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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

Related:

Compare and contrast the evidence presented by Freidman with that provided in the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report summary videos

The lives of Fredrick Douglass and Harriet Tubman

Question

The Lives of Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman

Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman are two of the most famous African Americans in history.  Both were prominent abolitionists who escaped slavery and helped lead numerous other slaves to freedom during the time of the Civil War.  Although Douglass and Tubman share many similarities, they also have some differences between them, such as in the way in which they escaped slavery. 

In a well-developed essay, compare and contrast Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman, explaining their similarities and differences.  Provide facts and examples to support your comparisons.

Sample paper

The lives of Fredrick Douglass and Harriet Tubman

Frederick Douglass in the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Tubman in her work and publications such as the road to freedom, both wrote about their lives as slaves in America telling very compelling stories.  As with many other slaves, they both shared a vision of opportunity, and that vision drove them through numerous comparable, yet unique deterrents. Despite the fact that both Douglass and Tubman persevered through numerous hardships in their attempt to get freedom as a slave, sex affected the route in which their servitude was experienced. There were a wide range of routes in which educational encounters for Tubman, who was a female slave, contrasted from Douglass who was a subjugated male.

Douglass felt it was an imperative need to be literate.  When his mistress, Mrs. Auld, first taught him to read and then his master, Mr. Auld, objected to this, this showed Douglass the importance of literacy.  As an example of how important it was to Douglass to learn how to read and write he stated, “Though conscious of the difficulty of learning without a teacher, I set out with high hope, and a fixed purpose, at whatever cost of trouble, to learn how to read.”  In view of this objective, Douglass did whatever it took to take in the essentials of perusing and composing. He considered a wide range of crafty approaches to pick up this learning (Douglass, et al. 77). Douglass vouched for utilizing cunning and gift on the young men of the group as a method for learning and rehearsing his letters. Indeed, even as a youthful kid, Douglass understood that information was power. Proficiency gave Douglass the ability to advance the quality to free himself from the individuals who might keep him uninformed and a slave.

On the other hand, Harriet Tubman was not lucky enough to acquire education, but that did not prevent her from becoming one of the celebrated and brave people in history. Her status as a woman and a slave legally prohibited her from getting education considering that back then it was against the law to teach slaves. Tubman barely mentions the use of reading and writing as a way to fight against her oppressors but rather widely talks of her struggle to defend her brothers and sister from being sold to other plantation after her first three sisters were sold away.  Additionally, much of her fight against oppression and slavery focused on taking slaves from Maryland to Free states such as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or Canada (Rudisel and Blaisdell 59). Unlike Fredrick who used education as his main weapon to fight slavery, her strength comes from close friends and family members which prompted her to become a spy and an expert in the use of weapons prompting her to become the first woman to lead an army to war during the civil war.

One of the similarities between Douglass and Tubman is that both were slaves who had the zeal and willingness to overcome their immediate problems for the greater good of the black nation. Both icons had to fight their way to prominence in different ways and manners fights. Their immediate state as slaves presented a lot of obstacles and challenges, but their perseverance and patience finally paid off when they escaped to freedom (Rudisel and Blaisdell 99).  Douglass clearly states that he had previously attempted to escape slavery on two other occasions but did not succeed. However, on the third attempt with the help of Anna Murray he successfully made his way to New York. On the other hand, Harriet has to patiently wait for the death of her owner before she could find her way to Philadelphia.  Her patience and endurance to all mistreatment finally came to an end.

Works Cited

Douglass, Frederick, et al. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself: Authoritative Text Contexts Criticsm. 2017.

Rudisel, Christine, and Robert Blaisdell. Slave Narratives of the Underground Railroad. 2014.

Related:

Whitman, Dickinson, Longfellow and the Early Writers

Frederick Douglass’s Quotation

Question

Responding to Frederick Douglass’s Quotation

Frederick Douglass once said, “If there is no struggle there is no progress.”

Based on what you have learned about Douglass, write a multi-paragraph essay explaining what you think he meant by this statement. Make sure to include details and examples to support your interpretation

Sample paper

Frederick Douglass’s Quotation

America is one of the few countries that extensively practices slavery and racial segregation back in the 18th and 19th centuries. As a result of mistreatment of the black community there emerged powerful and prominent African-American leaders who tirelessly fought for the freedom of their tribesmen and Fredrick Douglass was one of them. Frederick was a famous American abolitionist, author, and orator. He was born a slave and knew all the troubles and challenges of being black back them which prompted him to escape at the age of 20 and went on to become a prominent anti-slave activist. Through his autobiographies, he extensively highlights the plight of slaves throughout the American society. Through his speeches and editorials, he inspired, persuaded as well as stimulated African-Americans and all world leaders to protests against slavery and racism. Also, he gave an unstoppable voice of seek after his kindred tribesmen, grasped abolitionist legislative issues and lectured his own image of American standards (Kytle 95). In this manner, through his work, Fredrick is recognized as a standout amongst the most vital dark American pioneers of the nineteenth century.

One of the important and famous quotes made by Fredrick “If there is no struggle there is no progress.” continues to inspire most people from different backgrounds in the world today. Fredrick made this quote at a time when black Americans were facing racing and segregation in America and were in the process of fighting for their freedom which would promote equality thus reducing segregation. The quote was meant to encourage black Americans to take actions and fight for their freedom because their goals and objectives could not be achieved by merely talking. Thus, according to Fredrick, those who wanted freedom from their colonial masters had to embrace and accept agitation because crops cannot grow without plowing up the ground (Douglass, et al. 79). As a result, black Americans had to accept that they would not be handed their freedom and equality on a silver platter.  They had to sweat and fight for it even if it meant to spill blood and take weapons to fight the white colonial masters.

The general sentiment of the human being is that man who will not fight for himself when he has the power and means to do so is not worth being fought for by others.  Therefore, black Americans had to show the will, the power and the ability to stand up in the face of the white settlers and demand their freedom for them to rally support from other races. Actions speak louder than works.  As a result, African-Americans needed to take up the initiative to start the antislavery and abolitionist movements as well as armed struggle since who would be free need to strike the blow themselves (Douglass 100). However, it is worth noting that in this concept the word struggle may be used to refer to different kinds of battle be it moral or physical, but those who want freedom or progress must pay the price.

Any human being who pays little or no attention and value to freedom for himself may find it difficult to value it for others.  Therefore, through the struggle for freedom, black-Americans would know the value of freedom and progress and thus, they would do anything and everything to guard it and to ensure they do not lose it again. Therefore, any progress or development must come as a result of struggle or a price that the parties involved must pay.

Works Cited

Douglass, Frederick. “NARRATIVE OF THE LIFE OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS.” Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, pp. 1-117.

Douglass, Frederick, et al. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Written by Himself: Authoritative Text Contexts Criticsm. 2017.

Kytle, Ethan J. “Frederick Douglass, Perfectionist Self-Help, and a Constitution for the Ages.” Romantic Reformers and the Antislavery Struggle in the Civil War Era, pp. 72-113.

Related:

Whitman, Dickinson, Longfellow and the Early Writers

Tonga

Tonga

Question 1

Many Tongans migrate from their native countries to the United States for different reasons.  However, the most popular reasons include relaxed migration policies for Tongans, to get better opportunities regarding employment and investments and out of missionary influence (“Tonga,” 2012,).  However, this practice is changing in recent times as the U.S strives to control the number of immigrants in the country. I only thought people migrate to the U.S to further their studies and for opportunities but my assumption has changed.

Question 2

The quote means that moving from Tonga to other countries in search of greener pastures given the economic conditions in the country is the dream of every Tongan citizen. Tongans have a culture of giving gifts which they often refer to kavenga meaning burden.  Therefore, to be in a position to afford these gifts, they have to work in what they perceive as greener pastures.

Question 3

One of the changing traditions of Tonga people is the holding of Tau fakalokua which is an evening party where farmers and fishers would meet in the evening to discuss the achievements of the day over a drink. However, with the increasing change in the money economy, cash cropping and commercial fishing this tradition are slowly fading away as there is less time for informal meetings (“Tonga,” n.d.). One of the American traditions that are slowly changing is the practice of eating fast food and taking too much alcohol during holidays.  With the increasing awareness of obesity, the drinking and eating habits are slowly changing with time.

 

Question 4

The most surprising lesson from the book is the fact that Tonga’s economy entirely depends on non-monetary sector and remittances from immigrants especially from the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.

Question 5

What is the significance of kavenga to the people of Tonga?

 

References

Tonga. (2012). Connecting with Emigrants. doi:10.1787/9789264177949-22-en

Tonga. (n.d.). Encyclopedia of World Poverty. doi:10.4135/9781412939607.n694

Synchronization of Music Picture

Question

Explaining the history and development of the synchronization of music to picture, including the origins of streamers and punches.

Here is how composer Maurice Jarre uses the clock as well as streamers and punches in a live performance, as he conducts music from his score to “Passage to India.”

There are very few hard hits and when he misses s punch slightly, he just speeds up or slows down.

Sample paper

Synchronization of Music Picture

The beginning of synchronization of music picture has a history dated from late 1880s to early 1900s during the early development of films. According to Fielding (1967), what was referred as silent film was never silent because, the initial pictures were displayed with accompanying music. By 1900 most of theaters offered musical accompaniment to motion pictures. The initial attempt to synchronize picture and sounds was using phonograph technique, though it had inadequate sounds intensity and offered mediocre quality. During this time, sound synchronization could only be done for short films, since the records and turntables running time was limited. Between 1900 and 1913, there was development of more advanced synchronizing equipment that was mechanically coupled to projector, while the gramophone motor auxiliary was electrically controlled. This equipment which was named as Biophon was developed by Oskar Messer, and by 1913, it was installed to more than five hundred theaters (Fielding, 1967).

In 1919 there was invention of the Tri-Egon System by three Germans who include Hans Vogt, Joseph Masserole, and Josef Engl. The system permitted direct recording of the sound on film. Sound waves were converted by photo-electric cells to electrical impulses and later to light waves, and directly recorded on the film strip, as the soundtrack. In 1923, Dr. Lee De Forest from America developed an Audion 3-Elecctrode Amplifier synchronized sound system to address the amplification problem recorded in the past development. This enhanced sound synchronization even in the large auditorium. In 1926, Western Electric and Bell Telephone Laboratories developed Vitaphone system. This system was extensively used by Warner brothers in the United State. However, it was an expensive investment. Fox Film Corporation among others employed resistance to shift to sound films especially due to high cost involved. However, this did not kill the dream of Werner brothers. The Sound synchronization breakthrough was enhanced by ‘The Jazz Singer’; Warner Brother Film in 1927, where the main actor ad-libbed a part of synchronized dialogue. The impact was sensational, since it was the first incident of actor speaking lines, which were spontaneous and natural (Fielding, 1967).

Since the breakthrough of sound synchronization, the music industry experienced a number of evolutions which included the use of sound-track-disc to synchronize sound in the film. In the 1935, there was development of the hole punch in the film work print. This concept assisted the conductors by offering an accurate mark in sequences of film, to demonstrate particular points like the beginning of scene where music starts, essential signal points such as passionate kissing or a car crash, and the scene end, where music is cut off. The film’s hole punch attained through an office hole punch, generated a flutter or explosion of light to occur in the scene at a unique signal point, permitting the re-alignment of tempo by the conductor to fit the documented music score. This made everything better. The hole punch was enhanced by the discovery streamer, which is a diagonal slash put on the film surface, before the hole punch. This happens at any point between 2 and 4 seconds in time, giving conductor a warning to a cue point or an upcoming punch. This assisted in the performance. The two discoveries played a great role in music synchronization, especially in marking significant points in the film, from the beginning to the end (Philips, 2003).

References

Fielding, R. (1967).  A technological history of motion pictures and television: An anthology from the pages of the journal of the society of motion picture and television engineers. California: University of California Press.

Philips, A. (2003).  The history and mechanics of screen music. Sounds Australia No 61. Retrieved from http://musicinaustralia.org.au/index.php/The_History_and_Mechanics_of_Screen_Music

Related:

Interview Report-Summary of the Interviewee

The Future Outlook of Media Music for Composers

Question

Write an essay on the future outlook of media music for composers.  Some topics you discuss may include the following: 

The changing social media landscape and how that impacts career strategy for composers.

Streaming music and future of public performance royalties. (If most composers maintain a “comfortable” lifestyle due to their Pro royalties, and if those royalties are gradually going away due to the streaming music model…what does that say about the future viability of the profession of being a media composer?)  Or…is this entire premise completely wrong?

The importance of developing a brand. How much does successful branding play a role in getting hired on a project?

What a composer is worth?  How much can one charge for their services?  Why is there such a vast compensation difference for composers essentially all doing the same job?

The differences between traditional “employee” work, as seen in most unionized Entertainment industry jobs and the entrepreneurial /  “independent contractor” job of a media composer. 

The impact and influence of technology on the viability of someone making a successful living as a media composer.

Sample paper

The Future Outlook of Media Music for Composers

Media music has been experiencing a series of evolution after the sound synchronization breakthrough was recorded in the late 1920s. Since then, media music composition has been given high level of attention, with majority of film composers focusing on producing unique and highly sophisticated music to enhance their marketability. However, this is not without facing a number of challenges that range from change of technology to growing level of competition in the market, to an extent of some composers offering free services. Technological change is one of the factors influencing film music composition and dynamic changes in the music industry. Film composers are currently utilizing the real instruments to enhance and support their synthetic sound.  This may be not be needed tomorrow to satisfy the audience needs, especially since most of the audiences may not be able to differentiate between synthetic and real sound. Technology advancement is likely to enhance democracy in the composition act. New technology comes with new and endless chances to generate new sounds via new composition methods. The modern technology is thus anticipated to play a great role in changing media music composition dynamics. It is also expected to contribute a great deal in molding the film music composition future. This paper discusses the future outlook of the media music composers.

The Changing Social Media Landscape and How That Impacts Career Strategy for Composers

The world is experiencing extensive use of the internet and mobile devices to access social media platforms and network. Social media refers to the collection of applications that comprise of collaborative projects, blogs, multimedia sharing sites, and social networking sites. The growth and expansion of social media use has highly been associated to the growth of internet coverage in both developed and developing nations, and extensive use of smartphones across the globe. Based on 2018 statistics, there are over four billion individuals around the globe using the internet. Among them, over three billion individuals are said to use social media every month, with 90% of these individuals accessing their platforms of choice via mobile devices (Datareportal, 2019).  Social media is used for different purposes by different people. Some use it just for social networking, sharing with friends and relatives and advancing social network. On the contrary, there is a very large group of individuals who use social networks to market their businesses. Most organizations have considered opening social network page or platform to interact with their customers, especially through sharing information on new products or services advancement, or getting customers feedback. In other cases, individuals have taken into using social network to market their skills, talents, brand or their own products. This has highly made it easier for majorities to access the market and to attract a considerable number of audiences, compared to how the situation was before. This has highly enhanced growth of upcoming professionals with little market command, or those working alone and not under any organization or registered company.

The use of social media for marketing has been highly embraced in the music industry. With invention of video attachment in normal social media accounts such as YouTube, most upcoming composers are trying to produce their work without following the normal procedures followed in traditional production of music. This helps in cutting production expenses and increasing the chances of easy marketing of personal music skills and talent to the targeted audience. YouTube is one of the most extensively used social media platform in the world. YouTube is currently said to have more than 1.8 billion users each month, becoming the second highly used social media from Facebook that contain over two billion users. This increases the chances of modern music composers using YouTube to stream their music, a step that offers them a chance to reach their targeted audience. With this regard, social media is perceived as an important element in the future changes in the media music composition, by eliminating the complexity initially experienced in music composition and production, especially for beginners (McAndrew & Everett, 2015).

The Importance of Developing a Brand and Brand Success Role in Getting Hired On a Project

Brand development refers to the process of strengthening and creating the professional identification that define what one does. Brand represents a contemporary product features and characteristics that are unique and identifiable with a certain product or talent. Modern products or skills are only known by use of their brand. Brand stands for the perceptions of the consumers and the product sentiment and performance. It is therefore important for any individual to build his or her brand, with intention of making it intensely known and identifiable in the market. Music composers should focus on developing him or herself as a brand in the market. To do this, a composer must define him or herself as a unique brand with unique features that are only related to him or her. This can include the piece style where one gets into the market with a unique composition style that is hard to be copied and that defines a specific individual. The unique feature can also include creativity and high level of flexibility in ones composition among other features. These features play a great role in identifying a brand and in enhancing its marketability (Keller, 2009).

Another aspect that determined brand development and marketability is the brand strategy. This includes how one selects the brand name, brand logo, and brand slogan and the strategies used to introduce the brand into the market. Brand name, logo and slogan should play a great role in marketing the brand. The name should be attractive, easy to remember and somehow associated with the composer style. Brand development also includes using effective brand marketing strategy. A composer should be able to identify the targeted customers; films directors and producers, and consider using marketing strategies that will reach them. Some of the strategies include offering free composition as portfolio, opening webpage to offer parts of their products, having YouTube streams, working as a composer assistance where one can get chances of meeting more producers and directors under a famous composer, and maybe get a chance to sneak their portfolio. Targeting small productions that can easily take free services can also be used as a marketing strategy and brand development, among other strategies (Kayser, 2013).

Brand success is highly measured by the level of acceptability and demand in the market. A strong brand is likely to be loved by its targeted customers, and hence it is likely to be highly successful. Once a brand is successful, it is quite easy to sell the brand. In this case, a composer with a strong brand is highly likely to secure jobs, projects and contracts in the market without struggle. Such composers are highly likely to have a higher bargaining power in terms of payment. Successful brand in film composition is considerably expensive, since it is of high quality. This means it has a higher competitiveness in the market, and it is always likely to be sourced by directors of big projects that focus on quality. There is a high association between brand success and ability to secure jobs as a music film composer. It is therefore important for future music composers to focus on building their brand to make a strong brand, to be able to gain market dominance in this competitive field.

What a Composer is Worth?  How much can One Charge for their Services?  Why is there Such a Vast Compensation Difference for Composers Essentially All Doing the Same Job?

Music composer worth varies from one composer to another based on individual’s quality of compensation or brand strength. Majority of upcoming composers offer their services for free. This makes it hard for composers with low quality music or upcoming composers to secure a well-paying contract. In most cases, the payment varies based on individual experience, where those with high experience get a chance to secure well-paying projects compared to newbies. In addition to this, quality plays a great role in salary quotation of an individual composer. Famous composers with strong legacy in their music composition can charge higher than other composers with the same level of experience in terms of year of operations but without high performance legacy. Composers with unique style that is highly liked in the industry or that can fit in vast majority of films are in high demand in the market. This gives them a chance to have a higher price per minute of finished music bargaining power than replaceable composers. In addition, creative composers who are highly flexible, and easily introduce different styles to fit different scenes and still manage to maintain high quality are also highly marketable (UNIDO, 2013).

Based on the above discussed factors, composer worth varies greatly in this industry. In a normal lineup, their price varies from 50$ to $1000 per minute of complete music. However, the compensation of those with strong brand and legacy in the market varies greatly. Their pricing is way above the normal defined range, with some receiving tens of thousands for a single minute of complete music. This means, different composers can have different worth based on their content, skills, level of experience, creativity, style, level of development in the market, and directors’ trust in their ability to give quality music at any given time, in any given situation. The worth also varies based on individuals’ ability to market their skills. Those that are good in marketing their skills are likely to fetch better deals than those that are not able to market their brand.

The Differences between Traditional “Employee” Work and the Entrepreneurial or “Independent Contractor” Job of a Media Composer

The traditional employee work centers on establishing a standard working condition and compensation for different professionals working in the entertainment industry, based on individual qualification and level of experience. This is mostly enhanced by formation of unions that ensure that there are laws that dictates on professionals working condition, employment and dismissal terms, promotion, salary provision and salary addition, as well as workers disputes resolution in their place of work. On the other hand, independent contract job involves building one’s brand with the aim of commanding the market. Entrepreneurs focus on self-development to gain a high competitive advantage in a manner that they can command a high level of compensation, way beyond what is set in a traditional set up (Fim-Musicians.org, 2016).

The main difference between the traditional employee and the entrepreneurial or independent contractor is that, the latter always focus on self-improvement, to enhance their level of payment, while those in a traditional setup can only follow the set promotion and salary increment laws. In additional to this, entrepreneurial or independent contractors bargain for their pricing based on their level of performance. This creates a great difference in the operability of the two, and the levels of earning. Those in independent contract always focus on creating legacy and strong brand name to increase their chances of being rehired or re-contracted. On the contrary, those in unions or permanent employment only work as a routine to get their monthly pay. This limits their level of growth and development, as well as their ability to adapt the use of new technologies to enhance their competitiveness.

Composers in traditional form of employment are permanent workers with high job security and guaranteed salary, while those in entrepreneurial are in a business with high level of uncertainty. Entrepreneurs’ ability to remain in business is highly determined by their brand image in the market, quality of their compensation and their price competitiveness. Destruction of one’s brand image can result to lose of business. They thus invest a lot in protecting their brand image, and in improving their quality of performance, to improve their worth. The current high competition in the industry gives those entrepreneurial composers a higher chance to survive in the industry in the future, compared to those in traditional employment. This is due to the fact that as entrepreneurs try to remain competitive, they get to learn and to embrace technological changes taking place in their industry today. Those in traditional employment however do not put extra efforts to remain viable in the market as entrepreneurial composers do (Fim-Musicians.org, 2016).

The Impact and Influence of Technology on the Viability of Someone Making a Successful Living as a Media Composer

The world has been experiencing technology advancement in the last few decades. This is still anticipated to continue in the future, especially with regard to development of apps that focus on life enhancement in different sectors.  Technology has made life easier, especially for young composers who are trying to introduce themselves in the market. With the new technology, young and broke composers can use free available media such as YouTube to stream their performance and release it in social media. This creates a likelihood of getting customers to appreciate and endorse their work and talents, creating a chance for future employment. Technology has highly enhanced marketing and individual introduction in the market. It has also made it easier for known and experienced composers to expand their market to international level. With internet and social media, composers of all levels get a better chance to market their abilities, talents and styles, increasing their visibility in the market. Technology also widens ones market, increasing chances of being hired (McAndrew & Everett, 2015). However, this only happen to those that are aggressive enough. Technology advancement increases the level of composers visibility in the market and hence the level of competitiveness. Although technology assist in enhancing composers accessibility, it plays little role in enhancing individual composition quality. It is therefore unlikely for technology alone to enhance individual ability to be successful. On the contrary one must have what it takes to produce quality music, and technology will supplement this by enhancing marketability of such individuals.

References

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Digital Humans. (2013). The effect of digital & social media on the music industry. Music Panel Interviews from Like Minds. Retrieved from< https://theorganicagency.com/blog/effect-digital-social-media-music-industry/>

Fim-Musicians.org. (2016). The future of work in the media, art & entertainment sector, meeting the challenge of atypical working.  Retrieved from https://www.fim-musicians.org/wp-content/uploads/atypical-work-handbook-en.pdf

Kayser, M. L. (2013). Personal branding secrets for beginners: a short and simple guide to getting started with your personal brand (short and simple series). Blue Ink Publishing. Kindle Edition

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McAndrew, S., & Everett, M. (2015). Music as collective invention: A social network analysis of composers. Cultural Sociology, 9(1), 56-80.

UNIDO. (2013). Creative industries for youth: Unleashing potential and growth. Retrieved from https://www.unido.org/sites/default/files/2013-05/13-81037_Ebook_0.pdf