Political System Of Vietnam

In every class society, the power of the ruling can be carried out by a system of institutions and certain political organizations. It is the political system. By political system we mean the system of government in a nation (Hill, 2007). The political system in our country is a tool made ​​ownership of the working people under the leadership of the Party. The political system in our country today, including: Communist Party of Vietnam, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the socio-political organization. The politics of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a law-governed state. The President of Vietnam is the head of state and the Prime Minister of Vietnam is the head of government, in a one-party system led by the Communist Party of Vietnam. The CPV was founded on February 3, 1930. Over 75 years of its existence, the Party has been renamed several times: the Vietnam Communist Party (February 1930), the Communist Party of Indochina (October 1930), the Vietnam Workers’ Party (February 1951), and the Communist Party of Vietnam (December 1976). The current political system in Vietnam included these components of political power: Communist Party of Vietnam, People in the political system, State Socialist Republic of Vietnam, National Assembly, President, Government, People’s courts, People’s Procuracy, Socio-political organizations and mass. Each component of power has the own function in the political system. In terms of Communist Party of Vietnam, it is the faithful representative of the interests of the working class, the working people and of the nation. Regarding to People in the Political system, they make their power mainly through the State; management of society by the State law under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam. On the subject of State Socialist Republic of Vietnam, it is a central organization and is a pillar of the political system. It takes the responsibility for managing all activities of social life and performs the function of internal and external. In relation to National Assembly, it is the highest representative body of the people, the highest state power bodies of Vietnam. As regard to the President, he is considered as the head of state and is elected by the National Assembly from the National Assembly to act on behalf of Vietnam in terms of internal and external. Concerning to Government, it is the highest state administrative agencies of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. The role of Government is managing the implementation of the tasks of political, economic, cultural, social, defense, security and foreign policy of the State. Last but not least, the Socio-political organizations and mass is the organization representing the interests of different social communities to participate in the political system according to the principles, purposes and characteristics of each group officials.

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A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. This is one of the three main parts of the political system in Vietnam. Legislature have many different names, most commonly Institution and the National Assembly (parliament). In Vietnam, Legislature is considered to have the equivalent power and to be independent of law with the executive. Legislative power is the power to make laws, legislation and enacted laws are applied in all fields of social life. According to the Constitution, in addition to through the law, the Legislature has the right to raise taxes through the budget and other expenditures. The delegates of the Constitutional Convention argued that if the two separate groups – one group representing the federal government, a group representing the people – must approve any draft law, it is almost not also the risk of the National Assembly passed the law in a hurry or carelessness. However, there are some specific prohibitions from Constitution to the activities of the National Assembly. For example, Congress is not allowed to put any tax on exported good from any states, to suspend command demanding arrests.
At the side of Executive, it is one of three main rights in the State power structure. Executive power is exercised by the State administrative agencies executed to ensure completion of their functions and duties. Executive power consists of two rights: the right to establish rules and administrative rights.
Despite being a one-party state, Vietnam’s political system has often been responsive to peasants, workers and others pushing for better economic, social and political conditions. Although Communist Party of Vietnam has acquired many success in the these nearly years, it is not sure that Vietnamese Communist Party and its government are now responding appropriately to mounting demands to further improve a majority of people’s lives. To improve the political outcome of the country, not only the Government but also all the components of power should be reconsidered about the role and the functions. Are authorities listening attentively to these and other public political criticisms; are they responding sympathetically and responsibly? Some are, but national surveys and other sources of information indicate that a larger proportion of authorities are not. There is still hope that the Vietnamese Communist Party government will again become more responsive and less repressive, although the outlook is less optimistic now than it has been in the past. To meet the requirements of the new stage of development, it requires the entire of the political system in our country must be integrity. The basis of our political system of our country is the working class. That means the organization of the political system both take stand on the view of the working class. As the result, the tasks, functions, orientations of the political system are to ensure ownership and benefit of the working class. In the socio-political system today, notable new features compared to the structure of the political system as it is the presence of large social institutions of the people, especially the association in the field of economic and social organizations, professional associations, business and social services … Although not directly implement political tasks of the Party and the State, but in terms of socialist democracy, to protect the rights and legitimate interests of the members, these organizations have a growing impact to major political and economic life of the country. Therefore, the legal and political mechanisms to operate the link between the political system and social system as stated also been identified as a basic element in the structure of the Vietnamese socio-political system today.
Introduction
Socio-political system of Vietnam is a system of political institutions, the socio-political and other social institutions, including the Party, the State, the Vietnam Fatherland Front, mass andsocio-political organizations, social organizations large people; mechanism of operation of the institutions under the leadership of the communist Party of Vietnam for the purpose of a prosperous people, a strong country, social justice,democratic and civilized. The concept of socio-political system like that is formed on the basis of the link between the two systems of social institutions of the political system (the system of grassroots direct exercise of power politics) and System society. In terms of building institutional practices and ensure people’s power in our country today, the binding of these two systems into a larger system is the socio-political significance and should be deeply research focus in both theory and practice.
Conclusion
In conclusion, in the socio-political system today, the social organizations play a more positive role than a centrally planned economy. The social organization is not a channel independent of the political system that increasingly strong participation, a great impact on the performance of the political system. Therefore, the role of the political system is to ensure consistency of the will, aspirations and power of the people and to ensure human social systems and the diversity of social life.
 

Strategic Management of Honda in Vietnam

I Preface:
In business today, a company can have a good finance, good technologies but they can’t get the success without good strategic management. A company or an organization has good strategic management. They will find out the methods to manage and develop the company or organization.
Strategic Management is a process refers to the answers of three questions:

What are your company’s targets?
What is the best way to manage and meet target’s requirement?
What are the things you need in strategic management process?

Strategic Management is started from determining the goals of the company, resource and necessary policies to implement the targets which are given. This process also includes how to promote and innovate products or service of the company.
In my opinion, Strategic Management with a producing company is a process which includes

Strategic in quality management of products, this process help a can provide best products to the customers. Through it, the company can attack new clients.
Strategic in product management, this process includes auditing, checking and managing financial problem in the bank.
Strategic in sales and marketing, through this process the company can know about their problem in customer’s relationship, what they have done well and what they need to change.

In my assignment, I have research on SWOT and 5 forces which refer to strategic management of a producing car company. I think that SWOT and 5 forces are used in a particular industry and economy and they affect to business status and policies of Honda that I have researched.
II Introduction:
In March 2005, Honda Vietnam has received the license of Ministry and Planning and Investment Portal of Vietnam to allow Honda produces and assembles cars in Vietnam.
This is an important history of Honda Vietnam; it marked the development of Honda Vietnam in Vietnam market. After one year and five months, Honda Vietnam has successful built factories and construction agency network. The company has completed the training programs, service and safe driving for employees and agents released first car model in August 2006.
Since this time, Honda Vietnam is not only known as motor manufactures with product reputation, but also a manufacturer of automotive prestige in Vietnam market. Manufacture of Automobiles:Established: 2005Office: Phuc Thang, Phuc Yen, Vinh Phuc province.Capital: Approximately $ 60 millionArea: 17.000m2Labor: 408 PeopleCapacity: 10,000 cars per yearAutomotive manufacturing plant is equipped with machinery and equipment similar to the Honda plant in other countries with criteria focusing especially on quality, safe and friendly environment. Moreover, the plant also is equipped with engine assembly lines with the desired gradual localization of products Cars.In my assignment, I will focus on 2 problems SWOT and 5 forces and write about how it assist decision making and business of Honda Vietnam.
III SWOT analysis:
In this part, I will write about SWOT of Honda Vietnam which used to compare with their competitors in Vietnam market.
A, SWOT analysis of Honda Vietnam:
(S)trengths:

Vietnam has a big population therefore, Honda has a large market to provide cars and recruit employees.
Honda has good brand in Vietnam market so; it helps the company to sell well in Vietnam market.
Honda Vietnam concentrates on advanced technology, high quality and class leading safety.
Honda always focuses on world-class quality cars, even the smallest accessories.
Honda’s products (cars) have good quality and design. In addition, they have reasonable prices therefore they will attract more customers.
Honda’s cars have good speed and power but they consume low fuel therefore, it is suitable with Vietnam traffic with many traffic jams. In addition, it contributes to make minimize pollution.
Honda always tries to develop and research new technology therefore, they will make their cars better with good speed, power and low fuel.
The company has some promotion programs for customers such as: Customers who has received Honda Civic will receive VISA Debit card issued by a bank with value is 20 million VND.

(W)eaknesses:

Honda Vietnam focuses on producing and researching motorbike too much therefore they cannot spend much time for cars.
There are only two models cars that produced by Honda Vietnam, Honda Civic and Honda CRV so the customers have less choice than others brand.
Honda Vietnam has accorded to parent company of Honda in Japan. Honda Vietnam has to flow the policies of Head Company therefore; they cannot apply their strategies in Vietnam market that haven’t allowed by parent company.
The first factory car of Honda has established in august 2006 therefore Honda Vietnam has less experience than some competitors such as Toyota, Nissan, etc.
Vietnam is one of countries where have high tax with car therefore, the price must be high in Vietnam market.
Honda requires a deposit for purchasing cars but Nissan and Toyota don’t do that therefore, it is a disadvantages of Honda.

(O)pportunities:

Brand of Honda has been created in the pass because motorbike of Honda is very famous in Vietnam market therefore they don’t need much time to create brand so, when cars of Honda Vietnam has produced and go to market, the customers will have more trust with this brand. In addition, when Toyota (the biggest competitor of Honda) has many problems and must recall many cars.
In the future, with good technology, Honda can focus on designing and implementing new product with good quality, reasonable price and low fuel.
Improving the quality of product, services and customer relationship as well as building caring center for customers.
Honda also has opportunities in developing the fuel efficiency according to the increase of energy price.

(T)hreats:

Economic crisis will affect directly to business status of Honda. It is very serious because, when crisis will make the bad sale and it also affects to Honda’s loyal customers.
There are many competitors in Vietnam market such as: Toyota, Nissan, CuuLong, etc. They try to attract and engage customers therefore, Honda cannot control the market.
Economic crisis will make the USD charge the value therefore, price of cars of Honda will be charged. It will be difficult for customers. Honda can lose the market.
The government has some policies about increasing tax of cars and fuel therefore, it will affect to business status of Honda.

IV Five Forces of Honda Vietnam:
1. Socio-cultural Forces:
Analysis of societal trends is very important because, almost of stakeholders are members of society and some value can bring from society therefore, it creates opportunities and threats of an organization, for example: when a tobacco company makes more pollution, they will be rejected by society therefore their business status will be down. In addition, firm can decrease the risk if they have good relations with society.
In my assignment, I have researched and analyzed to understand how social cultural is important and how it affects to Honda Vietnam.
Vietnam has nearly 89 million, we have a large market. In addition, the living of people is increasing especially in cities such as: Hanoi, Hochiminh city, Danang, etc. therefore, demand of cars is increasing however, traffic in Vietnam is not good therefore it is a difficult thing with customers.
Vietnam is a developing society; it has many opportunities but also includes threat. Vietnam is socialist country. Political system has made the mechanism only one political party (the Communist Party of Vietnam) leadership. This thing will make some difficult things for Honda Vietnam and others companies have foreign investment.Socio-cultural creates a favorable for business of company. Government of Vietnam treats fairly with all of company. Vietnamese business people always base on helping of government with long-time subsidized, therefore, business which always require the helping from government. It is negative thing.
Through some law, policies and regulations government has recognized the demand of the company such as Honda wants to decrease tax. It is very good for this company.
Social-cultural of Vietnam also creates a fair competitive therefore, Honda Vietnam will have more than opportunities.
Social-cultural forces relate to society and culture problems of Vietnam and how it affects to business status of Honda Vietnam. It also helps Honda Vietnam pay attention to enhance their reputation and long-term plans.
2. Economic forces:
Economic forces include some factors which affect to organization action and its performances such as: GDP, inflation rate, employment rate, demographic changing, monetary policies and financial market, etc. In my assignment, I will research on Vietnam economy to find out information which influence to Honda Vietnam.
Vietnam economic in 2009 was quite good in the context of global crisis. GDP is increasing with more than 6%. Exports were over 60 Billions USD. Financial and credit systems were quite stable. These things explain that: economy of Vietnam is still quite good therefore Honda Vietnam and many companies will not meet too serious problems.
However, inflation of Vietnam was high in 2009 about more than 15%. This thing will influence to Honda Vietnam because this company has to pay high interest rate. In addition, low interest rate will make investment efficiency because, they are less costly to finance.
In 2009, Vietnam economy has seen many changing in oil price, monetary and financial. They influence to price of Honda Vietnam product and make the demand of products of customers can be reduced.
Besides that, Vietnam and many country depend too much on USD and Vietnam monetary is not good enough therefore, it makes some difficult things to Honda business such as: Honda Vietnam want to sell their product and receive USD because USD price is stable but Vietnamese customers want to buy by VND because, exchange rate of USD per VND is too high.
Economic forces have many important missions in strategic management of Honda. It helps Honda can monitor and forecast in domestic and event international economic.
3. Technological Forces:
Good technological creates a new and good product, service and event an industry. Technology includes internet, computers, machines, telephones, and technology innovation, etc. Technology refers to the knowledge of applying, producing and delivering product and service in a country. Vietnam technology is very important with Honda Vietnam because, there are many good technologies Vietnamese worker will be advanced and have many knowledge in producing.
In recent years, many companies, organizations and corporate have tried to invest more in technology. However, they tried to invest in purchasing and improving hardware rather than build good software. In addition, they only buy technology of developed countries rather than produce, renovate and improve, etc.
Although invest in to hardware however, about 36% of companies are asked still use the technology from 1980s. This thing is very bad because, Honda Vietnam will meet some difficult problems when they want to build more factories.
In addition, the co-ordinate between foreign companies and domestic companies is bad therefore it make the difficult for transferring new technology.
Technology is very important with all of industries and Honda Vietnam is not out of this thing. It helps the company to save time and money and participate in several kinds of several kind of technology can help the company get more profit.
4. Political/Legal Forces:
Vietnam government has many policies, laws and legalization to protect and undertake for companies who has business in Vietnam including domestic and foreign companies. the government guarantees that they will not control and help any private company therefore, it creates a fair competitive market in Vietnam. Vietnam government always encourages the investment to many businesses. In addition, Vietnam has a stable policy. It is an important thing to attract the foreign investment; therefore, foreign and domestic investors want to invest more in Vietnam. This thing will be an advantage of Honda Vietnam because they will have more investment to develop their technology, market and business. Vietnam government always applies the same law, policies and legalization with all of companies therefore, it guarantees for Honda can run their business well. Besides that, Vietnam has a large market and it is a good place which Honda can use to join in other markets such as: China, Laos, Malaysia, etc. because our geographic is very good and it is easy to transfer product to many countries in Asia, Southeast Asia, ect.

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5. Competitive Forces:
Vietnam is an attractive investment therefore, there are many foreign companies invest to produce their product in Vietnam without Honda such as Toyota, Nissan, CuuLong, etc. However, Toyota is the biggest competitors of Honda because; they stay in Vietnam long time ago. They also have good technology and human resource. Their product is good and reasonable price. In addition, Vietnam government guarantees a fair competitive market therefore; they will not help any company. Honda must compete by your-self. However, in the beginning of 2010, Toyota has a big problem and they must recall more than 1 million cars. It is a crisis with Toyota but it is also a lucky thing with Honda because Toyota reputation will be down so, if Honda has good strategies, they will control the Vietnam market.
In conclusion, competitive forces are very useful in the modern business. It helps the company as Honda can define their SWOT and find out the good way to compete. In addition, it also helps the company can look at the future and event deal with crisis.
 

Difficulties in Developing Petroleum Industry in Vietnam

Introduction
Nowadays, in the developing era with fast pace, those agricultural countries, particularly Vietnam, might not only focus on improving the agriculture but also pay attention to developing the industrial area. More specifically, Vietnam has been concentrating on how to develop the gas and oil industry recently. However, the country is still facing a lot of difficulties. This essay will discuss in depth about what are the problems and point out the potential causes for those challenges base on three questions:

What are the reasons causing difficulties for the development?
What are the effects of these problems for Viet Nam?
What are possible solutions to resolve these problems?

Definition of oil and gas
According to the Vietnam Oil and Gas Law (1993) “Oil and gas” means crude oil, natural gas and hydrocarbons in gaseous, liquid or solid in its natural state except coal, shale, bitumen or other minerals can be extracted oil. “Oil and gas activities” is active exploration, development and mining of petroleum, including direct service activities for these activities. There are many oil and gas activities dividing into different areas.
Situation of petroleum industry in Viet Nam
The petroleum industry contributed most amount of foreign currency to serve the economy as electricity and gas, gasoline and clean energy. Recently, the National Oil and Gas Group Vietnam (PVN) has provided nearly 35 billion m3 of dry gas production, 40% of national electricity production, 35-40% urea demand and supply 70 % of LPG demand for industrial development and consumer welfare. Raw oil export has a strong growth and stability, greatly contributes to country exports, especially in earlier periods, averaging about 15%. Currently, this proportion has decreased and only at about 7.5. Although total exports are declining but oil and gas industry is still keeping the unit contribution at about 18-22% of total national GDP. (tapchitaichinh.vn, 2012)

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Causes and effects causing difficulties for the development
First of all, it can be denied that there has been a lack of technology which put gas and oil industry of Vietnam under difficulty. After a long time being an agriculture focus country, Vietnam has decided to change and transform into an industrial country. Obviously, that decision may lead to the fact that the country might lack skills and technology to adapt to this industry. One of the main weaknesses of our country is that the government might not have enough capital to invest into developing and updating technologies. Prices of various types of equipment, supplies, fuel and services primarily are related to production and business activities which make investments more complicated.
Vietnam oil and gas industry today is quite young with limited human resource capacity to supply so that it cannot meet demand. Our country mainly exports crude oil and imports refined oil to serve local demand. There are some refineries that went into operation as the Dung Quat oil refinery, Nghi Son refinery … but only supply about 35% of domestic demand. Meanwhile, demand for petroleum products is increasing, not only in the short term but in the long term due to the population explosion and the continuous growth of the industry, especially the acceleration of the transport sector needs to do more … According to OPEC, demand for petroleum fuels is increasing rapidly, especially in developing countries, and by 2025, the supply will not meet the demand. Moreover, increasing oil prices also have a tremendous impact on the development of this industry
Those reasons above have led to human resource in gas and oil industry became more expensive. That led to the significant increase in the number of people who wish to work in the oil and gas sector. Many students said that they are studying the oil industry not only because of higher salaries, simply because of the fact that oil industry is considered to be the solutions for the future of the energy industry. However, Vietnam labor market is a serious imbalance between sectors and areas. We have abundant unskilled labor and a lot of labor who have shortage of Technical Skill.
According to Mr. Hoang Nhat Thong (Office of the General Department of Sea and Islands), the economy in general marine, oil and gas industry in particular, is a severe manpower shortage will affect only the “maritime economy and coastal contribute about 53-55% of the total GDP of the country in 2020. “
Urgent solutions
Oil and gas industry is the field has to combine all of those technologies and sciences like astronomy, tides, marine sciences, construction and installation of offshore structures such as rigs, pipelines, tanks, drilling into the ground, the work of geology, geophysics, exploration of the stratigraphy… Therefore, the application of science and technology in the oil and gas activities can ensure high efficiency, save natural resources, enhance oil recovery factor and other resources saving as well as protect ecological resources.
Therefore we have to build human resources management system according to international standards, which include the application of information technology systems, mapping capabilities, the standard title, system evaluation, payment regulation, bonuses, rules and criteria for recruitment to appoint the head, proper planning and appropriate building standards, criteria representatives and representatives of Petro Vietnam stake in the oil and gas activities in the country and foreign pilot who runs accordance with the Law on Enterprises. For tax policy should define equality between domestic service with service by foreign companies perform as VAT, import duty, … It should have clear policies and encourage oil and gas activities in the deep water offshore exploration and exploitation of natural gas … tax policy should be adjusted based on the refinery and in the planning to compete with imported products, policies for gas and electricity prices should approach the market mechanism.
Have appropriate policies related to arrange key capital projects through: Grant, loan guarantee and ensure currency converter to facilitate in arranging loans for major projects the state level, support preferential loans from the Development Bank minimum of 20% to 30% of total investment projects focus on oil and gas.(Pvcfc.vn, 2014)
Evaluation
Obviously, to develop gas and oil industry, it is important to fully invest in all areas however, all of those solutions have pros and cons themselves. All of the above mentioned solutions usually take long time and a lot of money to consider, improve and implement, especially investing in technologies and human resources. However, once those two are on set, they will have a great impact on this industry. Besides that, probably they do not take as much time as changing the country’s policy since it is much harder to change the whole country’s system. Finally, maybe gas and oil industry should go with technologies first since it is mandatory for such an industry.
Regarding to human resources, we recently identified human resource as one of the most important factors to make decisions in production and business activities as well as drive force development of any society, particularly in the oil and gas industry it is also reflected in the work environment , in terms of general science, technology, international environment and different cultures.
Conclusion
Even though it is clear to say that gas and oil industry is still facing a lot of challenge if the government of Vietnam wants to develop this kind of industry more. In that case, they should consider about how to raise enough capital to invest in equipment, to cover potential loss and to recruit right people. However, it cannot be denied that this area of industry is very attractive for investor therefore Vietnam can also hope for big investment from foreign country to develop gas and oil industry.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
References:
moj.gov.vn (1993), Luật dầu khí năm 1993 (online). Available at http://www.moj.gov.vn/vbpq/Lists/Vn%20bn%20php%20lut/View_Detail.aspx?ItemID=10817 [Accessed 24 Dec 2014]
Nang Luong Viet Nam (2014), Ngành Dầu khí Việt Nam trÆ°á»›c thách thức an ninh năng lượng quốc gia (online). Available at http://nangluongvietnam.vn/news/vn/dau-khi-viet-nam/nganh-dau-khi-viet-nam-truoc-thach-thuc-an-ninh-nang-luong-quoc-gia.html [Accessed 19 Dec 2014]
Pvcfc.vn (2014), Chiến lược phát triển ngành Dầu khí đến năm 2020: Những giải pháp cÆ¡ bản (online). Available at http://www.pvcfc.com.vn/article-detail.aspx?id=41 [Accessed 18 Dec 2014]
tapchitaichinh.vn (2012), Ngành Dầu khí Việt Nam: Tiềm năng lá»›n, tăng trưởng cao (online). Available at http://www.tapchitaichinh.vn/Chung-khoan/Nganh-Dau-khi-Viet-Nam-Tiem-nang-lon-tang-truong-cao/14143.tctc [Accessed 19 Dec 2014]
tiasang.com.vn (2007), Khủng hoảng năng lượng lần thứ 3 [online]. Available at http://tiasang.com.vn/Default.aspx?tabid=62&News=1648&CategoryID=7 [Accessed 23 Dec 2014]

 

Vietnam Banking Industry: Customer Satisfaction Analysis

It can be said that Vietnam is on the way of dramatic development and integration in global economic. Since Vietnam has officially become a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), besides the advantages and opportunities, there have been still many challenges that Vietnam has to overcome. In recent years, Vietnamese’s banks have achieved many important achievements in innovation have grown larger and stronger than previous time. However, compared to the world, Vietnam banking industry is still small, modest, and inadequate.

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Undoubtedly, compared to 10 years ago, Vietnam banking industry has really been a remarkable growth. Firstly, banking system has mobilized and provided a large amount of capital to the economy, estimated about 16-18% of annual GDP (Vietnam Head Department Statistic 2008), nearly 50% of social capital. Credit growth has been increased during the year and in 2008 which was estimate to be approximate 24% that is 19% higher than in 2007. The banking system has also contributed to growth, the development, and economic stability in recent years. Secondly, Vietnam’s banking system had a comprehensive renovation. Many legal documents have been issued comprehensively, the policies about banking activities has been completed and consistent with international practice. Moreover, the discrimination between types of domestic credit institutions and the foreign ones has been gradually eliminated. Banks as well as credit institution have been autonomous and self-responsible. Competitiveness of credit institutions has been enhanced therefore banking market has been developing safely and effectively. Thirdly, monetary policies have been renovated and operating under market principles with international practice. The indirect operating tools that manage monetary policies have been formed and developed. Interest rate policy and exchange rate flexibility have been adopted by the market mechanism. Credit policies have been expanded and made innovation in the direction of fairness and equality for all economic sectors, business, and all residents.
1.2 Customer satisfaction management in Vietnam Banking Industry
Competitive trends in quality of banking product and services on financial and monetary markets increasingly urged Vietnamese’s banks to renew and continue to have effective customer policies and strategies in order to compete fairly with foreign banks. Thus, Vietnamese’s banks have ability to overcome the challenges that have been forecasted to be very fierce in coming time. Customer satisfaction management can be considered as an important point in cultural enterprise and cultural care, implementation of banks’ strategies towards customers in the context of globalization. Undoubtedly, currently when the difference in quality, design of banking services as well as the competitiveness of the products itself is no longer critical among banks, the determined factor is the quality of customer service. Aware of the important of increase customer satisfaction, Vietnamese’s banks have established customer satisfaction management in order to evaluate customer satisfaction on their products and services. Therefore, banks can improve their operations as well as consolidate their images in customers’ eyes, and banks can increase sales, market share, and position in the market.
2. Bank management studies on BIDV, Hochiminh City branch (HCMC)
2.1 Performance of BIDV, HCMC branch
Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam has a short name is BIDV, was established under the Conference No.177/TTg dated on 26/04/1957 of Prime Minister of Socialist Republic of Vietnam. HCMC branch which is one of the largest scale branches in BIDV system, has estimated assets VND 10,000 billion (BIDV annual reports). HCMC branch has high business performance with ROA ratio always above 1%. There are 313 staffs classified into 4 blocks these are credit, customer services, block of units, and internal management. Founded in 1977, HCMC branch is always pioneer branch and dynamic in BIDV system in development new products and services based on applying modern technology and customer-oriented. Recently, BIDV – HCMC branch has been successful in the role of focal bank in arrangement of syndicated loans, co-financed investor in large scale projects. HCMC branch’s activities in recent years have been customer-oriented, creating the best conditions for customers to access and use banking services more effectively.
BIDV is one of four state-owned commercial banks so it is quite easy to understand why customers have high level of trust for bank. Based on the result of survey and research done recently to measure customer satisfaction, reveal that generally bank has been successful in bringing satisfaction to customers through the provision of products and services. The level of customer satisfaction varies from agree to fully agree. The measurement of customer satisfaction is based on the quality of services, number of products and services, and the continuity of using the services. The quality of services brings satisfaction to customers, they use the most services provide to them and they seem to be happier to use more BIDV’s services. This result confirms the criteria activities “cooperate and succeed” that BIDV has done for years. Thus, the bank has been successful in bringing satisfaction to customers through the provision of products and services. However, this is also pressure for the bank for better improvement what they have achieved. Therefore, the bank should promote further efforts to preserve and bring the highest satisfaction to customers.
2.2 Purpose of the study
Nowadays, in the competitive environment, customers are crucial survival of the bank. The banks which are paid attention, interest as well as loyalty of customers, will capture market shares and develop faster. Business strategic direction to customers is becoming the most important strategies of banks. How to give customers the best satisfaction is always the problem that banks try their best to fulfill. Therefore, research customer satisfaction in the bank is an important work that has to be done regularly and continuously in order to meet their needs. Since then, they can serve customers better and make customers always be satisfied when using bank’s products and services. This study is not out of this purpose which aims to enhance customer satisfactions for BIDV as well as increase the quality of products and services supplied by BIDV.
2.3 Significant of the study
The study presents the evaluation of customer satisfactions on products and services provided by BIDV – HCMC branch. Thus, bank has a comprehensive glance on the products and services they are supplying to customers. Bank should focuses on business development strategies as well as the quality of products and services. Obviously, if the service quality does not meet customer’s demand, the customers will no longer to use it. From the evaluation of customer satisfactions, bank can realize clearly their strengths and weaknesses. From there, they continue to promote strengths and overcome weaknesses in order to improve the quality of services, increase customer satisfaction.
2.4 Limitation of the study
The study has a positive contribution to the bank in understanding customers and identifying their position in the market, however the study still has some certain limitations as follows:
The study focuses on group business customers therefore it cannot be the overview of the entire customers’ transactions in BIDV – HCMC branch.
The study only considers about the time used and the number of bank’s transactions, it does not find out all customer satisfaction in the connection with trading enterprises, financial potential and cultural factors.
The study only focuses on evaluation of customer satisfaction of HCMC branch’s services so it cannot assess on customers in the city and other locations as well as potential customers who are not using banking services.
Based on these findings, this study can be improved with variety customer group, larger number of samples, wider research scale.
3. Model relevant to study
3.1 Introduction of Servqual model
Managers in banking industry are under increasing pressure to demonstrate that their services are customer – focused and that continuous performance improvement is being delivered. Given the financial and resources constrains under which banks must manage it is essential that customer satisfaction are properly met and measured and that from the customer satisfactions, any gaps in services quality are indentified. This information the assists a manager in identified cost – effective ways of closing services quality gaps and of prioritizing which gaps to focus on – a critical decision given scare resources.
This study involves the use of Servqual model (Parasuraman, 1988) which is a popular model of quality research of services and the most common application in the marketing research. According to Parasuraman, the quality of services cannot be determined vaguely but it depends on sense of belonging to customers for such services and this perception is considered by many factors. Servqual model is built based on the evaluation of quality of services, which is the comparison between the expected value, expectation, and the value customers perceived. Servqual model considers two main aspects of services quality as a result services and the process of services which are studied through 5 criteria – reliability, responsiveness, tangibles, assurance, and the empathy.
Figure 3.1 SERVQUAL MODEL
Reliability
Responsiveness
Customer satisfaction
Services quality
Tangibles
Assurance
Sympathy
Sources: International Journal of Business and Management
3.2 Elements of Servqual Model
3.2.1 Reliability
Reliability shows the ability to provide services accurately, on time, and credibly. This requires consistency in the implementation of services and respects commitments as well as keeps promises to customers. In the banking sector, this criterion is measured by customers through the following elements.

The bank performs the services right from the first time.
Banking services are implemented at the time they promise.
Banking transactions are done correctly.
Bank’s staffs are always ready to serve customers.
There are always bank’s counselors at the table to help the customers.
Bank’s statements are submitted regularly and promptly.

3.2.2 Responsiveness
This criterion measures the ability to solve the problem fast, deal with customers’ complaint effectively and the willing to help customers as well as meet the customers’ requirements. In other words, responsiveness is the feedback from banks to what customers want.

Bank’s staffs are available to assist customers.
Bank provides services rapid, on time.
Bank responses positively to customers’ requirements.
Bank’s hotline for customer services is 24/24.
Bank tries to solve problems for customers.

3.2.3 Tangibles
Tangibles are the images of the facilities, equipment, machines, attitude of staffs, materials, manuals, and information systems of the bank. General speaking, anything that customers can see by eyes and feel by senses can impact on tangible.
The bank has adequate facilities.
Bank has modern equipment and machinery.
Bank’s staffs look professional and dressed.
Bank arranges the transaction counters, tables, and shelves scientifically and conveniently for customers.
3.2.4 Assurance
This element creates credibility and trust for customers, which is considered through professional services, excellent technical knowledge, attitude courtesy, and good communication skills, so that customers can believe in the quality of bank’s services.
Bank’s staffs serve customers politely, and courteously.
Transaction documents are clear and understandable.
Bank’s staffs always provide necessary services information for customers.
Bank’s staffs answer customers’ questions clearly and accurately.
3.2.5. Sympathy
Sympathy is the caring, consideration, and the best preparation for customers, so that they can feel as “guests” of the bank and are always welcome at any times, anywhere. Human factors are the core of this success and the more caring the bank gives to customers, the more customer understanding increases. The sympathy of bank’s staffs for their customers are expressed as follows:
Bank’s staffs notices the needs of each customer.
Customers do not have to queue for a long time to be served.
The bank has convenience location for customers to have transactions.
Bank’s ATM systems are modern and ease to use.
Bank’s staffs treat customers kindly.
3.3 Summary and limitation of previous research and findings
Through journals I have examined, research issues about customer satisfaction can be classified into 3 main categories including factors influence on customer satisfaction, the measurement of customer satisfaction, and the impact of customer satisfaction on business
3.3.1 Research about factors influence on customer satisfaction
The research investigates the relationship between services quality, overall customer satisfaction, and behavioral intention across public and banks. The findings indicate that services quality is significant determinant of customer satisfaction in banking industry (Monica Bedi, 2010; M.Jun and S.Cai, 2010). However, different dimensions of services quality were found to be statistical significant across public and banks. The study helps banks to redefine their corporate image to one that is customer-oriented and driven by service quality.
Research limitation concern the potential for the data inaccuracies due to item misinterpretation or predisposition to certain responses on the part of the participant does exist (Bedi, 2010). Similarly, the sampled data is one limitation which was collected from one organization (M.Jun and S.Cai 2010). Although, the purchasing department serves a wide range of internal customers and is involved in various purchasing activities, the dataset is limited by the potential lack of generalisability.
3.3.2 Research about the measurement of customer satisfaction
The research provides method to measure customer satisfaction based on assessing customer perception of services quality in services and retailing organization. One of the most popular model is Servqual (Parasuraman, 1988) is based on the perception gap between the received quality and the expected services quality, and has been adopted for explaining consumer perception of services quality. In addition, the availability of customer satisfaction data from national indices has also facilitated the examination of the factors associated with aggregate level customer satisfaction (M.Ogikubo et al, 2009).
Besides, the research points out the limitation of the Servqual is that the evaluation of services quality evaluated based on the expectation performance gap derived from Parasuraman 1988 is insufficient because much of the empirical research supported performance based measures of services quality (K.Ravichandran, 2010).
3.3.3 Research about the impact of customer satisfaction on business
The research presents that customer satisfaction has an important impact on business which is determined factor in customer loyalty as well as customer retention (Harkiranpal S., 2006). Moreover, the research provides an examination of satisfaction-retention relationship, and the development of more comprehensive view of the customer’s quality perception (Hennig Thurau and Klee, 1997). Customer satisfaction positively affects an organization’s profitability. Satisfied customers form the foundation of any successful business as customer satisfaction leads to repeat purchase, brand loyalty as well as positive word of mouth (Hoyer and MacInnis, 2001).
4. Methodology for study
4.1 Research design
These terms quantitative and qualitative are used widely to differentiate both data collection techniques and data analysis procedures. Quantitative is predominantly used as a synonym for any data collection techniques or data analysis procedures that generates or uses numerical data. In contrast, qualitative is used predominantly as a synonym for any data collection techniques or data analysis procedures that generates or uses non numerical data.
Three types of quantitative studies these include experimental approach, cross-sectional designs, and survey method. Because of limited time to complete collecting primary data, survey is an optimal method to collect research information. When using survey will give more control over the research process and sampling is used it is possible to generate findings that are representative of the whole population at a lower cost than collecting the data for the whole population.
4.2 Data collection
Data can be obtained from primary or secondary sources. Data can be collected in a variety of ways, in different settings and from different sources. Data collection methods include interviews, questionnaires, observation, and variety of other motivational techniques. Questionnaire is the best way to collect the data about customer satisfaction because making an appointment for personal interviews or telephone interviews is difficult, even though impossible. Beside the personal information and customer characteristic (open questions), questionnaire is designed including 33 properties (closed questions) that build up the characteristic of banking services. It is presented on scale from 1 to 7 points (from lowest satisfaction to highest satisfaction about the components of banking service). It will help quantify the opinion of customers who were invested and use the questionnaire to verify and analyze the multivariable date in the valuable the satisfaction of customers later. The customers are also suggested to evaluate their own overall satisfaction in last question by giving the scores.
4.3 Data analysis
After collecting all the data, the process of analysis begins. To summarize and rearrange the data, several interrelated procedure are performed during the data analysis stage. For quantitative data analysis, statistical tools of Microsoft excel and analytical software SPSS are used for data input and analysis. The statistic results were presented by graphical form with detail description.
5. Conclusion
Customer satisfaction is not only vital factor but also the target that all banks want to achieve. Along with the increasingly strong competitiveness in banking industry, learning about customer needs as well as the factors affecting customer satisfaction has become essential. Therefore, this study is useful in proposed policies, development strategies of banks.
In the service sector in general and banking sector in particular, the role of the meeting customer needs has an important implication that derives from the interaction between banks and customers as well as the positive impact that banks have. More specifically, if banks bring their customers the high customer satisfaction, customers will continue to use their services, support new bank’s products or services, introduce the bank to other partners, and become loyal customers. From there, they are contributing to increase sales, market share, and position in the market that are the targets any bank wants to achieve.
This study researches customer satisfaction with the products and services that banks provide to customers. This thesis is presented through the survey of customer satisfaction. Survey results are reliable input source to marketing strategies and opportunities to help banks better understand customer needs, customer’s evaluation of quality of bank’s services. Therefore, banks can improve their operations and enhance customer satisfaction more effectively.
 

Negative Impact of Facebook on the Young People in Vietnam

 

Introduction:

Definition and related concept:

What is social network?

A social structure made of nodes that are generally individuals or organizations. A social network represents relationships and flows between people, groups, organizations, animals, computers or other information/knowledge processing entities (J. A. Barnes, 1954)

What is Facebook?

Facebook is a social network where you can show information about yourself, and communicate with groups of friends (dictionary.cambridge.org).
So with Facebook, everyone can communicate more easily. Facebook like the second friend of each other.
There is one fun fact about Facebook. According to TechAddiction, if Facebook is a country, it would have been the third country that have the most population in the world (http://www.techaddiction.ca/facebook-addiction-statistics.html).

Introduction:

In Vietnam nowadays, social network is very popular for everyone, especially for young people. One of the most popular social network is Facebook. It had come to Vietnam for a long time. Because of the appearance of Facebook, there are a lot of benefit come from Facebook such as finding friend, communicate more easily, etc. But beside these advandtages, Facebook also occurs some disadvandtages for young people in Vietnam today.
The research will look into the negative impact of Facebook on young people in Vietnam, and then give some solution to reduce the harm of Facebook in Vietnam.

Situation:

Situation around Facebook:

Facebook become the largest social network in Vietnam right now, ranked 45 out of 213 countries in socialbakers’s statistics in 2012 . According to the web site name wearesocial.net about the Facebook users in 2012, the users was 8,5 million people in Vietnam, 3 times as many as it was in 2009, surpass Zing Me about the users (8,2 million users). The speed of Facebook registration in Vietnam is very fast, about one person every 3 second.

Geographical scopes:

International:

Facebook occurs almost in all countries in the world. According to giaiphapsem.net, Facebook have an enormous users in the world. In August 2013, there are 1,15 million people use Facebook, approximately 699 million people out of 1,15 million use Facebook everyday in all over the world. The avarage duration of a Facebook user in one day is 20 minutes. (http://giaiphapsem.net/thong-ke-khung-ve-so-nguoi-su-dung-facebook/).
All of these data have demonstreated that Facebook is becoming the largest and the most popular social network in the world.

National:

In 2013, Vietnam ranked 16th in the world in the rate of growth of the Facebook users (according to the results of Socialbakers & SocialTimes.Me’s reasearch – 2013)
The information have shown that Facebook is very popular in Vietnam nowadays. In the future, the people use Facebook will increase rapidly.

Statistics about the Facebook users:

According to socialbakers, the Facebook users in Vietnam is between 18 to 24 years old, the ages of colledge students, about 56%, take up more than half of all ages.

The chart below show the percentage of the social network use in Vietnam in January 2014:

The chart had shown that Facebook had the most users in Vietnan (95%) in January 2014. That mean Facebook is now very popular in Vetnam, a lot of people is using it today and it will increase the users in the future.
Also by SocialBakers’s statistics, similar to other countries, the imbalance of gender on facebook also occurred in Vietnam. They had shown that the gender which use Facebook most in Vietnam is male (54%), more than a half.

Problem

The circumstances that lead to Facebook:

Beacause of the popularity of Facebook, everyone in Vietnam use Facebook a lot, and that causes some negative issues for anyone who use Facebook too much.
The other reasons why Vietnamese people use Facebook a a lot is that they want to communicate to each other easier. Facebook is more convinient then the mobile phone because Facebook doesn’t cost any money to communicate, which mean people is now keep in touch with each other very easy.

The problem of Facebook in Vietnam:

Facebook addiction:

The first problem everyone will think is the Facebook addiction. Many people in Vietnam have the Facebook addiction. Vietnamese people use Facebook very much, in accordance with the statistics, Vietnamese young people use Facebook approximately 60 minutes per day. Some people use it every minute. However, the most people in Vietnam can’t take their eyes out of the computer screen when they use Facebook.
Infer from GlobalWebIndex, the ratings of Vietnam is 10, out of 32countries have a Facebook addiction. The picture below show the coutries that have the most Facebook users.

There are many reasons to explain the Facebook addiction, in that case, Dr. Brent Conrad, Clinical Psycologist for TechAddiction, have provided some reason for this problem. There are 21 reasons for that situation but here are 3 most popular reason why people in Vietnam like to use Facebook and use Facebook very much:
-The first reason he gave is that Facebook allow people to catch-up very easy. Everyone can easily create an account and add some friend, they just the instucture, which doesn’t cost to much time to do, and then they will have an account. Moreover, the users don’t need to activate Facebook account so that they can easily have an acount.
-Related to the first point, the secon reason he pointed out is the easily information sharing. According to that reason, Facebook allows people to share their information, include their personal information. Because of that, people can get the information of the others very fast.
-The last reason is they want to tell the world that they are not alone. Today, many people in Vietnam have a lot of work to do, so that they don’t have time to have the social communicate, they can easily feel alone. With that situation, they go to Facebook to have more communication with other people to feel better and to say that they are not alone.
(http://www.techaddiction.ca/why-is-facebook-addictive.html.)

Virtual life:

The another problem is the virtual life of many people in Vietnam today. They spend a lot of time to log in to Facebook sometimes for no reason. They use it at school, at home, even when they hang out with their friend. Facebook users who have a virtual life usually don’t want to go out and play with their friends. Even when they hang out with their friend, they also log on Facebook and don’t listen to the conversation.
The people who have the virtual life on Facebook have a lot of expression.
-The first thing they have is that they can’t get rid of Facebook. For more detail, they always say the word “Facebook” eveytime, everywhere, and they always think to Facebook whatever they do, even when they go out and play with their friends. For example, when they go out and eat something with their friends, or go to the movie theatre, they always take some pictures about the meals or the movie tickets to post on Facebook, they think that when they take these pictures, the meals or the movie could be more interesting.
-The another expression is that they really proud of themselves when they have a lot of friends or followers on Facebook, they think that when someone have a lot of friends or followers on Facebook that mean that one can be very popular, even when they don’t have any reputation.
-The last thing is that they very admire the “like” or “comment” on their Facebook. They love them too much that they don’t want to eat or do something good for their health. They say that they do not have to eat because when the “like” or “comment” increase, they feel vey full and healthy.

Wasting too much time:

The next problem usually happen to students. Facebook take too much of their time. They spend to much time on Facebook and then they lose their time for studying or playing with their family. The sequel is the decline in studying, or working. Therefore, some students have a bad results in study, and more terrible is that they can be repetition.

Information leaked:

The last problem is the most common problem on Facebook right now. It is the leak of information, especially personal information. The users can easily be stolen their information, the stealers can get the users information by a lot of way. However, the two most popular way is hacking or using viruses.
-The first way is hacking. Sometimes, Facebook users are hacked by the hackers to get their information, and then the hackers can use the account they just hacked to trick the hacked users’s friends. The second purpose is that, the hackers can take the users’s information to extort the account owners.
-The other way is using viruses, they use viruses and attack their target. With the viruses, the theft can easily get the information and then do the same way with the hackers. The picture below show the virus is being used nowaday

http://www.thanhnien.com.vn/cong-nghe-thong-tin/xuat-hien-virus-lua-dao-tren-facebook-messenger-447076.html.
To conclusion, hacking or using viruses can get the Facebook users’s information for many reason, for fun or for some bad aim. The users have to be careful with the weird link that appear in their Facebook.

Solution:

In Vietnam, the government had promulgated a lot of solution to reduce the use of Facebook, or to protect the Facebook users out of the problem that had been mentioned in previous part (especially information leaked)

Reduce the use of Facebook:

A lot of solutions had been propounded to reduce the use of Facebook. Here are some solutions that help to reduce it.
-Vietnam used to forbade Facebook to prevent the increase the users and prevent the information leaked. Now, although the government allowed to use Facebook, however, they still raise the awareness to reduce the number of Facebook users.
-Some family in Vietnam allow their children to access Facebook in a certain time, also call it the curfew time. By this way, the children can control their time on Facebook wisely.
-Many schools or organisations in Vietnam open the communication classes or soft skill classes, like in OISP or the University of Natural Science. With these classes, people can get more confident and communication skill and prepare for a good real life communication.

Protect the users from information leaked:

Vietnam had enacted some solutions to protect, included some court of law to prevent users from being hacked or stolen information. Such as:
-The government have some instruction about setting privacy on Facebook to prevent the hackers (http://vietlq.com/chong-hack-tai-khoan-facebook-nhung-cai-dat-bao-mat-ban-can-biet/.)

-To help the users prevent the viruses, Vietnam government have some program to find and destroy the viruses, such as the BKAV (Bach Khoa Anti Virus) or the Avast.
-Another way is that, the government also have a policy and law to ban the thefts and also raise the awareness to their people.

Evaluation:

Although these solutions seem very good, but teaching communication skills is the most effective solution of them all. However, that solution still have some advantages and disadvantages effect to Vietnamese people:

Advantages:

The previous part had mentioned some good effect of having communication class, it will help the users have more confident and communication skill to have a good conversation in the real life.
The second benefit of communication is that the users will have a true feelings about everything. For example, a man always uses Facebook will never have a real emotions, because Facebook can’t transmit the true feelings of human, although Facebook have the emotion icon on messenger, however, that is not enough to let people know the feelling of each other. With the true feelings, human can build up a good relationship with each other.
The last benefit of the communication skills is creating a strong attraction for people. If someone have good communication skills, that one will have more attraction to the other people.

Disadvantages:

Although teaching communication skill is the best solution, it still have some disadvantages. Because the communication class is very new with Vietnamese people, some people don’t want to learn it. To have good communication skills, the learner have to spend a lot of time learning it, so it cost to much time to learn.

Conclusion:

To sum up, although Facebook have a lot of benefits, it also cause some bad effect to Vietnamese people. In that case, the government should have some good policy to reduce the use of Facebook, and protect the Facebook users from the problem of Facebook (especially the information leaked). Furthermore, Vietnamese people should learn to communicate with other people to reduce the bad effect of Facebook.

References:

“Company Info | Facebook Newsroom”. Facebook. September 30, 2014.
“Facebook Reports First Quarter 2013 Results”.FB. March 12, 2013.
Ben Stocking (November 17, 2009).“Vietnam Internet users fear Facebook blackout”
“Red lines that cannot be crossed”, The Economist, July 24, 2008
Cluley, Graham (February 1, 2010).“Revealed: Which social networks pose the biggest risk?”.Sophos
Gabbatt, Adam; Arthur, Charles (November 15, 2010).“Facebook mail: it might kill Gmail, but ‘it’s not email’”.The Guardian(London).
Facebook Becomes Third Biggest US Web Company http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/technology/facebook-becomes-third-biggest-us-web-company/406751.
“Choose Your Privacy Settings”. Facebook. September 10, 2009.
“Search Privacy”. Facebook. June 13, 2009.
“Facebook Current Report, Form 8-K, Filing Date July 26, 2012”.SEC. July 26, 2012.
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Introduction to the Vietnam War

The Vietnam War remains today to be one of the most memorable and long-standing conflicts in recent history in which the US involvement has played a huge role. This paper shall discuss and highlight certain points in the course of the development of the Vietnam War, from its beginnings and up to the present-day implications that it has brought about in the political life of the country and the balance of powers in the international community.

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The researcher has also chosen to include visual images of the devastation and the ramifications of this dispute in order to further underscore the fact that even if the Vietnam War happened more than half a century ago, the effects of this conflict live on today and has in fact brought attention to the consequences of a state’s intervention in the domestic (especially political) affairs of another.
The Vietnam War was, as we shall see throughout this paper, caused not by any one factor that was escalated to the level of an international dispute. The fact of the matter is that the war was caused by a number of factors that have come together to push the issue into the arena of international politics and therefore warrant the attention and subsequent intervention of other states. However, one thing remains clear: the Vietnam War was primarily a consequence of the US anti-Communist foreign policy in the 1960s.
This in itself merits scholarly interest in the involvement of the US government in the war, and a look into the real reasons why the US chose to engage itself in the local political conflicts of this country to the extent that it did. Years of bitter guerrilla warfare in the rugged jungles and villages of Vietnam eventually resulted in a North Vietnamese victory and the reunification of Vietnam.  Hundreds of thousands of people, American and Vietnamese alike died in the war, and the country today still struggles to re-establish itself after the damages on its economy, land, and people the war caused.
The researcher has employed systematic review methodology for searching online academic journals and electronic databases for relevant literature on the subject as well as graphics and photographs. It is the primary tool for determining how far US involvement in the war went and the different courses of action that it had undertaken to support its advocacy. Systematic review methodology is more typically applied to the primary data on health care technologies such as drugs, devices and surgical interventions (Green and Moehr, 2001, p.315).
But there is a growing tendency to apply this kind of review methodology to other topics such as policy-making and social research. The Cochrane Collaboration has taken the lead in this type of application, which consists of a regularly updated collection of evidence-based medicine databases. Systematic review methodology allows the researcher to have a wider look at the question at hand by looking at the various perspectives offered by previous research, and then synthesizing them to come up with a coherent answer as to the what, how, why and so what of the topic.
However, care should be made in choosing the right electronic sources that can offer us with the most number of relevant researches, as well as in establishing the key words that will be used exhaustively for turning up previous findings on the topic.
For the purpose of this paper, several key words were used to search Google, Questia and other suitable online sources for information on the development of the Vietnam War and the role of the US government in it. The keywords used for the research are US involvement in Vietnam War, development of Vietnam War, US anti-Communist policy in the 1960s and US and Vietnam War. Other formulations of the main research topic yielded the same results and so only these three major key phrases were considered for the review of related literature.
Body of the paper
This paper shall look into five main points of the war, but these are not by far the only important topics or questions that the conflict has raised for the US, for Vietnam and for the international community at large. Specifically, the researcher shall focus on the following:
1. The reason why the US entered into the Vietnam War
2. The beginning of US intervention in the war
3. The US anti-communist policy in the 1960s
4. The war at home
5. The long term ramifications of the war
The US government’s role in the war
Vietnam was split into two in 1954, as part of the Geneva accords in order to pacify the different stakeholder nations who were nervous to begin another large-scale conflict after Korea (Vassar College, n.d.). It had a communist government in the north and a democratic south which were due to be reunified after a national election was held.  A series of events led up to a full scale war between the two countries which included not only the Vietnamese, but people from America, Australia, and other nations.  
The Americans supported the widely unpopular southern regime, and although in the beginning they attempted to keep their involvement limited, they sent millions of soldiers to war in Vietnam to prevent the spread of Communism. The US was unwilling to make any major commitments in the war, but it soon became apparent that the French troops needed help battling an enemy who was willing to “willing to absorb tremendous losses in terms of manpower in order to protract the war while waiting for the French to tire” (Weist 2003).
As France’s ally in the war, the US was in a difficult position in order to protect the interests of France by helping out in its campaign against the Northern guerrillas, but it was not ready to commit itself to something that could potentially become the Third World War. It was a dangerous situation insofar as it was beginning to look like France was not capable of crushing the Communist guerrilla forces (Mintz 2007).
The financial support coming from the US was not enough to help the French troops in the war and it looked like something had to be done, which was first started by President Harry Truman in 1950 to help France retain control of its Indochina colonies, covering Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam (Nelson 1999).
The US was also very much opposed to the idea of having Vietnam split at the seventeenth parallel to accommodate the different political views governing the separate sides of the country. It was at this point that the US consolidated its hold over the Southern portion of the country and to exercise direct control over the government there, and thus heralded the beginning of actual US involvement in the conflict (Nelson 1999). It put Ngo Dinh Diem at the help of the Southern Vietnamese government, which was supposed to rally support for the anti-Communist sentiment in the country (Vassar College, n.d.).
The start of actual US intervention in the war
According to Nelson (1999), the US involvement in the Vietnam was vastly different from the others that it had participated in because it had no definitive beginning. The US actually entered the war gradually, from 1950 to 1965. It even experienced transition in the terms of support that it was willing to provide France, starting from mere financial and economic aid to its European ally and moving towards actual military occupation and engagement with the guerrilla forces there.
In a little less than ten years, the US had given France $2.6 billion for recovery and rehabilitation of its Indochina colony, but it was scarcely enough to cover the escalating costs of the war and the losses in manpower that the French experienced (Mintz 2007). The losses for the Northern government and for the people of Vietnam are by far greater because of the sustained military offensive against the South and the subsequent participation of the US.
It must be noted here that the US did not even give a formal declaration of war against Vietnam, it just started sending out troops to the Southern portion of the country, beginning with 2,000 soldiers deployed by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 (Nelson 1999). Jones (2003) noted that the intensification of the Cold War only prompted Kennedy to put the Vietnam situation higher up on his list and employ more stringent counterinsurgency efforts against the guerrillas.
It was President Lyndon Johnson who, after serving the unexpired term of the assassinated John F. Kennedy and being elected to the presidency in 1965, brought the country to war. Under his administration, the number of American troops deployed in Vietnam increased and became more involved in supervising the Southern government’s movements against the guerrillas (Pike 2005).
The total number of Americans soldiers sent to serve in Vietnam was 2.7 million, and the costs of the war amounted to more than $140 million. This is probably the most expensive war that America has ever seen, and the reasons for its participation in the first place still remain suspect. There are a lot of doubts as to the veracity of the claims and beliefs made by the US government in terms of protecting the interests of the free world.
The US anti-Communist policy in the 1960s
The different presidents who oversaw the US military campaign in Vietnam all had one thing in common-they considered the northern faction in the country to be “agents of global communism and therefore an opponent in terms of aspiring for the very opposite of all that America holds dear (Nelson 1999). US policymakers were of the opinion that Communists were opposed to human rights, democracy, and free trade especially to capitalist countries. They thought that communism as a contagious disease in the sense that once it took hold on a nation, neighboring states can easily become infiltrated with the Communist ideals and turn into such a state as well.
For this reason, America joined the fray and waged its war against what it perceived to be the growth of Communism in Asia by fending off the Communist movement in northern Vietnam. It created some sort of puppet military government that was under its direct supervision and control.
As already stated, the overarching geopolitical goal of the US in its act of participating directly in the Vietnam dispute was its conviction that the spread of communism must be stopped. However, the real commitment to holding back Communism was soon forgotten (Nelson 1999) as US administration after administration realized that the war might simply never end for the reason that their enemy troops are not getting any smaller or easier to fight.
The guerrillas were good at employing tactics aimed at confounding American soldiers who were more efficient at face-to-face combat. Moreover, the Northern Vietnamese forces received tremendous support from the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China that enabled them to carry out the offensive for as long as they did (Pike 2005).
At the same time, serious doubts as to the authenticity of the US government’s reasons for intervening in the war also became apparent. Yet presidents were afraid to pull out from the war and admit to the faults of his predecessor, knowing that such an act would create a huge political backlash in the home country (Nelson 1999). First of all, even though the US government’s first step into the war was only financial and economic in nature, it still belied the that they were staunch believers of the idea that the problem in Vietnam was largely military in nature, and not economic or political.
Secondly, to put it bluntly, the US government was already in too deep in the Vietnam conflict that any sign of wavering belief in the campaign could easily be read as admitting to defeat. This was unacceptable to the administrations that waged open war against the Northern Vietnamese forces, so the offensives dragged on for years and years. The strong anti-Communist sentiment of the US may have been the first to trigger its adversarial reaction to the spread of communism in Vietnam but it was certainly not the only thing that made the war last for far longer than it should have.
The war at home
Even as the US administration was facing serious difficulties that were compromising its military campaign in Vietnam, it was also faced with real domestic challenges, particularly the increasing opposition from the American public with regards to continuing the war. One of the most deeply-felt consequences of the war was that it was siphoning off taxpayers dollars to a conflict that seemed impossible to win. The 1966 local and state elections in the US showed just how much public dissent has gathered around the issue of the war’s costs on the national treasury (Pike 2005), even as the government was claiming that its troops were gaining against the enemy in Vietnam.
Johnson wanted an all-out war that will not be felt across the Pacific Ocean and will not be felt in the everyday life of the Americans (Vassar College, n.d.). Unfortunately, this goal was never met because the repercussions of the war were widely felt even in the homeland. For example, during the start of the war, the American army had very little or no manpower problems at all and was able to send troops to Vietnam regularly.
However, as faith in the military campaign waned, the number of volunteers decreased dramatically until the administration instituted a draft for the war. As more and more soldiers died, more and more Americans felt that it was wrong to continue sending people to what was becoming a hopeless and no-win situation in a distant country.
Nelson (1999) noted that the movement attracted different factions from across the country-college campuses, labor unions, middle-class suburbs and government institutions all erupted in anti-war protests as the war continued on. Defense of civil rights also became an issue towards which Americans gravitated, and they were concerned not only for their fellow citizens who were getting injured and dying abroad, but also for the Vietnamese who were suffering intensely from all the conflict being waged in their land. The war ended in 1973 when President Richard Nixon announced the withdrawal of US troops because of the popular sentiment against it and the unsustainability of the war effort.
The ramifications of the war
As we have already seen, the Vietnam War is the longest time that the US has been involved in hostile action. It is also a highly debated topic because people continue to question the propriety of entering into a war that is being waged by an ally and the wisdom of America’s taking it upon herself to become the number one defender of democracy. It must be recalled that the war was not really America’s problem, but France’s. It only entered the picture when France began to falter and America feared that what was happening in Vietnam would spread to other Southeast Asian countries.
The war cost so much in terms of human casualty, damage to infrastructure and economic loss to both sides that the general idea is that no one really won when the war was over. The losses sustained by the Vietnamese forces and the US troops cannot be fully appreciated in pecuniary terms, because the war also did damage to the national spirit of each country. Moreover, the subsequent reunification of Vietnam under the communist regime seemed to defeat the very purpose for which the US had entered into the war.
From an economic standpoint, the war brought about a mean cycle of inflation because of Johnson’s unwillingness to impose taxes to pay for the costs of the military campaigns (Mintz 2007). It was also thought that the military did a little inflation management on its own by increasing the actual number of enemy casualties to show that the war effort was getting better and better, when in fact the guerrilla numbers were not as badly hurt as the American troops during the latter part of the conflict.
The war also created grave political consequences for America. The public began to suspect the honesty and integrity of incumbent officials because of their prior experience with the manufactured war statistics and reports on the Vietnam situation. This slow dissolution of faith likewise weakened America’s image of herself as a world superpower. If the country’s well-trained, well-supplied and well-compensated military could not defeat a ragtag group of guerrilla fighters not even trained in military tactics, what could it do? This doubt in American supremacy was carried over as the US tried to intervene militarily in other international conflicts such as the Iraq war.
Conclusion
This paper has traced the development of the Vietnam War, beginning from the socio-political context from which it emerged and the subsequent involvement of the US government in the effort to prevent the spread of communism. While the actions of the US troops may be seen as noble and warranted by the situation, the fact that the war cost so much in terms of lives and money makes any semblance of victory in it seem insignificant. There is indeed no true winner in this war because of the incredible losses that each side had sustained over a decade’s worth of fighting.
America withdrew its troops and ended the war of its own accord when the public furor against the Vietnam War escalated to such a degree as to make continued military campaigns futile. The Paris Peace Accord also gave Vietnam a new lease on its own political life, but it cannot erase the destruction and suffering that the war had brought upon the people and the land. It was a fight that could have been shortened and made less dangerous if only each side was able to negotiate matters peacefully instead of launching military attacks against each other as the primary course of action.
 

Analysis of H&M’s Vietnam Expansion

H&M is a Swedish multinational clothing retail store that caters to young adults and children. Since its inception, the brand has evolved to include accessories, footwear, cosmetics and home furnishings. H&M is one of the top retail stores in the world and has positioned itself as a low cost- quality clothing supplier. H&M and its competitors occupy a niche segment of the retail clothing industry known as fast-fashion, characterized by the ability to serve consumers who demand the most up-to-date styles at an affordable price. Retailers must meet several specific customer expectations to remain competitive in this segment, as well as maintain a highly efficient internal operation to meet the requirements of the industry.

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H&M’s expansion into Vietnam is part of the company’s larger overall global expansion strategy to open stores with a target of 10-15% sales growth coupled with an introduction of online retail to emerging and unexploited retail markets (H&M Group, 2016). Vietnam has seen recent increased growth in foreign direct investment and expanding retail market. Consumers in Vietnam have a demand for large Western brands and have increased disposable income to spend in the market(Deloitte, 2014). In Vietnam, barriers to entry remain low for H&M and other industry competitors. H&M and other foreign retailers have the capability of opening their initial retail spaces in Vietnam without extreme difficulty (Deloitte, 2014).  In 2016, Zara, H&M’s largest competitor opened a retail store in Ho Chi Minh City signaling an increase in foreign retail investment in the country (“Zara Enters Vietnam”, 2016). It appears that the landscape in Vietnam is changing in the favor of foreign retail firms and government policies are being shaped to attract more foreign investors.
Industry Requirements and Expectations
H&M and its competitors occupy a niche segment of the retail clothing industry known as fast-fashion, characterized by the ability to serve consumers who demand the most up-to-date styles at an affordable price. Retailers must meet several specific customer expectations to remain competitive in this segment, as well as maintain a highly efficient internal operation to meet the requirements of the industry.
Expectations within the fast-fashion industry have become increasingly more customer-focused and demanding with the success of retailers such as H&M, Zara, and Forever 21. Because the industry’s core market is highly sensitive to changes in trends and seasonality, retailers need a keen awareness of the fashion landscape to proactively update their inventory at locations worldwide. Successful players in the industry must also have an in-depth understanding of the local markets of their varying locations to serve their customer’s specific tastes. Fast-fashion’s most dedicated consumers also depend on the affordability that retailers offer to allow them to keep their wardrobes stocked with the latest styles.
Highly efficient supply chain management is the cornerstone of the fast-fashion industry, and is the key requirement for any retailer’s success. Demands for rapid turnover and affordable prices hinge on the retailer’s ability to keep internal costs to a minimum to avoid passing on costs to the consumers. The industry requires retailers to keep an extremely low product life cycle (PLC), which is typically achieved through the combination of a just-in-time inventory system and a strategic distribution and fulfillment network within the countries of operation.
Location is also a critical requirement when operating in fast-fashion, both for retail stores and proximity to distribution centers. In order to capitalize on the benefit of operating within this industry retailers must secure locations for their retail stores that are both highly visible and densely populated, while distribution and fulfillment centers require central location to serve the maximum number of retail locations as quickly as possible.
Low Trade Barriers
In 1986, Vietnam created an open-door policy with reforms in three essential areas: i) the right to foreign trade, ii) trade instruments and policies iii) liberalization of foreign trade. Since then, the Vietnamese economy has been growing at a rapid pace.
Since Vietnam’s inception in WTO in 2001, Vietnam removed many non-tariff barriers including “quantitative restrictions on imports, quotas, bans, permit requirements and licensing requirements.” (U.S. Department of State, 2014). However, there are still some existing industry specific trade barriers in Vietnam. For example, price stabilization and restriction is implemented by the Vietnamese government when prices are too high or low for essential goods. Other examples of trade barriers include import taxes on automated products and services, permits on foreign investment in cinema construction only through local joint ventures and land use rights. Vietnamese land, a property of the state, cannot be owned by investors nor any Vietnamese nationals (U.S. Department of State, 2014).
To H&M’s advantage, the retail industry in Vietnam has very few trade barriers and restrictions for foreign investment. Thus, being one of the fastest growing countries in the ASEAN economy along with liberal retail policies, Vietnam is an obvious country of interest for EU business expansion. The country’s openness to foreign investment has been the cause of many trade reforms and lower trade barriers. For example, Vietnam provides investment incentives to foreign investors such as exemption from import taxes on necessary materials required for manufacturing that cannot be found in Vietnam.
Policies supporting FDI in Vietnam
Since November 1, 2015, Vietnam has allowed foreign retailers to set up 100 percent foreign-owned enterprises under its commitments to the World Trade Organization. This gives them access to supply sources and ideal business locations to operate from. Most international brands are opening stores in Vietnam through franchising or the granting of rights to a local partner, as franchisees are required to have a zero-loss business record and must be able to present their business development plan to the franchisor during the bidding process, which increases the likelihood of success for foreign investors in Vietnam. (VN Express – Retail market share,2016). These policies make expanding to Vietnam attractive for H&M. Franchising their retail stores in Vietnam is safer for H&M now because of these policies.
FDI
As Vietnam is becoming increasingly accessible to foreign investments, FDI inflows have seen a steady and strong increase over the previous years. In 2016, FDI inflows climbed to US$24.4 billion with a 9% increase from 2015. Out of these, US$15.1 billion flew to 2,556 newly registered projects, US$5.76 billion came from 1,225 existing projects adding to their capital, and US$3.4 billion flew in from foreign investors purchasing stakes in 2,547 companies. Vietnam’s rapid pace of integration into global commerce is likely to yield great opportunities for foreign investors. So, this is the right time for H&M to invest and expand into Vietnam. (Vietnam’s FDI Outlook for 2016)
In January 2017, foreign investors invested in 16 sectors in Vietnam, out of which Wholesale and retail ranked third with total registered capital of US$ 88.75 million, accounting for 5.6% of the total foreign direct investment. Relative high investment in Wholesale and Retail market bodes well for H&M. H&M is planning to open up its first retail shop in Ho Chi Minh City, where FDI investments are high. (Ministry of planning and Investment of Vietnam, 2017)
Vietnam’s retail industry has witnessed healthy growth rates of 8 – 10 percent annually in recent years. To continue, the industry is forecasted to reach $109 billion by 2017. With the population of more than 90 million, Vietnam’s retail market is growing rapidly, making it highly attractive for foreign investors. The country is currently ranked top 5 and 11 in Asia and globally respectively in terms of retail growth. (VN Express – Vietnam’s rapidly growing retail Industry, 2016)
Ease of doing business
The country’s ease of doing business – while still leaving room for improvement is developing, Vietnam ranked 82nd out of 190 countries, up nine positions from 2016. Government of Vietnam is actively privatizing its state-owned enterprises (SOEs) on top of its trade agreements and foreign direct investment policies. Since 2015, nearly 170 companies have been privatized and this trend will continue in the coming years. This creates many opportunities for foreign investors. (Vinkenborg, M. (2017). Vietnam in 2017: Spotting opportunities for FDI)
Policies restricting FDI in Vietnam
One complication for FDI in Vietnam is Vietnamese authorities have different definitions of a foreign invested enterprise. In practice the level of foreign investment that qualifies an entity as foreign differs from province to province. Unlike other countries in the region, such as China or some of the other ASEAN member states, Vietnam does not maintain a Negative List of industries with foreign equity ownership caps. (Restrictions on Foreign Direct Investment in Vietnam, 2015)
With the enactment of the Law on Investment and the Law on Enterprises however, the country is moving in the direction of such a Negative List system. The two laws, in addition to various other laws and regulations are applicable to industries that are termed ‘conditional’. When investing in conditional industries, the government examines the investment proposal and may choose to impose additional requirements. Distribution sector such as retail is considered ‘conditional’ in Vietnam and may prone to additional requirements from government of Vietnam. (Restrictions on Foreign Direct Investment in Vietnam, 2015)
Works Cited
Deloitte (2014). Retail in Vietnam. Retrieved:
http://www.iberglobal.com/files/2016/vietnam_retail.pdf
Hong, A. (2016). Vietnam’s rapidly growing retail industry partially offsets economic slowdown.
Retrieved:http://e.vnexpress.net/news/business/vietnam-s-rapidly-growing-retail-industry-partially-offsets-economic-slowdown-3448240.html
H&M Group. Retrieved: https://about.hm.com/en/about-us/markets-and-expansion.html
Indiaretailing Bureau. Retrieved:
http://www.indiaretailing.com/2016/09/27/fashion/zara-enters-vietnam-first-store-vincom-center/
Ministry of Planning and Investment. (2017). Retrieved:
http://www.mpi.gov.vn/en/Pages/tinbai.aspx?idTin=35921&idcm=122
Shira, D. (2015). Restrictions of Foreign Direct Investment on Vietnam. Retrieved:
http://www.vietnam-briefing.com/news/restrictions-foreign-direct-investment-vietnam.html/
Sweden  and Vietnam Boost BUsiness and Investment Cooperation (2016). Retrieved:
https://nsnbc.me/2016/10/08/sweden-vietnam-boost-business-and-investment-cooperation
U.S. Department of State (2014). Retrieved:
https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/229305.pdf
Vietnam’s FDI Outlook for 2016: Trends and Opportunities. Retrieved:
http://www.vietnam-briefing.com/news/vietnamese-fdi-2016-outlook.html/
Vinkenborg, M. (2017). Vietnam in 2017: Spotting opportunities for FDI. Retrieved:
http://www.vietnam-briefing.com/news/vietnam-2017-spotting-opportunities-fdi.html/
http://www.eightyquartier.com/hm-announces-first-store-in-vietnam/
Ministry of planning and Investment of Vietnam, 2017 Retrieved:
http://www.mpi.gov.vn/en/Pages/tinbai.aspx?idTin=35921&idcm=122
VN Express – Vietnam’s rapidly growing retail Industry, 2016 Retrieved:
http://e.vnexpress.net/news/business/vietnam-s-rapidly-growing-retail-industry-partially-offsets-economic-slowdown-3448240.html
VN Express – Retail market share,2016 Retrieved:
http://e.vnexpress.net/news/business/markets/foreign-invasion-threatens-domestic-retail-market-share-3406399.html
Restrictions on Foreign Direct Investment in Vietnam, 2015 Retrieved:
http://www.vietnam-briefing.com/news/restrictions-foreign-direct-investment-vietnam.html/

Demand for communication in english in vietnam

Introduction
1. Reasons for the research
The demand for communication in English has become very urgent in Vietnam since the government’s open door policy in late 1980. More and more people, especially working people and students have to learn English to use it at work, in their studies or future jobs. In fact, many adult learners of English who start learning English even from grade one speak English like “bulls in a China shop”.

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Therefore, the Communicative Approach, using group work activities, has been predominant and widely applied to improve Vietnamese learners’ communicative skills of English in Vietnam. Using this learning-centered approach in pedagogy is actually a concern for many English teachers in Vietnam in general and especially for the English teachers at the English Department of my university. Group work has brought innovation in speaking more in terms of theory than in terms of Vietnamese teachers’ real classroom practices.
I am twenty two years old and have been teaching English at my university for two years. I am teaching one section of speaking skill per week in a very diverse class of students with different levels of speaking proficiency. Many of my students are sometimes eager to talk in their groups while others just look bored and keep quiet in these groups. Moreover, my students sometimes use Vietnamese a lot in their speaking English class and one member of the group dominates others. According to Harmer (2007), uncooperative and unmotivated students present a serious problem and can easily disrupt the instructional process while productive activities involving speaking in groups are more demanding and time consuming. Although cooperative learning was originally developed for general education, several researchers have documented its application to second language learning (High, 1993; Holt, 1993; Kessler, 1992; McCafferty, Jacobs & DasilvaIddings, 2006). In terms of speaking English, I wanted to investigate the implementation of group activities to understand their effects on the English oral fluency of my first year English major students at a Vietnamese University.
I would like to explore how my students speak English with their partners and think of activities. I would like to find whether or not interpreting group work activities in different ways of group work develops the first year English major students’ oral fluency in my English speaking class. Hopefully, the research findings will be helpful for me to give great perceptions and understandings about implementing group work activities to develop English oral fluency with first year English major students at my university. Therefore, the result will be reflected on my decisions about the organization of effective group work activities in my English speaking classes to develop the quality of teaching.
2. Research questions:

How can group work activities be used with first year English major students at a Vietnamese University to develop their English oral fluency?
Why do modifying group work activities impact on the English oral fluency of first year English major students at a Vietnamse University?
Organization of the research

The research is divided into seven main parts under these headings: Introduction, literature review, context, methods and methodology, analysis and findings, reflections, and conclusion.

Part one, Introduction includes rationale, the research questions and the overview of the research.
Part two, Literature review gives and discusses related theoretical background to the research.
Part three, Context describes the context in which the research has taken place.
Part four, Methods and methodology includes reasons for the methods chosen, the ethical procedure of my research and the difficulties I faced.
Part five, Analysis and findings, tells my story of the research.
Part six, Reflections, includes strong and weak points of my research and my experience about doing research.
Part seven, Conclusion, finally reviews the outcomes and summarizes the whole research project and provides implication for further research.

Literature review
1. Definition of group work
Johnson, Johnson and Smith (1991, p 15) defines that:
Group work, in language class, is a co-operative activity, during which students share aims and responsibilities to complete a task assigned by the teacher in groups or in pairs.
It can be said that in group work, all the members have chances for greater independence in making their own learning decisions without the teacher controlling any more. They learn to negotiate more equally with their friends and in most cases they feel free to express themselves and use the language. In group work, the focus is not on accuracy but on fluency. In speaking class, group work is often conducted in small groups and lasts for about ten minutes to a class period depending on specific tasks.
The following part discusses the pros and cons of using group work activities in language classes.
2. Benefits and difficulties of using group work activities in language class
Many different kinds of speaking activities such as dialogue, discussion, interview, etc can be performed in groups. In certain types of those activities, group work no doubt offers many advantages.
There have been a number of studies reporting the potential benefits of pair and group work activities in language teaching and learning. According to experts in second language acquisition, negotiation of meaning facilitates both learning and acquisition and is defined as:
The modification and restructuring of interaction that occurs when learners and their interlocutors anticipate, perceive, or experience difficulties in massage comprehensibility. (Pica, 1994, p. 494)
Following is the summary of the most common benefits of using group work in language class.

Group work promotes learners’ responsibility and autonomy.
Group work increases students’ participation, talking time and oral fluency.

According to Harmer (1997), group work provides more opportunities for students’ initiation, practice in negotiation of meaning, extended conversational exchanges, face-to-face give and take and adoption of roles. Vygotsky (1978) also believes that learning is not directed one way between teacher and students but in different ways between students and students and between teacher and students. Ur (1996, p232) also shares the same idea:
In group work, learners perform a learning task through small group interaction. It is a form of learner activation that is of particular value in the practice of oral fluency; learners in a class that is divided into five groups get 5 times as many opportunities to talk as in full class organization.

Working in groups enables students to produce better decisions to solve a specific task.
Group work promotes individuals’ motivation.

Group work enables students to use the language and also motivates them to be more involved and concentrate on the tasks assigned. Richards and Lockhart (1994) believes that through working in groups, students feel relaxed and comfortable to share ideas and play active roles in the learning process without the correcting feedback of teachers. Therefore, they have the benefit of sharing ideas with other group members, learning from other friends’ mistakes or success and helping others to learn. Because the comprehension of the subject under discussion is often increased in group work, students certainly became more motivated. According to Doff (1988), working in pairs or in groups encourages students to be more involved and to concentrate on the tasks. In the non-threatening performance environment of the collaborative classroom, motivation is often improved as students feel less inhibited and more able to explore possibilities for self – expression.
The next part will discuss several difficulties which are often believed to affect the successful implementation of the group work activities in language class.
Organizational difficulties
According to Sheils (1993), in some teaching contexts, the use of group work activities is inappropriate due to the unsuitable physical setting. For instance, my classroom is too big with unmovable desks or there are a large number of students in a class. This also leads to another difficulty relating to the class management. I am afraid of organizing group work because of noise and indiscipline which affect other classes. It is hard for me to provide proper management. If I go and pay attention to one group, the rest of class may forget the task and play about. Students will convert into the mother tongue when they are required to work in groups or they will use class time to chat with each other or become lazier. As such, their speaking skill cannot be improved and their time is wasted.
Learner-related difficulties
The lack of linguistic knowledge to contribute to group work is the typical difficulty faced by many students. Speaking is one of the most complex linguistic skills because it involves thinking of what is to be said and responding spontaneously to what has been thought. In order to be able to do this, patterns, structures, and words must be chosen to fit the right situation or situation or attitude intended. Byrne (1986) has pointed out that thoughts are controlled to a great extent by vocabulary. We can not talk about something if we have no words for it. The inability to verbalize thought or feeling may distort one’s perceptions of objective reality, increase tendency to overact and hinder the likelihood of easy collaboration. Once students do not know enough of the language to express themselves with ease, they often become reluctant to participate in group work.
There are also other situations in which the students’ personality (e.g., shy, passive, reserved, etc) or personality conflict(e.g., incompatible personalities) influence students’ participation in group work activities. Vygotsky (1986) supposed that relationship of peers has also an influence on interaction in groups. Peers can be proficient learners, learners who are different from teachers (Swain & Lapskin, 1998), more or less proficient learners (Ohta, 1995), more or less informed junior students (McDonald, Kidman, & Clarke, 1991), and peers as native and non-native speakers in the classroom (Barnard, 2002). Sheils (1993) said that though many students are happy to speak in chorus or under the teacher’s guidance when doing some kinds of drill, they are inhibited when being asked to express themselves freely in the presence of the whole class. Furthermore, the fear of being corrected in front of the other students may also cause the uneasy collaboration and lead to unproductive groups. In those cases, students may never have been encouraged sufficiently to “have a go” without worrying about mistakes or they may be accustomed to the traditional teacher- centered class.
Learning style preference certainly affects the students’ performance in group work. In her study, Nguyen (2004) illustrates the influences of students’ learning style preference on the students’ performance in group work activities. She mentions that the learning style preference in Eastern countries like China or Vietnam is greatly influenced by the Confucian culture. The students were often familiar with being transmitted knowledge from the teachers rather than from their peers. Therefore, it might be difficult for the teachers to implement group work activities in language classes due to the students’ negative responses to communicative language teaching and learning.
Beside the factors discussed above, there are other situations in which some students, though they do not have problems with the lack of appropriate linguistic competence or personality, have no ideas to contribute or to react to the topic given by the teachers. This may happen when the topic needs too much specialized knowledge to discuss or even when there is nothing interesting to say about it or even when the tasks do not need multiple contributions from all students but can be completed by only one or two individuals.
However, there have been a number of researchers who have reported positive effects of group work activities on the development of speaking ability in the language classroom. They are, therefore, worth considering putting into the classroom more regularly. Also, more investigations should be conducted to find out the most appropriate techniques or procedures to implement successful group work activities in speaking class, both teachers and students need to play effective roles. The following part discusses the roles the teachers and the students need to perform in order to implement group work successfully.
Concerning the allocation of members into groups, Hurd (2000) says there is no “one right way” to allocate students into groups. Rather, there are members of practices teachers can use. He also states that most selection methods fall into four categories. These are random appointment, self-selection, selective appointment, task appointment.
3. Group work and speaking fluency
Brown (2003) raises a question “Can we really develop our students’ fluency?” According to him, in teaching fluency, teachers must be willing to let go of some control in our classroom, let my students have some of the control and let them to do some of the work and set up situations in which fluency can develop, and encourage my students to actually communicate. In fact, I do not need to teach fluency all of the time, but some of the time students need a little guided communication time during which their knowledge of many aspects of the language can develop into fluency. Brown (2003, p.15) also states
Teachers set up activities and then get out of the way that many students can be talking at the same time […] However, setting up such activities is exactly what the students need to develop.
There is many other research by Ur (1996) and Maurice (1983) noting that the use of group work activities can create many opportunities for students to practice speaking fluency.
Context
Twenty four of my first year English major students in my class who took part in my study were from eighteen to twenty- two with four males and twenty females. I have taught them spoken English for one term with Communicative Method which does not pay much attention to a fixed curriculum but focus instead on authentic materials. My students had one speaking lesson every week and each lesson lasts for 90 minutes. Therefore, I had time to understand about their English competence very well along with their characteristics, and backgrounds. Before entering the University, one third of them finished 7 years of English at high school. The rest studied English for 3 years only. When entering the University, they already have some basic knowledge of English grammar, but most of them are still weak at speaking, reading, listening, especially, those who come from rural or remote areas where the conditions of learning English are very poor. About 30 % of the students who lived in areas with good conditions of learning English in secondary schools and high schools are at better level. Nevertheless, in high school, most of them could not use English communicatively, because they had been taught with the Grammar- Translation method with much focus on grammar rules, memorization of vocabulary, translation of texts and doing exercises to enter a university. Another reason was that they had few opportunities to communicate with foreigners or native speakers.
I wrote inform consent letters (see appendix 1) and delivered them to all the students of the class to ask them for their permission to participate in my research. I did the research with two female informants. Firstly I chose A because she has studied English for 7 years in the city high school with high level of communicative skills. Secondly I chose B because she has studied English for 3 years in a local school with low level of communicative English skills but she is good at writing and reading English. I saw many times A and B went and chatted with each other inside and outside the class and heard other students say that A and B were close friends.
Methods and methodology
At the beginning of my project, I explained my intentions to the students and asked them for their permission to conduct the research. I told two informants that I would record their spoken language as part of my research on how to develop their English oral fluency. Luckily, they agreed because A and B had good attitudes to me, to University, especially to learning English to find good jobs.
I also gave each student a consent form letter which might be useful in setting out clearly for learners what their participation would involve and how the results of the process would be used. The head of my department was aware of how and why I was conducting my research.
Learners interviewed their friends and wrote up friends’ characteristics, attitudes towards group work and useful strategies of speaking English. The results might help them develop motivation in speaking English.
After collecting data I gave back my final draft of report to my students to check whether or not my interpretation of what they said corresponded with their own understanding. I formally thanked everyone who had helped me and sent copies of my findings to anyone who has been of substantial help to me.
I combined observational and field note techniques to organize data about behaviors, contexts, group organization and records of interactions between informants. Therefore, using notes to collect research data became more effective than other data collection techniques took over. Besides, I used a small hand-held recorder as a time saving option during group work activities and students’ interviews. This allowed me to note important data while they were still fresh in my mind. I could also talk into the recorder, listen to the recordings again and start thinking.
I organized A to interview B in Vietnamese on their feelings and opinions about group work and learning experience during their break time of 20 minutes. I provided a set of preplanned questions (see appendix 7) in no fixed order and asked the group to audio-record their responses. I did this to in order to increase my own and my learners’ understanding of students’ feelings about group work. I used semi structured interviews between learner and learner because they ensured greater consistency, reliability and balance in the research relationship. Two students engaged in their free flowing conversational process in a friendly way to share with each other about their learning experience in speaking English and their perception of group work. I chose this approach to understand deeply about the factors affecting group work to develop English oral fluency.
I felt a lack of experience in writing up the final research findings. It worried me whether I was adopting the right approach, and that my data collecting methods became a bit slapdash and less thorough than they should have been. I felt pressured for time during the process and in writing the report because I also taught and did the research at the same time.
Chapter five: Analysis and Findings
I conducted the research with my students when they had started studying in the second term for two weeks. The first time, I observed speaking in the English class at the first period in the morning. The class had not had any examination of speaking in the second term of the first year. In the first term, A got mark 8 and B got 5 for speaking examination. We had two speaking periods in the same day per week. The second time, I observed the speaking fluency of A and B after one week of the first observation, at the first period in the morning. A sat next to B in the same front table of the classroom.
Before conducting the research for a week, I informed them that I would do the research in the class. And I delivered twenty four consent letters to all my students, asked them to tick the box if they agreed to participate, collected all letters after 5 minutes and read at home.
During observing, I used highlighter, sticky notes and collected data on set target in the observation sheet. I used themes and codes (see appendix 2) to organize and collect data in field notes when I was observing. I put the recorders in each group of the class.
Because desks and chairs were fixed and unmovable I asked my students to work in groups of three with their neighbors at the same desk and imagine a story about the picture (see appendix 3) on the blackboard. A and B were in the same group with C who could speak English very well.
At first, they were eager to talk in the group because they thought they had many things to speak about and the picture was very interesting. I just sat at my desk with books, looked and made notes in the observation sheets. When I observed I realized that A and B’s oral English fluency was not interfered by with the noise of other groups.
I just required my students to create their own stories about the picture in their groups in 15 minutes and present their stories in front of the class. I saw almost all students looked very excited and smiled when I showed the picture and said: “The most interesting story would get good marks”. I fixed the picture on the blackboard and explained about characters in the picture. A and B kept quiet for a while in their group and later A asked: “B, what is your story? And why will we have to do this task?” B was too shy and said nothing while A started speaking English. She had a huge amount of ideas about the picture to share with other members while B just listened to A and nodded her head. Often, B said “right”, “ok” and looked at me. After speaking English for 3 minutes, A asked B to take note what she had said. Sometimes, A stopped speaking and asked others to express their ideas. B also spoke some short utterances to support the story. A commented on B and C’s opinions. B almost always agreed with A and she just kept silent and looked very nervous to speak English. A and C dominated B while B had no more chance to practice. For example, B almost always asked questions and read sentences which were written and said very short utterances like: “you should change this word into that word”. Sometimes B suggested new ideas for the story but she was too shy to persuade others to agree therefore B looked unhappy in her group. After they finished the story, A began to chat in Vietnamese with another girl friend at the table behind about a film on TV that night while B turned around and exchanged her stories with other groups in Vietnamese. B wanted to talk but she had no chances in her group so she found another whom she could speak with. When the time was up, I asked each group to tell their story. When other groups were presenting, A did not pay much attention to that. A asked B to present the story in front of the class when I called them. B was too shy to speak and did not speak fluently and always looked at her note taking paper. C and A said “no” and they stood up and continued to present their own ideas. B sat down and felt more comfortable when she did not have to speak. The task was finished on time and almost all A and B’s utterances were in English.
After the first class of observation, I asked students to be free for 20 minutes in the next period to interview in pairs. I paired A and B and recorded their conversation to understand about their feelings, difficulties and struggles of working in groups. I concluded that B felt intimidated when working with someone of much better ability although the more fluent students sometimes tried to help their partners. Moreover, B could not talk because she made a lot of mistakes and did not know how to say things in English. Although B wanted to talk she thought her friends would laugh at her when she spoke. My lesson was not interesting enough to encourage all students to engage in speaking although the picture was very good. Because I did not give enough requirements and explanation of the task A and B did not understand what they should do in group work. I did not pay much attention to the group organization, task requirement and students’ understanding.
A and B got good marks but they did not like my lesson. A and B did not feel satisfied with the lesson. A said that the lesson was not interesting enough and should be made clear for all students. Nevertheless, B liked to be in groups with A, and other more fluent students because she had chances to learn from them to broaden her knowledge and vocabulary.
After the first observation, I changed my mind about my teaching. I though about reasons why my students did not engage in their groups and decided that I should require them to produce a story with five or six simple tense and future tense sentences. And I should deliver this picture for all groups as a handout while the blackboard was used to present students’ results. I should go around and listen to my students and encourage them to speak English.
In the next period, I rearranged the desks of the class in a U shaped arrangement of groups to allow an easy transition to plenary mode. Students grouped by themselves with friends who had the same interesting topics after they were provided some background knowledge of each topic. After collecting information of observing, I compared the results of two sessions to find out differences between A and B in oral English fluency in their groups. I would not give each group the same mark because this was unfair and created competitive groups rather than co-operative groups and totally defeats the purpose of grouping at the first time. I wrote the topic “favorite places” and asked my students for related vocabulary. I made students involved in the task. A and B said aloud their vocabulary about this topic. Lan also mentioned some of her favorite places in Vietnam while Hoa asked me and her friends a lot of clarifying questions like “how do we say this word mean in English?” or “Can you explain again?” After that I let my student read one short passage about a famous place in Vietnam (see appendix 4) without name and asked my students to guess. A and B were very eager to talk because they had been this place. Later, I asked them to choose one picture of famous places (see appendix 5) to create a conversation to introduce this place in groups and used as many comparative adjectives as possible. I delivered chosen pictures for each group and said: “It is no problem if you make errors because you can learn something through getting it wrong.” I asked all students to stand up and find other two partners to talk with. A and C decided to choose the same picture to discuss and called another C’s friend. B joined in a group of two other friends who also lived in the rural area and had the same level of speaking English as her. Then they discussed to choosing a favorite place to talk about for 15 minutes. A had a lot of ideas to share with her partners. A talked loudly and continuously then C and his friend took a turn. A and B felt comfortable to talk with peers whom they wanted to talk with. B felt more confident to share ideas with others who had the same ability level. When other friends commented on B’ opinions she also looked happy and tried her best to negotiate. She listened to others and took notes on their ideas. When B met with difficulties she asked me for help. And I explained and encouraged her work like: “that is good”, “say it again”, “thank you”, “well done”, etc. She encouraged others to talk and commented on their ideas. She said: “good”, “not suitable”, “you just think more about this”. She helped others to have chances to talk. When they had time left A’s group continued to think more about how they might make their stories more interesting. When other groups were presenting, A and B listened carefully to them. A and B were almost eager to present their group’s conversation.
Based on all the data, I found that students changed their feeling and behavior when they worked with different partners. It meant that group organization played an important role in developing students’ English oral fluency. A and B spoke more fluently when they were in groups of the same ability level. In the second lesson, a safe environment had been achieved where everybody liked to work with each other. In the mixed group, A almost did nothing while B was reluctant to speak English. In the second session, when they were in groups with the partners on the same level they felt more relaxed to talk. I found that B spoke three times more English when working with students of the same ability than when she had more fluent partners. I concluded that the students were motivated to speak English but perhaps felts intimidated when working with someone of much better ability.
While listening to the taped conversation of the second observation I observed that members of B’s group generally took turns to speak, that no individual was dominant, and that they helped each other with vocabulary. The conversations were quite fluent and accurate. B leaned on the table to speak with other partners. It was unavoidable for my students to use Vietnamese but it was not much.
However, the taped conversation of the first time indicated that, although A was very cooperative and tried to help her partner, she tended to dominate the conversation and overcorrect her partner without giving B much chance to talk.
From interviews, I found that my less able students liked to use English with more fluent partners when they had to be self-reliant, when I was not present, when they were not corrected all the time, and when they were not being tested or monitored.
Besides, based on the observation and interviews, it could be concluded that the students’ English oral fluency was also be influenced by the teacher’s preparation. In the first lesson, I did not provide enough explanations, knowledge and encouragement to help them understand and engage in speaking English. In the second lesson, my students felt very excited in speaking English when they had enough vocabulary and interest in the task.
Reflections
During this investigation, I learned a lot about my students’ attitudes towards and abilities in using English. Gathering information from the students about how they use English was important to me. I discovered a way to deal with a class of mixed abilities and found a way to motivate my less able students. This project confirms my beliefs about the value of using group work and has reduced my anxiety about grouping less able students together. I can create different groups for different activities. Depending on the task, I will want to have students of different skill levels working together or students with the same level working together. For example, a harder task might lead me to mix skill levels, however a task where outcome is not an important goal, the instructions are not difficult, and the process easy to follow, could lead to homogeneous grouping.
During doing this research, I ha
 

Critique of Strategic Air Power in the Vietnam War

The Vietnam War proved extremely costly for the United States of America. Despite being the world’s most technologically advanced Superpower, America was held to a long stalemate by what was essentially a third world nation.[1] Before the effectiveness of American strategic air power is assessed, the intent must be explored and appreciated. Russian and Chinese support for North Vietnam made a quick decisive victory all but impossible. [2] America chose to enter the Vietnam War to ‘contain the spread of Communism’ based on the ‘Domino Theory’ of States succumbing to Communist rule. [3] To undertake this, the Americans hoped to eradicate the enemy’s will to fight, bolster the morale of the South Vietnamese[4] and ultimately bring a peace in Vietnam in line with the Foreign Policy of the USA.[5] This essay will demonstrate how political interference lead to the poor use of strategic air power during ROLLING THUNDER, and highlight the difference of those campaigns initiated by Presidents Johnson and Nixon. The three campaigns that will be covered are Operations ROLLING THUNDER and LINEBACKER I & II. ROLLING THUNDER will show the lack of success due to political interference and the inhibiting factors that had on the types of operation that could be executed. LINEBACKER I & II will show the link between lesser political restrictions and the use of air power to coerce North Vietnam to the negotiating table. Ultimately, strategic air power was insufficient to achieve the initial objectives of the United States, however the effectiveness increased during LINEBACKER I & II.  

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Operation ROLLING THUNDER was a sustained American air campaign under the Johnson Administration that lasted from 1965 to 1968. The main goals were to bring Hanoi to the negotiating table, dissuade North Vietnam from infiltrating men and materials to the South, and to reaffirm American credibility for resisting revolutions in in third world countries. The administration had three different views on conducting the campaign, two of which lean from the theories of Douhet and Schelling, and one that involved industrial web theory that proved effective in the Second World War.[6] The common factor was that there would be a gradual increase in coercive strikes until Hanoi was brought to the table on American terms. This was expected to last ‘a few weeks, or at the most, a few months’[7] There were 3 separate strategies proposed by high ranking civilian and military officials in Washington, all backed by various political and military personnel. The Civilian strategy was coercion by threats against infrastructure. This strategy relied heavily on military action being tailored to suit secret diplomatic actions i.e. if the North didn’t bargain/negotiate their position, then the bombing would increase.[8] The Air Force’s strategy was based around a ‘genteel’ Douhet plan, where the preference was coercion through destruction instead of threats. This would have a knock-on effect for North Vietnam by making it too expensive to wage war in South Vietnam. This theory also attempted to shield the strategy from what turned out to be repeated criticism in America.[9] The third strategy was mainly targeting the infiltration lines that ran from North to South Vietnam. The theory for this was isolation through strangulation of supplies, diminishing the Vietcongs ability to fight. The Johnson Administration chose to use all three strategies, despite there being no recognisable change in the North Vietnamese strategy. The change in US strategies was ultimately driven by pressure from the public and Congress to find coercive leverage over North Vietnam, which worked briefly in 1968. The main disadvantage to ROLLING THUNDER was too much control from Washington. This out of theatre control established too many restrictions on the Operation, the most notable being the no-fly zones established around Hanoi and Haiphong which had a radius of up to 30 miles.[10] The Chinese border had a 30-mile buffer zone[11] too, imposed by Johnson, although this was more to do with keeping Chinese involvement as low as possible during the war. ROLLING THUNDER suffered greatly with its chain of command. Unlike modern air campaigns, the operation was ran from Washington, and the White House in particular. The greatest failure was the inability to gain leverage over the North using the three strategies.[12] Furthermore, the handling of the Operation from Washington gave the North an ability to sustain and persevere throughout the bombing[13]. The fact the operation was led from thousands of miles away opens up the first failure. Results of the air strikes could not be analysed straight away and follow up operations undertaken due to the delays in bomb damage assessment having to be sent to the US and direction sent back to Vietnam. Further evidence towards the level of Vietnamese resilience is the increase in tonnage and bombing runs between 1966 & 1968 from the Americans, with little or no progress made.[14] ROLLING THUNDER ended in October 1968 with little or no change to the progress of the war in Vietnam, but a loss of aircraft and experienced aircrew from all fleets.

Operation LINEBACKER I was an air campaign from May to October 1972. Johnson had been replaced by Nixon in the Oval Office, thus lifting many of the political restrictions and giving the Military more freedom in selection and priority of targets.[15] Whilst fundamentally different to ROLLING THUNDER, the use of strategic American air power was still an overriding effect. The greatest difference between ROLLING THUNDER and LINEBACKER I is attributed to North Vietnam; however, America had learned some of the lessons from ROLLING THUNDER. LINEBACKER I was more effective because North Vietnam was now fighting a conventional war as opposed to a Guerrilla war.[16] Allied to the North fighting a conventional war, Nixon removed the restraints that affected the Military during the Johnson presidency, thus allowing an increase in air strikes across the landscape.[17] American B52 bombers struck major supply depots, rail systems and power plants in the North, bringing Hanoi to a powerless standstill. The Norths Easter Offensive proved to be an example of how crippling well directed and coordinated American air power can be, when not subject to political interference or direction. North Vietnam had its overland imports cut by 80%, and sea imports cut by a greater number to the point where 250000 tonnes of imports a month dropped ‘to a trickle’.[18] Furthermore, Nixon and Kissinger instigated LINEBACKER I as a political tool, given the landmark US-Chinese relations that had been re-established.[19] The political implications for superpowers brought about by LINEBACKER I were minimal, and worked in the US’s favour. China & the USSR both secretly urged Hanoi to end the war, mainly as it would impact the aforementioned Superpower relations. This does not mean that they wanted Hanoi to end the war conceding to America, much the opposite, merely removing the Americans from the war and setting about their goal afterwards. [20] This perceived change in policy by the USSR & China did Washington no favours. LINEBACKER I appeared to be a case of too little, too late.

Following the breakdown of the July 1972 peace accords, North and South Vietnam both backed away from the negotiating table. In response to the breakdown, mainly to appease the South Vietnamese President and to bring the North back to the table, Nixon ordered a new offensive starting on 18 December.[21] This new offensive was to be vehemently different to LINEBACKER I, since it was to shatter the Norths will to fight, and show unwavering support to the South.[22] LINEBACKER II was only 11 days in length, appearing to be a subsidiary operation in comparison to LINEBACKER I, and was instigated from the failed negotiations.[23] Nicknamed ‘the Christmas bombing’, the aim of LINEBACKER II was, as mentioned, twofold. Adding into the bringing about of new negotiations, the campaign was also more effective militarily. The movement of men and supplies to the South was severely limited compared to previous years.[24] The main tactic employed by the USAF B52 force was fear not interdiction, especially given the night attacks on Hanoi’s outskirts. The main reasoning for the B52 night attacks was using the darkness to avoid MIG’s, as they carried conventional bombs vs the guided munitions of the fighters.[25] The force multiplier was not related to Fast Jets or Bombers per se, it was the support aircraft that allowed them to get from various US bases to North Vietnam. In total there were just under 200 tankers to support various strike and reconnaissance sorties.[26] The initial sorties brought about a significant shock value to the North, as it was beyond anything they had expected. Despite this, the US couldn’t avoid giving warning signals that an attack was building. Allied to this, the Soviet Union had a trawler sitting off the main B52 base at Guam which gave significant early warning to the North.[27] It cannot be denied that the air strikes of LINEBACKER II were effective, the effect was mainly psychological, however the choice of targets emphasised this. The use of precision guided munitions was another aid to the effect of LINEBACKER II airstrikes, however they were limited from the F4 fleet due to a lack of available targeting pods in theatre.[28] Nixon’s goal of coercing the North back to the negotiating table was achieved through LINEBACKER II, as the volume of air strikes had demonstrated that coercion can be achieved through air power. The secondary motive for the campaign was to ensure that South Vietnamese President Thieu agreed, resulting in a tripartite signing of the accords. As per LINEBACKER I, LINEBACKER II was too late, irrespective of whether the political goal had been achieved through military means.

American air power in Vietnam did not wield the success it should have given the vast resources used. Political planning and running of ROLLING THUNDER was the major inhibitor of American success on the battlefield, not just in terms of controlling the Operations; they also failed to apply basic Clausewitzian theory to Vietnam and thus did not understand the war that was being fought.[29] America should have used their overwhelming air power to fight a counter insurgency war, but due to factors already mentioned, they believed they were fighting a conventional war. It was when there was a change of President, and when the North Vietnamese changed their tactics that you saw a rise in the success of American air power during LINEBACKER I and primarily LINEBACKER II, but it did little to alter the will or capability of the Communists to fight. The use of Strategic air power did not quicken the war, in fact quite the opposite. Air Power delayed the inevitable, which was an invasion of the South by the North when America had withdrawn all her forces in 1975. As well as lengthening the war, it was a massive drain on US resources. Financially $168 billion was poured into the conflict, and had zero return for the American tax payer with America spending up to $10 for every $1 of damage in Vietnam[30]. This in turn had a massive impact on the US economy.[31] Vietnam was a humiliating defeat for the United States, shattering the myth that they were invulnerable. Moreover, the defeat undermined American confidence in their military, and commitment to internationalism. American air power was left reeling with the scars of Vietnam until operations in the Gulf in 1990/1991.

Clodfelter, Mark (2006). The Limits of Air Power: The American Bombing of North Vietnam. 2nd ed. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. 73, 119, 134, 148, 149, 177, 204. 

Lawrence, Mark Atwood (2008). The Vietnam War: A Concise International History. New York: Oxford University Press. 99, 154, 155.

Ledwidge, Frank (2018). Aerial Warfare. New York: Oxford University Press. 116.

Menand, Louis. (2018). What Went Wrong in Vietnam. Available: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/02/26/what-went-wrong-in-vietnam. Last accessed 3 September 2019.

Pape, Robert A (1996). Bombing to Win: Air Power and Coercion in War. New York: Cornell University Press. 178, 179, 180, 189, 201, 210.

Rohn, Alan. (7 April 2016). How did the Vietnam War affect America? Available: https://thevietnamwar.info/how-vietnam-war-affect-america/. Last accessed 3 September 2019

Thompson, James Clay (1980). Rolling Thunder: Understanding Policy and Program Failure. Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press. 25, 29.

Thompson, Wayne (2010). To Hanoi and Back: The United States Air Force and North Vietnam 1966-1973. 2nd ed. Honolulu: University Press of the Pacific. 118, 277, 278.

Weist, Andrew (2002). The Vietnam War 1956 – 1975. Great Britain: Osprey Publishing. 9, 19.

[1] Weist (2002), p.19.

[2] Ledwidge (2018), p.116.

[3] Weist (2002), p.9.

[4] Thompson (1980), p.25.

[5] Clodfelter (2006), p.204.

[6] Clodfelter (2006), p.73.

[7] Thompson (1981), p.29.

[8] Pape (1996), p.178/179.

[9] Pape (1996), p.180.

[10] Clodfelter (2006), p.119.

[11] Thompson (2005), p.24.

[12] Pape (1996), p.189.

[13] Lawrence (2008), p.99.

[14] Clodfelter (2006), p.134.

[15] Thompson (2010), p.118.

[16] Clodfelter (2006), p.148.

[17] Clodfelter (2006), p.149.

[18] Pape (1996), p.201.

[19] Lawrence (2008), p.154.

[20] Lawrence (2008), p.155.

[21] https://thevietnamwar.info/operation-linebacker-ii-christmas-bombing/.

[22] Clodfelter (2006), p.177.

[23] Pape (1996), p.201.

[24] Eade (1973), p.5.

[25] Thompson (2010), p277.

[26] Thompson (2010), p277.

[27] Thompson (2010), p277.

[28] Thompson (2010), p278.

[29] Pape (1996), p.210.

[30] Menand (2018), https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/02/26/what-went-wrong-in-vietnam .

[31] Rohn (2016), https://thevietnamwar.info/how-vietnam-war-affect-america/ .
 

Sephora’s Expansion into Vietnam

Overarching Information

This research will provide an insight into Sephora brand and how Sephora can expand its business into other potential markets such as Vietnam- Ho Chi Minh city.

Sephora is a leading company in the retail, teaching and inspirational world-renowned customers to play in a beauty world. Owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s leading luxury goods corporation, Sephora has earned a reputation as a beautician with expertise, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit. Sephora revolutionary retail beauty concept was established in France in 1970 by Dominique Mandonnaud, defined by its unique environment, open to the public with a growing product range from well-known brands.

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Today, Sephora is not only the leading retailer of perfume and cosmetics in France but also a strong presence in the rest of the world thanks to the prestigious products of all genres and services. Even Sephora appear in China, Hongkong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, etc.… Sephora still not have a store in Vietnam – one of the most developing countries in the ASEAN group.

Located in South East Asia, Vietnam is known as a beautiful country with a glorious history and much magnificent landscape. More than that in these years, Vietnam show to the world outstanding economic development. There are three big cities in Vietnam: Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh city but the most suitable for Sephora expanding to are Ho Chi Minh City. Ho Chi Minh city or as known as Saigon in the past was named “Pearl of the East’’ by French with a lot of potencies. Due to the past with many years suffer settlement of others foreign countries, Ho Chi Minh city seems like a “westernization area.” English is used commonly as Vietnamese (main language in Vietnam), and some old people from the previous generation can speak French. Vietnam has risen 14 places to 68th out of 190 economies in the World Bank’s Easy-to-do 2018 Business Rankings. Depend on these number; we can conclude that doing business in Vietnam is not hard and lots of opportunities for Sephora.

According to statistic, Vietnam stands for 47th position measured by GDP and 35th by purchasing power, considered as 35th-largest in the world. Since the mid-1980s, through the changing to a mixed economy, Vietnam’s economy proliferates. Service was one of the highest percentage composition compared with Agriculture, Industry and Manufacturing.

In the 21st century, Vietnam is in the process of integration. Taking part in Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, ASEAN and WTO association, Vietnam got a lot of chances and opportunities on import and export industry. In the same ASEAN block, Vietnam has outstanding on high literacy rate and cheap labor and is growing strongly ahead of its rival.

Attractive Aspects for Sephora

Ho Chi Minh city where Sephora should be expanded to has various attractive aspects. In the view of expertise, Ho Chi Minh City is one of the most dynamic cities and ranked number two. The World Economic Forum recognizes Ho Chi Minh City as a highly potential city that can compete with economic growth and technological growth, as it is driven by low cost and high levels of foreign direct investment. Sephora is considered as a company in Service field and that is why Ho Chi Minh is the most suitable location. Services in Ho Chi Minh City can be said to be the best in comparison with all cities in the country.

The culture was one of the most critical components for the investor when they decided to start to establish something in a new place. With a French company as Sephora, culture in Vietnam can be more complicated with other western countries. Vietnam is the country from the east, so there are vast differences between the two countries. Comparing the cultural component can help Sephora analyze and prepare for all the situation and creating the working environment for all employee feel good. Depending on six compositions of Hofstede to determining the same and differences between France and Vietnam, Sephora can conclude the pros and cons to develop and minimize all problems

As we can see in the chart comparison between the two countries. Just two dimensions: Individualism and Uncertainty avoidance have vast differences. All the left aspects, the differences between Vietnam and France is not too much. So, the rate between same and different is approximately 50%/50%. This can be seen as advantages for Sephora when there are not too many differences between the two countries. In both France and Vietnam, Power distance is so significant. People in these societies living under inequalities and people working in the hierarchy structure. Everything must be done in order, and everybody must know precisely what to do and their responsibilities. Vietnam got 40 and France got 43 on this dimension. This number can indicate that these societies are feminine cultures. People in Vietnam and France tend to work to live. Managers who are working in these societies must know how to balance the value of everyone and working quality. But one distinctive characteristic of France is the upper-class score Feminine, but the working-class scores Masculine. This is their unique does not find in any other country. Long-term orientation aspect in both countries is the same. The difference between Vietnam and France is not too much (57 and 63). This score on long-term orientation dimension can tell that there is the pragmatic culture in both. People in societies which got the score like this prefer to believe in truth on different situation, each situation they will have different views. They can easily to change and adapt to new things. Last but not least is Indulgence. France got 48 and Vietnam got 35.  With score 48, it implies that French are concerned Indulgence versus Restraint. People in France are less relaxed and enjoy life. A low score on this dimension can show that Vietnam is characterized as Restraint. Vietnamese tendency to cynicism and pessimism.

 Next to the differences between the two countries. First of all is about Individualism factor. Even France got high score 71, Vietnam just got 20. It can be seen that the opposite between two societies. French prefer to work by individuals, and they are supposed to look after themselves and their direct family only, but Vietnamese tend to work as a team, group and they take care of them in exchange for loyalty. Next, to Uncertainly avoidance, France got 86, and Vietnam got 30. This score can reflect the significant differences between France and Vietnam. French do not like the surprise. They need preparation in everything and planning are required. They always want things must be stable and all information is so necessary. Completely opposed with French, Vietnamese work with a more relaxed attitude. The schedule can be flexible and hard work is undertaken when necessary. They do not need policy or principle; practices count more than that. If someone who is ambiguous at the workplace, they will be abandoned or changed. This dimension is so essential for Sephora because Sephora still uses foreigner manager (an expatriate worker from France) and most of the employee is Vietnamese, so they need something to unified rules.

Market Analysis

Sephora sells products that are considered part of the cosmetic industry, the beauty industry, and the personal care industry. Their beauty products are the makeup and makeup tools and other accessories. However, it also sells products that are a part of the personal care industry such as their acne and other skin regimen products. The focus will be Sephora as a part of the Cosmetic industry because personal care broadly incorporates products from baby products such as wipes and diapers also to deodorant and razors.

The global cosmetic industry has seen and will continue to see growth over the next few years. In Vietnam specifically, the Cosmetic Market has valued at US$2 billion dollars (Chi, 2018). In fact, the average Vietnamese woman spends approximately $6 on cosmetics (Chi, 2018). This may seem like an insignificant amount but $6 is equivalent to about $140,000 Vietnamese dongs. As for the market potential in Vietnam, a foreign country has a great opportunity when trying to penetrate the market. In fact, there are not many direct competitors for Sephora in Vietnam. Many of the sellers of cosmetics in Vietnam are considered drugstore cosmetics (Van, 2018). Drugstore cosmetics is equivalent here in the United States to makeup that is sold at Walmart, Target, Walgreens, or Rite Aid; they are the lower end in terms of value and quality of makeup. Sephora, on the other hand, is a seller of high-end high-quality makeup, and they do not sell any generic brands. Therefore, they will be quite successful in Vietnam as there is a market for these high-end (Spencer, 2018). Furthermore, the makeup industry, as mentioned before, in Vietnam is worth US $2 billion, and it’s expected to see significant growth in the next two years (Chi, 2018). While US $2 billion is small for an industry, it is quite large when you consider the size of Vietnam.

Concerning entry into the Vietnamese cosmetic Market, it would be relatively easy for a foreign investor. Vietnam is one of the least difficult places to do business in the world as it is ranked 68th out 189 countries in the Ease of Doing Business Index. In fact, in the Vietnamese cosmetic industry, most cosmetic sellers are from foreign countries (Chi, 2018). Japan and Korea are the top sellers of cosmetics in Vietnam currently (VOV, 2017). Also, it is relatively easy to conduct business in Vietnam through other routes such as joint ventures and wholly-owned subsidiary not just for investment; Vietnam’s cosmetic market is very attractive to foreign brands because of the large market share (Van, 2018).

Trends

There are several trends occurring in the Cosmetic Market. The first trend is vegan or natural and organic products. The term vegan does not necessarily refer to food anymore. Vegan can apply to all sorts of products such as clothing, meaning you refrain from wearing leather from cows or furs from rabbits and foxes. Veganism in beauty products refers to makeup and makeup tools being made entirely without anything from animals. It refers also to not testing on products on animals. This was practiced widely in the industry, but it was not until the late 1990s and early 2000s that testing on animals was realized to be inhumane and immoral. As far as using natural and organic ingredients in makeup this trend really sparked in 2015 where consumers and customers were demanding that companies have these options (source).

The second trend is men using makeup and other beauty regimens. In the United States and in Western culture in general, men using makeup products and other beauty treatments has had a negative stigma. Currently, it is widely accepted for men to take care of themselves through personal care. This trend, however, is not new to the Asian culture as the men in popular culture use makeup and take care of their skin using skin treatments, serums, lotions, etc. Sephora currently has expanded their stores to include a men’s section to follow this trend (CB Insights, 2018).

The last trend is retail technology. Sephora is at the forefront of the cosmetic industry as they have installed new technology in their store that allows consumers to essentially try on makeup before buying them (Holson, 2017). Customers, both online and in-store, are able to see what the foundation, the eyeshadow, or the mascara from various brands will look like on their faces before purchasing. Basically, this technology will show the customer what shades will look best with their complexion. A technology called color IQ matches the foundation for the customer without having to physically use the tester foundations in the store that was previously available. Additionally, Sephora has features on their websites that allow you to quickly reorder products that you purchased in the past as to make shopping easier (CB Insights, 2018).

Segment, Target, Position (STP)

When a company is entering a foreign market, it is important for them to discuss who their target market will be, what the primary identifiers for those market segments are, and how they will market themselves for the target market. Segmentation, targeting and positioning for Sephora in Vietnam involves using the strategy they already use globally. For Sephora one of the ways they already segment the market is by age. Sephora’s target is 18 years to 34 years of age. Deborah Yeh is Sephora’s SVP of marketing, and she says that all the new retail technology is geared toward younger consumers (Holson, 2017). Furthermore, Sephora targets middle-class and upper-class consumers as it sells high-end makeup brands. When targeting their niche market, Sephora’s strategy always stays the same no matter the geographic location. Sephora aims to only be associated with quality; therefore, it only sells high-quality and much more expensive makeup brands. In the Vietnamese Market, Sephora will maintain their high-quality position. Sephora will also continue their try-before-you-buy philosophy.

Sephora in Vietnam

In Vietnam, Sephora will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary. Sephora has maintained its universal image of quality because it refuses to franchise its stores or yield control to companies outside of its conglomerate. In fact, many of the brands offered at Sephora are owned by the LVMH conglomerate. While Sephora will maintain complete control over its stores and concepts, the company can still form alliances. In the US, Sephora partnered with the department store JC Penney to by using the “store within a store” concept (CB Insights, 2018). Sephora can partner with Vietnamese department stores or malls that add to its brand. The current leadership of Sephora contains the president and CEO Calvin McDonald (Sephora, n.d.). Currently, for a has a chief operating officer of Sephora Americas that predominantly focuses on Latin America. The plan proposes that Sephora promote someone from within to run “Sephora Asia” when they open stores in Vietnam. Sephora currently operates in China, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, and more. They even have a flagship store in Shanghai, China (LVMH, n.d.). The actual stores in Vietnam will of course be managed by local Vietnamese citizens as they best understand the culture and language.

References

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Chi, K. (2018). Vietnam’s US $2 billion cosmetic market controlled by foreign brands. Retrieved from https://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/business/198524/vietnam-s-us-2-billion-cosmetics-market-controlled-by-foreign-brands.html

Cosmetics, Beauty Products, Fragrances & Tools. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.sephora.com/

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Executive Leadership. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://jobs.sephora.com/content/our-story/#executive-leadership-anchor

Holson, L. (2017). How Sephora Is Thriving Amid a Retail Crisis. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/11/fashion/sephora-beauty-retail-technology.html

LVMH. (n.d.) Retrieved from https://www.lvmh.com/lesjourneesparticulieres/locations/sephora-china-sephora-china-flagship-nanjing-road/

Spencer, N. (2018). VietBeauty 2018: How Vietnam is giving Asia a cosmetics makeover. Retrieved from https://www.cosmeticsdesign-asia.com/Article/2018/05/22/Vietbeauty-2018-How-Vietnam-is-giving-Asia-a-cosmetics-makeover

The High Potential Of Ho Chi Minh City. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.remoteresources.com/the-high-potential-of-ho-chi-minh-city/

Van, A. (2018). Foreign investors eye Vietnam’s cosmetics market. Retrieved from http://sggpnews.org.vn/business/foreign-investors-eye-vietnams-cosmetics-market-72926.html

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VOV. (2017). Vietnam’s beauty and cosmetic industry need a green makeover. Retrieved from https://english.vietnamnet.vn/fms/business/172112/vietnam-s-beauty-and-cosmetics-industry-needs-green-makeover.html