Nokia competencies

Every firm comprises of competencies, not all possess core competencies, these are crucial for a competitiveness. This report examines the core competencies that contribute most significantly to Nokia’s competitive advantage. These consist of organisational culture and research and development. Nokia’s competitive advantage will be analysed based on corporate brand and products and services base, then personal analysis reported.
2.0 Theoretical idea of core competencies
Firms possess competencies through efficient use of resources and are required for firms to compete. ‘Core competencies are attributes that an organisation possesses which in turn allows it to achieve competitive advantage’ (Prahalad & Hamel, 1990 cited Henry. A, 2008).
There is differential performance between companies in the same industry, due to individual core competencies since the environment is constant. In 2008, Dell had the largest market share in UK PC market (Datamonitor, 2009), with core competencies in its value chain giving competitive advantage (Henry. A, 2008). Core competencies should be appropriable so those who provide the attributes for the competitive advantage should reap benefits (Kay. J, 1993 cited Open University, 2009).

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The key is not to focus on all competencies just ones that add most value and competitive advantage. Collis and Montgomery (1997) identified some attributes within the organisation are more useful for gaining sustainable competitive advantage (Henry, 2008). The features of useful attributes are that they help provide value to customers, are unique and difficult to imitate (Collis & Montgomery, 1997, cited Hooley. G et al, 2008) as seen in figure 1.
Other theorists support this identification, Prahalad and Hamel (1990) identified three tests for core competencies:
1. A core competence should provide access to a wide variety of markets.
2. A core competence should make a significant contribution to perceived customer benefits of end products.
3. A core competence should be difficult for competitors to imitate.
(Prahalad cited The Free Library, 2002).
Hamel and Prahalad (The Free Library, 2002) identified core competencies should not remain static whilst the environment changes. Core competencies enable production of new products and services and increase customer relationship management, they should be envied by competitors but difficult to replicate (Hooley. G et al, 2008).
Shangri La Hotels have a stronger customer relationship than their competitors (Datamonitor, 2009) their mission ‘Delighting customers each and every time’ (Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, 2009).
2.1 Nokia’s core competencies
Nokia has many competencies but due to recent success appears to focus on the right core competencies to gain competitive advantage. The two significant ones are organisational culture (Blau. J, 2003) and investment in research and development (Nokia, 2009). Organisational culture is a core competence and source of sustainable competitive advantage (Barney, 1986b, cited Hamel. G & Heene. A,1994).
2.1.1 Nokia’s organisational culture
Nokia, unlike competitors, is innovative and entrepreneurial by adopting the correct culture (Blau. J, 2003). Within the organisation entrepreneurship is encouraged by managers open to employee suggestions for new products and services, this allows continuous learning, there is also a feedback process for employees engaging in new ideas (Blau. J, 2003).
VP Niitamo, Chair of European Living Labs Portfolio, “Some of Nokia’s success, is from continuously bringing in young, talented people, without pushing them down one particular career path” (Blau. J, 2003). For this to take place they must have shared vision to ensure full commitment from employees (Kanter, 1983 cited Henry. A, 2008).
2.1.2 Nokia’s research and development
Another core competency is Nokia’s research and development. Nokia employs 51,750 people, over one third is made up of people in research and development. The company employs approximately 1,000 new people in research and development each year, aiming for those who have new skills (Blau. J, 2003). Nokia’s extensive research and development enables it to create ‘trusted consumer relationships’, the ‘best mobile devices everywhere’ and ‘context enriched services’ (Nokia, 2009).
3.0 Theoretical idea of competitive advantage
Competitive advantage “results from matching core competencies to opportunities” (Business Dictionary, 2009). Many 2000 dot.com failures were companies identifying the opportunity but not having competencies to achieve competitive advantage (Hooley. G et al, 2008).
Companies can achieve competitive advantage by charging higher prices for increased value products and services or offering the same products and services as competitors at lower prices (Porter. M. E, 1985).
Differences between rival products and services have become narrow, so companies need to find new ways of distinguishing themselves in customers’ minds. Companies can use brands to be distinctive compared with competitors, and create a relationship with customers for competitive advantage (Chailan. C, 2008).
In 2008, the airline industry saw JetBlue’s new experience based differentiation after they created T5 terminal at JFK. T5 added brand value by augmenting the service with additional and complementary features (DDB, 2009).
Companies should look for sustainability; competitive advantage that competitors are unable to imitate (Barney, 1991 cited Henry. A, 2008). Tesco uses vendor managed inventory and builds relationships with suppliers such as Nestle and Coca Cola to improve availability, providing competitive advantage for those involved, however unsustainable (William Reed Business Media Ltd, 2009).
Figure 2 identifies the relationship between core competencies and competitive advantage. Although core competencies lead to competitive advantages this may be indirect by developing core products or services.
3.1 Nokia’s competitive advantage
Nokia is currently worldwide largest mobile phone maker, therefore they must have significant core competencies to gain competitive advantage (Yahoo Finance, 2009).
Nokia’s competitive advantage “is based on scale, brand and services” (Nokia, 2008).
3.1.1 Nokia’s brand value
After wavering in 2004, Nokia came back to build an outstanding reputation through a 12% increase in brand value and became fifth top brand (Kiley. D, 2007). Nokia currently has number one brand in many markets worldwide (Temporal. P & Davies. R, 2009).
Nokia’s organisational culture contributed to its corporate brand since employees and processes are reflected in the brand (Temporal. P, 2009).
Nokia’s research and development assisted in creating brand value by keeping up to date with evolving consumer demands and is recognised as a company that provides consumers with the desired products and services. NRC, Nokia’s innovations hub invests at least 5% of the annual research and development budget. Innovations are created for commercial purposes after three to five years development (Samuels. M, 2006).
3.1.2 Nokia’s products and services
Ideas need to align with organisational culture, therefore this must be correct to generate desired products and services (Henry. A, 2008). Organisational culture is reflected in products and services through processes and procedures, this led to sustainable competitive advantage. The knowledge possessed by employees cannot be easily transferred, groups of employees would be required for a fraction of the knowledge (Argote. L & Ingram. P, 2000).
Nokia’s research and development continuously improves and generates new products, this is essential as Nokia’s markets became highly competitive over the last decade with entrants such as Apple iPhone (Ward. A, 2009). In 2002 Nokia received the Frost and Sullivan market engineering award for its secure access system innovation which was ‘an exceptionally evolved product’ (BNET,2003 & Calif. S. J, 2002).
4.0 Critical analysis
I conclude that Nokia has effectively developed competencies into core competencies to develop sustainable competitive advantage.
I consider Nokia to have core competencies in particular organisational culture and research and development, contributing most to Nokia’s competitive advantage. The organisational culture is quite unique among competitors, yet as industry leader so they must be doing the right things internally in relation to the external industry. Other companies should steer away from the negative image that innovative organisations are only effective in small organisations and implement some of Nokia’s techniques to reduce differential performance between them. However, I realise this will only be effective if there are shared values and commitment from the entire organisation as with Nokia. Organisational culture cannot be easily learned so this must create sustainable competitive advantage until competitors have developed their culture more effectively.
Nokia invests heavily in research and development which is reflected in its product and service offering which is outstanding, therefore I see it as a worthwhile investment. I have identified that Nokia doesn’t just employ people for research and development, it supports them and develops their knowledge base to benefit the company.
I identified Nokia’s main competitive advantage being brand value and product and service offering. I recognise that Nokia successfully achieved competitive advantage of its brand organisational culture and the beliefs and practices adopted by the company. Nokia must continue to do the right things such as ethical behaviour in the work place or the brand will be tarnished and will be difficult to rebuild unless its loyal customer base sticks by regardless which I find doubtful.
Nokia’s other competitive advantage consists developing latest product designs and outperforming rivals through services. I do not consider this sustainable, despite Nokia’s investments in research and development. Product innovation in the mobile phone industry is the main contributor to growth, through replacement sales (Cassell. J, 2004). This is likely to remain the case as the market is already saturated, therefore I feel Nokia won’t maintain this level of competition as rival companies would invest more into research and development to compete.
Overall, I find Nokia making best use of its core competencies to gain competitive advantage but don’t believe it will continue to be industry leader without enhancing its core competencies to meet evolving demands.
5.0 Conclusion
In conclusion it has been analysed that Nokia has several core competencies, the most significant being organisational culture and investment in research and development. These core competencies led to competitive advantage in the form of strong brand image and exceptional product and service offerings. Although this is currently the case for Nokia within the mobile phone industry, they may not be sustainable as will be identified over time.
 

Implementing Key Competencies into Global Education System

From Theory to Practice: Will Key Competencies ever be successfully implemented into the global education system?
At this current time, there is no global consensus for deciding which essential Environmental Sustainability (ES) Key Competencies should be utilised for the benefit of higher education. This is largely due to societal, cultural and economic differences between nations.
This is exemplified by Rieckman. 2011, which selected experts on Key Sustainable development from Europe (United Kingdom and Germany) and Latin America (Chile, Ecuador, Mexico). The lack of agreement raises the question: how can key competencies be adequately implemented when most studies have failed to narrow them down to less than ten elements?
Both Barth et al., 2007 and Rieckmann illustrate this issue; acknowledging that currently, only 100 institutions have implemented key competencies of Higher Education for Sustainable Development (HESD).
The vagueness and ambiguity within this area suggests more international discussion is required (despite being coined in the 1990s (Hidalgo & Fuentes. 2013)), to adequately implement the most necessary key competencies into HESD.
Having said this, the author’s twelve Key competencies are distilled into three core elements: “systemic thinking and handling of complexity, anticipatory thinking and critical thinking”, which are mutual between the two examined geographic regions.
Rieckmann’s expert selection process (whereby participants are selected because of their association with Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) “scientifically or conceptually”) associated with a Delphi approach, appears to be legitimate.
Yet, the legitimacy of the methodology is limited beyond this point, because it is flawed by the fact that only two global regions are represented and the potential for lacking statistical veracity within the study.
To elaborate further, Rieckmann’s results are only representative of the selected geographic regions and therefore the core key competencies are not reflective of potential expert views from five other continents.
The latter issue questions the transparency of results, because of the inherent ambiguity represented by SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Science). Recent academic debate suggests that due to the restrictedness of SPSS outputs, subsequent results could be questionable (Basto & Pereira. 2012).
Software such as R allows for complete transparency because the author can include all statistical analysis in the appendix, which can be fully checked in peer review.
The author makes a valid point in emphasising the necessity for teaching critical and independent thinking in preparation for “complex situations”. However, Rieckmann under-appreciates the essentiality for informing people with relevant knowledge.
Arguably, sufficient knowledge is just as much as necessity, because a well informed, yet critically thinking environmental sustainability stakeholder is likely to resolve an issue faster than a person who is ignorant of an impending problem, in-spite of their acquired competencies.
If Rieckman represents the general consensus for the thinking of how competencies should be implemented into HESD, then perhaps relevant knowledge should be included as an additional Key competency for such initiatives.
Rieckmann focuses solely on implementation of key competencies for ES on higher education institutions. However, such initiatives are logistically harder to achieve in less developed nations (due to the lack of universities, poor economy and reduced demographies attending university) and therefore by principle, the author’s approach is exclusive and inherently unsustainable, because only small (despite being influential) demographies can obtain this essential skill set.
The co-operative ‘bottom-up’ approach favoured by Latin American countries integrates key competencies for sustainable development at school level, for the sake of inclusivity and will theoretically, significantly increase the potential demographic that benefits from such initiatives (UNESCO. 2017; United Nations. 2012).
More organised and case-specific national and international discussion is required over the implementation of key competencies at all levels of education (Hidalgo & Fuentes. 2013). This is largely because as argued by Schuttler et al., 2018, the only way to secure a socially and environmentally sustainable future, where people appreciate the natural world, is to sow the seed of inspiration during childhood. Children are integral to influencing the future, whatever their future aspirations may be (Schuttler et al., 2018).
Bibliography

International Management Competencies |Reflection

INTRODUCTION
MSc International Management was my chosen area in which to study after my BA honors in International business management at Oxford Brookes and I was given the opportunity to complete a Masters Degree in the same line of study. The semester classes started on the 28th of September 2009, where I was to take part in International Management Competencies. The sessions would give me the possible additional prospect of becoming a first-class international business manager. To be involved in a global business concerning mixed cultures, overall integration and examination for changes that affects globalization by interacting cross-culturally. (Thomas, 2008). The class in which I took part in included 23 students from 17 different countries of origin, which meant I would be having contact with individuals that have the same interest of subject with different backgrounds and experiences to offers with diverse cultures which most certainly could give me an insight into different ethnicity and cross-cultural factors. These could potentially overlap between each other while interacting. With this in mind, understanding culture it is to be associated with the aim to define common human problems which are shared between groups. (Schneider, 1997). The module itself would also give me the unique opportunity to enhance my mangerial skills by learning form my experiences and taking part into the activities that would bring further education in developing my fundamental process of learning. I began to understand that the classes would give me a vast ability to develop my skills on a weekly basis by interacting with all the members of my class and group that I was placed in, also while working on the reading material and keeping a weekly diary (see Appendix A) it seemed to be appealing and would most definitely exceed my knowledge on the subject in question, to understand that International managers hold the responsibility towards an organisations success by managing with their human resources which are related to their cultural differences and backgrounds (Groseschl, Doherty, 2000).

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REFLECTIVE STATEMENT
EXPERIENCES
The most important task that I had to undertake this semester was associated with a mixed group of individuals form the same division to then explore the core case study given by our module leader, “The case of the Floundering Expatriate”, in which it involved diversity in cross-cultural groups concerning an organization that tries to manage these mixtures effectively to try accomplish great performance and success.
The role for the project would be to analyse Bert Donaldson‘s managerial practices and to address the key issues with his team, and actions he could take in his own cultural development. The final results would then to be presented to the peers in weeks 8 (trial mock, see diary Appendix A, week 8) and week 10 (final assesed, see Appendix A week, 10), with also a group report showing all the content and understanding of the case. The group i got allocated to consisted of 5 people from different countries with mixed culture backrounds, knowledge and experiences to offer (Appendix A,week 2-3), of which Shirley came form Venezuela, Konstantin from Bulgaria, Judith form Germany, Moses from Denmark, and me from Italy. The process in which all these events happened has been recorded in diary format shown in the appendix (Development through the weeks of the semester) showing overall actions taken during the initial process in which it began, where i had to change to another team (Appendix A, week 2 and 3). The group was given the chance to be fully independent, and we had the power to decide when to schedule as there was no pattern or organised structure to follow, therefore we could procede as best as we could, to optimize the procedure, which would be critical for the result. As described by Robert Harris, (2004) the synergy within a team has to be promoted by improving strategy that creates enhanced quality of work, autonomy control, improved communication, which then results in higher performance, productivity and more research and development. On initial startup there was a lack of organization and indeciciveness to whome should be the leader, to find a comprimise to work consistenely, but then Shirley proved to be up to the part and showed great ability to commence and organize a programme to follow (see Appendix B) related to meeting times and place, and a leader was found, persuing the role as the motivator and director of the operation by applying her human resource skills and direction of the generic scope which are crutial for a successful leader by creating a sense of purpose structure and clear defenition of purpose (Emirates Center, 2002)(Appendix A week 5 to 6). The role in which i could represent myself would be as a team worker and finisher ,a relevant role that would have to be skilled over the weeks to come. As mentioned by Harris, 1998, a team worker has the main priority to put people on top of his list, concerning feelings, needs, and has a strong observing power of the strengths and weaknesses of the group. Additionally he plays as a facilitator minimising any possible frictions that may arise.
FEELINGS
I was very content to be in the assigned group and ready to combine all our ideas together to then put them into practice. By using different prespectives on cultures and leadership which are essential to be able to learn the basic skills for managing its organization successfully and create a working environment that can develop its skills and training through time. Managers are faced with one of the biggest tasks to motivate and lead individuals to different cultures by understanding their behaviors, as motivation has the need to achieve and dominate in its class (Mc Cleland’s, 1981). I had an amazing feeling that the overall experience would bring me insight into team working and learning other cultures by having the possibility to integrate and develop skills needed in working life environment, involving decison making process, solving problems, and being able to carry out required tasks. Furtermore an absolute importance to the way in which you present your skills and ideas is crutial for the success and undestanding you bring across. As explained by Tjosvold et al (2003), cross cultural management is increasing due to expatriation and international trade, meaning that people from diverse cultures must work together in the global marketplace. Societies differ in characteristic ways of thinking, feelings and acting through effective approaches derived from their values which portrays stereotypes and expectations that come from these specific situations. Finally by examining my teams diversity there were some disadvantages towards lack of cohesion(Appendix A week 7-8), and misscomunication through language as none of us were native spakers, but there were several advantages thatour mixed creativity gave a wide range of prespectives, better ideas and less groupthink, that resulted in better problem definition in regards to finding solutions for productivity.
THOUGHTS
As our first meeting started on the 16th of October many thoughts ran through my head and I was thinking if the group would be able to interact, merge developing ideas and fuse past experiences (work related and life events) with knowledge to minimize any potential cross-cultural issues that may arise. During the meeting everyone knew their role (Appendix A, weeks 3-6). I was motivated to extend and widen my thoughts by analyzing the situation in hand for the development plan needed. I was beginning to feel very relaxed and was pleased to share my opinions and ideologies of the case, by describing as best as I could what I thought we should include for the report to analyze it according to the prerequisites. I stared to realize that I was changing as time passed on, as I understood that my preferences where towards working with others and accepting ideas and mixing concepts to reach an evaluated criteria for fluency. I began to apprehend that I function perfectly as a team worker by constructing a working structure with appropriate skills and resources as suggested by West (2004), but there was a necessary need for change towards the way I express myself and come up with ideas. I would have to be more assertive and confident in myself. As for being an expatriate from Italy it brought additional challenges for working in a new cultural environment. Haour-knipe (2001), argued that in order to be successful during the integration of a new society there needs to be an adaption towards learning the new language, making new friends and getting occustomed to the the new surroundings and local culture. Nonetheless I saw different insights into people’s different styles and ways of achieving a process where I could take into account additional practices to develop myself towards diversity and the power that a team can generate, as mentioned by Essed (1996), diversity can be understood by experiencing events that are in common with the individuals from the team, where these beliefs, principles and theories have an important impact on the opportunities for success. Not only would this be developed through practice but also the assigned reading would help me to expand the ideas and understand further ways to think globally and express myself.
REFLECTION
Through team working I understood different aspects of behaviors towards work commitments and endless encounters that would affect the work process. With this in mind i can understand that culture influences behavior as its a process about people or events they carry out, by looking towards cultural norms (acceptable behavior and influences of past experiences, Francesco, 2005) shared in a group, with selective perception, stereotypes, expectations, social dominance and different attributes for reaction (Usunier, 1998). A good example illustrating this could be the existence within the group members of both low and high context cultures of which everyone except for me was low context. Meaning that there explanations are done through words or verbalization instead of context, while I was the only one of high context mainly the opposite of them. Therefore by looking towards my experience i have noticed the various advantages that brought me to seek my role, not only that i knew what i wanted to do but also it was confirmed by Belbins self awareness questionnaire (Appendix C) that i was an implementor and team worker. These implications are the essential attributes for my team, that are in need for improvement towards my communication practice and presentation style that would have to be fully prepared to describe content coherently and right to the point. By developing these aspects it brings me a step closer to becoming a successfull specialist in the field of international business as Brooke (1996) described the process of becoming a successful by 3 stages involving observation, experience and theory, thereon analysing them to understand the relevance of each to learn the theoretical side.
THEORY INTO PRACTICE
The potential cross-cultural problems related to the topic of the session were plentiful, where there were issues concerning team roles, working skills, and decision making. There were also differences in communication style (verbal and non-verbal) and performing practices among cultures. Moreover there are diverse preferences towards leadership performance (skills), decision styles, and expectations with a need of cross cultural adjustment towards a new environment. Consequently it is necessary to know ones skills to be assertive; portraying what you may offer when entering in United Kingdom to show all the benefits you may bring to future career.
SUMMARY
Managers need to able to take into account all the concerning circumstances mentioned above to lead Individuals form their team towards working as a unit to increase overall performance to reach targets (Thakur, 1993).What needs to be understood is that globalization is a major factor affecting cultures all around the world, where everyone has to work closely together and need each other’s support to build up to required expectations and competencies. This factor involves the rapid growth of a market in relation to social, economic and technological problems (Kavous, 2009). This module gave me the chance to question, analyze and improve my managerial skills, while the reflective statement and diaries give a broad outline of the experiences passed. Furthermore the professional development plan below will outline future areas for development .The overall project gave me an opportunity to discover my interpersonal skills as well as weaknesses that I need to overcome to develop sufficient international managerial competencies, the most important of which are communication, decision-making, leadership, presentation skills and team working.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Ardalan, Kavous. (2009) “Globalization and culture: four paradigmatic views”, International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 36, No. 5, pp. 513-534.
Danielle Medina Walker, Thomas D. Walker, Joerg Schmitz, Terence Brake. (2003) Doing business internationally: the guide to cross-cultural success. McGraw-hill pages 33-36 Culture.
Dean Tjosvold, Kwok Leung. (2003) Cross-cultural management: foundations and future. Ashgate publishing company, pp. 1-6.
Francesco, A.M. and Gold, B.A. (2005) International Organizational Behavior, Upper Saddler River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc., pp. 159, 161,175, 204, 205.
Groseschl, Stefan, Doherty, Liz. (2000) “Conceptualising Culture”, Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, Vol. 7, No. 4, pp. 2-3.
Jean-Claude Usunier. (1998) International and cross-cultural management research. Sage publications. pp. 31-35.
Mary Haour-Knipe. (2001) Moving families: expatriation, stress and coping. Routledge publisher, pp. 90-92.
Michael A. West. (2004) Effective teamwork: practical lessons from organizational research. Malden Oxford. Pp. 75-85.
Michael Z. Brooke. (1996) International management: a review of strategies and operations. Stanley Thornes Ltd. Pp. 3 -21.
Philip R. Harris. (1998) The New Work Culture: Hrd Strategies for Transformational Management Publisher HRD Pres, Team working pp. 520-526. Philip Robert Harris, Robert T. Moran, Sarah Virgilia Moran (2004) Managing cultural differences: Global leadership strategies for the 21st century. Elsiver, Oxford ,sixth edition PP.150 -156 Cultural differences.
Philomena Essed. (1996) Diversity: gender, color, and culture. Library of Congress, A challenge towards diversity pp. 135-137.
Schneider, S. (1997) Managing Across Cultures, Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall
The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research. (2002) Leadership and management in the information age pages 12-22.
Thomas, D.C. (2008) Cross-Cultural Management Essential
Concepts, 2nd Edition, Los Angeles: SAGE Publications Ltd, pp: 49, 50, 59,131-137, 187, 223, 234.
APPENDIX A
WEEK 1
DATE: 29th of September 2009
EVENT/ACTIVITY: Introduction of the Module and Key Competencies of an International Manager. Discussion of a Case Study, Exercise 3 “Spanning the globe”.
EXPERIENCE:
This was my first class where a brief presentation was given on how the module would turn out to be and what was expected form us with course objectives and learning outcomes. During this class we were given a specific task to work on, the case study “Spanning the globe”, to be worked on as a team with people that were assigned together to work sitting on the same table during the lecture break that was give to us.
During the given time the whole group decided we should read the case study individually and then discuss and go through the question given, therefore everyone had a specific task and to combine ideas together.
The overall outcome of the task was to see how everybody would react to team work under a strict time management and to combine personal ideas with other members of the team.
FEELINGS:
My initial feelings of the task were orientated toward overall successful performance to achieve what was asked from me, I thought the group was well organized and prepared to come the exercise to come up with combined answers and ideas. Time management was also dived in 3 sections, the first towards reading the case study, secondly reviews opinions of members and finally to write notes down for a final answers.
THOUGHTS:
During the whole experience I felt I was learning throughout and getting to know different people and other ways of working as a group which made me happy and motivated to continue with the module introduced to us, where I realized that I would learn a great deal from this module that would most definitely improve me as a potential fine manager.
REFLECTION:
What I could learn from the first group discussion was that all individuals are different and that everyone has a different way of performing and achieving a process, therefore we have to accept to learn to work together and combine all ideas and conflicts to create something unique and to use individual’s strengths to help the process. Also I had a rough look at the content of the module and understood that a wide range of reading material had to be studied, also by using as core text book Cross-Cultural Management essential concepts by David C. Thomas 2nd edition, and others similar to this.
THEORY INTO PRACTICE:
The potential cross-cultural problems related to the topic of the session are the following:

Time pressure (35 min)
Different understanding of the content
Different opinions about approach
Different perspectives of case study
Working together effectively (constraints)
General discussions to agree on a certain point

In order to enhance these potential threats it has to be noted that individual competencies of members need to be worked on in order to be a successful manager and improve cross cultural team work by accepting different skills and behaviors that might come into practice.
WEEK 2
DATE: 6th of October 2009
EVENT/ACTIVITY: International Team Working. Work group vs. Team. Division into groups for Assignment 1, Discussion of the Case Study 0.1 “The Thames Pump & Valve Company” and different activities about team working guidelines, reflections about advantages and disadvantages of working in groups, improving long-term performance of leaders of a multicultural team and personal awareness and skills exercise. The group that I was in included me, Julius, Roman, and Pimita, but one member was missing as she did not attend the class. (Of which we were assigned to be group 2).
EXPERIENCE:
During this class our team explored the performance and potential of multicultural teams and the key barriers to achieve high performance and which strategies to consider to address these issues. The first discussion was about the case study of “The Thames Pump & Valve Company”. This case study was part of our homework for the day and the discussion in my group was productive in the end. During the class we experience even other activities such as the exercise about team working guidelines where different cultural background proved even different ranking of the list of provisional guidelines. The second activity consisted in establishing advantages and disadvantages of working in groups and the other one was about improving the performance of leaders of a multicultural team in the long-term. During the session we discussed on conclusion of the role of self assessment to find each members preference and role within the group by completing Belbin’s team role task to see each other differences.
Finally we were given the case study of “The case of the Floundering Expatriate” of which we would be analyzing with a group for the rest of the module to then give an oral presentation of the findings and solutions asked for.
FEELINGS:
I felt very happy to get to know my team members and see if we would work efficiently together, understand there different ways of doing and achieving a method, our group consisted of members from Germany (Julius), Russia (Roman), Italy (Eugenio), Pimpta (Thailand). So there were certainly potential for different cultural issues and idea generation. Overall there was a feeling of excitement for the beginning of a new relationship.
THOUGHTS:
While we were getting to know each other I was thinking what kind of benefits they would bring to the team and what could I learn from this experience and give towards making the group work. With this in mind previous weeks task for homework help me understand potential preferences that I might be involved in, I assessed myself development by completing the questionnaire given to us to correspond towards qualities for an effective manager where my strong points found were towards:

Relevant professional knowledge and understanding
Proactivity, inclination to respond purposefully to event
Social skills and abilities

Secondly I looked towards personal awareness and skills exercise between the roles that an international manger takes into account, by organizing the most important roles that comply with you to be successful, the most important ones for me where:

Team leader/ Judge/ Challenger/ and Innovator

REFLECTION:
While attending the session I learned that I would most definitely be a team worker as I got along with my members and I was motivated to bring great ideas and completing the task assigned to us. At this moment in time there was no evident leader so positions still needed to be assigned. Finally we all decided to meet the following Monday to discuss the case study of “The floundering Expatriate”, for a general review. Finally I was also reviewing the material that had to be red, the initial chapters of the core text book and others suggested by the module leader.
THEORY INTO PRACTICE:
The cross cultural factor that were influenced in this session were that there could have been a language restrain between each other and that clear ideas didn’t seem to flow at times , therefore a better organization was needed.
WEEK 3
Date: 16th of October 2009
Event/Activity:
Culture and Values and Managing diversity. I started to feel ill, which resulted in getting the flu. Therefore I could not attend the First group meeting as I was unable to for health reasons and I was therefore moved to group number 1, as another member form group 2 attended and course leader suggested I move to the other group as they were already agreed to work together.
Experience:
During this week I got a temperature resulting in getting the flu and I was in bed for a few days. On Wednesday we had the first group meeting and one of my group mates was really kind to send me an e-mail with all the details discussed during the meeting. On Thursday I tried to recover from this by taking medicine and resting for a few days which put my back on track, unfortunately I felt badly that I could not attend the meeting and felt very frustrated; also I had to interact with my new group and set up new meeting and roles that would be taken
FEELINGS:
I was very happy to meet the other members of my group and was ready to work with them on the case study of “The floundering expatriate”, I wanted to see how we would socialize and combine all our ideas and put them into practice, but as I was ill I could do that, so it made me sad that I let the team down, and I had to tell them that I couldn’t attend.
The group I was now assigned to consist from Shirley (Venezuela), Konstantin (Bulgaria), Moses (Denmark), Judith (Germany) and me (Italy), a nicely balanced group from different origins.
THOUGHTS:
During the time I didn’t spend with my group I though what I could offer my team, and I started to think towards my potential assets that they could benefit from. One task that helped me realize what I could offer involved in completing Belbin’s team roles self assessment by looking toward contribution, shortcoming events, involvement in projects, characteristic approach towards work, satisfaction, difficulties that may arise, and problems that can be dealt with. With all this taken into consideration, the final verdict showed that I exceeded towards being an implementer and team worker. Another way in which I understood that I was starting a general development of my life towards a working life was due to understanding wide-ranging points of view and concepts of cross-cultural management from Francesco and Gold, Thomas books that gave me a great deals to think about how my performance would affect the group and how I would interact with fellow members.
REFLECTION:
Unfortunately I couldn’t learn anything from the group meeting as I was absent, but I read the case study and was ready to share my views and opinion on how to come about answering the questions that were given to us. Also I was informed form other member to meet my new group on the following Monday to review question 1 and 2 of the case study, to bring my ideas and thoughts to the next session.
THEORY INTO PRACTICE:
The cross cultural factor that were influenced in this session were that the group might have thought that I was unorganized and not willing to work as I did not attend and hoping that this would not happen again.
Additionally by being and implementer it meant that I would be reliable , disciplined, conservative and efficient and mainly to turn ideas into practical actions and work successful in a team with a smooth flow, knowing that I could bring these positive attributes to my team the following week and for the rest of the semester to complete the task given to perform a presentation on possible ways of developing the case study of “The Floundering Expatriate” by looking towards the:

Cross cultural issues that arise
Action plan to develop Bert’s Team
Steps in which Bert need to take into account to develop his interaction skills
Finally followed by our groups performance in completing the task

WEEK 4
Date: 19th of October 2009
Event/Activity: Second group meeting: Presentation of task 1 and 2
Experience:
The group decided to review question 1 and 2 on Monday at 12.00 with a meeting point in the library in Wheatley campus, so we could discuss and review the work done the week before for the tasks and see if any progress was made since their last meeting.
SECOND Experience: 22nd of October
This week’s class of IMC was divided in two parts; the first one had a guest lecture who talked about coaching and mentoring and the second one was about leadership.
During the first part we did a test called ‘International Coach Federation Professional Coaching core Competencies’ to get a view about our coaching abilities.
Also an article about coaching was distributed in class, titled “ Accessing cultural orientations: the online Cultural Orientations Framework Assessment as a tool for coaching” by Gilbert and Rosinski (2007).
The second part was about Manager as a leader where we discussed the characteristics of global business leadership and cultural influence on leadership in different counties.
FEELINGS:
I was happy this week to learn about mentoring across cultures and leadership which are essential needs for an international manager to learn the basic skills for managing its organization successfully and create a working environment that can develop its skills and training through time, as managers are faced with one of the biggest tasks to motivate and lead individuals to different cultures by understanding their behaviors, as motivation has the need to achieve and dominate in its class (Mc Cleland’s, 1981).
While on the other hand leadership has the ability to inspire individuals to influence organizations members towards goals and targets that need to meet.
THOUGHTS:
As the lesson progressed I was thinking what kind of role would I seek to pursue during a managerial task, and when reflecting I was brought to understand that I would have a great ability to be a leader by having the ability to see members potential assets for the team and task in hand and by leading them to enhance their skills gradually by making them feel comfortable with what their achieving.
REFLECTION:
After the past experiences I started to realize that I might want to develop my leadership skills in my team, but as time progressed we noticed that Shirley took the role of leader right from the start by organizing schedules and giving out tasks to perform on a weekly basis and found myself in the situation to comply with her demands as she was very organized and everyone had the opportunity to collect and deliver any ideas that may be relevant for the case study. Also during the lectures I learned all the different styles that a manager can adopt or operate on, that can bring a wide variety of solutions.
THEORY INTO PRACTICE:
The cross cultural factors affected form this session and that concerned me the most were:

A leader was found and had to deal with the of being a team worker
Time constraint arose and found ourselves to rush through some of the work
First sessions were formal and members from the group felt discomfort
We need to establish a greater bond to flow in an organized way
Different styles for expressing their ideas
Different approaches to understanding and exploring ideas

WEEK 5
DATE: 26th of October 2009
EVENT/ACTIVITY: On Monday we had our third group meeting. On Tuesday, IMC class, where we had a guest lecture about International Careers and Development.
EXPERIENCE:
This group meeting took place at the same time and place as organized and decided, were it was productive and we kept on expanding our ideas and development for the project and started to become more organized and coherent.
WEEK 5
DATE: 29th of November 2009
EVENT/ACTIVITY: On Monday we had our forth group and on Tuesday’s we had IMC class where we discussed “Problem analysis and decision making in an international environment”.
EXPERIENCE:
As every Monday we had our usual group meeting in the library the difference this week was that I was the only one to show up on time. During this class we discussed a case study “Pinpoint executive toys; the culture is important and can be said to be structured!” where we should put ourselves as managers of this organization and make some crucial decisions. While we were discussing the case study and try to find a solution to all the questions we found ourselves to work perfectly and in harmony together.
FEELINGS:
The guest lecturer gave me more insight into what my future plans would be and preferably were I would like to take my knowledge and skills into which sector of work, this gave me an insight into thinking more deeply into where I would like to work, where to stay in England or go abroad, working in an organization or company, and also what sectors would I be interested in.
THOUGHTS:
This week I was slightly de-motivated as I felt that I had to catch up with other modules and the work started to load on me, therefore I noticed that I was lacking towards generating new ideas and completing tasks, but I found the will and strength to study more, which showed I was gaining more insight into enhancing my personal skills as I wanted to achieve greater benefits to apply in future jobs or personal
 

Core Competencies for Direct Service Providers (DSPs)

A competency is any skill, knowledge, behavior or other personal characteristic that helpful to superior performance in a job role. Competencies are what outstanding performers do more often, in more situations, and with better results than typical performers. (HayGroup,2009)

We have also identified threshold competencies in a separate section. Threshold competencies are fundamental to all roles in the sector. It is recommended that they be used during recruitment to identify “fit” since threshold competencies generally reflect the values in an organization. By comparison, the core competencies are also relevant in hiring as a reference for considering one’s natural predisposition to develop a strength in the respective competencies. Once an individual is recruited by any organization the core competencies become a personal development and coaching focal point for developing one’s behavioural strength in one’s role. (Hay Group, 2009) People with intellectual and developmental disabilities rely on others around them to provide supports in many areas of their life. Much of this support comes from informal sources such as family members, friends, neighbours and classmates and majority of support comes from professional practitioners in medical, social services or educational fields, such as social workers, teachers and physicians. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities also receive support provided by direct support professionals.Care-givers with a specific focus on honoring the preferences and supporting the day to day needs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with the intense of positive outcomes in many areas of life such as health, wellness, relationship building, home living and other areas of community participation. (Wehmeyer, Brown et al., 2017, p-373) 

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Direct service providers (DSPs) are employed in human service environments such as nursing homes, mental health facilities, and non-residential and residential facilities. DSPs who often have limited education, work with various populations, including individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), aged people, individuals with physical health care needs, mental illness, and substance misuse disorders. DSPs’ responsibilities include offering person-to person support to individuals in need of support in their activities of daily living, such as household tasks, personal health and safety, community access, and integration. (Rahbel Rahman et al.- 2018).

It is essential to understanding the way in which the duties of Direct support professionals are defined about the ideas of competencies. Broadly speaking or communication skill, a competency may be thought of as the knowledge, skill, attitudes that must be mastered in order to perform a good job. By defining the work performed by Direct support professionals in developmental sector in terms of competencies, it is assumed that the profession is action and value oriented not only simply knowledge based. Building knowledge is essential for building competency and it’s not enough in order to develop competency and put into action, practiced and improved. It is the application of knowledge and constant refinement of skills that leads to competency task. (Wehmeyer, Brown et al., 2017, p-378) 

Each set of Direct support professional competencies is extensive, and it may seem overwhelming for many direct support professionals and supervisors to focus on gaining high levels of competence in each skill areas. It is important to understand competencies in relation to the most important duties a direct support professional performs in her or his job because during job hiring the interview guide mostly focus on roles and responsibilities, knowledge about direct support professional core competencies, opinion and attitude toward the current training and core competency training. Sometimes it’s depending on the needs and preferences of the people with intellectual and developmental disabilities whom direct support professionals support, some competency areas may be important at particular time and it’s depend on client’s situation. Direct support professionals need to perform well organized into 12 main categories:1) Participant empowerment2) communiction3) Assessment 4) community and service networking 5) facilitation of services 6) community living skills and supports 7) education, training and self- development 8) advocacy 9) vocational, educational and career supports 10) crisis intervention 11) organizational participation 12) Documentation.  (Wehmeyer, Brown et al., 2017, p-378 &379)

There are seven common core competencies and four threshold core competencies in direct support professionals to shows the skill, knowledge, behavior and personal characteristics which helpful in superior job performance. Advocating for others competence makes a good role in developmental sector because direct support professionals supporting someone when they need help or trying to find solutions and when someone has a problem. In developmental sector, as a direct support professional there are some skills including communication, problem-solving skill, organization and patience are needed when be advocate for people with developmental disabilities. As an example, I can say that when people with developmental disabilities have no knowledge about their rights or sometime, they avoid taking steps against any violence or abuse at that time as a direct support professional I must be advocate for that person and help them in their problems. (Wehmeyer, Brown et al., 2017, p-381 & 382) 

“Collaboration” is a second one core competence which focus on communication method. How to communicate or interact with others, within team members or as an individual, organizations or agencies outside one’s immediate work place or span control. (e.g.: community partners or co-workers). This competency is about teamwork. Whether working with others within one’s own team, cross-functionally, or in the community with community partners, the demonstrated willingness to collaborate effectively with others is critical to creating alignment within and across groups, and to providing high levels of service to those who are supported. In developmental sector when works as a direct support professional shares information, ideas with team members about actions and proposed changes that will affect them. Give credits team members who have performed well and encourages and empowers others, making them feel strong and important as well as try to promote a friendly climate and a good working relationship regardless of personal likes or dislikes and builds good morale or cooperation within the team, including creating symbols of group identity or other actions to build cohesiveness. As a team member, works to resolve conflicts, within and/or across teams, by clarifying understanding, listening for underlying concerns, and defining areas of agreement and of disagreement between parties.  Consults with others and maintains objectivity when working on issues that cross boundaries. Consistently holds self and others accountable for promoting collaboration and resolving cross-boundary conflicts to facilitate win-win resolution of differences. As per my own experience, I can say that if people work in group collaboratively, they can easily get updated knowledge and more information from theircollegues and they can easily make good relationship and networking with team members and across the team. (Hay group-2009).

Creative problem solving and decision making is the most important core competency because as a direct support professional demonstrate the behavior to try to identify one’s problems, understand the situation, collect the detail information about that issue then breaking the issues in small pieces & identify the situation and related behavior and thinking outside of the box and explore creative ideas or use resources and making decision(Hay Group- 2009).

Decision making is defined as making choices, identifying courses of action, determining the probability of respective consequences, and choosing and implementing the best course of action  With respect to decision making among people with developmental disabilities, over the past decade, the supported decision-making approach has been gaining momentum wherein adults with disabilities get help in making decisions, but they retain control over who provides that help, and what the ultimate decisions will be. In supported decision making, the individual with a disability chooses direct support professionals to assist with decision making, and problem solving.(Burke et al.- 2019)because  direct support professional , when solve the problem of people with developmental disabilities they think imaginatively in order to develop issue or situation and creates number of solutions regarding issue and try to apply various solutions maintaining safe environment and modify that decision in which client is comfortable.(Hay Group- 2009)

Fostering independence in others this competency focus on empowering or motivating others including whom we support as a direct support professional (people with intellectual & developmental disability) and staff members. Becoming self‐sufficient or independent adults is the goal for most high school graduates, including those young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Self‐sufficiency is a societal value commonly achieved through educational, employment, and independent living pursuits. Specifically, personal development and self‐determination are the quality‐of‐life domains associated with positive postschool outcomes for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Developing effective instructional practices that facilitate independence and self‐determination in the natural environment or less restrictive settings helps to close the gap between those with and without disabilities. It is important to utilize evidence‐based instructional practices. These practices include identification of the target skills, strategies for programming opportunities to practice and maintain the skills, and the coordination of supports and accommodations needed to generalize the performance of the skills across tasks and settings. Two categories of daily living skills, known as activities of daily living (ADL’s) and instrumental ADL’s (IADL’s), are important for planning instruction. ADL’s are meaningful, functional personal care tasks such as eating, brushing teeth, bathing, and personal hygiene, and IADL’s are skills such as cleaning, making meals, grocery shopping, and banking (American Occupational Therapy Association). Skills that should be taught in self‐determination include setting goals, problem solving, making choices, self‐managing, and advocating for one’s needs. (Simmons-Reed, Evette A. – 2017) 

A goal of perfection such as perfect independence, certainly limits the extent to which the individual can achieve the goal. The process of working toward ideally independent sate requires a full definition of independence for achievement. Consequently, as an ideal that can be defined and functioning according to social and cultural norms, independence is a construct that can be measured in a continuum. In a frame work of perfection people whose independent capabilities are on the lower end of continuum require more intensive supports in order to reach the goal.

(Boele, Amy L. – 2017).

Initiative is a competency in which identifying opportunities or problems and acting to enhance organizational results. People with this competency are action-oriented – they act in the present to create value in the future. This competency is about being proactive – having a bias for action. Effective performance in direct support roles requires the ability to think and plan & prepare for problems versus how to cope up with them. At more senior levels, this is captured in the Strategic Thinking competency. As a direct support professional, identify areas where support might be needed and set up for happening events and immediate changes & ensure enough follow- up to check on progress. Be ready for achievement and prepares for problems which interfere with work or attainment of result. (Hay Group- 2009)

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The competency interpersonal relations & respect mainly focus on interpersonal staff behavior, effectively communication, mutual understanding and good demonstration method are effective when works with people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. When communicate or interact with people with developmental disabilities and their families demonstrating high level of interpersonal understanding and skill which is effective in building relationship and providing high level of support and services. People with intellectual disabilities (ID) are at higher risk for behavioural problems and mental health problems than people without intellectual or developmental disability. Sometimes it’s suggested that deficits in the behavior of disabled are due to lack of social support, negligence, lack of respect and unsupportive social environment is responsible. Direct support professionals considered as a key role in the behavioral intervention for people with developmental disabilities or challenging behaviour. (Willems et. al.-2010). As per my personal experience I would like to say that good support and respect is more important keys when works with people with developmental disabilities because if care givers or health professional and family members don’t give them respect and avoid them, they never share their problems and isolate themselves from others which affect their physical and mental health.

Resilience means ability to cope up with crisis or situations. So, in the developmental sector, direct support professionals who works with people who have intellectual and developmental disability, so they must maintaining resilience involves stamina and perform under continuing stress. Those who works as a direct support professional with people who have developmental disabilities are may experience work related stress and it is difficult to continuous able to provide high level of support or qualitative care. As an example, parenting stress is consistently found to be higher in parents of child with developmental disabilities, but some families are become resilient and flourish in the face of these challenges. These types of families increasing demand care givers, change the attitude towards their child, maintain positive manner and high level of self- motivation which is helpful, and it’s does not matter which type of circumstances. (Gerstein et. Al.-2009) (Caldwell et.al. -2018)

Flexibility is creating to and working effectively with various type of situations and different types of people. Flexibility states understanding and appreciating different and opposing perspectives on any issue or situation, adapting one’s approach as the requirements of a situation change, and changing or easily accepting changes in one’s own organization or job requirements. (Hay Group- 2009) Flexibility is encouraged in order to expect on the developments and movements in their rapidly changing environment. When working in developmental sector understand other people’s view, ideas and shows willingness to change your thought or ideas based on new information and evidence or other’s view. (Green, Venessa et al., 2006)

Self- control is most important competency because in developmental sector employees works with people who have developmental disabilities and self- control involves to keeping one’s inhibitory emotions under control, feels emotions and deals positively with them. This competency is critical requirement because in this sector individual deals with challenging situations and works as a direct support role. In this sector, this competency is more important when situation changes respond calmly and slowly, knows personal reaction of client and communicates with confidence, explain procedure calmly and achieve desired result. (Wehmeyer, Brown et al., 2017, p-90-91)

Service Orientation is about searching and serving people who receive support, the public, colleagues, partners, coworkers and peers to best meet their needs. It is the ability to understand those underlying needs of others and to use this information to benefit those they serve/support – both those who receive support and others within the developmental services sector. Individuals demonstrating this competency can put himself/herself into the mind of the people who receive support and understand needs from their point of view. It includes focusing one’s efforts on discovering and meeting the needs of the people who receive support, including unexpressed and/or future needs, in order to develop a broad understanding of those they support. (Hay Group-2010) To provide quality service and support requires an ability to go the extra mile, to take accountability to help resolve issues, to seek to understand the underlying needs of the people who receive support, and provide the appropriate support and service, now and for the future. (Hay Group -2009)

Values and Ethics refers to depicting conduct, dispositions and viewpoints consistent with personal integrity, as well as concern for, and sensitivity to, the fundamental values and ethics of the agency/organization/sector and the profession. It includes the capacity for sound ethical judgment in an ethically complex work environment and in the face of pressures and constraints. (Hay Group -2010).

Code of ethics focuses on nine principles that should guide the actions of direct support professionals as they support individual with intellectual and developmental disabilities in leading healthy & happy life. This ethics aim is to promote freedom, justice and equity.1) person -centered support 2) promoting physical and emotional well being 3) integrity & responsibility 4) confidentiality 5) justice, fairness & equity 6) Respect 7) relationships 8) self- determination 9) advocacy. (Wehmeyer, Brown et al., 2017, p-380- 381)

Those working within this sector are ambassadors for the sector. As such, their values and ethics can be construed as the values and ethics of the agency they represent. To maintain the respect accorded the sector it is essential that those working within it demonstrate high levels of integrity and align one’s behaviour to support the agency’s and sector’s values and ethics. This is essential to all roles, and is, therefore, a critical baseline competency. (Hay Group- 2010)

We have also identified threshold competencies in a separate section. Threshold competencies are fundamental to all roles in the sector. It is recommended that they be used during recruitment to identify “fit” since threshold competencies generally reflect the values in an organization. By comparison, the core competencies are also relevant in hiring as a reference for considering one’s natural predisposition to develop a strength in the respective competencies. Once an individual is hired, the core competencies become a personal development and coaching focal point for developing one’s behavioural strength in one’s role.

References:

Boelé, A., L. (2017). In search of community: Lessons from idealized independence for adults with disabilities. Harvard Educational Review, 87(3), 380-403,452. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.humber.ca/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.humber.ca/docview/1942146334?accountid=11530

Burke, M. M., Lee, C. E., Hall, S. A., & Rossetti, Z. (2019). Understanding decision making among individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their siblings. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 57(1), 26-41,75,77. doi: http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.humber.ca/10.1352/1934-9556-57.1.26

Caldwell, J. A., Jones, J. L., Gallus, K. L., & Henry, C. S. (2018). Empowerment and resilience in families of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 56(5), 374-388,390,392. doi: http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.humber.ca/10.1352/1934-9556-56.5.374

Cullen, J. M., Simmons, R. E. A., & Weaver, L. (2017). Using 21st century video prompting technology to facilitate the independence of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Psychology in the Schools, 54(9), 965–978. https://doiorg.ezproxy.humber.ca/10.1002/pits.22056

Gerstein, E. D., Crnic, K. A., Blacher, J., & Baker, B. L. (2009). Resilience and the course of daily parenting stress in families of young children with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 53(12), 981–997.  https://doi-org.ezproxy.humber.ca/10.1111/j.1365-2788.2009.01220.x

Green, V. A., Sigafoos, J., Pituch, K. A., Itchon, J., & al, e. (2006). Assessing behavioral flexibility in individuals with developmental disabilities. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 21(4), 230-236. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.humber.ca/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.humber.ca/docview/205057113?accountid=11530

Hay Group, (2009). Core competencies project Retrieved from: http://pclkw.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Core-Competency-Dictionary-October-1-2009.pdf

Hay Group, (2010). Core competencies project Retrieved from:http://pclkw.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Core-Competency-Dictionary-October-1-2009.pdf

Wehmeyer & Brown et.al, (2017). A Comprehensive Guide to Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities.

Willems, A. P. . A. M., Embregts, P. . J. C. M., Stams, G. J. J. M., & Moonen, X. M. H. (2010). The relation between intrapersonal and interpersonal staff behaviour towards clients with ID and challenging behaviour: a validation study of the Staff–Client Interactive Behaviour Inventory. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 54(1), 40–51. https://doi-org.ezproxy.humber.ca/10.1111/j.1365-2788.2009.01226.x

Rahbel Rahman, Gwyneth Kirkbride, Besa H. Buta. (2018). Using community- based participatory research to develop a series of core competency trainings within a Developmental Disability Program, Journal of social service research,448-458. Retrieved from: http://doi.org/10.1080/01488376.2018.1476295

Analysis of Huawei and its Core Competencies

Huawei Technologies was founded in 1998 by Ren Zhengfei who is a former People’s Liberation Army officer and telecom engineer. It was incorporated as a private enterprise which manufactures telecommunications equipments for domestic Chinese companies at a much lower price than its international competitors. And since the beginning, Zhengfei’s vision was to build innovation capability into the company. However, contrary to the China’s policy of “exchanging market for technology,” Zhengfei is convinced that having a joint venture with foreign companies would only cause the Chinese to lose their domestic market and not enable them to acquire foreign technologies.

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In performing an internal analysis, it is important to have a ‘global mind-set’, which is the ability to analyse the internal environment in ways that are independent on the assumptions of a single country, culture, or context. In addition, the business’s portfolio of resources and the bundles of heterogeneous resources and capabilities have to be analysed so that they are be leveraged on if need to.
Business Fundamentals
Accounting
Huawei Technologies had annual revenue of US$6.7 billion and a net profit of US$470 million in 2005. This is an increase from annual revenue of US$5.8 billion and a net profit of US$470 million in 2004.
Huawei’s net profits in 2002 and 2003 were US$110 million and US$380 million respectively, and it had a net profit margin of 4% in 2002, 10% in 2003 and 8% in 2004. No doubt, Huawei’s net profit margin drop by 2% in 2004, Huawei is still generating profit.
Finance
There are short-term financing and long-term financing options available. Huawei’s financial support from the state-owned Chinese Development Bank in the form of a US$10 billion facility and US$600 million from the Export-Import Bank of China are both forms of long-term financing.
Risk Management
There are three major types of business risks; price risk, credit risk and pure risk.
As Huawei has markets overseas, there is bound to be some price risk involved when there is any fluctuation in foreign exchange rates as their receivables and payments are transacted in foreign currencies. Hence, Huawei can use hedging to manage its price risks.
In addition, pure risk is assume to be present in virtually any industry and there are four types of pure risk that affect business; damage to assets, legal liability, workers’ injury and employee benefits.
Organisation Design
Huawei practice departmentalization as its workforce is spilt into departments such as Research & Development (R&D) and production. It is also a mechanistic structure as there is high specialization and centralization.
Human Resource Management
Since its beginning, Huawei had been emphasizing on building a strong R&D team and it had been recruiting employees of high caliber with exceptionally high salary by Chinese standard.
Operations and Supply Chain Management
The success of most businesses is their ability to identify the customers’ needs and to come up with products that fulfills the necessary requirements. These products will then have to be produced at economically viable costs.
As Huawei manufactures and ships its products both locally and overseas. Thus, it is vital that Huawei monitors its operations and supply chain management to ensure that its products remain profitable and that bullwhip effect be controlled.
Product Development
Huawei has the foresight to invest and develop in new technologies in the industry which gives it a quantum leap in the market from its competitors.
Resources, Capabilities, and Core Competencies
Resources, capabilities and core competencies form the basis of competitive advantage. Resources create organizational capabilities when group together and in turn, capabilities result in the core competencies of a firm, and these are the foundation of competitive advantage.
Tangible Resources
Financial Resources
As previously mentioned, Huawei has the financial support from the state-owned Chinese Development Bank and the Export-Import Bank of China. With their financial support, Huawei received a US10 billion facility for its international expansion over five years and US$600 million respectively.
Organisational Resources
Huawei has departments such as R&D, production and marketing which form up the basic organization structure of the company. Huawei also integrates its marketing employees into its main R&D team so that the customers’ needs can be better communicated to the R&D headquarters responsively.
Physical Resources
Huawei has research centres located in China and overseas. For example, it has a 21 storey research center at its headquarters in Shenzhen and six other research laboratories in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Huangzhou, Xi’an and Chengdu; a software development centre in Bangalore (India) and research facilities in Moscow (Russia), Stockholm (Sweden) and the Silicon Valley in California.
Technological Resources
Huawei had a large number of patents under its name. It had more than 8,000 patent applications by late 2004, with 800 of them applied in more than 20 countries, including the United States and Europe. In fact, in 2004 alone, Huawei had more than 2,000 patent applications which put it on par with its international rivals in the same industry.
Intangible Resources
Human Resources
Since establishment, Huawei had focused its resources to build itself a strong R&D team. Starting off with 500 R&D staffs and 200 production staffs, Huawei had a workforce of 24,000 employees by late 2005 with 48% of them engaging in R&D works.
In addition, the education level of the company’s employees was higher than the average worker in China. More than 85% of its workforce had a bachelors or higher degree, and about 60% had a master’s or PhD.
Innovation Resources
Huawei undertook joint R&D laboratories with foreign companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Texas Instruments, Intel, e.g., focusing on different telecom techniques. These joint development efforts were used to complement Huawei’s innovation capabilities.
Reputational Resources
Huawei has a large customer base in China with the major telecom companies being its customer. In addition, Huawei is one of the major suppliers for equipments for the China Telecom’s ChinaNet Next Carrying Network, known as CN2, which is the core network for the country’s next-generation business and consumers services.
Capabilities
Capabilities exist when there are resources on hand that have been deliberately integrated to achieve specific tasks.
Huawei had a strong team of R&D staff which comprises of 48% of its total employees. In addition, Huawei recruits employees of high caliber, with more than 85% of its employees having at least a bachelors degree and 60% having a master’s or PhD. Thus, Huawei is able to come out with innovate products, hence holding an exceptionally high number of patents by Chinese standard.
In addition, coming from a military background, Ren Zhengfei’s connection with the Chinese military helps create a guanxi network which is extremely helpful to Huawei.
Being based in China, Huawei is able to manufacture and offer products at a lower price (typically 30% lower than those of established suppliers).
Core Competencies
Core competencies are capabilities that are a source of competitive advantage for a company over its rivals.
Huawei’s first competence is its R&D. Because of the inexpensive labour force in China, Huawei had an advantage over its international competitors. In addition, Huawei integrates its marketing people into its R&D team, thus the needs of telephone companies and service providers could be communicated through the marketers to the R&D department in the shortest time.
Another core competence which Huawei had is its close relationship with the Chinese military. This close relationship enables Huawei to create a guanxi network which few other competitors could rival and which helps Huawei to secure big contract orders in its initial years and huge financial loans from the state banks.
A third core competence is Huawei’s products low price as compare to its competitors.
In summary, Huawei would need to maintain these core competencies in the long run to have a sustainable competitive advantage.
Value Chain Analysis
Using the value chain analysis, we will analyse which are Huawei’s operations’ segments that create value and those that do not. It is essential to understand these issues, as a business will only earns above-average returns when the value created is greater than the costs incurred to create that value.
Primary activities
Huawei’s primary activities are marketing and sales, inbound logistics, outbound logistics and operations.
Support activities
Huawei’s support activities are firm infrastructure, human resource management, service, technological development and procurement.
Activities which are not of competitive advantages to Huawei can be outsourced to external vendors so that resources can be put to better use within the company.
SWOT Analysis – Strengths and Weaknesses
Strengths
Huawei have a strong R&D team and high caliber employees which gives it an edge over its competitors.
Being based in China, Huawei is able to manufacture and offer products at a lower price (typically 30% lower than those of established suppliers).
In addition, with a low-cost workforce, Huawei spends less in R&D but achieve comparable results with foreign technology companies who spend more.
Ren Zhengfei’s connection with the Chinese military enables Huawei to have the support from the Chinese government which is essential to working in China.
Weaknesses
Being a Chinese company, Huawei will be view in a different light compared to other companies from other countries. In general, the perception was that Chinese vendors were mainly relying on western engineering methods and were turning the higher margins and complex products into standard commodities. Thus, Huawei would have to move beyond this to be view as a serious global competitor.
Huawei’s lawsuit with Cisco gives rise to the issue that Huawei has infringed Cisco’s patents and copyrights by copying its user interface, user manuals and source codes which inevitably affects Huawei’s reputation in the United States.
Key Success Factors
Huawei is able to be successful as in general the Chinese market is a closed industry and foreign companies would need to joint ventures with local Chinese companies in order to enter the market, which will involve large equity investments.
In addition, being a home-grown company, the Chinese will prefer to buy their products from Huawei, thus giving it an advantage in such a big emerging market. Furthermore, with Ren Zhengfei’s connection to the Chinese military, it would have an unfair advantage over other companies.
Secondly, since the onset, Huawei had focus on employing high caliber employees to form a huge R&D team. Together with joint R&D with other leading foreign companies, this has enables Huawei to come up with innovative products.
 

Critical Analysis of a Firm’s Core Competencies and Competitive Advantage

INTRODUCTION
This essay critically analyses the link between a firm’s core competencies and achievement of competitive advantage. The theoretical link is explored by choosing Dell as an example to evaluate theory and practice gap. The essay investigates how competitive advantage is achieved by developing inimitable (core) resources; which is supported through review of literature. The essay further establishes and investigates the link between Resource Based View and Sustainable Competitive Advantage and evaluates how the two conceptual theories have assisted Dell in differentiating itself from competition.

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CORE COMPETENCY AND COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE DEFINED
In order to explore the link between core competency and competitive advantage, it is crucial to understand the implications of both terms. Based upon Hofer and Schendel (1978), competitive advantage could imply exploitation of resources resulting in an organisation’s distinctive position compared to competition.  While most firms view the attainment of competitive advantage as earning greater investment returns, it can comprise of various aspects, for instance, enhancing environmental impact or capturing a greater market share can be viewed as a source of competitive advantage for a particular firm. The term was used in several articles by Cave (1984) and Spence (1984), yet it was not explicitly defined until 1985 when Porter (1985) put forth his perception of the concept. Porter (1985) defined competitive advantage as the value delivered by a firm’s products that exceeds costs of creating that value. In this context, competitive advantage was achieved by a firm through adoption of either a differentiation or cost leadership strategy.
However, it is evident from research that competitive advantage does not solely rely upon implementation of value creating activities as the notion undermines and sometimes ignores to account for the potential of competitors. Therefore the concept of distinctive/core competency was explored by Prahalad and Hamel (1990) who described it as the distinctive knowledge, capabilities and skills, of a firm that differentiate it from competitors. These unique capabilities could incorporate anything from a firm’s value creating strategy to its organisational culture. Core competency notion is perceived to create significant value for a firm that competitors cannot imitate or exploit in the long run (Thompson & Strickland, 1999).  The core competency theory has therefore, added meaning to competitive advantage concept.
Core Competency and Competitive Advantage – The Link
A firm’s competitive advantage reflects its internal competitive context while the core competency inclines towards the broader strategic intent. Research indicates that development of core competencies by organisations increases their resources returns which deteriorate in value if they are not utilised effectively (Arthur, 1996; Prahalad and Hamel, 1990). Failure to develop such distinctive capabilities can erode a firm’s competitive advantage (Cohen and Levinthal, 1990; Bettis, Bradley, and Hamel, 1992). Therefore, firms are not only encouraged to develop and exploit unique capabilities but also defend them, in order to distinguish themselves from competitors. Prahalad and Hamel (1990) mention that a ‘competency’ is classified as ‘core’ if it satisfies the following conditions:

It delivers superior value and extended benefits to customer
It assists in unique differentiation of products/services which is inimitable by competitors
It explores and provides access to a wide range of markets

It is obvious that if firms strive to offer superior value to their customers, they will cultivate strong, long term relationships with them that will form the basis of competitive advantage. Similarly if a firm differentiates itself based on its product design or customer service, it will outperform competition provided that these capabilities are distinctive enough to become inimitable by competitors.
According to research, successful firms thrive upon their core competencies and consider them as a source of competitive advantage (Collis and Montgomery, 1995; Watson, 1994). The debate between Prahalad and Hamel and resource based researchers have suggested that market structure is not rigid and can be modified through long term innovation. Prahalad (1993) also mentioned the various level at which a firm must compete to achieve competitive advantage. The following figure summarises the conceptual idea:
This innovation points towards a firm’s ability to shape the market by developing distinct capabilities through innovation in technology that lead towards sustainable products resulting in competitive advantage. Drawing upon Kay (1993), the distinctive capabilities of a firm also comprises of the network of relationships with customers, suppliers and similar firm related activities. Therefore core competencies that do result in competitive advantage are the ones embedded in a firm’s structure and culture. Therefore, in a broader perspective, core competencies can emerge from human resources, operation and marketing functions within a firm, with an impact on financial performance that ultimately translates into competitive advantage (Reed & DePhilliipi, 1990).
Based upon a research of 25 firms by Adelaide and Carl (2001), it was established that those firms that shared their unique capabilities internally and defended them from being imitated by competitors, have appeared to achieve and sustain their competitive advantage over a much longer time period. However, a firm might not be successful in maintaining a competitive edge if it fails to develop competencies that are effective enough to compete within a turbulent external and competitive environment (Ansoff, 1965). For instance, the current economic crisis has made it more difficult for firm’s to compete within their industry as consumers have become conscious and selective of their purchases. In such a crisis, only those firms attain a competitive edge that continually develop their core competencies taking in account the changing consumer perceptions. Similarly it is argued that if a core competency is not shared throughout the different organisational levels, the capabilities might become unproductive as the end products/service would not be distinctive and competitive position will deteriorate (Prahalad, 1995). It is evident from the literature that there exists a dual causal relationship between the two concepts; therefore, it is crucial to discuss how firms apply these theoretical concepts on a practical level. To establish the link between theory and practice, the core competencies of Dell are discussed and how it has lead the company to attain a competitive position within the computer industry.
THE CASE OF DELL
Dell is considered as the world’s largest and most renowned manufacturer of PCs. The company specialises in manufacturing, developing, designing and marketing hardware products; mainly computers, mp3 players, printers and the like. Dell operates via a ‘direct sales business model’ which has significantly differentiated the company from its competitors (Datamonitor, 2009).
Dell’s Business Model
The business model of Dell operates through the following system:

The company accepts orders (mainly comprising of PCs) directly through internet and telephone. 
They then purchase standardised/commoditised parts and components and assemble in accordance with these orders to produce customised hardware
PCs constitute 60% of sales while 85% of custom is acquired from corporate customers
After sales, service is again provided through internet and telephone

This model is a depiction of Dell’s strategy that primarily focuses on provision of high quality and value-for-money PCs to its customers. The direct sales channel has always adapted itself to advancements in technology which has enabled it to provide rapid and efficient service to customers. Consequently, the business model has enabled Dell to achieve significant cost advantages because there are no intermediaries involved. Based upon Evans et al. (1992), competencies and capabilities are complementary concepts; where the former emphasises on technological or production expertise at various stages of the value chain, while the latter encompasses the entire value chain. In this context, Dell has not only developed its core competencies but has also transformed them into core capabilities that have added value to all the primary and secondary activities of its value chain. Therefore, Dell’s business model can be viewed as a core capability of the company that has enabled it to develop specific core competencies that are strategically aligned with both internal and external factors. It is due to these competencies that Dell has not only achieved competitive advantage but has sustained it throughout the years. 
Just in Time Inventory System
Another major core competency of Dell is its Just-in-time inventory system that operates in such an efficient manner that inventory lasts only two hours unlike its competitors who have inventories lasting four weeks (Datamonitor, 2009; The Guardian, 2007). The parts ordered by customers come directly to the factory, hence, Dell has no outstanding inventory. Moreover, Dell trains and assigns profit margins and quality and production targets to its staff in order to deliver superior customer value, quickly and efficiently. Therefore it demonstrates the ability to integrate its internal competencies in order to effectively market and deliver products at prices that rivals cannot compete with. As an outcome, Dell’s customers value its products and prefer them to competitors which have established the company’s competitive edge. These competencies are embedded within Dell’s culture and structure and are difficult to imitate by competitors. Drawing upon Hoffman (2000), competitive advantage can only be sustained when value adding strategy is not simultaneously implemented by competitors and benefits arising from strategic implementation cannot be duplicated. In this context, the inventory system has also enabled Dell to develop and maintain superior supplier relations is another prominent core competency that is perfectly inimitable and has helped the company achieve competitive advantage.
According to Kay’s model of Distinctive Capability (1993) there are two fundamental relationships that can be identified for Dell (i) direct dealing with customers which is linked with its procurement policy and then (ii) with suppliers. The way they have integrated these can be considered a distinctive arrangement of their architecture which enables them to achieve innovations in supply and distribution channels and good brand reputation- for efficiency/speed/value and therefore reduce the propensity of customers to switch.
Therefore, by developing unique capabilities through efficient business processes, Dell has been able to attract and retain its customers, suppliers and investors, enabling the company to achieve competitive advantage. This analysis has established a clear link between theoretical findings and practical observation which reinforce the notion that core competencies and competitive advantage are interdependent. However not all competencies are core and they might not result in competitive advantage as argued in the literature.
Sustainable Competitive Advantage and Resource Based View – The Link
Porter (1985) and Lynch (2003) have defined sustainable competitive advantage (SCA) as the successful implementation of competitive strategies (differentiation or cost leadership). In this regard, Dell has adopted the strategy of differentiating on cost basis through its superior business and supply chain model. However, Barney (1986, 1991) has provided the most meaningful definition of SCA and mentions that

“A firm is said to achieve sustained competitive advantage when it employs a value creating strategy not simultaneously being implemented by current or potential competitors and when other firms are unable to duplicate benefits of this strategy” (p. 102: Barney, 1991).

In this context, Dell’s distinctive strategy of ‘direct sale’ has distinguished it from competitors.
The resource based view also shares a dual causal relationship with achievement of competitive advantage and stresses on firm’s unique (value adding) resources that should be identified and developed to incorporate the ‘sustainability’ factor linked with competitive advantage (Lynch, 2003). RBV theory emerged to explore the issue why firms within similar industries achieve different levels of success (Barney, 2001). In this context Barney (1991) points towards the unique resources that help the firm succeed and sustain its financial performance in a competitive environment. For example, Dell has been able to develop unique resources within its value chain activities due to which it has a first-mover advantage in reversing the traditional design, research and development, manufacturing, assembly, storage, selling and distribution model. Also Dell thrives upon its efficient human resources and related strategic resources (including product design, quality etc.) that enable it to outperform competition.
These resources are labelled as ‘rent’ creating resources, due to the superior value they add to a firm’s activities. Drawing upon Barney (1991) a firm’s competencies and resources should be ‘rare, valuable and inimitable’ in order to translate into sustained competitive advantage. In this context, the link between SCA and RBV can be summarised as follows:
Even though most theorists use the term “valuable” to characterise a core resource as source of competitive advantage, however, some researchers argue that ‘valuable’ resources must not only generate rent but should also restrict competition. Others conflict with this idea and observe that SCA is dependant upon rent creation (Bowman, 1974:47).
Similarly the different theorists interpret the term ‘inimitable’ differently, which has also created some ambiguity concerning the notion of such resources and the extent to which they are practically developed and utilised by firms to achieve SCA. According to Peteraf (1993) and Dierickx & Cool (1989), such resources described under RBV, might not be tradable in imperfect markets or when firms do not account for externalities. For instance, in case of Dell, standardised components may no longer satisfy customers who want better quality, customised (not commoditised or standardised) components. These are changes in external environment and markets that can erode Dell’s SCA in future.
Most importantly, researchers argue that it is a firm’s resources that limit penetration in new markets and profit margins it expects (Wernerfelt, 1989). In this context, SCA does not appear as a straight forward link with the RBV. Fundamental resource constraints might comprise of physical input or labor shortages, insufficient resources for financing operations or insufficient managerial capacities. Therefore, even when resources are rare, valuable and inimitable, the above constraints limit the achievement of SCA. For instance, if Dell fails to satisfy consumers by either poor response to their demands or by not adapting to their changing perceptions, the core competencies and unique resources of Dell will appear unproductive as they are not delivering desired value to the company and its customers. Consequently, even if the firm holds a RBV and has developed rent creating resources; its competitive advantage will be unsustainable. Therefore, theoretical concepts and practical observations indicate that, though RBV and SCA are inter-linked, it is not necessary that firms possessing rent creating resources always sustain their CA. 
CONCLUSION
From the above discussions it can be concluded that even though core competency, RBV and competitive advantage are inter-linked, it is still debatable whether firms can always reap the benefits of developing unique and inimitable resources and capabilities. In today’s scenario where economic and financial crisis has eroded the competitive advantage of many large firms, it is crucial that firms develop competencies targeted towards customer retention. Moreover it is concluded that the turbulent external environment and competitive environment is such that resources and competencies cannot be categorised as valuable, rare and inimitable in the long run. The basis of this argument relates to the fact that if a firm achieves SCA, it would maximise profits and attaining abnormal returns will draw other firms to imitate them. These firms will either duplicate the original strategy or will develop core competencies that will surpass the other one. All these factors have started eroding competitive advantage of a well established company like Dell. Therefore a firm’s strategy must reside upon a careful scrutiny of external environmental factors and internal organisational factors if competitive advantage is to be sustained. Further research is required in exploring how a firm can successfully implement a business transformation strategy and develop effective competencies within a crisis situation. Firm product/service aspects perceived as the most crucial by customers must be researched and incorporated during the strategic transformation process in order to achieve SCA.
 

Communication Competencies in Selling Socialization Process

Introduction
The topic of this assignment is to study “Communication competencies in the socialization process in the direct selling business”.
Objectives
There are many objectives of doing this assignment. So, the objectives of this assignment is to let us understand the following:

Definition of communication competencies, socialization process and direct selling business.
The influence of communication competencies to the socialization process in the direct selling business.
The relationship of communication competencies in the socialization process in the direct selling business.

Communication competencies
Communication is the process by which information is exchanged between different individuals through a common system of interaction by using symbols, signs, or behaviours. Communication is the ability to listen to others and also can communicate in an effective manner at the same time. For most people, communication can be defined as simply talk and it is a natural event that occurs in daily life. Communication competency is the ability for someone who is able to communicate with another person in order to reach their goals through interactive and suitable interactions. Besides, communication competency also means the ability to achieve communication goals in a manner which can maintain the relationship on terms acceptable to those who are involved. Particularly, it is a type of skill level that human resources professionals should practises and it is responsible for managing others which must be attained and possessed. In order to achieve competency in communication, there are six criteria which a communicator must meet which include flexibility, involvement, management, empathy, effectiveness and appropriateness.
For the flexibility, the communicator needs to be very flexible to adapt different kind of situations and willing to change the behaviours of others in order to achieve goals. Adaptability may require a person who is communicating with other people always be sensitive to both the goals itself and also the people who is responsible for achieving the goals.The other skill that required to achievecommunication competency is involvement in the conversation. This requires the communicator to interact directly with the other parties and the interaction includes listening to the needs and concerns of others.Secondly, the other skill required to achieve communication competency is involvement in the conversation. This requires the communicator to interact directly with the other parties. Interaction includes listening to the needs and concerning of others. Thirdly, being able to manage the conversation requires the communicator to adjust how they interact with each other, control the conversation and social interactions. It also requires the communicator to control the direction of the conversation takes. Fourthly, empathy means the ability of communicator to show that they understand where the others are coming from and understand their problems to share their own emotions. Fifthly, effectiveness is the ability of communicator to reach the goal of the conversation and the ability to meet both the requirements of the communicator and the other parties who are involved. Lastly, appropriateness is the ability to adhere the expectations of the situation on hand. One of the primary measurements for attaining communication competency is depends on how appropriate the conversation is in achieving the goals.

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Socialization process
Socialization is a learning process which begins shortly after birth. Early childhood is the period of the most crucial and the most intense socialization. It is then which we acquire language and learn the basics of our culture. Besides, it is also a process when much of our personalities take shape. During socialization, we learn the language of the culture which we are born into as well as the roles we are to play in life.However, we continue to be socialized throughout our lives. Socialization can also be defined as a process which may lead to acceptable, or ‘moral’, outcomes in the opinion of society said. Individual views on certain issues, such as economies or race, are deeply influenced by the view of the society and at last, it became a “normal” and acceptable outlook or value to have within the society. For example, human infants are born without any culture. Then, they must be transformed by their parents, teachers, friends and others into cultural and socially skilled animals. The general process of acquiring this culture is referred to as socialization. Besides, socialization can also be defined as the process by which children and adults learn from others through daily activities. We begin our learning from others during the early days of lifeand most people can continue their social learning all through life.Socialization is important in the process of personality formation. While much of human personality is the result of our genes, the socialization process can imitate it in particular directions by encouraging specific beliefs and attitudes as well as selectively providing experiences.
Direct selling business
Direct selling is the marketing and selling of products directly to consumers which are away from fixed retail location. It is marketed through the independent sales representatives who are also referred to as consultants or distributors. A very small percentage of direct sellers are employees from the companies whose products they sell. It is a type of sales channel where the products are marketed directly to customers while eliminating the need for middlemen such as wholesalers, advertisers and also retailers. They are independent contractors who market and sell the products or services of the company and in return for a commission from those sales.Direct sellers do not necessarily have to sell door-to-door even though that is usually how they get started out. Many of them sell their products through the phone or even through the mail or via a personal website. Direct selling can be conducted as one-on-one, in a group, as a party format or selling online. There are many benefits of online selling. The factor that makes direct selling such an attractive career option is the flexibility which it offers. Those who are engage in direct selling are known as independent contractors who determine how much time and energy they want to invest in their businesses. They can set their own hours, define and control their work-family life balance. An Independent sales representative is they become their own boss. Besides, direct selling is also a way to own a business with the most minimal capital investment. The other strengths of direct selling isdue to its tradition of independence, service provide to consumers, and commitment to entrepreneurial growth in a free market system. Direct selling provides accessible business opportunities to people who are looking for other alternative sources of income, and the entry for direct selling is generally not restricted by gender, age, education, or any other previous experiences. Around the world there is a substantial majority of direct sellers are women and most work in their direct selling businesses are based on a part-time basis.
The influence of communication competencies to the socialization process in the direct selling business
As we know, direct selling business is emphasize to the “inheritance” rather than closing deals, with provide different seminars or courses for different level to independent distributors. Mostly courses are major in how to recruit the potential customers with the communication and social skills. So, socialization is the process by which whether children and adults learn from others. Therefore there are differences in outcomes for teenagers and adults due to socialization process after they attend the courses which organize by direct selling companies and apply when selling products or recruit new members. This is because the mentality and needs in the between of teenagers and adults are different. So, it is very important to choose to the proper ways in communicating with others in order to reach communication effectiveness in communication competencies and to reach the communication’s objectives. The common definition of direct selling business for a customers and fulfil their materialism but for adults they are more preferable to sustain with consistent income in order to have more time with their families. “Zero Attitude “is another point which is emphasize by the direct selling companies, they are require the new independent distributors to learn and manage in communication competency, the ability for them to communicate with potential clients to reach their goals through interactive and appropriate interaction. Therefore, a good interaction between each other is very important in the socialization process. The interaction includes listening to the needs and concerns of others. It also requires the independent distributors to be aware of how potential clients perceive them and to know what to say in response to all of this. Direct selling business normally are being misunderstood by the public which they are applying impropriate way to “brain wash” new incomers but practically they are “cloning” or “inheriting” their culture of communication and social skills to become a mature distributors which can lead them to be able to expand their business and recruit new incomers independently. Direct selling business also requires a good communication competency in order to develop the messages which the sellers want to deliver to the targeted customers about the products selling.
The relationship of communication competencies in the socialization process in the direct selling business
In conclusion, there is a strong relationship between communication competencies and socialization process in the direct selling business. It is very important to have a good communication competency in the socialization process in order to bring out good outcomes in the organization through the socialization process. This is very important as the communication competency is about communicating with other in order to reach their goals through interactive interactions and socialization process is the process when much of our personalities take shape and adapting the culture which affected by the surrounding environment. Without a good socialization process in the process of communication in an organization, there will never have a good communication competency to produce good outcomes from the communication process. With a good communication competency, a person who has good communication and promoting skills when selling the products through direct selling method can makes the targeted customers to have a more understanding about the descriptions and usages of the certain products. So, with a good communication competency, this will lead to successful in most of the trading process especially for the direct selling business. Besides, a good communication competency will also can prevent the misunderstanding of the products’ information to happen or cases such as customers feeling blur about the marketing products to occur.
References
COMMUNICATION COMPETENCE DEFINED. (29 Jan, 2000). Retrieved 6 April, 2014, from http://www.uky.edu: http://www.uky.edu/~drlane/capstone/commcomp.htm
What is Direct Selling. (2014). Retrieved 8 April, 2014, from http://www.avoncompany.com: http://www.avoncompany.com/earningsopportunity/directselling.html
What is the socialization process. (July, 2001). Retrieved 8 April, 2014, from www.soc.ucsb.edu: http://www.soc.ucsb.edu/faculty/baldwin/classes/soc142/scznDEF.html
 

Personal Reflection on Leadership Competencies

The ACHE Healthcare Executive Competencies assessment tool can be used to refine and improve health care executives management skills. The ACHE competencies contain five domains with each domain containing several sub-groups. This ensures that wide areas of competencies are covered in the healthcare sectors. The tool is works in assessing areas of expertise in critical areas of healthcare management. The self-assessment helps identify areas of strength and areas of weakness to work on.

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Communication and relationship management is the first competency. This domain assesses the healthcare leaders ability to communicate clearly and concisely with external and internal customers, establish and maintain relationships, and constructive interactions with individuals and groups (ACHE, 2020). Leaders are assessed in their ability to facilitate interactions and maintain connections with many groups. There are three subgroups, which are relationship management, communication skills and facilitation and negotiation. A leader must be able to have good public relations skills, be aware of culture and be able to communicate the vision and mission of the organization.
Leadership is the next competency and contains 4 subsets. This competency deals with the leaders ability to inspire individuals and have organizational excellence. They should be able to create a shared vision and successfully manage change to attain the organizations strategic ends and successful performance (ACHE, 2020). There is more to being a leader than just being in the lead. A health care leader must be able to stimulate personnel to be their best, be organized, and be able adaptable the changes of the organization. The four subgroups are leadership skills and behavior, organizational climate and culture, communicating vision and manage change.
The third competency is professionalism. It deals with the leaders ethical and professional conduct with a commitment to lifelong learning and improvement. There are three subsets, which include personal and professional accountability, professional development and livelong learning and contributions to the community and profession. A leader must serve as an ethical guide to the organization, by being a mentor, a coach or advising. It is important for leaders to continue to learn and grow.
Knowledge of the Healthcare Environment is the understanding of the healthcare system and the environment in which healthcare managers and provider’s function. There are 4 subsets, which include healthcare systems and organizations, healthcare personnel, the patient’s perspective and the community and the environment. It is important for a leader to understand the healthcare system and the personnel they are leading, along with the make up of the culture and community.
Business skills and knowledge is the ability to apply business principles including systems to the healthcare environment. There are 8 subsets, which include general management, financial management, human resource management, organizational dynamics and governance, strategic planning and marketing, information management, risk management and quality improvement. This is the largest competency and I feel is the most important as it relates to foundations of the business. All healthcare executives need to demonstrate a certain level of competency to ensure they are leading their organizations in the right direction.
Strategies and weaknesses of the five leadership domains
Qualities needed by leaders
Leadership involves directing a group towards a shared goal. Transformational leadership emphasizes that people work more effectively, if they have a mission (Al-Sawai, 2013). Communication is an important skill for leaders to have. Until you can communicate the vision and strategies to your team, you cannot get the results you want. A leader must have decision-making capabilities and be accountable. It is important for a leader to focus on key responsibilities while delegating responsibilities to others. A leader must have integrity and be honest. Leaders succeed when they stick to their values and are ethical. A confident leader is an effective leader. A leader should inspire others by setting a good example, stay calm under pressure and keep motivated. A leader that is passionate about what they are doing, exudes confidence and shows the team that, you are a team player and are not afraid to get yours hands dirty. A leader needs to develop empathy. Being available and understanding to your team during the tuff times is an important quality of a leader. Emotional intelligence is an important skill for leaders because who have this skill handle conflicts and play an important role in conflict resolution (Penney 2010).
Analyze personal leadership qualities
When I think of the qualities needed to lead and which ones I have, I am glad to say, I have quite a few. I believe communication is key, because you cannot lead if you cannot communicate what you are trying to accomplish. My strengths are that I am empathetic, and I try to inspire others to do better. I am the first person to help out when needed, I am not afraid to get my hands dirty. My coworkers tell me that they like working with me, because I am genuine and a team player. I try to stay calm under pressure and I am passionate about what I am doing. I think I could work on my emotional intelligence, because sometimes I do not handle conflicts and can sometimes I can over react especially when I feel a patient’s care is not to par.

Al-Sawai A. (2013). Leadership of healthcare professionals: where do we stand?. Oman medical journal, 28(4), 285–287. doi:10.5001/omj.2013.79
American College of Healthcare Executives. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.ache.org/pdf/nonsecure/careers/competencies_booklet.pdf
Penney, S. H., & Neilson, P. A. (2010). What Qualities Make Effective Leaders? Next Generation Leadership, 37–65. doi: 10.1057/9780230107694_4
Sfantou, D. F., et al. (2017). Importance of Leadership Style towards Quality of Care Measures in Healthcare Settings: A Systematic Review. Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland), 5(4), 73. doi:10.3390/healthcare5040073