Mission Command was employed by the RAF, enabling Dowding to have complete control of Fighter Command, utilising the Integrated Air Defence System (IADS). The IADS network would prove to be crucial component for Fighter Command throughout the battle as it provided an early warning of incoming attacks and a real time intelligence picture, allowing this information to be distributed to the relevant airfields, acting as a force multiplier.[4] On the other hand, the German leadership was laden with issues arising from their poor intelligence,  which was largely influenced through political corruption. Specifically, the German High Command crucially underestimated Fighter Command and furthermore the battle which they were involved in, resulting in a failure to apply a key principle of war, which is to have a clear, unambiguous strategy.[5] Finally, the essential areas of aircraft production, maintenance and pilots, a vital industry needed to maintain the sustainability to be operationally effective, will be highlighted. This will clearly emphasise the decisive role of keeping the maximum number of aircraft available for deployment at all time, again, enabling Fighter Command to avoid defeat.

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The tactics and strategies employed by the RAF and Luftwaffe was critical to determining the outcome of the battle. Fighter Command was mono-functional, it was purpose built for these exact circumstances. Whereas the Luftwaffe were multifunctional, largely regarded as a tactical air force, primarily used in support of ground and naval forces.[6] Therefore it was simply unprepared for a solo aerial battle of attrition. As previously stated; Britain employed mission command, with Churchill empowering Dowding to lead Fighter Command. This enabled Dowding, to have complete unilateral control. [7] As a result, Dowding was able to utilise the IADS. The IADS system was a pivotal system for Fighter Command which was magnified by the fact that it was disregarded by Goring. [8] The Chain Home radar system and Royal Observer Corps (ROC) enabled Fighter Command a key early warning system. Once this information was fed into the filter rooms and HQ it enabled Fighter Command to efficiently deploy relevant squadrons to the incoming threat, rather than have rolling patrols. This not only offered more respite to their pilots, but it gave a proportional response to each Luftwaffe attack, therefore never revealing the true state of Fighter Command aircraft numbers. The network that was the IADS system gave Fighter Command operational intelligence and Dowding the ability to manage his resources effectively.

In contrast, the Luftwaffe were led by Hermann Göring, a previously WW1 fighter pilot. Goring was in the predisposition that victory over Britain was all but assured and it was merely a matter of time. This level of complacency and confidence was largely as a result of the victories over Poland and France in addition to a lack of intelligence of the British which will be highlighted later in the essay.[9] As a consequence of Goring’s over-confidence, the Luftwaffe went into the battle lacking several key principles of war, such as having a selection and maintenance of the aim and know your enemy. [10] This was evident throughout the battle; for example, in August of 1940, when the battle was in its infancy, the Luftwaffe targeted Fighter Command’s radar defence system; attacking multiple front-line radar towers. However, only one was put of action for any significant period. [11] Shortly after the Luftwaffe began targeting the RAF airfields. Not only does this show that German High Command highly underestimated the radar system’s integration into the RAF’s defensive network, its highlights a lack of decisiveness from German leadership.[12] Throughout the battle various targets were chosen such as; defeating Fighter Command and its airfields, destroying the air industry, breaking the will of the people by bombing cities, meanwhile achieving air superiority to enable the naval invasion. As no clear strategy is evident it can be argued that Goring and the German High Command never identified a centre of gravity that would bring about their operational end state.

German Air Power Strategy conducted by officers with little practical experience of air ops.

They felt Luftwaffe should be used to support Army/ Navy- not conduct a war, therefore no strategic air campaign that didn’t involve supporting other services

German intelligence in the Battle of Britain was characterised with disorganisation, rivalry among its differing services and inefficiency. The cause of this was largely down to the Nazi political system itself, with the relevant intelligence agencies often embellishing reports to gain favour with their commanders to develop their personal careers.[13] Furthermore, any valuable information was often wasted due to lack of collaboration. The result of this had a direct impact on the Battle of Britain as the RAF’s key strategic strengths, such as the IADS or the fighter production industry were largely undervalued and overlooked.[14] Prior to the battle, Josef Schmid, head of Luftwaffe intelligence, was tasked with producing a report on the RAF and Britain’s aerial warfighting capabilities. In his report he completely underestimated the RAF, miscalculating their available fighters while stating that the Luftwaffe is superior in every way including their aircraft and commanders.[15] Consequently, the German High Command were confident of a swift conquest over Fighter Command and the wider RAF. The report also furthered Goring’s impeccable confidence in the Luftwaffe and he felt so assured he went onto claim that Fighter Command could be defeated in four days and the wider RAF within a month.[16] As this clearly wasn’t the case it highlights the importance of a clear intelligence picture. The Luftwaffe never managed to achieve this and as a result suffered from a fatal over-confidence in their own strengths and abilities.

To have any chance of avoiding defeat, Fighter Command always needed the maximum number of aircraft available for operation. Therefore, it was aircraft production and repairs that would contribute significantly. This was evident in the RAF pre-war planning on wastage, with the research from WW1 suggesting they could expect to suffer aircraft losses up to 50% per month.[17] As the results suggested, aircraft production was of critical importance if there was an to be an outbreak of war, leading to the introduction of the War Potential Programme to focus on aircraft production in 1938. Subsequently, British aircraft production for 1940, during the Battle of Britain, was 4,283, while the German output was 3,000. [18] Moreover, in September, at the height of the battle, Britain still produced more than double of German single seat fighters. Aircraft maintenance, repairs and the ability to salvage downed planes would also be critical to fighter command sustaining operational ability. The introduction of the Civilian Repair Organization (CRO) in January 1940 was vital to aircraft repairs. During the battle the CRO would contribute a total of 40% of total repairs [19], ensuring production and maintenance would always outweigh losses. In comparison with the Germans, no such civilian system was in place. It was the out production of the German factories coupled with better maintenance programmes that would enable the RAF to outlast the Luftwaffe and sustain aircraft attrition rates.

Pilot numbers of both sides were to play a crucial role during the Battle of Britain. Fatigue and attrition rates were key elements which would directly impact fighter command through the battle. Following their intense three-week campaign over the various European air forces, the Luftwaffe pilots were beginning to suffer with combat weariness.[20] Furthermore, the RAF pilots that fought over France were awarded the time to recover in Scotland and the Midlands, while fighter command rotated the freshest squadrons to the South East. [21] This was a significant advantage for fighter command throughout the battle, allowing rest and recuperation away from the frontlines. Dowding enforced each pilot had a minimum 24 hours off per week.[22] It was a respite that was simply something that Luftwaffe pilots couldn’t attain. Additionally, Fighter Command also held home advantage, allowing pilots that were shot down over British skies and ejected safely, to return to active duty the following day. The Luftwaffe pilots had no such luxury, often facing death or becoming POWs for the remainder of the war, which gave Britain a major psychological advantage. [23] The number of operational pilots were vital to the sustainment of both sides throughout the course of the battle. Besides home advantage, the RAF were able to employ pilots from other nations such as US, Canada, South Africa and several others totalling almost 3000 additional pilots. [24] However, regardless of support from other nations and having home advantage, it would be the lack of a constant supply of pilots through training that would be Fighter Command’s greatest weakness; even though they were able to recruit and train more than the Luftwaffe. On September 1st, 1940 RAF pilot numbers were at the lowest, with a quarter of their entire pilot strength had been lost. [25]

In conclusion, this essay has highlighted several key aspects which support the notion that Fighter Command was never truly close to defeat. A critical cause of this was the failures in German high command which came from a complete lack of airpower strategy. This was coupled with a failure to define an operational end state from the outset. This was emphasised with the various change in tactical targets, such as airfields; to that of a strategic nature, such as attacking the will of the people when bombing cities. Furthermore, the Luftwaffe was a tactical air force designed to support ground forces and therefore unprepared and lacking the capabilities to defeat Fight Command from the beginning. Additionally, their lack of intelligence of their enemies’ defences, capabilities and organisation resulted in a complete underestimation of the force they were facing; the German high command never had a situational awareness of the fight they were in. Therefore, their industries were not prepared for a war of attrition in the air and could not sustain such an offence. Furthermore, the RAF’s use of their technological advantages into a coherent defensive system and their employment of mission command was critical. It enabled Dowding complete control and manoeuvrability to defend Britain. Moreover, the concentrated production of fighter aircraft allowed Fighter Command to remain operational. Therefore, it was a totality of combined factors that ensured Fighter Command would not be defeated. The lack of competent leadership and little emphasis on intelligence resulted in the German not sufficiently equipped or organised to overcome a such well-prepared Fighter Command.


Barley, M. (2006), ‘Contributing to its Own Defeat: The Luftwaffe and the Battle of Britain’, Defence Studies, Vol 4, No 3, pp.387-411.

Boog, Horst (2008), ‘German Air Intelligence in the Second World War’, Intelligence and National Security, Vol 5, No 2, pp.350-424.

Corum, James (1997), The Luftwaffe: Creating the Operational Air War, 1918-1940 (US: University of Kansas Press).

Clark, Gregory (2014), Deflating British Radar Myths pf World War II (London: Lucknow Books).

Clausewitz, Carl von, ed. (2012), Principles of War (England: Dover Publications).

Clodfelter, Micheal (2002), Warfare and Armed Conflicts: A Statistical Reference to Casualty and Other Figures (McFarland & Co Inc; 2nd Revised edition).

Dempster, Derek & Derek Wood (2003), The Narrow Margin: The Battle of Britain and the Rise Air Power, 1930-1949 (Pen & Sword, Barnsley).

Dye, Peter (2000), ‘Logistics and the Battle of Britain’ Air Force Journal of Logistics, Vol 25, No 2, pp31-39.

Emmett, Peter (2002), ‘Silent Trackers: The Spectre of Passive Surveillance in the Information Age’, Air Power Review, Vol 5, No 2, pp.43-58.

Gray, Peter (2000), ‘The Battle of Britain’, Air Power Review, Vol 3, No 3, pp.15-30.

Higham, Robin DS (2012), Unflinching Zeal: The Air Battles Over France and Britain, May-October 1940 (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press).

Holland, James (2010), The Battle of Britain: Five Months That Changed History, May-October 1940 (United States: Bantam Books).

Holland, James (2017), The Battle of Britain, (London: Ladybird Books).

Murray, Williamson (1999), War in the Air, 1914–1945 (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson).

Olsen, John (2010), A History if Air Warfare (United States: Potomac Books, Inc).

Overy, Richard, ed (2010), The Battle of Britain: Myth and Reality (England: Penguin Books).

Smith, N. (1962), The Battle of Britain (London: Faber and Faber).

[1] Smith (1962), pp.22-24.

[2] Holland, James (2017), p.4.

[3] Olsen, John (2010), p.30.

[4] Overy, Richard (2010) p.42.

[5] Clausewitz, Carl von (2012). PAGE NUMBER

[6] Barley, M (2006), p.400.

[7] Barley, M (2006), pp.387-411.

[8] Smith (1962), pp.58.

[9] Murray, Williamson (1999), pp9-11.

[10] Clausewitz, Carl Von (2012), PAGE NUMBER

[11] Overy, Richard (2010), PAGE NUMBER

[12] Clark, Gregory (2014), PAGE NUMBER

[13] Boog, Horst (2008), pp.350-424.

[14] Boog, Horst (2008, p.405.

[15] Barley, M. (2006), pp.403-407.

[16] Gray, Peter (2000), pp.15-30.

[17] Emmett, Peter (2002), pp.43-58.

[18] Clodfelter, Michael (2002), p.490.

[19] Dye, Peter (2000), p.37.

[20] Murray, Williamson (1999), p.10.

[21] Murray, Williamson (1999), p.13.

[22] Dye, Peter (2000), PAGE NUMBER

[23] Dempster & Wood (2003), RESEARCH PAGES

[24] Dempster & Wood (2003), RESEARCH PAGES

[25] Clodfelter, Michael (2002), p.490.

Comparing 2005 Annual Reports for Goldman Sachs and Close Brothers

International Financial Accounting – Comparison of the Annual Reports 2005 of Goldman Sachs and Close Brothers
Description of activities and source and type of revenues
Goldman Sachs has three main types of activities

Investment banking. This covers services like merger and acquisition advice, helping clients raise debt.
Trading and principal investments. This covers trading and investing in fixed income and equity products, currencies and commodities. This is the largest division in terms of net revenues and generated 66% of net revenues in 2005.
Asset management and security services. This division provides advisory and financial planning services including brokerage and advisory services to wide range of clients like pension fund and hedge funds.

Table 1 shows the net income of the above three divisions in 2005.
Table 1 – Goldman Sachs: Net income in the year ended November 2005[1]


Net revenues, $ billion

Revenue as % of total

Investment banking



Trading and principal investments



Asset management and security services






Close Brothers provides following main activities
Investment banking. Close Brothers has three main divisions under investment banking:

Asset management. This division manages assets of private clients, trust funds and offshore funds.
Corporate finance provides merger and acquisition, financial restructuring and debt advisory services to corporate clients.
Market-making division specialises in providing liquidity to the London retail market-making markets in UK and many international shares.

Banking division normal banking services like deposits and foreign exchange facilities to personal and professional clients.
Table 2 shows the distribution of operating income, as a measure of revenues, of different divisions
Table 2 – Close Brothers: Operating income in the year ended 31 July 2005[2]


Operating income as % of total

Asset management


Corporate Finance




Investment banking






Profitability of the two companies from the company and shareholders perspectives
The table 3 shows the profitability of Goldman Sachs in the years ended November 2004 and 2005
Table 3 – Goldman Sachs: Profitability[3]




% change

Net revenues, $ billion




Pre-tax earnings, $ billion




% of revenues




Net earnings, $ billion




% of revenues




Diluted earnings per common share, $




Return on average common shareholders equity




Goldman Sachs increased its net revenues by 20.6 % in 2005 whereas pre-tax earnings increased by 23.8 % in the corresponding period. This shows that the company achieved not only higher profits in 2005 but also increased the profitability by limiting growth in expenses. This is supported by the fact that pre-tax earnings as a percent of net revenues were 33.4 % in 2005 compared to 32.5 % in 2004. Net earnings also increased by 23.7 % in the year 2005 in line with growth in pre-tax earnings. The higher growth in net earnings compared to net revenues shows that higher sales were not achieved at the expense of lower margins.

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Profitability for shareholders is measured in terms of diluted earnings per share. The growth in diluted earnings per share was 25.7 % in 2005. This was even higher than the growth in net-earnings. Shareholders’ profitability is also measured in terms of return on shareholders equity which is net earnings divided by the shareholders equity. This increased by 10% from 19.8 % in 2004 to 21.8 % in 2005. Higher return indicates Goldman Sachs is using equity to earn higher profits.
The table 4 shows the profitability of Close Brothers for the years ended July 2004 and 2005
Table 4 – Close Brothers: Profitability[4]




% change

Operating income, £ m




Pre-tax profit, £ m




% of operating income




Profit after tax, £ m




% of operating income




Diluted earnings per common share, £




Profit attributable to shareholders, £ m




Shareholders equity, £ m




Return on average common shareholders equity




Close Brothers increased its operating income by 11.7 % in 2005 whereas pre-tax earnings increased by 7.2 % only in the corresponding period. This shows that the increase in pre-tax profits was countered by a much higher increase in expenses. The operating margin dropped by 1% from 25.3 % in 2004 to 24.2 % in 2005. Operating margins of Close Brother were about 9 % lower than that of Goldman Sachs indicating that Close Brothers operates in a more competitive environment. Similarly profit after tax as a percent of revenues were 7 % lower in case of Close Brothers – 15.8 % for Close Brothers compared to 22.7 % for Goldman Sachs.
The growth in diluted earnings per share was only 4.4 % in 2005. This is much lower than the growth in Goldman Sachs earning per share. The return on common shareholder equity was only 12.70 % in case of Close Brother which means that from shareholders point of view return in Goldman Sachs is higher than Close Brothers.

Long-term financial structure of two companies

Table 5 shows the financial structure of Goldman Sachs looking at its short and long-term borrowings along with shareholders equity.
Table 5 – Financial structure of Goldman Sachs[5]






$ billion


$ billion


Short term borrowings





Long term borrowings



















Total borrowings





Cash and cash equivalent





Net debt





Shareholders equity





Long term debt to equity





Net debt / (net debt + equity)





The % of long-term borrowings has increased from 59 % to 64 % in the year 2005. This has mainly come from the increase in unsecured long-term borrowings. The company is highly geared and its net debt to total capital ratio is 84 %. As of November 2005, 84 % of Goldman Sachs was financed through net debt, i.e., out of every $1 of its capital, 84 cents came from debt.
The table 6 shows the financial structure of Close Brothers.
Table 6 – Financial Structure of Close Brothers[6]






£ m


£ m


Short term borrowings





Long term borrowings





Total borrowings





Cash and cash equivalent





Net debt





Shareholders equity





Long term debt to equity





Net debt / (net debt + equity)





Company’s long-term borrowings have increased significantly from 60 % to 85 % in the year 2005. Close Brothers gearing are more on long-term borrowings as compared to Goldman Sachs.
The net debt to total capital ratio is 61 % which means that Close Brothers is less geared compared to Goldman Sachs. Because of higher equity percent in Close Brothers, the long-term debt to equity ratio of Close Brothers is only 57 % in 2005 as compared to 78 % of Goldman Sachs.

Analysis of difference in cash flow from profit

Cash flows differ from profits because of the following major items:

Inclusion of non-cash items like depreciation and amortisation in net profits
Cash inflow and outflow in purchase and sale of property and businesses. In case of purchase, no impact is on profit and loss. In case of a sale, only profit or loss over the cost price is included in the profits and not the full amount of sale.
Cash inflow or outflow from the financing activities like raising or retiring loan, issue of equity. This impacts cash flow but is not included in the profit and loss statement.

We now look at the above sources of difference for both Goldman Sachs and Close Brothers.
Table 7 shows the cash flow calculation from net profits of Goldman Sachs for the year 2005.
Table 7 – Comparison of cash flow and profits of Goldman Sachs[7]


$ bln

Net profits


Cash flow



Net profits



Non-cash items in net earnings



Cash used in assets and liabilities



Cash used in operating activities



Cash from investing activities



Cash from financing activities


Change in cash


Goldman used $12.4 billion of cash in operating activities in 2005 and this includes $20.20 billion of cash used in assets and liabilities. Operating activities also include $2.16 billion of non-cash items like depreciation and amortisation, deferred income tax and stock options. Another $ 1 billion of cash was used in purchase of businesses, property and leases. The cash outflow from operating activities was compensated by cash inflow from financing of $19.37 billion. This was mainly made up of cash inflow of $43 billion from long-term borrowings.
Table 8 shows the cash flow calculation of Close Brothers for the year 2005.
Table 8 – Comparison of cash flow and profits of Close Brothers for the year ended 31 July 2005[8]


£ m

Profit after tax


Cash flow



Cash flow from operating






Net cash flow from operating activities



Cash from investing activities



Cash from financing activities


Change in cash


While the profit after tax was only £70.75 million, cash increased by £244.49 million in the year 2005. This was mainly due to net cash inflow from operating activities of £483 million.
The differences in the sources of cash generation arise between Goldman Sachs and Close Brothers arise from the way they include cash items under different categories. Close Brother was able to show high cash inflow from operating activities because of classification of reduction in loan advances of £190 million and loan notes issuance of £260 million under trading activities. If we take out the above two ash inflows form operating activities, then net cash inflow from operating activities would be only £33.7 million (483.7 – 190 – 260). Also then the cash flow form financing activities would change from -£68 million to £382 million.

Examples of accounting transactions subject to different GAAP

Goodwill amortisation and impairment. Goldman Sachs is listed at New York Stock Exchange and subject to US GAAP. Under US accounting SFAS No. 142 “Goodwill and Other Intangible Asset”, Goldman Sachs tests goodwill each year for impairment[9]. It amortises intangible assets over the useful life which was on average 16 years in 2005[10]. Close Brothers follows Financial Reporting Standard No. 10 and amortised the goodwill over 20 years[11]. Where Goldman Sachs has an option to choose the useful life, companies in UK normally follow the option of 20 years. The change in amortisation years results in difference in profits even though this is a non-cash item.
Share based compensation. Goldman Sachs followed US accounting principles SFAS 123 and SFAS 148 under which the compensation expense is recognised over the relevant service period[12]. Close Brother didn’t expense the share based compensation in the year 2005 and expects that future alignment with International Financial Reporting Standards on expensing of share based award will reduce profits by £ 4 million[13].

Summary of non-numeric information in the annual report and importance to the shareholders

Summary of information for Goldman Sachs

Investment banking backlog increased in 2005 over 2004[14]. This means that the company was expecting more business to materialise in fees in 2005 and also shows the healthy environment in financial markets.
The company increased its market risk in equities and interest rate products in the second half of 2005 assuming that market conditions will remain favourable[15]. If market conditions turn against Goldman Sachs assumption, the riskier investments would lead to higher losses.
The business is very prone to financial market conditions and hence it is difficult to predict future earnings[16]. Investors with good knowledge of financial markets – mainly sophisticated institutional investors – can predict with some reasonability future earnings of a company like Goldman Sachs. It would be difficult for individual investors to do the same and hence they have to rely on credible sources for future earning potential of Goldman Sachs.

Summary of information for Close Brothers

The business performance is subject to economic conditions in UK[17]. Bad debt charge was low in 2005 due to low interest rate and full employment. Increase in interest rate and low employment would increase bad debt charge and reduce profitability.
Reputation risk is the most importance and any public failure can lead to significant reduction in income[18].
Implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards could have a material impact on income because of issues like recognition of share based awards[19].

Goldman Sachs, Annual Report 2005, http://www2.goldmansachs.com/our_firm/investor_relations/financial_reports/annual_reports/2005/
Close Brothers, Annual Report 2005, http://www.closebrothers.co.uk/uploads/cbg2005full.pdf

[1] Goldman Sachs, Annual Report 2005
[2] Close Brothers, Annual Report 2005
[3] Goldman Sachs, Annual Report 2005
[4] Close Brothers, Annual Report 2005
[5] Goldman Sachs, Annual Report 2005
[6] Close Brothers, Annual Report 2005
[7] Goldman Sachs, Annual Report 2005
[8] Close Brothers, Annual Report 2005
[9] Goldman Sachs, Annual Report 2005, Pg. 74
[10] Goldman Sachs, Annual Report 2005, Pg. 89
[11] Close Brothers, Annual Report 2005, Pg. 31
[12] Goldman Sachs, Annual Report 2005, Pg. 73
[13] Close Brothers, Annual Report 2005, Pg. 8
[14] Goldman Sachs, Annual Report 2005, Pg. 24
[15] Goldman Sachs, Annual Report 2005, Pg. 25
[16] Goldman Sachs, Annual Report 2005, Pg. 25
[17] Close Brothers, Annual Report 2005, Pg. 5
[18] Close Brothers, Annual Report 2005, Pg. 6
[19] Close Brothers, Annual Report 2005, Pg. 8

How close did Fighter Command come to Defeat in the Battle of Britain

The Battle of Britain was an aerial campaign launched by the German Luftwaffe in summer 1940 to achieve air supremacy over Britain and potentially pave the way for a German invasion of the British Isles, ‘Operation Sealion’.[1] This essay will analyse how close Fighter Command came to defeat during the Battle of Britain. In order to answer this question, this essay will examine the following key points. Firstly, the effect the Integrated Air Defence System (IADS) had on the battle will be explored. Secondly, failures in German intelligence will be evaluated, focusing on the accuracy of the intelligence obtained and its subsequent utilisation by the Luftwaffe. German High Command’s inability to deliver an effective and consistent strategy will also be analysed.  Lastly, a comparison of attrition will be drawn, in order to assess the number of pilot losses, recoveries and aircraft production from both sides. Losing air superiority would have meant defeat for Fighter Command, as they would have been incapable of effectively defending Britain from the air. This essay will explain that Fighter Command did not come close to defeat during the Battle of Britain.

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Fighter Command had an advanced early warning system in the form of the IADS, developed under the leadership of Air Chief-Marshal Hugh Dowding (Commander of Fighter Command), who foresaw the importance of an integrated defensive network.[2] This air defence network connected the Royal Observer Corps (ROC) and Radio Direction Finding (RDF) assets to ground operations and onward to air assets at sector level.[3] Fighter Command was divided up geographically into groups, in order to cover specified areas within Britain.[4] These sectors had an Air Officer Commanding appointed so that ‘mission command’ could be utilised to allow sectors to decide how best to deploy specified aircraft closest to, or more suitable for the battle, economising their resources.[5] This had a force multiplying effect and also meant no time would be wasted in making decisions from the top. RDF provided Fighter Command with the ability to determine the direction and strength of a raid before it arrived. This gave them vital time to react, allowing Fighter aircraft time to climb to a tactical height and minimise the disadvantage of their defensive position.[6] As a result, Britain did not have to waste valuable resources on unnecessary standing patrols and could appropriately portion its time and assets.[7] This also meant British pilots could rest but Luftwaffe pilots were expected to fly continuously, which would not have been sustainable for an extended battle.[8]  However, RDF was not without its faults. There was no capability for a ‘inward’ looking air picture which meant that when the Germans flew inland, they had to be monitored by other resources such as the ROC.[9] To counter this, IADS employed redundancy, utilising the other systems in its network to overcome these deficiencies. Initially Luftwaffe strategy was to destroy the fighter control system, including radar stations.[10] After targeting RDF early on, the Luftwaffe discovered the towers were hard to hit and damage long-term. In these cases, stations could be rapidly repaired, meaning it had little overall effect on Fighter Command’s capability. For heavily hit RDF stations that would take time to repair, the Royal Air Force (RAF) deployed mobile reserve equipment that could be moved into any area of the Chain Home system.[11] Had German Commanders realised how much of a role RDF would play in Fighter Command’s operations, stations may have been attacked more determinedly and this strategy would not have been abandoned.[12] The German failure to recognise the importance and accept the revolutionary technology of RDF was a significant strategic oversight, which would be a great influence on the outcome of the battle.[13]
Failing to realise the importance of IADS was one of several shortcomings in German intelligence which undermined the Luftwaffe’s plan to defeat Fighter Command. German intelligence was described as inefficient and disorganised, primarily because the intelligence agencies never collaborated.[14] Analysing German intelligence from the battle, it is clear to see that because of British defence preparations, the Luftwaffe’s morale began to suffer and impact negatively on their operations. The RAF was constantly misrepresented as a technologically and tactically incompetent force. This included poor estimates of serviceable aircraft, pilots and functioning airfields. This misinformation meant that Luftwaffe pilots were met with more fierce resistance than expected.[15]  The cycle of misinformation continued as Luftwaffe pilots inflated their reports of successes against the RAF. Estimates of losses of up to 50 percent of its fighters since August 1940, against a loss of 12 percent of German fighters, did not reflect the reality.[16] Some departments would only tell German commanders what they thought the Air Staff and the Luftwaffe’s Reich Marshal Herman Goering, would want to hear.[17] This led to German commanders making strategic decisions based on inaccurate information.
Luftwaffe strategy during the Battle would be directly affected by the consistent poor intelligence. Goering and Fuhrer Adolf Hitler had a divided aim and Hitler was beginning to grow impatient, conscious that winter was approaching, and the invasion would not be viable in adverse conditions.[18]  Goering, while ignorant of his forces’ position, promised Hitler that the Luftwaffe could destroy Fighter Command within four weeks.[19] Phase 2 of the Luftwaffe strategy was to destroy airfields and fighters on the ground.[20] Field Marshal Hugo Sperrle advocated the continued attacks on RAF airfields.[21] But this was at odds with Hilter and Goering, who ordered the shift in strategy to focus on British Cities,[22] which is believed to be in response to the bombings of Berlin and the misinformation that Britain was ‘on its knees’. This, along with the inaccurate intelligence that the ‘last’ of Fighter Command’s aircraft would get sucked in to attacks over London aided the decision to be made hastily. [23] This added to tensions and frustration in the Luftwaffe’s leadership and allowed Fighter Command time to repair damaged airfields and fighters. This shift was described by Luftwaffe pilot Adolf Galland as ‘perhaps the greatest mistake Goering would make during the war’.[24] Goering’s inability to deliver an effective and consistent strategy in combat, left his subordinates frustrated and confused, while senior Luftwaffe Commanders Albert Kesselring and Sperrle ‘literally did not know what they were doing’ when attempting to interpret the strategic objectives of their High Command.[25] It is debated that, had the attacks on airfields continued, this could have led to the defeat of Fighter Command as at this point the RAF was under severe pressure. Nonetheless, essential Fighter Command sector stations remained at, or swiftly returned to operational status.[26] Also, sectors that were being attacked heavily had the option to order the retreat of resources in land, where range would severely limit the Luftwaffe.[27] Extra protection from other groups could be requested had they needed more coping strategies. In these cases, any serious damage was largely attributed to attacks by the Ju-87 Stuka, or low-level raids. However, such tactical operations and specialist aircraft were withdrawn from the campaign due to their high attrition rate.[28] Therefore, it is unlikely that the Luftwaffe would have been able to carry out and sustain attacks on such a large scale if they had continued. The leadership’s continuing shift in strategy, meant that they were not able to fully complete a strategic phase and therefore were never in a position to decisively defeat Fighter Command.
On examining both the Luftwaffe and Fighter Command’s abilities to wage campaigns of attrition, it is evident that the Luftwaffe remained deficient in both the material and personnel needed to sustain an extended campaign. The Luftwaffe had enjoyed substantial success in the Polish and French campaigns, building an air of complacency throughout the ranks. In the months preceding the Battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe was largely inactive. There was an inadequate effort to replace the 1,667 aircraft lost in the French Campaign, as its bomber force fell to just 841 aircraft by late June 1940, far below what would be considered an effective force.[29] In 1940, Britain was outproducing Germany by 40 percent, which continued to rise over the following years.[30] During the campaign, the Luftwaffe lost almost twice as many aircraft as the RAF.[31] Crucially, Britain’s supply chain simply outclassed Germany’s by producing two aircraft for every one manufactured by German industry. This was due to the Shadow Factories and Civilian Repair Organisations (CRO) employed to counteract the military shortcomings in manpower and help spread out industry, making it harder to target.[32] Despite the persistent campaign waged, there was never a shortage of aircraft,[33] however, Fighter Command suffered from a shortage of man-power in the early stages of the Campaign. Through necessity and adaptation, Fighter Command turned to aircrew from overseas, including the experienced pilots of Poland and Czechoslovakia, who relieved the burden long enough for training to adequately meet frontline demands.[34] The Luftwaffe did not duplicate such a solution which is significant because they needed to replace lost or captured crews over enemy territory. However, RAF crews, if uninjured, could return to their squadron as they were fighting over Britain.[35] Throughout the conflict, the Luftwaffe lacked foresight in planning to resolve these deficits. They entered the campaign to deliver a short, sharp and fatal blow to Fighter Command and break British resistance, but Fighter Command developed a sustainable long-term plan capable of enduring an extended campaign of attrition.[36] Fighter Command never came close to defeat with respect to attrition, as the RAF ended the battle with more operational pilots and aircraft than the Luftwaffe.[37]
In conclusion, these main arguments reveal that the Luftwaffe failed to comprehend the revolutionary IADS technology, and its importance to Fighter Command. It allowed Fighter Command to deploy its resources economically, therefore was ‘force multiplying’ and removed the Luftwaffe’s element of surprise. Further to this, the Luftwaffe was continually fed inaccurate and exaggerated intelligence to such an extent that its aircrews had become a victim of German propaganda. This inevitably shattered German morale when a lack of progress was evident and inaccurate intelligence fuelled questionable decisions made by the German High Command. As the campaign progressed, the initiative slipped from the Luftwaffe’s grasp as it grew desperate, stumbling from one strategic objective to another, hoping to find the knockout blow in the process. The crucial switch from bombing airfields to cities was another mistake in Luftwaffe strategy. Nevertheless, even if they had continued bombing, Fighter Command relied on many redundancies and would have survived through their proven innovation. The Luftwaffe had not come decisively close to achieving destruction of its adversary, and with every passing week, Fighter Command remained able to function. It grew stronger in resources towards the Battle’s closure, no doubt due to its ability to absorb a campaign of attrition better than the Luftwaffe. Britain outproduced Germany with the support of CRO, Shadow Factories and drafted in pilots from the Commonwealth to counter the loss of experience. At best, the Luftwaffe had tested Fighter Command, but at a strategic level, it had only maintained the status quo prior to the start of hostilities. The Luftwaffe was by no means any closer to destroying Fighter Command. Instead, it had left them battle hardened, confident and more resource-rich than it had begun. Ultimately, these key points show that Fighter Command did not come close to defeat during the Battle of Britain.

Bungay, Stephen (2001), The Most Dangerous Enemy – A History of the Battle of Britain (London: Aurum press).
Clayton, Tim & Craig, Phil (2001), Finest Hour (London: Hodder & Stoughton).
Didly, Douglas (2018), Battle of Britain 1940: The Luftwaffe’s ‘Eagle Attack’ (Oxford: Osprey).
Holland, James (2010), The Battle of Britain, The RUSI Journal, 155:4, pp.70-75.
Ledwidge, Frank (2018), Aerial Warfare – The Battle for the Skies (New York: Oxford University Press).
Olsen, John Andreas (2010), A history of air warfare (Dulles: Potomac Books, Inc).
Overy, Richard (2010), ‘The Air War in Europe, 1939-1945’ in John Andreas Olsen, ed., A History of Warfare (Dulles: Potomac Books Inc.). pp.30-33.
Overy, Richard (2004), The Battle of Britain (London: Penguin Books).
Price, Alfred (1990), Battle of Britain (London: Arms & Armour Press).
Shields, John (2015), ‘A Not So Narrow Margin’, Air Power Review, Battle of Britain Edition, pp.182 – 184.
Terraine, John (2010), The Right of the Line – The Role of the RAF in World War Two (Barnsley: Pen & Sword Military).
Williamson, Gordon (2006), German Commanders of World War II (2): Waffen-SS, Luftwaffe & Navy (Oxford: Osprey Publishing).
Wood, Derek & Derek Dempster (2010), The Narrow Margin – The Battle of Britain & The Rise of Air Power 1930-1940 (Barnsley: Pen & Sword Aviation).


Overy (2004), p.27.
Shields (2015), p.85.
Dildy (2018), pp.24-25.
Clayton & Craig (2001), p.197.
Bungay (2001), pp.62-63.
Clayton & Craig (2001), pp.198-199.
Shields (2015), p.185.
Holland (2010), p.74.
Ibid., p.186.
Price (1990), p.93.
Ibid., p.94.
Overy (2004), p.72.
Shields, (2015), P.185.
Wood & Dempster (2010), p.41.
Overy (2004), p.116.
Ibid., p.72.
Wood & Dempster (2010), p.43.
‘THE AIR WAR:1’, The Sunday Times magazine, 30 May 1965.
Terraine (2010), pp.172-173.
Price (1990), p.93.
Williamson (2006), p.45.
Olsen (2009), p.32.
Overy (2004), p.78.
Ledwidge (2018), p.71.
Bungay (2001), p.236.
Price (1990), p.93.
Shields (2015), p.191.
Bungay (2001), p.236.
Terraine (2010), p.171.
Bungay (2001), p.94.
Overy (2004), p.116.
Bungay (2001), p.95. Wood & Dempster (2010), p.103.
Ledwidge (2018), p.69.
Bungay (2001), p.201.
Ledwidge (2018), p.70.
Overy (2004), p.148.