Monday, September 30, 2019
OPERATIONS STRATEGY Strategy: The Concept of Strategy The word strategy is derived from the Greek term Ã¢â¬Å"strategosÃ¢â¬ (plural strategoi; Greek: [ , ], literally meaning Ã¢â¬Å"army leaderÃ¢â¬ ) is used in Greek to mean Ã¢â¬Å"generalÃ¢â¬ . However, the term is also used to describe a military governor which command, plan and conduct of a war.When strategy applied to business wars, the strategy refers to the establishment of objectives, the setting of direction, and the development and implementation of plans, with the goal (in place of military Ã¢â¬Å"victoryÃ¢â¬ ) of achieving ascendancy over oneÃ¢â¬â¢s adversaries according to Andrews (1971), Ghemawat (2002) and Porter (1980). In order to have the desired competitive impact, a strategy has to operate over an extended time horizon and embrace a broad spectrum of activities, ranging from resource allocation processes to day-to-day operations.It must integrate decisions affecting these different sets of activities in to a coherent pattern, both over time and across groups that often compete for the same resources. An effective strategy also usually involves concentrating a companyÃ¢â¬â¢s efforts and resources on a limited range of directions. Focusing resources on certain directions reduces available for others, nonetheless, so a coherent strategy usually required that a company make trade-offs among various Ã¢â¬Å"expected outcomesÃ¢â¬ .TYPE OF STRATEGY The word strategy is used in many contexts that is useful to identify and contrast three different types of management-related strategies. At the highest level, corporate strategy identifies the industries and markets in which a company will operate. Corporate strategists make decisions that implement these choices, including investment in and divestment of businesses together with allocation of resources among existing businesses.Business strategy, the second level of company strategy, is focused at the level of the individual business or b usiness unit within the company, and is concerned with where the business positions itself within a particular industry or market as well as with how and with what capabilities the business will win customers, cooperatively and in competition with other parties in its industries.In other word, the business strategy is also concerned with strategic business units (SBUs) as each SBU might have its own business strategy, which specifies (1) the scope of that business and its relation to the corporation as a whole, and (2) how it proposes to position itself within its particular industry to achieve competitive advantage in various ways according to Hayes et al (1988). To be effective, elaborated further from Porter (1980), this advantage must meet important customer needs, take into account competitorsÃ¢â¬â¢ strengths and weaknesses, and be sustainable given the SBUÃ¢â¬â¢s capabilities.Empirical evidence from a study over 100 companies by Sterman (2000) found that those companies th at engaged in system level thinking about their business strategies significantly outperformed those that focused at the product level. To be more specific, Hax and Wilde 2001 differentiated three views a company might consider in developing a strategy. For IBM4710 Inter OM Chayakrit Asvathitanont, Ph. D. 1. Best Product- this view emerges from the classic competitive strategy.It focuses on competing by positioning the companyÃ¢â¬â¢s products or services as low cost, having a unique set of features, or targeting a focused or niche segment in the market. 2. Total Customer Solution- the customer is at the center and the earliest to satisfy. It argues that very good understanding of customer and developing close relationships with those customers to support them in creating their own economic value.Company competing with this view will focus on supply chains to response to provide family of products or services that closely match customer requirement. 3. System Lock-In- this view com prehends the enterprise, the customers, the suppliers, and the most important those company whose product and services enhance the strategy-making companyÃ¢â¬â¢s own product and service portfolio. The key to success in this view is to identify, attract and nurture those companies whose products and services are complementary, engaging them in a collective effort to please the customer.In this study, companies engaged in Ã¢â¬Å"system lock-inÃ¢â¬ far outperformed those employing Ã¢â¬Å"total customer solutionsÃ¢â¬ or Ã¢â¬Å"best productÃ¢â¬ strategies on both Market Value Added (MVA) and Market-to-Book Value (MBV) as in Exhibit 1: Exhibit 1 Relative Performance of Three Positioning Strategies Strategy Best Product Total customer solutions System lock-in Number of companies in the study Relative Market Value Added Performance Relative Market-to-Book Value Performance 74 67 16 1. 0 1. 6 4. 0 1. 0 1. 2 2. 0 Source: Hax and Wilde, The Delta Project: Discovering New Sources of Profitability in a Network Economy, Pelgrave, 2001.Thus, to develop business strategy, the company must think about its positioning not only to its competitors but also its customers, suppliers and potential complementary product or service producers. Understanding the system-level view, the company will be able to provide better solutions from integration of value chain with attention to company produce the products or services that complement its products and services or any other solutions. However, the understanding customer is more critical to strategy development and execution.Hayes and Wheelwright (1984) and Fine and Hax (1985) had proposed five dimensions to use as the framework which are Cost, Quality, Availability, Features/ innovativeness and Environmental/ performance. Cost The cost has been defined as the cost of the product or service to the customer. Cost this includes not only purchase price of the product or service, but the cost of ownership as well. The aspects of cost to customer will be vary on the industry or category of the product such as the cost customer consumer product will be only on its selling price.While industrial product, like machine and equipment, will be more likely For IBM4710 Inter OM Chayakrit Asvathitanont, Ph. D. to extend its concern on installation, maintain and others cost related not only to the equipment alone. Quality The quality defined by Garvin (1988) and King (1987) is broken down into two aspects, the tangible and intangible. The tangible aspects of quality include the aesthetics of the product, or output of the service, how reliable it is over period of time, whether or not it is safe, and how convenience to fix and etc.While the intangible aspects include the competence, courtesy, and credibility of the people involved in the process, as well as the degree to which those people understand the customerÃ¢â¬â¢s needs and communicate well with the customers. They also include assessments of the environment s urrounding the purchase process or service, including considerations such as accessibility and security. In addition, to examine the quality, it may be important to differentiate assessments of the actual quality delivered from the quality perceived by the customer.Availability The availability dimension is increasingly important and demanding by customers. Availability requirements clearly vary by business. Grocery store customers expect products to be available on the shelf when they go shopping. An out-of-stock item is a lost of sale for a particular brand or product and also may be lost of sale for the store itself. Airlines buying airplanes, on the other end of the spectrum, do not expect to buy their products off the shelf, but they do expect delivery when promised.Plans are made months ahead, or in some cases years ahead, of projected delivery to put the new aircraft into service immediately upon delivery, possibly retiring and replacing another aircraft. Late deliveries can cause great disruption to an airlineÃ¢â¬â¢s entire schedule. Availability applies to new product introductions as well. Some industries such as consumer electronics focus on fast time-to-market for new products. Others have longer product development and introduction cycles but must delivery new products when promised. Moreover, availability refers to the variety of the products a company offers.There is a wide range of ways in which companies offer customized products or services to their customers. Hence, availability describes the firmÃ¢â¬â¢s ability to deliver the variety of products or services its customers want when they want them. Features and Innovativeness The inherent characteristics of the product or service is Features such as the featured services from the first or business class fares on full service airlines like Japan Airline, Thai Airways or less featured services, such as passage on Southwest AirlinesÃ¢â¬â¢, and AirasiaÃ¢â¬â¢s Ã¢â¬Å"no frillsÃ¢â¬ fligh t.Innovativeness is closely related to features due to the fact that advanced technologies are developed to be new featured of the product. For instance, global positioning systems (GPS), as innovative technology, is equipped with hi-end car and represent as additional feature. Environmental Performance It may apply to the product (or tangible output of a service) itself, or to the process by which that product was made or service delivered. Environmental management systems, for example, focus on processes and aim to reduce For IBM4710 Inter OM Chayakrit Asvathitanont, Ph. D. the environmental impact (e. . hazardous waste generation) of the processes used to make the products or deliver the services. ISO 14000 and the European Eco-Management & Audit Scheme (EMAS, www. quality. co. uk/emas. htm) are but two of several frameworks for companies to follow to improve environmental performance. The third level is composed of the functional strategies that support the type of competitive a dvantage to be pursued. A typical functional strategy is the sets of decisions made in each of the functional areas of an organization that determine how it will use in the overall business strategy of the company.Research and development managers make decisions about technology use, engineering resource allocation, product development process, research and development skills and organization, product prototyping and testing approaches, and involvement of customers in product development. Marketing managers make decisions about product and service positioning, advertising and promotion, and customer relationship management. Finance and Accounting managers make decisions about sources of funds, resource allocation, and currency hedging.The decisions make in these various functions make up the overall business strategy of the organization. Synergistic decision making among the functional support of an overall business strategy and leverage cross-functional capabilities to create and s upport business strategy direction is allowing the company to be successful. Beckman and Rosenfield (2008) have integrated these strategy into framework illustrated in Exhibit X. X. Each individual functional area may develop its own capabilities that in turn serve business strategy, or the functional areas may work in concert with another to create overarching capabilities.Business strategy is best supported, when the activities undertaken by the functional areas and/or the capabilities they develop complement one another and work together to achieve the goal of business (Fine and Hax 1985). They refer to this requirement as crossfunctional integration or fit. OPERATIONS STRATEGY An operations strategy is a set of goals, policies, and self-imposed restrictions that together describe how the organization proposes to direct and develop all the resources invested in operations so as to best fulfill (and possibly redefine) its mission (Hayes et al 1998).In the case of business organiza tion, the mission usually is expressed terms of survival, profitability, and growth, and is pursued by trying to differentiate itself from its competitors in some desirable way. A companyÃ¢â¬â¢s operation strategy, then, has to begin by specifying how it proposes to support that chosen form of competitive differentiation. By integrating resources invested in the operations function into a cohesive, purposeful whole, such a strategy can enable operations to become a powerful source of competitive advantage. For IBM4710 Inter OM Chayakrit Asvathitanont, Ph.D. Operations Strategy Goal As described earlier, five dimensions of customer requirements which are cost, quality, availability, feature/innovativeness, and environmental performance has been mapped with operations performance measures by Fine and Hax (1985). In each case, operations can affect some, but not all, of the companyÃ¢â¬â¢s performance along that dimension. Cost Operations directly affects the cost of the product or service and thus its purchase price (assuming that products are priced to achieve some profit) through its direct or indirect control of the supply chain.It can also affect the productÃ¢â¬â¢s cost of ownership through joint efforts with engineering (research and development) and/or marketing in the design of the product or service. Quality Operations also directly controls the quality of the product or service, again through its direct or indirect control of the supply chain. This is often thought of as a Ã¢â¬Å"conformance to specificationsÃ¢â¬ task as operations strives to have all products and services delivered meet the specification set forth by the developers on behalf of the customers.Operations can also influence the design of a product or service so that it can be produced or delivered with higher quality. It does so, again, in joint efforts with research and development and marketing. Availability Operations is primarily responsible for the availability of products or services already in the market and often determines make-to-order versus make-to-stock strategies. OperationsÃ¢â¬â¢ flexibility and process knowledge are critical in determining both the variety of features and the availability an organization can offer.The ability of operations to control the supply chain and the timeliness with which products or services can be delivered directly affects availability. The determination of how much flexibility operations can offer is a joint decision with marketing and research and development. Features/Innovativeness Generally, features are the purview of the marketing and research and development organizations, although the operations function is influential in determining the range of products, services, or features the firm will be able to provide based on its won ability to deliver them.Process knowledge and innovation are key to the organizationÃ¢â¬â¢s ability to customize output to specific customer needs, to embed new innovations, and to allow research and development to create novel products and services. For IBM4710 Inter OM Chayakrit Asvathitanont, Ph. D. Exhibit 2: Business and Operations Strategy Performance Dimensions Dimension Cost Customer Concerns Purchase price Cost of ownership Operations Influence Costs of: Materials Production Delivery Distribution Capital Productivity Inventory turnover Design for cost Cost Objectives are measured using labor, materials, and capacity productivity; inventory turnover; unit cost.Quality of: Materials Production Delivery Distribution Design for quality Quality measures include percent defective or rejected, frequency of failure in the field, cost of quality, and mean time between failures. Availability Timeliness of delivery of product or service Ability to respond to volume fluctuations Timeliness of new product introductions Delivery performance is measured by percentage of on-time shipments, average delay, expediting response time. Flexibility is measured by product mix range, volume, and lead time for new products.Process capability Capabilities for more featured and innovative products and services Process knowledge and ability to extend it Design and development capabilities Measures of process capability assess the types of products or services that can be delivered. Environmental performance Managing environmental performance of suppliers or other partners in the supply chain Managing the environmental performance of internal production or service delivery operations Environmental performance measures include both emissions measures (water, air, and solid waste) as well as measures of product reuse and recyclability.Quality Tangible characteristics Aesthetics Reliability, durability, and safety Serviceability Intangible characteristics Competence, courtesy, understanding, and communication Access and security For purchase: Off-the-shell or make-toorder Of new products: Rapid cycle or planned evolution Variety of range of products availabl e: Degree of customization Availability Features/ innovativeness Inherent characteristics of a product or service Degree of innovation Environmental performanceDegree to which process that produces and delivers the product or service is environmentally sound Degree to which the product or service itself is environmentally sound and reusable or recyclable For IBM4710 Inter OM Chayakrit Asvathitanont, Ph. D. Source: Fine and Hax. (1985), Ã¢â¬Å"Manufacturing Strategy: A Methodology and an Illustration,Ã¢â¬ Interfaces 15, no. 6 (November-December) cited in Beckman, Sara L. , Rosenfield, Donald B. (2008). Operations Strategy: Competing in the 21st Century, U. S. : McGraw-Hill International Edition. Environmental Performance Finally, operations own the environmental erformance of both internal and external operations throughout the supply chain. It either works with suppliers to achieve adequate environmental performance in their facilities or works to achieve it in internal Operation s or both. Operations may also influence research and development to design products that are more environmentally sound (e. g. , easier to disassemble and recycle). Operations Goals in Practice Researchers have identified many alternative categorizations of these operations performance dimensions over the years (Dangayach and Deshmukh 2001).Some identify many categories such as the following 11: low cost, design flexibility, volume flexibility, quality conformance, product performance, speed of delivery, dependability of deliveries, after sales service, advertising, broad distributions, and broad product line (Miller and Roth 1994). Others summarize the characteristics in fewer categories defined as follows (Spring and Biadeb 1997): Cost: produce and distribute product (or service) at low cost. Quality: manufacture or deliver product or service with high quality or performance standards.Delivery dependability: meet delivery schedules. Flexibility: react to changes in product, chang es in product mix, modifications to design, fluctuations in materials, and changes in sequence. Yet others link clusters of operations performance characteristics into stylized business strategies such as those of caretaker, marketer, and innovator (miller and Roth 1994). Some researchers have examined similarities and differences in emphasis on these performance categories by industry, by geography, and over time.One study, for example, found that computer and electronics companies rate high product quality as their most important competitive factor, but computer companies rate innovative features and designs more highly than do electronics companies, while electronics companies place more emphasis on short lead times than do computer companies (Lau 2002). Others have found important differences among various countries or geographies in the emphasis they place on these characteristics. After achieving a high level of quality, for example, Japanese manufacturers turned their focus t o time-based competition and innovative products, while the U.S. and Europe continued to rank quality as a critical objective (Kenney and Florida 1993). The Manufacturing Futures Survey, which collected longitudinal data over many years, found that lasting improvements in manufacturing can only be achieved by first building quality, followed by delivery reliability, then flexibility and responsiveness, and then technological leadership. At each For IBM4710 Inter OM Chayakrit Asvathitanont, Ph. D. step of the progression, cost efficiency is pursued for the given capability set, culminating with an overall focus on cost leadership (Roth et al. 989, Miller et al. 1989). Operations Decision Categories Creating an operations strategy essentially entails making a set of decisions about the structure and infrastructure of operations (Skinner 1969, Hayes and Wheelwright 1984). Structural decisions deal with the vertical integration of the operations, its facilities, capacity, and process te chnology, whereas infrastructure decisions focus on organizational and human resource policies, sourcing and supply chain management practices, quality management systems, planning and control systems, and information technology.Infrastructure is developed over time through persistent day-to-day practice, top management commitment, and cross-functional efforts to create capabilities that support and leverage the firmÃ¢â¬â¢s structure. Infrastructure decisions usually deal with less tangible outcomes than do structural decisions, but it is the effective integration and synthesis of structural and infrastructural decisions that create long-term operations excellence (Dangayach and Deshmukh 2001).In making decisions in each of these categories, operations managers strive to ensure that the decisions are mutually supportive and consistent with one another. Further, they aim to have the collection of decisions support or facilitate the overall business strategy. The decision categories are briefly discussed hereunder. Structural Decisions Vertical Integration. Vertical integration decisions answer questions about how much of the Value chain a firm should own. Should they own more or less of the value chain reaching back to their suppliers?Should they own more or less of the value chain reaching forward to their customers? Issues considered include cost of the business to be acquired or entered; degree of supplier reliability; the proprietary or nonproprietary nature of the product or process to be brought in house; transaction costs of contracting through market versus non-market mechanisms; and impact on risk, product quality, cost structure, and degree of focus. Process Technology. Process technology decisions relate to the firmÃ¢â¬â¢s investment in the technology it uses to transform materials and/or nformation into products and/or services. Evaluation of this investment requires a firm to address several questions: Should its process be more labor intensive or more automated? Should it purchase technology or develop it in house, or use some combination there of? Should it be a follower or a leader in process technology investment? How does its process technology investment fit with its product technology development strategy? Capacity Capacity decisions establish how much capacity the firm will carry in order to manage both short-term fluctuations in demand and longer-term growth opportunities.Capacity For IBM4710 Inter OM Chayakrit Asvathitanont, Ph. D. may be added gradually or in large chunks. How should the firm deal with cyclical demand? Different types of capacity may be added at different times. How should the firm use capacity to influence its competitorsÃ¢â¬â¢ decisions or actions? Facilities Facilities decisions are often closely related to capacity decisions, as firms may add or close facilities in response to a need for more or less capacity, but are often longer-term.In thinking through its facilities decisions, a firm will answer questions about how many facilities it should have, where they should be located, and what they should do. Facilities issues become even more crucial in a global environment as firms decide whether to locate facilities near the local market to increase share in that market, to access local technologies, to reduce costs, or to leverage local talent. Infrastructural Decisions Sourcing. Sourcing decisions follow closely from vertical integration decisions.Once a firm has decided not to own certain parts of its value chain, it must determine what types of relationships it should have with the entities outside the boundaries of the firm. Should the suppliers be managed with the five forces competitive-strategy framework suggested by Porter in this chapter, or with the more cooperative approach modeled by the Japanese keiretsu? Business processes, such as product and service Business Processes and Policies. generation, order fulfillment, and service and support, cut across fun ctional boundaries in an organization and are critical in serving the customer.Business process decisions include determining and defining critical processes, setting performance goals for each, and then choosing an appropriate organizational design to met those goals. Some of the organizational design questions include: How should the operations organization be structured? What are the roles of the line and staff organizations? What skills are required in operations? How should those skills be developed and retained? How should Those skills be developed and retained? How should operations personnel be rewarded? Supply Chain Coordination.While business process management focuses inside the organization, operations management today often requires management of multiple sources, markets, and flows outside the firm as well. Thus, operations managers face strategic decisions about the structure of the supply chains. Should they co-locate their own operations with those of their supplier s? How many layers should they have in their distribution networks? What modes of transportation are appropriate for which links in the supply chain? How should flows of goods among the various entities in the supply chain be monitored?Information Technology. Information technology and process technology decision are closely related, but process technology decisions relate to the physical equipment with which products and services are made and delivered, while information technology refers to the system that moves information around the operations function, between operations and the other functional areas in the firm, and among the players in the broader supply For IBM4710 Inter OM Chayakrit Asvathitanont, Ph. D. chain. There are a number of decisions operations managers make about their information technology.How automated should information processing be? Should information systems be purchased or developed internally? Should the firm be a follower or a leader in the development and/or use of state-of-the-art-technology? How does the information technology investment fit with other investments the firm is making? Operations Capabilities Development. There is some evidence that traditional operations improvement programs such as lean manufacturing, just-in-time, total quality management, focused factories, and the like are misused by managers.Often hastily adopted as an industry best practice or in emulation of a competitor, these programs can yield poor results, wasted effort, and missed opportunities for an organization. When thoughtfully and fully implemented, however, they can be enormously successful. In developing operations strategy, managers must examine such programs and consider the capabilities required to develop and implement them. REFERENCES Andrews, K. (1971). The Concept of Corporate Strategy, Dow Jones-Irwin: Homewood, IL. Beckman, S. L. , D. B. Rosenfield. (2008). Operations Strategy: Competing in the 21st Century, U.S. : McGraw-Hill Intern ational Edition. Dangayach, G. S. and S. G. Deshmukh. (2001) Ã¢â¬Å"Manufacturing Strategy: Literature Review and Some Issues. Ã¢â¬ International Journal of Operations & Production Management 21, no. 7 (July), pp. 949-964. Fine and Hax. (1985), Ã¢â¬Å"Manufacturing Strategy: A Methodology and an Illustration,Ã¢â¬ Interfaces 15, no. 6 (November-December) pp. 28-46. Garvin, D. A. (1988). Managing Quality: The Strategic and Competitive Edge. New York: The Free Press. Ghemawat, P. (2002). Ã¢â¬Å"Competition and Business Strategy in Historical Perspective. Business History Review 76 (spring): 37-74. Ghemawat, P. (1991). Commitment: The Dynamic of Strategy. New York: Free Press. Grant, R. M. (1998). Contemporary Strategy Analysis: Concepts, Techniques, Applications. 3rd ed. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Inc. Hax, A. C. and D. L. Wilde II. (2001). The Delta Project: Discovering New Sources of Profitability in a Network Economy, Pelgrave. Hayes, R. H. and G. P. Pisano. (1996). Ã¢â¬Å"M anufacturing Strategy: At the Intersection of Two Paradigm Shifts. Ã¢â¬ Production and Operations Management 5, no. 1 (Spring), pp. 25-41.Hayes, R. H. and S. C. Wheelright (1984). Restoring Our Competitive Edge: Competing through Manufacturing. New York: John Wiley and Sons. Hayes, R. H. and S. C. Wheelright and K. Clark. (1988). Dynamic Manufacturing: Creating the learning organization, New York: Free Press. Hayes, R. H. , and D. M. Upton. (1998). Ã¢â¬Å"Operations-Based Strategy. Ã¢â¬ California Management Review 40, no. 4 (Summer), pp. 8-25. Kenney, M. and R. Florida (1993). Beyond Mass Production: The Japanese System and its Transfer to the United States. New York: Oxford University Press. Kim, W. C. nd R. Mauborgne (2005). Ã¢â¬Å"Blue Ocean Strategy: From Theory to Practice. Ã¢â¬ California Management Review 47, no. 3 (Spring), pp. 105-121. King, C. A. (1987). Ã¢â¬Å"A Framework for a Service Quality Assurance System. Ã¢â¬ Quality Progress 20, no. 9 (September), pp. 27-32. Lau, R. S. M. (2002). Ã¢â¬Å"Competitive Factors and Their Relative Importance in the U. S. Electronics and Computer Industries. Ã¢â¬ International Journal of Operations & Production Management 22, no. 1, (January), pp. 125-135. For IBM4710 Inter OM Chayakrit Asvathitanont, Ph. D. Miller, J. G. , and A. V. Roth. 1994) Ã¢â¬Å"A Taxonomy of Manufacturing Strategy. Ã¢â¬ Management Science 40, no. 3, pp. 285-304. Mintzberg, H. (1987). Ã¢â¬Å"Five PÃ¢â¬â¢s for Strategy. Ã¢â¬ California Management Review 30, no. 1, pp. 11-24. Mintzberg, H. (1994). Ã¢â¬Å"The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning. Ã¢â¬ Harvard Business Review (JanuaryFebruary), pp. 107-114. Mintzberg, H. , and A. McHugh. (1985). Ã¢â¬Å"Strategy Formation in an Adhocracy. Ã¢â¬ Administrative Science Quarterly 30, pp. 160-197. Mintzberg, H. , B. Ahlstrand, and J. Lampel. (1998). Strategy Safari: A Guided Tour through the Wilds of Strategic Management.New York: The Free Press. Ohmae, K. (1982). The Mind of Strategist: The Art of Japanese Business. New York:McGraw-Hill Book Company. Porter, M. E. (1996). Ã¢â¬Å"What is Strategy? Ã¢â¬ Harvard Business Review 74, no. 6 (November-December), pp. 61-78. Prahalad, C. K. , and G. Hamel. (1990). Ã¢â¬Å"The Core Competence of the Corporation,Ã¢â¬ Harvard Business Review 68, no. 3 (May-June), pp. 79-93. Prahalad, C. K. , and G. Hamel. (1994). Competing for the Future. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press. Roth, A. , A. De Meyer, and A. Amano (1989). Global Manufacturing Strategies: An International Comparison,Ã¢â¬ In Managing International Manufacturing, ed. K. Ferdows. Amsterdam North Holland: Elsevier Science Publishers B. V. , 1989. Skinner, W. (1974). Ã¢â¬Å"The Focused Factory. Ã¢â¬ Harvard Business Review 52, no. 3 (May-June), pp. 113-121. Sterman, J. D. (2000). Business Dynamics: Systems Thinking and Modeling for a Complex World. New York: Irwin McGraw-Hill. Tzu, S. (2003). The Art of War. Philadelphia, PA: Running Pr ess Book. Von Clausewitz, C. (1993). On War. London: EverymanÃ¢â¬â¢s Library. For IBM4710 Inter OM Chayakrit Asvathitanont, Ph. D.
Sunday, September 29, 2019
Terrorism and Human Rights Abuses in the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Persian Gulf The Balkans, despite being a relatively small area, is home to an expansive assortment of nationalities, cultures and religions (Popescu, 2008). Hence, it is inevitable that any changes in the balance between them will have important political, social and economic consequences that will affect the entire region (Popescu, 2008). Terrorist groups took advantage of the instability brought about by the distrust of Balkan societies in their respective governments (Popescu, 2008).As a result, they easily turned the region into a breeding ground for extremist and fundamentalist groups, as well as a Ã¢â¬Å"transit corridorÃ¢â¬ for missions in third countries (Popescu, 2008). The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 1990s, for instance, originated from the desire of the Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) to establish an Islamic state (Popescu, 2008). They used Islam as a Ã¢â¬Å"nationalistic rhetoric,Ã¢â¬ equating the survival of their country with the restoration of Muslim national identity (Popescu, 2008).The Bosniaks were supported by Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Libya and Iran, providing them with weapons and soldiers (Popescu, 2008). From 1992 to 1995, 6,000 Ã¢â¬Å"Arab-AfghanÃ¢â¬ rebels came to the country to fight in the hostility (Popescu, 2008). After 9/11, majority of the charitable institutions in Bosnia-Herzegovina were investigated and closed down due to their alleged ties with terrorist organizations like the Al-Qaeda (Popescu, 2008). In March 2002, police raided the BosanskaIdealna Futura-BIF, a Sarajevo-based humanitarian organization (Popescu, 2008). They found military manuals, forged passports, weapons and personal correspondence between Osama bin Laden and BIF founder Enaam Mahmud Arnaout (Popescu, 2008). Human rights abuses by Persian Gulf nations (Saudi Arabia, Iraq, UAE, Kuwait, etc. ) and terrorist attacks against US interests were b oth intended to supress political opposition. Despite publicly denouncing Ã¢â¬Å"American imperialism,Ã¢â¬ the aforementioned countries are notorious for grossly violating the human rights of their citizens (Simbulan, 2002).Majority of political prisoners in the Persian gulf nations were detained for speaking out against corruption and totalitarianism in their respective countries (Simbulan, 2002). Prominent Omani playwright and human rights activist Abdullah Ryami was imprisoned on July 2005 for vocally criticizing the Omani government's arrest and trial of 31 Omanis belonging to the Ibadi sect for allegedly plotting a coup (Human Rights Watch, 2005). At the time of his incarceration, he had no contact with his family or a legal counsel (Human Rights Watch, 2005).He was also banned from writing in newspapers and producing plays for television (Human Rights Watch, 2005). On December 2007, activists in Bahrain staged a series of demonstrations to Ã¢â¬Å"mark abuses by security for ces during political unrest in the 1990sÃ¢â¬ (Human Rights Watch, 2008). Dozens of people were arrested in the violent dispersals that ensued, including opposition political activists who protested the Bahraini government's repression of civil liberties (Human Rights Watch, 2008). In January 2008, detainees complained of being subjected to physical and sexual abuse by interrogators and jailers (Human Rights Watch, 2008).The prisoners' request for independent physicians to examine the extent of their injuries was also denied (Human Rights Watch, 2008). The collapse of the Soviet Union contributed to terrorist activities in Eastern Europe by making its newly-formed republics more vulnerable to American military intervention (Howstuffworks, 2008). After the Soviet bloc fell, the US emerged as the world's remaining superpower (Howstuffworks, 2008). The breakup of the Soviet Union granted the US easy access to its natural resources, particularly oil (Howstuffworks, 2008). The paragrap h below summarized the region's potential:Afghanistan occupies the central position in the U. S. strategy for the economic control of the oil and gas resources in the entire Middle East. The U. S. currently imports 51 per cent of its crude oil Ã¢â¬â 19. 5 million barrels daily. The Energy Information Administration estimates that by 2020, the U. S. will import 64 per cent of its crude Ã¢â¬â 25. 8 million barrels a day. Caspian region oil reserves might be the third largest in the world (after Western Siberia and the Persian Gulf) and, within the next 15 to 20 years, may be large enough to offset Persian Gulf oil.Caspian Sea oil and gas are not the only hydrocarbon deposits in the region. Turkmenistan's Karakum Desert holds the world's third largest gas reserves Ã¢â¬â three trillion cubic meters Ã¢â¬â and has six billion barrels of estimated oil reserves. Current estimates indicate that, in addition to huge gas deposits, the Caspian basin may hold as much as 200 billion b arrels of oil Ã¢â¬â 33 times the estimated holdings of Alaska's North Slope and a current value of $4 trillion. It is enough to meet the U. S. Ã¢â¬Ë energy needs for 30 years or more (Yechury, 2001).Hence, it was no longer surprising if the US declared war against the Taliban regime of Afghanistan. But majority of the extremist and terrorist groups in the former Soviet Bloc and in Eastern Europe are allied with the Taliban, as the Taliban provided them with weapons, training and manpower (Godoy, 2001). Therefore, the US will have to face a bigger threat of terrorism in Eastern Europe. References __________. (2002, October). The Oil Equation in the US Bid against Iraq. Education for Development, 1, 15-16. Capdevila, G. (2002, October).Outgoing UN Human Rights Chief Repeats Criticisms against US. Education for Development, 1, 30-31. Deen, T. (2002, October). UN Credibility at Stake over Iraq, Warn Diplomats. Education for Development, 1, 10-11. Godoy, J. (2001, November 15). US P olicy Towards Taliban Influenced by Oil Ã¢â¬â Authors. Retrieved February 28, 2008 from http://www. commondreams. org/headlines01/1115-06. htm. Howstuffworks. (2008). The Fall of the Soviet Union and the Rise of Terrorism. Retrieved February 28, 2008 from http://history. howstuffworks. com/cold-war/the-cold-war-timeline4.htm. Human Rights Watch. (2005, July 18). Oman: Critics Subjected to Injustices They Had Exposed. Retrieved February 28, 2008 from http://hrw. org/english/docs/2005/07/18/oman11343. htm. Human Rights Watch. (2008, January 21). Bahrain: Investigate Alleged Torture of Activists. Retrieved February 28, 2008 from http://hrw. org/english/docs/2008/01/21/bahrai17838. htm. Human Rights Watch. (2008, February 16). Bahrain: New Allegations of Detainee Abuse. Retrieved February 28, 2008 from http://hrw. org/english/docs/2008/02/16/bahrai18083.htm. Lobe, J. (2002, October). US Vision of Might and Right. Education for Development, 1, 3-5. Popescu, Teodora. (2008). Tackling T errorism in the Balkans. PDF File. Retrieved February 28, 2008 from sparky. harvard. edu/kokkalis/GSW9/Popescu_paper. pdf. Simbulan, R. (2002, October). Why the UN Must Defend Iraq against the US War of Aggression. Education for Development, 1, 48-50. Yechury, Sitram. (2001). America, Oil and Afghanistan. Retrieved February 28, 2008 from http://www. hinduonnet. com/2001/10/13/stories/05132524. htm.
Saturday, September 28, 2019
Comparison of Barbara Ehrenreich"Bright-Sided" and " Mariah Burton Nelson, " I Won. I'm sorry." - Essay Example It does this by looking at how these articles are in a dialogue about identified aspects of popular US culture discussed by these scholars. In I Won. Im sorry, Nelson presents a candid and insightful discussion on the gender stereotyping in athletics as one of the popular cultures in USA. As a former basketball player, Nelson alludes to her own experiences because she happened to have actively engaged in her favorite game at a time when US culture was quite skeptical ob the involvement of women in certain sporting activities. With her first-hand experiences, Nelson acknowledges that indeed, gender inequality is quite evident in athletics in the country. Due to the patriarchal nature of the society, men have been brought up to believe that there are certain games that should not only be reserved for them. To them, the womenfolk should only concentrate on skating, gymnastics and tennis. The other prominent feature that appears in NelsonÃ¢â¬â¢s discussion is the issue of feminism. Even if the society is slowly transforming and giving room to the women to be active in athletics, a lot of concern is raised about how their involvement in athletics can make them to behave. Unlike their male counterparts, women are supposed to be careful not to be viewed as masculine. She says Ã¢â¬ËWomen want to be tall enough to feel elegant and attractive, like models. They want to feel respected and looked up to. But they donÃ¢â¬â¢t want to be so tall that their height threatens men. They want to win Ã¢â¬â to achieve, to reach new heights Ã¢â¬â but without exceeding male heightsÃ¢â¬â¢ (P 570). Meaning, they are still viewed as a weaker sex who should apologize for appearing masculine and at times have to feature in nude adverts so as to prove to the society that they are still elegant and have the beauty that qualified them as feminine creatures who must be dominated by the male
Friday, September 27, 2019
Civil Order Control in the US vs. Other Nations - Assignment Example It is evidently clear from the discussion that in the US, problems relating to civil order are handled by social institutions. The social institution is defined as formal, recognized, reputable, and stabilized way of pursuing some action in society. This role is played by many agencies, not restricted to the police. However, the police are tasked with a legally controlling civil order. The police perform this duty as a whole or the use of created specialized unit within the forces. Even though the demands are different, their roles are entwined. Therefore, the level of interdependence is massive if they are to achieve civil order. The organizations involved include police, social, private, and public agencies. The government gives a guiding framework through Emergency response framework, called Project Impact that governs the plans adopted by federal states and local cities. The Mitigation Action Plan anticipates federal agencies to use the best alleviation methods to their power; bu ild up partnerships to progress with their research, set development, and cost-effective procedures; offer inducements; and lead a countrywide open awareness campaign. Federal agencies disturbance plans differ depending on the type of disorder experienced. Disturbance plans exist at a state level for the departments involved in emergency response, and only in looking at a specific civil disorder can we highlight how they are dealt with. To answer this question effectively, we will consider a specific problem and the agencies related to controlling the civil disorder. We take look at the 1996 riots in the city of St. Petersburg, Florida. The first incident was triggered by the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old African-American by a Caucasian police officer, while the second unrest occurred when the police officer was released for the shooting. The city estimates 60 distinct arson fires in the disturbances and property and economic losses amounting to $6 million. The riots involved mas ses approximated at 4000. The St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue Department (SPFR) played the lead role in the fracas. SPFR has an operational pre-incident plan for combating civil disturbance. The plan was efficient in mitigating violence outbreaks, thefts, and fire setting. The city had two plans, the Disaster Operations Plan and the Tactical Plan for Civil Disturbance. The disaster plan stipulated that overall management and synchronization was run done from the cityÃ¢â¬â¢s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), called into activation in the state of an emergency or an incident of sufficient magnitude where EOC support is necessary and representatives of the cityÃ¢â¬â¢s agencies answer to the EOC to aid in incident management. It further states that Incident Command Systems (ICS) be used to contain major incidents.
Thursday, September 26, 2019
The economy of a specific developing country - Essay Example Kenya is located in the eastern part of Africa that is strategic for water transport because of the availability of good harbors that are easily accessible to vessels from most parts of the world. This makes Kenya to be strategically advantaged considering the fact that sea transports constitutes significant percentage in promoting international business. In addition, the country has several natural resources including oil that was recently discovered and natural wildlife that contribute significantly to the national income. Further, Kenya has a good human resource base considering that 70% of the population age is below 35 years and most people are well educated (Embassy of United States 1). Of more significance, economic growth in Kenya has been positive in the recent past and is considered as the regional powerhouse. Most election years are characterized by decreased economic growth resulting from political uncertainties in the country. This is evidenced by decline in GDP growth from 7.1% in the year 2007 before elections to 1.6 % in the year 2008 after presidential elections characterized by ethnic violence (Embassy of United States 1). This was not the case in the recently concluded presidential election where the national GDP growth was maintained at around 5% (The World Bank Group 1). According to The Brookings Institution, Kenyan economy acts as an anchor to the regional development in east Africa (1). This is because the country operates on a mixed economy with advanced human capital base and also adoption of technological innovations in the communication sector. On the other hand, Kenya experiences several types of inequalities that affect economic development in one way or another. To start with, there is income inequality in Kenya where few rich citizens control much of the national income (Heifer International 1). This has consequently led to increased poverty levels in the country. In addition, there is unemployment in equity between
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
Current State of the Economy in China - Research Paper Example This paper presents a thorough analysis of the current state of the Chinese economy. The main focus of the paper is on the potential of foreign and domestic trade activities in the country. Impact of the reforms in the economic policy, pertaining to the trade sphere, is also considered. The Chinese government in respect to foreign trade has worked to render some potential changes in this sector by removing some essential barriers pertaining to tariffs, and also reduced the level of monopolistic interventions of the different Chinese states. Even the foreign trade policies in relation to the export and import activities have been reformed by the Chinese government in terms of liberalizing the import licenses and enhancing the level of subsidies in regards to exports. The ascension of China to the WTO has also largely impacted the trade policies of China concerning the domestic trade activities. Government of China through the reduction of subsidies connected related to requirement of growth of import activities in such sector and thereby explicitly desired the reduction of dependence on indigenous materials. This activity is found to be impacted through the enhancement of American interference where the government of America strongly desired the reduction of the Chinese potential. American interference to alter the realm of government policies pertaining to Chinese domestic trade can be understood from the potential threat which the American government faces from growth of Chinese power. Thus American intervention is strongly observed altering the course of Chinese policy actions relating to domestic trade activities. The focus is rendered more on the energy sector of the Chinese economy which happens to render large amount of competition to the American region. Thus a fall in subsidies in the energy sector of China especially in the realm of wind energy helps countries like America to develop their potential in the international arena (Wolf). International and Domestic Trade Practices of China The trade practices of China pertaining to the domain of international trade of recent times is being widely accused for taking resort to a large amount of manipulation and adulterated activities. Developed countries around the world like United States and the European countries have in fact accused
Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Topic4 - Essay Example At first, Sam without mentioning details of how the launch was going to be made, merely quoted @$75 per head for 100 delegates and a venue fee of $ 2500 thus totaling the contract amount as $10,000. Dean was unimpressed and hence declined Sam's offer. It was only after this; Sam mentioned that a famous Chef Yahoo Nim would attend the event and that a special promotional invitation on Oh My Manor's letter head would be prepared and sent by Sam to the 100 delegates three weeks before launch date. Besides, he also promised to use his own influence to ensure attendance. Dean was apparently induced by these statements of Sam and agreed to Sam's price quoted following which he paid an advance $ 3,000 and received the receipt from Sam mentioning only the price and how total sum was arrived at. Hence successful performance of the contract means that the celebrity Chef Yahoo Nim should have prepared the food and attended the function, Sam should have sent the invitation as stipulated and 100 people should have attended by Sam's influence. But none of these happened resulting in poor attendance of 35 people since only 45 invitations were sent. These can not therefore be a mere parol evidence. These are express terms and hence should be taken as collateral contract though made orally. The collateral contract concept is a device to circumvent the Parol Evidence Rule but also as a means of holding that a statement which is not a term of the main contract can be enforced as a collateral contract i.e. collateral warranty. Some of the cases which can be cited in support of this are ESSO PETROLEUM V MARDEN (1976), DE LASALLE V GUILDFORD (1901), RECORD V BELL (1991) and COMMISSION FOR THE NEW TOWNS V COOPER (CA) (1995) (TheLawsite). Hence Sam is bound by these terms and is liable for damages for breach of contract. Dean is not required to pay the balance amount of $7,000 and he can proceed against Sam for damages for his breach of contract since pressure of work is no excuse. Qn 2 Zander mad it known to Puffy his exact requirements to which Puffy also agreed. Hence the software supplied by Puffy is not in accordance with the terms agreed upon prior to signing of contract Zander signed the contract only on being assured that the software would meet with all the current Government regulatory requirements. But for this he would not have signed the contract. But there is a point against Zander. What Puffy was making was only an opinion and not a condition or representation. She offered him three packages and Zander chose one. It was open to him to verify and then make a purchase. Even though before signing of the contract, Zander insisted, he chose the package at his own risk. If the software package had been a defective one, it would have been a different issue. Hence Puffy is in not breach of contract and consequently Zander is not entitled to refund of the money paid. Qn No 3 In this case, even though Zander did not read the clause No 53 which avoided any liability whatsoever, he is deemed to have read it due to the explicitly mentioned clause on the website. This is an exclusion clause binding on the acceptor. In its absence, the offeror would have been liable for the non-performance or defective performance. In
Monday, September 23, 2019
Labor and employment issues in the hospitality industry in San Francisco - Research Paper Example The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires hospitality employers to provide heath care coverage for its full-time employees. The Act provides that employers with more than 50 full-time employees or full-time equivalents must provide heath care coverage for its employees. Such an employer will be subject to tax if one or more of its enrolls for cover through a state exchange and qualifies for a premium tax credit or a subsidy because the employer does not provide minimum cover or provides cover that does not meet minimum value or is inappropriate. The tax for the employer, in this case, ranges from $2000 to $3000 for every employee who is not covered. Hospitality employers with more than 50 employees must, therefore, provide minimum essential coverage in order to avoid these taxes. The tax liability can adversely affect the operations. In order to ensure that employees have the appropriate cover, it is essential for the employer to determine if it's employees are full-time employees. The Act provides that a full-time employee must work for at least 30 hours a week and should have worked at least 130 hours in the preceding month. This implies that both hourly and non-hourly employees qualify as full-time employees if they meet the criterion. Additionally, the IRS provides the use of the look back or stability period. Under this method, an employer will need to look back at a period of three to 12 months and if the employee worked an average of 30 hours per week then the employee qualifies as a full-time employee.
Sunday, September 22, 2019
Writing the Research Paper Essay 1. Identify the subject of your peerÃ¢â¬â¢s research paper? The research paper was an exposÃ © on the activities of hackers in gaining unauthorised access to the internet and the government action to deter them. Explain why the subject is too broad, too narrow, or appropriate for the length of the paper. The subject is too broad for this kind of paper because the paper was not able to touch on the fine details that would have made the subject more explicit to people who are not conversant with the computer. The writer made mention of a lot of terminologies that could have been explained if the paper had been longer. 2. The thesis statement is: stopping hackers from causing more harvoc. The sentence that, in my opinion, expresses this is : Ã¢â¬Å"Wi-Fi and ceasing the hackers endeavoursÃ¢â¬ 3. I have singled out this paragraph: Ã¢â¬Å"Protection against wireless hacking is extremely difficult to keep secure. There are products developed that require no configuration of any firmware or upgrades of any kind. Wave Security has developed this software. The software is used to detect any threats and secure the system. WaveSentinel handles intrusion detection, monitoring and logging for standard access points. WaveScanner integrates with the existing TCP/IP security scanners to reveal specific wireless vulneratbilities.Ã¢â¬ It is quite explicit as it attempted to find the solution to the nagging problem of illegally connecting to the internet via other peopleÃ¢â¬â¢s wireless connection. This paragraph is easy to comprehend and any reader would be eager to know more about this solution as it was presented as a very simple and attractive solution. 4Ã¢â¬Å"In all the precautions and security factors with Wi-Fi I have found it seems wardriving is still quite popular and hidden from most internet users knowledge. `Chances are that a WarDriver hacking a bank may get away with it, leaving the Wi-Fi owner the suspect. Thousands of clueless people, including those in tony apartments with wireless internet, have leaky networks-allowing anyone on the road easy access to the WebÃ¢â¬â¢ Ã¢â¬Å" 5. Paragraphs a. That need to be supported with more specific details. Ã¢â¬Å"This free wifi will reduce the hackerÃ¢â¬â¢s urge to steal and feel like the hacker did any monetary damage to youÃ¢â¬ Ã¢â¬Å"In all the precautions and security factors with Wi-Fi I have found it seems wardriving is still quite popular and hidden from most internet users knowledgeÃ¢â¬ b. That contain any logical fallacies/faulty reasoning. Recommend strategies to improve the effectiveness of those paragraphs. I found these statements illogical to say the least. It seem as if the native language of the writer is not English language, or better still, the writer has not mastered the basic rules governing the use of the language. There are actually better ways of constructing these sentences that would be both simpler and more explicit. I hereby suggest the following amendments to the statements. Since the beginnings of computers capable of accessing wifiÃ Ã¢â¬Å"from the time computers have been able to accessing the internet using the Wireless Fidelity (WIFi) technologyÃ hackers have had their enjoyment in war drivingÃ Ã¢â¬Å" in the times past, hackers have had a swell time enjoying War DivingÃ¢â¬ Ã Data encryption needs to become harder for hackers to figure outÃ Ã¢â¬Å"The technology of Data Encryption needs to be more sophisticated in order to deter intending and potential hackers from carrying out their heinous actÃ¢â¬ Ã Protection against wireless hacking is extremely difficult to keep secureÃ Ã¢â¬Å" Security against illegal intrusion is not an easy task to achieveÃ¢â¬ 6. Identify places in the paper where the author fails to maintain an objective point of view. What steps would you recommend to the author to correct the problem? Throughout the paper, the writer made use of references to support his claims. He however lifted these phrases and the result is that they all did not blend with his own words, the tone was different. 7. Check the writerÃ¢â¬â¢s sources and documentation format for both in-text citations and the References page to ensure that they conform to APA requirements. Identify any errors that need to be corrected in the final draft. 8. Identify any missing elements for the essay (title, abstract, thesis statement, and support for claims, in-text citations, conclusion, or reference list). The title, abstract, thesis statement, in-text citations and conclusion were all included in the paper. 9. Identify any unity or coherence issues that you find. 10. Identify any areas where more effective use of transitional words and phrases would improve the coherence of the essay. In the body of the essay, the writer made use of several sources without regard for the tone of the words. Most of these references, however helpful they are, still ended up jumbling up the whole paper as the whole thing were distorted. 11. Additional Comments: The paper is very informative and it contained a lot of facts. However, the writer failed to sieve this facts to being out what could have been a more coherent paper. Most of the references contained information that enriched the paper. However, they all had different tones both formal and informal. The result is a collection of paragraphs that I can describe as disjointed. Coherence was lacking throughout.
Saturday, September 21, 2019
The Knot Essay According to Sahlman, the success of entrepreneurial ventures, such as The Knot, is dependent on four critical success factors, namely the people, the opportunity, the deal and the context. Each of these factors is dynamic and the entrepreneur must constantly reevaluate and adjust the four factors to create value. People The category people include the key players of the entrepreneurial venture. Within this category, the strengths and weaknesses and the experience of the people involved is critical. The entrepreneur has to determine if something is missing in the team, thus if people should be added or replaced. The KnotÃ¢â¬â¢s management team consists of four ex New York UniversityÃ¢â¬â¢s Film School students. All of them are experienced entrepreneurs. First, Liu and Roney are co-founders of the CD-ROM development company RunTime Inc. Pervious, Liu was an experienced manager and Roney spent six years as creative director and editor. Second, Wolfson and Fassino are founders of the Digital Media Division for Margeotes Fertitta + Partners. Before, Wolfson was founder of a creative production company and Fassino has experience in the advertising industry. The two different companies successfully collaborated at the SothebyÃ¢â¬â¢s project. The four partners emphasize the potential of their collective experience and know-how, including management, advertising, the creative industry and production. They found Element Studios in 1995 to capitalize their abilities. After the acquisition of Bridal Search, Russ and Becky Casenhiser were added to the management team. Both of them were successful entrepreneurs as well. Russ developed the industryÃ¢â¬â¢s largest, searchable database and Becky procured and maintained relationships with all the manufacturers. Especially their experience in retail was valuable when the business model developed further. After all, the team of The Knot consists of capable people with experience in multiple disciplines who complement each other. However, when entering the gift registry business, in which inventory management and delivery arrangements would be crucial, there is a need for people with experience in logistics. Experienced people could be recruited as employees or entrepreneurs in this industry could be added to the management team. The opportunity The characteristics of the opportunity are critical for the success of the venture as well as for the way the entrepreneur should respond to a certain opportunity. Characteristics of the opportunity include the nature and the possibility to replicate by competitors. The task of the entrepreneur is to determine if the opportunity should be exploited immediately and to set eventually milestones to assess the success of the project. Element was founded with the aim to realize a successful media business, however, there was no focus on a certain opportunity before the company was founded. The management team started looking for an opportunity and was attracted by the high advertising revenue in the wedding industry. They found an opportunity in the lack of a fresh competitor and the possibility to differentiate by building an online business foundation. Besides the possibility to differentiate, the online business foundation required a lower investment. Thus, the initial business model consisted of creating an online medium that attracts visitors and generates advertising revenue. The KnotÃ¢â¬â¢s team formulated their initial goals as Ã¢â¬Ëbecoming a full-service online wedding resource and a recognizable brand in the industryÃ¢â¬â¢. The initial investment is relatively low compared to the potential revenue with an advertising market of $168 million and a limited number of competitors. Since the idea is easy to copy by potential competitors, it was important to exploit the idea immediately to gain first mover advantage. The initial business model was complemented in stages. With the launch of The KnotÃ¢â¬â¢s own web site in May 1997, they entered the retail market via The Knot Gift Shop. Their first venture in retail started with the sale of cameras, but other products were quickly added. In June 2007, after the acquisition of Bridal Search, The Knot could offer the only comprehensive online database of wedding dresses to its customers. As a result, advertising revenue increased. After successful development of The KnotÃ¢â¬â¢s current business activities, Liu focused on the bridal registry business. This business has enormous potential since it represents half of all wedding-related revenue. The process of the development of a comprehensive list of gifts by soon-to-be-weds that had to be purchased by wedding guests was ready for an online solution. Moreover, characteristics of the registry business encompassed the opportunity to efficiently organize delivery arrangements with manufacturers. In turn, this would allow The Knot to maintain more control over its brand, pricing and merchandising. Since the listing of products and services did not require inventory to be held, this would enable effective management of The KnotÃ¢â¬â¢s balance sheet. Although the model for gift registry is already in a later stage of development, it is important to exploit immediately since competitors have had capital investments already. Deals The opportunity has to be structured by different deals. These deals include considerations such as incentives and contingencies and the choice between financing instruments and financers. The entrepreneur should aim to motivate all players according to their input and create stakeholders that increase the probability of success. By joining the Greenhouse program of American Online (AOL), The Knot aimed to garner a substantial proportion of the online wedding consumer market. Besides initial investments, AOL could be seen as a strategic partner with a developing online consumer base. AOL invested in return for warrants up to 45% of The KnotÃ¢â¬â¢s equity, 20% of the revenue from advertising on the AOL property and a percentage of advertising revenue from The KnotÃ¢â¬â¢s own web site. In addition, Bridal Search was acquired for 10. 000 shares of common stock, while they had the opportunity to earn up to an additional 32. 857 shares. This potential bonus could be referred to as an extra motivation to perform. The context Contextual issues can change the nature of the opportunity. Issues include current and potential competitors, the government and economic conditions and trends. The entrepreneur should attempt to forecast contextual movements and benefit from these changes. The competitive context of The Knot before the exploitation of the opportunity was characterized by three magazines, with an average of 40 years of experience in the industry and strong relationships with advertiser. There was a change that the deeply entrenched magazines would renounce moving to the internet since they feared cannibalization of their existing businesses. This changed the nature of the opportunity in a way that it was an extra motivation to launch an online business. The KnotÃ¢â¬â¢s performance To reach their goals, The Knot put effort to optimize their services and build brand awareness. First, the provision of value-added services to users, such as information about travelling, wedding planning and fashion, resulted in development of a strong user community. Further, from the early beginning, The Knot targeted potential partners to build awareness of the brand, resulting in The KnotÃ¢â¬â¢s Registry Partner Program with nationwide key players. The first offline brand building effort was implemented in August 2007 by signing a three-book deal with Bantam Doubleday. In addition, they agreed to co-produce a television program entitled Wedding for the Real World to promote online services and books. The usefulness of performance metrics significantly differs for startups in comparison with established companies. Although startups are diverse, they share some common characteristics that affect the use of financial metrics. To illustrate, revenues are small or non-existing and the establishment of a business generally result in significant operating losses. Therefore, financial metrics such as the income statement, balance sheet, and the statement of cash flows provide little usable information. However, the information in these financial metrics regarding predicted years could be used to calculated performance measures, such as return on investment (ROI) and return on assets (ROA). Instead, to gauge the performance of a startup company like The KnotÃ¢â¬â¢s, other financial and non-financial metrics are used. First, it is important to measure the ability of the company to generate revenue at an early stage. The Knot managed to generate significant revenue at an early stage. After their initial appearance on AOL, The Knot generated over $ 25. 000 of advertising revenue. Later, after the acquisition of Bridal Search, three deals representing $ 750. 000 in advertising revenue were signed. Second, the period that a company can survive without raising additional capital is an useful measure for startups. The Ã¢â¬Ëburn rateÃ¢â¬â¢ is referred to as the money spend by a company each month. The number of months that a company has to raise additional capital is calculated by dividing the amount of cash reserves by the burn rate. Since The Knot only has enough money to coffer its operation for three months by November 1997, the need to raise capital is very urgent. This can be explained by their initial focus on gaining market share instead of becoming profitable. This strategy is particularly common for Ã¢â¬Ëdot-comÃ¢â¬â¢ companies. Besides financial metrics, non-financial metrics are important to measure the performance of startups. Non-financial metrics for e-commerce companies include for instance retained customers. However, for the wedding industry, this metrics are not applicable since customers are not expected to return after their first number of product and service purchases. Other measures that are applicable to The Knot are web metrics such as total page views and total unique visitors. Concerning this measures, The Knot performed above expectance with an increase in unique visitors of their AOL page from 65. 000 to 260. 000 in seven months. In addition, after launching their own Web site, they realized 2. 7 million page views. To conclude, The Knot has managed to gain attention at an early stage from potential customers, this resulted in advertising income. The company has a relatively high burn rate as compared with their current liabilities; this leads to an urgent need for additional capital investors since they can coffer their operating expenses for just three months. The need for additional funding As predicted by the life-cycle of a VC fund, which predicts focus on investment in the first four to five years, The Knot needs further funding in their current phase. First, there is a need for cash to invest in the development of The Knot brand and build out the technological infrastructure to capitalize KnotÃ¢â¬â¢s current momentum in the race for scale economies. On a more practical level, capital is needed to fund the payroll and pay for day-to-day operating expenses. Second, The Knot needs funding to develop the gift registry business. The need for quick funding rose due to developments on the competitive front. The KnotÃ¢â¬â¢s current business activities were targeted by competition form online businesses that had recently launched web sites. Furthermore, Internet Gift Registries, which would be a competitor of The Knot after entering the gift registry business, had recently received funding from a private investor. Financial advisors agreed that The Knot is an attractive investment and recommended The KnotÃ¢â¬â¢s management team to raise as much capital as possible. After all, the management team and its financial advisors agreed that The Knot would seek $10 million in exchange for Series B Convertible Preferred Stock. This proceeds will be used to develop its registry service and to accelerate marketing and promotion of its online services. Valuation of the company In order to give a fair estimate of the value of The Knot, a combination of both the NPV method and the Market approach method is used. The use of the NPV method is possible because this is not a completely new company and it has a track record to evaluate. Also, in the business plan The Knot presented, they give extensive predictions for future performance and cash flows. The NPV method alone would not be enough since these numbers are still only a prediction. Even though these predictions were made by an external company, helping to make them more reliable and independent than when The Knot had made them, they are still not hard numbers. Combining the results of the NPV with a comprehensive Market analysis, in which both market potential will be measured and comparable companies, the multiples, will be analyzed, will give an accurate estimate of the value of The Knot. Using only the market approach would also not suffice since the relatively new nature of the business (registry online) makes it hard to find other companies to effectively compare with The Knot. The asset valuation approach is not used because, given the nature of internet companies, there would be little tangible assets to value. Since intangible assets are a lot harder to value this would not give an accurate value for The Knot (2). The multiplication method is not used because The Knot is currently still not at break-even, which makes it near impossible to calculate. Also, since the prediction show a very sharp estimated increase in revenues after the capital injection, the multiplication method could be very far off the true value of the firm and ergo not be a reliable method to determine the value (2). To conclude, the average between the NPV method and the market approach will give the most reliable value estimate for The Knot. Potential investors The Knot is looking for an investment of $10 million to develop brand image and develop their registry business. However, the urgent need for investment due to the forecasted Ã¢â¬ËfumeÃ¢â¬â¢ in January 1998 needs to be taken into account. This leads to disqualification of the strategic partnership option because The Knot would be in a very week place at the negotiation table because of time pressure. Besides this, a partner for a new business venture would probably not be hard to find, but finding a partner who is willing to pay for the operational cost for the other activities of The Knot as well, would seem much more unlikely. Finally, forming partnership takes time and time is something The Knot does not have. Choosing between angel investors and VCÃ¢â¬â¢s comes down to the nature of these investment entities. Angel investors are usually less risk averse but they tend to focus on invest in new start-ups and their investments are relatively lower compared to a VC (1). A VC usually invests in a later point of the start up and invests larger sums of money (1). Looking at these characteristics of both these entities, it seems clear that going for a VC would be the best option. If the valuation of The Knot comes out favorably, it would cover the more risk averse nature of the VC and justify a sizable investment of 10 million. There are drawbacks of using a VC, namely they most likely will want to exercise a lot of control over The KnotÃ¢â¬â¢s business, more so than angel investors. However, engagement of the VC can have a positive affect on the development of capabilities as well. Looking at the time constraints and the amount of needed cash this seems unavoidable. Therefore, capital investment by a VC would be the best option to meet the needs on The Knot.
Friday, September 20, 2019
Factors Affecting Financial Reporting Quality Financial Reporting Standards Financial Reporting Standards (FRSs) and Accounting concepts influence the production and presentation of financial statements. The FRSs that influence the production of financial statements are: FRS 3 Reporting Financial Performance The FRS sets out the basis for presentation of general purpose financial statements in a manner that ensures comparability. As the FRS requires reporting entities to highlight financial performance to aid the users in understanding the performance achieved, it sets out the overall framework for the presentation of financial statements. It also lays down the guidelines for the structure of financial statements and defines the overall considerations for financial statements, such as fair presentation, accrual basis of accounting, consistency of presentation, materiality and aggregation, and comparative information. This impacts the way profit and financial performance is reported and also the valuation of the assets and liabilities. It helps the users of accounts compare financial statements both with the entitys financial statements of previous periods and with the financial statements of other entities. FRS 15 Tangible Fixed Assets FRS 15 sets out the principles of accounting for initial measurement valuation and depreciation. It ensures that tangible fixed assets are accounted for on a consistent basis. It requires residual values to be reviewed at each balance sheet date. This impacts the valuation of tangible fixed assets. IAS 2 Valuation of Inventories This accounting standard sets out the accounting treatment for inventories. It provides guidance for determining the cost of inventories. It is due to this standard a loss due to damaged goods is excluded from inventory cost. The three concepts that have influenced the production of the financial statements are: Accrual concept The financial statements have been prepared on an accruals basis. The accrual concept, also known as matching principle, requires that transactions are reflected in the accounts of the period to which they relate to and not in the period in which payments are made or received. Impact of Accrual Concept on Profit When a trading and profit loss account for a period is compiled, the cost of goods sold relevant to the sales made during the period should be recorded accurately and in full in that account. Costs and incomes concerning a future period such as prepaid expenses and pre-received income must be carried forward as a prepayment for that period and not charged in the current profit statement. For example, prepaid general administrative expenses would be carried forward to the period they relate to. Similarly, expenses accrued or income accrued will be included in the current periods profit statement by means of an accruals adjustment. For example, manufacturing wages accrued will be added to manufacturing wages for the current period. Impact of Accrual Concept on Assets / Liabilities All prepaid expenses and accrued income will be treated as assets and accrued expenses and pre-received incomes will be treated as liabilities. Going Concern Concept Going concern concept is a part of UK statute law. This concept assumes that the business under consideration will remain in existence for the foreseeable future. Without this concept, accounts will have to be drawn up on the basis of what the business is likely to be worth if it is sold gradually at the date of the accounts. Impact of Going Concern Concept on Profit When an entity has a history of profitable operations and has a ready access to financial resources, one can conclude that the organisation will remain in existence for the foreseeable future. For example, as Appleby Oakley and Company has regularly been making profits, one can comfortably draw a conclusion on going concern concept. Impact of Going Concern Concept on Assets / Liabilities Going concern concept impacts the valuation of assets and liabilities. Due to the going concern concept, the values placed on continuing business assets and liabilities are different from the value placed on the assets and liabilities of a closing business. For example, stock is normally valued at cost price but if business were about to close down trading then it will be more relevant to use resale value of stock. Impact of Going Concern Concept on Users of Accounts Going concern concept impacts the decision making of users of accounts. For example, management may need to consider a wide range of factors relating to current and expected profitability, potential sources of replacement financing etc. while taking decisions. Consistency Concept The concept of consistency has been applied because the methods employed in treating certain items such as depreciation within the accounting records may be varied from time to time. According to consistency concept, once a business has decided which accounting methods it is going to apply and how it is going to interpret the various rules of accounting, it should be consistent in all matters from year to year. This is necessary to enable comparison of the results of the business from year to year. Impact of Consistency Concept on Profit If the consistency concept is not there, a business can merely change an accounting method to vary the profits. For example, if a business wishes, it may vary the depreciation rates or method of depreciation at and alter the reported profits. Consider the effects on profit of charging depreciation at 15% this year on Ã £10,000 worth of fixed assets and then charging depreciation at 10% next year on the same Ã £10,000 worth of fixed assets. This year you would charge Ã £1,500 against profits and next year it would be only Ã £1,000, using the straight line method of providing for depreciation. Impact of Consistency Concept on Assets / Liabilities If there is no consistency in the accounting methods, the assets and liabilities reported in different years will not be comparable. Impact of Consistency Concept on Users of Accounts Users of accounts including investors, management etc. can make more meaningful comparisons of financial performance of the organization from year to year. Partnership Salaries All partners have a right to work in and manage the partnership business. The partners may make arrangements amongst themselves whereby a partner may be entitled to a salary. Partnership salary includes remuneration drawn by a partner from the partnership funds for acting in the partnership business. An agreement to pay a partnership salary to a partner for a special project is an internal arrangement. The effect of the arrangement is that the partner receives a fixed part of the profits of the partnership before the remaining part falls to be divided among the partners in the appropriate proportions. The impact of partnership salary is only on the way the partnerships funds are applied as between the partners. A partner drawing a salary is not an employee and any salary paid to the partner cannot be claimed as a deduction from net profits. Therefore, one can neither treat a partnership salary as a true salary, nor an expense of the partnership, but only as a distribution of partners hip profits to the recipient partner. If Appleby suggests that he receives a salary, he will still be a partner and cannot be treated as an employee of a partnership. This implies that the partnership will not be able to claim a deduction for ApplebyÃ¢â¬â¢s salary. Similarly, ApplebyÃ¢â¬â¢s salary cannot create or increase a partnership loss. In reality, ApplebyÃ¢â¬â¢s salary will be a mere allocation or advancement of profits prior to general distribution and will not be taken into account in calculating the net partnership income or loss. Appleby will need to show the amount received as salary as his income on his tax return. The amounts distributed to Appleby will be brought into account in computing his interest in the profits or assets of the partnership. However, the amount paid as salary is still regarded as constituting part of the profits of the partnership If Appleby gets a salary of Ã £2,500 per month, profit share of Oakley will reduce from Ã £85915 to Ã £73915 as illustrated below: Asset Depreciation In general, an asset can be depreciated if it meets ALL of the following requirements: The asset is used in a trade or business or held for the production of income as an investment property. The asset has a finite period of usefulness in the business that can be estimated and is longer than one year. The asset is susceptible to wear and tear, natural deterioration through interaction of the elements, or technical obsolescence. GAAP specifically excludes land from computation of depreciation. Land normally has indefinite economic life and it does not decline in economic value as a consequence of wear and tear, natural deterioration through interaction of the elements, or technical obsolescence. Therefore, it fails to satisfy the second and the third conditions for an asset to be depreciated. Land is probably the most common asset that is not depreciable. However, buildings may be depreciable. Generally, if such is the case then the cost of the land must be separated from the cost of the building for depreciation purposes. In the scenario under discussion, land and buildings are assumed to imply land and therefore not depreciable. References: Reporting Financial Performance, Available from: http://www.frc.org.uk/asb/technical/standards/pub0102.html, [Accessed 20 November, 2006] International Financial Reporting Standards, Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Financial_Reporting_Standards, [Accessed 20 November, 2006] Accounting Concepts and Conventions, Available from: http://www.accountingweb.co.uk/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=69109, [Accessed 22 November, 2006] ANNEXURE A Assumptions and Working Notes for Task 1-2-3 Assumptions: 1. As the scenario merely states that overheads are apportioned between the factory and the administration/other sections and does not specify a share (except in the case of insurance), following share of overheads is assumed: Rent: factory 1/3 administration etc.2/3 Light and heat: Factory 1/2, administration etc. Ã ½ Insurance : Factory 1/4, administration etc. 3/4 (given) 2. It is assumed that the accumulated depreciation figures in the trial balance are before taking into account the current yearÃ¢â¬â¢s depreciation. Working Notes: Cost of Raw Material Consumed = Opening Stock of Raw Material + Purchases of Raw Material Ã¢â¬â Closing stock of raw material =Ã £12800 +Ã £274500 -Ã £8500 Depreciation on Plant Machinery Plant Machinery at Cost Price= Ã £31000 Accumulated Depreciation=Ã £18100 Written down value as on 31 December 2003= Ã £31000-Ã £18100=Ã £12900 Depreciation = 15% on written down value = 15% of 12900= Ã £1935 Depreciation on Furniture and Fixtures Furniture and Fixtures at Cost Price= Ã £34700 Depreciation = 10% on straight line basis = 10% of Ã £34700= Ã £3470 Depreciation on Motor Vehicles Motor Vehicles at Cost Price= Ã £28800 Accumulated Depreciation=Ã £12600 Written down value as on 31 December 2003= Ã £28800-Ã £12600=Ã £16200 Depreciation = 15% on written down value = 20% of 16200= Ã £3240 There is a 10% mark-up on manufacturing cost. As finished goods are valued at factory cost price with no adjustment for manufacturing profits, the 10% mark-up is taken as a part of the general reserve. Profit share and drawings are held through current accounts. Therefore, an adjusted current account is prepared. Finished goods have been adjusted for the damaged goods. Page 1 of 6Dr. Archana Raheja
Thursday, September 19, 2019
Product Assortment Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã The Science ProjectÃ¢â¬â¢s goal is to provide consumers with all the science related products they want. The goal is to not only provide consumers with what they know they want, but also with what they donÃ¢â¬â¢t realize they want. Based on this, our product assortment has to include items that will get consumers into the store and products that consumers will buy impulsively when they see them in the store. It is with this strategy in mind, that has caused the development of four broad product categories 1) science projects 2) science equipment 3) science books and DVDÃ¢â¬â¢s 4) science novelty items. Science Projects Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã The cornerstone of The Science Project will be its namesake, science projects. In classrooms across America, science projects are assigned with the same basic results. Students make the same projects year in and year out because they do not have easy access to all the materials they need to do something different. Often, a very simple project will be avoided because the materials needed to build it add up to a great expense and trips to many different stores for items that arenÃ¢â¬â¢t normally sold together. The Science Project will take away the undue expense and excessive trips with its science project kits. The Science Project will offer dozens of different kits in-store with dozens more that can be ordered for rush delivery. The kits will be continuously evolving. Science evolves every year, why shouldnÃ¢â¬â¢t science projects? This continuous product development will benefit the minds of AmericaÃ¢â¬â¢s students while saving teachers the boredom of reviewing the same projects all the time. Kits of this nature sold online take time to be delivered and rarely evolve. At The Science Project kits can be purchased as soon as needed and consumers can be certain that they will be offered the newest and best science project kits in the world. Science Equipment Ã Ã Ã Ã Ã A store called The Science Project would not be complete if it didnÃ¢â¬â¢t sell science equipment. Like the science projects, much of the equipment will be sold in kits. Also like the project kits, the equipment will be items that an individual would normally have to buy online or from a catalog. Examples of the equipment include mortar and pestle, telescopes, stethoscopes, dissection sets, microscope slides and covers, test tubes and accessories, portable UV lights, Petri dishes, filter paper, beakers, flasks, measuring cylinders, calorimeters, tuning forks, Bunsen burners, alcohol burners, scales, drying
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Higher Education Organizational Theory and Leadership The following briefing paper has been prepared to assist you in preparing your speech to the local chamber of commerce. The topic you have been asked to speak on is outlining the differences in leading an institution of higher education as opposed to running a for-profit business. The briefing highlights key points from three oft-referenced scholarly articles on the topic of higher education organizational theory and leadership. These points explain higher education structures and the differences between higher education organization and leadership and what your audience might be accustomed to. I have included references for your aid. Introduction. Higher education and private business have much in common. They use resources to produce a product for a defined client base. They are led by individuals with vision, passion, and leadership for their organizations. At their heart are dedicated people that make up the organization. However, there are also many differences, especially in making these organizations work well. The Complex Structure of Higher Education. The university is a complex organization. Baldridge, Curtis, Ecker and Riley (1982) found that colleges and universities have characteristics that distinguish them from private enterprises as well as other government organizations. They describe the higher education environment as one where resources allow individuals within the organization room to grow in different directions without the tight restraints seen in other types of environments. They go on to describe the role of the president and other university leaders as catalysts or facilitators rather than the Ã¢â¬Å"my way or the highwayÃ¢â¬ mentality of some private CEOs. Baldridge et al. describe this environment as Ã¢â¬Å"organized anarchyÃ¢â¬ where this facilitation role, also described as collegial decision making, leads to an environment where decisions Ã¢â¬Å"happenÃ¢â¬ rather than are Ã¢â¬Å"made.Ã¢â¬ Politically, this environment tends to be mostly inactive wi th very fluid, fragmented participation. The president assumes the role as Ã¢â¬Å"first among equalsÃ¢â¬ , a mediator between power blocs on campus. This is very different in all but a few private corporations. Loosely Coupled Systems. Weick (1976) takes a very similar view of this organizational theory but from a slightly different perspective. He writes of the higher education institution as a Ã¢â¬Å"loosely coupled systemÃ¢â¬ , a system that differs markedly from the organization system of a private enterprise. The basic theory is that, unlike the militaristic ideal of the Ã¢â¬Å"tight shipÃ¢â¬ that many private organizations have adopted, loosely coupled systems have Ã¢â¬Å"softerÃ¢â¬ linkages between each unit of the organization.
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
On September 11th 2001 at 8:45 am an American Airlines Jet Flight 11, hit the north tower of the World Trade Center; several minutes later at 9:06 United Airlines flight 175 hit the south tower of the World Trade Center. Most of the citizens of the United States watched their televisions in horror as this terrible tragedy unfolded. This single terrorist attack on U. S. soil brought to the attention of the average American citizen, the capability of the extreme Islamic sect of the Muslim religion, to mastermind and carry out a massive destructive attack. This ill view of the Islamic faith remains years after 9/11. A more comprehensive knowledge of their faith and its good attributes will help in our perceptions and how we treat members of this religious order. There are certain sects of the Islamic faith that are terrorists; this has been proven in more than one instance. For example the recent bombing during the Boston marathon, the suspect Tamerian Tsarnaev according to the FBI state, Ã¢â¬Å"he was a follower of radical IslamÃ¢â¬ . (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2013) These are the radicals of the faith. There are many more Muslims that are good people who have no intention of hurting anyone. There has been a backlash against Muslims for several years in many countries including the United States. This has made it very difficult for people of the Muslim faith to carry on regular day-to-day interactions and dealings with people that are not of their faith. We will explore the Muslim population in the United States, Great Britain, Pakistan, the Middle East, India and other Asian countries. We will examine the number of Muslims in these countries, how Islam is perceived in these countries and how the Muslim population interacts with people of Jewish and Christian faiths. According to Malloy, Islam whose followers are known as Muslim, is a monotheistic faith. They believe in God/Allah, that Muhammad is their prophet and the QurÃ¢â¬â¢an is the written record of revelation to mankind. The QurÃ¢â¬â¢an uses the term People of the Book to include all monotheists, including Jews, Christians and Muslims. According to Islam, all nations were given a Messenger and guidance from Allah. Islam teaches that Judaism worships one god but the idea that any one people being the chosen people is considered racist. Islam teaches that Christianity also worships one god but rejects the notion of the trinity as polytheistic. There are 4 major sects within the Islamic faith. The first sect is named ShiÃ¢â¬â¢a. The Second Sect is named Sunni. The third group is called Sufis. The fourth major sect is the Ahmaddiya. (Malloy, 2010) In the United States the three main practiced religions are Christianity, Judaism and Islam. There have been interfaith initiatives to find harmony among these three faiths. One thing that has been observed is that Muslim Imams have been included in many more public and governmental ceremonies in recent years. The Distribution of the Muslim Population in the World It is thought, by the general population in the United States, that the majority of the Muslim world population is located in the Middle East. The fact is, that of the target areas this paper is exploring, only four countries fall into the top ten populations of Muslims. The nations with the largest percentage of Muslims are Somalia in Africa 99. %, Afghanistan in the Middle East 99. 7%, Tunisia in Africa 99. 5%, Western Sahara in Africa 99. 4%, Mauritania in Africa 99. 1%, Yemen in the Middle East 99. 1%, Morocco in Africa 98. 9%, Iran in the Middle East 98. 6%, Maldives in Asia 98. 4% and Comoros in Africa 98. 3%. (Most Muslim Nations (2005), 2013) As you can see, six of the top ten Muslim nations as a percentage of population are in Asia. These demographics are quite different than what most Americans perceive. Islam is perceived differently in different cultures United States The United States has in its constitution, Amendment I enacted in 1791, which states Ã¢â¬Å"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereofÃ¢â¬ . (Congress, 1791) This requires that the government must abstain from interfering with any religious organization. According to Bell (2007), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers of 15 people or more from discrimination against employees or applicants in hiring, firing, and other terms and conditions of employment because of their religious beliefs or practices. Employers must provide reasonable accommodations for the practice of oneÃ¢â¬â¢s religion. The three most practiced religions in the United States are Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Even though the government is not a problem for the Muslim population in the United States, the radicals of the Islamic faith, with their extremely destructive, disruptive actions have made the general population wary of anyone associated with Islam, this has lead to the development of many problems as well as discriminatory, prejudiced attitudes and actions toward people of the Muslim faith. There have been interfaith initiatives to find harmony among the three faiths. Such as Initiatives of Change who are an international group whoÃ¢â¬â¢s goals are Ã¢â¬Å"committed to the transformation of society through change in human motives and behavior. Ã¢â¬ (Initiatives of Change, 2013) It has also been observed that Muslim Imams have been included in many more public and governmental ceremonies in recent years. Great Britain Next to Christianity, Ã¢â¬Å"the second largest religion in Great Britain is Islam. There are a number of variants of Islam practiced in the UK, due largely to the number of immigrants stemming from numerous former colonies in South Asia. Estimates also put the number of white converts to Islam at up to 100,000. Ã¢â¬ (Islamic Culture in Europe, 2013) The Muslim population in Great Britain is 1,640,725 which is 2. 7% of the population and places them as the one hundred third (103) place as a percentage of population to the total population. (Most Muslim Nations (2005), 2013) According to Islamic Culture in Europe (2013) in Great Britain the majority of Muslims practice Sunni Islam. There is also a large presence of Iranian-Shia which are the minority. With this noticeable existence of followers of the Islamic faith many groups have been showing increased concern. Ã¢â¬Å"A startling 75% of the British population believes that Islam has a negative impact on British society and tensions remain following the 7/7 bombings in London. The press has also been largely negative, publishing articles on extremism in schools and mosques. Ã¢â¬ (Islamic Culture in Europe, 2013) Ã¢â¬Å"Despite these problems and difficulties, religious freedom laws in the UK make it one of the most accepting in Europe. There is no law restricting Islamic dress, acceptance of prayer schedules in most workplaces, and heavily protected freedom of speech laws. Ã¢â¬ (Islamic Culture in Europe, 2013) India The Muslim population in India is 166,097,980 which is 13. 7% of the general population. (CIA World Factbook, 2013) Though the number of people seems like quite a few, we have to remember that India has a lot of people. They have the second largest population in the world. We also have to remember that Pakistan and Bangladesh were part of the original India and broke off from India over religion. They have the seventieth (70) largest population of Muslims in the world. (Most Muslim Nations (2005), 2013) Hinduism is the most practiced religion in India and Islam is the second most practiced religion. Thru the years since Islam was introduced to India, there has been an integration of the Hindu and Muslim cultures. Civil Matters for Muslims such as marriage, inheritance and property are governed since 1937 by the Muslim Personal Law. There is much that the Hindu and Muslim cultures have contributed to each other. Art and architecture are the two most prominent items of melding of styles. The Muslims adopted the cast system into their religion in this region of the world. There are two divisions. There are the Muslims which are of Arabic decent and Muslims who are not of Arabic decent. The Arabic decent Muslims are considered superior to the non-Arab Muslims. Over the years, there has been much bloodshed and suffering because of fighting between the Muslims and the Hindus, Sikhs and Christians. There still to this day is conflict and an even greater conflict between India and Pakistan.