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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.

Related:

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:

Fast Food Chicfila Strategic Choices Outline

 

Global Small Business

Question

After the meeting of the Board of Directors, the Chairwoman of the Board calls you into her office. She offers you a cup of coffee and is impressed with the information that you presented in the meeting and your understanding of new ventures. She says:
“We’re ready to invest in a new generation of business leaders. There is so much talent arising from business schools and the passion for entrepreneurism, innovation, and business excellence helps to build a strong economy. I’d like you to work with a multicultural team of entrepreneurs to develop a global small business. You will need to prepare an executive business plan presentation for the global small business for the board of directors, a brand logo, and a prospective commercial that could be used to advertise the global small business’s product or service. If the global small business idea is successful, the Board of Directors may approve startup funding of up to 1 million dollars.”
Using Bloomberg Businessweek B-School Connection resources, research entrepreneurism and small businesses, and create an executive business plan presentation of 15–20 slides that includes the following:
Company Logo: An original creative graphic that identifies your company or brand.
Company Information: The name and background of your global small business including founders, history, current number of employees, and location.
Mission Statement: The purpose of your global small business.
Product or Service: A description of the products or services that your global small business will offer.
Market: The market for your global small business, including regions served and competitors.
Advertising: An original creative commercial for the products or services. The commercial should be created using an online video technology or a presentation technology. Provide a link to the commercial in your PowerPoint presentation.
Financials: The projected operational financial needs for your organization and the potential investments needed.
Growth Potential: The projected financial and market growth of the company over 5 years.
ormat.

Sample paper

Global Small Business

Company Information: Name and Background

Lighthouse is new technology company dealing in the development of home security monitoring devices. The company is involved in improving home security cameras by integrating facial recognition software as well as 3D sensors. Conventional home security monitoring devices lack these crucial features that would allow them to identify intruders. The company was founded by Alex Teichman and Hendrik Dahlkamp (Lighthouse, 2017). Teichman is the current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Co-founder, while Dahlkamp is the current Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Co-founder. The company has five board members who also serve as the advisors. The five are Sebastian Thrun (Founding Board Member), Lior Susan (Investor and Board Member), Andy Rubin (Investor and Advisor), Bruce Leak (Investor and Advisor), and Chris Farmer (Investor and Advisor).

Company Information: History

The idea to develop a technology company began in 2014 (Bloomberg, 2017a). The same year, Lighthouse was incorporated as Snitch. This was after Teichman and Dahlkamp developed a home security system that could differentiate between humans, intruders, animals, and other objects. The duo had been working under Stanford’s StartX program when they met. With the development of the home security system, the duo founded a company known as Snitch. However, no product was introduced into the market in 2015 since the new and advanced camera was still in development. In 2016, the Co-founders adopted the name Lighthouse for the startup and dropped Snitch (Carson, 2016). Teichman had previously worked on the concept of self-driving cars while pursuing his PHD in computer science. In 2017, the company introduced its products to the market.

Company Information: Employees & Location

Currently, Lighthouse has over 20 permanent employees. Considering that it is new startup project, the number of employees will likely increase in the near future as demand for its products increases in the market (Bloomberg Businessweek, 2017). The company has developed an innovative product. As such, it will be interesting to see the uptake in the market that is characterized by low-tech cameras. Lighthouse launched the innovative camera at the beginning of the year, and there are positive signs that it will become the in-thing in home security (Moon, 2017). Lighthouse Al, Inc. is headquartered in Palo Alto, California (Bloomberg, 2017a). The current location is favorable as the company can be able to supply its products across the United States or to overseas markets.

Mission Statement

The company’s mission statement reflects the desire of the Co-founders to enhance security at homes, business premises, and homes. The term interactive emphasizes on the product’s ability to offer consumers with multiple choices or settings. Unlike the traditional home security cameras, the new home security camera has facial recognition software and 3D sensors (Carman,2017). This allows the camera to identify people, animals, and other objects. In addition, it allows the user to apply multiple settings through a smartphone. For instance, a user can set the home security camera to deliver a notification through phone if the children do not return to the house on a particular time and day.

Product

Then main product is the Lighthouse Home Security Camera. This camera utilizes smart technology to identify people, animals, and objects (Bloomberg, 2017c). Unlike the traditional security camera that and alarm system that can be triggered by shadows, pets, or birds, the new security camera is equipped with high-tech sensors that eliminate the false alerts. This ensures that the user does not receive unnecessary alerts on the phone. The Lighthouse Security Camera connects to the user via an application installed on the phone. The application enables the user to choose on whether to activate the siren or to call the police on detecting an intruder or unusual movement.

The Lighthouse Home Security Camera comes with additional and unique features. For instance, it can enable the user to replay particular scenes without the need to go through the entire recording. Voice commands prompt the camera to retrieve the specific scenes that the user requires. For instance, a user can request to know whether anyone took the dog for a walk. In such a case, the home security camera will retrieve the particular scene in an instant. This eliminates the need to go through the entire film, which is common in the traditional home security cameras. When incidences occur, it will be easier to go through the events without taking too much time. This unique feature increases the attractiveness of the product to consumers.

The Lighthouse Home Security Camera allows users to customize a variety of things including the type of notifications it should deliver to the user (Bloomberg, 2017b). The user can customize the home security camera to place more importance on certain events. This feature utilizes voice commands. For instance, the user can choose the type of events for which the home security camera sends a notification and those to ignore. In the conventional home security cameras, it is not possible to customize the system with regard to various intrusions. This gives the Lighthouse Security Camera a big plus in the market.

Market: Regions Served

Lighthouse is mainly focusing on the North American market. The company has focused efforts in gaining a large market share of the North American market. As such, all promotional and advertising efforts focus on this geographical region. Despite concentrating its marketing efforts to the North American market, the company’s products are available across the world through online retailing. This means that customers in overseas market can still access the product by ordering online. The company provides free shipping to customers in the international market. Over the next three years, the company hopes to increase its presence in the international market and compete with major international brands.

Market: Competitors

The Lighthouse Home Security Camera is relatively new in the market. As such, the product is yet to gain a significant share of the market. Still, the product faces stiff competition from dominant brands in the market. CCTV camera manufacturers are the major competitors in the market. The top brands in CCTV camera manufacturing and installation are Netatmo Presence, Arecont Vision, BCDVideo, MOBOTIX AG, Nest Cam Outdoor, and among others. Top brands such as Netatmo Presence provides stiff competition due to its large market share and customer loyalty. As such, it might be difficult for Lighthouse to win these customers (Bloomberg, 2017a).

Advertising

(The commercial should be done while seated, preferably holding something that will represent the home security camera. Embed the link for the video as instructed).

Here is a link you can use to do add ‘touch’ to the voice or as a guide for the video. https://www.popphoto.com/cameras/2013/09/45-awesome-classic-camera-commercials

“I am holding the sophisticated new Lighthouse Home Security Camera, your sure bet to knowing the all-day happenings at your home by just the command of your voice. Lighthouse Home Security Camera applies sophisticated facial recognition software and 3-D sensors that gives it the power to recognize faces, objects, animals, and other things. So, you want to know whether the next-door neighbor’s son who promised to take your dog for a walk at noon actually did so? No problem! Just command the Lighthouse Home Security Camera to show you the recording.”

Financials: Operational Financial Needs

The major financial needs of the company are salaries and wages. Salaries and wages will account for the largest operational costs. Since the company is in the technology industry, there is need to hire highly trained and qualified employees. The company will require to pay relatively good wages to ensure it retains the top talent. In the technology industry, it is critical to attract highly qualified employees who can help in driving the innovative agenda of the company. In the first year of operations, the company will primarily rely on sales promotion to get the product to customers. This is essential since it will enable the salespersons to demonstrate how the product works and obtain feedback from customers. Advertising will also help in backing the efforts of the salesforce.

Growth Potential

The projections indicate that the company will receive negative cash inflows in the first three years. The gross income for the three years is negative. The first three years will be characterized by heavy investment and low returns on investment. In addition, sales promotion and advertising budget will constitute a significant amount of costs. These budgets will be highest during the initial three years of operation. The first three years will also be characterized by heavy investments improvement of production technologies. This will also be a major cost. The projections indicate that the company will breakeven in the fourth year of operations. This will be driven by high sales growth as consumers demand more of the product. The company will also have streamlined its supply chain system.

Market Growth

The market growth is show by the projected market penetration of the company. By 2021, the company expects to achieve a market penetration of over 30 percent. By 2023, the company expects to have a market penetration of 40 percent.

References

  • Carson, B. (2016). Two famous google alums are advising a secret startup building the ‘eyes of the smart home.’ Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/lighthouse-security-system-andy-rubin-sebatian-thrun-advisors-2016-9?IR=T
  • Bloomberg. (2017a). Company overview of Lighthouse Al, Inc. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=430546568
  • Bloomberg Businessweek. (2017, May 15). This home camera can tell who’s there. Retrieved from https://resourcecenter.businessweek.com/reviews/innovation-smart-home-camera
  • Carman, A. (2017, May 11). Lighthouse is an Andy Rubin-backed smart security camera that identifies people and pets. The Verge.
  • Moon, M. (2017). Lighthouse home security camera uses AI to ID people and pets. Engadget.
  • Lighthouse. (2017). Building the future of our dreams. Retrieved from https://www.light.house/about
  • Bloomberg. (2017a). Company overview. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/people.asp?privcapId=430546568
  • Bloomberg. (2017b). Board members. https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/board.asp?privcapId=430546568
  • Bloomberg. (2017c). Committees. Retrieved from https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/committees.asp?privcapId=430546568

Related:

Global Initiatives Capstone

Global Initiatives Capstone

Question

 This will be the foundation for future discussions by your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas. 
The Chairwoman of Board of Directors has selected you to lead the effort to create an international internship program for your organization. You will be leading a cross-cultural virtual team, including the vice president (VP) of human resources and department heads from all areas of the organization from its locations throughout the United States. The team is responsible for developing a 3-month summer program for 50 international interns. The international interns will be selected from university programs in their home country, will travel to the organization’s U.S. locations, will live and work in the United States, and then may have the potential to be offered a permanent position with the organization.
Using the Bloomberg Businessweek B-school connection program, research global organizational culture and respond to the following questions:
What best practices do you recommend for leading a virtual cross-cultural team?

What is the difference between leading a U.S.-based virtual cross-cultural team and a global virtual cross-cultural team?
What are the legal or regulatory factors that the team needs to consider for the interns to be employed in the United States?
How will the organization onboard the interns and introduce them to U.S. culture? What types of activities can be hosted for the interns to celebrate their diversity?
What are the benefits of the international internship program to the interns and to the organization?
Provide a reference list at the end of your primary task response of at least 5 articles from Bloomberg Businessweek B-school connection program, and include in-text citations for the articles in APA format.
Responses to Other Students: Respond to at least 2 of your fellow classmates with at least a 100-word reply about their Primary Task Response regarding items you found to be compelling and enlightening. To help you with your discussion, please consider the following questions:
What did you learn from your classmate’s posting?
What additional questions do you have after reading the posting?
What clarification do you need regarding the posting?
What differences or similarities do you see between your posting and other classmates’ postings?
List at least 1 article from Bloomberg Businessweek B-school connection program The deliverable length for the full Discussion Board is as follows:
Primary Task: 400 words, 5 CTU Library articles
Reference http://www.corpedgroup.com/resources/pm/6BestPracticesMVT.asp

Sample paper

Global Initiatives Capstone

There are various best practices for leading a virtual cross-cultural team. The first best practice is to develop a communications management plan (Dargin, 2017). This is a tool providing details on the basic essentials or elements of the communication, including the message, the receivers, frequency of communication, medium of communication, and among others. Another best practice involves taking time in executing each facet of the plan. As the leader of the cross-cultural virtual team, it is important to take time in planning the delivery of the entire project. For instance, it is necessary to ensure all tools are available before learning takes place. Another best practice is to use the right or appropriate technology to enhance team interactions (Dargin, 2017). For instance, using video conferencing may be appropriate where the members are in different physical locations. Lastly, it is important to ensure the virtual team meetings are effective and exceed the expectations of those present (Dargin, 2017). Different legal and regulatory frameworks and unique cultures guide global cross-cultural teams. On the other hand, the U.S.-based virtual team is under a similar culture as well as legal and regulatory environment.

The team must consider the U.S. employment law for the interns to receive employment in the U.S. The employment law states that any individual wishing to work in the U.S. must obtain a work visa (Eagan, 2017). The employer files for a work visa for the foreign workers to the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services. Prior to obtaining a work visa, the individual concerned must receive a Foreign Labor Certification. This ensures that the foreign worker does not interfere with the available job opportunities or wages of American workers. The regulatory factors to consider are those guiding temporary employment of foreign workers and those guiding employment for permanent employment of foreign workers. The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 656 regulates employment of aliens for permanent positions. CFR part 655 guides the temporary employment of aliens.

The organization can onboard the interns and introduce them to the U.S. culture in various way. First, the work environment can provide a conducive environment that allows the interns to learn more about the company’s culture (Raisinghani, 2017). By interacting with non-alien workers in the organization, alien workers may gain some understanding of the organizational culture. Secondly, the organization may onboard interns through training and education. Training will allow the organizational to shape the values, behaviors, and work ethics of the alien interns. Thirdly, there is need to treat alien interns the same way to the local interns. For instance, there is need to offer equal opportunities for advancement as well as equal wages and salaries. This may eliminate the issue of discrimination. Lastly, the organization may onboard interns by teaching basic language acquisition. This would improve their communication skills.

The organization should include various activities to celebrate diversity. Examples are using an inclusive calendar where religious observances of diverse groups are recognized. Another activity is to celebrate the UN World Diversity Day. Another possible activity is diversity training, where employees are briefed on diverse groups.

The international internship program is of great benefit to the interns. First, it will help in building language proficiency among the interns. Secondly, it will enable the interns to develop independence (Coco, Truong, & Kaupins, 2013). Third, it provides an opportunity for the interns to acquire cross-cultural skills as well as sensitivity. Fourth, internship programs help in networking whereby the interns build a network of contacts (Caskey, 2012). To the organization, internship programs minimize cross-cultural conflicts and tensions. Secondly, internship programs improve employee cohesiveness. This encourages teamwork and thus improved productivity. Lastly, internship programs may be a platform for aliens to acquire the organization’s culture.

References

Caskey, E. (2012). The 10 benefits of interning abroad.

Coco, M., Truong, A., & Kaupins, G. (2013). Student and company reactions to a university        internship program: Content analysis. International Journal of Education Research    (IJER), 8(1), 89.

Dargin, S. (2017). Top 6 best practices for managing virtual teams. Retrieved from             http://www.corpedgroup.com/resources/pm/6BestPracticesMVT.asp

Eagan, J. V. (2017). H-Bb Visas Hit The Cap, Sending Companies To Plan B. Available from             https://resourcecenter.businessweek.com/reviews/h-1b-visas-hit-the-cap-sending-   companies-to-plan-b

Raisinghani, M. S. (2017). Silicon Valley’s secret source of foreign workers. Available from             https://resourcecenter.businessweek.com/reviews/silicon-valleys-secret-source-of- foreign-workers