Category Archives: Business & Finance homework help

Survey of Human Resource Management

Question

Describe and analyze the broad range of talent management efforts that use software applications to help you Director to make an educated decision. Give some examples of firms that have successfully used these applications. Describe how these efforts are useful in terms of strategic human capital management.

Sample paper

Software PPT

Speaker notes

  • A software is a set of instructions and programs that are used to operate computers and machinery. It is usually divided into applications software and system software and can be thought to be the variable part of a computer or machinery(Kumar, 2013).
  • However, not all software are compatible with all hardware and thus, there is the need to perform a compatibility test to determine the best software that suits a situation or an organization.
  • A computer-based information system has various components such as hardware, software and human resource making it very hard for one to operate without the other. Thus, they all must be used together.

Types of software

  • There exists a wide range of software that can be utilized on various occasions depending on the situation and magnitude of workload. It is worth noting that there is no single software that can be proposed for certain situation and thus, the user must conduct its usability and compatibility before installing(Reuwer, 2013).
  • A software helps people and organization to use a computer and other computer related machines to operate thus improving our efficiency and effectiveness as well as total productivity.
  • However, for an individual to be in a position to use specific software, he must display some knowledge and skills in that field. Failure to have these much-needed skills will lead top failure of the software.

Related:Human Resource Management

Accounting software

  • Accounting software is an application software that can be used by individuals and organization to record, process accounting transactions with functional elements such as accounts payable, accounts receivable and trial balance(Schorr, 2013).
  • Accounting software enables the collection, storing and processing financial and accounting data to provide and retrieve information that is used by decision makers in the future of the business.
  • This software can be acquired through various methods and ways that include in-house development by the host organization, purchasing it from a third party or combining a third party application with minor modifications to suit the situation.
  • A good example of an accounting software is enterprise accounting software that helps an organization to keep track of financial transactions and the data and information produced by these transactions.

Collaboration software

  • Collaborative software is a groupware or software that can be used by more than one person that is usually created and designed to allow individuals to perform a similar task from different workstations(Ramler, 2016).
  • Collaboration software can also be referred as confluence software that allows easy communication and access to company records that are widely used to make decisions as it facilitates quick collaboration and sharing of information.
  • Moreover, online collaboration helps individuals from various parts and stations to work online with their colleagues using the cloud to aid communication, file sharing, and project management.
  • A good example of this software is Lotus Notes that are widely focused in communications.

Database software

  • A database is a computer software application that creates a platform where the users, other applications and the database itself can interact freely with no limitations(Ambler, 2012).
  • The basic purpose of this software is to define, searching, updating and the administration of databases that helps in preventing data loss in case of danger.
  • This software provides a channel that can be used to store as well as retrieve information whenever needed for decision-making as well as providing insight into the progress and performance of the business.
  • One of the popular databases that can be used in an organization is Oracle database.

Project management software

  • Project management software is widely used by project managers, stakeholders, and other users to control the costs and work in progress on on-going projects as it widely helps in project scheduling and resource allocation(Burke, 2013).
  • Each project management software is highly dependable on the size of the project in question considering that is can also help to keep a record and track on the capacity of the people and other materials that are used to complete the project.
  • It helps to maintain the quality of the project and the goods and services provided by an organization through quality assurance as well as budgeting. The best and ideal example of Project management software is the Harvest.

conclusion

  • A software is important to any organization that desires to go digital, and the hardware cannot operate on their own. However, the organization must perform a background study of each software before adapting.
  • High skills are needed in operating this software to guarantee better and accurate results.

References

  • Ambler, S. (2012). Agile database techniques: Effective strategies for the agile software developer. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Burke, R. (2013). Project management: planning and control techniques. New Jersey, USA.
  • Kumar, J. (2013). Gamification at work: Designing engaging business software. In International Conference of Design, User Experience, and Usability , (pp. 528-537). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
  • Ramler, R. F. (2016). Industry-Academia Collaboration in Software Testing: An Overview of TAIC PART 2016. In Software Testing, Verification and Validation Workshops (ICSTW), 2016 IEEE Ninth  International Conference on , (pp. 238-239). IEEE.
  • Reuwer, T. J. (2013). Key factors in the internationalisation process of SMEs exporting business software as a service. . International Journal of Business Information Systems, 12(2), , 140-162.
  • Schorr, M. S. (2013). U.S. Patent No. 8,442,850. Washington, DC: U.S. . U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Powerpoint

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HR Management

International Economics

International Economics

Assessment 1:

Note: This is a group assessment. In any group maximum of 3 members are allowed. In mentioned cases provide a neat diagram to explain your answer. Make sure to label axes properly. Else points will be deducted. The maximum possible points is 40.

Maximum points: 40 points

  1. The following excerpt is from the case study “The Euro in crisis: Decision Time at the European Central Bank”. (distributed in the class)

“……a bailout for Greece would send a signal to other indebted member states that the ECB would step in if private lenders become nervous.”

Answer the following questions with appropriate diagram and using AD-AS model, Money market, aggregate expenditure model, and forex market (as required). For part a, b and c appropriate diagrams are MUST. Else points will be deducted.

  1. When ECB went out for a bail out then what was expected to happen to the interest rate in Greece? (10 points)

At this moment, many European countries were still suffering from the effects of the 2008 economic crises. Greece is one among the many European countries that were in the verge of collapsing considering that it did not have enough funds to run its operations. However, on May 8, 2010, finance ministers of 16 Eurozone nations met in Brussels to discuss on the best way to help Greece out of its current situation back then. After a lengthy discussion, they settled for a bailout. However, this bailout did not come without adverse effect. The decision of the European Central Bank to bailout Greece could have a negative effect on the interest rates in the country. Having a large chunk of money in the economy after the recession would increase the amount in circulation in the economy of Greece and hence lead to an increase in the interest rate of the country (Trumbull, 2010). Having a lot of funds in the circulation would definitely lead to inflation which then would require the banks to raise their interest rates in the attempt to control the inflation in order to feel and see that value of the bailout. Despite the fact that economy cannot run without enough funds, a lot of funds would do more of harm than good. On the same note, if the interest rate of Greece increases, it becomes difficult for people to have access to loans.

  1. Comment on the expected outcome of this policy on behalf of ECB. Provide diagram and detailed explanation on output and prices. (10 points)

Despite the bailout having adverse effects at the European level, the bank itself would be affected in various ways. The primary goal of any bank is to stabilize the prices of goods and services in any country, and the bailout meant that the bank would be going against this principle. Going on with the bailout, meant that the European central bank was not insulated against the political pressure that may be present in the specific countries.  Moreover, considering that the European central bank is not directly associated with any specific country, bailing out Greece would have been seen as if the bank was meddling with political independence of members. As a matter of fact, meddling with Greece bailout, it would have prompted other countries such as Spain which was going through the same situation to stake their claim of needing financial assistance from the bank. In general, we can say that although the bailout would have saved Greece from collapsing economically, it would also have triggered other unwanted and adverse effects particularly from political institutions from other countries.

On the same note, the bailout would lead to an increase in the total output of the country considering that Greece will be in a position to produce more. Having enough cash in the economy helps the country to increase its investment opportunities and chances considering that the white collar sector may not be having enough employment opportunities. However, there is always a negative correlation between prices and outcome. An increase in output leads to a decrease in prices of goods and services. Since the output is high and there are many suppliers of the same product, there is no stiff competition for the available goods and services, and this helps to lower the prices of these commodities (Campello, 2010). On the other hand, when the output is low it raises the prices of the commodities and services since all customers would be fighting for the available goods.

International Economics
International Economics

From the diagram above, we can see the negative correlation between the prices of commodities and the output of the same in Greece after the bailout is effective. If the prices moves from P1 to P2 the output reduces from Y2 to Y1.

  1. c) If government of Greece also increases (assume) the expenditure (expansionary fiscal policy) then what do you think can potentially happen to prices? Provide the relevant diagram and explain your answer.(10 points)

If Greece employs expansionary fiscal policy, the prices will go up. Expansionary fiscal policy involves more government spending which leads to increased aggregate demand. Thus, the chances are that there will be an increase in the amount of money in circulation. This means that most individuals if not all will have money to purchase goods and services at any price thus increase the demand for the available goods and services (Trumbull, 2010). This effect leads to inflation which is the continued and persistent rise in prices of goods and services as a result of higher demand in the economy

higher demand in the economy

An increase in the Greece government expenditure would lead to an increase in the nation income thus an increase in aggregate demand. From the diagram above, it is easy to tell that as the GDP increases from Y1 to Y2 so does the aggregate demand as it moves from AD1 to AD2. This movement in aggregate demand triggers the price to increase from P1 to P2. Considering that citizens have enough money, they will be fighting for the available goods and services regardless of the price.

  1. Overall do you think that bail out of Greece is healthy policy from the perspective of ECB? Answer this one in context of the Case study. ( 5 points)

Yes. The ECB’s main mandate is to protect the value of the euro and extensively the euro itself. Bailing out Greece would have forced the bank to engaged in a fiscal transfer. The formation of the new European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF) demanded support from member states; this support, however, was put to risk by the ECB as its move to bail out Greece risked reducing vital political support for the formation of EFSF.

The main role of the new European Financial Stability Fund is to act as a financial backstop for any Eurozone country that was having troubles accessing the bonds markets. This setup sends a signal to Portugal, Greece, and Spain that the ECB would provide a backstop in case of fiscal crisis.

If Greece were left to default otherwise it would only lead to other low states like Portugal and Spain to follow the same suite, therefore, sending the whole EU spirally into a crisis, the euro would depreciate and thus the overall economic situation of the Eurozone would worsen further. Setting up financial stability through the bail out of Greece and the formation of European Financial Stability Fund is a long-term solution to such contagion. Therefore, the euro value would be protected, and the euro itself defended through the bailout of Greece. The protection of the Euro value is the main objective of the European Central Bank thus bailout of Greece is a healthy policy since it aids the ECB in stabilizing the euro value.

  1. Explain why a group of economist thinks that a common currency like Euro for the region is not a good idea. Restrict your answer to the concepts discussed in the class and the case Study. Page limit is one page. (5 points)

The Euro like any other new idea being brought into existences suffered a number of criticisms that it was not a good idea. Economists such as Milton Friedman, Henry Kaufman, and Martin Feldstein warned that the euro as a single currency could trigger a civil war in Europe. Other Economists emphasized on the risks of centralizing monetary policy to the common decision-maker ECB while fiscal authority was controlled by the member states. These economists alerted that individual states had an incentive to over-stimulate their economies through fiscal imprudence because the benefits of fiscal stimulus were local and the costs of monetary tightening were felt across Europe (Trumbull, 2010). This act would only weigh the ECB to charge higher interest rates than might otherwise be necessary to meet their inflation targets, resulting in slower economic growth across the Eurozone.

References

Campello, M. G. (2010). The real effects of financial constraints: Evidence from a financial crisis. Journal of Financial Economics, 97(3),, 470-487.

Trumbull, J. G. (2010). The Euro in Crisis: Decision Time at the European Central Bank.

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Design with UML

Appreciative inquiry/Project Management

Question

Project Management overview

  1. What is appreciative inquiry (AI)?
  2. What are the implications of AI on defining project scope?

Sample paper

Appreciative inquiry/Project Management

Human being is a social being that lives or engages in social groups to feel the sense of belonging and appreciated. To be able to participate in a group, an individual has to find the best group, learn about their organization and the relevant environment and world around these groups.  The concept of appreciative inquiry uses positive experiences to help a person or a group of people to lay down a plan of what to do next to ensure there is bright future ahead of them. Through appreciative inquiry, one can find all he wants to know about a group of people (Hammond, 2013). We can define appreciative inquiry as a method of thinking or course of action that an individual may take that brings change in an organization. Those who participate in these activities assume that all that a person desires in an organization or a group is always present all he has to do is to form a strategy to find it. Thus, such characters only need to seek for the desired situations and outcomes. Appreciative inquiry pushes an individual to ask himself what was happening when things were okay, and everything was going as per the plan. Some of the fundamental questions that AI seeks to know include;

  • What were the people in your organization doing at the time? Generally, their behavior, feelings, and actions
  • What was going on around you as an individual?
  • What was your exact reaction that point?

On the other hand, project management is the discipline of initiating, planning, executing, controlling and overseeing the work of a team that is designated to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria. The primary challenge faced by project managers is to reach all these aims and constraints within the stipulated time and budget. At the beginning of a project, the project office needs to come up with rules and regulations and manual that need to be followed throughout the work (Whitney, 2010).  There is a strong relationship between project management and appreciative inquiry considering that most project managers use it to set manuals and project scope. Some of the underlying assumptions of AI that makes it useful to project management include;

  • In every group or organization, something works
  • Focus equals reality
  • There are multiple realities that are created at any given moment
  • Asking questions and the phrasing of the questions influences the settings of the organization
  • Through the use of past experiences, participants are confident of facing the future
  • They only carry the active parts of the past forward leaving out the negative parts
  • Differences in members and ideologies must be valued
  • Reality is molded by language used by every member of the group

Thus, appreciative inquiry involves a systematic discovery of what keeps a group of people united and alive by providing a way to approach change in a holistic way.

Each project creates a unique product, service, or result in particular stakeholders’ desires. Project success partially depends on upon identifying key stakeholders through evaluating wants and desires to determine project scope. Thus, involvement in early stages of the project is very crucial (Cooperrider, 2008). Appreciative inquiry is a paramount tool when it comes to project scope since project stakeholders are in a position to navigate through questions through active conversations.

Below are some of the ways that appreciative inquiry is used to define project scope.

  • Designing– answers the question what has been? The design comprises of inquiring and discovery active capacity of a group organization or community. In this phase, participants are encouraged to use stories to describe their strengths and experiences to understand the unique needs that lead their success. All stakeholders review their pasts and take the active parts of them to help them carry out the task at hand. These positive aspects assist them to form project scope since they believe they will achieve these objectives.
  • Dreaming– contributes to answering the question what could be? Builds on the moment of excellence of the participants and encourage them to imagine what would be if they succeeded. Members make ideal conditions and hopes for a bright future thus creating project scope. This phase should encourage participants to work on their strengths and also dream of the best path to take(Hammond, 2013).
  • Designing– answers the question what will be? This segment creates principles that are meant to help the participants realize their dreams and desires. They try to move the current situation to a higher standard to make it better and attractive. Participants are encouraged to think of a world free of constraints.
  • Delivery– answers the question what will be? In this stage, all participants are encouraged to take up responsibilities and duties that aim at completion of the project. All members need to commit themselves towards the achievement of the goals of the project.

From the above information, it is correct to conclude that project scope and management has a strong correlation with appreciative inquiry. Project managers and all participants can define the scope of their project to ensure they are in line with project objectives and goals (Cooperrider, 2008).

References

Cooperrider, D. W. (2008). he appreciative inquiry handbook: For leaders of change. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Hammond, S. A. (2013). The thin book of appreciative inquiry. thin Book publishing.

Whitney, D. D.-B. (2010). The power of appreciative inquiry: A practical guide to positive change. Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

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ANALYZE YOUR STYLE UNDER STRESS

Project Management Overview-World Bank Group

Project Management Overview

Project prioritization is of critical importance to organizations. An organization may have a list of projects to undertake yet there exist time and resource constraints. It may be difficult to make decisions on which projects to undertake first and which to come later. This calls for an objective and structured approach in dealing with such a situation in order to serve in the best interests of all stakeholders including customers, suppliers, and owners.

The World Bank Group (2014) report focuses on ways in which organizations can prioritize projects. The report identifies ten prioritization procedures that organizations can use in project management. The report focuses on prioritizing public investment projects such as infrastructure development. According to the report, it is important that a clear prioritization structure is established to enhance objectivity and minimize political influence. The report indicates that the first principle is to ensure the project aligns with the country’s long-term strategic vision. The project should also ensure maximum social, economic and environmental impact. Another important consideration is the life-cycle of the assets used in the project so as to manage costs. The cross-sectoral impacts of projects is considered since public projects may impact more than one area of the economy. Public projects require analysis of reliable data and backing from various political parties and stakeholders. Financing of projects should come from different sectors such as public and private sectors. These sectors should optimize delivery of the project. Lastly, evaluation of ongoing projects should be conducted.

Kipper (2014) analyzes the application of scoring method in prioritizing projects. This article first establishes five critical stages of any project which are listed as initiation, planning, performance, control and closure. In the management of a project, the goal is to put available resources to best use possible. Key decisions are made based on attractiveness (expected returns) of a project and its alignment with organizational objectives. In most organizations, projects are meant to increase the value of the company. Thus in prioritizing projects in organizations, the financial gain is important. Return on Investment (ROI) is used to prioritize projects in such cases. ROI measures a project’s returns with relation to invested capital. Net Present Value (NPV) is another criteria used to prioritize projects. NPV assesses the future streams of income from a particular project. Mathematical models are applied in complex projects to assess their profitability. Benefits are also assessed through various approaches such as cash flow analysis, economic models, contribution methods, and cost-benefit analysis.

From the above, there are quite a number of notable differences. In the article by World Bank Group (2014), prioritization of projects depends on whether they align with the country’s strategic vision. In the article by Kipper (2014), there is no need for alignment with the strategic vision of a country. According to the World Bank Group, projects should maximize social, economic, and environmental benefits. Majority of organizations does not take this into consideration since projects are meant to give maximum returns. In public projects, there is concern about the impact of a project across various sectors. In Kipper’s article, organizations do not assess the impacts of a project across sectors. Another outstanding difference in the articles is the purpose of the projects. From the World Bank Group article, priority of projects depends on whether they provide maximum benefits to the community. According to Kipper, projects are prioritized depending on the maximum returns or yields expected.

Urgency is of great importance while undertaking projects, whether in the public or private sector. Projects are expected to meet budgets and timelines established during the planning stages. Urgency is one of the greatest sources of pressure during the implementation of a project. In order to create a sense of urgency and help in keeping time, a project plan is developed which details the various stages of a project and expected timelines for completion of various activities. There are high costs in delaying the expected benefits from various projects. Time delays have significant impacts on the cost implications of a project. The longer a project takes to be completed the more costs are incurred. There are a number of measures established in order to mitigate risks associated with time delays. A common approach is the use of punitive damages whereby the contractor is forced to pay particular amounts to the client in the event that a project is long overdue and the contractor is liable.

Time delays in project management may lead to sustainability issues since the costs may go high beyond the planned budget. There are a number of tools that are used in timing of projects. Some of these tools include resource allocation charts, Gantt charts, work breakdown structures, and others. Project management requires a careful analysis of the time taken to complete particular project tasks and the entire span in which the entire project is expected to last. Timing in project involves estimation, meaning certain projects may take longer than expected while others may take a relatively shorter period.

References

Kipper, L. M. (2014). The Use of Scoring Method for Prioritizing the Project Portfolio. Journal   of Management Research, 6(1): 2-14.

World Bank Group. (2014). Prioritizing Projects to Enhance Development Impact. University of Toronto. Retrieved from: www.g20.utoronto.ca/…/6%20Prioritizing%20Proj.

Importance of Business Ethics to Organizations

Importance of Business Ethics to Organizations

The importance of business ethics to organizations cannot be underestimated. In the recent years, ethical conduct of employees in organizations have occupied center stage as organizations come under increasing pressure from various stakeholders to act in ethical ways. Various scandals that have rocked organizations in the past such as Enron, WorldCom, Lehman Brothers, AIG, and others have generated more interest in the role of proper business ethics in organizations. In particular, the fundamental question among various stakeholders’ concerns ways in which business organizations can employ business ethics to shape employee behavior. Just like individuals, organizations can be held to account for their actions. However, it is the choices made by individuals that forms the basis for organizational ethics. It is important to establish whether business ethics help organizations in any particular manner. This paper will examine the role played by ethical policies and training programs and general impact of ethical leadership to modern organizations.

The term organizational ethics is broadly employed to define the culture, processes, outcomes, values, character, and code of principles held by the organization (Salehi, Saeidinia, & Aghaei, 2012). Organizational ethics hold the organization in place by instilling a sense of unity among employees. It defines the manner in which employees should conduct themselves. Organizational ethics is closely linked to the mission and values held by the organization. Their main role is to help in addressing issues concerning key aspects such as management decisions, financial decisions, and relationship issues in the organization. Business ethics specifically helps organizations in enhancing employee relationships, maintaining profitability, safety from legal issues, enhance goodwill, overcome competition, and for sustainability purposes. According to Trevino, Weaver, & Reynolds (2006), common ethical issues in organizations involve unauthorized payments, sexual harassment, inappropriate language, environmental issues, affirmative action policy, inappropriate gifts received by staff, employee privacy, and employee conflict of interest.

Maintaining organizational reputation

Organizational reputation concerns the manner in which consumers perceive the business in terms of trustworthiness, reliability, quality of products, maintenance of standards, and general image (Ferrell, 2016). Organizational reputation is involved with how people feel about the organization. People judge organization based on the activities they engage, their behaviors, and corporate citizenship. A good reputation can increase the organization’s competitive advantage as it is more appealing to customers. A good reputation is not only important in attracting customers but also in attracting and retaining highly skilled and qualified employees. Employees are attracted to companies with strong ethical values. Organizations with poor reputation resulting from unethical practices such as rampant corruption, environmental pollution, and poor quality products may find it difficult attracting and retaining a pool of skilled employees.

Business ethics helps in gaining legitimacy

Business ethics helps organizations in conforming to external expectations. Different regulatory bodies including the local and state government puts pressure on organizations to adopt ethical behavior. This is reflected in the code of ethics of the companies as they respond to the outside pressure. Currently, there is high pressure for organizations to show transparency in their operations from such regulatory bodies as U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and other government agencies. Business ethics enables organizations to conform to requirements of these bodies. In the modern business environment, investors are also keen about the ethical performance of companies. Investors prefer companies that have high ethical standards since to them they are more sustainable. Conformity with external regulatory bodies shows an openness towards conducting business with others in an easy way (Albrecht, Albrecht, & Dolan, 2007).

Fraud prevention

Business ethics plays a critical role in fraud prevention in organizations. Implementing a fraud policy in organizations is the first step deterring fraud (Giles, 2012). Organizations which do not have effective ethics program are at higher risk of fraud perpetrated by their own employees. There are many forms of fraud which can occur in organizations such as asset misappropriation, corruption, financial misstatement, computer crimes, and other forms of fraud. Fraud is an inherent risk in organizations. However, particular factors in the control environment determine the likelihood of occurrence of fraud in organizations. The management can put several measures in place to minimize the risk of fraud in organizations. The HR department is tasked with putting up fraud control measures in the organization including training programs. The HR department codifies ethics, values, and the generally expected conduct of all persons in the organization (Rezaee, 2008). Effective communication of the values and codes of ethics to employees encourages them to be transparent and accountable in their dealings.

Ethics define the corporate culture of an organization

Business ethics are important in shaping the corporate culture in organizations. A code of ethics encourages development of coherent corporate culture through establishment of common operating principles and practices (Werf, 2010). Shared values and principles in organizations are important in developing a corporate culture. This is very important especially to organizations that have undergone mergers or acquisitions. In such organizations, employees share different values. A code of ethics can help unify employee values and principles and work towards achieving a common objective. When employees share different work values and principles, it is difficult for the management to develop teamwork and reach set objectives. Organizations must clearly communicate the codes of ethics to all employees to ensure that they share the same work culture. An organization that maintains strong codes of ethic also help new employees too quickly adapt to the organization’s culture.

Decision making process

Business ethics form the basis of ethical decision making to organizations (Butts, 2008). When faced by complex situations, the management and employees rely on the business codes of ethics to make the right decisions. In certain circumstances, employees face situations where they have to make decisions with certain ethical implications. These are decisions that have some negative implications on one or more of the stakeholders in the organization. Although the code of ethics may not be a panacea to complex decision making, it provides employees and the management with a framework for analyzing complex issues and coming up with the best possible solution to a particular problem. Business ethics enables employees to judge their actions based on their consequences. Employees are able to anticipate the kind of problems that may arise when they take or fail to take certain actions.

Ethics promotes good governance in organizations

One of the possible outcomes of adopting and implementing a code of ethics is good governance in organizations. Business ethics ensure that everyone in the organization is responsible for their actions, from the employees to the management. Corporate governance is based on four ethical principles which include fairness, accountability, transparency and responsibility. Fairness requires that organizations ensure the decisions they make take into consideration the interests of others. Accountability involves justifying decisions and performance results. The management should be able to assume responsibility for actions taken in the organization. Transparency involves disclosing important information to the relevant stakeholders. Code of ethics also ensures that employees maintain positive relationships. Code of ethics defines how relationships among employees, customers, suppliers, and management should be. This avoids conflicts in the organization.

Well-being of society

Business ethics help organizations in developing corporate social responsibility strategies for the well-being of the society. Organizations which do not follow any ethical codes of conduct may be socially irresponsible and lead to wider consequences among local community members (Hiironen, 2004). For instance, businesses which disregard business ethics may dispose hazardous waste materials in ways which threaten community health. Organizations lacking business ethics are more likely to neglect their obligations towards general environmental care and stewardship expected. For example, they are likely to pollute the environment and disregard their obligations to minimizing greenhouse gas emissions. It is important for organizations to put their business interests aside for the well-being of the society. Consumers are increasingly becoming aware of corporate social responsibility. This means that in future they will most likely opt for products from companies that recognize corporate responsibility (Kott, 2012). Business should make decisions based on sound moral principles.

In conclusion, business ethics are of great importance to the business as well as various stakeholders. Organizations cannot operate without a code of ethics that guide employee behavior. The code of ethics is instrumental in shaping the organizational culture that in turn determines the behavior of employees. Business ethics guide the actions of employees and management. They form the platform for which decision making process occurs. The management as well as the employees evaluate the moral rightness of their decisions based on the code of ethics established by the organization.

References

Albrecht, C., Albrecht, C., & Dolan, S. (2007). Financial fraud: The how and why. European       Business Forum, 29: 34-39.

Butts, J. (2008). Ethics in Organizations and Leadership. Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Ferrell, O. C. (2016). Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making & Cases: Ferrell. Mason, OH:    South Western Educational Publishing.

Giles, S. (2012). Managing fraud risk: A practical guide for directors and managers. Chichester,            West Sussex: Wiley.

Hiironen, A. (2004). Adoption of codes of ethics by business organizations – the underlying         reasons and aims. Helsinki School of Economics. Retrieved from:             https://users.ics.aalto.fi/praiko/Anna_Hiironen/Hiironen_thesis.pdf

Kott, J. K. (2012). Role of ethics in employee behavior. The University of Tennessee,       Chattanooga. Retrieved from:           http://scholar.utc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1042&context=theses

Rezaee, Z. (2008). Corporate governance and ethics. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.

Salehi, M., Saeidinia, M., & Aghaei, M. (2012). Business Ethics. International Journal of            Scientific and Research Publications, 2(1): 1-9.

Trevino, L. K., Weaver, G. R., & Reynolds, S. J. (2006). Behavioral Ethics in Organizations.       Journal of Management, 32(6): 12-44.

Werf, M. (2010). Ethical leadership: the influence on subordinate performance. Amsterdam        Business School. Retrieved from: http://dare.uva.nl/cgi/arno/show.cgi?fid=203137

Uber Technology Inc Leadership and Organizational Behavior

Uber Technology Inc  Leadership and Organizational Behavior

Executive Summary

Uber Technology Inc. is currently facing a number of challenges. They major challenges concerns numerous lawsuits and scandals. The numerous lawsuits emerge from unethical conduct by senior-level executives at the company. Uber seems to have developed a culture of unethical practice in its quest for profitability and dominance in the market. The numerous lawsuits have serious future implications for the company’s operations. The major lawsuits facing the company touch on various issues such as gender and ethnic discrimination, sexual harassment, intellectual property rights, malfeasance, and other unethical practices. A weak corporate culture at Uber is the major driving force for most of the unethical practices witnessed by the company. This report recommends the introduction of a new corporate culture as the most important way of dealing with the current issues facing the company.  Other recommendations include the need to conduct employee training and development as well as considering internal promotions to give the employees a chance for growth and development.

Uber Technology Inc. is a leading multinational taxi company with its headquarters in San Francisco, California. Uber commenced operations in 2009 (Uber Technologies Inc., 2018). The company operates in several cities across the world. Uber mainly operates as a taxi company through its Uber application. In the recent period, the company has expanded operations to include Uber Eats, which is a new way of delivering food in a quick and affordable manner, and self-driving cars. The major aim in venturing into self-driving cars is to make transportation safer (Uber Technologies Inc., 2018). Despite gaining popularity across the world, Uber Technology Inc. has been embroiled in a spate of scandals and public relation blunders (Levin, 2017). The scandals, as well as public relation issues, have led to a near-collapse of the company and a negative public image. This paper is an analysis of hindrances to organizational efficiency at Uber Technologies Inc. and a proposal of the appropriate strategic solutions.

The Organization and the Issue to Resolve

Uber Technology Inc. has been a pioneer in the transport industry. The company developed a mobile application that enables customers to hail cabs with ease from their mobile phones. Uber has significantly revolutionized the transportation industry by incorporating modern technologies in the taxi business. In the recent period, Uber Technologies Inc. has moved a notch higher by integrating self-driving technology. The company has been in the forefront in ensuring the introduction of autonomous cars into the transport industry (Levin, 2017a). Uber has invested up to $70 billion in developing its autonomous technology. Nonetheless, the company has faced litigation from Alphabet Inc. over its car radar technology. The litigation concerns intellectual property rights, with claims that Uber illegally acquired radar technology from Alphabet Inc. (Levin, 2017a). Uber has also diversified its transport business to include food transportation through UberEats. UberEats is a revolutionary way of ordering food online and having it delivered at a cheaper cost.

A number of organizational issues had adverse effects on productivity at Uber Technology Inc. The major issue relates to the numerous lawsuits and scandals. Uber has been involved in numerous lawsuits resulting in a bad negative image. One of the major lawsuits concerns radar technology development as earlier mentioned (Levin, 2017a). The lawsuit concerns Uber’s infringement on Alphabet Inc.’s intellectual property rights. Another lawsuit concerns the company’s efforts to engage in illicit business tactics (Mehrota, 2017). This was during the former Chief Executive Officer’s (CEO’s) tenor, Travis Kalanick. The CEO engaged in malfeasance and provided wrongful information to private investors who ended up pumping billions of dollars into the firm. In another lawsuit, the company faces accusations of engaging in foreign federal bribery and other acts of corruption.

Uber Technologies Inc.’s executives have also been accused of sexual harassment and engaging in gender discrimination. According to Mehrota (2017), the company’s corporate culture promotes sexual discrimination against women. A report filed by the company’s former software engineer, Susan Fowler, highlighted the issue of sexual harassment in the company (Newcomer, 2017). Following the claims of sexual harassment by Fowler, other complaints emerged regarding sexual discrimination of women and including incidences of sexual harassment. Uber is facing another lawsuit concerning attempts to cover up serious incidents involving data loss through hacking. According to Novak (2017), hackers gained access to 57 million accounts belonging to customers. The company made deliberate efforts to cover up the incidence by paying the hackers $100,000.

Another set of lawsuits involves claims of racial discrimination. According to Balakrishnan and Salinas (2017), the lawsuits claim that Uber favors Whites compared to people of color. Uber is facing lawsuits concerning retaliatory actions against employees who act as whistleblowers on various issues affecting the company. For instance, in 2017 Uber had 13 ongoing cases involving retaliation. Lastly, Uber is facing lawsuits concerning driver classification. In 2017, a British court ruled that Uber drivers were entitled to a minimum wage just like other employees (Balakrishnan & Salinas, 2017). These lawsuits pose a serious threat to the operations and profitability of the company. Some of the ongoing lawsuits may cost the company millions in terms of compensation.

Current Corporate Culture at Uber

The current corporate culture has significantly facilitated the multiple lawsuits facing the company. Uber Technologies Inc. lacks an effective corporate culture that may guide employees in complex decision-making. When the corporate culture and organizational policy framework are not strong enough to support decision-making, the workforce is likely to take wrong decisions. The company’s corporate culture is weak as evidenced by its mission statement. According to the company’s official website, Uber Technologies Inc. (2018), “Uber’s mission is to bring transportation – for everyone, everywhere.” The mission statement does not outline how the employees should treat customers nor emphasize on any company core values or principles.

Uber’s management focused more on growth and profitability of the company at the expense of instilling ethical values among employees. In 2017, Uber made significant changes in the executive structure, including ousting of the then CEO and replacing him with Dara Khosrowshahi (Mehrota, 2017). In a recent news release, the current CEO noted that it is time for Uber to “move from an era of growth at all costs to one of responsible growth” (Khosrowshahi, 2017). This means that the previous leadership overlooked ethical leadership in order to achieve growth and profitability. This explains the higher number of lawsuits currently facing the company.

Uber Technologies Inc. seems to have supported the development of an amoral culture across the entire organizational leadership, from the CEO Kalanick down to mid-level managers. According to Chafkin (2017), both the former CEO, Kalanick, and the mid-level managers engaged in illegal conduct. The involvement of senior executives in unethical practices fostered the development and prevalence of an unethical conduct across the entire organizational structure. Reports indicate that the company had also developed a culture of disparaging its drivers (Chafkin, 2017). This resulted in low morale among the Uber drivers who are critical to the success of the company. Uber’s core values do not explicitly address the issue of unethical practices. The core value concerning ethical practices only claims, “We do the right thing” (Khosrowshahi, 2017, p. 1). This may not be enough to create a culture of high ethical practice in the organization.

Areas of Weakness

From this report, it is clear that Uber Technologies Inc. has three major areas of weaknesses: corporate culture, diversity, and motivational strategies. Corporate culture is the most visible area of weakness facing Uber. Bogomolov, Belimova, and Kushekbaev (2017) assert that companies that have developed sound corporate cultures are more successful compared to those without one. Further, weak corporate culture leads to a crisis within organizations. This true in light of the weak corporate culture at Uber and the subsequent string of litigations the company is currently facing. A strong corporate culture creates unity among the workforce in their efforts to achieve a common goal (Bogomolov et al., 2017). In such organizations, the employees share similar corporate values. This leads to the emergence of a dominant culture, which is a key determinant of the behavior of employees.

Another key area of weakness is in ensuring there is diversity among the workforce. Diversity in the workplace encompasses various issues including the issues of gender, race, background, education, ethnicity, and among others. The major diversity issues at Uber identified in this report are gender-based discrimination and ethnicity. According to Vijayasiri (2008), the organizational culture plays a critical role in determining whether employees report incidences relating to diversity such as gender discrimination at the workplace. In organizations where the management takes retaliatory actions against employees, the employees may feel discouraged to file complaints. This leads to the propagation of such negative cultures. Uber has been reluctant to investigate incidences of alleged sexual harassment and gender discrimination at the workplace. In the case of Susan Fowler, the management was reluctant to investigate the incidence of sexual harassment claiming that it involved a senior-level manager (Rosenfeld, 2017).

The company is also having issues to do with staff motivation. There are several reports of employees, mainly drivers, voicing their concerns over how the management handles employee rights. Uber drivers around the world have been fighting for better remuneration and the need for the company to observe minimum wage standards. For instance, a British court ruled in favor of Uber drivers on the issue on minimum wage and vacation time (Balakrishnan & Salinas, 2017). Poor remuneration and working conditions can significantly contribute towards low employee morale. As such, the Uber management needs to reevaluate how it interacts with employees and ways of raising their work morale.

Proposed Solutions

A number of organizational practices need modification. First, there is need to change the corporate culture at Uber. It is important to rewrite the ethical code of conduct at the organization and ensure that employee follows the new ethical guidelines. Another organizational practice that one may modify is the hiring practices of the organization. The hiring practices should encourage diversity in terms of race or ethnicity and gender. Another practice that needs change is the way the organization investigates and deals with issues concerning employee behavior. The organization seems adamant to investigate incidences involving senior management (Rosenfeld, 2017). Another practice that should change is how the organization recognizes and rewards employees.

Uber’s management should take into consideration a number of solutions. There is a need for training of all employees with regard to the proposed ethical guidelines. Training will ensure that employees adopt ethical conduct as they conduct various activities. In line with this, there is need to adopt a strong policy framework concerning employees who fail to observe the ethical guidelines. The management can ensure diversity in various ways. First, there is need to educate the senior leadership about the legal issues concerning gender and ethnic discrimination. Second, there is need of a proper policy framework to ensure gender balance during employee recruitment. Third, there is a need for a workplace relationship policy that may guide office romance and define what constitutes sexual harassment. Lastly, the management should consider conducting promotions from within the company. For instance, the company may promote drivers who have excellent records and qualifications.

The following are the suggestions that will be presented to the organization’s leadership:

  • Development of new ethical guidelines
  • Training of all employees on ethical guidelines
  • Adopt a policy framework to deal with employees who engage in unethical practices
  • Educate senior management on gender and ethnic discrimination
  • Conduct promotions from within

 

References

Balakrishnan, A., & Salinas, S. (2017, June 18). Uber hack flap is adding to its already daunting list of lawsuits — here’s a rundown. CNBC. Retrieved from            https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/18/uber-faces-big-legal-threats–lawyers.html

Bogomolov, A. V., Belimova, E. A., & Kushekbaev, Y. B. (2017). Formation and importance of corporate culture in the system of management “[Abstract]”. Vestnik Voronežskogo   Gosudarstvennogo Universiteta Inženernyh Tehnologij, 79(1), 416-421.         doi:10.20914/2310-1202-2017-1-416-421

Chafkin, M. (2017, Aug. 29). Uber’s problems go way beyond its CEO. Bloomberg          Businessweek. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-            29/uber-s-problems-go-way-beyond-its-ceo

Khosrowshahi, D. (2017). Uber’s new cultural norms. Uber Newsroom. Retrieved from             https://www.uber.com/newsroom/ubers-new-cultural-norms/

Levin, S. (2017, June 28). Uber’s scandals, blunders and PR disasters: the full list. The     Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jun/18/uber-           travis-kalanick-scandal-pr-disaster-timeline

Levin, S. (2017a, May 15). Uber allowed to continue self-driving car project but must return files            to Waymo. The Guardian. Retrieved from         https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/may/15/uber-self-driving-cars-waymo-        google

Mehrota, K. (2017, Sept. 26). Uber, Kalanick sued by investors for scandal-related losses.            Bloomberg Technology. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-         09-26/uber-kalanick-sued-by-investors-for-misleading-over-scandals

Newcomer, E. (2017, June 13). Uber CEO to take leave, have diminished role after scandals.       Bloomberg Technology. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-         06-13/uber-ceo-to-take-leave-diminished-role-after-workplace-scandals

Novak, J. (2017). Why Uber’s hacking scandal is worse than all the others. CNBC. Retrieved       from https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/22/ubers-hacking-scandal-worse-than-equifax-       commentary.html

Rosenfeld, E. (2017, Feb. 19). Uber CEO orders ‘urgent investigation’ after allegation of   harassment, gender bias at company. CNBC. Retrieved from       https://www.cnbc.com/2017/02/19/uber-ceo-travis-kalanick-says-orders-urgent-     investigation-after-allegation-of-harassment-gender-bias-at-company.html

Uber Technologies Inc. (2018). Company info. Retrieved from             https://www.uber.com/newsroom/company-info/

Vijayasiri, G. (2008). Reporting sexual harassment: The importance of organizational culture and             trust. Gender Issues, 25(1), 43-61. doi:10.1007/s12147-008-9049-5

 

Important Leadership Skills

Question

Rank 1 – 5, from least (1) to most critical (5), the leadership skills you feel are the most critical for business leaders to possess. Include a brief justification for your rankings in your responses.

__ Proactive Mentorship

__ Ability to Delegate

__ Encourages Creativity

__ Transformational Perspective

__ Ethical Disposition

Sample paper

Important Leadership Skills

Ethical Disposition (5)

Ethical disposition is the most important leadership skill for business leaders to possess. A study by Smalley, Retallick, Metzger, and Greiman (2016) found that accountability was the most important leadership skill among agribusiness professionals. A leader can only be accountable when he/she has an ethical disposition.

Transformational Perspective (4)

Transformational perspective is an important leadership skill for business leaders to possess. A transformational perspective enables leaders to influence change among the followers. Bearing this leadership skill enables a leader to bring positive and valuable change among followers. Having this skill enables a leader to impart other skills to his followers with ease.

Proactive Mentorship (3)

Proactive mentorship is about taking corrective actions to behaviors before they manifest themselves. A leader should be able to steer employees in the right direction before things go wrong in the organization. Proactive mentorship is important since it enables the leader to influence the organizational culture or the behavior of employees.

Ability to Delegate (2)

A leader should be able to delegate tasks to employees while considering their relevant qualifications, skills, and experiences in handling similar tasks. Delegating tasks enables work to be done in an effective way. The leader should delegate tasks early and ensure effective communication with the subordinates.

Encourages Creativity (1)

Encouraging creativity is the least important leadership skill according to the ranking. Encouraging creativity is about influencing employees to develop their own unique solutions to problems. This skill was ranked the least important because employees may be creative on their own without the input of a leader.

 

References

Smalley, S. W., Retallick, M. S., Metzger, D., & Greiman, B. (2016). Analysis of leadership        perceptions, skills and traits as perceived by agribusiness and industry    professionals. NACTA Journal, 60(1), 43-48.

Organizational Behavior-Trader Joe’s case

Question

Week 1-organizational behavior

OB at Work

Now that you’ve read Chapter 1 and the Trader Joe’s case, how can you grow your OB skills in the workplace? Let’s explore this as you respond to the following:

  • How will OB enhance your skills for managing individuals and teams in dynamic organizations?
  • Provide an example of a time when you used OB, or when you witnessed the application of OB at work.

Note: Use information from your readings and any relevant outside research to support your response.

Case 1 A -Trader Joe’s Keep Things Fresh will follow as an email attachment. Please confirm that you have received it.

Sample paper

Organizational Behavior-Trader Joe’s case

Organizational behavior (OB) can enhance one’s skills for managing individuals and teams in dynamic organizations. OB is a field of study that investigates individual or group behavior in organizational settings (Robbins & Judge, T2007). The major goal is to understand human interactions in organizational settings. OB can enhance skills for managing individuals and teams since it enables the learners to understand individual and/or group behavior in organizational settings (Robbins & Judge, 2007). OB enables the learner to understand how an individual and the organization interact, and how this interaction shapes the overall organizational culture. The organization comprises of individual workers each with unique personalities. Nonetheless, the individuals are constantly interacting within the organization. This leads to behavioral changes among individuals within the organization. The organizational culture (defined as shared beliefs, values, and assumptions) is critical in determining how the employees conduct themselves and how they perform their duties (Altman, 2013). OB enables leaders to develop skills for directing behavior within organizations in order to improve productivity.

OB will enhance my skills for managing individuals and teams in dynamic organizations in that it equips learners with knowledge on managing a diverse workforce. Diversity in the workforce is mainly due to differences in culture, demographics, attitudes, behaviors, and personalities (Robbins & Judge, 2007). OB equips organizational leaders with skills and knowledge to handle the various differences among the workforce. For instance, it is critical for organizational leaders in multinational corporations to learn how they can manage cultural differences among the workforce. OB informs organizational leaders of how they can motivate the workforce in order to improve productivity (Robbins & Judge, 2007). OB informs about the various motivational theories, their strengths, and shortcomings. OB can enhance skills since it informs learners about conflict management. Teams are likely to experience conflicts. It is the role of the leader to resolve conflicts through various conflict resolution styles.

OB can enhance my skills by increasing my knowledge on decision-making. Organizational leaders often face scenarios where they have to make complex decisions. OB provides valuable information for how organizational leaders can minimize the risk of making the wrong decisions (Altman, 2013). Another way OB can enhance my skills for managing individuals and groups is providing knowledge on leadership. OB provides a valuable attribute of the role played by leaders in organizations and the general expectations for organizational leaders. OB also equips learners with knowledge on organizational change. In today’s organizations, leaders are likely to experience events that fundamentally changes the way organizations operate.

I have witnessed the application of OB at work. The application of OB involved managing a diverse workforce and in particular inclusion of women. For a long time, the organization had developed a male-dominated culture whereby women felt that they were bypassed for advancement opportunities in favor of men. In addition, there were concerns for limited training opportunities for women. The top leadership established a program that would ensure equal opportunities for both men and women. Senior-level employees in the organization led this program. The major goal was to ensure that both men and women felt they had equal opportunities for growth or advancement of their careers.

References

Altman, S. (2013). Organizational Behavior. Elsevier Science.

Robbins, S. P., & Judge, T. (2007). Organizational behavior. Upper Saddle River, N.J:     Pearson/Prentice Hall.

My Career Goals

Question

A 500-word paper describing your career goals
– Complete My Degree at CTU
– Once Degree is complete, become a senior level Siemens employee in the procurement and Supply Chain division
– Live a happy and fulfilled Life.

Sample paper

My Career Goals

I have had numerous goals in my life, some of which I have achieved and some that I am yet to achieve. The most important thing is that I maintain the same vigor in achieving all goals I set to achieve. Currently, I am working on completing my degree at the university and attaining the highest standards possible. Throughout the course of my studies, I have put great effort in order to ensure that I acquire the relevant foundational knowledge as well as practical skills that I can apply to the field of logistics or supply chain management. By completing my degree at CTU, I will have the opportunity to work in local and multinational corporations where I can build my career.

Once I complete my degree, I look forward to working at Siemens AG. Siemens is one of the largest manufacturing company in Europe with operations across the United States and in other countries. The company has multiple divisions including energy, health care, building technologies, automation, consumer products, financing, mobility, and services. Siemens AG is notable for its resource-saving and energy efficient technologies it has offered to market. The company has achieved this great feat by investing heavily in research and development. I hope to join this multinational company and become a senior level employee in the procurement & supply chain division.  The procurement & supply chain component of any organization is critical in ensuring the delivery of quality goods and services.

The major role of supply chain management in organizations is to ensure that materials are availed at the right time, the right place, and in the right quantities. Supply chain management also aims at ensuring that materials are of the right quality. This is importance since it determines the quality of the final products. My goal is to apply the foundational knowledge as well as the practical skills gained in the course to reduce logistical costs and create sustainability in the company’s supply chain. Sustainability is an important concept especially in the face of the current increased pressure on available resources. The goal of sustainability is to ensure the company acts responsibly with regard to utilization of resources in order to ensure environmental and socioeconomic progress.

It is worth noting that several global forces are shaping the current business environment. These forces include digitization, globalization, urbanization, demographical changes, and climate change. These forces have a significant impact in the way businesses operate. They are critical in determining the competitiveness of a business. These forces may open new opportunities for business or close previously profitable ventures. As a procurement and supply chain manager, one of the major role will be ensuring that the business overcomes the global forces that increase the risk of doing business.

I plan to work for about three years after which I will enroll for my masters. This will be the perfect time for me to improve my knowledge in business since I will have acquired relevant practical skills. Lastly, I hope to live a happy and fulfilling life. I hope to accomplish this by bringing up my own family. This will bring in me a sense of fulfillment.

 

Expanding Your Business-Small Business Management

Question

Assignment 2: Expanding Your Business 
Referring to the same business you either started or purchased in the first assignment, write a 6-8 page paper in which you:
Outline a financial plan for your small business.
Develop a guerrilla marketing strategy for your small business.
Discuss the most appropriate location for a second store (an actual street address). Explain your reasoning.
Outline a plan for securing sources of debt financing for your second store.The specific course learning outcomes associated with this assignment are:
Describe and analyze the necessary activities and key decisions to start a small business.
Analyze the key financial management considerations in operating a small business.
Develop a guerrilla marketing strategy for a small business.
Analyze the role of pricing, credit, and equity financing in defining a business strategy.
Use technology and information resources to research issues in small business management.
Write clearly and concisely about small business management using proper writing mechanics

Sample paper

Expanding the Business

Crossroads Café is a small coffee shop in West Memphis, Arkansas. After careful consideration, the decision reached involved purchasing the coffee shop and expanding operations to include fast foods. The café currently offers a limited number of menu items to customers. These include coffee served with omelets, sausage, bacon, cheese, biscuits, and or pancakes.  The coffee shop operates six days a week and remains closed on Sundays, which is the employees’ off day. The owners engage directly in managing the business. As such, the coffee shop has a positive image among customers in the Arkansas region. Crossroads Café is located in a strategic location. Its current location is along a busy intersection and one of the busiest streets in West Memphis. The coffee shop can leverage on its strategic location to increase the number of customers.

Financial Plan

The following is the financial plan for acquiring Crossroads Café and transforming it into a coffee and fast food outlet.

Long-Term Assets
Fixed Assets (Building acquisition) $200,000
Furniture $30,000
Kitchen Equipment $10,000
Goodwill $50,000
Total $290,000
Short-Term Assets
Cash requirements $50,000
Stock $10,000
Total $60,000
Total Assets                         $350,000
Liabilities
Debt $150,000
Capital
Owners Contribution $200,000
Total Funding                         $350,000

 

The above financial plan shows the initial capital or funding requirements for Crossroads Café. The cost of acquiring the premises is the highest at $200,000. This will involve payment to the current owners. Since the outlet currently operates as a coffee shop, there is need to purchase new kitchen equipment and furniture. Some of the new furniture will be for staff to use while other furniture includes additional tables and seats for customers to use. The goodwill amounts to $50,000. The outlet is located on a busy street thus able to attract a large number of customers. The outlet will be able to develop a loyal group of customers and have a substantial number of walk-by customers on daily basis. Since the owner’s contribution is $200,000, there is a deficit amounting to $150,000. Securing a loan will help in bridging the debt.

Related: To Build or Buy -Crossroads Café

Sales Projections

Crossroads Café will have an average 100 seats. The projections are that during breakfast, the outlet will serve. The outlet will serve an estimated 70 customers for breakfast, 90 for lunch, and 70 for dinner. The average order will cost about $9.5. The figures include customers who take their food or drinks from the outlet, deliveries, and those who prefer to purchase food or drinks and eat outside the outlet. The labor costs will be about 25 percent of sales. Food costs will be about 20 percent per month. General expenses (lighting and gas) will be about 5 percent of sales. The total expenses add up to 50 percent of sales.

A breakeven point analysis will show the sales amount that covers the total operational and establishment costs of the business (Cafferky & Wentworth, 2010). The breakeven point includes the fixed costs as well as the variable costs. The profit recorded at the breakeven point is zero. Assuming sales of $65,550 per month, variable costs of $22,800 per month, and fixed costs of $15,000 per month, the breakeven margin is: 15,000/[(65,550 – 22,800)/65,550] = $23,000. The average revenue per guest is $9.5. This means that the outlet needs 2,421 guests per month to break even. The monthly target is 6,900 guests.

Guerilla Marketing Strategy for Crossroads Café

Guerilla marketing strategies are common in small businesses. They involve launching small attacks to the major competitors (Ogbor, 2009). Guerilla marketing strategies aim at achieving maximum results while using the least resources. In guerilla marketing, the small business manager looks for original ideas on how to design promotional messages. It involves breaking the laid-down norms and going beyond the traditional approach to advertising (Ogbor, 2009). While using guerilla marketing tactics, the small business manager launches an attack and then observes what happens. He/she may then launch the attack again at another appropriate time. The major focus in applying guerilla marketing is to improve profits. Traditional marketing channels such as mass media aims at accomplishing various goals such as building a brand awareness, increasing marketing share, provide information on use of the products, and other goals (Ogbor, 2009). The guerilla marketing is short and meant specifically to address the customers or suppliers. Lastly, guerilla marketing is cost effective – the business manager largely utilizes free resources in developing a guerilla marketing strategy.

The guerilla marketing strategy for Crossroads Café is geo-fencing. Geo-fencing is a relatively new form of advertising that relies on GPS technology. All the user requires is to have a smartphone. By using the smartphone’s GPS, a user can trigger an action on customers’ phones when they enter a particular location or zone, mostly a location near the business (Constine, 2017). This could be a promotion message, coupons, notifications, or another type of message. Geo-fencing uses the combination of GPs and a special app or software to trigger a specific action when a mobile user enters the virtual boundary. The virtual boundary is the geographical location set by the user on the device. Depending on the configuration, geo-fencing can send specific advertisement messages to social media platforms, trigger text message alerts, track vehicle fleets, or prompt mobile push notifications. Crossroads Café will utilize the configuration that enables the geo-fence technology to send promotion messages to social media users, specifically those on Instagram and Snapchat.

The social media platform Snapchat has developed On-Demand Geofilters that allow a user to send messages to users within a certain radius. The custom filters on Snapchat allow a user to make impressions on other users within a specific area when developing a snap or while going through the filters. Various users may apply the specific filter, thus sharing the message to a wider audience. Snapchat’s On-Demand Geofilters are relatively cheap since it costs less than $10. Instagram allows users to create and submit stories under hashtags or locations (Constine, 2017). People searching for the hashtags are likely to read the message. Stories or videos submitted under the location feature in the Explore Tab, where users can easily click on them to get more information. Instagram stories will feature short videos with the hashtags ‘Best fast-food joints in Arkansas”, “Best place to grab a Chicken Sandwich”, “Hottest joint in town”, and “Check out the crazy offers at Crossroads Café”. The following is the proposed geofilter that will be applied on Snapchat.

Most Appropriate Location for a Second Store

Location is a critical factor to consider while opening a fast-food restaurant. The location is a key determinant of the number of customers who visit the outlet.  A location that has little traffic may not be appropriate for a fast-food restaurant. The best location for a fast-food restaurant is an easily accessible and highly visible place. This can maximize the number of customers who visit the outlet. In this case, the best location would be along a major highway, near shopping centers or shopping complexes, and along a busy street. Other possible places to open a fast-food restaurant includes near colleges and universities, near malls, and near other fast-food outlets. A fast-food restaurant should be convenient to visit for all target customers. If the fast-food outlet sits in an isolated location, it may be difficult to attract initial customer interest. Majority of customers in fast food outlets look forward to spending the least possible time.

Using the above analysis, the most appropriate location for a second store would be along Service Loop Rd, specifically at the intersection between Service Loop Dr and Martin Luther King Jr Dr. The location is near the intersection of major highways. This area has a high population because it is near a major highway intersection. The key businesses around the location are McDonald’s, several travel stores, Wingfoot Truck Care Center, several petrol stations, and other small businesses. This location receives many visitors who are often in transit to other towns. The visitors often make stopovers at this area for gasoline, resting, food and drinks, and to shop. The high population in the area will make it easier to attract customers. With high quality of service, it will be possible to develop a loyal base of customers and competing with existing fast-food outlets in the region.

Plan for Securing Sources of Debt Financing for Second Store

Securing debt financing is one of the easy ways to obtain capital for expanding a business. However, it may not be easy to secure a loan from banks especially when the business’ credit rating is low. In order to obtain a loan, it is important for the business owner to clear all current loans without defaulting. Defaulting on repayments could lead to a poor credit rating making it difficult to obtain credit from any of the credit agencies. Another important item is the business plan. A business plan is a document that provides important details about the business (Coyle, 2000). For instance, the business plan defines the business, explains the various financial targets, and outlines a plan of how the business will meet the targets. The investor uses the business plan to persuade the bank to provide the loan. It is also critical in determining the amount of loan that the bank agrees to issue. A business plan should contain a description of various major items such as financial plan, products, market or target customers, facilities, and among others.

There is need to evaluate possible securities that one can offer to the bank or the lender. A security is a financial instrument that the bank can trade for the money borrowed. A security may be in form of stocks, guarantors, real estate, accounts receivable, equipment, and among others (Coyle, 2000). In this case, the security could be the accounts receivable relating to Crossroads Café, equipment, and the premises. With securities, it will be easier to acquire a higher loan amount. Long-term financing will be the most appropriate since it will enable the business to have more time to repay the debt.

In summary, Crossroads Café has a high potential for growth in the fast-food industry. With proper management, the restaurant will soon be able to compete with leading giants in the fast food industry. The most appropriate guerilla marketing strategy is geofencing. Geo-fencing relies on GPS technology. Geofencing will help in targeting consumers within a certain geographical radius. A second store will be located along the intersection between Service Loop Dr and Martin Luther King Jr Dr. This location has many visitors from across the country. Using a business plan and security will help in accessing the debt capital required to start the new business.

References

Cafferky, M. E., & Wentworth, J. (2010). Breakeven analysis: The definitive guide to cost-           volume-profit analysis. New York: Business Expert Press.

Constine, J. (2017, May 25). Instagram launches story search for hashtags and locations. Retrieved from https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/23/instagram-stories-search/

Coyle, B. (2000). Venture capital and buyouts. New York, NY: Psychology Press.

Ogbor, J. O. (2009). Entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa: A strategic management    perspective. Bloomington (Indiana, US: AuthorHouse.

Related:

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