Solving the Online Offline Channel Conflict

Adding an online channel to a pre-existing offline channel can present a variety of challenges to a company. The e-business strategy of the online channel must be properly aligned with the business strategy of offline channel, so that the two channels can work in harmony with one another (Jelassi & Enders, 2008, p. 265). When a company neglects to do so, their operations can end in organizational demise. In order to successfully implement an online channel, a company must address a number of strategic issues.

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The first issue an organization must address is to determine which products or services they will offer through their offline channel. A company may choose to offer the same products/services through both channels; an entirely different set of products/services online which are not offered offline; or a combination of new and existing products/services (Jelassi & Enders, 2008, p. 264). When making such a decision, the company should evaluate their target audience and their preferences. They can also assess their competitors’ strategies to see how customers are utilizing the channels. Products/services offered online are often complementary to the offline channel; however, the organization must ensure that the online channel does not cannibalize the offline channel.
David’s Bridal, a wedding and formal wear retailer, for instance, offers a combination of new and existing products via their website. There is a large portion of products which are offered through both the physical store and website, as well as a group of products offered strictly online. Most wedding dresses are offered via both channels, as customers prefer to try the dress on in the store before buying; however, they offer a number of ceremony and reception products through the website only. Offering such products online helps to maintain costs in the physical store, as such products require additional shelf space and warehousing costs.
Another issue which a company must address when adding clicks to bricks is to determine their pricing strategy. A company must determine how they want to price their online products/services in comparison with their offline products/services. They may choose to charge the same prices via both channels or charge higher or lower prices online. Each of these options communicates a different message to the customer. Offering the same prices tells the customer that the additional value of purchasing online can be found in other ways than through price discounts; charging lower prices acts as a financial incentive; and charging higher prices expresses to the customer that the company incurs additional costs when offering products online (Jelassi & Enders, 2008, p. 264).
From my personal experience, I have found that most retailers charge either the same or lower prices via their online channels. It appears that many retailers charge the same price; however, they offer additional sales and increased savings when purchasing online. Many companies have online exclusive sales, which they do not offer through the physical store. As a consumer, I would not purchase a product through a website if the same product was offered at a lower price in a physical store. I find this to be the least successful pricing strategy which a company could choose.
The final strategic issue which a company must address is how to prevent or manage channel conflict. When a company implements an online channel to an existing offline channel, there is a possibility that conflict may arise between the channels. First, the company must determine the likelihood that conflict will arise and the importance or the affected channel. If the affected channel is of little strategic importance, the company should accept the decline of the existing channel and/or ignore the conflict. If the affected channel is of strong importance, then the conflict must be addressed (Jelassi & Enders, 2008, p. 189).
It is important to mention that a company must find ways to manage the conflict between an online and offline channel in order to advance the organization’s progress. Many companies are fearful of moving into online sales; therefore, if they find the likelihood of conflict to be high, they often avoid moving into the online world altogether. This is an unsuccessful strategy as the company may miss out on vital opportunities and can easily fall behind their competitors. Instead, the company should evaluate the opportunities and threats of each channel and determine how to “extract the most value from each” (Bendix, Goodman, & Nunes, n.d.).
Adding clicks to bricks may prove to be an enduring challenge; however, when managed appropriately, implementing an online channel can yield positive results. In today’s business environment, most companies are forced to add an online channel in order to keep pace with the competition (Gilbert & Bacheldor, 2000). Over the next decade, I believe it will be standard practice for companies to have a website advertising their business, if not, selling their products or services.
Essay Question 2
In today’s business world, most companies are beginning to implement an online channel to their existing offline channel, if they have not done so already. When adding clicks to bricks, an organization may encounter conflict between the channels. Such conflict is a common occurrence and the organization must ensure that the new channel does not cannibalize the existing channel (Jelassi & Enders, 2008, p. 264). There are several options a company has to solve online/offline channel conflict, as discussed below.
The most obvious and ineffective way to solve online/offline channel conflict is to avoid the conflict altogether. Many organizations are guilty of discarding online implementation plans in order to avoid channel conflict (Bendix, at. el., n.d.). The online environment can provide ample opportunities to an organization. When an organization does not follow through with their plans, they will most likely set themselves up for failure. Organizations should avoid this option by all means, as they can easily fall behind their competitors and lose market share.
The most effective way to solve online/offline channel conflict, on the other hand, is to develop ways to manage such conflict. When conflict between the channels is high and the importance of the affected channel is also high, it is imperative that the organization address the conflict (Jelassi & Enders, 2008, p. 264). Based on a case study performed on a variety of firms, the following are several options for managing channel conflict:
Alignment of goals: In order to manage channel conflict, the goals of both channels must be aligned. The channels cannot work against one another, or else the operations will fail. Online channels can be used as a way to reduce costs, support existing clients, and target a new audience. Organizational members must be made aware of the benefits of the online channel and be encouraged to contribute to online sales (Steinfield, 2004). The organization needs to develop ways for the channels to work in harmony with one another. For instance, they can integrate the online channel with their existing offline channel and create a central profit center (Jelassi & Enders, 2008, p. 264).
Coordination and control mechanisms: Coordination and control mechanisms are another way in which the online/offline conflict can be solved. The company must find ways for the channels to complement one another. Customers should be able to utilize both channels when performing a transaction (Steinfield, 2004). For instance, they can check the availability of a product online before going to the store. The inventory of the physical store must be coordinated with the online channel. Additionally, control measures, such as the accuracy of inventory information and speed of in-store pickups, can be used to monitor the coordination of the channels (Steinfield, 2004).
Synergy benefits: Another way a company can solve conflict between channels is to create synergy benefits between the channels. Many companies lack the web development or logistic skills necessary to conduct online operations (Steinfield, 2004). Rather than develop an in-house online division, the company can build on their competencies by creating an alliance with an established e-commerce company (Steinfield, 2004). As a result, the company’s core operations are not affected by online operations.
There are a variety of options a firm can choose to solve the online/offline channel conflict. Most importantly, the company must address the conflict and find ways for the channels to complement one another. In today’s technologically savvy environment, many customers look at an organization’s website as an indication of their professionalism. Online and offline channels should be highly integrated and coordinated in order to avoid conflict and provide the most value to the customer.
Essay Question 3
Creativity is a key component to developing an innovative e-business strategy. It can be defined as “the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc” (Creativity, 2010). Creativity stems from an individual’s openness to new experiences. The more exposure an individual has to different experiences, the more creative their ideas will become (Jelassi & Enders, 2008, p. 271). Case studies, in particular, help spur an individual’s creativity by opening them up to a variety of business styles and techniques.
Case studies present factual information regarding an organization’s operations, strategies, and business methodology. They enable the reader to draw conclusions and formulate ideas based on the organization’s successes and failures. Businesses can develop novel ideas and strategies by reviewing case studies and drawing insights from different organizations, cultures, or industries (Jelassi & Enders, 2008, p. 278). Each type of case study analysis adds a different degree of creativity to a business strategy, as discussed below.
Case studies can be used as an intra-industry benchmarking tool within an organization’s own culture. This type of benchmarking involves an organization comparing their operations and strategies to those of their direct competitors. While the organization can determine where they need to make adjustments or are falling behind the competition, performing an analysis within their own culture will only provide a relativity low degree of creativity (Jelassi & Enders, 2008, p. 278). The organization will not be able to draw upon fresh ideas which have not been used among their direct competitors.
Case studies can also be used as an intra-industry benchmarking tool across cultures. Rather than focus on organizations within one’s own culture, the organization compares their operations to organizations operating in other cultures. This type of analysis can open the organization to a variety of new ideas, technologies, and strategies which have not been achieve among their direct competitors. By looking across cultures, the organization can develop creative strategies which will place them ahead of the competitors operating in their own culture. Analyzing cross culture case studies can provide a mid-level degree of creativity.
The most innovative ideas can be developed by analyzing case studies across industries. In such cases, the organization ventures outside of the comfort of their own industry. This type of analysis can prove to be challenging, as the organization must find ways to apply these e-business strategies and techniques to their own industry. However, despite such challenges, such an analysis can provide groundbreaking results (Jelassi & Enders, 2008, p. 278). Analyzing case studies across industries can spur high degrees of creativity, which enable the organization to develop competitive advantages.
Throughout the course of receiving my MBA, I have read several case studies in different classes. The information presented in these cases studies has opened my eyes to real organizational struggles, as well as creative business ideas. I have referred back to the case studies of past classes when studying unrelated topics. Although the topics were not related, much information was to be learned from these case studies. I believe that studying innovative companies, in particular, can provide a user with the most creative ideas.
For example, I read a case study on 3M. 3M is a highly successful innovative company. They provide their employees with designated time to explore their own ideas. This has proved to be a successful tactic, as many new product ideas are developed this way. Although 3M is a product based company, other companies can learn from their successful business approach. Their techniques can be allied in a variety of industries and help inspire readers to develop innovative strategies.
Another example is a case study I read on General Electric (GE) in my ethics course. GE began offering ultrasound machines in India; however, such technology is found to be controversial in India. While they had an obligation to provide technology which could save lives and provide early detection of life treating conditions, GE Healthcare also had to recognize a major cultural difference (Wicks, Freeman, Werhane, & Martin, 2010, p. 131). The struggles presented in the case study and the manner in which GE handled the situation can offer innovative ways for companies to handle cultural differences. This case study can apply to any type of organization regardless of their industry, as ethics is an issue which must be addressed in all businesses.
Readers of case studies must have an open mind. They must be able to look at the issues and struggles encountered by other organizations and determine ways to proactively avoid or manage such challenges. Readers must also find ways to exploit their opportunities and strengths. It is important that they read a variety of case studies before drawing conclusions. The more exposure they have to different types of management styles, business strategies, and operations, the more the creativity will flow.
Essay Question 4
Creativitypool.com is an interactive website which allows users to submit their own, personal and creative ideas. The concept of the website is for individuals to share their unused ideas with the world. Other users can view the idea and, if they choose, they have the right to pursue the idea. By submitting an idea to the creativity pool, the user relinquishes all rights to the concept. If their idea is pursued, they will not receive monetary compensation. Instead, the user can suggest a reward they would like in exchange for the use of their idea, such as a free copy of an invented product (Creativitypool.com, n.d.).
Many individuals have great, innovative ideas; however, they may not have the means to pursue their ideas. Creativitypool.com is a great way for the ordinary individual to share their ideas with others for the hopes of their idea being recognized. As stated on the Creativity Pool website, many people have great ideas and wait around for others to think of the same idea and to develop them. Creativitypool.com is a great way to speed up the creativity process for people and organizations that have the means to produce such ideas. While not all ideas are sufficient for production, the website is a fun way for users to share their quirky ideas with others.
The Creativity Pool website is broken down into a variety of categories, including, but not limited to, clothes and fashion, sports and fitness, companies and services, home and work, pets and animals, society and politics, etc. (Creativitypool.com, n.d.). When you click on a link for a certain category, a forum appears filled with users’ ideas. Users can write comments, vote on the idea, or forward the idea to their friends. Comments are available via a link titled “messages” next to each idea. When clicking on the link, a separate forum appears to discuss a certain idea. The format of the website is very clean, easy to read, and user friendly.
One idea, in particular, which I found to be very interesting and useful is a metal detector shoe. The user suggested a metal detector be placed on the bottom of a soldier’s shoe so that they could detect mines and trip wires when out in the field (Creativitypool.com, n.d.). The idea has a 95% rating and 16 comments. Users wrote messages on possible problems with the idea, as well as suggestions on how the idea could be improved.
Overall, Creativitypool.com is an interesting website to explore. Even if the user does not find any ideas to pursue, it can help open them to a variety of new experiences. Exposure to such innovative ideas can help spur creativity. Creativitypool.com is a great website for inventors and business professionals, as well as ordinary citizens wishing to share their ideas.
Essay Question 5
As an organization works through the strategy formulation process, it is important that they extend the breadth and depth of their analysis. In order for their strategy to be successful and efficient, they should cover a broad horizon and perform an in-depth analysis of each element (Jelassi & Enders, 2008, p. 283). The concepts and frameworks presented throughout this course and in the textbook can help increase the depth of analysis when formulating an e-business strategy.
This e-business course has covered a wide range of e-business and strategy concepts. By studying the topics in this course, one would be able to look for and recognize important issues that need to be further investigated. In particular, the course has covered e-business specific concepts, generic strategic concepts, and fundamental economic concepts (Jelassi & Enders, 2008, p. 285). By starting at the most basic level of analysis, one can uncovered deep rooted issues and continue working their way down to specific elements of the problem.
The most basic level of analysis can be achieved by analyzing e-business specific concepts. This course has covered a wide range of concepts including virtual value chain analysis, online/offline channel conflict, the ICDT model, etc. (Jelassi & Enders, 2008, p. 285). Each of these issues is fundamental to e-business companies. Once an organization has analyzed issues specific to e-business, they must further their analysis by investigating cause-effect relationship between these issues.
Cause-effect relationship can be identified by exploring the generic strategic concepts covered in this class. Such strategic concepts include the five forces industry model, strategy formulation process, differentiation and cost leadership strategies, co-opetition, etc. (Jelassi & Enders, 2008, p. 285). These strategy concepts can be applied to any industry or business model. They allow the organization to explore cause-effect relationships of specific elements identified at the first level of analysis. By considering such concepts, the organization will begin to question the structure and importance of specific activities within their value chain, which will help them identify their core competences and develop competitive advantages.
Once the organization has explored strategic concepts, they can continue their analysis by evaluating economic concepts. This course has covered a range of fundamental economic concepts which include transaction costs, economies of scale, perceived use value, value creation, value capturing, etc. (Jelassi & Enders, 2008, p. 285). Expanding their analysis to this level will help the organization develop effective pricing strategies and determine ways to lower or maintain their costs.
It is important to extend the depth of analysis from e-business specific concepts to fundamental economic concepts. The concepts presented in this course will help students to develop effective e-business strategies by presenting them with a broad overview of important strategic concepts. By gaining a deep understanding of such concepts, the student will have the knowledge to identify the activities and issues that require further analysis. Performing an in-depth analysis is a fundamental step in developing an effective e-business solution (ISKIV.net).
 

Animal Minds and Problem Solving: Chimpanzees, Crows, and Dogs

Animal intelligence and the ability of animals to solve problems has been a topic of much interest in the field of research for a long time. When considering intelligence, it is often claimed that humans are the most intelligent species. However, various animal studies have revealed that skills such as abstract reasoning, problem-solving and language, all of which were once believed to be unique to humans, are quite common in a lot of animals (Roth, 2011). Animal intelligence refers to the mental capabilities of animals and includes all the ways in which animals process, retain and decide how to act upon information produced through the senses (Shettleworth, 2001). Animal intelligence also plays a key role in problem solving.

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In the wild, animals are constantly faced with problems that they must overcome in order to not only survive but prosper as well. To solve these problems, animals must use their cognitive skills to analyse the environment and use the information gained from this analysis to benefit themselves. For example, animals may need to develop or use their already existing navigational, tool-making or social skills, as a method of obtaining food (Meehan & Mench, 2007). For many years, it has been believed that animals with larger brains, relative to their body size, are better problem-solvers and are overall more intelligent than animals with smaller brains. This concept was once thought to be extremely controversial as there were very few studies in support of a relationship between the size of an animal’s brain and their problem-solving skills. However, a groundbreaking study conducted in 2016 revealed that a strong relationship does indeed exist between brain size and problem-solving ability.

The researchers examined the ability of 140 animals from 39 different species of Carnivora, to complete a problem-solving task. Each animal was presented with a closed box that contained their preferred food inside. To solve the puzzle, the animals were required to slide a latch which would open the door to the box and allow them to get the food. The results revealed that the animals’ brain size significantly predicted their success in solving the problem, with animals with larger brains displaying the most success. Overall, the study provided strong support for the idea that brain size significantly predicts an animal’s problem-solving ability and made it clear that a wide range of animals are capable of solving problems that require strong cognitive and reasoning skills (Benson-Amram, Dantzer, Stricker, Swanson, & Holekamp, 2016).

Chimpanzees

The intellectual similarity between humans and chimpanzees has been the focus of a countless number of studies and is subject of much interest. The brain of a chimpanzee is around one-third of the size of a human brain. However, even with this smaller size, chimpanzees have various high-level cognitive processes such as language and problem solving in common with humans (Robson & Wood, 2008). On multiple occasions, chimpanzees have demonstrated an impressive range of skills. For example, they are able to make tools, solve problems both individually and in groups, as well as having a good memory (Wilford, 2007). An important part in solving problems is communication, something which chimpanzees seem to understand and use frequently. Chimpanzees have been seen using a human-like network of sounds, body language, facial expressions, and hand signals as methods of communicating with each other (Parr, Waller, & Fugate, 2005).

Aside from Jane Goodall’s famous observations of chimpanzees making and using tools in Tanzania, Wolfgang Köhler’s work with chimpanzees is a significant early example of the strong problem-solving skills demonstrated by chimpanzees. In one experiment, a piece of fruit was hung in the air just beyond reach of the chimpanzees, who were provided with either two small sticks or three boxes. Köhler noted that when the chimpanzees realised that they could not simply reach out or jump up to attain the fruit, they stopped and contemplated a way to solve the problem. Instead of using the trial and error method, Köhler described the chimpanzees as acting with purpose by either stacking boxes on top of each other and climbing them to acquire the fruit or combining the two sticks to make one stick long enough to get the fruit. This is just one example of when chimpanzees have displayed strong cognitive skills and excelled in a problem-solving task (Windholz & Lamal, 1985).

A study was conducted by Premack and Woodruff (1978), which examined the problem-solving skills of an adult chimpanzee. The chimpanzee was shown recorded footage of a human attempting to solve eight different problems. The chimpanzee was then shown two photos; one of these photos detailed an action or an object that could solve the problem, while the other photo was unrelated. For seven of the eight problems, the chimpanzee correctly identified the photo that would solve the problem. The results of the study demonstrated strong problem-solving skills, as the chimpanzee was able to analyse the nature of problem and identify the solution. Overall, it is clear that chimpanzees excel in problem solving and are able to find a solution to a range of different problems.

Crows

For many years, scientists and researchers alike have been fascinated by the human-like intelligence and impressive problem-solving skills demonstrated by crows. On various occasions, they have been seen making and using tools, as well as displaying an understanding of cause and effect. Crows have also shown that they are capable of recognising and committing faces to memory. The reason for their superior intelligence is believed to be due to the fact they have relatively big brains compared to their body size. As revealed in the aforementioned study on animal problem-solving, animals with bigger brains relative to their body sizes are generally more intelligent and better at problem-solving than animals with smaller brains, which would explain why crows seem to excel at problem-solving and demonstrate a significant intellectual capacity.

A study conducted by Veit and Neider (2013), provided insight into the parts of the crow brain related to problem solving. The study involved a group of crows engaging in a problem-solving test, while the researchers payed close attention to the brain activity in the crows. It was identified that there was a significant amount of activity occurring in the nidopallium caudolaterale (NCL), which is somewhat equivalent to the prefrontal cortex in the human brain. Similar to the prefrontal cortex, which is described as being the centre of intelligence in the human brain, the NCL is the region of the bird brain which involves high-level thinking, problem solving and decision making

Dr Alex Taylor, who specialises in the cognition of crows, conducted an experiment which made it clear that crows are in fact strong problem solvers. The experiment consisted of a puzzle with eight different levels. Each level had a problem, that when solved, would provide the crow with a tool capable of solving the next level’s problem. Completing each level of the puzzle by using the tools the correct way demonstrates a significant level of intelligence. Notably, the crows solved the complex puzzle quite easily, which indicates not only a strong problem-solving ability but also a high intellectual capability (Pachniewska, 2016).

An additional study was conducted by biologist Sarah Jelbert, which was designed to assess the problem-solving skills of crows. For the experiment, the crows were presented with a slightly filled tube of water, that also contained a small piece of meat that was too far down for the crows to reach. The crows were provided with solid objects that would sink and raise the water level significantly, as well as hollow objects that would only float. In order to get the meat, the crows were required to drop the solid objects into the tube, which would then raise the meat high enough for the crows to reach. The results identified that 90% of the attempts involved the crows using a solid object rather than a hollow object. The researchers for the study compared this level of intelligence, problem-solving ability and comprehension of physics to that of a 7-year-old child (Begley, 2014). Overall, it is clear from the results of this study and the previous study that crows have significantly strong problem-solving skills and can be considered as very intelligent.

Dogs

For years, the concept of canine intelligence has fascinated many. On multiple occasions, dogs have demonstrated their ability to recognise and respond to a range of signals and commands. According to Stanley Coren, a psychologist at the University of British Colombia, the average dog is capable of learning around 160 words, while dogs in the top percentile of canine intelligence, can learn approximately 250 words. Coren also described the mental capabilities of dogs as similar that of a two-year-old child (Viegas, 2014).

Humans have been known to rely on dogs for a range of things such as companionship, guidance and military services, as well as search and rescue. Perhaps their most impressive feat is the fact that dogs can also use scent to detect many different types of cancer, including skin, lung, and breast cancer. They have even been able to identify the cancer when medical methods have initially failed to do so. All of these tasks rely on dogs having a range of problem-solving skills that must work in unison to produce the optimal outcome. For example, the dog must keep their attention focused solely on the task, distinguish between stimuli, ignore distractions in the environment and then select the correct course of behavioural action to take (Bray, MacLean, & Hare, 2013).

In the average dog, the brain weighs around half of one percent of its body weight and is one-tenth of the size of a human brain. However, various MRI studies have revealed that the human and canine brain are structurally similar and that the same regions of these two brains light up when reacting to events and stimuli. The way the canine brain reacts to fear or manages memories is also similar to that of the human brain (Travis, 2014). While the limbic system is region of the dog’s brain involved with emotion, the prefrontal cortex is the region involved with thought. It is essentially the centre of memory, attention, and problem-solving (Walden, 2013). When presented with a problem, it is the prefrontal cortex that displays the most activity and is the region of the dog brain that functions as a problem-solving aid and attempts to identify a solution.

However, people are still very divided when it comes to the problem-solving skills of dogs. Many researchers believe that the domestication of dogs has made their ability to solve problems heavily reliant on the relationship they have with their owners, rather than their own cognitive abilities. For this reason, a lot more research must be conducted to gain a true understanding on the problem-solving skills of dogs. That being said, a recent study by Brubaker and Udell (2018) revealed that giving a dog verbal or physical encouragement can significantly increase their ability to solve problems. The study consisted of a large number of dogs, with the task being to get a piece of meat out of a box in under two minutes. A portion of the dogs were tested in a condition where they received no encouragement from their owners, with only a few managing to successfully complete the task. However, in the condition where the owners either verbally or physically encouraged the dogs, a lot more of them were able to get the meat and successfully solve the puzzle.

A study conducted by Topál, Miklósi, and Csányi (1997), also came to the conclusion that problem solving in dogs is strongly influenced by the relationship with the owner. The experiment involved 28 dog-owner pairs being examined while completing a basic problem-solving task. The results revealed that the dogs in a strong companionate relationship with their owners displayed socially dependent characteristics and performed weakly on the problem-solving task. The researchers believed that the dogs’ poor performance on the problem-solving task was not necessarily related to their cognitive capabilities but rather, it was the strong relationship with the owner that prevented them from successfully solving the problem. Overall, it is clear that while dogs can be extremely intelligent, there is not enough supporting research to conclude that they are strong individual problem-solvers.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is clear that a diverse range of animals are capable of solving complex problems that require strong cognitive and abstract reasoning skills. Humans may be considered the most intelligent species, but it has become apparent that the chimpanzee, crow, and dog are certainly not far behind.

References

Begley, S. (2014). Crows solve Aesop’s fable puzzles, offer clues to cognition. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/

Benson-Amram, S., Dantzer, B., Stricker, G., Swanson, E. M., & Holekamp, K. E. (2016). Brain size predicts problem-solving ability in mammalian carnivores. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113, 2532-2537. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1505913113

Bray, E. E., MacLean, E. L., & Hare, B. A. (2013). Context specificity of inhibitory control in dogs. Animal Cognition, 17, 15-31. doi: 10.1007/s10071-013-0633-z

Brubaker, L., & Udell, M. A. (2018). The effects of past training, experience, and human behaviour on a dog’s persistence at an independent task. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 204, 101-107. doi: 10.1016/j.applanim.2018.04.003

Meehan, C. L., & Mench, J. A. (2007). The challenge of challenge: Can problem solving opportunities enhance animal welfare? Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 102, 246-261. doi: 10.1016/j.applanim.2006.05.031

Pachniewska, A. (2016). Crows crack 8-level conundrums. Retrieved from http://www.animalcognition.org/

Parr, L. A., Waller, B. M., & Fugate, J. (2005). Emotional communication in primates: implications for neurobiology. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 16, 126. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2006.01.006

Premack, D., & Woodruff, G. (1978). Chimpanzee problem-solving: a test for comprehension. Science, 202, 532-535. doi: 10.1126/science.705342

Robson, S. L., & Wood, B. (2008). Hominin life history: reconstruction and evolution. Journal of Anatomy, 212, 394-425. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7580.2008.00867.x

Roth, J. (2011). Animal intelligence resists definition. Retrieved from http://www.animalintelligence.org/

Shettleworth, S. J. (2001). Animal cognition and animal behaviour. Animal Behaviour, 61, 277-286. doi: 10.1006/anbe.2000.1606

Topál, J., Miklósi, Á., & Csányi, V. (1997). Dog-human relationship affects problem solving behaviour in the dog. Anthrozoös, 10, 214-224. doi: 10.2752/089279397787000987

Travis, H. (2014). Dog brain facts: Do dogs think and have feelings? Retrieved from https://www.petmd.com/

Veit, L., & Nieder, A. (2013). Abstract rule neurons in the endbrain support intelligent behaviour in corvid songbirds. Nature Communications, 4, 251-283. doi: 10.1038/ncomms3878

Viegas, J. (2014). 10 surprising facts about animal intelligence. Retrieved from https://www.seeker.com/

Walden, K. (2013). What part of the dog brain affects behavior? Retrieved from https://dogcare.dailypuppy.com/

Wilford, J. (2007). Chimpanzees: Almost human, and sometimes smarter. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/

Windholz, G., & Lamal, P. A. (1985). Köhler’s insight revisited. Teaching of Psychology, 12, 165-167. doi: 10.1207/s15328023top1203_14

 

Reflection Paper on Problem Solving

This report has been prepared as a reflective work of my group’s business plan for MBA course. The purpose of this reflection sheet is to redirect how I and my team mates worked while undertaking the project. The point of writing this report is to include my thoughts and reactions to the experience. The reflective journal is a personal record of my learning experiences (White, 2005). I have been asked by university management to write an individual reflective journal on business plan that should consist of my critical way of thinking in an analytical way. It has been written to reflect on my work which will allow the readers to understand my achievement being a member of a team and my role as a researcher, analyser, critical thinker, reporter and presenter (White, 2005). I tried to be as specific as possible as this journal is a persuasive essay arguing on behalf of myself. It includes where my inspiration comes from, how I made use of my ideas to develop my work and my awareness of the context in which I work. This reflective journal is an individual report that has described my work based on the business plan that I have participated in. I was chosen to work in a team of five members to build a business plan regarding launching a business in Cardiff. My team members for this assignment were Archana Ashu, Gagan Deep Singh, Nadeem Khan and Rachit Ajmera. The business plan that we have worked together, is regarding launching a multiplex cinema in Cardiff. This business plan provides a 3 year operating plan for a Multiplex cinema with a start-up capital of £5 million. In this report we highlighted and analysed all the factors essential for a start-up. We considered market analysis, market strategy and costing, staffing and resourcing, and financial projections for the first 3 years of the business. In this reflective journal I have described objectively what happened, I tried to Interpret the events explaining what I saw and heard, my insights, my connections with other learning, my hypotheses and my conclusions. I also evaluated the effectiveness and efficiency of what was observed.

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In this journal, I have described how I tackled team issues, interpreted my role as a team member, what did I learn being a team member and How I approached challenges. Other than problem solving I have recorded and mentioned knowledge and understanding of relevant theories, synthesis of what would I do differently next time reflecting on how the workshops/meetings helped develop my study? I have been asked to reflect an analysis, taking into account aspects of my strategy formulation and explaining how I built upon and applied knowledge from taught modules. I have made sure that structure of work follows all the section headings and recognises marking scheme, language is concise and this journal is presented according to school guidelines.
Problem solving
I was chosen to work in a team of five members to build a business plan regarding launching a business in Cardiff. My team members for this assignment were Archana Ashu, Gagan Deep Singh, Nadeem Khan and Rachit Ajmera. Although I wanted to be in a team of my close friends, the administration allocated teams randomly and put me in a group of five students. Luckily I already had close friendship with one member and I knew one other as he was in a same study group as mine. Initially I had objections with the supervisors’ decision of allocation but gradually as I started to know my team members, this opposition faded away. I felt friendly and enthusiastic being in this team. Being students from different backgrounds and societies naturally raised some problems for us but we managed to solve all the issues quite amicably (Gillie, 2010). All the disagreements were resolved and we worked together harmoniously. As a contemporary management student, I understood the capability of a team is greater than the collective abilities of the individuals within it. As soon as I was consigned in a team, I called everyone for a meeting to know each other and discuss task in hand. For me, doing the work in a friendly environment and more casually could make the task easier. Rest of the team members did not agree and had some reservations but I motivated them and persuaded them to follow my arrangement. In the meetings, plan was discussed and ideas were revolved (Gillie, 2010). I also put forward my thoughts and plans. After careful planning, thorough discussion and constructive arguments I made them agree on the topic. We defined our roles according to our strengths in subject areas and tasks were assigned to each member. My team set its standards of ethics and behaviours to achieve positive synergy and to create effective environment (Levin, 2008). All team members were highly committed and motivated. My strong area was marketing, hence id been assigned with collecting, analysing and evaluating marketing aspects of the business plan. I also convinced them to work closely and stay in constant contact. Although we had to work individually on our tasks but I collaborated to help others in their work and vice versa (Levin, 2008). Apart from problems mentioned above, I and other team members faced some other problems such as lack of knowledge of how to conduct the study, inexperience of research process, lack of critical analysis during research process, less research was done on every individual’s part and there were critical judgements on each other’s work, no involvement of critical thinking which made our presentation look descriptive, and inconsistent decision making. All these problems were solved jointly (Gillie, 2010).
I have learnt that team is more successful when members within it are able to create synergy. Since our goals, objectives, tasks, and priorities were larger than any individual, teamwork was required. When team members know how to be more effective together, synergy happens and greater organizational success is achieved. I have also understood the importance of teamwork (Sugars, 2005). I considered every member of my team as important as each person brought unique skills, knowledge, and experience. Team members also brought energy, drive, passion, and determination. Since not everyone brings different amounts of all of these things, team members needed each other. Increasing the strength of each team member produced greater team success and results. I along with my team members approached all the issues quite confidently as I knew our collective strengths could tackle any problem we face (Glover, 2009).
Knowledge and Understanding
By conducting a research as a team, I felt that there is no doubt team theory is relevant in practice. I was confident to relate the research and the theory I have studied during my MBA course (Sugars, 2005). Previous experience in management field also came handy. The most important thing I have gained knowledge of is the effectively working in a team. In the later stages of the project, coordination among team members increased considerably. This helped in improving and polishing our communication skills. We learned that everyone can do their own part to work towards a common goal and that there doesn’t need to be just one distinct leader (Glover, 2009).
Although different tasks were assigned to team members, I remained in constant contact with every member and consulted on every possible occasion. This also helped me learn and understand their approach as well (Glover, 2009). As an individual, working on a business plan has helped me to understand how to make an official report. It assisted me in research methodology, how to check different sources and how to carry out research. The proposed business plan was solely concentrated on market penetration and market acquisition with its customer service, facilities, ambience, and projection technology and above all, operational benefits (Sugars, 2005). Beside this, I managed to learn different marketing techniques and got a practical experience of how to apply marketing models and theories. I considered myself an important member of a team in formulating strategy and objectives to achieve this strategy. The main purpose of conducting a market research was to identify and establish potential market and also to get the reliable data for product. I have learned to analyse the market and potential customers before entering the market. I understood the market analysis for business is to check the feasibility and the absorbance of product in the market and to understand the trends and behaviour of the consumers in market and to apply strategies accordingly (Dyer, 2007). All this provided crucial and reliable information. I studied to carry out market analysis; learned about market size and forecast; its share, trends and behaviour. I also assessed competitors and their strategies, targeted market segments, analysed our business’ core competencies and critical success factors; marketing and costing strategies. This business plan also assisted me in projecting financial position and reports along with knowledge of staffing and resourcing for business (Sugars, 2007).
Synthesis
Although all team members planned the business plan and divided the tasks according to their strengths but we still faced some problems. I would like to change my approach a little next time I involve myself in this type of activity. I would definitely focus on time management and motivation issues (Dyers, 2007). Others areas need to be improved are analytical skills and market assessments. The area of critics of team needs some perfection as well. Every member’s presentation skills were weak that resulted in lower marks. The report looked descriptive and team members just read that in the presentation meeting. Experience gained from this project will definitely help to improve the above mentioned areas in the future (Saunders et al. 2009).
There are a lot of aspects and factors that helped me develop my understanding and improve my knowledge. Workshops and lectures taught me how to carry out a research in desired fields, what method to select and what approach to take. Meetings provided facilitation in problem solving and strategic planning. These also helped me in decision making and working in a team (White, 2005).
Analysis and Evaluation
As a student studying MBA course from a renowned university, I was expected to apply critical thinking and analyse the business plan. The modules that I have studied during my lectures helped me apply marketing tools and techniques to my research. I learned how to apply theory into practice. This was a new idea to me but I was successful in interpreting this. This helped me gained both theoretical and practical knowledge. I applied knowledge from the books and journals to formulate the strategic plan, mission and vision of the company that I was working on. I applied different models successfully such as McKenzie 7’s model, Porter’s generic strategies, Ansoff’s growth model, IR model, Porter’s five forces model and some others (Kotler. 2010). The knowledge from the lectures helped me how to search different sources which was useful in strategy formulation. Overall the use of theoretical knowledge in practical situation helped me understand the business plan. I used the theories to advance my understanding of the business plan. The practical experience was built upon the theoretical knowledge (Saunders et al. 2009). Theory asked me how to conduct a research; based on this I practically collected data and information for analysis. Theory taught me how to calculate; I practically used this knowledge to formulate a financial projection; Theory explained how to apply different models; I managed to use these theories according to my situation and constructed a whole report. I practically worked in human resource filed to staff and resource my business.
Having completed this project, I have learned how to better argue a point in discussion. Using facts and example, my arguments have become much better (Sugars, 2005). The project taught me and my team members to be good team members, cooperative and helpful. I felt a change as my researching skills increased considerably. I can better understand the topic and use a variety of sources for search purposes which will help me a lot in future research process. I can create a conclusive argument that can set a tone of the entire project. Using latest techniques of researching and arguing, my paper will seem clearer and my arguments more apparent (Bryman and Bell, 2007). I have also updated my accounting knowledge by working on new accounting principles. I was responsible for quite of lot of report writing. It was good for me to get practice at writing, at proof reading, editing, etc. I did have a sense of achievement when a report was finished. And finally my computer skills have also improved from writing reports and through having 24-hour access to the computer. These skills are not great, but in comparison to my own skills before working on this project they have progressed well.
I personally feel that business plan is viable as it helps us understand not just to apply critical thinking and analyse the information but to use the theory into practice. This is what I think MBA requires. It helps the students getting management experience and applying what they have learnt in their lectures and workshops.
 

Effective leadership styles in problem solving

This assignment shall critically analyze the extent to which effective management and leadership styles can be used to address and solve problems in social care and health environments.
Introduction
The service field of social and health care environments has made great progress in recognizing its values for the future periods and things which require changing to achieve considerable and noticeable improvements across a variety of services. Management and Leadership styles need to be used effectively to bring out noticeable changes and for achieving specific actions to make significant improvements a reality in the social and healthcare environment. Effective and efficient implementation of change and improvement is a dynamic and comprehensive process which takes its due time to come into action and specific management and leadership programmes are usually unique to every organization. Every organization depends upon change and programmes for improvement for different reasons.

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Leadership plays a very vital role in the success of organisational improvement in social and healthcare service sectors. Effective leaders can enable improvements to take place and they have the capability to foretell the direction in which an organisation must be headed in terms of service delivery such as greater service user involvements and also guide their organisation in this direction. It is very important to have a predetermined purpose or ideology involving employees to bring about improvements in the system. The management must set the scope of these improvements and it is leadership’s responsibility to aide in bringing and implementing changes for betterment of the services.
Overview of Health and Social Care Sector
Healthcare sector refers mainly to all those services which are offered by hospitals, clinics, general practitioners to prevent, diagnose and treating illness. This is a main and primary activity United Kingdom and consumes important parts of Gross Domestic Product and accounts of employing over ten million people across the country. This is a very complex sector comprising of not just healthcare service providers but also private and public funders and patients (consumers). Furthermore, significant economic sectors are associated actively with this sector, particularly pharmaceuticals and suppliers of medical equipments. In this assignment we shall concentrate on service provision of healthcare and how management and leadership styles can bring about improvement and address the problems of this sector.
Social services is a multifaceted concept having different meanings and could include, provision of welfare payments and pensions. This assignment the term social services will be confined to work which is rendered by a person or organisation for furtherance of welfare of citizens. It includes, but is not restricted to, services for:

Children and their families
Disabled individuals of all age groups
Elderly individual particularly those suffering from mental health problems
Individuals misusing drugs and alcohol
Services related to HIV/AIDS

The typical providers of social services are public authorities and voluntary organisations however; private sector also plays an important role, to illustrate, provision of long-term care facilities. Healthcare and Social services were treated differently traditionally, due to their origins but also because of the fact that interest groups maintained their boundaries. This entire situation is undergoing changes throughout the western world due to different factors which include increase in elderly population, increase in awareness of preventing diseases instead of cure and an increased demand from customers (citizens’) integrated services to meet needs specific in nature. This resulted in increasing stress on care including healthcare in the community, with higher collaboration between both sectors healthcare and social service providers. United Kingdom offers a National Health Service (NHS) free of cost at the point of delivery; this expenditure is funded primarily through general taxation.
Several issues that affect healthcare also affect social services, especially ageing society. However, the functioning of hospitals and community-based care has transformed differently. UK is now exploring ways of coordinating both sets of services more efficiently, for e.g. shifting towards a home-based and community care grouped with correct use of expensive hospital services. This can be achieved and development in informatics and associated disciplines are anticipated to offer it. (OST, 2001, p. 8)
Current Trends and Driving Forces of Social and Healthcare Sector
Healthcare and Social care service sector is currently undergoing different changes and thus it is essential to evaluate what are the current trends and forces responsible for these changes. This assignment shall look at the most significant trends and drivers affecting health and social services sector, they are:
Changes in Demography and society
The citizens of UK are currently living in ageing societies. However, the major concern is workforce and elder ageing, i.e. increase in number of persons above 80. This phenomenon is known as “triple ageing”. The resultant effects of triple ageing on health and social services are well known.
Increasing consumerism and expectations
The term “consumer patient” is reflective on the assumption that more and more number of people are expecting to receive health care services they need at affordable prices.
Latest medical technologies
The need to reduce health costs, extend life expectancy and improve quality of life is often cited as drivers for technological developments in health and social sector. Many people believe that these latest technologies can totally transform and revolutionise the healthcare sector, despite concerns of increasing costs.
Leadership in Healthcare and Social Services
Leadership and management are two important factors which will help bring about the needed changes in the Healthcare and Social Services sector. Clarity and effective communication is very important for leaders depending on improvement initiatives. In the same line, frontline employees require to be provided with opportunities to embrace the latest ideology and purpose and customize it so that they can alter services accordingly. Leadership in healthcare and social services will be successful when the management decides the purpose of the organization and underlies requirements for improvement, analyzes what changes required to be made to achieve these objectives and examine how the necessary improvements can be achieved. To make a success of the implementing changes in service, leaders must make sure there is effective communication amongst the staff which is two-way and useful.
Management in social and healthcare sector
Management of the organization should entrust employees to carry forward improvements and enhancements in their daily service delivery. It is always possible for employees to be involved in “what” of the change, however there is a wide scope for involving “how”. Management must try to involve employees in the stages of planning, this will encourage staff to acknowledge and support the improvement process while feeling sense of ownership over the improvements. The main management style here is democratic in nature which means employees are heard to and their opinions and ideas are considered, including those employees who might not easily welcome changes. Employees must be given the tasks of carrying forward improvements in their daily routine work. Encourage them to participate in making decisions independently. Workers must be allowed to participate in discussions, questions and design activities of improvement. Another important aspect of democratic management style is feedback from employees which is a result of consulting on exercises and decisions taken based on inputs. Encouraging teamwork, both inter and intra-departmental, comprising of diverse members. Employees must be exposed to development of activities which they had been a part of while designing. Provide the staff with ample time for involvement, developmental activities and participation. If staff is finding it difficult to balance present commitments with time for improving services, then work along with the management and find answers.
Management and Leadership Styles
Management is a universal concept and is very popularly used terminology in the business world. Every type of organization be it business, political, cultural or social involves management since it is management which assists and directs the different efforts of people towards a predetermined goal or objective.
According to Harold Koontz, “Management is an art of getting things done through and with the people in formally organized groups. It is an art of creating an environment in which people can perform and individuals and can co-operate towards attainment of group goals”
On the other hand, Leadership is a process through which an executive could direct, guide and influence behaviour and work of other individuals in the direction of achieving particular goals in an existing situation. Leadership refers to the potential of influencing the behaviour of others in the organization. It can in specific terms be referred to as the capacity to influence a group towards goals realization. It is the capability of a manager to motivate his subordinates to work together with confidence and enthusiasm.
There are three main categories of management and leadership styles which are as given below:

Autocratic managers are decision makers and closely control and supervise employees. Managers generally have less levels of trust and just give orders which are expected to be obeyed.
Paternalistic managers tend to give more attention to the social needs and views of their employees. Managers are keen on making the employees feel happy and generally act as a father figure. They tend to consult employees about different issues and listen to their feedbacks and opinions. However, managers are actual decision makers but do take interests of workers into consideration since they believe staff actually needs direction.
Democratic Managers are those who entrust their employees and encourage them to make important decisions. They would delegate work to them along with authority to do and also listen to their advice. There is a clear bi-directional communication which often includes democratic groups, offering useful tips and ideas. Managers should be willing to encourage skills of leadership among subordinates.

Conclusion and Recommendations
Health and Social Care services are in the midst of transformation at national, local and international level. The core of these changes lies in the desire to offer customers with increased levels of involvement in their caring, promotion greater choices and interdependence amongst users and more efficiently support from the entire community, everything while staying within the parameters of standards of quality and budgets. Some programmes are usually unique to particular organisations, beyond general regions targeted for improvements. Sometimes, organisations might undergo changes due to increasing pressures from their funding institutions or government, while others may be responding to changes due to poor standards and lastly organisations that are aligning their management to cope up with the new changes in the sector. Main recommendations for adopting management and leadership styles in health and social care services are:
Effective leadership in the organisation which motivates employees in the organisation to willing participate in changes and also respond to it.
Involving employees and their participation in decision making to cope up with the changes in the sector.
Identify skills and help in development of those skills of employees. Employees must be constantly given chances to improve their existing skills and develop new skills according to the changing environment.
Management of organisations in social and healthcare sectors must have a more democratic approach which will encourage employees to participate and also motivate them to work to their full potential.
 

Solving the NHS Staffing Problem from an HR Point of View

Narrow Health Service? Approach to solving the NHS staffing problem from an HR point of view

 

 

The National Health Service (NHS) of the United Kingdom faces many problems in the last years: The number of patients is increasing every year, whereas the existing staff cannot cope with this emergence. According to NHS Digital, the NHS has treated more than 1,4 million patients every 24 hours – only in England (NHS, 2019).  However, only around 1,1 million people[1] worked for the NHS in September 2018 (NHS Digital, 2018a).

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 Therefore, the NHS needs to recruit new employees to withstand the high amount of work. However, it is already not possible to fill all vacancies: Latest studies assume there is a 11% vacancy rate only for nurses within the health care system, which equals a total number of 36000 (House of Commons, 2018, p. 6). At the same time, approximately 22000 people graduate from a bachelor’s degree in Nursing in the UK yearly. Although the NHS already implemented new strategies to deal with this issue, for example through Fast Track Schemes, it is vitally important to find an effective way to recruit these nurses properly to find the best candidates for vacant positions (House of Commons, 2018, p. 19)

 Furthermore, the NHS has to deal with a high turnover rate: In the second quartal of the financial year 2018/2019, 71291 employees left the organisation and almost half of them[2] left voluntary. The most common reasons are a bad work-life-balance[3], better reward packages[4],  and the lack of opportunities[5] (NHS Digital, 2018b).

 To keep the NHS viable, it is important to create sustainable strategies which will solve the issues of unsuccessful recruitment and high turnover. This essay provides recommendations for these two main problems within NHS’s HR work and discusses their possible limitation. Based on theoretical frameworks, a new employer branding and retention strategies like increasing the learning and development possibilities, remodeling the reward system, as well as creating a work-life-balance-empowering environment will be introduced and their limitations will be discussed.

To ensure that used recruiting tools are actually working, it is necessary to create an attractive employer brand. According to Backhaus and Tikoo (2004, p. 502), employer branding points out what makes an employer unique and makes the purpose of the organisation clear. This specific kind of marketing is especially useful in tight labour markets as in the health industry where potential employees are rare. Having an accurate employer brand leads to higher employer attraction and higher person-organisation-fit, which reduces turnover intentions (Backhaus & Tikoo, 2004, p. 507ff; Kristof-Brown, Zimmerman, & Johnson, 2005). To create a unique employer brand, NHS should focus on its own purpose and the reason why people decide to work for them – helping people. A marketing campaign “I AM NHS. YOU ARE NHS. WE ARE NHS” with pictures and stories of real employees and why they decided to work for the NHS can help future candidates to identify with the organisation and its employees, as well as creating an organisational citizenship behaviour for the existing staff. This is seen as causally linked with job engagement (Newton & LePine, 2018, p. 47).

But not only having some feeling of belonging will keep the current staff, as well as not only recruiting new people will solve current issues if they will basically not stay with the organisation. The NHS needs to focus on getting a higher job engagement first through fixing the main reasons why employees are leaving the company as well.

 According to Kahn (1990, p. 700), people who enjoy their job are more likely to stay in the role they are occupying. Therefore, a high job engagement should lead to less turnover intentions, higher motivation and higher quality of work (Roberts & Davenport, 2002, p. 21). As stated before, the main issues of leaving were lack of opportunity, better reward systems at conquering organisations and the work-life-balance. To actually enhance job engagement, motivation and the overall satisfaction of its employees, the NHS should take actions to solve these problems.

The feeling of lack of opportunities often comes from being in the same position over a long period of time. In order to solve this issue, the learning and development possibilities should be increased. Investing in employees’ human capital is not only beneficial for the organisation itself as it ensures a competitive advantage (Birasnav, Rangnekar, & Dalpati, 2011; Schultz, 1961). It also increases the intrinsic motivation of workers. According to Herzberg’s 2-Factor-Theory (1993), motivation can be influenced extrinsically through money or working conditions, as well as intrinsically through recognition or self-development. Encouraging the intrinsic motivation through additional learning and development offers through advanced education or social skill courses could therefore have a positive impact on job engagement of each employee (Egan, Yang, & Bartlett, 2004, p. 295).

Another main complain of former employees are better reward packages of other competitors. As the NHS is mainly funded by taxes, its possibilities regarding financial benefits is highly limited (Hawe & Cockcroft, 2013, p. 50). However, money is an important factor for motivation, but may not be the biggest one (Rynes, Gerhart, & Minette, 2004, p. 391). Although empirical studies like Brown and Sturman (2003), Fernie and Metcalf (1999) or Kerr (1975) show the impact of performance-based pay schemes on high performers, it might not be the best reward system for the health care system. Even if team-based bonuses for each ward would be paid, it is hard to quantify what should be rewarded: How quickly a patient leaves the hospital again? How many operations or births could be done in a certain amount of time? This might be a reasonable option;

However, it should not be forgotten that the NHS is working in the health sector. Patients could lose their trust in doctors and nurses as they could fear the staff only wants to treat them quickly, not qualitatively. An alternative would be “compensation perks” like a free travel card for public transport or even a new learning and development section within the organisation with courses not related to organisational human capital, like languages or computer skills.

But most importantly, a healthy work-life-balance seems to be the biggest complain former workers had about the NHS. Work-life-balance, as defined by Kalliath and Brough, simply means that individuals should see their work and private life in harmony and meet their current needs (Kalliath & Brough, 2008, p. 326). As not enough people are working for the NHS, it is assumable that employees have to work more and therefore have to cut their personal life drastically.

This issue makes it the hardest point to change as well, as it is not possible to simply work less or use a different form of working, for example home office. However, it is important to take this point seriously and actually reward employees for their overtime work, either financially or with days off as it will lower the risk of a psychological contract breach between employer and employee. The psychological contract is an unwritten agreement between employer and employee, which involves subjective things that are important for each side’s satisfaction (Rousseau, 1995, p. 9).

Breaches of these unwritten and often unknown wishes and needs lower organisational commitment and job satisfaction in general. Not rewarding overtime work will be seen as a breach and therefore increase turnover intention (Zhao, Wayne, Glibkowski, & Bravo, 2007, p. 663). Withal, showing employees that they are actually valued for their work and acknowledging their engagement will fulfil their need of recognition according to Herzberg’s 2-Factor Theory, which has an impact on people’s motivation and therefore job engagement (Herzberg, Mausner, & Snyderman, 1993).

But as much theoretically underpinned and empirically proven all these actions might be, the biggest limitation of them all is the cost factor: Be it more learning and development possibilities, a unique employer branding campaign, implementing new reward schemes or rewarding extra hours to ensure a healthy work-life balance, every action needs a certain budget, which the NHS apparently does not have as it is already facing immerse cost cuts.

However, the NHS should not only focus on the short-term costs, but rather on the long-term outcomes of such arrangements: Current processes and strategies do not seem to work, therefore new ideas should be implemented to ensure effective recruitment of new staff, and keeping the existing employees through enhancing their motivation at the same time.

Summarising, it can be said that the NHS’s main mission should be to increase people’s job engagement through taking care of their actual needs on a personal, as well as organisational level. To do that, four main actions should take place:

Firstly, the NHS has to come up with a new employer branding which points out what makes the NHS unique and what its main purpose is: its staff and their will to help others. Creating this employer brand will help attracting the right candidates on the one hand, and keeping the current staff through building an organisational citizenship behaviour on the other hand. Secondly, learning and development facilities should be implemented to fulfil the employees’ need for self-development. This can be part of an attractive new reward system to motivate high performers as well. Lastly, the NHS has to ensure its employees feel valued for the extra work they do, both financially and through positively acknowledging their commitment. Although these actions might seem costly first, they should be seen as investments in the preservation of the organisation. Without all the nurses and doctors, the NHS simply cannot sustain and should therefore invest in its most valuable resource – its employees.

Literaturverzeichnis 2

Backhaus, K., & Tikoo, S. (2004). Conceptualizing and researching employer branding. Career Development International, 9(4/5), pp. 501-517.

Birasnav, M. S., Rangnekar, S., & Dalpati, A. (2011). Transformational leadership and human capital benefits: The role of knowledge management. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 32(2), S. 106-126.

Brown, M. P., & Sturman, M. C. (2003). Compensation Policy and Organizational Performance: The Efficiency, Operational, and Financial Implications of Pay Levels and Pay Structure. The Academy of Management Journal, 46(6), pp. 752-762.

Egan, T. M., Yang, B., & Bartlett, K. R. (2004). The Effects of Organizational Learning Culture and Job Satisfaction on Motivation to Transfer Learning and Turnover Intention. Human resource development quarterly, 15(3), pp. 279-301.

Fernie, S., & Metcalf, D. (1999). It’s not what you pay it’s the way that you pay it and that’s what gets results: Jockeys’ pay and performance. Labour, 13(2), pp. 385-411.

Hawe, E., & Cockcroft, L. (2013). OHE guide to UK health and health care statistics. London: Office of Health Economics.

Herzberg, F., Mausner, B., & Snyderman, B. B. (1993). The motivation to work. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.

House of Commons. (2018). The nursing workforce – Second Report of Session 2017–19.

Kahn, W. A. (1990). Psychological Conditions of Personal Engagement and Disengagement at Work. Academy of Management, 33(4), pp. 692-724.

Kalliath, T., & Brough, P. (2008). Work–life balance: A review of the meaning of the balance construct. Journal of Management & Organizaion, 14, pp. 323-327.

Kerr, S. (1975). On the Folly of Rewarding A, While Hoping for B. The Academy of Management Journal, 18(4), pp. 769-783.

Kristof-Brown, A. L., Zimmerman, R. D., & Johnson, E. C. (2005). Consequences of Individuals’ Fit at Work: A Meta-Analysis of Person-Job, Person-Organization, Person-Group, and Person-Supervisor Fit. Personnel Psychology(58), pp. 281-342.

Maslow, A. H. (1943). A Theory of Human Motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4), pp. 370-396.

Newton, D. W., & LePine, J. A. (2018). Organizational Citizenship Behavior and Job Engagement: “You Gotta Keep’em Separated!”. In P. M. Podsakoff, S. B. MacKenzie, & N. P. Podsakoff, The Oxford Handbook of Organizational Citizenship Behavior (Vol. 43). Oxford.

NHS. (2019). NHS 70. Last accessed 4th January 2019, 15:18 from NHS facts: https://www.nhs70.nhs.uk/about/nhs-facts/

NHS Digital. (2018a). NHS Hospital & Community Health Service (HCHS) monthly workforce statistics – Staff in Trusts and CCGs.

NHS Digital. (2018b). NHS Hospital & Community Health Service (HCHS) monthly workforce statistics – Timeseries of Reasons for Leaving / Staff Movements and Redundancies.

Roberts, D. R., & Davenport, T. O. (2002). Job Engagement: Why It’s Important and How to Improve It. Employment Relations Today, 29(3), pp. 21-29.

Rousseau, D. M. (1995). Psychological contracts in organizations: Understanding written and unwritten agreements. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Rynes, S. L., Gerhart, B., & Minette, K. A. (2004). The Importance of Pay in Employee Motivation: Discrepancies between what People say and what they do. Human Resource Management, 43(4), pp. 381-394.

Schultz, T. W. (1961). Investment in Human Capital. The American Economic Review, 51(1), S. 1-17.

Zhao, H., Wayne, S. J., Glibkowski, B. C., & Bravo, J. (2007). The Impact of Psychological Contract Breach on Work-Related Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis. Personnel Psychology, 60, pp. 647-680.

Problem Solving Process Wheel (PSP) Model

TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE MODEL (NAME & DESCRIPTION)
THE REASONS
OUTCOMES
PROBLEMS IDENTIFIED
SOLUTIONS FOR THE PROBLEM
EFFECTIVNESS OF THE MODEL
REFERENCES
THE MODEL (NAME & DESCRIPTION)
The model that I have chosen to address the given problem is Victor Newman’s PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS wheel (PSP) model with that of the IDEAL framework model. The PSP model involves problem solving process that is divided into 8 steps. These eight points can be used as reference to manage the problem in hand. The psp model breaks down the problem into eight areas which then can be handled more efficiently and easily.
The model is primarily divided into three areas as shown in figure-

The FOUNDATION region comprises of three steps –

Identifying the problem
Gathering the data
Analysis of Data.

The GENERATION region having two steps-

Generating different solutions
Selecting solution

The EXECUTION region comprising of –

Plan
Test and rehearsal
Action

The following steps have been shown in the diagram-

THE REASONS
As I was going reading through net and various other sources I could related the fact that this model is similar to scenario where the captain in chopper has advantages as he can have a aerial view of the battlefield. That is it provides a opportunity to see big picture and manage our resources of time people and attention .The model helped me manage my tactics with background of a strategic model. So it enables me to give my attention on a particular area while simultaneously keeping in check the overall strategy. Its a combination of simplicity and accessibility. The model helps looks beyond the conventional techniques of problem solving to the underlying process. The eight identified stages explain how to recognize which technique is appropriate to which stage.
Also I have chosen IDEAL framework along with this model though in very little percentage, because this framework gives systematic analysis which is required in the given problem and also it involves anticipation.
OUTCOMES
The first phase is the foundation phase in this model. Foundation phase involves the identified problems which in the given problem are that the staff is huge and most members are not aware of GROUPWISE. A small proportion of the staff is also not familiar with e-mail, they are novices. Also small number of staff shares computers.
The data gathered from the given problem states that there is approximately a staff of 1200 .Most staff is familiar with Pegasus. Half of staff are academic, half are administration and management. There are three campuses of WINTEC in Hamilton, 1 in Auckland, 1 in Thames and 1 in Te Kuiti.
Now comes the generation part where various solutions are generated. Planning has been carried out carefully keeping in mind the minutest of details which have been discussed further in solving the problem section where varies ways of addressing the problem have been taken up. Though action will taken first before testing and rehearsing as only after action we will be able to analyze the pros and cons of solution.
PROBLEMS IDENTIFIED
Problems that can identified from the given case is that there are-

In total 6 campuses where installation of Group wise electronic diary application is required.
There is good number of staff of 1200,most of them have never use the application. They are familiar with Pegasus.
The staff members but covers all levels of computer expertise, from total novice to high power users fully experienced in programming, web designs, database management etc..
The semester teaching terms for the institute run from early February until late November with breaks in April, June and September. Summers school runs from late November to late January .
No adequate number of systems for staff to work on
Lack of internet excess major problem

SOLUTIONS FOR THE PROBLEM
With help of psp model and the now coming to generation phase –
First the staff of 1200 should be divided into sub categories of the pro users and amateurs/novice users. That is division of staff in terms of two groups which comprises of a first group that has high power users fully experienced in programming ,web designs and database management. This group ‘A’ should be further divided into groups of database managers, web designers and programmers.

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The web designers will design a website for WINTEC so that various systems in different campuses can remain in contact. The programmers will design programmes so that data base of each member can be maintained along with salaries and fees respectively and other basic details .the last group will be of data managers will collect and maintain data from the program designed by programmers.
The Group ‘B’ will have those who are new to system, emails amateurs etc. this group will be further divided equally in number across all campuses. Each group will have minimum of two managers who will come from Group A to teach the basics of system emails etc to them on regular basis and monitor their report. Further division of the computer lab spaces into different categories according to usage will be there . An ordinary lab set-up where general software including documentation tools that do not require much computing power will be there. In this way the staff members who have never used GroupWise and those not aware of basics shall be able to learn and contribute.
All the lab spaces should be equipped with adequate number of systems as there are less number of systems as staff has to share with each other which may be of inconvenience plus time hampering
Each campus lab will have a server which system which will be connected to the server of system in the other campus. That means there will be 6 servers in the network of WINTEC.
Installation of wifi routers in each campus should be made mandatory with high security concerns because GroupWise will be web based so as to make it accessible to whole of the staff. This will solve the problem of lack of internet access problem. The integrity and security brief for the net access will require a setup that would allow student and staff access from their labs by connecting through the campus network but restrict general student access and prevent any campus IT traffic running over the link. This concern will also be kept in mind.
Next big problem comes of installing and setup of the systems and soft ware across the campuses. Keeping in mind that regular teaching is not disturbed in campus which will include providing non disturbance atmosphere to the academic staff aswell.so all the installation setup should start April as this is the first month of break period and after that there are regular breaks in month of June which comes after May and then in September so starting installation in month of April will give adequate time to start process and work in full swing without hindrance as campus will be closed for students ,creating a win win situation for both students and academic staff and the installers. Though the work will slow down in May but again it can be started with full swing in June which is again a off month. as summer school runs from November to January, this April period will be the apt time to start installation across the campus of GroupWise application.
In this way the WINTECH will have it campuses transformed its computer lab to a place not simply where students and staff could learn how to use software tools, but as somewhere where they can experience the GroupWise.
EFFECTIVNESS OF THE MODEL
It is important that the model which is selected for analyzing and addressing the problem is simple yet effective in use. The PSP model has been very responsive to my needs of the given problem.the quality of the model to map problems and attack them has rendered the problem a easy hand.
Problem solving is usually very stressful. One is required to remember the process sufficiently as well as to picture it in one’s head and interpret it.
The eight step model provides easy way to given problem with giving ample space to plan and implement as well as develop ideas. Its effectiveness can be seen in the model working where one can draft initial problem, gather and analyze some data and confirm it. The models has steps in which data is gather and analyzed, which is important because often problem is overlooked when gathering of data is there which usually has step of taking action unlike this model which involves analysis.
The IDEAL framework was no matter how little but was taken into consideration because the problem required to take in to account the systematic analysis as installation was to be carried out in efficiently smoothly and cost effectively.
REFERENCES
Basic points and ideas from:
https://www.msu.edu/~dwong/CEP991/CEP991Resources/Johnston-DeweySciAesth.pdf
http://www2.gre.ac.uk/about/schools/business/about/departments/sms/staff/victor-newman
generating a solution and points from:
http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Microsoft-System-Center/University-of-Incheon/Using-a-Computer-Lab-as-the-Starting-Point-for-Students-Cloud-Computing-Experience/710000000867
model description and EFFECTIVNESS points were taken from:
http://books.google.co.in/books
description also taken from:
http://www.ashgate.com/isbn/9780566075667
 

Teaching And Learning Problem Solving

Education nowadays has been criticized by different area and educators try to reform the ways of teaching and learning (Kirkley, 2003). Problem Solving defines as step to reaching the goal or desire state from where we are now ( Medin, Ross & Markman, 2004). Kirkly (2003) stated that learner nowadays are short of basic literacy skill and higher order thinking. Basic literary skill is important to learn problem solving largely depend on basic literary skill ( Kirkly). If a learner cannot master basic literacy skill, things that able to represent will be less. As the rising of technology, higher problem solving skill on mathematics and science are needed.

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They found that students who not able to master literacy skills and cannot not learn and develop higher ordering skills and problem solving ( Kirkly, 2003). Problem solving that mainly can be found while study mathematics. However, Baron (2012) found that a lot of students face the difficulty to pass the test math no matter how much of tutoring, extra classes had given. In addition, not only college students face this kind of problem, children also face similar problem. Types of math problem that face by children is word math problem. Word math problem is type of math that uses English word to explain the question instead of using the equation to explain the questions that need students to be solved.
As a teacher, they ways those mathematics teachers teach the next generation also one of the problem that need to discuss. In the old days, teacher only can provide few ways to teach student to solve the math problem. However, not all students have the skill to absorb teaching style on providing information, guideline to solve the question. Moreover, teacher style on teaching students in the few past decade may not be efficient or work on current generation.
When a person learn how to solve a particular modal, it will become as a short cut as the person only need to remember the process of solving the problem from the beginning, it only apply on the similar problem that solve before( Kirkly,2003). One of the model that explain problem solving process is when individual doing a problem solving, their cognitive will start by representing the problem then do a solution search, finally implement the solution (Gick, 1986 as cited in Kirkly,2003). If a person successfully find a solution, their cognitive will stop there, conversely, they will redo the step searching solution and representing the problem if they fail to find the solution (Kirkly).When a similar problem is presented, it become “short cut” as a person cognitive will be able to recall and implement the solution by remembering how they solved similar problem before.
Problem solving require a lot of abstract representation that the reason we need to master basic literacy skill. For example, when a learner trying solved a word math problem, learner need to understand the meaning of the word such as increase, product of, less than, equally pieces and others. Then they need to transfer into mathematics symbol and form an equation form to solve the problem. However, human cognitive not able to hold too much representation at the same time and human only able to remember three to seven items ( Medin et al., 2004).
Different types of mathematics problem use different types of problem solving method. Types of problem solving method can categorized at algorithm and heuristics. Heuristic have three ways which is using hill climbing, mean ends analysis and working (Medin et al., 2004). For example, a mathematics question that asks how much plus three will be ten? A younger child might use algorithm technique test all the number in order to find the correct answer. As for older child, the will likely use working backward method to find the answer.
There are a lot of solution that can be found in educations field. For example, teachers will let provide a lot of similar problem to let their learner or students to solve and in the end create”short cut” thinking. By this students will notice the similarity of each problem and able to transfer their skills. This solution can be found in teaching mathematics skill.
Students math textbook present a lot of solution to student as an example to solve the similar problem but broader schema that expert are actually use is not available to student (McAllister, 1995). Student don’t know which and how is the appropriate first step to do when they faced a problem (McAllister,).Teacher who use explicit translation strategy (ETS ) found to be effective in solving math word problem (INQUIRE, 2008). Explicit translation strategy is “to teach students how to translate concrete problem into mathematical equation”(INQUIRE, 2008). Research also found that students who teach using the ETS and receive extra learning lesson are able to perform better than other group in the math problem solving that held two weeks later (Darch, Carnine & Gersten, 1984).
As stated above, students who want to develop problem solving skills need to master basic literacy skills well (Kirkly, 2003). Therefore students need to keep practice different types mathematics problem regularly. Then, students should be teaches by teacher who are expect, more important teachers should be able to provide different method to solve a problem and more complicate example when students able to solve basic mathematical problem. Extra learning material should be given to help students to learn the ability to transform the skill that students learn from other problem. Severin(2007) found students who be given change to learn different type of problem solving strategies able to help student to solve others problem.
Technology item also can be use to helps teacher and student improves their problem solving a ability. Teacher can create a learning site and provide different types of fun, stories problem solving question to attract their interest and provide them change to do trial and error while they playing problem solving game while learning. This is because how much a student put effort while doing a math problem will have an effect on their success rate (Severin, 2007).
In addition we also can use computer technology to help us in teaching because technology make easier for students to access more information. In the days that computer still not able to own by every family, information on solving a math problem only depend on the knowledge of the teacher. Now, students can asses and absorb more and more idea to solve a math problem.
Conclusion, problem solving can be use in different field. By knowing how to teach and learn are the key to teach students and children to develop their problem solving better in the future.
 

Assessing & Solving Ethical Dilemmas

“Honesty is the cornerstone of character. The honest man or woman seeks not merely to avoid criminal or illegal acts , but to be scrupulously fair, upright, fearless in both action and expression .Honesty pays dividends both in dollars and in peace of mind.” B.C Forbes

What are Ethical dilemmas?
Ethical dilemmas occur generally when a person is made to choose between two or more alternatives and all of them seem right from different perspectives. Such dilemmas have a very blurred line between right and wrong thus complicating the decision making process for a person. Sometimes it’s not even a question of right or wrong but which of the alternatives is more viable. Decision is further made difficult by the varying amount of impact of each decision on the profitability, share price, market share, competitiveness, relations and various other factors. For e.g. should wealthier person be forced to pay more taxes for poor people in the society.

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Why ethical dilemmas exist
For any organization, it’s difficult to maintain harmony as opinions of individuals vary, stakes are high and emotions run strong. This may give rise to ethical issues which in turn can become ethical dilemmas, also known as ethical paradox. Let us first try to understand as to how ethics can be maintained in an organization as well as individual:
Justice It talks about rights and laws, rules and regulations, fairness etc. The good thing about it is that it accentuates on equality and believes in providing justice to all irrespective of any cast, creed etc. This helps in establishing ethical standards and the enforcement may cause people or organization to abide by the law and remain ethical.
Care Nothing can beat positive organizational climate and the value for each other’s feelings. Strong personal connections and trust over each other may make ethical decisions simpler by simplifying the lines between good and bad.
Power Sometimes power and influence and the resultant fear to abide by the rules and regulations keep people on track. If the autocratic behavior of a leader denounces unethical steps then it makes his/her followers also to choose the correct path guided by him.
Community These days we find the topic of Corporate Social Responsibility being taken up very seriously by the organizations. To keep themselves in the good books of community, the firms have started acting in the welfare of community which itself closes some unethical measures by company.
Profession One can’t deny clashes between personal and professional codes. Both the employee and employer should be careful in choosing each other else it will lead to lot of unrest and instability to both the parties.
Differences and issues related to work work give rise to conflicts. The differences can come from various factors like working style, personal differences etc but if the difference is due to an ethical clash, then it can have serious repercussions.
The following diagram shows us that an individual does have ethical issues with the organization on whole or with the team due to which he may not be able to deliver his 100% best in the work he undertakes.
How to resolve ethical dilemmas
As such there are no fixed rules to decide what is to be followed in case of ethical dilemmas. As stated earlier it’s not just about right or wrong decisions but taking a decision which one feels is more appropriate in a given context. However there are some methods suggested by various people in the field of business ethics for deciding which better decision to be chosen by an organization or individual under given circumstances. For e.g. Organizations and individuals can choose to follow many of the suggested ethical theories for moving ahead with their decisions. But the most useful and most effective method of choosing an ethical decision seems to be finding a similar example of ethical dilemma in past with any other individual or organization. Analyzing the actions, the reasons for actions & the consequences of those actions which took in the past gives us a very good idea about the direction in which a person should proceed in case of ethical dilemmas. Therefore before deciding on any plan of action a person must analyze all the possible consequences of the act and must check for how are the actions in line with the moral values and principles governing the organization or individual. Few of the right consequences by taking right decision can be:

Substantially improve society.
Help maintaining a moral course in turbulent times
Cultivate strong teamwork and productivity
Support employee growth and meaning
An insurance policy — they help ensure that policies are legal
Promote a strong public image

Ethical dilemmas from Hindu epics
In this part of the project we would describe the various ethical dilemma situations from the Hindu epics of Mahabharata and Ramayana. The situations described are very much character centric and hence each situation would be described in context of the character. But these situations from these epics can very clearly be seen even in present conditions across the world at individual level, family level, organization level or country level. Following are the characters and their ethical dilemma situations from epics.
Bhishma
Bhishma also known as “Gangaputra”, meaning the son of Ganges (the holy river). The context of ethical dilemma being mentioned here with Bhishma is about his fighting the war of Mahabharata from the side of Kauravas while he always wanted the victory of his opponents Pandavas. This ethical dilemma shows how even a very powerful and highly knowledgeable person like Bhishma do fall in the ethical dilemma trap and are not able to make out clearly that which of the decisions are better to go with. Let’s analyze the ethical dilemma of Bhishma on following criteria.
Why such a dilemma happened
Bhishma was an obedient son. He during the reign of his father, Shantanu took a pledge that he will always abide by the orders of the king. He also pledged that he will never marry and won’t ever become the king himself. So at the time of Mahabharata war he was in dilemma because he was binded by his pledge towards following the orders of king and hence to fight the war from the side of Kauravas but at the same time he knew very well that objective of Kauravas for the war was not good. He knew that Pandavas are the true people for owning the throne of Hastinapur. He was actually confused between whether it is right to break his earlier pledge of obedience for what he considered right or to blindly follow his pledge. This is a perfect example of a manager in present condition who is trapped in a quandary to follow or refuse the decision by top management if he finds them in conflict with his own ethics though following them might pave way for his lucrative career.
Consequences of Decision
As per his decision of fighting for Kauravas against Pandavas, finally Bhishma lost the fight with Arjuna and died after the war was over. During his last moments he mentioned that it was a mistake on his part to consider himself above the nation or taking the side of an army which was not fighting for good reason.
Conclusion
By analyzing the character of Bhishma , we can conclude that though his intentions for serving his king were good but he made a mistake by blindly following it without reflecting on his decisions from time to time. He should have realized that welfare of the kingdom is an insurmountable purpose in priority and his personal decisions shouldn’t defeat it. This lesson can be implemented in present scenario when an individual feels obliged on joining an organization and stops thinking if the organization is leading in the right path. He has to rationally figure out if the managerial decisions:

legitimizes managerial actions
strengthens the coherence and balance of the organization’s culture
improves trust in relationships between individuals and groups
Supports greater consistency in standards and qualities of products/services.
Cultivates greater sensitivity to the impact of the enterprise’s values and messages.

An analogy with Corporate real life case
Hyundai Chairperson went to jail for embezzlement and breach of trust
Problem: In late April 2006, Hyundai Motor Company chairman, Chung Mong-koo was arrested. This example would show us that the society interest prevails over individual’s interest.
Problem Details: The following month he was accused on charges of breach of trust, embezzling company funds, and causing damage to companies in the Hyundai group.
Consequences: In April 2006, the directors of Hyundai apologized to the public and said the Chung family would donate assets worth Won 1 trillion to society. In June 2006, Chung appeared in court and admitted his guilt “to a certain extent”
Karna
Eldest of the Pandava brothers, but not known to any of his brothers. Loyal friend of Duryodhana. Ethical dilemma of karna has been analyzed on following basis
Why such a dilemma happened
Karna was son of Kunti (Mother of pandavas). He was born before kunti’s marriage and hence because of fear of social repubation, kunti floated the child in the river. Karna was brought up by Adhirath, the chariot driver of king. Karna was supported by Duryodhan when he was not accepted by anyone else. Duryodhana made him king of “Ängdesh”. All these benefits by Duryodhan made karna indebted to him. For rest of his life karna promised to be loyal to Duryodhan in return of all these benefits. Here again we can see that an issue of loyalty against moral values of karna coming into play. This is because karna was always aware of what is morally right and what is morally incorrect but because of his loyalty to Duryodhana he decided to remain loyal in place of being morally correct in his own eyes.
Consequences of Decision
As a consequence of his decision to remain loyal to a person (Duryodhan) instead of being moral or doing what is in benefit of larger people, Karna fought in the Mahabharata war from side of Kauravas. He was finally killed by Arjuna.
Conclusion
Here also we see that karna was considering his loyalty towards a person (Duryodhana) to be more important than his moral values and doing the things for betterment of larger people. This analogy of karna can very well in this context be related to the way employees of Enron remained loyal to their top management by concealing the actual condition of the organization from the larger number of stakeholders. They did not go for morally correct decision of informing the condition of the degrading organization to the stakeholders.
An analogy with Corporate real life case
Dell Investors filed suit Over Accounting Practices
Problem: A group of investors had filed a lawsuit in Feb, 2007 alleging that Dell had used illegal accounting methods to hide secret kickback payments paid by Intel .This case would show us that though being associated with the firm , the investors didn’t get deter to complain against Dell.
Problem Details: According to allegations, the payments from Intel were meant to ensure that Dell used only Intel Processors in its PC’s according to suit. The investors claimed that Dell’s profits were inflated by hundreds of millions of dollars.
Consequences: Regulators from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York launched an investigation of Dell’s accounting practices due to which Dell had failed to file its quarterly earnings numbers for the periods ending Aug. 4, 2006 and Nov. 3, 2006, leading the Nasdaq stock exchange to take the decision of dropping Dell from its listing board for some period of time.
Yudhisthira
Eldest son of Pandu, former king of Hastinapur. He is considered to be the best judge of right and wrong things. On the basis of his such a great knowledge he was awarded the title of “dharmraj”(King of right doings). But in Mahabharata we see even yudhishthira was caught in the web of ethical dilemma.
Why such a dilemma happened
This situation happened when Yudhishthira was invited by his younger brother Duryodhana for “dhyut krida”, a game of gambling. Those days the art of gambling used to make or break a king’s reputation. Any person refusing to be a part of this game was considered either a coward or penniless. Yudhishthira as a king was well aware of the risk associated with the game yet he went beyond his limits by betting on his wife and ultimately losing to Duryodhan. Even though in the midst of the game, he had a clue of his losing out badly yet to prove he was strong enough to take the game further, he not only insulted his wife but tarred his own image.
Consequences of Decision
As a consequence of giving priority to his impression on society over what he believed to be morally and ethically correct, it led to the decline of the fame of Yudhishthira. He lost his fame and respect in the eyes of the people who considered him to be a real distinguisher of right and wrong. This game of gambling is a blemish on the character of Yudhishthira till date.
Conclusion
By analyzing the character of Yudhishthira, his act, reasons for act & consequences of act we can conclude that decisions by people must be based on what is ethically correct rather than acting to inflate one’s ego.
An analogy with Corporate real life case
Samsung paid $ 90 m in DRAM case
Problem: Samsung paid $90m to bring to an end lawsuits brought against it by 41 US states as a result of its role in a worldwide DRAM price-fixing cartel. This would show us how in a bid to control the market (similar to Yudhishthira’s claim to pride though he knew that he was committing mistake ), Samsung fell in the trap.
Problem Details: Samsung, Elpida, Hynix and Infineon were all found guilty by the US Department of Justice of conspiring to set memory prices between July 1999 and June 2002
Consequences: In May 2006, Samsung, Hynix and Infineon agreed to pay $160m to settle a class-action brought against them by individuals who claimed they were financially harmed by the alleged conspiracy.
Vibhishan
Vibhishan was the brother of Ravana. He was aware of the reality of Rama & his real powers. For this reason he suggested Ravana to know the reality of Rama and move towards him making shri Rama his friend instead of making him his enemy. The dilemma faced by vibhishana is mentioned on following basis :
Basis of existence of Dilemma
Vibhishan knew that Rama’s power stood superior to that of his own brother (Ravana).He tried persuading Ravana to follow the path of goodness and extend a friendship relation to Rama. But when all his efforts went in vain, he was in a dilemma of whether to stay with his brother & country at the time of war or should he stand in support of Rama, a person who he considered right. Hence here we see Vibhishana getting trapped between being a good obedient brother or being an enemy of his own brothers and country.
Consequences of decision taken
He was insulted by his brother in front of society and ordered to leave his kingdom. This all happened after all the efforts taken by Vibhishana to pacify his brother’s and Rama’s relations. Later he decided to follow the path which he believed to be morally correct and a path towards achieving Moksha. He went to Rama and became his friend and a very important advisor against battle with Ravana. At the end after winning the battle Rama offers the kingdom of Ravana to Vibhishana as gift of his friendship and his gratitude towards his help and support in the war.
Conclusion
Here again we see an ethical dilemma faced by a character between his loyalty towards personal relations and an ethical path. But here if we see in detail about the conditions, actions taken and consequences faced by the character, we can conclude that at the end Vibhishana took the right decision of joining with Rama. As we can see that by joining with Rama Vibhishana ensures that the effects of battle should be minimal on the citizens of his own country “Lanka”. With deeper thought we realize that his decision was out of his true love and respect for his country for he knew that by joining Rama, undesired damages of his kingdom can be avoided. Hence by observing this situation of Vibhishana we can also say that what actually looked to be a person who shifted to the enemy camp in the time of war and who was considered as a traitor by his own citizens was actually the real person concerned about the safety of his country. Here is a very good example by which we can explain that following ethical decisions may seem to be against some of the known and dear ones in the short run but finally it is the ethically and morally correct decisions which are really good for the betterment of the organizations. This example of ethical decision resulting in loss for an organization in the short run but finally coming out as the most beneficial decisions ever taken in history for the organization in long term can be seen very well from the ethical decision taken by Johnson & Johnson while calling back all its medicines which were considered fatal for the health of people consuming these medicines. As a result of this decision organization faced a huge short run financial loss even it looked that company may go for bankruptcy but now finally it is seen by everybody that Johnson & Johnson is the top organization in its field and has a very good brand value and is perceived as one of the best ethically driven organizations.
An analogy with Corporate real life case
SEC fined TREND Micro CEO
Problem: The allegation of suspicious trading of shares by Chen, chief executive and co founder of leading anti- virus firm Trend Micro on the major Chinese Internet Portal Sina.com. She was found to be in partner with the wrong dealings by his own husband too. This example would show us that one shouldn’t keep silent over his/her close one’s misdeeds.
Problem Details: Apart from allegations of insider trading, there was also an inquiry into whether Ms Chen under reported her holdings in Trend Micro chares.
Consequences: the CEO of Trend Micro was ordered to pay a fine by US Financial watchdogs. Also the US Securities and Exchange Commission did its investigations following the allegations. The company suffered huge losses due to it.
Conclusion from the Project
Most prominent ethical dilemma from Epics
By the study of various characters from Mahabharata we have seen that there is prominent type of ethical dilemma which exists across large number of characters. This prominent type of dilemma is the dilemma of loyalty versus moral values. Here by loyalty we mean that loyalty of a person can be towards anything. This loyalty in case of Bhishma was towards his own pledge of protecting his king. In case of Karna this loyalty is towards Duryodhana. Here the reason of loyalty is again different. While in case of Bhishma the reason of loyalty is his pledge in case of Karna reason of loyalty is his being indebted to Duryodhan because of the benefits given by Duryodhan to him. Similarly for Yudhishthira the inclination was towards popularly accepted beliefs rather than his own inner voice telling him not to go ahead with the game. In Ramayana, Vibhishan on the other hand was an example to show that ethically taken decisions stand much superior to one’s worldly relations.
Existence of similar dilemma in present scenario
The ethical dilemma faced by the large number of characters in Mahabharta can be seen in present scenario as well. This dilemma of loyalty versus personal moral values of an individual can also be seen in case of Enron failure. Here also as already explained above, employees found it their duty to remain loyal to the organization or top management by not concealing the degrading condition of organization to outside public.
Conclusion
From all the above mentioned examples we can conclude that following ethically and morally correct decisions are the ones which an organization or an individual should always go with though they may be hard to follow. This is because these decisions may look difficult and harmful when viewed in short term perspectives but these are truly the decisions which are going to be beneficial in long run. All successful individuals and organizations are those which have a respected and trustworthy image in the minds of the public and stakeholders it has. This kind of image of individuals and organizations is never built in a day or so but is an effect of continuous dealings of ethical or moral values. According to Universalist theory of Business Ethics too, the interest of the larger mass prevails over individual interests It rightly says that the best moral choices are those that you want others to do , even when you cannot make yourself an exception , and ,that respect others as persons.
 

Solving Large Systems of Linear Simultaneous Equations

NICOLE LESIRIMA
METHODS OF SOLVING LARGE SYSTEMS OF LINEAR SIMULTANEOUS EQUATIONS

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Linear systems simulate real-world problems using applied numerical procedure. The main aim of this project is to consider what factors affect the efficiency of the various methods of solving linear simultaneous equations. So far, one of the main factors is rounding errors that can produce inaccurate solutions. Moreover, MATLAB programs have been produced to time the calculation speed to determine the efficiency of the methods. Generally, these methods are subdivided into two; direct and iterative methods. Direct methods are commonly used to solve small systems of equations. The iterative methods are used to solve real-world problems that produce systems of equations for which the coefficient matrices are sparse.
The relevance of studying these methods have its real world applications. The real world applications can be seen in various fields such as science and engineering, accounting and finance, business management and in operational research. The approach provides a logical framework for solving complex decisions in a wide range of industries. The advantage is that, decisions are founded on data analysis.

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Environmentalists and meteorologists may use large systems of simultaneous linear equations to predict future outcomes. For instance, to predict weather patterns or climate change, a large volume of data is collected over a long span of time on many variables including, solar radiation, carbon emissions and ocean temperatures. Queen Mary University of London (2015). This data is represented in the form of a transition matrix that has to be row reduced into a probability matrix that can then be used in the prediction of climate change.
The objective of an enterprise is to maximize returns while maintaining minimum costs. Whereas the use of large systems of simultaneous linear equations may provide a basis for evidence based business decision making in an enterprise, it is important to know which linear systems are most appropriate in order to minimize undesirable outcomes for an enterprise.

PROJECT REPORT OUTLINE

Chapter 1
Introduction
Large systems of linear simultaneous equations are used to simulate real-world problems using applied numerical procedure. The real world applications can be seen in various fields such as science and engineering, accounting and finance, business management. The approach provides a logical framework for solving complex decisions in a wide range of industries. The advantage is that decisions are founded on data analysis. The aim of this project is to explore the efficiency of a large systems of linear simultaneous equations in the optimal decision making of an enterprise.
Chapter 2
Direct Methods: Gaussian Elimination and LU Factorisation
Direct methods of solving linear simultaneous equations are introduced. This chapter will look at the Gaussian Elimination and LU Factorisation methods. Gaussian Elimination involves representing the simultaneous equations in an augmented form, performing elementary row operations to reduce the upper triangular form and finally back substituting to form the solution vector. LU Factorisation on the other hand is where a matrix A finds a lower triangular matrix L and an upper triangular matrix U such that A = LU. The purpose of this lower triangular matrix and upper triangular matrix is so that the forward and backward substitutions can be directly applied to these matrices to obtain a solution to the linear system. An operation count and computing times using MATLAB is calculated so as to determine the best method to use.
Chapter 3
Cholesky Factorisation
Introduction to the Cholesky method. This is a procedure whereby the matrix A is factorised into the product of a lower triangular matrix and its transpose; the forward and backward substitutions can be directly applied to these matrices to obtain a solution. A MATLAB program is written to compute timings. A conclusion can be drawn by comparing the three methods and determining which is the most suitable method that will produce the most accurate result as well as take the shortest computing time.
Chapter 4
Iterative Methods: Jacobi Method and Gauss-Seidel
This chapter will introduce the iterative methods that are used to solve linear systems with coefficient matrices that are large and sparse. Both methods involve splitting the matrix A into lower triangular, diagonal and upper triangular matrices L, D, U respectively. The main difference comes down to the way the x values are calculated. The Jacobi method uses the previous x values (n) to calculate the next iterated x values (n+1). The Gauss-Seidel uses the new x value (n+1) to calculate the x2 value.
Chapter 5
Successive Over Relaxation and Conjugate Gradient
Other iterative methods are introduced. The Successive Over Relaxation method over relaxes the solution at each iteration. This method is calculated using the weighted sum of the values from the previous iteration and the values form the Gauss-Seidel method at the current iteration. The Conjugate Gradient method involves improving the approximated value of xk to the exact solution which may be reached after a finite number of iterations usually smaller than the size of the matrix.
Chapter 6
Conclusion
All the project findings and results are summarised in this chapter. Conclusion can be made from both direct methods and iterative methods whereby the most accurate method with the shortest computing time can be found. Drawbacks from each method will be mentioned as well its suitability for solving real world problems.

PROGRESS TO DATE

The project to date has covered the direct methods of solving simultaneous equations.
Gaussian Elimination
This involves representing the simultaneous equations in an augmented form, performing elementary row operations to reduce the upper triangular form and finally back substituting to form the solution vector. For example, to solve an mxn matrix:
Ax = b
The aim of the Gaussian elimination is to manipulate the augmented matrix [A|b] using elementary row operations; by adding a multiple of the pivot rows to the rows beneath the pivot row i.e. Ri‬‬‬‬ Ri +kRj. Once the augmented matrix is in the row echelon form, the solution is found using back substitution.
The following general matrix equation has been reduced to row echelon form:

This corresponds to the linear system

 

 

Rearranging the final solution is given by
 
For all other equations
i = n – 1, . . .,
The operation count and timing the Gaussian Elimination was performed. The total number of operations for an nxn matrix using the Gaussian elimination is with O(N3).

LU Factorisation
This is where a matrix A finds a lower triangular matrix L and an upper triangular matrix U such that A = LU. The purpose of this lower triangular matrix and upper triangular matrix is so that the forward and backward substitutions can be directly applied to these matrices to obtain a solution to the linear system.
In general,
L and U is an m x n matrix:
L =  U = 
For higher order matrices, we can derive the calculation of the L and U matrices. Given a set of n elementary matrices E1, E2,…, Enapplied to matrix A, row reduce in row echelon form without permuting rows such that A can be written as the product of two matrices L and U that is
A = LU,
Where
U = En…E2E1A,
L = E1-1 E2-1…En-1 
For a general nxn matrix, the total number of operations is O(N3). A Matlab program has been produced to time the LU Factorisation. So far, this method has proven more efficient than the Gaussian Elimination.

Cholesky Factorisation
This is a procedure whereby the matrix A is factorised into the product of a lower triangular matrix and its transpose i.e. A = LLT  or
  =   
The Cholesky factorisation is only possible if A is a positive definite. Forward and backward substitution is employed in finding the solutions.
The method was also timed at it can be concluded that it is the most effective and efficient direct method for solving simultaneous equations.
The indirect methods have been introduced with a short outline of what each method entails.

Work Still to be Completed    

As from the objectives layed out from the terms of reference, the following are the objectives that are yet to be completed.

Week 13 – 16: Evaluating the convergence rate of the iterative methods in detail as well as finding out which method improves the solution efficiency.  Production of MATLAB programs analysing the different methods and other methods. Over the next 3 weeks, the conditions for convergence will be analysed. One of the most important conditions that will be studied is the spectral radius. This is a condition applied on the indirect methods to determine how fast or slow a method takes to achieve the state of convergence. Moreover, the project will also produce Matlab programs for the iterative methods and employ the spectral radius on these programs to determine the speed of convergence for large sparse matrices.

Weeks 17 – 19: Introduction to the Successive Over-Relaxation (SOR) method and the Conjugate Gradient method. Successive Over-Relaxation method improves the rate of convergence of the Gauss-Siedel method by over-relaxing the solution at every iteration. While the Conjugate Gradient improves the approximated value of x to the exact solution. Matlab programs will be produced for the two methods together with the speed of convergence of different sizes of matrices.

Week 20 – 24:Writing the findings and conclusions of the report, finalising on the bibliography and doing a review of the project as a whole.  Preparing oral and poster presentation.