Human Resource

Question

Unit 1 DQ: Diversity (Graded)

As a Human Resources (HR) manager, you have noted an extremely low number of women currently at any level of management within the company. In addition, you have noticed a disproportionate number of women have left the company over the past year.

Address each question completely in detail. Think fully on the answer before submitting your response.

Please align the number of your response to the numbered question below. Be sure to write in a professional manner (paragraphs, complete sentences, etc.) Sloppy inattentive submissions will be penalized.

  1. What actions could you take to increase the number of female new hires?
  2. What specific programs/initiatives could you develop to assist hiring managers in the interview process?
  3. What additional steps could you take to assure a safe working environment for female employees?

Sample papers

Human Resource

In the recent labor force, industry, diversity is increasingly becoming the order of the day. Dead and gone are the days when men alone would dominate all sectors and industries in the economy. Despite the fact that men are still many in most industries, the number of employed women is slowly increasing thus creating a healthy competition between men and women employees.

Question 1

One of the many ways that companies and organizations can use to attract more women in their companies is by creating a uniting font. Therefore, the recruiting process and procedure should emphasize the importance of recruiting and retaining women in the company. Similarly, the members of the human resource department, interviewers, and the entire organizational team should understand that recruiting, hiring and retaining women employees is the primary goal of accompany. In addition, the company should make the job ads women-friendly (In Harzing, A.-W, & In Pinnington, 2015). Research shows that women like having fun, friendly and casual atmosphere. Therefore, companies should strive to create a friendly environment for women.

Question 2

According to most human resource managers, promoting the current female employees and employees in positions of power gives the necessary motivation to interviewers the motivation to look for more women. When women are represented at the highest level, such as the interviewee committee, there are high chances that they will prioritize the needs of female employees.  Additionally, constant and regular training on the need of diversity in the workplace enhances the ability of the interviewers to give more chances to female employees (Mathis, Jackson, Valentine, & Meglich, 2017).

Question 3

The creation of a friendly working environment is the key to the recruitment and retaining of female employees. This can be done by taking the sexual harassment seriously. Research shows that women are more vulnerable to sexual harassment than men. Therefore, the assurance of their safety is key to their commitment to an organization (Mathis, Jackson, Valentine, & Meglich, 2017).

References

In Harzing, A.-W, & In Pinnington, A. H. (2015). International human resource management. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Mathis, R. L., Jackson, J. H., Valentine, S., & Meglich, P. A. (2017). Human resource management.

Telecommuting

Question

Background: Many people think of telecommuting from the perspective of how it might make
their lives easier. This perspective is an oversimplification of the work design option. In this
paper, you are asked to address each of the following issues to address the following:
You are a Human Resources (HR) manager. You have been tasked to work with a specific
internal department to provide both guidance and structure to the potential rollout of a
telecommuting option for that group. As such, you want to address the following specific issues
with that departments management team (NOTE: The associated point value for each
component is noted in bold):
1. Describe in detail some of the common components/considerations of a successful
telecommuting program. (Research is required outside of the course material) (50
points)
2. Explain in detail the issues encountered by other organizations in implementing a
telecommuting program. (Research is required outside of the course material) (50
points)
a. How are they commonly addressed in the rollout of an official program)
3. Describe how you can best determine the fit of the individual for a telecommuting
program. Focus on the course material covering: (50 points)
a. Values
b. Personality
c. Social Need of the individual
d. Career management issues
e. Any other items you feel are relevant
4. Since the use of work teams is growing in importance, describe in detail the relevant
factors to be considered in an effective telecommuting. Describe the potential limits
this may have for a rollout. Describe how some of these issues may be overcome. (50
points)
a. Include all relevant aspects of group dynamics covered within the course.
The rubric is contained within the four itemized components above.

Sample paper

Telecommuting

 

Table of Contents

Abstract…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….3

Statement of Purpose………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….3

Common Components of a Successful Telecommuting Program……………………………………………………….4

Internet Connections…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….…….4

Employee Management Software and Applications…………………………………………………………………………….5

Health Considerations………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….5

Issues Encountered by Organizations in Implementing a Telecommuting Program………………….……….5

Suitability…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….5

Management Challenges…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……….6

Security……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……….6

Cost Concerns……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..……….6

Separation from Work Culture………………………………………………………………………………………………….………….7

Feelings of Inadequacy and Low Motivation…………………………………………………………………………………………7

Determining the Fit of Individuals for a Telecommuting Program…………………………………………………….….7

Values……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….………………………………….7

Personality…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….7

Social Need of the Individual……………………………………………….……………………………………………………………….8

Career Management Issues………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….9

Willingness to Telecommute……………………………………………………………………………………………………….……….9

Relevant Factors and Limits in an Effective Telecommuting…………………………………………………………….9

Personal Factors……………………………………………………………………….………………………………………………..……….9

Nature of the Work…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….10

Compliance with Expected Workplace Standards……………………………………………………………………………….11

Rules and Policies……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….11

Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….11

References……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….12

 

 

Abstract

Telecommuting is becoming increasingly common as organizations seek new ways of reducing operational costs. The recent advances in technology have facilitated the application of telecommuting programs in organizations at a rapid pace. Organizations are looking at telecommuting as an effective way for maintain a competitive advantage over the competitors. Despite the potential benefits for employees and management, serious challenges abound in implementing telecommuting programs. Telecommuting programs can have serious impacts to employee performance and generally an organization’s performance. In particular, telecommuting significantly affects the social bonds or ties among employees in the organization. This may have negative impacts to the organization. The other major challenge concerns the ability of the managers to maintain control over telecommuters who work from different geographical locations. This necessitates the application of software applications to help in monitoring employees. Such software applications may be costly to install.

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this descriptive study is to explore in detail the components of telecommuting program, issues in implementing telecommuting, factors for consideration in effective telecommuting, and ways of establishing the fit of individuals for a telecommuting program.

Telecommuting

Common Components of a Successful Telecommuting Program

Internet Connections

A successful telecommuting program must have quality network infrastructure. The management may have to choose from a number of remote access technologies such as broadband internet service, dedicated private circuits, and among others. The major factors to consider in deciding on remote access technology are speed, cost, security of data, and mobility. Some access technologies such as use of cellular networks and cable modems can allow the telecommuter to work from different locations covered by the network. Wi-Fi hotspots and digital subscriber lines are suitable where the telecommuter works from a stationery location. Some network providers can establish a private IP environment between the telecommuter and the organization’s computer system. Such a system would be suitable where there is passing of sensitive data.

Virtual Private Network

This is another important component for a successful telecommuting program. Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a network infrastructure that enables users to safely access private networks even from public networks (Pearce, 2008). A VPN is critical in facilitating telecommuter access to the organization’s network, which is private network. A VPN is a critical component of a successful telecommuting program since it acts as a gateway through which the telecommuter can access key corporate resources such as intranet portals, network shares, internal applications, and printers (Pearce, 2008). VPNs are a safe way of accessing key resources. VPNs provide adequate security to prevent various forms of cyberattacks to the organization’s computer systems.

Information Sharing

A successful telecommuting program must integrate file and content sharing technologies. Peer-to-peer file sharing is the most common (Pearce, 2008). The sharing of files occurs through a centralized file sharing server. Recent trends involve using a third party for file storage solutions. The telecommuters as well as regular employees can easily access such files from all the computers on the organization’s network (Pearce, 2008). Content sharing is also vital for a successful telecommuting program. The organization can facilitate content sharing by use of specialized content-sharing software or websites.  Use of blogs, portals, social bookmark sites, and wikis can facilitate content sharing (Pearce, 2008). File and content sharing technologies eliminate the need for telecommuters to have to move to the physical offices to present work or obtain new information.

Multiple Communication Channels

A successful telecommuting program should allow for multiple communication channels. Communication is an essential element of the telecommuting process. Communication allows the telecommuters to keep in touch with the supervisors or management in an effective manner. The communication channels should allow for passing or oral, written, and visual messages or information. Common communication methods include web conferencing, audio conferencing, and instant messaging. Web conferencing enables the passing of visual and audio messages over the organization’s network infrastructure. Audio conferencing enable individuals to pass voice messages over the internet or mobile networks. Instant messaging provides users with the ability to send or receive instant messages through the internet.

Employee Management Software and Applications

A successful telecommuting program must include a reliably way of monitoring the telecommuters. The management should be able to monitor the performance of employees at their different and far off locations. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can help in tracking the working of employees. The management or supervisors can raise an issue in the CRM platform. The issue remains open until the particular employee resolves the issue. It can be difficult to manage employees working from remote locations. In a telecommuting environment, it is difficult to conduct supervisory roles to ensure that employees adhere to established policy.

Organizational leaders in charge on telecommuters must ensure they improve on performance measurement relating to telecommuters. Failure to ensure there are effective performance measurement tools may lead inefficiencies among the telecommuters. The management should make use performance-tracking software in order to ensure effective monitoring of telecommuters’ performance. Telecommuter management should also involve providing effective support. The management must ensure that telecommuters have adequate support in order to achieve their goals. For instance, the management should replace promptly faulty equipment and provide other forms of help desk support.

Health Considerations

Some researchers have focused on the risks posed by telecommuting to the health of individuals. In corporate workspaces, there are adequate health provisions to employees effectively minimizing various health risks (Allen, Golden, & Shockley, 2015). For instance, corporate workspaces have ambient ergonomically designed workstations that reduce the risk of injury. Employees have a regular schedule that involves going for breaks. Corporate workspaces have ambient lighting and are subject to inspection. Regular inspection ensures that such workspaces meets or exceeds health standards. On the other hand, telecommuters often have to set up workstations on their own and using limited resources (Allen, Golden, & Shockley, 2015). This increases the risk of injury since they may not follow outlined standards. Telecommuters may also fail to follow required safety standards when they work away from the office. A telecommuting program should not increase the risk of injuries to employees.

Issues Encountered by Organizations in Implementing a Telecommuting Program

Suitability

One of the issues encountered by organizations in implementing a telecommuting program is making a decision on the suitability of employees and various roles for telecommuting. It is difficult for the management to decide on the positions that are suitable to telecommuting. In addition, the management may face challenges in deciding on the employees best suited to work as telecommuters. Telecommuting is not suitable for all forms of jobs in the organization. The organization may face serious challenges if employees handle certain tasks from outside the office. For instance, jobs requiring face-to-face interactions with the customers may not be suitable for telecommuting. In addition to the challenges of selecting the suitable jobs for telecommuting, organizational leaders must make the decision on the employees they can allow to work as telecommuters. The suitable employees should have high self-drive and productivity. The suitable candidate should be one who can work with minimal supervision. It may not be easy for the management to select such employees.

Management Challenges

Management challenges are prevalent in organizations that implement telecommuting programs. It is difficult to manage employees in different physical locations. The telecommuters may take advantage of lack of direct supervision leading to slack in the level of output. According to Pearce (2009) noted that the separation from the physical workplace increases the tendency for telecommuters to underperform. Besides the inability to maintain an oversight role over the employees, the management may also lose the ability to assess employee performance. This may occur where the organization’s management lacks adequate resources to install modern employee monitoring technologies. The organization can only ensure effective monitoring of employees by basing compensation of units produced instead of the hours worked. Such remuneration system has major drawbacks including low quality of products due to the focus on quantity of final products.

Security

Security is another organizational issue encountered when implementing a telecommuting program. It is virtually impossible for the organization to guarantee the security of sensitive data when employees work outside the physical location. According to Pearce (2009), security of computer systems and information protection is a major threat facing telecommuting. Various breaches that may occur while working from outside the office include hacking, erroneous emails, and stolen laptops or other important equipment. In particular, hackers can use stolen laptops to gain access to sensitive information. Pearce (2009) identified various security issues facing telecommuters. One of the issues is vulnerability of broadband connections to malware attacks. The organization should install firewall and anti-virus programs to avert such attacks. Majority of telecommuters prefer using wireless connections, which are susceptible to eavesdropping. An organization wishing to prevent eavesdropping must invest more by installing encryption technologies.

Telecommuters often face security challenges involving their internet browser security. Hackers can use malicious software to steal information from a computer system (Pearce, 2009). Such an attack can occur through a weakness on one of the organization’s extended computer networks. It may be difficult for the management to ensure that all employees implement the appropriate computer safeguards while using their laptops. This leaves a window that hackers can exploit to gain access to the organization’s computer system. As mentioned above, it is also difficult to ensure the physical security of the extended computer network in telecommuting. Theft of computer from telecommuters’ home or other location could lead to leaking of sensitive data to the public.

Cost Concerns

Cost is another issue in implementing telecommuting programs. Beginning a telecommuting program requires substantial resources from the organization. This may have significant effect on the profitability of the organization. The organization may incur costs due to the need for upgrading the technology information systems to allow for secure remote access. In addition, the organization may find the need to install modern software and applications for employee monitoring. For instance, the organization may find the need to install Symposium, a system that uses VOIP to monitor calls in a call center (Pearce, 2009). Apart from costs relating to upgrading of the information systems, an organization is likely to incur costs involving relocation of office furniture, installation of advanced security systems, installation of internet, and other costs.

Separation from Work Culture

Corporate culture is critical in ensuring an organization’s productivity. A strong corporate culture helps in ensuring that employees work towards achieving common goals. Telecommuting brings about the issue of separation from the work culture (Chithambo, 2015). Telecommuters working from their homes rarely interact with employees working from the offices. This may lead to a fragmentation of the social fabric in the workplace and the subsequent loss of the workplace culture. Fragmentation of the corporate culture may lead to poor teamwork among employees (Pearce, 2009). Employees working from within the organization may also forge a unique culture from the telecommuters. This may result to tension between telecommuters and regular employees. Such tension may lead to reduced productivity in the organization since employees may tend to focus on unnecessary issues.

Feelings of Inadequacy and Low Motivation

Telecommuting can lead to feelings of inadequacy leading to low motivation. Telecommuting involves removing an employee from a social life and conditioning him/her to isolation. Most often, telecommuters work from home where their social circle becomes narrow. Such employees may experience lower motivation levels. Moreover, telecommuters often express fears of being disregarded for promotions and other opportunities that may emerge in the organization (Dahlstrom, 2013). This is because telecommuters work from outside the organization. They have limited chances of interacting with the managers, supervisors, and other employees. When promotional opportunities emerge, those working within the organization have the highest chances of getting the promotions. The notion that telecommuting will have a negative impact on a telecommuter’s career may lead to low motivation. In implementing telecommuting programs, the management must take measures to ensure that both telecommuters and regular employees receive fair promotion opportunities. The management may find it difficult to ensure a balance between the two.

Determining the Fit of Individuals for a Telecommuting Program

Values

Values can help in determining the suitability of an employee for a telecommuting program. Values relates to the standards of behavior relating to a particular individual. Employees should exhibit a number of values for them to be suitable for working in a telecommuting environment. One of the core values is accountability. This is the willingness to take responsibility for one’s actions. Another important value is self-discipline. A suitable employee for a telecommuting program should be able to plan for his/her work and remain committed towards achieving organizational goals. Another important value is self-motivation. A suitable employee should be able to work without supervision. Positive attitude is also critical in a telecommunication arrangement. Another important value is honesty and integrity. This is important in building trust. Another important aspect is professionalism. This involves learning all the integral aspects of the job and performing the task to the best of one’s ability at all times.

Personality

The personality of employees can offer the management a window of opportunity to determine whether a particular employee is fit for telecommuting. The Big Five personality typology can help in assessing whether an individual is fit for telecommuting. The Big Five personality typology categorizes the entire range of human personality into five types. These are openness, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and extraversion. According to Clark, Karau, and Michalisin (2012), the Big Five personality types are generalizable across cultures. As such, the Big Five personality types can enable the management to understand personality types and their fit in a telecommuting environment.

Individuals who have high openness tend to be creative, they seek variety, and they tend to seek intellectual stimulation. Individuals with openness are also likely to seek opportunities for learning. Employees who have high openness tend to be creative and seek opportunities for learning. Telecommuting requires that the employee adopts new methods of communication and gets used to working from a new environment (Clark, Karau, & Michalisin, 2012). There exists a positive relationship between an employee’s openness and the ability to view telecommuting in a positive manner (Clark, Karau, & Michalisin, 2012). According to Smith, Patmos, and Pitts (2018), having a positive attitude towards learning enables such individuals to become better telecommuters.

Individuals high in agreeableness tend to exude honesty, trustworthiness, cooperation, helpfulness, amicableness, and decency (Clark, Karau, & Michalisin, 2012). Employees high in agreeableness tend to be high performers especially in tasks involving high interpersonal interactions (Clark, Karau, & Michalisin, 2012; Smith, Patmos, & Pitts, 2018). Further, some researchers concluded that there is a strong positive relationship between agreeableness and job performance in telecommuting environments (Smith, Patmos, & Pitts, 2018). Employees high in conscientiousness tend to be self-disciplined, thorough, organized, responsible, hardworking, and careful (Clark, Karau, & Michalisin, 2012). Employees having high conscientiousness are better suited to work in a telecommuting environment. The characteristics relating to hard work and self-discipline are critical in ensuring success in a telecommuting environment.

Extraversion concerns the tendency to be highly sociable, talkative, assertive, and active. Extraverts prefer environments that promote social interactions and stimulation of the senses (Clark, Karau, & Michalisin, 2012). Due to the need for the highly stimulating environments, extraverts may not be fit for a telecommuting arrangement. Extraverts would prefer working in environments that promote social interactions. On the other hand, introverts may be more suited for a telecommuting arrangement since they prefer having less social contacts. Neuroticism relates to the emotional stability of individuals. According to Smith, Patmos, and Pitts (2018), people high in neuroticism tend to be anxious and depressed. Recent studies indicate that people with neuroticism prefer telecommuting since they are able to maintain total control over their work environment.

Social Need of the Individual

The social need of the individual may also help in determining his/her fit for a telecommuting program. Social needs refer to the need for affiliation. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory states that social needs are significant motivating factors for individuals (Furnham, 2012). Individuals have certain social needs such as the need to interact with others, to have friends, and the need for acceptance by others. Developing relations at work enables an employee to fulfil the social needs (Furnham, 2012). Further, organizations promote the development of cordial social relations by coming up with various events and activities such as office parties, sports days, fun competitions, and among others. Social needs are part of what Maslow identified as deficiency needs. Inability of an individual to fulfil these needs lead to stunted physical and psychological development.

Employees whose social needs are high may not be fit for a telecommuting program. It is possible to assess the social needs of an employee by measuring the task independence and interpersonal independence levels. Task independence refers to the ability of the employee to accomplish tasks with minimal supervision or help from others. An employee who is highly task independent can fit in a telecommuting environment. Interpersonal independence measures the employee’s level of need for establishing social interactions in the workplace. Employees having high interpersonal dependence may not feel comfortable working as telecommuters. According to Dahlstrom (2013), some employees may long for social interactions in the office when they are telecommuting. A solution for this may be telecommuting on part time basis.

Career Management Issues

Career management is critical in determining the fit of an individual for a telecommuting program. Career management involves planning of activities and job engagements mainly to facilitate growth. Career management lays the foundation for the progression of an employee across the organizational leadership structure. This largely depends on employee preferences, performance levels, and organizational objectives. Career management enables an employee to recognize viable career paths that they can follow for future success. Another need for career management is in setting career priorities and goals. Employees aiming at leadership positions at the organization may not find it suitable to work as telecommuters. According to Dahlstrom (2013), many employees fear engaging in telecommuting due to limited opportunities for growth or advancement.

Willingness to Telecommute

It is important for the management to take into consideration the employees’ preferences with regard to telecommuting. Employees who are in favor of the decision to work as telecommuters would best fit the program. The management should not force employees into working as telecommuters since this may lead to lower employee motivation. For instance, extraverts may not be able to handle isolation that presents in telecommuting environments (Clark, Karau, & Michalisin, 2012). Extraverts desire social interactions in order to feel complete. Some individuals may not find the home environment fit for office work. It is worth noting that a large share of individuals who engage in telecommuting prefer working from home. The home environment may reduce productivity or performance levels.

Relevant Factors and Limits in an Effective Telecommuting

Personal Factors

Personal factors are one of the relevant factors for consideration in effective telecommuting. Telecommuting is not suitable for all employees. Certain personality traits play a critical role in determining whether an individual will be effective as a telecommuter (Ye, 2012). An effective telecommuter should be highly dependable. It is possible to assess an employee’s dependability levels by looking at how he/she meets deadlines for tasks or assignments and punctuality in reporting. An employee who manages time effectively at the workplace is likely to continue the same even when telecommuting. Another personal factor is professionalism. An ideal telecommuter is an employee who handles assignments with professionalism, which is indicative of responsibility.

Communication is another important personal factor. An ideal telecommuter is one who has effective communication skills (Ye, 2012). Telecommuting involves working away from an organization’s physical location. This requires that telecommuters maintain frequent communication with the co-workers, supervisors, and managers in order to show their commitment to the job. Telecommuting may not be possible for persons who are poor communicators. For instance, employees who delay in responding to emails or answering calls may not be effective telecommuters. A good telecommuter should be resourceful. Telecommuting employees face often face challenging work situations alone since the supervisor or manager is not present to offer immediate solutions. A suitable telecommuting candidate should be able to apply problem-solving skills to various challenging situations. A suitable candidate would be an employee who has demonstrated sound problem-solving skills in resolving prior challenges.

Another relevant factor is the productivity level of employees. A suitable candidate should demonstrate productivity in the organization. There is a close link between productivity and possession of relevant job skills. Employees who lack adequate job skills or knowledge are not suitable candidates for telecommuting (Ye, 2012). Time management and good organization skills of the employee is also relevant. A suitable candidate should be a good time manager. The employee should possess organizational skills to be able to plan his/her work. The suitable candidate should be able to work with minimal supervision and can take steps to measure performance.

Nature of the Work

Nature of work is a relevant factor that management must consider in telecommuting. Not all jobs are suitable for telecommuting. The suitable jobs for telecommuting are those that involve engaging in independent tasks and where it is possible to measure performance based on the outcomes (Ye, 2012). Managers should be able to conduct an evaluation to determine whether work characteristics can permit telecommuting among employees. Managers should take interest in establishing whether the employee can perform the job functions independently, and at a location outside the organization. An employee should be able to conduct a job task just as efficiently as he/she would while inside the office. The job requirements should accommodate for working away from the organization. Some of the jobs suited for telecommuting include data processing, indirect customer services, writing tasks, sales, legal jobs, research and policy development, programming, and among others.

With regard to the nature of the work, security concerns may arise when some employees work from outside the office (Ye, 2012). Organizations may have security concerns especially where telecommuting involves bypassing the security barriers in place. Organizations use firewalls, virtual private networks, and Secure Socket Layer to enhance the security of the information systems. Telecommuting can pose certain risks to the organization especially if it involves remotely accessing the information systems. The managers must be able to ensure that there are adequate security considerations before giving telecommuters remote access to the organization’s computer systems. Tasks that do not require access to the computer systems may be safe for telecommuting.

Compliance with Expected Workplace Standards

Managers must ensure that telecommuting does not lead to non-compliance of workplace standards. An effective telecommuting program must take into consideration the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards for work. OSHA standards outline the safety, health, and welfare requirements for those employed. A major concern by OSHA is workplace safety. Every employee should be able to work in a safe and healthy environment. With regard to this, the management should be in a position to provide the required safety gear to all employees. Generally, managers should ensure that the remote offices meet OSHA requirements. The management should visit all remote offices to ensure they meet the OSHA requirements. It is also important to ensure that remote offices do not compromise the integrity of an organization’s data security. The management should develop security policies guiding telecommuters. For instance, the management may prohibit employees from using public WIFI to prevent incidences of hacking.

Rules and Policies

The management should develop rules and policies that guide how employees under the telecommuting program will work. The management should communicate the rules and policies to employees before they make the decision to engage in telecommuting (Ye, 2012). Lack of a proper policy framework guiding telecommuters may lead to confusion and inefficiencies. The policy should designate clearly, the party to meet the various costs that the telecommuter may incur. For instance, the policy should be clear on whether the telecommuter or the company should pay for the internet access. The management should also make a decision on whether the telecommuter should purchase his/her own equipment or the organization should provide. The equipment may include laptop, filing cabinets, bookcases, desk, and among others. The management should make it clear that it is the role of employees to ensure they protect data and equipment from theft. The management should also develop a policy on sick days and leave for the employee. Generally, the criteria for leave and sick days should be the same as the one used in the office.

Conclusion

In summary, the advancements in technology have made it possible for employees handling certain job tasks to work from anywhere and at any time. Telecommuting enables individuals to work from homes or other locations of their choice. Although telecommuting is a revolutionary force, there are certain considerations that the management must ensure are in place for a successful telecommuting program. The considerations identified include internet connections, Virtual Private Network (VPN), information sharing facilities, multiple communication channels, employee management software and applications, and health considerations. Further, the organization may encounter various issues in implementing a telecommuting program.  The issues identified are suitability, management challenges, security, cost concerns, separation from work culture, and feelings of inadequacy and low motivation. The fit of the individual to telecommute depends on a number of personal factors. The various factors that the management should consider in an effective telecommuting are values, personality, social needs, and career management issues.

References

Allen, T. D., Golden, T. D., & Shockley, K. M. (2015). How effective is telecommuting? assessing the         status of our scientific findings. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 16(2), 40-68.           10.1177/1529100615593273

Chithambo, L. M. (2015). Security concerns in telecommuting within the information technology                 industry. Academic Forum. Conference. Proceedings, , 53.

Clark, L. A., Karau, S. J., & Michalisin, M. D. (2012). Telecommuting attitudes and the ‘big five’ personality                 dimensions. Journal of Management Policy and Practice, 13(3), 31.

Dahlstrom, T. R. (2013). Telecommuting and leadership style. Public Personnel Management, 42(3), 438- 451. 10.1177/0091026013495731

Dahlstrom, T. R. (2013). Telecommuting and leadership style. Public Personnel Management, 42(3), 438- 451. 10.1177/0091026013495731

Furnham, A. (2012). The psychology of behaviour at work: the individual in the organization. Psychology Press.

Pearce, j. A. (2009). Successful corporate telecommuting with technology considerations for late                 adopters. Organizational Dynamics, 38(1), 16-25. 10.1016/j.orgdyn.2008.10.002

Smith, S. A., Patmos, A., & Pitts, M. J. (2018;2015;). Communication and teleworking: A study of communication channel satisfaction, personality, and job satisfaction for teleworking       employees. International Journal of Business Communication, 55(1), 44-68.     10.1177/2329488415589101

Ye, L. R. (2012). Telecommuting: implementation for success. International Journal of Business and Social                 Science, 3(15): 20-26.

Coding and Decoding

Coding and Decoding

The message:

I am a rock star!!!

The encoding matrix is:

The phrase matrix is:

 

* =

The phrase as a single line is written as: 198/200 130/180/144 85 172 160/100 145 168 114 27 24 15

Discussion Questions

  1. Find the determinant of the encoding matrix
  2. Find the inverse of the decoding matrix
  • Decode the message
  1. How can this concept apply in sending messages over electronic devices such as phones?

Mortgage

Question

You definitely reported on some of the considerations people make when picking mortgage. With the longer term, you may be able to afford a larger mortgage, which can be helpful in a state with high property costs like NJ.

For the example you shared, what was the initial cost of the home and down payment?  For each option, how much would you pay in total for the home, assuming you lived in it through the life of the loan?

Sample paper

Mortgage

The initial cost of the home is $300,000 and the down payment is $60,000. I opted to examine the 30-year fixed rate loan at 4.125% interest rate and the 15-year fixed rate loan at 3.5 % interest rate. The annual percentage rate (APR) gives the total cost of the mortgage. The total costs include the interest rate, broker fees, closing costs, and among other costs. The APR is thus a better figure in estimating the total costs of buying a home through a mortgage. For each option, I would pay different amounts depending on the APR rate. Under option for a 30-yeat fixed rate at an APR of 4.226%, I would pay $418,680 in total. For the 30-year fixed rate FHA at an APR of 4.778%, I would pay $477,000 in total. For the 15-year fixed rate, I would pay $308,880. Since I am looking for a 30-year mortgage option, the best option would be the 30-year fixed rate option at a rate of 4.226%. The total amount is $418,680.

Discussion Questions

  1. Define break-even point.
  2. Assume that the value of one discount point is $3,000. If by paying the $3,000 will lower the overall cost of the mortgage by $112.5, how long does it take to make up the cost of the point?
  • Would it be advisable to pay the extra $3,000 if you plan to stay in the house for less than 2 years? Why or why not?

 

Civic Engagement

Question

Directions: Research a non-profit organization, political candidate or organization, campus or community agency engaged in community activism. Since the assignment’s focus is on civic engagement, audience centeredness is a key element: how/why does this matter to the audience, as fellow citizens what can be done, what action(s) can be made (i.e. how can audience members engage civically)?

A requirement for this assignment is conducting research to support your thesis/central idea to include: definitions, evidence/facts, narratives, testimony, and/or statistics (minimum of 3 citations must be incorporated into your speech). Citing sources properly and accurately will be an integral component of the assignment.

Introduction

Attention Getter (e.g. quote, narrative, question, statistic)

Introduce topic clearly by stating thesis/central idea.

Credibility Statement (why you are qualified to speak, such as personal and/or professional expertise, experience, knowledge)

Provide full preview of Main Points

Body

2-5 main points with connectives (e.g. transitions, internal preview, signposts)

Incorporate 3 citations based on gathered materials

NOTE: Last main point should reflect how audience members can engage civically (be specific).

Conclusion

Prepare audience for ending

Reinforce thesis/central idea (e.g. restate main points)

Final memorable statement. End strong!

Sample paper

Civic Engagement

Since its inception, Planned Parenthood has transformed the lives of thousands of women through civic engagement. This study presents an overview of the organization’s achievement in matters relating to women’s health since its inception. The study will allow the audience to understand how the organization has transformed the lives of thousands women, helping them in improving the quality of life and the standard of living in the society. Women play a critical role in the community. However, most of the time women have been denied even their basic rights. As a researcher on women’s rights issues, I am in a position to explain the efforts made by the organization over the last century to improve women’s lives.

Planned Parenthood has been instrumental in educating women on birth control methods. The major aim of the organization is to reduce unwanted pregnancies and ensure that women are able to achieve high educational standards. Vast literature available indicates that women who bear children at a relatively younger age record lower educational attainment levels compared to their counterparts who start childbearing at a later period. According to Kane et al. (2013), teen childbearing contributes to a difference of between 0.7 and 1.9 years of schooling in teenage mothers and those who start childbearing later in life. By promoting birth control, the organization has been able to raise the childbearing age among thousands of women. This ensures high educational attainment levels among women.

Besides birth control agenda, the organization has been critical in promoting sexual orientation and gender awareness. Planned Parenthood has been focal in teaching women about gender, gender identify, and controversial issues such as sexual orientation. Of great significance, the organization examines issues concerning transgender and gender non-conforming identities. The organization has been vital in helping individuals who would wish to transform their gender identity if they feel different from the one they were assigned at birth. This is critical considering that about 1.4 million individuals in the US identify as transgender. The organization helps those who want to change to a particular gender or even those who are transgender since they face a lot of discrimination in the community.

The organization has also been critical in promoting women’s health. Planned Parenthood provides education to women on how to reduce the risk of death from different type of cancers. The organization provides women with critical information on different forms of cancers including breast cancer, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, and HPV-related cancer. In addition, the organization organizes free cancer screenings that target women from poor backgrounds. As Gorey et al. (2015) notes, women from poor backgrounds are at increased risk dying from cancer due to lack of regular screening. Cancer screenings promote early cancer detection. This improves the chances of successful treatment before the cancer spreads to other body organs and tissues. Planned Parenthood promotes education among women concerning sexually transmitted infections including herpes, hepatitis B, HPV, HIV & AIDS, and among other STDs.

Lastly, it is worth noting that each one can engage civically in this course by joining the organization as a volunteer or by participating in numerous programs and events. Every year, the organization organizes activities, educational programs, and free medical camps with the aim of improving the lives of women. Joining in these activities is a great way of helping the organization to achieve its objectives.

In summary, Planned Parenthood plays a significant role in the lives of each one of you. The organization’s main objective is to improve the status of women in the society. The organization achieves this buy promoting their health status, helping women realize their identity, and by giving women the power to choose whether to give birth.

References

Kane, J. B., Morgan, S. P., Harris, K. M., & Guilkey, D. K. (2013). The educational          consequences of teen childbearing. Demography, 50(6), 2129-2150. doi:10.1007/s13524-     013-0238-9

Gorey, K. M., Richter, N. L., Luginaah, I. N., Hamm, C., Holowaty, E. J., Zou, G., &       Balagurusamy, M. K. (2015). Breast cancer among women living in poverty: Better care         in canada than in the united states. Social Work Research, 39(2), 107-118.           doi:10.1093/swr/svv006

Hoffman. J. (2016, June 30). Estimate of U.S. transgender population doubles to 1.4 million         adults. The New York Times.

The Need to Modify Laws Legalizing Recreational Use of Marijuana

Question

Speech Preparation Outline- Persuasive

The purpose of the Module 15 speech assignment is for students to persuade audience members to support their claim about a policy issue (local, state, regional, national, or international/global). Students will incorporate research-based evidence about the issue to determine if a policy needs to be enacted, modified, or banned (i.e. student’s claim). Using Monroe’s Motivated Sequence, students will incorporate elements of: Attention, Need, Satisfaction, Visualization, and Action in order to advocate for the policy change. Refer to Module 15 for details.

The purpose of this assignment is to prepare for the persuasive speech. In this writing assignment you will utilize the process used to develop speech content, including, but not limited to: selecting a topic, determining the specific purpose, developing content areas, and identifying credible research.

Directions

  1. Research and select a topic on a policy that needs to be enacted, modified, or banned (local, state, regional, national or international/global).
  2. Provide the following:

Topic selection on a question of policy:

Specific Purpose:

Thesis/Central idea:

Questions based on the thesis to determine areas of research for gathering materials and speech elements (Attention, Need, Satisfaction, Visualization, Action)

Potential resources (minimum of 3 credible sources):

Potential Visual aid(s) to be incorporated into speech:

Sample paper

The Need to Modify Laws Legalizing Recreational Use of Marijuana

Specific Purpose: To inform the audience of the dangers of legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes.

Thesis/Central Idea: Legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes will significantly increase its use, notwithstanding the potential harmful consequences and the possibility of addiction, especially among the adolescents.

Questions

  1. Does marijuana impair learning among individuals?
  2. Does marijuana cause psychosis?
  • What are the long-term impacts of marijuana use?
  1. Could legalization of recreational marijuana increase its use among adolescents?

Recent findings indicate that marijuana has significant health impacts on the mental and physical well-being of individuals, and especially those in the adolescent age bracket (Caldera et al. 268; Jager et al. 565). Users may exhibit certain psychiatric symptoms and as such, record higher mental health visits to psychiatrists. Marijuana users report higher levels of anxiety and depression compared with non-users. In addition, marijuana users report more physical health problems and poorer quality of life compared with non-marijuana users.

Legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes will largely increase the problem of drug abuse in the society. The risk is even higher among adolescents, whose brain is still under development. According to Caldera et al., frequent use of marijuana contributes to neuropsychological deficits (268). The neuropsychological deficits may have negative consequences on associative learning, verbal learning, and lead to problems in attention and alertness. Apart from the mental health effects, frequent marijuana use contributes to a host of physical health problems. Common health effects associated with marijuana use include diseases of the liver such as hepatitis C, heart diseases, lung diseases including cancer, vasculature, and among others.

Vast literature available documents the negative impacts of marijuana use on the brain. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology, Jager et al. (561) found that marijuana use has significant impacts on the brain function. Specifically, adults who smoked marijuana recorded overactive working memory, indicating brain activity impairment by marijuana and hence the compensatory action of the brain. Apart from the mental health and physical health impacts, another serious problem lies with the use of marijuana. The study by Jager et al. (561) indicates that early marijuana use increases the risk of developing substance abuse and drug dependence problem. The age at which an individual begins to use marijuana determines the strength of the association. Since the brain of adolescents is still developing, it is more susceptible to chemicals found in drugs. This means significant impacts on brain function of the adolescent.

The solution to this problem is in ensuring that the current policies do not allow the use of recreational marijuana. The legalization of recreational marijuana will likely fuel the abuse of marijuana especially among the youths (Gordon 6). Although the current legalization laws provide guidelines on the amount of plants that individuals can grow, it will be difficult to implement checks. This will create a scenario where marijuana will be easily available among the youth, which will also provide the leeway for the use of other substances. As research indicates, use of marijuana increases the chances of using other illegal drugs. The current laws should thus aim on restricting marijuana use for medical purposes only.

At the personal basis, it is possible to take action against the legalization of recreational marijuana through lobbying, organizing talks, and holding peaceful demonstrations. The aim is to develop awareness and push legislators to develop policies that outlaw the recreational use of marijuana. By coming together to champion common interests, it is possible that the will of the people will prevail.

Works Cited

Caldeira, Kimberly M., et al. “Marijuana use Trajectories during the Post-College Transition:       Health Outcomes in Young Adulthood.” Drug and Alcohol Dependence, vol. 125, no. 3, 2012, pp. 267.

Gordon, Adam J., James W. Conley, and Joanne M. Gordon. “Medical Consequences of   Marijuana use: A Review of Current Literature.” Current Psychiatry Reports, vol. 15, no.      12, 2013, pp. 1-11.

Jager, Gerry, et al. “Cannabis use and Memory Brain Function in Adolescent Boys: A Cross-      Sectional Multicenter Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study.” Journal of the          American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, vol. 49, no. 6, 2010, pp. 561-          572e3

COSTCO Membership Benefits

Question

Description: Speech Preparation – Informative (Speech of Review) Directions: Video Preparation Assignment The purpose of this assignment is for students to begin developing content for the Speech of Review. Assignment elements must be developed to include:  Topic choice (business, product, or service) Specific purpose: Thesis/central idea: single, declarative statement that reflects essence/central idea of speech. Questions based on thesis/central idea (audience-centeredness): refer to Lesson 6 discussion question Potential main points: 2-5  Include 2 research-based, credible resources since you must incorporate D.E.N.T.S (definitions, evidence/examples, narratives, testimony, and statistics) in speech, with full citations. Use MLA or APA (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Submit a 1-2 page WORD document including aforementioned elements, and use the grading rubric to ensure elements are concise, correct and accurate. NOTE: use numbers or bullets for content; do not submit in essay form.  Sample Student Assignment General Purpose: To inform Specific Purpose: To inform my audience about the benefits of a COSCO membership. Thesis/Central Idea: A COSTCO membership is beneficial since it affords the user a wide selection of name-brand merchandise, the convenience of specialty departments, and exclusive member services, designed to make one’s shopping experience a pleasure.  Main Points: A.   COSTCO membership saves members money on over 20 categories of products. B.   COSTCO offers specialty departments such as Optics, Hearing, and a Photo Center. C.   COSTCO provides exclusive member services for business, home, and lifestyle. D.   COSTCO offers a variety of membership levels to fit one’s needs.  

Sample paper

COSTCO Membership Benefits

General Purpose: To provide information

Specific Purpose: To inform the audience about the specific benefits of being a COSCO member

Thesis/Central Idea: COSCO members enjoy a wide range of services and products at lower prices including discounted gift cards, free health screenings, great deals on rental cars, insurance, great vacation deals, and among other products designed to improve customer experience.

Key Points:

  1. COSTCO members enjoy discounted gift cards.

Shopping at COSTCO is always an amazing experience for members. While most of the grocery and retail gift cards provide customers with the same dollar value as the up-front cost, the COSTCO gift card acts as a discount voucher. This means that customers are able to enjoy discounts on the gift cards while shopping. COSTCO will provide you with up to 20 percent discount on the grocery and retail gift cards (Swanson and Samantha 1). This is a huge discount to customers.

  1. Amazing deals during vacations

COSTCO card leisure travelers enjoy great deals by using the card. While cruises offer the best vacation deals to customers, travel agencies do not provide attractive price package discounts. In fact, they will offer you almost the same price. Travel agencies may provide customers with certain incentives such as on-board credit. However, these incentives are nothing compared to what COSTCO members enjoy. COSTCO provides members with a cash card, which may range between $260 and $665 dollars. This is huge incentive considering that online travel agencies will only offer you about $50 to $150 in credit (Swanson and Samantha 1).

  1. Best deals on rental cars

COSTCO membership also covers individual transportation needs. COSTCO members enjoy amazing deals on car rentals. COSTCO works with only four care hire companies, which include Enterprise, Alamo, Budget, and Avis. According to Swanson and Samantha (1), a comparison of car rental prices in Chicago indicated that COSTCO offered members with the cheapest deals. While the lowest four-day charges for other companies were $167.79, COSTCO was able to provide members with a smaller car through its partnership with Alamo for only $137.69. This is an amazing deal for COSTCO members, and among the key reasons why you should consider signing up with COSTCO.

  1. COSTCO offers a variety of membership levels to fit individual needs

COSTCO offers a variety of membership levels, which means consumers can make a choice from different alternatives. It is important to provide members with choices to improve flexibility. COSTCO provides three different types of membership. These include personal (Gold Star), business, and executive. The personal and business memberships share many similarities, and are virtually the same. For instance, they cost $55 and give access to two individuals (Sadler 1). Nonetheless, business membership allows members to sell any wares bought at COSTCO. In addition, members can have an extra five memberships using the same account. The executive membership goes for $110. This includes personal membership and two percent discount provided on all purchases.

  1. Free health screenings

The benefits provided by COSTCO extend to health services. COSTCO membership guarantees individuals with free health screenings (Sadler 1). COSTCO organizes free health screenings on occasional basis and informs members through various outlets. Common screenings provided include osteoporosis screening, healthy heart screening, lung health screening, and diabetes screening. The health screenings cover most of the common health problems affecting people. Early diagnosis is important in helping manage these conditions. As such, COSTCO members can enjoy healthier lives.

Works Cited

Swanson, David, and Matt Samantha. “8 hidden benefits to your COSTCO membership.”             USA Today, 23 December 2016, late ed.

Sadler, Alex T. 9 secret perks that make a Cotsco membership totally worth it.             http://clark.com/shopping-retail/ways-to-save-get-more-out-of-costco-        membership/. Accessed 7 July 2017

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Literature Review

Question

Identify at least 5 sources in order to construct a literature review. The sources may include peer-reviewed journal articles, books, newspaper articles or other appropriate academic sources. Write a literature review of at least 3 pages that identifies the key themes in your chosen research topic along with authors who support these themes. Use specific evidence from every source for each theme. Please note: By using the authors’ evidence you are presenting their points of view as your own; choose the sources carefully to represent what you are trying to prove.  Submit your literature review in the appropriate citation style for your discipline.

Sample paper

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Literature Review

Sexual harassment is a contentious issue in the modern workplace. The emergence of new interaction channels through the social media sites has further complicated the issue. Mainiero and Jones (2013a) examine the complexities involved in workplace romance and the role played by social media. The key point is that sexual harassment in organizations can occur in more subtle ways such as through the misuse of social media sites. According to Mainiero and Jones (2013a), organizations should develop social media use policies that support the existing anti-harassment policies within organizations. Mainiero and Jones (2013b) conclude that organizations should make it clear to their employees concerning behaviors that are ethical when it comes to the use of social media and those that entail sexual harassments. The organization should describe particular behaviors relating to the use of social media constitutes sexual harassment. This would help the employees in making informed choices.

Voluminous literature examines the possible ways that organizations can reduce incidences of sexual harassment. Organizations can employ three main approaches in reducing incidences of sexual harassment. These include creating awareness, development of anti-harassment policies, and through training (Malhotra & Srivastava, 2016). Creating awareness is a proactive measure that can help in reducing incidences of sexual harassment. Developing awareness enables employees to know what constitutes sexual harassment. This gives them the knowhow on what and when to report. A sexual harassment policy is critical in reducing incidences of sexual harassment in the organization. This involves including helpline numbers to aid victims in reporting incidences. Training is also critical in the fight against sexual harassment. Training enables employees to know what constitutes sexual harassment and informs them about their rights.

Some studies have examined the role of management with regard to incidences of sexual harassment in the workplace. The Human Resource Department has a critical role to play in combating incidences of sexual harassment. Salin (2007) conducts an exploratory study to examine the influence of measures applied by personnel managers as well as the personnel managers’ and organizational characteristics in shaping the choice of response strategies. The study indicates that reconciliatory approaches are often employed in solving disputes involving sexual harassment in Finland. Further, the study notes a tendency to employ punitive and reconciliatory measures in the workplace. Further, the study notes that personnel managers have little initiative to implement or take action where there are simply written anti-harassment policies. The study recommends training and creation of awareness as key to improving efforts to reduce incidences of sexual harassment. Training and creation of awareness are thus effecting strategies to combat sexual harassment (Salin, 2007; Malhotra & Srivastava, 2016). The limitation of this study was the limited number of respondents.

Incidences of sexual harassment are high among young college female graduates seeking for employment. Despite the recognition of women as equal to men, women are still on the receiving end when it comes to incidences of sexual harassment. Khumalo, Gwandure, and Mayesiko (2015) conducted a qualitative study to examine how young female graduates perceive the concept of sexual harassment within organizations. The findings of this study indicate that young female job seekers are at an increased risk of experiencing sexual harassment. In a study that examined workplace violence among nursing students in the UK, student nurses were found to be particularly vulnerable to sexual harassment due to their young age (Tee, Ozcetin, & Russell-Westhead, 2016). This indicates that younger female employees are at an increased risk of sexual harassment especially by the older males.

Vast literature indicates that sexual harassment in the workplace has serious health impacts on the victims who are mainly women. Sexual harassment has both short-term and long-term impacts on the health of the victims. Sexual harassment contributes to low self-esteem, anxiety, stress, and depression. Sexual harassment may also result to physical illness and drug and alcohol abuse among victims (DeSouzam & Cerqueira, 2009; Salin, 2007). DeSouzam and Cerqueira (2009) quantitative analysis found significant differences in health between harassed and non-harassed female employees, with the former experiencing averse health impacts. In addition, the duo notes that victims of sexual harassment are likely to experience retaliation by the perpetrators once they reported the incidences to the management. This contributes to re-victimization.

Although most incidences of sexual harassment involve women as victims, a small fraction may also involve men as victims. Incidences of sexual harassment are largely perpetrated by men against their female colleagues. Nonetheless, this does not exclude incidences where men may harass other men or women harassing other women (McDonald & Charlesworth, 2015). The findings of this study indicate that sexual harassment occurs within the “normatively masculine organizational context” (p.). This means that sexual harassment often corresponds to the gendered structure of modern organizations. Masculinity plays a significant role in influencing incidences of sexual harassment by men against women in the workplace. In some workplaces, women may be forced to agree to some forms of sexual harassment as a way of asserting their social status. Moreover, most patriarchal societies seem to condone violence against women.

References

DeSouza, E. R., & Cerqueira, E. (2009). From the kitchen to the bedroom: Frequency rates and             consequences of sexual harassment among female domestic workers in brazil. Journal of             Interpersonal Violence, 24(8), 1264-1284. doi:10.1177/0886260508322189

Khumalo, L., Gwandure, C., & Mayekiso, T. (2015). Examining perceptions of sexual      harassment among recent female graduates in the workplace. Africa Insight, 44(4), 106-          123.

Mainiero, L. A., & Jones, K. J. (2013a). Workplace romance 2.0: Developing a communication   ethics model to address potential sexual harassment from inappropriate social media      contacts between coworkers. Journal of Business Ethics, 114(2), 367-379.      doi:10.1007/s10551-012-1349-8

Mainiero, L. A., & Jones, K. J. (2013b). Sexual harassment versus workplace romance: Social     media spillover and textual harassment in the workplace. The Academy of Management   Perspectives, 27(3), 187.

Malhotra, S., & Srivastava, A. (2016). Sexual harassment at the workplace: How organizations    can pro-actively reduce its incidence. Human Resource Management International             Digest, 24(7), 1-3. doi:10.1108/HRMID-05-2016-0072

McDonald, P., & Charlesworth, S. (2016). Workplace sexual harassment at the margins. Work,    Employment & Society, 30(1), 118-134. doi:10.1177/0950017014564615

Salin, D. (2009). Organisational responses to workplace harassment: An exploratory         study. Personnel Review, 38(1), 26-44. doi:10.1108/00483480910920697

Tee, S., Üzar Özçetin, Y. S., & Russell-Westhead, M. (2016). Workplace violence experienced    by nursing students: A UK survey. Nurse Education Today, 41, 30-35. doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2016.03.014

Related:

Austria profile

Austria profile

Question

You are the international manager for an American MNC that specializes in high-end winter sports gear. You have been asked to profile a country in the European Union and make a recommendation for entry. Using the readings, Lecture, and your own research, complete a report, as an international manager, to submit to your CEO. This writing assignment should be completed in the standard APA format. Upload the assignment to the proper assignment folder. You need to include the following elements for your chosen EU country:

The economic, political, legal, and technological environment (as it relates to your company and industry)

A plan for social responsibility and sustainability

A country profile (using either Hofstede of Trompenaars) and its similarities and differences to the United States

Recommendations for cross-cultural communication and negotiations

An entry strategy

Political risk and government relations

A plan for motivating and leading workers in the EU country (incorporate motivational theory)

A plan for selecting an expatriate in the position of VP, Operations.

Sample paper

Austria profile

With the increase in popularity of the sport in recent years, more and more people are demanding for high-end winter sports gear to enable them to go about their businesses and sports as usual. Jaguar Sportswear an American multinational is in the process of expanding its operation to Austria one of the countries in the European Union.  Below are profile and recommendations of how the company can successfully venture in the country.

The economic, political, legal and technological environment of Austria

Economic environment – Austria is one of the fastest growing economies in the European Union which is enhanced by its well-developed financial market systems and high standard of living. These developments make it possible for the country to compete with other countries such as Germany actively. The economy of the country is characterized by a large facility sector, a stable and successful manufacturing sector as well as extremely developed informal sector. However, it is worth noting that Austria was one of the many countries in the European Union that were heavily affected by the 2007-2008 financial crises (“Basic statistics of Austria, 2012,” 2013).  However, with steady leadership, the country was able to recover from financial shocks during the third quarter of 2009 and has never looked back since then. Along these lines, Austria’s economy is profoundly globalized and versatile, supported by the talented work constrain, focused assembling, and a huge administration part. Openness to worldwide exchange and speculation is immovably standardized, and the moderately proficient entrepreneurial structure fortifies intensity making it the ideal nation for venture.

Political environment – Austria’s legislative issues happens in a system of an elected parliamentary agent popularity based republic, with an elected chancellor and the pioneer of the administration while the federal President assumes the powers as the head of the state. Therefore, Austria is a self-governing country with a stable political environment and is currently occupies number six in the list of most industrialized countries in the world.

Legal environment – the judicial system in Austria is independent which advocates for equal treatment of both nationals and foreigners concerning commercial disputes. Additionally, the labor laws in the country are strict and strong to protect the wellbeing of both the employer and employee with labor unions and movement playing and important part of ensuring that these rules and regulations are upheld by all stakeholders. The country’s commerce-friendly tax arrangement has attracted high levels of investment in the country in recent years (“Austria – Legal System,” n.d).

Technological environment – recent innovations and inventions in technology has made the global market more competitive which prompts government such as Austria’s government to highly and heavily invest in technology. Austria enjoys a high level of research and development activities, computerization, technological incentives as well as the high speed of technological transformation which is supported by the government.

Social responsibility and sustainability

The company has a motto that states “responsibility begins with me” which will encourage the company to participate in community development programs and other corporate social responsibility activities in the country.  Economic and social interaction of the company and the general public will be crucial to the realization of the company goals and objectives. To the company, sustainability also means to support and fund projects in all area of the society. With comprehensive sponsorship activities and the company commitment as a partner of various associations, the company fund sports initiatives and social projects with an objective of becoming one of the important sponsors in the field of art and culture in the country. The company will embrace their accountability in the direction of the marketplace as well as about their workers, society, and the surroundings (Kim & Vachon, 2016,). To them, mainly CSR is not a PR device but rather a supervision concept related to the values of Sustainable growth. Additionally, Austrian industry council for sustainable growth offers its associate companies the following:

  1. Ground-breaking concepts as well as projects regarding CSR along with sustainability
  2. A platform to converse ideas as well as knowledge
  3. A conversation with politics, citizens, and media
  4. Encouragement of companies’ victorious sustainability and also, CSR projects.

A country profile (using either Hofstede of Trompenaars) and its similarities and differences to the United States

In Austria as well as the United States Geert Hofstede’s collectivism against Individualism Trompenaars ascription/success cultural direction implies the accordance of position seems to have a link with that of Hofstede’s intellectual dimension: supremacy distance. This show that if there is an individual who has the idea, concept or opinion opinions the accordance of position by nature except for the success which depicts a superior capability of accepting supremacy distance. These assumptions and also, dimension even though necessary in analyzing the society of different countries, do not provide a clear idea regarding their preferences as well as the impact on citizens’ behavior.

As Geert Hofstede’s control distance indexes the way position being accorded, excluding to the approvable supremacy index in the culture, this is not examined with Trompenaars in Austria. In the United States, other intellectual dimensions have an extra center on resulting significances of specific values. The neutral and also, emotional, intellectual dimension describes the capacity of the appearance of the feelings, which uses a behavioral characteristic other than a value (Nakata, 2009). With admiration to the intellectual measurements of Hofstede, and also, Fons Trompenaars had not formed his structure on mathematical and arithmetical information, other than on self-collected instrument which he considered having an approved relevancy.

Recommendations for cross-cultural communication and negotiations

With the recent expansion of businesses to foreign countries, cross-cultural communication has become one of the key areas that business need to focus on to make sure that they include all individuals in a region irrespective of their age, ethnicity, race or cultural background. Therefore, Austria supervisors or any other supervisors deployed in the country to oversee the operations of the business are expected to direct, control and monitor all other employees.  Therefore, they need to show high understanding of the importance of cross-cultural communication and negotiations which will make sure that employees have the right skills and materials to get the job done. Austria is known to have hierarchical culture and like straight approach to negotiations which means that supervisors must make sure that they may show concern for workers that goes beyond the place of work and strictly expert concerns.

Market entry strategy

Considering that Austria’s market is open for globalization, the company is planning to use direct exporting as its main strategy to enter this market. Therefore, after establishing the company resources, the company will seek to sell their products into the market directly.  Therefore, it will use agents and distributors to represent them in the market by representing the company’s interest on the ground and ensuring that everything runs as planned. Therefore, the agents and distributors will become the official face of the company (Delaney, 2013).

Political risk and government relations

Austria’s financial system is estimated to grow by 1.8% in 2015 as well as approximates + 2.1% in 2016. Generous incentive measures throughout 2010, tax improvement and capital support towards the banks assisted defy extra pessimistic predictions, other than also formed record levels of communal sector debt (Famira-Mühlberger, Leoni, & European Economic and Social Committee, 2014,). The Austrian government declared their plans in 2010 to decrease public debt. Included as well as applied in 2010, was the expansion of tax applied to incomes made to share as well as fund transactions, an enhancer in gasoline tax as well as a decrease in social benefits.

A plan for motivating and leading workers in the EU country

If inspiration is driven through the continuation of unsatisfied requirements, then it is valuable for a director to recognize which requirements are the more significant for individual workers. In this observe, Abraham Maslow expanded a representation in which essential, low-level requirements such as physiological needs and protection must be satisfied earlier than higher-level requirements like as self-fulfillment are followed (Healy, 2016). In this hierarchical representation, when a requirement is chiefly satisfied it no longer encourages, and the subsequently superior requirement takes its place

A plan for selecting an expatriate in the position of VP, Operations

A plan for selecting an expatriate in the position of VP, Operations is that the vice president is not directly elected, jointly with the president, towards a four-year term of the workplace by the citizens of the Austria during the Electoral. The vice president is the initial being in the presidential line of sequence, and would usually rise to the presidency upon the bereavement, resignation, or elimination of the president. The workplace of the Vice President of the Austria helps and manages the vice president’s representative functions.

References

Austria – Legal System. (n.d.). Foreign Law Guide. doi:10.1163/2213-2996_flg_com_323052

Basic statistics of Austria, 2012. (2013). OECD Economic Surveys: Austria, 7-7. doi:10.1787/eco_surveys-aut-2013-1-en

Delaney, L. J. (2013). Methods of Exporting Direct, Indirect, and Collaborative Sales Channels. Exporting, 279-302. doi:10.1007/978-1-4302-5792-9_17

Famira-Mühlberger, U., Leoni, T., & European Economic and Social Committee. (2014). The economic and social situation in Austria. Brussels: EESC.

Healy, K. (2016). A Theory of Human Motivation by Abraham H. Maslow – reflection. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 208(4), 313-313. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.115.179622

Kim, J. D., & Vachon, S. (2016). Asian journal of sustainability and social responsibility Inaugural Editorial. Asian Journal of Sustainability and Social Responsibility. doi:10.1186/s41180-016-0006-z

Nakata, C. (2009). Going Beyond Hofstede: Why We Need to and How. Beyond Hofstede, 3-15. doi:10.1057/9780230240834_1

Boston Chicken case study

Question

Boston Chicken, Inc.

Boston Chicken developed a new segment of the fast food restaurant business, home-cooked food. To take advantage of this innovation the company sought to grow rapidly by signing franchise agreements with large area developers. However, it also provided sizable loans to the developers to help them finance new restaurants. These loans have, in turn, been financed through public stock and convertible debt issues made by Boston Chicken. The case is used as a comprehensive security analysis case, covering strategy analysis, accounting analysis, financial analysis and valuation.

Questions to Guide/Be Addressed in Your Case Analysis:

  1. Assess Boston Chicken’s business strategy. What are its critical success factors and risks?
  2. How is the company reporting on its performance and risks? What are the key assumptions behind these policies? Do you think that its accounting policies reflect the risks?
  3. What adjustments, if any, would you make to the firm’s accounting policies?
  4. What questions would you ask management about the company’s performance?
  5. How is Boston Chicken performing?
  6. What assumptions is the market making about the company’s future performance and risks? Do you agree with those assessments?

 HYPERLINK “http://info.umuc.edu/acct-fin/fm-syll/msaf670/cases/boston_ch.xls” See attached excel sheet with financials (separate attachment)

 Develop your case analysis as a paper with an introduction, statement of the issues/problems, body/analysis and conclusions/recommendations sections. See scoring template (separate attachment).You may include a post script to your paper, which comments on recent events associated with the company; however, do not let the “Monday morning quarterback” syndrome drive your analysis. Your analysis should be independent of what has transpired after the situation/time period described in the case

Sample paper

Boston Chicken case study

Question 1: Assess Boston Chicken’s business strategy. What are its critical success factors and risks?

The business strategy comprises of the art of management, formulating, implementing and evaluating of cross-functional decisions that enables an organization to achieve its long-term goals. There exist different business strategies such as growth strategy, product differentiation and price skimming strategy that can be adopted by an organization to further their long-term objectives. In this case, Boston Chicken firm has adopted product differentiation as their main mode of business strategy. Product differentiation is the procedure of distinguishing a product or a service from other by ensuring that it is unique in its own ways to make it more attractive to a specific target market. Through the provision of home cooked nourishment in the form of chicken at sensible costs, Boston Chicken has significantly and successfully differentiated their product from that of their competitors. Their food is accessible for on premises utilization and consumption as well as for brings home conveyance and delivery.  The basic achievement and success factor of Boston Chicken is their ability to provide and serve high-quality food to their esteemed customers.  Additionally, their good relations and ability to appoint to grow through the help of franchisees and attracting a large number of the customer base have significantly contributed to their success. However, the firm has treated and deals with several risks such as the failure of the franchises to return the credit they have been offered by the firm as well as the risk of losing their customers as they go searching for higher value money outlets (Bivand, n.d.). Finally, considering that Boston Chicken may be unable to control the quality of the product sold by this franchisee, they may end up producing low-quality products and in the process lose more customers.

Question 2: How is the company reporting on its performance and risks? What are the key assumptions behind these policies? Do you think that its accounting policies reflect the risks?

Despite the company reporting aggressively about its performance and risk, their reporting strategy is flawed from the word go. One of the biggest mistakes in their operations was their attempt to keep franchise losses from the public eye.  The company reported large profits which included payments on royalties and loan repayment interests from the franchise and areas developers. Considering that the area developers accounted for 10 percent of the total notes receivable each, the company should have implemented bad debts accounts to recognize the fact that not all money will be returned. The area developers lost more than $ 50 million in 1994 thus affecting the performance of the company. Moreover, the company financial reports are not indicating the falling profits, as well as the declining demand for their products as more and more customers go to other companies in search of value based products.

The primary assumptions of the firm were the interest realized and the royalties received from franchises were a form of earning for the company. Moreover, the firm assumed that by reporting lower sales potential franchise will be disappointed and be heartbroken from getting into the business which in turn would have slowed down the rate of appointment of new franchisees. According to the reports, the company had reported that it had sold a total of $ 18,900 while in the real sense it had total sales of $ 23,000 per week (Bivand, n.d.). Additionally, the firm assumed by reporting lower revenue some franchisees would leave the company in search of greener pastures.  However, the most important assumption made by the company was that if they reported the losses made by the franchisees and area developers to the general public the stock prices would have declined significantly thus affecting the company finance.

Most of the accounting policies adopted by the company are meant to hide the tremendous risks of failing franchises since they do not reflect the risk. However, to some constrained degree the bookkeeping policies reflect the dangers. The 1994 balance sheet shows a convertible subordinated debt of $130,000 compared to null debts in 1993 and 1992. Such a large debt within a period of one could have raised alarms from different quarters of the firm as it shows a decline in business. Moreover, a cross-examination of the cash flow statement shows that the net income of a company with so many franchisees as well as company that provide finances regarding loans to area developers is only $ 16, 173 in 1994 while the from financing activities is $255,703. This revelation above is a clear indication that the company finances most of its activities from convertible subordinated notes.

Question 3: What adjustments, if any, would you make to the firm’s accounting policies?

Considering the primary purpose of having accounting policies in an organization is to enhance accountability and transparency, the first step would modify the reporting of revenues of the company. I would begin by separating franchise related fees as well as royalties should not be included in the revenue of the company when a store is opened but rather should be accounted for when the firm received them in cash.  Considering that Boston Chicken paid up to 80 percent of all the cost incurred in opening these franchisees, learning to differentiate income from the repayment of the loan would have been a great move. Correspondingly, just money got from organization worked stores ought to be perceived as income. The bookkeeping approach ought to demonstrate extra paid in capital and its sources. The separate ought to be given to show its capitals separately and resources separately. Amid the year 1994, the money got from working exercises is $16,173 while the trade utilized out contributing exercises is $270,854. The accounting policy adopted by the organization should not have shown in the same place $ 163,622 paid for plant, property, and gear, and issuance of notes receivable. To enhance the accountability and transparency in the organization as well as to uphold the trust of all stakeholders, there should be a detailed explanation as to why the company was willing to take up the risk of an issue such a large number of notes to the area developers (Bivand, n.d.). Additionally, accountants should learn how to separate their work by calculating the cost and revenue of the company differently from those of the franchisees considering that franchisees are always regarded as independent entities.

Question 4: What questions would you ask management about the company’s performance?

After looking at the company’s bookkeeping policies and records, the management has a lot to answer concerning their practices and the company performances. The first question would focus on the quality and the integrity of the company earnings. From the books presented, it is easy to tell that there a lot of mistakes in the accounts provided. Fees, royalties and interest payment from payments from franchisees that are financed by the mother company that is Boston chicken are not performing as expected (Bostic, n.d.,). The next question would focus on the actual changes of the company sales and revenues and how well they can project next year’s sales and revenue. From the accounts provided it is evident that there is a significant increase in cost and expenses of running the business from $ 14,592 in 1992 to $71,540 in 1994 while there are no significant changes in revenue and sales. Any changes in the cost and expenses incurred should be clearly reflected in the sales and revenue of the company. Moreover, another performance that would require my attention and clarification would be the rise of interest cost from $ 440 in 1993 to $ 4,235 in 1994. This is a significant increase that should not be witnessed within a period of one year. The management should have a detailed explanation as to why the interest cost increased at that rate. Other question would focus on the marketing strategy of the company considering that most of the company customers were purchasing other company products in search of value-based products. Therefore, I would like to know what changes Boston Chicken has implemented to attract and retain a value-seeking customer. What changes would the company implement to ensure that the franchise agreements are not draining the company finances and resources? What can the company do to make their home-cooked food to make them value-based?

Question 5: How is Boston Chicken performing?

Looking at the accounts provided by the company to the public, the company is performing well since it is recording significant growth and increase in revenue. Moreover, the total numbers of shares of the company are steadily growing from 32,667 in 1993 to 42,861 in 1994. However, this is not the real story behind the scenes considering that it is evident that the company is making losses from their franchisees. For one to get the actual picture on the ground, he or she has to closely examine the cash flow statement which clearly indicates that the net operating cash in the year 1994 is $ 35, 198 while the net cash used to invest in different activities of the company is$ 270,854. Moreover, the amount of money invested as the issuance of notes receivable is $ 225,282 which raises the question whether Boston chicken is operating as a fast food company or a finance company (Bivand, n.d.). From the above analysis, it is quite clear that the company is not performing as expected the senior management is only making things work by trying to cover up what is actually going on. As a fast food company, a large portion of its revenue should actually come from selling the home-cooked nourishment at a lucrative price rather than from its financing activities since it is not a financial institution.

Question 6: What assumptions is the market making about the company’s future performance and risks? Do you agree with those assessments?

The market is assuming that the Boston Chicken franchises acquire more income than they currently realize per week and they expect this trend to be consistent from week to week. As the revenue and profits increases, the income of the franchise will increase which in turn will lead to an increase in income of the whole company as well as increase per share earnings.  However, this is contrary to my expectation and assumption since the company books of accounts show that the primary income of the company comes from financing activities rather than sales of the home-cooked chicken (Bostic, n.d.,). Therefore, the basic income of the company widely depends on the fees, royalties, and interests collected from the appointed franchisees. Most of the market players and the management of the Boston chicken are yet to figure out that most of the company revenue does not come from their primary product. Despite the fact that it is standard to utilize the accumulation arrangement of bookkeeping if there should expect a rise an occurrence of Boston Chicken, just the expenses, eminence, and intrigue acknowledged ought to be perceived.

Introduction

Boston Chicken shows a positive growth regarding income statement since the financial results of the company is pleasing in the eyes of the public, but a closer look at the financing activities of the company completely changes the scenario. Most of the finances of the company come from the issuance of stock as well as the issuance of debentures and lending money to their franchisees and area developers.  Considering that each franchise operates independently, it becomes difficult to control the activities of these franchises which in turn increase the risk of these franchises not returning the money. As a result, the business is taking the wrong turn which is also enhanced by the fact that more and more customers are turning to other value products and as they feel home-cooked chickens are not fulfilling their needs effectively and effectively.

Statement of Issues Problems

  1. The interest for Boston Chicken items is decreasing as a stable rate as since clients are looking for an incentive for cash.
  2. The money that Boston Chicken has given its franchisees speaks to a generous hazard. The cash may not be returned, and therefore they should have an account for bad debts.
  3. Both the pay and budgetary position of Boston Chicken is confronting significant money related hazard (Bivand, n.d.).

Conclusion

Boston Chicken had a phenomenal plan of action when it initiated since it was focused on expanding their business as well as their customer base by appointing franchisees and area developers to open up shops all over the region. Be that as it may, changes in client preferences and tastes which forced them to seek other products from other companies led to a decline in the demand for the home-cooked chicken. The organization has financed a few franchisees, and this speaks to a significant hazard to the organization especially if these franchisees fail to live to their expectation or pay up their loans.

Recommendation

It is prudent for Boston Chicken should offer value for the customers’ money for them to win their hearts and encourage them to buy the organization products. It should alter its menu and present low-value high esteem items. Additionally, it ought to receive a more moderate franchise arrangement and ought to abstain from giving money to the franchise. Boston Chicken ought to enhance its plan of action. This will pull in monetarily solid franchises to it.

References

Bivand, R. (n.d.). Revisiting the Boston Data Set (Harrison and Rubinfeld, 1978): A Case Study in the Challenges of System Articulation. SSRN Electronic Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2719454

Bostic, R. W. (n.d.). The Role of Race in Mortgage Lending: Revisiting the Boston Fed Study. SSRN Electronic Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2135

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