Monday, March 9, 2020

Richard Trevithick, Locomotive Pioneer

Richard Trevithick, Locomotive Pioneer Richard Trevithick was a pioneer in early steam engine technology who successfully tested the first steam-powered locomotive, but he ended his life in obscurity. Early Life Trevithick was born in Illogan, Cornwall, in 1771, the son of a Cornish mining family. Dubbed â€Å"The Cornish Giant† for his height- he stood 6’2†, remarkably tall for the time- and for his athletic build, Trevithick was an accomplished wrestler and sportsman, but an unaccomplished scholar. He did, however, have an aptitude for math. And when he was old enough to join his father in the mining business, it was clear that this aptitude extended to the blossoming field of mine engineering, and especially in the use of steam engines. Industrial Revolution Pioneer Trevithick grew up in the crucible of the Industrial Revolution, surrounded by emerging mining technology. His neighbor, William Murdoch, was pioneering new advances in steam-carriage technology.   Steam engines were also used to pump water out of the mines.  Because James Watt already held a number of important steam-engine patents, Trevithick attempted to pioneer steam technology that didn’t rely on Watt’s condenser model.   He succeeded, but not well enough to escape Watt’s lawsuits and personal enmity. And while his use of high-pressure steam represented a new breakthrough, it also drew concerns about its safety. Despite setbacks which gave credibility to those concerns- one accident killed four men- Trevithick continued his work on developing a steam engine that could reliably haul cargo and passengers. He first developed an engine called The Puffing Devil, that traveled not on rails, but on roads. Its limited ability to retain steam prevented its commercial success, however. In 1804, Trevithick successfully tested the first steam-powered locomotive to ride on rails. At seven tons, however, the locomotive- called The Pennydarren- was so heavy it would break its own rails. Drawn to Peru by opportunities there, Trevithick made a fortune in mining- and lost it when he fled that country’s civil war. He returned to his native England, where his early inventions had helped lay the foundation for vast advances in rail locomotive technology. Trevithicks Death and Burial I have been branded with folly and madness for attempting what the world calls impossibilities, and even from the great engineer, the late Mr. James Watt, who said to an eminent scientific character still living, that I deserved hanging for bringing into use the high-pressure engine. This so far has been my reward from the public; but should this be all, I shall be satisfied by the great secret pleasure and laudable pride that I feel in my own breast from having been the instrument of bringing forward and maturing new principles and new arrangements of boundless value to my country. However much I may be straitened in pecunary circumstances, the great honour of being a useful subject can never be taken from me, which to me far exceeds riches.- Richard Trevithick in a letter to Davies Gilbert Denied his pension by the government, Trevithick caromed from one failed financial endeavor to another. Struck by pneumonia, he died penniless and alone in bed. Only at the last minute did some of his colleagues manage to prevent Trevithick’s burial in a pauper’s grave. Instead, he was interred in an unmarked grave at a burial ground in Dartford. The cemetery closed not long after. Years later, a plaque was installed near what is believed to be the site of his grave.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Managing Innovation Technology Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 5000 words

Managing Innovation Technology - Essay Example This could range from solving a major technological problem through a significant research programme, to simply making some minor improvements to an existing product (IPENZ 2). One example of this type of innovation is the portable MP3 player. This is basically an improvement on the compact disc player. This was market-led as there was an increasing need by the market to have this device, due to the increasing availability of downloadable files, coupled with the relatively low cost. The second is technology-led innovation. This is where a technological breakthrough, often arising from market-led innovation in another sector, creates an opportunity for a new product or service, but one that the market itself has not yet recognised. A market then needs to be developed for this innovation (IPENZ 2). An example of this type of innovation would include the in-house stereo system that is being introduced on the new housing estates in the UK. This involves speakers built into ceilings in al l rooms of house, with the main radio control centre in a central location. This means the occupants of the household, can listen to their favourite radio station, music or television programme without having to take the radio or television with them. In terms of the service sector, innovation would include applications such as the Pay Pal payment system, which is an online payment system or even online banking.For innovation to be successful it has to fulfil a number of factors. It has to have market value and to achieve this there needs to be a close link with the marketing process. There is no point in producing products if the market does not value the innovation. The innovation must be unique and protected in order to prevent competitors making any gains on it. Successful businesses rely on processes that ensure regular and constant innovation as failure is bound to happen when reliance is placed on random innovations. More and more organisations are recognising the importance of managing their innovation technology, as there are massive gains to be made in terms of copyrights and intellectual property. More importantly, they stand to attract other market segments and recognition of their efforts. The processes being employed are also relatively simple, as they entail areas such as knowledge management, and instilling a culture of openness and innovation in the organisation. Good innovation systems also focus on recruiting and retaining highly skilled and trained staff, giving them access to knowledge and then encouraging and enabling them to think and act innovatively. An effective innovation system consists of a variety of factors. The organisation must have a culture that values innovation and where staff are encouraged to think differently and take calculated risks. This requires a change in the organisational culture, as innovation cannot flourish in a static organisation or one which is heavily centralised. For innovation to work, the organisation needs to adopt a learning culture. This is essential in the current environment as the markets are relatively more unstable than they have

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

The Triangle of Trade in the Atlantic Ocean During Colonial Times Research Paper

The Triangle of Trade in the Atlantic Ocean During Colonial Times - Research Paper Example Also known by the name Gustavus Vassa, his written account of his journey across the Atlantic Ocean has survived both himself and the period of slavery in the United States. What is written above, and the rest of the writings in his book, describe part of the journey on the harrowing â€Å"middle passage†, the second of three common routes and passages aboard an ocean ship, and part of the trade route commonly known to history as the triangular trade. There were many reasons why Great Britain, as it was known at the time, chose to allow its citizens to settle in what would eventually become the United States of America. Some came for religious reasons. Other settlers boarded ships out of Great Britain seeking fortune and a better way of life. The chief driving force, however, was a movement known as mercantilism, with the belief that a nation could get rich only at the expense of another1. This principle quickly spread, and before long, Great Britain realized that it had an al most unending source of raw materials in the lands known as the colonies2. The exchange of goods, or trade, has been a staple system of the world for as long as history has been written, and even before written records occurred. The classic scenario of one person or nation having what another desired, and vice versa, has made for some of the most interesting points of history. Wars have been fought, treaties signed, and lands conquered, all for the reasoning that one group or nation wanted what another possessed. Trade was not done any differently between the colonies that would become the United States and the rest of the world in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Trade and commerce in the colonies grew and prospered, despite numerous obstacles. There was almost no currency in the colonies except for a small amount of gold and silver, and little to no information about what could be found in foreign ports or any lands abroad3. Shopkeepers were virtually in the dark about wh at went out outside of their own towns and cities. Information from what could be found in England was usually reliable, due in part to the Navigation Act of 1696 passed by the King, which declared any trade between the colonies and any other country was illegal, along with giving broad powers to customs agents in the colonies and allowing the holds of ships to be searched for illegal trade goods4. The simplest explanation for trade during this time would be that the colonies exported raw materials to Europe, such as furs, lumber, and fruit, and in turn, Europe sent manufactured goods to the colonies5. However, explanations are rarely simple, and indeed, the trade routes between the different continents across the Atlantic Ocean grew increasingly well-traveled as more and more goods were shipped from one country to another. Though illegal, traders continued to trade goods with countries such as France, Spain, Portugal, and Holland to gain greater profits6. By far, though, the most c ommon trade route referred to when mentioning trade between the British colonies across the Atlantic Ocean is the triangular trade route, which traded raw materials, goods, and slave cargoes between the colonies, Great Britain, and West Africa. The profits made from the global trade of sugar, tea, and coffee were the driving force behind the triangular trade, goods and products which had serviced the world for centuries7. Colonial entrepreneurs, especially in New England, built and operated ships

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Strategic Analysis Of Ryanair Competitive Advantage Management Essay

Strategic Analysis Of Ryanair Competitive Advantage Management Essay Since its inception in 1985, Ryanair has grown to become the market leading European low-cost airline. This paper is an analysis of the Ryanair case study (OHiggins, 2007) and seeks to evaluate the sustainability of the strategy employed by Ryanair. It also seeks to identify areas for improvement and make recommendations given the available information. It will do this by first discussing the current strategy and performance. An analysis of the environment will then be carried out through a PESTEL analysis to identify the salient influences likely to impact on future strategy and a contextualisation of the aviation industry through the application of Porters five forces. This will be applied to the Ryanair case to see how this might have informed their current business and competitive strategy and their position in the market given the opportunities and threats revealed. The paper will then proceed with an evaluation of stakeholder management as a start point to the evaluation of the sustainability of the current strategy and recommendations on the direction and future strategy the airline might adopt. The conclusion summarises the whole piece. Ryanairs Strategic Posture From the case, it can be seen that Ryanairs corporate strategy is one of growth and expansion and its business strategy through which it seeks to gain competitive advantage is cost leadership. This is reflected in its consideration of the markets it chooses to operate in and its service offering. From the case, it is evident that the targeted market segment consists of European price sensitive customers and Ryanair positioned itself as the cheapest short haul airline. To achieve this, the airline adopted a low-price strategy which is contingent upon maintaining a low cost operation whilst achieving operating efficiency in order to satisfy customers. Ever decreasing costs was Ryanairs mantra (Johnson et al, 2008:699) showing that much focus was given to keeping costs and thus prices low and not necessarily on achieving operational efficiency, a fact confirmed by the results of the poll by TripAdvisor. It is for this reason that Ryanair constantly examined every area of its operations seeking areas to implement cost reductions or eliminations. These initiatives include: the rationalising of its fleet to minimise staff training, aircraft maintenance and fuel costs introducing a web-based self service for passengers for ticketing, check-in and priority boarding purposes to reduce the need for client facing staff and printing costs charging passengers for checked in luggage to encourage travel with fewer bags and improve on speed sticking to point to point (P2P) routes so as to eliminate passenger transfer costs servicing only short-haul routes to reduce the need for value added services to passengers. utilising secondary and regional airports to reduce airport charges. The CEO Michael O Leary also quite frequently vocalised his criticism of airport authorities and other systems especially in areas that would have a negative impact on costs. The airline was also particularly focused on generating ancillary revenues hence its constant seeking of areas to charge its passengers for any value added service like baggage, onboard meals and even for the use of a wheelchair. The policies adopted in this regard are those which had the most impact on their customer service. The underlying premise being that they positioned themselves as offering transportation and customers must bear the cost of any other service they require. The airlines strategic direction includes a mix of market penetration through which it seeks to increase its market share in its existing markets using its low fare offerings and market development by moving into other viable European markets sticking to its policy on P2P routes. Current Performance The evidence of the success of this strategy in its basic form can be seen in the financial results and in the fact that the airline has the highest market share of European low-cost carriers in terms of passenger numbers. (exhibit 2 of the case study) and in their reputation of having the best fares (OHiggins, 2007). Financially, the strategy is clearly working for them. Not only have they increased their revenue, they have also succeeded in reducing their costs thus giving them a higher profit margin year on year. Table 1 in the appendix shows that there was a 28% increase in total operating revenues from Apr 2005 to Mar 2006, however by September 2006 (half of the next fiscal year) the airline had already generated 74% of the full year revenue of the previous year. Table 3 (in the appendix) also shows that their expenses in comparison to total operating revenues also reduced thus resulting in a higher operating profit margin. This is a confirmation that not only were they carrying more passengers, their cost reducing policies were also working for them to improve their profit margin. Exhibit 1c in the case shows that some of these areas include marketing costs/scheduled revenue down by 15%, airport costs for passengers down by 7% and average staff costs down by 5% and from 2005 to 2006. In the same period, passenger numbers had increased by 26%. Ancillary revenues account for approximately 15 to 17% of revenue generated. The profitability ratios for Ryanair (table 2 in the appendix) shows a gradual increase in net operating margin. However, return on total assets and return on shareholders equity (ROE) remained constant. MACRO ENVIRONMENTAL FORCES PESTEL ANALYSIS The following PESTEL analysis identifies the key drivers for change in the macro environmental (external to the industry) factors identified in the case. Each of these macro environmental factors can influence Ryanairs strategy by being either an opportunity (O), a Threat (T) or both (B) and thus the level of success they attain. Political Government support for national carriers (T) Increasing need for security (T) Government policies and regulations e.g. The EU regulation on compensation of inconvenienced customers (T) Economic Market growth especially with expansion of the EU by addition of more countries (O) The volatility of fuel prices and currency exchange rates (B) Socio-Cultural Changes in passenger expectations and attitudes e.g. rising passenger expectations of some form of value added service even with the lowest prices (T) Long security checks and luggage restriction due security concerns leading customers to choose alternate travel methods like trains (T) Technological Technological advancements e.g. more fuel efficient engines with reduced carbon emissions.(B) Environmental Pollution issues e.g. concerns on greenhouse gases and carbon emissions and their impact on the environment (B) Energy consumption concerns (B) Legal Labour laws in differing countries affecting things like uniformity of employee contracts (T) Specific country legislations e.g. preferential airport rights for some carriers like Air France and the French airports.(T) Stringent health and safety regulations (T) MICRO ENVIRONMENTAL FORCES (INDUSTRY ANALYSIS) PORTERS FIVE FORCES ANALYSIS This analysis will look at the overall competitiveness of the industry citing examples from the case for clarity. Bargaining Power of Suppliers Fuel: There are quite a number of aviation fuel suppliers however given the volatility in fuel prices, strong relationships need to be built in order to maximise the value of hedging contracts thus making supplier power high. Ryanairs fuel cost was 37% of its operating costs in 2006, 8% more than in 2005 (OHiggins, 2007). The airline will have to hedge their fuel costs. This requires experience and knowledge (OHiggins, 2007). Aircraft: Power is also high here due to high switching costs there being only 2 dominant players Boeing and Airbus. The capital requirements are also high in aircraft acquisition. Ryanairs fleet commonality policy to use only Boeing 737 planes might give them a cost advantage but it gives Boeing high power over Ryanair. Since pilots and cabin crew are all trained based on Boeing aircraft, switching costs for Ryanair to use Airbus or any other aircraft manufacturer are very high as staff would have to be trained again. Bargaining Power of Buyers This is relatively high due to low switching costs as price is the major driver and customers can easily switch to another low-fare airline. Threat of New Entrants Large initial capital investment in aircrafts is the main barrier in this industry. Unit costs for new entrants will be higher than for established airlines because of experience curve effects (Johnson et al, 2008), not only in terms of investment in non-current assets, but also the services provided by aircrafts suppliers. Other threats to new entrants include plans to tax aviation fuel within the EU by 2010, the proposed emissions trading scheme and legislation on customer compensation with a delay or cancellation of a flight. Experience curve effects give Ryanair cost advantage over any new entrants due to established relationships and existing contracts e.g. Ryanair and Boeing. Threat of Substitute Products Trains are an alternative means of transportation. This is especially critical to the short-haul and low fare airlines because evolutionary train technology is continually making train travel faster and more comfortable, and its price/performance ratio (Johnson et al, 2008) are perceived to be higher. Competitive Rivalry The case posits that the budget or low- cost airline segment is attractive based on the large number of entrants and rivals. However, of note is that as many as 50 went bankrupt indicating that getting in is easier than staying in. This indicates that competitive rivalry is extremely high and survival and profitability is based on establishing competitive advantage over rivals (MBA SAB Course Outline). The strategic groups map below illustrates Ryanairs positioning in the market based on competitive strategy. Low cost/No frills Mid Market/ Hybrid Full Service Within the strategic group, airlines which do low-cost and no frills are competing with each other. Mobility for airlines to move between groups is low. Therefore, competitive rivalry should be considered within this context. Large number of new entrants and rivals in this industry, with Ryanair and EasyJet having 55.8% market share. Competition among the other low-fare airlines could be intense due to similar size (OHiggins, 2007), but there is difficulty challenging these big two. Lack of significant differentiation between low-fare airlines, and business mode can be learnt and copied easily resulting in high pressure on price competition, which in turn constrains profitability (Johnson et al, 2008). Negotiations to maximise the benefits of the fuel price hedging will require lots of experience. The airline which is better able to hedge its fuel price will gain competitive advantage over the others in this regard. STAKEHOLDER EXPERIENCE WITH RYANAIR Consumers The results of the 2004 poll by Trip Advisor showed Ryanair was voted the worlds least favourite airline by customers. The lowest votes were in service quality specifically,, complains against Ryanair ranys in flight time and poor leg roomlegrom, Johnson et al, 2008. Otherm consumers about the airlude:wcurity, poor luggageowever scored well onRyanair was scored as the best fares. airline. Shareholders Generally, Ryanair has a lower price to earnings ratio than its peers like Easyjet. This can be seen in the fact that ROE remained fairly constant. There is however no information in the case on if Ryanair kept to its promise to remedy the situation of failing to distribute a huge cash pile to investors.own Employees They had several unsettled industrial disputes with their employees. Their employees were not allowed to have unions to represent their interest. There were complaints of staff been bullied to sign contracts against their will and there were legal actions against Ryanair for employee contract misconducts. There were complaints of poor pay and working conditions from employees. All this despite the airlines claim that their average pay was higher than any other major European airline. Media The press criticized the airline for excessive insurance charges, poor treatment of customers whose flights were cancelled, obsessive focus on price and profit with disregard to customer service. Chief of these was on, itstreatment of physically challenged passengers and charges instituted for facilities (wheelchairs) taken on board by them.for p Governments and Regulatory Bodies Ryanair had ongoing verbal battles and pending litigations with regulatory authorities. The Norwegian Consumer Protection authority had fined Ryanair sixty four thousand Euros for charging customers excessive administration fees for handling ticket cancellations. The CEO Michael OLeary had certainly put himself in the bad books of several EU commissioners who thought him arrogant, abrasive and irritating. EVALUATION: THE SUSTAINABILITY OF RYANAIRS STRATEGY team we think that the stra the short and long term and long term areis quite re will always be that segment of customers that will seek the lowest priced offerings. However, there is nd it also has a much scopeforof flexibility and agility to rious areas of the macrond micro environmentmicroenvironment especially in light of the cnstantly cons of customers. The implication of the current strategyies is quite evident in the case study, which reflect that even though thacro factors were least favourable for the company, it still however company performed performed beyond the expectations of the sharer profits. One of the key strengths of the company was in the appointment of CEO Michael OLeary as CEO., whplayed a vital role not only in understanding the dynamics of of the lines industrybut also ensured implementation of the strategy and ensuing ed key stra the company efectively. However, even though there was an indication that he was prepared to leave in 2008, there is no evidence in the case to suggest the grooming o an equally capable successor to take Ryanair to the next level.Indis should be an area of serious consideration. The sustainability of the strategy in terms of low prices is quite obvious. However, innovation and agility is very important for the rom fe as other firms may try to capture the market by adopting the same low price strategy but adding with some degree of dentiation to improve on customer satisfaction. It can be seen in the case study that the Ryanair approach is not customer centric., This is a potential thret in the future given that customers are becoming more demanding in their expectations from service providers.which can be considered as the public image of the company. Due to this over period company may lose the image in public. RECOMMENDATIONS Recommendations are based on the key opportunities and threats identified in the macro environment and the issues identified with its stakeholder management and the suggestions on enhancing the sustainability of its strategy. Ryanair should continue with its growth and expansion strategy due to the market growth. The 30 aircrafts to be delivered from September 2006 is a great start to this. It should also continue with its market expansion as EU member states increase and stick to its point-to-point strategy. If fuel prices continue to rise, Ryanair should adopt charging a reasonable surcharge in order to offset some of the expense especially is all the other airlines are doing this. Fuel surcharges are becoming widely accepted by customers who are aware of the volatility of its prices and how it affects airlines. The term reasonable is used as they need to do this whilst still offering the lowest prices available for passengers. They could also carry out Public enlightenment campaigns to inform stakeholders of their challenges with airport, fuel and other charges to gain sympathy. Continue with the acquisition of new fuel efficient and environmental friendly aircrafts which will in the long run reduce their liability on the soon to be proposed emissions bill. It will also improve on their public image with regards to CSR issues. Continue to challenge unreasonable taxes levied by Governments but in a more consultative manner. Reduce its focus on generating ancillary revenue but instead focus on costless or low cost initiatives to improve customer perceptions and thus satisfaction. In this regard the airline should also segment the identified opportunities to generate ancillary revenues and assess the long term impact on the company e.g. not charging wheelchair passengers for the use of their wheelchairs could have been used to improve the image of the company in terms of customer care Improve their relationship with employees and employment conditions (pay, benefits and cut down restrictions) to reduce staff turnover which will further reduce staff costs in the long run. Assign resources to improve their public and brand image, this can be outsourced to professionals. Engage in cheap advertisement like providing promotional tickets for Journalists and regulatory bodies to see the improvement in their operations. This will improve both their brand and public image. Perhaps the biggest recommendation is in the grooming of and eventual appointment of a new CEO with a more charismatic personality than Michael OLeary whose first priority would be the settlement of outstanding litigation and improving the airlines relationship with stakeholders. One whose outlook is that outright confrontation is not the only way to manage expected or required change. Conclusion According to Grant (2010), on performance diagnosis: if profit performance is unsatisfactory then there is a need to identify the sources of poor performance in order to take corrective action. However, with the Ryanair case, it is obvious that there is satisfactory profit performance and this may lead to a form of inertia with regards to addressing other issues which in the long run could lead to losses. Ryanair will have to look into the future identifying factors that would threaten its performance or could even create opportunities for increased profit. According to Grant (2010:49), there is a need to look into the ultimate drivers of profitability and to ask pertinent questions: What will be happening in the industry in terms of competition and customer demand? Which companies will possess the capabilities needed to establish competitive advantage in tomorrows markets? Grant (2010:65) also posits that the prerequisite for profit is the creation of value for the customer. We have been limited in the case due to a lack of information on whether or not Ryanair uses a balanced scorecard to set and evaluate performance targets as the 4 elements of the balanced scorecard will ensure that they have a well rounded implementation of their strategy in every area of their business and would also establish targets and provide a mode of evaluation consistent with their strategy. This would tie in current policies and all recommendations made into one cohesive document for the company. Appendix Table : Revenue comparison for Ryanair 2005 to 2006 Currency is Euros Half-year to 30 Sept. 2006 Proportion of Half year to Full year Full year to 31 Mar 2006 Growth or Decline vly Full year to 31 Mar 2005 Operating revenues Scheduled revenues 1,092,102 76% 1,433,377 27% 1,128,116 Ancillary revenues 164,321 63% 259,153 36% 190,921 Total operating revenues 1,256,423 74% 1,692,530 28% 1,319,037 Source: Johnson et al, 2008 p. 696 Table : Profitability Ratios for Ryanair Column1 Half-year to 30 Sep. 2006 Full year to 31 Mar 2006 Full year to 31 Mar 2005 Profitability Ratios Net Operating Margin 26% 18% 21% Return on Total Assets 7% 7% 7% Return on Equity 14% 15% 16% Formulae Used: Proportion of half year to full year (%) = x 100 Growth or Decline vly = x 100 Net Operating Margin(%) = x 100 Return on Total Assets (%) = x 100 Return on Equity (%) = x 100 Table : Common-size statement analysis for Ryanair expenses 2005 2006 Currency is Euros Half-year to 30 Sep. 06 Expense as % of Revenue Full year to 31 Mar.06 Expense as % of Revenue Full year to 31 Mar.05 Expense as % of Revenue Total operating revenues 1,256,423 1,692,530 1,319,037 Operating expenses Staff costs 113,844 9% 171,412 10% 141,673 11% Depreciation 71,622 6% 124,405 7% 110,357 8% Fuel and oil 337,042 27% 462,466 27% 265,276 20% Maintenance, materials and repairs 21,313 2% 37,417 2% 26,280 2% Marketing and distribution costs 11,608 1% 13,912 1% 19,622 1% Aircraft rentals 25,394 2% 47,376 3% 21,546 2% Route charges 98,384 8% 164,577 10% 135,672 10% Airport and handling charges 139,097 11% 216,301 13% 178,384 14% Other 52,312 4% 79,618 5% 79,489 6% Total operating expenses 870,616 69% 1,317,484 78% 978,299 74% Operating profit -continuing operations 385,807 31% 375,046 22% 340,738 26% Source: Johnson et al, 2008 p.696

Monday, January 20, 2020

plotlear King Lear Essays: Importance of the Parallel Plot in King Lea

Importance of the Parallel Plot in King Lear Literature can be expressed using many different techniques and styles of writing, some very effective and others not as much. One of the methods chosen by many is the use of so called "parallel" plots. "Parallel" plots, or sometimes referred to as minor, give the opportunity of experiencing a secondary storyline going along with the main plot that otherwise would be unmentioned. William Shakespeare shows excellent use of a parallel plot in his play "King Lear", but some question it's essentiality by asking: Is it really necessary? Does it help the story or does it degrade it? Is the Gloucester's plot really needed? Many argue that it is very important and others say it is completely useless. This essay will try to prove that the parallel plot used in "King Lear" is needed and it adds to overall value of the play. Like any other kind of literature "King Lear" contains many themes; one of which is the "parent-child relationship" conflict. Relationship problems are very common, not only in novels but also in everyday life. Lear starts the entire dilemma of hate and destruction by his foolish desire for flattery. He divides his kingdom between two of his daughters and the never ending crave for power and wealth begins. As we can assume from the play's title, Lear and his daughters are part of the main plot. The plot of Gloucester and his sons, is considered parallel. Gloucester is portrayed also with family problems. He experiences trouble with his two sons, Edgar and... ...noring it would be negligent. It is a very important part of "King Lear" and it serves a great purpose. If William Shakespeare ignored the plot in the first place, his point would not be passed through at the level it is passed on now. I am sure Shakespeare knew it very well that Gloucester's character and actions help to understand the play better and improve it. The answer to many who question the parallel plot and it's presence is simple. The plot is necessary and without it, the play would not reach the position at which it stands right now. William Shakespeare was aware that by including the so called parallel plot, he was increasing the value of his own work. Gloucester's plot is one of the essential parts of the entire play. Removal or ignorance of it will diminish the significance of the entire idea.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Evolution of Leadership Models

What is leadership? And how has the theory on leadership developed? Greenwood (1993) paints an interesting if somewhat surprising picture as he reviews the development of leadership theory from the turn of the twentieth century onward. Greenwood (1993) describes how in the early 1900s the Father of Scientific Management, Frederick Taylor while not directly writing about leadership in his description of the role of the supervisor introduced the matter of traits and its link to situation.He did so as he described the ideal traits to be found in an effective foreman even while acknowledging that no one person would have all those characteristics and so there was the need for by dividing the work into specialized areas. Further, from the nineteenth century Thomas Carlyle examined the characteristics of great men â€Å"positing that the rise to power is rooted in a heroic set of personal talents, skills or physical characteristics† (Heifetz, 1998:16).At the start of the twentieth c entury, other scholars (Bird, 1940, Tead and Metcalf, 1920, Barnard, 1938), also affirmed that successful managers have certain traits. However, in 1948 Stogdill’s seminal work highlighted the inconsistencies in the trait theory studies significantly dismantled the theory noting that: The evidence suggests that leadership is a relation that exists between persons in a social situation, and that persons who are leaders in one situation may not necessarily be leaders in other situations†¦. Stogdill, 1974 cited in Greenwood, 1993:7Interestingly, Davis (1934) referring to traits noted there was no checklist for success but stated that leadership characteristic â€Å"they are necessarily a function of the characteristics and requirements of the leader and the particular situation, as well as the innate capacities of the executive himself† (Davis, 1937 cited in Greenwood, 1993:8). By 1955 Koontz and O’Donnell building on his work posited that the trait theory was of little promise noting that leadership involved the power of persuasion upon followers and that the quality of leadership was impacted by certain nvironmental factors. Leadership theory was also influenced by human relation considerations, which emerged around about the same time. These thinkers made the link with leadership as it relates to the leader’s ability to connect with people, to empathise, develop teams and to delegate and emphasized that the follower was central and leadership focused on the needs of the follower. So while the movement did not develop a leadership theory it introduced the linkage between individual needs, observations and group dynamics and appropriate styles of leadership behavior.Blake and Mouton challenged Davis’s theory of behavior stating that â€Å"the dimensions needed for an effective description of operational conduct are attitudinal variables, not behavior variables† (cited in Greenwood, 1993:13). Using the managerial gri d and attitudinal variables the writers posited that there was one best way to lead but differing tactics depending on the situation. This premise is not supported by the situational theory, which focuses on many leadership styles which depends on the situation.In many ways situational theory is a convergence of many schools of thought; although the path to its development has been ‘messy’ and sometimes circuitous. The theory is based on â€Å"leadership effectiveness †¦ strongly tied to a leader being demanding and simultaneously sensitive to the needs of the followers† (Greenwood, 1993:14). It predicts leadership performance based on interaction between leadership personality and the leaders control of the situation. In this regard, the theory is a variance with Blake and Mouton’s view of one best style.Tannenbaum and Schmidt’s (1973 ) classical work supports the contingency theory and described seven leadership styles, which were employed de pending on interrelatedness of three key issues: forces in the manger, the subordinate and the situation. As noted by the writers. the successful manager of men can be primarily characterized neither as a strong leader nor as a permissive one. Rather, he is one who maintains a high batting average in accurately assessing the forces that determine what his most appropriate behavior at any given time. Tannenbaum and Schmidt (1973:180) Situational Model versus LMXThe situational approach has evolved into a situational leadership model, which combines the four styles of leadership linked with the nature of the task and the performance readiness of the individuals to determine the most appropriate leadership style. Performance readiness is based on two principal issues ability and willingness. By combining the leadership styles with performance readiness continuum matrix one is able to match performance readiness with leadership style. So for instance a low performance readiness (R1) wou ld require a telling style (S1) (Hersey, Blanchard & Johnson, 2008).The work of Armenakis, Harris & Mossholder (1993) writing on creating readiness for organisational change provide a framework of readiness and urgency, which is related to the Situational Model and supports the premise that readiness is linked to leadership style. On the other hand, the LMX theory (Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995) is a more recent theory, which examines the three domains of leadership; that is leader, follower and relationship in order to increase predictability of leadership practices. It incorporates operations and relationship in the leadership process.However, Stage 3 Leadership Making and Stage 4 – Team Making two important elements of the leadership process are still evolving. In my opinion, while the concepts are of interest it has not yet matured sufficient to be a useful tool when compared to the Situational Model. In summary, the situational model while not the end all and be all of leadersh ip theory provides a useful tool for practitioners to apply in their professional practice. Concluding remarks I am amazed at the state of leadership theory despite the many years of intense study. Such is the complexity of the issue.In my own professional practice I often adopt a leadership style that is in line with the contingency theory. With my team the style based on the model tends to be S2 while with some of the pilots countries where there is a concern with preparedness ranging between R1 and R2 I tend to adopt a telling or selling leadership style. Additionally, given the time limitation on the project readiness of the stakeholders can generally be described as low readiness/high urgency. I am not in apposition to replace staff so I will have to rethink my communication strategy ( Armenakis, Harris & Mossholder, 1993).I start where I began what is leadership? In a sense I know more about what leadership is not. It is not about traits or personalities nor is it leader focus ed. Leadership in many ways is still an art, it is relational, reflexive, intuitive and is a state within, which the leader and follower are inextricably linked. Denise Forrest Bibliography Armenakis, A. A. , Harris, S. G. & Mossholder, K. W. (1993) ‘Creating readiness for organizational change’, Human Relations, 46 (6), pp. 681-703. Graen, G. B. , & Uhl-Bien, M. 1995) ‘Relationship-based approach to leadership: development of leader-member exchange (LMX) theory of leadership over 25 years: applying a multi-level multi-domain perspective’, The Leadership Quarterly, 6 (2), pp. 219-247. Greenwood, R. G. (1993) ‘Leadership theory: a historical look at its evolution’,Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 1 (1), pp. 4-19, Heifetz, R. A. (1998) ‘Values in leadership’. In: Leadership without easy answers. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, pp. 13-27. Hersey, P. , Blanchard, K. H. & Johnson, D. E. (2008) ‘S ituational leadership ®Ã¢â‚¬â„¢: In: Management of organizational behavior: leading human resources. 9th ed. New York: Pearson International, pp. 132-157. Leana, C. R. (1986) ‘Predictors and consequences of delegation’, Academy of Management Journal, 29 (4), pp. 754-774. Raelin, J. A. (2003) Creating leaderful organizations: how to bring outleadership in everyone. San Francisco, California: Berrett-Koehler. Tannenbaum, R. & Schmidt, W. H. (1973) ‘How to choose a leadership pattern’, Harvard Business Review, 51 (3), pp. 162-180. Evolution of Leadership Models What is leadership? And how has the theory on leadership developed? Greenwood (1993) paints an interesting if somewhat surprising picture as he reviews the development of leadership theory from the turn of the twentieth century onward. Greenwood (1993) describes how in the early 1900s the Father of Scientific Management, Frederick Taylor while not directly writing about leadership in his description of the role of the supervisor introduced the matter of traits and its link to situation.He did so as he described the ideal traits to be found in an effective foreman even while acknowledging that no one person would have all those characteristics and so there was the need for by dividing the work into specialized areas. Further, from the nineteenth century Thomas Carlyle examined the characteristics of great men â€Å"positing that the rise to power is rooted in a heroic set of personal talents, skills or physical characteristics† (Heifetz, 1998:16).At the start of the twentieth c entury, other scholars (Bird, 1940, Tead and Metcalf, 1920, Barnard, 1938), also affirmed that successful managers have certain traits. However, in 1948 Stogdill’s seminal work highlighted the inconsistencies in the trait theory studies significantly dismantled the theory noting that: The evidence suggests that leadership is a relation that exists between persons in a social situation, and that persons who are leaders in one situation may not necessarily be leaders in other situations†¦. Stogdill, 1974 cited in Greenwood, 1993:7Interestingly, Davis (1934) referring to traits noted there was no checklist for success but stated that leadership characteristic â€Å"they are necessarily a function of the characteristics and requirements of the leader and the particular situation, as well as the innate capacities of the executive himself† (Davis, 1937 cited in Greenwood, 1993:8). By 1955 Koontz and O’Donnell building on his work posited that the trait theory was of little promise noting that leadership involved the power of persuasion upon followers and that the quality of leadership was impacted by certain nvironmental factors. Leadership theory was also influenced by human relation considerations, which emerged around about the same time. These thinkers made the link with leadership as it relates to the leader’s ability to connect with people, to empathise, develop teams and to delegate and emphasized that the follower was central and leadership focused on the needs of the follower. So while the movement did not develop a leadership theory it introduced the linkage between individual needs, observations and group dynamics and appropriate styles of leadership behavior.Blake and Mouton challenged Davis’s theory of behavior stating that â€Å"the dimensions needed for an effective description of operational conduct are attitudinal variables, not behavior variables† (cited in Greenwood, 1993:13). Using the managerial gri d and attitudinal variables the writers posited that there was one best way to lead but differing tactics depending on the situation. This premise is not supported by the situational theory, which focuses on many leadership styles which depends on the situation.In many ways situational theory is a convergence of many schools of thought; although the path to its development has been ‘messy’ and sometimes circuitous. The theory is based on â€Å"leadership effectiveness †¦ strongly tied to a leader being demanding and simultaneously sensitive to the needs of the followers† (Greenwood, 1993:14). It predicts leadership performance based on interaction between leadership personality and the leaders control of the situation. In this regard, the theory is a variance with Blake and Mouton’s view of one best style.Tannenbaum and Schmidt’s (1973 ) classical work supports the contingency theory and described seven leadership styles, which were employed de pending on interrelatedness of three key issues: forces in the manger, the subordinate and the situation. As noted by the writers. the successful manager of men can be primarily characterized neither as a strong leader nor as a permissive one. Rather, he is one who maintains a high batting average in accurately assessing the forces that determine what his most appropriate behavior at any given time. Tannenbaum and Schmidt (1973:180) Situational Model versus LMXThe situational approach has evolved into a situational leadership model, which combines the four styles of leadership linked with the nature of the task and the performance readiness of the individuals to determine the most appropriate leadership style. Performance readiness is based on two principal issues ability and willingness. By combining the leadership styles with performance readiness continuum matrix one is able to match performance readiness with leadership style. So for instance a low performance readiness (R1) wou ld require a telling style (S1) (Hersey, Blanchard & Johnson, 2008).The work of Armenakis, Harris & Mossholder (1993) writing on creating readiness for organisational change provide a framework of readiness and urgency, which is related to the Situational Model and supports the premise that readiness is linked to leadership style. On the other hand, the LMX theory (Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995) is a more recent theory, which examines the three domains of leadership; that is leader, follower and relationship in order to increase predictability of leadership practices. It incorporates operations and relationship in the leadership process.However, Stage 3 Leadership Making and Stage 4 – Team Making two important elements of the leadership process are still evolving. In my opinion, while the concepts are of interest it has not yet matured sufficient to be a useful tool when compared to the Situational Model. In summary, the situational model while not the end all and be all of leadersh ip theory provides a useful tool for practitioners to apply in their professional practice. Concluding remarks I am amazed at the state of leadership theory despite the many years of intense study. Such is the complexity of the issue.In my own professional practice I often adopt a leadership style that is in line with the contingency theory. With my team the style based on the model tends to be S2 while with some of the pilots countries where there is a concern with preparedness ranging between R1 and R2 I tend to adopt a telling or selling leadership style. Additionally, given the time limitation on the project readiness of the stakeholders can generally be described as low readiness/high urgency. I am not in apposition to replace staff so I will have to rethink my communication strategy ( Armenakis, Harris & Mossholder, 1993).I start where I began what is leadership? In a sense I know more about what leadership is not. It is not about traits or personalities nor is it leader focus ed. Leadership in many ways is still an art, it is relational, reflexive, intuitive and is a state within, which the leader and follower are inextricably linked. Denise Forrest Bibliography Armenakis, A. A. , Harris, S. G. & Mossholder, K. W. (1993) ‘Creating readiness for organizational change’, Human Relations, 46 (6), pp. 681-703. Graen, G. B. , & Uhl-Bien, M. 1995) ‘Relationship-based approach to leadership: development of leader-member exchange (LMX) theory of leadership over 25 years: applying a multi-level multi-domain perspective’, The Leadership Quarterly, 6 (2), pp. 219-247. Greenwood, R. G. (1993) ‘Leadership theory: a historical look at its evolution’,Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 1 (1), pp. 4-19, Heifetz, R. A. (1998) ‘Values in leadership’. In: Leadership without easy answers. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, pp. 13-27. Hersey, P. , Blanchard, K. H. & Johnson, D. E. (2008) ‘S ituational leadership ®Ã¢â‚¬â„¢: In: Management of organizational behavior: leading human resources. 9th ed. New York: Pearson International, pp. 132-157. Leana, C. R. (1986) ‘Predictors and consequences of delegation’, Academy of Management Journal, 29 (4), pp. 754-774. Raelin, J. A. (2003) Creating leaderful organizations: how to bring outleadership in everyone. San Francisco, California: Berrett-Koehler. Tannenbaum, R. & Schmidt, W. H. (1973) ‘How to choose a leadership pattern’, Harvard Business Review, 51 (3), pp. 162-180.

Friday, January 3, 2020

A Brief Note On The Civil Rights Movement - 1269 Words

The civil rights movement accomplished much from 1954-1968. Faced with a wall of blatant racism and discrimination activist were still able to fight segregation, get African Americans in the South involved with the voting process, and be a starting point and a model for other social movements later in our country’s history. The most noteworthy parts of this movement are its successes when faced with systemic marginalization and violence. The first accomplishment of the civil rights movement involved attempting and sometimes succeeding in desegregating buses, schools, and lunch counters. Anne Moody was involved in the first Woolworth’s sit-in and the terror and violence she described is something that would have shaken up a group that was less committed to social justice. At one point, Moody was slapped in the face and then thrown by â€Å"man who worked in the store†¦against an adjoining counter.† Similarly, activists who tried to desegregate other institut ions and establishments met similar violence. Melba Pattilo Beals also face similar discrimination when she and a group of other African American students tried to desegregate Central High School in Little Rock Alabama. At one point, Beals is locked in a bathroom stall and toilet paper that is on fire is thrown down into the stall hurting and scaring her. What is worse about the situation is that when the Alabama National Guard was called in to help, most of them just stood by and let the African Americans be taunted and evenShow MoreRelatedA Brief Note On The Civil Rights Movement1745 Words   |  7 Pagesof our histories are movements that came about to change the way certain people were being treated. What caused the Civil Rights Movement to slow and splinter in the mid-to-late 1960s? 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This creates a relatively liberal population in the country, with the majority of Americans supporting some form of a Civil Rights Movement, as the horrors of racism are brought to light via television. It is this strongRead MoreRock And Roll : Rock Roll1169 Words   |  5 Pagesartists in Rock-n-Roll who will always live on in their music. Many teenagers were also to identify it due to its rebellious nature their disapproval of the cold war. Towards the end of the 1950s, Rock-n-Roll was ending on a particularly bad note, with a brief decline: â€Å"Chuck berry was on the verge of being convicted for having transported a minor across state lines; Elvis was in the army; Little Richard had left popular music for the ministry, Jerry Lee Lewis had effectively been black listed forRead MoreLa Flor de Un Sexenio by Jennifer Rae Accettola: Article Analysis1389 Words   |  6 Pagesmakes it an unlikely candidate†. 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