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25 August 2014 In Blogs

 According to the recent studies, the United States of America (U.S.) has transformed into a county of mentally disturbed people caused by anxiety. Anxiety has become very common among many U.S. dwellers including college students who spend most of their time thinking about their future careers instead on concentrating on their studies. The U.S. has become the most anxious nation in the world with more than 18 percent of adults suffering from anxiety disorders as stated in the National Institute of Mental Health. Researchers have tried to investigate the main cause of high anxiety rates among U.S. citizens and one of the causes revealed was the fact that people have become more individualistic and socially isolated as a society (Clark).

Clark argued that developing countries like Nigeria have fewer cases of anxiety disorders compared to developed countries like U.S. The main reason being that developed countries concentrate more on technology, hence, they spend most of their time with machines as opposed to people from developing countries are very social with one another. Lack of human contact has lead to increased dissatisfaction and psychological problems facing U.S. people. I totally agree with Clark her reasons why people are becoming more anxious. Psychologists claim that human contact play a major role in eliminating anxiety because a person who isolates himself from the community has fewer people to relate with, and ends up lacking social support that helps alleviate anxiety (Clark).

On the other hand, a study by Twenge, Gentile, DeWall & Ma revealed that American high school and college students also suffer from anxiety disorders. The results from the study revealed that more students suffer from anxious disorders and the nation may demand more mental health services in the future if the problem is not mitigated (Twenge et al 152). The issues highlighted by Clark are similar to those discussed by Twenge and his group. Other causes of anxiety not mentioned in the two papers include pressure in work places and insecurity especially with the high cases of terror attacks and people abduction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25 August 2014 In Blogs

Relate B2B to the four P’s of marketing (product, price, placement, promotion)

            B2B is an abbreviation for Business-to-Business, which stands for commercial transactions between businesses, for example between a wholesaler and a manufacturer or between a retailer and a wholesaler. B2B is used in marketing therefore has a strong relationship with Porter’s four P’s of marketing. B2B exchange is the business transaction that takes place between two businesses without the involvement of a consumer. B2B demonstrated the four P’s in the following manner. The four P’s are the basics of an effective marketing plan that people conducting business transactions ought to understand. For an effective B2B transaction, the involved parties must have an idea of the product demanded in the market, the price of the product, the target market (placement), and the promotion strategies. B2B marketers make use of unique business models that works best for their business transactions and the four P’s model works perfectly (Hutt & Speh, 2013, pp. 148-150).

            Consulting organizations are more interested in knowledge management (KM) in order to increase their areas of operations to create room for more customers. Knowledge management is essential for assessing and providing analytical needs and implementations requirements to clients in order to offer business solutions. KM helps consulting organizations form a link between technology solutions and client’s need, hence; providing better advices and best solutions (Lamont, 2013).

            The Knowledge management cycle used at Infosys Technologies was aimed at converting each employee’s knowledge into a firm asset. The process involved encouraging employees to provide details about their experience in different areas such as technology, software development, and oversea duties. This move was made in order to improve the operations of the organization through creation, capturing, refining, and sharing of ideas and information (Efraim, 2010).

Knowledge creation:

            This was an endless process adopted by Infosys Technologies that included creation of new idea. The ideas created included the writing of experiences by employees and sharing these experiences in hard-copy form so that every employee receives his or her own copy. In addition, the experiences were posted in each employee’s email, placed in bulletin boards, and other communication channels used in the firm.

Knowledge capture

            This was the process that involved storing and recording, and preserving knowledge in acceptable formats for easier access by other employees. In this regards, each employee’s experience was stored in a hard copy while the management maintained softcopies in the company databases.  In addition, a corporate intranet was developed to make bodies of knowledge and change them into HTML format for easier accessibility by other members. Moreover, a central knowledge portal (KShop) was created and maintained by local groups that provided capacity for knowledge sharing.    

Knowledge sharing

            This forms the process of scattering knowledge among people. The right knowledge sharing process determines the effectiveness of a KM cycle in an organization. At Infosys Technologies, knowledge sharing occurred through employee’s engagement in case studies, downloadable software and reusable artifacts. According to Efraim (2010), organization culture plays a major role in effective knowledge sharing. Infosys Technologies allowed local groups to maintain their own content on KShop in order to favor each employee to eliminate discrimination of any form. 

Refining

            Infosys Technologies was very effective in applying the knowledge gained. The KM was very functional in early 2000, but the employee’s participation was low. The organization introduced a reward scheme that increased employee’s involvement and contribution to KM. employees who contributed more to KShop gained knowledge currency units (KCUs) that could be exchanged for cash. The reward system was beneficial because it increased employee’s contribution to the growth and development of the organization through introducing new ideas, and innovations. Compared to the old reward system, the reward scheme made the organization improve its productivity incurred less costs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25 August 2014 In Blogs

Introduction

Much technological advancement is available in the world that makes it very different from the past. People have come up with many inventions in different areas such as energy, transportation, and much more. Solar energy harnessing forms one of the greatest technologies invented by man. Today solar radiations can be used to produce electric energy for both household and industrial purposes. In addition, solar power is used for other purposes like water heating, crop drying, and soil sterilization. Just how can the free lights coming from the sun be harvested and turned into electricity, heat water, dry crops, and sterilize soil? This question can only be answered with a thorough look a solar energy harvesting technologies. The main focus will be on harvesting solar power for power generation.

Solar energy

Solar radiation forms the largest energy flow that enters the terrestrial ecosystem. Out of the total amount of energy radiated by the sun to the earth surface, undergo reflection and absorption in the atmosphere and the portion that reaches the earth surface undergoes conversion to all forms of energy used by humans. The total amount of solar energy reaching the earth surface is approximately 100,000 Tetra Watts a clear indication that solar energy is capable of sustaining energy use in the whole universe. Human beings since ancient times have been using solar energy for various purposes such as warming, water heating, and crop drying. With the current innovations, Engineers have invented photovoltaic cells that are capable of turning solar radiations into electric power. Since the invention of photovoltaic cells in 1839, the evolution of solar energy has continued to grow at a very fast rate. Presently, large varieties of solar technologies exist with photovoltaic cells gaining an increasing market share (Goetzberger and Volker 1-8).

 

 

 

 

 

25 August 2014 In Blogs

1.      Describe how data is transformed into information and how information is transformed into knowledge. Provide examples of how software supports these transformations

Data is raw subject fed into a computer by a user. Data is transformed into information through message coding. The computer codes the information fed and translates it into useful data. For example, information about a person is made up of single data such as sex, age, address, and occupation. Information is transformed into knowledge through the coding process. Installed programs in a computer are used transform information into knowledge. Software supports transformations through effective programming processes using the computer language that understand the communication between data, information and knowledge (Shelly, Cashman & Vermaat, 2010).

2.      Describe cloud computing.  Explain three advantages and disadvantages for organizations that choose to use cloud computing versus owning and installing the software.

Cloud computing is a form of network computing model whereby a program installed in a computer depends on a server or servers located in a different place rather than on the local computing device such as a personal computer, tablet, Smartphone etc. A person using cloud computing connects to a server to perform different tasks and the process can run more than one computer at the same time (Furht & Escalante, 2010, pp. 17-19). For an organization using cloud computing rather that owning and installing software, these are the advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages

            Firstly, the organization will undergo less maintenance cost because the hardware, applications and bandwidth are managed by the server/provider. Owning the software leads to high maintenance costs because the organization will cater for software maintenance.

            Secondly, cloud computing is always available to the public and are easily managed unlike personalized programs that might fail to work on some operating systems. An organization using cloud computing enjoys the effectiveness and efficiency of the system because it is less vulnerable to virus attacks.

            Thirdly, the organization enjoys scalability because they only pay for the applications and data storage needed. Owning and installing the software requires the organization to cater for all costs including purchasing the software and maintaining data.

Disadvantages

            Cloud computing eliminates the aspect of taking total control over a company’s data because it is being processed by an external server. It leads to exposure of organization’s crucial information to the unwanted parties interfering with privacy.

            Secondly, cloud computing does not accommodate every information stored from different organizations. Some computing restricts applications, operating systems, and infrastructure calling for an organization to own and install compatible software.

 

3.      Explain the Five-Component Framework. Using Starbucks, explain how each component is used, be detailed.

The five components of a framework are:

1.      Hardware: this refers to the machinery including the central processing unit (CPU). It is used to hold computer components together

2.      Software: These are programs installed in a computer and are used to direct the hardware in order to produce useful information from data.

3.      Data: These are facts used by computer programs to produce information.

4.      Procedures: Policies governing the operation of a computer

5.      People: People are used to influence the success or failure of information system by operating a computer system. They are also involved in maintenance activities (Shelly, Cashman & Vermaat, 2010).

4.      Describe why relational databases are more efficient AND effective for data management in organizations. How does the task of restructuring the data help to achieve these goals?

Relational databases are designed to maximize efficiency of computer storage by preventing information duplication. Relational databases function as information scanners in a computer through coding each data fed into a computer and restructuring it to prevent duplication. Restructuring the data takes place through collecting of similar information and placing it under one copy.

5.      Why is the security essential to the overall system plan for an organization? How do IS managers identify threats and vulnerabilities? Describe at least three types of threats that organizations face today

Security of information stored in a database if very essential because it contains personal private information that should not be shared in public. IS managers identify threats and vulnerabilities whenever they realize an unwanted authentication took place. In addition, threats and vulnerabilities are recognized when private information is leaked to the public, or when a manager realizes a certain program has been blocked by a user. 

            The main types of threats and vulnerabilities faced by organizations today are:

Errors and omissions: These are important threats to data and computer system integrity. Users omit important information while inputting data leading to serious risks of wrong information.

Fraud and theft: The new technologies have come up with various tricks that IT experts use to steal private information from a computer. These people hack other user’s passwords and access their information.

Employee sabotage: Employees make the organization more vulnerable to risks and threats through entering data incorrectly, sharing company information to third parties, deleting useful data, changing data, or crashing computer systems by introducing viruses (Kizza, 2013).

 

 

 

 

 

 

25 August 2014 In Blogs

Introduction

Miami is generally considered as a top tier city because of the range of things you can do. The city also has diversity that rivals some of the best sea front cities in the world, being home to numerous ethnicities that include Hispanics, African Americans, Europeans and white altogether as well as a myriad of other groupings. Now why take the opportunity to have a vacation in the city, you ask? Well the answer is obvious. There are lots of things that are just open to be taken advantage of in Miami and one of these is the beach, which happens to be the number one attraction in the area, as well as the tropical weather that gives you the feeling of true you are in an island paradise.

Property and Tax advantages

People also cannot be wrong because it happens to be one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. this being, said the city has taken this into account and placed world class shopping malls and eateries that serve almost every cuisine you could think of, to satisfy every part of the possible market. this is the second argument in favor of the venue. The city is organized in such a way to continue attracting tourists and clients to do business in the area. This places an environment of service to the customer/ visitor, who in this case would be you.

Here, is the part that should sell you on the idea at least partially. If you think that no one would afford the amenities in the city with an average salary you are wrong. In fact, the living cost in Miami is lower than it is in any other city because the city runs of lower factors of tax making it the have the lowest taxable composite in the united states. For example there is hardly any form of taxable income in Miami and there happens to be no local income tax.

 

As a result, a vacation in the vicinity would cost considerably less than you had first imagined. The exemptions on tax are sure to make your stay in the city as comfortable and memorable as possible. However, this statistics also beg the question whether it would not only be a good idea to have a vacation in the area, as compared to moving to the vicinity. That suggestion is for a later, discussion, though connected to this argument, there cheaper homes, lower costs on insurance as well as property tax (Daily News 4).

Reasons resident love Miami

Miami has a lot of attractive sites and for this reason, there are a lot of tourists that have elected to go out and look for Miami Real estate. While you may think the city is heaven on earth, though, it is an odd phenomenon that residents of the city don’t think so. They are quite quick to bash the city metaphorically, but will also not listen to a non resident do the same. On the other hand, this shows signs of a people so spoiled by their city, they instinctively know they have it good but like to rant because they can. There is a complied list that residents fondly refer to as some of the reasons their city of choice is better than anywhere else.

Some of the points on the list are quite liberal, but would offer a significant amount of freedom to the visitor. For one, Miamians are described on the list as helpful and involved, no real resident is snobby and this theme of hospitality comes from the ideal that no one is truly from Miami, everyone immigrated into the area at one time or another.

 

 

Some of the other points include quite favorable weather. For instance dressing for cold would entail wearing a hooded sweater, that’s about it. There is almost zero racism reported, which gives the impression of a highly accepting society. In fact, the state allows for topless sunbathing and not only is it legal, but it is not a big issue with residents (Munzenrieder 4). That for some may be too much on the liberal side, but it drives the point of non conservative home. Some would even go as far as saying that the Cuban food made in the area, is even more authentic than the real thing made in Cuba. We might not have the time or reason to dispute but, the fact is there are quite a lot of immigrants, most of which came with their home cuisines to diversify the pot.

Places to go and eat

As such there are some choice eateries, which would be the posts for choice if one wanted to treat themselves with Florida Cuisine. Joe Stone’s Crab restaurant is a top tier eatery for calamari. It is usually frequented by northern state Americans and occasionally, celebrities. The best dishes to try out include the jumbo crab, prawn and the key lime pie. If you have a taste for spice, you can try Cuban food at Miami’s little Havana. Here you can enjoy an assortment of Cuban cuisine coupled with some of the best freshly squeezed juice.

Apart from food, you can engage your spirit of adventure and go canoeing in the everglades. These swamps represent Florida’s outback, which are best explored using canoes. This offers an up close encounter with the inhabitants of the area. The wildlife of the region varies from alligators to raccoons and Florida panthers, yes panthers.

 Culture and fashion

Miami happens to be the cultural center of Florida and in so doing, many of the world celebrities go to the city in December to experience the Art Basel in Miami as well as the new architectural master piece New World Symphony’s that was designed by one Frank Gehry (Abravanel 4). The city has had a recent upsurge in fashion cred with a host of pop up stores and boutiques cropping up everywhere. This only serves to satisfy the wants of the young shopper. Similarly, if you are looking for residential furniture, a host of mid-century furniture stores have opened up in the design district. This is probably a response to the scram for real estate by tourists.

Not surprisingly most of the potential buyers want to be close to the beach. The most sought after spot being South Beach which is very well known for the nightlife. However, mostly revelers and young at heart couples would go for this option. In response to this, the development has gone to the north to reach the North Miami beach (Flint 5). The prices are still good considering the area has quite rapidly become prime land. Here is where the argument for living in Miami comes in.

At the moment, there are a good number of reasons to visit the area on a holiday or vacation. However, the previous points go to point out that the city does not only serve as a one stop shop, but offers similar advantages for a long term resident. Even the down town parts of Miami have become residential. This is because it has been given the 24 hour life that it never had with the inclusion of daily stores and night clubs. With such a melting pot of things what could be the disadvantage. On the other hand, the problem with most such mixes in culture is the crime bit.

Cities like this usually experience a huge amount of crime. This may be so for Miami but, the area has a capable police department that is on call 24 hours. Similarly, there is the presence of other agencies like the DEA for drugs and the ATF for arms trafficking that are nearby so the city is covered. Cities in such similar positions include Manhattan; however, the city has come up with a variety of ways to stem crime. The thing that separates Miami from the rest of the group, is the hospitality though. In New York, one can literally die and it would not elicit notice for some time.

Conclusion

The area even has a magazine that is named after it, that is responsible for highlighting the dos and don’ts while in the city. The magazine welcomes over a hundred million visitors on an annual basis, and provides information on the best tours to go and such (Welcome Publishing Company 1). During a visit of the area, if you want to satisfy a craving for sophisticated art, you should pass by the Museum of Contemporary Art, and those with family trying to spend an afternoon away would visit the Metro zoo. In other words, there is simply nothing you cannot attain in the city, practically nothing.

The city satisfies tastes of a fun loving variety while not forgetting the young family and offers them places to do their thing. It even has a section for the art connoisseurs. Every point screams that you cannot go wrong when choosing Miami and the tax exemptions just make it better because it gives access to a higher number of people to experience what they would be hard pressed in other states in the same America.  

 

 

 

 

25 August 2014 In Blogs

Global warming refers to a recent increase in the global temperatures, in the Earth’s atmosphere. The increase is gradual and has been happening in the past centuries up to date. The trend started off in the late nineteenth century, and the main reasons that can be associated to the rise in temperatures are activities carried out by human beings. Greenhouse gases take the blame for the gradual increase in temperatures and happen to the main contributors (Houghton, 2004). In the past few decades, the emission of green house gases to the earth’s atmosphere has been on the rise. The causes of global warming vary from natural causes to human causes, which are discussed below. The effects of the increase in temperatures and possible ways to avert the causes brought about by global warming are also highlighted.

            The emergence of the topic of global warming can be traced to the beginning of the nineteenth century. This was after the ice ages and other natural changes in the paleoclimate were suspected. There was also the discovery of the first natural green house gas effect. Back then, the scientists argued that emissions of green house gases produced by human could change the effect on the climate. However, after deeper and deeper research, this theory was disputed and other methods had to be sorted. In the 1960’s the warming effect caused by carbon (iv) oxide became easily detectable. This prompted the increase in research by scientists on how to combat this problem. Since 1990, scientists have been working extra hard to try and contain this epidemic. They also work hard to ensure they warn people and companies of the activities that they should avoid.

  Scientists have spent quite some time before they could come up with the main causes of global warming. Their discoveries shed light on two causes of global warming; natural causes and human related causes (Goldstein, 2009). One such natural cause is methane gas, which is released, from wetlands and the arctic tundra. Methane gas is one of the greenhouse gases which its heat is trapped in the atmosphere. The earth is also undergoing through a natural climate change cycle and its lasts for about forty thousand years. Volcano eruptions also happen to be another natural cause of global warming. Although green house gases are necessary for maintaining global temperatures, if they are released excessively the results may be catastrophic.

            The larger end of global warming causes is those caused by activities carried out by man. The bigger contributor being the gases produced through the burning of fossil fuels. The use of gas and oil in automobiles and industries when burned produces CO2, SO2, and methane gas. These two gases are the main contributors of the increase of green house gases in the atmosphere. The green house gases are responsible for the rise in global temperatures. This rise in global temperatures not only affects human life but nature also has a problem keeping up with the temperatures.

            Deforestation which is the unplanned reduction of forest covers also accelerates the rate of global warming. Trees take in CO2 in the night and reduce the concentration of the gas in the environment. Hence, with a reduction in forest cover, the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere will rise. Rise in population leads to the increase of deforestation in search of habitats for the increasing population. The increase in population also increases the CO2 rate since human breathe out the gas (Fern, 2009).

            The effects of global warming are very wide and include an ecological and economic basis. The effects act as evidence to a few people who still argue that global warming is a myth. The melting of ice in the Earth’s poles and mountain glaciers is one very viewable effect. In about thirty years, researcher Bill Fraser was able to establish the decline in the number of penguins on Antarctica. In that time span, their numbers have fallen from 32,000 to 11,000 breeding pairs. There has been the migration of some breeds of plants further north to higher and cooler places to avoid the heat levels (Kowalski, 2004). On average, in the past few decades as a result of global warming the sea level rise and the levels of rain and snow have also increased.

            The effects of global warming have not spared Kenya as well. Our nation is suffering the same cause the whole globe is suffering due to the ignorance of human beings. The effects of global warming in Kenya include irregular weather patterns, seasonal floods and droughts and a rise in temperature. This is the reason why Kenya’s agriculture has been affected in a way. Since farmers can no longer predict the perfect time to plant or harvest. The weather patterns have turned completely irregular and it is very easy for one to predict what will happen next. At the coast, there are records of rise in the sea level which happen to raise alarm. What will happen in the future cannot be predicted; all we can do is to try and change the situation than wait for things to get worse.

            In conclusion, it is very important for everyone to agree that global warming is real. Every human being should make it their personal role to reduce the damage already done. If no action is taken, the effects that happen later on in this century will be much adverse and the damage will be intolerable (Archer, 2012). Hurricanes and storms will become stronger; floods become more common, fresh water will reduce, spread of waterborne diseases like malaria and the extinction of some species due to ecological changes. Therefore, governments should come with ways in which the public can be involved in fighting this epidemic before it consumes all humans alive.

 

 

25 August 2014 In Blogs

The 2011 elections were instigated by Liberal party leader’s motion of no-confidence. While the liberal party seemed to enjoy large support among Canadians, the results of the election would prove them wrong. The results of the party delivered majority to the Conservative while offering NDP the official opposition status. The failure of the liberal party is worth investigating. This analysis is aimed at establishing the mistakes done by the Liberal party and their impact in their campaign. It will deal with the leadership, organization, policy, and funding of the party.

Problems in the Liberal party started in December 2008, when Michael Ignatieff was confirmed as the leader without going through a leadership race. This meant that Ignatieff as a leader did not go through the public scrutiny that accompanies such contestations.  The party faced organization, policy and funding problems during the run-up to the 2011 elections. On top of these challenges, the caucus was disunited, and the party leader was seen as “an albatross around its neck” (50).

The party did not have a clear direction as Ignatieff seemed to lack both conviction and direction of his values and views on issues pertaining to the country. This led to his branding by the competitors as a “visitor”, which dented his campaign. The national politics and personality of the leaders are intertwined in Canada. Ignatieff suffered greatly because of his personality despite having a great command and understanding of the country’s issues. A closer reading of Marland (194) also indicates that strategy is a great weapon for those who use it. Unlike their competitors, the Liberal party was involved in internal wrangling that it lost its main focus. Further, the smear campaigns by its competitors forced Ignatieff to take a defensive position while the Conservative party was holding grassroots meetings with electorates (Marland, 166).

Ignatieff’s inability to organize his party, and his inadequate leadership in policy formulation took a toll on the party’s support in its strongholds. The biggest question was on the policy and values adopted by Ignatieff as a party leader and the party in general. The people were not clear on what the party stood for; hence its supporters were disillusioned and easily persuaded to support other parties that seemed to have a direction. The challenges were overwhelming since Ignatieff lacked political experience needed to deal with a competitive environment like the one that ensued in the election of 2011. This adds to the argument that personality is essential to success of a political party. This is complimented by the leader’s ability to deal with challenges both inside and outside the party.

The party leadership haphazardly organized the Liberal Express tour meant to popularize the party among the electorates. However, this too seemed to hit a dead end as its rating changed marginally. According to polls conducted prior to January 2011, over 64 percent of Liberals wanted Michael Ingatieff replaced. Efforts to recover from this did not bear fruits. It can be deduced that lack of strong and clear leadership in the Liberal party was preparing the ground for a dismal party performance.

Instead of coming up with a strong response to the smear ad campaign by the Conservative, the Liberals launched lackluster campaign that only served to show Ignatieff’s incompetence in political matters (Jeffrey, 54). At first, the Liberal party complained that it did not have money to run ad campaigns like its competitor. The negative perception created around Ingatieff would later prove too enormous to dispel during the election period. At this juncture, it is evident that Liberal Party lacked funds, organization, and leadership necessary to position it as a strong party capable of forming a minority government.

Lack of policy was the other issue that came out clearly in the run-up to the election. Jeffrey states that the Liberal party maintained its power position because of its ability to reinvent as circumstances changed (57). Their updates would be updated as they changed their leaders, allowing them to remain relevant to issues of the day. Ignatieff failed to come up with his own policies plunging the party into a realm of confusion. Even supporters of Ignatieff’s leadership started complaining about “lack of concrete policy agenda” (Jeffrey 59). This discontentment was evident in the 2008-2011 polls (Turcotte 201).

The campaign was another area where luck was not on the Liberal side. NDP was performing badly, and the Liberal leaders did not want to join with them. After the vote of no-confidence, parties went into a campaign mood, and the internet was a big addition to the tools of campaigning. According to Marland, voting in the electoral districts had changed in the advent of the internet –a 24/7 media (167). The Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act demarcates the boundaries of the electoral districts in Canada.  The Canada Elections Act governs the campaigning, fundraising, candidate nominations, staffing, election communication, and spending (Marland 168; Clarke, Scotto, Reifler, and Kornberg, 283).

Legislation stipulated that parties that qualified would accrue $2 annually for each vote they received. This led to a hotly contested race since “bringing the vote up [was] important because of the election financing” (Marland 168). However, efforts by the Liberal party were thwarted by the strong campaign by Conservatives. Liberals were gaining traction in most places, and they were sure their campaign strategy was working despite Conservative’s strong ad campaign (Jeffrey, 67). However, despite their seemingly large influence, the polls released on April 9 prior to leaders’ debates showed that their rating had not changed as much as they thought (Jeffrey, 67; Clarke et al. 300). They expected a minority government after the Fortieth Parliament, but this was increasingly becoming a farfetched dream. Liberal MPs such as Siobhan Coady were on campaign mode “and maintained active online presence” (Marland 169) as she focused on winning her seat back.

The tables were turning; after the vote of no confidence against the government, many incumbents in British Columbia retired, leaving more seats to be contested. The Liberals concentrated on dealing with internal matters. Due to lack of funds, they were unable to strategize and act in such a magnitude as did the Conservatives. This contributed to low acceptance of their already unclear policies. According to Marland, the seats left by the retired incumbents offered a great opportunity to increase each party’s triage (170). Competitive seats would require more resources. The parties spent money in hiring workers, communications, sending leaders to visit marginal ridings, support of major candidates, and in competitive races. Conservatives hand almost triple the Liberal budget, therefore, they were able to inject more money into these campaigns than could the Liberals.

The Conservative party was more disciplined and focused than the Liberal party (Farney and Malloy 255). After the vote of no-confidence was passed, the conservative party increased its budget campaign. They organized informal meeting in electoral districts and engaged electors on dialogue that were more effective that the debates held on national television (Jeffrey 68).  Candidate selection at the party level was mired with controversies despite the high level of scrutiny into their background.  This was common in most parties. The leadership of the party worried about the representation of the party’s message during the campaign period. Due to these controversies, some people chose to run independently.  Others, who chose not to be affiliated with any party, did so in order to raise awareness on issues that would otherwise have not been heard (Marland 172).

Constituency campaigns are a replica of the national duel, representing “the parties’ local sales force” 174. The Conservative party was successful in designing and empowering its constituency contenders to market the party. In areas such as New Westminster and Edmonton, informal meetings were held with electors. The decision to use such “meetings instead of doing media interviews” proved to be very successful (179). Farney and Malloy talk of this discipline and the ideologies of the Conservative party as some of the factors that lead their win in 2011 federal elections. Marland reiterates that Conservative party funds were redistributed to targeted electoral seats. This helped the party to distribute money effectively back to the electoral districts. The internet was also used to raise funds as well as popularizing candidates (189).

From this analysis, it is clear that the campaign style of the Liberal party was shaky from the start. It lacked leadership and strategy. Further, the party could not raise enough money to fund its campaigns. The style of leadership and campaign style was shaped by the Ignatieff’s personality. However, there are other forces that lead to such a campaign style. First, the party did not have funds to run robust ad campaign as its competitor.


 

25 August 2014 In Blogs

Entrepreneurial finance entails application and implementation of all financial tools, principles, and techniques to the planning, funding, valuation, and all other operations of an entrepreneurial venture (San Diego State University, 2014). In this case, an entrepreneurial venture refers to entire entrepreneurial life cycle. Entrepreneurial firms go through various growth stages. As a firm grows, the managers must ensure that the firm has sustainable financial flow. Firms that have cash flows that are insufficient to meet the obligations usually experience financial distress. Restructuring entails improving factors such as assets, loan interest, and all financial repayments. Generally, the role of entrepreneurial finance is anticipating and avoiding any kind of financial distress to a firm (GCASE, 2010).

Entrepreneurial Growth Life Cycle Using Churchill and Lewis Growth Model

Churchill and Lewis growth model give six growth stages that any venture goes through.  The stages are conception, survival, profitability and sustainability, profitability and growth take-off, and maturity stage. All the five stages have unique financial challenges. This implies that managers must ensure that they have the tools to handle unique challenges in specific growth stages (Churchill & Lewis, 1983).

i.                    Conception Phase

According to Churchill & Lewis C1983), this is the very first stage of growth of a business venture. At this phase entrepreneur is in his or her full sense and thus responsible for ensuring that all of the business activities happens as planned. This stage features very minimal sense of formal planning and defining the business activities. It is characterized by sole intention of ensuring that the business survives (Yola, 2013). Key primary sources of funds in this stage include entrepreneur’s own finance, securing loans, and using credit cards.  Key secondary sources of finance include finance from family and friends and buying equity shares in other companies. Many businesses collapse at this stage (Muriithi & Ventures 2014).

ii.                  Survival

At this development phase, the business has attainable a workable status but its key agenda is survival. Churchill and Lewis growth model explain that businesses at this phase have an ordinary organization structure. The founder of the business usually heads the business. The founder carries the face of the business. Few people might be employed depending with the nature of the business. However, the employees do not have liberty to make decisions. Decisions are made by the owner (Muriithi & Ventures 2014). The level of formally planning the business is usually too low. Many businesses will start making profits at this level. For the purpose of financing a business, entrepreneur can dig deeper in his or her own sources of finance as well as seeking more from family and friends. If funds collected from the two sources are not sufficient, the entrepreneur should seek more financing form formal venture investors such as ‘venture capitalists’ and ‘business angels’.

iii.                Profitability and Stabilization

At this growth phase, the business venture has grown into a large venture. Therefore, the owner hires more employees. Duties including freedom to make decisions are delegated to the employees (Muriithi & Ventures 2014). Additionally, the owner is still the top manager of the business but assisted by a management team. Further growth of the business will force the manager to lose total control of the business to other executive managers employed. Churchill and Lewis model explain that any business at this growth stage will have a different identity with the owner. Companies start registering new shareholders at this stage.  Key sources of finance at this stage include money from business operations, customers and suppliers, venture capitalists, government special assistance programs such as low interest loans, and loans from commercial banks (Yola, 2013).

iv.                Profitability and Growth

At this stage, the venture starts recording increased profits or revenue (Yola, 2013). However, most firms will stay at the previous stage for a very long time until its owner decides to incur more expenses in bid to have more resources in the business. Availability of enough resources marks the start of this fourth growth stage. The owners are tasked with two key responsibilities, inter alia, ensuring firm profitability and finding competent managers. Key sources of finance at this stage include money from business operations, customers and suppliers, and venture capitalists (Muriithi & Ventures 2014).

v.                  Take-off

Churchill and Lewis model explain that at this stage owners are unsuccessful in managing the business. Take-off stage delays because of owners failing to admit their incapability of managing the business through having ineffective delegation. This stage is characterised by more investors, creditors, and suppliers. At this stage, company needs heavy external funding since the firm’s internal cash flow is usually insufficient (Yola, 2013).

vi.                Maturity

Yola (2013) explains that at this stage, the owner and the business are two distinctive elements. The business organization is fully decentralized. A formal management structure gets in place. The business has enough resources needed to sustain a high level of profitability. Managers have two key responsibilities: ensuring the entrepreneurial spirit is high and upholding high growth flexibility. Failure to observe these two goals will make the business have unwanted negative traits of avoiding risks and low level of innovation. At this stage,the venture receives high revenues and thus retained earnings is its major source of finance. If the venture needs additional funds, it can get it through issuing new bonds and ordinary shares through the help of investment banks. Additionally, matured firms can obtain debt and equity capital through selling more securities (GCASE, 2010).

Real Life Case Study

Apple Inc.  

Apple Inc. is a multinational corporation specialized in creating consumer electronics, computer software, personal computers, video distributors, and commercial servers (Jade, 2011). Core products of the company include iPad, iPhone, smart phones, iPod media players, macintosh, and tablet computers (Nelson, 2010).

Apple Inc. Life Cycle Process

i.                    Pre-foundation

In 1975 Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, the founders of the corporation, started the preliminary stage of starting a business. The pre-foundation stage was characterized by a lot of research. The research work was done for a short time and the two partners were ready to start the business. The founders used personal money to finance the pre-foundation phase (Nelson, 2010). After  one month research, Wazniak was able to design a video terminal that as used in logging on minicomputers at an organization’s call centers. The video terminal was sold to Alex Kamradt’s firm. This stage was also called Apple I (Jade, 2011).

ii.                  Apple II

The success of the video terminal encouraged the two partners to carry out more research on the field. They attended many conferences including Hembrew Computer Club meetings.  The lessons the two had in the research enabled them to build a microprocessor into the video terminal to make a complete computer (Nelson, 2010). The success of the computer made them produce many more electronic devices. This enabled them to move to the second stage, which they called Apple II in 1976. Apple II was characterized by designing more features in already designed devices. Even though the partners had a lot of venture commitments, sales returns were sufficient to finance the business (Jade, 2011).

iii.                Apple III

Jade (2011) explain that the manufacture of Apple II in May1980 marked the third growth stage of the company. The company started investing on plant and machinery since it had expanded beyond the control of the two partners. Key sources of financing the venture operations were from bank loans (Nelson, 2010).

iv.                Apple IPO

Products produced during Apple II phase enabled the business to grow. By 12th December 1980, the company had grown so much that it offered its first initial public offering (IPO) (Jade, 2011). This was the very first time the company went public (Times, 2010). The IPO helped the company generate a lot of capital that funded its entire investment projects. The IPO offering marked the last growth stage of Apple Inc. It attained it mature stage (Nelson, 2010; Moreano, 2011).

v.                  Comparative Analysis

There are several similarities between Churchill and Lewis growth model and the growth phases that Apple Inc. went through. More particularly, the two have differences and similarities on the way business ventures finance its operations. The differences and similarities are illustrated below. 

 

Stage

Financing as per the theory

Apple Inc. Financing

Stage 1

Personal sources

Personal sources

Stage 2

Personal sources, investors, friends and families

Personal sources

Stage 3

Commercial banks, Business operations,

Business operations

Stage 4

Venture capitalists, business operations, investors

Business operations and investors

Stage 5

Issuance of bonds and securities, external funding

Issuing of bonds and securities

Stage 6

Both external and internal funding

Both external and internal funding

 

The table shows some similarities as well as few differences. It appears that Churchill and Lewis growth model is good in predicting growth stages of business ventures. Additionally, the model shows the sources of finance in each stage which appears to be practical as per the findings on the case study.

Conclusion

Businesses grow through various stages until it attains maturity stage where it experience highest efficiency rates. Finance is one of the elementary needs for companies to develop to its maturity stage. Without sustainable financing businesses don’t go past its second growth state. Therefore, entrepreneurial finance is very crucial for growth of businesses.

 

25 August 2014 In Blogs

 It is the function of education in society to transmit from one generation to the next the relevant knowledge, skills, and values of that society and formation of the individual in the society. This essay explains how education develops hope and proficiency in a career.

Education develops an individual and brings self-fulfillment. Education provides opportunities for the fullest development of individual talents and personality, that is, develop potential interests and abilities, like character building, sound morals, religious values and growth into self –discipline, self-reliant, and integrated citizen. “It makes individual self-sufficient and productive, by use of individual talents in commerce, industries and agriculture and in any other service”­­­­­­­­­­ 1(Eshiwani, 1993.pg 29.) This full development helps one to be flexible to adopt and build a stable and modern society.

 

Forming of job attitude good preparation brings attitude of job satisfaction, that is, an infidel attitude towards his or her job. A high level of job satisfaction has positive attitude towards the job; a person who is dissatisfied with his or her job holds negative attitude towards the job. This job satisfaction brings with it lob involvement, that is, it measures the degree to which a person indentifies psychologically with his or her job and conscious of his or her performance level, important to self worth .Employee with a high level of job involvement strongly identify with his or her job and really o care about the kind of work they do. “employee tend to prefer jobs that give them opportunities to use their skills and abilities and offer a variety of tasks freedom and feedback on how well they are doing”2(Robbins,1996.Pg192)

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